Mature Arkansas febrUARY, 2013
Primary care ad.MA.indd 3
2 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
1/25/13 9:07 AM
G UEST ED IT OR IAL
For Medicaid Expansion By Herb Sanderson
he Arkansas legislature has the opportunity to save 2,300 lives a year, according to an independent study by the Rand Corporation. By accepting federal payment for Medicaid expansion, state legislators could expand health insurance coverage to previously uninsured Arkansans, giving them access to preventative care that can save lives—2,300 lives a year. AARP supports Medicaid expansion because AARP helps Americans who have lost their jobs, are struggling to find new ones and can’t get affordable healthcare. Medicaid expansion would help thousands of 50 to 64-year-olds who’ve lost their jobs or are struggling in jobs without health benefits but don't currently qualify for Medicaid. Expanding Medicaid will provide health coverage for hardworking people who’ve paid taxes all their lives but are now having trouble making ends meet. Expanding Medicaid will give people without insurance access to care, reduce the need for expensive emergency room care, and ease emergency room overcrowding that threatens us all. By 2016, if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented, the Rand Corporation study projects 400,000 Arkansans will be newly covered, either through Medicaid or through the purchase of private insurance through the insurance exchange. However, if Arkansas does not move forward with full implementation, the study estimates that 571,000 Arkansans will be uninsured. Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson, MD, and director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, said there is no question that helping people gain financial access to healthcare will have a positive impact on the health of Arkansans. “The (Rand Corporation’s) independent assessment of what full implementation of increased coverage options, through the Affordable Care Act, offers Arkansans validates a call for action. Not only would we save lives, but we would also stabilize our healthcare system and benefit our economy. It also would help our state catch up to what other states already offer their citizens through the Medicaid program,” Thompson said. Mr. Sanderson is associate state director for advocacy with AARP Arkansas.
We Want To Hear From YOU MATURE ARKANSAS welcomes letters or emails from readers on any subject of interest to older Arkansans. Letters to columnists are also welcome. Email your letters to email@example.com and include “letter” on the subject line. GUEST EDITORIALS, on issues of interest to Arkansans over age 50, are encouraged. This is a forum for readers’ opinions and comment. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Publisher. Contact the Editor at 501-375-2985 to discuss topics or send 300-500 word editorials to firstname.lastname@example.org All editorials are subject to editing and space limitations cover photo: Photos.com, Greg Duncan©
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Mature Arkansas Publisher Alan Leveritt Editor Anne Wasson Art Director Mike Spain Photographer Brian Chilson Graphic Artist Bryan Moats Director of sales Katherine Daniels account executive Jeff Borg
Circulation Director Anitra Hickman ad Coordinators Roland Gladden Kelly Schlachter Production Manager Weldon Wilson Production Assistant Tracy Whitaker Office Manager Angie Fambrough Billing and Collections Linda Phillips
Mature Arkansas is published monthly by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 E. Markham St., P. O. Box 34010, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203, phone 501-375-2985. Reproduction or use, in whole or in part, of the contents without the written consent of the publisher is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. The publisher assumes no responsibility for care or safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to Mature Arkansas’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially. All contents copyrighted 2013 Mature Arkansas. MATURE ARKANSAS
L E T T E Rs T O T H E EDITOR
Medicaid thoughts Dear Editor,
I AMOENA SwiMwEAr 2013 COllECtiON
was disappointed to read the editorial and related article on Medicaid (Jan. 2013) The inaccuracies, internal inconsistencies and blatant bias did little to further the cause for Medicaid expansion in Arkansas. There is no such thing as a “Social Contract.” It is an outdated political theory and to highlight a sob story about a senior having to crawl across the floor to get food and water if Medicaid is cut is both ludicrous and misleading. The present cutback is largely due to a miscalculation by some state officials. For too long Arkansas has had a complacent Democratic dominated General Assembly which failed to carefully monitor expenditure. Now there is a Republican majority in the Assembly it seems that panic has set in amongst the organizations that dispense Medicaid! The present struggle is to whether to accept the proposed increase in federal Medicaid money offered under “Obamacare.” Some legislators are skeptical of accepting increased Medicaid funding that is mandated to reduce in future. If the Mature Arkansas was genuinely committed to objective reporting rather than acting as a mouthpiece for the worried Democratic Party in Arkansas it would be helpful if one of the senators objecting to the proposed expansion was invited to put the alternative point of view. Perhaps we will see such an article in the future? — Mike Millwood Hot Springs EDITOR’S NOTE: The author of “The Face of Medicaid Expansion,” responds to Mr. Millwood: The governor was soundly criticized for putting 15,000 of the oldest and frailest into months of anxiety over their very existence. The story had no hero. Social contract outdated! Huhmm... this would invalidate large chunks of Greek and Roman judicial codes; the Bible will have to be rewritten; and the U.S. Constitution’s "inalienable rights" must be replaced, as it's passé. Without a social contract you're left with totalitarianism. — Cal Wasson
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will have to be
fter reading your editorial on why we need to approve the Medicaid Expansion (Jan. 2013), I just felt compelled to write and tell you that I couldn’t agree more. Your article was very to the point, yet very informative on what the reality will be if the expansion is not approved. I think some people are choosing to ignore the real world consequences of this movement based on party-line politics. I’m always happy to read something that goes beyond those labels and looks at what is really important to people. Have a great day! — Quincy B. Hurst Hot Springs
M edicare news
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ant to leave your Medicare Advantage health plan and go back to Original Medicare? Need a Part D drug plan? You can do so during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, available January 1 through February 14 each year.
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You can only make changes during this special period: • If you have a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, and, you want to switch back to Original Medicare. MA is the general term for a private insurance plan operated by for-profit insurance companies. Original Medicare is operated by the federal government. • If you want to sign up for a Part D prescription drug plan. These plans, also operated by insurance companies, work with Original Medicare. Most MA plans include drug coverage so you likely will not need a Part D plan if you have MA. If you are going back to Original Medicare, you will probably need a drug plan.
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Switch from a MA plan to Original Medicare by calling Medicare toll free 800-633-2273. Medicare will disenroll you from the MA plan and enroll you in Medicare. You can also enroll in a Part D plan at the same phone number.
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DID YOU KNOW... Slow the Salt
educing sodium (table salt) consumption is an important recommendation for most Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. Most people only need 1,500 milligrams (mg) of salt in their daily diet. That’s just 2/3rds of a teaspoon a day.
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Reducing salt helps control blood pressure, lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and kidney disease. • Here’s how to cut back slowly until your tastes adjust: • Keep salt shakers off the table. • Replace salt with herbs and spices or lowsodium seasonings. • Eat fewer snack foods and processed lunch meats. • Read the Nutrition Facts on food packages to compare sodium levels of similar foods.
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Consume about 4,700 mg of potassium daily to reduce the negative effects of salt. Sources of potassium include sweet and white potatoes, greens, beans, peas, tomatoes, yogurt and milk, and fish such as rainbow trout, cod, halibut and yellow fin tuna.
* Offered by the Arkansas Department of Career Education/Arkansas Rehabilitation Services Division. ©2012 Arkansas Relay. All rights reserved. CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.
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* Offered by the Arkansas Department of Career Education/Arkansas Rehabilitation Services Division. ©2012 Arkansas Relay. All rights reserved. CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners. MATURE ARKANSAS february, 2013 5
CA L EN DA R P IC KS
February Fun By A.H. Wasson
ART Nowthrough Feb. 28—“Fabulous Fibers” exhibit at Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs. Fiber and thread art by major fiber artist, Darlene Garstecki. FREE with no garden admission. Now through March 10—“Museum School Faculty Exhibition: Past and Present,” and “55th Annual Delta Exhibition,” two new exhibits at the Arkansas Arts Center, 9th & Commerce St., Little Rock; FREE, call 372-4000 or visit arkarts.com
1:00-3:00 PM. Classes are limited; call to reserve or for information--501-609-9966 or firstname.lastname@example.org Feb. 19—“Fit 2 Live,” monthly topics to keep you healthy and happy will feature “The Scoop on Sugar”; Laman Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock; 6:30 PM; FREE; call 758-1720. Feb.22--PulitzerPrize-winningcomposer Jennifer Higdon, one the most performed living American composers; Sturgis Hall, Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 Pres. Clinton Ave.,
Feb. 8—Second Friday Art Night, open house at downtown Little Rock art galleries and museums includes art and entertainment from 5:00-8:00 PM; FREE.
Feb.—Yoga classes; Quapaw Community Center, 500 Quapaw Ave., Hot Springs; 5:30-6:30 PM on Wed. & 10:00-11:30 AM on Sat. Call 501-6239922. FREE for members; $5 non-members. Feb.—Conversational Spanish lessons; Oley Rooker Library, 11 Otter Creek Ct., Little Rock; meets every Mon. 6:00-7:00 PM. For beginners; join class at any time—there’s lots of review. FREE. Call 907-5991.
Feb. 8 through Mar. 28— “Contemporary Art of the Osages,” a new exhibit at Sequoyah National Research Center’s J.W. Wiggins Native American Art Gallery, UALR’s University Plaza, 2801 S. University and Col. Glenn, Little Rock; weekdays 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM; FREE, call 569-8336 for more information. Now through Feb. 8—“2013 Vital Artist Collective Exhibition,” Hearne Fine Art, 1001 Wright Ave., Suite C, Little Rock. Weekdays 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, Sat. 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. FREE. Call 372-6822.
Feb.—FREE Fitness Classes, open to the public, in North Little Rock at Community Center, 2700 Willow St. (791-8541); Sherman Park Rec. Center, 624 Beech St. (340-5373); Glenview Rec. Center, 4800 E. 19th St. (945-2921) and North Heights Rec. Center, 4801 Allen St. (791-8576). Call for class schedules; NO registration or center membership required.
Feb.—Zumba Gold classes sponsored by CareLink. Call each location for class schedule.
“Secret Garden, ” oil on canvas, by Sheila Cotton. Now through mid-March—18th Anniversary Exhibition at Greg Thompson Fine Art; 429 Main St., North Little Rock; 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, Sat. 10:00 AM-2:00 PM; FREE. Call 664-2787.
Feb. 15—Argenta ArtWalk features galleries’ open house; 300-700 blocks of Main St., North Little Rock; 5:00-8:00 PM; FREE, call 993-1234.
CLASSES & LECTURES Feb. 12—“The Three Doctors,” a discussion by 3 men who grew up in poverty but vowed to stick together, go to college and become doctors. As physicians, they have started a foundation to inspire others to overcome challenges. At M.L. Harris Auditorium, Philander Smith College, 900 Daisy Bates Dr., Little Rock; 7:00 PM; FREE, for reservations call 501-683-5239. Feb. 15—Ikebana Lessons—the Japanese art of flower arrangement; Museum of Contemporary Art, 425 Central Ave., Hot Springs;
6 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
Little Rock; noon. FREE, call 501-683-5239 for reservations. Feb. 26—Docent Training Course for prospective garden volunteers at Garvan Woodland Gardens, Arkansas’ premier botanical garden, 550 Arkridge Rd., Hot Springs. Space limited; pre-registration required, call 800-366-4664. Other classes on Mar. 11, Apr. 4 & 15, May 13. Feb. 26—“The Big Truck That Went By,” by Jonathan Katz; the only reporter in Haiti when the 2010 earthquake hit, Katz stayed for another year to document how Haitians fared in international efforts to rebuild. He discusses how international aid can become smarter in the future. In Sturgis Hall, Clinton School of Public Service, Little Rock; 6:00 PM. FREE, to reserve seats call 501-683-5239.
In Little Rock: • UAMS Institute on Aging Ottenheimer Fitness Center, call 526-5779. • Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, call 664-4268. • Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, call 664-3600. • LifeQuest of Arkansas, 2nd Presbyterian Church, call 225-6073. In North Little Rock: • Indian Hills Church, call 835-2838. • Lakewood United Methodist Church, call 753-6186. Tai Chi class: Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, Tues/Thurs @ 4:30; call 529-2140. Feb.—UAMS Therapy & Fitness classes include: evening pool classes like Aqua Cardio and Aqua Zumba; evening gym classes such as line dancing, Zumba Gold, strength and cardio fitness. UAMS Reynolds Institute, 629 Jack Stephens Dr., Little Rock; 4:30-5:30 PM. Call Kellie Coleman at 501-526-5779.
Feb.—SeniorNet Classes in Little Rock: Genealogy, Print Artist Graphics, Intro. to Computers and Microsoft Word; Reynolds Institute on Aging,
February AARP’s Driver Safety classes update you on defensive driving and new rules of the road. Completion (no tests required) gets you a discount on auto insurance. Feb. classes listed below; for more information 501-767-4409. Date Arkansas City 12th Hot Springs Village 14th Hot Springs Village 15th Little Rock 15th Little Rock 20th Jacksonville
20th 21st 21st 26th
9:00 9:00 8:30 8:00
No. Little Rock Little Rock Hot Springs Benton
Location Christ of the Hill Church
Contact Phone 501-922-4503
Bancorp South Lifeline Baptist Church St. Jude’s Catholic Church No. Point Toyota-Kyle St. Luke UMC Irwin Agency Benton Senior Center
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UAMS campus, Little Rock. $45 per class ($75 for couples), manuals are $15. Call 603-1262.
COMEDY & GAMES Now through April 27—“The Last Night at Orabella’s,”familyfriendly, original live comedy at The Joint; 301 Main St., North Little Rock; Fri. & Sat. nights at 8:00 PM; $20, reservations at 372-0205. Beverages, snacks at your table during the show. The most popular honky tonk in Dumpster, AR is closing down…see who shows up.
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Feb. 12-Mar. 16—“’Til Beth Do Us Part,” a new comedy; Murray’s Dinner Playhouse, 6323 Col. Glenn Rd,. Little Rock. Dinner 6:00 PM; curtain 7:45 on Tues.-Sat.; Sun. matinees. Call 562-3131 for reservations. Feb.—Looney Bin Comedy Club, 10301 Rodney Parham Rd.; 7:30 PM, Wed.-Sat $7; FREE for ladies on Thursdays; 10:00 PM Fri. & Sat., $10; call 228-5555. Feb. 14 or Feb. 28—play Dominoes or Poker, all skill levels welcome; Ester Nixon Library, 703 W. Main St., Jacksonville; 6:00 PM; Dominoes meets 2nd Thurs; Poker on 4th Thurs. FREE. Call 457-5038. Feb.—Bingo at the Quapaw Community Center, 500 Quapaw Ave., Hot Springs; Tues. & Thurs. 12:30-3:30 PM. Call 501-623-9922.
CRAFTING Feb. 22-24—61st Annual Home Show, Verizon Arena, North Little Rock; $8 at the door, under 12 free if with an adult; Fri.-noon-7:00 PM, Sat.10:00-6:00, Sun.-10:00-4:00. Mon.—Knitting Circle; Roosevelt Thompson Library, 38 Rahling Circle, Little Rock; 1:00 PM. FREE. All ages, all skill levels welcome. Call 821-3060. Mon.—Knits & Purls; Adolphine Terry Library, 2015 Napa Valley Dr., Little Rock, 5:00 PM; FREE, refreshments provided. Call 228-0129. Third Tues.—Sit & Stitch; Main Library, 5th Floor, 100 S. Rock St., Little Rock; Noon-1:00 PM; all skill levels of knitting, croquet, embroidery; FREE. 918-3000. Thurs.—Stitch Night; enjoy knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch; all are welcome Argenta Branch Library, 506 Main St., North Little Rock; 6:00 PM; call 687-1061.
exhibit now open The Old State House Museum is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
C AL EN DAR PIC KS Thurs.—Fiddlesticks Knitting Group; Amy Sanders Library, 31 Shelby Dr., Sherwood; 1:00-3:00 PM; all skill levels. FREE. Call 835-7756 Fri.—Pinnacle Piecemakers Quilting Circle; Roosevelt Thompson Library, 38 Rahling Circle, Little Rock; all skill levels; 10:00 AM. FREE. Call 821-3060. Sat.—Let’s Stitch Together, meets first Sat. at 11:00 AM; Laman Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock; all ages, all stitching hobbies are welcome. Call 758-1720.
Tues. & Thurs.—Quapaw Community Center dancing includes ballroom lessons,Thurs. 7:00-8:00 PM; Clogging, Tues & Thurs, 8:30-11:00 AM; Line Dancing, Tues.& Thurs. 11:00 AM-noon; and Dance Party, 8:00-10:00 PM Thurs.; 500 Quapaw Ave., Hot Springs. Call 501-623-9922. Feb.—Dances and dance lessons at Bess Stephens Community Center, 12th & Cleveland Streets, Little Rock: Little Rock Country Dancers; 6:00-9:00
DANCES E v e r y Sat. i n F e b . — F r at e r na l O r d e r o f Eagles Dance with Warren Crow & The Classics; 6200 Aerie St., Little Rock; 7:00-11:00 PM (line dancing at 6:00); FOE members $5; guests $6. Smoke-free ballroom. Jan. 13, DJ Alex Ward will play danceable rock and roll, 3:00-7:00 PM; $5; call 562-0876 or 837-6766. Feb. 15 & 22—Arkansas Country Dance Society dances will include a contra dance on Feb. 22; Park Hill Presbyterian, 3520 JFK Blvd., North Little Rock, 7:30-9:30 PM. No experience needed, all ages welcome. $4 for society members, $5 nonmembers. Call Carolyn at 252-0094 or visit arkansascountrydance.org
at Laman Library, 2801 Orange St, North Little Rock, features photos, TV clips and other images that transformed public opinion about racial justice in America. FREE, call 758-1720.
MUSIC Feb. 14—Enjoy jazz duo Wine & Roses, Laman Library, 2801 Orange St, North Little Rock; 7:00 PM; FREE; call 758-1720. Feb. 21—Little Rock Wind Symphony will present“An Organ E x t r ava g an z a ,” a t Second Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Dr., Little Rock; 7:30 PM; $10, $8 seniors, FREE for students. Adam Savacool joins the orchestra on the church’s mighty pipe organ. Call 666-0777 or visit lrwindsymphony.org First Thurs. of each m o n t h — B lu e g r a s s Jam; Garland Co. Library, 1427 Malvern Ave., Hot Springs; 5:30-7:30 PM; all acoustic, all ages; FREE. Call 501-623-4161.
Feb. 10 through Mar. 16—Daffodil Days at Garvan Woodland Gardens, 550 Arkridge Rd, Hot Springs. Experience the guaranteed smiles that 250,000 blooming daffodils can bring. The Tulip Extravaganza starts Mar. 1. 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM daily; call 800-366-4664 for more information.
Mondays—Scottish Country Dance Society, Park Hill Presbyterian Church, 3520 JFK Blvd., North Little Rock. Beginner’s and intermediate classes; no experience or partner needed; $5. Call 821-4746. Wednesdays—Village A-Team Square Dancers, Coronado Community Center, Hot Springs Village, 7:30 PM; $5 for guests. Fridays--Spa City Bop and Swing Dance Club, VFW, 2231 E. Grand Ave., Hot Springs, 7:00 PM, 2nd, 4th 5th Fridays, $2. Free lessons with $20 membership at 7:00 PM Thurs. Call 501-760-7375. Saturdays—Merry Mixers Dance Club; Coronado Center, Hot Springs Village; 1st Sat. 7:00-10:00 PM; $10; 3rd Sat., 7:30-10:30 PM, $10. Call 501-922-2997. Third Sat.—Burns Park Dancing; Burns Park Hospitality House, North Little Rock; polka, waltz and potluck supper; 7:00-10:00 PM; $10. Call 680-2994; $10.
8 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
PM, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Sundays (821-9353); $5; Ballroom, Latin and Swing Social Dance Assoc.; 7:00-11:00 PM; 1st, 2nd, 4th Fridays; (6644268); $10; Little Rock Bop Club; 7:00-10:00 PM, every Wed. (350-4712); $4. Square Dance; 2:00-4:00 PM, every Thurs. (4901197); $3.
MUSEUMS F e b . 8 - 9 — G e o r g e Wa s h i n g t o n ’ s Inaugural Bible on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third St., Little Rock; Fri. 5:00-8:00 PM & Sat. 9:00 AM-5:00 PM; adults $2.50; 65+ $1.50; 17 and younger $1. Call 324-9351. “Treasures of AR Freemasons” exhibit through June 23. Now through Mar. 16—“For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” the latest exhibit
Second Thurs. of each month— Ark. Accordion Association; Community Room, Whole Foods Market, I-430 & Rodney Parham Rd., Little Rock; warm-up starts at 6:30 PM. FREE, call 228-7166.
Third Fri.—Ark. River Blues Society; Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 314 Main St., North Little Rock; 8:00 PM; $3 members, $5 non-members. Call 374-1782. Saturdays,“Pickin’Porch;” Faulkner County Library, 1900 Tyler St., Conway, Sat. 9:30 AM, FREE. Call 501-327-7482. Second Sat.—Ark. Dulcimer Society; Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock; hammered and mountain dulcimers welcome; 2:00-4:00 PM; FREE. Call 661-1129. First and third Sun.—Traditional Irish music; Hibernia Irish Tavern, 9700 Rodney Parham Rd., Little Rock; 2:30- 5:00 PM; FREE. Call 246-4340. Also on second and fourth Mondays at 7:00-9:00 PM. First & Third Wed.—Ark. Celtic Music Society session; Something Brewing, 1156 Front St., Conway; 7:00-9:00 PM; FREE. Call 501-602-5508. Everyone welcome to sit in and jam.
Make Tax Time Less Taxing TAKE THE GRANDKIDS
Feb. 10—Join the Annual Krewe of Barkus Mardi Gras Parade; City Grove Art Park on 5th St., between Main and Maple, North Little Rock; 2:00 PM. FREE but bring your beads, your Mardi Gras masks and your dogs to join in the parade. Refreshments will be provided.
ow to moderate-income Arkansans of all ages can get FREE help preparing their 2012 income tax returns from hundreds of IRS-trained AARP volunteers. AARP’s Tax-Aide sites will be open now through April 15. For a list of locations visit aarp.org/findtaxhelp or call toll free 888-227-7669.
Feb. 16—Family fun and food fundraiser for the Youth Home will feature chili cook-off, music, arts and crafts, Kids Zone, kickball tourney and more; Dickey-Stephens Park, North Little Rock; 10:30 AM-9:30 PM; $5 for all the chili you can eat. Chiliwithakick.com for Schedule of Events.
The Internal Revenue Service also offers FREE federal and state tax preparation for those earning less than $50,000 a year through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Call toll free 800-906-9887 to locate the nearest VITA site or visit irs.gov
Feb. 17—Soup Sunday, a fundraiser for AR Advocates for Children & Families lets you enjoy soups, breads and desserts from more than 30 central AR restaurants. At Embassy Suites on Financial Parkway in Little Rock; 4:00-7:00 PM. $20 advance/$25 at door; $5 for ages 5-12; call 501-371-9678 for tickets. Includes live music and silent auction. Bring a muffin tin to hold your choices.
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Feb. 22-24—Lanterns! Festival; Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Rd., Little Rock; 6:00-10:00 PM (Sun. until 9:00 PM); $10 adults, $5 ages 6-12. Celebrate the first full moon of lunar year by experiencing the music, theatre and food of eight cultures around the globe. Feb.—Mid-America Science Museum, 500 Mid-America Blvd., Hot Springs; features over 100 hands-on exhibits; Tues.-Sat. 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, Sun. 11:00 AM-5:00 PM; $9; $7 for 65+ and ages 3-12; Call 501-767-3461. Now through May—“The Science of the Human Body,”Museum of Discovery; 500 Pres. Clinton Ave., Little Rock. Also, “GPS Adventures” through April 1. 9:00 AM-5:00 PM Tues.-Sat. &1:00-5:00 PM Sun.; $10 adults & $8 children 1-12. Call 396-7050. Feb.—Little Rock Zoo, #1 Jonesboro Dr., War Memorial Park, Little Rock; 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, during winter the Café Africa, Zoo Train and Carousel closed Mon. & Tues.; $10, $8 for 60+ and children under 12; Call 666-2406.
www.ltcartoons.com ©2012 londons times cartoons
March 2-3—The Little Rock Marathon; lots of fun events for the grandkids: 8:00 AM, in the River Market, a 5K Fun/Run-Walk; $35 and Little Rockers Kids Marathon, noon in the River Market; $25.
Feb. 22-24, 2013 Statehouse Convention Center Little Rock, Arkansas • Hear nationally known horticulture experts P. Allen Smith and Chris Olsen. • Shop at more than 90 vendors. • Take in gardening tips & trends. • Tour inspiring display gardens.
Gold sponsors Clark Trim & Henrik Thostrup Dr. Steve & Merilyn Tilley Media Sponsors
Carol & Allan Mendel
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t all started with the boomers,” according to Favil Yeakley, PhD, who has been analyzing church data for 50 years. At 79, the venerated emeritus Harding University researcher and historian was one of the first theologians to spot the shift in Church of Christ data. He told Mature Arkansas, “Lots of late teens leave the church for awhile. The baby boomers just never came back.” With revolution, feminism, mass protests, war, riots,
The former Texas high assassinations, free love, drugs, accessible computers, school principal and businesswoman is different. “I believe in rampant careerism, delayed family formation and the God. I pray everyday and I still communications explosion that defines our generation, we consider myself to be a member of the First Christian Church of just had other things to do. About 75% of baby boomers— Austin,” Cameron said. the 77 million babies born between 1946 and 1964—left a While pollsters would label her as “churched,” she hasn’t church and more than half of those never returned. We’re been to services in decades. growing old. Death nears. History says we should be running A poll of ministers by Marley and Hardaway indicated about back to church now but we’re not. half of all church members are The Pew Research Center recently shook the church almost totally inactive. Cameron is one of Hot world with a study showing that 20% of Americans claim Springs’ most active volunteers no religion and that number is going up by about 1% a year. and a leader in its booming music scene. Asked what drives Arkansas churches fare a bit better but not much. Blame or her volunteerism and she’ll praise us but we boomers started it. tell you about two and half months in a Buddhist ashram in Thailand and how she now Spiritual but not religious finds an inner peace. Like many baby boomers, Nan Cameron of Hot Cameron kept going to church later than Springs describes herself as spiritual but not most of, into her mid-20s. She stopped religious. This generally means, “I don’t go to attending under the deluge of work and single church but I believe in something and I don’t motherhood. She came back for a while to try want to talk about it.” She fits the category’s and get her son involved. As with most of us, norm: White female, over 40, unmarried, well this didn’t go well and she left the church and educated, three times as likely to question the hasn’t been back. existence of God and twice as likely to be a Her son and grandchildren have no church; Democrat. neither do a third of those under 30. The trend 10 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
line seems inevitable. The U.S. is rapidly becoming a more secular nation.
Why they left The Reverend Ted Jones, 69, started his Presbyterian ministry in 1970, about the time boomers started leaving. “They moved on and did not come back,” he said. As a minister of major Clevelandarea churches, and now retired in Hot Springs, he was on key committees that debated, funded studies and had myriad conferences on why the boomers and their families were not in the pews. A c h u rc h w i t h few children is dying. J o n e s recited what drew them away: new media, intense careers, having children later and other
obligations. But this doesn’t explain why the church didn’t make the cut. “We lost the communications war,” Jones said. “Others were just doing it better.” The onslaught of cable, computers, video players, the Internet and cell phones beat out the same old music, on the same old organ, with the same old sermons; pews half-filled with the same old gray or balding heads. Churches with the latest super-star showman preacher, the most spectacular services and the biggest Jumbotron do pretty well, for awhile at least.
A different direction With no fingers wagging at us from
the pulpit, baby boomers tried about everything. The Beatles brought us mysticism and we started chanting. From there it was a fairyland of odd cosmologies, jumbled metaphysics and endless self-proclaimed swamis and gurus. Drugs helped make us a little less critical. Keith Franklin is a well-published and critically accepted poet. As with all but a few poets, he has a day job, teaching fifth grade at Mt. Ida. He seems to love his work and brags about his students, his town and gets animated talking about new classroom projects. Franklin’s Lutheran upbringing, including three years of parochial school, started to erode when he discovered the “Beat Poets:” Corso, Ginsburg, Kerouac, Snyder and other post-existential writers from the beatnik school in 1950s California. 1957 was a seminal year for baby boomers. Jack Kerouac published On the Road, which become an intro text to hippiedom; while Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was published, the root work of libertarianism. Odd year. Franklin’s Lutheran remnants barely made it past puberty. “It was in Chicago. I seldom talk about it. I was just 13 and I guess it was illegal. My dad’s family was Choctaw and Cherokee. I MATURE ARKANSAS
met some Native Americans and was invited to a peyote ceremony: The only peyote experience I’ve ever had.” He continued, “I had a vision. I was given my proper Indian name, Standing Wolf. That took me in a different direction spiritually. Not long after I pretty much parted ways with the Lutheran church. It was never a conscious decision. The church just became less relevant in my life.” He tried to return to the church in his 20s but it didn’t work. “I just couldn’t agree with a lot of what I was hearing. I saw a lot of hypocrisy
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and few people were the same way inside church as outside of it. I didn’t see honesty and sincerity and I didn’t want to be a part of it,” he said. Franklin says, after marrying a woman who attended church and rearing a daughter, he’s a member of the Piney Grove Methodist Church. He’s a “Christer,” one who attends services mostly on Christmas and Easter. In other words, like an increasing number of Christians. Like our founding fathers, Franklin calls himself a deist, or finding God through what can be observed and proven. He believes “something” started it all but cannot even speculate what that might be. They’ve never met but Peace Mother knows Keith Franklin. As a Mayan Peace Shaman she attracts baby boomers. At a Hot Spring’s drum ceremony during December’s solstice, more than half the audience was in the boomer range: 49 to 67. She’s been bringing them in for decades. “What’s happening,” she explains, “is people are finding spirituality themselves. They’re doing it without the Church.” Peace Mother Getta Sacred Song is one of those rare souls that pause in Hot Springs. She has a nonprofit group, the Sacred Peace Center, supporting her work. Other Mayans make pilgrimages here and some say they have been doing it for longer than our written history. Peace Mother says boomers left the church because it is dry, repetitive, boring and run by mostly unenlightened clergy. In her world, we’re entering an era of self-discovery and self-enlightenment. The traditional hierarchal, top-down church and doctrine just doesn’t work anymore. She also sees the emergence of a feminist spirit alien to historically male-dominated Christian traditions.
The scorecard The rocks kicked up by the baby boomer generation are turning into a landslide of falling church alliances. According to the Pew Research Center’s poll on religion, released in October, this year marks
the end of the protestant majority in the U.S. Fully 20% of Americans have no church affiliation; that number jumps to 33% for those under 30. Former Catholics now make up 10% of the nation. Some 95% of the nation’s churches are losing members. In 1990 pollsters gave the title “nones” to those with no church preference. Then, nones were about 6% of the population. Today they are 20%, a near four-fold increase in two decades. The rate of acceleration will almost certainly increase. The atheist-agnostic numbers have quintupled to about 6% over the past five years. Moderate, mainline churches such as Methodists and Episcopalians have been loosing ground to the fundamentalists, or evangelicals, for about 50 years. That trend is over and evangelicals are now declining faster than the moderates. The Pew report has U.S. evangelical ministers reporting a greater loss of influence than any other group, anywhere in the world. Some 82% of them say evangelicalism is in decline. A new Notre Dame University study puts self-declared evangelicals at about 7% of the population, about the same as declared atheistagnostics. Initial work indicates their numbers plummeted with their hostility toward the reelection of President Obama and the issues he supports. Arizona Evangelist John Dickerson declared in a New York Times op-ed piece: “Evangelicalism as we knew it in the 20th Century is disintegrating… we will see the old evangelicalism whimper and wane.” The Pew studies suggest the fundamentalists are on the wrong side of history on homosexuality, women’s issues, creationism, war, and treatment of the poor. Two thirds of the unchurched say religion is too involved in politics and too greedy. Yeakley knows there’s a demand from baby boomers but doesn’t see the church meeting it. “The churches that have senior pot lucks or an annual senior trip are just kidding themselves,” he says. “It’s going to take a lot more than that.”
Notable exceptions Belief in God continues to fare better than organized denominations. About 90% of Americans believe in “something,” according to Gallup polling, but that too is falling. Among those under 30, it is down to 68%, according to Pew, a 15-point drop in five years. Christianity does worse. Using the acid test— ‘Do you believe Jesus Christ is the only road to salvation?’— 95% of the ‘nones’ say no, but so do 66% of Presbyterians. The modest, small, independent churches are growing. Together they
would make up the country’s third largest denomination behind Catholics and Southern Baptists. Their theology runs from charismatic snake handlers to esoteric Vedic ritual groups. Their organization is usually the same: fewer than 25 members, heavy discussion and feedback, and pick and choose or make your own doctrine and ritual. In the 1950s and 1960s the Church of Christ was a booming denomination. It peaked in 1980. Harding University’s Yeakley says the faith grew when the congregations were small and there was a lot of open discussion. “The Church of Christ started and grew with open discussions,” he explained. With growth came larger congregations and a well-financed hierarchal system with lots of rules. Yeakley sees the decline of the faith coinciding with these changes. “People are turned off by these rigid, doctrinal ceremonies that turned off discussions,” he told us.
We can help. Call SHIIP toll free at
1-800-224-6330 Do you have questions about: • • • • •
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looking for something that has meaning for them.” Dr. Yeakley knows why UU is growing. Its congregations tend to be small and it has the loosest hierarchy of any national denomination. The secret is not in what this causes, but what it allows. As with most small churches, the UU service in Hot Springs, one of the three Central Arkansas UU congregations, are almost chatty. They’ll talk about loneliness or a daughter who never calls, or a cat’s death they can’t get over. It’s the sort of talk that binds communities and apparently keeps worship groups together.
U.S. follows world trend
The only national Christian denomination to show any real and believable growth is the Unitarians-Universalists (UU) anchoring Christendom’s left wing as it has for nearly two centuries. Though there is no official stance, UUs will usually support the banes of existence for conservative Christians: abortion, marriage equality and anti-poverty programs. UUs have no formal creed; services and ritual are locally controlled and about 20% of UUs label themselves Christians. Denice Marion, 64, of Hot Springs, has a typical UU story. In her 40s, and landing at a new college campus to teach, she felt she needed to make quick social connections. “I knew the UU crowd and knew I would fit in.” She adds, “As people near death they are
14 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
The man who first spotted the exodus sees no end to it. Yeakley sees an inevitability to the nation’s increasing secularism. Changing it “will really take a huge turnaround that I don’t see coming,” he said. But with the trend he also sees a big missed opportunity for the folks that started it, baby boomers. Yeakley sees the “gray wave” that is sweeping over the U.S. as creating a huge need and challenge for the church. “Older people go through many physical and social changes and they are seeking answers and reasons. They are now more susceptible to evangelism than they ever have been.” Increasing secularism is inevitable among industrialized nations. The U.S. will likely remain the most religious of the lot but the numbers will continue to spiral downward. Christianity will do relatively well with its strong protestant growth in Latin America and Southern Africa. On the secular level, it’s hard to see any effect at all. Some of the most successful countries have the lowest church attendance and highest atheism rates. In Japan, less than 5% say they are absolutely certain about the existence of God. Yet Japan has one of the world’s lowest crime rates, highest standard of living and their economy is set to boom again. Less than 8% of Germans believe in a personal God; 25% are stated atheists yet it has Europe’s strongest
economy. Nordic countries routinely report being among the world’s happiest populations yet have some of the lowest religious affiliation rates. Piety is not a stop on the road to success. The church many of us know, the old steepled landmark, with 200 to 1,500 members, will continue to flounder. These churches are the vertebrae of most denominations. As they erode so will the central church’s influence and the doctrine it promotes, along with its mostly hierarchal, patriarchal and homophobic structure. Small, mostly unaffiliated, and often unreported groups that meet regularly will continue to grow but we’ll have little idea of what they are saying.
H I K ING W IT H LEE H I L L E R
Preparation Key to Winter Hiking
inter shouldn’t keep you from hiking your favorite trails. Taking simple precautions will ensure a safe and rejuvenating journey. Before your hike, consult an hourly weather bulletin, prepare an itinerary of your route and leave it with someone in case of emergency, assemble a pack with food plus safety gear and dress in multiple layers of clothing. Prepare for the worst possible scenario so you will be comfortable should it occur. Remember if you need assistance in a storm it could take rescuers more time than expected to reach your location.
Hydrate Even on the coldest day your body will perspire and require liquid. Water, fruit and herbal teas are excellent choices for winter hikes. A lightweight thermos can easily fit into your water bottle sling or pack.
Christmas Day ice and snow on Dead Chief Trail, Hot Springs National Park. Photo by Lee Hiller, LeeHiller.com
Check the trail Before you begin a hike in the snow, check accumulation reports and contact park or forest service office for trail conditions. Ice, snow and rain storms can make trails impassible for many weeks due to fallen trees and landslides. Being caught in a blizzard or ice storm can be disorientating and can quickly erase all signs of the trail. Winter weather can change rapidly so consider including a small weather radio in your backpack. Sun protection Often overlooked winter hiking gear includes
sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm. Lower in the sky, the winter sun creates the sunrise glare effect throughout the day. Add a dusting of snow and you will be thankful for sunglasses or tinted goggles. Sunscreen and lip balm protect against both sun and wind burn. Dress in layers Wear synthetic and/or wool garments to wick away perspiration from your skin. Avoid cotton as it absorbs and will create a moist layer that could lead to hypothermia. On the coldest days bring two pair of gloves, spare socks, a neck scarf plus a hat to ensure hands, feet and head are always dry for maximum hiking comfort.
Food = energy Bring plenty of food on cold weather hikes. Nutrition is important to create the energy needed to stay warm. A classic trail mix of nuts and seeds combined with dried fruit is a great choice. For a quick energy boost add some non-dairy dark chocolate chips. Be prepared Other winter pack necessities include: • An emergency foil blanket will keep you warm and is an effective way to signal for help. • plastic rain poncho for unexpected rain or snow • boot chains will fit into a jacket pocket and provide additional traction if snow turns to ice • flashlight • small first aid kit • a whistle on a string around your neck in case you are injured and or need assistance. Winter is a wonderful time for hiking and with the proper preparation can be a safe and enjoyable experience.
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he people who brought you the Summer of Love are increasingly spending their autumn years in litigation. n “Gray divorces” are not only on the rise, they have dominated family courts for more than
two decades. In a time when divorces among younger age groups have stabilized or declined,
divorce among mature Arkansans has increased significantly. n “We are absolutely seeing more couples than ever considering divorce around the age where their kids start going off to college,” said Ken Clark, therapist for Chenal Family Therapy, PLC in Little Rock. “Probably half of all couples we see considering divorce have been married 20-plus years and are around 50 years old.” “We are absolutely seeing more couples than ever considering divorce around the age where their kids start going off to college,” said Ken Clark, therapist for Chenal Family Therapy, PLC in Little Rock. “Probably half of all couples we see considering divorce have been married 20-plus years and are around 50 years old.” “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” a March 2012 report from the National Center for Marriage and Family Research at Bowling Green State University, analyzed census figures and other data. They reported just over 206,000 people over 50 were divorced in 1990, or less than 10% of the total number who divorced that year. By 2009 that number had climbed to more than 604,600 persons; a whopping 25% of all divorces involved persons 50 and over. If current patterns continue, the report projects the divorce rate among this age group will jump another 33% by 2030, to just over 800,000 divorces. “After the kids are gone and it’s just the two of them, maybe they get along okay, but they don’t have a relationship,” said Betty Hardy, partner at Coplin, Hardy & Stotts PPLC, in Little 16 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
Rock. “They’ve been on autopilot for so long and they start to think, ‘I don’t want to live this way.’ ” The mature divorce growth rate has been so aggressive that sociologists’ projection that women, aged 65 to 69, would be as likely to be divorced as widowed by 2024 became reality 16 years ahead of schedule. The research also indicates people in this age group are far less likely to remarry.
Why divorce? The report highlights several contributing factors. As a generation that came of age in a more permissive social climate, many baby boomers have already been through divorce. The report notes that a previous divorce increases the chance of a repeat divorce by 150%. “One of the things I’ve seen over the past 10 years or so is what you might call a midlife crisis. It used to be primarily blamed on men but is now more and more something women
experience,” said Barry Coplin, senior partner with Coplin, Hardy & Stotts. “They’re discontented with their husbands and they want out.” The impetus for divorce among older couples doesn’t stray far from the old standbys—infidelity, closing off communications, inattentiveness. For men, sexual performance or lack thereof can become a source of frustration aimed at their wife. Women may have insecurities over perceived fading of physical beauty that can manifest itself in accusations of spousal wrongdoing. In both cases, the quest for attention or affirmation, coupled with new and exciting opportunities, frequently leads partners astray. “The decision to cheat is often aided by resentment and hopelessness, both of which accumulate over time,” Clark said. “Individuals
because they were financially dependent on their husbands, such is not the case today. “Women having financial freedom is a large part of it,” said Clark. “Women no longer need to choose between being taken care of or being happy. They can often leave and achieve both, especially if they are the primary bread winner in the family.” Clark said this phenomenon has its limits. Women in middle class households, particularly those who are just breaking even, may be more nervous about financially supporting themselves. So might women who are stay-at-home moms in upper income households, as they may lack the marketable skills to maintain their lifestyle, particularly if a vindictive spouse holds the purse strings.
Financial planning for divorce
Photos.com, Alexander Raths ©
in their 50s who have been together for 20 or 30 years often have a ton of resentment built up about their spouse’s inability to meet their needs as well as a sense of exhaustion and hopelessness about their spouse’s ability to change.” Clark adds that, “There’s also a huge wave of pre-retirees and seniors getting on Facebook and reconnecting with old flames for the first time. It is definitely increasing the incidence of divorce due to infidelity.” Two relatively modern societal undercurrents are also pushing up divorce rates: women’s increased earning power and the dissipating stigma associated with divorce. While past generations of women were forced to stick with an unhappy marriage due to what the family or the neighbors might say, or
Money issues play a pivotal role in a person’s decision to enter the divorce arena. Burgeoning divorce rates have spawned a new type of financial planning. Stephen Northington, owner and principal at Northington Investment Group, says his Little Rock financial services company is among the first in the area to offer financial planning services specifically for clients thinking about or entering into divorce proceedings. “This kind of planning is well known in Dallas, St. Louis, Memphis and elsewhere,” Northington said. “But in Arkansas, a lot of people don’t know this service exists.” Divorce planning involves analyzing a couple’s estate and future financial situation and supplying that analysis to the client’s legal team. Northington, a Certified Divorce Financial Planner, does not provide legal advice or make suggestions on settlements. He is not allowed to provide additional financial planning services for the client while the case is in court. He makes sure his clients’ lawyers are armed
with accurate information concerning financial matters. “Attorneys s o m e t i m e s m a ke financial mistakes,” he said. “Our service helps them be accountable to their clients.” In one case, a client was about to accept a settlement sum that was to last five years. Northington determined the rate of inflation had not been calculated properly and the money would run out in three. He contacted his client’s attorney in time for the settlement to be renegotiated. “The thing about divorce financial planning is you really only have one chance to get it right,” Northington said. “Many of the people we work with are highly emotional about what’s going on. One challenge is to separate out the emotion, which is a poor decision agent.” He said a small percentage of his clients are just thinking about divorce and want to run the “what if” numbers. Once divorce proceedings start, full access to certain financial information can be harder to obtain. Northington’s clients are typically over 50 with the required minimum assets of $250,000. He charges $200 an hour and averages about $2,000 per case; a minor expense, he said, compared to what’s at stake in a divorce settlement. He feels an uncommon empathy toward clients as the child of parents who divorced late in life. “Having personally experienced this through my parents, I can tell you that the process of divorce could be a lot better. When things go down that path, women are often forced into the unfamiliar role of decision maker. A big part of what we do is making sure they come out of it okay.”
Emotional toll affects family Watching parents separate is no more pleasant at 40 than it is at 14. However, adult children usually don’t suffer the same emotional and behavioral problems as younger children. While MATURE ARKANSAS
their life ahead of them and they have a lot more optimism about picking up and moving on,” he said. “For someone in their late 50s or 60s, who is much less likely to remarry and for whom a failed marriage means a completely different lifestyle, the idea of divorce can be devastating. They are much more likely to seek counseling.” Unfortunately, Clark said, the marital therapy profession is not wellequipped to address the needs of older couples. This makes it harder for people who wish to save their marriages in counseling to find someone who can speak their language. “The counseling industry is lagging the trend,” he said. “Most therapists coming out of school are in their mid-20s and many are unmarried, which carries little credibility with older couples. There is a growth in ‘geriatric counseling’ but this is heavily focused on individuals, not necessarily on couples’ issues,” Clark said.
Arkansas is unique As with all trends, there are exceptions. According to the Bowling Green University report, those over 50, in long-term first marriages ended up in divorce court at a fraction of their multi-marriage or short-termmarried counterparts. Divorce rates are also lower for couples with more education. Because of what’s invested financially and emotionally, older couples tend to approach divorce as a last resort after counseling or other alternatives are exhausted, according to Coplin. Arkansas couples tend to buck the national
divorce trend in two important respects. When health problems hit, elders are less likely to bail out on their spouse than in other parts of the country. Coplin said in his experience, the caregiver’s sense of duty is one thing that can keep people together. Second, even if it is just to keep up appearances, many mature Arkansans still refuse to go against on Monday what they were preached on Sunday. “It depends on the denomination,” Coplin said. “Catholics, for example, are much more reluctant and will approach divorce only as a last resort. I recently worked with a strong Catholic woman who lived separately from her spouse for 10 years, while he was openly living with another woman, simply based on her religious beliefs.”
Divorced but not alone If the mature divorce rate abates in the coming decade, it will likely be because of an increasing number of seniors opting to live alone or, at most, cohabitate, not from a massive shift in thinking or societal mores. “People this age don’t tend to remarry as much as divorcees in their 30s and 40s,” Clark said. “That is not to say they don’t jump into relationships, but just not marriage. They tend to seek out faithful companions who enjoy the same forms of travel and leisure, but do not need the security of marriage to feel committed. “In a word, they want simplicity,” Clark explains. “Most couples just want it easy and uncomplicated. They are far less interested in the trappings of marriage and more interested in fun, connection and companionship.”
Photos.com, Lisa F. Young ©
the absence of minor children, and the associated guilt of the impact of divorce on them, is another element that spurs senior splits, as Clark notes, a divorce still has a strong impact on loved ones. “Most adults can control their anger, hurt and fear over a parent’s divorce,” he said. “However, a divorce among parents can throw a younger couple’s idea of marriage, stability and commitment out the window, leading to intense questioning within their own marriage. It also creates greater logistical nightmares at holidays and family events, especially if there are grandchildren,” Clark said. With money matters contained and no “let’s make nice for the kids’ sake” to think about, divorce often becomes an appealing “next chapter” in an ever-lengthening life, Hardy said. Mature Arkansans have more options for filling their time and indulging their interests than previous generations; they are more social and they stay sexually active longer than their parents did in pre-hormone treatment, pre-Viagra America. “Younger couples tend to fight about issues that come with combining lives with someone else such as household duties, money, in-laws and raising kids,” Clark said. “Older couples are fighting about much deeper, existential issues like not being happy in life, how they want to spend retirement, loss of friends and intimacy issues.” “You take a 30-something, they have half of
18 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
A DV OC ACY n NU R S IN G HOM E SE RI E S # 3
Staffing Dictates Quality of Care By Jack Whitsett
taffing lies at the root of virtually all abuse and neglect suffered by Arkansas’ nursing home residents. Staffing has the greatest effect on quality of care. It is the largest expense for nursing home owners. And, for government nursing home inspectors, most complaints involve staffing. Federal regulations are maddeningly vague, only requiring “adequate staffing” to care for residents’ needs. Staffing is chiefly left to the discretion of facility owners and administrators. Advocates for nursing home residents insist that management regularly abuses the system and chronically understaffs facilities to increase profits. Cutting costs leads to neglect and, in some cases, mistreatment and even death, advocates say. Little Rock Attorney David Couch, who specializes in protecting the rights of nursing home residents, identified the problem in simple terms. “The reason nursing homes are
“People that own and
understaffed is because the people that own and control nursing homes care more about profits than people. Federal regulation says that nursing homes are required to be staffed to meet the needs of the residents. So whatever amount of staff are needed … they are required to have them,” Couch said. Martha Deaver, president of Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents (AANHR), supported Couch’s claim. “The federal law only requires them to have enough staff to meet the needs of the residents,” Deaver said. “With the latest data showing over 2,800 violations for actual harm (in Arkansas, for the period Jan. 1, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2012), it is clear that not enough
control nursing homes
staff is the number one quality indicator for poor care. Also, every government report documents that fact,” Deaver said.
care more about profits than people.”
Staffing reports unreliable Monthly staffing reports are based on numbers turned in by the facilities themselves, which are only checked independently during annual state survey inspections, and then only for the two weeks prior to the survey date. “Nursing homes are required to send in monthly staffing reports on an honor basis,” Deaver said. “Nursing homes are only audited during their annual survey when the surveyor looks at the staffing sheet/time cards only for the two weeks prior to the inspection.” Couch said some facilities make an honest effort to provide good staff coverage. “There are nursing homes in Arkansas that do try to do
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H I K I N G WITH L EE HIL L ER
their best,” Couch said. “’Mom and pops’ are usually good, as opposed to chain-run homes. Local owners tend to feel more accountable because they are often friends or relatives of the residents,” Couch said. Frank GoBell, an attorney for the Arkansas Office of Long Term Care (OLTC), that oversees nursing home audits, explained the situation from the government’s point of view. “The OLTC frequently receives complaints of inadequate staffing,” he wrote in an email. “The system requires that facilities accurately assess
audits found 90% were not accurate. Staffing is one of three quality indicators used by the federal government in its Five-Star Quality Ratings (see medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/). All nursing homes in the country, if they receive federal Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, are included on the website. This website is designed to help consumers find and objectively evaluate long-term care facilities in each state. The federal site cautions consumers about the reliability of staffing reports: “The staffing data are self-reported by the nursing home, rather than collected
greatest effect on quality
the needs of each resident and ensure that it has both the appropriate numbers and type of staff to meet those needs. Without that, any system of staffing is subject to either abuse or failures to meet resident needs. The current Arkansas staffing law is a minimum; if residents need additional staff to meet needs, facilities are required to hire that additional staff.” But, does the OLTC know when facilities need to increase staff and, when needed, are facilities actually adding more staff? The answer is probably no, according to the 299 staffing audits, covering about a third of the state’s 239 nursing homes, that were conducted by the OLTC for 2004 to 2009. Independent review of those staffing
to the problem is simple. Greater
is the key.”
How much is needed? Although there are no specific staff requirements under federal law, experts recommend a minimum of 4.1 hours of direct care per day, per resident. Arkansas falls below that with a requirement of 2.8 hours of direct care per resident, per day. Arkansas’ minimum of 2.8 direct care hours per resident, per day is simply “a mechanism to ensure compensation for nursing homes,” Couch said. “That’s the bare minimum that the law requires just to get paid. It has nothing to do with how many people you really need to care for residents.” The amount of staffing actually needed per resident “varies because it’s based on the level of care each resident needs,” Couch said, noting that residents who are bedridden or incontinent, for example, need far more care than those who are ambulatory and can handle most of their own needs. “Nursing homes in Arkansas pretty much staff to that level because that’s how they get paid,” Couch said. ”The solution to the problem is simple,” Couch said. “Greater enforcement is the key. You have a rule. There’s no incentive (to improve staffing). Most (nursing homes) float around meeting the minimum.” Photos.com, Comstock ©
The federal government only requires “adequate staff to meet residents’ needs.” The only other federal requirements are to have at least one registered nurse (RN) on duty for at least eight straight hours per day, seven days a week, plus, either an RN or LPN (licensed practical nurse) or LVN (licensed vocational nurse) on duty 24 hours per day. In Arkansas the law only requires one LPN to be on duty per 40 residents on the two day shifts (7:00 AM- 11:00 PM) and only one LPN per 80 residents on the midnight shift. Certified nursing assistants (CNA) are the chief providers of direct resident care. Arkansas law only requires one CNA for six residents on the day shift, nine residents on the evening shift, and 14 residents on the midnight shift.
and reported by an independent agency. There is currently no system to fully verify the accuracy of the staffing data that nursing homes report…You should be cautious when interpreting the data,” according to the website.
More staff = better care A study reported in October 2011 by the University of California at San Francisco highlighted the important connection between good resident care and staffing: “Higher staffing levels in nursing homes have been associated with higher quality of care. Nursing homes with more registered nurse hours per patients were associated with positive outcomes such as being alive, having improved physically, being discharged to home, and higher quality of care on a number of measures.”
20 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Arkansas Health Care Association (AHCA) represents 93% of the state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The organization lobbies for the industry and normally speaks on behalf of the homes. They have consistently failed to respond to repeat phone calls and emails asking for comment about this article.
MEDICAR E MAT T E RS n B y Sally J ohnson Mrs. Johnson is beneficiary relations director with the Ark. Foundation for Medical Care. Medicare questions? Call her toll free at 888-354-9100.
Love Your Heart W
omen are more likely than men to have heart disease. Did you know that pain in your back or even your jaw could be a sign of a heart attack? It’s easy to take your heart for granted, and to assume that if you aren’t having a movie-style heart attack where you clutch your chest and collapse, then your heart is just fine. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for most people. Celebrate Valentine’s Day and National Heart Month by learning how to keep your heart healthy. The Million Hearts campaign is a national effort to reduce deaths from heart problems by educating people about heart health. The Million Hearts campaign stresses the “ABCS” of heart health: • Aspirin therapy. Ask your doctor if this therapy is right for you. • Blood pressure control. Get blood pressure checks regularly and follow doctor’s instructions about medications and eating a healthier diet. • Cholesterol control through eating better and exercising. • Smoking cessation--it’s never too late to quit! Smoking raises blood pressure and reduces oxygen to your heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans—men and women, all races and ethnic groups. Heart disease can include: • Congestive heart failure is chronic heart disease where the heart is
too weak to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. • Heart failure usually develops slowly. Symptoms include swollen legs and ankles, shortness of breath especially when active or lying down, coughing, weight gain, feeling tired, irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations, and loss of appetite. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to tell your doctor.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans.
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Heart attacks happen when the blood supply to the heart is blocked. Most heart attacks come on slowly, causing only mild pain or discomfort. Unfortunately, people who have heart attacks like this often don’t realize what’s happening and wait too long to get help. If you or someone you’re with has any of the following symptoms, don’t take chances. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call for help. •Heart attack symptoms: Chest discomfort. Most people will feel discomfort in the center of the chest. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. Pain in other areas of the upper body, including one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Shortness of breath. Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, and/or lightheadedness.
Fancy Footwork The certified pedorthists at Snell Laboratory are specially trained to find solutions to many common foot problems. They put their knowledge of foot anatomy and foot conditions to use in fabricating custom footwear and orthotics to help alleviate pain and allow our patients to walk comfortably again. Our pedorthists know that good foot health depends on providing footwear and orthotics that are correctly matched to a person’s particular needs. Therefore, we spend the time necessary to listen and understand a patient’s concerns so we can prepare the right footwear or device to address their unique issues. After all, we want the spotlight to be focused on your fancy footwork, not ours.
(501) 664-2624 Statewide Toll-Free: 1-800-342-5541
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Offices located in Little Rock, Russellville, Fort Smith, Mountain Home, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, North Little Rock, Jonesboro, El Dorado, Pine Bluff and Conway.
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in Now Co O Pin nwa pen eB ya luf nd f!
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Providing the Latest in Technology & the Best in Care for More Than a Century PROSTHETICS / ORTHOTICS / PEDORTHICS / POST-MASTECTOMY
Flower and Garden Show Schedule
Seed Starting Recipe
he Arkansas Flower and Garden Show Celebrates "Homegrown Goodness" on February 22 - 24 at Statehouse Convention Center, Little Rock. Visit over 100 vendor booths, seven display gardens and get outdoor living and backyard vegetable gardening ideas. Expert speakers are an integral part of the show's success: Friday, Feb. 22: 10:15 - Solomon’s Garden: the Biblical Roots of Israel’s Herbs, Flowers, Trees and Shrubs; Jo Ann and Jigs Gardner 11:30 - Using Colorful Plants to Personalize Your Outdoor Living Spaces; Chris Olsen 1:00 - Stories About Passionate Gardeners and the Plants They Make; Kelly Norris 2:30 - More Than Just Pretty Flowers; Lucinda Reynolds
Saturday, Feb. 23: 10:15 - Reclaiming a Back Country Farm; Jo Ann and Jigs Gardner 11:30 - Stylish Gardening for Savvy Gardeners; Kelly Norris 1:00 - Garden to Table; P. Allen Smith 2:30 - Gardening in a Changing Climate; Janet Carson Show times: Fri. and Sat.: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Ticket prices: Adults $8; seniors (60+) $6; children 16 and under FREE Order tickets online at www.argardenshow. org, or call 501-821-4000.
22 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
By liz Gardner
ardeners: time to start seedlings. Here’s a seedstarter mixture that has consistently worked well for me and produces sturdy, healthy sprouts. It is recommended by Colleen Vanderlinden at Home Organic Gardening magazine. 1 part perlite, 3 parts peat moss, 3 parts compost and ½ part greensand (a good source of potash). Mix perlite, peat and compost well and then sprinkle in the sand so it’s evenly distributed. Fill paper or Styrofoam coffee cups to an inch from the top. Punch a hole or two in the bottom for drainage. When transplanting, these are easy to cut or tear away without injuring the root ball. Don’t plant the seeds too deep. Some seeds need light to germinate and must have contact with soil-starter but not covered. Gently press down the soil and press the seeds into the soil surface. If you’re starting indoors, where you can likely attain the ideal 65-75 degrees needed for sprouting, you’ll need a lot of light. Even a southern-exposure window is rarely enough light so consider artificial grow-lights. Light source needs to be 2-3”from seedlings for 12-16 hours a day. Move outdoors as soon as leaves appear. Keep seed-starting medium damp but not wet. I start seeds outdoors in large pots topped with an old glass window or storm door to keep warm and moist. My cabbage, broccoli, chard, spinach and lettuce seeds spouted in late January using glass set over large pots on my deck in Little Rock. If you’re a seed-saver, remember that all saved seeds are not equal when it comes to sprouting success. Good germinators include tomatoes, cucumbers and melons. But onion, leek, carrot and dill seeds over a year old will need to be planted thickly to have much success. While you’re waiting for sprouts, go ahead and start weeding your flower and vegetable beds. This time of year, the weeds are easy to spot, come up easily and you will prevent future weeds by preventing seeds from developing.
Rita and the Fashionistas
Stylish ''Stash it'' Tips for 2013
ApArtment Homes for seniors 62+
ven with gifts swapped, trees defrocked and diets declared, postholiday clutter has clobbered all of us with avalanches of paper, boxes and stacks of “where do I put all this?” The Fashionistas wish to coax you to a New Year’s organization.org: Divide and conquer. Take your mountain of newly invasive “stuff” and separate it into three groups: • Will definitely re-use this year. No doubt! • Recycle. Do NOT delude yourself that it will be reused, at least by you. • Re-gift...yes, re-gift to another who will appreciate and use, or donate to the best source. Plan of Attack. Your re-useables need to be packed creatively and carefully. Affordable see-through lidded plastic bins of all sizes from Container Store or Home Depot are terrific for this task and they stack well in attics and garages. Pier One, Eggshells, Wrap-Right and Cynthia East, all in Little Rock, have other delightful and creative storage and hanging solutions on sale now.
Eastern cultures customarily give away something daily, after the holidays, until over-
abundance is shared; a great philosophy.
No room? Get narrower bins, boldly side-label for content and slide under beds, or on top shelves of closets. While sorting and storing, gather your tax information and place it in a new smaller bin with room for 2012 documents yet to come. Set aside in a visible spot. Repurpose. Next, view your re-cyclables. If there are any left-over holiday cards, think about the possibility of using the front panels as gift tags, and keep those. Any odd pieces of giftwrap can become shelf-liner if turned over to the dull side. Use ratty gift tissue to pack your re-useables, glass and china. Then, re-cycle the rest with no longing looks. Simplify!
Re-gift. Lastly, carefully examine the gifts that cannot be exchanged and will not be used or enjoyed by you or your family. Box up the seasonal for future holiday gifting when you decorate next year. Non-seasonal gifts need a hard look. Would they be a treat for a church staffer, co-worker or as a surprise for a deserving neighbor? Then, give it! Some Eastern cultures customarily give something away daily after the holidays until over-abundance is shared; a great philosophy. Plan for the Future. Make a written list of what is stored for decorating and for gifting, so you don’t over-buy when the spirit of the next season strikes. Tape this list onto your calendar in front of November 2013. Add a note to your computer gift list as well. Rita Mitchell Harvey, former owner of Elle, loves keeping an eye on all things fashionable.
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February 24, 2013
Join us at The Embassy Suites Hotel in Little Rock to walk the red carpet and celebrate a night of great films and advocacy for a one-of-a-kind, once-ayear black tie event that helps support a very important place of hope. All proceeds benefit the Wolfe Street Foundation, Inc. Make Reservations Now! Please visit us online at www.wolfestreet.org or call us at 501.372.5662 THE ONLY EVENT IN ARKANSAS Sanctioned by ©A.M.P.A.S.®
5:30 Sponsors & VIP Pre-party 6:00 Red Carpet Interviews Begin Silent Auction Begins 7:10 Live Auction 7:30 Broadcast of 85th Academy Awards Five Course Dinner Appetizer Inspired by Wolfgang Puck “The Wolfe Street Foundation saves lives; offering a solution to families suffering from the effects of alcoholism.” Co-chairs: Kathy C. Swanson & Karen Holderfield
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during the month of February!*
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10701 RichSmith Ln. Nor th Little Rock, AR 72113 Paul Eels
Here’s how to find us!
24 february, 2013 MATURE ARKANSAS
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CALL TODAY! 803-6022 *Some restrictions apply. Please see office for more details.