Page 1

A guide to good living in the Brazos Valley


Leon Bradway

New Medicare physical therapy dollar limits for 2012 Pg. 5

Cold-weather recipe

Chef Diane Lestina cooks up sweet potato stew recipe

Pg. 3

November 2012 • Vol. 5, Issue 7 • A monthly publication of the Bryan-College Station Eagle

Honoring all who served Local organizations planning Veterans Day events PAGE 10

Are you cut out to be an estate executor? PAGE 4

See Memory Medic pa 8 page




Shauna Lewis


For more infor inf mation on 50plus advertising opportunities, call the Advertising Department at 979-731-4738

CONTENTS Chef Diane: Sweet potato stew recipe Financial Literacy: Being an account executor Bradway: Medicare physical therapy limits Cover: Veterans Day events Calendar Travel: Cruise tips

3 4 5 10 16 18

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50plus November 2012 The Eagle •

increases glial wrapping and neuronal insulation. Schlegel recruited 11 Dartmouth students who were taking a nine-month Chinese language course and 16 students who did not take the Chinese course. He scanned their brains befor bef e and after the course. Sure enough, glial cells expanded progressive ssi ly across many ssive brain areas in the language learners, but not in the control students. Not surprisingly, the expansion Dr. BiLL KLeMM of white the memory meDiC matter was evident in the language areas of the left cortex and corresponding areas in the right side. But the most significant changes occurred in frontal lobe tracts that pass through to opposite sides of the brain. These areas are not supposed to be directly invo in lved in language, but they are most certainly paramount in so-called “executive ecuti functions” such as ecutive attentive tenti ness, self-awareness tentive and discipline. This is one clear indication that learning produces structural changes in the brain, even in an adult brain. True, college students aren’t “old dogs.” But they are adults, and adults are not supposed to be undergoing structural changes in the brain. However, er there are er, many other studies using other methods that suggest that even older people can experience structural changes in the brain. But now we have ha an imaging technique that can show unequi cally where and unequivo how much structural change occurs in the glia in people of all ages. This also provides a way to compare effective effecti fectiveness of differ dif ent kinds of mental activity acti on keeping oldsters mentally sharp. For example, we could (and somebody probably will) compare the effecti effective fectiveness on glial formation of longterm mental activities acti such as playing chess, learning a







Nerve cells (neurons) in the brain do our thinking and learning. But there are three other kinds of cells in the brain, collective collecti ly called glia (which means glue) that anchor and surround neurons and help them do their thing. One of those things is helping older people learn. Most older people don’t learn as effecti effective fectively as they did when they were young, but it doesn’t have ha to be that way. You can teach old dogs new tricks. On the other hand, if this glial wrapping decreases, as with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, nerve function is impaired. About half of the brain, by volume, consists of glia. One type of glial cell snuggles up to neurons and wraps around them. This creates electrical insulation, which in turn reduces cross-talk between adjacent neurons and speeds the transmission of impulses down a neuron’s branches on their way to targets. Transmission speed increases inf mation throughout, infor and that increases effi ef ciency of the brain’s infor inf mation processing, including learning. Think of it this way: when you buy a computer with a faster processor speed, you discover it works a lot better than your old computer. A graduate student at Dartmouth, Alex Schlegel, led a team to inve in stigate what happens to these glial cells in response to a learning event. There is a brain-scan technique, called diffusion dif tensor imaging, that creates images of water movement in neuronal processes (that is, their axons). This dif diffusion is restricted by increasing amounts of glial cell insulation. Moreover, the more active acti neurons are, the greater the accumulation of glia. Presumably, bly glial bly, proliferation is stimulated by the electrical fields in adjacent neurons. We don’t know whether glia cells expand their wrapping around of the axons by multiplying the number of cells or whether the existing cells just increase in size. No matter, tter the point is that tter, neuron activity activity, vity, such as an intense learning experience,

50plus is a monthly publication of Bryan-College Station Communications Inc. 1729 Briarcrest Drive Bryan, Texas



Old dogs can learn new tricks


Note: For Sweet Potato Chicken Stew, add 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch pieces, to the onion in step 1. Cook until no longer pink. Continue as directed. Chick can be added to this Sweet Potato Stew with Black Beans and Corn Chicken recipe created by chef Diane Lestina. 1 onion, medium, thinly sliced 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ginger, er ground er,

Diane Lestina, a certified pe personal chef, holds cooking ing classes and cook ing oks for residents nt in the Brya nts Br n-College Stat St ion area. To learn more, re visit re, www hefd www.c he

Considering a Medicare

Replacement Plan? Consider this… Currently have the Original Medicare Plan? St. Joseph has you covered.

The Eagle •

Sweet Potato Stew with Black Beans and Corn Serves 4 1 tablespoon olive oli oil

1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pper pper, optional 3 large (4 cups) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes 2 14-oz. cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained 1 15 oz. can black beans, undrained 1 15 oz. can corn, whole kernel, drained (or frozen, thawed) Heat a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 1 minute; then add oil. Cook onion in oil, stirring frequently until tender – about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, except corn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender. Add corn and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serve over rice if desired.

November 2012

I was driving dri back from Tulsa this week and saw a sign on the side of the road adve ad rtising “Texas Sweet Potatoes – just picked.” How could I resist that? So I bought a large basket with Diane Lestina plans to cook a Cook it Simple recipe I was give gi n www.ChefDiane.Com by a chef friend a long time ago, one that I have ha cooked for clients and friends ever since. Sometimes I add chicken (see Note at bottom), but not always. It’s quick and easy to put together and perfect for this time of year. A trick I learned when measuring peanut butter is to line your measuring cup with plastic wrap and then add the peanut butter. You can then just lift out the wrap to add the peanut butter to your recipe and the cup stays clean! If you like things on the spicy side, don’t skip the cayenne, but it is equally delicious without.


Sweet potato stew recipe good for cold weather

If you have the Original Medicare Plan, you may choose any physician or hospital that accepts Medicare. With this plan, you have the confidence that all St. Joseph physicians, clinics, Express locations and hospitals in the Brazos Valley accept the Original Medicare Plan.

Considering purchasing a Medicare Replacement Plan?

Choose carefully to ensure access to St. Joseph quality.. If you choose to purchase a Medicare Replacement Plan, and access to St. Joseph level of care and quality is an important choice for your health care, you should carefully review the in-network hospitals and physicians to ensure they include those you want and use. It is important to note that the use of out-of-network hospitals and physicians may result in significantly higher charges. Some plans, such as any of the Scott & White Senior Care plans, no longer offer St. Joseph as an in-network provider.

979.774.2053 •

Have questions?

St. Joseph has answers. If you have questions, Niki Agado in the St. Joseph Managed Care office is a friendly and caring resource ready to take the time to clearly explain your options. You can reach Niki at 979.774.2053 or visit St. Joseph’s website at

A Ministry of Sylvania Franciscan Health



Are you cut out to be an estate executor?

The Eagle •

November 2012

You might be asked to be the of official executor of an estate, or you might be asked to merely help one of your parents with his or her executor tasks for the estate of your other parent. Either way, here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself facing this new role.


What skills do you have ha ? Optimally, an effecti effective fective executor is organized, tactful, patient, ethical, careful and committed to doing the best possible job. If you are asked to be a co-executor, ecutor you should ask ecutor, yourself whether the two of you can work well together and/or allocate responsibilities for the job. The more organized you are as an executor, ecutor the ecutor, less time and cost ewart ewar art will be required by tracY stewar finanCial literaCy iter an attorney and accountant. As an executor, ecutor you don’t need ecutor, to have ha the skills or expertise of an attorney or an accountant. You can, and most likely should, hire those as well as other professionals, as needed. These people will be paid from the estate, not from your personal checkbook. To keep costs down, you should be the hands and feet for your professionals, recommends Richard Talbert, local estate planning attorney and CPA. CP “Keep in mind, that in order for you to be able to manage the estate, you must be appointed as an executor after the will has been admitted to probate,” he said. “Just being named in a will as executor does not automatically make you the executor or give gi you the powers of an executor to act on behalf of an estate. This is why you should seek the advice ad of legal counsel to take steps to be appointed and officiall of y become the executor of the estate.” Do you have ha the spare time? Serving as an executor takes between six months and a year, ar ar, sometimes longer. While it may not be a full-time job, your executor duties and time invo in lved may come in spurts. Will you have ha the extra time to devote to this job and to meet the deadlines? Even if you delegate to professionals, being an executor can be time consuming. “Getting together tax infor inf mation for the accountant will still have ha to be done for filing final tax returns,” Talbert said. “If a house needs to be sold, someone will need to sort and clear out the personal items. Vehicles and houses still have ha to be kept insured until sold or distributed.

Medical insurance and medical bills will still have ha to be dealt with.” The situation and you If you have ha already been helping manage this person’s financial affa af irs, stepping into the role of executor or executor’s assistant may be fairly ir irly smooth. You might already know if the person’s affa af irs are messy or tidy. You may already know where the will is stored, what the inve in stments in lve, what insurance policies to invo locate and other similar issues. A durable power of attorney ends at a person’s death, Talbert said. If you have ha been working with one, you cannot keep using it for legal matters after a person dies. If the person live li s in another state, you will need to find out if there are any restrictions related to executors. For example, Califor Calif nia has no restrictions on out-of-state executors, but North Carolina, like Texas, requires a non-resident executor to appoint a resident agent. Some states require an executor to post a bond so as to assure their job is done properly oper . operly

is sufficient suf liquidity for medical and funeral costs, Talbert said. “Also inquire whether there are any tax losses that need to be taken by selling securities that have ha a value less than original cost, or if it is advisa ad ble to hold securities that ha appreciated in order to get a new have basis adjustment to fair marke mar t value at date of death,” he said. Talking with the estate attorney might bring to light some estate planning steps the person could still take to reduce estate taxes, or to contain the cost of administering an estate and its assets. Serious business Some estates are small enough or have ha been structured so that the assets can be passed on without going through probate. However, er there are er, other situations that will require you to hire one or more experts. Here is a short list of some of those situations: • Accidental or intentional death • Person owns or co-owns a business or real estate • Threat to contest the will or a trust • A state or federal estate tax return will be needed

Can you or should you try do anything ahead of time? If this person develops a terminal illness or condition, should you try to do any adva ad nce work? That depends upon the person’s wishes, psychological factors that may affect af the terminal person, his or her family and your relationship with the family. If you are a member of the family, you might seek permission to speak with the family estate attorney, ney CPA ney, CP and in stment advisor inve ad . Your adva ad nce preparation could be as simple as contacting these professionals to introduce yourself and asking if there are any issues that can be handled immediately or prior to death. For example, if the person has not taken all of this year’s IRA required minimum distribution (RMD), you could discuss 3030 E. 29th Street, Suite 117 with the CPA CP when this should be done Bryan, TX 77802 in light of the current situation. You could also talk with the in stment advisor inve ad about whether there

• Person leave lea s a trust that you do not feel qualified to handle • Assets are to be divided di among beneficiaries in the will, and it is dif difficult to either value or divide di the assets equitably • The decedent was receiving cei ceiving long term care assistance from the State (Medicaid) • There are questions or issues as to what is separate or community property, ty especially if a spouse is not ty, the sole beneficiary If you think you might be hiring, or helping the executor hire, a professional, you might start thinking about who those professionals might be. Thinking ahead will enable you to ha more time to carefully consider have the best professional for your needs. Settling the estate may invo in lve tax matters, real estate titles or liens, mineral interests, community property issues or business interests, Talbert said. “As executor you are liable for properly oper administering the estate, operly paying valid debts and claims, filing appropriate tax returns, keeping

See Stewart pa 8 page

The Most Important Thing in any Relationship of the



Robert Herring, Au.D. Doctor of Audiology

Join. Life is an adven Lif dv ture. Join the Circle. dven Senior Cir ircle is out to expand your horizons with an excit ex ing calendar of events sc scheduled around town and around the world. If you’re 50 or better, want to meet new w peo people, ple, lear learn n mor moree aabo bout yo your ur health, tr trav avel el and just have ha fun, then Senio ior Circle iss ffor you. Dues are just $15 a year. Cal alll Mandy ndyy W nd Wililliams today dayy at 979-764-5107 and become part of the Circle. da

as of Oct. 1, hospital outpatient physical therapy claims will now fall under the shared physical therapy/ speech cap of $1,880, limiting your benefits further. Medicare began adding hospital outpatient charges to the priva pri te practice charges Oct. 1, so some patients may find themselves at the $3,700 limit immediately. Make sure to talk to your physical therapist if you are receiving cei ceiving care now and have ha receive cei d ceive prior physical therapy in a hospital outpatient setting. It is important to understand that Congress must vote annually to allow an exception to the established therapy/speech cap. So there are no guarantees that you can receive cei more than $1,880 beyond 2012 ceive unless Congress acts to extend this exception. Due to the restrictions on your medical benefits and the likelihood that this trend will continue, I recommend the following: 1) Medicare patients should become active acti advo ad cates to ensure

adequate benefit levels. In the case of physical therapy, py talk to your py, congressman about eliminating the arbitrary cap and/or about providing separate caps for physical therapy in the office of , physical therapy hospital outpatient and speech therapy. As those in Washington attempt to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and reduce expenditures, restrictions and reductions on your benefits are likely to continue. Unfor Unf tunately, reimbursement for providers has not increased in 10 years and in many cases has declined. However, er the er, cost of doing business has steadily increased over the last 10 years. Further, ther Medicare continues to ther, impose additional restrictions that add to the cost of caring for Medicare patients. The result is that more and more providers are no longer taking Medicare patients. As providers opt out of Medicare and the largest group

See Bradway pa 8 page

The Eagle •

For several years now, Medicare has imposed an annual dollar limit on occupational therapy, py physical py, therapy and speech. Incidentally, because of a missing comma, physical therapy and speech share the same limit, so if you are receiving cei ceiving both services at the same time your benefit is limited. This year the limit is $1,880. As a patient approaches this amount, he/she may receive cei ceive a letter from Medicare indicating that their benefits are about to run out (as you did). However, er if the er, physical therapist and doctor believe that continued physical therapy is medically necessary and the patient is showing progress or has safety issues, Medicare will likely allow up to $3,700. However, er the er, physical therapist must use a special modifier when submitting the claim and ensure that documentation supports the medical necessity of the service. If you require physical therapy in excess of $3,700, Medicare now requires pre-approval befor bef e continuing treatment. In addition,

November 2012

I just receive cei d a letter from ceive Medicare indicating I was approaching my limit on physical therapy for the year. I had physical therapy ear earlier in the year and then had a car accident recently and am currently in physical therapy again. Leon BraDwaY Dw DwaY I really need phySiCal therap herapy therapy and can’t help that I had an accident. Will they really stop paying for my therapy when I reach the limit? SJ Bryan Thank you for this question as it is very timely and several changes have ha occurred in 2012 regarding physical therapy caps. If physical therapy treatments are medically necessary (as defined by Medicare) and the physical therapist can document this sufficientl suf y to satisfy Medicare’s requirements, you should be able to receive cei the therapy you need. ceive


New Medicare physical therapy dollar limits for 2012

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50plus November 2012 The Eagle •

RSVP seeking donations, volunteers for program that gives to seniors during holidays The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is accepting donations and seeking volunteers for its annual Shirley’s Shir Senior Christmas. RSVP volunteers assemble and stuff stuf 600 Christmas bags with items requested by nursing home residents and homebound seniors receiving cei ceiving home delive deli red meals. RSVP accepts donations of cash, new and like new clothing and gift items. RSVP will store them until Thanksgiving anksgi anksgiving when volunteers begin the work of preparing the 600 bags. For a list of items and sizes requested or to be a volunteer, lunteer lunteer, call the RSVP office of at 979-5952800, extension 2026 or email How to volunteer The team of Shirley Shir Jones, Left: Volunteer Luci Smith prep pr ares ar bags for last year’s Shirley’s Senior Christmas prog pr ram. Right: Seniors in Navasota Luci Smith and Vicki Anders receive their gifts from fr RSVP as part of the prog pr ram. need volunteers to help with several tasks: • Laundry - Although organizers ask that clean clothing be donated, sometimes items need a little freshening up. The first three days when volunteers are sorting through donations, volunteers come by around 3:30 p.m., take home items to be laundered, then return them around 9:30 a.m. the next day. After the first few days, helpers might be contacted to help if any additional donations come in that need attention. • Small repairs – Some See Volunteers good items just have ha a missing button, sagging hem or torn pa 8 page

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November 2012

lifestyle. The styles are: • Behind-the-ear - This is the most common style for moderate to severe hearing loss. The device sits behind the ear and sends sound to the ear canal via the earmold and clear plastic tubing, which is molded to fit comfortably in the outer ear area. • Receiver-in-canal - Similar in look to the BTE style, but this device puts the receiver into the canal, rather than in the hearing aid case behind the ear. • Completely-in-canal - Nearly invisible, the entire hearing aid device is custom-fitted into the ear canal. It is a good choice for people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. • In-the-canal - Discreet, yet slightly visible within the outer ear, this device is custom-made for each individual. • In-the-ear - This hearing aid is custom-made for each individual, and sits directly in the ear, giving wearers easy access to the device for

adjustment. Giving the gift of hearing to a loved one this holiday season not only is a gift to the recipient, but also his family, friends and coworkers. Visit Starkey. com to find a hearing professional near you and to research which hearing aid would be the most beneficial for your loved one.

The Eagle •

(BPT) - Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean looking and feeling older. Age 50 is the new 30, according to celebrities who crossed that threshold in recent years. And while the body can start to show signs of aging, it doesn’t necessarily mean one has to suffer. Take hearing for instance. Hearing loss symptoms - raising the volume on the radio and television, asking people to repeat themselves or not being able to hear a conversation in a restaurant - often become apparent as people age. One common cause of hearing loss is repeated exposure to loud noises, which can damage the hearing cells in the inner ear. But just as often, hearing loss stems from injury, an illness and even aging. Living with untreated hearing loss can be very detrimental. Professionals need to hear well so they can get their work done and meet their employers’ expectations. People with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, according to the Better Hearing Institute. Hearing loss also affects family relationships and personal confidence as well. People who wear hearing aids to treat their hearing loss discover improved relationships with family members, stronger self-confidence, a better social life and higher selfesteem, according to a study done by The National Council on Aging. As the holiday season approaches, consider presenting your loved one with the gift of hearing this year. Take your loved one to see a hearing care professional. A hearing care professional can help find the right style and technology level of hearing devices to perfectly fit your loved one’s needs. It’s important to find the right hearing aid that matches a person’s lifestyle. With technology improvements, hearing aids have come a long way from the large devices that echoed feedback just a few years ago. Now hearing aids are specifically designed to improve hearing in noisy environments, eliminate feedback and make it easier for a person to enjoy watching TV, listening to music, talking on cellphones and more. Visit Starkey. com for information about hearing aids, hearing health and to find a professional. A hearing care professional can help your loved one determine which hearing aid style best fits their


Give the gift of hearing to loved ones this holiday season


Presbyterian yt Church Bryan, Texas

Sunday nda Church School - 9:30am nday Sunday nda Worship Services - 10:45am nday 1100 Carter Creek Pkwy • 979-823-8073 www www.fp 7


Volunteers from page 6

seam and so on. Volunteers would follow the same procedure and schedule as for the laundry. • Candy packers – Volunteers are needed to pack small candy in snack-


November 2012

from page 5 in U.S. history becomes eligible for Medicare (baby boomers), access to care will become a significant issue. 2) Patients must ensure that they receive excellent care from health care providers. For example, it is very important to be an equal partner in your physical therapy care. If you are not showing some progress after four to five visits, talk to the therapist to find out what should be done. Most skilled therapists will already be


from page 4

• Seamstresses – People are needed who can sew dusters or nightgowns from patterns available for them to use. (RSVP does accept donated cotton, cotton flannel and lightweight fleece). • Makers - Volunteers are needed to make fleece scarves. No sewing skills are necessary; they just use a

rotary cutter and cutting mat. For those who knit, adult size caps for men and women are always welcome. For more details on RSVP, visit programs/rsvp.asp or http://www.

monitoring this and making changes, but if this is not happening, talk to the physical therapist. In addition, if your therapy consists solely of ultrasound, electrical stimulation and hot or cold packs, you should talk to the therapist. A skilled therapist will use manual therapy, manipulation, mobilization, traction, targeted exercises and other more advanced skills along with those already mentioned. 3) Finally, do not be intimidated by your insurance provider. You are entitled to receive the benefits you paid for when initiating the contract,

but you must understand your benefit levels and your rights. For example, even if you received a letter indicating you are approaching the limit of your physical therapy benefits, talk to your doctor or physical therapist; if they believe physical therapy is medically necessary, they can help you obtain the care you need. If you have questions about your medical insurance or the insurance documents you receive in the mail, call the number on the back of your insurance card. However, ensuring that you have adequate benefit levels and that you receive the care

you need will require more active participation on the part of each patient. If interested in attending a free “Insurance 101” class (e.g., What is the difference in primary and secondary insurance?, What is the difference between coinsurance and copayments?, What is a deductible?, How to understand the Insurance letters I receive in the mail?, etc.), call or email our office (979) 776-2225 or

the estate insured, protected and preserved, and making distributions in accordance

Memory Medic

The Eagle •

size baggies. This could be done by a church group or social group that buys the candy and the baggies, stuffs them and delivers them by Dec. 1. • Shoppers – Sometimes the wish list has special items, like a bird house or sizes larger than 3x that need to be searched for and purchased.

from page 2

language, working-memory training and meditation. Be on the lookout for news you can use. I expect such studies to be reported in the next few years. Meanwhile, we may not know which learning activities work best, but there is plenty of evidence that seniors who are mentally active are more likely to stay mentally sharp as

with the will after the debts and claims have been satisfied,” he said. Being an executor is more than an honorary position, and should not be accepted lightly. It comes with duties, responsibilities and potential

they age. Source: Alexander A. Schlegel, Justin J. Rudelson, Peter U. Tse (2012). White matter structure changes as adults learn a second language. J. Cognitive Neuroscience. 24: 16641670

Leon Bradway is a physical therapist and director of the Sports Back and Pain Management Clinic. Contact him at


Contact Tracy B. Stewart, CPA, PFS, CFF, CDFA, CFP® through her blog at www.

Dr. Klemm is author of a new memory improvement book, Memory Power 101 (New York: Skyhorse) and an e-book in multiple formats

for students, Better Grades, Less Effort ( He also

has a learning and memory blog at

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Voted “Favorite Nursing Home” in The Eagle Readers’ Choice 2012 Voted “Best Memory Care Center” in The Brazos Valley 2011

Get moving It’s no wonder that 50-years-plus is the fastest growing segment of the fitness population. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise improves your leg strength and balance - both of which are important in reducing falls. Experts at the National

Institute of Health recommend that seniors enjoy a combination of four types of exercises: endurance, such as walking, cycling or swimming; flexibility, flexibility which includes stretching befor bef e and after endurance workouts; balance, such as walking on a line or stepping over small objects; and strength, which is using resistance or weights to target core muscles. Prepare your home According to the Home Safety Council, more falls occur in the bathroom than any other room in the home. But don’t fear, fear adding safety to your bathroom can add exquisite styling as well. Grab bars are the most common bath safety product installed, and brands such as Moen Home Care offer of stylish Designer Grab Bars with Accessories, which combine the safety benefits of a grab bar with common bath essentials. Options include a towel bar, bar a paper holder a straight shelf holder, and a corner shelf, making each item functional and fashionable. Plus, each is available in popular finishes such as Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Old World Bronze, to coordinate with the rest of your bath.

See Home products pa 17 page


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The Eagle •

(BPT) - You’re only as old as you feel, which is great news for today’s baby boomers, as 61 percent report they feel younger than their true age. But despite feeling great, the reality is that adults may need to make minor changes to their homes and lifestyles to ensure they can continue to enjoy safe, healthy and independent li s. live If you are part of this demographic, you’re likely thinking, ‘Not me. Not yet.’ But did you know that one in three older Americans falls every year, ar according to the ar, Center for Disease Control and Prevention? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfat nonf al injuries for people aged 65 and older. Don’t worry - protecting yourself from falls does not mean using a walker or wearing an alert siren. Try these simple tips to protect yourself from becoming a fall statistic, while improving your home and lifestyle.

November 2012

“Meaningful Moments”

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50plus November 2012

Special to The Eagl Ea e

Veterans Day is Nov. 11, and local organizations are planning several events in recognition of the holiday. Nov. 11, Veterans Day, began as a remembrance of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918, when the cessation of hostilities brought an end to World War I. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affa Af irs, in the following November of 1919, Woodrow Wilson declared the 11th Armistice Day with the words, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, victory both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the

opportunity it has give gi n America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” Then in May of 1938, Nov. 11 was made a legal holiday dedicated to world peace and finally, in June of 1954, the word “Armistice” was changed to “Veterans” “V and Nov. 11 became the day to honor all veterans. With the same solemn pride and gratitude, Bryan-College Station area organizations will remember those who serve and have ha served this year in a variety of ways. This year Nov. 11 falls on a Sunday, and the first annual Bryan Rotary Field of Valor Flag Display will open at 8 a.m. at the Veterans Park and Athletic Complex, 3101 Harvey Road in College Station. From Nov. 11 to Nov. 17, 1,000 3-f 3-foot by 5-foot 5-f flags on 10-foot 10-f poles will fly over the Field of Valor, lor each one representing someone who has served lor, in the military, military the police force, as a firefighter or in an EMS. Conceptualized by Rotarian Bunny Pratt, the field is designed to not only honor but also to educate. Throughout the week, area fifth-graders will make field trips to view the flags and hear from docents who will give gi historical background infor inf mation on veterans of differ dif ent wars. “My hope is that citizens will be drawn to Veterans Park to see this amazing and awe-inspiring display of 1,000 American flags, and then take time to tour the veterans memorials and reflect on those honored there,” Pratt said. Placards with the honoree’s infor inf mation will be attached to each sponsored flag. The name and assigned grid location will be posted online. To view the grid or to sponsor a flag with a $30 donation or underwrite the Field of Valor, lor go to lor, At 11 a.m. on Nov. 17, Boy Scouts will lead a ceremony retiring the flags, closing the Field of Valor Flag Display at noon by playing Taps. Also on Nov. 11 in Veterans Park, from 4 to 5 p.m.,

members of the A&M Corps of Cadets, Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and Corps Center Guard will participate in the Brazos Valley Memorial Board’s annual ceremony at the Louis L. Adam Memorial Plaza. Names being added to the Wall of Honor will be read, with family members and friends answering “here.” The Wall of Honor is a permanent tribute to living, li deceased, or currently serving veterans. Dr. Eddie J. Davis Da , Vietnam vet, former Corps Commander, Commander and current president of the Texas A&M Foundation, will give gi an address. For more inf mation, email info@b infor inf On Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rudder Plaza, Texas A&M Unive Uni rsity will join more than 180 colleges and uni rsities in the National Roll Call of Remembrance. unive During the Roll Call, the names of those from any era of service, living li or deceased, will be read aloud by volunteers. At the same moment across the country, country all will observe a minute of silence. Roll Call 2011, following the 10th anni rsary of 9-11, focused on honoring the fallen of annive Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. This year’s Roll Call commemorates not only the fallen but also all who have ha served and are currently serving. Texas A&M’s moment of silence will be at 1 p.m. A&M student, staf and faculty veterans are also invited staff, in to a Veterans Day Reception on Nov. 12 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (RSVP to debbiep@

Veterans Day is an annual holiday when veterans of the armed forces are honored and celebrated in the United States. Many people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. While both days honor members of the armed forces, there’s a distinction between the two holidays. Memorial Day, which is celebrated in May, is a day designated for remembering servicemen and servicewomen who died while serving. Veterans Day, which is observed in November, mber honors all mber, military veterans. The role of the brave bra men and women who serve in the military is an important one, and it’s one that warrants appreciation and celebration. The following are a few easy ways to celebrate veterans and their significant contribution to our country this Veterans Day. • Offer Of your thanks. Serving in the military can feel like a thankless job, as those who have ha not served might not be aware of the risks men and women in the military take and the sacrifices they must make to protect our country and help the less fortunate across the globe. As a result, something as simple as saying “Thank you” to a current service member or military veteran can go a long way. Veterans know they don’t serve in vain, but it’s still a great idea to let them know how much you appreciate their effo ef rts and sacrifices. • Help families of active military. Many service members are currently stationed and serving overseas, and their families back home may need or just appreciate a helping hand. Invite In family members of active acti military over for dinner, dinner offer of to do chores like cutting the grass or shoveling the drive dri way when it snows or help around the house if something needs fixing. Even if families of active acti members serving overseas appear to be getting along great, of offer your friendship and let them know you’re there to help should anything arise. • Visit hospitalized veterans. Unfor Unf tunately, many veterans are hospitalized after suffering suf an injury during a tour of duty. These veterans sacrificed their physical wellbeing to protect our way of life, and many spend extended periods of time in the hospital. Visiting a hospital to get to know a veteran and spend some time with him or her, her sharing a few laughs and thanking them for their service, is a great way to celebrate the holiday and lift a veteran’s spirits at the same time. Recruit friends and family members to visit hospitalized veterans as well. • Pay for a veteran’s night out on the town. Like many people, veterans appreciate an escape from the daily grind. Men and women who want to show their appreciation to veterans can treat a veteran to a night out on the town. Have Ha extra tickets to a ballgame or play? Donate them to a local VFW. Or if you see a veteran out on the town, offer of to pay for his meal. • Thank businesses who support veterans. Many businesses show their gratitude to veterans by offering of them free services on Veterans Day. When a local business shows its appreciation to veterans, patronize that business and let them know you appreciate their effo ef rts to help veterans.

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Easy ways to observe Veterans Day

November 2012

Brazos Valley organizations host Veterans Day events



Honoring all who served


50plus November 2012 The Eagle •

How physical therapists help you stay fit (BPT) - Most of us know that physical activity acti provides outstanding benefits, such as maintaining a healthy weight, reducing belly fat, increasing bone density, density improving cognitive gniti function and improving gnitive sleep quality. But remaining physically active acti as you age can also help guard against certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers. People who are most fit at midlife experience better health and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases after the age of 65, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. At 78 million strong, baby boomers are a generation known for redefining aging. Although boomers are more health conscious, educated and financially secure than previous generations, America’s worsening obesity epidemic has also touched those in this age group and threatens their long-term health and the active acti lifestyles they embrace. To promote healthy aging, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) (APT has launched a new initiative, ti tive, Fit After 50, to provide baby boomers with practical tips and useful infor inf mation to help them maintain the motion and mobility needed to engage in

regular physical activity acti and sustain a healthy lifestyle. According to APTA, APT adults should engage in aerobic and muscle strengthening activities acti on a weekly basis. This invo in lves at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity activity, vity, or an equiva equi lent combination of the two, each week. Moderate-intensity activities acti , done for at least 10 minutes each time, may include brisk walking, biking on relative ti ly flat surfaces tive surf or general gardening. Muscle-strengthening exercises that work the arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, hips, back and legs — the major muscle groups — should be done at least twice per week. In addition, stretching exercises to ensure adequate flexibility are important. For tips and videos about physical therapy for a variety of activities acti and conditions, visit fitafter50. How a physical therapist can help ‘Many people think of going to a physical therapist only after illness or injury,’ injury says APTA APT President Paul Rockar Jr., PT, DPT,

MS. ‘However, er physical er, therapists are experts in restoring and improving motion in people’s live li s. We understand how to help prevent injury from occurring as well as changes in the body that happen with normal aging. With the help of a physical therapist, you can turn midlife into the fittest time of your life.’ Physical therapists develop a customized plan of care for each individual indi — there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Through exercises that increase range of motion, strength, flexibility coordination, flexibility, balance and endurance, physical therapists greatly improve mobility and motion and can help reduce pain associated with age-related conditions such as frozen shoulder, shoulder osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain. All physical therapists are required to receive cei a graduate ceive degree - either a master’s degree or a clinical doctorate - from an accredited physical therapist program

bef e taking the national licensure befor examination that allows them to practice. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices. Learn more about conditions physical therapists treat, and find a physical therapist in your area at fitafter50. Follow Move Forward on Twitter (@MoveForwardPT) and on Facebook at MoveForwardPT.

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Holiday driving tips for older drivers (BPT) - Trips to visit family and friends, nighttime drives to midnight Mass or to look at Christmas lights, emergency runs to the grocery store - driving is as much a part of the holiday season as gift wrap and Christmas carols. No matter where you live in the country, driving during the holidays presents some unique challenges. It pays to make sure both you and your vehicle are prepared to stay safe on the road throughout the winter.

November 2012

Be at your best Finally, you as the driver are the most important factor in ensuring your holiday drive time is as safe as possible. Take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest during this busy time of year and by driving at times of day when you’re at your best. Consider brushing up on your driving skills. AARP Driver Safety’s course is designed to help drivers 50 and older refresh their skills and adapt to age-related changes to vision, hearing and reaction time. To find an inperson course near you, search at www., or sign up to take an online course. Courses are available in both English and Spanish. Signing up for a driving course may also make you eligible for a multi-year auto insurance discount, and who couldn’t use some extra money during the holidays?

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The experts at AARP Driver Safety offer some advice: Prepare for bad weather If you live in an area of the country that gets winter weather, take steps to ensure your vehicle is ready for snow. Have your mechanic check the brakes, hoses and belts, ignition, battery and all fluid levels, including the antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid levels. If you know you’ll be driving through heavy snow and ice, consider putting winter tires on your car. Stock your car with emergency equipment that will help if you become stranded, including a flashlight, first aid kit, shovel, jumper cables, basic tool kit, a bag of salt, extra windshield wiper fluid, and an ice scraper and brush. Before you leave home, always be sure you have a full tank of gas, a fully charged cell phone and a functional spare tire, jack and lug wrench. Be aware of holiday volume Gas prices notwithstanding, the roads are always busier during the holidays. Shopping trips, local visits to loved ones and long-distance trips keep the nation’s highways humming with heavier-than-usual volume. More cars on the road means you face more time sitting in traffic and more risk of a fender-bender or even a serious accident. To minimize the crunch of holiday traffic, try to travel during off times of the day. Avoid traditional rush hours when you’re making local trips, and if you’ll be taking a long drive avoid historically high volume days. Use GPS navigation to help avoid the busiest roads by plotting less-traveled alternate routes. Minimize distractions Holiday driving is full of distractions, from bright holiday lights that can be visually challenging at night, to driving with a carload of happy holiday revelers. Take steps to minimize distractions. Never drive and use your cell phone at the same time. If you must use the phone, pull over or hand it to a passenger. When driving with passengers, establish ground rules for behavior that won’t turn into a distraction for you.

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out. As a result, many move from private homes into apartment complexes geared to the senior set or even into assisted living facilities that make it easier to deal with the daily demands of life. When seniors make such a move, they sacrifice space for convenience. Personal libraries may no longer be possible or practical, but an e-reader such as Amazon’s Kindle or the Nook(R) from Barnes and Noble allows seniors to store their favorite books in one small and convenient place. • Give the lap of luxury. Many seniors are on fixed incomes, which greatly limit how much disposable income they have to treat themselves to something nice. But seniors still love a trip to the spa or a round of golf just as much as their younger counterparts. Savvy shoppers know that deals can be had on such luxuries, and it just takes a little patience and research. Sign up for

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November 2012


Holiday gift ideas for seniors


a service like GrouponTM to gain access to exclusive discount offers to a variety of luxury offerings, including spa treatments, cruise vacations and rounds of golf. Signing up is free and easy, and you might just find a deal that makes a senior’s holiday season. • Go healthy. Many men and women embrace a healthier lifestyle as they age. Seniors who might have been too busy raising a family to focus on their own health are typically encouraged by their physicians to exercise and embrace healthier eating habits. Gift-givers can help seniors on their quests to become healthier by buying them a membership to a local fitness club, many of which provide classes designed specifically for seniors. Fitness clubs typically offer discounted memberships to seniors, who might even be eligible for rebates from their health insurance providers if they meet established

attendance requirements. Seniors who suffer from arthritis might benefit from a membership at a nearby yoga center. • Give the gift of communication. Sometimes the best gift is the simplest gift. Seniors love to speak with their children and grandchildren, so why not give the gift of communication? If you haven’t already, alter your cellular phone plan to a family plan that gives seniors unlimited minutes when calling family members so they can speak to their grandkids as often as possible. You can even go the extra mile and upgrade a senior’s computer so he or she has access to instant messaging and videoconferencing services such SkypeTM, allowing seniors to see just how fast their grandchildren are growing even if those youngsters are on the other side of the country.

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Exchanging gifts has become synonymous with the holiday season. Family members exchange gifts with one another, men and women trade gifts and greeting cards with their coworkers and students participate in grab bag gift exchanges in the classroom. Giving gifts is such a big part of the holiday season that shoppers may run out of gift ideas before they have crossed everyone off their lists. For example, it might not be easy to find the perfect gift for the senior citizen on your holiday shopping list. Seniors might not be up-todate on the latest gadgets or might have downgraded from a home to a more manageable living arrangement, so knickknacks or decorative

items for the home may not be too practical, either. The following are a few tips for gifting seniors this holiday season. • Warm things up. As men and women age, many develop medical conditions that require medication. Medications like blood thinners can make seniors feel the cold more than others, so a gift that can keep seniors warm through the winter can make a great gift. A thick wool sweater or a fleece blanket is both practical and thoughtful. • Open a senior’s eyes to e-readers. Many seniors find that maintaining a household is simply too much work once all the kids have grown up and moved

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Many Happy Returns Returning gifts has become as much a pillar of the holiday season scene as the pre-Christmas shopping spree. So it helps to pay attention to the retailer’s return policy befor bef e you make a purchase for family or friends. To assist the one out of five folks who will be standing in customer service lines in

online purchases if it was made at one of the cyberspace stores that allow you to make returns at their bricks-andmortar outlets. If you receive cei a gift card ceive you don’t intend to use, you can re-sell it for cash at a discount at several online sources. And, finally, don’t open what you don’t want, Woroch said. Many merchants can’t resell opened items as new and you could be charged a hefty restocking fee just for cracking the lid.

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It’s long been held that the best day to purchase an automobile is the day after Christmas, only because car lots aren’t open on Christmas Day, when things are really slow on car lots. But you can cut costs yearround when shopping for a car. Visit the lots at the end of the month. That’s when the sales staff staf is scuttling to achieve sales targets. Most salaries and bonuses are pinned to monthly quotas so the sellers are more apt to slice some numbers from the sales price to move the in ntory befor inve bef e the end of the month. Don’t drive dri onto the lot. The sales force will figure you’re aiming for a trade-in and automatically consider that in your purchase price. Walk onto the car lot, negotiate your lowest price, and then open negotiations for your trade-in.

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the New Year, ar consumerism ar, expert Andrea Woroch has prepared seven simple steps for “Hassle Free Holiday Returns.” If you’re shopping online, most retailer websites include return policies, so search them thoroughly and don’t make the purchase until you read the fine print. Pay attention to the expiration date of return policies, and remember that the number of days, which ranges from 30 to 180, begins on the date of purchase. Keep the receipt to enable the recipient to return the gift. If you don’t have ha a receipt, make sure you have ha necessary identification when you take the item back to where it was purchased. Stores require this to control the number of times an indi individual can make returns during a specific period of time. It’s possible to avoid shipping charges to return



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November 2012

Ongoing 42 Dominoes – Seniors meet every Thursday to play 42 at Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, contact Southwood Community Center at 979-764-6351 or College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 979-764-6371 or Bible Study - Seniors gather at Lincoln Center, 1000 Eleanor, every Thursday from 9:30 to 10 a.m. for Bible study. For more information call 979-764-3779 between 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or email awilliams@cstx. gov. Sit & Fit – Seniors meet at Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road, every Tuesday and Thursday, from noon to 12:45 p.m. and exercise in chairs. For more information, call 979-764-6351 or College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 979764-6371 or Friday Bridge - Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road, offers of bridge for seniors

every Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. For more details, contact Southwood CommunityCenterat979-764-6351or College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 979764-6371 or Line Dancing - Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road, offers of line dancing for seniors from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. every Tuesday and from 10 to 11 a.m. every Friday. For more information, contact Southwood Community Center at 979-764-6351 or College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 979-764-6371 or Bluegrass Jam Session – A Bluegrass Jam Session is held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday at Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road. Bring string instruments and a friend. All levels welcome. For more information, contact Southwood Community Center at 979-764-6351 or College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 979764-6371 or

Nov. 6 AARP Driver Safety Class –

Class for drivers 55 and over held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road in College Station. Cost is $12 for AARP members or $14 for nonmembers. Free for veterans. Call 979-764-6371 or email mrodgers@ to register.

Nov. 7 Computer club for seniors Meetings are held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Carter’s Creek Training Room, 2200 North Forest Parkway in College Station. The topic this month, presented by Copy Corner, is creating greeting cards, letters and mailing labels. Meetings are free, and no pre-registration is needed. For more information contact College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 979-764-6371 or

Nov. 10 AARP Driver Safety Class – Held 1 to 5 p.m. at St. Joseph Healthy Communities Annex, 3030 East 29th St., Ste. 100 in Bryan. Free for veterans. To register, call 979-7311231.

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Nov. 11 Veterans Day Program - The Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Board of Directors will host the annual Veterans Day program at 4 p.m. at the Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station. For more information visit http://www.

Nov. 13 AARP Driver Safety Class – From 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Buffalo Buf Senior Center, 941 North Hill St. in Buffalo. Buf Free for veterans. To register, call 903-322-4704.

Nov. 14 AARP Driver Safety Class – From 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Patrick Masonic Lodge on FM 1644 in Franklin. Free for veterans. To register, call 979828-5026. Health Talk - “Travel Safety” will be the topic for this month’s health talk presented by Brazos County Health Department from 10 to 11 a.m. at Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road. Refreshments

Nov. 15 Movie and popcorn - Seniors are invited to enjoy popcorn and the movie, “Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows” at Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road. Movie starts at 1 p.m.

See Calendar pa 17 page

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served. For more information, contact Southwood Community Center at 979-764-6351 or College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 979-764-6371 or Exploring History Lunch Lecture - “Second Thoughts: Presidential Regrets with their Supreme Court Nominations” will be presented by author William T. Harper, at Aldersgate Church located at 2201 Earl Rudder Freeway South. A reservation is necessary; the cost is $5 for the lunch, which will be served at 11:30 a.m. The speaker will begin at noon. Reserve by Nov. 12 by contacting Southwood Community Center at 979-764-6351 or

Mature Life Features

wattage bulbs or even additional lamps to the room for improved illumination.

Home products from page 9

from page 16 For more details, contact Southwood Community Center at 979-764-6351 or College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 979764-6371 or

Nov. 26 Senior Advisory Committee - Senior Advisory Committee will meet at 10 a.m. at Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Road. Visitors welcome. For more information call 979-764-6371 or email

Nov. 30 Bingo and Birthday Celebration – All seniors are invited to celebrate October birthdays with cake, refreshments and Bingo at 1 p.m. at

Assess your medications Since boomers buy 77 percent of all prescription drugs sold, chances are that you take more than one medication daily. However, these remedies may have been prescribed by different doctors - and could unknowingly cause side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness, which can increase the risk of falls. Speak with your physician to ensure that your medications will not interact with other drugs. Programmed pill boxes are also a great idea to keep your prescriptions organized and help you remember what to take and when.

pain associated with spinal stenosis. For severe pain, doctors may prescribe medication containing narcotics for a short time. Exercise and physical therapy Good options are exercises that strengthen the abdominal and back muscles, build strength and endurance, and maintain flexibility and stability of the spine.

Alternative therapies Acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation may ease pain related to spinal stenosis. Weight loss Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the stress on arthritic joints and reduce pain.

Steroid injections This involves injecting cortisone into the space around the spinal cord to help decrease inflammation and swelling.

Surgery This is an option when other measures fail to help or when patients experience complications such as severe weakness or loss of bladder or bowel control.

Eat right You are what you eat, which is why a healthy diet is very important to older adults. In fact, healthy eating can reduce the risk for many conditions, including anemia, confusion, hip fractures, hypotension and wounds. Experts note that older adults generally require fewer calories in their diet than other age groups - but need more nutrition. Especially important to reduce

falls is to increase foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D, such as milk and dairy, which help keep bones strong. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper eating is also essential, as added weight can cause instability, leading to falls. With these few simple updates to your home and lifestyle, you’ll soon feel better about yourself and your home - and can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you’re doing the best to reduce the risk of becoming a fall statistic.

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Southwood Community Center. Prizes given for Bingo. For more details, contact Southwood Community Center at 979-764-6351 or College Station Parks and Recreation Senior Services at 979-764-6371 or Lincoln Center Senior Birthday Celebration and Pot Luck - All seniors are invited to celebrate October birthdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Center. Bring a dish to share. For more details, call 979-764-3779 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or email

Dec. 3 Meditation - Free meditation class is held the first Monday of every month, from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at Brazos Healing Center, 1804 Brothers Blvd, Suite D, in College Station. For more information, visit or call 402-3595.

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Next, add style and peace of mind in the shower by adding a Fold-Down Shower Seat. Unlike traditional bath seats that can be intrusive, this wallmount design from Moen Home Care folds down for a comfortable and secure shower seat to avoid slips and falls - yet folds up for a thin, compact profile when not in use. Plus, the teak wood and stylish metal trim will accentuate the look of even the most upscale shower. For more information about Moen Home Care products, visit www. For the final step to your safetyupgraded bathroom, increase the amount of lighting. Researchers have found that by the time a person is 60 years old, he or she needs up to 15 times more light than when that person was 10 years old. Add higher-


With age, the cushions between the vertebrae flatten and bulge. Eventually, the outer coverings of the disk may tear, allowing the jellylike substance in the disk’s center to protrude and press on the spinal cord and nerve roots. The result can be pain that starts in the buttock area and radiates down the leg. The range of treatments includes the following: Medications Acetaminophen such as Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help. Some studies indicate certain antidepressants may reduce

November 2012

When back pain is persistent or worsens, the culprit may be spinal stenosis -- a narrowing in one or more areas of the spine. Different types of problems can reduce the space within the spinal canal. Most are age-related. One cause is osteoarthritis, which results in wearing away of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joints. It may narrow the space between the vertebrae. Bony growths or disk bulges may form. Bone surfaces may rub together, resulting in pain and inflammation. Disk degeneration is another common cause of spinal stenosis.


Aging spine can cause persistent back pain

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MATURE TRAVEL SCENE Matur Life Mature Lif Matters Matter

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November 2012

Cruise Log: Timing is important


Any time can be a good time to go cruising, depending on where. Many cruise lines reposition their ships between winter and summer and offer of these voyages, mostly between Alaska and the Caribbean or Europe and the Caribbean, at significantly reduced rates. Not only can these spring-and-fall spring-and-f off-season of prices be a bargain, you’ll likely be able to wander legendary ports at your leisure because the cruising crowd is not as big. But there are trade-of . trade-offs First and foremost is the weather. In northern climes, winters can be more than chilly, but many ships will still sail. For example, the traditional cruise season in the Mediterranean, sometimes called the “Caribbean of Europe,” used to be from April to October, October with each end called the “shoulder season” when the area is quieter and prices have ha eased off of from the prime summer months. Then cruise lines began operating their ships there from March to December. Today, some large liners sail these waters year-round. If lower rates tempt you to cruise the Mediterranean in winter, winter keep in mind that southern Europe is not like the Caribbean during those months. In ports such as Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Venice, Italy, temperatures can sink to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Venice’s famed lagoon has been known to freeze over. Bad weather also can also force changes to a ship’s itinerary and you may miss seeing itinerary, that special place you dreamed of visiting. On the other hand, if you sail from New York to the Bahamas in January, ary ary, you’re going from the clutches of a Northeast winter to the moderately warm 70s. Here’s a rundown on some of the best and lesser seasons in popular areas. --Alaska: the peak season is June through September, ptember the shoulder ptember, seasons are May and October, October and the low season is October through April. --Hawaii: peak is mid-September to early ear July, ly shoulder is mid-July ly, through August. There is no low season as the islands are popular year-round. --New England: April to October, October with July to October the best. --Transatlantic: March to November is best and keep in mind the lower-fare repositioning cruises at the beginning and end of this period. --Florida and the Caribbean: peak is late December through April, shoulder is May through mid-June, and low is late June into fall -hurricane season. However, er during er, the hot summers, the cease-less trade winds can keep things bearable.

is mild all year but December to April --Europe and the Mediterranean: of living li in what has been called the is best. Brazil is hotter and you’ll find Much of Spain, Portugal and Italy are most beautiful village in Germany. Rio warm all year round. sunny and comfor comf table year-round. Visitors to the Wild Family --Antarctica: the peak season Southern Turke Tur y is much like Holiday Farm can clamber into wine is November to March, with midFlorida, and Israel’s climate is mild barrels that have ha been conve con rted into December to February the best, all year. sleeping quarters. Perched high above November and March the worst. the rolling countryside of vineyards Egypt has a greater range of Rough seas and stormy weather know and the Rhine Valley are a series of temperatures, from fall with balmy no season, especially in the notorious oval wooden casks, each of which days and little rain to spring with Drake Passage. once held 2,000 gallons of the fruit pleasant temperatures, although of the vine. Now lying on their sides, For the best conditions without sand storms can occur. Summers the kegs are heated and contain twin peak-season prices, aim for closing are hot, with temperatures topping beds with duvets, a night light and weeks of the peak season. While the 100 degrees, while in winter they can a window overlooking er erlooking the valley. prices have ha started to drop and most drop into the 40s. Guests are welcomed with a basket visitors ha have left, the weather often In Northern Europe the season is containing two local wines, bottled stays nice. Use the same strategy at May to September, ptember with June-August ptember, ne-A ne-August water and regional food, such as the start of the peak season if prices best. Early Ear May is the worst. pastries, sausages and cheese. ha not started to rise. have --Orient: northern regions, such There’s another barrel nearby that Your trave tra l agent can check on as Japan and parts of China, have ha has been conve con rted to a bathroom, prices during peak periods in the chilly winters, while southern Asia, and an additional toilet and shower area you ha have chosen. Then look for from the Philippines to central and are available. nearby weeks when conditions are southern India, basks in warm pleasant and rates remain moderate. There are some 40 restaurants sunshine. Peak months in Manila, nearby, as well as a dozen or so Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam hotels, some of which offer of wineare December to February, uary while uary, You can sleep in a wine barrel and schnapps-tastings. Hiking trails Mumbai booms from November to In the vineyards above the western lace the nearby mountain called March. slopes of Germany’s Black Forest Hornisgrinde. The per-night rate in Summers are hot in South Asia between the cities of Baden-Baden one of the casks with two meals is 156 and the typhoon season in the and Offenb Of urg is the village of euros for two people. Also available is western Pacific extends from late Sasbachwalden. While its vineyards a week’s stay that includes six nights summer to fall. In the Hong Kong produce well-recognized wines, its in an apartment, plus one night in a and Taiwan regions, winds can howl heritage-protected half-timbered barrel, starting from 489 euros. between August and mid- October. homes and floral decorations have ha For more details, visit g.orlop@ g.or Japan, on the other hand, receive cei s its ceive gained for its 2,400 citizens the honor storms between June and September. --South Pacific: Tahiti, Fiji and other islands in the region enjoy good weather, her her, albeit hot and humid, all year. The driest months are between March and December. --A --Australia and New Zealand: their seasons are exactly the opposite of There are three types of ours. Christmas in dentures - economy dentures, Australia’s Outback traditional dentures, and now, may see temperatures introducing Facelift Dentures. reach 100 degrees. This amazing breakthrough --Mexico and provides underlying facial Central America: support which plumps your Mexico’s rainy lips, lessens wrinkles, helps fill season, which brings your face out, and provides for afternoon showers, Kay - after a better fit and finish. Patients is from June to absolutely love them, calling “ September. The driest them the fountain of youth for Kay - before changed my life.” months are December denture wearers. to April, with pleasant conditions in most areas of Mexico and parts of Costa Winner Best of the Brazos Rica, Guatemala, and Best Dentist Award Panama. 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 --South America: Winner The Eagle Their seasons are also Reader’s Choice Award the polar opposite of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 ours. Buenos Aires Texas Monthly - Texas Super Dentist is at its best in its 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, spring -- October Your dental guided health professional. Dr. Michael Reece 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 through December. Chile’s peak season is October to March. Caracas, Venezuela,

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