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Issue #605

March 13, 2009

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A friend and I were standing in line at a crowded food court restaurant, waiting to place our order. There was a big sign posted beside the cash register that stated: “No bills larger than $20 will be accepted.” The woman in front of us turned around, pointed to the sign and remarked, “Believe me, if I had a bill larger than $20, I wouldn’t be eating here!”

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AT THE FOOD COURT by Audrey Cunningham

It’s convenient, it’s tasty, and (most importantly) it’s there when you need it. This week’s edition of Tidbits examines the the history of shopping mall restaurants and some of the stories behind food court cuisine. • Sbarro. In their hometown of Naples, Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro learned to cook authentic, delicious Italian food. The couple left in 1956 and relocated to New York City, where they opened their first salumeria, or Italian delicatessen. Steady business prompted them to open a second store, this one inside a Brooklyn shopping mall. The constant parade of hungry shoppers looking for a quick bite to eat proved to be a goldmine. From then on, Sbarro limited its expansion to restaurants in shopping malls, at airports, and on college campuses. • Hot Dog on a Stick. Founder Dave Barham opened a corn dog stand at Muscle Beach in Venice, California. Sunbathers appreciated the convenience of the frank on a stick that could be held in one hand while sipping Barham’s trademark fresh lemonade with the other. Hot Dog on a Stick became a mall staple when Barham bought a space inside Utah’s Fashion Place Mall in 1972. • Cinnabon. Rich Komen leased a space in the food court of Washington state’s Sea-Tac Mall in 1985, planning to open a T.J. Cinnamons franchise. When the deal fell through, he was left with a shop scheduled to open in 120 days, but with no name or product. Intent on turn the page for more Tidbits! WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

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FACTS ABOUT CORNED BEEF: MICHLITCH, The Spokane Spice Company

There’s no corn in Corned beef. In Briton in 888 the salt that was harvested and rubed into the meat was the size and shape of small kernals of corn, thus starting the name. By 1621 the name had stuck. Originally the finished product was more like current-day jerky or Pemican because the meat was hung to dry and preserve. It took stewing or boiling it to bring it back to a tender meat. The traditional method for making Corned Beef involved using a dry cure of sea salt. Now most people use a brine because it’s faster, more effective and doesn’t dehydrate the meat as much. There are two main types of Corned Beef. Most Americans recognize the deli style meat common here, but few would recognize the more prevalent variety across Europe. Much like our “SPAM”, Corned Beef is usually canned and packed with aspic. The most common cut of meat to use is the Brisket. Mostly because it was tough and undesireable, but now, because of tradition, cuts from the plate or flank of the beef work well too. Because it is such a stable food, Corned Beef has been a staple for many army’s during war-time. Many WWI and WWII Vetrans remember Corned Beef in all it’s forms from their time in the service. Today it is still used in Isreal and many other countries as a combat ration.

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THIS IS A HAMMER By Samantha Mazzotta

Fixing Bald Spots Q: Here’s a problem: I’ve got bald spots. Not on my head though, the bald spots on my lawn! How do I get rid of them? Also, there are patches of yellowed grass in places. What’s the solution for that? -- Joey in Tennessee A: Right now is a good time to solve the “bald spot” problem (rather, bare patches on your lawn). If you know what type of grass your lawn is, head for the home-improvement store and pick up a bag of the same grass seed. If you’re not sure what type, look for an all-purpose grass seed or seed mix. Pick up a little straw there, too, if you don’t have any extra at home. On a day that’s not too windy, seed the bare patches as follows: • Clear away dead grass, stones, sticks and leaves from the bare spots. • Use a thatch rake or a pitchfork to puncture and loosen the soil, then level out the soil (you may need to add some dirt to level it). • Spread the grass seed over each bare patch as the package directs. Cover the area well, but don’t overdo it, as too much can lead to rotting. • Water the area slightly and lightly tamp the seeds down, then scatter straw over the bare patch. • Keep the soil damp over the next couple of weeks and wave away birds that will try to eat the seed. Yellow spots are generally seen in areas of the lawn that have too much nitrogen. What could possibly give one spot more nitrogen than another? One culprit: dog pee. If you want a nice green lawn, don’t let the dog go wherever it wants -- walk Fido to a designated “go” spot away from the grass. Another possibility, particularly in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, is a fungus called fusarium that flourishes in hot weather. To prevent fungus, don’t over-fertilize your lawn, and de-thatch it every fall. If you suspect fungus, treat the spots with an appropriate fungicide (ask for it at garden centers). HOME TIP: To keep birds away from freshly seeded areas, put wooden stakes or sticks around the boundary, run string from stake to stake, and tie strips of aluminum foil to the string. It’s ugly, but it scares the birds. Send questions or home-repair tips to homeguru2000@hotmail.com, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

Kenseth’s Actions Speak Louder Than Words DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Quiet guys often find themselves being stereotyped. Just because a guy is quiet, it doesn’t mean that he’s also characterized by a whole string of other adjectives. It doesn’t make him bland, boring, timid, peaceful, unemotional and unassuming. Take that back. Matt Kenseth is unassuming. Perhaps as a result of being unassuming, many fans don’t assume Kenseth to be as good as he is. Jack Roush has no such problem. Roush blamed himself for Kenseth’s woes in 2008, when he failed to win a race and finished 11th in the Sprint Cup standings. The alternative would have been to blame Kenseth. Kenseth got a new crew chief. The very first notable result was a Daytona 500 victory, his first. It was also Roush’s first. It was Ford’s first in nine years. It was a big deal for a quiet man. In the post-race press conference, Kenseth had to defend himself against the charge that he was unemotional. “I actually am a pretty emotional guy,” he said. “You guys just don’t always really see it.” Kenseth was unassuming about it, though. The first 36-year-old from Cambridge, Wis., ever to win the Daytona 500 went on the offensive a bit later when Ken Willis, the humorist who also writes sports for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, asked a question. Willis’s questions are often as whimsical as his columns. “Matt, wild celebration tonight in the RV lot?” Kenseth had been waiting a while for this one. “Oh, man, I’m going to go paint it plaid, just like you said,” he answered, matching Willis whimsy for whimsy. “Going to New York tomorrow night and paint the town plaid. Wasn’t that your quote?” Willis: “You got a long memory.” Kenseth: “Like an elephant.” A good time was had by all.

www.spokanetidbits.com emonies held by NASCAR at season’s end in the Big Apple. A cabin in the Wisconsin woods is more his preferred “away from the track” pastime. “It’s not always my favorite thing to do,” he said, referring to New York. “But I’m really looking forward to going around and, actually, people calling me the Daytona 500 champion. It’s pretty awesome. I’m going to enjoy it the best I can and try to find some time to celebrate when we have time in our schedule for it.” Meanwhile, they were dancing in the streets of Cambridge, where plaid spray paint is a bear to mix. Monte Dutton has covered motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette since 1993. He was named writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog NASCAR This Week (http://nascar.rbma.com) features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. You can e-mail Monte at nascar_thisweek@yahoo.com. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Matt Kenseth talks with a Roush team member prior to his victory in the Daytona 500. Kenseth famously dreads the annual awards cer- (John Clark/NASCAR This Week photo)

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AT THE FOOD COURT (continued): offering cinnamon rolls, Komen and four friends sampled cinnamon rolls made from some 200 different recipes over the next month. They finally settled on a recipe that combined moist, pillowy dough with Indonesian cinnamon and cream cheese frosting. Cinnabon was born! • Panda Express. Andrew Cherng came to the U.S. in the early 1970s. In Glendale, California, he opened a sitdown Chinese restaurant called the Panda Inn. Among his regular customers was a group of shopping mall developers. They approached Cherng with the idea of selling freshly-prepared Chinese food in food courts of their malls. Panda Express now has 460 outlets across the country, each offering 20 “core” menu items mandated by the company, and four additional dishes selected by the local franchise owner. • Orange Julius. Julius Freed loved to invent things. His early patents included such diverse items as an inflatable shrimp trap and a portable pigeon shower. (Yes, really.) In 1926, Freed enjoyed modest success with his own orange juice stand. A friend, real estate broker Bill Hamlin, suggested that he add something to the freshsqueezed juice to reduce its acidity. In fact, it was Bill – not Julius – who actually came up with the mixture that creates the frothy drink we know and love today. The secret “powder” added to the crushed ice and syrup is still a trade secret. The name of the new product was coined when customers at the stand’s counter would call out, “Give me an orange, Julius!” • California Pizza Kitchen. Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax were successful attorneys who had grown weary of the law world and decided to get into the restaurant business. Neither man had any experience in the field, so they turned to an expert – McDonald’s founder Ray turn the page for more Tidbits!

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AT THE FOOD COURT (continued): Kroc – and devoured his autobiography. With Kroc’s basic principles of quality and cleanliness in mind, all they needed was a product. The men found inspiration in celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who had begun dishing out pizzas with fancy toppings like duck and goat cheese. Rosenfield and Flax took the idea, scaled down the ultra- pricy ingredients a bit, and introduced “L.A.-style” pizza to the rest of the nation. • Chick-Fil-A. Truett Cathy is credited with inventing the boneless breast of chicken sandwich. In 1967, he opened his first Chick- Fil-A restaurant at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta. Even though the menu was limited to only five items, the restaurant became a massive success. Today, Chick-Fil-A is a $1.5 billion empire, with stand-alone outlets as well as the familiar food court stores. And, true to Cathy’s Christian principles, each and every store in the chain is closed on Sunday. • Auntie Anne’s. As one of eight children born to Amish parents, Anne Beiler had been baking bread as long as she could remember. At the age of 15, she got a job as a truck stop waitress, where she spent the next four years learning all about customer service. Beiler later worked making hot, doughy, Pennsylvania Dutch-type pretzels at a local stand. When the owner put the stand up for sale, she bought it. After tweaking the original recipe, she unveiled Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Thanks to a tasty product and word-of-mouth advertising, Beiler began offering franchises after only one year in business. • Baja Fresh. In 1990, risk-taker Jim Magglos took out a third mortgage on his house to finance the opening of his first Baja Fresh restaurant. The “freshMex” chain prides itself on using fresh ingredients, and boasts that there are no microwaves or freezers on the premises of their 300+ outlets • P.F. Chang’s. The “P.F.” in the restaurant’s name are the initials of its founder, Paul Fleming. He’d previously become the first Ruth’s Chris Steak House franchisee on the West Coast, so Fleming knew a bit about running a restaurant. He loved Chinese food, particularly Beverly Hills’ famous Mandarin. Fleming befriended the Mandarin’s owner, Philip Chiang, and the two men formed a partnership. The first P.F. Chang’s China Bistro opened in 1993 in Scottsdale, Arizona. • Great Steak. When most people think of cheesesteak sandwiches, the first city that comes to mind is Philadelphia. But one of this country’s largest cheesesteak sandwich franchises was founded a bit further south and west, in Dayton, Ohio. Founders Ken Smith and Mark Turner did grow up near Philly, where they learned how to properly make the sandwich by slicing rib-eye steak and topping it with the right combination of provolone cheese, onions, and green peppers. The first retail space they rented was in an Ohio mall, where they opened the Steak Escape in 1982. The business proved so successful that their landlord franchised it as the Great Steak & Potato Company. • Sarku Japan. Founded in 1987, Sarku Japan is the largest Japanese quick-service restaurant chain in the United States. It’s also the only one to serve Teppanyaki-style cuisine. But don’t bother asking any of your Tokyo pen-pals about the meaning behind the “Sarku” name; it’s not really a Japanese word. The End

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Dear Dave, My husband and I want to open our own franchise health club business. Currently, we have no debt and live in an apartment. We’ve also got about $70,000 in savings. Is a small business loan the best way to get things started? Kelly Dear Kelly, No! Never go into debt to open a business. This is especially true in the health club industry. Health clubs and gyms come and go like the wind. Besides, you can easily open one of these businesses without borrowing money or tossing it into a franchise deal. A gym or health club is really like any other business. Start small, even if it means only a few pieces of equipment and a handful of programs in the beginning. If you go all out and finance dozens of the latest and greatest exercise machines, the debt will be like an anchor around your neck, and it will pull you under. Do you get what I’m saying here? It is absolutely vital that you do not borrow money to make this business happen! Besides, you just told me you guys have $70,000 saved up. There’s your seed money for the business! If you don’t believe in your business idea enough to put your own money into it, then it’s probably not what you should be doing! I’m not against franchises, Kelly. I’m against people going tens of thousands of dollars into debt to open something that’s supposed to be a magic pill. A franchise doesn’t guarantee success any more than a rabbit’s foot guarantees good luck. To make any business work you’ve still got to be smart, have a good idea and a head for business, and you still have to work your tail off every day! - Dave

Dear Dave, My brother is 30-years old, and he just lost his job. He doesn’t have any debt, but he’s started gambling in order to make money. He’s won a few times, and when he does he’s very generous with the winnings. Still, how can I make him see this is a disaster waiting to happen? Emily Dear Emily, You say he’s “started” gambling. Is this new behavior? Is he an addict, or just desperate? That will affect how willing he’s going to be to listen to you. Either way, what he’s doing is really dumb. Sure, you can have a loving, heart-to-heart, sit-down conversation with him, and let him know how much you’re worried. In fact, this is something you should do very soon. But the question remains, is he mature enough and rational enough that it will make a difference? The movies and cable networks have glamorized poker and the world of gambling. But there’s one sure way to tell whether the house will win or you will win in the long run. Look at your place, and then look at theirs. You may pick up a few dollars here and there by sheer luck, but they throw down millions just to re-decorate a lobby. Where do you think they got that money? From dummies who thought they could beat the system! Really, what he needs is a job! - Dave * For more great financial advice, please visit www.davesays.org.

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Tidbits® of Spokane County, WA Problems Hinder “New GI Bill”

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, or “New GI Bill,” is supposed to start up in August. The Act offers a benefits package that nearly guarantees full four-year scholarships at any public state college or university for those who’ve served for three years since Sept. 11, 2001. When I wrote about this last summer, it sounded pretty good. On the surface, it still does. In the Yellow Ribbon Program, as it’s now called, the Department of Veterans Affairs and states colleges will split the cost of tuition. For private (more expensive) colleges, they’ll split the tab for anything above the cost of a state college. Besides tuition, there’s a housing stipend for full-time students, book allowance and even money for tutoring. But all is not well. One problem is the economy. Colleges and universities are getting strapped as their investments dwindle and alumni donations come up short. While they want to participate in the pro-

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gram, the question remains: Can they afford to cover the costs? Another issue is lack of communication. The private schools don’t yet know what dollar figures they have to cover. How many veterans do they dare sponsor? An additional glitch is the timing. By starting in August, the VA is behind by about six months in getting veterans into college this year. As of now, the VA hasn’t opened the application process for getting into the program, and the list of approved schools won’t be posted until April 1. The good news: If you want to go to school, the time to take advantage of the benefit has been extended from 10 years after service to 15 years. For more information and to determine eligibility, see: www.gibill.va.gov. Put “Yellow Ribbon” in the search box.

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Eat a Banana, Lower Your Blood Pressure Could it really be that easy? It might not be the whole answer, but it could help. Those of us with hypertension have to restrict our diets to limit salt, or sodium. Dozens of clinical trials show that potassium, as found in bananas and many other foods, can bring about a better potassium-sodium balance. Lowered blood pressure can be the result in many cases, especially when combined with the other standards of high blood pressure treatment, such as increased exercise. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has a Web site full of information about high blood pressure and how to manage it, including a section on diet. Go to www.nhlbi.nih.gov and put this in the search box: high blood pressure DASH. That

will bring you to a number of articles about lowering blood pressure with diet. What I appreciated in the pages on DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was the week’s worth of menus, showing quantities to eat and indicating just how much sodium there is in each food. There’s even a section on getting started gradually on a DASH diet. On another page, a chart shows just how much potassium is in dozens of different foods. Potatoes, lima beans, almonds, tomatoes, yogurt, tuna -- they’re all good sources of potassium. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor if you will benefit from adding some potassium-rich foods to your diet. Don’t try to make adjustments on your own, especially if you’re on medication. Ask, because it’s possible to get too much potassium, too. As in all things, there needs to be a balance.

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Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@gmail.com.

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COMFORT FOODS

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JELLO SHERBET This dessert will give you an A-plus with your kids as a refreshing after-school snack. 1 (4-serving) package Jell-O sugar-free gelatin (any flavor) 1 cup Splenda Granular 2 1/4 cups boiling water 2/3 cup Carnation Nonfat Dry Milk Powder 2 1/4 cups cold water 1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed 1/8 teaspoon almond extract In a large bowl, combine dry gelatin, Splenda and boiling water. Mix well to dissolve gelatin. In a medium bowl, combine dry milk powder and cold water. Stir in lemonade concentrate and almond extract. Add milk mixture to gelatin mixture. Mix well to combine. Cover and freeze to a heavy mush stage, about 4 hours. Whip on HIGH with an electric mixer until fluffy. Recover and refreeze for about 1 hour. Makes 8 (1 cup) servings. • Each serving equals: 72 calories, 0g fat, 2g protein, 16g carbs, 32mg sodium, 77mg calcium, 0g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Starch; Carb Choices: 1. Visit Healthy Exchanges at www.healthyexchanges.com, or call toll-free at 1-800-7668961 to sign-up for our FREE monthly newsletter. All you pay is the shipping and handling. This is the only national food newsletter for diabetics, heart/cholesterol concerns and healthy weight loss. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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To have your community event listed in this section of TIDBiTS, email us at: ads@spokanetidbits.com. Free space is limited. CUP OF COOL WATER OPEN HOUSE - Thursday, March 26th, 4-7pm 1106 W. 2nd Ave. (above Our Club) - No cost, all are welcome, refreshments provided. 509.747.6686 cup@cupofcoolwater.org A Spokane-based nonprofit group, working among street youth in the downtown area, will host an open house to familiarize the community with its resources and with the population it serves. Come and see how homeless and street-involved youth are being transformed into the young men and women they were created to be.

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Tidbits® of Spokane County, WA Health & Fitness by

Doreen Fox Kelsey

Too Clean for Our Own Good? Is it possible to be too clean? Have advances in hygiene and sanitation created new health risks? In recent years, the market has become flooded with many kinds of antibacterial products. Killing germs has become an obsession, but the problem is that good bacteria get killed along with the bad bacteria. Our bodies need the good bacteria to maintain a healthy digestive system, help ward off respiratory infections and even prevent some types of cancer. Another problem is that some ingredients found in antibacterial products, such as triclosan, may lead to the creation of super-bugs. Super-bugs are bacteria that have gone through mutations and become resistant to most antibiotics. And, there are virtually no available studies demonstrating the safety of long-term exposure to all the new chemicals contained in antibacterial hand soaps, disinfectants, and other cleaning products. Our bodies ingest chemicals through skin contact, breathing and swallowing. Dr. Stuart Levy, a professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine, says that antibacterial products have beneficial uses in the hospital setting but usually aren’t necessary, and can even be harmful, in the home. According to Levy, frequent handwashing with soap and water offers adequate protection in most cases. Proper handwashing is essential for killing off the “transient florae” that can cause infection or disease. Transient florae are the microorgan-

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isms picked up from other people or from contact with contaminated surfaces. These tend to be the most harmful bacteria. “Resident florae” are the microorganisms that are normally found on our skin. These “at home” bacteria are generally harmless unless introduced into the bloodstream by a cut or puncture. Lathering up with liquid, not bar, soap and scrubbing for a full 20 seconds with warm water is considered a proper handwashing technique. Drying hands with a single-use towel or hand dryer prevents re-contamination. Exposure to germs and dust may even help to prevent allergies and asthma. Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that children who are exposed to germs and dirt at an early age may develop healthier immune systems. Researchers found that children who had more contact with pets, dirt and other young children were less likely to have asthma or hay fever. These observations have contributed to the formulation of the “Hygiene Hypothesis,” which theorizes that the rapid increase in the incidence of asthma and allergies may be linked with the prevalence of indoor plumbing and cleaner, more airtight homes in the developed world. This is not to suggest that living in squalor is a healthy option. But for generally healthy children and adults, overdoing it with disinfectants and antibacterial soaps may not be the healthiest choice, either. As with many things, moderation seems to be the prudent choice.

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Doreen Fox Kelsey is a consumer advocate and freelance writer with expertise in financial and physical wellness based in Spokane, Wash. She can be contacted at dfoxkelsey@ hotmail.com.

PAWS CORNER By Sam Mazzotta

Foreclosures Take Toll on Owners and Pets

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I have a cousin who needs help finding a good home for her three dogs. Her house is being foreclosed on, and she is struggling to find a place to live on a limited income. She has no car, her telephone will only call locally and her computer is on the blink. We contacted the no-kill shelters in our area, but none of them has ever responded. Where else can we find help? -- Desperate in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. DEAR DESPERATE: The foreclosure crisis has created another crisis in its wake: pets being abandoned by owners who are no longer able to care for them due to financial difficulties, because pets are not allowed in the residences they must rent or other factors. Shelters are near or at capacity in the best of times, and these times are certainly not the best. However, you should continue to try and contact local no-kill shelters. If you can call beyond the local area, become your

cousin’s advocate and call shelters for her daily until someone responds. Another avenue is to advertise in the local circular that the dogs are available. However, do not say that the dogs are free to a good home. There are reasons for this, which unfortunately I don’t have room to list in today’s column. Instead, ask for an amount that will cover veterinary and transportation costs for each dog. Insist upon meeting the potential owners. More information on giving up a pet can be found at: http://www.northbay-canine.org/lastresort2-txt.htm. Because these solutions are iffy at best, your cousin must try and keep the dogs if at all possible. Can you or a family member take in one or more of the dogs? Can you help your cousin find affordable housing that also takes pets? Helping a family member through this sort of crisis isn’t easy, and you’re a champ for stepping up. Don’t give up on finding either a good home for the dogs or a place where your cousin can keep them. Send your tips, questions and comments to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or e-mail them to pawscorner@hotmail.com. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of Spokane County, WA

March 2, 2009 By Jeffrey

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MEDICATIONS AND THE ELDERLY . . .

We have a problem in this country: Too many elderly people use too many medications, and with little or no comprehensive medication review. Dr. Gerry Gurwitz on CNN.com (May, 2008) stated, “38 million elder health care patients will experience drug complications in any given year, and 180,000 of these will be life threatening.” Part of the issue is the lack of education among those people using the myriad of medications prescribed. Another issue is the lack of communication between those professionals and non-professionals assigned the task of caring for the elder person. Below is a list of the basic instructions that all caregivers, be they professional or familial, should follow in their due diligence of their loved ones medication review: 1. Understand the medications that are prescribed. Use a “brown bag review” of all medications. In other words, stuff all those pill bottles in a brown paper bag, bring them to your local pharmacist and the elder’s physician, and have that professional review the medications for contraindications and conflicts if taken together. 2. Follow the directions on each prescribed medication completely. It is not unusual for a medication to be taken at a certain time of day and with or without food. Know the directions for each medication. 3. Store the medications safely, for example, in a cool, dry place, and preferably under lock and key. 4. Always have a list of the medications on your person (and with your loved one also) that your elder is taking. Although you should have these medications memorized, it can’t hurt to cover yourself, just in case you or your loved one’s memory fails, especially in an emergency situation. 5. Make sure you have a complete set of medical records for the elder person easily accessible. 6. Stick with a solid, workable routine for medication management. This will help to eliminate possible errors due to memory issues. 7. Keep medications in their original containers. Doing this will help you keep track of expiration dates and prevent mixing of medications. 8. Make sure the elder person is actually taking her medications. It is a bad idea to self-medicate (or take the medications when the person feels like taking them) as many medications require them to be taken consistently to be effective.

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Below is a list of questions that are basic to the protection of your loved and to understanding of your elder’s medications and their affects on her (from Marlo Sollitto, Editor, www.Agingcare.com): 1. Why is this medicine prescribed? 2. How does this medicine work in the body? 3. What are the common side effects? What should I pay attention to? 4. Will this medicine interact with other medications - prescription and non-prescription - that my loved one is taking now? 5. When will the medicine begin to work? 6. What should I do if my loved one misses a dose? 7. Should she take it with meals? 8. Does she need to drink a whole glass of water with it? 9. Are there foods, drugs, or activities she should avoid while taking this medicine? 10. Are there foods or beverages to avoid? 11. Is it safe to drink alcohol while on this medication? 12. How long will she have to take the medicine? Will we need a refill? How do I arrange that? 13. Do you have any written information about the medicine that I can take home with me?

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With everyone working towards bettering the health of the elder person, maybe we can reduce the need for so many medications, and, reduce the negative outcomes as a result of poor medication management. Att

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