Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

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

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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

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Giving for Christmas Means More Than Toys

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The Star of Bethlehem has been eclipsed by Santa’s sled burgeoning with expensive toys for all ages. The Three Wise Men have been shunted aside by Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

The Christmas spirit of giving has given way to “gimme.”

This is not a rail about how things were better “back then.” But it is an opportunity to discuss blending sound financial decisions with the true spirit of giving.

Grandparents do their grandchildren no favors by tumbling mountains of gifts and gadgets on them year after year. To truly give a gift that’s worthwhile, divert the amount of money spent on all that loot into long-term bonds that mature as the youngsters head for college, or in government savings bonds that can be cashed as needed, or into trust funds to help them get over the financial humps that coincide with raising a young family of their own.

Think about it. You just spent hundreds of dollars on the latest hi-tech gadget or on a set of wheels – skateboard, inline skates, bicycle or auto – or on several humongous wooly monsters. Much of all that won’t be around in a couple or three years. And the kid probably won’t even remember what you contributed to the pile of goodies he comes to expect annually.

However, if you funnel that money into a bank account or investment that is the child’s, you not only help secure his or her future, you build a separate memory all for yourself.

It also gives you an opportunity to help teach the youngster about the importance of investing as both of you watch the money grow over the years. And it fits into the traditional spirit of Christmas that calls for loving the present (not presents), looking forward to the future, and preserving the past.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 16, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Viewpoint

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It’s Thursty Thursday again.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 15, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in News / Events

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Non illegitimus sunt and get your blood pressure checked at 10 a.m. in the lobby by BAYADA Home Care.

We hear Beltone will be reviewing your hearing as well as your hearing aids at 2 o’clock in the multi-purpose room.

And a Happy Birthday to Norm Bubenheim.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 14, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in News / Events

Tagged with , ,

This Is a Start …

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Mary Brown writes:

Great idea Cecil – count me in.

Mary Ellen Hayes writes:   

Just some suggestions for your newsletter
Coming Soon column – let us know what is going to be happening. I just heard we are
expanding water aerobics to 3 times per week. If we can put out what will be coming that will show up on the next month’s calendar. I don’t get downstairs a lot to watch the tv so it would get out to a lot more residents.
On-going activities – have someone from the activity tell what is happening in their activity – maybe explain what that activity is so we can decide if it is something we are interested in. Currently you only see the name of the activity on the calendar and really don’t know what it is – might help with getting more people deciding to join in. Maybe highlight one activity at a time.
I have always said we lack communication. If an activity has changed or cancelled it helps to know ahead of time. Also, things happening in the building like elevator not working, power or tv outage, repairs like carpet replacement. Maybe you can get Mary to update you or add information to your online news.
Thank you for all you are doing for our community – you add a lot to our lives. These are just suggestions.

Good suggestions, all we need is for the folks behind those activities to drop a line. And when someone sees the elevator isn’t working, let us know.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 13, 2022 at 3:00 am

So Many Folks . . .

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. . . keep reminding us

that we can’t really live without love.

But, think about it,

oxygen is a lot more important.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 12, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Humor / Quote

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Something . . .

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. . . you should always remember.

Don’t forget

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 11, 2022 at 3:00 am

Posted in Humor / Quote

Tagged with ,

A Disease That Sneaks Up On You

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By Tom Morrow

(The author is a long-time friend and colleague of this blogger.)

A 19th century malady that is becoming more prevalent in today’s society is Parkinson’s Disease.

PD is thought to occur primarily with the elderly. There are no easy explanations and it can hit the young. Males are more often affected than females at a ratio of around 3 to 2.

When young people like actor Michael J. Fox and boxer Muhammed Ali are afflicted, the age factor sort of goes out the window. Fox was 27 when he was diagnosed. Ali was 38. Older victims such as well-known actor Alan Alda are more commonplace. Singer Linda Ronstadt was 67.

I was 75 when I was diagnosed.

PD is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor nerves. The symptoms usually emerge slowly, and as the disease worsens, non-motor symptoms become more common. The most obvious early symptoms are tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking and keeping balanced.

By 2015, it was estimated PD affected more than 6 million people and resulted in about 117,400 deaths globally. The average life expectancy following diagnosis is between seven and 15 years.

The cause of PD is unknown but both inherited and environmental factors are believed to play a role. Those with a family member affected by PD are at an increased risk of getting the disease, with certain genes known to be inheritable risk factors. Other risk factors are those who have been exposed to certain pesticides and those who have had head injuries. Cognitive and behavioral problems also may occur with many victims suffering from depression, anxiety and apathy. Dementia can become commonplace in the advanced stages of PD.   

Boxers, such as Ali, and sports figures who have sustained a number of blows to head often develop PD. A lot of football players are victims.

Those suffering with Parkinson’s also can have problems with their sleep and sensory systems. The motor symptoms of the disease result from the dead cells in the mid-brain leading to a dopamine deficit. The cause of this cell death is not very well understood. Diagnosis of typical PD cases is usually based on symptoms when motor skills difficulties are the patient’s chief complaint.

The bad news is that there still is no known cure for PD.

For those of us with PD, treatment can reduce the effects of the symptoms. Initial treatment is done typically with medications such as levodopa or dopamine agonists. As the disease progresses, experience has shown these medications become less effective.

Actor Fox has greatly increased the public awareness of the disease. After diagnosis, Fox embraced his Parkinson’s in television roles, sometimes acting without medication to further illustrate the effects of the condition. He has appeared before Congress without medication to illustrate the effects of the disease. The Michael J. Fox Foundation aims to develop a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Professional cyclist and Olympic medalist Davis Phinney, who was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s at age 40, started the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2004 to support PD research, focusing on quality of life for people with the disease.

While boxer Ali showed signs of PD when he was 38, it was not diagnosed until he was 42. He has been called the “world’s most famous Parkinson’s patient.”

A physician initially assesses PD with a careful medical and neurological history. Focus is put on confirming motor symptoms and supporting tests with clinical diagnostic criteria being discussed by a physician and PD specialist.

Multiple causes often mimic PD, making it look similar to the disease. Stroke, certain medications, and toxins can cause “secondary parkinsonism” and need to be thoroughly and properly assessed. Parkinson-plus syndromes, such as progressive palsy and multiple system atrophy, should be considered and ruled out appropriately due to different treatment and disease progression.

For PD victims losing their motor skills, such as walking and difficulties in keeping balance, swallow your pride and use a walker both indoors and out. The results of a bad fall can be worse than any disease.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 9, 2022 at 3:00 am

Booze . . .

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. . . may not be

the answer to a lot of

life’s problems.

But I’m still willing

to give it a shot.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 8, 2022 at 3:00 am