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Yonkers considers $24 million assisted living site

 Ernie Garcia

A developer of a $24 million assisted living complex for low-income seniors wants $1.4 million in tax breaks. The Plaza at Westchester is proposed for 75 Stratton St. South

The Plaza at Westchester is proposed for 75 Stratton St. South

The Plaza at Westchester would consist of 158-units with living space for 200 residents.

The assisted living project is estimated to create 110 permanent full-time equivalent jobs.

YONKERS – A developer of a $24 million assisted living complex for low-income seniors wants $1.4 million in tax breaks.

The Plaza at Westchester is proposed for 75 Stratton St. South and it would consist of 158 units with living space for 200 residents.

The complex would replace an existing building on the campus of the Westchester Center for Independent and Assisted Living.

Westchester ALP Property is asking the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency to give provisional approval to the tax breaks at its monthly meeting Tuesday morning.

The requested tax breaks include $1,005,000 in sales tax exemptions, $388,800 in mortgage tax exemptions and a to-be-determined property tax break.

The assisted living project is estimated to create 110 permanent full-time equivalent jobs. The average estimated annual salary of the new jobs is $36,800, ranging from $20,020 to $100,000.

Although the target market is low-income seniors, the Plaza at Westchester will offer amenities similar to those offered at luxury assisted living sites opening elsewhere in Westchester County, including restaurant-style dining and a beauty parlor.

The project must go through the city's planning and land use process after any approvals from the YIDA.

Editors note: This is the first we (residents) here at the center have heard of this. It is my personal opinion that this is a bad idea. The Center has proven that they do not have the knowledge or the  skills to manage a place the size of the one proposed. They can barely handle the near maximum capacity of the present facility with only 195 residents.  They will have to make vast improvements to their current facility before I am convinced that an expansion will be good for any of us.

‘Tis Not The Season

It seems like only yesterday that we were cleaning up the mess from last Christmas. We say that “this will be the last time I make such a fuss out of the holidays”, and yet here we are again doing what we do every year. Trying to make the best out of this miserable time of year.

 “Wait just a darn minute”, you say. “Is this going to be one of those editorials filled with self pity and remorse.”

 You’re damn right it is.

My dislike of the holiday season is not new. It goes way back to when I was a kid and was told by my mother that Santa did not visit Jewish kids. Little did I know that my mom was giving me my first lesson in anti-Semitism (or anti-santamism). My little gentile friends would come to school after the holidays, sporting their Christmas sweaters, shirts and scarves and showing off their new bikes or skates that that anti-Semitic Santa gave them. It was, to say the least, demoralizing. Of course there were enough Jewish kids in my class to put up a brave front. After all, we all knew that we were the “Chosen People”, just not chosen to receive gifts. 

“But what about Hanukkah, you got presents on Hanukkah didn't you”. 

No. I didn’t. Well, not real gifts anyway. We got Jewish gifts. We got the traditional Hanukkah gifts like those chocolates wrapped in gold foil to simulate “gelt” (gold). I think one year I even got a savings bond from an aunt and a new Talis (prayer shawl) and yarmulke from an uncle. The only secular gift I can remember receiving was a pair of brown leather gloves from someone who obviously was unaware of the “no cool gift” rule.

My view of the holidays was tempered a bit as I became an adult and entered the business world. As I was soon to learn, it’s business gifts that really drive the economy and that make the season oh so jolly. Fortunately, Christmas, as it pertains to business, has no religious connotations. There are no Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Hindu purchasing agents or CEO’s in the business world. They are all just one non-denominational super cult whose creed is greed and mantra is “What’s in it for me”. Christmas is just another dollop of lube on the gears, and heaven help those that forgot to squirt some on.

Liquor is the big item when it comes to gifts for people who have been “kind” to you all year. In fact, it is those gifts that started my education as an expert on cheap booze. As soon as one finds out that your station on the corporate latter determines the kind of booze you get, things become clear. Those who receive “the good stuff” like Johnny Walker Black Label or Crown Royal in those purple drawstring sacks or a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1986 ($592) are at the top of the food chain. I, of course, being barely visible to anyone outside of the 4X4 cubicle and headset crowd, was lucky to receive a bottle of Rye (and not Canadian Club either). As I moved up the corporate escalator, the booze got a little better, but I never made it much past the bottle of Jim Beam level.Later on, it was my non-Jewish ex-wife that put the nail in the coffin for me as far as the Holiday spirit is concerned.

“Plaintiff”, as I like to call her, was all about the holidays, with Christmas being at the forefront of those days. For “P” it was all about gifts, trees, decorations, and, did I mention “gifts”. Don’t get me wrong. I certainly understand her enthusiasm for this season. After all, she was brought up with it. She knew that Santa would be coming to her house. In fact, she was so certain that Santa would get her something nice for Christmas, that I was always afraid to tell her that Santa was just a myth. To this day, I’m not so sure still does not know the truth. In any event, it was up to me, and not Santa, to try to find a gift appropriate for a wife on the second most important gifting day of the year (Valentines Day is number one). The problem was, I am clueless as to what gifts to get anyone, especially the women that was supposed to be the love of my life and my best friend. Hey, that’s a lot of responsibility for someone whose idea of a good gift is a combination microwave/convection oven. . No, I never could come up with a good gift and, although I am not saying that this lack of a proper present led to our divorce, I don’t think she ever forgave me for my absence of gifting sensibility. Now that I think of it, perhaps it was that gift certificate to Lane Bryant that finally did us in.

Meanwhile, back here at the Center, Christmas is a toned-down affair. There are no decorations on the walls. No tinsel draped from the light fixtures. There is a Christmas tree, whose lighting ceremony was sparsely attended. There are even colorfully wrapped phony gift boxes beneath it. But there are no wreathes, no holly and no mistletoe (Although, there is an errant piece of broccoli stuck on the wall in the dining room. There will be a Christmas party, but there will be no gifts. At least not from the Center. One year we received gifts from our local parish church, but even they have given up on us. Yes, it will be a gift-less and lackluster holiday season for us old folks. Just the way I like it. But hey, don’t let me stop you from having fun and think of me when you are taking a drink from that bottle of Ripple you got from your boss.


Fear not. This is not going to be one of those endless surveys that ask you to rate something on a scale of 1-10. There will be no promise of a free gift upon it’s completion and you may have no interest in the results. I don’t need your name or your gender. In fact I don’t care who you are. The results will be only for my own interest, and perhaps yours. There is only one question. You may answer it with as long or short an answer as you see fit....

Lately, the lunches around here have become dull and uninspired. So this got me to thinking. What is my go-to lunch, my favorite thing to eat for lunch. The only rule is, it had to be simple. Therefor, I ask you....

“What is your all time favorite lunch?”

Email your answer to:      

Editor’s note: It did not take me long to realize what my favorite lunch is. It is something I remember from my childhood and still holds up today. 

The ingredients, to what I consider the perfect lunch, are simple. They are, a bowl of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. A grilled cheese sandwich made from Kraft American singles on Pepperidge Farm white bread. A kosher dill pickle and a glass of chocolate milk made with Fox’s U-Bet. Now, beat that.


New “Improved” Med Room opens: Will it make a difference?

After more than a month of having residents run all over the building for their meds and busy med room techs having to scurry about the dining room delivering pills to diners, the newly re-constructed med room has finally opened. While the room is not yet fully finished, residents began lining up outside the double doors with eager anticipation of better service to come. Hopefully, this new configuration will help facilitate the distribution of pills, drops and sprays and reduce the long lines of the past.


The New World of Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities (ALFs) may be going the way of cable TV.  Still around, but with a limited future.

Their residents are changing. Even as their needs become more complicated, they are demanding less institutional-like care.  At the same time, assisted living will have to find its place in a world where medical and social care are becoming better coordinated and providers will be expected to organize themselves in very different ways than today. 

Assisted living was once a creative alternative to nursing homes. Soon, something new will replace ALFs. The details remain uncertain, but we can begin to see what this new model of residential care will look like.



New Homes on the Range: Better Care for Elders

'Green Houses' seek to make care kinder

A century ago, those who couldn't be cared for at home were sent to the workhouse or poorhouse, where they lived alongside criminals, the insane and the homeless. In the 1960s, nursing homes were developed as a more caring, safer alternative.

And now, the revolutionary Green House Movement is here, with its provocative message that old age has been over-medicalized and that nursing homes are a place where no one wants to go.

”The Green House replaces a traditional nursing home with a cluster of houses or apartments that allow elders to live within their communities. The Green House model creates a true home where each elder gets a private room and bathroom with space for personal items. When you visit, you knock on the door and wait for a resident to let you in. Round-the-clock care is provided, but medical routines do not take precedence over the natural rhythms of daily life. There is a kitchen, as in any home, and a central hearth and table provide a common area to socialize and enjoy a home-cooked meal every day. "It looks like you’re walking into a living room," one family member says. "There is always someone cooking and it smells good. It’s a homey setting.” ...



Defining “Aging”

We all probably have our own definition of aging. I guess, when asked, we would say that to age is to become wrinkled, saggy, bald, stooped over, having a disability, forgetfulness, and occasional aches and pains. However, the clinical definition of aging is quite different and a bit scary.

This is how doctors at the University of Chicago have defined aging in a paper on a study of a particular protein in human DNA.....

“Aging is a universal process involving the progressive decline in organ function that eventually leads to organismal death. While accumulation of DNA damage has long been considered the central cause of aging, more recent observations suggest that aging is the result of a continuation of early-life hyperfunction programs. Regardless of mechanism, cellular senescence is a central finding associated with mammalian aging, an observation emphasized by a report demonstrating that apoptotic removal of senescent cells preserves tissue homeostasis and extends overall animal health. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a ubiquitously expressed transcription factor that has been intimately linked to cellular senescence, DNA damage signaling and organismal aging.”

Ed.....Now don’t that make you feel better. Oh, BTW, this won’t be on the final.

More (if you’re interested):


Why The Older Americans Act Matters

By Bob Blancato

Next year will be important and symbolic for aging programs and services, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security, the 50th anniversaries of Medicare and Medicaid and the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

For all the Older Americans Act accomplishes for so many (providing nutrition, caregiving, transportation, legal services and elder abuse prevention), it struggles from chronic underfunding and has for the past 20 years.... 



My concerns that many seniors are being over medicated has not gone un-noticed by many professionals.

Old And Overmedicated: The Real Drug Problem In Nursing Homes


It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugsusually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

Federal law prohibits the use of antipsychotics and other psychoactive drugs for the convenience of staff. It's called a "chemical restraint." There has to be a documented medical need for the drugs. "But they just kept giving her more and more," says DeLeon, "and I noticed when I used to go see her, she'd just kind of mumble, like she was lost......


Many Senior Citizens Take Too Many Medicines -- Here's How To Fix It

One recent analysis by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found that people aged 65-79 receive more than 27 prescriptions for new drugs per year.

Let me say that again: Twenty-seven prescriptions per year. Not only is this a high

 number, it’s also a concern.  Consider the possible drug interactions and side effects. One report found that the number of pain-relieving narcotic prescriptions for seniors rose more than 20% over a five-year period...

How did this happen? Alice had not seen some of her doctors, but continued to get refills. Since no one was directly responsible for her care, no one stopped any of the medicines or checked to see if Alice was having side effects. In short, nobody was paying attention because it wasn’t anyone’s job to pay attention....



Mobility is most common disability for American senior citizens

Nearly 40 percent of people age 65 and older had at least one disability, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report that covered the period 2008 to 2012. Of those 15.7 million people, two-thirds of them say they had difficulty in walking or climbing.

Difficulty with independent living, such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping, was the second-most cited disability, followed by serious difficulty in hearing, cognitive difficulty, difficulty bathing or dressing, and serious difficulty seeing.

The oldest old - those aged 85 and older - had the highest prevalence of disability. While this group represented 13.6 percent of the total older population, they accounted for 25.4 percent of those with a disability....



Oh, The Horror: Scary seniors

By Hana Shafi

Despite the fact that most of us find comfort in the warm, overly buttery cooking of our grandmothers, old women in horror are the creepiest. You know granny means trouble in a horror movie when she walks into a room dressed in that classic granny cardigan, compassionately offering tasty snacks for lost, cold, and hungry travelers.

I recently watched two really excellent horror films, Mercy (2014) and The Talking of Deborah Logan (2014), which both have terrifying old women as the antagonists. Both movies sufficiently scared and intrigued me. It got me thinking: what is our perception of the elderly, and what makes them so frightening in horror?

It’s no surprise that our society is uncomfortable with aging.....



Strange Addiction: Man Drinks The Young People's Urine Because He Believes It Keeps Him Forever Young. L’chaim.

Dana Dovey

Addiction is a terrible thing, and although controlled substances are the usual object of obsession, a person can become addicted to literally anything. There is no better example of this than Robert Wells, a man addicted to drinking other people’s urine, particularly from young children.

Wells lusts for the freshest batch of urine in the same way a drug addict would desire the best and purest hit. The middle-aged man admits to knowing that going out to collect urine from unknowing, and most importantly underage “donors,” was morally wrong. Unfortunately, like other addicts, this is not enough to keep him from satisfying his urges. ....


Cold, flu meds risky for senior citizens with high blood pressure

Some over-the-counter meds can have negative impact on hypertension

It is the season for colds and flu. Most of us seniors do not hesitate to seek quick relief from an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Not so fast, says the American Heart Association, most senior citizens also have hypertension. Some medications taken over the counter can have a negative impact on blood pressure.

The prevalence of hypertension increases with age and is a problem for about 65 percent of Americans age 60 and older.

The First Step

“The first step is for people with high blood pressure to know which products could cause variations in blood pressure,” says Willie E. Lawrence, Jr., M.D., a spokesman for the American Heart Association and chief of cardiology at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Cold medicines, painkillers and energy pills or drinks are a few products to watch out for if you have high blood pressure.

“Patients should be aware of the list of things that we know can cause an elevation in blood pressure,” Dr. Lawrence said. He advised that these products should be avoided, used with caution, used only for a short amount of time or used after a discussion with a medical professional...



After Menopause: Aging and the Female Reproductive Organs

You Stop Making As Much Estrogen and Progesterone

When you first enter perimenopause, your body starts slowing down. This is a time when, biologically, you are not needed anymore to create children so the body down regulates certain hormones. Your ovaries stop making these critical hormones, and you start to experience mood changes.

Two of these are estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is a female sex hormone – actually, it refers to a group of compounds that make up sex hormones which are dominant in all women. They are important in both menstrual and estrous reproductive cycles, and are also considered steroid hormones.

Progesterone is another steroid hormone that’s involved in a woman’s menstrual cycle as well as pregnancy.



Senior Focus: Preventing malnutrition in older adults

Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

Diseases associated with excess food consumption such as obesity, diabetes and heart issues are epidemic in the United States. Malnutrition, however, is a problem frequently overlooked in older Americans.

Older adults with chronic diseases and disabilities are at highest risk for undernutrition, which occurs when a person doesn’t get adequate nutrition from food to function optimally. This may arise from lack of eating or from a nutrient-poor diet.

Essential nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are required to support all body functions and provide energy for daily activities.

Studies have shown that about 40 percent of older adults eat less than 75 percent of the recommended daily allowance of nutrients.

Common causes of undernutrition in older adults are:

• Limited finances. Many senior citizens do not have the financial resources for an optimal diet.

• Social isolation. Elderly people who live alone often prepare and eat their meals in solitude. This can lead to loss of enjoyment of cooking and eating.

• Changes in chewing, swallowing and ......


More on Senior Eats

There has been a lot of talk about how the “Mediterranean” diet can slow down the aging process. If there is anything I need right now is a slowing down of my aging process. So when I saw the headline, I figured “At last, a diet with food I may actually like eating.” I mean, after all, doesn’t pizza, spaghetti, Souvlaki, gyros and red wine come from Mediterranean countries. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of diet they were talkingabout. It appears the “MED Diet” has nothing to do with those foods. It’s all about...yuch...eating healthy....

Mediterranean Diet Slows Down Aging Process

By Rhodi Lee

Those who want to live longer and shun age-related diseases may turn to Mediterranean diet. Experts found evidence that adherence to the regimen is associated with a biomarker of longevity.

No formula has yet been made that could provide the effects of the legendary fountain of youth, but those who want to stay young for a much longer time have an option. Having a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes and olive oils appears to slow down aging.

Findings of a new research provide evidence that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have biological markers of slower aging, suggesting that the regimen may help improve one's chances of having a longer life.....



Last week, I ranted about how sleep was no longer important. Well, it turns out that there may be some health benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. With that in mind, here are some last minute X Mass gifts for that insomniac in your life...

8 Perfect Gifts For Anyone In Need Of A Good Night's Sleep

By Sarah Klein

Everybody needs sleep -- and most of us wish we got more of it. So this year, why not give someone that very thing?

A sleep-promoting gift has the benefit of being (at least a little bit) more exciting to receive than some traditional health-minded presents (because absolutely no one wants to open a scale on Christmas morning). But these are still smart options: Getting too little sleep ups a person's risk for stroke, diabetes, obesity and even earlier death.


Unmet Needs Continue to Pile Up


“Unmet needs,” a term gerontologists use, refers to care or help you require but don’t get. If, when you’re elderly or disabled, you aren’t able to shop or cook, you lack the strength to go outside, you can’t keep track of your bank account or your medica-

tions — and no one assists you with those functions — you have unmet needs.

Older people who move into assisted living and other forms of supportive housing are primarily seeking ways to reduce unmet needs. Occasionally, someone moves because he feels lonely or she is trying not to burden her children. But usually, people stay in their homes as long as they can until unmet needs pile up....



Aging Parents' Struggle To Pay Out Of Pocket Medical Costs

When Medicare started, most of us thought it would take care of our medical costs when we got to be 65. Right away, we learned that we have to get supplemental insurance to pay for the 20% of those costs Medicare doesn’t cover. And on top of that, we have to buy a prescription drug plan (Part D).  Oh, well.  That’s what we do.  But here’s the other truth.  Even with all that, American seniors are spending an average of another $4000 a year on medical expenses not covered by traditional Medicare.

According to an 11 country study by the Commonwealth Fund published in the journal  Health Affairs, American’s are shelling out that amount, which is higher than what any of the participants in the 10 developed other countries in the study are spending.  For some 19 percent of us, those costs are an obstacle to getting needed care. What costs so much? ...



Faceless Foody’s Holiday Gift to you

On the first day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

A piece of toast that tasted like a tree

On the second day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

2 overcooked eggs and...

A piece of toast that tasted like a tree

On the third day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

2 overcooked eggs...

3 cold pancakes...

And a piece of toast that tasted like a tree

On the fourth day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

4 chicken fingers...

2 overcooked eggs.

3 cold pancakes...

And a piece of toast that tasted like a tree

On the fifth day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

5 dried up onion rings...

4 chicken fingers...

3 cold pancakes...

2 overcooked eggs..

And a slice of toast that taste

Like a tree


On the sixth day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

6 frozen waffles...

5 dried up onion rings...

4 chicken fingers...

3 cold pancakes...

2 overcooked eggs

And another piece of toast that tasted

Like a tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

7 servers a-kvetching...

6 frozen waffles...

5 dried up onion rings...

4 chicken fingers...

3 cold pancakes...

2 overcooked eggs...

And wholewheat toast that tasted

Like a tree

On the eighth day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

8 Residents a-wandering...

7 servers a-kvetching...

6 frozen waffles...

5 dried up onion rings...

4 chicken fingers...

3 cold pancakes...

(with imitation maple syrup)

2 overcooked eggs...

And an English muffin that tasted

Like a tree

On the ninth day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

9 cooks a-dancing...

8 residents a-wandering...

7 servers a-kvetching...

6 frozen waffles...

5 dried up onion rings...

4 chicken fingers...

3 cold pancakes...

(with something called “table syrup”)...

2 overcooked eggs...

And something toasted that tasted like a tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas

The Dining Room gave to me...

10 meatballs rolling...

9 cooks a-dancing...

8 residents a-wandering...

7 servers a-kvetching...

6 frozen waffles...

5 dried up onion rings...

4 chicken fingers...

3 cold pancakes...

(even the butter won’t melt)...

2 overcooked eggs...

And a piece of toast that tasted

Like a tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas

The Dining Room fed to me...

11 piping hot bowls of oatmeal...

10 meatballs rolling...

9 cooks a-dancing...

8 residents a-wandering...

7 servers a-kvetching...

6 frozen waffles...

5 dried up onion rings...

4 chicken fingers...

3 cold pancakes with

Imitation maple flavored table syrup...

2 overcooked eggs...

And (god bless them) rye toast 

That tasted like a tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas

The Dining Room served to me...

12 turkey drumsticks drumming...

11 piping hot bowls of oatmeal...

10 meatballs rolling...

9 cooks a-dancing...

8 residents a-wandering...

7 servers a-kvetching...

6 frozen waffles...

5 dried up onion rings...

Only 3 chicken fingers...

(They were running short)...

3 cold pancakes...

2 overcooked sunny side over hard eggs...

And some raisin bread toast

(At least we think those things are raisins)

That tasted like a tree

© 2014 Bruce Cooper


When I first came here to the Center I was full of vim and vigor, piss and vinegar, ready to take on the administration, case management and, most importantly, the kitchen. Unfortunately, as the months and years have gone by, I have come to realize that my resistance is futile. For no matter how much I complain, cajole, manipulate, beg or plead, nothing has (or will) really change.

At one time, I would have lambasted the Center, the dietitian and the Chef for feeding us chicken for what seems like the 12th time this week, But now, I no longer care. I have surrendered, I have gone over to the dark side. Given in to the forces of evil if you will. Therefore, I will no longer complain about the food unless I think it is positively awful, indigestible or just plain rotten. So, since the baked / fried chicken (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) fits in to none of those categories, I will just say it was edible and probably won’t kill me.


I’m all for portion control...

...but this is ridiculous

I stared, in disbelief, at the slice if pineapple cake set before me at the conclusion of dinner last Thursday. In fact, I stared at it for almost a full minute trying to figure out exactly what it was. And, while I never expect anything on the order of a giant slice of anything around here, this was a slice of cake, that even for this place, was the smallest I’ve ever seen. Not having a ruler to measure the actual size, it was suggested to me that I place a packet of Sweet and Low next to it as a comparison. It appears, as the facility reaches its capacity of 195 souls, they are trying to find a way to stretch that food budget even further. Let’s see. What’s one cake divided by 195.


This past Saturday, the W. Center had its annual employees Christmas party. As a resident, I certainly respect the right for our wonderful staff to enjoy a nice evening with their fellow workers. However, I do deplore the manner in which this party was planned and carried out. 

This year, due to the penny pinching bean counters at corporate HQ, the staff Christmas party was not, as in past years, held off premises. Holding it instead, in the facilities, dining room. The same dining room where the residents eat. This, of course, caused a conflict with the two section seating schedule with all residents having to assemble for dinner at the ungodly hour of 4:30 pm, much too early for most residents who had just eaten lunch only three hours earlier. Naturally, there was great confusion at the "open seating" arrangement which forced most residents to find seats not at their usual tables. Unfortunately, some of our more "confused" residents found this to be a stressful situation. Pressure was also put on residents to finish their dinners quickly. In fact, after what felt like only about a half an hour, we were unceremoniously ushered out of the dining room by the dining room manager who needed to set up for the party. 

This only shows that, once again, the needs of the residents are overruled for the convenience of the staff and management. 

Of course, I wish the staff a very happy holiday and hope that they enjoyed the wine and other adult beverages that were served. Something else that we (residents) are prohibited from having.


You never know who may be sitting next to you at breakfast

Notorious hit-man dies, spent last days in Sunrise nursing home

As an elderly resident of an assisted living facility in Sunrise, former hit-man for the mob, Harold "Kayo" Konigsberg was just considered unpleasant, a fading gangster who was cranky, demanding and rude.

By Mike Clary

As a hit-man for the mob, Harold "Kayo" Konigsberg was once considered "the most dangerous uncaged killer on the East Coast," according to Life magazine, suspected in at least 20 murders.

As an elderly resident of an assisted living facility in Sunrise, he was just considered unpleasant, a fading gangster who was cranky, demanding and rude.

"I don't know how anybody could put up with him," said Eric Konigsberg, his great-nephew. "I know I was truly terrified when he threatened to kill me."

Konigsberg, who spent nearly 50 years in prison before he was released to live with a daughter in Weston two years ago, died last month. He was 89....



It’s all about being treated like an adult

Cocktails at senior living facilities on horizon

                                        By   Colleen Quinn                                                           

"These are people in our communities who have lived their life, made a difference for all of us. They deserve to be able to enjoy an adult beverage of their choice."

Residents living at continuing-care retirement communities may soon be able to order a cocktail, something they cannot do in Massachusetts right now.

A bill making its way through the Legislature in the final days of the 2013-2014 legislative session would allow cities and towns to grant liquor licenses to continuing-care retirement facilities.

The residential facilities that could be granted licenses offer housing to seniors living independently, as well as fully-assisted nursing units. The facilities would be required to go through the application process for an "on-premises consumption" liquor license, the same way restaurants and bars apply, according to Senate staff. Alcohol sales could be made to residents or their guests in dining facilities or residents' rooms.



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Sleep: a waste of time.
I used to worry a lot about sleep. I was concerned that not getting my six, seven or eight hours a night would eventually kill me at an early age. In fact, I was so obsessed with falling asleep and staying asleep that I resorted to chemicals to aid me in that attempt. My “Méthode de dormir” was NyQuil, or whatever Duane Reede Pharmacy called its brand of that nighttime cold remedy. One cap full of that blue-green licorice flavored alcohol infused syrup knocked me out for five or six hours, with no side effects. No side effects that is except for the fact that I was hooked on the stuff and after a while it became ineffective as a sleep aid.

While in the hospital, I was given Ambien, a powerful prescription sleeping pill. Not only did it put me to sleep, but it gave me the most realistic hallucinations I ever had. I mean I was seeing butterflies coming out of the TV on the wall. Once, I even dreamed that the Brazilian Olympic Soccer team was chasing me through the streets of Rio De Janeiro. I woke up before they caught me. Needless to say, I no longer rely on foreign substances to put me to sleep.

If I were able to somehow warm up a nice glass of milk before bedtime like most normal people do, I am sure that I would have no trouble at all falling asleep. Unfortunately, because I live in a place where even the innocent act of heating up some milk is considered detrimental to ones safety, I can’t. So what do I do. It’s simple. I do nothing.

I do nothing because I no longer care about sleep. I have decided that at this point in my life, sleep is not that important, at least to me. Yes, I know they say that even a person of my advanced years needs as much sleep as someone in their 20’s. They also say that older people have a difficult time getting all the sleep they need because some sleep-related neurons in the brain have died off*. However, I beg to differ. The reason why old people sleep less at night is because we are running out of time, and we know it. Sure, if you are 12 or 20 or even 30 years of age, you have all the time in the world left to waste your time slipping between the percales. But when you are at a point in your life when each day brings you closer to going on a boat ride with the Grim Reaper, you realize that you will never get back those seven or eight hours lost. And for that matter, why is it important to sleep at night. After all, I’m retired. Nobody is expecting anything of me anymore. Certainly not my family or friends. Certainly not the people who work here. As long as I show up for meals and my meds, they could care less how I spend my nights or days. Therefore, with that in mind I have taken to taking naps after lunch. I turn the TV on to some mind numbing daytime program and, after fifteen or twenty minutes, I’ve settled comfortably in to the arms of Morpheus for a couple of hours. When I awake, I am free to continue to do as I please. And, I can do it all night if I want, and I have. In fact, most of this blog is written during the wee hours of the morning when all that can be heard in this mortuary of a building is the flushing of toilets and the occasional death knell of some small woodland creature unfortunate enough to have been chosen as a meal for one of the feral cats that roam the grounds. Sometimes, I turn on the radio and listen to some all-night radio talk show. Sorrowfully, there are fewer and fewer of those on the air nowadays. I may be showing my age, but I remember staying up all night listening to such great radio hosts like Barry Grey and Long John Nebel. Now, only George Noory is left for us insomniacs. But I digress. The bottom line is, the hours, the days, the years are going by much too swiftly. To try and squeeze all that there is left to do into the time limited to us by the morays of a daylight culture, is like limiting when we can breathe. We old folks need more time and wasting it sleeping is, literally, sleeping one’s life away. And whether that time is during the day or during the night it does not matter. We should be left alone to sleep when and as much or as little as we need because, at this juncture in our lives, time is more important than sleep any day, or night.


One of the great new pleasures of being retired is the ability to be able to take a nice nap after lunch. Living way in the back of the annex affords me plenty of peace and quiet in the afternoon and, since afternoon TV sucks, I’m not tempted to turn it on. When I was still working, I tried to introduce a nap time into the day’s schedule, but they wouldn’t go for it.

5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Napping
 By Sarah Klein

To help spread the power of the afternoon snooze, we got to the bottom of a few of the common myths about napping we still hear.

Myth: If I take a nap, I'll only wake up feeling worse.

Fact: That groggy feeling after you wake up from a nap is real (it even has a name:sleep inertia) but it's not a guarantee. How you feel after your snooze is probably a factor of 
how long you snoozed for. Experts generally agree that a nap should last no longer than 30 minutes. "If you take it longer than 30 minutes, you end up in deep sleep," sleep expert and HuffPost blogger Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., previously told HuffPost. Anyone who has ever felt worse upon rising from a nap is "sleeping too long," he said. "You're going into a stage of sleep that's very difficult to get out of." Next time you're in the mood for a snooze, set your alarm for 20 to 30 minutes, tops.

At the W. Center...


If you got ‘em, smoke ‘em,
Wherever you want.

I am as much of a rebel as the next guy, and I always encourage a slight bending of the rules, especially when I think they are too restrictive or make no sense. However, when a rule is made that affects my health and the health of everyone who lives here, I strongly support the facilities enforcement of that rule. Unfortunately, while almost every other rule is strictly enforced, the rule about smoking only in designated areas is not invoked.

The Center has an area located outside the Garden Level living area, designed for those residents who smoke. It is easily accessible by taking the elevator 1 floor down and walking a short distance to the garden door. However, this task is too difficult for some of our residents to understand or accomplish so they have taken to lighting up anywhere they damn well please. They even have gone so far as to sit and smoke a cigarette right in front of the entrance to the main building as if to flaunt their insolence right in the face of management and their neighbors who have to inhale the foulness of their second hand smoke. And, to its detriment, management won’t or can’t do anything about it. Therefore, I have decided to deal with this problem my own way. Although the photo above is presented with the abusers face blurred out, the next time it won’t be. I will publish this offenders face and the likeness of anybody else I see smoking in areas where their smoke can be breathed in by unsuspecting bystanders. If the management of this facility won’t put a stop to this, I will.

While I have no complaints about the soup, I do have a problem with the bowl in which this, and other items are served. You see, over the last few months there has been a shift from a standard size soup bowl (see photo right) to a bowl like what you see above. This new bowl is much smaller than the original allowing for less than one cup of liquid to be placed in it. Previous posts on this blog have shown a demonstration whereby I poured the contents of the bowl into a standard size coffee cup. The level of soup only rose to half way up the cup. Now, the question is, has this penny-pinching, bean counting facility decided that by reducing the size of each portion they will save what can only amount to a fraction of a cent per serving. And what makes this worse is they think nobody notices.

By now most of you know my disinclination for starting, disseminating or perpetuating rumors. However, every once and a while a piece of scuttlebutt comes around that is just too juicy not to mention. In fact, I would not have even thought of repeating it if it did not pertain to something that I have been pissed off about almost from my first day here at the asylum and that is the use of microwave ovens in resident’s rooms.

Readers new to this blog may not know that here, at the ALF where I live, residents are not permitted to have any appliances in their private rooms deemed dangerous by the management. This is a house rule, not a state or local ordinance. You must also understand that practically all of the other ALF’s in this state do permit the use of such devices by residents and many even supply microwave ovens and feature them in their advertising campaigns. This is why I became so incensed when I heard this story from what I consider an impeccable source. The story began a few months ago when the Center realized that its occupancy rate was stalled well below the national average of 89%. 

The corporation that owns this, and other facilities, realized that it was time for the implementation of a new marketing strategy which included a new brochure and even a video depicting the amenities and virtues of the Center. One of the tools used in this campaign is the setting up of a “model room” or show room much like real estate people when selling a new home. Therefore, they decorated one of the rooms in the main building in such a way as to show how even a small room could be made to look “homey” and livable. They installed extra furniture, new bedspreads and pictures on the walls. 
All, items that any perspective resident could decorate their rooms like. However, there was one item added to this idyllic paradise of a room and that was the inclusion of, you guessed it, a microwave oven sitting proudly in the kitchenette area of the room. This, in direct contrast to what is actually permitted. In fairness, it must be stated that, according to my source, the microwave has since been removed from the model room. The explanation for why the microwave was put there in the first place was that they wanted to show what “might be done if they permitted it”. All of this just goes to show you that denying the use of such devices as microwave ovens and coffee makers to residents who are qualified to use them is both archaic and a detriment to the happiness and well being of those who live here.


Through both personal experience and up close observation, I believe the following to be oh so true.

Elderly don’t want roommates in nursing homes
 (or ALF’s )

When elders express a wish to remain in assisted living facilities, even as their health declines enough to warrant nursing home placement, I believe they are telling us more than that they want to avoid the high cost of nursing home care. In assisted living facilities, elders usually live in their own units, but nursing homes provide far more semiprivate rooms (typically with two beds) than private ones. If a patient is alone in a room, the other bed is usually soon occupied, unless the patient has a serious, communicable disease.
Elderly people who are frail enough to need placement in a nursing home often resent being forced to have a roommate. ....

I’m taking a chance and reprinting this article in its entirety. Read and check-off how many of these items are available to us, here at the Center. Pay attention to the highlighted items.

Ten qualities of a great assisted living residence
By Fern Marder, Parker Home

An assisted living residence is a good option for seniors who need help with some aspects of daily living, such as cooking meals, taking medication, cleaning the house, and traveling to appointments.The residence also provides a secure environment with emergency call systems in place.When you need more assistance that your family, friends and in-home help can provide, you should consider moving to an assisted living residence.

There are 10 qualities you should keep in mind while visiting assisted living residences:

1. Contentment — When visiting an assisted living residence, speak to the people who live there and find out how they feel about the home. Do you see people socializing and laughing? Are the residents participating in activities and clubs? Do they like the environment and the food?

2. Home-like — The assisted living residence is clean, comfortable and nicely decorated, with plants and artwork. The dining room uses real dishes and silverware — no paper and plastic. There are areas where small groups can gather and enjoy activities together or watch TV.

3.Autonomy — Residents have the freedom to do what you can for themselves. Their choices and wishes are encouraged and respected.The residents should be treated with dignity and respect.

4.Amenities — The assisted living residence has a health and wellness center where you can exercise and learn about wellness, a hair salon, a library, an area for worship similar to a chapel, proximity to other amenities like theaters, shopping malls, and transportation to bring you there and back.

5. Plants, pets and children — There is greenery both inside and outside the building, with lovely grounds and areas to walk and socialize. Residents can have a small to mid-sized dog or cat living with them. Many great assisted living residences have visits from local children to brighten up the residents’ day.

6. Excellent, nutritious food — For health and for pleasure, dining together with friends is an important social experience.When you visit an assisted living residence, ask to try the cuisine.The food should be high quality, nutritious and freshly prepared.

7. Bedroom or suite — The suite should be comfortable and include a kitchenette and a bathroom with a shower. Privacy is important and the resident should be in control of his personal space and time.

8. Personalized plan — The residence should have a team that sets up a personalized plan for residents that meets their physical and emotional needs, including accommodating for any disabilities that they may have. 9.Additional assistance — If a resident requires a higher level of care, such as taking medication or assistance with bathing, or laundry, services are available.The goal is to allow people to “age in place” as much as possible.

10. Social activities — There should be interesting activities and events available daily, including nights and weekends. One of the main reasons seniors move in to assisted living residences is to ease the loneliness they experience living alone. There are some excellent resources on the Internet that will assist you in finding the best assisted living residence for you. provides news and case studies about assisted living on their website. is a nonprofit guide to resources including assisted living provides a checklist of traits to look for in an assisted living residence.With patience and persistence, you will find the perfect residence for you.

Editor’s note: I did not post this story in order to lambaste or to make any derogatory comments about the Westchester Center. In fact, out of the 10 items on the list, we are only deprived of three. As I have always said, this facility has the potential to be one of the best facilities of its kind in the country, all it needs is a little “tweaking”


NIC: Assisted Living, Seniors Housing in Peak Demand 
Assisted living communities experienced occupancy levels of 89.4 percent, the best showing since late 2007, according to the National Investment Center’s top
Additionally, third quarter 2014 results for transaction volumes, return performance and demand “were impressive for seniors housing, with new records set on many scores,” writes NIC Chief Economist Beth Burnham Mace. The senior housing transaction market reached a new high in Q3, with nearly $7 billion worth of deals closed, up more than 30 percent from the previous high during Q3 2011. ....


Do sneezes get louder as one gets older?

Answer: Rick Prothero

I do not believe that age is a primary factor.

The output of a sneeze depends primarily on factors such as lung capacity and the size of the pre-sneeze inhale. More air makes for a bigger sneeze. An intense irritation can make for a louder sneeze.

However, I think that the personality of the individual has a lot more to do with it. Just like loud and soft laughter's, and burps. ....


6 Challenges of Aging With Diabetes
How to overcome your body’s natural changes
By Laura Williamson

About one in four Americans over the age of 60 have diabetes. Managing the disease can become more difficult as people enter their 60s, 70s, and 80s. Here’s what experts have to say about the challenges of aging and what you can do to overcome them:
Two of the most important things aging people can do is admit that they need help and ask for it, says Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, professor of gerontology and Sonya Ziporkin Gershowitz chair of gerontology at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. “A lot of people don’t want to admit they are not checking their glucose levels,” she says. “If you cannot adhere to your self-care regimen, be honest. Talk to your provider about it so you can work out a system that’s realistic for you.”
Read on for six common challenges of aging to discuss with your health care provider:

1. Vision Problems

More than 28 percent of adults over the age of 40 living with diabetes experience diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the small blood vessels in the retina that can result in loss of vision. As people age, vision can deteriorate even further, especially if blood glucose levels are uncontrolled. Cataracts, common in people with diabetes, can also contribute to poor vision.

Failing vision makes it more difficult to read the directions on medication, to see blood glucose numbers on a meter, and even to walk down stairs without falling, especially if reflexes have also slowed, Goldberg says.

2. Hearing Loss

Likewise, seniors may want to have their hearing checked and....


Diabetes in midlife linked to significant cognitive decline 20 years later

People diagnosed with diabetes in midlife are more likely to experience significant memory and cognitive problems during the next 20 years than those with healthy blood sugar levels, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

"The lesson is that to have a healthy brain when you're 70, you need to eat right and exercise when you're 50," says study leader Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "There is a substantial cognitive decline associated with diabetes, pre-diabetes and poor glucose control in people with diabetes. And we know how to prevent or delay the diabetes associated with this decline."

More health news

New Approach With Elderly Addicts at Nursing Home

A surge in baby boomers has driven up the number of elderly people abusing drugs or alcohol, bringing more attention to the sometimes-delicate problems involved in treating addiction in the aging.
Clare Mannion, 64, of Fort Myers, Florida, says her fear of aging triggered her alcohol addiction."For me, growing older was not a positive thing," she said. "When life became difficult for me, when it appeared that my prejudice about being a boomer or elderly became insurmountable, I turned to the quickest, easiest, legal medication I could find."The elderly often need powerful pain medications, which are easy to overuse. They typically have dramatic changes in their personal life, such as retirement or the death of a spouse, that can trigger abuse. Family, friends and even doctors sometimes mistake the symptoms of addiction for the symptoms of old age. And dementia can both mask and worsen the effects of drugs and alcohol.....


Aging eyes, screen size and resolution

Q.     I have a 19" monitor with a native resolution of 1600x900. This provides crisp clear text, but it is too small. My vision is not as good as it once was. In order to see easily I have reduced the resolution to 1280x720 and have chosen LARGE fonts. The text is larger but not as clear and it makes me scroll my screen horizontally because it doesn't "fit" the screen.If I graduated to a 23" monitor with a native resolution of 1920x1080 with a normal font would that fix my woes? How would the text size on my 19" 1280x720 LARGE font compare to the text size on a 23" 1920x1080 with regular font? .
A.Some quick background 

Pixels are the smallest physical "dots" that are lit up on the monitor to display an image. They are the building blocks and define all of the tradeoffs. The monitor is manufactured with a specific arrangement of pixels, which is its "native" resolution.

Characters are drawn on the screen by defining which pixels are illuminated within an imaginary grid. The number of pixels in the grid determines the size of the font on that monitor.

Normal Size 

Let's start with screen fonts at their normal size and the computer configured to use the monitor's native resolution, and compare how the same font will look on two different size monitors. On each monitor, the actual size of the font on the screen will be determined ....

Barry Manilow: I have not had any plastic surgery and am aging naturally

Barry Manilow denied reports that his wrinkle-free appearance is due to lots of plastic surgery. Manilow insisted he is aging naturally and slammed longstanding rumors that he has gone under the knife.
“It’s infuriating," Barry told UK talk show host Jonathan Ross Nov. 27. "This is me at 70. I swear. Really, this is what I look like. I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”
Manilow is the latest celebrity who has been the subject of plastic surgery reports. Fashion designer Donatella Versace was recently accused of going overboard with plastic surgery after debuting a shiny, waxy face that had fans saying she resembled a melting candle.....

Discounting the myth

A nation of Methuselahs: Is it possible for humans to live too long?
Advances in science pose a fresh moral problem: Is it possible for humans to live too long?
Jennifer Graham

Is death optional? Can aging be cured? A human life with no expiration date has long been the stuff of science fiction, but some scientists believe these screenwriter fantasies will one day be real, as life spans creep upward and medicine advances.
But if the life expectancy of, say, Methuselah, who the Bible says lived 969 years, is achievable, is it desirable, or even moral?
Death is a loss, Emanuel wrote, “but here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived.”


Hey Chef! Do I look like a f-----g rabbit?

Carrots, carrots. Every time I look at my plate I see a side of carrots. Sometimes they’re sliced, sometimes they’re diced and sometimes they are those tough little miniature carrots. Quite frankly chef, nobody here like carrots. For most of the residents they are too touch to chew and when they are cooked so much as to make them soft, they loose all of their flavor. All you have to do is look in the garbage at the end of a meal where carrots were served and all you will see is a sea of uneaten carrots. Yes, I know that carrots are good for you, but not that good that they are served three or four times a week. After all, there are other vegetables besides carrots. Some of them equally as healthy. How come we never get asparagus or Brussels sprouts? Where are the nice whole cut string beans? Hoe about some creamed spinach or even some nice whole leaf spinach once and a while? Enough with the carrots already. My nose is twitching.


I did not rate this dish because I did not eat it. The photo was taken at a neighboring table and was moved aside because at least that one particular resident did not like it and asked for something else.

Recently, the chef has taken to using the so-called Alfredo sauce on some pasta dishes. Unfortunately, the pasta dishes are not those which Alfredo originally intended his sauce to be combined with.

The original, as served in Alfredo de Lillo’s restaurant in Rome is a very simple sauce made with butter and Parmesan cheese. The cheese is left to melt and combine with the butter to make a rich, creamy sauce. The pasta of choice is almost always fettuccine which is a long, flat strand of spaghetti-like pasta. Now, while I am not so much of a purist that I think that using Alfredo sauce over anything other than fettuccine is a sacrilege, using it in one of the most visually unappealing dishes I have ever seen is. This dish cries out for something green, even if it were only as a side. It’s too bad that the kitchens penchant for carrots takes precedence over what would make this food at least look good.


At first I said to myself, “So, that’s what happens to all the pigeons in the winter”, after looking at the size of the supposed chicken legs on my plate at dinner the other night. I had never seen such small chicken legs in my life and I was sure that they must not have come from a real chicken at all. I mean, we all know how large your standard chicken is. Perhaps these were baby chickens, taken as soon as they popped out of the egg. But, after a little research, I think I have found the answer as to what is actually on our plate. You see, there really are small, fully matured chickens. In fact, they are the smallest breed of chicken in the world. They are known as the Malaysian Pygmy Chicken (also known as the “Serama”) and they are grown here in the U.S. They typically weigh under 500g which is about 18 oz. So, the next time your tablemate complains about how small the chicken parts are on his plate just tell him about the Malaysian Pygmy Chicken and I’m sure he’ll feel much better.

Senior Citizen's "Fantasy Date" With Teen Twins Ends In Terror
Suzanne Robertson

The New York Times reports that Paul Aronson met up with 17-year-old Shaina Foster last month through, a site “where beautiful, success
ful people fuel mutually beneficial relationships”. In other words, a "seeking sugar daddy" site.
After a first date, Shaina brought her twin sister Shalaine along for a meal at an "expensive restaurant" and then Aronson invited them back to his apartment for a drink, court documents said.


Christmas Gifts For Weird People: The Official 2014 Guide
By David Moye

It's the most wonderful time of the year and, if you're lucky, it's also the weirdest.

If it's truly the thought that counts, then you should be thinking about some strange things for the weirdo in your life.

Why not get some chocolates shaped like dog or cat poop? Or an ugly Christmas sweater 
showing Santa peeing in the snow?

Of course, no nutball would ever turn down a nose-shaped soap dispenser.

No matter how picky your favorite freak is, there's something for them in the annual HuffPost Weird News Christmas Gift Guide.

1. Moguard
The best products solve a problem that is plaguing mankind, and so do the weirdest products. The Moguard solves the pesky problem of beer suds soaking your cool mustache. Be careful: Too many craft beers at the local hipster bar and you may forget to bring your beer-soaked $9 Moguard home. Oh, that's probably what the manufacturer is hoping.

2. Old Man Peeing Liquor Beverage Dispenser
If you're like us, you believe that liquor tastes best when dispensed from the genitalia of an old man statue. Make sure you tell the person you're giving it to, "Hey, urine for a treat."

3. Pre-stained Underwear
You have to be unusually close to a person for underwear to be an appropriate Christmas gift. And it's definitely a weird relationship if they give you underwear that includes a pre-stained skidmark on the back. Some gifts are better opened in private.

4. Runny Nose Shower Gel Dispense
Let's face it: Getting gel in the shower is a hassle. You risk back injury bending over to get the bottle on the floor or waste valuable shelf space that could be used for hair conditioner. This Runny Nose Shower Gel Dispenser sticks on the wall, thus saving space. The fact that it looks like a nose oozing strange-colored mucous is just icing on the cake.....


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What did you expect

When you signed up?

What did you expect when you moved in here? Sounds like a simple question, but in reality it’s very complicated. It’s as complicated as people themselves and, because people are complicated, the system set up to take care of them (us) in the twilight of our lives is complicated to. Unfortunately, the way this facility handles your needs may be very different from what you were expecting.

When I first moved in here I was in pain. I had just come from a nursing home where literally everything was done for me. Living in that situation for almost two years was destroying my life. No adult human being should need so much supervision. And yet, that’s the way many of us are treated here, and for no good reason. Let’s back up a bit. What did I expect from a place like this (an A.L.F.). 

I expected a place where I could get just the amount of help I needed. I did not expect to be cubbyholed into a system that treats me like an invalid or someone with decreased mental capacity. Yes, I need certain things done for me because my body limits my ability to move like I did when I was younger. I need the services of a health care system that I can turn to if things get out of control. And, while I appreciate having a doctor* here on a regular basis, I don’t need to see him every month and yet (until I put an end of it) they made an appointment for me once a month like clockwork. Were they really interested in my health or were they interested in $175 they got from Medicare just for taking my blood pressure? Do some people here need to see the doc more often, yes, but not me. Quite frankly, I expected to be left alone. And, except for a visit from the housekeeping staff that helps me keep my room clean, and the kitchen staff that keeps me from starving, I need very little else. So why can’t they mind their own business? Because the damn state won’t let them, that’s why.

Sure, it would be easy to blame the facility for all of the woes that beset the residents of this and other places like this,  but to do so would be a disservice to the staff who are just trying to comply with all of the regulations dictated to them by a state agency who has omnipotent control, not only on the way things are run here, but on our lives as well. Perhaps a little history will explain the “why” part.

Years ago, state run institutions were a shambles. From so-called “Insane Asylums” to nursing homes and “poor houses”. There was little or no regulation, and what regulation there was, was poorly supervised. The institutions were left in the inept hands of untrained caretakers. There was no oversight. Over the years, some improvements occurred in these places, but it was not until 1972 when a young reporter by the name of Geraldo Rivera did a report on a state mental institution on Staten Island call Willowbrook. The appalling conditions in that place brought to light the state's inability to run such facilities. This set the ball rolling and people started to look at other institutions that the state had jurisdiction over, like nursing homes. And, what they found was a similar condition to what was happening at Willowbrook. It took some time, but eventually the state cleaned up its act and now, I can say that New York State has some of the strictest rules and regulations of any agency in the nation. Unfortunately, because they are afraid of slipping back into what once was akin to a medieval horror show, I believe they have gone too far in their control over, not only the facilities which they oversee, but over the lives of the residents of those facilities. Without realizing it, the New York State Department of Health, has gone overboard in its authority, making life miserable for many of us who would like less restraint and supervision. Let me enumerate what some of those annoying controls are.

The following is a list of things I can’t do here because the D.O.H. won’t let me.

I can’t have any OTC meds like aspirin or cold tablets.

I can’t take food out of the dining room.

I can’t bring food into the dining room.

I have no choice in where they order my medication from.

I have to get special permission in order to be able to take my own medication.

The facility is given the right to open my mail to make sure that “important” mail does not go unread.

They won’t let the facility serve eggs with runny yolks or food that is not cooked to a dull gray color. 

If some of these “controls” seem trivial to you I want you, who are living independently in your own homes, to think of how YOU would like having someone looking over your shoulder every day or telling you how your eggs should be cooked or what time you could go to dinner. How would you feel if you were told that you could not be trusted with even the simplest appliances in your home or have any one of the myriad other freedoms that are denied residents of many senior living situations.

There are other controls not implemented by the state, but by the facility itself, such as the use of alcohol and the censoring of the internet,not being allowed to have microwave ovens or coffee makers in our rooms and when we can or can’t eat and with who and where we can sit at mealtimes, but I don’t want to get into that right now. But here’s the bigger problem. The process to have these rules and regulations changed is difficult, if not impossible. It would take legislative approval for the D.O.H. to act on relaxing any of these regulations. And unfortunately, we the people, have no advocate willing to help us.

Thankfully, there are Ombudsmen who will intercede and negotiate with management on behalf of the residents. Unfortunately, these hard working people have little or no “clout” when it comes to changing any rules and regulations. In addition, because we are an unseen “majority”, a group that rarely complains about anything, legislators are not that interested in changing anything for us. What we really need is a lobbyist, and advocate. We need someone who can bring to the attention of those who are responsible for overseeing the D.O.H.  and the inequality of some of the regulations under which many of the state's seniors are forced to live. In the end what I want, and what I think many of my neighbors here at the Center want, is more freedom to live our lives as we have always led them. With dignity and respect for and from others.

* I was only recently made aware of the fact that, while we have a doctor here on a regular basis, we do not have any dental care available. The last dentist has decided that he no longer wants to take Medicare patients meaning that we have no one to take care of any dental emergencies we might have. 

Unmet needs of older Americans common in many living settings

Older adults who live in retirement or senior housing communities are more likely to have unmet needs for help than are older adults who live in traditional housing, according to a new study.

About 2.5 million older adults live in these settings, nearly as many as the 3 million who live in residential care settings, including nursing homes.

"Unmet needs are common among older adults with limitations across all kinds of settings," said Vicki Freedman, research professor at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. "But some needs, like those related to grocery shopping, laundry and making hot meals, are more likely to go unmet for those in retirement or senior housing communities.

Read more at:

Thanksgiving Day

Residents here at the Center were greeted this Thanksgiving morning with some snow flurries and a continental breakfast. A Continental Breakfast can mean a lot of different things to different people depending, I guess, upon which continent you reside. Here, on the southern half of the North American continent, the term Continental Breakfast refers to cereal, juice, coffee and an assortment of donuts, muffins and pastries. Hard boiled eggs were also available. This was, for me, a welcome relief from the usual bacon and eggs and, considering that the BIG THANKSGIVING DAY DINNER** is only a couple of hours away, it will actually leave some room for, what I hope, will be a decent meal.

Meanwhile, as I await the one o’clock hour for dinner, I am spending my time watching, as I have since I was very little, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Actually, when I was a kid, we used to call it the Macy’s Day Parade, as if it were not for Macy’s there would be no Thanksgiving. It was not until about six years ago that I actually got off the couch, got on the subway and witnessed the parade, live, for myself. Like all native New Yorkers, we rarely take advantage of what is in our own backyards. For instance, I have only been to the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty once in my life and have never gone to Rockefeller Plaza to see the tree lighting ceremony. However, somehow I felt it my duty to go see the parade. I’m glad I did. The balloons are much larger than on TV an the crowd much noisier.

** See review of Thursday’ dinner in the “Faceless Foodie” section somewhere below.



 by Shelly

One of the most enjoyable things about the holidays is curling up with a good book and a cup of hot, steaming cocoa. A single sip of that marshmallowy chocolatey goodness, and my stress is washed away. It’s truly a rejuvenating experience.

Now scientists believe that cocoa – or more precisely, a class of chemicals called flavanols in cocoa – may literally rejuvenate the aging brain. In a new randomized-control study by a team from Columbia University, flavanol supplementation enhanced recognition memory performance in older adults and boosted the activity of their dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus plagued by age-related functional decline.



I know most of you don’t find spiders very cute, with all those legs and everything, but for some reason I don’t find these guys repulsive at all. Especially the spiders that we have here at the Center. In fact, they are very good neighbors. You will have to admit that they are quiet. I mean, even the big ones walk lightly. They spin beautiful webs which catch more noxious bugs like flies and mosquitoes and, for the most part, they do not bite humans. At least not the ones we have here. 


A case for single person rooms

Fight between senior citizens in Boynton results in injury, arrest

A fight between two senior citizens over a refrigerator door left open ended with one man injured and the other behind bars, according to an arrest report. 

Gilles J. Imbeault, 66, is facing a charge of battery on a person 65 years or older after he allegedly took a swing at his 74-year-old roommate at their home west of the city. The men were both in the kitchen when the home owner reminded Imbeault not to leave the refrigerator door open.....



The following comes from the State of Illinois where they take a slightly different view of what assisted living should be about. After reading the article I would like you to go to the Heritage Woods website, click on where it says “floor plan” and check out what is included along with the accommodations. You will notice, along with the obviously larger room, something else is in that room that we can’t have. After reading this, I felt very short changed.

Supportive living is more affordable than assisted living

By C.R. Walker

Many people want to spend their golden years in the home they’re in now.

Unfortunately, staying in that home may be unsafe because of aging. If you are unable to take care of your daily needs, things like getting dressed, bathed, fed and more, then serious consideration should be made about finding a suitable senior living option.

Thankfully, your option isn’t only assisted living. It’s not that assisted living is a bad thing. It can provide you or your loved one with the required assistance for everyday living and care in a safe environment, but its offerings fall short in comparison to supportive living.

The biggest difference though, and one that seemingly affects all seniors and their families, is the cost difference. Supportive living is a much more affordable option and it also accepts Medicaid. Assisted living does not allow payment from Medicaid, and worse yet, if someone receiving this type of care suddenly cannot afford it, they likely will be forced to leave their assisted living residence.

That’s something you will never have to be concerned with when choosing a supportive living lifestyle at Heritage Woods of Batavia......


Heritage Woods website...


Westchester Senior Hall of Fame Induction to Take Place December 5th

County Executive Robert P. Astorino today announced that 95-year-old Seymour Scharf, a retired fiduciary and long-time volunteer, fundraiser and supporter of programs throughout Greenburgh, will be the top honoree at the 32nd annual Westchester Senior Citizens Hall of Fame on Friday, Dec. 5.

“The Senior Hall of Fame is a Westchester tradition that recognizes seniors who have generously given their time and talent to improve their home communities and the county at large,” Astorino said. “Their leadership has enhanced our quality of life, and we are fortunate to call them our friends and neighbors.”

Scharf is one of 47 seniors from 26 county municipalities who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Westchester Marriott Hotel in Tarrytown.



I know that there are many of you who have friends who are not tech savvy or computer literate, and that’s too bad. You have so many things that you would like to share with them online. Perhaps you would just like to chat, send a photo, share a recipe, a poem or a story. While it’s difficult to get someone to try something new after they reach a certain age, the AARP has a tablet (never use the word computer) made just for those people who are afraid that they can’t use today’s technology.

AARP Aims Its RealPad Tablet at Technology-Hesitant Senior Citizens

By Todd R. Weiss  

The RealPad tablet from AARP includes 24/7 phone tech support, more than 20 video tutorials and other features that the group hopes will make technology less intimidating for seniors who are 65 and older.

AARP wants to get its recently launched $189 RealPad tablet into the hands of a key group of users—the elderly parents of Baby Boomers. The problem, however, is that while this includes a large group of potential users who could ultimately benefit from having such a device in their lives, the seniors are often hesitant to try one because they might be intimidated by high-tech devices.


More tech stuff

Italian, Russian Scientists Build Software for Senior Citizens

According to the scientists, the steadily growing average human lifespan raises concerns about the quality of life.

“...scientists determined that there are three primary factors that determine a senior citizen’s well-being: physical activity, communication and the ability to contribute to society i.e. to work. The software that is being developed by the lab is designed for tablet computers and “covers” all three factors.”

One of the applications serves as a personal trainer – it helps seniors perform basic physical exercises.

The second application helps senior citizens to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren. “The existing telecommunications tools are too complex for many older people – not everyone can use Skype, for example,” Fabio Casati explains. “Our application will be even less complex than an ordinary phone. Simply put, you would only have to press one button, and grandmas and grandpas won’t be able to reset the settings and ‘break it’.” The application that is being developed in Tomsk will have three access levels. At the most basic level, a senior citizen won’t even have to press any buttons, search for programs and log in – as soon as a call comes in, the caller’s voice is heard.

The third group of application allows senior citizens to work at home – for example, as software testers.....


While we cherish each and every email we receive, we would appreciate them even more if they were coherent. Email #1 below may actually be some sort of code. I’ll have to dust off the Enigma machine to find out what it says. The second email looks like the writer liked something I wrote. I only wish I knew what it was.

Following up on my favorite story this year...

At Assisted-Living Home Set to Close, Holdouts Dig In as Services Dry Up


Mealtimes at the Prospect Park Residence, a building in the classical revival style overlooking Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, were once dignified affairs. The residents sat down to carefully folded napkins and pale-green tablecloths in a spacious dining room bustling with neighbors, medical aides and servers. The windows offered sweeping views of Prospect Park.

On Wednesday morning, a single worker filled water glasses from a pitcher, preparing the tables — just a few of them, huddled against one end of the room — for lunch. She was also the building’s cleaning staff. And the arts instructor. And, though English is not her primary language, also the word-games director.

In the eight months since the operator of the Prospect Park Residence announced it was closing the assisted-living residence, the number of people living in the building has dwindled to eight from more than 120. Most of the staff has left or been let go.......


The Cook and the Janitor

When an assisted living facility closed—leaving sick residents abandoned inside—Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez took charge and became heroes.


On October 24, 2013, the now infamous Valley Springs Manor assisted-living facility shuttered its doors. A sign on the front door hanging below a decorative paper jack-o'-lantern read "closed for business." About 16—some reports say as many as 19—elderly residents were still inside. Some were sick and bedridden.

That cook and janitor who chose not to leave—and instead to stay and care for the residents of the facility without pay—were Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez. .....



Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery

Written by Samuel Greengard 

Explore Your Alternatives to Surgery

Knee surgery should never be your first option. In some instances, it’s possible to minimize your knee pain and problems through alternative treatments and approaches....

Read more .. 


We know that many old folks have to eat dog food. Why not go one step further.......

Anti-aging drugs for dogs and humans?

By DogTime

Mice, who usually live up to four years in captivity, have had their lives extended due to a drug called rapamycin. Scientists, at the University of Washington in Seattle, are testing this drug on Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and German Shepherds in the hope this drug will have the same effect on dogs and on humans.

Researchers have found that rapamycin has been shown to extend the lives of mice by more than 10 percent. So, researchers are hoping to host trial experiments on humans. Since we live a lot longer than mice, the research to see if this works and if it has positive benefits on humans could take several years.



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. “We need a chicken coop here.”

Chickens Help Reduce Elderly Loneliness, Depression


It all started in 2012 when one of the men living at a dementia care center kept telling the staff he missed his girls. When they realized the girls were actually hens he used to raise, one of the nurses asked Douglas Hunter, the director of Equal Arts, a charity that provides creative projects for older people, if he could bring in some chickens for the patients.

“Our main reservation was whether the staff would be annoyed by them, and wouldn’t have time to look after them,” says Hunter.

But the result was the complete opposite. The staff and the patients loved caring for the animals and the program was such a success, Equal Arts received funding to expand Hen Power to eight pilot locations that ranged from assisted living facilities to care homes.



Obama’s war on aging women: Will 69-year-old, high-mileage Hillary Clinton have that ‘new car smell?’

Pundits are questioning whether President Obama cleverly threw likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton under the bus Sunday with a comment about mileage.

In an interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos that aired Sunday on “This Week,” the president was asked if Clinton had his “blessing” to separate herself from him on policy issues, if necessary.

Obama responded with the requisite platitudes that he wants a Democrat to succeed him and that Clinton will not only be a “formidable candidate,” but a “great president.” He joked about having “some dings,” and then made an interesting comment.....



A bad marriage burdens an aging heart

A bad marriage increases an older adult's risk of heart trouble, and that's particularly true for women, a new study contends.

Researchers examined five years of data from 1,200 married American men and women, aged 57 to 85. People with spouses who were overly critical or demanding were more likely to develop heart disease than those with supportive mates, the researchers from Michigan State University said.

They also found that a bad marriage's harmful impact on heart health increased with age. This may be because marriage-related stress might stimulate more -- and more intense -- cardiovascular responses due to declines in immune function and increasing frailty as people age, the researchers speculated.

Women were more likely suffer poor heart health due to a bad marriage. One possible explanation: Women tend to internalize negative feelings, making them more likely to develop depression and heart problems, according to lead investigator Hui Liu, an associate professor of sociology.

The researchers also found that heart disease seems to lead to a decline in marriage quality for women, but not men. This finding is consistent with the widely held belief that wives are more likely to provide support and care to sick husbands, while husbands are less likely to do so for wives, the study authors said.



20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30



Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington lawmakers.

Members of the Senate Aging committee meet Thursday to scrutinize the recent, unexpected trend among generic medicines, which are copies of branded drugs that have lost patent protection. They usually cost between 30 to 80 percent less than the original medicines.

Experts point to multiple, often unrelated, forces behind the price hikes, including drug ingredient shortages, industry consolidation and production slowdowns due to manufacturing problems. But lawmakers convening Thursday's hearing, led by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, say the federal government needs to do more to bring down prices.

"These companies have seen the opportunity to make a whole lot of money and are seizing that opportunity," said Sanders, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging.


More money news

Why Older Americans Are Financially Vulnerable

Cognitive decline is real, and it can lead to major money problems.

New research found that seniors start to exhibit signs of diminished financial abilities in their 60s and 70s.

By Kimberly Palmer

In addition to wrinkles and graying hair, getting older brings on a less-visible change: diminished cognitive abilities, from simple math to making investment decisions, which can have a big impact on finances.

That kind of difficulty also opens the way for financial abuse, which is a major problem among older adults. Speaking at the Gerontological Society of America's annual meeting in the District of Columbia this month, Naomi Karp, ​policy advisor at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Office for​ Older Americans, called financial abuse the most common form of abuse among older adults. She said older Americans with significant assets, like home equity, are particular targets, and it is an extremely under reported crime.

Perpetrators include contractors, scam artists, financial advisers and even family members, Karp says. Older Americans are especially vulnerable because of cognitive decline, isolation, disability, bereavement and health problems, she added. Like Americans of any age, older adults can submit complaints about financial products or services directly through the website.


Yellow Split Pea Soup

Like its cousin, green pea soup, split pea is one of my favorites. However, this post is not about how delicious and hardy it was or how it was so perfect for a snowy Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I have to report, once again, that the amount of soup served to the residents here has hit a new low, literally.

After noticing that the volume of soup in my bowl appeared to be even less than usual, I decided to do my scientifically approved measurement experiment. I poured the contents of my “bowl” into an empty coffee cup. I observed, as I have before, that the contents of the bowl (which appeared almost full) did not even manage to fill even half of the cup. Previously, when I have complained about this indisputable lack of product, I was told that ‘It was up to the server to fill the soup up to the top’. Well, that may be, but it has become quite clear that even if the soup was filled to the brim of the bowl, it still would not equal a half a cup of soup. I think that the residents of this facility deserve at least a full cup of soup for lunch. Are you listening you penny pinching, bean counting corporate SOB’s.


I was going to make a big deal about this. I was going to say how the management and kitchen staff must think we are so stupid and senile that they could pass giant fish cakes off as fried filet of sole. I had pictures of real filet of sole ready and waiting to post here in comparison. I was going to say how things have really gone down hill here if they think that this is a proper meal for dinner. Yes, I was going to say all of those things, but I will save those remarks for another time (Which I’m sure will come soon). However, when I heard what really happened I decided to tone down my comments. What happened was this. We were supposed to have filet of fish the following day along with the proper vegetables. Unfortunately, the inept kitchen staff, without the manager around, has no idea what filet of soul looks like or how it’s supposed to be cooked so they saw the only thing in the freezer that said “fish” on it, and cooked it. People are people and mistakes happen. We can only hope that, in the future, more attention is paid to the menu.


Thanksgiving Day Dinner here at the Center was a pleasant surprise because, unlike some of the meals we have been getting around here that can only be described as being frugally prepared, today’s dinner was actually sumptuous. And, not only was there more than enough to go around, what was offered was, for the most part, properly cooked. I say “for the most part” because they have not yet learned how to properly season anything which left some of the food slightly on the bland side. However, any lack of seasoning was made up for by the quality and variety of the food served. The stuffing was acceptable as was the sweet potatoes and broccoli. But, for me, the star of the show was the mushrooms (hidden under the turkey leg in the photo above). 

Another star was the apple cider which was a nice departure from the usual apple juice served here. All ended nicely with a choice of pies from pumpkin to Boston cream. My hat is off the serving staff as well that was supplemented by members of the Recreation Department who made sure our plates and glasses remained full. While there were many relatives and other visitors in the lobby beforehand, not many of them stayed to enjoy dinner with their relatives. 

Why buy when we’ve got the real thing

I came across this add from online retailer “Bits and Pieces and felt vindicated. I suggested a while back, that as long as we have an ongoing rodent problem here at the Center, we should make the best of it. “We should catch them, and train them, and have them run races for the amusement an enjoyment of the residents”, I said. “That’s disgusting”, was the reply. Well, now it appears that my idea is not that absurd after all. The only difference between the racing mice above and mine is that you have to feed mine. Oh, and ours only comes in one color, but of course there is always hair dye.

More fun stuff.....

I know pot is illegal, but come on, just think of all the fun.



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Is What We're Eating Turning Our Brains to Mush?

I went to my closet the other day and pulled out my favorite pair of jeans. You know them. They are the ones that look and feel great. They are the ones that you had for years and have aged more gracefully than you have. As I put them on I realized that unfortunately, something must have gone wrong in the wash. That darn laundry must have used some extra-super- shrinking detergent because, now my old friend jeans didn’t fit anymore. Amazingly, at the same time, the leather belt that I wear with those jeans appears to have become smaller as well. The hole that I usually use to cinch up that belt moved and inch to the left. What has happened here?

Of course, it’s not the laundry’s fault that I can no longer button my Levi’s or that my belt has lost a notch. I’m to blame. I’m the one that has been stuffing his face for the last two years and put on a million pounds. But wait. Perhaps it’s not all my fault. Maybe there are other forces that have caused my avoirdupois to rise to the level far beyond what I am used to. You see, when you are a captive of the kitchen, the chef and the dietitian who insist on piling on as much carb-laden side dishes and entrees as legally possible, then maybe, just maybe, It’s not all my fault. Yes, I know that we (me) are ultimately responsible for what we eat, and that there is always a low-carb choice at meal times, but it’s just that THOSE kinds of foods are so boring. Am I destined to eat a tuna salad plate or a luncheon meat chef salad for the rest of my days here at the asylum. A man does not live on protein alone, although at one time I did.

About ten years ago, when I was a civilian living on the outside and able to shop for and cook his own food, I was a staunch follower of Dr. Atkins diet. Dr. Atkins, who was lambasted for his mostly protein approach to weight loss before we came to our senses, was far ahead of his time. His diet was the only one to make sense to me. Simply put, it was “Eat all you want, as long as it isn’t carbs”. This left the door open for things like cheeseburgers (no bun), chili (no beans) chicken, pork chops, bacon, eggs. Essentially, everything I liked. And it worked. After 9 months, keeping my carbs to 300 grams per day, I lost a total of 70 pounds. And I kept it off until I hit this place where the carbs are as bountiful as Oxycontin and blood pressure MEDs. But losing weight is just not what this editorial is all about. 

We all know the benefits of weight loss. Not only do we look better, but there is less wear and tear on our joints, our heart and our pancreas. Lugging less weight around at our age just makes a lot of sense. In many cases, just eating less sugar producing foods (i.e. carbs), has an effect on diabetes. Many diabetics after cutting out the carbs have reduced or completely eliminated their need for medication altogether. Now we are told, according to some scientific research, that reducing carbohydrates in one’s diet may actually deter or lessen the possibility of contracting Alzheimer’s or dementia.

While I am not going to get into the scientific reasons for this (You can Google one of the headlines above) other than to say that reducing carbs also reduces some of that sticky stuff that gums up the brain and leads to dementia, I will say that this new information has been lost on the people who make up our menu here at the Center. 

Hardly a day goes by that there is not a meal served here that does not include or is entirely composed of some high carbohydrate food. Sometimes the carbs come in the form of what is supposed to be a side dish, but in effect is the main ingredient. Three small meatballs on a Vesuvius size mountain of spaghetti is not a healthy combination. A few tablespoons of beef stew ladled over a bed of rice larger than the Indian subcontinent is just not conducive to weight loss. Mashed, baked, fried, or scalloped potatoes does not a carb friendly meal make either. But it’s not just the fact that we have these items that gets my craw, it’s the proportions that pisses me off. The carb to protein ratio is so out of proportion that it must give one pause to reflect on the reason for this. OK, enough reflection. I know why. I have always known why. THEY WANT TO KEEP US FAT. “But why”, you say. Let me elaborate.

Why do you think they try to get every resident’s weight every month. If you think it’s for some survey or for some medical or scientific reason you would be wrong. You see my carb-enhanced friends, we are being weighed because the state wants to make sure we are being fed. Not fed properly mind you, but fed enough that this facility on a whole does not show a history of its residents losing weight. Such a statistical decline would mean that there is a possibility that we are being starved or that our residents are too sick or demented to want to eat. God forbid the stats should show that we are not headed in the direction of becoming a training camp for Sumo wrestlers. Perish the thought that we should be trim and slim. “Keep ‘em fat”, is the motto here. “That way it looks good on the report”.

Look, I know that there are many of us here at the Center, whose appetites have waned over the years and that the need for or the reason to eat at all has become more of a chore than an enjoyable experience. And for those people, I am truly sorry. Hopefully, when and if my time comes that I feel that way I will be well into my ninth century, but until then I need to eat and eat well. I need to be able to walk away from the table feeling full. Not full of potatoes and noodles, but full of meat (or other proteins). And, while I realize that serving all of us that expensive meat and protein may be counterproductive to what the corporate bean counters think should be spent on food, I think it is important, especially with all of this new “brain healthy” information coming to light, that they start realizing that in the long run easing up on the carbs may actually be beneficial to them as well as all of us. As for what we, ourselves, can do, there is this.

Just because there is a mound of carbohydrates on your plate, does not mean that you have to eat it. If the amount of proteins (chicken, beef, pork, fish) is not sufficient to make a decent serving, ask for more, or ask for the same dinner but without the pasta or rice. The kitchen will actually put more meat on the plate for you. Finally, if you think we are being fed too many high carb foods, complain. Complain to the chef, complain to the dietitian and complain to the administrator. And remember. The next time you eat a meal high in carbohydrates, squeeze your head. If it feels like a ripe honeydew melon, perhaps you should lay off the pasta for a while.

See also....

Look, I like wildlife just as much as the next guy. However, as much as I love all of our furry little woodland creatures, I prefer to observe them at them from afar. Therefore, when I hear that once again, despite the efforts of the so-called exterminators which the Center has hired to illuminate this infestation of vermin, we are still plagued by these rather repulsive "non paying residents", I can only wonder how good of a job they are doing. 

Very rarely however, do we get a chance to actually capture one, let alone take a picture of it. Therefore, when a member of the housekeeping staff knocked on my door this Sunday morning with a water glass in her hand, and in that glass was either a large mouse or a small rat, I could not help but take a picture of it as proof that we still have a rodent problem. But, the facility is not entirely to blame for this. 

Let's face it. The residents here are pigs. While we are not permitted to cook in our rooms, we can have food in the form of snacks, leftover dining room food, take out and stuff brought in by resident's families. Most of the unconsumed food winds up in the wastebaskets located in each room. Rarely is it properly wrapped or covered giving our little creatures, who come in from the cold, a reason to stay.

The D.O.H. does not permit mouse traps in resident's room which means that if they are not stopped outside, there is no way of stopping them once they have found their way inside. The only thing that I can suggest is, if you have a mouse problem in your room, is to buy a humane mouse trap and do the job yourself.


States Will Have a Hard Time Getting Medicaid Reimbursements for Care Outside of Nursing Homes

 By Christine Vestal

Starting this year, a new federal rule will require states to ensure that long-term care alternatives to nursing homes—such as assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, group homes and adult day care—work with residents and their families to develop individual care plans specifying the services and setting each resident wants. The overarching goal is to create a “home-like” atmosphere, rather than an institutional one and to give residents choices about their care.

Under the rule, for example, elderly people with dementia who enter assisted living facilities should not be subjected to constraints, such as locked exits, unless they are at risk for wandering. But if they share living space with other residents with dementia who do need to be prevented from wandering, it will be difficult to allow them to leave the building whenever they want without jeopardizing the safety of others.....


Editor’s note: We will have to wait and see how this will effect those of us here who depend on Medicaid for much of our medical supplies.


ALFA is a trade organization for owners and operators of assisted living facilities. While most of what goes on at their meetings is “industry stuff”. It doesn’t hurt to see what’s going on in the enemy camp.

ALFA Forum attendees discuss key issues facing the senior living industry.

More than 200 senior living executives gathered in New Orleans last week to address myriad issues facing their industry and their professional development, including the state of the industry, leadership, technological advances, and achieving operational excellence.

One attendee summed up recurring themes at the 2014 ALFA Executive Forum in written post-conference comments: “Change is constant, but right now seems to be accelerating. From expectations of the customer to higher acuities, assisted living is going through a time of great transition.”.....


More ALF biz news

As far as the health care business is concerned, you are just more fodder for the canon.

Senior Living and Hospital Referrals: Are You on the Magic List?

Emily Study

Reduce hospital readmissions, lower costs and increase referrals — it’s hard to have a conversation about senior housing nowadays without hearing these phrases.

By addressing hospital readmissions, providers can lower the costs of health care, while, in turn, increasing their referral base and starting the cycle over again. However, many of the discussions regarding referrals center around web-based campaigns or giant lead-gen websites.

And as many in the industry will say, senior living is a people business. That goes for referrals too.

Just ask Jacqueline Bechtold Gordon, who has been a hospital discharge planner for more than 30 years and understands the importance of face time when it comes to generating referrals.

Holding a list of post-hospital care (including senior housing, home health care and home care) in the hospital’s area, Gordon becomes a key influencer, helping patients and their families decide where to go next — like a gatekeeper of referrals.....



More on the Park Slope evictions

Park Slope Landlord Evicting Seniors Had Already Sold Building

by Jeremiah Budin

Earlier this year, Haysha Deitsch, the owner the assisted living facility at 1 Prospect Park West,abruptly announced that the facility would shut down and that its elderly residents had 90 days to vacate the premises, prompting a drawn out legal battle. Now,thanks to a report from Brooklyn Paper, the reason for Deitsch's hasty eviction has come to light: turns out he had already sold the building. And now the investment firm he sold it to, Sugar Hill Capital, is suing him for not evicting the seniors fast enough. The two (wretched, inhuman) sides agreed on a price of$76.5 million back in January, "on the condition that Deitsch clear out the special-needs facility, specially tailored for dementia patients, that takes up the fourth floor." Thanks to all the legal woes (who would have thought that anyone would have a problem with that plan?) Sugar Hill got cold feet at some point, but Deitsch, who bought the facility in 2006 for $40 million and told its residents that he was shutting the place down because of a "tax obligation," still wanted to keep their $7.65 million deposit, because of course he did. Here's an out of context quote from Deitsch's lawyer: "If you believe everything in the Berger complaint, you know the purchasers knew my clients are terrible people." Yup, sounds about right.....


The latest update as of 11/22



“Standing between the Deitsch and Sugar Hill Capital, the buyer of this 76.5 million property, are eight senior citizens the oldest of whom is 107. I suppose we might call them old people. Eight old people are making a last stand by  occupying their apartments in what was supposed to remain, but for the almighty dollar, their senior assisted living home at One Prospect Park West right across from Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Public Library, and multiple transportation hubs, thus a prime location.”

The existence of these eight old people refusing, or unable, to move (Brooklyn is notoriously low on assisted living facilities) is in the way of 76.5 million dollars changing hands. That’s 36.5 million dollars over the 2006 purchase price, in just 8 years, imagine. Haysha Deitsch, cannot wait to close the deal. His large team of lawyers is in court this morning, November 12, to try to force the buyer to pay up despite the presence of the eight old people clinging to their homes. Deitsch has done his best to clear his property of these pesky elderly. He gave them 90 days notice to vacate last March.

Full story....


One of the greatest challenges we face as we get older is coping with pain. Sometimes the pain is temporary, but more often it is chronic. When pills no longer work, it may be time to turn to something else. Here is some info that should be of use.

Pain Suffered by Aging Adults is Topic for New Publication

By Tucker Sutherland

I have to admit I did not see this coming – a whole publication dedicated to pains suffered by senior citizens. But, when I stop and think about, I realize it is a major topic of conversation among many of my senior friends. This subject choice was made the editors of a new publication series named “From Policy to Practice” from The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

This first issue explores pain as a public health problem and takes a look at how various policies impact the care provided to patients in a range of practice settings, according to a news release.

It also provides readers with an overview of provisions of the Affordable Care Act that address pain research, education, training, and clinical care — as well as steps taken to implement those provisions. Maybe they should be focusing on provisions under Medicare and Medicaid, however, it they want to help seniors relieve their pain. But, actually, the title just says is to improve the health of “Aging America,” so that’s a pretty broad age group – or is that everybody?


NIH MedlinePlus- 

More about pain

NIH MedlinePlusMagazine, Spring 2011: Special Section on Managing Chronic Pain. Download a printable PDF of this issue.....

MedlinePlus:Visit and enter “pain” in the Search box.

Clinical Trials: To get information on taking part in clinical research about chronic pain, visit

NIH Clinical Center: For more about clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center, go to Or call 1-866-999-1112 (TTY 1-866-411-1010).

Communication with your caregiver or care team is the best way to help you manage or end your chronic pain.

> What is causing my pain? What can I do about it?

> What is the name of the pain medicine I will be taking?

> How long will it take for the medicine to work?

> What side effects should I expect?

> If I forget to take the pain medicine, what should I do?

> When should I take the pain medicine—on a regular schedule? Before, with, or after meals? At bedtime?

> Are there any dangers to taking this pain medicine I should know about?

> Will this pain medicine cause problems with any other prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines I am taking?


It’s that time of year again when all of us, young and old alike, are urged to get ourselves to the doctor, the mall or the drugstore to get a flu shot. Even though there is no worldwide pandemic of flu, we are told to have a form of dead flu germs injected into our bodies just in case. But why is something that is made for children and young people thought to be OK for older folks to take. Our creaky old bodies are different than those kids who have the ability to shake off many common illnesses. While most of the medical community says that everyone should get a shot, there are some who, when it comes to the elderly, have a different take on the matter...

Are Flu Vaccines Risking Senior Citizens’ Lives? Some Say Yes

The CDC estimates that 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people 65 years of age or older, and their recommended protocol is that all senior citizens get their annual flu shot. However, Sharyl Attkisson, formerly an investigative journalist for CBS, has uncovered evidence that the flu shots are not actually doing any good. In fact, she says those vaccines may actually be costing the lives of some seniors.

“A nursing home near Atlanta, Georgia, now reports a devastating outcome to such a policy, according to Health Impact News. All of the residents of the Hope Assisted Living & Memory Care were given a flu vaccine on Friday, November 7. Every one of the senior citizens developed an immediate fever. Within the week following, five of them died. The source reports that the facility’s typical pattern is one or two losses every six months, frequently due to Alzheimer’s.”......

Read more at.... 

More Senior News

7 Very Cool Things Other Countries Do For Their Elderly

Ann Brenoff

How the elderly are regarded varies in different parts of the world. Here are seven very cool things about how the elderly are seen and treated in other countries:

1. Japan has a national holiday called Respect For The Aged Day.

The third Monday of every September in Japan is a national holiday designated to honor and show appreciation for the elderly. It's a paid holiday from work and traditionally, gifts are given to grandparents after sharing a festive meal with them.Respect for the Aged Day is a far more serious event than, say, Grandparents Day in the U.S. Neighborhood volunteers distribute free obento boxed lunches to elderly people. In some small villages, younger people and school children dance and provide entertainment. There's a "no-elderly-left-behind" attitude about it so even the lonely get some attention.

2. Honoring your mother and father is now the law in China and elsewhere.

Elderly parents in China can sue their grown children for both financial and emotional support. Filial piety is the law in China, India, France and the Ukraine. In Singapore, adult children who do not give their parents an allowance can face up to six months in jail. And in China, it's not just financial support; more than 1,000 parents have sued because their adult children don't visit them regularly. Companies are required to give workers time off to see their parents too, although that part of the law is apparently hard to enforce.

China is projected to have 636 million people over age 50 by 2050, or nearly 49 percent of the population -- up from 25 percent in 2010, according to a report in USA Today. And somebody needs to care for them, goes the government thinking.



Fox News, Where Conservative Senior Citizens Get to Look At Half-Naked 'Girls'


Give it a thin veneer of moral condemnation, and it's all good.

In case you don't watch Fox, you should know that they work extremely hard to find excuses to put images of scantily clad women on the air. Some of it contains no finger-wagging—how about a report on Hooters' third-quarter profits, with lots of shots of waitresses?—but plenty of it is presented with a thin veneer of moral condemnation that allows viewers to feel like Fox remains on their side. 

You can think of this as a betrayal of its audience's cultural conservatism, but I think it's actually a form of service. In a way, Fox News knows its viewers better than they know themselves. Don't forget that the typical Fox viewer is a conservative senior citizen. The median age of the network's viewers is 68.8, and some shows skew even older; Bill O'Reilly's median viewer is 72. More so than perhaps any other channel on television, Fox endeavors to shape and reflect not just its viewers' beliefs about particular topics but their entire worldview. It presents a picture of the world in which everything is going hell, and the prime enemies are change and modernity. The president hates America, immigrants are destroying our culture, the kids are out of control, and it's not like it was back in the day. Fox is a channel for the conservative id, where you can have your darkest thoughts and worst fears nurtured and validated.



Why Is President Obama Hurting Senior Citizens? – ‘The Why”

Why is President Obama hurting senior citizens?  Well, let’s clarify. The man isn’t going out at night dressed in black and assaulting little old ladies in the dark of night, mmmkay? However, since Day One the Affordable Care Act– “Obamacare”—has been a subject of much controversy and contention especially for the senior set.

Yours truly is no political pundit though. He has this attitude that our leaders are elected and paid to do what we want them to do but apparently that is a concept more dangerous than putting social security on the budgetary choosing block.

Let’s see what other expounding authors have to say, shall we?

Evan Gahr an indie journalist covered the issue for the NY Daily News site. He reported that last year already the Medicare Advantage programs which provide funds for “private insurers to cover seniors, have quietly started to cancel the contracts of providers to save money.” Apparently though, he says, “the havoc” Obamacare wreaked “on Medicare Advantage patients and their providers has been barely noticed.”

Analyst Carl McDonald accurately predicted that “government payments to Medicare Advantage programs would decrease by 7% or 8% (this year), proving enormously disruptive to Medicare Advantage, likely forcing a number of smaller plans out of the business and creating disarray for many seniors.”


A combination of my ever increasing insomnia and the lack of anything good on TV late at night often forces me to turn to radio as a way to cope with the ever lengthening evening. Not being a music person, I find that all night talk shows provide just what I am looking for in nocturnal entertainment. The other night I came across this interesting conversation on the possibility of living hundreds of years. While my immediate goal is to make it until next year, it’s always fun to think about the future. 

Want to live to be 1000 or more

 Everything & the Cure for Aging on Coast To Coast AM


Diane Keaton Imparts Her Wisdom on Aging

authored by Judy Freedman

Last month, Diane was a keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women in Philadelphia, Pa. She looked amazing wearing her Annie-style attire. The brim of her hat was so wide you could barely see her face. At 68, she is as bold and bubbly as ever—just like the mature female characters she has played during her post-50 career, with movies like Something’s Gotta Give, Because I Said So, And So It Goes.

She talked about the positive sides of aging. “Being over 50 humbles us. Life expands and we see the larger picture,” Diane said. (I agree. I’m definitely a more humbled person now that I am older. How about you?)

She spoke about her mentors, including Woody Allen and Francis Coppola. “In the movies during the ’60s I was a woman in a world of men,” Diane said.


There’s more to the stereotype than meets the eye

Feeding birds provides therapeutic benefits

Words on Birds Steve Grinley

There was an article in an issue of Birding magazine more than a decade ago that addressed the therapeutic benefits of feeding birds. It focused on the residents of assisted living homes, but many of the benefits exist for all ages of folk who feed the birds in their yards. 

With the holidays upon us, I thought that this would be a good time to again share the highlights of that article: 

In a survey of administrators of assisted living and nursing home institutions, all agreed that their residents enjoyed watching the birds and that it had a positive effect on their residents’ morale. Most all agreed that feeding birds provided a positive therapeutic effect. All of the administrators also agreed that the bird feeding programs were good for their staff as well. 


Worried about how you'll age? Tech tools give a hand.

Elizabeth Simpson

Sensors in your home that detect how long you slept, how much food you are eating, what kind of mood you are in, whether you have taken your medications, and if you have left the house or fallen down.

Cars with driver seats you can swoop into directly using a wheelchair.

These are all products under development or already on the market that I heard about during a Gerontological Society of America conference this month.

Because our society shuns the idea of aging, innovators are constantly trying to find ways to show all ages how useful their products can be.

Right now, there is a 7-to-1 ratio of family and friend caregivers to people 80 and older. By 2030, that is expected to be 4-to-1, and by 2050, less than 3-to-1.


Continuing in the WCenter’s tradition of servin fairly decent soups for lunch, residents were treated this past week to a soup that tasted exactly as it was supposed to. The Cream of Broccoli soup had a real and fresh broccoli flavor. Now, for those of you who don’t particularly like broccoli, I guarantee that one tablespoon of this stuff will change your mind about that funny looking veggie forever. The soup was not only chock full of nice green broccoli (giving it a delightful green color) but was smooth and creamy as well. Other veggies added flavor to the mix, so much so that I did not have to add any additional salt or pepper.


The dish is billed as “House, Lo Mein”, which means that it’s not quite the same lo mein, one would expect to get in a Chinese restaurant. One of the main differences lies in the noodles themselves, which are far from what tradition dictates as lo men. In reality, the noodles are really only regular spaghetti noodles chopped up. However, that should not deter one from eating this rather interesting dish which contained, not only shrimp and pork, but a large quantity of veggies as well. The veggies not only added to the flavor, but the presentation as well. It was nice to see all of those colorful vegetables on the plate. Of course, not having a clue as to how to season Chinese food, it was up to me to contribute at least a modicum of authenticity by adding copious amounts of soy sauce and hot mustard.


After a disastrous chicken finger dinner a couple of weeks ago, followed by a talk with the chef the following day, this week’s offering of breaded and baked “fingers” turned out to be fairly good. The tenders were indeed tender and nicely seasoned and cooked to a golden brown as they should have been the last time we had them. The accompanying French fries were the perfect side dish for this mid fall lunch.

When I first saw this headline sent to me by Google Alerts, I thought that it was a bit redundant. After all, what senior citizen is NOT fluent in (or at least familiar with) BM. I mean, we've been doing it for 60, 70 or 80 or more years, why bring up the subject now. Of course, after reading the article I realized that they were talking about something entirely different.

“Senior citizens must be fluent in BM, says Wee”


Aging with a sense of humor

Joe Kirkish         

Why is it that there's a tendency to look upon old-timers with pity, nervousness, dread or even sorrow?

Sure, it's the omega that began a long time ago with alpha, but the longer it's taken to reach that golden mark the better.

A sense of humor helps along the way. Smile at these examples I've come across:

Your friend compliments you on your new alligator shoes, and you're barefoot.

A beautiful woman catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.

"Getting lucky" means for you that you find your car in the parking lot.

When you're told to slow down, it's from a doctor & not a traffic cop.

What's more, think of the fun you can have playing games like "Pin the toupee on the bald guy," "Kick the bucket," "Sag, you're it!", "Simon says something incoherent," "Spin the Mylanta bottle," "Musical recliners," "20 questions shouted into your good ear," and the best one of all, "Red Rover, Red Rover, the nurse says Bend Over."

In truth, there are some real advantages in growing older.

Consider these I've discovered for example:

Kidnappers ignore you.

Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service."

Sexual harassment charges against you just don't stick."

Your secrets are now safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

Whatever you buy now won't go out of fashion or wear out.

In a hostage situation, you're likely to be released first......



 Check Out What Your Favorite Celebrities Will Look Like 30 Years From Now! The Results Will Shock You

They’re young, wild, rich and famous, but can you actually imagine what they’ll look like 30 years from now? Well, look no further, because we have the pictures right here, and it’s a pleasure to show them to eager folks just like you. So, come aboard with us in our supersonic time machine to see exactly how your favorite celebrities will look like when they get old. Some of the results, however, you probably won’t believe…

#1 Beyonce Knowles

There’s no doubt that Beyonce is one of the most beautiful women in the world to this day. So, most of us probably can’t imagine what she’ll look like in the distant future. If you’ve struggled to imagine this ever-young and beautiful singer/actress as an old lady, you won’t any more. Here she is.



Contact and Comments: Please refer to article when commenting

Your comments may be published in future blogs unless you wish otherwise

Editor’s preface: This week’s guest editorial says much of what I want to say, only it says it better. In recent months the management of this facility has become more distant, aloof and out of touch with the general population. The truth is we rarely see, let alone hear from, the facility's director who sits in his corner office and supposedly “administers”, whatever that means. 


By “Citizen”

My question about this facility is not about how it’s being run, but rather whether it’s being run at all.  I have heard a well-taken point by someone who is hard to fool – the Resident Council has become a joke that no longer amuses enough people to make it work.  We are being endangered by management – or the lack of it.

We are flooded with people who belong in either a psychiatric hospital or a nursing home with too few trained staff to handle this population.  I didn't come here for that.  I am neither mad nor demented and those who are have sucked up the air.  It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to us who can manage our own lives with only a modicum of assistance and without supervision. 

When we see people walking about in an Alzheimer’s haze, sitting on furniture and crying because they are disoriented and terrified of not knowing where their rooms are, we are in nightmare territory.  It is not my job to direct them and there are not enough people to do it.  When we see a person talking out loud about illusionary relationships, we are again in a place we should not be.  

There are people trained and qualified to provide memory care to those who need it and therapeutic intervention to those who have trouble with actual relationships but they don’t work here.  We have a social work staff trying hard, but dealing with 150+ residents.  We have a medication room crew organizing the medical needs of people with complicated issues.

If the Executive Committee is to mean something to the residents, it has to be willing and able to tackle difficult issues and to be difficult with those who own and run the place.  It has to be willing to get around an administrator who panics when anything threatening happens and tries to bury anything that requires action or money – to the extent that we are critically understaffed at certain times when there is nobody to pay attention to the call bell because they are giving residents showers.  It has to offer solid leadership to the residents, some of whom would rather it go away.  Above all, we as a population have to realize this is OUR home and we are responsible for it.

©2014 wcenterblog

We welcome all submissions to this blog. If you have something to say, say it here. If you want, you can remain anonymous. The deadline for submissions for next week’s blog is Sunday, November 23 at 5pm eastern time. Email to Resident-X

About the Westchester Center for Independent and Assisted Living

I sometimes have a difficult time trying to describe exactly what kind of facility I live in. You see, this place is not your ordinary assisted living facility. While many of the amenities may be similar to those luxury ALF’s, the price of living here is far less than the thousands of dollars necessary to live in those more luxurious digs. The reason for this is simple. The WCIAL is subsidized by various agencies and programs and in many ways is a pioneer in its field. The best explanation of the how and why this place came to be was written back when this facility first opened in 2012. Here is a link to that article. It is informative and eye opening.

Go to...


The Westchester Chainsaw Massacre

The sound of droning chainsaws filled the crisp fall air last Monday as a crew of tree trimmers descended on the grounds of the Center to trim, prune and even completely cut down some of the many trees that are abundant on our property. No tree was able to escape the ravages of the deadly saws as branch after branch, limb after limb fell noisily to the ground below. And, while two trees that were completely dead, most likely due to some tree disease, were cut down to their stump, some other, older trees that were not dead yet, met the same fate. 

Now, while I am not a tree expert, I fail to see why a tree that is still able to bear leaves and provide shade for residents sitting on the patio, had to be completely destroyed. And, while it is true that that particular tree was showing signs of being in some distress, it makes me wonder why there was no way to save the tree “medically”. I guess the feeling is, if you are old and sick, there is no sense throwing good medicine at it because it is just going to die soon anyway.


A group of senior lady’s who sing just like...

...A group of senior lady’s

As a rule I rarely attend any of the live musical events we have here at the Center. These events are usually scheduled at the very same hour that I am doing something very important, napping. However, the chance to see and hear a group of live songsters belting out the favorites was something I thought I would like. After all, I’ve been to concerts featuring aging singing groups of the 50’s and 60’s and those guys and gals haven’t missed a beat. Unfortunately, this group of senior performers are not The Supremes or The Four Seasons. What they are are just a bunch of old women who get together and sing to other old women. From their choice of songs to their cracking, out of harmony, voices, every shrill note made me feel uncomfortable. While I applaud their effort and their dedication, the only thing it did for me was to interrupt a perfectly good nap.


I am very familiar with this church and the West Village area which it serves. Although the church may be the recipient of any money from having the film crews set up there, the neighborhood gets nothing out of having these people around. Because they have their own “craft services” (i.e. Food trucks) they buy nothing from local merchants or restaurants. All they do is screw up traffic and close streets....................................................................................................................Ed.

Benefits of assisted living go beyond safety

Assisted living offers quality time for family, new friendships, independence

By Alyx Arnett

One of the biggest benefits of assisted living is the socialization aspect. Oftentimes seniors are alone at home with no one around, he said. Assisted living provides a community-like atmosphere with activities available if one chooses to take advantage.

“Oftentimes in families, one or two people take care of things because other relatives live far away or are really busy, and it’s a lot of work for one person or two people,” he said. “I run into families that say, ‘Mom needs to be here. I’m the only one here to help. My brothers are in Florida,’ and it all falls on one person,”

But in assisted living, it’s not about taking care of the chores and keeping the yard work done. Quality time spent with loved ones can increase exponentially when the extra work is taken....



Hardly a day goes by that one does not see or hear a story about some resident slipping and falling and injuring themselves. There are so many people who walk around here with bandages on their wrists, arms in a sling and bruises on their heads. Unfortunately, most of the more severe injuries occur in the bathrooms where the floors are slippery due to the vinyl floor tiles. 

Aging Population Causes Facilities to Look at New Ways to Reduce Falls Risk

The ever-increasing numbers of falls occurring among a growing US elderly population are challenging care facilities to re-think nearly every part of their operations, from policies on exercise and the use of restraints to the color of toilet seats, according to a recent story in the New York Times.

In "Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation," NYT reporter Katie Hafner focuses on the Sequoias, a retirement community in San Francisco. Hafner's report touches on the design and structural changes the facility is making to reduce falls likelihood, and the efforts being taken to educate residents on falls prevention. Hafner writes that the Sequoias must take on these projects while respecting the "feisty independence" of its residents, who she describes as "former professors, physicians, and executives" who are "accustomed to telling others what to do, not the other way around.".....



Scientists turn aging brain into 'plastic' child-like state

Scientists have revealed that they have discovered a way to revert an adult brain to the "plastic", child-like state that is more able to form new connections quickly.

Professor Carla Shatz of Stanford University and her colleagues have experimented on a protein expressed in brain cells known as PirB (this is the name of the protein in the animal model, in humans it is called "LilrB2?), which seems to stabilize neural connections.

The scientists found that interfering with the normal function of the neuron-stability molecule PirB had the remarkable effect of reverting at least one part of the brain to a more malleable state that could easily recover from damage, rewire itself and learn new skills. ......



Republicans no help to nation's elderly; 'Swagger' poor way to choose leaders

U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have not stepped up to ensure the needs of the elderly are met. The same is true for U.S. Rep. John Carter. They have chosen to pick political fights over the government shutdown and Affordable Care Act, rather than help America’s seniors.

No American should have their livelihood wiped out because of an unexpected emergency to the hospital that can cost elderly taxpayers $50,000 to $60,000. Our senior citizens have worked and contributed to this great nation and deserve proper medical care. If Medicare and Social Security are destroyed, many of our “hardworking” elderly and “little guys” will suffer.

Elected officials need to support the normal hardworking people of our nation. Tax breaks and other benefits need to be given to all Americans — not just the wealthy citizens and special interest groups. We need to elect people who vote and support the senior citizens who have contributed to our nation.


You have probably heard of or watched this story unfold. It was picked up by all the media. Unfortunately, as much as I hate to admit it, FEMA may have a good case here. It all depends on how specific FEMA was concerning how the money was to be spent. As of now, it appears that the money was not spent on relocation as it was supposed to be.

NYC adult home residents asked to repay FEMA aid


NEW YORK (AP) -The residents of Belle Harbor Manor spent four miserable months in emergency shelters after Superstorm Sandy's floodwaters surged through their assisted-living center on New York City's Rockaway peninsula.

Now, the home's disabled, elderly and mostly poor residents have a new headache: TheFederal Emergency Management Agencyhas asked at least a dozen of them to pay back thousands of dollars in disaster aid.

Robert Rosenberg, 61, was among the Belle Harbor Manor residents who recently got notices from FEMA informing them that they had retroactively been declared ineligible for aid checks they received two years ago in the storm's immediate aftermath. The problem, the letters said, was that the money was supposed to have been spent on temporary housing, but that never happened because the residents were moved from one state-funded shelter to another.

FEMA gave Rosenberg until Nov. 15 to send a refund check for $2,486 or file an appeal.

"We're on a fixed income. I don't have that kind of money!" said Rosenberg, who suffers from a spinal disability.......


Editor’s note: Legal Aid lawyers are now handling this case on behalf of the residents.


Some of us are still young enough to be thinking about this. 

Long-Term-Care Insurance: What Policyholders Should Know


Long-term-care insurance is a product that offers buyers some peace of mind. But it has also saddled some longtime holders with a different kind of financial worry.

The policies can ease the burden on families of paying for some types of extended care—in nursing homes and often also in assisted-living facilities or at home—that typically aren’t covered by standard medical insurance or Medicare.

But many people who bought coverage years ago have been slammed with large rate increases as insurance companies struggle with unexpectedly high claims on the policies. The risk of further rate increases was brought home again this week, when Genworth Financial, one of the leading issuers of LTC policies, reported an $844 million quarterly loss and said a turnaround in its LTC business would take longer than previously expected.

Here are three takeaways for people with existing LTC policies from Genworth and other carriers:



23 Senior Citizens Who Don’t Give A F*@k

Because being old means having nothing left to prove.



Social Security vs. Welfare

We older folks earned every penny of that, you hear. And I can almost assure you if they mess with our hard-earned money during our working years, you will see all hell break loose by seniors. Don’t underestimate us. Believe me, the best is yet to come if they mess with our Social Security/Medicare. Believe me, remember I told you so.

I’ve suggested this to the president and congressmen how to fix Social Security and Medicare under this bill. Social Security and Medicare would have so much money, the baby boomers would even be covered with a solid Social Security and Medicare, but no members have the gall to put forth such a bill, which would work this way as I had suggested.

Up to $30,000, no social tax withheld. That’s poverty in today’s economy with inflation what it is. You need this to just exist, plus trying to raise a family. From $30,000 on up, there’s no limit. You pay on what you make, the sky’s the limit. There is no argument, all is fair and equal and your’re paying on your gross income.


At 78, man still flips burgers for $7.98 an hour

The ranks of employed Americans 65 and older jumped 67 percent last year to about 7.2 million.

“Inactivity drives me crazy,” said Tom Palome, 78, a former marketing executive in Florida who works as a short-order cook and bartender to make ends meet.

#“It was overwhelming at first,” said Palome. “Suddenly I was the poster child for what a lot of folks my age are going through.”

#As baby boomers age, the ranks of employed Americans who were 65 and older jumped 67 percent last year to about 7.2 million from a decade ago, many of whom lack sufficient retirement savings. For couples nearing retirement, median 401(k) and IRA balances fell to $111,000 in 2013 from $120,000 in 2010, according to the just released Federal Reserve’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances......


Helen Mirren, 69, Named New Face of L’Oreal: Her Anti-Aging Beauty and Fitness Tips

Helen Mirren has been named the new face of L’Oreal Paris at 69, proving that age really is just a number.

Mirren, who embraces a low-maintenance approach to beauty, said she wants to inspire other women to age naturally.

“I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks,” Helen told theTelegraph.

In a bold move, Mirren has insisted that her ad photos not be re-touched to make her look unnaturally wrinkle-free.

While she has been hailed for her ageless beauty, Helen never considered herself beautiful. “I am not gorgeous. I never was, but I was always OK-looking and I’m keen to stay that way,” she said.



8 Concerns Of Women In Their 70s

We heard from women in their 70s on our blog at and in 70candles discussion groups across the country, from New York to Texas. With decades of life ahead for many of us, it's a great time to reassess our lives and examine our options.

Here are the topics that matter most to women in their 70s:

1. Work and Retirement: When to retire -- when is too soon, too late, just right? What to do with the ocean of unstructured time that lies beyond long and in so many cases satisfying careers? How to stay engaged, feel fulfilled, and participate in life meaningfully?

2. Living Arrangements: Where to live once the family home or current living arrangements are no longer tenable? Stay in place? Move nearer family? Remain in familiar terrain, but smaller quarters? Become involved in a new community? And when might it, if ever, be time for senior living, for assisted living?

3. Ageism: How to react to the attitudes of others -- even old people themselves, ourselves -- who view old people with pessimism, fear, even disdain? Who patronize? What about the invisibility of old women?.........


5 Reasons To Enjoy Being An Older 'Invisible' Woman

I wish I could tell you it happened in stages. It didn't. It happened on my 50th birthday. The day before, I was young, interesting, important. The next, I was invisible.

Overnight, I became someone people overlooked, ignored. I spoke, and no one responded. I entered a room and no one (especially men) noticed.

I turned 50 and joined the community of invisible women.

However, being old is not a curse. It's a blessing.......



Resveratrol Cures Memory Problems and Fights Aging

by Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D.

You've probably heard of resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine and grapes that keeps your arteries, immune system, and every cell in your body young.

There are hundreds of studies on resveratrol. They consistently show that it’s an outstanding anti-aging nutrient, capable of fighting disease-causing inflammation, as well as dreaded neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Minimizing inflammation is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or cancer. But resveratrol does even more.

Resveratrol has a unique ability to mimic the effects of calorie restriction (CR), which kick-starts your “longevity gene.”

CR has been studied for decades, and has a loyal following of practitioners who are willing to eliminate about one-third of their normal calorie intake in exchange for health benefits.


NOTE: This blog nor its editor take any responsibility for any claims made in this article. Consult your health care professional before taking any medication or supplement.


How to improve your balance as you age



I’ve always been a walker, but when I fell recently my doctor suggested I start doing some balance exercises. Is this really something I need to practice?


Most people don’t think much about practicing their balance, but you should, the same way you walk to strengthen your heart, lungs and overall health, or stretch to keep your body limber.

As we age, our balance declines — if it isn’t practiced — and can result in falls. Every year, more than 1 in 3 people 65 or older fall, and the risk increases with age. A simple fall can cause a serious fracture of the hip, pelvis, spine, arm, hand or ankle, which can lead to hospital stays, disability, loss of independence and even death.....



Remember those polio shots we got in school. Remember how mom told you "Not to get overheated" or you'll get polio. Remember how we put dimes into those cards on the drugstore counter.

Ebola jogs memories of polio terror

By Matt Pommer

Ebola cases in Dallas and New York have captured the nation’s attention and caused fear in many citizens.

But it is nothing like the terror in every town in America in the early 1950s about polio—a disease that seemed largely to strike young people. It was a disease seemingly just around the corner rather than in a distant city or continent.

A quick diagnosis of polio was not easy. Retired pediatricians who lived through the epidemic said one hint was a “double hump.” Flu-like symptoms and pain would be followed by feeling better and then a return of the same or similar symptoms but with higher temperatures.

Today’s senior citizens likely can recall how families reacted. My parents wouldn’t let me swim if the weather was too hot. A friend said his parents told him he could swim in Lake Delton but should prevent his feet from touching the seaweed on the bottom of the lake. Franklin Roosevelt had been stricken at age 39 after swimming with his children. Other parents thought an afternoon nap and rest were keys to avoiding the disease.

In my more than 50 years of journalism, two interviews stand out. One was that of Milo Flaten recalling landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day. The other was Dr. Tom Geppert, a Madison pediatrician, remembering the polio epidemics. Both men, now deceased, spoke slowly and reluctantly about their experiences.....



Author Richard Ford Says 'Let Me Be Frank' About Aging And Dying

Review by:Mike Groll

When Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford was a young man, he says, he had a cynical view of aging.

"I sort of went through life thinking that when you got to be in your 60s that basically you weren't good for much," Ford tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "That's a younger man's view. I know that the AARP phones are ringing when I say that, but now I'm 70 and I don't think that anymore, OK?"

Not only is Ford older, but the character he's been writing about for years has aged, too. Frank Bascombe, whom Ford wrote about in The Sportswriter and Independence Day, is now 68.

Ford's latest book, Let Me Be Frank With You, is a series of four interconnected novellas about Bascombe, who is retired from his work as a real estate broker. It's 2012, just before Christmas, and just a few weeks after Superstorm Sandy destroyed parts of the Jersey Shore near where Frank lives.




I am posting this only because I am sick an tired of having to eat dry, overcooked eggs whose yolks have solidified to the consistency of library paste. Due to some anal retentive asinine rule* dictated by the NYS Dept. Of Health, residents of assisted living facilities are not permitted to be served eggs with runny yolks. All eggs must be cooked to a temperature of 160+ degrees essentially killing, not only any of those nasty salmonella germs, but any of the flavorful benefits of poached, soft boiled or sunny side up eggs. I WANT MY YOLKS BACK! 

* This rule does not apply to restaurants, fast food joints, diners, food trucks, homeless guys cooking in the street or greasy water food carts or any place else that cooks eggs in N.Y. State. Only A.L.F’s.

Master The Morning Before You've Even Brewed Coffee

A warm poached egg with a gooey yolk is a thing to behold, creating an instant sauce for whatever else is on your plate and resulting in a satisfaction that even the tastiest bowl of cold cereal cannot match. And the return on investment is huge -- within minutes, a hot, balanced breakfast is served. 



Chicken Noodle Soup

The one thing that they are not skimpy with here at the asylum is chicken. An abundance of which is exemplified by the copious amount of said fowl found in the Chef’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Residents do not have to go “fishing” for the meat here as it is the predominate ingredient in this hearty soup. Plenty of veggies and pasta too are encompassed by a tasty broth.

When I think hamburgers, I think beef. Unfortunately, when I think of hamburgers served at the Westchester Center, I think of overcooked, under-seasoned ground meat. Therefore, when I notice that, instead of beef hamburgers they are serving turkey burgers, I raise an eyebrow. Not, you understand, in dismay, but because I know that at least the turkey will not be dry and will actually have some flavor to it. Such was the case last Monday when, indeed, the turkey burger came out as a juicy, tasty sandwich. And, while I will always prefer real “From the Cow” hamburgers, I do not cringe at the thought of eating something that, at times, is actually better than the bovine original.


In Praise Of......

It is very rare when I can say say that a meal I have had here at the Center was memorable or even good for that matter. In fact, as of late most of the food has, in my opinion, gone down hill. This is why I was pleasantly surprised and even thrilled when this past Sunday evening, we were treated to a meal that may have been the best that I have ever eaten since I have been here. For once, all of the elements of decent food and a knowledge of cooking came together. Not only were the chicken cutlets perfectly cooked and juicy, but were properly seasoned and remained true to the recipe (minus the actual Marsala wine). In addition, the plentiful mushroom gravy gave flavor, not on to the chicken,  but to the nicely cooked bed of yellow rice. I did add a dash of soy sauce to the mixture just to make up for the lack of salt, but all in all, this dish needed little extra help. And one other note, the food was, for a change, served hot.

It's what’s for dessert (sometimes) at the Westchester Center.

We used to get chocolate chip cookies. Now they only open a package.

As a blogger who blog on all things pertaining to aging and the elderly, I subscribe to many news feeds. One of those feeds is Google Alerts. This is a free service whereby Google searches the internet for stories that I’m interested in and sends me an email with a link to that story. One of my search parameters call for Google to find anything online pertaining to “Seniors”. Unfortunately, like any good search engine, Google takes everything very literally. When I come across stories about the abuse of the elderly, I am particularly interested.  Therefor, when I saw this Google Alert come to my email, I was naturally upset...

“Senior Can't (or Won't) Eat Hay? No Problem”

Thinking that this story was about some group of poor old folks being forced to chow down on silage in some barnyard somewhere, I decided to read further. It’s a good thing I did....


The last thing I want to see is anyone here naked.

Seniors Strip For Charity Calendar And You're Never Going To See Grandma The Same Way

By Eleanor Goldberg

Sex sells at any age, a group of senior citizens just proved.

Residents at Cedar Crest Continuing Care Retirement Community recently decided to raise funds for their peers who have run into financial trouble and can't afford to reside at the Pompton Plains, New Jersey, facility, WABC reported.

Instead of going the traditional bake sale route, some daring ladies stripped down for a charity calendar to raise funds for the cause. Each picture features a resident or two engaging in an activity that the retirement community offers.

Ms. September, 85, crouches over a pile of books in the library where she volunteers.

The effort collected $8,000 in just three weeks.

While the revealing photos brought some snickers, the issue they’re supporting is no laughing matter.




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Burned Bacon and the Decline of Respect

It’s no secret that people like bacon, and nowhere are there more people who like bacon more than the residents at our little paradise on the hill. Given this information and the fact that until recently the bacon here has been just fine, how come, all of a sudden, we are getting bacon that is not fit for a pig to eat. For days now, every time bacon appeared on our plates it has been burned almost beyond recognition. Even more disturbing is that the people who cook this s--t, can easily see that it is burned but send it out anyway. Why do they do this. Do they think we don’t realize its ruined. This is just another example of how much disrespect the staff has for us residents. Unfortunately, the lack of respect goes far beyond the occasional strip of overdone bacon.

On a daily basis, residents here at the asylum are subjected to any number of indiscretions on behalf of the staff and management. Some of these are actually part of the facilities inherent rules and regulations. It’s as if those rules were made specifically to subjugate the dignity of the people who reside here. Essentially, we are treated like babies or, as I like to refer to us, “Juvenelders”. The word heard most around here is “NO”, just like in kindergarten. And, while I must agree that some of our residents are, in effect, big old babies, Why should all of us be treated in this manner.

Readers of my editorials know my stand on making a distinction between those residents that need extra help and those of us who just want to be left pretty much alone. Unfortunately, the management, either because they don’t want to relinquish the control they have over us or by law can’t differentiate between the living and the walking dead, has remained silent on this subject. In fact, and as another example of disrespect, management rarely says or tells us anything. We are left out of most decisions that directly affect how we live here. The truth is, most of the information we get about changes to the facility and staff come from rumors of passing remarks mad by talkative staff members.  Suggestions concerning what we can and cannot do or have are either put on hold or dismissed as the rantings of a demented group of inmates. We are never told about renovations, policy changes, or staff changes until they have already been implemented. New residents are never introduced to the rest of us and have to fend for themselves when it comes to making those introductions causing some newcomers to feel left out and ignored.

Getting back to the kitchen, besides the bacon, many of the dinners are overcooked or under-cooked without so much as an apology from the cooks. I think we deserve at least some form of recognition from the kitchen staff acknowledging the fact that sometimes things don’t go right in there and that they are sorry for having to serve such poor quality meals. One more than one occasion, when the kitchen has literally run out of the scheduled food, ridiculous substitutes* are offered without so much as an "I'm sorry". 

Look, I know we don’t pay top dollar for our room and board like many of those fancy, luxury assisted living facilities with amenities up the wazoo and rent to match, but this should not mean that we should be thought of as something less than a paying customer. For most of us, this is all we have and will ever have. Like it or not, our lives are wrapped up in this place which means that escape to greener pastures is impossible. Yes, they have us by the proverbial short hairs, but this does not mean that they have to constantly be pulling at them. We need to be recognized, not so much for what we are, but what we were. And, although I know that the phrase “What have you done for me lately” comes into play here, there is no reason why we should be looked at with contempt by the staff and management or endure another portion of burned bacon.

*As an example of a substituted menu item, when they ran out of cup cakes for desert the other evening, they decided that it would be OK to substitute a plate of potato chips instead. 

Editor's note: In keeping with fairness, I must report that on Sunday (Nov. 9) bacon was once again on the breakfast menu, and low and behold, the strips were perfectly done. 

New Flooring. Yes

But why won’t they clean the #*^% carpets?
Every once and a while I have to question the sanity of the management of this institution, especially when it comes  decorating decisions. While work continues on renovating the antiquated Med Room (A good thing), some other minor “improvements” have been made.

In the dark of night, while the rest of the asylum is fast asleep, some other work is being performed. Unfortunately, it is of the cosmetic variety rather than what really needs to be done which is to clean and shampoo the disgusting carpets in the halls, the dining room and in the main floor elevator lobby and the elevator floors themselves.
For nearly a year now I have been complaining about the condition of the carpeting. And, while the carpets in the locations where visitors can see them are shampooed on a regular basis, the carpets that we, the residents, have to walk on and look at daily, has never been cleaned. Not only do they need cleaning, but in the case of the elevators, they need deodorizing as well. It appears that, while money can be found to replace the more noticeable well-worn areas with expensive tile work, the places that really need to be worked on remains a filthy mess. As of this date, management has failed to answer why the carpeting has not been cleaned. We can only surmise that marketing decisions take presidence over the well being of the residents.

Editor’s note: Tiles have replaced the carpeting in the sitting area of the dining room area as well. One of my spies reports that he witnessed (at 12:30 am) the carpet in the dining room being shampooed by a member of the kitchen staff . Although we appreciate the effort, the carpet still remains dingy. This is a job that should have been left to the professionals.


Med Room Construction sends residents on “Safari”

For a period of about two weeks, while long needed renovations to the Med Room are underway, some strategic logistical changes have been made. Since, for all practical purposes, the old Med Room is closed, the medications are now being dispensed in, not one convenient location, but in two very separate areas. Therefore, now those residents who require both pills and sprays or drops must go from the dining room (for the pills) and all the way down to the library for the other meds because that’s where the temporary location of the refrigerators are. “Why are they in the library”, you ask. Because, for some reason, our dining room manager will not permit the refrigerators in the dining area. Go figga’


A new shower curtain. And I didn't even have to ask for it.

After almost two years living in my room, the shower curtain liner had become spotted with a blackish mold that was resistant to ordinary cleaning methods. Having had thi
s problem with my own shower curtains in the past, I knew what was needed to clean it. A good scrubbing with bleach. In fact, I was prepared to do this myself when, low and behold, the other day I was delighted to find that someone from maintenance had taken down my old, moldy shower curtain liner, and replaced it with a nice, clean brand new one. Thanks.


Here’s a story that hits home because we certainly have our fair share of these guys around here.

Grumpy old men allegedly terrorize Bay Village senior citizens

BAY VILLAGE, OH (WOIO) -The Knickerbocker in Bay Village is a retirement community for seniors 62 and over.  
But now some residents say the calm has disappeared because of three senior citizen bullies. 
·  Joan Clawson told us “Intimidation is really what it is for me.”  Nancy Boyer agreed “Sometimes don't feel safe in my own home as far as who might be knocking on the door or what they might do.”
Bay Village Police Officers have had several calls from residents at the Knickerbocker.  Cars keyed, and other actions that residents like Debbie Spinks say add up to menacing.  “Verbal abuse, insults”  Beth Merrell summed it up, telling 19 Action News “They're like 8th grade bullies."
 The four ladies have had enough and along with resident Tom Kovach decided it was time to stand up to the bad boys. 
“I'm stepping up because I can't take it and I've had enough of it and I want it to stop” ....

Even though we are well into fall, there are still a few spring flowers that refuse to leave. This Hydrangea still has all of it beautiful blue color despite some cold north winds that have been swirling around here for the last couple of weeks.

Brookdale, the nation's largest senior living corporation, reports a loss

Manhattan, NY- 07 November 2014 – (Techsonian) — Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:BKD)owns and works senior living communities in the United States. It operates in six segments: Retirement Centers, Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) Rental, CCRCs–Entry Fee, Brookdale Ancillary Services, and Management Services.
Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:BKD) reported the loss of -2.40% and closed at $32.95 with the total traded volume of 3.56 million shares. Its market capitalization is $6.20 billion. Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:BKD) has a 52-week high price of $36.18 and its 52-week low was recorded at $26.10.


This is a story that I have been following for a while. It has to do with a high end assisted living facility in Brooklyn. Residents who though they were buying into a palce to,live and be taken care of for the rest of their lives were shock when the owners of the building decided to do something else with the property.

Prospect Park Residence in breach of court order, say lawyers
Judge ordered owner to maintain services until residents depart ahead of likely condo conversion

The operator of a Park Slope assisted living facility is in breach of a court order to maintain essential services at the residence, lawyers and caregivers for elderly tenants allege.
The owner of Prospect Park Residence is trying to wind down operations ahead of a likely condo conversion, but a judge temporarily blocked the process in June after residents filed suit over the original closure plan.

 Read more about this....


Seniors Face 'Deplorable Conditions' at Assisted Living Facility, Pols Say

Frail seniors at a Park Slope assisted living facility are being forced to live in "deplorable conditions" and state officials are doing nothing to help them, families and elected officials are charging.
Hallway lights have been darkened, rooms aren't being cleaned, and the security desk isn't staffed at Prospect Park Residence, according to residents' family members and their attorneys.
Meanwhile, the State Department of Health, which oversees the facility, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been silent on the seniors' plight, City Councilman Brad Lander said in a statement.
"Everyone agrees that what has happened at Prospect Park Residence is immoral. I don't understand why anyone can believe it is legal," said Joyce Singer, whose mother Alice lives at the facility, in a statement. "The Department of Health should be responsible for protecting our elderly loved ones. My mother is being evicted because of evil and greed."


Closer to home...

Despite what you think, we live in a bargain

Westchester attracts luxury assisted living builders
Ernie Garcia

Westchester County’s wealth, density and aging population have luxury assisted living developers scouting for new locations.

“Most of the new luxury assisted living complexes do not address the needs of the elderly who come from poor and working class backgrounds. Options for low-income people are limited or diminishing, said Lisa Newcomb, executive director of Empire State Association of Assisted Living, because of the government’s Supplemental Security Income reimbursement for assisted living.”
“There’s no way you can build a building knowing your reimbursement rate is $40 a day,” .....


Assisted living residents say 'homelike' setting not so important

Contrary to conventional wisdom, assisted living residents might not place a high value on how “homelike” their surroundings are, suggest findings out of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.
Out of eight assisted living residents who participated, all “seemed pleased with their current living environment” and their scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale did not raise any red flags, wrote study author Courtney J. Wright. Yet, few of them had personal items from their previous homes, and they expressed scant interest in creating a more homelike setting.
One participant said that the assisted living facility would never be similar to a private home and dismissed efforts to “sugarcoat” this fact, Wright noted. Others echoed this idea. Many of the participants explained that personal effects in their apartments had been brought there by family members.....

More ALF news....


Homicide at Rio Rancho senior living center
By Rosalie Rayburn

Gilbert Perea’s family thought they had made the right choice.
They placed the 79-year-old man at Emeritus at Sandia Springs in Rio Rancho – part of a multibillion-dollar chain with more than 1,100 facilities nationwide offering care for seniors, many with dementia.
The facility’s website says, “We have promised ourselves that we shall always treat our residents as we would our own loved ones. Nothing less than our best will do.
The memorial card a family member created for Gilbert Perea’s memorial service documents his work as a barber and his passion for running. (Courtesy of Margaret Druilhet)
“They promised us the world,” said Perea’s sister Margaret Druilhet. “We thought he would be safe.”
He wasn’t.....



On Sept. 23, HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced more than $17 million in grants from the Assisted Living Conversion Program to owners of multifamily developments. These properties are located in six states and the grants will be used to convert a portion or all of the units into assisted living or service-enriched environments for seniors. HUD’s Assisted Living Conversion Program grants provide private, nonprofit owners of eligible developments with resources to convert some or all of the dwelling units in the project into an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) or Service-Enriched Housing (SEH) for elderly residents aging in place. Grant amounts ranged from $1.18 million to $3 million. 

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'Bingo is dying off with its players' says one state official
By Michele Morgan Bolton

"Dying off? Not here.

It would be one thing if the Saturday night bingo game at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church made money, organizers say. Or broke even.
But like scores of other non-profit bingo operations, the 6:30 p.m. game has been on a losing streak for a decade, victim to an aging population and a dearth of volunteers.
Wills said many players come from three senior housing complexes within walking distance of the Main Street church, and now they will be isolated......

Senior Legal Line Q. and A.:

Will travel outside of the country affect my Medicare or Social Security benefits?

Dear Senior Legal Line:
I am 75 years old and have the opportunity to travel to Finland this spring. I want to take about two months to visit my Finnish relatives, but I am wondering how this travel will affect my Medicare and Social Security retirement benefits, if at all. I am a U.S. citizen. Signed, Olga

Dear Olga:....

A weighty discussion about senior menus
(Just one old persons opinion)

Over the years I never paid much attention to the “senior menu” at restaurants.
But now, approaching 67, I have come to understand why the restaurants have responded to their older patrons.
It isn’t just the lower price; it is the need for a smaller volume of food.
And that is just what I want. In the past year or so, I changed my eating habits. It started when I began to notice I was stuffed if I tried to finish what was once a normal portion for me.....

Editor's note: At nearly 70 years of age, my appetite has not diminished one iota. I'll pay regular prices for regular portions thank you.


Flavonoids: Are you eating enough berries and onions for healthy aging?
Flavonoids are bioactive compounds found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, tea, chocolate and red wine. The 4,000-plus different flavonoids found in foods can be divided into subclasses; those we most commonly consume include anthocyanins, flavonols, flavones and flavanones.
The many benefits attributed to a flavonoid-rich diet include a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain cancers as well as better cognitive performance.
For the study, published last week in the online version of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers set out to determine if women who consumed plenty of flavonoids in their 50s maintained good health and well-being in their 70s. Among 13,818 women, those who consumed the most – versus the least –...



Rx for soaring health costs: Give more Americans a 'purpose in life'

Study: People who think their lives have purpose are more likely to use cost-saving preventive health services

Researchers have an unconventional idea for reducing medical costs in the U.S.: Give more Americans a sense of purpose.
You see, people who believe their lives have purpose are motivated to optimize their health. That means they’re more likely than other folks to take advantage of preventive health services, like cancer screenings. And people who take advantage of preventive healthcare save the medical system big bucks.
It may sound far-fetched, but epidemiologists have found that people with purpose are less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or to develop Alzheimer’s disease. They’re also more likely to live longer than other adults.




As the population gets older, the anti-aging market gets bigger. This Buyers Guidebook highlights the key ingredients and challenges with formulating an enduring anti-aging supplement.
With more than 78 million Baby Boomers growing older, the market opportunities are endless.

  • Functional foods and beverages offer a convenient option for consumers facing pill fatigue.
  • Manufacturers should choose a supplier with tight supply chain traceability and accountability


Not all young people are ungrateful whippersnappers. Some are working to make senior’s lives better while making a few dollars for themselves. One of those is a new way of looking at transportation for seniors who can no longer drive their own cars.

Young tech entrepreneurs develop products for seniors
By Nellie Bowles

Transportation service....
Jay Connolly, the 26-year-old founder of Lift Hero (a sort of Uber for seniors), was preparing to present to his focus group.
At Columbia University Medical School in New York, Connolly realized there was "a senior isolation epidemic" and that the market for consumer products geared toward seniors was pretty open. He dropped out of medical school and started Lift Hero, a "door-through-door" service for seniors who can no longer drive - and who also might need help getting up stairs. He has been beta testing with his Subaru.
Connolly sat down at a table of seniors and set a box of See's toffees on the table - "Hi, I'm Jay, and I'm starting a company," he said, before beginning his pitch.
"Is this for more than just rides to doctors' appointments?" 74-year-old Louis Crickard asked. .....


Nearly Half of Senior Citizens in America Need Help with Daily Routines
Growing need for improved community-based services and support for older Americans and their caregivers

By Milly Dawson

Nearly half of Americans age 65 and older, totaling about 18 million people, require help with routine daily activities like bathing, handling medications or meals. A new study in Milbank Quarterly reveals a growing need for improved services and support for older Americans, their spouses, their children and other "informal caregivers."
While 51 percent of older Americans in the study reported no difficulty with routine tasks, "29 percent reported receiving help with taking care of themselves or getting around in the previous month,"
"Another 20 percent reported that they had difficulty carrying out these activities on their own."...



7 Cliches About Aging We're Sick Of Hearing

We've written quite a bit about what people of our age should be called. Boomers? Older people? Seniors? Everyone has something to say about it -- although we think it's unanimous that nobody likes to be called elderly. Our writer Ann Brenoff talked about her aversion to being called "adorable." "To my ear, it's a diminishment of what I've accomplished," she wrote. Other readers have mentioned their aversion to being called "ma'am."
But we've started noticing ageism, whether it's intended or not, goes beyond just labels like "old." We asked our Facebook fans which aging cliches drive them absolutely nuts. Here they are:
1."He/she is ___ years young!" Stop right there. "They're that many years old not young......


Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation

The dangers are real. The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, the most recent year for which fatality numbers are available — almost double the number 10 years earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And more than 2.4 million people over 65 were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls in 2012 alone, an increase of 50 percent over a decade. All told, in the decade from 2002-2012, more than 200,000 Americans over 65 died after falls. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in that age group.
Some facilities have begun to install floor lighting, much like that on airplanes, that automatically turns on when a resident gets out of bed, illuminating a pathway to the bathroom, .......

Study shows vibrating insoles could reduce falls among seniors

Boston researchers find vibratory stimulation applied to the sole of the foot using novel piezoelectric technology shows promise for fall prevention.
“Findings published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation show that imperceptible vibratory stimulation applied to the soles of the feet improved balance by reducing postural sway and gait variability in elderly study participants. The vibratory stimulation is delivered by a urethane foam insole with embedded piezoelectric actuators, which generates the mechanical stimulation.”
"Although loss of sensation in the feet is a common problem among elderly people that can impair balance and gait and result in falls, there are currently no interventions available that can reverse sensory impairments and prevent these dangerous consequences," said study lead author Lewis Lipsitz, M.D., Director of the Institute for Aging Research. "We were very excited to discover that small amounts of vibratory noise applied to the soles of the feet may be able to do just that."....


The reason for the obvious lack in abundance of food related reviews this week stems from the fact that the food here has become so ho-hum, so filled with blahness and mediocrity that writing about it just for the sake of filling a page is just a waste of time. The truth be told, ever since my resignation (and subsequent disbanding of the resident’s food committee), I have become less interested in what is served here. Part of this comes from the realization that no matter how much we complain about the food, nothing will ever improve beyond what we now have, a nutritious, boring, nondescript and barely enjoyable series of middle of the road meals. The best thing I can say about the food here is “It probably won’t kill us.” As long as the food service continues to pander to the small minority of residents whose taste buds have long since abandoned them and insists on serving food without any flavor or proper seasoning whatsoever, this is the best we can expect.


This is one of my favorite soups because it has everything you would want in a soup. Besides the beef, there are plenty of veggies and noodles and they are all incorporated into a hearty, beefy stock.


That’s a pat of real grade A creamery butter sitting there on top of a short stack of some very nice pancakes here at the Center. Amazingly, pancakes are one of the few meals that the kitchen makes as good as any pancakes available at I-Hop, Denny’s, or your local diner. They are fluffy and light and just the right size. Bravo on these.

Editor's note: Residents were informed late last week that  genuine butter will be discontinued due to the increased use of that product over the regularly offered margarine spread. I guess this means that if you like something around here, they will take it away. Evidently, the food service manager knows where his bread is buttered.


Unless you call up for take-out, you will not get a decent slice of pizza here at the Center. Both the flavor and the proper construction of anything even resembling a pizzeria style pie has eluded all those who have tried. Not only is the pizza missing some of the basic ingredients such as basil, garlic and oregano, but now even the foundation has changed from a fairly thin and crusty slice to a thick piece of bread. The sauce, what there was of it, sank so far into the soft doughy bread that it all but disappeared.

Chances are, that at sometime in your life you will be taking one of these tests. Let this be a warning to you....

Don't Fart During an MRI

The magic bed moved backwards into freedom, bringing along the putrid stench of decay. I was mortified as my imaginary meadow became a ravaged pasture full of rotting manure. What in the hell had I eaten? I avoided eye contact with the timi
d technician and hobbled back to the dressing room. Once again, I accepted my fate of being the perpetual, reluctant clown, the oddball, the one who farts during a complicated medical procedure.....”


Pastor to evict senior center to rent space for film crews
By Kate Briquelet
A Catholic church in Greenwich Village wants to boot a senior center from its basement so the star-struck pastor can make room for Hollywood, advocates say.
Our Lady of Pompeii Church has been home to the Caring Community Senior Center since 1973, but Father Walter Tonelotto won’t renew the group’s $2,000-a-month lease when it comes up in June.
Run by nonprofit group Greenwich House, the center serves 1,400 meals a month to the elderly and provides exercise classes, games and legal workshops.
But Tonelotto “believes by renting out to entertainment companies as a holding area for cast and crews, it’s of strong monetary value to the church,” Greenwich House CEO Roy Leavitt said.
Seniors complained they’ve already been losing space to film crews and movie equipment.
“Why are they putting us out, so they can make money?” .....

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To answer a question, which I received in my comments box this past week, referring to my editorial concerning the downhill path that this facility has taken over that last few months, requires more than a one or two line answer. And, while I do not wish to bore you with my personal problems, I think that my circumstances are a typical reflection on t the plight of many seniors that have not much more than their Social Security checks to live on.

First, let me give the person who sent me this comment an answer to their question. Yes, I have considered moving, but I can’t. And it is that “can’t” that becomes the crux of this editorial. Let me elaborate.

Very simply put, I can’t move because I am poor. The reasons that my finances have fallen below the poverty level are many, and complicated. Just let me say that a series of circumstances beyond my wildest imagination divested me of most of my hard earned funds and forced me to live on a mere pittance of what I once had. 

You see, I was much like most of the people in the U.S. I had a job (not a bad one either), an affordable apartment (in NYC no less) a modest late model car and hardly any debt to speak of. I bought and paid for whatever I needed and wanted and even managed to put a few bucks away in my IRA and 401k which, thanks to my employer matching what I put in, was growing steadily. I had a small savings and checking account for my daily needs and my credit was first rate. Sound familiar so far? I was still a few years away from retirement and figured I would be working for the same company until I was at least 65, when I would put in my papers, cash in my IRA and 401k and all my CD’s and live a simple life as an aging bachelor, until such time as I shuffled off to wherever. That’s what I planned for, that’s what I worked towards, that’s what I depended on. Unfortunately, fate had another plan for me in the form of a devastating illness that robbed me of my health as well as much of my wealth. That’s because, you see, no matter how much health insurance you think you have, it ain’t enough.

My money problems started before my health problems. The company that I had worked for, the company that matched my 401k, the company that paid my very expensive health insurance, decided that my services (along with 30 of my fellow employees) were no longer needed and we were let go. This meant that I could no longer save any money. It meant that I could no longer afford the $650 a month top of the line health insurance. It meant that I no longer had a salary. It meant too, that at the age of 61 years, I would have to find work. A task that was next to impossible. Except for a few part time jobs (without benefits) I never worked again. Enter Social Security.

I had not planned to sign up for Social Security benefits until age 65 or 66, when I would receive my full amount. But, here I was, 62 years old, unemployed and with my savings and personal retirement accounts dwindling by the day. I had to pay rent, I had to buy food and, most important, I had to buy health insurance because Medicare would not kick in for another 3 years and I wasn’t poor enough for Medicaid. The COBRA plan that one hears about when they are let go from their employer's insurance is useless. Yes, it does let you get a group rate, but that group rate is much too much money for someone out of work. After shopping around, I managed to find a cheaper health plan, one that would cost me about half of what I would have paid. Unfortunately, the coverage was not as good. I was only covered for hospitalization. No outside doctors, no dentists, no specialists. If it didn’t happen in a hospital, I had to pay for it out of my own pocket.

Now, here comes the icky part. I got sick, real sick. I’ll spare you the details, but it meant months in the hospital and subsequent nursing home care. Bills started coming in from doctors I don’t remember ever seeing and for procedures I don’t remember having. I was too weak and sick to question many of them and, being a person who never owed anything to anybody, I paid them. Exit my money. 

I had to give up my apartment because I could not afford to pay rent on a place that I was unable to live in and pay the nursing home too. The nursing home became my new home for the next two years and, for the first couple of months, the cost of that place came out of my own pocket until I turned 65 when Medicare and, finally, Medicaid paid the bill. My health improved, but my finances did not. Except for a couple of thousand dollars, my money was gone. That’s when the nursing home told me that it was time for me to leave. “But where will I go”, I asked. “Don’t worry, we’ll find you a place”, told my social worker. And she did. She found this place where I now live. It’s the assisted living facility that I now call home. However, it is no ordinary ALF because, unlike the majority of ALF’s and senior housing, this place accepts my Social Security as payment for rent, which otherwise would cost $4000 to $5000 per month. 

The truth is, this facility is one of only two in our county that accepts Social security and Medicare and Medicaid in lieu of rent. There are only a few of these places in the whole state and even fewer in the rest of the country. All of those fancy assisted living places where you see old folks happily living a carefree life playing golf, swimming and enjoying gourmet meals in a lavish dining room are only for the rich. The rest of us, despite our years of hard work, saving and paying a good chunk of our salaries into the Social Security system, do not get enough money back to enjoy the kind of retirement we deserve. So, the answer to why I live here and don’t go somewhere else is because this place, god bless them, accepts what I can afford to give them. And, while this may not be the most ideal of situations, it is the best I can afford, because due to my limited funds, my options are limited to places like ours that are subsidized by various state and local government services. This brings about the question of why, after all the years that Social Security has been in business and, all of the money we workers have contributed to the system, what we get back when we finally need it does not allow us to live a life above the poverty level. I’ll tell you why. They stole it from us. 

You see, Social Security pays money to people who never actually worked for it. It pays widows (and widowers) of people who passed that may never have earned a salary in their lives. The system pays orphans of those people as well, another group who never contributed to the system. Can you imagine all of the money you would be entitled to if all of what you paid into the system, all of that money that was deducted by that thing called FICA could have been invested and then returned to you in one joyous tax free windfall when you became 65. We would have a country of senior millionaires with spending power beyond that of any nation on earth. Combine that with a government sponsored health system and this country would truly be the utopia that it has always been purported to be. Instead, we have a country where I can’t afford the price of take out pizza on the measly amount of money I get back. 

The Social Security Administration recently announced that the COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) would only go up 1.7%. That’s about $20 for the average Social Security recipient. Wow!, $20. Maybe I can get that pizza after all.

Is It Possible to Live on Social Security During Your Retirement Years?

Many people discuss whether it is feasible to actually live on Social Security alone when you retire. In most instances, it is nearly impossible to survive on this small income. But there are places that are desirable and less expensive to live. There are also part-time jobs, flexible work-at-home opportunities and other ways to live comfortably during your golden years.

The Social Security Bottom Line

While Social Security was meant to support people as they reached retirement age, inflation has soared while Social Security has offered nominal increases each year. According to US News and World Report, the average payment for a workers in 2013 was $1,294 per month. Clearly this is not enough to live in certain areas of the country ....


Here are 6 scary facts about aging and how ASA members are tackling them at the 2015 Aging in America Conference 

1.One in seven older adults age 65 or older live in poverty.

According to this Statement from the National Senior Citizens Law Center, poverty among older adults disproportionately impacts women, especially women of color, with twice as many older women as men living in poverty in 2012. Poverty rates were even higher for black (21.2%), Hispanic (21.8%) and Native American (27.1%) women 65 and older......




As an avid amateur photographer I found out that taking pictures goes far beyond the mere capturing of images. For me, every photo expedition was an adventure, even if it was only in my own neighborhood. And, after the picture was taken, my mind continued to work as I spent time on my computer editing the photos I took that day.

Photography helps keep a brain fit

That’s according to researchers at the The University of Texas at Dallas who found that people who only participated in passive activities such as playing games or listening to music got little memory benefit. However, learning photography showed significant gains in memory.

More than 200 people who were over 60-years-old were split into various testing groups and asked to commit at least 15 hours per week to the activities.

One group learned photography with digital cameras and imaging software, a task requiring remembering verbal instruction and complex reasoning. A second group learned quilting with computer controlled sewing machines, requiring abstract thinking to create patterns. Participants in other groups performed passive tasks such as playing games, telling stories, or going to museums.

“Only the quilting and photography groups, who were confronted with continuous and prolonged mental challenge, improved their memory abilities,” 


Diners, this week, were surprised to find that their usual cup of margarine had been replaced by something that we have never before seen here, real butter. The food service manager said that there was no particular reason for the change other than many of the residents requested it. He further went on to explain that the foil enclosed packs of butter will soon be replaced by the more convenient individual cups and, it will be unsalted as well. One small step for....... .


Feed them and they will come

Although we can’t be 100% sure, we think that by offering attending residents a treat (in the form of an ice cream sandwich) we managed to obtain the largest crowd we ever had for one of our monthly residents meetings. Usually these meetings are attended only by a few (usually only about 30% of the population here) hard nosed residents who are interested in what’s going on and to express their opinions. Past efforts to get more people to attend these meetings have had poor results with some meetings only attracting about 30 out of the almost 200 residents that live here. 

Why those cheap S.O.B’s at corporate are nickel and diming us to death

3 Solutions to Age-Old Senior Housing Problems

Emily Study 

They are: “cost creep,” lead generation and occupancy levels.

While these challenges have made lasting marks on the sector, there are unique ways of solving them, industry experts say. And in doing so, providers may be able to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to their bottom line.

“There are a lot of dollars at stake,....”

“We’re always looking to see how we can be more efficient on the expense side...”



More ALF news...

Providers Must Change The Language Of Aging, Speakers Say

Aging services providers can—and should—lead efforts to alter negative perceptions related to age and aging, LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix maintains. “Perception is reality—until we change it,”   Television shows and commericials, films, greeting cards for milestone birthdays—all promote images and language that perpetuate the view of older adults as weak, dependent and in declining health, he said, and they limit, stereotype and isolate them.

“Our language of contemporary healthcare often, unfortunately, doesn’t help with the image and language,” 

In an effort to change perceptions, he said, the World Health Organization now refers to aging as “the life course,”....



Walk a mile in my shoes dept.

Here is an ALF that is doing something that I have said should be a prerequisite for all new employees.........

Switching lives with a senior citizen

Belmont Village employees are simulating living life in a senior's body and dealing with things such as diminished motor skills and limited mobility. “If they (the elderly) are a little bit grumpy maybe it's not because they're being difficult. Maybe it's because it took them an hour to get dressed and that was probably really frustrating,” explains Belmont Village Director of Memory Care Julie Peschang......


O.K., but please don’t drink the bath water.....



The practice of combining spa activities with grape branches, vines, leaves, and skin is called vinotherapy, and according to New York Magazine, it’s been around since the 1990s. It relies on polyphenols and resveratrol, a powerful compound found in grape seeds, branches, and vines that is thought to have age-defying properties that can improve circulation. But while the idea of a red wine bath may conjure up images of wealthy people emptying their wine cellars for their evening soak, there isn’t supposed to be any actual wine used in vinotherapy at all. The “red wine bath” is actually a combination of red vine leaf stock and water, because soaking in alcohol will dry out the skin.


More anti-aging news...

Can Testosterone Slow Aging?

 Jeffy Burns 

Testosterone is just a hormone that performs a sizable component within the improvement of male extra sexual faculties in addition to helping control muscle mass, fat submission, bone size and power. Testosterone also adjusts sex-drive (libido). Testosterone is made by both gents and ladies (however ladies create significantly smaller quantities). Several alleged anti- physicians that are aging are recommending other along with testosterone anti- .....




If you think that the Republicans are the only ones who are anti-elderly, read this.

"Feds Kill Funds for ‘Most Successful’ Senior Housing Program"

Andre F. Shashaty

The Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program produced 20,000 housing units per year at its peak in the 1970s. It provided public housing agencies and nonprofit groups with grants that covered the cost to build decent rental housing, as well as subsidies for people who were too poor to pay market-rate rents for comparable housing. But three years ago, at the height of the new congressional obsession with budget cutting, the Obama Administration stopped requesting money for new construction under the program. Funding continues at a reduced level to renew existing rental subsidies on existing properties, as well as for repairs and improvements to those properties.


Seniors play an important part in the electoral process

By Gary Calligas

Elections are decided by people who show up to the polls to vote. Exit polls prove citizens 65 and older have the best turnout of any age group, followed closely by those age 55 to 64. Reasons for the higher than average voter turnout among older Americans vary.

Most seniors have years of vested interest and service to their local community, as well as to their state and country. They feel voting is their civic duty and they value the importance of each vote.

Many are retired and have more time to examine the candidates, the propositions and other items on the ballot before they arrive at the polling location. .....



Suzanne Somers 

       By KAREN MIZOGUCHI                     

She has touted the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and holistic therapies after recovering from breast cancer.

And the regime is clearly working wonders for Suzanne Somers, both inside and out.

The actress, who turns 68 on Thursday, showed off her radiant complexion and toned figure in a black skirt and top as she headed to Sirius XM Studios to promote her new anti-aging book on Tuesday in New York City.

Scroll down for video... 

Read more: 

Pork Rinds: The worlds only healthy, salty, snack.

Okay, I know they sound funny if not downright disgusting. Even the words “Pork Rinds” conjures up an image of waste products and bits that would normally be thrown away. At the very least, they don’t sound very healthy. But au contraire, the truth is pork rinds may be the only snack food that’s actually good for you. You see, that’s because pork rinds (or fried pig skin) is in actuality all protein with none of those fat promoting carbohydrates that are the mainstay of all other crispy snack foods. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating that you stuff yourself with pork rinds in order for you to loose weight of to improve some condition you might have. All I’m saying is that, if you crave something crunchy and you don’t want to munch on Cheetos or Pringles, than pig skin is for you. BTW, they make them salt free too.

More senior eats....

It should only happen here dept....

Local (ALF) chef creates award-winning chowder


Residents of StoneRidge, the senior living community in Mystic, are treated each day to a menu designed by executive chef Christopher Nicolelli, a Culinary Institute of America graduate and an experienced chef who previously worked in the kitchens of highly rated resorts and hotels.

Nicolelli works at StoneRidge, and uses herbs and produce from the community’s own garden, along with fresh, local and sustainable ingredients in his dishes. This past summer StoneRidge’s Coconut Curry and Red Lentil Seafood Chowder won second place in the creative category at the Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-Off in Newport. This event attracts entrants from across the country and overseas: the 2014 winners included cooks from Seattle, New York, California, and even County Mayo, Ireland.



My obsession with eyebrows continues...

Who Would Have Thought Eyebrows Are a Strong Indicator of Our Aging Process

Eyebrows are not paid attention to as an aging sign as much as other factors.

Did you know that thinning eyebrows are one of the very first-and most easily quantifiable-visible signs of aging?

Unlike, say, the crow's feet we've been trained to fear by the time we're out of high school, eyebrow loss is somewhat of a silent assassin. 

As the New York Times put it, "eyebrows are like shoes; you don't notice them unless they are exquisitely right or disastrously wrong."



   Senior citizens flock to Facebook

By Jessica Contrera / The Washington Post

"As you get older, you become socially isolated, especially when your family lives far away. So an opportunity to get online and see what their grandkids are up to this weekend? That really appeals to them" says Saffron Cassaday, the director of "Cyber Seniors," a 2014 documentary about teenagers teaching residents of retirement homes to use the Internet.

In a way, it's easy to see how Facebook could have been made to please grandparents. It gives them a chance to be involved in their family members' lives even from afar. That's why retirement centers and senior-supportive charities across the country have been pushing social media use. It's like the new bingo night.

"The Facebook class is so popular we had to make it a regular part of the schedule," says Natalie Billings, who teaches computer courses for seniors at Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly in Brighton, Massachusetts. 



The upside of aging: experience and the ability to enjoy life

By Neil Rosenthal

Partly, growing older requires us to deal with loss in one form or another. The flip side is that we gain a growing awareness about what we have acquired and earned from our experiences: Perseverance. Self-understanding. Resilience. Perspective. That we're better able to separate out what is important from what isn't. That we are better able to take things in stride without getting knocked off balance so easily.

As we get older, we know things we didn't know in earlier years. We know that bad times are going to pass (we've had a lot of experience with this, haven't we?). We know that we are able to regulate our emotions....



People in Senior Housing live very close together. We dine together, play together and hug each other, a lot. Unfortunately, all of this close contact means that germs fly around here unchecked. Here is some information that will help keep all of us healthy this winter.

The Biggest Mistake You're Making In The Bathroom

By Katy Hall

It's a good time of year to reflect on our handwashing habits. Flu season is here, and enterovirus D68 has spread to all but three states in the continental U.S.

For those who need a refresher, here's how to wash your hands correctly:

  • Turn on the water.
  • Lather with soap.
  • The CDC suggests humming the "happy birthday" song twice while you scrub. Whatever you need to do to make it to 20 seconds.
  • Rinse and dry. If you want to be extra clean, operate the paper towel dispenser with your elbow and exit with the paper towel covering your hand.


Mom Can't Live on Medicaid's Spousal Allowance. What Can I Do?


My father is in a nursing home in Tennessee and was approved for Medicaid. My mother is in an assisted living facility. Their total income for a month is $4,909. From this income, $2,033 will go to my father's nursing facility and Medicaid will pay the balance.  Mom's spousal allotment will be $2,931. Her monthly rent at the assisted living facility is $2,800, which leaves $131 for all her other expenses. Her bills alone total $939 a month. I was given the impression that she would be taken care of. What can I do now for her? I cannot take care of her myself because I work a full-time job and am raising a granddaughter.  Are there other benefits I could get for her?  Or has Medicaid figured incorrectly? 


It sounds like Medicaid has figured the income allowance for your mother correctly and that she is getting the maximum allowed at this stage. However, .....



There's an APP for that

Bureau of Engraving and Printing to Distribute Free Currency Readers

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) will distribute free currency reader devices to people who are blind or visually impaired as part of an effort to improve access to printed money. BEP will begin a four-month pilot program on September 2 in partnership with the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) that will enable NLS patrons to pre-order the devices. NLS administers a free library program that circulates braille and audio materials to approximately 400,000 people through a national network of cooperating libraries. BEP will use this pilot phase to test ordering and distribution processes and to gauge demand.

A nationwide roll-out of the program will be initiated early next year. Starting on January 2, 2015, currency readers will be widely available to all U.S. citizens or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired. To request a currency reader, those who are not NLS patrons must submit an application signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility. For further information on the program or applying for a currency reader, visitBEP's website.

The U.S. Department of Education and BEP previously released apps for mobile devices that scan and identify currency images. There is an app for Apple iOS platforms and another for Android phones.

 (IDEAL Currency Reader )....



This week’s star is the humble green pea soup, which has over the years become a staple of the American diet. Even if you are not a great soup lover, you just have to love this soup, especially on a cold fall day. The soup is the perfect compliment to almost any sandwich. I can think of nothing better than a grilled cheese sandwich and a nice hot cup of hearty green pea soup.


It sounded good on paper, so I ordered it. A patty melt sandwich made with chopped meat, cheese and onions. “A glorified cheeseburger”, so I thought. Unfortunately, what should have been an interesting diversion from the usual blah lunches, turned out to be just plain nasty. 

As if the overcooked chunk of ground meat was not bad enough, the toasted rye made this monstrosity even harder to chew. Even the addition of what I think were caramelized onions and some kind of cheese, which disappeared into the bread, could not make this thing anything more than a science experiment gone horribly wrong. 


Another disappointment

After listening to the promise by the chef that this time there would actually chilli flavoring in the chilli, I ordered it for dinner last Friday. And, just like the last time this was offered, I was disappointed. While the bowl of chilli looked appetizing, with all the trimmings such as guacamole*, cheese and sour cream, the main reason why people eat chilli was once again missing. I don’t know why the cooks here are afraid of seasoning the food, especially in a dish like chilli. Everyone who orders chilli presumably knows what chilli is supposed to taste like. They understand that chilli is supposed to have a bit of a “kick” to it or they would not order it in the first place. Therefore, to serve a dish that by its very nature should be slightly more invigorating than the usual Pablum-like baby food we get here, and then, to make it as benign as possible is laying sacrilege to all things holy and true. Please, dear chef, if you are going to make a dish like chilli, make it right and to hell with those residents whose taste in food runs the gamut from A to B. 

*I gave this two “foodies” because the guacamole was actually pretty good.

Story: How I Was Bullied By A Senior Citizen On The M72 Bus

I try to do the right thing and stay on the sidelines when it comes to mass transit etiquette. I give my seat to senior citizens, pregnant women, children or parents/caregivers with children on the subway. I do not put my bags on other seats. But a recent altercation on a city bus made me confront whether I am actually a really horrible person.

A senior citizen—maybe in her early 60s, and not seemingly infirm (though I can't account for internal pain/issues)—walked down the aisle, ignoring the adults in their 30s or 40s sitting in the priority seating row. Perhaps she didn't see my daughter at first, but when she did, she audibly groaned. Then she turned, muttering something along the lines of, "I can't believe people let their children sit on the bus.".....



Game nights, a social outlet for baby boomers

Melissa Kossler Dutton

"Recreation and leisure is still of utmost importance. It is critical to their self-concept and sense of well-being," she said. "Game nights and boomer clubs are a means to be active, which is in sync with their values.”

As baby boomers age, many of the traditional ways to make friends disappear, said Lynda J. Sperazza, an associate professor at the State University of New York at Brockport, who studies how this generation spends its free time. Many start looking for new social outlets......



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The Old Ways Don’t Work Anymore

With the competition to fill beds in assisted living facilities heating up because of all the baby boomers turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day, this facility is falling way behind its competitors. There is a new way of thinking about how senior living facilities should be run and we, I am sorry to say, have an administration whose management style can only be described as archaic. 

Every day I receive newsletters and alerts informing me of how the expanding ALF market is vying for that senior dollar by implementing new services and amenities for prospective and current residents. Primary among those amenities is the food. 

Some ALF’s have gone so far as to have competitions among the various chefs within their corporations to see who can create the best menus for their residents. Other facilities have changed their menus to better reflect the changing demographic of their resident population. The influx of baby boomers into the ALF marketplace means a younger, more Americanized population that will be more inclined to try new foods instead of the tired old food items currently on many institutional menus.

Other amenities, such as cafe’s, soda fountains and bistros have also become fixtures in many of the newly constructed and re-designed facilities around the country. In addition, as the population continues to age, many of today’s older drivers are giving up their cars. This means that they will be looking closely at what transportation options will be available to them when they decide to move to an ALF. Again, we are limited to public transportation and an occasional “charity” ride. With all of these new innovations becoming the rule rather than the exception in ALF’s, this facility has done absolutely nothing to send us in the direction of what a progressive senior living facility should be. The management, both here and at the corporate level, is mired in decades old thinking. They are firmly planted in the “warehouse” approach to assisted living whereby old folks are kept, at a minimum level of security and with a minimum amount of services available to them while they wait to die or move to a nursing home. This is the kind of thinking that makes living in a place like this more depressing than it has to be. Instead of focusing on the continuation of life by allowing those of us who still are able to have a modicum of independence to live a life that we are used to, they have cubbyholed all of the residents of this facility in to one polymorphous glob of aging flesh and diminished capabilities. This leaves us 50 and 60 somethings being treated the same as our octogenarian neighbors. What this will eventually mean is that this, and other facilities that refuse to change, will become places where only the old and infirm will want to live in, negating the need for a more progressive attitude that will be needed as those post WW2 (baby boomer) citizens look for alternative living. This attitude is unfortunate because, without spending very much money, so much more could be accomplished. Take for instance all of the wasted space we have in and around the building.

We have a common room with a sink and counter space located in the Franklin annex that goes practically unused because of the management’s refusal to install even the basic amenities such as a microwave oven or even a hot water dispensing faucet. There isn’t even an ice machine nearby. 

Additionally, there is a huge parking area located away from the main building that is rarely used. While other facilities, whose mindset isn’t firmly planted in the last millennia, are using theses area for such activities as antique car shows, flea markets and farmers markets and are actually making some money out of those functions, our management is too bogged down by a management approach akin to that of Attila the Hun.

Every day, as I walk about the halls of this place, I see more and more people that, unfortunately, could not care less about the food, the recreation, or any of the meager amenities we do have, all to the detriment of those of us who have lived here for a while and have seen this facility go from a modern, well cared for place for seniors to live, to a place where the ambulances come and go like taxis on a rainy night. Unfortunately, the need to fill beds at any cost is sending us in the wrong direction which will not be good for anyone. Do you know what they call large facilities that don't modernize and fail to see the changes that are coming to the industry? They call them closed.

Exploring alternative transportation options

apologize to all those readers who are sick and tired of hearing me whine about the lack of transportation options available to us residents here at the WCIAL, but I feel it’s important. We are so isolated here in our little paradise on the hill that even a trip to the doctor becomes a welcome experience. With the nearest bus stop a half a mile away, and a $10 cab ride to the train station, getting anywhere becomes a major undertaking. In addition, if you happen to be someone who uses a wheelchair, walker or even a cane, the availability of transport becomes even more limited. Myself, having lived in one of the five boroughs of NYC most of my life, became used to having a subway or a bus just feet from my door, but here in the great northern wilderness, where everybody is expected to drive a car, the mass transit ain’t so great. So what are we to do. 

Me, and some of my fellow residents, have given this some thought. and, realizing that the management of the Center will never provide us with proprietary transportation in the form of a bus or van, we have come up with some possible solutions of our own as to how to alleviate our transportation woes. Granted, you may find some of these options a bit outlandish or far fetched, and some might even say impractical or just plain dangerous, but please hear me out before you dismiss them as the rantings of an old demented man.

1.The tandem bike. The tandem bike has been around for over 100 years and is a viable means of transportation in many capitals of Europe. You can go anywhere and I’ll even let you steer. These bikes are relatively cheap and need just a bit of practice to start.

2.The adult trike. Don’t like the idea of having to team-up with another person who may not pedal as fast as you, well there is an alternative. The adult size tricycle may be perfect for you. You don’t even have to know how to ride a bike. You just sit and peddle. You can equip it with a large basket and it parks anywhere.A typical trike costs about $300.

 4.The motor scooter. For those of you that are not interested in peddling or

just want to pretend you are a character in a Federico Fellini movie of the 1950’s, there’s the tried and true transportation option popular throughout the continent, the motor scooter. You will need a drivers license for this, but they’re cheap to run and loads of fun. 

4.The Electric scooter. You have seen these advertised on TV, and while they can’t be driven on the street, you can use them on the sidewalk and you don’t need a license to operate one.

 They recharge overnight and are easy to use. And, if you qualify, you might be able to get one for free or little cost through Medicaid. Just remember, they don’t go too fast.

5.The Segway. This may not be for everybody, especially if you have a balance problem. However, the Segway is one means of getting up and down the hills of Yonkers with ease. Unfortunately, they are expensive and do have a learning curve.

6. Rickshaw. I originally thought this would be a good idea until I remembered an episode of Seinfeld which made me quickly dismiss the idea. Another idea that I thought better of was a pogo stick. I figure most of our residents would be good for about one bounce.

Look. I know that most, if not all, of these suggestions are a little off the wall, and probably nobody would take any of them seriously, I am tending them to you as a way of voicing my opinion regarding the need for a real solution to our transportation needs.

A more traditional transportation option

If you are not in to the do it yourself forms of getting around as  described above, perhaps a more traditional method of public transport will be more to your liking. Around here, if you want to get to the “city” the best way to go is via Metro North Railway. I did a little research, and here is what I found. 

First, the train is not as expensive as you may think, provided you know how it works. The regular fare from the Yonkers train station to Grand Central Terminal during regular weekday hours is $7.50 one way. Regular off-peak fare (10am to 5pm) is $5.00 one way. A taxi to the station is approximately $10. Therefore, a round trip, off peak ride to midtown Manhattan will run you about $30. The trip takes about 30 to 35 minutes direct. There is a slightly cheaper way to get to NYC which involves Para Transit @ $4.00 and a transfer to NYC Access A Ride for another $4.00 one way, but you need to make reservations. If the difference between $30 and $16 is important to you, than that’s the way to go. 

Last week’s blog mentioned that the Center terminated its relationship with our in-house doctor and his staff and that we would be getting a new physician. The new doc is already here and has begun to see patients. And, as happenstance would have it, it was my turn this past Monday. 

After a short wait in the Medical Office and a pleasant conversation with the new secretary, I was ushered in to see the doc. This is the first time that I have seen an actual doctor in months. Usually we only get to see a Physicians Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. After the usual formalities we got down to business. He asked questions and took my blood pressure. He asked about my meds and why I was taking them, after which I asked if he thought I still needed to take some of them, and his answer surprised me. Instead of just dismissing me as some pill-o-phobiac, he agreed with me that there was no reason to take meds that are no longer needed. He also said that he is going over everyone’s meds to see if some can’t be eliminated. Most of you know of my aversion to popping pills, especially those that I am told I will have to take for life, so this was a refreshing thing to hear. 

We concluded our visit by him telling me that he will issue an order to have some blood drawn and that he will see me after the results come in. He asked me how old I was, and then I asked him how old he is. He was as surprised to hear that I am 69 as much as I was to find out that he was only 55. He looked much older.


Fall Foliage

Here at the Center, we don’t have to travel far to enjoy the colors of the Fall season. We are fortunate enough to have a preponderance of mature trees that are more than glad to show off their brightly colored leaves. In fact now, and for the next couple of weeks, the trees here in the lower Hudson Valley area of N.Y., will be at their Fall finast.


Elder law is expansive, beneficial for seniors

With a properly drafted health care power of attorney, you can usually avoid a court-appointed guardian to make personal decisions about you, your care and your living arrangements. A health care power of attorney should include five essential provisions, among others:

• Appointment of a patient advocate and back-ups.

• Mental health care powers.

• Anatomical gift/organ donation powers, if desired.

• Medical record access and release powers.

• Living will provisions, which are basically when to pull the plug.



Nonprofit providers face alarming market forces

Nonprofit long-term care providers must work together to address alarming trends, or their market share could plummet and the sector as a whole could falter, LeadingAge Chairman David Gehm told association members Tuesday.

While he is “optimistic” after his first year leading the Board, he has identified trends that “might give us pause,” Gehm said at the General Session of the association's annual conference and exposition in Nashville.

“..... many nonprofits are having trouble attracting top-flight workers, and the need for action becomes urgent, he said. To this end, the LeadingAge Board has “elevated the health of our members as a major strategic objective,” 



A Closer Look at Discrimination Within Assisted Living Facilities

by Christiana Lilly

LGBT discrimination doesn't stop as someone ages, and no one knows this better than Bruce Williams.

The senior services coordinator at the Pride Center in Wilton Manors, Williams began working on a project to compile LGBT-friendly assisted living facilities about five years ago. He would call and knock on doors to get more information on each location, and the results were "scary," he said.

While some were open to participating in the project, others would hang up on his calls or give him "lame excuses" ....


More AlfLiving.....


Retire in style to a CCRC

By PATRICIA MERTZ ESSWEIN Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Continuing care retirement communities, also known as CCRCs, are all-in-one facilities that offer independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care (or just independent living and skilled nursing), typically in exchange for a sizable up-front fee.

To entice prospective residents, they offer country-club amenities, including posh dining rooms, fitness facilities and plenty of activities. They also offer safety backups, such as monitoring systems that let security guards know whether a resident has fallen or is otherwise unable to move around the apartment.

And lately, CCRCs are expanding to attract niche or affinity groups. They may now be university-based, focused on the arts or geared toward the lesbian-gay-transgender population...


More on CCRC’s.....

Pros, cons: Continuing care retirement community

Robert Powell, Special to USA TODAY

At the moment, some 600,000 people live in a CCRC, but experts say many residents and prospective residents overlook the financial risks they take on when signing a contract to move into a CCRC. "Few CCRC residents understand the financial risks they took on when they signed the contract," James Sullivan, a certified public accountant with Core Capital Solutions in Naperville, Ill., wrote in a recent article about the subject. 

If fact, worst case, you could lose your entire investment should the CCRC go bankrupt. And that's why financial planners and others say you should ask hard questions about the financial status of whatever CCRC you're considering before signing any contract and moving into a facility of this sort.

But what questions should you ask, and, equally important, what are the right answers to those questions......


Some facilities are not mired in the old way of doing business as is demonstrated by this ALF in Ohio.

Pets celebrated at assisted living community

By Kelley King

PawFest was held Saturday afternoon at the Spring Hills Singing Woods Assisted Living on Woodbury Drive in Dayton.

Spring Hills Singing Woods Assisted Living is a pet-friendly facility and encourages residents to move in with their small pets. The facility’s slogan is “PAW” or Pets Are Welcome....



6 Ways To Strengthen Your Hips

 By Winnie Yu

Most of us don’t give much thought to our hips—until we fall and break one. Unfortunately, the likelihood of a hip fracture goes up as we get older and our bones become more frail—especially in women. In fact, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, half of all women aged 50 and up will break a bone due to osteoporosis. And of the nearly 300,000 hip fracture patients annually, one-quarter end up in nursing homes and half will not regain full function.



Two Sodas a Day Can Age You 4 Years

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard

Drinking two sugary sodas a day won't just make you fat — it'll shorten your life as well, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers at the University at California at San Francisco found that the sugary drinks shorten telomeres, the caps that keep chromosomes from unraveling and protect DNA from damage. 

Telomeres shorten with age, and their length corresponds with  biological aging. Short telomeres have been linked to many diseases of aging, including diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.

 Researchers studied DNA from more than 5,300 participants ages 20 to 65. They found that drinking 20 ounces of soda a day shortened telomeres to the equivalent of  an additional 4.6 years of aging,......



6 Facts About Aging Everyone Should Know -- But Doesn't

By Ann Brenoff

Aging, they say, isn't for the weak. Here are some aging facts that we all should know and in many cases, don't:

Sometimes, you will get floaters.

Eye floaters are spots in your field of vision. Floaters are one of those minor, albeit annoying, health issues that comes with age. But since they don't get much in the way of media attention you may not be aware of them, and as a result, the first time you get them they likely will scare the bejeezus out of you and cause you to think "This the big one.".....



News Release

Social Security Announces 1.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2015

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015.  Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2014. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.  Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $118,500 from $117,000.  Of the estimated 168 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2015, about 10 million will pay higher taxes because of the increase in the taxable maximum. 

Minimum Social Security COLA of Three Percent Demanded by Senior Citizens League

About $113 Missing from Social Security in 2015, Says The Senior Citizens League

Only a day after Social Security announced a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase for beneficiaries in 2015, The Senior Citizens League is calling for a minimum increase of 3 percent, which was the average before 2010. The group’s leader, Ed Cates, says benefits of the typical Social Security recipient will be about $5,298 lower by the end of 2015 due to the government not maintaining at least a 3 percent increase.

How much will the Social Security cost – of – living adjustment (COLA) boost your benefits? “Probably not enough to prevent a loss of benefit buying power,” says TSCL Chairman Cates.

With the average Social Security payment hovering around $1,200 per month, the COLA would boost benefits by around $20.00....



Guide to Life: Switching Medicare plan could save you money


With the annual Medicare open-enrollment period nearing, many senior citizens might be thinking, “I’m not sure a change is worth the headache.”

As tempted as enrollees might be to stick with their existing plans, however, experts strongly advise against doing so. A switch, they say, might prove less costly or lead to better services — or both......



Aging Nazis on Social Security

Loophole lets them collect if they leave US


OSIJEK, Croatia – Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. Social Security benefits after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation has found.

The payments, underwritten by American taxpayers, flowed through a legal loophole that gave the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal U.S. government records.

Among those receiving benefits were armed SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished; a rocket scientist who used slave laborers to advance his research in the Third Reich; and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland....



Republicans And Democrats Should Be Vying For The Senior Vote

Considering seniors’ potential impact on the outcome of this year’s election, it’s a wonder that Washington isn’t focusing more on the senior vote, which has the potential swing sharply. Indeed, in 2010, seniors voted for Republicans by a significant 21-point margin. Two years later, according to exit polls, nearly 60% voted for Mitt Romney.

Unsurprisingly, protecting Social Security and Medicare is a top priority for senior voters. Democrats have typically been ahead on issues related to entitlement programs by fighting Republicans on spending cuts, but recent trends have shown that it’s anybody’s game.

So what should Democrats and Republicans do to win the senior vote? Put simply, they need to get behind what’s working. And the Medicare prescription drug benefit is a shining example of good, effective and efficient delivery of healthcare......

On4Today™, a Telehealth Service To Keep Residents of Assisted Living Facilities Connected

NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasonic Corporation of North America has announced it will launch On4Today, a tablet-based telehealth service, in November. The new Health and Wellness Solutions business group is part of Panasonic's ongoing business transformation and will deliver technology solutions to the healthcare market. The group's first offering - On4Today - is a non-clinical telehealth service provided to long-term care and assisted living facilities.

Designed as an 'always on' service, On4Today bridges potential communication gaps between assisted living facility residents and their families, friends and care providers. It delivers connectivity and easy-to-use communications intended to improve staff inefficiencies, reduce anxiety for residents, promote peace of mind among family and friends and encourage stronger levels of resident engagement.



How sad is this....

Tomorrow’s Seniors May Lack Caregivers, But They’ll Have Digital Animal Friends

The caregivers America’s elderly need aren't in America, so GeriJoy uses friendly virtual companions to bring them together.

By Satta Sarmah

“They can provide any kind of non-physical care,” Wang says. “That includes asking them how they’re doing, asking them about their life stories, and reinforcing positive memories and friendships.” Addressing the isolation that the elderly sometimes deal with is a huge task--depression affects 6.5 million people over 65, according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

Remote caregivers also can remind seniors to take their medication and do other health maintenance tasks....”



Most Useful Gifts for Loved Ones in Assisted Living

By : Jennifer Wegerer

Finding the right holiday gift for an elderly loved one can be challenging. So A Place for Mom has put together a list of suggestions to help in your search.

Seniors have received a lifetime of gifts. But their needs change. Seniors in assisted living might be dealing with health issues or have needs for everyday items that wouldn’t normally come to mind. Finding a practical gift for an elderly loved one doesn’t have to take a lot of work or cost very much. In fact, it can be the most heartwarming gift of all.

If you’re looking for practical holiday gift ideas for seniors in assisted living, consider these suggestions from A Place for Mom’s partners and Facebook fans....



Our “Soup of the week” earns its title not so much for its magnificence, but rather for its innovation. In a world of vegetable, chicken, noodles and the like, something made from the worlds best food, bacon, has to be regarded as not only worth talking about, but something worth eating as well.


We eat a lot of chicken here at the asylum. We have roast chicken, fried chicken, oven baked chicken, chicken fingers, chicken salad, chicken Marsala, not to mention Caesar chicken salad and Chicken Parmesan. With all the chicken that passes through the doors of our kitchen, you would think that, by now, they would have learned to make it right. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While the amount and variety of all things chicken continues to escalate, the quality of both the preparation and the chicken itself has continued to decline. Put simply, it stinks. Last Tuesday’s dinner was a perfect example of this.

Not only were the pieces of chicken the smallest I have ever seen, but the way it was cooked can only be described as deplorable. The chicken leg, which I had, was rubbery and under-cooked with distinctly pink meat. The coating, although it looked tempting, was nothing more than a bread coating with absolutely no taste whatsoever. Even the copious amounts of salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash I sprinkled over this mess could not make it taste any better. Chicken should be a no-brainer. A little salt and pepper, a little paprika and some fresh garlic rubbed on the meat before placing it in the oven would have helped this meal considerably. What this place needs is a lesson on how to cook chicken given by a professional chef. How much more of this clueless cooking must we suffer.


Adding insult to an already injured selection of chicken dishes, we were “treated” to what the Center refers to as chicken teriyaki. Unfortunately, what passes for teriyaki sauce here would cause even the most timid Samurai to commit hara-kiri. The almost medicine-tasting sauce with which this poor, shriveled piece of chicken was subjected to had no resemblance to any teriyaki sauce I have ever tasted. The traditional teriyaki sauce consists of the following:

Soy sauce, brown sugar, fresh ginger, minced garlic, minced honey, sesame oil, mirin, and water mixed with 3 teaspoons cornstarch.

If any of the above ingredients were used in that stuff painted on that miserable piece of dried out chicken, I certainly could not taste them. The only redeeming feature about last Thursday’s lunch was the rice, upon which i poured some Kikoman Soy Sauce.

BTW: Once again, the ratio of carbs to protein is way off as you can see by the minuscule piece of chicken sitting on top of that Mt. Fuji of rice.  


I rarely review breakfasts here at the Center because, for the most part, they are usually O.K. if not brilliant. However, every once and a while a breakfast comes along that so outshines the rest that it bears special notice. Such was the case in last Saturday’s breakfast which consisted of ham, cheese and, something different, scrambled eggs instead of the usual rubbery, overcooked fried egg. The ham too, differed somehow from the usual ham which is usually as overcooked as the eggs. And, to top it all off was cheese, not just a thin slice of semi- melted cheddar, but two slices of cheese that were actually hot enough to melt. All of this on a nice, soft English muffin gave us a real honest to goodness breakfast treat.


A Complete 180

If you read the previous two posts about some of the chicken dinners we have had here recently, I wan't you to forget everything I said. That was earlier in the week and this is now. As promised to us by Chef Michael on Tuesday last, there will be a new attitude concerning the way chicken is cooked around here, and last Saturday's Roasted Hunters Chicken dinner lived up to the Chef's promises. Not only was the chicken cooked properly and not overcooked, but the sauce, which was liberally ladled over it, was pleasantly seasoned with something that tasted like it was actually sampled by the cook before it was sent out to the waiting  diners. This dinner proves two things. If we (residents) don't complain about the food we deserve everything we get and, that it is possible that something decent can come out of our kitchen after all.


A few words about ribs

After the fiasco a couple of weeks ago when the kitchen ran out of BBQ ribs and some people did not get any let alone having seconds, this week"s Sunday dinner was quite different. Everyone who wanted them got them, and there was no problem asking for seconds.

When it comes to blogger stats.... take what you can get

The one thing that all bloggers wish for is that their blogs get read. You can say what you want about bloggers blogging just for “therapy” or to maybe “help” a few people. While this may be true for some, the majority of people who spend an unfortunate amount of time online preparing for and writing their blogs, the only thing they want to see are the numbers in whatever stat counting service they may belong to go up and up.

Most of the time those readers come from people who are looking for information on a specific topic. Many of my readers, for instance, come from inquiries on Google regarding topics dealing with assisted living and senior citizens. However, every once and a while you get someone who is looking for, well, something else, as you can see from the screen shot I took of a line on my Statcounter service page. For you there in Leawood Kansas, I am truly sorry you did not get exactly what you were looking for.


Comment and Contact: Please refer to article you are commenting on.

All comments may be posted in future blogs


Every three or four months I feel compelled to write an editorial concerning the odor that penetrates and permeates the halls and rooms of this institution. And, while I try to be objective and fair, I must also tell the truth, and unfortunately, the truth is that the situation has not improved over the past quarter and may have even become worse. First let me explain how I have reached my conclusions on this subject which effects, not only the residents, but staff as well.

Primarily, I use a very scientific instrument to determine the degree of what I like to call “OPO” (Old People Odor). It is an instrument that I have used for many years and have always found to be accurate as well as sensitive. It is a bio-metric device which I carry around with me at all times and is calibrated to detect both pleasant and foul odors. The instrument needs very little maintenance (usually just a quick cleaning every day and a more thorough cleaning as the situation warrants). Although it is not as inconspicuous as I would like, it blends right in with the background and is virtually undetectable when used as instructed. This marvel of engineering is called MY NOSE, and lately it has been working overtime. 

With the increase in the population here of mostly older and/or more infirm or demented or disabled residents, the need for the maintenance of personal hygiene becomes more acute. Unfortunately, the facility has not kept up with demand which is quite apparent as one passes a resident who is badly in need of a good cleaning. And by good cleaning, I’m not just talking about a couple of more showers per week. No, what I am talking about is what would amount to a "decontamination." Yes I’ll say it, the stench that is emitted from the poop and pee soaked underwear or diapers of some of these residents who either do not know they smell, or do not care has become overwhelming. And, while in some cases, it is the residents themselves that are to blame for this unhealthy as well as smelly discharge, the facility itself must be taken to task. The degree of oversight by the aides, Case Management and the administration has diminished quite noticeably as of late. 

At one time, we had a staff that was much more attuned to the needs of the individual which included a member of the Case Management staff counseling an offending resident on the importance of keeping oneself clean and odor free, and this information was imparted to them in no uncertain terms. Now, either this policy of having a one-to-one exchange on the subject has been discontinued or the offending residents are just not adhering to the suggestions given to them by Case Management. This is not good on so many levels.

Primarily, it’s not good for the offending residents themselves. No person should have to endure the ravages of an unclean body. Next, it is not healthy and certainly not pleasant, for other residents to have to smell this urine or feces odor every time they are in the common areas of the facility. Sometimes, just to be behind one of these malodorous persons is enough to make one retch. Why should we have to put up with this. 

Secondly, the facility itself, and especially the marketing department of this facility, should be very concerned with how the place is viewed (and smelled) by prospective residents and their loved ones. If I, as a resident who lives here permanently, can smell this odor, can you imagine what it smells like to visitors who get hit with this pungency as soon as they step into the lobby. The odor is as much of a maintenance issue as is the filthy carpets and peeling paint. It is as much of a reflection on how this institution is managed as are the numerous reports and inspections that are carried out here on a daily basis. It is time that the administration addresses this situation in a timely an thoughtful manner. The residents deserve a clean, safe and pleasant smelling environment in which to live.

It's Time to Take Back Our Aging, Smelly Bodies

By Martha Nussbaum

In the 1970s, we women used to talk about loving our own bodies. Inspired 

by the generation-defining tome Our Bodies, Ourselves, we trained for childbirth without anesthesia, we looked at our cervixes using a speculum, and in general cultivated in ourselves the thought that our own bodies were not sticky, disgusting, and shameful, but dynamic, marvelous, and, more important, just us ourselves. Today, as we boomers age, male and female, what has happened to that love and excitement? I fear that my generation is letting disgust and shame sweep over us again, as a new set of bodily challenges beckons......

Read more at:



(An issue that won’t go away)

Readers of this blog know of the problems we (the residents of the Westchester Center) have regarding transportation issues. This is due to the fact that we do not have our own proprietary means of transportation for residents. We have no bus, no van, no SUV and no car to take residents shopping, to restaurants, the movies, the mall or anywhere we might need to go. While we do have adequate transportation options for doctors visits, any time we wish to go places for shopping or recreation, we have to depend on an outside source. After much haggling, we managed to secure a couple of free trips from our ambulette service. We also are provided with transport from the Yonkers Preservation Society, but these trips are few and don’t go everywhere. The only other transportation available to us is Westchester county’s own Para-Transit service. Unfortunately, the service is one of the worst in the area. Hours can be spent on the phone just to make a reservation, not very conducive for those last minute shopping trips or emergencies etc. It must be noted here that, despite constant requests for our own transportation options, the management of this facility has remained steadfast on the subject stating, in effect, “That there are no plans for a bus or van or any other proprietary resident transportation method.” 

When Planning for Retirement, Consider Transportation


According to the American Journal of Public Health, Americans are outliving their ability to drive safely — a woman, on average, by 10 years, a man by seven. Over all, the ability to drive safely as one ages depends on health. Some people can drive into their 90s while others begin to cut back at 65.

“When people make retirement plans, they make no transportation plans because they assume they’re going to drive forever,” 


Great News for Residents

We have some interesting alternatives that will give us significantly more choices about entertainment and or education.  If you are not a member of ParaTransit, Case Management  can assist you  by applying for it on your behalf.  If you are a member and wish to invite a non-member to come with you, you  can do it but the other person has to pay the fare.  There is no charge to apply for ParaTransit.

As you may know, the Westchester transport system provides for wheelchair equipped vans that can take us anywhere in the county.  ParaTransit charges eight dollars for a round trip.  What Fran found out was that ParaTransit can link you up with Access-A-Ride, the New York City system that provides handicapped travelers the ability to go anywhere in the five boroughs and even out of state. You can go to a Broadway play, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art – or dinner and a movie – for a round-trip price of $13.00.*

Here’s how it works.  Reserve a trip to a Broadway show and ParaTransit will contact Access-WetA-Ride. You will be left at the parking lot of the A&P supermarket in Riverdale where Access-A-Ride will pick you up. The process will be reversed on your return.  The last outgoing trip is 9:30 at night.  We are investigating times of return and will provide more information when we get it.  When you get to the meeting point, call AccesssARide to let them know. They will pick you up in 15-20 minutes.

If you want further information, please call Paratransit or Access-a-Ride.   The phone number at ParaTransit is 914 995 7272. The number at Access-A-Ride is 877-337-2017. If a problem should arise call  Terri Goodman at 914-995-2960.

Thanks, Karen


*The information for this was researched and compiled by  Fran Sussman.

Editor’s note: For those readers that are contemplating assisted living for you or a loved one, please make sure of what transportation is available to you. While this may not be important to some, it is very important to those who can no longer walk to a bus stop or train station and hop on a bus.



When Medicine Is Futile


My father would have been thrilled to read “Dying in America,” a new report by the Institute of Medicine that argues that we subject dying patients to too many treatments, denying them a peaceful death. But he would have asked what took us so long. ....



You have most likely been doing these things for 60, 70, 80 years. Well, now it appears you may have been wasting your time.

12 Counterintuitive Health Tips That Really Work

By Linda Melone

Many methods to improve your health are pretty straightforward: To lose weight, eat less and exercise more; to boost your energy, get more sleep; to prevent dehydration, drink more water. Others, however, are totally counterintuitive. The following 12 tips really do work -- but they may leave you scratching your head

Drink coffee to have a better nap.

In a Japanese study that examined how to make the most of a nap, people who took a "coffee nap" -- consuming about 200 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in one to two cups of coffee) and then immediately taking a 20-minute rest -- felt more alert and performed better on computer tests than those who only took a nap.......


More Senior Lifestyle News.....

Foxwoods, grandparents group strike marketing deal

By Associated Press

“Casinos have long been popular with retirees who have the time and money to play the slot machines and poker and shop.”

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) — Foxwoods Resort Casino has announced a marketing partnership with a senior citizens group, making a pitch for a major demographic group that gambles and shops at casinos.

Members of the American Grandparents Association who sign up for the Foxwoods Rewards Program will have access to Foxwoods Resort Casino’s online gaming site,



NYC: A Great Place for Old Folks

When we think of concentrations of old people, we think of Florida or perhaps Arizona. And, while it is true that those places may be Mecca’s for a graying population, New York City still commands a lot of respect when it come to putting up some very respectable numbers in the senior citizen column....*

In 2010, the number of people who were 60 years and older in New York City was 1,407,635, showing an increment of 155,429 over the total of 1,252,206 in 2000. Of the five boroughs, the data shows Manhattan experienced a 19.7 percent spike in the number of older people, coming only behind Staten Island.



Successful Aging: Is it wrong to not want to live too long?

By Helen Dennis, LA Daily News

Q: I am a widow and will be 90 years old in two weeks. I live in an assisted living residence and my health is good. I attend adult education classes and walk daily

. My four terrific children, eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way are blessings in my life. I’ve done and seen a lot. If I didn’t wake up one morning, I would be just fine. My children are upset when I tell them that we all are living too long, including me. I see what happens when individuals can no longer walk and are sliding downhill. Am I just preaching gloom and doom?.......






Go for quality. Whatever your end goal is, you’re building a community. Find people and interact with them. Say hello, tell them you are glad you found them or comment on one of their tweets. When people interact back to you a connection is made.

Use Twitter search or WeFollow to find influencers within your industry and expand from there. There are leaders from every profession on social media, find your community and get involved.

Engage with people before you pitch them. Fill out your bio so people will know who you are and get to know the people you interact with. If you build relationships, other social platform connections will happen.

Read more at 


Social Security Is Shortchanging the Baby Boomers

By Allen W. Smith

Those who believe the baby boomers are to blame for Social Security’s financial problems are dead wrong. The boomers are not the villains. They are the victims! The boomers have already contributed more to Social Security than any previous generation. Prior to the boomers, each generation was responsible for paying only the cost of benefits for their parents’ generation. But the boomers became the first generation required to prepay the cost of their own benefits, in addition to paying for their parents’ benefits. .....


More Social Security News...

Social Security Disability: 

How Some Couples Can Get More Money in Retirement

By Dan Caplinger 

Millions of Americans rely on Social Security disability benefits to help make ends meet after a debilitating injury or illness. But one key question that people on disability face is what will happen with their benefits after they retire. The good news is that not only do most disability recipients keep getting the payments they're used to, but under certain circumstances, they can also get additional payments based on their spouse's work history...



Westchester Center “Model” of Assisted Living is coming to New Jersey

"The price of assisted living in New Jersey is out of reach for the vast majority of senior citizens who could really use it," said Elizabeth Davis, executive director of the Geriatric Services Group. The non-profit runs a subsidized assisted living residence in Teaneck and is branching out on this new mission, called PALS, which stands for portable assisted living services.

The idea is for residents who don't necessarily need round-the-clock care to still be able to live, with some assistance, in a home-like atmosphere. The model would seem to be ideal for individuals and families trying to juggle costs and time schedules while also trying to maintain attentive care for their aging loved one.......


Affordable Senior Housing Is the Next Big Growth Opportunity

By Emily Study

Senior housing operators will be forced to address the growing need of low- to moderate-income seniors in the coming years, as an estimated 3.5 million seniors today don’t have enough money to pay for higher acuity services.

“The high-end senior living facilities that have emerged within the past few years just won’t cut it when facing a demographic that has more health care needs,....” 

This gap in care will ultimately push the senior housing industry to provide more affordable options, .....


The co$t of long-term care in your $tate

By Anne Tergesen

This’ll cost you around $45,000 a year.

Whether you’re in market for long-term-care insurance or not, you owe it to yourself to take a look at some new data that documents the cost of long-term-care—both at home and in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

The long-term-care industry’s biggest player, Genworth Financial Inc.GNW -1.08%, has been tracking this data for 11 years in its annual Cost of Care Survey. Genworth, of course, stands to benefit when consumers decide to buy long-term-care coverage, but outside observers regard the insurer’s data as a useful resource to help you gauge the future cost and figure out whether to buy a policy....



6 ways to control overspending in retirement

Robert Powell

Stop overspending

Assuming that you're spending more than what you have in income, you've got three choices to cut spending, according to a white paper written by Zach Parker, a first vice president of wealth management and product strategy with Securities America, a brokerage firm based in La Vista, Nebraska. You could stop overspending gently or you could take the shock therapy approach or do a little bit of both.....


Aging: How Fascinating!

Have you noticed how many people talk about aging as if it's a bad thing?

"Personal and community perceptions of aging influence how we live as well as social, economic and political priorities. A simple thesaurus search on 'aging' produces mostly pejorative terms associated with decline. Myths and stereotypes on aging include: frail, weak, fragile, sick, physically impaired, eyesight and hearing problems, dependent, associated with death, declining physical appearance, lacking sexual desire, mental decline, extreme dispositions (i.e., difficult and pessimistic, warm and kind), lonely, isolated, disrespected, and undervalued.

- See more at:!.htm#sthash.h414L0Y7.dpuf 


Where the old boys are: Life expectancy rising for senior men

By Diane C. Lade

Forget the baby boom. A man boom is coming, and it will make the senior scene of tomorrow vastly different from the one today.

Instead of a sea of women in senior communities, nursing homes and adult day-care centers, Census projections predict the population will even out as life expectancy spikes for males and flattens out for females. The result: a more equal ratio of guys to gals age 75-plus by the year 2040....



Corn Chowder

Here is something I rarely talk about, the soup. And that’s too bad, because the soup is not only just good here, it’s actually very good here. In fact, the lunchtime soup offering is one of the few things I look forward to every day. And, while not all of the soups are winners, most of them are good enough to be called home-made. 

I grew up in one of those houses where soup was served every day. And I’m not talking about opening a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle either. All of the soup I ever ate as a kid (except for an occasional school lunch tomato soup) was home made, by the worlds best soup maker, my mother. I’m not kidding, she was. All of her soups were made from fresh ingredients. Even the chicken soup came from fresh killed kosher chickens. All of the veggies came from the produce counter, not the frozen section. And, most of the soups contained the bones of the featured animal. Therefore, I can say unequivocally that I am a soup aficionado. So, believe me when I say that the soup at the Center approaches that nirvana I have been missing all these years. This week’s star is corn chowder. 

The key word here is “chowder”. Unlike regular soup, chowders should be thick and creamy and, should taste like the veggies or meat they are named for. The corn chowder here does just that with a creamy, corny rustic flavor that hit the spot on a not-so-nice rainy fall day. We’ll talk about other soups in the coming weeks. And, if you have a favorite, let us know what it is. Perhaps we could get it on the menu.


Chicken Pot Pie

We have written about pot pies in the past, usually with some disdain. Quite frankly, the pot pies served here are mediocre at best and sometimes have bordered on the criminal. Up until recently, what passed for a pot pie could only be described as schizophrenic. Sometimes it was bad but mostly it was very bad. The crusts ranged from everything from crust on the top, crust on the bottom and even no crust at all. Now, fortunately, we have settled down to what a pot pie should be. A bowl, with pie crust on the top, bottom an sides and filled with an acceptable filling which, amazingly, is made up mostly of chicken. Perhaps the four foodie rating is too generous, but considering the past, this is as good as it’s going to get.


Eggs are an amazing food. They are high in protein, are low in calories and, they can be mixed with almost anything. However, just because you CAN mix anything in to an egg does not mean you should. 

In an effort to provide some variety to an all to often dull breakfast menu, the chef came up with something called the “breakfast bowl”. The “BB” is made up of scrambled eggs with ham and cheese mixed in. Unfortunately, as interesting as this combo may sound, it falls short on the texture side. For some reason, the cheese gets lost in the eggs and the ham becomes nothing more than rubbery little flakes of meat. A better choice for this combination would be a ham and cheese omelet which would keep all ingredients both separate and together. Or, if an omelet is too much of the ordinary, perhaps just making a scrambled egg and cheese with some ham on the side would be better.


 Southern White fish No. Catfish yes.

Previous attempts to get people to eat more catfish caused the chef to change its name to southern white fish. This past Sunday, they decided to call a catfish a catfish and, in doing so actually coming up with a very decent meal. 

Perhaps it was telling the truth that prompted the change in the way the fish was prepared. Even though the fish was not really fried (as it should be) it still retained much of its fried-like taste. The batter was crispy and the fish underneath was actually moist and somewhat flaky. Even the garlic infused spaghetti was a little extra "garlicky" and needed only some margarine to bring it back to life. 

Editor's note: The catfish plate pictured above represents a "double" portion.

The link between laughter and mental health

Michael W. Smith, MD

Laughter dissolves distressing emotions.You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.

Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.

Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed


In a related story......

The lighter side of aging 

By Pete Whalon

Some stories and funny quotes on aging

As  I've previously stated  here many times, I am semi-obsessed with the aging process, in a bad way. I am also a firm believer that humor is the best cure for most of our problems. After all, laughter is the best medicine!  I'll start you out with a charming senior citizen joke.

One day, while strolling down the boardwalk, John bumped into an old friend of his, Rob, from high school. “You look great John, how do you stay looking so young? Why you must be 60 already but you don’t look a day over 40!” Rob exclaimed. “I feel like I’m 40 too!” replied John. “That’s incredible,” exclaimed Rob. “Does it run in the family? ......

 See more at:


Idaho man charged after burrito thrown at worker

A northern Idaho resident at an assisted living facility accused of throwing a burrito at an employee has been charged with battery.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that police took 52-year-old Travis Micho into custody Sunday after he told an officer he became angry at the employee and threw a burrito at her.


Editor’s note: The most remarkable thing about this story is that this man was able to get a burrito at all. Here at the asylum, burritos have all but disregarded as an applicable menu item for our inmates die to the fact that nobody seems to know what they are.


Comments: Please refer to the story or article you are commenting on.

Your comments may be posted on future blogs

The Circle of life

Nowhere does one come face to face with death, and life, more than in an assisted living facility. And, maybe this is a good thing. In the preceding few weeks an exceptional number of residents who lived here at the Center have passed away. Some, who had been here a long time, we got to know and love, while others were just brief encounters. All had a profound affect on our lives. Often, it is the very act of not seeing someone around anymore, which touches off thoughts of how fragile life is and, I guess, brings us closer to thoughts of our own mortality, a part of life that has intrigued humankind forever. 

We all know that someday we all will come to the end of this journey which we call life. How we reach that end is sometimes more important than all that has come before. There are so many questions that need to be asked and answered, but who can we trust to give us the information we need.  

Some would say that it is our pastors, rabbis, priests, imams that have the answer to the questions of why anyone dies and what happens next. At least we hope they have an answer, but in reality, why should they know any more about the end of one's existence than anybody else. The only thing they understand about death is what has been taught to them by supposedly learned men who most likely had no better an idea of what it was all about than you do.  

We could argue too, that it is doctors and nurses that probably know more about death than most. They certainly have seen more people shuffle off this mortal coil than the average individual. But just being around death does not an expert on the subject make. Perhaps we should go beyond the doctor and hospital to the next stop, the undertaker. 

The funeral director (as they like to be called), now there is the guy who knows death. After all, that’s his business. He deals, not only with the dead, but with the living as well. He has seen all kinds of dead folks, he’s the expert, right? Unfortunately, no. All he can tell you is that when you are dead, you are dead. You cease to be able to do anything you might have done the day before. All that is left is a shell which once housed what you once were. And, usually, a worn out shell at that. So where are the experts? Perhaps you should look around you. They are here at the Center. People who probably know more about life and death than anybody are right here, roaming the halls. Sages, that will offer their knowledge at the drop of a hat are at our beck and call. They can tell you a thing or two about what it means to face death and spit in its face. Some, more than once.  

How many people have you seen that have left here in an ambulance, apparently at death’s door, and returned only to be taken away a few days later and return. How many residents here do you know that have lost friends and relatives, sometimes ALL of their friends and relatives, and yet they manage to face life stoically and with grace and dignity. In fact, the one thing that I can safely say about dying is that I have never seen anybody die kicking and screaming. Is there something in the human genome that allows us to, when the time really comes, face death with all our faculties intact and with a certain understanding of the world that only those who have exhausted all their options and really are at the end can know. It seems like such a waste.

Just like youth is wasted on the young, death is wasted on the dying. What is it about death that makes us afraid. For me, its one thing, not being able to see what the future has in store for humanity. We, our generation, may not be the only group that has wondered about the future, but I can bet no generation knows more than we that the possibilities in life are endless. After all, we are the generation of space exploration and computers and robots that work and telephones that take pictures. Don’t you want to see what happens next? That’s the question we need to ask, what’s next. Too bad nobody has the answer. We do know that those kids, our kids and grandkids, will get to see some of it, but even they will face the same thing we are facing, an eventual end to life. Is there no end to the end of life, some more questions we can’t answer. Perhaps that’s the answer. The purpose of life is in questioning. Question everything. That’s the way humanity progresses. Consequently, does the need to never be satisfied mean that we will never be happy. Is that the finality of the human condition, clinical depression? Here’s one more question to ponder. If the ultimate goal in life is death, why the interest in making more of us. I’m talking procreation, you know, sex. My head is spinning. 


A Trip To Bountiful

The all-you-can-eat Chinese Buffet

I signed up for one of our monthly off premises trips the other day, my last outing having been almost two months ago when I ventured to the mall for the first time in six years. This time the trip was for the sole purpose of eating, apparently, as much as you can. I had not eaten Chinese food for a while so, when the opportunity arose for me to be transported for free to a local Chinese restaurant, and one that features a no limit buffet at that, I could not resist. 

The primary reason for me wanting to go on this outing was not so much to see how much I could stuff down my gullet, but to be able to once again, savor the flavor of food cooked with some taste to it. You see, the food here at the old folks home, while nutritious and of decent quality, is rendered almost inedible by the lack of proper seasoning. I needed some soy, some mustard, some ginger, some garlic some, well, something that should remind me of what real food tasted like. And, nothing does that as well as Chinese.

The plain facade of the buffet, located in a nondescript suburban strip mall, belied what was inside. I opened the door. And there, spread out before me, were three rows of glass tented steamer tables in which were embedded numerous smaller trays filled, with what to my variety-deprived eyes, looked like all of the food in China. I have to admit, my knees were beginning to become slightly liquid as I perused the fare in front of me. I was glad that I did not leave my cane behind as I needed something to lean on while I regained my balance. The tips of my fingers tingled as I grabbed a white ceramic plate and headed for the fist table. 

Some of the food I recognized immediately, having eaten in Chinese restaurants all of my life. There were the usual egg rolls, fried rice, lo mein and egg drop soup. I would have none of those. Nothing but the exotic would do. After all, when would I be able to get out like this again. I went for the dark, almost brooding, bubbling tureen of hot and sour soup. It was loaded with strange veggies, meats, and who knows what else. I put the small bowl of this dark broth in the center of my plate determined to surround it with whatever odd item would come next. While deciding on my next move, I threw a familiar egg roll on my plate just to get things started. I glided past the rice, the noodles and the chicken. It was meat I wanted and that meat had to be pork. And pork there was. Dark, mahogany, richly seasoned strips of roast pork. I ladled a generous helping on to my plate. I admit, I was becoming giddy at the enormity of it all. Next, some beef. I don’t know what they call it, but it was beef, lightly covered by some kind of seasoned batter and sauteed. It was sweet while, at the same time slightly pungent. Another pile on my plate. One, two, three items I counted. That should be enough right, I said to myself. After all, I could always come back. I balanced the cornucopious plate in one hand and my cane in the other. I made my way to a table and dug in. The next hour was mostly a blur with me eating and finishing, finishing and going back for more. Each time choosing something even more diverse than the time before. At one point, I wound up with a mound of mussels, egg foo young, dumplings and something that may or may not have been eggplant. I didn't care. I ate it anyway. The truth be told, after a while it all began to taste the same. The pork tasted like the chicken, the chicken like the fish and the fish had a beefy taste. I sat back, looked at what was still left on my plate and pushed it away. My appetite was satisfied. I was full. 

Usually, I would feel guilty having been this much of a glutton. But no, instead of feeling like a pig, I felt more like Henry The Eighth with a joint of mutton in one hand and a roast beef in the other. The truth be told, after all was said and done, the food was only mediocre as far as Chinese food is concerned. I have eaten better take-out. But that was not the point. The point was that I did not have to have lunch here in the land of the bland and spice-less. The next time there is a trip that involves food, I’ll be there, all I can eat or not.

more from around here.....

It all began months ago when residents began to complain about our “house” doctor. Accusations (some documented, some not) of malpractice and non-communication with patients began to flow into the Directors office. Finally, after the complaints became too numerous and varied to dismiss as the wild ramblings of a group of demented geriatrics, the facility ended its association with the medical group that serves us. This left us wondering what we would be having as a replacement. Now, although not made official as of this posting, we are being told that indeed, a new doctor and nurse- practitioner has been secured and will start immediately. This is good news for all of us who need to be seen and treated by a competent physician and staff. They key to staying healthy is being proactive about ones health, and the key to being proactive is having a knowledgeable doctor who can forestall problems before they get worse. We will give you more information about this new medical team as it becomes available.

Baby boomers face doctor shortage

From CBS News

The trouble is that for every 9,400 adults age 65 and over in the U.S. today, there is only one physician trained and certified as a geriatrician. By comparison, there is currently one pediatrician for every 1,200 children age 15 or younger. In spite of the tremendous growth of America's older population, only 14 of 159 medical schools surveyed in the U.S. have a full department of geriatrics....


The Center is having its annual Halloween Costume party and contest this month. For those of you contemplating dressing up this year, hear are some ideas..

35 Awesome Halloween Costumes for Senior Citizens

You don't have to be a child begging for candy, or a student trying to impress friends at a costume contest, to enjoy dressing up in costume! Halloween gives us all permission to have a little fun by being something we aren't, no matter what age you are. We've rounded up some older folks who know how to do it right. Me? Hey, even though I am now officially eligible for a Senior Discount, I'll probably just spend Halloween handing out candy. But if I had a little extra time, I might make a costume like these folks to wear while I'm greeting those trick-or-treaters. They are inspiring!....


New Sign Helps Visitors Find Us

Iresponse to numerous complaints from both residents and relatives and visitors in 

general, a new sign has been erected next to the entrance to the main gate. The sign is larger than the one which still remains farther up the hill and sometimes covered by foliage. The new sign will aid visitors as well as delivery personnel identifying the address as 78 Stratton St. South. A closeup of the sign appears at right?



Too Young to Die, Too Old to Worry


“.......when is it time to stop saving and spend some of our principal? If you thought you were going to die soon, you just might light up, as well as stop taking your daily aspirin, statin and blood pressure pill. You would spend more time and money on present pleasures, like a dinner out with friends, than on future anxieties.”

Aging in the 21st century is all about risk and its reduction. Insurers reward customers for regular attendance at a gym or punish them if they smoke. Physicians are warned by pharmaceutical companies that even after they have prescribed drugs to reduce their patients’ risk of heart disease, a “residual risk” remains — more drugs are often prescribed. One fitness product tagline captures the zeitgeist: “Your health account is your wealth account! Long live living long!”......



Telehealth program reaches Westchester seniors

Westchester's Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors monitor senior citizens' vital signs. TIPS is paid for through a $1.38 million three-year grant and $250,000 in county funds this year.

Westchester's Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors monitors senior citizens vital signs.

Pace University undergraduates visit senior centers, senior housing and other spots to take vitals.

Pace graduate nursing students review data and make emergency medical referrals when necessary.

TIPS is funded through a $1.38 million three-year grant and $250,000 in county funding in 2014.

Westchester's Telehealth Intervention Programs for Seniors helps residents 60 and older monitor vital signs and maintain good health so they can avoid unplanned hospital or other medical visits. It also helps them save money on health care, and the county spends less on Medicaid, a health-care program for the poor and disabled. TIPS began as a pilot program at several sites in 2013 and was officially launched in May. About 600 people have taken advantage of the service so far.

How it works: Pace University undergraduate students trained as technicians visit senior centers, senior housing, houses of worship and other locations to measure blood pressure and other vital signs and see if they could benefit from nutrition, transportation and other support services. The data is transmitted to a graduate student nurse at Pace who reviews it and provides notes to be reviewed at the next session. The nurse intervenes when an immediate or serious health risk is detected. Each participant leaves the session with a "TIPS sheet" that includes the results of their vital sign tests, explanations of what they mean and, if needed, other information like referrals.

At the kickoff event in May, 71 percent of the 180 senior citizens who participated were found to have "above normal" blood pressure readings. Nurses contacted physicians for two people who had severely high blood pressure.

The program is "high-tech and hi-touch," County Executive Rob Astorino said. "It's not meant to replace emergency care, but it's preventative and it's worked very well," he said.

The cost: The county received a $1.38 million, three-year grant for the program from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, which provides grants to direct service organizations to assist financially disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals and families. The county Department of Senior Programs and Services is providing $125,000 for the program this year, local funding required by the grant specifically to reach low-income residents. The department is spending another $125,000 in 2014 for a TIPS program that targets residents 60 and older. Pace University is providing in-kind services. Telehealth is a growing field around the country.

Other benefits: In addition to being a successful public-private partnership that saves money on health care, the program encourages people to be pro-active about their health. It has social benefits because college students are interacting with senior citizens, the county executive said. "It's also breaking some of the isolation they feel," he said. Eventually the county Department of Senior Programs and Services would like the program to reach senior citizens in their homes.


Anti-aging vaccine could see Justin Bieber’s career continue indefinitely

Researchers have discovered the secret to allowing cells to regenerate indefinitely, raising the possibility of a never-ending Justin Bieber music career, reports Op Ed News.

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies claim that a vaccine to cure aging will be developed and released soon, however it is highly likely to sort of people who first receive it will be those least deserving.

With a vaccine for aging potentially being developed, many different organizations and prominent individuals have started to take sides in the argument over whether this is a good or bad development.




Aging eyebrows: What’s going on up there?

As if we didn't already have enough to worry about: help for your aging brows.

Oh, all the things they don’t tell you about when you’re young! And aging brows are the least of it.

As the article says, women’s tend to get sparse. But it doesn’t go into what happens to men. I've noticed that for older males it’s feast or famine in the eyebrow department: they either get more sparse or they get bushy.....



Free (nook/Kindle/iTunes/ePub) Aging Well Revolution

The Aging Well Revolution: How new communities and technologies help us live longer with vitality edited by Sue Campbell is a collection of Q&As and articles regarding retirement planning & care for seniors with advice for their children, as well as write-ups on technologies-in-development which might aid them in the future, free courtesy of publisher Twin Cities Public Television, who are a branch of PBS Broadcasting, so this is paid for by viewers like you.

And it's also free in a Spanish translation.

Currently free @ B&N (also in the UK), Amazon (available to Canadians and in the UK), Kobo & iTunes &Google Play (all available to Canadians).



The Makers of The Pee Pocket the Revolutionary Female Urinary Device That Allows Women (And men) to Stand When Peeing Introduce a New Larger 48-pack

The Pee Pocket female urinary device is perfect for athletes, travelers, the elderly, disabled, pregnancy, parents of young girls, post-surgery patients – any woman who might have to go while on the go.

The Pee Pocket is a single-use, waterproof disposable funnel allowing women to pee while standing. Its patented convenient tri-fold design easily fits in a purse or pocket and includes a hygienic tissue wipe and disposable bag. Use without getting hands or other body parts wet.

The demand for The Pee Pocket has been so great especially from patients, baby boomers, and seniors that a larger 48-pack was developed for hospitals, clinics, acute and long-term care facilities, home health services, the home, and office use. Elderly women, post-surgical patients, (hip, knee, etc.), pregnant women and even men who have trouble squatting or bending down to pee have regained their independence to relieve themselves. The 48-pack was created by a team of doctors, who saw the need for all women and men to gain their independence and take a stand.

Customers have commented on the innovative device, “My father stopped coming to family gatherings because he smelled like urine. Since using The Pee Pocket, he has not had any post drip and the smell is gone! Thank you Pee Pocket for giving my kids grandpa back!”....



Senior Citizens Have a Different Sense of Humor

Does our sense of humor change as we age? Or is it based on life experiences?

TV sitcoms in which characters make jokes at someone else’s expense are no laughing matter for older adults, according to a University of Akron researcher and two co-authors who examined whether young, middle-aged and older adults found clips of inappropriate social behavior to be funny.




“You rock! The material on ink has me considering putting another tat on, so many choices and where oh where to put it? Suggestions are welcome. Cell”.


I am not a tattoo person myself. I think its a fear

You could do the Charles Manson look with a tat in the middle of your forehead or the Mike Tyson style on the side of your face. There’s  the “tramp stamp” (always a turn-on). Or the tried and true drunken sailor "ship in the middle of the chest" look. ....Resident-X

You may leave your comments in the comment box at the end of this blog.


Assisted living facilities adding amenities

Stephanie Bloyd / Research Director-Wichita Business Journal

Many local assisted living facilities are adding amenities to attract new residents. Some 44 percent of the facilities on the list this week said they upgraded their properties over the past year.

Wellness and fitness areas, a putting green and upscale bistros are some of the new features the facilities recently added.....


more ALF biz......

It appears that Florida is on the right track. Unlike many other states, (Including New York) there is no rating service or forum related to how an ALF performs. There are referral services that purport to rate ALF’s but in fact are paid by the same facilities they are supposed to rate. In a world where restaurants are reviewed (i.e., Zagats and Michelin) with more scrutiny than nursing homes and ALF’s, it’s about time somebody did something about it.

Assisted-living facilities face new scrutiny

By STEVE MILLER - Associated Press -

“Whatever comfort we can give to families who are looking for a home for a relative, we should give it,” said state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood. This is the third year in a row a measure aimed at enhancing rules for assisted-living facilities has been introduced, ....”

The public could read anonymously posted reviews and complaints of assisted-living facilities and owners of such facilities would face higher fines for repeated serious violations under a measure passed unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday.....


11 Reasons Dehydration 

Is Making You Sick And Fat

by True Activist

Digestive, skin, bladder and kidney problems, fatigue and headache are just some of the adverse effects from not drinking enough water. We need it as much as air we breathe in! It’s not a joke.

Did you know that when you start feeling thirsty your body is already dehydrated? ....

Read More:


Drinking Wine For Healthy Aging

Recent studies from various countries have found that drinking wine with meals helps to prevent cardio-vascular diseases and grant a longer life. A couple of glasses of red or white wine is effective, and this is valid for women as well as men.

Tea after a meal with wine is found to be more preventative than coffee.

The studies also showed that along with drinking wine you should do some exercise, but in any case, the wine improved good heart health.

Everything within moderation of course

more health news>>>

Do Not Upset Grandpa or Grandma Before Surgery,

 It Can Hinder Recovery

Family conflicts, other non-physical worries before colon cancer surgery raise patients’ complication risk; reducing stress speeds recovery

How well patients recover from cancer surgery may be influenced by more than their medical conditions and the operations themselves. Family conflicts and other non-medical problems may raise their risk of surgical complications, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Addressing such quality-of-life issues before an operation may reduce patients’ stress, speed their recoveries and save health care dollars, the research suggests....



Documents you must have

Three critically important documents

When asked, “What are the most important documents children should encourage Mom and Dad have prepared by their lawyer?” estate planning attorneys Linda Monje of Bakersfield and Michael Noland of Hanford, gave identical answers:

(1) A HIPPA authorization for the release of medical information;

(2) An Advance Health Care Directive;

(3) A Durable Power of Attorney....



Medicare’s basic monthly premium unchanged in 2015

The Medicare “Part B” premium that most older people pay for outpatient care will stay the same in 2015 — $104.90 a month.

The government says it’s the third consecutive year that the basic monthly premium has held steady.

Higher premiums paid by upper-income beneficiaries also are unchanged. These are for people with an income greater than $85,000 a year, or $170,000 for married couples......



 Information for baby boomers. 

If you were born shortly after WW2 you are part of that great generation know as BABY BOOMERS. As more and more of us reach the age of 65 years, the more we become a significant demographic group. Some will look upon us as a burden to society, gobbling up what little social security money there is left. Others say we are hanging on too long. We don't want to retire which means that there won't be enough jobs for the so-called millennials. Whatever we are, we are here and we need a website that's just for us. It just so happens there is such a place. Go to....... for the latest in news and information for baby boomers.

On the way to 

an honest beef stew

There are two things that I know how to cook well. One of those are omelets, and the other is beef stew. That is why I have always been critical of the way this, what should be a very simple "peasant food," is prepared here at the Center.

Previous attempts at beef stew have, for me, ended in a disappointing, half-hearted mish-mosh of meat, a potato and watery gravy devoid of any of the flavorings that make beef stew taste like beef stew. Now, while we are still miles away from how an honest beef strew should be made, there, at least, appears to be a movement in the right direction.

Sunday nights offering was more beefy than in the past and the gravy, which often resembled the brown stains left on the rim of a public toilet, was this night, thicker than usual with that distinct taste that says that there might have actually been some onions in the mix. Unfortunately, this venerable family staple still lacks much in the way of homemade flavorings. I would have liked to have seen a bit more onions, celery and carrots (mirepoix) in there along with some of the veggies like string beans which should have been cooked in, instead of on the side. The one thing that beef stew should never need is a side dish of anything.




____ ._____

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe: The right way, with Parmesan cheese

Yield: Serves 8

First cut the eggplant and salt the eggplant rounds. Then prep the rest of the ingredients while the eggplant rounds are releasing their moisture.


2 1/4 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 clove minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)

1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), tomatoes diced, reserve juices

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

3/4 cup flour

4 eggs, beaten (more if needed)

1/4 cup olive oil (plus more to oil the sheet pans)

1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch slices

Read more:

For some reason that is known only to the clueless elves we have running the kitchen, the eggplant Parmesan which used to be made with PARMESAN cheese, is now made with Ricotta cheese, leaving the dish with a sticky, bland consistency. Is it so hard doing it the right way? >>>>>


We don’t know who prepared the menu last Wednesday here at the asylum, but evidently somebody was not thinking or there never would have been the faux pas made at lunch. Not only did the meal begin with a bowl of hardy ham and BEAN soup, but there was a generous helping of baked BEANS along with our hot dogs. Perhaps a soup with some veggies would have been a better choice.



Three ribs and you’re out at the WCIAL

It seems that the only time they run out of food here is when they have have something good. Such was the case last Thursday evening when, not only was it impossible to get seconds on the very popular BBQ ribs, but many diners got no ribs at all. Not only were there no seconds, the size of the standard portion was what can only be described as a joke. Three (3) small ribs, about 4 inches long, is what passes for dinner here. This is an outrage. While they never seem to run out of chicken or rice or pasta, anything with real meat on it is always at a premium, and there is only one person to blame for this. Our food service manager. Did he not order enough? Why? After all, he knows damn well that things like ribs are a treat and are very popular with the residents. So what happened to all the ribs. Did the first seating eat more than their fill, or is there an even more sinister aspect to this shortage. While I am not one to repeat rumors or promote innuendo’s, I can only report what I heard around the dining room. THE STAFF ATE THEM. And, if indeed this is true, than heads must roll.


The Meatball Sandwich

They either did not have the ingredients, or were too lazy to offer meatball Parmesan hero's so they went for the next worst thing,  plain meatballs on hamburger bun with the usual jar of processed grated Parmesan cheese on the table. Along with this half-assed attempt at lunch came a serving of cold, sauceless pasta devoid of any flavoring whatsoever. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother having lunch.

Oldie but Goodie...  

Some of the artists of the '60s (living or not) are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate us aging baby boomers. 

They include: 

Elvis: "A Hunka Hunka Burning Bile" 


The Bee Gees: "How Can You Mend a Broken Hip" 

Hermann's Hermits: "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker" 



Contact and Comment: Please refer to story or article when commenting.

All messages may appear in upcoming b;ogs unless you ask otherwise. You may email me

A matter of convenience

Have you ever noticed how everything that is done here is done for the convenience of the staff and management.

  • Every shower given to those residents that need assistance is scheduled for the convenience of the home health aide, not when the resident wants to shower. 
  • The times and places that medications are distributed are decided by what is easier for the med room staff rather than what may be more appropriate or easier for the resident. 
  • Where and when medications and other health related products are purchased are determined by the Center and not by the resident who might be able to purchase an item faster and at a better price than what is charged by the assigned vendor. 
  • Dining room hours, as well as where one sits and how long they have to eat, is dictated by the management and not governed by what might be more convenient for the resident.
  • The hours that residents may withdraw funds from their accounts is determined by the hours when the office is open, not when it is convenient for the resident.

Please, don’t misunderstand me. I realize the need for rules and regulations, especially when it comes to the safety of the residents as well as the staff. I also want to make this perfectly clear; No resident, to my knowledge, has ever been willfully abused by any staff member here and that the Center bends over backwards to make sure that does not happen. I have always felt that the safety of the residents as well as the staff is of the utmost importance. However, when these edicts interfere with the normal routines or the desires of the people the Center is chartered to serve, (the residents) then I have a problem. I have, in the past, written blogs citing the fact that one of the problems with assisted living facilities or senior residences is that the owners and management of those places seem to confuse the residents (who are, in actuality, customers and pay to live here) with a product that the ALF sells or manufactures. No other business that houses people such as an apartment building or a hotel, would restrict their guests like the people who live here are restricted. The word “NO” is heard far too often around here and we need it to stop. The majority of the residents here are mature, stable human beings who just want to be treated with a little respect and, if that means bending the rules a little for the convenience of the residents, then so be it. 




The Face of Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Being a person who is in the autumn (albeit, early autumn) of his years, my interests have turned in the direction of topics dealing with the elderly, aging and the causes and effects and possible cures, for many of the afflictions that effect people in my age group. As a method for gathering information for this blog, I am a subscriber to many news feeds and websites dealing with topics of interest to senior citizens. Recently, I was made aware of a Facebook group “Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers Support Group”. After reading the daily posts on that page for a couple of weeks, I felt the need to jump in. I needed the answer to some questions I had. It seems that there was a central theme that I was picking up from the posters. And that theme was that they were all stressed out, tired, exhausted and frustrated in having to deal with their Alzheimer’s stricken loved ones on a constant basis. I asked myself (and the group) why they did not transfer these sufferers to a facility where they could be properly taken care of, and most importantly, to get some relief for themselves as well. The response I received from the group was amazing, and varied. I have saved some of these for you to read in the hopes that I can further educate people on the ravages of this disease and that the need more research is imperative so that we may finally find the causes and a possible cure. Additionally, and none the less important, I want to make people aware of the plight of the caregiver/ loved-one who needs as much help dealing with the disease as the patients themselves.

From Facebook........Names have been removed to assure anonymity .

From B.C.    Let me first say that I am not a caregiver or health professional. I am a resident of an assisted living facility and was made aware of your group by the daughter of one of my fellow residents who believed that this would be a topic that I would be interested in, she was right.

I cannot help but feel empathy with, and deep respect for all of the people who have literally given up their lives in caring for their loved ones. The stories of both despair and hopelessness often bring tears to my eyes especially for those who are overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion.

As I said, I am not a caregiver and fortunately never had to deal with this disease. Both of my parents lived well into their 80's with all of their faculties in place. However, I do have a question. With all of the difficulties people have with trying to care for their stricken loved ones at home, what is stopping them from putting their loved ones in a place such as an enhanced assisted living facility. Is it money, fear that their loved ones will not be taken care of properly or something else. Please forgive me for my ignorance.


We did just that, B.C....., and it has been a good experience. My mother went into a memory care facility about a year and a half ago. Despite the excellent reputation, and knowing several people with first hand experience with this place, it was still quite an adjustment for all of us, after 9 years of having her live with us. She felt bad knowing the toll it was taking on my job, my marriage, my health... and I understand that. As a mother I would feel the same way. But as a daughter, it was different... anyway, I see her several times a week, take her on outings, etc. and it is good quality time. I am so grateful to be able to focus on being a daughter again. I know not every locale has a good quality care facility like this - and there's nowhere else in town that I'd be comfortable with, so I'm extremely grateful that we had this option. Between her social security, SSI, insurance, and county programs for the elderly, we're able to swing it financially. She gets excellent care there and loves the staff. If you do have a good facility in your area, don't be afraid to talk to the director about financial help. We found there was a lot of assistance we had no idea existed.


 Mr. C, I have not read the entire thread but I'm sure there was a myriad of answers. I have been taking care of mom for 7 years now. I am an only child and my mother has ALWAYS been there for me AND my family, now including my children and grandchildren. I had considered a nursing home for Mom as I am worn out. I was ready to put her there, but my 'guilt' and the feeling of 'having given up' won out and I'm determined to keep her at home as long as I am able. I take lots of medication, which helps. lol. I could go on and on but I can answer your question in one word ~~ Love! Whatever choices any caregiver makes for their loved one is out of love. My apologies for the long windedness but sometimes it's nice just to get things off of our chests. Thanks for reading. God bless caregivers and their loved ones!! God bless you, Sir. 

For more go to......”The Face of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.”

How many memory slips are too many?

By Markham Heid

Everybody misplaces cell phones or forgets a name from time to time. But if you're older than 60 and feel like your memory is slipping, don't just ignore it--you may be at greater risk for brain diseases like dementia, according to new research from the University of Kentucky.

The study team analyzed years of memory and health data on a large group of men and women age 60 and older--none of whom started out with dementia or memory impairment. Compared to those who reported no memory issues during the study, people who complained of worsening recall were roughly three times more likely to develop dementia later in life. How much later? Dementia set in an average of 12 years after a person first noticed memory problems, the authors say.....



Unfortunately, this story comes too late for those of us here at the Center, having already had our flu shots. However, for those of you who have not as yet been inoculated this article may be of interest.

How well do influenza vaccinations work in older adults?

Estimates of how well vaccines work differ by age. In younger adults for example, recent studies that have pooled the most rigorous data, suggest that the influenza vaccine is about 60% effective in preventing influenza. In the elderly, an answer to the question about the effectiveness of influenza vaccines is less clear. This is because there have only been a few randomized controlled trials done in older adults. It has become increasingly evident in recent years that estimates of protection of the influenza vaccine against serious outcomes (such as death or hospitalization) may have been exaggerated. This is because of design flaws in the studies that have been conducted. The major flaw is simple to understand, healthier people have been more likely to be vaccinated than those who are frail and ill. Therefore, the effect of the vaccine to protect against hospitalization and death has not entirely been on the strengths of the vaccine itself.....



HEALTH MINUTE: Eat well, age well

You've heard it before -- but eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is a great place to start. They contain antioxidants, which may slow down the aging process by slowing down damage to the body. 

Whole grains are another good option -- things like whole wheat bread or brown rice. 



What do vitamins actually do, and what foods are the best way to get them.

  • Vitamin A: maintains vision and prevents eye disorders. Carrots are a great source of vit. A
  • Vitamin B: B5 prevents graying of hair, B7 prevents hair loss and gingivitis. Food sources of vit. B are egg yolk, brewers yeast, liver
  • Vitamin C: regenerates tissue, possible cancer prevention. Food sources of vit. C are tomatoes, cabbage
  • Vitamin D: possible cancer prevention, aids in absorption of calcium. Food sources of vit. D are fish, liver, milk
  • Vitamin E: anti aging, improved blood circulation. Food sources of vit E are eggs, chicken, fish, beef
  • Folate(B9): prevents birth defects. Food sources are green leafy vegetables
  • Ginseng root: improves coordination, memory, alertness and alleviates stress. Food source of ginseng is tea, or spice
  • Vitamin H(also known as biotin): regrowth of hair follicles, improves muscle control. Food sources are liver, egg yolk, chocolate, mushrooms, beef
  • Iron: oxygenates blood. Food source of iron is beef
  • Java bean: antioxidant, prevents diabetes, found in coffee
  • Vitamin K: prevents osteoporosis, excessive menstrual flow and pain, improves blood clotting and oral antibiotic. Food source is green leafy vegetables
  • Licorice: natural estrogen, relieves ulcers, aids in eczema/psoriasis. Food source-Candy!
  • Magnesium: improves muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulator. Food sources are spinach, peas, nuts
  • Niacin(also known as B3): transfers water throughout body. Food sources are tuna, chicken, turkey
  • Omega 3: improves energy level, aids in depression, improves brain functioning, improves immune system, improves cardio health. Food source is fish
  • Potassium: prevents strokes, prevents muscle cramps. Food source is banana
  • Dong <Quai> balances female hormones. Food source is celery
  • Riboflavin(also known as Vitamin G): transfers water throughout body. Food sources are grains and eggs
  • Senna: fights constipation. Food source is tea
  • Thiamine(also known as B1) prevents heart disease, improves indigestion. 
  • Food sources are legumes, green leafy vegetables
  • Usnea: fights tuberculosis, eases cough, boosts immune system. Found in certain mosses, can be steeped as a tea also found in antibiotics
  • Vinpocetine: improves concentration, improves cognitive abilities. Food source is periwinkle
  • Witch Hazel(also known as winterbloom): skin astringent, improves acne, cures sore throat, helps varicose veins. Topical
  • Xinomavro: cardio health. Found in red wines
  • Yohimbe: treats impotence. Found in certain tree barks, can be steeped in teas.
  • Zinc: regrows hair folicles. Food sources are oysters, wheat, beef, cashews

As always, consult your health care professional before taking any vitamins

While only inches away, the butt can remains illusive for the Center’s smokers


I have long been a proponent of home remedies. I prefer using them to prescription and over the counter medications whenever I can. Therefor, when I saw Dr. Oz on Oprah’s show a few years ago using this device, my ears perked up. 

I have been using saline sprays to alleviate nasal congestion for years due to a chronic sinus problem. After realizing that I was using more and more OTC nasal sprays and getting poorer and poorer results, I looked for something else. That’s when I switched to saline (salt water) sprays. Although the relief was not as fast as the chemical agents in the regular sprays, it did work. However, I always felt there was something more that I could do. That’s when I discovered the Neti Pot.

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Neti means “nasal cleansing”, and that’s exactly what it does. Simply put, it washes out your sinuses and nasal passages without harsh chemicals or solutions. All you do is fill the pot with clean, warm water mixed with table salt and stick the spout end of the pot in one nostril until the liquid comes out the other. Repeat in the other nostril. Most likely, you will experience immediate relief from nasal congestion and, in the long run, this will act as preventative against sinus and nasal irritation and infections.

Neti pots can be found in most pharmacies and online. There are fancy ones and cheap ones. Both do the same job. A starter kit like the one pictured above costs about $16. If you are a sinus sufferer, have allergies or chronic nasal congestion and are not getting the relief you need from expensive prescription drugs, you might want to try this.

As always, remember. I am not a medical professional. Your condition may not be helped by this treatment. Always consult your health care professional before you discontinue any medication.


We, here at the Center, pride ourselves in our ability to be different and not to always follow the herd like so many sheep. Tattoos are a great way of expressing one’s individuality as one of our residents recently showed us. Nice ink.


By Jena Rogers

Tattoodo has talked about Tattoos and Aging before but the question “what will those look like when you’re older?” Still seems to be the first go-to. When you’re young, being old is the last thing on your mind. The hard truth is that it’s inevitable. Although not every culture has a bitter view on living elderly in fact, getting up there in years is honored as a sign of wisdom in many parts of the world. It might be a scary thought now but that’s just because there’s a whole lot of living, memory making and tattoos to get as reminders before everything slows down. What else will we have to do if we’re fortunate enough to live for 7, 8, or 9 decades but tell stories? That’s exactly what tattoos are and they should be cared for just like we should care for ourselves....

Read more..


Every now and then I like to remind you of the services that are available to seniors via your state or federal agency. Although we focus on New York, services such as these are available in most states.


Alert: New plan could have “sicker” people walking our halls.

Sunrise Program Targets ‘Huge Opportunity’ in Assisted Living

By Emily Study

As the senior living industry struggles to gain a foothold in the accountable care organization (ACO) landscape, one senior living giant is devising an alternative strategy in hopes of achieving the same outcomes.

Through its short-term stay “Road Home Program,” Sunrise is working to form strategic partnerships with area health systems to gain referrals, reduce re-admissions and, as an added benefit, give people the chance to test drive its facilities....


↓↓↓More ALF BIZ

The Senior Living Home Where Shelter Pets Get A Second Chance

By Arin Greenwood

There are said to be some major health benefits to keeping pets: studies show that pet owners have better cardiovascular health, exercise more, have more friends and just plain feel better.

And given that Americans are so pet-crazy that we're expected to spend more than $58 billion on our animals in 2014, it's perhaps not a surprise that people are attached to these little guys, and increasingly unwilling to give up life with animals.



I have written a number of posts about how the odors around here at times reach a pungency level usually found only in zoos or the men’s room at Penn Station. Often, I have felt that I was the only one to notice or care about these smells and dismissed my awareness of them as me being too sensitive. Now, it appears, that it may be a good thing that I can still smell smelly stuff and that I should be glad for still having this ability.

Smell Test Could Sniff Out When You'll Die

From the Huffington Post

A new study says your sense of smell, or lack thereof, could be a strong indicator of whether you'll live another five years. Researchers at the University of Chicago had 3,000 men and women, between their late-50s and mid-80s, perform a smell test and then followed up with them five years later to see who was still living.

Subjects were given sets of four scents and asked to sniff out recognizable everyday odors, including peppermint, orange, rose, leather and fish. At a five-year follow-up, one in eight subjects had died. The greatest predictor of death? Smell.



5 Age in Place Technology Products You've Probably Never Seen

Age in place technology products have been enjoying a lot of media attention as of late. I don’t know what consumers feel about some of these new products, since a lot of companies seem to be building things without actually asking people if they would use them. (But, that’s another story.)

However, there are a few very cool and unique aging in place technology products we’ve discovered in the last little while. Not every one is available yet, since they’re so new. And, some are yet not available here in the U.S. That being said, they all have particular things that make them special compared to any competitors.


I wanted to post the following article on last week’s blog, but due to the Centers very uptight firewall that treats us like children, I was prohibited from viewing it. Fortunately, a kindly reader copied and emailed the article to me. Thanks Cindy C.

Tommy Chong on Dancing, Aging and (of Course) Marijuana


Doctors diagnosed Chong with prostate cancer in 2012. A year later, after foregoing traditional chemotherapy in favor of high-dosage cannabis oil treatments, the comedian declared victory over the Big C. Along with a renewed faith in the healing powers of cannabis, Chong credits his cancer scare with being in better than average shape.....



It’s never too old to be a slave to fashion

Watch video.....


Now Casting ‘The Senior Center’ and Upcoming Auditions

By Backstage Staff

Talent is currently being sought for the student film “The Senior Center.”

“The Senior Center” is a comedic Web series that “follows the lives three senior citizens in a quirky retirement home.”

Three lead roles and four supporting roles are being sought for this production—with the majority of them being for older actors.

Submissions are being sought from several cities nationwide including Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, New York, and Orlando.

For more details, check out the casting notice for “The Senior Center” here, and be sure to check out the rest of our audition listings!




Still Doing It After All These Years: Sex and Aging

Americans have a hard time talking openly and honestly about sex. When it comes to the sexual intimacy of older adults, it's a topic most would rather ignore. This week, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon launched a new program designed to promote sexual health and education for the oldest generations in our society.....


Seniors don't seem to have much time for 'smart phone.’

Loren Else

Wow, big news with the reveal of the upcoming Apple Watch. I think many boomers have tried to keep up with technology but this one might leave us at the curb, where some of us might just want to stay. I thought I would put some feelers out there and see how some of my fellow baby boomers view the new-fangled "personal" and "intimate" watch, as it was described by Apple CEO Tim Cook.



Republicans must really hate senior citizens


Why do Republicans hate seniors except when they need their vote?

It’s sad that some legislators in Washington, D.C., including Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, are supporting an amendment that would cut off funding for an operation that is protecting senior citizens from fraud. The Department of Justice launched Operation Choke Point last year in an effort to stop scammers and payment processors from hacking into senior citizens’ bank accounts. The operation also targets banks that turn a blind eye to these transactions..... 

Read article....

Susan Sarandon's Secret to Aging Gracefully?

No Cigarettes — But Lots of Laughter!

It's still hard to believe Susan Sarandon is going to be a grandmother, given she looks 20 years younger than 67!

But the truth is, the famous red-head doesn't have crazy beauty secrets to staying fab over 60. She simply follows a few basic rules in order to stay healthy and radiant!

"If you want to age gracefully, you don't smoke cigarettes and probably laugh a lot, and get the normal amount of exercise, and eat well and stay out of the sun would be the main things," the actress recently shared.....



Barrett’s Book Notes: Aging, the Doctrines of Grace, and Busyness

 Matthew Barrett 

J.I. Packer. Finishing Our Course With Joy: Guidance from God for Engaging with Our Aging. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014.

There is tremendous wisdom in this book. And it comes from an aged Christian with much wisdom to give. If you are a “senior” this book is for you. But even if you are not a senior, this book is for you, especially if you care for an elderly person or are a past

or with elderly members in your congregation. I kept picking up this book because Packer, always the theologian, tells every person how to view his/her body and what our purpose should be as we grow 

older. Packer dispels some of the unfortunate stereotypes and assumptions in the church regarding the elderly and reminds the church how they should utilize those who have had more experience as Christians than anyone else. ....


Is there even a spice rack in the kitchen?

I’m weary of doing reviews for a while. While breakfasts are fairly good here, dinner remains illusive and clueless. The almost complete lack of knowledge of how to properly season food amazes me. Chicken dinner, whether fried, broiled, roasted or baked all taste the same, bland, bland, bland. While fish dishes have improved substantially as far as degree of doneness and texture is concerned, the seasoning is as benign as that on its feathered cousins. Pasta dishes have improved with the addition of more sauce. However, like everything else here, it suffers from the lack of what makes Italian food taste what it’s supposed to taste like, seasoning. Where is the garlic, oregano and basil? Sometimes I wonder if there even is a spice rack in the kitchen. Food does not have to hot or salty or peppery to be well seasoned. Often all it needs is an extra shake of the jar.


Resident’s Food Meeting a No-show

As promised, Chef Michael held his bi-monthly meeting with residents on Thursday morning to answer questions and discuss concerns they may have had regarding the quality, preparation and serving of food in our dining room. While the meeting was publicized both by posted notice and in person, only three people showed up (me included). Some of the lack of attendance may have been attributed to the fact that an Andy Griffith movie was being shown in the auditorium and the fact that most residents don’t have a clue as to what is going on anyway. However, for the remainder of the residents who were aware of the meeting, the lack of participation was due to the feeling that these meetings are a waste of time and that no matter what the residents ask for or are promised will, in fact, never be implemented. All I can say to that is that self imposed apathy never gets you anywhere. It is only by constantly making your disapproval of something known will there ever be a hope of change.................................................Ed.


A week of lunches

Presented without comment except to say that they bring back memories of my junior high cafeteria.


(Chicken Cesar Salad)


(Cheeseburger with fries)


(Sausage, peppers and spaghetti)


(Grilled ham and cheese with

Sweet potato fries)


(Roast beef w/gravy and

Broccoli mashed potatoes)

!We interrupt this past week's lunch pics to bring you a special bulletin!

Lox-less Sunday (again) Brings Rumbles of Rebellion to Dining Room

Yonkers, NY: For the third week in a row, diners at the Westchester Center were without their usual serving of bagels with cream cheese and lox spread. This tradition, which started only about a year ago after much pleading by residents, has only been interrupted once or twice in the past. Now, it appears, that after three lox-less Sundays, the residents must go yet another week without the flavor of smoked salmon. 

While it is true that there was bagels and cream cheese available and that the rest of the breakfast was more than adequate to satiate the hunger of the assembled throng, the absence of lox was more than some diners could bear. Although barely audible, rumblings of rebellion and sedition could be heard circulating around the vastness of the dining hall. There was talk of sit-ins and protests with placards and banners.Burning of effigies may have also been discussed.  Unfortunately, the food service manager is on vacation this week and was not available for comment. We will, of course, watch this developing story closely.

....note packs of plain  cream cheese in place of  usual spread.

and now, back to lunch...


(Fish cakes with potatoes)

I truly appreciate you taking the time to comment on articles in this blog. Unfortunately, some of your comments are a bit vague, especially when you don’t reference what story or article you are commenting on, like these....

“It'll also save a lot of cash and time for those on” 

What will save a lot of cash and time???

My favorite is this one that makes no sense whatsoever.....

“Heya im for the first time the following. I discovered this specific table as a consequence I to discover The item faithfully of use &amp the idea rallied round myself publicized lots. I am hoping to deliver a little back again furthermore foster further like so”

There was one that made sense though...

“Hey are you using WordPress for your blog platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!”


I use a site called It is simple and easy to use. Their templates allow you to create any style you wish, or you can use their designs. Basic subscription is free and not bad. The site is WYSIWYG and requires no coding or any special knowledge of web design. The only drawback is that you can’t “copy and paste” directly from another program like M.S. Word. Their customer service is very helpful too. 

Take a good look at your medical bills


What's the most ridiculous markup that you've seen on a medical bill in the USA?

Matt Wasserman, Taking a break from Quora

I've told this one before, but it still amazes me.

An acquaintance had late stage cancer. Her family had been wealthy (her grandfather actually built and sat on the board of the hospital she was going to) but that was past. The cancer made it very difficult for her to earn money, and she fell way behind on her bills. A lawyer friend came to town to review the bills with the hospital and work out an arrangement.

As they were going through the bills, the lawyer noticed that every one of them had a $175 charge with no label. He asked what it was, and after some digging the administrator found out.

It was what they charged every time they weighed her.


Band Names for Aging Rockers

Thanks to:

Motorheadache . E.D. Zeppelin . Gerd . Tom Petty and the Pacemakers . Walk DMC . Low T . Hair Supply . Alabama Shakes . Minivan Morrison

Titanium Hipsters . Counting Crows Feet . R.E.Member? . Nocturia . Bulging Disco . Nine Inch Toenails . Jay Zzzzz . E.D. Zeppelin

Alabama Shakes .. Psyllium Husker Du . Boys to Meniscus . Meatloaf (Again)

The Stroke . The Knee Replacements . The Early Birds . Prune . Florence & The Oxygen Machine . Midnight Oy . R.I.C.E. . The Dead



 If you were born shortly after WW2 you are part of that great generation know as BABY BOOMERS. As more and more of us reach the age 0f 65 years, the more we become a significant demographic group. Some will look upon us a a burden to society, gobbling up what little social security money there is left. Others say we are hanging on too long. We don't want to retire which means that there won't be enough jobs for the so-called millennials. Whatever we are, we are here and we need a website that's just for us. It just so happens there is such a place. Go to....... for the latest in news and information for baby boomers.

Comments-Please reference what story or article you are commenting on.

If you need an immediate reply please leave your email address



Not there when we need them


For our readers who do not know it, one of the primary responsibilities of an assisted living facility is to order, store and dispense medications to its residents. Practically every resident of an ALF takes some medication. These meds can range anywhere from simple pain relievers to blood pressure medications, antibiotics and even cancer medications. In most cases it is the sole obligation of the facility to provide these medications on a timely basis. Whereas most people would simply take their prescriptions to their local pharmacy, wait a few minutes and walk out with their meds in hand, residents of an ALF must depend on the facilities contracted pharmaceutical supplier. Essentially, the residents are at the mercy of these pharmacies which are often large corporations. Unlike local chain or independent neighborhood pharmacies who care about the patients they serve, these corporations have taken an aloof attitude when it comes to providing special services to residents who need them such as emergency or off hour deliveries. 


The woman was in pain. I could see it in her eyes, and although she tried to hide it, one could tell that she had been sobbing gently into a tissue which was balled up in her hand. The woman, one of our older residents, was not one to complain, so I knew that for her to be in such distress something must be terribly wrong.

What’s the matter”, I asked.

“My Percocet”, she said. “I’m in so much pain and they don’t have my Percocet.”

Another resident, who was sitting next to her, went on to explain that the med room had run out of the women’s pills and that because of the Jewish holidays, they were unable to get them. You see, the pharmacy that we have contracted with to supply thousands of dollars worth of overpriced medication to our residents is owned and operated by Orthodox Jews who do not work on Saturdays or High Holy Days like Rosh Hashanah.

Now before you go throwing the “Anti-Semite” card in my face, let me tell you that I am of the Jewish faith and that I admire the fact that, even though MedWiz is a giant company, they can still manage to close down their operations and observe the Sabbath and holidays. I have no problem with this. What I do have a problem with is the fact that there are no contingency plans in place either by MedWiz or this facility (The Westchester Center), to handle just such emergency situations. Situations such as this, and countless other situations of a similar nature, have occurred at other times of the year to other people and that is the reason why we must find a new pharmacy to supply our resident’s medications. We need a pharmacy that is open 24/7/360 and that will go out of its way to provide the service we need and deserve. There is a lot of money at stake here in addition to the well being of our residents. It’s about time management stopped to consider what is best for us rather than the bottom line.

During September’s resident’s meeting, the manager of our med room addressed the members. At that time she stated that in case MedWiz was not able to deliver medications on the days they were closed a substitute method of obtaining meds was in place. Evidently, that was not the case. When asked if the aforementioned resident’s Percocet could be obtained using whatever contingency plan they had in place, the resident was informed that there was no way she could get her pills this day or even the next day. Therefor I must once again ask the question, “Would you like your mother treated this way?” Something needs to be done, now!

1. There must be a comprehensive plan in place to deal with such emergencies.

Such a plan should consist of way to obtain needed medications within hours of a request instead of days.

2. All med room staff members as well as supervisors must be made aware of this plan and be able to implement it when necessary.

No resident should have to go more than a couple of hours without their meds.

3. This plan must be implemented immediately.

From the Westchester Center,


Follow up: After much pleading by the resident, the med room decided to give her one generic pain pill. They would not give her another one. The resident finally received her prescription from MEDWIZ Sunday evening. More than a day late.

September is not good for me, not good at all. Almost everything bad that has happened to me has occurred during the month of September. I mean, it’s bad enough that September means that end of summer and that all we now have to look forward to are months of cold and gloom, but I have to relive memories of Septembers past as well.

September, of course, is the month that no American will forget, especially what happened on the eleventh day of this month back in 2001. For me, it was the first time I ever really felt frightened to be in New York City. I felt like a target. In addition, depending on the vagaries of the Hebrew calendar, September signals the beginning of the High Holy Days. It’s not that I am very religious, but this time of year makes me think of my family. I think of my mother and father and brother who are no longer here and, I realize that I am the last member of my family still alive. After me, there will be no more. The line will end. This has to do partly because of the other bad thing that happened to me in September.

I remember that it was one of those sparkling early fall days. The Jewish holidays came early that year. It was a weekend day, and I was checking out our little house on Long Island, getting it ready for the upcoming winter season, the placed leaked heat like a sieve. I would need to get a few things from the store to patch up those leaks. It shouldn't be a hard job. What would be a hard job would be trying to patch up my marriage. There was nothing at the Home Depot for that. 

For almost a year, things had not been good between me and my wife. Something was driving us farther and farther apart. To this day I am not sure of what it was, and perhaps it was just that cluelessness that led to that day, in September that, to this day, I cannot get out of my mind. Let me back up a few days.

A week earlier, while I was at work, I called home to ask my wife if she wanted to eat out that evening. All I got was our answering machine. Numerous calls throughout the afternoon had the same results. I called her mother’s house, not there. I called her friends, not there either. She had the day off from work, but I called there anyway. They had not seen her that day. I began to worry. I decided I’d better get home. I had visions of her injured or worse. I don’t remember the drive home, but I remember the awful thoughts running through my mind. I pulled into our driveway. Her car was not there. 

Fumbling with my keys, I managed to get the door open. I called out her name as I began to search the house. I headed straight for the bedroom. Not there. I went down to the basement. No one there but one of our cats. Back upstairs to the kitchen and, on the table in the kitchen was a note. It was from her. It was in her handwriting and simply said that she would be away for a few days and not to worry. NOT WORRY!, I was way beyond worry, I was pissed. 

A myriad of thoughts raced through my head, none of them good. Had she left me. Where was she. Was she with anybody. I had my suspicions, but no proof. There was nothing I could do until she returned. The rest of the week was spent on automatic. I went to work, probably did a crappy job, and came home to an empty house. It was the first time in almost eight years that I didn't know where my wife was, or with whom. The week could not go by fast enough.

It was the end of September. It was Sunday afternoon. I had been sitting in the living room when I heard the sound of a car in our driveway. I did not get up. I was going to act nonchalant about the whole thing, all the while fuming inside. The door opened. I said nothing. She would have to speak first. I heard her walk to the bedroom, our bedroom. Some drawers opening and some closet doors squeaking. Almost five minutes went by before she came into the living room.

“Where ya been?’, I asked, going back on my promise not to speak first. 

“I was at (name withheld) house on a lake in Connecticut.” she said.

“Are you alright” I asked.

“Yes”, she replied.

I rose up, and walked over to her to give her a kiss, when she stopped me. Then, her eyes glued firmly on the carpet, she uttered the four most frightening, most devastating words in the English language. “ B....., I want a divorce.” My heart sank. I could not believe what she was saying. I knew things were not going well, but a divorce. I had not seen that coming. I don’t remember much after that. The mind has a way of blanking out pain. I only remember feeling nauseous and betrayed. 

That was 30 years ago this month and hardly a day goes by that I do not think about her. I know it’s not healthy, but I can’t help myself. I have regretted many things in my life, but the one thing that I regret the most was not being able to keep my marriage together. She remarried a few years later and I have had no contact with her in twenty five of those thirty years. I hope she’s happy in her new life. I also kind of hope that when the cool, crisp days of September blow where ever she is, she thinks of me, if only for a fleeting moment. 


Dr. Ecks

By Karen Silver

In the assisted living facility where I live, a Dr. Ecks is on contract to provide medical services to the residents who wish to have their medical care conducted in house. That is not his real name, of course but we have to be a little self-protective here.  He provides for a Physician Assistant and a medical assistant to do the actual work on the three days a week his office is open.  He himself does not see patient but “supervises their care.” Dr. Ecks is reachable by staff but there are people who have been here a year or more who have no idea who he is and what he looks like. The PA is very competent but he has to sign off on her prescriptions and Ecks is prone to changing dosages without talking to the person most concerned – the patient.  A nurse on our staff said that Dr. Ecks should be given another chance because he was so “convenient.”The convenience issue was high on the list of my priorities until I understood in personal terms what I was dealing with.

I went to a new internist to whom I was referred by another resident for some standing prescriptions and I mentioned to her that I had what looked like a nasty rash. It wasn't and I wound up getting admitted to hospital for a few days of intravenous antibiotics. She visited me the day after I was admitted, the day after that, the day after that and then the fourth time to discharge me. Two of those days were on a weekend where she didn’t have her office open for patients. Her visits were not just to check up on the progress of treatment but also to reassure, encourage and let me know she was there for me.  After three days on IV antibiotics, I was cleared to return to the facility with oral medication.

Several weeks before, one of the residents being treated by Dr. Ecks developed bilateral pneumonia, a life-threatening condition. He was admitted to the hospital where Dr. Ecks has admitting privileges.  Dr. Ecks never visited Phil once the whole time he was there. Not once. I’m not privy to how closely he supervised the treatment process but he never showed up at the bedside during the two weeks Phil was in the hospital. Phil was left with his fears and with the sense that his doctor didn't care all that much for him.

Medicine is both science and art.  Part of the latter is performing what the 

French call “l’acte de presence.”  The “act of presence” means being with the patient even if you just sit silently for a few minutes. It means showing your support that way and being unwilling to perform an “ac  running a practice in a businesslike way. I do see a big problem running a factory and calling it a practice.


My editorial last week dealt with how doctors treat symptoms rather than getting at the cause of an illness. This prompted some replies, here’s one.

You are so right about finding a way to cure the problem rather than throw pills at it. One pill causes another health problem which creates the need for another pill. I saw a dear friend waste away due to this overmedication routine. She liked the pills, though, because she had no intention of changing her bad habits like eating fast food, sleeping during the day, and getting no exercise.

Dear DK,

I liken it to someone who’s tires are constantly wearing out because his wheels are out of alignment . Because it’s easier to buy new tires, or the mechanic doesn’t know the real cause of the the excess tire wear, he keeps doing this until his car is too old to drive.

Senior Citizens May Break Federal Law Using Drug Copay Coupons in Medicare

These discount coupons used in drug program for a specific brand name drug are considered kick-back and federal crime

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal

Maybe it is much-to-do-about-nothing, but a warning – actually a “Special Advisory Bulletin” – has been issued by the Office of the Inspector General for Health and Human Services warning senior citizens not to use discount coupons from pharmaceutical manufacturers for a specific brand name drug in the Medicare Part D drug program. It is considered a kick-back and a federal offense.


Everywhere but here dept.

How Designers Are Transforming the Senior Living Experience

Cassandra Dowell

Assisted living has more amenities, services — more variety and options. For example, all assisted living facilities are starting to have some kind of bistro, spa or exercise amenity. In the ‘80s, when assisted living was the supplement to skilled nursing, they had a common living room, dining room and had bedrooms units. At that time, it was a nice alternative, but now it’s gone beyond that and expanded to be more desirable — to border independent living. When you go into [assisted living facilities] now, there’s a concierge desk, billiards room nearby; it feels like an engaged common area; not a lobby that is one piece......


Sh*t Sheets

As if it were not bad enough that I am constantly reminded that I live in an “institution” with all of it’s ridiculous rules and regulations, I have to have my already delicate psyche bruised by having to sleep on sheets made for a large metropolitan hospital. At least it doesn’t say “Office of the chief medical examiner” on it.


Going after the Big Ones.

Many of you may have noticed that new and larger traps have been set out around the facility. Whereas once there were only a few puny field mice to contend with, it now appears that there is bigger game afoot. Our only hope is that these new, larger critters, after ingesting whatever poison is inside these things, don’t come back into the building to die. 



Mayor Spano and Yonkers Office for The Aging to Host Three Senior Health Fairs

HEZI ARIS/The Yonkers tribune


Free Health Fairs to be Held September 30, October 2 and November 1 at Local Yonkers Community Centers

YONKERS, NY – September 25, 2014 – Mayor Mike Spano today announced that the Yonkers Office for the Aging will sponsor three senior health fairs to provide senior residents with the information they need to maintain their health. Services provided will include medication management, diet & nutrition information, flu shots, hearing tests, fall prevention, cardiovascular awareness, BMI calculator and staying active seminars.

“The information provided at the senior health fair is invaluable to our seniors,” said Mayor Mike Spano. “Those in attendance will leave feeling knowledgeable and empowered to lead healthy and independent lives.”

Over 30 different vendors and agencies will be in attendance at each fair. The dates for the fairs are as follows:

Tuesday, September 30; 10am-1pm at St. Mark’s Community Center Thursday, October 2;; 10am-1pm at Coyne Park Community Center Saturday, November 1; 10am-1pm at Riverfront Library *En Espanol

“Each year the fairs bring a large crowd of senior residents and with the addition of a third fair for Spanish speakers, I expect an even greater turnout,” Mayor Spano added. “The addition of this fair is a great way to serve our growing Hispanic population in Yonkers.”


Even though the temperature may be a balmy 80 degrees, the trees know when its time to dress for fall. These two are just the first to change.

I would have liked to post this article about Tommy Chong and marijuana, but the anal retentive firewall we have here locked me out.

Tommy Chong on Dancing, Aging and (of Course) Marijuana

Perhaps one of you out there who has the freedom, as an adult, to view anything on the internet you want could open the link and email the article to me, or use comment box at the end of this blog.

The most dangerous drugs in America are perfectly legal

As German Lopez writes, "there’s one aspect of the war on drugs that remains perplexingly contradictory: some of the most dangerous drugs in the US are perfectly legal." This chart uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make a counter intuitive point: the deadliest drugs in America are legal. In some cases, those drugs are deadlier because their legal status makes them more widely available. If heroin were as easy to get as tobacco, more people would surely die from it each year. But that’s not true in all cases. Alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana, but marijuana is illegal in most states, while alcohol is legal for those over age 21.


When it comes to saving money, it’s cheaper to keep her 

(at home)

The Cost of Caring for Aging Parents

By Donna Fuscaldo

According to a new study conducted by, nearly half of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 a year on expenses associated with providing care.  Of those spending more than $5,000, 16% are seeing costs of as much as $9,999 while 11% are spending as high as $19,999 and 5% are absorbing out of pocket expenses of as much as $49,999....



Institute of Medicine Says End-of-Life Care Must Be National Priority

A person-centered, family-oriented approach honoring individual preferences and promoting quality of life through the end of life should be a national priority, says a new report from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine.

The authors of Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life say health care sector workers, including clinicians, clergy, caregivers and support staff have a professional commitment and responsibility to provide high quality care for people nearing the end of life. ......



Massachusetts Sounds Alarm on Assisted Living

Jason Oliva

Discrepancies between assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Massachusetts has raised concerns over how effectively senior living communities are regulated in the state, according an article from The Boston Globe.

Highlighting several instances where staffing, negligence and abuse have occurred at various assisted living communities throughout the state, the article attributes Massachusetts’ regulatory shortcomings as a result of outdated rules and guidelines, inadequate training and, above all, limited oversight.

“What I have seen is facilities cut corners, particularly with staff because it’s the most expensive item, so it’s not surprising that some preventable accidents happen,” 



Author offers humorous but realistic advice on caring for elderly parents

At some point in most people’s lives, they go from child to a parent, and then to caring for their elderly parents. Traversing those years with humor and courage led to author Pam Carey’s latest book, “Elderly Parents With All Their Marbles; A Survival Guide for the Kids.”



More senior citizens caught with guns at DFW Airport

Jason Whitely

Half of those arrested recently with guns at DFW Airport were senior citizens.

Last year, Texas gave 67,000 seniors the right to carry a concealed handgun.

A lot more people aged 90 and up now legally carry pistols in Texas.

The recent uptick in senior citizens being arrested with firearms at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport could be linked to an increase in the number of older Texans successfully getting a concealed handgun license.

"I've noticed a trend lately [over] the last three or four months that there has been a large increase in seniors coming in saying, 'I need to learn to take care of myself,'" said David Prince, owner of Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville.



Influx of disabled residents leads to clashes in senior housing

 CHRIS SERRES / Star Tribune

An influx of young, disabled tenants has older residents on edge.

The mix of elderly and younger disabled populations can be volatile. At Heights Manor, elderly residents have complained of an increase of physical threats, drug use, thefts, loud music, late-night parties, and disorderly behavior. Over the past year, calls to local police have risen enough that residents have set up a neighborhood watch program — something they would have considered unthinkable not long ago.....


Startup to Launch Customized Tablets for Children, Women, Gamers, & Senior Citizens

Challenging the one-size-fits-all approach of leading electronics manufacturers, a home-grown company has brought in a new concept of customized tablets for specific segments like children, women, seniors, professionals and gamers with prices starting at under Rs. 5,000.

"We are passionate about technology and want to make it easy to use for everybody. You shouldn't have to be tech-savvy to enjoy all the benefits of technology. While your 8-month old child can use the Kids Tab for learning numbers and rhymes, your 70-year old dad can use the Senior Tab to watch his grandchildren learn their first words," Pinig Tech's co-founder Piyush Nigam said......



The stuff that passed for chili was cooked (and I use the term loosely) by someone who probably never made, ate,  or had any idea what chili is supposed to taste like. In fact, the only resemblance that Saturday's lunch had to real chili was the way it looked. It was as if the cook saw a picture of chili in a magazine and tried to figure out what was in it. 

He figured out the meat part, and the cheese part, but unfortunately, what he left out was the chili flavor part. This stuff in a bowl was absolutely devoid of any chili flavor, or any flavor for that matter. If Gerber or Beech-Nut made chili for babies, this is the way it would taste. 

Believe me, I understand that the food here cannot be made spicy and that the chef has to be careful not to add anything that might upset the delicate digestive tracts of some of our residents. But not to prepare food that at least has some of the flavor of what its namesake is, is just a crime. This stuff was just so very disappointing.

Editor's note: I had to add a squeeze of ketchup just to give it some flavor, it was that bad. 


It matters not what ethnicity you are, meatballs and spaghetti is the go-to number one comfort food. In fact, I like MB&S so much, I will let a lot of things slide just to be able to have it in front of me. As they say, “Even a bad bowl of meatballs and spaghetti is better than none at all.” Therefor, I cannot say anything bad about the mb&s lunch we had the other day. In fact, there was much more right with it than not right. 

For a change, both the amount of pasta and the meatballs were just right. There were four, medium size, tender meatballs over a bowl of heavily sauced* spaghetti , and it was served hot. A sprinkling of newly opened grated Parmesan cheese and a little salt help with the seasoning. All in all, not a bad lunch for a Wednesday here at the asylum.

My only real fault lies in the spaghetti itself. Why they insist on chopping the strands of pasta into small pieces is beyond me. The pasta, which on this day was slightly on the “al dente” side, would be much better if it were left in its natural, long stranded state. The only other fault, and I use the word fault with caution because to some this is the way they like their food, is that both the meatballs and the sauce could use some basil, oregano or both. Or, perhaps, like the Parmesan cheese, these two herbs could be made available to those who want it.

* In the past, the kitchen has been a bit too skimpy with sauces and gravies. Therefor, I asked for more.


It’s not a steak. 

It’s not a burger

It’s a


There are many of my fellow diners who will think that I have gone over to the dark side when I say what I am going to say, but I’ll say it anyway. “I actually like these things”. And, by “things” I mean the schizophrenic piece of meat that can’t make up its mind whether it’s a steak or just another form of chopped meant. 

To the casual consumer of all things un-natural, this is a no brainer, it’s a burger. After all, isn’t anything that’s chopped a hamburger? The uninitiated diner would be quick to dismiss this finely crafted entree as just another attempt to fool the public into thinking they were actually eating a steak. However, to those of us who take food for what it is rather than what it’s supposed to be find, that there is indeed a higher calling here. It would do well to think of this “steakette” not as just a hamburger on steroids but, as a different kind of meat altogether. And, just because it is pre-formed and pre-grilled in some factory which may or may not be within the boundaries of the United States, and has the texture and flavor of something a pit bull would snub his nose at, there is no reason not to enjoy it anyway. Just be sure to use a lot of ketchup.


Tuna Fish Sandwich Sunday Dinner

The best thing I've eaten here this week.

I know it's a sad thing to say, but the best meal I've had here at the Asylum all week was the tuna fish sandwich I had for dinner Sunday night.

Not being able to face yet another chicken dinner, and not wishing to partake of the dreary alternate meal of gummy ravioli, I turned to my old standby, tuna fish.

Whenever I am in need of something satisfying I turn to the basics, and nothing could be more basic and satisfying that the staple of American go-to foods, the humble tuna fish on rye. Amazing as it may seem, the tuna is actually pretty good here. It has just the proper ratio of tuna to mayo to celery which, makes for a very nice sandwich. The addition of a slice of tomato adds a crowning touch. Mmmm, just like Sunday dinner at mom's.

Scientist Claims Menopause Will Not Exist in 20 Years Time

by Tabitha Farrar

Scientist Aubrey de Grey has claimed that in 20 years time, the menopause may not exist. Dr de Grey predicts that the aging process can be halted and possibly even reversed in the future, meaning that women will no long have to go through the natural process of fertility change. The rapid progress in stem cell science and regenerative therapies that Dr de Grey refers to means that the age limits for conceiving and giving birth that are currently known will vanish. Instead, women will be able to have children at any age or time in life. .....


Andropause proof that aging men experience hormone ch

anges, too 


Television commercials touting drugs to treat low testosterone (low-T

As men slowly become more aware of andropause — the term used to describe hormonal changes as men age —) or erectile dysfunction are hard to avoid these days. And with Time magazine’s Aug. 18 cover story “Manopause” addressing the booming low-T industry, the issue of hormonal changes in aging men clearly is a hot topic.

- See more at:


Do Americans in general, and senior citizens in particular, expect too much from our government?

Bill of No Rights… Everyone Should Read This

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that a whole lot of people were confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights.

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. .....



Comments-Please refer to the story or article you are commenting on.

Your comments and answers may be posted on next week's blog unless otherwise requested. I f you need an answer sooner, please leave your email. I will not make it public.

To our health

Readers of this blog will be familiar with my “To your health” section in which I have tried to convey to our readers, not only the advances that are being made by science to help seniors live longer and healthier lives, but how we, ourselves, can and should be more active in our own health care.

As someone who takes medication on a regular basis, I am witness to just how many people have become dependent on prescription drugs. Every morning there is a line at our medication room here at the Center, with residents waiting for their daily (and for some twice or three times daily) pills, sprays, injections, drops, salves, and elixirs. Some of these people take ten, twelve or fourteen or more pills at a time. I have to ask myself, “why are they taking so much medication.”  And I’m not talking about an occasional antibiotic or pain med that one takes about a week or two and then stops. No, I’m talking about powerful meds that will be taken for the rest of a person's life. Why, I ask, are they given medications to control instead of cure whatever is wrong with them. If a person has high blood pressure they are given pills to control it. But there must be a reason why the patient’s blood pressure is high in the first place. Why not find the cause of that instead of throwing a pill at it. 

Medical science, and now most of us lay people, know that many afflictions can be controlled by diet and a change in lifestyles, Type 2 diabetes is very often cured or lessened by cutting out certain foods. Arthritis sufferers have benefited by eliminating certain foods and many gastro-intestinal problems are alleviated by cutting out gluten and dairy. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those holistic health nuts who refuses to take meds or see doctors. I realize that there are some disorders that have to be treated with medication, but it just seems to me that there are many people, especially here at the Center, that are taking way too many chemicals into their bodies, especially pain medication. The truth be told, I see more people nodding off here than I have seen on the streets of the East Village in the 70’s. And, when they don’t take their medications they crash and crash hard sometimes to the detriment of other residents. So what can be done?

There needs to be a concerted effort by doctors (gerontologist in particular) to try and find alternatives to prescription medications. There needs to be more input by dietitians and nutritionists when a patient presents with an illness where non chemical means to cure may be indicated. And finally, there has to be a concerted effort on the part of the patients themselves to question every time they are prescribed a pill for some new ache or pain. They must not be afraid to say to the doctor “ Why did I get this pain or disorder and is there something else I can do before you prescribe another pill.” As an example of some things, non chemical, you can do to make yourself healthier, I found this...

I am not a doctor and have no medical training. However, I am a patient who takes medication. All I ask is that you question your health care provider. Ask if you really need all the meds you are taking. You may be surprised at the answer.

We need this here dept.

Bright and shiny car show at Assisted Living

Salem News


Sterling House Assisted Living in Salem held its third annual car cruise Sunday with more than 50 cars entering with a non-perishable food items donated to the Salem Community Food Pantry. The cruise was conducted by the Arby's Cruisin' Crew with organizer .....


There is an acre of empty, unused space around here that could be put to better and, more profitable use. I have written about the unused patio area overlooking the parking lot at the bottom of the hill that could be converted into a greenhouse or solarium. Now, I would like to suggest a use for the parking lot itself which remains practically unused. 

Originally, I believed that this area would be a great location for a green market or flea market with a percentage of the proceeds or a fee from vendors returned to the Center. Now, I have come across another idea (antique car show) that would not only be profitable for the Center but would provide some entertainment for our residents.

The last rose of summer or, the first rose of fall

With the mild weather continuing around these parts, the flowers are lingering a bit longer than usual. While most of the roses have departed, a few are still on the vine for all to enjoy.


September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month

Why are falls so common among seniors, and how can they be prevented? Falls should not be considered a normal part of aging, but changes to the body that occur normally with aging do increase the risk. Eyesight becomes less sharp and more limited. Physical reaction times, and strength decrease. In addition, medications can cause dizziness, sleepiness and other side effects. Thankfully, there are steps people can take to prevent a fall or to reduce the likelihood of experiencing one.

Observe Falls Prevention Awareness Day with Tips, Tools

From the ALPA newsletter

Falls Prevention Awareness Day is just next week, aptly celebrated on the first day of fall this year – September 23. This year’s theme is “Strong Today, Falls Free Tomorrow” and seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.

One in three residents living in a community who are over the age of 65 falls each year, and this number increases to one in two over age 80. Fall-related injuries are often serious enough to result in hospitalization and even premature death. Individuals who fall often face significant declines in mobility and independence. 

The National Council on Aging says it’s time to debunk the myth that falls are a normal part of aging; the truth is they’re not. Here are six of the 10 common myths and the reality provided by NCOA, which offers the full list of 10 myths and many other resources such as a toolkit with printable materials to support communities observing the 7th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day. 

Myth 1: Falling happens to other people, not to me. 

Reality: The truth is that one in three older adults – about 12 million – fall every year in the United States.

Myth 2: Falling is something normal that happens as you get older. 

Reality: Falling is not a normal part of aging. Exercises, medication management, vision checks and a safer living environmental are all steps you can take to prevent a fall.

Myth 3: If I limit my activity, I won’t fall. 

Reality: Not true. Performing physical activities help seniors stay independent. Social activities are also good for overall health.

Myth 4: As long as I stay home, I can avoid falling. 

Reality: Over half of all falls happen at home! Inspect your home for fall risks. Clear clutter and throw rugs and fix poor lighting. Make simple home modifications such as grab bars in the bathroom or nonslip paint on outdoor steps.

Myth 5: Muscle strength and flexibility can’t be regained. 

Reality: People do lose muscle as they age but exercise can partially restore strength and flexibility.

Myth 6: Taking medication doesn’t increase my risk of falling. 

Reality: Taking any medication may increase your risk of falling. Medications can sometimes make you dizzy or sleepy. Talk to a health care provider about potential side effects or interactions of medications.

Additionally, the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes for Health offers the free Falls and Fractures Age page for more tips on preventing falls. Order copies online or call the NIA information center at 1-800-222-2225.


Elder abuse : Resident confined and isolated

The worst thing that could happen to me, as I get older, is to be treated as something less than a human being. And, while I understand that there may be some restrictions on my freedom (for my own safety), having to adhere to the rules and regulations of a facility just because it’s “easier for them” is unthinkable.

Prisoner or resident?

Resident Elinor Frerichs says she would love to go out for lunch or share a visit

with a friend. Elinor would especially love to spend time with her husband and “soul mate.” Executive Director Cheryl Martin does not allow Elinor to leave the facility. Elinor’s 

husband said he was not allowed to visit Elinor for two years. And Elinor’s long-term friend said she was allowed only two visits with Elinor in the past two years.


Assisted living communities continue to make a terrible first impression on prospective customers.

Assisted living communities consistently do not make a good first impression with prospective customers, and they haven't improved this skill set in the last decade, according to data from George Mason University in Virginia. Sales staff fielding telephone inquiries routinely fail to ask for basic information about prospective residents, do not offer in-person tours, and neglect to gather information to boost marketing efforts, students in the Senior Housing Administration program determined.....


↓More on assisted living↓


Debunking the Misconceptions of Assisted Living

Many people also think that adult assisted living centers are only for people who are no longer able to take care of themselves. This, however, is a common misconception. Assisted living residences are designed to help residents maintain the lifestyle they choose while providing assistance when it is needed....


Is aging harder for baby boomers?


"When Did we Get So Old?" That's the headline of a recent New York Times articleby Michele Willens that examines the aging angst of the baby boom generation.

In their weekly conversation, WHYY's behavioral health reporter Maiken Scott and psychologist Dan Gottlieb discussed the sentiment of feeling old and in the way....


Bigger screens on iPhones could prove a hit with aging customers


“The other advantages far outweigh the discomfort of trying to fit it into one of my back pockets,”

After pioneering the smartphone market, Apple is moving away from its focus on smaller screens. While bigger displays make it easier for a younger crowd to read digital books, play games or watch movies, the large screens also let people who need reading glasses boost the size of the font and images on their smartphones without sacrificing screen real estate....


GreatCall Redefines Role of Technology for Active Aging With Launch of Touch3 Smartphone

Touch3 Breaks the Complexity Barrier Enabling Older Consumers to Experience the Benefits of Connected Health Services

GreatCall, Inc., the leader in creating usable technology for active aging, is empowering older consumers to live within their own communities safely, comfortably and independently. Today's introduction of the new GreatCall Touch3 eliminates the complexity of previous smartphones so consumers can easily access the health and safety services they need to remain connected, protected, and in control of their lives.....


Handbook of American Aging Programs Hardcover 

 June 9, 1977

by Lorin A. Baumhover  (Author), Joan Dechow Jones (Author)

ISBN-13: 978-0837192871  ISBN-10: 0837192870

The Handbook is an attempt to bridge the gap between the highly technical and the everyday, practical resource tools for those just introduced to the field of aging. Its objective is not to provide a definitive examination of American aging programs, but to look closely at a number of programs that are having a significant impact on the lives of older adults in America today.


50 Shades Of Grey Read By Senior Citizens Is Not Sexy, But It’s Hilarious

By James Kosur, 


50 Shades of Grey is not winning any literary prizes for its use of the English language, but it is one of the best selling books of modern times. The book is so popular that a movie will soon be released, and that movie will likely be viewed by millions of 50 Shades fans.

In celebration of the book and movie, the team at YouTube channel TheFineBros, had senior citizens read passages from the book and then discuss it.

If you want to be turned off from ever reading 50 Shades of Grey, just listen to Grandma and Grandpa as they read some of the books scenes outloud.

If you want a good laugh, just pay attention to the questions and answers section of the video.....

Read more at....

Aging eyes need continued care

Cheryl Anderson, Post-Crescent Media5

Eye health is an important part of aging.

"As we get older the prevalence of eye disease increases just as with any body system," said Dr. Brad Jorgensen of Appleton EyeCare Center and past president of the Wisconsin Optometric Association. "Nowadays with the technology we have to detect disease earlier and earlier we have a better opportunity to curtail the progress of disease."....


5 Harmful Habits That Could Be Prematurely Aging Your Eyes

Many people avoid practicing bad habits that could prematurely age their facial appearance or their skin. However, these same people may be unwittingly doing things that could be aging their eyes.

Here are five habits you should steer clear of to avoid harming your vision.....


↓more health news↓

This explains a lot 

 Alcohol impairs memory in aging

by Larisa Health

The study, published in «The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry», added to the growing evidence that excessive alcohol can weaken the mental work in later years. The researchers say that this is a problem of public health, which, as soon as possible, should be addressed.

Scientists surveyed 6,500 middle-aged Americans about their past experience of drinking alcohol. three specific issues were offered:...


I received a number of comments on the post I did last week concerning the hot roast beef sandwich fiasco. Here is one of my favorites from another blogger, Doctafill. As always, I thank you for your comments, and sympathy.

From Doctafill

Your blog gets better and better. I learn a lot from you. The food at your ALF is the poops. I would be starving in there. What are your options, as far as getting better food goes? The place I volunteer at has good food, but the chef has two jobs, so he wants the inmates to get down to the dining hall at 11:45 and then eat. Some people wander down at 12:15 and then they feel rushed to eat. Too bad you can't cook your own food in your own room. I like how you work to make things better. Also, you have a great sense of humour. You can publish my post if you like. I am the author of Jive Chalkin, a book meant for anyone who thinks that teaching public school is like jiving to oldies on a cruise ship.


Dear Doctafill, et al. 

My problem, as chairman of the resident’s food committee is two fold. First, I have to deal with the cooks, the chef and the servers. Secondly, I have to deal with an apathetic group of residents that complain to me in private, but are too timid to get up off their asses and complain directly to the chef. Management and staff I can deal with (I’ve been a boss in the corporate world myself), but the residents are something else.

<<More Letters>>

My foray to the local mall and my inability to find a convenient restroom, prompted this letter from Shirley...

“Just so you'll know for your next visit to a mall and won't have to travel so far, Sears and Macy's and all the major stores have restrooms.”

Dear Shirley, 

Unfortunately, this is a large outdoor mall with both of the two “anchor” stores (Macy’s and Sears) at opposite ends. Also, most in-store restrooms are located at the back of the store and you usually have to take an escalator to get to it. It was more a matter of which was closest. Perhaps a pair of “Depends” would be in order for my next trip.



While I do not personally endorse any of the products or the companies that sell them, I do believe that they may have some value to people with limited mobility. I have scoured the internet to try and find the lowest prices available for each product, but please feel free to check for yourself.

Is it me, or does it seem harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. For some of us it’s a mental thing, but for others it's a real, physical problem. Here is something that might help.

Product available at....


Exactly one week after the "Great Hot Open Roast Beef Disaster of 2014", (see last week's food section) the diners here at the Center were afforded the opportunity to partake in yet another roasted beef offering. This time, however, the sandwich was more of the traditional variety being neither hot or open. 

As the saying goes, "Once burned, twice shy", therefor I was a bit reluctant to try what I assumed would be a repeat of last Sunday's dinner. Fortunately, I was wrong. The roast beef was not only not cooked to the consistency of the soles of a Florsheim shoe, but actually had a pink hue at the center of each slice, signalling that somebody was watching the pot. Why all roasted beef cooked here is not done like this I do not know. Perhaps it takes a little shouting match on the part of some of the residents before anything gets done around here. If this is indeed the case, then the staff can expect more of the same.

Was it the best shrimp stir fry I have ever had. No, but it wasn't bad considering from where it came. Our kitchen, which at times does not have a clue as to how food should look and taste, got it right this time. And by “got it right” I mean that there was actually a perceivable number of shrimp and, they were of a size that could actually be chewed rather than inhaled. The crispy chow mein noodles added just the right amount of crunch to this mixture of shrimp, vegetables and rice. In addition, for those of us who are more adventurous, hot mustard and soy sauce (which I used liberally) was made available which added a touch of authenticity to this nicely assembled dish. It appears that, when it comes to dishes like stews, or soups and stir fries, that are made to be cooked for large numbers of people, the kitchen does a better job than those meals that are best made in smaller quantities.


I have a confession to make. I can’t cook good fried chicken. I can cook almost anything and cook it well, but for some reason, fried chicken alludes me. It either ends up burned, beyond recognition or under cooked and soggy. My mom, who was a great cook and taught me everything I know, also had trouble making fried chicken. Therefore, when Kraft introduces Shake ‘N’ Bake back in 1965, my mom was the first to sign up. And, while baking chicken with a coating of bread crumbs and hope it simulates actual frying may not be the ideal way of eating chicken at least it’s better than nothing. Theoretically, the coating is supposed to keep the chicken from drying out under the high heat of the oven. The coating is supposed to be crispy while the chicken within remains juicy. Unfortunately, this is more theory than actuality. The baking process produces a soggy, rather than crisp coating and the chicken often comes out drier than if it was just roasted without the coating. I really wish that we could have real fried chicken here for a change, made in a deep fryer with a batter that has some spices and flavor to it. The soggy, dried out mess that passes for a chicken dinner here just isn't cutting it anymore.


Not everything is crappy here.

Just to dispel the myth that everything we eat hear is bad news, I present to you one of the things that the Center does very well, French toast. Usually a no-brainer, there are many ways one could screw this up. However, like the coffee served here, the French toast (along with a side of bacon)is made right. It’s nicely battered with egg and grilled to a golden brown and, it actually came to the table HOT!


Good soup. I just wish there was more of it.

The kitchen, maintaining its policy of less is more, continues to skimp on the portion of soup served at lunch. While the soup is served in a bowl, the actual portion is deceiving. If you take, what appears to be an almost full bowl of soup and pour it into an empty cup, the level of liquid only comes up to the half way point of the cup. If one cup equals 8 ounces than we are, in fact, only being served 4 ounces of soup. 

I have brought this subject up at several food committee meetings and have been promised that the servers would be instructed to fill the bowls with a full 8 ounces of liquid. Like most promises made, this too is as empty as the soup bowls.


The one good thing about hitting one’s head against the wall is that it feels so good when you stop. That is the feeling I got when I resigned this past week as chairman of the resident’s food committee. Not only did I resign as chairman, but I resigned from the food committee altogether. I have deemed it to be a useless, ineffectual group that was formed for the sole purpose of listening to the lip service handed out by management. In other words, nothing has changed as a result of the meetings. Take last Friday’s dinner, for instance. 

After complaining about the lack of sauce on the pasta dishes or gravy on the meat and poultry dishes, we were all but promised that sauce and gravy would be available for the asking. Evidently, these promises either did not get back to the cooks or they were out and out lies because, when I asked for extra sauce on my baked ziti dinner (or extra sauce on the side) I was informed by the server that such sauce was not available leaving me to suffer through the driest, most tasteless monstrosity of a baked ziti on the planet.

There is one good thing that came out of this though. I am no longer the trusting, naive person I was. I have come to the realization that, as far as the food goes at this institution, nothing will ever change. 


The Naked Mole Rat's Secret to Anti-Aging


Our naked mole rat friends have devised a way of disposing of all of that uncollected waste, with the effect of vastly longer lives, at least relative to other rodents. This is  according to a new study in the journal BBA: Molecular Basis of Disease describing a cellular factor that guards and guides the activity of the protein complex proteasome, whose job involves the chemical breaking down of leftover proteins. Proteasome is the garbage collector, the garbage truck, and the incinerator, in other words.....





"Sales of Adult Diapers to Surpass Baby Diapers in Aging Japan".  What a sad piece of news.  Why sad, you might ask?

Because Dr. Beyer and Women's Health Care Specialists, believe the reason for this is NOT just an aging population but our society's acceptance of incontinence (urinary and/or fecal leakage) as part of growing older.  So let us be clear.







U.S. copyright laws prohibit me from reprinting entire articles. Therefore, I have provided links to the original stories.


You may add your name, or your email but you don't have to. All comments may be posted.



Let me preface this piece by telling you that I have not been to a mall, a supermarket or a bank in over five years. In fact, I have only been beyond the gates of this facility three times in the last two years. Once was via ambulance to the emergency room, the next on a trip to the Cheesecake Factory and the third was when my cousin Bob and I had lunch at a local Chinese restaurant. This is due to a number of reasons, most having to do with my decreased mobility over the last few years and partially due to a lack of transportation afforded to us here at the asylum. Unfortunately, we have to rely on the kindness of others anytime we need to venture out beyond the gate.

My visit to the Cross County Mall here in Westchester county was made possible by the Yonkers Preservation Society, whose bus kindly goes out of its way to pick us up once a month for trips to the mall. The round trip costs us $4.00 and is well worth it. And, for me, very timely.

For reasons that I will explain at some other time, I had to make a personal visit to my bank, a branch of which is located in the mall. As I said, I have not personally visited my bank in years. All of my deposits are made directly to my account and any transfers are done via the internet. Cash is withdrawn from various ATM’s around town. However, this time, I had to go in person so, when I saw that there was a cheap trip to the mall, I jumped at the opportunity. I really could have cared less about the mall, it was just the bank I was interested in. But, when I was informed by the bus driver that he would pick us up in three hours, I decided to make an adventure out of the situation and, I found it eye-opening. I felt as if I was someone who had just awakened from a five year coma and had to cope with a new world. The mall, being a microcosm of that world, was as good a place to start as any.

After being dropped off at Sears, I made my way across the parking lot and straight for a familiar location, Cinnabun. Not really in the mood for coffee and a sticky roll, I sat on one of the seats out front to get my bearings. According to a kindly native of whom I asked directions, I was informed that the bank I wanted was at the other end of the mall, through Macy’s and across another parking lot. I knew I was in for more walking than I have done in many years. I tightened up my cane and ventured forth. 

Macy’s was pretty much as I remembered it. I stopped, briefly, at the men’s fragrance counter for a couple of free squirts of Drakkar Noir (much too fruity for my taste). I intended to head straight for the rear entrance but was distracted by the men’s clothing department which had a headless mannequin wearing what appeared to be a very very well worn pair on jeans. I mean those things had actual real holes in them, and not just in the knees either. There was a matching vest which was equally shredded. “Are things that bad out here in the world that people are now forced to wear used clothing?” I continued on to the exit.

Failing to notice the handicapped ramp nearby, I made my way down a precarious flight of stairs, taking each one cautiously until I reached the bottom. I sighed a sigh of relief, glad that I didn’t fall. The last thing I wanted to be was “that old guy with the cane” sprawled out on the sidewalk. I saw my destination, the bank, across the parking lot and walked towards it, being mindful of the traffic. I had forgotten what traffic was like because here, at the Center, there is no traffic. I concluded my bank business in a few minutes and glanced at my watch, it was only 11:15. I had over two hours to kill. I figured some window shopping would be in order but first, I needed to find a men’s room. 

Having a prostate the size of a basketball, frequent trips to the porcelain appliance are not uncommon. I remembered that most malls have restrooms conveniently located throughout the premises so I should not have had trouble finding one. Unfortunately, this mall only has one public restroom, inconveniently located at the end of a long walkway. Having forgotten my regular glasses, everything looked a bit fuzzy and out of focus so making out the little stick figures which indicated where the nearest toilet was on the mall map was not easy. I found my way to what I believed was the place indicated on the sign and found what I hoped was the urinal. I know it was something cold and white and I heard the sound of flushing water as I walked away from it. My apologies If I made a mistake but they should have bigger signs. I looked at my watch again, still two hours left. 

I had intended to do some window shopping but this mall has only two kinds of stores. Women’s apparel and stores that appeal to something called “metrosexuals” who are apparently, not only gender confused but, very young and very skinny. Just perfect for a fat old dude like me. I sat down on one of the mall benches. If there weren't any windows to look in to, at least I could do some people watching. Malls, as I remembered, are great for that. I was not disappointed.

Now, before I go any further, let me say that even though I may be an old man, I am still a man and can still appreciate the sight of a well turned ankle. However, the sight of, not only ankles but butts, thighs and more, this I was not prepared for. Since when did skirts get so short? I mean, I know that women wear skirts above the knees nowadays, but when did they start wearing them above the thigh. And then, there were these pants.“Pants” may not be the right word, they are more like tights, very tight tights. So tight that I could have been looking at a first year gynecology textbook. I averted my eyes, briefly. After all, I still had over an hour to kill. 

The rest of my visit was spent at a Shop&Stop supermarket. I had forgotten what these places were like. They were filled with people pushing carts filled with food. Food that they were going to take back to their homes and COOK. Cook in their own kitchens using a STOVE with flames and heat and stuff. There were cheeses and steaks and ice cream that did not come in little cups, There were giant bags of Ruffles with Ridges and real Oreo cookies. I was all choked up and had to leave, this was more than I could bear. I haven’t cooked anything in over five years and, I miss it. Glancing at my watch, I noticed that my time in this fantasy world was almost over. A quick trip inside Sears to look at the power tools, not to buy but as a way of reaffirming my manhood, and it was time to leave. As promised, I was picked up and driven back here to the Center, my adventure over. It was nice getting out, but a bit scary. I have been isolated and protected for such a long time that I had forgotten that there is a life beyond these walls and that I have to get back into it somehow. Therefor, the next time there is a trip somewhere, anywhere, I’ll be the first to sign up.


Pain and dignity

By Karen Silver*

We are all here because of pain.  In one way or another, it has made our lives difficult enough to require outside assistance and a move from our former lives.  Whether it is loss of visual sharpness, bones that remind us of their presence whether we want to remember them or not, plumbing that is not behaving the way good plumbing  behaves, air that is harder to get than before, we are all held by pain somehow.  How can we live the best possible lives we can in the face of distress and keep our dignity?

One strategy that does not work is stoically denying that it hurts and not taking steps to reduce it. That is not courage.  There are doctors who specialize in the treatment of pain who can use powerful medications to give you relief. Some of them are not sedating. The doctors can also teach you self-suggestion so that you can take more control of your own experience and be less helpless and depressed. Make an appointment or get a referral from your primary doctor.

One problem with pain that keeps it in place is that we are not only dealing with the pain we are in now but the memory of yesterday’s pain and dread of tomorrow’s. That means you are actually tripling the misery.  For example, I know that rain will make my joints ache terribly and I often dread the weather forecast.  I am therefore making myself more miserable.  Orwell made a comment that’s apt here: who controls the present controls the past. Who controls the past controls the future.  Pain is our version of Big Brother and we can’t let it control any dimension of our lives.

But how to go about it?  How do we tame a monster?  The answer I came to is amazingly simple; do all you can and no more.  Get as involved as you can and spend as much time with others as you can.  Do not do more than you can.  If you need to pull back, to rest and retreat, do it.  For me, it’s crossword puzzles. I find them comforting when I’m really distressed but other people have their outlets.  Sometimes just going to your apartment and taking a nap is enough to give you the energy to get going again.  Don’t drive yourself – it won’t do much good and it may do harm.

Above all, don’t get mad at yourself for being afraid.  Martyrdom is not the way forward and the martyrs were probably as scared as anyone as they faced the lions. Pain is a lion – a very big, very hairy lion.  You don’t have to prove you’re a good person by “toughing it out.”  Honor yourself, do what you can do, let others help you when you can’t and you may find the lion is tamer. It won’t purr but it won’t eat you up, either.

*Karen Silver is a regular contributor to our in-house newsletter and this blog.



Odd juxtaposition dept.

We didn’t know we needed a “plan” for this. I usually just drop my pants.


Be Wary Of Diabetes Symptoms Masked By Normal Aging

By Julia Little

A recent press release from the American Association of Diabetes Educators shined a light on some Type 2 diabetes symptoms that you may have been in the dark about. Many signs of the disease resemble the normal effects of aging, making it especially important to seniors to be mindful. Older adults who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, are overweight, or have a family history of diabetes are the most at risk. A good senior care program can help to control these issues....


Discover 25 powerful reasons to eat bananas

You'll never look at a banana the same way again after discovering the many health benefits and reasons to add them to your diet. Bananas combat depression, make you smarter, cure hangovers, relieve morning sickness, protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness. They can cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes. 


==========More Senior eats==========

As far as I am concerned, there is nothing better to eat for lunch than a bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. However, somewhere along the way, the art of making a proper grilled cheese sandwich has been lost. And, while some purists would thumb their noses at sandwiches with additional ingredients, there is much to be said for tweaking this venerable staple just a bit.

New Takes on Grilled Cheese

With a few creative ingredients, you can elevate the classic grilled cheese sandwich from childhood favorite to a comforting and ... 

Read more at:

The thing about having to eat in a communal dining room is that meals have to be made in bulk. Unfortunately, this is contradictory to the way most foods should be prepared. While things like stews or soups or even roasts are suited to this kind of cooking, foods like grilled sandwiches are not. If a food is intended to be grilled, individually, throwing said sandwich into an oven to be melted just ain’t the same. However, this does not keep some folks from trying...

How To Make 10 (Or More) Grilled Cheese Sandwiches At Once

By Julie R. Thomson

Everyone knows that grilled cheese sandwiches are created in a skillet -- with lots of butter and lots of love. But when you've got more than a couple people to feed, and if you all want to eat together, making grilled cheese the traditional way gets to be a little tricky (read: impossible). That's when you've got to think outside the skillet and start entertaining new possibilities, like the oven.....

more.. .


Are you a baby boomer or planning to retire soon or are already retired. Here's some good news just for you...

Aging Of America: Internet To The Rescue

We're running out of money, not technology solutions.

"We're about to embark on the Great Generational War -- the older people versus the younger. Those in the middle are going to have to decide: Support our parents... or our kids. There's not enough money to do both.”

The Internet to the rescue. Since a hospital operating room has to be kept super-clean, the old method was to scrub it religiously. But if a robot could use high-energy wavelengths to clean it in three minutes, why not substitute an Internet-connected method to let the chief of surgery know when it's safe to reuse? And if this $100,000 robot could do that, couldn't it clean my (aged) mother-in-law's house? Certainly a lower-cost version; certainly a shared .....


It’s good to know you’re not the only one....

Nearly Half of Senior Citizens Need Some Help with Care Needs

"Although 51 percent reported having no difficulty in the previous month, 29 percent reported receiving help with taking care of themselves or their 

households or getting around," .....


Worried gen-x’s dept.

Generation X’s and Millennials (or as we old folks call them “whippersnappers”) are worried. They are worried about getting old , or should I say that they are worried about looking and feeling old. They are concerned that their lifestyles will be drastically changed because they will no longer look young. They look around and see their aging parents (us) and see fat, wrinkled, gray, people, some using walkers or canes and say, “I’m never going to look like that, not if I can help it. Now, more and more we see stories like this appearing in the media. Google, who’s workforce is mostly made up of young techno-geeks, is tackling the aging problem head on by acquiring a lab which we dedicate its resources to ending aging. Now another one of those nerds has gone one step further...


A Stanford radiologist turned Silicon Valley investor is donating a $1 million prize for scientists who crack the code of aging.

By Kristen Sze

Imagine Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter maintaining his top athletic form or singer Beyonce holding on to her incredible beauty or you keeping your heart healthy and body limber all for years, or maybe decades longer than previously thought possible.

Ten teams have already entered to compete. Organizers of the contest hope they'll get many more, from around the world, after the official launch....



U.S. unprepared for housing needs of aging population

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP Foundation release disturbing new report

America’s older population is experiencing unprecedented growth, but the country is not prepared to meet the housing needs of this aging group, concludes a new report released today by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and the AARP 

Foundation. According to “Housing America’s Older Adults — Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population,” the number of people in the United States aged 50 and over is expected to grow to 133 million by 2030, an increase of more than 70 percent since 2000 (click to view interactive map). But housing that is affordable, physically accessible, well-located, and coordinated with supports and services is in too-short supply.



I would like you to watch this video for two reasons. First, it’s very uplifting and fun. Second, I’d like you to see what some ALF’s can be like if you have money.

I Had NO Idea Grandma Was Doing *This* At The Retirement Home! OMG

By Barbara Diamond

This video put the biggest smile on my face, and I guarantee you’ll have the same reaction! Residents from the Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids, MI, teamed up with university students, alumni, and professors to create thiswonderful video that proves age ain’t nothin’ but a number.

Watch video on youtube...

Read more at....

   A bar that’s well-aged

Drinks and glasses fill up a table at Bailey’s Pub, a bar inside the Quail Creek assisted living home in Lynnwood.

By Andrea Brown, Herald Writer 

Residents at Quail Park of Lynnwood get two free drinks a day at an on-site pub.

It's not a rowdy slurp fest, but there's lots of clinking at the assisted living center with apartment living for 117 residents.



Man with ‘assistance cats’ has eviction reprieve


A disabled man who sued the assisted-living center where he lives with his two "assistance cats" can stay in his apartment while negotiations in his case continue.


U.S. Department of Justice Launches the Elder Justice Website

The site offers resources for victims, family members, prosecutors, researchers, and anyone who works with older adults.

Victims and family members will find information about how to report elder abuse and financial exploitation in all 50 states and the territories.

Federal, State, and local prosecutors will find three different databases containing sample pleadings and statutes.

Researchers in the elder abuse field may access a database containing bibliographic information for thousands of articles and reviews.

Practitioners -- including professionals of all types who work with elder abuse and its consequences -- will find information about resources available to help them prevent elder abuse and assist those who have already been abused, neglected or exploited.

Go to site....


New feature: Products beneficial to a senior lifestyle.

While I do not personally endorse any of the products or the companies that sell them, I do believe that they may have some value to people with limited mobility. I have scoured the internet to try and find the lowest prices available for each product, but please feel free to check for yourself.

This weeks product is a super length "grabber". One of the things that people forget about those in wheel chairs is that not only is their mobility diminished but their height as well. Reaching things from the top shelf or a really tight space is almost impossible. This is something that might make reaching things a little easier.


I will be the first one to admit it, I complain a lot. I complain about the condition of the facility and the surroundings in which I live. I complain about the way medications are ordered and dispensed and which pharmacy they are ordered from. I complain about the condition of the carpeting and why it hasn't been properly washed or replaced in years. But most of all I complain about the food. And for a good reason. It sucks. And lately, it has been sucking even more.

In the last few weeks not only has the quality of the ingredients been going downhill, but also the way it is cooked, prepared and served. The attitude of the staff,  both in and out of the kitchen, has been on the decline and last Sunday it came to a head, at least for me.

I skipped lunch Sunday. I was just not hungry, having just had breakfast three hours earlier (Another problem I have with this fine institution). And besides, the main meal was one of my favorites, a hot open roast beef sandwich. In the past, this dinner had been rather decently prepared so I was really looking forward to having it. Therefore, you can imaging my surprise (and dismay) when I saw what was being served to me this night. Before me was a single slice of overcooked beef, on a single slice of whole wheat bread and very little gravy. I looked with utter amazement at what they thought was a proper meal to be served to adult human beings. Naturally, I picked upon my plate and took it to the kitchen entrance to complain, and possibly throw, the plate of food at somebody. 

Using a great deal of restraint, I proceeded to tell the cook what I thought of him and his food. Admittedly, I used a couple of colorful words, to which he took exception.  I raised my voice, as I have raised it in the past, and finally received a proper portion of food. I urged my fellow diners to do the same but, as usual, only a couple of people joined in my protest. 

As some of you know, I have been writing the food portion of this blog for almost as long as I have been here. Longer than the kitchen staff, cooks and manager have been here. And certainly longer than the current administrator and his assistants have been here, so I think that I am qualified to make suggestions  and point out any problems that may occur. What some of you may not know is that I am also a member and chairmen of the resident's food committee, a job that I do not take lightly. In my capacity as chairman, I have tried to convey to management my feelings about the way food is cooked here and in some instances, I have gotten my message across and things have been changed. Unfortunately, as of late, the quality and variety of the food, as well as the general attitude of the staff and the dining experience as a whole, has changed. There is a much more adversarial approach being taken by the staff and management. Instead of trying to accommodate the residents, every effort is being made to try an make us conform to a set of rules that puts the residents at a disadvantage. I could, and will, innumerate what these prohibitions are and why they are unfair and inconvenient for some residents to adhere to, but that is for another time and place. As for now, I have a food and dining issue to deal with. I will be calling a meeting of the food committee for  sometime this week. at that time I will express my complaints directly to management. And also, at that time, I will tender my resignation from the food committee. I have done all I could  and, I'm afraid it wasn't very much.


We knew where the red bell pepper was, we could see traces of it floating around in this thing. We assumed there was an egg in there too, after all, something had to hold this thing together. We did taste a trace of onion and perhaps some salt. We definitely knew where the mayonnaise* was as well as the predominant ingredient which were bread crumbs. However, we did not know where the star of this thing was which would be, the crab. So, I ask the question, “Is a crab cake allowed to be called a crab cake if “crab” is not the main ingredient?”

* recipe for “easy crab cakes may be found at Hellmann’s website...



If this was meant as a joke, the joke’s on me, and I’m not laughing. From the first time I laid eyes on a pile of corn niblets sitting on my plate or mixed with (shudder) succotash, I knew that I preferred my corn as god intended it to be eaten, on the cob, dripping with butter and lightly salted. Unfortunately, life here at the asylum does not have room for such a frivolity. The main reason that was given for not having corn on the cob, either in the dining room or at Bar-b-cues, is because of the lack of teeth that may of our residents suffer from. To that, my suggestion was “let those who can’t handle the cob, cut the kernels off the core and eat as usual.” This was met with a shrug of the shoulder. And now, comes this little attempt to humor me, a very little attempt in deed. I don’t know from where they get this pygmy corn or why anyone would bother growing such a vegetable. In fact, it doesn’t even taste like corn. All I can say is, I get the joke, you made your point, now lets start cooking some real food for real people.


The only thing missing was the clown

Since my very first review of the food here at the asylum almost two years ago, the one thing that I have consistently said is “All I want is for the food to be as good as the food served in any diner on route 17 or fast food joint.” Today, unfortunately, I got my wish. 

With the serving of what the menu unashamedly called a Filet-O-Fish sandwich, the kitchen has finally reached its low point. The only thing that made this sandwich differ from its Mickey D’s counterpart was the flavor. This sandwich, if you can believe it, was even more bland and tasteless than the name brand. Even my concoction of tarter sauce, ketchup and mustard could not make this thing taste any less boring. And, although there was no Ronald McDonald around we do have our share of clowns, in the kitchen. 


This meatball sandwich is not my hero

have said this before, but I believe that anything bad is worth repeating. "THIS MEATBALL HERO SUCKS". And it does so on so many levels.

First of all, any seven year old knows how a meatball Parmesan hero sandwich should be made. It is one of the biggest no-brainers in the world of no-brainers. There are essentially only four ingredients. Amazingly, our kitchen could only get two of them right.

While it's true that the sandwich had meatballs and tomato sauce, the other two things that make a meatball parm sandwich what it is were missing, or should I say, substituted. I am talking primarily about the roll. The very definition of a "hero" sandwich is that it should be made with a real hero roll. For some reason our cooks thought that an ordinary round sandwich bun would be OK. Next, and perhaps the most important part of any meatball Parmesan hero is the cheese. Yes, I know what you are saying. "I see cheese there on that thing. What are you complaining about". To which I say, "Whatsamattayoucrazyorsomethin". THE CHEESE ON A MEATBALL PARMESAN HERO SHOULD BE MELTED ON THE SANDWICH, NOT SPRINKLED ON BY THE DINER YOU NITWIT.

Sometimes I just do not know what goes on in the minds of the people who cook and plan our meals. Why do they do things in such a half-assed way. How much more expensive or how much more trouble would it have been to make this very simple sandwich correctly. No wonder everyone complains about the food. Pazzo, no?


What Joan Rivers Taught Us About Dying

Susan R. Dolan

When you think of Joan Rivers, any number of great lines come to mind (my personal favorite is her rant against housework: "You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again"). But perhaps her best lines included powerful advice on aging, articulating our wishes, and dying well.



Your never too old....

81-year-old flasher arrested. 

According to the Sheriff's Office, 81-year-old Fred Reede came to his bedroom window Monday afternoon at the Vista Grand Assisted Living Facility, which overlooks a swimming pool. Reede allegedly was wearing a bright red bra and panties, and he then exposed himself, shaking his genitals at the residents in the pool area....


<:::::::Senior briefs:::::::>

Semi-nude calendar of elders spurs book on aging

By Cindy Cantrell


The men’s calendar came six years after one that featured 12 mature church women in similar stages of undress. The women’s calendar sold out its printing of 2,000 copies to raise $24,000 for the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Framingham Centre. With the benefit of social media and national attention, including mentions on “Good Morning America” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” the men’s calendar — covering ages 64 to 87 — sold 2,250 copies worldwide for a net profit of $26,000.

Reaction to the calendars ranged from support, appreciation, and glee to disgust and accusations of sacrilege. For Hollerorth, the experience was thought-provoking......




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9/11...We will never forget.

On a beautiful Tuesday morning in September thirteen years ago, everything changed forever.

Remembering 9/11

As an aging baby boomer I have been witness to a lot of history. Among those events have been wars, assassinations, race riots, Woodstock, the rise of Viet Nam, hippies, beatniks , yuppies and the Edsel. But those happened somewhere else or I was not directly involved, so my interest in those things were that of an observer rather than a participant. Unfortunately, the one event that I was a witness to was also the most significant event in American history since the revolution. That, of course, was the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and unfortunately, I was there. My office was located about one mile north and directly in line with the twin towers of the World Trade Center. But my familiarity with those two amazing structures goes back many years.

I worked in downtown Manhattan virtually all of my life or at least from the time I was 12 years old and I knew the neighborhood very well. I remember the area that would eventually be torn down to make way for what was supposed to be the tallest buildings in America. And it was not going to be just one building but two giant towers that would dominate the skyline for years. The 23 acres that were cleared was a run-down area comprised of two, three or four story 100 year old buildings, many of them made of wood. As soon as construction began in 1966, the downtown community buzzed with excitement. With the coming of these structures would also come thousands of prospective customers which would mean that more jobs and more stores and restaurants that would be needed to serve them. The small mom and pop printing and stationery store that I worked for was ecstatic at the prospect of things to come, and come they did. In the years that followed the completion of the WTC, the very closed, almost village-like atmosphere of the area changed overnight. New businesses, new transportation and even new apartments sprouted up like mushrooms. Even the rubble removed from the excavation added additional land to the narrow tip of the island. Eventually, I got a new job and I moved from lower Manhattan to Greenwich Village, about a mile north of the WTC site. But despite being further away from the towers, I could still see them looming majestically in the horizon. The Towers were so big that even from a mile away they looked like they were right next door. Than came that sunny day in September of 2001 when everything changed forever.
I was already at my desk, working at 8:45 when I heard (but did not see) a very loud and low flying jet wiz past my office window which overlooked the Hudson river. Fifteen minutes later a co-worker came into the area and announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Not having a TV or radio at my desk, I brought up one of the local news radio stations on my computer. I, and my co-workers, listened intently as the news 
unfolded. Some people left their desks and went downstairs to the street and walked the half block to West Street where they had a clear view of the WTC. They could clearly see the smoke streaming out of the upper floors of the building. I stayed at my desk taking phone calls mostly from our branches in other parts of the country who wanted to know what was going on. It was not until about a hour later, at approximately 9:45 that I was able to take a break and go outside to take a look for myself. It seemed that I was there for only a few seconds when I saw a sight that stays with me to this day. I saw the south tower of the WTC collapse before my eyes. At first I thought I was watching a movie or even a cartoon. This could not be real. What I’m seeing? A giant building just doesn’t collapse like a stack of cards. It took awhile for it all to settle in. I took the elevator back up to my office to tell everybody what I saw, but they already knew. We all stood there, in silence and disbelief.
“MY GOD, BARBARA” I said out loud. “AND JACK” said somebody else. We were referring to two people, two of our customers, who worked for two different companies who had offices on the upper floors of that tower. I knew that they were gone because both liked to get into work early. Barbara was Barbara Etzhold who worked for Fred Alger & Co. , she was 43 years old. John (or Jack) Andreacchio worked for Fuji Bank, he was 52 years old. The World Trade Center was not just concrete and aluminum. It had a face and a voice.
For the rest of the morning, that day, I was in a dream state. Finally, at about 10:30, after the second tower fell, we were told to go home. I had driven to work that day but I chose not to try and drive home as most of the bridges and tunnels had been closed. The subway was not running so I decided to walk as far as I could. I headed downtown to the Williamsburg bridge. There, together with thousands of my fellow New Yorker’s, I crossed that very long bridge in almost utter silence. The only sounds came from the F-16 fighter jets screaming overhead and the sirens of countless emergency vehicles heading to what must have looked like hell. I walked into Brooklyn and eventually was able to squeeze on to a bus which took me to another bus which took me home to Forest Hills. It was 3pm. That was a Tuesday. We did not return to work until Friday. Everything looked almost normal except that the two monoliths that took up most of the sky were no longer there. Thirteen years have gone by, and since that day America grew up. A shiny, new building now sits on that infamous site, but my memory of that day has not diminished one bit.

I am sure that you have noticed the increased activity last week in regards to light bulbs and fixtures and the changing thereof throughout the facility. This is  means better lighting conditions for us residents However, there is another very good reason why the facility would go to all the cost and trouble to replace all of the regular light bulbs with new LED bulbs. The Center will be saving money over the next few years and a lot of it....

How Senior Living is Saving Big With LED Lighting

Cassandra Dowell

LED lights will reduce energy consumption, lowering utility bills in the long run, “the difference in price between LED and regular light fixtures will be paid back within five years time.” LED fixtures can be one and a half to twice as much as regular, or fluorescent, lights.
Some light solution providers are also zeroing in on assisted living facilities (ALFs), taking note that ALF’s supply and demand continues to outpace other sectors of senior living.



They never listen to me....

New signage is useless.

The primary reason for having a sign outside the dining room was so that last minute changes to the menu could be disseminated to the residents as they entered. The only way for this sign to be of any value is if IT IS ACTUALLY CORRECTED EVERY TIME THERE IS A CHANGE. Unfortunately, this is rarely done. And the reason for that is, it’s too cumbersome to change the signage quickly. This is not the way it was supposed to be.
I originally suggested that the sign be either a dry erase board or a chalkboard that could be updated by any member of the dining room staff. This would have been better and cheaper. Instead, the powers that be decided on something fancy and useless. Now, if there is a change, the old sign has to be removed from its frame (by unscrewing it no less) and replaced with the corrected information. In the days since this new sign was installed, there have been numerous changes to the menu but only a very few of these have been posted. They never listen.

There is a war going on inside this seemingly placid institution, a war as insipid and destructive as any Middle East conflict or urban confrontation. And, like any other war, it has its cast of characters.
There is, of course, the obligatory dictator, who’s omnipotent edicts echo throughout the halls and strikes fear into the hearts of all that would disobey. There are too, the spies who carry out their covert operations under the very noses of those who are trying to carry out the dictators orders. The guerrillas are here too. These are the people who strike quickly and get out fast with their spoils. Than there are the profiteers who prey on the civilians, charging inflated promises for a meager portion of their horded lucre. And finally, there is the civilian population who’s only wish is return to a time of normalcy when there was abundance for all and the need for conflict was unnecessary. Unfortunately, instead of a de-escalation of the situation, the reverse has become true. There are now even less cups available in the country kitchen than ever before.

At one time the land was prosperous and cups were plentiful. Never would a citizen have to hunt high and low for a cup from which to drink. There was always an abundance of pure, white Styrofoam cups available for both cold and hot beverages. Than came the refugees. Those immigrants from other lands who inflated the population and devastated an already strained cup-to-resident economy. 

The relentless hoarding characteristics of these “invaders” made it necessary for the Dictator to issue an edict that all Styrofoam cups shall be removed from the area of the water machine except for those times when beverages were “officially” served by staff. This meant that if a resident wanted a cold drink of ice water during any other time, there would be NO CUPS AVAILABLE. This prompted large scale hording of said cups by thirsty residents who would take four, five and even six cups back to their rooms for future use causing an even greater shortage. Naturally, as in any wartime economy, a black market of sorts sprung up from amid the rubble causing both the scarcity and desire for the cups to rise. Citizens who hoarded vast amounts of cups began to share them with a select number of so-called comrades who would gladly do a favor for even the mere mention of the word “Styrofoam”.

Eventually, the Dictator ordered his secret agents known as the “Staffies” to check on suspected hoarding residents and, when necessary, retrieve the cups and return them to stock. However, these Staffies too, became corrupt and began a black market of their own hiding cups in secret locations throughout the facility. Now, this conflict has reached a crescendo. The cup shortage has spread beyond the country kitchen and into the heretofore sanctity of the MED ROOM.

Up until now, the med room used its own cups (smaller, clear plastic cups) when distributing medication to residents. But now, due to some mix up or foul up with purchasing, it has become necessary for the med room staff to impose the law of imminent domain and commandeer the precious cups for their own nefarious use. This new escalation in the conflict, whether brought about by edict or subterfuge, has, in at least one situation, caused a staff/resident confrontation. I was witness to that confrontation.

A resident, parched with thirst and wanting nothing more than a cup so that he might collect a small amount of cold water from the machine, entered the med room and took a cup from the counter. In an attempt to stop said resident from removing one of the precious cups from the med room, the tech on duty raised her voice and began to admonish the resident for his brazen attempt to appropriate the vessel. A volley of words were exchanged ending in the resident using stern language. Realizing that she was outclassed, the tech reluctantly let the resident leave with his purloined booty. The resident proudly displayed his “trophy” for all of the other residents to see. A victory, of sorts, was won but at what cost? How long with the “Battle of the Cups” wage on. Unfortunately, this observer can see no end in sight..............Ed.

Usually in decline this time of year, many of the flowering plants around the facility have sprung back to life mainly due to the unusually warm weather to which we have been treated . The bees and other pollinating insects were enjoying it too and there were plenty of them buzzing around this plant outside the Franklin Center.


Retired? Or soon will be. Check out this new site...


Empty Space

After a story that appeared in this blog last week regarding the unused, empty wasted space in a corner of the dining room, we noticed this little tableau set up in that very area. While nothing official has been said about a permanent use of this area possibly as an additional lounge area for residents, we hope this small arrangement of furniture marks a stepping off point for that future venue. 

Though it’s been a while since my last suggestion for the “Wacky Suggestion Box” it does not mean that I have not been thinking wacky thoughts. In fact so many wacky thoughts infest my brain every day that I have had to completely delete most of my memory  leaving behind only that much free brain space needed to function. The upside to this is that there is room now for my thoughts and ideas to slosh around. Now, after a considerable amount of sloshing, I have come up with what I think could solve many of the problems facing, not only an aging population in general, but the entire ALF industry as well.

The latest idea in assisted or senior living is the “village” concept of community. Don’t they know that, in a way, this already exists?

Why not build assisted living communities inside shopping malls?

Building, or using existing space inside new or established urban or suburban shopping malls would solve many of the problems facing seniors every day. Here’s what such a plan would accomplish.

Need for housing: As the number of baby boomers reach retirement age, the demand for housing will grow by leaps and bounds. With new construction costs rising out of control, the renovation of existing space becomes a more viable option. Shopping centers and malls, especially those with empty retail space, are perfect for these renovations mainly because the existing infrastructure is already in place. All the electric work, the A.C. and even the plumbing are already in there. A space the size of Target or Walmart store would be perfect for renovation and subdivision into individual rooms or apartments.

Mobility: One of the major problems facing older people is their lack of mobility. Whether their disabilities force them to use a walker or a wheelchair or even a scooter, not being able to get “out and about” can lead to depression and other “sociability” problems. Having all stores within walking (or wheeling) distance from the ALF would open a whole new world to these people.

Transportation: One of the problems here, and with many other senior living communities, is the poor quality or even the lack of transportation. Only a very few ALF’s have proprietary transportation options which means that most of the elderly and disabled have to rely on inefficient Para Transit systems or expensive cab and livery services to take them shopping, to the movies or even the bank. Having most of their shopping needs within walking distance would virtually eliminate the need for external transportation. Very large malls could provide, either free or for a nominal cost, the use of a golf cart or riding scooter to aid residents in getting around.

Food: Residents  would have the option of eating at the ALF or one of the restaurants in the malls food court.

Security: The ALF would have the advantage of the mall’s own security force and devices and systems 24 hours a day.

Parking: The problem with many urban ALF’s is the lack of on street parking. In many cases there is no visitor parking at all. The usually huge parking lots that surround most malls would solve that problem. Plus there would be an added advantage. Having an ALF in a mall or shopping center would encourage the kids to visit granny more often.

Finally, there would be an advantage for the mall’s existing tenants (merchants) who would have a ready source of customers nearby. A win-win situation for all.

I know that this is a radical idea and that there would be many hurdles to overcome before such a scheme could be implemented. It would take a combination of bold and innovative landlords, administrators and legislators to make this a reality. And it is just those kinds of people that will be needed as the number of baby boomers reaching retirement age continues to grow........................................................................Ed.


Maybe my wacky idea ain’t so wacky after all......

Mixed-use development would include hotel, apartments, restaurants and assisted living.

Bob Sandrick/Northeast Ohio Media Group).

"We do believe this will be a wonderful development, almost a destination location,"
BRECKSVILLE, Ohio -- Wojno Development in Uniontown wants develop 23 acres near I-77 and Ohio 82, west of a proposed MetroHealth System outpatient center, with an extended-stay hotel, restaurants, stores, luxury "senior-oriented" apartments and assisted living.



We all know how limited the space here is and, if you happen to have a single room of your own, it can be even more of a challenge to make the place look more like a home and less like a cheap motel room. The following article gives some practical an inexpensive ways to get more storage space and make your room look larger.

11 Ways To Make A Tiny Bedroom Feel Huge 

By Suzy Strutner

We already know that a small space can be a great space, but that doesn't mean decorating your tiny bedroom is easy. It's tough to fit all the basics (a bed, a desk, a closet, a hamper, AHH!) into so little square-footage....



As health insurance costs rise it is up to all of us to help prevent unscrupulous people from taking advantage of funds that rightfully belong to you.

Tips to prevent medicare fraud


Do protect your Medicare number (on your Medicare card) and your Social Security Number (on your Social Security card). Treat your Medicare card like it's a credit card.
Do remember that nothing is ever "free." Don't accept offers of money or gifts for free medical care.
Do ask questions. You have a right to know everything about your medical care including the costs billed to Medicare.
Do educate yourself about Medicare. Know your rights and know what a provider can and can't bill to Medicare.
Do use a calendar to record all of your doctor's appointments and what tests or X-rays you get. Then check your Medicare statements carefully to make sure you got each service listed and that all the details are correct. If you spend time in a hospital, make sure the admission date, discharge date, and diagnosis on your bill are correct.
Do be wary of providers who tell you that the item or service isn't usually covered, but they "know how to bill Medicare" so Medicare will pay.
Do make sure you understand how a plan works before you join.
Do always check your pills before you leave the pharmacy to be sure you got the correct medication, including whether it's a brand or generic and the full amount. If you don’t get your full prescription, report the problem to the pharmacist.
Do report suspected instances of fraud.


Don't allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
Don't contact your doctor to request a service that you don't need.
Don't let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don't need.
Don't accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman. If someone comes to your door claiming to be from Medicare or Medicaid, remember that Medicare and Medicaid don't send representatives to your home to sell products or services.
Don't be influenced by certain media advertising about your health. Many television and radio ads don't have your best interest at heart.
Don't give your Medicare card, Medicare number, Social Security card, or Social Security Number to anyone except your doctor or other authorized Medicare provider.


 Hating my cell phone

To be fair, I really didn't love my previous cell phone, either. What I loved was the old, black, rotary-dial phone I stole from Ma Bell years ago. It’s now down in the cellar, boxed up with a lot of other stuff I won’t use again, but can’t part with. Mementos of a bygone era when things were so easy to operate they came without instructions. People simply knew how to use them; it was obvious. There weren't enough features to confuse a child.
The rotary dial was easy: You picked up the handset and heard a dial tone,..... 


Tech-shy baby boomers get low-cost tablet from AARP, Intel

“Technology can be daunting for users of a certain age, but Intel and AARP are offering help with a simple-to-use tablet. The tablet, which has a 7.85-inch screen and is based on the Android OS, will sell for US$189 starting in mid-October through Walmart’s website......”


Practically every man over a certain age has, is, or will be experiencing this annoying phenomena. Around here, one only has to listen carefully and they will hear the sounds of toilets flushing at all hours of the night. You can rest assured that those frequent trips to the john are being made by one or more of us old dudes who just can’t go without going for more than a couple of hours. Now, while there may not be cure for this affliction there may be a way of reducing the need for these frequent nocturnal excursions...

Men Who Exercise Least are Most Likely to Wake Up to Urinate

Those physically active one or more hours per week were 13% less likely to report nocturia, 34% less likely to report severe nocturia

“Combined with other management strategies, physical activity may provide a strategy for the management of BPH-related outcomes, particularly nocturia,”

There are several possible mechanisms by which physical activity can protect against nocturia, including reducing body size, improving sleep, decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity and lowering levels of systemic inflammation.....


Interactive map shows movement of aging population

by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

These two maps, created by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

. show the share of U.S. county population aged 50 and over (percent) in 1990 (left panel) and 2010 (right panel). Slide the vertical bar left and right to see the changes over time. To view detailed county information, click the county....

Go to....


I love this story

Retired Sisters of Charity Now to Receive Care at Jewish Home


“Jewish Home Lifecare met our criteria on every level and has proven a very collaborative partner. The opportunity it offers is an act of God’s Providence and we feel blessed,” said Sister Eileen, who is a member of the congregation’s leadership team, in a statement.

Twenty-six Sisters of Charity of New York are planning to move into assisted living facilities at Jewish Home Lifecare in the Bronx this month after a multi-year study conducted by the religious congregation found it was “no longer feasible to continue doing our retirement ministry on our own.”....


I don’t usually talk about deserts....'s why

Cookie cake?

Chicken pot pie

Right on.

The last time we had chicken pot pie for lunch was a couple of weeks ago. At that time I wrote that, although the pie had improved considerably over previous attempts, it was not quite there yet and that it needed improvement. Well, evidently someone in the kitchen was listening because last Tuesday’s chicken pot pie was very close to the mark.
The problem with the too sweet filling was resolved as well as its consistency. Tuesday’s pie was not only perfectly seasoned but there was an abundance of actual chicken in there too. The flaky crust was almost perfect (although mine came slightly burnt around the edges). This is a complete meal with everything a meal should have. Now, if they learned to do beef stew this way, they would really have something to be proud of.



It’s been a couple of months since the “Great popcorn shrimp disaster”, an incident that will go down in W.Center dining history. That encounter was a shameful attempt at trying to cook something that the chef knew nothing about and, the results showed it. Little pieces of almost shrimp-less fried niblets of breading were scattered haphazardly on diners plates. I even went around to various tables and collected the leftovers to show to the chef the next morning. Evidently something hit a nerve because the popcorn shrimp served at last Thursday’s dinner was made the way popcorn shrimp should be made. Not only were the shrimp meaty and tender but, they were lightly breaded and fried to perfection. This dish deserved every one of the four “Foodies”I gave it.


If diners were expecting the As Advertised “French Dip” roast beef to be sandwich with hardy slices of roast beef on a french bread roll with a bowl of au jus sauce (beef juice) on the side, they were very disappointed.
While the sandwich was not really that bad, its presentation left much to be desired.
In addition, as I looked around the dining room to see how this new (to our menu) sandwich was received, I saw that very few diners had ordered it, preferring the standard chicken Cobb salad instead. Perhaps it was the name “French Dip” that turned them off. Knowing the aversion to strange sounding foreign food that many of the residents have, they probably should have just called it a Roast Beef on a roll. The side of chick peas were interesting though.  

And now, straight from the chicken nursing home......

Stewed chicken.

The reason that the above photo of last Saturday’s chicken dinner looks like it 

was ravaged by a pack of hungry wolverines is because that’s what it took for me to try to find a piece of that disgusting feed that was even remotely edible. This atrocity of a meal featured a chicken that tasted like it was brought to the kitchen on a respirator with a medicare card in its beak and a toe tag, it was just that tough and old. Adding insult to this already injured old bird was the way it was cooked, or should I say overcooked like everything else around here. Combine this together with the world’s worst tasting 
vegetable, cauliflower, and you got a meal fit for the finest dumpster in Yonkers. Oh, and by the way, sweet potatoes suck.

I’m only posting this story because of its “shock value” headline



When Nora Ephron at age 65 penned her collection of essays on aging, I Feel Bad About My Neck, she despaired: "Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth." And yes, back in 2007, crepey necks were the dead giveaway of age -- even with the best face-lifts. Cut to 2014, when experts finally have mastered how to youth-enize the neck, matching the shoes, if you will, to the clothes -- hallelujah.....



To begin....

Anyone who is a caregiver, a staff member, operator or manager of an ALF should be made to watch this film.
Any prospective resident or loved one of a resident who will be entering into or already is in an ALF should watch this film. It’s about life in an assisted living facility as a disabled person and the problems one encounters on a daily basis. But, most of all it is a film about dignity. It’s twenty minutes well spent. Click directly on link to view on YouTube.


Officially, summer does not end for a few weeks, but in our hearts we all know that Labor Day signals the end to the carefree lifestyle we have enjoyed the last couple of months. And for us here in the northeast, this summer season was particularly beautiful. For some reason, while much of the country has been either under four feet of water, blown away by tornadoes, boiled in record breaking temperatures or shake’d and baked by a passing earthquake, we here in the tri-state area have encountered the best weather in decades.

It seemed that there was just the right amount of rainfall, which came mostly at night, and just the right amount of brilliant sun with just the right temperature for doing everything we easterners rarely get a chance to enjoy, like a temperate climate. Bar-b-cues were never rained-out, beach days were always sunny and bright, and even the usual hot blasts of a summer wind was tempered by a gentle cooling breeze. Yes, we had all the good stuff this summer, which can mean only one thing. WE ARE GOING TO GET SLAUGHTERED THIS WINTER.

The Farmer’s Almanac, which has an 80% accuracy rate in its forecasts, says this about the coming winter around here..
“Winter will be colder and slightly wetter than normal, with above-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in late December and early and mid-January. The snowiest periods will be in mid- and late December, mid-January, and early to mid-February.” Of course the real question is, “Do I really care?”, and the answer is a resounding NO.

As a kid I would watch the weather forecast like a hawk. I would hope that the “Slight chance of precipitation” predicted by the weather lady on TV would turn into “Six feet of drifting snow” closing the schools for the day. As an older kid I would pray for less snow since I was the one who had to shovel the stuff from the sidewalks around my parents house. Later on, when I became a “commuter” I would pray for no snow at all, having knowledge of what the Brooklyn-Queens expressway would be like if even a trace of the white stuff fell on the road. Now, as I sit here in this little microcosm of an ideal society we call assisted living, the weather, the news and especially Labor Day has absolutely no meaning for me at all. Holidays, especially those that close one’s workplace, are for other people. People with jobs. People who wear suites or uniforms. This is not to say that I don’t celebrate the American workforce. Nobody works longer hours with less days off than Americans. The truth be told, we are crazy for work like no other country.

The Germans get a minimum of six weeks vacation a year no matter how long they have been with the company. The French, god bless them, work only a 35 hour week and go on strike at the drop of a chapeau. Only we crazy Americans (And the equally crazy Japanese) get only two weeks vacation and many of us don’t even take them. I left my job with six weeks of paid time off that I never used, although I did get compensated for them when I left. Not only does this Labor Day mean nothing to the residents here but it means nothing to most of the staff here too. Taking care of old people means that there are no holidays off, at least not for some. Someone has to be here all of the time. This place would fall into chaos if we were all left to our own devises. Can you imagine 170 old folks cooking, cleaning, washing and providing their own entertainment. It would be like..,like the end of the world. Just like there’s no crying in baseball, there’s no Labor day in assisted living.

Therefore, to the rest of you poor suckers, I say “Enjoy your meager day off. Stuff yourself on the burned flesh of a large mammal. Drink beer until it comes out of your nose and drive home in bumper to bumper traffic.” I’m just glad that I won’t be part of it.




It’s frustrating for us residents that actively participate in all the Center has to offer, to have to watch some residents sit all day in one place apparently not caring or even aware of what’s going on around them. These people never attend resident’s meetings or join committees or participate in anything. At first I just chalked this apathy off to boredom or sleep deprivation or just an uncaring attitude that these folks probably had all their lives. However, this article shows me that there may be a pathological reason for this apathy.

"Just as signs of memory loss may signal brain changes related to brain disease, apathy may indicate underlying changes,"

Researchers find link between aging brain and apathy

By Tom Valeo, Times Correspondent

Some people become calmer and less troubled by life's frustrations as they age.
Does apathy promote brain shrinkage, or does brain shrinkage promote apathy? The researchers don't know, but they point out that brain shrinkage is often found in people with Alzheimer's disease, suggesting that it could be a sign of brain deterioration.
Apathy also occurs in older people suffering from depression; .....

Captain Mike at the helm of what may be the last BBQ of the season


Annual Labor Day Downhill Rollator and Wheelchair Race

The administration has announced that, for the third year in a row, the annual resident’s Rollator and wheelchair race has been canceled due to insurance reasons. Although eagerly awaited upon by the residents, the wimpy management thought, that for some reason, having half demented, fragile octogenarians seated precariously on a small seat of a Rollator with poor handbrakes was dangerous. The bales of hay positioned at the bottom of the hill, which would have stopped any run-a way contestants, will, instead, be use to feed the horses of the Yonkers P.D. Mounted Unit...................................................Ed.


Necessity is the “mutha” of invention.

Not wanting to sit out in the hot sun on this unusually warm August day and, finding no seats indoors, I decided that my best alternative was to take my hot-off-the-grill Italian sausage back to my room. However, manipulating a constantly rolling tube of sausage around a flat paper plate with one hand and a cane in the other was a task akin to a circus act. Therefore, out of necessity, I have this 25th day of August in the year of our lord 2014, invented the “Cup-O-Sausage”®. Pictured here is the working prototype with standard yellow mustard. Future versions of the C-O-S ® will include ketchup, hot mustard and bar-b-cue sauce. Also in the works...”Cup-O-Hot Dog” and “Cup-O-Burger”.


We are not sure who the person or persons are who does this, but we are pretty sure it’s not a resident. Unfortunately, once again we have to remind people that the “drain” on the water/ice dispenser in the country kitchen is not a waste drain. The collected water does not empty out into the sewer, it stays exactly where it is. Leaving a mound of ice cubes in that tray or spilling waste water into it only causes the reservoir to overflow leaving a dangerous puddle on the floor. I think it’s time that management put a sign up on the dispenser reminding people not to pour water or ice cubes in that tray.  


“If you believe that you or your loved one have been subjected to medical malpractice, there are two things that you must do immediately.”


When you are under the care of a medical professional, you assume that you are receiving the best care for your condition. This same pattern of thinking takes place when you seek medical care for a loved one. You want to be tended to by someone who is knowledgeable and has a good track record of the treatment or type of procedure that you will be getting. However, there are times when the actions of the medical provider just seem to be questionable. You get that “gut” feeling that something is wrong. Do you listen to your gut? What do you do if you think the current care you are receiving is causing more harm than good?.....


Looking for more on retirement and beyond. Go to...


Ever wonder why older people sleep less?
By Karen Weintraub

People in their 70s and beyond seem to need so much less sleep than they did when they were younger. New research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center may finally explain ....



Hand pain not inevitable with aging
Written by Brian Kilen

Chronic hand pain and dysfunction aren’t inevitable aspects of aging, but hands are vulnerable to injury and degenerative conditions after years of wear and tear. The August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter includes an eight-page Special Report on Hand Pain, including common causes and strategies to alleviate, manage and even prevent hand pain.
Health concerns covered included arthritis, tendon and nerve conditions, trauma and infections. ....


Marijuana May Halt or Slow Alzheimer’s Disease Says Florida Study

THC in marijuana known to be potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels

By Anne DeLotto Baier

Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows....



Driving Miss Crazy: Taking the Keys from an Aging Parent, or yourself.
Written by Mark L. Chapman

“I understand her desires, and respect her wishes. However, I have qualms and serious concerns about her resuming her to-and-fros, for her sake and for that of the motoring public with whom she shares the road.”

I've been talking to my mother (e-mailing, actually: she's a proud denizen of the digital domain). It's about her driving. Mom has been sidelined for a few months with a broken arm, and is chafing at the bit to get back behind the wheel of her little red Honda. She is waiting for the green light from her occupational therapist, anxious to reassert her independence.....



 Stun Canes for AARP Members, Senior Citizens and Baby Boomers Who Want to Get a Handle on Self-Defense via Affordable Tactical, Non-Lethal Protection Stun Canes

Stun Guns Are Perfect for People That Want to Protect Themselves Against Danger While Shopping, Traveling, and/or Driving Around Town and Help Prevent Assault, Carjacking, Robbery and Home Invasions.

Arc Angel Industries(, a leading tactical stun cane, stun flashlight, stun gun andstun stick manufacturer, announced the roll out of a new patented Stun Cane designed forAARP members, senior citizens and other active adults who will find comfort in knowing that they can use Conductive Electronic Device (CED) technology to defend themselves in public and at home against a wide variety of perpetrators....


Who wouldn’t smile with a breakfast like this. Two fried eggs over a mound of corned beef hash. Combined with a hardy bowl of oatmeal, orange juice and a hot cup of coffee, Carpe Diem.


Usually, my aversion to anything designated as “fingers” when describing food would preclude me from  even reviewing such a dish. However, since Monday afternoon’s offering of chicken fingers and home made Parmesan potato chips was the only edible thing on the menu, I decided to, not only eat it but offer my opinion on the thing. Amazingly, what I found turned out to be surprisingly good.

Instead of the usual soggy, overcooked fried fingers we have become accustomed to on previous occasions, today’s offering was, not only crispy and properly seasoned, but was tender and juicy as well. A swift bite into the perfectly fried battered strip of chicken revealed a moist slice of tender white meat. Additionally, the accompanying home made potato chips were, today, actually as equally crisp as the chicken. My only complaint is that there should have been a dish of honey mustard sauce available for dipping, but my old stand-by ketchup came to the rescue.

Question, if they can fry chicken like this for lunch, why can’t they do it for fish (or chicken) for dinner?


After a couple of mishaps with a previous meatball Parmesan hero sandwich, where the cheese part of the sandwich consisted of some sprinkled-on processed Parmesan cheese from a plastic jar (that we had to sprinkle on the meatballs ourselves no less) I was hesitant to try this latest offering. However, after being assured by the server that the cheese was in deed real, honest-to-goodness melted on mozzarella, I ventured forward and ordered it. Of course, true to form, the sandwich was far less that what I (and the world) knows to be a meatball Parmesan hero.

If you were ever in the service, you will be familiar with the saying, “There are two ways to do things, the right way and the army way.” Here, it appears, there is yet another way to do things, the “Westchester Center way”.

My primary problem with this sandwich was the bread. As you can see, the roll is not a regulation hero roll. It was nothing more than a regular Kaiser-type roll, better suited for cold cuts than hot sandwiches. My other complaint lies with the meatballs themselves. These factory made meatballs had absolutely no resemblance to an Italian meatball. Instead, they were more akin to the Swedish meatballs we had the other night, meaning that they were bland and almost completely devoid of Italian seasoning. Where was the oregano, the basil, the garlic for gods sake? However, the real shame here is that it would take no more effort to make this sandwich the way it should be made. All it takes is a cook that knows what their doing.


All last week the hot cereals like oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits and farina have suffered from a lack of thickness. As any died in the wool hot cereal lover knows, the golden rule when it comes to consistency is “thicker is better”. Therefore, when a bowl of soupy oatmeal is placed before me I can only assume one thing, “THE PENNY PINCING BASTARDS ARE WATERING DOWN THE CEREAL AGAIN”. Whether or not this is true I don’t know. At this point I will give them the benefit of the doubt and just attribute the looseness of the cereal to improper preparation methods. However, in an effort to properly (and scientifically) rate the thickness of hot cereals, I have devised the “Spoon Test” method of cereal consistency. The test is a simple one and can be performed by anyone and anywhere, all you need is a standard stainless steel soup spoon and a bowl of cereal.

Place the soup spoon in the center of your favorite bowl of hot cereal. If the spoon can remain standing on its own for a minimum of three seconds before toppling over, it passes the test. In fact, just this morning I performed this test on my own oatmeal and , low and behold, the spoon remained in the upright position for almost thirty seconds, far surpassing the three second rule. The truth be told, the oatmeal was so thick that it could have been used as an emergency caulking medium if your boat springs a leak. Actually, despite it thick consistency, the oatmeal tasted a bit under-cooked.

“Sentenced” to an ALF.....
Woman arrested for kidnapping father from assisted living facility

“Police received information that Vesenta Fierro had made comments in the past that she would assist Apolonio Fierro in committing suicide if he were ever placed in an assisted-living facility.
A 35-year-old Colorado Springs woman has been arrested in connection with the early Sunday morning kidnapping of her father from a local assisted-living center......


Naked bike ride ought to feature better representation for senior citizens
John M. Hingst,

Well, Missoula’s first tryout in the naked bike ride has come and gone without incident, and the younger generations were able to strut their stuff without quite bringing down Western Civilization. However, I am told that my fellow octogenarians were not well represented in the event. Next year, in fairness to our senior citizens, we could replace the bike ride with a well-publicized naked gurney ride, to provide easier access for all....


Happy Labor Day....................


Comments will be posted unless you say otherwise.


This past Friday marked my 69th birthday. And, while I have never made a big thing about birthdays, I feel that I should comment on this rather unwanted milestone. 

You see, the thing about attaining the age of 69 means that next year I will be seventy, and seventy means that I will truly be an old man. Nothing says “old” like “70.” It means that I will be beginning my eighth decade on this planet and, nobody in my immediate family, not my father, not my mother and not my brother has made it into their 9th. Therefore, according to my calculations and considering my pre-destined genetic code, I have about 15 to 20,years left to go before the sweet sting of death removes me from this twisted coil of a planet. But, perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. It’s too early to start worrying about the end when there is still so much crap to get through before that happens. Just the fact that I will be 70 next year is filled with trepidation of its own. Take, for instance, the way people start treating you when you are 70.

In 2010, the time of the last census, there were 4.2 million men between the ages of 70 and 74 in this country. That’s about 10.5%, which makes us old geezers a minority and, you know how minorities are treated in this country. At the very least, we become invisible and, in the worst case scenario, we will be treated with hostility and disdain because, unlike many countries that revere their older citizens, the U.S.A. hates us. We are called everything from “old coots”, “senile”, “out of touch” and my favorite “fragile” as if we were a warning label on a carton of Christmas ornaments from Walmart’s. If you don’t think that this is true, just listen to the news. Just the other day there was a report about a man being assaulted on the streets of Greenwich Village. The reporter began her story with “An elderly seventy-two year old man....” as if the number seventy-two was not enough, the reporter found it necessary to enforce the fact that the man was old by using “elderly”. I guess I could go on and on about age discrimination and the way people think about us seniors but that would be a waste of the little time I have left. I would much rather spend that time trying to convince myself that I am not getting older, just better. You know, more seasoned like a fine Bordeaux. I want to be able to look around at all of the Millennials and Gen-X’ers and realize that I know so much more about life and living than they ever will. I want to look back at them when they look at me with that condescending smirk, scowling at the wrinkles on my face, with a smirk of my own. A smirk that says, “You’ll be old like me one day, except that, instead of being older and wiser, you’ll just be old.”


How long will you live?

Check out this website....

 While I’m flattered that they think I only look 55 I am a little disturbed by their assumption that I only have a 56% chance of making it to 85. But then I guess it’s better than no chance at all.

Harvard Researcher on Aging: There's no 'limit on the human lifespan

By Katie Couric

My peers of a certain age will remember an Oil of Olay commercial about deciding not to grow old gracefully, but rather to "fight it every step of the way." And while we spend billions trying to turn back time, the Fountain of Youth has yet to be found at the bottom of a lotion bottle. But one researcher from Harvard Medical School, David Sinclair, believes the secret to stopping the aging process is closer than we think.....

Read more, see video...



“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”.....Kurt Vonnegut



Last week we spoke about how the most uptight firewall in the world prevented one resident from accessing a food related website. In response to that I filled out the form requesting that the designation of “alcohol and tobacco”* be withdrawn and replaced with the proper category number. Well, low and behold, it appears that Sonicwall has seen the error of their ways and has removed this website from its banned list.

*The mystery remains why “Alcohol and Tobacco” is considered to be inappropriate material for adults.


Ever since the Center converted to having two seating's for meals, there has been a large, unused space in the dining room and, we think it’s about time something was done about it. We think this space would best serve the residents if it were used as a lounge area where people could talk quietly away from the noise an transient nature of the Country Kitchen or lobby. It could be a place where residents could have a cup of coffee or tea, read a magazine or discuss the events of the day with fellow residents. There would be no card or board games allowed and no food except for beverages which would be dispensed from the already existing window. In addition, this area would be the perfect place for the vending machines which are now inconveniently located on the lower level. Owing to the fact that this area already has its own entrance, it could easily be separated from the rest of the dining room by a simple accordion door partition. Owing to the desire that many of the residents have for such a lounge area, and that the space is readily available, we see no reason why this could not be immediately implemented.


One of the primary goals of many of the long-time residents here at the asylum has been to acquire proprietary transportation in the form of a van or bus. As of now, residents must depend on either Satco vans (which provide us with only a few trips per month) or Yonker’s Preservation that graciously loans us their bus once a month for which we must pay. The only other means by which residents are able to get out of facility to go shopping, the movies or a restaurant, is to depend upon the very spotty service provided by Westchester ParaTransit, also not free. However, as I have proposed here in the past, there is another way that we can get our own transport and that is by having a van or bus donated by a local merchant or group of merchants that would like to be able to extend their customer base to a group of people who are ready, willing and able to buy.

I last proposed this in this blog a few months ago without any real precedence in the matter. However, I just came across a case that just such a thing was done, by Walmart's no less, in another community. Read story below..... 

Walmart Donates Van to Senior Citizens Center for Meal Delivery

The Area Agency on Aging has been awarded $30,000.00 through a Walmart Foundation grant for the Monticello Senior Center. The money will provide the center with a much-needed food service delivery vehicle and kitchen equipment.

Financial support is sought as many meals for seniors programs across the country are struggling to survive’ as the aging population continues to increase with more elderly in need of services.

The “Walmart Foundation Grant” is intended to help continue to meet the long term equipment needs of providing meals to seniors in Monticello and Drew County.

“Thanks to the Walmart Foundation Grant,” Betty Bradshaw, President and CEO of the Area Agency on Aging stated, “This grant will help in providing meals to many of our clients in need, and will truly make a difference for the seniors of Monticello and Drew County.”

Although, this van is used primarily for the transportation of meals, it goes to show that such a donation by a corporation is possible an that the Center should pursue this avenue as soon as possible.



...’nuff said?


Part 2

Fancying up the fare at retirement communities

By STACEY BURLING - Associated Press

Many of us think of food aimed at the elderly as the bland, dated stuff that might show up on an early-bird-special menu: meat loaf and mashed potatoes. So, it may be

 a bit of a surprise to learn what dinner was like on a recent weeknight at Normandy Farms Estates, a Blue Bell retirement community that is home to more than 500 people. Average age at entry: 80.

The menu at the Fireside Grille included marinated salmon on sautéed fresh spinach,.....

Read more: 

It’s not a rat’s nest or a shag carpet or an Angora sheep. It’s not an alien virus, although it does look like something from another planet. In fact, we don’t even know if it’s natural or man made. What we do know is that it has found a good home here at the asylum.

Taking on life, death and aging.

In last week’s blog we ran an article about Google’s new website. At that time it was not clear as to what its purpose was or even what the URL of the website was. This week some more information has come to light including an actual link to the new site.

While it’s still a bit mysterious, it sounds very promising.


Pour on the Salt? New Research Suggests More Is OK


New research suggests that healthy people can eat about twice the amount of salt that’s currently recommended — or about as much as most people consume anyway. The controversial findings could potentially undercut widespread public health messages about salt....

Read more....

A Great PDF download

With all the wild weather around the country (flooding, tornado's, forest fires) this year, it always pays to be prepared. New York State is offering this free download for people anywhere. It’s a great place to get started with emergency preparedness.

Download here....


Three Common Myths About Senior Assisted Living

Senior assisted living communities can be a great opportunity for seniors, as they are able to downsize into a more manageable space and avoid the hassles of living on one’s own, while still maintaining their independence. However, there are some commonly believed myths about assisted living that can make some seniors hesitate when deciding whether or not a move to an assisted living home is right for them....

Read all...

You Might Be a Baby Boomer if……….

You took family vacations in a “s