50 April 2011 | The magazine for active, mature lifestyles
Things To Do
Five Questions About LongTerm Care
Financial column by Scott Preston
What You Need To Know About Cataracts
Health column by Joseph Feder, MD,
OLDER PARENTS: Challenges & Blessings 8-9 Larry and Barbara Schuh are not the grandparents of 5-year-old Hannah
Table of Contents . April 2011
Spring Allergies: Myth and Fact
Exercise Helps Her Age Swimmingly
THINGS TO DO
Five Questions About Long-Term Care
What You Need To Know About Cataracts
Spring Cleaning? What To Shred And What To Keep
Tips For Prepping Lawn Tools For Spring
Road Trip! A Mature Dude’s Guide To Roaming The Highways 15 On the Cover:
OLDER PARENTS: Challenges & Blessings
Barbara and Larry Schuh at home with their 5-year-old daughter, Hannah. The Schuhs enjoy being older parents, despite the challenges. Doug Sundin/50 Plus
Pat Pankratz, 50 Plus! Editor 920-686-2138 firstname.lastname@example.org James Maurer, Advertising Manager 920-684-4433 email@example.com 50 Plus! is published monthly by the Herald Times Reporter. It also is distributed to select businesses in Manitowoc County.
2 . April 2011 . 50 plus!
The Fraternity of Older Parents
Pat Pankratz is editor of 50 Plus!
“Lindsey, your grandpa’s here.” With that innocent exclamation by a young boy who didn’t know any better, I was unceremoniously welcomed into the Fraternity of Older Parents. I was picking up my daughter a few years back from the daycare facility we employed at the time. Lindsey found the boy’s remark kind of funny, and we laugh about it from time to time to this day. My wife Jenny, eight years my junior, still finds it a hoot. Junior is a relative term when it comes to having children at an older age. My wife and I thank God each day for our blessings (corporately or individually), chief among them being Lindsey. Jenny was 41 and I was 49 when she was born. We read about — and medical professionals told us about — the added risks of having a child later in life. We worried even further when Lindsey decided to enter the world five weeks ahead of schedule on a cold, snowy early morning in February. Thankfully, she was healthy and has remained that way, save for the usual childhood maladies — the occasional ear infection, strep throat, etc. In this issue of 50 Plus!, you’ll read about the Barbara and Larry Schuh family of Manitowoc. He’s 69 and she’s 49, and they have a 5-year-old daughter, Hannah. You’ll read about the joys they share and challenges they face as older parents.
There are pros and cons to being an older parent. The only way to truly know them, however, is to experience the situation. So far, so good. Each day with our daughter is a blessing. Here’s hoping that you all enjoy your children as much as we enjoy our growing bundle of joy.
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Currently, one out of every five women worldwide is delaying having her first baby until the age of 35 or older, according to babyzone.com, along with a growing trend for middle-aged women to add to their existing family.
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I will be in my later 60s when my daughter graduates from high school. In the more immediate future, like this weekend for instance, I have to admit that the energy once there for the games an 8-year-old wants to play isn’t in quite the supply it once was. That is offset by the positives.
My wife and I are both more mature than we were in our 20s, for instance, making it far more likely we will make the right choices on Lindsey’s behalf and, more importantly, be able to instruct her on how to make her own proper choices.
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ARDC: Time To Celebrate Volunteers
More than 500 community members serve as volunteers to the Aging & Disability Resource Center, unselfishly giving of their time and talents to keep people connected to the community and as independent as possible. From delivering meals to homebound individuals or volunteering at a senior dining site, to driving individuals to medical or other appointments, to assisting individuals with prescription drug plans or filling out tax forms, to facilitating prevention programs, your volunteer services are greatly appreciated. Thanks to all of you for caring and bettering our communities. The need for volunteers continues to grow. In 2010, the ADRC saw tremendous growth in its rural
Well” program. “Living Well” is a self-help program for individuals who are dealing with a long-term medical condition that will help the individual realize their physical capabilities.
Volunteers also were recruited and trained to help with the Medicare Part D open enrollment this past fall. The addition of volunteers in these two programs was critical to the ADRC’s ability to meet the needs of our growing elderly and disabled populations.
May is Older Americans Month. The ADRC, along with the senior centers and the long-term care facilities, will be hosting a community health fair “Age Strong! Live Long” on Wednesday, May 25, in the Merchants Building at the Expo Grounds from 1 to 4 pm. The community will have the opportunity to visit with exhibiters who are providers, who can assist individuals with staying in their own homes or render services to individuals who need outside assistance temporarily or permanently.
The ADRC is currently working with Kewaunee County on a prevention grant and is looking to recruit volunteers to help facilitate or market the “Living
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2602 Forest Ave., Two Rivers • 794.8713
Village Green East
2401 Polk St., Two Rivers • 794.7961
Community Health Fair
Attorney Jack Cashman will be doing a presentation at 1:15 p.m. on estate planning, which will include information on power of attorney for health care and finances. The ADRC staff will do a presentation on Medicare and what it has to offer, and Lynn Seidl Babcock
For Comfortable Senior Living • Spacious one-bedroom apartments
Thank you to everyone who volunteers to make our communities a better place to live. It makes no difference whether you volunteer for the ADRC, your church, the schools, or other opportunities in the community; your service is much appreciated and does make the community a better place to live.
Attendees will have the opportunity to visit a food court and try different foods from each of the food groups that help to build a healthy diet. Bingo will also be part of the afternoon events. Door prizes will be given away at the end of the afternoon, with the major door prize of a lift chair. No admission will be charged.
Funding Deferred It has been a year since Family Care came to Manitowoc County. This program replaced the former Community Options Program run by the county. Manitowoc County was expected to be a Family Care entitlement county by April of 2013. Entitlement means that waiting lists for long-term care services would be eliminated. The proposed 2011-13 budget defers further expansion of Family Care to allow for an audit of the program. This could result in entitlement extending beyond April 2013. Happy Easter to everyone! Judy Rank is executive director of the Manitowoc County Aging and Disability Resource Center.
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will do a presentation on hospice and end of life issues and bringing closure for Alzheimer’s patients. Stephanie Walker, a dietitian with Festival Foods, will discuss its Nu Val program and how it helps with developing a healthy diet.
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April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week. “Celebrating People in Action” honors those who dedicate themselves to taking action and bettering their communities. It is the time to celebrate the ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things through service.
transportation program as a result of the volunteer drivers that were recruited and trained. Transportation services are now available for the St. Nazianz and Valders area elderly and disabled on Monday; on Tuesdays services are available to Kellnersville; Mishicot and Two Rivers areas are serviced on Wednesday; and the Francis Creek/Rockwood residents can use the service on Thursdays. Individuals from the respective communities are encouraged to make their routine medical appointments on the day transportation is available in their community. The cost is just $3 for a one-way ride.
Judy Rank | For 50 plus!
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PARK LANE APARTMENTS • 416 PARK LANE • MISHICOT, WI 50 plus! . April 2011 . 3
Spring Allergies: Myth and Fact ARA Content Knowing fact from fiction can make the difference between misery and relief for millions of spring allergy sufferers. “People often sneeze and wheeze through spring if they use misinformation to manage their condition,” says allergist Dr. Myron Zitt, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “But no one should suffer from spring allergies. Knowing the facts, getting a proper diagnosis and the right treatment allows allergy patients to feel good all season long.” The ACAAI, whose allergist members specialize in treating allergies and asthma, dispels several common spring allergy myths. Myth: Over-the-counter (OTC, or nonprescription) oral antihistamines are just as effective as prescription medicines in controlling a stuffy nose. Fact: OTC antihistamines can help control some allergy symptoms, but they have little effect on relieving a stuffy nose
or the inflammation that often occurs with allergies. They also can cause drowsiness. Allergists can prescribe more effective anti-inflammatory medications as well as find the source of suffering, rather than just treat the symptoms. Myth: OTC decongestant nasal sprays are addictive. Fact: OTC decongestant nasal sprays are not technically addictive. However, people who overuse them may think they are because they need more and more to get relief from the congestion. To combat this, OTC decongestant nasal sprays shouldn’t be used more than three days in a row. Also, an allergist can prescribe a nasal spray containing a steroid, which may be more effective and is not addictive. Myth: Allergy shots require too much time and are more expensive than taking medicine to relieve symptoms. Fact: Depending on how bothersome the allergies are, immunotherapy (allergy shots) may actually save money and improve quality of life. In fact,
a recent study showed that immunotherapy reduced total health care costs in children with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) by one-third, and prescription costs by 16 percent. The shots are similar to a vaccine, exposing the recipient to a tiny bit of allergen at a time, to build up a tolerance to it. As tolerance increases, allergy symptoms will be significantly lessened and may even go away. That can save sick days and money spent at the drug store. Myth: A blood test is the best way to diagnose allergies. Fact: Actually, skin tests are more sensitive than blood tests. In skin allergy testing, the skin on the inside of the arms or the back is pricked with a tiny bit of an allergen. If the person is allergic,
the site will become red and swollen within 20 minutes and usually clear in an hour or two. Skin testing is very safe when performed by an allergist, even in infants and young children. But no single test alone provides the entire picture. Sufferers should see an allergist, who is trained in diagnosing and treating allergies. To learn more about allergies and asthma, take a relief test or find an allergist, visit www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
SKILLED NURSING CARE & REHABILITATION SERVICES
Dedicated to serving the needs of our Community in a Caring, Resident-centered Environment.
• Caring compassionate staff • Medication management • Individual care plans • Assistance with activities of daily life including: dressing, grooming, and bathing • Home-cooked, nutritious meals and snacks • On-site physical, occupational and speech therapies • Supervised activities • Hospice/Respite care available
• Full-body whirlpool • Laundry and housekeeping services • Interaction and involvement with the community • Cable television • On-site religious services • On-site beauty salon/barber shop • On-site podiatry, optometry, dental and audiology • 24-hour emergency placement
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MEDICARE & MEDICAID CERTIFIED 4 . April 2011 . 50 plus!
Exercise Helps Her Age Swimmingly By Janice Lloyd | USA TODAY Toni Miles knows better than most how the aging body declines. She has written dozens of articles on the topic, and she teaches the physiology of aging and disability assessment to medical students at the University of Louisville. Going to the campus gym, lining up to use the weight machines and doing laps in the swimming pool are all part of the workout routine she follows in an effort to ward off age-related problems such as muscle loss and loss of mobility. But that has not always been the case. It took a trip to the emergency room to set this gerontologist on the fitness path. Two years ago, when she was 54, she says she got a wake-up call. “We talk to our patients about having teachable moments. Well, I was having a teachable moment,” she says. “Spasms between my shoulder blades woke me up in the middle of the night. When you’re that age, you don’t know if it’s a heart attack or musculoskeletal.”
Her heart was fine. Miles had pinched a nerve, she says, from the strain of moving herself into an upstairs apartment in downtown Washington, D.C. She was relocating there temporarily for a fellowship with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to help with research on health care reform. “There I was with all these younger staffers and fellows and I was hobbling around,” she says. “It was pretty sad.” Thanks to the advice of the emergency room doctors and a physical therapist, she has dedicated herself to a workout routine and also nudged her husband of 38 years, A.W. Miles, to join her. “Physical function is the holy grail in geriatrics,” she says. “Maintaining the ability to live the life you want is pretty much determined by physical and cognitive prowess. We will all die someday. Living until that moment is the goal.” The physical therapist told her she was out of shape and her core was weak, gave her an exercise plan and warned her it
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An expert on how we grow old learns to live what she teaches others. “We talk to our patients about having teachable moments. Well, I was having a teachable moment.” ~Toni Miles
would take a year to get in shape. “Before then, my husband and I kept putting it off,” she says. “We had several fits and starts for four or five years. We never had the right clothing. We couldn’t get the timing down.”
Now, they walk together twice a week and go to the gym twice a week to lift weights and exercise. Then, while he works out on exercise machines, she swims freestyle, making good use of her arms, shoulders and back to help keep them strong. She swims 1,500 meters, bench-presses 100 pounds and does squats with 120 pounds. “Now my back doesn’t hurt me,” she says. “My knees bend and I have endurance.” The American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity include 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity, resistance training twice a week and stretching.
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She zeroes in on food labels when shopping. She eats mostly fruits and vegetables, and she allows herself meat two to three times a week. “After reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, I went on a tear and took everything out of the house that had high-fructose corn syrup in it because it raises triglyceride levels. My husband loves soda, which is full of corn syrup.” High triglyceride levels can increase the risk for heart disease and other illnesses, including diabetes. The Mileses aren’t diet saints, she acknowledges, and “we still have some famous food fights.” But she plans to never get out of shape again.
The Mileses are proud of meeting those requirements. “While I am always looking to shed a few pounds, I am most satisfied when I can push the limits of my performance,” she says. Their blood pressure is controlled with the “minimum amount of medication.”
Her advice to people who work at computers: Find an exercise plan.
She says there are two medically important numbers that will quickly respond to changes in diet and exercise:
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fasting glucose and total cholesterol. “Mine are 83 and 145, respectively, maintained with a sole focus on diet and exercise without medication,” she says.
“My physical weaknesses were part of the inherent dangers of being a writer,” she say. “I used to just sit and write all the time.”
“When I wave, my triceps don’t flap.”
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50 plus! . April 2011 . 5
50 THINGS TO DO plus!
April 2 | Inspired by the Masters: Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra, Capitol Civic Centre, An internationally acclaimed soloist and Beethoven’s symphonic portrait of heroism make for an exhilarating close to the season. 7:30 p.m., (920) 683-2184, www.cccshows.org. April 2 | SweetWater Sea Concerts/Honey Dew Drops, 620 Park St., Manitowoc. One block east of the Rahr-West Art Museum, an award-winning nationally touring husband and wife folk duet, 7p.m., sweetwaterseaconcerts.org April 3 | Tour of the Bernard Schwartz House, 3425 Adams St., Two Rivers, tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright house last approximately one hour. Space is limited to 20 people and tends to fill up fast, 3 p.m. (612) 840-7507 for reservations or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
April 11 | Earth Day Celebration, Point Beach Energy Center, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (920) 755-6400 April 13 | Born Amish-Ruth Irene Garret, J.E. Hamilton Community House. This writer will be telling about her books and her life. She will also be selling and signing copies of her books. April 16 | Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man”, Capitol Civic Centre, Winner of five Tony Awards, a national tour of Broadway, this is an affectionate ode to Smalltown USA, 7:30 p.m. 683-2184 / 1:15 pm, 920-793-5590 April 27 | Ozark Jubilee: Legends of Country Music, Capitol Civic Centre. This dynamic, all-new show salutes the great legends of country music, 2 p.m., (920) 683-2184
Little Roy Lewis & Lizzy Long will perform at Two Rivers High School on April 9.
April 9 | Willow Basket Class, Woodland Dunes Nature Center, Two Rivers, Learn the basics of willow basketry. Fee Charged, 12-6 pm, 920-793-4007
Some decisions are too
April 9 | Little Roy Lewis & Lizzy Long Show Bluegrass Concert, Two Rivers High School. Banjo and other instruments make this a truly entertaining show. (920) 794-7258
to be rushed.
April 9 | Lakeshore Big Band: Stage Door Canteen, Capitol Civic Centre, Enjoy this musical tribute to the establishments created for servicemen during WWII. Music written by Glenn Miller, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey and more. (920) 683-2184
IIt just makes sense to prepare for the inevitable while emotions are at rest and heads are clear.
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50 plus! . April 2011 . 7
Challenges & Blessings By Tara Meissner 50 Plus! Correspondent
women to add to their existing family, according to the website.
MANITOWOC — Larry and Barbara Schuh are not the grandparents.
Larry has personal relationships with his 30 great nieces and nephews and had zero interest in having children of his own. Barbara said she looked into adopting around age 40, but because of her career couldn’t commit to raising a child as a single parent. In her younger years, Barbara was too busy with work and socializing to consider parenting.
Some people make assumptions, however, when they see them out with their 5-year-old daughter, Hannah. Barbara was 44 and Larry was 63 when Hannah was born. She was the first child for both of them. “Age is kind of irrelevant to us,” Barbara said. “Once you get to 35, age doesn’t matter,” Larry added. Hannah was not planned, but the Schuhs were ecstatic when they found out they were expecting, after the shock wore free, that is. Currently, one out of every five women worldwide is delaying having her first baby until the age of 35 or older, according to babyzone.com. There also is a growing trend for middle-aged
During the pregnancy, they were hoping for a girl, because Larry said he would rather play tea party than football, according to Barbara. continue on page 9
Barbara and Larry Schuh play with their daughter Hannah, 5. The Manitowoc family was photographed at the home of a friend, where Hannah enjoys swimming lessons. Doug Sundin/50 Plus
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Hannah Schuh enjoys her swimming lesson. Doug Sundin/50 Plus continued from page 8
“We were told boys were full of energy and a lot more work, but after having Hannah we don’t think it mattered,” Barbara said. The Schuhs keep Hannah busy with educational and developmental pursuits. Hannah has about 500 books and is not allowed to watch commercial television. During her first three years, she was never without one — or both — of her parents nearby. “She gets a lot, lot of quality time,” Barbara said. The couple loves to travel, so Hannah goes with them. They don’t like Wisconsin winters, so they go south during the colder months. Hannah has been to four continents and flown more than 100 times. The Schuhs believe this extensive travel will expose Hannah to different cultures and foster her compassion. Right now, they are trying to figure out how they are going to educate Hannah in two states and still enjoy their extensive traveling. Hannah attends Ashling Montessori School. In addition, she takes private swimming lessons, participates in gymnastics and dance, goes to Kindermusik and has been cast in three Dare to Dream Theatre productions. If there were more hours in the day, Hannah would also take language, karate and skiing lessons. According to Larry, all the activities are at Hannah’s pace. “We follow her lead,” he said. “I don’t think she’s ever felt the slightest bit of pressure. She loves everything she does.” Energy and patience? While some younger parents might have more energy, Barbara says she has lots of endurance and stamina, which is just as important when raising a family. “I just ran a half marathon recently and then spent a full day at Disney World with Hannah and Larry,” she said. In addition, they have a lot of patience, which probably comes with age. Barbara can’t remember a time when either of them lost their patience with Hannah. “Larry is a saint. He spends hours with Hannah and never seems to tire,” she said.
To remain centered, the couple meditates twice a day, which they learned later in life. “These are life tools that definitely have an impact on our ability to parent,” Barbara said. Barbara and Larry have had successful careers. Barbara built and sold a large company in California and Larry is a retired Navy captain and had his own law firm for more than 30 years. This gave them choices to move life in a different direction. When Hannah was 3, they decided to move to Wisconsin with thoughts of having a simpler life. However, they have found life busier than ever. Larry practices law, serving veterans, and Barbara runs a consulting company: both with clients nationwide. “Larry and I have only been together for six years and feel we need to live our lives now. Due to our age, we embrace every day to the fullest,” Barbara said. “I don’t take any day for granted at all.” Barbara and Larry have financially planned for Hannah in case anything would happen to them — taking out more life insurance than a younger family might. Beyond that, they are raising her to be confident, self-assured and selfsufficient. Spiritually, they are giving her a foundation of support. They are raising her Jewish, but also exposing her to other faiths. “We provide her with an atmosphere of unconditional love,” Barbara said. Larry said an important part of that love is the relationship they have with each other. The couple works hard on their relationship. “We work hard on the two of us … from that Hannah can flourish,” Larry said. “Hannah is the icing on the cake,” Barbara said. Tara Meissner can be reached at (920) 860-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org
50 plus! . April 2011 . 9
Five Questions About Long-Term Care Long-term care refers to the ongoing services and support needed by people who have chronic health conditions or disabilities. There are three levels of long-term care: n
Skilled care: Generally round-theclock care that’s given by professional health care providers such as nurses, therapists, or aides under a doctor’s supervision.
Intermediate care: Also provided by professional health care providers but on a less frequent basis than skilled care.
Custodial care: Personal care that’s often given by family caregivers, nurses’ aides, or home health workers who provide assistance with what are called “activities of daily living” such as bathing, eating, and dressing.
Long-term care is not just provided in nursing homes — in fact, the most common type of long-term care is homebased care. Long-term care services may also be provided in a variety of other settings, such as assisted living facilities and adult day care centers.
2. Why Is It Important To Plan For Long-Term Care? No one expects to need long-term care, but it’s important to plan for it nonetheless. Here are two important reasons why: The odds of needing long-term care are high: Approximately 40 percent of people will need long-term care at some point during their lifetimes after reaching age 65. Approximately 14 percent of people age 71 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, a disorder that often leads to the need for nursing home care. Younger people may need long-term care too, as a result of a disabling accident or illness The cost of long-term care is rising: Currently, the average annual cost of a 1-year nursing home stay is $72,270 and in many states the cost is much higher. In the future, long-term care is likely to be even more expensive. If costs rise
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at just 3 percent a year (a conservative estimate), in 20 years, a 1-year nursing home stay will cost approximately $130,528.
3. Doesn’t Medicare Pay For Long-Term Care? Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare, the federal health insurance program for older Americans, will pay for long-term care. But Medicare provides only limited coverage for longterm care services such as skilled nursing care or physical therapy. And although Medicare provides some home health care benefits, it doesn’t cover custodial care, the type of care older individuals most often need. Medicaid, which is often confused with Medicare, is the joint federal-state program that two-thirds of nursing home residents currently rely on to pay some of their long-term care expenses. But to qualify for Medicaid, you must have limited income and assets, and although Medicaid generally covers nursing home care, it provides only limited coverage for home health care in certain states.
4. Can’t I Pay For Care Out Of Pocket? The major advantage to using income, savings, investments, and assets (such as your home) to pay for long-term care is that you have the most control over where and how you receive care. But because the cost of long-term care is high, you may have trouble affording extended care if you need it.
5. Should I Buy Long-Term Care Insurance? Like other types of insurance, long-term care insurance protects you against a specific financial risk--in this case, the chance that long-term care will cost more than you can afford. In exchange for your premium payments, the insurance company promises to cover part of your future long-term care costs. Long-term care insurance can help you preserve your assets and guarantee that you’ll have access to a range of care options. However, it can be expensive, so before you purchase a policy, make sure you can afford the premiums both now and in the future.
The cost of a long-term care policy depends primarily on your age (in general, the younger you are when you purchase a policy, the lower your premium will be), but it also depends on the benefits you choose. If you decide to purchase long-term care insurance, here are some of the key features to consider: n
Benefit amount: The daily benefit amount is the maximum your policy will pay for your care each day, and generally ranges from $50 to $350.
Benefit period: The length of time your policy will pay benefits (e.g., 2 years, 4 years, lifetime).
We make Medicare
Elimination period: The number of days you must pay for your own care before the policy begins paying benefits (e.g., 20 days, 90 days).
Types of facilities included: Many policies cover care in a variety of settings including your own home, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, and nursing homes.
Inflation protection: With inflation protection, your benefit will increase by a certain percentage each year. It’s an optional feature available at additional cost, but having it will enable your coverage to keep pace with rising prices.
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1. What Is Long-Term Care?
Scott Preston is Co-Owner of Integrity Investments and Insurance Management Inc., Manitowoc
3121 Calumet Ave Manitowoc
Gloria Dietrich Insurance Agent
What You Need To Know About Cataracts Clouded vision can make it more difficult to read or drive a car, especially at night. Cataracts commonly affect distance vision and cause problems with glare. A cataract usually develops slowly and causes no pain. At first, the cloudiness may affect only a small part of the lens and a person may be unaware of any vision loss. Over time, however, as the cataract grows larger, it clouds more of the lens and distorts the light passing through the lens. Eventually, this impairs vision to a noticeable degree causing overall blur or image distortion. Early on, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help someone deal with vision problems caused by a cataract. But if impaired vision begins to impact a person’s normal lifestyle, surgery may be indicated. Fortunately, cataract removal is generally a safe, effective procedure. Telltale signs and symptoms of cataracts include: n
Sensitivity to light and glare
Halos around lights
The need for brighter light for reading and other activities
Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions
Fading or yellowing of colors
Double vision in a single eye
As a person ages, the lens in each eye become less flexible, less transparent and thicker. The lens is made mostly of water and protein fibers. The protein fibers are arranged in a precise manner that makes the lens clear and allows light to pass through without interference. With aging, the composition of the lens undergoes changes and the structure of the protein fibers breaks down. Some of the fibers begin to clump together, clouding small areas of the lens. As the cataract continues to develop, this clouding becomes denser and covers a larger part of the lens. Known factors that increase the risk of developing cataracts include:
Family history of cataracts
Previous eye injury or inflammation
Previous eye surgery
Prolonged use of corticosteroids
Excessive exposure to sunlight
Exposure to ionizing radiation
Because age is the greatest risk factor, everyone is at risk of developing cataracts. By age 65 about half of all Americans have developed some degree of lens clouding, although it may not impair vision. After age 75, up to 70 percent of Americans have cataracts that are significant enough to impair vision. The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove the clouded lens, which usually includes replacing the lens with a clear lens implant. Cataract surgery is successful in more than 98 percent of all cases.
Eat a balanced diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Protect yourself from the sun.
Take care of any other health problems and chronic diseases you may have. Be sure to follow your treatment plan if you have diabetes or other medical conditions.
In years past, people were advised to wait until their vision had deteriorated to about 20/200, which would seriously impact their vision. Today, because surgical techniques have greatly improved and the risks from cataract surgery are much lower, surgery is generally recommended when cataracts begin to affect quality of life or interfere with a person’s ability to perform normal daily activities.
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Recovery is fast. The person can often resume normal daily activities soon after surgery and may be able to start driving again the day after surgery, after a postoperative checkup.
“Not only are we qualiﬁed colonoscopists, we also practice what we preach and have them regularly ourselves. A colonoscopy every ﬁve to 10 years starting at age 50 can prevent up to 85% of colon cancers.
If you begin noticing any signs or symptoms of cataracts, please consult with an eye care professional. Regular eye exams remain the key to early detection. People over age 65 should schedule eye exams at least every other year. Taking the following steps may help slow or possibly prevent the development of cataracts: n
Joseph Feder, MD, is an Ophthalmologist at the Aurora Health Center in Two Rivers. His office can be reached at (920) 793-7500.
We have performed over 40,000 colonoscopies...
Schedule your colonoscopy today!” - William Alvarez, MD - James Hoftiezer, MD - Mansoor Shariﬀ, MD WI-5001283306
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye.
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50 plus! . April 2011 . 11
Keep Up With Mom’s Medications Dear Savvy Senior: What devices can you recommend to help forgetful seniors keep up with their medications? My 76-year-old mother takes nine different prescription drugs and that doesn’t include all the vitamin supplements or over-the-counter medicines she takes. Any suggestions? ~Concerned daughter Dear Concerned: The challenge of juggling medications can be a problem for anyone, especially seniors who take multiple drugs for various health conditions. Here are some different solutions that can help.
Medication Helpers Getting organized and being reminded are the two keys to helping your mom stay on top of her medication regimen. To help achieve this, there are a wide variety of inexpensive pill boxes, medication organizers, vibrating watches, beeping pill bottles and even dispensers that talk to you that can make all the difference. To find these types of products go to epill.com (800549-0095) and forgettingthepill.com (877-367-4382) where you’ll find dozens of affordable options. If your mom needs a more comprehensive medication management system there are several good options here, too. One of my favorites is the Maya from MedMinder (medminder.com, 888-6336463), a computerized pill box that will beep and flash when it’s time to take her medication, and will call her if she forgets. It will even alert her if she takes the wrong pills. This device can also be set up to call, e-mail or text caregivers letting them know if your mom misses a dose, takes the wrong medication or misses a refill. The cost for Maya is $20 per month, which covers rental and
service fees. Some other good medication management systems worth a look at are TabSafe (tabsafe.com, 877-700-8600) and the Philips Medication Dispensing System (managemypills.com, 888-6323261), both of which will dispense her medicine on schedule, provide reminders and will notify caregivers if her pills aren’t taken. These systems run under $100 per month.
If, however, your mom doesn’t text or use a computer, OnTimeRx (ontimerx.com, 866-944-8966), Snoozester (snoozester. com) or Daily Pill Calls (dailypillcalls. com, 866-532-6855) may be the answer. With starting prices ranging between $4 and $10 per month, these services will call your mom on her home or cell phone (they can send text messages, too) for all types of reminders including daily medications, monthly refills, doctor appointments and other events. Or, if you’re looking to keep closer tabs on your mom, services like Care Call Reassurance (call-reassurance.com, 602265-5968) or CareCalls (parentcarecall. com, 888-275-3098) may be a better fit. In addition to the call reminders to your mom’s phone, these services can be set up to contact you or a designated caregiver
Savvy Tip: If you have questions or
concerns about the medications your mom is taking, gather up all her pill bottles (including all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements) and take them to her primary physician or pharmacist for a drug review so he or she can look for any potential problems. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
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Another option that can help your mom keep on top of her meds is with a medication reminding service. These are services that will actually call, e-mail or text your mom reminders of when it’s time for her to take her medicine and when it’s time to refill her prescriptions. Some even offer extra reminders like doctor and dentist appointments, wakeup calls and more.
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Companies that offer such services include mymedschedule.com, which provides free medication reminders via text message or e-mail. Their website can also help you make easy-to-read medication schedules that you can print out for your mom to follow. Other similar companies worth a look are rememberitnow.com, which also offers free text message and e-mail reminders and pillphone.com, which charges around $4 per month.
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if she fails to answer or acknowledge the call. Care Call Reassurance costs $15 per month if paid a year in advance, and CareCalls costs $39 per month plus a one-time activation fee of $99.
John Bodwin Licensed Pre-Need Counselor
Spring Cleaning? What To Shred And What To Keep ARA Content If your list of spring cleaning chores includes finally doing something about those boxes of old receipts, credit card statements and tax records, keep in mind that clearing out the clutter isn’t the only incentive — or concern — when getting rid of old paperwork. Those financial forms could become a potential gold mine for identity thieves. Most identity theft occurs in low-tech ways such as stolen wallets and documents, experts agree. Storing documents at home could expose you to identity theft if someone breaks in. Identity thieves also pick through trash looking for identifying information, so it’s important to properly dispose of documents you no longer need. “It’s important to take steps to protect yourself from identity theft when storing or disposing of documents that have personal, identifying information on them,” says Jennifer Leuer, general manager of Experian’s ProtectMyID. com. “Most of us know we need to keep some financial information on hand, but many people are confused as to what to keep, how long to keep it, and how to safely dispose of it when the time comes to do so.” Disposing of documents is fairly easy, Leuer points out. Experts advise you use a cross-cut shredder to destroy documents. As for what to shred, you should destroy unneeded items that bear account numbers, birth dates, Social Security numbers, passwords, PINs, signatures, full names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses.
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Keep for about six years: Tax records, including copies of returns and supporting documents; documents relating to the purchase or sale of a home, or payment for home improvements
Keep longer: Insurance records should be kept as long as the policy is in effect, plus five more years. Hold on to IRA contribution documents until you withdraw the money, but shred quarterly statements. Warranty documents should be retained as long as the warranty is in effect.
Spring cleaning season is a great time to begin minimizing the amount of identifying paperwork you keep in your home. Begin by shredding and discarding any backlog of documents, and then purge each year as documents become obsolete. Throughout the year, be sure to follow basic identity theft protection measures, including: n
Never carry your Social Security card with you in your purse or wallet.
Some communities now host “shred-a-thons.” People who may face an overwhelming amount of paperwork that needs shredding can participate by bringing their documents to a central location for shredding. You can find a shred-a-thon by searching online for one in your community.
Use a secure mailbox, such as one at a post office, for out-going mail, especially checks and bill payments.
Keep personal information — including financial documents — in a secure place, especially if you live with roommates, employ outside help such as a cleaning service or babysitter, or have work done on your home.
Consider switching to electronic bank statements and e-billing. Most banks will now allow you to stop receiving paper statements in favor of receiving electronic statements delivered through their secure systems. Many credit card and utility companies offer the same kind of service for bills.
Consider using an identity theft protection product, like ProtectMyID, that monitors your credit, scans the Internet for your information, and alerts you to more than 50 indicators of fraud that may be a sign your identity has been compromised.
So what should you keep and for how long? For most people, these guidelines will suffice.
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Pay and shred immediately: Phone bills, utility bills, credit card statements (unless you need them for taxes or as proof of purchase) Keep for one year: Bank statements, pay stubs, medical records (but longer if there’s a question over reimbursement or insurance)
“Keeping only what you need, for only as long as you need it, is an important step that can help you stop identity theft from happening to you,” Leuer says.
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50 plus! . April 2011 . 13
TRAVEL: Road Trip! A Mature Dude’s Guide To Roaming The Highways ARA Content Work, kids, working out, taking care of the house, and a hairline that’s heading for the back of your collar — it’s enough to make a guy understand why some men feel the urge to buy an outrageously impractical sports car at this stage of life. But you don’t need a mid-life crisis. What you need is a road trip.
of sleep and several cups of coffee to keep you going — and that was part of the thrill. These days, however, you probably appreciate a more relaxed pace, which includes sleeping well and eating right. Keeping yourself “well tuned” can help ensure you enjoy your road trip as much as possible.
Road trips are a rite of passage for young men everywhere, but college dudes shouldn’t be the only ones who get to enjoy this uniquely American kind of adventure. If skinny neckties and big hair were in style the last time you took a road trip with your buds, it may be time to toss a duffel in the truck bed, round up your amigos and hit the highway.
You’ll also want to make sure your vehicle is in top condition. It’s a good idea to change the oil, and check the tire pressure and coolant system before you get on the road. If your vehicle is due for some routine maintenance, have it done before you start your trip.
A few practical measures can help ensure your more mature road trip is still fun and works for everyone.
Packing It In
Your days of cramming six guys and all their gear into a barely drivable, highmileage sub-compact are probably over. A reliable yet fun-to-drive pickup is perfect for your grown-up road trip with the guys. And since your stuff is probably going to be worth more than what you toted around during your college days, be sure to protect it. A lockable roll-up cover will keep your belongings protected from the elements — including criminal elements — while you’re on the road. Plus, a truck bed cover can help improve your vehicle’s gas mileage. As for what to pack, be sure to include an emergency roadside kit, first aid kit and any medications that you regularly need. Bring along a GPS device and your trusty mobile phone so you can stay on track and in touch. You might also consider a set of dressier clothes if your dining tastes have matured since your fast-food days.
Finely Tuned Machines
In the old days, you might have motored through the night with just a few hours WI-5001284761
14 . April 2011 . 50 plus!
Have A Plan, Man
How many road trips of your youth ended up at a destination other than the one you had in mind when you started out? Meandering can be fun, but having a plan can be rewarding, too. Your taste in destinations has probably matured, so consult with your traveling partners and consider spots that appeal to your current interests and finances. For example, you may have developed an affinity for wine, where once you preferred beer. A tour of wine country may be in order. Perhaps you’ve discovered an interest in history? Consider taking the guys to a Civil War re-enactment or to one of the country’s great historic cities, like Savannah, San Antonio, San Diego or even New York or Chicago. Use a GPS or online resource to preplan your route and make sure the people you love know where you’ll be along the way. The mechanics of your mature road trip may be a world away from the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants style you favored in your college days. But a road trip can be a great way to relax and reconnect with friends no matter what stage you’re at in life.
Tips For Prepping Lawn Tools For Spring ARA Content Spring is just around the corner, so it’s not too early to start thinking about preparing your garden tools and lawn equipment for the warm weather months. Taking the time to do simple maintenance can eliminate the hassle of a piece of lawn equipment failing to start. Having an operational lawn mower throughout the mowing season should be at the top of your spring prep list. If you find your lawn mower has a hard time starting up, it may be time for a tune-up. This includes changing the spark plugs, changing the oil and cleaning the filter. The same goes for weed eaters. Both can be taken to a mower shop or dealer for tune-up, or can be done by the do-it-yourselfer. If you’re handling the tune-up on your own, an oil specifically designed for use in small engines, such as Royal Purple’s 2-Cycle TCWIII Engine Oil, can be helpful. Usable in lawn mowers and chain saws, 2-Cycle TCW III increases horsepower and reduces fuel consumption, heat, wear and emissions. Its synthetic solvency keeps spark plugs and exhaust ports clean as well. TCW III has also been member tested and recommended by the National Home Gardening Club. Always use fresh fuel when you start your lawn equipment for the season. A thorough cleaning of your tools will allow you to inspect them to determine if there are any loose or damaged parts. If a machine has blades — like a lawn mower, weed eater or hedge trimmer — make sure they are clean and sharp. Working with
dull blades can be dangerous. You should discard blades that are chipped, damaged or rusted. You should also make sure your lawn tools are well lubricated with an all-purpose synthetic lubricant. It is recommended for: n
Loosening stuck parts such as nuts, bolts, locks, hinges, etc.
Lubricating power tools, hinges, chains, rollers, open gears, fishing tackle and lawn equipment
Preserving and protecting parts in storage against rust and corrosion.
Once the initial work is done after the winter thaw, maintenance will be relatively simple, and you’ll be able to enjoy your yard all spring and summer long.
The Gardens at Felician Village At The Garden homes and apartments, Residents enjoy all the comforts of home without the inconveniences. Your monthly fee includes maintenance, lawn care, snow removal, dining service, and appliances such as microwave, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and washer/dryer. Just say NO to condo fees, maintenance fees, snow removal costs, taxes, and landscaping. Call us at 684-7171, ext 409, for a tour of our garden homes and apartments for seniors Find us on Facebook 1700 S. 18th Street Manitowoc www.felicianvillage.org Sponsored by the Felician Sisters 50 plus! . April 2011 . 15
CommunityDedication This year, as Shady Lane, Inc. celebrates sixty years of quality care, we reflect on the dedication of our board, our staff, our donors, our residents and our community – all those we have served through quality, affordable care.
Find out why people...
Think of Us First for comfort of skilled care Designed for living with beautifully decorated and lovely gardens, Shady Lane offers skilled nursing care for short or long-term care, therapy services, social services and hospice care. Medicare and Medicaid Certified.
for planning to get better . . . Recovering after an illness, joint replacement or surgery is a team effort. In fact, it could be called "Team You"! We offer physical, occupational and speech therapy, respiratory services, pain management and neurological, orthopedic and cardiac rehabilitation. Medicare and Medicaid Certified and some private insurances. In-patient or Out-patient Services.
for the joys of home without the work From two bedroom apartments to single bedrooms with private bathrooms, Laurel Grove offers a variety of assisted living options to meet your needs. Enjoy the gardens, optional activities and care-free living. Starting at just $1,175 a month including meals!
Manitowoc’s only not-for-profit citizen directed care facility. 1235 South 24th Street • Manitowoc, WI • www.shadylaneinc.com • 920-682-8254 WI-5001283645
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