Category Archives: General

The Perfect Vacation: Aldo Disorbo on Italian Vineyards


There are fewer sights more beautiful than Italy, notes Aldo Disorbo, an Italian-American businessman from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The Italian countryside is filled with the sweet scent of success, explains Aldo Disorbo. The landscape is dotted with vineyards and wineries, both new and old. According to Aldo Disorbo, Italy has something for even the most ardent wine enthusiast. Here, the founder of Nationwide Relocation Services opens up about his

family’s heritage and shares some of his favorite spots for romance and relaxation.

ZRYLW: Good evening, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to chat with us. Can you tell us a bit about your business for those readers who are unfamiliar with Nationwide Relocation Services?

Aldo Disorbo: Yes, thank you. Nationwide Relocation Services is a moving brokerage firm. We help people and businesses pair up with a mover who has the capabilities the client needs.

ZRYLW: Capabilities? Aren’t all movers the same?

Aldo Disorbo: Many movers cannot handle large items such as pianos or vehicles. Some may not have a truck large enough to manage a cross-country trip.

ZRYLW: So, movers are chosen according to the customer’s personal situation?

Aldo Disorbo: Exactly.

ZRYLW: Getting on track with tonight’s topic. What are some of your favorite places in Italy?

Aldo Disorbo: There are three districts that come to mind: Piedmont, Tuscany, and Sicily.

ZRYLW: And what is so special about these places?

Aldo Disorbo: They are all very well-known for their artisan winemakers.

ZRYLW: What are some of your favorites?

Aldo Disorbo: In the Piedmont area, the Ceretto Aziende Vitivinicole winery offers a great tour. It is a third generation winery and stretches across four villages.

ZRYLW: That sounds like a very large corporation.

Aldo Disorbo: A corporation it’s not. This, like most vineyards in the area, is a family owned endeavor.

ZRYLW: What’s notable about this particular establishment?

Aldo Disorbo: Unlike most traditional winemakers, the Ceretto family tends to lean toward modern art. In fact, visitors may elect a tour that specifically highlights the estate’s art collection.

ZRYLW: Moving on. You mentioned Tuscany?

Aldo Disorbo: This is one of the most historical wine regions in the world.

ZRYLW: Give us a history lesson.

Aldo Disorbo: Let’s look at the Villa Vignamaggio. This 14th century estate has been making wine since at least the early 1400s. This particular establishment covers over a third of Chianti.

ZRYLW: And it is operational today?

Aldo Disorbo: Yes – more so than ever. The estate has a wellness center as well as luxury accommodations.

ZRYLW: You mentioned Sicily earlier…

Aldo Disorbo: One of my favorite places to visit when I’m in Europe is Sicily. As for wineries, Planeta is situated amongst the most beautiful and romantic surroundings in the world.

ZRYLW: Is this a historical site?

Aldo Disorbo: The winery no; the grounds yes.

ZRYLW: Explain, please.

Aldo Disorbo: The on-site winemaking business was not launched until 1995. However, the property is the site of an ancient Arabic castle, which is steeped in antiquity and old-world charm.

ZRYLW: Are all of these locations available to the public?

Aldo Disorbo: Yes, but I’d recommend calling ahead to ensure they are available for tours.

ZRYLW: Great travel tips. Thank you for your time today. We look forward to hearing more about Italy later.


Aldo Disorbo has always strongly identified with his heritage. He believes that respecting the past is the best way to prepare for the future. Through Nationwide Relocation Services and his other business endeavors, Aldo Disorbo has found success utilizing his family-instilled values if hard work and integrity.



Improve Productivity and Mood by Unplugging from Electronics

Internal blog 5

The brain is adaptable. Television, computers, cell phones, and more constantly keep the mind working at near overload capacity. The brain can deal in varying degrees with the barrage of information and stimulation thrown at it every day, but it does not operate at its best.

A typical child today spends less than 30 minutes a day playing outside in the fresh air and sunshine. On the other hand, they spend approximately seven hours a day watching TV and playing video games or using cellphones and computers.

Adults spend even more time than children enmeshed in the electronic world. Emails, Twitter blasts, text messages, and Facebook updates constantly assault their

eyes and ears—the list is endless and growing. Modern media constantly vies for attention and the more it receives, the more it demands. Some have likened it to a technology addiction. When they unplug from all electronics, many people experience symptoms of withdrawal.

There is another thing that happened to people when they unplugged. Their creativity increased by approximately 50 percent. They became less distracted and more productive. They grew more contemplative, less aggressive and more social. Their mood improved and their interaction with others was more positive.

It is unrealistic to believe the bulk of humanity can totally cut off technology. There are only so many vacation days in which to enjoy freedom from the demands of a plugged-in society. However, it is possible to cut down the time spent interacting with electronics and add it to the time spent connecting with humans.

It is possible to limit a child’s screen time and engage them in creative or physical activities, but to do that parents also need to become more involved in the external world. It is difficult to carve out the time, but those who have done it have found it is well worth the effort.

No one has yet proclaimed from their deathbed that they wish they had spent more time on their computer and less time with family and friends.

Interview with Nationwide Relocation Services – The Three Types of Moving Services

78652242 For many potential clients of Nationwide Relocation Services, the number one question on their minds is, “Do we really need a mover?” And, with numerous choices available for moving assistance, the team at Nationwide Relocation Services wants to inform potential clients about the available options. Here, Nationwide Relocation Services provides information about the three different kinds of moving services.

Zrylw: Hello, thanks for visiting with us today.

Nationwide Relocation Services: My pleasure.

Zrylw: First of all, what is typically the most popular option for long-distance moving clients?

Nationwide Relocation Services: We tell most of our clients that full-service is the right fit if they are traveling more than 100 miles.

Zrylw: Are there other scenarios in which full-service be the best choice?

Nationwide Relocation Services: Yes, sometimes. If physical or time restraints are a factor, or if driving and labor would be best handled by another person, then full-service should be the route you consider.

Zrylw: What if I have budgetary constraints?

Nationwide Relocation Services: In this case, many clients will believe that getting a U-Haul or van is the best option.

Zrylw: But that’s not necessarily true…

Nationwide Relocation Services: Yes, because most people will forget to consider the ancillary charges related to the move.

Zrylw: What should be factored into a budget?

Nationwide Relocation Services: You should figure in the cost of gas, food and motels on the road and tools.

Zrylw: Will I be responsible for insurance on the vehicle?

Nationwide Relocation Services: Yes, and rates will vary depending on the type of vehicle.

Zrylw: Movers will require payment as well, right?

Nationwide Relocation Services: If help is required for either loading or unloading, plan for movers to cost about $25 an hour.

Zrylw: Does the price change if it’s a long-distance move?

Nationwide Relocation Services: If your move is farther than 1000 miles, the full-service mover may be the same price as a self-move. Sometimes it’s even less.

Zrylw: So how can I determine the right fit?

Nationwide Relocation Services: We recommend contacting a few reputable movers to receive quotes on the particular project.

Zrylw: What’s the third option then?

Nationwide Relocation Services: The latest option in today’s market is the usage of containers. This has become quite popular with many customers.

Zrylw: How does this work?

Nationwide Relocation Services: A container is delivered to the home, and then the individual will load it. Afterwards, the container is picked up and shipped to the new location.

Zrylw: So is this more inexpensive then?

Nationwide Relocation Services: People will actually be surprised after receiving a price quote. But thorough research is always recommended.

Zrylw: Why do costs fluctuate?

Nationwide Relocation Services: The cost depends on the number of miles, the area of the country, and how much the full inventory weighs.

Zrylw: Will any companies provide trucks for the client?

Nationwide Relocation Services: Certain companies will deliver a truck to the home and provide a trained driver to take it to the new location. This will often save money compared to full-service moves.

Zrylw: We appreciate your insight on this topic.

Nationwide Relocation Services: It’s no problem. The more information is available, the better your choice will be.

Nationwide Relocation Services has assisted numerous families in achieving their dreams and settling into their brand-new home.


Phillip Elden Gives Oregon Visitors a Glimpse of the State’s Landscapes

Phillip Elden

Since their mid-20s, Phillip Elden and his wife Cindi have made their home in Cottage Grove, Oregon. While climbing the volcanic peaks of Oregon, Phillip Elden has grown to appreciate the stunning views around the mountainous regions. Here, Phillip Elden offers a preview those who have never traveled to the great state of Oregon.

Zrylw: Welcome! Thanks for talking with us today.

Phillip Elden: I’m happy to chat.

Zrylw: Why is Oregon such a popular tourist spot?

Phillip Elden: In my humble opinion, the most attractive aspect of Oregon is the amazing diversity of the scenic landscapes.

Zrylw: What are some examples?

Phillip Elden: In the West, the prominent feature would be the Cascade Mountains. Plus, the visually arresting line of beaches provides a stark contrast. There, the ancient trees are green and incredibly dense. In fact, the sky never seems to clear.

Zrylw: How is the eastern part of Oregon different?

Phillip Elden: In southeastern Oregon, the vast desert region is extremely dry – at least by Oregon’s standards. It’s a complete 180 compared to the western side.

Zrylw: Where is the distinction most evident?

Phillip Elden: On Mt. Hood’s western side, the landscape is very lush and green. Then, as you travel towards the east, the land appears dry, brown and flat.

Zrylw: It must be quite an experience for visitors!

Phillip Elden: Absolutely. Even local residents will shake their heads at the idea that these different regions are situated right next to each other.

Zrylw: How can visitors best appreciate the scenery of the high desert?

Phillip Elden: I think that the most beautiful drive is from Portland right on past Mt. Hood en route to the Deschutes River.
Zrylw: What’s one aspect of the desert most people don’t know about?

Phillip Elden: Despite the name, the vast majority of Oregon’s high desert is not actually desert.

Zrylw: What’s the proper name then?

Phillip Elden: The more accurate geological description for this area would be scrubland or steppe.

Zrylw: What’s the highest peak in the desert?

Phillip Elden:
At nearly 3,000 meters tall, Steens Mountain reigns supreme as the highest peak in the desert?
Zrylw: How did Steens Mountain come to be?

Phillip Elden: It was actually created in tandem with the plate tectonics that exist throughout the rest of the region.

Zrylw: When did this occur?

Phillip Elden: Scientists believe that it was more than 16 million years ago when layers of hot lava flowed directly from the numerous volcanic eruptions and blanketed approximately half of the whole state.

Zrylw: What happened next?

Phillip Elden: The Earth’s crust started to stretch, which paved the way for more volcanic activity. In the aftermath of numerous ice ages, the giant lakes developed in the desert.

Zrylw: That’s remarkable…

Phillip Elden: It truly is. The history here is quite interesting.

Zrylw: We appreciate your time and insight and have enjoyed our conversation today.

Phillip Elden: Thanks again for having me!

Through the organization Native Oregon, where he serves as membership president, Phillip Elden works hard to preserve the health of the state’s ecosystems.

Dave Contarino on Arts & Culture in Las Cruces

Dave Contarino

According to Dave Contarino, the arts community in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is held in high esteem by area residents. Dave Contarino appreciates the opportunity to explore the downtown area, which contains three theaters and 10 art galleries. Below, Dave Contarino explains the renaissance of the downtown area.

ZRYLW: What makes Las Cruces so special for locals and artists alike?

Dave Contarino: One of the greatest aspects of artistic and cultural growth in the city is the revitalized downtown area. There has been an active effort to restore Main Street and encourage residents to enjoy activities in what many consider to be the heart of the community.

ZRYLW: Where are these art galleries located?

Dave Contarino: Along with the downtown area, the New Mexico State University campus and its nearby neighborhood feature a host of galleries.

ZRYLW: Why is art such a significant element in this area’s rich tapestry?

Dave Contarino: The community art scene owes much to the presence of New Mexico State University with its highly regarded music, art and theater programs.

ZRYLW: Does the location of Las Cruces have an impact?

Dave Contarino: The cultural roots of Las Cruces go deep, resting upon the traditions of early Spanish settlers and the Native Americans.

ZRYLW: What organizations foster this love of art in the community?

Dave Contarino: More than 30 organizations in Las Cruces are focused on culture and the arts.

ZRYLW: Is theater popular in the area?

Dave Contarino: The city currently holds five theater companies, the Las Cruces Chamber Ballet, the Mesilla Valley Concert Band, the Las Cruces Symphony, and several other dance and music groups.

ZRYLW: Are there events for film and book lovers?

Dave Contarino: Absolutely. The Mesilla Valley Film Society presents independent and foreign films at Fountain Theatre. Meanwhile, the annual Border Book Festival is popular with local bibliophiles. And to mention a favorite book store of mine, COAS My Bookstore.

ZRYLW: What forms of art are most often practiced?

Dave Contarino: There are several artist guilds that specialize in everything from weaving and watercolors to ceramics and clay.

ZRYLW: What are the major features of the Las Cruces museum system?

Dave Contarino: The Las Cruces museum system includes the Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Natural History, Branigan Cultural Center, and the Railroad Museum.

ZRYLW: How does Las Cruces honor its agricultural background?

Dave Contarino: This culture and the attendant traditions are widely exhibited at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.

ZRYLW: Doesn’t New Mexico State University also have a museum?

Dave Contarino: Yes, the New Mexico State University Museum displays items from the university’s permanent collection on a rotating basis.

ZRYLW: What’s a favorite cultural venue for you?

Dave Contarino:  Space Murals Inc. includes a water tank mural as well as space memorabilia. It’s a visually stunning experience.

ZRYLW: One last attraction: the Rio Grande Theatre.

Dave Contarino: First opened in 1926 as a classic movie house, it has since been redefined as a popular education and performing arts center directed by the Doña Ana Arts Council.

ZRYLW: Thanks for meeting with us!

Dave Contarino: You’re welcome. I enjoyed it.

A Kentucky resident, Dave Contarino is a political adviser and strategist who regularly visits the Las Cruces area.

Scott Sohr: Nashville’s Historic Music Venues Are Unforgettable

Scott Sohr Nashville

From Ghosts to Gokey, Nashville’s two main performance venues delight every onstage interest, says Scott Sohr. Today, Scott Sohr, Nashville-based real estate developer and the mind behind some of Williamson County’s most luxurious communities, talks about why his roots remain firmly planted in Music City.

ZRYLW: Good morning, thank you for being here today.

Scott Sohr: No problem, I’m always happy to talk about my hometown.

ZRYLW: Let’s talk music. Nashville has it. Where can future Nashvillians find it?

Scott Sohr: All over really—a quick walk downtown will offer visitors a chance to sample the best of Nashville’s up-and-coming artists.

ZRYLW: What about big venues with big name headliners?

Scott Sohr: That’s easy: the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry.

ZRYLW: What kinds of events could one expect stumble upon at these two gems?

Scott Sohr: The Opry has shows every week. Everyone from industry veterans Crystal Gayle and Collin Raye to American Idol icons like Danny Gokey have marched their boots across this star-making stage.

ZRYLW: And the Ryman?

Scott Sohr: The Ryman isn’t called the Mother Church of Country Music for nothing! Greats like Merle Haggard and Trace Adkins regularly play here.

ZRYLW: The Ryman doesn’t just host country music, right?

Scott Sohr: No, the venue is popular with bands and audiences of all genres. Comedian Daniel Tosh and alternative band Primus have both graced the stage of the Ryman.

ZRYLW: And stage performances?

Scott Sohr: Soon, the Ryman will host a theatrical performance of the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. The venue has also played home to the Academy of Country Music Honors Ceremony.

ZRYLW: Back to the Opry, we understand it has a pretty interesting history?

Scott Sohr: It does, yes. The Opry started out as an old time barn dance back in 1925. The current venue derives is moniker from a passing statement made on-air in 1927. That night, program director Judge Hay made the play on words following a musical selection of classical music from the Grand Opera.

ZRYLW: And thus was born the Opry.

Scott Sohr: That unintentional rebranding is perhaps the greatest accident in country music’s history.

ZRYLW: Agreed. What about the Ryman—how did it become a Nashville attraction?

Scott Sohr: Well, that’s an interesting story too. The “Mother Church” was actually a place of worship in the beginning. The Union Gospel Tabernacle was built in 1892 by a repenting riverboat captain, Thomas Ryman.

ZRYLW: The Opry and the Ryman are connected, aren’t they?

Scott Sohr: Yes, actually, the Opry is the reason the Ryman became such an iconic structure. The building was once the home of the Opry for more than three decades.

ZRYLW: The Ryman is an official landmark for Nashville, right?

Scott Sohr: Yes, it was labeled a National Historic Landmark in 2001, 30 years after being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

ZRYLW: That’s all the time we have for today. Thank you again for speaking with us, we hope our readers will take the time to visit your fair city.

Scott Sohr: We do love tourists, and I think they will find Nashville a hot spot for the entire family. I know I do and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

10.10.13 - garage sale

If you have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years, consider having a garage sale prior to your next move. Getting rid of unnecessary items will help you earn some extra cash and save you time since you will have fewer items to pack. If you follow the tips below, you are bound to have a successful and fun garage sale.



Give yourself one or two weeks to prepare and advertise. Most people hold their garage sales on Saturdays; however, some will continue until Sunday or even start as early as Friday. Make sure to pick a mild day, and check with your neighbors if you want to coordinate a block garage sale. The more people participate, the larger the draw.



The key to any successful event is getting the word out. Place an ad in the local newspaper or on Craigslist. Signs are another great way to notify your community. Make sure you have permission to hang them or post them in the various places. Just make sure you print in big letters so people can read the information from their cars.


Organize tables

It’s important to be organized and make items accessible to customers. Folding tables are best to keep things off the ground. Having your items displayed so they are easy to find will increase sales.



If you have a lot of stuff to sell, try to pre-price your items using stickers. Be realistic about pricing. The general rule of thumb is that if an item is still in its box or you still have the box and instructions, it’s fair to ask one-quarter of the original price. Clothes should be greatly reduced. If anything is left over at the end of the garage sale, consider donating them to charitable organizations.


Green Water Technologies on Improving Appliance Longevity With Pro Elite Systems


Green Water Technologies has assisted countless customers in improving their homes through the usage of water softening methods. Recently, Green Water Technologies explained to Zrylw how major appliances work more efficiently with the high efficiency, Energy Star-certified Pro Elite Systems, a water treatment system proven to eliminate hard water from homes.

Zrylw: How can water softeners affect daily activities?

Green Water Technologies: A recent study has show what numerous experts had expected: Water softeners are proven to extend the life of all major appliances.

Zrylw: What does this mean for the consumer?

Green Water Technologies: That means customers can save both energy and money and reduce the pileup in landfills.

Zrylw: How do water softeners achieve this goal for consumers?

Green Water Technologies: Softeners assist in preserving the efficiency of major appliances and water heaters.

Zrylw: Who conducted this study?

Green Water Technologies: The study was commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation in 2009 and then conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute. The Battelle Memorial Institute is an internationally renowned independent research and testing facility with a focus on technology and applied science development.

Zrylw: How was the study conducted?

Green Water Technologies: Both dishwashers and clothes washers had been tested for 30 days, with a total of 240 wash cycles using hard and soft water sources.

Zrylw: What were the key results?

Green Water Technologies: The washers that ran on softened water were almost free of scale buildup.

Zrylw: What was the appearance of washers that used hard water?

Green Water Technologies: The appearance demonstrated a significant need for both deliming and cleaning as a result of buildup of scale and deposits.

Zrylw: What are some other benefits of soft water?

Green Water Technologies: The usage of less detergent is made possible by using softened water. This is a major benefit for users.

Zrylw: Is this a long-term solution?

Green Water Technologies: Indeed it is. Water heaters with gas storage tanks that use softened water have managed to keep their original efficiency rating over the course of their 15-year lifetime.

Zrylw: What about those heaters using hard water?

Green Water Technologies: Hard water actually leads to an almost 50 percent loss in water heater efficiency.

Zrylw: Are the results different with electric heaters?

Green Water Technologies: Typically not. The overall life of the heating element is shortened because of scale buildup.

Zrylw: Do indoor instantaneous gas water heaters maintain this same efficiency?

Green Water Technologies: Yes, indoor instantaneous gas water heaters, which are tankless heaters that use softened water, will exhibit the same positive results.

Zrylw: How significant is the difference?

Green Water Technologies: Tankless water heaters using hard water failed after an average of 1.6 years.

For more details about water softening devices and their application in the home, Green Water Technologies suggests visiting them online at


YOR Health Products Offer Complete Nutrition in a Great-Tasting Shake

YOR Health Products

YOR Health is a California-based company composed of individuals all over the world who strive for the same goals: health, prosperity and freedom. YOR Health products are of the highest caliber, designed to help customers achieve exceptional health and well-being. At only 140 calories per serving, YOR Shake is an example of an outstanding YOR Health product, which is designed to support healthy weight management. In a

recent interview, the YOR Health products team explained the benefits of using YOR Shake.

Zrylw: Thank you for joining us today.

YOR Health Products Team: It’s our pleasure. Thanks for having us.

Zrylw: Can you explain to our readers what the YOR Shake is?

YOR Health Products Team: YOR Shakes are a creamy and satisfying meal replacement consisting of enzymes, proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Absolutely no calories are wasted with this delicious and nutritious shake.

Zrylw: What exactly is a meal replacement shake?

YOR Health Products Team: Meal replacement shakes are highly nutritious, fortified foods designed to replace a conventional meal. Meal replacement shakes are low in calories but high in nutrients.

Zrylw: Who can benefit from a YOR Shake?

YOR Health Products Team: People with different wants and needs can benefit from YOR Health products. Someone who wants a nutritious meal on the go would be a good candidate. A person seeking a balanced, low-calorie meal while trying to lose or maintain weight could also benefit from a YOR Shake. Or someone looking for an additional protein to supplement their diet would benefit from YOR Health products as well.

Zrylw: Can’t we get all the necessary nutrients from diet alone?

YOR Health Products Team: In an ideal world we could, but there are two major obstacles that make healthy eating a challenge. The first obstacle is our schedule. Today’s fast-paced lifestyle has us rushing out the door with no time for breakfast. We often sacrifice good nutrition for convenience. The other obstacle is that even healthy foods may be depleted of nutrients our bodies need each day.

Zrylw: How do you make the YOR Shake drink?

YOR Health Products Team: It’s easy and fast. Use two scoops of YOR Shake with 8 ounces of water in the blender or the YOR Shaker Cup. Blend or shake for 30 to 40 seconds and you have a delicious and nutritious shake.

Zrylw: Is there enough balanced nutrition in the YOR Shake product?

YOR Health Products Team: Yes. YOR Health products provide nutritional balance with 20 grams of protein and 22 essential vitamins and minerals. YOR Shake contains no artificial colors, no aspartame, and no yeast.

Zrylw: How do YOR Health products help in the long run?

YOR Health Products Team: YOR Health products may help sustain long-term weight loss as part of a healthy maintenance program. YOR Health products such as YOR Shake support muscle growth, lean body mass, and muscle recovery. With only 140 calories and less than a gram of sugar, YOR Health products also aid weight management by satisfying hunger and controlling calories. YOR Health products are an excellent addition to a weight management program. YOR Health products offer an alternative to high-calorie meals and provide the protein and nutrients a body needs.

Kelley D. Hamilton of Bonaventure Senior Living on Keeping Memory Sharp

Kelley D. Hamilton Bonaventure Since Kelley D. Hamilton joined Bonaventure Senior Living as CEO, he has noticed one stand-out trait in those who stay mentally focused: They tend to suffer from dementia far less than their more passive peers. Today, Kelley D. Hamilton of Bonaventure Senior Living offers stimulating advice for keeping the brain as healthy as the body.

ZRYLW: Thank you for taking time to visit with us today.

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: It’s my pleasure.

ZRYLW: What types of activities can older adults do to keep their minds active?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Brain-stimulating games and puzzles are about the best thing you can do for memory and overall brain function.

ZRYLW: Like what?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Jigsaw and crossword puzzles, board games and Sudoku.

ZRYLW: Games? Really?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Yes, strategy games, especially those that require thinking ahead, are a wonderful way to keep the brain vital. Chess is one of the best for this because it requires the brain to work on so many levels.

ZRYLW: What about reading?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Absolutely. Books and magazines on subjects that you consider interesting will keep you focused, educate, and rouse your brain.

ZRYLW: These are all individual activities. Can brain training be done in a group setting?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Yes, that’s actually even better.  Those who are social tend to have better cognitive skills later in life. Talking to people keeps your mind thinking, which is great for the brain.

ZRYLW: We’ve heard that math can be a great mind activity as well?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Yes, math, science; anything that makes you really think and apply logic.

ZRYLW: Are diet and exercise factors?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: How you eat and whether or not you stay fit affects every area of the body including the brain.

ZRYLW: Many seniors, especially those in stressful environments, seem to suffer from forgetfulness more than others. Is there a connection?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Too much stress on any part of the body will weaken it. The brain is no different. One thing we emphasize at Bonaventure is keeping a positive attitude and staying active both physically and mentally.

ZRYLW: Is there any sort of brain game that you can do without special equipment?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: One of the most amusing games involves telling an entire story in just seven words.

ZRYLW: Can you give us an example?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: You could say something along the lines of “The pumpkin was picked by two children.”

ZRYLW: And how is that helpful?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: When you reduce a story to its bare minimum, your brain has to actually consider all the factors surrounding the events and figure out exactly what words will convey the most accurate depiction of what happened.  Additionally, the story can spawn additional conversation and mental stimulation imagining the surrounding events.

ZRYLW: That makes sense.

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Another activity that we encourage our memory care residents to do is using their non-dominant hand every once in a while.  For example, if you’re right handed – try using your left hand for throwing a ball, or writing your name.

ZRYLW: Isn’t that difficult?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: It can definitely take some getting used to, but it becomes easier as the day progresses. This sounds really simple but it actually forces the brain to go out of auto drive and work for each movement.

ZRYLW: We hear there are television programs devoted to brain health?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: There are a few including the PBS DVD Brain Fitness With Peter Coyote. Most video game consoles also have games that will stimulate the brain. Tetris is a classic and probably one of the best out there due to its simple, but progressively challenging style.  We also incorporate Wii Bowling in many of our Bonaventure communities, which is fun for seniors and works both the body and mind.

ZRYLW: Technology has made it easier to keep the brain going strong, right?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: I could not have said it better myself.

ZRYLW: Before we go, do you have any final tips for our readers?

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: Getting a good night’s sleep is paramount to proper brain activity. Also, doing art projects, learning a musical instrument or foreign language, or even browsing the dictionary for obscure words every day can really help.

ZRYLW: That is all great advice.  Thank you for joining us and sharing these tips!

Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living: You’re very welcome, thank you for having me.