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Center on Budget and Policy Priorities By Paul N. Van de Water

Chained CPI Makes Sense Only Under Certain Conditions We’ve long said that the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) for cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and other retirement programs could be a reasonable part of a comprehensive deficitreduction package — but only under certain conditions. In the absence of those conditions, the President’s decision not to include the chained CPI in his fiscal year 2015 budget is a sound one. Many economists believe the official CPI overstates inflation and view the chained CPI as a more accurate measure of overall inflation (although not of inflation faced by the elderly). On average, the chained CPI grows about 0.25 to 0.3 percentage points more slowly than the official CPI. Using the chained CPI to index Social Security and other programs would mean that benefits would be a bit lower than under current law. The proposal in the President’s fiscal year 2014 budget would have reduced benefits for future Social Security beneficiaries by an average of 1 to 2 percent over the course of their retirement. Since Social Security benefits are modest, and since most beneficiaries have little other income, no one should propose a cut in benefits casually. We’ve said time and again that the chained CPI is worth considering only if two crucial conditions are met: • First, measures to protect the Paul N. Van de Water

very old and low-income people must be an essential part of the chained CPI; the Administration included these features in last year’s proposal. • Second, even with such protections, the chained CPI must be part of a larger budget package that shrinks long-term deficits significantly and does so in a fair and balanced manner by including measures that raise significant revenue in a progressive manner. This second condition remains well out of reach. That’s why CBPP President Robert Greenstein stated when the President’s budget was released last year, “Politically speaking, I had thought the White House should not put these concessions [including the chained CPI] in the budget, as distinguished from offering them in negotiations if and when Republicans agreed to dedicate substantial savings from curbing tax credits, deductions, and other preferences (known as ‘tax expenditures’) to deficit reduction.” Greenstein also predicted, “I am concerned that Republican leaders will adopt the cynical approach of labeling the chained CPI an ‘Obama proposal’ they are willing to accept but only as part of a package that raises little or no revenue and, thus, does not force them to make any sizeable compromises of their own.” Such an approach would fail to share sacrifices in an equitable manner.

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2014 Contents

page 3 - Chained CPI page 4 - Opinion: Tax Day page 5 -Opinion: Preserving Social Security for Years page 5 - 1.9% Cut in Medicare Advantage Payment page 6 -Prestige Brings Memory Care to Carson City page 6 -Physician Compare page 15 -Patients’ Right to Access Lab Test Reports page 20 -MorningStar

Every Issue

page page page page page page page page page

24 25 26 28 29 31 33 35 36

-

Calendar Eclectic Observer Biggest Little City Tinseltown Talks Crossword Resources this ‘n that Eydie’s Excerpts Seniors4Travel

Health

page 10 - CMS: How to Sign Up for Medicare David Sayen, Region 9 page 12 - Medical Tourism Dr. Lawrence J. Weiss, Ph.D., Center for Healthy Aging page 14 - Ophthalmology: Dr. Michael Fischer, M.D. page 15 - Not Uncommon Anymore - Dr. Steven Rubin page 16 - AARP: Driver Exercises Improve Wellness page 18 - Caregiving Made Easier: Music

Financial

page 7 - Pain-Free Season Bradley B. Anderson Anderson, Dorn, Rader Ltd.

Senior Spectrum Newspaper P.O. Box 7124 • Reno, NV 89510

(775) 348-0717

e-mai l : S eni orspectrumnv@aol . com S eni orspectrumnewspaper. com

Publishers: Chris & Connie McMullen Senior Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain. Publication of advertising contained does not constitute endorsement. Signed columns are the opinion of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publishers. Copyrighted publication. All rights reserved. March • 2014 • 3


Opinion

Tax Day is Right Around the Corner

U.S. Senator Dean Heller

One of most important guiding principles for government is

4 • 2014 • March

that it must not over-burden the taxpayer. That principle guides my own actions as a member of the U.S. Senate, and with April 15th quickly approaching, the less burden the better.

With just about a month to go, I wanted to make sure that all Nevadans were aware of a great service to help reduce the trouble of filing taxes. The service is called IRS Free File and allows every taxpayer with a 2013 Adjusted Gross Income of $58,000 or less to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal tax returns at no cost. By offering the public a choice of the best commercial tax software available, and ensuring the most vulnerable taxpayers get the help they need to claim a maximum refund, IRS Free File empowers taxpayers to take control of their finances.

IRS Free File makes good fiscal sense, something we can always use more of in Washington, D.C., and is a great example of how government and the private sector can work together to help more people. I encourage you to take advantage of the free tax preparation services this year. For more information, or to see if you qualify, please visit www.IRS.gov/freefile. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any of my offices. Elko (775) 738-2001, Reno (775) 686-5770, Las Vegas (702) 388-6605, Washington, D.C. (202) 2246244


Preserving Social Security U.S. Sen. Harry Reid for Years to Come

Administration Proposes 1.9% Cut in Medicare Advantage Payments

In the United States today, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is being squeezed Sen. Harry Reid out of existence. Given the tightening economic pressures on all but the very wealthy, it is critical that Congress maintain our commitment to Social Security, and reject Republican proposals to cut benefits. For years, opponents of Social Security have tried to create the impression that Social Security is in crisis, and about to go bankrupt. This simply is not true. Although the program does face long-term challenges that must be addressed, even in the unlikely event that Congress takes no action the program still would be able

Medicare Advantage plans could see payment reductions of 1.9 percent next year under proposed rates announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS said its preliminary estimate is "the combined effect of the Medicare Advantage growth percentage and the fee-for-service growth percentage." Insurers, who are against payment reductions, have said the combination of the health law’s lower payment rates, new fees on health plans and other factors, including automatic federal spending cuts known as "sequestration," mean that Medicare Advantage plans will see their Medicare payment rates drop by 6 percent – or even more -- in 2015. In a statement, America's Health Insurance Plans President and CEO Karen Ignagni said, "The new proposed Medicare Advantage cuts would cause seniors in the program to lose benefits and choices on which they depend."

Opinion

to pay every penny of promised benefits for almost 20 years. Opponents of Social Security often suggest that the program is just another welfare entitlement. That also is not true. Seniors earn their Social Security benefits by working hard, contributing to their communities, and contributing to the system. Social Security is not welfare, and its benefits are not lavish -- they average only about $1300 per month. For all these reasons, I oppose cuts to Social Security and was very pleased when, earlier this month, President Obama announced that his forthcoming budget will reject Republican calls to reduce cost-of-living adjustments. This is good news not only for today's seniors, but for younger Americans who will benefit from Social Security in the future.

March • 2014 • 5


Prestige to bring comprehensive memory care and senior care to the Carson Tahoe Health System CARSON CITY -Prestige Care, Inc., and Prestige Senior Living L.L.C. are joining Carson Tahoe Health to expand quality senior care services and offer comprehensive memory care to Carson City residents and their families. As a first step, the organizations will develop a community with 40 units for memory care services on the Carson Tahoe Specialty Medical Center campus. Construction will begin in 2014. Together, Prestige

and Carson Tahoe will offer an expanding continuum of care that focuses on enriching seniors' lives with compassionate and highquality care. The new memory care unit will offer Prestige's awardwinning memory care program, Expressions, along with Carson Tahoe's clinical expertise to give residents the best care continuum possible. Prestige's Expressions memory care program is a lifeaffirming, activity-rich residential program for

individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia who seek communitybased care to help alleviate the effects of the disease for themselves and their families. The program's person-centered approach to care, based on knowing each person's life story, combined with integrated and individualized programming and experiences for each resident, earned Prestige the 2012 Innovators Award from the International Council on Active Aging.

Physician Compare Provides Information to Find a Doctor

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services say quality measures have been added to Physician Compare, a website that helps consumers search for information about physicians and other health care professionals. The site also enables consumers make informed choices about their care. In the first year, 66 group practices and 141 Accountable Care Organizations now have quality data publicly reported on Physician Compare. The quality measures being added include: • Controlling blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. • Controlling blood pressure in patients with diabetes.

• Prescribing aspirin to patients with diabetes and heart disease. • Patients with diabetes who do not use tobacco. • Prescribing medicine to improve the pumping action of the heart in patients who have both heart disease and certain other conditions. The provider ratings are displayed using stars, which are a graphical representation of performance on a measure. The actual percentage score is also listed to the right of the star display. CMS chose this system to make the information more usable and easy to scan for consumers. Physician Compare is available at http://www.medicare.gov/ph ysiciancompare.


Four Tips for a Pain-Free Season Brought to you by Bradley B. Anderson Anderson, Dorn, & Rader, Ltd. New Year’s Day has come and gone, and April 15th looms in the not-too-distant future. While it’s true that many of the big tax planning decisions – like deferring income or bunching deductions – should be made before December 31st, there is still plenty you can do to save money and hassles this tax season. Here are a few simple suggestions: 1. Get Organized. Don’t wait until April to begin gathering the information you’ll need to file your tax return. Starting in January,

The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys www.probatebusters.com • blog.wealth-counselors.com

retain all the tax paperwork you receive, including: • W-2’s • 1099’s • Mortgage and student loan interest statements • All other tax-related information If you haven’t already, begin gathering and sorting last year’s receipts. This will put you in the best position to be aware of all the deductions available to you. It will also prepare you to substantiate all the deductions you claim, just in case you’re one of the lucky taxpayers chosen for

an audit. 2. Fund Your IRA. If you didn’t make the maximum contribution to your IRA before December 31st, you have until April 15th to do so and take advantage of the tax savings. Your contribution is only deductible if you have a traditional IRA, and the current rules are as follows: The maximum annual contribution is $5,500 if you are under age 50 ($6,500 if you are 50 or older). In order to qualify for a traditional IRA, you must be ineligible to par-

ticipate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or you must meet certain income requirements. If you are single, your adjusted gross income cannot exceed $59,000. If you are married filing jointly, it cannot exceed $95,000. 3. Pay Attention to Deadlines. You know the deadline for filing your tax return is April 15th, but what happens if you need an extension? You can file Form 4868 to extend your filing deadline to October 15th, (Pain-Free Season page 8)

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8 • 2014 • March

Pain-Free / page 7 but be careful – the form only gives you breathing room when it comes to filling out your tax return. You’re still required to estimate your tax bill and pay the IRS by April 15th. Failure to pay on time can result in a penalty.

cable to children under 17. A pain-free tax season starts with planning and organization. Take your time, know the rules, make smart choices, and you’ll save yourself both money and stress as April 15th approaches.

4. Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s. Before you submit your return, make sure you’ve signed it – and take a second look at all the Social Security numbers you’ve entered, paying special attention to your dependents’ numbers. Failure to include this information for your children can be an expensive oversight – without Social Security numbers, the IRS will not allow the $3,900-perdependent personal exemption, nor will it grant you the $1,000 child tax credit appli-

About Our Law Firm The Law Firm of Anderson, Dorn & Rader is devoted exclusively to estate planning. We are members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and offer guidance and advice to our clients in every area of estate planning. We offer comprehensive and personalized estate planning consultations. For more information or attend an upcoming seminar, please contact us at (775) 823-9455 or visit us online at www.wealth-counselors.


March • 2014 • 9


How to Sign Up for Medicare David Sayen Regional Administrator, Medicare Region 9

David Sayen

F

So you’re turning 65. Congratulations! It’s time to start taking advantage of your Medicare benefits. And just how do you do that?

irst, here’s a quick overview of the benefits:

Medicare has four parts, A through D. Part A pays for hospitalization, and most eligible people don’t have to pay premiums for it. Part B covers doctor fees, outpatient care, home health care, and preventive screenings for cancer, glaucoma, diabetes, and other diseases. Part B has a monthly premium, which for most beneficiaries is $104.90 this year.

10 • 2014 • March

Part C is Medicare managed care, and Part D is prescription drug coverage. If you already get benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you’ll automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. (If your birthday is on the first day of the month, Part A and Part B will start the first day of the prior month.) You’ll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in

the mail three months before your 65th birthday. If you don’t want Part B, follow the instructions that come with the card, and send the card back. If you keep the card, you’ll keep Part B and pay Part B premiums. If you aren’t getting Social Security or RRB benefits (because, for instance, you’re still working), you need to sign up for Part A and Part B. It’s easy to do. You can sign up by calling Social Security at 1-800-

772-1213. If you’re 65 or older, you can also apply online for Part A (if you don’t have to pay premiums) and Part B at www.socialsecurity.gov/ retirement. The whole process can take less than 10 minutes. You can sign up when you’re first eligible for Part B. If you’re eligible for Part B when you turn 65, you have a seven-month window that begins three months before the month


Medicare / page 10

you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65. Sign up early! That way you’ll avoid any delay in getting your benefits. If you sign up during the first three months of your Initial Enrollment Period, in most cases your coverage starts the first day of your birth month. (If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage starts on the first day of the prior month.) If you wait until the last four months of the Initial Enrollment Period, your start date for coverage may be delayed as long as three months. You may also face a penalty in the form of a higher Part B premium. If you didn’t enroll in Part A and/or Part B when you were first eligible because you were employed and covered under a group health plan based on that employment, you have a Special Enrollment Period. That means you can sign up any time while you or your spouse are working

and you have employer or union group coverage. Or you can enroll during the eight-month period that begins after your employment ends or your group health coverage ends, whichever happens first.

Healthcare Network is located at 4001 S. Virginia Street, Ste. F, Reno, NV. David Sayen is Medicare’s

regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories.

Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during a Special Enrollment Period. But here’s an important caveat: If you have COBRA coverage or a retiree health plan, you don’t have coverage based on current employment. You’re not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period when that coverage ends. For more information about enrolling in Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov/Medicar eEligibility. You can also get free, personalized counseling about Medicare from your state Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). To get the phone number for your local SHIP, call 1800-MEDICARE (1-800633-4227). If you live in Nevada, you can contact a SHIP provider at 800-3074444 or by calling Access to Healthcare Network at 775284-8989. Access to

March • 2014 • 11


Adding Life to Years

Medical Tourism: Boomers Without Boarders Dr. Larry Weiss • Center for Healthy Aging

I

had the pleasure of attending the World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Larry Weiss Congress in Las Vegas put on by the Medical Tourism Association. It literally opened my eyes to a world of health and medical care that needs to be exposed. This article will begin to define it and explore its popularity, advantages and disadvantages, and its future. No doubt I will continue to explore medical tourism in the future. Medical tourism refers to traveling across international borders in order to get health care or medical procedures. It is also called medical travel or health tourism and wellness tourism. The most common medical treatment or procedures involved are elective procedures and complicated specialized surgeries like joint replacement, heart surgery, dental surgery, bariatric surgery or weight reduction surgery, cancer treatments, and historically, cosmetic sur-

12 • 2014 • March

geries. A specialized set of medical tourism is reproductive procedures, such as in-vitro fertilization, surrogate pregnancy as well as other assisted reproductive technology treatments. Wellness or spa focused treatments for tourists have been around for centuries. How extensive or popular is medical tourism? Estimates and forecasts vary widely among various researchers. These differences arise from inconsistencies in defining medical travel and a lack of verifiable data at the country level. Patients Beyond Borders' editors in their definition of a medical traveler do not count in-country expatriates, tourists in need of emergency medical care, companions accompanying medical travelers, or multiple patient episodes that occur over the course of one trip. With those variables in mind, they believe the market size is $24-40 billion, based on approximately eight million crossborder patients worldwide spending an average of $3,000-5,000 per visit, including

all medically-related costs, cross-border and local transport, inpatient stay and accommodations. They have estimated that 900,000 Americans have traveled outside the U.S. for medical care during 2013. Since the world population is aging and the boomers are more world traveled and internet literate, they are becoming more receptive to global medical care. This exposure, plus out-of-pocket medical costs of critical and elective procedures continuing to rise influence the growth of medical tourism. In addition, nations offering universal health care are faced with everincreasing resource burdens. These drivers are forcing patients to pursue cross-border health care options either to save money or to avoid long waits for treatment. It has been estimated the worldwide medical tourism market is growing at a rate of 1525 percent, with rates highest in North, Southeast and South Asia. Medical tourism is no longer a novelty but a global trend. This is because of its


numerous advantages and benefits. The major benefit of medical tourism is its affordable cost. There are many procedures that when done in one’s own country can cost higher than in other countries. Savings range from 25 to 90 percent depending upon the country and procedure. For example, a coronary bypass may cost almost $80,000 in the United States but only over $10,000 in India. Most of the time, the cost of the procedure alone in a local hospital is more expensive than the plane ticket, hotel accommodations, vacation package, and the entire medical expenses in a foreign country. As U.S. health care costs continue to rise and the options for quality care overseas become more widely understood, where's the best place in the world to go for medical care? There's now plenty of global choice. There are many international hospitals that have been awarded Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, offering nearly any type of medical procedure to patients seeking access to lower-priced medical care without compromising quality. Now a multi-billion industry, dozens of nations are aggressively courting the inter-

national patient. Costs vary, along with other factors, including cultural and language compatibilities. The ten most popular countries for medical tourism for a variety of reasons are Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States So what are the trade-offs in medical tourism? While there are advantages like affordable costs, rehab and vacation at the same time, there are risks. Quality care still needs to have more transparency. Certainly the JCI provides some standardized measures and assertion of quality, but what happens when the patient returns home and complications occur? Other risks are legal and ethical issues. If there are problems with the medical outcomes, patients or medical tourists may not be covered by their personal insurance or be able to seek damages through malpractice lawsuits. Even though many hospitals and clinics abroad have medical malpractice insurance, seeking compensation may be difficult because laws in different countries vary. Trusted international accreditation has become one of the biggest drivers in the

growth of the medical tourism market. Responding to a global demand for accreditation standards, the U.S.-based Joint Commission launched its international affiliate agency in 1999, the Joint Commission International (JCI). In order to be accredited by the JCI, an international hospital must meet the same set of rigorous standards set forth in the U.S. by the Joint Commission. Nearly 500 facilities around the world have now been awarded JCI accreditation and that number is growing by about 20 percent per year. This assertion of quality is also influencing insurance companies and employers to provide financial coverage of medical procedures abroad. So if you need to have a medical procedure done and either can’t afford it here in the states or want to save out-of-pocket expenses, then do your research to consider becoming a medical tourist and add life to years. Lawrence J. Weiss, Ph.D. is CEO of the Center for Healthy Aging. Dr. Weiss welcomes your comments on this column. Write to him at larry@addinglifetoyears. com or c/o Center for Healthy Aging, 11 Fillmore Way, Reno, NV 89519.

March • 2014 • 13


Ophthalmology

Things Are Looking Up For Seniors Michael J. Fischer, M.D. Eye Physician & Surgeon

C

ompared with their counterparts from a generation ago, today’s Michael Fischer seniors are about half as likely to experience seriously impaired vision. This finding, based on two large national surveys, is all the more notable when one considers that health conditions that have the potential to harm vision (such as diabetes) have been on the upswing. Experts

14 • 2014 • March

point to many possible reasons for the good news, beginning with improved techniques in cataract surgery. In addition, changes in lifestyle and nutrition may also play roles, such as less smoking leading to fewer cases of macular degeneration and better glucose control among diabetics leading to decreased risk of diabetic retinopathy. Heightened attention to eye health and more frequent eye exams also bring visual improvement.

It should be noted that refractive surgery, such as LASIK, may also help seniors see better and thereby improve their quality of life. If you would like further information on today’s topic or an appointment, please call my office at (775) 882-2988. We are located at 3839 N. Carson Street, in Carson City. Hours: 8-5 p.m., Mon. - Fri. by appointment. M/C, Visa and Medicare Assignment accepted.


Not Uncommon Anymore Steven Rubin M.D.

Dr. Rubin

Last year I was asked to see a patient for the purpose of evaluating and making recommendations regarding their depression. The following was the client’s routine medication list:

Insulin Antibiotic x 10 days Probiotic x 10 days Gabapentin Ditropan Ponaris nasal spray Symbicort Colace

Lactobacillus Lovenox Miralax Keppra Mucinex Combivent Eye drops Lipitor

Synthroid Aspirin Vitamin C Lasix Lisinopril Metformin Toprol XL Omeprazole

Potassium Prednisone Spiriva Dulcolax Vitamin B Methadone Oxycodone Xanax

Restoril As needed (PRN) medications: Stool softeners, nebulizer, Tylenol, Oxycodone, Xanax

Steven Rubin, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist and independent medical examiner, specializing in clinical and forensic health care consultation.

HHS strengthens patients’ right to access lab test Reports To empower patients to be informed partners with their health care providers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken action to give patients direct access to completed laboratory test reports. “The right to access personal health information is a cornerstone of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule,” said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Information like lab results can empower patients to track their health progress, make decisions with their health care professionals, and adhere to important treatment plans.” While patients can continue to get access to their laboratory test reports from their doctors, these changes give patients a new option to obtain their test reports directly from the laboratory while maintaining strong protections for patients’ privacy.

March • 2014 • 15


Simple Exercises to Improve Driver Wellness By Julie E. Lee Most people wouldn’t associate driving with Julie E. Lee exercise. While staying fit is essential to a healthy lifestyle, it is critical to driving safely. This is especially true as we age. Whether it’s squatting to get into your vehicle, turning your head to check blind spots, or flexing your foot to reach the brake pedal, driving is a fullbody activity. According to recent research by The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and MIT AgeLab, four areas of exercise can enhance flexibility and range of motion. When performed regularly, these exercises can improve the physical driving-related movements many of us find challenging as

16 • 2014 • March

we age. Try these exercises to improve your overall physical fitness and driver wellness. Make sure to consult your doctor before engaging in any new exercise program. 1. Flexibility Exercises: Upper body flexibility plays a significant role in driving. Movements like rotating your neck when checking the rearview mirror and when changing lanes, and getting in and out of your car require upper body flexibility. Shoulder, chest and neck stretches will help increase flexibility in these areas. 2. Strength Exercises: Strength is important for braking, accelerating, gear changing (for manual transmissions) and steering. Your legs, knees,

ankles, arms and wrists are all used for these tasks. Exercises like biceps curls, squats, and leg and ankle stretches can help enhance your strength.

motion. Your torso, back and spine are all involved in these movements. Back and torso stretches and heel drops can improve your range of motion.

3. Range of Motion Exercises: Getting in and out of your car, turning your body to the left or right when backing up and buckling your seatbelt require a healthy range of

4. Coordination Exercises: Our upper and lower bodies need to work together during braking and turning when we drive. Soccer kicks and lateral steps are good exercises for boosting coordination. You can view video demonstrations of each of these exercises online at The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence. For more tips on how to stay safe on the road, consider taking the new AARP Smart Driver Course—AARP Driver Safety’s flagship offering and the nation’s first and largest refresher course designed specifically for older drivers. The AARP Smart Driver Course is available in a classroom and online, in both English and Spanish. In some states, you may even be eligible for a multi-year insurance discount upon completion of the course. For more information, visit www.aarp.org/safedriving or call 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669).


March • 2014 • 17


Caregiving Made Easier

Getting Someone’s Attention Through Music Dr. Marion Sommers

Dear Dr. Marion, I am the activity director in a healthcare facility. We have an Alzheimer’s resident that sang Marion Sommers for the Boston Pops. She is in total care and still ambulates slowly, and makes constant noise, chanting, etc. It’s difficult to get her attention. I have tried sounds of nature for her to listen to with headphones, baby dolls, but I’d appreciate any suggestions. Pat, 61, in Massachusetts Dear Pat, Thank you for caring and being in the helping profession. We need more trained individuals like you. Now about your client: I believe music is magic. It’s a way to reach people when many other ways do not seem to work. Ask her family (if they’re available) what type

18 • 2014 • March

of music she liked or listened to when she was 1530-years-old. I realize this has little to do with her professional background in opera, but it’s important that she listens to the music of that period in her life. Also observe the rhythm she expresses in her walking, speech pattern, and/or chatter. She may be sending out clues that she’s listening to her own music. It usually takes some trial and error to find the right music, but it is well worth the effort since every individual who is dealing with dementia deserves our help, understanding, and support. Dr. Marion is the author of "Elder Care Made Easier" and has over 40-years of experience as a geriatric care manager, caregiver, speaker, and expert in all things elder care.


March • 2014 • 19


MorningStar Senior Living

Offers a wide selection of community living options ranging from independent living to memory care in Wingfield Springs

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orningStar Senior Living is setting a new standard in senior living in Sparks. Located in Wingfield Springs, MorningStar offers spacious residential-style suites for independent active adults, assisted living, and memory care for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia-related conditions. MorningStar Senior Living of Sparks is one of the many MorningStar communities operating in the U.S. Founded in 2002 by Ken Jaeger, CEO, the company mission is grounded in the following principles: • Honor God in business practices and relationships. • Value all seniors as gifted and contributing individuals.

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• Invest generously in our team’s ability to serve well.” Focusing on the needs of seniors, the company values hiring great people and treating them like great people. “It’s a great fit,” Jaeger said. “Everybody says that they provide quality care…we want our family members to be our greatest voice.” MorningStar of Sparks is one of several communities acquired by the company in the past 18 months that were underutilized. Formerly known as Bonaventure, investors approached Jaeger

about managing the vast property. “We have taken on additional homes in select markets,” Jaeger said. Based in Colorado where there are seven MorningStar Senior

Living communities, the Sparks community is viewed as a growth opportunity. “MorningStar is a strong company and it is being recognized by investors across the county.”


The son of a North Dakota farm family, Jaeger was one of 12 children. His parents were of German and Hispanic descent, and taught him to be honest, work hard and above all to give back. On the 3,000 acre farm, Jaeger worked alongside his grandparents who were vital in his everyday life. He developed a deep respect for seniors from his grandfather. That experience and the core belief of giving back to those in need led him to the senior living industry.

Ken Jaeger, CEO

From 1987-2002, Jaeger proved his acumen working within executive roles, with start-ups, acquisitions, turnarounds of distressed properties, and multi-state leadership. In 2002, he put his own brand on senior living with emphasis on delivering excellence. Today Jaeger lives in Denver with his wife and three children. In his spare time he visits a remote village in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua where he leads building teams four times a year in sponsorship with the Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Co. The team has helped build a 60-bed dormitory for girls at Casa Bernabe, an orphanage launched after Hurricane Felix tore through Honduras and Nicaragua in 2007. Now the team is working to do the same for orphaned boys.

MorningStar Senior Living of Sparks

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orningStar Senior Living of Sparks offers 128 bright independent living units, 80 assisted living, and 32 secure memory care suites with several different floor plans, all spacious and attractively designed. The independent living offers one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and two-bedroom twobath suites ranging from 673 to 1144 sq. ft. The suites include a full kitchen and appliances, a walk in shower/handicap-accessible bathroom, private patio or balcony, cable TV and utilities. The assisted living units are private onebedroom and two-bedroom suites, from 484 feet to 815 sq. ft., ranging in level of care and amenities. The assisted living units have a kitchenette with fridge and microwave, a full handicap-accessible bathroom, laundry and linen services. Amenities include 24hour care managers, a full-time licensed nurse, wellness programs and activities, executive chefprepared meals, restaurant-style dining, private dining, a bistro, theatre, library and computer, fitness room, scheduled transportation, spa and life enrichment room, salon, massage therapy and more. (MorningStar page 22)

The MorningStar courtyard provides balcony and patio views of the Sierra’s and surrounding landscape.

MorningStar’s private dining room for family gatherings and special occasions.

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MorningStar / page 21 The memory care community offers a companion suite and private studio. Amenities include respite, enhanced care, and continence management. The memory care team is specially trained in therapeutic approaches to care. Recreation and purposeful activities include music, life skills, art, entertainment and physical exercise. There are also scheduled outings and special events, meals prepared by a chef, daily health monitoring and medication management. Suites accommodate a resident’s own furniture and mementos. MorningStar is located just east of Reno at 2360 Wingfield Hills Road, in Sparks, NV 89436. Drop in or call for a tour at 775-6265665.

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Sidebar: Bean Bag Competition MorningStar Bean Bag Baseballresidents of MorningStar formed a team 4 years ago to compete with other senior living communities several times a year. The team recently competed against 5 other senior communities at the Reno-Tahoe Senior Games Opening Day activities held at Harrah’s Reno. Adel Abby, 91, moved to MorningStar from California. She stays active and plays bean bag baseball three times a week with the other residents at MorningStar. Her

advice to living longer: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Activities director Terese Myers says “the players have a blast.” Recently they finished 70 runs against another Sparks senior living community, Cascades of the Sierra, winning the match. “They are extremely competitive,” Myers said. MorningStar coach Nita Whitson, 78, says the sport is relaxing and good exercise. The winning team competing at the senior games was Carson Plaza, in Carson City.

Adel Abby, 91, standing at the starting line, gets ready to toss a bean bag at the Reno-Tahoe Senior Games.


March • 2014 • 23


Calendar March 4 - Selecting and Caring for Fruit Trees, Certified Arborist and Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Michael Janik, 6-8 p.m., Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Rd., Reno. March 4 - Diabetes SelfManagement Program, Sanford Center for Aging, 1-3:30 p.m.; also April 11, 18, 25; April 1 & 8, 1-3:30 p.m., (775) 784-1807. March 5 - Washoe County Senior Services Advisory Board, 3 p.m., Reno Senior Center, (775) 3282575.

March 7 - Senior Coalition of Washoe County, speaker State Senator Debbie Smith, Renown Mack Auditorium, 8-9:30 a.m., (775) 348-0717. March 8 - Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra, Bartley Ranch Regional Park Western Heritage Interpretive Center, 7 p.m., 6000 Bartley Ranch Rd., Reno. March 11 - Elder Abuse and Mental Health: Where can you find help? Speaker Mary Liveratti, AARP Nevada State President, 10–11 a.m., Laxalt Auditorium, (UNR Nelson Building), 401 W. 2nd Street, Reno. Free RSVP to Sina Ward at 775-784-7506 or sinaw@unr.edu.

March 11 - Indoor/Outdoor Plants, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Suzanne Adams, strategies for growing zone 6-9 plants in zone 5, 6-8 p.m., Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Rd., Reno. March 11 - UNR Cooperative Extension, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety in Horticultural Operations, 9-3 p.m., (775) 945-3444, ext. 12. March 11 to April 24 Silver Tai Chi, 4-5 p.m., $79, TMCC Meadowood Center, Reno, (775) 8299010. March 12-19 -- Dogs Have Owners. Cats Have Staff., 2-4 p.m., $29, TMCC Meadowood Center, Reno, (775) 829-9010. March 14 -- Sidelines for

Seniors, 2-5 p.m., $29, TMCC Meadowood Center, Reno, (775) 8299010. March 17 - Nevada Commission on Aging, Aging and Disability Services Division. March 18 - Trees and Turf: Creating Healthy Landscapes, Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator Wendy Hanson Mazet, 6-8 p.m., Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Rd., Reno. March 18 - Ten Chimneys by Jeffrey Hatcher, Ageless Repertory Theatre, 1 p.m, Circle’s Edge, 1117 California Ave., Reno. Also March 21 performance. Free March 18-20 - How to Identify Birds, Local and Elsewhere, 9-11 a.m., March 22 (optional field trip) 9-12 p.m., $39, TMCC Meadowood Center, Reno, (775) 829-9010. March 19 - Free Gun Trust Seminar, 6-7:30 p.m., U.S. firearms Academy, 294 E. Moana Lane, Reno, (775) 826-2626. March 22 -- The Art of Caregiving, 9-12 p.m., $29, TMCC Meadowood Center, Reno, (775) 8299010. March 28 - Geriatric Lecture Series, Falls Risk Management, speaker Sue Schuerman, 12-1 p.m., UNR School of Medicine, (775) 784-4544, or (775) 682-8470.

24 • 2014 • March


THE ECLECTIC OBSERVER by Janet Ross

T

hey are one of today’s most popular fashion accessories. I have an entire drawer full. I rarely wear them, and this year’s birthday brought two as gifts. “They” are scarves. (AKA a head scarf, muffler, neckerchief, bandanna, hijab, stole, shawl, etc.) Whatever you call them, they usually come in one of three shapes: a square, rectangle, or triangle. The fabric can range from simple cotton cloth to sumptuous silk. They can be knit or crocheted from yarn or thread. Muslim women wear them as part of their daily in-public dress. Young Communists in

China wear them as red neckerchiefs. Devout Catholic women wear them in church as a mantilla. Early pilots wore silk scarves as filters from oily exhaust smoke in open cockpits. Later, fighter pilots used them to prevent chafing on their necks as they searched the skies for enemy aircraft. Doctor Who, of the long-lived British television series, wears a super-long, striped scarf. English football supporters wear knit, striped scarves in team colors. We wear scarves as fashion statements, or to fight off the chill of wintry weather. The fashion business of scarves dates back to the early

1800s and was popular with both men and women. Ancient Rome is often given credit for the origins of the scarf, and it was considered a cleaning cloth for sweaty skin in summer months. Military around the world has used scarves to differentiate the ranks of their members. Various religions include scarves as part of their liturgical vestments. Today’s scarves may be handmade or commercial. Years ago there was great prestige attached to owning a Hermes scarf. Today many designers attach their names to scarves, adding a degree of cache for the wearer. I had a friend who wore scarves with great style. A buxom woman, Barbara was able to dress up any outfit with an artfully tied scarf. My attempts to imitate her fash-

ionable appearance always ended in frustration and a frumpy appearance. My oldest scarf is a large silk square in kelly green with navy flowers; it’s seen use only as a bandanna in rainy weather. My loveliest scarf, a gift from a former employer, is a feather-weight fantasy of sheer aqua silk with gold embroidery in a generous rectangle; its origin is obviously India. I’ve lacked the perfect occasion to wear it and the perfect outfit to share its beauty. Those two birthday scarves - one, a generous rectangle of autumn colored chiffon and the other, a six-foot long roll of hand crocheted ruffles in fuchsia, purple and pumpkin with silver highlights - now share that full drawer. I have every intention of wearing them ... even if it turns out to be when scarves are no longer in fashion.

March • 2014 • 25


BIGGEST little City

by Harry Spencer

“Aren’t you going to ask me to dance?” The question came from the lips of America’s childhood screen sweetheart Shirley Temple, now 20-years-old, sitting beside me in the SkyRoom of the Mapes Hotel.

26 • 2014 • March

I

Dancing With Shirley Temple

replied that my skill at terpsichore was very limited. Besides that, she had danced with many of the great hoofers in Hollywood. How we happened to arrive at this moment is probably explained by some events that occurred weeks before.

To begin with, it was a mild fall day in 1948. A bunch of us were sitting around the editorial table at the offices of the Sagebrush, the University paper, when the editor, Gene Evans tossed me an envelope and said “Here, Harry, you’re interested in the movies.” I had previously written several movie reviews for the paper. I noticed the logo on the outside of the envelope was 20th Century Fox and opening the missive, I read the contents which proclaimed that a location scout named Pat O’Hara would be arriving at the Reno train station in a few days to prepare for a movie entitled ‘Belvedere Goes to College’. The Reno scenes were to be shot primarily at the University, while a few of the others would occur in some of Reno’s older neighborhoods. Since my roommate at that time possessed a very nice late-model convertible, we decided to meet O’Hara at the train station and offer our services as chauffeurs. Our motive was twofold; one was to get some material for the newspaper and the other was to lobby for ‘extra’

work in the film. We were successful on both counts. O’Hara was an outgoing and engaging individual who had been a former tennis pro. Working as extras in the movie was rewarding both financially and serendipitously, since we were excused from daily classes. On one occasion, the scene called for several of us to appear sporting beards. They were applied by famous make-up man Ben Nye, who stippled the hairs along our jowls in a long and tedious process. On another occasion, I doubled for Clifton Webb, the star of the show, during a pole-vaulting sequence. I got to carry the pole in a long shot and the actual vaulting was done by another student named Doug Douglas. After about a week of shooting, O’Hara approached me and asked, “Do you have a steady girlfriend?” “What’s it to you?” I replied. He said, “I don’t care, but the director wants to know.” I said, “Why? Is he some kind of queer?” “No, no! He just needs someone to be an ‘escort’ for Shirley Temple when she comes up to do her scenes.” I asked him what that would entail, and he said it would mainly be to stay at her side during the evening dinner festivities in the SkyRoom of the Mapes, where most of the cast and crew were staying. I told him that I thought I could handle it and he informed the director. The next day, I got ahold of O’Hara and said I didn’t think I could do the job. He asked me, “Why not?” I said that I only had one good sport coat and slacks for ‘dress up’ and I didn’t think that would be fitting for two or three nights in the SkyRoom. He said (Temple page 30 )


March • 2014 • 27


Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

The Other Side of Leonard Nimoy

A

s Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy created one of the most iconic characters in television history. But for the past two decades, Nimoy has transported his career to the other side of the camera and is now regarded as a leading contemporary American photographer.

Impossible,’ and I actually considered changing careers,” Nimoy explained. “I went to school at UCLA to study photography under master art photographer Robert Heineken and became very excited about the prospect.” But with no enthusiasm for commercial photography, he realized a career in fine art photography would be difficult at the time. “So I decided to stay with my acting and directing, although I continued to study photography and work at it.” Nimoy’s early Shekhina series Around Early in his acting career, 1994, he became a fullhe recognized photography time photographer (while could be more than just continuing to tackle some snapshots on location. film and TV projects of “I carried a camera with interest), producing work me wherever I went and that was largely concept began to realize I was missdriven – themes that told ing the place I was in a story, rather than ranbecause my eye was behind dom, individual photos. the camera so much,” Nimoy His diverse subjects recalled from his home in include hands, eggs, landLos Angeles. “I had the phoscapes, nudes, and tographs, but I hadn’t had dancers, all shot with the experience. So I began black and white film camusing the camera when I was eras. “I have two darkon a specific thematic quest.” rooms and do my own The photography bug printing up to a 16" x 20" eventually bit him hard at the image. I like to be in pinnacle of his career. touch with the whole “I had finished three seaprocess.” sons of ‘Star Trek’ and two His provocative Full Body seasons of ‘Mission: project, published in book 28 • 2014 • March

Nimoy and camera

form in 2007, featured mostly naked full-figured women. “My original idea was to replicate some rather famous images shot by other photographers who had used fashion models, and to use these women in those same poses.” More recently, for his

Seth Kaye Photography

tographed 100 people from all walks of life, each acting out a fantasy identity. Nimoy, who is represented by R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Mass., will have three concurrent exhibitions in the Boston area beginning in late March –

Nimoy in 2010 posing with a subject and her life-sized secret self.

Seth Kaye Photography

Secret Selves project - his first shot in color - he pho-

when the artist turns 83 (Nimoy page 32)


March • 2014 • 29


Temple / page 26

not to worry, just get a purchase order from the wardrobe manager and I could go downtown and buy several outfits. “Shoes, too?” I asked. “Whatever you need,” he replied. On the first night of my assignment, I shared an elevator ride to the top of the Mapes with Clifton Webb. A well-known figure in Hollywood, he was best noted for his sartorial splendor. He gave my confidence a boost when he commented on my spiffy new duds. So that’s how I found myself at a ringside table in the showroom in the company of the principals in the movie and hotel-owner Charles Mapes. As we approached the dance floor I asked Shirley if it was okay if I led. I got a sharp poke in the ribs from her elbow for that remark.

30 • 2014 • March

Thankfully, the orchestra leader Eddie Fitzpatrick didn’t play any fast tunes! Following the dancing, we adjourned to the SkyRoom Bar where I asked Shirley if she would like a Shirley Temple. Voicing an expletive she said “I’ll order the drinks.” We each had several Stingers in the rough. To show his appreciation for our help, O’Hara invited us to stay at his luxurious LA apartment during the Christmas Break. The highlight of that visit occurred when he took us to the studio for the final day’s shooting of ‘Belvedere’. The scene had Shirley Temple and co-star Tom Drake emerging from a chapel as happy newlyweds. I quickly became persona non grata when Shirley spotted us behind the camera, threw her bouquet away, yelled out my name, and rushed over for a brief embrace.


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March • 2014 • 31


Nimoy / page 28

(see www.RMichelson.com). “The exhibits cover about 20 years of my career, so it’s quite comprehensive.” Although Nimoy’s works can be pricey (up to $18,000), more affordable images with a Spock theme (eg the Vulcan hand salute) are sold through a site managed by his granddaughter (www.shopllap.com). “She’s quite the entrepreneur and operates it like a classy boutique,” said Nimoy.

“There are T-shirts, tote bags, and photographs signed by me. The things we do for our grandchildren!” In February, reports surfaced that Nimoy was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a lung ailment that affects some 13 million Americans according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and caused primarily by smoking. “Before I stopped smoking 30 years ago, I was deeply

addicted,” he said. “I had to go through various programs before I quit. But by then, the damage was done. In my late 70s and early 80s, I recognized that I did not have great breathing capacity, so I wasn’t surprised by the COPD diagnosis.” “I use medication daily and give myself a jolt of oxygen

William Shatner as Captain Kirk and Nimoy as Mr. Spock

when I need it,” he said. “The main difficulty is high altitudes. We’ve had a house in Lake Tahoe for 20 years, which is a beautiful retreat. But at 6,000 ft, I just can’t go there anymore. Other than that, I’m still very active and not ready to cash it in yet!” Despite rumors throughout his acting career that he resented being typecast as Spock, Nimoy says he regards the character with fondness. “I’ve always been proud to be identified with Spock.” And what if J.J. Abrams, the producer/director of the new Star Trek films, approached him for another film role? “I’d take his call, but doubt I’d do any acting,” he said. “I don’t want to go off on location again. I’m enjoying life with my family too much.”

32 • 2014 • March

Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala. His features and columns have appeared in over 400 newspapers and magazines and can be reached at his blog: http://getnickt.blogspot.com


this ‘n that

by Anne Vargas annevargas3@gmail.com

Anne Vargas

R

Family Matters During the seven years I have been writing this column I have shared a lot about our life, some of it serious, some of it poignant, much of it humorous. There have been tales both frightening and funny of our life at sea as we roam the world on the water, about learning to ski, dealing with my claustrophobia, living with a ghost, miracles at St Vincent’s Dining Room, my “toss-a-holiic” tendencies, attempts to become an iWoman, my views on exercising and several iterations on cleaning the garage. Now I am sharing something else.

eaders of this column may or may not be aware, may or may not care, that one of our daughters is a television journalist on a major network. I won’t say she is famous but she is reasonably well known, depending on which network you watch. She is a wonderful daughter, a talented journalist and a terrific mother. And she has a sadly serious problem that ideally would be dealt with privately, in which case I wouldn’t be writing this. However it was made public and, as a result, we have all uncomfortably experienced life in the spotlight. During an extensive interview with George Stephanopoulos that was aired on Good Morning America and again on 20/20 recently, she told the television audience: “I am an alcoholic. It took me a long time to admit that to myself. It took me a long time to admit it to my family, but I am. The amount of energy I expended keeping that secret and keeping this problem hidden from view was exhausting.” She had just returned to work at ABC after a total of three months in a Rehab facility in Tennessee. It was not her intent to talk about it so extensively, and certainly not

so soon, but someone leaked the story to the press within hours of her arrival at the studio so Elizabeth and ABC mutually decided she would escort the elephant out of the room immediately. That took a lot of courage and we are proud of her; talking openly about something so personal was not easy. It wasn’t easy for us, either. As her parents we felt protective

of her vanishing privacy and the fact that so much had to be revealed to strangers but the result was both surprising and gratifying. Within hours Elizabeth and ABC received literally thousands of messages of thanks and appreciation. And so did we, with an overwhelming number of emails and letters and phone calls. Friends, acquaintances and (Family Matters page 34)

March • 2014 • 33


Family Matters / page 33 an amazing number of strangers have been startlingly supportive, many sharing stories about dealing with issues in their own life or their families, all of them applauding her for speaking out. We even heard from friends of friends whom we had never met. Our appreciation for the problems addiction can cause was heightened when we visited the Rehab Center for a Family Support Weekend. It was a wonderful experience where we learned a great deal about the sometimes devastating results of the many various forms of addiction. It was very well structured, effectively allowing the visiting families to feel at ease, something that could easily be uncomfortable yet wasn’t, because of the skills of the staff. We had time to spend with her alone but

34 • 2014 • March

also time to talk to her counselors and to get to know the women with whom she had lived and bonded for three months. We heard amazing speakers and spent in-depth time with a few other families in small group sessions. Seventy-two hours after our arrival we said goodbye to former strangers with whom we had shared so intimately and now cared about. The final part of the weekend experience took place on Sunday morning and its message was profound. The visiting family members were all blindfolded and led into a large room where ropes were strung everywhere, crisscrossing in a maze. We were instructed to take hold of one, any one, and try follow it to the exit. In silence. Every few minutes a counselor would say: “If you think you have found the way

out or if you need something, raise your hand.” Those words were repeated like a mantra, never changing and interrupted only with the quiet but increasingly frequent report that someone had found the exit. Some people managed that quickly, others (like me) did not but eventually everyone got the message. The way out was to ask for help. Our daughter had done that. Alcoholism is a disease but not a disease like the Mumps or the Measles which you have for awhile and then it’s gone. When addiction grips you, you battle it for life. As she said at the conclusion of that television interview: “I will continue to deal with this challenge one day at a time and if coming forward today gives one other person the courage to seek help, I’m grateful.”


Eydie’s Excerpts

Taking a Bite (Byte)- Technology Then and Now! by Eydie Scher

Technology does not sit still I’ll be at it until I get my fill I’m starting this 30 years ago With an Apple computer I got to know! We move to California from New York. David buys it for $2,000. It is to help me write a book. That book is still not typed or written. I get a job teaching special education kids and I incorporate computers into their education. Today the Smithsonian

Museum in Washington D.C. has it strutting its stuff behind glass. I wrote the following poem back then and just pulled it up.

Taking a Bite (Byte) Watching TV is no longer in vogue We now are waiting for our disc drive to load A program that will light up the screen With a blinking cursor in one shade of green And fear of computers has replaced fear of flying That is why many of us are trying To learn all we can about programming in basic But it isn’t easy and we have to face it

That computer and humans do not always agree On where that stupid syntax error can be With the all mighty computer we want a rapport A hunger for knowledge and we must explore It’s capabilities and what it can do Total exhaustion when each session is through So we type on the keyboard and study commands And do everything that the computer demands! Do you remember the black floppy disks with the holes in the center? Then lo and behold, replacements came

in the form of a smaller 3.5 disk that is more indestructible. Of course, the computer has to keep with each step. Color monitors are the rage and my new Apple 11GS is amazing. Soon CD’s make my beautiful computer obsolete again. Technology does not sit still. My color macintosh with a CD drive allows me to get all sorts of new programs and easily load them. Then email arrives with a flourish. This is the greatest thing to happen in communication since telephones! I join AOL and have the same email address I have now although the passwords change. Initially, there is a huge drawback to email. I sit waiting (Technology page 38)

March • 2014 • 35


Seniors4Travel

Robert Boyd & Carolyn Prusa

The Twin Cities: Minneapolis & St. Paul

G

oogle ‘twin cities’ and information pops up about various such communities. There are cities that began as two individual communities but eventually grew together, becoming one – such as Buda and Pest in Hungary. There are cities that would be one, were they not divided by a state border – Wendover, Utah and West Wendover, Nevada for example. (We know these two are not exactly cities size-wise, but you can’t blame us for wanting to include a local example.) How about Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas? Better? There are even cities that share an international border – such as Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Some cities, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, are grouped together primarily because they share a common airport. But try an internet search of ‘Twin Cities’ and you’ll discover the websites linked are all about Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Built around the Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, Minneapolis and St. Paul are well known as the “Twin Cities”. Carolyn lived in the Minneapolis suburbs for 15+ years way back when. A daughter and two grandchildren still do. Another granddaughter lives in St. Paul. We go back to visit at least once a year. A word of caution: Winters in this state are not for the thin skinned or faint of 36 • 2014 • March

heart. Despite the "Twin" moniker, the two cities are quite distinct from each other. Minneapolis has easily navigable, broad boulevards and modern downtown architecture. In Saint Paul (the state capital), one discovers narrower streets laid out somewhat haphazardly, close knit neighborhoods, and wellpreserved late-Victorian architecture. The two cities also have differing cultural backgrounds: Minneapolis has a Scandinavian/Lutheran heritage, while St. Paul has Irish and German Catholic roots. That said, in spite of their differences, the two cities come together in more than just proximity. The annual Twin Cities Marathon is held in the fall with a course running through Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Twin Cities are one of just twelve American metropolitan areas to have teams in all four major sports - MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL. The University of Minnesota has campuses in both cities, and the cities share an airport. The Twin Cities area is a great literary destination. It is home to several small presses (i.e. Graywolf Press, Coffee House Press and Milkweed Editions), a strong literary community and a plethora of independent bookstores. Minneapolis and St. Paul are also the birthplaces of many famous authors including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlie Baxter, Anne Tyler, David Carr, Vince Flynn, Thomas Friedman and Garrison Keillor.

Garrison Keillor and cast members of A Prairie Home Companion radio show in Lanesboro, Minnesota, June 2007. Photo: Jonathunder

Prairie Home Companion & Garrison Keillor When not on the road, Fitzgerald Theater is home to Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”. Next Prairie Home Companion performances at the theater are scheduled for March 22 and March 27, 2014. Tickets at www.ticketmaster.com. The Twin Cities Book Festival The Twin Cities Book Festival, held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, is a one day event – next scheduled for October 11, 2014 – that brings together authors, readers, writers and booksellers for the biggest book festival in the Midwest. www.raintaxi.com/ bookfest.

offers F. Scott Fitzgerald walking tours around the St. Paul neighborhood where he grew up. www.minnesotahistorycenter.org. We close with one of our

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s family moved to this Romanesque brownstone building on Summit. They lived in two apartments, 593 and 599.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Historical Walking Tour If history is your thing, the Minnesota Historical Society

favorite sayings: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine


March • 2014 • 37


Technology / page 35

for my dialup Internet to kick in. I use it like that for years until…..dial-up is obsolete. The Internet and WiFi take charge of our checkbook but it is so worth it. The speed is exhilarating. I am on the web. I goggle everything. Every little pain or question is answered immediately. Alas, we move. I am slipping behind and no longer at the forefront of technology. Full time teaching becomes substitute teaching. It’s more time for me to update everything. Facebook is taking everyone into its fold. Are we friends? Have we met? Can I find you on Facebook? Maybe I can Google you? We knew each other 20, 30, 40 even 50 years ago. Now I’m searching for you and guess what? I find you. I’m giving you lots of “likes”. It’s 6 a.m. and the sun is still not trying to make an appearance. I’m up. A computer anxiously awaits my touch. It calculates important items that I need to begin my day with. First up of course is email, 22 await my fingers and 36 spams. Email lately

38 • 2014 • March

contains most of the same stuff as spam. It isn’t easy trying to figure out if I should open this email or is it a nasty virus in disguise designed to wreck havoc with my life and stress me out? Help, someone has hijacked my address book. Do I need to change my password? I can’t remember all my passwords as it is. No, don’t write them down! Weekdays cry out for me to check for substitute jobs. My eyes and fingers coordinate to lock in any jobs that entice me. One-second slipup or a moment for thought sends the job to someone else. Did I really take that job in Incline? The next step is to check Facebook. A slew of posts stare back at me. Whoa, that sounds interesting. It already has 1,000,000 likes. I add mine. Now it has 1,000,0001 likes. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I like that. It’s pretty easy to wish everyone you know a public happy birthday with one keystroke or click. Did you send an instagram? Come on, you have to know this stuff no matter how young or old you are. The newest word in the dictionary is Selfie. My spell checker doesn’t think it is

spelled correctly. Selfie’s, for the uninitiated, are those photos that we take of ourselves alone or with friends. Beware; it’s the kind of thing that can cause trouble like the one Obama took. Once in a while, I tweet. I also read tweets from others. Are you on Twitter? My iPad sits wearily waiting its turn. At home, I open it up and mostly use it for games or texting. Candy Crush Saga has followers playing the game all hours of the day and night. Speaking of apps, I am inundated with cries to download new ones! Suddenly, my iPad balks. It demands that I update it. I relent and go to the Apple Store. They update it for free but warn me that it will be like a brand new iPad with no data on it. Preoccupation envelops me so I do not notice David with another salesperson. Stop, I yell but it’s too late. His new McIntosh desktop with a 17” screen is boxed up as is the printer. Comments are always welcome: eydies@aol.com


Senior Spectrum March 2014 Issue  
Senior Spectrum March 2014 Issue  

Medicare Advantage plans could see payment reductions of 1.9 percent next year under proposed rates announced by the Centers for Medicare &...

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