Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for September 2022

I’ve Quit . . .

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. . . giving advice

because my train of thought

goes off track too easily.

Wanna Make a Buck? Sucker a Senior.

Seniors – more than 1 million of them – are bilked out of some $3.5 billion dollars a year. Related costs, such as health care, social services, investigations, legal fees, prosecution, lost income and assets, reach the hundreds of of dollars annually. And for each case of reported financial abuse, there are an estimated four or more that go unreported.
Family members and caregivers are the culprits in more than half of these cases, and the most likely victim is between 70 and 89 years of age, white, female, frail and cognitively impaired, trusting of others, and may be lonely or isolated. In fact, elder financial abuse has become the crime of the 21st century.

This is a growing problem made greater by the growing number of older Americans, the relative wealth of this group, and the availability of technology that makes such abuse somewhat easier.
Family members and caregivers who financially exploit the elderly usually are dependent
upon them financially and their thievery may be influenced by such problems as alcohol and
drug abuse as well as a sense of entitlement — the culprits believe they have a right
to the money parents or charges have accumulated.

Among the reasons the elderly under report incidents of financial abuse are a fear of government interference, parents protecting their children and family members, embarrassment and self-blame, and fear of being placed in a facility or being harmed physically by the perpetrator.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 30, 2022 at 3:00 am

Has it Occurred to You . . .

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, , , that, if you’re not getting older,

you’re dead?

Future of Telemedicine is Now

Getting cured in cyberspace sounds like science fiction but it’s already here. Telemedicine – the practice of getting diagnosis and treatment via your laptop or cell phone – has been gaining traction rapidly as the way to monitor and maintain your health.

Accelerating this drive to remote medical servicing is the unavailability of health care in rural (and some urban) areas because of the diminishing number of doctors as the over-65 crowd grows at the rate of 10,000 people a day. As it stands, one out of five residents live in areas that have been identified as being short of health professionals.

Telemedicine opens the door to specialists as well as second medical opinions without taking up too much consulting time by the health experts contacted. It also reduces the stress on the patient as well as eliminating the need to travel to an appointment, which requires the patient to find a driver in many cases.

Seniors fretting about their lack of computer equipment or skills find a telephone conversation may work as well. Medicare has expanded its coverage of medical treatment by phone or computer. While not all health-insurance companies are following suit, several recognize telemedicine helps reduce the cost of health care.

For example, it allows primary care physicians to schedule appointments at any time and not just the traditional “office hours” and reduces unnecessary office and emergency-room visits. It also lowers the cost of patient no-shows.

A barrier in the way of expanding telemedicine is the reimbursement rules that require treatment to be conducted in specific sites, such as the doctor’s office or a health center to qualify. Government licensing laws also get in the way. 

Federal law requires telemedicine health-care providers to be fully licensed to practice medicine in the state where the patient is physically located. Providers in health systems that have locations in more than one state may need to apply for and pay to maintain multiple licenses.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 27, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Health, News / Events

Tagged with ,

One Point In Favor of Aging . . .

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. . . is that it’s better to be

over the hill

rather than under it.

What The Heck Is In A Name Anyway?

Some people never get my name right. While there have been several requests about how to pronounce my first name, it’s my last name that gives them the most trouble.

In English, you just pronounce every letter – Scag-lee-owe-knee. In Italian, the “gl” is swallowed and the name comes out Scal-YO-knee. It works the same as gnocci — nyoki

Even after several attempts, most seem to prefer spelling my last name ending with an “i” – Scaglioni. My insurance company persisted for years to keep spelling it that way even though it was spelled correctly on the policy.

Getting my name right has given many editors head-scratching sessions to make sure the by-line on my stories was spelled correctly. For many years, they preferred the shortened Cec Scaglione. One article in my Detroit paper appeared under the by-line of Ceg Scaglione until a sharp-eyed editor caught it and corrected it for the later editions.

Early in my career, I received a check from a Toronto magazine made out to Cec Scogbone. I managed to get it cashed at my bank so it didn’t become a problem. I get a lot of correspondence with the “g” dropped – Scalione. A credit-card company I was enlisted with a while ago persisted in sending me a monthly statement addressed to Scaslione. They even came up once with Schelione.

A welfare agency I did a story about sent me a thank-you note with the name Scageclone. A complimentary note for a story I wrote was addressed to Mr. Scheline. A Methodist bishop sent a letter to my boss lauding the effort of Mr. Ceg Scaliogre.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 26, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Humor / Quote

Tagged with ,

Some Coincidences . . .

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. . . arising out of 9/11. First of all,

the Twin Towers look like a number 11 poking up through

the New York skyline;

add all three digits in the date 9 +1+1 = 11;

the date has the same three digits as the emergency number 911, and

the first plane that tore into the buildings was

American Airlines flight 11.

There’s more but that’s enough for now.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 25, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in News / Events

Tagged with ,

My Shower Is . . .

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. . . much more accommodating

since I put a bar in it,


I keep running out of scotch.

Bank Fees Like Fleas

It used to be that robbers hit the banks for their money. Now, the banks are coming after you for yours. Only it’s not called robbery. It’s called fees.
When banks were deregulated more than a couple of decades ago, they were set free to compete for your dollars.
The lawmakers who lauded their magnanimous act proclaimed that the need to compete for
customers would force banks to improve services for the depositor, lower interest rates for
borrowers, and generally make one’s banking experience more personal and profitable.
What happened was banks began charging fees for services that were free before deregulation.
Make too many deposits in your bank, you could be charged for that. Too many telephone calls? There’s also a fee for that – even if you only get a recording. At many banks, charges vary for talking with a real live person, whether by visiting the building or by telephone.
However, if you don’t use your banking service enough, there’s a “dormancy” fee. Some banks
attach a monthly fee – for using your money – if your account is inactive. This definition varies
from institution to institution so you should ask your bank about its policy. If you find it unsatisfactory, close the account.
Before doing that, however, ask if there’s an account-closing fee. And, before you open an
account at another bank, ask them the same question.
In their campaign to convince you that they’re really doing you a service by closing down a
nearby branch office and making much-less-labor-intense – and therefore less costly – electronic banking available, banks merrily overlook burdening you with bothersome details.
For example, downloading cash from automated teller machines (ATMs) is undoubtedly handy.
In most cases, you’ll get it even if it means you’re overdrawing your account. There’s a fee for
There’s no warning. You won’t know about it until you see your monthly statement.
Banks claim they want you to have the convenience of getting cash as you need and want it. But they don’t warn you that you’re overdrawing. You have to monitor your balance to avoid the overdraft charge.
While we’re on ATMs, it’s wise to use your own bank’s because many financial institutions are
adding their own charges for ATM users who belong to a different bank.
The banks’ back shops are getting better at maximizing charges. They clear your largest checks
first to get the most out of overdraft fees.
Let’s say you have $1,000 in your account and you’ve written three checks – one for $1,100 and
the other two for $150 and $100. The bank most likely will clear the largest check first, charging
an overdraft fee. Then it charges overdraft fees as it clears each of the other two checks that are written on your now-overdrawn account, rather than clear the two smaller checks first and
leaving you with only one overdraft fee

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 24, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Humor / Quote

Tagged with , ,

An Interesting Something . . .

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. . . popped into my head

t’other morning on my bike ride.

At my age, I feel like I’ve come out of “Star Wars” being born “A long time ago in a galaxy far away…”

Always the Season

to Protect Your Identity

Identity theft, which is easier to commit successfully than credit-card fraud because the criminal only has to steal your name and not your card, accounts for almost half of the thousands of consumer-fraud complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission each year.

Almost 10 percent of the population becomes victims of identity thieves each year. These are just the ones we know of because they are reported to the FTC. You can lose your identity in an instant – the time it takes for a crook to memorize your birth date or Social Security number as you give it to a shop clerk, for example.

You can take a few simple steps to foil these vultures.

Old-fashioned thieves steal your identity by pilfering through your wallet or purse. Modern Internet hackers can get your most personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, address, and other valuable data, to use to make purchases and loans in your name.

Many steal identities from mailboxes – more than 100,000 residential mailboxes are raided every day in this country – or they fish bank and credit-card statements from trash. You face more than a financial loss when any of this happens to you. Since you’re the person who’s named on the debt, you’ll have to pay bills you never incurred.

An identity thief may use your name but another address so you won’t be aware of the debt made in your name because statements will be sent to that other address and your credit will be trampled.

It’s a long and frustrating road to reclaim your rightful identity and credit rating. A bad credit rating is like an old-fashioned hangover – only time is a cure.

One self-defense weapon you might acquire is a paper shredder to shred all documents and statements with your name, address and ID numbers. This includes bank and credit-card statements, offers by credit-card companies for pre-approved cards, any statements from book clubs or magazine subscriptions, and personal numbers that come with catalogs and merchant mailings.

The prime rule in self-protection is never give anyone your Social Security number. And don’t carry your card with you. Only government agencies, credit-reporting firms, banks and the Internal Revenue Service can use your Social Security number. Anyone else who wants it can be told it isn’t required.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 23, 2022 at 3:00 am

A Lesson You Learn . . .

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. . . as you slip into your senior years is

it’s really really good to wake up and pee

and really really much better

than peeing and then waking up

Getting There is Getting Rougher —

and You Suffer

After several years of covering the airline industry as a business writer for a daily metropolitan newspaper, working for an airline company for a handful of years, and a million or so miles on commercial airlines, my view of airline companies has not changed.

They do not view you as a welcome passenger they can whisk off to exotic lands and happy holidays. You are simply a vacant seat if you’re not on one of their aircraft. They may make apologetic announcements when they delay or cancel your flight, but they really aren’t sorry.

The unfortunate part is that bad customer behavior is inflicted upon the airline staffers who do care – flight attendants and gate agents.

Ever see how the baggage handlers handle your luggage?  Ever hear pilots discuss the uncomfortable conditions they cause when they decide to delay or cancel your flight? Ever stumble upon a sympathetic ticket agent willing to give you a refund when your flight is canceled?

Nothing’s really changed as airlines moan and groan about the sudden onrush of travelers and staff shortages because they can’t rehire personnel fast enough after the COVID-19 pandemic slowdown. More than one out of four flights is either cancelled or delayed for a planeload of reasons – backups in the system, staff shortages, weather, mechanical problems, runway crowding, pick a problem.

You have to prepare for discomfort as well as delays if you intend to fly somewhere on a commercial airliner. This is after putting up with TSA frisking at the airport that you arrived at three hours before takeoff time before you even get on an airplane. Then there’s taxi time and gate-waiting time and on and on and on.

On board, you pay for a pillow and blanket. Don’t even think about getting a snack. Pack your own lunch at home and take an empty plastic bottle so you can fill it at an airport fountain before taking flight.

More than 900 flights are cancelled every day, according to Federal Aviation Administration data.

That may sound like a lot, but let’s look at the daily picture. The FAA handles more than 45,000 flights every day taking almost 3 million passengers into and out of the more than 9,500 airports U.S. airports – 14,500 are small private airports. There are as many as some 5,400 aircraft buzzing overhead at any given time.

There are bound to be problems. So you have to prepare for the worst when you embark on a trip to the airport to board an airplane.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 21, 2022 at 3:00 am

For Those Who Missed It . . .

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. . . here’s your favorite server Brook sending you a song.

And we’re heading into another busy Verena week headed by Monday night football in the dining room, writing class and wellness presentation highlighted on Tuesday, free blood pressure checks for anyone and everyone Wednesday, another health and wellness session on Thirsty Thursday, a Hale Theater outing Friday with flashbacks Saturday afternoon wrapping up a week that included fitness periods, shopping trips and assorted games.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 19, 2022 at 3:00 am

Boobs . . .

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. . . are indisputable proof

that man can concentrate

on two things at the same time.

Longevity Costs Money

Everyone wants to get to heaven but no one wants to die.

Old age has its problems, but the alternative is worse.

No one wants to live to be 101 more badly than the person who’s 100.

And the cliches go marching on.

Longevity on this earth is the goal and grail of all living things. But living a long life has problems besides failing health and eroding motor skills. The longer you live, the more money you need.

Medical advances indicate that the human body is built to last about 120 years. If you want to live that long and plan to retire, or have retired, at 65, you will have to find some way to support yourself for 55 years after leaving the work force. That’s longer than most people spend in the labor force since most start their careers around age 20, giving them a working life of about 45 years.

Life expectancy currently is 77 years in this country. By 2050, the elderly population is expected to double to 80 million. This means 20 percent of the population will be over 65.

With more than 70 million baby boomers approaching retirement age, increasing numbers of people will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease since 50 percent of people over 85 are stricken. There are more than 6 million that old now and the number is rising.

That’s but one of a multitude of health issues. The medical-treatment crisis looming involves more than difficulties in delivering and providing the necessary treatment and services. It relies a lot on the individual’s ability to pay for them. And the average monthly rate for assisted living is $4,300.

Suppose you’re healthy and hale and plan to enjoy life. Do you have a retirement fund large enough to last you for as long as you’d like to live? Will you be able to play golf, take vacations, visit family, maintain your residence, go fishing, keep up your hobby, or whatever in the manner in which you’d like?

On the plus side of this equation is that more than 90 percent of Americans feel they should be able to work as long as they are able. Less than a quarter of respondents see retirement as a time for relaxation.

The baby boomer phalanx is also bringing some good news. Since the population is aging and there are more people in middle age than ever before, people are not considered old until much later in life. Sixty percent of Americans believe 71 and over is old age. Attitudes are changing as more older people continue to work, start their own businesses, or join with younger generations to help meet community needs. Social pressure to “hang it up” at a certain age has eased as more seniors become able to enjoy financial security in their old age.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 18, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Humor / Quote

Tagged with , ,

Nothing Gets Done …

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. . . when everybody does it.

Travel Insurance Coverage Takes Many Forms

Travel insurance. Travel medical and hospitalization insurance. Extended travel medical insurance. Trip cancellation insurance. Which one of these do you want?

You’re wise to consider at least a portion of the above when you plan an extended vacation, cruise or adventure trip. You’re going to need some coverage. If you want to protect the money you have invested in the trip against the possibility of having to cancel and want to cover any hospital or medical bills you might incur on the trip, then you’re looking for “total travel protection.”

Those three words are usually identifiable by most insurance carriers, but don’t count on it because the devil is in, like most fine print, the details. Then you have to determine what they mean by “initial trip deposit.” Also in play are pre-existing conditions, along with primary medical coverage as well as secondary medical coverage.

But stop. It’s not as brain boggling as it sounds. Determine first of all what coverage you want.

Do you have hospital and medical coverage on the ship you’ll be sailing on or in the region you’re visiting? If so, does your policy cover everything or do you need a supplementary coverage? Do you care if the money you’ve deposited on your trip is forfeited if you cancel your trip?

Do you have any “pre-existing conditions?” In other words, do you or your spouse, or whoever is going on the trip with you, have a chronic medical problem, such as diabetes? Pre-existing conditions can be covered if you buy the insurance at about the same time as you make your initial trip deposit. The “grace” period can be up to three weeks after your first payment is made for the trip.

If you miss getting your travel insurance within that time, you can still get coverage for everything – lost luggage, missed connections, the cost of airplane tickets, car rental charges, and trip cancellation, for example – except pre-existing conditions.

This means that, if you don’t have any pre-existing conditions or missed the applicable deadline, you can wait until just a few weeks before your trip to buy the coverage.

Now, what about hospital and health coverage? If your existing coverage applies in whatever regions you’re visiting, you can get secondary coverage. This pays most of the bills not covered by your private coverage.

If you’re traveling abroar, you’re existing coverage probably does not extend that far. So you’ll need primary medical coverage, which costs more than secondary coverage. Most policies are sold in 30-day packages, although you can add a handful of days at a per-diem cost.

When shopping for trip, hospital and medical insurance for your travels, you can start with your current insurance agent. He or she should be able to offer you a few coverage and cost options. You also can surf the Internet for Web sites that handle this type of coverage.

If you decide to buy a policy from the ‘Net, make sure you receive your policy number immediately. Do this whether you buy it on-line or by telephone. Ask the insurance vendor if you will get a policy number immediately after completing the transaction. If you cannot get a policy number immediately, shop for another carrier.

This is especially important if you’re concerned about deadlines required to get coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 17, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in A Musing

Tagged with , ,