Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

If You Haven’t . . .

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. . . gotten out of the house for a bit,

just pin a $1 bill to your collar

for The Wearin’ o’ the Green on St. Paddy’s Day.

As for me,

I’m gonna pour a wee dram o’ good ol’ Paddy Irish whiskey.

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Cut Through Long-Term-Care Costs

It may turn out that you need long-term care for only a short time, but it’s a critical health-care term in all our lives. It normally deals with the last months of your life and those around you.

Researchers agree on one thing: most people are not well-informed about long-term care and its implications for both their physical and fiscal health.

The problem grows larger as our population ages — current 65-year-olds are expected to live another quarter century — and as myths and misconceptions about this misunderstood matter grow more widespread.

Almost 70 percent of Americans are worried about paying for long-term care, according to a National Council of Aging report, compared with some 55 percent who are concerned about paying for their retirement. Four out of 10 people 65 years of age or older believe Medicare or Medigap (Medicare supplemental insurance) pays for long-term nursing-home stays, according to a Financial Planning Association study.

The reality is that Medicare will pay for a limited number of days for “short term” nursing-home care under certain circumstances. It does not pay for long-term custodial care.

Another popular myth is that Medicaid picks up the tab for long-term care. It does pick up 50 percent of the tab if you’re poor enough to qualify. In addition, your income from Social Security and any other pension must go toward the bill.

Adding more pain to the process is the confusion within the long-term-care-insurance industry. Premiums veer drunkenly in all directions.

For example, a 70-year-old person buying a comprehensive policy with a four-year benefit period, 60-day elimination period, $100 daily benefits and inflation protection can pay between $2,700 and $4,000 a year, depending on what company is chosen. The annual cost of a similar policy in another state with a lifetime-benefit term and 20-day elimination period can range from $4,600 and $5,500.

The National Council on the Aging has some tips to help you shop for long-term-health-care insurance.

The first thing to do is take your time and find a reputable independent sales person who can sell policies for several companies. Check the stability of the companies whose policies you’re considering. Then read a specimen policy contract thoroughly and make sure you understand what you’re buying. You don’t need multiple policies. One good policy is enough.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 15, 2023 at 9:39 pm

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

Stay Informed . . .

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. . .don’t miss today’s monthly Town Hall meeting

4 p.m. in the 2nd floor theater.

Draw Up End of Life Plans Anytime

A dear friend who passed away recently after a lengthy illness took time to discuss with her spouse details to be attended to after her death. They both agreed on the disposition of their remains and where they should be ensconced. Both felt at ease talking quietly and patiently about their plans as her death approached. After taking care of her wishes, the widower discussed and passed on these plans to their children to be followed when he dies.

Making after-death lists can become critical when they deal with your final weeks, days and hours, especially if you lapse into a coma or any condition that makes it difficult to make on-the-spot decisions. Doctors and medical staff are committed to keeping their charges functioning as long as there is any chance they will survive, when they feel the patient is not terminally ill.

More than 30 percent of adults have formalized their end-of-life preferences in what is known as an advance directive – a legal document with instructions on how they feel they wish to end their lives. In most cases, the person wishes to avoid a lengthy pain-riddled existence leading to their death. Problems arise if there is no health-care proxy on hand to ensure that the patient’s directions are followed and/or when the patient is unconscious and medics have to determine whether or not the patient is terminally ill.

To increase your chances of a peaceful death, you should discuss your plans and wishes with your family physician. If you feel he or she is unwilling to go along with your directive, you might seek another doctor. In some cases, you might want to talk things over with a clergyman.

Review your plans over and over with members of your family – all of them so there are no battles when your end-of-life treatment and timing becomes critical. You might have one of them use their mobile phone camera to take a video of you explaining your plans.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 7, 2023 at 2:00 am

Bob Pakenas Sez . . .

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Have a cool shmooz at our weekly ice cream social Sunday p.m.

Longevity Opens New World

The current senior mantra is “Things Will Never Be the Same” because of the changes wrought by the COVID-19 plethora of political proclamations designed to protect us from ourselves. But a deeper and more profound change was already under way before the pandemic encircled the globe.

The population is getting older. By 2030, the senior population around the world is expected to top 1.5 billion from the current 900 million. China’s over-65 phalanx that accounts for less than 10 percent of its population now is predicted to account for a quarter of its population in just three decades. By the end of this decade, more than 20 percent of the North American population will be 65 years or older. By 2060, one out four people will be in that age bracket.

This phenomenon is occurring for a few reasons. One is the graying of the post-World War II baby boomers, the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964. Added to that is the fact that we’re living longer while the birth rate is diminishing. The 1950 U.S birth rate was 25 per 1,000 people compared with 12 per 1,000 last year.

By the beginning of the 2030s, workers will account for only 30 percent of the population. This shrinking workforce means a shrinking source of payroll taxes to finance Social Security and Medicare benefits for the aging population that no longer will be working. Counterbalancing this trend are recent reports that three-quarters of the current labor force plan to keep working past the age of 65. But pundits still predict Social Security benefits will have to be cut by at least 20 percent by the mid-2030s.

All of this movement not only affects financial-support programs, it puts a strain on the health-care industry, which already is looking at a shortage of more than 120,000 doctors and some 100,000 nurseds assistants and other medical aides over the next 10 years.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 4, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in Aging, Health

Tagged with ,

Folks Who Dine . . .

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. . . have found that

some kitchen crews

are very creative on the menu

but have no idea

how to prepare what they print.

Golden Years Lasting Longer

Recent research has many experts believing that living to the currently
believed ceiling of 120 might be a reality within the next three or four decades.
But that could be just the beginning. There was almost unanimous agreement that people will live longer than that in the not-too-distant future. There was less clarity regarding the quality of these extra years of life.

According to a report by the United Nations Population Division, “life expectancy is
projected to increase steadily in all countries after 2050.” And, for the first time, the Population
Division reports that “no limit is set on the increases of life expectancy.”

There are more than 55 million people (in the United States) over age 65, and some 6 million over age 85. Medical researchers suggest a combination of genetic manipulation coupled with advances in molecular biology will likely play a significant role in longevity in the future. Technology has developed the capacity to markedly increase longevity. Stem-cell research and a field of science known as regenerative medicine will soon offer researchers opportunities to reconstruct organs before they fail.

As a professor at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center explained it, man stood up 5 million years ago for the first time, and then it took him another 3 million years to create a hand axe. It was a slow start, but the pace kept picking up and today’s technological developments are moving at such a rapid pace that it’s not difficult to imagine something as exciting as nanotechnology right around the corner.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 11, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in A Musing, Aging, Humor / Quote

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It’s Been . . .

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. . . adaged that

you should walk a mile in one’s shoes

before criticizing them.

You can criticize me all you want because

you ain’t ever gonna walk anywhere

in my shoes.

Traffic-Light Colors Curb

Red-Nose Embarrassment

Older women with a skin condition called rosacea might want to think about the colors of a
traffic light next time they’re shopping at the cosmetic counter. It turns out that green-tone and
yellow-based makeup can help mask the redness of the acne-like facial disorder that affects an
estimated 14 million Americans.
In a survey of more than 900 rosacea patients conducted by the National Rosacea Society, 88
percent of respondents said cosmetics help conceal its effects on facial appearance.
More than half – 54 percent – noted that they turn to yellow-based natural colors or green-tone
makeup to offset the rosacea redness, compared with 25 percent who reported using more
traditional pink-based natural hues.
Rosacea typically begins at any time after age 30 as a flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose,
chin, or forehead. It may come and go. Over time, the redness tends to become ruddier and more
persistent, and small dilated blood vessels may appear.
Without treatment, bumps and pimples often develop and, in severe cases, the nose may become
swollen from excess tissue. In many patients, the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and
appearing watery or bloodshot.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 10, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in Aging, Health, Humor / Quote

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If Your Only Tool . . .

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. . . is a chain-saw,

all your problems

begin to look like trees.

Aging is More than a Numbers Game

Claiming age is just a number doesn’t add up. What number is it? Do you pick a favorite number and use it forever? Or is it the number of days you’ve been alive and alert? A sizeable number of folks wonder what age they’re going to be in heaven. A wrong number could be hell.

No matter how we regard our age, we have come to understand that aging increases the risk factor for many diseases, including cancers and degenerative disorders such as dementia, and the likelihood of suffering several chronic illnesses.

Genes have long played a role in how we age. If your parents lived relatively healthy lives and edged close to the century mark before dying, your chances of living a lengthy and relatively healthy life are pretty good. If you take care of yourself.

While the global search for the Fountain of Youth is still in full force, diet and lifestyle are a couple of traditional tools you can use to stretch out your time here on Earth.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 2, 2023 at 2:00 am

Age . . .

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. . .slows down a lot of people,

but it doesn’t shut them up.

Teaching Math Then and Now

By Tom Morrow

1.Teaching Math in 1950…

A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.
What is his profit? $____

 2. Teaching Math In 1970…
A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80.
What is his profit? $ 
3. Teaching Math In 1990…
A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100.
His cost of production is $80.
Did he make a profit? __Yes or No 
4. Teaching Math In 2000…
A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100.
His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20.
Your assignment: Underline the number 20
5. Teaching Math In 2015…
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands.
He does this so he can make a profit of $20.
What do you think of this way of making a living?
Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes.
6. Teaching Math in 2022…

Math is Racist.  It was only invented to prove the superiority of whites. Students no longer need any math skills to go to Graduate school. 2 plus 2 equals 4, or 22, or whatever you feel is correct. There are no wrong answers, feel free to express your feelings e.g., anger, anxiety, inadequacy, helplessness etc. Should you require debriefing at the conclusion of the exam there are counsellors available to assist you to adjust back into the real world.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 30, 2022 at 2:00 am

Wishing . . .

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. . . good health and fortune for yourself

is not being selfish,

you need at least one

to be able to take care

of those dear to you.

Older Bones Gain With Strength Training

Healthy seniors who can still exercise may also be able to lengthen the life of their bones with strengthening exercise, according to results of a six-month study conducted at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The men and women aged 60 to 83 who participated in the resistance training showed signs of greater bone density in their hips as well as bone metabolism shifting toward generating more bone than was being lost.

Participants were divided into three groups, one that engaged in high-intensity resistance training, one that went through low-intensity training, and a control group that did not change lifestyle habits during the six-month study. The high-intensity group showed the most significant bone-density gains. Leg presses, overhead presses and certain back exercises appeared to have the most impact on bone density.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 25, 2022 at 2:00 am

Haven’t Seen Any Pictures . . .

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. . .of Bigfoot for quite awhile.

Maybe he’s moved.

Dementia Debilitating by Any Name

A lot of time and talent has been devoted to eliminating or finding cures for all manner of diseases, developing drugs that diminish debilitation, and producing prosthetics that help make coping comfortable. Despite all the intelligence applied to the science of lengthy living, little is known about enhancing our brain’s power, particularly as it ages.

Dementia — its causes and cures — is still a mystery to the best medical minds. Experienced experts even disagree on the best ways to avoid or alleviate its ravages. Play mental-agility games, such as crossword puzzles, some say. Learn a language to foster the brain’s flexibility. Travel. Join social groups. Stay active. Exercise to maintain a healthy blood flow to the brain. Eat foods containing chemicals that stimulate brain activity and cells.

All of these may be safe and sane advice for anyone wishing to stay healthy, but there’s still no cure for such degenerative brain diseases as Alzheimer’s. The inexorably inevitable result is loss of memory, identity and mobility if death does not intervene. Alzheimer’s disease ambushes a new victim every minute. More than 5 million people in this country reportedly suffer from it. That number is expected to triple over the next three decades as the population ages.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 18, 2022 at 2:00 am

Posted in Aging, News / Events

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