Legislative Bills Introduced to Benefit Seniors, Disabled
The 77th Nevada Legislative Session got underway rather quickly this month with many bills submitted that would assist elders and people with disabilities. Significant among the legislation were bills regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other services. AB 80 creates the Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease within the Health Division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). AB 80 comes after passage of the Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan in Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 10 of the 2011 Legislative Session. AB 80 creates a Task Force to forward the state plan to address Alzheimer's disease. The measure also creates the composition of the Task Force, and requires the Task Force to take certain actions to carry out the state plan, including researching and review of any other issues relevant to Alzheimer's disease. SB 86, sponsored by HHS, requires the department to allocate money for certain programs relating to persons with Alzheimer's disease and other related dementia. Existing law requires HHS to allocate money to fund programs that assist senior citizens to live independently, including a program that provides respite care or relief of informal caretakers. (NRS 439.630) This
bill expands that program to include respite care or relief for informal caretakers (families, friends) of any person with Alzheimer's disease or other related dementia regardless of the age of the person. SB 91, sponsored by the Senate Committee on HHS, will streamline the background investigation process of people who provide care for the most vulnerable. Existing law requires the administrator of, or the person licensed to operate certain agencies, facilities or homes that provide medical or other care to persons, to obtain background information and personal history of each of its employees and independent contractors. SB 91 provides an exemption of obtaining the information if there is proof that the information was obtained within the preceding 5 years and was submitted to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History; providing that person has not been convicted of certain crimes. SB 51 transfers the powers and duties concerning the certification and regulation of intermediary service organizations (ISO) from the Aging and Disability Services Division to the Health Division. SB 51 additionally transfers the regulatory authority of ISOs to the Nevada State Board of Health.
Eydie & David Scher • Cover photo: Northern Nevada Medicial Center
March 2013 This Issue
page 3 - Legislative Bills
page 4 - Opinion: Nevada’s Heroes page 5 - Opinion: Investing in Our Future to Succeed page 6 - Senior Law Project to Transition to Private Legal Service page 10 - Ridership Changes for Bus Service in 2035 Transit Plan page 16 - Reno Elder Exploitation of a Senior Living in a Group Home page 18 - An Aging Society
page 29 - Calendar page 30 - this ‘n that page 32 - Seniors 4 Travel
page 8 - Dr. Marion: Caregiving page 12 - Outsourcing Aging
Dr. Lawrence J. Weiss, Ph.D. Center for Healthy Aging page 14 - CMS: Coming Soon: A New Way to buy Health Insurance page 17 - Ophthalmology: Dr. Michael Fischer, M.D.
page 20 - Biggest Little City
page 23 - Eclectic Observer page 27 - Crossword page 28 - Memory Aid Exercises page 28 - Eydie Scher - Excerpts
page 7 - How the American Taxpayer Relief Act Will Affect You - Bradley B. Anderson
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 • 2013 • 3
U.S. Senator Dean Heller
The character and courage of our military men and women, Sen. Dean Heller past and present, is what has made our nation so great. My deepest respect and appreciation goes to those who have defended and continue to defend this country. I am grateful to the nearly 300,000 veterans who call Nevada home for the immeasurable sacrifices they have made on our behalf. With these men and women in mind, I sat down with the Secretary for the Department of Veterans
4 • 2013 • March
Nevada’s Heroes Deserve the Very Best Affairs (VA), Eric Shinseki, to discuss the year ahead for Nevada’s heroes. In that meeting, I expressed just how important it is that we ensure our veterans receive the benefits they earned and deserve. Together, we had a productive conversation about changes to TRICARE Prime coverage, the backlog of VA claims in the Silver State, and the growing population of homeless and unemployed veterans. While I am optimistic about Nevada’s economic recovery, it’s a difficult time for many of these veterans, especially as unemployment remains a persistent problem. Reducing veterans’
unemployment is an issue that I am certain we can all agree on and find a solution. As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, I attended a veterans jobs day event, where the discussion centered around the issue of unemployment among our heroes. I’m thrilled to serve on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in the 113th Congress. Both in this role on the Committee and as your representative in the United States Senate, I believe that we must act now to help Nevada veterans, which is why I have already introduced several veterans-
related pieces of legislation. For example, under current law, retired service members can fly on military aircraft when there is extra space onboard. Unfortunately, 100 percent disabled veterans who don’t qualify for retired pay are ineligible. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and I introduced a bill that will give 100 percent disabled veterans the same flying rights as retired service members. Our nation’s disabled veterans live every day coping with the cost of freedom, and expanding travel options for them will help ensure they receive the benefits they earned and deserve. (Heroes page 21)
U.S. Senator Harry Reid
Investing in Our Future to Succeed for Nevada Today
This past month, I had the pleasure of addressing a joint session of Sen. Harry Reid the Nevada State Legislature. The last time I spoke before Nevada lawmakers, the state was still in the midst of a Great Recession. Thousands of Nevadans, including many seniors, had lost their jobs and their homes. Although Nevada's economy is not back to full strength, progress has been made. Now, as we emerge from those difficult times, it is crucial that we renew our investments in the future – in education and clean ener-
Nevada seniors work hard to ensure a prosperous economic future for younger generations of Nevadans. That is why I urged Nevada lawmakers to strengthen our state’s education system. Education is key to America's happiness and its competitiveness. Today's students will compete for tomorrow's jobs with peers from neighboring states and far away nations. But while other countries are investing in education, this nation – and Nevada in particular – is lagging. Students need access to role models in the STEM fields, new opportunities to understand how businesses operate, and they need to
build skills to help them meet the demands of a modern economy. Nevada can no longer afford to put off investments in our children. Nevada’s next generation isn't the only thing bursting with energy. The renewable energy industry has helped our state attract new businesses and create thousands of jobs, particularly in northern Nevada. The linchpin for this progress is a state law that requires a minimum percentage of electricity to come from renewable sources, known as the renewable portfolio standard. The law has given Nevada an opportunity to take control of its energy future, however loopholes allow utilities to
evade the spirit of the law. I made clear to the legislature that they should strengthen the law to send a message that Nevada remains committed to kicking our dependence on out-of-state, fossil fuels. I have worked hard to make the lives of all Nevada seniors more secure. Acting now to strengthen our economy through increased investment in education and renewable energy will ensure success now and in the future. Write Sen. Reid at: Bruce R. Thompson Courthouse and Federal Building, 400 S. Virginia Street Suite. 902, Reno, NV 89501
March • 2013 • 5
Washoe County Commissioners Agree to Transition the Senior Law Project to a Private Legal Service The Washoe County Board of County Commissioners accepted a recommendation at the January 12, county commission meeting to transition the Senior Law Project to a qualified private law firm to assure legal services are provided to low-income seniors. The commissioners agreed to move forward on the transition in a collaboration with the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division. ADSD awards competitive grant funding for legal services under provisions of the Older Americans Act.
6 â€˘ 2013 â€˘ March
Commissioners voted 4 to 1, with Commissioner Kitty Jung dissenting, to join in a collaborative process to select a qualified legal services agency to assure the current and future legal needs of seniors are met. The agreement came after Washoe County District Court, Chief Judge David Hardy expressed concern that senior law matters were not being fully addressed. A series of budget cuts forced Senior Services Director Grady Tarbutton to modify, scale back or eliminate service of all department programs, including
program staffing. After a series of community meeting, it was determined the SLP was the only program that could be duplicated outside the county structure in the community. Tarbutton requested the Senior Services Advisory Board give him a recommendation regarding the future of the SLP. Following a special hearing and input from legal service experts including Judge Hardy, it was recommended the program transition to an outside legal firm if funding was not found to sustain its operation.
The SLP is partially funded with ad valorem taxes, in decline due to the recession. Currently, the program is being operated under contract with the non-profit, Nevada Legal Services until the end of June. A request for proposals and a contract will be awarded to begin with the next fiscal year in July. A transition time-frame and county support will be given to the successful bidder to assure a smooth transition. It was agreed the SLP will maintain operation at the current senior center location, assuring continued services.
How the American Taxpayer Relief Act Will Affect You Brought to you by Bradley B. Anderson Anderson, Dorn, & Rader, Ltd.
With the fiscal cliff looming, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 on January 1, 2013. This law averts a number of the automatic tax increases set to take effect at the beginning of this year. If you’re among the 77 percent of Americans who are affected by the end of the Payroll Tax Cut, you’ve likely noticed a slight decrease in your paycheck. The Social Security payroll tax returned to 6.2 percent
The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys www.probatebusters.com • blog.wealth-counselors.com
this year; last year it was 4.2 percent. Here, in a nutshell, are some of the other provisions the American Taxpayer Relief Act has in store for the public: Income Taxes Most Americans won’t see a difference in their income tax rates. For married couples who earn less than $450,000 annually (and single filers who earn less than $400,000), income tax rates will remain the
same. Those who earn more than these threshold amounts will see their tax rate increase to 39.6 percent. The same earnings thresholds apply to income taxes for capital gains and qualified dividends. Those below the thresholds will continue to pay tax at a rate of 15 percent for qualified dividend and capital gains income, while taxpayers who earn more than this will see their tax rate increase to 20 percent for
these items. Alternative Minimum Tax The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is a special tax adopted in the late 1960s to ensure the very wealthy do not avoid taxes by accumulating too many credits and deductions. When the tax was originally adopted, Congress failed to index it to inflation, so each year lawmakers have had to pass a provision – a “patch” – increasing the exemption to (Estate Plan page 22)
March • 2013 • 7
Ask Dr. Marion
Dr. Marion Somers. Ph.D.
REHABILITATION My father suffered a terrible fall six months ago and has been home from the rehabilitation center for the last few weeks. It seems like he’s losing his will to stick with his exercise program. What can I do? Cheryl, 66, in Nebraska When someone has undergone a medical or physical challenge, it can be extremely difficult for them to continue with rehab once they return home from the hospital or care facility. It’s an especially difficult transition since they no longer have the stimulation and encouragement of the nurses and professionals around them. Your father can easily lose his momentum, and this will stop him Dr. Marion Somers
8 • 2013 • March
from reaching a higher level of rehabilitation and functionality. You should do all you can to keep him motivated and improving. But to do that, you must get involved. You can’t just give him the pictures or the video and the exercises he needs to do. If at all possible, stop by and do the activities with him. If you can’t be there, suggest that he put on his favorite music while he’s exercising. Time things to a favorite
television show. It can also be effective with big sports fans to have them workout while the game is on. You might want to set a specific time for the workout, and then call your dad to check on him. Most people like it when others show their interest and concern this way. Even the most disciplined and motivated person can get discouraged, so don’t put a specific time frame for complete healing. It’s important
that you start this process as soon as possible so that he doesn’t get used to a certain level of pain or discomfort or lack of function. As soon as that mindset starts to set in, you’ve lost the battle. Find the fun in it and reemphasize the image of your father as a healed, and fully functioning individual. Help him visualize a goal. If there’s a family wedding coming up, dancing with the grandkids should be a real target for him. Good luck!
March • 2013 • 9
Ridership Changes in Bus Service in the RTC 2035 Transportation Plan
he Transportation Plan supports safe and healthy communities, economic development and diversification, sustainability, and increased travel choices.
The Regional Transportation Commission will consider approving a new 2035 Regional Transportation Plan on March 15. The 2035 RTP will determine bus service, routes served, fare prices, new projects, and paratransit changes for people with disabilities in Washoe County. RTC planners are urging riders of RTC RIDE, RTC
RAPID, ACCESS, INTERCITY and Sierra Spirit to provide input on the planned changes, including ridership in the ADA and non-ADA service area’s. The plan also will address construction for sidewalks, bike lanes, and new concepts to assist riders in rural areas where bus service is unavailable. RTC planners are considering changes in service
University of Nevada School of Medicine
Your legacy—Make a difference An anatomical donation, or donating your body to medicine after you pass away, is one way of making a difference. By making an anatomical donation, you make it possible for medical researchers, educators and practicing physicians to advance medical science and to contribute to the health and wellness of future generations. By planning in advance, you can eliminate any confusion about your wishes. When discussing end-of-life issues with your family, consider an anatomical donation to the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
Please call Joyce King at 775-784-4569.
www.medicine.nevada.edu/dept/adp 10 • 2013 • March
to accommodate community needs while still dealing with financial constraints resulting from the recession. “Proposed changes could affect and improve routes throughout the transit network,” explained Michael Moreno, RTC Public Information Officer. “Other concepts being considered include new Pyramid service, modification to the North Valleys service, and a Lake Tahoe (Sand Harbor) weekend summer service.” Fare pricing for transit service will be presented for input. “What we heard during
the planning process is the region's aging population will/is increasing significantly during the 20-year planning horizon of the 2035 RTP. As a community, we need to prepare now to meet the need and demand. One of the suggestions in the RTP is a Dial-A-Ride service,” Moreno said. The 2035 RTP projects ridership for people 75 years and older will grow dramatically over the next 20-years. Data shows ridership in the aging population will increase 140 percent, while paratransit ridership will grow by 40 percent.
Springs & McCarran Loop
Golden Valley; a focus on senior in outlying areas.
• New Dial!A!Ride Service: Cold Springs!Lemmon Valley-
• New Regional Service: Lake Tahoe summer weekends, other nearby regions.
SAINT MARY’S MARY’S CARDIOLOGY
caring for the RTC RAPID bus at RTC 4th Street Station Photo: 2035 Regional Transportation Plan
Statistics show the growing aging population will increase ridership primarily in the rural communities of Cold Springs (over 250%) and Spanish Springs (just under 150%). Population trends and costs will continue to increase as aging baby boomers require more specialized services. RTC ACCESS provides 16,453 trips to 1,588 locations within the ADA paratransit boundary, and 470 trips to 55 locations outside the ADA boundary.
Open House on Transportation Plan
A Community Open House will be held for community input on March 14, at the Terry Lee Wells
Nevada Discovery Museum, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., at 490 S. Center St., in Reno. People interested in the proposed changes can learn more by visiting www.YourWashoe RTC.com or writing to the RTC Planning Department, 1105 Terminal Way, Suite 211, Reno NV 89502. Tel: (775) 348-0480 Fax: (775) 348-0450 email@example.com
• Expand RAPID: Virginia St. & 4th/Prater
of the community Simple Solutions Lifesaving Innovations Expert Cardiologists
• Restore Service: North Valleys & Reno! Sparks Express • Expand Service: Spanish
Saint Mary’ Mary’ss Ce Center nter ffor or Health Arlington, Suite Suite 460 645 N. Arlington, saintmarysreno.com 775-770-7622 • saintmarysreno.com March • 2013 • 11
Adding Life to Years
Outsourcing Aging Dr. Larry Weiss Center for Healthy Aging
” Have you ever thought about moving abroad when traveling in countries like India, Asia, South America, etc. Clearly the cost of living is less and your dollar would go farther. But what about all the other factors, such as health care, family and friends, navigating the culture and the language? Well there appears to be significant momentum in relocating abroad as it is seen as an innovative economic solution for the middle-class in the U.S. who do not have the ability to retire here. As the U.S. population gets older and health and Larry Weiss
12 • 2013 • March
long-term care costs increase, living a traditional retirement becomes impossible, especially for the majority of middle-class elders. Traditionally, retired elders had a company pension, Social Security, home equity, personal savings and financial investments to retire. With the changes in company pensions, faltering financial markets, the housing collapse, threats to Social Security and Medicare, as well as the increasing costs of care, many elders are struggling to survive without a working income. Those who are looking at and planning to meet their needs are
exploring the new phenomenon of “outsourcing aging.” I became interested in this issue when several of my friends decided to move abroad to live. Retirement abroad and/or receiving health or medical treatments overseas seems to be an innovative response to the above conditions, mainly lack of finances to live and receive needed care as we age. You see on the news and read about overseas medical tourism where Americans travel all over the world to receive the necessary medical treatments that they cannot afford in the U.S. They travel, retreat in beautiful
surroundings, and receive medical treatment for a fraction of what it would cost here. “I have a dream to create a home for the elderly so wonderful that they simply refuse to die,” proclaims the somewhat overly-optimistic manager of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. In addition, I saw a new movie that came out this past year - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. This film, based on the 2004 novel, “These Foolish Things,” by Deborah Moggach, takes place in India and explores the notion of "outsourcing" elders from the U.K. to India.
Years to Life / page 12
Sonny, a young Indian entrepreneur played by Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel, opens a once grand, now crubling palace as a kind of retirement heaven. Early in the action he tells his disapproving mother that he has a dream to get rich and do some good in the process. "A most brilliant one: to outsource old age," he said, adding that the possibilities were limitless. "There are many other countries where they don't like old people, too." Like the U.S.! Through internet advertising and information communication, countries around the world are catering to the U.S. aging market. This innovative approach is gaining popularity with the media, and is featured in the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which has made a ton of money at the box office. The movie had a happy ending for most of the retirees that participated. Romance, love, and happiness, as well as finding purpose and meaning in life were achieved by most of the participants. Hence, the hotel was a success with the help of one of the U.K. elders. Elders are constantly being told they are a burden on pension systems, healthcare resources, on families, and economic growth. They have suffered neglect and even abuse in penny-pinching private care homes and hospitals. The old in our country are often neglected, and relegated, confined to marginal spaces in the community either by choice or condition. Since aging in
the U.K, U.S. and other industrialized countries is an expensive affair, the cheap labor and care available in the developing world would seem to provide a possible solution. The old face economic powerlessness and social insignificance at home, but they wield economic power and gain a new lease on life in less developed countries. The film thus disrupts dominant notions of old age and provides an alternative per-
spective on transnational relations of meaning in life. If you would ask most Americans about where they would want to receive care when needed, they would respond that they want care in the community that they call home, not overseas. However, more elders are moving to India and other countries for health care and long-term care that cost less than it does here. This is a phenomenon that has existed for a while with surgery, such
as hip replacements, and other expensive medical procedures. It is now occurring in long-term care. This phenomenon raises all kinds of questions about care and how we perceive aging. If you have not seen The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I highly recommend it. There was one continual message in the movie that stands out, "In India, we have a saying; Everything will be alright in the end. So if it is not alright, Years to Life page 17
March â€˘ 2013 â€˘ 13
Coming Soon: A New Way to Buy Health Insurance David Sayen, Regional Administrator Medicare Region 9 When key parts of the health care law David Sayen take effect in 2014, you’ll have a new way to buy health insurance for yourself, your family, or your small business: the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is designed to help you find health insur-
ance that fits your budget, with less hassle. Every health insurance plan in the new Marketplace will offer comprehensive coverage, from doctors to medications to hospital visits. You can compare all your insurance options based on price, benefits, quality, and other features that may be
important to you, in plain language that makes sense. You’ll know you’re getting a quality health plan at a reasonable price, because there’s nothing buried in the fine print. When you shop at the Marketplace, all your costs are stated up front. So you’ll get a clear picture of what
you’re paying and what you’re getting before you make a choice. Nevada’s Marketplace is called the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (www.exchange.nv.gov). Under the health care law, you and your family also will have new protections. Health insurance companies
For more information, call 1.775.858.1900 or visit www.gentiva.com
14 • 2013 • March
Medicare / page 14 can’t refuse to cover you, or charge you more just because you have a chronic or pre-existing condition. And they can’t charge more for women than for men. Here are three things to keep in mind about the Health Insurance Marketplace: • It’s an easier way to shop for health insurance. The Health Insurance Marketplace simplifies your search for insurance by gathering all your options in one place. One application, one time, and you and your family can explore every qualified insurance plan in your area -- including any free or low-cost insurance programs you may qualify for, such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
• Most people will be able to get a break on costs. Programs that lower costs are available for almost everyone. You may be eligible for a free or low-cost plan, or a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premiums right away. New rules and expanded programs mean that even working families can get help paying for health insurance at the Marketplace. • Clear, apples-to-apples comparisons. All health insurance plans in the Marketplace present their price and benefit information in simple terms you can understand, so you don’t have to guess about your costs. Starting on October 1,
2013, you’ll be able to enroll in a health plan through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. Detailed information will be available about all the insurance plans offered in your area. You can sign up now at www.exchange.nv.gov to get e-mail updates that will let you know how to get ready to enroll in the plan of your choice. If you have difficulty finding a plan that meets your needs and budget, there’ll be people available to give you personalized help with your choices. These helpers aren’t associated with any particular plan, and they don’t receive any type of commission, so the help they give you will be completely unbiased. Www.exchange.nv.gov will be much more than any
health insurance website you’ve used before. Insurance companies will compete for your business on a level and transparent playing field, with no hidden costs or misleading fine print. You’ll have more choice, more control, and more clout when it comes to health insurance. Insurance coverage offered through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange takes effect on January 1, 2014. David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for Nevada, California, Arizona, Hawaii, and the Pacific Trust Territories. You can always get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1800-633-4227).
SAME-DAY APPOIN MENTS If you’re experiencing minor illnesses or injuries, you can get care right when you need it at Renown Medical Group, which has 14 convenient locations offering same-day appointments. Renown Medical Group offers expanded Urgent Care hours: Monday – Friday, 8 am – 7 pm Saturday and Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm For an appointment, call 982-5000 or to find additional locations in Reno, Sparks, Fernley, Fallon or Silver Springs, visit renown.org/medicalgroup. SKILL. EXPERTISE. TECHNOLOGY.
March • 2013 • 15
Sentencing in Reno Elder Exploitation Case Involving a Senior Living in a Group Home Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced that Carol Nanas, 62, of Reno, was sentenced in a case of financial exploitation of an older person. The case involved Nanasâ€™, a manager and caregiver of JC Group Home II, an assisted living facility, access to and use of a group home residentâ€™s personal bank account. â€œWe must ensure that all of our citizens are protected and kept safe and healthy in their homes, whatever their age and living arrangements,â€? said Masto. â€œWe are fortunate to have discovered and
stopped this before there was greater harm to the victim and before the problem had become wide spread.â€? The investigation began in 2012 after the Aging and Disability Services Division of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services provided information to the Attorney Generalâ€™s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) that a group home resident had been financially exploited by Nanas. The investigation showed that Nanas withdrew money from the residentâ€™s account, gambled
some of the money and sent some of the money to an ailing relative in the Philippines. Nanas admitted to taking the money. Nanas entered a plea of no contest and was convicted of a misdemeanor offense of exploitation of an older person. Justice of the Peace Patricia Lynch sentenced Nanas to time served of 13 days jail and ordered Nanas to repay $2,000 in restitution and costs. The case was investigated and prosecuted by the MFCU, which investigates and prosecutes financial fraud by those providing healthcare services or
Carol Nanas Washoe County Detention Facility
goods to Medicaid patients. The case was prosecuted by Matthew Jensen, Senior Deputy Attorney General. The MFCU also investigates and prosecutes instances of elder abuse or neglect. The MFCU can be contacted at (775) 684-1191 or (702) 486-3187.
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775.323.7189 | www.waltonsfuneralhomes.com 16 â€˘ 2013 â€˘ March
Shining Light on Diabetic Eyes Michael J. Fischer, M.D. Eye Physician & Surgeon
Retinopathy is a longterm complication of diabetes that can lead to blindness. Macular edema, caused by fluid leakage, involves swelling of the central portion of the retina and poses a further threat to vision. Over time, retinopathy can progress to proliferative diabetic retinopathy, which entails the abnormal growth of blood vessels on the optic nerve. While injections of corticosteroid can be useful in reducing the risk of progression of diabetic retinopathy, new research shows that steroid treatment does not prevent the
Years to Life / page 13 then it is not yet the end." What better way of adding life to years. Please note that the Center for Healthy Aging is a non-profit organization and we depend on support from the community to continue our message of “adding life to years.” We are partnering with the Big Horns basketball team in Reno on March 24th at 3 p.m. to have a benefit basketball game to raise funds for seniors to keep them in their communities and not be hospitalized (TCONN – Transitional Care
progression of macular edema or improve the vision of patients with diabetic retinopathy any better than laser photocoagulation. Thus, because using steroids in the eye has been linked with glaucoma and cataracts, lasers are the treatment of choice. About 700,000 people in the United States have proliferative diabetic retinopathy. If you would like further information on this topic or would like to make an appointment, please call my office at (775) 882-2988. We are conveniently located at 3839 N. Carson Street. Hours are 8-5 p.m., Monday through Friday by appointment. M/C, Visa, Medicare Assignment accepted.
of Northern NV and Lifeline Personal Emergency Response programs). Please support our efforts with your donations. Contact Marta Malone at 775-848-1260 for sponsorship, donation, and ticket information. Thank you. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Center for Healthy Aging, 11 Fillmore Way, Reno, NV 89519.
March • 2013 • 17
An Aging Society
he Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency held a workshop on February 21, on “Demographics and the Aging of our Population,” a presentation for elected lead-
18 • 2013 • March
ership in Washoe County. TMRPA Executive Director Kimberly Robinson said the workshop is just the beginning of a series of presentations to educate government leaders and the
community on the need to prepare for an aging society. Never in human history have people lived so long. We are living longer and having fewer babies says Sociologist, James Jackson. “We are becoming an aging society, and it is not just about growing old or becoming aging Baby Boomers; it’s also about aging Generation Xers and Millennials.” The Baby Boomers, he explained, “are an introduction to what’s about to happen in the permanent shift.” Aging has become a permanent state of society. Washoe County Planning and Development Division, Senior Planner, Chad Giesinger would agree. The 55-64 age group in Washoe County absorbed 27.3 percent of all the population growth. “Nearly 25 percent of the population is now over the age of 55 (up from 19.6% in 2000). Giesinger is also quick to point out that seniors are not the only population to pay attention to. The Hispanic population grew dramatically in Washoe County. Giesinger said the 2000-2010 Census showed Hispanics grew by 22.2 percent (a 5.6% increase since 2000), followed by nonHispanic whites (31.1%), and Asians (8.5%). The median age for Hispanics held steady at 34.6 years. With “one out of every 4 people over the age of 55,” Robinson says the TMRPA is planning for an aging society. The shift in population has come silently but steadily
over the past decade. It will effect how Americans live, work, plan their families, how they organize their thinking. When Social Security was enacted, people were expected to retire by age 62. Today, people can expect to live 15 years beyond retirement age. Nevada State Demographer, Jeff Hardcastle said employment growth for older adults will occur in food services, arts, entertainment, recreation and retail trade, adding there is room for growth in healthcare and social assistance. Health and social services may point to the need to provide services in a growing, aging population. Senior Services Director Grady Tarbutton says “Aging in Place” for Washoe County Seniors will help meet basic needs. Tarbutton says the EldersCount 2013 survey (University of Nevada-Reno, Sanford Center for Aging) showed that people are less obese, have higher incomes, are physically active, have fewer falls, and lower hospital and nursing home readmissions. But he said, statistics show seniors have lower life expectancy, high mortality rates, poverty, lack of nutrition, are medically underserved, have high health care expenditures, and have limited access to home and community based services offered by the state.
when it comes to your health plan,
IS CLEAR. John Tyson Local Storyteller/ Northern Nevadan
Attend a free informational meeting: Carson City, Fernley, Fallon, Gardnerville, Reno, Sparks, Minden and Virginia City Call to reserve your spot: 775-982-3191 or 888-775-7003. A sales person will be present with information and applications. For accommodation of persons with special needs at sales meetings call (775) 982-3158 or (888) 775-7003, TTY Relay Service 711.
Choose Senior Care Plus –
The health plan that offers more value than just Medicare. • Low premium plans • Low prescription copays • Largest provider network in northern Nevada** • Multiple plan options • Access to Renown hospitals • No referrals to see specialists • Only not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plan in Nevada*** • Rx “gap” coverage
• Worldwide emergency care • Only locally owned and operated Mediare Advantage plan in Nevada*** • Local personalized customer service • Fitness club memberships • Hearing aid coverage • Supplemental dental and vision benefits • Largest Medicare Advantage plan enrollment in northern Nevada****
*Based on 2011/2012 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health Plan ratings and Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study - Medicare & You Handbook. **Based on comparison of plans provider networks offered in northern Nevada counties. ***Based on comparison of Medicare Advantage plans offered in northern Nevada counties. ****Based on CMS Medicare Advantage/Part D Contract and Enrollment Data for October 2011.Senior Care Plus is a 4-Star Rated Plan. Plan performance summary star ratings are assessed each year and may change from one year to the next. Senior Care Plus is a health plan with a Medicare contract, available to anyone with both Medicare Parts A and B. A member must be a resident of Carson City County, Churchill County, Douglas County, Lyon County, Storey County or Washoe County and continue to pay his or her Medicare Part B premium. John Tyson is a paid spokesperson for Senior Care Plus. Material ID: Y0039_2012_SeniorSpectrumJan File & Use: 01032012
HEALTH CARE PLAN IN NEVADA* Call Center Hours Monday-Friday 8am-8pm (Now-October) www.SeniorCarePlus.com (775) 982-3158 or (888) 775-7003 TTY Relay Service 711 830 Harvard Way Reno, NV 89502 Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8 am - 5 pm
A Medicare Advantage Plan from Hometown Health. March • 2013 • 19
BIGGESTlittle City Harry Spencer
ongtime famous Nevadan Jack Streeter, who passed away recently, was one of the last “men to match my mountains” in this area. Many thought the charismatic individual, who started off as District Attorney of Washoe County following his heroic exploits in WWII, would continue on to political prominence. A towering physical presence, he commanded respect in all the venues in which he appeared. Unfortunately, as far as politics was concerned, he was anything but “politically correct” in his feelings or vocal statements. I can only recall one occasion where I witnessed him give a very strong politician-type
20 • 2013 • March
speech. It was at the dedication of the new tower of the VA Hospital in Reno which had been named in his honor. At that time he unequivocally stated that the United States should look inward to its own problems rather than acting as a “policeman to the world.” If there would be a poster boy for the “Greatest Generation,” as TV journalist Tom Brokaw has named it, Jack Streeter would certainly fill that bill. Previous accounts of his heroic performance in WWII have adequately listed his awards which made him the most decorated Nevadan of that epoch struggle. What those accounts failed to mention was his humor and generosity. His son briefly touched on it during his final
Jack Streeter and U.S. Senator Richard Bryan at VA Medical Center tower File photo - Connie McMullen naming ceremony.
service when he mentioned the incident where leaving a tip for the hotel maid was more important than going to a prescheduled business meeting. Probably the best insight into his aggressive demeanor, which must have helped him to be a Golden Glove champion, was exhibited at the Gin tables of the Prospectors Club. While the accepted protocol was to quietly say “Gin” and gently place your cards on the table in front of your opponent, Jack had a more forceful routine. He would utter a loud “Bang” and slam his cards down thus further intimidating and unnerving his already apprehensive opponent. On other rare occasions when the
Streeter / page 20
tables were turned on him, he would retaliate by tearing the full deck of cards in half. He also often performed this same feat if the telephone directory was handy. It probably is a little known fact that Jack also was highly influential in jump starting the political career of one Bill Raggio. He approached the young lawyer who was starting out in private practice and offered him a job as Assistant District Attorney. When Streeter left the DA’s office after one term, Dyer Jensen succeeded him for a single term. Then in 1958 it was Raggio’s turn to run for DA, a post he held for the next twelve years. My most long-term contact with Jack was when he accompanied a junket to Harold Smith, Jr.’s casino in Sveti Stefan Yugoslavia. The highlight of our relationship occurred late one evening when I was informed that three native Yugoslavians who were not allowed to gamble were causing a disturbance in the bar
area. I first sought out Joe Keshmeri, Junior’s bodyguard, to assist me in taking care of the ruckus. Keshmeri said he had better check with Junior first and disappeared. As the situation grew worse, I searched for other help and found Streeter dozing on the couch in the lobby. Accompanied by Jack and the late Jack Knorpp, we headed to the bar and resolved the problem. On the return flight from Yugoslavia our plane was delayed by a mechanical function and we spent several hours at the airport in Shannon Ireland. This meant that our arrival in San Francisco would be delayed until around midnight. As we approached the SF airport, Jack came up to me and noted that one of his clients, Harvey Gross, owner of the Wagon Wheel Casino at Lake Tahoe had offered to pay for hotel accommodations for the junketeers who could not get a flight home at that late hour. In every situation in his life Jack Streeter was a force of nature.
Nevada Heroes / page 4 Senator Tester and I also joined forces to uphold the honor of military service with the introduction of the Stolen Valor Act. This legislation makes it a federal crime to lie about receiving a military decoration or medal in order to profit or benefit financially. Our military men and women continue to put themselves in harm’s way to protect American interests abroad. Congress must do all that it can to preserve
the integrity of the deco rations and medals awarded to those who have served our country. After everything our heroes have done for us, the least we can do is make sure they are afforded the very best treatment. I will continue fighting for all of the heroes who call the Silver State home. Write Sen. Heller at: Bruce Thompson Federal Building, 400 S. Virginia Street, Ste. 738, Reno, NV 89501.
You have the power to influence. Immunize Nevada wants to remind you the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu is to get vaccinated. This season, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. To learn more, visit InfluenceNevada.org
Southern Nevada Immunization and Health Coalition
Funding provided by the Nevada State Health Division by Grant Number 5H23IP922549-10 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
March • 2013 • 21
Estate Plan / page 7 t
keep middle class Americans from being subject to the AMT. This year, Congress increased the exemption from $50,600 to $78,750. It also went a step further, providing that in
future years, the exemption will be indexed for inflation. Estate and Gift Taxes Congress voted to retain the $5 million federal estate tax exemption, adjusted for inflation. This means that for 2013, the estate tax exemption is $5.25 million for an individual and $10.5 million for a married couple. The top estate tax rate has been increased from 35 percent to 40 percent. The gift tax and the estate tax remain uni-
22 • 2013 • March
fied, meaning that your lifetime gift tax use is subtracted from the total $5.25 million exemption amount remaining at your death. The gift tax also includes an annual exclusion amount – for 2013, the annual exclusion in $14,000. This means that you may give away up to $14,000 to as many different individuals as you choose without dipping into your lifetime exemption amount. IRA Charitable Rollover For a limited time – 2012 and 2013 only – Congress has extended the IRA charitable rollover provisions. This means that an individual over the age of 70½ can take funds from his or her IRA to make a charitable donation of up to $100,000 without that amount counting as income.
While the American Taxpayer Relief Act simplifies estate planning from an estate tax standpoint – at least for most Americans – it does not eliminate the need to plan. You still need an estate plan to make sure your wishes are followed, to pass on your hard-earned wealth and protect your loved ones’ inheritances from lawsuits, divorce, long-term care expenses, guardianships, probate and other risks. An estate plan will also help your family navigate life’s transitions with minimal stress and conflict. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you put together a plan tailored to your goals and your family’s needs. The Law Firm of Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. 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) 8239455 or visit us online at www.probatebusters.com.
ECLECTIC OBSERVER by Janet Ross
t’s February 6th as I write this, working a month ahead to meet the March deadline has me battling writer’s block. I could write about a trip to see my son in Southern California ... but that hasn’t happened yet. It would nice to mention the bright spots of color in the garden, mostly gold and purple crocus ... but they’ve yet to put in an appearance. I can, however, recommend a recently viewed documentary film on DVD. “Buck” is the story of a horsewhisperer and follows him as he crosses the country holding a series of clinics for training horses (and people). Buck Brannaman’s story is one of triumph over adversity. As a child he and his brother were
trick ropers, taught and promoted by a violent, alcoholic father. Put in foster care after the abuse the boys suffered was discovered, Buck slowly came out of his shell and found his true calling. More than fifty years ago my husband and I were randomly chosen to participate in an A.C. Nielsen television survey. A representative of the company attached a small, black box to our television set and sent us viewing dairies to record what we watched on a weekly basis. (Each diary came with a single, crisp dollar bill, a thank-you for our time.) Diaries arrived every few months and we never did learn the significance of the black box, which I suspect was a ruse to keep us honest
about recording our viewing habits. In January we received a call; once again we’d randomly been contacted by the Nielsen Company and asked to participate in a viewing survey. One week the end of January. Same kind of diary, but this time there was a separate diary for each television set in the house. No black box but, again, a single crisp dollar bill (what, no increase for inflation in fifty-years?). What did we record? Lots of PBS programs, part of the Super Bowl, evening news and our favorite sports (figure skating and rugby). Kishwar Desai is the winner of the Costa First Novel Award for her socially relevant mystery, “Witness the Night.” Set in Northern India, the story revolves around a mass murder, but it’s the status of women in India that combines with recent head-
lines to make one aware of the gender discrimination still rampant at all levels of society there. If you’re a member of a book club, do consider “Witness the Night” a possibility for future discussion. (Barnes & Noble or Amazon.) Our Sparks neighborhood shopping centers (Prater Way and McCarran) continue their down-market trend. In addition to a Dollar Tree and Big Lots that have been with us for several years, we now have new 99-cent and Family Dollar stores. A few of the empty store fronts are being filled, but that old, 100 percent occupancy situation isn’t likely to return any time soon. As a nation of consumers, seems to me the divide between the haves and havenots continues to grow at an alarming rate. As March arrives, Spring does, too. Stay warm, be well, and watch for the green.
March • 2013 • 23
The Story of Us!
Eydie and David
24 • 2013 • March
Northern Nevada Medical Center
e get asked all the time. What’s your secret? How do you do it? Yes, there are the standard answers. “He makes me laugh!” “We never go to bed angry.” “We’re a team!” “We agree on most everything.” “We like the same things.” The truth is we don’t agree on much. He does make me laugh. We have had some serious knock down and drawn out fights. I cry. He yells. We are both from the Bronx. Being from the East Coast seems to be a factor in long-term marriages. I cringe when asked how long we’re married. David exploits it. Couples married this long grace the newspapers and mostly look and act the part. We hope we don’t. Go ahead, count on your fingers to determine our ages. I can’t lie. I’ll admit I was 19 and David was 22. We certainly didn’t know what we were getting into. It was kind of an escape from our parents although we were and still are wildly in love. In fact, we express it daily. For one thing, we complement each other. He is math proficient and is a super financial manager but was almost kicked out of both High School and college due
to bad behavior and sucky grades. I am the English major and teacher. Okay, I am the straight A quiet one. I correct his spelling and writing; that helps him get ahead in business. This is before spell check! Let me back up a little. I promise it won’t be excruciating long. July 1960: My brother introduces us by the apartment pool. David joins the Navy. The tight uniforms impress me. He has them tailor made to fit. Meanwhile, I am dating a guy who lives on my floor. He is in college and takes me out in his white convertible. He plans to be a lawyer and eventually does become a district attorney. David and I date on and off. The drive-in movie is our usual leave destination. I pay and he sleeps. I return him under the GW Bridge at midnight to be picked up by buddies going back to his ship. May 1962: David’s ship pulls into New York for Memorial Day Weekend. We will spend the day at Palisades Park in New Jersey, an amusement park. He is acting weird. He decides to change course and return home. He turns the car around. Of course, it’s my car he is driving. I protest to no avail. Alone in my apartment, he gets down on one knee and says, “Eydie Bram, Will you marry me?” I almost faint as he places the gorgeous ring on my finger. His mom helped him pick it out. I thought she didn’t like me. It’s already been cleared with my dad who granted his permission. Yes, yes, I say yes! The date is chosen, March 16, 1963.
March 16, 1963-exactly 50 years ago today Pink is the chosen color. Yes, I distinctly remember the pink floral dress my best friend and maid of honor wears. She buys it at Alexanders, a discount store like Walmart but tells Grace, David’s mom that it came from Bloomingdales. Both moms wear pink. David, his dad, my dad, and his brother and mine, sport tails and top hats. He crushes the glass the rabbi puts in front of him. Cheers and applause ring out and it is official. I wrote this for us! Are we crazy or somewhat insane? So many couples splitting and yet we remain Happier together than we ever could be apart More in love now than we were at the start
Looking for reasons, it would be hard to define Not knowing what to expect at any particular time Sharing a lifetime, reaching a dream Knowing what having a best friend can mean Discussing our thoughts and our innermost feelings Our anxieties and hopes, – always revealing A bond that joins us – something extraordinarily strong To always be wanted – To always belong! To be continued… Comments always appreciated: email@example.com
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26 • 2013 • March
Answers page 28
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Calend ar March 8 - Red Thunder, The Next Generation, 10:30 a.m., Reno Senior Center Multipurpose Room, Washoe County Library and Pioneer Center Youth Programs. March 8 - Internation Womenʼs Day Lunafest Celebration, 6:30 - 9 p.m., Joe Crowley Student Union, presented by Zonta Club of Greater Reno. March 8 - Art Afternoon: Workshop & Social for Seniors, 1 - 3 p.m., $7/$6 members, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno. March 8 - 29 - Northern Nevada Artwork, middle and high school students, Holland Project Gallery, Reno. Scholastic Art Awards Ceremony, March 14, 6 - 7 p.m., Nevada Museum of Art. March 9 - Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra, Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 7 p.m., every Saturday, (775) 828-6612, www.washoecountyparks.com. March 9 - E-Book Cafe, Sierra View Library, 11 12 p.m., (775) 827-3232. March 12 - Wendy Damonteʼs Stories, 10 - 11 a.m., Laxalt Auditorium, Nelson Building, Senior Outreach Services, (775) 784-7506. March 14 - Landlord/Tenant Seminar, 2 p.m., Reno Senor Center Art Room (775) 328-2608. March 15 - Are You Wearing Someone Elseʼs Shoes?, 10:30 - 11:45 a.m., Reno Senior Center Game Room, Orthopedic Surgeon Rowlin, (775) 328-2575. March 19 - Emergency Food Pantry, Reno Senior Center, doors open at 7:30 a.m., limited to first 300 people, income restrictions apply, call (775) 328-2575. March 19 - Food Bank Truck (CSFP), 9:15 11:15 a.m., Reno Senior Center, income restrictions, sign up at the truck in the parking lot. March 12, 11:45 - 12:30 p.m., Sparks Senior Center. March 20, 9 - 10 a.m., Sun Valley Senior Center. Call (775) 328-2575 for more information. March 19 & 22 - Rumors by Neil Simon, Ageless Repertory Theatre, Circleʼs Edge, 1117 California Ave., charter.net/agelessrep. March 21 - Living Will Seminar, 2 p.m., RSVP by March 14, Senior Law Project, (775) 328-2592. March 21 - Marion Blackwell, presented by Black Rock Design Institute, recognized architect, $10/$8 members, (775) 329-3333. March 27 - Veterans Benefits Outreach, 10 - 12 p.m., Reno Senior Center South Hallway, (775) 328-2575.
March • 2013 • 29
this ‘n that
by Anne Vargas
Doing What We Do—Again, continued In part one (February issue) I was preparing for our pending cruises in Asia, convinced I had packed incorrectly (I had) and worrying about everything even though we have done this over a hundred times. Part Two
Despite all the fretting and middle of the night anxiety we did board a plane for our multi-leg trip, arriving in Singapore at two a.m. Since the ship was still at sea we were to spend what remained of the night in an airport hotel. Our travel arrangements are made by the cruise line, all we had was a name. We collected our luggage containing the things we wouldn’t need instead of the things we would and headed toward the door, hoping hotel shuttle buses would be running
30 • 2013 • March
at that hour and that the hotel wasn’t too far away. It wasn’t. The Crown Plaza Airport Hotel is literally at the airport. We pushed the luggage cart down the corridor and directly into sheer Asian luxury. Trust me--it’s worth a flight to Singapore just to stay there. By noon we had boarded the ship and were taking turns unpacking in the less than spacious cabin that would be home for the next 25 days. My husband currently lectures for four lovely, upscale cruise lines, each of them featuring something particularly terrific. (Just for fun I did a spread sheet listing what we like best about
each). On three of those lines our accommodations are wonderful; on this one, cabins (also known as staterooms, depending on the cruise line) are quite small but we manage to peacefully co-exist without inflicting bodily harm to one another. We sailed off into the sunset at five headed for Hong Kong via Viet Nam, the latter being the reason we had chosen this itinerary. I wanted to see the place where my husband had spent a year and he wanted to see how it had changed. We are always on board for two back-to-back cruises and this first one was just eight days with 640 passengers repre-
senting 37 countries on a 700 passenger ship. Day two was a sea/lecture day and we started meeting our multinational fellow passengers. They were all very nice but even after all these years we continue to be amazed because every cruise has its own unique character and personality. The duration of this one, combined with the multitude of nations, proved to be a bit less cohesive than the subsequent 17-day cruise when there was more time for meeting/bonding and Brits, Americans and Aussies were dominant. This cruise line has “open seating” for dinner which means you can eat
this ‘n that / page 30
whenever you like with whomever you like so we had many delightful evenings with new friends. On day three we sailed into Saigon. The name has been changed to Ho Chi Minh City but both names are used and to us it will always be Saigon. My husband traveled throughout the country as an advisor to the Vietnamese during the Viet Nam War (known in this part of the world as the American War) but he was based at Camp Tran Hung Dao nearby. It was the first of the four days we were to spend in Saigon during the course of the two cruises; the second cruise would repeat these ports of call and add others. Our visits coincided with Tet (Lunar New Year in Viet Nam) and the air of excitement was infectious, much like our holiday season but greatly magnified.
Flowers were everywhere, shops would close for days and families were congregating from afar. From my husband’s comparative perspective, Saigon seems to be a blend of what he remembered and a pursuit of prosperity. Skyscrapers are everywhere. Cho Lanh, the area where he had lived, was not to be found but the Cathedral of Notre Dame remains unchanged. There are still typical teeming open food markets and ramshackle shops and, startlingly, a modern mall featuring Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci across the street. I wanted to see the Mekong Delta. The ship offered a tour which took us by bus through the countryside followed by a boat ride up the river and then onto a Sampan. What I hadn’t realized was that once the boat docked (using that term
loosely) we had to step rather precariously in groups of four across a wobbly ramp without handrails into the Sampan. We were instructed to put our foot carefully into the middle lest we tip it over.
I have written in other columns about my spirit of adventure: it’s non-existent. I was absent the day the angels dispensed that, receiving a surplus of timidity instead. Risk-taking of any kind has always been an alien concept--the most dangerous thing I did as a child was to ride a merry-go-round. Much as I wanted to experience riding through these
jungle waters I wasn’t sure I could muster the courage. As I watched everyone else warily make their way into the tiny vessel I seriously considered just staying on the boat. I kept moving to the back of the line so I could repeatedly see how others were managing, thereby ending up in the last Sampan. Big mistake. The minute the last four passengers (3 others and me) stepped onto that wobbly ramp the boat left because it was to meet us elsewhere. The Sampan I was attempting to board (after forgetting the instructions about stepping in the middle and nearly tipping it over) was missing part of a floor board and water was unnervingly visible but the young man navigating it gestured a “no problem” sign. He may not have found that disturbing but he wasn’t able to start (this ‘n that page 32)
March • 2013 • 31
Robert Boyd & Carolyn Prusa
A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. - George Moore, Irish Novelist
s we were in the process of planning a road trip through Death Valley and on to Las Vegas our internet server went down, which led to additional computer issues. You’re familiar with the phrase, “what can go wrong….?” Net result, we were left without access to the internet for a few days. To us it felt like more than just a minor inconvenience.
You see, all of the preparations for our upcoming getaway, including motel reservations, determining the best routes, sites to see, etc., were being made on the internet – as has become our custom. Which leads us to the topic of the month…. making vacation plans via the internet. We’ve discovered that once we pick a destination, there are many good internet resources to help us work
out the details. If you are flying, for example, many airline companies offer vacation packages that are less expensive than booking the air and hotel separately. Online travel companies such as Expedia and Frommer’s also offer package deals. Don’t forget to ask for the senior discount. We’ve had good experiences with Expedia.com. When comparing an airline flight booked through Expedia with the fare of the same flight offered through
the airline itself, Expedia is often less expensive. Lodging, car rental, cruises and other vacation packages can also be booked through the company. Today Frommer’s is a large, reliable company with an easy-to-maneuver website, and guidebooks on just about any place you could ever dream of. But back in 1957 when the internet was yet to be, Robert was in Europe on business and looking for the best possible (Seniors4Travel page 33)
this ‘n that / page 31
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the motor despite repeated attempts. The other Sampans were all way ahead of us and the boat was gone. Now what? We hadn’t gotten any instructions on how to get out of a Sampan and even if we had there was nowhere to go. And there are snakes in that river. I practiced deep breathing and told myself everything would be all right. I was saved from yielding to hysteria only because the woman in front of me hadn’t; she was so upset I occupied myself trying to reassure her. The motor never did start but eventually another Sampan came along and the navigator tied a rope to ours and pulled us up through the muddy canal. It was hot and humid but beautiful and serene. It is also exactly where my husband did his jungle warfare training and I tried to envision how it must have been for him to wade through those waters in fatigues and boots, holding a rifle at his chest.
I found the intense humidity & heat for the entire trip to be challenging-just ask my husband how much I whimpered as I waded around in a perpetual puddle of perspiration--but it was great for the complexion. I bought & wore a traditional Vietnamese cone hat which helped but I couldn’t get it into the suitcase so it won’t be seen In Reno. Before leaving Saigon I would face my claustrophobic demons on a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, described in Part Three next month. And no, that’s not me in the photo below; the demons won that round.
(Seniors4Travel page 32
travel deals. Arthur Frommer had recently written a travel guidebook called “Europe on Five Dollars a Day” which served Robert well. Previously, while Frommer was a U.S. soldier serving in Europe, he wrote a guidebook called “The GI’s Guide to Traveling in Europe.” Both publications proved to be very successful. Frommer’s business expanded to publishing several travel magazines. Now in his eighties, Frommer writes a travel column with his daughter Pauline Frommer. They also have a weekly radio program and write travel blogs. Pauline published a guide titled “Spend Less and See More.” It can be downloaded from the Frommer’s website. If you are planning a road trip, AAA TripTik® is an online assist worth a look. Simply go to the website, plug in beginning and ending destinations. A road map marked with the suggested route appears on the computer screen, along with driving directions, road conditions, AAA-rated dining, lodging, campgrounds, events and sightseeing on the route. You can also book your trips online through AAA - cruises, air, auto
rental, hotel, etc. – a click or two with the mouse on this user-friendly website and it’s done. Discounts are available for AAA members. AAA publishes a magazine called “Via” which often includes information on local areas of interest. As AAA members we’ve visited the local AAA office off South Virginia Street for complimentary travel guides. For our upcoming road trip, we were able to obtain detailed
maps and brochures on places to stay and things to do in Death Valley and southern Nevada. The country’s major newspapers are also published online and have weekly travel sections with scads of information on interesting places to go. We’re particularly fond of the New York Times. National Geographic, Travel & Leisure, AFAR and Travel 50 & Beyond are great magazines with websites for
travel ideas. So get going! If you’ve got a computer with internet access, you can start planning your vacation right now – without leaving the house.
March • 2013 • 33
On Sale Now! April 5-7
FOR TICKETS CALL 775-686-6600 OR VISIT WWW.PIONEERCENTER.COM OR AT THE PIONEER CENTER BOX OFFICE (MON. - FRI. 11AM-6PM) RESERVATIONS AVAILABLE FOR GROUPS OF 20+
34 • 2013 • March
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Senior Spectrum Newspaper March 2013