theblog

please visit our Facebook page..https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Westchester-Tribune/338955372879539 or email me at resident-x@hotmail.com. 

U.S. copyright laws prohibit me from reprinting entire articles. Therefore, I have provided links to the original stories. 

 

Something new

I have found that I like doing these updates so much that I am going to keep it as a regular feature. Therefore, check in periodically for the latest info available concerning senior topics and assisted living. The main weekly feature page will remain as is.





Thursday, January 29,2015 11:00 AM

Confusion

The impact that those three weeks of breaking with routine had a greater impact on some of our residents than first reported. This was evident at breakfast this morning when many of our older residents could be found wandering around the dining room, unaware of what meal was being served or where they should sit. Mike, our food service manager, acted like an "Elder Wrangler" swooping down and corralling errant residents and guiding them to their proper locations. Severs too, were trying, with little success, to explain the seating arrangements. It's a very sad thing to see. Eventually, all will return to normal and all will be right with the world. Unfortunately, this could all happen again in an instant. 

The regular resident's meeting has been rescheduled for Friday at 2 pm. Hopefully, our council members will be able to meet beforehand to discuss an appropriate post-plague agenda for the meeting.................................... Ed.


A Request


I, and the other members of the Resident's Council, would like to 

compile a list of suggestions from both residents and non-residents

 as to how something like this could have been handled more 

effectively. Naturally, we will most likely have a lively discussion at 

our next resident's meeting, but until that time we would like your

 input. Use the form at the end of this blog or email me directly at....

                                                resident-x@hotmail.com



Guinea pigs

had a completely different editorial planned for this week. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in the same position that we were in two weeks ago. Virtual prisoners. I had high hopes of telling you that all was back to normal here at the asylum and that we were once again mingling with our friends, having our meals (served hot) in the dining room, playing Bingo, watching movies on the big screen, but alas, I cannot. The lockdown/quarantine/ confinement/cautionary isolation thing that has gripped this facility for three weeks, continues with no word on when it will end. Management, in its infinite wisdom, has chosen not to speculate on when this will be over. In fact, they have chosen not to tell us anything, keeping things closer to the vest than a riverboat gambler. Why the silence? There may be a number of reasons for this.

There may be legal implications involved as to why it becomes an advantage not to be too forthcoming. Knowing the way the Center handles publicity and the stupidity with which they come to their management decisions, keeping their mouths shut is probably the best way to go here, at least for them. All institutions that take care of older citizens are under strict and constant scrutiny by the state. New York being one of the strictest. The paperwork, the rules, the constant inspections, puts all of these places under the microscope every day. The possibility of losing one’s license to operate is a very real thing. So, in this case, silence is golden. 

Then, of course, there is the other reason. There is no one in this entire facility that knows how to tell the truth or how to even spin the truth. They are communication illiterates. They have made a point of rarely telling the residents anything about anything. Policies change here without any warning or input from residents. Rules and regulations are imposed on us without any good reason given. The gap that exists between management and the residents who they are supposed to serve grows wider each day. And never more has this gap been so apparent than in these last couple of weeks. Instead of sympathy, we get impersonal form letters that put the blame for our extended situation in the hands of the Department of Health. You mark my words. When this is all over you can be sure that this facility will take no blame for the situation they have put us in. They will never admit that they did not know a thing about how to control such an outbreak nor did they have any plan in place to even address the situation. Everything was done in a haphazard manner while we (residents) are being used as guinea pigs in some bizarre game of “Let's see just how much they can take”. The Center has a lot of explaining to do, but in keeping with tradition, I doubt we will we be paid no more than lip service.

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WEBINAR: SSI Basics

Free Webinar

When: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 2 – 3:30 PM EDT

We will cover the basic eligibility rules for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program which provides modest financial support for older people and people with disabilities who lack other resources. We will describe how benefits are calculated and will provide suggestions on where to go if you need further information.

The webinar is designed for advocates just getting started in the field and others who want to learn the essentials of how the program works.

Register here...https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/262900191242897410


More senior money news


Top 10 Money Saving Tips for Seniors

If you're living on a fixed income, every penny counts! Use this checklist to make sure you're saving money where you can.

1. Current Expenses

Take the time to compile all of your current obligations (supplemental health insurance, prescription drug insurance, life insurance, etc.) and examine if you have the most cost-effective plan for you and/or if all plans are still relevant. Consult with a trusted information source before terminating plans. When assessing your prescription drug plans, consider reaching out to your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), where you can get free information about Medicare, including applying for and selecting plans.

2. Health Insurance

If you're enrolled in Medicare and have limited income and assets, you may be able to put over $100 back in your monthly Social Security check and minimize your premiums and co-pays by learning more about Medicare Savings Programs. There are four different Medicare Savings Programs that can help with Part B premiums and other costs. Each program has a different income and resource eligibility limit....

-more...http://www.ncoa.org/enhance-economic-security/economic-security-Initiative/savvy-saving-seniors/top-10-things-all-seniors.html


The following is a copy of an email that I sent to our food service manager and our administrator (among others)

I sent this because, after three weeks of eating bad food, today's lunch was the worst yet. I don't know if anyone else has publicly (or privately) complained, but the time for being Mr. nice guy is over. I am posting this here on THE BLOG and on my Facebook page, to express my frustration with this entire situation. And, to be frank, I don't care who knows about it. My blog is read in over 150 countries and most of the United States. I have received numerous comments and suggestions from the readers of the blog, all expressing their shock at the way we have been treated. Perhaps informing the powers that be that now the rest of the world knows what's going on, something will be done to end this ASAP.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Bruce Cooper

  Subject: Not acceptable

1:39 PM

To: mpal@thxxxter.com, joe@thxxxxer.com


 

 While I understand the difficulties in serving decent food under the present situation, Sunday's lunch was totally unacceptable.

Besides being served less than a half cup of  soup (something that I have complained about time and time again, the sandwich was inedible. The leftover turkey was cold and dry, and the bread it was served on was soggy as were the overcooked fries. THIS HAS GOT TO END. WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE TREATED THIS WAY. 


Bruce




Surveyors on the patio.

If there was any doubt that the Center’s owners are going full steam ahead on their expansion project, here’s proof. On Wednesday, a team of surveyors, under the watchful eye of our head of maintenance, were going about their business. I don’t know much about surveying, but I know that before any capital construction project can begin an accurate survey of the land must be taken so that blueprints can be drawn, roads altered etc.

If anything, it will give our residents something to look at for the next year or so as the project rises across the road.




$24 million for what!



So, the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency gave the corporation that owns our facility $24 million to expand its operation and open a new facility across from ours. In light of the way the Westchester Center handled the recent health emergency at its present facility, why would the YIDA want to give them any money at all. These past three weeks have proven what I, and many of my fellow residents have argued, and that is “The present management has shown that they neither have the managerial skills nor the compassion needed to operate a successful assisted living facility.” Their antiquated approach regarding the dissemination of information and the lack of pro-activity when the chips are down suggesting a systemic lack of knowledge in regards as to what seniors need or want. Although, it is probably too late to deny any funding for the new facility, this should be a warning to all those who may be approached for such funding in the future. “Look before you leap”, you may fall into something you can’t get out of.




New Resource on Resident to Resident Mistreatment

Aggression between residents of long-term care facilities is a serious, yet often hidden, problem.  All residents have the right to be free from all forms of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and have rights if they have been subject to mistreatment.  Newly released from the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Center on Elder Abuse, this brochure (and large-print fact sheet):

  • Identifies types of mistreatment,
  • Shares information about an individual's rights, and
  • Offers resources on where they can go for help. 

The brochure and fact sheet can be downloaded for free. A hard copy will be available for purchase from the Consumer Voice.  Contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org for more information. 

more....https://bay167.mail.live.com/?tid=cmBZx5vYSW5BGWPmw75af6rA2&fid=flsearch&srch=1&scat=7&sdr=4&satt=0


More ALF news


Q&A: Emeritus Co-Founder Dan Baty on What’s Next For Senior Housing

by Jason Oliva

“The senior living business started off primarily as mom and pop companies, however, we’ve spent a number of years consolidating that. The same happened once we got to assisted living and independent living, which was started mainly by regional operators.”

“Today, we’re seeing a re-emergence of regional providers, putting 8 to 10 properties together and building that up again. The biggest driver was inexpensive money, both for the REITs and private equity guys. They had cheap money, which allowed them to pay high prices. Inexpensive money has allowed a lot of acquisitions where both the buyer and seller win—and then you load on that chief debt money and the high multiple that the REITs sell at. That’s been the biggest driver.I’ve been through five cycles now and have gotten fairly good at feeling the wind and getting a sense of when to shift from buying to building to selling over the last 40 years.”

more...http://seniorhousingnews.com/2015/01/14/qa-emeritus-founder-dan-baty-whats-next-senior-housing/



SENIORS TAKE MANHATTAN 

New York is “one of the global leaders” in adapting to the needs of older residents, says John Beard, the Geneva-based director of the Department of Aging and Life Course for the World Health Organization.

In 2007, WHO initiated an ambitious project to encourage age-friendly cities, with a range of goals that could apply to every metropolis in the world. The details included tangible things like non-slippery pavements, buildings with elevators, easy access to public toilets, and plenty of outdoor seating, along with fuzzier concepts like “respect and social inclusion.” New York was the first to join WHO’s  global network of age-friendly cities.

“There was a genuine attempt to consult with older people in the city” on what mattered to them, Beard says. ..

more...http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/senior-living-initiatives-ill-take-manhattan-114227.html#.VLfpw_nF_3s



Will the White House Conference on Aging Accomplish Anything?

The Obama Administration has announced its preliminary plans for the next White House Conference on Aging, which would be held next year. It would be the first such conference in a decade and could be quite valuable, given the rapid aging of the U.S. population and vast changes in the medical and long-term care environment since the last session. 2015 also has powerful symbolic meaning since it will be the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act. But the conference risks being a bust—even more disappointing than the 2005 version, which accomplished little of substance......

more..http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2014/09/03/will-the-white-house-conference-on-aging-accomplish-anything/



Having nothing else to do, the mind wanders.


Why spend $20, $30, $50 or more for a white marker board?


Did you know that a Styrofoam tray makes a great dry erase board?

The surface is coated and the marker easily wipes off with a clean cloth.

Save your trays and ask the recreation dept. for dry erase markers and have hours of marking fun.


8 Signs You Should See A Therapist

Everyone experiences periods of stress, sadness, grief and conflict, so when you're feeling off it can be hard to know if it's time to see a professional about the problem. And apparently, those who would benefit from some therapeutic intervention are not seeking it enough: While one in five American adults suffers from some form of mental illness, only about 46-65 percent with moderate-to-severe impairment are in treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

And while identifying and managing diagnosable mental illness is a priority in the psychiatric community, psychological help for those without a clear condition to manage can be just as important. Aside from suffering needlessly, those in distress may actually make the problem worse by avoiding professional help.

"The earlier someone gets help, the easier it is to get through the problem," says psychologist Daniel J. Reidenberg. "There will be less time and less strain and stress involved in that."...

more.....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/12/8-signs-you-should-see-a_n_4718245.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000030




5 ways for Congress to back retirees

By Jennie L. Phipps · 


The National Council on Aging points to five actions it believes Congress ought to take -- most of them low cost -- to support older Americans and ensure that more of them have health and economic security.

Protect Medicare beneficiaries with modest incomes. One of the biggest challenges for lower-income people is paying Part B Medicare premiums and other out-of-pocket health care costs. The Medicare Qualified Individual program or QI, helps people with incomes between 120 percent and 135 percent of the poverty level --  $14,000 to $15,750 per year -- pay their Part B premiums -- not co-pays or deductibles. It is a modest program that saves lots of people with limited incomes at least $1,200 a year. The program expires March 31. Howard Bedlin, vice president of public policy and advocacy for the National Council on Aging, says persuading Congress to continue this program and fund it permanently is a vital step. "If people don't get this kind of help, they don't have access to a doctor," Bedlin says.

Renew the Older Americans and the Elder Justice Acts. Together, these programs provide help to older people in search of jobs and offer funding to senior nutrition programs, senior center staff and caregivers. They also provide legal assistance for those facing elder abuse and fraud. ....


morehttp://www.bankrate.com/financing/retirement/5-ways-for-congress-to-back-retirees/#ixzz3P4wpmRBD 




Study looks at why oldest seniors are hospitalized

Robin Erb

10 years' worth of data show clear reasons why those 85 and older go to ER

A new look at hospital discharge data of extremely elderly patients — those 85 or older — underscores how many visits might be avoidable.

The National Center for Health Statistics looked at 10 years of discharge data ending in 2010. By the end of the decade, seniors most often were diagnosed with:

■Congestive heart failure (43%).

■Pneumonia (34%).

■Urinary tract infections (30%).

■Septicemia (28%).

■Stroke (28%).

■Hip fractures (21%).

"A lot of these conditions are preventable if caught early," said study author Shaleah Levant.....

more...http://www.freep.com/story/news/health/2015/01/14/reasons-elderly-hospitalized-health-emergency/21755779/


More senior health news



Are Seniors With Diabetes Overtreated?

 By Dennis Thompson

Many older people with diabetes may be exposed to potential harm because doctors are trying to keep overly tight control of their blood sugar levels, a new study argues.

Researchers found that nearly two-thirds of older diabetics who are in poor health have been placed on a diabetes management regimen that strictly controls their blood sugar, aiming at a targeted hemoglobin A1C level of less than 7 percent.

But these patients are achieving that goal through the use of medications that place them at greater risk of hypoglycemia, a reaction to overly low blood sugar that can cause abnormal heart rhythms, and dizziness or loss of consciousness, the researchers said.

MORE...http://www.bhcmhmr.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=news&id=169845&cn=12




6 Penis Problems That Happen With Age

  By Beth Levine

You’d like to think that at least some areas of our bodies will be spared the indignities of aging, but one day you realize: Mr. Happy gets older, too. “You don’t wake up one morning and realize it is different. It’s a gradual process, but starting around age 40, the changes become more noticeable,” says Madeleine Castellanos, M.D., author of "Penis Problems: A Man's Guide." So what does it mean when a penis looks and acts different?

Color

Atherosclerosis, a common problem of aging, restricts blood flow, affecting the heart, brain, and penis. With less blood in the area, the penis appears lighter in color, says Dr. Castellanos, who is also a sex therapist with a private practice in New York. This is nothing to worry about as long as you have regular checkups that show that everything else is in working order. Also, just as skin everywhere shows the effects of aging, so does the penis skin. It may appear .....

more...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/15/penis-problems-aging-_n_6480920.html


5 Game-Changing Tech Tools For Caregivers

By Ann Brenoff

Many mid-lifers are the caregivers for elderly relatives who are struggling to stay independent. While nothing will likely ever replace driving over to visit Mom, there are several tech devices and apps that can ease a caregiver's mind when a visit isn't possible. Here are some of our favorites:

A smartphone for aging adults.

The Touch3 is a Samsung Galaxy phone made specifically for older adults and intended to be an assist for caregivers. It has GreatCall exclusive apps pre-installed and gives the user one-touch access to health and safety services. When GreatCall Link is downloaded to a caregiver’s computer or phone (iPhone or Android) and connected to the 5Star app pre-loaded to the family member’s phone, the caregiver can get updates on their charge's health and safety -- where she is, what she's doing, and alerts when an emergency call is made to 5Star. The phones come with access to NAED Certified 5Star agents who will assist with anything, at any time. Kind of like OnStar but for your aging relatives.

Other apps that come with this phone keep track of medications that need to be ....

more...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/17/tech-tools-for-caregivers_n_6028194.html



Can apps really help fix aging eyes? Let's see.


For those of us who weren't blessed with perfect eyes, there's apparently an app for that.

One of them is UltimEyes, which is the brainchild of Aaron Sietz, a psychology professor at the University of Riverside. The app supposedly strengthens the visual cortex, improving the way the brain processes info coming from the eyes, improving vision.

"We're not necessarily going to cure them, but we can definitely improve their lifestyle," Sietz said.

"It's a myth. Anybody who actually understands the optics of the eye... It's an obvious myth," Scripps Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology Dr. Gregory Ostrow said.

Ostrow says when it comes to bad eyesight, there's not an app for that.

"There is no actual way to reverse near nearsightedness permanently. A nearsighted eye is an eye that has grown too long. All the exercises in the world aren't going to make your eyes shrink," he said.

more....http://www.cbs8.com/story/27370933/can-apps-really-help-fix-aging-eyes-lets-see


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Diane von Furstenberg Shares Her Views on Aging: "With No Plastic Surgery at My Age, It's Not the Easiest Thing"

by KAMALA KIRK and Jennifer Cooper

During a recent cocktail reception for DVF in New York City, we spoke with iconic designer Diane Von Furstenberg to get the scoop on plastic surgery, fashion, her new show and much more!

The House of DVF star admits that she never got any plastic surgery in her life, but she points out that going natural has its own set of challenges—especially when she sees herself on the big screen.

"I hope I learn a little bit about myself everyday," she says. "The hardest part of the whole thing is the way I look because with no plastic surgery at my age, it's not the easiest thing."

Despite the fact that Diane's new show House of DVF (which will document her search for her first-ever Global Brand Ambassador) premieres in just a few days, the designer confesses that while she doesn't watch any reality shows, she has an incredible amount of respect for them. She also looks forward to showcasing the journey of the eight young women who are competing for the Brand Ambassor position on her show.

more.....http://www.eonline.com/shows/house_of_dvf/news/592587/diane-von-furstenberg-shares-her-views-on-aging-with-no-plastic-surgery-at-my-age-it-s-not-the-easiest-thing


<theblog>



Anti-ageing drugs may have been developed

Modern medicine could add 10 years to your lifespan

ZACHARY DAVIES BOREN


Anti-ageing drugs have long been in-development, but emerging evidence indicates that life-extending medicine may have already arrived.


The most promising life-extending drug is based on a compound called rapairmycin. It was originally used to suppress the immune system for people receiving organ transplants, but was found to have life-extending properties of yeast and worms.

From there, it was tested on successfully tested on mice, increasing their life by up to 14% despite the fact the animals tested were equivalent to 60 years old.....

MORE.....http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/antiageing-drugs-may-have-been-developed-9771056.html


Eating Fish Protects The Brain From Aging

Posted by:  Paul Ebeling

Eating baked or broiled fish at least once a week may preserve parts of the brain that are hit hard by aging, according to a new study.

Brain scans showed that people over age 65 who regularly ate fish had 14% more gray matter in brain regions associated with memory and 4% more in areas devoted to cognition than people who did not consume fish regularly......

more.....http://www.livetradingnews.com/eating-fish-protects-the-brain-from-aging-65796.htm#.U-4lhsRDvao





For future reference, there are ways to properly serve (hot) food to residents who are confined to their rooms. It’s just a matter of whether or not the management has the wherewithal to implement such a system. 

The Center could have rented or leased a hot/cold cart like this.


//ff//

NO EXCUSE

Even though I am suspending my food reviews, does not mean I am suspending my crusade against insane frugality. Although I am using this container of soup as an example. Everything we get here comes in half-cup amounts. Soup, deserts, even scrambled eggs. The only thing we get a full cup of is coffee or tea. Would serving us full cup portions be such a big deal. How cheap can they get.


[[ff]]


Reverse aging

What’s next. A sippy cup?

I’m just waiting for a bib, diapers, and pureed food





 

Contact and Comments - All comments will be kept anonymous

 







 U.S. Copyright laws prohibit me from reprinting entire articles. Therefore, I have provided links to the original stories. 




Coming Clean

Hopefully, by the time this editorial is published, the epidemic of stomach virus which infected and affected the entire population and staff of the Westchester Center last week will be over and things will have returned to normal. Quite frankly, it has been very hard on all of us, residents and staff alike. While there are many kudos and accolades to be passed around, much of the way this entire incident was handled needs to be dissected and corrected. And the only way to do this is if the management of the center compiles, and publicly releases, a full report on what occurred. That report should include, but not be limited to, the following.


1.An accurate timeline of events. 


This should be in the form of a day by day, hour by hour, narrative of the events which led to the steps taken by the Center. The report should state when the first incident of the virus was noticed and how long it took for the management to act to contain it and when was the Department of Health informed.


2.What steps were taken to inform residents of a possible health risk.


Communication may be the most vital part of stemming the spread of any infection. The faster and more widespread information is transmitted to the population the faster these infections can be stopped. Delaying accurate information because of a fear of unnecessarily alarming people may be the worst thing to do in situations like this. With so many new ways of communicating with people technically available to us, the way we were informed of what was going on was nothing less than archaic. The management could have used text messages, emails, even CCTV (which we have but is not activated) to get information out as it happened. Daily, if not twice daily, updates should have been given out.


3.Coming clean. Statistical transparency.


Any report should include accurate statistics as to how many residents and staff were actually ill, how ill, and was any hospitalization or special treatment needed.

Additionally, the report should include input from residents along with recommendations as to how things could be improved if there are any future events such as this.

The report should be in printed form as well as being read aloud at a resident’s council meeting with a Q&A session afterwards.

It is in times of crisis that an institution shows its true metal. And, while it is not suggested that the Center acted in any way, shape or form in a manner that was deleterious or dangerous to its residents and staff, we believe that some new form of communication needs to be put in place. Being treated like prisoners in solitary may not be the right direction to take in situations like this.



[(TB)]


Another very grim tale


A Plague in the Land of Yonk

nd it came to pass that a plague settled upon the Land of Yonk, and it was bad. From hut to hut the peasants succumbed to the ravages of the wonton disease which causeth the pain in the belly,the runneth of the poop from thy rear and the floweth of vomitus from the mouth.

Prince Yussel the Silent, at first, did not want to admit that in the pristine Land of Yonk, where all is good and clean, that such a plague had invaded his fiefdom. It was not until after the prince’s knaves and HaHa’s (HHA’s) advised that more and more peasants had the illness did the Prince decide to act.

Scrubbeth the furniture”, he decreed. “Locketh the ill in their huts”, he went on. But this was too little too late. The Plague had already spread beyond the confines of the huts to all areas of the castle. The Plague not only visited the peasants but the knights and knaves alike. Even the Jesters, who occupy the dining room, were not spared. Finally, after coaxing by the Sheriff (The evil Duke Of Horrors) a decree was sent forth ordering all peasants to be confined to their huts until such a time as it be safe to once again roam the halls and corridors of the castle. 

“But how shall the peasants eat if they cannot leave their huts to tendeth their fields and congregate in the dining hut”, asked one of the Prince’s courtiers.

Feedeth them in their huts”, cried the Prince.

“But the food, your highness, won’t it be cold and off-putting” continued the Prince’s advisers.

“Then let them eat cake”, he said. “And maketh sure that no peasant leaveth his hut unless I say so”.

And so doom and despair fell upon Land of Yonk. The halls of the castle were devoid of all life and activity. There was no Bingo, no picture plays and no Wii bowling. Even the general store was closed depriving the peasants of their Doritos, Cheetos and Cup-O-Noodles.

Days passed without word from the Prince or his court. Food was brought to peasant's huts, but it was not good. The gruel was cold as were the slabs of loaved meats and noodles. The peasants were at their wits end. 

It was not until days after the last peasant fell ill did the imprisonment end and once again the  Land of Yonk returned to the happy and healthy place it once had been.





Time to re-think an issue

This is not a food review. This is a cold food review. And it's something that did not have to be were it not for the uptight, archaic, panties-in-a- bunch, regressive thinking of the management of our little facility.

Briefly, for those who do not know, we here at the Westchester Center for Independent and Assisted Living are not permitted to have (among other things) a microwave oven in our rooms. This is not some building code regulation or some fire code regulation or even some health department regulation. It is solely the neolithic thinking of the administration who’s archaic policy has deprived us of one of the essentials of independent living. 

This past week, as residents suffered thorough an illness and the subsequent isolation ward tactics that both the health department and the Center imposed on us, we had to suffer an additional indignity. Having to eat cold food in our rooms. And I am not blaming the kitchen or food staff for this. It is almost impossible to serve hot meals to almost 200 people scattered throughout a large facility. I am blaming the admin for not allowing us to have an appliance that has been proven safe so that we could re-heat some of those meals. Having the ability to actually have hot cereal, or hot pancakes or soup would have added so much to soften the hardships that the residents had to endure this week. 

Never has a time been more appropriate to rethink the issue of permitting (at least some of us) to have a simple microwave oven or a coffee maker in our rooms.


\\\\\\\\\\\



Looks like “Independence”is the way to go

Nursing home and assisted living occupancy remained static in the 4th quarter

The occupancy rate for nursing facilities and assisted living facilities held steady in the fourth quarter of 2014, while the rate for independent living continued its surge, according to data released Friday by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

The nursing care occupancy rate remained at 88.3% and assisted living held at 89.3%. Independent living occupancy increased by 0.4 percentage points from the prior quarter, reaching 91.3%.

On a year-over-year basis, senior housing occupancy trends were positive, NIC officials noted. This reflects rising demand linked to an improving economy and greater consumer confidence, said Chief Economist Beth Mace.

more...http://www.mcknights.com/nic-nursing-home-and-assisted-living-occupancy-remained-static-in-4th-quarter/article/391902/





Most nursing homes and A.L.F’s refuse to even acknowledge the death of a resident. Here’s one that treasures it passed friends.

Remembering the Lost

By PAULA SPAN

You may have noticed the discreet way in which many nursing homes and assisted living places acknowledge a resident’s death: A bud vase on the mantle or at the reception desk. A single rose. A card announcing the deceased’s name.

Death comes too frequently to these buildings to allow for several administrators have told me. Residents would become distressed, constantly reminded of loss. Instead, although people may attend the funeral of someone they felt particularly close with, the homes commonly default to the vase, the flower and the tasteful card.

But when Faye Hellman died in November, at age 95, her neighbors and friends at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale assembled in a lounge for what it calls “A Time to Remember.” With her family and the staff members who cared for her during the nine years she lived there, the group sang songs and said prayers and remembered Mrs. Hellman.

More...http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/07/signifying-the-end/?_r=0



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Facebook has more senior citizens than any other social networking website

Facebook is the leader of social media, says a new survey, adding that the social networking site has also made inroads into becoming the popular choice among the elderly.

The findings of a survey by a US-based global think-tank Pew Research Centre that involved 1,597 internet users revealed that 71 percent of US adults were hooked to Facebook in 2014. This figure has  remained unchanged since August 2013, though there has been a noticeable shift in the age groups using the social media platform.

Though a whopping majority of 87 percent of Facebook users, fall between the ages 18-29, 56 percent fall in the age bracket of 65 years and older. This is more than any other social networking website. Note that this figure is continually increasing, while there has not been a huge increase in the 18-29 age group (just 3 percent from last year).

more...http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/facebook-senior-citizens-social-networking-website-report-249382.html



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Medicare pays doctors to coordinate chronic care for senior citizens

By Lauran Neergaard


Adjusting medications before someone gets sick enough to visit the doctor. Up

dating outside specialists, so one doctor’s prescription doesn’t interfere with another’s.

Starting this month, Medicare will pay primary care doctors a monthly fee to better coordinate care for the most vulnerable seniors — those with multiple chronic illnesses — even if they don’t have a face-to-face exam.

The goal is to help patients stay healthier between doctor visits, and avoid pricey hospitals and nursing homes.

more...http://lubbockonline.com/health/2015-01-12/medicare-pays-doctorss-coordinate-chronic-care-senior-citizens#.VLPHZfnF_3s





Congress is ignoring an important law for senior citizens

BY SHELLEY BARTLETT


Next year we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security, the 50th anniversaries of Medicare and Medicaid, the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act.

For what 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.

The groundbreaking law is now more than four years late in being renewed. This is especially hard to explain when one considers the bipartisan, noncontroversial nature of previous reauthorizations including the last successful one, led by a Republican Senate in 2006.

The Older Americans Act, and especially its nutrition program, saves Medicaid and Medicare countless millions of dollars.

more...http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/01/11/3584998_congress-is-ignoring-an-important.html?sp=/99/106/&rh=1


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A Cup of Blueberries a Day Could Save Your Heart

By Brian Stallard

Blueberries have long been associated with a healthy lifestyle, but this is often attributed to the fact that they are packed full of antioxidants. Now new research has revealed that these incredible little fruits can also help people avoid heart disease, improving the health of their arteries well into old age.

That's at least according to a study recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which details how just one cup of blueberries per day can significantly reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, especially for women.

"Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Once women go through menopause, this puts them at an even greater risk for it,"...

 more...http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/11823/20150109/cup-blueberries-day-save-heart.htm




5 Ways To Make New Friends After Relocating

By Tim Watt

As an adult, sometimes people need to relocate. People move for various reasons, whether it's to be closer to family or to transition into an assisted living community. Making new friends can easily help you adjust to a new environment, but how do you do it? Consider these tips on making friends after relocating.

1.Get involved in a hobby

One of the first ways you can make a few new friends in your neighborhood is to get a new hobby, or be active in one that you already have. Love to cook? Go to a cooking class or set up a bake sale in your region. You could also go to a driving range if you love to golf, or a fitness club if you like to play tennis. It may take a while for you to become familiar with the people who frequent these places, AARP notes. Yet with familiarity grows fondness. It takes approximately six to eight interactions with a person before you may begin to consider him or her your friend. In time, that person may introduce you to others who have the same interests....

more...http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/january-2015/5-ways-to-make-new-friends-after-relocating.aspx





Fighting depression in aging adults

Suzanne Allard Levingston

Depressive disorders, along with dementia-related behavioral and psychiatric symptoms, are the most common maladies facing that group. Some experience depression for the first time in older age; others have chronic conditions.

“Depression is underrecognized and undertreated in older adults,” Bartels said.

Misconceptions

Depression in seniors is often misunderstood. “The public thinks, ‘Well, if I was losing my ability to walk or losing my vision or hearing or people that I love, that it’s normal to be depressed when you get older,’ and that’s just not true,” Bartels said.

The most important misconception about seniors and depression is the assumption that a person who has never had it won’t develop it, said George Alexopoulos, a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

more...http://www.journalgazette.net/features/Fighting-depression-in-aging-adults-3899744


Senior citizens could soon lead the way in illicit drug abuse

Hippies were famous for substance abuse and that has not changed as they got older. Close to three million Americans aged 55 and older suffer from alcohol abuse and the number is expected to double by 2020. Alcohol abuse prevalence is not new but less well-known is that the rate of illicit drug abuse in older people more than doubled between 2002 and 2013, as people from the sixties became people in their fifties

Many of the older Americans suffering from substance abuse are retired, but according to Tel Aviv University research it is not retirement alone that leads to drug and alcohol abuse. Instead, older people blame, leaving the work force and painful later-life events such as the death of spouses and friends. One thing remains consistent about the late Baby Boom generation; they have maintained a way to blame everyone else for their problems.

According to the study, older adults often lack the skills required to cope with the sudden vacuum produced by retirement as well as events common to later life -- such as deteriorating health and the death of spouses and friends. The research also pointed to the impact of circumstances and conditions of retirement on feelings of depression, purposelessness, and financial strain, which are known to lead to substance abuse.

more...http://www.sciencecodex.com/a_toast_to_old_age-148334




I have been making fun of one of my table mates here who covers his food with pepper. Perhaps he has the right idea.


BLACK PEPPER MIGHT HELP PREVENT BRAIN AGING

by Tracey Roizman

Black pepper, derived from the unripe berries of Piper nigrum, is the most widely-used and traded spice in the world, notes Princeton University. Ancient Egyptians used black pepper in mummification rituals. Long valued for its sharp flavor and purported health-promoting effects, including some related to brain function, black pepper is a staple in home kitchens and restaurants alike.

Serotonin

Piperine, an active compound in black pepper, inhibits an enzyme that breaks down the calming neurotransmitter serotonin, according to a study published in the December 2012 issue of “Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters,” making it potentially useful in the treatment of some mood disorders.

The enzyme also degrades melatonin, a hormone your brain produces that controls your body’s day/night cycles.... 


more....http://womensbrainhealth.org/everyday-information/black-pepper-might-help-prevent-brain-aging


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If you found the fountain of youth, would you really take a drink?

By Sherry Young,

My husband, Grit, asked me one day: “Why do you think we need to grow old? Why can’t we get to a certain age, keep our hair and vigor and then one day just pop off? Now we have all this wisdom, just think what we could accomplish if our bodies and brains kept working well.”

In a book excerpt of "Why We Age: What Science Is Discovering about the Body's Journey Through Life" online at cse.iitk.ac.in, Steven Austad, a professor of zoology, explains: “Living organisms are very different from machines. The most fundamental defining characteristics of living organisms, in fact, may be their ability to repair themselves. We don’t usually die of cuts, bruises, or even broken bones. These injuries mend, and life goes on.”

He goes on to tell how remarkable some other creatures are. Take the starfish, which when torn into two parts is able to turn into two healthy starfish....

more...http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865619108/If-you-found-the-fountain-of-youth-would-you-really-take-a-drink.html?pg=all


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Why Drugs Cost $o Much

By PETER B. BACH

ELI LILLY charges more than $13,000 a month for Cyramza, the newest drug to treat stomach cancer. The latest medicine for lung cancer, Novartis’s Zykadia, costs almost $14,000 a month. Amgen’s Blincyto, for leukemia, will cost $64,000 a month.

Why? Drug manufacturers blame high prices on the complexity of biology, government regulations and shareholder expectations for high profit margins. In other words, they say, they are hamstrung. But there’s a simpler explanation.

Companies are taking advantage of a mix of laws that force insurers to include essentially all expensive drugs in their policies, and a philosophy that demands that every new health care product be available to everyone, no matter how little it helps or how much it costs. Anything else and we’re talking death panels.

Examples of companies exploiting these fault lines abound. An article in The New England Journal of Medicine last fall focused on how companies buy up the rights to old, inexpensive generic drugs, lock out competitors and raise prices.


more...http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/15/opinion/why-drugs-cost-so-much.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=1





More of the same

If today’s lunch looks a lot like Sunday’s lunch that’s because it’s exactly like Sunday’s lunch. Yes, I could have had the fish, but knowing how fish is cooked here and knowing that hauling that fish around the corridors for an hour will certainly not improve its flavor, I elected to, once again eat the spaghetti and meatballs. While the S&M’s were warm, and there was some cheese on it, the sauce was cold. It's nice to know that the kitchen has not diminished one iota in its quest for imperfection.


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Dinner. Tuesday & Sunday


Oh yes, there was a piece of cake for desert.


(ff)


Lunch on Cell Block F

No choice. It was either turkey, Swiss and bacon or nothing for lunch on Thursday. French fries were a nice change, though, and they were hot.


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Sunny Goodness


I stared at lunch Friday knowing what was in store for me. A cold clump of mac and cheese and two stuffed bread bowls (almost a knish) equally cold. I took a bite of each and put down the fork. Perhaps I was just not hungry, having had breakfast only two hours before. Or perhaps I am just sick of the whole deal. Anyway. I was glad for the nice, fresh, juicy orange, which kept me going until dinner.





White House Conference on Aging Blog

Regional Forums to Provide Input and Ideas for 2015 White House Conference on Aging

By: Cecilia Muñoz,

I am delighted to announce the launch of a series of regional forums designed

 to help provide ideas for the upcoming 2015 White House Conference on Aging.





http://www.hhs.gov/blog/reposted/white-house-conference-aging-blog



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There’s no red neck like a Senior red neck

Nurse claims racial abuse in assisted-living center

John Hult

Southridge Healthcare in Sioux Falls sued for claims of abusive racism from residents.

A former nurse at a Sioux Falls assisted living facility has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, saying it failed to protect her from abusive racism from residents.

The employer, Southridge Healthcare, has responded by saying it is "offended" by the implication that it doesn't protect its employees.

Either way, 37-year-old Ayana Hardiman-Davis' lawsuit speaks to the real problems posed by patients who either mistreat caregivers of different races or request new doctors or nurses outright.

Medical ethics dictate that patients be allowed to refuse care for any reason and have a right to care regardless of their disposition, but federal law says employers protect their employees from harassment by customers.

more....http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2014/11/13/nurse-claims-racial-abuse-assisted-living-center/18954653/


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Contact and comment








Lack of Information: Something I can’t “stomach”

Last week’s outbreak of some mysterious stomach virus pointed out the weaknesses in the way information is disseminated around the Center. After the initial memo that was distributed by members of the Case Management department, residents received no further official communication from the administration other than to say that “The dining room would be closed and that all meals would be served in resident’s rooms.” All of the other instructions, policies or information regarding the outbreak was learned, second hand, through other residents or housekeeping staff. Therefore, the question is, “Why the secrecy. Don’t we have the right to know (officially) what’s going on.” For instance, It was from a relative of a resident that I learned that the D.O.H. had to put the center on a virtual lockdown, requesting that ALL residents remain sequestered until further notice. In addition, it was only through an email sent to me by another resident that I was made aware of the true extent of the illness and that far more residents had reported feeling ill than had been officially reported to the D.O.H.

This unwillingness by management to be candid and forthcoming with vital information is part of an ongoing process here at the Center. If the truth be told, every bit of intelligence on policy, staff and personnel changes and most other information which directly affects the residents is learned through second or third-hand sources. An example of this can be demonstrated by the non-communication by management, that a new facility will be constructed directly across the road from ours. I had to find this out from a newspaper article. Even after confronting the administration with this information, they were still unwilling to tell anybody about it stating that “It was none of our business.” I find this policy (And, yes, I do believe it’s policy) of withholding as much as possible from us, abhorrent. Treating us as if we were little children, incapable of handling or understanding the truth is ridiculous and dangerous. Don’t you think that a health crisis, which swept through here like a flash flood, required some sort of official, and ongoing, status updates? In today’s age of instant communication, this distribution of news could have been accomplished very easily.

Practically all colleges, and many schools and neighborhoods, have vital news and information sent to them via text messages on their phones. Since most, if not all of our residents have cell phones, sending messages and updates should not be a problem. Even if a rather low-tech system like regular Xeroxed memos would have been appreciated. Unfortunately, the antiquated thinking and medieval mindset of the powers that be here, are too mired in their 19th Century management skills to ever install such a system. “Keep them stupid, and they’ll be happy”, appears to be the order of the day.

As of this writing, Saturday morning January 10, we are still on virtual lockdown. Not a word, text, email or any other official memo has been given to us as to when we may see and end to this situation. I suppose, we will find out about what really went on through the grapevine which is the only way we find out anything here.




Editor’s note: I will post any updated information as I receive it.



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It never fails to amaze me how widely read this blog is. This map is provided by my stat service, statcounter.com. While most of this blog's readers are from the U.S., many are from Europe and Asia. Why Europeans would have an interest in American assisted living facilities I do not know, but I’m glad for their visits. We seem to be lacking in visitors from the Antarctic and China however. And, how about you Greenlanders and South Americans. 



From the editor:

As of this writing, the stomach illness, which has put the facility on a virtual "lockdown", continues with no abatement in sight, The management continues to be as uninformative as usual. Any further updates (should they become available) regarding our present situation will be posted at the top of this blog as soon as possible.


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Low tech answer to cold problem


The Center thought that they had solved the problem of cold air and snow blowing in through a space at the bottom of the doors of the passageway leading to the Franklin Annex. Last year, after stuffing towels in the open space, a metal strip 

of weatherproofing was installed at the bottom of  each door. Unfortunately, this was proven to be ineffective when the temperature dropped to single digits last week, causing the loss of a lot of precious heat. So, it’s back to the towels while they try to figure out a more permanent fix.




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You wouldn’t think in a place that houses, mostly older and often infirm folks would be a hotbed of crime, but it is. Hardly a week goes by that one does not see one or two of Yonker’s finest parked outside or conversing with a resident or staff member. What’s going on that causes the cops to come here on a regular basis. Perhaps I can answer this without getting into details about any one particular incident, the outcome of which may still be pending. Also, let me state that I depend on my little band of “stringers” that fill me in on the day’s events so the facts may not be 100% accurate. Before I get into the real criminal aspects of life here at the Center, let me state that such incidents are not uncommon to most, if not all, institutions of this kind, and there is a very good reason for this.

You see, one must never forget that most of the residents that reside here do not want to be here. They have been thrown into a situation by circumstances, sometimes not of their own making. Some are too poor to afford one of those “luxury” senior residences. Or they have become disabled and can no longer take care of their daily needs or, and this is the worst category, those whose relatives just don’t want them any longer. Unfortunately, it is this last group that has the most trouble fitting into a society such as the one encounters here on a daily basis.

This facility is made up of people of all races, religions, sexual orientation, ethnicity and temperament. And, as with any diverse group of individuals, conflicts are bound to happen. Normal people will either resolve these conflicts by discussing them directly with the offending party or with Case Management. However, there are some people who are just plain nasty. Many are borderline psychopaths who should never have been allowed on the premises, while others have the mentality of a spoiled two year old. The real problem is that once these people are admitted as a resident, little can be done in the way of censure, reprimand or eviction, allowing these people to go unfettered in their retribution and confrontation. Such an incident occurred just last week.

The details of the conflict between two male residents are not clear, but it wound up by one resident calling the cops on the other. The offended resident is relatively new here and, even in the short time he has been here, has had a number of heated confrontations with other residents. My sources tell me that he is mean, nasty and quick to argue. And unfortunately, because there is literally no way to get rid of him (short of him physically injuring someone). Just another one of the foibles inherent in assisted living. But enough about the residents. There are actual crimes being committed here every day.

Most of those crimes involve theft. Theft of residents personal property. Often this property includes family heirlooms, trinkets of a lifetime of memories. Sometimes it’s the items of the new technology like laptops and tablets and I-phones that catch the eye of the would be thief. I have even heard of items of clothing being taken right out of people's closets. Despite the fact that there is a myriad of security cameras monitoring every nook and cranny of this facility, nobody (at least to my knowledge) has ever been caught in the act.

In their defense, the facility does offer to install a locked dresser drawer for those valuables, but security still appears to be lacking. The problem:Too many people have keys to the residents rooms. A better technology would be a key card system that would log each entry into a resident's room. Until such a time, we will have to put up with nut jobs and criminals, just like everyone else.


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Money: Quick to take, slow to give

The residents in the photo are not waiting for the doctor or for the dining room to open or even for the Bingo game to start. No, what they are waiting for is money, their money. And it’s a scenario that occurs on a weekly basis because of the antiquated way resident’s funds are distributed here. Perhaps some background information is in order here.

Here at the Center, we have what is known as a resident’s account. This account contains the cash funds placed there, by the residents or an outside source such as a relative. The residents may draw money from this account for the purpose of purchasing incidentals like items from the general store, takeout food or even the beauty parlor. This money is “managed” by the Center to “protect”the residents from having this cash possibly lost or stolen. All in all, this sounds like a good idea, and it would be if the residents did not have to beg to get their hands on it. Because, you see, unlike having money in a regular bank, which provides 24/7/365 access to one’s funds with the use of an ATM, residents have to go to the office (open only 9-5 weekdays) and ask a staff member if enough cash is available to cover what they need. On busy days, the office has actually run out. 

“So why isn’t an ATM machine installed somewhere”, you ask. A good question, and one that has been proposed and even researched by one of our residents. However, one slight drawback remains. Although,  the ATM company would be willing to install a machine at our facility, they only want to install it in the lobby. Unfortunately, the corporate decorator (yes, Virginia, we have a decorator) has a problem with the aesthetics of placing an ATM in the lobby. So, no ATM. 

However, the fact that we can’t easily connect with our cash is only one of the things that bother me about having the Center in charge of my money. The other thing is a question that has been gnawing at my craw for a while now. “What happens to the interest that is accrued from the funds in this account?" Surely the bank that is holding my cash gives some sort of interest, even if it’s only a percent or two. So, where is it. If the Center is taking that interest as an administration fee, then why is it not being properly "administered". We are certainly not getting any service for that interest. The Center recently employed a new accountant/bookkeeper. I should like to hear from him and perhaps get an explanation of exactly how our funds are managed. 


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I had to read this headline twice. I am so angry. I could not believe that an organization formed for the purpose of promoting the welfare of senior citizens would do this. The article states that the COA in this particular Louisiana town donated an unused van to an animal shelter so animals could ride in style. Are they effing nuts? I can’t believe that somewhere, there was not a people shelter or old age home or assisted living facility or even a scout troop that could not use this vehicle. Woof!


COA donates van to Denham animal shelter

BY CHRISTINE MORGAN

Animals at the Denham Springs Animal Shelter can ride safely and comfortably, thanks to a donation from the Denham Springs Council on Aging.

aveterinaryandThe Council on Aging donated one of its used vans to the city’s shelter, thus increasing capacity, efficiency and safety of the animals. Shelter volunteer Berkley Durbin said the van, which already is being used to transport animals to veterinarian appointments to Petco for adoption days, is much safer for the animals than a truck or a sport utility vehicle, especially during inclement weather.

“A key component for us is no added expense to our budget,” Durbin said. “(We have) no more transporting issues in inclement weather or require multiple trips.”


more....http://theadvocate.com/news/livingston/11214815-123/coa-donates-van-to-denham



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C.G. Is referring to last week’s editorial in which I said that despite everything that goes on around here, I have found a modicum of peace. While I thank C.G. For the kind words, I believe that the content of the essay may be too personal for publication in anything more than a blog written by old reprobate like myself. I would love to be able to publish this in our quarterly resident’s newsletter, but it would never make it past the censors.........................................................................ed.




My plan, if I actually ever did face homelessness, would be to take my last $200, and buy a bus ticket to Miami. If you got to live on the street, why not do it under a palm tree............................................................................................................ed.


BTW: Currently a bus ticket from NYC to Miami cost $130 one way (about the same as the train) The trip takes 31 hours. 

    

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Cuomo signs senior care bill


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a law that will provide seniors who reside in continuing care retirement communities with additional service options. 

“This law will make new options available to seniors. By offering additional affordable care options, more seniors will be able to live independently, while lowering their health care costs. I am so pleased that this initiative has been signed into law,”

Continuing Care Retirement Communities presently offer a tiered approach to the aging process, accommodating residents’ changing needs. Upon entering, healthy adults can reside independently in single-family homes, apartments or condominiums. When assistance with everyday activities becomes necessary, they can move into assisted living or nursing care facilities. These communities give older adults the option to live in one location for the duration of their life, with much of their future care already figured out....

more....http://www.tonawanda-news.com/news/cuomo-signs-senior-care-bill/article_a984a757-0c72-57e3-91af-36fbd746fb21.html


More ALF news


I am including this story in this week’s blog, not to praise any one particular A.L.F. (Although they certainly deserve it) but rather to point out the differences in management styles that exist between our facility and some of the more progressive thinking facilities out there. A few months ago, our residents' council devised a survey which was handed out to those residents who wanted to participate. The results were tallied and given to management. While we did not think that management would be overjoyed with us taking a poll, we were surprised at their total dismissal of the results. This reinforced my perception of how non-inclusive and closed-mouthed management is in regards to its residents.


South Pointe Releases Satisfaction Survey Results

South Pointe Assisted Living announced results of a satisfaction survey completed by the community.

A total of 100 percent of respondents rated their willingness to recommend South Pointe as “excellent” or “good,” the report stated.

“This result speaks volumes to the community and prospective residents and families,” she said.

More than 70 percent of residents participated in the survey, which was mailed to residents.

Surveys were returned to My InnerView for data processing.

“By listening to the voice of the customer, South Pointe has invaluable data to help them improve and deliver a higher quality of care and service to their residents,” said Neil Gulsvig, My InnerView chief executive officer.

more...http://www.emissourian.com/south-pointe-releases-satisfaction-survey-results/article_10e5498c-e776-5a06-a425-942b323f743a.html



'Everyone wants to live in a place where they feel like they have a sense of purpose'

By JIM THOMPSON

New technologies combined with a bit of the familiar can help those in assisted living facilities recapture a bit of home.

It’s also important, Ewen said, to “let residents have a say” 

“We try to meet individual needs,” said Shirley Paulk, vice president of marketing for The Arbor Company, an Atlanta-based company that operates a number of assisted-living facilities in the U.S., including an Athens community.

Paulk said Ewen’s point about making facilities into a home for residents is a bedrock principle.

“This is their home,” she said.

“Everyone wants to live in a place where they feel like they have a sense of purpose,” Paulk said. “And when you see one resident helping another resident — those are the special moments.”

more.....http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2014-11-26/gratitude-everyone-wants-live-place-where-they-feel-they-have-sense-purpose


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There are many reasons why I no longer drink. Primarily, because some of the medication I take conflicts with the consumption of alcohol.The other reason is simple. They don’t permit any alcoholic beverages on the premises. This is almost in direct conflict with other assisted living facilities where booze is permitted. I think a little wine with dinner or before bed would not hurt one bit.


Moderate Drinking Can Be Good for the Aging Brain

Men and women who drink moderately in older age may have a better memory than those who abstain from alcohol, a new study shows. The findings suggest that moderate alcohol consumption later in life may have beneficial effects on the brain.

The study, from researchers at the University of Texas and other universities, looked at 660 men and women age 60 and older who were free of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. They were part of a large and ongoing study, the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort, that looked at how various lifestyle factors can impact health.

The study participants completed detailed questionnaires about their drinking habits. They also underwent detailed tests of memory and thinking skills, as well as MRI scans to measure their brain volume.

The researchers found that adults who drank lightly, no more than six alcoholic drinks a week, performed better on tests of episodic memory. Episodic memory is the ability to recall the details of past events, such as when or where something happened.

Other studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption may be good for the aging brain and could be linked to a lower dementia risk. Experts aren’t sure why moderate alcohol consumption helps the brain, though it may reduce inflammation, which has been tied to Alzheimer’s, heart disease and other ills. It may also promote blood vessel health throughout the body, including in the brain....


more...http://www.emissourian.com/moderate-drinking-can-be-good-for-the-aging-brain/article_395b608c-ffe2-5b54-b571-ec716512d2cb.html



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Could a 200-year-old whale offer clues to help humans live longer?

Scientists are hoping the fountain of youth might be hidden inside a whale species that can live up to 200 years.

With a 1,000 times more cells than a human, the whale should have a much higher probability of cell death and disease. It doesn't.

In their findings, published in the journal Cell Reports, the team found as many as 80 candidate genes that may help protect the whale from cancer or contribute to it being the longest living mammal on earth. The team found that the whales have genes related to DNA repair, as well as those regulating how cells proliferate, that differ from those found in humans...

more...http://www.cbsnews.com/news/could-a-200-year-old-bowhead-whale-offer-clues-to-help-humans-live-longer/


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For Cloris Leachman, No Bad Days

By STEPHANIE STEPHENS

Now age 88, Cloris has appeared in more than 70 films, including The Last Picture Show, for which she won an Oscar and BAFTA Award. Other films included

 Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety and The Muppet Movie. She rocked the seventh season of Dancing With the Stars in 2008 as the oldest competitor on the ABC hit series. She was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2011 and has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her alma mater, Northwestern University, bestowed an honorary doctorate last year.

When we spoke, Cloris was preparing for her family’s annual Christmas recital. “Everyone has to do something,” she said. Let’s catch up with her now and find out how she’s lived so long, and so well....


more...http://parade.com/362906/stephaniestephens/for-cloris-leachman-no-bad-days/



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New Poll by The Senior Citizens League Shows Social Security Recipients Think Government Manipulates CPI Data

People who receive Social Security benefits overwhelmingly think the federal government is manipulating the consumer price index (CPI) data, according to a new poll by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). When asked, “Do you believe the government is manipulating the CPI to cut spending on cost of living adjustments (COLAs)?” — 98 percent of respondents said “yes.” “This should concern our new Congress,” says TSCL chairman, Ed Cates. “Both Members of Congress and the White House have discussed COLA cuts as a leading option to fix the long-term financing of Social Security,” Cates says. “Yet retirees don’t believe they are getting a fair COLA as it is now.”

The benefits of more than 55 million Social Security recipients are adjusted each year to account for increases in the cost of living. The federal government uses the percentage of increase in the Consumer Price Index for Workers (CPI-W) to calculate the increase. But beneficiaries frequently say that the annual boost in benefits is doing a poor job 

more...HTTP://www.virtual-strategy.com/2015/01/05/new-poll-senior-citizens-league-shows-social-security-recipients-think-government-manipul#axzz3O3kMbO5i


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 Congestive heart failure

By KATIE GILSTRAP

Much like other progressive diseases, congestive heart failure is classified by the damage that has already been done to the heart, which is assessed by tests that measure the size, structure and strength of the heart muscle and its ability to pump effectively.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, understanding the stage of diagnosis is an important first step. Here is an overview of the stages and some questions you should ask the doctor at each step:

Stage A: This stage, also known as pre-heart failure, suggests that there is a high risk of developing heart failure, but the heart hasn’t suffered any structural damage yet, according to the tests that were performed. At this stage, you should ask the doctor what you can do to prevent heart failure symptoms from developing....


more...http://www.richmond.com/life/article_c6a0afbc-c7c0-595e-ba6f-a7d125bfd4f8.html


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Message from the editor:

I am reprinting this entire article because, for some of you, clicking on the link provided at the end will only take you a firewall prohibiting you from reading the story. For those of you who want to bypass the firewall, either permanently or on a need-to basis you can download a small, free program at http://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_us. This site is a “proxy server” which  bypasses the Center’s firewall software.


Ten Things Seniors Should Know About Medical Marijuana

We understand many senior citizens come to us without much information about marijuana as a medicine. Our goal is simple: we want to assist aging adults to improve their quality of life.  There are many misconceptions about medical marijuana, especially among senior citizens. The first step is learning about what we do and the products and services we provide. Harvest of Tempe offers a free new patient orientation class every month during which our medical director, Dr. William Troutt NMD, will discuss risks and benefits, realistic expectations and outcomes, dosages, and different ways of using marijuana (such as edibles, liquid tinctures, topical ointments, and smoking). Dr. Troutt will always make himself available to chat with you and address your specific questions and needs. You do not need a medical marijuana card to attend the orientation and we encourage family and health care workers to attend.

1. Marijuana is SAFER than many commonly prescribed medications

Most seniors take prescription drugs on a daily basis. The “side effects” of marijuana are insignificant in comparison to the side effects of many prescription drugs, and not a single person has ever died from a marijuana overdose. An ongoing 30-year study found that a person weighing 140 pounds would have to consume over 4 pounds of marijuana in one sitting to reach toxic levels, and that still would not be a fatal dosage. The powerful anti-oxidant effects of marijuana can provide relief for many disorders, including liver inflammation from Hepatitis C, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other serious medical conditions that all involve inflammation and oxidative damage.

2. Marijuana is not physically addictive

Many seniors fear that if they start using marijuana they will become addicted. People can use marijuana daily and then stop “cold turkey”.  Discontinuing the use of marijuana has much the same response as quitting the consumption of coffee. Many people who seek welcome and effective respite from chronic pain, anxiety, and stress use marijuana as a daily medicine.

3. Marijuana can reduce and possibly replace many prescription medications

A major complaint of seniors regarding their daily medications is that the first pill often causes side effects that the second one is supposed to “fix.”  ”Marijuana’s healing properties target various conditions such as inflamed joints, high blood pressure, chronic pain, digestive disorders, constipation, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, cognitive awareness, and more Marijuana has the potential for accentuating the effect of many commonly prescribed drugs (blog.norml.org).” For example, opiate based painkillers are typically enhanced when marijuana is used concurrently, often resulting in a reduction of pharmaceutical medicines.

4. There are many different types, or “strains” of marijuana

Growing this plant is not terribly different from gardeners attempting to create the perfect rose or tomato plant.  Each plant has its own personality and effects. There are strains that are very helpful for chronic pain relief and strains Some strains can make one feel very focused and energized, while others can be relaxing and help with a good night's sleep.

5. There are marijuana strains without “the high”

“If I could get the medical benefit from the plant without the high, I’d consider it.” said many of the seniors we’ve spoken to.  Harvest cultivators have developed and are currently producing potent CBD genetic strains that have a minimal psychoactive effect.  CBD, or cannabidiol, is tremendous for inflammation, eases pain, stimulates bone growth, suppresses muscular spasms, reduces anxiety, and increases mental focus. Harvest currently carries liquid extracts that have no “high” at all. These have proven extremely successful for persons suffering from arthritis pain, nausea, and muscle spasms.

6. There are ways to use marijuana other than smoking it

One common misconception among aging adults is that they have to smoke marijuana to gain the medicinal benefits. Harvest of Tempe provides liquid extracts, infused honey,candies, baked goods, and other products to choose from. Marijuana can be added to just about any regular recipe in the form of marijuana infused butters or oils. This opens up so many options for your medicine.

7. Marijuana-infused ointments can be very effective in alleviating arthritis and neuropathy pain

Locally made, medicated creams are very popular for sore joints and back muscles pain. They are very effective, smell nice and give a you no “high” so you can feel comfortable using the products throughout the day.

8. Marijuana does not lower your IQ or cause brain damage

Another common misconception aging adults have with marijuana is that can lower intelligence or cause brain damage . There is no documentation that shows that marijuana reduces or “kills brain cells.” Studies with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients indicate that marijuana gradually encourages new neural pathways, allowing those with impaired brain function to potentially halt further degeneration and even encourage brain function.

9. Marijuana can help increase your appetite

One of the most dangerous health risks among senior citizens is the loss of appetite, leading to weight loss. Marijuana has been extremely successful in alleviating nausea and as an appetite stimulant. That being said, A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds an intriguing connection between marijuana use and body weight, showing that rates of obesity are lower by roughly a third in people who smoke marijuana at least three times a week, compared with those who don’t use marijuana at all.

10. The stigma around medical marijuana use is fading

Seniors are the fastest growing population of new medical marijuana users. There is no other reason for this other than it is working work for them. If you are in discomfort or chronic pain and would like other options. Those options consist of an organically and locally grown herb that is 3rd party tested, legal in the state of Arizona and can be purchased from a conscientious and responsible business that will provide you with friendly service and education. Medical marijuana can be a valuable tool in your “wellness toolbox”. The Harvest of Tempe is here to help.

GO TO ARTICLE....http://www.theweedblog.com/ten-things-seniors-should-know-about-medical-marijuana/



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Sex, Lies And Ensure: The Sexual Habits Of The Over-55 Set

Anyone who has ever visited an assisted living facility or nursing home has probably come away with the impression that the #1 athletic pastime of residents consists of lining up at the dining hall doors, well before meal time is scheduled to begin. If so, you'd be wrong. Not only wrong, but seriously wrong.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a little-noticed report on Medicare a few months ago that had this startling statistic: In 2011 and 2012, 2.2 million beneficiaries received free sexually transmitted disease screenings and counseling sessions. And more than 66,000 received free H.I.V. tests.

More sex has its advantages and its disadvantages. The biggest advantage of more sex is sex. The biggest disadvantage is STDs. Seniors tend not to use condoms, and they tend not to visit a doctor when symptoms arise. The senior population has enough problems with arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, and unsavory happenings in their nether parts. They may tend to overlook rogue rashes, itching, burning, and general discomfort. ....

More...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/renee-fisher/sex-as-you-get-older_b_6416868.html



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New Clues Why Older Women Are More Susceptible to Breast Cancer

Skip Derra

What they found was that in older women the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including physical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors. The work sheds light on how aging alters cellular and molecular functions and how these changes contribute to the prevalence of breast cancer in older women—a disease that is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 55 to 64, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“The importance of our work is that we have a system that facilitates a detailed analysis of cellular and molecular level functional consequences of aging in a human epithelia,” LaBarge told Bioscience Technology and Drug Discovery & Development.

“We are working on identifying the mechanisms by which the different lineages age, then on trying to slow down that process,” he explained. “Ideally, we will identify compounds that can achieve this safely, so safe that even very low-risk women could benefit from some form of chemoprevention.”

“My ideal would be analogous to taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart disease,” he explained. “I want to find the aspirin-equivalent for breast cancer.”

more...http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/articles/2015/01/new-clues-why-older-women-are-more-susceptible-breast-cancer


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Hello, room service?

Due to a facility-wide attack of “The great plague of 2015”, the residents have been receiving their meals in their rooms. Therefore, I will limit my reviews of these meals to only a few words. “They are barely edible


<ff>


Breakfast has gone from "What would you like" to "Here's what you're eating". Today it was a scoop of scrambled eggs, and two sausage turds. I did get my bagel, however, which makes me feel better. I wonder what the boys at Rikers are having this morning.


<ff>

I apologize


I apologize. I led you astray. I said the food was "edible". I was wrong. Now it's just crap. I took one bite of this fish stuff and could not eat any more. Had some cold soup. Only the pudding was worth the effort. When things get tough, the kitchen runs the other way.


<ff>


Welcome to...

W. Center Airlines

Sunday's dinner looked like something they used to serve in coach on a failing airline



From cradle to grave. All they need is a maternity hospital to complete the circle

Residents Concerned Over Plans Of Crematorium

BY CHRISTY LEWIS


Neighbors in Bethany (Oklahoma) expressed concerns about a funeral home and crematory possibly being 

Paul Andrews said his home would basically be in the backyard of the new facility. He said he and other homeowners support crematory services, but not on that land. “We just feel that a crematory is way too intense of a land use issue here next to all these homes, particularly next to an elderly assisted living facility,” he said. “It's just a bad location.”

Gary Mercer, the president of Mercer-Adams, said the new business wouldn't be anything to worry about. Ironically, Mercer lives in the area near the proposed business, too.

“The odor is actually non-existent. There is a little bit of smoke when the cardboard container that a person is in, initially catches fire in the cremator, but beyond that, you hit 1700 degrees and everything is re-burned essentially and there is virtually no smoke,” .....

more...http://www.news9.com/story/27739678/bethany-residents-concerned-over-plans-of-crematorium


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Funny Video

The Indignity of aging in the U.S.A.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/LR2qZ0A8vic?rel=0


 

       




 

Contact and Comments




January 9, 2014 11 AM


Center takes extraordinary means to curb stomach virus

While the rest of the country has been hit by the flu, we here at the W.Center have been contending with a particularly virulent form of stomach virus which has infected approximately 25% of our residents. The Center, in its wisdom, has taken extraordinary means to end the rampaging illness whose symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.
All social activities have been canceled such as Bingo and movies. Sick residents have been confined to their rooms and told not to receive any visitors. The staff,too, has taken precautions by wearing masks and gloves when coming in contact with sick residents. And, as of the writing, the dining room and public restrooms have also been closed, resulting in all residents

having their meals delivered to their rooms. Ceramic dinnerware has been replaced with disposable Styrofoam plates and cups as well as the silverware. The furniture in the common areas such as the lobby, country kitchen and various lounges has been removed and brought to the auditorium for disinfection. Although this is a great inconvenience for our residents, I applaud the Center’s management for their quick action. So far, no residents have needed hospitalization for this illness.

All residents have now been told to stay in our rooms





Could I have found what I’ve been looking for all of my life?


Over the past year, I have complained a lot and grouched a lot about practically everything. And, while it is my prerogative (If not, my god-given right) as an old man to do this, life has not been so bad as to not make me thankful for much that I do have.

Primarily, let me say that my criticism of the s--t that goes on around here at the Center is meant, not to scold, but to educate and enlighten. I feel that, without my berating, chiding and reprehension this place would have gone to hell in a hand basket months ago. Every governing body, institution, corporation or organization needs its critics and detractors to keep it on the straight and narrow and to protect them, and us, from the virus called complacency with which this place is filled to the brim. Owing to the fact that old people rarely complain, if it were not for me, and a handful of other equally cantankerous individuals, the management would have run roughshod over the population without so much as an “excuse me”. Therefore, I consider myself to be a necessary evil. A thorn in the side, if you will, of those who would demean, belittle and debase those who cannot or will not speak up for themselves. There, I have said what I had to say. However, this is only a preface to what I really want to say. And that is, “I am thankful for this place, this building and these people where and with whom I live.”Why”, you ask, “are you thankful.”

Essentially, I am thankful that I am still alive. There was a time, a few short years ago, when life for me was an option, an item on a checklist of things I might consider continuing. Fortunately, I turned that morbid corner and, in doing so, I have gained a new outlook on what is really important in life. I used to laugh at people who said “If you have your health, you have everything”. “The hell with that”, I would say. “What about money and stuff and new cars and stuff and fancy clothes and watches and more stuff.” But a couple of months in a hospital bed and subsequent nursing homes soon cure you of any materialism you might have possessed. If you wake up every morning in pain, apprehensive about the future, questioning your very existence, you will soon realize how unimportant all the glitzy bling crap stuff really is. You learn that all that stuff does not matter and what does matter is “peace”. Peace within me. Peace in my heart and peace in my soul. This is why I have reduced my life to only things I need. This is not to say that I no longer want stuff, but I have come to realize that stuff, while it may make you happy for a while, the euphoria gained from its acquisition is short lived and shallow. Fortunately, this place, this facility, has afforded me the peace that I was seeking. I no longer have to worry about the basics. I have all that I need. 

I have a roof over my head, something that has always given me a reason for angst. I have to admit that I have a fear of being homeless. Urban dictionary’s actually have a name for this. It’s called “Hobophobia”. Now, since living here in this affordable facility, that fear has been eliminated. Another thing that I am thankful for are people. Not all people, but just enough people so as to make me feel not so lonely.

When we are young, we are constantly surrounded by people. Even if you crave solace, your youth will not permit it. There is school, which forces you to be surrounded by people. There is work, which forces you, not only to connect with people, but in many cases to give up part of your humanity just to please those people. Marriage, attaches you to people by law. You now have “in-laws”. Those people who suddenly believe that they can have access to your stuff just because you married their little (fill in the spouse's name). However, as you grow old, most of the annoying people in your life have disappeared as well as most of the people you liked. Your in-laws went away with your (ex) wife. Your friends got married and now have in-laws of their own who take up their time. Your relatives, parents and your siblings have moved away or passed on and, finally you have the peace and solitude you were looking for all of your life. Unfortunately, this reclusiveness comes at the wrong time and at a price. The older you get, the more support you need. I know, if I were still married or had all of my family around me, my life would be entirely different. I certainly would not be here, which is not to say, a bad place if being surrounded by people is what you need. The one thing I can say with no compunction about living here is “I never have to be alone” if I don’t want to be. Lastly, there are some other things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful that I still have control of my faculties. For many people, growing older means a loss of cognitive function, even if it’s only forgetting a name or where you put your keys. For some its worse, much worse. For some reason, fate has, at least for now, spared me this debilitating condition. If the truth be told, I actually feel more cognizant and more aware of myself and my surroundings than ever. I am writing more than I have ever written and reading more than I have ever read. I am thankful for my relative good health and the people here that help me keep it. I now see a doctor on a regular basis, something I never did in my other life. Yes, I have much to be thankful for, but sometimes it takes a little searching to find it. In retrospect, getting older is not all that bad. Perhaps it’s what I have needed all my life.







Two Castles in the Land of Yonk

(A very grim fairy tale)


 nce upon a time, in the land of the West, there was a desperate king called Chuck whose subjects referred to him as “Chuck the Gross”.  King Chuck reigned over a kingdom of 16 fiefdoms all governed by feudal lords. The king’s favorite fiefdom was the one in the province of Yonk. Yonk was not much of a place. There were no markets for the peasants to shop at. And even if there were, most of the peasants had no money or could not get access to their money because Prince Yusselot, the feudal lord of the castle in Yonk, would not permit the money giver, whose name was At-m, on the castle grounds. The castle, which prince Yusselot called “The Center”, was lacking in many other amenities that the other castles throughout the kingdom of the West had.

Although some peasants had their own carts, most of them had to rely on wagons borrowed from neighboring castles for their treks to and from the markets and fairs. And, even when the peasants were able to get their own meats and vegetables, they could not cook or even heat them up . For you see, in Yonk, peasants were not permitted to warm their meager meals within their huts, for no fire was permitted anywhere the peasants lived. Peasants were forced to take their meals, in a communal place of eating, at ungodly hours. All of the meals were prepared by the Lord’s henchman, a knave who was completely controlled by the unforgiving king Chuck and his sheriff. The sheriff, the Duke Of Horrible,(D.O.H.) controlled most of how the kingdom was run. Even the King had to obey what the D.O.H. dictated. The sheriff used his power with un-abandoned ruthlessness. 

One day the sheriff made a law that no food could be cooked at a temperature of less than 160 degrees Fahrenheit (As the temperature was called in those days). Because of this law, all of the food the peasants were forced to eat was dried out and inedible. The eggs were as tough as a rubber gauntlet and the meat was a hard as chainmail.  In fact, the food was rendered so useless as to make the Sheriff’s deputy, a scullery wench named Sarah, unable to even taste the food. 

One day the king, as a favor to another prince, decided to split the province of Yonk into two separate fiefdoms. He ordered that a new castle be built right next to the existing castle, which was now beginning to look old and worn. Many millions in gold would the new castle cost which did not worry the king one bit. Because the king, you see, would not have to use any of his own gold. Instead, the gold he needed to construct the new castle, would come from the peasants who worked the land surrounding the old castle. In addition, the king's tax collectors were ordered not to try to collect any taxes from the new castle’s prince. A deal, as the old king said, “That was made in heaven".

The peasants, being the lowliest of individuals, were never even told of the new castle being built next to their homes. This left many of them in fear that their own castle would suffer even more neglect because all of the gold needed to maintain it would be spent in favor of the new castle. In fact, some signs of indifference towards maintaining the current castle was already at hand. One of the two washboards, which the peasants used to wash their pitiful rags, had remained broken for almost three months with no sign of repair in sight. In addition, the ice stream, used to cool the villager’s lukewarm beverages, was dammed up and unusable. 

Steadily, a darkness settled over the fiefdom causing the peasants to become uneasy. Many of them began jousting and fighting with their fellow peasants as well as Sir Yusselot’s Jesters called HHA’s or Haha’s. The poorly compensated Haha’s, wearing maroon colored doublets so as to distinguish them from the ordinary peasants were so underpaid that it was rumored that they would often steal from the peasants just to make ends meet. It is believed that, although the lord of the manor knew of the thefts, no HaHa was ever drawn and quartered or sent to the stocks.

Some of the money would be lent to King Chuck by the notorious Duke of Spano, who held land far and wide and was in league with Chuck and his henchmen. In fact, all that Chuck the Gross had to do was to ask for the money which was quickly forthcoming. 

Only time will tell us if the new castle and its new prince will overshadow the old fiefdom of Yonk or whether the old castle will eventually fall into ruin and collapse. But, even if it does, the peasants will be the last to know.

....Anonymous


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A “rocking chair” New Year’s Eve at the Asylum

To say that it was an exciting New Year’s Eve here at the Center would be like calling a funeral “A festive occasion”. In fact, the “celebration” was so short lived and so quickly over as to make it almost not worthy of mentioning. I mean, what can you say about a New Year’s Eve party that starts at 7pm and is all but over at 8. 

I finished dinner in the dining room at about 6:15 and decided to go back to my cell instead of hanging around the lobby. I watched TV until seven and then, walked back to the auditorium to check out the “action”.

I found a room packed with residents, all neatly in place in chairs, wheelchairs or Rollators. They where all listening to the entertainment for the evening, which was some guy playing oldies on a keyboard. Since this was not my cup of tea and no food or drink was yet being served, I decided to return to my room and wait until the “real” party got started. 

At 7:55, I walked back to the auditorium thinking that I would be in the middle of a rousing celebration with jovial residents talking and mingling and socializing with each other. What I found was something quite different. 

I was confronted with a sea of residents walking towards me, away from the auditorium. It was eight o’clock and the party was over. I grabbed what was left of the hors d'oeuvres (little, cold pastries stuffed with a mysterious filling) and a plastic champagne glass filled with warm, sparkling apple cider. I wished a couple of lingering residents a “Happy New Year” and trudged back to my room, took off my pants, got into bed and watched the ball drop in silence. All in all, an exciting evening here in the Center.



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Many of you know that my pet peeve and most hoped for change here at the Center, is the lack of proprietary transportation for our residents.. Here is reader with a suggestion...



Unfortunately, the volunteerism here is almost non existent. While some of the residents do own cars, they are slow to offer rides to anybody. No one, to my knowledge, has ever just said, “I’m going to the mall, would anybody like to come.”. There seems to be (and perhaps with good cause) some sort of reluctance by residents with cars to offer rides. Call it caution, call it fear of being taken advantage of, I just don’t know. Whether or not outside volunteers are available we may never know. The Center makes no attempt at reaching anybody who might be willing to volunteer. There seems to be an aversion by management to have anybody from the outside come in to help with anything.

The idea of a $5.00 ride is a good one except that most likely it is illegal and would probably void any insurance payout should she get in to an accident. In NYC, we used to call them “Gypsy cabs” and riders rode at their own risk...............ed.


...THEBLOG...





Prices are Rising For Senior Living Properties

By ROBBIE WHELAN

(No wonder they’re building a new facility on property they already own.)

The aging of the Baby Boom generation combined with the flood of capital into commercial real estate is driving up the costs of properties that cater to senior living.

Experts say demand for space at senior living centers has been rising thanks in part to improving house prices in many markets, enabling many seniors to sell their homes. Also the economy is strengthening, financing is becoming more available and commercial real estate of all types has become more attractive.

Today’s market “feels very much like 2004,” said Mr. Bernstein in a recent client note. “The availability of capital and leverage is driving it,”....



more...http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2014/12/24/prices-are-rising-for-senior-living-properties/

 

More on ALF’s


Raise bar on assisted-living standards:

Assisted-living residences are a godsend for many senior citizens and their families.

Assisted-living facilities are a vital part of a continuum of care for senior citizens, especially with the growing theme over the last few decades of trying to keep people as independent as possible for as long as possible. But, as a Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team report explored, there can be problems. At least 24 assisted-living residents in the state’s largest 15 counties died following mistakes or mistreatment by caregivers in 2012 and 2013. At least 94 other residents were hospitalized or treated in emergency rooms for the same reasons.

A number of issues are involved that can lead to these problems. A facility might be sparsely staffed, temporarily or as a matter of course. Staff might not be trained adequately to deal with difficult situations. A facility’s policies might not be adequate. A resident might have needed minimal assistance ....

more...http://www.postcrescent.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/12/21/editorial-raise-bar-assisted-living-standards/20690117/


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Many Factors Affect an Assisted Living Facility’s Personal Suitability

Assisted living facilities are designed to provide residents with help with daily activities while allowing them to retain their independence as much as possible. As a person considers moving to an assisted living facility, he or she should thoroughly research the options in order to choose a facility that best meets all needs.

“One of the most important things to consider is what kind of assistance you will need. Cooking, using the restroom, bathing, dressing, and managing medications are common areas of assistance,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center. “And you should be prepared for the changes that you will need if your health declines.”

Continuing care retirement communities are assisted living facilities designed to allow residents to age in place as they come to need more care. Many of these communities have independent living facilities, assisted living facilities and a nursing home all in one location. Other assisted living facilities are free-standing

Learn more ...at.. http://www.lawfirmnewswire.com/2014/12/many-factors-affect-an-assisted-living-facilitys-personal-suitability/



[THEBLOG]



We usually don’t do poetry here, but I though the joint could use a little classing-up for the new year.

This Aging Man

By Lawrence S. Pertillar


Today I didn't turn away,From this aging man staring.

Staring back at me,

With an expression of gratitude.


Today I stopped to say 'Thank you'.

'Thank you', is what I said today.

'Thank you', for being there,

To tolerate experiences I now appreciate.


There had been days,

When I would only glance...

To quickly examine the gray.

And the lines on my face,

That began to trace...

An aging that my felt kept youth,

Could no longer fake a truth.

Each phase of life one is blessed to live,

Welcomes yet another stage of it that fades.


Today...

I didn't turn away,

From this aging man staring!

I stayed and examined a reflection of me.

A reflection I suddenly began to feel proud to see.

And congratulated, I did, this aging man.

With a comprehending to understand...

No other way I would rather be.



^Theblog>



‘Anti-Aging’ Novartis’ miracle medicine makes progress

For long scientists have been working to find out anti-age medicine. And it appears that their hard work has yielded positive results with reports pointing out that initial baby step towards accomplishing this feat has been achieved.

This is what Novartis Report stated: “Seniors received a significant boost to their immune systems when given a drug that targets a genetic signalling pathway linked to aging and immune function.”

Dr. Nir Barzilai, executive of an Institute for Aging Research during Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, has praised the development. He has termed the examine as a “watershed” impulse for examine into a health effects of aging. The drug Rapamycin famous as mTOR inhibitors has been at the centre of attraction since then.

more...http://nvonews.com/anti-aging-novartis-miracle-medicine-makes-progress/


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Disabled veterans and their widows may qualify for additional benefits

By Ted Puntillo

Veteran’s pension is a cash benefit paid to war-time veterans who have limited or no income.

Veterans 65 and older automatically qualify to receive this benefit.

Those under 65 years of age must be permanently and totally disabled.

In addition to the cash benefit, veterans who are more seriously disabled may qualify for Aid and Attendance or Household Benefits, paid in addition to their basic pension rates.

The most common use for this benefit package includes medical care for veterans in non-combat related injuries, such as a stroke or vehicle accident — leaving them permanently disabled. Benefits may also include compensation for an assisted living facility; a popular option for those who are no longer able to care for themselves.

Veterans and widows of veterans considering a transition to an assisted living facility may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit package....

more....http://www.thereporter.com/opinion/20141225/guest-disabled-veterans-and-their-widows-may-qualify-for-additional-benefits


More on money


Middle class struggles to preserve retirement security

Pamela Yip

It’s no secret that retirement security is eroding for many Americans.

“Half of today’s working-age households are unlikely to have enough resources to maintain their standard of living once they retire,” according to the National Retirement Risk Index, compiled by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research.

That conclusion is based on very conservative assumptions, according to the index, which measures the share of working-age American households at risk of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement.

“The only way out of this box is for people to save more and/or work longer,” the center said.

But it’s not that simple.

Too much to top half percent

“It’s easy to put it on people, but at the same time, that money is hemorrhaging to the top half percent,” said Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works, a Washington-based group that supports the expansion and protection of Social Security. “Everyone else is not saving enough when wages haven’t been increasing.”

more.....http://baystatebanner.com/news/2014/nov/26/middle-class-struggles-preserve-retirement-securit/


<*>


Promoting Positivity

You’ve heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, right? But what about a positive attitude?

Studies have shown that a positive attitude can protect against poor health later in life. A healthy approach on life can also serve as a powerful antidote to stress and physical pain.

So, we can change our diet to eat healthier foods, exercise more for healthier physical health, and go to bed earlier to change our sleep patterns, but how do you change your attitude or your aging loved one’s mindset? Here are a few tips for promoting positivity:

Adopt a new pet – Owning a pet can actually reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social and physical activities!

Join a community group – Head over to your local community center and join a new group. Anything from bird watching to painting can increase social activity and give your aging loved one something to look forward to.

Listen to music – Music has a very powerful effect on all of us. Listening to music from your past can actually improve your attitude by generating happy memories.

Encourage your aging loved one to look on the bright side and improve their health and over all wellbeing.

-See more at: http://www.seniorhelpers.com/blog/2014/11/19/promoting-positivity/#sthash.QGeDgN4r.dpuf





Call me by my name and not ‘old timer’

Gary Calligas


when talking to older people who are 65 and older, what should we call them?

There are many choices: senior citizens, elders, older adults or something else. As I have learned, age is just a number and does not reflect the spirit or the activity of a person.

There are some 40-year-olds who look and act like they are much older, while some in the 70s and 80s look and even act like they are in their 40s. You often hear the term twenty something or thirty something, but I have not heard the term sixty something or seventy something.

So, maybe we should never talk about a person’s age or deem them older and less active as we might perceive them to be.

I recently met a 101-year-old elegant lady who looks like she is only 50 years old and appeared to be very active.

more.....http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/life/2014/12/26/call-name-old-timer/20803691


Editor’s note: In case you are at loss for words for what to call old people, here are some prime examples.

Coffin-dodger  (slang)elder, elder statesman, father, gaffer, grandfather, graybeard, O.A.P, old codger,  oldster,   old-timer ,(U.S.)   papa , pops (old-fashioned informal)   patriarch, senior citizen, advanced in years, aged, ancient, decrepit, elderly, full of years, getting on, geezer, gray, gray-haired, grizzled, hoary, mature, over the hill, (informal) past it, past one's prime, patriarchal, senescent, senile, venerable, antediluvian, antiquated, antique, cast-off, cobwebby, crumbling, dated, decayed, done, hackneyed, obsolete, old-fashioned, outdated, outmoded, out of date, out of the ark, (informal)  passé, stale, superannuated, timeworn, unfashionable, unoriginal, worn-out, aboriginal, antique, archaic, bygone, early, immemorial, of old, of yore, olden,(archaic), original, primeval, primitive, primordial, pristine, remote, age-old, experienced, familiar, hardened, long-established, of long standing, practiced, skilled, time-honored, traditional, versed, veteran, vintage, earlier, erstwhile, ex-, former, one-time, previous, quondam.  

  

@THEBLOG%






Help Seniors Breathe Easier With These Tips For Fighting Respiratory Ailments

By Megan Ray

Why seniors are at risk for respiratory problems

It's true that many older adults are at risk for breathing-related ailments due to chronic conditions. But beyond that, the aging process itself can be a risk factor for respiratory difficulties. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, aging can cause bones to become weaker and more brittle, and muscle tissue can also weaken. This leads to more difficulty expanding or contracting the rib cage as part of the natural breathing process. Additionally, the lung tissue itself can change its shape as a result of age, and in some cases the neurological processes that control respiration can be negatively affected due to illness as well.

Care starts with prevention:

Some conditions that result in respiratory difficulties can be treated with medication or therapy, but in the case of age-related breathing troubles, the best place to start is by creating an atmosphere - literally - that supports healthy breathing. Care.com emphasized the importance of cleanliness and hygiene, both for seniors and their caregivers. Preventing the spread of other illnesses can help ensure breathing problems don't persist. Enforce a strict hand-washing policy and encourage a healthy diet as part of your normalsenior care regimen. 

more...http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/december-2014/help-seniors-breathe-easier-with-these-tips-for-fighting-respiratory-ailments.aspx


More on health


Ibuprofen is not an anti-aging drug


HEADLINE:

In laboratory tests, ibuprofen was found to extend the lives of worms and flies by the equivalent of about 12 years in human terms.

Regular doses of ibuprofen could allow people to live up to 12 years longer.

It’s too early to know whether the drug will have the same effect in people, how long it would need to be taken or at what doses, researchers said.

In other words, no one knows if ibuprofen will actually slow down the aging process in humans (but if you have a pet worm…?), or how much would need to be taken over how long a period of time.

So please don’t start taking daily doses of ibuprofen on the off-chance that future (human) research might be more promising.

Although the researchers quoted in the articles state that ibuprofen is “relatively” safe, it is NOT harmless. Overuse or long-term use of ibuprofen can lead to stomach ulcers and kidney damage.

more...http://frugalnurse.com/2014/12/ibuprofen-not-anti-aging-drug/




Your Social Security Number

How Can Retirees Keep It Secret When They Carry It Everywhere?

         By JENNIFER WATERS

Encouraging seniors to keep close watch over their Social Security numbers, as we did in our last column, opened the floodgates to letters complaining that those numbers are in plain sight on their Medicare cards—and asking why that should be.

“When you reach this old age of 65, all the years you protected your Social Security number are for naught; everything shows your number,” writes Steve H. from Anaheim, Calif. “I figure, at this age, the government believes dementia has already occurred.”

Adds Liz M. of San Antonio: “Could they try any harder to increase the potential vulnerability of the elderly?”

“I find it difficult to comprehend that the personal ID number that we are reminded frequently to keep a secret is now on a card that we need to have on our person frequently,” says Phil O. of Pittsfield, Mass. “You remind readers that a lost or stolen SS number can lead to identity theft, with all the related consequences. The elderly are often targets of scams of numerous variety. Why does the government require us to carry a card with such potential for dire consequences at a point in our lives when we are becoming more vulnerable?

“Is there a way to deal with this issue?”....

more...http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-trouble-with-social-security-numbers-1419728684


More on security

Postal Service must combat change of address fraud

 Melanie Payne

Criminals are using the U.S. Postal Service's antiquated method of changing addresses to commit fraud.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service says this is uncommon. And because it takes 10 days for a piece of mail to be rerouted, the validation program—where the addressee gets a letter at the old address asking them to contact the post office if they didn't make the change—works to thwart criminal activity.

Tell that to John Berry who is still dealing with the identity theft problems this caused.

Berry, 81, lives in Cape Coral. His wife, Lois, is in an assisted living facility.....


more.... http://www.news-press.com/story/news/investigations/melanie-payne/2014/11/27/postal-service-must-combat-change-address-fraud/19592359/





Boomers turn to online tools for health-care needs

LUKE YOQUINTO

According to Forrester Research, 82 percent of all boomers – about 63 million people – regularly use the Internet. That’s about equal to the population of the United Kingdom, and that group spends major amounts on technology.

Most online boomers regularly use a laptop, and within the younger half of this Internet-connected group, more than 40 percent own a smartphone, Forrester reports. A 2012 Nielsen report said boomers made up 41 percent of Apple computer purchasers.

Recognizing the needs and potential of such a huge market, companies are developing a variety of health-related technologies geared toward the needs of people in their 50s and 60s. Some of the technologies are aimed at the baby boomers themselves and others at helping people like Rubin care for aging parents.

“There’s a massive market opportunity for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to build companies that proactively address the needs of baby boomers as they age,” said Kelsey Cole, director of Koa Labs, a shared working space for startups in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

more....http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/health/2014/11/10/boomers-turn-online-tools-health-care-needs/18814261/




Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grand and Great: Grandparents and Grandchildren Share Their Stories of Love and Wisdom 


Grandparents and grandchildren will enjoy Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grand and Great with its 101 stories written by grandparents about their grandchildren and by grateful grandchildren about their grandparents.

A parent becomes a new person the day the first grandchild is born. Formerly serious adults become grandparents who dote on their grandchildren and find new delight in life. This new book includes the best stories on being a grandparent from Chicken Soup for the Soul’s library. Everyone can understand the special ties between grandparents and grandchildren -- the unlimited love, the mutual ...

more....http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1935096095/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i5?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=10RHM2Y9ZYWC7K53JD0Y&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=1970559082&pf_rd_i=desktop



Senior Citizens, Not Hispanics, Are ‘Fastest-Growing Demographic’

by Josh Feldman

Fox’s Brit Hume gave a piece of commentary tonight that argued it’s not Hispanics that make up “the fastest-growing demographic” in the U.S. it’s senior citizens. And this is a group that the Republicans won handily last week and in the last few election cycles.

Hume brought up economic stagnation to suggest that’s why seniors are trending Republican. And that’s a problem for Democrats because, Hume explained, “It is senior citizens, not Hispanics, who are the fastest-growing demographic in the country. Mr. Obama and his party, it seems, needs a better sales job.”

Hume backed up this argument by saying Hispanics may be the fastest-growing ethnic group, but their size and percentage of the electorate is still dwarfed by the 65-and-over crowd.

more....http://www.mediaite.com/tv/brit-hume-senior-citizens-not-hispanics-are-fastest-growing-demographic/


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The Surprising Way Your Screen Obsession May Be Aging You Prematurely

By Jamie Cuccinelli

About a month ago, we mentioned that all that time you spend with your head bent over your iPhone or laptop could permanently mess with your posture and contribute to lower back problems and neck pain. If that wasn't enough to get you to turn off your tech, you've got some premature neck creases and a slacking jawline to look forward to. Awesome. Net-A-Porter's magazine, The Edit, recently reported on the phenomenon of "tech neck," a slew of slack jawlines due to our obsessive use of technology -- aka my newest beauty fear.

According to facial expert Sarah Chapman, the hundreds of minutes we spend staring at tiny screens per day (yup, per day...) can lead to jowls and premature aging of the neck and jawline. "We spend around 411 minutes a day looking at screens -- that's a lot of time spent with your chin tucked under and your face tilted at a 45潞 angle," says Chapman. "It's inevitably going to take its toll, causing slackening around the neck and deep skin creases." Well, this sucks...

more...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bustle/text-neck_b_6396030.html


=Theblog=



STRIVING FOR 'IMPREFECTION'

Eureka Times-Standard

 For those dedicated souls who wish to enter next year without regret about having "blown it" during the last two months of the year, here are several strategies to navigate your way to a new you in the new year.

DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS.

Be "sparklingly clear" about what your definition of success looks like. How will you know you've arrived if you don't know what it looks like when you're there? It's true the result might look different than expected. However, one doesn't begin a trip without at least an idea about where he's going.

Describe success in as much depth as you can. Use numbers whenever possible while also focusing on the feelings that will result from your hard work. Use concrete descriptions in defining your goals.

Instead of "I will lose weight," try (for example) "I will wear a perfect size 10 comfortably by Jan. 15."

TAKE RIDICULOUSLY TINY STEPS.

Small steps done regularly will always generate more results than large steps done intermittently. In other words, it's better to walk a block and really do it than to swear you'll run a mile and never get around to it.

If after saying, "I will do (whatever)," you're not 100 percent, absolutely, dead-on totally confident that you really will do that, then that goal is too large. Make it small enough so that you have no excuse to not do it.

By the way, a good indicator is that if your inner critic is telling you you're not doing enough, you're probably on track.

EMBRACE THE ROUGH PATCHES

Just because the road has bumps doesn't mean it's not the correct road.

Difficult times don't throw us off; it's mistakenly believing that we wouldn't have difficult times that throws us for a loop. If we think it's a straight shot from here to there, when we do hit a barrier we think, "It's all over! I've lost my mojo." Expect that there will be difficult times — and also expect, just like you would with an important relationship, that you'll work through it.

MORE....http://www.times-standard.com/strivingforimprefection/ci_26846634/striving-imprefection





Last Monday’s dinner was the same as one would get in any Junior High School cafeteria, prison dining hall, or Bowery soup kitchen. However, we are bot 7th graders, inmates or homeless. We are Senior Citizens who deserve the respect of the people we pay to take care of us. Serving this poor quality, cheap, crappy food is just another way of how this facility does not care one iota about how or what we eat. Eating this crappy, out-of-the-box, reheated frozen food is not cooking. And if it’s not cooked, what the hell do we nee a kitchen for. Just give us the number of the local take-out joint. We’d all be better off. 

Oh, and by the way, the rice sucked too!


<ff>


I Am Not Giving Up

I have not slackened off on my desire for a full cup of soup.

I would rather have a full cup of soup than that crappy, tasteless rice, underseasoned chicken fingers, overcooked meatballs and skimpy salads that often pass for lunch here at the Center.  I, and every resident here deserves a full cup of soup.


{FF}

Mini bagels make an unwelcome comeback

Diners at Sunday morning's breakfast were disheartened to find that the much hated mini bagels, once a staple on Sunday, had once again reared its diminutive head and found their way to our plates. And, even though my motto is "I have never met a bagel I didn't like", these small, cold, burned leftovers from New Year's Day continental breakfast, were hard to swallow (pun intended).

Never mind the fact that I will probably need dental work after trying to bite into one of these leftovers from the stone age, The very fact that they would serve them to us is enough cause for consternation. This, together with the 1/2 cup of soup, makes me wonder in what direction this facility is heading.





-ff-



Wait a minute, am I reading what I think I’m reading. Is this a license to kill?

Clients Can Buy No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance For Their Aging Parents!

Nomedexamlifeinsurance.com has released a new blog post explaining how to buy no medical exam life insurance for aging parents.

Clients can now purchase a life insurance policy for their aging parents. No medical exam life insurance is one of the simplest plans available. Qualifying for coverage can be done online, in just a few minutes.

Purchasing life insurance for aging parents has become more popular because funeral expenses have increased. The premiums will be calculated based on the insured's health and age. This can make the plan more expensive as senior citizens are considered riskier to insure.

The newly released blog post provides more details about purchasing life insurance for aging parents. Clients should review their options before choosing a plan...



   more;  http://www.prweb.com/releases/freecarinsurancequote/cheapquotoinsurancerates/prweb12410633.htm




McDonald’s Vs. Elderly Koreans In Queens, New York: Culture Clash Or A Lesson in Customer Etiquette?

By  Palash Ghosh

A minor dispute between a group of elderly Korean immigrants in the New York City borough of Queens and the local owner of a well-known fast food establishment revealed some cultural fissures that would otherwise have gone unnoticed in the huge metropolis. A group of senior citizen Koreans in Flushing, a heavily Asian neighborhood in northwestern Queens, have long annoyed the proprietor and employees of a McDonald’s restaurant at the corner of Northern and Parsons Boulevard by ordering only coffee or fries and spending hours in their seats -- thereby making it impossible for other diners (who bought hamburgers and other meals) -- to sit in booths in the eatery.

The issue became so heated that the managers often called the police or 911 to forcibly remove the elderly Koreans, sparking outrage among some quarters of the immigrant community, citing that in Asian culture, the elderly are respected and highly valued.



more....http://www.ibtimes.com/mcdonalds-mcd-vs-elderly-koreans-queens-new-york-culture-clash-or-lesson-customer-etiquette-1552963







 

Contact and Comment










I love reading blogs and stories written by older folks. They are usually filled with wisdom, humor and self degradation. After all, if you can’t laugh at old age, the only alternative is to give in to it and who the f--k wants to do that. 

Old age, for me, did not set in until about five years ago when I, (because of an illness) was forced to live in a nursing home. And, while there are other people in nursing homes besides old people, the majority of people are old. Some very, very old and on their way out. And, since there are so many old folks in nursing homes, the staff finds it easier to treat everyone like they were 85 and dying, rather than trying to customize a care plan for each individual. Therefore, during my stay in just such an institution, I learned how to be old even though I was just 64 and not even eligible for Medicare. I learned how to accept help from others. Something that I think most people find difficult to do if not downright abhorant to ones usual way of living. I accepted the fact that any dignity (or modesty) I had left was quickly washed away immediately after I was given a shower by a female aid who had no compunction about washing my naughty bits. Between the showers I was given a “sponge” bath. This was, at times, a group activity witnessed by a plethora of nursing aides in training who were taking meticulous notes on how to wash an old person. Dressing in the morning was a spectator sport. This was usually witnessed by anyone who happened to walk by my wide open door. I had to beg them to close the door and draw the curtain while I was dressing. After a while, I gave in and did not care anymore. I had successfully completed my first lesson on how to be old. Losing one’s prudery 101.

The nursing home became a sort of “The University of the Elderly”. As the weeks and months dragged on, my lessons in agedness continued. I learned how to eat like an old person. I learned that any food that required any cutting or slicing was something old people did not do. Also, any foods that were seasoned beyond that of a jar of Gerber Baby Foods was not good for old people. It made no difference if you were used to salty, spicy, peppery, garlicky or oniony foods all of your life. You are old now and you can't have them anymore. Lesson number 2. “You will never eat a decent meal again in your life”. 

The old folks university does not end there. There are other prerequisites to be learned before you can go on to the elective subjects like “How to be a curmudgeon”, “How to dress your age with mismatched clothes” and “Opening childproof medicine containers”. One of the most important prerequisites will prepare the older person for a life lesson that will be the foundation with which you will live the rest of your life. “How to resist punching a person in the nose when they start talking to you as if you were a child.” You can substitute “as if you were retarded” for “child”.

For a while, I was confined to a wheelchair. This brought about an additional set of learning experiences. I found that those people in wheelchairs are not only spoken to as if they were retarded, they are also spoken to as if they were deaf. I remember once, when I was getting into one of the elevators, a visitor who appeared to be older than me, asked, in a very slow, metered, overly loud voice “WHAT FLOOR ARE YOU GOING TO” and prepared to push the button for me even though there was nothing wrong with my hands or fingers. Not only was I recognized as slow witted and deaf, but as a helpless invalid as well. Lesson number 3. “Old people in wheelchairs are perceived as not being able to do anything”. I could go on and on. 

Besides the food, the clothes and the being talked down to, there are the endless doctors, treatments, illnesses (real and otherwise) the stream of pills that never seem to end for conditions that never seem to go away. All just part of the aging experience learned in nursing homes. However, if you survive the “initiation” period and leave the home you will be well prepared for graduate school, better known as assisted living. Assisted living is like an internship. It is the kind of education you can only get through actually learning to fight the forces of evil. Up until now, all that has been thrown at you was in preparation for how to live the rest of your life with a modicum of dignity. And the only way to do this is to fight the bastards every inch of the way. This is all too much to get into at this time. It’s best left for a seminar rather than a post graduate course. 

You will eventually graduate from Elder U. Your sheepskin will be a death certificate and your cap and gown a shroud. But let me leave you with this. "Always remember that you are, and have always been, an individual. You have managed to make it this far (for some of you very far indeed) and you evidently know what you are doing and what is best for you. And, while there may come a time when your memory fails you and your body protests at every move you make, never, ever let them win.”





Chalk up one for the old dudes

Senior Citizens Tackle Would-Be Purse Snatcher To The Ground

A group of Florida senior citizens fought back against a would-be robber who was trying to purse snatch from one of their own.

On Christmas Day, Larry Kent Jr., 45, allegedly tried to steal the purse of a 68-year-old woman outside Buffet City restaurant in Winter Haven, Florida.

The attempted purse snatching did not go as Kent planned.

The woman would not let her purse go and began screaming while Kent dragged her 15 feet across the parking lot.聽That is when two of her senior friends, ages 73 and 66, tackled Kent, keeping him pinned to the ground until police arrived, reports.

After shouting that Kent had a gun, another man, age 67, ran over and helped keep Kent restrained while one of the friends grabbed his weapon.

"His legs were kicking this that and the other, so I grabbed his legs so he wouldn't kick the others," said Pat Cameron.

 didn't care that he had a gun, I just wanted to help them out, Cameron said.


more...http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/crime/senior-citizens-tackle-would-be-purse-snatcher-ground






A New Year

As I do every year, in a futile attempt to improve conditions around here, I write my wish list in the hopes that someone in authority is listening. However, as in years past, little or nothing is ever done. They say that a true crazy person is somebody that keeps doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome each time. To that I say @#%$&.



\\\\\\\


I have a secret Santa


Being a person who neither receives or gives Christmas gifts, I was surprised when a small package was left for me with one of the staff. It was a small bag decorated with the symbols of the holiday season suggesting that there may be some kind of bounty inside.

Not wanting to embarrass myself in front of my fellow residents, who did not appear to have gifts of their own, I waited until I was in the privacy of my humble abode before opening, what I believed to be something of great value considering the way it was so carefully wrapped in the most silvery of aluminum foil. And, indeed, it was something of great value. Not so much for its intrinsic worth, but rather for its rarity. For, you see, the contents was not some gold trinket from Tiffany’s or or a Cashmere scarf from Ralph Lauren. No, it was something much more rare and scarce. Something rarely, if ever, seen on a day other than Sunday. It was a bagel schmeared with its traditional companion, cream cheese. Thank you secret Santa. If you tell me who you are I have a lovely can of Bumble Bee tuna waiting for you.


<<>>


Miss Smokey is still at it

I spotted, once again, Miss Smokey Pants cowering in the corner, directly outside our main entrance, happily puffing away on a cigarette in complete disregard of the no smoking rules of the Center. However, what is even more disturbing is the way the management of the Center has decided to completely turn their head the other way and not confront these residents who continue to smoke in places other than the facilities smoking area. I wonder what is going to happen when there are a possible 200 more smokers on the grounds. How knee deep in cigarette butts will we have to be until they put a ban on smoking altogether.


^^^^^^^^


Seniors need to be ready for winter's challenges

John Benson

"Wintertime presents unique challenges for everyone, but as we age, it's important to recognize our physical abilities change,Our ability to deal with extreme cold temperature, for example, may not be as it was when we were younger. We have a harder time doing that.”

"Things that older adults can do to reduce falls is just to be mindful of their abilities and don't go out in bad conditions if you don't have to, Just stay active and exercise to keep your strength and balance up."

"All of us as individuals have our pride. Independence is very important to us as Americans. And anytime that we find ourselves having to seek and accept help from others can be seen internally as we're losing some of our independence. We should not view this as a negative thing.”

more.....http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/senior-living/2014/11/02/senior-citizen-winter-challenges/18016327/



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What the Future Holds for Assisted Living


“As with health care, senior services face an environment of enormous disruption. Some providers will embrace it,” he writes. “Others will be destroyed. For consumers, it might mean more choices and a better quality of life.”


Assisted living is changing, and fast, writes Forbes columnist Howard Gleckman in an article published this week. Residents are changing, their needs are changing, and the services they require may not longer fit the hybrid model they have assumed somewhere between independent living and nursing home care. 

“As nursing homes abandon the long-stay business for more lucrative post-acute and rehabilitation patients, Baby Boomers will need an alternative,” he writes. “But not today’s ALFs. What will assisted living look like in 2020?”

The answer presented by Forbes is four-pronged: fewer operators, better integration

 with medical providers, person-centered care, and “fewer heads in beds.” 

“The old business model was based on filling rooms,” Forbes writes. “The new one may focus on virtual assisted living that delivers services to people living in the community rather than in its buildings....


more...http://seniorhousingnews.com/2014/11/30/forbes-what-will-assisted-living-look-like-in-2020/



///theblog///



What lighting is best for aging eyes?

As you age you require more lighting to see

Lighting becomes more important as people age. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), with each passing year, everyone requires more light to see properly.

Terry McGowan, director of engineering for the ALA, says, "Older eyes experience two important changes."

First, the amount of light required to sustain visual performance increases with age. Research shows that a 60-year-old needs twice as much light as a 30-year-old.

Second, with time, human eyes become more sensitive to glare. This can seem like a bit of a Catch-22, as more light can often result in increased glare. That's what makes the quality of light more important as you grow older.

With many baby boomers reaching their mid-60s, homeowners should consider user age as a factor in their home lighting design. It is easy to enhance the visual performance and enjoyment for baby boomers and older folks with a few simple lighting adjustments:

* Turn on one or two table lamps while watching TV to reduce the contrast between the bright screen and the surrounding darkness.

* Use a torchiere for uplighting as well as downward illumination for versatility. Look for a fixture with a separate task light attached or one with a glass bowl at the top to shine some light downward.

* Have a task light that can be directed or pivoted...

more....http://www.wptz.com/lighting-for-aging-eyes/30295240


:::THEBLOG:::


Did you skip your meds? Half of us do and face big risks

Seniors face complex medication compliance issues when they are managing several health conditions.

MARY PERHAM

Not using a medication as directed extends to many adults and illnesses. Only about half of adult patients take their medication as directed, a 2013 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Nearly 75 percent of those 65 and older face at least one chronic illness and nearly half have two, the U.S. Health and Human Services department reports. About 40 percent of seniors take five or more medications a day. Keeping track of how and when to take each drug is confusing for many. For some, following a doctor’s orders and even affording prescriptions puts their health at risk, most commonly for hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular ailments.

Forgetfulness is a common cause for missed meds. Others skip their meds because they have other priorities,

more....http://www.stargazette.com/story/news/local/2014/12/07/skip-meds-half-us-face-big-risks/20063175/


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Intermittent Fasting Supercharges Weight Loss, Has Anti-Aging Health Benefits

Intermittent fasting is better for weight loss than regular, linear dieting, according to a new study.

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego said their

 research suggests intermittent fasting (where you alternate between periods of normal eating followed by brief periods of fasting), can fight obesity and accelerate weight loss.

What’s more, studies suggest intermittent fasting can also prevent disease and slow down aging. “Fasting alone is more powerful in preventing and reversing some diseases than drugs,” said Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor at the Salk Institute...

more...http://www.celebrityhealthfitness.com/24650/intermittent-fasting-supercharges-weight-loss-anti-aging-health-benefits/



@@@@@@


Osteoarthritis: Is It Really a Natural Part of Aging?

By Dr. Sabrina Chen-See

Osteoarthritis, or pain from degenerating joints, is so prevalent among seniors and older adults that it is assumed to be an unavoidable part of aging.

However, these pains can occur in the neck, back, knees, hips, fingers, or shoulders and show up in middle-aged or young adults and even teenagers.

It did for me. As a child, I was a very active tomboy. I enjoyed life. I started competitive running in grade three, played lots of soccer, and by the time I was 13 I already had pain and swelling in my knees.

The pain would flare up if I was cold or wet. I described the pain to my mother and she said it sounded like rheumatism, like what old people have, but it couldn鈥檛 be because I was too young for that....

more...http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1140375-osteoarthritis-is-it-really-a-natural-part-of-aging/


         


Dick Van Dyke Sets Memoir on Aging for 90th Birthday

Dick Van Dyke has signed to write Keep Moving: And Other Tips About Old Age, about his approach to growing old, publisher Weinstein Books announced. Publication is scheduled for Fall 2015 to coincide with the actor 90th birthday on Dec. 13. 2015.

"I not going to sugarcoat anything," said Van Dyke in a statement. "Yes, your knees do hurt, your hair thins, you lose loved ones, and your memory can act like a friend who doesn’t answer the phone. But I’m going to assure people that there is a beautiful life waiting for you. There is no reason to feel bad about getting old if you do it right. Just keep moving."




more...http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dick-van-dyke-sets-memoir-759231


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How old is too old? Two ethicists debate quality of life as we age

By MAIKEN SCOTT

How is this for a headline sure to catch your attention: "Why I hope to Die at 75." It was the title of an opinion piece written earlier this year for The Atlantic by Zeke Emanuel, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. In it, Emanuel lays out the reasons why he thinks 75 is old enough. He's not talking about ending his life at that age, but says he believes that's the perfect age to go. Obviously, this article got a lot of response.

Unrelated, but around the same time, Jason Karlawish, a geriatrician, and professor of medical ethics and health policy at U Penn wrote a piece for the New York Times titled: "Too Young to Die, Too Old to Worry" which describes how singer Leonard Cohen said he would start up smoking again at age 80. Karlawish uses this as a way to discuss risk reduction versus enjoyment of life, and quality of life in old age.

Two interesting takes on the issue of aging, and what quality of life means - so we brought the two ethicists together for a discussion on this topic - which got quite heated at times.....

more....http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/thepulse/item/75575-how-old-is-too-old-two-ethicists-debate-quality-of-life-as-we-age



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Seniors' Aging Brains Find Ways to Stay Financially Sharp

Study reveals that as the mind ages, knowledge gained over a lifetime makes all the difference

By Randy Dotinga

New research suggests that decades of financial experience help seniors stay smart about money matters, despite the mental declines that come with age.

It all has to do with the various ways the brain handles financial issues, expla

ined study lead author Ye Li, an assistant professor of management and marketing at the University of California, Riverside.

"Two different types of intelligence provide separate pathways to good financial decisions," he said. "One relies on 'active thinking' that declines with age, and one relies on expertise and knowledge that improves with age."

It's perfectly normal for various elements of brainpower to decline with advancing years, added clinical neuropsychologist Daniel Marson, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Marson, who was not involved in the new study, said that short-term memory, thinking speed and "the ability to manipulate multiple sources of information," also known as mental "multitasking," can all falter with age.

Deficits in these areas would "presumably affect a person's ability to make financial decisions," he said, while diseases like Alzheimer's would make things worse.

More ...http://consumer.healthday.com/cognitive-health-information-26/brain-health-news-80/seniors-brains-find-ways-to-stay-financially-sharp-694917.html



   More on money


Aging And Household Spending Conducive To Simple Life

Good news for aging into simple living - it is a natural progression to reduce the amount of shopping you do the older you get. You really aren't getting older - you are getting better. Better at living simply.

Generally household spending peaks between the ages of 45 and 50, and then falls in most every category, dropping about 43% by the age of 75. See? Just by following the natural way of things you will live 43% more simply by age 75 than you were at age 45.

Inquiring minds will want to know why this is. Do we get wiser starting at age 45? Are we more content with what we have? Why slow down the spending after a life of binge shopping?

Whatever the cause, it looks like most people will slowly slip into the simple life whether a conscious decision or not.

Tired of spending hoards of cash on things you don't need? Not to worry - aging will take care of that. Not to say one can't start spending less earlier...

more....http://notbuyinganything.blogspot.com/2014/11/aging-and-household-spending-conducive.html?showComment=1415874608984


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What Happens to Your Social Security Number When You Die


Since 1935, the Social Security Administration has been issuing numbers to permanent residents of the United States. Nine simple digits distinguish each American from his or her fellow residents. Today, assigned randomly and never recycled, a social security number is as unique an identifier as your fingerprints. (Although, in the past, duplicates are known to have been issued accidentally.)

Early on, SSNs were issued through the states, and the first three digits designated the state where the person obtained the number; some states had more than one number, and this continued through 1972. Beginning in 1973, the numbers and cards were issued centrally, from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in Baltimore, MD, with the first three digits being assigned based on the zip code included on the application. Most people can verify that their number coincides with the place where they obtained their number. There is a general east to west pattern, although not perfect, in the assignment of the first three digits, with several exceptions. For example, New Hampshire is 001-003, Maine is 004-007 and Hawaii is 575-576. Places that fall even further out of the pattern include D.C. (575-576), Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (580-584, 596, 599), and Mississippi and Florida (both received 587-589 and 595 after they exhausted their initial assignments.


The remaining digits of the social security number have little significance, other than as a unique identifier. The second two digits were initially designed to be the holder's date of birth, but this was quickly abandoned in place of using those as a group number to ensure the accuracy of the issuing process. The last four digits are simply a serial number.

This all changed in June of 2011. In order to help protect the integrity of SSNs and to address the problem of insufficient new numbers in some states, the SSA stopped issuing numbers based on location in lieu of a system of "randomization" that included the following changes:

To date, 450+ million SSNs have been issued, but with just under 1 billion possible number combinations, there has never been a need to recycle numbers, and the SSA notes that it does "not reassign a Social Security number (SSN) after the number holder's death." Of course, at some point the numbers will run out and some change will need made to keep up that policy, perhaps adding a digit. But, for now, the answer to "What happens to your SSN when you die?" is absolutely nothing. It remains yours.....


more......http://gizmodo.com/what-happens-to-your-social-security-number-when-you-di-1652151816



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America's Senior Citizens Rank Dead Last Among Developed Nations in This Category

By Sean Williams

The Commonwealth Fund's study found that senior citizens in the U.S. were the mostly likely to have trouble meeting their medical bills. In the U.S., 11% of seniors noted difficulty in keeping up with medical costs. Comparatively, just 1% of respondents in Norway and Sweden noted an inability to keep up with their medical bills.

Expounding on the first point, close to one-in-five American seniors noted that they'd put off medical care because of out-of-pocket costs. This was nearly double the second-highest country, New Zealand, and more than 500% higher than France, where just 3% of respondents admitted to holding off on medical treatment because of cost.

American seniors also ranked with residents of Canada, Sweden, and Norway for being the least likely to be able to get in to see their primary care physician on the same day or the following day when sick. In the U.S. just 57% of study participants admitted to being seen the same day or the following day if sick.


more...http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/12/14/americas-senior-citizens-rank-dead-last-among-deve.aspx


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You know it would not be New Years if Foodie did not come up with his year end review of everything culinary here at the Center. So without further ado, here goes...

Generally, I think that the food served here has improved, not by leaps and bounds, but by small, carefully taken baby steps. While there has not been any one significant new item that I would call spectacular, there have been some triumphs. One was the introduction of hot open sandwiches which, it appears, they have finally gotten right. Another Item that I think the kitchen has done well is the soups. Except for a few duds (like lentil soup with hot dogs and potato soup that tastes like a bowl of watery mashed potatoes) most of the soups are very good. I would like to see a couple of new soups added such as cabbage soup and a real French onion soup (with cheese and a crouton). And, speaking of cabbage, what happened to the stuffed cabbage we used to have?

There are some items I would like to see added to the menu. These would include more Mexican type dishes and more stir fried items. I would also like to be able to have a soft tortilla instead of toast with my meals. This would enable those of us who would like a “wrap” to be able to make our own at the table.

Unfortunately, some of the old grievances remain. I still think that most of the food is under-seasoned. Things don’t have to be spicy to be good, just well seasoned. The chili made here is bland and boring with hardly any chili flavor. The meat loaf is almost devoid of any of the traditional meatloaf seasonings. Most of the baked chicken dishes could use a heavier dose of sage, rosemary and thyme as well a much more garlic. In fact, the absence of garlic in most dishes is very noticeable especially in the sauces used in Italian style dishes. And, while we are on the subject of garlic, how about some nice hot garlic bread with dinner once and a while. Considering that our chef is of Italian heritage, I would have expected a better understanding of things such as meatballs which have the taste and consistency of a golf ball. BTW, a meatball Parmesan hero sandwich does not mean a meatball sandwich that we have to sprinkle Parmesan cheese from a jar over. How about a real slice of cheese melted on top. Gee whiz, if you are going to do something, do it right for god’s sake. And speaking of doing it right, let us not forget deserts.

Desserts have always been a problem here. Some of the time, the desserts listed on the menu don’t even exist or they run out. Most of the cakes are dry and the assortment of pies has dwindled down to just one, apple. While I still consider two cookies on a plate, not a real desert, at least they could be decent chocolate chip cookies instead of poorly made factory produced ones or packaged Oreo’s.

There are other problems with the food that I know will never be corrected unless we can get the DOH to un-clench their anal retentive bottoms and realize that human beings have to eat this food. These include the over-cooking of foods that should not be over-cooked like eggs, and burgers and roast beef. I live and pray for the day when I can have a poached egg or a juicy, medium hamburger. Residents of assisted living facilities are the only people in NY State that are not permitted to eat food that is not cooked to death. 

Additionally, as I have done every year since I have been here and with every chef we have had. I ask that the amounts of carbohydrate loaded side dishes be reduced in favor of more protein. There is much too much rice, pasta, and potatoes being served here. Finally, as I say every year, all I want is the food to be as good as that served in any diner in New Jersey. Or is that setting the bar too high?

//ff//


I got the hots for this H. O. R. B. S.*

(*hot open roast beef sandwich)

I cannot heap enough praise on the hot open roast beef sandwich I was served for lunch last Friday. Finally, they got it right, and by right I mean not cooked to death, and with plenty of hot gravy. 

I could see that something was different about this sandwich as soon as I saw it. The beef had a pinkish hue in the middle of each slice. This told me that this roast beef was not cooked here. Because, if it were, it would be all brown and dry. Therefore, my hat is off to Boar’s Head or whoever made this RB, they done it right. Another thing done right was the portion size which finally did not make mockery of the appetites of some of our residents. Lastly, the gravy which covered the entire sandwich and soaked into the bread beneath. This is why this meal deserves a four-foodie rating.


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A place where Thanksgiving never ends

Christmas day, and once again we are treated to a traditional Christmas day meal. Unfortunately, it is what serves, not only as Christmas meal, but a Thanksgiving meal, a New Year’s meal, a Mother’s Day, a Monday meal, a Tuesday meal... oh well, you get my point. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like turkey with all the trimmings as much as the next guy. After all, along with the cheese burgers and General Tso’s chicken, it’s our national dish. However, even with all of its patriotic acumen, I don’t think we should have to eat it every damn time the kitchen runs out of time. And, while it's true that old folk’s memories are not as sharp as they used to be, we can still remember the last time we had turkey with stuffing and sweet potatoes. IT WAS LAST WEEK.






The Link Between Immigration And Elder Care

One aspect of the immigration debate that is seldom discussed is that we need foreign labor in order to create an ample supply of young, able and willing people here to care for our growing elderly population.

Immigration reform alone is not a complete answer, of course. The complicated bureaucracy attendant on hiring home health aides also needs to be addressed. We should make it simpler and cheaper for families to hire the help they need.

Home health workers are not a one-size-fits-all solution. There will always be good assisted living facilities, and people who want to live in them. But in an institution or at home, one of the biggest challenges of caring for aging parents is keeping them safe from falls. If immigration reform helps get us there, it is one more point in its favor.....

more....http://www.palisadeshudson.com/2014/11/the-link-between-immigration-and-elder-care/


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The following information is primarily for folks living independently, in New York City and in their own apartments. However, there may be similar programs where you live. 

Many leases come due during January, and if you live in a rent stabilized apartment in NYC, chances are you will be paying more. And, when your lease comes due again in two or three years, you can expect another increase. Unfortunately, our fixed incomes don’t keep up with the 7 to 14% rent increases. That’s why the “SCRIE” program was invented. ....


Lawmaker says many senior citizens are missing a chance to apply for a rent freeze

BY LISA L. COLANGELO


Assemblyman Ron Kim said the state's SCRIE program can help seniors

 avoid rent increases. But too many people aren't applying. He is hosting a free workshop on Oct. 10 with the Legal Aid Society to help people apply.

Applicants must be at least 62 years old and live in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled unit or another qualifying rental or co-op apartment. Tenants who meet those guidelines and pay rent of at least one-third of their family income can have their rent frozen....


more....http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/lawmakers-seniors-apply-rent-freeze-article-1.1970077


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Contact and Comments



200 more residents to be added to the Center

Can management handle it?


Last week’s breaking news headline was a shocker for many of the residents here at the Westchester Center. An article in a local Westchester newspaper proclaimed that the corporation that owns and operates our facility has approached the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (the same agency that funded our present facility back in 2011) asking for a loan of 24 million dollars to expand the present facility with the addition of a new building for 200 residents. The new facility will be constructed on a piece of underutilized property across the parking area from the present main building and will house (as it does now) mostly residents on fixed incomes. Taken at face value, this seems like a good idea. After all, there is a clear need for senior housing for people who do not need nursing home care but do need some amount of assistance to cope with their daily needs. And, while I am not opposed to such a project, and I am certainly in favor of adding an additional 110 jobs to the Yonkers tax base, my reluctance to approve of this funding lies not in its implementation, but with the people who are asking for the money. The present owners of the facility I now live in. 

As it exists now, the facility (due to a very aggressive marketing scheme) is nearing its capacity of 195 residents. Unfortunately, management has not proved its ability to properly handle and maintain the present situation which has put a noticeable strain on this facilities resources. How, therefore, will they be able to handle an additional 200 people if they are having difficulty with half that number. When I first came here back in 2012, there were only 85 residents. The place, as one would expect, ran like a jewel. Maintenance tasks were quickly accomplished. The home health aides responded almost immediately to the call bells which signaled that a resident needed assistance. In fact, the entire staff, including the administrator at the time, would fall over backwards in their attempts to be of service. The facility remained, for a time, at less than its planned capacity of 195 residents. It was not until they aggressively began a marketing campaign to attract and admit new residents did things start to go down hill.

Gradually, over the following months, the facility census grew until there were 120 or 130 residents present. Even with this slight increase, the Center was able to maintain a certain level of service. Unfortunately, as the marketing became more aggressive in its attempt to fill all of those empty beds, it became quite apparent that the Center was not equipped to handle, not only the increased number of new residents, but the kinds of new residents that were being admitted.

This was supposed to be a facility where people with various disabilities would be able to receive a minimum amount of care. This included help with showering and dressing as well as being provided with housekeeping duties and, of course, meals and medications. This was never intended to be a place for very sick people with life threatening illnesses. This was also never intended to be a place where people with obvious dementia and cognitive disorders could be taken care of. And it most certainly was not intended to be a place where people with Alzheimer’s should be housed. And yet, that is exactly what this place has become. A dumping ground for those whose relatives can no longer take care of them in a home setting, but are not so far gone as to need a nursing home or some other institutional environments. And in that, lies the problem. The management of the Center has taken on a responsibility for which they have no business doing and no skill at performing. Simply put, the staff and the physical plant are not equipped to deal with these people. And yet, they want to build an additional facility which, undoubtedly, will be admitting more and more of the same people who have special needs.

To show how incapable the management is at handling what is now approaching almost 100% occupancy, I offer these examples.


  • As a result of overcrowding, dining is divided into two sections with at least half of the residents forced to eat dinner as early as 4:30 in the afternoon. And, while we are on the subject of food, it has become quite obvious that the amount of money budgeted for food has been scaled back to a point where only the most basic nutritional needs are being met. No "gourmet" food here.

  • While emergency repairs are usually handled in a timely manner, the facility looks worn and dreary and in need of cleaning. The elevator floors are filthy. Peeling paint in many of the rooms and a carpet in need of a good shampoo is among the items neglected as the place becomes more crowded.

  • Crowded office and long waiting time for in-house doctor.

  •  Free or low cost transportation to and from malls and shopping is limited to only a small number of residents at a time. 

  • Unresponsive management. Question and concerns often take weeks, if ever, to be resolved.

  • Non transparency. Residents are NEVER consulted on, or even informed when policy changes or new regulations are implemented. The residents are ALWAYS the last to know when any drastic changes to the facility and or its residents are made. Residents, and much of the staff, only learned of this proposal to add 200 more residents, because of an article in the local paper. 


The big sign over the transom covering the main entrance to the building bids all “Welcome Home”. And yet, management operates this facility in such a manner as to make one feel quite the opposite of “home”. The very fact that they are planning to have a number of rooms that will house more than one person shows that they have learned nothing from their experiences with the present operation. The bottom line is this. Until they can get their act together and run their present facility as a modern, forward thinking, resident considerate residence instead of the medieval fiefdom it is now, the YIDA should give great thought about lending this corporation as much as a dime.



FOLLOW UP


As I was writing this editorial, this news story came across my desk. It appears, for all practical purposes, that this is already a done deal. Here is a quote from that story...


“There’s nothing like repeating a success story,” said Mayor Mike Spano, chairman of the city IDA board, in a press release. “The Westchester Center for Independent and Assisted Living provides an affordable home for so many senior citizens, yet there is still demand for more. We are glad to help it meet that demand.”

more....http://westfaironline.com/68004/yonkers-assisted-living-center-plans-24m-expansion/





Requiem for an ice machine

This shiny, stainless steel thing is supposed to be a combination water cooler/ice dispenser. In reality it is a stainless steel monolith whose ice dispensing properties have long since vanished, along with one of our washing machines, into the nether regions of the great un-repaired. At the time of this writing this machine (the only one on the premises set aside for the use of the residents) has been on the fritz. Although it still dispenses water, it no longer has the ability to make it cold. The machine has been in this non-working condition for almost three weeks with no relief in sight. We imagine that maintenance is waiting for some part or another. Unfortunately, what we need is a new machine. Considering that most of the beverages served here are served at room temperature, the need for a dependable source of ice becomes even more important. We urge the Center to stop fooling around trying to repair what is obviously a faulty machine and shell out for a new one.


((((i))))



A gift from Medwiz

The residents of the W. Center would like to formally thank the Medwiz Pharmacy(the Center’s primary supplier of prescription medications) for their more than generous gifts. The water bottle, beautifully decorated with advertising from various companies such as Tootsie Roll and Topps Baseball cards proves how much Medwiz appreciates our business. And, although no gift can really express their gratitude, giving us a job lot piece of crap certainly makes up for the four or five thousand dollars a year worth of business each resident is responsible for.





‘TheBlog’





90 days and out

New rules to protect elderly opposed

Critics assert rules may limit choices

Kay Lazar

A push to strengthen protections for elderly residents of assisted living facilities may instead end up limiting their choices, industry leaders warned Tuesday.

The proposed rules, issued by Massachusetts officials, may also curtail future public input in the regulatory process governing the residences, industry leaders said.

The rregulations would prohibit assisted living residences from accepting residents so frail they need months of skilled nursing care. Regulators detailed their proposals Tuesday at a meeting of the Assisted Living Advisory Council, an appointed board of industry leaders and consumer representatives.

Facilities could not accept residents, or allow them to remain in the facility, if the residents require more than 90 consecutive days of skilled nursing care, under rules proposed by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, which is charged with overseeing assisted living residences.

more...http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/massachusetts/2014/12/10/rules-bolstering-protections-for-elderly-assisted-living-may-limit-choices-industry-officials-warn/YbieqNrfWVOsHGBZiw5taP/story.html


Editor’s note: After reading this article, I decided to check what the rules are here in New York State by asking my primary source for all rules pertaining to ALF’s. Here is what she said...

“If you are in the hospital more than 90 days they do not have to hold your bed. DOH regs.If you come here needing skilled nursing they should not admit you. But you can see that they play fast and loose with that reg. Just take a look around you. I know you can tell who belongs here and who does not.

There are ALFs where you can age in place. All they need is the proper certification. Enhanced assisted living and special needs assisted living. WC does not have these certifications, and probably never will. Money comes into the equation, as both cost more money per month.

Sadly I don't know of any ALF where you can age in place that does not cost out of pocket cash and plenty of it.”



*****


New Medicaid rule could halt shift from nursing homes

By Christine Vestal


For more than 30 years, states have been finding new ways to care for aged and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries without confining them to nursing homes. The number of people living in skilled nursing facilities has declined significantly over the past decade, despite a marked increase in the number of elderly in the U.S.

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 “homelike” atmosphere, rather than an institutional one and to give residents choices about their care.

While nearly everyone supports the concept, states, providers and even some consumer advocates are complaining that the rule could make it difficult for health care providers to fulfill increasing demand for long-term care outside of nursing homes....


more....http://www.bendbulletin.com/nation/2615561-151/new-medicaid-rule-could-halt-shift-from-nursing?entryType=0#


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Assisted living employees vote to join union

HIGHLAND NY.– Two groups of staffers at the Highland Assisted Living Facility have voted to become members of Service Employees International Union Local 200United.

The vote was unanimous among the 16 employees, who work as recreation director, maintenance, head chef, weekend chef, personal care aide, home health aide and licensed practical nurses.

The employees wanted to join a union to have a say in their healthcare, wages and physical working conditions.....

more....http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2014/December/18/HAL_union-18Dec14.html

Editor’s note: While I am not generally in favor of unions, I have to side with the staff on this one. Knowing the poor working conditions, low wages and lack of healthcare that the staff here at the Center has to deal with, a union would help, not only the workers but the residents as well. A happy, well cared for workforce is as an important an issue as in assisted living as any other of its components.


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FOLLOWING UP ON A PREVIOUS STORY

Continuing to bring you the latest on my favorite story of the year. It appears the eight remaining residents of that senior residence in Brooklyn are still holding on in their fight to stay.


Elderly Evictions: Assisted Living Residents Refuse to Make Way for Luxury Condos

ALEX ELLEFSON


When 92-year-old Annemarie Mogil left her home of more than 30 years, it was important for her to find a residence where she could live out the rest of her days in peace. Which is why she was elated when she signed a lease last year at an assisted living facility that overlooks Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. 

The Prospect Park Residence offered laundry and meal services, arts and crafts and outings to the local botanical garden and Brooklyn Museum. 

“I feel that at 92, I lived a full life and an active life and helped a lot of other people. It’s my time now to rest and relax and have some comfort,” Mogil said. 

That, however, is proving to not be so easy for Mogil and the seven other remaining residents who have been fighting in court for the past six months to stay in their homes...

 more....https://indypendent.org/2014/12/16/elderly-evictions-assisted-living-residents-refuse-make-way-luxury-condos



<<<theblog>>>



It's “Back to the Future” for some Illinois Seniors

Consumer advocates gear up for fight over landline phones

JON SEIDEL

Consumer advocates say they're gearing up for an anticipated fight with telecom companies next year over the availability of landline phone service in Illinois.

Citizens Utility Board executive director David Kolata said the Illinois Telecommunications Act will expire in 2015, and that could help trigger a renewed push by companies like AT&T and Frontier for fewer regulations.

But AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza said Illinois "would remain a rotary dial state in a broadband and wireless world" if the Citizens Utility Board gets its way.

more...http://politics.suntimes.com/article/springfield/consumer-advocates-gear-fight-over-landline-phones/tue-12162014-1220pm


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Good News: 6 Common Negative Misperceptions of Aging Debunked


Depression is actually NOT more common among the elderly.

Cognitive decline is NOT inevitable.

Work productivity does NOT decrease with age.

And the list goes on of the various myths about aging that were debunked in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Using data and evidence from a variety of sources and studies on aging, the article debunks some of the most prevalent (and negative!) stereotypes about aging.

Major finds in the analysis include that those in the 55+ age group actually have the lowest occurrence of major depressive episodes, compared to those 26 to 49 years old, and the 18 to 25 group.

Studies also revealed that cognitive decline is not something that all of us will experience; ....

more....http://www.ageinplace.org/Practical-Advice/article/Good-News-6-Common-Negative-Misperceptions-of-Aging-Debunked



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Olivia Newton-John: Why a Smile is the Best Facelift

By STEPHANIE STEPHENS


"Olivia, tell us how you Mind Your Body with what you eat. However you do this, it is definitely working for you."

I've always eaten pretty well. Mom was German and cooked very simply most nights. She used to steam vegetables and cook potatoes with the skin on them. My friends had foods out of cans, and they ate white bread. My mom gave me really good habits that I've also passed on to my daughter.

What‘s your physical activity regimen?

I do something every day. I use a treadmill in Vegas for a half-hour to get my heart rate up. I like to take my German Shepherd Raven out on hikes when I’m home in Santa Ynez. I play tennis and do a lot of walking. And my show is a good workout, too—dancing and singing at the same time....


more...http://parade.com/359054/stephaniestephens/olivia-newton-john-why-a-smile-is-the-best-facelift/






HOW TO HOLD ON TO YOUR STUFF


While this article speaks mostly of hearing aids, the “tricks” can help you keep you from misplacing just about everything.


Q: I’m concerned about my parents’ hearing aids being misplaced or lost at their new assisted living center. Do you have some ideas?

A: We use a three-step “USE-PROTECT-MANAGE” method for our patients who live in assisted living centers and rehabilitation centers.

The first step involves labeling. We emboss or etch our patients name onto their hearing aids for easy identification. We also label the hearing aid container.

The second step for some patients is to use a clothing loop that connects the hearing aids to our patient’s clothing. ....

MORE...http://www.statesman.com/news/lifestyles/health/assisted-living-hearing/njQ6b/



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It’s Time for Seniors to Embrace the Internet of Things

by Angela Stringfellow     

You've likely heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), but if you don’t actually know what it is, you’re not alone. In fact, even purveyors of the Internet of Things at times aren’t sure how to actually define this growing concept and collection of … things. In a nutshell, the Internet of Things is a term used to describe the ever-growing network of connected devices, or, if you will, “smart gadgets.” With 45 million people (and growing) in the U.S. in their senior years, and more and more seniors opting to age in place, the Internet of Things holds much promise. We contend that seniors should embrace the Internet of Things. You may just be surprised how much better and easier life can be when you do.....

more...http://www.seniorhomes.com/w/its-time-for-seniors-to-embrace-the-internet-of-things/



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Senior citizens asked to pack condoms for cruise

Forget gentle games of bridge over cups of Earl Grey tea, the “silver set” are a lot more sexually active than they’re given credit for.

That it’s such a shock to many proves that "ageism" is alive and well, because, well, why shouldn't our grandparents be getting it on, and with such vigour?

The only problem with the lustiness of pensioners is the alarming rise of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with evidence that rates of STIs among older adults are rising all around the world. 

Facing the problem head-on is a UK Government agency, that have included safe sex preparation in their health guidelines for Britons (more than a quarter of cruise passengers are over the age of 60) embarking on a cruise holiday. The advice included for the pensioners to pack "indate, good quality condoms."...

more...http://www.aww.com.au/family/relationships/2014/12/stis-on-the-rise-in-senior-citizens



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More aging boomers, but fewer doctors to care for them

By 2030, the last of the Baby Boomer generation will have turned 65 years old, putting the population of “senior boomers” in the United States at approximately 71 million. Currently, only about 7,000 certified geriatricians – physicians specializing in the care of older adults – are practicing in the US. That’s about one geriatrician for every 10,000 of these expected seniors, assuming that the number of geriatricians remains stable. However, the number of new trainees in the field of geriatrics is going down.

Geriatricians often act as primary care doctors, and at times as specialist consultants, for patients who are advancing in age and may require targeted, specialized care to maintain function and quality of life. Geriatricians are attuned to the specific needs of the patient at all stages of aging, regardless of what or how many chronic conditions that patient may have. As America’s population ages, these doctors will play a critical role in caring for senior citizens......

more....http://theconversation.com/more-aging-boomers-but-fewer-doctors-to-care-for-them-33163



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It's time to give nurse practitioners full practice authority


By 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that many states, if they are not facing one already, will face a shortage of primary care physicians. This is due to an aging baby boomer population, an aging physician workforce and the millions of millennials who will be newly insured through the Affordable Care Act. 

A way to meet the primary care demand is by allowing nurse practitioners the ability to diagnose and treat patients without direct physician supervision. Advanced practice registered nurses would also have limited independent prescriptive authority after being in a four-year mentorship program. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted into law and implemented full practice authority for nurse practitioners. 


more...http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20141214/BLOG200/312149988/its-time-to-give-nurse-practitioners-full-practice-authority


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Report Highlights Most Common Disability Among Older Adults.

Do you fit the profile?

Approximately 40 percent of Americans older than 65, or about 16 million people, live with at least one disability, according to the new study.

“With the first baby boomers having entered the 65-and-older ranks in 2011, the United States may experience a rapid expansion in the number of older people with a disability in the next two decades,” says the report. The report focuses on various disabilities including problems related to hearing, sight, cognitive, walking, self-care and independent living. The most common type of disability was difficulty walking or climbing stairs, which was reported by two-thirds of seniors with a disability.

Older adult women accounted for almost two-thirds of the seniors with disabilities. However, older men were much more likely to have serious hearing problems – 52 percent versus 32 percent.

Other common types of disability included problems with independent living (about 48 percent) and hearing problems (40 percent), but 61 percent didn’t have any of the six types of disabilities measured in the report.

About half of seniors with a disability lived in nine of the most populous states: California, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and North Carolina.

However, areas in the South, especially in central Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, tended to have higher disability rates among seniors. The report found the highest rate (48 percent) was in Mississippi. The lowest rate (35 percent) was in Arizona.

Black and Hispanic seniors with a disability had higher rates of poverty, and blacks and whites with a disability had higher rates of living alone, the report noted.





Want to live to 100? Live well, look on the bright side


QUESTION: Can you live longer than 100 years? What person lived the longest on Earth?

ANSWER: People 80 years and older are actually the fastest growing portion of the world population! The oldest person who ever lived (and has been validated by documents) was Jeanne Louise Calment, a French woman who was 122 years and 164 days old when she died in August 1997. The oldest person in the world right now is Misao Okawa, a 116-year-old woman living in Japan.

The Gerontology Research Group at UCLA is a great resource for information on aging. This group of scientists and doctors is trying to figure out what qualities and characteristics people who live long lives have in common. Their research actively maintains a file of living supercentenarians (people 110 years and older). There are currently 76 supercentenarians on their worldwide list. The chance of living to 110 is currently 1 in 7 million, according to these researchers. So far there has not been a common trend in the lifestyle of the supercentenarians, only that close relatives of theirs also live long lives. Another interesting fact is that female supercentenarians outnumber male supercentenarians 10 to 1, and researchers do not understand why.People who live to old age (80 to 100) do have some significant similarities in lifestyle. ....

more...http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/2014/12/19/lives/20659643/





Medicare cards aid in ID theft

Julie Jason


Since cybersecurity and identity theft are such big issues today (Just look at what happened to SONY), you have to wonder why our regulators, legislators and leaders in Washington, D.C., are complacent about putting 50 million senior citizens at risk.

What risk? Medicare cards that prominently display Social Security numbers.

The Social Security Administration cautions you to never to carry your Social Security card with you. Yet seniors must carry their Medicare cards with them to present to their health providers. How rational is that?

Seniors' exposure to identity theft is not news to anyone in Washington. The U.S. Government Accountability Office recommended removing Social Security numbers from "government documents" in 2002. In 2007, the Identity Theft Task Force concluded that the "most valuable commodity" for identify theft was the numbers.

A year ago, the GAO issued a report to Congress again recommending removing the numbers from Medicare cards.

The report, titled "Medicare Information Technology, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Needs to Pursue a Solution for Removing Social Security Numbers From Cards," provides details of previous studies and previous recommendations to use some other identifier to replace the Social Security numbers.

So far, nothing has happened.....

MORE....http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Medicare-cards-aid-in-ID-theft-5863319.php



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Fashion for seniors need not be dull

By NICOLA MENKE


When you start wearing gray or tan every day, you know you are old: senior citizens seem irresistibly drawn to conservative, almost colorless clothing after passing a certain age.

“That is partly due to the selection of clothes for them in the shops. Unfortunately most of what the industry makes for older women looks rather dowdy,” says Angelika Hansen from Germany's Association of Senior Citizen Carers.

But the grey-or-beige look is a matter of choice.

“Most seniors don't trust themselves to wear bright colours or strong patterns when they reach the age of 60 or 70,” says Hansen.

One reason may be that elderly people feel the need to wear what they think is appropriate clothing that won't draw attention.

“Some are just very unsure about what looks best with their mature status,” says Evelyn Baganz who advises senior citizens on styling issues.

“A fashionable outfit with a nice design and colour makes the wearer look more attractive, younger and happy. It can also give a boost to your confidence,” says Angelika Hansen. Criteria for deciding what looks good are independent of age and apply to everyone.


more...http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/style/fashion/fashion-for-seniors-need-not-be-dull-1.1797363#.VJQ2UUALA



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This is what passes for lunch at the W.Center...

...and it pisses me off!

It was difficult to tell by the name, “Baked Bread Bowl”, to know what exactly we were being served.

Even the server was not entirely sure. However, being the adventurer that I am, I went ahead and ordered it anyway. My disappointment was overshadowed only by my utter shock at what appeared on my plate. There, before me were, what I can only describe as two canapés. What they certainly were not is a decent meal. What you see in the photo is what we got. Two of these faux knishes and nothing else on the plate. Yes, I know, I should have had a bowl of soup and a salad that was also offered, but because I did not know what I would be getting, I did not order them. The least they could have done is to put three or four of those things on the plate. At least the meal would not look like something left over from the staff X Mass party.


Editor’s note: each “bowl” is approx 2” in diameter. Also, I am giving this a “3” rating on the foodie scale only because they tasted pretty good. For an appetizer!




X Mass Dinner, 2014


As a rule, I do not usually review parties or special events held here at the Center. However, since this has been a rather slow food/news week, I feel it's my duty to report on this event which, of course, included food.

Compared to this year's Thanksgiving dinner, which was sparsely attended by family and friends, Sunday's event was quite the opposite. The dining room was packed with all the seats and tables occupied. The staff did a great job at serving despite the large crowd. The only drawback, in my opinion, was the music which was too loud and not appropriate for an X Mass dinner. Perhaps some nice seasonal music would have been a better choice.





Hamill: For an aging hippie, de Blasio's new pot policy is cause for celebration

So the police unions threaten a job slowdown because they think Mayor de Blasio’s new decriminalized pot law that will save thousands of young people — incincluding the kids of police officers — from lifelong arrest records for something as silly as weed is, well, reefer madness.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


“I was a long-haired teenager on Hippie Hill in Prospect Park in 1967, the Summer of Love, when Brooklyn kids transformed the violent youth gangs of the late-’50s and early-’60s into passive flocks of flower children wearing love beads and peace symbols grooving on summer afternoons to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and Bob Dylan singing “The Times They Are a-Changin’.”

We’d furtively smoke weed on the grassy knoll near Bartell Pritchard Square, always looking out for cops who blatantly profiled hippies in a policy of stop-and-frisk.”...


more....http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/hamill-de-blasio-pot-policy-celebration-article-1.2009184








 

Contact and Comment

 















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.


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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:    Resident-X@hotmail.com      


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.




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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.



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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.

MORE....http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2014/11/25/the-new-world-of-assisted-living/


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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.” ...

more...http://www.nextavenue.org/blog/revolution-life-beyond-adulthood



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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):

http://www.impactaging.com/papers/v6/n11/full/100702.html



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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.... 

more....http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/12/09/why-the-older-americans-act-matters/



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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


INA JAFFE


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......

More....

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/12/08/368524824/old-and-overmedicated-the-real-drug-problem-in-nursing-homes



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....

more...http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2014/12/10/many-senior-citizens-take-too-many-medicines-here-are-three-fixes/


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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....

more....http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Health/2014/20141202_Mobility-is-most-common-disability-for-American-senior-citizens.htm



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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.....

 

more....http://this.org/blog/2014/11/24/oh-the-horror-scary-seniors/





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. ....


more....http://www.medicaldaily.com/strange-addiction-man-drinks-young-peoples-urine-because-he-believes-it-keeps-him-312642




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...


more...http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Health/2014/20141210_Cold,-flu-meds-risky-for-senior-citizens-with-high-blood-pressure.htm



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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.




more....http://betterafter50.com/2014/12/after-menopause-aging-and-the-female-reproduction-organs/



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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....http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/senior-focus-preventing-malnutrition-in-older-adults/article_9cb6f6c1-8d68-5c1a-8780-66b44fb5a3ad.html


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.....


more....http://www.techtimes.com/articles/21479/20141205/forever-young-nah-but-mediterranean-diet-slows-down-aging-process.htm



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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.

more....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/08/sleep-gifts_n_6270744.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000030





Unmet Needs Continue to Pile Up

By PAULA SPAN

“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....

more...http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/09/unmet-needs-for-elderly-continue-to-pile-up/?_r=0



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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? ...

more...http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynrosenblatt/2014/12/05/how-much-are-your-aging-parents-spending-on-medical-costs/



(((THEBLOG))))





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



(FF)




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.


<ff>



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.


(ff)



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.



<ff>






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....


more...http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-sunrise-mafia-hitman-dead-20141211-story.html



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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.

more...http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20141211/NEWS/141218797



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NEW ON THIS SITE: THE FACE OF ALZHEIMER'S 

READ THE LATEST ARTICLES ON ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH AND TREATMENT GO  TO:

http://wcenterblog.yolasite.com/the-face-of-alzheimers-and-dementia.php











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...

SMOKING RULES DO NOT APPLY

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. LeadingAge.org provides news and case studies about assisted living on their website. Helpguide.org is a nonprofit guide to resources including assisted living residences.Alfa.org 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
economist.
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. ....







<<<<THEBLOG>>>>







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. ....








^^^^THEBLOG^^^^







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.....




[[THEBLOG]]






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.”




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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.



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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.




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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 SeekingArrangement.com, 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.





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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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NEW ON THIS SITE: THE FACE OF ALZHEIMER'S 

READ THE LATEST ARTICLES ON ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH AND TREATMENT GO  TO:

http://wcenterblog.yolasite.com/the-face-of-alzheimers-and-dementia.php







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: http://phys.org/news/2014-11-unmet-older-americans-common.html#jCp





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.


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DOES HOT COCOA DELAY BRAIN AGING?

 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.


more....http://www.neurorexia.com/2014/11/27/does-hot-cocoa-delay-brain-aging/



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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. 



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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.....



more.....http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/crime-law/fight-between-senior-citizens-in-boynton-results-i/njHBn/



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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......

more...http://www.kcchronicle.com/2014/11/24/supportive-living-is-more-affordable-than-assisted-living/ac24rc4/

Heritage Woods website...http://www.bma-mgmt.com/heritagewoodsbatavia/


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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.

more....http://www.riverjournalonline.com/around-town/latest/3532-westchester-senior-hall-of-fame-induction-to-take-place-december-5th.html



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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....http://www.eweek.com/mobile/aarp-aims-its-realpad-tablet-at-technology-hesitant-senior-citizens.html#sthash.FKTUXUpK.dpuf 



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.....

more...http://sputniknews.com/science/20141121/1015011195.html





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

By VIVIAN YEE

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.......

more....http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/29/nyregion/at-assisted-living-home-prospect-park-residence-set-to-close-holdouts-dig-in-as-services-dry-up.html




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.

JAMES HAMBLIN

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. .....




more....http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/when-the-home-closed/383075/


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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 ..http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/total-knee-replacement-surgery-alternatives#ixzz3Io50Fb3x 


******



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.

more...http://dogtime.com/anti-aging-drugs-for-dogs-and-humans.html


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


Chickens Help Reduce Elderly Loneliness, Depression

BY NATALIA GALBETTI

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.

more.....http://www.ecorazzi.com/2014/11/11/chickens-help-reduce-elderly-loneliness-depression/


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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.....


more....http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/11/23/obamas-war-on-aging-women-will-69-year-old-high-mileage-hillary-clinton-have-that-new-car-smell-160870



THEBLOG




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.

more...http://www.wect.com/story/27438265/a-bad-marriage-burdens-an-aging-heart


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20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30



more....http://www.rantchic.com/2014/10/24/20-things-women-should-stop-wearing-after-age-30/?utm_source=Taboola&utm_medium=referral&utm_term=Title5&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral#slide_30





SOARING GENERIC DRUG PRICES DRAW SENATE SCRUTINY

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....http://abc11.com/news/soaring-generic-drug-prices-draw-senate-scrutiny/403832/



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 consumerfinance.gov website.

more....http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/11/26/why-older-americans-are-financially-vulnerable








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.


FF


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.



||FF||




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.


More....http://hollywoodlife.com/2014/11/20/grandmas-smoke-weed-play-cards-against-humanity-video/





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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....http://www.cbsnews.com/news/calorie-restricted-diet-may-slow-aging-cognitive-mental-decline/









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.



<<<THEBLOG>>>




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.....

more......http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/states-will-have-a-hard-time-medicaid-reimbursements.html

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.


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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....http://www.alfa.org/News/4116/ALFA-Forum-Participants-Relish-Opportunities%2C-Challenges-Brought-by-Change


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.....http://seniorhousingnews.com/2014/11/19/senior-living-and-hospital-referrals-are-you-on-the-magic-list/


<<<<THEBLOG>>>>





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.....


more....http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/11/20/park_slope_landlord_evicting_seniors_had_already_sold_building.php


The latest update as of 11/22


SENIORS OCCUPY THEIR HOMES, BLOCKING $76.5 MILLION DEAL

BY KAREN MALPEDE


“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....http://www.bkreader.com/2014/11/seniors-occupy-their-homes-blocking-76-5-million-deal/



{THEBLOG}






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?

more....http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Health/2014/20141119_Pain-Suffered-by-Aging-Adults-is-Topic-for-New-Publication.htm





NIH MedlinePlus- 



More about pain

NIH MedlinePlusMagazine, Spring 2011: Special Section on Managing Chronic Pain. Download a printable PDF of this issue.....http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/spring11/articles/spring11pg4.html


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

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


NIH Clinical Center: For more about clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center, go tohttp://clinicalcenter.nih.gov. 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?



[Theblog]



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.... http://www.inquisitr.com/1614027/are-flu-vaccines-risking-senior-citizens-lives-some-say-yes/#c6Hy3kc6rjmg5rh2.99 



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.

MORE...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/14/caring-for-elderly-around-the-world_n_6100656.html


**THEBLOG**



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

PAUL WALDMAN


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.

MORE....http://prospect.org/article/fox-news-where-conservative-senior-citizens-get-look-half-naked-girls






(((>>>|<<<)))




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.”


Read more at http://americanlivewire.com/2014-11-20-president-obama-hurting-senior-citizens/




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



listen.....http://www.ascensionearth2012.org/2014/11/open-source-free-everything-cure-for.html




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.


more....http://www.healthywomen.org/content/blog-entry/diane-keaton-imparts-her-wisdom-aging




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. 


MORE....http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/feeding-birds-provides-therapeutic-benefits/article_1b6bfa24-58cb-50f8-9a7d-b3277acfae76.html




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.


more....http://hamptonroads.com/2014/11/worried-about-how-youll-age-tech-tools-give-hand#





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.


((FF))



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.


((FF))



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”


MORE....http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/11/16/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......

MORE....http://www.mininggazette.com/page/content.detail/id/539061/Aging-with-a-sense-of-humor.html?nav=5061


(THEBLOG)


 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.


more....http://boredbug.com/time-machine-see-favorite-celebrities-will-looks-like-theyre-old/






-30-


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 @Hotmail.com








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...http://www.multihousingnews.com/news/first-westchester-county-affordable-assisted-living-facility-opens/1004049053.html


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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.



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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.


(THEBLOG)








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....


more.....http://kokomoperspective.com/kp/benefits-of-assisted-living-go-beyond-safety/article_60c4ffae-5f7d-11e4-a8e5-4b5273eb2774.html



“”””””””””””””


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.".....

more....https://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2014/11/3/NYTFalls/


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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. ......


more....http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail9/story191242/scientists-turn-aging-brain-into-039-plastic-039-child-like-state.html



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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.


more....http://www.statesman.com/news/news/letters-to-the-editor-oct-31-2014/nhwZr/




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

By DAVID B. CARUSO and MICHAEL KUNZELMAN

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.......

 more......http://www.newstimes.com/news/us/article/NYC-adult-home-residents-asked-to-repay-FEMA-aid-5881685.php?


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



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


Long-Term-Care Insurance: What Policyholders Should Know

KAREN DAMATO

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:


more....http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2014/11/06/long-term-care-insurance-what-policyholders-should-know/



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

Because being old means having nothing left to prove.

more.....http://www.pinterest.com/pin/236087205441708910/



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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.


more.....http://www.dailyitem.com/opinion/social-security-vs-welfare/article_dc91de6a-5ed6-11e4-984b-abe6236c92ad.html



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......

more....http://union-bulletin.com/news/2014/oct/31/78-man-still-flips-burgers-798-hour/






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.

more......http://www.celebrityhealthfitness.com/23898/helen-mirren-69-named-new-face-loreal-anti-aging-beauty-fitness-secrets/



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8 Concerns Of Women In Their 70s

We heard from women in their 70s on our blog at 70candles.com 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?.........

more....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-giddan-and-ellen-cole/turning-70_b_6090764.html



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.......

more.....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/11/older-women-feeling-invisible_n_6140494.html



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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.

more....http://www.newportnaturalhealth.com/2014/11/resveratrol-cures-memory-problems-and-fights-aging/


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.



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How to improve your balance as you age

By JIM MILLER


QUESTION: 

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?

ANSWER: 

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.....

more.....http://www.timesdispatch.com/entertainment-life/savvy-senior-how-to-improve-your-balance-as-you-age/article_c10ce773-225b-5cfb-b037-4018124a4c62.html



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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.....


 more.....http://www.gazettextra.com/20141028/matt_pommer_ebola_jogs_memories_of_polio_terror#sthash.XLQr8FqT.dpuf 



[THEBLOG]



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.

more....http://www.npr.org/2014/11/12/363521353/author-richard-ford-says-let-me-be-frank-about-aging-and-dying?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=books



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FOODITORIAL


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. 

more....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/12/perfect-poached-eggs-recipe_n_6117908.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063



((FF))


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.



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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....

more....http://cs.thehorse.com/blogs/old-horses-better-with-age/archive/2014/11/05/senior-can-t-or-won-t-eat-hay-no-problem.aspx




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.

more....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/03/senior-citizens-charity-calendar_n_6096744.html


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Contact and Comments: Please refer to article in your comments

All questions and comments may be posted in future blogs








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.



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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’


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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.



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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.


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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....

THIS IS WHAT IS GOING ON NOW...

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."




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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,” .....



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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....



MURDER AT THE CENTER:

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.....




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MONEY FROM THE FED$

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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IS THE NUMBER UP FOR BINGO?

'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.


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Flavonoids: Are you eating enough berries and onions for healthy aging?
LESLIE BECK
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 –...

more....http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/flavonoids-are-you-eating-enough-berries-and-onions-for-healthy-aging/article21426649/


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

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.

more....http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-purpose-in-life-preventive-health-costs-20141101-story.html

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ANTI-AGING BUYERS GUIDEBOOK

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
..

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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. .....




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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."...

more....http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Eldercare/2014/20141104_Nearly-Half-of-Senior-Citizens-in-America-Need-Help-with-Daily-Routines.htm



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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......


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Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation
By KATIE HAFNER

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."....




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FOODETORIAL
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.



[[FF]]



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.


{{FF}}





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.


((FF))




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.....”




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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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Your comments may apper in future blogs





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 ....

more....http://www.babyboomermedia.com/possible-live-social-security-retirement-years/






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......

more....http://asaging.org/blog/6-scary-facts-about-aging



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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,” 

more......http://www.boomercafe.com/2014/10/25/photography-helps-keep-boomer-brain-fit/




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....... .


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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....http://seniorhousingnews.com/2014/10/26/3-solutions-to-age-old-senior-housing-problems/




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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,”....

more....http://www.environmentsforaging.com/article/providers-must-change-language-aging-speakers-say


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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......

more....http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/26851324/switching-lives-with-a-senior-citizen



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


RED WINE BATHS ARE THE NEWEST ANTI-AGING TREND, BUT DOES VINOTHERAPY ACTUALLY WORK?

ALANNA GRECO

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.....http://www.bustle.com/articles/45227-red-wine-baths-are-the-newest-anti-aging-trend-but-does-vinotherapy-actually-work


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- .....

more....http://www.grsreservations.com/can-testosterone-slow-aging/


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SENIOR HOUSING AND POLITICS

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.

more...http://newamericamedia.org/2014/10/feds-kill-funds-for-most-successful-senior-housing-program.php





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. .....



MORE.....http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/life/family/2014/10/31/seniors-play-important-part-electoral-process/18187991/



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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: 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2793223/suzanne-somers-looks-sensational-short-black-number-promotes-new-anti-aging-book-ahead-68th-birthday.html#ixzz3GLtA0b00 





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

By The SUN STAFF

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.

more....http://www.thewesterlysun.com/entertainment/food/5908772-129/local-chef-creates-award-winning-chowder.html



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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."

more...http://www.youthhealthmag.com/articles/1493/20141023/who-would-have-thought-eyebrows-are-a-strong-indicator-of-our-aging-process.htm


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   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. 

MORE...http://www.mineralwellsindex.com/cnhi_network/senior-citizens-flock-to-facebook/article_3540969e-8503-54d2-8808-7543a7baac8c.html



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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....


more....http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_26779677/upside-aging-experience-and-ability-enjoy-life?source=infinite



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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.

more.....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/10/bathroom-handwashing_n_5961548.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000030






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

Question:

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? 

Answer:

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, .....

MORE....http://www.elderlawanswers.com/mom-cant-live-on-medicaids-spousal-allowance--what-can-i-do-14804

 



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 )....

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.ideal.currencyid&hl=en

more....http://www.moneyfactory.gov/uscurrencyreaderpgm.html






(((FF)))


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.


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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. 


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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.".....


more....http://gothamist.com/2014/10/09/bus_etiquette_kids_nyc.php



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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......




More....

http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/life/style/savvy/2014/09/02/game-nights-social-outlet-baby-boomers/14973349/






 

Contact and Comments: Please refer to the article you are commenting on

Your comments may be published in future blogs









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.


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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.



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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.

more...http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/money/business/2014/10/18/elder-law-expansive-beneficial-seniors/17524295/




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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,” 


more.....http://www.mcknights.com/nonprofit-providers-face-alarming-market-forces-must-rally-leadingage-chairman-says/article/378569/



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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...http://www.edgeboston.com/news/national/News/164595/a_closer_look_at_discrimination_within_assisted_living_facilities



More AlfLiving.....


BEYOND THE ALF

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....http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T010-C000-S002-ccrc-continuing-care-retirement-community.html


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......

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/powell/2014/10/18/continuing-care-independent-living-assisted-living-powell/17447609/


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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....


more....http://wdtn.com/2014/10/18/pets-celebrated-at-assisted-living-community/



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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.

more....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/19/stronger-hips-_n_5990226.html




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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,......

more....http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/Health-News/sodas-sugar-telomeres-shorten/2014/10/17/id/601400/



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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.".....


more....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/22/aging_n_5977352.html



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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....

more.....http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/SocialSecurity/2014/20141023_Minimum-Social-Security-COLA-of-Three-Percent-Demanded-by-Senior-Citizens-League.htm



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Guide to Life: Switching Medicare plan could save you money

FRED SQUILLANTE

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......

more.......http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2014/10/03/guide-to-life-medicare.html


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Aging Nazis on Social Security

Loophole lets them collect if they leave US

DAVID RISING, RANDY HERSCHAFT and RICHARD LARDNER | Associated Press

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....

more....http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20141020/NEWS04/310209965



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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......

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougschoen/2014/10/21/republicans-and-democrats-should-be-vying-for-the-senior-vote/





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.

more....http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2268779



MORE SENIOR TECH NEWS......



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....”

more....http://www.fastcompany.com/3037074/healthware/tomorrows-seniors-may-lack-caregivers-but-theyll-have-digital-animal-friends



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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....

more....http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/2013-12-11useful-gifts-for-seniors-in-assisted-living/


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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.


((FF))


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.


///FF///


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.  


[[[FF]]]


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.


<FF>


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.


[[[[FF]]]]

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....

...you 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: 

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119581/against-sedation-and-general-anesthesia-time-take-back-our-bodies



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TRANSPORTATION

(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

By HARRIET EDLESON


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,” 


more.....http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/your-money/when-retirement-planning-consider-transportation.html?_r=0



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.


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When Medicine Is Futile

By BARRON H. LERNER

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. ....

more...http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/opinion/when-medicine-is-futile.html?mabReward=RI:10&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0


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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.....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/12/strange-weird-health-tips_n_5958934.html








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, foxplay.com........

more....http://wtnh.com/2014/08/12/foxwoods-grandparents-group-strike-marketing-deal/



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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.

*from....nycitylens.com


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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?.......

more.....http://www.dailynews.com/health/20141013/successful-aging-is-it-wrong-to-not-want-to-live-too-long



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330 THINGS ABOUT THE NET

ANDREA SHEA KING

  

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 http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/330-things-about-the-net/#y5jfYjkSpu8CMz0a.99 


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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.....http://m.theepochtimes.com/n3/1014038-social-security-is-shortchanging-the-baby-boomers/


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...

More...http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2014/08/23/social-security-disability-how-some-couples-can-ge.aspx


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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.......

more....http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-editorials/assisting-seniors-1.1109481




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, .....


more...http://seniorhousingnews.com/2014/09/11/affordable-senior-housing-next-big-growth-opportunity/</