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ADVOCACY

Debtors & Creditors

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law, and also state laws regulate debt collectors.

Glossary

  • A "debtor" is a person who owes money for a debt.
  • A "creditor" is a person or business to which debts are owed.
  • A "Bill (debt) collector" is a person who collects debts owed.
  • Debt collectors may contact you by mail, telephone, telegram, fax, or in person.
  • Debt collectors are allowed to contact you only at convenient times, such as between 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., unless you agree otherwise.


Your can legally advise a collector to stop contacting you by notifying them in writing that you refuse to pay, or telling them that you want them to stop all further communication, at this time, if you have council (attorney) advise them, and they must contact your attorney thereafter.

Your Rights:

  • A collector cannot use threats of violence, and are not allowed to publish the name of people who have failed to pay their debts.
  • The collector must not use false names or misrepresent the papers that they send to you as being legal or government documents when they are not.
  • They may not use profane or obscene language, or repeatedly harass people by phone ( the latter is usually not practiced)
  • The collector cannot make any false statements to you, such as that they are attorneys or misrepresent the amount you owe.
  • They cannot tell you that you will be arrested for failure to pay a debt, or that they will be taking any legal action which they do not intend to take


(note: The debt will not go away if you actually owe it, and the debt collector or creditor may still sue you to collect the debt).

Legally the debt collector has the legal right to contact other people to find out where you live or work, or what your phone number is, but they cannot tell anyone other than you or your attorney that you owe money.

They must also must tell you in writing, within five days of first contacting you, how much is owed, the name of the creditor, and what you can do if you do not believe you owe money, ,unfortunately, few debt collectors advise you of the latter.

Garnishments:

Your employer cannot fire you or take any negative action against you because of wage garnishment.

A employer is required to deduct the court ordered garnishment amount from your paycheck (generally no more than 25%) to the sheriff, who forwards it to the creditor. "Creditors must get a court judgment against you", which you fail to pay, to garnish your wages

Repossession:

Creditors can take, or "repossess," a specific item of property for failure to pay a debt secured by that property without any formal legal action. (if you fail to pay your car loan, the creditor can take your car and charge you for the cost of repossession)

  • Although a creditor performs a repossession to pay the debt owed, the creditor may be able to sue you for a deficiency judgment.
  • In other words, if the creditor sells the property for less than the debt amount plus costs of repossession and sale, the creditor can sue you for the balance owed.


If you find that the collector falsely stated facts or violated the law, you can sue a collector within one year from the date of the violation. You may also be able to recover damages, court costs, and attorney's fees.

Evictions:

Eviction typically occurs after a tenant has violated the terms of the rental agreement, such as when the tenant fails to pay rent to the landlord. An eviction refers to the process a landlord is required to follow to force a renter to move from the property. An eviction is a legal process and cannot be done legally until the landlord has gone to court and proved that the tenant no longer has the legal right to occupy the property.

  • Landlord must first terminate the tenancy.
  • This means giving the tenant legal written notice, and in a specific way and designated legal form.
  • This lawsuit is referred to as a unlawful detainer.

Landlords must follow state rules and procedures when seeking to evict a renter. Otherwise, there will be delays in the eviction process while the landlord re-serves his notices or re-files the court papers State laws specifically lay out the method of eviction

  • laws set out very detailed requirements for landlords who want to end a tenancy.
  • Each state has its own requirements for termination notices and eviction papers that must be written and delivered, or "served" to the tenant.
  • Different types of notices may be required for different situations.
  • There are three types of termination notices:

     1. Pay rent or quit notices are typically used when the tenant has not paid the rent. They give the tenant a few days (typically three days) to pay or move out.

     2. Cure or quit notices are typically given after a violation of a term or condition of the lease or rental agreement, such as a no pet’s clause. Usually the tenant has a set amount of time in which to correct, or cure the violation. A tenant who fails to correct or cure must move or face an eviction lawsuit.

     3. Unconditional quit notices notify the tenant that he or she must vacate the premises with no chance to pay the rent or correct the lease or rental agreement.

If the Landlord prevails in court:

  • It is illegal for a landlord to just move a tenant and his or her possessions out of the home without proper legal authority.
  • If the landlord obtains a court judgment, the landlord must give the judgment to a local law enforcement officer.
  • The sheriff or the marshal then gives the tenant a notice telling the tenant that he or she must move within 5 days. If the tenant has not moved before the sheriff or marshal returns, law enforcement may physically remove the tenant form the property.

 

ALZHEIMER'S
A passive life is not best for the brain

Lost Sole: A great way to make certain that a person suffering from Alzheimer's can safely and quickly returned home after wondering off, place their name and telephone number on the outside of their tennis shoes, as well as written in the collar of their clothing, if possible also a bracelet containing the information.

Based on exercise and health data from nearly 5,000 men and women over 65 years of age, those who exercised were less likely to lose their mental abilities or develop dementia, including Alzheimer's. Exercise improves the heart's ability to pump blood more effectively, as well as increases the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity


Numerous studies show that better-educated people have less risk of Alzheimer's disease. In a Case Western Reserve study of 550 people, those more mentally and physically active in middle-age were three times less likely to later get the mind-robbing disease. Increased intellectual activity during adulthood was especially protective. Examples included reading, doing puzzles, playing a musical instrument, painting, woodworking, playing cards or board games, and performing home repairs.


Alzheimer’s disease, researchers found that people who participated in fewer leisure activities between the ages of 20 and 60 were 3.85 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's.

 

ASSISTED LIVING

An Assisted Living Facility is often the first stop for an elder who needs a little help with daily living.

Start by obtaining the names of Assisted living facilities in your area or the area in which you wish to move.

If a senior needs a number of services, an Assisted Living Facility may become a more economical alternative to home care services.

Assisted Living residences can range from a high-rise apartment constructed as an Assisted Living Facility, to a converted  home, in some cases a renovated school. They can be free standing or housed with other options, such as independent living or nursing care. They may be studio apartments, or one-bedroom apartments with scaled-down kitchens.

Typically an Assisted Living complex will house 20 to 100 units, varying in size from one room to a full apartment. This larger type of Assisted Living Facility may have a group dining area and common areas for social and recreational activities. Since this is going to be your new home for possibly the rest of your life, there are things to consider. Use the information below as your checklist.

  • Is this a location where you would wish to live and do you approve of the appearance?
  • Is there a medical clinic or hospital nearby?
  • Is public transportation available / accessible?
  • Are you welcomed with a warm greeting from the staff?
  • Does the staff knowledgeable the residents by name?
  • Do you notice the residents appear to socialize with each other and do they appear happy with their surroundings?
  • Can you talk with residents about how they like living there and about the staff?
  • Is the staff appropriately dressed?
  • Does the staff provide a professional and friendly atmosphere? 
  • Are visits with the residents encouraged and welcome at any time, within reason?
  • Is the residence clean and free of odors?
  • Is the residence comfortably heated and cooled?
  • Does the residence provide for a secure and safe environment?
  • Is the proximity to the dining room and other rooms acceptable?
  • Are elevators close by and available for those unable to use stairways and handrails to aid in walking?
  • Does the residence have good lighting, sprinklers and clearly marked exits?
  • What measures does the facility utilize as a mean of security if a resident wanders?
  • Is there an outside courtyard or patio for residents and visitors?
  • Are single units available and/or double occupancy units for sharing with another person?
  • Does residence have furnished/unfurnished rooms? What is provided or what can they bring?
  • Can you decorate their own rooms? Is there adequate storage space?
  • Are bathrooms private with handicapped accommodations for wheelchairs and walkers?
  • Do all units have a telephone and cable TV and how is payment taken care of?

These are just a few things to consider when moving to assisted living facility. There are other matters to consider such as:

  • Is the facility affiliated with a hospital or with a nursing home?
  • How much is the monthly fee? How often can it be increased and for what reasons? Is there a limit on the amount of increase per year? What is the history on monthly fee increases?
  • What are the specific costs for various levels or categories of services?
  • What additional services and staff are available if the resident's needs change?
  • Is there a procedure to pay for additional services such as skilled nursing care and physical therapy when the services are needed on a temporary basis?
  • When may a contract be terminated and what are the policies for refunds and transfers? 
  • Under what circumstances would you have to vacate the facility?
  • Is there any government or private programs available to help cover the costs?
  • Is staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) if needed? ADLs include dressing eating, medications, mobility, hygiene, grooming (bathing, toileting, incontinence)?
  • Does residence have programs for Alzheimer's, other dementias and other specialized areas?
  • Does staff supervise/assist a resident in taking medicine? May resident take own medications?
  • Does the residence's pharmacy provide delivery, consultation and review of medicines?
  • To what extent is medical care available?
  • Are housekeeping, linen service and personal laundry included in the fees, or are they available at an additional charge? Are on-site laundry facilities available and convenient?
  • Does the residence provide transportation to doctors' offices, the hairdresser, shopping and other activities desired by residents and can it be arranged on short notice?
  • Are pharmacy, barber/beautician and/or physical therapy services offered onsite?

Social Activities:

  • Is there an organized activities program with a posted daily schedule of events?
  • Do volunteers and family members come into the residence to participate/conduct programs?
  • Does the facility schedule trips or go to other events off premises?
  • Do residents participate in activities outside of the residence in the neighboring community?
  • Are the resident activity (social) areas appropriate and desirable to the prospective resident?
  • What  social activities, such as cultural and educational activities, hobbies, games, cards, crafts, computers, are available?
  • Are religious services held on the premises or arrangements made for nearby services?
  • Are there fitness facilities, as well as regularly scheduled exercise classes?

Dining:


  • Does the residence provide three nutritionally balanced meals a day, seven days a week and does a dietitian plan and approve all meals?
  • Does the dining room provide the residents an environment  to relax, socialize, and enjoy their food?
  • What is the additional charge if a resident has a guest(s) dine with them?

By telephoning the facilities on your list, you will be able to narrow the field to two or three offering the specific services and location you desire. Talk with administrative personnel and make an appointment to visit the facility. Try to visit each facility at several different times of the day; this will give you a better sense of the facility. Be sure to ask questions about what you are seeing, hearing, or feeling about the facility.

When you visit a  facility, you will see a variety of staff specialists. The numbers and specialties of staff reflect the specific needs of the facility's residents. Caregivers are available around the clock and licensed nurses with the help of certified nursing assistants provide 24-hour care.

Resident social activities are provided in all facilities. Ask what types of group activities are offered and how individual residents' needs and preferences are identified. Residents should have the opportunity to be involved in activities that provide mental, physical, and social stimulation.

Take the time to visit with the residents. Ask them about their life in the facility. Also, try to plan a visit to the facility during mealtimes so you can observe food presentation and interaction in the dining room. Each facility has a registered dietitian who can talk to you about special dietary needs.

Find out what other specialists may be on staff or available on a consultant basis, to include physical therapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychiatric personnel, social workers and the availability  pharmacists, podiatrists, and dentists.

The overall management of the facility is the responsibility of the administrator. Other administrative personnel include medical records staff, personnel director, admissions director, and financial staff. Building maintenance, laundry, and housekeeping personnel are also on staff.

During your visit, make it a point to talk to the caregivers; many of these professionals are registered or licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants who have devoted their careers to caring for the elderly and the disabled.

 

CAM THERAPY
Complementary & Alternative Medicine

Categories:
Alternative medical systems, Biologically based therapies, Mind-body techniques, Mind-body interventions, Energy therapies and Self-prayer.

Alternative medicine is based upon the belief that a human being is a total of interrelated parts: body, soul, emotions and spirit. Alternative medicine also recognizes a relation between the food one eats, one's lifestyle and one's surroundings. Alternative medicine is often used as a preventive method to stimulate the self-curing powers of the body.  Also the medication used by alternative medicine has no side effects. Because of its comprehensive approach, alternative medicine is also referred to as a holistic method.

Glossary:

Alternative medicine can be classified into five major domains of practice: alternative medical systems, mind-body techniques, biologically based therapies, body-based therapies, and energy therapies. Some approaches are understandable within the concepts of modern science.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: Originating in China thousands of years ago, this system is based on the theory that illness results from the improper flow of the life force (qi) through the body. Qi is restored by balancing the opposing forces of yin and yang, which manifest in the body as heat and cold, external and internal, and deficiency and excess. Various practices are used to preserve and restore health, including herbal remedies, massage, meditation, and acupuncture.

Acupuncture: Is one of the most widely accepted alternative medicine techniques in the Western world. Acupuncture involves stimulating specific points on the body, usually by inserting very fine needles into the skin and underlying tissues. Sometimes, additional stimulation is added with a very low voltage electrical current or by warming the needle. Stimulating these specific points is believed to unblock the flow of qi along energy pathways (meridians) and thus restore balance between yin and yang. The procedure is not painful but may cause a tingling sensation. (A variation of acupuncture, called acupressure, uses localized massage instead of needles.) Research has shown that acupuncture releases various chemical messengers in the brain (neurotransmitters), including serotonin, that serve as natural painkillers. Besides its potential effectiveness as a pain reliever, acupuncture may help relieve the nausea and vomiting that commonly occur after surgery. However, acupuncture has been ineffective in helping people to stop smoking or lose weight.

Side effects of acupuncture are uncommon if the procedure is performed correctly. Infection is one of the greatest risks but is extremely rare. Most practitioners use disposable needles; reusable ones must be sterilized properly. Worsening of symptoms (usually temporary) and fainting are the most common side effects reported by people who have undergone acupuncture.

Ayurveda: Ayurveda is the traditional medical system of India, originating more than 4,000 years ago. It is based on the theory that illness results from the imbalance of the body's life force, or prana. The balancing of this life force is determined by the equilibrium of the three bodily qualities, called doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Most people have a dominant dosha; the specific balance is unique to each person. Ayurveda uses herbs, massage, yoga, and internal cleansing to restore balance within the body and with nature. Homeopathy: Is based on the principle that "like cures like" (thus the name homeo [Greek for "like"] and patho [Greek for "disease"]). In other words, a substance that in large doses causes illness is believed to cure the same illness if given in minute doses.
The remedies used in homeopathy are derived from naturally occurring substances, such as plant extracts and minerals. These substances are used to stimulate the body's innate capacity to heal. The more dilute the homeopathic medicine, the stronger it is considered to be.

Traditional scientists can find no scientific explanation for how the diluted remedies used in homeopathy might cure illness. There are few risks associated with homeopathy. However, side effects, such as allergic and toxic reactions, can occur.

Naturopathy: Is founded on the notion of the healing power of nature, naturopathy emphasizes prevention and treatment of disease through a healthy lifestyle, treatment of the whole person, and use of the body's natural healing abilities. This system also focuses on finding the cause (As practiced in Chinese medicine) of the disease rather than merely treating symptoms.
Naturopathy uses a combination of therapies, including nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling, stress management, acupuncture, natural childbirth, and hydrotherapy.

Mind-Body Techniques:

Are based on the theory that mental and emotional factors can influence physical health. Behavioral, psychologic, social, and spiritual methods are used to preserve health and prevent or cure disease.

Methods such as relaxation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, meditation, imagery, biofeedback, and hypnosis, for example, are used in the treatment of coronary artery disease, headaches, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), and loss of urinary control (incontinence). These methods are also used as an aid in childbirth, in coping with the disease-related and treatment-related symptoms of cancer, and in preparing patients before surgery. Mind-body techniques are also used in the treatment of high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus), although with less success. Meditation: Focuses on stilling the mind and allowing for greater self-awareness. It usually involves sitting or resting quietly, often with the eyes closed. Sometimes, it involves the repetitive sounding of a phrase (a mantra) meant to help the person focus. Most meditation practices were developed within a religious or spiritual context and held as their ultimate goal some type of spiritual growth, personal transformation, or transcendental experience. As a health care intervention, however, meditation may be effective regardless of the person's cultural or religious background. Meditation has been shown to offer numerous health benefits, including relieving stress and pain.

Relaxation Techniques: Are practices specifically designed to relieve tension and strain. The specific technique may be aimed at lowering blood pressure, easing muscle tension, slowing metabolic processes, or altering brain wave activity.

Biofeedback: Involves the use of electronic devices to measure and report information about a person's biologic functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. The person can then understand why these functions change and can learn how to regulate them. Biofeedback typically is used to treat pain , stress, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), headache, and muscle injuries.

Biologically based therapies: Involve the use of chemicals, although typically these chemicals are derived from natural sources.

Chiropractic: In chiropractic, the relationship between the structure of the spine and the function of the nervous system is seen as key to maintaining or restoring health. The main method for achieving this balance is spinal manipulation. a new form of Chiropractic work called NEO CHIRO. NEO CHIRO was designed to establish fine tune communication within the muscles and the nervous system. NEO CHIRO helps you to achieve a healthier body tone, performance and endurance. NEO CHIRO process invite more oxygen (naturally), into the body, since oxygen is medically proven to be a major ingredient in many diseases and conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, then indeed, increase in intake of this rare commodity will certainly play a major role in healing or the reversal of such conditions.

Studies have shown chiropractic to be effective in treating low back pain. In addition, spinal manipulation may be useful in treating a variety of headaches. Serious complications resulting from spinal manipulation are rare but include low back pain from damage to nerve roots at the end of the spine. Occasionally  there are some side effects which include local discomfort, headache, and fatigue, which usually disappear within 24 hours.

Guided Imagery: Guided imagery involves the use of mental images to promote relaxation and wellness or to facilitate healing of a particular ailment, such as cancer or psychological trauma. The images can involve any of the senses and may be self-directed or guided by a practitioner, sometimes in a group setting.

Hypnotherapy: The subject is put into an advanced state of relaxation in which he is relatively unaware, but not entirely unconscious, of his surroundings. A hypnotized person becomes absorbed in the images presented by the hypnotherapist and tends not to be consciously aware of the experiences he is undergoing. Hypnosis can be used to treat some conditions, such as certain pain syndromes and conversion disorders, in which apparent physical illness is actually due to psychological stress and conflict. It has been used with some success to help people stop smoking and lose weight.

Massage Therapy: Is the manipulation of body tissues to promote wellness and reduce pain and stress. It involves a variety of techniques, from stroking and kneading (as used in Swedish massage) to applying pressure to specific points (as used in Shiatsu, acupressure, and neuromuscular massage). These techniques are claimed to help the musculoskeletal, nervous, and circulatory systems of the body.

Massage has been shown to be helpful in relieving pain, such as that caused by back injuries, muscle soreness, fibromyalgia, and anxiety in people with cancer. Massage has also been effective in treating low-birth-weight infants, preventing injury to the mother's genitals during childbirth, relieving chronic constipation, and controlling asthma. Massage may lower stress and anxiety.

Massage therapy should not be used in people who have infectious or contagious skin diseases, open wounds, burns, high fever, tumors, or a low platelet count.

Rolfing: (Also called structural integration) is based on the theory that good health depends on proper body alignment. It is a form of deep tissue massage that is typically performed over a series of sessions. Proper alignment of bone and muscle is achieved by manipulating and stretching fascia (fibrous tissue that surrounds certain body organs, such as muscles).

Reflexology: In reflexology, manual pressure is applied to specific areas of the foot that are believed to correspond to different organs or systems of the body. Stimulation of these areas is believed to eliminate the blockage of energy responsible for pain or disease in the corresponding body part.

Postural Reeducation: Postural reeducation uses movement and touch to help people relearn healthy posture. The therapies involved seek to release habitual, harmful ways of holding the body by focusing on awareness through movement.

Energy Therapies: Energy therapies focus on the energy fields thought to exist in and around the body (biofields). They also encompass the use of external energy sources (electromagnetic fields) to influence health and healing. All energy therapies are based on a core belief in the existence of a universal life force or subtle energy that resides in and around the body.

Practitioners of energy therapies typically place their hands on or near the body and use their energy to affect the energy field of the person.

Bio-electromagnetic-based Therapies: Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies use pulsed fields, magnetic fields, or alternating- or direct-current fields. Magnets, in particular, have become a popular treatment for various musculoskeletal conditions. Magnets have been marketed in clothing, jewelry, and mattresses to relieve pain, although there has been very little scientific investigation of their effectiveness.

Reiki: Is a technique of Japanese origin in which the practitioner channels energy through his hands and into the person's body to promote healing.

Therapeutic Touch: Often referred to as "laying on of hands" even though actual touch is not needed, this therapy uses the therapist's healing energy to identify and repair imbalances in a person's biofield


Should you be considering a CAM therapy, ask your physician about its safety, effectiveness, and possible interactions with medications (prescription and non-prescription).

 

CHOLESTEROL 101

 l. You want to have your total number below 200
2. HDL or "Good Cholesterol", the higher the better. Men ideally 40 and above. For Women, 50 or above.
3. Your LDL "Bad Cholesterol" under 130 is the target for most people. But that can drop to less than 100, depending upon your overall risk for heart disease. The optimum number for triglycerides is below 150.


Total and LDL cholesterol ("Bad")
They deposit plaque on the walls of arteries and other blood vessels. Lowering it is vital to your health.

Eating garlic will not make a significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol. The results do not demonstrate, however, that the popular dietary supplement is not usefulness in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

HDL Cholesterol ("Good")
Acts as a waste remover, taking cholesterol from the blood and artery walls to the liver to be eliminated from the body Raising your HDL levels is equally important.

To lower your cholesterol if it is too high, you should limit saturated fat to less than 7 percent of total calories; limiting dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg per day; and exercising at least 30 minutes a day at least five (5) days a week. This could include aerobic activities like a brisk walk, swimming or tennis. Before you begin a exercise regime, you should always check with your healthcare provider first.

Occasionally this will not bring down your LDL and at that point you will need a cholesterol-lowering drug.

One way to deal with bad cholesterol is to visit a registered dietitian; here you will get some sound advice about how to shape up your eating habits, according to a new national study led by University of Michigan Health System researchers. Almost half of those in this study reduced bad cholesterol at least 15 percent.

Not only are you likely to lower your cholesterol levels, you may be able to avoid having to take cholesterol medication, or having to increase your dose if you're already taking one. And most likely will lose weight in the process, which also helps your heart.

Click here for more information on Cholesterol

 

COGNITIVE SKILLS

Did you know that the human brain starts slowing down as early as age 30? The human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age, it can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it.

Most of us know that physical exercise is good for our general health, but did you know that physical exercise is also good for your brain? If you think you’re going to get smarter sitting in front of your computer or watching television, think again. There is growing evidence that a healthy human being participating in daily exercise might be able to offset some of the mental declines that we often associate with the aging process.

Walking is especially good for your brain, because it increases blood circulation and the oxygen and glucose that reach your brain. Walking is not strenuous, so your leg muscles don't take up extra oxygen and glucose like they do during other forms of exercise. As you walk, you effectively oxygenate your brain. Maybe this is why walking can "clear your head" and help you to think better. Movement and exercise increase breathing and heart rate so that more blood flows to the brain, enhancing energy production.It isalso very important to challenge your brain to learn new and novel tasks, especially processes that you've never done before. Examples include square-dancing, chess, tai chi, yoga, or sculpture.

Morning Exercises:
Scrunch, Stretch & Wiggle
In the morning, while you're still in bed, slowly begin to move your toes – any way that feels good. Wriggle, scrunch, and stretch. Move all your toes up and down several times, or work just your big toes. Wiggling your toes activates nerves that stimulate your brain and internal organs. By your performing this exercise first thing each morning or after sitting for an extended period of time. It will help you to wake-up and become alert more quickly. Your whole body may feel pleasantly energized. Most important, your first steps will be safer ones.


Neurobic Exercises:

Senses task for everday practice
Get dressed with your eyes closed
Share a meal and use only visual cues to communicate. No talking.

Try Combining a few senses:
Listen to music and smell flowers
Listen to the rain and tap your fingers
Watch clouds and play with modeling clay at the same time

Do crossword puzzles. Play Scrabble. Start a new hobby or learn to speak a foreign language. "Anything that stimulates the brain to think."

Remembering:

Forgetting an important date or the name of a long-time associate, being unable to read an entire newspaper article in one sitting, suddenly finding it impossible to prepare family dinners that were once second nature--many people with cancer are surprised to discover that they have cognitive problems surrounding the cancer experience. Cognitive functioning is the information-handling aspect of behavior and encompasses the brain's attaining, processing, storage and retrieval of information. Many people with cancer experience difficulty with cognitive function, including memory loss, distractibility, difficulty in performing multiple tasks (multitasking), and trouble with arithmetic and language skills. Concerns relating to cognitive functioning may range in severity, intensity and duration.

You may be at higher risk for cognitive difficulties if you have the following:
Anemia, Hypoxia (Deficiency of oxygen)
Infection
Chemotherapy
Radiation Therapy
Hormone Therapy
Biologics
Emotional Disturbance
Central Nervous System Cancers
Fatigue
Kidney Failure
Liver Failure
Fluid & Electrolyte Imbalance
Certain medications
Nutritional Deficiency
Cognitive Dysfunction
Cognitive dysfunction affects your:
Attention Span
Concentration
Memory
Organizational Ability
Arithmetic Skills
Language Skills
Reduced Quality of Life
Cognitive dysfunction can impact upon your quality of life by affecting your:
Activities of Daily Living
Interpersonal Relationships
Work/Profession
Future Education


Cancer causes of Cognitive Dysfunction

People with cancer may experience difficulty with thinking ability, including memory loss, distractibility, difficulty in performing multiple tasks (multitasking), and trouble with arithmetic and language skills. People with cancer generally have fairly mild, limited cognitive problems, that tend to respond very well to focused rehabilitation efforts. Several treatment options offer hope and assistance for this concerning symptom that often accompanies the cancer experience.

Medications
Additionally, many medications used to manage medical complications may cause side effects of cognitive impairment (immunosuppressive agents used in bone marrow transplant, antibiotics, steroids, drugs used to manage pain, nausea/vomiting, and other cancer-related symptoms).

Infection and Anemia
Infections and low red blood cell counts (anemia) are common in people with cancer and may result in cognitive dysfunction. People undergoing active treatment are particularly susceptible to infections and anemia.

Metabolic Problems
Some cancers themselves produce hormones or neurochemicals that alter the brain's function (small cell lung cancer, acute leukemia are two examples). Also, decreased production of thyroid hormones, produced by the thyroid gland in the neck, may reduce acuity of thinking and may be associated with low mood states. Dysfunction of the liver or kidneys may cloud mental functioning due to the accumulation of toxins within the blood that are normally excreted.

Nutritional Deficiency
Deficiencies in iron, vitamin B and folic acid may cause a decline in attention, perceptual-motor speed, memory, and verbal fluency.

Direct Causes of Cognitive Dysfunction
Tumors located in the central nervous system cause a predictable and progressive decline in mental functioning. In addition, the spread of cancer to the central nervous system can lead to cognitive dysfunction.

 

CONTINUING EDUCATION
All of those things you wished you had taken up, now is your chance.


If you have limitations attending a place of learning, consider taking courses online. There are numerous avenues to dealing with this. There are many colleges providing online delivery of courses which provides a number of advantages to students. First, the course is not time and place specific. Students will be able to complete the work at a time and place convenient to them.

<>Secondly, online courses are highly interactive with a constant flow of communication between the instructor and the student through the use of e-mail, discussion forums, and chat groups. 

Finally, readings for the classes can be made available electronically. Internet links to books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and other web sites provides the student with instant access to supplemental materials needed to successfully complete the class.

Online courses, just like regular courses, are organized into a series of lessons with lectures, reading assignments, and homework. Homework assignments will be transmitted between instructor and student via e-mail.

Of course, for many, attending a college is not what they have in mind, Many senior citizens simply what to expand their knowlede with regard to hobbies. such as:

Calligraphy, Computer basics & beyond, Learn to sign the alphabet, colors, numbers, days of the week and other basic vocabulary, Get your degree. Learn another language, the basic techniques of songwriting, Get your exercise and learn one of the most popular dance styles today- American Ballroom Dancing, Learn to Bake, your imagination is the only limit to decorating fabulous cakes!. Then, decorate your own confectionary masterpiece, Learning  to play the piano, etc.

Age 65 and Older Tuition Exemption
Senior Citizens: Many states provide for resident students age 65 or older an exemption from payment of all tuition for up to six hours per semester and/or from payment of tuition.



DEMENTIA

Dementia is a word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.

Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. However, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia. People with dementia have serious problems with two or more brain functions, such as memory and language.

Many different diseases can cause dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Drugs are available to treat some of these diseases. While these drugs cannot cure dementia or repair brain damage, they may improve symptoms or slow down the disease.

Dementia is caused by the destruction of brain cells. A head injury, a stroke, a brain tumor or a problem like Alzheimer's disease can damage brain cells. Some people have a family history of dementia.

Dementia is a word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.

Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. However, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia. People with dementia have serious problems with two or more brain functions, such as memory and language.

Many different diseases can cause dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Drugs are available to treat some of these diseases. While these drugs cannot cure dementia or repair brain damage, they may improve symptoms or slow down the disease.

Dementia is a word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a leading cause of degenerative dementia in elderly adults. This condition is linked to abnormal protein structures in certain areas of the brain. The structures and symptoms of DLB are associated with Alzheimer's disease, but it is uncertain whether DLB is a sub-type of Alzheimer's or separate disease. There is no cure for DLB or Alzheimer's.

Conditions that damage blood vessels or nerve structures of the brain can also lead to dementia. Recent studies have shown that diabetes accounts for one-third of the risk for dementia (SeniorJournal.com ). Some studies have shown that depression is not a consequence of developing Alzheimer's disease but may instead be a risk factor for dementia.

Dementia may also change a person's mood and personality. At first, memory loss and trouble thinking clearly may bother the person who has dementia. Later, disruptive behavior and other problems may start. The person who has dementia may not be aware of these problems.

Dementia causes many problems for the person who has it and for the person's family. Many of the problems are caused by memory loss. Some common signs of dementia are listed below, but, not everyone who has dementia will have all of these signs.

  1. Recent memory loss. All of us forget things for a while and then remember them later. People with dementia often forget things, but they never remember them. They might ask you the same question over and over, each time forgetting that you've already given them the answer. They won't even remember that they already asked the question.
  2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks. People who have dementia might cook a meal but forget to serve it. They might even forget that they cooked it.
  3. Problems with language. People who have dementia may forget simple words or use the wrong words. This makes it hard to understand what they want.
  4. Time and place disorientation. People who have dementia may get lost on their own street. They may forget how they got to a certain place and how to get back home.
  5. Poor judgment. Even a person who doesn't have dementia might get distracted. But people who have dementia can forget simple things, like forgetting to put on a coat before going out in cold weather.
  6. Problems with abstract thinking. Anybody might have trouble balancing a checkbook, but people who have dementia may forget what the numbers are and what has to be done with them.
  7. Misplacing things. People who have dementia may put things in the wrong places. They might put an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl. Then they can't find these things later.
  8. Changes in mood. Everyone is moody at times, but people with dementia may have fast mood swings, going from calm to tears to anger in a few minutes.
  9. Personality changes. People who have dementia may have drastic changes in personality. They might become irritable, suspicious or fearful.
  10. Loss of initiative. People who have dementia may become passive. They might not want to go places or see other people. 
  11. Lack of spontaneity
  12. Swallowing problems
  13. Incontinence

Researchers findings “suggest that walking is associated with a reduced risk of dementia” and that “promoting active lifestyles in physically capable men and women could help late-life cognitive function.” 1½ miles twice weekly would be a good goal, and a hard pace is not necessary. The Two studies –– one of older men and the other of older  women –– confirm that exercise, even walking, can mean a reduced risk of dementia, lowering the risk of cognitive impairment by 20%.

Most causes of dementia are not preventable. The risk of vascular dementia, which is caused by a series of small strokes, can be reduced by quitting smoking and controlling high blood pressure and diabetes. Eating a low-fat diet and exercising regularly may also reduce the risk of vascular dementia. Vascular dementia may also play a role in the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

 

DEPRESSION

Recognizing depression in older adults, particularly in men, often show up as:

  • "New" reckless, high-risk behaviors, such as gambling, drug or alcohol abuse, impulsive financial decisions and radical behavior behind the wheel.
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day, also evidenced by a stooped posture, and slowness of movement,
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Sleep disturbances, both insomnia and sleeping too much
  • Feelings of fatigue and physical discomforts, none of which has any medical explanations.
  • Reduce level of energy.
  • Low frustration thresholds and occasional violent responses to minor irritants.
  • Lack of personal care or in adhering to their normal medical and dietary regime.
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness.
  • Sexual dysfunction.

Baby Boomers:

Depression is an effect specific to this age group -- the baby boomers. 25% of all doctor visits are related to emotional distress. Baby boomers can sometimes be more prone to depression, not because of the aging, but because of the other factor such as other illnesses, social or economic factors, etc. This doesn't mean and should not be mistaken that because of other illnesses or socioeconomic factors baby boomers depression is a natural phenomenon.

Depression for Baby boomers is more common in women than men and the risks for depression were also higher for women vs. men, for separated or divorced people compared to married individu
als.

Recent Canadian research studies have found that vitamin D (3 ,000-4,000 IU daily) could be an anti-depressant, consult your healthcare provider regarding this before beginning a regime.

 

DIET
Health-Antioxidants-longevity


It is not always a good idea to lose weight (check with your healthcare provider) after age 60,  of course, unless your are really overweight. Get in shape by combining exercise and a healthful diet to build muscle.

The good news is that as you get older, being "slightly overweight" may actually improve how long and well you live.

What you eat impacts your health and your longevity. Antioxidant rich foods fight against cellular aging by reversing cellular damage caused by molecules know as "free radicals". The damage from free radicals becomes steadily worse with each decade you add to your life. But antioxidants inhibit free radicals' abilities to damage your cells. One should eat large amounts of colorful organic fruits and vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, red apples, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries and grapes. In moderate amounts red wine ( up to 2 glasses per day) is also beneficial.

Eat right, Choose "good fats" such as those found in fish, olives, avocados and nuts. Other vital foods to add to your diet include almonds, flaxseed (beneficial fatty acid) and walnuts. Also the necessity of calcium, vitamin D and the vitamin B family. Increase your healthy fat intake of *omega-3 fatty acids and eliminate trans fats completely. Eat a high fiber diet, avoiding foods sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

*Consuming fish with omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and tuna, may not only protect senior citizens from heart disease, it may make them happier


Vitamin B6: (recommended daily intake is 1.3-1.7 mg per day) Good sources are spinach, avocado, baked potato, banana, watermelon, cantaloupe, asparagus, tuna in water, soybeans, turkey, wheat germ, navy beans, sunflower seeds, chicken breast (skinless), turnip greens, cauliflower, fortified cereals, brewer's yeast and trout.

Vitamin B12: You usually need more than one serving to get the recommended intake levels (2.4 micrograms): skim milk (1cup), fish, poultry, extra-lean meat (a serving size about 3 ounces) fortified cereals. Do consult your healthcare provider regarding taking B12 if your are over 50, as the body's ability to absorb B12 decreases with age.

Vitamin D  along with calcium is thought to decrease your risk of falling, as well as its association with good strength and function of leg muscles; avoiding falls; dental health; and lower rates of cancer of the colon and rectum.

Good sources include cod liver oil and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.


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The National Safety Council says that over 70% of emergencies in the home occur when a family member is present and available to help. Know what to do, when called upon!

 

SENIOR DRIVING

Some people are perfectly capable of continuing to drive in their seventies, eighties, and even beyond. Unfortunately, many elders are at higher risk for automobile accidents. While most older people take appropriate steps when they detect a problem with their driving, it's not always obvious when a general health problem, vision problem,or a side effect of medications will lead to a driving impairment. That's when the observations of loved ones and health professionals are most vital.

Self-awareness is the key. People who can accurately assess their fitness to drive can adjust their driving habits, and stay safe on the road. With smart self-management, you can retain the personal mobility that comes with driving, while limiting the risks to yourself and others. According to the Automobile Club of America,  elderly drivers are more likely to receive traffic citations for failing to yield, turning improperly, and running red lights and stop signs - an indication of decreased driving ability.

Medications: Unfortunately, Seniors often take more medications as they age. Certain medications, as well as a combination of medications and alcohol, can increase during driving. Do be particularly careful about medication side-effects and interactions between medications.

Vision:
If you have trouble seeing lane lines and other pavement markings, curbs, medians, other vehicles and pedestrians, especially at dawn, dusk and at night or problems reading highway.

Do you have problems recognizing someone you know from across the street

If the answer is yes:


Make sure you always wear your glasses and that they are a current prescription. If you lose or break your glasses, don't rely on an old pair; replace them right away with your newest prescription. Avoid eyewear with side pieces that may block your vision.

Do not wear sunglasses or tinted lenses at night. This reduces the amount of light that reaches your eyes and makes driving much more hazardous. Don't darken or tint your car windows. Avoid driving at dawn, dusk and night. If you are extremely light-sensitive, check with your eye doctor to see if it can be corrected.

Keep your windshield, mirrors and headlights clean, and make sure your headlight aim is checked when your car is inspected. Choose a car with larger dials and easy-to-read symbols. Turn brightness up on the instrument panel.

Sit high enough in your seat so that you can see the road for at least 10 feet in front of your car. This will make a big difference in reducing the amount of glare you experience from opposing headlights at night. Use a cushion if your car seats can't be raised. Also, look to the lower right side of the road when there is oncoming traffic. Some vehicles have rearview mirrors that automatically filter out glare; you might find this feature beneficial, especially for night time driving.

If you are 60 or older, see an eye doctor every year to check for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other conditions associated with aging.

Be aware of the changes in a family member or yourself if you encounter driving behavior that depicts:.

  • Failing to use turn signals, or changing lanes with using turn signals.
  • Abrupt lane changes and sudden braking, at the last moment or unnecessary acceleration.
  • Drifting into other lanes, of course, this is usually lack of attention to responsible driving.
  • Driving right by a highway exit.
  • Lack of attention to looking over the shoulder, when backing up.
  • Not utilizing side and the rear view mirrors.
  • Trouble (confused) reading signs, or confusion on getting to a destination.
  • Confusion of the use of the brake and accelator pedals, (This should be the end of driving!)
  • Oblivious for the concern for other drivers.
  • Obvious fear of others wishing to ride with the driver. (No one wishes to ride for real in Mr. Toads ride)
  • Getting lost, often.
  • Trouble paying attention to traffic signals, road signs, driving markings and "Pedestrian traffic".

A person 65 or older who is involved in a car accident is more likely to be seriously hurt, more likely to require hospitalization, and more likely to die than younger people involved in the same crash.

If you feel that you have now reached the end of the road of your driving or a loved one has. There are other alternatives. Find out what is available in your community. You might be surprised at the possibilities:

City buses, trams and subway systems.
Taxi cabs and personalized driver services.
Shuttle buses, such as those offered by churches, senior centers and retirement communities.

If public transportation service is available in your area, ask a friend to help you. Going with someone who knows how to ride the bus or subway may make you feel more secure. Another question to pose is about the services and schedules of each type of transportation available to you, including whether they offer evening or weekend rides.

 

                              

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Benefits  of regular EXERCISING
MAKE IT A HABIT
!

 

There is no way getting around it - exercising is one of the key ingredients of healthy aging and contributes to both physical and mental health. Aerobic and strength training impacts every cell of one's body, thus helping to reduce aging.
Suggestions:

  • Aerobic Activity - perform moderate-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 days a week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for 20 minutes- 3 days per week. Combinations of moderate and vigorous activity may be performed to meet these suggested guidelines.
  • Resistance Exercise - engage in a muscle strengthening activity as least twice a week on non-consecutive days. This exercise should involve the major muscle groups and resistance weight that allows 10-15 repetitions for each exercise with a moderate to high effort.
  • Flexibility - engage in exercises that increase flexibility on at least two days a week for 10 minutes.
  • Balance - Older adults who face a substantial risk from falls should perform exercises that maintain or improve balance, such as yoga or tai chi. Older adults with chronic conditions or low fitness levels should work with their healthcare provider to develop an exercise plan


Exercising:

Helps you maintain a normal weight by increasing your metabolism.
Reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity.
Keeps joints, tendons and ligaments flexible so it's easier to move about.
Reduces 'Some' of the effects of aging, contributing to your mental well-being and helps fight depression.
Helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Increases your energy and endurance.

Walking:
 is an aerobic and weight-bearing (
works against the force of gravity) exercise, so it is good for your heart and helps prevent osteoporosis.

Pay attention to your body.

Stop exercising if you feel very out of breath, dizzy, faint or nauseated, or have pain
Forget "no pain, no gain" While a little soreness is normal after you first begin exercising, pain isn't.
Stop if it hurt. Remember, it sometimes takes weeks or months before you notice some of the changes from exercise. The wait is definitely worth it, as you will be healthier and happier. Regular exercise will help you fall asleep faster, and you will enjoy sounder sleep.



FIBER- The Miracle Nutrient

Countless studies proving that fiber can not only help you achieve optimum health, but it can also help you lose weight and manage a healthy body weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and help restore and maintain your digestive health.
With regard to weight loss, research has proven that fiber increases satiety (the feeling of fullness after a meal), reduces hunger, and even helps eliminate calories from the foods you eat. Studies further show that consuming a sufficient amount of fiber each day, as part of an on-going reduced calorie and exercise program-may help you shed unwanted pounds and maintain your ideal body weight for life. At the same time, a high-fiber diet will dramatically improve your overall health and may reduce the risk of many chronic health conditions.

FOUR WAYS FIBER HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Fiber will help curb your appetite
Fiber will eliminate calories from the food you eat
Fiber foods are low energy-density foods
Fiber slows down the rate at which your body converts carbohydrates into sugar

 

GENEALOGY



 

SENIOR GLOSSARY

Accreditation: A seal of approval given by a governing body to a housing and/or service provider.  To become accredited, the community or provider must meet specific requirements set by the accreditation entity and is then generally required to undergo a thorough review process by a team of evaluators to ensure certain standards of quality.  The accrediting organizations are not government agencies or regulatory bodies. 

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Abilities of being able to partake in daily activities such as bathing, grooming, eating, toileting, and dressing

Administrator: Generally, a licensed professional who manages the day-to-day operation of a care facility such as a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Adult Day Care: Daily structured programs in a community setting with activities and health-related and rehabilitation services to elderly who are physically or emotionally disabled and need a protective environment.  This care is provided for during the day, the individual returning home for the evening.

Aging in Place: Concept which advocates allowing a resident to choose to remain in his/her living environment despite the physical and or mental decline that may occur with the aging process of aging.

Alzheimer's: Degenerative age-related disease that impairs an individual's cognitive ability. Symptoms may include forgetfulness, wandering, and inability to recognize others. The disease is caused by neuron dysfunction and death in specific brain regions responsible for cognitive functions. Both genetic and environmental factors likely play a role in the development of Alzheimer's. 

Ambulatory: Ability to walk around, not bedridden or hospitalized.

Assisted Living: In general, state-licensed program offered at a residential community with services that include meals, laundry, housekeeping, medication reminders, and assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). The exact definition will vary from state to state, and a few states do not license assisted living facilities. Generally regarded as one to two steps below skilled nursing in level of care. Approximately 90 percent of the country's assisted living services are paid for with private funds, although some states have adopted Medicaid waiver programs. 

Charge Nurse: An RN or LPN who is responsible for the supervision of a unit within a nursing facility. The charge nurse schedules and supervises nursing staff and provides care to facility residents.

Congregate Housing: Is also referred to as Supportive Housing.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC): Housing planned and operated to provide a continuum of accommodations and services for seniors including, but not limited to, independent living, congregate housing, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. A CCRC resident contract often involves either an entry fee or buy-in fee in addition to the monthly service charges, which may change according to the medical services required. Entry fees may be partially or fully refundable. The fee is used primarily as a method of privately financing the development of the project and for payment for future healthcare. CCRCs are typically licensed by the state. 

Continuum of Care: Full spectrum of care available at Continuing Care Retirement Communities which may include Independent Living, Assisted Living, Nursing Care, Home Health, Home Care, and Home and Community Based Services.

Dementia: Progressive neurological, cognitive, or medical disorder that affects memory, judgment, and cognitive powers.

Developmental Disability (DD): Affliction characterized by chronic physical and mental disabilities, which may include: cerebral palsy, retardation, thyroid problems, seizures, quadriplegia.

<>Donut Hole: That portion of the "Part D" prescription drug plan that is the responsibility of the Medicare recipient. After a specific amount is paid, Medicare begins paying again. (this is an annual occurrence)

HMO: A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is an organized system for providing comprehensive health care in a specific geographic area to a voluntarily enrolled group of members.
Home Health Care: Provision of medical and nursing services in the individual's home by a licensed provider.

Hospice Care: Care and comfort measures provided to those with a terminal illness and their families-  it can include medical, counseling, and social services.  Most hospice care is furnished in-home, while specialized hospices or hospitals also provide this service.

Independent Living: Multi-unit senior housing development that may provide supportive services such as meals, housekeeping, social activities, and transportation (Congregate Housing, Supportive Housing, Retirement Community). Independent Living typically encourages socialization by provision of meals in a central dining area and scheduled social programs. 

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs): Day-to-day tasks such as preparing meals, shopping, managing money, taking medication, and housekeeping.

Kitchenette: Each facility may have its own definition of a kitchenette, but generally one includes a sink, cabinet space, and a mini-refrigerator, maybe a microwave. In contrast, a full kitchen would usually have a burner unit, sink, cabinets, full-size refrigerator, and possibly a microwave or stove.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): They are trained to administer technical nursing procedures as well as provide a range of health care services, such as administration of medication and changing of dressings. One year of post high school education and passage of a state licensing exam is required.

Life Care Community: A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) which offers an insurance type contract and provides all levels of care.  It often includes payment for acute care and physician's visits. Little or no change is made in the monthly fee, regardless of the level of medical care required by the resident, except for cost of living increases.

Long-Term Care: Provision of services to persons of any age who are afflicted with chronic health impairments.

Long-term Care Insurance: Privately issued insurance policy which covers the cost of nursing home care, assisted living, and home health care. Premiums are based on age, health, length of deductible period, amount paid, and duration of benefits. Currently pays only two percent of national nursing home costs.

Managed Care: There is currently no standard definition of managed care, but it can best be described as a combination of insurance and a health care delivery system. The basic goal of managed care is to coordinate all health care services received to maximize benefits and minimize costs. Managed care plans use their own network of health care providers and a system of prior approval from a primary care doctor in order to achieve this goal. Providers include: specialists, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, therapists, and home health care agencies.

Medicaid: A jointly funded medical financial Federal-State health insurance assistance program, offering benefits to individuals with limited financial resources, the disabled, and the elderly. There are income eligibility criteria which must be met to qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid accounts for about 52 percent of the nation's care costs, and is the source of payment for almost 70 percent of residents in nursing homes. The person must have exhausted nearly all assets and be in a nursing facility that participates in this program. Medicaid can reimburse Nursing Facilities for the long-term care of qualifying seniors, and in some states, Medicaid pays for Assisted Living care through Medicaid waivers.

Medicare: Nationwide medical insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration for individuals 65 and over and certain disabled people, regardless of income. Provides for hospital and nursing facility care (Part A) and physician services, therapies, and home health care (Part B).

Medical Director: A staff medical director assumes overall responsibility for the formulation and implementation of all policies related to medical care. The medical director also coordinates with an individual's personal physician to ensure that the facility delivers the care that is prescribed. In some instances, the medical director may be a resident's primary physician.

Medications Management / Medication Administration: Formalized procedure with a written set of rules for the management of self-administered medicine, as in an assisted living setting. A program may include management of the timing and dosage for residents, and could include coordination with a resident's personal physician. The resident must take the medication him or herself. For instance, the facility can remind the resident that she needs to give herself the medicine injection, but the facility cannot perform the actual injection itself.

Medigap Insurance: Private health insurance policies that supplement Medicare coverage, covering health care costs above those covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. Does not provide benefits for long term care, covering primarily hospital and doctor bills.

Non-Ambulatory: Inability to ambulate, walk around, and usually bedridden or hospitalized.

Not-for-Profit: Status of ownership and/or operation characterized by government by community-based boards of trustees who are all volunteers. Board members donate their time and talents to ensure that a not-for-profit organization's approach to caring for older people responds to local needs. Not-for-profit homes and services turn any surplus income back into improving or expanding services for their clients or residents.  Many not-for-profit organizations are often associated with religious denominations and fraternal groups.  Not-for-profits may also interact with Congress and federal agencies to further causes that serve the elderly.

Nurse Assistant: A Nurse Assistant provides the most personal care to residents, including bathing, dressing, and toileting. Must be trained, tested, and certified to provide care in nursing facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Nurse assistants work under the supervision of an Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse.

Nursing Home: Facility licensed by the state that provides 24-hour nursing care, room and board, and activities for convalescent residents and those with chronic and/or long-term care illnesses. One step below hospital acute care. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program.  May be referred to as Nursing Facility or Convalescent Home. 

Occupational Therapy: Process to help individuals relearn activities of daily living, generally administered by a licensed therapist.

Physical Therapy: Process that includes individualized programs of exercise to improve physical mobility, often administered following a stroke, fall, or accident. Physical therapists plan and administer prescribed physical therapy treatment programs for residents to help restore their function and strength.

Registered Nurse (RN): Graduate trained nurse who has both passed a state board examination and is licensed by a state agency to practice nursing. The RN plans for resident care by assessing resident needs, developing and monitoring care plans in conjunction with physicians, as well as executing highly technical, skilled nursing treatments. A minimum of two years of college is required in addition to passage of the state exams.

Rehabilitation: Therapeutic care for persons requiring intensive physical, occupational, or speech therapy.

Respite Care: Temporary relief from duties for caregivers, ranging from several hours to days. May be provided in-home or in a residential care setting such as an assisted living facility or nursing home.

Senior Apartments: Age restricted retirement communities, which are geared towards independent seniors. Usually no additional services such as meals or transportation are provided.

 

HEART

The case for Taking a Aspirin a Day. "IT COULD POSSIBLY SAVE YOUR LIFE"!

Aspirin is useful in the midst of a heart attack because it makes platelets less sticky. It also helps prevent another heart attack or other heart event in people who've been diagnosed with heart disease (secondary prevention). According to the National Heart, Blood  and Lung Institute, aspirin can reduce the likelihood of a recurrence by a whopping 25-50 percent, especially for patients who have had a heart attach, unstable angina, a stroke caused by a blood clot or transient ischemic attacks (mini strokes).

Further, Aspirin has also been shown to prevent heart disease in men over 45 and women over 65 who do not have heart disease (primary prevention). Aspirin can benefit the heart in numerous ways. Besides thinning the blood, making platelets less sticky and preventing blood clots from forming, aspirin also reduces inflammation and may prevent ulceration of fatty plaques in the arteries.

Aspirin is one of a few pain relievers that don't increase the risk of heart disease.


 

Copy this and keep in your Car and at Home!!!!!!!!

 "And share this lifesaver with others"

 

"How to survive a Heart Attack When Alone"

Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arms and up your jaw, Your maybe five miles to your nearest hospital or help, what are you to do? You only have about 10 Seconds left before losing consciousness.

Immediate Help is at hand.

"START COUGHING REPEATEDLY AND VERY VIGOROUSLY. A DEEP BREATH SHOULD BE TAKEN BEFORE EACH COUGH AND THE COUGH MUST BE DEEP AND PROLONGED, AS WHEN PRODUCING SPUTUM FROM DEEP INSIDE THE CHEST AND A COUGH MUST BE REPEATED ABOUT EVERY 2 SECONDS WITHOUT LET UP UNTIL HELP ARRIVES, OR UNTIL THE HEART IS FELT TO BE BEATING NORMALLY AGAIN".

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to the hospital.

 



Antioxidants are necessary in slowing down the development of plaque formation in the arteries. Taking vitamin A, C, E, and beta-carotene can really be of help, along with a proper diet.

MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION
HEART ATTACK!!!



The symptoms of a heart attack usually last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by rest or oral medications.
Symptoms include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat or arm
  • Fullness, indigestion or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting or dizziness
  • Extreme weakness, anxiety or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats 

CALL 911 if you have any chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and then comes back.

 

HUMOR

 

A dear friend of mine found himself in the hospital due to stomach Cancer; an acquaintance came to visit him, knowing little of what to say? he asked if there was anything he could do? "just name it", the acquaintance said, the patient (Norman S.) smiled and said "Trade places with me".



INSOMNIA

Insomnia Tip: Insomnia can be a secondary effect of heart disease, diabetes, chronic sinus infection, depression, Gastrophagean reflex and many other conditions. If you simply have difficulty getting to sleep, try Listen to Classical or New Age music before retiring. It is said that it matches your body rhythms and slows the heart down. Also, light reading or a warm bath will also do the job. Try them all. No matter the outcome, they are all very relaxing. Avoid coffee or nicotine in the late afternoon, to much of it will disrupt your sleep/wake cycle.

 

USEFUL LINKS FOR SENIORS

Angie’s List

Intellachoice

American Health Care Association

Senior Housing Network



LOOKING GOOD
Cosmetic & Spas

Cosmetic: The appearance of aging has gained some help in the past several years. Unfortunately there is not one single magic bullet that treats everything in our appearance. Most individuals are treated with a combination of carefully selected treatments, products and/or procedures. The practice of non-surgical treatments are those of Botox Cosmetics, dermal fillers (such as Juvederm, Sculptra, or Radiesse), IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), and micro-current. All of these treatments provide instant gratification for those wishing a quick fix and can be accomplished quickly and with very little or no recovery time.

Botox Cosmetic is (approved by the FDA) used to relax the frown muscles between the eyebrows, allowing the two vertical lines between the brows to diminish or disappear. It  is also approved for vertical forehead wrinkles and to raise heavy eyebrows. For the removal of those deep facial wrinkles and folds along the side of the nose and mouth, a dermal filler such as Juvederm can instantly fill in and smooth out the wrinkles and folds, creating a smooth, natural look and feel. Thermage is the latest entry used to slow or improve the appearance of the aging in the back of the hands, sun damage to the arms and chest, sagging skin of the tummy, legs, knees and buttocks. Themage is a laser-like device that uses radio frequency to target specific areas in the skin to tighten and tone it, thus causing new collagen to be produced in response to the warming effect of the Thermage procedure, thus causing further tightening and thickening of the skin, causing a more youthful appearance. The other benefits of Thermage are that of allowing the skin to maintain better hydration.

Spas:

A Great Spa will provide you with an escape from the stress of your world and to enjoy the serenity of the pleasures of being pampered.

Typically Spas provide:

  • facials — facial cleansing with a variety of products
  • massage
  • waxing — the removal of body hair with hot wax
  • body wraps - wrapping the body in hot linens, plastic sheets and blankets, often in combination with herbal compounds.
  • aromatherapy
  • skin exfoliation — including chemical peels and microdermabrasion
  • nail care such as manicures and pedicures
  • bathing or soaking in any of the following:
    • hot spring
      • Onsen (Japanese Hot Springs)
      • Thermae (Roman Hot Springs)
    • hot tub
    • mud bath
    • sauna
    • steam bath
  • nutrition and weight guidance
  • personal training
  • yoga and meditation*

*Meditation can be used for centering, depression, sleeping problems, stress reduction, healthy maintenance, self-exploration, and enlightenment.

Day Spas, Destination and Medical "Med" Spas

A true spa must have water, preferably large bodies of it, and by some definition, it must have healing water. Whether Greek, Roman or Japanese, all spas began with water. The word spa is an acronym for Sanus Per Aquam. Many of the newer “day spas” , “medi spas” and  “dry spas (lacking water)”, which are in most malls these days. Some dry spas may offer a shower as an after-thought, or none at all. These are more for having specific beauty treatments such as tanning, a facial, a body scrub, or Botox.

And there’s a new hybrid on the market, a combo fitness center with massage/facial options. Private clubs and some gyms have had this for years, but now there are smaller versions.


“Med” spas

A med spa is a day spa that operates under the supervision of a licensed health care professional, such as a medical doctor. Medical spas may offer additional treatments that can only be administered by licensed medical practitioners. Additional treatments offered depend upon the scope of practice of the licensed practitioner and may include:

  • Laser and intense pulsed light procedures
  • Medical micro-dermabrasions
  • Photo-facials
  • Botox and Restylane injections
  • Medical peels

Day Spa

It is similar to a beauty salon in that it is only visited for the duration of the treatment. They provide services such as:

Acupuncture
Massage
Make-up
Facials & Skin care
Cellulite Care
Botox & Fillers
Body Wraps
Hair Removal
Eyelash Extension
Body Treatments
Nail Service
Wellness


Destination spas for "the ultimate getaway"

The ideal destination spas will offer an all-inclusive program that includes facilitated fitness activities, healthy cuisine, educational classes and seminars as well as similar services to a beauty salon or a day spa.

Guests reside and participate in the program at a destination spa instead of just visiting for a treatment or pure vacation. You are looking for a spa whose singular purpose is to immerse you in soothing waters, luxurious surroundings , gracious hospitality.  the finest in ambiance, service and amenities  Whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, misting rooms and cold plunges. Allowing you to arrive simply and leave rejuvenated.

A great example is out in the California desert, "Two Bunch Palms" in Desert Hot Springs (a few miles north of Palm Springs) is a 200+ acres ultimate retreat. With its famous (140 degree Spring) grotto, this destination spa also has clay and the power of true healing waters.

Suggestions & Glossary for your pampering:

Acupuncture is a Powerful Medicine, which aids in strengthening the immune system and serves to prevent diseases, control pain and increase both the ability to function and the quality of people's lives. It is a well-developed care system based on natural, energy laws. Dating back over 5,000 years as a primary health care system in China, this age-old system offers a powerful alternative to modern medicine for select physical, emotional and emotional conditions.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs
are excellent in helping to improve the quality of sleep. Nutritional supplements, Chinese herbs and homeopathic remedies are great at  addressing underlying causes of sleep disturbance, which of course it usually tied to Melatonin, which addresses the pineal gland in the hypothalamus.


Ayurveda  (Indian Head Massage) is based on the ancient healing technique of Mind & Body. The massage is invigorating, revitalizing and an uplifting treatment working on the upper back, shoulders, scalp and face. These areas are massaged with a firm and gentle rhythmic fashion involving Marma points (acupressure points). Traditionally Ayurvedic oils are massaged into the scalp for their many therapeutic properties. The use of oils is optional. This particular form of massage can be used to relieve eyestrain, insomnia, migraines, stiff necks and shoulders and headaches. It also relaxes and tones the facial muscles and stimulates and nourishes the hair and scalp

Gharshana Treatment
This ancient Ayurvedic treatment features a dry skin brushing with natural fibre mittens, followed by a gentle warm oil massage which cleanses out the toxins and excess water from the lymphatic channels, while acting as a sedative on the nervous system.


Shirodhara is a profoundly relaxing treatment in which a soothing stream of warm oil is poured over the forehead. It calms the central nervous system and integrates the mind and body. Great treatment to improve the quality of sleep & insomnia.

Shirodhara plus Facial Treatment
This treatment begins with a clarifying Ayurvedic facial. Your skin will be cleansed, a masque will then be applied that is most suitable for your skin type, and your face will be toned. The Shirodhara portion of the treatment begins with a slow pouring of warm oil onto the forehead. This stimulates the pituitary gland, helps balance the endocrine system, and relaxes the nervous system. You will then receive a very gentle scalp massage, and excess oil will be squeezed out of the hair
.

Yogi Massage is a scientifically redefined deeper level tissue massage combining principals and techniques from both yoga and Ayurveda. The power of this work is the series of body opening stretches that open, release and align the body. It is progressive in intensity, moving deeper and deeper in the body. It is similar to shiatsu or Thai and traditional ayurvedic stroking massage (abhynaga) but it is a completely different system of therapeutic bodywork. In this massage the therapist uses hands and feet both in a certain harmonious sequence combining variety of unique techniques, strokes, feet pressure, walking on the body (feet massaging the back, hands and legs), pulls, joint release and stretches.

Facials:

Oxygenating Facial Trio:
is an antioxidant therapy to ameliorate free radical damage. Oxidative damage is one of the more significant contributors to the aging process. The Oxy Facial Trio helps to stimulate respiration and circulation within the skin to promote healing, rejuvenate sluggish, tired skin due to toxins, pollutants, allergans, improper diet, solar damage, smoking and aging. Acneic conditions benefit greatly. This treatment is recommended between peel treatments when peeling is not indicated.Herbal medicine: Is the oldest known form of health care, uses plants to treat disease and promote health. Either a single herb or a mixture of different herbs can be used. In the case of Chinese herbal medicine, mixtures can also contain minerals and animal parts. Unlike conventional drugs, in which the active substance is extracted from the herb, herbal medicine usually makes use of the herb in its whole form. Herbal medicines are available as extracts (solutions obtained by steeping or soaking a substance, usually in water), tinctures (usually alcohol-based preparations, with the alcohol acting as a natural preservative), infusions (the most common method of internal herbal preparation, usually referred to as a tea), decoctions (similar to an infusion), pills, and powders and even in a moistened cloth applied to the skin

PCA Chemical peel with Hydroquinone and Resorcinaol Exfoliating Treatment is a chemical peel is the most potent version of the PCA Peel® exfoliating treatments. It is a deeper chemical peel that will provide more exfoliation for oilier, thicker, resilient skin types. It is for extremely sun damaged, thickened skin and can also be used to treat hands and arms. It is also excellent for those with active/cystic acne and asphyxiated skin (dry on the surface, oily underneath) .

Pumpkin Peel Beta-C Mask Treatment: is good for anyone at any age. It is a powerful antioxidant keratolytic treatment that can serve as an alternate between other peels and therapeutic treatments. Its main source of nutrition, pumpkin, offers more than 100 beneficial components, including the highest concentration of natural vitamins A, C and beta-carotene. The Pumpkin Peel chemical peel has simultaneous actions: it exfoliates and draws impurities out of the skin while introducing vitamins, enzymes and nutrients into the skin. It is an excellent treatment for smokers as it stimulates circulation, promotes healing and provides vitamin nutrition. As with all other PCA chemical peels there is no downtime. In fact, skin will be glowing and extremely healthy-looking following the treatment.

Sensi Peel Exfoliating Treatment Chemical Peel:
This formulated primarily for Asian skin as well as all other extremely sensitive skin types. The solution contains a blend of lactic acid and trichloroacetic acid (TCA). It also contains meadow foam oil, an essential fatty acid that nourishes the skin and helps to buffer any stinging sensation. Plant-derived progesterone leaves the skin feeling plump and hydrated. The peel exfoliating treatment is formulated with L-ascorbic acid for strengthening and brightening while arbutin (an herbal ingredient similar to hydroquinone), and kojic acid effectively treat hyperpigmentation and sun damage. Also, the kojic acid, as well as azelaic acid provides anti-acne and anti-bacterial properties. The Sensi Peel™ exfoliating treatment is excellent for treating rosacea as redness and inflammation subsides substantially after the treatment. It is also excellent when used in conjunction with micro-dermabrasion treatments.

The Supra Peel exfoliating treatmen Peel: is designed for extremely sensitive and delicate skin, as there is little to no irritation or burning at the time of application and has been a popular procedure with Suddenly Slimmer patients. It is a moisturizing treatment due to the natural hormone and vitamin content, thus making it another great choice for aging, dehydrated and menopausal skin. Supra Peel™ exfoliating treatment contains anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and pore-refining properties, as well as de-sensitizing agents, making it a great foundation for treating sensitive acne and rosacea. Hyperpigmentation, melasma and sun damaged skin conditions will also benefit from the lightening capabilities of Supra Peel exfoliating treatment. There is absolutely no downtime, little to no exfoliation and the end result is an immediate tightening and brightening of the skin.

Ultra Peel exfoliating treatments: are appropriate for all skin types, conditions and sensitivities. These chemical peel treatments are especially ideal for sensitive skin, as they produce a minimal stinging sensation. Ultra Peel™ exfoliating treatments will effectively treat acne, pigment disorders, aging skin, smoker's skin and sun damaged skin.


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Longevity Spas. Anti-Aging Spa Retreats.



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MEDICARE

If you are getting Social Security benefits when you turn 65, your Medicare hospital benefits start automatically.

If you are not getting Social Security, you should sign up for Medicare close to your 65th birthday, even if you aren't ready to retire.

Medicare benefits are provided in 3 parts, A, B and D. Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital care, some skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care. Part A is premium-free for most people. However, most beneficiaries do pay a monthly premium to be covered under Medicare Part B — the part that helps pay for doctors, outpatient hospital care, and some other care that Part A doesn't cover, such as physical and occupational therapy.
Eligibility for Medicare benefits includes most people 65 and older. Eligibility also includes some younger people with disabilities, as well as a few other.
Medicare Amounts you pay for 2008

Part B: Monthly Premium
(*See Note below)

$96.40*

Part B: Deductible

$135.00

Part A: Hospital Deductible
(per Benefit Period)

$1,024.00

Part A: Hospital Coinsurance,
per day (days 61-90)

$256.00

Part A: Hospital Coinsurance,
per day (days 91-150)

$512.00

Part A: Skilled Nursing Facility
Coinsurance, per day (days 21-100)

$128.00

*Your Part B premium will be based on your modified adjusted gross income. Most people will pay the amount shown in the chart above. But, if you filed an individual tax return for 2006 and your modified adjusted gross income was more than $82,000, your Part B premium for 2008 is shown in the table below. If you filed a joint tax return for 2006 and your modified adjusted gross income was more than $164,000, your Part B premium for 2008 is similarly shown in the table below. The Social Security Administration will compute your premium for you. However, we recommend that you double-check their computation against your 2006 tax return.

2008 Part B Monthly Premium amount you pay.

If your 2006 income was ...

You Pay

Individual Tax Return

Joint Tax Return

 

$82,000 or less

$164,000 or less

$96.40*

$82,001 - $102,000

$164,001 - $204,000

$122.20*

$102,001 - $153,000

$204,001 - $306,000

$160.90*

$153,001 - $205,000

$306,001 - $410,000

$199.70*

Above $205,000

Above $410,000

$238.40*

 

Misplaced keys: "where" if you tend to misplace your keys, say to yourself. "I'm placing them on the shelf or table by the such-in-such (do your best to remember what the such-in-such is).
To help remember the day and date, make a habit of placing a check mark on the calendar, everyday.



Misplaced Car: Now the big one, Where did I park the car. That one is simply fear, embarrassment and frustration, rolled up in one. When exiting your car in a parking lot, note the building's lettering on the row you parked.  Make a mental note of "that letter" on the side of the building. Always park your car on the same side of the mall, even if you have to walk a little further, it is called where did I park it security, as it is something you make a habit of doing every time you visit that location.

Relax, this usually has nothing to do with a mental disorder, it simply says that you "have a lot on your mind", and rest assured, you have a whole lot of company.



-Senior Exercise and Senior Fitness-

Mary Ann Wilson's



 

Mental magic


 One can sometimes reverse a decline in thinking abilities by becoming more mentally active. Learn a new language, study a new subject, get a hobby, play games, such as checkers, crosswords, get out an talk to others. Also having a positive attitude about aging can add 7.5 years to your life. So, think about what gets better as you get older, Ask someone close how old they feel(forget the physical problems, if they did not have then), more often than not, between l7 and 35. actually not so surprising, just because the physical body ages, the mind is a separate entity. So, it is very necessary to participate in mental magic. Every time you do something  new or different, you create a new neural pathways.

A lady of upward age "stated that she was experiencing all the aches and pains of age". She proclaimed that she was a "26 year old, trapped in an old ladies body", her mind was very sharp, only the body was letting her down.

Try Using your Opposite Hand:

Spend the day doing things with your non dominant hand. If you are left-handed, open doors with your right hand. If you are right-handed, try using your keys with your left. This simple task will cause your brain to lay down some new pathways and rethink daily tasks. Wear your watch on the opposite hand to remind you to switch.

Drive or Walk a different way:

Drive or walk a different way to wherever you go. This little change in routine helps the brain practice special memory and directions. Try different side streets, go through stores in a different order -- anything to change your route.

Learn Phone Numbers:

Our modern phones remember every number that calls them. No one memorizes phone numbers anymore, but it is a great memory skills. Learn a new phone number every day.

 

PERSCRIPTION AWARENESS

The Weather & Perspiration:

There are two ways the body regulates temperature. One is that the heart begins to increase blood flow to the skin, which is why people often appear flushed when they are hot. The other is by perspiration.

Most of the time, people are able to cope with hot weather as long as they remain hydrated and seek shade from the direct sunlight..However, some groups of people are more susceptible to becoming overheated..Seniors whose are often more at risk during excessively hot weather..

There is another risk factor for overheating that many people don't consider. Those who take prescription medications may not be fully aware of the effect that some medications have on the ability to cool the body. Before going out in the heat, there are some things people should know about the medications they take.

Older adults are often given beta-blockers to regulate blood pressure. These drugs, such as propranol, can increase dizziness and light-headedness, plus reduce the ability of the heart to pump blood to the skin..

Drugs like Lasix, a diuretic, and Detrol, used for bladder control, can cause dehydration..Other things that can lead to dehydration are alcohol, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea and laxatives.

Even the common over-the-counter medication Tylenol PM can contribute to a reduced ability to sweat, as can the cold and allergy remedy Benadryl, and the tricyclic antidepressants called amitriptyline and nortriptyline...

There are many other medications commonly prescribed to older adults that may interfere with the body's ability to tolerate heat, including atenolol (Temormin), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), levodopa (L dopa, carbidopa) and risperadone (Risperdal). The list of medications is lengthy, so it is wise to check with your pharmacist or physician to learn how your prescriptions may affect your ability to tolerate heat or sunlight.

Be aware of how the medications you take can affect your body's ability to regulate heat, as well as how heat can affect the medications you take. Just a little bit of knowledge can keep you safe this summer.

Melatonin is broken down (metabolized) in the body by liver enzymes. As a result, drugs that alter the activity of these enzymes may increase or decrease the effects of melatonin supplements.

Increased daytime drowsiness is reported when melatonin is used at the same time as the prescription sleep-aid zolpidem (Ambien®), although it is not clear that effects are greater than with the use of zolpidem alone. In theory, melatonin may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some other drugs, for example benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.

Melatonin may increase or decrease blood pressure; study results conflict. Therefore, it may interact with heart or blood pressure medications making close monitoring necessary.


 

REMEMBER WHEN ?

Washtubs with Wringers
Tinker toys, Erector Sets & Lincoln Logs
Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside
Soda pop in glass bottles
Soda Fountains
Hearst  Newsreels  & Cartoons before the movie
Howdy Doody and the Peanut Gallery,
The Lone Ranger & Tonto, Gene Autry
Peashooters
The Good Humor Ice Cream man
Abbott & Costello
Laurel & Hardy
A cherry coke from the fountain at the drug store
 The Shadow
Spin the Bottle
Hide and seek at dusk. The Good Humor man, 
Red light, green light. The corner store.
Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers
Hopscotch, jacks, kickball, dodge ball
Out at dawn, back home by the time the street lights went on
There were no safety helmets
Broken  bones and bruises were part of growing up

Hula Hoops
The "daily" TV News was 15 minutes long
When being sent to the principal's office was nothing
compared to the fate that awaited you at home?

Candy cigarettes
Water balloons

Ed Sullivan Show

"eeny-meeny-miney-moe"?
i double-dare-you
Coffee shops & Diners and jukeboxes
The Fuller Brush Man
Purchases from the store did not have safety caps and hermetic seals
Laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box?
Jackie Gleason’s "The Honey Mooner’s"
All your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had
their hair done every day and wore high heels?
Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle
Black Jack, Clove, and Beemans chewing gum
My Three Sons, Father Knows Best, Bonanza and Leave it to Beaver
The Milk man delivering milk in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Nellie Bell, Trigger and Buttermilk.
Summers filled with bike rides, baseball games

Roller Skate keys
Gunny Sack Clothing (30s & 40s)
5 cent packs of baseball cards -with bubble gum
45 RPM records
Bazooka Bubble Gum
Laughing so much, your stomach hurt
Your mother made most of your dresses
DeSoto’s, Studebaker’s, and Nash's
 S & H Green Stamps
Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down
Telephone numbers with a word prefix....(AXminster 1664)
Rotary phones and Party lines
Swimming at the Public Pool (the plunge)
Eating Kool-Aid powder with sugar.
Kook-Aid popsicles from your refrigerator

 

REVERSE MORTGAGE

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets a homeowner convert a portion of the equity in his or her home into cash. The equity built up over years of home mortgage payments can be paid to you. But unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, no repayment is required until the borrower(s) no longer use the home as their principal residence. HUD’s reverse mortgage provides these benefits, and it is federally-insured as well.

Reverse Mortgages are becoming popular in America. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created one of the first. HUD’s Reverse Mortgage is a federally-insured private loan, and it’s a safe plan that can give older Americans greater financial security. Many seniors use it to supplement social security, meet unexpected medical expenses, make home improvements, and more.

The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of your home or FHA’s mortgage limits for your area, whichever is less. Generally, the more valuable your home is, the older you are, the lower the interest, the more you can borrow.

HUD does NOT recommend using an estate planning service, or any service that charges a fee just for referring a borrower to a lender! HUD provides this information without cost, and HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available for free, or at minimal cost, to provide information, counseling, and free referral to a list of HUD-approved lenders. Call 1-800-569-4287, toll-free, for the name and location of a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you.

Elgibility:

To be eligible for a HUD reverse mortgage, HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires that the borrower is a homeowner, 62 years of age or older; own your home outright, or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid off at the closing with proceeds from the reverse loan; and must live in the home. You are further required to receive consumer information from HUD-approved counseling sources prior to obtaining the loan. You can contact the Housing Counseling Clearinghouse on 1-800-569-4287 to obtain the name and telephone number of a HUD-approved counseling agency and a list of FHA approved lenders within your area.

Your new HUD reverse mortgage will be a new FHA-insured mortgage loan.

Your home must be a single family dwelling or a two-to-four unit property that you own and occupy. Townhouses, detached homes, units in condominiums and some manufactured homes are eligible. Condominiums must be FHA-approved. It is possible for individual condominiums units to qualify under the Spot Loan program.

With a traditional second mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, you must have sufficient income versus debt ratio to qualify for the loan, and you are required to make monthly mortgage payments. The reverse mortgage is different in that it pays you, and is available regardless of your current income. The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of your home or FHA’s mortgage limits for your area, whichever is less. Generally, the more valuable your home is, the older you are, the lower the interest, the more you can borrow. You don’t make payments, because the loan is not due as long as the house is your principal residence. Like all homeowners, you still are required to pay your real estate taxes and other conventional payments like utilities, but with an FHA-insured HUD Reverse Mortgage, you cannot be foreclosed or forced to vacate your house because you “missed your mortgage payment.”

When you sell your home or no longer use it for your primary residence, you or your estate will repay the cash you received from the reverse mortgage, plus interest and other fees, to the lender. The remaining equity in your home, if any, belongs to you or to your heirs. None of your other assets will be affected by HUD’s reverse mortgage loan. This debt will never be passed along to the estate or heirs.



SLEEP

Sleep needs vary from person to person, and they change throughout the lifecycle. Most adults need 7–8 hours of sleep each night.

Some people believe that adults need less sleep as they get older. But there is no evidence to show that older people can get by with less sleep than younger people. As people age, however, they often get less sleep or they tend to spend less time in the deep, restful stages of sleep. Older people are also more easily awakened.

Sleep is also important for good health. Studies show that not getting enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep on a regular basis increases the risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease, and other medical conditions.

The key factor in sleep is your internal "biological clock"—a tiny bundle of cells in your brain that responds to light signals through your eyes and promotes wakefulness.

A few cures to consider from numerous sleep therapist: 

  • Tai Chia
  • Acupuncture and Chinese herbs
  • Yoga
  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Melatonin

Suggestions for a goods nights sleep:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day—even on the weekends.
  • Exercise is great but not too late in the day. Avoid exercising closer than 5 or 6 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine. The stimulating effects of caffeine in coffee, colas, teas, and chocolate can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Nicotine is also a stimulant.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. A "nightcap" might help you get to sleep, but alcohol keeps you in the lights stages of sleep. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the sedating effects have worn off.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids at night can cause you to awaken frequently to urinate.
  • Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep, if possible. Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, or asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Don't take naps after 3 p.m. Naps can boost your brain power, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Also keep naps to under an hour.
  • Relax before bed. Take time to unwind. A relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, should be part of your bedtime ritual.
  • Take a hot bath before bed. The drop in body temperature after the bath may help you feel sleepy, and the bath can help relax you.
  • Have a good sleeping environment. Get rid of anything that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or a TV or computer in the bedroom. Also, keeping the temperature in your bedroom on the cool side can help you sleep better.
  • Have the right sunlight exposure. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day.
  • Don't lie in bed awake. If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than 20 minutes, get up and so some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.

Should these suggested methods not improve your sleep, check with your healthcare provider regarding your taking Melatonin prior to retiring at night. Several human studies report that melatonin taken by mouth before bedtime decreases the amount of time it takes to fall asleep ("sleep latency") in elderly individuals with insomnia. Improved sleep quality and morning alertness has also been reported.

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland from the amino acid tryptophan. The synthesis and release of melatonin are stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light, suggesting the involvement of melatonin in circadian rhythm and regulation of diverse body functions. Levels of melatonin in the blood are highest prior to bedtime.

Melatonin supplements (in pill form) can also be taken. There are two types of melatonin that may be used in these pills: natural and synthetic (man-made). Natural melatonin is made from the pineal gland of animals. This form could be contaminated with a virus and is not recommended. The synthetic form of melatonin does not have this risk. If you are not sure if your melatonin is natural or synthetic, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking it.

 

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SOCIAL SECURITY

The amount you will receive as your Social Security benefit is based on three factors: your age at retirement, the number of years you were in the workforce, and your overall Social Security tax contribution. Your benefits are calculated based on your highest 35 years of earnings. If you did not work, you can receive 50% of your spouse's benefit.

You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, The upside of early retirement is that you can start collecting benefits sooner. But the benefits will be less than if you wait. If you begin receiving benefits at age 62 (the earliest possible retirement age) the reduction in benefits is permanent. The amount you will receive will not go up when you reach full retirement age. Working longer is another option, and your benefits are not reduced once you are at full retirement age. Only you can make the choice that's right for you.

Pros & Cons:

You need to sign up for Medicare close to your 65th birthday, even if you will not be retired by that time. (If you are getting Social Security benefits when you turn 65, your Medicare Hospital Benefits start automatically


"You should apply for benefits about three months before the date you want your benefits to start".


Once you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on the amount you can earn while collecting Social Security benefits. Before full retirement age, your payments may be reduced depending on the amount you earn.

To qualify for Social Security as a retired worker, you must have worked for at least 10 years and earned at least 40 Social Security credits. You can earn up to 4 of these credits per year by paying Social Security taxes (FICA). If you don't have enough credits, you may still qualify based on your spouse's earnings. This applies even if you are widowed or divorced.

Your Social Security benefits are the foundation on which you can build a secure retirement. The three major elements of your retirement portfolio are:

  • Benefits from pensions,
  • Savings and investments, and
  • Social Security benefits.

Most financial advisors say you'll need about 70 percent of your pre-retirement earnings to comfortably maintain your pre-retirement standard of living. If you have average earnings, your Social Security retirement benefits will replace only about 40 percent. The percentage is lower for people in the upper income brackets and higher for people with low incomes. You'll need to supplement your benefits with a pension, savings or investments.

To help you plan for retirement, each year, you will receive your own personal Social Security Statement, which gives you an estimate of the monthly benefit amounts you may qualify for now and in the future.

 

ANXIETY & STRESS

Four Stress Signal categories:

Feelings

Thoughts

Behavioral

Physical

Anxiety, irritability, fear, moodiness, embarrassment

 

Self-criticism, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, forgetfulness or mental disorganization, preoccupation with the future, repetitive thoughts, fear of failure.

Stuttering or other speech difficulties, crying, acting impulsively, nervous laughter, "snapping": at friends, teeth grinding or jaw clenching, increased smoking, alcohol or other drug use, being prone to more accidents, increased or decreased appetite.

Tight muscles, cold or sweaty hands, headaches, back or neck problems, sleep disturbances, stomach distress, more colds and infections, fatigue, rapid breathing or pounding heart, trembling, dry mouth.



Management:

Emotional stress and anxiety make the heart work harder

In many cases, situations do not cause all of the stress that we experience. Sometimes, our reaction to circumstances (and what we say to ourselves about them) contributes to the stress we experience. Occasionally, we are our own worst enemy.

The best way to cope with unhealthy stress is to recognize when your stress levels are building. While we often think of stress as the result of external events, the events themselves are not necessarily stressful. It is the way in which each individual interprets and reacts to an event that produces stress.

Stress often causes us to breathe shallowly, and this in turn almost always causes more stress! Mentally scan your body for physical tension.

Does you chest feel tight? You may be holding your breath without even knowing it! Shallow breathing puts less oxygen in the blood stream, producing an increase in muscle tension. You may experience headaches; you may feel more anxious and uptight.

The next time you feel "uptight," try taking a minute to slow down and breathe deeply. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count as you exhale - slowly!

Alcohol and other drugs do not remove the conditions that cause stress. Although they may seem to offer temporary relief, these substances only mask or disguise problems. In the long run, behavior while "under the influence" increases rather than decreases stress. Prescription medications should be taken only on the advice of your doctor.

There are many circumstances in life beyond your control, starting with the weather and including in particular the behavior of others. Consider the fact that we live in an imperfect world. Know your limits. If a problem is beyond your control and cannot be changed at the moment, don't fight the situation. Learn to accept what is, for now, until such time when you can change things.

Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. sitting around can mean letting stress accumulate in your body. When you feel nervous, angry or upset, release the pressure through exercise or physical activity.

Try to find something you enjoy and make regular time for it. Running, walking or swimming are good options for some people, while others prefer dance or martial arts- all are available through the University. Working in the garden, washing your car, or playing with your dog can relieve that "uptight" feeling, relax you, and often will actually energize you! Remember, your body and mind work together.

Create a quiet scene. You can't always run away, but you can dream. Imagining a quiet country scene can take you out of the turmoil of a stressful situation. When you have the opportunity, take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place where you feel relaxed and comfortable. Notice all the details of your chosen place, including pleasant sounds, smells and temperature. Or change your mental "channel" by reading a good book or playing relaxing music to create a sense of peace and tranquility.

A phone call to a friend may be all you need to stick to an exercise program or stay away from junk food. A friend is a safe sounding board for your anger, sadness, and frustration, as well as a supporter for your dreams, hopes and wishes. The therapy you receive from talking through often regarding everyday problems are helpful in warding off serious problems such as high blood pressure, depression, and insomnia that may develop if your feelings are not addressed.

Research as found that a lack of strong social connection can be as much of a health risk as obesity, smoking and too much stress.

Another contributor to stress (feelings of anxiety) is the consumption of Caffeine. Below is a chart showing content. Since the "average" drinker of coffee (The word "caffeine" came from the German word kaffee and the French word café, each meaning coffee) consumes approximately 2 cups a day, too much caffeine can bring on  various symptoms.

Sources of Caffeine

Caffeine Content

Coffee

 

Plain, brewed 8 oz

135 mg

Instant 8 oz

95 mg

Espresso 1 oz

30-50 mg

Plain, decaffeinated 8 oz

5 mg


After ingesting caffeine, it is completely absorbed within 30 to 45 minutes, and its effects substantially diminish within about three hours. It is eventually excreted so there is no accumulation in the body. Caffeine has been shown to affect mood, stamina, the cerebral vascular system, and gastric and colonic activity.

A low to moderate intake is 130 to 300 mg of caffeine per day, while heavy caffeine consumption corresponds to more than 6,000 mg/day. It is estimated that the average daily caffeine consumption among Americans is about 280 mg/day, while 20% to 30% consume more than 600 mg daily.

Some evidence suggests an elevation in stress hormones from caffeine consumption that could pose a cardiovascular risk, but recent research has shown no relationship between caffeine ingestion and heart disease. In fact, studies have actually shown a protective effect against heart disease with habitual intake of caffeinated beverages in the elderly population. The reason for the discrepancy may be due to the kind of beverage being consumed. Studies have shown that coffee and tea were not associated with increases in blood pressure or arrhythmias.

Summary:

  • Figure out what is causing your stress, and talk to a friend or family member about your concerns.
  • Avoid overeating, and stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule and exercise routine.
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake, and avoid smoking and recreational drugs.
  • Try relaxing techniques such as meditation or yoga.
  • Make time for fun activities that you enjoy, and spend time with people who make you happy.

Stress and Anxiety share so common symptoms.

Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can't stop worrying about health, money, family, work or school. In people with GAD, the worry often is unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person's thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities and relationships.

GAD affects the way a person thinks, but the anxiety can lead to physical symptoms, as well.
Symptoms of GAD include:

  • Excessive, ongoing worry and tension
  • An unrealistic view of problems
  • Restlessness or a feeling of being "edgy"
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • The need to go to the bathroom frequently
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Trembling
  • Being easily startled

Causes of GAD.

  • Genetics: Some research suggests that family history plays a part in increasing the likelihood that a person will develop GAD. This means that the tendency to develop GAD may be passed on in families.
  • Brain chemistry: GAD has been associated with abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are special chemical messengers that help move information from nerve cell to nerve cell. If the neurotransmitters are out of balance, messages cannot get through the brain properly. This can alter the way the brain reacts in certain situations, leading to anxiety.
  • Environmental factors: Trauma and stressful events, such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, may lead to GAD. GAD also may become worse during periods of stress. The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances, including alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, can also worsen anxiety.

Treatment of GAD.

Fortunately there are medicines available to treat GAD and may be especially helpful for people whose anxiety is interfering with daily functioning. The medications most often used to treat GAD are from a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These medications are sometimes referred to as "tranquilizers," because they leave you feeling calm and relaxed. They work by decreasing the physical symptoms of GAD, such as muscle tension and restlessness. Common benzodiazepines include Xanax, Librium, Valium and Ativan. Another medicine, BuSpar, also may be used to treat chronic anxiety. BuSpar works by affecting the activity of certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Unlike the benzodiazepines, BuSpar does not cause sedation (sleepiness) or lead to dependency. Antidepressants, such as Paxil and Effexor, are also being used to treat GAD.

Other suggested methods of reducing Anxiety are:

- Exercise daily and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Reduce or entirely stop your consumption of products that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola and chocolate
- Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies. Many contain chemicals that can increase anxiety symptoms.

 

ON-THIS-DAY

SCOPE   

Celebrity BirthdaysCelebrity Birthdays

 

SENIOR TRANSITIONING

Through charitable, voluntary and exchange activities. Seniors, men and women alike are refusing to let themselves be considered as incapable of playing a useful role in the community after retirement, therefore their participation should be encouraged and developed, for their knowledge and experience is invaluable.

Upon entering Senior Citizen Status, the aspects of senior life (physical, social, financial, and employment) are changing for most seniors, the retirement years are anticipated positively and with an expectation of more leisure time and a lessening of demands and responsibilities and many older adults have an excellent ability to adjust, transition, and keep busy, while others struggle more with change. Unfortunately for some, neither seniors nor their families are adequately prepared for the stresses that also accompany aging. The goal during the senior years then is to maximize the positive and develop strategies for coping with the stresses.

The majority of seniors have a good sense of what brings them pleasure. If they haven’t fully discovered it, they now have the time to explore it. To begin with it is important that senior adults stay mentally and physically active because this has been shown to improve health and longevity. Staying socially connected is important because isolation has been associated with poor health and depression
.

 

         TRAVEL                                                                                 

Places to See in your lifetime
Scenic Wonders

 

WELLNESS

For a quick withdrawal from every day stress, you can create an oasis of calm and serenity right in your own home by simply turning off your cell phone and unplugging your home phone. Light candles, play soft music, pour a glass of wine or cup of your favorite green tea and slip into a hot bubble bath. It does not always require a visit to the spa to find peace and tranquility.

 

 

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