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AGEWISE: Senior Games and SilverArts will be held this year
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AGEWISE: Senior Games and SilverArts will be held this year

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Q: Will the Senior Games and SilverArts be conducted this year? How can I get involved?

— PT

Answer: Yes, the Senior Games and SilverArts programs are being held this year and will have in person activities with safety protocols in place. Whether you are looking for a way to display creative talents, stay active in an athletic sport, or make new friendships with people your age, these programs offer a variety of opportunities to stay engaged with other older adults in our community.

The Piedmont Plus Senior Games and SilverArts is hosted by the City of Winston-Salem’s Recreation and Parks Department and represents the residents of Forsyth and Stokes counties, but is open to anyone who has had a North Carolina address for at least three months. Last year, 550 residents participated in the Senior Games locally, and 280 of them went on to compete at the state level. Due to the pandemic, this year will be considered a qualifying year for the National Senior Games which will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2022.

The Piedmont Plus Senior Games include athletic events like softball, golf, swimming, archery, pickleball, race walking, bowling and more. Winners of each event are awarded with a gold, silver or bronze medal. Individuals compete for awards in their own gender and age category within five-year increments. Athletes placing in these local qualifying events are invited to participate in the North Carolina Senior Games held in Raleigh.

Additionally, SilverArts is a program to keep senior adults healthy, active and involved by providing a forum for showcasing creative talents in visual, heritage, literary and performing arts. If you like to paint, quilt, crochet, sing or write, consider sharing your talent while you meet new people and enjoy friendly competition. The arts competitions receive awards just like the athletic events.

The Senior Games and SilverArts are currently scheduled to take place as in-person events. Participants should remain mindful of following all the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state, local and venue COVID-19 regulations. Sponsors have made an effort to provide bottles of hand sanitizer and masks for all Senior Game participants. Organizers will schedule events by age group to minimize the number of participants at any given time. Indoor events, such as swimming and pickleball, have been relocated outdoors in order to reduce risk of spread to spectators and competitors.

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The Senior Games first event, a 10K run and 5K race walk, is happening May 1, and art submissions to the SilverArts program will be displayed at the Central Library in Winston-Salem (660 W. 5th St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101) during the month of April. Deadlines to register differ. People interested in participating in the SilverArts program must register by March 31. The last day to register for the Senior Games is April 30. There is a $10 entry fee for each program, but there may be additional fees for people participating in golf, mini-golf or bowling. To register, view rules, schedules and other information visit or contact Chuck Vestal at 336-727-2325 or email to Entry forms are also available at all local YMCAs and recreation centers.

Q: My wife lives with dementia and is having some difficulty with the recent time change. How can I can help her cope with daylight saving time?

— HM

Answer: The transition to and from daylight saving time can be difficult for many people living with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or other forms of dementia. Human beings have natural biological circadian rhythms that respond to sunlight, and losing or gaining even an hour of it can cause many people to undergo physiological and emotional changes, which can be dramatically heightened in individuals living with dementia. For many people who have dementia, going to sleep and waking an hour earlier can be upsetting and lead to confusion, irritability and proneness to wandering. Keeping to a routine is important, especially for people living with dementia.

If your wife is showing increased signs of confusion at sunset and sunrise, has disruption in sleeping patterns, is waking up later, is not hungry at meal time, appears to be overwhelmed or exhausted, or seems more agitated and confused overall, daylight saving time might be at least part of the reason. Try to remain patient. Remember that disrupting your wife’s schedule, even by only an hour, can be extremely unnerving for her.

There are several measures you can take to help a loved one adjust to the time change. You might start by exposing them to more light in the mornings and closing drapes and blinds earlier in the evening. During these transitions try to occupy them with calming, yet enjoyable, activities, such as listening to their favorite music while the sun is rising and setting. Be aware of your loved one’s typical routine before the time change, and afterward, make incremental adjustments that, over time, total one hour. You can slowly increase the time adjustment each day (for example, if you typically eat dinner at 5 p.m., change mealtime to 6 p.m. on the first day, to 5:45 p.m., the second day, etc.). Also adjust sleep and bathroom routines similarly, if possible.

Keep in mind that it takes typical adults several days for the body and mind to adjust to the changes associated with daylight saving time. Being mindful of your loved one’s challenges with the time change and remembering to take care of yourself at the same time will help everyone adapt to the transition more smoothly. You may also wish to consult your loved one’s health care provider for guidance and support.

AgeWise is a weekly column compiled by staff of Senior Services Inc., a nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem. If you have a question, email or mail to Senior Services, 2895 Shorefair Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27105.

AgeWise is a weekly column compiled by staff of Senior Services Inc., a nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem. If you have a question, email or mail to Senior Services, 2895 Shorefair Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27105.


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