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THEGOLDENYEARS November 2011

A Supplement to Anton Newspapers

Financial Advice for Seniors in a Struggling Economy Memor y Loss: When It’s Normal and When to Be Concerned Pets Provide Seniors with Joy and Better Health ...and much more!

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Sure, I remember yesterday... but we’re still living for today! Vanilla cokes and egg creams. Dime store dates and movie scenes. Yesterday was a ton of fun, but life gets better and better. Sure, our rock may have lost a little roll, but we’re on the go each day. Between volunteering at the Helen Keller Institute for the Blind, shopping at the mall, playing canasta and catching the latest Broadway shows, we’re just too busy making new memories to linger in the “good old days.�

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Baking: A Timeless Way to Connect Generations By Ron Scaglia o you want an old-fashioned method of connecting with others, especially your grandchildren? Lauren Groveman, host of Baking Made Easy, which currently airs on WE tv at 9 a.m. on Monday mornings, suggests baking. The Woodmere native, TV and radio personality and author is sharing her recipe for ginger snaps with Anton Newspapers readers to encourage seniors to bake more and connect with others. “Grandparents baking with their grandchildren is a way for them to feel integral in the grandchildren’s lives,” said Groveman. “It’s a way to be needed, appreciated and acknowledged. It is a way to share your knowledge and to get your grandchildren to gravitate towards you.”

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Baking is a way for grandparents to connect with their grandchildren.

Groveman said that baking is a way for grandparents to be connected to their grandchildren. In the high-paced hightech society we currently live in, it can be difficult for grandparents to find activities that both they and their grandchildren enjoy. Sharing an activity that family members from different generations can take part in and enjoy, helps to form a bond. And by making something that everyone enjoys, the bond gets further strengthened as the bakers share the satisfaction of bringing something delicious to others. “If your grandchildren live far away, make cookies (such as ginger snaps with the recipe here) and send them”, said Groveman of those who do not have the opportunity to bake with their grandkids. However, Groveman is also encouraging seniors to bake for their own happiness and enjoyment. She says that too many seniors stop cooking because their children have left and they do not realize that there is still much enjoyment to be gained by sharing their creations with others. “There is no reason to stop cooking and sharing,” said Groveman who feels that baking is a way of bringing joy to others while also fulfilling an individual’s own need for self worth. “Seniors are smarter, wiser, more appreciative of time as well as feeling self-nurturing. Senior living is not stopping. People have more time to do this. It will make you happy and others as well. Bringing a pie, muffins, or scones is a way to connect you to the outside world.” So if you’re looking to make something that might bring you some enjoyment and others as well, try Lauren’s recipe for ginger spice snaps, which is printed below and can also be found on her website, www.laurengroveman.com “These are one of my children’s favorites,” said Groveman. “I recommend

these for people who like spiced cookies or who want to bake and give.”

Special Equipment: Sifter or triple-mesh wire sieve Parchment paper Cushioned cookie sheets Electric mixer (optional) Cookie scoop with capacity of 2 liquid tablespoons (optional) Ingredients: 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 tablespoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon salt Pinch ground cloves 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 cup granulated white sugar 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 extra-large egg 1) To set up: Position both oven racks to the upper and lower levels and preheat the oven to 375º F. Line 2 to 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper; do not grease the paper. 2) To prepare the cookie batter: In a medium-sized mixing bowl,whisk together the flour, coffee, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, salt and cloves. Sift this mixture into another bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, cream the brown and white sugars with the softened butter, molasses and vanilla. When well combined, add the egg. Once the mixture is smooth, set electric mixer to lowest setting, if using, and then add the sifted dry ingredients, mixing well. 3) To shape and bake: Place generous tablespoonfuls of the batter (leveled cookie-

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Lauren Groveman, host of Baking Made Easy on WE tv Mondays at 9 a.m., encourages seniors to bake as a way of sharing with others.

scoopfuls) or level cookie scoops of the batter on the prepared cookie sheets. For best results, place mounds in 3 rows of 3, without crowding. Place two of the sheets into the preheated oven using the upper and lower third shelf positions. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (10 for chewy, 12 for cookies that snap), switching the position of the sheets after half the baking time. While in the oven, these cookies will first plump as they spread. They will then (usually) deflate and become flat, especially if left in the oven for the longer baking time, which will produce a crisper cookie. When baking for only 10 minutes (for a chewy cookie), they might come out slightly puffed. If so, rap the sheet on the wire rack, once or twice, to help the cookies to deflate. Bake remaining sheets of cookies. 4) To cool and serve: After baking, place the sheets on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, using a thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool before storing in an airtight tin.

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Grandparents as Teachers; How You Can Connect With Your Grandkids By Colleen D. Multari, LMSW, Director of Early Learning at The Early Years Institute t is said that a parent is a child’s first teacher. As a grandparent, it’s important to remember that you taught the teacher. As the parent of a young parent, you have the power to impact the future through your grandchildren. As the author Geoff Dench said, “Grandparents should play the same role in the family as an elder statesman can in the government of a country. They have the experience and knowledge that comes from surviving a great many years of life’s battles and the wisdom, hopefully, to recognize how their grandchildren can benefit from this.” While this expectation may seem lofty, it simply means that sharing your life, your experiences and your time with your grandchild can help them more than you may realize. Think back to when you were a young parent. You were stressed, tired and unsure of the parenting decisions you were making. Remember that and then look at your child as the parent they are now. They too are feeling the same emotions you felt as a young parent. Be empathetic and let them know that you understand what they are going through. Offer to help them, but don’t get frustrated if they refuse! Despite successfully raising a child, your own children may feel that the issues they are facing are new, specific to this generation and unlikely to be understood by you. The best help that you can give them is unconditional love for their child (and occasional babysitting!). When interacting with your grandchild, think back to how you played as a child and how you played with your own children. Even though times have changed and technology has infiltrated childhood, children still love the same types of play you and your children enjoyed. Play outside. Be silly. Make a mess. Sing a song. Play with blocks. Bake a cake together. Spend time gardening. Read a book. Tell them stories about your childhood. Build a fort out of pillows and sheets. Playing together is learning together. You have the power to shape their hobbies and interests, teach them essential life skills and help them grow, all while making memories that last a lifetime! In order for young children to grow and develop, their brains must be stimulated through interaction, engagement of their senses, nurturing relationships and experiences. Grandparents, whether near or far, can play an im-

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Sharing your life, your experiences and your time with your grandchild can help them more than you may realize.

portant role in a child’s life. Spend time with your grandchildren and make time to play with them. If you live far away, invest in a webcam or make regular, old-fashioned phone calls. While on the phone, sing, laugh and tell stories. Whether on a webcam or on the phone, be sure to ask your grandchild open ended questions, meaning ones that they cannot answer just yes or no. Questions requiring more in-depth answers encourage engagement and open dialogue. Become pen pals (or email pals). Send each other original artwork. Send them a video or recording of you reading them a story. Go on a trip together. Your grandchild undoubtedly appreciates your sending of extravagant gifts but having conversations and sharing experiences will be more meaningful and valuable to both you and your grandchild in the long run. Make sure that your interactions are special, whether in person or across the miles.

In the words of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, and lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.” Grandparents often feel that being involved means ‘spoiling’ their grandchild. While all grandparents feel that their grandchild is the most adorable, intelligent and talented child, it’s important to be realistic when it comes to praise and practical when it comes to gifts. When grandchildren show you their artwork or a recent project, be sure to offer genuine comments and feedback. When you tell a child their artwork is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen, they know you are exaggerating the truth. Instead, start a dialogue by asking open-ended questions. Ask them to tell you more about the picture, why they selected certain colors or used specific shapes and if there is a story to go along with their artwork. Your interest will mean more to the child than generic praise. As a grandparent, you have unique ability to nurture, educate, and be both friends and role models all while helping to connect a child to the past and their family history. Joyce Allston said “Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child’s growth as vitamins.” Don’t ever forget that through this special bond, you have the power to shape your grandchild’s life simply by sharing your time with them. If you have multiple grandchildren, make time for each child. They can benefit from your attention as a group but also through special, one-on-one interactions. Today’s world can be overwhelming and chaotic for adults and even more so for children. Relationships keep adults grounded and the same goes for children. Relationships that are supportive, nurturing and thought-provoking are crucial for humans no matter their age. In the words of Jay Kesler, former president of Upland University, “Young people need something stable to hang on to, a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them.” Be involved, have fun and make time to play today, preferably with your grandchild. If you do not have grandchildren, make time to volunteer with young children or serve as a mentor. Intergenerational relationships can help both children and adults to grow, develop and find joy.

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

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By Ron Scaglia s the senior population continues to expand, there will be an increase in the number of older drivers on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 33 million licensed drivers aged 65 and over in the United States as of 2009. This is an increase of 23 percent from ten years prior. And senior drivers tend to have better driving safety habits than the rest of the population. According to the CDC, senior drivers exhibit: High incidence of seat belt use: More than three in every four (77 percent) older motor vehicle occupants (drivers and passengers) involved in fatal crashes were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, compared to 63 percent for other adult occupants (18 to 64 years of age) Tendency to drive when conditions are the safest: Older drivers tend to limit their driving during bad weather and at night and drive fewer miles than younger drivers. Lower incidence of impaired driving: Older adult drivers are less likely to drink and drive than other adult drivers. Only five percent of older drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher, compared to 25 percent of drivers between the ages of 21 and 64 years. However, despite these statistics, older drivers are still at risk. According to statistics released by the CDC, in 2008 about 5,500 older drivers were killed in the United States in motor vehicle accidents and, on average, about 500 older adults are injured. Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase starting at age 75 and increase notably after age 80 according to CDC statistics which conclude that this is largely due to increased susceptibility to injury and medical complications among older drivers rather than an increased ten-

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dency to get into crashes. On the CDC website, it states the older drivers may have more difficulty driving as age-related declines in vision and cognitive functioning (ability to reason and remember), as well as physical changes, may affect some older adults’ driving abilities. To help, the CDC offers the following recommendations to help older drivers remain safe: • Exercising regularly to increase strength and flexibility. • Asking your doctor or pharmacist to review medicines-both prescription and over-the counter-to reduce side effects and interactions. • Having eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Wear glasses and corrective lenses as required. • Driving during daylight and in good weather. • Finding the safest route with well-lit streets, intersections with left turn arrows, and easy parking. • Planning your route before you drive. • Leaving a large following distance behind the car in front of you. • Avoiding distractions in your car, such as listening to a loud radio, talking on your cell phone, texting, and eating. • Considering potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend or using public transit, that you can use to get around. In addition, AAA has some programs to help older driving. One of these is a computer based called Drive Sharp. Available for purchase, the program is intended to sharpen driver’s skills. The AAA website states that program is clinically proven to help drivers see more, react faster, and cut crash risk by up to 50 percent. For more information, log on to www.drivesharpnow.com. AAA also has other information available to help seniors stay safe on the road. For more information, log on to seniordrivingaaa.com

GOLDEN YEARS Published by Anton Community Newspapers

Williston Park Eye Associates Anat Benjamin, M.D. Board Certified Ophthalmologist

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132 E. Second St., Mineola, NY 11501 – 516-747-8282 www.antonnews.com Angela Susan Anton Publisher

Frank A. Virga Director of Sales & Marketing

William M. Delventhal, Jr. General Manager

Iris Picone Classified Manager

Cary Seaman Managing Editor

Paul Scheuer Art Director

Ron Scaglia Special Sections Editor

Lucia D’Onofrio Page Designer


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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Falls Can Result in Serious Injuries; Seniors Should Take Precautions By Ronald Scaglia ost doctors will most likely advise their patients against a latenight junk food snack. For senior citizens, however, the most dangerous aspect of getting a late-night bite to eat may not be the food, but the walk through the darkened home to get it. Consider these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: • One in three adults age 65 and older falls each year. • Among older adults (those 65 or older), falls are the leading cause of injury death. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. • In 2008, over 19,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries. • Of those who fall, 20 percent to 30 percent suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently, and increase their risk of early death. • Older adults are hospitalized for fallrelated injuries five times more often than they are for injuries from other causes. • In 2009, emergency departments treated 2.2 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults; more than 582,000 of these patients had to be hospitalized. “It’s a major reason for seniors to be admitted to the hospital,” said Nancy Copperman, North Shore-LIJ’s Director of Community Health and Public Policy, who added that falls are more common than strokes and the consequences can be just as serious. To help seniors, Copperman and Dale Chaiken, North Shore-LIJ’s Director of Community Health Nursing have the following recommendations for seniors to help them avoid potential serious injuries.

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Installing grab bars in the tub and shower is highly recommended by physicians.

strength and balance exercises at least three times per week. “As you age strength decreases after age 50 and then rapidly after age 70,” said Chaiken. “The importance of balance and strength exercises is for seniors to maintain independence.” 3. Bathroom Safety Bathrooms can be particularly dangerous places in the home. Copperman suggests that strips be affixed to the tub to prevent slipping. Both she and Chaiken also suggest installing grab bars in the tub and shower and near the toilet. Additionally they both recommend seniors use shower chairs.

1. Improve the Safety of Your Home “Most falls occur in the house,” said Copperman who advises seniors to remove tripping hazards from their homes. She suggest4. Pets ed that seniors reOur furry fourmove potential danlegged friends can - Nancy Copperman, bring much joy to gers such as scatter North Shore-LIJ’s Director of our lives. However, rugs, which can come up underneath Community Health and Public Policy they can also walk a person and also behind seniors and said that extension potentially be a hazcords are another potential tripping hazard. Copperman advises seniors to be ard. She also suggests seniors place somecareful and be mindful of the whereabouts thing in a contrasting color on the edges of their pets. of stairs in their home to help them better see the steps. 5. Medications “As you age, your depth perception According to Copperman, some medweakens and seniors aren’t as able to ications, and especially medications for judge the edge of a step,” said Coppercontrolling blood pressure, can make senman. “They should highlight the edges.” iors more susceptible to falls. Patients Furthermore, she also recommends that should speak with their doctors or pharstaircases, both inside and outside the macists and be aware of this potential side home, have a railing on each side. Copeffect. perman also urges seniors to make sure their homes are well lit, increase wattage 6. Footwear both inside and out, and recommends Copperman stated that footwear could nightlights as well as light switches on also be a factor in a fall and the resulting both ends of staircases. injuries. She advises seniors to wear safer footwear such as loafers, oxfords, walking 2. Get Regular Exercise shoes, sport shoes and sneakers. She adCopperman recommends that seniors vises against flip- flops, slippery soles and get at least thirty minutes of exercise each shoes without backs. Both Copperman day. She suggests walking or balance exand Chaiken also said that slippers can be ercises such as Tai Chi. One balance exerhazardous. cise that she recommends is walking “The bottom of slippers can be slip“heel to toe.” To do this, put your heel just pery,” said Copperman. “Wear slippers in front of the toes of the opposite foot that are similar to loafers with a back and each time you take a step. Your heel and a non-skid sole. Just walking around in toes should touch or almost touch. socks is also dangerous because you have Chaiken agrees that exercise is essential no traction.” for seniors. In addition to regular exercise, For more information on preventing falls, she strongly recommends that seniors do visit www.preventfalls.northshorelij.com

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

For Seniors, Avoiding the Flu Can Be a Matter of Life or Death By Ronald Scaglia hile no one wants to suffer the aches, pain, chills and overall awful feeling that the flu brings, seniors have to be especially cautious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur in people 65 years and older. This is because human immune defenses become weaker with age. So influenza can be a very serious disease for people 65 and older. “Flu kills youngsters and older adults,” said Dr. Giselle Wolf-Klein, a geriatrician with North Shore-LIJ. “It’s a serious illness and something that we can’t ignore.” Dr. Wolf-Klein strongly recommends that all seniors receive annual flu vaccinations. She said that it is important to receive the inoculation as it raises immunity. Furthermore, Wolf-Klein said that it is important to receive it annually as the shot changes every year because the virus can vary from one flu season to the next. One common misconception is that receiving the flu shot can cause a patient to actually come down with the flu. Both the CDC and Dale Chaikin, Director of Community Health Nursing at North Shore-LIJ say this is absolutely not true. “You will not get the flu from the influenza vaccine,” said Chaikin. The regular, traditional flu shot is an inactivated vaccine containing killed virus. By contrast, the nasal spray flu vaccine contains weakened but not killed virus so is therefore only recommended for healthy non-pregnant people between the ages of 2-49 and is not for seniors, even though the CDC states that the nasal spray

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One common misconception is that receiving the flu shot can cause a patient to actually come down with the flu. Both the CDC and Dale Chaikin, Director of Community Health Nursing at North Shore-LIJ say this is absolutely not true.

will not give recipients the flu either. However, while is it agreed upon that getting the flu shot is the best way to avoid coming down with flu, it is still not 100 percent effective so there are other precautions that seniors should take as well. One potential danger area are grandchildren, something some grandparents would never think twice about being a potential source of harm. “If the child is sick and has not seen a

doctor you’re putting your life in danger,” said Wolf-Klein. “Many times people want to come out and visit and don’t realize the consequences it can have on the elderly when they’re sick,” said Peggy Lynch, Director of Infection Control at Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. According to Wolf-Klein, grandparents often feel a sense of responsibility, and will not refuse a visit from grandchil-

dren, even if the little ones appear to be harboring an illness. She further said that some grandparents are reluctant to refuse a babysitting appointment with their grandkids so as not to burden their children with paying for a babysitter, which can sometimes be up to $20 per hour. Wolf-Klein also said that grandparents could unknowingly expose themselves to flu germs by handling items that their grandchildren have also touched such as toys, silverware, tissues and doorknobs. She recommends that seniors consider using disposable plastic gloves in such situations. “It’s really important to be extremely cautious about what you handle,” said Wolf-Klein. In addition, to avoiding potentially infectious situations, both Wolf-Klein and Chaikin said that frequent hand washing is also vital. Wolf-Klein recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds; a timeframe that Chaikin says can be estimated by singing “The Happy Birthday” song. Additionally, Wolf-Klein recommends removing all rings and drying hands with a disposable towel that is only used once. She said that regular soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap. Both Chaikin and Wolf-Klein concurred that hand washing with soap and water offers the best protection but if that is not an option, using a hand sanitizer made with at least 60 percent alcohol is the next best option. They both said that these sanitizers seem to work, although their use doesn’t preclude hand washing with water and soap and that staff members are instructed in hand washing to prevent the spread of infection. continued on page 22

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

SIGN UP FOR NASSAU COUNTY’S

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Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are recommended for seniors to get enough fiber in their diet. Choose fresh or frozen but not canned.

Senior Nutrition: Three Suggestions for Staying Healthy By Ronald Scaglia ou are what you eat. It’s something that is taught to children in an attempt to eat healthier foods. Recently, there have been increased efforts in schools to provide better nutrition. However, good nutrition is important for people of all ages, including and especially seniors. Because of changes as we age and the effects of certain geriatric medications, seniors need to make good nutritional choices. Nancy Copperman is the Director of Public Health Initiatives for North-Shore LIJ and is also a registered dietitian. She says that as the body ages, metabolism slows down, so seniors don’t need as many calories as they did when they were younger. Copperman recently shared three nutritional suggestions to help maintain proper health throughout the golden years.

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The YELLOW DOT Program was created to assist seniors following automobile accidents when they might not be able to communicate for themselves. The YELLOW DOT Program is a cooperative effort involving the Nassau County Police Department, the NCPD Emergency Ambulance Bureau, state and local police and local Fire Departments to assist our citizens in a time of need when they might not be able to help themselves.

Drink Four Glasses of Water/Fluids Daily

Eat Six to Eight Ounces of Protein Daily

With the explosion of bottled water that is readily available, it would seem that getting enough water should not be a problem. However, Copperman says that seniors become dehydrated for several reasons. “Seniors are not drinking enough because they are not as thirsty, “said Copperman. In addition, Copperman added that some seniors drink less because they are incontinent and combat this by trying to drink less. Furthermore, she also said that some of the medications taken by seniors cause them to urinate more and therefore lose water resulting in dehydration. “Dehydration causes dizziness, fatigue, medications going out of whack, constipation, and stomach problems,” said Copperman who advises seniors to drink four glasses of fluids daily to keep hydrated.

Copperman says that as people age, they lose muscle. To compensate for this, she recommends that seniors eat six to eight ounces of protein per day. According to Copperman, lean meat, chicken and poultry, and low-fat cheeses are all good sources of protein. As a guide, Copperman says that a three ounce serving of protein is about the size of a deck of cards, so two such servings will meet this recommendation. In addition, Copperman also said that chicken, fish and lean meat are also good sources of iron. “Anemia is also a problem as we age,” said Copperman while discussing the benefits for seniors for adding iron to their diets.

Copperman also suggests that seniors try to get enough fiber into their diet. To do this, she recommends fruits, vegetables and whole grains. When choosing vegetables she recommends fresh or frozen but not canned. “Canned vegetables have more sodium and fewer vitamins,” said Copperman. She also said that fiber helps improve regularity and overall health. In addition, according to Copperman, fiber benefits seniors by regulating blood sugar, lowering high cholesterol levels, and managing weight.

Eat More Fiber

516-571-6000

Social Security to Stop Issuing Paper Checks

NASSAU COUNTY EXECUTIVE

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Working for Nassau Seniors 77062

Follow Ed Mangano on Facebook, Twitter and www.nassaucountyny.gov

e aware that all applicants filing for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments now must choose to receive their benefits by either direct deposit or through a debit card. Paper checks are not longer being issues to new recipients and current recipients who are still receiving payment by check will have until March 1, 2013 to switch to direct deposit or a debit card. Those who are still receiving paper checks will be switched to the debit card option if no choice is made by then. If you are already receiving your benefits electronically, no further action is required. For more information, visit www.godirect.org.


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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Learn About Macular Degeneration and How to Slow Its Progress s seniors age, vision loss is a cause of permanent impairment of frightening concern. One reading and fine or close-up vision age-related cause of vision among people aged 65 years and loss is macular degeneration. The older. Centers for Disease Control and While the disease and its potenPrevention have the following tial consequences are frightening, overview of the disease and Dr. there are steps that patients can take Anat Benjamin of Williston Eye to protect their vision. Dr. Anat Associates added some insights. Benjamin of Williston Eye Care Macular degeneration is an eye Associates says there are steps that disorder associated with aging and can be taken to slow down the proresults in damaging sharp and gression of macular degeneration central vision. Central vision is once diagnosed. needed for seeing objects clearly “Vitamins have been shown to and for common daily tasks such be very helpful in preventing the as reading and driving. Macular progression of macular degeneradegeneration affects the macula, tion from the dry form to the wet the central part the retina that alform,” said Dr. Benjamin. “I tell lows the eye to see fine details. patients about vitamins that studies There are two forms of macular have shown can prevent progresdegeneration, wet and dry. sion.” Wet Macular Degeneration: She said that lutein and zeaxanWhen abnormal blood vessels bethin are two vitamins that studies hind the retina start to grow under have shown may slow the progresthe macula, ultimately leading to sion. In addition, Benjamin said blood and fluid leakage. Bleeding, that patients should see their eye leaking, and scarring from these doctors if they have blurry vision, blood vessels cause damage and glare when driving or are having lead to rapid central vision loss. difficulty performing tasks they acAn early symptom of wet macular tively performed previously. Macular degeneration results in damaging sharp and central vision. Central vision is needed degeneration is that straight lines “One of the things we do is for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. appear wavy. make sure patients use an amsler Dry Macular Degeneration: grid,” said Benjamin. “This allows presence of small drusen is normal and does not cause viWhen the macula thins over time as part of aging process, us to pick up on subtle changes early on.” sion loss. However, the presence of large and more numergradually blurring central vision. The dry form is more In addition, to protect against the development or proous drusen raises the risk of developing advanced dry common and accounts for 70-90 percent of cases of macugression of macular degeneration, Benjamin recommends macular degeneration or wet macular degeneration. lar degeneration and it progresses more slowly than the wet wearing sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection to help It is estimated that 1.8 million Americans 40 years and form. Over time, as less of the macula functions, central viprotect your eyes from these harmful rays which can cause older are affected by macular degeneration and an addision is gradually lost in the affected eye. Dry macular deboth macular degeneration and cataracts. She suggests seetional 7.3 million with large drusen are at substantial risk generation generally affects both eyes. One of the most ing your eye doctor regularly, and especially if you notice of developing macular degeneration. The number of peocommon early signs of dry macular degeneration is drusen. changes in your vision. Furthermore, those with a family ple with macular degeneration is estimated to reach 2.95 Drusen: Drusen are tiny yellow or white deposits under history should consult with an eye doctor to discuss the million in 2020. Macular degeneration is the leading the retina. They often are found in people over age 60. The possibility of taking vitamins before the disease develops.

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Memory Loss; When It’s Normal And When to be Concerned

E X P E R I E N C E

By Ronald Scaglia as something like this ever happened to you? You’re having a conversation and the President comes up in the discussion and you just can’t remember his name. You can recall that he’s a Democrat and that he has two children but his name eludes you. You go through the alphabet hoping to give you a clue. Later on, perhaps much later, out of nowhere the name Barack Obama pops into your head. Should you be concerned? Actually this is quite common according to Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, geriatrician at North-Shore LIJ. She said this is called the “tip of the tongue” phenomenon, where people often have trouble with retrieval. “Older people and people under stress will have trouble remembering a word,” said Wolf-Klein, “It will come back to you when you have less stress such as in the middle of the night.” So, it is common to forget a name or a word. And the stress of trying to recall it at that instant actually makes the process more difficult. So, if this has happened to you, you are definitely not alone. And have you recently misplaced your keys? Dr. Wolf-Klein says that is also quite common. “You don’t have Alzheimer’s disease when you misplace your keys, you have it when you don’t know what your keys are for.” Indeed the increased awareness of Alzheimer’s disease has made everyone more aware of memory issues. Seniors and their family members become concerned at the first sign of memory loss. However, Wolf-Klein states that there are normal changes in memory and that half the population will have memory deficits by the time they reach their mid to late 80s. “Memory loss is dreaded by many elderly because the spectrum of Alzheimer’s has gained viability in the last 10 to 20 years,” said Wolf-Klein. “The first time you forget, you wonder.” So, forgetting is a word or a name is not a cause for alarm. And neither is misplacing keys, unless you are quite fastidious in placing your keys in a certain spot and misplacing them is a change in a normal pattern of behavior. Furthermore, hearing loss is sometimes a cause for someone not recalling a piece of information. Wolf-Klein said that something could be told to someone with difficulty hearing and because of the hearing loss, that information may not have actually been transmitted. However, when the person later cannot recall that information, red flags go up and statements such as “But I just told you that” are uttered. Yet, in this situation it is the hearing loss and not Alzheimer’s that is the culprit. And sometimes lack of interest is the cause of something being forgotten. Something may be said which is of vital importance to the speaker, but insignificant to the listener. If the listener doesn’t recall that information later, it may not be Alzheimer’s but simple indifference. According to Wolf-Klein, it is changes in behavior and judgment that should cause concern. She said that when individuals lose executive function that a physician should be consulted about the possibility of Alzheimer’s. Wolf-Klein described executive function as something we do all the time such as the ability to organize a familiar task. A person afflicted with Alzheimer’s may remember pieces of a commonly done task, but now has difficulty recalling the correct order. As an example, she discussed cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving,

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The increased awareness of Alzheimer’s disease has made everyone more aware of memory issues.

“Cooking is an excellent way to determine this,” said Wolf-Klein. “You may know you need a turkey. You may know you need an oven. However, you may ask what the stuffing is or where does the stuffing go.” She said such a situation could be a signal of executive function loss. If someone who cooked a turkey at Thanksgiving for years and was doing so five years ago, is now suddenly having difficulty with the process, it could be a cause for concern. The geriatrist also said that if someone forgets what ingredients are used to prepare the turkey, or perhaps more importantly where to go to get those ingredients, that could indicate an issue. However, she again cautions that simply not preparing a turkey is not indicative of Alzheimer’s. It is complicated to prepare a turkey and physical ailments such as arthritis might prohibit someone from doing so. Prior levels are very important in making the judgment of whether someone has simple memory loss or something more serious. If someone is having difficulty with a task that was handled with aplomb previously, and the cause is not physical, it is potentially an issue. She gave another example of going on a trip and getting lost. If an individual is traveling to a new or unfamiliar place it is quite reasonable for that person to get lost. However, if that person is traveling to a very familiar place such as a church or a relative’s house and is taking a route traveled extensively in the past, getting lost on that journey could be indicative of a something more serious than simple memory loss. Another signal of Alzheimer’s, according to Wolf-Klein is a sudden change in behavior. She said that someone with Alzheimer’s might become irritable, irascible, and short-tempered. These individuals may refuse to see friends and grandchildren. They may look to stay home more and even be irritated by their friends’ questioning what is happening with them. “The first case of the Alzheimer’s disease brought to Dr. Alzheimer was not because of memory loss but because of behavior,” said Wolf-Klein.


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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Pets Provide Seniors with Joy and Better Health By Ronald Scaglia o you want to improve your health and bring joy and companionship into your life? If so, then consider bringing a fury four-legged bundle of joy into your home. Pets can have many positive benefits on their owners’ lives. Dr. Paul LaPorta, a veterinarian with Massapequa Hospital for Animals feels that pets can bring joy to seniors’ lives as does Joanne Yokannan, Senior Vice-President of Operations at North Shore Animal League. They both spoke about the happiness that pets can bring seniors. “I have clients who have pets that are brought into nursing homes and it literally has a positive effect,” said LaPorta. “To pet and see them, it brightens up their day and week.” “Pets provide companionship and unconditional love,” said Yokannan. Both LaPorta and Yokannan also concur that there are additional benefits for seniors to own pets. They include giving seniors a daily routine, forcing seniors to get exercise, creating moments for social interaction, and even providing a sense of security. “It gives seniors a responsibility, something to do day in and day out,” said LaPorta. “65 is the new 50, dogs need to walk and cats love to play,” said Yokannan. “Pets provide a great source of joy. It’s a nice distraction from one’s own health issues. They have to be responsible for something besides their own health.” And related to the senior’s health, owning a pet can provide health benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness. So when seniors decide to welcome a pet into their homes, the first decision that has to be made is what kind of pet. In addition to deciding between a dog or a cat,

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there are different breeds to choose from. Yokannan says that there are counselors at the North Shore Animal League to help seniors choose the proper pet. LaPorta has some insights as well. “What’s their personal preference, dog or cat,” said LaPorta adding that a senior

looks healthy, is well-rounded and appears to like people, you may have found your new best friend. He also suggests checking the dog to make sure there is no discharge from the eyes or nose and that the animal is not sneezing or coughing. For cats, LaPorta also suggests interac-

“It gives seniors a responsibility, something to do day in and day out.” - Paul LaPorta, a veterinarian with Massapequa Hospital for Animals who previously had a pet would likely choose the same one again. “If you never liked cats, get a dog.” If deciding on a dog, he suggests seniors consider a smaller dog that is easier to handle as well as a breed that is more laid back. He suggested Shelties as a possible good consideration. For those who want a bigger dog, LaPorta again suggests going with a more laid back breed such as a Golden Retriever which he says are less rambunctious than other large breeds. “If they’ve always had large breeds, they may want one,” said LaPorta. “It’s a personal preference if the owners think they can handle it.” LaPorta also feels that cats can be a good choice for seniors. He says that they require less maintenance. “Cats can make nice pets,” LaPorta said. “They provide company and there’s a lot less you have to do as opposed to putting on a leash and walking three times a day.” When meeting a potential pet for the first time, LaPorta suggests spending time interacting with the animal. For dogs, he says to determine the attitude and temperament of the dog. If it backs up in fear, it should make you wonder how it will do in your home. By contrast, if the dog is playful,

tion with the potential pet as cats can be more aloof and be more to themselves. If this is not what you’re looking for in a cat, choose one that likes to be held and doesn’t jump away when you hold it. He also said when petting the cat, it shouldn’t bite. “You don’t pick a cat the cat picks you,” said Yokannan. “You’ll know when you make the connection with a cat.” “If you can lay an animal on its back and stroke it, that’s a good sign that it’s docile and will interact with you,” said LaPorta. LaPorta also said that seniors need not spend hundreds of dollars for a purebred cat or kitten. He suggested considering adoption. “Adopting a pet saves a life,” said Yokannan. Even though the North Shore Animal League is a no-kill shelter, by adopting from there, a cage is opened up to allow another animal in. Currently, the North Shore Animal League has a special program called Seniors for Seniors. Thanks to support from the Olga Graham Fund, the Seniors for Seniors program gives qualified seniors 60 and older the opportunity to adopt a animal that’s at least two years of age and the adoption fee will be waived. In addition, the new owner is entitled to two free groomings per year, and ten percent off of

If deciding on a dog, consider a smaller dog that is easier to handle.

all products at the NSALA Pet Store. For those who aren’t sure if they are ready to make a full commitment, the North Shore Animal League also offers a foster to adopt program. In this program, potential adopters can foster a pet for a week or two. If they love the animal, they adopt it. If not, the North Shore Animal League will accept the animal back and then will find another home for it. “It’s giving the animal much needed socialization and a vacation for a week of two,” said Yokannan. For those who are interested in helping out, the North Shore Animal League also has a volunteer program. Volunteers walk dogs, socialize cats, bathe puppies and keep the animals fit. According to Yokannan, about ten percent of the volunteers are seniors. For those interested in adopting an animal, the North Shore Animal League is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. If interested in volunteering, stop by between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday through Saturday.

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Advice for Seniors In a Struggling Economy By Ronald Scaglia hen the financial markets tumbled, many investors had significant declines in their portfolios. Historically, the financial markets have always recovered from market downturns and therefore many financial analysts have advised their clients to take a “wait it out” approach. Those, whose financial objectives are years or even decades away from now, are able to follow this strategy. However, senior citizens who are depending on their savings to provide for them today do not have the luxury of waiting the possible five or more years that many are forecasting it will take before the economy fully recovers. Yet, stashing your money under your mattress or a non-interest paying checking interest account is not a viable strategy either. Because of taxes and inflation, some rate of return must be earned or cash actually loses value. For example, let’s say you have $20,000 in cash, which you can use to purchase a car. However, instead of buying the car you put the cash in a safe deposit box. In a year from now, with a 2 percent rate of inflation, the same car would cost $22,400 and the cash in the safe deposit box would not be enough to cover the cost. However, more than any other group, seniors can ill afford significant reductions in their principal. For those who need solid financial advice for navigating the rough economic waters of the present, local financial experts have some advice. “It’s not one size fits all,” said Michael Driscoll, visiting professor and senior executive-in-residence at the Adelphi University’s School of Business. “Strategies, profiles and needs are different.” Driscoll strongly advises seniors to have the majority of their money handled by a reputable, financial advisor. He said that seniors have drastically different goals from each

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Seeking advice from a reputable professional is the best way for seniors to devise an individualized plan for their finances.

other with some looking to retire comfortablly and others hoping to assist their children or grandchildren with expenses such as education. He said that seeking advice from a reputable professional is the best way for seniors to devise an individualized plan for their finances. He said that it is dangerous for seniors to try and invest on their own. “You can Google how to take out your own appendix but I wouldn’t advise doing it,” said Driscoll. While adamant that all investors should seek the advice of reputable brokers, he did highlight three investment

vehicles that seniors may want to ask their brokers about, which might offer some security and the chance to offer slightly higher returns than found with traditional safe investment products such as treasury bonds. Driscoll said that municipal bonds, corporate bonds, and parts of the equities market, particularly blue chip stocks and mutual funds that invest in blue chips may offer opportunities to achieve some return while keeping risk low. continued on page 22

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011 ADVERTISEMENT

TO YOUR HEALTH By Richard H. Blau, M.D., F.A.C.R.

Food For Your Joints Every part of your body requires proper nutrition to maintain good health. Your joints are no exception. What you eat can not only help maintain joint health, but also may improve inflamed and painful joints and muscles. Most people know that foods that are high in cholesterol or contain saturated fats are bad for your heart. But do you know that certain foods can be pro-inflammatory and bad for your joints? The good news is that many foods can be anti-inflammatory and improve joint pain and swelling. So who are the bad food guys? We can divide these foods into two categories: unfavorable fats and unkind carbs. Unfavorable fats include any fats that are solid at room temperature. The list includes saturated fats, such as those you find in meats, dairy products, and some vegetable oils, such as palm and coconut. It also means trans fats (trans fatty acids), which are unsaturated fats with hydrogen adds. The problem with all of these fats is not so much that they’re inherently “bad”, but that they contain two types of inflammatory

fatty acids, called omega-6’s (particularly one called arachidonic acid, which plays a major role in arthritis) and omega 9’s. We generally eat far too many omega-6’s and omega-9’s.

preventing abnormal heart rhythms. As for their effects on arthritis, researchers have recently shown that they have benefits as strong as most non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

Unkind carbs are those that cause the volume of glucose in your blood to rise way too fast and way too high. Just stay away from: processed sugars, processed grains, and processed cereals. Most ‘white’ foods, such as milled flour, pasta, and white rice, fall into one of these categories. Unfortunately, potatoes are also on the list of unkind carbs, even if they’re not processed. So is corn.

Here are some excellent sources of omega-3’s: Cold water, oily fish (wild salmon, cod, tuna, trout, mackeral, herring, sardines, halibut), flax seeds (ground into meal) and flax seed oil. Other sources include walnuts and walnut oil, canola oil (rapeseed oil), pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, free-range chicken, free-range beef, broccoli, pinto, navy beans, kidney beans, chia, purslane, and Lingonberry.

Which ones are the favorable fats? These fats contain omega-3 fatty acids. These acids produce a powerful anti-inflammatory action in the body. Not only can they help you control the pain and progression of your arthritis, but some scientific studies have suggested they may also help keep your heart healthy by suppressing inflammation and blood clotting in your blood vessels, reducing your cholesterol levels, lowering your blood pressure, slowing the growth of fat deposits on your artery walls, and

Our goal as rheumatologists is to help our patients return to a vibrant, functional way of life and avoid surgery. This can often be done with a combination of proper diet, dietary supplements, excercise, and medication. This combined approach has revolutionized the treatment of arthritis. It is important to always check with your medical physician before beginning any diet or dietary supplement program. One solution is not right for every-

one. Often it may take a combination of treatments to help you with your arthritis. An evaluation by a rheumatologist (arthritis specialist) may be helpful to find out which treatment is right for you. Rheumatologists are specifically trained to diagnose all types of arthritis. Their experience allows them to design individualized treatment programs for patients with arthritis. Just released: Dr. Blau’s acclaimed arthritis self-help book entitled, “Too Young to Feel Old”. Available online and in all major bookstores. Dr. Richard Blau is a board certified rheumatologist and medical director of the Arthritis Institute of Long Island®, located in Hicksville. For your complimentary copy of “The Joint Approach - An Arthritis Overview”, please call 516-932-7777. www.arthritisinstitute.com

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Social Security Announces 3.6 Percent Benefit Increase for 2012 onthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 60 million Americans will increase 3.6 percent in 2012, the Social Security Administration has announced. The 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that nearly 55 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2012. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2011. Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings

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subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $110,100 from $106,800. Of the estimated 161 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2012, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum. Information about Medicare changes for 2012, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums. The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Online Help for Those Considering Medicare Health Plans he Medicare open enrollment period is currently ongoing and will continue until December 7. Medicare recipients who wish to change their Medicare plan have until December 7 to make changes. Those who want to keep their current plan do not have to do anything. For those who are considering a change in plan, resources are available to assist in making that decision. Medicare recipients may compare their

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choices using Medicare’s Plan Finder, which may be used by logging on to Medicare.gov. This tool will help you find and compare the different kinds of Medicare Advantage health plans (or Part C) and Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D). You can do a general area search by entering your zip code or you may enter your Medicare number for a personalized search, which may provide you with more accurate cost estimates and coverage information.

Park Funeral Chapels Consider all of the things preplanning does: • Making some simple decisions in advance ensures all of the details of a funeral will be carried out exactly as intended. Family members won’t be left wondering or making guesses as to what should be done. • Advance planning also gives you peace of mind and saves your family from the pressure of making emotional decisions at a difficult time. If you have ever had to arrange a funeral or cremation under emotional stress, then you understand how helpful preplanning can be. • We make planning in advance easy, convenient and without cost. For families choosing to pay in advance, our FDIC insured interest-bearing accounts and Medicaid irrevocable trusts help to offset future price increases due to inflation. For many families, this means no additional funds are needed at the time of services.

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GOLDEN YEARS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

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Free county programs that help emergency responders are geared toward senior citizens.

Nassau County Programs Help Emergency Responders Provide Care During Emergencies assau County is offering three free services to help emergency personnel assist residents during emergencies. Although available to all Nassau County residents, the programs are geared toward senior citizens. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nassau County is happy to provide an array of programs throughout the year for senior citizens in our parks and local senior citizen centers,â&#x20AC;? said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The County also offers several free programs to help seniors in time of emergency. From the Yellow Dot program to the Vial of Life, Nassau County is dedicated to protecting the lives of those who helped build our communities.â&#x20AC;? The Yellow Dot Program was created to assist emergency personnel in obtaining vital information about drivers involved in a car accident who are not able to speak for themselves. Drivers complete the Yellow Dot form and then display a yellow dot on the left side of their vehicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rear view window. This alerts emergency personnel that vital information about the driver is located in the glove compartment. This will assist medical and emergency personnel during the first critical minutes after a crash. To register for the Yellow Dot Program call (516) 571-6000. The Vial of Life Program is a similar program designed to help with emergencies with homes. A resident completes a Vial of Life form and then places it inside

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of a plastic baggie, which is placed on the residentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s refrigerator door. A decal is placed in the residentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s front door to alert emergency personnel that the vital information is available on the refrigerator. In addition, residents may place in their Vial of Life baggie, a photo of themselves, a Photostat of their last EKG, a living will if there is one, do not resuscitate orders if desired and any other important documentation that may be helpful to emergency responders. For more information on the Vial of Life Program call 1-(888)-7241200 or visit vialoflife.com. R.E.A.C.H. is a database of children and adults with cognitive disorders that make them both more likely to become a missing person and that potentially limit their ability to communicate with the police and others. R.E.A.C.H. registration will assist the police with a swift response to missing person calls. Time is critical in these incidents. With R.E.A.C.H., a missing person alert with a recent photograph will quickly be available to police officers on patrol. Planning ahead for the worst case scenario ensures that the police have comprehensive and correct information on the missing person to utilize in a targeted search. To register a person in R.E.A.C.H. Call Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence at (516) 573-5775, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for an appointment. Registration is free.

Numbers of Seniors Increase Significantly id you know? Senior citizens are making up an even larger part of the population. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are over 40 million people in the United States aged 65 and up which accounts for 13 percent of the population. The number of people aged 65 and up showed a 15 percent increase from the 2000 census when the same group numbered just under 35 million and 12.4 percent of the population. In Nassau County, seniors make up an even bigger part of the population as 15.3 percent of Nassauâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents are 65 years of age or older.

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

Flu Can Be a Matter of Life or Death shouldn’t overexert themselves, which they and all groups tend to do as the holidays approach. She said to not clean your “Employees are mandated to have a house the day you feel a little bit weaker hand washing training class,” said Wolfand to think of themselves first and cancel Klein. “They know it’s essential.” babysitting and similar appointments, “Every October, we go over infection even if that means disappointing children control to encourage our staff to cover their and grandchildren. coughs, use tissues only once and then disIn addition, Wolfcard, practice strict Klein says that senhand hygiene, stay iors should keep home when sick and warm this winter, as disinfect equipment cold weather does between patients,” affect nasal passages said Lynch. and the virus grows Both Wolf-Klein better in the cold. and Chaikin also - Dr. Giselle Wolf-Klein, She suggests keepconcurred that sengeriatrician with North Shore-LIJ. ing a fleece jacket or iors need to manage sweater in your car their stress in order in case the weather to keep their imsuddenly turns colder when you are out. munes systems strong. They both say that She also said to be sure to wear something getting plenty of sleep, avoiding stress and on your head to keep it warm. Additionaleating nutritious foods can help keep imly, she said that seniors should also try to mune systems strong for the flu season stay warm with hot beverages – so chickfight. Wolf-Klein suggests foods high in vien soup does help. tamin C such as fruits and vegetables and “Hot fluids work nicely in terms of presays that she eats blueberries every day. vention and treatment,” said Wolf-Klein. “When you’re over 50 your immune And if you do come down with the flu, system has taken a lot of hits,” said see your physician immediately. AccordChaikin. “Get plenty of sleep, stay physiing to Chaikin, there are anti-viral medically active, drink plenty of fluids and cines now available that will shorten the manage stress.” duration of the flu and make it less severe, “Prioritize your health,” said Wolf-Klein. but the must be taken as early as possible. The geriatrician said that seniors continued from page 8

“It’s a serious illness and something that we can’t ignore.”

Commitment to Outstanding Healthcare

Advice for Seniors in a Struggling Economy he said that investors must be aware of the ramifications of investing in products, even those that appear to be safe. “People have gone too far out on risk in “A senior really needs to understand what search of yield,” said Driscoll of the fithe liquidity (the ease of turning something nancial situation, which he described as a into cash) is in, in both life and death,” said “global problem.” He later added of corKaplan. “Some products may provide liqporate bonds, “Buy blue chips with low uidity if the client passes, some may not.” possibilities of default.” Kaplan considers structured products to Andrew Kaplan, Executive Vice-Presibe illiquid. He said that some of these dent with New York Community Bancorp, may have a five to ten year commitment the parent company of The Roslyn Savand those commitments may be difficult ings Bank, agrees that it is very hard to to unwind with significant penalties for find significant returns while maintaining early withdrawals. a degree of safety. Nevertheless, he says “Seniors should revisit where they stand that keeping their assets secure is becomin terms of their overall financial picture,” ing a priority for senior investors. said Phil Palumbo, Vice-President and “In today’s economy, a return of principle certified financial planner at UBS Finanhas become more important than return on cial Services. principal,” said KaPalumbo agrees plan. “Today the safe that seniors should money is at 1 or 2 look at their overall fipercent. The investor nancial picture. He takes great solace says that seniors that there’s some should ask themguarantee of the reselves: how much risk turn of principle.” do they need to be Andrew Kaplan, Kaplan advises Executive Vice-President with taking, are there ways seniors to examine to reduce risk, what their financial situaNew York Community Bancorp rate of return needs to tion and determine be achieved and what how much money investment solutions are available with less they absolutely must have in reserve in case risk. He said they also should determine the of an emergency in the next 12 to 24 portion of their money that they don’t bemonths. He advises this money be placed in lieve they will use in their lifetime and are a highly liquid safe account, which will planning on passing on as an inheritance. maintain the principal and gives the deposiPalumbo says that money could be invested tor access to the money in such an emermore aggressively. gency. Kaplan said that certificates of deAs for the rest of their money, Palumbo posit are an example of this. suggests high quality dividend paying “(Seniors) could pick up a little more in stocks. He also suggested massive limited a CD than in a money market,” said partnerships, high yield bonds, structured Driscoll. “Going out, one percent versus products and annuities with guarantees 10 basis points is 10 times as much.” and principal protection. “We try to remain competitive with our Despite the struggling economy, CD rates,” said John Fennell, Vice-PresiDriscoll believes that things will get betdent of New York Banccorp. ter. He said the world has come through Kaplan also said that he is seeing an infar greater challenges than this, including creased interest in products that provide one that some of today’s senior citizens living benefits such as annuity products, played a significant role in. which provide a stream of income while “In the midst of World War II, that’s maintaining principle. He also mentioned when the world hung in the balance,” said structured products as another option that Driscoll. “It’s uncomfortable but all in all senior investors are turning too. However, things will still be okay.” continued from page 18

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GOLDEN YEARS – ANTON COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS - NOVEMBER 2011

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Golden Years 2011  

Anton Community Newspapers Special Section Golden Years 2011

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