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Complimentary | Chester County Edition

April 2018 • Vol. 15 No. 4

Senior Volunteers Close the Generation Gap page 4

focus on foot health page 12

the amazing survival stories of chieu le page 16

It Was 50 Years Ago Today

‘Honey’ Randal Hill

Many music fans think “Honey” is a true story. It isn’t. Nashville songwriter Bobby Russell one day just happened to notice how tall a tree planted in his front yard had grown since it was a sapling. From that serendipitous observation came the inspiration to write the world’s bestselling song of 1968. --Born in Marianna, Florida, in 1941, Bobby Goldsboro spent his teen years in Dothan, Alabama, where he excelled in baseball at Dothan High and dreamt of a career in the major league. But music also drew his attention, and Goldsboro formed a rock band called the Webs. (“We had a big spider web on the drum.”) The Webs often backed up musicians who

drifted through career on the town. One such wane. Bobby Russell artist was Roy was one of Orbison, who Goldsboro’s would later hire Bobby in the pals. Russell had written “Honey” early 1960s as for ex-Kingston part of his backup Trio member Bob band. Shane. Russell As a solo wasn’t impressed artist Goldsboro with Shane’s later signed with United Artists version and later admitted, Records and, “Honey” “It didn’t really beginning with Bobby Goldsboro thrill me all that the Top 10 song April 1968 much because it “See the Funny Little Clown” was so overdone, overproduced, lots of drums and early in 1964, racked up half a dozen Top 40 discs before spending 1967 things.” But Goldsboro felt that Russell’s without a single hit and finding his

tune had the potential to return him to the hit charts with a different, simpler approach. When Shane’s version bombed, Goldsboro rushed into a Nashville studio and nailed “Honey” on the first take. In three weeks, Goldsboro’s version rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts, where it remained at No. 1 for five weeks and became Goldsboro’s signature song — and biggest single ever. Songwriter Russell’s biggest success has since been recorded by country royalty (Eddie Arnold, Roger Miller, Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson), mainstreamers (Dean Martin, Patti Page), and even some soul stars (Four Tops, Aaron Neville). please see HONEY page 5

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April 2018

50plus LIFE u

4 84 -352-2307 |

Travel Trends for 2018 If you’re looking to get away from it all in 2018, you’re not alone. The AARP Travel survey looked at what baby boomers and millennials are planning for their vacations this year. Here’s some of what the survey found:

with family and friends, 49 percent say they travel to relax and rejuvenate, and 47 percent are looking for an escape from everyday life.

• Boomers expect to take four or five trips for leisure this year and spend about $6,400 on their travel.

• Forty-seven percent plan to travel both domestically and internationally. Top international destinations are the Caribbean/Latin America and Europe.

• Seventy-four percent of millennials expect to take work with them. • Fifty-seven percent of boomers travel to spend time

• Forty-nine percent of boomers plan to travel only domestically, with Florida and California the most popular destinations.

• Traveling abroad is a “bucket list” item for 22 percent of boomers.

At Your Fingertips Helpful numbers, hotlines, and local businesses and organizations eager to serve you—all just a phone call away. Disasters American Red Cross Greater Brandywine (610) 692-1200

Domestic Violence (800) 799-7233

Housing Authority of Phoenixville (610) 933-8801

National Osteoporosis Foundation (800) 223-9994

Chester County Emergency Services (610) 344-5000

PACE (800) 225-7223

JEWELERS American Gold & Estate Buyers, Inc. 363 E. Lincoln Highway, Exton (484) 872-8216

Salvation Army Coatesville (610) 384-2954

Senior Healthlink (610) 431-1852

Salvation Army West Chester (610) 696-8746

Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213

Emergency Numbers Central Pennsylvania Poison Center (800) 521-6110

Southeastern Pennsylvania Medical Institute (610) 446-0662

Office of Aging (610) 344-6350/(800) 692-1100

Hearing Services Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 233-3008 V/TTY

Financial Services Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-3676 Funeral & Cremation Services Cremation Society of Pennsylvania Serving Chester County (800) 720-8221 Health & Medical Services Alzheimer’s Association (800) 272-3900 American Cancer Society (800) 227-2345 American Heart Association (610) 940-9540 Arthritis Foundation (215) 665-9200 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (800) 232-4636 Coatesville VA Medical Center (610) 383-7711

home care services Shanahan Home Care & Hospice (610) 314-1667 home equity loans Glendale Mortgage (610) 853-6500; (888) 456-0988 home improvement Amramp 835 Sussex Blvd., Broomall (800) 649-5215; (610) 585-2308 HOUSEHOLD services Butler-Ette Services (484) 770-8059 Housing Assistance Community Impact Legal Services (610) 876-0804 Housing Authority of Chester County (610) 436-9200

Harrison Senior Living Locations in Christiana and East Fallowfield (610) 384-6310 The Hickman 400 N. Walnut St., West Chester (484) 352-2307

Legal Services Lawyer Referral Service (610) 429-1500

Senior Centers Coatesville (610) 383-6900

Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (610) 436-4510

Downingtown (610) 269-3939

Nutrition Meals on Wheels Chester County Inc. (610) 430-8500

Great Valley (610) 889-2121

Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center (800) 366-3997 Office of Aging Chester County Department of Aging Services (610) 344-6350 Orthopedics Premier Orthopaedics Locations in Coatesville and Pottstown (610) 792-9292 Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy

Kennett Square (610) 444-4819 Oxford (610) 932-5244 Phoenixville (610) 935-1515 Wayne (610) 688-6246 West Chester (610) 431-4242 transportation ROVER Community Transportation/ Krapf Transportation (484) 696-3854

Physicians Gateway Medical Associates Locations in Coatesville, Downingtown, Lionville, and West Chester (610) 423-8181

Not an all-inclusive list of advertisers in your area.

retirement living Friends Home in Kennett 147 W. State St., Kennett Square (610) 444-2577 50plus LIFE u

April 2018


Cover Story

Senior Volunteers Close the Generation Gap Corporate Office

3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Phone 717.285.1350 • Fax 717.285.1360 Chester County: 610.675.6240 Cumberland County/Dauphin County: 717.770.0140 Berks County/Lancaster County/ Lebanon County/York County: 717.285.1350 E-mail address: Website address:



Vice President and Managing Editor Christianne Rupp Editor, 50plus Publications Megan Joyce

ART DEPARTMENT Project Coordinator Renee McWilliams Production Artist Lauren McNallen

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Account Executives Wendy Letoski Janette McLaurin Jessica Simmons Angie Willis Account Representatives Matthew Chesson Jennifer Schmalhofer Gina Yocum Events Manager Kimberly Shaffer Marketing Coordinator Martha Lawrence

ADMINISTRATION Business Manager Elizabeth Duvall

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50plus LIFE is published by On-Line Publishers, Inc. and is distributed monthly among senior centers, retirement communities, banks, grocers, libraries and other outlets serving the senior community. On-Line Publishers, Inc. will not knowingly accept or publish advertising which may be fraudulent or misleading in nature. Views expressed in opinion stories, contributions, articles and letters are not necessarily the views of the publisher. The appearance of advertisements for products or services does not constitute an endorsement of the particular product or service. The publisher will not be responsible for mistakes in advertisements unless notified within five days of publication. On-Line Publishers, Inc. reserves the right to revise or reject any and all advertising. No part of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without permission of On-Line Publishers, Inc. We will not knowingly publish any advertisement or information not in compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act, Pennsylvania State laws or other local laws.


April 2018

50plus LIFE u

By Lori Van Ingen

programs, Schreiber also runs summer camps, a bowling program, a social skills Chalk it up to the program, kids yoga, and Club intergenerational allure of 65, a program for youth and cuddly babies and snuggly young adults with disabilities toddlers. to experience such activities The new infant-care as going to the movies, out to program at Schreiber Pediatric eat, or to a trampoline park. Rehab Center has expanded Valerie Korman spends time Last August, Schreiber volunteer opportunities for with Schreiber’s infants, as a opened an infant room area seniors — in addition swim buddy, and in the center’s after receiving a $250,000 to providing much-needed preschool program, pictured here. grant from the Donald B. services for parents with and Dorothy L. Stabler newborns. Foundation and fundraising Dan Fink, director of matching donations from the marketing and public relations community. at Schreiber, admits it’s an easy Prior to opening the sell. state-of-the-art infant room, “It has been pretty Schreiber was unable to accept successful,” Fink said. “Who children younger than 12 wouldn’t want to hold a baby, months old into its daycare feed a baby?” program, Fink said. Seniors Nancy Vogel, Valerie Being a nana is senior Korman, Mary Alice Gerfin, Nancy Vogel’s thing, and Peggy Toms, and Leon Hutton the Rock-A-Baby program is all agree that volunteering at “good for nanas and good for Schreiber’s preschool and new the kids. I dearly love rocking infant room is an enjoyable them. They need a nana to experience that keeps them rock them,” Vogel, 74, said. coming back week after week. As swim buddies, volunteers “They just want to be held.” Schreiber “loves having Sherry Sweigart, top, and Colette Vogel has volunteered at seniors in the building, and Lind, bottom, help children learn Schreiber for six months, they love being here. It’s been important swimming techniques. when she moved to a senior a very successful partnership,” living community. Vogel said said Fink. she enjoys volunteering in the Rock-A-Baby program Schreiber Pediatric, originally known as the so much that she often goes early and stays after her Society for Crippled Children and Adults, began in 9-11 a.m. shift. 1936 as a vision of Edna Schreiber in response to “There are several ladies who work there, and I the polio epidemic. Schreiber was a polio nurse (a help them feed and get the babies to sleep by rocking profession today that would be similar to a physical them.” therapist) and ran the clinic until the late 1960s, She doesn’t change diapers, but “I usually end up when she retired. on the floor playing with the kids.” The outpatient clinic, which by the 1980s There are generally nine babies, some of whom are was associated with the National Easter Seals toddlers who are busy playing with toys and can feed Society, began focusing on specialized pediatric themselves, and some of whom are “lie down” babies therapy services for children from birth to age 21 who need bottles fed to them, she said. with developmental delays and disabilities. The Vogel said she doesn’t like to see babies left to cry organization also began a preschool to include both to go to sleep, so she rocks them. The toddlers are children with and without disabilities. usually ready to nap and will lie down because they In 1994, it disassociated with Easter Seals and want to sleep. moved to its current location in Lancaster. At that “It’s amazing there are no screamers,” she said. “I time, it was renamed Schreiber Pediatric Rehab couldn’t get that done at home. These girls (Schreiber Center for its founder and first executive director. employees) are so good.” Today, 3,000-4,000 children receive services from Senior Valerie Korman was an elementary school Schreiber Pediatric — some in their own homes, teacher for many years. some at the center, and some in their school. “You become younger as well when you begin to Besides therapy services and its preschool/daycare

deal with kids,” Korman said. “After retirement, when you can’t interact with kids, it’s like losing your left arm.” Therefore, rocking babies after she retired in 2012 was her goal. But because of HIPAA regulations, Korman said hospitals wouldn’t accept people coming in to rock their babies. So she started volunteering at Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center instead. When Schreiber opened its infant room, Korman, 62, jumped at the chance to rock the babies there. While Schreiber doesn’t mind if its volunteers miss shifts, she said she has missed only a handful of times when traveling. “I want to go (to rock the babies); it’s very settling. You don’t mess with the time I go to Schreiber.” Korman tries to find the babies who are extra fussy to help the women who work in the infant room. She feeds the babies with bottles as well as with spoons, puts the babies to sleep by rocking them, and plays. “I sing songs, read poems, and do art projects,” she said. Korman also volunteers in the preschool room. The children have free play and are then off to the room’s various centers to learn about the alphabet, numbers, counting, colors, and shapes. She also helps with hand washing, giving the kids snacks, filling backpacks, and zipping coats. “I look forward to going. It’s so varied between the two programs,” Korman said. Once a month, Korman also serves as a swim buddy with the 3- to 5-year-olds.

“I help change 10 kids into their swimsuits, take off their shoes and socks, and stay with the children. I do whatever I can to help,” she said. When they get into the warm, 85degree pool, they have group time and then practice jumping up and down, putting their faces in the water, doing back and front floats, kicking their legs, and jumping into the pool and getting out of it — survival techniques. Then they enjoy 45 minutes of playtime. Schreiber is a special place for 75year-old Mary Alice Gerfin: Her 15year-old grandson has been going to Schreiber for years, and her husband, Michael, had been treated by founder Edna Schreiber when he was a young man. For the past few years, Gerfin and her husband have volunteered for Schreiber’s annual Rubber Duckie Race. While she sells tickets, her husband, who is a member of Schreiber’s board of directors, prepares the local park for the fundraising event. In addition to the race, the retirement community resident now also volunteers in Schreiber’s new infant room. For two hours every Wednesday, she cuddles the babies, helping them to settle down, and feeding them. “When I saw they were opening an infant center, it was just a normal thing to do for me,” said Gerfin, who has been volunteering in the infant room since the first week it opened. “It’s natural for me. I love babies and love to cuddle them. It uplifts me to see their dear little faces smile at

HONEY from page 2 Half a century later, though, “Honey” often appears on “worst songs of all times” lists, along with such ridiculed recordings as “MacArthur Park,” “Convoy,” and “Disco Duck.” So why, like Rodney Dangerfield, does “Honey” get no respect from some folks? While many people feel the song is a touching tribute to the idea of appreciating those we love while they are still with us, others have blasted the storyline as being schmaltzy and often deride such lyrics as, “She was always young at heart/Kinda dumb and kinda smart” or “One day while I was not

at home/While she was there and all alone/The angels came.” These last lines prompted one Internet wag to ask, “Did this babe die or did she leave with the Hell’s Angels?” Bobby Goldsboro has his own take on the song, one that is no doubt shared by most people: “Actually, what it is, very simply, is just a guy remembering little things that happened while his wife was alive.” Randal C. Hill is a rock ’n’ roll historian who lives at the Oregon coast. He may be reached at

you. I can’t imagine not wanting to do this.” Every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., “cuddler” Peggy Toms also can be found in Schreiber’s infant room. “I sit in a rocker and they bring the babies to me,” the 89-year-old said. “I sit there and hold them close until they settle down. I also feed them with a bottle to settle them down.” Prior to her retirement, Toms worked with children at the Intermediate Unit for 20 years and always enjoyed children of any age, she said. Now Toms has found that rocking babies is something she loves doing. “I really do,” she said. “It’s something I’m able to do without a problem, and, fortunately, they say they can use the help.” Retirement community resident Leon Hutton also enjoys sharing his time with the young children at Schreiber’s preschool. When the weather is good, the older children go outside to shoot basketball, pick up sticks, or pretend to make a fire, Hutton said. There’s also a gym set that they can walk on, plus a sliding board.

When inside, Hutton reads books to them. He learned to read familiar stories, such as Frosty the Snowman, upside down so the children could see the book’s pictures. “The good Lord wants us to help someone else. We can express ourselves and help them a little bit. It’s also a generational thing. Their grandparents may not be here, so we can fill in and be part of their learning and see their growth,” Hutton, 89, said. Not only does volunteering help the children, but “it does me so much good to associate with the youth, their cuteness, innocence. They are beautiful children,” Hutton said. “When you are in a retirement home with no car, no wife now — it’s good to get out. The kids are good for you. It’s terrific therapy for me. It keeps me active, my mind going, my legs going ... They do wonders for you.” On the cover: From left, volunteers Valerie Korman, Peggy Toms, and Nancy Vogel spend time each week in Schreiber Pediatric’s infant room, rocking, feeding, and playing with the center’s infants and toddlers.

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Meredith Ann Whipple 50plus LIFE u

April 2018


On Life and Love after 50

Please join us for these FREE events! Always free parking! 19th Annual

May 2, 2018 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Hershey Lodge


19th Annual

May 9, 2018 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Shady Maple Conference Center LANCASTER COUNTY

Smorgasbord Building 129 Toddy Drive, East Earl

15th Annual

June 6, 2018 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Church Farm School


1001 East Lincoln Highway Exton

Sept. 19, 2018 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Spooky Nook Sports


2913 Spooky Nook Road Manheim

Sept. 26, 2018

16th Annual

22nd Annual

325 University Drive Hershey

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

York Expo Center


Memorial Hall East 334 Carlisle Avenue, York

19th Annual

Oct. 17, 2018 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Carlisle Expo Center 100 K Street Carlisle


Exhibitors • Health Screenings • Seminars Demonstrations • Entertainment • Door Prizes

Limited Sponsorship Opportunities Available

(717) 285-1350 (717) 770-0140 (610) 675-6240


April 2018

50plus LIFE u

Tom Blake

Should Widow Allow Her Man-Friend to Move in?

Sally, a widow of four years, emailed: “I am financially secure, healthy, fit, and attractive. I have been doing volunteer work for the last two years, which is how I met the man I am now seeing. “In April 2017, a man I will refer to as D walked into the museum where I volunteer as a docent. We talked at length, and when he returned to the museum three weeks later, I was on duty again. We exchanged phone numbers. He lives 34 miles away. “After a few good phone conversations, we had a picnic. Our next date was a classic-car show! We have seen one another almost every weekend since the middle of May. “I like the way our relationship is now. He is 56 and I am 69! He says the age difference is not important. “He is patient, kind, and loving. He loves my dog and helps me around my home. We took some swing dance lessons and went to a few dances. We have had some misunderstandings but have worked through them and grown our relationship as a result. We have built friendship and trust between us. “We took a trip together last November to Kansas to visit his mother and sister. We enjoy being together and doing ‘ordinary life’ activities, and are planning trips to Hawaii and California. “D is very affectionate, a good listener, and we are able to talk and resolve differences so far. He is hard working and loves his 86-year-old mother and his sisters. “He is not as financially secure as I and he still works full time, which is

good. I am a retired teacher and I own a nice, large, mortgage-free home. “We get a chance to miss one another because we don’t live together. He has never married. My late husband and I had a solid and loving marriage for 39 years, and then he became ill and died suddenly. “I always felt I would never marry or live with a man again, but I did want to find a special person with whom I could share a committed relationship. “I think D is that person for me. We have been serious about one another for eight months. He wants to move in with me, and so we are ‘discussing’ it. “I know what it is like to be married and D does not. He has had livein relationships of a few years a few times, and I wonder, is this a red flag? I used to think there was something wrong with a man who had not been married by age 50. “What are your thoughts on his moving in with me?” Tom’s response: In my complimentary e-newsletter, I asked my readers for their opinions. Thirtytwo subscribers, of whom seven were men, responded. Not one of the 32 thought it was a good idea. And I don’t either. The readers’ reasons included: Dating only eight months is too soon, his previous live-in relationships haven’t worked out, and even though you only see each other on weekends, you’ve already had differences. In my opinion, the main issues are: You enjoy your LAT (living apart please see WIDOW page 18

The Beauty in Nature

Birds at Fort Sumter Clyde McMillan-Gamber

In the middle of April a few years Cormorants slip under water from its ago, my wife, Sue, and I took a surface. bus trip to Savannah, Georgia, and The lower mandible of the beak of Charleston, South Carolina. each skimmer cuts through the water One afternoon when visiting as the bird flies just above the surface. Charleston, we took a boat ride to That mandible snaps shut against the Fort Sumter, upper one when at the mouth the skimmer of Charleston feels a small fish Harbor, for a bump its lower history lesson. On mandible. the way out to Gulls drop the fort, we saw feet-first from a few bottlenose the air to pick dolphins rolling up small fish, up to get air, but they also and then sliding scavenge dead down in the fish. water as they Most of these Brown pelican. swam through the species, except harbor. the cormorants, When we may stay in arrived at Fort the vicinity of Sumter, I saw Charleston to many coastal nest. Pelicans, birds on sandbars skimmers, and and mudflats near terns raise young that structure. on sandbars and At that point, I similar niches concentrated on near the ocean the birds. and estuaries. The birds were Laughing gulls Willet shorebird. of two kinds, rear offspring divided by the in salt marshes food they ingest. between sandy They were ones that catch fish with barrier islands and the mainland. their bills and sandpipers, which use The sandpipers on sandbars and their long beaks to pull invertebrates mudflats near Fort Sumter, including out of sand and mud. willets, ruddy turnstones, and least Most of the fish-eating birds, sandpipers, continued to poke their including brown pelicans, doublebills into mud and sand to snare crested cormorants, black skimmers, invertebrates to eat. royal terns, least terns, laughing gulls, Only some of the willets will stay and herring gulls, rested and digested around Charleston to nest in salt in little flocks of their kin on sandbars marshes. The rest will migrate farther and mudflats between feeding forays. north to hatch babies, including the Laughing gulls and the terns kept least sandpipers on the Arctic tundra. the air vibrant with their constant I was thrilled to see so many calling, which was thrilling to hear. migrating coastal birds around Fort Each kind of fish-eater snares its Sumter in the mouth of the outlet to finny prey in its own way. Pelicans the nearby Atlantic Ocean. To me, and terns, for example, dive beakthey were one of the highlights of our first into the water from the air. trip south.

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April 2018


Calendar of Events

Chester County

Support Groups Free and open to the public

Senior Center Activities

April 3, 1:30 p.m. Grief Support Group Phoenixville Senior Center 153 Church St., Phoenixville (610) 327-7216

Coatesville Area Senior Center (610) 383-6900 250 Harmony St., Coatesville Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:30-11:15 a.m. – Going Fit Exercise Program April 5 and 19, 11 a.m. to noon – Veterans Coffee Club April 11 and 25, 1-2 p.m. – Bingo

April 3 and 17, 5-6:30 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Main Line Unitarian Church 816 S. Valley Forge Road, Devon (610) 585-6604 Nondenominational; all are welcome. April 3 and 17, 6:30-8 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Brandywine Hospital Conference Room 2N 201 Reeceville Road, Coatesville (610) 998-1700, ext. 226 April 4, 6 p.m. Memory Loss and Dementia Support Group Sunrise Assisted Living of Paoli 324 W. Lancaster Ave., Malvern (610) 251-9994 April 9 and 23, 10:30 a.m. to noon Caregiver Support Group Adult Care of Chester County 201 Sharp Lane, Exton (610) 363-8044

April 10 and 24, 6:30-8 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Jennersville Hospital Conference Room B 1015 W. Baltimore Pike, West Grove (610) 998-1700, ext. 226 April 11, 1:30 p.m. Family Caregiver Support Group Sarah Care 425 Technology Drive, Suite 200, Malvern (610) 251-0801 April 11, 7-8:30 p.m. Hearing Loss Support Group Christ Community Church 1190 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester (610) 444-4454 April 17, 6 p.m. Family Caregiver Support Group Sunrise of Westtown 501 Skiles Blvd., West Chester (610) 399-4464 April 25, 6 p.m. Living with Cancer Support Group Paoli Hospital Cancer Center 255 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli (484) 565-1253

If you have an event you would like to include, please email information to for consideration.

Community Programs Free and open to the public April 3, 11:30 a.m. West Chester University Retirees Luncheon For restaurant location, please email darsie@ April 5, 7:30 p.m. Compassionate Friends Valley Forge Chapter Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 132 E. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia (484) 919-0820

April 7 and 21, 5-10 p.m. Bingo Night Marine Corps League Detachment 430 Chestnut St., Downingtown (610) 429-8174 April 17, noon AARP Valley Forge Chapter Meeting St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church 203 N. Valley Forge Road, Devon (610) 647-1823

parks and recreation April 14, 9 a.m. – Paws on the Path, Wolf Hollow County Park April 28, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Sheep and Wool Day, Springton Manor Farm


April 2018

50plus LIFE u

Downingtown Senior Center – (610) 269-3939 983 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m. – Photoshoot Hour Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. – Poker Fridays, 10:30 a.m. – Historical Study of Biblical Times Great Valley Senior Center – (610) 889-2121 47 Church Road, Malvern Mondays, 10:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Bingo (Open to the Public) Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – Exercise Kennett Area Senior Center – (610) 444-4819 427 S. Walnut St., Kennett Square Oxford Senior Center – (610) 932-5244 12 E. Locust St., Oxford – Wednesdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m. – Paint Class Phoenixville Area Senior Center – (610) 935-1515 153 Church St., Phoenixville West Chester Area Senior Center – (610) 431-4242 530 E. Union St., West Chester Thursdays, 1 p.m. – WCASC Chorus Submit senior center events to mjoyce@onlinepub. com.

Library Programs Downingtown Library, 330 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (610) 269-2741 April 19, 6:30 p.m. – Downingtown Library’s Writers Group April 21 – Readers on the Run Event with 50+ Age Brackets April 26, 6:30 p.m. – Reading the Classics Paoli Library, 18 Darby Road, Paoli, (610) 296-7996 Mystery Book Club – Call for dates/times

Plan for a Retirement Where the Unexpected Can Happen “My wife and I took out a reverse mortgage before she became sick and died of cancer. I am so glad we did. I don’t know how I would have paid the bills without it. I only had to pay 20 percent of the medical bills, but 20 percent of a large number is a lot!” Bob’s story is repeated daily, but many more seniors have not planned for life’s unexpected emergencies. Ninety-seven percent of Americans make no plans for their eventual senior-care needs. The line-of-credit feature on a reverse mortgage can be a valuable retirement asset to help retirees fund longevity. There are four main ways a reverse mortgage can be used to provide additional retirement security. Receive a lump sum at closing. The proceeds of a reverse mortgage are tax-free income that may be used in any way you choose. Some seniors are helped significantly by having their mortgage payment eliminated, and then having a lump sum with which to pay off debt. Grow retirement with a growing line of credit. A line of credit may be established using a reverse mortgage and is left to grow at an interest rate equal to the current loan rates. At any time, the line of credit may be accessed for incidental cash or in-home care, or to be converted to monthly payments.

Delay Social Security benefits and let investments grow. Using this approach, a reverse mortgage is established and drawn upon every year to allow the retiree’s portfolio, Rob Miller, President such as a 401(k), time to grow. Protection from investment downturns. In this approach, a reverse mortgage is established and only drawn upon if the retirement portfolio underperforms. This will spare the portfolio any draw when it is down, giving it a better chance to recover and thereby minimizing risk. The most important time to have cash available is when you need it, and more people are using a reverse mortgage line of credit for just that: to have cash available for life’s unexpected turns or just for financial security that grows until you choose to use it. Call Rob Miller, NMLS No. 142151, president of Glendale Mortgage, NMLS No. 127720, and Reverse Mortgage Specialist, to learn more. (610) 853-6500, (888) 456-0988,,

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Your Financial Partner Glendale Mortgage NMLS 127720 is an Equal Housing Lender. Some products and services may not be available in all states. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. If you qualify we will reimburse you for the cost of the appraisal at closing. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking, State of Delaware Bank Commissioner, and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

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50plus LIFE u

April 2018



Reach Active, Affluent Boomers & Seniors! By Andrea Gross

Reserve your space now for the 15th annual

Sponsor and exhibitor applications are now being accepted!

June 6, 2018 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Church Farm School 1001 East Lincoln Highway, Exton

Exhibitors • Health Screenings Demonstrations • Door Prizes

Why Participate?

It’s the premier event for baby boomers, caregivers, and seniors in Chester County • Face-to-face interaction with 1,500+ attendees • Strengthen brand recognition/launch new products

For sponsorship and exhibitor information:

(610) 675-6240 10

April 2018

50plus LIFE u

Finding India in Artesia

I pass on wearing a bindi (red south Asia but instead is in Artesia, dot) on my forehead, because in California, just 20 miles from many parts of India it has a religious downtown Los Angeles. significance, Here, but I do want within a fiveto don a sari. block stretch I raise my along Pioneer arms as a Boulevard, salesperson women with takes a 9-foot brightly colored strip of rubysaris (the red silk, makes traditional dress a few deft of southern moves, and India) stroll the within minutes streets alongside transforms me others in salwar Artesia’s Little India is from a khakikameez, the approximately 20 miles from bedecked tunic-and-pants downtown Los Angeles. tourist to a ensemble that classically clad is increasingly Indian woman. popular in northern India. “Try putting it on yourself,” They shop in she says. family-owned businesses filled I do, and with fabrics that after a half-hour are so vividly of winding, colored, richly pleating, and embroidered, tucking, I and laden with look like a beads that they Christmas Indian fabrics come in vivid colors, from are as much present that’s majestic mauve and royal purple to deep works of art as come undone. turquoise and rich gold. items of apparel. I admit My husband defeat and and I inhale the sweet smell of incense, go outside to further explore “Little as a turbaned man, carrying a tall India,” a community that looks as stack of white bakery boxes, rushes by. if it’s thousands of miles away in

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“Pardon,” he says in heavily accented English. I ask him what’s in all the boxes. He smiles and points to a nearby shop. We follow his finger to Bombay Sweets & Snacks, where we’re confronted with a near-overwhelming choice of tempting pastries. Do we want cardamom or coconut, dry or syrupy, crunchy or chewy? We settle on a lime-green cookie and a pale-pink mini-cake before heading down the street to try another one of Artesia’s most popular desserts: ice cream. Ice cream isn’t a traditional treat in India, where many people don’t eat eggs, but Saffron Spot makes an eggless version that features Indianinspired flavors such as jackfruit, lychee, masala tea, and mango. In line with our philosophy that we should test foods that have names we can’t Markets in Little India are filled with veggies pronounce, we share a that are unfamiliar to most visitors. small scoop of rajbhog ice cream, which contains a chunky mix of pistachios, cashews, and almonds spiced with saffron and cardamom. Delicious. But we really don’t want a meal of snacks and sweets; we want something more substantial. My husband has read about thali, an Indian specialty consisting of several small dishes surrounded by various condiments. I want a frankie, a popular street food in India that’s usually made from vegetables wrapped in a crepe. (Think Indian burrito.) We finally decide on Ashoka the Great, a lunch buffet that offers a wide variety of choices. There we taste-test everything from chicken tikka masala to saag paneer, vegetable samosa to goat stew. Afterward, we wander into a market, intending to buy take-home spices, but we’re distracted by bins of veggies with unfamiliar names like karela, tindora, raviya, and turai. There are also seven kinds of mango pulp, several brands of ghee, and piles of fresh roti (unleavened bread). We finally find the spice section and, after much sniffing, select small bags that a young woman tells us are “Bombay Masala” and “Tandoori Spice.” A sign directs us upstairs to a shop called “Moon, Gems, and Rudraksh,” where we find items related to astrology (the moon), 22-karat gold jewelry inset with brilliant rubies, emeralds and sapphires (the gems), and necklaces made from seeds of the rudraksh tree.

Where friends become family. At Friends Home, residents have the comfort of knowing that they can receive personal care without having to move. Our dedicated staff brings the care to them. Focusing on quality of life, combined with a comfortable setting, makes Friends Home unique. Independent • Personal Care • Skilled Call (610) 444-2577 for more information or to schedule a personal tour. Friends Home in Kennett | 147 West State Street | Kennett Square, PA 19348 Phone: (610) 444-2577 | Fax: (610) 444-2856 |

“These seeds have medicinal power. They are used for prayer,” says storeowner Mahesh Goel. He gives us a crash course in Hindu philosophy before suggesting that we visit the nearby Swaminarayan Hindu Temple, the closest of four Hindu temples in the vicinity of Artesia. We enter to find men and women sitting separately but praying together to the rhythm of beating drums and shaking tambourines. Despite the syncopated sounds, the atmosphere is relaxed, almost tranquil. Before we head back to downtown Los Angeles, we return to the store where we began our day. I’ve given up on outfitting myself in a sari and opt instead for a salwar kameez. “Easier to put on,” says the salesperson, chuckling as she remembers my The Swaminarayan Hindu Temple tangled tries with a sari. welcomes visitors. “Easier to use,” I say, as I imagine myself gracefully serving guests masala tea while outfitted in exotic Indian clothes. But first I’ll have to learn to make rajbhog ice cream. Photos © Irv Green unless otherwise noted; story by Andrea Gross (www.

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April 2018


National Foot Health Awareness Month Foot Health: Common Issues and Treatments By Dr. Meredith Warner As we get older, our feet tend to change for the worse. Our feet bear the weight of our bodies every day of our lives. Most of us will neglect to take the best care of our feet and often take them for granted. We wear ill-fitting shoes that constrict bones, muscles, and tendons, leading to painful problems and conditions later in life. Your Shoes Can Make a Major Difference Due to our choice of shoes, as we age, the foot tends to change shape slowly. You are probably familiar with calluses and bunions. Both appear when our shoes have constricted the natural movement of our feet during

our walk cycle. Bunions are common in people who have a history of wearing narrow-toed dress shoes, popular in both men’s and women’s fashion. A bunion occurs when the big toe curves in toward the center of the foot, causing the toe joint to become more prominent. Most of these fashionable dress shoes are lacking in arch support,

Premier Orthopaedics is delighted to welcome Dr. Scott Ritterman to our medical staff

Glenn E. Lipton, M.D.

James T. Guille, M.D.

Scott Ritterman, M.D.

Nikos K. Pavlides, M.D.

Linda P. D’Andrea, M.D.

Dr. Ritterman specializes in joint replacement surgery and is trained in all aspects of fracture care, including OPERATIVE and NON-OPERATIVE TREATMENT as well as sports medicine. At Premier Orthopaedics we take great pride in delivering the highest quality of care in the community across a full range of services, including: • Joint replacement • Sports medicine • Spine surgery • Hand surgery • Foot surgery • Medicare approved in-office injections for joint pain/osteoarthritis • Bracing and assistive devices • Pediatric, adult, and geriatric sub-specialties within the group

Dr. Ritterman will be seeing patients out of our Brandywine Hospital location

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or visit us on the web at Brandywine Institute of Orthopaedics 1561 Medical Drive Pottstown, PA 19464 (610) 792-9292


April 2018

Premier Physical Therapy in Pottstown 1561 Medical Drive Pottstown, PA 19464 (484) 941-6734

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Brandywine Hospital 201 Reeceville Road Suite 24 Coatesville, PA 19320 (610) 792-9292

which can lead to wider, flat feet later in life. In most cases, these issues can be treated with a properfitting orthotic shoe or shoe insert that is structurally supportive and cushioned for comfort and shock absorption. It is best to speak with a foot professional if your pain persists after stabilizing your feet with orthotics, as they can offer more options based on your specific needs. Take Time to Pamper and Care for Your Feet As we age, our circulatory system has more difficulty pumping blood to our extremities, including our feet. Some common symptoms include swelling, foot fatigue, and a higher risk of infection. For swollen and fatigued feet, I highly recommend the use of foot baths and compression socks. A warm foot bath with Epsom salts warms the feet, promoting increased blood flow, which can reduce swelling and aches. Foot massages will also help reduce swelling and loosen stiffened bones and muscles. Use oil or moisturizing lotion during the massage. Try coconut oil or shea butter, but avoid oils and lotions with added fragrances, as they can dry out your skin. Reduced blood circulation can make a small cut or blister dangerous. These wounds can take longer to heal, making infection more likely. Be aware of the condition of your feet. Keep them clean and moisturized to prevent cracked and blistered skin. As you age, your immune system has a harder time fighting off foreign bacteria, and the

smallest cut could cause serious health issues if not properly addressed. If you ever notice any drastic changes to the appearance of your feet, like discolored toenails or skin, you should contact a doctor for an examination to be safe. With Age Comes an Increased Risk for Arthritis One of the most common conditions I see in older patients is arthritis. Arthritis is a condition onset by a deterioration of the padding in your joints. Joints will rub together, causing pain and stiffness. Arthritis foot pain can originate in the feet, knees, and hips. Typically, this stiffness is more prominent early in the morning and late at night. The pain usually will lessen as you move throughout the day and worsen during rest. Recommended treatments for arthritis include anti-inflammatories, shoe inserts, massages, and stretches. Another option that could alleviate arthritis pain is weight loss, as it will lighten the load on the joints. Plantar Fasciitis Can Present Painful Problems with Age Another common condition I see in many of my patients is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a degenerative condition that affects the band of tissue that connects the toes to the heel, causing stabbing heel pain. This heel pain is the most painful in the morning when taking the first step out of bed and will usually decrease throughout the day as it stretches while walking. While plantar fasciitis does not strictly affect older patients, it is more common among older populations. Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or level of physical health; however, effective treatment methods can be harder to find for older individuals. The most common forms of treatment include steroid injections,

National Foot Health Awareness Month surgery, and physical therapy. You can alleviate the pain of this condition by performing daily stretches and wearing well-fitting shoes with structural support. You can easily find plantar fasciitis braces, shoes, and

inserts in stores and online. In some cases, patients will need custom shoes or orthotics. If you ever have questions about your current foot health, visit a footcare professional as they will be able

to evaluate your situation and give you the best options for your path to relief and recovery. Dr. Meredith Warner is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, specializing in foot

and ankle conditions, and the founder of Warner Orthopedics & Wellness in Baton Rouge, La. She is also the creator of The Healing Sole, flip-flops designed to treat plantar fasciitis. www.

Diabetes and Your Feet If you have diabetes, here’s a way to keep standing on your own two feet: check them every day — even if they feel fine — and see your doctor if you have a cut or blister that won’t heal. There’s a lot to manage if you have diabetes: checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctor’s appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. But daily care is one of the best ways to prevent foot complications. Between 60 and 70 percent of people with diabetes have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. Feeling No Pain Some people with nerve damage have numbness, tingling, or pain, but others have no symptoms. Nerve damage can also lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold. Living without pain sounds pretty good, but it comes at a high cost. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something’s wrong so you can take care of yourself. If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, sore, or other problem. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early. Risk Factors Anyone with diabetes can develop nerve damage, but these factors increase your risk: • Blood sugar levels that are hard to control

• Having diabetes for a long time, especially if your blood sugar is often higher than your target levels • Being overweight • Being older than 40 years • Having high blood pressure • Having high cholesterol[281 KB] Nerve damage, along with poor circulation — another diabetes complication — puts you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that could get infected and not heal well. If an infection doesn’t get better with treatment, your toe, foot, or part of your leg may need to be amputated (removed by surgery) to prevent the infection from spreading and to save your life. Tips for Healthy Feet Check your feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or any other change to the skin or nails. Use a mirror if you can’t see the bottom of your feet, or ask a family member to help. Wash your feet every day in warm (not hot) water. Don’t soak your feet. Dry your feet completely and apply lotion to the top and bottom — but not between your toes, which could

lead to infection. Never go barefoot. Always wear shoes and socks or slippers, even inside, to avoid injury. Check that there aren’t any pebbles or other objects inside your shoes and that the lining is smooth. Wear shoes that fit well. For the best fit, try on new shoes at the end of the day when your feet tend to be largest. Break in your new shoes slowly — wear them for an hour or two a day at first until they’re completely comfortable. Always wear socks with your shoes. Trim your toenails straight across and gently smooth any sharp edges with an emery board. Have your foot doctor (podiatrist) trim your toenails if you can’t see or reach your feet. Don’t remove corns or calluses yourself, and especially don’t use overthe-counter products to remove them — they could burn your skin. Get your feet checked at every healthcare visit. Also, visit your foot doctor every year (more often if you have nerve damage) for a thorough exam, which will include checking for feeling and blood flow in your feet. Keep the blood flowing. Put your feet up when you’re sitting, and wiggle your toes for a few minutes several times throughout the day. Choose feet-friendly activities like

walking, riding a bike, or swimming. Be sure to check with your doctor about which activities are best for you and any you should avoid. When to See Your Doctor If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t wait for your next appointment. See your regular doctor or foot doctor right away: • Pain in your legs or cramping in your buttocks, thighs, or calves during physical activity • Tingling, burning, or pain in your feet • Loss of sense of touch or ability to feel heat or cold very well • A change in the shape of your feet over time • Loss of hair on your toes, feet, and lower legs • Dry, cracked skin on your feet • A change in the color and temperature of your feet • Thickened, yellow toenails • Fungus infections, such as athlete’s foot between your toes • A blister, sore, ulcer, infected corn, or ingrown toenail Most people with diabetes can prevent serious foot complications. Regular care at home and going to all doctor’s appointments are your best bet for preventing foot problems (and stopping small problems from becoming serious ones). Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

50plus LIFE u

April 2018


Home Care Services & Hospice Providers All Hands Home Care

Homestead Village Home Care Services

(717) 737-7905

Year Est.: 2014 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: We provide trained caregivers for in-home care for personal, respite, hospice, 24-hour, live-in, and companionship-care services to seniors and individuals of all ages in the Central Pennsylvania region. Our company is fully insured and bonded. Call now for a free in-home consultation!

Comfort Keepers

(717) 299-4007 Year Est.: 2001 Counties Served: Lancaster RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: We provide compassionate, in-home care that helps seniors live safe, happy, and independent lives in the comfort of their own homes. Companion care, light housekeeping, personal care, in-home safety solutions, incidental transportation, dementia/Alzheimer’s care, ongoing staff training. Member: Home Care Association of America

Homeland at Home

Homeland HomeCare: (717) 221-7892 Year Est.: 2016 Homeland HomeHealth: (717) 412-0166 Year Est.: 2017 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland*, Dauphin*, Franklin, Fulton, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon*, Northumberland, Perry*, Schuylkill, Snyder, York* *Homeland HomeHealth currently serves five of 13 counties.

CNAs/Home Aides: Yes Direct Care Workers: Yes PT/OT/Speech Therapists: Yes

Other Certifications and Services: Health and wellness coordination, transition services, homemaking services (shopping/ errands, companionship/conversation, cooking, laundry, light housekeeping, gardening, pet care), transportation services, personal care services (bathing, dressing, personal hygiene), medication reminders and coordination.

Landis at Home

(717) 509-5800 Year Est.: 2007 Counties Served: Lancaster RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: A licensed home-care agency, offering a variety of services to persons in their homes within 15 miles of the Landis Homes campus. Services, provided by carefully screened and qualified caregivers with oversight from RNs, may be used for a short visit or up to 24 hours a day. Call for a free, in-home consultation. A home-care service of Landis Communities.

(717) 560-5160

Homeland Hospice: (717) 221-7890 Year Est.: 2008

LPNs: Yes

Year Est.: 2009 Counties Served: Lancaster RNs: No LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

MediQuest Staffing & Homecare

RNs: Yes

(717) 397-3044

Other Certifications and Services: Homeland at Home is a community outreach of Homeland Center, a non-profit CCRC that has served our region with excellent and benevolent care since 1867. Our expert team is dedicated to providing a continuum of At Home services—from non-medical personal assistance to skilled nursing and compassionate hospice and palliative care. We are privileged to care for you and your loved ones … any place you call “home.” We offer community and staff educational programs, including a “My Reflections” end-of-life planning workshop, as well as 15 unique bereavement support groups.

Social Workers: Yes Spiritual Counselors: Yes

Year Est.: 2002 Counties Served: Lancaster RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: Our experienced caregivers will provide the level of care for your specific needs, including memory care, transportation to and from appointments, outpatient procedures, personal care, respite, and more. Services are provided wherever you reside. All caregivers are comprehensively screened, bonded, and insured. Call for a FREE RN assessment. Member: Pennsylvania Homecare Association.

If you would like to be featured on this important page, please contact your account representative or call (610) 675-6240.

Complementary Therapies: Yes Medicare Certified: Yes This is not an all-inclusive list of agencies and providers. These advertisers are eager to provide additional information about their services.


April 2018

50plus LIFE u

Home Care Services & Hospice Providers Pleasant View Care at Home

Visiting Angels

Year Est.: 2007 Counties Served: Lancaster, Lebanon RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Year Est.: 2001 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

(717) 664-6646

(800) 365-4189

Other Certifications and Services: Caring and professional staff provide supportive services to help maintain independence within the comfortable setting of home. Personal services, companion care, dementia care services, and transitional care offered — call for a free consultation.

Other Certifications and Services: Visiting Angels provides seniors and adults with the needed assistance to continue living at home. Flexible hours up to 24 hours per day. Companionship, personal hygiene, meal prep, and more. Our caregivers are thoroughly screened, bonded, and insured. Call today for a complimentary and informational meeting.

This is not an all-inclusive list of agencies and providers. These advertisers are eager to provide additional information about their services.

10 Keys for Surviving a Parkinson’s Diagnosis By Robert W. Smith What should you do when you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Author and Parkinson’s patient Robert W. Smith, author of The Parkinson’s Playbook, offers the following 10 guidelines for effectively managing your diagnosis.

behavior changes that arise from how the medication is interacting with your basic physical and mental makeup.

Make for a safe home. The first priority is to make your home safe to move around in by keeping walkways clear of obstructions, as well as removing rugs or other floor obstacles that are tripping hazards. Install grab bars and railings where there are critical areas of movement or changes in April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month direction.

Form a team. You cannot do it alone. From physicians to family, it takes teamwork and specialists to put Parkinson’s on the defense.

Work on postural alignment. Better known as posture, this can be improved by sitting up straight with your shoulders back, chest out, and head back. Remind yourself every day to be conscious of your posture, and over time you will see a difference. Standing tall with your shoulders back presents the image that you are Parkinson’s-free. People will notice your improved posture and it will have a positive impact on your attitude.

Know your medications. There are two basic categories of Parkinson’s medications: dopamine agonist and carbidopa/levodopa. Over time, the type and dosage of your Parkinson’s medications will change as effectiveness evolves. Pay special attention to any compulsive

Follow a fitness plan. The goal of a fitness plan is to have a body that is lean, flexible, and strong. The ideal fitness plan encompasses a variety of exercises for the entire body. Going to the gym five days a week for two hours will enable you reach an ideal level of fitness.

Understand your diagnosis. Take a deep breath and ask what stage you are and what symptoms were used to make the diagnosis. Based on your condition, determine which medications are recommended and their side effects. Ask about alternative natural treatments for Parkinson’s (versus traditional medicine) and their availability. Ask what type of lifestyle changes slow down Parkinson’s, such as level of fitness, the role of exercise, and what types.

Pay attention to nutrition. A balanced diet is important to provide your body with the fuel and strength necessary to deal with Parkinson’s. Ideally, meals should be spread out throughout the day to provide a steady flow of nutrients. Snacks of nuts, fruits, and berries supply a boost during the day. Reducing alcohol consumption, sugar, and fried foods will also benefit your health. Get a good night’s sleep. Nighttime sleep is critical for the body to restore and rejuvenate the energy needed for the continual fight with Parkinson’s. Unbroken sleep for seven to eight

hours is a necessity and does not include daytime naps. Master the mental and emotional game. One of the hardest parts of Parkinson’s is dealing with depression, stress, and anxiety. Patients are constantly barraged with negativity throughout the day, from the Parkinson’s itself to the news to diminishing physical and cognitive influences. One way to combat this is through the field of positive psychology, which teaches us how to incorporate happiness into our lives on a daily basis. Stay committed. Improving your health and daily life requires an unwavering commitment. The most important factor in putting Parkinson’s on the defense is to make a commitment to fitness and exercise on a daily basis. It will fuel your happiness and lead to a fuller life. Robert W. Smith is the author of The Parkinson’s Playbook ( WGNN44). Smith’s own diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease has inspired him to be a mentor to those suffering from the same condition. Smith is also a fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects. He currently lives in Denver, Colo.

50plus LIFE u

April 2018


Soldier Stories

The Amazing Survival Stories of Chieu Le Robert Naeye

It’s difficult to imagine a more desperate situation than the one facing South Vietnamese Air Force pilot Chieu Le on April 30, 1975. Fleeing the communist forces who were taking over his country, Le was flying his jam-packed helicopter in thick clouds over the South China Sea, looking for the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet. Then the 20-minute fuel light came on. Unless Le could find a ship Le in a TH-55 helicopter at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 1971. soon, he would be forced to ditch his chopper in the ocean, with dim prospects for rescue. And that was not even his closest brush with death. That would come 26 years later, when he literally died at his local hospital. “I’m not afraid of being killed; I should have been dead already,” says Le. Le was born in 1951, when Vietnam was fighting for independence from French colonial rule. Le’s father was captured by the French that same year. After his release in 1954, he allied himself with revolutionary leader Ho Chi


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Minh and remained in North Vietnam. Le never met his father, who died in 1984. Le grew up with his mother and half-brother in the hamlet of Ben Tre, in the far southern part of Vietnam. The first few years of childhood were peaceful. But at age 8, Le and his relatives had to flee across the Mekong River by boat to escape Viet Cong guerillas. “We ran around — we kept Le, seated far right, at a refugee camp in May 1975. avoiding the VC. I was too young to understand, but the eldest people knew the danger of living with the VC, so I just tagged along,” recalls Le. Le joined the South Vietnamese army at age 18, in 1969. He started off in the infantry but later passed English-language and physical tests to join the air force as a helicopter pilot, despite being told that “helicopters fall like autumn leaves.” As Le explained, “You’re going to die sooner or later, but you don’t want to die a coward.” After training at two U.S. Air Force bases in Texas and then an Army air field in Georgia, he returned to Vietnam in February 1972. For the next several years he flew hundreds of combat missions on Huey helicopter gunships, with a co-pilot and two gunners. Most of his missions involved infantry support or medical evacuation. Le would need all of his training. His Huey chopper was shot down by enemy ground fire on Jan. 27, 1973, the day the Paris Peace Accords were signed to end direct American involvement in the war. Le says his crew was observing a ceasefire. “They were shooting at us, but we were not allowed to shoot back,” he says. “That’s how I got shot down.” And that was just the first of four times his helicopter was shot down. Each time he was able to land safely by using a maneuver learned in training called autorotation, in which the rotors turn without engine power, somewhat analogous to gliding. Le was flying a mission on April 30, 1975, when his country’s president went on the radio and ordered all South Vietnamese forces to surrender to the communists. But for Le, surrender was not an option. “I would have been put in a concentration camp, or I might have been killed,” he explains. “Either way was terrible.” Instead, he took off with his crew from his base at Sóc Trăng for the island of Côn Son, 50 miles off the coast. The island was a scene of chaos, packed with refugees desperate to escape the communists. He refueled and picked up 23 passengers, joining his three crewmates. With all the added weight, his chopper was barely able to take off. He knew the U.S. 7th Fleet was in international waters, but he didn’t know where. He flew east-northeast at 1,000 feet for nearly two hours through thick clouds and rain, burning precious fuel every second. And then his 20-minute fuel light came on. Suddenly, the rain stopped and the chopper emerged into sunlight. The U.S. fleet had picked up his Huey on radar. A radio officer on the USS Midway guided Le to a safe landing — the first time he had ever touched down on an aircraft carrier. He had about 15

minutes of fuel to spare. weeks later. Soon after, he called his “I owe my life to the U.S. Navy mother in Vietnam to let her know and to God,” says Le. “I think my he was still alive. But she thought whole life is in God’s hand; he carries someone was pretending to be her me everywhere.” son because nobody in Vietnam Le was flown to the Philippines could have survived his illness. and then Guam for processing. He To confirm he was still alive, Le spent nearly a year working odd visited Vietnam with his wife for the jobs at Fort Chaffee Army Base in second and final time in 2003. His Arkansas. mother died the following year. He settled permanently in central Le has been in better health ever Pennsylvania in 1976 and became since. He retired from Armstrong a professional photographer and an and the U.S. military in 2006, with a electronic technician for Armstrong rank of chief warrant officer 3. World Industries. Le says He earned his Vietnam today “is U.S. citizenship at the bottom.” in 1982. He thinks South In 1985 Vietnam would he resumed have prospered his career as like South Korea a military and Singapore helicopter pilot, had his nation this time in the and its American Pennsylvania allies prevailed. Army National He says North Guard. He Vietnamese feels deep and Viet Cong patriotism and communists gratitude toward constantly America for the lied and broke opportunity it Chieu Le now serves as a member of negotiated gave him to build the Red Rose Honor Guard, which agreements. performs military honors at local a good life. To Le, veterans’ funerals. Le returned American to Vietnam in involvement in 1998 with his wife. He enjoyed an Vietnam was a noble endeavor to save emotional reunion with his mother, his country from communist poverty the first time he had seen her in 23 and oppression. And with most of his years. But he was diagnosed with family long gone, he has no reason to hepatitis after his return to the return to his native land. States. He believes he contracted this “You have to watch who you talk potentially deadly liver disease during to and where you go,” he says of this trip. Vietnam. “There are always eyes on Le’s health was rapidly you. I watch myself like a hawk.” deteriorating while he was Le appears on both episodes of hospitalized in late December 2001. The Vietnam War: WITF Stories, On Dec. 27, he was legally dead half-hour programs produced by the for nearly a minute after a piece Harrisburg public television station of chopped meat lodged in his that aired before episodes of the windpipe. recent Ken Burns series The Vietnam But doctors revived him, and he War. came back to life. But thoughts were To learn more about the racing through Le’s mind during experiences of Chieu Le and other those fleeting moments: veterans, visit https://vietnam.witf. “I went through a tunnel to a org/stories. bright area. I saw my history, my life, in front of me like a screen. It was Robert Naeye is a freelance journalist fast forward; it only stopped at the living in Derry Township. He is the important points of my life. It was former editor-in-chief of Sky & Telescope amazing.” magazine. Le received a liver transplant a few

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WIDOW from page 6 together) relationship the way it is. You look forward to seeing each other; you have fun and do things together. Does he think, by moving in, the relationship will get better? I also worry about his track record with the “few” live-in relationships he’s had; none has lasted more than a few years. What is different here? Twice, you mentioned you’ve already had differences in eight months. I also feel the age gap is significant. Why is he interested in a woman 13 years older? With all due respect to you and your wonderful qualities, I think he likes that your home is paid off and you are financially set. Do you want to risk the financial security you worked so hard to accumulate by having a man living under your roof?

Keep in mind that moving someone into your home is easy. Getting them to move out can be a nightmare. If he moved in, would that mean he would commute 68 miles roundtrip to work? Or, would he retire and be around the house seven days a week? That would drive you crazy because you treasure your private time. Too risky, and too many issues, Sally. Give it some time. Take more trips together. See how you get along. And, even then, proceed with caution; you’ve got too much to lose and too little to gain. For dating information, previous articles, or to sign up for Tom’s complimentary, weekly e-newsletter, go to


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April 2018

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Fresh Fare

Natural Ways to Get a Good Night’s Rest

“There’s no place like home.” We agree. –L. Frank Baum

With nearly one-third of Americans suffering from sleep disturbances, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now is the time to rethink your bedtime routine and consider more natural ways to get a good night’s rest. However, implementing those changes doesn’t have to mean overhauling the way you live. Consider these simple tips that can help you sleep better and longer: Set a comfortable temperature. Making changes in different aspects of your life to achieve better sleep is a fine plan, but it may not make much difference if you aren’t comfortable in your own bed. Be sure to maximize comfort for a full night of sleep by finding a temperature that works for you, but in general, the National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedroom temperature between 60-67 degrees F. Tweak your diet. Making simple changes to what you eat and drink can be a positive, health-conscious decision that helps you get better sleep. For example, Montmorency tart cherries, which are available yearround, are one of the few natural food sources of melatonin, a sleepregulating hormone. New research from the American Journal of Therapeutics shows that insomniacs who drank U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherry juice for two weeks extended sleep time by 84 minutes. Consuming two 8-ounce glasses of Montmorency tart cherry juice as part of your daily diet, once in

the morning and once at night, can help enhance your sleep time and efficiency. It can also be added to your favorite morning smoothie or a soothing nighttime beverage, such as this Tart Cherry Moon Milk. For additional information and recipes, visit Try bedtime yoga. Rather than scrolling on your smartphone or staring at the TV, consider a different routine before heading to bed. Implementing a brief yoga session is one way to clear your mind each night prior to getting quality shut-eye. Tart Cherry Moon Milk Recipe courtesy of Amanda Paa of Heartbeet Kitchen Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Servings: 1-2 • 6 ounces almond milk • 4 ounces Montmorency tart cherry juice • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup • 1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda (Indian ginseng) • dried culinary rose petals In a small pot, heat almond milk and tart cherry juice over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in honey and ashwaganda. Top with rose petals and drink warm. Note: For a frothier beverage, blend mixture in blender before topping with rose petals. Family Features

That’s why Harrison Senior Living strives to provide warmth, comfort, and exceptional care from people you can trust, making our communities the next best thing. Harrison House—Chester County 300 Strode Avenue East Fallowfield, PA 19320 610.384.6310 Harrison House—Christiana 41 Newport Avenue Christiana, PA 17509 610.593.6901

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April 2018


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50plus LIFE Chester County April 2018  

50plus LIFE — formerly 50plus Senior News — is a monthly publication for and about Central Pennsylvania’s baby boomers and seniors, offering...

50plus LIFE Chester County April 2018  

50plus LIFE — formerly 50plus Senior News — is a monthly publication for and about Central Pennsylvania’s baby boomers and seniors, offering...