Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Posts Tagged ‘seniors

Getting Through Childhood …

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on pins and needles

got us to geezerhood,

 

which we’re getting through on pills and needles.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 20, 2017 at 10:06 am

Be it Ever so Jumbled — er, Humble

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We’re still asked – at least a couple of times a day – why we moved to Aridzona.

And have to explain away that look of askance when the questioners learn we’ve moved here from San Diego.

This move from paradisiacal Pacific Beach cooled by a breeze that’s kissed some 7,000 miles of ocean to the middle of Aridzona was seeded years ago when Bev began a campaign to move close to daughter and grandkids.

I saw no reason to leave the Golden State and the best climate in the galaxy until …

While delivering Meals on Wheels for more than nine years (woulda got my 10-year pin this summer), I watched a couple of dozen people struggle mightily to age in their homes. They were engaging and smiling when I first knocked on their door. Gradually, they would take a bit longer to answer, the house became darker and, soon after, strangers (caregivers — usually in hospital scrubs) would take the meal from me and the man of the house, or the woman, or both might wave from a chair as they oozed too quickly into a drooling sleeping lump. Instead of being cared for in a bright, active aging-assistance community by strangers, they were being cared for in their rotting residence by a series of strangers.

I didn’t want that to happen to me.

Memories and mental images also were recalled of trauma experienced by mentaly slipping family members when they were uprooted from their homes and transported to – “tossed into” is a more accurate description – senior “facilities.”

I didn’t want that to happen to me.

Late last year, Bev had spinal surgery to alleviate (and hopefully repair) nerve damage in her right arm and hand. While she was in hospital, I realized I probably cannot live alone for any length of time. When she came home and I had to minister to her after surgery. I also realized I couldn’t maintain that level of care if she needed it for any length of time.

So the decision was made to make a move. If we were going to move into what now is called an “independent living” community, we might as well look at moving in Bev’s direction – to Aridzona.

During our Christmas visit to the Grand Canyon State with the grandkids last year, I asked everyone – almost stopped people on the street — what they liked and didn’t like about the place. Without hesitation, they all pointed out that there are four months of hell – The Summer Heat. The rest of the year is great.

We knew from visiting that everything here is cheaper than in California — gasoline, health insurance, auto insurance, groceries, taxes, housing, everything.

One day in the shower, I looked down at one of my hands. It was the hand of an old man. I also realized that, should Bev fall, I could no longer pick her up. And, if I fell, she sure as heck couldn’t pick me up.

Friends and family concerned that we “weren’t ready” for an old-farts’ facility urged us to buy a condo before hurling ourselves pell mell into a senior citizens’ complex. That didn’t solve our picking-each-other-up dilemma. If we moved into a condo, we’d still have face a move into a senior citizens’ community. And when would we be “ready.”

We came to realize that folks move into such facilities either too early or too late. In our case, it was too early. BUT, we made our own decision..

And it was time.

–30–

 

Written by Cecil Scaglione

June 3, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Saw a Lot of Old Farts Yesterday . . .

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Saw a Lot of Old Farts Yesterday

 

couple. . . and they looked just like us.

Bev and I took our first tour together of a senior-living facility. We’ll be going back … but more on that later.

We’d made a 10 a.m. appointment with marketing rep. Anita Atkinson at Fredericka Manor in Chula Vista. Enroute, we picked up Heather at the airport, who’d decided to take an impromptu mental-health break for a day or two. We were shown several quarters, both cottages and apartments, spread out over the 24-acre community, spoke with several of the folks there, and had lunch in the dining room during our 2½- hour visit. Got most of our questions answered but will get more info when we spend two nights there as our house is tented for termites later this month. That’s how the whole program was arranged – we called about spending the time there during the termite-ing and Ms. Atkinson said that was fine as long as we took the tour first.

 

 

Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 5, 2015 at 7:09 am

No Pain Required for Muscle Gain

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TootlinAlong

By

Cecil Scaglione

Mature Life Features

    You may be too tired to do any exercise. Or too lazy. But you’re never too old.

And you’re never too old to benefit from lifting weights, or strength exercises, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Institutes of Aging.
That doesn’t mean you have to adopt the regimen of a Terminator body builder.  Nor do you have to spend hours at a gymnasium.
There a strength-exercise guide called “Exercise: a Guide from the National Institute on Aging” available on the Web at nia.nih.gov/exercise book or by calling toll-free (800) 222-2225. There’s also a video available through its Go4Life program on the website.
You don’t have to rush down to an athletic-equipment or sporting-goods store to pick up sets of bar bells, or ankle and hand weights.
There are many household items you can use.
A one-pint bottle of water or a 16-ounce can of peas can substitute for a one-pound bar bell, for example. Or you can fill empty milk jugs or cartons with water or sand.
An early step to take during any exercise program is to check with your doctor, especially if you’re among the 40 percent of Americans who’ve been sedentary for the past few years.
Keep in mind that there are many forms of non-strength exercise: walking, swimming, bicycling, jogging, gardening, tennis, and bowling are examples. None of these require a medical imprimatur if you don’t have any serious handicap or disease.
But it’s not a bad idea to do a bit of muscle-building even if you participate in some other form of activity. A tip to follow at all times is to exercise different groups of muscles. Never exercise the same group – legs, arms, back, stomach, chest, shoulders, or arms, for example – two days in a row. Give your muscles time to rest.
You should exercise your major muscles groups, such as shoulders, back, arms and legs, twice a week. And start slowly. Start with one pound weights. And don’t rush up the poundage.
Do 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise. Take about three seconds to slowly lift or push a weight, hold that position  for a second, and take another three to five seconds to return to the original position.
Exhale as you lift or push a weight. Inhale when you relax and lower the weight to your original position. Don’t hold your breath while you’re doing exercises.
Once you can lift or push a weight 15 times easily with smooth, steady motions, you may increase the weight a couple of pounds as your muscles become stronger. This can take two to three weeks.
You should experience a bit of soreness and fatigue in the beginning. That’s normal. But you should not experience sore joints, pain, or exhaustion. Those are signs that you’re overdoing it. If any of this persists, check with your doctor again.
Just remember: forget “no pain, no gain.”
                      Mature Life Features, Copyright 2004

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 4, 2013 at 12:05 am

Posted in Health

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Slowing Down is Part of Mature Motorists’ Manual

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 By Cecil Scaglione

Mature Life Features

The “get ’em off the road” gang is after aging drivers again.

This happens every time anyone behind the wheel 75 or older gets into an accident. The more major the mishap, the more media coverage, and the louder the argument about yanking all silver-haired vehicle operators off the road.

Take away their licenses. Test them every year. Give ‘em a walker and let ‘em go.

They point to statistics that confirm their claim that senior drivers are the second-most accident-prone segment of American’s motoring public. That may be, but the single-most road-risky group are teen-aged drivers and no one suggests taking away their licenses when a group of teens are killed or maimed when their overloaded vehicle rolls over or smashes into another.

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. Just as there is a majority of older drivers who pose no hazard on the road, the same is true of teen drivers.

So age is not the problem.

The problem is common sense and competence behind the wheel.

It’s been estimated that more than 20 percent – that’s one out of five – of the nation’s drivers will be older than 65 by 2030. Results of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study indicate that most — not all, most —  older drivers limit or stop driving as they perceive their capabilities diminishing.

About 70 percent of more than 3,800 50-years-and-older drivers queried said they restricted their driving in a variety of ways. These included bad weather, heavy traffic, rush hour, at night, long distances, and freeways. Older drivers apparently develop strategies to compensate for failing vision, slower reflexes, stiffer joints, and medication, according to researchers. One thing they discovered was that older drivers are more at risk for injury to themselves as they grow fragile with age.

The transportation needs of some 70 percent of the people in this country who live in the suburbs or rural areas are a major hurdle to such simple solutions as yanking seniors out of their cars and forcing them into buses, subways, trolleys, and trains.

It’s also been proclaimed that the cost of car payments, auto insurance, fuel, upkeep, and maintenance can buy a lot of taxi-cab rides. But that alternative is not always available.

Pundits, politicians, and protestors are finding some common ground on mandating regular testing for drivers past a certain age. Older drivers 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.

Mature Life Features, Copyright 2004

Written by Cecil Scaglione

August 9, 2012 at 12:05 am

Posted in Health, Travel

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Science Battling Social, Economic Disparities in Health

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By James Gaffney

Mature Life Features

 

 

 

  Science may be helping to eliminate socioeconomic disparities in health, according to researchers at Santa Monica-based Rand Corp. It could be accomplished in part by specific intervention, such as the adoption of a rigid treatment plan and intensive patient monitoring that help patients better manage their own treatment.

  This could have far-reaching effects on the nation’s graying population.

  The Rand study revealed an association between a patient’s level of education and adherence to complex treatment regimens for two diseases — HIV and diabetes. Researchers found  income, age, race, and gender were not as important as education in influencing one’s level of health. Differences associated with less education could be overcome, resulting in improved compliance and improved health outcomes.

  “Lower socioeconomic status — less education, and lower income and wealth – has for some time been strongly linked with poorer health,” said Rand researcher James P. Smith. “This research offers a new and practical explanation for why these differences in health may occur and how we might address them.” He noted that experts have looked at several possible explanations for health disparities associated with socioeconomic status. Researchers have found differences in access to health care and insurance or in smoking and drinking among affluent and poor groups, but exactly how these factors contribute to differences in health is unclear.

  “This report takes a clever and useful approach to looking at health disparities,” said Richard M. Suzman, associate director of the National Institutes of Aging’s Behavioral and Social Research Program. “We knew that education was one of the most important contributions to health and life expectancy, but were not sure exactly why. These analyses give us hope that we can define strategies to help improve the health of people with less education, using interventions for illnesses that require adherence to complex regimens.”

  The study of people with diabetes compared patients’ behaviors. When the researchers compared the conventional therapies with a more intensive therapeutic approach, they found that education no longer had an effect on outcome. There was little difference in health status among people in different educational groups using the more intensive, enforced treatment, showing that imposing strict adherence to a treatment regimen helped the less educated more than those with higher education.

  “These analyses show that the ability to adhere to a treatment regimen, while it can be influenced by education, is the bottom line for better health,” according to the Rand report. “Our study suggests to health providers that not all patients are alike in their ability to adhere to and maintain complicated medical regimens. But we also demonstrate that socioeconomic effects are amenable to change with training, monitoring, and possibly other approaches.”

  Many experts believe this could impact how the United States manages spiraling medical costs as the the largest population of seniors in the nation’s history begins using health-care resources at an unprecedented rate.

Mature Life Features, Copyright 2003

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 28, 2011 at 12:05 am

Posted in Health

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