Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for February 2023

A Longtime Colleague . . .

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. . . just returned from a trip to China.

I asked him what is was like

when he was over there.

He said he couldn’t complain.

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You Folks at Verena

can learn how to make in-home medical appointments

at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday) 2nd floor theater.

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Not All Seniors are Senile

Our current day culture still emphasizes the glamor of youth while blowing the dust off of people considered old who function at a level somewhere between a chimpanzee in diapers and a toddler with a hearing deficiency.

This myth of diminished capacity is being eroded somewhat by the more than 70 million baby boomers moving into the aged cohort. But there’s still a great need for communication between the young and old. In underlining the seriousness of the situation, David Solie draws on the German proverb:

“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”

“Bodies don’t work as well when we age, so it seems reasonable to assume that brains don’t work

as well, either,” he writes in his book, “How to Say it to Seniors.” While the book was put together as a tool for consultants working with seniors, his insights also have applications for family and friends. Examples of successful seniors he cites include Verdi’s “Otello,” the founding of the Christian Science Monitor by Mary Baker Eddy, and the design and construction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York City. These achievements were attained when those individuals were aged 70 and 71.

“Our love of the biological model of aging has duped us into believing that ‘slowing down’ is synonymous with diminished capacity,” he states about the segment of population “that Tom Brokaw writes about in ‘The Greatest Generation.'” So there is no excuse for the communication gap separating children, parents, and grandparents, especially when it comes to money matters.

You should know, for example, if your parents have enough money to live on in their retirement. If they have never discussed it with you, then you can use a variety of tactics to broach the topic.

For starters, vital for everybody is the need to maintain control over their lives. So if your parents are already retired, Solie suggests you ask them for some help by explaining how they came up with their retirement plan. This can lead to exploration of both your financial situations – yours and theirs. The discussion, once opened, can expand to medical and health coverage, estate planning, and wills.

Parents can use the same strategy by asking their children for some book-keeping help to refine their retirement financial plans. Then they can both work on a program. Look over all insurance policies, tax returns, pension statements, property deeds and mortgage documents, loan papers, bank and credit-card statements, and any other pieces of the paper trail that led them to their present position.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 28, 2023 at 7:53 pm

A Reminder . . .

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. . . to y’all.

Bookmark this:

and give it a quick check every morning.

I’ll try to keep posting reminders and updates

along with some other copy that might entertain.

It’ll take just a minute.

If you have a comment or observation,

send it to me at

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I learned a quick lesson

after I questioned

some of my wife’s choices

and she pointed out

I was one of them.

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Like Apple a Day,

Telemedicine Keeps Doctor Away

Your best health tool may be your cell phone.

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

Telehealth exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns 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. It can be handled by phone or computer.

Which could also be part of a growing problem because it’s difficult to reach a real person by phone anymore, even to make appointments.

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 appointment 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.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 27, 2023 at 8:59 pm

Posted in Health, Humor / Quote

Tagged with ,

Chorale Call

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Verena Voices is still open for,

and will continue to seek, more voices — both female and male.

If you enjoy singing in the shower,

take you talent to

the weekly choir practice

2 p.m. Tuesdays – 2nd floor theater.

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Something You All Gotta Check Out

Save yourself the trouble of trundling through airports

and visit your hometown, favorite city or international landmark you’d like to see

by typing in your search engine

“drive and listen” or “live webcam (and the city you’d like to visit)”

and enjoy the trip. It’s captivating and fun.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 26, 2023 at 7:23 pm

Do dyslexics get . . .

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. . . get depressed

when life

gives them melons?

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Smaller Bulk Buys Also Save

Even if you’re living alone, you can save money by buying the family size packages of such meats as beef, pork and poultry, which are usually cheaper per pound than the smaller packages.

At home, you can divide the pieces into meal-size portions and keep them in the freezer.

The same, of course, applies to large packages of frozen fruit and vegetables that are much more economical than smaller individual packets.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 25, 2023 at 7:26 pm

Posted in A Musing, Finance

Tagged with ,

I’ve Never Told . . .

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. . .this to anyone before but,

when I found out

what electricity could do,

I was shocked.

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Mature Motorists Slowing Down

The “get ’em off the road” gang is after aging drivers again. This happens every time a silver-haired motor-vehicle operator gets into an accident.

Take away their license. Test them every year. Let them walk. They bring out the statistics that senior drivers are the second-most accident-prone segment of American’s motoring public. However, the single-most road-risky group are teen-aged drivers. But no one suggests taking away their licenses.

Detractors of senior drivers suggest taking driving licenses away at a certain age. How about holding back drivers’ licenses to young people until they reach a certain age? Neither of these suggestions make sense.

Age is not the problem. The problem is common sense and competence behind the wheel.

It is estimated that one out of every five of the nation’s drivers will be older than 65 by 2030. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study indicates that most older drivers limit or stop driving on their own as they perceive their capabilities diminishing.

About 70 percent of more than 3,800 drivers 50-years-and-older queried said they restricted their driving under a variety of conditions. These included bad weather, heavy traffic, rush hour, night time, long distances, and freeways.

Older drivers apparently develop strategies to compensate for failing vision, slower reflexes, stiffer joints, and medication, according to researchers. They can help their cause by supporting physical improvements such as signs that are larger and less complex, improved lighting and enhanced visibility at intersections, and remedial-driving programs.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 24, 2023 at 7:37 pm

Learn Sign Language

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11 a.m. today 2nd floor theater.

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You’ve heard about the

Super Supper Shuttle

Here’s the schedule

2nd and 4th Friday of March

Leaves Verena for restaurants:

3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Leaves restaurants:

3:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.

No sign-up, just show up

Think of catching a city bus –

be waiting at the pick-up point

Miss one, wait for the next one.

Just don’t miss the last one.

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Healthy Foods All Around You

Mangoes are the most-eaten fruit in the world for good reason: they’re among the superstar health foods, providing us with decent doses of vitamins A and C along with blood-pressure-lowering potassium and fiber.

Other plant products listed among this galaxy of health boosters by some nutritionists include sweet potatoes, broccoli, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), watermelon, butternut squash and leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and Swiss chard.

Along with this array of hale, hearty and healthful food in your larder, you might want to add plain yogurt, wild salmon and oatmeal.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 23, 2023 at 7:09 pm

Super Supper Shuttle, Super Idea

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Beginning next month,

a twice-a-month shuttle

will provide Verena residents

late-afternoon free transportation

to and from nearby restaurants.

Because it’s a shuttle, there is no need to sign up.

Just show up at the times advertised starting at 3 p.m.

If you miss a shuttle, wait for the next one.

Just don’t miss the last one.

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I just realized

I’ve mastered how easy it is to sleep.

I can do it with my eyes shut.

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Coffee A Healthy Break

Coffee might be considered the WD-40 of the food system. It’s been cited as a defensive mechanism against health risks ranging from sunburn to diabetes. Scientific, medical and diet gurus around the globe claim drinking three to five cups a day is a healthy regimen.

While not the source of nutrients found in diets of the health-conscious, an eight-ounce cup of coffee, regular or decaffeinated, contains more disease-fighting antioxidants than a typical serving of blueberries or oranges.

The anti-coffee culture points out that coffee also can cause nervousness, keep you awake at night and boost your blood pressure. To counter these over-stimulating effects of coffee, nutritionist suggest spacing out one’s intake, drinking a cup of coffee every few hours during the day.

A European study also revealed coffee retards the cognitive decline in the elderly.

Caffeine reduces the risk of cirrhosis of the liver as well as lowering the odds of death by heart disease among the elderly. Studies have also revealed coffee drinkers are less likely to develop basal-cell carcinoma – skin cancer – than non-coffee drinkers. Coffee has also been found to reduce pain, protect against strokes, fight depression and a variety of cancers, and protect the liver.

While the consensus is that coffee can be good for you, it shouldn’t be considered a cure-all. If coffee gives you the jitters, try decaf. If that doesn’t work, talk with your doctor.

Go easy on milk, cream, sugar and other-coffee-shop add-ons because they add calories to an otherwise low-calorie beverage. When brewing your own coffee, use paper filters that trap the oils in coffee that can increase your levels of cholesterol.

As with anything that involves your health and well-being, discuss your coffee habits with your primary care physician.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 22, 2023 at 8:08 pm

Posted in A Musing, Health, News / Events

Tagged with ,

Lent Barged In . . .

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. . . today with crazy winds

and just-as-crazy rain.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 22, 2023 at 6:10 am

Posted in News / Events

Tagged with

It’s Party Time!!!

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But you folks at Verena

can squeeze in your 1:30 p.m. writing class

before the festivities begin at 3 p.m.

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I can’t even count the times

I failed math at school.

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If It’s Autoimmune,

It Can Be Anything

A visit by the blahs, flu, endless fatigue, chills, sweats, and whatever is a reminder me of what has become one of medicine’s major mysteries – autoimmune disorders.

More than 100 conditions have joined the list since they were first labeled a little more than three decades ago. Among the most common are rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, lupus and multiple sclerosis. What links these is their root cause: your immune system is battling part of you – your skin, blood vessels, joints, nerves or organs.

In my case, it’s autoimmune hepatitis and my liver is the enemy.

It all began to surface a dozen years ago while on a trip to Italy. I began feeling tired and just couldn’t shake loose of that feeling. When we got home, it took half a year of tests, MRIs, X-rays and biopsies to unearth the cause.

I learned my liver has four major stages: good, not too bad, fatty and it-has-to-be-replaced. Mine was on the cusp of fatty and the final stage. And being autoimmune hepatitis means the doctors have no idea what caused it.

Steroids were prescribed immediately. The first one had to be discarded when they conflicted with the bladder-cancer pills prescribed a couple of years later. And I’ve been told I should avoid getting sick.

I did fall victim to COVID-19 a couple of years ago but got through my quarantine suffering mostly from boredom. Not too long ago, I woke up sweating and with the chills. I felt fatigued, unsteady on my feet and had a cough that was persistent in spells. Was this COVID-19 again, or the flu, or something else?

I felt like I felt in Italy several years ago so I did what a doctor’s assistant suggested back then. I took a bottle of water out of the fridge, sipped some, turned on the television set, curled up in my big chair, and fell asleep.

“Just baby yourself and wait things out,” she said. And that worked.

I don’t know how I got sick so we’ll just have to call it the autoimmune under-the-weather syndrome.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 20, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Health, Humor / Quote

Tagged with ,

Find Out . . .

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. . .what muffuletta means

to help you enjoy

Mardi Gras.

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Clean Up Your Room

It’s never too soon to look around your bedroom for ways to make it more comfortable as age and disabilities creep into your life.

Dresser drawers can grow stubborn of the years, so you need to grease those skids or get new furniture. High shelves may become unreachable as grow older — and older. Getting around your bed, dresser, chair and whatever else you keep there without stubbing your toe is important because much or your life is spent shoeless in that room.

You might need extra space to get around it with a walker, wheelchair or some other walking aids such as canes and crutches. And you need space to store these devices without clogging up the area. It’s also important that the bedroom and closet doors are wide enough to enter comfortably with any of the mobility aids mentioned earlier. Check your bathroom door at the same time.

Thresholds should be level so you can cross them easily without tripping and not be barriers for walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. The bedroom door should open outward so you won’t block it should you fall.

What’s covering our floor is also important. Slippery material should be replaced. Rugs are decorative and comfortable but can be hazardous if not fastened to the floor. They can be tripped over as age reduces walking to a shuffle. Remove unnecessary furniture to make maneuvering much easier and remove furniture with corners that can be hazardous if you fall.

Make sure television, lamp, telephone, electrical and any other cords are not stuffed under a carpet or cluttering your pathways. Lighting is important in any room. A switch should be immediately inside the door and be accessible if standing up or seated in a wheelchair. Contrasting colors for the light switch, bedspreads and furniture will help you identify what’s what and help avoid confusion when you’re in your room.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 19, 2023 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Health, News / Events

Tagged with ,