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51 Seminary Avenue
Reading, PA 19605

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Are You Saying Dad Has a Gambling Problem? Bingo!

Bingo can be an innocent, fun recreational activity for seniors, with low stakes and little danger. Few participants will get in a fierce competition over a box of candy, a pack of tissues, a pencil, a plastic figure of Santa Claus, or any other dollar store trinkets. Games like bingo are crucial to a senior’s daily life because they encourage socialization, exercise mental abilities, and are great relationship builders. The games are usually held in senior environments and are meant for fun. However, in other situations, gambling problems can be a real worry.

Because of the rise of internet gambling, the multiplication of brick-and-mortar casinos, lotteries, and the reduced stigma of gambling, more and more seniors are exposed to — and being bitten by — the gambling bug. It no longer has to be tracked down outside the house; it is as close as a computer or smartphone.



Seniors Can Still Serve!

Senior CorpsRetirement doesn't necessarily mean retreating from service! Of course, many seniors have retired from military, government, and other services as careers, and can now take it a bit easy. However, the world still has need for the talents and wisdom of senior adults, and you could be the answer.

There are opportunities to make a positive difference around the world, in your neighborhood, and even in your retirement community. Keeping active and engaged with others has many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, for both you and those you encounter.


How to Build a Better Brain

You have heard about building a better mousetrap. How about building a better thought-trap? The brain we are born with is not necessarily the brain you have all your life. If that sounds like someone has lost a few brain cells, read on to find out how you can fight cognitive decline.

"We're having a brain-health revolution." So says Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, founder of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Chapman believes we have entered a new age of understanding brain health that is benefitting brain research and giving hope to those of us who are aging — which is all of us.

The brain we are born with is constantly developing neurons and neural connections, and that means it is possible to turn back the clock on aging, even for people with mild cognitive problems. With certain lifestyle modifications, people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) showed significant improvement on abilities that decline with age, such as planning, judgment, and processing speed. Studies show that people with MCI are more likely to develop Alzheimer's, so reducing MCI can help prevent — or at least slow down the progression of — Alzheimer's.

Since there is evidence that it is possible to delay or avoid "senior moments" and age-related memory loss, you are probably anxious to learn the strategies for building that better brain.


Do People in Reading Need Reading Glasses?

book and glasses

There is a bumper sticker that says, "If you can read this, you are too close!" That is a welcome sign of caution, but NOT being able to read is also a sign of caution.

As we age, our eyes may not function as well as they used to. Now that you are retired and have more time to read (or look at a computer or smartphone screen), reading may become more difficult. "Hyperopia" is a fancy medical term for a common condition known as "farsightedness." This means you can see distant objects clearly, but closer objects (such as screens and pages) appear blurry. Not only that, but you may find yourself squinting to see up-close, may have itchy or achy eyes, and even develop headaches after doing close work, like reading and sewing.


Department of Aging Warns Seniors of Genetic Testing Scam

Medical culture

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Aging is warning Pennsylvania seniors, their families, and caregivers, about a new scam targeting older adults. DNA testing has become extremely popular in the past few years for people looking to learn more about their family history and health, and scammers are now targeting Medicare beneficiaries with a fraudulent DNA testing service. These scammers offer “free” genetic testing, claiming it is covered through Medicare, as a means for the senior to avoid disease or to find the right medications. This is simply an effort to gain access to a senior’s personal Medicare information, which can lead to access to financial information, and more.

“Unfortunately, scammers continue to develop ways to target seniors,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. “It’s a major priority to circulate new scam tactics to the public as we discover them to help older adults and their loved ones be one step ahead of potentially being a victim of these criminals.”


It’s Time for Medicare Annual Open Enrollment

The Annual Open Enrollment Period (AOEP) runs from October 15th through December 7th. You have the opportunity to change or enroll for a Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan. The changes take effect on January 1st.

You can make the following changes during the Medicare AOEP:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan.

APPRISE counselors are available to answer your Medicare-related questions at certain scheduled events and locations. Contact them through Berks Encore for free help and counseling center locations.

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.

The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety, and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public.

Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit us at

Planning for End-of-Life Issues


Preparing to Cross the Finish Line


Since the beginning of time, humans have pondered end-of-life issues. Over 200 years ago, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." And where is he now? Woody Allen famously said, “I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.”

Mr. Franklin was right; however, we know when taxes are due, but we don’t necessarily know when the Grim Reaper will show up. And Mr. Allen aside, we will be there when it happens, and so will those we leave behind. It behooves us, as a kindness to our loved ones, to plan for that final appointment.

Death is an unpleasant subject but it stalks everyone, from infants to centenarians. It can come without warning, so the time to prepare is now, especially if you or your loved one has heartfelt wishes for how the final years are spent.