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Chester County Edition

October 2017 Vol. 14 No. 10

Local Entertainer Headed to National Stage page 4

special focus: create a great funeral day page 10

‘gray’ divorce page 21

Savvy Senior

How to Pick a Medicare Advantage Plan Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior, I’m approaching 65 and am interested in a Medicare Advantage plan to cover my healthcare and medications. What tips can you provide to help me pick a plan? – Medicare Shopper Dear Shopper, Medicare Advantage plans have become increasingly popular among retirees over the past 10 years, as more than 30 percent of Medicare participants are now enrolled in an Advantage plan. Here are some tips and tools to help you pick a plan that fits your needs. First, let’s start with a quick review. Medicare Advantage plans (also known as Medicare Part C) are government-approved health plans sold by private insurance companies

that you can vision, dental, choose in place and hearing, and most plans of original include Part Medicare. D prescription The vast majority of drug coverage too. Advantage You also plans are need to managed-care know that policies, such the monthly as HMOs or premiums PPOs, that require you for many Medicare Open Enrollment: Advantage to get your Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 plans are care within cheaper than a network of if you got original Medicare plus doctors. If you join an Advantage plan, a separate Part D drug plan and a Medigap policy, but their deductibles the plan will provide all of your Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B and co-pays are usually higher. That makes these plans better suited for (medical insurance) coverage. Some healthier retirees.   plans even offer extra benefits like


How to Pick To help you pick a plan, a good first step is to call the office managers of the doctors you use and find out which Advantage plans they accept and which ones they recommend. Then go to the Medicare Plan Finder tool at and type in your ZIP code or your personal information to compare health plans with drug coverage in your area. This tool also provides a five-star rating system that evaluates each plan based on past customer satisfaction and quality of care the plan delivers. When comparing, here are some key points to consider: Total costs: Look at the plan’s entire pricing package, not just the premiums and deductibles. Compare

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the maximum out-of-pocket costs plus the co-pays and coinsurance charged for doctor office visits, hospital stays, visits to specialists, prescription drugs, and other medical services. This is important because if you choose an Advantage plan, you’re not allowed to purchase a Medigap policy, which means you’ll be responsible for paying these expenses out of your own pocket. Drug coverage: Check the plan’s formulary—the list of prescription drugs covered—to be sure all the medications you take are covered without excessive co-pays

or requirements that you try less expensive drugs first. Dental, vision, and hearing: Some Advantage plans come with dental, vision, and hearing benefits, but these are often limited. Get the details on what exactly is covered. Coverage while traveling: Most Advantage plans limit you to using innetwork doctors only within a service area or geographic region, so find out what’s covered if you need medical care when you’re away from home. Out-of-network coverage: Check

to see what’s covered if you want to see a specialist in a hospital that is not in a plan’s network. You can get a list of doctors and hospitals that take part in a plan on the plan’s website. Retiree benefits: If you have employer-based retiree health coverage, be sure you speak with the benefits manager because signing up for Medicare Advantage may void your coverage. How to Enroll Once you’ve selected a plan, you can enroll either on the www.medicare.

gov website, over the phone at 1-800MEDICARE, directly with your chosen plan, or through an insurance broker. If you need some help choosing a plan, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at Also see the HealthMetrix Research Cost Share Report at www., which lists the best Advantage plans based on health status. Jim Miller is a regular contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior Book.

Try These Creative Hiding Places for Valuables Although your chances of being burglarized are low, it does happen. Unless you have a safe guarded by laser beams for your priceless heirlooms, try some of these tricks for hiding your valuables: Bookcases. Many bookcases have a few extra inches of space beneath the bottom shelf, hidden behind some molding. Remove the molding and

store valuables there. Light switches and electrical outlets. Turn off your power and remove the plate. You’ll find a small space where you can deposit small items for safekeeping. Ironing boards. You can hide important documents between the board and the padding. Also, the hollow area inside the legs (pull off

the rubber or plastic pads) can be used to store rolled-up cash or small items.

at the bottom; then use a liner to conceal them.

Spice jars. Pour the spice into a bowl. Then coat the inside of the jar with glue. Refill the jar and then empty it again. Make sure the jar looks like it’s full of oregano (or whatever you used) and place money, credit cards, or other valuables inside.

Dirty clothes hamper. Most thieves won’t want to sift through soiled clothes.

Trash cans. Place important items

Vents. Your heating and airconditioning vents can make useful hiding places. Burglars won’t want to waste time and risk capture unscrewing each vent.

Our new building will be complete in early 2018.

Welcome to the future of senior living in West Chester. True to our Quaker roots and traditions, The Hickman is setting the pace for affordable senior living. Our new building will add 74 studio and one-bedroom suites to our resident community, featuring a secure dementia care program with its own outdoor garden.

“A feeling of belonging, comfort and caring… that’s The Hickman.” Want to learn more, or get a sneak peek at the new building plans? CALL TODAY

4 84 -352-2307 |

50plus LIFE u

October 2017


Cover Story

Local Entertainer Headed to National Stage 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 Representatives Matthew Chesson Janette McLaurin Tia Stauffer Angie Willis Gina Yocum Events Manager Kimberly Shaffer Marketing Coordinator Mariah Hammacher

ADMINISTRATION Business Manager Elizabeth Duvall

Member of


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.


October 2017

50plus LIFE u

By Megan Joyce

national anthem. After her two sons were grown, Keller reentered the It’s been six years since Peggy workforce and revived her Kurtz Keller stood rooted on musical pursuits, earning stage in overjoyed delight after roles in community theater hearing her name announced and performing for service as the winner of On-Line organizations, senior groups, Publishers’ 2011 pa state Senior and holiday parties. Idol competition, her bright “At 60 I think I’m feeling smile the only means of escape more confident and beautiful for the joy ricocheting through Photo credit: Pavan Kumar ( inside and out—I feel like I her body. Keller performed can do pretty much anything,” The Central Pennsylvania “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” Keller said. native has been no stranger to a during the talent portion of the During the Ms. Pennsylvania stage in the meantime. 2017 Ms. Pennsylvania Senior Senior America event, which “I’ve been doing a lot America competition. was held at the Red Lion Hotel of entertaining: a lot more in Harrisburg, five judges senior groups, retirement evaluated Pennsylvania’s 12 communities, singing the contestants on four categories: national anthem at the inner beauty, evening gown, Harrisburg Senators and philosophy of life, and talent. Reading Phillies—a little bit “Peggy was what we call the higher up in the food chain,” ‘triple threat’ in competition,” Keller said. “So I’ve been quite Denise Russo-Caiazzo, Ms. busy with my entertaining since Pennsylvania Senior America Senior Idol.” state administrator, said. Keller, 60, can now happily “She had exceptional add another notable title to her confidence in her interview and entertainment resume: that was well spoken and intelligent. of reigning Ms. Pennsylvania She radiated her enthusiasm Senior America. for life with her millionOn July 30, Keller won the Photo credit: Pavan Kumar ( dollar smile,” Russo-Caiazzo 2017 statewide competition, From left, Keller’s niece, continued. “She was poised and an annual talent and “inner Grace Kurtz; mother, Evelyn Kurtz; regal in her evening gown and beauty” pageant that strives to Keller; husband, Mike Keller; and very articulate as she gave her “emphasize and give honor to sister-in-law, Marie Kurtz. heartwarming ‘philosophy of women who have reached the life.’” ‘age of elegance,’” according to “It was so much fun,” Keller its website (www.senioramerica. said of the competition. “It was org). a very similar kind of vibe as As a result of her Senior Idol Senior Idol because we all were win, Keller said a representative kind of in the same boat. We from Ms. Senior America had were all mature women … we checked in with her regularly, all just wanted the opportunity eager for Keller to turn 60 to show that women over 60 can to meet the minimum age still be entertaining, productive, requirement for the pageant. and beautiful.” “I just love to entertain so For the talent portion, much that I felt [the pageant] Keller won the 2011 pa state Senior Keller—who favors the would give me another Idol competition with her rendition “standards” and big-band opportunity to meet a whole of “Summertime.” music of the 1940s and ’50s— group of individuals that I intended to perform what she calls her “signature could expose [my music] to; it would open up some song”: George Gershwin’s “Summertime” from Porgy doors for me,” Keller said. & Bess. It is also the song that also clinched her pa Keller’s knack for performance dates back to her state Senior Idol title in 2011. childhood, where in high school she won the local Junior Miss Pageant and frequently performed the please see ENTERTAINER page 9

Save Money on Medicare with Free Assistance The Chester County Department of Aging and APPRISE health insurance counselors will provide free, confidential assistance to Medicare beneficiaries during the annual open enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2017. You can join, switch, or disenroll from a Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan, or you may switch to Original Medicare with or without a Medicare Part D plan. For information, visit www.chesco.

org/477/Apprise---Health-InsuranceCounseling, email apprisechesco@, or call the helpline number, (610) 344-5004. Call these locations to schedule an individual appointment: •C  oatesville Area Senior Center – (610) 383-6900 •C  hurch of the Good Samaritan, Paoli – (610) 344-6035 •D  owningtown Area Senior Center – (610) 269-3939

• Government Services Center, West Chester – (610) 344-6035 • Kennett Area Senior Center – (610) 444-4819 • Oxford Area Senior Center – (610) 932-5244 • Phoenixville Area Senior Services Center – (610) 935-1515 • Surrey Services for Seniors, Devon – (610) 647-6404 • West Chester Area Senior Center – (610) 431-4242

• West Whiteland Township Building, Exton – (610) 344-6035 Call (610) 344-5234 to schedule an individual appointment at: • Exton Library • Hankin Library, Chester Springs • Phoenixville Library • State Rep. Corbin’s Exton office • Tredyffrin Library • West Bradford Township Building • West Chester Public Library

At Your Fingertips Helpful numbers, hotlines, and local businesses and organizations eager to serve you—all just a phone call away. Dental services Anna Giacalone, DMD 100 Ridge Road, Suite 36, Chadds Ford (610) 558-1760 Disasters American Red Cross Greater Brandywine (610) 692-1200 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 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

Housing Authority of Chester County (610) 436-9200

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (800) 232-4636

Housing Authority of Phoenixville (610) 933-8801

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

Coatesville VA Medical Center (610) 383-7711

Legal Services Lawyer Referral Service (610) 429-1500

The Hickman 400 N. Walnut St., West Chester (484) 352-2307

Domestic Violence (800) 799-7233

Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (610) 436-4510

National Osteoporosis Foundation (800) 223-9994

medical equipment & supplies Amramp 835 Sussex Blvd., Broomall (800) 649-5215; (610) 585-2308

PACE (800) 225-7223 Senior Healthlink (610) 431-1852 Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213 Southeastern Pennsylvania Medical Institute (610) 446-0662 Hearing Services Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 233-3008 V/TTY home equity loans Glendale Mortgage (610) 853-6500; (888) 456-0988 home improvement Amramp 835 Sussex Blvd., Broomall (800) 649-5215; (610) 585-2308 Housing Assistance Community Impact Legal Services (610) 876-0804

Nutrition Meals on Wheels Chester County Inc. (610) 430-8500 Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center (800) 366-3997 Office of Aging Chester County Department of Aging Services (610) 344-6350 personal services Butler-Ette Services (484) 770-8059 Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy

Senior Centers Coatesville (610) 383-6900 Downingtown (610) 269-3939 Great Valley (610) 889-2121 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 50plus LIFE u

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

October 2017


Flu Shots Available This Fall

Nov. 2, 2017 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Spooky Nook Sports


2913 Spooky Nook Rd., Manheim

Please, join us! This combined event is FREE for veterans of all ages, active military, and their families.

The Chester County Health Department will be offering flu vaccinations this fall at a variety of community locations. Most insurance will be accepted. If individuals have insurance, they should bring their cards with them to the clinic. For individuals who do not have insurance, or whose insurance does not cover the cost of a flu vaccine, a flu shot will be provided at no charge. For more information, contact the health department at (610) 3446252 or visit www.chesco. org/flu. Clinic dates and locations are as follows: Oct. 5, 3-7 p.m. – Unionville High School, 750 Unionville Road, Kennett Square Oct. 12, 2:30-6 p.m. – Octorara Senior High School, 226 Highland Road, Atglen

At the Expo

At the Job Fair

Employers Job Counseling Workshops/Seminars Resume Writing Assistance Principal Sponsor:

Sponsored by: AT&T • Blue Ridge Communications • Disabled American Veterans ESPN 92.5 / 92.7 • Fulton Financial Corporation • LCTV Pennsylvania American Legion • Pennsylvania National Guard Outreach Office Pennsylvania State Headquarters VFW • WFYL • WHTM abc27 • Worley & Obetz, Inc.

Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities Available 6

October 2017

50plus LIFE u

Oct. 23, 2:30-6 p.m. – Avon Grove High School, 257 E. State Road, West Grove Oct. 26, 2:30-6 p.m. – Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane, West Chester Oct. 30, 4-7 p.m. – Coatesville High School, 1445 E. Lincoln Highway, Coatesville Nov. 2, 3:30-6:30 p.m. – Barkley Elementary School, 320 Second Ave., Phoenixville Nov. 3, 6-8:30 p.m. – Oxford Union Fire Company No. 1, 315 Market St., Oxford Nov. 6, 3-6 p.m. – Owen J. Roberts Middle School, 881 Ridge Road, Pottstown

Stories of ordinary men and women called to perform extraordinary military service.

Veterans Benefits Community Services Products and Services Available Support/Assistance Programs Education/Training Services

(717) 285-1350

Oct. 19, 2:30-6:30 p.m. – Kennett High School, 100 E. South St., Kennett Square

Brought to you by:

From 1999–2016, writer and World War II veteran Col. Robert D. Wilcox preserved the firsthand wartime experiences of more than 200 veterans through Salute to a Veteran, his monthly column featured in 50plus LIFE. Now, for the first time, 50 of those stories— selected by Wilcox himself—are available to own in this soft-cover book.

Simply complete and mail this form with your payment to the address below to order Salute to Our Veterans. On-Line Publishers • 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Name_ _______________________________________________________ Address_ ______________________________________________________ City_______________________________ State_ ____ Zip_ ______________ Phone_ _____________________ Email______________________________ Number of copies_ ______ (Please include $20.80 for each copy) Credit card #______________________________________ Exp. date________ Signature of cardholder_________________________________CVV #________

Or send a check made payable to On-Line Publishers, Inc. You can also order online at!

It Was 50 Years Ago Today

‘Soul Man’ Randal Hill

In their shows, Sam Moore and Dave Prater became a freewheeling bundle of collective energy, joyfully bobbing, weaving, and gyrating, and all the while singing at full throttle. Popular among the many nicknames the duo earned was “The Sultans of Sweat,” as every highenergy performance left actual tiny lakes of perspiration onstage. In Rhythm and the Blues, Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler said, “Their live act was filled with animation, harmony, and seeming goodwill.” Oh? That “seeming” goodwill apparently wasn’t directed at each other, as the pair endured a tumultuous partnership for the two decades they performed together. Moore and Prater would often arrive at concert venues separately, each demanding his own dressing

room. During to Prater, Moore concerts, they never liked much anyway. usually managed to Tenor Moore avoid eye contact and baritone/tenor with the other. Apparently the two Prater rose to fame as the quintessential once went a dozen American soul act. years without even Both had come from speaking to each Southern church other offstage. backgrounds. Each artist had Moore once sang his own litany of “Soul Man” complaints about with a doo-wop Sam and Dave group called the the other. Moore October 1967 Majestics but later said he abhorred switched to such gospel outfits as the Prater’s drug usage and constant griping about wanting to do a solo act Gales and the Mellonaires. Prater with new material. had sung in his church choir and eventually became part of the gospelPrater, in turn, groused that it was Moore who wanted to work alone and based Sensational Hummingbirds. When the pair met by chance stop performing the Sam and Dave at a Miami club, they soon found catalogue of hits—which, according

Do you have an ear to the ground?

themselves performing together, their onstage chemistry delighting appreciative audiences who only saw two African-American men having fun and loving their work. In 1967, Sam and Dave recorded their biggest hit, “Soul Man,” on the Memphis-based Stax Records label. It reached No. 1 on the soul charts and No. 2 on the pop lists, and it won a Grammy the following year. “Soul Man” had come about when co-writer Isaac Hayes was inspired by a 1967 TV newscast of a Detroit riot. Many black-owned buildings had been marked with a single, boldly lettered word: SOUL. This inspired Hayes and his writing partner, David Porter, to develop the Sam and Dave classic. “It was the idea of one’s struggle please see ‘SOUL MAN’ page 15


Would you like to see your name in print? 50plus LIFE is looking for

Ready to help with all household needs

We want to include your neighborhood news in 50plus LIFE— but we need your help!

- Run errands for you or with you - Chauffeur you to appointments, functions, etc. - Help with organizing, de-cluttering - Help with home office chores - Be your right-hand helper Also available for Antique Appraisals and help with Downsizing

Local Liaisons

Please phone or email:

We’re looking for volunteers to serve as our designated Local Liaisons in Central Pennsylvania.

Meredith Ann Whipple

If you seem to always know what’s happening in your community and would be willing to send us brief stories, event info, and photos, email for more information.


50plus LIFE u

October 2017


Home Care Services & Hospice Providers All Hands Home Care

Landis at Home

(717) 737-7905

(717) 509-5800

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 Hospice

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.

MediQuest Staffing & Homecare (717) 560-5160 Year Est.: 2002 Counties Served: Lancaster RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: No Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: We provide trained and experienced caregivers at all levels of care — CNAs, LPNs, and RNs — in the home, hospital, or retirement community, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An RN will assess your needs, develop an individualized care plan, and monitor ongoing care at no cost to you.

Visiting Angels

(717) 221-7890

(800) 365-4189

Year Est.: 2008 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, York RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs/Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: Yes

Other Certifications and Services: Homeland HomeHealth (717) 412-0166 Homeland HomeCare (717) 221-7892

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

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.

Homestead Village Home Care Services

(717) 397-3044 Year Est.: 2009 Counties Served: Lancaster RNs: No LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No

Other Certifications and Services: Transportation, personal care, homemaking, shopping, and cooking

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

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


October 2017

50plus LIFE u

ENTERTAINER from page 4 But another contestant had already chosen “Summertime,” so message that seniors still have a lot of life and a lot to give society.” Keller went with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” another of She will also represent Pennsylvania at this year’s national Ms. her favorites. In the end, the second-choice song selection Senior America pageant, to be held Oct. 15-19 in Atlantic didn’t matter. City, New Jersey. Keller’s husband will join her for the Peggy Keller’s “I was so overwhelmed [when] I got a standing three-day competition, as will about 15 friends and family “Philosophy of Life,” ovation,” Keller, a fulltime OB-GYN triage nurse, said. offering their support. as presented to “I felt really good about the day; I knew I did the Pennsylvania has never had a national title Ms. Pennsylvania best I could do, and I could not have done anything holder, Russo-Caiazzo said. Senior America judges: differently.” “We at Pennsylvania Senior America feel As I live each day, I know that I will Singing wasn’t the only talent on display that day, that Peggy can break that streak and become be faced with daily challenges that will however. Keller’s fellow contestants, who ranged Pennsylvania’s first national winner and carry home teach me and allow me to grow. As I reflect on the day’s events, I ask myself, in age from 60-89, exhibited skills as wide ranging the crown as Ms. Senior America 2017,” Russo“Have I given all of who I am today?” If as pie baking, singing, dancing, and readings of Caiazzo said. “She certainly has all the qualities of a in my heart of hearts, I know that to be original poetry. national winner!” true, for what more can I ask? Thirteen friends and family members came out to If Keller does take home the national crown, her My all today may be different than support Keller in the audience. duties and opportunities will be similar to those of yesterday or even tomorrow; however, “They were screaming and yelling and carrying the state winner but on a grander scale, with countryif I have given all that I can be, taken the lessons learned, and entertained on,” she laughed. “It was really kind of one of wide recognition and exposure. new ideas and thoughts from those things where the energy was really high and “She will continue her crusade to help educate seniors others, I will become a more contagious.” and show the world that seniors are the foundation of complete woman. Her supporters weren’t the only ones in need of a good America, and they are still going strong,” Russo-Caiazzo holler. After the judges announced their decision and Keller said. “The sky is the limit for the national winner.” received the crown, sash, and flowers, she paused before the Keller said she plans to take the October competition in outdoor photo shoot and turned to Russo-Caiazzo. stride, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t headed to Atlantic City with “As soon as I got outside, I said to Denise, ‘Is it OK if I scream her eye on the prize. now? I just feel like I have to scream!’” Keller said. “So I screamed. It felt really “I’m going there for the fun of the whole experience,” she said, “but I have good.” that competitiveness about me, and I’m sure as shooting going to do the best I As the state winner, Keller “will represent women over 60 and help educate can with the intention that I’m going to come away a winner.” the public about senior life, while dispelling the myths of ageism,” RussoCover photo credit: Pavan Kumar ( Caiazzo said. “She will make appearances throughout the state, spreading the

Columbus’ Anchor Salvaged from the Depths Captained A team of explorers by Vicente Pinzon on believes it has one of the discovered “minor an anchor voyages” of from one of Columbus’ Christopher third Columbus’ expedition ships in the to the New Caribbean. World, the According ship sank in to a story on a hurricane the Fox News near the website, an Columbus Day is Turks and analysis of the Monday, Oct. 9 Caicos Islands anchor shows in 1500. that it dates In addition to the anchor, the from somewhere between 1492 and 1550. It weighed 1,200-1,500 pounds team brought up other artifacts at the shipwreck site, including and probably belonged to a 300-ton vessel, typical of Columbus’ time. grappling hooks used for salvaging cargo from shipwrecks, as well as The anchor is believed to come pieces of pottery and an olive jar from a fleet of smaller ships called painted with indigo. caravels, which included the Pinta.

50plus LIFE u

October 2017


Create a Great Funeral Day



October 30th is

The Party No One Wants to Plan People rarely like to dwell on the fact that they or a loved one will die someday, even though it’s an inevitable part of life. From a practical standpoint, we would make preparations to ensure that survivors aren’t placed in financial jeopardy and that they know the deceased person’s final wishes. “But the reality is that people procrastinate because the topic is too painful to think about,” says Susan Alpert, author of Later is Too Late: Hard Conversations That Can’t Wait ( Alpert, who lost her husband suddenly after 46 years of marriage, knows from experience about the confusion, chaos, and disastrous financial consequences that occur, and

she believes it’s time for people to make a change in their thinking and planning about death. “No one wants to admit that life has an end, but picture your spouse, your children, your parents, or anyone else you hold dear,” she says. “What would their lives be like if you died and hadn’t properly prepared your estate and legal documents?” Survivors also are often left to


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October 2017

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make decisions about funerals or memorial services while they are still grieving. Just 23 percent of people over age 50 have planned for their funeral or burial, according to the AARP. Meanwhile, funerals come with a hefty price tag that keeps rising, with the average cost in 2014 at $7,181, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.

“Making arrangements for your own funeral may feel surreal,” Alpert says. “But imagine the pain others will have dealing with that if you don’t step up and do it for them—and take care of the cost now if possible.” The good news, she says, is that despite the emotion involved, preparing for death can be handled over time and at your own pace, although it does require motivation and organization. Among the things to consider: Collect important documents and details in one place. Some of the personal information that should be gathered together include please see PARTY page 12

Funeral Planning by the Numbers 19,322: The number of funeral homes in the U.S. in 2017, according to the National Directory of Morticians Redbook. 86: The approximate percentage of funeral homes in the United States privately owned by families or individuals. The remaining 14 percent are owned by publicly traded corporations. $7,181: The national median cost of a funeral with viewing and burial for 2014. If a vault is included, something that is typically required by a cemetery, the median cost is $8,508. The cost does not take into account cemetery, monument, or

marker costs or miscellaneous cashadvance charges, such as for flowers or an obituary. $6,078: The national median cost of a funeral with viewing and cremation in 2014. The cost does not take into account vault, cemetery monument/marker costs, or other miscellaneous cashadvance charges. 50.2: The percentage of Americans who chose cremation in 2016, up from 48.5 percent in 2015, while 43.5 percent opted for burial, down from 45.4 percent in 2015. Source: National Funeral Directors Association

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October 2017


Create a Great Funeral Day



October 30th is

PARTY from page 10 names of your doctors, your bank accounts, Social Security information, life insurance policies, a will, and anything else that’s critical to your estate. Having all the important personal information in one place makes a huge difference in reducing stress and making the process easier for the person or persons left behind. Plan that funeral. It’s not a pleasant topic, but it’s natural to

wonder how our lives will be honored after death. Our vision might not be the same as our family members’, Alpert says, so it’s important to decide how and where your final resting place will be and whether there should be a funeral or a memorial service. Do you want a burial or cremation? Do you prefer an old-fashioned obituary or a simple social media announcement? Hire experts. “There is a business

for every need, and the arena of death is no exception,” Alpert says. Try contacting a team of professionals—attorneys, accountants, financial advisers—who can help sort through all the financial and legal details ahead of time so there are fewer challenges to face at the time of death. “The best way to honor a loved one’s legacy is to ensure that his or her wishes are carried out after death,” Alpert says. “But that shouldn’t

happen at the expense of a budget when you’re grieving and can’t make clear decisions.” Susan Covell Alpert, author of Later is Too Late: Hard Conversations that Can’t Wait (, is a lecturer, consultant, entrepreneur, and frequent guest on national radio and television shows. Alpert is also the author of Driving Solo: Dealing with Grief and the Business of Financial Survival.

How ‘Trick or Treat!’ Took Over the World Wherever you live, chances are that on Oct. 31 you’ll be visited by pirates, ghosts, princesses, and

monsters crying, “Trick or treat!” at your front door. Costumes and going door-to-door for treats can be traced

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back to pagan and Christian rituals from the Middle Ages. In Britain and Ireland, poor people would beg for food door-todoor in exchange for prayers for the dead on the day before All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2). This practice, called “souling,” evolved from a European pagan tradition. The wearing of costumes and masks originates in Celtic traditions of attempting to placate evil spirits by copying them. Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought the tradition of “guising” to the New World, with children going through their neighborhoods requesting food and

coins, usually in exchange for a dance or poem. The term “trick or treat” in print was seen in Alberta, Canada, in 1927, and in the Oregon Journal newspaper in 1934: “Other young goblins and ghosts, employing modern shakedown methods, successfully worked the ‘trick or treat’ system in all parts of the city.” Trick-or-treating had become an established fixture of American popular culture by the 1950s, when Walt Disney produced a cartoon called Trick or Treat, and an episode of the popular TV show Ozzie and Harriet showed children overwhelming the Nelson household in search of candy.

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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 profile story! Just fill out the questionnaire below and return it to:  LIFE, 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512, or email your responses to Megan Joyce, editor, at Your name: ___________________________ Your phone number/email address: _____________________________________________________ Name of person nominated (if not you):__________________________________ Their town of residence: _______________________________ Please receive their permission to nominate them. Nominee’s age range: 50–59





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October 2017



By Andrea Gross

Falling in Love with Bergen: Norway’s Cultural Capital

I can’t say we weren’t warned. When we told our Norwegian friends we were going to Bergen, they looked at each other and smiled as if wondering whether they should let us in on Bergen’s secret. “A beautiful place,” he said finally. “A city of culture.” “A city of rain,” she interrupted. “Rainiest spot on the continent. Rains 250 days a year — summer, fall, winter, and spring.” In other words, it always rains. Is this a place my husband and I really want to visit? Well, yes. A city that’s been deemed a “European City of Culture” (an honor bestowed by the European Union upon select cities that have contributed mightily to the culture of the world) and has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage

Homes in Bergen line the hills and surround lakes.

Oslo may be Norway’s political capital, but Bergen is its cultural capital.


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Bergen is Norway’s second largest city.

City because of its enduring cultural significance is most certainly a city that is worth a few drops of rain. On the first morning we look out our hotel room window and see sun—bright, happy sun shining down on buildings that shimmer with color. We’ve won the weather lottery. Peaked roofs covered with orange, gold, black, and sometimes red tiles sit atop walls that may be light gray or ivory but are more often vibrant gold or soft blue. Off in the distance a church topped with delicate pinnacles and spires stands guard over the haphazard streets. I later learn that this church — Johanneskirken in Norwegian, St. John’s in English — is the largest in Bergen and dates back to 1894.

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Three hours later, the clouds obscure the sun. Four hours later, we’re drenched. That’s when I remember that my friend told us a proverb she learned from her grandmother: There’s no such thing as bad weather in Bergen, just inappropriate clothes. My husband and I race back to the hotel and grab parkas for our bodies, dry shoes for our feet, and myriad plastic bags for his camera. Then, outfitted appropriately, we set out to imbibe some culture. We begin in the center of town, which 1,000 years ago was home to the medieval town of Bryggen. Many of the original buildings were destroyed by fire during the 1700s and subsequently rebuilt on the old foundations, meaning that the footprints and often the function remained the same. The reconstructed buildings are lined along the wharf, facing the water that made Bryggen an economic powerhouse — in medieval terms, of course. Today the terms have changed. Bergen is still an economic powerhouse, but it deals in tourists instead of fish.

Bergen is home to fishing boats, sightseeing boats, and cruise ships of all sizes.

Violin virtuoso Ole Bull is one of many renowned artists who was Bergen born and bred.

We spend the better part of a day strolling along the cobblestone streets and planked walkways of old Bryggen and exploring repurposed buildings, now crooked with age. We see trolls in every size and shape in the souvenir shops, admire handmade knits with Nordic designs in the galleries, and eat ... Oh my, we eat. First we down a sandwich laden with shrimp, crab, and salmon. Then we warm up with a sjokoladerdrikk (hot chocolate) from a Starbucks that’s housed in a building that looks like a giant wedding cake,

complete with a frosting of white. Two hundred years ago this building was the town’s meat market. A few blocks away, an old bakery has been turned into a new McDonald’s. Thoroughly sated, we visit the Hanseatic Museum, where we take a guided tour that helps us better understand Bergen’s history. Then we wander over to the wharf to see some of the ships that take nearly a halfmillion passengers a year on trips to the spectacular Norwegian fjords. Some of these ships, which number more than 300 a year, are mega-ships,

each carrying thousands of passengers to the larger ports along the coast. Others, like those operated by Hurtigruten, are smaller vessels that combine cargo stops to small towns with passenger amenities for cruisers who want a more unusual voyage. The next day passes too quickly as we try to absorb the city’s art and music scene. It’s a large scene — one that encompasses both past and present. Music aficionados can visit the home of Norway’s most famous composer, Edvard Grieg, as well as the villa of violin virtuoso Ole Bull, while art enthusiasts can explore Bergen’s Art Street, an impressive row of galleries and museums that borders Lake Lungegårdsvann. As we walk back to our hotel, we feel the soft drops of an evening rain, but this time we hardly notice. We’ve fallen in love with Bergen. For more on Bergen and Norway in general, go to Photos © Irv Green unless otherwise noted; story by Andrea Gross (www.

‘SOUL MAN’ from page 7 to rise above his present conditions,” Hayes explained in the book Soulsville USA. “It’s almost a tune [where it’s] kind of like boasting, ‘I’m a soul man.’ … It’s a pride thing.” In November 1978, the Blues Brothers—comics Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi—performed “Soul Man” on Saturday Night Live. When they cut their own version of the classic song, retaining the original blaring horns and stinging guitar licks, the hit remake on Atlantic

Records reached a whole new audience. Despite their career-long personal turmoil, Sam and Dave were elected to the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which tacitly acknowledged the duo’s masterful transition of gospel music’s elements into the popular music mainstream. Randal C. Hill is a rock ’n’ roll historian who lives at the Oregon coast. He may be reached at

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 |

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October 2017


Calendar of Events

Chester County

Support Groups Free and open to the public Oct. 3, 1:30 p.m. Grief Support Group Phoenixville Senior Center 153 Church St., Phoenixville (610) 327-7216 Oct. 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 Oct. 3, 17, and 31, 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.

Senior Center Activities

Oct. 4, 6 p.m. Memory Loss and Dementia Support Group Sunrise Assisted Living of Paoli 324 W. Lancaster Ave., Malvern (610) 251-9994

Oct. 11, 1:30 p.m. Family Caregiver Support Group Sarah Care 425 Technology Drive, Suite 200 Malvern (610) 251-0801

Oct. 9 and 23, 10:30 a.m. to noon Caregiver Support Group Adult Care of Chester County 201 Sharp Lane, Exton (610) 363-8044

Oct. 11, 7 p.m. Hearing Loss Support Group Christ Community Church 1190 Phoenixville Pike West Chester (610) 444-445

Oct. 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

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

Oct. 17, 6 p.m. Family Caregiver Support Group Sunrise of Westtown 501 Skiles Blvd., West Chester (610) 399-4464 Oct. 25, 6 p.m. Living with Cancer Support Group Paoli Hospital Cancer Center 255 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli (484) 565-1253

Community Programs Free and open to the public Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m. West Chester University Retirees Luncheon For restaurant location, please email darsie@ Oct. 4, 12:10-1:10 p.m. Digging I-95: Early-American Glass Discoveries in Philadelphia Immaculata University Lifelong Learning Institute 1145 King Road, Immaculata (484) 323-3238 Oct. 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 Oct. 7 and 21, 5-10 p.m. Bingo Night Marine Corps League Detachment 430 Chestnut St., Downingtown (610) 429-8174


October 2017

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Oct. 11, 12:10-1:10 p.m. Brushstrokes: Vignettes in Art and Life Immaculata University Lifelong Learning Institute 1145 King Road, Immaculata (484) 323-3238 Oct. 17, noon AARP Valley Forge Chapter Meeting St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church 203 N. Valley Forge Road, Devon (610) 647-1823 Oct. 18, 12:10-1:10 p.m. Mongolia: Land of the Eternal Blue Sky Immaculata University Lifelong Learning Institute 1145 King Road, Immaculata (484) 323-3238

Coatesville Area Senior Center (610) 383-6900 250 Harmony St., Coatesville Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:3011:15 a.m. – Going Fit Exercise Program Oct. 5 and 19, 11 a.m. to noon – Veterans Coffee Club Oct. 11 and 25, 1-2 p.m. – Bingo Downingtown Senior Center – (610) 269-3939 983 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown Mondays, 11-11:45 a.m. – Wake Up! Cardio Tuesdays, 1-2 p.m. – Technology 101 Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. – Tai Chi Great Valley Senior Center – (610) 889-2121 47 Church Road, Malvern Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – Coloring and Puzzles Oct. 12 and 26, 10 a.m. – Canasta Oct. 19, 1 p.m. – Meet and Eat at Olive Garden on Quarry Road Oxford Senior Center – (610) 932-5244 12 E. Locust St., Oxford Wednesdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m. – Paint Class West Chester Area Senior Center (610) 431-4242 530 E. Union St., West Chester Thursdays, 1 p.m. – WCASC Chorus Just a snippet of what you may be missing … please call or visit their website for more information.

parks and recreation Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Country Fair & Color Fun Run, Nottingham County Park Oct. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Wagon Ride and Bonfire, Hibernia County Park Oct. 21, 1-3 p.m. – “What Are Those Ruins at Hibernia?”, Hibernia County Park

Library Programs Downingtown Library, 330 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (610) 269-2741 Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m. – Fantasy Book Club Oct. 17, 10-11 a.m. – Book Walkers Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. – Crafters Maker Space Paoli Library, 18 Darby Road, Paoli, (610) 296-7996 Mystery Book Club – Call for dates/times

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Plant Easy-Care Daffodils Now for Added Spring Beauty By Melinda Myers Daffodils have a cheery presence in the spring garden and are a surefire way to chase away the winter blues. These fall-planted bulbs are also reliable perennials that require no maintenance and are not bothered by deer or other pests. The National Garden Bureau has declared 2017 the Year of the Daffodil, and with the fall planting season upon us, now is the time to choose your favorites. Yellow trumpet daffodils are classics, but there are many other flower styles and colors to choose from. Double-flowering types, such as white-and-yellow Lingerie and longlasting, lemon-yellow Sherborne, feature multiple rows of petals, and some varieties look more like peonies

cut flowers. than daffodils. The cups on these Multidaffodils are flowering varieties, divided into segments such as that are Beautiful pressed back Eyes, display against the several flowers on petals. Narcissus each stem. This variety’s Cassata has Photo Credit: a ruffled white-andUnique daffodil varieties like Lingerie offer yellow split orange double flowering. cup and blossoms white petals. Lemon Beauty’s shorter have a gardenia-like fragrance. Miniature daffodil Baby Boomer split cup is adorned with a yellow star. These are just a few of the many has five to 10 flowers per stem. After blooming, the grassy foliage quickly choices that are available for gardens, fades away, allowing nearby perennials containers, and spring bouquets. Most to take center stage. daffodils are hardy in growing zones 3-8. In warmer zones, look for heatSplit-corona daffodils have an tolerant varieties, such as Thalia and unexpected beauty and are lovely

Silver Smiles. Mix daffodils into shady gardens filled with hostas, ferns, and other shade-loving perennials. As the daffodil blooms fade, the perennials will grow, mask the foliage, and provide beauty throughout the remainder of the season. Plant daffodils on a hillside, on a woodland border, beside a pond, or under trees and shrubs. Over time, the bulbs will grow and multiply with minimal care from you. Choose cultivars with different flower styles and bloom times, and plant in drifts to create an attractive display. Can’t decide? Consider one of the many premixed packages. Or, create your own long-lasting display by combining early-, mid-, and lateblooming varieties. Get your daffodils off to a great

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please see DAFFODILS page 18

October 2017


Try Mindfulness for Better Health

50plus LIFE’s editorial content just earned 4 awards! Bronze Award “Pinups Honor 21st-Century Patriots” by Lori Van Ingen

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Research from Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, explores how mindfulness— the practice of being more present in daily life—can benefit friends, family, and communities. A survey of 1,051 Americans found that 87 percent of respondents believe that practicing mindfulness— defined as a state of active, open attention to the present—can benefit not only one’s own physical and mental health, but also the people they interact with, causing a positive ripple effect. Dignity Health encourages people to set aside a minimum of two

minutes every day—in the morning, during a work break, a stressful time throughout the day, or in the evening—to “check in” with yourself. Take this time to reflect on your relationships and the purpose or meaning behind your work and daily activities. Ninetyseven percent of survey participants said they believe mindfulness has a positive impact on their health, and 95 percent believe it has a similar beneficial effect on their mood. They said they believe it makes them calmer (69 percent) and happier (58 percent) and leads to better sleep (61 percent).

DAFFODILS from page 17 start with proper planting. Plant bulbs in mid- to late fall, any time before the ground freezes. Dig a hole and position the bulbs 6 inches deep with the pointy side up. Cover with soil; apply a low-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer; and water thoroughly. Once in the ground, the bulbs can remain in place for years to come. Reserve a few daffodil bulbs for your containers and window boxes. Pot them up in the fall and make sure they get at least 15 weeks of chilling at 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit. In mild climates, the containers can be left outdoors. In zones 6 and colder, they should be stored in an

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unheated garage where they will be cold but won’t freeze. Start now and enjoy a brighter beginning to next year’s garden season. The daffodils you plant this fall will delight you year after year as their carefree blooms announce winter’s end and spring’s return. Melinda Myers has written numerous books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses’ How to Grow Anything DVD series and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers was commissioned by Longfield Gardens for her expertise to write this article. www.

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Central Pennsylvania’s Award-Winning 50+ Publication

Puzzle Page


Solutions for all puzzles can be found on page 21


1. Day times (abbr.) 4. Imbibes, slowly 8. Effect’s partner 13. Secret look 15. Forest member 16. Ohio city 17. Great Lakes lake 18. Garner 19. Buffalo 20. Meal 22. Fr. season 24. Spouse 25. Mortise joint 26. Tease

28. Dwarf buffalo 30. Terse 34. School dances 37. Without restraint 39. Period of time 40. Italian capital 41. Grayish brown 42. Den 43. Oriental sash 44. Mother-of-pearl 45. Palomino 46. Reversal of fortune 48. Goulash 50. Past

51. Saintly toppers 54. Coiffure 57. Doleful 60. Fiats 62. Clay 64. Bug 66. Exploit 67. Minute arachnids 68. ___ vera 69. Roof overhang 70. Headliners 71. Cleanses 72. Fish catcher

23. Delete 27. Hockey foundation 29. Alas and ___ 30. Canters 31. Close 32. Sword lily 33. Concern 34. Those for 35. Dressing gown 36. Exclude 38. Pers. pronoun 41. Mex. dish 42. Despicable person 44. Henpeck

45. Body part 47. Hairstylist 49. Motifs 52. Body of water 53. Barrel part 54. Some actors 55. Mine passage 56. Tiny amount 58. Gelling agent 59. Food shop 61. Printing direction 63. Sharp curve 65. Fishing pole

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October 2017


Facts about the Bills in Your Wallet You don’t have to be a millionaire to know the value of a dollar. Here are some facts about paper money from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing website: • The first $1 bill was issued by the government in 1862 with a picture of Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase. George Washington’s portrait first

• The lifespan of a $1 Reserve note is about 21 months. Other bills have different life expectancies.

appeared on the $1 note in 1869. • Dollar bills account for approximately 45 percent of all U.S. currency production.

• The first $2 bill was issued in 1862 and featured a picture of Alexander Hamilton, the first

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October 2017

50plus LIFE u

Gray Divorce: Splitting Up in Later Life By Linda Hershman, LMFT, MS

Puzzles shown on page 19

Puzzle Solutions

Alan and Joan* threw a big bash to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Surrounded by their children, grandchildren, and friends, the champagne flowed as they toasted a life well lived. A month later, Joan shocked everyone by moving out of the house and filing for divorce. Everyone wondered: Why now? “We don’t want the same things anymore,” Joan said, when asked. “Alan is a great guy, but once the kids left, I realized we weren’t going to have much to talk about for the next 20 years.” While the divorce rate in the U.S. has dropped slightly since the 1990s, “gray divorce” among baby boomers and seniors has doubled, according to a March 2017 Pew Research Institute study. Cris Pastore, esquire, co-founder of Main Line Family Law Center, a Philadelphia-area mediation firm, has been conducting divorce mediation exclusively since 2008. He reports that the firm’s main demographic is couples between the ages of 40-60, with a slight uptick in recent years of the 50-55 group. According to Pastore, these couples tended to marry and have kids in their 20s. “They see their lives split in half,” Pastore says. “They spent the first half raising kids. Now they want something different. “Women initiate gray divorce more often than not,” Pastore continues. “They are coming to the (mediation) process more empowered than ever.

They can be true to themselves and to their spouses about what they want for themselves. Many have careers and don’t need financial support from their husbands. In the past, they were more reticent to tell the spouse how they felt.” Pastore believes the aftermath of 9/11 has increased older adults’ willingness to divorce. “I look at 9/11 as having completely turned things upside down. People are living more for today than they ever were before,” he says. “They don’t want to wait for tomorrow—they’re less willing to wait around for anything.” Life expectancy plays a role in the decision to divorce. Many, like Joan, expect to live longer and remain in good health and wish to fully engage in their lives for as long as possible, even if it means doing it without a partner. Not all gray divorce is a result of a long marriage that has run its course, however. Many are second marriages, which carry an even statistically higher divorce rate. Often, people remarry without having worked through their own issues that contributed to the first

divorce. Blended families present unique challenges. And, having been through it already and knowing they will survive, it becomes easier to leave, especially when there are no children to consider. Although today’s older women are more likely to experience the financial independence that allows them to leave an unhappy or unsatisfying marriage, divorce is costly. “In almost every case, divorce results in a financial hardship for both spouses. Financial reasons usually are in consideration of staying together, rather than getting a divorce,” Pastore says. Fortunately, options exist today beyond hiring opposing counsels who may escalate the battle and win the spoils of the war. There are divorce professionals, including attorneys and therapists, who are committed to making the process as financially and emotionally healthy as possible. Divorce mediators, such as Pastore, help the couple obtain a peaceful, cost-effective divorce without the need to hire attorneys. The divorce mediator does not take sides but empowers both parties to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement outside

of the court system. Couples who wish to remain amicable while being represented by attorneys can consider collaborative divorce, a process of voluntary dispute resolution in which parties resolve issues without litigation. Experts—such as mental health therapists, parenting experts, and financial professionals—may be engaged as part of a problem-solving team. Deciding to divorce can be a gut-wrenching process. One or both spouses may struggle with the choice of whether to stay or go. Before contacting a lawyer, these couples should consider discernment counseling. Usually within one to five sessions, a discernment counselor will help couples choose one of three paths with clarity and confidence: stay the course and do nothing at present; move toward separation and divorce; or agree to commit to marriage counseling with a qualified, licensed professional. Even if you don’t want to squander the rest of your life with someone who has become the wrong partner, take time to educate yourself about your options. Life is short, but a bitter divorce feels interminable. Linda Hershman, MS, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Berwyn, Pa. She is the first therapist in the Delaware Valley to have obtained certification in discernment counseling. For a free consult, contact her at (610) 889-2089 or www. *not their real names

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50plus LIFE u

October 2017


Dear Pharmacist

Suzy Cohen

4 Simple and Potentially Life-Saving Breast Cancer Tips

Few things are more painful to bear than a diagnosis of breast cancer and all that goes with it. I have three close friends who are breast cancer thrivers today, although my mother-in-law died from it. The suspicious spot on her scan did not receive follow-up imaging, and by the following year, it was too late. She died in 1996. I miss her, but I get to love her son. We’ve learned so much since then. I will share the new research now. There is a more comprehensive version of my article with more tips at my website ( 1. Bone loss treatment may need to be reevaluated. According to a paper published in Medical Hypothesis (2010), alterations in the serum-calcium-to-magnesium ratio

could lead of calcium all to increased by itself for osteoporosis, it development may be better of new as well for you to add as recurrent breast cancer supportive minerals, such (due to low as magnesium magnesium and/or vitamin levels, D. Talk to relatively your doctor. speaking). The paper states, “Most 2. Natural October is Breast Cancer folate from women with Awareness Month salads and hormonegreens is sensitive breast incredible for you. Eating folatecancer are recommended to take aromatase inhibitors, which cause rich foods appears to reduce breast cancer risk. This was determined bone loss, and thus are generally prescribed calcium and vitamin D, when researchers evaluated the diets of 367,993 women recruited from 10 but not magnesium.” European countries. So when you take high amounts The researchers used data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Eating a diet rich in dietary folate may be associated with a lower risk of sex hormone receptor-negative breast cancer, at least in premenopausal women.

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3. There are natural SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators). SERMs can block estrogen-mediated breast cancer growth and help to maintain bone density in postmenopausal women.

You know the drugs as tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and raloxifene (Evista) and others. A paper in Phytomedicine 2016 found that rhodiola rosea acts a bit like a SERM by binding to estrogen receptors, counteracting TNF alpha and protecting bone cells (osteoblasts) from hydrogen peroxide. You should discuss the risks and benefits with your physician, but it seems that with SERM activity, natural rhodiola might help mitigate or delay menopause-related discomfort and support breast health. 4. Eating rosemary is powerful. This herb contains natural compounds, such as rosmarinic acid, that are protective of our reproductive organs. Another spice called spica prunellae (xia ku cao in Chinese medicine) contains this rosmarinic acid. There are studies on rosmarinic acid that are important to breast cancer survivors; for example, one found it can slow or inhibit bone metastasis from breast cancer. There are more tips at my site. For now, consider putting rosemary sprigs in everything you eat. It’s easy, simple, and provides many other health benefits. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit

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October 2017

50plus LIFE u

On Life and Love after 50

Tom Blake

You’re not jus t a Pa. Widower Would business. Enjoy Meeting a Widow n a t s u j t o n You’re . n o i t a z i n a g r o You’re a resource.

I had to smile when I received an Chuck and his wife lived in email from Chuck, a widower, in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Lancaster. south Florida for 37 years before “I just can’t see myself using those moving to a senior living community dating websites, so what can you in Lancaster. He tries to work out do to help me meet another love of every morning and reads “anything” my life before I run out of money or nonfiction. air?” This gentleman has quite a resume. My reaction was: “I like to see A widower with a new places. [I] have sense of humor. A visited or lived in widower in his 70s all 50 states and who doesn’t want over 100 countries,” to use “those dating Chuck said. “[I] websites.” I bet we can am a volunteer for help him. Road Scholar, the Chuck had largest nonprofit obviously read my travel company, most recent 50plus and SCORE, where LIFE article (August I mentor small2017) about Steve, business owners. also a widower, who Also, I have been a lives nearby in New Rotarian for over 50 York state. years. Chuck S., of Lancaster, I wrote back “Who can I use wants to continue his to Chuck, saying for matchmaking extensive travels—and I needed more now?” he asked. doesn’t want to do it alone. information about I smiled and him. said, “Well, “Over a year ago, I lost the love of networking through friends and my life to multiple myeloma cancer,” acquaintances is the best way seniors Chuck said. “We were married 54 can meet potential mates. Maybe years. We have three children and six our newspaper can increase your grandchildren. network.” “I would like to meet a widow I learned a bit more about Chuck. in her 60s or 70s who had a He has an undergraduate degree happy marriage and who wants to from Notre Dame and an MBA from share good wine, fine food, great Washington University in St. Louis. conversation, educational travel, and He was an officer in the Army. He who likes to snuggle in the winter or was a president of three companies. travel to south Florida.” Even though Chuck has traveled I needed to clarify the comment extensively, he says he’d like to see “… who likes to snuggle in the new places, and he doesn’t want to winter.” see those places traveling by himself. I wrote to Chuck: “Snuggle only If Chuck sounds like a man you’d in the winter?” enjoy meeting for a cup of coffee, He assured me that snuggling was email him at chucksawicki@gmail. a year-around wish. com. He added, “I’m in my 70s but look For dating information, previous like I’m in my 60s.” articles, or to sign up for Tom’s I said to him, “We’ll let the complimentary, weekly e-newsletter, go women decide how young you look. to Tell me more about you.”

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50plus LIFE u

October 2017


WellSpan and Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center are now fighting your cancer together. WellSpecialized WellSpan’s network of cancer centers is now working with one of the nation’s leaders in research and innovation to help you fight cancer. Through our collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, you have expanded access to clinical trials, and your local WellSpan cancer team has a direct line for second opinions from specialists who frequently treat the most complex cases. This, along with WellSpan’s coordinated approach to meeting your physical, emotional, financial and social needs, makes it easier than ever to receive advanced specialty care close to home. Get well connected to the cancer expertise you need. Visit to find a WellSpan cancer specialist in your community.

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50plus LIFE Chester County October 2017  

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