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Complimentary | May 2021
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giving back to golf page 4
Overcoming the mask: Tips for communicating with a hearing loss page 18
Want or need to retire early? Tips on how to pay for it page 28
Social Security News
By John Johnston
What are Social Security Representative Payees?
Millions of people get monthly Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments. Some need help managing their money. When we receive information that indicates you need help, we’ll assign a representative payee to manage your benefits for you. We try to select someone who knows you and wants to help you. A representative payee receives your monthly benefit payment on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs, including: • Housing and utilities • Food • Medical and dental expenses • Personal care items • Clothing • Rehabilitation expenses (if you’re disabled) If you need help managing your benefits, tell a Social Security representative that there is someone you want to be your representative payee. They should be someone you trust and see often and who clearly understands your needs.
Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be your representative payee. Ask them to contact us. You can write to us within 60 days of being assigned a representative payee if you don’t agree that you need one or if you want a different representative payee. We also offer an option, called advance designation, which allows you to choose a representative payee in advance. In the event you can no longer make your own financial decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits. You can submit your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal My Social Security account at ssa.gov/myaccount, by telephone, or in person. You can find more information at ssa.gov/payee. John Johnston is a Social Security public affairs specialist.
1 in 5 Adults is a Caregiver. All Need Products and Services to Help Them on Their Journeys.
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By Bart A. Stump
laugh. “It really took off, and I’ve been doing it for years.” In retirement, Vadas was inspired some people enjoy to give back to the collecting items, such as sport he loves through stamps or coins. Some his admiration for enjoy activities, like famed golfer and fellow running or bowling. Pennsylvanian Arnold And, still others enjoy Palmer. philanthropic pursuits, “I’m from Latrobe, such as volunteering and he’s from Latrobe. I at soup kitchens or didn’t find out until later collecting supplies that he and I are related; to send to military Vadas alongside his basement’s he’s my cousin,” Vadas personnel overseas. “Arnie wall” and a commemorative set said. Len Vadas, 79, is of Arnold Palmer golf clubs marking “He always said, ‘Give fortunate enough to Palmer’s 50th year as a pro. back to golf.’ He wanted enjoy all three. His to give back to golf passion for golf has led because golf was good to the unique hobby of for him. I took it from collecting golf clubs, there,” Vadas said. many of which he has Vadas is an donated to charitable accomplished golfer, groups to help offset the having played in significant expense of multiple tournaments golf equipment. and scoring three holes Entering Vadas’ York in one over his 50 years County basement, it’s of playing. difficult to take in the “I always wanted scale of his collection. to play golf when I Nearly every available was a kid, but we were foot of floorspace is poor, and my dad said occupied by golf bags I couldn’t play, it’s too loaded with clubs or expensive … So, when I stacks of clubs separated got out of the service, I by type: putters here, said, ‘I want to learn to wedges there, drivers play golf.’” along the wall. He’s been playing ever Golf memorabilia — Vadas with his trophies from the since. including autographed 2019 Vadas Classic. The statue at left is Working as an pictures; hats and his humanitarian achievement award. engineer, Vadas did a lot jackets; trophies; prints “It’s very special to me. That’s the trophy I of traveling and would value the most … I was supposed to give a and paintings; old, speech, and I couldn’t even talk.” stop at area yard sales, wooden-shafted golf thrift shops, and antique clubs; and even a framed shops, picking up clubs. golf jigsaw puzzle — line “My goal was, whenever I retired, I wanted to be the walls. able to donate clubs to different organizations,” he Vadas estimates that he has nearly 2,000 clubs at said. his house and has donated or sold over a thousand In 2015, Vadas was asked to provide clubs for others. a Penn State University affiliate in Croatia. The “I started collecting putters, then wedges and University of Zagreb, a global exchange network putters, then old, wooden-shafted ones … I picked partner with Penn State, wanted to start a golf them up whenever I traveled,” recalled Vadas. program but only had three sets of clubs. “I just started enjoying it, and then I decided Ken Swalgin, Penn State’s associate professor that this was going to be my hobby,” he said with a www.50plusLifePA.com
emeritus of kinesiology and a golf instructor, called “It’s exciting to go to these thrift shops and buy stuff, Vadas, asking if Vadas could supply 16 sets of clubs — and then you come back home and you find out they’re men’s and ladies’, lefts and rights. valuable,” Vadas said. “That’s part of the fun.” Vadas responded that he could get the clubs, but how Vadas once bought six clubs for $120 and discovered would he send them to Croatia? Swalgin’s wife took care that one of them was a George Low Jr. club worth of shipping them. $1,200. About a month later, Vadas received a thank-you There have also been missed opportunities. Once, in package from the University of Zagreb’s director. Martha’s Vineyard, he passed up an adjustable wooden“He sent me a real nice letter and a jacket and shirt shafted club because he didn’t have enough cash on him. from Croatia … So that was really nice of them,” “About a month later, I’m going through a book and recalled Vadas. I find out that club was worth $1,800, and I could’ve Currently, Vadas is parting with some of the used gotten it for $20,” said Vadas, shaking his head. clubs in his collection by selling them online with the When asked if he had a favorite, Vadas pulled out a help of a Penn State York student. But with his eye ever rare Wilson-brand putter designed by Arnold Palmer. toward philanthropy, Vadas gives the student 50% of Unfortunately, Vadas had a second one but inadvertently the sale price to use toward funding his education. sold it in a set of clubs. By his estimate, Vadas has donated thousands of clubs Other favorites are a commemorative collection of to Penn State York since 2011, including a donation of Arnold Palmer clubs and an autographed picture that 200 more in early 2020. Palmer gave Vadas for his 65th birthday. Palmer also Vadas in 2019. Winners in the Vadas “Some of their clubs were missing, and some of the autographed hats and jackets for him when Vadas Classic “get a pink jacket because clubs were broken, so they contacted me,” stated Vadas. attended a Masters Tournament. Arnold Palmer said no man should “I said sure, I’d be happy to donate some clubs.” Vadas also pointed out the sentimental value of his be afraid to wear pink. If I have a Vadas’ efforts have not gone unnoticed. Two years ago, framed hat signed in 1999 by golfer Payne Stewart, who double bogie playing golf, I use a he took first place in his cousin’s tournament, the Vadas died in a plane crash later that year. Additionally, he pink ball to remind me.” Classic in Cleveland, Ohio. Vadas received a trophy values his collection of golf balls from all the courses he and pink jacket for winning but was then blindsided has played during his travels. with a humanitarian achievement award trophy for his Vadas still enjoys getting out on the golf course but is charitable donations to the sport. now more concerned with having fun than keeping score. Golf has provided “It was a surprise; they did it behind my back and got all the information him with a lifetime of gratification. from my wife,” he said with a chuckle. “I just enjoy helping people out, and I want to give back to golf,” Vadas said. Surprises are a large part of the appeal of this hobby. “Golf’s been good to me.”
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Elder Law Attorneys
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Older Americans Month Emphasizes Connection, Engagement Each May, the Administration for Community Living leads the celebration of Older Americans Month. This year’s theme is Communities of Strength, recognizing the important role older adults play in fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities. When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty, and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.” Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every president since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pays tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities. Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM places special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.
Here are some ways to share and connect: Look for joy in the everyday – Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media, or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you. Reach out to neighbors – Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a home-cooked meal. Build new skills – Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community. Have a skill to share? Find an opportunity to teach someone, even casually. Share your story – There’s a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Interviewing family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections. For more resources, visit the official OAM website at acl.gov/oam/2021/ older-americans-month-2021.
Department of Aging Encourages Older Adults to Reach Out for Vaccine Assistance The Pennsylvania Department of Aging encourages older adults seeking a vaccination sites and any site where a vaccine is available to individuals, COVID-19 vaccine appointment to contact their local Area Agency on Aging including pharmacies, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. (AAA) for any assistance they may need in scheduling an appointment. Free transportation to vaccinations may also be available for qualifying “Even though the Department of Health recently ramped up its timetable seniors. for all Pennsylvanians 16 and older to receive Here is the phone number list for the local AAAs vaccinations, we continue to focus on our mission in 50plus LIFE’s coverage area: to get older adults their vaccines, with AAAs Free transportation assisting seniors as much as possible with navigating • Berks County: (610) 478-6500 the vaccination process,” said Secretary of Aging to vaccinations may • Chester County: (610) 344-6350 Robert Torres. • Cumberland County: (717) 240-6110 also be available for In addition to working with vaccine providers • Dauphin County: (717) 780-6130 to schedule appointments for older adults, AAAs qualifying seniors. • Lancaster County: (717) 299-7979 may be able to help with arranging transportation if • Lebanon County: (717) 273-9262 needed. • York County: (717) 771-9610 Shared-ride programs are available in every county, and fixed-route transportation systems statewide offer accessible Learn more about the various programs offered by the Pennsylvania transportation. Department of Aging at aging.pa.gov. Older adults can use these services for assistance in getting to mass
From Firefights to Flies, Peril Came in Many Forms in Vietnam
Hershey resident Charles “Chuck” Bechtel went where he was hanging on the side of a cliff and through intensive training to serve as an Army shaking like a leaf. The sergeant yelled, “Ranger 23, Ranger. This instruction prepared him well for the put your right hand up and grab that rock.” brutal combat he would experience in Vietnam. He But, as Bechtel recalls, “You’d look at that rock survived nasty firefights with the enemy, but his tour and it was the size of a pimple. But that’s the one would be cut short by the bite of a measly insect. you’re supposed to hang onto.” Bechtel was born in 1946 in Ashland, a small Despite the hardships, Bechtel credits the harsh town in Pennsylvania’s coal country. His father, like crucible of Ranger training for teaching him how to almost all men of his generation, served in World be tactically sound — something he would rely upon War II. in the combat to come. Bechtel never really developed an interest in As a new 2nd lieutenant, he was assigned to Fort military service while growing up in Ashland. After Hood, Texas, to command a company of 250 graduating from the local high school in 1964, soldiers in the 2nd Armored Division. This was his family moved to Harrisburg. Bechtel bought normally a captain’s job, and it caused awkward rd Bechtel, third from right, and the 3 Platoon, a red Pontiac GTO convertible despite his father’s moments because he would command soldiers who B Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry warning that he might get drafted. had already served in Vietnam. And some of these Division, near the demilitarized zone in Bechtel moved to Houston, Texas, where he men were highly decorated. Vietnam, 1968. lived with his aunt while taking medical courses “It was an indication, already in 1967, how badly at Methodist Hospital. By June 1966, Bechtel had the Army was bleeding from the Vietnam War. But returned to Pennsylvania. President Johnson refused to call up the reserve He was working as a medical technician at Holy military units because that would have signaled to Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill when he received a Congress and the American people that we were draft notice. Despite the rise of antiwar sentiment indeed at war,” says Bechtel. across America, Bechtel never considered avoiding Bechtel arrived in Vietnam in June 1967. He military service. landed at Cam Ranh Bay but was quickly sent Bechtel was inducted into the Army at the New to Camp Evans, where he was assigned to the 1st Cumberland Army Depot. He received his basic Cavalry Division. Upon arriving, a fellow soldier training at Fort Gordon in Georgia before going to told him where the bunkers were located in case the Fort McClellan in Alabama for advanced infantry early-warning alarm sounded. training. On the very first night, while Bechtel was fast “We found out that Fort McClellan was the home asleep, three rockets came in and went “Bam! Bam! of the WACs [Women Army Corps], so we thought Bam!” The alarm went off about two minutes after Bechtel, second from right, on a firing base in that was going to be a good thing. Well, we got the explosions. Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, 1968. to see the WAC barracks a couple of times as we “That was a reality check,” says Bechtel. “The marched by, and that was about it,” recalls Bechtel. early-warning system was not, if you know what I Bechtel needed to increase his salary to afford his car payments, so he signed mean.” up to become an officer. He was transferred to Fort Benning in Georgia for Bechtel was assigned to lead a 40-man infantry platoon that operated in infantry officer candidacy school. To fill the ranks of units that were getting Quang Tri Province, just south of the demilitarized zone. He participated chewed up in Vietnam, the Army was pumping out 7,000 infantry officers in 25 aerial assault missions, flying into combat in a Huey helicopter. The annually. landing zone (LZ) was always battered with artillery first. As Bechtel notes, “The battlefield is always hungry for company-grade “As we got closer to the LZ, our own gunships would come in and start officers.” shooting the place up,” he says. The grueling training lasted 23 weeks, with many candidates dropping out. But Bechtel and other leaders often didn’t know right away if the landing “A lot of them just couldn’t handle the harassment and the pressure,” says zone was “hot,” meaning enemy soldiers were shooting at them. Bechtel. “The only way I knew if it was a hot LZ or not was if I looked around and But Bechtel made it, graduating on July 3, 1967. After being given one day my people were dead or shot up,” he says. off for Independence Day, the newly commissioned 2nd lieutenant reported Bechtel vividly remembers one intense firefight when his platoon engaged to Ranger School. The intense training in three different locations often the North Vietnamese Army. The Americans thought they had crushed the produced injuries from mountain climbing and rappelling down cliffs. enemy with support from artillery and F-4 Phantom jets. Even though the trainees were officers, the trainers were sergeants. So But at night, his platoon started taking fire from their rear, probably from Bechtel had to take orders from men he outranked. local Viet Cong guerillas. One of Bechtel’s squad leaders completely broke “There is no rank here; you are a Ranger,” he was told. down from the stress. This caused awkward moments. Bechtel recalls one precarious situation “I immediately had to get him out of there and get another squad leader in,”
recalls Bechtel. Like many American servicemen, Bechtel witnessed the conundrums faced by American soldiers in a war with no frontlines — a conflict in which a Vietnamese barber cutting your hair in the daytime might try to kill you at night. “We knew we were going to fight a guerilla operation. We knew that the Viet Cong were good. We knew they would attack when and where they wanted, and then they would blend back into the population. But I don’t think that we were ever mentally prepared to see the 2nd Lt. Bechtel at Fort Hood, people we were there to protect shooting at Texas, before departing for us,” he says. Vietnam. Soldiers seeing their friends shot and killed inevitably caused tension with the locals, forcing Bechtel to occasionally step in and tell his men to back off. But this led some of them to question which side he was on. Bechtel had survived about seven months in Vietnam when he developed a big, red lesion on his left arm, which kept getting worse. Bechtel went from hospital to hospital, but the infection was not correctly diagnosed until he was sent stateside to an Army hospital in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It turned out he had leishmaniasis, a dangerous tropical disease caused by flesh-eating parasites. He contracted the disease from a sandfly bite somewhere in a Vietnamese jungle. Army doctors eventually cured the illness and saved his arm, but it ended his tour in Vietnam. Bechtel decided to remain in the military and would go on to serve in the Army and Pennsylvania Army National Guard for 36 years, retiring in 2002 with the rank of colonel. He immediately took a contractor’s position with the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. Bechtel points out that many returning servicemen did not exactly receive a warm welcome when they returned home. “Some of them were actually assaulted by antiwar protestors. One of our pilots was actually spit on,” he says. And returning veterans had to endure an endless stream of Hollywood movies, such as The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now. These films came with a political agenda that gave the American public a wildly inaccurate portrayal of the war and conveyed the false impression that all returning veterans were either drug addicts or baby killers. “I have often wondered how those producers and directors would respond if we could look them in the eye and say, ‘Do you have any idea what that does to vets who went off and served their country honorably, and this is the kind of stuff they get when they come home?’” asks Bechtel. Bechtel used the GI Bill to get an undergraduate degree in biology from Millersville University and a Master of Business Administration degree from
Penn State. He and his wife, Joan, have a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren. In 2014 Bechtel became active in the Liberty War Bird Association (libertywarbirds. com), where he now serves as director of marketing. This nonprofit refurbishes Huey helicopters that flew in Vietnam. But Bechtel is quick to point out that the LWBA is not just about restoring and flying helicopters. The organization’s motto is: Educate. Honor. Restore. “We want to educate the American public and other veterans on the absolute critical role Chuck Bechtel speaking at played by the helicopter in Vietnam,” says a meeting of the Central Bechtel. “The helicopter was the workhorse of Pennsylvania Vietnam the field. Sometimes Vietnam was referred to Roundtable in March. as the Helicopter War.” Bechtel is hoping that members of the public will come see these restored warbirds once the pandemic ends, particularly the Huey stationed at the Lancaster Airport. “I had the pleasure of flying the helicopter myself,” he says. “I was an infantry officer in Vietnam. But one of the things on my bucket list was always to fly a helicopter. Flying that Huey to me is almost like a spiritual thing.” And as the former Army Ranger concludes, “We not only restore helicopters, we restore the morale and esprit de corps of these people who worked so hard to serve their country way back when.” Robert Naeye is a freelance writer based in Derry Township. He lives just a few hundred yards from Chuck Bechtel but hadn’t met him until he started researching this article. His website is robertnaeye.com.
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Men Get Osteoporosis Too Jim Miller
Dear Savvy Senior, Can men get osteoporosis, or is it primarily a problem for women? When I fell and broke my wrist last winter, the doctor who treated me told me I might have osteoporosis, but I never got it checked. What can you tell me? – Bony Bill Dear Bill, Many people think osteoporosis is a woman’s disease, but men can get it too, especially in their later years. Here’s what you should know. Osteoporosis in Men Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become weak, brittle, and more susceptible to fractures. Though women are four times more likely to acquire it, around 2 million American men have osteoporosis today, and another 12 million have “pre-osteoporosis,” or osteopenia. Unfortunately, men are much less likely than women to get the health of
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• Blue Angels in Annapolis .............................. May 25
• Mackinac Island & Michigan ...................... Jun 12-18
• Mt Vernon & Potomac River Cruise ............... May 26
• Bar Harbor, Maine.....................................Jun 21-25
• Raystown Lake & Flight 93 ............................. Jun 3
• Ocean City, MD Summer Escape ................Jun 22-25
• NY on your own ................................................ Jun 5
• Castles & Wineries – Finger Lakes ............Jul 06-09
• Udvar Hazy & National Harbor........................ Jun 5
• Black Hills & Yellowstone ........................... Jul 11-25
• Philadelphia Flower Show........................Jun 6,7,8,9
• Best of Vermont ...........................................Jul 12-16
• Atlantic City Casino ......................................... Jun 12
• Smoky Mountains ........................................Jul 12-16
• St Michaels, MD lunch and cruise ................... Jun 12
• Creation Museum & Ark Encounter ............ Jul 14-17
• Adventure Aquarium & Phila Zoo ...................Jun 19
• Rail & Sail the Adirondacks & 1000 Isl ......Jul 18-22
• Holocaust Museum & Arlington.......................Jun 19
• City Slickers Meets Wild West ..................... Jul 19-22
• Cape May Ferry & Trolley ............................... Jun 23
• Maine’s Summers Highlights ...................... Jul 19-23
• Brewery, Cars & Coal Mine ............................. Jun 25
• Rail & Sail New England ............................ Jul 19-23
• Alexandria & Mt Vernon ................................. Jun 26
• Niagara Falls Getaway ...............................Jul 28-30
• Cape May at your leisure ................................ Jun 26
• Newport’s Best.......................................... Aug 01-04
• Historic Philadelphia ...................................... Jun 26
• Maine’s Summer Trains ............................ Aug 09-13
• Intrepid Museum ............................................ Jun 26
• Ride the Rails in West VA ..........................Aug 13-15
• Coney Island .................................................... Jul 10
• California & the Great Southwest .........Sep 12-Oct 2
• Bronx Zoo .........................................................Jul 11
For information or reservations: 717-569-1111 2021 catalog available, or visit our website: www.conestogatours.com 12
their bones checked, even after they break a bone. That’s because doctors are often unaware of the many factors that put men at risk of osteoporosis. While menopause is a major component that accelerates bone loss in women, some of the key risk factors for men developing osteoporosis include: being over age 70; being thin or underweight; smoking; consuming more than three alcoholic drinks a day; having a parental history of osteoporosis; and having a previous fracture. Certain health conditions — such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, testosterone deficiency, hyperthyroidism, COPD, kidney or liver disease, and mobility disorders like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke — can also increase your risk. In addition, so can taking certain medications, like anti-inflammatory steroids, prostate cancer drugs, proton pump inhibitors for GERDs, antidepressants, immunosuppressants, and anti-seizure drugs.
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Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers Listings with a screened background have additional information about their services in a display advertisement in this edition.
This is not an all-inclusive list of agencies and providers. These advertisers are eager to provide additional information about their services.
Aventura at pembrooke
Bethany Village – The Oaks
1130 West Chester Pike • West Chester, PA 19382 610-692-3636 • www.aventuraatpembrooke.com Number of Beds: 180 Rehabilitation Unit: Yes Alzheimer’s Unit: Yes Skilled Licensed Nursing: Yes Therapy: Speech, Occupational, Physical Short-Term Care: Yes Long-Term Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes 24-Hour Medical Care: Yes
Recreational Activities: Yes Scheduled Entertainment: Yes Private Rooms Available: Yes Semi-Private Rooms Available: Yes Pet Visitation Allowed: Yes Beauty/Barber Shop: Yes Medicare: Yes Medicaid: Yes Comments: In-House Dialysis Unit with 5 day a week treatments.
325 Wesley Drive • Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 717-766-0279 • www.bethanyvillage.org Number of Beds: 69 Rehabilitation Unit: Yes Alzheimer’s Unit: Yes Skilled Licensed Nursing: Yes Therapy: Speech, Occupational, Physical Long-Term Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes 24-Hour Medical Care: Yes
Claremont Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
1000 Claremont Road • Carlisle, PA 17013 717-243-2031 • www.claremontnursing.com
Number of Beds: 282 Rehabilitation Unit: Yes Alzheimer’s Unit: Yes Skilled Licensed Nursing: Yes Therapy: Speech, Occupational, Physical Long-Term Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes 24-Hour Medical Care: Yes
Recreational Activities: Yes Scheduled Entertainment: Yes Private Rooms Available: No Semi-Private Rooms Available: Yes Pet Visitation Allowed: Yes Beauty/Barber Shop: Yes Medicare: Yes Medicaid: Yes Comments: Featuring Transitions at Claremont, a dedicated, 39-bed, short-term rehab unit. Claremont provides quality skilled nursing and secured dementia care.
Recreational Activities: Yes Scheduled Entertainment: Yes Private Rooms Available: Yes Semi-Private Rooms Available: Yes Pet Visitation Allowed: Yes Beauty/Barber Shop: Yes Medicare: Yes Medicaid: Yes Accreditations/Affiliations: CARF, Eagle, LeadingAge PA Comments: Maplewood Assisted Living also available.
1901 North Fifth Street • Harrisburg, PA 17102-1598 717-221-7902 • www.homelandcenter.org Number of Beds: 95 Rehabilitation Unit: Yes Alzheimer’s Unit: Yes Skilled Licensed Nursing: Yes Therapy: Speech, Occupational, Physical Long-Term Care: Yes Short-Term Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes 24-Hour Medical Care: Yes Recreational Activities: Yes
Scheduled Entertainment: Yes Private Rooms Available: Yes Semi-Private Rooms Available: Yes Pet Visitation Allowed: Yes Beauty/Barber Shop: Yes Medicare: Yes Medicaid: Yes Accreditations/Affiliations: AAHSA, LeadingAge PA (PANPHA), NHPCO, PHN, HPNA Comments: A beautiful, full-service continuing care retirement community with a history of more than 150 years of exemplary care.
If you would like to be featured on this important page, please contact your marketing consultant or call (717) 285-1350. To help you determine your risk of osteoporosis, the International Osteoporosis Foundation has a quick, online quiz you can take at riskcheck. iofbonehealth.org. Prevention and Treatment A good first step in preventing and treating osteoporosis is to get screened. All men over age 70 should have a bone-density test, and those who’ve had a fracture or have other risk factors should be tested after age 50. Screening for osteoporosis is a simple, painless bone-density test, which takes about five minutes. Many health insurance companies will cover bone-density tests, as does Medicare. Here’s what else you can do to protect your bones. Boost your calcium: The best way to get bone-building calcium is through your diet. Dairy products (low-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt), dark-green leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards), sardines and salmon, cooked dried beans, soy foods, almonds, and fortified cereals and juices are all good sources of calcium. Vitamin D is also important to help your body absorb calcium. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for men under 70 and 1,200 mg for those over 71. www.50plusLifePA.com
They also recommend 800–1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D if you’re over 50. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D through sunlight or food, consider taking a supplement. Most daily multivitamins contain at least 400 IU. Exercise: Weight-bearing exercises, like walking and strength training with weights or resistance bands three or four times a week, can significantly improve your bone health and reduce the risk of a fall that could cause a fracture. Control these vices: Avoid smoking, limit alcohol to no more than two or three drinks per day, and limit caffeine (coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda) to three cups a day. Consider medications: The same drugs to treat osteoporosis in women have also been approved for men. The most widely prescribed for osteoporosis are bisphosphonates, a class of drugs designed to slow or stop bone loss. Talk to your doctor about these and other medication options, as well as potential side effects. 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.
Ben and Fillmore: Two ‘Hippie Bus’ Dudes Randal C. Hill
In 1949, Dutch at what was officially businessman Ben Pon designated the Type 2 became responsible Transporter. (Type 1 for putting the first was the Beetle.) Volkswagen Beetle on In essence, the Type America’s roads. 2 became the first But it wasn’t just the minivan. little German bug that The vehicle offered a captured Pon’s interest; cab-over configuration he was also intrigued that placed the driver by the plattenwagens over the front wheels. — small, utilitarian, As a design feature, rear-engine trucks that this allowed for a zipped around the VW wide-angle view of the Photo courtesy of Hasse A Photo courtesy of Vauxford factory. road ahead, as well as 1947 Volkswagen Plattenwagen. 1966 Volkswagen Type 2. With these vehicles leaving an extensive in mind, Pon sketched space behind the front a vehicle that, to some, resembled an oversized loaf of bread. But VW seat for passengers and cargo. executives loved Pon’s brainchild, and before long they greenlighted the nowTo many car enthusiasts, the Type 2 served as a counterpoint to the bulky, iconic, slab-sided microbus. chrome-laden, gas-slurping American autos of the time. Using the same low-powered, air-cooled rear engine as the popular Beetle, Originally intended to transport families and campers, the microbus was the first bus rolled out of the factory in 1950 and gave the world its first look adopted by surfers and, later, hippies as something simple, efficient, and fun. Soon it was on its way to becoming one of the world’s most recognized (and coveted) vehicles. People quickly embraced its austerity. For example, interiors featured practical rubber mats, not carpeting, on the floor. Before air conditioning became commonplace, one appreciated early feature was the many windows that opened out all the way around the Type 2. To surfers, the VW microbus became the prized board-hauler of choice, preferable over a “woodie” (a wood-paneled station wagon) or a delivery van. When the surfing fad faded, counterculturists adopted the vehicle. “The hippie movement fell in love with the bus for a few reasons,” proclaimed classic car expert McKeel Hagerty. “It was cheap to maintain, easy 50plus LIFE and Vision Resources to work on, and big enough to live in.” of Central Pennsylvania have To which Stewart Reed, the chair of a California design college, added, “The partnered to bring you weekly bus flew in the face of traditional social culture. It was anti-style, anti-success, audio readings of 50plus LIFE’s and rebellious in a totally new way.” editorial content! The main complaint about the microbus was its speed — or lack of it. The first models offered a meager 25-horsepower engine. (One can only imagine such a vehicle trying to ascend mountains or challenging hills.) Eventually, the horsepower rating was increased to 40, but the vehicle still proved too slow for many drivers. Listen to the livestream Thursdays from In Disney’s Pixar movie Cars, the Fillmore character, voiced by George 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Carlin, is portrayed as a well-used — but not used up — 1960s Type 2 with a www.vrocp.org! license plate that reads 51237, Carlin’s birthdate of May 12, 1937. The program will repeat 3 times Fillmore’s name came from San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, the home that day and Saturdays of numerous counterculture concerts. from 11-11:30 a.m. Thanks partly to Cars, the peace-loving, organic-fuel-dispensing Fillmore will ensure that the VW microbus will represent the ’60s counterculture from now on. Groovy!
! r a e r u o y s u Lend
For more information, call Vision Resources at (717) 238-2531 and listen at visit www.vrocp.org.
Although Randal C. Hill’s heart lives in the past, the rest of him resides in Bandon, Ore. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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May is Better Hearing & Speech Month How to Safely Clean Your Hearing Aids By Paul Bryant When you take the time to clean your hearing aids on a regular basis, they work better, last longer, and certainly look more presentable. But hearing aids are expensive and delicate, so it’s important to clean them properly so you don’t accidentally damage them. It’s possible to quickly remove wax and debris from your hearing aids without any risk of hurting them. To start, let’s figure out what kind of hearing aids you have — because this will affect the way you clean them — and then I’ll take you through an easy, step-by-step cleaning process. What Kind of Hearing Aids Do You Have? Behind-the-Ear – Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids rest behind the ear. A thin, clear piece of tubing goes over the ear, ending with an earpiece that goes into the ear canal. The tubing and earpiece of a BTE provide an air channel that sound travels through. The BTE does not have any wires or electric parts in the tubing and earpiece.
(called a “wax loop”) on the end. The wax loop is for cleaning difficult-to-brush places. • Cloth or tissue – A microfiber cloth or tissue for general cleaning.
To clean the clear tubing of a BTE hearing aid, push the wire cleaning tool through the tube until it comes out the tip.
2. Turn Off the Device and Remove the Battery: All Hearing Aid Types – Turning off the device and removing batteries ensures you won’t hear loud whistling or feedback noises while cleaning. For rechargeable hearing aids without removable batteries, simply turn off the device. 3. Detach the Tubing: BTE Only – Depending on the style of BTE, your tubing either snaps off or screws off, so check your owner’s manual to see what kind you have. For the threaded, screw-off style, hold the base of the tubing and gently turn it counterclockwise. The tubing will unscrew like a bottle cap. For the snap-on style, hold the base of the tubing and gently turn the tubing counterclockwise. After a 90-degree turn, it should come right off.
Receiver-in-the-Canal – Receiver-in-thecanal (RIC) hearing aids — pronounced like 4. Clean the Clear Tubing: BTE Only – Insert “Rick” – look like BTE hearing aids because they the wire end of the BTE cleaning tool into the rest behind your ear. However, instead of a thin, base of the tubing. That’s the end that connects flexible tube, the RIC has a wire that leads to a to the hearing aid. Never insert the wire through small speaker (or “receiver”) that goes into your the earpiece end because that will only push the wax ear canal. Gently brush wax and debris from the outside of the earpiece. deeper into the tube. When cleaning RIC hearing aids, you will not Push the wire through until it comes out of the remove the receiver wire. The wire attaches with a earpiece. This will push any wax blockage out of the tip. Use a tissue to clean tiny pin, and you shouldn’t remove it during the cleaning process. the tip of the wire. Repeat the process several times until the tubing is clean. In-the-Ear – In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids sit completely in the bowl of 5. Clean the Earpiece: All Hearing Aids – Every BTE and RIC hearing aid the ear. Some fill the ear completely. Some are smaller but large enough to see. has an earpiece that inserts into your ear. Whether the earpiece is a contoured Others are so tiny that they disappear completely in the ear canal. tip, ear dome, or custom-fitted earmold, use the brush to gently remove wax or buildup from the outside of the earpiece. Time to Clean Your Hearing Aids! If you have an ITE hearing aid, simply brush off the part that inserts into These steps don’t apply to all hearing aid types, so pay attention to the titles your ear. Next, use a cloth or tissue to wipe away residual debris. to determine whether the step applies to your kind of device. 1. Get Your Cleaning Tools Ready: All Hearing Aid Types – Let’s take a look at the cleaning tools you’ll need when removing wax, dirt, and debris from your hearing aids. • BTE cleaning wire tool – A tiny brush with a long wire that looks like a tail. The long wire is for cleaning the thin, clear plastic tube and tip. • RIC and ITE hearing aid loop tool – A tiny brush with a short wire loop
6. Clean the Inside of the Earpiece: RIC and ITE Hearing Aids – With RIC and ITE hearing aids, you’ll use the “wax loop” to remove any buildup from the inside of the earpiece. Find the tiny hole where the sound comes out. Use the wire loop to gently remove any wax or dirt buildup you find. 7. Clean the Microphone Ports: All Hearing Aids – If your microphone ports get clogged with buildup, your hearing aid won’t function properly. www.50plusLifePA.com
May is Better Hearing & Speech Month Therefore, cleaning these tiny holes on a regular basis is important. First, use your tissue or cloth to clean any oils, sweat, or debris from the outside of the hearing aid. Next, find the microphone ports. Depending on the design of your hearing aid, it may have one, two, or more microphone ports that look like tiny, dark holes or a small, dark grill. With RICs and BTEs, the microphones are usually on the top or spine of the device. With ITEs, they look like tiny, dark holes, and they are easy to find. Next, gently brush the microphone holes with the brush end of the cleaning tool. This will keep the microphone port open so sound can freely enter. The keyword is gentle. Never force or poke the brush deep into a microphone port. Also, never use the wax loop end of your cleaning tool to clean the microphone ports. These actions could damage the microphone. Contact a local hearing aid professional if gentle brushing isn’t enough to get the microphone ports clean. Finally, wipe everything down with your tissue or cloth. 8. Reattach the Tubing: BTE Only – If you have the threaded style of tubing, gently screw the tubing base onto the hearing aid with a clockwise motion. When it’s fully on, the tubing base will be flush with the hearing aid body, and the tubing will face forward so you can easily hook the hearing aid over your ear. If you have the snap-on style of tubing, position the tubing so the hearing aid can hang back over your ear. Then push the tubing into the hearing aid base until you feel it snap in place. When the tubing is fully on, the base will be flush with the hearing aid body. 9. Replace the Battery: All Hearing Aids – You’re all done! Replace the battery, turn on your hearing aids, and enjoy the clear sounds of a freshly cleaned device. Now that you’ve successfully cleaned your hearing aids, you’re probably wondering how often you should do it. I recommend cleaning your hearing aids every day or every other day. This kind of regular cleaning and maintenance can easily add years to the lifespan of your device — and that could save you a lot of money! Paul Bryant is the vice president of product sourcing for MDHearingAid (mdhearingaid.com). Bryant previously owned and operated a chain of hearing aid clinics and ran multiple hearing-aid companies. An electrical engineer by training, Bryant brings decades of deep hearing-aid expertise in everything from chip and antenna design to high-scale electronics manufacturing.
Information and support whenever you need it View online at: www.onlinepub.com (under supplements)
IT’S NOT JUST A HEARING PROBLEM, IT’S A HEALTH PROBLEM High-Quality Hearing Care at ENT Surgery Group 425 N. 21st Street, Suite 301 Camp Hill, PA 17011 717-736-7047 entsurgerygroup.com
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May is Better Hearing & Speech Month Overcoming the Mask: Tips for Communicating through COVID-19 It can be challenging to communicate through masks, 6 feet of social distance, physical barriers, and other factors due to COVID-19 that have changed daily life. For people with hearing loss, this is an especially challenging time. In a telling sign of increased hearing difficulty, usage of online hearing tests increased 500% since the pandemic began. “With COVID-19 and masks, everyday tasks are a source of frustration, such as asking a question at the grocery store deli or talking to someone from behind a customer service desk,” said Bill Schiffmiller, a lifelong hearing aid user and founder and CEO of Akoio, a hearing wellness company. “It’s a triple threat because masks reduce the loudness of the voice, muffle
pronunciation, and eliminate visuals, like facial expressions and lip reading.” Data shows people who can’t hear others begin to stay away from other people, and social isolation can lead to anxiety and depression. People who have trouble hearing also tend to have higher hospitalization rates and longer hospital stays, according to research published in JAMA Otolaryngology. Among those 55 and older who Photo courtesy of Akoio have hearing loss, 58% don’t use hearing aids. In the past, statistics have shown people waiting up to seven years before getting a hearing aid from the time of diagnosis. However, the communication challenges posed during COVID-19 are driving some to address their hearing sooner than they may have otherwise.
Hearing Loss: The Third Most Common Health Problem in the United States
• D octors of Audiology With Over 40 Years of Combined Experience • F ull Line of Digital Hearing Aids Including Open Fit • P articipates With Most Insurances • F inancing Available For Qualified Applicants Improve Your Hearing, Improve Your Life
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for Hearing Tips! 5020 Ritter Road, Suite 106 Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 (Off Rt. 15 Rossmoyne Business Park)
Hearing loss affects more than 36 million Americans today. Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired persons are younger than 65. With the increased use of personal music players (MP3s) and earbuds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing. On average, most Americans consider hearing loss a condition that is simply associated with aging and don’t know how to recognize the condition or who is qualified to diagnose and treat it. In an effort to raise public awareness for the growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, Duncan-Nulph Hearing Associates is celebrating Better Hearing Month this May. As part of Better Hearing Month, Duncan-Nulph Hearing Associates is encouraging healthcare providers to be more aware of their patients’ hearing health. The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by an audiologist. Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment.
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O F YOUR L I F E www.50plusLifePA.com
May is Better Hearing & Speech Month Help Someone Hear You Better Consider the mask you’re wearing. Clear masks provide a visual difference, helping with lip reading and facial expressions. The plastic in clear masks, however, can muffle sound too much for some. According to audiologist Dr. Shivani Patel, high-frequency hearing loss is common, making female voices difficult to hear. In this situation, research has found standard medical masks tend to transfer sound best. Try different masks to see what works for you.
Minimize background noise. Music, construction, other conversations, heaters, and fans can make it challenging to communicate when wearing a mask. Avoid “cavernous” rooms. An environment with mostly hard surfaces, such as a large meeting room or gymnasium, offers minimal sound dampening and can make hearing comprehension more difficult.
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Maintain eye contact. Look directly at the person you’re Photo courtesy of Getty Images speaking to and speak clearly, helping him or her read some of your facial expressions. When using video conference services, look directly into the camera in a well-lit room, and ensure you have clear picture quality to help with lip reading. Be patient. Remember the increased challenges people with hearing loss are facing now. If communication becomes too challenging through a mask, have a backup plan, such as pen and paper or a smartphone notetaking app. When You’re Having Trouble Hearing Talk to your friends and family. Tell them what you’re experiencing, and be clear and direct in expressing your thoughts and feelings. Ask whether they have noticed your hearing troubles and listen to their feedback. Describe specific instances and circumstances when your hearing is affected most. Armed with this knowledge, friends and family can help you manage various situations.
Simply mail this form and $15 for an annual subscription to: 50plus LIFE • P.O. Box 8049, Lancaster, PA 17604 Call (717) 285-8131, or subscribe online at www.50plusLIFEPA.com!
Determine a plan of action. Set an appointment to have your hearing checked by an audiologist. If you wear a hearing aid, be sure to carry extra batteries. Notice ways to adjust your environment to reduce background noise.
Make hearing wellness a priority. Data shows hearing is important to a person’s mental and physical wellness, and untreated hearing loss can have multiple health consequences. (Family Features)
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7 Tips to Get a Fully Charged 7 Hours of Sleep By Venkata Buddharaju, M.D., F.C.C.P., F.A.A.S.M. Sleep should always be considered one of the natural drives, like drinking water when thirsty and eating when hungry. Most creatures on the planet just follow those internal cues — wake up and be active while awake, sleep when it is time — and follow circadian rhythms set by clock genes. However, when it comes to humans, we tend not to follow those natural cues and spend more time awake, working longer hours with few or no breaks. We drink caffeinated beverages to stay awake and, stressed out from work, we eat at irregular times of the day. We also engage in numerous activities, thinking we are more productive. In fact, it’s exactly opposite: If we spend too much time awake and cut back our required sleep times, we make poor decisions, are prone to making errors at work, and will be less productive. Below are seven tips to help preserve your natural sleep habits to prevent major health issues and maintain a good night’s rest: 1. Exercise – Aerobic exercise for at least 30–40 minutes a day increases the deeper, or slow-wave, sleep. It also reduces the of risk stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and weight gain — working out in the morning while still fasting will especially help to lose few pounds. You can exercise any time of day, as long as it’s not too close to bedtime, which may prevent you from falling sleep quickly. Exercise and a good night’s sleep help reduce anxiety and enable you to handle daily stress better. If you don’t have time to go to a gym, you can do quick pushups of 50 or 100 as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. You can gradually increase the number of pushups over time by first starting with 10 and increasing
over days and weeks to reach your comfortable set. You can also add few abdominal curls for another five minutes. 2. Diet and hydration – Drink plenty of water and liquids to keep you hydrated, ideally in the morning, and not too close to bedtime to prevent frequent overnight bathroom trips. Eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, especially walnuts and almonds. Tart cherries and kiwi fruit are good sources of serotonin, which promotes sleep. A clinical study on people eating a Mediterranean diet showed improvement in sleep quality. Don’t skip breakfast, eat a balanced lunch, and eat a light dinner three hours before bedtime. 3. Avoid or reduce coffee intake, especially six hours before bedtime, to get better sleep at night. Caffeine inhibits a natural sleep-promoting neurotransmitter called adenosine from accumulating the brain. Over the course of the day, adenosine levels build up while awake to promote sleep at nighttime. 4. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol – Alcohol can disrupt sleep, especially in the second half of the sleep cycle, and increases risk of snoring and sleep apnea. Along with smoking’s other bad health effects, nicotine is a stimulant. 5. Sleep surface and pillows – Find a comfortable mattress and pillows that keep you in a restful sleeping position. A good sleep surface is important for optimal sleep.
Fodder for Mother’s Day Chats If you’re trying to make conversation at your Mother’s Day dinner (or Zoom celebration) this year, try sprinkling some of these facts into the discussion: • One of the earliest celebrations of mothers in recorded history comes from ancient Greece, when a spring festival was dedicated to Rhea, the mother of the gods. • A Russian woman in the 18th century is said to have given birth to the most children. She was the wife of Feodor Vassilyev, and she produced a total of 69 children, including 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. Of those, 67 are said to have survived infancy.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9
• The first woman to give birth in the White House was Martha Randolph, daughter of President Thomas Jefferson, on Jan. 17, 1806. • The first woman to give birth in an airplane was Mrs. T.W. Evans on Oct. 28, 1929, over Miami. • In 340 B.C., Aristotle observed that dolphins gave birth to live young that were attached to their mothers by umbilical cords. For this reason, he considered dolphins and related creatures to be mammals. Biologists agreed with him — 24 centuries later.
• Eileithyia was the Greek goddess of childbirth and the divine helper of women in labor (in other words, the goddess of labor pain). www.50plusLifePA.com
6. Make your room comfortable – Keep your bedroom a little cooler (67 degrees F), and take a warm shower before bedtime to help cool down the body at sleep onset. Avoid bright light exposure at night from cellphones, computer screens, TVs, and other devices. Bright light exposure inhibits the production of melatonin from the pineal gland of the brain, which is important in maintaining sleep and circadian rhythm. Keep your bedroom sleeping environment free of noise. 7. Wind down from your busy day – Promote mental calmness by practicing mindfulness breathing exercises: slowly breathe in and out, focusing on the breath, and count to 10 with your fingers by touching the thumb and fingers of both hands. Focusing on the breath brings you back to the present moment and relaxes the mind by controlling nerves. Don’t worry too much what will happen tomorrow or in the future; don’t go back and relive the past because you cannot change it. Just be here and focus on the breath for 10 minutes before bedtime and first thing in the morning after you wake up. Yoga is also an excellent way to bring that balance of mind and body with focused breathing and body movements. Listen to your favorite music frequently and prior to sleep. Doing so helps relax the mind and makes you happy. Take a short nature walk or view nature photos to quiet yourself; connecting with nature calms the stressed mind. Venkata Buddharaju, M.D., is a board-certified sleep consultant and author of Better Sleep, Happier Life: Simple Natural Methods to Refresh Your Mind, Body and Spirit. A physician at the Albany Medical Center in New York, he is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, critical care, and sleep medicine. Learn more at drbuddha.com.
June 23, 2021 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wyndham Resort – Expo Center (Formerly Lancaster Host) 2300 Lincoln Highway East Lancaster
Exhibitor booths will be spatially distanced and social-distancing and other CDC guidelines observed.
Let’s safely come together again!
It’s time to get out and:
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• Be social again … safely • Discover new products and services • Learn about local businesses and organizations • Check out what’s new in retirement living
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2021 Homeland Hospice 5K and Memory Walk Join us on June 19! • Rossmoyne Business Center www.50plusLifePA.com
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The Beauty in Nature
Feathered Dancers Clyde McMillan-Gamber
Up to six kinds of small birds nest or winter along flowing streams in North America. And all these birds have at least three characteristics in common: feathering that camouflages them, a diet consisting of a variety of invertebrates, and their constantly bobbing or dipping some part of their body Spotted sandpiper. when walking along waterways to get food. For a long time I wondered why these little birds were always dancing as they walked along the edges of waterways. Then, one day, I noticed some twigs bouncing vigorously in a brook’s current near a spotted sandpiper that was bobbing its tail up and down with the same rhythm as the twigs in the running water. Could all that dancing along small waterways be a form of camouflage among birds of different families? If so, that streamside habitat shaped those unrelated birds into doing a similar activity to escape the attention of predators. All those kinds of birds developed a trait that converged them into that niche to survive in it. Perhaps, too, that rhythmic, comical dancing is a form of communicating among birds of a species under the guise of small bits of wood bobbing along in a tumbling brook or stream. The birds get their messages out without making themselves vulnerable to predators. The bobbing and dipping of these various types of unrelated birds to a quick beat is entertaining to watch. And that humorous activity helps in identifying each species. Gray-feathered dippers raise two or three young per brood in crevices in streambanks along cascading, small waterways in the Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada. Dippers bounce their whole bodies up and down
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
as they walk. And they walk on the bottoms of waterways to get invertebrates as well. Spotted sandpipers raise four young in a brood along streams over much of North America. They bob their tails up and down constantly as they walk along little waterways in meadows. Louisiana waterthrushes are a Palm warbler. kind of warbler, most of which are woodland nesting birds. Waterthrushes rear offspring in dead-leaf-lined crevices in streambanks along streams in woods in the eastern United States. And they continually pump their tails up and down, much like spotted sandpipers, as they walk along woodland streams to snare invertebrates. American pipits are sparrow-sized birds that nest on the Arctic tundra but winter in open habitats, including bare fields in farmland across much of the United States. But when snow covers seeds and invertebrates in fields, pipits gather along small waterways in pastures to look for invertebrates to eat. These little birds bob their tails as they poke about shallow water for food. Winter wrens are 4 inches long and warm brown, and they scurry along small waterways in woods like feathered mice. They hunt invertebrates among exposed tree roots, fallen logs, carpets of dead leaves, and stones along waters’ edges, dipping and dancing their whole bodies as they move along. Each winter wren shelters during winter nights among tree roots and fallen logs along the same brooks where it hunted food. Rusty-capped and yellow-bellied, the lovely palm warblers nest on the ground in woodland bogs in northern North America. And they wag their tails as they walk over the ground and along little waterways in the woods in search of invertebrates. Being camouflaged, all these birds are tough to spot but fascinating Are you 62+ or to experience when they are found. 18 to 61 with permanent But even if they are not spotted, it’s disabilities? interesting to note their presence Welcome to your and their comical ways of avoiding new home! capture by predators. utilities included! There seems to be no end to Look at all we have to offer ... ways in which life strives to survive. Newly Renovated Units, Nature is always intriguing, all the Fitness Center, Service Coordinator, and More ... time. Give us a call and check out our fabulous facilities. We offer congregate meals to all residents, Mon.–Fri., at 11:30 a.m.
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Clyde McMillan-Gamber is a retired Lancaster County Parks naturalist.
130 South Third Street • Harrisburg
Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori
Avoiding Heirloom Damage Lori Verderame
Recently, a friend called me in a panic. She reGrandma that you just can’t bring yourself to alized that her sump pump failed, and there was display or to trash. water all over her basement. After calling in the When it comes to art, antiques, or collectplumbers and the cleanup team, she called me to ibles, never store anything in wooden crates or ask if there was any way she can save her beloved cardboard boxes, as both of these containers are childhood scrapbooks. acidic. They will “off-gas,” or give off damaging “While you had always told me not to store gases. my scrapbooks in the basement, I had them up I’ve read where some “experts” have advised on shelves so I thought they were safe,” she said. people to store baseball-card collections in “Then, of course, my sump pump hose broke cardboard cigarette cartons or metal license-plate loose and sprayed the whole room from floor to collections in wooden crates. Wrong! The acid in ceiling with yucky water! Now what do I do?” cardboard can even damage antique china, and Photo credit: bhphotovideo.com I told her that this is the season when many so can old newspapers. Solander boxes are acid-free storage boxes that are people don’t realize that lots of new things are Cardboard is never the solution to the storage great for photographs, prints, drawings, and other paper items. happening around the house — even in those of your heirlooms. less-than-exciting areas of the house like the baseIf you must store your keepsakes in the basement. ment, consider investing in a dehumidifier and That’s right, spring (and her sump pump hose) has sprung! solander boxes and plastic tubs. And always keep an eye on your sump pump. For example, bugs are back with a vengeance this time of year. Creepy-crawDr. Lori Verderame is the award-winning Ph.D. antiques appraiser on History ly creatures are making their way back to those dark areas of your basement, channel’s The Curse of Oak Island. Visit drloriv.com and youtube.com/drloriv or call attic, and garage. They love to eat stuff like old paper, wood pulp, cardboard (888) 431-1010. boxes, and birdseed. This is right where you need one of my favorite and cheap storage Tom & Randi LaNasa “MEMORY MUSIC” solutions: the plastic tub. Store your items off the floor and in stackable plastic tubs. I suggest some of my recommended storage solutions at drloriv.com/shopping. Stacking tubs will help protect your belongings from water that may accumulate on the basement floor. The plastic tubs will also help keep some of the bugs out, as bugs are not attracted to plastic like they are to wood and cardboard boxes. Attention: RETIREMENT HOMES, Since art and antiques like consisCLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS. tent temperature and humidity levels, at the very least, take that piece Looking for entertainment? of art that you think is valuable and Booking shows for any occasion! get it out of the basement! We have many variety shows featuring the music from the 1930s to the 60s. As for my friend’s scrapbooks and Songs by legendary artists like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, all other paper keepsakes (ephemera), Kay Starr, Dean Martin, Patsy Cline, and the Mills Brothers. I advised museum-quality solander Specialty shows include … boxes for storage. They are the muSongs from the WWII Years • The Post WWII Years: 1945 – 1955 seum standard and are acid free. AMERICA: From Sea to Shining Sea These chemically inert boxes Salute to the Rat Pack (or if you prefer, just Sinatra) are intended for the storage of flat Elvis & Patsy • Classic Country pieces, including papers, prints, Please contact Memory Music to book your next event! photographs, magazines, newspapers, cards, comic books, and unframed art. They are a great solution for Phone: (717) 846-6126 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org those old photographs of Greatwww.50plusLifePA.com
Causes and Solutions for Dysphagia Suzy Cohen
• Sedatives – For example, alprazolam or clonazepam • A nalgesics for pain – Codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone • Muscle relaxers – Cyclobenzaprine or tizanidine • Neuroleptics – Haloperidol, lithium, olanzapine, quetiapine, and others • Bone-building drugs – Alendronate and others • Many antibiotics – Doxycycline, clindamycin, and others • NSAIDS – Ibuprofen, naproxen, and others • Aspirin • Asthma medications • Immunosuppressants • Antidepressants One other reason people have dysphagia is that they’re forced to swallow big pills, and then they vomit them back up! And if that happens, the person now has caustic stomach acid refluxing into the delicate esophageal tissue. The use of acid blockers, like famotidine, and demulcents (slippery elm or marshmallow) can bring immediate relief and may prevent your loved one from having an unnecessary endoscopy because it looks like they’ve suddenly developed dysphagia. In my field, we have a saying: “History, history, history!” If someone takes a good history and finds out exactly when the dysphagia started, you might be able to see the cause. Once that is pinpointed, the proper treatment can be given. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit suzycohen.com.
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Many seniors experience dysphagia, which is the term for difficulty swallowing food or pills. Initially it appears as a frequent need to clear your throat or as a hoarse voice. It may be that you feel like coughing or choking while eating or talking, and sometimes there is regurgitation of food. Most people report fullness, pressure, or a burning sensation in the chest (sternal) area while eating. Left untreated, it may lead to other complications, like a more chronic cough, a choking sensation, malnutrition, or a respiratory infection. In serious cases, food may be aspirated and result in pneumonia, which then requires hospitalization. Most everyone has experienced the sensation of dysphagia at one time or another. It can happen by simply eating too large a bite or not chewing enough. A swallowing issue may be felt if you have a dry mouth or if you swallow while lying down or even laughing or talking. To resolve simple cases of dysphagia, you should eat smaller meals that include softer food, and chew well. Eliminating caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol helps too. But if the swallowing difficulty is more chronic and serious, dysphagia treatment is required. Treatments vary for each individual and hinge on many factors, such as age, severity, and underlying conditions. Sometimes people develop dysphagia rather suddenly. When I worked in the nursing home setting, we saw this frequently occur with new admissions who were started on medications that induced the dysphagia as a side effect. Oftentimes the medication can be switched to something else that does not induce dysphagia. I have a much longer version of this article available with lengthy lists of medications that induce dysphagia. To receive this, please sign up for my free newsletter at suzycohen.com, and I’ll email it to you. In the meantime, here are the most common medications that induce dysphagia:
Designing a Wildlife-Friendly Landscape Melinda Myers
We love watching the bunnies National Wildlife Federation, Audubon, hopping across the lawn or ground Natural Resources Conservation squirrels scurrying away with a cheek full Services, Department of Natural of seeds — that is, until they dine on our Resources, and University Extension favorite shrub or take just one bite out of websites. each red ripe tomato in the garden. Be patient and wait for a year to Finding a way to coexist is critical for evaluate the results of your efforts. Then wildlife struggling to survive and our begin making any needed changes to enjoyment of nature and our landscapes. meet your goals. As gardeners, we know that digging in Developing a landscape for you to the soil and tending a garden is good for enjoy and one that supports wildlife our mind, body, and spirit. takes time, but as a gardener this is not Researchers discovered the same only part of the process, but also an is true when we take time to observe exciting adventure. wildlife. Our need for a relationship Melinda Myers has written more than 20 with nature is also important to our gardening books, including Small Space wellbeing. It helps us feel more content Photo courtesy of MelindaMyers.com Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses’ and function more effectively. Include habitat features in your garden and landscape that are How to Grow Anything DVD series and But we love our gardens too. needed to attract and sustain the wildlife you are trying to attract. the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Implementing some design and Moment TV and radio program. Myers is a management strategies can help us support and enjoy wildlife, care for our columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. melindamyers.com landscapes, and improve our quality of life. Reducing the amount of edge habitat, where one type of habitat meets another, can allow us to support wildlife while reducing the risk of damage. Are you getting your share of the Create circular or square garden beds that have more interior space and less border space. Long, linear beds with more edges and less interior space allow easier access for animals to dine. Which buyers make up the Silver Economy? Work with neighbors and your community to create large blocks and • 962 million men and women over the age of 60 corridors of habitat. Providing animals with spaces, other than your gardens, • A group with 11 times more wealth than millennials that have needed food and shelter can help you and the wildlife to coexist. • Persons with a life expectancy in the U.S. of about 78.87 years Protect key gardens and plants. Fencing is an option. Make sure your fence • Persons who prefer in-person contact when possible • A group that wants to age at home as long as reasonable is high enough, tight to the ground, and the gates secure. Repellents are a less obtrusive option. Select a product labeled for the Why do you want to reach these buyers? • They are free of many economic burdens animals and rodents you are trying to manage. • They like to take care of themselves, be active, eat well, be fashionable, and have fun For best results, apply repellents before the animals start feeding. Then • They have more free time reapply as recommended on the label. Look for one, like organic and bird- and • They are looking for products and services to help them age well pollinator-friendly Plantskydd, that is rain and snow resistant, requiring fewer What sectors are on the rise? repeat applications. The not-so-obvious: The obvious: Work with nature to maintain a balance in your landscape. Invite hawks, • Home improvements/renovations • Security technology – mobile apps, sensors, wearable owls, and foxes to your backyard. Grow tall grasses and plants that provide devices, smart clothing, etc. • Tourism and leisure activities tailored cover for foxes. Include trees with good perches, or install perch poles to for them • Pet care – pet sitting, walking, grooming, food, accessories, etc. • Caregiver solutions attract and support raptors. • Gardening/lawn services combined with snow removal • Financial products geared for seniors And like any landscape endeavor, start with a plan. Make a sketch of your • Mobile esthetic and concierge services – hairstylist, • Retirement living existing landscape. Identify existing plants and wildlife-friendly habitats. manicurist, massage, facials • Personal services – running errands, shopping Make note of both the natural habitats and any supplemental food, water, and shelter you provide. Review and note various features in your landscape What are you waiting for? throughout the year. 51% of people aged 52-70 spend fewer than 11 hours a week online. Now decide what you want to accomplish in your landscape. What wildlife While businesses need an online presence, print adds power to a media campaign. Most boomers and seniors are open to and love classic media. do you want to attract and have the space to support? Perhaps you want 50plus LIFE—Covering Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, to attract more songbirds to your gardens or animals, like toads, that help Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties—is an excellent venue! manage pests in the garden. Call to learn how we can help you reach our 150,000+ readers of 50plus LIFE! Make sure your landscape provides the habitat features needed to attract 717.285.1350 or email email@example.com and sustain these welcome residents. You will find lots of helpful resources on
The Bookworm Sez
55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal Terri Schlichenmeyer
Your last regular paycheck has come and gone. That was a while ago, back before you were downsized/laid off/reassigned right out of a job, and you’re not sure what to do. Your savings are nearly gone, your retirement funds are next, and you’re too young to get Social Security. In 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal by Elizabeth White, you’ll see how to make this new life work. At 35 years old, Elizabeth White had a solid job at the World Bank, she owned a house, and she was heading to Harvard to get a Ph.D. There, she “caught the entrepreneurial bug,” and, in partnership with her mother, she became a business owner; when the business failed, she was resilient and landed some consulting gigs that put her finances back to where they were before. And then the Great Recession hit.
Suddenly, White was exactly where the title of this book indicates: too young, too old, and suddenly “totally out of the loop.” Shortly afterward, when an essay she penned went surprisingly viral, she learned that she wasn’t alone. Experts say that, to retire successfully, Americans need “15–20 times their annual salaries” in some sort of savings or program, but White points out the realism: Very few new retirees have achieved that. The vast majority haven’t. What’s more, rosy retirement pictures are painted of island getaways, long walks in Paris, and palatial homes, when the reality is Photo credit: Mig Dooley that a very high percentage of Americans age 55-plus don’t know where they’ll be living this 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal: fall. Some of America’s seniors are trying to Your Guide to a Better Life get by on less than $500 per month. By Elizabeth White If this is your new reality, there are things c. 2020 in paperback, Simon & Schuster you can do. 272 pages First, know that “the cavalry ain’t coming,” and you’re more or less on your own. Learn to “small up” in your housing and your possessions by knowing exactly what’s important to you. Rethink your priorities. Ignore your pride away, and take the dang food The help caregivers need to care stamps. Take care of your home. Take care of your relationships. Take care of for themselves and others! yourself. So, here’s what you need to know about 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal: What you get out of this book will depend on how old you are now. Regardless of what the title indicates, this book is absolutely for new college Features grads or those entering the workforce this year who are serious about their futures. • Directory of Providers Younger readers, throw away those horror novels that line your shelves; for • Books and Resources you, this book is a cautionary, real-life, terror-filled memoir that doubles as a hardcover warning for your elderhood. • Support Organizations For anyone who’s facing a retirement that’s not necessarily on their terms, • Articles author Elizabeth White has frights for you, too, but they’re tamer. You’ve met those terrors already, and the advice she offers helps make them less scary, more attackable, more survivable. 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal is useful, even enjoyable, but it’s serious stuff with no fluff. For readers who are facing a new reality for their golden years, reluctantly or otherwise, reading it might pay off. Also online at www.BusinessWomanPA.com
Call for your free copy today! (717) 285-1350 26
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 14,000 books.
The Reel Deal
Cruella Randal Hill
In Disney’s 1961 animated feature 101 Dalmatians, punk-rock designer with gaudily two-toned, Lady based on a 1956 novel by Dodie Smith, we meet Gaga-like hair, admits, “I was born brilliant, born bad Cruella de Vil. (Could there be a more perfect first — and a little bit mad. I’m Cruella.” name to represent evil?) When the women become a formidable team, As a pampered and glamorous London heiress, their relationship sets in motion a course of events her character became a symbol of greed, vanity, and and revelations that will cause de Vil to embrace evil on her way to becoming a pop-culture icon. In her wicked side and become a raucous, emotionally 1996, Glenn Close portrayed Cruella in Disney’s 101 pained, and revenge-seeking character who proclaims, Dalmatians remake, as well as in the 2000 sequel 102 “I am woman, hear me roar!” Dalmatians. Not exactly a sympathetic character, you might Now Disney is bringing Cruella back in a boundthink. But later, when we hear her side of the story, we to-be-a-hit film of the same name and starring can’t help but root for her. Academy Award and Golden Globe recipient Emma Directed ably by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya; Fright Stone in the titular role. There’s also two-time Oscar Night), Cruella counts among its executive producers earner Emma Thompson as the Baroness and the none other than — ready for this? — Glenn Close. UK’s Mark Strong as Boris. The feature, promoted as a family film but one that The latest offering explores the backstory of Cruella may be a bit edgy for some impressionable youngsters, — the Queen of Mean — in this prequel to the sixis slated for nationwide release on May 28, the decades-old original Disney movie. Fashionista de pandemic situation permitting. Vil didn’t start off as an evil-fueled grifter, yet she Randal C. Hill enjoys getting sneak peeks of forthcoming was always aware of her place in society as a scrappy movies from his home on the Oregon coast. He can be underdog. Image © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Used for publicity and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. promotional purposes. https://www.movieinsider.com/posters/580253 “From the very beginning, I realized I saw the world differently than everyone else. That didn’t sit well with some people. But I wasn’t for everyone. I guess they were always scared that I’d be a psycho.” Wanting to prove her worth and become the brightest star in the glittering world of fashion, she befriends a pair of young, streetwise thieves who enjoy Cruella’s penchant for mischief. Eventually, de Vil comes face-to-face with a most formidable competitor, the debonair fashion legend Baroness von Hellman, who wants to team up You may be eligible to receive financial with Cruella for a fashion-industry takeover. assistance to help pay for your Medicare Part B Uh-oh. We must keep in mind that Cruella, who comes to us here as a ’70s
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Phone: 1-800-783-7067 This project was supported, in part by grant number 1801PAMIDR-01 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
Want or Need to Retire Early? Tips on How to Pay for It By Alan Becker Delaying retirement has become common for many Americans, either because they saved too little or they just want to continue working because they enjoy it. Others go in the opposite direction. They retire early — sometimes out of choice but often because their health or the economy forces it. While early retirement might sound appealing, it can be a struggle for those who don’t have sufficient income to pay their bills. That is why, if you are weighing the pros and cons of early retirement, you need to get a good handle on your potential sources of income. You may find you lack what you need — an especially unnerving conclusion if early retirement isn’t really a choice. But don’t despair just yet. It’s also possible you have more income options than you realize. Those can be broken down into the categories of bridge income, fixed income, guaranteed income, and speculative income. Bridge income. To support yourself in early retirement, you may need to tap into your assets sooner than planned — essentially bridging the gap until your other expected retirement income sources kick in. Fortunately, there are ways to do that without incurring penalties for early withdrawal. For example, if you retire before you’re eligible for Social Security and Medicare, you can withdraw money from your traditional IRA before age 59½ without paying the 10% penalty. That’s because of something called the 72(t) provision. Similarly, the Rule of 55 allows you to withdraw money from your 401(k) or 403(b) without penalty if you are between ages 55 and 59½ and have been fired, laid off, or quit your job. (This applies only to the retirement plan sponsored by your most recent employer, not an older plan from a previous employer. Also, while you avoid penalties with these strategies, you still have to pay taxes on those withdrawals.) Fixed income. One example of fixed income is real estate rentals. Certainly, there are downsides to being a landlord, but those who manage it right and carefully screen tenants may find this can provide a reliable income. Owning rental properties can come with tax advantages. Beyond that, the property’s value typically appreciates in a strong market, making it a potential long-term investment. If need be, you can sell it later in life to pay for such expenses as health or long-term care costs. If you don’t like the idea of handling upkeep and dealing with tenants yourself, you could hire a property management company, but that, of course, adds to your expenses. Another situation to be aware of is that during COVID-19, some states put a temporary ban on evictions for tenants who meet certain criteria, which could make it hard to collect on rent in those situations. Guaranteed income. It’s important in retirement to have some income that
arrives each month, regardless of what’s happening in the market. The most common source of guaranteed retirement income is Social Security. For those considering early retirement, it’s worth knowing you can begin drawing Social Security as early as age 62. But there’s a caveat. If you claim the benefit before you reach full retirement age (between 66 and 67 for most people), your monthly benefit is reduced and that reduction is for life. Another source of retirement income some people still have is a pension. If you have one, determine whether it provides a reduced benefit (or any benefit at all) to your spouse after you die. If not, you may want to weigh whether to take a lump-sum payment rather than your regular payout, if that choice is offered. Finally, an annuity — either fixed or indexed — can provide you with a monthly check as well. Some annuities do come with fees and various rules and limitations, and you also want to research the claims-paying ability of the insurance carriers being considered. So study them carefully before making a decision. A properly licensed financial professional can help you figure out what’s best for you and your circumstances as you make that decision. Speculative income. One of the risks of retiring early is that you are even likelier than the average person to outlive your savings. That means you may want to keep at least a portion of your money in the market so it can grow. Yes, that does mean you could experience market volatility, but it’s worth remembering that historically, after significant market drops, the market has strong recoveries. Still, you and your financial professional should take steps to minimize your risk exposure. Finally, it’s worth noting that with retirement comes extra time, and how you use that time could make a difference in your financial situation. Maybe you could take on a part-time job to pull in extra cash. Perhaps a favorite hobby could turn into a money-making venture. Or possibly you just need to be cautious about becoming bored and filling that extra time with too many vacation trips or shopping sprees, spending money you really can’t afford to spend. Even with careful planning, early retirement can still be difficult for some people. If that’s the case with you, you may need to adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Regardless, though, it’s important in retirement — early or otherwise — to have an assortment of income sources. Many times the best retirement plans combine three of the aforementioned strategies, if not all four. With the right amount of diversity in your portfolio, you may be able to live well in early retirement now, while still growing a nest egg that will see you through your later years. Alan Becker is president and CEO of Retirement Solutions Group (rsgusa.net) and author of Return on Investment or Reliability of Income? The True Meaning of ROI in Retirement. He is an investment adviser representative, has passed the Series 65 securities exam, and is insurance licensed in multiple states.
Volunteer Spotlight Retired Teacher Preserves the Planet He Once Taught About Fred Folmer volunteer since. has been Folmer and his volunteering with wife, Shirley, are RSVP (Retired the parents of Senior Volunteer two grown sons Program) for the and have three Swatara Watershed grandchildren. Association in When asked Lebanon County why he enjoys for about the last volunteering, 11 years. Folmer says: “I Folmer enjoy doing this currently serves on kind of work the SWA board simply because of directors as it needs to be Fred Folmer at secretary and does done. I take Watkins Glen Gorge. work all over the some satisfaction Swatara Park and the Swatara knowing that I have helped to Sojourn. In addition, Folmer preserve and protect the forests, works on projects at the Bordner waters, and lands.” Cabin in Swatara State Park. Some of his enjoyment comes With all of that, Folmer from working alongside other still finds time to serve as a likeminded volunteers who liaison between the Swatara share a similar conservation and Watershed Association and preservation philosophy. other environmentally oriented His advice to other volunteers is organizations. “to do things because it’s the right From 2007 through 2019, thing to do and needs to be done. Folmer served as secretary for the Don’t do it just for a warm, fuzzy Environmental Advisory Council feeling inside, or you will always in Bethel Township, Berks feel empty.” County. If you are over 55 and Folmer was born and raised and would like to volunteer in your spent most of his life in Lebanon. community, contact Margie He taught school for 18 years, Groy, Lebanon/Lancaster RSVP mostly as an earth and space development coordinator, at (717) science teacher. Folmer retired 454-8647 or lancleb@rsvpcapreg. in 2009 and has been an active org.
Literacy Council, Community Services Organization Need Volunteers RSVP – York County has two volunteer opportunities available for individuals over age 55. One volunteer is needed to serve at Mason-Dixon Community Services in Delta on Wednesdays. He or she must be able to lift heavy boxes, but probably none heavier than 40 pounds. RSVP is also seeking volunteer tutors for the York County Literacy Council in York and Hanover to tutor for GED or ESL programs. Tutors will prepare lesson plans and meet with a student for an hour and a half per week. Tutoring can take place in person at the Literacy Council or elsewhere (no homes) or online via Zoom. Tutor training will be provided online. Volunteer benefits include: transportation reimbursement, free supplemental liability insurance, recognition and appreciation events, and assistance with clearances. Please contact Scott Hunsinger at (717) 893-8474 or email at yorkrsvp@ rsvpcapreg.org.
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Don’t Let Tax Time Become Scam Time By Scott Schober
Gift cards might seem a little impersonal, but they make gifting easy for those of us who are too busy or disinclined to search for that perfect gift. Cyber criminals appreciate gift cards too but more for their anonymity than their convenience. Once stolen, a digital or physical gift card can be difficult to trace back to its rightful owner, making it even harder for law enforcement to catch the thief. The practice of “carding” is simply using a stolen credit card to purchase gift cards and then reselling them to consumers. Credit card purchases do offer some protections against fraud, but gift cards are more like cash, so if your gift card is lost or stolen, it’s like losing the cash equivalent. We know that unused gift cards add up to $3 billion annually, but that’s more of a corporaterevenue strategy and not straight-up theft. However, seniors aged 65 and older suffered a median loss of $700 in 2020 due to gift card scams. One popular scam involves our annual tax collectors, or at least tax scammers posing as the IRS. It starts with an alarming voicemail claiming to be from the IRS and instructing the recipient to avoid criminal tax evasion by paying the fine immediately. The voice message goes on to allow the bogus tax debt to be paid
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off using iTunes gift cards. According to CNBC, since 2013, scammers have racked up over $54 million from victims, most of them using iTunes gift cards. And this year shows no signs of slowing up. In the midst of a pandemic, taxfiling extensions have been permitted for 2021. Unfortunately, that also means these scams will continue longer this year in an effort to extort more money from victims. Here are a few scammer tipoffs that might keep you from being hacked. • Do not respond to any voicemails from the IRS. The IRS does not typically contact anyone through the phone, text message, or email, and they rarely leave voicemail messages. If you have any outstanding taxes that you owe, you will receive an official correspondence to your physical mailing address, or you will receive a visit in person from an IRS agent. • You will not be asked to provide payment to the Internal Revenue Service using gift cards, cash, or any kind of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. • Never share any personal data, such as Social Security number, passwords, bank account numbers, or any tax records, unless you are dealing directly with a verified and authorized IRS or law enforcement agent. • Forward IRS-related scam emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and report IRSimpersonation telephone calls online at tigta.gov. Tax time is stressful enough without the threat of hackers. If you minimize your sharing on social media, verify all correspondence before sending any data, and take your time to react to alerts (no matter how much they insist it is an emergency), you will go a long way toward keeping hackers at bay.
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Scott Schober is the president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, a New Jerseybased provider of wireless test and security solutions, and the author of three bestselling security books: Hacked Again, Cybersecurity is Everybody’s Business, and Senior Cyber. Schober is a cybersecurity expert for live security events, media appearances, and commentary. scottschober.com, @ SeniorCyber
Could You Be Missing Out On Senior Discounts? By Chris Orestis People who reach or near their retirement years often need to watch every penny. Sure, some of them are financially fit and don’t lose sleep worrying that their bank accounts and investments will run dry. For many, though, frugality is the watchword as they struggle to make it through each month. Fortunately, aging does come with at least one financial perk: senior discounts that restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, airlines, car rental companies, hotels, and other businesses offer to their older clientele. These discounts give older Americans a break on prices for everything from a gym membership to a fast-food meal to a movie ticket. You would think all seniors and their families would be all over these opportunities. But, surprisingly, many people don’t take advantage. In some cases, that could be because it doesn’t occur to ask whether a discount is available. In other cases, people just have a hard time thinking of themselves as seniors. But you need to be aware — and you should always ask. In scouring for discounts, here are a few other things to keep in mind: Don’t assume you’re too young. How old do you need to be? It varies. That’s one reason it’s always good to ask. You could already be eligible for a discount at a business and not realize it. For example, AARP membership starts at 50 and comes with numerous discounts built into the membership. Chili’s restaurants offer a 10% senior discount to those 55 and older. At the other end of the scale, Taco Bell will give you a free beverage, but not until you are at least 65. Sometimes when you go matters. Some discounts happen on a particular day of the week. Just as an example, some Captain D’s restaurants offer a “Happy Wednesday” discount where, once a week, seniors can choose from among eight meals at a reduced price. No one expects you to schedule your entire life around discounts, but for some individual things — such as a night at the movies or dinner out or even a shopping trip to a retail store — it’s worth knowing that going a day earlier or a day later might make a difference. Occasionally, you don’t even have to be a senior. Plenty of opportunities exist to save money, whether you’re advancing in years or not. Many stores
offer store “memberships” that come with a discount with each purchase. Also, the American Automobile Association is another organization whose members enjoy a number of discounts in much the same way AARP members do. Individually, some discounts might amount to just a dollar or two. But as you take advantage of more of them, those savings grow. When you’re on a fixed income — or just want to get the most out of every dollar you have — the difference over time can be significant.
Chris Orestis, known as the “Retirement Genius,” is president of LifeCare Xchange and a nationally recognized healthcare expert and senior advocate. He has 25 years’ experience in the insurance and long-term care industries and is the author of Help on the Way and A Survival Guide to Aging.
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2021 Expo Dates UPDATED DATES & LOCATIONS Exhibitor booths will be spatially distanced, and personal social-distancing and other CDC guidelines will be observed.
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wyndham Resort – Expo Center (Formerly Lancaster Host)
2300 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
York Expo Center Memorial Hall East 334 Carlisle Ave., York
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Park City Center
(Former Bon-Ton store)
600 Park City Center, Lancaster
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Carlisle Expo Center 100 K St. Carlisle
Wyndham Resort – Expo Center (Formerly Lancaster Host)
2300 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster
3501 Paxton St., Harrisburg
(Former Boscov’s store)
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Harrisburg Mall
(Former Boscov’s store)
3501 Paxton St., Harrisburg
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Lebanon Expo Center 80 Rocherty Road Lebanon
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Caregiving • Finances • Health & Wellness • Home Improvements Leisure Activities • Nutrition • Retirement Living • Technology and more!
Health & Wellness • Finance • Home Shopping • Technology • Beauty Nutrition • Fashion and more!
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Park City Center
(Former Bon-Ton store)
600 Park City Center, Lancaster
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Carlisle Expo Center 100 K St. Carlisle
Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities Available!