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Health & Wellness

And Just Like That, 60 Became the New 40



Suburban Med Spa
Writer, Patrizia Winsper conducting research on anti-aging treatments. Shown here getting a Clayton Shagal chocolate mud mask at Suburban Med Spa with Esthetician, Taylor Olson.

Better self-care, from anti-aging treatments and coiffures to dental, fitness and eating

It blew my mind when I saw Journalist Flora Gill’s tweet in early January exposing how drastically our perception of “women of a certain age” has changed over the last two decades. The eye-opener: In season one, the Golden Girls characters were younger than the current Sex and the City actresses. Let that sink in.

I wondered how Baby Boomers, the fastest growing segment of the population, felt about being “seniors” since they look rather different — let’s say, better — and live significantly longer than people aged 58 to 76 did just one generation ago. With a sizeable Peachtree Corners crowd enjoying their golden years, I set out to discover how today’s “60 is the new 40” phenomenon is taking shape in our city.

Better self-care throughout our lives undoubtedly contributes to our longevity. More active lifestyles, healthier choices, improved nutrition and tending to our intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs all contribute to our long-term health.

Let’s look at how some local individuals and organizations are helping us put our best foot forward now and as we step into our twilight years.

Skincare treatments fight Father Time

Suburban Med Spa offers an array of services that cater to self-care for every season of the year and of life. Aesthetician Taylor Olson has a background in medical aesthetics. She regaled me with knowledge about their anti-aging treatments while giving me a divine skin polishing facial, the first step in determining a client’s skin concerns.

“Aging is inevitable but preventative measures can be taken. Good skin is part what you do at home, but you should also be in the care of an aesthetician who can devise the right treatment plan,” Olson said.

Spa services and products are tailored to address each client’s specific goals. Many are unaware of the multitude of options available to treat issues like enlarged pores, acne scars, rosacea, sunspots, skin laxity, loss of volume, collagen and elastin.

For a good at-home regimen, arm yourself with medical grade skincare lines carried by the spa like Vital C by Image Skincare, Clayton Shagal, and Obagi. They’ll produce better results than over the counter products because they contain more of the most proven active ingredients. Each product Olson applied felt luxurious and smelled delightful — fragranced only by plant botanicals. They can be pricey, but as Aesthetician Blanca Verner said, “The best accessory is good skin,” so it’s absolutely worth the investment.’

Suburban Med Spa with Esthetician, Taylor Olson
Suburban Med Spa, Esthetician, Taylor Olson

“Our most popular skin care product for ages 55 and up is the Neo Therapy Neck & Décolleté Tightening Cream by Neocutis. There are over 100 plant stem cells and growth factors in their products, skin building blocks like collagen, elastin, peptides — the most potent form you can buy,” Olson shared. The formula was originally created in Switzerland for pediatric burn victims. Aesthetic dermatology swooped it up when skin began to regenerate from third-degree burns in just two weeks. Users can expect improvements in texture, fine lines and wrinkles. 

Combat changes in aging skin in the treatment room with photo rejuvenation— an Intense Pulse Light (IPL) skin-tightening laser targeting areas of skin laxity where you’re losing plumpness and have more lines and wrinkles. It tightens the skin and treats age and sun spots by triggering the body’s natural response to heal wounds and regenerate the skin. Your body interprets it as a sunburn, so it sends peptides, collagen and elastin to rebuild — all things that make your skin look youthful. It’s great for crow’s feet around the eyes; it’s non-invasive and delivers results.

Next in the arsenal against aging skin? “Acids are an aesthetician’s best friend,” Olson chuckled. Glycolic, salicylic, or lactic — they all treat different things. For those who are sensitive to lasers, chemical peels are ideal. The best anti-aging peel containing the highest grade of acid in a chemical peel was developed in Italy: the PRX-T33. “When women come back in four weeks for their follow-up, it looks like eight years were removed from their face. It’s insane how tight and plump the skin is. We call it Botox in a bottle,” Olson described.

The big guns in the fight against stubborn lines and wrinkles are injectables. Clients who don’t mind needles go next door to see

Dr. Singhal, M.D., who owns the practice. He and his PA Amber administer filler injections like Botox and Juvéderm to rejuvenate the face by smoothing away facial lines and wrinkles, creating fuller lips and shaping facial contours.

Visit suburbanmedspa.com or call 678-282-0051.

The latest in senior coiffures

Gone are the bouffants of yesteryear. Today’s older adults opt for crowning glories that help them turn back the hands of time. Color-wise, anything goes! COVID had seniors embracing their grays, but according to Senior Colorist Faith Harding at Van Michael Salon, those same people are opting for some lowlights now to add dimension to their haircuts and break up the gray.

“We see more experimenting with fashion color,” Harding added. Her one rule to avoid looking dated: “Extremes like all black or all white age you. Anything in between is fair game.”

Stylist Ginger Rowland has noticed that undercuts on bobs — cutting short or shaving under the hair — have become popular among women of a certain age. “We have more seniors coming in to have their hair blown out for parties, or adding extensions for a new look,” Rowland said. The salon offers services for thinning hair and balding.

Visit vanmichael.com or call 678-987-3600.

Brushing and flossing regularly keeps seniors smiling

Kristina Dawson, DMD of Peachtree Corners Dental

Associates sees patients of all ages. Her recommendations for the oral care of the 60+ group are routine visits and daily maintenance at home. A dental team will monitor any changes.

“As we age, we become more susceptible to dry mouth, cavities that form on the root surfaces of teeth and it’s important to manage any systemic disease that can affect the oral cavity,” Dr. Dawson said. She feels prevention is key, along with early, conservative intervention when necessary.

Thinning enamel may cause teeth to yellow with age. For a brighter smile, patients may consider an at-home whitening kit or an in-office procedure. 

Visit peachtreecornersdmd.com or call 770-448-5666.

The silver fox’s den

What’s new about where mature folks dwell these days? Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) Certified Agent Amy Fuchs of FamilyHomesGa at Keller

Williams Chattahoochee North feels seniors are living their “best lives ever.” Contrary to what was the norm just a few years ago, downsizing is not always the way to go. Fuchs shared some exciting new developments.

Amy Fuchs, SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) Certified Agent with the FamilyHomesGa team, affiliated with Keller Williams Chattahoochee North.

1.  Upsizing: “Yes, I said upsizing,” Fuchs affirmed. Many are purchasing larger homes with the primary bedroom on the main floor for obvious convenience, yet they also want extra bedrooms, media rooms and play areas to enjoy when extended family and the grandchildren visit.

2.  New construction near city centers: Live/play areas appeal to seniors who enjoy being within walking distance to all the action. Peachtree Corners Town Center is a popular example. With dozens of restaurants, Sprouts, nail salons and boutiques, the new construction around the center is a trendy spot for all ages.

“We often think of ranch style homes as the most popular among seniors, that isn’t necessarily the case anymore. Townhome living offers low maintenance and proximity to city centers. Seniors and builders are adding elevators to their options; it’s no longer a feature available only in the luxury market,” Fuchs said.

3. 55+ communities: Both as rental and purchase options, these communities are becoming lifelines for widows and widowers wanting to open up their lives after the tragedy of losing a spouse. Fuchs explained, “Instead of sitting in a big house and looking back, wonderful people wanting to be social and move forward are finding joy in the activities and social aspect these communities offer.”

The Silver Fox section on their website is dedicated to the 55+ crowd with tips, properties and vendors that appeal to their needs, Fuchs added.

Call Amy directly at 404-439-1031.

You’re not too old and it’s never too late

Adults are staying young longer in large part by adhering to today’s health directives to keep active. City Councilman Alex Wright (51) works out regularly with a unique, mixed age (20-70) group of athletes. They’ve been making good use of the Fitness Trail in Peachtree Corners since the pandemic shut down the YMCA.

At the height of closures, they were meeting seven days per week. Currently, various groups are meeting once or twice a week in the winter for boot camp style, or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, since they’ve been able to return to the gym. Some focus on cardio, some train for Spartan races and others concentrate on obstacles.

The Honey Badgers team ranging in age from 20-63 at the Spartan race in Conyers – October 2021

Anywhere from four to 20 people gather as early as 5:30 a.m. for strength, cardio and body weight workouts using obstacles on the trail and equipment they bring along like dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, ropes, sandbags and jump ropes. Strength exercises include kettlebell swings, dumbbell presses and sandbag snatches.

Running with a 30 lb. ball or a weighted vest, burpees, mountain climbers, rope slams and jump rope constitute cardio work. Obstacles on the trail include rope climb, wall climb, rings and the rope traverse.

“Some can outperform people 20 to 30 years younger. They’ve taken good care of themselves and put in the daily work,” Wright revealed. Like Rich Woodfield (63) who competes in Spartan races and seldom misses a workout. “He didn’t start exercising until his late forties. It’s never too late,” Wright said. He also mentioned Amy Massey and Kristin McEwen who are in incredibly good shape at 50+, and 71-year-old Terry Evans, who participated in the November decathlon and works out daily at CrossFit.

Email Alex directly at ajwright1115@gmail.com to join the athletes.

An early morning back stretch with David Penn of Sun Dragon Yoga at Yoga on the Green at Town Center.

Flexibility = longevity

If kettlebells, tire flips and rope climbing are not your speed, try exercise that’s not as jarring on your joints. David Penn, founder of Sun Dragon Yoga, can ameliorate the daunting physical challenges that aging can present. Yoga is a brilliant way to maintain muscle mass, flexibility and balance.

Practicing yoga comes with an added benefit: it’s instrumental in the reversal of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

Sun Dragon Yoga has been offering classes tailored to seniors in the Peachtree Corners area for six years. As a member of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (arpf.com), Penn incorporates research-based, results-producing findings into daily classes.

Within a few weeks, members notice increased strength, greater flexibility, improved balance and overall well-being in mind, body and spirit — there’s a reason why yoga’s popularity is growing. “Two 45-minute classes a week can change your life,” Penn exclaimed.

Visit sundragonyoga.com or call 313-303-0096.

Mick Danskin Personal Trainer from Peachtree Corners has found a niche training seniors to be stronger and more mobile.

Train to independence

Certified Personal Trainer Mick Danskin trains a general clientele but found a niche working with elders. “Seniors want to stay in their homes and remain independent for as long as possible. Although some of them have seen physical therapists, the amount of care they receive is limited by insurance. With fewer limitations, I’m free to correct their issues, usually by visiting clients twice weekly for one-hour sessions,” Danskin explained.

Seniors receive a 10-session discount at $60 per session (regularly $80), which includes a free in-home assessment. Clients with heart conditions must provide a doctor’s release prior to commencing an exercise program.

Danskin specializes in correcting muscle imbalances, posture, lack of flexibility and strength issues to help seniors live safely independently. Some of his clients recovering from illness or surgery find themselves unable to overcome postural problems. “I’ve helped several people gain functional strength, energy and re-learn how to walk,” Danskin said.

He works through customized stretches, balance and strength exercises which improve joint discomfort. “Movement and exercise stimulate bone density, staving off osteoporosis. The recommendation for otherwise healthy seniors would be at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, five days a week,” Danskin shared.

Call Danskin at 678-491-0332.

Clean Eatz Peachtree Corners customers selecting meals from the convenient Grab N Go freezer.

Healthy eating prolongs life

The owner of Clean Eatz, Nancy Glass, has the answer for seniors who want to remain autonomous without the hassle of cooking for one or two people. Properly portioned, health-conscience, prepared meals are ideal for anyone interested in healthy eating made easy.

Clean Eatz sources quality ingredients to offer the customers affordable, nutritious meals. Nothing is fried and no salt or oil are used in their meal preparation — only sodium-free seasonings and gluten-free sauces. 

“We offer weekly meal plans as Toplow as $6.52 a meal. The meals are prepared and fresh. You select what you want from a menu that changes weekly. Then, just heat and eat! It’s like having a personal chef. No dishes to wash, no grocery shopping, just enjoy,” Glass beamed.

Customers make their selections for the week and the entire order goes home with them. There are five entrée options for lunch, dinner or breakfast, and a sixth item for breakfast. You can order any quantity of each meal and skip meals you don’t want.

Nancy Glass, owner of Clean Eatz in Peachtree Corners.

The Grab N Go freezers are stocked with meals that were made fresh in the café and then frozen. They can cater to all dietary needs: vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, extra protein (great for maintaining muscle), low carb and BASIC. BASIC meals are prepared with no seasonings or sauces, allowing for customization when you take them home.

Shareable family meals containing four servings are priced at $17.99. Grab N Go meals are readily available to boost your weekly meal plan recipes, providing additional variety in case you need more or want to try something new.

Fresh, hot, made-to-order items are available from the café menu. Burgers, build your own bowls, salads, wraps, flatbreads and smoothies are available for dine in, to go or delivery through UberEATS. The average price is $8.79.

“Clean Eatz is here to help anyone striving for a healthy lifestyle. Once you’ve taken that first step, it becomes a way of life. Small improvements lead to BIG changes. You’ll start to feel better and notice the changes in your body,” Glass said.

Visit cleaneatz.com or call 678-833-5353.

The cultural shift in attitude towards what it means to be older is evident in Peachtree Corners, our little microcosm of society. Better knowledge of self-care trends, proper food and fitness régimes, and maintaining social connections all contribute to staving off cognitive and physical decline. Enjoy your extended active years, for 60 has indeed become the new 40!

Patrizia hails from Toronto, Canada where she earned an Honors B.A. in French and Italian studies at York University, and a B.Ed. at the University of Toronto. This trilingual former French teacher has called Georgia home since 1998. She and her family have enjoyed living, working and playing in Peachtree Corners since 2013.

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Northside Executive Shares Plans for Growth



Northside Hospital Gwinnett tower project (rendering)
Photos Courtesy of Bruce Johnson and Northside Hospital Gwinnett

Northside Duluth COO Jay Dennard encouraged residents to utilize new facilities, treatments offered. 

Medical care in Gwinnett County has gone through many changes – especially in the last decade. It now offers new facilities and new options for different types of treatment.

Jay Dennard, chief operating officer for Northside Hospital Duluth campus, as well as the vice president of physician services for Northside Gwinnett and Duluth, shared information about the hospital systems growth at the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber’s March First Friday Breakfast. 

Healthcare grows with the population

The origins of hospitals in Gwinnett County started with the tragic death of 6-year-old Olin Burnette in 1941. Access to major medical services was two hours away in Atlanta — it took that long to get there before the interstate was completed.

The tragedy convinced county leaders and generous donors that better healthcare options were needed closer to home. They came together and in 1944, the Joan Glancy Hospital — named in honor of a donor’s deceased child — opened on 24 acres in Duluth.

Since then, Gwinnett Medical Center, as it was later renamed, evolved to become one of the best hospitals in the area, said Dennard. It took about six years to bring the deal to fruition, but in August 2019, Gwinnett Medical Center merged with the Northside Hospital System.

“We had struggled out here because of the demographics change, and managed care was moving folks away from the hospital,” said Dennard. “When we announced that we needed a partner, which was not unusual for any hospital system, none of the managed care companies would renegotiate with us. So for four years, we never received any additional revenue off any billing that we had; however, costs continue to climb.”

The county grew and Northside realized it needed to have a presence here, Dennard added. The fact that Gwinnett County was able to obtain an open heart program in 2012 also made the merger more attractive. 

“We were the only system in the country with a population of our size that did not have an open heart program,” said Dennard. 

Northside Hospital was the first non-academic health system recognized in the Southeast by the National Cancer Institute, a center of excellence that made an appealing partner as well. With the deal, Northside Hospital made a commitment of investing $1.4 billion in the community.

“A lot of that is in bricks and mortar,” said Dennard. “But it’s also around expansion of key services with key staff.”

Northside Hospital is building more of the new tower at its Gwinnett campus in a move that will make the Lawrenceville site the largest campus in the Northside Hospital system in 2025. Officials from Northside recently announced that the Georgia Department of Community Health gave them permission to add seven more stories — for a total of 17 — onto the construction that is gearing up for the new inpatient tower being built at the Gwinnett campus. 

“We’re going to be close to 1000 beds at the Lawrenceville campus,” said Dennard. “We’re debating with our friends at Grady if we’ll have the most beds at one physical address within the region.”

Northside Hospital Gwinnett tower project (rendering)
Northside Hospital Gwinnett tower project (rendering)

Urgent care beyond emergency rooms

Earlier this year, Northside Hospital and Urgent Care Group opened a new Health Choice Urgent Care Center in Duluth, and they plan to open a Lawrenceville location this month.

Health Choice offers convenient, same-day care for patients with immediate medical needs, including X-ray imaging, COVID-19 testing, occupational health and illness and injury care, according to a news release.

Health Choice
Health Choice

With the addition of the Duluth and Lawrenceville centers, the partnership now operates nine Health Choice Urgent Care centers serving the greater Atlanta communities — Braselton, Chamblee, Duluth, Grayson, Hamilton Mill, Lawrenceville, Roswell, Snellville and Sugar Hill — including six centers in Gwinnett County. 

Health Choice Urgent Care Duluth is located at 4215 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth, less than one mile from the Northside Hospital Duluth Emergency Room. Health Choice Urgent Care Lawrenceville is located at 665 Duluth Highway in Lawrenceville. It is in the GMC Health Park, one mile from the Northside Hospital Gwinnett Emergency Room.

“We are looking at continuing to grow, and one of my responsibilities is working with a real estate company to develop not only medical office buildings, but also other sites for the system,” said Dennard.

He hinted that much more is on the horizon — including Peachtree Corners. That’s why recruiting is a crucial part of future growth, he explained.

“We have a huge focus around bringing the brightest and the best to this community to care for all of you. We have a strong partnership across the whole state with the universities …and when it comes to public schools, we want to really strengthen that relationship,” he said. “We want them to stay close to home …in this great community that we have.”

About Northside Gwinnet and Northside Duluth

  • 125,000 people seen in the emergency department in Lawrenceville.
  • 45,000 people seen in the Duluth emergency department.
  • 100 beds in the Lawrenceville emergency department, which is a level two trauma center. 
  • $4 million new parking deck is being built in Lawrenceville.

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Food & Drink

The Mediterranean Diet A Determinant of Eye Health



Ocular Health Visual

On February 13, a meeting held, a meeting was held between MAGISNAT researchers and the committee of the Fondazione Policlinico Agostino Gemelli IRCCS (Rome, Italy) to discuss the effect of the Mediterranean diet on eye health. MAGISNAT, part of the Italian company MAGI’S Lab, is located in Peachtree Corners.

In this day and age, many factors affect our daily life and health, such as environmental pollution, inadequate eating habits, and unhealthy lifestyles. One of the consequences of these situations has been a huge increase in eye diseases worldwide, such as cataracts, dry eye disorders, or diabetic retinopathy.

Eye and vision health have extensive and overwhelming effects on the overall quality of life, affecting health, education, sustainable development, and even the economy.

Another important aspect that makes this scenario even more complex, is the lack of access to high-quality and even affordable eye care.

The aim of the Feb. 13 meeting was precisely to discuss this relevant issue and possible solutions.

The discussion determined that nutrition, being a key lifestyle factor, can also exert long-term effects on ocular health and play a key role in preventing visual dysfunction, which can lead to permanent visual impairment or even blindness.

Specifically, the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) has been in the limelight since the 1980s because of the many health benefits it offers, including eye health.

The MedDiet is characterized by the consumption of small amounts of red meat and by the intake of fish, eggs, nuts, legumes, citrus fruits, green vegetables, olives and their derivatives (particularly olive oil), and a proportionate amount of dairy products. The diet helps to achieve maximum health benefits.

The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties of these foods, together with plenty of physical activity, offer a valuable intervention in the fight against the tremendously increasing risk of ocular disorders — such as the progression of myopia, dry eye disorders, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma.

The intake of the recommended daily doses of certain micronutrients — such as minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and carotenoids — ensures good overall health and exerts positive effects on the eye and visual system health.

In short, the Mediterranean diet would seem to be the best solution for leading a healthy life and for preventing the possible occurrence of certain eye-related diseases.

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First Peeks Boutique Ultrasound & Learning Center Celebrates Opening



A business dedication, reception and ribbon-cutting were held to celebrate the opening of the new Ultrasound and Learning Center at First Peeks Boutique in Peachtree Corners.

Celebrants included City Leaders, Peachtree Corners Business Association (PCBA), Senior Pastor Dr. William Sheals and several well-wishers, along with First Boutique’s Founder and CEO, Julie Muriel, and staff.

The new office accommodates Sneek Peek blood tests, OB ultrasound imaging, childbirth preparation classes, breast pump rentals and more, according to Muriel, who is a Certified OB RN, Women’s Services. 

Mayor Mike Mason and councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Weare Gratwick were on hand for the celebration, along with PCBA Board Members — Lisa Proctor, Allison Reinert and Michael Pugh — and business supporters. 

Left to right: Dr William Sheals, Hopewell Baptist Church; Allison Reinert, PCBA Board; Lisa Proctor, PCBA Board; Mayor Mike Mason, City of Peachtree Corners; Josie Muriel, CEO First Peeks Boutique; Twila Muriel; Michael Pugh, PCBA Board; Weare Gratwick, City Council and Mayor Pro Tem City of Peachtree Corners; and Millie Herron

Just before the ribbon was cut, Mayor Mike Mason addressed the group. “The city council and I are delighted that you have chosen Peachtree Corners for your business location,” he said. “It speaks volumes to our efforts as a business-friendly city.”

A business dedication was led by Dr. William Sheals, Senior Pastor of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church immediately following the ribbon cutting. 

First Peeks Ultrasound and Learning Center is located at 6025 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 5 in Peachtree Corners.

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