Lifestyles July, 2012
This issue sponsored by:
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A sport for any senior: Introducing pickleball A low-impact activity with plenty of cardio benefits By JULIA BIGGS Of the Intelligencer If only there was a low-impact sport geared for older adults that was easy on the knees and joints and was a game most any senior could play, yet a sport that provided some cardio for a good workout. Oh, but wait. There is such a sport. It’s called Pickleball, and it continues to spread in popularity across the country. Pickleball was born on a cloudy summer day in 1964 when several families were vacationing at the Bainbridge Island, Wash., home of Washington State congressman Joel Pritchard. The kids were bored that day which prompted the adults to hand them some ping pong paddles and a softball sized ball and tell them to go play on the badminton court. The kids made up a game and Pickleball was born. Over the years, the rules of the game changed a bit as it developed from a backyard game into a national sport which was introduced into the Arizona Senior Olympics in 2011. It initially became popular in retirement communities in Arizona and Florida and among older adults primarily because retirees travelling in RVs who learned the game in Washington promoted it as they travelled to new areas. Pickleball was still fairly a Seattlearea sport until about the late 1980s,
but it has grown in popularity tremendously over the past 30 years. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) estimates that by the end of 2007 there were approximately 30,000 players in the U.S. but by the end of 2011, over 100,000 players existed. The game is played on an asphalt surface within a court that is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long or about one-quarter the size of an average tennis court. A net, similar to tennis, is hung across the court and is 36 inches high on the ends and 34 inches at the center. It’s a bit shorter than a typical tennis net. Pickleball can be played as either singles or doubles, like tennis, but it is most often played as doubles. Each player on the court uses a paddle, made of wood or a composite material that is a bit larger than a ping pong paddle, to volley a Wiffle Ball back and forth across the net. Pickleball became quite popular among older adults because it is a sport that was developed to achieve balance among players. It’s a game about placement and accuracy not just power which evens out the playing field. Because of the rules of the game, a strong, physical player doesn’t have any advantage over a small or weaker player. For example a non-volley zone, commonly referred to as “the kitchen,” is located within a 7 foot zone on either side of the net. Rules designed specifi-
cally for “the kitchen” prevents players from poaching in the zone, much like tennis, and executing extremely hard-hit balls towards opponents. Balls can be played while standing in “the kitchen” only after the ball has bounced in the zone first which eliminates those hard-hitting kill shots at the net. Points are earned when an opponent hits the ball into the net, out of bounds or simply doesn’t return a volley. During rallies, players move closer to the net, without going into the kitchen, to gain an advantage when returning balls. The general strategy is to make volleys that encourage an opponent to make a mistake and return the ball high enough so that a harder return made toward the opponent’s feet can be made. Conversely, players try to keep their ball returns low to the net to avoid giving their opponents easy kill shots. The strategy may sound rather basic, but the Wiffle Ball adds complexity to the game. Hit it too hard and it may sail off the court or hit it too softly and it plummets to the ground. The wind also plays a major role in the game because it can wreak havoc with the direction and velocity of the Wiffle Ball. Pickleball has gained popularity among young and old alike because it’s very easy to learn and after only a couple of sessions, anyone can be competitive. See “SPORT” on Page 6
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A group plays pickleball in Florida.
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Sport Continued from Page 4 Because the court is relatively small, not much time is spent retrieving balls which makes for quick play and lots of action. Also the close proximity of the players allows for more socializing during the games. In addition, itâ€™s a versatile game. It can be played in a more social environment or as a highly competitive sport. Although Pickleball first spread across senior communities across the U.S., it is beginning to expand into high schools, elementary gym classes, colleges and parks departments. A city in Utah just approved a 24 court Pickleball complex
A pickleball and paddle. that is being built this summer. The USAPA lists several
Pickleball courts located throughout the Chicagoland area and as far south
as Springfield. Likewise, the state of Missouri has courts listed throughout the Kansas City area as well as in Columbia, but only one court is listed in the St. Louis area â€“ in St. Charles. However, a group of four adults were recently spotted playing Pickleball on the tennis courts located at Township Park in Edwardsville so there may be a force forming locally. Visit the USAPAâ€™s Web site www.usapa.org for additional information about Pickleball. Why is it called Pickleball? The story goes that the Pritchard family had a cocker spaniel named Pickles and that he wasnâ€™t so pleased that the kids used his ball for their new game. When the ball would be hit astray, Pickles would retrieve it. After all, it was his ball.
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Cambridge House in Maryville
Cambridge House allows residents to maintain their independence By CAROL KOHLER Of the Intelligencer Cambridge House of Maryville is an assisted living community located east of Anderson Hospital on Route 162. Designed to serve adults 65 and older of all incomes, Cambridge House is one of three such facilities located in the metro-east area. Since their doors opened in 2006 and managed by BMA Management Ltd., Cambridge offers individuals the ability to maintain much of their independence. Private pay assisted living can be quite costly. Cambridge offers an affordable option to those struggling with living alone and an alternative to a nursing home. A wide range of helpful services and amenities are offered to residents to make each day a little more comfortable. From health monitoring and assessment, to daily events
and activities, there is something for everyone. Cambridge provides 24-hour staffing by certified nurses assistants, daily living assistance, transportation services, and has on site beauty/barber service. The fun and entertaining calendar of events and activities varies from bluegrass music, holiday picnics to talent shows. One of the favorite resident activities is Wii bowling, which is part of the social and active Nintendo game system. For three years in a row, the Silver Sliders bowling team competed in the annual statewide Supported Living Wii Bowling Tournament in Springfield, hosted by the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition (AALC). The Silver Sliders qualified for the 2012 Final Four and finished in fourth place at the May tournament. “I enjoy knowing at the end of
the day that I made a difference in someone’s life,” said Tammy Loman, Marketing Director. “I have seen residents do a complete 360 by moving here. People who used to never go out, who never left their home, are now becoming social and enjoying life.” Cambridge House accommodations include private 1 or 2 bedroom apartments with spacious living rooms, a private shower and bath, and a kitchenette with sink. With plenty of places to go and things to do, the common areas available to all residents include living room with fireplace, television lounge, exercise room, laundry room, spacious dining room, library and an outdoor patio. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Cambridge House of Maryville, 6960 State Route 162, Maryville, 288-2211.
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In this photo taken on April 23, Elaine Vlieger, 79, walks near her home near Denver, Colo. Vlieger is making some concessions to her early stage Alzheimer's, but isn't ready to give up either her home or her independence.
Living alone with Alzheimer's About 1 in 7 still reside independently By LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Elaine Vlieger is making some concessions to Alzheimer’s. She’s cut back on her driving, frozen dinners replace once elaborate cooking, and a son monitors her finances. But the Colorado woman lives alone and isn’t ready to give up her house or her independence. Some 800,000 people with Alzheimer’s, roughly 1 in 7 Americans with the dis-
ease, live alone in their communities, according to surprising new data from the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s a different picture of the mind-destroying disease than the constant caregiving that eventually these people will need. Many such as Vlieger cope on their own during dementia’s earlier stages with support from family and friends who keep in close contact. “I’m still pretty healthy,” says Vlieger, 79, who sought a neurology exam after realizing she was struggling to find words. “I’m just real careful.” But support or not, living alone with a disease that gradually strips people of the ability to know when they need
help brings special safety concerns, and loved ones on the sideline agonize over when to step in. “We don’t want to have to force it before it’s time. But how do we know?” asks Marla Vlieger of Denver, Elaine Vlieger’s daughter-in-law. There’s no easy answer to that, and it’s a challenge that only will grow as Alzheimer’s surges in the coming years. Already, an estimated 5.4 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s or similar dementias. That number is expected to reach up to 16 million by 2050 because the population is aging so rapidly. See “LIVING” on Page 10
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Living Continued from Page 9 Census figures show that nearly one-third of all people 65 and older live alone, and by their 80s more than half of women do. Most older people say they want to stay in their homes as long as possible, and developing cognitive impairment doesn’t automatically mean they can’t, says Beth Kallmyer, a social worker who heads constituent services for the Alzheimer ’s Association. The association’s new analysis illustrates the balancing act between a patient’s autonomy and safety. People with dementia who live alone tend to be less impaired than those who live with caregivers. But they are impaired, and studies show they have a greater risk of injuries, even accidental death, than patients who don’t live alone. There’s no one to check that the stove wasn’t left on or to notice right away if the person gets lost or has a fall. Marla Vlieger, who lives nearby and is her mother-inlaw’s primary caregiver, worries about those possibilities. She attends Alzheimer ’s support groups to learn from other families’ experiences. But unlike her motherin-law, the patients she’s met have a spouse who can spot problems in a way that even regular visitors such as the younger Vlieger and her husband cannot. Moreover, surveys suggest that as many as half of those with dementia who live alone can’t identify anyone as their caregiver, someone who at least checks in periodically to see how they’re faring, the association reported. Too often, those are the people whose dementia is discovered in an emergency, such as when neighbors call police to check on a senior whom no one has seen in days, Kallmyer says. Specialists struggle with how to advise patients who show up with no one to help, like the 68-year-old man who drove himself to Maine Medical Center for a memory evaluation and said he’s not close to his only relative. “He couldn’t draw a clock. He couldn’t complete a check correctly. And he couldn’t make change for a $5 bill,” geriatric physician Dr. Laurel Coleman, who diagnosed the man, told a recent meeting of the government’s Alzheimer ’s advisers. The first National Alzheimer ’s Plan, due to be finalized this month, could help. It aims to increase screening
of older adults to catch dementia earlier. It also urges doctors to help patients plan ahead for their future care needs while they still can. Kallmyer say that’s absolutely critical for those who live alone. Elaine Vlieger had been her late husband’s caregiver during a long illness and knew the importance of that planning. After her Alzheimer ’s diagnosis 18 months ago, she designated power of attorney and who will help make her health care decisions, and added a son to her bank accounts. For day-to-day living, Vlieger makes reminder lists. A friend accompanies the once avid hiker on a daily neighborhood walk, and neighbors check on her. She’s considering wearing a monitor to call for help if she falls. Transportation is a key part of planning care for people with Alzheimer ’s. Vlieger insists her driving is fine, and sticks to small, familiar roads and avoids rush hour as a precaution. Daughter-in-law Marla, however, says the doctor wants her to quit. The younger Vlieger says her mother-in-law generally copes well but is finding it harder to handle the unexpected. Family members get tearful phone calls over small crises such as a toilet overflowing. Email has become frustratingly hard because the provider updated the program so it no longer looks familiar. Then there’s the planning about housing. “The family was split,” Elaine Vlieger says. One son is researching assisted living options, but Vlieger protests, “I’m more active than those people are. It makes me feel old when I go in there.” She likes her daughter ’s suggestion of in-home services that could be added over time. Daughter-in-law Marla wonders if a geriatric care manager could offer professional advice “to help us decide what we need, and when we need it.” The trickiest part, Kallmyer says, is when to overrule someone with Alzheimer ’s and start making decisions for them. “Alzheimer ’s is not a linear process. Somebody has a bad day and the next several days will be good,” she says. Elaine Vlieger has started cleaning out her home of 35 years. But she says firmly, “I am not in a hurry.” For more information visit: Alzheimer’s Association: http://www.alz.org National Alzheimer’s Plan: http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/ napa/NatlPlan.shtml
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MSCC plans events for July The Main Street Community Center, located at 1003 N. Main St. in Edwardsville, has planned the following events for July. For more information, call 656-0300. MSCC World Flight: Welcome to France On Saturday, July 14th, from 1-3 pm, France will be the featured country, together with its music. Informative material about this nation will be available as will a special French snack, a variety of French crepes. â€œMiss Anneâ€? Wolfe will be the storyteller for our French adventure from 2-2:30 pm. Children will enjoy making as a memento of their â€œvisitâ€? to France-their own Eiffel Tower, using craft sticks or (for older children) toothpicks or can try their hand at Impressionist painting by creating a watercolor masterpiece using Q-tips. There will be attendance prizes. Again, bring your passport. If you do not have one, a passport is available at all World Flight events. MSCC at Goshen Market On Saturday, July 14 from 8am to noon, Main Street Community Center will host an information table at the Saturday Goshen Market. Gusâ€™ Pretzels will be available for sale. Stop by and pick up information about services at your community center, MSCC. PMSCC Evening Book Club
On Wednesday, July 18th, at 7 pm, Dragon Seed by Pearl Buck will be discussed at MSCC. The story of Tzu His is the story of the last empress in China. In the novel, Nobel Prize Winner Pearl S. Buck recreates the life of one of the most interesting rulers during a time of intense turbulence. The Book Club welcomes all. Refreshments are served. Suggested donation to defray cost is $1.00. MSCC Coffee Talk: Fabulously French On Friday, July 20, at 9:30 am, Professor Debbie Mann of the SIUE Department of Foreign Language and Literature will present â€œFabulously French: A Day in the Capital of Food, Fashion and Savoir-Faire.â€? Enjoy a virtual visit to Paris. Spend a day seeing the sights and living like a Parisian. â€œVenez nombreux!â€? Questions will be welcomed. This event, co-sponsored by MSCC and SIUE Office of Educational Outreach, is free. Refreshments will be served. Dialogue with an SIUE Professor at MSCC On Thursday, July 26th, at 10:30 am, Main Street Community Center will feature Bin Zhou, SIUE Professor of Geography, speaking on â€œCommunism vs. Capitalism: Tales of Two Chinas.â€? Professor Bin Zhou will be drawing on his own experience growing up in China to tell a story of what it was like to live and grow up in a communist China. See â€œMSCCâ€? on Page 12
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MSCC Continued from Page 11 It contrasts with another story popularized through American media in recent years in which China is portrayed as a rapidly rising economic superpower driven by capitalism posing increasing threats to the hegemonic position of the United States. This free talk is sponsored by the SIUE Office of Educational Outreach, with technical support provided by the SIUE Meridian Society. Refreshments will be served. MSCC World Flight: Welcome to China On Saturday, July 28th, from 1pm to 3pm, MSCC will host an informative “tour” of China, featuring this country’s music. Storyteller “Miss Denise” Throkheld will share stories from 2-2:30 pm. The Chinese snack will be fortune cookies. As a memento of this visit, children will be able to make a Chinese lantern and Chinese folding paper fans. So please bring your passport! If you do not have one, you can receive one at the event. MSCC Closing Day Main Street Community Center will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th, in observance of Independence Day. Meals on Wheels, transportation, and all activities will be cancelled for that day. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. MSCC Volunteer of the Month Cheryl Cruse
What Happens After the Hospital?
Cheryl worked tirelessly to decorate for our former Executive Director Jackie’s retirement party. Through her special creations she transformed the center into a beautiful reception hall. Cheryl also works on the Center decorations throughout the year. Thank you to Cheryl Cruse for all she does for the MSCC. MSCC Seeking participants for the Meals on Wheels program The Main Street Community Center is currently seeking participants who may benefit from the Meals on Wheels program. This program offers a balanced meal, prepared by Anderson Hospital, Monday through Friday, for just $3.50 per day. The meals are delivered to the participant’s home by volunteers. Recipients must live within the corporate limits of Edwardsville and Glen Carbon. To register or to receive more information about the Meals on Wheels program, contact the Center at 656-0300. MSCC E-Newsletter is Free The monthly electronic newsletter of Main Street Community Center is free. Call 656-0300 if you wish to subscribe. Stay in Shape at MSCC Main Street Community Center offers a variety of workout classes to fit all needs, young and old! Jazzercise occurs three times per week: every Monday and Wednesday, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, and every Saturday, from 8:30 to 9:30 am. Also Stretch and Move, a senior-based class, is held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 8 to 9 am. Please note that each class may have a minimal cost to attend. For more information, please contact MSCC at 656-0300.
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A colonoscopy can be a lifesaver – don’t wait (ARA) - Every year, colon cancer takes the lives of tens of thousands of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and friends, despite the fact that with an early screening, these deaths are highly preventable. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) and makers of Dulcolax (R) annually urging people to make an appointment with their doctors and schedule a colon cancer screening. It is estimated that more than 30,000 lives could be saved each year if all Americans were screened for colon cancer. “While the idea of having a colonoscopy may not be appealing to everyone, a colonoscopy can be a lifesaver,” says Andrew Spiegel, Chief Executive Officer of the Colon Cancer Alliance. “The impact of the consequences of not having one can be devastating to those most important to you. Whether you do it for yourself or for the ones you love, schedule a colonoscopy today.” The goal of the partnership is to increase awareness of colon cancer which, if found early enough, is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Another goal of the partnership is to encourage early screenings which can truly be lifesavers. A portion of proceeds from the purchase of Dulcolax (R) products supports CCA community screening programs. About colon cancer Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and affects men and women equally. If diagnosed early, colon cancer is highly preventable, which is why screenings are a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. The majority of new cases occur in people ages 50 and older, yet about a third of Americans these ages have not been screened for the disease. Colon cancer often shows no signs or symptoms, which is why getting a colonoscopy screening or talking to a loved one about getting screened can be a lifesaver against this highly preventable cancer. Men and women over the age of
Don’t put off seeing your doctor about a colonoscopy. 50 are being encouraged to take action and talk to their doctor to schedule their colonoscopy. Additionally, people with a family history of the disease or those who present other risk factors should get screened earlier. Tips to lower your risk Although there are some risk factors
that cannot be controlled (like age and family history), a recent study found that about one-quarter of colon cancer cases could be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle. In addition to regular screenings, here are some things you can do to help lower your risk: See “HEALTH” on Page 16
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Make sure your cellphone plan meets your financial goals
Money-saving tips for boomers and seniors
(ARA) - Many Americans are in the process of reassessing their spending patterns, and boomers and seniors are no exception. Seventy-three percent of adults over age 50 started saving more or cutting back on spending last year, compared to 2010, according to a November 2011 report by the AARP. In many cases, the new spirit of frugality is not necessarily born out of financial necessity, but also out of a desire to simplify life, avoid excessive consumption and focus on what’s really important - family, friends and community. If you’re an adult over 50, maybe you’re exploring the hidden treasures of your own region instead of taking exotic vacations. Maybe you’re barbecuing with friends in the backyard instead of going out to eat. Maybe you’re spending more time playing with your grandkids instead of buying them the latest electronic gadgets. In short, you’re trying to cut back on spending without
sacrificing quality of life. Here are five tips to help. • Examine recurring expenses. It’s easy to overpay for utilities and other recurring expenses if you don’t periodically review your options and make sure you’re getting the best deal. Many utility companies offer senior discounts, for example, but you have to ask. Also consider a lowercost no-contract cellphone plan. Consumer Cellular, for example, offers a variety of affordable no-contract voice and data plans that can be changed without penalty at any time. You’re never locked into a plan that forces you to pay for more service than you need, and complementary usage alerts mean you don’t have to worry about accidentally exceeding your maximum allowance. Flexible family plans where couples and families share minutes can save an additional $20 to $30 per month. See “SAVING” on Page 16
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Saving Continued from Page 15 • Increase energy efficiency. Another way to reduce your bills is by increasing the energy efficiency of your home. You can unplug battery chargers when not in use, turn off appliances rather than leaving them in standby mode, use energy-efficient light bulbs and turn off the lights when you leave a room. If you’re able to invest a little to ensure longer-term savings - whether through weatherproofing or upgrading aging appliances - you can schedule an energy audit to find out how to get the biggest bang for your home-improvement buck. • Be a smart shopper. If you’re not into clipping coupons, that’s OK. There are other ways to save. For example, try store-brand products rather than automatically reaching for the brands you’ve always purchased - in many cases, you won’t be able to tell the difference. Buy in bulk if you use large quantities of something. Watch for sales on items you purchase regularly, but don’t buy something just because it’s on sale - if you wouldn’t have bought it otherwise, you’re not saving money. For bigger-ticket items, be sure to comparison shop to make sure you’re getting the best price. Websites such as pricegrabber.com allow you to research numerous retailers without leaving your home.
HeaLtH Continued from Page 14 • Diet: Limit consumption of red and processed meats, eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, and choose whole grains in preference to processed grains. Additionally, consumption of milk and calcium probably decreases the risk of developing colon
• Take advantage of free entertainment. Wondering what to do this weekend? Low-cost, or sometimes free, options are abundant. Check the events sections of local newspapers and websites to see what’s happening in the area - festivals, exhibits and other special events are often free, and high schools and colleges frequently host sporting events, plays, concerts and lectures that are open to the public. Libraries are also an excellent source of free entertainment - you can try out new authors, artists and genres with no risk by borrowing books, audiobooks, DVDs and CDs instead of purchasing them. You might even meet some interesting people while you’re out and about in the community. • Reassess your gift-giving habits. If you’ve ever found yourself rushing to the mall to buy a last-minute gift for a loved one’s birthday, chances are you’ve spent more than you originally planned, settled for something you suspected the recipient might end up exchanging, or avoided the decision by purchasing a safe but impersonal gift card. However, most of us don’t really need more things. Instead, consider giving your loved ones the gift of a shared experience. If your grandson loves animals, take him to the zoo. If your sister is into jazz, take her out for an evening at a jazz club. Of course, you might not end up spending less money this way - experiences come in all price ranges - so do keep your budget in mind. The point is that instead of wasting money on something that might just sit in the garage for years, you’ll enjoy a meaningful experience together. And that’s what quality of life is all about.
cancer. • Physical activity: High levels of physical activity decrease the risk of colon cancer among men and women by possibly as much as 50 percent. The more physical activity in which people engage, the lower their risk of colon cancer. • Weight: Being overweight or obese is associated with a higher risk of colon cancer, independent of physical activity. Maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
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• Smoking: There is now sufficient evidence to conclude that tobacco smoking causes colon cancer. • Alcohol: Individuals who have a lifetime average of 2 to 4 alcoholic drinks per day have a 23 percent higher risk of colon cancer than those who consume less than one drink per day. To learn more about colon cancer and the importance of getting screened, visit www.ccalliance.org/ Dulcolax and www.DulcolaxUSA. com.
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Protecting your nest egg (ARA) - Calling your retirement savings a “nest egg” is meaningful on many levels. Just as birds labor hard and long to create a secure roost, you and your mate work hard to provide for yourselves during your golden years. And just as crows and other invaders can come along to rob a bird’s nest, your nest egg can be at risk from predators like identity thieves and scammers. One out of every five people older than 65 - 7.3 million Americans - has been the victim of a financial swindle, according to a survey sponsored by the Investor Protection Trust. Identity theft statistics are also alarming: In 2010, more than 1 million people older than 65 were targeted by identity thieves, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Factor in everyone older than 50, and that number soars to more than 3.5 million. “Unfortunately, it’s not enough to have saved wisely for retirement,” says Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for Experian’s ProtectMyID. “Statistics show that seniors are favorite targets for identity thieves, con artists and scammers. Protecting your nest egg from being raided by crooks is every bit as important as ensuring your investments continue to pay off.” According to the FBI, seniors may be targeted because: • They are less likely to be technically savvy about online predators. • They tend to be more polite and trusting, and may be less likely to recognize a phone scam. • They may be unaware who to report a crime to if they’ve been defrauded. * They often have large nest eggs to protect. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your nest egg. Avoiding phone scams First, always know who you’re giving your money to. Never invest with someone who “cold calls” you on the phone claiming to have a great investment opportunity. Be especially wary of “companies” that have no physical address and operate out of a P.O. box or website. And remember, be suspicious if an investment promises amazing returns. If something sounds too
Make sure to take steps to protect your savings. good to be true, it often isn’t true at all. Never give your bank account, Social Security Number or credit card number to someone who calls claiming to be a bill collector. The law requires bill collectors to provide you with documentation of a debt. Request documentation and thoroughly check out any claims that you owe money. If you have any doubts about a phone call you’ve received, talk to friends or family members who know something about investing. Never trust a stranger you’ve just met on the phone more than the people in your life whom you know care about you. Guarding against identity theft In addition to being aware of investment scams, you also need to take steps to prevent identity theft. “Seniors tend to use credit less, have more available credit and are less likely to check their credit report online,” Chaplin says. “All those factors make them an appealing target for identity thieves.” The Federal Trade Commission recommends that everyone monitor their credit report regularly to detect signs of identity theft quickly. Services like ProtectyMyID monitor your credit report on a daily basis to help you detect, protect against and resolve instances of identity theft.
In addition to monitoring your credit, you can help protect your identity with these measures: • Safeguard your Social Security and Medicare cards. Never carry your Social Security card with you. Store it in a safe, locked location. Be wary of who you give the number to. If a merchant or health care provider wants it, ask why they need it and if they will accept an alternate form of identification. • Never leave out-going mail in your mailbox. If you can’t get to the post office to mail it, leave a note asking your postal carrier if he or she would be able to come to your door to pickup your outgoing mail. • If you use paper checks, never have new checks delivered by mail to your home. Instead, have them sent to your bank, where you can pick them up. And never have your checks imprinted with your home phone number, Social Security number, driver’s license number or birth date. • Arrange to have all income checks - Social Security, interest dividends, pension payments, 401k withdrawals, etc. - deposited directly into your bank account. Never have a check mailed to your home, where it could be stolen from your mailbox.
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Better – and cheaper – prescriptions may be available through the mail.
Shopping for a new pharmacy? (ARA) - If you take a regular prescription, comparison shopping for the right pharmacy can be important to your health. One option you may be unaware of puts quality medication and lower costs as close to home as your mailbox. Some health insurers and pharmacies offer mail order service, yet many people don’t know about the option, or are unsure of how it works. Mail order pharmacies deliver prescriptions through the mail, and often at a substantially lower cost. What’s more, getting your prescription through mail order may also improve your health, says Randell Correia, doctor of pharmacy and senior vice president of Pharmacy Services at OptumRx, a pharmacy benefits management company. “Several studies have shown that people who receive their prescriptions through mail are often more likely to take their medications as directed by
their doctor,” Correia says. “With mail order, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to get your prescription refilled or running out as many of the prescriptions come in a 90-day supply. And when you stick with your medications, you are able to maintain and improve your health.” Correia answers some commonly asked questions about mail order prescriptions: Why is mail order more affordable than going to a retail pharmacy? Most mail order prescriptions are for generic drugs, which are as effective as brand name products but are offered at a substantial discount. Consumers can typically get a 90-day supply of prescription drugs through mail order for the same cost as a 60-day supply at retail - a 30 percent savings. Is mail order a safe way to obtain my prescriptions? Yes. Certified mail order facilities employ highly trained, licensed phar-
macists who verify the medication and dosage of each prescription. Before the medication is shipped, a final quality and safety check is made. Correia says that at OptumRx, accuracy at its mail order pharmacies is 99.9 percent, surpassing retail pharmacies. Will I be able to talk to a pharmacist if I have a question? Many mail order pharmacies offer consultation services by telephone with licensed pharmacists. For those with complex conditions - such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis - you may also have access to free support programs that provide counseling and education with a registered clinician. How do I use my mail order option? Contact your insurance provider or the pharmacy number on your insurance card to learn if mail order is an option. If you are eligible for mail order, your doctor may send in the prescription or you may be asked to send it along with an authorization form.
TheIntelligencer.com - July, 2012 - Mature Lifestyles - 19
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20 - Mature Lifestyles - July, 2012 - TheIntelligencer.com
For the Intelligencer
Puerto Rico boasts 365 idyllic beaches.
Experience the enchantment of Puerto Rico The perfect island getaway awaits By MANDY DARR Of Wishes Travel Boutique The locals refer to it as “la Isla del Encanto,” or “Island of Enchantment,” but to the rest of the world this vibrant island is known as Puerto Rico. Though small in size (it is approximately the size of Connecticut), this Caribbean commonwealth provides visitors history, exquisite beaches, world-class golf
courses and the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. Although Puerto Rico is independently governed, it remains a territory of the United States. U.S. Citizens are free to travel to Puerto Rico without a passport or the hassle of currency exchange— Puerto Rico uses the U. S. Dollar. Since it is a U. S. Territory, Medicare provides complete coverage, as do most insurance companies. In fact, Puerto Rico provides
most of the conveniences Americans are used to, but in a uniquely beautiful Caribbean setting. “Many visitors choose Puerto Rico because no passport in needed for those travelling from the U. S.,” says Cristina Martin, U. S. Representative for the Gran Melia Resort in Puerto Rico. “Plus, Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin Airport provides easy international travel.” See “TRAVEL” on Page 23
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traveL Continued from Page 22 Travelers can sample all Puerto Rico has to offer in San Juan. San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, was founded in 1521 and contains lovely examples of 16th and 17th-century Spanish architecture. It is one of the oldest cities in the Western Hemisphere and the United States designated Old San Juan a National Historic Zone in 1950. In fact, Castillo San Cristobal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro are listed as World Heritage Sites. Old San Juan is partially enclosed by walls and contains seven square blocks of authentic blue cobblestones streets, lined with excellent shopping, gourmet restaurants in carefully restored and colorful buildings. This city is the perfect blend of historical wonders and a vibrant, urban atmosphere. A visit to Puerto Rico is not complete without a trip to the Bacardi Distillery. The tour includes a guided walk through of the largest rum distillery in the world, and, of course, free cocktails. Several tour companies provide day trips, but taking the $0.50 ferry ride from San Juan Pier 2 to Catano, followed by a $3 taxi ride is the most economical route. San Juan’s transportation system provides easy access for travelers. Buses, trolleys, trains, ferries and a taxi service are all readily available. Be sure to ask for a senior discount—some services offer free or discounted access for mature adults. The airport is also conveniently located to one of the main hotel zones and many hotels offer a shuttle service from the airport. Tour Companies, such as Dragonfly (dragonflyadvernturespr.com) offer tours to various parts of the island, including the rainforest, bird watching, snorkeling and shopping tours. But if complete relaxation is your goal, then perhaps one of Puerto Rico’s 365 beaches will satisfy. Two of its finest beaches, Balneario Encambron and Balneario Carolina, are within San Juan. These beaches are gated, equipped with dressing rooms, lifeguards, parking, and other facilities. Balneario Carolina is shaded with palm and almond trees, with plenty of room to spread out and relax. Balneario Encambron has honey-colored sand and gently swaying coconut trees with a mild surf. Playa Flamenco, on the nearby island of Culebra, is rated as one of the world’s best beaches and is only a short ferry ride away ($2.50 each way). For those with a more adventurous spirit, visit the El Yunque Rainforest—the only subtropical rainforest in the U S National Forest Service. Over 28,000 acres of rare wildlife and vibrant foliage contain 13 well-maintained hiking trails. The trails are easy
Margie Huffman, RN, BSN, CCM
Geriatric Care Manager
to walk and most are less than a mile long—just enough to enjoy this natural wonder. The forest is home to Puerto Rico’s endangered green parrot, the cotorra, as well as 96 other bird species. El Portal Rainforest Center, the information center near the northern entrance, provides high-tech interactive displays explaining the rainforest and its inhabitants. You can also pick up park maps and chat with the local rangers. But if golf is more your game, then one of Puerto Rico’s 24 golf courses will have you shouting “Four!”. There are courses designed by top golf pros such as Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Jack Nicklaus, Arthur Hills and Tom Kite. Trump International Golf Course, a stop on the PGA Tour, is set along the ocean with fabulous views of the El Yunque Rainforest. Several courses are part of a larger resort and reduced greens fees are available to guests. Martin notes, “Puerto Rico is a tropical island blessed with beautiful beaches and history. There is something for everyone, whether you enjoy food, leisure, history, sightseeing or adventure travel.” It’s true that with duty-free shopping, fishing, world-class golf, romantic vistas, historical landmarks, gourmet cuisine, Puerto Rico has it all. Whether you prefer to rent a car and see the countryside or stay in a posh San Juan Hotel, no other place provides the conveniences of home with the serenity of the Caribbean. Once you experience this dynamic and beautiful island, you can’t help but agree that it truly is the Island of Enchantment. Mandy Darr is a travel counselor—and a Puerto Rico Specialist—at Wishes Travel Boutique in Edwardsville. WTB is a full-service travel consulting firm specializing in Caribbean, cruise, and all-inclusive travel, as well as magical Orlando vacations. Visit www.wishestravelboutique.com or call 619-409-0419 or more information.
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22 - Mature Lifestyles - July, 2012 - TheIntelligencer.com
Emotions run high for pre-retirees From baby boomers down, expectations are bleak (ARA) - Has the economy soured Americans’ views on retirement? A recent survey from TD Ameritrade may have revealed just that. According to the survey, a wide range of emotions currently exist among different generations regarding retirement - spanning from positivity and contentment to anxiety and regret. The following highlights each generation’s views on retirement: Matures - Even with half making cutbacks or lifestyle changes, current retirees are relatively satisfied with their place in life and maintain a positive outlook. Baby boomers - As the reality of retirement for boomers grows closer, this generation’s outlook remains bleak, with many having feelings of anxiety or regret over their finances. Generation X - This generation is the least confident in their approach to saving for retirement and meeting their retirement savings goals. They generally feel embarrassed, frustrated and envious regarding retirement. Generation Y - With retirement so far away, Gen Y feels out of control and is somewhat disinterested in saving, yet they, more than any other generation, are optimistic that their financial state in retirement will be better than it is now. So why are Americans reporting such a dismal outlook? The survey found that retirement saving has been anything but easy in recent years, with 73 percent of Americans reporting they have faced obstacles while saving for a comfortable retirement - such as lack of employment, debt and education or health care expenses. “While these sentiments are understandable, it’s important not to let emotions get the best of you,” says Lule Demmissie, managing director, investment products and retirement for TD Ameritrade, Inc., a brokerage subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. “Pre-retirees should determine how much of their outlook is actually rooted in reality. For example, two-thirds of
Younger Americans, in particular, have a bleak outlook toward their retirements. those already in retirement report they have not had to make dramatic changes to their lifestyles and are generally content. With a solid plan in place, younger generations may not be as doomed as they think.” Despite these beliefs, pre-retirees are taking action and making an honest effort to save for the future. In fact, 53 percent of respondents report they save regularly through automatic withdrawals. Gen X and Gen Y are also learning from the experiences of previous generations, saving for retirement nearly a decade earlier than matures and baby boomers. Respondents who are married, particularly men, are also positioned well and report being optimistic about retirement, with many reporting they are saving regularly, have fewer savings obstacles and established a specific savings goal. The following tips can help Americans get their retirement plans back on track in 2012: 1. Evaluate your current financial situation
Whether you are starting from scratch or have some plans in place, the first step is to take a closer look at where you stand financially. TD Ameritrade’s WealthRuler can help you assess your financial situation so you can initiate a solid plan for the future. 2. Establish your plan Once you know your financial state, you can determine next steps for building your plan. Whether you are looking to formulate a plan independently or are seeking help from a financial professional, TD Ameritrade offers a number of free online retirement resources that can help you get started. 3. Act! Once your plan is in place, make sure you follow through. Consider setting up automatic withdrawals and funding all retirement savings and investing vehicles according to your overall plan. Once you get your plan in motion, you will have taken steps to pursue your retirement goals.
TheIntelligencer.com - July, 2012 - Mature Lifestyles - 23
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24 - Mature Lifestyles - July, 2012 - TheIntelligencer.com
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