50plus LIFE – December 2021

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From Holland to Hoboken, the Stars are the Same page 4

Special section: orthopedics & pain page 14

Combatting Fraud and Romance Scams page 20


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December 2021

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‘Longest Night’ Worship Offers Comfort For those who have empty places in their hearts and homes this Christmas season, Derry Presbyterian Church offers a “Longest Night” worship service. This reflective, come-as-youare service with communion will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, in the sanctuary at 248 E. Derry Road, Hershey. The service will also be livestreamed on derrypres.org and youtube.com/derrypres. “For those who are facing the sadness of divorce or broken relationships or grief over the loss of a loved one, this special service will give people an opportunity to remember and to acknowledge sadness and grief, and to know that they are not alone,” said Rev. Dr. Marie Buffaloe, parish associate for congregational life and care. “The Longest Night service can also offer solace to those anxious about employment or financial instability, or facing a frightening diagnosis. This worship service with communion — on one of the longest, darkest nights of the year — intentionally acknowledges the pain and offers comfort.” For more information, call the church office at (717) 533-9667 or visit derrypres.org.

Working together and sharing information and resources strengthens our community.

Resource Directory delivers information about essential local resources, including: health and wellness, legal, financial, home improvements, leisure, and, In Print & Online! of course, living and care options. Help them find you be being included in Dauphin County’s premier annual directory of resources for members of your community.

It Didn’t Start with the Oreo Who doesn’t like a cookie every now and then? Cookies have a long history, but the first ones didn’t taste much like the treats we enjoy today. According to some sources, the first cookies were made in Rome around the third century B.C. They were thin, hard, bland wafers that were twice baked, and the Romans ate them by dipping them Photo credit: S. Mitchell. An example of a cookie-like pastry, in wine. common in England and abroad since Modern cookies may have the middle ages, which tends to have a originated in Persia during the relatively simple recipe of nuts, flour, seventh century, when sugar eggs, and sugar, with vanilla, anise, or became more common in that caraway seed used for flavoring. region. They became popular across Europe in the 14th century, enjoyed by royalty and peasants alike. One reason for their appeal was that they traveled well in tins and boxes, making them a reliable source of food on trips. The word “cookie” comes from the Dutch “koekje,” for “little cake.” Cookies arrived in America in the 17th century in the form of macaroons, gingerbread cookies, and the “jumble,” a hard cookie that combined nuts, sweeteners, and water. The cookies we’re most familiar with, made by creaming butter and sugar, became common in the 18th century. www.50plusLifePA.com

MAKE SURE YOU’RE THERE!

t More information than ever is available to consumers. This publication zeroes in on a targeted market rather than using blanket advertising. t

is a collection of businesses that understands the mindset, special needs, and wants of older adults and who are willing to personalize their approach to the consumer.

t

is not comprehensive: Because there are fewer organizations listed than in the Yellow Pages or on the internet, you are more likely to get noticed.

t The directory is cross-promoted in 50plus LIFE and in On-Line maximum Publishers’ other publications, giving exposure.

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December 2021

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Cover Story

From Holland to Hoboken, the Stars are the Same By Gabriele Amersbach

Corporate Office

P.O. Box 8049, Lancaster, PA 17604 Phone (717) 285-1350 (610) 675-6240 Fax (717) 285-1360 Email address: info@onlinepub.com Website address: www.onlinepub.com

PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Donna K. Anderson

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

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

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Meevers-Scholte, explaining his stomach was distended from starvation. He tells a chilling tale of chopping down a pine Louis Meevers-Scholte was born in a windmill tree to cook and eat the bark. As he dragged the tree in a small Dutch village in 1934. Eventually both home, someone grabbed it. Meevers-Scholte and the Meevers-Scholte, age 9, told windmill would end up in him, “I’ll chop off your hand America, bearing scars of a war if you don’t let go.” The hand that defined his childhood. came home with the tree. Yet, relying on his faith and “I had nightmares for years wits, Meevers-Scholte not only about that day,” he says. survived but thrived in dark Despite these deprivations, times that would crush many. the family survived until the His life is a living embodiment last day of the war in 1945. of his personal philosophy: Enemy soldiers rounded up “Life is what you make it — it’s his father, who was Jewish, your choice how you live it.” and 13 other men. They were In 1940, when Meeversmassacred, while their families Scholte was 5, Nazi Germany were forced to watch. took over the country, a Meevers-Scholte was also dark period of violence and injured. As he drew what he repression, especially against thought would be his last the Jewish population. breath, “Jesus came into Only 38,000 of the my soul,” he explains. “I 140,000 Jews in the know I’m never alone.” Netherlands survived He had found a lifelong violence and deportation spiritual belief that has to death camps. sustained him through Meevers-Scholte’s many hardships. family was not spared. After the massacre, Soldiers shot into his Meevers-Scholte knew home (one can find he had to leave in order six bullet holes in the to survive. At age 10, he windmill, which now rests stole away, skating down in Holland, Michigan, a the long canal out of gift from Queen Beatrix Louis Meevers-Scholte, here and on the cover, his village, with only a of Holland in 1955). in a few of his self-made Santa Claus ensembles, During the five-year each representing a different country of origin. flashlight and a bottle of occupation, MeeversThe pergola and all its seasonal decorations are water. Eventually he reached Scholte and a gang also his own construction and design. Belgium, just one of of other boys joined several countries in war-torn Europe he would the underground resistance. He tells of hiding pass through on his way to America, his final underneath a train loaded with families heading for destination. the death camps. When the train started, the boys Meevers-Scholte found ways to survive, from climbed up the cars to the section where the engine working on farms to selling abandoned newspapers was coupled to the rest of the train. he found in train stations. In France, he briefly slept Meevers-Scholte describes their heart-stopping in the Eiffel Tower. The swaying of the tower made maneuver: “We stabbed the guard and uncoupled him seasick, so he moved on to an elevator in the the engine from the cars. The people in the cars Arc de Triomphe. were then able to run away. A lot of people’s lives “I liked that better,” says Meevers-Scholte. “It was were saved.” warm.” The group of boys also found creative ways to Eventually he reached Spain. There, Meeverssteal food to deliver to starving Dutch families — Scholte begged for food at restaurants or hung out and to Jewish families in hiding, including Anne near the bullfight rings. After the bull was killed, Frank in Amsterdam. poor people were able to divide up the meat. “We were all hungry, every one of us,” says www.50plusLifePA.com


“I ate too much steak at that time and now avoid it,” he says with a smile.

While he was busy with family and work, Meevers-Scholte never stopped learning. He exemplifies his own motto, “The longer you live, the more you learn.” Along the way he learned Hello, Hoboken to carve wood and sold his toys and furniture at After three years of wandering through the Green Dragon Farmers Market in Ephrata, postwar Europe, Meevers-Scholte arrived in Pennsylvania, until age 84. Portugal, where he stowed away on a ship He also entertained shoppers by playing Louis Meevers-Scholte he thought was U.S. bound. Armed with music on a keyboard he had taught himself will be performing as Kris Kringle a flashlight and pocket knife so he could to play. Over the years, Meevers-Scholte at Root’s Country Market and cut himself free, Meevers-Scholte hid in a became accomplished enough to produce Auction in Manheim, Pa., starting canvas laundry cart. 18 CDs of his own classical music. Nov. 30 and throughout December. Unfortunately, the ship stopped in “All my feelings go into my music, both During the morning, he performs England, where Meevers-Scholte stayed the happiness and sadness,” he explains. in the market; in the afternoon, he six months until he could stow away again. He survived by sitting next to the performs in the market restaurant. On Call Me ‘Santa’ same woman every day for the eight-day Meevers-Scholte also added making Dec. 7, Meevers-Scholte will trip. Meevers-Scholte admits he was lucky. clothes to his portfolio of skills. His perform as Kris Kringle in “The crew thought I was with her, and favorites are three different Santa suits that Colonial Williamsburg, Va. I ate with the other guests. She never told he wears to play piano every December at anyone, or I would have been caught.” Root’s Market in Manheim, Pennsylvania, When the ship docked in Hoboken, New ready to sooth the soul of anyone who listens. Jersey, Meevers-Scholte decided to hitch to the He also volunteers with hospice groups and is Bronx. There he found a friend, a homeless man currently learning the viola. named Andrew Jackson. At 86, he has learned that to make room for joy and “A Black man taught me to speak English and to read with new beginnings requires “letting things go and forgiving. I’m the help of Donald Duck and Archie comics. He didn’t see color, just not bitter about anything. Bitterness will destroy your life.” a young boy who needed help,” says Meevers-Scholte. Meevers-Scholte is sustained by his faith and a group of close friends who During the next three years, Meevers-Scholte and Jackson worked together, meet weekly at Chick-fil-A. At night, he falls asleep looking at a blue ceiling first selling newspapers, then selling umbrellas and roasted chestnuts in front full of stars as he listens to an antique music box that lulls him to sleep. of Macy’s and Gimbels. Meevers-Scholte wants to be ready for what the new day brings. Since Meevers-Scholte didn’t have a bank account, he buried his money “I have a lot more to do.” in coffee cans in the Bronx Zoo or kept it in a money belt. By age 16, he had made enough money for his first apartment until he left to join the service. “I continued to send Andrew money for the apartment and took care of him until he died when he was almost 90. I didn’t want him to live on the street,” says Meevers-Scholte, explaining race and age were never issues. “I just saw a man, and I loved him. He took care of me, I took care of him. That’s the most important thing.” With 33 Years of

Senior Real Estate Specialist

A Citizen in 48 Hours At age 16, Meevers-Scholte lied about his age and forged his mother’s signature to join the National Guard. One of his duties was to cook for the officers. Meevers-Scholte decided his meals needed a boost and used his own money to buy extras that substantially improved the flavor of his cooking. His extra efforts paid off. When Meevers-Scholte was 17, his colonel found out he wasn’t a citizen. Since he liked Meevers-Scholte, he was able to procure citizenship papers for him within 48 hours. Meevers-Scholte reenlisted for nine years. During this time, he married his first wife and had five children. By age 24, he was able to bring his mother, his sister, and her family to the United States to live with him and his family in a large house with a separate apartment. A few years later, Meevers-Scholte wanted his own used-furniture business. He filled an empty storefront within a few weeks by reviewing obituaries and offering to clean out the apartments. “I’d auction off three items and send the family the money. The rest of the stuff was free!” he explains. By the time Meevers-Scholte left the Bronx to seek a quieter life with fewer big-city problems, he had three stores and a bakery. In 1998, he sold everything and moved his family to Strasburg, Pennsylvania, his home ever since. A few years later, Meevers-Scholte and his first wife divorced. He eventually married a second time and had five more children. www.50plusLifePA.com

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December 2021

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Grief Relief

Grieving and Celebrating in December Victor M. Parachin

As the month of December approached, Kenneth, who was recently widowed after a three-decade marriage, confided in a friend: “I feel like I could use a pause button so that I could put a hold on my grief from Dec. 1 through Jan. 1. Or, I wish I could use that pause button on my life for that month so I could just skip over those days and avoid having to deal with all the festivities around me.” His feeling is a common one for those who are grieving the death of a loved one. While most other people are celebrating and socializing, grievers struggle with feelings of sadness and loneliness. Yet, it is possible to celebrate and grieve in December. Here are some guidelines. Be flexible. The first December after a loved one has died is not the time to be rigid about the celebration. Give yourself permission to be flexible and compromising. Some people prefer to maintain exactly the same holiday traditions. This prevents the feeling of yet another change in lifestyle. Others, however, feel the need to change it up. One woman, whose husband died in September, recalls: “I needed to do things differently. The very idea of the traditional family Christmas meal in my home felt awkward, as there would be an empty chair.” She expressed her feelings to her family, and they supported her in opting to have the family holiday meal at a restaurant. Know when to say “no.” More than any other time of the year, December is the month filled with social opportunities to celebrate with family, friends, and work colleagues. Dr. Tali Berliner, a psychologist, says it is both important and appropriate for grievers to set boundaries for holiday events. “You can participate and not participate in whatever feels right for you. While there may be pressure to attend a holiday party, family gathering, holiday

show — remember to check in with your wants and needs to identify your readiness. “It may be helpful to commit to something that sounds fun while reminding yourself that you don’t have to stay the entire time. It is also OK to opt out of certain things altogether. Finding a balance between engaging and not pushing yourself is important.” Practice self-care. That’s the advice of social worker Sophia Franklin, who says: “One of the most important things you can give yourself as a gift is self-care. “Especially if you suffer from holiday blues, or even with clinically diagnosed depression, be sure to include time in your schedule to check in with yourself and how you’re feeling. Get outdoors, try to exercise, get some pampering with a massage, or even just take a long bath and indulge in aromatherapy. “Self-care decreases your chance of feeling blue during the holiday season, and it increases your ability to thrive well beyond the holidays.” Honor and include the deceased. Even though December is a busy, active month, you will still be aware of the “empty chair.” Rather than dismissing those feelings and acting as if everything were the same, think of ways to honor and include the deceased person. Others have done this by lighting a candle of remembrance; sitting quietly for one minute in reflection and prayer; placing a special holiday ornament on the tree; bringing out a photo album and having the family share thoughts about times together with the deceased; playing his or her favorite holiday music; preparing a favorite recipe of the deceased; or visiting the grave. These kinds of actions will help the family feel connected to one another as well as to the one who is absent. Perform kind acts for others. Although you’re in the pain of grief, remind yourself you still have something good and positive to offer others. Performing acts of kindness will lift and alter your own spirit. Consider this insight from psychotherapist Miriam Greenspan, author of Healing through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear and Despair: “Action can be strong medicine in times of trouble. If you are afraid, help someone who lives in fear. For example, volunteer at a battered women’s shelter. If you’re sad and lonely, work for the homeless. If you’re struggling with despair, volunteer at a hospice. “Get your hands dirty with the emotion that scares you. This is one of the best ways to find hope in despair, to find connection in a shared grief, and to discover the joy of working to create a less broken world.” Finally, do your best to remain hopeful and positive. “Hope is being able to see there is light despite all the darkness,” says Rev. Desmond Tutu. Victor M. Parachin, M.Div., is a grief counselor, bereavement educator, and author of several books, including Healing Grief.

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CROSSWORD

Puzzle Page

Solutions for all puzzles can be found on page 30. SUDOKU

Across WORD SEARCH

Let’s Go Skiing

1. Scarf material 5. Overdue 9. Glimpse 13. Boredom 14. Macaws 15. Blue shade 16. Island in the road 18. Swallow quickly 19. Tender 20. Tipster 21. Smacks 22. Summer (Fr.) 23. Terrarium plant 24. Big game

25. Even, in verse 26. “Shucks!” 28. Young newt 31. Ohio, for one 34. Sicilian erupter 35. Niagara River source 36. Protect those within 39. Curved shape 40. Keats, for one 41. West Pointer 42. Kitten’s cry 43. Brass component 44. Club ___ (resort) 45. Mystery writer Ambler

47. Kimono sashes 49. Stew morsel 52. Dixie drink 54. Very, in Versailles 55. Jack-in-the-pulpit 56. Cutlass maker 57. In the way place 59. Old dagger 60. Dance bit 61. Torcher’s misdeed 62. R ichard Rodgers collaborator 63. Rocky peaks 64. Male turkeys

Down 1. Schnoz 2. Harden 3. Crescent 4. Youngster 5. Work 6. Make a left or right and you’re there 7. Tense 8. Time zone 9. Raptor 10. Land measure (Brit.) 11. Orange feature 12. Barks 13. Gaelic

17. Egyptian solar deity 21. Japanese coin 23. Touch 24. Doodle 25. Engrave 27. Dill seed 29. Penalty 30. Exam 31. Con game 32. Radial, e.g. 33. Machinist’s tool 34. Collar type 35. Cry of surprise 37. Colossal

38. Deck members 43. Energy 44. Soybean paste 46. Change, as a clock 48. Makes like a horn 49. Geometrical solid 50. Continental money 51. End of grace 52. One of the Brolins 53. Arm bone 54. Former Yugoslav leader 55. ’60s hairdo 57. WWII craft (abbr.) 58. Blubber

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December 2021

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Assisted Living Residences/Personal Care Homes 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.

Bethany Village — MapleWood

Cross Keys Village The Brethren Home Community

325 Wesley Drive • Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 717-766-0279 • www.BethanyVillage.org Total AL and/or PC Beds: 100 Assisted Living Residence: Yes Personal Care Home: No Private: 100 Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes

Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: One-bedroom suites; secured memory support neighborhood; skilled nursing – The Oaks.

2990 Carlisle Pike • New Oxford, PA 17350 717-624-5436 • www.crosskeysvillage.org Total AL and/or PC Beds: 123 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: No Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes

Homeland Center

Homewood at Plum Creek

1901 North Fifth Street • Harrisburg, PA 17102 717-221-7727 • www.homelandcenter.org Total AL and/or PC Beds: 56 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: Providing exemplary care in a beautiful environment for more than 150 years. Our continuum of care includes therapy services, skilled rehab, 24-hour medical staffing, plus Hospice, HomeHealth, and HomeCare outreach programs. All-private rooms include a full bath and kitchenette.

425 Westminster Avenue • Hanover, PA 17331 717-637-4166 • www.homewoodplumcreek.org Total AL and/or PC Beds: 92 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: No Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes

The Campus of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg

Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No

Landis Homes

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 97 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: No Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes

300 West Lemon Street • Lititz, PA 17543 717-626-0214 • moravianmanorcommunities.org info@moravianmanor.org

1520 Harrisburg Pike • Lancaster, PA 17601 717-393-1301 • www.mennonitehome.org

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December 2021

On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: No Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No Comments: Supportive, encouraging environment. Various room types and suites available. Secure memory care offered.

50plus LIFE

Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: No Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: Attached to wellness center and pool without going outside.

Moravian Manor Communities

Mennonite Home Communities

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 125 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: Yes Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: No Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes

On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No Comments: Excellent care in a lovely environment. Call to schedule a visit.

1001 East Oregon Road • Lititz, PA 17543 717-569-3271 • www.LandisHomes.org

4000 Linglestown Road • Harrisburg, PA 17112 717-657-0700 • www.jewishhomeharrisburg.org Total AL and/or PC Beds: 60 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Part/Totally Refundable: Yes Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes

On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: No Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No Comments: A regional leader in all aspects of memory care and a program designed for optimal engagement and socialization.

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 55 Assisted Living Residence: Yes Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-Private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes

Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes* Comments: To schedule a personal appointment, please call Susan Brennan at 717-625-6126. *Pets are permitted on a case-by-case basis.

www.50plusLifePA.com


Assisted Living Residences/Personal Care Homes 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.

Pleasant View Communities

Tel Hai RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

544 North Penryn Road • Manheim, PA 17545 717-664-6237 • www.pleasantviewcommunities.org Total AL and/or PC Beds: 96 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: Yes* Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Part/Totally Refundable: No Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes

1200 Tel Hai Circle • Honey Brook, PA 19344 610-273-9333 • www.telhai.org

On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No Comments: *Three-year private pay spending. Maintain independence in an enriching and supportive environment.

Total AL and/or PC Beds: 100 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: No Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes Medication Management: Yes

On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: Yes Comments: Providing daily assistance paired with clinical support for seniors to remain independent, safe, and secure.

vibralife senior living

707 Shepherdstown Road • Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 717-591-2100 • www.vibralife.net amilburn@vibralifemc.com Total AL and/or PC Beds: 46 Assisted Living Residence: No Personal Care Home: Yes Private: Yes Semi-Private: Yes Private Pay: Yes SSI Accepted: No Short-term Lease: Yes Entrance Fee/Security Deposit: Yes Outdoor Areas/Fitness Center: Yes

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

Medication Management: Yes On-call Medical Service: Yes Health Fee-for-Service Available: Yes Alzheimer’s Care: No Respite Care: Yes Social Programs: Yes Housekeeping/Laundry Service: Yes Transportation (Scheduled): Yes Personal Car Permitted: Yes Pets Permitted: No

Social Security Announces 5.9% Benefit Increase Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9% in 2022, the Social Security Administration announced recently. The 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022. Increased payments to approximately 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 30, 2021. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the consumer price index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based

on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $147,000 from $142,800. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal My Social Security account. People may create or access their My Social Security account online at socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount. The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, visit socialsecurity.gov/cola.

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December 2021

9


6 Homeownership Tips for Snowbirds By Andrea Collins

will be, and what you’re leaving behind, and then what went right — or wrong — during your past snowbird seasons. If, for example, you overpacked last winter, you may want to make a list this season. Or if you’re renting your primary residence while you’re gone, you might want to put some of your personal items in storage.

Not to be confused with an actual bird, a snowbird is a person who moves to a warmer location during the winter to avoid the cold. Traditionally, most snowbirds have been retirees; however, younger demographics who have the ability to work remotely have also started to claim the snowbird title. Snowbirding is about having more freedom over your lifestyle, but it also comes with extra responsibility, usually in the form of a second home, RV, or vacation rental to maintain. That’s why it’s crucial to be prepared. 1. Inspect your insurance. To be a snowbird, you have to think ahead when it comes to your insurance, specifically your homeowner’s insurance. When insuring your primary residence, second home, or any rental properties, it’s important to be honest about which properties you use for which purposes — and what the safety and insurance concerns are for each one. Speaking with a trusted insurance professional can help you get the proper coverage for your homes and belongings, no matter where you spend the winter. 2. Downsize your stuff. Before you take flight for the season, downsize as much as possible. Consider where you’re going, what your day-to-day lifestyle

3. Stick to a snowbird budget. Just as with a regular household budget, the key to creating a snowbird budget is to be realistic. The best budget should give you enough freedom to enjoy your winter retreat without blowing your savings. To determine your ideal budget, work backward. Start by imagining your dream environment; then research costs in the area. Think: average rentals, activity costs, transportation, groceries, and dining out. Don’t forget to factor in your primary-residence costs as well. Even though you’re technically away from home, you’ll still have to pay your housing costs, as well as utilities, insurance, and upkeep. Pro tip: Don’t forget travel costs. Whether it’s wear and tear on your vehicle, fuel costs, or plane tickets, travel expenses can eat into your snowbird budget. 4. Plan for proper home maintenance. As a snowbird, you have to be proactive about keeping your various residences in good condition. If you have a residence in a warm-weather area, you may need to consider landscaping upkeep, pool maintenance, pest control, and mold checks. For

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cold-weather properties, you have to safeguard your home against harsh weather and freezing temperatures. Before you leave for the winter — and during your stay — make sure you stay up to date with your home-maintenance checklists. 5. Invest in smart-home devices. Smart-home devices are a simple way to protect and preserve your home, not to mention give you peace of mind. These devices use the latest technology to provide you with security, comfort, and convenience — whether you’re at home or away. You may want to consider installing leak detectors, smart lighting, programmable thermostats, or a fully monitored home security system. With your smartphone as a control center, you’ll be able to remotely monitor the safety and security of your home(s) at all times.

CONCERTS DECEMBER 28 & 29

DECEMBER 30 & 31

2022 SEASON

6. Get packed. Once you’ve chosen the perfect location for your snowbird season, nailed down a budget, and prepared your home, it’s time to get packed. Here’s a quick checklist to get you started: • Important documents – Gather your ID, insurance policies, contracts, any pertinent medical information, and contacts for utility companies at both your primary and snowbird residences.

JAN 21 – FEB 19

FEB 25 – APR 16

APR 22 – MAY 14

JUN 3 – JUN 25

JUL 1 – AUG 6

AUG 12 – SEPT 17

SEPT 23 – NOV 12

NOV 18 – DEC 31

• Warm layers – Include light jackets, scarves, sweaters, and a raincoat just in case. As for shoes, don’t rely solely on sandals. Comfortable walking shoes, hiking boots, and a few dress shoes are sure to come in handy. • Medications and a first aid kit – Along with a first aid kit, pack any medications in a safe and convenient location. It’s also a good idea to let your doctor know you’ll be out of town and ask how you can refill any necessary prescriptions. • Tech devices – When bringing items like a laptop, tablet, or smartphones, make sure you pack the accompanying chargers, adapters, and batteries. Pro tip: Consider what other household necessities you might need to bring to your destination. If you’re traveling to a second home, you probably already have a basic idea of what you need to bring. However, if you’re vacationing somewhere new, it’s smart to ask the right questions ahead of time. For example, will you need towels and linens? What sizes are the beds? What can you buy easily once you arrive? You want to be as prepared as possible without overpacking. Snowbird in Style Whether you’re choosing the snowbirding lifestyle for health reasons, adventure, or wanderlust, it’s critical to think proactively about the home you’re traveling to and the one you’re leaving behind. Andrea Collins is a home insight expert at Hippo Insurance (hippo. com), an InsurTech company that’s reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners — building policies with more comprehensive coverage for today’s consumers at up to 20% less than competitors.

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The History of Ordinary Things

The Americanization of Santa Claus Doris Montag

Centuries ago, European Christmas customs centered on St. Nicholas, a charitable Turkish Catholic bishop born in the fourth century. St. Nicholas was associated with gift giving to children, which occurred on Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day. In America, circa the 1800s, the Puritans and other Calvinists had eliminated Christmas as a holy season under the premise that a Christmas observance was From 1881-1886, political cartoonist Thomas Nast inconsistent with gospel drew a series of annual Santa Claus images for Harper’s Weekly, a newspaper. These drawings worship. Presbyterians, portrayed an overweight Santa with flowing beard, Baptists, Quakers, and fur garments, black boots, and a clay pipe. (The other Protestants regarded pipe disappeared in images after 1960.) Dec. 25 as a day without

Illustration to verse three of the children’s poem “Old Santeclaus with Much Delight,” 1821.

religious significance; in fact, it was a day for normal business. The holiday season, coming after harvest, was a time when workers and servants took the upper hand, demanding gifts for their labors. The season was characterized by raucous, drunken mobs roaming the streets, damaging property, and threatening and frightening the upper classes. During this period, a new understanding of family life and the place of children was emerging. Childhood began to be seen as a time in which greater protection, sheltering, training, and education were needed. In this light, the holiday season began to be tamed,

The road of life contains more than a few curves …

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50plus LIFE continues to bring important information as well as entertaining articles to the 50+ community. We at On-Line Publishers would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the editorial contributors of 50plus LIFE.

… and confident decisions are informed decisions. Throughout the year, 50plus LIFE includes Special Services pages dedicated to connecting you with these resources in our area:

Tom Blake (On Life and Love after 50) Victor Block (Willing to Wander) Suzy Cohen (Dear Pharmacist) Jonathen J. David (Legal Ease) Bob DeLaurentis (Bob’s Tech Talk) Randal C. Hill (Sixties Flashback It Was 50 Years Ago Today The Reel Deal) John Johnston (Social Security News) Bill Levine (Booming Voice) Clyde McMillan-Gamber (The Beauty in Nature)

Jim Miller (The Savvy Senior) Doris Montag (The History of Ordinary Things) Melinda Myers (Melinda’s Garden) Robert Naeye (Soldier Stories) Victor Parachin (Grief Relief) Saralee Perel (Such is Life) Terri Schlichenmeyer (The Bookworm Sez) Nick Thomas (Tinseltown Talks) Dr. Lori Verderame (Art and Antiques) Arthur Vidro (The Cautious Consumer Guy)

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turning toward home, family, and neighbors. flying reindeer with their catchy names: “Now, Dasher! Now, St. Nicholas, typically dressed in a bishop’s robe, took on Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! new attributes in America. In 1821 an anonymous poem and On, Donner and Blitzen!” illustrations in the book The Children’s Friend proved pivotal As a historical note, the growth of Sunday schools by midin shifting the story and imagery away from saintly Bishop century had exposed hundreds of thousands of children to Nicholas. Christianity. To improve Sunday school attendance around In the poem, Sante Claus was portrayed in a didactic mode, the holidays, churches enticed children with a Christmas tree, rewarding good behavior and punishing bad. Sante Claus Santa Claus, and gifts. aided parents by serving in judgment of whether children By the 1850s, churches in America had reintroduced were naughty or nice. Christmas observances. Notably, the book had Sante Claus arrive on Christmas “The Night Before Christmas” was first illustrated in 1848. Eve, rather than Dec. 6. This Sante Claus came from the The poem of just 28 rhyming couplets (56 lines) provides only North in a sleigh with a single flying reindeer. a general description of Santa Claus, which has allowed many, The image of St. Nicholas was recast in 1823 in a poem, many illustrators to interpret how Santa Claus looks. “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” now better known as “The Night Most people have different interpretations of Santa Claus’s Haddon Sundblom, an Before Christmas.” Its author remained unknown until 1837, appearance, based on the edition of the book they grew illustrator for the Coca-Cola when it appeared in The New York Book of Poetry credited to up with. In more recent versions, the pipe and smoke have Company, cast the familiar wealthy biblical scholar Clement Clarke Moore. disappeared in the drawings, and often Santa Claus has lost Santa Claus of our generation. It is reported that he wrote the poem in 1821 in the weight! sleigh on his way to buy the Christmas turkey and that the Haddon Sundblom, an illustrator for the Coca-Cola description of Santa Claus resembled the Dutch handyman who drove his Company, cast the familiar Santa Claus of our generation with his wholesome sleigh that night: “a broad face and a little round belly.” and realistic image. It debuted in 1931, and Sundblom painted a new image Moore read the poem to his wife and six children but considered the poem each year until 1964. too frivolous to publish. A friend submitted it anonymously to The Sentinel, a Originally written as “happy Christmas to all,” the replacement with Troy, New York, newspaper, in 1823. “merry Christmas” was introduced in 1832. As noted, St. Nicholas had been portrayed as a rather stern bishop who In an ode to tradition, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.” visited children to dispense both gifts and discipline. “The Night Before Doris Montag is a homespun historian and an exhibit curator who researches and Christmas” transformed St. Nicholas into a jolly, plumb, rosy-cheeked displays historical collections of ordinary things, such as can openers, crochet, toy character who brought gifts to children. sewing machines, hand corn planters, powder compacts, egg cartons, and more. The poem had enormous influence on the Americanization of the image Contact or follow her on Facebook, HistoryofOrdinaryThings. of St. Nicholas in a red suit and black boots. It also introduced his team of

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Blood drives are approximately five to six hours in length. Blood donor ambassadors are asked to commit to one shift per month. The American Red Cross is following all CDC guidelines. Volunteer benefits include: transportation reimbursement, free supplemental liability insurance, recognition and appreciation events, assistance with clearances, and more. For more information, contact Scott Hunsinger at (443) 619-3842 or yorkadamsfranklin@ rsvpcapreg.org.

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SILVER ECONOMY? Which buyers make up the Silver Economy? • 962 million men and women over the age of 60 • A group with 11 times more wealth than millennials • Persons with a life expectancy in the U.S. is about 78.87 years • Persons who prefer in-person contact when possible • A group that wants to age at home as long as reasonable

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Orthopedics & Pain Savvy Senior

Acupuncture: Does It Work and Is It Covered by Medicare?

Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior, Is acupuncture a viable treatment for pain and is it covered by Medicare? Since the pandemic hit, I have a lot of lower back and neck pain and am wondering if it’s worth trying. What can you tell me? – Looking for Solutions

Acupuncture Treatment First used in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture has become increasingly popular in the United States over the past decade. While acupuncture isn’t a cure-all treatment, it is a safe, drug-free option for relieving many different types of pain, including low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, postoperative pain, tennis elbow, carpel tunnel syndrome, dental pain, and more. Studies have also shown that it can be helpful in treating asthma, depression,

Dear Looking, Many studies over the years — funded by the National Institutes of Health — have found acupuncture to be very effective in easing pain and can help with a variety of other ailments too. Here’s what you should know.

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Orthopedics & Pain digestive disorders, menopause symptoms like hot flashes, and nausea caused by chemotherapy or anesthesia. Exactly how or why acupuncture works isn’t fully understood, but it’s based on the traditional Eastern theory that vital energy flows through pathways in the body, and when any of these pathways get blocked, pain and illness result. Acupuncture unblocks the pathways to restore health. However, today most Western practitioners believe that acupuncture works because it stimulates the nerves, causing the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkiller hormones. It’s also shown to increase blood circulation, decrease inflammation, and stimulate the immune system. What to Expect During acupuncture, practitioners stimulate specific points on the body by inserting thin needles through the skin. The needles are solid, sterile, and disposable (used only once), and as thin as a cat’s whisker. The number of needles used for each treatment can vary anywhere from a few up to a dozen or more. And where the needles are actually stuck depends on the condition being treated, but they are typically inserted about onequarter to 1 inch deep and are left in place for about 20 minutes. After placement, the needles are sometimes twirled, manipulated, or stimulated with electricity or heat. You may feel a brief, sharp sensation when the needle is inserted, but generally it’s not painful. Once the needle is in place, however, you may feel a please see ACUPUNCTURE page 19

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Orthopedics & Pain Is Your Pain Acute or Chronic? Knowing the Difference Will Help Healing By David Wilkening Pain comes in all shapes and sizes. No one wants to suffer it. But if you had a choice of what’s the best kind to get, you’d choose “A” for acute. That sounds bad. But it’s better than “C” for “chronic.” So why is that, and what’s the difference, anyway? And why should you care? The simple reason is the bottom line: Knowing your kind of pain will help you get the best treatment. Pain is the most common complaint encountered by healthcare practitioners. Some surveys found up to 80% of physician visits were attributed to pain. It’s generally the No. 1 reason Americans access the healthcare system. Acute Pain Obviously, no one wants to suffer pain. But it

definitely should get your attention: Something is wrong. At its simplest, acute pain happens quickly and goes away when the cause is no longer there. Say you touch a hot plate on the stove while preparing a meal. You burn yourself. You immediately pull your hand away. That’s good. Why? Because it tells you that you have an injury. Acute pain is the most common type of pain, associated with most general injuries or illnesses. This type of pain is most often linked to some type of trauma to the affected area, whether that is a car accident or a simple muscle strain. Typical causes of acute pain can include surgery, dental work, broken bones, burns, and childbirth. Common acute orthopedic conditions can include fractures, dislocations, hernias, sprains, and muscle strains.

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Chronic Pain With acute pain, the pain goes away when there is no longer an underlying cause for it. There was some discomfort, but soon your life goes on. Not so with chronic pain. This lingers for anywhere from three to six months or longer, although the definition and timeline of chronic pain are not precisely established. It remains an unwelcome stranger — even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or disappeared. Chronic pain, furthermore, does not have to be constant or consistent. In some cases, it can come and go. Typical causes of chronic pain include anything from headaches to cancer. Chronic orthopedic issues facing older patients include arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, lower back pain, joint pain, nerve damage, and past injuries. Chronic pain also tends to create related issues, such as tense muscles, limited ability to move around, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Other demons, such as depression, anxiety, anger, and fears, are also associated with chronic pain. Chronic pain is more trying than the more common acute version. It can have a tremendous impact on people of all ages, interfering with your sleep patterns, creating all types of emotional distress, and affecting your everyday activities. Treatments Both acute and chronic pain are enormous problems in the United States, costing 650 million lost workdays and $65 billion a year, according to some estimates. When it comes to ordinary acute pain, most sufferers are handled by primary-care physicians. That’s because minor acute pain can be treated easily through over-the-counter medicines, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen; by physical therapy; or even with exercise or alternative treatments. Chronic pain, however, often requires stronger medicines and more intensive therapies, which might include acupuncture, biofeedback, relaxation training (meditation and deep breathing), and even hypnosis. Some treatment plans include physical therapy, focusing on muscle use. Occupational therapy may be prescribed to focus on specific tasks, such as walking up and down stairs and getting in and out of a vehicle with less pain. Massage therapy can also help for some types of pain relief. Even more tools for helping chronic pain sufferers are being developed by the National Health Institute. If you or your doctor decides your pain is not acute but chronic, know there are treatment options for relief. These often include pain relievers and other medications, but you might feel better knowing there are a variety of other methods available. David Wilkening spent most of his working life on newspapers. He sometimes calls himself a former “newspaperman,” which in today’s world is an outdated designation.

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Orthopedics & Pain ACUPUNCTURE from page 15 tingling sensation, numbness, mild pressure, or warmth. How many treatments you’ll need will depend on the severity of your condition — 12 treatments done weekly or biweekly is very common. It’s also important to know that acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other conventional medical treatments or by itself. Cost and Coverage The cost per treatment typically runs anywhere from $40 to $150, depending on where you are in the country and what style of treatment you are receiving. Today, an increasing number of private insurance plans, including some Medicare Advantage plans and policies provided by employers, offer some type of acupuncture coverage. You’ll also be happy to know that last January (2020), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that original Medicare will now cover up to 12 acupuncture sessions in 90 days for patients with chronic

lower back pain. Eight additional sessions can be added if patients show improvement. But in order to receive Medicare coverage, you must use a licensed acupuncturist who is supervised by a medical doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner trained in acupuncture, who will need to process the acupuncture claim. Currently, licensed acupuncturists can’t directly bill Medicare. To find an acupuncturist in your area, ask your doctor for a referral, or you can do a search online. Two good resources are the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (nccaom.org) and the American Academy of Medical Acupuncturists (medicalacupuncture.org), which offers a directory of MDs and DOs who are certified to practice acupuncture. 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.

President Kennedy, Chronic Pain, and Me By James E. Patterson In the 1990s, I had a serious spinal injury while serving in the U.S. Foreign Service. While recovering from neurosurgery for my injuries, a colleague suggested I read how President John F. Kennedy managed his chronic back pain. According to the back-pain website SpineUniverse, Kennedy “underwent multiple spine surgeries, relied on daily use of a back brace (and sometimes crutches), and tried various alternative treatments.” Coincidentally, Kennedy and I had similar spinal injuries. In 1995, I had discectomy at L5-S1. Prior to surgery, I had intractable back and leg pain. The same was true for Kennedy, who underwent an L4L5 laminotomy and L5-S1 discectomy in 1944. Historians tell us that Kennedy found little relief from his surgery. I had relief for a period of years and continued to work. In 2006, I was working in San Francisco when my spine demons returned. I was prescribed opioids. The physician wrongly said opioids were “non-addictive” and prescribed me tall bottles of 90 opioid tablets! Today, it is unlawful in some states to prescribe that amount. Opioids caused more health problems for me. They aggravated my preexisting ophthalmological and neurological conditions. My vision was seriously impaired for months. Fortunately, in 2015 I found the right medical professionals to diagnosis the problem and end the opioid “therapy.” My difficult struggle through highly addictive opioid “therapy” frightens me still. There is life after opioids! For anyone challenged by chronic pain, please be aware that physicians are prone to write prescriptions for pharmaceuticals. Drug manufacturers send salespeople to physicians’ offices. Ergo, physicians prescribe drugs to their patients. Patients must ask for pain-management alternatives to drugs. Alternatives www.50plusLifePA.com

include chiropractic therapy, physical therapy, aquatic therapy, acupuncture, neuromuscular therapy, home exercise, yoga, tai chi, appropriate medical supplies and equipment, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with a psychologist trained in chronic pain management. Psychologists are great resources as they are not M.D.s.; they cannot prescribe drugs for chronic pain. Most psychologists prefer physical medicine rather than traditional drug “therapy.” Not everyone goes to a psychologist for depression. Based on my experience as a working professional managing chronic pain, each day involves physical medicine, including exercise. My pain-management regime includes acupuncture and neuromuscular, aquatic, physical, and massage therapies. Maintaining control over chronic pain requires discipline, resourcefulness, and persistence, among other personal traits. Chronic-pain psychologists can help develop these traits. Psychologists can also help manage problems associated with chronic pain, including anxiety and depression, and can help with recovery from opioid addiction. While in the U.S. Senate, Kennedy began using a therapeutic rocking chair, which he found relieved tension in his lower back as it kept his muscles contracting and relaxing. Kennedy became a believer in the Kennedy Rocker, and in 1960, he took his rocker to the White House. While at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., President Kennedy treated his chronic pain with a regime of physical medicine, including swimming, weightlifting, and massage therapy, among others. If you or a loved one is managing chronic pain, consider how President John F. Kennedy managed his pain. It can be done successfully and effectively with physical medicine. James E. Patterson is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and speaker.

50plus LIFE

December 2021

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On Life and Love after 50

Tom Blake

2 Websites that Combat Fraud and Romance Scams

Do you know that a “friend request” you receive on Facebook or an offer for a free COVID-19 test on Instagram might be from romance scammers trying to steal your money? Are you aware that a phone call from a number you don’t recognize might be from a con artist claiming to work for the IRS who declares that, if you don’t pay delinquent back taxes that very day, you will be jailed? These con artists are experts at defrauding people. Romance scammers slowly gain the trust of vulnerable, lonely people, often seniors or widows, and sooner or later start asking for money. Millions of dollars have been stolen from unsuspecting seniors. The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging is so concerned about seniors being scammed that it publishes an annual free interactive Fraud Book that anyone, especially seniors, can view online. The book can be viewed by searching online for “Senate Interactive Fraud Report,” and it is free to download. Do not download other fraud books that

cost money that might appear on the search page. In a 2020 Senate Fraud Book that I downloaded, the “Dear Friends” letter got my attention with these words: “In 2020, the FTC estimated that Americans ages 60 and older lost at least $602 million to fraud, scams, and financial-exploitation schemes.” The Fraud Book supplies tips from the FBI, FTC, and FCC on how to spot romance scammers, information from the FBI describing common techniques used by romance scammers, and details about COVID-19-related romance scams. The book also includes a toll-free fraud hotline to report scams: (855) 303-9470. Another valuable tool for older adults for reading about romance and other scams is provided by the AARP Fraud Resource Center, which lists information on 76 different types of scams and fraud, plus other valuable information. It can be accessed online at aarp.org/money/scams-fraud. After studying the Senate Fraud Report and the AARP Scams & Fraud pages, I compiled a list of 11 tips for seniors to avoid fraud and romance scams: 1. Read and study the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging’s Fraud Report and the AARP Scams & Fraud pages.

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2. If a person on a dating site says they are working overseas, it’s a red flag. Stop communications with them. 3. Trust your instincts. If someone sounds too good to be true, that person is likely a scammer. 4. If a person says that meeting you was fate and they are falling in love quickly, it’s a lie. You cannot fall in love with someone you’ve never met in person. 5. Do not send pictures of yourself or provide personal information to someone you’ve never met. Don’t give them your home address.

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6. Don’t be fooled by simple trinket-type gifts. The scammer gets them for free from their scamming company.

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7. If a person says they want to visit you, and then cancels, it’s a hoax. 8. Don’t let anyone talk you out of sharing information with your trusted friends.

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9. Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally, and don’t help a friend send money. 10. Do not answer your phone if you don’t recognize the number calling you. 11. Discuss your doubts or suspicious activity with friends, or contact someone like me for an opinion. Or call the fraud hotline number listed in the www.50plusLifePA.com


Senate Fraud Report, (855) 303-9470. Let’s put an end to romance scams. Beware of those social media “friend requests” and other warning signals. Here are the two most important links I have provided to readers in 26 years of writing newspaper columns: AARP Fraud Watch Network: aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/about-fraudwatch-network U.S. Senate’s Fraud Report: aging.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Fraud% 20Book%202021.pdf For dating information, previous articles, or to sign up for Tom’s complimentary, weekly e-newsletter, go to findingloveafter50.com.

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Scenes from the Cumberland County 50plus EXPO We were thrilled to be back in person for the 22nd annual Cumberland County 50plus EXPO on Oct. 13 at the Carlisle Expo Center! Did you join us? If so, you might find yourself here! If not, see what you missed — and please, join us next time!

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The Beauty in Nature

Winter Colors Clyde McMillan-Gamber

Winter seems drab to many people in southeastern Pennsylvania. Gray skies and deciduous trees, brown fields, and cold, ice, and snow dampen human spirits. But bright colors in nature beautify winter landscapes and lift people’s emotions. Female American holly trees and winterberry shrubs, both wild and planted on lawns, have strikingly red berries that are decorative and a joy to see through winter. The scarlet berries of American Holly bush. hollies are particularly attractive nestled among the deep-green foliage of those trees on lawns and in certain local woods. And the many breathtaking red berries of winterberries stand out vividly among their gray twigs, on lawns, and in some wooded bottomlands. Red twigs of red-osier dogwood shrubs are lovely standouts among beige and brown wetland vegetation surrounding local ponds and marshes. Their clumps of slender, bright-red stems remind me of vertical red strokes in an oil painting. Winter rye in fields, in grass, and on lawns and white radishes in gardens are hardy vegetation. They all hold down the soil and enrich it. Green shoots of rye are eaten by wintering and stately Canada geese, snow geese, and tundra swans, like sheep grazing grass. And white radishes, with delightfully lush leaves in gardens, send thick roots into the soil. When radishes die in winter, leaves decay and fertilize soil and their tubers rot, creating holes in soil that conduct rain into the ground. Red juniper trees grow in abandoned fields and along roadsides. They have what appear to be many pretty, light-blue berries nestled among their greenneedled boughs. Those decorative “berries” are tiny blue cones, each coated with wax that makes them look paler. Field mice and attractive berry-eating birds, including American robins and cedar waxwings, feed on those small cones. The birds digest the cones’ pulp but pass the seeds in their droppings across the countryside, thus spreading red junipers.

Two-foot-tall clumps of broom grass are pretty associates of red junipers. Broom grass is beigeorange and particularly attractive in the low-slanting sunlight of winter. Dead leaves clinging to twigs on American beech and pin oak trees in winter add beauty to bottomland woods and lawns they were planted on. Beech leaves are curled and pale-beige, while those of pin oaks are ginger-brown. Beautiful cones hang on planted, needle-limbed pine, American robin. hemlock, fir, and spruce trees through winter. Pretty little birds, including chickadees and finches, eat winged seeds from the open scales of those cones. Snow, sunlight, and blue skies accentuate the lovely colors of plants and animals, helping make winter more tolerable, even more enjoyable. Winter is not as drab as it first appears. Go outside to see for yourself.

Happy Holidays We at On-Line Publishers, Inc. are grateful to our dedicated staff, loyal readers, and supportive advertisers who have all enabled us to continue our mission to serve the mind, heart, and spirit of the 50+ community in 2021. We wish to thank each of you for helping to make 50plus LIFE a fun, interesting, and unique source of information and entertainment for our readers in central Pennsylvania. At this special time of giving thanks and reminiscing, the staff of On-Line Publishers wishes you, our friends, warmest holiday wishes.

Nature’s Wonders

by Clyde

A nature blog by Clyde McMillan-Gamber, retired Lancaster County Parks naturalist and longtime 50plus LIFE columnist

Each story is like a walk with your own naturalist. NaturesWondersByClyde.BlogSpot.com

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Legal Ease

Lots of Reasons to Rethink This Plan Jonathan J. David

Dear Jonathan: I am a widower and have five adult children. Rather than engage in any formal and costly estate planning, I plan to keep it simple by adding my daughter’s name to the title of my assets. My assets include my home and bank and investment accounts. I also have two life insurance policies and an IRA, and I plan to name her as the beneficiary of those investments. This way, after I die, all of my assets will end up in my daughter’s name without having to go through probate, and then she can divide everything with her brothers and sisters. She is willing to do that, and I trust her completely. What do you think? Jonathan says: I know that adding your daughter to the title (and naming her as the beneficiary) of your assets seems like an easy solution and is tempting, but it is not a good plan to pursue for a variety of reasons.

Those reasons include: 1. Upon your death, your daughter would now be the legal owner of those assets and would not be legally required to share any of those assets with her siblings. 2. When you add your daughter to the title of your home and bank and investment accounts, you are in effect gifting her a 50% interest in those assets. Under current law, an individual can make gifts of up to $15,000 per person per year gift-tax free; any amount in excess of $15,000 is deemed to be a taxable gift, which will require the filing of a gift tax return with the IRS. 3. When your daughter divides the assets with her siblings, she will in effect be making a gift to each of them, and any gift in excess of $15,000 will be taxable and require the filing of a gift tax return with the IRS.

You know a good story when you hear it. Think you or someone you know would make an interesting profile story for 50plus LIFE? We are looking for central Pennsylvanians over age 50 who have a unique hobby, passion, or history of volunteer work, or who are a part of an interesting local club. Ideal story candidates are willing to talk about themselves and to be photographed. Your name: _______________________________________________________________ Your address: ____________________________________________________________________ Your phone: ________________________________________ Email:_____________________________________________ Nominee’s name (if not self): ____________________________________________________________________________ Nominee’s town of residence: ___________________________________________________________________________ Nominee’s phone: __________________________________ Email: _____________________________________________ Why they would make a great story: _____________________________________________________________________ Note: Please get your nominee’s permission before submitting them!

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4. If your daughter is married and goes through a divorce after she has been added to the title of your assets but before she divides them with her siblings, those assets could end up getting caught up in the divorce proceedings.

Instead of adding your daughter to the title of your home and your bank and investment accounts, and naming her as the beneficiary of your life insurance policies and IRA, the better plan is for you to:

5. Your daughter’s ownership interest in your assets prior to her dividing them with her siblings could be made subject to a bankruptcy filing involving her or to the claims of any of her creditors.

• Set up a trust and retitle your home and your bank and investment accounts in the name of your trust.

6. Since your daughter would now be the legal owner of your bank and investment accounts, any interest generated by those investments before she divides them with her siblings will be taxable solely to her.

• Name your children as the beneficiaries of your IRA.

7. If your daughter passes away prior to dividing the assets with her siblings, those assets will pass through her estate, and your other children will end up getting nothing unless your daughter has named them as beneficiaries in her estate plan. Naming your daughter as a co-owner of your home is problematic for many reasons. Since this requires a lengthier response than I have room for in this column, my next column will be devoted solely to this topic.

• Name your trust as the beneficiary of your life insurance policies.

Taking these steps will not only protect you, but will also serve to protect your daughter and your other children. I recommend that you meet with an estate planning attorney, who can review all of this with you in more detail, as well as explain how engaging in estate planning, including the preparation of a trust, would be beneficial to you, your daughter, and your other children. Good luck. Jonathan J. David is a shareholder in the law firm of Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C., 1700 E. Beltline N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49525.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today

‘Brand New Key’ Randal Hill

At a London party in 1760, a Belgian violinist For a while, Melanie, who had skyrocketed to fame made a surprise entrance on a new invention called a year earlier with her rousing Woodstock anthem “roller skates” as he played his music. In doing so, he “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” railed against the smashed into a mirror worth a thousand dollars and idea of “Brand New Key” becoming Neighborhood’s damaged it beyond repair. debut disc, fearful that if it hit big, she would no Over the years, roller skates evolved into metal longer be taken seriously as a folk artist. (“I was sure I contraptions that included a simple tool — a key — was doomed to be cute for the rest of my life.”) to fasten them to a skater’s shoes. Numerous listeners often snapped to attention In her chart-topping novelty song “Brand New when they first heard the lyrics of “Brand New Key,” Melanie (born Melanie Anne Safka in 1947) Key.” As a holdover from the ’60s, the drug scene tells of an enamored girl who skates to a boy’s house. remained prevalent into the next decade. This led He never seems to be home, though, and when the some people to think that Melanie’s tune was really lad’s mother opens the door and explains that her son about acquiring a “key” (a kilogram, or 2.2 pounds) is inside but isn’t alone, the young lady understands of marijuana. why the guy has been avoiding her: He is seeing Others dismissed her work as thinly veiled Publicity photo of singer, songwriter, and another girl he likes better. eroticism. Freudian symbols aside, Melanie maintains musician Melanie Safka. There’s a little-known back story to Melanie’s that exploiting matters of the flesh were never her million-seller. In a search for enlightenment, she once intention. “Brand New Key” went on a 27-day distilled-water fast. A vegetarian, “People read things into it,” she grumbled later. By Melanie she broke her fast by munching on carrots but became “They made up incredible stories as to what the lyrics December 1971 overwhelmed by the seductive smells from a nearby said and what the song meant. In some places, it was McDonald’s, where she succumbed to a burger, fries, and soda meal. even banned on the radio.” She claimed that the alluring aroma somehow conjured childhood memories ... of riding a bicycle and roller-skating and rationalized her visit to the fast-food chain by assuming that some kind of “spirit voice” was guiding her. Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates At home, Melanie dashed off “Brand New Key” in 15 minutes, giving the You got a brand new key melody a bouncy, ’30s-style lilt. She never considered the ditty as a potential I think that we should get together single release, planning to use it only during concerts to drop in as a surprise And try them out to see between her serious works about the trials of mankind. But her record-producer husband, Peter Schekeryk, who had just started the Randal C. Hill is a rock ’n’ roll historian who lives at the Oregon coast. He may be reached at wryterhill@msn.com. couple’s own label — Neighborhood Records — sensed a hit 45 here. www.50plusLifePA.com

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Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori

Squishmallows: Collectible Toy of the Future Lori Verderame

Don’t know which contemporary toy is the best one Adults collect them too. In fact, I was interviewed to buy for everybody on your list this holiday season? about appraising collectible Squishmallows recently, While many toys make great gifts, some toys will be and the 20-something reporter admitted that she and collectibles of the future. her friends are wild about collecting the cuddly creature What is my pick for the holiday toy of choice in toys, too. That didn’t surprise me, as young adults are 2021? Squishmallows. enthusiastic plush-toy collectors for many reasons, one I think these soft, plush toys with cutesy and of which is that the age group grew up with the 1990s culturally significant names, complex backstories, and collectible-toy crazes. strong designs — and that second for cuddly pillows Kellytoy, the California plush-toy manufacturer that — are highly collectible and will hold their value with makes and markets Squishmallows, enjoys widespread collectors for the long term. interest and sales: more than 55 million have been sold Squishmallows are to the 2020s what Beanie Babies to date. were to the 1990s. The complete Squishmallows Squad includes more Squishmallows are not only the next big toy craze, than 800 plush characters in various sizes. The toys they are the current big toy craze. Only a few years are simple in their design and feature colorful and since their introduction in the autumn of 2017, the textural attributes that make the them attractive to the Photo credit: Staff of www.DrLoriV.com collectible Squishmallows toys in their many versions collecting public. Squishmallows are made from superSquishmallow plush toy, Rocio the have achieved the type of widespread interest that was soft spandex EF and polyester stuffing. Each toy is dinosaur, Prehistoric Squad, collector enjoyed by Boyd’s Bears, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Ty washable. No. 680. Inc. Beanie Babies. Collectors look for some of the same elements in a Squishmallows are organized and marketed differently from most plush Squishmallow as they did in Ty Inc. Beanies Babies. Tags are important to toys. For example, Squishmallows debuted in thematic squads, like the Fantasy authentication and value, since there are fakes out there trying to imitate the Squad, Prehistoric Squad, Buddy Squad, etc., with certain items included toys. within a category or squad. To an appraiser and market analyst like me, Squishmallows have all the stuff Each Squishmallow has its own character name; “squishdate,” which is that will make them a mainstay in the collectible-toy market for many years to likened to a birthdate; collector number; character backstory; and, of course, come. Get yours now while you can. All the kids and adults on your holiday the all-important printed tag. shopping list will thank you for it. The fun plush toys are available in four sizes — 5, 8, 12, and 16 inches tall — and range in price from approximately $5 to $20 each. The cost is attractive Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide and appears on The Curse of Oak Island to all ages. Kids can afford their low price in order to make additions to their on History channel. Visit drloriv.com, youtube.com/drloriv, or call (888) 431-1010. Squishmallows collections.

Booming Voice

Remotely Unsuccessful Bill Levine

My three closest former officemates from the 501 building and I recently met for our first get-together dinner meeting post-COVID. We have kept in touch, even though two of my friends retired in 2007, seven years before my final logoff. We passed around the annals of the old office coffee club, which included fake bios for members emphasizing their java creds, mixed with real newspaper articles about the club’s charitable donations to Globe Santa. To this pleasant memory above, I want to add stats from a March 2021 Society for Human

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Resource Management (shrm.org) piece that listed what remote employees missed most: • 61% – In-person workplace conversations • 42% – The regular and daily structure of reporting to a worksite • 40% – Lunches and happy hours with colleagues • 37% – Reduced interruptions by kids during the workday www.50plusLifePA.com


These stats would indicate that rumors of the demise of the office are somewhat exaggerated, to abashedly paraphrase Mark Twain. As an office desk jockey for most of my four decades, I am happy with the stats above. There are clearly advantages to office life over remote working; I say this as a “looked at both sides now” guy who did work remotely at times during my last few working years. Despite the remote-work advantages of no commute and no “subsidized” garage fees of $200 a month, and not having to dress for success, I missed all of the pluses that the stats above spoke to about working in the office. (I would add to the work-from-home negatives “interruptions by dog fights as my wife ran a doggy playgroup while I was remotely solving IT problems in my basement.”) There was also the burden of supervising workers while I was home and sometimes multi-role playing as an IT professional and a cook. This sometimes didn’t work out well, as I became so engrossed in work that I forgot to attend to lambchops until the smoke detector went off. My office at the 501 building was my workplace for 30 years. I figure I did about 5,000 daily stints there before being laid off. I got trapped in the elevator once and parked in the CEO’s spot once by mistake. In the paternalistic years of the company, I bought stuff in the onsite company store. When we had a company cafeteria, I ate with colleagues and jointly discussed turkey bosses and turkey tetrazzini. I participated in many baby showers and, from my cubicle, witnessed romances blossoming into marriages. I ate a bake shop’s worth of celebratory cake slices. I made friends for life. But I also saw email addresses change back to maiden names and vibrant bachelorettes end up 30 years later still unattached. I listened to my cancer-ridden colleague say in my cubicle in November that he was only staying at work because of the health benefits, and then I found myself offering condolences to his wife the following March. Our office had a second-home vibe as we commented on: cars bought, movies seen, vacations taken, kids’ successes, kids’ heartbreaks, sports heartbreaks, good bosses, crazy bosses, and good-but-crazy bosses. This was the richness of face-to-face work encounters that accompanied my 9-to-5 existence for more than 30 years. Even when heavy attrition came to IT department the last year of my career and my second floor was a ghost town of deserted cubicles, I preferred coming into the office. Two or three team members were still working on site, so we could commiserate on our layoff dates, explore the newfangled smartphones, and curate whatever slice of office gossip was left. Then, at around 5 p.m. on Nov. 22, 2013, the three of us literally turned off the lights and sadly left the office for the last time. This meant for the last three months of my tenure with the 501 company in the winter of 2014, I had to work from home. I disengaged from my wife’s doggy playgroup business by working in my Are you 62+ or basement office. 18 to 61 with I could concentrate down permanent there, but there were no sounds disabilities? of clacking keyboards, inside-joke Welcome to your new home! laughter, or coffee-break chatter, only the hum of my space heater utilities included! Look at all we have to offer ... and the periodic whoosh of the oil Newly Renovated Units, burner. Bill Levine is a retired IT professional and active freelance writer. Bill aspires to be a humorist because it is easier to be pithy than funny. He may be reached at wlevine0607@comcast.net.

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What Do Older Americans Want to Be Called? From politics to the pandemic, older Americans are at the forefront of some of our most pressing issues, labeled by the media in ways that range from traditional (“senior citizens”) to respectful (“mature adults”) to snide (“OK, boomer!”). The research team at The Senior List felt it was important to determine how the group itself would like to be described and surveyed more than 600 people aged 55 and older to find out (theseniorlist.com/data/seniorlabel-study). They learned that, while individual preferences varied, older adults primarily want to be recognized as integral parts of society rather than as burdening outsiders. Overall, the conclusions are nuanced, but several points are apparent: “Senior” terms are on their way out. Traditional labels like “senior” or “senior citizen” were only preferred by a small percentage of older adults: 17% and 10%, respectively. Younger respondents were less tolerant of both terms, foreshadowing a continued decline in popularity. Inclusive terms are most appreciated. Terms that slightly altered words

like “adult” were most embraced by the group. 79% were positive about being called “older adults” or “mature adults.” On the flip side, terms that might make older adults feel alienated, like “the elderly” or “golden agers,” proved least popular. Emphasis on lifestyle was preferred over longevity. The only term that focused on status rather than age (“retiree”) performed surprisingly well. Though half of respondents were under 65, only 17% disliked the term “retiree,” suggesting that older Americans may prefer stage-of-life labels over references to lifespan. Preferred Titles among Older Adults In the search for a favorite descriptor, we asked older Americans which of eight widely used labels they most preferred, and results varied dramatically. No term garnered more than one-fifth of the votes, with “mature adults” and “older adults” narrowly ahead of “seniors” and “retirees,” followed by “senior citizens.” “Other” and “none” combined for significant numbers, outpacing declining terms like “elders,” “the elderly,” and “golden agers.”

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The lack of a standout isn’t particularly surprising, as that choice can be deeply personal; some seniors embrace growing older, others resist mortality. And the very definition of “old” is a matter of perspective. Since aging is inevitable, perhaps some people feel boxed in or trapped by a label of any kind. Inclusive vs. Traditional Labels When asked for specific feelings about each term, trends became clear as approval rose above 60% for several labels. The most popular names remained the newer, simpler labels that emphasized personhood (“mature adults,” “older adults”) over well-worn titles associated with government assistance (“seniors,” “senior citizens”) or terms that cast members as “outsiders” (“elders,” “golden agers,” “the elderly”). These results show that Americans prefer inclusive labels that place seniors within adult society rather than as a separate class. Coined during the New Deal to identify benefit recipients aged 65 and older (when life expectancy was that same age), “senior” terms still carry the stigma of charity and feel out-of-touch in a world where we live nearly 80 years and most Americans consider 65 “middle age.” Preferred Title by Age Older adults are not a monolith; those in their 50s don’t necessarily favor the

same language as those in their 80s, which becomes apparent when dissecting the data along age lines. Of respondents in their 50s, 63% chose inclusive references as their favorite and had little love for traditional “senior” labels (9%). Opinions over age 80 were inverted; “senior” titles (63%) bested the inclusive options (21%). According to databases like Corpus of Contemporary American English and Google’s Ngram Viewer, which analyze word counts across published sources, the use of “senior citizen” has steadily declined since 1980, while “older adult” has consistently climbed in recent decades. Meanwhile, support for the lifestyle term “retiree” followed a classic bell curve, peaking around traditional retirement age. Older Americans now live longer, work longer, and have expanded employment opportunities thanks to remote technology. Tech moguls retire at 35, while grandparents reenter the workforce, blurring lines so much that AARP dropped “retired” from its acronym. Heightened social awareness has ingrained the importance of seeing individuals as more than their gender/race/sexuality, and these results suggest it’s time to take the same approach to seniority. The poll provided no clear-cut choice for favorite title but clearly showed how older Americans wish to be perceived: as people who happened to have lived a long time, not as a separate segment of society.

Statins Unhelpful in Reducing COVID Mortality, Severity In the worldwide effort to battle SARSCoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, researchers have often turned to medications used as therapies for other conditions in the hopes of finding ones that either kill the coronavirus or lessen the impacts from its infection.

Recent small-sample studies (fewer than 200 patients) have suggested that statins — drugs that lower levels of lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL), a form of cholesterol linked to heart disease and stroke — also may reduce the chances of severe disease or death from COVID-19. However, the findings from a recent Johns Hopkins Medicine-led study of nearly 4,500 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 over a four-month period provide a stronger case for a very different conclusion: Statins likely do not confer any impact — positive or negative — on COVID-related mortality and may be associated with an significantly increased risk (nearly 1 chance in 5) of more serious illness. The study was published Sept. 10 in the journal PLOS ONE. “Despite the apparent beneficial effect of statins on the outcomes of various infectious diseases, our study revealed that their specific use to treat COVID19 is probably not merited,” says senior study author Petros Karakousis, M.D., professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Compared with earlier research, we looked at a larger and more widely varied inpatient population and had better criteria for defining disease severity, thereby enabling our results to be more relevant for predicting the impact of statins on COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized patients.” Of the 4,447 patients, ages 18 years or older, who were studied, 594 (13%) were receiving statins at hospital admission. Statin users were mostly men (57%) www.50plusLifePA.com

and older (ages 52–78, compared with ages 29–62) than the non-statin users. The largest percentage of statin users were Black (47%), had hypertension (74%) or diabetes (53%), and were more likely to take medications for lowering blood pressure — along with statins to reduce their LDL cholesterol. After accounting for other known factors that might skew the data, the researchers found statin use had no significant effect on mortality from COVID-19. However, they did find that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and taking statins had an 18% increased risk for having a more severe form of the disease than patients who did not take cholesterol-lowering agents. “One plausible explanation for this finding is that statins increase cellular production of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 [commonly known as ACE2], the receptor on a cell’s surface through which SARS-CoV-2 gains entry,” says Karakousis. “Therefore, statins may lower a cell’s resistance to infection and, in turn, increase the odds that the patient will have a more severe case of COVID-19.” Karakousis says future studies should attempt to better define the relationship between statin use and COVID-19. “All of the studies published to date, including ours, have been retrospective — and that means no matter how hard one tries to eliminate factors associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes other than statin use, some may still be at work,” says Karakousis. “For example, there’s the fact that many statin users also are overweight, have diabetes, or experience high blood pressure — all things that can impact the severity of COVID-19 on their own.”

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Let the Stars Point the Way to a Long and Prosperous Life By Chris Orestis

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There are two forms of age — chronological and physical — and they are not always the same. On the morning of Oct. 13, William A person like William Shatner has the Shatner, who became an icon as Capt. James T. chronological age of 90, but his physical age Kirk in Star Trek, boldly went where no man is much younger. In fact, there are epigenetic at the age of 90 has ever gone before as he was tests people can use that can show them their launched in a Blue Origin rocket out of Earth’s actual physical age is different from their atmosphere. chronological age. If anyone saw footage of him in press And the good news is it’s never too late conferences, or in training, or just ascending to start making changes that will improve the multiple levels of stairs to enter the space a person’s health (and their finances). Based capsule, he looked like someone in their 60s or on how a person lives, they can even modify 70s. How is it that someone his age can be so these differences with smart lifestyle choices. spry and actually be launched into space? If someone quits smoking, starts working Well, there is a common thread with him out, improves their diet, and reduces stress in and many other iconic figures who are well into Photo credit: Raph_PH, Flickr.com. their life, they can set the clock back on their their “senior” years but seem to be eternally From left, Chuck Leavell, Mick Jagger, and Ronnie Wood physical age. young: They have all achieved balance in their of the Rolling Stones on stage It has been proven over and over that lives among finances, health, and their lifestyles in London. aging is not a one-way ticket to poor health, lived with passion and purpose. loneliness, boredom, and a declining quality of For example, Mick Jagger, 78, has just th life. The ability to adapt to the inevitability of changes launched a global 50 anniversary tour with the in almost all areas of life is one of the most important Rolling Stones. Paul McCartney is 79 and continues to ingredients to aging with success. put out records and tour the world, playing shows that Living a life making smart investments in financial, can last up to four hours. physical, and lifestyle health will culminate in a wellClint Eastwood is 90 and just directed and starred balanced retirement. A person doesn’t need to be a in his latest movie; he has now been in more than 60 star to make the right choices that will let them live movies over his career. Helen Mirren is an Academy like one. If Mick Jagger can rock the stage at 78, and Award-winning actress who, at age 76, is still making William Shatner can literally fly among the stars at age movies, with exciting things to come out in 2022. 90, then there are lessons we can all learn about how What do they all have in common? First of all, none to live a long, healthy, and meaningful life well into of them needs the money. They are pursuing their retirement. passions and determined to keep going full steam ahead Voyagers have looked to the stars to navigate their for as long as they can. way for eons, and people can look to these stars as They all operate with a mindset that age is just examples of what is possible as they navigate their way a number and that living with purpose, a positive through the years. attitude, and the ability to adapt to the constantly Photo credit: Super Festivals from Ft. Lauderdale, USA, Flickr.com. changing conditions of life can keep them much William Shatner at GalaxyCon Richmond Chris Orestis, known as the “Retirement Genius,” is younger than their years. in 2020. president of LifeCare Xchange and a nationally recognized These stars and many others now talk about how healthcare expert and senior advocate. He has 25 years’ they have made changes in their lives to eat healthier, experience in the insurance and long-term care industries and is the author of Help on exercise more, spend more time with their loved ones, and remain active, the Way and A Survival Guide to Aging. pursuing their passions. They have also been smart about their money.

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