The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, November 20, 2008, Page Page 8, Image 8

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    Page 8
The INDEPENDENT, November 20, 2008
Tips for how to have a Thanksgiving gathering with less conflict
by the American Counseling
For many families, the
Thanksgiving holiday offers a
special opportunity to gather
and renew family ties. Unfortu-
nately, many families find the
holiday more an opportunity to
gather and renew family squab-
bles and fights.
While any gathering can
hold the potential for disaster,
there are ways to decrease the
chances of conflict and to in-
crease the odds of enjoying the
event yourself.
A first step is to begin with
realistic expectations. Norman
Rockwell’s perfect Thanksgiv-
ing family may exist some-
where, but for most families the
reality usually isn’t the idealized
images the media and advertis-
ers show us over and over.
Expecting perfection from
your holiday get-together al-
most guarantees you’re going
to be disappointed. Problem
friends and relatives don’t
change just because the holi-
day season arrives or you want
them to. In fact, the only person
you can ever really change is
Relatives who are usually
critical, argumentative or drink
to excess, will be exactly the
same this year. So try to be re-
alistic in understanding what
you can do and change, and
what things are simply beyond
your control.
If you’re the host, for exam-
ple, and have parts of your fam-
ily warring with each other, try
inviting one group for Thanks-
giving, and the others for your
next celebration. House rules,
such as no-smoking or a no-al-
cohol party, can also help if
those activities make you crazy
or lead to problems every year.
If the holiday celebration is
one you’re traveling to, and
dreading, look for ways to mini-
mize potential problems. May-
be a shorter visit, or staying at
a hotel instead of the family
home, or being careful to avoid
that always argumentative rela-
tive might be good choices. Try
“self-talk,” where you actually
talk to yourself about potential
problems and helpful solutions.
It also helps to remember
that you, as well as your rela-
tives and friends, have likely
changed, perhaps in major
ways, since you’ve last been
together. It isn’t realistic to ex-
pect someone who sees you
only once a year to understand
what a job loss, or divorce or
other major life event has
meant to you. Just accept that
they no longer know the real
you of today.
Most of us don’t have per-
fect, “Martha Stewart” holiday
gatherings, but if you’re realis-
tic with yourself about your ex-
pectations, and ready to accept
that you’re not going to be able
to change other people, you
can find ways to enjoy even the
most challenging family gather-
Annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving is a way to be more healthy
The Oregon Zoo invites run-
ners and walkers of all ages to
its annual Turkey Trot on No-
vember 27. The Thanksgiving
Day event, organized by the
Oregon Road Runners Club
(ORRC), includes a four-mile
run and fitness walk, starting at
8:00 a.m., and a one-kilometer
“Tot Trot,” beginning at 9:30
a.m. A portion of Turkey Trot
proceeds will fund animal care
and conservation programs at
the zoo.
“The Turkey Trot has be-
come an annual tradition for
Oregon families and their rela-
tives visiting from out of town,”
said David Cook, ORRC presi-
dent. “It’s a great thing to do pri-
or to sitting down to a big
Thanksgiving Day meal.”
Events are noncompetitive
and do not include awards.
Clocks will be available at the
start and finish lines for partici-
pants who wish to time them-
selves. Each event starts at the
World Forestry Center and fin-
ishes inside the zoo by the con-
cert amphitheater. For informa-
tion and registration forms, visit
Pets and roller skates are
not allowed in any of the
events. Participants with strol-
lers or child-carrier backpacks
are allowed only in the four-
mile fitness walk and must start
at the back of the group.
“For more than 35 years, the
Oregon Road Runners Club
has encouraged thousands of
people to take steps to improve
their health by walking and run-
ning,” Cook said.
The ORRC, a nonprofit or-
ganization, was founded in
Seaside in 1970 as an out-
growth of the Trail’s End
Marathon, the first marathon
held in the Pacific Northwest.
For more information, visit
Five simple steps given to help you pick the right Medicare plan
By Debbie Smith, Regional
President of Senior Products,
Humana’s West Coast Region
When selecting a Medicare
plan, you have a wide variety of
choices, so you’ll want to select
the plan that best suits your
Here are five simple steps to
help select the best Medicare
plan for you.
Step One: Review your med-
ical spending from 2007 and
Give yourself a “healthcare
audit.” Review your records
and receipts to see how much
you spent on health care. Don’t
forget to include charges from
physicians, hospitals and phar-
macies – they all count. Many
Enjoy a quiet weekend with us.
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• Commercial Rates
1-800-354-9494 / 503-429-4006
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Just one block off scenic Nehalem River Hwy. (Oregon 47)
insurance companies provide
annual summaries that track all
your spending for you. You can
also ask your doctor’s office or
pharmacy for information.
Step Two: Identify future
healthcare needs
While you don’t have a crys-
tal ball that can predict what
next year will bring, you can es-
timate what health care servic-
es you might need. Think about
whether you have a condition
that requires ongoing care,
whether you need to stay on
your current medications or if
you need annual screenings.
Talk to your doctor, too.
Step Three: Think about
what you need from your
Medicare plan
You’ve looked at what you
spend, now think about other
things, including cost, benefits,
networks and convenience.
Here are some things to con-
• Cost — How much will you
pay for premiums, deductibles
and copayments? Plans with
lower premiums may have
higher out-of-pocket expenses
(the amount you pay when re-
ceiving care, such as copay-
ments, deductibles and coin-
surance). If you pay a higher
monthly premium, your out-of-
pocket costs may be less.
• Benefits — Does the plan
include all Medicare benefits in
Part A and Part B? Does it also
include prescription drug cover-
age? Is there supplemental
coverage for the coverage
gap? Do you need it?
• Doctor and hospital choice
— Do the doctors, hospitals,
pharmacies and other provi-
ders you use accept the plan?
Are they conveniently located?
Step Four: Explore your op-
There are many resources
that can help you understand
all the plan options available:
State Health Insurance As-
sistance Program – The Ore-
gon Senior Health Insurance
Benefits Assistance Program
(SHIBA) gives free local health
Please see page 21
New York Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance - Long Term Care Insurance - Retirement
Planning - Fixed Annuities* - Mortgage Protection
Mutual funds - Business Insurance - IRA/SEP/TSA
Jim Presley, Financial
Services Professional
Vernonia, Oregon
Office: 503-429-0747
Cell: 503-929-3455
*Issued by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation (A Delaware Corporation)