Outcomes, Inc.

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Are you 55 or older and looking for something meaningful to do with your time? There are seniors in our area who could use your help.

Senior Peer Counselors are volunteer men and women who make home visits to older adults to converse,  provide emotional support, and ease loneliness.

Sound intriguing?? Contact Lynn Podlogar at (505) 243-2551 ext. 107 for more information, or e-mail me at lhuxtable@outcomesnm.org.


Help other seniors restore hope and create new meaning in their lives!

Senior Peer Counselors make home visits to older adults to ease loneliness and help with various challenges of later life. We use empathy and personal experience to make a difference.

Volunteers receive 16 hours of FREE training as well as ongoing guidance and support. Supervision is provided by a licensed master social worker. Must be 55 or older yourself and willing to drive own vehicle in and around Rio Rancho, NM. Mileage is reimbursed. Volunteer application and background check required. A one-year commitment is requested but all inquiries are welcome.

Learn useful skills and make new friends. Next training session begins this April. Register to take the training today! Contact Lynn Huxtable, Program Manager, at lhuxtable@outcomesnm.org or call toll-free at (800) 677-2947.

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has begun its move toward all-electronic federal benefit payments. This means that everyone applying for federal benefits will now receive their payments electronically, while anyone currently receiving paper federal benefit checks must switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013. Paper checks will no longer be an option. People who do not choose an electronic payment option at the time they apply for federal benefits or who do not switch by the deadline will receive their federal benefit payments via the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card, so they will not experience any interruption in payment

Why Direct Deposit?

Receiving federal benefit payments by direct deposit means senior citizens, people with disabilities, veterans and others can experience significant advantages compared to paper checks, including:

  •  Safety – No risk of lost or stolen checks.
  •  Ease – No need to make a special trip to cash or deposit a check.
  •  Reliability – Payments are on time, every time
  •  Cost-Savings – Saves taxpayers $120 million each year.

Direct deposit offers you theft protection for your federal benefit payments. Switch from checks to direct deposit today. www.GoDirect.org

Don’t let a criminal take your federal benefit check. Protect your money. Switch to electronic payments today. www.GoDirect.org

Safeguard your federal benefit pmts. Switch from checks to direct deposit or the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card. www.GoDirect.org

Get federal benefit payments by paper check? You must switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013. Don’t wait – protect your money from theft and fraud today. www.GoDirect.org

Excerpted from article by Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY, 6/29/11

Whether you are a twentysomething, Gen Xer or Baby Boomer, the older crew has an edge on you, according to new research.

A massive poll looking at American attitudes, health and behaviors concludes that people over age 65 consistently have a higher degree of well-being than any other age group. At the bottom: those 45 to 64.

Even when aches and pains set in and health begins to decline, the older group also is less sad and depressed than any other group, according to the Gallup-Healthways Wellbeing index. The findings are based on more than 1 million surveys done since 2008. Healthways works with health-care professionals to help people thrive and to allow officials to track health and wellness by congressional districts.

“Improve well-being, and productivity goes up and health care costs come down,” says Ben Leedle, president of Healthways. “We want to learn from the older generation’s patterns and make those patterns important parts of all of our lives, regardless of the age group.”

If younger people can change, the benefits could be huge, he says. However, if they don’t adopt healthier ways, they are not likely to do as well as these seniors, and they’ll be less well for longer because of longer life expectancies.

Wellness I: Get active

What does wellness look like to Healthways? Multiple behaviors from smiling and laughing to having access to learn new things, and — no surprise here — eating well and getting plenty of exercise. The older group outscored all groups in healthy behaviors, including not smoking.

According to the Healthways research, middle-aged Americans suffer the lowest well-being due in part to higher obesity rates, higher levels of chronic disease — including depression — and more reports of smoking.

Wellness II: Give back

Another key part of the wellness picture among those over 65: better emotional lives. That means volunteering and finding other ways to improve their community. Don’t have time? Leedle believes other age groups have to find time, or health care costs will soar in a country where one in five people will be 65 or older in 2050.

“We find a 40-year-old male working 12-14 hours a day, supporting a family with several kids,” he says. “We tell him to stop and try to incubate the wisdom of our seniors into his life. They need to learn how to weave that into their routines so it becomes part of the chaos that is the middle of our lives.”

Older people make the most of life:

Think you are happy now? Just wait. The best emotional times come later in life, according to the Gallup-Healthways well-being index.

The oldest group outscored the other three age groups in emotions, which was one of six categories measured in a massive study on well-being. Out of a possible score of 100, the 65-and-older age group scored 83. Those 45-64 had the lowest score, 76.

Credit experience, says Kay McCurdy, 72, of Springfield, Va. “You shift your idea of what a good life is into what you can have as a good life,” says McCurdy. “You get realistic. ”

Elisabeth Burnett, 73, says that having a strong emotional life takes a hefty dose of true grit. Burnett has a daughter going through a divorce and has had to bury another grown child, yet she says she looks ahead with hope and joy.

“Today is the gift,” says Burnett. “I think that’s a kind of wisdom that comes with age that I may have had as a young person but I didn’t exercise as much as I do now.” Randy Weadon, 84, says honesty and discipline turned his sad life around. After going into diabetic shock one night and nearly dying, he started walking, lost 50 pounds and eventually got off insulin. He walks 7 miles a day to keep his weight down.

“I’m happier,” says Weadon, also a Greenspring resident. “I have a better opinion of myself, and just all in all I’m a new person.”



Mom needs to get to the doctor. The homecare worker called out sick and you can’t take the day off from work. Dad’s meds need to be picked up. Someone needs to stay with him overnight because he’s been falling. With worries like these, it can feel like self-care is the last thing you have time to think about. So why is self-care important for caregivers to prioritize?

We’ve all heard that stress is bad for us. Caregivers have an increased burden of stress. Unrelieved stress can cause physical problems such as skin rashes, insomnia, aches & pains, and decreased ability to concentrate. It can interfere with digestion, information processing, proper functioning of the immune system, and heart rhythm. It’s no wonder we feel run down and tired when we’re providing care to someone in addition to trying to live our own lives.

Stress can also damage our relationships. When we are overloaded, we don’t listen to others as well, we become more easily frustrated, and we can get irritable and/or depressed. Couple these effects with feeling physically unwell and it’s easy to see how you could quickly start to feel miserable!

So, where do you start? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Be willing to ask for help, and make your requests specific. People are more likely to follow through with assistance if they know exactly what you need.
  2. Get respite. Enlist others to do the caregiving, even if for only an hour or two, so that you can relax. Find a way to hire help if no one can volunteer. You need the breaks for your continued well-being.
  3. Discover what feeds your soul. Do you like nature walks? Gardening? Visiting the zoo? Having coffee with friends? Identify what restores your energy and then schedule times to do that.

With a little planning, you can attend to your needs so that you can keep attending to others. Aren’t you and they worth it??

For more information, visit these links:

The National Alliance for Caregiving

The New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition

The National Caregivers Library