Archives by: Marie Elium

Marie Elium

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About the author

Marie Elium spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter in Virginia and Ohio before switching to freelance writing when her two children were young. The kids are now Millennials, but writing continues to be one of her favorite endeavors. Marie was named editor of Northeast Ohio Boomer and Beyond magazine in November 2015 and is a graduate of Miami University. Marie can be reached at [email protected]

Marie Elium Posts

Fitness and Rheumatoid Arthritis

July/August 2017


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It also can affect other organs.

The cause of RA is unknown. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. RA can occur at any age but is more common in middle age. Women get RA more often than men.

Infection, vaccination, genes, a refined food diet and hormone changes may be linked to the disease.

RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet and ankles are the most commonly affected. The disease often begins slowly, usually with only minor joint pain, stiffness and fatigue.

Do I Have RA?

RA symptoms include morning stiffness that lasts more than one hour. Joints may feel warm, tender and stiff when not used for an hour. Joint pain is often felt on the same joint on both sides of the body.

Over time, joints may lose their range of motion and become deformed.

The usual medical advice given to people with RA is to exercise to decrease pain and to feel more energetic, although this hardly seems possible to someone suffering wfromRA.

It is true that inactivity decreases joint motion and flexibility. Inactivity also can lead to weak muscles and deformed joints. Regular exercise helps reverse joint stiffness, builds muscle and boosts overall fitness.

With regular exercise, you can be stronger with less fatigue despite this disease. Here is the key: RA patients need to do the right type of exercise, not simply more exercise.

Exercise Know-How


Exercise should be discussed as a dosage, just like medicine. The right amount of exercise for someone with RA can be life changing. The wrong dose could easily leave the sufferer worse off.

For many people, the exercise that provides the most benefit is machine-based strength training done with extreme control.

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Cleveland Farmers Markets Bring Good Nutrition to Inner City Residents

Featured Videos Food & Nutrition Main

Our July/August Boomer has a story about the fun, quirky and festive farmers market experience. But did you know that farmers markets are vital sources for nutritional food in inner city neighborhoods that have few grocery stores?

The Gateway 105 Farmers’ Market, in Cleveland Ohio, is a part of a county-wide farmers’ market nutrition incentive program, “Produce Perks.” In this video, vendors and customers discuss the health and economic benefits of a farmers’ market-based nutrition incentive program.

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Kindness Rocks & More

Featured July/August 2017 Worth Noting

Kindness Rocks

And Sometimes It Rolls

Have you found one?

Kindness Rocks are turning up along sidewalks, on park benches, under trees — everywhere. The movement started on social media and has taken a rock-solid hold in Northeast Ohio.

Painted and shellacked, the colorful rocks usually sport a label with a hashtag so finders can see where their rocks have traveled. The biggest group is #NortheastOhioRocks! — with 175,000 members and about 3 million rocks that have been painted and hidden — but there are plenty of others here and around the country, including the Kindness Rocks Project with a more national scope.

All the groups encourage people to paint small rocks — with or without a message — and hide them as a random act of kindness.

Rock finders often snap a photo of their rock, list the location, and post it to Twitter, Facebook or another social media account. They then re-hide the rock and see where it ends up.

To get started, prepare your rock surface with a layer of paint. Use oil-based Sharpie markers to decorate the rock. If you feel like it, add a hashtag on the back such as #THEKINDNESSROCKSPROJECT, or #NortheastOhioRocks!

Here’s to a rockin’ — and kind — summer.


A Fairly Good Time

Groomed Cows & Elephant Ears

July marks the start of county fair season, and Ohio has nearly perfected the art of canned food judging, giant vegetable growing and corn dog eating.

The Summit and Lake county fairs are the week of July 25-30, the Medina County Fair is July 31-Aug. 6, the Cuyahoga County Fair (Berea) is Aug. 7-13 and the Portage County Randolph Fair is Aug. 22-27.

The oldest continuous fair in the state — and one of the very best — is the Great Geauga County Fair, scheduled for Labor Day weekend in Burton.

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Senior Move Managers

Housing July/August 2017 Latest News

Downsizing Simplified

Get Help with a Move

By Marie Elium

Almost nothing is more daunting than transitioning to a house, apartment or senior living community that better suits your lifestyle and needs for how you live today.

Each year, thousands of families help loved ones downsize. Many have no idea where to begin. Usually there’s a family home that’s packed full with a lifetime of furniture, collections and papers.

There’s an explosion of companies right here in Northeast Ohio that will manage a senior move. These professionals usually charge anywhere from $40 to $125 an hour. You can plan on spending about $1,500 to $5,000 for a job — plus the cost of the moving company.

Many families are unaware of the many professional services now available specifically for downsizing. These professionals will sort through each room and closet, help sell items, find a Realtor and manage every aspect of a move. A place to start is the National Association of Senior Move Managers (

A senior move manager helps with the emotional and physical aspects of relocating older adults. A senior move manager is a great choice when family members live far away, are already managing other aging parents or the needs of children, have demanding careers and family issues, are physically unable, or are not available to do the work themselves for some other reason.

Here’s what a senior move manager can do for a family:

  • Develop and coordinate a move plan
  • Organize and sort for downsizing
  • Create a customized floor plan for the new home or apartment
  • Interview, schedule and supervise movers
  • Professionally pack and unpack
  • Set up and decorate the new residence
  • Make the new residence safe and accessible
  • Shop and purchase furniture and household goods
  • Change utility services at old and new residences
  • Handle shipping and storage of non-move items
  • Arrange profitable disposal of unwanted items (auction, estate sales, buy-outs, consignment, donation, etc.)
  • Stage current residence to appeal to buyers
  • Clear and clean the former residence

If you’re considering hiring a move manager, ask these questions:

  • What specific senior move service do you provide?
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Summertime Splurges

Editor's Note July/August 2017


Summer Luxuries, Vacation Splurges

Now that I’m out of the raising kids stage of life, vacations aren’t linked to summertime schedules.

I still get the urge to roam when the temperatures rise, but during what I consider Northeast Ohio’s best months I like to stick close to home. I’ve got messy flower beds that need tending. My flock of 13 chickens that I share with a neighbor gets plenty of extra attention. There’s always a get-together or a festival or a yard sale going on.

When I was a kid, summer vacations meant a cross-country trip in our Rambler station wagon. My three younger siblings and I fought for a coveted window seat, dodged ashes from Mom’s cigarettes, and prayed there would be a pool at whatever budget motel or campground we landed at each night.

This being the ’70s, we didn’t have cellphones or DVDs or satellite radio to entertain us. Heck, we didn’t even have seat belts.

Each morning Dad carefully unfolded his AAA TripTik Travel Planner and plotted our course, pointing out whatever Civil War battlefield or mountain range or museum we’d see that day.

In these pre-breakfast-at-McDonald’s-days, we ate at the hotel restaurant. Our budget was strict, each of us limited to a specific dollar amount. Orange juice — we drank Tang at home — was an extravagance beyond our careful calculations. To this day I can’t bring myself to order juice at a restaurant.

One rainy slog across the country to Arizona, our family camped in tents. Each morning, Dad set up his Coleman stove on a picnic table and fried eggs that we gobbled down with a loaf of squishy white bread that we sometimes rolled into chewy balls.

When we were in a hurry to get on the road, we dug into a package of small, assorted breakfast cereals like they were jewels.

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Featured July/August 2017 Magazine Uncategorized


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National Park Pass Discount

Featured Fun Latest News

America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
On Aug. 28 the cost of a senior lifetime national parks pass rises from $10 to $80.

Of course, admission to our own Cuyahoga Valley National Park is free, but that’s not true for others. You can pick up your America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Annual, Senior, and Access passes at Boston Store Visitor Center.

These passes are accepted for entrance fees as well as some expanded amenity fees at other National Park Service areas as well as many other Federal lands across the country.

The senior pass is for U.S. citizens 62 and older.

Call Boston Store Visitor Center at 330-657-2752 or visit for detailed information and eligibility requirements for specific passes.

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The Cleveland Eye Clinic

Health & Wellness Latest News

Dr. Daniel Pierre and The Cleveland Eye Clinic Introduce Breakthrough Treatment for Eye Floaters

The Cleveland Eye Clinic has announced the introduction of Laser Floater Removal, a highly effective treatment for floaters.  A minimally invasive, in-office procedure, Laser Floater Removal can provide much-needed relief for floaters and potentially delay or obviate the need for vitrectomy surgery. Floaters are small pieces of debris that float in the eye’s vitreous humor (the jelly-like substance in the main chamber of the eye).  Often described as cobweb or cloud-like shadows, this debris casts shadows onto the retina (the light sensitive tissue layer at the back of the eye).  Almost everyone over the age of 70 has floaters.

Daniel Pierre, M.D., of the Cleveland Eye Clinic, was the first doctor in Ohio to perform Vitreolysis.   Dr. Pierre describes the new YAG laser used for Vitreolysis as “the newest generation YAG laser that enables this procedure to be done safely and efficaciously. Previous treatments were more difficult, less safe and less effective.”

Laser Floater Removal employs a specially designed YAG laser to vaporize floaters.  During the procedure, the laser emits a short burst of energy lasting only 3 nanoseconds (0.000000003 seconds). Instead of simply breaking the floater into smaller pieces, the laser’s high-power density converts the collagen and hyaluronan molecules within the floater into a gas, which is then resorbed into the eye.

Unlike vitrectomy, which carries a significant risk of bleeding and infection, Laser Floater Removal is minimally invasive and carries a very low risk. Most patients will experience an almost immediate improvement in visual function and are able to return to normal day-to-day activities directly following the procedure.  “We are excited to be among one of the first clinics in the United States to offer laser Floater Removal,” says Dr. Pierre.

“Typically, many of my patients describe floaters as ‘strands’ or ‘blobs’ obstructing their line of vision.

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