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VOL.25, NO.9

An interesting life, well lived

SEPTEMBER 2013

I N S I D E …

PHOTO BY BARBARA RUBEN

By Barbara Ruben Jordan Harding has arm-wrestled Elvis, and been booted from a jog with Mohammad Ali because his pace was too slow. He’s been tailed by the Polish version of the KGB, and served as a small-city mayor for 14 years. And that’s just the parts of his varied career he’s free to talk about — Harding spent several decades with the Foreign Service on missions he is too circumspect to discuss even many years later. “I’ve been richly blessed with a wonderful life,” said Harding in a lengthy interview with the Beacon that recapitulated his Forrest Gump-like life. “As I look back on the opportunities I’ve had and the people I’ve met, it’s been phenomenal, from presidents of countries to movie stars.” Elephant statues from Thailand and batiks from Bali are among the mementos of his career that adorn his apartment at Leisure World in Silver Spring. Photos of Harding with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton hang on the wall of his study, along with a framed collection of campaign buttons from 1968, including those of George Wallace, Richard Nixon, Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy — as well as for Harding himself, from his first New Carrollton mayoral election. His bookshelves hold about 2,500 nonfiction volumes, he said — down from the nearly 9,000 he owned when he lived in a spacious house in Chevy Chase. Harding donated most of his collection to Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., one of his alma maters, which also include American University and Yale. He admits he hasn’t read all his remaining tomes, although he is currently enjoying a book on Spanish sculpture, and is racing to absorb more esoteric subjects before his eyesight diminishes further due to glaucoma. But with the same philosophy he applied to accrue his lifetime of accomplishments, he says of living with his loss of sight, “I don’t give up. I get around as much as I can.” Harding today serves on the Maryland Commission on Aging and heads the Leisure World Democratic Club, the largest political club in Maryland. He testifies on

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LEISURE & TRAVEL

Contemporary attractions in Spain’s Basque Country and Catalonia; plus, getting your car to a distant destination, and options for faith-based travel page 54

ARTS & STYLE

Jordan Harding, who still goes by “Mayor Harding” decades after his tenure as mayor of New Carrollton, started his career in the Foreign Service and spent years in Russia, China and Eastern Europe. He combined his interests in local government and city management with his love of languages and Eastern Europe to assist the Baltic countries in developing their nascent democracies after the fall of the Soviet Union. He remains active in local politics and continues to lecture around the world.

state and local legislation on a variety of issues, and lectures at U.S. and Baltic universities and governmental agencies about geopolitics, public policy issues, as well as local government and management.

An early leader Harding was born in North Carolina during the Depression, spending a boyhood hunting for bullfrogs in the wetlands. After his parents divorced, Harding and his mother headed to northern Virginia, where he attended Mt. Vernon High School in Alexandria. But almost as if he wanted to get a head start cramming experiences into his full life, he moved on to Shenandoah University

at age 15, and after two years of college, lied about his age to enter the Marine Corps. He was quickly promoted to leadership of a 90-man platoon, but soured on the service after he was sent to work as an orderly for a general at Quantico. He first sought, then turned down, an appointment at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, deciding to leave military life. “I didn’t like the service all that much, the regimentation, I guess. I’m a free spirit. I didn’t like the restrictive life,” he said. Harding moved on to American University in Washington, D.C., where he majored in philosophy with a special interest See HARDING, page 20

Joan Rivers still lets ‘em have it at 80; plus, Estelle Parsons talks about her role in a new play at Arena, and the National Theatre gets a facelift page 69

FITNESS & HEALTH 6 k House calls make a comeback k How to fight medical bill errors SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors

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LAW & MONEY 39 k Alternative investments to consider k Sources of discounts and freebies CAREERS & VOLUNTEERS

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LIFETIMES 61 k News from the Charles E. Smith Life Communities PLUS CROSSWORD, BEACON BITS, CLASSIFIEDS & MORE

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50+Expo moves to new Maryland location The 14th annual 50+Expos — free events presented by the Beacon newspaper — will take place at two locations in October: on Sunday, October 6, from noon to 4 p.m., on the third level of Ballston Mall in Arlington, Va., and on Sunday, October 13, from noon to 4 p.m., at a new location: the Silver Spring Civic Center in downtown Silver Spring, Md. Both events feature expert speakers, health screenings, resources, information and entertainment for older adults and their families. Keynoting at the Ballston Mall location will be national award-winning columnist Bob Levey. His topic will be: “My, How the

World Has Changed, or Is It Just Me?” At the Silver Spring Civic Center, the keynote address will be given by Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, scientific director of the National Institute on Aging at NIH, and chief investigator for the nation’s largest studies on aging. Ferrucci will speak about his research and tell us “What we’re learning about how to live longer and better.” More than 100 exhibitors — including government agencies, nonprofits and local businesses — will offer information and answer questions about retirement communities, home remodeling, financial planning, healthcare, travel,

fitness, senior services, government resources and more. Giveaways and door prizes will be plentiful. The Civic Center is located at 8525 Fenton St. in downtown Silver Spring, Md. See directions below. Ballston Mall is at 4238 Wilson Blvd., in Arlington, Va. Both locations are accessible by Metro. The Ballston Mall parking garage charges $1 for up to 3 hours. The public garage across the street from the Silver Spring Civic Center is free on Sundays. The 50+Expos are presented every fall as a community service by The Beacon

Newspapers. Sponsors include CVS pharmacy, AARP, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Holy Cross Hospital, Sonus Hearing and Autolog. For more information, or to volunteer for the events, visit www.theBeaconNewspapers. com or call (301) 949-9766. Businesses interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the events may call Alan at the same number.

NEW!

Health Screenings

Arts & Crafts Fair

At Ballston Common Mall, Oct. 6

At our new Maryland venue at the Silver Spring Civic Center, an arts and crafts fair will take place in the plaza. Vendors will be selling handcrafted items, fine art, decorative items, clothing, handbags and vintage goods. Call for exhibitor info.

Blood Pressure, Hearing & Glaucoma Screenings

At Silver Spring Civic Center, Oct. 13 Blood Pressure, Hearing, Glaucoma and Osteoporosis Screenings Plus flu shots – free with Medicare card – at both locations

Entertainment Traveling Heart Show Band The Traveling Heart Show Band will entertain at both venues, with featured soloists Debbi Miller, Ms. Senior Virginia 2013, in Virginia, and Andrea Hancock (a.k.a. Seniorita Sunshine) in Silver Spring.

Silver Spring Civic Center Parking and Metro directions: Enter county garage on Ellsworth Drive just south of Spring Street in downtown Silver Spring. Parking is free on Sundays. The Civic Center is across the street. Or take Metro’s Red Line to Silver Spring and walk 3 blocks north on Wayne Ave. Left on Fenton. Civic Center will be on your right.

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Facing an empty nest Our two children, Jeremy and Tova, are ing graduation reached them. And for some years, of course, we’ve once again off to school. For the past 15 had a weekend here and years, my wife, Judy, and I there when both kids were have rather looked forward staying with friends or grandto the fall, when we could parents and we got a glimpse send our kids back to school of life in our home without for most of the day after a children. busy summer spent juggling I think it’s fair to say we their schedules and ours. saw the upside on those occaThings started to change sions, even as we very much when Jeremy graduated from noticed the unusual quiet that high school three years ago. descended on the house. That fall he left the country Among other subtle to spend his “gap year” living FROM THE changes we found were the and studying in Israel for PUBLISHER nine months. By Stuart P. Rosenthal ability to carry on a conversation until its conclusion (or Tova more than filled the resulting gap in our lives, as she relished until one of our phones rang), and the opthe opportunity to be an “only child” for portunity to eat dinner whenever we felt the first time. I feel we have come to know like it, rather than at a pre-set family time. her much better these past few years, as In fact, the ability to be spontaneous in just she’s grown into a young lady and shared about anything quickly dawned on us as a so much with us about her thoughts and major benefit. We knew, however, that this meant we concerns while progressing through high also would need to refamiliarize ourselves school. But this fall will be different for us, as with the mode of our early marriage, she, too, goes off to her gap year experi- where our home and family was” just us.” And since neither of us is exactly the ence, and Jeremy returns to college. Judy and I have been anticipating this same person we had been before having moment for some time, of course. First, our first child, there will be something speour friends who’ve already reached this cial and different, and a touch scary, about stage enthusiastically anointed us “empty- it. So it will be another honeymoon of sorts nesters” ever since word of Tova’s impend-

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The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain the citizens of the Greater Washington DC area, and is privately owned. Other editions serve Greater Baltimore, Howard County, Md. and Greater Palm Springs, Calif. Readership exceeds 400,000. Subscriptions are available via first-class mail ($36) or third-class mail ($12), prepaid with order. D.C. and Maryland residents: add 6 percent for sales tax. Send subscription order to the office listed below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns represent the opinions of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. • Publisher/Editor ....................Stuart P. Rosenthal • Associate Publisher..............Judith K. Rosenthal • Vice President of Operations ....Gordon Hasenei • Director of Sales ................................Alan Spiegel • Managing Editor............................Barbara Ruben • Graphic Designer ..............................Kyle Gregory • Assistant Operations Manager ..........Roger King • Advertising Representatives ........Doug Hallock, ................................................Dan Kelly, Cheryl Watts • Publishing Assistant ....................Rebekah Sewell

The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915 (301) 949-9766 • Email: info@thebeaconnewspapers.com Website: www.theBeaconNewspapers.com Submissions: The Beacon welcomes reader contributions. Deadline for editorial is the 10th of the month preceding the month of publication. Deadline for ads is the 15th of the month preceding the month of publication. See page 79 for classified advertising details. Please mail or email all submissions.

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— in several senses of the term: Not only a carefree opportunity to enjoy our newfound privacy, but also a slightly uncomfortable period of getting (re)acquainted and learning about each other (and how we have changed over the years). It also opens the door to a new phase in our relationship with our now-adult children. I don’t think I realized, when they were younger, how much I would look forward to that. In short, the empty nest presents us with opportunities and challenges, like so much in life. We heard some words of excellent advice when we had just become parents. At one of the first social gatherings we attended after Jeremy’s birth, we were talking about the exhaustion of early parenthood — the round-the-clock feedings, the diaper changes, the crying (the kid’s and ours). And the older couple we were chatting with looked at us kindly and said, “The days are long, but the years are short.” We knew at the time that this was going to be the kind of adage we’d remember and re-

visit many years later, when we grasped the depth of its truth. I’d say we’re there.

Join us next month The Beacon’s annual 50+Expo will return to Ballston Mall in Arlington, Va. on Sunday, October 6 from noon to 4 p.m. And our Maryland 50+Expo, taking place the following Sunday, October 13, at the same time, will be in a new location for us: the Silver Spring Civic Center in downtown Silver Spring. In addition to the change in venue, we will also be adding an outdoor Arts & Crafts Fair to that event. Please mark your calendar for both events, and prepare for free and enjoyable afternoons of speakers, exercise demonstrations, informative exhibits, health screenings, flu shots, giveaways and door prizes. Come, and bring your friends! I look forward to seeing you there.

Letters to the editor Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in the Beacon as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915, or email to barbara@thebeaconnewspapers.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: Thank you for your timely article on age and same-sex marriage (cover, August 2013). Even though we live in a socially progressive metropolitan area, I think it was courageous and timely to put the issue on the front cover of your publication. I suspect the vast majority of the population doesn’t give much thought to how the law is stacked against same-sex couples when it comes to retirement, inheritance and healthcare issues. Kudos to Richard Freitag and Larry Shaw for giving the subject such a terrific face on the cover of the Beacon. Justin Cunningham Washington, DC Dear Editor: You too, Beacon?! MUST we have our noses rubbed in same-sex “marriage” every day and in every publication? It strikes at the very roots of civilization and morality. Marilyn Moll Dear Editor: I would like to correct the impression that Marcia Moon gave in her letter to the editor last month that the Social Security System is a Ponzi scheme. Social Security is an insurance program. All insurance programs, whether for autos, life, house, etc., pay for current claims out of current premiums. Insurance programs are not Ponzi schemes. Also, Mr. Rosenthal says that two-thirds of discretionary federal dollars will be di-

verted to senior programs. Social Security premiums aren’t discretionary, they are specifically for the Social Security program. The only reason for cutting SS benefits at this point in time is so the excess premiums previously paid and supposedly held in the Social Security Trust Funds won’t have to be repaid, and so there will be excess premiums coming in which can be used for other items like the more than the $2 trillion in the Trust Fund, which was spent for pork by our Congress. Why give them more pork? Take Social Security off the general budget, and the problem can be identified and solved without all the other hype. Finally, he turns to the issue of what he considers entitlements: Social Security and Medicare. Why does he ignore the entitlement of the petroleum industry to continue to receive subsidies when they have record profits? Why are military contractors entitled to continue in business after they have been convicted of fraud on government contracts? Why is Wall Street entitled to receive “stimulus” of $80 billion a month from the Federal Reserve while Main Street receives nothing? I think the Beacon should support Main Street and the seniors that, I thought, were the focus of its publication. Raymond Meyer Falls Church, VA See LETTERS TO EDITOR, page 70

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Health Fitness &

HEPATITIS — WHO, ME? Baby boomers are at risk for hepatitis C; only testing will tell FOODS THAT AGE YOUR SKIN Sugar, saturated fats and fried foods increase your wrinkles HELP WITH MEDICAL BILLS Medical billing advocates and state agencies can help fight billing errors SPECS FOR BUYING SPECS Websites abound for buying cheap glasses online; what to look for

Live to 120? Most Americans say ‘no thanks’ By Lauran Neergaard Ninety birthdays maybe, but not 120. Americans hope to stretch out life expectancy another decade or so, but they are ambivalent, even skeptical, about a fountain of youth. A new poll by the Pew Research Center explores attitudes about a scientific quest: Creating treatments that one day might slow the aging process and let people live decades longer than is normal today. Scientists already can extend the life span of certain laboratory animals — mice, worms, flies — with various techniques. They’ve also tried with monkeys, although the evidence in that species is mixed. There’s no way to know if there ever will be some type of Methuselah pill for humans. But with the field growing, Pew took the public’s pulse and found most Americans wouldn’t want a treatment that would let them live to 120. Fifty-six percent said no thanks — although two-thirds expect most other people would want to try such a step, according to the report. Few expect such a radical idea to become reality, at least by 2050, although most of those surveyed expect other medical advances that could more gradually extend life expectancy, such as better cancer care. When asked about living to 120 or be-

yond, the survey found 51 percent of people said that would be bad for society. They worried about a strain on natural resources, and that such treatments probably would be available only to the rich rather than to everyone.

Not just longer, but better What is the ideal life span? To most Americans, it’s between 79 and 100; the median answer was 90 years, Pew reported. In the U.S., a child born today can expect to live 78.7 years. Women’s life expectancy is longer, 81 years, than men’s, 76.2. With a rapidly graying population that is bringing concern about the growth of Alzheimer’s disease and an overburdened Medicare system, caution about the idea of one day living even longer may not be surprising. But longevity pioneer Cynthia Kenyon of the University of California, San Francisco, wonders if the public understands the real goal of such research, which is better health. Many of the experimental animals whose lives have been extended look and act far younger — and are far healthier — than their untreated counterparts of the same age, she said.

“It would be the equivalent of a 90-yearold person that you think is looking like a 45-year-old,” Kenyon told the Associated Press. Because aging itself underlies the development of many chronic diseases as our bodies break down, the theory is that slowing the aging process might help keep people healthier for longer — even if it’s never as dramatic as what has happened with animals. “We are very interested in not only life extension, but extension of the health span,” said Dr. Marie A. Bernard, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging, which pays for much of this research.

Genetic research underway Research into life extension began with the discovery that severely restricting calories in lab animals — they regularly consume 25 to 30 percent less than normal — makes them live longer. Remarkably, they also were healthier than their litter mates. That led to the discovery of various genetic alterations that control life span. Kenyon’s research, for example, found that altering a single gene doubled the life span of roundworms, which stayed

healthy until near the end. Other researchers have discovered similar agingrelated gene mutations in different species. What about people? Some research has found healthy centenarians are more likely to harbor similarly protective genes. The next step is to find medications that might somehow switch on those protective pathways, rather than drastic dieting or gene manipulation. A number of candidates have worked in animals. In July, NIA researchers reported that a low dose of the diabetes drug metformin improved the health and longevity of middle-aged mice. No anti-aging pill is ready to try in people yet. Aging specialists say, for now, common-sense is the best medicine: Eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and exercise. The Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project survey was conducted from March 21 to April 8, 2013. The nationally representative survey involved interviews, conducted on cell phones and landlines, with 2,012 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. — AP

It’s true: our bodies fight weight loss By Sharon Palmer, R.D. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you probably know how frustrating it is to cut back on your calorie intake only to see no weight loss reflected on the bathroom scales. But there may be a good scientific explanation for this phenomenon. It does seem clear that as people lose weight, their resting energy expenditure — the amount of calories the body needs when it’s at rest — drops due to a lower body mass. It may seem like a cruel trick, but this response is actually an ingenious strategy that humans evolved over centuries in order to withstand times of famine, according to Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., associate professor at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Gardner, who researches weight loss, said, “It isn’t so much that metabolic needs

decline as you lose weight, but your metabolic efficiency increases. Either way, it means the more weight you lose, the less energy you burn doing simple things like making your lungs breathe, heart beat, and kidneys work.”

New ideas about weight loss A new understanding of weight loss has developed, as scientists learn more about the body’s energy needs during weight loss. In fact, it turns out that the old adage — reducing your calories by 3,500 will result in one pound of weight loss — is inaccurate. According to a consensus panel convened by the American Society of Nutrition and the International Life Sciences Institute, the “3,500 calorie equals 1 pound” rule is wrong, because it assumes that body weight changes are uniform over long periods of time. However, the panel

pointed out that as people lose weight, resting energy expenditure drops due to less body mass. So, that 3,500 calorie reduction will no longer result in a pound of weight loss. In fact, the National Institutes of Health created a mathematical modeling approach for weight loss over time that takes into account the body’s adaption to energy expenditure during weight loss, which was published in the Lancet in 2011. The NIH researchers reported that people with higher body fat lose larger amounts of weight than those with lower body fat, and that the body’s weight response to a change in energy intake is slow.

Everyone is different Another facet of the weight loss dilemma is that people have very individualized energy needs. Everyone knows someone who can literally eat whatever they want

and never gain a pound, as well as someone who is careful with every bite of food and still struggles with maintaining a healthy weight. Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, reports that the energy needs for individuals is highly variable and not a matter of choice. Any two people doing the same physical activity will burn different numbers of calories due to a complex interplay of genes, body composition and physiology. And any two people eating the same foods in the same quantities may experience entirely different effects on weight, dependent on genes, resting energy expenditure, body composition, body mass and other factors, he said. That’s why Katz launched the National See WEIGHT LOSS, page 7

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All of this information on weight loss may seem discouraging for the thousands of people trying to lose weight, but there’s also some good news. Gardner believes that, if you lose weight and keep it off for months or years by eating the same amount of calories, your body may eventually “agree” with this new weight and go back to being less “efficient.” Although this theory makes sense, it has yet to be proven, said Gardener. Is there one particular diet that can help counter the body’s metabolic response to weight loss? While one study linked a lower carbohydrate diet with benefits, researchers stress that there’s not enough evidence supporting one diet over another. “I doubt there will ever be one best diet. My hunch is there are multiple best diets, and certain people are more predisposed to be successful on one vs. another,” Gardener said. We do know that thousands of people have successfully maintained a significant

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From page 6

amount of weight loss. This has been proven in The National Weight Control Registry (www.nwcr.ws), the largest investigation of long-term weight loss maintenance in the U.S. Led by researchers from Brown Medical School and the University of Colorado, the NWCR tracks more than 10,000 individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight (at least 30 pounds) and kept it off for at least a year. Findings from the NWCR point out that long-term weight loss is achievable. It just takes time, diligence and hard work. Indeed, research shows that 20 percent of overweight people are successful, according to a 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. And the longer the weight loss is maintained, the fewer maintenance strategies are necessary, according to research published in the journal Obesity. While we have much more to learn about the complicated science of weight loss, the NWCR may hold some of our most promising answers and results. Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 1-800-8295384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com. © 2013 Belvoir Media Group. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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FDA targets illegal diabetes remedies By Matthew Perrone The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on more than a dozen companies that market illegal treatments for diabetes — ranging from bogus dietary supplements to prescription drugs sold online without a prescription. All of the products aim to cash in on the country’s diabetes epidemic, which affects nearly 26 million Americans. Regulators worry that consumers who buy such unapproved products could put off getting legit-

imate medical care, which could exacerbate heart disease, kidney failure and other deadly complications. The FDA sent warning letters to 15 companies, both in the U.S. and abroad, ordering them to stop selling diabetes treatments that violate U.S. drug laws.

False claims and ingredients Three of the products targeted are marketed as “natural” supplements, but actually contain unlisted pharmaceutical ingredients.

For example, Diexi, which is sold as a traditional Indian “herbal formula,” actually contains metformin, the most common prescription drug used to treat diabetes. The product is sold by Amrutam Life Care, of Surat, India. “Consumers should exercise caution before using products claiming to be herbal or all-natural alternatives to FDA-approved prescription drugs,” the agency said in a statement. “These products should be considered unsafe and should not be used.” Other products include genuine dietary supplements that make unproven claims to treat or prevent diabetes. For example, Diabetes Daily Care is a capsule-based supplement containing cinnamon extract and other herbs. Its manufacturer, Nature’s Health Supply Inc., claims it “safely and effectively improves sugar metabolism.” Under U.S. law, only FDA-approved medicines are permitted to make claims for treating or preventing disease.

Illegitimate pharmacies Other companies targeted by the FDA run online pharmacies that sell prescription drugs for diabetes without a prescription. The FDA issued a warning letter to www.bestcheapmedsonline.com for marketing unapproved versions of diabetes drugs like Januvia, from Merck & Co. Inc. The FDA warns patients against buying

prescription medications on the Internet. Only 3 percent of online pharmacies actually comply with all U.S. pharmacy laws, according to a review by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. People with diabetes are unable to properly break down carbohydrates, either because their bodies do not produce enough insulin or because they’ve become resistant to the hormone, which controls blood sugar levels. These patients face higher risks of heart attacks, kidney problems, blindness and other serious complications. Many diabetics require multiple drugs to control their blood sugar levels. The U.S. market for prescription diabetes drugs is the largest in the world, with sales of $22 billion last year. Sales have ballooned more than 60 percent in the last four years from $13.6 billion in 2008, according to health data firm, IMS Health. The FDA said it has not received any reports of injury or illness connected with the products, but is taking action as a precautionary measure. The FDA sent the warning letters to the companies in July. The letters gives each company 15 business days to reply and explain how they will come into compliance with U.S. law. FDA warning letters are not legally binding, but the agency can take companies to court if they are ignored. — AP

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Boomers should be tested for hepatitis C By Dr. Stacey Rizza Dear Mayo Clinic: I recently heard that the CDC now recommends baby boomers be tested for hepatitis C. Is that true? If so, why is testing necessary? Wouldn’t I have symptoms if I had the disease? Answer: It is true that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for hepatitis C infection. Americans born during that time are five times more likely than other people to be infected. Most people with hepatitis C don’t have symptoms, so testing for this serious infection is very important. Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver. In about 60 to 80 percent of adults infected by hepatitis C, the virus lingers in the body. But in most cases, it’s impossible to know it’s there without testing for it. Eventually, as people age, the hepatitis C virus can cause damage to the liver. Many of those with hepatitis C don’t know they have the infection until liver damage shows up, often decades after the initial infection.

How infection occurs The hepatitis C virus is spread from contact with contaminated blood. The reason for the higher hepatitis C infection rate

in baby boomers is not entirely clear. It may be linked to the fact that before 1992, blood-screening tests for hepatitis were not as reliable as they are now. So it was possible to get the virus through a blood transfusion or organ transplant without knowing it. Some people may have become infected with hepatitis C by sharing contaminated needles when injecting drugs. This can happen even if a person comes in contact with an infected needle only once. In some mild cases of hepatitis C, treatment may not be necessary because the risk of future liver damage is very low. If so, follow-up blood tests and monitoring for liver problems may be all that’s needed.

Treatment options In many cases, though, hepatitis C infection is treated with antiviral medications that can clear the virus from the body. Usually, a combination of antiviral medicine is taken over several weeks to several months. Once the treatment is completed, blood tests are done to check for hepatitis C. If the virus is still present, a second round of treatment may be recommended. Frequently, no further treatment is necessary beyond that. If hepatitis C goes undetected and the infection is not treated over many years, it can cause serious liver problems. After

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several decades, hepatitis C infection can lead to scarring of the liver tissues, a condition known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis makes it hard for the liver to

work properly. In time, that can lead to liver failure and possibly the need for a See HEPATITIS, page 10

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Simple steps reduce hospital infections By Lindsey Tanner [Editor’s Note: Our July issue included an article, “Varied ways to fight hospital infections,” that described new high-tech devices for fighting difficult-to-treat hospital infections, such as C-diff. This follow-up article describes an inexpensive, low-tech method for avoiding the spread of MRSA, another common and easily spread hospital infection.] Infections in U.S. hospitals kill tens of thousands of people each year, and many institutions fight back by screening new patients to see if they carry a dangerous germ, and isolating those who do. But a big study suggests a far more effective approach: Decontaminating every patient in intensive care. Washing everyone with antiseptic wipes and giving them

antibiotic nose ointment reduced bloodstream infections dramatically in the study at more than 40 U.S. hospitals. The practice could prove controversial, because it would involve even uninfected patients and because experts say it could lead to germs becoming more resistant to antibiotics. But it worked better than screening methods, now required in nine states. The study found that 54 patients would need to be decontaminated to prevent one bloodstream infection. Nevertheless, the findings are “very dramatic” and will lead to changes in practice and probably new laws, said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious-disease specialist who was not involved in the research. Some hospitals are already on board.

Focus on ICU patients The study targeted ICU patients, who tend to be older, sicker, weaker and most likely to be infected with dangerous bacteria, including drug-resistant staph germs. The decontamination method worked like this: For up to five days, 26,000 ICU patients got a nose swab twice a day with bacteria-fighting ointment, plus once-daily bathing with antiseptic wipes. Afterward, they were more than 40 percent less likely to get a bloodstream infection of any type than patients who had been screened and isolated for a dangerous germ called MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In the year before the experiment began, there were 950 bloodstream infections in intensive care patients at the hospitals studied. The results suggest that more than 400 of those could have been prevented if all hospitals had used the decontamination method. “We’ve definitively shown that it is better to target high-risk people,” not high-risk germs, said lead author Dr. Susan Huang, a researcher and infectious-disease specialist at the University of California, Irvine. The hospitals in the study are all part of

Hepatitis From page 9 liver transplant. In addition, some people with hepatitis C develop liver cancer. Blood tests that can detect the hepatitis C virus are available. If the virus is found, it may be necessary to take a small sample of liver tissue — a procedure called a liver biopsy. A biopsy can help doctors determine the severity of liver damage and guide treatment decisions. If you were born between 1945 and

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the Hospital Corporation of America system, the nation’s largest hospital chain. HCA spokesman Ed Fishbough said the 162-hospital company is adopting universal ICU decontamination.

More decontamination better The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, focused on the MRSA germ. It can live on the skin or in the nose without causing symptoms, but can be lifethreatening when it reaches the bloodstream or vital organs. It is especially dangerous because it is resistant to many antibiotics. More than 70,000 ICU patients were randomly selected to get one of three treatments: MRSA screening and isolation; screening, isolation and decontamination of MRSA carriers only; and universal decontamination without screening. Partial decontamination worked better than just screening, and universal decontamination was best. About a decade ago, hospital-linked invasive MRSA infections sickened more than 90,000 people nationwide each year, leading to roughly 20,000 deaths. See INFECTION CONTROL, page 13

1965, talk to your healthcare provider about being tested for hepatitis C. — Stacey Rizza, M.D. specializes in infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular medical care. To submit a question, write to: medicaledge@mayo.edu. For health information, visit www.mayoclinic.com. © 2013 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All Rights Reserved Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Avoid these foods that can age your skin By Gretel H. Schueller Wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to prevent them. While plenty of us spend lots of money on creams and cleansers, the best place to find anti-aging products is in your grocery store or garden. What we eat is as important — if not more so — as what we slather on our skin. Nourishing our skin from the inside out can help beat the clock. And just as some foods can help slow the effects of time, other foods can speed up our skin’s aging process, contributing to wrinkles and sagging. Your skin is important; it’s actually your body’s biggest organ. What keeps skin looking healthy? Oil and collagen.

Our skin is coated in a layer of natural oils that protect it and lock in moisture. As we age, the oil production slows down, and skin cells lose the ability to repair themselves as easily. Our skin’s reserve of collagen — a type of protein that keeps skin firm, elastic and youthfully plump — also begins to run low, making skin thinner. And thin skin wrinkles more easily than thicker skin. Environmental factors, such as smog, cigarette smoking and sun exposure, can make your skin look older, drier and dull. What you eat matters, too. Avoid the following skin-aging foods to help minimize wrinkles and keep your skin healthy. 1. Sugars and sweets The average American eats a whopping 22

teaspoons of sugar a day. According to dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, author of Feed Your Face, “a diet high in sugar” activates enzymes that “devour healthy collagen,” leaving behind damaged fragments of collagen. When skin’s healthy collagen-making cells run into these fragments, they get confused, shut down and stop making collagen. As a result, the collagen-depleting effect, a process called glycation, is exponential. If collagen is a rubber band that keeps your skin looking firm, then glycation is tying it into knots and rendering it useless. The end products of glycation (“advanced glycation end products,” typically and appropriately shortened to AGEs), damage skin and other tissues. Among healthy people, the effects of glycation on skin start to show at about age 35 and increase after that, according to a 2001 study in the British Journal of Dermatology. 2. Saturated fats It’s not new news that a diet high in saturated fat is bad for your heart, but saturated fat may also be a major contributor to aging skin. A 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study that looked at more than 4,000 middle-aged women concluded that dietary differences did appear to influence the degree of wrinkling. A 17-gram increase in daily fat intake in-

creased the likelihood of a wrinkled appearance. And a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that people who ate more butter experienced more wrinkling. The reason for the sad fat-wrinkle connection is those pesky AGEs (again!). It turns out that fats can also react with collagen to produce AGEs. 3. Fried, grilled and broiled foods When certain foods are cooked in certain ways, guess what forms? Fat plus protein plus high, dry heat ages us! Broiling, grilling and high-heat frying can all create AGEs. Those sear marks on a deliciously grilled steak, the finger-licking crispy bits on fried chicken, the crunch of browned bacon and basically any charred bits are all evidence of AGEs. Researchers are noticing higher levels of AGEs in people, in part because of the spread of processed foods. Yes, AGEs are also present in many processed foods, such as crackers, chips and cookies, that have been exposed to high temperatures to lengthen their shelf life. That high heat reacts with the sugars and fats to form AGEs. There’s no need to switch to a raw diet, however. Cooking methods that involve See FOODS THAT AGE, page 13

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Infection control From page 10 As hospitals improved cleanliness through such measures as better handwashing and isolating carriers of deadly germs, those numbers dropped by about a third, with fewer than 10,000 deaths in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has been recommending screening and isolation in certain cases. Now it’s having experts review the results and help determine whether the agency should revise its recommendations, said the CDC’s Dr. John Jernigan. “It is a very important finding. It advances our understanding of how best to control infections caused by MRSA” and other germs, Jernigan said. The CDC and the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality helped pay for the study. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, who heads the research agency, said the findings have “the potential to influence clinical practice significantly and create a safer environment where patients can heal without harm.”

Costs appear low Jernigan said the decontamination approach is much simpler than screening

Foods that age From page 12 lots of water — such as steaming, stewing, poaching, braising and blanching — reduce the AGE-creation process because the liquid offsets the heat. So the more you cook with water, the more you stop AGEs. EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com. © 2013 EatingWell, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

and isolation. But he said its costs need to be studied. Huang said the five-day nose treatment costs about $35 for brand-name ointment, but only $4 for a generic version. The antiseptic wipes cost only about $3 to $5 more per day than usual washing methods, she said. But those costs might be offset by other savings from avoiding widespread screening and isolation, she said. Intensive care patients are already routinely bathed. The study just swapped soap with wipes containing a common antiseptic. Some study authors have received fees from makers of antiseptic wipes or have done research or unpaid consulting for those companies. The nose ointment treatment is more controversial because it could cause more germs to become resistant to the antibiotic, Jernigan said. “That’s something we’re going to have to very closely monitor if this practice is implemented widely,” he said. An editorial accompanying the study voic-

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es similar concerns, and notes that research published earlier this year found that using just antiseptic wipes on ICU patients reduced bloodstream infections. Two infection control specialists at Virginia Commonwealth University wrote the editorial. Editorial co-author Dr. Michael Edmond said his university’s hospital is among those that already use antiseptic wipes on ICU patients.

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While MRSA screening and isolation is widely accepted, Edmond said that approach “takes a toll on patients.” Isolating patients who test positive for MRSA but don’t have symptoms makes patients angry and depressed, and studies have shown that isolated patients are visited less often by nurses and tend to have more bedsores and falls, he said. — AP

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House calls by doctors find new support By Glenda C. Booth The image of the caring doctor making a house call to a sick person, black bag in hand, was common in America before World War II. From 1930, when house calls constituted 40 percent of physician encounters, they plummeted to only 10 percent in 1950, and to less than one percent of all outpatient services for Medicare patients today. But there’s a new trend. “We’ve seen a slow yet steady resurgence of doctor house calls,” said Gary Swartz, Associate Executive Director of the American Academy of Home Care Physicians. “The number of house calls under the Medicare program doubled from 2005 through 2011.” “It is 21st century medicine in the guise of 19th century medicine,” said Dr. George Taler, director of long-term care for the Washington Hospital Center’s Independ-

ence at Home program. The change in delivery of care is coming along with other changes in the healthcare profession. Over the last few decades, healthcare moved into office suites and hospitals loaded with sophisticated technology and an emphasis on efficiency. Today, getting medical care often starts with a frustrating call to a faceless “care center” and having to answer rapid-fire questions from a screener. But there’s a move afoot to upend this model. Some programs are hospital based and go by names like Washington Hospital Center’s Independence at Home (IAH) program, or Johns Hopkins’s Hospital at Home (HaH) in Baltimore. Some are private practices like Dr. Amy Schiffman’s in Bethesda. She makes 250 house calls a month in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and

in Washington, D.C. As the population ages and more people live longer with multiple conditions, the demand for doctor house calls will grow, most experts predict. Three to four million seniors now have multiple chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis and lung disease, a number that will likely reach six to eight million seniors by 2025. These patients represent approximately 10 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, but account for two-thirds of Medicare’s expenditures, according to Medicare officials.

Better care, lower cost Proponents of house calls, like the American Academy of Home Care Physicians, argue that seeing patients in their homes will cut costs and keep people out of hospitals — especially emergency rooms, the most expensive care. (Emer-

gency room care can cost 10 times more than home care, some say.) The goal of reducing Medicare expenditures is a major driver. Medicare patients with multiple chronic illnesses are 100 times more likely to have a preventable hospitalization than someone with no chronic conditions, reports Medicare.gov. Drs. Jennifer Hayashi and Bruce Leff, with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, cite multiple benefits of the HaH program, including increased patient, caregiver and doctor satisfaction. Writing last year in Generations, the journal of the American Society on Aging, they said: “Compared with patients treated in the acute hospital, those treated in HaH suffered fewer clinical complications, including use of sedative medication, chemical restraints and incident delirium... “The HaH patients improved in the ability to perform instrumental activities of daily living compared with usual care patients. And the average amount paid for HaH patients was lower, the savings resulting from reduced use of laboratory and high-tech procedures.” Others promote house calls because hospitals can pose risks to vulnerable patients. Medical mistakes occur and patients can get serious infections. “From a medical standpoint, it is important to see patients in their own environment,” agreed Dr. Robert Kaiser, with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s homebased care program in Washington, D.C. “We can get a good read how they are doing medically and psychologically, try to look at how well they are functioning, their social support system, how they interact with caregivers, and the medications they’re taking, all gauged better by going to the home.” See HOUSE CALLS, page 15

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

House calls From page 14 Furthermore, they are able to check out the home environment. “We do a ‘refrigerator biopsy,’ with permission, to better understand their nutrition. We have more time to spend with the patient and caregiver. It’s not quite as rushed.” Also, many patients are more comfortable asking questions in their home than in a hospital setting, Schiffman added.

The full range of care at home Physician house call programs usually provide a range of medical services by a multi-disciplinary team. Most providers are primary care and family doctors, internists, geriatricians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, according to a 2012 Mt. Sinai Journal of Medicine study. Social workers, nurses and physical therapists might also be on the team. Patients receive the same care they would receive in an office, from diagnosis to management of illness, for conditions like pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary embolisms, dehydration and urinary tract infections. Teams can also provide pharmaceutical, laboratory and basic radiology services. The home care doctor may be the patient’s main source of care or not. Either way, Medicare covers physician home visits as long as the services are medically necessary and the same services would be

provided in an office visit because of the patient’s condition, Swartz said. Medicaid and most private insurance plans have similar coverage. However, Medicare does not cover the physician’s transportation costs, and some doctors bill patients directly for those.

What’s ahead? The number of house calls will grow, Swartz predicts. “The biggest challenge is not enough clinicians. We need to encourage growth of the house call workforce. “Also, it has to be viewed as financially viable. Medical professionals need to be compensated commensurate to working in an office,” he explained. “Caring for people in their home requires a lot of coordination with family and caregivers. These clinicians are asked to do a lot that’s not explicitly medically based, yet impacts the patient’s medical condition — such as care coordination and addressing the patient’s environmental and financial concerns. “The Medicare program and other payers would be well served, in addition to patients, by providing payment for such coordination services.” Doctor house calls are a win from every perspective, supporters say. “I love making house calls,” Kaiser said. “It allows you to build great relationships with patients and to help someone stay in the community. It provides a more personal exchange than I would usually have in a clinic,

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and building that relationship is important.” Leff, of Johns Hopkins, has similar sentiments: “Folks who are too sick to come to the clinic have many different problems. They need care that is very coordinated from a team. “[House calls] help the doctor create the right plans to take care of the person. It is extremely patient-centered care, tailored to the needs of the patient in their own environment. It can really make a difference.”

For more information The Medical House Call program at the Washington Hospital Center, in Washington, D.C., has been operating for 10 years and has 600 patients in specified zip codes. For more information, visit www.whcenter. org/body.cfm?id=556536 or call (202) 8770576.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home-Based Primary Care Program, operating since 1972, has 350 VA sites in the U.S. serving over 31,000 veterans daily. The program provides in-home care by a multidisciplinary team for veterans with chronic, complex illnesses. VA officials say the program has reduced hospital inpatient days by 78 percent, shaved overall costs, and has received a patient satisfaction rating of over 82 percent. See www.va.gov/geriatrics/guide/longtermcare/Home_Based_Primary_Care.asp. Visit the American Academy of Home Care Physicians to find a provider near you who makes house calls: www.aahcp.org/associations/11307/files/ ProviderLocator.cfm. Glenda C. Booth is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Va.

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Advocates help with high medical bills By Rebekah Sewell Mary Anne Hoffer took her husband of 40 years to Inova Alexandria Hospital for a routine double bypass surgery on his heart, and the unthinkable happened. Toward the end of the procedure, her husband’s heart gave out, and the doctors couldn’t revive him. “They eventually opened him back up and started massaging his heart, but he never really woke up,” Hoffer said. The next day, while on life support, he suffered a grand mal seizure. Doctors gave conflicting solutions and advice. Eventually the doctors moved him to Inova Fairfax, then hospice care. He passed away just seven weeks after the procedure. To make matters worse, Hoffer’s husband did not have Medicare at the time of

his surgery. Though he had recently turned 65, her husband had been reluctant to fill out the paperwork. His family struggled to get him coverage while he was in a coma. Hoffer said, “Social Security gave me a hard time. The woman kept telling me they needed my husband’s signature. I told her ‘He can’t. He’s in a coma.’” When the paperwork finally went through, the family breathed a sigh of relief. But it wasn’t over. There were still constant bills.

An advocate in their corner After his father’s passing, Hoffer’s son suggested they find a medical billing advocate. He felt an advocate would alleviate some stress from his grieving mother. Her son found Jean Poole and Medical

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Billing Advocacy of Northern Virginia. In the traumatic days to follow, Poole became essential to Hoffer’s peace of mind. “It’s unbelievable how much it takes the burden off of you. If anything came in, even months later, she would say, ‘just scan that to me,’” Hoffer said. Trained billing specialists can often cut medical bills considerably by negotiating with their clients’ insurance companies and healthcare providers. They also provide individual attention to difficult cases. A billing advocate may go by other names, such as claims assistance professional, medical claims professional or healthcare claims advocate. “Medical-billing advocacy is a service that developed in response to a huge and serious problem — complicated bills and way too many errors,” Poole said. “Everyone should do what he or she can to review bills for accuracy,” she added. But interpreting the medical billing system on your own can be confusing and stressful. The complicated “codes” that identify

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Help from state offices While recovering from treatment or a procedure, dealing with complex bills and insurance companies may seem impossible. That’s especially true when insurance companies deny claims for coverage, and patients may feel helpless to advocate for themselves. Maryland resident Laura Hall (not her See MEDICAL BILLS, page 18

Common medical bill errors Medical billing advocates find the following common errors on medical bills: • Duplicate billing: charging twice for the same service, medication or item. • Canceled services: charging for tests or medications that were cancelled or never given at all. • Misplaced decimals: misplacing a decimal on the bill can sometimes inflate a two-digit cost to a three-digit cost. • Upcoding: billing for a brand-name drug when the doctor prescribed the generic brand.

• Inflated operating room fees: charging for more time than the anesthesiologist’s records show you used. • Inflated charges: overcharging for an item, such as a leg brace. These must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. • Unbundled charges: billing separately for items or services that should be included in one bill. Charges for trays or tools the doctors used during surgery might appear individually, but they should have been included in a one-time facility fee. — Rebekah Sewell

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each billable item in the medical lexicon make it difficult for novices to spot errors or even identify individual charges. If medical bills seem too high, chances are they contain mistakes or overcharges. According to Medical Billing Advocates of America, an association that trains billing specialists and matches clients with advocates, an estimated 8 out of 10 medical bills contain clerical errors or up-charges, sometimes dramatically inflating costs. (This figure, though widely used by the industry, has not been independently substantiated.)

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Living Well Series Resumes with Fall Seminars Brooke Grove Retirement Village (BGRV) will resume its Living Well Community Seminar Series in September, according to Director of Marketing Toni Davis. Designed to help participants navigate a variety of healthcare and personal challenges, each of these free, monthly presentations will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. in the terrace level conference room of Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, located at 18131 Slade School Road on BGRV’s Sandy Spring, Maryland, campus. Each seminar will be preceded by a complimentary light supper beginning at 6:30 p.m. BGRV Chaplain Bill Neely will take the podium on September 18 to discuss “Improving Relationships through Communication.” An accomplished speaker, communicator and support group facilitator, Mr. Neely will examine the role and power of verbal and nonverbal communication in each individual’s past, present and future. Leta Blank, program director of the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program, will present

“Medicare 2014: What You Need to Know to Get the Best Benefits” on Wednesday, October 30. Discover the answers to questions such as: “What does Medicare A and B cover? How does Medicare Part D work? Do I need Part C? What state and federal programs am I eligible for? Medicare doesn’t pay for everything, so what else do I need?” On Wednesday, November 13, Barbara Kane and Linda Hill of Aging Network Services will focus on “Dad’s Still Driving and Other Dilemmas Facing Adult Children.” If you have a father who won’t give up driving, a mother who has trouble managing her daily affairs but resists all your suggestions, or you don’t know whether to hire home helpers or move your loved one into assisted living, these professional social workers can offer you guidance as well as tips on coping with the stress of caregiving. For further information or reservations, contact Ms. Davis at 301-388-7209 or tdavis@bgf.org by the Monday prior to each seminar.

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Medical bills

General for help. This office of the state government has a hotline that put her in touch with an ombudsman — a nurse with 40 years of healthcare experience. The ombudsman contacted her insurance company and gave them a comprehensive outline of her medical history, including the failure of the previous drugs. Eventually, they approved her treatments, saving her $33,000 she would otherwise have had to pay out of pocket. The Health Education and Advocacy Unit (HEAU) of the Maryland Attorney General offers free mediation services to Maryland residents who need assistance with their insurance companies or healthcare providers. “Last year, HEAU saved or recovered over $1.8 million for consumers,” said Kimberly Cammarata, director of the unit.

From page 16 real name) suffers from a severe case of plaque psoriasis, a disease that causes an overproduction of often itchy skin cells. She experimented with several drugs for her condition, notably Humira and Embrel, and nothing worked. When she finally discovered a drug, Stelara, that did work, she was counting on approval by her insurance company. It was the only medication that had ever alleviated her symptoms. Despite a letter from her physician, Hall’s insurance company denied coverage, saying the physician’s letter did not prove the drug’s necessity. Hall turned to the Health Education and Advocacy Unit of the Maryland Attorney

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HEAU files appeals and mediates disputes with hospitals and other healthcare providers. A medical record release is necessary for assistance. Cammarata estimates that 55 percent of their appeals are successful. Some HEAU clients simply need help understanding their bills or finding ways to better utilize their insurance coverage. All services are free, and HEAU does not turn clients away if they have a legitimate case. “Anyone we can help, we help,” Cammarata said. D.C.’s Office of Health Care Ombudsman provides a similar service for District of Columbia residents. Residents of Virginia can turn to the state’s Bureau of Insurance to file complaints against their insurance providers. The bureau’s Office of Managed Care Ombudsman attempts to resolve complaints and adverse decisions by insurance companies. Some services or care are rejected for coverage if they are deemed “medically unnecessary, experimental, or investigational in nature,” said ombudsman Tom Bridenstine. He estimates that 75 percent of his clients appealing an adverse decision based on “medical necessity” are successful. The Office of Managed Care seeks to educate their clients as well. Some services, like orthotics, are simply not covered by their policies. “We like to remind people that knowledge is your best policy,” said Bridenstine.

Benefits of private advocates Some clients, like Elizabeth Lawson (not her real name), may need more individualized and ongoing attention than a state office can provide. Lawson’s daughter recently had a baby. Her husband called their insurance company and asked if their newborn would be covered by their policy. The representative firmly told him, “of course.” But the company denied them coverage anyway. The policy did not cover their baby because the mother was not the policyholder. The company argued that fathers do not have a paternal right to extend their coverage. To make matters worse, their baby was born with severe jaundice and irregular breathing, and the medical bills began to build. Lawson’s daughter searched for help online and found Poole, which turned out to be “such a relief,” Lawson said. Poole advocated for the family and requested a recording of the father’s conversation with the company rep. “The bottom line is that the senior insurance market examiner from the Life and Health Division of Virginia listened to the phone call and made the determination, based on the representative’s response, that they would approve the payment,” said Lawson.

See MEDICAL BILLS, page 19

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Medical bills From page 18

What it costs Billing advocates are paid hourly or by

commission. Hourly rates typically range between $125 and $150 per hour. Advocates who work by commission collect between 15 and 33 percent of the savings they obtain. While paying by commission

Free resources Senior Medicare Patrol volunteers educate and prevent fraud, waste and error. For more information, including how to contact volunteers in your locale, visit http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/ Elder_Rights/SMP/index.aspx In Maryland To contact the Maryland Health Education and Advocacy Unit, visit, www.oag. state.md.us/Consumer/HEAU.htm or call 1-888- 743-0023. The Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) helps seniors understand their policies and benefits. For more information, visit www.aging. maryland.gov/SeniorHealthInsurance Program.html. In Montgomery County, call (301) 590-2819. In Prince George’s County, call (301) 265-8471. In Virginia To file a complaint or appeal an adverse decision with the Bureau of Insur-

ance, visit www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/ cons/index.aspx or call (804) 371-9741. The Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program offers insurance counseling to seniors in Virginia. For more information, visit www.vda. virginia.gov/vicap2.asp or call (804) 662-9333. In Washington, D.C. For more information on the Office of Health Care Ombudsman, visit http:// ombudsman.dc.gov/ombudsman/site/ default.asp or call (202) 724-7491. To file a complaint with the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, see http://disb.dc.gov/service/ file-complaint-or-repor t-fraud or call (202) 727-8000. George Washington Law School offers health insurance counseling to seniors in D.C. For more information, visit http://dcoa.dc.gov/ser vice/ health-insurance-counseling or call (202) 994-6272.

may involve a higher payment in some cases, it can be beneficial because advocates are paid only if successful. Poole accepts payment by both commission or hourly rate. Hoffer paid her $125 an hour, and the total cost was roughly $1,000. For Lawson’s family, Poole collect-

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ed a one-time fee of $125 and then 25 percent of what was saved. She saved Hoffer’s family about $1,000 and Lawson’s family over $3,600 through her advocacy. In the end, it was her “know-how” that made the experience worthwhile, said Lawson. “We just didn’t have it.”

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Sept. 20

PREVENT FALLS

Learn how to prevent falls at Stepping On, a free seven-week program for older adults that works in small groups and addresses improving strength and balance, managing medications, home safety, vision and footwear. The program is sponsored by Montgomery County Aging and Disability Services. Each class includes balance and strength exercises, and participants must commit to all classes. The classes take place on Fridays from Sept. 20 to Nov. 1, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Potomac United Methodist Church, 9908 South Glen Rd., Potomac, Md. Space is limited. For more information and to register, call Shawn Brennan at (240) 777-1350.

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Harding From page 1 in metaphysics and existentialism — not exactly the stuff of the Marine Corps., or of his later work with the State Department in China, Russia and Eastern Europe. While Harding remains tight-lipped about the particulars of much of his work overseas, he does hint at its perils. “Sometimes I can’t believe what I did as a young man, putting my life in danger every day,” he mused. But Harding can talk about his diplomatic posting in Poland in the mid-1980s, which offered its own intrigue. He served as the executive officer of the press and cultural office at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, when Poland was still behind the Iron Curtain.

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

“We were under constant scrutiny by the Polish Security Service. If you’d go out into the city, typically you were followed everywhere. They’d follow me into men’s rooms to be sure I wasn’t meeting with any Poles. It was very, very annoying.” That was only part of it. When Harding was sent on business to Krakow, his hotel room (he was always given the same one) was bugged, and the security service would repeatedly send beautiful women up to his door to entice him into indiscretions so they could kick him out of the country or use him to bargain with the U.S., which would periodically arrest Polish agents in America.

At the helm in New Carrollton The stint in Poland, however, put an end to his 14-year tenure as mayor of New Carrollton. He had overseen the Prince

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George’s town of about 12,000 as the Metro station was in its planning and construction phases. To help shore up New Carrollton’s tax base, the city tried to annex the land that was rapidly developing near the station, but after a lengthy series of court battles, ultimately lost out. Harding did prevail in getting the stop named New Carrollton (rather than Lanham) and was able to take a ride on the first train. Harding vividly recalls a parade of celebrities who stayed in town while performing at the nearby Capital Center and University of Maryland. As mayor, he got to meet many — from Frank Sinatra and John Denver to Wonder Woman Lynda Carter. That’s how he ended up in Elvis’s hotel room, where the King invited him to arm-wrestle. Harding lost. And he didn’t fare much better with Muhammad Ali. Although Ali invited Harding to jog early one morning with his entourage, the boxing great discovered Harding was too out of shape. “I went about a block, but I was out of

breath,” Harding recalled. “Ali stopped everybody, and he said, ‘Mayor, you’re holding us up. You better go back to city hall.’” In his part-time job as mayor (Harding’s day job at the time was in the personnel department of the U.S. Information Agency), Harding also escorted politicians and bigcity mayors, like Hubert Humphrey and Richard Daley, around town. “He was very highly respected and regarded by every resident of the city of New Carrollton,” said New Carrollton’s current mayor Andrew C. Hanko of Harding. “He really cared about every aspect of New Carrollton.” Hanko has been mayor ever since Harding left office in 1984. Years later, as testament to his impact, many people still call Harding “Mayor” when they talk with him. Harding also served for three years as town manager of Crofton, Md. From both positions, he learned the art of being a local politician: “counting potholes, knocking on doors, beating the bushes is how you find out what’s working See HARDING, page 21

BEACON BITS

Sept. 27

FALL RISK ASSESSMENTS

Virginia Hospital Center will provide a free, personalized evaluation of your risk for a fall, offer recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate those risks, and provide education about successful independent living. The appointments will be scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 at the Carlin Springs Health Pavilion, 601 Carlin Springs Rd., Falls Church, Va. To schedule an appointment, call (703) 558-6861.

Sept. 21

SIBLING STRIFE

Jeanne Safer, Ph.D. talks about troubled sibling relationships as we age; the roots of sibling conflicts and how to come to terms with them. Safer, author of Cain’s Legacy and The Normal One, will discuss how to repair the sibling relationship when possible. Bring her books for signing. The free seminar will begin at 2 p.m. in conference room 2 at Sibley’s Medical Building, 5215 Loughboro Rd. NW, Washington, D.C., Registration required. Call (202) 364-7602.

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Harding From page 20 and what’s broke,” he told a reporter who profiled him some years back.

A synthesis of interests Combining his knowledge of small-city management with his fluency in Russian, Harding was uniquely positioned to play a key role in assisting Baltic states, just freed from Soviet control, make the difficult transition to functioning democracies. For several years, he made regular visits to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, helping train elected and non-elected municipal officials, organize more efficient service delivery, and enhance citizen participation in government. He traveled to counties and towns throughout the region, providing municipal needs assessments and lecturing at prominent Baltic universities. He is currently vice president of the Maryland-Estonia Exchange Council, and in 2002 was presented with a trophy from the Russian Peace Foundation in Stavropol for “establishing important international cooperation in peacemaking activities.” Back at home, he was one of the first men in the state to be named to the Maryland Commission for Women. “I believe in women in public life, and encouraged a number of women to run for city council when I was mayor,” he said. “I’ve told governors to appoint more

women. They bring an important perspective to government and a pragmatism.” And at Leisure World, Harding now steers several committees, including one called In Force, which he describes as a citizen watchdog group. “We sort of oversee the actions of the Board of Directors here,” he said. “We are concerned about health and safety issues, and serve as an ombudsman...Residents call us and ask for help with problems when management hasn’t resolved them to their satisfaction. We intercede on their behalf.” Harding has brought in ambassadors from a number of foreign countries to speak to both the Kiwanis Club of Leisure World and the community as a whole. “He is very active in the Kiwanis Club, often behind the scenes, and just a very, very busy person,” said Jack Colvis, a fellow Kiwanian. “He spends a lot of time on the road, but when he’s in town, he’s very generous in helping out.” Harding, who is divorced, admits that pushing ahead full throttle on his overseas assignments and countless local political tasks took a toll on his family life, including on his four children. “When I went away and started working overseas, my wife and I sort of drifted apart. I was never there. One of the things that is a real risk for politicians is their family life,” he said. “I know my own children admired me and what I was doing, but they told me

that, when they were growing up, they missed me a lot. That’s sort of a sore point, when I look back.” At the same time, he feels a huge sense of accomplishment when he reviews his

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BOLLYWOOD AND YOGA FITNESS

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation and Dance to Health Society are offering senior-oriented fitness classes, including Bollywood dance at 7:30 p.m. and laughter yoga at 11:15 a.m., every Tuesday, from Sept. 17 to Oct. 29 at the Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Rd., Potomac, Md. Total fee for one session of seven classes is $72. For more information, visit the website www.dance2health.com. To register, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov.

Sept. 24

GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP

Montgomery Hospice offers a six-week grief support group, beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 24. It is led by professional counselors. Meetings take place on Tuesdays at Ingleside at King Farm, 701 King Farm Blvd., Rockville, Md. from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Registration is required. For more information, call (301) 921-4400.

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High blood sugar increases dementia risk By Marilynn Marchione Higher blood-sugar levels, even those well short of diabetes, seem to raise the risk of developing dementia, a major new study finds. Researchers say it suggests a novel way to try to prevent Alzheimer’s disease — by keeping glucose at a healthy level. Alzheimer’s is by far the most common form of dementia, and it’s long been known that diabetes makes it more likely. The new study tracked blood sugar over time in all sorts of people — with and without diabetes — to see how it affects risk for the mind-robbing disease. “It’s a nice, clean pattern” — risk rises as blood sugar does, said Dallas Anderson, a scientist at the National Institute on Aging,

the federal agency that paid for the study. “This is part of a larger picture,” he said, and adds evidence that exercising and controlling blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are viable ways to delay or prevent dementia. Because so many attempts to develop effective drugs have failed, “It looks like, at the moment, sort of our best bet,” Anderson said. “We have to do something. If we just do nothing and wait around till there’s some kind of cocktail of pills, we could be waiting a long time.” About 35 million people worldwide have dementia; in the United States, about 5 million have Alzheimer’s disease. What caus-

es it isn’t known. Current treatments just temporarily ease symptoms. People who have diabetes don’t make enough insulin, or their bodies don’t use insulin well, to turn food into energy. That causes sugar in the blood to rise, which can damage the kidneys and other organs — possibly the brain, researchers say.

Further study needed The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, just tracked people. It did not test whether lowering someone’s blood sugar would help treat or prevent dementia. That would have to be tested in a new study. In the meantime, people should not seek blood-sugar tests they wouldn’t normally get otherwise, said the study’s leader, Dr. Paul Crane of the University of Washington in Seattle. “We don’t know from a study like this whether bringing down the glucose level will prevent or somehow modify dementia,” but it’s always a good idea to avoid developing diabetes, he said. Eating well, exercising and controlling weight all help to keep blood sugar in line. The study involved 2,067 people 65 and older in the Group Health Cooperative, a Seattle-area healthcare system. At the start, 232 participants had diabetes; the rest did not. They each had at least five blood-sugar tests within a few years of starting the study, and more after it was underway. Researchers averaged these levels over time to even out spikes and dips from test-

ing at various times of day or before or after a meal. Participants were given standard tests for thinking skills every two years and asked about smoking, exercise and other things that affect dementia risk.

Dementia risk raised by 18% After nearly seven years of follow-up, 524, or one quarter of them, had developed dementia — mostly Alzheimer’s disease. Among participants who started out without diabetes, those with higher glucose levels over the previous five years had an 18 percent greater risk of developing dementia than those with lower glucose levels. Among participants with diabetes at the outset, those with higher blood sugar were 40 percent more likely to develop dementia than diabetics at the lower end of the glucose spectrum. The effect of blood sugar on dementia risk was seen even when researchers took into account whether participants had the apoE4 gene, which raises the risk for Alzheimer’s. At least for diabetics, the results suggest that good blood-sugar control is important for cognition, Crane said. For those without diabetes, “it may be that with the brain, every additional bit of blood sugar that you have is associated with higher risk,” he said. “It changes how we think about thresholds, how we think about what is normal, what is abnormal.” — AP

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Best websites for Alzheimer’s information A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can be devastating for patients and their families. Luckily, there’s no shortage of information on every facet of the condition. Here are some of the most reliable websites that provide guidance for patients and caregivers. 1. Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz. org). This comprehensive site provides information on warning signs, stages of the disease, treatments, care options and financial planning. ALZConnected offers chat rooms for those diagnosed with the disease and for caregivers. You also can find local support groups for caregivers and individuals with younger-onset and early stage Alzheimer’s. Check the community resource finder for information on local services. With its caregiver center, you can enter information about an individual’s medical condition and needs, and a personalized printout will offer recommendations about care options. 2. Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (www.nia.nih. gov/alzheimers). The National Institute on Aging’s center provides information on the latest studies on causes and possible cures. You can search its database for publications, research centers and clinical tri-

als. This extensive consumer-friendly site offers science-based advice on nutrition, exercise, treatment and prevention. You can download or order a free copy of NIA’s excellent 104-page “Caring for a Person With Alzheimer’s Disease.” Also check the National Institutes of Health’s Senior Health section on Alzheimer’s (www.nihseniorhealth.gov). 3. WebMD (www.webmd.com/ alzheimers/guide/financial-planning). In addition to the site’s wealth of medical advice about Alzheimer’s and dementia, WebMD offers a guide on Alzheimer’s disease and financial planning. The guide provides basic information about options for paying for long-term care, including health and disability insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. 4. PBS (www.pbs.org/theforgetting). The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s is a 90-minute Emmy Award-winning documentary that follows the stories of several patients and their families. It also weaves in the biology of the disease and the attempts to find a cure. The website provides links to other videos as well as information on coping with a diagnosis and treatments. 5. ThisCaringHome.org. Click on a room in a virtual house, and you will read about safety recommendations. Sponsored

by Weill Cornell Medical College, the site also lists room-by-room solutions for dozens of common problems, from forgetting to close a refrigerator door to toileting issues. The site has reviewed numerous products, such as faucet devices that prevent scalding, memory aids, and automatic stovetop fire extinguishers. 6. Lotsa Helping Hands (www.nfca. lotsahelpinghands.com). This service offered by the National Family Caregivers Association provides a caregiving calendar for friends and relatives. A coordinator sets up a Web-based community of volunteers who sign up for posted assignments, from shopping to respite care. 7. Caregiving organizations. Several

groups provide special advice to caregivers of individuals with chronic conditions. Each group’s site offers information on different aspects of caregiving, including finding respite care and adult day care, checking out health aides, family strife and caregiver wellness. You can find support groups and chat rooms where you can share your concerns and solutions with other caregivers. Top groups include National Family Caregivers Association (www.nfcacares.org), Family Caregiver Alliance (www.caregiver.org), Family Caregiving 101 (www.familycaregiving101.org) and National Alliance See ALZHEIMER’S SITES, page 25

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ATTENTION: Medicare Enrollees What does VALUE mean to you? In Medicare supplement insurance, you may want to consider both PRICE and SERVICE. Fortunately, combining affordable, competitive rates with friendly customer service is one of the things Omaha Insurance Company does very well. After all, a low price is only half the story when you’re deciding on a Medicare supplement insurance policy. You should be sure your insurance carrier offers top customer service, too! Call me to ask any questions about how to get excellent value from a Medicare supplement insurance policy! 1-800-745-1154

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Medicare supplement insurance policies are underwritten by Omaha Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha Plaza, Omaha, NE 68175. Neither Omaha Insurance Company nor its Medicare supplement insurance policies are connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the federal Medicare program. Policy forms: NM20, NM21, NM22, NM23, NM24, NM25 or state equivalent. In OK: NM20-24231, NM23-24232, NM24-24233. In TX: NM20-24234, NM23-24235, NM24-24236. In PA: NM20-24138, NM21-24140, NM22-24141, NM23-24142, NM24-24143, NM25-24139. In VA: NM2024239, NM23-24240, NM24-24241. Not all policy forms may be available in every state. For costs and further details of the coverage, including exclusions and limitations and terms under which the policy may be continued in force, see your agent or write to the company. An outline of coverage is available upon request. In some states, Medicare supplement insurance policies are available to those eligible for Medicare due to a disability, regardless of age. In MD: Medicare supplement Plans A are available to those eligible under the age of 65. In TX: If you receive Medicare benefits because of a disability, you may apply for a Medicare supplement Plan A; regardless of your age. IMPORTANT NOTICE – “A CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO HEALTH INSURANCE FOR PEOPLE ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICARE” MAY BE OBTAINED FROM YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE OR FROM OMAHA INSURANCE COMPANY. OH residents: Omaha Insurance Company, its Medicare supplement insurance policies and its licensed insurance agents are not connected with, endorsed by, affiliate with or sponsored by the federal or state government, the social security administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services or the federal Medicare program. You have the right to obtain a copy of the NAIC Health & Human Services Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare. Licensed insurance agents are authorized to sell this Medicare supplement insurance policy on behalf of Omaha Insurance Company. This information may be verified by contacting the Ohio Department of Insurance at 50 W Town St, 3rd Floor, Suite 300, Columbus, OH 43215 or call 1-800-688-1526. This is a solicitation of insurance and a licensed agent may contact you by telephone to provide additional information. NC141

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What happens to you under anesthesia? When you face surgery, you may have many concerns. One common worry is about going under anesthesia. Will you lose consciousness? How will you feel afterward? Is it safe? Every day, about 60,000 people nationwide have surgery under general anesthesia. It’s a combination of drugs that’s made surgery more bearable for patients and doctors alike. General anesthesia dampens pain, knocks you unconscious, and keeps you from moving during an operation. “Prior to general anesthesia, the best ideas for killing pain during surgery were biting on a stick or taking a swig of whiskey,” said Dr. Emery Brown, an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Things improved more than 150 years ago, when a dentist in Massachusetts publicly demonstrated that the anesthetic drug ether could block pain during sur-

gery. Within just a few months, anesthesia was being used in Australia, Europe and then around the world. “General anesthesia changed medicine practically overnight,” said Brown. Lifesaving procedures like open-heart surgery, brain surgery or organ transplantation would be impossible without general anesthesia. General anesthesia affects your entire body. Other types of anesthesia affect specific regions. Local anesthesia — such as a shot of novocaine from the dentist — numbs only a small part of your body for a short period of time. Regional anesthesia numbs a larger area — such as everything below the waist — for a few hours. Most people are awake during operations with local or regional anesthesia. But general anesthesia is used for major surgery, and when it’s important that you be unconscious during a procedure.

Alzheimer’s sites

pact of dementia on driving safety. It offers tips on evaluating one’s driving skills, information on safety technologies, and pointers to family members on how to persuade those with impairments to stop driving. 10. National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (www.naela.org). NAELA is a nonprofit membership organization for attorneys who specialize in all aspects of elder law, including estate planning and financial planning for Alzheimer’s. The site has a “Find an Attorney” tool that can be used to locate elder law lawyers in your area. Searches can be refined to identify attorneys with specializations such as special needs trusts, long-term-care planning, or disability applications and appeals. © 2013, Kiplinger. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

From page 23 for Caregiving (www.caregiving.org). 8. Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (www.alzinfo.org). This wide-ranging site provides information on the latest research, treatments and exercises to keep mentally fit. Read blogs by caregivers, researchers and persons with the disease. The “Ask the Expert” feature enables you to submit questions to researchers. With its resource locator, you can find nearby medical suppliers, physical therapists, geriatric physicians, elder law attorneys and other resources. 9. The Hartford (www.thehartford. com/advance50/dementia-driving). The insurer provides information on the im-

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The drugs that help you go under are either breathed in as a gas or delivered directly into your bloodstream. Most of these drugs act quickly and disappear rapidly from your system, so they need to be given throughout the surgery. A specially trained anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist gives you the proper doses and continuously monitors your vital signs — such as heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure and breathing. “When patients are going under, they experience a series of deficits,” said Dr. Howard Nash, a scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. “The first is an inability to remember

things. A patient may be able to repeat words you say, but can’t recall them after waking up.” Next, patients lose the ability to respond. “They won’t squeeze your fingers or give their name when asked,” Nash said. “Finally, they go into deep sedation.”

Very different from sleep Although doctors often say that you’ll be asleep during surgery, research has shown that going under anesthesia is nothing like sleep. “Even in the deepest stages of sleep, with prodding and poking we can wake you up,” See ANESTHESIA, page 27

26

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

SEPTEMBER IS FALLS PREVENTION MONTH! Join GROWS (The Grassroots Organization for the Well-being of Seniors in Montgomery County) and their partners in wiping out falls! Attend one of the FREE programs listed below. Forest Oak Towers 101 Odendhal Ave. Gaithersburg, MD 20877 301-740-1414

Bethesda Health and Rehabilitation Center 5721 Grosvenor Lane Bethesda, MD 20814 JCC of Greater Washington 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852 301-348-3760 Elizabeth House 1400 Fenwick Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910 Please register at 301-754-8510. Sunrise at Fox Hill 8300 Burdette Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 To RSVP call 301-968-1800. Breakfast included Schweinhaut Senior Center 1000 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20901 240- 777-8085 Friendship Terrance Retirement Community 4201 Butterworth Place, N.W., Washington, DC 20016 202-244-7400 Bannockburn Neighbors Assisting Neighbors Bannockburn Community Club, 6314 Bannockburn Drive Bethesda, MD 20817 301 461-3596 Holly Hall Apartments 10100 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20906 301-460-1003 Washington Home 3720 Upton, NW. Washington, DC 202- 966-3720 Gaithersburg Senior Center 80-A Bureau Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20878 301-258-6380 Rockville Senior Center 1150 Carnation Drive, Rockville, MD 20850 240-314-8810 Waverly House 4521 East West Hwy., Bethesda, MD 20814 301-986-0054 Friendship Heights Village Center 4433 South Park Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815 Call 301-656-2797 to register. Five Star Premier Residences of Chevy Chase 8100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 301-907-8895 (free parking & refreshments) Potomac United Methodist Church 9908 S Glen Rd., Potomac, MD 20854 240-777-1350 *Pre-registration required. Please call ASAP. Emerson House 5999 Emerson St., Bladensburg, MD 20710 (301) 779-6196 Sibley Medical Office Building 5215 Loughboro Road, NW, Wash. DC . (Garage parking validated) 202-364-7602 or 202-234-1010 Live and Learn Bethesda Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814 301-740-6150 JCC of Greater Washington 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852 301-348-3760 Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center 1000 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20901 240-777-8085 Springhouse Senior Living of Silver Spring 2201 Colston Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20910 Elizabeth House 1400 Fenwick Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910 301-585-6192 Asbury Methodist Village Wilson Health Center, 301 Russell Avenue Gaithersburg, MD 20877 Kensington Park Senior Living 3620 Littledale Rd., Kensington, MD 20895 301-946-7700

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Tuesday, September 3 2:00-3:30pm Thursday, September 5 1:30-2:30pm Tuesday, Sept. 10 10:00–11:30am

Tuesdays and Thursdays, September 10 – October 3 2:00-4:00pm Wednesday, September 11 1:30-3:00pm Wednesday, September 11 10:30am Thursday, September 12 1:00pm Sunday, September 15 2:00pm Tuesday, September 17 2:00-3:30pm Tuesday, September 17 5:00pm Wednesday, September 18 11:00am Wednesday, September 18 1:00-2:30pm Wednesday, September 18 3:30-4:30pm Thursday, September 19 12:30-1:30pm Thursday, September 19 2:00-4:00pm Fridays, Sept. 20 - November 1 1:00-3:00 pm Saturday, September 21 12:00am-12:00 pm Sunday, September 22 2:00-3:30pm Monday, September 23 2:00–3:30pm Tuesday, Sept. 24 1:00pm Wednesday, September 25 10:30 Wednesday, September 25 11:00-12:00pm Wednesday, September 25 12:30-1:30pm Thursday, September 26 10:00-12:00pm Thursday, September 26 7:00 pm Thursday, October 3 2:00-3:00pm

This announcement made possible by:

Brains Don’t Bounce: What You Should Know About Falls And Memory! Susan I. Wranik, MS, MA, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist, President Susan I. Wranik Associates, L.L.C. Staying Upright Shawn Brennan, Senior Health Promotion Montgomery County Aging and Disability Services Bone Density testing (by appointment only, 5 slots per half hour) Adventist Healthcare A Matter of Balance: 4 week program Sue Stimac and Jan Schultz Holy Cross Senior Source Falls Prevention: improving balance and coordination and modifying your environment Dr. John Baker, PT, MA, GCS, NCS, NDT, DScPT CEO, Baker Rehab Group Weeble, Wobble, but don’t Fall: Understanding Dizziness and Preventing Falls. Ashley Young, Physical Therapist Falls Prevention Melanie Lamar Hancock, RN & Marcia Foxx, RN, Right at Home Washington, DC

Falls Prevention Awareness: Home and Health Isabelle Schoenfeld, Livable Home Solutions, LLC and Noelle Ronald Heyman, Impresa Solutions Who will catch You When You Fall? Nelson LeRoy Push Button Emergency Falls Prevention for Older Adults Liz Braun, MOTR/L Liz Braun Therapy Solutions, LLC Better Balance & Fall Prevention Susan Marrone Director of Senior Services for Kaiser Pemanente Balance and Falls Stacey Buckner, PT, DPT Presentation and individual balance screens Who Will Catch You When You Fall? Nelson LeRoy, Push button Emergency

Preventing Falls by Adapting Your Home: Vision Support Open Discussion & Light Lunch Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington Stand and Stay on Your Own Two Feet JoAnne Shapiro. Director of Five Star Rehab Dr. Thomas Ryan, Orthopedic Surgeon Stepping On : 7-week evidence-based fall prevention program, Shawn Brennan, MSW, Senior Health Promotion Montgomery County Aging and Disability Services Who Will Catch You When You Fall? Nelson LeRoy, Push Button Emergency

Standing Up to Falls Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington in partnership with Sibley Senior Association Home and Health Improvements for Falls Prevention Isabelle Schoenfeld, Livable Home Solutions, LLC and Cindy Kardeman, It’s Your Move, Inc.

Falls Prevention Workshop Ginny Prunty Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital Safe Homes Silver Spring Campaign Kick-Off Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department Life Safety Unit Brains Don’t Bounce: What You Should Know About Falls And Memory! Susan I. Wranik, MS, MA, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist, President Susan I. Wranik Associates, L.L.C. Who will catch You When You Fall? Nelson LeRoy Push Button Emergency Brains Don’t Bounce: What You Should Know About Falls And Memory! Susan I. Wranik, MS, MA, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist, President Susan I. Wranik Associates, L.L.C. Brains Don’t Bounce: What You Should Know About Falls And Memory! Susan I. Wranik, MS, MA, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist, President Susan I. Wranik Associates, L.L.C. What Every Person Should Know About Falls Pazit Aviv, LGSW Housing Opportunities Commission

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Anesthesia From page 25 said Brown. “But that’s not the case with general anesthesia. General anesthesia looks more like a coma — a reversible coma.” You lose awareness and the ability to feel pain, form memories and move. Once you’ve become unconscious, the anesthesiologist uses monitors and medications to keep you that way. In rare cases, though, something can go wrong. About once in every 1,000 to 2,000 surgeries, patients may gain some awareness when they should be unconscious. They may hear the doctors talking and remember it afterward. Worse yet, they may feel pain but be unable to move or tell the doctors. “It’s a real problem, although it’s quite rare,” said Dr. Alex Evers, an anesthesiologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “Anesthesia awareness can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder,” a severe anxiety disorder that can arise after a terrifying ordeal. Scientists have developed strategies to identify and prevent anesthesia awareness. Small studies suggested that brain monitors might help. But in 2008, Evers and his colleagues reported the results of the largest study to compare different techniques. Brain monitoring did no better than standard monitoring in preventing anesthesia awareness. Addiction to alcohol or drugs increases the risk for anesthesia awareness, but doctors can’t accurately predict who will be affected.

A research team in Canada identified variations in a gene that may allow animals to form memories while under anesthesia. Ongoing studies are exploring whether this gene plays a role in anesthesia awareness in people.

health issues from physicians, major hospitals and clinics, universities and healthcare agencies across the U.S. Online at www.whatdoctorsknow.com. © 2013 Whatdoctorsknow.com. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Recovering from anesthesia After surgery, when anesthesia wears off, you may feel some pain and discomfort. How quickly you recover will depend on the medications you received and other factors, like your age. About 40 percent of elderly patients and up to one-third of children have lingering confusion and thinking problems for several days after surgery and anesthesia. Right now, the best cure for these side effects is time. Brown and his colleagues are working to develop drugs to help patients more quickly emerge and recover from general anesthesia. Anesthesia is generally considered quite safe for most patients. “Anesthetics have gotten much safer over the years in terms of the things we’re most worried about, like the patient dying or having dangerously low blood pressure,” Evers said. By some estimates, the death rate from general anesthesia is about 1 in 250,000 patients. Side effects have become less common, and are usually not as serious as they once were. Don’t delay important surgery because of fear of anesthesia. If you have concerns, talk with your doctor. It might help to meet in advance with the person who will give you anesthesia.

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Sept. 21+

Ask what kind of anesthesia you will have. Ask about possible risks and side effects. Knowing more might help you feel less concerned about going under. From WhatDoctorsKnow, a magazine devoted to up-to-the minute information on

27

NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL

The Library of Congress 13th annual National Book Festival will be held, rain or shine, on the National Mall between 9th and 14th Streets in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 22 from noon to 5:30 p.m. For more information and a complete list of the authors, visit www.loc.gov/bookfest or call (202) 707-1940.

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Health Studies Page

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

THE PLACE TO LOOK FOR INFORMATION ON AREA CLINICAL TRIALS

Study looks at how brains process sound By Barbara Ruben When older adults have trouble hearing, there is often more at play than just not being able to hear the sounds of a conversation. “It’s not just how you hear, in terms of when you hear a beep and raise your hand on that kind of hearing test,” said Samira Anderson, an assistant professor in the

University of Maryland’s Dept. of Hearing and Speech Sciences. “Your ears could be fine, but something’s going on in the way the brain is processing sound, how fast it is traveling to your brain. That’s why people start to have trouble hearing with background noise, we think,” Anderson said.

She and her colleagues are now trying to learn more about how the brain responds to sound in order to eventually find new ways to help people hear better.

Volunteers 60+ needed The study is currently seeking volunteers between 60 and 75 years of age for a study on auditory processing. For now, the study is recruiting those who have normal hearing in both ears and have no history of neurological or middle ear disorders. However, this fall Anderson said she will add participants who have hearing loss, but who are not yet wearing hearing aids. Those participating in the study will visit the University of Maryland’s hearing lab for three hours. There they will have both hearing and cognition tests. “We do cognitive testing because there are certain things that relate to how well you hear a noise,” Anderson said. “If you have a higher vocabulary, you can better fill in the context of things you’re hearing, or if you have a better memory, then you can remember the first part of the conversation and fill in the gaps.” To measure how sound is perceived by the

brain, electrodes will be placed several places on the skin, and participants will also wear a cap with electrodes as they listen to sounds. Auditory processing will be recorded. “The nice thing about it is, the [processing results] can be obtained without the participant having to do anything. So it’s a passive test. In fact, participants watch a movie with subtitles to pass the time. We just advise them not to pick a musical,” Anderson said.

Compensation for your time In addition to the initial three hours of testing, participants can choose to come back for an additional eight to nine hours. Participants are paid $10 per hour. The researchers plan to use the information obtained from the study to plan treatment programs, including brain training methods to help one’s brain process sound more quickly. Another outcome might be improved hearing aids. “Hearing aids improve hearing so you can actually hear what is being said, but they aren’t so great at helping you process what is being said,” Anderson said. For more information, call (301) 4054224 or email hearingbrainlab@gmail.com.

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What to consider if buying glasses online By Tom Murphy The Internet is enticing a rapidly growing number of shoppers to make a very personal purchase, prescription eyeglasses, online. Deep discounts and greater variety are prompting many to try something new. Customers can’t pluck a pair of glasses from their smartphone screen to learn how they feel, but shoppers can try on frames virtually or have them delivered for a free test. They also can quickly scroll through hundreds of choices and send pictures to friends for a second opinion. Technology, however, hasn’t erased all the advantages of buying glasses in a store. Here are some issues to consider before clicking on a pair of glasses and adding them to your virtual shopping cart. 1. What are some options for buying eyeglasses online? A mix of websites sells eyewear in men’s and women’s styles, with some featuring well-known brands such as Oakley and Gucci. They include established vendors, like Framesdirect.com and 39dollarglasses.com, and more recent entrants like Warby Parker. These sites let customers scroll through hundreds of options and styles in different colors. Some, like Framesdirect.com, allow visitors to upload pictures so they can see how a pair of glasses would look on their face. Retailer 1-800-Contacts will offer a three-dimensional version of this concept next month, when it launches a free app that enables users to virtually try on glasses after taking a picture of their face with a smartphone or tablet. The app will produce an image that is scaled so the glasses appear more like they would if the customer picked them off a store shelf. It will enable visitors to turn

the image and slide the glasses up and down the nose. 1-800-Contacts runs the website Glasses.com. 2. What are the advantages of shopping online? Virtual vendors can offer page after page of variety. Framesdirect.com, which dates back to 1996, says on its website that it carries more than 100,000 products and 500 brands. Bargains also can be found online. The website 39dollarglasses.com features glasses that sell for — wait for it — $39. That price includes single-vision lenses and the frame. Warby Parker advertises prescription glasses starting at $95. The company developed its own styles for men’s and women’s glasses, plus a monocle it sells for $50, in part because its founders thought prescription eyewear shouldn’t

cost $300 or more. Of course, bargains are not limited to online vendors. Some Walmart stores offer prescription, single-vision lenses that start at $29. Convenience can be another benefit.

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Glasses From page 29 five frames and give customers seven days to try them. “I think a lot of people feel that they need to touch and hold the frame before buying,” said Neil Blumenthal, a Warby Parker co-founder.

3. What are the limitations? Store visits connect customers with eyewear experts who can walk them through a purchase. For instance, if a customer wants rimless glasses, a store employee might point out that the lenses may be thicker than they anticipate and could be uncomfortable to wear, said Sam Pierce, a trustee with the

BEACON BITS

Sept. 12

SQUARE DANCING LESSONS Join together at Rockville Nursing Home and learn to square dance.

No experience necessary. Couples, singles and families are welcome. Dress code is casual. Lessons will take place at Rockville Nursing Home, 303 Adclare Rd., Rockville, Md. on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. Cost is $6 for adults, $3 for students, and free for children under 16. For more information, visit www.rockvillesquaredance.com or call Eva Murray at (301) 761-4108.

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

American Optometric Association. The employee also could tell a customer whether his or her prescription would fit properly in the style they want or whether the frame may be too big or too small for their face. The initial cost for glasses advertised on a website may be a bargain, but extra fees for a strong prescription or tinted lenses can add to the bill. Traditional eyewear stores also can bump up the amount a customer spends by pushing features like anti-smudge protection. Some online companies also may charge shipping fees. Know the extra costs that come with a pair of glasses before buying. Online shoppers also may want to do a little research on their vendor before buying glasses, since the customer can’t simply drive to the store to talk to someone if a problem arises. Find out how the vendor handles adjustments to a prescription or returns. Some sites offer money-back guarantees on returns if the glasses are sent back within a certain time frame. 4. Will eyewear stores become obsolete?

Online sales eyewear sales jumped 31 percent from 2010 to last year, when they totaled $1.1 billion, according to the Vision Council, a trade group representing industry manufacturers and suppliers. That’s a big growth spurt, but online sales won’t take over the industry soon. Last year, they represented just 4 percent of the roughly $27.5 billion eyewear product market. In contrast, online sales for apparel and accessories totaled $36.3 billion, or 12 percent of that total market of $303.8 billion, according to Forrester Research Inc. 1-800-Contacts CEO Jonathan Coon said he thinks online eyewear sales can eventually reach and surpass the same percentage of its total market. But Warby Parker’s Blumenthal still sees a need for physical store locations that customers can visit. His company operates showrooms in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, among other cities. “We think there is always going to be some sort of balance there because humans are social creatures, and shopping is a form of entertainment. It’s not just about convenience,” Blumenthal said. — AP

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Seeding your diet for flavor and health By Sharon Palmer Since the beginning of time, humans have followed the lead of birds by gathering edible seeds for sustenance. Anthropologists believe that our ancient ancestors probably collected and ate just about any seed that wasn’t poisonous, storing them away for use all year long. To this day, seeds are a popular food source in cultures around the world — from sesame seeds, which are ground into a paste used in Mediterranean dishes, to chia seeds, which are used as “running food” by athletes in South America. While our repertoire of edible seeds in America is fairly limited, some other cultures eat a much wider variety, including exotics like lotus and papaya seeds. Seeds are essentially the embryo of a plant, “packaged” with some stored food to provide for its growth, and an outer covering to protect it. Botanically speaking, edible seeds include grains such as wheat, barley and rice; legumes, including beans, lentils and peas; and nuts, like walnuts, almonds and pistachios. In our culinary and nutrition lexicon, edible seeds include chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower. Some edible seeds, such as mustard, coriander and poppy seeds, are categorized

as spices because they possess potent flavor in tiny amounts.

Nutritional powerhouses Considering that every seed holds the magic of a new plant, they’re packed with nutrients, which include protein, lowglycemic carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. So it’s not surprising that studies have linked eating certain seeds with reductions in blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as anticancer and bone protection activity. While each seed possesses a different nutritional profile, they do have many things in common: 1. Protein. Edible seeds are a good source of protein, containing 4 to 9 grams of protein per ounce — comparable to animal protein, which provides about 7 grams of protein per ounce. Seeds can be an important source of protein for people who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, or struggle to meet their protein needs. 2. Healthy fats. These tiny powerhouses are rich in healthy fats, comprised of relatively low amounts of artery-clogging saturated fat, and high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Some seeds — chia, flax, hemp — are also rich sources of the plant omega-3 fatty

acid known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is linked with heart health. Hemp contains the rare fatty acids gamma-linolenic acid and stearidonic acid, which have been linked in preliminary research to health benefits, such as lowered blood pressure. In addition, many seeds contain phytosterols — compounds similar to cholesterol that block the absorption of cholesterol in the body. 3. Fiber. Many seeds are rich sources of fiber, providing at least 10 percent DV

(Daily Value, based on 2,000 calories/day). For example, flax seeds contain 8 g. of fiber per ounce — providing 32 percent DV. And that’s not all; seeds also contain lignans, a special kind of fiber shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. 4. Slow-digesting carbs. Seeds contain moderate amounts of carbohydrates, but because they are accompanied with fat, protein and fiber, their glycemic index See EDIBLE SEEDS, page 33

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Even short exercise ‘breaks’ boost health Q: Is it true that simply taking short view article published this year concluded breaks to walk around throughout the that short bouts of frequent activity day actually has an impact throughout the day may deon health? crease blood triglyceride levA: Yes, evidence continues els following meals, enough to to grow stronger suggesting lower risk of heart disease. that it does. And in one study, 70 adults Accumulating a total of at who walked for less than two least 30 minutes of moderate minutes every 30 minutes physical activity a day in throughout one day more efbouts of 10 or 15 minutes fectively reduced the rise in each has been shown for blood sugar and insulin folsome time to improve fitness lowing meals compared to and measures of heart health, NUTRITION when those same adults such as blood lipids and blood WISE walked for 30 minutes and pressure, as well as body com- By Karen Collins, then sat all day. MS, RD, CDM position. More research is needed, Now studies suggest that especially among people with even doing mini-bouts of a few minutes the insulin resistance of type 2 diabetes that add up to at least 30 minutes over the and metabolic syndrome. However, scienday might also reduce health risks. A re- tists say we know enough to encourage

people whose day includes a lot of sitting to include some standing or brief walking every hour or so all day. It’s good to know that when we’re too busy or out-of-condition to walk for even 10 minutes at a time, small breaks do seem to make a difference. Yet, since accumulating more than 30 minutes of moderate activity daily brings clear health benefits, such as reducing cancer risk, don’t think of short activity breaks as a substitute for other activity; think of them as an easy way to get even more health benefits. Q: Is there a difference in nutritional value between California avocados and Florida avocados? A: Florida avocados are the larger, smooth-skinned choices. California avocados sold in supermarkets are the Hass variety, and are smaller and have a pebbly

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skin that turns from green to a purplishblack when ripe. The biggest nutritional difference between California and Florida avocados is their fat content. More than half the fat in avocados is the healthy monounsaturated fat (the type in olive oil), and saturated fat is minimal. For each golf ball-sized portion (two tablespoons, or two to three thin slices), a California avocado such as Hass contains 4.6 grams of fat, while the same portion of a Florida avocado averages 3 grams of fat. You may sometimes see Florida avocados marketed as “lite” avocados — an effort to highlight their lower fat content. This difference in fat content means Florida avocados are a little lower in calories than the California types. For that golf ballsized portion, the Florida variety has 36 calories versus 50 for the California one. Otherwise, nutritional value of the two types is similar. Avocados contain the B vitamin folate (especially California avocados), vitamin K and fiber. Both avocados also contain lutein (the carotene “cousin” of beta-carotene that may promote eye health), but the amounts don’t come close to what’s in truly highlutein vegetables like kale, spinach and other cooked greens. Many people prefer the rich flavor of California avocados, and for guacamole and other dips, it’s hard to beat their creamy texture. For slices in a salad, however, some prefer the way the Florida type holds its shape. Either is a great way to add flavor, fiber and a healthy fat to your meal while adding essentially zero sodium. For weight control, simply enjoy their good taste in moderate portions. The American Institute for Cancer Research offers a Nutrition Hotline, 1-800843-8114, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This free service allows you to ask questions about diet, nutrition and cancer. A registered dietitian will return your call, usually within three business days. Courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research. Questions for this column may be sent to “Nutrition Wise,” 1759 R St., NW, Washington, DC 20009. Collins cannot respond to questions personally.

BEACON BITS

Sept. 22

FARMERS MARKET AND SUKKOT PARTY

Ring House invites area seniors to shop for delicious fresh produce and more from local farms and vendors at an afternoon farmer’s market on Sunday, Sept. 22 from 3 to 5 p.m. Guests are also welcome to stay for a snack and schmooze in a traditional Sukkah, constructed for the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Ring House is located at 1801 E. Jefferson St., Rockville, Md. RSVP by Friday, Sept. 20. For more information, call (301) 816-5052.

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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Baked chilaquiles, Mexican comfort food By Dana Jacobi Chilaquiles are sometimes called Mexican lasagna, sometimes described as a tortilla casserole. More colorfully, “broken up old sombrero” is what chilaquiles actually means, according to Diana Kennedy, the Julia Child of Mexican cuisine. Speaking of Julia, one also might call chilaquiles Mexican French toast: just as stale bread becomes French toast by soaking and then frying it, Mexican cooks use up their stale tortillas by making chilaquiles. They simply reverse the order, first frying the tortillas until crisp and then combining them with a moistening sauce or salsa. While chilaquiles are traditionally a skillet dish served as a light bite, or presented topped with eggs for breakfast, I prefer making them as a casserole. Besides eliminating the fat and mess of frying and the pressure to serve the dish quickly before the torn-up tortillas turn soggy, in this more relaxed, baked version the tortillas are meant to soak up the sauce and turn soft, making a dish that is pure comfort food. It also allows for layering a filling over the tortillas before coating them with the sauce and sprinkling on shredded cheese. You will often find shredded chicken, shrimp or beans in chilaquiles. For my version, which is meatless, I have combined

creamy pinto beans with chopped spinach and corn. The result is both stomach-filling and eye-filling. Leftovers keep for a couple of days when wrapped in foil. Tossing them into the oven for reheating is a cinch, and so good that you may want to plan for extra servings.

Chilaquiles with beans and corn Cooking spray 1 large ear fresh corn or 1½ cups frozen corn, defrosted 1 Tbsp. canola oil 3/4 cup chopped red onion 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry 1 (15 oz.) can no-salt added pinto beans, drained 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 (14½ oz.) can no-salt added, diced tomatoes, partially drained 6 yellow corn tortillas 1 (15 oz.) can mild or medium red enchilada sauce, divided 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 11inch x 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. If using fresh corn, cut kernels from cob; there should be 1-1½ cups. Set aside.

In medium skillet, heat oil over mediumhigh heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 4 minutes. Add spinach, pulling it apart. Add beans and cumin and cook until cumin is fragrant, stirring often. Add tomatoes and corn and cook until mixture is heated through, 5 minutes. Set vegetable and bean filling aside. Arrange 2 tortillas on bottom of prepared pan. Cut 2 other tortillas in half and add 2 halves to cover bottom of pan. Spoon half the filling over tortillas. Pour on 3/4 cup enchilada sauce. Sprinkle on half the

cheese. Repeat, using remaining tortillas, filling, sauce and cheese. Cover pan with foil. Bake chilaquiles for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese melts and casserole is bubbly around edges, 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 216 calories, 5.7 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 34 g. carbohydrate, 10 g. protein, 6 g. dietary fiber, 496 mg. sodium. Dana Jacobi creates recipes for the American Institute for Cancer Research.

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Edible seeds From page 31 is generally low. Thus, including them in your diet can help you feel full longer. 5. Vitamins and minerals. These tiny gems are also stocked with an array of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins E and K, calcium, iron and zinc. Many of these micronutrients, such as vitamin E and selenium, are powerful antioxidants.

Eat like a bird If you want to reap the crunchy, nutritious benefit of seeds, follow these tips: a) Shoot for ½ to 1 ounce of seeds (about 1-1/2 to 3 tablespoons) every day. b) Sprinkle seeds in your morning

breakfast cereal. c) Stir seeds into the batter for baked goods, such as muffins, waffles, cookies or breads. d) Grind flax seeds to make their nutrients more available to your body. e) Toss seeds into salads for crunch and flavor. f) Mix seeds into stir-fries for nutty flavor and texture. g) Try seed butters, such as sunflower seed and hemp, as a spread or in cooking. Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com. © 2013 Belvoir Media Group Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Methylation and why it’s important to you Dear Pharmacist: I met you at a book-signing, where you told me that if I have allergies, fatigue and multiple chemical sensitivities that I may have a “methylation” difficulty. You also told me not to take green coffee bean extract. Can you please tell me more? — S.J. Dear S.J.: Methylation is a bodily process that you may not have heard about before or didn’t think you needed to understand. But read on, because knowing about methylation could improve or save your life. Just look at the list of people who might have a methylation problem: Anyone with

a seizure disorder, neurological condition, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, severe Lyme disease, chronic infections, diabetes, allergies, fertility issues, miscarriages, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, anxiety or any psychiatric illness. Also children with autism. That’s the short list. Oh, and if you are extremely sensitive to medicine, or to nitrous gas (given by the dentist), you might have a methylation problem, too. You see, as humans, we all have an enzymatic pathway going on in our body at all times called methylation. It has numerous life-sustaining functions. One of its primary purposes is to convert folate from your meals into glutathione — a potent an-

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tioxidant that neutralizes poisons. A prob- pain. That’s because the methylation lem anywhere along this metabolic path- process helps make the protective wrapping around your nerves. way spells illness. Some medications are what My concern is that your I call “drug muggers” of nutrisymptoms are being heavily ents that are needed for the medicated when it may just be methylation process. Among a problem of methylation that them are methotrexate, metcan be addressed by a physiformin, antacids, acid blockcian in-the-know. ers, estrogen-containing drugs Methylation snps (proand nitrous oxide. nounced snips) are genetic Drinking alcohol will pretproblems, but it’s not always a ty much shut down your genetic problem. About 45 perDEAR methylation. I’m out of space cent of people have a genetic PHARMACIST here, so if you’d like more inissue, but blockages in this By Suzy Cohen formation about testing and pathway can happen if you take supportive supplements, sign certain medications or have up for my free newsletter, and I’ll send you certain nutrient deficiencies. For example, green coffee bean extract details. By the way, some doctors recommend is incredibly high in catechols and those block methylation. Same thing with pota- high dose folic acid and vitamin B12, but this is not always helpful and can, in fact, toes (regular or sweet), tea and coffee. Testing for methylation is often covered be harmful. Details will be sent via my by insurance. Because people with a newsletter. If you’ve signed up for it in the methylation difficulty have trouble elimi- past, you don’t need to do so again. This information is opinion only. It is not nating poisons, they build up in the body and that’s what causes all the health con- intended to treat, cure or diagnose your concerns. Opening up the road block helps dition. Consult with your doctor before using clear your body of poisons, and that should any new drug or supplement. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist reduce symptoms. If you can’t methylate properly, you can- and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist not produce CoQ10, carnitine, creatine or and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To ATP (energy). You will also have nerve contact her, visit www.dearpharmacist.com.

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

35

Women who value their independence money. Now, after being widowed for Dear Solutions: I’m a senior, and I admire inde- many years, I’ve been married for over a year. I work and pendent women, as it was have my own bank acharder to be that when I count. was young. However, there My husband wants me to is one young woman who put my money together works where I volunteer with his. I don’t feel comwho is really sharp, but too fortable doing this, even often aggressively nasty. though we have a good When I finally objected marriage. My husband to her tone of voice, she says I’m fearful of a joint said, “Oh, if a man said that, you’d admire him for account because my parSOLUTIONS ents were divorced, and being assertive. You just By Helen Oxenberg, my mother had a hard think I shouldn’t act like a MSW, ACSW man, but this is what I pretime. How can I convince him that’s not it? fer because it gets things — Irene done.” What can I say to her to explain Dear Irene: Gently give him a history lesson: there’s a difference? — Nora “Women and Money 101.” Explain that for decades women had no control over Dear Nora: Tell her if she insists upon thinking money, and had to ask permission from she’s acting like a man, instead of just their husbands or fathers before they being an inconsiderate person, she should could spend any. So your mother wasn’t try at least acting like a gentleman. She can the only one with a problem. The inability of women to control their look up the definition, which includes “kind, chivalrous, well bred, not rough or own money translated into the inability to control their own lives. Explain to your severe.” Dear Solutions: husband that having your own money alSince I was a little girl, I was told lows you to be a volunteer in this marthat a woman should have her own riage, not a hostage.

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Suggest a joint account for household bills only, and work out how much each of you will contribute to that. Tell him that women should have their own money. Men, too. Dear Solutions: I’ve become good friends with a man in my volunteer group. We’re strictly platonic friends and enjoy having lunch together. He’s married and I’m single, so the group gossips are talking about us. Should I continue to have lunch with him? — Donna Dear Donna: Make it an open lunch every other time.

That means invite other people from the group to join you. If you hear of rumors, nip them in the bud. Say to someone you believe is saying these things, “I’ve heard of rumors about Steve and me. I know it could be exciting to talk about, so it’s too bad it’s not true. We’re friends — period.” Leave it at that. It’s too bad, but I guess there really is no free lunch. © Helen Oxenberg, 2013. Questions to be considered for this column may be sent to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You may also email the author at helox72@comcast.net. To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE ON AGING

Spotlight On Aging VOLUME XXIV, ISSUE 9

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE

A newsletter for D.C. Seniors

Rallying for Statehood

By John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA In this month’s edition of “Spotlight on Aging,” I would like to share some news about D.C. Office on Aging’s (DCOA) partnership with D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) to establish an intergenerational program. This partnership unites awesome and caring seniors with energetic and bright children enrolled in DCPS’s Early Childhood Program. This partnership started in January 2013 at Langdon Education Campus in Ward 5. At Langdon, we were able to recruit senior volunteers to work with 3- and 4-yearold students. Activities included seniors reading to the children and the children reading to the seniors, seniors serving children lunch and snacks, and simply providing them with quality time that is absent in some children’s homes. Based on my conversation with the senior volunteers, they found their experience to be a productive and rewarding one. It was an opportunity for them to give back. I trust that this provides you with a snapshot of the endless opportunities to influence the life of a child in the classroom. Other seniors have shared ideas about starting a gardening program involving the children. If you have a green thumb and would like to share your expertise, I believe that we can pair you with eager, young children with whom you can spend time as a mentor and broaden their horizons. I know from personal experience that when my daughter was 3 years old, I exposed her to the art of gardening, and now she enjoys planting flowers and picking weeds out of the flower bed. Gardening may not be your forte, but you may have an interest in exposing children to the arts, history or some other area of interest. This is your golden opportunity to share wisdom, give back in a very meaningful way, and observe how the students benefit from the interaction. I trust that through your efforts, children will be better prepared for kindergarten as they build strength in reading and interacting with people of all ages. Students went back to school on Monday, August 26, and I am excited to announce that DCOA/DCPS’s Intergenerational Program now includes five schools! If you are interested in working with early childhood students, I encourage you to contact Tony Moreno at 202-535-1372 or tony.moreno@dc.gov to get information about how to start the registration and training process.

September 2013

Mayor Vincent C. Gray asked citizens to join him for a D.C. Rally for Statehood and Determination, and a march to the Lincoln Memorial for the 50th Anniversary March on Washington Commemoration. Seniors answered the call and assisted with making signs and attending the historic event.

D.C. Commission on Aging Chairperson Romaine Thomas is one of many who attended the rally.

Looking for Exceptional Agers to Help Unlock the Secrets to a Long, Healthy Life Researchers from the National Institute on Aging want to know why some people live in excellent health into their 80’s, 90’s and older, while others face failing health much sooner. To unlock the secret of exceptional aging, researchers are recruiting healthy, active seniors 80 and older into the IDEAL (Insight into Determinants of Exceptional Aging and Longevity) Study. The IDEAL study is part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. The ‘exceptional agers’ in the IDEAL study • can walk a quarter of a mile unassisted without pain or shortness of breath,

• have no significant memory loss or cognitive impairment, and • have no serious medical conditions. Those who qualify for this study will receive a complete physical exam every year, including tests of strength, stamina and mental sharpness. This will help researchers observe the aging process and identify the secrets of aging well. If you or someone you know might qualify as an exceptional ager, learn more at www.blsa.nih.gov . If you are interested in participating in the IDEAL Study, call 1-855-80 IDEAL (1-855-804-3325) to see if you qualify.

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D.C. OFFICE

ON

AGING NEWSLETTER

Community Calendar September events 4th • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn more about healthy living at the Langston/Carver Health Fair. Call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701 for the location and further information.

about the services and resources available to them, take part in the next ambassador training workshop to learn about all of the programs and services that DCOA offers to the community and how you can become an Ambassador. Call 202-724-5622 to register today.

18th • 11:30 a.m. 12th • 2 p.m.

6th • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ward 5 seniors are invited to “Seabury Ward 5 Community Day – Unleash the Power of Movement” at the North Michigan Park Recreation Center, 1333 Emerson St. NE. Make a reservation by calling Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701

10th • 2 to 4 p.m. The next part of Iona Senior Service’s Livable DC Series is “Prepare to overcome everyday challenges and thrive” with Marlene Berlin, pedestrian safety advocate; Becca Smokowicz, Housing Counseling Services; and Bob Pohlman, Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development. This free seminar takes place at Iona, 4125 Albemarle St. NW. To register, call 202-895-9448 or go to http://iona.org/education-and-events/online-registration-for-free-events.html.

12th • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The DC Office on Aging (DCOA) Ambassador Program is a free interactive, member-based program designed to reach out to older adults and their caregivers to help them learn about the services and resources available to them through DCOA. If you are interested in expanding your network and educating older adults

screenings, legal counseling and information and resources from government partners, utilities and senior resources. For more information, call 202-8292773.

Art Cart: Saving the Legacy is a research project to assist elder artists in documenting their artwork. Join former Iona artists in residence with other program artists in a free panel discussion moderated by Patricia Dubroof, director of the gallery at Iona. Visit the website to see images of the artists’ work: www.artsandcultureresearch.org/ac-artists1. The program takes place at Iona, 4125 Albemarle St. NW. To register, call 202895-9448 or go to http://iona.org/education-andevents/online-registration-for-free-events.html.

The Delta Towers Senior Nutrition Site will hold a financial fraud seminar. It will be held at 1400 Florida Ave., NE. Call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701 for more information.

24th and 25th • 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Learn proven safety strategies to maintain your confidence behind the wheel at this AARP driver safety course. It will be held at the Hattie Holmes Senior Center, 324 Kennedy St. NW. The cost is $12 for AARP members; $14 for non-members. Space is limited, so register by calling 202-291-6170.

18th • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The AARP driver safety course, geared for ages 50 and up, will be held at the Washington Senior Wellness Center, 3001 Alabama Ave. SE. A certificate will be given at completion of the course. The cost is $12 for AARP members; $14 for non-members. Registration is required. Call 202-575-7711.

18th • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. DCOA will partner with the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church Health Ministry, Zion Baptist Church and Zion Baptist Senior Day Program to present a Community Health and Wellness Fair at 4606 16th St. NW. The event will feature flu vaccines, health

26th • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vida Senior Center will host a health fair at 1842 Calvert St. NW. Stop by to receive information on health and wellness and receive health screenings. Call 202-483-5800 for more information.

Early October event 6th • 3:30 p.m. The Choraleers will present the group’s annual concert at St. John Christian Methodist Church, 2801 Stanton Rd. SE. For more information about this free concert, call 202- 581-9355

FREE FALL RISK SCREENS Monday, September 23rd 10:00 AM-2:00 PM Free Fall Risk Screening open to all DC seniors. Have healthcare professionals check your balance, strength, vision and medications to help prevent falls! Appointments required. Please contact one of the following sites to make your appointment. Ward 2. Contact Kenyatta Hazlewood

George Washington University Hospital 900 23rd St. NW Washington, DC 20037 (202) 715-4210 kenyatta.hazlewood@gwu-hospital.com

KD/E'E'ͳ&Z/E>z/dz͗ ' E' ͳ& Z /  E  >z / d z͗   K D / E ' Ɛ ŝƟĞƐ ŝƟ ůLJ ƌŝĞŶĚůLJ Ͳ&ƌŝ ŐĞͲ& dŚĞ ƐĂŶ ŝƟĂƟǀĞŝŝƐ ŝŶŝƟ ŝŶ ƚŽ ƌƚƚ ĞīŽƌƚ ƌŶĂƟŽŶĂůů ƚĞƌŶ ŝŶƚĞ ŝŶ ƌ ĨŽƌ ƌĞĨ ƌĞƉĂƌĞ ƐƉƌĞ ŝƟĞƐ ĐŝƟ ůƉĐ ŚĞůƉ e l trends: th two globa ŽĨĨ ŶŐŽ ĂŐŝŝŶ ĚĂ ƌƌĂĂƉŝŝĚ ƐƐĂŶĚ Ŷ Ž Ɵ ƉŽƉƵůůĂĂ ͘ ďĂŶŝŝnjnjĂƟŽŶ Ƶƌƌď Ƶ ŶĐĐƌƌĞĂƐƐŝŝŶŐ ŝŝŶ e th ts e g ogrraam ttaarrg The prro nd a l a ci enttaal, so environm  ƚ ƚ Ă ƚŚ ĨĂĐĐƚƚŽƌƌƐƐƚ ŽŶŽŵŝŝĐĐĨ ĞĐĐŽ ĂŶĚ ůůƚƚŚĂ Ă Ğ Ś  Ś Ğ ƚŚ ŶŇƵĞŶĐĐĞĞƚ ŝŝŶ ĚĞƌƌ ŽĨĨŽůůĚ ŶŐŽ ďĞŝŝŶ ǁĞůůůůͲͲď adults.

Ward 4. Contact Teresa Moore

Moving to Action ǀĞŶƚ͗

Age-Friendly DC Senior Forum

WůĂĐĞ͗

The Howard Theatre 620 T Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

ĂƚĞ͗

Saturday, September 21, 2013

dŝŵĞ͗

9:30 - 11:30 am

Z^sW͗

Register online: www.dcoa.dc.gov or call (202) 724-5622 .

&ŽƌŵŽƌĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶ͕ĐĂůů;ϮϬϮͿϳϰϭͲϱϴϳϱ.

Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center

>ŝŐŚƚƌĞĨƌĞƐŚŵĞŶƚƐǁŝůůďĞƐĞƌǀĞĚ͘ dƌĂŶƐƉŽƌƚĂƟŽŶǁŝůůďĞƉƌŽǀŝĚĞĚĨƌŽŵƐĞůĞĐƚKƐĞŶŝŽƌ wellness centers and sites. WůĞĂƐĞǀŝƐŝƚǁǁǁ͘ĚĐŽĂ͘ĚĐ͘ŐŽǀĨŽƌůŽĐĂƟŽŶƐĂŶĚƉŝĐŬͲƵƉƟŵĞƐ͘

324 Kennedy St. NW Washington, DC 20011 (202) 291-6170

Together we can make the District of Columbia a friendlier place for all ages Ward 6. Contact Sherrel Briscoe

Hayes Senior Wellness Center 500 K St. NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 727-0357 Ward 8. Contact Sherry Compton

Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center 3500 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE Washington, DC 20032 (202) 563-7725

'ŽǀĞƌŶŵĞŶƚŽĨƚŚĞŝƐƚƌŝĐƚŽĨŽůƵŵďŝĂ Vincent C. Gray, Mayor

38

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

D.C. OFFICE

ON

AGING NEWSLETTER

Prepare for Emergencies National Preparedness Month is an annual campaign to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses and communities. One of the key messages is: Be prepared in the event an emergency forces you to be self-reliant for three days (72 hours) without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, or without the guarantee that police, fire or emergency medical services will be able to respond rapidly (as is the case in some disasters where sustained dangerous conditions preclude immediate responses). Preparing can start with three important steps:

Make an Emergency Go Kit Preparing an Emergency Go Kit in advance can save precious time if you must evacuate or seek shelter. Put the following items in a sturdy, easy-tocarry container such as a backpack or suitcase with wheels. Keep your kit in an easily accessible place. Add the following to your kit: • At least a three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Store in sealed, unbreakable containers. 

• A three-to five-day supply of nonperishable canned food, and a nonelectric can opener • Flashlight • Battery-powered or hand crank radio • Extra batteries • Wrench and/or pliers to turn off utilities • Whistle to signal for help • First aid kit • Prescription medications for at least one week • List of family physicians, important medical information, and the style and serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers • Cell phone charger • Extra set of eyeglasses, or contact lenses and solution • Rain gear, sturdy shoes, and a change of clothing • Blankets, bedding, and/or sleeping bags • Identification, credit cards, cash • Photocopies of important family documents including bank and home insurance information • Extra set of car and house keys • Local maps • N95 dust masks to help filter con-

 



 

taminated air • Plastic sheeting, duct tape, and scissors to shelter in place • Tools: screwdrivers, waterproof matches, a fire extinguisher, flares, plastic storage containers, needle and thread, pen and paper, a compass, garbage bags, moist towelettes, and regular household bleach • Special items for seniors, family members with disabilities, infants, and young children Change batteries in all your equipment at least once a year. An easy way to remember is to do it when you turn your clocks back in the fall. In any emergency you or a family member may be cut, burned, or suffer other injuries. Basic supplies will make you better prepared to help you or your loved ones with injuries.

First aid items you should have: • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex) • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection • Burn ointment to prevent infection • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant • Thermometer • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies

Make a plan for what to do in an emergency Below are simple steps to take to ensure you and your family is prepared: • Program emergency numbers into all phones • Pick two places where your family will reunite after an emergency: a place near your home and a place outside the District in case you cannot return home after an emergency • Make sure everyone knows the addresses and phone numbers of both meeting places • Know and practice all possible exit routes from your neighborhood • Put important family records (birth certificates, healthcare records, passports) in a safe place, such as a fireproof and waterproof safe or a bank safety deposit box • Practice your plan with all household members • Identify an easily accessible location in your home to store your Emergency Kit and make sure everyone in the home is aware of the location

Be informed: During and after an emergency, it might be difficult to get information or instructions right away. Tune in to the following radio stations, which will broadcast official information and instructions from the District government. • WTOP 103.5 FM / 103.9 FM • WAMU 88.5 FM • WHUR 96.3 FM • WASH 97.1 FM Sign up to receive emergency text alerts by visiting http://alert.dc.gov. For more information visit the websites of HSEMA http://hsema.dc.gov or call 311.

SPOTLIGHT ON AGING     

        

    

        

               

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Spotlight On Aging is published by the Information Office of the D.C. Office on Aging for D.C. senior residents. Advertising contained in the Beacon is not endorsed by the D.C. Office on Aging or by the publisher. 500 K St., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 202-724-5622 • www.dcoa.dc.gov John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA Executive Director Darlene Nowlin Editor Selma Dillard Photographer The D.C. Office on Aging does not discriminate against anyone based on actual or perceived: race, color, reli-

gion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, source of income, and place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited by the Act. In addition, harassment based on any of the above protected categories is prohibited by the Act. Discrimination in violation of the Act will not be tolerated. Violators will be subjected to disciplinary action.

The Office on Aging is in partnership with the District of Columbia Recycling Program.

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Money Law &

39

FINDING DISCOUNTS AND FREEBIES Some great sources of retail and restaurant discounts for those 50+ STOCKS TO BUY NOW Ten of the 30 Dow Jones stocks, from 3M to Pfizer, are good buys now FOOD STAMPS FOR PETS? If you can’t afford to feed Fluffy and Fido, a nonprofit may be able to help STOP OVERSPENDING Learn ways to psych yourself out of buying things you don’t need

Alternative investments for regular Joes The stock, bond and commodities mar- for-the-shakes, and you should read it. kets saw steep price declines after Chairman He discusses the danger of investors holdBen Bernanke indicated that ing longer-term bonds in the the Federal Reserve would current environment because it likely slow down its purchase of is likely that interest rates will government bonds a few increase. [See also “Protecting weeks back. Unfortunately, the bonds when interest rates rise,” volatility is unlikely to stop. August Beacon, page 29.] Investors have a right to be He discusses duration risk, concerned. Traditional safe inalso termed interest rate risk, vestments — such as Treasury which I have talked about in bills, money-market instruprior columns. His main point ments, and short-term certifiis that small increases in rates THE SAVINGS cates of deposit — still earn less GAME generate disproportionately than 1 percent, while inflation is By Elliot Raphaelson large reduction in value for approximately 1.4 percent. bonds. What alternatives are availRice gives the example of an able for investors who want reasonable in- investor holding 10-year Treasury bonds. He come but without a great deal of risk? points out that in recent trading, these bonds Bob Rice, Bloomberg’s alternative invest- dropped 1/10 percent in value for each ment editor and founder of Tangent Capital, 1/100 percent increase in interest rates. wrote an excellent article in June titled “LiqHe believes that investors should lower uidity Detox: Prepare for the Shakes.” It is their exposure to traditional bonds. He available online at www.forbes.com/sites points out that if rates increase 4 or 5 percent /rice/2013/06/18/liquidity-detox-preparefor intermediate Treasury instruments, in-

vestors stand to lose one-third of their value.

Replacements for bonds In the article, Rice cites some alternative investments that have generated superior returns for the best money managers. He goes into a lot more detail in his excellent book, The Alternative Answer: The Nontraditional Investments that Drive the World’s Best-Performing Portfolios (HarperBusiness, 2013). Rice believes that the following alternative investments will provide higher income with lower risk than traditional investments: master limited partnerships (MLPs), royalties, catastrophe bonds, emerging market debt, multiclass ETFs, specialty finance and corporate loans (including business development companies). He explains these alternatives are now available to every investor. He believes that it is time for average investors to abandon the traditional 60/40 mix of stocks and bonds and use alternative investments. He believes this approach will dramatically increase returns and reduce overall investment risk.

He also discusses what he categorizes as “not-so alternative sources,” namely REITs, high-yield bonds, and high-dividend and preferred stocks. Rice argues that these are often overpriced, and that his alternatives provide better risk/return characteristics and better inflation protection. MLPs are an underappreciated asset class, according to Rice. Congress created these vehicles in the 1980s to spur energy infrastructure, creating attractive investor incentives. They trade publicly, do not pay entitylevel taxes, and pay out almost all their net income to investors. They can be actively managed in order to increase earnings. MLPs, in general, provide better returns than conventional bond alternatives.

Diversified multi-asset ETFs Rice indicated that multiclass ETFs are an interesting new entry as a “one-stop shop” for diversified and uncorrelated inSee INVESTMENTS, page 41

Debt counselors can help with finances By Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior: What resources can you recommend to help seniors with financial problems? I hate to admit it, but I’ve fallen behind on my house payments and have accumulated quite a bit of credit card debt over the past few years. Where can we get help? — In Debt at 70 Dear In Debt: There are actually a number of free and low-cost resources available today that can help those who are struggling with credit card and/or mortgage debt. Here’s where you can turn for help.

Credit counseling To help you get a handle on your credit card debt, a good place to start is at a creditcounseling agency. These are nonprofit agencies that offer free financial education and advice on how to handle financial problems. And if your debt is significant, they can set you up in a debt-management plan (DMP) that allows a counselor to negotiate with your creditors to lower your interest rates and eliminate any late fees and

other penalties. The agency will then act as a consolidator, grouping all your debts into one monthly payment for you, which the consolidator then distributes among your creditors. Most agencies charge a onetime $30 set-up fee and a monthly maintenance fee of around $20 for a DMP. To locate a credible agency in your area, use the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website at www.debtadvice.org or call 1-800-388-2227. Do not use a for-profit debt settlement company that claims to settle all your debt or cut it in half for a fee without counseling. Most of these companies use deceptive practices and will only leave you more in debt than you already are.

Foreclosure help If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, or if you have already received a letter or phone call about missed payments, you should contact your lender immediately to explain your situation and see if you can work out a payment plan. Be prepared to provide your financial information,

such as your monthly income and expenses. You can also get help from a housing foreclosure avoidance counselor. These are HUD-approved, trained counselors that will work with you, examining your financial situation, and offer guidance on how best to avoid default or foreclosure. They can also represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need them to. To find a government-approved housing counseling agency in your area, use the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website or phone number given above. Or, for a larger selection of housing counseling options, see the Department of Housing and Urban Development website at www.hud.gov — click on “Resources” at the top of the page, then on “Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling,” or call them at 1800-569-4287. Another helpful resource you should know about, and one your counselor can help you explore, is the Making Home Affordable program. Created by the Obama Administration in 2009, this program offers struggling homeowners the opportunity to modify or refinance their mortgage to make

their monthly payments more affordable. It also includes the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for those who are interested in a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure. To learn more about these programs and their eligibility requirements, see www.makinghomeaffordable.gov or call the Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s HOPE Hotline at 1-888-995-4673.

Financial assistance You also need to make sure you’re not missing out on any financial assistance programs. The National Council on Aging’s website (www.benefitscheckup.org) contains a database of more than 2,000 federal, state and local programs that can help seniors with prescription drug costs, healthcare, food, utilities and other basic needs. The site will help you locate programs that you may be eligible for and will show you how to apply. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

How to ferret out discounts and freebies By Anne D’Innocenzio There’s a big silver lining to getting older: a bevy of discounts for you to enjoy — from free samples to discounts on car rentals. And for many of these incentives, you don’t have to be anywhere near 65. In fact, some can be enjoyed starting at 50. Of course, to get the freebies or the 20 percent off you’ll have to admit your age — and then, most likely, flash your ID — but it can be well worth it. “Every penny counts,” said Jodi Furman, author of a blog called Livefabuless (www.livefabuless.com), who said she’s seeing more discounts that start at age 50 than just a few years ago. “All you have to do is mention your age.”

Tips for savings Don’t be shy: Many stores or restaurants don’t broadcast their discounts. Even on their websites, the offers can be hard to find. So just ask the manager what’s available. What’s the worst that can happen? And you may even get your ego stroked when the person at the cash register thinks you’re much younger than you are. “Today people are more comfortable

with their age and with asking for discounts,” said Alison Jatlow Levy, a retail strategist at consulting firm Kurt Salmon. She also encourages shoppers to think broadly and look at every area, from spas to electronics. Join AARP and other groups: Once you’re 50, you can sign up to be a member of AARP, which provides benefits like discounts and freebies to its members through affiliate partners. It costs $16 to be a member for one year, but less than that per year if you purchase a membership for several years at once. There are other organizations, like the American Seniors Organization (www.americanseniors.org), that offer benefits, too. Research online: Discounts keep changing, so you need to keep surfing the Web to make sure they’re current. The AARP website (www.AARP.org) has a tab dedicated to discounts. It includes a grocery coupon center powered by Coupons.com, and has links to such retailers as arts-andcrafts chain Michael’s, which offers a 20 percent savings every Tuesday for AARP members. The site also has a section on free samples of top brands in food and beauty.

Levy encourages consumers to check out different websites that focus on discounts for the 50 and over set. Among the largest: www.seniordiscounts.com, which features more than 250,000 local listings. Other sites include www.free4seniors.com, www.allse niordeals.com and www.sciddy.com, which lets you search discounts by your area code. Furman also advised trying a free app called www.Larky.com, which currently works on Apple and Android products. The app offers automatic reminders of your membership perks and discounts when you need them. Be prepared: Make sure to bring your ID and your AARP card when you go out. Business establishments will likely want to see proof that you are the age you say — especially if you look much younger than you are.

Where the discounts are The following are the types of discounts you can grab: Retailers: A diverse group of stores offer discounts, though most offer them on a certain day of the week. For example, Bealls offers “50 & Fabulous” discount days every Tuesday. The 15 percent discounts are valid at its stores only and an ID is required. At Kohl’s, shoppers age 60 and older can save an extra 15 percent every

Wednesday. The discount is not available online. Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic offers 10 percent off every day for customers 65 and older. The discount can be combined with other coupons and discounts available throughout the year, according to Edie Kissko, a Gap spokeswoman. Restaurants: A vast array of eateries offer discounts, but most are limited to fast-food chains, such as IHOP and Dunkin’ Donuts. At Dunkin’ Donuts, you can order any large or extra-large beverage and get a free doughnut, but you have to show your AARP card. Travel and hotels: For many car rental companies, you have to be a member of AARP to take advantage of discounts. Budget Rental Cars discounts rates up to 10 percent. Among the hotel chains that offer discounts are Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, which operates under such names as Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Super 8 and Ramada. AARP members can save up to 20 percent off the best available rate at its hotels, according to Christine Da Silva, a spokeswoman at Wyndham Hotel Group. Cruise bound? AARP members can save 5 percent on select Norwegian cruises. — AP

BEACON BITS

Sept. 17

LONG-TERM CARE PLANS FOR WOMEN

AARP D.C. will sponsor a one-day special event that encourages women to take a 40-day pledge to complete their long-term care plans. The event is held at the Living Social Dupont Room, 4th Floor, 918 F St. NW, Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, September 17. The one-hour session will be offered at 9 a.m., repeating at noon and 6 p.m. Register to attend by emailing dcsdc@interlexusa.com. For more information, see www.decidecreateshare.org.

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

41

Retirement plan fees can eat up earnings A Yale professor is, providing a perfect put new rules into effect, which required follow-up to the PBS “Front401(k) sponsors to disclose line” episode “The Retirefees and performance data to ment Gamble” that aired earplan participants. The first lier this year. The program round of the more detailed indetailed America’s retirement formation was sent in Novemcrisis and how the financial ber 2012, but despite all of the services industry feasts on media hype, those disclosures high fees inside of many emdid not make much of an imployer-sponsored plans. pact. Professor Ian Ayres has reAccording to the EBRI cently completed an exhaus2013 Retirement Confidence tive analysis of company- RETIRE SMART Sur vey, about half (53 persponsored 401(k) plans and By Jill Schlesinger cent) of defined contribution found that many charge explan participants reported cessive fees. But Ayres has taken the re- having noticed these new disclosures, and search to a new level by sending about only 14 percent of those who noticed (7 6,000 letters to the companies, writing that percent of all plan participants) said they he would disseminate the results of his made changes to their investments as a study next spring and would specifically result. identify and expose those companies with How big a bite? high-cost plans. To review, there are a bunch of fees that The concept of reeling in retirement plan fees gained a bit more momentum participants pay, including administrative, last year, when the Department of Labor trustee and investment fees. The average

Investments From page 39 come. They combine investments in categories such as REITs, MLPs, royalties, and domestic and foreign high-dividend stocks. This is a convenient way to obtain income from diverse sources with the prospect of higher income in inflationary periods. Rice does not recommend specific investments. However, he does cite reliable sources for these alternatives. He recommends Morningstar as a source for all traded securities offering nontraditional products. For example, Morningstar provides a four-star rating for

plan costs about 1.5 percent, with larger company plans coming in at closer to 1 percent, and small to medium sized ones sometimes costing in excess of 2 percent. You may think that a half of a percent does not seem like a big difference, but that fraction could cost you literally hundreds of thousands of dollars over time. As a baseline, if you were to start with $100,000 and invest it over 50 years at a 7 percent return (compounded monthly) with no fees, you would end up with approximately $3.2 million. If you apply the average plan fee of 1.5 percent, the future amount is more than halved to just over $1.5 million. But if you are in an expensive plan and the fee is 2 percent, your future value drops to $1.2 million at the end. That’s $300,000 that could be falling to your bottom line!

plan is more expensive than the average? One benefit to the disclosure rules is that plan participants can be empowered to effect change. The first step is to review the disclosure that was sent. If your plan costs more than the average of 1.5 percent, gather as many co-workers as possible and lobby your boss for a cheaper plan. It may surprise the boss to learn that he or she can find cheaper alternatives. But it is notoriously difficult for smaller companies to get the best plans. The reason is that the financial services industry likes scale. It takes a lot of money to provide all of the services necessary to operate a retirement plan, so financial companies like to land the big fish. If you hit a brick wall on a new plan, then at the very least try to have cheaper investment options added to the current

Finding lower fees What should you do if your retirement

See FIND LOWER FEES, page 43

Guggenheim Multi-Asset Income ETF (CVY), which was established in 2006. Rice recommends Miller/Howard Investments for their expertise in MLPs. In their portfolio, they hold Enterprise Product Partners (EPD) and Markwest (MWE). Recently, we have seen that traditional portfolio diversification did not protect most investors. Investors who are interested in higher income as well as protecting their capital should consider the alternatives Rice presents. Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at elliotraph@gmail.com. © 2013 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

NOTICE TO SENIORS, VETERANS AND THE DISABLED What would you say if we told you – you don’t have to pay your credit card or medical bills? Most of our clients say, “ank you.” Living on Social Security, disability payments, pensions or veteran’s benefits? Federal law states that your income cannot be taken to repay debts, even some student loans. Don’t endure frustrating calls and letters from collection agents. You can live worry-free as thousands of our clients do. DCSD shelters you from harassment DCSD protects your income DCSD is not a bankruptcy Stop creditors from breaking the law by collecting debts you can’t pay. ere is an affordable alternative to bankruptcy. For as little as $20 per month you can employ a DCSD Attorney to deal with your debts.

Call Debt Counsel for Seniors and the Disabled For a Free Consultation at 1-800-992-3275 EXT. 1304 Founded in 1998 Jerome S. Lamet Founder & Supervising Attorney • Former Bankruptcy Trustee www.debtcounsel.net info@lawyers-united.com

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

When a mutual fund refuses your money By Stan Choe “No thanks.” That’s what a growing number of mutual fund managers are telling investors who want to hand over their money, and it’s occurring just as many investors are getting comfortable with stocks again. The market has been setting record highs, and more than 300 mutual funds have closed their doors to anyone who wants to put money in the fund for the first time. The funds run a wide range — specializing in everything from short-term U.S. bonds to dividend-paying Asian stocks. Of the 315 funds closed to new investors, 56 made the move during the first seven months of 2013, according to data

from Morningstar. That compares with 49 for all of 2012 and 53 for all of 2011.

Why some funds close It’s actually an encouraging trend, at least for those already in the funds, said Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual fund research at S&P Capital IQ. “Funds close to new investors for good reasons,” he said. “They want to make sure they protect existing shareholders.” Mutual fund companies could earn bigger profits by keeping their doors open, because it means more assets on which managers can collect fees. But having too much money can make managing the fund more difficult. Stock pickers may run out

of ideas they feel strongly about. Managers who specialize in small-cap stocks could also see their ownership stakes get too large in individual companies if they continue pumping money into their favorites. That could make selling them later more difficult. “It’s nice to hear that the industry that has been criticized for being greedy is doing things that are taking the interest of shareholders to heart,” said Morty Schaja, chief executive officer of RiverPark Funds. His company’s RiverPark Short Term High Yield fund (RPHYX) closed to new investors in June. “It’s like we’re in the business of selling cars, and all of a sudden, we don’t want to sell any more cars because there’s too much traffic,” Schaja said. Much of the RiverPark Short Term High Yield fund is invested in a relatively small section of the market: bonds issued by companies with weak credit ratings that are scheduled to be repaid over the next month. When the fund launched in 2010, Schaja said the team thought it could comfortably handle $700 million to $1 billion. “After that, it’s harder to invest the money.” The fund now has about $789 million, according to Morningstar, as demand ballooned for bonds with higher yields that are less sensitive to moves in interest rates.

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Investors have been getting more comfortable with stock mutual funds recently as well. They put more money into stock funds than they took out for five straight months from January through May, according to the Investment Company Institute, which represents the fund industry. It’s the first time that has happened in more than two years, though investors pulled a modest amount out in June. The increased flow of dollars and big

gains for stocks this year have pushed assets for many stock mutual funds higher. Indexes that measure big, medium and small-sized stocks all set record highs in July. The BBH Core Select (BBTEX) fund closed to new investors in November, before that run. It was for a simple reason, said Jeff Schoenfeld, a partner at Brown Brothers Harriman: Its managers are choosy and want to remain that way. The fund has several criteria that companies must pass before the fund will invest, and it typically can identify only about 25 to 30 at a time. Companies must sell an essential product or service, have loyal customers, and have a stock price that’s at least 25 percent below where the managers think it should be, for example. The fund owns big companies, such as Berkshire Hathaway, Comcast and Google. “If you do the math, it leads you to the conclusion that after you reach about $20 billion, you would either own too much of any one company, or you’d have to begin diversifying and own a larger number of companies,” Schoenfeld said. To be sure, the decision to close the fund and protect existing shareholders wasn’t entirely selfless. “The investment team who work here are invested themselves,” Schoenfeld said. Asked if the fund ideally would remain closed to new investors forever, Schoenfeld said he doesn’t know. But mutual funds in the past have gone on to re-open, including Fidelity’s Contrafund (FCNTX), one of the most popular funds at $93.7 billion in assets. It welcomed back new accounts in December 2008 after having previously been closed since April 2006. The fund’s manager, Will Danoff, said at the time that dollars from new investors could help him to scoop up stocks that had been knocked down by the financial crisis. — AP

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Dow Jones stocks to consider buying now By Elizabeth Ody For all its quirks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average remains one of the most influential market gauges in the world. We think that, of the 30 Dow stocks, these 10 are the ones to buy now. 1. 3M (symbol MMM; recent price, $116). Company officials recently lowered their forecast for 2013 profits. But 3M’s record of innovation, diversified product base and excellent prospects abroad signal a bright future. Even better, 3M has raised its quarterly dividend each year for the past 55 years. 2. Chevron (CVX; $119). The second-largest U.S. energy company has invested heavily in exploration in recent years, including increasing its exposure to liquid natural gas. The firm has boosted its dividend at an annual pace of 9 percent over the past five years. 3. Cisco Systems (CSCO; $24). Cisco is the dominant player in routers, switches and other networking equipment for computers. It is also expanding into faster-growing software and services, all the while maintaining its enviable profit margins. 4. General Electric (GE; $24). GE has rediscovered its mojo. The company’s core industrial businesses have sales backlogs large enough to last for years, and management is increasingly focused on returning cash to shareholders. 5. International Business Machines (IBM; $185). Big Blue is suffering a temporary slump. But the company is working to sell off its least-profitable units and is in

the middle of a vast cost-cutting effort. Once IBM rights the ship, its stock should deliver stellar gains. 6. Microsoft (MSFT; $32). The company is entrenched in the corporate world, where sales of its operating systems and applications software throw off steady streams of cash. The stock is plenty cheap, and Microsoft has raised its dividend at a 21-percent annual clip over the past three years. 7. Pfizer (PFE; $29). The world’s largest drug maker has several potential new blockbuster drugs on their way to market, plenty of cash to keep its massive research-and-development machine ticking, and a stock that’s far from overpriced. 8. Travelers (TRV; $80). The insurance seller’s tendency to err on the side of conservatism has been a boon recently, and helped fuel strong stock-price gains compared with its peers. Although low interest rates pose a challenge, Travelers has been able to cope by raising premiums. 9. United Technologies (UTX; $102). The maker of everything from elevators to aircraft engines is generating large amounts of cash, which it’s using to buy back shares and pay down debt. Future cuts to U.S. defense spending could hurt results, but strong sales to emerging markets should help keep growth on track. 10. UnitedHealth Group (UNH; $72). Healthcare reform has been a mixed bag for business. But the company’s position as the nation’s largest health insurer, and the stock’s attractive valuation,

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fit could seriously outweigh the short-term work involved. Jill Schlesinger, CFP, is the Emmy-nominated, Senior Business Analyst for CBS News. A former options trader and CIO of an investment advisory firm, Jill covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, “Jill on Money.” She welcomes comments and questions at askjill@jillonmoney.com. © 2013 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

From page 41 plan. Index funds, which carry much lower fees, can make a big difference. I recently helped a radio caller navigate her 401(k) plan investment options. By shifting from costlier actively managed funds to index funds, her cost of investing dropped from over 1 percent to just 0.25 percent. It can feel burdensome to stay on top of all of these issues, but the long-term bene-

tip the scales here. Elizabeth Ody is a contributing editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to mon-

eypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit www.Kiplinger.com. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Money Shorts A new way to donate You may have heard of the website Kickstarter — a “crowd-funding source” that collects small amounts from willing visitors to help get a creative project, such as a movie, off the ground. A similar program, called power2give, began funneling donations to Montgomery County arts nonprofits in June. Montgomery County is the 15th community to join the power2give network and is the only one in the Washington, D.C. area. Donors can select from 21 nonprofit organizations in the county. “People often feel that if they can’t make a really big donation, they shouldn’t donate at all,” said Ryan Rilette, producing artistic director at Round House Theatre. Power2give lets donors know “that any little bit you can give will actually make a very clear difference in people’s lives.” Round House succeeded in its quest for funds to support summer theatre camp scholarships. Other arts organizations have also discovered power2give. Arts for the Aging, for example, is seeking funding to publish a book of its participants’ stories, poetry and artwork. Since the launch of power2give, the National Capital Trolley Museum has raised money for its project “Clunk, Clunk, Clunk Went the Trolley.” Donations made to this project so far will almost completely fund the $4,480 the Trolley Museum needs to replace the air compressor on the trolley that visitors can ride around Northwest Branch Park. Power2give.org makes it easy for donors to see how much the project has raised so far and how much more is needed. Participating nonprofits can use social media and e-communications to connect with constituents and friends to help push a project to its goal.

To learn more, or to donate to one of the nonprofits seeking donations, see www. power2give.org/montgomerycountymd.

Food stamp assistance for pets? More than 50 million Americans receive food stamps, now known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which subsidizes grocery purchases for those with low incomes. But this program doesn’t cover pet food. As a result, those in the SNAP program are often forced to leave their pets at an animal shelter because they can’t afford to feed them. Earlier this year, a private, nonprofit program called Pet Food Stamps started offering free pet food to people who find it difficult to afford food for Fluffy and Fido. Its goal is to keep more cats and dogs with their owners and out of shelters. To become a member of Pet Food Stamps, you must be receiving some type of public assistance, such as food stamps, welfare or Social Security (if this is your only form of income and places you under the federal poverty level for income). Those accepted into the program receive free mail-order pet food from a company called Pet Flow. However, Pet Food Stamps warns that the program has received a “tremendous amount of applications,” and there will be an “extended wait” after creating an account. The organization’s website notes it may take up to eight weeks to hear back. To apply for the pet food stamp program, go to http://petfoodstamps.org to fill out an application. The program is funded solely through donations, which can be made to the organization through its website. For more information, email info@Pet FoodStamps.org or call (845) 875-9545. — Barbara Ruben

BEACON BITS

Sept. 21

WASHINGTON METRO INVESTMENT CLUB The Washington Metro Investment Club (WMIC) is having an open

house meeting on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the McCourt Building, 1 County Complex Ct. (Prince William Pkwy.), Woodbridge, Va. The meeting will start at 4 p.m. WMIC

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protecting yourself and your loved ones from such schemes. This event will take place at Brighton Gardens, 5550 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, Md., on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served. To register, call (301) 897-8566.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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Make the most of Social Security benefits By Elliot Raphaelson When most individuals prepare for retirement, they count on three streams of income: employer-administered retirement plans, typically a defined-benefit plan and defined-contribution plan such as a 401(k); independent savings and investment; and Social Security. All too often, retirees end up depending on Social Security income to a greater extent than they had planned. That makes it all the more important that they make the right decisions about maximizing their benefits. Once a person has made basic choices about benefits, they will not be able to change them, so it is imperative to understand all options and their implications. You have a fair amount of leeway as to when you claim your Social Security income. You can start receiving benefits as early as 62, as late as 70, or at full retirement age (FRA), which falls in between. Taking your benefits earlier reduces their amount.

A guide that can help When should you begin? That depends on a lot of personal factors that you will need to sort out. An excellent resource to help you do that is Social Security Inside Out, a booklet written by Robert Bruce. Bruce worked for the Social Security Administration (SSA) for 31 years, and he retired as a district manager. He knows how to avoid common mistakes people make regarding applying for Social Security benefits. His 38-page booklet (available at SocialSecurityInsideOut.com, $19.95) contains a great deal of useful information, including a list of retirement pitfalls, along with worksheets to help in your decision-making. The worksheet asks for information relating to your marriage, including dates, your children, and military and civilian ca-

reer information. You will use the worksheet to discuss retirement options with a SSA claims representative. Once you have filled out the worksheet, Bruce recommends that you write down what questions you want to ask SSA about benefits. Then call 1-800-772-1213 to reach a representative. The worksheet allows you to write down the information you receive from the claims representative. The worksheet is broken down into three categories for each spouse: retirement benefits, spousal benefits, and widow/widower benefits. You should obtain information from the representative for each category for benefits at age 62, at FRA and age 70. In addition, you should get additional information such as the starting date of your benefits for each option. After recording all the information, you will be in a position to analyze it, and determine which options make sense for you and your spouse. You can then apply for benefits over the phone or in person with a claims representative. You can apply for benefits when you are within three months of being eligible to receive them. However, to make the best decision, you should contact SSA well before that to review your options.

you will not be penalized even if you receive benefits before your FRA. Accordingly, you should file for retirement and disability if you have health problems. A spouse cannot claim spousal benefits if the husband (or wife) has not applied for retirement benefits. However, to get around this restriction, one could apply for and suspend benefits upon reaching FRA. Then the spouse can apply for spousal benefits. If you can afford to postpone retirement benefits after your FRA, your retirement benefits increase 8 percent a year up to age 70. Either spouse can elect spousal benefits and postpone filing for retirement benefits based on their work record until age 70 in order to

obtain higher monthly benefits then. A widow can apply for widow’s benefits at age 60, and then apply for her own retirement benefits later. There is no penalty for claiming widow’s benefits. If you marry before you are 60, you can still get widow’s benefits even if that marriage ends. Even if you are not close to any of the eligibility dates, it pays to plan in advance. If you wait to collect the relevant data, you may make a decision in haste that can cost you thousands of dollars. Do your homework in advance. For most retirees, Social Security income will be a major factor affecting your lifestyle. © 2013 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Disability and widow benefits There are a lot of special cases for initiating benefits, and the booklet highlights them. For example, disabled widows or widowers can begin claiming benefits at 50, or at 60 if they are a widow or widower surviving a divorced spouse. If you apply for retirement benefits at age 62, your benefits typically will be less than what you would receive at FRA. However, if you qualify for disability benefits,

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

What documents to keep, what to shred? By Jill Schlesinger You’ll be receiving bank, investment or retirement quarterly statements in the mail in early October, which makes it a perfect time to plan to fire up the shredder and organize that stack of documents piling up on the table. Here are some thoughts on financial paperwork that you can toss: Bank statements: Generally speaking, you only need to keep bank statements for one year, BUT, if you think that you may be

applying for Medicaid, many states require that you show five year’s worth of bank statements. Also, you should hold on to records that are related to your taxes, business expenses, home improvements, mortgage payments and major purchases for as long as you need them. Credit card bills: Unless you need to reference something on your credit card statement for tax or business purposes, or for proof of purchase for a specific item, you can shred credit card statements after

BEACON BITS

Sept. 13

HEAR THE COUNCIL CHAIR

Nancy Navarro, President of the Montgomery County Council, will speak on Friday, Sept. 13 at the meeting of the B-CC Chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) at Alfio’s Restaurant, 4515 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase, at 11:30 a.m. The lunch charge is $14, which includes tax and tip, payable at the door. No reservations needed. For more information, call Gordon Brown at (240) 328-6926.

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45 days. As with the bank statements, hang on to those statements that you may need for your taxes, as proof of purchase or for insurance. Tax returns/supporting documents: Despite being able to amend your tax returns going back three years, the IRS has seven years to audit your returns if the agency suspects you made a mistake, and up to six years if you likely underreported your gross income by 25 percent or more. As a result, you need to hold on to your returns and all supporting documents for seven years. Retirement account statements (including 401(k), 403(b), 457, IRA, Roth IRA, SIMPLE, PSP and Keogh): Keep notices of any portfolio changes you make intra-month (or intra-quarter for some plans) until the subsequent statement arrives to confirm those changes. After making sure the statement is correct, you can shred away. One note: keep evidence of IRA contributions until you withdraw the money. Brokerage and mutual fund account monthly statements/periodic trade confirmations (taxable accounts): Retain confirmations until the transaction is detailed in your monthly report. For tax purposes, flag a month where a transaction occurs because you may need to access this information in the future. Otherwise, shred monthly statements as new ones arrive, but keep annual statements until the sale of each asset within the account occurs and for seven years thereafter, in case you get audited. Pay stubs: Keep for one year, and be sure to match them to your W-2 form before you shred. Medical records: Given how hard it is to deal with health insurance companies, you should keep medical records for at least a year, although some suggest keeping records for five years from the time when treatment for the symptoms ended.

Retain information about prescription information, specific medical histories, health insurance information and contact information for your physician. Utility and phone bills: Shred them after you’ve paid them, unless they contain tax-deductible expenses.

Paperwork to keep Appliance manuals and warranties: Keep these documents handy in case something goes wrong and you need to cash in on the warranty or contact a repairman. Vehicle titles and loan documents: Do you want to wait in line for an hour at your local department of motor vehicles office in order to request a duplicate of your vehicle title? Me neither, so keep this paperwork in a safe and accessible place. House and mortgage documents: Hang on to your deed as well as home purchase, mortgage, sale and improvement records until six years after you sell. Remember that improvements you make and expenses such as your real estate agent’s commission can increase the basis in your house and potentially lower your capital gains tax. Insurance policies: Keep your homeowners, auto, disability and life insurance policies and declaration pages for as long as the policies remain in force. You can shred old policies. Paperwork to keep forever (in a fireproof safe, in the cloud or in a safe deposit box): • Birth/death certificates and Social Security cards • Marriage licenses and divorce decrees • Pension plan documents • Copies of wills, trusts, healthcare proxies/living wills and powers of attorney (attorneys/executors should also have copies) • Military discharge papers • Copies of burial deeds and plots • Safe-deposit box inventory © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

BEACON BITS

Sept. 19

LUNCH AND FINANCIAL TALK

Join the Sherpherd’s Center for its Lunch ‘n’ Life event on Thursday, Sept. 19 at noon, featuring financial expert Ric Edelman. Cost is $10 per person. Registration required by Friday, Sept. 13. The event will take place at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, 1724 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, Va. To register, call (703) 506-2199. After call, send name, address, contact information and check to Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church, 1205 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean, Va. For more information, call (703) 506-2199 or email info@scmafc.org.

Sept. 15

EMBASSY TOUR

The Woodrow Wilson House will open doors to several Washington embassies and outstanding private residences for the 28th Annual Kalorama House and Embassy Tour on Sunday, Sept. 15 from noon until 5 p.m. A pre-tour brunch at the Mansion on O Street is available for an additional fee. The tour tickets cost $35 in advance. The brunch-and-tour tickets cost $75 in advance. Patrons tickets cost $150, which include two tickets and a special patrons reception. For tickets or more information, visit www.woodrowwilsonhouse.org/events or email sandrews@woodrowwilsonhouse.org.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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Ways to stop yourself from overspending By Anya Kamenetz A recent study reported in Scientific American showed a complex relationship between economic behavior, emotions and childhood experiences. When people who had grown up when money was tight were reminded about the recent recession, they were more likely to make short-term, impulsive spending decisions, to ignore wise investments and to choose luxury goods. Unfortunately, there seems to be something about the stress of economic deprivation that triggers less than optimal spending habits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded that in 2005, the most recent year available, over 40 percent of U.S. households were spending beyond their means, and there’s reason to believe that behavior has continued throughout the recession, as median income fell between 2007 and 2010.

Luckily, though, you can draw on behavioral economics and psychology research to help you curb everyday overspending. Here are five steps you can take. 1. Check your head before you shop. The most fundamental way to avoid overspending is to apply some self-awareness to the reasons you are shopping. A 2001 Northwestern study showed that people who felt in control of their lives and powerful made more utilitarian shopping decisions based on quality and performance. People who felt powerless were more prone to conspicuous consumption. Don’t go shopping when you feel down about something at work or after a fight with your spouse. 2. Delay “dream purchases” by advertising them publicly. I always tell my husband that my Pinterest boards — personal space on the pinter-

est.com website where you can save and share photos of items you like, want to buy or have purchased — have saved us thousands of dollars. When I’m browsing online and see the cutest toy for our daughter or a new lamp for the living room, I “pin” the picture up on the online “board” instead of actually making the purchase. (You can do the same thing by cutting real pictures out of catalogues and putting them in a collage.) Later on, after some time has passed, the object may have lost its luster, or I decide to change it for something better. Sometimes the item even goes on sale. This “advertising” strategy takes advantage of a well-known tendency for the mind to equate expressing intentions with taking action — by “pinning” that couch, I satisfy some part of my brain as if I’ve actually bought it.

3. Ration the small stuff. Many people are prudent when it comes to big-ticket items, where they have the time and energy to invest in comparison shopping and budgeting. But all that falls apart when it comes to the little items, such as magazines and candy bars. That’s exactly why stores call them “impulse buys” and put them in the checkout lines at the supermarket. In one study, self-rationing — or placing arbitrary limits on small purchases, like “two a week,” or “only with cash, no credit cards,” or “only on Fridays” — helped consumers make better decisions and beat impulse buying. 4. Make “exceptional” spending part of your everyday budget. People are more likely to overspend in situations that seem out of the ordinary — birthday gifts, a car repair or a favorite concert ticket. But these situations add up and are actually pretty frequent, so it’s better to have a designated fund for special occasions, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Consumer Research. 5. Limit your use of plastic. Credit cards, gift cards and even debit cards are made for overspending, because the pain of paying is delayed and the transaction therefore seems less “real.” Research indicates that some retailers see a 40 percent increase in each purchase when they start accepting credit cards. The simplest way to tackle this problem is to leave your credit cards at home, or limit them strictly to categories like gas, and use cash for everyday purchases. Anya Kamenetz’ latest book is “DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.” She welcomes your questions at diyubook@gmail.com. © 2013 Anya Kamenetz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

BEACON BITS

Sept. 14

GROWING WINTER VEGETABLES

On Saturday, Sept. 14, join Green Spring Garden from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a class on vegetable gardening during the winter. Green Spring staff will show how to prepare soil, when to sow winter crops, and share methods for seed-starting with hands-on practice. The Garden is located at 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, Va. Bring gloves and dress for the weather. The cost is $22. Register on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring or call Green Spring Gardens (703) 642-5173.

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Careers Volunteers &

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Did you (or someone you know) change careers, start a business or go back to school after retirement? Please share your story. Email info@theBeaconNewspapers.com or call Barbara at (301) 949-9766.

Wide use of robots coming in many fields tasks that robots will perform: a) Lifting and repositioning patients b) Delivering medications to patients’ rooms c) Acting as mobile supply closets, following nurses from room to room d) Delivering lab samples and reports e) Conducting routine monitoring of patients — taking temperatures, blood pressure, glucose and so on 2. Food preparation As that lettuce makes it way to market, it might soon encounter another robot. Organic food provider Earthbound Farm Organic is using bots from Adept Technology to pack plastic clamshell containers full of greens. Earthbound has made a point of finding other positions for the displaced workers. Food processing is rife with jobs that are open to robotic replacement. Scientists at the Georgia Tech Research Institute are developing a robotic system that can debone a chicken. With a 3-D vision system, the robot can adapt to different sizes of birds. It uses a feedback system to sense the junction of ligament and bone, thereby reducing the hazard of bone chips. 3. In and around the home You’ve probably already seen Roomba, the best known of iRobot’s line of autonomous house-cleaning devices. The roving vacuums have been cleaning floors and terrorizing pets for over 10 years. iRobot has also developed devices that mop floors and clean pools and gutters. Next up: a robot that does windows. Windoro, developed in South Korea, uses a powerful magnet to keep it stuck to vertical glass. Bots will eventually even fold the family

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laundry. But that’s just a start. They’ll have Lettuce Bot, will roll through rows of plants, a role as personal assistants, especially for comparing images of what it sees with a datathe elderly living at home. Industrial giants See ROBOTIC WORKERS, page 50 in Japan (where the population is rapidly graying) are leading this charge. Toyota has a robot in the works that, among other tasks, can pick up and tote items around the house, remind Grandma to take her pills, and let someone watch via Skype while she does it. Honda’s ASIMO understands voice commands, climbs stairs and handles complex tasks such as picking up and opening a glass bottle and pouring the contents into a cup. Eventually, bots will lift paralytics and help them dress and eat. 4. On the farm Growing quality vegetable and fruit crops is repetitive, back-breaking work — and much of it is still done by hand. That’s why engineers at Blue River Technology are developing a robot that can take over The Asimo robot, manufactured by Honda, understands voice commands, climbs stairs, and handles complex the job of thinning out lettasks such as opening a pill bottle. Asimo and other rotuce seedlings. bots are being developed to help meet the rising demand Their mobile unit, dubbed for hospital and homecare aides. PHOTO COURTESY OF HONDA

Over the next decade, the number and variety of robots in the workplace will soar, taking over many jobs that are too dirty, too dull, or too dangerous for people to do. Already, about 1.4 million industrial robots are deployed around the world, as well as several million robotic devices designed for in-home consumer use. And potential growth is vast: Only about 10 percent of possible industrial users, for example, have actually incorporated robots into their processes. In the short term, such robots will displace thousands of workers, especially in fields that draw heavily on low-wage labor and/or put a premium on rote consistency, accuracy and endurance. But the threat of job losses is countered somewhat by the fact that the use of robotics will likely spawn millions of new American jobs in designing, building, monitoring and maintaining these electronic workers, in fields yet imagined. Here are seven key areas where you’ll see more robots: 1. In hospitals, medical centers and nursing homes As one of the country’s fastest growing industries, healthcare is attracting a lot of attention from robotics designers and makers. Doctor-controlled surgical robots are already on the job. Within the decade, microscopic bots — both biological and mechanical — will be used to clear clogged arteries, measure blood viscosity and deliver drugs to precise locations in the body. Mechanical aides will increasingly assist nurses and others who provide routine care, easing the need for nurse’s aides, home healthcare aides and other positions that have been hard to fill. Among the

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Robotic workers From page 49 base of well-spaced, healthy plants. Ones that are too weak or planted too close to others will be killed with an overdose of fertilizer. For conventional row farming, where machines such as harvesters and combines have long been in use, look for autonomous advancements as well. German tractor maker Fendt has developed a radioand-GPS system that allows a driverless tractor to follow the lead of a manned one as they make their way around the fields, doubling the output.

5. On factory floors Long established in both U.S. and foreign automobile factories, robots are taking on complex tasks in manufacturing settings. Already, sophisticated car-making robots can recognize which variation of a model is headed down the line, then select and assemble the right components for it. At Boeing, giant robots move rapidly and precisely over the metal skin of wide-body commercial airliners, riveting it in place. The growing sophistication of sensors and artificial intelligence will make interaction between mechanical and live workers safe and feasible. Robots such as Baxter,

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

from Rethink Robotics, can work side-byside with humans, rather than in separate caged-off areas. Employees will continue to perform tasks that require human judgment, while mechanical helpers take on functions that require endurance or involve hazards such as heat, cold and exposure to chemicals. Robots will lift and move heavy objects. 6. In classrooms Humanoid robots will go to the head of the class, taking telelearning to new frontiers. For example, English instruction is in high demand in Asian countries such as South Korea. Enter Engkey, a robot developed by South Korea’s Center for Intelligent Robotics. Engkey teaches elementary school students pronunciation (it also sings and dances). Human teachers in the classroom help facilitate Engkey’s interactions. In the Philippines, Engkey’s voice and motions are driven by a native speaker of English. The robot costs substantially less than paying native English teachers to live and work in South Korea. Down the road, “personable” robots such as Engkey will lead tours, explore remote sites, inspect equipment and check classwork. And yes, your teachers really will have eyes in the back of their heads.

7. In the military Building on the experience of drone aircraft, the military is rapidly expanding its use of robots. Number one reason? Safety. The jobs they’ll take, such as walking point on an infantry patrol, won’t be missed by humans. Closer to deployment are robots such as this one under development by Boston Dynamics and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The four-legged “mule” easily negotiates rocks and divots in the road and field. It is intended to follow a military unit of soldiers autonomously, catching up with the unit on field forays with supplies, and allowing them to recharge batteries from its onboard power source. In the field, it’s surprisingly quiet — an important characteristic on a secret mission. Future versions of the pack mule will be able to interpret verbal and visual commands. Drone aircraft will continue their expansion — and miniaturization. Bumblebeesize fliers will scout out urban buildings and other potential danger spots. Drones will move across land and in the water — where they can be stealthily cached on the seafloor until called into action. © 2013, Kiplinger. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

PROVIDE RESPITE CARE

Respite Care volunteers give family caregivers of a frail older adult a well-deserved break so they can go shopping, attend a doctor’s appointment, or just have coffee with a friend. Volunteers visit and oversee the safety of the older adult for a few hours each month. Support and training are provided. Contact Kristin Martin at (703) 324-7577, TTY 711, or Kristin.Martin@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Ongoing

JOIN THE AMERICAN LEGION

Springfield Post 176 is conducting a membership campaign and seeking wartime veterans in the Springfield area to join. Contact Post 176 Membership Chair, Dave Wallace, at david.f.wallace09@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.vapost176.org.

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Later retirement may lower dementia risk By Marilynn Marchione New research boosts the “use it or lose it” theory about brainpower and staying mentally sharp. People who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, a study of nearly half a million people in France found.

It’s by far the largest study to look at this, and researchers say the conclusion makes sense. Working tends to keep people physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged — all things known to help prevent mental decline. “For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 AP PHOTO/ALEX BRANDON

percent,” said Carole Dufouil, director of the study and a scientist at INSERM, the French government’s health research agency. About 35 million people worldwide have dementia, and Alzheimer’s is the most common type. In the U.S., about 5 million have Alzheimer’s — 1 in 9 people age 65 and over. What causes the mind-robbing disease isn’t known, and there is no cure or any treatments that slow its progression.

Studying older workers France has had some of the best Alzheimer’s research in the world, partly because its former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, made it a priority. The country also has detailed health

records on self-employed people who pay into a Medicare-like health system. Researchers used these records on more than 429,000 workers, most of whom were shopkeepers or craftsmen such as bakers and woodworkers. They were 74 years old on average and had been retired for an average of 12 years. Nearly 3 percent had developed dementia, but the risk of this was lower for each year of age at retirement. Someone who retired at 65 had about a 15 percent lower risk of developing dementia compared to someone retiring at 60, after other factors that affect those odds were taken into account, Dufouil said. See DEMENTIA, page 52

June Springer, 90, works as a receptionist at Caffi Contracting Services in Alexandria, Va. A French study of 500,000 people found that those who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

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BEACON BITS

Dementia

Sept. 28

From page 51

COMMUNITY YARD SALE

Join the Ladies Auxiliary of Lorton Volunteer Fire Station on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. between Amherst Ave. and Lorton Rd., Lorton, Va. If interested in selling, spaces are available for $20. Bring your own table. There will be a bake sale, hotdogs, coffee, cold drinks and snacks for sellers and buyers. For more information, call Shelia at (703) 819-9983.

Sept. 13+

SEE FRED AND GINGER’S FIRST KISS

Watch Carefree, a 1938 film starring legendary duo Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. Astair plays Rogers’ psychiatrist. The film is notable for featuring the first on-screen kiss between the two and is part of a series of films from 75 years ago. AFI Silver is located at 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md. Screenings will be on Friday, Sept. 13 at 3:15 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1:15 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 15 at noon; and Monday, Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $5. For more information, visit www.afi.com/silver or call (301) 495-6700.

To rule out the possibility that mental decline may have led people to retire earlier, researchers did analyses that eliminated people who developed dementia within 5 years of retirement, and within 10 years of it. “The trend is exactly the same,” suggesting that employment was having an effect on cognition, not the other way around, Dufouil said. France mandates retirement in various jobs — civil servants must retire by 65, she said. The new study suggests “people should work as long as they want” because it may have health benefits, she said.

Working at 90 June Springer, who recently turned 90, thinks it does. She was hired eight years ago as a full-time receptionist at Caffi

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Plumbing & Heating in Alexandria, Va. “I’d like to give credit to the company for hiring me at that age,” she said. “It’s a joy to work, being with people and keeping up with current events. I love doing what I do. As long as God grants me the brain to use, I’ll take it every day.” Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer’s Association, said the study results don’t mean everyone needs to delay retirement. “It’s more staying cognitively active, staying socially active, continue to be engaged in whatever it is that’s enjoyable to you” that’s important, she said. “My parents are retired, but they’re busier than ever. They’re taking classes at their local university, they’re continuing to attend lectures, and they’re continuing to stay cognitively engaged and socially engaged in their lives.” — AP

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Sept. 21+

HELP OTHERS READ

Give the gift of literacy to a Prince William County adult. Literacy Volunteers of America-Prince William helps adults learn to read and write and improve their English skills. Previous experience is not necessary, and training is provided. Their next tutor training workshop is Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be another workshop on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon. Attendance at both workshops is mandatory for tutors. There is a one-time fee of $35 to cover materials. If interested, call (703) 670-5702 or email lvapw@aol.com.

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NEW LISTING - Greens “K” Hi Rise 2BR, 2FB, den, pristine condition, updated HVAC, updated appliances, sep DR w/ window, huge kitchen, enclosed balcony w/ 3 entrances, neutral decor, garage space possibly available to rent with apt, 1480 sf, $227,000 NEW LISTING - Modified Patio Home Best golf course view! Updates include kit, BAs, BR, & all seasons rm, 3BR, 2FB, turnkey condition, bonus private patio, built-in bookcases, stained glass accents, 1511 sf, $364,900

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Travel Leisure &

There are many ways to get your car to a distant destination besides driving it. See story on page 56.

Age-old Spain's contemporary landmarks booked the challenging study tour arranged by the Flying Longhorns, the travel arm of the University of Texas Alumni Association. We were a large, diverse group with different backgrounds and political leanings. But we had a sense of camaraderie thanks in large part to the patience and abiding sense of humor shown by Antonio Ruiz, our tour guide in Spain. A native of Spain with a degree in linguistics, Ruiz escorted us to scores of famous landmarks as well as to bars, restaurants and concerts. When we encountered waiting lines Ruiz waved us past like a seasoned maître d’. Four other local tour guides, all graduates of Spanish universities, also spoke to us about local lore and culture as we explored northern Spain, starting with Catalonia and the Basque Country.

© BOTOND | DREAMSTIME.COM

By Gwen Gibson To fully enjoy the riches of Catalonia and the Basque Country of northern Spain, it helps to have stamina, curiosity, a hearty appetite for fine wines and gourmet foods — and a knowing, multi-lingual guide with friends in high places. I realized this during a recent, 10-day trip to this beautiful, autonomous corner of Spain. Initially, four items were on my “must-do” list. One, visit La Sagrada Familia, the magnificent cathedral created by Barcelona’s famously controversial architect, Antoni Gaudi. Two, eat pintzos (Basque-style tapas) while strolling the soft sands along San Sebastian’s sea walk. Three, visit the newest Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. Four, eat in Pamplona, where Ernest Hemmingway dined and wrote part of The Sun Also Rises. I accomplished this and a great deal more, together with 33 others who had also

Colorful buildings line a canal in the city of Bilbao in Basque Country. Bilbao is home to the curving limestone, glass and titanium Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry.

Autonomous regions © SERBAN ENACHE | DREAMSTIME.COM

Here are some of the tidbits we learned. The history of these areas predates the formation of Spain as a unified country. Indeed, the medieval kingdoms of Navarre and Aragón helped to create Spain. But neither Catalonia nor the Basque Country has ever been an official nation. Despite this, they cling to their centuries-old culture, while occasionally threatening to secede from their “mother country.” The Spanish Parliament granted autonomy to Catalonia and the Basque Country in 1979, but the debates go on even as these areas bask in their glory as some of Europe’s most popular tourist areas. The Basque language, still spoken by many, does not derive from any other language. It originated locally. Spain is geographically Casa Batlló in Barcelona was built by Antoni Gaudí bethe highest country in Eutween 1904 and 1906, commissioned as a private home rope outside of Switzerby the textile industrialist Josep Batlló. Today, the specland; Catalonia and the tacular facade is an iconic landmark in the city, and the building houses a modernist museum open to the public. Basque Country are the

highest points in Spain. The flags of Catalonia, the Basque Country and Spain are all red and yellow, but with different designs — and different admirers. Be careful what you salute. Our tour started in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and a bustling port city on the Mediterranean Sea. Barcelona, with a metropolitan population of 4.5 million, lies between the sea and the foothills of the Pyrenees and cannot grow “any way but up,” the locals complain with a dry laugh. The second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, Barcelona is home to a famous opera house; a 100,000-seat football stadium; a 60,000-seat Olympic stadium; noted museums like the Picasso, Miró and Maritime, and the popular Las Ramblas Boulevard that reaches from the heart of the city to the sea. Busy shops, cafes, markets and street performers keep this stretch alive, day and night. But nothing here attracts tourists like the works of Antoni Gaudi, the modernisme, or art nouveau, architect who was 100 years ahead of his time. His creations include ornate early lampposts, the several houses he designed (and which locals boast inspired Star Wars creator George Lucas), the magnificent Parc Guell in suburban Barcelona, and La Sagrada Familia, or the Sacred Family, the city’s number-one tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Construction on La Sagrada Familia started in 1832. Gaudi worked on it for 41 years and is buried in the crypt. But the magnificent cathedral is not yet finished. Six architects are still at work here. Completion is scheduled for 2026, on the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. “But don’t bank on that,” one worker laughed. From Barcelona we travelled by private bus to Zaragoza, San Sebastian, Bilbao and Pamplona. Since billboards are limited on these roads, we could see clearly the green fields, poppies and wildflowers along the way. We also hiked on city streets, rural routes and mountainsides. Antonio equipped us with headphones, called “whispers,” to keep us informed — and in line, so no one wandered off to a bazaar or bar.

Capital of Basque country We also needed the headphones in San Sebastian, the proud capital of the Basque Country, which extends from the foothills of the Pyrenees into southern France. Site of many landmarks, museums and parks, San Sebastian also beckons tourists with a four-mile oceanfront promenade that wraps around the city’s beaches. You get a sweeping view of this from atop nearby Mounte Igeldo where — on a clear day — you can also see France. Like Antonio, our lecturer here, David See SPAIN, page 55

Spain From page 54 Bumstead, emphasized that San Sebastian “is one of the safest cities in the world.” He alluded to the ETA — the violent separatist group that operated out of the Basque country of Spain and southern France for years. ETA translates in English to “Basque independence and security.” “The ETA is no longer big,” Bumstead stressed. “It went too far, did some terrible things. But they have since become marginalized and have declared a permanent ceasefire.” We also learned that Ferdinand Magellan was not the first to circumnavigate the world. He was killed during a battle in the Philippines. His second in command, Juan Sebastian Elcano, a Basque explorer, took over and completed the voyage. A monument to Sebastian Elcano stands in Gitaria, a seaside community near San Sebastian. Bilbao, another city with little crime, was transformed from a dark industrial town, known for exporting steel and coal, into a clean and popular tourist site after the Guggenheim Museum opened here in 1997. Designed by Frank Gehry, the distinc-

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

tive building is constructed of limestone, glass and more than 30,000 thin titanium plates that change color dramatically as the weather changes. From some angles, it looks more like a sculpture than a building. Bilbao landed the handsome museum by paying millions for the building and the Guggenheim name with taxpayer dollars. The Guggenheim Foundation chooses the art exhibited, which is mainly modern or Impressionistic.

Running of the bulls In sharp contrast, the principal attraction in Pamplona is the raucous, week-long Festival of San Fermín, which opens with hundreds of bullfighting fans running through city streets to the bull ring, ahead of six frightened bulls. Held each year from July 6 to July 14, it honors Saint Fermín, the city’s first bishop and patron saint, who was beheaded in France in the third century. All of Catalonia and San Sebastian in the Basque country have banned bull fighting, but this remains Pamplona’s most lucrative attraction. The hotel room where Hemingway stayed during the bullfighting festival now costs 2,000 euros per day. Orson Wells stayed here

once and skipped out on his bill. Proudly framed, the bill hangs in the hotel lobby. “If you have anything bad to say about Hemingway, don’t say it here,” lecturer Guillem Genestar said. “If you have anything bad to say about France, go right ahead.” Our close-knit group of 34 had a fourcourse meal fit for a matador at Café Iruña, where photos of Hemingway still line the walls. As I told you, this trip took stamina. But if I could do it in my 80s, so can you. It’s worth the effort. Catalonia and the Basque Country, combined, are no larger than New Hampshire. But the welcome you feel here is many times as big.

Planning your trip Swiss Airlines offers the lowest Washington-area early October fare from Dulles International Airport to Barcelona at $900 roundtrip. If you aren’t taking a package tour, like the one I and my fellow alumni took, I recommend the Hotel Cristal Palace in Barcelona

(www.eurostarscristalpalace.com), where rates start at about $190 a night, and the seaside Hotel Londres y de Inglaterra (London and England) in San Sebastian (www.hlondres.com/en), for about $310 a night. Both have great dinner and breakfast restaurants and are located in the heart of the city near many sights. Restaurants we enjoyed in Barcelona, outside the hotel, included the Citrus Restaurant on the Passeig de Gracia, which specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, and the Catalan restaurant Pomarada, on the same street. In San Sebastian, we enjoyed a seaside dinner at the La Perla restaurant. For lunches, we strolled the waterfront looking for the best places to try “pintxos” (pinchos) or tapas, the local specialty. Gwen Gibson, a former Washingtonian, is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas. [Editor’s note: Next month, the Beacon will explore Spain’s Andalusia, a vast region of snowy mountains, olive-studded valleys and desert coasts, whose tip sits less than 10 miles from Morocco.]

BEACON BITS

Sept. 18

SUSTAINABLE FARM TOUR

Join the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia and Greater Gainesville Jewish Community Active Adults Fall Kick-Off for a trip to Stoney Lonesome Farm on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet at the farm, 7502 Cerro Gordo Rd., Gainesville, Va. for a tour, lunch and a talk about the farm’s sustainable, ecologically responsible, community-oriented farming methods. The cost is $18 or $24 for JCCNV or synagogue members, and includes tour, lunch and talk. For more information, contact Sheila Budoff at Sheila.Budoff@jccnv.org or (703) 537-3068.

Sept. 26

VISIT HARPER’S FERRY

Join Senior Outdoor Adventures in Recreation (SOAR) in Montgomery County for a walking day tour of Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia on Tuesday, Sept. 26 led by a National Park Service Ranger. Hear the history of Robert Harper’s ferry service and John Brown’s raid, then take a guided hike to Jefferson’s Rock and view the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers below. Buffet lunch is included at the Quality Hotel. Fee is $55 per person. The buses will depart at 8:15 a.m. and return at 4:15 p.m. from Olney Manor Park, 16605 Georgia Ave., Olney, Md. For more information, call (240) 777-4926.

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Getting your car to a distant destination By Victor Block Every year, countless residents of the Washington area follow migrating birds south to Florida and other warm-weather destinations to escape frigid winter temperatures and the snow and ice that accompany them. Others from the same region and across the country are on the go because they are vacationing or wintering elsewhere or moving to a new state. Whether traveling for a vacation, work or another reason, a major decision people face is how to get where they wish to go and how to have transportation when they arrive. The choice boils down to four basic alternatives, each of which has pros and cons. If you’re planning a “snow bird” winter escape to Florida or another southern sun spot, or a temporary or permanent move elsewhere, it pays to give some thought to the available options.

On the road Driving your vehicle to your destination has both advantages and disadvantages. On a positive note, you can fill a car with more suitcases and personal belongings than you could transport by plane or train, and you don’t have to rent a car at your destination. On the other hand, driving means paying

for tolls, hotel stays, meals and fuel. There’s also the hidden cost of wear and tear on your vehicle (not to mention on yourself), which can be substantial during a trip of hundreds or even thousands of miles.

Some people prefer the speed of traveling by air, which gets you where you want to be in the quickest possible way. Of course, airline tickets can be expensive, but part of that cost may be offset because there are no expenditures for hotel or motel rooms, meals and gas en route, as there are for those who drive their car. On the other hand, while they reach their destination quickly, people who fly are subject to the whims of public transportation when they arrive, unless they rent a car, which can be costly for an extended stay. Another challenge for folks who fly is that the size and number of suitcases they can check through and carry on a plane are limited. That can be a big drawback for anyone planning a lengthy vacation trip, though there are ways to ship bags ahead of time as well. [See “Airlines will shlep your bags for a price,” May Beacon, page 42.]

worry about high excess luggage fees like those who fly. (Amtrak allows two checked bags free, and charges $20 each for up to 2 additional bags.) Still, dealing with enough suitcases for a lengthy stay in a home away from home can be cumbersome at best. Train travel also has added costs, including food purchased aboard, and the added price of sleeping accommodations for those on overnight trips who don’t want to try to snooze sitting up. Some Florida-bound travelers take the Amtrak Auto Train, which transports passengers together with their automobile from Lorton, Va., to Sanford, Fla., just outside of Orlando. The daily trip takes 17 and a half hours. The basic one-way price for two passengers and one car varies by date, but runs in the range of $400 to $600 in coach, and $750 to $1,200 for a sleeper (the upper end includes a private toilet and shower). Dinner and continental breakfast are included in the ticket price. Of course, those heading for places in Florida other than Orlando (or to other southern or western states) still have to drive to their final destination, which adds more hours, and dollars, to the trip.

Riding the rails

Cars on trucks

Taking to the air

Passengers aboard trains don’t have to

Mini Vacations

Laurel Highlands and Pittsburgh , PA

Christmas at Hotel Hershey

Sunday-Wednesday, October 20-23

Sunday-Tuesday, December 1-3

You will stay in the scenic Laurel Highlands and tour many of the attractions of this fascinating region during the height of the fall foliage season. The trip will include a day exploring Pittsburgh as well as tours of Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), the United Flight 93 Memorial, and many other attractions. $799 p.p., dbl. occ.

Hershey, Pennsylvania, does Christmas in spectacular fashion. You’ll stay at the luxurious Hotel Hershey, have a guided tour of the town of Hershey, visit the Hershey Museum and Chocolate World, experience the magical Hershey Sweet Lights display, and enjoy the dinner-theater show “Christmas in Chocolate Town.” This trip is loaded with holiday excitement and good cheer. $649 p.p., dbl. occ.

Other Upcoming Trips American Music Theatre–Christmas Show November 23 New Year’s Eve at Virginia Beach December 30–January 1 Call us for our full schedule and details about these and our other fun-filled trips.

Travel with Louise, Ltd. 3 0t r a1v e-l w5i t9h l 8o u-i s0e . 7c o 5m 7

Then there are those who combine the

speed of flying, or a nostalgic journey by train, with the benefits of having use of their own vehicle at their vacation destination. While they fly or ride, their car is carried there on an open or enclosed transport truck. The truck, but not the cars on it, adds hundreds of miles to its odometer. Your car’s trunk may be filled with luggage, clothing bags and other items needed for an extended stay. Some companies do not encourage this, however, as they do not take responsibility for materials lost or stolen from the vehicles. Auto transport companies offer terminal-to-terminal service, door-to-door pickup and delivery, or both. Charges for car transportation vary, and it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting for your money. For example, a comparison of prices from several companies for picking up a car in the Washington, D.C., area and delivering it to Sarasota, Fla., ranged from $570 to $740. Also, most companies schedule pick-up and delivery of cars during a range of dates that can be as long as a week. Each transportation service offers its own benefits and deals. Here are some to consider: See CAR TRANSPORT, page 59

Travel with us 4X & get the 5th ride FREE!

*

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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Options abound for faith-based travel Travel can be far more interesting when stripes often flock to Israel/the Holy Land you have something specific in mind that and other biblical sites. • Depending on the season, you want to see or do. And tour faith-based travelers often operators are happy to oblige schedule their visits around with hundreds of special-interkey religious holiday services. est tours. Those tours can often be a good choice, but they can also be expensive. Package tours In many cases, you can cover If you like package tours, the same ground on your own the industry has a lot to offer for much less than the cost of a you. Faith-based tour packtour. This month, I take a look ages often include an accomat the very popular area of relipanying priest, minister or TRAVEL TIPS gious or faith-based travel. rabbi who conducts private Religious travel by U.S. and By Ed Perkins services along the way in the Canadian travelers tends to various churches, temples concentrate, not surprisingly, on Christian and shrines, either as a sole guide or in adand Jewish traditions. And folks within dition to a professional tour guide. those broad groups tend to concentrate on Faith-based tours, along with most otha few specific geographical areas: ers, include tour bus travel between stops, • Roman Catholic travelers often focus and opportunistic sightseeing along the on Rome, Ireland (St. Patrick), Greece way. They guarantee that you hit the (Apostle Paul), and such key shrines and “must-see” stops. Often, the operators can arrange for acpilgrimage centers as Lourdes, Fatima and cess to exhibits/sites not regularly open to San Juan de Compostela. • Protestants are most often interested the general public. And, of course, they in reformation centers in Germany, take care of hotel arrangements, baggage Switzerland, Britain and on the several transfers and other travel details. passion plays around Europe. Many big general tour operators — • Jewish travelers often focus on Holo- ranging from budget level Cosmos to caust sites and Amsterdam. deluxe Abercrombie and Kent — provide • Christian and Jewish travelers of all religious tours in their tour mix.

On the other hand, dozens of tour operators narrowly specialize in religious tours. Examples include the Catholic Tour (www.thecatholictour.com), Reformation Tours (www.reformationtours.com), Faith Journeys (www.myfaithjourneys.com, both Catholic and Protestant) and JewishTravel.com. Ask your travel agent or Google for many more possibilities. Land prices start at a bit over $100 per person per day for budget-class tours, going up to nearly $1,000 a day at the deluxe end. One note of warning: Both the Christian and Jewish traditions these days embrace a wide divergence of views on key topics, and a fundamentalist or orthodox traveler might be very frustrated and unhappy with liberal-minded tour mates and clerical tour companions, and vice versa.

On your own But you don’t have to take a tour to enjoy religious travel. Download or buy a bunch of guidebooks and maps, figure out your itinerary, check train schedules or rent a car, and you’re in business.

• You can often arrange accommodations in monasteries, convents, or other religious houses. • You can arrange day trips through a local travel agency. • If you need a local guide, you can arrange someone by the day from a local congregation or university. • You can meet like-minded travelers to share private cars and the cost of local guides. And, as with private travel in general, you can move along at your own pace — skipping the dull spots (and the unavoidable stops at souvenir stands that kickback to the tour guide), and staying as long as you want at places of special interest. The point here is simple: Whether in a tour on your own, pursuing a focused religious interest can be a far more enjoyable way to travel than just to ride around viewing scenery from a bus or rented car, or stopping off at your destination’s well-known spots. Give it a try for your trip this fall. Send e-mail to Ed Perkins at eperkins@mind.net. © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

TAKE THE BUS TO MARYLAND LIVE CASINO An hourly Maryland Transportation Authority bus takes passengers to

the Maryland Live casino at Arundel Mills Mall from various stops along the Intercounty

v

Connector route in Montgomery County. The 201 bus begins in Gaithersburg and picks

All Natural

up passengers at the Shady Grove Metro station, Georgia Avenue Park & Ride in Olney,

Ingredients.

http://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/201Feb2012.pdf or call (410) 454-7973.

and the Burtonsville Park & Ride. The bus also continues to BWI airport. The fare is $5 each way or $3.20 for seniors and passengers with disabilities. Travel time is about one hour from Gaithersburg to Arundel Mills. For a schedule and route map, go to

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Car transport From page 56 Autolog Auto Transport, the originator of shipping privately owned cars, schedules vehicle pick-ups on a specific date, and — unlike some companies — does not charge a cancellation fee. It delivers door-to-door and also has a partnership with the Auto Train. For a free price quote, call 1-866-4251125 or visit autologmarketing.net/beacon. Carbone Auto Transportation picks up vehicles within one to seven days and offers only door-to-door service. Visit www.carbonetransportation.com or call 1888-511-1888 for pricing. Corporate Auto Transport offers open and enclosed carriers. It encourages plan-

ahead scheduling (one to two weeks) but also offers expedited shipping (pick up within 72 hours) for an extra fee. Visit www.corporateautotransport.com for a price quote. Both Stateway Auto Transport and Harvester Trucking offer door-to-door service only. They also provide vehicle tracking while en route and the option of enclosed carriers at a higher fee. Enclosed carriers offer more protection for vehicles, which may be worthwhile for luxury or newer cars. For more about Stateway and a price quote, visit www.statewayauto.com or call 1-877-848-7474. For Harvester Trucking, visit www.harvestertrucking.com or call (815) 679-6742. Washington, D.C.-based Victor Block is the Beacon’s travel writer.

BEACON BITS

Sept. 14

PINK COLLAR COMEDY

The Capital City will host the members of the Pink Collar Comedy Tour on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 10 p.m. at the DC Arts Center in Adams-Morgan, 2438 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C. Based in New York City, the Pink Collar Comedy Tour consists of four established female comedians who have performed and toured all over the country. The tickets cost $15 online at pinkcollarshowcase.eventbrite.com; $20 at the door. For more information, visit capitalcityshowcase.com or call (202) 431-4704.

Sept. 21

IRISH FOLK FESTIVAL

The City of Fairfax and the City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts present the free 18th Annual CCÉ Irish Folk Festival, in Fairfax, Va. All are invited to enjoy Irish music, dance, language and sport. The festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Sherwood Center at Van Dyck Park, 3740 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax, Va. and at the Auld Shebeen Irish Pub, 3971 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax, Va., from noon to 8:30 p.m. The festival will take place rain or shine. For more information, visit www.ccepotomac.org/irishfest.html.

Ongoing

JOIN A WOMEN’S CHOIR

Do you love to sing? Singers wanted for the Celebration Singers, a women’s show choir performing at various community sites in Northern Virginia. Practice is held during the day on Wednesdays in Burke, Va. For more information, contact Gayle Parsons at (703) 644-4485 or gparsons3@cox.net.

Did you know?

You may qualify for assistance in paying your home phone bill. Discounts for basic telephone service are available to eligible District of Columbia low-income residents.

Verizon Washington, D.C. Lifeline Plans: Verizon Washington, D.C.’s Lifeline service, known as “Economy II,” offers reduced rates on Verizon’s monthly telephone bill and one-time discounts on the cost of installing phone service. Additionally, toll blocking is available to Economy II customers at no charge. Economy II Service*: $3.00 per month for unlimited local calling. Value-added services are not included (e.g., Call Waiting, Caller ID). No connection charges apply. Also, customers will not be charged for the federal subscriber line charge. Economy II customers who are 65 years of age or older can have this service at a further reduced rate of $1.00 per month. • Full terms and rates for these services, including terms of eligibility, are as set forth in federal and in Verizon’s tariffs on file with the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia. Rates as stated here are effective as of September 1, 2011. But, the rates and other terms are subject to change in the future.

Link-Up America

Link-Up America is for District residents who are eligible for social service assistance. New customers or customers who move to a new address may qualify for a 50 percent reduction in service connection charges.

Contact DDOE at 311 to apply

To learn more about the Lifeline program, visit www.lifelinesupport.org.

59

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Text “Flapjacks2” to 90210 for news and specials from the Original Pancake House

ROCKVILLE 301-468-0886 BETHESDA 301-986-0285 FALLS CHURCH • 703-698-6292 www.ophrestaurants.com

Join MCC on a Trip and Take a Day

Away! Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens Washington D.C. Wednesday, Sept. 25 $107 per person/$102 MCC district residents “Living Artfully: At Home with Marjorie Merriweather Post,” is an exhibit at Hillwood that will transport us on a magical journey through the magnificent homes of Mrs. Post and her world-famous yacht, the Sea Cloud.

Barnes Collection Philadelphia, Pa. Wednesday, Oct. 23 $140 per person/$135 MCC district residents Do not miss an extraordinary opportunity to visit this legendary collection of Dr. Albert Barnes, which includes works by Cezanne, Matisse and many other noted painters, as well as ancient works from other cultures.

703-790-0123/TTY: 711 McLean Community Center

1234 Ingleside Ave. McLean VA 22101 www.mcleancenter.org

60

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Visit our 24-hour stores and pharmacies throughout Montgomery County, day or night. BETHESDA (301) 656-2522

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6917 Arlington Rd.

GAITHERSBURG (301) 948-6886

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19100 Montgomery Village Ave.

GAITHERSBURG (301) 948-3250

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546 North Frederick Ave.

KENSINGTON (301) 962-8090

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3715 University Blvd. West

NORTH POTOMAC (301) 251-0024 OLNEY (301) 774-6155

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9920 Key West Ave.

3110 Olney Sandy Spring Rd.

ROCKVILLE (301) 299-3717

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7955 Tuckerman Lane

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w a s h i n g t o n B e a c o n — SE P TE M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon

A Special Supplement to The Beacon newspaper

61

L’shana Tova

Warmest wishes for the High Holidays from Charles E. Smith Life Communities

September 2013/No. 30

A true lion: Meet Holocaust survivor and independence fighter Arie Nabozny by Emily Tipermas Just a third of European Jewry survived World War II and Hitler’s strategy to render the continent Judenrein – “clean of Jews.” One survivor, Arie Nabozny, whose Hebrew name means “lion,” lives today at Ring House. He describes the anguish of returning in 1945 from Siberian labor camps to his Polish town of Sarny only to discover it in Ukrainian hands, his relatives gone and the home built by his father leveled— “just sand, nothing left.” Twenty-three years old, alone and fearing danger, Nabozny headed for Lodz, Poland. There, along with other displaced teenagers and young survivors, he received support from the Haganah, an underground Jewish defense movement organized in 1920 both to protect Jewish settlements in British-ruled Palestine and to assist in creating a homeland there for Jews worldwide. The Haganah members traveled to Lodz to rescue survivors and encourage their move to Palestine. For Nabozny, raised and educated in a Zionist household and fluent in Hebrew, the Haganah brought hope for achieving his objective to live in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. Any trip to Palestine involved peril because

of Britain’s tight restrictions on immigration. Aliyah Bet, a clandestine operation dedicated to circumventing these restrictions, shepherded Nabozny and other refugees on a circuitous route by foot, trucks, trains and ship to Haifa. Arriving July 1, 1946, he immediately joined the Haganah. Those familiar with history know that clashes between Jews, Arabs and British authorities were complex, violent and impassioned. Nabozny played a role in that struggle and ultimately was present in Tel Aviv on November 27, 1947, when the United Nations’ vote to partition Palestine into two states was announced. He witnessed an emotional David Ben-Gurion proclaiming from a museum balcony, “Blessed are we who have been privileged to witness this day,” and was swept up in the ensuing celebration that filled the streets of Tel Aviv throughout the night. Yet, joy was cut short. Following Israel’s formal declaration of independence on May 14, 1948, five Arab nations invaded the new nation. Nabozny was caught in the heat of combat as his military unit battled its way south from Tel Aviv, with the mission of forging a secret bypass route over rocky

“I went through twice fighting for my life,” says Holocaust survivor Arie Nabozny, who fought for the Haganah in Israel. Photo by Richard Greenhouse

terrain to Jerusalem to bring food, water, fuel and medical supplies to the city’s trapped residents. When armistice negotiations finally ended the war, Nabozny resigned from the defense force. Today, Arie Nabozny is 91 and grateful to be alive and happy to recount the miracles that permitted him to experience the peace and joys of marriage and a devoted family. He is a treasure, and we’re honored to have him on our campus. n

Hebrew Home of Greater Washington • Smith-KoGod & Wasserman Residences Cohen-Rosen House • Hirsh Health Center • Landow House • Revitz House • Ring House

Pastoral interns

Waxing nostalgic

Page 2

Page 3

Men’s night out with Tony Kornheiser Page 5

Seniors on the go Page 6

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For 103 years, we have been here to provide care for the elderly in our community. You can help us today as we fulfill this important mission. We appreciate being named as the charity of choice when someone passes away. We also offer joy and memorial cards sent to the recipient of your choice. Please call 301.770.8329 or visit www.hebrew-home.org.

First person

Sharing our expertise

A glimpse at our drawing board

Where are they now?

As an organization, we are 103 years old and as young and vibrant as the programs coming off the drawing board. Let’s take a look at the programmatic and physical improvements poised for the coming months, the tangible result of our Warren R. Slavin strategic planning efforts to meet the growing needs of our community. Construction continues to factor into our future. Recently, we opened the spectacular Dekelboum Therapy Center and a new memory care residence, the Cohen-Rosen House. Now, construction is about to begin on the second floor of our post-acute care center where patients who are bridging the gap between hospital and home receive the skilled nursing and medical care that complement their rehabilitative therapy. This 70-bed inpatient area will be remodeled, including resident rooms, dining and living areas, and specialized accommodations and services for bariatric patients, representing a new program area. With the support of grants from the State of Maryland, plans are also in the works for renovating the spa rooms on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the Wasserman Residence. Revitz House, an affordable choice for senior housing, is slated for improvements in 2014 with the support of Maryland State grants, private donations and funding from refinancing. A new portico will better accommodate emergency vehicles and buses; renovations to the fitness center, common spaces, hallways, laundry facilities and apartments will modernize this community. Work progresses in Ring House as apartments for independent living receive kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops and baths with walk-in showers. Lobby and common areas are also getting a bright, new look. We appreciate the ongoing support from the community, government officials, legislators and lay leadership that is critical to achieve this level of innovation. With my best wishes for the New Year. L’shana tova,

Warren R. Slavin President, CEO

Page 2 | September 2013

In addition to tending to the spiritual needs of our residents, Rabbi James Michaels trains the next generation of clinical pastoral counselors. Since 2005, his accredited Clinical Pastoral Educational program at the Hebrew Home has trained 54 people from all faiths in an extended course during the academic year as well as a full-time summer session. Interns include: • • • • • • • • •

Judaism – 28 Episcopal -16 Methodist-1 Unitarian-Universalist – 4 Seventh Day Adventist – 1 Roman Catholic – 1 Interfaith – 1 Presbyterian – 1 Quaker – 1

Many interns come to Rabbi Michaels’ course through seminaries to learn how to work with people facing life-changing events, and to have hands-on clinical experience in a health care setting. Several of the students have taken more than one unit of study. Career highlights for former trainees include: • Rabbi David Abramson serves as a member of the JSSA community chaplaincy program. • Ann Klein and Rabbi David Rose serve as chaplains for JSSA hospice service. • Rabbi Judit Rubin now lives in Israel where she trains chaplains. • Linda Yitzchak serves as chaplain for the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes.

Father Harry Stokes, Associate Pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish, came to celebrate Mass for Home residents. These two special Masses were arranged by Rabbi Michaels, Monsignor John Mcfarlane of St. Elizabeth’s and our Catholic chaplain Mercedes Irigoyen. Said Pat McCarthy, St. Elizabeth Minister to Senior Adults, “We know good pastoral care is a hallmark of the Hebrew Home and very important to Rabbi Michaels, and so we were happy to help.”

• R  ev. Deborah Calhoun organizes and leads the Home’s monthly Protestant services. Rev. Debra McKune did this from 2011 to 2013. • Mercedes Irigoyen is part of the senior ministry team of St. Elizabeth’s Parish. Every week, she serves communion to our Catholic residents. She was instrumental in organizing our first Catholic Mass in June 2013. • Most of the Christian seminarians are ordained and serve as pastors of churches all over the country. Contact Rabbi James Michaels at 301.816.7711 for information on Clinical Pastoral Education. n

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What’s the scoop on coffee? Is it good for you or bad for you? Read the summer issue of Generation-to-Generation newsletter to learn the latest on the benefits and risks in that cup of joe. Visit hebrew-home.org, Newsroom page. While you’re there, check the archives for 100+ topics relevant to seniors. Is there a topic you would like to see covered? Contact us at hhinfo@hebrew-home.org.

Generation to Generation The magic of nostalgia

Initiatives

Ah, the aroma of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, the caress of a soft breeze coming off the lake, the stirring notes of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”. Stimulants like these can bring on a wave of nostalgia and make us feel…better. So, it’s not entirely surprising to learn that academics have latched on to nostalgia as a field of study because nostalgia does indeed have a therapeutic up side. In a recent New York Times article, “What Is Nostalgia Good For? Quite a Bit, Research Shows,” writer John Tierney describes British university professor Patty Hagen encourages the therapeutic aspect of Constantine Sedikides, who began studying nostalgia in 1999. nostalgia. Now researchers are developing tools to measure and understand nostalgia as a path to feeling good. The good news What Tierney draws from the findings of Dr. Sedikides and others is that “nostalgizing” makes people less anxious or depressed. They appear “more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders.” Couples report greater closeness when sharing fond memories. What’s most interesting is that in cold surroundings, body temperature warms during moments of nostalgia. Dr. Sedikides defines the benefits he has personally derived: “Nostalgia made me feel that my life had roots and continuity…It provided a texture to life and gave me strength to move forward.” There’s no question that good memories coexist with bad ones but, according to Dr. Sedikides, very often the problems contained in more painful memories “tend to end well, thanks to help from someone close to you, so you end up with a stronger feeling of belonging and affiliation.” Inducing nostalgia You can do what Dr. Sedikides himself does, which is to create more “nostalgic-to-be memories,” or simply draw on your “nostalgic repository.” Other proven ways to stir up positive nostalgia are to listen to favorite music from a past era, to revisit places connected to happy experiences, and to look at treasured memorabilia from special occasions, trips, relationships or childhood. Old photos, letters, newspapers, diaries, and

documents may be a rich source of pleasurable nostalgia. If you need help with preserving these invaluable relics of the past, there are many companies that supply reliable storage materials. The Hollinger Corporation, at www.hollingermetaledge.com is one source for archival products, including: • Archival boxes and acid-free document storage cases • Polypropylene photo sleeves and binder pages • Magazine files for vertical storage • Phonograph record storage • Compact disc storage What a conversation can accomplish Perhaps the easiest way to assist a friend or relative delve into a trove of happy thoughts is through relaxed conversation. Things easily forgotten can be retrieved with some simple questions: • Can you tell me more about that time? • What were the best parts of your childhood? • Who are the people with you in the photo? • You like to knit? Can you tell me how you chose that hobby? n

Patty Hagen, director of Memory Care Programs at Charles E. Smith Life Communities, regards nostalgia as an essential therapeutic device. “It can be key to elevating mood in residents living with dementia,” she says. At Cohen-Rosen House, our memory care residence, seniors are encouraged to reflect on moments and relationships in their past experienced against the backdrop of history and culture. “It’s gratifying to watch seniors light up at a poignant recollection,” notes Patty. To help tease out positive memories in our elderly population, she instructs her staff to plan activities involving the five senses. Ideas may include: • Looking at photo albums • Smelling flowers in a vase or garden • Savoring the taste of ice cream • Listening to music • Doing a simple art project Visit the Cohen-Rosen website, www.cohen-rosen.org, to check out her blog, “Cognitive Loss: Insights & Fresh Approaches.” Perspective

“Nostalgia brings to mind cherished experiences that assure us we are valued people who have meaningful lives.” — P rofessor Clay Routledge,

North Dakota State University

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Pursue interests and passions in a warm, welcoming environment at our independent living residences, Ring House and Revitz House. Immediate openings.

Information: For Ring House, 301.816.5000. For Revitz House, 301.881.7400.

Lifelines

s. almost two year brew Home for He e th e. at tiv si en mely po , has be e has been extre bert Kreider 5W nc Ro , rie er pe th I fa ex g. y s in hi M ” en y and ev a “home, wants to be in es during the da dy tim bo nt no re e th gh ffe g di ou Th ing durin I drop in at y father was do most daily and t to see what m I visit him al ou le activities. The du e he om sc well as awes the activities as ng d ki e ne ec an ch pl ve gs lo fun thin te an atmospher arm smiles crea ays seems to be w w d al e e an Th er ! gy Th er ow y. sh en da g. Their ying the nel are amazin forward to enjo on ok rs lo . pe I er at th es th iti fa y y tiv m sa ac t’s just enjoyed by d refreshing. Le ve really been ha r es ve iti ne tiv er ac th t that is upbeat an my fa the craf ve been outlets is fantastic and and painting ha entertainment ts an pl ng tti po ngs, bingo, e The games, so me. ’t wait to take m joy in his own ho t him. He couldn si vi to ck e ba m y m ca I was able to en in g when it growing cited this sprin me. I still have r fo dly d ou te pr an he pl t He was so ex wer he other visi show me the flo flourishing. An s it’ w e ho y Th jo e. m en to his room and hing to he can d to give somet pictures of it so t inted. He wante yard and I take pa d ve was the mos ha gi he to e ng us tle birdho ake somethi m ly al tu ac to handed me a lit rtunity given the oppo . my fact that he was d have arranged ul art for enriching co f af g your st bottom of my he e th m fro therapeutic thin am ities te thank the activ e in his heart. s face and prid I just want to hi on ile sm a for putting Sincerely, father’s life and Chata Smith

Joel Appelbaum, co-chair of the Progress Club Foundation chats with survivor Blanche Porway at the annual Holocaust brunch.

Holocaust survivors share stories “Do you believe I built airplanes for the Germans? That’s why they lost the war.” These words from Blanche Porway, a survivor of the Lodz ghetto and the Auschwitz and Mauthausen concentration camps, prompted laughter at the Holocaust survivors’ brunch at Charles E. Smith Life Communities, but reflect the kind of ironic humor that helps people handle deadly serious topics. Our campus is home to 50 survivors, a sizable portion of the region’s survivor population. This was the third Holocaust brunch generously hosted by the Progress Club Foundation of Rockville. Joel Appelbaum is committed to supporting this important annual event to express gratitude for the care his father received at the Home. “This is a generation that is disappearing,” he said. “We have few chances left to hear directly from them, to let them inform a new generation.” Historian and Holocaust educator Claire Simmons addressed the gathering eloquently, inspiring Mrs. Porway and others to describe terrifying experiences. Warren Slavin, President/CEO notes, “These residents were deprived of everything, including their dignity. It is our mission to care for our residents with respect.” n

Page 4 | September 2013

Ring House welcomes neighbors Over the hot summer, Ring House invited seniors living nearby to a “cool” day of programming, complete with free transportation. Our neighbors enjoyed a vendor mart with products designed for independence, a wonderful lunch and musical entertainment. This fall, special events continue, with an open invitation extended to neighbors in Rockville, Leisure World and Friendship Heights. Sunday, September 22, 3 – 5: Farmer’s Market. Shop for fresh produce and more from local farms and vendors. If you like, stay for a snack and schmooze in our Sukkah, constructed for the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Wednesday, October 30, 10 – 3: Mah Jongg for Fun. We’ll be happy to match you with other players. All levels of experience welcome; $5 includes play and a delicious luncheon. Call 301.816.5052 to RSVP. Free transportation available on Oct. 30.

“Remember This” lectures at Landow House The well-received “Remember This” lecture series at Landow House, now in its second year, covers the most requested topics in memory care. About 80 guests have come to each lecture and Q&A session, including social workers, case managers, geriatric nursing assistants, therapists and community caregivers. Thursday, October 10, learn about Allen Cognitive Levels, a measurement tool that assesses patients with memory issues and identifies the best approaches for providing care. At the CohenRosen House, Allen Cognitive Levels is an integral part of individualized care. Refreshments at 5:30 pm, program at 6. Call 301.816.5052 to register. There is no cost to attend, thanks to generous support from the Hurwitz Lecture Fund. n

w a s h i n g t o n B e a c o n — SE P TE M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon

65

Start the New Year with a good deed At the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, volunteers play a vital role at traditional High Holiday services. This year, we are seeking volunteers to: • Escort residents to/from services • Help residents follow the services • Assist at the Kiddush on Rosh Hashanah, Succot and Simchat Torah.

Dates are September 4-6,13-14, 19-20 and 26-27. For more information, please call the Volunteer Department at 301.770.8333.

Event makers Need an excuse to own some new running gear? Registration is now open for the annual Home Run 10k/5k and Fun Run, Sunday morning, September 29 at Federal Plaza on East Jefferson Street in Rockville, MD. Through the generous donation of Angela and Joel Glazer, we again are offering authentic Manchester United FC jerseys. We are very excited to offer this premium - quantities are limited, so register early! These popular and much sought-after jerseys are just an additional $20. What are we most proud of about our race? We have great Home Run shirts included in your registration fee this year, a moon bounce and DJ for kids, free parking, delicious food for you and your family and more. We are again teaming up with Fleet Feet Sports, Kentlands. They offer a 10k training program. Check it out at www.fleetfeetgaithersburg.com. Packet pick up will take place on Saturday, September 28 from 12 – 5 pm at their store on Kentlands Blvd. The event is chaired by Marc Schlesinger and we thank our platinum sponsor Eagle Bank for their support. Register online now and find start times, great prizes and more details at www.hebrewhome.org/homerun or call 301.770.8329 for information. n

Tony Kornheiser headlines Men’s Event Join us for a “men’s night out”...networking, cocktails, dinner and the latest sports scoop with Tony Kornheiser. An entertaining and informed sportswriter, Kornheiser is a former columnist for The Washington Post and a radio and television talk show host with an enthusiastic following. Kornheiser has hosted “The Tony Kornheiser Show” on radio since 1992, co-hosted “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN since 2001 with Michael Wilbon, and served as an analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The ball is in your court: reserve your seat now for Tuesday, October 8 at 7 pm at Woodmont Country Club. Tickets are just $125. This is the second annual men’s event, following a successful rookie year featuring John Feinstein. Details and registration are at www. hebrew-home.org/october, or call 301.770.8329. n

2013 Guardian Campaign The 55th Guardian Campaign kicks off on September 12 under the leadership of Chairs David Samuels and Alan Freeman. Since 1958, donors to the Guardian Campaign have ensured that the Hebrew Home is able to fulfill its promise to care for our community’s elders. Contributions to this annual campaign help us bridge the funding gap created by lagging Medicaid reimbursement and enable the Home to give our residents precisely what they deserve – high quality, compassionate nursing, rehabilitative, and medical care in a community that honors their Jewish faith and traditions. We will be thanking Guardian donors of $500 or more at Starlight on Thursday evening, December 12 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel. This event will honor Sandy and Stanley Bobb and Mildred Hofberg, of blessed memory, with the Guardian Leadership Award for their leadership and generosity. The beautiful garden pavilion at Ring House bears the Hofberg name. Starlight will be chaired by the Bobbs’ children: Beth and Daryle Bobb, Jodi and Rodd Macklin, and Sandy and Stanley Bobb Tammy and Cliff Mendelson. For more information please call 301.770.8329. You can make your Guardian Campaign gift at www.hebrew-home.org/2013Guardian.

Your reward for generosity:

Crime and Punishment

The 2013 President’s Circle Dinner will be held on Monday, November 11, as a special “thank you” to Benefactor and President’s Circle donors to the 2013 Guardian Campaign and to Major Gift donors. This year’s event, an exclusive visit to the one-of-a-kind National Museum of Crime and Punishment at 575 F Street NW, in Washington, is generously hosted by Augustine Home Health Care and the Jonathan S. and Patricia G. England Foundation. Guests will have the opportunity to discover some true heroes of law enforcement, and through the interactive exhibits at the museum’s CSI Experience, explore the technology and science behind solving crimes. Museum exhibits include a crime scene lab, a simulated FBI shooting range, a virtual high-speed police chase, John Dillinger’s getaway car and a look at the dark side of the criminal mind. Dinner will be served in the filming studio for “America’s Most Wanted.” n Turn the page to see seniors on the go...

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“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound” ~ Edwin Curran

If you’ve purchased a new set of wheels, consider donating

your used vehicle to the Hebrew Home. Proceeds directly benefit our elderly residents.

A gift of flowers for your favorite Hebrew Home resident is a lovely way to express affection. Order a colorful bouquet by calling 301.770.8333.

Call 301.770.8329 for details.

Getting Around

Where do our seniors go? Campus residents take our buses to shopping malls, grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, the county library, restaurants, theaters, gardens, outlet centers, Kennedy Center, museums… and more. Thanks to an ambitious recreation program and a highly organized transportation service, ably headed for the last 23 years by Transportation Coordinator Scott Globerman, the world awaits campus residents. One of the organization’s top priorities is to enable residents, average age 88, to be out and about, just as they have been all their lives. With three specially-trained drivers to help him, Mr. Globerman arranges for three buses and a van, all handicapequipped and accessible, to be on the road every day, so seniors can take full advantage of the services and attractions so plentiful in this area. Bottom line: there’s no reason why a wheelchair, walker or lack of a car should stand in the way of errands or entertainment. “Our transportation program attempts to cater to every need and request,” says Mr. Globerman. Here’s a sampling of popular outings: Cohen-Rosen House, Memory Care

• • • •

Sugar Loaf Mountain Tour of historic Rockville DC Memorials Potomac Horse Country

Landow House, Assisted Living

• Lunch at Max’s Kosher Deli • Bethesda Farm Women’s Cooperative • Tour of Old Town Alexandria • Drive to Great Falls, Virginia • Lecture at DC’s Sixth & I Synagogue Ring House, Independent Living

• P  erformances at Strathmore Music Center and Kennedy Center • Water aerobics at JCC • Shopping at outlet centers in Leesburg and Arundel Mills • Trips to Maryland Casino Live • Tuscarora Ice Cream Farm • Regal Movies at Bethesda Row • Lunch at Clyde’s, Bonefish Grill, Golden Bull Café and other favorite spots • Nature trips to Skyline Drive Revitz House, Independent Living

• • • • •

 our of the National Gallery of Art T Nature trip to Brookside Gardens Jewish Museum in Philadelphia Concert at St. Elizabeth Church Shopping at Target and Congressional Plaza

Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Long-Term Care

• • • • • • •

 herry Blossom Festival C National Arboretum and Zoo Hayride at Butler’s Orchard Lunch cruise on Spirit of Baltimore Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival Boat ride on Little Seneca Lake Tour of Gettysburg Battlefield

We are grateful to the Jacob & Charlotte Lehrman Foundation for the support they have provided to our mission for over 40 years. Most recently, the Foundation has lent its annual support to our outstanding transportation program, so vital to the well-being of our residents.

Page 6 | September 2013

An interview about Carolyn Sega Lowengart’s 33-year career at the State Department can be found at http:// adst.org/oral-history.

Most of our rehab patients go home Miracles happen daily at the rehabilitation center on the campus of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. The experience of Carolyn Sega Lowengart, an award-winning analyst at the U.S. Department of State, is one of them. When Ms. Lowengart arrived by ambulance on May 1 following two touch-and-go weeks in intensive care, her condition was unstable, leaving her unable to walk or care for herself. It was the added encouragement of her brother, respected estate attorney A. Christopher Sega of Venable, LLP, that confirmed her decision to come here for recovery. Mr. Sega spoke on behalf of the Home at an allied professional seminar in June. Remarkably, three weeks after arriving, Ms. Lowengart was on her feet, mobile and ready to go back to her Chevy Chase home. “I had great therapists and fantastic nurses,” she said. “I loved them.” She attributes her recovery to outstanding therapy and medical care as well as the uncompromising efforts made to accommodate her needs and ensure her comfort throughout her stay. Hospitals and physicians refer 800 post-acute patients to the Home for rehabilitation each year. n

w a s h i n g t o n B e a c o n — SE P TE M B E R 2 0 1 3

When Gathering Estate Planning Information… Our FREE booklet helps you orga-

nize and record important details regarding your assets and your wishes before meeting with your attorney. We offer more assistance, too, including an opportunity to discuss, without obligation, ways to include the Hebrew Home in your estate plans. Call 301.770.8342 or mail this form to: Elana F. Lippa, Director of Gift Planning Charles E. Smith Life Communities 6121 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Name/s_ ______________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City/State/Zip___________________________________________ Phone_ _______________________________________________ E-mail ________________________________________________ For a personalized illustration showing how you can receive income for life, please list your birth date: LT 09/13

People in the news

For their community service, students Nicole Valentine and Jeremy Friedlander provided Cohen-Rosen House residents with a unique way to explore their interests. In the resident technology center, they set up computer folders labeled Jewish, dance, music, sports, cars, math, brain games and more; each one leads to sites focused on these topics.

Meet a Shining Star Our Human Resources Department salutes Abibou Jallow, director of Clinical Services for Landow House and Cohen-Rosen House. Mr. Jallow has earned the Shining Star Employee Award many times for the skilled care he provides to our seniors using his soft blend of sensitivity and compassion. He’s beloved and respected by residents, families and staff. Mr. Jallow Abibou Jallo supervises GNAs, LPNs and RNs and coordinates his residents’ care with Hirsh Health Center, the Home’s Elsie and Marvin Dekelboum Therapy Center and local hospitals. “I love the challenges that come with treating a geriatric population,” says Mr. Jallow, “and I am especially proud to be a part of the administration’s successful drive for excellence.” n

Hebrew Home residents Sylvia Fair and Myrna Fogel have discovered the best tonic for happiness: friendship. They seek out each other’s company at bridge, mah jongg and bingo and are the first to sign up for lunch dates and outings.

This summer, Sylvia Greenberg, a donor of exceptional warmth and kindness, treated campus residents to a lovely luncheon at Woodmont Country Club. For Mrs. Greenberg, it was in keeping with the 50-yearold family tradition her parents Abe and Minnie Kay, of blessed memory, began for Home residents on Spring Road.

While the Hebrew Home partners with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington on community issues, we are not a beneficiary agency and do not receive any of its funding. LifeTimes is published quarterly by the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Inc. The Hebrew Home is a registered charity in Maryland and Virginia. A copy of the Home’s financial statement is available from the Maryland Secretary of State or the Virginia State Office of Consumer Affairs. We are an equal opportunity employer and we provide access to community programs without regard to race, age, national origin, familial status, religion, sex or disability. Our services and programs are open to all in the community.

Marc F. Solomon, Chair Warren R. Slavin, President/CEO Marilyn Feldman, Editor © 2013 by The Hebrew Home of Greater Washington 6121 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852 301.881.0300 www.smithlifecommunities.org

67

Volunteers Irving and Nancy Shapiro help us get newsletters off to our readers every month.

Food Service Director David Parker recently organized a Food Tasting Party so seniors could sample and rate potential additions to the daily menu. “The chicken is a must,” said Chester Thompson (right) who also gave thumbs up to the apple kugel.

Activities Director Russell Rogers gives a warm “Shabbat Shalom” hug to Bea Keys at a recent music-filled afternoon. Thanks to Russell, Home residents regularly applaud gorgeous music performed by professional jazz bands, violinists, pianists, guitarists and singers, who visit the campus each week.

Support the Hebrew Home through your gift to United Way

3 check 8111 or for CFC n 3 check 49705. n LifeTimes | Page 7

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Calendar of events September

5 29

Rosh Hashanah

14

Yom Kippur

– Starts evening before –

22

Home Run 5k/10k/Fun Run Federal Plaza, 10k start 8:30 am; 5k, 8:45 Register online now

October

Ring House Farmer’s Market RSVP at 301.816.5052

November

8

Men’s Event with Tony Kornheiser Woodmont Country Club, 7 pm, $125 www.hebrew-home.org/october

15

Donor Wall Dedication By invitation, Wasserman Residence, 5:30 pm, 301.770.8409

30

Mah Jongg for Fun Ring House, 10 am - 3 pm RSVP at 301.816.5052

1

Robinson H2YP Registration opens for 2014 Youth Philantrophy Session 301.770.8409

11

Presidents’ Circle Event Museum of Crime and Punishment, Washington DC, 6:30 pm. By invitation.

Student volunteer Jessie Bernstein took this fabulous picture of resident Sarah Morrison. More than 90 students participated in our summer intern program, exploring career opportunities in aging and enriching lives of our seniors.

DECember

12

Starlight... Save the date. Bethesda North Marriott, 6:30 pm

Other Events Hebrew Home Family Council Open to family members and friends of Hebrew Home residents, 1 pm, in the Wasserman board room, Sunday, Sept. 22, Oct. 20 and Nov. 17

1st Sunday of the month Jewish War Veterans Ring House, 10 am, Veterans and interested persons welcome. 2nd Monday of the month Family Caregiver Support Group Presented jointly by Ring House and JSSA Senior Services Free, open to the community Ring House, noon-1:30 pm. Call 301.816.2635. For more information about community events, resident programs and news for families, visit www.hebrew-home.org and www.smithlifecommunities.org.

Online now at www.hebrew-home.org: • Susan’s poppy seed cake recipe • Donate your car • Register for the Home Run

Two generations living under one roof: the Ring House roof, that is. Respected historian/author Ida Uchill, and her daughter, retired U.S. health policy advisor Vicki Uchill, are “best friends & helpmates”…and thrilled with their side-by-side apartments. Other extended families living on our campus include mother and son Pauline and Izzie Katz at Ring House, Rabbi and Mrs. Panitz and their daughter Renee at Landow House, and sisters Vivian Michaelson and Mae Zarin, and Lilian Mullen and Bea Steinman at Ring House. Learn how families are enjoying the retirement years together on campus: call Jill Berkman at 301.816.5052.

How to Reach Us

While the Hebrew Home partners with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington on community issues, we are not a beneficiary agency and do not receive any of its funding.

Page 8 | September 2013

n H  ebrew Home 301.770.8476 Rehab and Long Term www.hebrew-home.org

n C  ohen-Rosen House 301.816.5050 www.cohen-rosen.org

n H  irsh Health Center 301.816.5004

 n Landow House 301.816.5050 www.landowhouse.org

 evitz House n R 301.770.8450 www.revitzhouse.org

 ing House n R 301.816.5012 www.ringhouse.org

facebook.com/ceslc

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Style

69

Arts &

Joan Rivers, 80, commutes cross-country each week to co-host the TV show “Fashion Police.” See story on page 74.

Estelle Parsons stars in Arena premiere “We have to have a costume-fitting this week, and it’s just terrible because I have no sense of Alexandra, what she looks like, what she wears,” Parsons said. “I showed some clothes to my daughter and asked what she thought, and she said, ‘Oh, those are all wrong!’” And she sighs, sounding exhausted. Of course, playwright Eric Coble and director Smith would disagree vehemently about Parson’s grasp of the character. Coble has stated he saw her in the role as he was writing it. He has been at Arena during rehearsals, sharpening scenes based on the work of Parsons and co-star Stephen Spinella, the two-time Tony Award winner who plays Alexandra’s long-distant son who is sent to extricate her from the brownstone. And Smith says of her star, “She looks under every rock, in terms of character. She is always searching, always digging. Every day, every moment, she’s coming up with something new. She is the consummate actor.”

Early search for a career The journey to Arena Stage has been a long and varied one for Parsons. While she considers herself fully a creature of the stage, she is most famous in popular culture for her relatively few film roles and occasional high-profile TV work, ranging from her regular role as the star’s mother on Roseanne, to last spring’s season finale of The Good Wife. Few probably know that Parsons has al-

www.NextStopTheatre.org presents

866-811-4111

Adapted by Patrick Barlow From the novel by John Buchan From the movie by Alfred Hitchcock Directed by Evan Hoffmann

269 Sunset Park Dr. Herndon, VA 20170

ways dreamed of being a blues singer, went to law school for a year, and was the youngest person ever elected to public office in her home town of Marblehead, Mass. That ended when a brief trip to New York resulted in a job as a writer and on-air personality for five years at NBC, including a stint on the early Today program. “I was on my way to being Barbara Walters, who actually took my job when I left. But I didn’t like it; it was just my day job. I hated interviewing people,” Parsons said. So she took time off to raise her twin girls, one of whom, Martha, is with her in D.C., “shadowing” Molly Smith and getting tips on directing. Parsons made her stage debut in 1961. Bonnie and Clyde See PARSONS, page 70

PHOTO COURTESY OF ARENA STAGE

By Michael Toscano The Academy Award-winning star is getting ready to go to the theater, and she is fretting about clothes. But this is not about a red-carpet appearance, and she’s not concerned about how she looks. This is the dilemma of a working actor who is trying to find the essence of a character, and part of that search involves wardrobe. What the character wears onstage will tell the audience a lot about who she is, and it’s not a decision to be lightly made. The star is Estelle Parsons, a working actor at age 85. It’s been 46 years since she rocketed to international acclaim and took home a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1967, as Blanche Barrow in the milestone film Bonnie and Clyde. She’s in Washington for The Velocity of Autumn, a new two-person play running Sept. 6 through Oct. 20 at Arena Stage. Parsons plays 79-year old Alexandra, resident of a Brooklyn brownstone who is grappling with faltering senses. Alexandra has barricaded herself in her apartment rather than submit to her children’s demands that she move into a nursing home. And she has also managed to place enough improvised bombs in the place to blow up the block. It’s a play director Molly Smith describes as “extraordinarily funny.” On this August day, several weeks into rehearsals, Parsons is concerned about a looming appointment with the show’s costume designer.

Academy Award-winning actress Estelle Parsons stars in the Arena Stage premiere of The Velocity of Autumn. The Broadway-bound play revolves around 79-year-old Alexandra, who resists her family’s attempt to move her to a nursing home — and has stockpiled explosives to keep them at bay.

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Arts & Style | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

Parsons From page 69 was only her second movie. “I had never wanted to do movies,” Parsons explained. “Arthur Penn, who I was working with in theater, just changed my view of theater and what could be accomplished in the theater. So he was directing that movie, and he gave the part to me.” She was paired with Gene Hackman, another New York theater friend. She describes the occasional film or TV work as a “vacation” from theater. “I’m not interested in that world. It put my kids through college, but my real interest is in the theater. I seem to be free in the theater. I’m very inhibited in real life.” Inhibited? The last time Estelle Parsons was in Washington, she electrified Kennedy Center audiences as the venomous, familyshredding Violet in August: Osage County, a role she indelibly originated on Broadway. So how does this “inhibited” and charming person find her dark side? “But those are other people, they’re not

me,” she protested. She is asked, “But where do you find them, if they’re not within you?” “Oh, yeah,” she conceded. “Must be in there somewhere. I’m always finding things in me coming out on stage, and I wonder, good God, where did that come from?”

Fighting loss of control Molly Smith said The Velocity of Autumn resonates because the way we grapple with losing control over our lives as we age is a nearly universal experience. “It’s all about control,” she explained. “At what time in our lives do we lose that?” Parsons may be dealing with this issue on stage now, but she has also confronted it in real life. “You have control in your life, and then it starts to shift,” she said. “The culture wants to move you out of control, which is what happens in the play. “The kids think that they’re in charge. My twin daughters are in their 50s, and I remember going to a restaurant with them in California. And when the check came, the guy gave it to the kids. This guy was

Do You Hear The People Sing?

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

saying, ‘You’re going to pay for your mother, right?’ But I was the one with the money. That began to happen over and over. “The culture makes you old, and you have to fight it every day. And that’s in the play, too. She has lost herself. She’s just not the person she was, and she realizes it.” Parsons says she loves this play, despite the challenge of being onstage with only one other actor for the full 90-minutes. It seems to mix poignancy with humor, often black humor, as it deals with its serious subject. Smith and Parsons both stress that it is not grim. “It’s a comedy. Stephen’s funny, I’m funny, the playwright’s funny,” Parsons insisted. “These are really feisty people.” Parsons is playfully feisty herself. And it’s hard to imagine this steel-willed, vigorous woman losing control. Smith marvels at how, when she took her star to a public D.C. swimming pool, she vigorously swam laps. As we spoke, Parsons was looking forward to the end of rehearsals, so she could spend her non-matinee afternoons haunting Washington’s museums and working out in a gym she joined here. “I’m a gym rat, really healthy. I work out all the time,” she said. At 85, she still loves touring the countr y, even though she misses being in New York right now during what is an exciting time for her family. Husband Peter Zimroth, 70, a prominent New York attorney, has been appointed as a federal watchdog to oversee how New York City deals with a recent court ruling curbing the controversial “stop and frisk” program. “I said, listen Peter, never mind being that monitor. If you can spend 40 years with me, somebody in the theater, you

know you can handle the New York City Police Department.”

Letters to editor

who believe that comprehensive immigration reform, such as Senate bill 744, will have a positive effect on our quality of life. With more legitimate wage-earners contributing to our Social Security and health insurance funds, and back taxes being paid by persons seeking naturalization, it is reasonable to expect increased stability and predictability in both of those systems, so critical to senior well-being. Also, S. 744 (and its House equivalent) promises the reunification of families, including their senior members, who can contribute so much both to the quality of life in their families and in their communities. We urge all in our communities to consider these benefits and to support our elected officials in passing humane and comprehensive immigration reform. Dabney & Alfonso Narvaez Carol & Sid Hurlburt Mary & Bill Weinhold Carol & Rudy Van Puymbroeck Reston, Va.

From page 4

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The publisher responds: Thank you for pointing out that I misspoke in my August column. What I meant to say was that, by 2018, two-thirds of all federal dollars will be spent on mandatory programs, in part because of the rising costs of Social Security and Medicare, which are indeed mandatory (i.e., entitlement) expenses. But whatever we call it, the burden on current workers to support current retirees will grow by nearly 50 percent as the boomers retire. Yes, that obligation needs to be paid, but doing so will squeeze both younger workers and “discretionary” funding (for education, research, transportation, etc.) more and more. I and many others believe there are reasonable adjustments to both sides of the equation that can be made to address this quickly escalating problem equitably. We just need to face the facts and do so. Dear Editor: We are seniors living in Fairfax County

To see the show The Velocity of Autumn runs Sept. 6 through Oct. 20 in the Kreeger Theater at Arena Stage’s Mead Center for American Theater, located at 1101 6th St. SW, Washington, D.C. Showtimes are Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Noon matinees are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8, Wednesday, Oct. 9 and Wednesday, Oct. 16. A panel discussion follows the Sunday matinee performance on Oct. 7. Open-captioned performances are scheduled for Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. An audio-described performance will occur Oct. 5 at 2 p.m., and there will be post-show discussions after the 7:30 p.m. show on Sept. 24, on Oct. 3 after the 8 p.m. show, and Oct. 8, 9, & 16 after the noon matinees. Tickets range from $40 to $90 and may be purchased online at www.arenastage.org, by telephone at (202) 488-3300, or at the theater’s sales office, Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. A limited number of half-price HOTTIX tickets are sold, subject to availability, 30 minutes before curtain. HOTTIX must be purchased in person at the sales office. Limit of two per person. Limited handicapped parking is available in the Mead Center garage by reservation 24 hours before each performance. Arena Stage offers valet service at no additional cost to patrons with accessibility needs who call (202) 488-3300 in advance. Accessible seating is available, and there are accessible entrances to the building. For more information, visit www.arenastage.org or call (202) 488-3300 (TTY: 202-484-0247).

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Arts & Style

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Y MUSICAL A W D ® A O R B G IN N IN -W D R THE TONY AWA

North American Tour Cast. Photo by Paul Natkin.

STORY E U R T G IN Y IF R T C E L E INSPIRED BY THE

SATUR & SUN DAY MATIN DAY EES!

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(202) 467-4600 kennedy-center.org Tickets also available at the Box Office. Groups (202) 416-8400 TTY (202) 416-8524

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

District’s National Theatre gets a facelift By Brent Zongker The oldest continuously operating theater in the nation’s capital, which has drawn top performers since decades before the Civil War, is getting a fresh start and a makeover after years of struggle. A season of shows announced recently at the National Theatre includes its first world premiere of a new musical bound for Broadway in years. If/Then, from the creative team behind the Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal, will star Idina Menzel in November. The season also includes the return of West Side Story, which got its start at the National in the 1950s, the Tony Award-winning revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and the Washington premiere of American Idiot from the punk group Green Day. Perhaps most importantly, the long-neg-

lected theater is getting some tender, loving care. National Theatre officials told the Associated Press they are planning refurbishments that will include a warmer color scheme to replace the National’s outdated aqua interior. Backstage areas, dressing rooms and bathrooms also will get a deep scrubbing and fresh coat of paint.

Beyond Broadway hits A new programming team led by Chicago-based JAM Theatricals and Philadelphia’s SMG is aiming to revive the National on the nation’s entertainment circuit. They want to create a more modern performance space in the historic 1835 theater to host not only Broadway-level shows but also concerts, dance, comedy and other acts to keep the National’s marquee lit. Last year, the theater was dark for all but five weeks.

“There’s not a theater in the country that has a richer history than the National,” said Bob Papke of SMG, who runs the new National Theatre Group with JAM cofounder Steve Traxler. “It’s as iconic a theater as Carnegie Hall or the Apollo.” The National is located two blocks from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, frequently hosting presidents and national leaders. According to a history of the theater, President Abraham Lincoln learned of his nomination to a second term while attending a National Theatre performance. From 1882 to 1916, John Philip Sousa conducted the President’s Own United States Marine Band in frequent concerts. In 1927, the musical Show Boat made its world premiere at the historic playhouse, followed by West Side Story in 1957. It was a prime venue for shows on their way to Broadway until the 1971 opening of

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the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The arrival of the larger performance spaces posed stiff competition for the National’s 1,670-seat house. For five years, Kennedy Center’s founding chairman Roger Stevens, a notable Broadway producer, oversaw the National’s programming while also leading the Kennedy Center. The two organizations severed ties by 1980. Broadway organizations managed the National’s bookings over the years with mixed success. Last fall, the Shubert Organization’s 30-year contract expired.

New blood, new vision The nonprofit theater board and executive director Tom Lee were looking to give the theater a rebirth as a performing arts center that can adapt to changing demands beyond theater. They turned to JAM Theatricals to maintain the theater’s tradition of Broadway shows, and to SMG to expand its programming into concerts. “If you’re not on Broadway and you’re only doing Broadway, then you’re limiting the possibility of what the theater can be,” Papke said. “I think it’s a fresh beginning. It’s fresh eyes looking at the theater, looking at the market.” The first show under the new management, a Bryan Adams concert in January, was a sellout. Theater officials have visions of adding educational programs, event spaces, and perhaps even a rooftop bar to generate more revenue to support the theater. In coming years, it will need millions in renovations and support from donors. To foster a loyal audience base amid tough competition in Washington’s theater scene, the National has begun selling its first subscription package of shows in years. It has also booked shows that are popular with audiences, including Stomp, Blue Man Group and Mama Mia! Traxler of JAM Theatricals said it was a coup for Washington to nab the premiere of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s If/Then. The creative team won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Next to Normal. Their new story follows a 40-year-old woman moving to New York City to make a fresh start. It’s directed by Michael Grief, who directed Rent, reuniting him with Menzel. Washington is a growing, sophisticated city and a good place to produce new theater, Traxler said. “For the theater itself, there’s great bones to the National Theatre. It feels very much like a Broadway theater does, for both audiences and performers on stage. “The National Theatre is a historic, beautiful, intimate Broadway house, and we hope to keep the marquee lit as often as possible,” he said. To learn more about the National Theatre, go to http://thenationaldc.com. — AP

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Arts & Style

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

RICHARD WAGNER

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GIUSEPPE VERDI

TRISTAN AND THE FORCE OF DESTINY ISOLDE In German with projected English titles

In Italian with projected English titles

In Wagner’s retelling of the beloved Celtic myth and its star-crossed lovers, Deborah Voigt—one of the finest Wagnerian sopranos of our time—brings her alluring portrayal of Isolde to a stunning production featuring an impressive international cast.

Thrust together by fate, three lives become intertwined on a path to ruin. WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello brings her inventive staging to this new production of Verdi’s demanding masterpiece, featuring an exciting cast of international singers.

Sep. 15–27, 2013 Kennedy Center Opera House

Oct. 12–26, 2013 Kennedy Center Opera House

EE! N I AT .

EE! N I AT .

Y Mat 2 p.m A D 5

Y Mat 2 p.m A D 0

SUNOct. 2

Voigt is “the opera world’s Isolde of choice.” Deborah Voigt as Isolde, photo Gran Teatre del Liceu © A. Bofill

—The Chicago Sun-Times

Zambello is “known for her psychologically probing interpretations of the operatic repertoire.”

Adina Aaron as Donna Leonora, photo by Cade Martin

SUNSep. 1

—The New Yorker

New Production!

David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of WNO. General Dynamics is the proud sponsor of WNO’s 2013-2014 Season. Generous support for WNO Italian opera is provided by Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello.

Tickets at the Kennedy Center Box Office or charge by phone (202) 467-4600 Order online at kennedy-center.org/wno

TTY (202) 416-8524

Groups (202) 416-8400 The Kennedy Center welcomes patrons with disabilities.

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Joan Rivers: staying fashionable at 80 lice,” which, since premiering three years ago, has only tightened its grip in the culture as a wicked hybrid of style and snark. Rivers is well-served by her co-hosts Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, all of whom can deliver shrewd analysis as well as piercing gibes at red-carpet infractions. But “Fashion Police” is perfectly tailored to the comedic skills of Rivers as demonstrated by her 46-years-and-counting in show biz. Hear her hail Uma Thurman, sheathed in Versace at the Cannes Film Festival: “This gown is so feminine, so silver — it’s the Anderson Cooper of dresses!” Hear her skewer a baggy, dizzyingly hued Alexander McQueen jumpsuit worn by ac-

tress Marion Cotillard at a Crash Magazine party: “The pattern looks like Precious sat on somebody’s butterfly collection.” Sure, it’s “Police” brutality, but Rivers and her “Joan Rangers” are never less than arresting.

PHOTO BY DAN HALLMAN/INVISION/AP

By Frazier Moore “I’m having a great time,” Joan Rivers crowed before offering a brisk self-appraisal: “Everything is working, my mind is fine. “The only time I play the age card is on planes when I’m trying to put a bag above the seat: ‘I am 80 years old! Would someone PLEASE help me?!’” She turned 80 in June, a milestone that prompted the E! network to stage a Joan Rivers “takeover” that month. Its regular one-hour edition of “Fashion Police” (airing Fridays at 10 p.m.) was a black-tie birthday salute, preceded nightly by special half-hour guest appearances by celebrities and even victims of past fashion slams. Rivers, who tapes the show in Los Angeles, marvels at the success of “Fashion Po-

Resisted TV show at first At first, Rivers resisted the urge to do the show. “I remember, I was in Vegas on a treadmill — cause you STILL try! — saying to my agent and (daughter) Melissa, Joan Rivers (left), who turned 80 this summer, co-hosts ‘cause Melissa’s exec- the E! network show “Fashion Police.” Her daughter, producing, ‘You’re crazy! Melissa Rivers, is executive producer. Rivers commutes I’m not gonna do this! between New York and Los Angeles to work on the show. I’m not gonna comso dear.” mute!’” from New York to Los Angeles. During an interview in her New York Her mind was changed. “We do the jokes, and we tell the truth, home, she presides from an ottoman in the too,” Rivers sums up proudly. “E! told me, den of her vast Upper East Side Manhattan `Whatever you want to say, you say.’ We’re See JOAN RIVERS, page 75 having so much fun! And our lawyers are

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Joan Rivers From page 74 digs, a spread whose unabashed spectacle she dubs “Louis XIV meets Fred and Ginger.” (Astaire and Rogers, of course.) It’s 9 a.m. and Rivers, having apologized for being “only half-dressed,” has presented herself in stocking feet and a chic, floorlength black-velvet caftan (part of her Joan Rivers Collection, she notes; she also markets her own jewelry collection). She said her interest in fashion reaches back to her girlhood, when, still in school in New York, she had a job as a fashion coordinator at a department store chain, then another job where she assisted with the creation of Lord & Taylor’s legendary Fifth Avenue window displays every Thursday night. “If I hadn’t gotten into show business,” said Rivers, “I would have gone into fashion.” Not that any celeb should get her knickers in a twist over fashion feedback from any loose-lipped comedian — or so said Rivers, anyway. “When you’re making $20 million a picture and the dress is free, do you REALLY care if Joan Rivers says you shouldn’t wear a peplum?” she chuckled. “I don’t think Julia Roberts sits up at night thinking, ‘She said WHAT?!’”

ture catastrophes, Rivers is happy to hop a plane for the year-round weekly tapings of “Fashion Police.” It’s just one piece of her on-the-go schedule that has seen no letup for decades and has its roots in her show-biz obsession as a child growing up in Brooklyn: She wanted to be an actress. Only by chance did her definitive role become playing a comedian. Comedy was a way to pay the bills while she auditioned for dramatic parts. “Somebody said, ‘You can make six dollars standing up in a club,”‘ she explained, “and I said, ‘Here I go!’ It was better than typing all day.” In the early 1960s, comedy was a maledominated game where the only women comics she could look to were Totie Fields and Phyllis Diller. But after several years of struggle, she landed a spot on “The Tonight Show” where host Johnny Carson gave her his blessing, saying she was destined to be a star. A half-century later, Rivers’ drive is undiminished. She never settles down. The previous weekend she played three nights at Las Vegas’ Venetian Resort. She had then planned to go on to California. But she raced back East on a sad mission after getting a call. Barbara Waxler, her ailing older sister in Ardmore, Pa., had taken a turn for the

From actress to comedienne To say what she has to say about cou-

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

What if retirement is not your cup of tea? If you want to get my goat — and my growth and accomplishment. I’m hoping horse, mule and mountain for another 65 so I can finish lion — ask me how I’m enjoywhat I started, not jettison it. ing retirement. That means developing all Honestly, I’ve never given it the brilliant book ideas that a moment’s thought. Haven’t came to me at 3:30 a.m. (still retired, Never will. making notes), listening to Retirement? That’s for peothe inner voices that told me I ple who hated what they alcould be a great golfer (they ways did and couldn’t wait to were wrong), doing all the leave it behind for a future of community service I always samba lessons, raising petuwanted to do (and still don’t nias, whatever. have time to do). HOW I SEE IT For this kind of person, the By Bob Levey Retirement? Not in this implication is that the first 65 economy. Not in this lifetime. years of one’s life were something to be esYet you can hardly turn on a television caped, to be left for dead beside the road. these days without seeing ridiculous ads. My first 65 were full of challenge, fun, “Let us assure you of the retirement you

deserve,” said one ad that recently spilled out of my set. The video showed an elderly gent baiting a fishhook beside a gorgeous lake. His smiling, adoring partner soon walked into the shot and gave Mr. Fisherman a chaste hug. Lovely — if catching a fish is one of your late-in-life goals. But the ad — and the assumptions behind it — leave me cold. I have nothing against fishing. But the suggestion is that, because I’ve reached a certain age, fishing (and getting chaste hugs) is all I should ever hope to achieve. My to-do list is far more demanding: big projects, new careers, larger accomplishments than sitting on a dock with a Plexiglas pole. I may not be 30 anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’m feeble or useless. However, my never-retire oath often means that I have explaining to do. “But you’ve earned it,” I will frequently hear. Earned what? The right not to care about the world, or about the solutions to big problems? Seceding from reality is not going to make me happy. “No one ever lay on his deathbed wishing he had spent more time at the office.” No, but it isn’t some office that gets me cooking in the morning. It’s new ideas, new books to read, new challenges to what’s left of my brain. I don’t have to punch a time clock to get and stay involved. And the granddaddy of them all, “You owe it to yourself.” Sorry, but what I owe myself is being part of the solution, not part of the passive crowd in the seventh row. If I sound like a crazed workaholic or a compulsive accomplisher, let me assure you that neither describes me fully. I don’t work 80 hours a week any more. I don’t work after 10 p.m. I never place work above family or friends. I find plenty of time for sports and games. And it isn’t only about earning money. In the past week, I’ve dredged myself out

of bed to give career advice to a 22-yearold, write a job recommendation for a 61year-old, work on a community service project, and draft a fundraising plan for a charity. None of these endeavors paid me a cent. Yet none would fold into conventional definitions of What You Do When You’re Retired, either. Even if you think the retirement grass will be greener, you might be wrong. My pal Lucy recently concluded 40 years of work for the federal government. She was halfway to Florida before the sun set on her final day at “the mines.” She had it all planned: Golf every day, shrimp and daiquiris every night, crossword puzzles every morning. “I imagined heaven,” she told me. She got hell. In six months, she was back. “Bored to death,” she said. “No one to talk to. Sick of hearing about how it might rain later in the week.” Lucy says she’ll never break the Chain of Connectedness again. Then there’s a man I’ll call Charles. Worked as a medical professional for 45 years. If taking care of hundreds of patients at all hours wasn’t enough, he was also active in professional development and charity work. One day, someone offered him a ton of money for his practice. He leapt at the opportunity. Three months later, he asked the person who bought his practice if he could return part-time. His immortal words: “I didn’t miss the rat race. But I missed the rats.” Please, if baiting fishhooks is your fondest desire, be my guest. But don’t condemn Lucy or Charles or me for wanting to stay in the game. We know what makes us tick — and what doesn’t. Bob Levey is a national award-winning columnist.

Joan Rivers

jokes never stop. They can’t. “The trouble with me is, I make jokes too often,” she said. “I’m making jokes at my sister’s shivah. I was making jokes yesterday at the funeral home. That’s how I get through life. Life is SO difficult — everybody’s been through something! But you laugh at it, it becomes smaller.” Even the terror of aging — Rivers has always mocked it, not only with her self-directed jokes but also with her never-secret rounds of plastic surgery. “But I have never wanted to be a day less than I am,” she insisted. “People say, ‘I wish I were 30 again.’ Nahhh! I’m very happy HERE. It’s great. It gets better and better. And then, of course, we die,” she quipped, chuckling and looking unconcerned. How long does she plan to keep working? “Forever,” said Rivers. This time, she’s not joking. Read more about Rivers at www.joan.co. — AP

From page 75 worse. Flying into Philadelphia, Rivers reached her in her final hours. “Aunt Joan is the head of the family now,” said Rivers. “Look out! We’re having pink flowers at the funeral!” Rivers is no stranger to loss, including the suicide of her husband-producer-manager, Edgar Rosenberg, in 1987. Nor has her career, despite its towering heights, been immune to cruel setbacks, including her late-night talk show that launched the Fox network in 1986 but lasted less than a year. “You never relax and say, ‘Well, here I am!’” declared Rivers. “You always think, ‘Is this gonna be OK?’ I have never, in 46 years, taken anything for granted.”

Aging with humor Except maybe the jokes she creates, tests and continuously fine-tunes. The

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Arts & Style

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

FROM PAGE 78

ONE BIG HAPPY By Rick Detorie

ANSWERS TO SCRABBLE

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD N O F A E R A S T I N K L E E V E R R A T A U T O S L E P T R E R C H A C H I T L O K I O R E O D E R N

T E E N S Y T E E N

D D E E R N S R W I T H O L A O O S L I G M A L U S I T N D E B D E L S E L U P C E M E E A M A L D O U B L E N V Y S E E

H I E S S T E E D S

S H O R T S W I M I M P E L

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U N I F Y

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R E T A G

N E S S

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A Y T A L Y

Classifieds cont. from page 79. Wanted CASH FOR JEWELRY: Buying jewelry, diamonds, gold, platinum, silver, watches, coins, flatware, etc. We make house calls. Ask for Tom. Call anytime 301-654-8678 or 301-654-0838. WE PAY CASH for antique furniture, quality used furniture, early American art, pottery, silver, glassware, paintings, etc. Single items to entire estates. Call Reggie or Phyllis at DC 202-726-4427, MD 301-332-4697. MILITARY ITEMS WANTED: Collector seeks to purchase military uniforms; flight jackets, patches, insignia, medals, etc. from the Civil War through Vietnam. Especially seeking U.S. Army Air Corps, USMC, Airborne, and German/Japanese/Italian items from WWII. ALSO BUYING old Boy Scout, Airline Items, Toys, Lighters. Call Dan, 202841-3062. CASH FOR RECORDS & CDs. BEST PRICE GUARANTEED. Free appraisals. All types of music, 33, 45, 78 & CDs. Call Steve, 301-646-5403. Will make house calls. CASH FOR ESTATE BUYOUTS, estate clean-outs, jewelry to furniture, one item or whole state. Free Estimate, Will Travel. 301520-0755. STERLING SILVER – I WILL BUY your silver marked sterling, 925, 800 for a fair price to be preserved for the future. Please call Richard, 301-646-0101. S TA M P C O L L E C T I O N S , A U T O GRAPHS purchased/appraised – U.S., worldwide, covers, paper memorabilia. Stamps are my specialty – highest price paid! Appraisals. Phone Alex, 301-309-6637. Stampex1@gmail.com. VINYL RECORDS WANTED from 1950 through 1985. Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Disco. 33 1/3 LPs, 45s or 78s, Larger collections of at least 100 items wanted. Please call John, 301-596-6201.

Wanted FINE ANTIQUES, PAINTINGS AND QUALITY VINTAGE FURNISHINGS wanted by a serious, capable buyer. I am very well educated [law degree], knowledgeable [over 40 years in the antique business] and have the finances and wherewithal to handle virtually any situation. If you have a special item, collection or important estate, I would like to hear from you. I pay great prices for great things in all categories from Oriental rugs to Tiffany objects, from rare clocks to firearms, from silver and gold to classic cars. If it is wonderful, I am interested. No phony promises or messy consignments. References gladly furnished. Please call Jake Lenihan, 301-279-8834. Thank you. BUYING MILITARY MEMORABILIA WW2, WW1, Civil War uniforms, weapons, photos and items associated with US, German, Japanese or items of other Military History. DAVE, 240-464-0958. WANTED: ANTIQUE ELECTRONICS, engineers’ estates, Hi-Fi Stereo, huge old loudspeakers, ham radios, records, professional quality musical instruments, antique computers, scientific curiosities. 202-527-9501, vcvdc@msn.com. COINS WANTED- BOTH UNITED STATES AND FOREIGN. Also paper money, old postcards, militaria, antique cars/antique car items. Lifelong private collector. Cash paid. Kenny, 703-3690520.

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Crossword Puzzle Daily crosswords can be found on our website: www.TheBeaconNewspapers.com Click on Puzzles Plus Pro-gression by Stephen Sherr 1

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1. Yogurt shop’s claim 6. The first supreme commander of NATO, in 1951 9. Punish, socially 13. Reset a contacts list 14. Sea eagles 16. Make a point 17. Manipulate, experimentally 19. Cookie-meister Spunkmeyer 20. Midnight rambler 21. Neighbor of a Vietnamese 22. Umps’ striped cousins 23. Almost imperceptibly 27. Maze enthusiast 28. Singer Sumac 29. San ___ Obispo, Calif. 30. Type of loan 32. Try to get into a bar 34. Less exciting, to a historian 37. Used the bears’ third bed 39. Cotillion girl 41. Positioned 43. Like a shady park 45. Windy City trains 47. Distribute 48. Kite line holder 50. Good times 52. Tried to become Class President 53. Elevator encounters 57. Voucher 58. Org. with a snake in its logo 59. Champagne Tony of golf 60. Norse god 61. Result of the name pro-gression from 17 to 23 to 53 Across 65. Ice cream flavor 66. Emotion in Snow White 67. travelocity option 68. Actress Laura 69. Understand 70. In a foxlike way

1. Ping pong table accessory 2. “Stop ___ shoot!” 3. Autograph request 4. Jeopardy! contestant 5. Itsy-bitsy 6. Mountain ___ 7. Work on a tooth 8. Necessitate 9. Just a few laps 10. Flophouse 11. Join together 12. Bitter end 15. General Japanese term 18. 10 Down units 23. Renaissance and Reformation 24. Underground chamber 25. “That’s what she ___” 26. Hurries up 31. It added “Brain Freeze” in a 2004 contest 33. Piece of golf course litter 35. In perpetuity 36. Price less 38. Cotillion girl 40. Cloudless 42. Lairs 44. Period between censuses 46. Distinguish between so and sew 49. Poorly made cars 51. War horses 53. Item on a wheel of misfortune 54. Consumer of trail mix 55. Magenta’s neighbor, on a color wheel 56. Drive on 57. Simpleton 62. “Toodles” 63. Div. rival to NYM 64. “Whoopee!”

Answers on page 77.

JUMBLE ANSWERS Jumbles: PARTY GOOSE EXHORT AERATE Answer: What the diner said when the server sprinkled cheese on the pasta -- THAT’S “GRATE”

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

CLASSIFIEDS The Beacon prints classified advertising under the following headings: Business & Employment Opportunities; Caregivers; Computer Services; Entertainment; For Sale; For Sale/Rent: Real Estate; Free; Health; Home/ Handyman Services; Miscellaneous; Personals; Personal Services; Vacation Opportunities; and Wanted. For submission guidelines and deadlines, see the box at the right. CAVEAT EMPTOR! The Beacon does not knowingly accept obscene, offensive, harmful, or fraudulent advertising. However, we do not investigate any advertisers or their products and cannot accept responsibility for the integrity of either. Respondents to classified advertising should always use caution and their best judgment. EMPLOYMENT & REAL ESTATE ADS: We will not knowingly or intentionally accept advertising in violation of federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, familial status or handicap in connection with employment or the sale or rental of real estate.

Caregivers UCARE AGENCY – LICENSED AND INSURED Health Care Agency – reliable home health aides and qualified nursing staff for your resident, patient or loved one. 4-24 hour service. Tel: 240-632-9420. Email: ucareservice@hotmail.com. CAREGIVER FOR HIRE: Senior caregiving part-time. $11 per hour, work 3-5 hours a day, Mon-Fri. Companion/sitter, will help with housekeeping, prepare meals, and run errands. Experienced and very good references furnished. PG County or DC area. Call 301-7585159. CARING, LIVE-IN CARE. Experienced, hardworking, compassionate, honest. Ukrainian lady, great references. Speaks some English but understands more. Took loving care of my mom for over a year. Always goes the extra mile. Call Igor at 240-586-0421 or Sasha at 301-598-2786. COMPASSIONATE CAREGIVER – LADY COMPANION available for elderly or adult with disabilities. Very reliable, experienced, own car with excellent references. CPR/First Aid/Hospice/Mental Health Aide Certified. I can provide respite care, concierge, plus more services for your loved one. Please call 240-426-3548, and kindly leave me a message. ROSALEEN HEALING HANDS – Looking for a reliable, dependable caregiver for your loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease? Look no more. Non-medical, private duties. Nurses, aides, companions. 24/7 (live-in) or PTO. We listen, We Care, We help. 30 years experience. Call 240-421-9351. CNA/MED TECH ELDERLY CARE for livein/live-out, taking care of the elderly. 15 + years experience. Own transportation. Excellent references upon request. 240-482-9027, 202-7103127. LOOKING FOR A LOVING, caring, compassionate, dependable and reliable caregiver with years of experience and references for your elderly loved ones? Have experience with MS, Alzheimer’s Diabetics and other health problems. Please call, 301-908-9134.

Computer Services COMPUTER LESSONS – Personal Computer training at your home. Email, Internet, general computer use. Windows 8, Smartphone/tablet, digital camera. Learn at your own pace with gentle & patient tutor. We also troubleshoot problems & setup new computers. Teaching Seniors since 1996. Senior Discount. Call David, 301-762-2570, COMPUTERTUTOR. PROBLEM WITH YOUR PC/MAC OR NETWORK? Computer Systems Engineer will come to you with help. Call: D. Guisset at 301-6424526.

Say you saw it in the Beacon

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate LOOKING FOR A QUIET AND FRIENDLY WOMAN between the ages of 55-70 to share my lovely home in a quiet area of Silver Spring, MD. Must be strict vegetarian, non-smoker, and nondrinker. The rent is $600/month including utilities. Call Carol at 301-754-1289 between 6:30PM – 8:30PM. THREE-PERSON HOUSEHOLD OF SPIRITUAL, PROGRESSIVE WOMEN (39-69) in Takoma Park seeks two compassionate, kindred adults for master bedrooms with private bathrooms/kitchenette. Share spacious commonfloor (fireplace, hot tub) overlooking forest, Internet, storage, w/d, CA/c, free parking, mutual support/friendship. Non-smokers. No Pets. $695$895/month + utilities + deposit. September 1st or later. Email Jeanmaire9@yahoo.com. SHENANDOAH VALLEY home site, camping, horse, etc. lots near Shenandoah River, 90 miles west of Washington, D.C. Breathtaking views of Skyline Drive and Massanutten mountains. Twoto eight-acre lots five miles north of Luray, VA. Chris Gindhart, 540-742-9804, cgindhart@cavalierfarms.com. Website: www.cavalierfarms.com. Request flyer: Chris Gindhart, 422 Cavalier Rd., Rileyville, VA 22650.

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CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING RATES Deadlines and Payments: Ad text and payment is due by the 20th of each month. Note: Only ads received and prepaid by the deadline will be included in the next month’s issue. Please type or print your ad carefully. Include a number where you can be reached in the event of a question. Payment is due with ad. We do not accept ads by phone or fax, nor do we accept credit cards. Private Party Text Ads: For individuals seeking to buy or sell particular items, or place a personal ad. Each ad is $15 for 25 words, 25 cents for each additional word. Business Text Ads: For parties engaged in an ongoing business enterprise. Each ad is $35 for 25 words, 50 cents for each additional word. Note: Each real estate listing counts as one business text ad. Send your classified ad with check or money order, payable to the Beacon, to:

The Beacon, D.C. Classified Dept. P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227 For information about display advertising, or to request a media kit, call (301) 949-9766.

For Sale

Personal Services

2 SALVADOR DALI woodblock prints from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Signed and framed. Asking $900 for the pair. Can email pictures if desired. Call Steve 410-913-1653.

READY TO DE-CLUTTER? I can help. Sort, discard, donate. Reasonable rates. Call Jan, 301-933-7570. Leave message. WILL TYPE YOUR MEMOIRS, manuscripts, etc. For info and rates, call 703-671-1854.

LOOKING TO TAKE THE LEAP? I’ll take you on a tour of the community, show you floor plans, discuss campus amenities, & offer how to best coordinate your move. I will preview units & contact you with a match. I also offer exceptional service selling your home. I’m a Seniors Specialist, Buyer Broker, Top 1% of Agents Nationwide, and a Leisure World resident! You can see my current listings on page 52. Contact me: 301-580-5556, SueHeyman@aol.com, www.SueHeyman.com, Weichert Realtors.

HELP US HELP YOU BECOME PAIN FREE – Give us your opinion on our all Natural, Topical Pain Relief Lotion. Back, Neck, Nerve, Arthritis, Joint & Muscle Pain etc. Call: 240-464-0544. Email: dlcsupplies@gmail.com.

CHERYL’S ORGANIZING CONCEPTS LLC – Professional Organizing Services. Help with all aspects of home organizing. Experienced – References – Member NAPO. All work confidential. Licensed – Bonded. $25 discount on initial appointment. www.CherylsOrganizing.com. 301-916-9022.

Home/Handyman Services

Volunteer Opportunities

WE’LL BUY YOUR HOME Without the Hassles. Local Company in business since 2003. BBB Accredited. Call 877-948-3232 today for details. No Obligation or Fees.

SEASONED, PROFESSIONAL HANDYMAN SERVICE. Attention to detail and quality. Appliance, garage door, plumbing and electrical repairs. Small jobs specialist. Free estimates. MHIC# 85365. 301-641-8262.

COLUMBIA LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE BLIND, a nonprofit organization serving people of all ages in the Washington metropolitan area who are blind and visually impaired, is recruiting adult volunteers to serve as Readers and Friendly Visitors. Participants in the Readers & Friendly Visitors program are adult volunteers who are matched one-on-one with blind or visually impaired adults. Volunteers arrange weekly meetings with clients at their homes to assist with activities, such as reading mail, grocery shopping or running errands. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Jocelyn Hunter at 202-4546422 or jhunter@clb.org to attend an upcoming orientation.

LEISURE WORLD® - $269,000. 3BR 2FB 1HB “M” in Greens. Table space kitchen, separate dining room. Large enclosed balcony. New paint and carpet. 1530 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $98,500. 2BR 1-1/2 BA “Elizabeth” Coop. Window in the kitchen, builtin microwave, enclosed balcony. 1308 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $299,900. 2 BR 2 FB FF in Overlook with Garage + Golf cart space. Table space kitchen open to enclosed balcony with custom shades. Close to elevator. 1320 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $59,000. 1BR 1FB “Blair” model CONDO. Updated kitchen, generous living and dining room, open balcony. 800 sq ft, Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-9283463. LEISURE WORLD® - $295,000. 2 BR 2 FB “EE” in Overlook. Garage space. Open kitchen, enclosed balcony with golf course view. 1242 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-9283463. LEISURE WORLD® - $284,900. 2BR 2FB “E” in “Villa Cortese.” Table space kitchen, large enclosed balcony, and garage parking. 1340 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $259,000. 3BR 2-1/2B “M” in the “GREENS.” Great space with enclosed balcony, new paint and carpet and separate storage room in basement. 1530 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $159,000. 2BR 2FB “H” in “Fairways.” Table space kitchen with big pantry closet and window, separate dining room with window. Huge living room, enclosed balcony, owners’ suite with dressing area. 1220 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463.

For Sale PARKLAWN MEMORIAL PARK: three cemetery plots on gentle hill overlooking peaceful landscape with mature trees and flowering shrubs. $1,900 each or $5,000 for all. Email for photos: nikyu@yahoo.com. 703-338-9316. FORT LINCOLN CEMETERY LOT – Garden of the Apostles. Two burial rights, block 23, Lot 2789. Two bronze memorial Last Supper, size 20x28 flat pink pearl. Current value $7,500. Sale price $5,500. 301-575-4901. James Andrews.

Health

EXPERT ROOF REPAIRS and new installations. 40 years experience. 5 year warranties. Rated A on Angie’s List. See our photo gallery at RamboandRamboConstruction.com. MHIC# 8342. Call, 301-220-4222. MICHAELS HAULING Clean-outs, scrap & debris removal yard waste, etc. Mulch, dirt & stone delivery, lite dump truck, 20’ trailer & bobcat. Fully insured. 240-388-1898. MAID AVAILABLE: Honest, Professional, Reliable, and Hard-Working with Excellent References. Maxi, 301-706-9413.

Miscellaneous ST. JUDE’S NOVENA. May the sacred heart of Jesus be adorned, glorified, loved and preserved throughout the world now and forever. Sacred heart of Jesus, pray for us. St. Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us. St. Jude, helper of the hopeless, pray for us. Pray this Novena to St. Jude nine times daily for nine days and promise publication, and your prayers will be answered. CB. JOIN THE SHALOM SIGNATURE CLUB, with activities and classes for active retirees. NEW! in Friendship Heights, and membership is FREE. Finally, a Jewish cultural program for energetic retirees in Friendship Heights who seek quality programming. Sponsored by Chabad, a major non-profit organization. For further info, visit www.ShalomSC.com or call 240-200-4515. Reserve online for our "Evening Under The Stars" — a delightful dinner in a Sukkah in Friendship Heights on Sunday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m. Modest fee.

Personals RENAISSANCE MAN LOOKING for an adventurous woman to spend quality time together, someone to have fun with. Please let me spoil you. Bob, 202-674-5040.

Personal Services PERSONAL ASSISTANT – driver, handyman, computer support, expert in all areas. Please call: Paul at 301-602-9402. VAN MAN – For your driving needs. Shopping, appointments, pick-up and deliver – airport van. Call Mike, 301-565-4051.

Wanted WANTED: OLDER VIOLINS, Guitars, Banjos, Mandolins, etc. Musician/collector will pay cash for older string instruments. Jack, 301279-2158. PULP MAGAZINES WANTED. Paying Cash. The Shadow, Doc Savage, G-8 Westerns, Crime, Horror. Pulp drawings and paintings. Older comic books. Please call Larry, 240-533-1445. WE BUY OLD AND NEW COINS, Jewelry, Silver and Gold, Paper Money Too. Watches, Clocks and Parts, Military Badges and Patches Old and New. Call Greg, 717-658-7954. HIGHEST CASH PAID FOR ANTIQUES, ESTATES - Cash paid for antiques, estates. I’ve been in the antiques business for over 25 years. I live in Silver Spring and work in Bethesda. I’ve been selling on EBAY for over 15 years. I pay the most for your valuable treasures. Buying the following items: furniture, art, silver, gold, old coins, jewelry, wrist watches, military items including, guns, rifles, knives, swords, medals, etc. also buying old toys, dolls, trains, books, tools, musical instruments, old sports items, memorabilia, gold, baseball, fishing, old photos, comic books, etc. Please call TOM at 240-476-3441. Thank you. OLD AND NEW WE BUY Sterling Silver Flatware, Tea Sets or Single Pieces, Furniture, Tools, Cameras, Good Glassware, Art Work Too. Toys From Trains to Hotwheels, Action Figures to Star Wars. Call Greg, 717-658-7954.

Classifieds cont. on p. 77

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September 2013 DC Beacon Edition