Senior Living Summer 2022 - Queens Chronicle 07-21-22

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• CANCER PREVENTION FOR OLDER ADULTS • SUMMER HEALTH CONCERNS FOR SENIORS – Tips for staying hydrated and understanding heat advisories


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• Summer health concerns for seniors – Tips for staying hydrated and understanding heat advisories . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 6 • How to be more aware of financial and phone scams . . . . . . . . . .Page 8

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Senior Living Guide

Combating cancer: tips to tilt the scales

Doc says lay off substances and stay socially connected by Sean Okula

difference in the neurological nature of older and younger people. YoungAs with any disease, developing er people are still forming habits, cancer is something of a numbers making their education on the dangame. Partaking in activities raising gers of substances like alcohol and one’s risk factors might tilt the odds tobacco preventive. For older adults, it may be about quelling addictions, in favor of the affliction. Dr. Teresa Amato, director of a practice Amato says is possible geriatric emergency medicine for and very important. “There are smoking cessation Northwell Health, has tips for skewing the scales back toward good programs, there are alcohol-reducing programs,” she said. “Your phyhealth in older adults. Some components of Amato’s sician should be having those conplan for cancer prevention are versations with you on a regular basis.” unsurprising. She says older adults “Studies have shown even a conshould stop using tobacco, shouldn’t drink alcohol in excess, should exer- versation with a physician regarding cise regularly and maintain a these two items can lead to a decrease in use,” she added. healthy diet. Those are all things she Beyond the obvious consumpprescribes to older and younger tion-related changes, Amato stresses patients alike. the importance of social connectedAmato says preventing cancer in older patients is a burdgeoning area ness for older adults. “There is a connection between of study. For a long time, the focus was on younger people, who had not psychosocial stress and an impact yet had the time to develop on biological pathways,” she said. “It can lead to increased cell aging unhealthy habits. She still stresses and cancer the importance development.” of younger peoSocial isolaple’s taking pretion becomes a ventive meaproblem once sures, but has older adults are also noticed a retired or limited trend of healthier in their ability to living among drive, Amato older adults. says. Their day “I’m seeing loses structure, people in the ER so she and fellow over 100 years geriatricians are old on a fairly sure to ask about regular basis daily routines now,” she said. during checkups. “Twenty, 30 Both Amato years ago, that and Senior was very N a v i g a t o r. o r g unusual.” recommend older Generally adults try their speaking, data lder adults who hand at connectdoes back up eat less calories ing with others Amato’s obsertechnology. vations. Life over their lifetime using Delving into the expectancy in the U.S. has been have a lesser risk world of FaceTime and social continually of cancer.” media can be trending up in daunting, but the last few — Dr. Teresa Amato, Senior Navigator decades, per data Northwell Health says it can help from the U.S. strengthen relaCensus Bureau. “We’re seeing people in their 70s tionships and make an older adult and 80s still really enjoying a feel more connected to the world. In the nonvirtual sphere, Senior healthy life and having quality of Navigator recommends taking a life,” she said. Part of the reason for the previous look at community calendars for lack of focus on older adults is the events of interest. Associate Editor


Regular exercise, as in this 2019 Zumba class led by Maria Gonzalez in Forest Park, is one key element of cancer prevention. Dr. Teresa Amato, below, director of geriatric emergency health for the Northwell Health system, notes FILE PHOTOS BY MICHAEL SHAIN, ABOVE, AND COURTESY NORTHWELL HEALTH that staying socially connected is also important. “If you have an older adult in your family, look at places you can bring them, whether it’s a day program related to something they’ve always been interested in or joining a club with like-minded people,” Amato said. Social solutions can be as simple as finding a buddy for daily walks, something she suggested as not only a way to keep older adults social, but also keep them active. “It’s important to be mindful that you have to make it a bit of a priority of how to get some exercise in,” she said. Making that conscious effort was one of the major themes of Amato’s overarching plan. She says that while it’s easy for one to proclaim that he or she is going to make a lifestyle change, it’s much more difficult to break lifelong habits and, in some cases, addictions. “They may not see the value in it, being like, ‘Oh, I’ve smoked all my life, what’s the difference now?’” she said. “But you can decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer by quitting smoking and excess drinking.” Dietary habits are not generally addictions, but they are still rooted in decades of trial, error and finding out what maintains both happiness and healthiness. Changing a pattern of that nature can be hard, but Amato says it might be worthwhile for seniors struggling with weight. “Older adults who eat less calories over their lifetime have a lesser risk of cancer,” she said.

“Somebody who’s underweight or at weight, I wouldn’t discourage them from eating,” she added. “But if they have a higher BMI or are on the obesity side, just cutting calories can decrease your cancer risk.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adjusting what’s on one’s plate for those looking to cut down on calories. It says replacing high-calorie foods with lower-calorie, equally filling options can prove more beneficial than cutting down on portion size. On top of dietary changes, break-

ing addictions, maintaining social connectedness and keeping up with exercise regiments, Amato stresses the importance of what she calls secondary preventative measures. These have less to do with lifestyle changes than hard science. Amato says patients and healthcare providers alike have to keep up with a steady screening schedule. “What screening tests should I be getting, and when and why?” she said. “Make sure that you’re bringing that up yourself, and providers should make sure that they’re asking Q their older adults about that.”

Top 10 cancer prevention tips Harvard Health Publishing / Harvard Medical School 1. Avoid tobacco 2. Eat properly 3. Exercise regularly 4. Stay lean 5. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to an average of one drink a day 6. Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation 7. Avoid exposure to industrial and environmental toxins 8. Avoid infections that contribute to cancer 9. Make quality sleep a priority 10. Get enough vitamin D

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Staying hydrated as a senior citizen by Sophie Krichevsky Associate Editor

Keeping cool in the summer is a challenge for anyone living in the city, which is not exactly known for its comfortable climate this time of year. For seniors, it’s even more of a struggle to stay hydrated. In 2021, 1,710 Northwell Health patients 65 and over were admitted with a primary, secondary or tertiary diagnosis of dehydration (which, according to Dr. Teresa Amato, director of geriatric emergency medicine for Northwell Health, is likely an underestimation). But this summer, the Chronicle’s got you covered with how to beat the heat. Part of the reason staying hydrated can be so difficult for seniors is because of a reduced sense for thirst. “Feeling thirsty, or feeling that need to drink, can be diminished just as we age,” Amato said. “It’s a normal process of aging.” Older adults also struggle to regulate their body temperature, which can be cause for concern on particularly hot days. “They’re metabolically different than their younger counterparts,” Amato explained. “They’re at a higher risk for getting hot, and not being able to cool off.” She added, “What makes up muscle versus fat, that changes as you get older. So it also puts you at higher risk.” In some cases, the issue is that seniors may not have air conditioning or have water readily available. “So an older adult that say, is somewhat physically debilitated, lives alone, has difficulty just getting up and getting to the sink,” Amato said. “They are having difficulty just getting access to water.” Another contributing factor is that seniors are more likely

Going for a swim may help seniors stay cool, but according to Dr. Teresa Amato, that is not a substitute for staying hydrated. to be on medications that can cause dehydration, such as diuretics or anti-depressants. But is the solution as simple as drinking more water? Not quite. “If it’s a particularly hot day, and you’re sweating profusely, you’re losing a lot of water from sweating. Sweating is not just water, it’s water plus electrolytes,” Amato explained. “The most important electrolyte in sweat is sodium. So if you just replace what you’re sweating out with water, proportionally, your water will go up at the expense of your sodium going down.” That condition, she added, is called hyponatremia, and can be a big problem for seniors, as it can cause an altered mental state and lead to unsteady walking and falls. Amato

said that seniors should consult their primary-care physicians to determine what the best method is for rehydration, be it drinking sports drinks, plain water or including sodium in their diets. Part of the solution is also being cognizant of how you or older adults in your family feel and act when dehydrated, as it can present differently in seniors. “If you have an older adult who’s not acting correctly or not acting themselves, they may be actually quite dehydrated,” Amato said. “In younger people, your heart rate would go up, your blood pressure might go down, you might feel like really, really thirsty. Older adults may not have any of those symptoms other than just not being themselves.” She added that that is particularly common among early dementia patients. For those able-bodied seniors, going for a swim, water walking or doing water aerobics at an indoor pool may help to stay cool. The Cross Island YMCA in Bellerose, for instance, sets aside pool space for water walking five days a week at various times, often in the morning. The Jamaica YMCA has water aerobics classes on Tuesdays from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. Amato noted that while hitting the pool helps to keep cool, it is not a substitute for hydration. On especially hot days, seniors should avoid strenuous activities — the best thing to do is to stay inside. “If it is an extremely hot day, and it is quite humid, you may not be able to cool off and you may not even be able to drink enough to replace the water you’ve lost,” Amato said. For those without air conditioning, cooling centers may be open on the hottest days of the summer. To find a cooling cenQ ter near you, visit



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Senior Living Guide

To avoid financial scams, ‘just hang up’ by Deirdre Bardolf

year before, according to the Federal Trade Commission — amassing $5.8 At the end of June, the NYPD billion in that time period. There are many creative ways for announced a citywide grand larceny the con artists to get to people, too. pattern that targeted people in their 70s and 80s and swindled nearly There are five top categories of scams, according to the FTC: impos$40,000 total from them. One 83-year-old man from Bay- ter; online shopping; prizes, sweepside received a call in May stating stakes and lotteries; internet services; that a family member had been and business and job opportunities. Imposter scams almost doubled arrested and needed bail money. Someone met him at his home to col- last year from 2020 and can include lect $5,000. An investigation revealed alleged family emergencies and that the family member was not in Social Security and IRS imposter swindles. Online shopping scams any legal trouble and that the victim gave the money in “good faith based were most commonly reported to on false statements [and] promises,” the Better Business Bureau in 2021 and include fake websites. Other according to police. In June, a 74-year-old woman in cons will ask for a fee for the victim to receive prize money that Queens Village got a similar call and someone showed up to her home for never comes. To avoid falling victim to the myr$6,800 in cash. Luckily, she had contacted her family member and real- iad scams, the Queens District Attorney’s Office advises never sending ized that she was being scammed and money in the mail, by wire or in the did not hand over any money. This is common not just here but form of gift cards to a stranger; that the government, agencies and busicity- and countrywide, and has been nesses never ask for money to be sent trapping unassuming folks for years. In 2021, there were 2.8 million that way; never giving money if it requires keeping it a secret; never reports of consumer fraud in the U.S. — nearly 30 percent more than the giving strangers access to bank Associate Editor

Phone scams can target the elderly. PHOTO BY ANDREA PIACQUADIO / PEXELS.COM

accounts; never signing a document that has not been explained; avoiding unsolicited offers; and not clicking on attachments or links in emails from unknown senders. Earlier this year, the DA’s Office uncovered a scheme in which swindlers targeted 15 elderly victims and took around $166,000. They told people they were eligible for a refund or a rebate and convinced them to provide remote computer and bank account access. Then, they manipulated funds to make it appear that too much money had been deposited. The

calls you, you don’t have to talk to them,” she said. “If you don’t engage them in any conversation, you can’t get scammed.” As a senior herself, she said she knows some people are too embarrassed to admit they got conned. “People shouldn’t be embarrassed,” she said. “They should always report.” The NYPD has shared other ways that criminals can defraud people. Be aware of calls from a utility company about service interruption; a bank claiming suspicious activity; immigration officials threatening deportation or arrest; notice that a vehicle warranty expired; border patrol saying a package of narcotics has one’s name on it; and hospitals claiming emergency treatment for a loved one is needed. “Just hang up,” NYPD officials advise. To report such crimes, contact the local police precinct, the Queens District Attorney’s Office Elder Fraud Unit at (718) 286-6478 or, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3. gov or the FTC at reportfraud.FTC. Q gov or 1 (888) 382-1222.


The Parker Jewish Institute Golf Outing is set for August 1st

The three main documents in estate planning are the Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy. Planning ahead can help your family avoid unnecessary complications, delays, and expenses. This may be done using wills, trusts, joint ownership, and life insurance. In addition, modern estate planning also includes “life” planning through powers of attorney and health care proxies, which enable someone to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity.

The Parker Jewish Institute will host its 2022 the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. The New York Peter Seideman Golf Classic at the Glen Oaks Board of Rabbis Executive Vice President Rabbi Club on Monday, August 1. This year’s Golf Classic Joseph Potasnik offered a traditional blessing and begins registration and breakfast at 10 a.m., a message of hope. Proceeds from the event supfollowed by shotgun start at 11:30 a.m., and ported the mission of enhancing Parker’s extensive programs and services. cocktails and dinner at 4:30 p.m. Amid the lingering pandemic, The Golf Classic has been renamed Parker is continuing with its robust in loving memory of Peter Seideman, COVID-19 response, reinforcing a longtime and ardent supporter emergency pandemic preparedness of Parker and of the golf outing’s as well as infection-control prosuccess. At this year’s Golf Classic, tocols. To help protect the region, Parker is proud to honor Mark G. Parker maintains an outdoor clinic Nicholis, President, Nicor Construcfor COVID-19 vaccines and testing for tion, for his years of service to Parker Mark G. Nicholis community members. And Parker’s and to the Parker community at-large. Family Call Center helps families As always, the event and its prostay connected, including through ceeds will benefi t The Parker Jewish the scheduling and providing of Institute Foundation to enhance the in-person and virtual visits. network of programs and services for “We are so grateful to all of our patients and residents, as well as the donors, sponsors, families and team 8,000 people who access Parker’s members who are all integral to the continuum of services each year. Parker community,” said Michael N. Parker’s golf outing is one of two Rosenblut, The Parker Jewish Instimajor annual fundraisers, including a tute’s President and CEO. “Thanks to gala. This year, the Golf Classic folPeter Seideman our generous supporters, Parker will lows Parker’s second annual Drive-In Gala, which was held in June. The Drive-In Gala continue leading the way in patient care, research, honored Parker’s Health Care Heroes, who re- excellence and innovation.” To learn more about the 2022 Peter Seideman main instrumental in providing vital services, with compassion and dedication, to older adults in the Golf Classic, please visit https://parkerinstitute. community. WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond served as org/2022-golf.

By Donna Furey, Esq.

A WILL is a legally binding document that instructs who will receive your property at your death and appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. A will controls property owned solely by you. It does not control joint property, trust property or life insurance proceeds. For theLlatest SENIOR IVING Gnews UIDE •visit SUMMER 2022

victims were urged to return funds in cash by mail. The crime was foiled when police found the address the packages were being sent to. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is ... and if it sounds too bad to be true, it probably is,” said Roger Gendron, president of the New Hamilton Beach Civic Association, about the topic that often comes up in civic and community board meetings, often with tips from the DA’s Office and the NYPD. Gendron has seen fake robocalls come up that even say “National Grid” but are not. He advises people to hang up and call the National Grid number on the bill. He says the issue often plagues older people who are not as familiar with the digital world. “Sometimes, it pays to be cynical,” he said. Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10, believes that many of the older victims have never been a victim of a crime before and are too trusting and afraid to be rude. “They think when somebody says something official to them, they have to listen ... people need to internalize that just because somebody

A TRUST is a legal entity under which the “trustee” holds legal title to property for the benefi t of “beneficiaries.” The trustee must follow the rules provided in the trust instrument. An irrevocable trust is one that cannot be changed or rescinded by the person who created it, while a revocable trust allows the creator to change or rescind the trust. Trusts are often used for tax planning, to avoid probate, to allow someone with expertise to manage assets, to shelter assets and protect them from creditors, and/or for long-term care planning. A POWER OF ATTORNEY allows you to appoint someone to act for you in fi nancial matters when you are unable to do so yourself. The person you appoint should be someone that you trust to act in your best interest and make choices you would make if you were able to do so. A HEALTH CARE PROXY allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. Understanding these terms is the fi rst step toward planning your estate before consulting with a qualified professional. – ADVERTORIAL –

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