Vol. 44, No. 3
Formerly Senior Focus
Published by The Daily Herald and Senior Services of Snohomish County
Senior Services to launch new brand Page 2
A house filled with pets — and love Page 7
Tips for boosting your recall ability Page 10
Program stimulates seniors with memory issues
Walker, 90, keeps on truckin’ Page 13
PUBLISHED BY THE DAILY HERALD AND HOMAGE SENIOR SERVICES
Formerly Senior Services of Snohomish County
Savvy Senior . . . . . . . . . . 3 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Washington Watch . . . . . 6 Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Meals on Wheels volunteer Pam Timm places food (Dan Bates / The Herald) in the refrigerator and freezer
By Caitlin Tompkins
Pam Timm is standing door with a cart of brown at his front grocery bags. “She’s my favorite lady,” Mike Kerasotes, 67, said. Timm, 66, delivers meals to him each week. She has been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for six months. During that time, Kerasotes has battled cancer. “When you get $80 in food stamps, it doesn’t go very far. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it through radiation,” he said to Timm. Last year, Meals on Wheels volunteers
and staff served more than ple throughout the county 1,000 peoof 152,000 meals. Senior — a total Snohomish County has Services of managed the local chapter of Meals on 42 years. Each of the meals Wheels for is approved by a nutritionist. Most are and have helped diabeticslow sodium blood sugar under control, keep their said Martha Peppones, director of the nutrition program.
Learn about programs and services available to seniors by visiting www .sssc .org .
Just who is responsible for the debts a parent leaves behind?
“That’s 60 too many,” Peppones said. “Those are people who still need The program may be facing meals.” tial financial cuts if PresidentsubstanDonald Trump’s proposed budget approved. Nearly half of for 2018 is the program’s funding comes from the ernment through the Olderfederal govAmericans Act and Community Development Block Grants. The grants are removed under the budget slated to be plan. That would affect 150 meal recipients in Snohomish County, Peppones said. “Fortunately, it’s only a proposal,” she
Giving the gift of companionship Music wellness facilitator Noah Plotkin leads a drumming and singing session with Michael Folio as Cheryl Levin-Folio looks on.
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(Mark Ukena, Chicago Tribune)
The Focus is a publication of SENIOR SERVICES OF SNOHOMISH COUNTY 11627 Airport Rd ., Suite B Everett, WA 98204-8714
| VOL. 44, NO. 4 | MAY 2017 Since the program started, been a growing demand. there has Staff were able to bring the waiting list about 300 to 60 people last down from year.
Adaptation helps couple battle
Commentary: Revisions to health-care law will hurt older Americans.
for Lorna Jenkinson at
Meals on Wheels’ future uncertain under president’s propos ed budget
CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
By Karen Berkowitz
HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois Levin-Folio can’t anticipate — Cheryl milestone of memory loss every new as she and her husband, Michael Folio, navigate his Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes quick thinking comes in handy, as it did when Michael forgot one day to take off his clothes before stepping into the shower. Rather than correct her husband, Cheryl joined him in the shower with her clothes on
for a laugh. “I think the next time we our clothes off,” she gently should take told him. “I made light of it,” she said. “I never correct him. That’s not fair to In the five years since Michael.” Michael Folio was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at age 56, the Park couple has adapted Highland routine many times over. their daily They’d been together for years, but married less than four months, when CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Music therapy enables stro to regain some languag ke patients e through song
By Rashod Ollison years, who sits within arm’s The Virginian-Pilot reach of him, nodding. They’re all in a small NORFOLK, Virginia — When the Johnny Cash room inside Fort Norfolk melody frustrates James Medical Center — RodriRodriguez, he chuckles, guez in his wheelchair and shakes his head and says, Bowdish on a low stool sandwiched between “I don’t know.” an imposing keyboard and a Tracy Bowdish gently pushes him, taking computer desk. Bowdish is his hand into hers as she a music therapist with Sentara’s Music and Medicine leans closer and sings in bell-clear perfect pitch lyr- Center. In a promotional clip for the program, ics from “I Walk the Line. she ” The goal is to get Rodri- mentions that her blindguez to find the words, still ness helps her to engage patients, to “see who they a difficult task since Music therapist Tracy J. his Bowdish plays the guitar stroke in summer 2011. are beyond the stroke.” As Bowdish holds Rodri- leads James “Jim Bob” Rodriquez in singing songsand But his progress has been during their session “remarkable,” says San- guez’s hand, singing lyrics in Norfolk, Virginia. at Sentara Neurology Specialists Rodriquez suffered a stroke dra, Rodriguez’s wife of 47 CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 2011 and Bowdish is helping him regain some in speech through music. (Bill Tiernan / The Virginian-Pilot)
Lynnwood monument kept its meaning despite multiple moves. Page 4
What steps should you take to ‘get your affairs in order’? Page 6
Tech Talk: Roku is a streaming device that’s easy to love. Page 7
Troubling questions arise when nursing homes evict residents. Page 8
Before a 1977 wedding, well-meaning mom tried to talk about sex. Page 10
Columns Savvy Senior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Elder Info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Washington Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
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Learn about programs and services available to seniors by visiting www.homage.org.
Myrtle Imus, center, is a senior companion to Lois Larson and Nadine Dobbins, residents at Meadows II in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Volunteer enjoys making friends while helping others By Megan Brown Special to The Herald A good friend is hard to find. And unlike a fine wine, that search doesn’t get better with age. Myrtle Imus, 72, was lonely when she moved by herself from Kent to Everett in 2016. She became a volunteer with the Homage Senior Companion Program to build friendships. The companion program helps create bonds between senior citizens who may otherwise feel isolated from society and have a hard time putting themselves out there. Imus became aware of the Homage service after seeing an advertisement for the program. “I saw this picture of this lady standing by a senior, and I thought, ‘Wow, she really looks like me!,’ ” Imus said.
Imus contacted Homage, and was connected with four other women in the area. “I call them my little angels,” she said. Imus visits her companions in their homes or they go out to lunch together. Sometimes they plan visits to museums or local attractions. They help each other with errands or chores around the house. Homage made the enrollment process easy and uncomplicated. “They’d call me and say, ‘I have a companion,’ and ask if I’d like to meet them,” Imus said. Those companions range in age from a few years her senior to 15 years younger than Imus. One of her senior companions rarely left her house because of a physical disability. Imus made it her mission to change that. “I now have her going to church and out to dinner once a week. I
take her with me when I go some places, just to get her out. It’s just been a real good time for us. I know she’s happy. And I am.” Helping others is a familiar pastime for Imus, who retired in 2013 from a 50-year career as a licensed nurse practitioner. The Homage Senior Companion Program provided an opportunity for her to continue helping others while making friends. The benefits of social interaction and companionship have been studied extensively in children and young adults, but only recently have its effects on seniors shifted into focus. Researchers are finding a strong correlation between friendships later in life and good health. A 2012 study from the University of California San Francisco concluded that CONTINUED ON PAGE 9
Homage program connects seniors with seniors
Homage is a publication of HOMAGE SENIOR SERVICES 11627 Airport Rd., Suite B Everett, WA 98204-8714
By Kate Gauigan Homage Senior Services “I don’t like seeing people suffering and I like being able to do something for them” said Mary Oyoo, a Senior Companion volunteer with Homage’s Senior Companion Program. Mary says it seemed like a natural fit to join the Senior Companion Program, a program that matches older adult volunteers (ages 55 and older) with homebound or disabled seniors (ages 60 and older) with the volunteers providing companionship and other assistance with daily tasks. While living in Kenya, Mary worked as a nurse coordinating
Mary Oyoo, who was a nurse when she lived in Kenya, is a Senior Companion Volunteer. (Homage photo) some programs through USAID, with the help of The John Hopkins Hospital, focusing on infection prevention and family planning. She
was drawn to working with older adults after her own personal experience caring for her mom. “My own mother was sick, and I brought her into my home and took care of her and she got better. When I came to the United States, I remembered how much I liked my nursing work and working with older people and that was why I wanted to help in the Senior Companion program.” After her mom’s death, Mary immigrated to the United States in 2012 and settled in Alabama. Upon hearing about the Northwest, she made her way to Everett, which she enjoys a great deal. Mary works as a caregiver, which provides herself with an CONTINUED ON PAGE 9
Social Security benefits are one way we honor those who have served By Kirk Larson Public Affairs Specialist Social Security, Washington State On Memorial Day, we honor the soldiers and service members who have given their lives for our nation. Social Security respects the heroism and courage of our military service members, and we remember those who have given their lives in defense of freedom. Part of how we honor service members is the way we provide Social Security benefits. The unexpected loss of a family member is a difficult experience for anyone. Social Security helps by providing benefits to protect service members’ dependents. Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. You can learn more about Social Security survivors benefits at www. socialsecurity.gov/survivors. It’s also important to recognize those service members who are still with us, especially those who have been wounded. Just as they served us, we have the obligation to serve them. Social Security has benefits to assist veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty. Wounded military service members can also receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims. For example, Social Security will provide
Published by Homage Senior Services www.homage.org 11627 Airport Rd. Suite B, Everett, WA 98204 425-513-1900 in partnership with
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expedited processing of disability claims filed by veterans who have a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent and Total. Depending on the situation, some family members of military personnel, including dependent children and, in some cases, spouses, may be eligible to receive benefits. You can get answers to commonly asked questions and find useful information about the application process at www.socialsecurity. gov/woundedwarriors. Service members can also receive Social Security in addition to military retirement benefits. The good news is that your military retirement benefit does not reduce your Social Security retirement benefit. Learn more about Social Security retirement benefits at www. socialsecurity.gov/retirement. You may also want to visit the military service page of our retirement planner, www.socialsecurity.gov/ planners/retire/veterans.html. Service members are also eligible for Medicare at 65. If you have health insurance from the VA or under the TRICARE or CHAMPVA programs, your health benefits may change, or end, when you become eligible for Medicare. Learn more about Medicare benefits at www.socialsecurity. gov/medicare, or contact SHIBA at www.homage.org or 425-290-1276. Published monthly with a readership of 100,000+, the Homage Senior Services educates and entertaines readers (senior, family caregivers, service providers and other interested persons) with news and information that reflects the diverse interests and needs of the senior community. Signed articles are the opinon of the writer and not the opinion of Homage Senior Services or The Daily Herald
Health-care law will hurt seniors By Martha Peppones Homage Senior Services Reaction to the passage of the American Health Care Act by the House of Representatives has been fierce. Many national aging and healthcare advocacy organizations, including the National Council on Aging and the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Providers, along with scores of health-care providers and institutions, have expressed strong opposition to this harmful legislation, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4. Specific provisions of this bill that will hurt older Americans and their families are: ■■ Age-rating limits, which are increased to charge older adults higher premiums, causing undue burden on pre-Medicare adults age 50-64. ■■ Proposed tax credits that will not offset the difference in premiums, leaving some older adults unable to afford insurance at all. ■■ Latitude for states to waive essential health benefits, increase premiums for those with pre-existing conditions and allow annual and lifetime caps on coverage amounts. ■■ Elimination of the Prevention and Public Health Funds, which supports cost-effective prevention and homecare programs. Included in these are programs for elder abuse prevention, falls preventions and chronic illness management. ■■ The dismantling of Medicaid expansion, which has helped many older adults. Thirty-two states, including Washington, expanded Medicaid
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to help their most vulnerable citizens. Many of the new enrollees as a result of this expansion were 50 to 64 years old. ■■ The elimination of certain taxes could hasten the insolvency of the Medicare Trust Fund. Disturbingly, the vote of this revised bill was made without an official assessment of its cost or how many Americans could lose insurance. Some sources estimate the number of Americans with health insurance would be reduced by 17.5 million to 24 million as a result of this bill. (Source: Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Congressional Budget Office.) The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, which is expected to be a much longer progress. Fortunately, Senate budget rules require a score from the Congressional Budget Office, giving senators information about how much the legislation would cost and how many people stand to lose coverage. Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington need to hear from their constituents as they consider this legislation. Personal stories about the impact of reduced or absent health-care coverage will provide them with the real life impact and concerns they need as they fight for health care for all Washingtonians. We believe health care should be a right for every American, and that the health of Americans should improve as a result of health-policy choices.
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Who pays debt a parent leaves behind? By Jim Miller Q. What happens to a person’s debt after they die? My mother has taken on a lot of medical and credit card debt over the past few years and I’m worried that my brother and I will be responsible for it when she dies. What can you tell me? Worried Daughter Dear Worried, In most cases when a person with debt dies, it’s their estate, not their kids, that is legally responsible. Here’s how it works: Your mom’s estate — which consists of the stuff she owns while she’s alive (home, car, cash, etc.) — will be responsible for paying her debts after she has died. If she doesn’t have enough cash to pay her debts, you’ll have to sell her assets and pay off her creditors with the proceeds. Whatever is left over is passed along to her heirs as dictated by the terms of her will, if she has one. If she doesn’t have a will, the intestacy
laws of the state she resides in will determine how her estate will be distributed. If, however, she dies broke — or there isn’t enough money left over to pay her “unsecured debts,” such as credit cards, medical bills, personal loans — her estate is declared insolvent and her creditors will have to eat their losses. “Secured debts,” which are loans attached to an asset such as a house or a car, are a different story. If she has a mortgage or car loan when she dies, those monthly payments will need to be made by her estate or heirs, or the lender can seize the property. There are a couple of exceptions that would make you legally responsible for her debt after she passes away. One is if you are a joint holder on a credit card account that she owes on. And the other is if you cosigned a loan with her. Note to spouses: These same debt inheritance rules apply to surviving spouses too, unless you live in a
community property state — Washington, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas or Wisconsin. In these states, any debts that one spouse acquires after the start of a marriage belongs to the other spouse too. Therefore, spouses in community property states are usually responsible for their deceased spouse’s debts. Protected assets. If your mom has any IRAs, 401(k)s, brokerage accounts, life insurance policies or employer-based pension plans, these are assets that creditors usually cannot get access to. That’s because these accounts typically have designated beneficiaries, and the money goes directly to those people without passing through the estate. Settling her estate. You also need to be aware that if your mom dies with debt, and she has no assets, settling her estate should be fairly simple. Her executor will need to send out letters to her creditors explaining the situation, including
a copy of her death certificate. That will probably take care of it. But, you and your brother may still have to deal with aggressive debt collectors who try to guilt you into paying. If your mom has some assets, but not enough to pay all her debts, her state’s probate court has a distinct list of which bills will get priority. These details vary by state, but generally estate-administration fees, funeral expenses, taxes and last illness medical bills get paid first, followed by secured debts and, lastly, credit card debts. Need help? If you have questions regarding your situation, you should consult with a consumer law attorney or probate attorney. Or, if you just need a question or two answered, call your state’s legal hot line if one is available (see LegalHotlines.org), or a legal services provider. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
You can get Social Security payments while out of U.S. By Nicole Tiggemann Tribune News Service Social Security has you covered, even outside our nation’s borders. Many people who travel or live outside the country receive some kind of Social Security benefit, including retired and disabled workers, as well as spouses, widows, widowers and children. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible. When we say you are “outside the U.S.,” we mean you’re not in one of the 50 states, the
District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands or American Samoa. Once you’ve been outside the United States for at least 30 days in a row, we consider you to be outside the country. Whether you’re off to Europe or considering a stay in our newly reopened neighbor, Cuba, you may be able to receive your Social Security benefits even while you’re outside the United States. If you receive Supplemental Security Income, you cannot receive benefits if you’re outside of the United States for a month or more.
If you’re traveling outside the United States for an extended amount of time, it’s important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. You can use this online tool to find out if you can continue to receive your Social Security benefits if you are outside the United States (or are planning to be) at www. socialsecurity.gov/international/ payments—outsideUS.html. When you live outside the United States, we send you a questionnaire periodically. Your answers will help
us figure out if you still are eligible for benefits. Return the questionnaire as soon as possible. If you don’t, your payments will stop. In addition to responding to the questionnaire, notify us promptly about changes that could affect your payments. You can also read the publication titled “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States” at www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs. This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For specific questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov
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PERSPECTIVES ON THE PAST
Throughout multiple relocations, memorial has maintained meaning By Betty Lou Gaeng Perspectivepast@gmail.com May is not only the month when we recognize the preservation of our history, but also when we honor our veterans on Memorial Day. Here is a story of both preservation and honor. The year was 1948, almost three years after the end of World War II, and the country was at peace. The Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army had been busy locating and identifying the remains of our young service people who had lost their lives during that terrible world-wide conflict. That year, as thousands of caskets began arriving at our train stations, S.A. (Al) Wilcox, commander of American Legion Post 90 of Alderwood Manor, and other members of the post decided the local communities should have a permanent memorial to honor the young men of Edmonds School District 15 who had died serving their country. During the war, these young men had left their homes in Edmonds and the nearby communities of Alderwood Manor, Lynnwood, Seattle Heights, Esperance, Meadowdale and Cedar Valley and — at last — some were returning to their families to rest in home soil. The American Legion post decided the memorial should be a large granite monument listing the names of each young man who had attended the schools in the area and had who died during World War II as well as those who died in World War I. The post needed to raise money for this project, and it did. One of the first to reach deep into her pocketbook was an elderly widow, Odessa Patterson. During the Great Depression, Patterson and her husband raised a large family in Alderwood Manor. Like so many during those hard times, they had little in worldly goods. However, one of the young men to be honored by this memorial would be Patterson’s orphaned grandson, Danny Leonard. He was one of those brought home in his casket and buried at the cemetery in Edmonds. Danny had come from an orphanage in Seattle at age 8 to live with his grandparents. He attended Alderwood Manor
Patty Schoenholz (left) and Sheila Sievers lay flowers at the base of the veterans’ memorial monument on Memorial Day 1954. (Photo/ Lynnwood VFW Post 1040) Grade School and Edmonds High School, and as a 20-year-old enlisted soldier in the Army, Danny was serving in the Philippines shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor when Corregidor and Bataan fell into the hands of the Japanese. Seventy-five years ago, Danny Leonard survived the infamous Bataan Death March, only to suffer and die in May 1942 at one of the enemy’s POW camps. Patterson was not the only one to find a bit of money to add to the collection — many others came forth, and soon the project was completed. At first, the memorial included 45 names — five from World War I and 40 from World War II. A short time later, one more name from World War II was added. Inscribed above the list of names were the words: DEBBIES’ HAIR DESIGN
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“Dedicated to those of School District 15 who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country 1917-1918 and 1941-1945.” The monument’s first home was on land the American Legion Post owned on the east side of Highway 99 just south of 180th Street SW. The monument’s location was the south corner of the property where today Lynnwood’s 52nd Avenue W. joins Highway 99. The 7-foot granite monument was dedicated on Memorial Day 1948 in an impressive and well-attended ceremony. For the next few years, ceremonies on Memorial Day were held next to the memorial monument. Often, American Legion Post 90 was joined by Seattle Heights Veterans of Foreign War Post 1040 and Edmonds Frank Freese Post 66 of the American Legion. However, the location had limited parking and — perhaps because of this — each year, fewer people attended the ceremonies. By 1954, Legion Cmdr. Wilcox had died, the
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Take care to avoid Medicare schemes Medicare fraud, waste and abuse costs all of us billions of dollars, which results in higher health care costs and taxes for everyone. To avoid becoming a victim, here are some fraud prevention tips: ■■ Never give out any of your personal information over the phone or by U.S. mail or email. ■■ Don’t give your Social Security, Medicare, credit card or bank numbers to strangers. ■■ Ignore phone, U.S. mail and email requests for information — nothing is free! ■■ Check and compare your Medicare and medical provider bills to make sure your doctor/medical provider only billed you for services and supplies you received. If you suspect fraud, call your Snohomish County Senior Medicare Patrol with the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors at 425-290-1276. Information provided in cooperation by the Washington state Senior Medicare Patrol Program, Homage Senior Services and the State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
VOLUNTEER CONNECTIONS By John McAlpine RSVP Program Recruiter Sponsored by Catholic Community Services, RSVP is America’s largest volunteer network for persons older than 55 and the only program where the collective contribution of the senior volunteer is recorded. Volunteer opportunities exist all over Snohomish County. No matter where you live we can probably match you with a job. Volunteer transportation: Modern-day life does not make it easy for people without personal transportation. Coupled with the fact Snohomish County has large rural areas, getting to doctor appointments and other essential errands is challenging. If you have an insured, safe (lights, brakes and horn all in working condition) vehicle, please consider volunteering as a driver. You drive when and where you want. Mileage reimbursement is provided. Volunteer chore: Imagine no longer being able to run the vacuum, change bedding or cut your lawn. What would your life be like if you couldn’t manage everyday household tasks? What would you do if a parent or close friend was in this situation? We seek volunteers to assist others with these routine chores — which allows them to ‘age in place’ and stay in their home. You can do this volunteering for a few hours a couple times a month someplace in your neighborhood. Department of Emergency Management: If you’d like to assist the first responders in the event of a county wide emergency, this might be for you. There are several support jobs that allow those working the event to succeed. These jobs are NOT on the scene of the event; they are in the office. Food banks: No matter where you live a food bank near you needs help. We have opportunities to volunteer all over the county. All need help inside the food bank with repacking food, assisting clients and so on. Some use drivers to go out into the community and pick up food. You can get involved in Arlington, Everett (two locations), Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville (two locations), Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Snohomish and Stanwood/Camano. Hunger never takes a day off.
Perspectives: Memorial to sacrifices CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 land owned by the post was sold and the memorial monument was moved to the parking lot of the new Lynnwood Junior High School near the crossroads of Lynnwood. At first, the Memorial Day ceremonies at the school were well-attended. Once again, however, this did not remain a popular spot for either Memorial Day or Veterans Day observances. In 1981, when Lynnwood Junior High School closed its doors, the monument became a derelict and was left to lean against an unused building on the deserted school grounds. It seemed to be forgotten, its history and meaning lost to time. Abandoned, the monument became a target for vandalism. The following year, having seen what was happening to the memorial, retired World War II Air Force ace pilot Col. Bill Crump, the newly installed commander of Edmonds’ American Legion Post 66, decided something needed to be done. This was a very personal matter for him, as many of the young men who had lost their lives during World War II had been his classmates at Edmonds High School. According to a 1982 article in the Everett Herald, Crump became the leader of a project to save the memorial by having it moved to what was considered a more fitting spot. The new home was in front of the Edmonds Historical Museum in the former Carnegie Library building, 118 Fifth Ave. in downtown Edmonds. Crump felt that this was a good location for the memorial because it was a part of history. He also said: “We have the most visitors at this central location in Edmonds.” In order to move, restore and update the monument, the Legion post again asked the public for donations — and again people were generous. After the move, an extension was added at the foot of the monument listing the names of the local young men who had lost their lives in Korea and Vietnam — seven names for Korea and 24 names for Vietnam. In more recent times, two more names have been inscribed: One for a career Army man from Edmonds who was killed in the 9/11 act of terrorism at the Pentagon, and another for a young Marine from Lynnwood who lost his life in Iraq in 2004. Seventy-nine names are now inscribed on the memorial. On February 21, 2005, several local veterans’ organizations gathered in Edmonds for a rededication ceremony. However, Crump’s hope that this would
The third home of the memorial at Edmonds Historical Museum in downtown Edmonds. (Photo by Betty Lou Gaeng) be a permanent home for the monument was not to be. As people hurried by, few seemed to notice its existence. Once again the memorial’s significance to the community appeared lost. As a result, 35 years following its last move, a decision was made by the city of Edmonds to move this historic and well-traveled monument for the fourth — and they hope — final time. Later this year, the monument will be moved to a more appropriate location at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery and Columbarium, 820 15th St. SW in Edmonds. There, in a park-like setting, the memorial will become a viable part of the
history of southwest Snohomish County. It seems fitting that several of the young men whose names are etched into the stone face of the memorial monument are buried close by its future home. Each year on Memorial Day our veterans are remembered by an always well-attended ceremony held at the cemetery. This year the 35th Annual Memorial Day observance will pay tribute to those who served in Vietnam, with special honors to be paid to those who lost their lives during that conflict. The ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. May 29.
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Basic steps toward ‘getting your affairs in order’ By Cynthia Nowowiejski Homage Senior Services
■■ Phone numbers (home, cell phone) ■■ E-Mail, Social Media information ■■ Names and addresses of spouse and children ■■ Employers and dates of employment ■■ Education and military records ■■ Names and phone number of close friends, relatives, ■■ Names and phone numbers of doctors, medical facilities ■■ Medications taken regularly (be sure to update this regularly) ■■ Names of lawyers and financial advisors ■■ Names and numbers of religious contacts
Q. I am retiring this year. I have heard my friends talking about getting their “affairs in order.” I am concerned about being prepared for the future. What do I need to do? A. Congratulations, you are retiring this year! The good news is that you will have more time in the near future to organize your personal, financial, and legal information. You can start now with a basic “To Do” list. This can help you to prepare for a possible emergency (ie. an unexpected illness and hospitalization). One good starting place is gathering and organizing important papers. Important papers can be different for each individual or family. For example, if you have a pet, you will need to include the name and address of your veterinarian.
Financial records ■■ Sources of income and assets (pension from, employer, IRAs, 401 Ks, etc) ■■ Social Security and Medicare/ Medicaid information ■■ Names of your banks and account numbers (checking, savings, credit union) ■■ Credit and debit card names and number ■■ Location of safe deposit box and key ■■ Investment income (stocks, bond, property) and stockbrokers’ names and phone numbers
Personal records ■■ Your full legal name ■■ Date and place of birth ■■ Social Security number ■■ Birth and death certificates ■■ Certificates of marriage, divorce, adoption, and citizenship.
Social Security fuels state economies By Kirk Larson Public Affairs Specialist Social Security, Washington State
Much of the progress we’ve made together, as a nation, is through the shared responsibility of paying Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax. This payroll tax funds Social Security— programs that provide benefits for retirees, the disabled, and children of deceased workers. Without your contribution, wounded warriors wouldn’t receive the benefits they deserve. Children who have lost parents would
Social Security is a critical federal program that promotes income stability among millions of households in the United States. Social Security is always evolving to meet the needs of the American public. We’re optimistic about the future and the limitless possibilities for progress.
■■ Copy of recent income tax return ■■ Insurance information (life, health, long term care, home care) with policy numbers and agents’ names and phone numbers ■■ Location of current will with original signature, legal document ■■ Mortgage information or original deed of trust for home ■■ Car title and registration ■■ List of monthly bills and due dates
Legal documents There are several legal documents that can help you plan how your affairs will be handled in the future. Wills and trusts let you name the person you want your money and property to go to after you die. Advance directives let you make arrangements for your care if you become sick. There are two ways to do this: A health care directive gives you a say in your health care if you become too sick to make your wishes known. You can state what kind of care you do or don’t want. Power of attorney for health care lets you name the person you want to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself. Make sure the person you name is willing have no social safety net. Millions of elderly people would be destitute. In the same way that we take great pride in helping people who need it, you should take pride in making this country stronger. You can see the many ways our retirement benefits help your loved ones and neighbors at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire. Right here in Washington, Social Security is at work providing support. In King County alone there are over 300,000 people (about 1 out
to make those decisions for you. For legal matters, there are two ways to give someone you trust the power to act in your place: A general power of attorney lets you give someone else the authority to act on your behalf, but this power will end if you are unable to make your own decisions. A durable power of attorney allows you to name someone to act on your behalf for any legal task, but it stays in place if you become unable to make your own decisions.
Steps to take ... 1. Put your important papers and copies of legal documents in one place. Set up a file listing information and locations of important papers in a notebook. If your papers are in a bank safe deposit box, keep copies in a file at home. 2. Tell a trusted family member or friend where you put your important papers. 3. Give permission in advance for your doctor or lawyer to talk with your spouse, family member or care provider. There may be questions about your care, a bill, etc. You will need to sign and return a form.
of 6) collecting monthly payments totaling over $5 billion per year. When you look at Washington state the economic impact in small and large communities is undeniable. There are close to 1.3 million people receiving monthly payments worth more than $20.4 billion per year. The case is similar in other states. Take Idaho, where there are over 326,000 people receiving payments. That is about one out of every five people. That represents over $4.8 billion per year.
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How to get the most out of a Roku TECH TALK
WANDER THE WEB BOB’S PICKS FOR FUN BROWSING
MAKING PEACE WITH TECH DEVICES
Streaming Search Engine
By Bob DeLaurentis Q. Is Roku the easiest streaming device to use? I can’t seem to get a handle on it so I can watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. A. I love my Roku. My son gave me one a couple birthdays ago, and since then I’ve found many ways to enjoy it. Of course, he knows how much I enjoy tinkering with gadgets. Roku is loaded with features that make it a tinkerer’s dream, which makes it definitely not the easiest to use. None of the streaming devices are as easy to use as they should be, all of them are a challenge. For basic access to services like Netflix, the smaller “stick” devices like Chromecast and Roku Express are easier to use, but their functionality is limited. Among the full-featured streaming boxes, AppleTV is probably the easiest to use overall, with Amazon Fire a close second. But don’t give up on Roku just yet. With software updates, the devices keep getting smarter. Updates should install automatically when they are released, but check to make sure your Roku has the latest software. Voice control is the feature that is eventually going to make TV as simple to operate as it was back in the last century. It still has rough edges, but voice control is the best bet to make things easier. Some Roku devices accept voice commands, but you can also install the mobile app on your smartphone, turning your phone into a voice remote for supported Roku models. One last bit of advice. Streaming requires solid Internet connections. Your broadband speed should be at least 4Mbps and a good wireless network is essential. If your troubles include random playback pauses,
The Roku Premiere streaming TV device. (Associated Press) dropped connections, or long delays, the cause is more likely the network. Q. I would like to have more control over my home Internet, especially when my grandchildren visit. Do you have any suggestions? A. Controlling the Internet is a bit like trying to take a sip from a wideopen fire hose. Not only does it take considerable strength to hold on to the hose, the speed of even a trickle can sting your face and drench your clothing. Innocent bystanders get wet too. In short, it is a mess. My solution until recently has been physical control of the device. If the tablet is out of reach, it is not being used. Parental Controls can be useful as well, although they get complicated when you try to juggle an entire household full of phones, tablets, game consoles, and TVs. I am very impressed by Circle with Disney (meetcircle.com). Circle is a small device that connects to your home network and enables some of the best options I have ever seen for managing connectivity. The initial setup takes a few minutes. Once installed, Circle can filter content, limit access to specific devices or services, and log activity for later review. With the Circle app on my smartphone, I can control how my Internet
is used. For example, I can disable the Internet at bedtime, or limit the game console to one hour per day. I can see when devices are in use, and which sites they access. No Internet filter is perfect, but Circle is the best solution yet for helping protect your family from too much of a good thing. Q. What is USB-C? A. USB is the most common type of cable for everything from laptops to cellphones. It has been in use for over two decades. There are a number of different flavors of USB, but usually they fall into two categories, called USB and Micro-USB. USB-C is the new standard that will replace them all with a single, universal cable. Devices have been slimming down for decades, but in the last few years devices have become so thin that the current cable ports are a tight squeeze. USB-C allows devices to be even thinner. The connector is smaller, and it is reversible, so it will always be right side up. Until most devices come with USBC, we may have to use adapters to interact with older devices, but eventually USB-C will be common, and our devices will keep shrinking. A tech enthusiast his entire life, Bob can be contacted at techtalk@bobdel. com.
justwatch.com: If you stream movies from the Internet, this site can be useful to find a specific movie. It allows you to search for movies by title, and the results point you to the collection of subscription services and online stores where you can watch the movie. Just add popcorn.
Social Network for Movies letterboxd.com: Filled with detailed information and movie lore, Letterboxd encourages you to keep a diary of the films you have seen and those you want to see, and optionally, share that diary with your friends. A must-see for film aficionados.
Read a Good Book Instead bookbub.com: Bookbub is an up-to-date index of eBook deals. It also serves as a front end for their email newsletter, which delivers a daily summary of free or deeply discounted eBooks to your inbox. You can make a list of the kind of books you prefer, and it will focus on your favorite genre or author. If you read a lot of books, this can be an inexpensive way to build your eBook collection. — Bob DeLaurentis
Homage Senior Services is hiring drivers for its DART program to provide safe and reliable transportation for elderly, disabled and/or vulnerable adults. Full-time and part-time opportunities are available Earn up to $1,000 HIRING BONUS and enjoy competitive wages and great benefits. Pay is union scale, starts at 15.00 per hour and increases to $16.31 per hour at six months. Commercial Licensed (A, B, C) drivers with Passenger Endorsements are encouraged to apply. If you don’t have these credentials, don’t worry. WE will PAY YOU to TRAIN while you learn the skills required for this type of license. This position is considered safety sensitive under the U.S. Department of Transportation and is subject to drug and alcohol testing under both DOT and Homage Senior Services authority. Applicants must pass physical examination, drug/alcohol testing, and criminal history check Funding for the DART Program is provided by Community Transit.
For further information including an application visit www.homage.org.
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Where to turn when eviction from nursing home looms WASHINGTON WATCH
Grounds for eviction
BY CHERYL M. KEYSER Once someone has been admitted to a nursing home, who would imagine they would be evicted? After all, don’t they have coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, or some type of long-term care insurance? Even if they are a difficult patient, aren’t the staff trained and experienced enough to deal with that? Apparently not. Take the case of Mrs. R. , who was visiting California from the East Coast to help her mother, who was ill, when her father, who had Alzheimer’s, was admitted to a nursing home. As some cases can be, he was violent and dismissed from not one, but three nursing homes. Even in his own home, the violence continued, this time in the form of physical abuse directed at his wife. Violence is not an uncommon manifestation of Alzheimer’s and although nursing homes are expected to be able to handle difficult personalities, sometimes even they give up. But even more troubling are the cases where individuals are evicted (or dumped as it is known) for financial reasons. A series of cases now pending in Maryland demonstrate the issue. One home, part of a chain, is facing legal problems due to an episode where the staff dumped a woman, suffering from throat cancer that left her unable to speak, outside a homeless shelter in Baltimore where she knew no one and had no money. (The woman was from West Virginia.) She was evicted, it has been charged, because her Medicare benefits had run out and she had no other source of payment. Medicare only covers the first 100 days of a nursing home stay. Long-term care insurance may pick up the rest, if an individual can afford it; or in the absence of this, Medicaid, a combination federalstate program could pay. In the case of Medicare, if it looks like a patient is going to need to stay longer in a home than the 100 days, he or she can sign up for Medicaid which provides coverage from day 101. But that can trigger other issues. A patient who has used up those Medicare days will often find life has changed. One woman was moved from a private room to a two-bed one with a companion who lay in a vegetative state. In addition, she was hard-of hearing, but instead of inserting her hearing aids in
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Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation Named a Super Lawyer by Washington Law & Politics Magazine annually since 2007*
Glen Hotchkiss talks to his mother, Phyllis Hotchkiss, at her nursing home in Adrian, Michigan, in April 2016. Phyllis Hotchkiss, 93, has dementia and is confined to a wheelchair, and was involuntarily discharged from her nursing home this year to one further away from her family. (Associated Press) her ears they usually left them on the tray table. Some nursing home residents can face a variety of problems — neglect, abuse (both physical and financial), eviction, and more. That is why almost all area agencies on aging have an ombudsman program to investigate complaints of poor care or other problems. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program operates under the auspices of the Administration on Community (formerly the Administration on Aging). With a program in every Area Agency on Aging in the nation, the job of the ombudsman is to advocate for residents. As the website notes: it is “a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.” In 2014, the program received 191,553 complaints representing 125,642 patients; discharge problems were at the top of the list. “Ombudsman are required to be notified by the facilities when they give an individual a 30-day discharge notice,” said Traci Kline, Director of the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. “If this requirement is upheld, the Ombudsman can become involved immediately to ensure the wishes of the resident are upheld, and that appropriate placement is obtained. On a broader spectrum, if they become aware of a situation that caused their funds to be depleted and therefore couldn’t afford to pay their nursing home bills, they can also make sure a referral is made to a local older adult protective services for further investigation.” Ombudsmen have certain advantages. They can enter any nursing home unannounced, talk to a resident privately, and go throughout the facility.
All complaints are kept confidential. A new way to measure the type of care nursing home residents receive has been developed by the American Health Care Association, which represents some 13,000 nursing homes and assisted living residences. It has drawn up a questionnaire to “assess long term and post-acute care satisfaction among patients and their families.” They bill themselves as the only ones in the nation to have addressed this issue. Only recently announced, the plan is to administer separate surveys to those who leave a nursing home within their 100 Medicare days and those who are in a home longer than 100 days. As it is so new, there is no information yet as to its effectiveness. Legislative action is being taken to provide remedies to deal with nursing home complaints. The Illinois state legislature, for example, is considering two bills (in the House and Senate) which would establish monetary penalties for improper discharges and give ombudsmen greater ability to advocate for residents. It would also allow the state Public Health Department to order a resident to be returned to a home if, after a departmental public hearing, he or she is found to be in the right. There are a couple of other routes that a patient or a family member can take to reverse an eviction. The My Elder Advocate organization claims to “have a 100 percent success rate in preventing evictions, and reversing them if they’ve already occurred.” There is a fee for its services. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care offers extensive advice on its website and provides an advocacy toolkit.
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There are only a few reasons for which a nursing home resident can be transferred or discharged: ■■The nursing home cannot provide adequate care. ■■The resident no longer needs nursing home care. ■■The resident has failed to pay for care. ■■The safety or health of other residents is in danger. ■■The nursing home has gone out of business.
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*The State Supreme Court of Washington does not recognize certification of specialists in the practice of law and that the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in the state of Washington.
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Volunteer: ‘Heart has been filled’ FROM PAGE 1 chronic loneliness in adults over 60 might be an indication of earlier death and myriad other health complications. Having social support has also helped Imus cement her exercise regime. “I’m going to the Y three times a week; I don’t even question it, I just go,” she said. Last year, she had both of her knees replaced in the span of just a few months. She stayed with one of her children in Kent, but wanted to regain her independence by moving up to Everett by herself. Imus raised five children as a single mother. She has eight grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren in Washington. Like many parents of grown children, Imus felt uncomfortable relying on her kids too much for socialization. “You don’t want to bug your kids,” Imus said. “They’re busy, and they’ve got their own lives.” Imus wasn’t just lonely because she was
having a hard time making friends. She also was lonely because so many of those closest to her had already passed away. “I’ve lost everybody. My mother, my brother, my father, my aunts and my uncles. I had no one in my age group to compare and enjoy time with,” she said. The companion program has given Imus opportunities to make new friends and find happiness again. “I feel so much more fulfilled and more complete. I feel like that emptiness that I would feel in my heart has been filled.” Homage Senior Services operates the program throughout Snohomish and King counties. Homage also offers nutrition classes, Meals on Wheels and home repair services. According to Imus, the key to finding friends later in life is putting yourself out there. “I think we just need to come out of our shells, and be there to help each other.” For Imus, it’s paid off. “It’s just so awesome to have friends,” she said. “We have a wonderful time together.”
Program: Supporting independence FROM PAGE 1 income and the ability to send funds to her family in Kenya, but she says it is important to her to make time for volunteering as well. The Senior Companion Program is funded by a federal grant through the Corporation for National and Community Service, which describes Senior Companions as volunteers “who make a difference by providing assistance and friendship to adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks, such as shopping or paying bills. Volunteers help these adults remain independent in their homes instead of having to move to more costly institutional care. Senior Companions give families or professional caregiverss a much needed time off from their duties, help with transportation, and often provide friendship for their clients.” The Senior Companion Program provides Senior Companion volunteers for homebound and/or disabled seniors in both King and Snohomish counties. The volunteers, if they meet the income eligibility for the program, receive an hourly stipend of $2.65 per hour for their volunteer work plus mileage reimbursement. The Senior Companions volunteer a minimum of 15
hours a week, participate in orientation training and get regular support and training by the program. Mary notes that having a Senior Companion can make a big difference in the lives of the clients. She said she sees many benefits for both the client and the volunteer. One of her volunteers enjoys talking about politics and her life. Mary said her client initially had suffered from a motor vehicle accident and had a lot of physical challenges, but that after working with Mary, she’s doing better. “My client is teaching me how to cook some American dishes, and she enjoys some of the Kenyan dishes I make for her,” Mary says. Mary’s excitement is clear. “I’m happy because my goal is to make someone happy,” she says. “And I think I have achieved that.” Homage Senior Services is looking for Senior Companions to join their team. Volunteer orientations are scheduled in May and June. If you know of clients who might benefit from having a Senior Companion or if you’d like to become a Senior Companion volunteer, contact Mary Ann Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-879-7050.
Less than half of older women live with spouses By Gary Rotstein Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Men and women differ in many ways as they age — no shock there, since they differ on so many things when young, too. And one distinction that stands out is whether they’re likely to be living with a spouse. Fewer than half of women 65 and older lived with a married or unmarried partner in 2016 ,while nearly three-fourths of men did so. The gap only grew wider with age, with only 34 percent of women 75-plus living with a spouse. A lot of this has to do with ratios: There are 126.5 women over 65 for every 100 men. At 85 and above, there are 189.2 women for every 100 men. Those statistics are contained in “A Profile of Older Americans: 2016,” a report recently released by the federal government’s Administration on Aging. The nation’s 65-and-up population increased 30 percent from 2005 to 2015, compared with 5.7 percent for the rest of the population, and stood at 47.8 million. It is projected to more than double to 98 million by 2060. If you made it to 65 in 2015, the government estimates you’ll live 18 years beyond that if you’re a man and 20.6 more years if you’re female. Other data in the report includes: ■■ Minorities make up a steadily increasing percentage of the older population. They’ve increased from 18 percent of those 65 and older in 2005 to 22 percent in 2015, with projections that they will represent 28 percent in 2030. ■■ The percentage of older adults who are divorced or separated increased from 5.3 percent in 1980 to 14 percent in 2016. ■■ A relatively small number of people over 65, just 3.1 percent, live in institutional settings such as nursing homes. The percentage living in such settings rises sharply with age, naturally, reaching 1 of every 11 people over 85. ■■ Labor force participation in the age group has increased throughout this century, so that 23.4 percent of men and 15.3 percent of women are either working or looking for work. Only about 3.8 percent of those over 65 who sought work were unemployed in 2016.
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LGBT Community Members & Allies!
425-775-5423 1820 32nd Street, Everett WA 98206
This event is for community discussion, over food, about the needs of LGBT citizens of Snohomish County, especially those pertaining to seniors.
Tired of living alone?
Want to interact with other seniors?
May 18 2 p.m. 4100 Alderwood Mall Blvd. Lynnwood, WA 98036
Connect with other LGBT members in your community, and help Homage Senior Services with their quest to serve the LGBT population in a meaningful way. We want to hear from all of you, what the most important issues are within our county and how our agency can be a key resource entity.
SAGE is launching a nationwide movement to build intergenerational connections in the LGBT community.
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Mom tried her best with, ahem, marriage advice By Saralee Perel
Mothers know nothing about sex. I said, “Fine. Let’s talk. You start.” “Not now, Saura Leah (my Hebrew name). Everybody’s listening. Shtil! (‘be quiet’ in Yiddish).” She pushed me out the door. Back then, Friendly’s was called Friendly Ice Cream. We both needed ice cream — badly. Mom chose the booth tucked away in the corner. She said, “You’ll probably have it.” “Have what?” “You know — relations.” She took a deep breath, then started in, “When a momma bear and a poppa bear love each other very much ….” “Ma, I’m 26 years old!” She squeezed my cheek.
My mother and I had a talk in 1977, one week before my marriage to my husband, Bob. It wasn’t just any talk. It was “the” talk. We were shopping for wedding gloves for me at a fancy shop. Pretending to be nonchalant, Mom cleared her throat and whispered, “It’s time we have a talk about … you-know-what.” I ran my fingers across a pair of white satin gloves that appeared to have a hundred tiny pearls on them. I loved them, but when I saw the price tag, I put them back. “About what, Ma?” She looked around, then quietly spelled out, “S.E.X.” That surprised me.
A 1977 bride and her wellmeaning mother. “And I’m proud you waited this long.” Then we both sat in anxiety-inducing silence. She mumbled, “Your father and I ....”
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less a doctor. And he has no real money. Oy, don’t get me started.” “MO-THER, he loves me and I love him. That’s what matters most.” “Who told you that?” Regardless of Mom’s mindset, all she truly wanted to do was help me. After our ice cream, we held hands as we ambled down the street. The last thing we did was to go back to the fancy shop, where she took a tiny purse out of her handbag, counted up single dollar bills and bought me those expensive white satin gloves. Columnist Saralee Perel can be reached at sperel@ saraleeperel.com or www. SaraleePerel.com.
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I flushed bright red. “Ma, please. A different topic?” I couldn’t help but picture my parents having sex. An absolutely revolting picture. Flustered, she said, “Bob was married before. They probably had sex, so he knows what goes where.” She firmly took my hand. “Sex is not all fun and games, my child. Just close your eyes and pretend you’re having a Reuben.” “Can we please change the subject?” “It was hard for your father that Bob’s not Jewish.” She swirled melted ice cream into the fudge. “And from New Hampshire yet, where everybody lives in trailer parks. Plus, Bob’s not even a doctor’s assistant, much