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Sat, Jun 1 8:00am · Creativity: The More You Use, The More You Have in Charter House


Start the summer off with creativity and promote healthy aging! There is a growing body of research exploring the relationship between aging and creativity. Creativity influences your mind and body. It fosters communication and expression that is both healing and embraces the wholeness inherent in each of us. Creative activities provide you with opportunities to heal and continue to grow.

Expert Insight

“Experiencing the arts has the added benefit of stimulating your brain centers and impacting your cognitive functioning. When you are moved by a  performance, your limbic system is stimulated. Your temporal lobe is engaged when listening or watching a performance that arouses your emotions. When you explore the visual arts, you process what you see through many different parts of your brain. When you dance, your motor cortex is stimulated. Each experience in appreciating or participating in a wide range of the arts can improve your attention and concentration. Enjoying a rich tapestry of any kind of artist endeavor connects you with your own humanity!” – Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Create Something. Learn a new skill by taking a Community Education class or a L.I.F.E. course.
  • Discover Local Creativity. Visit the art exhibits in the Parkside Gallery at Charter House or explore art and healing by vising the Mayo Clinic Center for Humanities page.
  • Learn a Musical Instrument. Not only is learning how to play a musical instrument fun, but it is a culturally enriching activity. If you already know how to play an instrument, learn a different one.


What do you do to express your creativity?  What would you like to try?

Wed, May 1 8:00am · Protect Your Hearing in Charter House

1 hearing

May 31st is National Save Your Hearing Day.  This serves as a great reminder of the importance of our hearing.  Use it as an opportunity to learn about risk factors along with the steps you can take to protect your hearing.

Hearing loss can occur from damage to the inner ear, infection, a ruptured eardrum, and even earwax build up.  Risk factors include age, heredity, exposure to noise, and illness.

Symptoms can include hearing muffled sounds along with an inability to block out background noise.  You may find yourself asking others to repeat themselves or turning up the volume on your phone, TV, or radio.  Some of those with advanced hearing loss withdrawal from social situations as communication becomes too difficult, which can result in isolation.

Mayo Clinic provides us with the following steps that can prevent noise-induced hearing loss and avoid worsening of age-related hearing loss:

  • Protect your ears. Limiting the duration and intensity of your exposure to noise is the best protection. In the workplace, plastic earplugs or glycerin-filled earmuffs can help protect your ears from damaging noise.
  • Have your hearing tested. Consider regular hearing tests if you work in a noisy environment. If you’ve lost some hearing, you can take steps to prevent further loss.
  • Avoid recreational risks. Activities such as riding a snowmobile, hunting, using power tools or listening to rock concerts can damage your hearing over time. Wearing hearing protectors or taking breaks from the noise can protect your ears. Turning down the music volume is helpful too.

If hearing loss is affecting your everyday life, it may be time to reach out to your doctor to learn about your options.  Visit Mayo Clinic’s hearing loss page to learn more.

Do you have hearing loss?  If so, join the discussion with Mayo Connect’s hearing loss group.

Mon, Apr 29 1:00pm · Eat Smart: Try A New Food in Charter House

Yes! Gradual, subtle changes are best.

Wed, Feb 27 12:00pm · Eat Smart: Try A New Food in Charter House

Eat smart


Trying to implement healthier eating habits can be overwhelming. The onslaught of commercials promoting supplements and attempting to read food labels can be confusing. What should you do? Eat whole foods and be mindful of portion sizes. Whole foods are as close to their natural form as possible. They contain the micronutrients your body needs for good health. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provide dietary fiber which can help prevent health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Expert Insight

“Being mindful about what you eat is one of the most beneficial lifestyle choices you can make as you live with a chronic condition. Focus on making a few changes to the amount, type and frequency of the food you eat. Make subtle changes one at a time, even if it is just to cut your dessert in half or to opt for a healthier alternative. The key is to start somewhere rather than or trying to do too many things at once. Then practice it until it becomes a habit. Focus on having a mindset that this is what I am doing for my health.” – Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D., Professor of Medicine in the Department Internal Medicine and Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Snack Smart. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you’ll remember to eat it.
  • Choose vegetables. Focus on recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredients, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.
  • Explore seasonings. Salt isn’t your only option. Brighten flavors with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Use balsamic or wine vinegars. Add some heat with fresh hot peppers or red pepper flakes.
  • Plan Your Plate. Pick up a free copy of the Mayo Clinic Patient Education pamphlet Eat Well: Use The Plate Method from the Patient Education Center, Siebens building, subway level.

Check out this Mayo Clinic Connect thread to share healthy eating tips and recipes and learn what others have found helpful in their healthy eating journey!

Tue, Jan 1 10:00am · Move More: Track Your Movement in Charter House

Strategy 1 - Move More


Start off your New Year with movement! Most people think of planned exercise as their sole focus for their fitness regimen. The word “exercise” is often thought of as working out in a gym or taking a formal class. Others focus on walking 10,000 steps per day. Yet physical activity does not have to be limited to traditional exercise. Any physical activity that gets you up and moving is important to improving your health. This type of activity has a clever acronym: NEAT. This term was coined at Mayo Clinic, and stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This includes activities like housecleaning, gardening, playing with grandkids, and washing your car.

Expert Insight

“There is no magic bullet to healthy aging, but research shows there is a multi-factorial process impacting how well you will age. One critical element to evaluate in your lifestyle is your activity level. Physical activity increases your chances of living well. When combined with a good diet, you will do even better as you age. Engaging in physical activity improves your brain function for memory and executive function. It is important to sit less and move more. You need to do more than just walk 10 minutes. Even if you have orthopedic conditions or other medical challenges, you can find opportunities to add movement into your day. Ideally you should move about at least once an hour. If you ever needed a reason to increase your level of physical activity, here it is: those who engage in a lot of physical activity decrease their risk of dementia.” – Warren G. Thompson, M.D., Internal Medicine specialist and Chair of the Residency Accreditation Committee, Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Train smart. Partner with a fitness professional at your local fitness center to help you engage in proper techniques.
  • Track your movement. Use a pedometer or an activity monitor (Fitbit, Gruve, etc.) to track your total daily movement. Some folks find this helpful in reaching their daily goals.
  • Try a video. To help you get started, get a free copy of the Mayo Clinic Patient Education videos Mindful Movements: Gentle Yoga and Gentle Movements Tai Chi Qigong.


What is your favorite form of physical activity? Is there an activity you would like to incorporate in 2019?

Dec 14, 2018 · Parkside Art Gallery in Charter House

Join us for the exhibit opening of Legacy by local artists Teaki Garcia and Simon Huelsbeck.  Enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres along with live music by pianist Marilyn Carriere.  The gallery talk will be at 5:15pm.  This event is free and open to the public!

Dec 1, 2018 · Stay Connected in Charter House

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Especially around the holidays, we think more and more about being connected with friends and family.  But did you know that staying connected to the world around you is vital for healthy aging? Being socially connected enhances your quality of life by providing avenues for meaning and purpose.

Expert Insight

“Many people approach aging as if it is a battle to be fought. Those with the best chance of winning this battle are those who remain engaged with others. Connecting with other people provides you with many opportunities to stimulate your brain through conversation and learning and having a sense of purpose. Share meals, play cards, volunteer, or do crafts with others. Enjoy time with your grandchildren or travel to a place you have always wanted to visit. You can still remain active, have a sense of purpose, and enjoy life even if you are moving a little slower.” – Kerry D. Olsen, M.D., Professor of Otolaryngology and Past Medical Director of the Dan Abraham Health Living Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Reach out. Call one or two friends you have not seen in a while and catch up. Better yet, go out to lunch or dinner to engage face-to-face.
  • Use technology. Connect with your family and friends virtually via tools like Facebook, Skype, Instagram, blogs or forums like Mayo Clinic Connect.
  • Volunteer. Find a local non-profit that you admire and volunteer with them. Make an effort to get to know one or two others who volunteer with the group too.
  • Try a new wellness class. Challenge yourself to experience a new wellness offering. Find another person you can attend with, or attend on your own to meet new people with similar interests.
  • Plan ahead. Make your transitions easier by giving yourself adequate time to adjust to new goals or changes in your living environment.

Make new social connections in Mayo Clinic Connect Groups. Share your health goals, experiences, ask questions and find support from people like you.

Sep 18, 2018 · Parkside Art Gallery in Charter House

Join us in our Parkside Gallery for the art exhibit opening of local artists Joan McLain and Mary Ayshford. Enjoy this free event located at Charter House with wine, hors d’oeuvres, a gallery talk, and music provide by the Margaret and Susan Shepard Duo.