Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for October 2022

An Inmate . . .

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. . . who’s moving to colder climes

said he’s going to try some cross-country skiing,

I suggested he pick a small country.

Traveling Alone Has its Own Trip

Travel can lose much of its attraction after losing your life-long partner that shared the sites and sights you encountered around the globe over the years. And many suddenly-singles don’t relish the thought of returning to a favorite voyage or villa without the person they enjoyed it with over the years.

This is at a time when, for the first time in their lives, they probably can travel to wherever they choose to and stay as long as they wish.

Most can recall chatting with a solo traveler or two over the years. One long-time friend has flown to several countries and cities without any reservations and rents a room or apartment for several weeks to soak in the culture and cuisine of the land.

If you don’t feel like going it alone, you can book tours for ski trips, museum visits, cooking schools, national parks and almost anything you can envision.

Some of the bumps on the traveling-alone road include finding time to go off on your own during the tour you’ve booked with a group, how to avoid paying the single supplement charged by hotels and cruise ships, as well as getting along with room-mates on the trip.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 30, 2022 at 2:00 am

If He Didn’t Say It . . .

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. . . he would have

because, according to reports,

the late, great Yogi Berra said

he didn’t know if the naked bodies

streaking across the field

were male over female

“because they were wearing bags of their heads.”

Ignoring Stress Can Be Stressful

A lot of attention has been given to the debilitating effects of depression. It’s been cited for, among other things, affecting our mental and physical health and exacerbating such conditions as heart disease and triggering other medical issues.

So does stress.

Most folks think they can handle it because they’ve coped with a day-to-day working life, raising a family, making mortgage payments and so on. But stress still lurks in the corners of their psyche if they don’t pay attention.

Exercise can push it aside. So can medication. Anything that helps you retain a feeling of quietude and optimism. Maintaining a circle of friends and socializing with them regularly also lowers stress levels.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 29, 2022 at 2:00 am

Fighting Fire With Fire . . .

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. . . doesn’t make sense.

As far as I know,

all fire departments

use water.

Favorites From the ‘60s

You probably have some 50-year-old things around the house that recall the 1960s.

How about that pair of ugly but comfortable Birkenstocks? And that packet of M&Ms tucked into the kitchen cupboard?

A constant reminder of that decade are those big square brown trucks UPS still uses, as is your color television set, which came into its own in the mid ‘60s. Alex Trebek and “Jeopardy” began their amazing run about the same time as “Star Trek” ventured “where no man has gone before.”

The Big Mac and Pop-Tarts emerged during that decade along with a healthier counterpart, Gatorade.

Both James Bond and The Beatles popped into our culture then along with the pill, which planted seeds for the later sexual revolution.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 28, 2022 at 2:00 am

The Concept of Zero . . .

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. . . has always baffled me.

For example,

if you have two choices

and you take one option away,

you’re left with zero choices.

Shortage of Medical Staff

The aging population not only is creating more demand for medical services, it’s also accelerating the shortage of doctors and nurses as they approach retirement age.

As the 65-and-over population grows by almost 50 percent over the next decade, almost the same percentage of doctors will join that phalanx during the same period.

We expect to be almost 140,000 physician short of what we need by 2033, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, reports Bottom Line.

To protect yourself, you can look for a younger doctor to care for you should your current physician b e close to retirement. You also can seek a primary care physician affiliated with a group practice so there will be a medical doctor in-house to serve you should your current doctor leave.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 27, 2022 at 2:00 am

Lady At A Nearby Table . . .

with one comment

. . .announced

that her son just told her

he was born again

and the lady said

she didn’t feel a thing.

Penny Earned No Longer Possible

The penny will soon be in only our thoughts, to paraphrase an old adage.

Penny production is being phased out this year and the last batch will be available in proof sets next spring. The coin is being discontinued because it costs more than 2 cents to produce the 1 cent piece.

Canada quit making pennies a decade ago because it was costing too much to make them.

Almost 290 billion U.S. pennies have been produced and some 150 billion are still in circulation. The rest have been tossed into fountains, tucked into jars or loafers, made into jewelry or rolled onto a sidewalk somewhere.

Pragmatists predict business will round out prices for everyone to accommodate the loss of the penny. This might get complicated where prices are displayed before any sales taxes are added.

Relinquishing of the penny is a reminder of the pressures being exerted to do away with cash. Promoters of a cashless society argue that maintaining automated teller machines (currently paid for by the banks) is costly. Retailers and other businesses complain that taking cash takes more time and money than payments made by store card, debit card, credit card or cryptocurrency. And don’t forget your handy dandy contactless-payment tool in your hand – the cell phone.

The pressures for change are not going away. Next in the line of sight of those who want to abolish coins is the nickel. Their argument sounds familiar. It costs about 7 cents to make a nickel.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 26, 2022 at 2:00 am

If You’re Allergic. . .

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. . . to cotton,

how do you get the pills

out of the bottle?

Telemedicine Keeps Doctor Away

Call it telemedicine or telehealth, it’s the future of doctor-patient relationships and it’s already arrived.

The use of telehealth exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic and there no longer is any question within and without the medical community that telemedicine is here to stay.

While face-to-face visits with primary-care physicians and specialists are expected to continue for critical cases, chronic care no longer will call for a patient to get a ride to the doctor’s office. Everything will be handled by phone or computer.

After an annual visit to a specialist monitoring his liver condition, a relative was told to make appointments for an ultrasound reading and a blood test. The blood test had to be made online and it took several sessions with a computerized voice to get called by a person to make the ultrasound appointment.

A computerized phone call notified him the results of the test were posted on the patient portal in his computer. He had to read — and translate — the results himself. He assumed everything was routine because the doctor, or his assistant, would call if there were any problems or peril.

You can check your symptoms on the internet, but the information out there is unreliable. It may make for interesting reading, but you need to see your doctor for a dependable diagnosis. Once you’ve met with him or her, telemedicine can be used for follow-up and treatment.

Connecting through cyberspace means you always have a medical babysitter at your elbow. When an issue erupts, a quick contact with your caregiver will let you know how to respond.

Support groups also congregate on the internet. Folks with cancer, ALS, disabilities and long-term medical conditions can establish and maintain contacts that can help each other climb over crises.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 25, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Health, Humor / Quote

Tagged with ,

How Do Knowitalls . . .

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. . .know when

they know it all?

Obesity Weighs Heavily on Elderly

When people think of poor health in the older-adult population, images of frail and underweight individuals often come to mind. But nutritionists and health professionals on both sides of the Atlantic have noted an overlooked “obesity epidemic” affecting more than 30 percent of adults over 60 years of age.

The issue of a few extra pounds pale by comparison for many people when they consider such other old-age issues as dementia, chronic disease, lifestyle limitations, and money woes. Physicians may avoid talking about obesity with their older patients because they think it may be too late to encourage a change in health behavior, experts say.

Here are some facts.

— One in four people older than 50 is considered obese.

— Slightly more than half of adults 50 and older reported being asked during routine medical check-ups about physical activity or exercise. The likelihood of being asked about exercise during a routine check-up declined with age.

— Only one-third of adults 65 and older get the daily recommended level of exercise.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 24, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Aging, Health

Tagged with ,

The Folks Around Me . . .

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. . . are constant reminders that

going to church

doesn’t make you a Christian

anymore than standing in the kitchen

makes you a chef.

Crooks Steal From the Dead

Dead men may tell no tales but their obituaries can reveal volumes. Especially to thieves who study death notices to glean information they can use to pluck you clean.

It feels comforting to inform the world of the passing of a loved one and to include details of their life, including birthdate, address, hobbies, achievements, work and career highlights along with a list of surviving family members.

Scam artists gorge on this information. The more detail there is, the more steps you provide them to get closer to stealing your identity, the identity of the deceased, or both.

Listing the dead person’s age is okay, but don’t include their birthday. A death notice including the address of the deceased along the name of their surviving spouse along with other personal details provides a roadmap for scam artist to follow.

It’s been estimated that the identity of as many as 1 million dead people a year is co-opted by crooks who clean out existing accounts or obtain credit cards and apply for loans in the name of the deceased. Some scammers even file tax returns in the name of the dead to collect refunds.

Crooks also call survivors claiming the deceased must pay a debt they have. First of all, there is no legal obligation to pay any such a debt, unless you co-signed for it. So hang up. There’s also the fraudulent insurance scam: the caller claims the deceased took out a life insurance policy but before the benefits payment can be made there’s a final premium payment required for handling fees, taxes and whatever. Hang up.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 22, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Finance, Humor / Quote, Viewpoint

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A Lot Of Aridzonans . . .

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. . .must be poor

because I’ve noticed

very few of them can afford

turn signals on their vehicles.

Pack for Delays

If you do decide to travel by air during the upcoming holidays, take only a carry on so you can be nimble when one or more of your flights are delayed or cancelled. You can almost count on that because the major carriers are canceling flights willy-nilly, blaming it on staff shortages and weather.

Pack a toothbrush, extra underwear and all your medications, which you can swallow by using the reusable water bottle you’ve taken with you. It’s still pandemic time in many parts of the globe so squeeze in several face masks and tuck in a comfortable blanket.

A portable charger will be handy to keep your phone working, and cleaning products, such as hand and face wipes, will help refresh you should you be stuck in an airport all night.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 20, 2022 at 2:00 am

If An Invisible Guy . . .

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. . .had a medical problem,

would the doctor

be able to see him?

Headaches Are a Real Pain

We’re surrounded by headaches.

Bustling traffic, noisy neighbors, relentless relatives, busybody bosses, and you’ll think of a few more. Those aren’t really headaches, although they may be causes.

Most of us will suffer at least one headache this year. More than 70 million people in this country suffer from intermittent headaches, according to a national survey.

About one in 10 individuals suffer the blinding pain of migraines and the accompanying complaints, such as sensitivity to light, noise and smells, nausea and upset stomach among others.

Sinus headaches usually are the result of infected sinuses and hover around the front of your face – forehead, nose and cheeks.

Cluster headaches hit about 1 percent of the population. They’re usually short but extremely painful and tend to occur in clusters – several times a day or at the same of time of day for several days.

Tension is the most common cause of the most common headaches. These types of headaches usually are a steady ache rather than a throbbing that’s a hallmark of many migraines.

Erasing these attacks calls for learning how to relax mentally as well as physically. Getting enough sleep is a good start. So is some form of regular exercise. Swimming, biking, walking and gardening are simple means to keep you moving enough to assure you of a good night’s sleep. If you’re experiencing headaches more than once a week for any reason, make an appointment with your primary-care physician to discuss their source and suggested solutions to the problem.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 20, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Health, Humor / Quote

Tagged with ,