U.S. copyright laws prohibit me from reprinting entire texts. Therefore, I have provided links to the original stories and articles
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Seniors Could Soon Use Food Stamps for Grocery Delivery
by Maya Rhodan
About 9.3 million seniors lack reliable access to nutritious food
Senior citizens could start using food stamps to pay for groceries to be delivered to their homes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently proposed allowing homebound seniors and disabled persons touse benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to cover the cost of food delivery from government and non-profit agencies. The Department is currently seeking 20 programs to host the one-year pilot program.
In a conversation with TIME, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the programs could help more seniors live as independently as his wife’s aunt. He recalled that the 93-year-old did not like the idea of living in a nursing home, but wasn’t able to go to the grocery store on her own because of a broken hip.
“Having services delivered to her enabled her to stay in that home with greater dignity for a longer period of time,” says Vilsack. “I’m sure that there are a lot of Aunt Jessie’s out there that will benefit from this program for a multitude of reasons.”
Seniors have long been able to use services such as Meals on Wheels to have food delivered to their homes, paid on a sliding scale based on their income. But allowing food stamps to be used would open up the program to a lot more seniors. Some experts think it might encourage more seniors to sign up for food stamps as well.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
No Social Security COLA
in 2016 for Senior Citizens
If you were counting on a few extra bucks in your Social Security check in 2016, you made a mistake. The opinion of the experts, including the trustees, is senior citizens will not see a cost-of-living (COLA) in 2016.
● “The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday released another data point that provides a glimpse into the potential cost-of-living increase for federal retirees in 2016, and it doesn’t bode well,” reports the Government Executive website.
● “Nearly 60 million Social Security recipients will probably not get a cost-of-living increase next year, according to projections in the 2015 Social Security and Medicare trustees reports, writes Eileen Ambrose in her AARP Blog.
She points out that in the report issued by the Social Security Trustees last week that made it crystal clear they see no COLA in 2016. On page 114 they said, "...projections under the intermediate and high-cost assumptions do not have a cost-of-living adjustment for December 2015. Under all three sets of economic assumptions, the projections include annual cost-of-living adjustments in all future years after 2015."
● “Social Security recipients had better be ready to taste the un-COLA -- not the soft drink, but a likely zero Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits in 2016, according to the Palm Beach Post.
● “The plunge in gasoline prices, in recent months, sent the consumer price index (CPI) into a nose dive. That deflation is expected to make a big dent in the Social Security income of 56 million people next year, according to new cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) estimates prepared for TSCL. As inflation data continues to come in, early projections indicate that the COLA for 2016 is likely to be zero.”
Monday, July 27, 2015
This week's main blog contains an eclectic group of articles gleaned from the news and other sources, they are skewed to topics of interest to an older generation, we hope that everybody will find something of interest. After all, if life
Comments on anything you see on these pages may be sent to:
The Weekly WCenterBlog begins below
I lost a friend last week. And I will miss him. He was someone I have known for almost three years. He, hopefully, is in a better place. Which, considering what he had here, would be anywhere. . No, he didn’t die. And the “better place” he is in is a YMCA not far from here. He, in a way, represents the goal of many of the residents here at the Center. Getting out. And, while I don’t wish to make this place sound like a minimum security prison, there are many aspects of life in an assisted living facility that have an eerie similarity to such facilities.
First, make no bones about it. You are living in an institutionalized environment. Although they try to make it as “homey” as possible, the reality of it falls far short. One can never entirely feel “at home” if you are being monitored 24 hours a day. One cannot feel at home if your day, at least in part, is structured so as to fit into a schedule that is best for the staff and not necessarily for the resident. A new resident will soon realize that things they used to do at the time when they wanted to do them such as taking their meds or eating are a thing of the past. These things are set to a strict regimen. And then there is the matter of privacy.
Some of the privacy that most adults enjoy may still be afforded to an assisted living resident who is fortunate enough to have his own room. Unfortunately, most ALF’s are designed to accommodate as many people as possible in as small an area as possible. This means that many, if not most, of the rooms are doubles. This also means that most likely you will be thrown in with a roommate who may, or may not, have a similar temperament, hygiene regimen, or sleep cycle as you. This can cause an untold amount of tension and stress at a time in one’s life that stress should be avoided. Months, or years can go by before a private room becomes available. And then there’s the food.
Food at most ALF’s is legendary, and not in a good way. Even the more affluent facilities may serve meals that are contrary to what a resident may have encountered on the “outside”. The first thing one will notice is the portion size. Most restaurants in America serve abundant, adult portions to adults. Not so in an ALF. The size of the meals served here (except for high carbohydrate foods like pasta and rice) are about the size of what most of us would consider to be a “Kid’s” meal. In addition, due to the dietary restrictions of many of the residents, the food is prepared with a minimum of seasoning. But you probably already know this and I don’t want to digress from the main reason for this week’s editorial which is to make you aware that life, as you may have known it, will change forever after moving to an assisted living facility. Such was the case for my friend who, because of an unyielding management whose main concern is the bottom line and not necessarily the well-being of its residents, caused my friend to incur more stress than he was prepared to handle. And, considering his relative young age and his various medical conditions, was something he did not need in his life right now. And so, after much soul-searching, weighing the pros and cons, he decided that in order to maintain his sanity and health and add some dignity to his life (something that one loses a great deal of living in places like this) he decided to leave. And, though I am sorry to see him go (especially under a cloud of duress) I feel that he made the right decision. But a decision like this does not come easily. There are so many factors that must be considered before one decides to take back control of their life, which is exactly what you are doing if you leave here, and for many of us, doing things on our own may prove to be a bigger task than we are prepared to take on.
Finding a place to live might be more difficult than you think. The cost of apartment rentals, especially in urban areas, will blow your mind. Next comes the realization that you will actually have to buy, store and cook your own food. Also, you most likely will be eating alone, a lot. There may not be anybody to help with the housework, laundry, bed linen and those “accidents” that happen in the bathroom. You will have to be responsible for paying your rent on time and possibly even your own maintenance. And lastly, unless you have some sort of emergency communication device, there is nobody there to help you if you fall or feel sick or worse. Those are the cons. The pros may not be so clearly defined.
The word “independence” means different things to different people. To some, it means the freedom to do as you like. To eat what you want, sleep when (and with who) you want and to come and go as you please as well as being able to enjoy the privacy you might have been deprived of in an institutional setting. But you also must remember, with independence comes stress. And with stress comes the always present danger of a decrease in one’s health. And finally remember, you are not getting any younger. Even if you are in relative good health and of sound mind, these things could change rapidly. You have to ask yourself, “How long will I be able to continue this lifestyle?”
Yes, there are difficult decisions to make if you are going to make it on your own, but don’t let these choices discourage you from making a break for it. For some, staying in a situation that becomes more intolerable for you every day is more of a strain on your body and mind than any exercise or illness can ever be. All I ask is that you think over your decision very carefully and then go forth and be free.
On a Personal note: Since moving into the Center three years ago my stress level has been reduced to nearly zero. To me, this means a lot. It means that the only thing I need to concentrate on is my health. Something that I have neglected for many years. Thank heavens that as of now I have no major health problems and any minor ones are well controlled with some mild medication. I see a doctor(s) on a regular basis and I am delighted that I have someone to go to if I have a health related question. In addition, there are professionals on staff here that, if I need them, can help me through the vagaries of the various health care systems that one confronts in old age. Therefore, for me, I am in a better place.
The latest trend in home building lives up to the motto
“less is more.”
By Rachel Slavik
Tiny homes are popping up all over the United States. The small houses are usually around 200 square feet and include all the necessities of a standard-size home.
NextDoor Housing, a Twin Cities-based company, believes the tiny homes can help families with aging seniors by offering an alternative to assisted living.
Shirley Louiselle knows she can live comfortably in a 240-square-foot house.
“I wouldn’t need any more than this,” Shirley said.
After all, the 80-year-old is the inspiration behind one company’s tiny home movement.
Shirley’s grandson, John Louiselle, and his life-long friend Jesse Lammie came up with the idea for NextDoor Housing a year ago.
“The Lord forbid if something were to ever happen, I would want my grandma near my family when she needs us most,” John said.
John and Jesse realized the little-living-space boom offered more than just a chance to downsize.
“It gives your family the ability to bring their loved ones closer to home versus outsourcing the care,” Louiselle said.
7 Habits of People Who Age Well
By Abigail Wise
Strong social ties can increase your chance of living longer
Exercise, diet—even attitude—can be as important as genetics when it comes to growing old gracefully. “Old age,” as Bette Davis once said, “is no place for sissies.” But that doesn’t mean you need to chicken out. Sure, growing older affects nearly every part of your body—including your hair, skin, heart, muscles, and more—but aging well may be as simple as adopting these (mostly) easy everyday habits.
1. Maintain a positive attitude.
You are what you think you are when it comes to aging. Seniors who think of age as a means to wisdom and overall satisfaction are more than 40 percent more likely to recover from a disability than those who see aging as synonymous with helplessness or uselessness, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association.
2. Watch what you eat…
Nutrition plays a major role in how your body ages. “The latest research shows that a low-glycemic diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is healthiest,” says Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, Physician Director of Healthcare Transformation at Kaiser Permanente Primary Care. One great example is the Mediterranean diet, rich in plant-based foods, whole grains, nuts, and red wine (in moderation!). It also involves eating fish twice each week and cutting back on salt. Research shows that this type of diet may help you age better by warding off heart attacks, strokes, and premature death, according to Harvard Medical School. An added bonus: Benabio says that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, salmon, and flaxseed, help your skin manufacture the essential oils it needs to protect itself and can help skin look younger. In contrast, sugary, carbohydrate-heavy, and fatty foods—think, chips, soda, and white bread—can speed up the aging process, says Benabio. “So, when shopping or dining out, opt for whole grains and natural sweeteners,” he says.....
How today’s boomers are aging in place
As adults stay in their homes longer, they’re making sure they’re prepared for the years ahead
By Patricia V. Rivera
Like everything else, baby boomers are redefining what it looks like to age in place. Forget the traditional grab bars for bathroom safety that stick out like a sore thumb. They’re opting for bars that are hidden inside of towel racks, soap holders and toilet paper dispensers. After all, the rest of their home is stylish, too.
“After years of hard work, many have achieved a certain level of comfort and would like to maintain their quality of lifestyle as they get older,” says Lisa Bobulinski Bixler, a Houston architect with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation from the National Association of Home Builders.
A booming aging-in-place industry is starting to offer an array of options, including active adult communities with homes that take into consideration the needs of seniors and offer different levels of care.
But when thinking about the home, the key is to consider adaptability, the ability of spaces to be modified for future needs, and “visitability,” the minimum level of accessibility that will allow someone with a disability basic access to the ground floor of a home....
Will Obama Expand Social Security Benefits For Seniors?
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren Demand More Money For Elderly
By Cristina Silva
Democratic lawmakers urged President Barack Obama Monday to expand Social Security benefits for millions of seniors nationwide. In a letter to be delivered to the White House Monday, the lawmakers say shrinking employer retirement packages have made it more difficult for retirees to survive without additional Social Security dollars.
"As employers continue moving from a defined benefit model to a defined contribution model of retirement savings, it is critical that we fight to protect and expand Social Security -- the only guaranteed source of income in retirement," the lawmakers wrote. The letter came as the Obama administration announced Monday new programs and proposals at the White House Conference on Aging aimed at improving the quality of life and care for elderly Americans, including improving the health of family caregivers and free online courses for healthcare professionals about how to prevent patient falls.
"More than half (53 percent) of today's working Americans are not expected to have sufficient resources upon retirement to maintain their standard of living," the Democratic lawmakers wrote. An expansion of Social Security benefits would be enormously popular, they argued. "This support crosses party lines: 90 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents, and 73 percent of Republicans favor expanding Social Security," the letter said....
Serious impact on health for senior citizens who don't drive
By WUSA 9 Staff
According to a new study from AAA, when older adults give up their keys,
they are twice as likely to suffer from depression.
A new AAA study shows that older adults who stop driving, voluntary or involuntary, are twice as likely to experience depression and five times as likely to enter a long term health facility than those who continue driving.
In fact, the AAA study examined older adults who have permanently given up driving and the impact it has on their health and mental well-being.
The importance of understanding the effects this lifestyle change has on older adults is essential, as the number of drivers aged 65 and older continues to increase in the United States with nearly 81 percent of the 39.5 million seniors in this age group still behind the wheel.
NIH Body Weight Planner added to USDA
SuperTracker food and activity tool.
Science-based technology provides users greater customizing to help reach and sustain a healthy weight
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institutes of Health have partnered to add the NIH Body Weight Planner to USDA’s SuperTracker online tool as a goal-setting resource to help people achieve and stay at a healthy weight. Created in 2011, the SuperTracker tool empowers people to build a healthier diet, manage weight, and reduce risk of chronic disease. Users can determine what and how much to eat; track foods, physical activities, and weight; and personalize with goal setting, virtual coaching, and journaling. With science-based technology drawing on years of research, the Body Weight Planner will enable SuperTracker’s more than 5.5 million registered users to tailor their plans to reach a goal weight during a specific timeframe, and maintain that weight afterward.
“We originally intended the Body Weight Planner as a research tool, but so many people wanted to use it for their own weight management that we knew we needed to adapt it with more information about how to achieve a healthy lifestyle,” said Kevin Hall, Ph.D., who led creation of the Planner and is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the NIH. “The Planner is a natural fit within the SuperTracker as it lets people accurately determine how many calories and how much exercise is needed to meet their personal weight-management goals.”
The Planner’s calculations reflect the discovery that the widely accepted paradigm that reducing 3,500 calories will shed one pound of weight does not account for slowing of metabolism as people change their diet and physical activities. More recently, the math model was further validated using data from a two-year calorie restriction study of 140 people. With those data, Hall and colleagues showed the model can also provide accurate measurements of calorie intake changes by tracking people’s weight. Researchers are examining how to apply this method for public use.
3 Smart Ways Senior Citizens Can Save Money
By Matthew Frankel
If you're a senior citizen, one of your primary financial goals should be to make sure the money you've saved lasts as long as you do. Of course, the most obvious ways to do this are to save as much as possible before you retire, and to use the money from your nest egg wisely. With that in mind, here are three smart ways you may be able to lower your expenses in retirement, and make your savings last as long as possible.
Take advantage of senior discounts
Don't be afraid to ask for a senior discount when you're out shopping or dining. Many establishments offer senior discounts, and not all of them are advertised.
Just as a reference, according to theseniorlist.com, there are about 100 restaurant, retail, and grocery store chains that offer senior discounts, and some are quite generous. To name just a few, seniors are entitled to
You can join AARP as early as age 50 at a cost of just $16 per year, and your membership can pay for itself many times over. For starters, many businesses offer additional discounts to AARP members beyond what is discussed above, such as 25% off at Papa John's and 20% off at Denny's.
AARP members are entitled to other potentially money-saving resources including:
Free tax help -- the AARP Foundation's Tax Aide helps 2.6 million taxpayers with their returns each year
Financial planning and estate planning resources
Free webinars covering topics such as Social Security and Medicare
Member-exclusive insurance programs offered through companies such as The Hartford and New York Life
Spend your money wisely
One of the smartest ways seniors can save money is with some responsible tax planning. Specifically, many seniors have their retirement savings spread among several different types of accounts, and the order in which you tap into these can make a big difference.
The $60K Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could ensure a boost in your retirement income of as much as $60,000...
How to make an aging brain feel less stupid
by Patricia Marx
Of late I’ve been a bit worried about my brain. When I ask it a simple question like “What is the word for that thing that’s sort of a harmonica but more annoying and looks like you could smoke pot with it?” or when I look for my glasses while wearing my glasses, I think, “My, my, it’s going to be a very smooth transition to dementia.”
How is it that certain minds seem able to forestall senescence, while others succumb?
You may have read in some magazine whose name I can’t recall that we can affect the resilience of our brains by investing in it early on, banking mental health as if in a 401(k) — to borrow an analogy from the psychologist Sherrie All. This notion hinges on the widely accepted theories of brain reserve and cognitive reserve.
Kenneth Kosik, a neurologist and neuroscience professor at UC Santa Barbara, explained these two kindred concepts to me during a rapid discourse that he called “The History of Alzheimer’s in Thirty Seconds,” which lasted about half an hour.
Here’s the short version: In 1988, autopsies of several elderly people revealed the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, these individuals, during their lifetimes, had displayed no signs of dementia. It has been hypothesized that they’d been buffered from the effects of the disease by the extra neuronal capacity that they had been born with (brain reserve) or accrued through years of intellectual and physical pursuits (cognitive reserve).
10 Worries Older Americans Face
By Tom Sightings
The National Council on Aging has conducted a survey of Americans age 60 and over, along with various professionals who work with the elderly, to assess the concerns and needs of America's aging population. As you might expect, many of the issues revolve around finances and health. But what is especially interesting is that the professionals, ranging from doctors to counselors to credit union managers, often expressed different views from regular people when it comes to issues that should be addressed. Here are ten significant findings from the survey:
1. Maintaining good health. People are focused on maintaining their physical and mental health as they get older, and are particularly concerned about memory loss. Professionals are more worried about the financial lives of seniors as well as the accessibility of affordable housing.
2. False confidence. Older people have more confidence in themselves than professionals do. Only 10 percent of professionals think that seniors are "very prepared" to face old age, while over 40 percent of seniors feel they are reasonably well prepared for what lies ahead.
3. Staying in your current home. Almost 60 percent of seniors have not changed residence in the last 20 years, and 75 percent say they "intend to live in their current home for the rest of their lives." However, the majority of seniors say they would like to see more services available to help them adapt their homes for their developing needs. Many people admit that they will need help maintaining their homes, but most of them do not believe that their communities have the ability to help them out.
4. Giving up driving. Many people anticipate that they will have to give up driving as they get older, and so they want access to better public transportation. About a third of those surveyed said that providing better public transportation is the single most important thing their community could do to make it easier for them to get around. ...
New website launched for older Americans
By Jessie Wagoner
Last week at the White House Conference on Aging the website www.aging.gov was launched. Aging.gov is designed to provide older Americans, their families, friends, and other caregivers, a one-stop resource for government-wide information on helping older adults live independent and fulfilling lives.
“Finally, one website to go to with all the information we need,” said Nancy Williams, 70 of Emporia. “I used to have to go to the social security administration website, then another for insurance information and so on and so on. Now one site to visit saves time and frustration.”
The Web site links to a broad spectrum of Federal information, including how to find local services and resources in the community for everything from healthy aging to elder justice to long-term care, as well as how to find key information on vital programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Services for older adults can vary greatly from state to state. In 2013, 61 percent of people over the age of 65 lived in 13 states — California, Arizona, Texas and Florida among the most popular.
“Many of my friends and family members have retired and moved to Florida,” Williams said. “I’ve held out. I love Kansas. And so far I’m pleased with the the services and information I have received in Kansas.”
Williams says that in reviewing aging.gov she was pleased to see information about healthy aging as well as information about retirement planning. She says that, frequently, information for older adults focuses on treating health issues rather than preventing them....
More “Seniors online”...
“If you can get them away from thinking about the technology and into the app, it’s all about what it’s enabling,” he said. “That’s the key. And then technology sort of disappears for them.”
Care.com, Peapod and the Future of Aging Technology
by Emily Study
From giants like Google and Apple to Uber and other burgeoning start-ups, tech companies are lining up to cash in on a swelling senior population that’s increasingly living longer and requesting more services to help them age in place.
However, seniors’ tech demand often seems much different from that of younger generations, which raises the question: How will companies effectively reach both demographics over time?
That’s exactly the question Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, posed to a group of c-suite tech execs during Monday’s White House Conference on Aging, a once-a-decade event that’s been credited for giving birth to such programs as Medicare and Medicaid.
“There is still a gap between older Americans’ use of technology and younger people’s [use]. What drives this gap and what do we expect to happen across time?” he asked. “How should companies respond to these differences? Do we need to plan for a future with two digital markets [or] will things converge over time?”
Based on the experience of companies like Care.com, Peapod and Uber, the demographic gap in technology use closes if that technology enables a valuable service to seniors....
Courtney Love's Fresh Start
The former grunge queen on beauty, aging, and turning over a new leaf.
As told to: Charlotte Cowles
The best beauty advice I ever got was from Polly Bergen when I was 11 years old. I was watching her on TV at my stepfather's house, and she said something like, "I wish someone had told me when I was younger to start taking care of my skin." So even though I was in the fifth grade, I did what she said. My stepfather was married to a Ford model at the time, and she would let me use some of her products but never her Erno Laszlo, so I started sneaking the Erno Laszlo soap. I got into huge trouble for it. This was around 1977, when Erno Laszlo was, like, all the shit. She had brought it from New York. These days I use SK-II products and ReVive moisturizer. If a product doesn't work, it goes straight into the moisturizer bucket in the sky. And no matter what, I always take my makeup off at night—that's important. But for whatever reason, I have genetically good skin. People in my family can become overweight, but they don't wrinkle. I'm blessed that way.
For me, vanity trumps bad habits. There was a period when I got quite heavy, and I had to do a magazine shoot. They Photoshopped the pictures, but I got ahold of the un-Photoshopped versions and put them on my fridge. After that I went to great lengths to lose the weight. I put my daughter's carbs in a secret drawer where I couldn't find them and went on the Zone diet, and I got back to a healthy size.
I've really turned a corner in the past three or four years. It began when I decided to get back into acting, and to do that you need to look as good as you can—even if you're aging. There are a lot of wonderful actresses who are getting older and look fantastic. I want to be in that club. To me, aging gracefully is to let it happen and accept it. In my experience, fighting it always seems to backfire and make people look ridiculous. You see actresses get work done and it makes them unrecognizable. I look at these actresses like Diane Keaton, who has never had anything done, and I think that's cool. It's sexy, really.
"Aging gracefully is to let it happen. Fighting it always seems to backfire and make people look ridiculous." —Courtney Love
If the goal is to cook pork chops until every bit of juice and moisture is baked out of them, then our “cooks” hit their mark. Pork chops, especially thin ones like we get here, have to be cooked very carefully. There is a delicate balance between under-cooking the chops to a point where the centers remain bloody and heating them to where the meat is dry and inedible. Now, while we certainly don’t want bloody, underdone pork and we know that our cooking staff is lacking the skills to cook it correctly, we think the least they should know is that they should have covered this monstrosity with some, dare I say it, GRAVY! Even a basic canned gravy would have been better than serving us a bare-breaded hunk of bone dry meat.
In addition, although not pictured above because I did not order it, the yellow rice which came with the meal was as tasteless and dry as their porcine companion.
What it lacked in flavor, it made up in its visual presentation...lol
Seniors Gambling for Toilet Paper?
Thank Heavens the Government Is Here to Stop It!
By Scott Shackford
Who knows what sort of slippery slope could result?
Consider this just another version of the regular “Officials Force Kids to Shut Down Lemonade Stand” story coming from other end of the life experiences spectrum. Periodically government officials step in to screw with the older folks in small communities for the crime of having fun in unapproved fashions. Typically this means low-stakes casual gambling. How low? This low:
Two or three days a week, 88-year-old Berylda Wilson and her friends get together to play euchre at the Delaware County Senior Citizens Center.
But because they pay a couple of bucks to play and take home prizes like packs of cookies or toilet paper, they're breaking Indiana law — and state officials have ordered an end to the illegal gambling.
The Indiana Gaming Commission last week contacted officials of the senior center — where the most common regular activities, besides euchre, include bridge and line dancing — and told them the pay-for-play must stop.
This was in Muncie, Indiana, reported by The Star Press. It is obvious that nobody is in this for the prizes. The center itself takes in about $30 from three hours of play per session. But it’s not government permitted gambling! It must be stopped. If these folks want to gamble legally they should do it the right way, by going to a facility fully authorized by the friendly government there to protect us all.....
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Last week, in part one of this fooditorial, I told you how inept the preparation (and preparers) of our food were. I mentioned how good quality ingredients go in one end of our kitchen and leave the other end transformed into tasteless, overcooked and uninspired crap. This week I am dispensing with the niceties and calling a spade a spade. What is perpetrated in that clown college of a kitchen is nothing short of fraud, period.
Our kitchen is a joke. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragically and pathetically clueless . And the most tragic part of it all is that I, and many of my fellow residents are helpless to do anything about it. We can complain, we can send food back, we can point out its faults to management, but in the end it is quite obvious that they do not care one iota what we think. After all, they are of the opinion that because we are living in the “bargain basement” of assisted living facilities in this state, we deserve nothing better to eat than what sometimes amounts to nothing more than pig slop.
You are probably asking why am I so pissed off right now. Let me tell you. Sometimes you just reach a breaking point. The point where things stop being a matter of bumbling incompetence and starts to become cruel and unusual punishment. That point was achieved last Thursday when lunch proved to be, not only disgusting but a total misrepresentation of the truth. And what is worse, they expect us to take it sitting down. Well, I won’t, because the one thing I don’t like is having the wool pulled over my eyes. Like Judge Judy says, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” Don’t tell me you’re serving crab and shrimp with fried rice when all there is is cauliflower. Did they honestly believe I would not notice? Did they believe that, when I brought my plate to the kitchen entrance, I would challenge them to find an actual piece of crab or shrimp in my rice? Did they believe that I would acquiesce when they tried to tell me that those little orange colored pieces of who knows what WAS the crab meat? Did they think that cauliflower (the world's worst vegetable) would take the place of actual seafood? I am tired of being made a fool of. I am tired of the amateur ineptness of what passes for cooking here at the center. Our residents deserve better. Management has to learn that feeding us subsistence level food, while it may be nutritionally balanced is nothing more than soulless twaddle served up in a sauce of apathy and indifference.
Things we like
Some of the entrants at this year’s Resident/Staff Art Show
Things we don’t like
A few times every month the Center invites vendors to come to the facility and set up a table-top show and sale much to the delight of many pf our residents. These sales give residents who are not normally able to get to a store a chance to “accessorize”. Normally, these sales are held in our auditorium. However, this past Saturday the auditorium was being used for another purpose forcing the vendor to ply his wares in our already overcrowded lobby. While a small table would have been OK, they took it upon themselves to set up a couple of clothing racks right in the center of the seating area making the place look more like Filene’s basement than a residence. Because it was a weekend with no real management present, there was nobody in authority to tell them not to do this. I don’t think the lobby should be used for this purpose.......................................Ed.
An Expert Weighs in on Reverse Mortgages
BY DAPHNE MALLORY
Senior citizens who are unable to get by on Social Security alone are exploring other options for paying the bills. The reverse mortgage is a solution that some lenders offer as a guaranteed source of income. It’s equivalent to getting a home equity line of credit based on the appraised value of the home. The idea of having a monthly source of income is tempting to seniors who may not be able to work due to lack of mobility and other health issues. Some even use it as a retirement option. Is a reverse mortgage a good idea for supplementing your income?
Certain major lenders that once offered reverse mortgages have stopped offering this option to customers. One of the problems that seniors face in addition to losing equity in their homes, is the inability to pay for homeowners insurance and property taxes. If property taxes are raised, senior citizens still have to find ways to pay for it. Seniors who borrow more than the house is worth may also find themselves in worse financial trouble.
A reverse mortgage may eliminate your heirs from an inheritance. Hall recalls an example where a bank benefited from a reverse mortgage when the property was sold, but the heirs got nothing. One of the best investments you can make is seeking wise counsel from a financial advisor. They can help steer you in a direction that will protect you and your heirs.
The sparrows and other wildlife that cohabit our 14 acres are never at a lack for food as long as this lady is a resident here. Although the facility discourages the feeding of our woodland neighbors there is very little they can do about it. The photo shows one last feeding before bedtime. (The resident’s, not the birds).
Memories slip away when stressed
after losing half a night of sleep
By Tucker Sutherland
Significant problems among senior citizens are memory loss and inability to sleep. A new study has found a clear link between the two. Many seniors may be too quick to blame their memory problems – particularly when stressed - on Alzheimer’s and other dementia's.
It is known that sleep facilitates the formation of long-term memory in humans. In this new study, researchers from Uppsala University, Sweden, now show that sleep does not only help form long-term memory but also ensures access to it during times of cognitive stress.
It is well known that during sleep newly learned information is transferred from short-term to long-term memory stores in humans.
In the study that is now being published in the scientific journal SLEEP, sleep researchers Jonathan Cedernaes and Christian Benedict, sought to investigate the role of nocturnal sleep duration for this memory transfer, and how long-term memories formed by sleep remain accessible after acute cognitive stress....
Playgrounds: not only for kids!
By Laura Willard
Senior citizens like to have fun, too. And these playgrounds are built just for them.
Playgrounds can be a lot of fun. Kids love them. Parents are into them because physical activity is good for kids. (And let's be honest: It's also because we know they'll sleep well later). But you know who else playgrounds are good for? Senior citizens!
Yep, that's right. Playground equipment isn't just for little ones.
In Spain, where the population is aging, senior-citizen playgrounds have been popping up for a while. Not only do they provide a place for folks to enjoy physical activity, they also offer an opportunity for socializing.
"Play is a great connector for adults and seniors and the children in their lives. In addition to the cognitive and physical benefits of play, it can also reduce stress in adults and is proven to help combat toxic stress in kids," Sarah Pinsky, director of client services for KaBOOM!, told Huffington Post.
My aging brain makes me feel stupid
By Patricia Marx
Of late I've been a bit worried about my brain. When I ask it a simple question like "What is the word for that thing that's sort of a harmonica but more annoying and looks like you could smoke pot with it?" or when I look for my glasses while wearing my glasses, I think, "My, my, it's going to be a very smooth transition to dementia."
How is it that certain minds seem able to forestall senescence, while others succumb?
You may have read in some magazine whose name I can't recall that we can affect the resilience of our brains by investing in it early on, banking mental health as if in a 401(k) — to borrow an analogy from the psychologist Sherrie All. This notion hinges on the widely accepted theories of brain reserve and cognitive reserve.
Kenneth Kosik, a neurologist and neuroscience professor at UC Santa Barbara, explained these two kindred concepts to me during a rapid discourse that he called "The History of Alzheimer's in Thirty Seconds," which lasted about half an hour.
I can't reveal that secret. Actually I can, it's on Page 182 of my new book. But here is a list of self-improvement endeavors that purportedly vitalize your mind. I have culled them from various books and websites. Some I have invented. Can you figure out which ones are bona fide? (Answer "real" or "fake.")
How to Be Brainier
1. Write backward with your weaker hand.
2. Rearrange your furniture.
3. Make your bed using the flat sheet for the fitted sheet and vice versa.
4. Create "top 100" lists.
5. Eat dinner under the table.
Bo Derek Says She Hates Aging
By MICHAEL ROTHMAN
Bo Derek isn't a fan of aging and is pretty honest about it.
"I'm 58 and a half," the former sex symbol told Entertainment Tonight earlier this week. "How do I feel? I feel like I'm aging like other people. I feel it's not fair. I don't mind the years, I just mind the look."
She continued, "I miss my skin."
Derek opened up about the aches and pains of aging, as well.
"Arthritis, injuries, my neck," she added. "There's a lot!"
Derek, who became a sensation in "10," which hit theaters more than 35 years ago, also spoke about ageism in Hollywood.
Boomer Talk: We are all getting older, but aging is optional
By Angelena Craig
Like most of us, you are probably none too happy at the idea or the actuality of getting old.
Our generation simply dismissed the premise that one day we, too, would arrive at “old age.” But the good news is never before have we had this much control over how we age. The aging process may be slowed down or accelerated, depending, largely, on how well we take care of ourselves. This is not to say that unexpected, uninvited health challenges don’t happen to some, but actually, the human body is meant to age slowly.
When we were younger, perhaps before we turned 50, we took it for granted that our body worked as it should and could easily repair itself. But as boomers and beyond, there may no longer be an automatic repair. It becomes more important than ever to prevent illness or accidents, as best we can, in order preserve the vitality of youthfulness.
However, no one says it is easy to take control of our own good health. To willingly do “the work” of making the necessary changes to feel good in our body, mind and spirit can be hard work, requiring educating ourselves about self-care and having some self-discipline. Also required is a good attitude about getting old.
A leading authority in women’s wellness, Dr. Christiane Northrop, cleverly makes this distinction: “Birthdays can be seen as milestones, or they can become millstones.”
“A millstone around your neck” indicates a problem you have, all the time, one that prevents you from doing what you want. When you reach a milestone birthday of perhaps 60 or 65, and you entrench yourself in negative thinking such as, “I’m definitely over the hill” or “Why bother?” you then can feel burdened, and miserable.....
Can aging be treated with drugs?
By Andrew Porterfield
Alfred Russel Wallace, the British naturalist edged out by Charles Darwin as the first to introduce the world to modern evolutionary theory, also had an idea about aging. He theorized that elderly senescence was caused by the need to “weed out” the old and make more resources available for younger, reproductive-age individuals.
The idea was definitely fodder for science fiction movies, from Soylent Green and its use of the elderly to provide, well, resources for the young, to Cocoon, in which the senescent elderly became useful to another planet (once their diseases were cured). Wallace was criticized for assuming, as in Soylent Green, that the diseases of aging were an inseparable part of aging. Today, more scientists are looking at aging like the writers and directors of Cocoon: as a disease state that can be cured.
Outside the worlds of science fiction and evolutionary theory, medical scientists have led the way to proper treatment of the diseases that come along with aging: cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease (and other dementias), and cancer. Some have also searched in vain for a drug or other magic substance that could extend lifespan.
Testing the first anti-aging pill.
On June 24, however, one group of researchers took another step toward producing the first anti-aging treatment. They met with the US Food and Drug Administration for permission to start a clinical trial. This trial, called TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin), was set up to test a drug for aging. As in, they wanted to treat aging as a chronic disease.
Nir Barzilai, a physician and researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and his colleagues sought to test metformin, a drug already approved to treat so-called “adult” diabetes (otherwise known as type 2), on a group of elderly participants. If approved, 3,000 elderly participants with cancer, heart disease or cognitive impairment will take metformin and the researchers will monitor them to see what ultimately becomes their causes of death. This experiment, Barzilai claims, will then be able to determine if the causes of aging can indeed be removed. at least in part, from the aging process.
As for metformin, it has been used to increase sensitivity to insulin and reduce glucose production in the liver for 60 years. It also has been shown to prolong life in mice and roundworms (specifically, C. elegans, a worm that’s been used in longevity and aging research). But the meeting with the FDA is significant, because the agency does not consider aging itself to be a disease.
Is being old an illness?
Supporters of the study of aging treatments say that they’re not looking for an El Dorado, but instead want to improve “health span,” as in the length of time before a person succumbs to chronic illness and death. ...
On Social Security
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
As workers get older, the likelihood they’ll become disabled increases dramatically. Social Security Disability Insurance is the only way many of these workers stay out of poverty. But House Republicans have manufactured a Social Security crisis to attack benefits for millions of disabled Americans – and if they have their way, disabled Americans could suddenly face a 20% cut in their Social Security checks next year. Watch this recent Aging Committee hearing and speak out: We can’t let the House Republicans dismantle Social Security inch by inch.
Cyber security: Fears for an aging population
By Raj J. Patel
With one simple click, you can expose yourself to cyber criminals.
While cybercrime is a threat to everyone, I’m especially concerned for those senior citizens who’ve been slower to adapt to technology. This group is more likely to fall prey to cyberbullying and be emotionally abused, harassed or threatened online. Embarrassed by their lack of knowledge, they’re often reluctant to discuss cyber incidents with family members — allowing situations to escalate.
Cyber criminals target people with offers for free prizes and vacations, discounts on prescription medications, letters that appear to be from government agencies, and urgent emails warning that an account will be closed. These fraudulent emails contain links that install malware on the user’s computer.
It’s important to educate our less-tech-savvy loved ones about cybercrime and what they can do to protect themselves. Following are a few things all computer users should be aware of:
•Phishing emails. These are emails that appear legitimate yet attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients. In one example, a woman received an email “from” her friend Jack claiming to have been robbed and left penniless in the Bahamas. “Jack” asked her to send money. Luckily, she was savvy enough to realize it was scam. The rule is simple: never click on suspicious links or respond to these emails. Just delete them.
•Personal and sensitive data should be stored on an encrypted external hard drive, not on a computer or online. Leave the hard drive in a safe location, and only plug it into the computer when documents are needed.
•Always backup your information. When a computer is corrupted, the backup files can be reloaded after the computer is restored.
•Make sure your technology is secure. Set passwords on computers, routers, smartphones, tablets and social media accounts — and make sure to update generic passwords entered by a third-party provider, like a cell phone or cable company. Also consider setting restrictions or customizing security options on internet and social media sites.....
More Senior Tech..
“Simple is always the best for all customers,” “Technology should be about connecting us and not dividing us,”
White House aging conference: Don’t assume seniors are technophobic.
By Neil Versel
IT developers, don’t assume that seniors are anti-technology or even technophobic.
“Education is a stronger predictor of Internet usage than age,” Susannah Fox, CTO of the Department of Health and Human Services, said Monday at the White House Conference on Aging.
That was a common theme among a group of six panelists in a late-afternoon session on technology and the future of aging. Donna Levin, co-founder of Care.com, an online marketplace for finding caregivers and other family services, said that the company’s fastest-growing business segment is the 50-plus age group.
While 50 or even 60 is not exactly elderly these days, consumers of all ages just want to buy things that work. “It’s not about the technology, it’s about the service,” said Tom Parkinson, senior vice president and CTO of grocery delivery service Peapod.
White House Conference On Aging 2015:
“Older people are attractive targets, because they have money, homes or both; they may have impaired mental capacity and they’re often socially isolated.”
As you likely sadly know, elder financial abuse is a tragic problem in America. As Richard Cordray, director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said at the Elder Justice in the Twenty-First Century panel of the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA): “Older Americans all too often fall prey to financial exploitation.”
In a recent Wells Fargo survey of 1,005 investors, 32% of respondents said they know someone who has been the victim of investment scams or financial abuse targeted at the elderly.
The moderator of this panel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathleen Greenlee, who’s the administration’s de facto point person on elder abuse (“it’s in my DNA”) said: “It’s an outrage against humanity.” President Obama seems outraged, too. He railed against elder abuse in his morning remarks at the July 13th conference. It may have been the first time a president has ever mentioned “elder abuse,” Greenlee said.
Your Questions Answered: Food And Anti-Aging
By Erica R. Hendry
Q: Does the current research point to the possibility of some reversal, or at a minimum, a stop, to the progression of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s?
Q: I heard that Americans eat too much protein. Is that too much protein overall? Or animal protein?
Q: I am epileptic and have been told that a ketogenic diet is beneficial. Can you explain how?
Senators request GAO report on
Medicaid oversight of care in assisted living facilities
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office requesting a report on Medicaid oversight and quality of care in assisted living facilities, according to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Many states cover assisted living services through Medicaid home and service waivers, and others cover services through state plans or Medicaid comprehensive demonstration waivers. Although the federal government oversees some of the care through the Medicaid and Medicare program, the care has been mostly overseen by states.
"Given the growth in federal Medicaid spending for long-term care services and expected program growth caused by the aging and expansion of the population and program, information to understand federal and state spending and oversight of care provided in these settings is needed," the senators wrote....
Editor's note: The Faceless Foodie decided not to review any of the meals served here this week. He told me, "Why beat a dead horse."
"You can get 10 percent off your Ben & Jerry's ice cream. That TOTALLY makes turning the big 6-0 worth it."
Getting old pays off:
Wonderful discounts for seniors
By Jane Wells
Travel, Retailers, Food, Groceries and drugstores
The higher your age, the lower the price.
Even as companies chase millennial spending dollars, they recognize that older Americans ACTUALLY HAVE MONEY. They know baby boomers appreciate a good value.
Here are some of the Top Best Most wonderful discounts for seniors. By the way, can we pick another word? Senior sounds so old. Maybe we should call them Smarter Citizens?...
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Where exactly are those “gourmet” meals?
Every once and awhile I find it necessary to say something concerning the food and food service here at the Center aside from the reviews I do of individual dishes in another section of this blog. This is one of those times.
Food, the preparation, cooking, presentation and serving of which, is very important to the residents of our facility. Not only must it nourish our bodies, but it must fulfill our social, psychological and even spiritual needs as well. Those of us who, out of necessity, are compelled to eat every meal in our dining room are entitled to what should be a pleasant experience. While the food here has never been anything to write home about, in the last few weeks it has been going downhill faster than a wagon full of fat kids. The signs that things are not as they should are obvious.
First let me say that I believe that the basic ingredients of our meals are quite decent. The quality of most of the meat, poultry and fish we get here is as good, if not better, than that available in any supermarket. The problem arises when our staff of “cooks” get their hands on it. What often comes out of that kitchen amounts to culinary murder or foodicide. And, as of late, it is getting worse. Not only is the food overcooked, under or incorrectly seasoned and poorly plated and often served cold, but it has become unimaginative as well. This can easily be seen by the repetitive nature of the menus.
The preponderance of chicken, either whole, in pieces or as part of a soup or salad has been well documented in this blog. Not a day (or should I say, not a meal) goes by without some dreary, tasteless piece of dry chicken appearing on the menu. At least if it were properly, and by “properly” I mean professionally, seasoned with even the slightest bit of thought or attention to detail, it would go a long way in making this dull white meat less of a redundant experience for our residents. To put it simply, we’re tired of eating this stuff. And the fish is no better.
I cannot remember the last time I have had a piece of fresh fish. All of the seafood we get here is frozen. Not only has it been frozen, but it probably has been frozen, thawed, refrozen and thawed again. Most of the filets we eat here are either battered or coated with some sort of breading and then baked until the flesh is unrecognizable as the species of fish it is supposed to be. Tilapia (the most often served fish here) tastes like the catfish which tastes like the sea bass which tastes suspiciously like pollack. In other words, they can call it whatever they like, but it most likely is all the same fish. God forbid they should serve us a plain piece of flounder, seasoned with a little salt, pepper and maybe paprika, cooked gently so as not to ruin it. But, you see, they can’t. They can’t because either they don’t know how or they just don’t care. And this is so stupid because it should be no costlier or more difficult to cook food correctly than to cook it badly. There certainly would be less waste not to mention the benefits to the diners.
One of the first things a cook should know is, even if you can’t cook, at least learn how to make a good sauce or gravy. A properly prepared sauce, whether it be for meat, poultry or pasta, can make up for many a cook’s mistakes. This is a skill that is sorely lacking here at the Center. Sauces here, like the food they cover, are bland, tasteless and uninspired. The word “reduction” (or the reducing of the natural juices with some stock or other liquid) is unknown here. The juice, if there is any, is as flavorless as the meat or fowl it came from. Even the pasta sauce is devoid of the usual ingredients (oregano, garlic, basil) that one associates with Italian food. And this is a shame too because pasta appears on the menu as often as chicken. The only thing they do right here as far as pasta goes is that they cook it al dente, as it should be. Otherwise, they might as well open a can of Chef Boyardee and be done with it.
Unfortunately, problems in the dining room extend far beyond that of the food. Insufficient, poorly trained and often absent servers and cooks are all part of the general dining experience. Stupid rules and regulations regarding seating and serving times, what can or cannot be brought in or taken out of the dining room adds to the desperation of eating here.
Last week, on two occasions, lunch and dinner were late because most of the serving staff decided not to come to work. Exactly why is not known, but obviously a staff that is properly compensated for their labor and is properly motivated by management does not go AWOL when they are needed the most. This is an obvious and systemic problem that has been ongoing here for quite some time.
All of the aforementioned problems reflect directly on management both at the local administrative level and by the big wigs at HQ who’s books are more properly cooked than the food. If their goal is to make this place feel more institutional than it already is, they are doing a great job. And here’s the kicker.
The Center employs a staff of marketing people who are responsible for pointing out to prospective tenants the various amenities available to residents if they sign up. Last week, a fellow resident overheard one of these marketing people tell a touring prospect about the “gourmet” meals severed here. After recovering from my hysterical laughing jag, I realized that in some respect she may have been right in calling our meals “gourmet”. It’s all a matter of perspective. To a Syrian refugee living in a Turkish refugee camp whose last meal was porridge with dung beetles, I guess our food is gourmet.
THINGS WE DON’T LIKE
Bathroom safety rails. Anchored to what!
Every bathroom in our facility is equipped with safety handrails both in the shower and around the toilets. One would think that these very important pieces of equipment would be securely fastened or anchored to something solid like the studs in the wall. That’s what I believed, until last Friday when I, unfortunately, put some pressure on one of the rails surrounding my toilet and felt the awful feeling one gets when something bad is about to happen. Silently, and without warning, the railing gave way under what I considered light pressure. The screws holding the metal rails failed and pulled out from the wall. Happily there was no harm done, at least to me, having never lost my balance. However, upon closer inspection I discovered something quite unnerving. THE SCREWS ARE NOT ANCHORED TO ANYTHING. THEY ARE MERELY SCREWED INTO THE PLASTER WALL-BOARD WITH MOLLIES AND NOT ANCHORS. I believe that there is something basically unsafe about this and needs to be addressed immediately.
Editor’s note: To the credit of our maintenance department, the railing was repaired within one hour of my request.
This is the latest update of a story that I have been following for the last year. It has everything I like in a story. There’s the dishonest landlord. The brave tenants of an ALF (In Brooklyn, land of my birth no less), and the uncaring N.Y.S. Department of Health....
Judge Rules In Favor of Seniors Forced Out of Assisted Living Facility
By Leslie Albrecht
PARK SLOPE — Residents of an assisted living facility who are being forced out so the building can be converted into luxury condos will have their day in court, a judge has ruled.
The Hon. Wayne Saitta sided with the seven remaining seniors at Prospect Park Residence and threw out a motion to dismiss their case against the facility and owner Haysha Deitsch.
"This was a wise and fair decision by Judge Saitta, and will allow the courageous seniors of the Prospect Park Residence to have their case heard at trial, despite the request of the despicable owner Haysha Deitsch and the Cuomo Administration's NYS Department of Health to dismiss the case,” said City Councilman Brad Lander in an announcement about the ruling.
The seniors, who include a Holocaust survivor and a 100-year-old, sued after Deitsch abruptly announced that he was closing Prospect Park Residence, leaving residents just 90 days to find new homes.
Since then most of the 130 residents have left, but a handful remain. They say they've been subjected to harassment as Deitsch has tried to get them to leave the building so he can sell it to developers for $76.5 million.
Though residents, their families and attorneys have pleaded with the state Department of Health to intervene, the agency has "abandoned" the seniors, advocates say.
Saitta repeatedly ordered Deitsch to maintain services at the facility, but residents say those orders were ignored. Recently Saitta had to order Deitsch to keep the air conditioning on in the building on hot days.
4 Obamacare Benefits Many Seniors Don't Know About
By Dan Caplinger
...Beyond providing insurance for those of working age, there are also lesser-known Obamacare benefits for senior citizens that some Americans have no idea exist. Let's look at four of the most important benefits of Obamacare that many seniors don't know about at all.
1. Closing the "donut hole" for Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage for those seniors who are eligible for Medicare and choose to participate. Yet many seniors have faced one of Medicare Part D's biggest shortcomings: a coverage gap that most people refer to as the donut hole. Before Obamacare, Medicare Part D paid the bulk of drug costs up to a certain amount, which was $2,800 in 2010. Above a higher amount -- $4,550 in 2010 -- the out-of-pocket spending limit would apply, and participants would bear only a tiny amount of the cost for prescription drugs. But between $2,800 and $4,550, Medicare Part D covered nothing, leaving seniors responsible for the entire $1,750.
Obamacare set up a schedule of discounts for brand-name and generic drugs within the donut hole. In 2011, Medicare participants got a 50% discount on brand-name drugs and a 7% discount on generics. For 2015, those discounts have risen to 55% and 35% respectively, and the end goal is to leave seniors responsible for only 25% of their drug costs by 2020. That will effectively match basic coverage under the standard Part D model, making the donut hole disappear in the eyes of most policymakers.
2. Annual wellness and preventive care exams for seniors under Medicare.
Many health experts have noted that providing coverage for preventive care can head off more costly treatment for injury or illness later. That's a big motivation for Obamacare's provision of preventive services for seniors through an annual wellness exam.
The wellness visit is intended to review your medical and family history, with the goal of taking routine measurements on your physical condition and building a list of current healthcare providers and any prescription drugs you take. By providing personalized health advice, the wellness visit can establish lists of risk factors and treatment options for any conditions you have. In addition, a wide variety of screenings are available, ranging from vaccinations and cancer checks to obesity treatment and glaucoma tests. Many of these services come at no cost, although a few of the screenings require you to cover the ordinary 20% co-payment under Medicare Part B.....
Seniors and the minimum wage
3 Surprising Beneficiaries of a Minimum Wage Boost
The minimum wage debate has a clear impact on low-income workers, but it could also have three surprising beneficiaries as documented by of our analysts.
Boosting state and federal minimum wage laws is getting a lot of attention at the moment -- especially following Seattle and Los Angeles' laws, which are set to make $15 the baseline wage within each major city. Both wages are being phased in over the course of many years.
But workers aren't the only ones set to benefit from an increase in the minimum wage. One potentially surprising beneficiary that many people forget about are senior citizens.
Why senior citizens? Simple: eligible seniors receive income on a monthly basis from the Social Security program. The trust that pays monthly benefits checks (collectively known as the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Trust, or OASDI)* is funded through payroll tax dollars from workers. It's also set to face challenging times in the years ahead. Due to the retirement of baby boomers in increasing numbers and the longevity of Americans (the average life expectancy is up nearly nine years over the past five decades), the OASDI is set to burn through its remaining cash reserves by 2033. If this happens and Congress passes no solutions, benefits checks will be cut by 23% across the board in order to keep the program functional for an estimated 54 more years.
However, if minimum wages rise, then the amount workers are paying into the Social Security program rises as well. More payroll tax revenue being collected could push out the cash reserve depletion date well past 2033, giving current seniors and pre-retirees a little breathing room for when they do collect a benefits check. It also gives Congress even more time to hash out a solution.
*This blog or its editor neither owns or endorses any stock, trust or fund.
If Social Security Were Cut 20%, Majority Wouldn’t Be Able To Afford Basic Essentials,
Says New Poll By The Senior Citizens League
A new poll by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) found that there would be serious financial repercussions for beneficiaries if Congress does not act in time to fix the Social Security Disability Insurance program. The poll asked “How would a 20% Social Security benefit cut affect you?”
57% of participants said they wouldn’t be able to afford one or more basic essential needs like housing, food, or medicine.
27% said they would have to spend through savings faster than planned, and,
14% said they would be forced into debt.
Only 2% said “no big deal.”
The poll was open to current Social Security recipients and anyone with an interest in Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits. The scenario is not as hypothetical as some may think. The Social Security Trustees project that by the end of 2016 the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund, which operates separately from the retirement and survivors trust fund, will be insolvent, and unable to pay disability benefits in full. When that happens disability benefit payments would have to be reduced by about 20% to match tax revenues coming in. “So far Congress has not made public any plan to prevent this from occurring,” observes TSCL Chairman, Ed Cates.
Social Security disability benefits are paid for through payroll taxes. Benefits are calculated based on the disabled worker’s earnings history and the length of time worked. A total of 10.9 million disabled beneficiaries receive a monthly benefit averaging about $1,017.
According to TSCL’s annual “Senior Survey” conducted earlier this year, nearly one in three survey participants, 31%, said they had no other retirement income, like pensions or savings, in addition to Social Security. The survey found no support for fixing the Social Security disability or retirement programs by cutting benefits, other than measures to reduce fraud and abuse. The survey found instead that 70% of respondents support raising the taxable maximum wage cap to apply the Social Security tax to all earnings. Currently the highest income workers, earning more than $118,500 per year, pay nothing on earnings over that amount. In addition, the survey found that 45% favored very gradually increasing the payroll tax rate by 1% each for all workers and employers versus 30% who opposed the proposal.
Is It Time For Tax Credits
To Help People Age In Place?
By Rosanna Fay
Survey after survey shows that most Americans over 50 want to age in place — that is, remain in their homes as they get older. Problem is, most of their homes aren’t geared for the reality of senior living. And retrofitting can be expensive. A recent MarketWatch article said widening a doorway can cost $1,700 to $2,500 and making a shower more accessible could run around $10,000.
Is it time to tweak the tax code and create federal tax credits to help people afford the cost of aging in place?
Louis Tenenbaum, one of the nation’s foremost thinkers about aging in place, who’s also a former contractor and the founder of the grassroots advocacy group, HomesRenewed.org, thinks so.
“Just as it did for the solar industry, a robust tax credit program can recognize a shared interest between homeowners and housing professionals,” says Tenenbaum. Targeted tax credits, he notes, would heighten consumer awareness of the types of products needed to age in place well.
Aging: No laughing matter
By Jean Tanner
Guess what? If we live long enough, we are going to get old.
Getting old, to most folks, ain’t no fun (bad grammar, but used purposely because aging is not a laughing matter!).
You inadvertently overuse those once-workable joints engaging in the fun activities of life, like bowling, jogging, casting a shrimp net, playing ball and climbing a tree house with the grandchildren, just to name a few.
You clean the shelves at the hardware store of WD-40 to spray those stiff joints in hopes of keeping them lubricated (like the commercial on TV advised). You practically own stock in every OTC pain medication at the drug store that doesn’t really seem to work.
Then it’s hello, orthopedic doctor, surgery or weeks of physical therapy.
In reality, getting old is the pits, so we might as well look on the lighter side and laugh.
I did when coming across an old saved clipping from a Dear Abby column in the newspaper that reads, Old folks are worth a fortune, with silver in their hair, gold in their teeth, stones in their kidneys, lead in their feet and gas in their stomachs....
Here’s Why You May Be Aging Faster Than Your Friends
By Alice Park
Researchers zero in on more than a dozen factors that can predict how fast you’re aging—and have some ideas about what makes people age more slowly
We all have friends who were born in the same year but look years younger (or older) than we do. Now researchers say that such perceptions aren’t just about outward appearances but about something deeper—the different pace at which each of us ages, and what that means for our health.
Most studies on aging, and the factors that affect aging, come from investigations of older populations, says Belsky. And in most cases, the chronic diseases or physiological changes that come with aging are already well established in these groups. But it’s clear that aging doesn’t happen overnight; rather, it occurs gradually over a period of decades, much like water affects the shape of riverbanks or stones over time. It’s not obvious on a day-to-day basis, but can be dramatic if several years have passed.
In the study, 954 people born in 1972 or 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand, agreed to participate in a study that followed them from age 26 to age 38. Each participant agreed to be tested on a range of 18 different factors that earlier studies have linked to aging, including blood pressure, lung function, cholesterol, body mass index, inflammation and the integrity of their DNA. Based on their scores on these measures, researchers calculated a biological age for each volunteer. They did this again when the people in the study were 32 and 38 years old, and combined them to calculate the pace at which each person was aging.
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A recent visit to a podiatrist made me wonder about other problems old folks may have with their feet.
Foot Care for Seniors
By Chris Woolston, M.S.
How can seniors take care of their feet?
Foot problems are especially common in older people, for a variety of reasons. Feet lose cushioning as they age, and the skin and nails can grow dry and brittle. Many seniors have poor circulation, and this can slow the healing of foot sores.
Finding comfortable shoes that fit is the best thing you can do for your feet. It's especially important to avoid tight or high-heeled shoes that put undue pressure on the foot. The constant rubbing and pinching from this "fashionable" footwear are a major cause of corns, calluses, and bunions. (Not surprisingly, these conditions occur four times as often in women as in men.) Keep in mind that feet can become wider in your later years, so you should always have them measured before buying new shoes.
Another way to protect your feet is to keep your blood flowing freely. If you usually spend much of the day in a chair, you can improve your circulation by stretching, walking, and other exercises. Avoid wearing tight socks or sitting too long with your legs crossed. And here's yet another reason to avoid tobacco: Smoking narrows the arteries and can hamper blood flow.
You can also avoid problems such as foot odor by alternating what shoes you wear each day, and by washing your feet every day and drying them carefully. (Drying between your toes and elsewhere will also help you ward off irritating problems like athlete's foot.)
What are the foot problems seniors commonly face? ....
Common Ground: Aging expensively in the USA
Bob Beckel and Cal Thomas
50-year-old Medicare and Medicaid programs cry out for reform.
Cal Thomas is a conservative columnist. Bob Beckel is a liberal Democratic strategist. But as longtime friends, they can often find common ground on issues that lawmakers in Washington cannot.
CAL: Fifty years is enough time to judge whether a government program has lived up to its promises. Last year in this column, we agreed that 50 years after the Great Society was launched by President Lyndon Johnson, his anti-poverty programs had failed to significantly reduce the number of poor people in America, and that other approaches should be tried. Today, we look at Medicare and Medicaid a half-century after these programs began. I'm not feeling good about either.
BOB: You should. In 2008, before the Affordable Care
Act, 44 million Americans received Medicare health insurance, and 47 million received Medicaid. Medicare covers those over 65 who have paid into the program, while Medicaid provides health care for the most vulnerable Americans, especially poor children. Before these programs, most poor and elderly did not receive health care, except those who paid for it out of pocket or received it through their employers. Since 2010, 16.5 million additional people who had been uninsured have health insurance thanks to Obamacare.
CAL: Johnson said Medicare would cost $500 million a year, but in 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee projected a cost of $12 billion annually by 1990. In 1990, Medicare cost $110 billion. By 2014, the price had ballooned to $600 billion. It has been the same with Medicaid: $1 billion in 1966, and today it's over $450 billion. By 2019, the cost is projected to be $704 billion. There doesn't seem to be any way of stopping the hemorrhaging without major reform.
BOB: That's because health care costs per capita have increased 2.4 percentage points faster than annual gross domestic product since 1970. Medical breakthroughs allow people to live longer. They need more health care as they age. Obamacare has increased Medicaid eligibility for people who make less than 138% of the poverty level, allowing millions of Americans to qualify.
CAL: President Obama cut $500 billion from Medicare spending over 10 years in order to claim that Obamacare was "paid for." A better option, writes Forbes columnist Merrill Matthews, "would have been to aggressively target Medicare and Medicaid fraud, which could have provided the same amount of savings." Like so many other government programs, Bob, politicians are less frugal with our money than their own.
BOB: I agree with you on waste. The federal government has been lax in pursuing those who abuse the system. The New York Times reported that one Brooklyn dentist filed 991 claims for Medicaid in one day! The same Forbes article you mentioned said that in 2011, states recovered over $1.7 billion in fraudulent Medicaid claims.
"When you are four weeks old, a week is a quarter of your life," Kiener's site explains. "By the end of your first year, a week is just a fiftieth of your life. By the time you turn 50, a whole year will be a fiftieth of your life."
Experience The Effects Of Aging On Your Perception Of Time
As we get older, a year becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of our overall lives.
If you buy into the theory put forth by French philosopher Paul Janet in the 19th century, then the first week of our lives is also the longest. Designer Maximilian Klener clearly agrees, which is visualized ingeniously in his new interactive digital project, Why Time Flies.
As you scroll down the page, childhood and adulthood squeeze into the screen as time condenses, meant to illustrate the phenomenon of time passing more quickly as you get older. Kiener illuminates this numerically, by listing the decreasing influence each year has on your overall life, and visually, by creating increasingly narrow bars to represent the passing years. "When you are four weeks old, a week is a quarter of your life," Kiener's site explains. "By the end of your first year, a week is just a fiftieth of your life. By the time you turn 50, a whole year with be a fiftieth of your life."
58-year-old actress Frances McDormand
has an amazing outlook on aging
By Aly Weisman
Actress Frances McDormand is 58-years-old and unlike most of her Hollywood peers, she has decided to age naturally and gracefully without the help of a plastic surgeon.
In a new Yahoo interview with Katie Couric, the "Fargo" and "Almost Famous" star says it's hard to watch her colleagues alter their faces to look younger because "it erases everything."
McDormand, who has been married to director Joel Cohen for 32 years, says aging in Hollywood is a topic she often discusses with her husband.
"We have a lot of conversations about aging and how difficult it is in our culture," McDormand tells Couric. "I go on rants about it, I get a little too zealous about it and he cautions me to remember that not everyone ages the same way and I've been fortunate that I'm happy with the way I look and how I age."
After not doing any press or promotion for her films for ten years, McDormand is finally putting herself back in the spotlight because of a message she wants to send younger women....
Face aging one breakout at a time
As menopause approaches, many women experience teen-like levels of acne, and the treatment isn’t exactly the same as it was in your 20s.
Though obviously not pleased, most women are prepared for certain changes that happen to their skin as they age. However, along with the dreaded wrinkles sometimes comes the unexpected scourge of acne.
“Many women in perimenopause who haven’t had acne since their teens or maybe never had it at all suddenly start to break out,” says Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a dermatologist at Baxt CosMedical, located in New York and New Jersey.
Women’s natural decline in estrogen as menopause approaches is to blame. Less estrogen means there’s a relative increase in testosterone in the bloodstream. Testosterone stimulates the production of sebum, which not only can cause acne but also can stimulate facial hair growth.
At the same time, a drop in the reproductive hormone progesterone can cause sleep disturbances. “This can then result in increased cortisol levels, and increased cortisol (a steroid hormone) can also cause acne....
The less eaten, the better
Why I ordered this for dinner the other evening I don’t know. The regular beef meatloaf around here is bad enough (poorly seasoned and overcooked) so why did I think the (god save us) turkey meatloaf would be any better. Maybe it was because there was nothing else on the menu I wanted to eat. I fact, as of late, the meals have become uninspired at best and just plain lousy at worst. In any event, I went about the business of trying to actually sat this monstrosity of a meal. For some reason, in the last few years, turkey has become a replacement for beef. And, while in some cases it may actually be a suitable substitute for those who want to cut back on fat, meatloaf should not be among them. I have had turkey bacon, which was not bad at all, and even turkey franks that actually had an authentic hot dog taste, but when the ground turkey is pressed into service as a meat substitute for things like hamburgers and meatloaf, I have to draw the line. The consistency and texture of turkey just do not work and all the seasoning and ketchup in the world can’t make up for its rather slimy and chalky taste.
Traditional meatloaf is usually made with equal amounts of ground beef, pork and veal, properly seasoned and cooked so that it remains juicy. Turkey, I’m afraid, cannot stand up to the rigors of that recipe. The garlic mashed potatoes were the only redeeming factor of this dinner.
Philosophy of Everyday Life
How can I get over the fact I am going to die?
By Lesli Messinger
True story- About 20 years ago I found myself in a hospital room with a Neurosurgeon looking down on me.
He said, " You are going to die."
I said, "I know. So are you."
Long story, short, the brain tumor stopped growing (obviously!) and I am living until I die, just like everyone else.
It always puzzles me when people act like dying is an option. Dying is absolutely inevitable. Having your child die before you... the mind simply cannot accept that. It is not the natural order of things.
But none of that answers your question, does it? Okay, here's the deal.
Once you die, you aren't going to be all, "Life was so beautiful. I really miss it." It will be over. No worries. You will be in a "better place".
However, when people in your life die, you will miss them terribly and regret all the things you didn't do for them or say to them. Your grief will take you to very dark places.
So stop wasting time worrying about your own death and show your loved ones how much you love them every day. You will not regret it.
Contact and Comment
“No” on bulletin board:
What are they afraid of?
One thing that is sorely lacking here at the Center is communication between residents. While word of mouth, rumors and innuendos abound, residents really have no way of communicating with their peers when it comes to matters that affect us all. While it is true that we have a regularly scheduled residents meeting, only about 50 or 60 residents (out of nearly 200) are in attendance and, it’s only once a month which limits the spontaneity of anything important that needs to be disseminated amongst the population. The addition of a resident’s bulletin board, strategically located, would solve this problem. Unfortunately, when such a solution was proposed by the residents council, it was met with a resounding “NO” from management.
Of the reasons given for categorically denying this request for a simple cork board to be placed near the Case Management office, was the fear (by management) that such a free and open forum would lend itself towards messages of an off-color or vitriolic nature being posted by residents. Even when the offer to have the messages monitored by a staff member was proposed, the answer still remained “NO”. This gives rise to the question “What is management afraid of?” Regrettably, the only answer I have to this is that they are afraid of free speech. Why do I say this?
A veil of secrecy and complicity abounds here (As in many institutions of this kind). Little or nothing of what goes on administratively is disseminated to the general population. Personnel changes, as well as changes in policy and procedures, are rarely discussed, preferring to wait until the last minute so as not to provoke the wrath of any objecting residents. A bulletin board would alleviate worry over some of these decisions by allowing residents to possibly form groups where these matters could be discussed outside the bounds of the regular resident’s meeting. But, that is exactly what they are afraid of. By controlling information, they control us. And, by having a bulletin board, where any resident could post a notice is a definite threat to that control. Decidedly, this is not the intention of this bulletin board.
In this day of mass communication being available to all in the form of social media like Facebook, Instant Messaging, and Twitter as well as blogs, you would think that such a simple medium like a bulletin board would not be needed. But one must remember who the audience here is. The majority of the residents here have no idea what Facebook is or how to access it. In fact, any form of electronic communication except for TV and cell phones is as unfamiliar to most of our residents as any foreign language. Thus the need for a bulletin board. Seniors are used to seeing bulletin boards at senior centers, houses of worship, and supermarkets.
Here are some of the things that a bulletin board would be used for:
- Information regarding non-facility sponsored social events like birthday parties, anniversaries or just a private dinner group or trip.
- The buying or selling (or giving away) of unwanted items like a TV or refrigerator or camera etc.
- Notification of the whereabouts of former residents who may have moved, been hospitalized or confined to their rooms. And, yes, even death notices and memorial information could be posted.
- Sometimes a resident could just be looking for someone having the same interests as they do such as music, photography or a game of chess. In fact, anything of a social or even personal nature could be posted just like in a supermarket.
All perfectly benign reasons for having a bulletin board. So management, what’s the real problem here?
Things we like
Mum's the word
The Center is blessed with some great flora. Among which are some spectacular Chrysanthemum bushes scattered around the premises. Every spring residents look forward to these beautiful balls of flowers which stay around until late in the fall. The right combination of bright sunlight and soaking rain really made them pop out this past week.
Things we don’t like
Where are the awnings?
While residents “roost” like overheated pigeons under the main entrance transom, blocking the doorway like a group of South Bronx juvenile delinquents, the lovely patio remains virtually unused because, for some reason, the colorful umbrellas have not been out in days.
Some of the best meals are at ALFs
(Other ALFs, that is)
By Rick Allen
They are the Breakfast Club at Windsor of Ocala — who meet for lunch and dinner, too. They are a retired insurance agent, school teacher, electrical engineer, another school teacher and a couple of home executives.
Mealtimes at this community at 2650 SE 18th Ave., one of 34 licensed assisted living facilities in Marion County, find the Breakfast Club gathered around a table in a corner alcove with a view the greenery outside.
What they eat is up to them: if it's on Chef Herb Santiago's menu, no problem. And if it's not, well, still no problem. “If we don't have it, we'll come up with something similar,” said the Johnson & Wales trained chef. “We want the residents to feel like they're at home.
We don't want them to feel institutionalized.”
This is restaurant-style dining. Residents show up mostly when they want, servers take their orders, food is diligently whipped up in the kitchen and a chef in whites often emerges to greet his diners. So it has been the past decade at ALFs, the middle stage of residential living for seniors between their own homes and round-the-clock care of nursing homes.
And it is a trend well established in Marion County. One local community was somewhat of a pioneer nearly 15 years ago, five years before it began catching on elsewhere: Brookdale at Pinecastle, then Chambrel at Pinecastle, has offered this type of dining to residents since at least 2001.....
Childless Seniors Need to Build a Safety Net
"It is critical to plan ahead. Among your tasks is to create a support system,
build a team of professional advisers and find aging-friendly housing."
By Susan B. Garland, From Kiplinger's Retirement Report, July 2015
Aging seniors face all sorts of uncertainties. But older childless singles and couples are missing the fallback that many other seniors take for granted: adult children who can monitor an aging parent and help navigate a complex system of health care, housing, transportation and social services.
As baby boomers age, the number of childless seniors, both couples, and s
ingles, is rising. Close to 19% of all women ages 80 to 84 will fall into that category in 2050, up from 16% in 2030, according to a study by the AARP Public Policy Institute. Recent research by a geriatrician at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York coined a name for these seniors: "elder orphans."
People without children "need to start thinking early about their future housing and future caregiving," says Lynn Feinberg, senior strategic policy adviser with the AARP institute and a co-author of the study. She suggests that they consider "what life will be like when they can't live without assistance."
One of the first steps childless seniors should take is to draft legal documents that will protect them if they become incapacitated. On the financial front, you should create a durable power of attorney and choose an agent who will manage your financial, legal and tax affairs should you become unable to handle these tasks yourself. Childless seniors often pick a niece or nephew to whom they are close -- or a trusted friend, cousin, sibling or clergy. Because of the potential work involved, "include in the document that the person should be compensated," says Wynne Whitman, an estate-planning lawyer at Schenck, Price, Smith & King, in Florham Park, N.J.
If you do not have someone reliable who can take on the job, you could set up a revocable trust and assign a bank or trust company as trustee,
“Dogs are constant companions, full of unconditional love – it doesn’t matter what you do or what kind of day you had,” said Stevens, who works part time and whose 70-year-old husband is a volunteer firefighter. “They look at you, they keep you going, keep you active.”
Aging population considers pet conundrum
By Sue Manning
Denise and John Stevens have had pets their whole lives – then they retired.
“After our last dog passed away, we decided not to get another one. We like the freedom from worrying about her,” Denise Stevens, 63, said of the Long Island, N.Y., couple whose Jack Russell terrier died last year. “We tend to treat these dogs like children.”
Baby boomers are retiring in record numbers and many wonder whether a dog or cat belongs in their golden years. Some seniors want the companionship, but others worry about declining health, failing to outlive a new pet, moving to a facility that doesn’t allow animals and tighter budgets. Some, like the Stevenses, just want a break from the responsibility of owning a pet.
For retirees who want a dog or cat – at least sometimes – there are unique programs to help connect older people and pets, said Kristen Levine, a pet living and lifestyle expert who works with those over 50.
Organizations are toying with pet rentals, having senior citizens foster animals, arranging for several families to share a pet, or bringing therapy dogs to homes instead of just hospitals.
“Dogs are constant companions, full of unconditional love – it doesn’t matter what you do or what kind of day you had,” said Stevens, who works part time and whose 70-year-old husband is a volunteer firefighter. “They look at you, they keep you going, keep you active.”
“Like it or not, the 2016 presidential campaign is now with us and candidates are scrambling to find their positions on the "issues." A seminal topic, if under-appreciated and misunderstood, is the relationship and impact longevity and population aging can have on economic growth.”
Longevity Changes Everything...or Should
By Michael Hodin
As the 2016 American presidential campaign gets rolling, it will be interesting to see how the candidates outline their strategies for population aging. The candidate who gets it right will not talk about "how to deal with more old people," but how to drive economic growth as aging demographics shape productivity, labor participation, and financial planning.
Indeed, America's aging population -- triggered by longer lives, lower birth rates, and the graying of 78 million baby boomers -- is a question of how to manage a society with as many "old" as "young." This is fundamentally a question of economics.
Enter Blackrock. Their new white paper -- and an accompanying roundtable to launch it in New York last week -- brings a compelling set of new ideas to the table. Blackrock joins other leading businesses who have been shaping this debate for years, ranging from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Aegon, to Nestle Skin Health and Pfizer, to Home Instead Senior Care and Intel. But make no mistake: Blackrock's entry is no small matter.
Because if there's one group out there that knows a little something about investing, saving retirement, and, economic growth, it's Blackrock - who manages $4.77 trillion in assets (a trillion more than its nearest competitor), who serves 89 percent of the largest US retirement plans, 80 percent of the largest US endowments and foundations, and 94 percent of Fortune 100 companies.
When they have something to say about population aging, we should pay attention.....
"Age shame, ironically, may dissipate with age. “The people who have the hardest time with aging are the 20- and 30-somethings,” said Ari Seth Cohen, 33, who is the founder of Advanced Style, a popular street-style blog dedicated to women over 60. “They freak out with the first wrinkle under their eyes.”
An Age-Old Dilemma for Women
By HANNAH SELIGSONJ
For some, age-claiming is a feminist issue. Suzanne Braun Levine, 74, the first editor of Ms. Magazine, says numeric honesty is a matter of principle.
“Whenever I am with groups of women, I always try to make a point of urging them to be courageous about their age,” she said. “It’s basically a variation on the theme of what has kept the Women's movement moving forward: telling the truth about our lives.”
Ms. Braun Levine said her mother starting lying about her age at 50. “When she died at 94, as far as the world was concerned, she was in her 70s,” she said. And when Ms. Braun Levine’s mother received her Ph.D. from Adelphi University at 82, she was unwilling to take recognition for the being the oldest Ph.D. at the university.
“I just keep thinking what she could have done for women of her generation in terms of making them feel less invisible,” Ms. Braun Levine said.
8 simple tips to designing safe living spaces for seniors
The saying goes, “With age comes wisdom,” but oftentimes, it also comes with a new set of physical challenges, such as limited mobility and difficulties with hearing and seeing. That’s why when designing living spaces for seniors, whether in an assisted living community or in your life-long home, safety and comfort take a front seat.
Certain furniture or design elements in your home that made sense before may no longer be practical. Fortunately, experts share there are many options available to address common aging factors, including increased risk of falling or declining vision. It starts by getting a little creative and designing a living environment that promotes continued independence, with form and function
Andrea Owensby, senior director of Design for Sunrise Senior Living, explains, “Ensuring your aging loved one’s safety can seem overwhelming at times, but there are a lot of simple changes you can make to help prevent accidents and improve quality of life so that seniors feel more at ease in their homes.”
1. Finesse the furniture: Create an open living space with larger pathways between furniture, which allows walkers or wheelchairs to easily maneuver the space. Strategically place larger pieces of furniture so they can be used for balance while moving throughout the room.
2. Think lightweight and sturdy: Furniture should be light enough to easily be moved, but also needs to be heavy enough that it won’t slip out from under someone when they’re sitting down or standing up. Having arms on chairs, for example, assists with balance.
3. Take into account shapes: Having round furniture keeps the layout open and protects your loved one from bumping into sharp corners. Switch out round knobs for pulls and levers, which can greatly help those experiencing arthritis.
“We’ve lost some of our eyesight; we’ve lost some of our manual dexterity; but mostly we’ve lost the patience to deal with stuff that doesn’t work right,” said Gary Kaye, the founder of Tech50+, a review site with an eye for smart senior gadgets.”
A Tablet for Aging Hands Fall Short
By Jennifer Jolly
A tablet can be the perfect gateway gadget when it comes to connecting an aging mom, dad or tech-reluctant grandparent with the rest of the wired world. Small, light and simple, a tablet requires less technical skill and manual dexterity than, say, a laptop or a smartphone.
If, that is, an older adult can figure out how to turn it on.
That is what my 70-year-old mom was trying to do with the AARP RealPad. I asked her to help me evaluate the $149 tablet as the potential starting point to modern technology for someone born long before the Internet was a twinkle in Al Gore’s eye.
My mom is not Internet-illiterate by any means. She is already a tablet-toting senior who not only owns an iPad, but knows how to use it. She plays a wicked game of Words With Friends and posts photos on Facebook (not always a good thing), and has even been known to binge-watch a season of “Downton Abbey” or two. But this relatively inexpensive, made-for-seniors slate had her stumped.
The RealPad’s pitch is: “No confusion and no frustration.” But out of the box there seems to be plenty of both....
"As we age, our desire for sex may diminish, but our need for caring, comforting and intimate touch is as strong as ever,"
One woman's message to seniors:
By Stacia Friedman
Sex is probably the one subject you don't bring up with your parents, but it's the main topic of conversation when Theresa Clark, 56, visits senior centers in Philadelphia.
Funded by a grant from Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, Clark's workshop helps seniors understand the distinction between sex and sexuality. "It's not just what's going on between our legs," says Clark. "It's about the ongoing need for intimacy, affection, warmth and sensuality."
Sexuality a lifelong journey
The workshop dispels the myths about sexual health and aging. Think sex ends with your Medicare card? Guess again.
"Sexuality begins in utero as we are developing as human beings and ends with our death," says Clark. "It is the total expression of who we are as human beings. It encompasses our whole psychosocial development — our values, attitudes, physical appearance, beliefs, emotions, attractions, our likes/dislikes, our spiritual selves, and is influenced by our values, culture, socialization, politics, and laws."...
More on this topic....
7 Ways To Stay Attracted To Your Partner,
According To Senior Citizens Who've Been Married Forever
By JoAnna Novak
Do you ever catch your grandparents squeezing hands? I don’t mean a polite paw graze in public: I mean one of those desperate clenches that can either mean, “Get me out of this lame family room” or “Get me out of this lame family room and into that freaky bed.”
If you’re grossed out just thinking about gramps and gram doing it, you’re not alone. In his book 30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage, gerontologist Karl Pillemer explains that it’s actually really common to be turned off by intimacy in older people. He traces that feeling back to some pretty early memories — when you’re a kid, catching your babysitter making out on your family’s couch, for instance. Your reaction, as a kid in footie-jammies, isn’t to usually to think, “how sexy.” Your feeling was more like … EWWWWW.
But just because our grossed out reaction may be rooted in something probably biologically advantageous, we still have a lot to learn (yes, sexually) from couples who’ve been together for decades. Pillemer’s book collects opinions from “the experts,” a group of more than 700 Americans who answered questions about how they led long, satisfying marriages and partnerships. Lo and behold, those older folks believe sexual attraction is a crucial part of any relationship. Some of these “experts” have been married 70 years — so here are their top tips for keeping it fresh.
1. Keep It Tight(ish)
“Don’t let yourself go” sounds like antiquated advice, but the experts see good grooming as more than vanity. Self-care is sexy, after all: you’ll remain appealing to your partner and to yourself if you eat well and maintain a level of physical fitness that works for you.
2. Remember That Size Does Matter — And Smaller Is Better
Minds, out of the gutter! I’m talking gestures; tiny joyous ones, like bringing candies or flowers, writing love notes, or opening doors, even boosting the music during a favorite song. Pilllemer observed, “there is nothing more effective in keeping a relationship warm, supportive, and fun than making a habit of doing small, positive things.” The senior experts believe that, in order to remain sexually attracted to your partner, you both must stay attuned to each other’s efforts to shower one another with affection.
Arnold Schwarzenegger embraces his aging Terminator as 'Genisys' is set for action
By Amy Kaufman
"Old, but not obsolete.".
That's the refrain a graying, creaky Arnold Schwarzenegger repeats throughout the new "Terminator" film, attempting to reassure his comrades that, though his machinery has aged, he can still get the job done.
The 67-year-old is seeking to disprove similar doubts after suffering a string of box-office flops following his exit from the California governor's office in 2011. On Wednesday, he'll reprise his most iconic role for the fourth time in "Terminator Genisys," the latest installment in the sci-fi franchise that helped to establish the actor as a big-screen action hero in the 1980s.
But the gears are showing some signs of rust. The $155-million production is projected to take in a disappointing $55 million during its first five days in theaters over the busy Fourth of July holiday. And many critics have panned the fifth film in the "Terminator" series — though Schwarzenegger's performance has been cited as one of the movie's few redeeming elements.
"He loved having gray hair and the idea that the character was becoming more human," says the producer. "He didn't want this to be a retreat. There are other parts in franchises you can swap out; multiple actors have played Bond. But with Tom Cruise in 'Mission Impossible' and Schwarzenegger as Terminator, those are very special situations."
Love is a many layered thing
We have eaten and reviewed this dish many times over the last couple of years and I don’t think I have ever given the same review twice. The inconsistency’s in the preparation and serving of this Italian staple is as varied as it’s ingredients. I have never received the same dish, made the same way twice here.
One of the major deviations I have noticed is the cheese which has ranged from a strange ricotta-like glop to a pseudo Parmesan to a gummy mozzarella. Sometimes there are as few as two layers of eggplant, breading, cheese and sauce, while at other times (like last Monday) a multi-layered mound of stuff. If push comes to shove, I prefer the multi-layered affair which at least gives the diner a decent portion of food. All in all, I like the way the dish was made this time, the only trouble is that we never know what it will be like the next time it passes our way.
Close, but no cigar
Ever since its introduction by McDonald’s in 1981, and periodic reappearances since 1989, the McRib sandwich has become an iconic classic. Here in the USA, usually in the Fall, Mickey D’s brings out the McRib to the ooh’s and Ahh's of drooling customers who can’t wait to sink their teeth into these tasty morsels of a reformed pork patty*. Thus, due to the notoriety of this fast food favorite, impostors have sprung up in various forms and places. Not wanting to miss out on a trend, the good people here at the Mickey P’s have come up with their own version. Unfortunately, although they have the Chutzpah to use the name “McRib”, the Center’s offering is far from the spicy goodness of its original namesake.
First comes the bun. Here its a regular hamburger bun. The original sports a miniature Italian hero roll. Two additional ingredients that are missing from the Center’s sandwich ( besides a tangy BBQ sauce) is onions and a pickle. Something to think about if they are going to offer this again. All in all, for a fast, out of the ordinary lunch, this sandwich was not bad. And, with the addition of a those two extra condiments, could be a classic here as well.
BTW: The large steak fries were served hot and delicious. The perfect side for this kind of meal. Nice going on this one.
* Mostly pork shoulder
“It's not that bad. When you hit 70, you can still call it the new 60 if you want. In fact, a crapload of people have already declared it the new 50, anyway.”
90 Is the New Deal
We live in a wondrous age of age-defying wonder. If you've made it to 30, hey, it's pretty much the new 20. Then comes that other big milestone, 40. Have no fear; it's the new 30. For a while now, 50 has been either the new 40 or the new 30, depending upon just how invigorated one can claim to feel when hitting the big 5-0. Even more incredibly, 60 has itself been declared the new 40 as well, which is a boon and a half to folks entering what used to be called the golden years but have now, if the names of vitamins are any indication, been reclassified as silver.
In any case, you may be experiencing some confusion as to how all this will apply to you, as you get older. While it is true that you are as young as you feel, and it is perfectly acceptable to shave as much as 20 psychological years off your actual progression on this planet, it can be comforting to know that, when all is said and done, it's a fairly good bet that 90 is the new dead.
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How (Financially) well off are you?
It’s all about timing
First read this...
Seniors enjoying greater security
All I can say about the above article is “What fairyland is the author living in”. While it may be true that some seniors are financially secure, in actuality most middle-class and lower middle-class seniors qualify as living a poverty level existence. And, if the current crop of legislators has anything to do with it, it is only going to get worse. The legislation is already being written to make drastic cuts in Social Security benefits and other so-called “entitlement” programs for seniors. The problem lies not so much about what you have managed to save or how much is in your 401K or other retirement plan, but rather in the fact that, for most seniors, there is no safety net. Here is what happens when and unexpected event befalls you before you are ready to retire or just recently retired. Here is a scenario that may sound familiar. It’s also a true story.
A 62-year-old man loses his job when the company he worked for moved out of state. Relocating was not an option for this employee of 13 years. Losing his job not only means a loss of salary, but more important, a loss of his health insurance as well. The “COBRA” plan (That allows him to keep his group insurance rates) is too expensive for someone with no job, so he is forced to buy a cheaper plan. A plan that does not cover doctor visits or long hospital stays or nursing homes etc. Being only 62, he is not qualified for Medicare and because he has too much in his bank account, Medicaid is not available. He can’t even get food stamps. Also, at the ripe old age of 62, nobody will hire you. At least not a job that will pay enough to cover you day to day expenses. So, what does this 62-year-old person do? He reluctantly applies for early Social Security, even though he knows he is taking a big loss in benefits. There is nothing else he can do.
Despite his lower income, he manages to make ends meet. He buys fewer clothes, he doesn’t eat out as often, he drives his car less. He looks for work that is not there. Even part-time jobs are few and far between. As his bank account dwindles, he looks further for ways to cut back. He raises the deductible on his auto insurance. He buys generic brand food items. He walks more (not a bad thing, he thinks). He excuses himself from going out to dinner with friends. He declines invitations to weddings and Bar Mitzvah’s so he won’t have to give a gift. He’s late with his rent for the first time in the 15 years he has lived in that building. But, despite it all, he still manages to live a somewhat normal life. That is until something goes wrong, terribly wrong. He gets sick.
Spend more than a few days in a hospital, and you will learn how pitifully under-insured you are. See what happens to all of your savings when two and then three months go by lying in a hospital bed. See what happens to that nest egg you were counting on to get you over the rough parts when you have to spend a year in a nursing home at $13,000 per month and only a portion of that cost is covered by insurance. Where is that Senior Citizen Financial Security they were talking about? Don’t kid yourself folks. Unless you manage to stay healthy (very healthy) or you are very well off, you will not have enough money to live comfortably in your old age. The author of the article either spoke to the wrong people or the surveys she quoted were completely off. I want to know where all these financially secure old people are and, more important, how did they manage to stay that way.
Things we like
New Washing Machines
After months of complaining about the loss of one of our two resident washing machines, it appears the Center’s management has heard our pleas and purchased two new (and hopefully more user-friendly) machines. These new machines are “Uni-Mac” commercial grade washers and should last a long time. BTW, they are free to use.
Things we don’t like
Cigarette butts in Planter
Smokers are annoying enough when they puff away in non-smoking areas of the premises, but when they use the newly filled (By residents) planters scattered around the area as an ash tray that’s the last straw. I think it’s time we make this place a NO SMOKING facility.
More things we don't like...
Crowded conditions in hallway
The idea was to alleviate having residents travel from the nurses office (near the library) after receiving insulin and other procedures, all the way back to the med room for their pills. Unfortunately, they didn’t take into account the limited amount of space there is. One day last week, the corridor was so clogged with wheelchairs and walkers, that people could not get through.
Today, seniors are more accepting of assisted living
BY ROSE RUSSELL
Al and Gladys Mitchell lived in their West Toledo home for six decades before they moved in early 2014 to senior housing in the Browning Masonic Community in Waterville.
For the Mitchells, both 93, assisted living simply made sense.
“The house and yard were more work than pleasure. You would think that after 61 years you would miss the house,” Mrs. Mitchell said of her former three-bedroom ranch. “We don’t miss it. We’ve made it work.”
Now she and her husband of 74 years live in a one-bedroom apartment at Browning.
Before they moved, they considered the effect of their care on their family. Mr. Mitchell was prone to falling, and when he did, their son Michael, who lives in Whitehouse, would go to Toledo to check on him.
“After eight falls, it was time to leave,” said Mrs. Mitchell, a homemaker who became a manicurist when their sons Martin, who now lives in Tennessee, and Michael went to high school. “We moved here because we knew that one day we would need more help.”
Though they each have some ailments, they keep busy, as Browning makes sure of that.
“This place lacks nothing,” said Mr. Mitchell, who in 1965 took over the company his father started. Al Mitchell has since sold Mitchell Electric that was once on Upton Avenue.
According to the Assisted Living Federation of America, about 1 million elderly people live in more than 36,000 assisted-living facilities nationwide. .....
3 Ways Senior Living Steers Clear of Sex Abuse
By Cassandra Dowell
Sex abuse cases involving senior living staff against residents often are as baffling as they are complex, making it difficult for operators to respond effectively and humanely to the incidents, and ensure that they do not occur again.
And of course, the way a senior living provider reacts to allegations of abuse at the hands of a staff member is just as important as the steps taken to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.
Given the sensitive and serious nature of these cases, the need for senior living providers to have strong policies and procedures in place is obvious — and has been further highlighted as several providers recently have had to deal with the issue in public, following news reports.
Complicating research efforts are often residents, who may be too frail or lack the mental capacity to report crimes. But the more steps providers take to prevent abuse against residents, the better equipped they will be to respond to allegations of abuse.
1. Screen for ‘Bad Actors’
The first line of defense operators have against “bad actors” entering their communities is through their hiring practice, says Meredith Duncan, attorney with Polsinelli P.C. Duncan specializes in legal and regulatory matters relating to senior living.
“Screen your staff as required by law and by using every tool in your arsenal to make sure the [applicant] doesn’t have a history of sexual offense,” Duncan tells SHN. “Ultimately, you have to do everything you can to make sure staff are the proper, qualified people to be there.”
2. Implement Ongoing Training
One way to ensure employees understand what is expected of them and provide the highest quality of care is through ongoing training.
How Boomers Can Provide A Triple Win For America
By Ann MacDougall
Boomers Making a Difference
Take Larry Jemison, a retired career postal worker in Cleveland, Ohio, who has spent three years as an AARP Experience Corps volunteer, tutoring young children in basic literacy. Jemison says: “When they tell me, ‘I passed, I passed!’ that’s better than a paycheck.”
Or Garrett Moran, a one-time top manager in a global private equity firm who now uses his business and executive skills as President of Year Up, an amazing organization that helps at-risk youth get on track for skilled jobs or college.
These individuals and millions more like them comprise an ad-hoc “Boomer Corps” — a Peace Corps analog that’s loaded with skills and experience. This army of experienced talent could be an enormously powerful asset in response to some of our country’s biggest challenges: working with at-risk youth, fighting poverty and climate change, and yes, addressing the needs of our frail elderly.
That’s good news for society — and it’s good news for Third Agers, too. Ample scientific evidence shows that purpose-driven work is good for communities and for the people who do it.
Let’s Start a Boomer Corps
This is why I ask you to check your Medicare statement carefully and report any discrepancies.
Doctors and nurses busted for
$712 million Medicare fraud
By Katie Lobosco
The FBI arrested 46 doctors and nurses across the country this week in the largest Medicare fraud bust ever.
In total, 243 people were arrested in 17 cities for allegedly billing Medicare for $712 million worth of patient care that was never given or unnecessary.
In one of the most egregious cases, owners of a mental health facility in Miami billed tens of millions of dollars for psychotherapy sessions based on treatment that was little more than moving patients to different locations, said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Four people are charged for mass-marketing a talking glucose monitor and sending the devices to Medicare patients across the country who didn't need or request them. They billed Medicare for the devices and received more than $22 million.
In some cases health care providers paid kickbacks to fraudsters who could get their hands on Medicare patients' personal information. They would then use that info to bill Medicare for bogus care.
Sometimes fraudsters, known to the Feds as "patient recruiters," will go to places like homeless shelters and soup kitchens and offer money to those who would share their Medicare patient numbers, a Department of Justice spokesman said. ....
Successful Aging: Breaking down myths about age
By Helen Dennis
Last week we addressed some apparent stereotypes assumed by a saleswoman who was shocked when her female customer bought a nightgown as a birthday present for her 75-year-old friend. The column suggested the saleswoman was somewhat biased in suggesting that such a gift would not be age-appropriate. To influence more realistic views of aging, we need to begin with ourselves. So here is a brief true-false Myths Quiz.
These are just 10 facts. The key is to keep informed and to speak up (politely) when a stereotype is being announced. In most cases, a negative age comment is not meant with malice, it’s just that we are used to this “ism” called ageism because it is socially acceptable. One by one, let’s change the conversation.
1. The U.S. population of those 65 and older has nearly tripled since 1900. T or F
2. People who reach age 65 have an average life expectancy of about 10 more years. T or F
3. The mandatory retirement age in the U.S. is 65 years. T or F
4. In some cases, it is legal for employers to make employment decisions based on age. T or F
5. More than 70 percent of Americans older than age 65 will need long-term care services at some point during their lives. T or F
6. About 1 million Americans have entered their encore careers combining purpose, passion and often a paycheck for the greater good. T or F
7. Older adults are financially ruining our economy. T or F
8. Learning is lifelong. T or F
9. Most caregiving for older persons occurs independent of institutions. T or F
10. Little can be done to slow the aging process. T or F
It’s not often microsoft gives away something for free.
Just click on the icon on your toolbox for more information or go to...
Everyone grows older, but few are prepared to deal with it.
"Aging Wisely," the new book from Viola Mecke, PhD, ABPP, serves as a guide for navigating the emotionally challenging situations that come with growing older. Mecke examines the myriad life changes that lead many older adults to feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
"Growing older often presents very paradoxical situations," Mecke said. "Just at the time we feel comfortable with the experience and knowledge gained throughout life, we become less able to use them."
Mecke wrote the book using her experience as a psychotherapist and scholar, as well as life itself, to understand the challenges of aging. Four distinct phases, beginning at age 50, are marked by normal as well as unanticipated challenges. Each phase - containing difficulties such as physical changes, retirement, and illness - challenges one's self-awareness, relations with family and friends, and happiness. To approach these challenges with equanimity, resilience, and acceptance brings contentment, integrity, and peace.
Editor’s Note: Look for a review of this book in an upcoming blog.
Mourning the Death of a Spouse
What Can You Do?
Do Men and Women Feel the Same Way?
Taking Charge of Your Life
Is There More To Do?
When your spouse dies, your world changes. You are in mourning—feeling grief and sorrow at the loss. You may feel numb, shocked, and fearful. You may feel guilty for being the one who is still alive. If your spouse died in a nursing home, you may wish that you had been able to care for him or her at home. At some point, you may even feel angry at your spouse for leaving you. All these feelings are normal. There are no rules about how you should feel. There is no right or wrong way to mourn.
When you grieve, you can feel both physical and emotional pain. People who are grieving often cry easily and can have:
◾ Trouble sleeping
◾ Little interest in food
◾ Problems with concentration
◾ A hard time making decisions
If you are grieving, in addition to dealing with feelings of loss, you may also need to put your own life back together. This can be hard work. Some people may feel better sooner than they expect. Others may take longer. As time passes, you may still miss your spouse, but for most people, the intense pain will lessen. There will be good and bad days. You will know that you are feeling better when the good days begin to outnumber the bad....
The Evidence Points to a Better Way to Fight Insomnia
By Austin Frakt
One weekend afternoon a couple of years ago, while turning a page of the book I was reading to my daughters, I fell asleep. That’s when I knew it was time to do something about my insomnia.
Data, not pills, was my path to relief.
Insomnia is common. About 30 percent of adults report some symptoms of it, though less than half that figure have all symptoms. Not all insomniacs are severely debilitated zombies. Consistent sleeplessness that causes some daytime problems is all it takes to be considered an insomniac. Most function quite well, and the vast majority go untreated.
I was one of the high-functioning insomniacs. In fact, part of my problem was that I relished the extra time awake to work. My résumé is full of accomplishments I owe, in part, to my insomnia. But it took a toll on my mood, as well as my ability to make it through a children’s book.
When it comes to insomnia, comparative effectiveness studies reveal that sleep medications aren’t the best bet for a cure, despite what the commercials say.watching TV, for example). C.B.T. adds —
...through therapy visits or via self-guided treatments — sticking to a consistent wake time (even on weekends), relaxation techniques and learning to rid oneself of negative attitudes and thoughts about sleep.
6 Top Health Threats to Men
What puts a man’s health at risk as he gets older?
By Matthew Hoffman, MD
More boys than girls are born every year in the U.S. But any lead in health men start with vanishes with the first dirty diaper.
From infancy to old age, women are simply healthier than men. Out of the 15 leading causes of death, men lead women in all of them except Alzheimer's disease, which many men don't live long enough to develop. Although the gender gap is closing, men still die five years earlier than their wives, on average.
Why Men's Lives Are Shorter Than Women's
Listen up, guys. It may be time to drop the bravado and consider these sobering statistics: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is three times higher among men who are clinically depressed. Male suicides outnumber female suicides in every age group. Homicide and suicide are among the top three causes for death among males between the ages of 15 and 34. By the age of 85, women outnumber men in the U.S. 2.2 to 1; this rises to 3 to 1 if they reach their 90s. ...
While the reasons are partly biological, men's approach to their health plays a role too, experts tell WebMD.
"Men put their health last," says Demetrius Porche, DNS, RN, editor in chief of the American Journal of Men's Health. "Most men's thinking is, if they can live up to their roles in society, then they're healthy."
Men go to the doctor less than women and are more likely to have a serious condition when they do go, research shows. "As long as they're working and feeling productive, most men aren't considering the risks to their health,"...
Murder in the kitchen
A serial killer is loose in our kitchen. He is responsible for murdering perfectly good food who asked for no more than to be cooked correctly. This hideous cuisinecidal maniac has, in the last two days, killed at least two different kinds of fish and at least one chicken leg. He did his “finest” work last night on an unsuspecting piece of catfish by completely overcooking and already over-battered filet. The coating (most likely meant to be deep fried rather than “oven fried”) was too thick to begin with as was the batter on the chicken leg I ordered. However, the chicken did not suffer as horrible a fate as the fish which so overdone that it was all but impossible to cut or chew.
I said there were two meals involved in this crime spree. The night before, the filet of soul was equally maimed in the same manner as the catfish rendering the meal inedible. We hope the scoundrel will be caught, tried and executed before he can do to any other food what he has already so shamefully done.
Some like it, not so hot
Curry is one of those seasonings you either love or hate. Some curries are so hot and so spicy and exotic that western pallets revile at the very thought of having it around their food. Consequently, other curries, made for the sensitive Gastrointestinal tracts are usually not worth even mentioning. However, the curry seasoning used on last Saturday evening’s chicken dinner was, surprisingly, just right. While the distinct curry flavor was quite noticeable, the “kick” that usually accompanies most curries and that tends to repeat itself at 2 am, was omitted from this dish altogether. And, while we are on the subject of chicken, I can say that for once the chicken was properly cooked. The meat on the two legs I had was all but falling off the bone. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that, as you can see from the picture, I cleaned the plate. 31/2 Foodies for this nearly perfect meal.
These 3 kinds of shoplifters cost Wal-Mart a ton of money
By Tim Dees
How much theft goes on depends on the location of the store. Some stores get victimized more than others. The non-employees who steal from Walmart fall into several categories:
•Petty thieves who steal one or two items relatively low-cost items at a time.
•Serial thieves who stole mostly in order to return the items at the service desk for cash, one item at a time.
•Theft ring members who would come into the store and take single items every day, or would take a lot of items out in a single haul.
One theft ring was composed of senior citizens who all lived within a few doors of one another. One would steal an item like an appliance or a tool, and another would return it for cash. They were pretty good at what they did, and the few times they got caught, the courts were reluctant to punish a senior citizen too severely.
Walmart has a "prosecute everything" policy (as do many retailers). If they catch you, the police are going to be called, and you're going to be cited or jailed.
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Yesterday, June 21, was Father’s Day and I think that I can safely say that many of us residents here at the Center (or those of you out there) no longer have our fathers around. And, while the upbringing imparted to us by our mothers has been well celebrated, dad’s virtues have been relegated to the back burner. And what a shame that is. While many of us venerate fathers and consign them to some lofty position as head of household (mainly as the chief disciplinarian), we don’t often think of them as being nurturing or as having any influence on our morality. Of course, that’s not true. My father has been gone for nearly forty years now, and there isn’t a day that goes by in which I am not influenced by him.
Today, as I am swiftly approaching my seventh decade here on earth, and would be considered an old man, I still think of myself as my father's son. I identify with him in ways that, only now, are becoming apparent. Most every decision I make, somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I think “What would my father do?”. Sometimes I even see his face and beg his forgiveness when I have to do something that I know he would not approve of.
My father was no great man, as we tend to define greatness. He never did anything that would be considered earth-shattering or newsworthy. He was just one of those millions of fathers who, by their daily actions, managed to effect the way we live our lives. He, by setting an example, imparted to me a certain level of morality that, now that I am an old man, has kept me out of trouble all these years. How did he do this? Certainly not by lecturing me.
I can’t remember him ever having a face to face sit down with me where he gave me a sermon on morality. I didn’t even get the “Birds and the Bees” talk. But somehow, maybe it was through osmosis, I managed to pick up on what was right and what was wrong and, perhaps more importantly, how to be a man. Now, you women out there may want to listen closely to what I am about to say about that. To me, being a man has nothing to do with shooting a deer from a distance of 300 yards with a rifle powerful enough to take out a small army. Or, the ability to get into a fight with some other dude in defense of some misguided sense of honor. It certainly isn’t having the ability to flash a roll of bills and peeling them off like so much toilet tissue as a way of saying “Hey, I’m the alpha male here”. No, being a man is dealing with others so that they can walk away with their honor intact. It is getting up every day and going to a job you may not like because you have taken on the responsibility of a family and you made a promise to your wife to honor her by giving her the loyalty she deserves and the fidelity you promised. Being a man is the way you treat your offspring, not by being some aloof, pedestal sitting despot who demands fealty, but as a benevolent figure who always keeps an eye out for and an ear open for his kids. It’s setting an example and making sure the kids are paying attention.
Let me end with this. My father had his faults. And by recounting some of them, I think I did myself well. My Father was rather superstitious, especially when it came to death. He never spoke about it. He never expressed his final wishes to any of us. He didn’t even have life insurance. Not because he couldn’t afford it, but because, in his way of thinking, buying life insurance hastened one’s demise. Every time we drove by a cemetery (whether it be Christian or Jewish) he would utter some unintelligible prayer. I’m sure he had his reasons, but he never confided in us. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be that way, and I’m not. I wished my dad had been more open with his feelings, but he came from a time that saw expressing one’s frailties as a sign of weakness. I don’t have that problem. My only regret is that I never told him how much I appreciated him. He passed away after only a day in the hospital. My father did believe that there was something more after death, so I’m sure he’s listening now. Happy Father’s Day dad.
The barbecue that wasn’t
We were supposed to have a barbecue here last Thursday, but because of the threat of inclement weather (which never materialized) the outdoor portion of the event was canceled. Instead, they did something very strange. For no reason at all, they decided to combine both the first and second seating times as if the barbecue was actually in progress. This caused unnecessary confusion and shortening of tempers among the residents who had to battle for a place to sit and had to endure yet another “rush job” lunch served in the crowded dining room. As I have said many times, it’s always Them first and Us (residents) second.
Senior Households Expected to Nearly Double by 2030
By Xhevrije West
Senior households have been rising slowly over the decades, but this is about to change in the coming years. Urban Institute’s recent analysis of housing trends determined that senior households are expected to grow dramatically by 2030.
Authors, Laurie Goodman, Housing Finance Policy Center director at the Urban Institute, Rolf Pendall, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center director at the institute, and Jun Zhu senior financial methodologist at the institute found that in 1990, there were 20 million households for seniors ages 65 and up. In 2010, this number had reached 25.8 million, and by 2030, the institute projects that aging baby boomer households will reach 46 million.
“This dramatic growth will occur among both senior homeowners and renters, the authors said. “Our research suggests that from 2010 to 2030, senior homeowners will increase from 20 million to almost 34 million, and senior renters—who include both homeowners who will shift to renting and baby boomers who already rent—will increase from 5.8 million to 12.2 million.”
The dramatic rise in senior citizens calls attention to needed policies that will allow them to stay in their homes as they age, the authors wrote.
Urban Institute called for three measures of innovation and action to address this issue:....
White House Conference on Aging or a Summit on Seniors?
By Michael Hodin ,Executive Director, Global Coalition on Aging
The White House has announced it will hold its White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) on July 13th. This event is held once every decade, as initially mandated by Congress in 1965.
Fifty years in, what's new? If you have a look at the WHCOA website, it doesn't seem like much. Take this headline as evidence: "2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security."
Apart from celebrating institutional endurance, the WHCOA sees itself as "an opportunity to... look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade."
This is an antiquated approach that will not lead to the innovations and policy changes needed in order to turn 21st century longevity into a social and economic opportunity for all Americans as we age. Not just older Americans. In fact, if the White House is serious about several of its clearly critical themes -- take elder abuse, for example -- it will use the unique symbol of a once a decade event on aging to debunk the myths and stigma of aging and in the course give stronger and more powerful voice precisely to topics like elder abuse.
There's still time for the Obama White House to get the Conference right. Here are five ways to think about "the issues" of an aging America:
1. A path for economic growth: As the White House announced its date for the WHCOA, the rest of us are forced to acknowledge that Q1 2015 GDP switched from a 0.2 percent growth estimate to a contraction of 0.7 percent. Conventional wisdom explains these numbers as the result of global risk uncertainty and bad weather.
What's really driving these numbers is the more profound structural change brought by the aging of the population. Indeed, the global economy is now indelibly marked by the twin demographic features of historic longevity and continued decline in births. This is particularly evident in Japan and China, across Europe, and also here in America.
2. It's the children, stupid: In 1965 or even 1985, an aging conference could have been forgiven for focusing alone on topics like elder abuse and long-term care. But today, as our children and their children can expect to live their 90s and beyond, a conference on aging must explore how longevity shapes the entire "life course." 20th-century conceptions of work, retirement, and education have little relevance for careers that may last six decades.
Senior Citizens often fall prey to Seasonal
Door-To-Door Scams, BBB Warns
The "Driveway Fixer"
“They didn’t return and also stole my gas leaf blower and a rake”
The scam pops up every year when the weather turns nice-you get a knock on the door, and on the other side is someone offering to seal your driveway, trim your trees, or repair your roof. Many times, these itinerant workers take your money but don’t do the work. And more times than not, they target senior citizens.
June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and BBB is providing tips which explain how scammers take adadvantage of consumers which will help you, your family and your friends avoid paying for jobs that won’t get done.
The shared theme of all these tactics is they prey on the emotions of the victim. Scammers are practiced in the art of manipulation and persuasion, so making yourself and family members aware of the red flags is an easy yet important way to avoid falling for these schemes. Take the time to evaluate the offer “ and the emotions the pitch is designed to illicit.
- Be on the lookout for these red flags:
- Selling door-to-door
- Claims of leftover asphalt from another job
- Pushing you to make a quick decision
- No written contract
- Cash-only sales
- Demands payment up front
- Deals that seem too good to be true
- The contractor is from out of state or in an unmarked truck
Industries That May Be Left Behind By The Wave Of Aging Boomers
By Dirk Leach
•The fraction of the US and global population over 65 is growing fast due to a post war bump in birth rates.
•On top of the bump in birth rates, people are living longer due to improvements in medical care and healthier lifestyles.
•Many sectors and industries will prosper from the aging of the boomer population.
•Some industries and sectors may be left behind by the wave of aging baby boomers.
Assuming readers are already familiar with the age demographic forecasts, I'll jump right to those industries and sectors that I believe have the potential to be left behind by the boomer retirement wave.
People of 65 years and older typically purchase fewer new cars than the two age groups below them. Fewer people in the over 65 age group are commuting to the office and fewer are traveling for business. Hence, fewer new cars are purchased by this age group. The chart below shows the percentage of new vehicle registrations by age group for 2007 and 2011, the last year for which I could find data.
Protecting Your Aging Parents (or yourself) Against Identity Theft Can Be a Full-Time Job
By Nicholas Pell
As your parents get older, it's just a fact of life that you need to start taking more and more care of them. Oftentimes that means managing their finances. And that means protecting them against identity theft. To boot, more often than not, it's a family member who is committing fraud or identity theft in the name of the older relative. In such a hostile climate for seniors, how can you protect your family members against financial abuse, identity theft and other forms of fraud?
Don't Let One Person Act Alone
Since a major source of identity theft is within the family, Steven J. Weisman, a professor at Bentley University and the proprietor of Scamicide.com, notes that making it harder for one person to steal identity theft is a prudent step. "If you have one or two people assisting grandma, they can assist her, but they can also keep an eye on each other." Weisman says.
It's also important to have a joint power of attorney, says Ingrid Evans of Evans Law Firm, a San Francisco firm specializing in elder abuse and financial fraud. "Put together a trust and have a power of attorney for finances and health," she says. Appoint two people.
How Technology Can Keep Grandma Out Of The Nursing Home
By Cyril Tuohy
The notion that older Americans are a bunch of luddites is dead. The latest news is that the elderly are as wired as ever - if not now, then very soon.
What’s hidden under their mattresses? They aren’t quarters or silver dollars. They’re wired mattress pads streaming data to servers analyzing sleep patterns of an 88-year-old grandmother resting comfortably in her connected home.
Turns out your average older American is well on the way to being far more wired and tethered to technology than your average millennial is.
Grandparents benefit from everything from edge detection technology to indoor navigation to assistive jogger contraptions to technological mattress pads, toilets and pill boxes, to protective head gear and hip protection.
Is "Undue Influence" A Problem For Your Aging Parent?
By Carolyn Rosenblatt
Imagine that your widowed father finds himself caught up in a whirlwind “romance” with a woman who seems all too interested in his money. Or that your mother has “fallen in love” with her senior exercise teacher, a younger man who seems to have ulterior motives in his inordinate amount of attention to her. It can be a sudden infatuation or a long, slow moving but tactical plan by another person to get in a position of influence over your aging parent. And it’s dangerous.
This is not to say that love affairs among seniors don’t happen or that friendships can’t blossom into romance. Of course those good things happen. What I’m cautioning about are the red flags of what lawyers call “undue influence”. That means using a position of trust or power to pressure or persuade a person to do something that is not in his best interests, that benefits the influencer and creates some kind of harm to the senior involved. Money and property are usually at stake.
What can you do about it?
Here are three thing you can do about undue influence when you see the warning signs of influence or pressure that makes you uncomfortable about what another person is doing to your aging parent.
1. Speak up.
2. Increase your contact with your aging loved one....
Chronic Stress Lowers Aging
and Cognitive Hormones in Women
By Rick Nauert PhD
A new study finds that women under chronic stress have significantly lower levels of klotho, a hormone that regulates aging and enhances cognition.
In a novel study design, researchers at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) compared mothers of children on the autism spectrum to low-stress controls.
Investigators found that the women in their study with clinically significant depressive symptoms had even lower levels of klotho in their blood than those who were under stress but not experiencing such symptoms.
The study, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, is the first to show a relationship between psychological influences and klotho, which performs a wide variety of functions in the body.
“Our findings suggest that klotho, which we now know is very important to health, could be a link between chronic stress and premature disease and death,” said lead author, Aric Prather, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at UCSF.
Why Do We Die?
The Answer Is More Complex Than You Think
By JR Thorpe
“If aging is programmed, rather than a collection of secondary breakdowns or genetic tradeoffs,” the scientists say (meaning ” if dying is specifically programmed into our genes, rather than just a general decay of our bodies” to you and me), “then effective health and life extensions through dietary, pharmacological, or genetic interventions are likely to be possible.” Basically, if we’ve got an internal mechanism that specifically makes us age, maybe we can change it — and radically affect human lifespan.
After centuries of theorizing, science has developed a decent hypothesis explaining why humans don’t live forever. This may seem like a particularly pointless sort of discovery — Valar Morghulis, all men must die, natural wear and tear grinds you down until your human body just gives up, right? Well, not exactly. We take aging for granted, but it turns out that “growing old” — i.e. losing bone density and muscle strength, and experiencing more aches and pains — may have developed via evolution to help us, as a species, survive over the generations.
This isn’t how we normally think about aging — or about evolution, either, for that matter. But evolution isn’t only about the strongest individuals surviving while the weaker specimens fall away. It’s also about longer-term benefits to the species overall. And the scientists behind this latest study have found that actually, having most members of a become weak and then die of “natural causes” is actually far better for the species’ future than having a species made up solely of long-living individuals. And, counter-intuitively, being immortal presents the worst evolutionary fate of all.
I’ve had a personal horror of immortality ever since I saw that terrible vampire film Queen Of The Damned in the 2000s, which ends with two immortal people walking together forever among crowds of sped-up mortals. Being stuck on the earth forever? How would you possibly not get bored? ...
'Aging' Ian Mckellen having tough time remembering his lines
Seems like aging is have a very poignant effect on the legendary actor Ian Mckellen, as he recently disclosed that he spent half a year learning his dialog for 'The Dresser.'
The 76-year-old actor revealed that when he was a young man, people would ask how he remembered his lines and he would think that it's an easy part, but these days he found himself thinking how he was going to remember it, reports the Daily Express.
If six months seems excessive, then the 'X-Men' star once spent eight years preparing for Harold Pinter's Broadway play 'No Man's Land.'
Though he puts his fading memory down to the ageing process but the 'Lord Of The Rings' star said he's still able to keep up.
In an interview, the Guild award winner said that every person has intimations but there are times in life when the memory really does get worse and the mind doesn't work as it should. (ANI)
Is sexual intimacy between
unmarried senior citizens sinful?
June 18, 2015 - An 82-year-old widow asked in a letter to Rabbi David Krishef, “How far can we go?” She is referring to the relationship with her new found love, an 81 year old widower. The two had long marriages and do not wish to marry now. So, Rabbi Krishef put the question to other religious leaders, too.
The responses, along with many opinions from readers, is published online in MLive.
“Engaging in a consensual, mature, committed relationship that included physical intimacy, especially at your ages, would be far from inappropriate," said the minister from a Hindu Temple in the conclusion of his response.
A United Church of Christ minister added, “"The capacity to love and to fall in love certainly doesn't diminish with age. For many, the desire to express that love in physical intimacy doesn't either. It seems to me that Jesus' statements regarding marriage have fidelity (and the protection of the women) as their bottom line (Matthew 19:3-12). For me, that should be the measuring stick for your relationship.” ...
Presented with comment...
If you have ever wondered why the food that comes out of our kitchen (especially eggs) appear to be overcooked, you might want to read the following...
2 dead, 16 sick in Salmonella outbreak
at Ohio assisted living facility
by Doug Powell
A Salmonella outbreak has sickened 18 people at Heritage Corner Health Campus in Bowling Green.
The Wood County (Ohio) Health District, along with representatives of state agencies including the Ohio Department of Health, have been investigating the outbreak since June 9.
Investigators are interviewing patients who have become ill about the foods they’ve eaten and other possible exposures to the bacteria that causes the disease in the week before they became ill. They’re also interviewing staff and inspected Heritage Corner’s kitchen and other facilities.
The illnesses began on May 24, the health department said.
Editor’s comment: Why assisted living facilities are more susceptible to salmonella than other food service venues is anyone’s guess. What is known is that food service workers in those institutions may not be trained as well in food safety as those workers in the private sector.
If anything can make bad food even worse, it’s when it’s served fast. Tuesday afternoon’s lunch may have been the fastest I have ever eaten here, and the worst.
Because of some impromptu staff meeting (reason not made clear), both first and second seating’s were combined. Residents were hastily told about this last minute change, causing great confusion, especially for diners who are used to eating at a later time. As soon as I heard about the early seating, I rushed to my table and was quickly greeted by a server who could not wait to take my order. After a hasty reading of the menu, I settled for the main dish of shrimp and “crab” fried rice. BIG MISTAKE. The rice was cold, the shrimp mushy and the imitation crab meat was, well, imitation. The whole meal was disgusting. The 1 1/2 FOODIES is for the large amount of soy sauce I was forced to pour on that glop in order to make it even the least bit palatable. The next time I would rather skip lunch than be subjected to that treatment again.
A lot goes a long way
Pasta and meatballs is one of my “go-to” foods. It is one of those dishes that I cannot resist. Just seeing it on a menu sends endorphins ( or some other hormone) to that part of my brain that controls peace and comfort. Eating this very basic of all meals just makes me feel good and puts me in a good place. Unfortunately, it also puts me in a fat place. Eating all that pasta (remember, we get pasta here three or four times a week in one form or another), has increased my wasteline to an alarming girth. And, as of late, we seem to be getting larger and larger portions of dishes like this.
Now, to be fair I have, in the past, complained about the Lilliputian size portions we have been served, but now it seems that there is a concerted effort to pour on the pasta. And, while the amount or meatballs has increased (I got 6 of them last time) the amount or pasta has increased exponentially. This make me wonder if there is not a mathematical formula for the ratio of meat to pasta somewhere. In any event, last Wednesday’s lunch offering was, although abundant, actually good. Even the usually run of the mill meatballs were tasty as was the slightly spicier tomato sauce. Perhaps, a little smaller portion next time would be more appropriate for lunch.
A Personal Matter of Taste
I really shouldn’t do a formal review of pizza. Whether or not a pizza is good or is really a matter of what you are used to. However, no matter what form or shape the actual pie takes, there are certain “musts” that all pizzas, whether they be deep dish or thin crust, plain or topped have to have.
Say cheese please
The cheese is the pizza. Any pie that does not have cheese on it, is something other than pizza. And, it should be not be an afterthought. A sprinkling of cheese just won’t do. It has to be gloppy, gooey, runny and HOT. It’s consistency should be that of a #3 rubber band with a stretchability of at least a foot.
It’s the sauce boss
When it comes to sauce on a pizza, minimalists need not apply. Like it’s cheesy cousin, “Too much ain’t enough”.The sauce should cover the whole pie,not just the center. And, BTW, the sauce goes on before (under) the cheese, not on top of it.
Now top this
Pineapple, chicken or mango’s on a pizza, really? OK, so call me a purist, but don’t call IT a pizza with toppings better left for garnishing a tropical beverage. There is a reason why pepperoni, mushrooms, anchovies and sausage have lasted so long. They’re good and they work. And, while it’s OK for you to have what ever you want on your pie, jut don’t eat it around me. OK?
The following was sent to me by a friend and, while I cannot confirm the validity of the stats presented here, the article does bring up an interesting point.
Want to see your representative do the "Washington-two-step"?
Ask this question.
“Who died before they received Social Security? The question really is "How many, and what percentage of the total, died before they could collect Social Security?" (And how many more died after collecting just a few dollars?) Somehow, the government's math sound like a shell game.”
THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH THE
GOVERNMENT'S CALCULATION OF AVAILABLE SOCIAL SECURITY IS THEY FORGOT
TO FIGURE IN THE PEOPLE WHO DIED BEFORE THEY EVER COLLECTED A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK!!!
WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO?
Remember, not only did you and I contribute to Social Security but your employer did, too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes.
If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500.
Read that again.
Did you see where the Government paid in one single penny?
We are talking about the money you and your employer put in a Government bank to insure you and me that we would have a retirement check from the money we put in, not the Government.
Now they are calling the money we put in an entitlement when we reach the age to take it back.
If you calculate the future invested value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer's contribution) at a simple 5% interest (less than what the Government pays on the money that it borrows).
After 49 years of working you'd have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you're 95 if you retire at age 65) and that's with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!
If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you'd have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.
THE FOLKS IN WASHINGTON
HAVE PULLED OFF A BIGGER PONZI SCHEME
THAN BERNIE MADOFF EVER DID.
Entitlement my foot; I paid cash for my social security insurance!
Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!!
Remember the benefits for members of Congress?
+ free healthcare,
+ outrageous retirement packages,
+ 67 paid holidays,
+ three weeks paid vacation,
+ unlimited paid sick days.
Now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement payments entitlements?
They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when it's time for us to collect, the government is running out of money.
Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? It was supposed to be in a locked box, not part of the general fund.
Sad isn't it?
99% of people won't have the guts to forward this.
I'm in the 1%!
Contact and Comment
Stuff: The true barometer of aging
If you think that you can tell a person's age by the wrinkles on their face or the number of brown spots on the back of their hands or even the number of pills they take for every malady known to man, you would be wrong. These are only the recognizable accouterments of judging one’s seniority. However, if you really want to know the true age of a person you need to look at their stuff.
Stuff, as I define it, is everything we own that we must have. This has nothing to do with safety, health, well-being or fashion. Those “important” things we only have because we feel we must have because we feel guilty if we don’t have them. Things like fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors and a box of Band-Aids. The “real” stuff, the stuff that truly measures chronology, is the stuff we want. As an example, we should look at the various stages of life.
Kids love "stuff" and have learned to accumulate stuff at an alarming rate even at a very young age. There is the sports stuff. The balls, shoes, rackets, gloves etc. And the electronic stuff. The X-boxes and Nintendo’s. If there was a fire in the house, they would grab that stuff first. When I was a kid, my stuff consisted of my Schwinn Hornet bike, a Rawlings baseball glove and a collection of plastic model airplanes and ships. Of course, there was the ever-present “Spaldeen” rubber ball and my Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap, the brim of which was bent to a fine point.
Teenage stuff is less defined. All of those raging hormones makes them go in too many directions at once to actually gather any meaningful stuff. If I had to pin it down, I would have to say that something to do with music, either cd’s or MP3’s, would be in a teenagers stuff collection. Adults stuff, on the other hand, is much more defined.
The things that adults collect is primarily made up of personal items like fancy watches, expensive sunglasses, or stuff for the car. If they are home owners, it’s lawn mowers, power tools and barbecue grills and utensils. However, when people start to get old, a whole other meaning must be given to what we consider stuff. Looking around my room right now at my stuff, I have noticed a definite pattern emerging. And it all has to do with comfort and mobility.
The comfort part is represented by a four-inch thick slab of foam rubber that covers my mattress. It was the first thing I bought when I moved in here because frankly, the mattresses are lousy. The other stuff has to do with my mobility. I used to have a wheelchair, which gave way to a walker which became a Rollator and now, a cane. Also on the list of my stuff is glasses. Not just one pair, but now I seem to need three pairs of glasses just to get me through the day.
There is the pair for watching TV, the pair I use when I sit at the computer and the new pair, that I use for reading books and on my new piece of stuff, my Kindle tablet. All of the other stuff I own (and it isn’t much anymore) is stuff I could live without. I own a $25 wristwatch, a couple of pairs of sneakers I bought at Walmart and an antique collection of socks (all one color) and underwear (various colors). My laptop is three years old and the letters on the keyboard are wearing out (The “T” has completely disappeared) and a printer which spits ink at me like a pissed-off llama. That’s my stuff now. It’s old people's stuff. It’s stuff like balls of Kleenex in the pockets or the half-sucked on chunks of sugar-free candy at the bottom of the nightstand drawer. It’s nasal spray and eye drops and Percocet and Ben Gay. You know, stuff.
Therefore, the next time you are in a strangers room or apartment (why you are there is your business) look around. I’ll bet you can tell their age by their stuff. The exception to this rule would be Bruce/Caitlin Jenner. The mind boggles at what stuff he/she must have.
Welcoming new residents
The Executive Board of the Resident’s Council was at the forefront of something new this past week. Taking matters into their own hands (with the approval of the management), new residents to the Center were given a welcoming visit by members of the Board. Along with greetings of welcome and a pledge to help them assimilate to their new surroundings, the newcomers were given a “Welcome Basket” containing toiletries and personal items they may have forgotten to bring with them. Though we have always needed a way of formally welcoming residents to the community, it was not until now that such a committee actually came to be. This was due partly to the new management allowing members of the committee to know the names and room numbers of all new arrivals. Preliminary reports have shown that the new residents who have received these visits have found them most gratifying and beneficial..........................Ed.
The weather was on our side Saturday, rewarding us with clear, sunny skies and seasonably warm temperatures as residents and a sprinkling of friends and family participated in this year’s “Friends and Family” barbecue. This was the third such event that I have attended, and each time, the number of actual non-residents who attend seems to be less and less. Perhaps it was the lack of publicity (No formal invitations are sent out by the Center), or that many of our residents were unaware that such an event even exists, or the fact that many people have no F&F’s or those F&F’s just don’t care that caused the sparse crowd but I would have liked to see more non-residents at these functions.
New management complicates mother's living arrangement
Ombudsman steps in to aid in long-term care disputes
by Virginia Black
Paula Abraham agreed to allow her mother to be moved from one floor to another at the assisted living facility where she has lived with Alzheimer's for nearly four years.
Abraham, who had initially resisted because the move also meant her mother's condition had worsened, said Morningview Nursing Home administrators had emphasized for months that her mother would be safer and receive more care on the first floor, rather than the second.
But just a few weeks after the move, a new message came from the facility: We'd like to move your mother back upstairs. Another company had taken over management of the facility while hammering out a purchase agreement, long-term care ombudsman Kathy Hershberger said.
When Abraham protested the decision to relocate her mother so soon, she said, the facility issued a directive to move the older woman out of the facility in 30 days....
3 Tax Mistakes Senior Citizens Can’t Afford To Make
By Matthew Frankel
It's a shame to see senior citizens save and invest responsibly all their lives, and then end up giving away a large chunk of their nest egg in the form of taxes -- especially unnecessary taxes. Here are three mistakes that could cause you to pay more taxes than you need to, and what you could do instead.
What to do with your 401(k) or traditional IRA?
After retirement, senior citizens have several options with their employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s. Perhaps the worst of these is to take a lump sum distribution. Furthermore, the same can be said about other tax-deferred retirement accounts like traditional IRAs.
Now, if you're over 59 1/2 years old (or 55 if you're no longer working), it's true that you can probably take all of your money out of the plan without paying a penalty. However, keep in mind that the money you take out of the plan is added to your taxable income for the year, and a lump sum distribution could put you in a sky-high tax bracket.
For example, if you are married and you and your spouse have 401(k) accounts worth $500,000, a lump sum withdrawal would put you in the highest (39.6%) tax bracket. Even if you had no other income, this means that more than $144,000 could be taken (or about 29% of the total) right off the top...
Preserving Cognitive Health: What Works And What Doesn't
By MEGAN RAY
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 million people were living in the U.S. with various forms of cognitive impairment in 2009, including over 5 million people aged 65 or older with Alzheimer's disease. As seniors work to prevent cognitive decline, it's important to know what works to maintain a healthy brain.
In addition to knowing which activities are effective at reducing cognitive decline and which should be avoided, older adults should also be familiar with the differences between healthy cognitive aging and Alzheimer's disease. Learning how to identify the differences between the symptoms of a normal aging brain and one that is experiencing the onset of Alzheimer's is crucial for those with the disease to seek help early before the condition progresses.
Seniors should also ensure they're sticking with a nutritious diet including foods like beans, whole grains, nuts, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids to keep the brain alert and healthy.
Barbara Bush Turns 90:
Her Secret to Aging Gracefully? Pearls
BY TIERNEY MCAFEE AND TARA FOWLER
Barbara Bush shared the secret to aging gracefully in an interview with granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager on the Today show.
"You're known for your pearls," Jenna remarked to Barbara, who turns 90 on Monday.
"The pearls are to cover the wrinkles, which they no longer do," she said. "You can't wear pearls all over your face."
And as for why she never dyed her distinctive white hair? "I wanted to play golf, I wanted to play tennis, I wanted to swim. And my hair turned, as I'm sure someone else will tell you, orange, green, yellow, depending upon how much chlorine in the pool. So I decided to go white."
Barbara is celebrating her 90th birthday in style, with the re-release of her 1994 memoir, which features gushing new forewords from each of her five children.
In his foreword for Barbara Bush: A Memoir, the Bush matriarch's oldest son, former President George W. Bush, describes her as a fearless, quick-witted woman who taught her children how to "love, love, and laugh."
"Mom has a sharp and quick wit. She is not afraid to speak her mind. She is self-deprecating," he writes. "She can spot a phony before most. She deflated the pompous and arrogant. She is a pro at putting people at ease because she herself is at ease."
“Company-funded disease awareness campaigns often blur the line between public health messages that increase awareness about important diseases and infomercials meant to sell a disease to sell a drug.”
Sell a disease to sell a drug
By Steven Woloshin and Lisa M. Schwartz
Last month, in response to new FDA rules, testosterone manufacturers released new instructions for doctors making it clear that testosterone is not approved for “low-T” — a marketing term developed by drug companies to describe men with low testosterone levels caused by aging. Companies must now warn doctors about a possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke in men who take these drugs.
The FDA rules came about after the agency announced in March that it “has become aware that testosterone is being used extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging. The benefits and safety of this use have not been established.”
Why are so many men taking testosterone for an unapproved use? The nearly tenfold increase in testosterone prescriptions began in 2007 when Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie) launched its award-winning “Is It Low-T?” disease awareness campaign. The campaign has urged countless middle-age men who would like to become thinner, more muscular, more energetic and more sexually satisfied to ask their doctors whether low testosterone could be the reason they have gained weight, sometimes feel sad or grumpy, or get sleepy after meals....
Sex Hormones Maintain Stem Cells, May Explain
Why 95% Of Supercentenarians Are Women
By Stephanie Castillo
Centenarians say positivity is the key to longevity (one woman said it’s Dr. Pepper) — but new research suggests a long life comes down to an individual’s sex hormones, especially for supercentenarians. Of the 53 living supercentenarians, or men and women who’ve lived past their 110th birthday, 51 are female.
As you know, estrogen is the female sex hormone and testosterone is the male sex hormone. Stanford University researchers cited prior studies have shown a strong link between these sex hormones and stem cell maintenance. In animal studies, estrogen directly effected stem cell population in female mice, enhancing the regenerative capacity of brain stem cells. And in male mice, estrogen supplements have been shown to increase lifespan.
Similarly, human studies have shown eunuchs, or men who have been castrated, live an estimated 14 years longer than non-eunuchs. BBC reported castration prevents most of testosterone from being produced, possibly “protecting the body from any damaging effect and prolonging lifespan.” This is in line with the studies that concluded testosterone weakens the immune system, as well as increase risk for coronary heart disease.
By Alex Felser
A group of South Fayette students hoping to improve safety for senior citizens is well on its way.
Five students saw hundreds of hours of work pay off on May 29, when they were awarded first place at the Pennsylvania Governor's STEM state competition for their “Life-Safer Innovations Walker.”
The task was to design a device that would benefit the majority of Pennsylvanians.
The walker has five unique features. They include: high and low beams, an emergency alert button, an alarm that sounds if the walker falls over, easily movable wheels, and a third leg that extends for support and stability.
It sports a red, white and blue color because students learned of the stigma many associate with seeing a gray walker.
“We tried to get rid of the drag medical appearance and add some pride to the walker,”
Justice Department Takes Down Barriers in Retirement Homes
When the dispute started four years ago, residents and their children figured it would be easily resolved.
The seniors liked living at Harbor’s Edge, an upscale continuing care retirement community in Norfolk, Va. They appreciated its amenities, including River Terrace, a gracious dining room with waterfront views. When a neighbor or spouse had to move from independent living to assisted living or to the nursing unit — the very transitions this kind of graduated facility is designed to accommodate — their friendships endured.
So when management suddenly announced, in May 2011, that the River Terrace and certain activities like Fourth of July celebrations would be restricted to independent living residents and off-limits to everyone else, a number of people protested the new policy as unfair.
They expected management to see that it had blundered, preventing not only friends but several married couples from having meals together.
“You’re talking to an activist,” said a gratified Judith Schapiro, 87, a retired professor and assisted living resident who had been barred from the dining room by the policy. “It’s a big deal, to my way of thinking.”
Ensuring Care for Aging Baby Boomers: Solutions at Hand
By Elizabeth J. Bragg and Jennie Chin Hansen
The exciting news is that people living to age 65 in the United States will have an average life expectancy of an additional twenty years (Administration for Community Living, 2013). Less exciting is that even if remaining independent and living at home, seven out of ten of us will likely need assistance for three of those years (Redfoot, Feinberg, and Houser, 2013; Lynn, 2013). This assistance would include help with everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, or paying bills.
In our current structure of healthcare delivery, there are not enough trained caregivers (family or paid professionals) for older adults. However, there is another, perhaps more efficient system where we partner with patients, and, coupled with the use of evolving technology, we can focus on factors that most influence the health of a population to deliver care more effectively. We need not only to be informed of the current limits of Medicare coverage, but also to embrace a new framework that enables solutions for the best, safest, and most econo-mical care. Tweaking current solutions will be insufficient. This article explores the current landscape of healthcare delivery: the lack of preparedness and capacity of the current workforce for an aging society.
Particularly as we enter our seventies, eighties, and nineties, questions related to aging begin to take prominence. Who will we ask to honor our wishes and goals as well as to advocate for us so that we live with dignity, meaning, and security? How do we receive the best care that addresses our symptoms, perhaps through palliative care instead of unwanted medical and surgical interventions?
America is a country that will continue to innovate for needed solutions. The current situation with our healthcare delivery system calls for applying an entrepreneurial spirit and our best smarts to create work value and meet societal needs. Let us unleash the leadership needed to assure we can live in a society that provides dignity, and makes for an interdependent country that can continually learn and improve. How we provide care can—and must—transform.
6 Email Etiquette Tips that May Surprise You
by Allison VanNest
Email correspondence is simple, easy, and convenient to quickly contact coworkers and family members across the world. However, it isn’t all roses with email. If you don’t use the proper etiquette, you can end up annoying your recipients. You’ve probably already heard the basic email etiquette tips, like use a specific subject line and reply as quickly as you can, but there is more you can do to ensure that your emails resonate with the people you send them to.
Don’t Be Sorry to Bother Someone
When you start an email with, “sorry to bother you,” chances are that the recipient already feels bothered by that opening line. Those four words take seconds to read, seconds that the person could have used to find out the real point of your email. Furthermore, if you are sending a business email, you should never apologize for asking someone to do their job. You want to be polite, not obsequious.
Email is not the exclusive realm of desktop computers and laptops. People are always on the go, and they read their emails on mobile phones and tablets. It isn’t easy to read long blocks of text on a tiny screen. Keep that in mind when you’re composing your messages. Keep your paragraphs short and your message brief. If you must send a longer message, give a succinct summary near the beginning of the email so the recipient knows what’s in store and can go back to read the rest later.
Also, think about the font you use. Some artsy fonts may look fabulous on a computer screen, but they could strain the eyes on a mobile screen.
Think Before You CC
A blogger for Lifehack gives a personal experience with CC’ed emails: “I’d say about 90% of messages I’ve received where I’m not in the To: field but the CC: field were completely and totally useless to me.” Indeed, oftentimes those emails, intended to keep people in the loop, just end up being irritating white noise in the inbox....
“If we all committed to having at least one sit-down meal with our families each week, the benefits will extend beyond just our senior loved ones to the entire family.”
It’s Time to Bring Back the Sunday Dinner
by Alison Bender Kellner
When was the last time you had a sit-down meal with your family, including your senior loved ones? If the answer is, “not as often as I used to,” you’re not alone. In a recent survey of North Americans, nearly 50 percent of families living near senior relatives shared that they do not have enough sit-down dinners with senior loved ones, and that this figure has decreased since their childhood. Of those surveyed, 75 percent only sit down for a family meal with aging relatives for special occasions, events or holidays.
This decline may not be surprising to many. Often times, our busy schedules hinder theSundayDiningBenefits201506 amount of time we spend with our families. Conflicting schedules, constant rescheduling and lack of effort all play a role in the diminishing amount of family interaction. While some of us may brush this off as a natural change in lifestyle, for senior loved ones, not sitting down for meals with family or friends may be causing serious harm.
Seniors tend to have a better mealtime experience – both nutritionally and emotionally – when they share a meal with a companion. For aging adults, these meals create a special, shared moment and an important personal connection. Seniors care more about whom they are able to share their meal experience with, rather than what is on their plate....
“The Deficit Model of Aging can be defeated. Does that sound like a fight, to defeat something? You bet it is. If we use our strength toward developing a positive attitude, hope and honest reflection, perhaps we can see what all of that might mean to you in your life.”
Defeating the Deficit Model of Aging
In her June column for Psychology Today, Dr. Catherine Roland, ACA president-elect, discussed our ability to defeat the deficit model of aging by learning how to reframe perspectives on life. As we get older, we sometimes forget to recognize our strengths and achievements.
“To reframe a concept is not to negate reality, but rather a strategy in which to invest and then cultivate. Sometimes just changing an attitude or an inner direction can make an enormous difference in how we negotiate the remainder of our lives, regardless of the age we begin the reframe,” writes Dr. Roland
As we live our lives on a daily basis we tend to hope, and at times expect, that each day will be new and bright with promise. At times, things go wrong. We are disappointed, or we realize that we have attributed negatives to how old we are, what we can no longer do, how we no longer have power or position. Sometimes we prefer to isolate and hesitate to connect with others.
17 Old-Timey Swear Words That Are Anything But Offensive Today
By Yagana Shah
Remember when you were a kid and you got your mouth washed out with soap for uttering that swear word you heard on the street? Although the obvious four-letter words were off limits, sometimes we came up with our own clever sayings to express ourselves without expletives.
Whatever your curse word of choice was, it's more than likely less coarse than the expletives we hear today. We decided to ask our Facebook fans which swear words from yesteryear are nothing more than some seriously funny crud nowadays. Here's what they had to say.
1. "Doggone it!"
2. "Shoot" or "Sugar"
3. "Holy moly"
4. "Jeez Louise!"
7. "Oh, poop."
8. "Jesum Crow"
The basic recipe for a “Sauce Alfredo” is a simple one. Butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. While I don’t know exactly what ingredients our chef uses to make his version of Alfredo sauce, I can tell you that there is not enough of any of them in this sauce.
The basic concept of this past Friday’s dinner ( Chicken, pasta, green beans and Alfredo sauce) was a good one, its execution left something to be desired.
Most noticeably missing from the sauce was the cheese. There was just not enough of that “cheesy” flavor that Alfredo sauce is noted for. Also missing was the creamy consistency which makes this sauce unique among others. If I were to guess I would say that this sauce was made with milk instead of cream, some pre-grated cheese, no salt or pepper, and maybe some butter (although I suspect differently). As I said the concept was a good one which is why I gave this dish 21/2 Foodies, and I would order it again if the sauce were more authentic.
Webinar focuses on aging issues
Seniors and family members are invited to join a national webinar on aging, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. June 24. Richard Wexler, president and CEO of the San Ramon-based A Golden Hand, will discuss contemporary complexities of aging, including the financial costs of growing older, and new resources and technologies available to seniors.
Wexler’s organization, also known as Points of Life, works closely with older adults and their families to pre-plan for future challenges and provide access to a variety of services, including in-home care and assisted-living communities and professionals, such as estate planning attorneys.
RSVP at http://www.tinyurl.com/oae492v.
Contact and Comments
Inspired by an article by Laura Garcia in the Victoria (Texas) Advocate
Read the article here...
Making a senior citizen's dream come true
“Second Wind Dreams is in the business of making seniors' dreams come true.
Similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the nonprofit raises funds to grant the dreams of seniors across the country.”
Many of us have seen the film “The Bucket List” where two old men decide to fulfill their lifelong ambitions before they die. They make a list of things they have always wanted to do before the inevitable end. Fortunately, one of the old men is wealthy and can afford to do these things. For the rest of us, well, we can only dream. But the very connotation “Bucket List” describes a finality or something you do at the end of life. I prefer the words “Wish List” for something I’d like to do now just for the heck of it. Unfortunately, a list usually means that there is more than one thing I would like to experience while I still can. Henceforth, I present, in no particular or of importance or desire, my wish list.
1. Drive an eighteen-wheeler.
To those guys and gals that actually do this for a living, you are probably saying to yourself “This guy’s nuts”. Driving one of those behemoths is a tough and often thankless job. But at one time, there must have been something in the job that would make 3.5 million professional truck drivers want to do it. For me, it’s the call of the open road. Being able to travel around the country, and get paid for it, sounds pretty good. And then there is the vehicle itself. Let’s face it, guys, you know in your heart that you secretly admire anyone who sits behind the wheel of one of those dinosaurs. Up, high above the puny little cars and SUV’s, in command of a powerful piece of machinery barreling down the interstate at 80 MPH. Can’t you feel the testosterone bubbling up even now?
2. Going to sea.
No, I don’t mean booking a cruise on the Norwegian Wet dream or whatever it’s called. I mean putting out to sea, on a merchant vessel, as a passenger.* I would like it to be a long cruise, making multiple stops and different ports around the world. I’d like to experience the allure of the ocean with its grandeur and loneliness. I know I am romanticizing this a bit, but drifting through the fog, at night on the open ocean, heading for a foreign port, just seems so cool.
3. An announcer on a Spanish-language radio station.
This one may be difficult. Mainly because I have no real talent and, I don’t speak Spanish. So why would I pick such an obscure item to add to my wish list? Have you ever listened to a Spanish radio station. They all seem to be having so much fun. “Saludos Amigos”.
4. Observe “open heart” surgery.
I would have loved to be a doctor both for monetary and humanitarian reasons. Let’s face it, It’s a good job. However, since I didn’t have the smarts or the dedication to study that it takes to complete a course in medicine, I took another route. However, I have always been fascinated with the human body. The complexity, the engineering, and its frailty has always amazed me. Every time I have seen even a snippet of an operation on TV, I stayed glued to the set in utter amazement at what a skilled surgeon can do. I would love to be able to look in on a surgery from one of those “theater” type galleries.
5. Do stand-up comedy.
Making people laugh, to me, is the ultimate high. Having an audience gasp for their next breath because what you said was so funny and outrageous that they are about to faint is the epitome of what humanity is. Unless there is something we don’t know about animals, humans are the only species to tell jokes (Although I’m not too sure about dolphins). Laughter, as we all know, is the best medicine and, since I am not ever likely to actually perform open heart surgery, I would like to do the next best thing. So, if there are any up and coming joke writers that would like to send me about 20 minutes of jokes that a 69- year-old man could tell at the Improv, give me a call.
O.K., now it’s your turn. What’s on your wish list. Remember, this is not a bucket list. We’ll leave that for another, and I hope distant, time. This is what you would like to do now if money or your health was no object. It’s fun just to think about it.
*I don’t want to actually work on a freighter. That sounds too much like a job, which is not on my wish list.
Stuff around here we like
Flora and Fauna
A decent amount of warmth and bright sun, combined with some nice, soaking showers really made the flowers and plants pop this past week. The rose bushes that line our driveway are a welcome sight after a long, cold and gray winter. The new planters, strategically placed around the grounds and filled with plants by the residents provide an additional touch of color.
Stuff around here we don’t like.
The wheels of progress roll slowly here and sometimes not at all.
Although it was supposed to be a done deal and was scheduled to be initiated this month, the long-awaited new transportation option that we understood would be ready to go, has hit a snag. While we don’t know exactly what the holdup is, we do know that as for now we still do not have any scheduled, proprietary transportation available to our residents. By this time were supposed to have (provided by our ambulette service) a shuttle-type weekly bus service to and from shopping malls, restaurants, and supermarkets. We can only hope that this does not turn out to be just another empty promise.
Of microwaves and hot water
Ever since the Franklin Annex opened for residents more than two years ago, we have been asking that a microwave oven as well as a hot water faucet, just like the one already in operation in the main building, be installed in the kitchen area of the activities room. As it stands now, residents who live in the Franklin building have to travel all the way to the main building just to heat some soup or take out food or even to get some hot water for tea or coffee. This presents, not only an inconvenience, but affords some danger as well, as residents would have to carry hot beverages and food back to their rooms. We have been given various reasons why we can’t have these two very simple fixes to a problem. Neither of which makes sense.
We have been told that we can’t have a microwave oven because it would have to be monitored by a staff member all the time. This is nonsense. The microwave in the main building is not monitored at all, by anyone. As for the hot water dispensing faucet, we are told that the plumbing would cost too much. Again, nonsense. It’s just a simple connection to the water pipe that is already there. Although no final decision has been made on this request, we feel that their minds have been already made up. More lip service I’m afraid.........................Ed
It’s about time, but we need more...
After months of pleading and a couple of editorials in this blog, nice, new, and clean carpeting has replaced the disgusting worn and garbage-strewn flooring in our two elevators. While this is a major step in the right direction, a thorough cleaning or replacement of carpeting is need around the elevator lobbies on all floors as well as in some spots in the more heavily trafficked corridors.
Eggs for Arts Sake
The center is holding a staff/resident’s art show this month, where we are encouraged to enter our artwork to be displayed. Unfortunately, I work in an unconventional medium, food. Of course, food does not keep well, especially on the walls of some gallery. Therefore, the best I can do is to photograph my creations and then eat it. At least, I will never be a “starving artist”.
Independent Living Considered a Top Priority Among Seniors
By Timi Gustafson, RD
One of the most dramatic consequences of age-related deterioration is loss of independence, and it is more feared by seniors than almost any other outcome. For many, even an untimely death seems preferable to becoming beholden to others, according to surveys.
Not only do most older adults not want to become a burden to their loved ones, nearly all – 90 percent of respondents to polls – plan to live out their days in their own homes instead of entering a retirement facility.
“Aging in place,” as it is now widely called, is particularly popular among seniors who cherish the lifestyle they have become accustomed to and wish to maintain for as long as possible. Besides staying indefinitely within one’s four walls, it also includes being able to move around safely in neighborhoods and communities as well as having access to vital resources such as food outlets, public transportation, day-to-day services, places of entertainment, etc.
The concept has also given birth to a fast-growing industry that caters to these exact needs and desires. According to a new report by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, an advocacy group with focus on community building, eliminating obstacles and breaking down barriers that tend to isolate older citizens are important first steps for an aging population’s ongoing participating in communal life. Efforts to make urban and suburban surroundings more senior-friendly – for example by facilitating greater walkability – can benefit members of all ages and should therefore be universally embraced, the report suggests....
Does aging affect decision making?
From THE UNIVERSITY OF BASEL
Aging is associated with significant decline in cognitive functions. But does this translate into poorer decision making? Psychologists from the University of Basel and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development report that in simple decision situations, older adults perform just as well as younger adults. However, according to their study published in the academic journal Cognition, aging may affect decision performance in more complex decision situations.
Important decisions in politics and economics are often made by older people: According to Forbes magazine, the average age of the world's most powerful people in 2013 was 61 years. As populations across the globe age, the selection of older individuals into such powerful roles may even be further intensified.
Aging is associated with a significant decline in so-called fluid cognitive abilities, for example, the ability to store information in memory or to quickly solve cognitive problems. Fluid cognitive abilities may play a role particularly in "decisions from experience", that is, when the potential consequences of available options is not conveniently summarized but has to be acquired through information search (exploration) and learning. Thus, how do older in comparison to younger adults fare when making decisions from experience?
Goldie Hawn on the Beauty of Aging:
'It’s All About How You Make It'
By Michael Miller
At 69 years old and a grandmother of five, Goldie Hawn is embracing her golden years with open arms.
"Getting older is a fact of life," she tells Porter in their June issue. "By living mindfully you understand that there are many transitions in life. You just go through them."
According to the legendary actress, the key to happiness is all about perspective.
"It's wonderful to know you're aging, because that means you're still on the planet, right?" she jokes.
"It's all about how you make it. It's all in your mind."
Hawn's Zen attitude on life has helped her sustain one of the longest surviving partnerships between megastars in Hollywood....
By David Halberstam
The Fifties is a sweeping social, political, economic, and cultural history of the ten years that Halberstam regards as seminal in determining what our nation is today. Halberstam offers portraits of not only the titans of the age: Eisenhower Dulles, Oppenheimer, MacArthur, Hoover, and Nixon, but also of Harley Earl, who put fins on cars; Dick and Mac McDonald and Ray Kroc, who mass-produced the American hamburger; Kemmons Wilson, who placed his Holiday Inns along the nation's roadsides; U-2 pilot Gary Francis Powers; Grace Metalious, who wrote Peyton Place; and "Goody" Pincus, who led the team that invented the Pill.
Also available on Amazon for Kindle
Why Is Aging Still a Joke?
By MARC AGRONIN
“Our society has positive rituals for nearly every transition in life except for getting old. Given the fact that most of us will live well into our 80s and 90s in better physical and mental shape than previous generations, perhaps we need to develop both symbols and ceremonies to celebrate what we gain with age, rather than bemoaning what we lose.”
The news, it seems, is not good. Health-care costs will be overwhelmed, we are told, by the “silver tsunami” that is on the way. Even a gentler description of the coming “age wave” as opposed to a destructive flood still seems to portend trouble. World War G-for-geriatric is at hand and, lacking any true fountain of youth, we are all counseled by the media to train our brains to be like younger folk–supposedly stronger, smarter and less of a burden to the system.
I was reminded of this incipient ageism at a recent 50th birthday party for a colleague who was presented with several gag gifts including an “Over the Hill Survival Kit” containing a package of “50 sucks” lollipops, a magnifying glass, and the “old geezer lost yer marbles” replacement pack.
According to these gifts, all we have to look forward to as we age is a downward slide into a geezerdom characterized by Shakespeare as “sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”
You may grow old before anyone
develops an anti-aging therapy
By Consumer Reports
Though age often confers wisdom, we all want to feel youthful in mind and body. The quest to keep age-related physical and cognitive changes at bay has created a huge industry that includes hormone therapies that promise vigor and dewy skin, intravenous vitamin cocktails for energy, and drugs to boost cognition. While the prospect of slowing the clock is tantalizing, evidence suggests that there’s no anti-aging magic bullet yet. Consumer Reports helps you put common anti-aging practices in perspective.
Proponents say that drugs known in some circles as “smart” — some of them prescription-only, others sold over the counter or online — can improve memory, focus and attention.
There’s limited evidence that nootropics improve cognition. And some may cause side effects or interact with medicine you’re already taking. In addition, what’s on a container’s label might not reflect what’s inside unless the supplement has been verified by a group such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia.
There’s little evidence in humans that supplements have anti-aging properties, and you can’t be sure that what’s listed on labels is what’s in the container. As with all supplements, the ones mentioned above can interact with drugs you take, and they haven’t gone through the FDA approval process required for prescription medications. Also, some supplements pose health hazards, especially at the high doses that proponents may recommend.
Nutrient infusions won’t extend your life and may in fact harm you. And they’re pricey: Consumer Reports found practices charging $75 to about $150 for one. Instead, stick with a well-balanced diet.
The life of an aging baby boomer
Population scientists describe the Baby Boom generation as anybody born between the years 1946 and 1964. Which means the youngest of the Baby Boomers turned 50 last year, and the oldest will turn 70 next year, which is just so wrong. We Boomers are the architects of the youth culture. We invented young people for crum’s sakes. We’re the Pepsi Generation ... that had a minor fling with Coke.
But fear not. As we evidenced throughout the entirety of our flower-powered history, this autumn of our lives will be charged into with unwavering optimism, a firm commitment to affect positive change and pockets full of drugs.
The first item of business that needs to be put in order is the nomenclature. Is it really necessary to refer to us as elderly seniors winding down our golden years? We’re vintage. Classic. Enduring. Seasoned. Steadfast. Resilient. Ripe. And accumulating ripagosity every day.
But all you kids out there shouldn’t think that growing old is all gloom and doom. No. No. No. There’s an equal amount of marvelous traveling hand in hand with the gruesome. Compare for yourself, the 10 major advantages and disadvantages of being an aging baby boomer.
The 10 Major Disadvantages to Being an Aging Baby Boomer:
1. Exorbitant cost of replacement parts.
2. Sex and drugs and rock and roll and now naps.
3. When acid flashbacks meet dementia. On Prozac.
4. Turns out that old adage was right: the good DO die young. Which explains why we’re still here.....
Stop killing grandma with kindness
By Travis Saunders, Phd, MSc, CEP
Aging is associated with reduced fitness, weaker bones, reduced insulin sensitivity, reduced muscle strength, and reduced balance. Lack of physical activity is also associated with all of those things. This isn’t a coincidence – many (probably most) of the health impacts of aging are not really due to aging at all.
You see, there are 2 types of aging. Eugeric aging, which you can think of as “true” aging. The stuff you simply cannot avoid as you get older (e.g. hearing loss, or reduced eyesight).
But there is also “pathogeric” aging, which refers to pathological aging (e.g. aging that’s unnecessary/unhealthy). Almost all the really scary things that we attribute to aging (weak bones, bones, heart, lungs, etc) falls into this category, and are much more likely to be caused by too little exercise/too much sitting, rather than aging itself.
I bring this up because I’m concerned that we are currently killing our elders with kindness. We don’t let them carry their dishes to the sink (“Mom, sit down! I can get that!”). We won’t let them do chores. We worry if they have to go up and down stairs on a daily basis. We get angry if they go for a walk without a chaperone. We force them to sit to conserve their energy. All of this flies in the face of evidence, and common sense. Picture the healthiest older adult that you know – do they spend their day sitting down, or do they spend their days walking, skiing, or dancing? It’s not a coincidence.
Retirees Aging at Home Must Be
on Guard Against Scammers
By Juliette Fairley
“Retirees should be clear about who will be arriving
at their home, and at what time on the designated day, and should ask the representative to show a photo ID upon arrival.”
Retirees often downsize or move to warmer states like Florida, New Mexico or Arizona. But many Boomers have an age-in-place agenda: They don't plan to leave their current homes until they are well into retirement -- and may never relocate at all -- according to a new survey from HomeServe USA, which provides home repair service plans.
This trend toward inertia is pervasive and potentially problematic: Some 41% of Americans ages 50 and over plan to live in their current homes until they're 81 or older, and the average age they say they intend to stay in their current homes until is 79. But aging at home offers no guarantee of safety, and retirees can be left particularly vulnerable.
"It's not difficult for con artists to gain access to seniors' homes and information. Even handy types eventually find themselves in need of outside experts."
The most common home emergency for boomers involves their homes' heating or air conditioning units: 14% of those surveyed needed to repair or replace one of these systems at some point in the past year. The next most-common issues were blocked or overflowing toilets, followed by electrical problems.
Sex in the Nursing Home
Facilities are finally grappling with
the fact that residents have sex lives
by Paula Spencer Scott,
- A nursing home aide discovers a Kentucky couple, who aren't married to each other, naked in the same bed together.
- A woman in Iowa complains when her roommate's husband, who doesn't live in the facility, climbs in his wife's bed to snuggle and, she claims, have sex.
- A man likes to fondle fellow residents in his Minnesota dementia-care unit; nobody assesses whether the women invite or welcome the touch or are being assaulted.
As if moving aging parents into a long-term care facility wasn't painful enough, now comes this uncomfortable twist: getting calls about their sex lives there. (Remember when roles were reversed when it came to fretting about sex drives?)
In the wake of several high-profile cases, facilities — eager to avoid liability — have begun to develop guidelines that preserve residents' right to pursue sexual pleasure in privacy, while protecting them from unsafe, unwanted or abusive situations. So far only about a quarter of facilities have policies on intimacy and sexual behavior, according to a 2013 survey by AMDA — the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Almost half said that developing a policy was "planned" or "uncertain."...
PRESENTED WITHOUT COMMENT
By Jon Hamilton
“If you give a chimp an oven, he or she will learn to cook.”
That's what scientists concluded from a study that could help explain how and when early humans first began cooking their food.
"This suggests that as soon as fire was controlled, cooking could have ramped up," says Alexandra Rosati, an evolutionary biologist at Yale and a co-author of the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.
The device was actually just a bowl with a false bottom that held cooked food. The researchers didn't use fire because it could have injured the chimps, and because some chimps might have already seen how humans used it to cook food.
"You can think of it as a chimpanzee microwave where, basically, if the chimpanzees placed raw food in the device and then we shook the device, [the food] came out cooked," says Rosati, who will be moving from Yale to Harvard this summer.
After providing the "oven," Rosati and Warneken gave the chimps slices of uncooked white sweet potato. "At first, the chimps pretty much ate the food. But then you almost could see them have this insight like, Oh, my goodness, I can put it in this device and it comes back cooked," Rosati says.
About half the chimps became regular users of the faux oven, Rosati says. And those chimps pretty much ignored a second device that returned their food uncooked....
Other experiments showed that chimps understood the concept of cooking.
This Week’s Dining at the Center
Lots of Chicken, lots of cheese
Lots of carbs, lots of flavor
Though I often go on a rant about the all of the carb-laden foods we are forced to eat around here, I know that once and a while we need to have some in our diets. And to me, there is not a finer or more delicious way of packing away the carbs than pasta. Pasta is your basic comfort food and, combined with a tangy tomato sauce and some nice gooey Parmesan cheese, well, you've got the perfect meal. Now, if you go a step further and add one of my favorite things to eat in the whole world, eggplant Parmesan to the mix, it’s the best thing you can eat with your clothes on.
Editor’s note: Yes, I know that this is not the healthiest meal you can eat. And that a constant diet of food like this will most likely kill you, but man does not live on what’s best for him. Sometimes he needs a little fun too.
I would have liked to be able to clean up the plate a bit before I took a picture of it, but why? After all, this is exactly the way I like it. Gooey, gloppy and good.
Continuing with this week’s festival of chicken, pasta and Parmesan cheese, Saturday night’s dinner fit right in. Some diners may think that we have had too much pasta and cheese this week, but as for me, too much ain’t enough. I love the combination, especially when it’s served hot. And hot it was. The cheese melded perfectly with the tender slices of chicken breasts and marinara sauce. Even the pasta side dish was done right, al dente and garlicky.* I struggled with myself not to ask for more. Instead, I gave this 31/2 Foodies.
*Editor’s note: Not only was the spaghetti al dente, but for once, they didn’t chop it into small pieces.
Having eaten this dish, and written about many times in the past, I see no reason to bore you with yet another review.. I’ll just say that the grilled chicken breast with teriyaki sauce is OK and leave it at that. What I will say about this dish really needs no words. Just one look at the photo will tell you what’s wrong with this dish. In case you haven’t guessed, it’s the inordinate amount of rice. In fact there was so much fried rice that it was difficult to say what was the main dish and what was the side dish. Look, we all know that rice is cheap and that the price of chicken is rising due to an outbreak of bird flu and the subsequent culling of the chicken flocks, but really, is it necessary to give us so much rice?
(c) 2015 BWC
A new page containing a collection of all our “At The ALF” cartoons may be found at:
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I am an animal
As far as I know, human beings are the only animal species that retire. I have never seen a lion or tiger or elephant that wasn’t doing something all the time. Yes, I know animals rest, but then they have to go hunt or forage for food or take care of the youngsters. Of course, this is most likely due to the fact that there is no Social Security or pension plans for animals. But wait, up until 80 years ago, we American human beings had no Social Security either. The first private pension plan was not established until 1940 (by General Motors) which meant that retirement is something relatively new to humans which means that to do nothing is not a natural state for us. Therefore, when it comes time for us to “hang it up” as it were, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. Even if it’s not actual work, we still have the need to get up and just do something.
If you are fortunate enough to have a chunk of money, there is always travel. Today, travel is a lot of work though. There are stingy airlines and surly flight attendants to deal with as well as crowded terminals and hotels and restaurants. Most people are tireder when they return from a trip than when they started. RV’s are nice, but remember, you wanted to get away from home, not carry it with you. See, I told you this retirement thing isn’t easy.
O.K. Let’s say you just want to get to the things that you have been promising yourself you would get to when you retired, like re-seeding your lawn or painting the house. Wow, that’s exciting. It’s just like being back at work. You have to plan and purchase materials, learn how to use them, maybe even do some manual labor. “Alright, I’m ready to begin”, you say. “Right after I take a little nap.” You wake up four hours later and it’s dark out. “Better wait for tomorrow”, you theorize. “It’s gonna be bedtime soon anyway”. Of course, you never get around to actually doing any of that work because, after all, you’re retired.
I consider myself fortunate. Manual labor was never in my plans. I have no desire to build or repair anything. A trip to the mall satisfies all of my wanderlust requirements. So, what do I do with my time? As much as I need to do. I have found that one of the great pleasures of retirement is the ability of not having to extend oneself. And, I am under no obligation to finish anything which bothers me sometimes, but that quickly passes. In fact, right now I have 75,000 words of a novel I started to write with no desire to finish it. It lays there, on my hard drive, like some giant unfinished tapestry waiting for the weaver to return to the loom. But the weaver does not want to. He’s bored. He wishes he could start a new tapestry but does not want to unravel the one he started. Frustrating as hell, isn’t it?
Coincidently, I have this blog thing which keeps me busy. But it’s not like a job or anything. It’s more like having a conversation with friends than doing something meaningful. It’s good because I can attend to it when I please. Today, for instance, I was up a 4:30 clicking away at the keyboard. Why, because I could. When I’m not blogging or Facebooking or emailing, I’m reading. I got this Kindle gadget recently and I love it. All of those nice, free (or cheap) books to download. I don’t even have to read all of them, but I can if I want to. And maybe that’s what retirement is all about anyway. It’s freedom. It’s the prerogative to do stuff or not to do stuff and to stop doing it if it bores me, like now.
Assisted living facilities use ambulances — a lot
By Macklin K. Reid
Ambulances rush out, sirens blaring, more and more often. Emergency medical services are keeping the fire department busier than ever. The population is aging. There are more calls for medical help at assisted living complexes — and there’s pressure to build more of them.
“Another facility like this will have a major impact,”
“Our EMS calls have increased 144% over 10 year, 14% a year.”
Editor’s note: Our facility has three or more ambulance visits a day of which only a small number are emergencies. Fortunately, we are in a comparatively large community that has the resources to handle multiple EMS calls. The problem arises when small communities, in a effort to help their senior population, approve the construction of an assisted living facility without thinking the whole thing through. City planners don’t realize that ALF’s provide only a limited amount of medical care for their residents. Most don’t even have a full time RN on duty. Therefore, when a resident sustains even a minor injury or just says “I don’t fell well” , it’s off to the E.R. they go.
Aging Catholic nuns get care at Jewish nursing home
By JIM FITZGERALD
“This has succeeded more that we could have imagined, From the beginning, they talked about continuing their ministry here, and they’ve touched the other residents and staff from the day they arrived. You’ll see, in the dining room, they don’t sit all together, they sit with the other residents. The people here love them.”
It’s an unusual situation that reflects a reality of the nation’s Catholic nuns in the 21st century: Fewer young women are devoting their lives to religious orders, and those who are already nuns are aging and facing escalating health care needs.
There are now more sisters over age 90 than under age 60, said Mary Gautier, a researcher at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. The center’s 2009 study found that 80 percent of the nuns in the country were over 60.
“Their model of caring for their older sisters is no longer sustainable,” said Robin Eggert, president of the Realm consulting group, which has worked with several nuns’ orders to find solutions.
Eggert said a number of women’s religious orders have partnered with outside organizations offering skilled nursing, assisted living and other levels of care, but “We’ve never done Jewish before.”
The Sisters of Charity of New York has seen its numbers decline from a 1960s peak of 1,350 to 270 today, and no new sisters had joined in the U.S. in 20 years. It was the first order to put out a request for proposals that was answered by the nonprofit Jewish Home Lifecare. Two other orders based in Manhattan, the Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary and the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, followed.
“Medicaid is a poor people's, means tested program. Even among those who have lobbied on behalf of Medicaid, poor people's programs are not high on the reputable list.”
No Birthday Celebration for Medicaid?
By Harry Brill
July 30 this year will be a very special day -- the celebration of the 50th birthday of Medicare, which serves mainly senior citizens. But although President Johnson signed both Medicare and Medicaid bills on July 30, 1965, senior citizen organizations as well as hundreds of labor and community organizations will be commemorating only Medicare. The progressive national senior citizen organization, The Alliance for Retired Americans, is concerned that Congress may seek to privatize Medicare. So The Alliance views the celebration as an opportunity to remind members of Congress of how important the program is. But Medicaid, which serves older Americans, is facing major cutbacks. Yet, little or nothing is being planned for Medicaid, which serves low-income individuals and families of any age.
How do we explain this pattern of omission? You probably can make a very good guess. Medicaid is a poor people's, means tested program. Even among those who have lobbied on behalf of Medicaid, poor people's programs are not high on the reputable list. So not surprisingly a celebration that included Medicaid might not be met with enthusiasm among the middle class, and it could therefore tarnish the celebration of Medicare. In short, why take chances. The problem is that this is a defeatist attitude. The public needs to be educated on the value of social programs, even when the poor are the main constituents. ...
Writer missed mark on
By Ken Hamm Sr.
“It is about time to stop trying to convince a younger generation that an older generation is trying to rip them off.”
Megan McArdle — a writer on economics, business and public policy — wrote an article titled “Retirement Entitlement,” printed in the Review-Journal on April 19.
Once again we have someone writing about social security and how it is destroying this country. (Read between the lines.)
This person, who obviously does not or will not in the future need this paltry sum to survive, offers no solutions to fund this program. She only says the government should not be the one to find or fund a solution.
The average non-worker over the age of 65 collects $1,172 per month. The current poverty level set by the U.S. government for a single person is $972.50 per month. This is a difference of $199.50 per month. No nonworker over the age of 65 is getting rich on Social Security.
Aging Baby Boomers, Childless, and Unmarried,
At Risk of Becoming ‘Elder Orphans’
With an aging Baby Boomer population and increasing numbers of childless and unmarried seniors, nearly one-quarter of Americans over age 65 are currently or at risk to become “elder orphans,” a vulnerable group requiring greater awareness and advocacy efforts, according to new research by a North Shore-LIJ geriatrician and palliative care physician.
“We have a sense that this will be a growing population as society ages and life expectancy increases, and our government and society need to prepare how to advocate for this population,” said Dr. Carney, senior author of the research, which was completed in collaboration with colleagues from the health system and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
“There is potentially no structure to address this population as this population is hidden right before us,” added Dr. Carney, who calls the group elder orphans because they are aging alone and unsupported, with no known family member or designated surrogate to act on their behalf. “Our goal is to highlight that this is a vulnerable population that’s likely to increase, and we need to determine what community, social services, emergency response and educational resources can help them.”
5 Great Gift Ideas for Moms
(Or Dads) in Assisted Living
“Although assisted living spaces are designed to accommodate mobility issues, they can’t account for every need. This May, give a gift that helps Mom stay active, independent and healthy.”
Five ideas for making assisted living a safer, more comfortable place for Mom:
1. Big-button amplified phone: Although Mom may be enjoying some independence in assisted living, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. For moms who are hard of hearing or visually impaired, this phone can answer those challenges. Features include a lighted flashing ringer, oversized back-lit keys, photo options for preset numbers and talking caller ID.
2.Stander mobility products: For moms who have trouble with mobility, consider independence tools by Stander. The Assist-A-Tray, ideal for helping seniors comfortably rise from a seated position, features an ergonomic handle, swivel tray with cup holder and utensil compartment. Stander’s Curved Grab Bar lends a hand anywhere in a living space, including the bathroom if additional help is needed....
What One Drink Can Do to Your Heart After 65
By T. Jared Bunch, MD
Each day, regardless of what we do, our hearts get older. We can modify the impact of aging by careful lifestyle choices, but we can’t prevent it completely. I recently sent a 90-year-old patient for a surgery. I told the surgeon that she was very active, fit, and healthy, and because of this I felt she would do well in the surgery. Despite being 90 years old, I said, she looks much younger.
The surgeon responded, “She is still 90 on the inside.”
When we age, everyone can see the outward changes. However, many changes occur on the inside. Some of these changes relate to how we break down, metabolize, and process food, alcohol, drugs, and supplements. For this reason, drug-related side effects are more common in the elderly. Also, elderly patients are much more likely to experience drug-to-drug interactions when using multiple medications. Drugs that were once beneficial can cause significant side effects, or become hazardous, just because the person taking them is aging.
Alcohol and Your Heart
Alcohol has both potential beneficial and harmful properties for your body. I will focus on the heart and vascular system-related effects.
Excessive alcohol use can be directly toxic to your heart. As a heart toxin, alcohol can injure the heart muscle and, research shows, lead to severe weakening and congestive heart failure in alcoholics. Unfortunately, as a physician who treats cardiac diseases, I commonly see alcohol-related heart failure. Fortunately, most people do not use alcohol excessively.
Does Fasting Slow Aging?
By Cliff Singer
Dear Feaster: Does fasting slow aging? Surprisingly, that might be true. But it depends what you mean by “fasting”. Prolonged fasting can obviously lead to malnutrition and early death. On the other hand, there is evidence that intermittent, brief fasting may have significant health effects in people whose overall health could tolerate 16 to 24 hours with little or no food (but ample fluids!). Google “intermittent fasting” and you’ll find dozens of websites and blogs that taut health benefits from periodic calorie deprivation. Dr. Andrew Weil’s Huffington Post column from August 6, 2012, provides a nice summary of the rationale for intermittent fasting and some of the benefits seen in animal and human studies. Dan Buettner, creator of the famous “Blue Zone” books and “Blue Zone Project” that promotes healthy lifestyles for long life, recommends going 16 hours a day (or night) without food. He confines his caloric intake to two meals a day over an 8 hour period of time (a large morning meal and a smaller one early evening). And there actually is a lot of compelling research in animal models of human disease that supports health effects of fasting. There are fewer studies in humans, but so far, the data suggest that fasting has health benefits in people as well.
Many of these published studies rely on alternate-day fasting paradigms, in which experimental animals and people are given more than their usual amount of food one day (175% or “feasting”), and less the next (25% or “fasting”). That adds up to normal caloric intake over two days, so no weight loss occurs. ..
Nuts For Longevity:
Daily Handful Is Linked To Longer Life
Americans have not always been in love with nuts. Think about it: They're loaded with calories and fat. Plus, they can be expensive. But Americans' views — and eating habits — when it comes to nuts are changing. Fast. There's a growing body of scientific evidence that's putting a health halo over supermarkets' expanding nut aisles.
Earlier this year, a large diet study concluded that people who eat a Mediterranean-style diet supplemented with daily portions of nuts and olive oil have significantly lower risks of heart attacks and strokes. And just last month, more evidence emerged that snacking on nutshelps control our appetites, which may stave off weight gain.
Now, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that people in the habit of eating a daily handful (a 1-ounce serving) of nuts are more likely to live longer compared with people
Can coconut fat keep brains from aging too fast?
By Gitte Frandsen-U. Copenhagen
More fuel for Brain Cells
Our brain has a constant need for fuel in the form of either sugar or so-called ketones. Ketones are the brain’s fuel reserve, and, in particular, play an important role in periods of low blood sugar levels, for example, if you are fasting.
This is because the body breaks down fat if it needs sugar, and during this process it produces ketones.
“In cells from children with Cockayne syndrome, we have previously demonstrated that aging is a result of the cell repair mechanism being constantly active. It eats into the resources and causes the cell to age very quickly.
“We therefore hope that a diet with a high content of coconut oil or similar fats will have a beneficial effect, because the brain cells are given extra fuel and thus the strength to repair the damage,” says Morten Scheibye-Knudsen from the National Institute of Health.
The Nordea-fonden through the Center for Healthy Aging supported the research, which appears in the journal Cell Metabolism….Source: University of Copenhagen
Video: Aging Socialist Re-Announces Presidential Campaign, Flanked by Millionaires
By Guy Benson
And I'm not even talking about Hillary's big re-launch. Those millionaires are crunchy ice cream magnates Ben and Jerry, who hail from Sanders' home state of Vermont, so I'm trolling a bit. But this is all technically accurate:
Bernie being introduced by two rich, old, white males who made millions running an international corporation
Tennis legend Billie Jean King touts active aging
By Adam Lidgett
“Older people need younger people, and younger people need older people,” King said. “I always loved hanging out with older people, you learned so much from them. When I was a player I would purposely talk to older players, they had the funniest stories — it’s mentoring without realizing it.”
Although she doesn’t play tennis quite as much as she once did, former World No. 1 tennis player and social activist Billie Jean King knows the importance of staying busy as you get older.
“I want to live, I don’t want to just sit around and wait,” King said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “I don’t care what age, you want to have purpose to your life just like you would at any other age.”
The tennis legend spoke at Atria Cutter Mill senior living facility in Great Neck as Atria’s active aging ambassador on Tuesday to highlight to both residents and staff how important it is to maintain an active lifestyle as one gets older.
More and More Senior Citizens
Maintaining an Active Sex Life
“You don’t stop having sex because you get older. If you stop having sex, then you get older.”
According to Dr. Dudley Danoff, an author and expert in the field of urology, the increase in sexual intercourse in older Americans can be attributed to a number of factors. Top on the list is that more Americans are living longer.
Danoff, who began his practice over 40 years ago, says that initially he saw on average one patient a month who was 100 years of age or older. Now, he says he averages two to three such patients in a week.
However, an increase in older Americans is not the only reason for the spike. In years past, men who lived long lives often had physical obstacles to engaging in intercourse. But with the advent of medications like Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, etc., a greater number of male senior citizens are able to enjoy an active sex life.
Tips can help with
senior travel success
By Al Lawrence
Summer is fast approaching and you're looking to take advantage of the warmer weather or planning a summer vacation trip. How do you make sure you have the best possible experience?
Kimberly Schwind, spokeswoman for AAA Ohio Auto Club, said when looking for senior-friendly destinations, travelers need to think about what they want to do, how much time they want to spent actually traveling to the destination and how much activity they want to participate in.
"Many destinations market themselves as senior-friendly, but that doesn't mean it's for all seniors," she said. "Not all senior travelers are alike, and it all comes back to what they are looking for in their destination and their personal interests."
Although accessibility is not the issue it used to be, mobility and whether or not a destination requires a lot of walking still are concerns. Although people 60 and older are more mobile than ever, a number use canes and other walking aids.
“Steps are another potential obstacle she tries to avoid.”
Cost is another factor in choosing a trip destination because many seniors are on fixed incomes. Stittner tries to get senior rates and group discounts that often vary from place to place and at different times of day.
1 in 5 women will have a stroke. Are you at risk?
Women and Stroke: Are You at Risk?
By: Million Hearts and American Stroke Association
Stroke—sometimes called a brain attack—happens when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. This serious health condition can also lead to life-changing complications and long-term disability.
Although anyone can have a stroke at any age, women are more likely than men to have a stroke and to die from it. May is American Stroke Month , a good time to raise awareness about the special challenges women face related to stroke.
Learn Your Risk
Women and men share stroke risk factors you can’t modify or control (family history, age, gender, ethnicity, previous stroke and heart disease) and many you can control (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and smoking).
However, some stroke risk factors are unique or stronger among females. Women who have a history of gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, use birth control pills, or use hormone therapy during or after menopause are at increased risk for stroke. Additionally, some risk factors like migraines with aura and atrial fibrillation are more prevalent among women.
Everyone can reduce their stroke risk through education and healthy lifestyle behaviors. Here are seven steps to follow:.....
A Buncha Lunches
I don’t know if it was this blog’s constant lambasting of this dish or the Chef finally came to his senses, but last week’s mac & cheese was right on target.
For months now, I have pleaded for “real” mac and cheese. And by real I meant like what comes out of the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box with its tender pasta and gooey, gooey processed cheddar cheese flavor, unadulterated by bread crumb toppings or “funny” cheeses. And now, it appears, we have finally got it. In fact, I was so thrilled by seeing this dish in front of me last week, that I could not wait to pick up my spoon and dig in. I ate a half bowl of the stuff before I realized that I didn’t take a picture of it. Thumbs up with four Foodies for this.
Things are looking up in the dining room these days, and as an example I can site last Thursday’s lunch which consisted of something out of the ordinary, a burrito.
Due to the supposed delicate nature of some of our resident’s digestive systems, there has been a tendency to stay away from anything that might be considered even the least bit spicy. Of course that leads to foods that are not only less volatile, but tasteless as well. However, the beef and bean burrito, combined with some nicely seasoned salsa and cool guacamole on the side made this south of the border treat actually worthy of praise. And, as you can see from the photo above, it was a delight for the eyes as well as the pallet.
This sandwich should have stayed in the box it came from
I have a confession to make. I have never tasted a real McDonald’s McRib sandwich. The only thing I know about this comes from anecdotes and stories told by others. I have heard fast food aficionados extol its virtues and actually cry when they took it off the menu. Therefore, when Sunday’s luncheon bill of fare displayed this new (to us) item on it, i could not wait to try it. Unfortunately I, and many of my fellow diners left disappointed.
As I said, I never tasted the genuine article, so I won’t compare what we had to that. I will let it stand on its own merits, of which there were little.
Let’s start with the meat (the supposed star of this meal). To say that it was tough and, chewy would be putting it mildly. It was a struggle for me to bite into, and I have a full set of my own choppers. Many of my fellow diners whose fangs are more “demountable” could not chew it at all as indicated by the large number of half-eaten and leftover sandwiches I observed as I exited the dining room. Even the addition of a slice of cheese (not on the original) could make this wannabee palatable. The only redeeming feature was the tangy bar-b-cue sauce which kind of made it taste somewhat authentic. I’ll give this clunker 2 Foodies for the effort and the sauce.
Yes, it’s another “You know you’re getting older when” list.
35 Signs That You're Definitely Getting Old(er)
By Ann Brenoff
You want to know the real signs of aging? It took the Huff/Post50 team and its Facebook fans about five minutes to come up with these 35 ways you know you are getting older. Feel free to add your own signs of aging in the comments below.
27. You still prefer to print out directions from Mapquest than to squint at them on your phone.
28. You hear yourself and you sound just like your mother. (H/T: Suzan Michelson Cano)
29. You build raised garden beds so you don't have to kneel in the garden.
30. You haven't seen so much belly fat since your last pregnancy.
31. You could easily see yourself spending every day on the beach collecting sea glass and seashells. (H/T: Jeanne Uelk Champion)
32. You remember when the @ sign was only used in math problems. (H/T: Flo Selfman)
33. Sometimes when you stand up fast, you feel yourself losing balance. (H/T: Elena Corral)
34. You know at least three people who died last year who were your age or younger.
35. You clicked on this post.
Contact and comments
Are you happy now?
(Or is it just the medication)
I mull the question of whether or not I am happy over in my mind sometimes when I’m alone in my 10X20 foot room or sitting out on the patio catching some rays. Offhand, one would think that the answer to such a singular question would be easy. After all, you are either happy or you are not. But, if one really begins to think, that very simple word, “happiness” has complexities far beyond its three syllables.
Looking up the word “happiness” in a book doesn’t help much. Happiness, as defined by most dictionaries, only tells you that it is “The state of being happy”. Some help that is. Perhaps some of the synonyms would be helpful in narrowing down what happiness is. Let’s see, there are pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction and a bunch of others. And, while these are all good words, none of them seems to get to the heart of it all. If happiness can mean all of those things maybe the opposite of happiness would be more defined than its similarities. Antonyms, that’s what I need. That will give me a good idea of what happiness is all about.
Oops, I spoke too soon. According to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Happiness, the opposite of happiness is “misery”. That’s right. While there are a dozen synonyms for happiness, there is only one word for the opposite of happiness. And, I can say for sure that not being happy does not automatically make me miserable. It means that I am just a little less happy. Darn! We are back to defining happiness again. O.K., Let’s give it another try. Perhaps there is no universal definition for “happy”. Just as there is no universal interpretation of beauty, perhaps happiness too, is in the eyes of the beholder. That actually makes more sense. What is a happy state for me may be a miserable (or at least an uncomfortable) situation for you? Therefore, in order to answer the question of whether or not we are happy, we must try to find the last place, time, activity or state of being that made us happy. Unfortunately, at least for me, this will take some work.
Five, yes, I think I was five (or maybe 7 or 8) years old when I last was happy. And why shouldn’t have I been happy. I was living rent free, no job to speak of, eating some really good food, no money worries, no boss, no ex-wife and absolutely no responsibilities except to put my toys away and not to cross the street alone. But that was 65 years ago.
No, that can’t be the last time I was truly happy. And besides, being a happy 5-year-old doesn’t count in the happiness tournament. Only adults can really know what happiness is. Kids have not had the a qualifying amount of unhappiness to be considered as serious contenders. Now let me think. Happy.
A new directory containing all of our staff’s telephone extensions and email addresses is now available only on this website. This list will not be printed or handed out to residents. If you ask for a printed copy, you may not get one. While we do not know why there is so much secrecy related to this list, we here at THEBLOG are not bound by such matters. Please click on the link below to this directory...
I was asked to post this notice online by our Recreation Director. While I don’t mind posting anything of interest to our residents, I think there may be some confusion about who exactly reads this blog. The majority of people who follow this blog on a regular basis are from out of town, sometimes far out of town like India, Brazil and some place called California. Now, while I would love to meet you all, I doubt that you will be in the area on June 18th. However, if you are, you are welcome to attend as my guest (sort of). It will cost you $10. Remember, you have to make a reservation with our chef.
At one time, there was a Resident’s Facebook page. It was designed as a way to communicate with residents and their families by listing upcoming events and happenings around the Center. It would have also been a way for residents (and relatives) to ask questions and express concerns. I spent many hours designing and editing that page. I posted photos of all of our events as well as notices such as the one above. Unfortunately, only 14 people “friended” us, nobody cared. Finally, out of frustration, I stopped attending to it. No sense beating a dead (and unwanted) horse. The page, though unused, still exists....
Providers Weigh In On Tobacco,
Booze in Senior Living
By Cassandra Dowell
As senior living communities increase efforts to promote resident and employee wellness, providers are balancing policies that both ban and permit tobacco and alcohol products.
More than 75% of senior living communities are smoke-free, according to a recent Ziegler CFO Hotline survey. The survey by specialty investment bank Ziegler included responses from 152 chief financial officers nationwide.
Another CFO said the community is considering going smoke-free “due to many complaints from current residents.”
When it comes to alcohol, communities are much more accepting.
More than 71% of respondents say they serve alcohol in their dining venues, social areas or at special events.
The latest info on stories we have recently posted
Residents rally for future of Park Slope assisted living facility
BROOKLYN - People rallied outside the Supreme Court building in Downtown Brooklyn ahead of a hearing over the future of a Park Slope assisted living facility.
Only seven tenants remain in Prospect Park Residence, which was once home to 130 people in their 90s.
Family members say a year ago, they were given a 90-day notice to start relocating their relatives.
Since then, they claim quality of life has deteriorated for the remaining residents.
Community members rallied to demand a new receiver or person take over the building.
They claim the landlord, Haysha Deitsch, wants to sell the building and knew about it long ago, while still accepting applications for new residents.
In court, attorneys for the facility operator argued that the Department of Health should pay for the receiver due to a lack of funds.
However, attorneys for the DOH say the department doesn't want to help residents that are actually suing the agency.
Read more here...
Alzheimer's patient deemed incompetent,
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Prosecutors say they will not file criminal charges against an 87-year-old Alzheimer's patient accused of killing his roommate at an assisted living facility in Lakewood.
The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office said Friday the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo had deemed Homer Castor incompetent. Prosecutor Scott Storey says Castor will likely spend the rest of his life in the institute.
Police say Castor beat 76-year-old Gerald Propp to death on Feb. 21 in the room they shared at Atria Applewood.
Staff at the facility said Castor's mental illness made him difficult to understand and at times aggressive. An earlier encounter between the roommates left Propp, a fellow dementia sufferer, with scratches on his neck.
Go to website...
The Wonder of Aging:
A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty
By Michael Gurian
The New York Times bestselling author of The Wonder of Boys offers a holistic and uplifting look at the emotional, spiritual, and cognitive dimensions of aging—and how to celebrate life after fifty.
You know you are getting old when…
Aging is accompanied by a lot of physical changes. It’s not fair
You know you are getting old if…
It takes two tries to get up from the couch.
It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.
It takes twice as long to look half as good.
Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.
You give up all your bad habits and still don't feel good.
You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going.
Rocking in a rocking chair feels like a roller coaster ride.
Your knees buckle, and your belt won't.
You have that “morning after” feeling when you wake up, but you didn’t party the night before.
You know you are getting old when… you notice these changes in your attitudes and behaviors.
You might be getting old if you are now the age you used to think was old, but now it doesn’t seem so old anymore. People over 50 always think that old age is ten years older than they are now. There are some other attitude changes as well.....
By Encarnacion Pyle
The Hebrew Home developed its policy after a nurse stopped R.....
“I told her to tiptoe out and close the door,” he said.
Many long-term-care centers don’t have sex-related policies; risks of ignoring the topic can be heartbreaking and lead to legal battles.
Sex in nursing homes.
The very idea makes some people squirm, yet sexuality isn’t just for the young. Senior citizens often enjoy intimacy, from hand-holding and kissing
Many long-term-care centers don’t have sex-related policies and rarely raise the issue for fear it will make residents or their loved ones uncomfortable. But the risks of ignoring the topic, experts say, can be heartbreaking and could lead to legal battles.
“There’s a dark side to having your head in the sand,” said Daniel Reingold, the president and CEO of RiverSpring Health, operator of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York City.
Reingold pointed to the case of Henry Rayhons, 78, a longtime Iowa lawmaker, who was accused last fall of sexually abusing his wife, Donna, who had Alzheimer’s and was living in a nursing home.....
Decluttering senior households
By Dawn Feldhaus
“Clutter is personal, and it’s a moving target. Make sure to take some time to think about your clutter and your shopping behaviors. Take those baby steps, and soon you’ll be clutter-free and proud.”
Spring cleaning can provide motivation to reduce the amount of stuff that is taking up space.
LaRhea Steele, of Camas, recently cleaned out linen and clothes closets.
She donated some full size sheets to
She will keep sentimental items, such as her daughter’s first Communion dress from 1979.
“It had a large orange stain on the skirt and underskirt,” Steele said. “When I took it to our local cleaners, she did not think it would come out but she would try. It now looks brand new.”
Steele, 73, and her husband, Jerry, raised their five children in the home they moved into 42 years ago.
“Furniture has been moved to different rooms, as our needs changed,” she said. “That helps the de-cluttering.
A need for stylish clothing for ‘gray’ consumers
By Helen Dennis
Q: I read with interest your article on ads finally recognizing the gray dollar (Feb. 22, 2015). As a fellow “gray,” my friends and I have been feeling increasingly invisible. Ever walk through a department store where samples are offered to all who walk by except us “grays?” My personal pet peeve is that stores have discontinued all the brands and styles of clothing most suitable for us 40 and older. My friends and I have gone clothes shopping with a purse full of money only to return home empty-handed. We need to dispel the myth that women in our age group are sitting at home with a cat in our lap. How can we encourage marketing and the design of appropriate clothing for mature, active women interested stylish clothing— R.D.
A: Dear R.D.,
Let’s try to understand what’s going on.
Perhaps the underlying issue is the role of women in the marketplace and particularly older women. There are now about 40 million
Myths of aging:
Aging and loneliness do not go hand-in-hand
By Sarah H. Kagan PhD, RN
Myth: You’ll always have family who lives with you in your old age.
There’s an American ideal that says you get married when you are young, have kids, and age into a place in your children’s home when you are old and incapable. This vision of family life in America is about 50 years out of date and a diversion from reality.
Our reality today is that, in those 50 years, the percent of Americans who live in single person households has jumped from 17 to 27%. More women of any age, compared with men, live by themselves.
Younger women are choosing this living situation in greater numbers than men - by preference or challenge - as we all marry or partner later in life. Women have a survival advantage - meaning they likely will outlive their male partners. Interestingly, the statistics on older women living alone show a slight decline in recent decades as men are living longer.
Improving life expectancies aside, about 10 percent of women aged 65 to 74 live by themselves and that figure increases to 15 percent for those over the age of 75. By comparison, about 5 percent of men who are 65 to 74 - the young old - live alone. And 5.5 percent of men older than 75 do so. The future of single person households in our aging society is an open question. The numbers of men as well as women living alone as young and midlife adults is creeping up as the ages of marriage and life partnerships similarly increases....
Chronically lonely seniors likely
More doctors' office visits by older adults suffering chronic loneliness
"We often assume that if a person has enough friends and relatives they are doing OK. But loneliness is not the same as being alone. You can be lonely in a crowded room. It's very much about how you feel about your actual social relationships."
Experiences of loneliness and social isolation can lead to increased health care use among seniors, finds new research from the University of Georgia College of Public Health.
The study, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, found that the frequency of physician visits was particularly influenced by chronic loneliness--and suggests that the identification and targeting of interventions for lonely elders may significantly decrease physician visits and health care costs.
"Logically, it makes sense that people who are in poorer health because of loneliness would use health care more," said study co-author Kerstin Gerst Emerson, an assistant professor of health policy and management.
"But we wondered, could people also be visiting their doctor or making those extra appointments because they were lonely?"
To answer this question, Emerson and co-author Jayani Jayawardhana, also an assistant professor in health policy and management, looked at how loneliness impacted the number of physician visits and hospitalizations reported by senior adults living among the general population and not in a retirement community.
Elders React To Snapchat: They Get The Appeal,
But That Doesn't Mean They Want To Use It
By Cameron Koch
What is Snapchat?
"Snapchat is a video messaging application created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, then, a Stanford University student. Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as "Snaps". Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of March 2015, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds), after which they will be hidden from the recipient's device and deleted from Snapchat's servers."
For senior citizens, the world must be a terribly confusing place*. As soon as they start to understand Facebook and iPhones, a new app or social media platform comes and turns everything on its head.
Such is the case with Snapchat. The popular app took the world by storm and is now worth an estimated $19 billion, with millions of users across the globe.
The folks in the latest Elders React video from TheFineBros are not any of those millions of users. A few of the men and women seen in the video had heard of Snapchat before, but most knew absolutely nothing. Some had never even downloaded an app before.
Oh boy. You can probably guess what comes next: old people struggling to figure out how to take a picture of themselves. There are also plenty of typos and spelling errors abound as the senior citizens attempt to add captions to their selfies. Many in the group also have a strange affinity for the app's drawing functionality. Do people actually use that? Weird.
*Editor’s note: A ageist statement if I ever heard one.
Michael Caine to Young Men:
You Will Someday Have My Body
By Jada Yuan
One of the most frequently viewed sights in Paolo Sorrentino's lush new film, Youth, which screened this morning in Cannes to rapturous applause and a smattering of boos, is Michael Caine's naked body. The 82-year-old plays a former orchestra conductor holding up at a Swiss spa hotel with his daughter (Rachel Weisz) and old movie director friend (Harvey Keitel), and who is often lounging in a pool or getting a massage from a girl who has braces. Caine is far from bashful at this point in his life. "It didn’t matter to me because it’s the only body I’ve got," Caine said
Good or great food stands on its own and bad food can always be improved, but food that is just mediocre means that there is something lacking in the way the food is prepared. To sit at the dinner table and not be impressed or to even have an opinion on what you have just eaten means that what you have been served was cooked with a minimum of thought, caring and skill. To my dismay, this is the state of the food we have received here at the Center as of late. Not good, not terrible, but just mediocre.
While it is true that at one time the food was so poorly cooked and presented that there were many occasions where I had to get up from my seat, go to the kitchen’s entrance and personally admonish who was ever responsible for dishing out such disgusting swill, but not anymore. Now, not only has my own ardor for food descended into the dark abyss of apathy, but it has made its presence known in the kitchen as well. To put it simply, the food is BLAH. There is no passion in what comes through those doors. Any pride or dignity or satisfaction of turning out something worthy of praise has fallen by the wayside.
Let me be clear about this. I didn’t want the food to return to that point many months ago when practically nothing good came out of that kitchen just to be able to say “Well, at least the food isn’t mediocre anymore.” I want to see the food change from “blah” to “Ah.” This means discovering the spice rack, preparing foods in different ways instead of the same tired old boring manner. It’s O.K.
Sausage and Peppers Open Sandwich
A new twist on a tired old classic
It’s not as if we have not had sausage and peppers here before. The truth be told, it seems as though we have some form of this stuff at least once a week. However, this was the first time we have had it presented as an open-faced sandwich, and it wasn’t half bad.
Instead of pairing the sausage and peppers and onions with the usual bland pasta and tomato sauce, this time the carbohydrate portion of the meal was represented by a slice of Texas toast which added its own special factor to the meal. Whether it was planned or not, the nice, thick slice of bread actually “soaked up” a goodly portion of the sausage fat and onion liquids to make a very tasty addition to what could have been just another blah dish.
Because chickens in California and the Midwest* haven’t learned to cover their
Meanwhile, breakfast lovers can take heart from the fact that, because of an overabundance of coffee in Brazil and Columbia, coffee prices will decline over the coming months.
This couple is ready to rent you a couple of chickens
By Steve Urbon
“Assisted-living homes have rented chickens so that their residents can enjoy having birds around like the ones they owned years ago.”
If Alexander and Ella Magnuson have any luck, rented chickens may soon be the next status symbol.
In these health-conscious days, more and more people want to know where their food is coming from, the Magnusons say. They have turned their small hobby farm, Twin Cedar Farm in Acushnet, into a fledgling business enterprise that enables people to take eggs from their own backyards to the kitchen and then to their breakfast plates.
A six-month rental, which includes a 6-by-3-foot custom-built enclosure, two grown chickens and 100 pounds of chicken feed, costs $450. There is a buyout offer of $250 at the end of the rental period.
If each chicken lays an egg a day, eggs will end up costing you $1.25 apiece. But there is the hobby value to consider, and it’s still a lot cheaper than, say, golf.
Is it worth it? Only your taste buds can tell you that.
Contact and Comments
The “National Consumer Voice for Long Term Care” is celebrating “Resident’s Rights Month 2015” by holding an essay contest. The following is my entry to that contest. For more information on this, go to: http://theconsumervoice.org/events/residents-rights-month-2015#resident's voice
And that’s no “yolk”.
“What would you like for breakfast”, said the young women server. “We have fried eggs this morning.”
This, being my first morning in my new home here at the assisted living center, I thought for a moment and proclaimed, “I’ll have two eggs, sunny-side up please.” What I heard next, I was not prepared for.
“Sorry”, said the young lady in a voice that can only be described as embarrassed, “No sunny-side up, no poached no soft boiled eggs.”
“Huh, what?”, I stammered. “Why not.”
“I’ll let the chef explain it to you”, she replied.
After a few minutes a man, dressed in the typical garb of a person who had been trained in the culinary arts, came to our table. Extending his hand, he said, “Hi, I’m M---. I understand you have a question about the eggs.”
I introduced myself and asked if what the server had told me was true that “NO SUNNY-SIDE UP, SOFT BOILED OR EVEN POACHED EGGS WERE SERVED HERE.”
“That’s correct sir, and I’ll tell you why.” He said.
The story that ensued me made me angry, appalled, frustrated and downright mad.
The chef explained to me that, because of a 20 year old rule set forth by our state department of health (the agency which certifies and inspects and implements all the rules governing nursing homes and assisted living facilities), no food can be cooked at a temperature lower than 160 degrees F. This means that, besides meats, poultry, and fish, eggs cannot be cooked with “runny” yolks which preclude anything that would even approach the likes of a sunny-side up egg.
“That’s insane”, I said indignantly. “Do you mean to tell me that every other place in this state, every greasy spoon diner, every food truck, every soup kitchen that serves eggs has to cook their eggs to 160 degrees?”
“No, only assisted living facilities, sorry”, said the chef.
I was flabbergasted. Why were we being punished? Do we not have the same rights as every other person in our state? Does the fact that we residents, because of whatever circumstances brought us here, are singled out as the only people in our state that can never again eat an egg the way we like it.
Efforts to get a clarification of this rule from the Department Of Health proved futile. I was referred to the D.O.H. website where, indeed, it stated what the chef had told me. Further efforts to find out how to get this rule rescinded proved equally unproductive. I even went as far as to contact our state legislators. That was weeks ago. I am still waiting for a reply.
The bottom line is not the fact that we are being deprived of eating eggs with runny yolks. The principle embodied here goes much further. It goes to some very basic rights as an individual. It also says something about an agency which in its attempts to protect us has produced just the opposite. By not allowing us to be subject to the same rules and regulations afforded every other citizen of our state, they have said to us that we (seniors) are somehow less of an individual than others. We are being singled out as a group, and not for a good reason. And, believe me, the one thing senior citizens do not want to be is singled out. Remember, we are you, just older.
Editor’s note: Yes, I know that you have most likely read other articles, essays and editorials I have written on the same subject regarding food prep here at the Center. Unfortunately, and I admit it, this topic has become an obsession with me. It is not so much that I will die if I can never eat another poached egg, It’s more like, “Who the f&^k do they think they are that they should be allowed to dictate what we can or cannot eat.
Is the patio too far?
We guess there are a couple of reasons why residents prefer to schlep the heavy wrought iron patio chairs from their preferred location (on the patio) to a spot in front of our main entrance.
One reason, we suppose, is that there is some shade under the transom and, as we all know, like vampires, old people don’t like the sun. The other reason could be that some residents find the patio, with its wide open spaces and tables and umbrellas, too confining. For whatever reason, you can be assured that if you are looking for a chair on the patio, you will find it somewhere else.
The sign says it all
Saving a spot
While we are not sure if this maneuver is ethical or not, we sure do admire the Chutzpa. The question, of course, is can a handicapped person save a handicapped parking spot by putting his wheelchair in that spot while he is away in his car? If one were to believe the sign, which clearly has a glif of a man in a wheelchair on it, then parking your wheelchair there is exactly the right thing to do.
How Senior Living Providers Capture 2 Price Points
by Emily Study
“Serenade offers residents luxury suites, which are larger than the average Brandywine unit and include a host of concierge-type services in addition to a dedicated butler and a private dining room.”
Senior Living providers have found plenty of success in their respective price and product niches. But some operators are finding that even while they excel in targeting one particular price point, they can capture another price point by developing new products that are branded and marketed independently from their existing model.
Most recently, Senior Lifestyle Corp. launched a higher-end senior housing brand, The Sheridan, with a 19- to 26-property pipeline that could top $650 million in development. Senior Lifestyle already successfully manages 165 properties across the country at competitive assisted living prices that match the markets where it operates.
Though The Sheridan communities will cost $1,000 more per month than the operator’s middle-market product, they will provide residents with higher levels of staffing, more dining options and additional care services.
“As we continued to talk to our customers and their adult children, what we found was there was a growing desire for more concierge-type services,” says Brenda Bacon, president and CEO of Brandywine. “We have to adapt to the needs and desires of our customers and their families, rather than saying this is how you fit into our box of the services we offer. Very customized services are going to become more the norm than the exception.”
Is Culture Aging Out of Ageism?
by Chris Sosa
Last week, Netflix unveiled a new comedy called “Grace and Frankie,” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The show is a quietly revolutionary dramedy about the fallout after two business partners leave their wives for each other. But the truly unique aspect of the show is that these women over age 70, and they’re portrayed with the same seriousness and personal agency usually only afforded younger stars.
This show may be starting a trend in media, but it’s following a trend in culture.
Right now, the most likely candidate for president is Hillary Clinton, who would be in her mid-70s by the completion of her first term. Critics who contend that her age is an issue have been roundly dismissed as ageists who are out-of-touch with the times.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) writes:
The dramatic increase in average life expectancy during the 20th century ranks as one of society’s greatest achievements. Although most babies born in 1900 did not live past age 50, life expectancy at birth now exceeds 83 years in Japan—the current leader—and is at least 81 years in several other countries.
If you are older than 60 years of age and have not had a colonoscopy, WTF are you waiting for. Yes, I know it’s (no pun intended) a pain in the ass, but it will save your life or, at the very least, save you a life of discomfort. Take it from someone who knows this first hand. DO IT ASAP....................Resident-X
Colonoscopy a potential lifesaver
A topic often discussed among boomers is the test known as a colonoscopy, which in terms of popularity ranks right up there with a root canal. But, like a root canal, it's not nearly as bad as you think, and it's very important to your overall health.
However, unlike a root canal, there is an age-related issue involved with the colonoscopy: If you are 50 or older, you should be screened for colorectal cancer.
The test uses a colonoscope. It's a thin flexible tube that is at least 4 feet in length with a light and small camera attached so that your doctor can examine the lining of the colon. One of the main purposes of a colonoscopy is to detect polyps.
A polyp is nothing more than a small clump of cells that form on the lining of the colon. Most polyps are harmless, but some can develop into colon cancer, a very serious form of cancer that often is fatal if it is allowed to advance too far.
This brings us back to the age issue. Anyone can develop polyps, but the risk increases with age, especially beyond age 50, and that's why the test should be repeated every 10 years. Besides age, risk is increased with smoking, being overweight or having a family history of colon cancer.....
Variety Strengthens Aging Brains
By Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Michael Roizen, M.D.
If you want to clear out the cobwebs from your playing field, here's how: Put yourself in situations where you have to deal with complex, new circumstances (the ever-changing demands of playing soccer certainly qualifies).
That's what researchers from Johns Hopkins University discovered when they examined the brains of participants in Baltimore's Experience Corps — a program that brings retired people (65 and older) into public schools to serve as mentors to young children.
The scientists used MRIs to track what happened to the memory centers in the volunteers' brains.
They were surprised that the brain volume of the participants stayed the same or grew (up to 1.6 percent over 24 months). That's contrary to what happens to the aging brain if it's not stimulated with changing situations and challenges; it loses from 0.4 percent to 2 percent of its volume annually.
So what’s the takeaway? Your enduring brain health is given a real boost when you challenge yourself by learning new things in new situations.
Deciphering the neural code that links food to aging
KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Diet exerts a major impact on health and aging. The nervous system plays an important role in this process but, thus far, how food signals are interpreted by the nervous system has been a mystery. This is an important question because the perception of food by the nervous system impacts not just aging, but also other processes associated with health and disease, including metabolism, reproduction, and development.
'By having biologists work closely with engineers, we could bring to bear a combination of biology, automation, and computation on the issue of neural coding that's fundamental to neuroscience. It's the first time neural gene expression has been analysed with this level of detail in a multicellular animal, which was critical in calculating the accuracy of this neural gene expression code and how it was affected by different genes.'
Culture Schlock: Age against the machine
By Malcolm Fleschner
I'm old enough to remember when getting old meant, well, getting old. You know what I'm talking about: At a certain point in life, older individuals feel an inexplicable drive to relocate to a warm-weather climate and while away their remaining years in a rocking chair complaining about the government, that today's music sounds like "garbage," and, of course, the heat.
Even the term "active senior" was usually used more as a punch line than anything else.
At one time, being "active" in your old age merely meant that you occasionally took a break from watching "Matlock" reruns to review which grandchild hadn't called recently enough and update your will accordingly.
Not anymore. These days, seniors are increasingly giving up the rocking chair in favor of rocking out. At least that's the conclusion I've drawn from what appears every day in my Facebook feed. I can't count the number of posts I've seen depicting today's energetic seniors tearing it up, whether it's a group of 80-year-olds forming a bungee-jumping club, viral videos of elderly grandparents breakdancing at wedding receptions, or news stories about senior citizens running with the bulls in Pamplona or winning gator-wrestling tournaments.
Frankly, the elder lifestyle has become so hyperinvigorated that, any day, I expect ESPN to announce the addition of Extreme Scooter Riding to the roster of events at this year's XGames. But instead of Red Bull, Beats by Dre headphones and GoPro cameras, sponsors will include Ensure, MiracleEar and GoFlo catheters.
Online scams: Senior citizens
are especially vulnerable
In the eyes of con artists, the Internet and World Wide Web are just more tools in their bag of deceits to separate people from their money and personal information.
Because nothing is sacred to thieves, the people often most susceptible to technological chicanery have been senior citizens. Their relative inexperience with technology, combined with a perceived vulnerability make them prime targets.
Meanwhile, area residents of all ages should:
Regularly take the time to create new passwords for all online accounts.
Shred paper statements from banks or other accounts before throwing them into the trash.
Delete suspicious-looking emails. You can often — though not always — tell by misspellings or nonsensical wording in the subject lines.
Report to law enforcement officials when people call claiming to be government agencies or even private businesses asking for money or personal account information. Immediately ask for the caller’s name and number and say that you’ll call back after speaking to attorney or trusted family member. We bet they’ll hang up first.
Women, Aging and the Badges of Midlife
So much has been made about women and the manner in which some of us lash out against the demon we know to be aging. Our culture is one of anti-aging. Present ourselves to a critical and judgmental world actually looking our age? Oh hell no. We arm ourselves with an array of accoutrements from our arsenal and prepare to enter into battle. We lavishly smear thick, creamy emollients on skin ravaged by an evil scythe-wielding Father Time. We frolic about in pants too tight (displaying camel toes at an embarrassingly alarming rate), skirts so short that bending over simply is not an option and slide seductively into blouses cut so low, baring breasts unnaturally round and far too perky, that they totally bypass the titillating come hither suggestion and screech head-first into look at me, touch me, suck me territory.
All of this because our bodies are following the path set by nature: We're getting older. Aging is about change. We know this to be an inevitable downward slope, yet we frantically dig our perfectly manicured nails in and hang on tight. We may not be able to go backwards, but we'll put up a damn good fight to make time stand still....
Senior citizens and young adults are an earthquake
apart on sexual attitudes
(The research report was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior online.)
Researchers find generational shift in beliefs about sex; biggest divide came between Boomers and Greatest Generation
Most of today’s senior citizens – generally people born before the end of World War II, with a flood of baby boomers joining their ranks – are still shocked every time they turn on TV to see how sexual attitudes have changed. Acceptance of premarital sex is at an all-time high, along with an acceptance of homosexuality, and that is just the beginning, according to new research.
"The changes are primarily due to generation - suggesting people develop their sexual attitudes while young, rather than everyone of all ages changing at the same time," said Twenge, who is also the author of "Generation Me."
The research report was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior online.
Ex-Astronaut John Glenn feeling effects of aging
Former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn said Thursday that he’s come through a year of health difficulties. Glenn, who is the first American to orbit the Earth, appeared with his wife, Annie, at a Statehouse news conference in Columbus, Ohio. Now 93, he said he suffered a small stroke after heart-valve replacement surgery last year.
Glenn, 95, said he has about half his eyesight now as a result of some macular degeneration and has lost some of his hearing. He might have a corrective operation on his eyes soon, he said.
The Chicken Trilogy
Three Chicken Lunches in Three Days
(Oh what I do for journalism’s sake)
I rarely give anything made here a four foodie rating. For those not familiar with my system, a rating of four means that the dish is at least as good as one would get in most medium priced establishments like diners or fast food restaurants like KFC or Boston Market. Last Wednesday’s lunch of “Overstuffed” (As the menu stated) Chicken Pot Pie certainly bested both of those restaurants and then some. Not only was the filling chock full of nicely sized chicken and veggies in a creamy white sauce, but the flaky crust (bottom and top) was perfectly baked to a golden brown. The only reason that I did not give this a five foodie rating was that the filling, like most things made here, was under seasoned. I had to add salt and pepper in copious amounts to round out the otherwise decent filling. Otherwise, this pie could stand up with the best of them.
I would have liked to have been able to give Thursday’s lunch more than a two foodie rating, but because the teriyaki covered chicken breasts were so tough and served so cold that I just couldn’t do it. And that’s too bad because the tangy teriyaki sauce (possibly the only good thing about this dish) was really pretty good. Come to think of it, the fries were pretty good as well. Now if they could only have brought the whole thing together they might have come up with a decent lunch.
If this were any other meal but lunch, I would have labeled last Friday’s midday meal skimpy. However, what it lacked in substance it made up in flavor. And, while I cannot say that this Chicken Caesar Salad was filling, it did leave me satisfied.
The fairly tender slices of chicken coated in an almost crispy coating combined with a rather tasty Caesar dressing actually made me wish there were more. I would have liked to see a couple of extra cherry tomatoes and maybe an extra slice or two of chicken, but what was there was O.K. If you have ever ordered a salad at Micky D’s or Burger King, this was not too far from what you would get. For this reason, I gave this meal 3 foodies.
If Picasso were a chef, would his eggs look like this.
Come to think about it, Salvador Dali had an obsession with eggs.
Aging Prime-Time TV Demographic
Forcing Advertisers to Adapt
By: Molly Soat
Prime-time TV is an aging medium. According to Nutley, N.J.-based media research firm Media Dynamics Inc., the average viewer who watches prime-time TV on NBC, ABC and CBS is 57, while the average age of the total population is 38.
Adults between the ages of 50 and 64 spend 191 hours per month watching traditional (rather than time-shifted) TV, according to Nielsen, and those over 65 watch more than 223 hours per month. Teens, by contrast, spend 84 hours per month watching TV.
Most marketers are focused on the millennial audience, and those who get tunnel vision will run the risk of alienating an older demographic that still has significant purchasing power,
Senior Citizen Smuggled Booze to Pay for Prostitutes
His operation was discovered when a prostitute was found under his bed.
BY JOEL MATHIS
A 70-something Montcoman has lost his spot at an assisted living facility after a prostitute was discovered under his bed, The Intelligencer reports via the Morning Call.
That discovery led authorities to realize the man — unidentified in news reports — had been making "booze runs" for his fellow, less-mobile residents of the home, selling liquor to them at a profit. As for the profits...
"He was using his profits for prostitutes and one was found hiding under his bed," Montgomery County Chief Financial Officer Uri Z. Monson said. The incident was mentioned at a Montgomery County Commission meeting last week.
Contact and Comment
As I approach the seventh decade of my time here on earth (more rapidly than I would have liked), I find myself as curator of my own retrospective. As I rummage through the dog-eared, smudged and brown-with-age parchments of non-achievement that have made up much of my life, wondering what I would like to exhibit in the museum of me, I came to realize that it is not just one life I have led, but a series of individual, but related lives, each distinct in its own, often painful, way. Amazingly, most of us have experienced the same differentiation's.
Primarily, we all go through the initial period of life’s journey the same way. As infants and toddlers. In many ways, this part life is the best part. Never again will we be so loved, protected, or doted upon as when we are growing up under our parents wing. Unfortunately, it’s mostly all down hill from here.
I will skip over the pre-teen years. We exist in this era for such a short time that trying to explain it would take longer than it is worth. Just let’s say that it is a time of the “wannabees”. It is a time when all we want is to be grown up, like our older siblings who were just so cool and seemed to have the world by the nads and could do anything they liked. Surprisingly, as much fun as being a teenager looks from the outside, it is probably the worst time in our lives. At least it was for me.
Essentially, the teen years are a mistake. They should never have been considered as a period in one’s life. In fact, if we go back to very ancient times, when humans rarely lived past the age of 35, people 18 0r 19 years of age would be considered middle age, like 40 or 50-year-olds are thought of today. You got married at 12, had a baby at 13 and worked until you died 15 years later, thus eliminating any teenage angst.
The next part of our little dissection may be the most challenging and, at the same time, the most rewarding part of our lives. For lack of a better designation, we call it “middle age”. This is one of the biggest misnomers there are. If we consider middle age at 50, does that mean that we are not considered old until we reach 100? Of course not. Truthfully, for most people, 50 is the beginning of the end. But I digress. Let’s go back to when we were 21. We have pretty much finished with our formal education. Some of us have graduated college, some of us have learned a trade. Guys are looking at girls for more than just a casual relationship. Women start thinking about starting a family. Hopefully, we are working at a job we like and are making a living wage. Society, in the form of marketing demographics, looks upon this group as gods. Wrong or right, the people who make the goods and services, then think this group controls all the money and influences all of the buying trends. TV and most other entertainment, as well as fashion, are geared towards this group (at least the younger part of this group). As we reach the latter part (50 plus) our consumer-ability drops off sharply. Sure, the 50 and sixty year-olds are still buying the “hip” clothes, but we don’t look good in them anymore.
While we may be at the prime of our lives, middle age comes with a very big price tag. If we have not made it by the time we are fifty, we will never make it. Yes, we are given a relatively long time to acquire all the amenities (at last 30 years), but if we don’t get them (or worse, get them and squander them) we are considered losers. A state worse than being poor. Think of the man who had a good job at 25. Got married to the trophy wife at 30, divorced the trophy wife at 40 and had to pay her alimony and then losing his job to a younger guy. No matter how well he played the game. No matter how high his batting average was, he lost the big game. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but he is a loser. Which brings us to the 5th life. OLD AGE.
Being old is the scariest “life” we will lead. It’s scary because, if you are reading this (or worse, writing this) you know how it will end. You might not know when, which makes it even more frightening, but you know it is inevitable. It’s like living life in a casino. Even if you are doing well, racking up the points, surrounded by glitz and glamour, you know the house always wins and that the next hand might not be that King high straight you were looking for and that the only thing left to do is to fold em, order a Martini and go quietly into the night.
So, my weathered old friends, you see, it’s not one long life you have led, it was a series of lives, all connected with you as a part of all of them and yet, separate because each life was so well defined. For better or worse, you are not the person you were 30 years ago. So what. While the seasons you have left may be truncated by time take heart in the fact that you were able to experience what you did. As for me, while I may not have played my last hand, I can see the deck growing smaller. And, while I may leave with a losing hand, I know I at least cut the cards.
At first glance, this may look like a bucolic scene of some little old lady feeding the birds. However, it is something quite different. What this resident is doing is jeopardizing the health of every person who lives or works at our facility. Throwing bits and pieces of bread or other foods onto the driveway, not only attracts those seemingly nice little sparrows that cohabit with us here on the hill, but that “garbage” also attracts mice and rats and other vermin as well. Additionally, what makes this even worse is that, there appears to be nothing we can do about it. Much like trying to get our smokers from clandestinely sneaking a puff in unauthorized locations, there is no punishment for violating these rules. Yes, we admonish them, we try to explain to them how inconsiderate it is to the other residents here, but to no avail. I guess we will have to put up with this until we get overrun with mice or some smoker starts a fire.
Non-Profit vs. For-Profit Assisted Living
By Sarah Stevenson
“The differences between non-profit assisted living and for-profit assisted living can be confusing for the consumer, so the best advice is to do your research when checking out long-term care options.”
When seniors and families first begin the process of searching for senior living options, it can be daunting to pinpoint the best option from among the wide array of different types of communities. Those who are particularly concerned with finding senior housing that fits into a socially conscious, ethical care model may decide to research the possible differences between non-profit and for-profit senior care, in order to aid their decision-making. But the differences between non-profit and for-profit senior care extend beyond simply who owns the business and how they are structured – non-profit and for-profit aging services may have marked differences in overall quality of care, particularly in the case of nursing homes and long-term care.
Understanding Types of Assisted Living
Indeed, some trends are visible in the data pertaining to quality of care in different types of nursing homes, with for-profit facilities trailing non-profits in various areas like staffing ratios, cited deficiencies and hospitalization rates, as reported by the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
It can be tempting to extrapolate and assume the trends also apply to assisted living or other types of senior housing, but that is not necessarily the case. That’s why it is critically important for consumers to do their due diligence in researching specific senior housing options, looking at the data for individual communities rather than generalizing.
“There certainly is a perception that nonprofits can be a better choice,However, the data needed to show that the care is actually better is harder to come by.....
More Senior Housing News:
Real Estate or Health Care—How Do Financiers View Senior Housing?
“From a development perspective, I can help someone put a building up in a decent place, but if that [partner] is a good operator, that is what is going to make me look really good,” said Ron Hastie, company president. “From that perspective it’s an operational deal.”
Part real estate and part operations, senior housing has always counted on both components for success. And financing providers who invest in the space say it’s important to understand that both still play important roles when operators are approaching new projects.
The business overall is based on strong fundamentals that are not subsiding, panelists said during a National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care conference this week. But with an influx of new investors taking advantage of the growing demographic demand for senior housing options, financiers say it’s ever important to remember the operations side of the business.
“Every part of the capital stack is attractive for the space,” said James Scribner, managing director for RED Capital Markets. “You can access smart capital, and there’s no better time than the present.”....
5 Distressing Skin Problems That Worry Baby Boomers
As you age, your skin will go through significant changes. Various skin problems that seniors face are a result of exposure to the sun over a lifespan. Deprived of appropriate defense from the sun, skin problems are to be expected.
Even with protection from sun exposure, the aging progression produces deviations in your skin. Even people who have the most youthful skin will still find a few problems that can be exasperating during the aging process.
The most common problem and one of the most obvious is wrinkles. Wrinkles are areas were the skin has lost elasticity and creases where it folds. The most common places to see wrinkles are around the forehead, eyes, mouth and neck area due to facial expressions.
Gravity also takes its toll on skin that has lost its elasticity. As gravity naturally pulls skin in a downward direction, the ability to bounce back into shape is lost. There are many products designed to help prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and some that can help reverse them....
Say yes to fruits, veggies and no to booze to protect aging brain
Recent study finds that people whose diets were most healthful were least likely to experience cognitive decline over the five-plus years they were followed.
By Melissa Healy
It’s official, no matter where you live: Healthful eating is among the best ways to protect your aging brain against slippage. Conversely, a diet that skimps on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fish and includes lots of fried foods, red meat and alcohol is highly likely to pave a road to cognitive ruin.
That’s especially true if you already have some risks for developing cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, worrisome cholesterol levels or diabetes.
So says a new study that for slightly more than five years tracked the diets and mental states of 27,860 people, age 55 and older, in 40 middle- and high-income countries.
The authors of the latest research, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, suggest the quality of one’s diet might affect cognitive aging in a number of ways: Poor nutrition is likely to rob body and brain of vitamins and minerals that promote the generation of healthy new cells and help guard against inflammation, help break down fats and protect cells from stress....
But then, there is the French Paradox.....
The French Paradox refers to the low rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) in France despite the diet being rich in saturated fat.
2002 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), showed that although the intake of saturated fat in France was higher than in the United States (US), 108 grams (g) compared to 72g per day, France had a 30–40% lower risk of CHD. Over the years, studies suggest that one of the reasons the French have a lower rate of CHD, despite higher saturated fat intakes, may be related to their regular consumption of red wine.
KEEP THE CAFFEINE COMING
Caffeine Boosts Memory and Has Positive Impact on Aging of The Brain!
For all you java lovers out there, there’s no need to put down your beloved cuppa just yet! Despite all the negative information we often hear about coffee, the different perks of java (besides the scent, obviously) just keeping on popping up daily. Coffee has been one of the most well-loved beverages for many people for a long time now and with good reason. It’s not only delicious, but also rich in B vitamins, chromium to stabilize your blood sugar, and offers a good source of magnesium and potassium to relax the nervous system and relieve tension.
How caffeine can boost your memory and positively impact aging of the brain
Caffeine seems to work its magic due to the way it blocks a molecule in the brain known as adenosine. Adenosine has been found to block norepinephrine in the brain, which is a hormone that has been shown to enhance memory function; therefore the intake of caffeine allows norepinephrine to move in the brain easier, enhancing memory and overall brain function. (2)
How much caffeine does it take?
Research from John Hopkins University in Baltimore studied 160 people who all took either a 100-300 milligram supplement of caffeine, or a placebo. The subjects were 18-30 years of age and were asked to look at photos of indoor and outside objects. The results of the study showed that those taking at least 200 milligrams of caffeine were able to remember more than those taking a placebo or a lower dose of 100 milligrams of caffeine supplements. Those who took up to 300 milligrams didn’t remember more than those taking 200 milligrams, suggesting that more caffeine isn’t always the better option. (2)
3 Most Important Things You Probably Should Know About Social Security
By Dan Dzombak
Social Security is one of the most widely used federal programs, providing 64 million Americans -- about one out of five -- with a basic income. You will be claiming your own share one day, so make sure you're prepared when the time comes. Read on for the three most important facts you should know about Social Security.
1. Social Security benefits are a major source of income for most senior citizens
For one, Social Security benefits are crucial as they are adjusted for inflation every year. This means that the purchasing power of your Social Security benefits will stay the same, while your savings will likely lose purchasing power each year.
One of the greatest challenges of retirement is the loss of earned income. You have to live on your savings, your investments, and your Social Security benefits for the rest of your life, which can be a long time. The average 62-year-old male is expected to live another 20 years, while the average 62-year-old female will live another 22 years. That's nearly half most peoples' working lives. For 36% of senior citizens, Social Security benefits provide 90% or more of their income, and the program pulls an estimated 14 million elderly Americans out of poverty, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
You may think you won't fall into that 36%, but Social Security is the main source of income for most elderly Americans. For 65% of senior citizens, Social Security provides over 50% of their income.
Blythe Danner reveals how she stays
vibrant through loss, aging
By LEWIS BEALE.
“It's a lot better than it's been. When I started out, if you were older than 35, that was it. But it's changed with Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, much richer roles. I see it as much more positive than it used to be.
In case you haven't been paying attention, Blythe Danner is a lot more than just Gwyneth Paltrow's mom. The 71-year-old actress, who stars as a widow who finds love unexpectedly coming back into her life in the new film "I'll See You In My Dreams," is an Emmy ("Huff") and Tony ("Butterflies Are Free") Award winner. She has enlivened shows like "Will and Grace" and appeared in a slew of movies, including "The Great Santini," "The Prince of Tides" and "Meet the Parents" and its sequels. Danner has also been a regular performer at the Williamstown Summer Theater Festival, and is on its board of directors. Lewis Beale spoke to the Philadelphia native during a phone interview.
Life Is Not a Premortality Condition,
BY Allen Frances
Western medical science has changed life into a premortality condition and death into a failure of treatment.
We are all more or less afraid of illness and death. Mankind always has been. Shakespeare describes it beautifully in Hamlet: "The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn, no travelers return".
Even though our western world is the safest place ever to live and we are living longer than ever before, people have paradoxically never been more afraid of death and disease.
It has become a truism that the earlier the medical intervention, the better. We see the same message everywhere: in newspapers, on the web, from patients' organisations, from specialists, and health authorities: 'Do not hesitate, see the doctor for this and that, for every pain, every little swelling, every little rash. Go see your doctor. Whatever you have, however slight and fleeting, might be dangerous and even cancer. Get every possible test. Better safe than sorry.
The inevitable changes wrought by aging are as commonplace inside our body as on our skin. Most are just incidental and have no clinical meaning. Best not to notice.
But the wondrous technical developments in medicine allow us to find tiny tumors that are impossible to distinguish from quite normal variations in the aging human body.....
Nearly half of America's aging parents
have no legal will
Research by companies like Rocketlawyer.com indicate that nearly half of Americans with children don't have a drafted will, and 41 percent of those are baby boomers.
This scenario often leaves families and loved ones in very difficult circumstance in the event of a death.
Local attorney Casey Schnack of Schnack Law Offices in Quincy points out that many states, such as Illinois, have regulations like the probate act that can allow the state to dictate where your assets end up if you die without leaving a will behind.
While many Americans are dying without a will to distribute belongings and assets, a growing number of adults are spending their final years of life with little to no money or assets at all.
A recent report conducted by the Employee Benefits Research Institute finds some worrisome numbers for Americans post-retirement, specifically those 85 and older.
The research shows one out of five had no assets other than a single house....
I often wonder who comes up with some of the side dishes we get around here. Some of them are so outrageous as to be comical. Take last Monday’s dinner as an example. Of all the things that would accompany a plate of sausage and peppers with pasta, why did the chef choose steamed cauliflower as a side dish. As it is, cauliflower is rarely welcome. I don’t know any human being, young or old, that likes this anemic relative of broccoli. Are there Cauliflower festivals anywhere?. If there are it has to be one of the dullest conventions anywhere. I can picture it now. A bunch of cauliflower farmers standing around asking other cauliflower farmers if they have heard of anything new in the world of cauliflower. After fifteen minutes of staring at their shoes, they all agree to try to come up with a way to make cauliflower palatable. They shake hands and agree to meet the same time next year. Please, unless you are going to deep-fry it (frying makes everything taste good) never serve cauliflower again, with anything.
The only thing wrong with Wednesday’s dinner was the ratio of carbs (in this case, mashed potatoes) to meat. You would not have to take out a measuring device to confirm that the pile of potatoes was larger than the thin slice of meatloaf. Considering that the meatloaf also contained some form of carbs (bread), this meal was just one big carbohydrate festival. Normally, this is an easy fix. All the kitchen has to do is to increase the amount of meat. Unfortunately, in the institutional food game, it’s the other way around. The ratio will be improved by just reducing the portion size, meat included. And you wonder why your pants don’t fit.
Editor’s note: I gave this meal three “Foodies”. The meatloaf was actually pretty decent.
Cheap, clueless or just stupid?
There were two things wrong with the eggs last Friday morning. The first thing (that cannot be helped) was that the fried eggs were cooked beyond recognition. The second thing just confounds the heck out of me.
First let me tell you that, unlike any other food establishment in America, the regular serving of eggs here is one (1). You have to ask for two. Last Friday, because I am a normal human being who has always eaten more than one for breakfast as is my god-given right as an American, I ordered two eggs. The menu said, “Fried egg(s) with cheese.” I took that to mean that for every egg, there would be a slice of cheese melted on it. However, stupidity or ineptitude or lack of common sense infested the kitchen staff who understood the menu to read, “Only one slice of cheese per order no matter how many eggs the diner wants”. Naturally. I sent it back and got my other slice. Jeeeze!
An American crisis
By Matthew T. Mangino
America’s prisons are facing a growing crisis. The number of elderly and infirm inmates are on the rise, as are related prison healthcare cost.
According to the Washington Post, prisoners age 50 and older represent the fastest-growing population in federal correctional facilities. The number of AARP eligible inmates has swelled by 25 percent since 2009.
The Bureau of Prisons saw healthcare expenses increase by 55 percent from 2006 to 2013, when it spent more than $1 billion, according to the Justice Department’s inspector general. The inspector general is conducting a review of the impact of the aging inmate population on prison activities, housing and costs.
There are about 2.3 million adults in state and federal prisons. According to the National Institute of Corrections, about 246,000 are 50 or older. The U.S. currently spends more than $16 billion annually caring for these aging inmates, and their numbers are projected to grow dramatically in the next 15 years.....
The real story behind the demise of
America's once-mighty streetcars
by Joseph Stromberg
Back in the 1920s, most American city-dwellers took public transportation to work every day.
There were 17,000 miles of streetcar lines across the country, running through virtually every major American city. That included cities we don't think of as hubs for mass transit today: Atlanta, Raleigh, and Los Angeles.
Nowadays, by contrast, just 5 percent or so of workers commute via public transit, and they're disproportionately clustered in a handful of dense cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago. Just a handful of cities still have extensive streetcar systems — and several others are now spending millions trying to build new, smaller ones.
So whatever happened to all those streetcars?
Editor’s note: One of my fondest memories as a kid growing up in Brooklyn was taking the streetcar (or “trolley” as we called it) on Church and Flatbush Avenues. I loved the sound and the smell of those old cars. Now, one of my favorite day trips from NYC, is a visit to the Trolley Museum in East Heaven Ct. ....http://shorelinetrolley.org/
Contact Us and Comment
The D.O.H. Is watching out for us, but...
Who’s watching the D.O.H.?
Some of you may remember this. In 1972 a then young reporter for New York’s channel 7 by the name of Geraldo Rivera presented a series of reports that won him a Peabody award. The documentary exposed the gruesome conditions that existed at the Willowbrook State School for mentally disturbed children. The watchdog agency responsible for those conditions was the New York State Department of Health (formerly The N.Y. State Dept. Of Social Services). The uproar that resulted from that report sent shock waves through a system that was supposed to be looking out for the welfare of those kids. As a result, the powers that be, started to look at what else the D.O.H.
“So what’s wrong with that”, you say. “They are just looking out for your well-being.”
Yes, but this rule applies ONLY to A.L.F’s. Every two-bit diner, food truck, chuck wagon or dirty water hot dog stand, doesn’t have to adhere to this rule. Only ALF’s. Another way the D.O.H. Showed its lack of knowledge when it comes to stopping the spread of contamination was revealed a couple of weeks ago when this facility was hit (for the fourth time this year) with a facility-wide stomach virus. The D.O.H.’s only solution was to quarantine everybody, keeping us out of the dining room and forcing us to eat cold, poorly prepared food served in Styrofoam containers, completely disregarding any hardships that this may have on the residents who depend on the dining room for socializing as well as food. This is bad enough, but here is what really sticks in my craw. There is nobody to contact at the D.O.H.
** I have started the process by contacting our state assembly person. We will see how this pans out.
See more about the D.O.H. In this week’s “Around the Center now” section below
In a related article....
This article deals with a group of very elderly residents of a senior living facility in Brooklyn. The residents of this building have been fighting a battle over eviction proceedings brought on them by an unscrupulous landlord who, in an attempt to get the residents to move, has cut services to them to the bone. Unfortunately, it appears that our illustrious D.O.H. May have unwittingly rubber-stamped approval for such action by the landlord. You can read the entire disgusting, story by clicking on the link below...
A Busy Week.
A Frustrating Week.
I don’t believe I have had a busier, more fruitful week and, at the same time, a most frustrating week, as I had here last week. We had two lengthy meetings, ending with more questions than answers. Being a member of the executive board of our Resident’s Council, I have the privilege of being able to sit in on discussions with our new administrator and present the concerns of our residents for consideration and possible resolution. Such a meeting took place last Wednesday when we discussed topics ranging from microwave ovens to clandestine smoking. Unfortunately, even though, our new admin.
1. Residents have only a limited say over how they are recognized and treated.
2. As unfair as it seems, no matter what our physical or mental or cognitive abilities may be, we will always be perceived of as disabled, feeble-minded old people who cannot be trusted with even the simplest of appliances.
3. There is no way in hell that anything will ever change unless... ...
4. Somehow, we can get The N.Y.
StateLegislature to change the law. Fat chance of that.
The only positive thing I can say about last week is that, as a board member, I earned my “pay”. I don’t think that I have seen a more dedicated group of people more willing to go the extra mile for their fellow residents. Unfortunately, they best thing we came away with is, “We tried”...................................
By Kylie Conway
“We try to creat
A trip to Vegas turned into a revolutionary idea for a local assisted living center.
Austin Steele says he kept noticing how good some of the hotels smelled so he decided to bring those scents to Indiana.smelled so he decided to bring those scents to Indiana.
Now, five months after he installed the scent machines at Spring Mill Meadows on Indianapolis’ north side, the executive director says the assisted living center has seen all kinds of improvements from residents’ moods to even their appetites.
Four strategically placed scent machines spread a mild perfume through the hallways. Residents and visitors are greeted with white tea and fig. Fresh chocolate chip cookies can be smelled seeping from the dining halls.
“We’re trying to create that environment for our residents here. That they’re hungry. That they want to eat because part of that aging process that we’re trying to battle is that loss of appetite,” said Steele.
The Surprising New Realities of
Today’s Older Americans
BY WARREN SANDERSON AND SERGEI SCHERBOV
Over time, as life expectancy increases and people become healthier, older people can do things which were previously the domain of those
Well, perhaps not exactly no one.
People who analyze population aging using conventional measures assume that none of the attributes that are important for understanding aging change over time or differ in localities. But a wide variety of attributes can be used to study aging. An important one for 65-year-olds, for example, is their projected remaining life expectancy. Another one is how well those 65-year-olds can remember things.
More on this topic...
These Amazing People Over 50
Bust Every Aging Stereotype You Can Think Of
By Damon Scheleur and Shelley Emling
Sophia Loren once said, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” To prove that age is just a number, here are some amazing people over 50 having crazy fun and accomplishing incredible feats.
They are pilots, pole dancers, runners, tango enthusiasts and world champions. One of them, Jack Nicklaus, scored a hole-in-one at the 2015 Masters Tournament at age 75. Mark Jordan, 54, set a record this year for the most pull-ups in a 24-hour period. The winning number? 4,321. Phyllis Sues, 92, still does a headstand every day. "I intend to be, and probably will be, standing on my head, doing pushups and leg splits, as long as the sun comes up! That's my plan," she said.
So check out some of the incredible images below -- and be inspired.
At 79 and counting, Social Security faces some
Challenges of aging
By Erica Palmer
On the countdown to its 80th anniversary, Social Security is feeling its age — with grave concerns about precarious finances, political squabbling and skepticism among young Americans about ever seeing a return on the 6.2 percent tax deducted from their paychecks.
But acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin is optimistic the program providing benefits to some 60 million people has a long, full life ahead of it.
"Social Security is the basic program that provides financial security for the American public," she said in an interview Thursday in Salt Lake City. "I don't see it going away. Now will there be changes, of course, because there are demographic changes and other kinds of changes. But I don't ever see it going away. It's the underpinning of financial security in the country."
That's not to say there aren't serious challenges, she acknowledged during a Utah stop that included visiting the Cooperative Disability Unit and the Salt Lake City Social Security field office.
Insolvency » According to the 2014 annual report by the Social Security and Medicaid board of trustees, the Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance program trust-fund reserves will be depleted by 2037 and the Disability Insurance reserves by next year. "Neither Medicare nor Social Security can sustain projected long-run program costs in full under currently scheduled financing, and legislative changes are necessary to avoid disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers," states the report summary.financing, and legislative changes are necessary to avoid disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers," states the report summary.
More Social Security News...
Social Security Announces Vision 2025, a Long-Range Service Delivery Vision
Ensures a Commitment to Local Field Office Presence Nationwide
Embarking on its 80th Anniversary of being a key piece of the Nation’s fabric, Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, today officially released Vision 2025. The vision will serve as a “North Star” to guide Social Security and show how the agency will accomplish and deliver three key priorities: superior customer experience, exceptional employees, and an innovative organization over the next decade and beyond.
“We must be prepared to adapt as technology and society changes at an unprecedented rate,” Acting Commissioner Colvin said. “Vision 2025 is our way of making sure we keep up with these changes, and how we position ourselves to best serve the public in the future.”
When employees, customers, and partners are given the right tools to help them work better together, wonderful things happen. In shaping Vision 2025, Social Security reached out to as many individuals and organizations as possible for input. The agency engaged in active listening and communicating with internal and external stakeholders. Internally, the agency engaged employees, labor unions, and management associations. The agency encouraged and received feedback and ideas from the public through an online survey accessed on the agency’s website, www.socialsecurity.gov. The agency also worked with the National Academy of Public Administration, members of Congress, advocacy groups, and the Social Security Advisory Board. The input Social Security received resulted in “emerging themes” that led to the development of the three key priorities.
Vision 2025 reflects Social Security’s full commitment—now and in the future—to offering customers choices in how they do business with us. This commitment includes sustaining a field office structure that provides face-to-face service and is responsive to members of the public who need or prefer face-to-face service.
“Vision 2025 represents the agency’s commitment to continuous long-term planning. It will guide our more than 65,000 employees who continue to provide exemplary service to our customers,” Acting Commissioner Colvin said. “We are proud of our longstanding commitment to customer service and continual efforts to improve efficiency. We are also excited about our vision for serving the public in the next 10 to 15 years.”
For more information, you can access the Social Security Vision 2025 interactive website here:
4 Tips for Managing an Aging Parent’s Finances
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), approximately 22 million people age 60 or older
The CFPB provides a useful resource to help agents under power of attorney manage money for a loved one. According to the CFPB’s guide, fiduciaries have four basic duties.
1. Act in the person’s best interest
The most important thing to remember is to always act on behalf of the person whose financial affairs you’re handling. As the CFPB puts it, “It’s not your money.” Carefully read the power of attorney document to make sure you only do what it allows, and make an effort to involve your loved one in decisions as much as possible. If your loved one has trouble expressing wishes, do your best to do what he or she would have wanted based on past behavior or statements.
With Holocaust survivors aging, keeping memories alive falls to their children, grandchildren
BY TIM FUNK
The great majority of Jewish children who arrived at the Auschwitz death camp were killed. But about 700 survived and were liberated.
Schindler is among 88 adult children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors who contributed essays for a new book called “God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes” (Jewish Lights Publishing).
“For us – the children and grandchildren of survivors – the remembrance of the Holocaust is simultaneously a broad responsibility to the millions who were murdered, but also a very individual obligation and commitment to our own family. We need to ensure as best we can that not only their death, but also their having lived, not be forgotten.”
LETTER: Christie’s reform plan another bow to the rich
Gov. Chris Christie’s so-called reform of Social Security and Medicare is less a rescue of the systems than a strong message to his well-heeled supporters that he will sacrifice the health of retired people and senior citizens throughout the country before he asks any of his supporters to open their own wallets.
His grand plan is to destroy the benefits of the people who need it the most — elderly people of retirement age. His attempt at “balancing” the pain by denying Social Security benefits to people earning over $200,000 per year is laughable; of course they don’t need it. And that’s exactly why a more rational — and fair — way to eliminate the Social Security and Medicare crises once and for all is to simply eliminate the income cap on Social Security and Medicare payroll deductions....
Depression and diabetes combined may create an even higher risk of cognitive decline
Diabetes and depression have each been identified as independent hazards to healthy brain aging - and depression is also known to raise the likelihood of diabetes. But what is the risk of poor cognitive fitness later in life for those people who have both diabetes and depression?
“We found that depression and diabetes mellitus were both associated with a greater risk for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia.
"These associations appeared to be stronger among those individuals with depression alone compared with those with diabetes alone."
"The interaction between diabetes mellitus and depression tended to be particularly strong for individuals younger than 65 years.
Why is depression linked to dementia?
Why depression is linked to diabetes may be an easier question to answer and offers clues to the more difficult question of why depression is linked to dementia. ....
Take good care of the aging digestive system
By Dr. Michael Camardi
Dear Dr. Camardi,
You are the only doctor I ever had who talked about food. You told me about my Florida grapefruit juice and my blood pressure medication, and since you told me to try lactose-free milk, I don’t suffer with gas. But what turned out to make a really big difference was what you said about the water I wasn’t drinking. Could you go over it again, because I know other people would find it very helpful.
It begins from the top, as many do not understand the key contribution our mouths make to successful digestion. Poor oral care leads to tooth loss and gum disease, which lead to inefficient chewing. It can also prevent foods from adequately mixing with the digestive enzymes in saliva that help the body to absorb nutrients. Keeping teeth healthy for as long as possible is critical to well being......
Will science let you live forever?
The genetics of immortality say yes!
BY JEFFREY JOSLIN
Believe it or not, immortality has been observed in nature on countless occasions. A rare genetic condition has left a handful of people around the world free from the ill effects of aging. On top of that, many organisms are protectedby similar mutated genetics. For example, the lobster never stops aging–but it still eventually dies due to disease or predation.
How do we confer the genetics of immortality to humans?
According to statements made by futurist Michio Kaku four years ago, the doubling of computer power every 18 months would lead to the sequencing of human genomes for about $1000 within ten years. Of course, he was off by quite a bit–because we can pretty much already do that.
Population Clock: People Are Growing Old At Slower Pace Than Expected
If you measure age simply as time already lived, things are pretty darn simple for population statisticians. Yet, if age is adjusted to take into account the time left to live, well, the status quo flies out the window and things begin to get interesting. Faster increases in life expectancy do not produce faster population aging, say researchers who developed new measures of aging and applied them to projections of residential lifespans in Europe.
“If you don't consider people old just because they reached age 65 but instead take into account how long they have left to live,” Sergei Scherbov, a researcher at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, stated in a press release, “then the faster the increase in life expectancy, the less aging is actually going on.”
Today, most everyone over the age of 50 is arguing (rather loudly) that traditional measures of age no longer work. Age is not a number and what once was considered middle-aged is still young. (You heard me!) And though people in their 20’s might disagree — at least they do for now — it is pretty clear to everyone, no matter where they find themselves along the time-on-earth continuum, that people vary a lot in terms of health and ability at every age. Exercising regularly, eating nutritious foods, protecting your skin against sun damage, remaining present, as the yogis say, in your life, you can look and feel awfully good well into and beyond middle-age.
So how do we measure our precious lives? ...
'Grace and Frankie' Offers Fresh Look at Aging, Says Stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin
The comedy centers on two women in their 70s, Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin), brought together after their husbands suddenly announce that they're leaving them for each other and that they plan to tie the knot.
"There are more older women in the world. Its the fastest growing demographic in the globe and so its good to tell a more realistic and upbeat story about older women," said Fonda, who also serves as an executive producer on the Netflix original. "The whole question of same-sex marriage is in the news so its great we're tackling that as well."
The series not only handles the more predictable challenges of being newly single like bad dates and family drama with humor and, yes, grace. It also addresses aging specific concerns like the death of a close friend and breaking a hip, both of which are tackled head-on. "It doesn’t just make it funny. It makes it real," said Fonda. "Its not the stereotyped view of what it is to be an older woman which is why I like doing it."...
Alzheimer’s trial in Iowa stirs talk of senior sexuality
By Stacey Burling
“Our need for touch is universal, from birth to death,”
Experts from the Widener University-based Sexuality and Aging Consortium say a groundbreaking Iowa court case illustrates why consumers and long-term care facilities should do more thinking about sex — before they get into trouble.
Whether their parents still want sex probably isn’t at the top of the minds of most people choosing a nursing home for their loved ones.
But experts from the Widener University-based Sexuality and Aging Consortium say a groundbreaking Iowa court case illustrates why consumers and long-term-care facilities should do more thinking about sex — before they get into trouble.
In the Iowa case, Henry Rayhons, 78, a former member of the Iowa House of Representatives, is charged with sexual abuse for having sex with his wife of seven years in her nursing home. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A doctor at the Garner, Iowa, facility where Donna Rayhons lived, and her two daughters from a previous marriage, concluded she was too impaired to consent to sex.
The case raises complex questions about what constitutes consent for a person with dementia and how nursing homes should prepare for the inevitable: People of all ages want and need sexual contact....
Free iPads to seniors in Japan
great, but why not here?
IBM, Apple, Japan Post tackle aging
By Edward C. Baig
IBM, Apple and Japan's largest employer Japan Post are joining forces to deliver iPads and software on those tablets to help improve senior's lives in Japan. Under a pilot program kicking off in the second half of this year, the companies plan to deliver up to 5 million iPads to seniors there by 2020.
The global elderly population will increase from 11.7% in 2013 to more than 21% by 2050. In the U.S., 10,000 people turn 65 every day.
The custom built apps targeted at the older population under the partnership will help folks remember to take medication, manage doctor's visits, handle household maintenance chores, monitor diet and exercise and stay in touch with loved ones who live miles away, often via Apple's FaceTime video calls.
The above photo represents a “double” portion
One of the infrequent “treats” we get here, and one that is a favorite of many of our residents, is the occasional BBQ rib dinner. While these pork parts are not what one would call “prime” they usually are of a decent quality. Unfortunately, as of late, the quality, as well as size of the portions for this offering has been abysmal.
We diners last Sunday were surprised to find that BBQ ribs had made its way to the menu for the second week in a row. There was much speculation about the reason for this back to back duplication. Perhaps it was because the quality of the previous week’s ribs was so poor that Chef decided to try his hand at it again. The ribs foisted upon us at that time were of a decent size but were mostly fatty and grizzled. However, when this most recent rib dinner came to our table we could easily see that, not only had the meat's quality gone down hill, but so had the size of the ribs as well.
Knowing who and what we are dealing with, most diners know to order a “double” portion of ribs instead of the regular serving size. Ordering the standard portion would put only three ribs on your plate. Hardly a decent size serving for an adult. Doubling the order should, by all accounts, mean that at least six ribs would be brought out, making the meal a decent, adult serving of ribs. Unfortunately, what “double” meant to the geniuses in the kitchen last Sunday was not six ribs , but four ribs. This means, using simple math, that the regular portion would have been only two ribs each per diner. TWO RIBS EACH. W.T.F. What cook in his right mind would consider two ribs a decent size serving for a group of adult diners. And, to make things worse, the ribs were small, burned and devoid of almost any trace of BBQ sauce. Which makes this diner ask, why even bother?
Maybe it’s just me
Hot open Roast Beef
I am usually in accord with my fellow residents when it comes to the food served here at the Asylum. When the majority of the diners tell me that what they had for dinner was over or under cooked, or too salty or too bland or too tough or too stringy, I most likely would agree with them. After all, if something is not good, it’s not good for all. However, last Friday’s lunch of roast beef over rye bread with gravy gave me reason to question my ability to judge what is good and what is not. Contrary to what my own table mates said, I thought that roast beef was actually quite acceptable. Notice that I did not say it was great or even just OK. But it really was not that bad. Complaining that the meat was dry and tough, many diners pushed it away. I, on the other hand, devoured it with gusto (and a little salt). People around me could not believe that I actually finished the entire meal. Was I eating the same food? It certainly looked the same. So what’s going on here. Could there be something else afoot. Could it be that, unlike some of the people in that dining room, I have teeth. Hmm, I wonder.
According to a recent report, senior citizens are getting wrecked at Orlando theme parks
Posted By Colin Wolf
Long lines, excruciating heat and mobs upon mobs of happy children can tear down even the most robust individuals, and so, it should come as no surprise that according to a recent quarterly injury report to the state of Florida, a large portion of theme park injuries are happening to our nation's elderly.
Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey took down three victims so far this year. As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, "a 69-year-old man described feeling chest discomfort, a 51-year-old man with a pre-existing condition had difficulty moving his extremities and a 76-year-old woman experienced 'altered mental status."
Disney's Magic Kingdom claimed a 64-year-old man's ankle after he stepped out of a car at the Indy Speedway,...
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At the ALF it's
Separate and divide For a better life
This week, the members of the executive board of the Resident’s Council will have a one on one meeting with our new administrator, at which we will present some of our resident’s major concerns. While it is presumed that not much will be accomplished at this meeting, it will give us a chance to, at least, make our wishes known and present ourselves in a manner that shows that we are not just a group of senile old biddies whose unwarranted demands should be dismissed as just so much wishful thinking.
The one change, or should I say “adjustment”, that is needed here most is what is at the root of many of this facilities ills. The Center must have a method of distinguishing between the two or three different classifications of
1. The “Can
These are residents who are of a relatively sound mind and body. They have no severely debilitating conditions or illnesses or cognitive disabilities. These residents should be permitted the use of basic life assisting appliances in their rooms. This would include such items as microwave ovens, coffee makers, and hair dryers etc. Let me make this perfectly clear. I do not condone the use of any open flame appliance or actual cooking be allowed by anyone.
2. The “Maybe’s”.
These residents are borderline. While they may be able to perform some tasks such as turning on a microwave oven, they may have trouble with pouring hot beverages. These folks should be evaluated to determine the limits of their abilities and may be limited to the kinds of appliances they can use.
3. The “Absolutely never ever."
Finally, we have residents whose mental and or physical conditions or both, make them incapable of using any of the aforementioned appliances correctly or safely. These people should receive special care and be separated from the mainstream population. This goes for the dining room as well.
In brief, “All of us should not be penalized by the disabilities of a few”. Residents can and should be evaluated on their individual abilities and treated accordingly. The facility has to decide what kind of residence it wants to be. If they are going to take in cognitively impaired people (And I have no problem with that) they must also be able to properly care for them irrelevant of the rest of the population. And, at the same time, be allowed to cater to the needs of the remainder of the population who would just like the dignity and respect that is afforded to every other resident of the State of New York.
One of our
6 Things You Must Know About Aging in Place
Planning to stay put in retirement? Get your home ready now.
By Pat Mertz Esswein
1. It pays to retrofit.
Basic design and structural modifications to a one-story home cost an average of $9,000 to $12,000, according to The MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0. Contrast that expense to the cost of assisted living, which averaged $3,500 per month in 2014, according to Genworth Financial, or $42,000 a year.
2. Think small.
Start with replacement hardware, such as lever-handled doorknobs and sturdy handrails along
3. Make it accessible.
Other modifications will cost more, and you may want to consult an expert. Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS) -- who have completed a program developed by the National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with AARP -- can create a prioritized to-do list suited to your budget and resources (to search by zip code, visit the NAHB Web site at www.nahb.org and search for "CAPS Directory"). If, for example, your home has entry steps, consider installing a ramp; it will run $1,200 to $2,500, according to www.costowl.com. A
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Editor’s note: We do not endorse this or any other commercial product or enterprise. We present this article purely for informational purposes.
The Elms Assisted Living Announces “Try Us…You’ll Love Us” 30-Day Trial Stay Program in Coastal New England
A leading assisted living community in Rhode Island offers a short-term stay option.
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, The Elms Retirement Living is offering seniors an unusual opportunity to try out luxury assisted living on The Elms campus without a long-term commitment.
“Short stay residents can experience a beautifully furnished hotel-like suite for one month and receive any or all of our professional services.”
Basic short-stay rates start at $3,995 with additional specialized Personal Care and Assistance services available. Administrator Mark Taylor notes, “The community fee and security deposit are waived for the 30 day stay trial program. It’s great for seniors having work done on their homes, transitioning after making a long distance move, or who just aren’t sure if the assisted living experience is right for them.”
More People Dying of Heart Disease,
By Randy Dotinga
Despite medical advances, a new study shows that more people are dying of heart disease and stroke worldwide than did a quarter century ago because the global population is growing, and growing older.
The good news is that the death rate -- the number of deaths in relation to the size of the population -- fell in most regions of the world.
The declining death rate reflects better diets, less tobacco smoking and improvements in medicine, said Dr. Simon Capewell, a professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Liverpool in England.
However, the numbers are still too high, said Capewell, who was not involved in the study.
"A lot of these deaths are premature, meaning they kill people below the age of 75," Capewell said. "Ninety percent of these premature deaths are preventable and avoidable through healthy diets and zero smoking."
In the study, researchers led by Dr. Gregory Roth, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, examined data from a 2013 global analysis of disease statistics from 188 countries. They focused on the numbers of cardiac deaths and death rates from 1990 to 2013.
More Health News...
Reducing hip fractures in U.S. senior citizens
would cost $2 billion
Study predicts 357,656 lifetime hip fractures after wrist fracture in all U.S. females age 65 and older
The lifetime cost of a hip fracture is estimated at $81,300, of which approximately 44 percent of the costs are associated with nursing facility expenses. Hip fractures cause an estimated 300,000 unplanned hospital admissions in the U.S. each year, according to this new study presented this week at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
Researchers reviewed existing literature and Medicare data to determine distal radius fracture incidence and age-specific hip fracture rates after distal radius fracture with and without bisphosphonate treatment. A model was then created to determine future fracture rates with and without treatment, and related costs.
The cost of routine bisphosphonate treatment, including the cost for treating associated atypical femur fractures, comes to a lifetime total of $19.5 billion, or approximately $205,534 per avoided hip fracture....
Who’s responsible in caring for aging parents?
by Charlie Sewell
In a recent conversation, a woman grumbled that her elderly father squandered his money, didn’t make good career decisions and now he expected her to provide for his financial support. Some people say adult children are obligated to support their elderly parents just as the parent supported them when they were little. People who have personal financial issues, those that were reared in a dysfunctional family or those who have a host of other reasons, may not agree with that philosophy.
Licensed care facilities have a legal obligation to care for the wellbeing of their clients, but what legal obligation does an adult child have toward an indigent elderly parent? The answer to that question is hotly debated, surrounded by deep-rooted emotions, and there are probably as many opinions as there are elderly parents.
Society today makes it real clear that it is a crime when a parent neglects to give adequate nourishment to a child. But what if an adult child neglects to give adequate nourishment to an indigent elderly parent?
Healthy Relationships in Your Golden Years
By Daphne Mallory
Building healthy relationships should be a top priority because it impacts both your mental and physical health. We all have a need for emotional connection. Aging can make it difficult for reasons that include limited mobility and memory loss. There are also ageless reasons why men and women do not experience healthy relationships.
Gossip destroys trust and ruins relationships. No matter how old you are, no one likes the experience of finding out that the personal experiences you shared with a “friend” is being talked about at the water cooler, in the common room or on the golf course. It’s even worse when you have to live in close proximity with Mr. or Mrs. Gossiper in a senior-living community, or if that person provides health care services to you and your family. The key to gossip is to not engage in it, and stop it from taking place in your presence. Let gossipers know that you’re not interested, and make a note of others who are like-minded. Slowly, but surely, share your life with those who prove themselves trustworthy with your daily struggles and victories.
Building friendships based only on a person’s social status may not be fulfilling. This works both ways. Befriend only working-class seniors and stereotype wealthy seniors in the community, you may miss out on opportunities for healthy relationships. Likewise, if you’ve generated wealth for your family and limit your social circles to those with a similar net worth, you may miss out on building healthy relationships with seniors in a low- or middle-income bracket.....
What are some great
"When I was your age" statements?
By Dan Knight, writing on http://www.quora.com/
"When I was your age, a man could be fond of children and not be considered a sexual predator."
"When I was your age, I would go to the pub to find a girlfriend, now I open an app."
"When I was your age, my phone battery would last over a day."
"When I was your age, I would go to a shop, hunt up and down the aisles, queue for ages, wait for assistance when the barcode cannot be found, use bits of metal and paper to pay for my goods and carry them home. Now I go to a website, click a button and wait for someone to deliver.
"When I was your age, cigarettes didn't need batteries."
"When I was your age, I'd carry round one book at a time."
"When I was your age, Santa didn't need a background check."
"When I was your age, AIDS was one of the biggest viral killers in the world. 3 decades and 35 million infections later, it looks like HIV may be evolving into being less deadly and less infectious"
"When I was your age, I'd have to wait to hear my favourite song on the radio. Now I click a button."
"When I was your age, I'd need to take my turntables, vinyl, needles, cables, adapters, cleaning cloths and spares of everything. Now I need a tablet and a pair of headphones."
"When I was your age, I had to close my eyes and use my imagination to fantasize about a beautiful woman. Now I click a button."
"When I was your age, everyone thought we'd be living in space by now."
"When I was your age, the technology in films was a fantasy, now it's reality."
"When I was your age, I'd discuss quandaries with my mates down the pub. Now I just use Google."
"When I was your age, I'd never make groaning noises every time I stand up or sit down."
"When I was your age, there were 4 television channels (in the UK)."
"When I was your age, my watch only told me the time and date."
"When I was your age, I'd write a letter to my favourite celebrity, now I tweet them."
"When I was your age, teenagers weren't half as annoying as I find them now."
Peter Thiel’s quest to find the key to eternal life
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is funding, through his nonprofit, research on anti-aging projects.
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
I’ve always had this really strong sense that death was a terrible, terrible thing. I think that’s somewhat unusual. Most people end up compartmentalizing, and they are in some weird mode of denial and acceptance about death, but they both have the result of making you very passive. I prefer to fight it.
Almost every major disease is linked to aging. One in a thousand get cancer after age 30. Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971, and there has been frustratingly slow progress. One-third of people age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and we’re not even motivated to start a war on Alzheimer’s. At the end of the day, we need to do more.
“I worry the FDA is too restrictive. Pharmaceutical companies are way too bureaucratic. A tiny fraction of a fraction of a fraction of NIH [National Institutes of Health] spending goes to genuine anti-aging research. The whole thing gets treated like a lottery ticket. Part of the problem is that aging research doesn’t always lend itself to being a great for-profit business, but it’s a very important area for a philanthropic investment.”.....
More on this topic...
We are not prepared for longer life expectancies
By Celeste Loia
The current structure of the U.S. holds that we are born, go to school, find a steady career, retire around age 62 (according to the Gallup Poll in 2014) and then enjoy retirement bliss until our bodies or minds begin to fail and death claims us.
Longer life spans could result in a serious threat to the well-being of humanity. Longer life spans mean that more people stay on Earth longer. This translates to more people needing food, housing, clean water and other essentials for extended periods of time.
In the U.S., the average life expectancy for those born in 1950 is 68 years old, according to the CDC. This means that the average baby boomer will spend six years in retirement.
We, as a society, are not ready to support a generation for sixteen years in retirement. Perhaps an equal increase in the retirement age would solve the problem or perhaps a revamped Social Security, but the current structure is not sustainable...
AARP project promotes
tech needs of aging Americans
BY MATTHEW STERN
The AARP is partnering with Pfizer Inc. and UnitedHealthcare to launch a program called Project Catalyst that will help technology companies better understand the needs of the nation’s aging population and improve their products accordingly.
Project Catalyst’s first study focuses on sleep trackers and activity trackers, two types of health-monitoring technology that are growing in popularity.
“Technology that is designed well – designed for all – can be used by a 5-year-old and a 95-year-old, alike. We are thrilled about starting this study and commencing the launch of the Project Catalyst program,” said Jody Holtzman, AARP senior vice president of Thought Leadership. "The goals of Project Catalyst are in direct alignment with the mission of AARP – to identify challenges and determine solutions to improve the quality of life for people as they age."
5 safety lessons about senior
identify theft and fraud
BY Nina Lincoff
“Senior citizens are incredibly at risk when it comes to falling victim to identity theft and fraud.”
5 lessons from the first 5 years of Obamacare
Seniors looking to protect themselves from fraud should follow these five tips:
• Don’t carry your Medicare card or number with you:“[Don't be] a little bit loose with the information on your Medicare card because you carry it around with you...that has your social
security number on it,” Wasserman Shultz said. “If thieves get a hold of your social security number, they can rob you blind.”
• Hide your Medicare card or number at home: If you have nurses, caretakers, or other staff coming to your home, do not leave your Medicare card out on the table. In a matter of seconds, a visitor in your home can snap a picture of your Medicare number, and therefore your social security number, with their phone, Wasserman said.
• Never send money in response to “sweepstakes” mailings:“Seniors are so often willing to believe anything they see in print,” Wasserman Schultz said. Don’t take something that comes in the mail as gospel. If someone on the phone or via mail is asking for money and offers to transfer lottery winnings to you, don’t respond......
Aging Out of My Bra: Why Lingerie Brands
Should Target Women Over 50
By Elisabeth Dale
“I aged out of Victoria's Secret push-up padded bras sometime between the birth of my second and third child. None of their styles seemed to fit my post-baby body.”
Fashion websites have been falling all over themselves to celebrate the latest advertising trend: Women over 50, 60 and even 80, fronting for brands in the fashion world. Joni Mitchell, Joan Didion, and now Twiggy, are the current hot senior commodities selling stylish designer products.
I love to see older women celebrated and honored in this way. Now in my late 50s, I'm content, and even more in love with life. But I'm curious to know what these mature models are wearing underneath their outfits. Are they still able to find pretty, feminine and well-fitting lingerie?
Look at any bra brand -- including those championing diversity in lingerie like the recent Lane Bryant #ImNoAngel campaign -- and you rarely see a model who looks over the age of 30. It's great for younger women, but it doesn't do much for those of us who only see our daughter's bodies reflected in these ads.
Eating in, now and forever
My table mate and I, here at the Asylum, were lamenting over a particularly depressing dinner last night of sausage and peppers.I recounted the story of my younger days when a sausage and pepper hero was a thing of beauty and flavor. The spicy Italian sausage with the grilled peppers on a crisp, fresh piece of Italian bread was a staple at many Italian street festivals and bar-b-ques alike. As we sat there, trying to make the best out of what was on our plates, I was suddenly struck with the realization that "This was the best it was going to be for the rest of my life". Except for an occasional dinner in a restaurant or take-out, I am never going to have a real good meal again. And, unless my circumstances change, I will be destined to eat institutional food for the remainder of my days.
Here at Happy Acres Rest Home, we are not permitted to cook (or even re-heat) food in our rooms. We can't even bring outside food into our dining room which means that the only food there is, is what comes out of the facilities kitchen. It also guarantees that what we will be eating will be bland and boring. Why is this? What makes our circumstances so different from people in the "outside" world. Is it the fact that it is very difficult to cook hot, fresh, tasty food for a large group. I think not. After all, the military has been doing it for years. So what’s the real problem with the food.
The real problem is two-fold. On one hand we have the dreaded and clueless D.O.H. (The N.Y. State Department of Health). The D.O.H. Is the controlling body that regulates and oversees everything that goes on in Nursing Homes and A.L.F’s. Unfortunately, they also direct what takes place in the kitchen of these institutions. Not only do they make sure that we are obtaining the proper nutrition, but they also dictate how the food should be cooked. And that means that they want our food virtually cooked to death. Nothing that can be considered rare or medium will ever pass over the lips of anyone in an ALF. No runny eggs and no juicy burgers. Never! And to make things worse, we have no way of ever having this changed. The other problem with the food has to do with the residents themselves. To put it bluntly, most of them wouldn't know good food if it bit them in the ass. Either their taste buds have been worn away by years of salt-free, sugar-free, fat-free, spice-free, portioned controlled garbage or they are afraid of trying new things especially if it sounds too foreign or ethnic. Taco’s, sorry, too Mexican and besides they use all that hot stuff. Wraps, sorry, I like my sandwiches made with real white bread please. Garlic, oregano. Basil, oooh no, much to spicy for my delicate digestive system, it’s my ulcer you know. So what. Why should I have to suffer because your intestines have decided to rebel. Maybe it’s all that white bread and mayo you have been eating all your life. If you had grown up with real people you would have been eating foods like Kim chi, which could take the paint off a Buick, or wasabi, that could power a rocket ship to Mars. I’m sorry that you don’t like those foods.I’m sorry that you have dedicated yourself to a life in the bland lane, but please don’t take it out on me. Once and a while it’s good to get heartburn. It shows that you are still alive. Now shut up and pass the Tums................................................................The Faceless Foodie
The lazy chef’s ham & cheese omelet
Even the most unworldly, naive, ignorant, unsophisticated, simple ignoramus knows that the ingredients go ON THE INSIDE OF THE OMELET. For instance.
The cheese in a cheese omelet goes on the inside of the folded eggs.
The mushrooms in a mushroom omelet goes on the inside of the folded eggs.
Spinach, peppers, sausage, bacon, crickets, asparagus or anything else you can think of when making an omelet goes on the inside, not thrown haphazardly on the outside of the folded egg. To do so is not only a sacrilege, but shows how utterly lazy the cooks in our kitchen are. It also shows the lack of professionalism exhibited here. Such was the case Friday when the ham and cheese omelet came to our tables inside out.
What if the cheese stuffing in the “Stuffed Shells” was on the outside of the shells.
What would happen if, when you ordered a taco the meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato were not stuffed inside the taco?.
What would you call stuffed cabbage if the stuff were outside of the cabbage leaves?
5 Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
Gone are the days when the topic of cannabis in skin care was met with apprehension or, even worse, snickering. These days everyone's aware of the tremendous health benefits of hemp seed oil, from treating acne to fighting cardiovascular diseases. Contrary to popular belief, hemp is not marijuana. Hemp is more like a close cousin, derived from the same Cannabis genus plant family. Most hemp seed oil comes from industrialized hemp that has next to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. However, the distinction can be confusing — even the DEA can't get it right.
“ ...hemp won't save your life, but it can definitely save your skin.”
Rich in the same essential fatty acids that's present in skin lipids, hemp seed oil improves moisture and elasticity to the skin by lubricating beneath the surface. Unlike other oils that simply coat the skin, hemp seed oil's penetrative properties dry naturally while locking in moisture and improving skin's quality.
Good news for eczema sufferers. Hemp seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties that are perfect for those with sensitive skin, eczema or rosacea. This 2005 study reported that hemp seed oil used on eczema sufferers gradually improved their skin for dryness and itchiness, thanks to an increase of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The acids also help to reduce redness and irritation associated with acne and rosacea.......
Tips for better sleep
By KATIE GILSTRAP
Lack of sleep will make you say and do things you regret. If worry and stress about caregiving are keeping you awake at night, here are some suggestions:
Try over-the-counter sleep aids for a few nights to help you establish a better sleep cycle and get the rest you need. These often work as well as stronger sleep medicines available by prescription.
Try a glass of warm milk, which contains an amino acid th
at releases relaxing serotonin. It might lull you into a sleepy state.
Try a bowl of oatmeal. You’ll elevate your blood sugar in a way that triggers sleep-inducing brain chemicals while also getting a natural source of melatonin, which is often used as a natural sleep aid.
Have a banana. The potassium and magnesium in bananas relax muscles and produce serotonin (associated with relaxation) and melatonin.
Don’t count on that relaxing glass of wine or hot chocolate to do the trick. Alcohol can interfere with your ability to attain deep sleep, and cocoa contains caffeine.....
Contact and Comment
The following editorial was written during the height of our most recent health crisis here at the Center. Facility-wide restrictions were in place that put a burden on all of our residents. Fortunately, those restrictions were lifted shortly after this editorial was written and we are, at least for now, back to normal. However, due to the inherent nature of most ALF’s and nursing homes, we can expect to see similar occurrences in the future. This editorial goes to that point.
As the great philosopher, Lawrence Peter Berra once said, “It’s deja vu all over again”. Once more, and for the fourth time this year, we, the lowly peasant/prisoners of the Westchester Center, were subjected to a battery of indignities unknown to most adults who don’t reside in an assisted living facility. You see, because someone, or a group of someones (they don’t tell us how many), came down with what might be a stomach virus (they are not sure which one), we have been asked to give up our rights to, if not life, at least liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the right to have hot food served in an environment conducive to enjoying a meal. Instead, our contact with other residents and staff was limited. Our activities were canceled and we were barred from the dining room. Our meals were brought to us, usually cold, in Styrofoam containers. All this, because this pathogen-infested facility cannot figure out how to keep this place free of these virulent infestations that cause so much turmoil, aggravation and upheaval amongst the residents, most of whom are not comfortable with change.
As I mentioned, this is the fourth time that we have been put on what I like to call “limited isolation”, proving that experience does not perfection make. In fact, they have learned very little from the recent past. Additionally, it appears that the county and state department’s of health also don’t know what they are doing when it comes to preventing these kinds of outbreaks. The last time this happened (only a couple of months ago) we were visited by both of those departments whose only ostensible solution was to have hand sanitizers installed in some strategic locations around the facility. A solution that evidently has little merit. You see, most of the people here are too dense or apathetic to care about disease prevention. As to this point, I have spoken about the lack of personal hygiene prevalent among some of our residents and the lack of the administration’s ability to do something about it. On a number of occasions, it was I, or another resident, that had to ask Case Management to resolve a problem concerning a particular resident’s “wholesomeness”.
There is a prevalent feces and urine smell which permeates the lobby and other public areas of the facility. And, as we know, where there is poop, there is the possibility of spreading a gastrointestinal infection, the results of which we are now experiencing. The last time this occurred, a group of us had a meeting with the facilities former administrator and the head nurse. At that time we asked that the facility make a complete accounting of, not only what had happened that we had to virtually shut down for three weeks and, a full report on what will be done in the future to prevent such a disruption again. Both of those requests have not been met with a reply. Most likely this is because they don’t actually have a plan other than the current intolerable procedure. I think it’s time we (resident’s council) revisit management again and maybe wait there until we get a reasonable answer. Because as sure as I am sitting here writing this, you and I know this will happen again.
Continuing on our photo tour of our facility, this week we take a look at one of the dual purpose rooms located in the main building. At first glance, this well-appointed room appears to be you average corporate boardroom complete with carpeting, comfortable upholstered chairs, and a long mahogany table. In actuality, the room serves two functions. While it is indeed a board room, used by the facilities management and others, it is also the “friends and Family” room. The room may be “booked” by residents for private activities such as birthday parties, religious services or just some lunch, in private, with loved ones.
One challenge in assisted living or nursing facilities:
By Elizabeth Bewley
"How could you not know that my mother's jacket is missing? She's worn it nearly every day in the spring and fall for five years. What has she been wearing outside instead?" Jill's frustration was clear to the caregivers at the skilled nursing facility (SNF) where her mother lived."
This excellent facility received the highest possible ratings from Medicare and other certifying agencies, and when Jill visited unannounced, she was always heartened to see the obvious care and concern directed towards her mother and other residents.
Still, over time, she had replaced a huge amount of missing clothing:
• 43 pairs of knit slacks (her mother owned eight pairs, so Jill had replaced them five times over)
• 35 shirts
• 24 camisoles
• 13 sweaters
• 1 winter coat
That didn't count the socks, scarves, hats, and gloves. Now she'd have to replace a jacket. And the previous year, her mother's expensive wedding ring had disappeared right off her finger.
Why do belongings vanish?...
Architect: Age-friendly design should be stylish, colorful, fun
by Chris Kenrick
Growing old is "hard work" but it can be fun, insists Berkeley architect Susanne Stadler.
Stadler is co-founder of At Home with Growing Older, a group that includes social workers, psychologists and designers interested in promoting home-like settings, rather than institutional ones, a
s a "major contributor to healthy aging."
Age-friendly design goes well beyond ramps and traditional grab bars to include beautiful, "human-centered" design for all generations, playfulness and integration into the larger community, Stadler said, showing photos that included senior housing attached to a Swiss sports complex and a bathroom conceived as a "living room," with places to sit down and colorful, sporty-looking grips to provide support.
"If we can get past our denial and avoidance — not look at aging as a weakness but as a fact of life — then we can talk about what we need and ask for help when we need it," she said. "Home is the base for our well-being, and it should support the physical and emotional changes that age brings."
Medication management is
critical to a senior’s welfare
The wrong medications. The wrong dosage. The wrong timing. Any of these scenarios of skipped medications or taking too much or too little can cause medical complications or even death. The nation’s seniors are particularly at risk for medication-related difficulties. Some healthcare experts rank medication problems among the top five causes of death for people over age 65 and as a source of confusion, falls and loss of independence.
In a 2013 report on aging and health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, “More than a quarter of all Americans and two of three older Americans have multiple chronic conditions, and treatment for this population accounts for 66 percent of the country’s healthcare budget … People with multiple chronic conditions face an increased risk of conflicting medical advice, adverse drug effects, unnecessary and duplicative tests, and avoidable hospitalizations, all of which can further endanger their health.”
The more medications a person takes, the greater likelihood of adverse drug interactions or a mix-up in dosages. A nurses’ handbook available on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website states that seniors discharged from the hospital on more than five drugs are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within six months after discharge.
Kate Mulgrew on Aging in Hollywood
BY ALYNDA WHEAT
With a new memoir coming and a role on a hit TV series, actress Kate Mulgrew isn't holding back on how tough it's been for women in Hollywood.
The actress, who plays prison cook Red on Orange Is the New Black and starred as Capt. Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, says it's "absurd" that women are still fighting for the same pay as men.
"I should've been paid every cent [Patrick] Stewart was paid," Mulgrew told PEOPLE, referring to her counterpart on Star Trek: The Next Generation. "Not to mention the three and a half hours I spent in makeup and hair, and somebody fooling around with my bosoms and somebody fooling around with my shoes."
Mulgrew's book, Born With Teeth, fearlessly details her personal struggles, including giving up a daughter for adoption, as well as her decades-long career as a performer.
"I'll be 60 this month [on April 29]," Mulgrew tells PEOPLE. "For most of my life I was very pretty and played the heroine. You’re really boxed in when you’re pretty. They don’t see anything else."
Congress reshapes Medicare payments
with bipartisan bill
By Alan Fram
Conservatives hated that it's expected to swell federal deficits over the coming decade. Liberals complained that it shortchanged health programs for children and women.
But after years of complaints and failed efforts, huge majorities of lawmakers from both parties banded together and Congress approved legislation permanently recasting how Medicare reimburses physicians.
Fueling the bill's overwhelming support was backing from potent interest groups including the American Medical Association and AARP, the lobby for senior citizens.
Though AARP tried unsuccessfully to change the bill to ease costs for some Medicare recipients, chief executive Jo Ann Jenkins hailed its passage as "momentous" Wednesday and said the measure would help Medicare beneficiaries "rest assured that they'll be able to keep seeing their physicians each year."
The Senate gave final congressional approval late Tuesday to the $214 billion bipartisan measure, which rewrites how Medicare pays doctors for treating more than 50 million elderly people.
It also provides extra money for health care programs for children and low-income people, which Democrats coveted, and imposed higher costs on some higher-income Medicare beneficiaries, which Republicans touted as a victory....
More medicare news...
Medicare at 50:
An Aging Program Shows Signs of Wear
Would President Lyndon Johnson even recognize his grand entitlement plan today?
by Joshua Cohen MD, MPH
What began as a heroically heralded attempt at assisting seniors struggling to pay prescription drug bills devolved into partisan posturing amidst national unease. While the bill ultimately provided outpatient prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries, it did so at some expense.
Beneficiaries were forced to choose between existing prescription drug coverage and a new Medicare Part D program, and those eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare were required to receive drug coverage through Medicare.
Additionally, beneficiaries could not buy supplemental policies to cover expenses not covered under Part D. While initially these changes seemed reasonable to obtain some type of coverage for seniors, it led to a system that discouraged employers to provide prescription benefits for retirees, created a "doughnut hole" in which seniors increasingly found themselves unable to afford the rising cost of medications, and provided a buffer upon which pharmaceutical companies could escalate their rate of price increases.
Since 2006 when Part D launched, premiums for Part D plans have increased by 50% and cost-sharing for brand name drugs had increased by 50% or more. With drug costs rising every day, more and more Medicare recipients find themselves unable to afford the treatments their doctors prescribe.
With cost-sharing increasing at every turn, many on Medicare constantly make tough choices between healthcare and other expenses. Beneficiaries without supplemental coverage are 65% more likely to forego a needed doctor's visit, primarily due to cost of care.
I do believe that Lyndon Johnson's grand social insurance plan began as, and for a long time was, a commitment to provide seniors the best that our American healthcare system has to offer.
But with the cost of Medicare consuming an ever higher percentage of the federal budget and falling prey to the political pressure to reduce government expenditures, I fear the current system will increasingly find seniors shouldering more of the healthcare burden than they can afford to bear.
What happens if we live to be 150 years old?
By Yuh-Mei Hutt
It is very possible that I will live to be 150 years old — and my kids can be expected to live even longer!
Researchers at Human Longevity are trying to extend human life an additional 30 years within the next decade. If you can believe that living to 150 is possible, would you also believe that living to 1,000 is also possible?
Currently, scientists have been able to prolong human life 0.2 years for every year that passes. As they begin to unlock the code of senescence (the process of aging) they will be able to increase the rate. Once researchers can prolong life 1 year for every year that passes, called longevity escape velocity, humans can pretty much live indefinitely.
What if our concept of old age is wrong? What if they can redefine your meaning of old age? What if they extend the most vibrant years of your life? What if you could be 29 for 50 years? Haven’t you heard that 40 is the new 30? What if 80 becomes the new 40?...
More on this topic...
This Google Executive is Apparently Taking
$1000 Worth of Pills a Day to Live Forever
The Financial Times
Last month, we reported that Bill Maris, managing partner and president of Google’s investment fund, believes that people will be able to live to 500 in our lifetime. It appears that Maris is not the only person from Google who is interested in living for a long time.
Ray Kurzweil, the 67-year-old director of engineering at Google, believes that he’s found the secret to living forever, and it all lies in diet. He told The Financial Times:
“We’ve learnt to accept it, the cycle of life and all that, but humans have an opportunity to transcend beyond natural limitations […] Life expectancy was 19 a thousand years ago. It was 37 in 1800. Everyone believes in life extension. Somebody comes out with a cure for disease, it’s celebrated. It’s not, ‘Oh, gee, that’s going to forestall death.’”
Here’s what he eats for breakfast every day:
- Berries (85 calories)
- Dark chocolate infused with espresso (170 calories)
- Smoked salmon and mackerel (100 calories)
- Vanilla soy milk (100 calories)
- Stevia (0 calories)
- Porridge (150-350 calories)
- Green tea (0 calories)
Then for the rest of the day, ....
Wearable technology may enhance physical strength of an aging population
At the moment, the most common forms of wearable technology are worn on the wrist in the form of fitness trackers and smartwatches, or even on the face as smartglasses and headsets, but a new type of exoskeleton tech is now suggesting that simple devices could one day be worn in order to boost physical strength.
The design of those wearables would be such that they would use an individual’s own muscle power to its best potential.
The idea is that people who are currently in the baby boomer age group will be particularly able to take advantage of this wearable technology, as it will extend their physical ability to keep up their favorite activity for a number of years longer. Devices have already entered into the prototype phase to help individuals to be better capable of jogging, hiking, and taking on other types of activity beyond what they would naturally be capable of achieving. These incredible gadgets were described in the latest volume of the Nature journal....
Everything ages, even your brain. Don’t worry so much.
It’s probably not Alzheimer’s.
By Lenny Bernstein
In a wide-ranging report released Tuesday morning, the Institute of Medicine -- the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences -- recommends that you relax a bit. Everything ages, even your brain. There are things you can do, and disaster is most likely not around the corner.
"Cognitive functioning in older adults can improve in some areas, such as those related to wisdom and experience, and [it] can decline in others, such as memory, attention and speed of processing," the panel of experts wrote. "Individuals vary widely in the specific cognitive changes that occur with age, in the nature and extent of cognitive aging, as well as in the ways these changes affect daily life."
Which isn't to say that you can't fight back or that the world around you shouldn't adapt as a growing population of older folk copes with aging brains. "Cognitive decline affects not only the individual, but also his or her family and community, and an array of health, public health, social, and other services may be required to provide necessary assistance and support," the panel wrote.
How to Choose a Car to Make Aging Easier
New features for older drivers:
by Amy Goyer
“Whether you’re shopping for a new car for yourself, with an eye toward future needs or are caring for a loved one, be clear with your car salesperson about your goals and constraints. Mine were amazed by my attention to detail, but they also seemed to appreciate what I was doing for Dad.”
Here are some of the essential car features and extras I looked for to make life easier for us on the road.
Higher seats, to make it easy to get into and out of the car.
Adequate backseat leg room and space between the seat and door frame for Dad to swing his legs into the car. Also, back doors that open wide enough for him to get in.
Electric seats, so I’m not straining my back to bend over and pull the front seat forward to make more room for Dad’s legs.
Reclining back seats, so Dad can lean back as he swings his legs in.
Electric locks, windows and “child safety” doors that I can lock if needed, so Dad can’t open the door unexpectedly.
Adequate and easy-access cargo space for walkers, wheelchairs, dogs and groceries. A push button to open the tailgate hatch saves wear and tear on my back.
The aging adventure: What's next,
by Owen Houghton
April is my birthday month, so as I pass another milestone (78) I contemplate my aging adventure and ask “What’s next?” Is my aging a natural process of decline, or more the entrée to what Dr. Bill Thomas calls “Life’s Most Dangerous Game?”
His thinking is the inspiration for the new Green House idea being advocated by the Maplewood Nursing Home Task Force. Many folks now understand that the negative effects of aging can be modified with affordable long-term quality care in small home-like environments.
What makes “aging danger” a possibility is outlined in a book that has been all the rage among my friends lately. “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande MD examines the limits and failures of medical practices at the end of life, which too often limit patient integrity and choices.
He suggests that aging doesn’t have to be a physical, spiritual and emotional disaster if later-life planning and appropriate conversations prepare for the final stages of life. Physician-patient conversations about the hard decisions we all will face is also increasingly being urged by others in medicine.
Don't Assume Erectile Dysfunction Is A Natural Part Of Aging --
It's Often A Sign Of Undetected Disease
By Anna Almendrala
(Warning: This article discusses erections and the male anatomy in explicit and candid terms, and there's a graphic, too.)
Question: When is erectile dysfunction a sign of something more serious?
Answer: Pretty much always.
More and more researchers are recognizing the link between sexual health and long-term, chronic (and, as many people, unfortunately, think, inevitable) diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The more advanced these diseases are, the more at risk a man is of erectile dysfunction, which means not being able to sustain an erection for as long as he would like, or not being able to get an erection at all.
Men are less likely to be proactive about their health or see a doctor when they have these chronic health problems. It’s partly the reason why men tend to die about five years earlier than women, and are more likely to die from chronic disease like cancer and cardiovascular disease. But one thing that does bring patients to the doctor, said Dr. Kevin Billups, is erectile dysfunction.
“My whole practice is based on using sexual dysfunction as an early clinical indicator of increased risk of chronic disease,” said Billups. “[Erectile dysfunction] is the canary in the coal mine; it’s a barometer of health that not only men, but their partners can notice too.” And once Billups’ patients understand the link between sexual dysfunction and overall health, they’re often more motivated to go out and make the lifestyle changes that will benefit the rest of their body, as well.
I did not want you to think that this blog has forgotten the ladies. It’s just that there has not been any new women-specific health related stories coming through the wires lately. I even did a specific search for anything that has not already been done to death, but all I found were articles about breasts. Women seem to think that men have an obsession with breasts. Maybe so, but the majority of health related articles specifically designed for women to read are about breasts. Besides the obvious (and important) cancer related stories, women seem to be concerned about size, shape, and nipples even more than most men’s magazines. It’s not that I think you may not be interested in that stuff, but I am sure you have read it all before. However, I did find a website (A government website no less) that may be of some value for you now or in the future. You might want to pin this address to your desktop.
In an effort to delusionally fool myself into thinking that I can actually lose some weight around this carbohydrate infested venue, I passed on the turkey burger and went for the chef’s salad. Knowing that the fat-laden slices of lunch meats are not really what one would consider diet food, I felt it was a better choice than the turkey burger which came with a roll, cheese, and French fries. I also knew that the size of the chef salad served here as a lunch alternate would not amount to a hill of beans (which might have been a healthier choice if indeed a “hill of beans” was on the menu). In any event, I found the chef’s salad strangely satisfying and nicely constructed. Someone had gone to the trouble of actually rolling the various slices of meat into an appetizing “viande roulée” (I’ll bet you didn’t know that we had viande roulée here at the Center did you?), which I ate with gusto, which may have not been better than the ketchup (America’s condiment) that I would have covered the French fries with, but with a whole lot less salt. When it comes to dieting, everything is a trade-off.
Sausage and peppers
In my youth, not a year went by when I did not attend the great San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy in NYC. While it is essentially a religious festival, its main attraction is the food. Some of it can be found at one of the many first class Italian restaurants on Mulberry Street or better yet, at one of the impromptu mobile outdoor food stands that dot the neighborhood. Besides the cannoli and zeppole, the number one food has always been the sausage and pepper sandwiches on a piece of crisp Italian bread. It’s the ultimate sandwich and it’s always made right, like they have always done it. The sausage is moderately spicy and tender, and the peppers and onions are always sauteed to perfection. The sauce has that essential old world flavor that reminds many Italians of home. Unfortunately, the sausage and peppers served her have none of that. It was, I am sorry to say, a colossal failure.. The sausage was dry and devoid of any spice whatsoever. The peppers, what there were of them, were over cooked and the sauce, well, was non-existent. Calling a dish sausage and peppers, and then just throwing some garbage on a plate is a good way of wasting my time. Somebody in that kitchen has to know how to cook this.
Styrofoam Turkey Meatloaf
(spécialité de la maison)
As a reviewer of food made for human consumption, it would be unfair for me to rate this truly awful meal.
Tatted Up: Senior Citizens Reveal How Body Art Still Looks Amazing On Aging Skin
By Lizette Borreli
To get a tattoo or to not get a tattoo, that is the question. The decision to go under the needle and adorn your skin with symbols of beauty, strength, and rebellion is usually driven by beliefs you hold (at the time). But it becomes a permanent mark on your skin — a canvas that is continuously aging — which for some leads to tattoo regret.
In the U.S, one out of every five adults — 21 percent — has at least one tattoo, according to a recent Harris Poll. This number is closer to 40 percent among those ages 18 and 19. The rising popularity of tattoos means a large portion of this generation will grow old with skin art.
Aging skin changes the shape, composition, and elasticity of tattoos because they are embedded in the skin. Tattoo aging is comparable to a faded colored cloth; the tattoo begins to lose its detail in terms of color and definition. The ink particles in older tattoos tend to move deeper into the skin over time, says The Evergreen State College, which makes the tattoo look bluish, faded, and blurry and harder to remove with laser treatment. Moreover, the ink of older tattoos has been found in local lymph nodes, which supports the theory that phagocytic cells — cells that engulf and absorb foreign bodies into the bloodstream and tissues — are the cause of ink movement....
“Nirvana” comes at a price.
Perhaps “Nirvana” is not the correct phrase. After all, I still have a sense of self and I don’t believe that I have been released from “The effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth.” But lately, I have found an inner peace that I have not experienced before, or at least not since I was three years old. For the first time, in my adult life, I am without stress. This is not to say that I am completely worry free or even happy, but I feel that any problems that may arise, are nothing that I cannot handle. This all came to me the other evening as I crawled into bed, put on my glasses and picked up a book that I had been reading. As I opened the covers of the book, a novel by James Patterson, I suddenly felt extremely peaceful and dare I say, calm.
I put the book down for a minute and looked around my room. There was the dresser with the TV on it. My desk with my laptop on it, a small nightstand and my bed. That’s it. I don’t even have a picture on my wall. It was then that I realized that I had nothing of any great value and that I was fine with it. I know that some might find this strange. After all, wasn’t the goal in life, in everybody’s life, to collect as much stuff as possible so you can say at the end “I win”. Isn’t that what we live for. And then, I realized something else. It wasn’t the actual accumulation of all that stuff that was disturbing to me, it was the process involved in the accumulation of all that stuff that I did not like. And it’s that process which causes stress.
Here are some quick facts about stress from the University of California Health Education Dept. (http://www.healtheducation.uci.edu/stress/quickfacts.aspx).
- Stress affects both the mind & body, and impacts overall health & well-being.
- Unmanaged stress can lead to an increased risk of both mental & physical problems, such as infection, illness, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, as well as depressive and anxiety disorders.
- There are both healthy & unhealthy ways that people deal with stress. Learn healthy ways to manage your stress and avoid the negative consequences of stress.
Looking at the above list, I realized that I have nothing to be stressful about. Now, for the first time since I stopped living at home, I have nothing to worry about. Living here, at the assisted living facility, most of the weight of daily living has been lifted from my shoulders. Most of the annoyances of daily life have been eliminated.
I don’t have a job, so no more trying to please my boss, the customers, or myself. I don’t have to worry about being late, traffic or parking. They’re not my problem anymore. And, since I no longer have any earned income, the IRS can go f%#$ itself.
Then there’s food shopping again, it’s not my problem. I no longer cook. I’m not permitted to cook even if I wanted to so therefore I don’t worry about what to make for dinner, how much it will cost, where will I go to get the food, the long lines at the checkout counter, none of that.
I shop for clothes and personal items online. They deliver it to me, right to my door. I do my banking (What there is of it) online too. I can even do it at 2 AM, in my underwear if I want, now that’s stress-free!
Thank god, I have no serious health problems and the ones I do have are being taken care of by a doctor that I don’t have to pay for (at least not directly).
My rent gets paid directly to my “landlord” who only gets to raise my rent if I get a raise. My room is cleaned every day, my bathroom gets scrubbed every week and my laundry gets done (by someone else) twice a week. Utilities are included so no more Con Ed bills, telephone bills, or water bills. Even the WiFi is free. Oh, did I mention that cable is included.
Now, before you say to yourself “I can’t wait to get old and slightly infirm, so that I can partake in the joys of assisted living”, there is something you should know. Although there may be a reduction of the routine activities that bring on stress, you will be giving up one very important aspect of your life, freedom. You see, my friends, freedom does not come free, it unfortunately, comes with a price. When you give up stress it means that you have relinquished that which is stressful to you, to someone else. In this case the people that own and run this facility. They, for a price, have taken on those chores that can slowly eat away at your nervous system. However, the price you pay for this “service” is not always in the form of money. It may come at the price of being treated as something less than a normal human being. And, depending on the laws, rules and regulations set forth by the state you are living in may be a steep price indeed.
For instance, we are watched constantly. There are security cameras everywhere, except in our rooms. We are told where and at what time to eat. We are told that we can’t be trusted to use a microwave oven, a Mr. Coffee, a hair dryer, a steam iron, a curling iron or a blender. We can’t have OTC medications in our possession without the consent of a doctor. Our comings and goings are closely monitored and, if we want to be away from the facility for more than two days (medical leave notwithstanding) we are charged for it. We also must demonstrate “competency” if we want control of our own prescription drugs and even our own money.
I mentioned that I no longer have to shop for food. This sounds great until you see what’s for dinner and realize that you are being fed the cheapest crap around. And, while nobody stops you from ordering takeout, it becomes prohibitively expensive to do on a regular basis. This is the price one pays for living a stress-free life.
Is there any way to get around this? Yes, there is. Be rich. Be very, very rich. Because nothing relieves stress like the sound of one hundred dollar bills being fanned through your fingers.
Nirvana, heaven, paradise (Call it what you want) may be the next stop on the line, but chances are, you will have to get off the freedom train to get there.
For new residents and the curious alike, I thought, that in the next few weeks, I would take you on a tour of our humble abode.
One of my favorite places in the entire facility is our library. It may be the most pleasant and home-like places in the whole building. Its warm, wood paneled shelves, comfortable furniture and quiet atmosphere make it the ideal setting to read, write or just meditate.
The library features an eclectic collection of books and magazines with many contemporary titles. While fiction dominates the shelves, there are many biographies, sports and even “How to” and “Self Help” books. And, if you prefer to read in the comfort of your own room, the books are available for takeout. There’s no librarian or card catalog so residents are on their own when trying to find a particular title.
BTW, we welcome any and all contributions.
The following three articles are of great importance to people who, at some point in their lives will need to leave their homes and enter a place where they can receive help in dealing with life’s everyday routine. The cost of this help will depend on how much care you are in need of. As both a long term patient in a nursing home and a three year resident of an assisted living facility, I am well aware of what each level of care costs and what you get for your money. The first story, which deals with the cost of nursing home care, is of particular interest to my fellow residents here at the Center. Many of the more “independent” residents have complained about the increased number of seemingly markedly disabled or even chronically ill people being admitted here. Many of those complaining residents feel that these people don’t belong here. I urge them to read the following articles and see why they chose assisted living over a nursing home.
Elder Care Costs Keep Rising;
Nursing Home Bill Now $91,000
By MATTHEW CRAFT
“The cost of staying in a nursing home has increased 4 percent every year over the last five years, according to Genworth Financial's annual Cost of Care report, released Thursday, April 9, 2015. Last year, the median bill was $87,600.”
The steep cost of caring for the elderly continues to climb. The median bill for a private room in a nursing home is now $91,250 a year, according to an industry survey out Thursday.
Most people don't realize how expensive this care can be until a parent or family member needs it.
"Most people don't realize how expensive this care can be until a parent or family member needs it," said Joe Caldwell, director of long-term services at the National Council on Aging. "And then it's a real shock."
So, who pays the nursing-home bill? "A lot of people believe Medicare will step in and cover them, but that's just not true," said Bruce Chernoff, president and CEO of The Scan Foundation, a charitable organization. Medicare will cover some short visits for recovery after a surgery, for instance, but not long-term stays....
Less-intensive care remains much cheaper than staying at a nursing home, according to Genworth's survey. One year in in an assisted-living facility runs $43,200. A year of visits from an agency's home health aides runs $45,760.
5 Most Expensive States for Home Health Care in 2015
By Tim Mullaney
The cost of home care services continues to grow more slowly than the cost of assisted living and nursing home care, according to newly released findings from insurance company Genworth.
These are the five most expensive states for home health aide services, based on median annual cost:
1.North Dakota—$62,142 2.Alaska—$59,488 3.Massachusetts, Minnesota (tied )—$57,200 4.Rhode Island—$56,925 Hawaii—$56,056 5.
Another related story...
10 Most Expensive Places for Assisted Living in 2015
By Tim Mullaney
With the cost of assisted living care, increasing dramatically on a national basis, this senior living option remains most expensive in Washington, D.C., according to the 12th annual Cost of Care Survey from Genworth.
The 10 most expensive places for one-bedroom, single-occupancy assisted living care are:
1.Washington, D .C .—$94,050 2.Delaware—$68,940 3.New Jersey—$68,700 4.Alaska—$68,430 5.Connecticut—$66,900 6.Rhode Island—$63,900 7.Massachusetts—$63,600 8.New Hampshire—$61,230 9.Maine—$57,600 Washington—$55,500 10.
Aging is less pleasant
If you succumb to the numbers
By Sharon Johnson
Satchel Paige, the legendary baseball player, once said, "How old would you be if you did not know how old you were?"
At the recently held American Society on Aging Conference in Chicago, the new chief executive officer of AARP, Jo Ann Jenkins, used this quote to introduce the topic of "Disruptive Aging."
The premise is: As you age, it is going to be a less positive experience overall if you succumb to the number — or even the circumstance.
"Embrace aging with open arms and upend your thinking about getting older" is the message put forward by AARP. "Stir things up a little."
When our granddaughter had a birthday a few years ago, she said, "I've never been 8 before, I wonder what it's like."
And then she proceeded to have "a tremendous year" engaged in school and sports activities she had never experienced before. She even was given the kitten she had been hoping to get; she named him Paige.
When we are young, the world is full of creative anticipation. In later decades, not so much. Why is that?
Where's the replacement
To the (Obama) health law?
By Ken Newton
"Medicare is in much better shape today than it was just a few years ago, just because we have had some success in helping with some of those costs," Ms. McCaskill said. "Not that (the costs) aren't still increasing, but they're increasing at a much lower level than they were before we did all the health-care reform."
Senator Claire McCaskill insists the "repeal and replace mantra" of fellow federal lawmakers leaves her cold for a variety of reasons but one in particular: Where's the replacement?
Those members of Congress wanting to get rid of the Affordable Care Act have yet to explain what they will do if they find success in that, she said.
"Has anybody seen 'replace?' If you have, I would like to take a look at it," the senator said during a stop in Chillicothe on Wednesday morning. "They've never explained how they would 'replace.' ... I worry that if they are successful in doing away with (the law), there is no plan."
Ms. McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Senate Special Committee on Aging, came to the Livingston County seat as part of her statewide tour of listening sessions targeting issues related to older Americans.
Taking Care of Aging Teeth
BY RACHEL JACOBS, DMD
With all the medications older adults take nowadays, a common side effect is xerostomia, or dry mouth. Saliva is a necessary component to wash away food particles and debris. When the amount of saliva is decreased, plaque can stick to the teeth and lead to more cavities. To combat dry mouth, we recommended and over the counter mouth lubricant, such as Biotene. It may also be necessary to brush more often or to rinse with water after meals if brushing is not possible. The key is to clear food from the mouth so it does not stick to teeth.
BRUSH AND FLOSS!! In a poll, the American Dental Association discovered that people brush for an average of 45 seconds a day. The recommended time is 2-3 minutes, twice a day. Just think of the amount of time you spend eating each day. How can you keep your teeth clean by brushing for only 45 seconds? Just the simple act of actually timing how long you brush for or getting an electric toothbrush with a built in timer will do wonders for the health of your mouth.
More health news...
How You Can Cope with Declining Senses as You Age
What you can do about hearing and vision loss
If you find yourself saying, “Huh?” a lot, you’re probably aware that your senses are declining with age. While that’s normal, there are things you can do to help yourself.
As you age, you may notice that your eyes aren’t quite as good as they used to be or that you’re often asking people to repeat themselves because you didn’t quite catch what they said.
You may also notice that your ability to perceive where your body is in relation to other people or objects (what is known as proprioception) also declines.
“When proprioception declines, you may feel more unsteady when walking and have difficulty with balance,” says Ronan Factora, MD. “Hearing, vision, and proprioception all decline as a part of normal aging.”
What you can do to diminish hearing loss......
6 ways Federal Reserve policy hurts retirees
By Chris Kissell
In late 2012, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fessed up and revealed the worst-kept secret in finance: The low rates the Fed has maintained in an attempt to ignite the U.S. economy are badly hurting retirees and others who rely on fixed-income.
"My colleagues and I know that people who rely on investments that pay a fixed interest rate, such as certificates of deposit, are receiving very low returns, a situation that has involved significant hardship for some," Bernanke said in an October speech in Indianapolis.
Such sympathy is probably small consolation to millions of Americans who saved diligently over the years but now find themselves struggling, thanks to rates that have remained near zero percent for more than six years.
How does Fed policy hurt retirees? Bankrate counts six ways.....
Candice Bergen on Aging & Weight Gain
By Donna Giachetti
US Weekly reports that Candice Bergen, 68, has a bone to pick with the bone-thin Hollywood crowd. In her upcoming memoir, A Fine Romance, Bergen makes it clear that she’s perfectly happy about herself, and doesn’t care what others think.
“Let me just come right out and say it: I am fat,” the Murphy Brown star writes. “In the past 15 years… I have put on 30 pounds.” She continues, “I live to eat. I am a champion eater. No carb is safe—no fat, either.”
Growing Old Is a Privilege
Bergen started her career as a fashion model, but soon achieved fame in Hollywood and later, on television. She has been outspoken about reversing the stigma associated with aging. For her, aging is a natural and inevitable part of life, not something to be feared or surgically reversed.
“People complain about parts for women, people complain about getting old, but it’s a privilege to get old,” Bergen told New York magazine in 2012. ”The reality is that I don’t look like I used to look. I just don’t care enough, and in a way it’s saved me.”
12 Pieces of No Bull Sex Advice From the Older
Women Who Know Better Than We Do
The impression you'd get from looking at our culture around us (save for a few Cialis commercials) is that sex is for young people only. Take most TV shows, and you'll see sweaty young things writhing around with one another while anyone over 40 gets cut away as soon as they kiss.
But getting older doesn't mean sex leaves your life. In fact, a recent National Opinion Research Center survey of 3,005 adults found that of those between ages 57 and 64, 84% of men and 62% of women reported having sex in the past year. Of those 75 to 85 years old, 38% of men and 17% of women had done it. (We're seriously impressed.)
And those older men and women enjoying sex lives? They've been doing it for a long time. So it would stand to reason that they have countless pieces of sexual wisdom to benefit the young and the curious. Thankfully, we have these 12 women to fill us in.
- Dolly Parton: "God gave us the ability to do it — so let's do it"
- Dr. Ruth: "Speak up! "
- Helen Mirren: "Seek out what turns you on."
- Sophia Loren: "Sexiness is about how you feel, not how you look."
- Goldie Hawn: "The best partner is someone who makes you feel sexy."
I am always pleased when I see articles like this. I have been an advocate of garlic for years. Unfortunately, here at the Center, the use of garlic as a flavor enhancer is curtailed due to the supposed “delicate” nature of some of the digestive systems of a few of our residents. Maybe if we thought of it as a medicine they would use it more.
Garlic Slows Down Aging And Can Prevent Alzheimer’s,
While the health benefits of eating garlic have been well known for a while, according to new research, garlic not only helps slow down the aging process, but could also be effective at preventing brain disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The research, carried out at the University of Missouri, found that a carb found in garlic is key to its classification as a “superfood.”
Other health benefits of garlic include treating acne, hair loss, the common cold, lowering blood pressure, and lowering the risk of heart disease.
Using diet to combat
By Sarah Schafer
If your doctor said to you, “Here is a diet; if you follow this, it decreases your chances of Alzheimer’s disease,” would you follow it?
If that convinced you to take a look, here is the basic idea. With the MIND diet, a person would eat at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable every day — along with a glass of wine — snacks most days on nuts, has beans every other day or so, eats poultry and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week.
You also must limit intake of the designated unhealthy foods, especially butter (less than 1 tablespoon a day), cheese, and fried or fast food (less than a serving a week for any of the three), to have a real shot at avoiding the devastating effects of AD, according to the study.
Behold the humble meatloaf
There are some foods that, while they are so simple in their inception and construction, also have the opportunity to be dismissed as something that needs no skill to make. Staples such as Mac and cheese, tuna casserole, and meatloaf are three of those foods. However, it is just that very simplicity, that affords the opportunity for disaster. Disaster, in the form of seasoning, or the lack of it.
Now, when people know that they are being served meatloaf as a main course, they don’t expect much. They know that meatloaf is the humblest of all foods being made up of, essentially, chopped meat and some bread-like filler used to “extend” the portion size. However, what they do expect is for that unpretentious dish to be properly seasoned. Something that has always been lacking here at the Center.
The basic seasoning for meatloaf is just that, basic. The mixture should contain all or most of the following: dried mustard, paprika, salt, dried thyme, basil, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in quantities sufficient enough to produce a flavor that both compliments and enhances the simple ingredients for which the dish was named. Unfortunately, the appropriate use of seasoning has eluded our kitchen staff here for many years. And, while they say that they must limit the use of spices in the food because of the delicate nature of some resident’s digestive tracts, you will notice that the above seasonings are neither hot or spicy.
In order to make last Wednesday’s dinner a bit more palatable to my finely tuned epicurean pallet I had to add salt, pepper and the finest of all condiments, ketchup, in copious amounts so as to render the meal edible. I’m sorry I have to do this, but until the cook staff, well, learns to cook it will be up to me to make what I eat good enough to eat.
Why I'll Never Lie About My Age
By Linda Wolff
"You are denying your very existence by trying to lie about your age." -- Oprah Winfrey
I was at a dinner party recently, chatting up a small group of men and women, all of us around the same age, when someone made a joke about aging. My ears perked and I blurted that I had turned The Big 5-O.
They were stunned. Sadly, not for the reason I had hoped. A "No way! Seriously? I thought you were 35!" would have been nice, (a girl can dream...), but what I heard was equally shocking.
One of the men leaned in, like talking to a naive child, and said, "You should never EVER share your age." The rest agreed. My first thought was to blame it on the wine, though my glass was full, or claim to have holiday-seasonal-social Tourette's. (I have used this tactic before. Successfully.) I smiled. My lip twitched.
Apparently, aging is a bad thing. Admitting it is even worse.
When told she didn't look her age, Gloria Steinem declared, "This is what 40 looks like!"
Contact and Comments
Editor’s preface: Age discrimination is rampant throughout many segments of our society. Stereotypes seem to take precedence over reality. While it is bad enough that these inequities persist among the general population, it is even worse when they are present in a place supposedly dedicated to the welfare of older people. This week’s editorial is written by a resident whose frustration regarding this subject is quite apparent.
Life Around Here
I need to engender a form of discrimination. I am a person – an individual with discrete characteristics. I have my own mind and my own abilities. I
Lumping people of vastly different cognitive capacities and then managing to the lowest level of function is simply unacceptable. Being impervious to resident feedback and issues is the rankest form of paternalism and, benevolent in intent or not, has negative consequences. Among other such outcomes is to say that our individuality and selfhood is irrelevant.
It is a commonplace in social psychology that not having an effect on one’s human and the nonhuman environment provokes defenses against anxiety and depression which are not good for anyone. People turn on themselves and one another. A child who is ignored acts up. He is frustrated and that provokes a tantrum or misbehavior of another kind. Here in this setting there may be fewer tantrums, but more depression – a self-devaluation reactive to the devaluation experienced in the response of the setting itself.
Ultimately you can get a frequent symptom of depression in older adults – a kind of pseudo-dementia that only differs from organically engendered depression by the fact that it can be alleviated. The person regresses in level of function. When the depression is alleviated, the dementia recedes rapidly. Making a difference is more solid and sustainable than taking medication. That means a responsive environment and we don’t have one here. Everything is reactive instead of proactive. There is no “adult” way of making change happen because the perception is that nobody in charge gives a fig for anything anyone offers. Depending on life history, people either erupt or cave in.depression by the fact that it can be alleviated. The person regresses in level of function. When the depression is alleviated, the dementia recedes rapidly. Making a difference is more solid and sustainable than taking medication. That means a responsive environment and we don’t have one here. Everything is reactive instead of proactive. There is no “adult” way of making change happen because the perception is that nobody in charge gives a fig for anything anyone offers. Depending on life history, people either erupt or cave in.depression by the fact that it can be alleviated. The person regresses in level of function. When the depression is alleviated, the dementia recedes rapidly. Making a difference is more solid and sustainable than taking medication. That means a responsive environment and we don’t have one here. Everything is reactive instead of proactive. There is no “adult” way of making change happen because the perception is that nobody in charge gives a fig for anything anyone offers. Depending on life history, people either erupt or cave in.
The notion that I am treated either as a child or, worse, a “cute little old person” is deeply troubling and makes me want to make noise, but constructively, wondering if anyone who can do anything about issues can hear the noise and respond. I do know that every time I am symbolically patted on the head, my skin crawls. I don’t think I’m far from the norm. See me for who I am, warts and all, but see me as an individual and not part of an indistinguishable lump.
A 9 cent envelope raises a question of trust
It all started when, for the last two months, our rent statements have been arriving without being enclosed in an envelope. Ever since the opening of this facility, these statements have been hand delivered to us inside a standard business size un-printed window envelope. Residents have found this convenient, not only for returning our rent checks but also as a way to keep unauthorized eyes from reading what should be kept confidential. While the question of whether or not our rent statements should be placed in an envelope may seem relatively unimportant, the incident that ensued is not.
When one of our residents found her monthly rent statement left on a table in her room, open for anybody to see, she became angry. Normally, this statement would have been stuffed into an envelope by an office worker and delivered, unopened, to the resident's room like any other mail. The fact that the resident’s privacy had been violated had taken this oversight to another level.
The resident decided that she would confront the party in charge, (the facilities bookkeeper) and ask him why the envelopes had been discontinued. She found him in the main building the next day. His reply was “We never put the statements in an envelope”.
“Of course we did,” replied the resident.
“No, we don’t”, he replied indignantly.
“Are you calling me a liar”, she said.
“Are you calling ME a liar”, he responded, to which our resident turned around and asked the people sitting in the lobby “How many people have had their statements delivered in an envelope.” Of course, everybody raised their hands.
This apparently caught the little bookkeeper person off guard. He could not believe that a resident could be right and he could be wrong. This goes to what is inherently disturbing about these kinds of facilities. It’s the “Holier than thou” attitude that builds a wall between management and residents. This is part of the intrinsic management style that says “We are always right, and you are always wrong”, and it has to stop. If there is ever to be any trust between those of us who need assistance and those who are entrusted with that responsibility, then management has to think twice before dismissing our suggestions and concerns as just the rantings of some senile old people.........Ed.
P R I V A C Y
Last week’s editorial focused on the use of security cameras watching everything residents in assisted living do. A proposed new law in California would allow such cameras inside resident’s rooms. While this sounds like an out and out invasion of privacy, what if the tables were turned and the residents could spy on the staff. The following article addresses just such an issue.
Turning the tables
Do nursing home cameras protect or intrude?
As suddenly as he lost his ability to speak last fall, Stuart Sanderson’s connection to the world outside his Philadelphia nursing home room was severed because of anxiety over a simple webcam.
A compact video camera on his computer monitor allowed him to speak to family even without a voice. Stu, as he prefers to be called, has cerebral palsy, but video calls put him in touch with his ailing father and his brother, who would take the time to read his lips.Stu, as he prefers to be called, has cerebral palsy, but video calls put him in touch with his ailing father and his brother, who would take the time to read his lips.
But to Inglis House, the nursing home where he has lived for decades, the camera was a watchful eye, scrutinizing its staff’s every move and capturing images of people whose privacy they’re responsible to protect.
Stu’s computer equipment was abruptly removed in mid-December, and he was asked to write a note defending his access to it. Family members called it a “cruel hurdle” for a man with limited mobility who selects each letter by pushing the back of his head against a switch.
On another note pleading for his webcam to be returned, Stu, 59, wrote: “WE ARE NOT SPYING ON ANYBODY!”....
Challenges, rewards come with cooking for assisted living residents
By Linda Tuccio-Koonz
Carol Koty cooks in the kitchen at an assisted living facility in Newtown. But if you think that means the food is bland or unappetizing, think again.
"I've been cooking in health care facilities and retirement communities for 12 years now. The food I cook is equal to that of a restaurant."
"We cook (at Lockwood Lodge) for people in assisted living apartments," Koty said. "They are fully functioning adults who just need some kind of help. ... Part of the challenge is that we're serving three meals a day, every day. So we have to make sure they have a variety of selections while keeping everything nutritional and fitting in with their dietary restrictions.
"I would not use the term institutional cooking; it's assisted living cooking. It's its own entity -- different from a restaurant," she said. "Residents make their own choices and we just assist them with those choices."
"When there are people who have trouble cutting food, we cut it up for them. But we still plate it restaurant style so it's still a beautiful dish," she said.
Elections have consequences; ask a senior citizen
By Barbara Christy
“Voters, nonvoters get as they deserve.” So the newly elected Republican U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have released their budgets and, predictably, they are a blueprint for all their favorites: tax cuts for the wealthy; more money for the already bloated Pentagon; and, of course, cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and welfare.”nonvoters get as they deserve.” So the newly elected Republican U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have released their budgets and, predictably, they are a blueprint for all their favorites: tax cuts for the wealthy; more money for the already bloated Pentagon; and, of course, cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and welfare.”
They will continue to try to take away health insurance from millions of citizens — some of whom have it for the first time, thanks to Obamacare.
Good luck trying to get health insurance if you have a pre-existing condition if the right wing gets its way.
The House also made it a priority to pass a rule making it harder to transfer money from the regular Social Security fund to the Disability Insurance Trust Fund, which will be depleted in 2016. That could mean a 20 percent cut for those of us on disability.
While I am extremely grateful to receive disability, it is no windfall. It is a lifeline, but it is also used — by me, at least — to pay my supplemental insurance plan, Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs for medications......
Airline travel trips for seniors
Everyone deserves an enjoyable flight experience, especially seniors who may be looking forward to a vacation.
Some airlines provide cheaper airfare for senior citizens, but this is certainly not the case across the industry. The best way to find out about special offers or discounts is to simply ask your airline.
Keep in mind that you may need to book directly with the airline rather than a third party to be eligible for any special discounts. By simply calling the airline’s customer service department or checking with your travel agent, you may be able to save yourself a
As a senior citizen, you are able to request assistance in the airport from the time you arrive to the time you board. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your bags, especially if you have mobility issues or a large number of items.
Airport personnel are standing by to fulfill your requests for a cart or wheelchair, too. Take advantage of these offerings to ensure a stress-free airport experience.
Seniors can request assistance at security, where they may be able to go through a shorter line. ....
I'm Not Trying To 'Age Gracefully' -- So Stop Pressuring Me
By Ann Brenoff
I am apparently guilty of one of the last social offenses against humanity: I am aging while female.
I plead guilty. I am 65 and a few months ago had that day that everyone eventually has -- the one when you look in the mirror and see a stranger, a stranger who looks much older than you feel.
I immediately turned to my husband and asked him if I looked any different. Fearful that this was a trick question, he moved straight to Swiss-neutral territory, "You look good. Uh, you got your hair cut?"
A good guess, but no, not a haircut. What I saw when I looked in the mirror were a few extra chins and a body that is succumbing to the forces of gravity -- exacerbated by a few back-to-back nights of insomnia which accentuate the puffiness under my eyes.
Truth is, I'm fine with it -- all of it except maybe the nights of insomnia. What I'm not fine with is the pressure exerted on women my age to "age gracefully."......
5 Ways You Can Live Forever
Or perhaps just a little bit longer.
By Indre Viskontas
Last summer, at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, I sat in a room full of scientists, innovators and thought leaders. Someone asked how long everyone would like to live. To my great surprise, most people agreed that somewhere in one's 90s was a good time to kick the bucket. Given that this was a collection of curious and optimistic people whose religion is science, I was shocked that—unlike me—more of them didn't want to live forever.
I later found out that this reaction is actually representative of the general population: Among the attendees was fellow science writer David Ewing Duncan, who has asked this question online and at the beginning of numerous talks, collecting more than 30,000 responses. The consensus? About 85 percent of people wouldn't want to live past 120, and more than half agreed that 80 years was about how long they'd like to live. The number of people who would like to live forever? Less than 5 percent.
In Men’s Fight Against Aging, How Much Risk to Take?
The FDA is weighing whether testosterone-replacement therapy is safe
By MELINDA BECK
“All men want to feel younger and more virile, and they somehow have come to believe that low-T medication is the fountain of youth. But we don’t know whether it’s safe,”
Aging brings less energy, strength and sex drive for most men. The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether taking hormone supplements, which promise to battle that natural decline, is safe.
More than 2.3 million American men used testosterone gels, patches, pellets and injections last year—twice the number as in 2008. Some experts say these men may be increasing their chances of having a heart attack.
An FDA advisory panel in September urged the agency to require testosterone-product manufacturers to study if there are cardiovascular risks. The panel also recommended new labeling to say testosterone drugs, which were first approved in the 1950s to treat severe hormonal deficiencies, haven’t been shown to be safe and effective for boosting age-related drop in testosterone. Only about half of men filling testosterone prescriptions have been formally diagnosed as deficient in the hormone, according to an FDA review.
It isn’t clear what the FDA will do. But whatever the agency decides, doctors will still be able to prescribe the drugs “off-label.” And for many men, the benefits of boosting testosterone levels, a condition often referred to as low-T, are worth the risk.
"I’m now older and wiser", says Dustin Hoffman on aging
Dustin Hoffman has opened up about the great parts to aging.
The 77-year-old actor is widely thought of as one of the most respected actors in Hollywood, with roles in classic movies such as “The Graduate” and “Rain Man” under his belt.
And as Dustin gets older, he feels his brilliance increasing.
“There are great parts to aging,” he told the Globe and Mail newspaper. “Being around longer than other people, you can’t help but have a certain amount of wisdom.”
While Dustin is known for his acting skills, the star admitted he would have liked to explore another career had he been given the opportunity. But Dustin says he lacks the talent required for his dream job.
“If God tapped me on the shoulder now and said, ‘No more acting or directing, but you can be a decent jazz pianist,’ I’d do it. I love it more than anything,” he smiled....
Downsizing the home: Tips for seniors and family caregivers
“For older adults, decades of memories are typically built around their home, Also, one’s personal identity can be closely tied to a home and belongings, so living without these valued possessions is distressing. Navigating the downsizing process for seniors involves recognizing the emotions and planning for the practicalities of transitioning from the familiar to the unfamiliar.”
Fortunately, there are workable solutions for the elderly, leaving a long-term house for the smaller square footage of a condo, apartment or
Plan for the reduced space. Realtors or apartment managers can help with the square footage of the rooms in the new home. Use this to gauge which essentials will fit. Consider the older loved one’s future lifestyle. If group entertaining is not in the plan, then it’s time to pare down the cookware, tableware and kitchen gadgets.
Recruit family and friends. Moving is meant to be a team effort. Every bit of help makes the process more manageable. Downsizing is often the perfect time to make legacy gifts, of special belongings to children, grandchildren, friends and others. Hearing the stories behind the bequeathed treasures is a gift to recipients, too.
Stretch your iPhone's battery life
By Heather Neal
While these tips apply to all mobile devices, the instructions for changing settings are iOS specific. Please note, these instructions
Starting with average Joe users, there are several modifications you can make right now to squeeze the most juice from your battery.
Brightness settings. Lighting up your screen takes a lot of battery power, and the brighter the screen the more juice it drains. Manually adjust the brightness of your iOS mobile device by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and moving the bar next to the little “sun” picture as far to the left as you are able to with your current lighting. Obviously, if you’re in bright sunlight, the bar will need to be further to the right, but inside you should be able to get away with dropping it all the way down. Also, under
Aging with respect and dignity: The right to quality of life
By Jonelle Roberts
“Quality of life is defined by each individual differently. If you or your loved one feels that he or she is not receiving the health care necessary to ensure the quality of life, talk to facility staff. If you still have concerns, call your ombudsman and we will work with you to find a solution.”
Both federal and state laws guarantee all residents of long-term care facilities rights that were developed to ensure both "Quality of Life" and "Quality of Care." This assures that Sally has the right to ask for or to refuse medical treatment. Our elders should have as much control over their own lives and deaths as possible.
Keep advanced directives updated. Does it still make sense to receive CPR if they stop breathing? When the ability to swallow is impaired, should tube feedings be started?
If you have a loved one in long-term care, please ask what "quality of life" means to them. It is much easier on the family if these things have been discussed in detail.
Your Aging Brain is Brilliant: The Myth of Cognitive Decline
By Misty Jacobs
“The myth of cognitive decline has been established by psychometric tests that do not measure how human knowledge grows with experience. Rather, the tests measure for rapid answers.”
Do you sometimes take a few extra seconds to think of just the right word? Forget a name? Do you blame your absentmindedness on your age?
In "The Myth of Cognitive Decline: Non-Linear Dynamics of Lifelong Learning," scientists challenge the long-held belief that cognitive decline is inevitable as we age.
Scientists formerly thought that human cognition reaches its peak in young adulthood and decelerates from there. But that doesn't seem to be the case. What does slow down is our memory and word retrieval.
Since an older person’s experience is more vast, it makes sense that accessing information takes longer. Gossamer, anti-penultimate, nadir. . . Ask any fifteen-year-old if he or she knows those words. The answer is probably no. It’s like comparing a leaflet to a library....
Requiem for a burger
There has always been some controversy over where exactly the hamburger was born. Some say it was at a place near the Yale campus in Connecticut while others says it was invented by some dude in Missouri. Others even have the audacity to claim it was invented in (shudder) Europe. But, while there is a question of where the humble burger was born, there is no question where it died. It died on the grills and frying pans of fast food restaurants and institutional ovens of places like ours.
The very first thing I ever cooked by myself, on my mothers stove top, was a grilled cheese sandwich. That relatively simple excursion into the culinary world taught me one thing about cooking. And that was, “DON’T OVERCOOK THE FOOD.” I took this lesson with me as I worked my way up to the second thing I learned to cook, the hamburger. This one very important method of cooking seems to have been lost somewhere over the years. Perhaps it comes from the well meaning meddling of various government agencies who warned us against under cooking some foods for fear of fostering some kind of contamination. Thus we, as a society, are doomed forever to suffer the ravages of dried out, tasteless, leather-like burgers, steaks, and chicken. While there are some restaurants that will still prepare for you a medium-well burger, that’s as about as big a risk they are willing to take.
Perhaps, someday we will come back to our senses and realize that if a food has been properly refrigerated and stored, and if we keep our kitchens and food prep areas clean and we don’t cross contaminate what we eat, there should be no problem with cooking the occasional juicy burger or medium-rare sirloin.
A most disturbing meal
I could not have planned or prepared a worse dinner than I had last Monday evening if I had worked on it all day. Practically nothing about it was any good. From the dry overdone pitifully small chicken pieces covered with a sickly sweet right-out-of-the- jar barbecue sauce to the Frankenstein-like side dishes.
Potato salad should only be served at either lunch or at a picnic or, better yet, never. But to use it as a side dish in place of an authentic vegetable may border on the criminal. And, if I could have come up with the worst combination of two vegetables, I could not have even envisioned the pairing of carrots and cauliflower. Somehow, I managed to finish the chicken, downing copious amount of water as I chewed upon its dried out flesh. However, I left the dining room still hungry and the only food around here is the salty snacks, available at a usurious price, in the vending machine downstairs. Bad dinner, bad dinner.
There’s something missing here.
It wasn't so much that the meatballs tasted like they were made by “Peoples Meatball Factory # 12”, or that the bland, red sauce was devoid of almost any authentic Italian seasonings like basil and oregano. Nor was it the soapy-tasting generic Parmesan cheese I had to sprinkle over the dish to at least add some flavor to this humdrum meal that was missing from Wednesday’s lunch. No, it was what wasn't presented here that singles our food out from anything we can even remotely call “good”. And that one ingredient is the one ingredient that should be in great abundance, garlic. Hardly a trace of this essential element can be detected. Not in the sauce or in the meatballs. At the very least there should have been a nice piece of garlic bread to go along with this food. Is it too much to ask for.
March may have gone out like a lion, but April came in like a lamb, dinner that is. For the first time, here at the Center, diners were treated to sliced lamb. And, while it lacked imagination as far as seasoning was concerned it made up in tenderness. Perhaps a little mint jelly would have added to the total lamb experience, but, all in all, it wasn't bad. The only fault I have is with the baked potato. It was cold as it usually is. This is due mainly because they insist on cutting the potato open before it's served. I would prefer to do it myself.
Mark Knopfler Says Aging ‘
Many of the songs on Mark Knopfler‘s new album, Tracker,
“You’ve got no choice,” he told Salon. “I just try to stay fit. That’s important — just to try to stay physically fit so you can go out there and play. You do need to be in reasonable shape. When you’re a kid, you’re not even thinking about that stuff. You