Page 1

Chester County Edition

October 2013

Vol. 10 No. 10

The Six-Decade Chase Seasoned Hunter Recalls Exotic Catches and Locales By Chelsea Peifer The thrill of the hunt started for Jim Wagner when he was only 5 years old, and the thrill is just as strong and persistent today at age 73. A Central Pennsylvania native, Wagner followed his father around in the fields and through the woods while he hunted for small game. They shot pheasants on a regular basis—a bird that is much more difficult to spot in the region today than it was during his childhood. Wagner started hunting on his own as soon as he turned 12 years old and it was legal for him to do so. He has been hunting every year since then, skipping out on his favorite hobby only for the four years after high school that he spent serving in the United States Navy, where he had the dangerous job of operating the boilers in a destroyer ship. Once back stateside, that boiler knowledge translated into a more than 40-year career in the field. Now retired and working part-time, Wagner’s hunting adventures have taken him not only all throughout the state of Pennsylvania, but into several other states and countries including Canada, Argentina, New Zealand, and the African plains. More than 50 mounts of animals he has killed are on display in his home. His wife, Janet, “puts up with it,” said Wagner with a chuckle. At first the mounts were scattered throughout different rooms of their please see CHASE page 15 Jim Wagner’s hunting excursions have taken him around the globe, including New Zealand and Argentina.


Getting Your Affairs Organized page 8

Senior Idol Moves to Fall page 10

Calendar of Events

Chester County

Chester County Department of Parks and Recreation

Senior Center Activities

Coatesville Area Senior Center – (610) 383-6900 22 N. Fifth Ave., Coatesville –

Oct. 5, 9 to 9:30 a.m. – Chester County Day & Joint Meet, Warwick County Park Oct. 5, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Bark in the Park, Nottingham County Park Oct. 6, 2 to 3 p.m. – The African Union Church, Warwick County Park

Support Groups

Free and open to the public

Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Wellness Community of Philadelphia: Support Group for People with Cancer The Cancer Center at Paoli Hospital 255 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli (215) 879-7733

Oct. 1, 15, 29, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Main Line Unitarian Church 816 S. Valley Forge Road, Devon (610) 585-6604 Nondenominational; all are welcome.

Oct. 1, 2 p.m. Grief Support Group Phoenixville Senior Center 153 Church St., Phoenixville (610) 327-7216

Oct. 2, 6 p.m. Memory Loss and Dementia Support Group Sunrise Assisted Living of Paoli 324 W. Lancaster Ave., Malvern (610) 251-9994

Community Programs Oct. 1, 11:30 a.m. West Chester University Retirees Luncheon For restaurant location, please email Oct. 3 and 17, 7 p.m. Alzheimer’s Support Group The Solana Willistown 1713 West Chester Pike Willistown (610) 725-1713 Oct. 5 and 19, 5 to 10 p.m. Bingo Nights Marine Corps League Detachment 430 Chestnut St., Downingtown (610) 431-2234 Oct. 9, 12:10 p.m. The War of 1812 – The Conflict that Forged a Nation Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Widener University Exton Campus 825 Springdale Drive West Whiteland Township (484) 713-0088

Oct. 9, noon Family Caregiver Support Group Sarah Care 425 Technology Drive, Suite 200 Malvern (610) 251-0801 Oct. 14 and 28, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Caregiver Support Group Adult Care of Chester County 201 Sharp Lane, Exton (610) 363-8044 Oct. 15, 6 p.m. Family Caregiver Support Group Sunrise of Westtown 501 Skiles Blvd., West Chester (610) 399-4464 Free and open to the public

Oct. 10, 7 p.m. Seminar on Strong Intergenerational Relationships Tel Hai Retirement Community Chapel 1200 Tel Hai Circle, Honey Brook (610) 273-9333 Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. Concert Series: Bryn Mawr Mainliners Tel Hai Retirement Community Chapel 1200 Tel Hai Circle, Honey Brook (610) 273-9333 Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m. Busy Buddies: Widows & Widowers Social Group of Chester County Dutch Way Restaurant 365 Route 41, Gap Reservations required (484) 667-0738

Oct. 16, 12:10 p.m. Watergate Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Widener University Exton Campus 825 Springdale Drive West Whiteland Township (484) 713-0088 Oct. 28, 12:10 p.m. Sen. Dinniman – Open Forum on Senior Citizen Issues Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Widener University Exton Campus 825 Springdale Drive West Whiteland Township (484) 713-0088


October 2013

50plus SeniorNews

Kennett Area Senior Center – (610) 444-4819 427 S. Walnut St., Kennett Square – Oct. 27, 1 to 3 p.m. – Sunday Dinner with Friends: Halloween Dinner Oct. 30, 12:30 p.m. – Book Talk: Review of Girl Reading by Katie Ward Oct. 31, noon to 4 p.m. – AARP Driver Safety Program Oxford Senior Center – (610) 932-5244 12 E. Locust St., Oxford – 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 – Please call or visit the centers’ websites for additional activities.

Chester County Library Programs Downingtown Library, 330 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (610) 269-2741 Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m. – Film Forum Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. – Downingtown Library Writers Group Oct. 24, 1 p.m. – Senior Book Club Easttown Library, 720 First Ave., Berwyn, (610) 644-0138 Henrietta Hankin Library, 215 Windgate Drive, Chester Springs, (610) 321-1700 Honey Brook Community Library, 687 Compass Road, Honey Brook, (610) 273-3303

Oxford Library, 48 S. Second St., Oxford, (610) 932-9625

Please send us your press releases so we can let our readers know about free events occurring in Chester County! Email preferred to:

help you get the word out!

Great Valley Senior Center – (610) 889-2121 47 Church Road, Malvern

Malvern Library, 1 E. First Ave., Malvern, (610) 644-7259

What’s Happening? Give Us the Scoop! Let

Downingtown Senior Center – (610) 269-3939 983 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown –

(610) 675-6240

Paoli Library, 18 Darby Road, Paoli, (610) 296-7996 Mystery Book Club – Call for dates/times Phoenixville Library, 183 Second Ave., Phoenixville, (610) 933-3013 Spring City Library, 245 Broad St., Spring City, (610) 948-4130

My 22 Cents’ Worth

Doing Without a College Degree Walt Sonneville f one wishes to become a physician, physicist, lawyer, or any other profession where entry is limited to college graduates, higher education is unavoidable. Success has come, nevertheless, to some who have not graduated from college, and to others who dropped out of, or never attended, high school. Familiar names of those who never


attended high school include authors Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain. High-school dropouts include authors H.G. Wells, Jack

Resource Directory Health & Medical Services

Hearing Services

Family Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry 1646 West Chester Pike, Suite 1,West Chester (610) 692-8454

Advanced Hearing Aid Audiology Locations in Exton, Honeybrook, Kennett Square, Malvern, Pottstown, and West Grove (610) 781-9001

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


Chester County Emergency Services (610) 344-5000 Salvation Army Coatesville (610) 384-2954 Salvation Army West Chester (610) 696-8746 Emergency Numbers Central PA Poison Center (800) 521-6110 Office of Aging (610) 344-6350/(800) 692-1100 Financial Services Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-3676 Funeral & Cremation Services Auer Cremation Services of Pennsylvania 4100 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg (800) 722-8200 D’Anjolell Memorial Homes & Crematory 392 Lancaster Ave., Frazer (610) 356-4200

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

National Osteoporosis Foundation (800) 223-9994 PACE (800) 225-7223

Housing Eastwood Village Homes, LLC 102 Summers Drive, Lancaster (717) 397-3138


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

Housing Assistance Community Impact Legal Services (610) 380-7111 Housing Authority of Chester County (610) 436-9200 Housing Authority of Phoenixville (610) 933-8801

Coatesville (610) 383-6900 Downingtown (610) 269-3939 Great Valley (610) 889-2121 Kennett Square (610) 444-4819 Oxford (610) 932-5244

Lawyer Referral Service (610) 429-1500 Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (610) 436-4510 Nutrition

Senior Healthlink (610) 431-1852

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

Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213

Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center (800) 366-3997

Southeastern PA Medical Institute (610) 446-0662



Legal Services

Domestic Violence (800) 799-7233

please see DEGREE page 7

This Resource Directory recognizes advertisers who have made an extended commitment to your health and well-being.

Dental Services

American Red Cross Greater Brandywine (610) 692-1200

Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Orville Wright; media leaders Horace Greeley and David Sarnoff; food entrepreneurs Wally “Famous” Amos (cookies), Ray Kroc (McDonald’s), and Dave Thomas (Wendy’s); and four-time New York Governor Al Smith. Prominent computer-technology developers rose to fame despite dropping

London, Dashiell Hammett, George Bernard Shaw, and Leon Uris; entertainers Julie Andrews, Lucille Ball, Gene Autry, George Gershwin, and Walt Disney; inventors Ben

Phoenixville (610) 935-1515 Wayne (610) 688-6246 West Chester (610) 431-4242

Office of Aging Chester County Department of Aging Services (610) 344-6350

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

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October 2013


Salute to a Veteran 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:




BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Karla Back Angie McComsey Jacoby Valerie Kissinger Doug Kline Susan Krieger Ranee Shaub Miller Lori Peck Sue Rugh SALES & EVENT COORDINATOR Eileen Culp




50plus Senior News 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.


October 2013

50plus SeniorNews

He Served in Vietnam Before Our Combat Units Were Deployed There Robert D. Wilcox ill Hoin lives today close to where he was born 74 years ago. Even he finds it hard to believe what happened to him through those years. After graduating from high school in 1957, he enrolled at Millersville University and earned a B.S. in industrial arts. In order to get his military duty taken care of, he then volunteered for the Army, with the hope for duty that would involve working with languages. Instead, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Security Agency, where much of the work was top secret. Its work was also so complex that much of the recruiting was done at colleges, and most of the personnel were college grads. After basic training, Hoin was shipped to Fort Devens, Mass., for a six-month course to become proficient at Morse code and the various ways codes could be used. Then he learned that he was to serve as an “observer” in Vietnam. The South Vietnamese at that time were fighting the communists in that country, and his role was to do what he could to help them and other “observers” with communication security. After more training at Colorado Springs, Colo., he flew by commercial aircraft to Saigon, reaching there in January of 1963. He was stationed at Davis Station, an American base in the outskirts of Saigon, named for a man in his outfit who had been the first American killed in Vietnam. Hoin’s highly classified work there was in intelligence gathering: collecting and disseminating information on where North Vietnamese troops were deployed, where and how they were attacking, and what they were achieving. The North Vietnamese had their own coded electronic messages, often transmitted from captured American equipment. Many of their bases were underground. And defectors from the north, called “Daniel Boones,” were most helpful in revealing for the Americans the


location of such facilities. Did he have much chance to know the Vietnamese people themselves? “Oh, sure,” he says. “It was a challenge, though. Because you never knew whether the man who poured you a cup of coffee in the morning might be the man trying to kill you that night. The Viet Cong and the other South Vietnamese looked alike.”

Specialist 4th Class William A. Hoin at Fort Devens, Mass., in 1961.

Hoin’s work took him to many remote villages, where he got the overall feeling that most of the Vietnamese in the south just wanted to be left alone and avoid getting killed. For Hoin, the death threat was particularly strong because the Viet Cong pervaded the south, and you never knew who they were. It was a new kind of war, not at all like World War II and previous wars, where enemies wore uniforms and where you knew who was your friend and who was your foe. “There was a common, everyminute dread that I never forgot,” he says. He notes wryly that, although Vietnam was and is an underdeveloped nation, what used to be the famed Ho Chi Minh trail

that supplied the North Vietnam troops is now a paved, three-lane highway. He left Saigon to return to the U.S. by air in July 1964, just as the build-up of American troops began in earnest. He was discharged in Oakland, Calif., and returned to Millersville University to earn a B.S. in arts education. He remembers being called a “baby killer” there because of his service in Vietnam. He taught art and industrial arts in high school in Haddonfield, N.J., for a year, and then used the G.I. Bill to earn an M.S. in art education at Glassboro State Teachers College. After that, he taught at the State Hospital for Crippled Children in Elizabethtown, Pa. And that was followed by a job with a company called Emtol, where he did computer design work and was involved in equipment and assembly line design for large companies like Kellogg, the cereal company. Suffering from the physical handicap of epilepsy (and, more recently, the effects of Agent Orange, from his days in Vietnam) he says that “art became a major therapy and a career choice” for him. He has become an internationally honored artist, craftsman, and author, exhibiting paintings, silkscreen prints, and weavings in many local and national shows. His work has been exhibited, for example, in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, and the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pa. He says, “I now use art to enrich my life and help others find ways to overcome their handicaps. With this as background, I helped create a local art group of veterans doing artwork.” So, despite his physical handicaps, he continues to fill his life with the art that means so much to him. Colonel Wilcox flew a B-17 bomber in Europe in World War II.

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50plus SeniorNews

October 2013



Travel Appetizers: Stories that Whet the Appetite for Travel

Alligators, Birds, and Plants, Oh My! By Andrea Gross t’s 9:30 in the morning, but the air is still cool. Nevertheless, I’m slathered in sunscreen and dripping with insect repellant. In other words, I’m ready to meet some alligators on a trip that will take my husband and me from Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp, the largest blackwater swamp in North America, to Florida’s Everglades National Park, a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve as well as a World Heritage Site.


Okefenokee Swamp Along with a dozen other passengers, we climb into a 24-foot flat-bottomed boat and set out through water that’s the color of strong tea—a result of tannic acid caused by decaying vegetation. At 10:08, we spot our first alligator. At 10:12, there’s another one, and then another. At 10:32, one leaps out of the water, arcing in front of us. “Sometimes they leap 6 feet into the air,” says our guide, Chip Campbell, owner of Okefenokee Adventures. It’s a fact I find most disconcerting. By this time, the gators are appearing every two, three minutes. There’s one over there, curled in the grass, gazing at us with steely eyes. And that log over there … It moved! I stop counting when I realize I may be tracking fallen trees as well as prehistoric reptiles. In short order we become miniexperts on alligators. We learn how to tell an alligator from a crocodile (it’s all in the teeth—a croc’s lower teeth overlap his upper); to judge the reptile’s length (estimate the distance between

The American alligator sometimes grows to more than 14 feet in length.

Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp is home to turtles as well as alligators and snakes.

The guide pushes the boat through the shallow swamp waters.

Visitors glide through the Okefenokee in a 24-foot flat-bottomed boat.

A boardwalk along the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park makes wildlife viewing accessible to all.

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A cormorant spreads his wings before diving into the water for his dinner.

the eye bumps and snout bump; that distance in inches pretty much equals the gator’s length in feet); and to escape one that’s chasing you. “Climb a tree, run in zigzags, or …” Chip laughs heartily, “outrun your friend!” It’s obviously a good day for alligators, but even on gatorless days, there’d be plenty to see. The swamp is home to a large variety of other reptiles, as well as amphibians, fish, mammals, butterflies, and more than 230 species of birds, including egrets, herons, ibis, sandhill cranes, and red-shouldered hawks. Chip puts the boat in reverse so we can better see a softshell turtle, which instantly submerges to avoid us. No problem. Chip heads toward a flooded forest, where, he says, we’re likely to see a snake. “Most, but not all, poisonous snakes have cat-shaped eyes,” he tells us. Since I have no intention of getting close enough to a snake to see the shape of its eyes, I dismiss this piece of information as superfluous. I’m more interested in learning about the medicinal properties of various plants—spotting those that will repel insects, relieve depression, grow hair, and clean hands. “But there’s no remedy for folks who get their hands eaten while plucking plants,” says Chip, and I decide to stick with the pharmacy for my medications. By 11 a.m., as another gator glides by, we’ve seen so many that we’ve become blasé. We turn our heads but don’t rush for our cameras. Our memory cards are full, but even without more photos, we know we’ve had a trip we’ll never forget.

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York; Everglades National Park It’s a seven-hour, 385-mile drive from Okefenokee to the Everglades, and I didn’t want to go. When I read that the best way to see the alligators is to walk along a 0.8-mile boardwalk, I turned up my nose. After all, I rode in a low-lying boat through a swamp in Georgia, so why would I want to peer down at gators from a raised


walkway? So tame. So tacky. I was wrong. Everglades National Park is nature at its most convenient and abundant. A one-hour walk along the Anhinga Trail lets us get up close and personal with more alligators and birds than we’d seen from farther away and during much longer expeditions. We get about 10 feet down the path when a giant black bird with a yellow bill hops on the rail in front of us. He’s waving a small fish in his mouth. We stand mesmerized for several minutes

while the cormorant shakes the fish into submission, positions him in line with his throat, and swallows him whole. A few feet farther, a large osprey spreads his wings, his white upper feathers looking like a fringed cape against the black background. We turn left along a nice plank pathway. With the water undisturbed by a moving boat, dozens of alligators sun in peace, some half-submerged, others happily snoozing in the roots of swamp trees, others completely visible.

The boardwalk makes a stable resting place for tripods, and there seem to be more photographers than gators or birds. Yet the mood is serene. Despite the manmade conveniences, we feel at one with nature.

these numbers indicate that 37 percent of 21st-century high-school graduates earned a college degree. How many college graduates, known to you, work in the field in which their degree is related? The Heldrich Center at Rutgers University recently surveyed 571 college graduates and found “the portion of graduates who described their first job as a ‘career’ fell from 30 percent, if they had graduated in 2006 or 2007—before the 2008 economic downturn—to 22 percent if they had graduated in 2009 or 2010” (as reported by the International Herald Tribune Sept. 2, 2011). Gaining a college degree is a worthy aspiration for students who believe their career prospects merit the risk of defaulting on their student loan. Such defaults are below the levels seen in the economic recession of the early 1990s but, at 8.8 percent in mid-2011, they have reached their highest rate since 1997, nearly double the lowest rate of 4.6 percent in 2005, according to the Department of Education. There are trade schools and two-year colleges that may offer better pathways toward gainful employment than fouryear institutions. College graduates, unable to find

acceptable employment, too frequently “park their employment search” by attending graduate school. This postponement strategy can expand the debt burden of one’s higher education without enhancing future job prospects. Many discover upon graduation they are educated in fields lacking marketability. They are underemployed— working at jobs that do not require a four-year college education—more often than unemployed. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate at least onethird of college graduates in 2008 were underemployed. “Fats” Domino, the singer and songwriter, summed up the situation succinctly, saying, “A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don’t have a J.O.B.”

Our country needs college graduates pursuing those disciplines responsive to market demand. High schools fail to produce enough graduates keen about the fields of science, engineering, or math— all essential to our national economic security. Too often the goal is selfaggrandizement in financial careers, an illusion exposed as fantasy once the market bubbles burst. Photos © Irv Green unless otherwise noted; story by Andrea Gross (

from page 3

out of college. Among them are Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, and Laurence Ellison. Another category heavily represented by college dropouts is writers of fiction. F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, and William Faulkner are standouts in this field. Countless other college dropouts are in other career categories, including newscaster Brian Williams, cable-TV tycoon Ted Turner, White House advisor Karl Rove, Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, and Michigan Governor George Romney, the father of Mitt Romney. Eight of our nation’s presidents did not graduate from college. President Lincoln did not attend either high school or college. Prime Minister Winston Churchill never attended college. A college degree was not a career pathway for most adult Americans. As of 2008, only 29.4 percent of Americans, 25 years of age and older, were college graduates. That percentage does not appear to be rising. Approximately 72 percent of students in the past decade finished high school and, of these, 52 percent earned a bachelor’s degree within six years. Hence,

Flu Shots Available in Chester County The Chester County Health Department will offer seasonal flu shots on the dates listed below. Please note that appointments are required. Clinics will be held throughout October and November at the Government Services Center, 601 Westtown Road, Suite 190, West Chester. The schedule is as follows: October Tuesdays – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays – 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

November Tuesdays, Nov. 12, 19, and 26 – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 6, 13, and 20 – 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Nov. 27 – 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fridays, Nov. 1, 8, 15, and 22 – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. County residents are encouraged to register online for a time slot at To register by phone, call (610) 344-6252.

Walt Sonneville, a retired market-research analyst, is the author of My 22 Cents’ Worth: The Higher-Valued Opinion of a Senior Citizen and A Musing Moment: Meditative Essays on Life and Learning, books of personal-opinion essays, free of partisan and sectarian viewpoints. Contact him at

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50plus Senior News Smile of the Month 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Digital photos must be at least 4x6'' with a resolution of 300 dpi. No professional photos, please. Please include a SASE if you would like to have your photo returned.

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October 2013


Create a Great Funeral Day



October 30th is

Savvy Senior

Getting Your Affairs Organized Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, My husband and I (both in our 70s) would like to get our personal and financial information better organized so our kids will know what’s going on when we die. Any tips on how to get started? – Unorganized Edna Dear Edna, Collecting and organizing your important papers and information is a smart idea and a great gift to your loved ones. Here’s what you should know. The first step in getting your affairs in order is to gather up all your important personal, financial, and legal information

so you can arrange it in a format that will benefit your caregivers, survivors, and even yourself. Then you’ll need to sit down and create various lists of important information and instructions of how you want certain things handled. Here are

some key areas to help you get started.

original copy of your will (not a photocopy) and other estate-planning documents you’ve made, including trusts.

Personal Information • Contact list: A good starting point is to make a master list of names and phone numbers of family members, close friends, clergy, doctor(s), and professional advisers such as your lawyer, tax accountant, broker, and insurance agent.

• Financial power of attorney: This is the legal document that names someone you trust to handle money matters if you’re incapacitated. Talk to an elder law attorney (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, to learn more.

• Personal documents: This can include such items as your birth certificate, Social Security number, marriage license, military discharge papers, etc. • Secured places: List all the places you keep under lock and key (or protected by password), such as safe-deposit boxes, safe combination, security alarms, etc.

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• Service providers: Provide contact information of the companies or people who provide you regular services, such as utility companies, lawn service, etc. • Pets: If you have a pet, give instructions for the care of the animal. • Organ donation: Indicate your wishes for organ, tissue, or body donation, including documentation (see

• Advance directives: These are the legal documents (living will and medical power of attorney) that spell out your wishes regarding your end-of-life medical treatment when you can no longer make decisions for yourself. For state-specific advance directive forms, visit Caring Connections ( Financial Records • Income and debt: Make a list of all your income sources such as pensions, Social Security, IRAs, 401(k)s, interest, investments, etc. And do the same for any debt you may have—mortgage, credit cards, medical bills, car payment. • Financial accounts: List all your bank and brokerage accounts (checking, savings, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs, etc.), including their location and contact information. And keep current statements from each institution in your files. • Pensions and benefits: List any retirement plans, pensions, or benefits from your current or former employer, including the contact information of the benefits administrator.

• Funeral instructions: Write out your final wishes. If you’ve made prearrangements with a funeral home, provide their contact information and whether you’ve prepaid or not, and include a copy of the agreement.

• Government benefits: Information about Social Security, Medicare, or other government benefits you’re receiving.

Legal Documents • Will and trust: In your files, have the

• Insurance: List the insurance policies you own (life, health, long-term care,

home, and car), including the policy numbers and agents’ names and phone numbers.

documents such as deeds, titles, and loan or lease agreements.

• Taxes: Keep copies of your income tax returns over the last five years and the contact information of your tax preparer.

Savvy Tips: It’s best to keep all your organized information and files together in one convenient location — ideally in a fireproof filing cabinet or safe in your home. Also be sure to review and update your information every year, and don’t forget to tell your loved ones where they can find it.

• Property: List the real estate, vehicles, and other personal properties you own, rent, or lease and include important

Jim Miller is a regular contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior Book.

• Credit cards: List all your credit and charge cards, including the card numbers and contact information.

Medicare Beneficiaries Unaffected by New Health Insurance Marketplace

the Part B coinsurance or deductible. You also can get a free yearly “wellness” visit. 3. You can save money on brand-name drugs. If you’re in the doughnut hole, you’ll also get a 50 percent discount when buying Part D-covered brand-name prescription drugs. The discount is applied automatically at the counter of your pharmacy—you don’t have to do anything to get it. The doughnut hole will be closed completely by 2020.

Federal health officials are trying to assuage public confusion over the effect the Affordable Care Act will have on Medicare. Medicare isn’t part of the new Health Insurance Marketplace, so Medicare beneficiaries need not be concerned. If you have Medicare, you are considered covered. The Marketplace won’t affect your Medicare choices, and your benefits won’t be changing because of it. Here are the top five things to know about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if you have Medicare:

4. Your doctor gets more support. With new initiatives to support care coordination, your doctor may get additional resources to make sure that your treatments are consistent.

1. Your Medicare Medicare isn’t coverage is protected. Medicare part of the new isn’t part of the Health Insurance Health Insurance Marketplace Marketplace. established by the ACA, so you don’t have to replace your Medicare coverage with Marketplace 5. The ACA ensures the protection of coverage. Medicare for years to come. The life of No matter how you get Medicare, the Medicare trust fund will be extended whether through Original Medicare or a to at least 2029—a 12-year extension due Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll still have to reductions in waste, fraud, abuse, and the same benefits and security you have Medicare costs, which will provide you now. You don’t need to do anything with with future savings on your premiums the Marketplace during Open and coinsurance. Enrollment, which is still Oct. 15 To learn more about your Medicare through Dec. 7. coverage and choices, visit 2. You get more preventive services for less. Medicare now covers certain preventive services, like mammograms or Sources: and colonoscopies, without charging you for

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October 2013


Senior Idol Moves to Fall, Talent Follows published in a poetry anthology. Jeanette Miller of Shippensburg performed a Some sat in the waiting area silently, rapid-fingered tune on the flute. Tom sporting serious game faces. Others LaNasa of York and Eugene Constantine alleviated performance jitters by chatting Hrynkiewicz of Harrisburg both and laughing with fellow contestants. No presented dramatic monologues: LaNasa matter their prep tactic, though, all the with "Ragged Old Flag" by Johnny Cash nearly 100 people who auditioned for and Hrynkiewicz with The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. 2013 PA STATE SENIOR IDOL came And several contestants prepared and ready to impress. complemented Produced by OLP their vocals with EVENTS, the eighth Ray Ricke Jr., their own York annual PA STATE SENIOR accompaniment, IDOL competition such as Paul showcases the vocal, Zavinsky of instrumental, comedic, Hummelstown or dance abilities of the and Tom state’s over-50 Williams of population. West Traditionally held in Brandywine, the spring, the Ernest Batz, both on guitar, competition was moved Ephrata and Ross to the fall for 2013, a Mounds of move that did not Harrisburg on affect the spectrum or the keyboard. quantity of contestant Deb Olsen of turnout. Individuals from as Manheim and far west as Westmoreland Ray Ricke Jr. of County traveled to the York both paid competition’s Central tribute to Pennsylvania audition sites. Michael Jackson From this vast talent pool, with a medley of 15 his most semifinalists memorable have been hits—Olsen on the drums and Ricke selected, with his moonwalking feet. having been When the chosen semifinalists judged on the return to the stage, they will be merits of performing for both a packed ability, audience as well as local celebrity originality, judges: R.J. Harris of WHP580, appearance, Buddy King of The Magnificent and stage Jeanette Miller, Shippensburg Men, Valerie Pritchett of abc27, and presentation. Janelle Stelson of WGAL-8 will These 15 select three finalists after the first round performers will vie for the title of 2013 of performances. PA STATE SENIOR IDOL at the sold-out The finalists will then perform a finals night competition on Monday, second selection, after which the judges Oct. 14, at The Dutch Apple Dinner Theater, Lancaster. Emcee of the evening and the audience will vote together to select the 2013 Pennsylvania State will be Diane Dayton of Dayton SENIOR IDOL. The winner will receive a Communications. limousine trip for two to New York City Although the majority of contestants to enjoy dinner and a Broadway show. flexed their vocal abilities, SENIOR IDOL The 2013 PA STATE SENIOR IDOL judges still saw a fair share of other competition is brought to you by OLP talents represented. Steve Gallion of EVENTS. Media sponsors are abc27, Blue Lancaster performed a stand-up comedy routine. Ernest Batz, Ephrata, played the Ridge Communications, WHP580, and WHYL. accordion that he has played for the last For more information, call On-Line 70 of his 75 years. Publishers at (717) 285-1350 or visit Christian Kendig, Millersville, recited a poem—one of his own that had been By Megan Joyce

Congratulations to the 2013 PA STATE SENIOR IDOL Semifinalists!

Maudie Becker

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Art and Antiques by Dr. Lori

Animals in Art & Antiques Dr. Lori

Lithograph print with girl and her cat

19th-century painting with rabbits Dragonfly lamp by Louis Comfort Tiffany

have appraised many antique and vintage objects in the form of animals—from cow creamers to Kermit the Frog dolls. While objects are collectible for many reasons, when it comes to animals in art and antiques, it is interesting to note what an animal form symbolizes and why a particular animal was highlighted in a certain period of art history. We love the animals that share our lives, and in art and antiques, these beloved creatures reference important life lessons. When found in a work of art (painting, sculpture, print) or an antique object (figurine, decorative carving,


fetish), the appearance of animals has special meaning. Bee – Industry and community. Famous wealthy families of the Renaissance and Baroque periods oftentimes commissioned artists to include bees in paintings of their family coat of arms to suggest their public interest in serving the community.

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Bear – Gentle strength and nurturing. In Native American totem poles, bears are oftentimes carved to suggest the strength of nature and the nurturing characteristics of forest animals. please see ANIMALS page 12

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October 2013


The Green Mountain Gardener

Fragrant Paperwhites Dr. Leonard Perry popular and easy-to-flower bulb for late fall and the holidays is the paperwhite narcissus. Sweetsmelling paperwhites can be coaxed into bloom with very little effort. Prepotted paperwhites can be purchased at many garden stores. All you do is add water! These potted bulbs also make a nice gift or a fun activity for children. The correct term is actually “forcing,”


as you are forcing the spring-flowering bulbs to fast-forward their natural growth cycles and bloom in winter instead. Many bulbs can be forced—grape hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, and crocuses, for example—but paperwhites are

probably the easiest as they don’t require a long cold-storage period to root. Paperwhites produce small, star-shaped flowers that will last for several weeks. Some varieties have pure white flowers; others have white perianths (outer petals) with pale-yellow

“cups” in the center. Paperwhites, which come from the Mediterranean, are tender bulbs and not suitable for outdoor growing in the Northeast. However, most garden centers and seed catalogs sell bulbs for indoor forcing. If purchasing locally, choose healthy bulbs with no soft spots or signs of discoloration. Store in a cool, dry place

The French Impressionist artist, Edouard Manet, painted cats in his masterpieces to suggest the abilities of a woman to attract male suitors.

Deer – Sensitivity. Walt Disney’s animated feature film, Bambi, captured the longstanding art historical symbol of the deer.

Rabbit – Rebirth. Female artists often choose rabbits as subject matter for paintings, prints, and works on paper to suggest the rejuvenation of the earth in spring.

Cock – Passion. Ceramic figurines of cocks are common decorations in the kitchens of female chefs in France as they are female power symbols.

Dog – Fidelity. A dog is shown at the feet of a couple on their wedding day in the world-known Arnolfini Wedding Portrait (National Gallery, London) from 1434 by Jan van Eyck.

please see PAPERWHITES page 18

ANIMALS from page 11 Bull – Wealth. Associated with the financial world today, images of bulls were painted on cave walls in Lascaux, France, and Santander, Spain, dating back to prehistoric times. Cat – Pride. The ancient Egyptians via sculptures associated cats with pride in beauty and personal accomplishment.

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Dragonfly – Carefree. Louis Comfort Tiffany highlighted the dragonfly and other insects in many of his decorative creations, including jewelry and lamps. Eagle – Protection from evil. American flag collectors look for intricate and decorative flags featuring the eagle from the late 1700s and 1800s. Fish – Long life. In their numerous forms, fish symbolize longevity in works of art dating from the early Christian era to the present. Horse – Stamina and power. The famous sculpture of a horse turned machine by Futurist artist Raymond Duchamp Villon highlighted society’s change from an agricultural society to an industrial one in the early 1900s. Lion – Power and majesty, guardian. Lions have guarded the gates and entrances of some of the most famous sites in the world. Lions are featured on the Ishtar Gate, the eighth gate (north) to the inner city of Babylon. The gate was ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar II in 575 BC.

Tiger – Strength, ferocity, power. Japanese artists of the 1700s often featured tigers in their gouaches, watercolors, woodblock prints, and paintings. Turtle – Perseverance. French sculptors cast forms of turtles in bronze and other metals in the art movement called animalier. Animalier, or animal sculptures, were popular with artists such as Barye and Bonheur in the mid-1860s to the 1880s. Personally, I have collected art and antiques that feature fish for decades. It started when I was a youngster on the swim team and the association meant something important to me. Over the years, fish have served as pets, and fish objects have been the basis for some of my collections. This glossary of animal symbolism may help you collect with a vision in mind and learn about the history of your favorite animals. Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, awardwinning TV personality, and TV talk show host, Dr. Lori presents antiques appraisal events nationwide. Dr. Lori is the expert appraiser on Discovery channel’s hit TV show Auction Kings. Visit,, or call (888) 431-1010.

Home Care Services & Hospice Providers Listings with a screened background have additional information about their services in a display advertisement in this edition.

Alliance Home Help

Good Samaritan Home Health

(800) 444-4598 (toll-free); 717-283-1444

(717) 274-2591

Year Est.: 2010 Counties Served: Lancaster RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Year Est.: 1911 Counties Served: Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Schuylkill RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: Yes

Other Certifications and Services: Providing non-medical companion, respite, and personal care services throughout Lancaster County. Caregivers matched specifically to you and your needs. Compassion, 24/7 on-call availability, trained, competent, and reliable. Medicaid Waiver approved.

Central Penn Nursing Care, Inc.

Good Samaritan Hospice

(717) 569-0451

(717) 274-2591

Year Est.: 1984 Counties Served: Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, York RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: Providing all levels of care (PCAs, CNAs, LPNs, RNs), in the home, hospital, or retirement communities with specifically trained caregivers for Alzheimer's and dementia clients. Home care provided up to 24 hours a day to assist with personal care and housekeeping. A FREE nursing assessment is offered.

Year Est.: 1979 Counties Served: Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Schuylkill RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: Yes

ComForcare Home Care

Homeland Hospice

(610) 363-1485; (717) 421-0607

(717) 221-7890

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

Other Certifications and Services: 2013 Best of Home Care. Employer of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse. ComForcare provides companionship and/or personal care services up to 24 hours/day, 365 days/year with our meticulously selected, highly qualified, and reliable caregivers. When you can’t be there, ComForcare!

Year Est.: 2009 Counties Served: Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Perry, York RNs: Yes LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: Yes

Other Certifications and Services: Good Samaritan Home Health is a Pennsylvania-licensed home health agency that is Medicare certified and Joint Commission accredited. We work with your physician to provide nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, wound care, and specialized care as needed.

Other Certifications and Services: Good Samaritan Hospice provides services to patients and their families facing a life-limiting illness. We are Pennsylvania licensed, JCAHO accredited, and Medicare certified. We provide services 24 hours per day with a team approach for medical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs.

Other Certifications and Services: Exemplary care provided by a highly trained staff who address all patient and caregiver needs.

Garden Spot Village

Hospice & Community Care

(717) 355-6000

Founded as Hospice of Lancaster County

Year Est.: 2006 Counties Served: Lancaster RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: No Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

(717) 295-3900 Other Certifications and Services: Personal care and companionship services in your home with all the professionalism, friendliness, and excellence you expect of Garden Spot Village. Contact

Year Est.: 1980 Counties Served: Adams, Berks, Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, York RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: Yes

Other Certifications and Services: Hospice & Community Care provides compassionate care and support for patients and their families facing serious illness, end of life, and loss. Care is provided at home, in nursing homes, hospitals, and our Inpatient Center. Joint Commission accredited. You are welcome to call with questions.

Continued on following pages.

50plus SeniorNews

October 2013


Home Care Services & Hospice Providers Listings with a screened background have additional information about their services in a display advertisement in this edition.

Keystone In-Home Care, Inc.

Senior Helpers

(717) 898-2825; (866) 857-4601 (toll-free)

(717) 738-0588

Year Est.: 2004 Counties Served: Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: Yes

Other Certifications and Services: Two- to 24-hour non-medical assistance provided by qualified, caring, competent, compassionate, and compatible caregivers. Personalized service with Assistance for Daily Living (ADL, IADL): companionship, meal prep, bathing, cleaning, and personal care needs. Respite care, day surgery assistance. Assistance with veterans homecare benefits.

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

Live-In Care of PA, Inc.

Synergy HomeCare

(717) 519-6860; (888) 327-7477 (toll-free)

(717) 243-5473

Year Est.: 1997 Counties Served: Providing service to over 20 counties including Adams, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Year Est.: 2012 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: No Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: For everyone’s peace of mind, 24-hour personal care in the home you love, yours! Premier, professional caregivers. Extensive background checks. Free home evaluations.

Safe Haven Skilled Services

UCP of South Central PA

(717) 238-1111; (717) 582-4110; (717) 582-9977

(800) 333-3873 (Toll Free)

Year Est.: 2005 Counties Served: Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: Yes

Other Certifications and Services: Owners Leslie and Sandra Hardy are members of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. We have contracts with the VA and the Area Agency on Aging. Private insurance and selfpayment are also accepted. Friendly faces, helping hands, warm hearts. Skilled nursing also available.

Year Est.: 1962 Counties Served: Adams, Franklin, Lancaster, York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: No Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Senior Helpers

Visiting Angels

(717) 920-0707

(717) 393-3450; (717) 737-8899 (717) 751-2488; (717) 630-0067 (717) 652-8899; (800) 365-4189

Year Est.: 2007 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: Offering nonmedical home care to provide positive solutions for aging in place. Companionship, personal care and our specialized dementia care. No minimum number of hours. Medicaid Waiver approved. Convenient, free assessment.

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

Other Certifications and Services: A PA-licensed, non-medical home care company providing companion, personal, Alzheimer’s, & dementia care from two to 24 hours a day. Call for a FREE homecare assessment and to learn more about benefits available for veterans and their spouse.

Other Certifications and Services: Personal care, companionship, respite care, light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, errands.

Other Certifications and Services: UCP provides non-medical adult in-home care services to adults under DPW and aging waiver programs. PA licensed and working hand in hand with your service coordinator, UCP provides personal care attendants who implement your individualized service plan.

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.


October 2013

50plus SeniorNews

Home Care Services & Hospice Providers Listings with a screened background have additional information about their services in a display advertisement in this edition.

VNA Community Care Services (717) 544-2195 (888) 290-2195 (toll-free) VNA_Community_Care.htm Year Est.: 1908 Counties Served: Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill, York RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: Yes


Other Certifications and Services: Home care specialists in physical, occupational, and speech therapy; nursing; cardiac care; and telehealth. Disease management, innovative technologies, and education help you monitor your condition to prevent hospitalization. Licensed non-profit agency; Medicare certified; Joint Commission accredited.

If you would like to be featured on this important page, please contact your account representative or call (717) 285-1350.

from page 1

home, but now just one entire room is devoted to displaying the mounts. At this point, when he has a noteworthy catch, he just puts the nice rack on a plaque rather than adding more mounts to the collection. Wagner devotes four weeks of each year to rifle hunting. “I just prefer rifle,” he said. “I never got into archery. I’ve done a lot of hunting, but there are a lot of guys who would make me look pretty small.” Internationally, he has captured zebra, wildebeest, gemsbuck, impala, bushbuck, blezbuck, nyala, southern greater kudu, fallow deer, red hartebeest, Spanish goats, axis deer, black buck antelope, and more. Wagner has hunted for moose and black bear in Newfoundland, caribou in Quebec and other parts of the Arctic, black bear in Manitoba and New Brunswick, and for black bear and mountain goats in British Columbia. Within the United States he has gotten mountain lions in Idaho; whitetail deer in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Missouri, and South Carolina; and mule

deer, elk, and antelope in Colorado. Elk hunting is challenging because the elk can be so elusive, he said. “The elk is the ultimate animal you can get,” Wagner said. Hunting for mountain goats is a great adventure because it usually involves traversing the rocky crags that the animals do in order to capture them. Wagner has memories of crawling on his hands and knees all day through the mountains of British Columbia to get to the mountain goats. “Some of that’s scary when it’s straight peaks on both sides of you,” he said. “You crawl all day, and it’s dark when you leave and dark when you come back. Or sometimes you just camp right out on the mountain.” Sometimes the hardest part about hunting is coping with the extremes in temperature. Wagner has been hunting when the thermometer read as low as 17 degrees below zero and says that’s just “terrible.” “It gets cold and miserable sometimes, and you feel like you’re freezing to

death,” Wagner said. “And you ask yourself if this is supposed to be fun.” Usually it’s between zero and 15 degrees, which isn’t quite so bad, he said. Hunters put in long hours, but when you capture the animal you’ve been pursuing, Wagner says that everything you’ve put yourself through is more than worth it. “The more you hunt, the better you get, just like everything else,” said Wagner. “Once you get something, you just keep going for something else.” South Carolina is his favorite spot to hunt in the country, and he has been traveling there once a year for the past 10 years to hunt deer and wild boar. He hunts at a 10,000-acre plantation there and said some of the deer are bigger than those in Pennsylvania, reaching 180 pounds. “In Pennsylvania, deer hunting isn’t what it used to be, but a lot of organizations are fighting to make it better,” he said. Still on his wish list of places to hunt is Texas, where he hopes to get some

whitetail deer. “I think I’ll go until I can’t go anymore,” Wagner said with a smile on his face. On international hunts he gets to try the meat after it’s been killed and cooked for the hunters, but none of that can be transported home. But his freezer at home is always stocked with meat— usually whitetail deer, elk, and mule deer. Wagner says that moose is the best meat he has tasted on all of his hunts and is close to beef in flavor. Wagner is a life member of the North American Hunting Club and a member of the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and a board member of the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania. Out of Wagner’s four children and two stepchildren, none have become his hunting buddies. “It’s something that is born in you,” he said. “Some people love it and some people hate it. Some people try it for a year and don’t like it, but I guess it was just born in me.”

Why Do We Enjoy Being Scared? Halloween may be one of the scariest holidays of the year, but people seem to take delight in being scared in every season. What’s the appeal of ghost stories, horror movies, frightening novels, and things that go bump in the night? Experts have a few theories:

We like the adrenaline. Fear has the same adrenaline-producing effect as excitement. It feels good. Scary movies, stories, and books are methods of releasing adrenaline in a controlled environment.

Shared fear helps us bond. The “creeps” create social bonding. Activities like telling ghost stories around a campfire or watching a scary movie together allow us to form ties with strangers as well as family and friends.

50plus SeniorNews

Horror helps us deal with real-life terrors. We can deal with the very real horrors of modern times by transforming them into fictional movies and stories in which the monsters and bad guys are always caught and punished. October 2013


Mysteries of Medicare – Time to Review Your Coverage If you are on Medicare now, you will have an opportunity to change plans during this year’s Annual Enrollment Period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2013. If you have a plan that is expensive, doesn’t cover all of your drugs, or just isn’t working for you, you can change plans for next year. Your plan would be effective Jan. 1, 2014. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (HMO, PPO, PFFS), you can check to see if there is a better plan for you. It is important for you to review these changes because it may affect your pocketbook and even your health. Here is an example of how critical it is to check your plan each year: A beneficiary, Marian, is taking only two drugs. One of her drugs is a generic and the other is a brand-name drug. She received a notice last year that her plan was changing the list of drugs (the formulary) that were covered. Marian met with an APPRISE counselor who reviewed her coverage and found that keeping her current plan

would cost her more than $2,500 for the year. Then, using the Medicare website to compare plans, the counselor was able to find a plan that would save Marian more than $1,000.

premiums and costs. A federal program called Extra Help is available, depending on your income and resources. In Pennsylvania, we have the PACE program for those who are 65 or older with a limited income. For Medicare Advantage Finally, if you are lucky enough to beneficiaries—that is, have retiree health those of you who have insurance that is an HMO, PPO, or affordable, you probably It is critical to PFFS—there will be will not make any changes for 2014. changes unless your check your plan Even if the premium coverage or cost has each year. does not change, you changed. An APPRISE need to look at the counselor can help you amount you will pay review and compare for a visit to the doctor or a stay in the your plan to what Medicare can offer. hospital. These co-pays can become Trained APPRISE counselors are expensive. available in Chester County to help Supplement plans, also known as Pennsylvanians understand their Medigap plans, are not affected by the Medicare health insurance options. Call Annual Enrollment Period. Their for a one-on-one appointment at the premiums depend on approval by the following locations: Pennsylvania Insurance Department. If your rate increases, you may or may not Bard Complex (Spring City) be able to change plans, depending on (484) 933-4955 your health. If you have a low income, you may be Coatesville Senior Center eligible for help with your drug (610) 383-6900

Downingtown Senior Center (610) 269-3939 Great Valley Senior Center (610) 889-2121 Kennett Area Senior Center (610) 444-4819

By Liz D’Angelo

Oxford Senior Center (610) 932-5244 Phoenixville Senior Center (610) 935-1515 Surrey Services for Seniors (610) 647-6404 West Chester Government Services Center – (610) 344-6035 West Chester Senior Center (610) 431-4242 For more information, contact the Chester County Department of Aging at (610) 344-5004 or (800) 692-1100, ext. 5004;; or visit

Each month, 50plus Senior News profiles one of your friends or neighbors on its cover, and many of our best cover-profile suggestions have come from you, our readers! Do you or does someone you know have an interesting hobby or collection? A special passion or inspirational experience? A history of dedicated volunteer work? If so, tell us, and we’ll consider your suggestion for a future cover story! Just fill out the questionnaire below and return it to 50plus Senior News, 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512, or email your responses to Megan Joyce, editor, at Your name:___________________________ Your address:_________________________________________________________________________ Your phone number/email address: ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Name of person nominated (if not you): _______________________________________________________________________________________ Please receive their permission to nominate them. Nominee’s age range: 50–59





Why would you/your nominee make a great cover profile? _______________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512


October 2013

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Such is Life

The First Step is a Cinch Saralee Perel here have you been?” a going to ride my trike.” neighbor named Stacy He tried to stop me. said. “You’ve been on your feet all day. You “Where have you been?” my neighbor, can hardly walk after that. And you Robert, asked. haven’t been on your trike for ages!” I was riding my three-wheeler bike “Bob, if I don’t do this now, I am down our road. The bike is made never going to do it.” I knew that. I knew specifically for people like me who are that from the depths of me. I had to do disabled. something to help “Well,” I said to the myself. dozen or so And it had to be neighborhood folks now. who asked me the I’d have never done same question. “I took this had I thought, time off to be “I’m going to grab my depressed.” cane, find the keys, I was on my bike check the weather, find that day because of a the bike lock,” and on breakthrough. I can and on, ending with still visualize myself on something a recent afternoon, overwhelmingly when I debated about sabotaging like, “and opening our front door ride every day for the and reentering the rest of my entire life.” outside world. The I biked down our breakthrough occurred road, loving every National Depression minute. It’s a new me, because of this thought: “If I keep a new life, and all Screening Day is waiting until I want to because of one simple Oct. 10 do something, I’ll be decision. waiting forever.” And so, the secret of Oddly, this new way of thinking began life that Mitch learned? because of a 22-year-old movie I watched To paraphrase from the movie: “Just called City Slickers. Mitch, played by Billy one thing,” Curly, the wise cowboy, said. Crystal, is dreadfully depressed as he “You stick to that and the rest is foolish takes us through his comical mid-life detail.” funk. “What is that one thing?” During his journey of recovery, he was “That’s what you have to find out for taught “the secret of life.” But here’s the yourself.” thing: Finding that secret could never For Mitch, it was not about taking an have happened until Mitch stopped adventurous trip out West; it was merely waiting for happiness to come to him agreeing to read the brochure. and instead took the first step himself. For Mitch’s wife, it was just saying First steps, I have learned, are nowhere these words to him: “I want you to have near as huge as they sound. They’re that adventure and find … your smile.” actually quite simple. They have to be. It was when Mitch realized by simply My husband, Bob, heard me crying giving his wife one single kiss: “Today is when the movie ended. my very best day!” “I thought it was a comedy,” he said. And for me, it was grabbing my old “It was hysterical.” wooden walking stick. “Then why are you crying?” Saralee Perel is an award-winning, nationally “Because it made me realize I’ve syndicated columnist. Her new book is wasted six months of my life by settling Cracked Nuts & Sentimental Journeys: Stories into depression and waiting, waiting, From a Life Out of Balance. To find out more, waiting to come out of it.” visit or email That was the instant I took that first step. I grabbed my cane and said, “I’m



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The Pros and Cons of DTC Meds Gloria May, M.S., R.N., CHES he direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising format that leapfrogs over health professionals and delivers its pitch right to consumers began back in the early ’80s with a small ad for a pneumonia vaccine placed in Reader’s Digest. Today, you can hardly get through 15 minutes of television or talk radio without a DTC pitch for an antidepressant, a medication to lower your “bad” cholesterol, or a remedy for erectile dysfunction. (And isn’t it fun, explaining that one to your grandchildren?) In print, about half of all magazine ad pages are devoted to health/medical products, and your email junk box is probably full of promos for diet products, incontinence remedies, and pain relievers. Given this bombardment, have you ever actually taken the next step and asked your physician about or for a DTC


product? If so, how did it go? Did you feel it enhanced your professional relationship or was it met with edgy dismissal? In one study of 500 randomly selected physicians, 95 percent of them reported that their patients do indeed ask about DTC products. And were these interactions seen by the doctors as beneficial? “Yes” for 41 percent in that the conversations were perceived to facilitate more open communication and to provide an opportunity to educate the patient. However, for the 59 percent who said, “No, they weren’t beneficial,” it was, in part, because doctors felt that, in the first place, the ads encouraged the overuse of medications as an easy fix for problems that could be alleviated by other means, particularly lifestyle changes. They also felt that manipulative and misleading marketing tactics created

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confusion in their patients’ minds. Doctors reported that patients are so often befuddled and misinformed about the drug, its appropriateness for them and its risks and benefits for them, that the doctors needed to spend considerable time away from their busy practices in order to address these misunderstandings; they felt this was not the most effective use of their time. On the other hand, if those 59 percent don’t take the time to educate their patients who come to them waving a DTC drug ad and asking if it’s the right drug for them, you know what that patient might then do? Stop talking and buy the prescription drugs he is so intent on having online without a prescription! Millions of Americans do this (yes, millions), and if you think it’s complicated, it’s not. Illegal, yes; complicated, no. There are not only websites that will sell you the drugs, but

there are also websites that will walk you through how to do it. I know there are many patients who, with their own doctor’s consent and prescription, order drugs from foreign pharmacies, those that meet the standards of care established by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. There is no denying the financial savings involved. But buying prescription drugs without your own doctor’s prescription? Remember Groucho Marx’s line about not wanting to join any club that would have him as a member? Same thing: You don’t want to deal with any pharmacy willing to sell you a prescription drug without your own doctor’s prescription. Gloria May is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in adult health education and a Certified Health Education Specialist designation.

PAPERWHITES from page 12 until time to plant. Paperwhites will bloom about four to six weeks after planting, so plan accordingly if you want flowers for the holidays or other special occasions. For continuous bloom throughout the winter, plant bulbs every two weeks from late fall through February. Use shallow containers, about 3 to 4 inches deep, without drainage holes. You can find these specially designed containers for forcing at many garden centers. Add about 2 inches of washed pebbles or large glass beads similar to marbles (available at craft stores and some garden stores) in the bottom of the container. If using the colorful glass beads, use a clear container so they can be seen. Or, similar to other forcing bulbs, you can plant in pots with soil. Gently place the bulbs, pointed side up, on the gravel or beads. They should be close but not touching. (Five bulbs will fit nicely in a 6-inch pot.) Then add enough pebbles around the bulbs to hold them in place. If using soil, make sure the bulb tops are at or above the surface. The tricky part is watering the bulbs if not in soil. You want to add just enough water so it reaches the base of the bulbs.

You don’t want the bulbs to sit in water as this will cause rot. Maintain this level of water throughout the growing period. You’ll probably need to replenish the water every two or three days. Don’t fertilize—the bulb already contains the nutrients it needs. Place the container in a cool, dark place (about 50 degrees F) for a few weeks until green shoots appear (but don’t forget about them). Then move to full, bright light— generally, a window with southern exposure. Too little light, and the plants will grow leggy as they stretch to reach the light. Initially, room temperature should be 60 to 65 degrees. To prolong bloom, after the plants begin to flower, remove them from direct sunlight and place in a cooler, less sunny part of your home. Paperwhites require USDA zones 8 to 11 outdoors; they can’t be planted successfully outside in the North, nor can they be saved to force again next year. Nevertheless, they provide easy, inexpensive, cheery, and long-lasting flowers. Dr. Leonard P. Perry is an extension professor at the University of Vermont.

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50plus Senior News Chester County October 2013  

50plus Senior News — a monthly publication for and about the 50+ community — offers information on entertainment, travel, healthy living, fi...

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