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Creative Arts Help Veterans Reclaim Their Voice

For Angela Walker, music was her first love, her passion and her whole identity. “Once a singer, always a singer,” she often says. That was true even after she joined the U.S. Navy in 1985. But what happened next forever changed Walker’s perspective on what it means to have a voice.

When she was 26, Walker knew she had a calling to serve and protect her country and its ideals. She served as a naval airman and sang cadence in boot camp while training to work on helicopters. During boot camp, she developed a throat condition and lost her voice. When Walker was medically discharged, she was devastated. On top of that, Walker’s illness worsened, and she was later admitted to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital, where she would meet a therapist who helped change her life.

“One day I met Jessie,” Walker recalled. “She played the piano and would encourage patients to sing along with her. She kept at me, until I gave in and sang ‘Summertime’ by Ella Fitzgerald. In that moment, I found my voice again.”

Once Walker began singing again, it was clear she still had talent. So much so that years later, she would become a five-time finalist at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF), which is open to veterans who participate in their local VA hospital’s creative arts therapy programs. Veterans can submit their work in the categories of


Visions of Sugar Plums


“'Sometimes mistakes make the most magical things happen'.  With hints of "The Nutcracker" and the "Night Before Chrsistmas", "Visions of Sugarplums is an exciting new work that tells a magical holiday story through traditional theater, music, and dance."  Children, bring your grandparents! Grandparents, bring the grandkids! A treat for all ages! 

November 25 - 2:00 & 7:00 PM; November 26 - 2:00 PM, Miller Center for the Arts, 4 N 2nd St, Reading, PA 19601

For tickets or information, see or call 610-376-1576

About Sacred Heart Villa

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


Tips for helping reduce the burden of Alzheimer's caregiving

caregiver2Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is exceptionally demanding, and especially challenging. The caregiving needs of people living with Alzheimer’s are not only often more extensive, but are often needed over many years — even decades.

A recent survey by the Alzheimer’s Association indicates many caregivers are not getting the help and support they need — a whopping 84 percent of caregivers say they would like more support in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, especially from family members.


Looking for a Medicare Part D Plan? Consider These Three Things

Medicare-part-DMany people are surprised to find out that original medicare doesn't cover prescription drugs. For help with the cost of your medications, you can choose a standalone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription coverage, but navigating your options can be complicated. See

With Medicare Open Enrollment running from October 15 to December 7,  the annual window when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage, now is a good time to learn about how to pick a plan that can best suit your needs.

Kent Monical, senior vice president for Part D at UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, recommends you consider these three things when choosing a plan.


Berks Senior Expo is Set for October 24!

Berks-Encore-Senior-Expo-Logo-The 2017 Berks Encore Senior Expo will be held on October 24, 2017 from 9 am to 3 pm at the DoubleTree Hotel By Hilton, 701 Penn Street, Reading, PA 19601. Professionals will be offering information on a wide array of topics, from cooking on a budget to internet safety.  Flu shots will be available, and there will be live music and a Lunch and Learn session on Medicare, plus a chance to meet the K-9 teams that serve with the Berks County Sheriff’s Department.

Senior Expo Program Schedule

9 a.m. to noon: Flu shots provided by Walgreens in the Boscov Board Room

9:15 a.m.: Cook More! …with less– with Registered Dietitian Meredith McGrath from Redner’s Warehouse Markets in the White Star Cabaret/Amphitheater


Prevent Falls with a Home Safety Checklist

Fall-preventionAfter months of sticky heat and humidity, it’s time to put away the shorts and pull out the sweaters because the autumn season is finally here. But, late September brings us more than just cooler temperatures and a wardrobe change. If you or a loved one are over the age of 65, the change in seasons is also an opportunity to think about another kind of fall — the kind that impacts one in four older Americans every year — and the steps we can all take to help prevent them.

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and

account for the majority of emergency room visits for older adults. More than 75 percent of falls happen in or around the house, but fortunately there are ways to evaluate our loved ones’ homes and make them safer for everyday living.


Survey: People With Diabetes Unaware of Their Increased Risk for Certain Serious Illnesses

medic-alert-braceletToday, nearly 30 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes, and 90-95 percent have type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1.4 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in the U.S. every year.[1],[2]

Diabetes increases the risk for certain serious illnesses including pneumococcal pneumonia/pneumococcal disease, flu and hepatitis B. However, many adults 18+ with diabetes were unaware of their increased risk for these illnesses, according to a recent national, online consumer awareness survey sponsored by the American Diabetes Association and Merck. The survey was conducted by Harris Poll among approximately 1,000 U.S. adults age 18+ who have ever been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.