Are you getting enough protein? Too much?

How obsessing over protein could be harmful to your health

By Rashelle Brown for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

If you’re like me, you often find yourself confused by how many health headlines contradict one another. Lately, I’ve found this to be true where protein is concerned, particularly the protein needs of adults aged 50 and over.

In one study, published Jan. 1, 2015, in the American Journal of Physiology’s Endocrinology and Metabolism, scientists split 20 adults aged 52 to 75 into one group that consumed the U.S. RDA recommended level of protein, and another group that consumed double that amount, measuring levels of whole body protein at the beginning and end of the trial. While both groups maintained a positive protein balance (their bodies synthesized more protein than they broke down), the higher protein group ended up with a higher overall protein balance than the lower protein group. The news media jumped all over this, proclaiming that older adults should double their protein intake if they want to live long, healthy lives.

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Chaplain: Ready to answer the call

shutterstock_3864478By Allen Teal, Rolla Presbyterian Manor chaplain

“The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” — I Samuel 30:24b, NIV

Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.
—John Milton, (1608-1674), selection from “On His Blindness”

In his sonnet “On His Blindness,” John Milton struggles with blindness at the age of 42. Mr. Milton was a prolific writer and a gifted public servant. Suddenly, the loss of his sight altered his life. He questions whether God expects a high level of service from one without light. Patience responds to his questions and concludes: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Service takes many forms.
Rolling up your sleeves and getting to work is probably the most immediately rewarding type of service. Unfortunately, not everyone serves in this way. Lack of skill, training, and physical ability limits what many can do. In order to serve, they must find other ways to serve. The mottos of three organizations speak to this.

Boy Scouts of America: “Be Prepared”
A loose interpretation of this motto would be: always have what you need. Preparation is important. Service opportunities are missed when the required training and materials are missing. Look ahead, decide what type of service interests you, and prepare yourself to serve.

U.S. Marine Corps: Semper Fidelis, “Always Faithful”
Having chosen a way to serve, stay focused. Being faithful means that you will stay with the task until completion. People need to be able to count on those who serve to finish the job. Sometimes this involves being where you are expected to be when you are needed.

U.S. Coast Guard: Semper Paratus, “Ever Ready”
Always be ready to answer the call. This implies a willingness to serve. You are not only prepared to serve, but you are anxious for the opportunity. It is the feeling a dog has when its master throws a stick and gives the command to stay. Waiting to serve is rarely easy.

When you are required to wait, use that time to prepare and get ready. Hold your place faithfully until you are called. In I Samuel 30:24, David reminds us that even those who stay behind to guard the supplies will be rewarded.

Meet Social Services Designee Val Eades

Val-2For more than six years, Valerie Eades has helped take care of residents’ medical needs in our health care neighborhood and Tranquility House memory care. Now, she’s looking after the social and emotional well-being of residents and staff at Rolla Presbyterian Manor.

Val took over as our social services designee at the end of last summer. She has been a certified nursing assistant and medication aide, and she never considered working in social services until a co-worker suggested she apply for the opening.

“She said, ‘You’d be really good at it,” Val recalls. After just a few months on the job, she said, “I like that I have a closer relationship with people. I feel that I get a better sense of who they are and of their families.”

March is National Social Work Month. In a senior living and long-term care setting, social work focuses on helping people cope with life changes, conflicts, and relationships. Val has found that it’s important to earn trust and keep confidences in order to serve the people who come to her.

“People will come in and open up, and they have to know what they say is not going to go any farther,” she said. “I can be outspoken when I need to be an advocate. I have no problem expressing a concern if I feel like someone is not being treated fairly.”

As the mother of four children, Val said she’s a pro at helping people resolve their conflicts and find a compromise.

Already Val is looking for ways to improve the way Presbyterian Manor serves everyone in the community. She is seeking family members of residents to participate in a new family council. The small group will be empowered to bring concerns to the staff and administration, but Val also hopes it will be an opportunity for family members to connect with and support each other.

To find out more about the family council or to volunteer, contact Val at or 573-364-7336.

Senior artists invited to enter Art is Ageless

Basic RGBRolla Presbyterian Manor is accepting entries for the 2017 Art is Ageless competition and exhibit through March 15. Artists may submit works either for the juried competition or for display only. Artwork will be on display 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 20-23 in our Community Room. A reception with the artists will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. For more information, contact Joelle Freeland, 573-364-7336, or

How to prevent a real life nightmare at life’s end

A Next Avenue Influencer in Aging urges conversations around death

By Barbara Coombs Lee for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

Editor’s note: This article is part of Next Avenue’s 2015 Influencers in Aging project honoring 50 people changing how we age and think about aging. 

To my everlasting shame, this boomer spent many of her formative years as an ICU nurse, thoughtlessly pushing tubes down the noses and pounding on chests of dying patients, torturing them with electric shocks, instead of allowing death to come peacefully.

The tragic reality is people who do not communicate their values and priorities for end-of-life care often pay dearly for this failure, by enduring futile, agonizing tests and treatments that only prolong the dying process. It is equally important for people to empower a loved one in writing to be their decision-maker if they are unable to speak for themselves.

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