Complimentary | Chester County Edition
STILL FEARLESS AT 62 page 4
How to detect parkinson’s disease page 11
A driver’s license guide for seniors page 23
COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available to All Veterans Enrolled in VA Healthcare All eligible southcentral Pennsylvania veterans enrolled in VA healthcare may now receive their COVID-19 vaccine from Lebanon VA Medical Center regardless of their age or previously considered medical conditions for vaccine priority. VA is sending text messages to all eligible southcentral Pennsylvania VA-enrolled veterans whose mobile phone numbers are current in VA’s database. The VEText system will locate the next available appointment in closest proximity to where the veteran lives. Alternatively, eligible and enrolled veterans can call the vaccine scheduling line at (717) 228-5965 to schedule their vaccine appointment. Call volumes are expected to be longer than desired. All vaccine appointments are scheduled in advance unless otherwise advertised.
“Lebanon VAMC has made sufficient progress in providing the vaccine to our CDC highrisk categories since beginning vaccinations in December. We can now schedule eligible veterans for it, regardless of their medical conditions or age,” Dr. Stuart Roop, the medical center’s chief of staff, stated. “Our supply of vaccine is sufficient to open the vaccine clinics to all veterans enrolled in VA healthcare.” Veterans who haven’t enrolled in VA healthcare can talk with an enrollment specialist by calling (717) 228-6000 and leaving their name and a valid daytime phone number so enrollment staff may contact them. For more information about the Lebanon VA Medical Center, visit lebanon. va.gov, facebook.com/VALebanon, or twitter.com/VALebanon.
Pet of the Month
Auggie Auggie is a loving, calm-natured dog who has made many human friends during his time at the shelter. Auggie has a curious nose that takes him on adventures while exploring his environment. This darling guy enjoys long walks and chewing on his favorite toys. He’s well mannered, knows “sit” and “stay,” and is crate trained. He does well with other dogs and would appreciate meeting any other dogs in the household before making a commitment. For more information, contact Brandywine Valley SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, at (484) 302-0865 or bvspca.org. www.50plusLifePA.com
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Ever-Present Danger Says Walcerz, “In the early 1980s, Joanne Walcerz has participating in the joyfully embraced each Solidarity movement change in a life journey was dangerous. If full of twists and turns the government — with enough nailfound out you biting adventures for were spreading a Hollywood thriller. information about Her life of growth the union and and transformation is protests, they would certainly a model for haul you off to jail a time of crisis that or to Siberia, and no demands new norms As an exchange student in Poland, Walcerz one heard from you and painful lifestyle captured this image of an elderly woman’s hand again.” changes. raised in the “V” for victory gesture during Despite the everWalcerz’s current a visiting Pope John Paul II’s Mass for a filled present danger of stadium. The city of Gdańsk was the birthplace of career as a therapeutic imprisonment and the Solidarity movement. massage therapist could “disappearance,” as have easily collapsed an idealistic young during a year when student, Walcerz was pandemic restrictions soon immersed in have shuttered so many the movement and small businesses. volunteered to be a Instead, she explains, runner for a protest “I’ve had to revamp my publication, taking business model and pull separate pages of the the plug on the office.” publication to secret Now she goes drop-off points. to people’s homes “You had to be to give massages, extremely careful having invested in you weren’t followed. a portable table and There was so much equipment. Walcerz’s subterfuge in the lifelong adaptability to process,” she explains. unexpected change has It was more of a enabled her business to During performances of the River Crossing risk than she realized: not only survive, but Playback Theater, Walcerz, kneeling on right, The local authorities improvises dialogue and movement to capture also to prosper during opened Walcerz’s the emotional intent of a story supplied by the COVID-19. audience. mail, listened to Walcerz never phone conversations, considered a career and followed her as massage therapist everywhere. She continued her work for Solidarity, growing up on Long Island, New York. She spoke however, until the day she noticed a massive prayer Polish at home and learned to appreciate her vigil on her way home. heritage from her grandmother, who lived with the “I got off the tram to watch the vigil for a family. priest who had spoken out against the government “She instilled in me an interest in all things and had been kidnapped, tortured, and killed. All ethnic,” says Walcerz. of a sudden a voice brutally whispered in my ear, She chose to be a theater major in college, but ‘You better leave right now.’ I got nervous and left.” soon switched to Russian, hoping to study in the Within five minutes, police in riot gear broke up USSR as an exchange student. Ironically, instead the vigil with tear gas and arrested everyone. Clearly Walcerz ended up studying in Poland during the local authorities did not want the additional Solidarity, the country’s nonviolent struggle against complication of arresting an American student. the authoritarian communist government. By Gabriele Amersbach
A Million Adventures through touch.” Now married, Walcerz and her husband moved to Washington, D.C., for Eventually, Walcerz would develop her own massage practice that has his job with IBM. They had met in a Russian immersion class and had to thrived for the last 15 years. She also volunteers to provide free massage conduct the whole courtship in faulty Russian. services to adult survivors of sexual abuse at a local counseling center as a way Initially, she worked with the Polish American Association to funnel money to give back to the community. to Polish emigres, but she eventually went on to work at the Marriott, three “I feel honored that they trust me,” she says. blocks from the White House. Especially pertinent during this year of social distancing, Walcerz sees a “In my three years as concierge, I had a million adventures, meeting lots of spiritual dimension to her work: “Touch is what connects us. I want my clients performers from the Kennedy Center,” says Walcerz. to feel they are valued and loved — I feel it back and am so privileged to be A favorite recollection is being at the beck and call of David Ogden Stiers, part of their healing journey.” “Major Winchester” from the hit series M.A.S.H. “He thought he was Tom Cruise and walked around with his hat down A Complete Circle because he thought everyone would recognize him,” she remembers. In the last seven years, Walcerz has combined her early interest in the Two other favorite visitors to the hotel were internationally acclaimed jazz theater and healing as a member of a local improv group, River Crossing musicians Wynton and Brandon Marsalis. Playback Theater (rivercrossingplayback. “I gushed over them and asked Wynton org). to autograph my album. He wrote a lovely Playback theater is an international note — I still have it.” movement, with more than 70 companies But even as concierge, Walcerz had in the United States alone. Walcerz explains another heart-stopping adventure. During that a “conductor” elicits stories from the the Reagan administration, the president audience. The story is then “played back” often used the Marriott for political through four actors who improvise both banquets. dialogue and physical movement to capture “I wanted to take my parents on a brief the emotional intent of the story. tour of the presidential suite,” she explains. “It’s powerful — you see your story come “We were on the balcony when my parents to life with dialogue that is intuited. The and I heard these clicks.” goal is to achieve catharsis and a deeper She was unaware that the hotel was being understanding that engenders empathy,” locked down before the president’s arrival. says Walcerz. Three strange people in the presidential “We’ve done programs on racism and suite were perceived as a threat. conflict resolution, as well as joyous events. “The sharpshooters had us in their People sometimes express themselves for the scopes, and the clicks we heard were their first time about a certain issue and come guns in readiness. The Secret Service told us away healed.” to get off the balcony — immediately!” After D.C., the family moved to Austin, What are the common threads in a life Texas, for three years, before crossing the that is an ever-changing tapestry? Walcerz’s Atlantic to Cambridge, England, where life is defined by a fearlessness that has Walcerz volunteered at a refugee center for allowed her to experience so many life women. changes with joy and grace. Walcerz climbing the ladder during a trapeze class, a She remembers, “I ran a therapeutic a “For my 60th birthday, my daughter 60th-birthday gift from her daughter. “I was absolutely cappella singing class. The women brought in bought me a trapeze class. I was absolutely terrified, but I had to show her I was still fearless.” music from all over the world and sang just terrified, but I had to show her I was still for the joy of it.” fearless and flew on the trapeze for a full afternoon,” Walcerz explains. Touch is What Connects Us She also believes her upbringing provided a solid foundation for every step The next move brought the family to Massachusetts, where she settled into in her life path. a 25-year career teaching and counseling at women’s health centers. When “My folks raised me to be empathetic and compassionate and to believe her husband accepted a position at York College, the family moved to York, in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being — with a strong Pennsylvania. commitment to service to others.” While Walcerz resumed her teaching and counseling career, her marriage And she has learned to accept that life is change, especially during a had ended. She was now a single mother with two children living in a small, pandemic. Walcerz had planned a wedding with her “sweetheart” of 15 years, downtown-York apartment on a drag-racing route. Cliff, an emergency room physician, for June 2020. At age 47, Walcerz had an epiphany. With the virus, those plans were canceled. Walcerz just laughs at yet “After all of those years talking and listening to people, I now wanted to another unexpected bend in the road. focus on touch, laying hands on people to help them to heal.” “Whatever we eventually do, we’ll have fun,” she says. After completing an extensive program in therapeutic massage, she found Looking back at all of her adventures, and those of the many women she work at a drug and alcohol rehab center. has met, Walcerz concludes, “You have to admit, women over 50 are living “When you’re addicted, your body is completely out of whack. Massage some kickass lives.” resets the digestive track and impacts the efficacy of the medications,” says On the cover: Joanne Walcerz practicing yoga, one of many ways she Walcerz. “Addicted people are also often very isolated. Even their children endeavors to maintain physical and mental wellness. and spouses stop touching them. I would help them to connect to their bodies www.50plusLifePA.com
Solutions for all puzzles can be found on page 24. SUDOKU
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Across 1. Locomotive compartment 4. Wallop 8. Seize suddenly 12. Location 13. Ornamental purse 14. Tricks 16. Martians or Venusians, maybe? 18. Bury 19. Zippo 20. Unctuous 21. Feudal workers 22. Giant planet 24. Thomas Crown actress Rene Down 1. Eyelashes 2. Listing 3. Honey maker 4. Alaska-Siberia strait 5. And others (abbr.) 6. Desi loved her 7. Dead heat 8. One of 10 down 9. Ancient Germanic letters 10. NASA traveler 11. Dinner choice 12. Without (Fr.) 15. AARP members
26. Badgers 28. Ike’s WWII command 29. Forty winks 32. Horned goddess 34. Clan emblem 36. High card 37. Enthralled 38. Slippers 39. Mountain lion 40. Actress Merkel 41. Agrees 42. Speck 43. Computer key 44. Computer port inits.
17. Novelist Ephron and fictional character Charles 23. Building block 24. Take back to the lab 25. Shoshones 27. Short and blunt 30. Pinnacle 31. Soup type 32. Fleming and Woosnam 33. NASA apparel 35. Bullring cheer 37. Bemoan 38. Atomizer output
45. Drawn tight 47. Vacuous 49. Seventh planet from the sun 53. Very, in music 55. Forum wear 57. Dined 58. Tease 59. Orbit inhabitant 61. Nitrogen compound 62. Arab chieftain 63. Affirm 64. Antares, for one 65. Hardy heroine 66. Price word 39. Falafel bread 41. Largest planet 42. Piece of cave art 46. Plumber’s snakes 48. It’s from heaven 50. Gullible 51. Absolute 52. Oracle 53. One ___ time 54. Guided missile types (abbr.) 55. Gentle 56. Elevator inventor 59. Gel 60. Cat hangout
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It Was 50 Years Ago Today
‘I Am … I Said’ Randal Hill
Humor writer Dave Barry once invited the readers of his weekly syndicated newspaper column to vote for the worst pop song of all time. When over 10,000 letters piled up on his Miami office desk, he assembled them into Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs. “MacArthur Park” took the highest “honor,” but funloving Barry offered jabs at several other tunes as well. One was Neil Diamond’s “I Am … I Said,” with Barry citing one particular set of odd lyrics: I am … I said / To no one there / And no one heard at all / Not even the chair.
companion would have sat if there had been one that day. Others have pointed out that Diamond, who is Jewish, may have subconsciously gleaned the chair image from the Passover, which includes Jewish people keeping an empty chair for Elijah, who will eventually announce the coming of the savior. Diamond has since admitted that much of the bulk of his song came from time spent in therapy in Los Angeles: “It was consciously an attempt on my part to express what my dreams were about, what my aspirations were about, and what I was about. And without any question, it came from my sessions with the analyst.” He has since proclaimed, “[‘I Am … I Said’] was by far the most difficult song I have ever written — and probably the best song I have ever written.” By the way, Barry was so overwhelmed by the tsunami of hate mail that flooded in from Diamond’s fans that Barry soon wailed in print, “Please stop writing! You have convinced me! Neil Diamond is a music god!”
Barry’s gleeful response: “What kind of line is that? Is Neil telling us he’s surprised that the chair didn’t hear him? Maybe he expected the chair to say, ‘Woah, I heard that!’” Photo credit: Jessie Eastland OK, funny enough. But a closer look at the song reveals “I Am … I Said” some serious surprises. Neil Diamond Diamond, who was born Noah Kaminsky in New York April 1971 Randal C. Hill is a rock ’n’ roll historian who lives at the in 1941, took a screen test in 1970 in hopes of playing Oregon coast. He may be reached at email@example.com. comedian Lenny Bruce in a forthcoming film. (Dustin Hoffman eventually won the role.) In an interview years later, Diamond described how he had returned to his Los Angeles Holiday Inn room in a funk because he felt (correctly) that he had failed the audition. Sitting alone at a small table with two chairs, he gazed out the window Resource Directory at the world of golden sunshine and palm trees. He was homesick for his native Brooklyn and feared that perhaps he had made a mistake in his recent A yellow-page pullout section of 50plus LIFE! move to California. (In an earlier minor hit, “Brooklyn Roads,” Diamond waxed nostalgic about gazing out the window of his third-floor childhood apartment.) Diamond picked up his guitar and within one hour wrote “I Am … I Said,” which would eventually become his sixth Top 10 single since 1966. He would spend the next four months honing the tune to his satisfaction. Diamond’s label, Uni Records, questioned his line about the chair, but Diamond insisted that it stay. To him, it represented where a hotel-room
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www.homelandathome.org Homeland Hospice: (717) 221-7890 Year Est.: 2008 Homeland HomeCare: (717) 221-7892 Year Est.: 2016 Homeland HomeHealth: (717) 412-0166 Year Est.: 2017 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland*, Dauphin*, Franklin, Fulton, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon*, Northumberland, Perry*, Schuylkill, Snyder, York* *Homeland HomeHealth currently serves five of 13 counties. RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs/Home Aides: Yes Direct Care Workers: Yes PT/OT/Speech Therapists: Yes
Social Workers: Yes Spiritual Counselors: Yes Complementary Therapies: Yes Medicare Certified: Yes Other Certifications and Services: Homeland at Home is a community outreach of Homeland Center, a nonprofit CCRC that has served our region with excellent and benevolent care since 1867. Our expert team is dedicated to providing a continuum of At Home services—from nonmedical personal assistance to skilled nursing and compassionate hospice and palliative care. We are privileged to care for you and your loved ones … any place you call “home.” We offer community and staff educational programs, including a “My Reflections” end-of-life planning workshop, as well as 15 unique bereavement support groups.
Year Est.: 1968 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Lancaster, York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: No
Surrey Home Care Services
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Year Est.: 1981 Counties Served: Chester, Delaware, Montgomery RNs: Yes LPNs: No CNAs: Yes Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified: No
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Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified: Yes Other Certifications and Services: Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and medical social work.
Other Certifications and Services: Surrey, a nonprofit, provides in-home services including personal care, social companions, medical procedure transportation, geriatric care management, RN care management, and live-in caregivers. Surrey caregivers regularly go through a rigorous screening process and follow CDC protocols to maintain the highest standards of health.
OSS Health at Home
Year Est.: 2013 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland, Lancaster, York RNs: Yes LPNs: Yes CNAs: Yes
Home Aides: Yes Medicare Certified?: No Other Certifications and Services: PennCares offers in-home nonmedical support to older adults and individuals with disabilities. If your loved one needs more help than you are able to provide ... we’re here for you.
Year Est.: 2001 Counties Served: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, 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.
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(717) 406-2537 www.patriothomecare.org Year Est.: 2018 Counties Served: Adams, Berks, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, York RNs: No LPNs: No CNAs: No Home Aides: Yes
Medicare Certified?: No Other Certifications and Services: Act 150, Aging Waiver, OBRA Waiver, COMMCARE Waiver, Independent Waiver, and Attendant Care Waiver. Meal prep, companionship, light housekeeping, laundry, medication reminders, errands, bathing, community engagement, and personal care.
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On Life and Love after 50
8 Ways for Single Seniors to Meet Potential Partners
As the pandemic eases, seniors will be able to start dating in person before long. But where should they go to meet potential partners? David, one of my readers, suggested four places older adults seeking women might visit to improve their chances of meeting a mate. And then read on for four additional suggestions that will improve anyone’s chance of meeting a potential partner:
Owning a dog is a big responsibility, however. So, don’t get one only because it might attract a partner; be sure you understand the responsibilities of owning a dog.
1. Restaurants, bars, and clubs – David said, “I met my late wife in a restaurant where neither of us had ever eaten.” With seniors receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and states lifting restrictions, restaurants, bars, and clubs will reopen for interior gatherings; they will once again be productive places to meet female or male partners.
8. Get out of the house – Meet new people. Make new friends. Pursue activities you enjoy, such as cooking classes, dance classes, library classes, home improvement lectures, golf lessons, volunteer opportunities — the list is endless.
2. Flower and plant nurseries – David added, “Last spring, I visited a large flower nursery with hundreds of flowers, plants, herbs, and vegetables for my English gardens. There were very few men shopping there. I talked with approximately 30 different women.” 3. Bookstores (yes, they still exist, but are fading away) – David said, “When I stopped at a Barnes & Noble to review new books by my favorite authors, I was the only man there. However, there were many women present, receptive to engaging in conversations. Bed Bath & Beyond is another place like that.” 4. Antique stores and antique shows – David wrote, “While shopping in an antique store and attending antique shows, I was often the only man present with numerous women in attendance.” 5. Wear a baseball cap with a logo on the front – A woman emailed to share how she met her new love. She was in a California bar with a group of women friends from Michigan. A guy came in wearing a University of Michigan block M on his hat. Her friends started a conversation with him. She and the guy now live together, due to that conversation-starting logo on his hat. 6. Get a dog – People love dogs. Walking a dog often draws positive comments from dog lovers.
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7. Become a dance host on a cruise ship – That’s what, Chris, a buddy of mine, did after a divorce. He danced with Tina, a woman from England, who became his wife 14 years later.
Get off the couch and out of the house. It’s the most important thing a person can do, not just to meet a potential mate, but to enrich one’s life. For dating information, previous articles, or to sign up for Tom’s complimentary, weekly e-newsletter, go to findingloveafter50.com.
1 in 5 Adults is a Caregiver. All Need Products and Services to Help Them on Their Journeys.
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Features: • Informative Articles • Directory of Providers • Ancillary and Support Services
View the 2020 edition online at www.BusinessWomanPA.com
Ad Materials Deadline — May 14, 2021 To be included in the July 2021 edition, please call 717.285.1350 or email info@BusinessWomanPA.com
TV Therapy for Classic Television Stars Nick Thomas
Back in 2019, actor/ writer/producer Terry Ray convinced Erin Murphy — best known for playing baby Tabitha in Bewitched — to reprise her role in a short five-minute web skit in which her nowadult character seeks out a therapist (played by Ray) to deal with childhood issues lingering from growing up as the Terry Ray, as the therapist, with daughter of Darrin and Tabitha (Erin Murphy) from Bewitched. Samantha Stephens. It was the beginning of a web series called TV Therapy that has delighted fans of classic television. “One day my dad came into the room, and he was a completely different person,” proclaims Tabitha to Dr. Stephen Nielson, Ray’s therapist character in the series. Fans of Bewitched will immediately understand the humorous implication. Ray followed up with another fun therapy session featuring Dawn Wells as Mary Ann of Gilligan’s Island fame discussing her issues resulting from the harrowing years stranded on a desert island. The series is available on Ray’s YouTube channel. “Don’t ever take a vacation in Hawaii, and if you do, don’t take the harbor cruise,” advises Mary Ann from the therapist’s couch. “We shot the ones with Erin and Dawn in the home of Billy Clift, the director, pre-COVID,” explained Ray from his home in Palm Springs. “Then COVID hit, but they were so much fun I wanted to do more and realized I could via Zoom.” He followed up in 2020 with episodes featuring Butch Patrick (Eddie from The Munsters), Kathy Garver (Cissy from Family Affair), and others.
“I’m a classic TV fan and came up with the therapy sessions as a fun way to explore the characters today,” said Ray, who wrote all the scripts. “I had no budget and don’t make any money from the series — everyone volunteered their time because we knew how much the fans would enjoy it.” Photos courtesy of Terry Ray. Ray was devastated Dawn Wells, as a patient, and Terry Ray, when he learned of as the therapist, in Ray’s TV Therapy series. Dawn Wells’s death from COVID in late December last year. The two became friends after he wrote and appeared in the short 2015 film with Wells, She’s Still on That Freakin’ Island, in which Ray’s character is washed ashore to find Mary Ann still a castaway. “With the stress of COVID, I, like so many, found comfort tuning in to classic television — the shows that made us feel happy and safe in our youth and still do,” said Ray. “On a sad note, TV Therapy was one of the very last performances of the wonderful Dawn Wells before we lost her to COVID. Dawn really embraced the role of Mary Ann and helped keep the show alive for fans for 50 years.” Ray plans to keep classic TV show memories alive for fans, too, by continuing his TV Therapy series in 2021 (see terryray.tv). “I’ve got new shows planned and written and hope to keep it going for several more seasons.” Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 850 newspapers and magazines.
Preretirement Webinars Scheduled Individuals who are near retirement or recently retired can receive Medicare information and learn to better navigate the Medicare system during one of several webinars planned for this spring and summer. These free events will be held 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, April 29, May 27, June 24, and July 22, via Zoom. The York County Area Agency on Aging APPRISE program will present the webinars. APPRISE is the state health insurance counseling program for all Medicare beneficiaries in Pennsylvania. Seminar topics to be covered include: • Review of Medicare benefits
• Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plan coverage options • Medicare prescription drug coverage and tools to navigate the “Drug Plan Finder” • Medicare savings programs • Medicare preventive services • Supplemental insurance/Medigap plans • MyMedicare.gov and other technological tools Preregistration and a valid email address are required. Call (717) 771-9008 or (800) 632-9073 or email email@example.com for registration and further information. www.50plusLifePA.com
How to Detect Parkinson’s Disease Jim Miller
Dear Savvy Senior, What are the early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease? I was just diagnosed with it after noticing hand tremors for nearly a year, but looking back, I’m wondering if I missed any other early warning signs. – Tremoring Tom
Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
Dear Tom, The holy grail in any progressive disease is to find it early enough to start effective treatment before irreversible damage has occurred. But recognizing the early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease is challenging because they’re usually subtle and can be easily overlooked, dismissed, or even misdiagnosed. Parkinson’s disease, which afflicts around 1 million Americans, is a degenerative disorder that occurs when the brain’s dopamine-producing neurons die or become impaired. This happens in the part of the brain that controls movement, which can cause tremors (or shaking), stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. The symptoms usually begin gradually and get worse over time, and the progression of symptoms is often different from one person to another. Some people with Parkinson’s become severely disabled, while others may experience only minor motor disruptions. While the cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, scientists believe genetics and environmental factors (exposure to certain toxins) play a key role. Most people with Parkinson’s first develop the disease around age 60 or older, and men are more likely to develop it than are women. Early Warning Signs Parkinson’s disease is difficult to diagnose because there’s no definitive test to confirm it. Doctors, usually neurologists, will do an examination and evaluate a combination of warning signs, but symptoms can vary greatly by patient, which often leads to confusion and misdiagnosis. That said, here are some of the key signs and symptoms everyone should know.
Trouble sleeping: Thrashing around in bed or acting out dreams — kicking or punching — when asleep is a REM-sleep behavior disorder and one of the strongest and earliest pre-diagnostic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
usually happens at rest, and when you move the extremity, it may disappear. This is the most common and recognizable outward sign of Parkinson’s disease, but by the time tremors start, the brain has already lost more than half of its dopamine-producing cells. Slowed movement: Over time, Parkinson’s disease can slow movements, making simple tasks difficult and time consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
Speech changes: These differences can include speaking softly, speaking quickly, slurring, or hesitating before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections. Loss of automatic movements: You may notice a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, like blinking, smiling, or swinging your arms when you walk. Impaired posture and balance: Stooping, leaning, or slouching when you stand and/or balance problems can all be a sign of Parkinson’s. Treatments Currently, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are a variety of medications that can provide relief from the symptoms. In some later cases, surgery may be advised. Other treatments include lifestyle modifications, like getting more rest and exercise. For more information, visit the Parkinson’s Foundation at parkinson.org or call its helpline at (800) 4PD-INFO. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit savvysenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior book.
Loss of smell: Not being able to smell certain foods very well, like bananas, dill pickles, or licorice, is one of the earliest symptoms. Constipation: Problems with digestion and bowel movements are a big problem for people with Parkinson’s and an early sign that can occur up to 20 years before this disease is diagnosed.
Changes in handwriting: Writing may become harder to do, and your handwriting may appear much smaller than it has in the past. Tremors: A slight shaking or tremor in your finger, thumb, hand, or chin www.50plusLifePA.com
Skyscraper City By Andrea Gross
A welcome breeze cools the air as The First Lady, a sightseeing boat operated by the Chicago Architectural Foundation, cruises down the main branch of the Chicago River. I look up. There’s the Wrigley Building, topped with a clock tower modeled on one in Spain. Over there is the Trump Tower, 92 stories of stainless steel and tinted glass, and in the distance is the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which, at 110 stories, is one of the tallest buildings in North America. The skyscrapers are even more impressive when seen from the river than from land, and it’s obvious why this cruise regularly ranks among Chicago’s top tourist attractions. Yet, while it’s billed as an architectural tour, the title is misleading. Architecture is simply the prism through which passengers learn about the history, culture, and
Chicago’s skyline is a dramatic backdrop to Lake Michigan.
Cruises along the Chicago River are among Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions.
economy of the city. Our guide explains that the Great Fire of 1871 left Chicago in shambles but, at the same time, allowed people to build a new type of city. Unfettered by streets filled with 18thcentury buildings, architects could use innovations in technology and engineering to create an environment that would reflect modern sensibilities. In 1885 the 10-story Home Insurance Building became the world’s first skyscraper. Skyscrapers enabled large concentrations of people to live and work in a small area. In addition, since businesses could consolidate many offices into one building, big corporations began to replace mom-and-pop stores. As the boat continues, we see evidence of Chicago’s commercial and financial history. We pass a long turn-of-the-century
What to Expect If You Get the Vaccine The vaccines against COVID-19 are here, but many of us have lots of questions about the process of getting the shot. Here’s what CNN has to say about what to expect: Be prepared. Wherever you’re getting your shot, find out what you should do beforehand. Ask what kind of paperwork or ID you should bring. Get as many questions as possible answered before showing up so you don’t take up too much time while other people are waiting. Be ready to wait when you arrive. Wear your mask. You still need to wear your mask when you get vaccinated, whether you’re going to a pharmacy, a hospital, your doctor’s office, or a drive-thru site. Maintain social-distancing protocols as well. Don’t panic over side effects. The shot itself is just like any other injection. You may feel soreness or have swelling or redness at the spot of the injection. Some people develop headaches, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. In most cases these are minor inconveniences. Get some extra rest, and take Tylenol or ibuprofen for any pain.
Wait after the shot. You’ll be asked to wait 15–20 minutes after receiving your shot to see if you have an allergic reaction. This is very rare, though. You’ll probably be asked to hang out in an observation area or in your car if you’re at a drive-thru site. If you have a history of severe allergic reactions to food or other medications, you may be asked to wait for 30 minutes after the vaccination before heading home. Get the second shot. One shot offers some protection against the coronavirus, but two are required for optimal safety. The second shot will come three to four weeks after the first, depending on the vaccine manufacturer’s guidelines. Keep exercising caution. After the second shot, it takes about two weeks to receive maximum protection, so keep wearing your mask and practicing social distancing. Even after two weeks, you’re not 100% protected, and you may still be able to carry and transmit the coronavirus to others. Continue to avoid crowds, wash hands, and wear masks. www.50plusLifePA.com
building once owned by Montgomery Ward, one of the country’s biggest retailers, as well as the Merchandise Mart, which, at 3.5 million square feet, was the largest building in the world when it opened in 1930. In 2007, in a prime example of how buildings can be modified to reflect societal values, the Mart became the world’s largest LEED-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental and Design for Existing Buildings) certified building. The next day we go on a “Highlights by Bus” tour to Hyde Park, where we see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. In addition to showcasing the architect’s famed Prairie style, the house, built between 1908 and 1910,
Chicago’s skyscrapers look especially tall when viewed from the river.
It’s easy to see why Chicago is often called Skyscraper City.
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foreshadows two new trends in American life: people’s fascination with cars and their desire to have a less formal lifestyle. The house features a large garage and an open floor plan. The small parlor and series of small rooms that were typical of older homes began to evolve into a more freeThe Willis Tower measures 1,450 feet without flowing space. the antennas, 1,729 feet including the antennas. I’m not a joiner, but if I lived in Chicago, I’d take every one of the tours offered by the Chicago Architectural Center (architecture.org). As it is, I’ll have to content myself with taking as many as possible when I’m in town as a visitor.
Robie House is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most memorable structures.
Photos ©Irv Green unless otherwise noted; story by Andrea Gross (andreagross. com). traveltizers.com
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The Beauty in Nature
Native Woodland Wildflowers Clyde McMillan-Gamber
Early in April in southeastern Americans in this area used that sap as a dye Pennsylvania, many green shoots emerge on clothing and pottery. from crunchy carpets of dead, fallen leaves Each spring beauty plant has two or on woodland floors and push toward the three grass-like leaves and a few small, sunlight. pink flowers. Patches of pretty spring Those dead-leaf coverings sheltered the beauty blooms create lovely wild gardens of bulbs of those sprouts all winter. Now those themselves in the woods. American Indians bulbs are starting to grow green leaves and boiled the little bulbs of this attractive plant flower buds, and those buds on a variety and ate them. of ground-hugging, small plants will soon Each trout lily plant has two speckledopen and reveal lovely, native woodland green and maroon leaves and a single yellow wildflowers under bare deciduous trees. blossom. Many of these flat plants growing in Some of those perennial flowering plants patches of themselves in moist, bottomland are bloodroots, spring beauties, trout lilies, woods cause striking spectacles of beauty. Dutchman’s breeches, Virginia bluebells, Dutchman’s breeches are an unusual and erect trilliums, all of which have pretty kind of small plant that grows in clumps Virginia bluebells carpet a forest floor. blossoms. on woodland floors. Each plant of this All those early-blooming woodland floor species has delicate, fernlike leaves and a row plants, except bluebells and trilliums, are of small, white flowers on a stem arching small and simple. Those simple plants grow over those leaves. Each bloom resembles close to dead-leaf blankets to avoid cold pantaloons on a wash line or molar teeth winds in April and yet get warmth from complete with two “roots” pointing upward. direct sunlight as well as the fallen leaves that The lush foliage on Virginia bluebells is radiate the sun’s heat they absorbed. large for this grouping of wildflowers. And Deciduous woodland floors are warmer bluebells grow clusters of pink buds that grow in April than any other time of year. That’s and open to be beautiful blue blossoms. because deciduous trees are still bare of Every erect trillium plant has three leaves, foliage until the end of that month, allowing three sepals that protected the white flowers sunlight to shine directly on woodland floors, until they opened, and three petals on each warming the bulbs and sprouts so they grow bloom. Bluebells and trilliums both bloom at quickly. the same time and often in the same places, Each bloodroot plant has a single white creating attractive bouquets of wildflowers flower and one scalloped leaf that curves that seem to reflect the blue sky with puffy Bloodroot blooms. halfway around the bloom. The beautiful white clouds. blossom on each bloodroot at first resembles Look for these wildflowers and others a tiny white tulip. But when the flower fully opens, it looks like a daisy. when walking in local woods this spring or succeeding ones. These blossoms Bloodroot gets its name from the red-orange sap in its root. Native help make outings more enjoyable.
A nature blog by Clyde McMillan-Gamber, retired Lancaster County Parks naturalist and longtime 50plus LIFE columnist
Each story is like a walk with your own naturalist. NaturesWondersByClyde.BlogSpot.com
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The Beach Boys Crowd Bill Levine
COVID’s social distancing has been an anathema for those real crowd lovers. You know, those ultra-social creatures who wade into the July Fourth Boston Pops concert on the esplanade to claim their 1 square foot of personal space. I do not seek out crowds, though, and thus have not been laid too terribly low by outdoor gatherings reduced to dinner-table size. But one of my endorphin-boosting tricks is to focus on a shoehorned Beach Boys crowd in August 2018 at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. Thinking about this event still gives me good, blissful vibrations more than two years out. In the last 15 years, going to Hampton Beach is a once-a-year solo pilgrimage, a very special hour’s drive from suburban Boston. It’s solo because my wife doesn’t admire the honkytonk Hampton. I always park in a lot behind the Hampton Beach Casino, a block-long wooden structure and the focal point of the Hampton Beach Boardwalk. The casino building itself is a retro beachside experience with family restaurants,
mini golf, souvenir shops, and jewelry stores. The centerpiece is the ballroom on the second floor. On the eve of the concert, I got to Hampton Beach early, around 6 p.m. It was too late to join my two friends for dinner at a rare, tableclothed boardwalk restaurant. Instead, I grabbed a sub from one of the boardwalk cubby-hole takeouts and watched the teeming midsummer crowd settle into evening routines: the departing sunbathers cramming coolers and beach umbrellas into hatchbacks and the early-dining couples walking hand in hand to boardwalk eateries. After soaking in the early-evening atmosphere, I met my friends at the ballroom’s entrance, and we slowly made our way to the ballroom amidst hundreds of baby boomers anticipating some high notes of nostalgia in the perfect setting of a crowded beach venue. My first high-note experience of the Beach Boys in a crowd was in my basement as a 14-year-old. At a junior high dance I won a The Beach Boys in Concert album via a raffle
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drawing. The album upped my record collection to about 12, none skipping from too much playing. But The Beach Boys in Concert got a lot of play in my basement. All the radio hits were on the LP, but my listening was enhanced by the synergy of the crowd and the live music, which created a more real-music experience than my stereo-alone production could provide. About eight years later, I got to attend a real, live Beach Boys concert in central Maine. According to the internet, the concert took place on May 13, 1973, at my college. The internet provides the playlist from the concert, but I can’t remember any one particular song. I do remember being part of a large outdoor crowd that grooved out to surf music in the periphery of the Maine woods. There was a specialness to experiencing rock legends — even if a little faded — outdoors with 1,000 other fellow students. Back in 2018, once I was seated in the casino ballroom, I realized that “ballroom” is not really an appropriate name, as the spaciousness and eloquence associated with a ballroom are nonexistent. There were 1,800 crowded seats organized into about six or seven very elongated rows. They appeared to be all filled up. The two long bars were squeezed into the SRO area in back. The only open space was the large stage, which could hold a rock orchestra. The scene could be a claustrophobic’s nightmare. For me, it was a delight to be wedged into such a Photo credit: Louise Palanker, https://www.flickr.com/photos/louisepalanker/7300276172/ likeminded crowd, The Beach Boys during their 2012 reunion. one that spent the ’60s channel-surfing for this group on the AM band. Twenty loud songs later, I left the ballroom, stringing together past and present into a nostalgic chain of contentment that I have worn for the past two years. The Beach Boys band featured only Mike Love and Bruce Johnson from the original group. It didn’t matter, though, because the sounds were authentic enough to evoke my 1960s life, from report cards to draft cards. Several songs had an indelible memory, like remembering hearing “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” at 15 in summer camp and wondering whether its “stay the night together” lyrics were ushering in a post-PG-era manifesto. Just as important, I was witnessing this reminiscing in tandem with my Are you 62+ or baby boomer cohort. We were still 18 to 61 with lighting up the dark together, but it permanent was with camera-phone flashes, rather disabilities? than the cigarette lighters of the ’70s. Welcome to your new home! I had an hour’s late-night ride back to my home, but I didn’t mind utilities included! Look at all we have to offer ... this coffee-less trek. I felt great that Newly Renovated Units, I could pronounce my formerly Fitness Center, expensive $75 ticket: priceless. Service Coordinator, and More ... Bill Levine is a retired IT professional and active freelance writer. Bill aspires to be a humorist because it is easier to be pithy than funny. He may be reached at email@example.com.
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The Mystery Pain of Small-Fiber Neuropathy Suzy Cohen
There is neuropathy, and then there is small-fiber neuropathy! These conditions are different. Do not dismiss what I’m about to share because you think it’s no different from typical neuropathy. This is a very important article because it will help so many people who are suffering and don’t know what they have! You might very well have small-fiber neuropathy, and if you ignore it, in time it will lead to bigger problems all over your body. But if you read this today and get proper treatment and help, it is very treatable. I want to give you hope while educating you about the disorder. Only the small cutaneous (skin) nerves are affected in SFN. The main difference between SFN and typical peripheral neuropathy is that SFN attacks the small, unmyelinated fibers — hence the name “small-fiber neuropathy” — and it begins with sensations in your toes and feet. Most other types of neuropathy have some degree of demyelination occurring (damage to the protective myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers), but again, the fibers destroyed in SFN are not myelinated, so this condition does not respond to methylated vitamin B12 like you might suspect. Here are a few common symptoms of SFN: • Internal vibration or restlessness • Pins and needles • Numbness • Muscle aches • Electric-shock sensations in the body • Trigeminal neuralgia • Redness on the feet, termed erythromelalgia • GI motility problems • Postural orthostatic hypotension (POTS)
• Bladder problems • Dysautonomia Erythromelalgia is fairly hallmark, and the condition is characterized by episodes of redness, heat, pain, or mild swelling, usually in the feet, although it could be the hands or anywhere in the body. It’s usually triggered by raising your body temperature, which means you may exit a nice, hot shower, hot tub, or steam room and discover one or both feet have turned red, for example. It’s temporary and likely goes away in a few minutes. Testing for SFN requires a skin biopsy, and there are now amazing new test kits available that a physician can order. If your doctor does a regular EMG (electromyography) study on you, it will be normal. That’s the frustrating and confusing part: SFN does not show up on conventional EMG studies or nerve-conduction studies. The causes of SFN vary and may be tied to infections, such as Lyme disease or shingles, or endocrine conditions like diabetes. Another frequent but hardto-pinpoint cause is autoimmunity. Furthermore, 40% of people with fibromyalgia are thought to suffer with some degree of SFN. One more interesting cause for this uncomfortable condition is the use of (or withdrawal from) SSRI antidepressants. As for treatment, it varies based upon the etiology. We see best effects from intravenous immunoglobulins (IV IG), as well as anti-seizure drugs like pregabalin and gabapentin. I’ve written a more comprehensive article discussing more symptoms and treatments, as well as proper testing. I will email it to you if you sign up for my free newsletter. To do that, visit my website, suzycohen.com. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit suzycohen.com.
‘Whence Proceeds the Custom of Making April Fools?’ The April Fools’ Day tradition has been around since at least the 15th century (with a possible reference to it appearing in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales), and the question of how it began has been asked almost as long. A letter to the British magazine Apollo in 1807 wondered, “Whence proceeds the custom of making April Fools?” The usual explanation involves the calendar. The Julian calendar began the new year on March 25, and festivals celebrating it were typically held on April 1. When the world began changing over to the Gregorian calendar, which places New Year’s Day on Jan. 1, pranksters sometimes tried to fool their friends and neighbors into thinking that April 1
was still the first day of the year. In the 18th century, some believed that April Fools’ Day dated back to the days of Noah and the flood. A newspaper article published in 1789 suggested that Noah sent the first birds off to look for land too soon and that he launched them on the first day of the Hebrew month corresponding with April. Coincidentally, in 1933 a newspaper in Cologne ran a story about the discovery of Noah’s Ark by an expedition sponsored by the “Royal Yalevard University” in Massachusetts, led by “Professor Mud” and “Professor Stoneass.” The story appeared on April 1; on April 8, the paper admitted the joke, but other publications printed the story as if it were genuine. www.50plusLifePA.com
Most Stressful Year Ever? 2020 Ranks High; 1862 Highest The year that just ended may have been the most traumatic that most of us can remember, but it is not the most stressful year ever, according to an international panel of historians asked to judge the matter. That title belongs to 1862, the darkest year of the Civil War, which has been deemed the most stressful in U.S. history by the 28 American and British historians consulted by Bloom, a self-therapy app. 1348, meanwhile, has been judged the worst year in world history, since it saw the peak of the Black Death, which killed some third of the population of Europe and the Middle East.
world had come. 6. 2020 – The world battled the global pandemic of COVID-19; over a million died.
“2020 has been the perfect storm of stress,” says Dr. Seth Gillihan, clinical psychologist, author, and Bloom’s head of therapy. “It’s brought disease, deaths, lockdowns, job losses, and financial stress, plus culture wars and bitter political divisions. The only small consolation might be that we now have better tools than we used to for dealing with it.” The 28 historians consulted by Bloom The War for the Union, 1862 – A Bayonet Charge by Winslow Homer. Most Stressful Years in U.S. History were from universities including Yale, At least one historian chose each of Stanford, Cornell, Chicago, and John the following years, ranked in order of which years were chosen by the most Hopkins in the U.S., and Oxford, Cambridge, London Manchester, and historians: Nottingham in the U.K., plus some independent historical authors. “The devastation wrought by the Black Death in 1348 was so absolute that it 1. 1862 – The darkest year of the Civil War, when it was clear the price paid was hard to choose any other year as the worst in world or British history,” says had already been high, but the Union might still break apart permanently. Philip Parker, consultant historian on the study. 2. 1929 – The Wall Street Stock Market crash sparked the start of the Great Parker drew up three separate lists of at least 10 candidates for the title of Depression that would last much of the 1930s. “most stressful year” in the history of, respectively, the world; of what is now Britain, from the dawn of recorded history; and of what is now the United 3. 1838 – The still-new U.S. starts pushing thousands of Cherokees out from States, from the time of the first European settlers. their lands in midwinter on the murderous trek known as the “Trail of Participating historians were asked to pick the one year that, in their Tears”; thousands die. opinion, was “likely to have been the toughest, most difficult, and most 4. 1919 – This year included the Spanish Flu (which killed 675,000 stressful individual year for those who lived through it.” Americans), race riots, labor strikes, and the start of Prohibition, all with the The earliest year in Parker’s list of 10 candidates for the most stressful U.S. still reeling from the trauma of World War I. in world history was 1177 BC — the year of the Late Bronze Age collapse, when the Sea Peoples invaded the New Kingdom of Egypt as part of a wave 5. 1968 – A year of riots, protests, violence, and the assassinations of both Dr. of nomad invasion Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. that devastated the 6. 1962 – The year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Cold War almost Assyrians, Hittites, turned hot. and other major 7. 2001 – America was shaken by the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. cultures of the Near mainland. East and heralded an age of chaos. 8. 2020 – America recorded more COVID-19 deaths than any country as The most recent unemployment soared, political divides worsened, and the presidential year was 2020, when election was supremely bitter. the world fought the global pandemic Most Stressful Years in World History of COVID-19 1348 was the clear winner, but at least one historian chose each of the and suffered over following years, ranked in order: a million deaths, 1. 1348 – Peak year of the Black Death, which killed a third of the population combined with huge economic and social across Europe and the Middle East — up to 200 million died. Long Term Care t Medicare Supplement disruption. 2. 1944 – The Holocaust at its height; Europe engulfed in war.
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Bloom is the selftherapy app that uses personalized video sessions to help users cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. www.enjoybloom.com
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Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori
The Fine Art of Lighting Lori Verderame
Rembrandt van Rijn’s paintings are famous for their luminosity. When considering works by the Dutch master in major international museums, you might agree with most people who think a Rembrandt painting looks pretty good in any light! I agree with that statement. For art lovers, it is important to remember there are certain methods to properly light your masterpiece. While Rembrandt’s paintings seemingly glow of their own accord, various light sources are employed when masterpieces are installed in museums. The methods used by museum professionals and exhibition-design experts regarding how to light works of art may help you to properly and safely light a work of art in your home. In short, lighting a work of fine art is both critical and complex. Lighting is critical to the overall preservation of the work of art, and it is complex when you try to get it right. With fine art, even the slightest difference in the direction of the light source and the type of light
selected (e.g., fluorescent, incandescent, halogen, led, natural, etc.) can make all the difference in the world. Like anything else, art lighting is all about compromise. The basics for lighting artwork in your home include: use low-watt bulbs, don’t display art in direct sunlight, and don’t keep fragile works on display in highly lit areas for long periods of time.
Photo credit: Staff photographer, www.DrLoriV.com
Hang works of art on interior walls of your home, out of the way of direct sunlight or artificial light sources.
Natural Beauty Most people think that natural light is the best light in which to display a work of art. Most artists are trained in art schools flooded with natural light, and many artists prefer to paint works directly from nature in the outdoors or en plein aire where sunlight is abundant, but sunlight is not the best lighting option for your collection. Sunlight or natural light is difficult to control. Exposing your work of art to sunlight may cause deterioration problems for artwork, particularly paintings, photographs, prints, watercolors, pastels,
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and other works on paper. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural sunlight can damage works of art over time. For instance, UV rays are so harmful that they can fade works on paper. Fading of artwork from light exposure, including both direct and indirect sunlight, may occur in as short a time span as three months. Also, with many home-design schemes looking to mixed-media works of art for display, such as textiles serving as dramatic wall decorations, remember that these items will fade in sunlight too. That means it’s not a good idea to hang your great-grandma’s colorful quilt or vintage craft pieces, like embroidery or needlepoint pictures, on the prominent wall of your sunny family room that faces a big picture window. Any source of light may cause fading and damage to works, from oil paintings to historic maps. Light Bright While advanced technology and a litany of new products are continuously coming to market, the big three in art lighting remain incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen. What happens to the look of a work of art when selecting a particular lighting type? Incandescent light brings out the warmer colors of the color spectrum, such as reds, oranges, and yellows. But if you have a seascape composed of predominantly blues and greens, then an incandescent light won’t highlight all of those cool colors. In fact, the blues, greens, and violets of your artwork may appear flat under incandescent lights. These lights are better than direct natural light or fluorescent lights that may not emit light across the entire color spectrum, but incandescent lights don’t provide the easy answer to the general art-lighting problem. Protect Grandpa You should know that the old-fashioned portrait light that you may have
attached to the top of a framed painting of your great-grandpa is very harmful. That little light source, depending on the bulb, may be emitting intense light and heat onto your oil portrait, which will damage and devalue the work of art quickly. Light your artwork properly, and your collection will repay you with years of enjoyment. Dr. Lori Verderame is the award-winning Ph.D. antiques appraiser on History channel’s The Curse of Oak Island. Visit drloriv.com and youtube.com/drloriv or call (888) 431-1010.
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Social Security News
By John Johnston
3 Ways to Fight Scammers Targeting Social Security Benefits
Scammers are always finding new ways to steal your money and personal information by exploiting your fears. The most effective way to defeat scammers is to know how to identify scams and to ignore suspicious calls and emails. One common tactic scammers use is posing as federal agents and other law enforcement. They may claim your Social Security number is linked to a crime. They may even threaten to arrest you if you do not comply with their instructions. Here are three things you can do:
There are a few ways you can identify a scam call or email. Remember that we will never: • Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card • Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem
• Hang up right away or do not reply to the email.
• Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email
• Never give personal information, money, or retail gift cards. • Report the scam at oig.ssa.gov immediately to Social Security’s law enforcement team at the Office of the Inspector General. You should continue to remain vigilant of phone calls when someone says there’s a problem with your Social Security number or your benefits. If you owe money to Social Security, we will mail you a letter explaining your rights, payment options, and information about appealing.
If you do not have ongoing business with our agency, it is unlikely we will contact you. Again, if you get a suspicious call claiming to be from Social Security, you should hang up and report it right away to our Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov. John Johnston is a Social Security Public Affairs specialist.
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We have many variety shows featuring the music from the 1930s to the 60s. Songs by legendary artists like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Kay Starr, Dean Martin, Patsy Cline, and the Mills Brothers.
Because in print or online, newspapers are
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To advertise your products and services, call 717-285-1350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Sources: 1Coda Ventures; 2NAA
Specialty shows include …
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Phone: (717) 846-6126
E-mail: email@example.com www.50plusLifePA.com
Back on the Road: A Driver’s License Guide for Seniors The majority of driver’s licenses in the United States are issued to teens and young adults under the age of 25. However, senior citizens who have taken hiatuses from driving may find themselves needing to get back on the road. Driving can provide a lot of independence to these individuals who may not be able to get around effectively on foot. If you’re a senior looking to pass your driving test and get back on the road, you’re in luck! While each state handles this matter a bit differently, all DMV offices generally test for the same general topics. In this piece, we’ll discuss some of those specifics, as well as what you can expect when taking the driving test as a senior citizen. Do driving tests differ based on my age? Most states do not offer separate driving tests based on age. You will be given the same test as everyone else applying for a driver’s license. How often am I required to renew my license as a senior? This answer varies state to state and will also depend on your specific age. Generally, your driver’s license will expire sometime between the ages of 6065, and you will be required to renew every three to 12 years, depending on local legislation. Do I need to get a learner’s permit before getting a driver’s license as a senior? No, you will not need to obtain your learner’s permit before applying for your driver’s license in virtually any of the 50 states. These permits are reserved to teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 18. Will I be required to complete supervised driving as a senior? The Department of Motor Vehicles in most states will not require you to complete supervised driving unless you have a diagnosed physical or mental health condition. As a healthy senior, you will be allowed to take the vision exam and knowledge exam before sitting for the road test. Will the DMV place restrictions on my license? This will be discussed during your driver’s license application. Common restrictions for older drivers include no freeway driving, no nighttime driving, or additional vehicular equipment needed to improve visibility. You may also be required to wear glasses or corrective lenses while operating a motor vehicle. How do I go about taking the driving test as a senior? You’ll need to apply at the DMV, where you’ll first be given a knowledge test and vision exam. Afterward, you’ll be instructed to schedule a behind-the-wheel examination for a later date. How do I make sure I pass the road test? The only way to drastically increase your odds of passing the road test is by practicing your skills behind the wheel. This is especially true if you’ve spent some years away from driving for whatever reason. While senior citizens aren’t required to complete supervised driving, it may be a good idea to practice with the oversight of a licensed driver. www.50plusLifePA.com
What will I be tested on? As a senior, you will take the standard driving test given to all driver’s license applicants. You will be tested on basic car maneuvers, such as multipoint turns, changing lanes, merging lanes, and parallel parking. See your state’s driver manual for more information. What do I need to bring with me on the day of the test? On the day of your test, you will need several documents along with you in order to be allowed to sit for the exam. If you previously earned a license, you must bring that with you as well, as you must surrender it upon issuance of a new one. Some of the documents that you will need to bring with you are: • Proof of residency • Proof of identity • Proof of citizenship • Medical history • Running vehicle with updated registration, insurance, and inspection • Any other document as required by your state’s DMV office What happens if I fail my test? There is no need to worry — millions of Americans fail their driving test every year. Depending on the state, you may be able to reschedule your exam on the spot. Otherwise, you may be required to wait up to two weeks before retaking the road test. Most states offer up to three retries before having you reapply for licensing altogether. Now that I’ve passed my senior driver’s exam, what’s next? Congratulations! Your test administrator will give you a temporary paper license immediately while you wait for your official ID card. Before leaving the office, you should be clear on any rules and recommendations placed on your driver’s license. This could range anywhere from glasses requirements to restrictions on when you’re able to operate your motor vehicle. Failing to adhere to these orders repeatedly can result in your driving privileges being suspended or revoked altogether. Zutobi Drivers Ed is a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, and Sweden. zutobi.com/us
Information and support whenever you need it View online at: www.onlinepub.com (under supplements)
Planning and Designing a Productive Vegetable Garden
Puzzles shown on page 6.
Whether planning your first, second, or 10th to ensure you have sufficient fresh produce when vegetable garden, it can be overwhelming. There you are ready to can, freeze, and ferment. are so many tasty vegetables and never enough Maximize the available space by growing space and time to grow them all. vertically. Train pole beans, peas, tomatoes, Start with a plan. Locate your garden in a cucumbers, and even squash and melons up sunny location with moist, well-drained soil. trellises. Save those partially sunny areas for greens Growing vertically not only saves space, but like lettuce, chard, and kale, as well as root crops also increases disease resistance by increasing like radishes and beets. These prefer full sun but light and airflow through the plants. And will tolerate more shade than tomatoes, peppers, picking beans at waist height is much easier than squash, broccoli, and other plants from which we harvesting from low-growing, bushy plants. eat the flowers and fruit. Increase space with containers. Consider Review your favorite recipes, and make a growing some of your frequently used herbs and list of family favorites and those vegetables vegetables in pots on the patio, balcony, or deck most often used. Then check the list to see for convenience. You can quickly grab what you which vegetables are suited to your climate and need when creating your favorite meal. growing conditions and those that make the Grow multiple plantings in each row. Start most economic sense to include in your garden. the season with cool-season veggies like lettuce, Tomatoes and peppers produce lots of fruit peas, and radishes. Once the temperatures climb from one plant and are common ingredients and these plants are harvested and enjoyed, in many recipes. Sweet corn is fun to grow but replace them with warm-weather vegetables like needs lots of space for a relatively small harvest. tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, squash, If space is limited, consider buying your sweet and melons. corn at the farmers market and use that space to Finish off the season by filling any vacant grow other edibles. rows with fall crops like greens, beets, and Every gardener struggles with determining radishes. Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Gardener’s Supply Company how many of each type of vegetable to grow. Take some time to plan a garden that will Incorporate trellises into garden plans so beans, peas, This depends upon the productivity of the provide you and your family with fresh produce tomatoes, and even squash can be trained variety selected, your family’s eating habits, you can enjoy all season long. Involving to grow vertically. and, of course, the impact of weather on the everyone in the planning process just might get harvest. them to show up and help weed. It is always better to start small, build on Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening your successes, and expand the garden in the future. Track your planting and books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses’ How to Grow harvesting results to help when planning future gardens. Anything DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV You will need to plant more if you plan to preserve or donate a portion of and radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms your harvest. Purchasing vegetables from your local farmers market is a way magazine. melindamyers.com
Retirement Brings Extra Time — Make the Best of It Singer Jim Croce longed to put time in a bottle. Retirees aren’t always certain what it is they long to do with time, but one day they stop working and find they have a barrelful of it. “People often are so focused on making sure they are financially ready to retire that they forget to plan for what they want to do in retirement,” says Patti Hart, co-author with her husband, Milledge, of The Resolutionist: Welcome to the AntiRetirement Movement. “And they may have more time to fill than they realize. Life expectancy has grown, and retirements that last 20 years, 30 years, or longer aren’t that unusual. So you have to start thinking, what will you do with your time? How do you envision your days playing out?” For the Harts, the answers to those questions involve the “anti-retirement movement,” where retirement is more than a rocking chair on a front porch or endless hours of golf. “We did leave our careers, but we would never call ourselves retired,” Milledge Hart says. “We are busier now than we’ve ever been. The difference is that we are busy doing what brings us joy rather than what advances our careers.” But the transition isn’t always easy, which is why the Harts recommend finding efficient ways to manage that extra time the post-career years bring. Patti Hart cautions that time management does not have to mean blocking out every minute. “For most people, it is just setting goals and priorities, then making sure you plan for how you are going to accomplish them,” she says. “It is being productive with your time.” To do that, the Harts suggest putting yourself into the mindset you had in your working years, such as: Use a calendar. People in a corporate setting rely on calendars to manage their obligations and retirees can as well. “Too often people just think they will remember that they have yoga on Tuesday and Thursday and volunteer at the animal shelter on Wednesday,” Patti Hart says. “But then they add a lunch here or a board meeting there and pretty soon find themselves scurrying from activity to activity.” Checking a calendar each day also lets people know they may need to pull back if they are overcommitted, or they may need to find activities to add if too many empty hours are going to waste. Make a to-do list. A to-do list helps ensure nothing gets forgotten. Just be flexible, Milledge Hart says, because the list is a tool to keep you on track, not a ball and chain to imprison you. “If you’d rather do something else today, feel free to move items to another time or just skip them altogether,” he says. “It’s your list, so it’s your call.” Treat everything like a business appointment. The calendar and the todo list can be filled with things that would never have made a businessperson’s schedule — but may now be high priority for you. “You can pencil in 30 minutes for meditation or an hour to begin reading a James Patterson novel,” Patti Hart says. “Maybe you want to block out Friday afternoon to experiment with a new recipe. These are your preferred ‘appointments’ now and are equal in importance to board meetings or www.50plusLifePA.com
conference calls.” Adapt your system as your needs change. Some people begin retirement doing all the things they had been putting off, such as traveling or fishing more. “But that first burst of activity usually begins to wear off, and you realize you want more from this stage of life,” Milledge Hart says. “At that point it makes sense to reevaluate your resources and goals. Be aware of how you feel about certain activities, and be ready to drop some and pick up others as your time and interests change.” “In the same way that making good financial investments provides you with additional capital, investing your time wisely provides you with more time to do things you really want to do,” Patti Hart says. “And that will make your life so much better.” Patti and Milledge Hart spent more than 30 years as executive leaders in numerous technology and investment banking businesses. Today, in what they refer to as the “Resolutionist” — rather than retirement — phase of their lives, they are applying their resources and skills to advance philanthropic and corporate activities around the globe.
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Informational Meeting Open to Retiring School Employees The Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees will host a free Zoom presentation at 10 a.m. on April 21 for public school retirees and any public school employee who will retire by Dec. 31. Membership is open to retiring teachers, librarians, counselors, nurses, maintenance, custodial, cafeteria, transportation, administration, paraprofessionals, and office staff who want to learn more about PASR’s benefits. PASR office staff will share what the organization has to offer, including activities the chapters provide to their members and communities. Representatives will speak about their specific insurance options available for prospective PASR chapter members. Registration is available on the PASR website at pasr.org. Registration is free and required by April 12. A video link will be emailed to anyone unable to attend the live event who requests it on their registration form. For more information, visit the website or call (717) 697-7077.
The ultimate resource for boomer and senior living and care options. Read it online, in print, and on mobile/tablet devices. onlinepub.com
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From Hare to Eternity: Origins of the Easter Bunny Next to Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is probably the most beloved bringer of gifts to small children. This famous symbol of spring was originally associated with Eostre, a German goddess of fertility who was often depicted with a rabbit companion. Both rabbits and eggs, not surprisingly, are considered symbolic of fertility. The bunny as a symbol of Easter was first mentioned in German writings during the 16th century, and edible bunnies made of pastry and sugar were made in Germany during the 19th century. The Easter Bunny was introduced to American children by German settlers in the Pennsylvania Dutch region in the 1700s. Children were encouraged to build colorful nests and hide them in their homes. If the children had been good, the Osterhase would leave brightly colored eggs in the nests.
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