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Complimentary | May 2021

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giving back to golf page 4

Overcoming the mask: Tips for communicating with a hearing loss page 18

Want or need to retire early? Tips on how to pay for it page 28

2021 Expo Dates UPDATED DATES & LOCATIONS Exhibitor booths will be spatially distanced, and personal social-distancing and other CDC guidelines will be observed.

omen’s Expo


June 23

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Shady Maple Conference Center Smorgasbord Building 129 Toddy Drive, East Earl

Sept. 23

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.


York Expo Center Memorial Hall East 334 Carlisle Ave., York

Sept. 29

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Park City Center

(Former Bon-Ton store)


600 Park City Center, Lancaster

Oct. 13

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Carlisle Expo Center 100 K St. Carlisle

7th Annual

3501 Paxton St., Harrisburg

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Wyndham Resort – Expo Center (Formerly Lancaster Host)

2300 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster

June 19

8th Annual

Harrisburg Mall

(Former Boscov’s store)

9th Annual

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

June 5

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Harrisburg Mall

(Former Boscov’s store)

3501 Paxton St., Harrisburg

Sept. 18

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Oct. 23

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Park City Center

(Former Bon-Ton store)

600 Park City Center, Lancaster

omen’s Expo

May 2021

50plus LIFE

Nov. 13

Cumberland County

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Carlisle Expo Center 100 K St. Carlisle

Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities Available! 2

Lebanon Expo Center 80 Rocherty Road Lebanon

5th Annual

June 9

10th Annual

22nd Annual

25th Annual

19th Annual

22nd Annual

22nd Annual

Caregiving • Finances • Health & Wellness • Home Improvements Leisure Activities • Nutrition • Retirement Living • Technology and more!

Health & Wellness • Finance • Home Shopping • Technology • Beauty Nutrition • Fashion and more!

(717) 285-1350

Social Security News

What are Social Security Representative Payees?

By John Johnston

Millions of people get monthly Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments. Some need help managing their money. When we receive information that indicates you need help, we’ll assign a representative payee to manage your benefits for you. We try to select someone who knows you and wants to help you. A representative payee receives your monthly benefit payment on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs, including: • Housing and utilities • Food • Medical and dental expenses • Personal care items • Clothing • Rehabilitation expenses (if you’re disabled)




AC Y •




John Johnston is a Social Security public affairs specialist.

About Us – The Lancaster County Office of Aging (LCOA) was established 45 years ago as a







If you need help managing your benefits, tell a Social Security representative that there is someone you want to be your representative payee. They should be someone you trust and see often and who clearly understands your needs.

Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be your representative payee. Ask them to contact us. You can write to us within 60 days of being assigned a representative payee if you don’t agree that you need one or if you want a different representative payee. We also offer an option, called advance designation, which allows you to choose a representative payee in advance. In the event you can no longer make your own financial decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits. You can submit your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal My Social Security account at, by telephone, or in person. You can find more information at


Lancaster County Office of Aging Maintaining the independence and quality of life for seniors through information, services, and protection since 1974.

result of the passage of the Older Americans Act. This act directed states to develop a network of services and supports to help keep older adults healthy and independent. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging was created to fulfill this mandate. In turn, a network of 52 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) was established throughout the commonwealth to carry out this mission at the local level. Funding for aging-related services is a combination of state and federal monies, with the Pennsylvania Lottery providing the major source of funding. In Lancaster County, the AAA is part of county government. We are dedicated to providing Lancaster County residents, 60 years of age and older, with a wide range of informational resources and services as well as advocacy efforts and elder abuse protection. The LCOA offers the following services:

Our Philosophy:

• Information and referral services

u  Support

the older person’s right to decide his/her own destiny. Encourage consumer self-determination and choice.

• Long-term living assessments • H  ome and community-based support services

u  Support

the older person’s right to risk.

• Protection from abuse and neglect

u  Promote

independence and dignity.

• A  PPRISE, Medicare, and related health insurance counseling

u  Avoid

unnecessary/inappropriate institutionalization.

• Senior center services

• • • • • • • •

Adult daily living services Caregiver support Employment Ombudsman services Transportation Legal services Health and wellness programming Volunteer opportunities

For more information, please call us Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 717-299-7979/1-800-801-3070, visit our website at, or email

50plus LIFE

May 2021


Cover Story

Giving Back to Golf Corporate Office

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


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

ART DEPARTMENT Project Coordinator Lauren Phillips Production Artist Renee McWilliams

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Senior Marketing Consultant Joshua Binkley Events Manager Kimberly Shaffer

ADMINISTRATION Business Manager Elizabeth Duvall

Member of


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


May 2021

50plus LIFE

By Bart A. Stump

laugh. “It really took off, and I’ve been doing it for years.” In retirement, Vadas was inspired some people enjoy to give back to the collecting items, such as sport he loves through stamps or coins. Some his admiration for enjoy activities, like famed golfer and fellow running or bowling. Pennsylvanian Arnold And, still others enjoy Palmer. philanthropic pursuits, “I’m from Latrobe, such as volunteering and he’s from Latrobe. I at soup kitchens or didn’t find out until later collecting supplies that he and I are related; to send to military Vadas alongside his basement’s he’s my cousin,” Vadas personnel overseas. “Arnie wall” and a commemorative set said. Len Vadas, 79, is of Arnold Palmer golf clubs marking “He always said, ‘Give fortunate enough to Palmer’s 50th year as a pro. back to golf.’ He wanted enjoy all three. His to give back to golf passion for golf has led because golf was good to the unique hobby of for him. I took it from collecting golf clubs, there,” Vadas said. many of which he has Vadas is an donated to charitable accomplished golfer, groups to help offset the having played in significant expense of multiple tournaments golf equipment. and scoring three holes Entering Vadas’ York in one over his 50 years County basement, it’s of playing. difficult to take in the “I always wanted scale of his collection. to play golf when I Nearly every available was a kid, but we were foot of floorspace is poor, and my dad said occupied by golf bags I couldn’t play, it’s too loaded with clubs or expensive … So, when I stacks of clubs separated got out of the service, I by type: putters here, said, ‘I want to learn to wedges there, drivers play golf.’” along the wall. He’s been playing ever Golf memorabilia — Vadas with his trophies from the since. including autographed 2019 Vadas Classic. The statue at left is Working as an pictures; hats and his humanitarian achievement award. engineer, Vadas did a lot jackets; trophies; prints “It’s very special to me. That’s the trophy I of traveling and would value the most … I was supposed to give a and paintings; old, speech, and I couldn’t even talk.” stop at area yard sales, wooden-shafted golf thrift shops, and antique clubs; and even a framed shops, picking up clubs. golf jigsaw puzzle — line “My goal was, whenever I retired, I wanted to be the walls. able to donate clubs to different organizations,” he Vadas estimates that he has nearly 2,000 clubs at said. his house and has donated or sold over a thousand In 2015, Vadas was asked to provide clubs for others. a Penn State University affiliate in Croatia. The “I started collecting putters, then wedges and University of Zagreb, a global exchange network putters, then old, wooden-shafted ones … I picked partner with Penn State, wanted to start a golf them up whenever I traveled,” recalled Vadas. program but only had three sets of clubs. “I just started enjoying it, and then I decided Ken Swalgin, Penn State’s associate professor that this was going to be my hobby,” he said with a

emeritus of kinesiology and a golf instructor, called “It’s exciting to go to these thrift shops and buy stuff, Vadas, asking if Vadas could supply 16 sets of clubs — and then you come back home and you find out they’re men’s and ladies’, lefts and rights. valuable,” Vadas said. “That’s part of the fun.” Vadas responded that he could get the clubs, but how Vadas once bought six clubs for $120 and discovered would he send them to Croatia? Swalgin’s wife took care that one of them was a George Low Jr. club worth of shipping them. $1,200. About a month later, Vadas received a thank-you There have also been missed opportunities. Once, in package from the University of Zagreb’s director. Martha’s Vineyard, he passed up an adjustable wooden“He sent me a real nice letter and a jacket and shirt shafted club because he didn’t have enough cash on him. from Croatia … So that was really nice of them,” “About a month later, I’m going through a book and recalled Vadas. I find out that club was worth $1,800, and I could’ve Currently, Vadas is parting with some of the used gotten it for $20,” said Vadas, shaking his head. clubs in his collection by selling them online with the When asked if he had a favorite, Vadas pulled out a help of a Penn State York student. But with his eye ever rare Wilson-brand putter designed by Arnold Palmer. toward philanthropy, Vadas gives the student 50% of Unfortunately, Vadas had a second one but inadvertently the sale price to use toward funding his education. sold it in a set of clubs. By his estimate, Vadas has donated thousands of clubs Other favorites are a commemorative collection of to Penn State York since 2011, including a donation of Arnold Palmer clubs and an autographed picture that 200 more in early 2020. Palmer gave Vadas for his 65th birthday. Palmer also Vadas in 2019. Winners in the Vadas “Some of their clubs were missing, and some of the autographed hats and jackets for him when Vadas Classic “get a pink jacket because clubs were broken, so they contacted me,” stated Vadas. attended a Masters Tournament. Arnold Palmer said no man should “I said sure, I’d be happy to donate some clubs.” Vadas also pointed out the sentimental value of his be afraid to wear pink. If I have a Vadas’ efforts have not gone unnoticed. Two years ago, framed hat signed in 1999 by golfer Payne Stewart, who double bogie playing golf, I use a he took first place in his cousin’s tournament, the Vadas died in a plane crash later that year. Additionally, he pink ball to remind me.” Classic in Cleveland, Ohio. Vadas received a trophy values his collection of golf balls from all the courses he and pink jacket for winning but was then blindsided has played during his travels. with a humanitarian achievement award trophy for his Vadas still enjoys getting out on the golf course but is charitable donations to the sport. now more concerned with having fun than keeping score. Golf has provided “It was a surprise; they did it behind my back and got all the information him with a lifetime of gratification. from my wife,” he said with a chuckle. “I just enjoy helping people out, and I want to give back to golf,” Vadas said. Surprises are a large part of the appeal of this hobby. “Golf’s been good to me.”

Senior Real Estate Specialist

Pet of the Month

Carly Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Well, it’s Carly! Carly is a 12-yearold spayed female domestic shorthair who is more than ready to fly the coop and settle in with her new forever family. This lady can’t get enough attention and is a staff favorite at the Humane League, and we just can’t understand why she is still here! Have an empty lap that needs to be filled? Look no further; visit Carly today! Carly’s ID number is 227744. Please send your application to, or give the shelter a call at (717) 393-6551 to learn more.

With 30 Years of Real Estate Experience • 2016 Realtor of the Year •2  014 President of Realtor’s Association of York and Adams County

Paula Musselman Selling or buying a house? Please call me – I’ll guide you every step of the way! Office: (717) 793-9678 Cell: (717) 309-6921 2525 Eastern Blvd. York, PA 17402

• Licensed in PA and MD •P  roviding Reliable and Trustworthy Contracting and Moving Resources •S  pecializing in Senior Moves and Transitions

Taking the time to make your transaction smooth and stress free. Senior Real Estate Specialist ®

50plus LIFE

May 2021


Don’t Let Tax Time Become Scam Time By Scott Schober Gift cards might seem a little impersonal, but they make gifting easy for those of us who are too busy or disinclined to search for that perfect gift. Cyber criminals appreciate gift cards too but more for their anonymity than their convenience. Once stolen, a digital or physical gift card can be difficult to trace back to its rightful owner, making it even harder for law enforcement to catch the thief. The practice of “carding” is simply using a stolen credit card to purchase gift cards and then reselling them to consumers. Credit card purchases do offer some protections against fraud, but gift cards are more like cash, so if your gift card is lost or stolen, it’s like losing the cash equivalent. We know that unused gift cards add up to $3 billion annually, but that’s more of a corporate-revenue strategy and not straight-up theft. However, seniors aged 65 and older suffered a median loss of $700 in 2020 due to gift card scams. One popular scam involves our annual tax collectors, or at least tax scammers posing as the IRS. It starts with an alarming voicemail claiming to be from the IRS and instructing the recipient to avoid criminal tax evasion by paying the fine


immediately. The voice message goes on to allow the bogus tax debt to be paid off using iTunes gift cards. According to CNBC, since 2013, scammers have racked up over $54 million from victims, most of them using iTunes gift cards. And this year shows no signs of slowing up. In the midst of a pandemic, taxfiling extensions have been permitted for 2021. Unfortunately, that also means these scams will continue longer this year in an effort to extort more money from victims. Here are a few scammer tipoffs that might keep you from being hacked. • Do not respond to any voicemails from the IRS. The IRS does not typically contact anyone through the phone, text message, or email, and they rarely leave voicemail messages. If you have any outstanding taxes that you owe, you will receive an official correspondence to your physical mailing address, or you will receive a visit in person from an IRS agent. • You will not be asked to provide payment to the Internal Revenue Service using gift cards, cash, or any kind of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. • Never share any personal data, such as Social Security number, passwords, bank account numbers, or any tax records, unless you are dealing directly with a verified and authorized IRS or law enforcement agent. • Forward IRS-related scam emails to and report IRSimpersonation telephone calls online at Tax time is stressful enough without the threat of hackers. If you minimize your sharing on social media, verify all correspondence before sending any data, and take your time to react to alerts (no matter how much they insist it is an emergency), you will go a long way toward keeping hackers at bay.

Service Since 1939 Protecting Your Home For Three Generations

Scott Schober is the president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, a New Jersey-based provider of wireless test and security solutions, and the author of three bestselling security books: Hacked Again, Cybersecurity is Everybody’s Business, and Senior Cyber. Schober is a cybersecurity expert for live security events, media appearances, and commentary., @SeniorCyber

Sales and 24-Hour Service 1148 Old Line Road, Manheim



May 2021

50plus LIFE


Puzzle Page

Solutions for all puzzles can be found on page 24. SUDOKU


At the Airport Airlines Crew Customs Fuel Gates Hangar Hostess Jets Landing Loading Luggage Passengers Pilots Planes Seating Security Takeoff Terminal Tickets Tower

Across 1. Goat hair garments 5. Foolhardy 9. Cot 12. Corker 13. Cowboy exhibition 14. Bundle 15. Jack of Rio Lobo 16. Healing plants 17. Pac 10 team 18. Weather consideration for travel 20. Put away for a rainy day 22. Golfer Ernie 23. Shade tree Down 1. A Baldwin 2. Cattle member 3. Jai ___ 4. Good time for a long trip 5. Film part 6. Brouhaha 7. Gets the picture 8. Hotel manager 9. Ger. composer 10. Model Macpherson 11. At peace 13. Vermin

24. Poet Teasdale 26. Something to avoid while on the road 32. 1004, Roman 33. Mitch Miller’s instrument 34. Wine valley 35. Tableland 36. Beef on the hoof 37. Garbage barge 38. Toiletry item 39. Minus 40. Secreted 41. Phone destinations 43. Pigeon’s home 14. Working while off work 19. ___ mode 21. HS math class (abbr.) 24. Blot 25. Grocery section 26. Carried 27. Weighty 28. Fertile soil 29. Implied 30. Lyric poem 31. Adage 35. Subway inits. 36. Travel cautiously by auto

44. Wrecker’s job 45. Sidekick 46. Relaxes on a trip 50. Travel accomplishment 54. Poi source 55. Chicago airport 57. Plunge 58. Prayer’s end 59. Toils 60. Soon, to a bard 61. Biddy 62. Brings home 63. Longings

42. Hoodwink 43. Elevator part 45. Lincoln or Ford, e.g. (abbr.) 46. Bryce Canyon locale 47. Appellation 48. Small songbird 49. Loafer, e.g. 50. Clumsy boats 51. Kudzu, for one 52. Bard’s river 53. Camera part 56. Paintings

Your ad could be here on this popular page! Please call (717) 285-1350 for more information.

50plus LIFE

May 2021


Elder Law Attorneys

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

Specific areas of elder law in which the firm concentrates:

Appel, Yost & Zee LLP 33 North Duke Street Lancaster, PA 17602 717-394-0521 • fax 717-394-0739



1883 1970





Estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills/ advanced healthcare directories, estate administrative, guardianship, Medicaid planning, and business succession planning. Experienced, responsive, and friendly staff.


Estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, estate administration, guardianships. York County Bar Association Estate Planning and Probate Law Section, chairman since 2001, friendly and efficient service and staff.


Medicaid and nursing home asset planning; asset protection trust planning; elder, estate, and POA planning; advanced directives; Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA).


Compassionate guidance with Alzheimer’s planning, Medicaid benefits, wills, powers of attorney, estate administration, guardianship, and care coordination. Nurse on staff. Care crisis? Call for a free consultation with our care coordinator.


Estate planning, wills, financial powers of attorney, durable healthcare powers of attorney (living wills), guardianships, Medicaid planning, and estate administration. Offices in Lancaster, Columbia, Elizabethtown, and Quarryville.

Blakey, Yost, Bupp & Rausch, LLP David A. Mills, Esquire

17 East Market Street, York, PA 17401 717-845-3674 • fax 717-854-7839



1980 1990




CGA Law Firm 185 North George Street York, PA 17401 717-848-4900, ext. 121 fax 717-843-9039



1967 2010




Keystone Elder Law P.C. 555 Gettysburg Pike, Suite B-200, Mechanicsburg 717-697-3223 • toll-free 844-697-3223








Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP 212 North Queen Street Lancaster, PA 17603 717-299-3726 fax 717-299-1811



1972 2006




If you would like to be featured on this important page, please contact your marketing consultant or call (717) 285-1350. * Indicates that at least one attorney in the firm is a member. Information contained herein was provided by the firm.


May 2021

50plus LIFE

Older Americans Month Emphasizes Connection, Engagement Each May, the Administration for Community Living leads the celebration of Older Americans Month. This year’s theme is Communities of Strength, recognizing the important role older adults play in fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities. When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty, and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.” Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every president since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pays tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities. Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM places special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.

Here are some ways to share and connect: Look for joy in the everyday – Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media, or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you. Reach out to neighbors – Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a home-cooked meal. Build new skills – Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community. Have a skill to share? Find an opportunity to teach someone, even casually. Share your story – There’s a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Interviewing family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections. For more resources, visit the official OAM website at older-americans-month-2021.

Department of Aging Encourages Older Adults to Reach Out for Vaccine Assistance The Pennsylvania Department of Aging encourages older adults seeking a vaccination sites and any site where a vaccine is available to individuals, COVID-19 vaccine appointment to contact their local Area Agency on Aging including pharmacies, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. (AAA) for any assistance they may need in scheduling an appointment. Free transportation to vaccinations may also be available for qualifying “Even though the Department of Health recently ramped up its timetable seniors. for all Pennsylvanians 16 and older to receive Here is the phone number list for the local AAAs vaccinations, we continue to focus on our mission in 50plus LIFE’s coverage area: to get older adults their vaccines, with AAAs Free transportation assisting seniors as much as possible with navigating • Berks County: (610) 478-6500 the vaccination process,” said Secretary of Aging to vaccinations may • Chester County: (610) 344-6350 Robert Torres. • Cumberland County: (717) 240-6110 also be available for In addition to working with vaccine providers • Dauphin County: (717) 780-6130 to schedule appointments for older adults, AAAs qualifying seniors. • Lancaster County: (717) 299-7979 may be able to help with arranging transportation if • Lebanon County: (717) 273-9262 needed. • York County: (717) 771-9610 Shared-ride programs are available in every county, and fixed-route transportation systems statewide offer accessible Learn more about the various programs offered by the Pennsylvania transportation. Department of Aging at Older adults can use these services for assistance in getting to mass

50plus LIFE

May 2021


Service Stories

Robert Naeye

From Firefights to Flies, Peril Came in Many Forms in Vietnam

Hershey resident Charles “Chuck” Bechtel “There is no rank here; you are a Ranger,” he went through intensive training to serve as an was told. Army Ranger. This instruction prepared him This caused awkward moments. Bechtel well for the brutal combat he would experience recalls one precarious situation where he was in Vietnam. He survived nasty firefights with hanging on the side of a cliff and shaking like a the enemy, but his tour would be cut short by leaf. The sergeant yelled, “Ranger 23, put your the bite of a measly insect. right hand up and grab that rock.” Bechtel was born in 1946 in Ashland, a But, as Bechtel recalls, “You’d look at that small town in Pennsylvania’s coal country. His rock and it was the size of a pimple. But that’s father, like almost all men of his generation, the one you’re supposed to hang onto.” served in World War II. Despite the hardships, Bechtel credits the Bechtel never really developed an interest in harsh crucible of Ranger training for teaching military service while growing up in Ashland. him how to be tactically sound — something After graduating from the local high school in he would rely upon in the combat to come. 1964, his family moved to Harrisburg. Bechtel As a new 2nd lieutenant, he was assigned to bought a red Pontiac GTO convertible despite Fort Hood, Texas, to command a company Bechtel, third from right, and the 3rd Platoon, B his father’s warning that he might get drafted. of 250 soldiers in the 2nd Armored Division. Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Bechtel moved to Houston, Texas, where This was normally a captain’s job, and it near the demilitarized zone in Vietnam, 1968. he lived with his aunt while taking medical caused awkward moments because he would courses at Methodist Hospital. By June 1966, command soldiers who had already served in Bechtel had returned to Pennsylvania. Vietnam. And some of these men were highly He was working as a medical technician decorated. at Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill when “It was an indication, already in 1967, he received a draft notice. Despite the rise of how badly the Army was bleeding from the antiwar sentiment across America, Bechtel Vietnam War. But President Johnson refused never considered avoiding military service. to call up the reserve military units because Bechtel was inducted into the Army at the that would have signaled to Congress and the New Cumberland Army Depot. He received American people that we were indeed at war,” his basic training at Fort Gordon in Georgia says Bechtel. before going to Fort McClellan in Alabama for Bechtel arrived in Vietnam in June 1967. He advanced infantry training. landed at Cam Ranh Bay but was quickly sent “We found out that Fort McClellan was the to Camp Evans, where he was assigned to the home of the WACs [Women Army Corps], so 1st Cavalry Division. Upon arriving, a fellow we thought that was going to be a good thing. soldier told him where the bunkers were located Well, we got to see the WAC barracks a couple in case the early-warning alarm sounded. of times as we marched by, and that was about On the very first night, while Bechtel was Bechtel, second from right, on a firing base in it,” recalls Bechtel. fast asleep, three rockets came in and went Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, 1968. Bechtel needed to increase his salary to “Bam! Bam! Bam!” The alarm went off about afford his car payments, so he signed up to two minutes after the explosions. become an officer. He was transferred to Fort Benning in Georgia for infantry “That was a reality check,” says Bechtel. “The early-warning system was not, officer candidacy school. To fill the ranks of units that were getting chewed up if you know what I mean.” in Vietnam, the Army was pumping out 7,000 infantry officers annually. Bechtel was assigned to lead a 40-man infantry platoon that operated in As Bechtel notes, “The battlefield is always hungry for company-grade Quang Tri Province, just south of the demilitarized zone. He participated officers.” in 25 aerial assault missions, flying into combat in a Huey helicopter. The The grueling training lasted 23 weeks, with many candidates dropping out. landing zone (LZ) was always battered with artillery first. “A lot of them just couldn’t handle the harassment and the pressure,” says “As we got closer to the LZ, our own gunships would come in and start Bechtel. shooting the place up,” he says. But Bechtel made it, graduating on July 3, 1967. After being given one day But Bechtel and other leaders often didn’t know right away if the landing nd off for Independence Day, the newly commissioned 2 lieutenant reported zone was “hot,” meaning enemy soldiers were shooting at them. to Ranger School. The intense training in three different locations often “The only way I knew if it was a hot LZ or not was if I looked around and produced injuries from mountain climbing and rappelling down cliffs. my people were dead or shot up,” he says. Even though the trainees were officers, the trainers were sergeants. So Bechtel vividly remembers one intense firefight when his platoon engaged Bechtel had to take orders from men he outranked. the North Vietnamese Army. The Americans thought they had crushed the


May 2021

50plus LIFE

enemy with support from artillery and F-4 Phantom jets. But at night, his platoon started taking fire from their rear, probably from local Viet Cong guerillas. One of Bechtel’s squad leaders completely broke down from the stress. “I immediately had to get him out of there and get another squad leader in,” recalls Bechtel. Like many American servicemen, Bechtel witnessed the conundrums faced by American soldiers in a war with no frontlines — a conflict in which a Vietnamese barber cutting your hair in the daytime might try to kill you at 2nd Lt. Bechtel at Fort Hood, Texas, before departing for Vietnam. night. “We knew we were going to fight a guerilla operation. We knew that the Viet Cong were good. We knew they would attack when and where they wanted, and then they would blend back into the population. But I don’t think that we were ever mentally prepared to see the people we were there to protect shooting at us,” he says. Soldiers seeing their friends shot and killed inevitably caused tension with the locals, forcing Bechtel to occasionally step in and tell his men to back off. But this led some of them to question which side he was on. Bechtel had survived about seven months in Vietnam when he developed a big, red lesion on his left arm, which kept getting worse. Bechtel went from hospital to hospital, but the infection was not correctly diagnosed until he was sent stateside to an Army hospital in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It turned out he had leishmaniasis, a dangerous tropical disease caused by flesh-eating parasites. He contracted the disease from a sandfly bite somewhere in a Vietnamese jungle. Army doctors eventually cured the illness and saved his arm, but it ended his tour in Vietnam. Bechtel decided to remain in the military and would go on to serve in the Army and Pennsylvania Army National Guard for 36 years, retiring in 2002 with the rank of colonel. He immediately took a contractor’s position with the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. Bechtel points out that many returning servicemen did not exactly receive a warm welcome when they returned home. “Some of them were actually assaulted by antiwar protestors. One of our pilots was actually spit on,” he says. And returning veterans had to endure an endless stream of Hollywood movies, such as The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now. These films came with a political agenda that gave the American public a wildly inaccurate portrayal of the war and conveyed the false impression that all returning veterans were either drug addicts or baby killers. “I have often wondered how those producers and directors would respond if we could look them in the eye and say, ‘Do you have any idea what that does to vets who went off and served their country honorably, and this is the kind of stuff they get when they come home?’” asks Bechtel. Bechtel used the GI Bill to get an undergraduate degree in biology from Millersville University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Penn State. He and his wife, Joan, have a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren. In 2014 Bechtel became active in the Liberty War Bird Association (, where he now serves as director of marketing. This nonprofit refurbishes Huey helicopters that flew in Vietnam. But Bechtel is quick to point out that the LWBA is not just about restoring

and flying helicopters. The organization’s motto is: Educate. Honor. Restore. “We want to educate the American public and other veterans on the absolute critical role played by the helicopter in Vietnam,” says Bechtel. “The helicopter was the workhorse of the field. Sometimes Vietnam was referred to as the Helicopter War.” Bechtel is hoping that members of the public will come see these restored warbirds once the pandemic ends, particularly the Huey stationed at the Lancaster Airport. “I had the pleasure of flying the Chuck Bechtel speaking at a meeting of the Central Pennsylvania Vietnam helicopter myself,” he says. “I was Roundtable in March. an infantry officer in Vietnam. But one of the things on my bucket list was always to fly a helicopter. Flying that Huey to me is almost like a spiritual thing.” And as the former Army Ranger concludes, “We not only restore helicopters, we restore the morale and esprit de corps of these people who worked so hard to serve their country way back when.” Robert Naeye is a freelance writer based in Derry Township. He lives just a few hundred yards from Chuck Bechtel but hadn’t met him until he started researching this article. His website is

50plus LIFE

May 2021


Savvy Senior

Men Get Osteoporosis Too Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior, Can men get osteoporosis, or is it primarily a problem for women? When I fell and broke my wrist last winter, the doctor who treated me told me I might have osteoporosis, but I never got it checked. What can you tell me? – Bony Bill Dear Bill, Many people think osteoporosis is a woman’s disease, but men can get it too, especially in their later years. Here’s what you should know. Osteoporosis in Men Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become weak, brittle, and more susceptible to fractures. Though women are four times more likely to acquire it, around 2 million American men have osteoporosis today, and another 12 million have “pre-osteoporosis,” or osteopenia. Unfortunately, men are much less likely than women to get the health of

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their bones checked, even after they break a bone. That’s because doctors are often unaware of the many factors that put men at risk of osteoporosis. While menopause is a major component that accelerates bone loss in women, some of the key risk factors for men developing osteoporosis include: being over age 70; being thin or underweight; smoking; consuming more than three alcoholic drinks a day; having a parental history of osteoporosis; and having a previous fracture. Certain health conditions — such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, testosterone deficiency, hyperthyroidism, COPD, kidney or liver disease, and mobility disorders like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke — can also increase your risk. In addition, so can taking certain medications, like anti-inflammatory steroids, prostate cancer drugs, proton pump inhibitors for GERDs, antidepressants, immunosuppressants, and anti-seizure drugs.

You are invited to join the Lancaster County Office of Aging team of volunteer APPRISE counselors who assist Medicare-eligible beneficiaries navigate the often-confusing Medicare system. APPRISE counselors receive intensive training in Medicare Parts A, B and D, Supplemental Insurances, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicaid, PACE Plus, and other health insurance-related topics. This training allows volunteers to provide unbiased assistance to consumers so they can make an informed decision and choose the plan that best meets their specific needs.

APPRISE counselors assist older and disabled individuals with: • Understanding Medicare A, B, and D • Making informed choices about Medicare Advantage Plans • Deciding what Medicare D Plan (prescription coverage) is best • Selecting a Medigap Policy • Applying for PACE Plus • Determining what financial assistance an individual may be eligible to receive

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APPRISE counselors must be available during weekdays for the shadowing, training, and counseling parts of this volunteer opportunity. For more information, please contact Kim Skinner at 717-299-7979 or 1-800-801-3070, or by e-mail at

Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers Listings with a screened background have additional information about their services in a display advertisement in this edition.

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

Aventura at pembrooke

Bethany Village – The Oaks

1130 West Chester Pike • West Chester, PA 19382 610-692-3636 • Number of Beds: 180 Rehabilitation Unit: Yes Alzheimer’s Unit: Yes Skilled Licensed Nursing: Yes Therapy: Speech, Occupational, Physical Short-Term Care: Yes Long-Term Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes 24-Hour Medical Care: Yes

Recreational Activities: Yes Scheduled Entertainment: Yes Private Rooms Available: Yes Semi-Private Rooms Available: Yes Pet Visitation Allowed: Yes Beauty/Barber Shop: Yes Medicare: Yes Medicaid: Yes Comments: In-House Dialysis Unit with 5 day a week treatments.

325 Wesley Drive • Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 717-766-0279 • Number of Beds: 69 Rehabilitation Unit: Yes Alzheimer’s Unit: Yes Skilled Licensed Nursing: Yes Therapy: Speech, Occupational, Physical Long-Term Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes 24-Hour Medical Care: Yes

Claremont Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

Homeland Center

1000 Claremont Road • Carlisle, PA 17013 717-243-2031 •

Number of Beds: 282 Rehabilitation Unit: Yes Alzheimer’s Unit: Yes Skilled Licensed Nursing: Yes Therapy: Speech, Occupational, Physical Long-Term Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes 24-Hour Medical Care: Yes

Recreational Activities: Yes Scheduled Entertainment: Yes Private Rooms Available: No Semi-Private Rooms Available: Yes Pet Visitation Allowed: Yes Beauty/Barber Shop: Yes Medicare: Yes Medicaid: Yes Comments: Featuring Transitions at Claremont, a dedicated, 39-bed, short-term rehab unit. Claremont provides quality skilled nursing and secured dementia care.

Recreational Activities: Yes Scheduled Entertainment: Yes Private Rooms Available: Yes Semi-Private Rooms Available: Yes Pet Visitation Allowed: Yes Beauty/Barber Shop: Yes Medicare: Yes Medicaid: Yes Accreditations/Affiliations: CARF, Eagle, LeadingAge PA Comments: Maplewood Assisted Living also available.

1901 North Fifth Street • Harrisburg, PA 17102-1598 717-221-7902 • Number of Beds: 95 Rehabilitation Unit: Yes Alzheimer’s Unit: Yes Skilled Licensed Nursing: Yes Therapy: Speech, Occupational, Physical Long-Term Care: Yes Short-Term Care: Yes Respite Care: Yes 24-Hour Medical Care: Yes Recreational Activities: Yes

Scheduled Entertainment: Yes Private Rooms Available: Yes Semi-Private Rooms Available: Yes Pet Visitation Allowed: Yes Beauty/Barber Shop: Yes Medicare: Yes Medicaid: Yes Accreditations/Affiliations: AAHSA, LeadingAge PA (PANPHA), NHPCO, PHN, HPNA Comments: A beautiful, full-service continuing care retirement community with a history of more than 150 years of exemplary care.

If you would like to be featured on this important page, please contact your marketing consultant or call (717) 285-1350. To help you determine your risk of osteoporosis, the International Osteoporosis Foundation has a quick, online quiz you can take at riskcheck. Prevention and Treatment A good first step in preventing and treating osteoporosis is to get screened. All men over age 70 should have a bone-density test, and those who’ve had a fracture or have other risk factors should be tested after age 50. Screening for osteoporosis is a simple, painless bone-density test, which takes about five minutes. Many health insurance companies will cover bone-density tests, as does Medicare. Here’s what else you can do to protect your bones. Boost your calcium: The best way to get bone-building calcium is through your diet. Dairy products (low-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt), dark-green leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards), sardines and salmon, cooked dried beans, soy foods, almonds, and fortified cereals and juices are all good sources of calcium. Vitamin D is also important to help your body absorb calcium. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for men under 70 and 1,200 mg for those over 71.

They also recommend 800–1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D if you’re over 50. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D through sunlight or food, consider taking a supplement. Most daily multivitamins contain at least 400 IU. Exercise: Weight-bearing exercises, like walking and strength training with weights or resistance bands three or four times a week, can significantly improve your bone health and reduce the risk of a fall that could cause a fracture. Control these vices: Avoid smoking, limit alcohol to no more than two or three drinks per day, and limit caffeine (coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda) to three cups a day. Consider medications: The same drugs to treat osteoporosis in women have also been approved for men. The most widely prescribed for osteoporosis are bisphosphonates, a class of drugs designed to slow or stop bone loss. Talk to your doctor about these and other medication options, as well as potential side effects. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior book.

50plus LIFE

May 2021


Sixties Flashback

Ben and Fillmore: Two ‘Hippie Bus’ Dudes Randal C. Hill

In 1949, Dutch businessman Ben Pon became responsible for putting the first Volkswagen Beetle on America’s roads. But it wasn’t just the little German bug that captured Pon’s interest; he was also intrigued by the plattenwagens — small, utilitarian, Photo courtesy of Hasse A rear-engine trucks that 1947 Volkswagen Plattenwagen. zipped around the VW factory. With these vehicles in mind, Pon sketched a vehicle that, to some, resembled an oversized loaf of bread. But VW executives loved Pon’s brainchild, and before long they greenlighted the now-iconic, slab-sided microbus. Using the same low-powered, air-cooled rear engine as the popular Beetle, the first bus rolled out of the factory in 1950 and gave the world its first look at what was officially designated the Type 2 Transporter. (Type 1 was the Beetle.)

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In essence, the Type 2 became the first minivan. The vehicle offered a cab-over configuration that placed the driver over the front wheels. As a design feature, this allowed for a wide-angle view of the road ahead, as well as leaving an extensive Photo courtesy of Vauxford space behind the front 1966 Volkswagen Type 2. seat for passengers and cargo. To many car enthusiasts, the Type 2 served as a counterpoint to the bulky, chrome-laden, gas-slurping American autos of the time. Originally intended to transport families and campers, the microbus was adopted by surfers and, later, hippies as something simple, efficient, and fun. Soon it was on its way to becoming one of the world’s most recognized (and coveted) vehicles. People quickly embraced its austerity. For example, interiors

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featured practical rubber mats, not carpeting, on the floor. Before air conditioning became commonplace, one appreciated early feature was the many windows that opened out all the way around the Type 2. To surfers, the VW microbus became the prized board-hauler of choice, preferable over a “woodie” (a wood-paneled station wagon) or a delivery van. When the surfing fad faded, counterculturists adopted the vehicle. “The hippie movement fell in love with the bus for a few reasons,” proclaimed classic car expert McKeel Hagerty. “It was cheap to maintain, easy to work on, and big enough to live in.” To which Stewart Reed, the chair of a California design college, added, “The bus flew in the face of traditional social culture. It was anti-style, antisuccess, and rebellious in a totally new way.” The main complaint about the microbus was its speed — or lack of it. The first models offered a meager 25-horsepower engine. (One can only imagine such a vehicle trying to ascend mountains or challenging hills.) Eventually, the horsepower rating was increased to 40, but the vehicle still proved too slow for many drivers. In Disney’s Pixar movie Cars, the Fillmore character, voiced by George Carlin, is portrayed as a well-used — but not used up — 1960s Type 2 with a license plate that reads 51237, Carlin’s birthdate of May 12, 1937. Fillmore’s name came from San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, the home of numerous counterculture concerts. Thanks partly to Cars, the peace-loving, organic-fuel-dispensing Fillmore will ensure that the VW microbus will represent the ’60s counterculture from now on. Groovy! Although Randal C. Hill’s heart lives in the past, the rest of him resides in Bandon, Ore. He can be reached at

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May 2021


May is Better Hearing & Speech Month How to Safely Clean Your Hearing Aids By Paul Bryant When you take the time to clean your hearing aids on a regular basis, they work better, last longer, and certainly look more presentable. But hearing aids are expensive and delicate, so it’s important to clean them properly so you don’t accidentally damage them. It’s possible to quickly remove wax and debris from your hearing aids without any risk of hurting them. To start, let’s figure out what kind of hearing aids you have — because this will affect the way you clean them — and then I’ll take you through an easy, step-by-step cleaning process. What Kind of Hearing Aids Do You Have? Behind-the-Ear – Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids rest behind the ear. A thin, clear piece of tubing goes over the ear, ending with an earpiece that goes into the ear canal. The tubing and earpiece of a BTE provide an air channel that sound travels through. The BTE does not have any wires or electric parts in the tubing and earpiece.

(called a “wax loop”) on the end. The wax loop is for cleaning difficult-to-brush places. • Cloth or tissue – A microfiber cloth or tissue for general cleaning.

To clean the clear tubing of a BTE hearing aid, push the wire cleaning tool through the tube until it comes out the tip.

2. Turn Off the Device and Remove the Battery: All Hearing Aid Types – Turning off the device and removing batteries ensures you won’t hear loud whistling or feedback noises while cleaning. For rechargeable hearing aids without removable batteries, simply turn off the device. 3. Detach the Tubing: BTE Only – Depending on the style of BTE, your tubing either snaps off or screws off, so check your owner’s manual to see what kind you have. For the threaded, screw-off style, hold the base of the tubing and gently turn it counterclockwise. The tubing will unscrew like a bottle cap. For the snap-on style, hold the base of the tubing and gently turn the tubing counterclockwise. After a 90-degree turn, it should come right off.

Receiver-in-the-Canal – Receiver-in-thecanal (RIC) hearing aids — pronounced like 4. Clean the Clear Tubing: BTE Only – Insert “Rick” – look like BTE hearing aids because they the wire end of the BTE cleaning tool into the rest behind your ear. However, instead of a thin, base of the tubing. That’s the end that connects flexible tube, the RIC has a wire that leads to a to the hearing aid. Never insert the wire through small speaker (or “receiver”) that goes into your the earpiece end because that will only push the wax ear canal. Gently brush wax and debris from the outside of the earpiece. deeper into the tube. When cleaning RIC hearing aids, you will not Push the wire through until it comes out of the remove the receiver wire. The wire attaches with a earpiece. This will push any wax blockage out of the tip. Use a tissue to clean tiny pin, and you shouldn’t remove it during the cleaning process. the tip of the wire. Repeat the process several times until the tubing is clean. In-the-Ear – In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids sit completely in the bowl of 5. Clean the Earpiece: All Hearing Aids – Every BTE and RIC hearing aid the ear. Some fill the ear completely. Some are smaller but large enough to see. has an earpiece that inserts into your ear. Whether the earpiece is a contoured Others are so tiny that they disappear completely in the ear canal. tip, ear dome, or custom-fitted earmold, use the brush to gently remove wax or buildup from the outside of the earpiece. Time to Clean Your Hearing Aids! If you have an ITE hearing aid, simply brush off the part that inserts into These steps don’t apply to all hearing aid types, so pay attention to the titles your ear. Next, use a cloth or tissue to wipe away residual debris. to determine whether the step applies to your kind of device. 1. Get Your Cleaning Tools Ready: All Hearing Aid Types – Let’s take a look at the cleaning tools you’ll need when removing wax, dirt, and debris from your hearing aids. • BTE cleaning wire tool – A tiny brush with a long wire that looks like a tail. The long wire is for cleaning the thin, clear plastic tube and tip. • RIC and ITE hearing aid loop tool – A tiny brush with a short wire loop


May 2021

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6. Clean the Inside of the Earpiece: RIC and ITE Hearing Aids – With RIC and ITE hearing aids, you’ll use the “wax loop” to remove any buildup from the inside of the earpiece. Find the tiny hole where the sound comes out. Use the wire loop to gently remove any wax or dirt buildup you find. 7. Clean the Microphone Ports: All Hearing Aids – If your microphone ports get clogged with buildup, your hearing aid won’t function properly.

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month Therefore, cleaning these tiny holes on a regular basis is important. First, use your tissue or cloth to clean any oils, sweat, or debris from the outside of the hearing aid. Next, find the microphone ports. Depending on the design of your hearing aid, it may have one, two, or more microphone ports that look like tiny, dark holes or a small, dark grill. With RICs and BTEs, the microphones are usually on the top or spine of the device. With ITEs, they look like tiny, dark holes, and they are easy to find. Next, gently brush the microphone holes with the brush end of the cleaning tool. This will keep the microphone port open so sound can freely enter. The keyword is gentle. Never force or poke the brush deep into a microphone port. Also, never use the wax loop end of your cleaning tool to clean the microphone ports. These actions could damage the microphone. Contact a local hearing aid professional if gentle brushing isn’t enough to get the microphone ports clean. Finally, wipe everything down with your tissue or cloth. 8. Reattach the Tubing: BTE Only – If you have the threaded style of tubing, gently screw the tubing base onto the hearing aid with a clockwise motion. When it’s fully on, the tubing base will be flush with the hearing aid body, and the tubing will face forward so you can easily hook the hearing aid over your ear. If you have the snap-on style of tubing, position the tubing so the hearing aid can hang back over your ear. Then push the tubing into the hearing aid base until you feel it snap in place. When the tubing is fully on, the base will be flush with the hearing aid body. 9. Replace the Battery: All Hearing Aids – You’re all done! Replace the battery, turn on your hearing aids, and enjoy the clear sounds of a freshly cleaned device. Now that you’ve successfully cleaned your hearing aids, you’re probably wondering how often you should do it. I recommend cleaning your hearing aids every day or every other day. This kind of regular cleaning and maintenance can easily add years to the lifespan of your device — and that could save you a lot of money! Paul Bryant is the vice president of product sourcing for MDHearingAid ( Bryant previously owned and operated a chain of hearing aid clinics and ran multiple hearing-aid companies. An electrical engineer by training, Bryant brings decades of deep hearing-aid expertise in everything from chip and antenna design to high-scale electronics manufacturing.

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May 2021


May is Better Hearing & Speech Month Overcoming the Mask: Tips for Communicating through COVID-19 It can be challenging to communicate through masks, 6 feet of social distance, physical barriers, and other factors due to COVID-19 that have changed daily life. For people with hearing loss, this is an especially challenging time. In a telling sign of increased hearing difficulty, usage of online hearing tests increased 500% since the pandemic began. “With COVID-19 and masks, everyday tasks are a source of frustration, such as asking a question at the grocery store deli or talking to someone from behind a customer service desk,” said Bill Schiffmiller, a lifelong hearing aid user and founder and CEO of Akoio, a hearing wellness company. “It’s a triple threat because masks reduce the loudness of the voice, muffle

pronunciation, and eliminate visuals, like facial expressions and lip reading.” Data shows people who can’t hear others begin to stay away from other people, and social isolation can lead to anxiety and depression. People who have trouble hearing also tend to have higher hospitalization rates and longer hospital stays, according to research published in JAMA Otolaryngology. Among those 55 and older who Photo courtesy of Akoio have hearing loss, 58% don’t use hearing aids. In the past, statistics have shown people waiting up to seven years before getting a hearing aid from the time of diagnosis. However, the communication challenges posed during COVID-19 are driving some to address their hearing sooner than they may have otherwise.

Hearing Loss: The Third Most Common Health Problem in the United States

• D octors of Audiology With Over 40 Years of Combined Experience • F ull Line of Digital Hearing Aids Including Open Fit • P articipates With Most Insurances • F inancing Available For Qualified Applicants Improve Your Hearing, Improve Your Life

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for Hearing Tips! 5020 Ritter Road, Suite 106 Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 (Off Rt. 15 Rossmoyne Business Park)

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Hearing loss affects more than 36 million Americans today. Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired persons are younger than 65. With the increased use of personal music players (MP3s) and earbuds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing. On average, most Americans consider hearing loss a condition that is simply associated with aging and don’t know how to recognize the condition or who is qualified to diagnose and treat it. In an effort to raise public awareness for the growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, Duncan-Nulph Hearing Associates is celebrating Better Hearing Month this May. As part of Better Hearing Month, Duncan-Nulph Hearing Associates is encouraging healthcare providers to be more aware of their patients’ hearing health. The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by an audiologist. Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment.




May is Better Hearing & Speech Month Help Someone Hear You Better Consider the mask you’re wearing. Clear masks provide a visual difference, helping with lip reading and facial expressions. The plastic in clear masks, however, can muffle sound too much for some. According to audiologist Dr. Shivani Patel, high-frequency hearing loss is common, making female voices difficult to hear. In this situation, research has found standard medical masks tend to transfer sound best. Try different masks to see what works for you.




Minimize background noise. Music, construction, other conversations, heaters, and fans can make it challenging to communicate when wearing a mask. Avoid “cavernous” rooms. An environment with mostly hard surfaces, such as a large meeting room or gymnasium, offers minimal sound dampening and can make hearing comprehension more difficult.

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Maintain eye contact. Look directly at the person you’re Photo courtesy of Getty Images speaking to and speak clearly, helping him or her read some of your facial expressions. When using video conference services, look directly into the camera in a well-lit room, and ensure you have clear picture quality to help with lip reading. Be patient. Remember the increased challenges people with hearing loss are facing now. If communication becomes too challenging through a mask, have a backup plan, such as pen and paper or a smartphone notetaking app. When You’re Having Trouble Hearing Talk to your friends and family. Tell them what you’re experiencing, and be clear and direct in expressing your thoughts and feelings. Ask whether they have noticed your hearing troubles and listen to their feedback. Describe specific instances and circumstances when your hearing is affected most. Armed with this knowledge, friends and family can help you manage various situations.

Simply mail this form and $15 for an annual subscription to: 50plus LIFE • P.O. Box 8049, Lancaster, PA 17604 Call (717) 285-8131, or subscribe online at!

Determine a plan of action. Set an appointment to have your hearing checked by an audiologist. If you wear a hearing aid, be sure to carry extra batteries. Notice ways to adjust your environment to reduce background noise.

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Make hearing wellness a priority. Data shows hearing is important to a person’s mental and physical wellness, and untreated hearing loss can have multiple health consequences. (Family Features)

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May 2021


7 Tips to Get a Fully Charged 7 Hours of Sleep By Venkata Buddharaju, M.D., F.C.C.P., F.A.A.S.M. Sleep should always be considered one of the natural drives, like drinking water when thirsty and eating when hungry. Most creatures on the planet just follow those internal cues — wake up and be active while awake, sleep when it is time — and follow circadian rhythms set by clock genes. However, when it comes to humans, we tend not to follow those natural cues and spend more time awake, working longer hours with few or no breaks. We drink caffeinated beverages to stay awake and, stressed out from work, we eat at irregular times of the day. We also engage in numerous activities, thinking we are more productive. In fact, it’s exactly opposite: If we spend too much time awake and cut back our required sleep times, we make poor decisions, are prone to making errors at work, and will be less productive. Below are seven tips to help preserve your natural sleep habits to prevent major health issues and maintain a good night’s rest: 1. Exercise – Aerobic exercise for at least 30–40 minutes a day increases the deeper, or slow-wave, sleep. It also reduces the of risk stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and weight gain — working out in the morning while still fasting will especially help to lose few pounds. You can exercise any time of day, as long as it’s not too close to bedtime, which may prevent you from falling sleep quickly. Exercise and a good night’s sleep help reduce anxiety and enable you to handle daily stress better. If you don’t have time to go to a gym, you can do quick pushups of 50 or 100 as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. You can gradually increase the number of pushups over time by first starting with 10 and increasing

over days and weeks to reach your comfortable set. You can also add few abdominal curls for another five minutes. 2. Diet and hydration – Drink plenty of water and liquids to keep you hydrated, ideally in the morning, and not too close to bedtime to prevent frequent overnight bathroom trips. Eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, especially walnuts and almonds. Tart cherries and kiwi fruit are good sources of serotonin, which promotes sleep. A clinical study on people eating a Mediterranean diet showed improvement in sleep quality. Don’t skip breakfast, eat a balanced lunch, and eat a light dinner three hours before bedtime. 3. Avoid or reduce coffee intake, especially six hours before bedtime, to get better sleep at night. Caffeine inhibits a natural sleep-promoting neurotransmitter called adenosine from accumulating the brain. Over the course of the day, adenosine levels build up while awake to promote sleep at nighttime. 4. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol – Alcohol can disrupt sleep, especially in the second half of the sleep cycle, and increases risk of snoring and sleep apnea. Along with smoking’s other bad health effects, nicotine is a stimulant. 5. Sleep surface and pillows – Find a comfortable mattress and pillows that keep you in a restful sleeping position. A good sleep surface is important for optimal sleep.

Fodder for Mother’s Day Chats If you’re trying to make conversation at your Mother’s Day dinner (or Zoom celebration) this year, try sprinkling some of these facts into the discussion: • One of the earliest celebrations of mothers in recorded history comes from ancient Greece, when a spring festival was dedicated to Rhea, the mother of the gods. • A Russian woman in the 18th century is said to have given birth to the most children. She was the wife of Feodor Vassilyev, and she produced a total of 69 children, including 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. Of those, 67 are said to have survived infancy.


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Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9

• The first woman to give birth in the White House was Martha Randolph, daughter of President Thomas Jefferson, on Jan. 17, 1806. • The first woman to give birth in an airplane was Mrs. T.W. Evans on Oct. 28, 1929, over Miami. • In 340 B.C., Aristotle observed that dolphins gave birth to live young that were attached to their mothers by umbilical cords. For this reason, he considered dolphins and related creatures to be mammals. Biologists agreed with him — 24 centuries later.

• Eileithyia was the Greek goddess of childbirth and the divine helper of women in labor (in other words, the goddess of labor pain).

6. Make your room comfortable – Keep your bedroom a little cooler (67 degrees F), and take a warm shower before bedtime to help cool down the body at sleep onset. Avoid bright light exposure at night from cellphones, computer screens, TVs, and other devices. Bright light exposure inhibits the production of melatonin from the pineal gland of the brain, which is important in maintaining sleep and circadian rhythm. Keep your bedroom sleeping environment free of noise. 7. Wind down from your busy day – Promote mental calmness by practicing mindfulness breathing exercises: slowly breathe in and out, focusing on the breath, and count to 10 with your fingers by touching the thumb and fingers of both hands. Focusing on the breath brings you back to the present moment and relaxes the mind by controlling nerves. Don’t worry too much what will happen tomorrow or in the future; don’t go back and relive the past because you cannot change it. Just be here and focus on the breath for 10 minutes before bedtime and first thing in the morning after you wake up. Yoga is also an excellent way to bring that balance of mind and body with focused breathing and body movements. Listen to your favorite music frequently and prior to sleep. Doing so helps relax the mind and makes you happy. Take a short nature walk or view nature photos to quiet yourself; connecting with nature calms the stressed mind. Venkata Buddharaju, M.D., is a board-certified sleep consultant and author of Better Sleep, Happier Life: Simple Natural Methods to Refresh Your Mind, Body and Spirit. A physician at the Albany Medical Center in New York, he is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, critical care, and sleep medicine. Learn more at

22nd Annual


June 23, 2021 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Shady Maple Conference Center Smorgasbord Building 129 Toddy Drive East Earl

Exhibitor booths will be spatially distanced and social-distancing and other CDC guidelines observed.

Let’s safely come together again!

It’s time to get out and: MULTI-DAY TOURS


• Cape Cod Getaway......................................Jun 07-11

• Blue Angels in Annapolis .............................. May 25

• Mackinac Island & Michigan ...................... Jun 12-18

• Mt Vernon & Potomac River Cruise ............... May 26

• Bar Harbor, Maine.....................................Jun 21-25

• Raystown Lake & Flight 93 ............................. Jun 3

• Ocean City, MD Summer Escape ................Jun 22-25

• NY on your own ................................................ Jun 5

• Castles & Wineries – Finger Lakes ............Jul 06-09

• Udvar Hazy & National Harbor........................ Jun 5

• Black Hills & Yellowstone ........................... Jul 11-25

• Philadelphia Flower Show........................Jun 6,7,8,9

• Best of Vermont ...........................................Jul 12-16

• Atlantic City Casino ......................................... Jun 12

• Smoky Mountains ........................................Jul 12-16

• St Michaels, MD lunch and cruise ................... Jun 12

• Creation Museum & Ark Encounter ............ Jul 14-17

• Adventure Aquarium & Phila Zoo ...................Jun 19

• Rail & Sail the Adirondacks & 1000 Isl ......Jul 18-22

• Holocaust Museum & Arlington.......................Jun 19

• City Slickers Meets Wild West ..................... Jul 19-22

• Cape May Ferry & Trolley ............................... Jun 23

• Maine’s Summers Highlights ...................... Jul 19-23

• Brewery, Cars & Coal Mine ............................. Jun 25

• Rail & Sail New England ............................ Jul 19-23

• Alexandria & Mt Vernon ................................. Jun 26

• Niagara Falls Getaway ...............................Jul 28-30

• Cape May at your leisure ................................ Jun 26

• Newport’s Best.......................................... Aug 01-04

• Historic Philadelphia ...................................... Jun 26

• Maine’s Summer Trains ............................ Aug 09-13

• Intrepid Museum ............................................ Jun 26

• Ride the Rails in West VA ..........................Aug 13-15

• Coney Island .................................................... Jul 10

• California & the Great Southwest .........Sep 12-Oct 2

• Bronx Zoo .........................................................Jul 11

For information or reservations: 717-569-1111 2021 catalog available, or visit our website:

• Be social again … safely • Discover new products and services • Learn about local businesses and organizations • Check out what’s new in retirement living

and more! Brought to you by: &

Sponsored by:

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Highmark Blue Shield Landis Communities

50plus LIFE

May 2021


The Beauty in Nature

Feathered Dancers Clyde McMillan-Gamber

Up to six kinds of small birds nest or winter along flowing streams in North America. And all these birds have at least three characteristics in common: feathering that camouflages them, a diet consisting of a variety of invertebrates, and their constantly bobbing or dipping some part of their body when walking along Spotted sandpiper. waterways to get food. For a long time I wondered why these little birds were always dancing as they walked along the edges of waterways. Then, one day, I noticed some twigs bouncing vigorously in a brook’s current near a spotted sandpiper that was bobbing its tail up and down with the same rhythm as the twigs in the running water. Could all that dancing along small waterways be a form of camouflage among birds of different families? If so, that streamside habitat shaped those unrelated birds into doing a similar activity to escape the attention of predators. All those kinds of birds developed a trait that converged them into that niche to survive in it. Perhaps, too, that rhythmic, comical dancing is a form of communicating among birds of a species under the guise of small bits of wood bobbing along in a tumbling brook or stream. The birds get their messages out without making themselves vulnerable to predators. The bobbing and dipping of these various types of unrelated birds to a quick beat is entertaining to watch. And that humorous activity helps in identifying each species. Gray-feathered dippers raise two or three young per brood in crevices in streambanks along cascading, small waterways in the Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada. Dippers bounce their whole bodies up and down as they walk. And they walk on the bottoms of waterways to get invertebrates as well.

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.

Spotted sandpipers raise four young in a brood along streams over much of North America. They bob their tails up and down constantly as they walk along little waterways in meadows. Louisiana waterthrushes are a kind of warbler, most of which are woodland nesting birds. Waterthrushes rear Palm warbler. offspring in dead-leaf-lined crevices in streambanks along streams in woods in the eastern United States. And they continually pump their tails up and down, much like spotted sandpipers, as they walk along woodland streams to snare invertebrates. American pipits are sparrow-sized birds that nest on the Arctic tundra but winter in open habitats, including bare fields in farmland across much of the United States. But when snow covers seeds and invertebrates in fields, pipits gather along small waterways in pastures to look for invertebrates to eat. These little birds bob their tails as they poke about shallow water for food. Winter wrens are 4 inches long and warm brown, and they scurry along small waterways in woods like feathered mice. They hunt invertebrates among exposed tree roots, fallen logs, carpets of dead leaves, and stones along waters’ edges, dipping and dancing their whole bodies as they move along. Each winter wren shelters during winter nights among tree roots and fallen logs along the same brooks where it hunted food. Rusty-capped and yellow-bellied, the lovely palm warblers nest on the ground in woodland bogs in northern North America. And they wag their tails as they walk over the ground and along little waterways in the woods in search of invertebrates. Being camouflaged, all these birds are tough to spot but fascinating to experience when they are found. But even if they are not spotted, it’s interesting to note their presence and their comical ways of avoiding capture by predators. There seems to be no end to ways in which life strives to survive. Nature is always intriguing, all the time. Clyde McMillan-Gamber is a retired Lancaster County Parks naturalist.

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May 2021

50plus LIFE

Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori

Avoiding Heirloom Damage Lori Verderame

Recently, a friend called me in a panic. She reGrandma that you just can’t bring yourself to alized that her sump pump failed, and there was display or to trash. water all over her basement. After calling in the When it comes to art, antiques, or collectplumbers and the cleanup team, she called me to ibles, never store anything in wooden crates or ask if there was any way she can save her beloved cardboard boxes, as both of these containers are childhood scrapbooks. acidic. They will “off-gas,” or give off damaging “While you had always told me not to store gases. my scrapbooks in the basement, I had them up I’ve read where some “experts” have advised on shelves so I thought they were safe,” she said. people to store baseball-card collections in “Then, of course, my sump pump hose broke cardboard cigarette cartons or metal license-plate loose and sprayed the whole room from floor to collections in wooden crates. Wrong! The acid in ceiling with yucky water! Now what do I do?” cardboard can even damage antique china, and Photo credit: I told her that this is the season when many so can old newspapers. Solander boxes are acid-free storage boxes that are people don’t realize that lots of new things are Cardboard is never the solution to the storage great for photographs, prints, drawings, and other paper items. happening around the house — even in those of your heirlooms. less-than-exciting areas of the house like the baseIf you must store your keepsakes in the basement. ment, consider investing in a dehumidifier and That’s right, spring (and her sump pump hose) has sprung! solander boxes and plastic tubs. And always keep an eye on your sump pump. For example, bugs are back with a vengeance this time of year. Creepy-crawDr. Lori Verderame is the award-winning Ph.D. antiques appraiser on History ly creatures are making their way back to those dark areas of your basement, channel’s The Curse of Oak Island. Visit and or call attic, and garage. They love to eat stuff like old paper, wood pulp, cardboard (888) 431-1010. boxes, and birdseed. This is right where you need one of my favorite and cheap storage Tom & Randi LaNasa “MEMORY MUSIC” solutions: the plastic tub. Store your items off the floor and in stackable plastic tubs. I suggest some of my recommended storage solutions at Stacking tubs will help protect your belongings from water that may accumulate on the basement floor. The plastic tubs will also help keep some of the bugs out, as bugs are not attracted to plastic like they are to wood and cardboard boxes. Attention: RETIREMENT HOMES, Since art and antiques like consisCLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS. tent temperature and humidity levels, at the very least, take that piece Looking for entertainment? of art that you think is valuable and Booking shows for any occasion! get it out of the basement! We have many variety shows featuring the music from the 1930s to the 60s. As for my friend’s scrapbooks and Songs by legendary artists like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, all other paper keepsakes (ephemera), Kay Starr, Dean Martin, Patsy Cline, and the Mills Brothers. I advised museum-quality solander boxes for storage. They are the muSpecialty shows include … seum standard and are acid free. Songs from the WWII Years • The Post WWII Years: 1945 – 1955 These chemically inert boxes AMERICA: From Sea to Shining Sea are intended for the storage of flat Salute to the Rat Pack (or if you prefer, just Sinatra) pieces, including papers, prints, Elvis & Patsy • Classic Country photographs, magazines, newspapers, Please contact Memory Music to book your next event! cards, comic books, and unframed art. They are a great solution for Phone: (717) 846-6126 E-mail: those old photographs of

50plus LIFE

May 2021


Dear Pharmacist

Causes and Solutions for Dysphagia Suzy Cohen

• Sedatives – For example, alprazolam or clonazepam • A nalgesics for pain – Codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone • Muscle relaxers – Cyclobenzaprine or tizanidine • Neuroleptics – Haloperidol, lithium, olanzapine, quetiapine, and others • Bone-building drugs – Alendronate and others • Many antibiotics – Doxycycline, clindamycin, and others • NSAIDS – Ibuprofen, naproxen, and others • Aspirin • Asthma medications • Immunosuppressants • Antidepressants One other reason people have dysphagia is that they’re forced to swallow big pills, and then they vomit them back up! And if that happens, the person now has caustic stomach acid refluxing into the delicate esophageal tissue. The use of acid blockers, like famotidine, and demulcents (slippery elm or marshmallow) can bring immediate relief and may prevent your loved one from having an unnecessary endoscopy because it looks like they’ve suddenly developed dysphagia. In my field, we have a saying: “History, history, history!” If someone takes a good history and finds out exactly when the dysphagia started, you might be able to see the cause. Once that is pinpointed, the proper treatment can be given. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit

Puzzles shown on page 7.

Puzzle Solutions

Many seniors experience dysphagia, which is the term for difficulty swallowing food or pills. Initially it appears as a frequent need to clear your throat or as a hoarse voice. It may be that you feel like coughing or choking while eating or talking, and sometimes there is regurgitation of food. Most people report fullness, pressure, or a burning sensation in the chest (sternal) area while eating. Left untreated, it may lead to other complications, like a more chronic cough, a choking sensation, malnutrition, or a respiratory infection. In serious cases, food may be aspirated and result in pneumonia, which then requires hospitalization. Most everyone has experienced the sensation of dysphagia at one time or another. It can happen by simply eating too large a bite or not chewing enough. A swallowing issue may be felt if you have a dry mouth or if you swallow while lying down or even laughing or talking. To resolve simple cases of dysphagia, you should eat smaller meals that include softer food, and chew well. Eliminating caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol helps too. But if the swallowing difficulty is more chronic and serious, dysphagia treatment is required. Treatments vary for each individual and hinge on many factors, such as age, severity, and underlying conditions. Sometimes people develop dysphagia rather suddenly. When I worked in the nursing home setting, we saw this frequently occur with new admissions who were started on medications that induced the dysphagia as a side effect. Oftentimes the medication can be switched to something else that does not induce dysphagia. I have a much longer version of this article available with lengthy lists of medications that induce dysphagia. To receive this, please sign up for my free newsletter at, and I’ll email it to you. In the meantime, here are the most common medications that induce dysphagia:


May 2021

50plus LIFE

Melinda’s Garden

Designing a Wildlife-Friendly Landscape Melinda Myers

We love watching the bunnies National Wildlife Federation, Audubon, hopping across the lawn or ground Natural Resources Conservation squirrels scurrying away with a cheek full Services, Department of Natural of seeds — that is, until they dine on our Resources, and University Extension favorite shrub or take just one bite out of websites. each red ripe tomato in the garden. Be patient and wait for a year to Finding a way to coexist is critical for evaluate the results of your efforts. Then wildlife struggling to survive and our begin making any needed changes to enjoyment of nature and our landscapes. meet your goals. As gardeners, we know that digging in Developing a landscape for you to the soil and tending a garden is good for enjoy and one that supports wildlife our mind, body, and spirit. takes time, but as a gardener this is not Researchers discovered the same only part of the process, but also an is true when we take time to observe exciting adventure. wildlife. Our need for a relationship Melinda Myers has written more than 20 with nature is also important to our gardening books, including Small Space wellbeing. It helps us feel more content Photo courtesy of Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses’ and function more effectively. Include habitat features in your garden and landscape that are How to Grow Anything DVD series and But we love our gardens too. needed to attract and sustain the wildlife you are trying to attract. the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Implementing some design and Moment TV and radio program. Myers is a management strategies can help us support and enjoy wildlife, care for our columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. landscapes, and improve our quality of life. Reducing the amount of edge habitat, where one type of habitat meets another, can allow us to support wildlife while reducing the risk of damage. Are you getting your share of the Create circular or square garden beds that have more interior space and less border space. Long, linear beds with more edges and less interior space allow easier access for animals to dine. Which buyers make up the Silver Economy? Work with neighbors and your community to create large blocks and • 962 million men and women over the age of 60 corridors of habitat. Providing animals with spaces, other than your gardens, • A group with 11 times more wealth than millennials that have needed food and shelter can help you and the wildlife to coexist. • Persons with a life expectancy in the U.S. of about 78.87 years Protect key gardens and plants. Fencing is an option. Make sure your fence • Persons who prefer in-person contact when possible • A group that wants to age at home as long as reasonable is high enough, tight to the ground, and the gates secure. Repellents are a less obtrusive option. Select a product labeled for the Why do you want to reach these buyers? • They are free of many economic burdens animals and rodents you are trying to manage. • They like to take care of themselves, be active, eat well, be fashionable, and have fun For best results, apply repellents before the animals start feeding. Then • They have more free time reapply as recommended on the label. Look for one, like organic and bird- and • They are looking for products and services to help them age well pollinator-friendly Plantskydd, that is rain and snow resistant, requiring fewer What sectors are on the rise? repeat applications. The not-so-obvious: The obvious: Work with nature to maintain a balance in your landscape. Invite hawks, • Home improvements/renovations • Security technology – mobile apps, sensors, wearable owls, and foxes to your backyard. Grow tall grasses and plants that provide devices, smart clothing, etc. • Tourism and leisure activities tailored cover for foxes. Include trees with good perches, or install perch poles to for them • Pet care – pet sitting, walking, grooming, food, accessories, etc. • Caregiver solutions attract and support raptors. • Gardening/lawn services combined with snow removal • Financial products geared for seniors And like any landscape endeavor, start with a plan. Make a sketch of your • Mobile esthetic and concierge services – hairstylist, • Retirement living existing landscape. Identify existing plants and wildlife-friendly habitats. manicurist, massage, facials • Personal services – running errands, shopping Make note of both the natural habitats and any supplemental food, water, and shelter you provide. Review and note various features in your landscape What are you waiting for? throughout the year. 51% of people aged 52-70 spend fewer than 11 hours a week online. Now decide what you want to accomplish in your landscape. What wildlife While businesses need an online presence, print adds power to a media campaign. Most boomers and seniors are open to and love classic media. do you want to attract and have the space to support? Perhaps you want 50plus LIFE—Covering Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, to attract more songbirds to your gardens or animals, like toads, that help Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties—is an excellent venue! manage pests in the garden. Call to learn how we can help you reach our 150,000+ readers of 50plus LIFE! Make sure your landscape provides the habitat features needed to attract 717.285.1350 or email and sustain these welcome residents. You will find lots of helpful resources on


50plus LIFE

May 2021


The Bookworm Sez

55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal Terri Schlichenmeyer

Your last regular paycheck has come and gone. realism: Very few new retirees have achieved that. That was a while ago, back before you were The vast majority haven’t. downsized/laid off/reassigned right out of a job, and What’s more, rosy retirement pictures are you’re not sure what to do. Your savings are nearly painted of island getaways, long walks in Paris, and gone, your retirement funds are next, and you’re too palatial homes, when the reality is that a very high young to get Social Security. percentage of Americans age 55-plus don’t know In 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal by where they’ll be living this fall. Some of America’s Elizabeth White, you’ll see how to make this new life seniors are trying to get by on less than $500 per work. month. At 35 years old, Elizabeth White had a solid job If this is your new reality, there are things you can at the World Bank, she owned a house, and she was do. heading to Harvard to get a Ph.D. First, know that “the cavalry ain’t coming,” and Photo credit: Mig Dooley There, she “caught the entrepreneurial bug,” you’re more or less on your own. Learn to “small up” 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal: and, in partnership with her mother, she became a in your housing and your possessions by knowing Your Guide to a Better Life business owner; when the business failed, she was exactly what’s important to you. By Elizabeth White resilient and landed some consulting gigs that put her Rethink your priorities. Ignore your pride away, c. 2020 in paperback, Simon & Schuster finances back to where they were before. and take the dang food stamps. Take care of your 272 pages And then the Great Recession hit. Suddenly, home. Take care of your relationships. Take care of White was exactly where the title of this book indicates: too young, too old, yourself. and suddenly “totally out of the loop.” Shortly afterward, when an essay she So, here’s what you need to know about 55, Underemployed, and Faking penned went surprisingly viral, she learned that she wasn’t alone. Normal: What you get out of this book will depend on how old you are now. Experts say that, to retire successfully, Americans need “15–20 times their Regardless of what the title indicates, this book is absolutely for new college annual salaries” in some sort of savings or program, but White points out the grads or those entering the workforce this year who are serious about their futures. Younger readers, throw away those horror novels that line your shelves; for you, this book is a cautionary, real-life, terror-filled memoir that doubles as a The help caregivers need to care hardcover warning for your elderhood. for themselves and others! For anyone who’s facing a retirement that’s not necessarily on their terms, author Elizabeth White has frights for you, too, but they’re tamer. You’ve met those terrors already, and the advice she offers Features helps make them less scary, more attackable, • Directory of Providers more survivable. • Books and Resources 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal is • Support Organizations useful, even enjoyable, • Articles but it’s serious stuff with no fluff. For readers who are facing a new reality for their golden years, reluctantly or otherwise, reading it might pay off.

Protecting All That Matters

Long Term Care t Medicare Supplement

Also online at


Call for your free copy today! (717) 285-1350 26

May 2021

50plus LIFE


310 Historic DrivFtStrasburg



The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 14,000 books.

The Reel Deal

Cruella Randal Hill

In Disney’s 1961 animated feature 101 Dalmatians, based on Eventually, de Vil comes face-to-face with a most formidable a 1956 novel by Dodie Smith, we meet Cruella de Vil. (Could competitor, the debonair fashion legend Baroness von Hellman, there be a more perfect first name to represent evil?) who wants to team up with Cruella for a fashion-industry As a pampered and glamorous London heiress, her character takeover. became a symbol of greed, vanity, and evil on her way to Uh-oh. We must keep in mind that Cruella, who comes to us becoming a pop-culture icon. In 1996, Glenn Close portrayed here as a ’70s punk-rock designer with gaudily two-toned, Lady Cruella in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians remake, as well as in the Gaga-like hair, admits, “I was born brilliant, born bad — and a 2000 sequel 102 Dalmatians. little bit mad. I’m Cruella.” Now Disney is bringing Cruella back in a bound-to-be-a-hit When the women become a formidable team, their film of the same name and starring Academy Award and Golden relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations Globe recipient Emma Stone in the titular role. There’s also twothat will cause de Vil to embrace her wicked side and become time Oscar earner Emma Thompson as the Baroness and the a raucous, emotionally pained, and revenge-seeking character Image © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. UK’s Mark Strong as Boris. who proclaims, “I am woman, hear me roar!” Used for publicity and promotional purposes. The latest offering explores the backstory of Cruella — the Not exactly a sympathetic character, you might think. But Queen of Mean — in this prequel to the six-decades-old original Disney later, when we hear her side of the story, we can’t help but root for her. movie. Fashionista de Vil didn’t start off as an evil-fueled grifter, yet she was Directed ably by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya; Fright Night), Cruella counts always aware of her place in society as a scrappy underdog. among its executive producers none other than — ready for this? — Glenn “From the very beginning, I realized I saw the world differently than Close. everyone else. That didn’t sit well with some people. But I wasn’t for everyone. The feature, promoted as a family film but one that may be a bit edgy for I guess they were always scared that I’d be a psycho.” some impressionable youngsters, is slated for nationwide release on May 28, Wanting to prove her worth and become the brightest star in the glittering the pandemic situation permitting. world of fashion, she befriends a pair of young, streetwise thieves who enjoy Randal C. Hill enjoys getting sneak peeks of forthcoming movies from his home on Cruella’s penchant for mischief. the Oregon coast. He can be reached at

Be an Advocate in the Life of a Long-Term Care Resident Become a Volunteer Ombudsman

The Lancaster County Office of Aging trains community members to serve as Volunteer Ombudsmen, advocating for residents of long-term care facilities. Duties include: • Educating residents about their rights

• Encouraging and assisting residents to ask questions and express concerns • Helping them reach solutions, in collaboration with facility staff and family

Background checks and a full-day training by PA Department of Aging are required. Schedule and assignments are flexible, based on volunteer’s availability. Visits can be made days, evenings, and/or weekends. To learn more about this unique volunteer opportunity, contact Sheri Snyder at 717-299-7979 or 1-800-801-3070 or by e-mail at

50plus LIFE

May 2021


Want or Need to Retire Early? Tips on How to Pay for It By Alan Becker Delaying retirement has become common for many Americans, either because they saved too little or they just want to continue working because they enjoy it. Others go in the opposite direction. They retire early — sometimes out of choice but often because their health or the economy forces it. While early retirement might sound appealing, it can be a struggle for those who don’t have sufficient income to pay their bills. That is why, if you are weighing the pros and cons of early retirement, you need to get a good handle on your potential sources of income. You may find you lack what you need — an especially unnerving conclusion if early retirement isn’t really a choice. But don’t despair just yet. It’s also possible you have more income options than you realize. Those can be broken down into the categories of bridge income, fixed income, guaranteed income, and speculative income. Bridge income. To support yourself in early retirement, you may need to tap into your assets sooner than planned — essentially bridging the gap until your other expected retirement income sources kick in. Fortunately, there are ways to do that without incurring penalties for early withdrawal. For example, if you retire before you’re eligible for Social Security and Medicare, you can withdraw money from your traditional IRA before age 59½ without paying the 10% penalty. That’s because of something called the 72(t) provision. Similarly, the Rule of 55 allows you to withdraw money from your 401(k) or 403(b) without penalty if you are between ages 55 and 59½ and have been fired, laid off, or quit your job. (This applies only to the retirement plan sponsored by your most recent employer, not an older plan from a previous employer. Also, while you avoid penalties with these strategies, you still have to pay taxes on those withdrawals.) Fixed income. One example of fixed income is real estate rentals. Certainly, there are downsides to being a landlord, but those who manage it right and carefully screen tenants may find this can provide a reliable income. Owning rental properties can come with tax advantages. Beyond that, the property’s value typically appreciates in a strong market, making it a potential long-term investment. If need be, you can sell it later in life to pay for such expenses as health or long-term care costs. If you don’t like the idea of handling upkeep and dealing with tenants yourself, you could hire a property management company, but that, of course, adds to your expenses. Another situation to be aware of is that during COVID-19, some states put a temporary ban on evictions for tenants who meet certain criteria, which could make it hard to collect on rent in those situations. Guaranteed income. It’s important in retirement to have some income that


May 2021

50plus LIFE

arrives each month, regardless of what’s happening in the market. The most common source of guaranteed retirement income is Social Security. For those considering early retirement, it’s worth knowing you can begin drawing Social Security as early as age 62. But there’s a caveat. If you claim the benefit before you reach full retirement age (between 66 and 67 for most people), your monthly benefit is reduced and that reduction is for life. Another source of retirement income some people still have is a pension. If you have one, determine whether it provides a reduced benefit (or any benefit at all) to your spouse after you die. If not, you may want to weigh whether to take a lump-sum payment rather than your regular payout, if that choice is offered. Finally, an annuity — either fixed or indexed — can provide you with a monthly check as well. Some annuities do come with fees and various rules and limitations, and you also want to research the claims-paying ability of the insurance carriers being considered. So study them carefully before making a decision. A properly licensed financial professional can help you figure out what’s best for you and your circumstances as you make that decision. Speculative income. One of the risks of retiring early is that you are even likelier than the average person to outlive your savings. That means you may want to keep at least a portion of your money in the market so it can grow. Yes, that does mean you could experience market volatility, but it’s worth remembering that historically, after significant market drops, the market has strong recoveries. Still, you and your financial professional should take steps to minimize your risk exposure. Finally, it’s worth noting that with retirement comes extra time, and how you use that time could make a difference in your financial situation. Maybe you could take on a part-time job to pull in extra cash. Perhaps a favorite hobby could turn into a money-making venture. Or possibly you just need to be cautious about becoming bored and filling that extra time with too many vacation trips or shopping sprees, spending money you really can’t afford to spend. Even with careful planning, early retirement can still be difficult for some people. If that’s the case with you, you may need to adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Regardless, though, it’s important in retirement — early or otherwise — to have an assortment of income sources. Many times the best retirement plans combine three of the aforementioned strategies, if not all four. With the right amount of diversity in your portfolio, you may be able to live well in early retirement now, while still growing a nest egg that will see you through your later years. Alan Becker is president and CEO of Retirement Solutions Group ( and author of Return on Investment or Reliability of Income? The True Meaning of ROI in Retirement. He is an investment adviser representative, has passed the Series 65 securities exam, and is insurance licensed in multiple states.

Could You Be Missing Out On Senior Discounts? By Chris Orestis People who reach or near their retirement years often need to watch every penny. Sure, some of them are financially fit and don’t lose sleep worrying that their bank accounts and investments will run dry. For many, though, frugality is the watchword as they struggle to make it through each month. Fortunately, aging does come with at least one financial perk: senior discounts that restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, airlines, car rental companies, hotels, and other businesses offer to their older clientele. These discounts give older Americans a break on prices for everything from a gym membership to a fast-food meal to a movie ticket. You would think all seniors and their families would be all over these opportunities. But, surprisingly, many people don’t take advantage. In some cases, that could be because it doesn’t occur to ask whether a discount is available. In other cases, people just have a hard time thinking of themselves as seniors. But you need to be aware — and you should always ask. In scouring for discounts, here are a few other things to keep in mind:   Don’t assume you’re too young. How old do you need to be? It varies. That’s one reason it’s always good to ask. You could already be eligible for a discount at a business and not realize it. For example, AARP membership starts at 50 and comes with numerous discounts built into the membership. Chili’s restaurants offer a 10% senior discount to those 55 and older. At the other end of the scale, Taco Bell will give you a free beverage, but not until you are at least 65.   Sometimes when you go matters. Some discounts happen on a particular day of the week. Just as an example, some Captain D’s restaurants offer a “Happy Wednesday” discount where, once a week, seniors can choose from among eight meals at a reduced price. No one expects you to schedule your entire life around discounts, but for

some individual things — such as a night at the movies or dinner out or even a shopping trip to a retail store — it’s worth knowing that going a day earlier or a day later might make a difference. Occasionally, you don’t even have to be a senior. Plenty of opportunities exist to save money, whether you’re advancing in years or not. Many stores offer store “memberships” that come with a discount with each purchase. Also, the American Automobile Association is another organization whose members enjoy a number of discounts in much the same way AARP members do. Individually, some discounts might amount to just a dollar or two. But as you take advantage of more of them, those savings grow. When you’re on a fixed income — or just want to get the most out of every dollar you have — the difference over time can be significant.  

Chris Orestis, known as the “Retirement Genius,” is president of LifeCare Xchange and a nationally recognized healthcare expert and senior advocate. He has 25 years’ experience in the insurance and long-term care industries and is the author of Help on the Way and A Survival Guide to Aging.


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Best Tips for Buying and Selling a Home during COVID By Laura Adams The coronavirus pandemic and social-distancing guidelines have made the logistics of buying and selling a home and moving more complicated, especially in hard-hit cities and communities. However, many U.S. real estate markets remain strong and show resiliency despite the unprecedented health and economic crisis. Homebuyers and sellers can use these tips for safer and more successful real estate transactions during this uncertain time. Tips for Home Buyers during the Coronavirus If you’re a buyer who’s in the market to downsize, upsize, or become a first-time homeowner, consider the following: 1. Evaluate your current and future budget. Buying a home is a significant financial commitment, so understanding what you can genuinely afford is essential. If you’re at all worried about the future of your job, business, or investment income, buying a home that’s under your budget is wise.

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2. Use a mortgage preapproval. Before spending too much time home shopping, make sure you qualify for a desirable mortgage by getting a preapproval. It’s a document that specifies how much a lender will allow you to borrow, at what rate, and for how long. Due to the economic crisis, many home lenders have raised their underwriting requirements, making it more challenging for buyers to qualify. They may be looking for higher credit ratings or a larger down payment than before the pandemic.

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In addition to your mortgage payment, don’t forget about additional ongoing expenses, such as homeowner’s insurance, real estate property taxes, homeowner association fees, landscaping, and maintenance. You may also have additional move-in costs, such as furnishings, hiring a mover, and remodeling. Assess your income, expenses, and savings to ensure you have enough cash for closing and plenty left over for a cash reserve. A good rule of thumb is maintaining an emergency fund equal to three to six months’ worth of your living expenses.

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Use a mortgage preapproval as a tool to find homes in the right price range for your budget, and let sellers know that you’re a serious buyer. You can also use a mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payment would be for different scenarios. 3. Get a historically low mortgage rate. The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at historic lows, currently about 3.3% APR. If you want a 15-year fixed-rate loan, it could be as low as 3% APR. If you lock in a low rate and get a property under contract, it can undoubtedly save money over the long run. Lower monthly payments may also allow you to afford a higher-priced home if your finances are in good shape. In many parts of the country, owning a home costs less per month than renting a similar property. But remember that lenders are currently dealing with a wave of potential defaults, forbearance requests, refinancing applications, and federal stimulus programs they may be processing. That means getting a mortgage application through underwriting and approved may take longer than usual. Tips for Home Sellers during the Coronavirus Selling a home during a pandemic may depend on creative marketing and finding a Realtor or a real estate agent who can help you solve new challenges. 1. Use technology to market your home. While you can still have inperson home showings, take extra precautions by creating virtual tours to reduce the number of strangers in your home. Use a camera or smartphone to create prerecorded videos of your home’s interior, exterior, amenities, and neighborhood. If you have a real estate agent, they can include your video files in the multiple listing service (MLS) database and their company website. They may offer professional photographers and videographers as part of their listing services. Be sure to make your property as attractive as possible to buyers doing

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online home searches. 2. Be prepared for longer marketing times. In many areas of the U.S., there may be fewer buyers due to fears of contracting COVID-19. Plus, overwhelmed lenders may have a backlog of mortgage applications. These conditions could increase the average marketing times for properties across the country. While the fear of the coronavirus and a looming recession may make it more challenging to sell your home, the lending environment is favorable. For buyers who aren’t worried about losing a job or business income, a low-rate mortgage is an incentive to invest in a home sooner rather than later. 3. Set rules for buyers. Be clear about how you will protect yourself, real estate agents, and potential buyers from the spread of coronavirus. As the seller, you dictate the protocol, such as requiring everyone who comes inside your home to wear masks and sanitize their hands. Depending on the buyer’s lender, you should be allowed to complete a remote closing by mailing the original documents. As the pandemic evolves, homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionals should follow CDC guidelines and advice from state and local authorities to stay safe. Laura Adams is an analyst for, an online real estate school designed for mobile app and web. AceableAgent allows agents to easily complete real estate pre-license, continuing-ed, and professional-development courses from their smartphones, tablets, or computers.

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BRING IT ON. As you age, our health and wellness specialists are in your corner. Weird sensations. Odd symptoms. Those “I’m embarrassed to talk about this” conversations. At the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Women’s Specialty Center, we get it, because our expert providers specialize in this time in a woman’s life. Let our Nurse Navigator help coordinate your appointments and care between the different specialties in our center. Because you’re focused on so many other priorities, we’re here to focus on you. Having a not-sure-what-this-is or why-do-I-feel-this-way moment? We’ve seen it all. And we can’t wait to see you. Make an appointment at

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Lancaster County 50plus LIFE – May 2021  

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