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Are You Financially Fit?

Have You Aged Out of Your Church? Heart-Healthy and Happy!

boomerbuzz‌ living life to the fullest MARCH / APRIL 2013 |

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What’s New in 2013! Boomer Buzz Names Six Top States for Retirees Fit & Fabulous at Fifty | Take Control of Your Health! Simplify Your Life | Could You Do Laundry Here? Heart-Healthy and Happy


Boomer Style Corner | “About You” is the Trend


Discover a Sailor’s Paradise | Boomer Fest Days!

REDEFINING 34 WEALTHY & WISE 36 BOOMER BUZZ 38 BLOG SPEAK 44 MEDICAL MATTERS 48 SENIOR SCENE 54 ON THE COVER Holly Kuper swings with Andre Quillen at the March 2012 launch of boomerbuzz magazine. Photography by Jim Holcomb

Have You Aged Out of Your Church? Financially Fit Do Ya Wanna Dance? | Happy Anniversary You Can Play Tomorrow | Easter Circa 1956 Changes & Choices in Health Care | What Did You Say? How to Talk to Your Aging Parents


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boomerbuzz PUBLISHER Robin Roberson




WEBSITE DESIGN Houston Brown/Split Light Designs

SEO & SOCIAL MEDIA Tim Vasquez/Jaw Dropping Media

PUBLIC RELATIONS Isabell Rossignol

CREATIVE CONTRIBUTORS Becca Menig, Photography Jim Holcomb, Photography Holly Kuper, Photography

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Eric S. Alexander Naikai Butler, Au.D., FAAA David Call Julese Crenshaw Christopher Cyriaque Ayo Fashola Beverly F. Jones Sonja Kabell DeeDee Lowder Carla McMahon

Claire Maestri Becca Menig Jet Parker Sardone Construction Peggy Emerton-Schilling Scott Schilling Cynthia Stock James Tucker Karol Wilson



PUBLISHER’S LETTER As the first year’s anniversary of the launch of Boomer Buzz Magazine nears, I reflect on how many gracious and talented people have helped us succeed in this exciting adventure. Too many to name, but you know who you are and how grateful we are for your participation in our offering of valuable and well received, if I may so myself, engaging and insightful articles for and about baby boomers. We have covered lifestyles, food and entertaining, home décor and gardening, as well as retiring in style and with financial resources, reinventing ourselves, Medicare and Social Security, as well as information to aid our aging seniors and the issues they face. And on a lighter side, we have served up the boomer buzz and what bloggers are saying about life and relationships. News on technology, products and services to make life better, have also been included. As we venture into our second year of publication, it is with pride that we publish Boomer Buzz Texas, our local state edition which showcases baby boomers and life in Texas. And we also completed a new information portal website to give boomers articles on topics that are pertinent in daily living, along with Features, Top News and Travel Topics. We also offer In the Spotlight which includes Issues, The Arts and Veterans. The March/April issue of Boomer Buzz Magazine features The Modern 50s…Fit & Fabulous while Boomer Buzz Texas extols Texas Power, Boomer Style…”Top” of All in Texas. I know you will enjoy learning which states are named best for retirees, how to fix heart healthy and happy dishes and why paying off a mortgage may not be healthy. You will question if you are a Texas champion, read how allergies in Texas might affect you and reflect on wonderful childhood memories of life growing up in Texas. Thank you so much for reading Boomer Buzz, we appreciate your support this first year and look forward to growing with you in 2013. Let us hear from you! We have added Boomer Talk to the website so you can comment. We want to know what you think, want to read about or learn of and how life is treating you as a baby boomer in a world of change. Let’s make the next year a booming one!


Boomer Buzz Names Six Top States for Retirees By Jet Parker

if they haven't saved enough, will have to work long after the previous generation dropped out of the workforce Boomer Buzz Top Six States for Retirees Florida offers more retirement communities than any other state within the United States and offers breaks on property taxes and has no income tax that make it a good choice, according to Top Retirement.

Warm year-round temperatures make Florida's weather most inviting. Relocating for retirement can mean researching states that are the best for retirees. Factors such as climate, life expectancy, crime data, cost of living, taxes and unemployment can affect whether or not a state is suitable for a retiree. Retirement is a time to forget the worries of the corporate world and relax in the fact that you have worked hard. Baby boomers have redefined every stage of life as they passed through it and will retire in a distinct way, setting the standard for generations to come. Boomers are likely to live longer, healthier, and more active than any retirees have before, yet few will enjoy the generous pensions and retiree health benefits enjoyed by many of their parents. They will most likely manage their own investments, and

The only drawback to New Hampshire is the colder temperatures, which may be considered a positive for someone looking to escape warmer temperatures. According to Money Rate, New Hampshire offers one of the lowest crime rates and cost of living rates within the United States while Forbes praises its reasonable cost of living, above average air quality, good metrics for aging, and high level of volunteering.


North Carolina offers an agreeable climate with four beautiful seasons, nice scenery from the mountains to the coast, though it can have a higher level of humidity.

Arizona has hundreds of adult retirement communities throughout the state. Top Retirement listed it as one of the best places to retire, not only because Arizona has a favorable climate with warm winters and limited humidity, but also the retirement rate for the state speaks for itself. Though it gets hot in certain areas, much of the state excels at dry, sunny weather, getting only 12 inches of rain a year and staying sunny 85 percent of the time.

In the smaller towns of Texas, the retirement rates are high due to the lower cost of living and it has the most active Certified Retirement Communities within the United States. Forbes rates it top due to moderate climate, culture scene, adequate doctors, and no state income tax.

It was listed by Top Retirement as one of the favorable states for retirement due to its consistent weather all year round, and from Forbes because of the same, as well as below average cost of living, median home price $170.000, plenty of doctors, high level of volunteerism and below average air quality. Jet Parker is a freelance writer of men’s issues. He lives with his family in Plano, Texas.


Fit and Fabulous at Fifty By Sonja Kabell What do Christy Brinkley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Oprah Winfrey and Madonna all have in common? They are all over fifty and look fabulous! What is their secret? Granted, they do have the ability to hire scads of personal chefs, trainers, assistants and the best of the best. But we can all look and feel fabulous too without having to deal with all the paparazzi!

So, what is the secret to lasting beauty, a youthful appearance, and a healthy glow? If you read any information on how the stars stay fit and fabulous, the common theme will be eating right and exercising. We know that what we nourish our bodies with is a huge factor in how we look and feel. Eating a well balanced diet, limiting high fat and processed foods are the key. Staying active also plays a role in keeping fit. Aerobic activity consistently will keep our bodies in shape. What are

the other big hitters? Restful sleep, having an active sex life and taking great supplements. What about your attitude? Does it make a difference? Absolutely!

Let's talk about attitude. Attitude is everything. To quote an article written by the Mayo Clinic, May 2011, "Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health."

Your outlook on life and events will negatively or positivity effect how you look and feel. If you deal with things in a stressful way or get "stressed out" your health will decline. Free radicals - stress can cause you to become unhealthy. Unhealthy people tend to be unhappy and look older. Have you ever known someone who seems to be perpetually in a good mood? They look healthier, more youthful, less "stressed." These happy people are like magnets. We migrate to them like they are a burst of sunshine. People who can see things in a positive manner verses negative can increase their life span, reduce the risk of heart disease, lower rates of depression, and achieve a higher resistance to the common cold!


Who knew that the glass half full verses half empty is so powerful. How do you start to work on your attitude which will in turn work on your outer beauty? Start being more positive and love on yourself with positive self talk.

Research shows that happy people tend to: express gratitude on a regular basis; practice being optimistic; engage in frequent acts of kindness; savor joyful events, and practice forgiveness. Gratitude, optimism, kindness and forgiveness are such powerful words. Just saying "thank you" more often can give you a feeling of gratitude and what a difference it will make to the other person!

Negative Nelly in your head, think more encouraging thoughts. There are books written on the power of positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale that might be of interest. Read inspirational quotes each morning to start your day off on an upbeat note. One of my personal favorites is "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined," by Henry David Thoreau. I always feel uplifted and motivated every time I read that quote.

Positive self talk in important as well. Self talk is the internal voice in our head that speaks loud and clear. Love on yourself by telling you just how great you are.

I challenge you to start the day by telling yourself something positive. It is not always easy so when you start to hear

Surrounding yourself with loving, uplifting and encouraging people will help too. You know the old saying, "birds of a feather, flock together." Don't hang out with turkeys! I hope you are inspired! We all can use some inspiration in our lives! Look great, feel great and be great! Fit and fabulous at fifty! Sonja Kabell, Weight Loss and Wellness Consultant, Founder of Creating Healthy Lifestyles. Like us on Facebook for daily health tips and hints!


Take Control of Your Health!! By Julese Crenshaw

Baby boomers have watched their parents suffer years of debilitating pain and weakness from chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and dementia. They have become health advocates and caregivers for these parents. A Humana-commissioned survey of 1,000 U.S. baby boomers – who range in age from 45 to 64 – indicated that baby boomers put their health on the back burner to care for their parents. Work, family responsibilities and social activities takes

precedence over eating healthy, staying fit and rest. But as we age, a tipping point has occurred. Becoming aware of the need to take control of our own health, we, baby boomers, do not want to go down the same road as our parents. As boomers are receiving initial diagnoses of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and arthritis, they have decided to fight back and are looking for ways to stay healthier.

adulthood, they are ready to enjoy the second half of their lives together. They enjoy entertaining friends and having their children bring the grandkids for a visit. Jack’s mother lives with them (in her own apartment which they built in the back of the house) since her husband passed away a few years ago from a heart attack. In the beginning she helped with the care of her grandchildren, but now she is showing some early signs of dementia. Because his days are busy and he often grabs a quick bite to eat at a nearby fast food restaurant, Jack has gained a little extra weight. Sarah enjoys cooking recipes passed down from her mother’s family or that Jack’s mom shares: an Italian cream cake is the perfect ending to a home-cooked meal of friend chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, biscuits and green beans from their garden. Jack and Sarah both know they should be exercising more and better watch what they eat, but neither of them has been diagnosed with any major health problems. Sarah has the usual aches and pains that seem to go with growing older, but she ignores them, concentrating her attention on family and her new business. And Jack moans and groans periodically after a hard job. But all in all they consider themselves healthy.

Jack and Sarah are a great example of a middle-aged baby boomer couple here in Tennessee who have recently dealt with life changing health issues. They have a great life. Jack is a roofing contractor and Sarah recently started her own home business. Having raised two children to

One day recently Jack was hurt on a job site. He was lifting a heavy load from the back of his truck when he felt a strain in his back. Until it was time to head home, he ignored the pull


as the construction project was a bit behind. But the next morning he could not get out of bed without help, the pain was so intense. Finally, the pain was so great that Sarah convinced him to go to the hospital. Luckily, no major spinal issues showed up in the tests, but the routine cardiac tests showed cardiovascular disease; major disease Jack was not even aware of. He was then admitted for more testing and before they knew it, he was being prepped for two vascular stents and an enormous hospital bill.

and starches and be aware of your overall health by having yearly medical checkups. Jack and Sarah were thankful of the care given to Jack throughout the diagnosis and treatment of his cardiovascular condition. But he came home still dealing with back pain and the fear of a heart attack which took his father’s life. Waiting until acute care was needed was something they gave a lot of thought to and is why they are making smart changes for better living and health. Rising costs for both hospital stays and often overprescribed pharmaceutical drugs have caused many baby boomers to re-evaluate their attitude towards their own health journey. In a world of attention to dis-ease, boomers are now searching for prevention and wellness. It starts with you!

In one day, Jack and Sarah experienced a major shift in their comfortable life. Suddenly they were forced to pay attention to their own mortality and they became determined to be proactive in their approach to better health practices at home for better health for themselves. Eating healthier and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to their meals are now a staple in their diets. Sarah tries to walk at least three times a week and Jack is in the gym with a cardio routine. Fortunately Jack and Sarah were smart enough to read the symptoms as more than normal, to avail themselves of the exceptional medical care in their community and to take the small steps for a healthier lifestyle. You too can make simple changes to aid in living a healthier life‌for yourself and your family! Start an exercise routine just a few times a week, eat fresher foods cutting back on fats

Julese Crenshaw is a freelance writer from Tennessee.

14 | AT HOME

Simplify Your Life with Organization By Carla McMahon A new year is not only a time to get our lives in order, but also our homes. With everything in its place you can better enjoy a stress free environment that is calm and well mannered. It can be fit and fabulous! Use an upcoming weekend to spruce up your home. To help get you started, here are some home organizing and storage tips from some of our favorite sites and publications. Fling-open all your doors and windows, install the screens, and let the fresh air come in. Even if you're more organized and have things separated somewhat, you can probably improve the neatness of your home with just a few simple steps. Living a simpler life may not solve all your problems, but it does allow you to tackle one or two at a time, in manageable bites. Don't be discouraged. Do what you can, as you can, and remember always to simplify. Happy organizing!

15 Ways to Organize Your Home (General) Do one small organizational task daily, no matter how small. Clean out one drawer or the top tier of the spice rack. Just think: After a month, you'll have checked 30 things off your to-do list. (Redbook Magazine) (General) Maintain critical mass. You already own most of what you need, so think of every new item you buy as a replacement, not an addition. When you bring home a fancy new skillet or cute sweater, throw away an old one. (Ladies Home Journal) (Bathroom) Repurpose a standard desktop organizer to hold bathroom essentials, such as makeup, cotton swabs, brushes, and combs. (Real Simple) The same principles that work in the kitchen apply to the bathroom, too. Group like things together, such as all cosmetics, in a plastic bin or washable bag, all skin-care products on the same medicine-cabinet shelf, all shampoos in one spot under the sink. (Martha Stewart) (Bathroom) Keep two rolls of toilet tissue in the bathroom; the rest should go into a bulk storage area somewhere else in the house, such as the laundry room. (Woman's Day) (Bedroom) If closet space is short, consider a pair of built-in armoires. Painted to match the walls, they seem to recede into the room while providing needed storage. Each is fitted with its

AT HOME | 15

own sconce, for bedtime reading. (Country Living) (Bedroom) Rest easy knowing your bedside belongings are free from chaotic clutter. Put blank walls to work with a few shelves within reach of the bed. (Better Homes & Gardens) (Garage) Gas grills often are stored in the garage, complete with their propane tanks. Propane is highly combustible, and when the propane leaks, it's a gas. You can't see it, but it can hover over the garage floor. One spark of static electricity or the flick of a light switch could cause an explosion. Anything with propane should be stored at least 10 feet away from the house. (DIY Network) (Garage) One of the best ways to squeeze more storage out of your garage (or any space, for that matter) is to think vertical. A wall system helps to keep everything from gardening tools to bicycles up off the floor. Horizontal grooves allow for baskets and hooks of different sizes and shapes. (Country Living) (Home Office) For a functional and easily concealable work space, use an armoire. Pick one specifically designed for computer equipment, or customize a regular armoire with shelves and cubbies to suit your needs. When guests come by, simply close the doors to hide the clutter. (Country Living) (Home Office) A small console is a great way to get extra mileage out of a tiny office. The two tables pulled together make a corner desk, and keep oft-used supplies within easy reach yet out of the way. (House Beautiful)

that keep the cords concealed so you can run a bundle of cords wherever they need to go and rigid cord "channels" that also contain all your cords in one outer shell. Although less flexible, the channels are more easily attached to surfaces such as the underside of your desk or wall baseboards. (Good Housekeeping) (Kitchen) Countertops should hold only things you use on a daily basis. Enjoy peace of mind by creating a permanent spot for everything else, including appliances. Place small appliances deep within a corner niche or behind an appliance garage to maximize counter space. (Better Homes & Gardens) (Kitchen) Store things where you use them. Pots and pans are best kept near the range or cooktop; mixing bowls near the countertop you use for food preparation; plates, glasses, and flatware near the dishwasher. (Martha Stewart) (Living Room) Creating a sense of togetherness is effortless when you choose integrated storage. The first step is to be realistic about how everyone uses the room so you can give each activity some space of its own. Such agreed-upon zones keep activities enjoyable and clutter-contained. (Better Homes & Gardens) (Living Room) A storage ottoman or coffee table with a cabinet or drawers is a no-brainer for stashing video game equipment, DVDs, magazines, and the like, but you can make an open-design table functional, too, by placing a row of baskets beneath it. (Ladies Home Journal)

(Home Office) Capture your cords with a cord organizer. There are two types: flexible tubes Carla McMahon is a homemaker and freelance writer of interests for women. She lives with her family in North Carolina.

16 | AT HOME

Could You Do Laundry Here? By Sardone Construction

Have you ever considered a laundry room remodel? You may have never thought about it before, but your laundry room can become an oasis, rather than “the place that must not be named”…or something like that. So what could possibly make a laundry room a place I’d actually want to spend my time? Doing laundry, no less? A little bit of care mixed with a lot of design. Check out these elegant, modern and whimsical designs. Which one is right for you? At the bottom, check out this cool feature that could be added to your laundry room. It would eliminate ugly/in the way drying racks. Via House & Home

AT HOME | 17

Stainless Steel Via My Luscious Life

Via Dillard-Jones Builders

Via weheartit

Via Total Spaces Design


Heart-Healthy and Happy By Karol Wilson

Here I am…suddenly in my 50’s and admonished to eat healthier and get my blood pressure down from the pre-hypertension numbers that the doctor waved at me. Not what I was expecting at all, which probably applies to many of this magazine’s readers.

I served on the board of the local chapter of the American Heart Association a few years ago. Maybe somehow I thought that was enough…that sitting through meetings rather than actively taking control of my diet was somehow OK. And…I consider myself a great cook and super “foodie”, so how was getting my blood pressure down through diet going to work, flavor-wise?

Very simple…I learned to “unsalt” myself and embraced spices of all kinds. I now hardly add salt at the table, as I let the salt in the recipe be enough. And I swear by the no-salt alternatives available. I also discovered some websites, which were of huge help in learning how to lower my blood pressure without medication. One is the National Institutes of Health ( Check out the DASH diet, which can be used to not only get sodium out of your system, but it can also be used to lose weight. DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” Trust me, I lowered my numbers to a normal level within weeks without sacrificing flavor.

Here are a few easy, tasty, and healthy recipes that have great flavor, look great on the plate, and help that heart:


Easy Fish Serves 2 but can be easily doubled or more for a dinner with friends!

Ingredients: 2 fish fillets (tilapia, snapper, or speckled trout) Low-fat butter/canola spread (or unsalted butter) Paprika White wine (use the white table or wine or Chardonnay that might accompany this dish) Preparation: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Line a glass baking dish (square or oblong depending on how many fillets) with foil. Rinse and pat dry fish fillets and place flat into baking dish. Dot fish with butter or spread. Pour wine liberally over fish. One cup to 1 ½ cups should work. The fish should have wine pooled around them. 5. Sprinkle fish with a few dashes of paprika. 6. Bake at 350 degrees until no longer translucent, about 15 minutes. 7. Remove fish from oven and turn temperature to “Broil”. When ready, broil fish quickly until just light brown marks begin to appear.

Serve with brown rice and spinach or with a light side salad dressed with lemony vinaigrette. Here’s a recipe from the “DASH Eating Plan” booklet mentioned above. It was surprising that a quasigovernmental agency actually has some great recipes! You can add and subtract easily to this recipe. Throw in some chopped carrots, garlic, and mushrooms. I try to follow the popular “Vegetarian Monday” movement and with pasta, rice, or spaghetti sauce…it’s a delicious sauce filled with all kinds of nutrients without salt. All the “saltiness” you need comes from the tomatoes.

Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce Serves 6, ¾ cup per serving

Ingredients: 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 small onions, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 ¼ cups zucchini, sliced 1 Tbsp. oregano, dried 1 Tbsp. basil, dried 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (continued)


1 6 oz. can of tomato paste (preferably both tomato sauce and past should be low-sodium) 2 medium tomatoes, chopped 1 cup of water or chicken broth Preparation: 1. In a medium skillet, heat oil. Sauté onions, garlic, and zucchini in oil for 5 minutes on medium heat. 2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Serve over pasta. Stores for about 3 days tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Many Boomers will remember the late Helen Corbitt. Here’s her famous chicken salad recipe still served today at the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus with my own healthy twist…Greek nonfat plain yogurt as opposed to mayonnaise and heavy cream. If you can’t see using the yogurt, here’s where you can use low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise since it’s a cold salad and these products won’t break down as they would in a hot casserole, for instance. Enjoy! Photo: Michael Kraus

Chicken Salad Supreme Serves 8

Ingredients: 2 ½ cups cold chicken, diced (reserve a little for garnish) 1 cup celery, chopped fine 1 cup green grapes, sliced ½ cup shredded and browned almonds 2 Tbsp. minced parsley (fresh if possible) 1 tsp. salt substitute 1.5 cups non-fat Greek yogurt or fat-free mayonnaise Preparation: 1. To brown almonds, place on a tin pie plate or on a cookie sheet and place in a 350-degree oven stirring occasionally until slightly browned. Let cool completely. 2. For the rest of the salad, combine all ingredients, except for the yogurt.


3. Add yogurt or mayonnaise by the spoonful until mixture reaches your desired consistency. Give yogurt a quick stir before adding. 4. Garnish with a little chicken or some chopped ripe olives. 5. Chill and serve on lettuce as an appetizer or meal with low-sodium crackers. It’s time for dessert! Fruit, of course, is a great choice. You don’t have to forgo flavor or the feel of decadence with the following. An optional bit of shaved dark chocolate or an accompanying one-ounce square provides yummy, key nutrients.

Pears With Raspberry Sauce Serves 2

Ingredients: 2 ripe pears (Comice, Bosc, or Anjou) ½ cup water 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice ½ tsp. ground ginger (fresh if possible) 1 cup fresh raspberries or one 10 oz. package of frozen berries, thawed Splenda to taste Slivered almonds Dark chocolate (optional) Preparation: 1. Peel the pears, leaving stems intact. Cut in half and hollow out the seeds. 2. Mix water, lemon juice and ginger. Brush pears with the mixture. Set aside. 3. For the sauce, press raspberries through a sieve. Place the puree into a saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened. 4. Add sugar to sweeten slightly. 5. Let sauce cool to lukewarm and spoon over pears. Garnish with the almonds. Serve with a chilled Sauterne. Dark chocolate can be decoratively grated over all or served whole (one ounce) on the dessert plate. Karol Wilson is a Dallas-based publicist and food-writer. Currently working on her first cookbook, Karol is a longtime member of the prestigious and worldwide organization, Les Dames d’Escoffier. Members are voted in for their experience in the food, wine, and hospitality industries. The Dallas Chapter raises significant funds for women interested in these fields and supports numerous nutrition-related programs throughout North Texas



Client Style Profile: Patrice* I met Patrice at a networking event in downtown Chicago and we hit it off immediately. Of Italian background, Patrice was absolutely striking. Tall, with a nice curvy bottom, her hair was cut in a current modern bob, and dyed jet black to bring out her clear blue crystal eyes. Patrice mentioned that her 50th birthday was coming up soon and was ready for a style change. She wanted to celebrate her 50th in style. We agreed to meet for a consultation, and Patrice and I were able to define her following style characteristics: Age group: 50 Body Type: Average Medium Triangle Lifestyle: Sales (Working Professional) Coloring: Deep/Clear Arena: Suburbanite Fashion Style: Classic Image: Natural/Boho


Below are 3 style ideas of how Patrice can put her style profile into use for her career, casual and evening wear.

* Client's name changed to protect client's identity.


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“About You” Is the Trend! By David Call

Whatever is out there in the 2013 brave new world of interiors has to dovetail with your personal style. My hope is to show you some home decor trends for this year that showcase sophistication and style of the very expensive designer collections, but which do not break your bank to enjoy their simplicity and multi-functionality. Well-made furniture and home accessories and art should reflect how you live and what you love. It must matter in your room designs and be lovingly collected to showcase the lifestyle that is “you”. Embrace what you are drawn to, what makes you “have to have” that piece, look or color, what fits with the way you live and make it your hot new trend for 2013. If you love color peruse the palette and select the tones that appeal to you and go for it!


Do you watch TV a lot? Then put it in the room where you want to watch it and not in the room it is “supposed” to go in. Live your life comfortably and in the style that makes you most happy. Don’t cook or entertain? Turn the eat-in kitchen area into a sunroom with minimal cooking options and make the dining room a reading or music room near the living room. Or turn it into a game room off the kitchen. Use your space in a manner that lets you truly enjoy life most effectively and in the manner that reflects who you are. Use your personality as your guide. For most of us, however, switching into Emerald Green, the color of the year, the bold reds, say, or the aubergine, purples and ever-popular greys touted as this year's hot flavours is still better utilized as accents throughout the home.


Even if it's all the rage, a purple suit with orange polka dots is not always the way to go! Consider design, quality and craftsmanship, as you do not want the furniture to go out of style too soon. You want it to be trendy but classic like a fine wine or piece of fabulous art. One outstanding piece of furniture can stand alone or build the room around it.


Organic shapes, 3 D wall designs, digital art and natural textures and finishes are prime movement this year. Avoid matchy-matchy in your home, but mix it up. Don't go with all white, for example; I suggest clashing fabrics and patterns - stripes and floral, sketches and geometrics. There is more and more gravitation to having your living space as the place where you can breathe deeply and be calmer away from the hustle and bustle of our high-tech world.

Approach design with a real freshness and just get on with doing it. That's a trend!

David Call is a Dallas based interior decorator,, and freelance writer who enjoys sharing tips with consumers.


Discover a Sailor’s Paradise By Peggy Schilling

The vacation of a lifetime awaits you in the alluring cluster of islands known as the BVIs. You can discover this calm respite from everyday life approximately 60 miles east of Puerto Rico. Just a 35-minute flight away, you can escape aboard a charter yacht to spend a carefree holiday in the incredible British Virgin Islands.

About 60 tropical islands, cays, islets and rock formations are conveniently scattered over 59 square miles of the bluest seas imaginable. From endless beachfront privacy to unique public attractions, the BVIs have it all. Known as “Natures Little Secrets”, all of the islands are volcanic formations except for the coral and limestone atoll of Anegada. Most of the BVIs have retained the natural beauty as only 16 are inhabited with a total population of less than 18,000. Despite the popularity of this area, you’ll never feel crowed or rushed—even in favorite public places. But if you’re in search for a true tranquil hideaway, just wander along

the white sandy beaches to find any number of hidden coves. The BVIs are rich in history. Spanish settlers exiled the original Indian inhabitants into slavery and then succumbed to disease and strenuous labor. Columbus named the islands for 11,000 beautiful virgins who perished at the hands of overzealous Huns while on an innocent pilgrimage. Originally under Spanish rule, the English, Dutch, French and Danish spent 200 years struggling for control of the area. Now the English-speaking BVIs are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom where upheaval has been replaced by relaxation. This leisure wonderland possesses an understated yet upscale appeal. Most of the green, unspoiled islands are favored by yachtsmen for their pristine beaches and appealing anchorages. With a 78-88 degree Fahrenheit year-round climate and balmy northeast trade winds, the BVIs are a modernday sailor’s paradise.


These islands are closely situated in a double line along the Sir Francis Drake Channel, named for the daring British adventurer who launched an island attack against the Spanish in 1595. Today boats sail leisurely between the islands set away from heavy seas. Some are less than a miles apart with the furthest one just a pleasant 15-mile sail away so you’re always in view of land. You’ll be captivated by the adventure of island hopping from one dream spot to another.

Next to sailing, the BVIs are famous for their spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. With an abundance of marine life, sponges and soft coral, you can take home amazing memories or breathtaking underwater photographs. Windsurfers, anglers and bird watchers flock to the BVIs to enjoy water sports and the many wonders of nature. When you want a break from seclusion, venture onto one of the developed islands. You’ll discover oldworld charm in village-like communities with quaint shops, enticing alfresco dining spots and beach bars alive with exotic island music. Indulge in the tremendous variety of cultural influences that make this group of islands such a unique vacation destination.

At the center of the BVIs is the capital of Tortola, the Spanish word for turtledove. The largest and most populated island is bordered by beautiful white sandy beaches fringed with palm trees as well as banana and mango groves. Inland you can experience delightful villages, old sugar mills and even a rum distillery. Spend half a day on foot or horseback at Sage Mountain National Park. Complete with its own rain forest, developed hiking trails guide you through huge elephant ears, hanging vines and white cedars, the BVIs national tree. The fragrant Botanic Gardens tantalize your senses. Meander through an orchid house, miniature rain forest, birdhouse, lush ferns, cactus garden, palm grove or more.

A 15-minute stroll down Road Town’s nostalgic Main Street leads you past enchanting pastelcolored duty-free shops and restaurants noted for local specialties. A few miles southwest of town you can take a horseback ride uphill to extraordinary scenic views and the ruins of an 18th century plantation. According to native lore, the second largest island was dubbed Virgin Gorda, the Fat Virgin, because of its huge rock formations resemble a


voluptuous woman reclining. It’s also the home to the Baths, one of Mother Nature’s most intriguing creations. Enjoy the romantic serenity of a quite bay or wind your way through countless caverns, passages and mazes made by the hap-hazard grouping of gigantic granite boulders. After a refreshing splash in the shimmering pools created wherever the seas rushes in, you’ll know how the Baths got its name.

When you dream of your idyllic getaway, chose the yacht charter capital of the Caribbean.

You’ll be guided through some of the most beautiful sailing waters in the world to visit the BVIs quiet anchorages, secluded bays and inviting beaches. Visitors quickly discover that the splendor of this tropical paradise lies in its delicate natural beauty and astounding display of fantastic marine life. Island scenery becomes more spectacular everywhere you look.

Take a 15-minute hike through boulders and tropical vegetation to Devil’s Bay. This secluded coral beach offers impressive views of Savannah Bay where snorkelers can observe an array of tropical fish flaunting their finery.

For another snorkeling adventure, test the waters at the Caves on Treasure Point. Natural caves are the playground for fish and coral. If you look carefully, perhaps you’ll find a Barracuda or two lurking in the distance.

The same coves and bays that intrigued explorers and pirates in days of old are now beckoning contemporary sailors seeking a calm refuge from the workaday world. An abundance of seas, sun, sand and surf are waiting just for you. So start planning your incredible voyage in the wonderful British Virgin Islands today. Peggy Emerton-Schilling is a co-founder and charter specialist at . Her goal is to share her extensive knowledge of the charter industry to help you discover and experience the wonderful advantages of taking a charter yacht vacation.






• • • • • •



Have You Aged Out of Your Church? By James Tucker It happened about 4 years ago but it only recently hit me. I was attending our annual church event celebrating the graduating high school seniors and my 4th and youngest child was among them. Caught in her moment, I was missing what was happening to me. My church is a family church and I had just aged out. The next 4 years I stayed active serving there, though at about year 3 the dawning of awareness broke. Reducing my commitments there, stepping back enabled me to better qualify and quantify multiple factors prompting the urge to change. Most of those were direct or indirect impacts of the organization’s design. I love the folks at the church dearly. This church, like many, is purposeful and effective in attracting and retaining families with minor children, and unintentionally omits others, including Boomers. Looking back, I’d even seen Boomers leave weeks after their own last child graduated high school. Honestly, I missed them immediately, I wished they would stay, and only understood superficially then what I now know intimately. And having invested so much in this church, I even positioned to be the change agent to meet needs of Boomers and older, and that process affirmed that it was just time to move on. Having been on the ‘counting team’ I couldn’t help notice most of the giving was from Boomers while resources (staff, programs, administration) were budgeted for families with minor children. While giving is pointedly not about getting something in return, a church should absolutely seek to meet the needs of people, and are uniquely positioned to do so in their own community and especially their attendees. Family churches risk failure in meeting needs of Boomers and older, as they are left to fend for themselves, and as Boomers may say they are cool with that, but are unknowingly placing themselves at jeopardy. Boomers are spiritually diverse, with record numbers dropping out of churches in the 1960’s-70’s, though roughly 1/3 continuing returning. Denomination is less important than congregation, and they


seek spirituality separate from religion. Some never really left church; I’m among them, after being in the same church 20 years, am led to seek change. Examples of needs of Boomers can include: 1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Support with extended dependent care which could mean a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a child. Support with finding a job up to and including providing a job for them. Certainly benevolence funds often help, but are band aids. Connectivity is the key. Staff directed program(s) to inspire involvement is critical. Without intimacy, needs won’t surface, so will not be met, creating multiple areas of risk, especially withdrawal and depression. Financial upheavals. Health upheavals. Loss of spouse through death or divorce. Adult children returning to the household.

If the church has no formal process to earn permission to step in and step up to boldly identify Boomer’s needs, the Boomer remains in need, possibly despair, and the church fails the Boomer and itself. Church size is not necessarily conditional to ability to meet these needs. So I look for a new church. Broadening my scope in looking for a church, getting out of my zone, I googled a map searching my Dallas area zip code for churches which thrilled me at first, until I found there weren’t enough Sundays in my life to visit them. Narrowing that scope became tedious. Criteria expanded then collapsed, then expanded again as the distance priority lowered. I did begin to eliminate churches whose websites telegraphed “we are a family church” and looked for evidence, if any, of dedicated resources for Boomers. But I didn’t automatically rule them out if the web site was not compelling. I specifically did not call the church in advance to alert them of my visit, or so that someone could look for me when I came, but wanted to show up cold. Sometimes there was warmth, other times I was the invisible man. In my visits I determined one main factor for a return visit: a follow up from a person from the church. I validated my criteria with a friend in the ministry who responded, “Don’t overthink it Tuck! If I could tell all Pastors only two things it would be 1. Don’t fornicate and 2. Follow up with visitors!” So regardless of their visitor form I would give them name, email, phone, and a prayer request. So far out of 14 visits, 3 responses include two lay leaders and one pastor. I don’t have a deadline to find a new church, nor have I closed the door to returning to my previous church where my wife has continued. Visiting has been fascinating, experiencing how others in my community worship, hearing speakers with great credentials preach sometimes brainy but irrelevant sermons and less educated speakers nail it, and everything inside and outside those parameters, the difference in music, the logistics of moving people through the building and motivating hearts and souls, it’s all been wonderful. And hopefully the place I visited yesterday, which was fabulous, will contact me, and if they do, I’ll go back, but if they don’t, well, it’s an awfully low bar. Maybe I’ll have to learn to limbo. James Tucker, Strategies,


Financially Fit By Eric S. Alexander When I was a kid I had a big appetite. I could and would eat anything. Six to seven pancakes on a Saturday morning . . . no problem and zero weight gain. A one pound hamburger and the fries to go with it . . . no problem and zero weight gain.

How does this apply to money and wealth? Simple. As we begin working on plans for retirement many of us start taking our wealth and giving it away to get rid of what we perceive as ‘drags’ on our money. (We cut out ‘financial foods’ that are bad for us) However, just like the issue with our physical metabolism, many times we cut expenses at the expense of the economic engine creating our cash flow. The classic example of this is taking a chunk of your nest egg and paying off your home. On the surface, getting rid of a financial burden that looks like a fried bacon sandwich covered in raspberry sauce; makes total sense. It’s a large monthly expense, you are paying interest and you have been told since birth that owning your own home is ‘safe’.

As you might have guessed, as I got older my ability to pack the food away without packing on the pounds became more and more difficult and I was forced to watch the input. Fruit instead of fries . . . Vegetables instead of vanilla shakes . . . the list goes on.

Let’s see if this is really a great idea or if you are hurting your financial engine.

The hardest part of this shift was giving up the things I loved most. My focus was eliminating what I perceived as a ‘drag’. (Foods that would pack on the pounds) But then I became introduced to a new way of looking at the problem. You see, the component that allowed me to stay thin as a child was not the volume of food, it was my metabolism. In essence, my ‘engine’ worked hard enough to consume whatever I ate. Once I understood that it was not only about eating right but also training my body in such a way to increase my metabolism, life became a lot more enjoyable!

First, are you safer having your home paid off, or safer having the money to pay off your home? We tend to look at the world as if our current situation will be static going forward. We forget the French proverb that says: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

WEALTHY & WISE | 37 If you take cash (your engine) and sink it into a home, the home is indeed yours; but now your liquidity is transformed into a pile of bricks. If your health was to change or you lost your job and had no other capital, you could be in trouble. Here is why. I know of very few banks lending money with no income and very few hospitals that accept bricks as a form of payment. While you could sell the home to get the funds, remember the lifestyle reason you have a home in the first place . . . it is nice living indoors! Second, are you better off getting rid of the interest payment? It is true you are paying interest to a bank for the privilege of using their money. But what if that was not a bad thing? First of all, remember your mortgage remains constant over time. Meaning your mortgage in year one and year 29 are identical. What does not remain constant however, is the value of that mortgage. With inflation, the spending power of your dollar reduces every year. So when you are tempted to take your engine and transfer it away to pay off a home, remember you are transferring dollars at their peak of power for an asset that is illiquid. Second, remember the moment you transfer your engine to pay off the home, you have limited the engine’s power. In other words, you have given up all the potential growth on that

money. In order for you to have this ‘investment’ in your home pay off; you need to sell and sell it for more than you could have earned in your account. (Don’t forget you still need a place to live) This is one small example of the mistakes we typically make in the name of becoming financially fit. We make the mistake of focusing solely on eliminating expenses rather than maintaining and building a strong engine. The real goal is to do both. Focus first on building the strongest financial engine possible. Good cash flow solves a lot of problems. Second, focus on how to get rid of expenses dragging you down. If you get in a situation and you are not sure which direction to take, remember your car. When you take gas out of the tank and fail to maintain the engine, you limit the distance you can travel. When you keep the system humming, your chances of making it to your destination increase dramatically.

Eric S. Alexander is employed with Personal Economics Group and enjoys freelance writing on financial issues.Registered Representative of and securities offered through OneAmerica Securities, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC a Registered Investment Advisor, Insurance Representative of American United Life Insurance Company® (AUL) and other insurance companies. Personal Economics Group is not an affiliate of OneAmerica Securities or AUL and is not a broker dealer or a registered investment advisor.


Do Ya, Do Ya, Do Ya Wanna Dance? By DeeDee Lowder


A most exciting time in music was the 1950s and ‘60s. From its beginnings rock and roll has been associated with dancing and styles were growing and changing quickly from rock through the British invasion and into the hippie era. Television shows like "American Bandstand" taught young people the latest moves and new dance fads spread quickly. People went from dancing as couples in the 50s to solo in the 60s. Based on the jitterbug and swing moves of the 40s big band era, swing dancing was a hot trend in the 50s and steps got quite fancy and acrobatic with girls flipping over guys shoulders and sliding them through their legs. The basic swing step was not as intricate, consisting of holding hands, rocking side to side and stepping out. Another fast paced dance was the Bop, where though like the swing the partners did not touch but mirrored each other’s movements. The dancers tapped their toes and heels with each step. Even though the song, The Twist, was not released and brought to fame by Chubby Checker until 1960, the twist had gained great momentum as a dance craze in the 50s and took its name from the swiveling, twisting motion of the dancer’s hips as they pivoted on the balls of their feet.


Baby boomers, as teens in the 50s, began making adjustments to dances of previous decades to suit the new pop rhythms of their rock and roll music. Television broadcasts helped mainstream new dances like the jitterbug, the Lindy Hop and the Bop. A tap step replaced the initial steps of the swing which allowed dancers to align better with the back beat of the rock and roll music rhythms. Other popular styles included the Bunny hop, the Boogie-Woogie, the Hand Jive, the Madison, the Stroll and the Hully-Gully.


And boomers enjoyed romantic slow dances to the many beautiful ballads of the 50s and 60s with couples holding closely to each other and moving in a box step. Sometimes they moved around the dance floor and others they stayed in one small spot. Latin influence caught on with the Cha-Cha and the Tango which were adventurous and exotic with spins and dips. Dance crazes come and go, but the swing and jive have endured the tests of time. In fact, I bet many of you reading this are remembering those fabulous nights on the dance floor and the fun you had dancing the night away! There were those styles that were the “it� ones at school proms, homecoming dances and anywhere a band could play a tune. At the launch party of Boomer Buzz Magazine, they hosted the Dallas Swing Dancers and the The HepCats which are two dance groups in the Dallas area who are dedicated to the preservation and education of the public in the Swing dancing of the early 20th century. What a blast! Now is the time to kick back the rug, find an oldie goldie on itunes and have yourself a grand ole time at your own sock hop!


Happy Anniversary By Beverly F. Jones WOW! I can hardly believe that we are celebrating the first anniversary of It has been a great year of progress and discovery for all of us. Thank you to our readers for helping to make the magazine a success. When looking back over the previous year, I found my favorite article was about marriages over 40 years. During the research, I met some amazing couples. Recently Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a Christian marriage enrichment group based in San Bernardino, California named a Connecticut couple, "the longest married couple in the U.S.A." They are John (101 years young) and Ann Betar (97 years young). The couple eloped in November of 1932. They said their marriage of 80 years has been based on two things: compromise and don't hold a grudge.

want to change that just a little bit and recommend arranging and scheduling time to spend together on a regular basis.

"If we examine well the diverse effect of boredom, we shall find that it causes us to neglect more duties than does interest." - La Rochefoucauld, Maxims (1665) Maintaining relationships requires a forgiving spirit, patience and a sense of humor. Allotting time for your relationship and romance is also important. Some relationship experts recommend a regular date night. I

Most couples over 50 are empty nesters or their children are almost adults therefore the distraction of child rearing has passed. Give yourselves permission to have fun with each other. Plan to spend special days together or set aside time during the weekend. If you are close enough, make it a weekly date to meet for lunch. Plan and execute. If you must, give yourself a reason to have this time together or act like the plan is for a special occasion or create an anniversary celebration. I met a couple who celebrated their 4568th daily anniversary.


Make your time together special. It makes for fantastic memories.

questions were not the kind that would bring about a smooth conversation.

Conversation Beverly, I never know what to talk about on a date. What should I do? - Mary “Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.” ― Marque d Sade

I was watching a sitcom where the main character is single and hadn't been on a date in almost 6 years. That evening she was meeting a gentleman for dinner and she was scared because she didn't know if she could carry on a conversation, so she wrote up a set of note cards with questions. The problem was that the

It is a good idea to think of topics for conversation, however make them rather generic. Talk about hobbies, travel, your date's likes and dislikes, and their views on social issues. You can slowly lead the conversation to things that are on your deal breaker list to see what direction their opinion goes. Your conversation is designed to allow you both to get to know each other, so you can make a decision as to whether you will continue to meeting.

Stay relaxed and let the conversation flow naturally and have fun. Beverly F. Jones is an author & freelance writer. Send your relationship questions to


YOU CAN PLAY TOMORROW! By Christopher Cyriaque The days were never really that long, but sometimes they seemed to go on forever. Those were the lazy, hazy days when we would play stick ball until the streetlights would come on. As it grew dusky, the fireflies glowed and the crickets gathered under the misty silver glow of the lampposts, we played on until we heard those familiar words hurled at us from our Mother, “Carlus and Chris, it’s time to come in.” Aw! We hesitantly dragged ourselves onto the porch and into the house with nagging pleas of “Can’t we stay out a little bit longer? Please, just a little more time to play?” But Mom was always ready and armed for our nagging with “You can play tomorrow.” That old canned answer did not melt away our reluctance, but we would eventually concede and that pat comment was accepted for the time being. As we would march into the house and get cleaned up for dinner, I remember the spicy aroma of the spaghetti, which was seemingly, always on the stove.

We would sit at the table, with legs swinging and jumping around beneath it, having small talk with Mom about her day because as kids we really never had news or a bad day to discuss. While we ate, she would share how her day went which included the ups and downs at work making and the conversation a release point for her. She would always smile when we finished as if every meal we shared was the highlight of her entire life. These were those times for her that meant the most. Then we would finish up, clear the table and clean the dishes. It was our youthful routine. I now know the reason for being called in from play. I now know the importance of those small conversations and understand the influence of those ‘around the dinner table’ family times. As that is what they really were…time for family. As we grow older and become parents, there are always reflections of that time, remembrances of those moments and conversations that we needed and we realize there is always TIME TO PLAY TOMORROW. Chris Cyriaque is an English Literature Professor and freelance writer.


F ROM 3906 SUNDAY, APRIL 8, 2012

easter, circa 1956 ADORABLE!


My name is Becca. I live in Dallas but I left my heart in Florence, Italy. I'd like to thank you for reading.


Blowin’ in the Wind: Change and Choices in Health Care By Cynthia Stock Over the years I have watched health care shift from an illness driven system to one driven by the quest for and maintenance of wellness. Much is owed THE group, “baby boomers,” people who want to live life as well as they can for as long as they can. In 1976, I first trained to care for patients after “open heart” surgery either coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs) or valve replacement. The surgeries often lasted half a day and required the patient be placed on cardiopulmonary bypass. This enabled the surgeon to stop the heart without harming the patient. The bypass machine, also known as the heart-lung machine, took over the function of those organs. This was not without risk as thinning the blood and largevolume fluid therapy were critical to proper management. The patients returned from the operating room bloated, moon-faced caricatures of themselves thanks to fluid shifts occurring from time on the heart-lung machine. I learned to prepare families for the changed appearance and to reassure them that in a few days, they would start to recognize their family member. In addition, some patients experienced changes in their cognitive function after cardio-pulmonary bypass, a syndrome known as “pump head.” The patients remained on the breathing machine at least overnight,

and sometimes took several days to wean from the ventilator. Rarely did I see a patient over 65. I moved to a large metroplex in1979 and enjoyed the advances in technology and practice that changed cardiac interventions again and again over the decades. Thoracic surgeons explored better safer ways of performing heart surgery in order to shorten length of stays and quickly return the patient to the activities he or she enjoyed before surgery. Surgeons learned to work on beating hearts, which did away with the need for the heartlung machine. In 1995 10% of CABGs were performed “offpump.” By 2005 the number reached 50%.

Change continued: better cardiac drugs, better anesthesia, a growing sophistication in the practice of both critical care medicine and nursing. When I started working with heart patients, a 55 year old man might have chest pain and end up a surgical candidate. Today, given the same symptoms, he is rushed to a cardiac cath lab for a percutaneous intervention like stent placement and may be sent home in twenty-four hours. The rate of change felt exponential to someone who experienced it. While keeping up with the

MEDICAL MATTERS | 49 new technology, I failed to notice the aging process of the patient population with which I worked. All of a sudden I went from taking care of patients older than I was to being the 61 year old caring for my own age group, as well as many octogenarians. New techniques offered new opportunities to a group previously limited by age and the complex health problems associated with maturity.

untreated may develop heart failure. The symptoms become worse accompanied by swelling of the feet and ankles.

Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement is one of these.

In the mature age group, treatment choice is affected by baseline general health. Age, previous chest surgery involving the breast bone, previous radiation to the chest, calcification of the aorta, generalized debility, chronic lung disease, chronic renal disease, peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or cerebral vascular disease all influence the risks associated with any treatment choice. Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve which decreases the outflow of blood from the heart into the aorta. It has a variety of causes including rheumatic fever and congenital bicuspid aortic valve. In those 65 and older, aortic valve calcification is one of the common causes of stenosis. Symptoms range from mild to severe and include chest pain or tightness, feeling faint, shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations. Some people have no symptoms, but a murmur may be heard during a routine physical. Those with symptoms and who go

Minimally invasive valve replacement appeals to patients considered high risk because it doesn’t require surgery on the breast bone. In addition, it is performed on a beating heart, so the patient does not need to be placed on the heart-lung machine. The transcatheter aortic valve replacement (seen as TAVR or TAVI in the literature) offers aortic valve replacement to a high risk population. Through an incision in the artery (femoral) in the groin, a tube passes up the


aorta and crosses through the native aortic valve. The replacement valve is folded on a frame or stent. Once in position, the valve is opened and is held in place by the frame. There are no sutures.

bed within hours after surgery. Cardiac rehabilitation starts the next day. Pain management quickly transitions from IV to oral medication. And nutrition, if compromised, is assessed by a registered clinical dietitian.

In some cases, if the artery for access is small, calcified, or tortuous, a trans-apical approach may be used. A small incision below the left breast is the access site. The new valve is positioned, via a catheter or tube, across the native valve and opened. A small drain is left in place following this procedure.

When I think of the changes in health care since my graduation from nursing school in 1973, it humbles and excites me. In critical care alone, I have witnessed that which I never imagined. I have lived through an epidemic with the discovery of a lethal disease that now is treated like a chronic illness. Old drugs have become obsolete. Minimally invasive surgery has replaced traditional open procedures. I think of Bones’ hand held scanner on Star Trek and wonder if such a tool is not within our reach. I hope I’ll be around to see it.

After surgery the benefits of minimally invasive valve replacement continue. Mobilization and strengthening, pain control, and nutrition are aggressively managed. Patients may be out of

Cynthia Stock is a registered Nurse and freelance writer.


What Did You Say? By Naikai Butler, Au.D., FAAA Most cases of hearing loss develop gradually so the symptoms are often difficult to recognize. If you want to get an impression of how good your hearing is, you can evaluate it easily and then determine if a visit to a doctor is warranted. There are many different causes of hearing loss. It can be caused by home or work-related factors, it can be hereditary, or it can just be a part of the aging process. The number one cause of hearing loss is excessive noise and hearing loss associated with aging is a close second. Decreased hearing gradually begins around age 20, and continues to decline to a significant loss around 40 years of age. At age 65 and older, one in three people has some type of hearing loss. The type of hearing loss depends upon where in the ear the problem occurs and there are three main types of loss: conducive, sensorineural, and mixed losses. Conductive: A problem in the outer or middle ear causes conducive hearing loss that prevents sound from reaching the nerves in the inner ear. Common causes include: • • • • •

Fluid in the middle ear from colds, allergies, poor eustachian tube function, ear infection, perforated eardrum, benign tumors Impacted earwax Infection in the ear canal Presence of a foreign body Absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear


Sensorineural: Damaged nerves in the inner ear cause sensorineural hearing loss which cannot be reduced or eliminated by surgery. There are many causes, differing by age of onset.

• • • • •

Before or During Birth: Perinatal infections such as rubella, herpes, toxoplasmosis, syphilis, cytomegalovirus (CMV) Heredity Asphyxia or lack of oxygen at birth. Possible association with birth weight of less than 1500 grams. Possible association with defects of the head and neck Later Onset:

Bacterial meningitis

Ototoxicity (drug induced)

Intense or excessive noise

Physical damage to head or ear

Mixed: Sometimes, people will have problems both in the inner ear and in the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing loss is known as a mixed loss. Signs of Hearing Loss If you experience some of the following signs of hearing impairment, you should contact your family doctor or hearing health care professional and have your hearing tested: Muffling of speech and other sounds Difficulty understanding words, especially in the presence of background noise or in a crowd of people Frequently asking others to speak slowly or clearly Difficulty understanding children’s voices Frequently asking others to repeat themselves Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio Difficulties in hearing the doorbell or the telephone ringing You no longer hear your watch ticking, water running or birds singing Withdrawal from conversations Avoidance of some social settings Family, colleagues and friends say that you might be suffering from hearing loss

Dr. Naikai Butler brings her technical expertise and her passion for helping people hear better to the Dallas Ft. Worth community. It is important to her to educate people on protecting their hearing.


How to Talk to Aging Parents about Elder Care- Part III Don’t Argue or Fight. By Claire Maestri

As I mentioned in my previous articles, (January/February 2013) start this discussion sooner rather than later. Once you open the door, you can walk through it over and over. Read up a bit on the subject. Give me a call if you need to chat it out. But, understand that you will never “feel” fully ready to discuss this matter. The important thing is to get the issue out on the table now and understand what your loved one’s wishes are before you have to make life altering decisions under the stress and strain of an emergent situation. Now, to the topic for today: Fighting. We all have our own, shall we say “special” family dynamics. But, it is common, as I have said before to have relational problems with your senior loved ones when this


issue comes up. Many times this discussion can be flat out “heated.” Here are a couple of ideas to help you prevent that outcome. 1. Address the situation with humor if at all possible. The simple fact is that none of us get out of here alive! Many seniors find that humor is the only way to cope with aging issues. This is true in life. We have to be able to laugh and just “roll with the punches.” When you feel a comfortable, lighthearted mood is in play, just bring it up and tell Mom or Dad that you are ready to help them “laugh” their way through these issues. 2. Think carefully about your timing. Don’t bring this issue up in the middle of a family holiday where the stress is sometimes high anyway. Monday morning is probably not a good idea, either. Friday evening on the back porch might be a time when you are all relaxed. Maybe you can plant some seeds at that time about discussing it the following week over coffee. This allows for some “prep” time if necessary. 3. Finally, be tuned in to the feedback you are receiving. Your Grandpa may not say much but if he moves around in an agitated manner, you might take it as a sign that you need to back off a bit and rethink your approach. Pay attention to the non-verbal cues. When you feel the discussion moving in a negative direction, stop and revisit the issue at another time. Aging is a natural process of life. It begins the moment we are born. Strangely enough, most of us live under the illusion that we and our loved ones will never become old. When old age arrives, we are often unprepared. The natural order becomes reversed. The young help to care for the old. Those who need to be taken care of for the first time have a hard time accepting that they need help. This condition is a product of our culture that does everything it can to conceal the loss of youth. Confronting this reality is the beginning of a healthy relationship to life, aging and death.

Claire Maestri is a freelance writer of senior topics and an expert in helping families find quality senior care options. She lives with her family in Dallas, TX


How to Talk to Aging Parents about Elder Care- Part IV Don’t Take it Personally! By Claire Maestri Decisions about care options are not easy for anyone. You may get a lot of “pushback” from your senior loved one when you first start down this path. The key is not to take it personally. Roll with the punches. Remember, it is not about you! The most important thing you can do during your first discussions about aging is show respect for your Mom or Dad’s opinions on the matter and any decisions they have made. They have their reasons. Understand that everyone’s view of aging comes from a plethora of life experiences. Those life experiences have led them to their own reasoning on the matter. As the adult child of a senior, you are going to have to work to see it from their perspective. But they need you to “stand in their shoes” prior to relinquishing some authority or control to you. Once they see that respect in action, they will be more inclined to let you take the lead. I recently cared for a man who was receiving end of live hospice care. Contrary to his wishes of dying in a Skilled Nursing Facility, his wife and children wanted him to go home. Observing the family as they struggled with this disagreement was “gut wrenching.” One thing I noticed was that no family member had inquired with the gentleman as to “why” he did not want to go home. When I spoke with him, he shared that he knew he would die soon. His wife wanted him to die in the comfort of his home, but he didn’t want her to live in the place where he died. Once this issue came to the forefront, everyone was able to look at the situation from the other’s prospective allowing for this gentleman to have a peaceful death. So, in a nutshell, respect your parents’ and their wishes. Work hard to see life from their perspective. Your efforts will become obvious and they should readily accept your help in making these tough choices. Claire Maestri is a freelance writer of senior topics and an expert in helping families find quality senior care options. She lives with her family in Dallas, TX.

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Profile for BoomerBuzz Magazine

2013 March | April / Boomer Buzz Magazine  

Boomer Buzz Magazine ( is designed to be the leading source of information for today's baby boomers, the generation o...

2013 March | April / Boomer Buzz Magazine  

Boomer Buzz Magazine ( is designed to be the leading source of information for today's baby boomers, the generation o...