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Five Ways to Create and Celebrate Family Traditions

5-ways-to-create-family-traditions(BPT) - While modern mobility may mean that distance keeps members of a family apart, more — and younger — members of many families across the country are finding significance in their heritage, and making it come alive in their own ways. Special family and cultural traditions can strengthen family bonds, provide a sense of belonging and connect the present day to a richer history. Whether tied to holidays or unique meaningful moments, gathering in together helps a family have fun and create new memories.

Although one family has grown and bottled wines in Napa Valley for almost 75 years, the iconic CK Mondavi and Family makes a point of celebrating their shared Italian heritage through food, wine and a favorite traditional pastime — bocce ball.

From their family to yours, here are a few ways you can explore and celebrate your own family traditions.

1. Identify your family’s origins and cultural heritage. With the increasing popularity of DNA kits and family websites, more people are exploring their family origins than ever before. Whether you speak with older members of your family to learn more about your background, send off your DNA in a box or explore a genealogy website — or a combination of the three — now is a great time to explore where you and your spouse or significant other’s families came from.

2. Create a family tree to share with your parents, siblings and extended family. Maybe other relatives can help fill in some of the missing pieces. Talk about what these discoveries mean to all of you, and how they help you better understand some of your family’s traditions, traits and habits. Create a photo album, collage board or scrapbook to commemorate what you’re learning about your family tree. This will be a great gift to leave your children and grandchildren someday.

3. Become a tourist of your origin countries. Whether you can travel to one or more of your origin countries for real or just become an armchair tourist for the time being, find out more about the country or countries your ancestors came from. Taste some food and wine from that region, explore the art and music of that area of the world, immerse yourself in a craft or learn to play a traditional game or sport — like bocce ball if you’re Italian — to help you identify with your origins.

4. Rediscover traditions from your family’s past and recreate them. Talk to your parents, grandparents and other elders in your family who can tell you stories about the traditions and celebrations that may have fallen by the wayside during our busy, less connected modern lives. Look through photo albums and family memorabilia and see if you can recreate a family tradition to bring the newer generations that sense of history and continuity.

5. Develop new family traditions. What could be better than enjoying a weekly or monthly dinner with your family, serving the food and wine that are part of your family’s heritage? CK Mondavi and Family is steeped in their Italian heritage. They regularly gather to play bocce ball together, and to share and enjoy food along with the wines that have become their legacy, including the 2018 spring white wines: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. A large portion of the grapes in CK Mondavi and Family wines are estate grown on the family’s 1,850 acres of vineyard property and the family is committed to working with American growers that they’ve had partnerships with for generations. Their wines can become a part of your family’s own traditions, new and old.

Learning about family and history is all about making connections with those people who are most meaningful to you. What better way to use what you learn about your heritage than to turn it into an opportunity to gather together and celebrate where you came from and where you’re going.


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 accepting new 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 or visit us at


Four Tips to Stay Healthy and Help Prevent Falls as You Age

(BPT) - As you age, your risk of falling increases. According to the CDC, one out of four people Preventing-falls-staying-healthyover the age of 65 falls each year and falling once doubles your chances of falling again. While many conditions can put you at risk for a fall, there are simple steps you can take to boost your overall health to try to decrease the likelihood of falling.

Carol Cummings, senior director of Optimum Life at a major senior living community corporation, explains how keeping active increases mobility, improves overall health and can help prevent falls. These communities encourage their


Planning for Long Term Care

You can never know for sure if you will need long-term care. Maybe you will never need it. long term care But an unexpected accident, illness, or injury can change your needs, sometimes suddenly. The best time to think about long-term care is before you need it.

Planning for the possibility of long-term care gives you time to learn about services in your community and what they cost. It also allows you to make important decisions while you are still able.

People with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive impairment should begin planning for long-term care as soon as possible.

Learn more about advance care planning



Your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit: Preventive Care, Health Planning at No Extra Cost

(BPT) - Once you become eligible for Medicare, you’ll likely start hearing about something called an Annual Wellness Visit.Medicare-annual-wellness-visit

Many people think an Annual Wellness Visit and a physical are one and the same. But they’re not.

Unlike a standard head-to-toe physical, an Annual Wellness Visit is primarily focused on preventive care, health screenings and wellness planning. It gives you an opportunity to have a conversation with your doctor about your health status and goals and then create a long-term plan to help you meet those goals and maximize your well-being.

While Original Medicare doesn’t cover an annual physical, some Medicare Advantage plans do. Everyone enrolled in Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, though, is eligible for an Annual Wellness Visit at no additional cost to you. If your Medicare Advantage plan includes coverage for an annual comprehensive physical exam, ask your provider if the Annual Wellness Visit and the physical can be scheduled during the same visit.


Organizing Caregiver Paperwork from a Distance

If you are a caregiver or guardian for an aging parent or loved one who lives many miles away, you are faced with the challenge of Caregivers-organizing-paperworkknowing how to help. There are numerous documents - health records, wills, DNRs, Living Wills, advance directives, insurance  policies  -- that must be in place in case of an emergency, and maintaining these from a distance is one of the most important things you can do.  An important part of effective caregiving depends on keeping a great deal of information in order and up to date. Often, long-distance caregivers will need access to a parent’s or relative's personal, health, financial, and legal records.

Getting all this material together is a lot of work at first, and from far away it can seem even more challenging. But once you have gathered everything together, many other caregiving tasks will be easier. Maintaining current information about your parent’s health and medical care, as well as finances, home ownership, and other legal issues, lets you get a handle on what is going on and allows


Geroscience and Health in Aging

geroscience-diagramGeroscience: The intersection of basic aging biology, chronic disease, and health

As we grow older, we are more likely to be diagnosed with one or more chronic ailments. These ailments include life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as debilitating conditions like arthritis, fatigue, and frailty. These ailments rob us of our quality of life. The question is: How does the aging process affect the disease process and susceptibility—and vice versa?

Over the years, researchers studying the basic science of aging have sought to answer this question, but their work was confined primarily to investigations of the specific activities and mechanisms that contribute to the aging process, and not as much on the effects of the aging process on various diseases. While aging itself isn't a disease, the aging process represents a major risk factor for several chronic diseases and conditions, including frailty and lack of resilience.


Make a Difference! Save a Life!

American-red-crossMake a resolution you can keep in 2019! Help the American Red Cross meet the urgent need for blood and platelets by resolving to give blood this January – National Blood Donor Month.

Donating blood or platelets is a way to make a lifesaving impact in the new year for patients like Judy Janssen, who was diagnosed with end-stage autoimmune liver disease in 2016. Janssen received frequent blood transfusions – sometimes multiple times a week – until she underwent a liver transplant last January. “Blood donors make a really big difference with very little effort,” said Janssen, who received dozens of transfusions before and during her transplant surgery. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for blood donations.”