Page 1


DiD you know?

Hearing loss is twiCe aS Common

in adults with

DiabeteS

type 2 Diabetes & Hearing loss have been medically linked for many years, and it is recommended that diabetics should have regular hearing tests as part of their routine screening.

Doctors Hearing clinic woulD like to offer you a

complimentary

hearing SCreening

witH tHis coupon Valid through April 2011.

trial

75-Day

Value. Delivered. 100% SERVICE

S AT I S fAC T I O N GuARANTEE

Dr. Bettie Borton and Dr. Shandi Dabbs provide state-of-the-art hearing health care and non-medical treatment services to meet a patient’s individual needs, including:  Comprehensive hearing testing for children and adults.  State-of-the art hearing device selection and service.  Auditory rehabilitation. With more than 30 years of experience, our staff of Board Certified Audiologists will help you and your loved ones identify the best hearing healthcare solutions available. At Doctors Hearing Clinic, individualized hearing healthcare plans are designed and implemented to ensure that each patient receives exceptional products and services with the most competitively priced technology in Central Alabama! Our staff has more than 30 years of experience in evaluating and treating hearing impairment and will help find the best hearing healthcare solutions for you and your loved ones. At Doctors Hearing Clinic, each patient receives a thorough hearing examination by a Board Certified Audiologist, and an individualized hearing healthcare plan is designed and implemented. Doctors Hearing Clinic works to provide exceptional technology and service with the most competitive pricing in Central Alabama. Doctors Hearing clinic—Helping people hear! we’re Hear for you! Bettie B. Borton, Au.D. Doctor of Audiology, FAAA Former National Chair of the American Board of Audiology

IN WRITING yeAr wArrAnty yeArS free bAtterieS yeArS loSS And dAmAge inSurAnCe

Shandi L. Dabbs, Au.D. Doctor of Audiology, FAAA

Applicable with the purchase of an AGX5, 7 or 9.

Call us to make an appointment. Two locations to serve you.

Doctors Hearing Clinic Helping People Hear!

MONTGOMERY 7025 Halcyon Park Dr, Ste A

334.396.1635

Learn more at www.doctorshearingclinic.com

OPELIKA 2204-D Gateway Dr

334.745.1635


BOOM!, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Contents

January 2011

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

Volume I Issue 6

Carl Bard

Thought Humor Relationships Taste Health Inspiration Advice

6 11

“To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.” Bernard M. Baruch

Publisher’s Letter Get In Shape

11 Key Guidelines from AUM

16 Identity Thieves Go After Medicare, Again! 19 Letters To My Kids Inspiration for the New Year

22 Healthy Hearing

page 27

Features

10 Boomer Dating Our new reality & online guidelines

Are You at Risk For Hearing Loss?

23 Tone It Up, Avoid Saggy Skin

20 Healthy Choices 26 Grandparenting To live to 100

25 Montgomery Public Library-New Titles

Talking Body Image with granddaughters.

Departments 8 This and That

Something interesting, even for you!

Cover Profile Bettie Borton page 12

28 12 Things

Plenty to do for Boomers

30 Grumpy Aging Boomer If I have nothing nice to say...

Happy Birthday Oldest Boomer!

page 5

page 9

BOOM! magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 8637 Harvest Ridge Dr., Montgomery, AL 36116. The phone number for voice and fax is 334. 396.3073. Copyright 2011 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Happy 65th Birthday, Baby Boomers! Our first members are hitting retirement age, but there’s no slowing down.

As hard as it may be to believe, the first wave of boomers, those born in 1946, will be turning 65, in effect becoming senior boomers. In fact, according to the Associated Press, in 2011, boomers are 78 million strong, making up more than 26 percent of the United States population. Does that not sound like a huge number? Try this. Starting in January, about 10,000 Boomers a day will turn 65, according to Pew Research Center projections, and that will continue daily for 19 years! So What? For a large percentage of this generation, the changes will be minimal. Many of these new seniors will continue working, though not for the same reason their parents or older siblings did. A recent survey by MainStay Investments, which is associated with New York Life Insurance Company, found many boomers are now considering expenses that were once luxuries as basic needs, and are working longer to attain them. From helping to fund grandchildren’s education (and 51 percent of boomers are grandparents) to enjoying leisure travel, being able to live the good life and provide for their families are top priorities for this generation and are expected to continue to be so in the future. While more than half (54 percent) of boomers are retired, according to a recent AARP survey, just over a third are still in the workforce. Of those, 35 percent returned to the workforce after having previously retired from another job. Nearly 30 percent of working boomers don’t expect to retire before the age of 70, and 40 percent plan to work until they can’t. In the years ahead, our society’s definition of “retirement” is set to change in a big way.

And while boomers have concerns entering this stage of life — health, finances — most are happy with what they’ve achieved at this point in their life and what they feel the future holds. More than 70 percent say they’ve achieved all or most of what they’d hoped to, and just over a quarter have reached some of their goals. Even better is that the typical baby boomer doesn’t consider 65 “old age”, that doesn’t start until 72, according to a Pew Research study. Half of all Americans say they feel younger than their years, but 61 percent of boomers feel that way, with the typical boomer feeling nine years younger than his or her chronological age. A report from Stanford University Center on Longevity confirms, “75 is the new 68.”

If you’re among the first wave of Baby Boomers turning 65 this year, you’re in distinguished company. These 25 newsmakers and celebrities were all born in 1946 as well, including both Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and his beloved Adrian (Talia Shire): Diane Keaton, actress (January 5), Naomi Judd, singer (January 11) Dolly Parton, singer (January 19), Liza Minnelli, singer/actress (March 12) John Waters, director (April 22), Talia Shire, actress (April 26) Candice Bergen, actress (May 9), Reggie Jackson, athlete (May 18) Cher, singer/actress(May 20), George W. Bush, politician, Sylvester Stallone, actor (July 6) Cheech Marin, actor/comedian (July 13), Danny Glover, actor (July 22) Bill Clinton, politician (August 19), Peggy Lipton, actress (August 30) Oliver Stone, director, and Tommy Lee Jones, actor (September 15) Susan Sarandon, actress (October 4), Pat Sajak, game-show host (October 26) Sally Field, actress (November 6), Patty Duke, actress (December 14) Steven Spielberg, director (December 18), Susan Lucci, actress (December 23) Jimmy Buffett, singer (December 25), Patti Smith, singer (December 30)

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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publisher’s letter

“Reinvent Yourself” The mission of BOOM! is to serve the folks of the River Region age 50 plus with information and ideas to inspire new experiences, better quality of life and new beginnings.

Who doesn’t like a new beginning, especially when the last beginning didn’t turn out quite how you expected? That’s what’s good about January and those lofty New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a chance for a “do over” or maybe to get it right, improve it, or make amends.

Publisher/Editor Jim Watson

jim@riverregionboom.com

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

kelly@riverregionboom.com

Contributing Writers

Jim Watson, Publisher

Bob Brody Dr. Bettie Borton

Mike Esco Aniela and Jerzy Gregorek Bob LaMendola Amy Sherman

I was inspired to hear this man say he was “reinventing” himself. I am, too. Maybe it’s just the New Year’s Resolution Fever, but as the great Etta James once sang, “a change is gonna do me good.” If there’s one thing we seasoned citizens surely know, it’s change. It just keeps on coming and we can lead it and shape it or be overwhelmed by it. I’m “reinventing.” How about you?

Paula Silverman Alisa Singer

Cover Photography

Maria Wiggins, Reflections of Grace maria@reflectionsofgracestudios.com www.reflectionsofgracestudios.com

Advertising

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Speaking of changes, I saw my oldest sister (70) a few months back and found out she had met her man through an online dating service! Now I’m old school, so I thought she would be, too. Not so anymore. She and her new man friend are very close and seem very natural together, so I realized my online dating attitude needed updating. My own relationship status changed recently so I’m considering an online dating adventure myself. If anyone has any happy endings they would like to share with me, I welcome them at jim@riverregionboom.com. To get us all started in that direction we have an article describing some of the guidelines to consider when going online and “getting out there again.” Usually, when we do reengage we want to look and feel our best. That’s why the “Get in Shape” tips from an AUM professor may work to your advantage beginning this new year. As he suggests in tip number 6, turn off the TV and get moving to the Starbucks or Cool Beans and get that first internet date accomplished. Go ahead, you can do it!

jim@riverregionboom.com

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics

Distribution

Network Delivery

Printing

The challenge of starting a new project can be very motivating. The other morning, I saw a man my age discussing how the economy and downsizing had a major impact on his life. He had to live on a tight budget, and do without stuff he was accustomed to, but in the end, he was thankful for the opportunity to “reinvent” himself in these trying times. He was challenging himself to make a better life with a fledgling business, and even though he had less of everything, he was happier than he had ever been.

Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

For all the Bama fans, we’re giving away 4 tickets to go see the portrayal of “Bear” Bryant in the ASF production of Bear Country. It’s no consolation but it could be the best way to end the season. At least you could go out in style on BOOM! Thanks for all the support you have shown us over the past few months. We plan on continuing to serve folks in the over 50 crowd and give advertising value to businesses who want to invite our readers to be their customers. Happy New Year! Now which picture am I going to upload on eHarmony…

Jim

jim@riverregionboom.com 334.324.3472 cell/text

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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i

This & tHAT BOOMERS, Tell us What You Think...

The Montgomery Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has launched an Internet Bicycle & Pedestrian Survey to gather information on the bicycle and pedestrian wants and needs in the MPO Study Area. To participate in the survey, individuals should go to the survey website montgomerympo.org/ MPOsurvey. The survey only takes ten (10) minutes to complete. The MPO study area includes portions of Autauga, Elmore and Montgomery Counties including the municipalities of Coosada, Deatsville, Elmore, Millbrook, Montgomery, Prattville, Pike Road and Wetumpka. In addition to the internet survey, a wealth of information and resources are available on the MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Update webpage at montgomerympo. org/BikePed.html. If you have questions for MPO staff, contact Robert E. Smith Jr, Senior Transportation Planner at 241-2249, or email rsmith@montgomeryal.gov

Cruising the Creekwalk

5K and 1 Mile Run/ Walk, Saturday, January 22, 5K at 9 am and 1 Mile at 10 am. The 5K and 1 Mile will start and end at Doster Memorial Community Center in Prattville. Both courses will take you along the creek and through downtown Prattville. Registration at Doster Center begins at 7:30 on race day. Pre-registration at www.active.com until January 17. Pre-registration Cost: $18.00 Individual, $60.00 Family ($20 and $70 after Jan. 17). All proceeds will go to support Youth Leadership programs in Autauga County. Medals to 1st Male/Female in each division, Overall Male/Female and Master Level Male/Female. Not a morning person,choose the “Sleep In” option and receive a race shirt for your donation! We’re now on Facebook! For More Information: www.Active.com or call Thea at (334) 365-0295.

Welcome to RiverRegionLean.com, a social network designed to help you live a healthier lifestyle! Fitness tools, nutrition information, special bulletins, upcoming events, fitness testimonials, encouragement from friends and opportunities to encourage friends are just some the features of RiverRegionLean.com. It’s no secret that waistlines in our society are expanding. Across the country, the percentage of us who are obese or overweight is growing. The health problems linked to too many pounds are also climbing. Juvenile obesity is on the rise as well. RiverRegionLean.com is a tool to help people add years to the life and add life to their years. Check it out!

River Region Hospital Campuses Now Tobacco Free Baptist Health hospitals, Jackson Hospital and HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Montgomery would like to remind the public that their campuses are now tobacco free, effective Jan. 1, 2011. This joint public health initiative is being taken to promote a healthy lifestyle for hospital employees, patients and visitors in these local facilities. Tobacco use of any kind will be prohibited on all sidewalks, grounds and facilities of the hospital campuses. More than one in five adult Alabamians smoke, with 7,600 dying each year from their own tobacco use, and Alabama pays $1.49 billion in direct medical costs to treat smoking. Secondhand smoke exposure is the third leading cause of preventable death, killing approximately 800 Alabamians each year. There is no risk-free level of contact with secondhand smoke; even brief exposure can be harmful to health. Since April 2005, thousands of Alabamians have called the Quitline to help themselves or family members learn how to be tobacco free. Information and counseling sessions are confidential. Eligible callers who begin counseling can receive a free, four-week supply of the nicotine patch to assist in their attempt to quit. The Quitline is also available to persons who speak Spanish. The Quitline number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). For other information on tobacco, go to www.adph.org/tobacco/.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


"The new economy has created a boldness and willingness to change how we work, how we cook and how we eat. All of our 2011 trends reflect that in some way,” said Kay Logsdon, editor of The Food Channel. “One example is Baby Boomers wanting to age well. Trend #10 explains they are eating for better sex, more energy and the ability to work longer.” The Food Channel Top 10 Trends for 2011... 1. The Canning Comeback – “Putting Up” is gaining popularity for both economy and health. 2. Men in Aprons – Layoffs have led to more men cooking. 3. Local Somewhere – We care about hand-tended no matter where it’s grown. 4. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – We’re tired of being told what we can eat. 5. Appetite for Food Apps – Social media is our guide and our coupon source. 6. Small is the New Big Business – Corporations are thinking like small businesses. 7. Fresh Every Day – Rooftop gardens are just part of this trend. 8. Chefs in Schools – Better flavor is possible in an institutional setting. 9. Discomfort Foods – Change makes us comfortable with more change. 10. Eating for Sex and Other Things – We are working longer, and want all the gusto.

Have you been feeling inspired to grow, care for, preserve, and use healthful herbs? If so, Herb Gardening For Dummies®, 2nd Edition is just what you need! Starting an herb garden outweighs the costs of buying retail herbs. Plus, adding homegrown ingredients to your meals is a healthy and tasty way to improve any dish you make at home. This friendly, hands-on guide gives you tips and advice on how to grow a thriving herb garden that will add depth and flavor to homecooked meals—as well as boost your health.

Not Tech Savy? TeachParentsTech.org lets you select from more than 50 basic how-to videos to send to someone who could use a little help with tech tasks—whether it’s how to copy & paste to how to share a big file. Designed for kids to send to their tech clunky parents, which includes many of us Boomers. Check out the website and see if it helps solve any of your tech problems. It’s a free service from Google.

Tickets Available @ Ted The Wine Guy & Co., 3062 Zelda Rd, 395-9911 or scotty@tedthewineguy.com

LOL

Q: What do you call a man who just lost his brain? A: Divorced.

A married couple was celebrating their 60th wedding anniversar y. At the party ever ybody wanted to know how they managed to

A woman telephoned a veterinarian and asked him to come examine her cat. “I don’t know what’s wrong with her,” the woman told him. “She looks as if she’s going to have kittens, but that’s impossible. She’s never been out of the house except for when I had her on a leash.” The vet examined the cat and said there was no question about her pregnancy.

and age. The husband responded

“But she can’t be,” protested the woman. “It’s impossible.”

make all the major decisions and

At that point a large tom cat emerged from under the sofa.

my wife would make all the

“How about him?” asked the vet. “Don’t be silly,” answered the woman. “That’s her brother.” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

stay married so long in this day “ When we were first married we came to an agreement. I would

minor decisions. And in 60 years of marriage we have never needed to make a major decision.”

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Blockbuster Hit BEAR COUNTRY Returns to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for a Limited Run, January 13-23

Bear Country, the highest attended and biggest selling play in the 25 year history of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Octagon stage will return to ASF for a limited engagement January 13-23. This Silver Anniversary encore production will take place on a reconceived set in ASF’s 750-seat Festival Theatre. Tickets start at $30 and are available at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival box office, on line at www.asf.net or by phone at 1.800.841.4273. ASF is located at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park. Written by Michael Vigilant, Bear Country follows the rags to riches story of legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. At the time of his retirement in 1982, Bryant had won more games than any coach in college football history. During his fascinating life Bryant wrestled a bear as a teen, single-handedly beat the arch rival Tennessee Volunteers while playing on a broken leg and won a landmark federal court case in which he was accused of illegal wagering. Bryant was also a national celebrity during his coaching years. His friends included Hollywood stars, captains of industry and American presidents.

Montgomery Living declared that Bear Country is “amazing entertainment.” BamaMag.com called the show “outstanding entertainment.” The Birmingham News raved that Rodney Clark’s performance as Coach Bryant is “remarkable.” Sports Media Personalities Jeff Shearer and John Longshore to Participate in Production of ASF’s Bear Country. The voices of two acclaimed Montgomery area sports media figures, Jeff Shearer and John Longshore, will play important parts in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s revival of Bear Country. WSFA 12 News sports director Jeff Shearer will provide a recorded voice of a Radio Announcer from the 1926 Rose Bowl in the opening scene of the play. WAKA CBS 8 and Cumulus personality John Longshore will provide the recorded voice of a Radio Announcer calling the Alabama/Tennessee football game in 1935. It is the game in which a young Paul “Bear” Bryant helped the Crimson Tide defeat the Volunteers while playing on a broken leg.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


GET IN SHAPE!

Mike Esco, assistant professor of physical education and exercise science and co-director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Auburn University at Montgomery, offers the following Eleven Ways to Get in Shape in 2011. 1. Make achieving a healthy lifestyle a priority. This is the most important tip. Most people wish to become healthier but really don’t want to make it a priority. Success, whether it be with weight loss, running a marathon or increasing muscular strength, begins with a choice to make personal health and fitness a top priority.

2. Remember, it doesn’t have to be typical exercise. When most people think of becoming healthier, they immediately imagine running on a treadmill, jogging in the park, lifting weights or some other form of traditional exercise. Research suggests that becoming more physically active overall, such as walking instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can be just as effective as traditional exercise for maintaining or losing weight and decreasing chronic disease risks. 3. Make it a goal to at least meet the minimal physical activity guidelines. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that every American adult should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity on most days of the week.

4. Accumulate exercise. Research shows that accumulating bouts of physical activity throughout the day is just as effective as one exercise session performed continuously. You can achieve the same health benefits by accumulating six 10-minute bouts of activity compared to one 60-minute bout.

5. Wear a pedometer. A pedometer can hold you accountable by gauging your overall physical activity. You’ll be surprised at how many steps you can take just by doing regular daily activities, such as cleaning the house or cutting the grass with a push mower. Studies show that achieving 10,000 steps per day decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and reach a healthy body weight. The average American only takes 2,500 to 5,000 steps per day.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

6. Turn off the TV. The average American spends 4 to 5 hours per day watching television, yet the number one reason for not being more physically active is “lack of time.” If you don’t want to change your viewing habits, at least exercise while watching TV or during commercials. 7. Pick enjoyable activities. Being more physically active does not mean that you need to purchase an expensive gym membership and exercise for hours on end. It simply means increasing your overall physical activity. If you pick activities that are enjoyable, you will be more likely to stick with it.

8. Understand that one pound of fat equals approximately 3,500 calories. If a person could replace a 20-ounce bottle of regular soda with water (saving 250 calories) and walk two to three miles (burning about 250 calories) every day, then he or she could lose one pound per week. For great information on how to eat properly, visit www.mypyramid.gov. 9. Get involved. Participate in an incentive-based physical activity or weight loss program, such as Scale Back Alabama, or sign up for a physical activity event, such as a 5K walk/run. These can give you something to focus on. 10. Keep a journal. If you are trying to lose weight it is very important to write down everything you eat on a daily basis and tallying up the total amount of calories consumed. Then see where you went right or wrong.

11. Make goals. It is important to establish short and long-term goals. Write them down on a piece of paper and read them every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep. If you write your goal down and read it often, it will stay fresh on your mind. But make sure your goals are reachable and realistic. Media Contact: Mike Esco, 334-201-7991 or mesco@aum.edu.

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Bettie Knows Hearing & Horses Winston Churchill’s quote, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man” is so true! about the 8 hour day. Maybe most importantly, it’s imperative that you believe in yourself, and don’t consider failure as an option. I’ve also tried to make exceptional patient care the overriding concern at Doctors Hearing Clinic - and everything else just seems to fall into place.

This month’s BOOM! profile is Dr. Bettie Borton. She is originally from San Antonio,Texas, and received audiology degrees from the University of Texas, L.S.U. Medical Center and her doctoral degree from the University of Florida. Bettie has served hearing impaired and multihandicapped children and their families in various settings, including the director for the Early Intervention Program for the State of Alabama and Auburn University. Bettie is currently the owner/director of Doctors Hearing Clinic in Montgomery. A lifelong horse enthusiast with a background in Saddleseat Equitation, Bettie is also the Executive Director of Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians (MANE), a nonprofit therapeutic riding center for children and adults with disabilities. As you will see in the following interview, two of Bettie’s passions are hearing and horses. We hope you’ll find her story as interesting as we did.

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Bettie: Though I am originally from San Antonio, Texas, my husband and I moved to Montgomery about 11 years ago from Birmingham, where he was the head of Audiology at UAB Medical Center. Tom took a position with Auburn University/ AUM in the doctoral program in Audiology, and retired in June of 2010. We are very attached to Montgomery, however, and the 2 youngest of our 5 children attended and graduated from St. James School.

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BOOM!: As a professional entrepreneur, what was the most difficult thing in deciding to open your Doctors Hearing Clinic? Any lessons you can share with other aspiring entrepreneurs, especially, women? Bettie: The most difficult thing for me was shouldering the inherent risk involved in any entrepreneurial venture. It’s just scarey to sign the note and borrow the seed money! Fortunately, my husband and I share the same profession, and he was a steadying influence, providing reassurance and sage advice. I’ve learned lots of lessons along the way, including the importance of hard work, remembering to treat people the way you want to be treated, and forgetting

BOOM!: Many of us in the Boomer age look forward to the time when the kids are finally out of the house, on their own, or off to college, so we can experience that “empty nest” syndrome. What kind of experience has that been for you? Bettie: After being actively engaged in raising children for almost 30 years, “emptying my nest” was wonderful, and afforded me the time I needed to start my private practice and devote the energy needed for this endeavor to be successful. Though I occasionally see parents with small children and have a twinge of envy, I have found that life with grown children is lots of fun, for them and for me. But, I’m going be ready for grandchildren any time my children are ready to present me with some! BOOM!: What are you most passionate about? Bettie: Family, faith, hearing, and horses! I have always tried to keep the focus on my family, and raising 3 children and helping with 2 step children has certainly demanded that I do so. However, with a hard earned doctoral degree in Audiology and a career spanning more than 30 years, professional interests have remained at the forefront of most of my daily activities. My passion for all things related to serving those with hearing impairment has led me down some

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


interesting roads, including serving as National Chair of the American Board of Audiology, and currently as a member of the Board of Directors for the Academy of Audiology. I’ve really enjoyed the political activism and “big picture perspective” required by those positions, and hope that in some small measure I’ve been able to make a difference on a more global level for those with hearing impairment and their families. BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work at the Doctors Hearing Clinic? Bettie: Nothing is more relaxing to me that spending time at the barn, or at a horseshow. My youngest daughter, Victoria, grew up showing American Saddlebreds, as did I. We enjoyed lots of mother -daughter time at training facilities and horseshows across the country. Winston Churchill’s quote, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man” is so true!

Bettie: To me, smaller communities are usually better, and Montgomery is very special - I loved the fact that Montgomery was smaller than Birmingham, and easier to negotiate. Montgomery has such a rich, Southern history, and living here has allowed me a glimpse of what life in the deep south was like over the past century. I have found this community to be exceptionally charming, culturally unique, and an absolute delight in every regard.

BOOM!: With your busy schedule, do you get to travel much? Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams for the future? Bettie: Despite the demands of a private practice, my husband and I do like to travel. We try to combine business and recreational travel, and I am frequently in Washington DC for Board meetings for the American Academy of Audiology. However, Tom is an avid fly fisherman, so our favorite spot for extended vacations in Cashiers, NC. Western North Carolina is one of the most beautiful areas I have ever visited. BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/River Region area that you like?

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

lives of others at MANE, and perhaps in some small way I have, but really the reverse is true - the clients and their families at MANE have surely made a difference in mine.

BOOM!: What is an audiologist? Bettie: Audiologists are the primary health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children. They prescribe and fit hearing aids, conduct cochlear implant programmings, perform ear- or hearing-related surgical monitoring, design and implement hearing conservation programs and newborn hearing screening programs, and provide hearing rehabilitation training. BOOM!: If you weren’t an audiologist what kind of work would you be doing?

BOOM!: I know you’re involved with the M.A.N.E organization here in Montgomery. What’s your role there and why do you serve? Do you serve in other organizations? Bettie: I have spent the better part of my life loving all things equine, and was so delighted to be able to “give back” as the Executive Director of Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians (MANE) - MANE is a fascinating non-profit program using equine assisted activities as unique and innovative therapy strategies for those with disabilities. This effort has been a labor of love for me, and watching the daily miracles at MANE has been truly inspiring. I’d like to think I’ve made a difference in the

Bettie: I started out as a teacher of the hearing impaired, so ears have been my professional focus for such a long time, I can’t imagine another - I have loved every minute of my career, and given a choice, would do exactly the same thing all over again! BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Bettie: I work hard to advance awareness regarding noise pollution, damage to hearing from noise exposure, importance of using hearing protection, and the like. Anything we can do to protect the hearing of children, which is increasingly at risk because of the noisy world in which they live, is of great interest and importance to me. BOOM!: As a person who helps people hear the world around them, what’s the greatest benefit of improved hearing?

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Bettie: Communication! Listening to and conversing with others is a uniquely human capability, and breakdown of our communication system can be one of the most frustrating and isolating experiences we may face. Often, we confront this limitation as we age, just when health, family, and financial concerns may be increasing.

their frame of reference for normal loudness. Let’s face it - if someone asks you a question, and you either fail to respond or respond incorrectly, who knows that? Usually only the person who asked you! So, while denial is a big factor, sometimes people simply don’t realize how bad their hearing loss actually is, and how frustrating it is for those trying to communicate with them.

Certified Audiologist to dispense your hearing instruments so that you will get the very best diagnostic and rehabilitative services possible.

The good news is that today’s hearing devices are tiny, very cosmetically appealing, and wonderfully advanced in terms of technology. The most important thing is to be sure that you select a Board

Do you know someone who would make an interesting BOOM! Cover Profile?

BOOM!: Is there a difference between men and women when trying to improve their hearing ? Bettie: From a statistical standpoint, men have a greater incidence of hearing loss than woman. Anecdotally, I find that men are actually a little bit more concerned with cosmetics as they relate to hearing aids, possibly because their hair is often much shorter than their female counterparts, and so the devices are more visible in that regard. Women often seem to notice hearing loss earlier, perhaps because communication with friends and family members is very important to them. Other than that, there’s not a lot of gender related difference. BOOM!: When our eyesight begins to fail, we correct it with glasses, contacts or surgery, but when our hearing begins to fail we sometimes ignore or accept it. Can you explain why? Bettie: There are lots of reasons why people are resistant to hearing loss and using hearing devices. Many times, cosmetic issues or costs can be concerning. And really, I don’t think anyone gets up in the morning and just can’t wait to get hearing devices. Hearing aids have not yet made the leap to a “fashion statement” like eyeglasses have. However, hearing loss is really insidious. It comes on gradually, usually over many years, so those who are affected lose

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Spirit

If you have any questions about your hearing or how horses serve children with special needs, give Dr. Bettie a call, 396-1635 or email her at doctorshearingclinic@gmail.com. We want to thank Bettie, Anne and the folks at MANE for participating with the BOOM! team on this month’s cover. We enjoyed the discovery!

Send an email with info to jim@riverregionboom.com

MANE

Montgomery Area Non traditional Equestrians

Horses and Hope

Therapeutic horseback riding provides important and effective intervention for people with a wide range of disabilities. As riders straddle the horse, an incredible amount of benefit accrues for muscles throughout their body. Instructors and therapists use the rhythmic motion of the horse to reduce spasticity, quicken reflexes, aid in motor planning, and strengthen muscles, joints, and tendons damaged by trauma or illness.

Riders of all ages with limited mobility, as well as those with communicative, emotional or cognitive challenges can experience increased balance and muscle control, wider range of motion, improved language skills and a host of other benefits. Confidence and enhanced self-esteem are also positive by-products of therapeutic riding.

Vo l u n t e e r s N e e d e d Volunteers are the heart and soul of the MANE therapeutic riding program. Anyone who has the desire to help, love, and have a wonderful time is welcome. The only other thing we ask is that you are not afraid of horses. Some of our volunteers are disabled, some are retired, some are students, and others are working people looking to make a difference. No previous experience is necessary. Our skilled instructors will teach you everything you need to know. Volunteers are mainly needed Monday through Friday from 8:00 – 5:00, with occasional weekend special events. Whether it’s an hour a week or several hours every day, we rely on your attendance to make classes go smoothly. Volunteers can assist in leading horses during lessons, sidewalking (walking alongside the horse to offer the rider support when needed), grooming horses, tacking up horses, cooling out horses, cleaning tack, horse care, helping with fundraisers, participating in public relations, assisting with administrative duties, planning of special events, mechanics, gardners, computers, photographers, special event coordinators and anything else that needs doing! If you can’t volunteer, please tell a friend, 334-213-0909, Anne Jemison, Program Director aajemison@gmail.com, for more information visit www.maneweb.org

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Find Hope Make a differenCe reDiscover your faiTh wiTh The frazer family. Dr. Tim Thompson, senior minisTer TradiTional & ConTemporary Worship 8:00, 9:30 & 11:00

m a i n C a m p u s : 6 0 0 0 aT l a n Ta h i g h Way 3 3 4 . 2 7 2 . 8 6 2 2 asbury Campus: 4540 narroW lane road 334-281-8971 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

January 2011 BOOM! 15 www.frazerumc.org | facebook.com/frazerumc r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m


Identity Thieves Target Medicare Recipients, AGAIN!

By Bob LaMendola

Seniors are again getting phone calls from scammers trying to steal personal and financial information, this time by claiming a Medicare HMO owes them a refund.

The callers in the latest scheme claim to work for insurance giant Humana or its CarePlus subsidiary, and say they need the senior’s birth date, Social Security, bank account and Medicare numbers to arrange the refund, Humana officials said.

Scammers typically use such information to take out credit or debit cards in the senior’s name and run up big bills. It’s unclear if any seniors have given the callers their personal details or had any money stolen, company spokesman Mitchell Lubitz said.

In one case, a Medicare recipient in Hialeah, Fla., arranged for the caller to come to her house to pick up money for a Medicare payment but notified Humana and summoned police, who arrested the person on the spot, Lubitz said. The callers do not work for the health plans, and officials try to track them, Lubitz said. Medicare forbids insurers from making sales calls to seniors unless they ask in advance for a call, so an HMO sales agent on the phone should be a red flag, Lubitz said. “Seniors are not going to get unsolicited calls from a legitimate health plan. And any legitimate caller is certainly not going to ask for their personal details,” Lubitz said. “It’s emanating from South Florida so far. This is the time of year when seniors have to be extra careful.”

Like most U.S. seniors, Florida’s 3.3 million Medicare recipients are in the midst of signing up for 2011 coverage through Dec. 31. Most are getting letters and invitations to promotional signup events and may be talking to agents from HMOs and drug plans.

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Let’s Fight Back! 1 Guard your Medicare and Social Security numbers as carefully as credit cards. 2 Be suspicious of someone on the phone or in person offering cash, gifts or free services in exchange for your Medicare number. 3 Do not give your personal information to sales agents who contact you uninvited. They are not allowed to call or visit unless you agree in advance. 4 Do not give payment information over the phone to enroll in an insurance or drug plan. Legitimate insurers must send bills unless you initiate other options. 5 Hang up if someone calls unsolicited asking for your Medicare number in connection with a survey or other purpose. 6 Do not lend your Medicare number or identity to someone else to be used to obtain a service. It’s illegal. 7 Check medical bills for charges you don’t recognize. Contact the provider in case it’s a mistake. If it’s not a mistake, call Medicare. More information: http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov or 800-633-4227. To report Medicare fraud, HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov or 800-447-8477. SOURCE: Medicare

Scammers have stepped up phony cold calls to seniors in the past five years, since Medicare started offering prescription drug coverage through insurers. Medicare has issued warnings about the problems regularly, including twice this year.

The government urges seniors to be skeptical when someone asks for personal details and to give the information only to people they are sure about. (c) 2010, Sun Sentinel. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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Inspiration!

www.letterstomykids.org

from the blog of Bob Brody This blog is drawn from journals I wrote for my two kids over the course of two years. I wanted to show Michael and Caroline how much they mean to me, and to leave behind something valuable. Maybe my memories will remind you of your own. Maybe you’ll even be willing to share your family histories right here in your responses. The larger idea is to urge parents, grandparents and others to share some family history with the next generation. And to take a pledge to start soon. Here, then – in brief for now – are my top 10 tips for writing letters to your kids: 1. Decide To Do It. No, really. Decide wholeheartedly. You’re either in or you’re out. That’s square one. 2. Plan It Out. Do at least an outline. Even Shakespeare needed a blueprint. Call it a GPS for the flow of your thoughts. 3. Vote For Reality. Kids can smell spin from a mile away. So opt for the truth about yourself and your family, however much it might hurt you to do so.

Women of Hope Breast Cancer Support Group Tuesday, January 11th 5:30 “Steps to a Life of Blessings” presented by Sarah Rech, Healing Hearts Counselor

Enjoy fun and fellowship with your breast cancer “sisters” and friends! For information please call 334-220-4599 or email womenofhope@charter.net.

Our goal is to make sure that all women AND men are educated about breast cancer and the effects it has on family and friends. Hope is the assurance that one day we will be able to live cancer free! Your support is greatly appreciated and helps so many deserving breast cancer patients and survivors including their families. Women of Hope Breast Cancer Support Group meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month (Jan-Nov). Meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. @ Frazer United Methodist Church, Room 8253, 6000 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery AL.

4. Single Out The Highlights. Draw only from the richest memories, the most lasting moments, at your command. Forgo trivia and the otherwise mundane. 5. Stick To A Schedule. A little regularity never hurt anyone. A half hour or so once a week is probably realistic – better still, shoot for a set time on a set day. 6. Keep It Spontaneous. First thought, best thought, poet Allen Ginsberg famously said. Theoretically, then, you’ll bring yourself within flirting distance of the genuine. 7. Briefer Is Better. It’s the soul of wit, no? Enough said. 8. Tell A Story. Each entry will ideally have a real narrative, how this happened, then that happened – in short, a beginning, a middle and an end. Maybe even a point or two as well. 9. Make Every Word Count. Your readers will, in a sense, be keeping score. So why waste any time? 10. Remember: Anyone Can Write. We all have stories to tell. We’re all storytellers at heart. Period. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Boomer Dating Online

Goehner says that Boomers lagged behind younger people in embracing technology. And, if Baby Boomers did lag behind their kids in picking up on Facebook, it’s probably because Boomers were busy working, trying to pay for their kids’ college educations and cross-country soccer tournaments. So, rather than perfecting the fine art of flicking the roller ball on an iPod, Boomers were working at Enterprise Car Rental or one of the other fine jobs that hadn’t been outsourced. Baby Boomers Need Online Dating, Where can Boomers meet people? •Church – most of those folks are already married. •Bars/Clubs – most of those people are marinated. •Concerts – most concertgoers are into rap or they’re deaf. •Grocery Stores – most of those people are married or broke. According to the November 26, 2010 time.com article “Online Dating Enjoying a Boom Among Boomers” by Amy Lennard Goehner, anthropologist and author Helen Fisher says, “Fifteen years ago if you went on an online dating site, you would be thought to have three heads.” Fisher must be right because she’s an anthropologist. Well, maybe I went online in 1997 because I was a stupid three-headed harpy. I think I was about 45 and I can’t remember my exact age because once I hit 35 the numbers all started blurring together. It’s not surprising that, according to time. com, “At Match.com, the 50-to-65 age group is the online dating site’s fastestgrowing demographic, up 89% in the last five years.” Seniors, if one is brave enough to call Boomers that moniker, are the fastest growing demographic all over the internet. Boomers “are” the internet. Baby Boomer Dating Online Time.com sounds a bit mocking when

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Online Dating Safety As long as you follow the safety rules posted on all good websites, it is safe to date online. Because I had tween/ teen daughters, I never told anyone where I lived. If you, as a Boomer, made it through the 60s, you probably have enough common sense to know whom you should and should not trust, but meet any potential dates at Starbucks or a similarly public place. Does Online Dating Work? Yes, I met my husband online. I tried clubs, restaurants, Barnes & Noble, and many other fun places. I met quite a few men. I went out with some of them. However, I liked that I could do a quick “background check” of men who contacted me online. There is nothing wrong with meeting guys in the “real” world, but you can increase your odds by adding Match.com, Eharmony.com, SeniorSinglesMeet.com and any other site that looks interesting to the mix. Resource:Goehner, Amy Lennard. “Online Dating Enjoying a Boom Among Boomers” Friday, Nov. 26, 2010.

Top Ten Internet Dating Tips 1 - Have Faith in the Process Internet dating is probably the best, most productive and fun way to meet people. Give it a fair chance and accompany it with a fresh positive perspective. If you are not a computer person, don’t worry. Most sites are user friendly. 2 - Begin Slow and Gain Momentum Like any new experience, online dating can be overwhelming. Make sure you take it slowly.

3 - Avoiding Negative Discussing Previous Relationship Troubles When you talk about past troubles, you come across as a negative person. In addition, your prospect may think that you are not over your past relationship and perhaps not ready to start a new one. Save this type of discussions for a later, more advanced stage of your relationship.

4 - Writing an Essay that Reflects You Serious daters find reading your Profile Essay of great benefit since it is the primary piece of information that they have on you. What you say in your essay is amplified greatly so take advantage of it and make it reflect who you really are. Be honest, it will benefit your relationships. 5 - Be Cautious Utilize the power of anonymity and increased security that is unique to Internet Dating over face to face dating.

6 - Don’t Take Each Contact to Seriously Not everybody adheres to the same etiquette and rules in Internet Dating. You might find someone that is disrespectful and even offensive. Don’t take every contact too seriously and don’t let this feeling spoil your experience. Just move on. 7 - Take an Occasional Break It is always good to take a few breaks from Internet Dating, and come back with a fresh new perspective. Having so many people to choose from can be a little overwhelming at times. Let other people approach you, build your pipe-line.

8 - Re-considering Your Potential Match Dating Profile Internet Dating is very unique in the sense that it allows you to find people based on your profile objective, such as: eye color, hair color, height, weight, income, etc. If you can’t find exactly your perfect match in this pool of people, it may be time to re-consider your ‘must have’ profile. 9 - Post a Photo Immediately Most daters do not respond to profiles without a picture. Don’t let opportunities pass you by. If you are serious about online dating, post a picture immediately.

10 - Don’t Waste Your Time on a Bad Match When you discover any piece of information about a potential match makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t waste your time. Trust your instinct and let go. There are plenty of other potential good matches for you out there. Keep looking and make it fun.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Healthy Hearing

by Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D. bchampion1@aol.com

NOISE… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Have you ever wondered if your children or grandchildren are damaging their hearing by using personal listening devices, cell phones, or by listening to loud music that’s Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. too loud? Most of us look at the noisy environment that envelopes young people today, and can’t help but worry about this as potentially hazardous to their hearing.

We often think of hearing loss as a problem affecting only older Americans. However, a stunning one in five teens has lost a little bit of hearing, and the problem has increased substantially in recent years, a new national study has found. Audiologists and hearing healthcare researchers are urging teenagers to turn down the volume on their digital music players, suggesting loud music delivered through earbuds may be to blame. Although definitive evidence is lacking about the cause, experts warn that slight hearing loss can cause problems in school and set the stage for increased hearing loss in later life.

Our hope is we can encourage people to be careful,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Gary Curhan of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Researchers here analyzed data on 12 to 19 year-olds from a nationwide health survey. They compared hearing loss in nearly 3,000 kids tested from 1988-94 to nearly 1,800 kids tested over 2005-06. The prevalence of hearing loss increased from about 15 percent to 19.5 percent. Most of the hearing loss was “slight,” defined as inability to hear at 16 to 24 decibels - or sounds such as a whisper or rustling leaves. A teenager with slight hearing loss might not be able to hear water dripping or his mother whispering “good night.” Extrapolating this data to the nation’s teen population, that would mean about 6.5 million young people with at least

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the treadmill and found he couldn’t hear slight hearing loss. Those with slight anything with his left ear. His hearing hearing loss “will hear all of the vowel gradually returned, but was never the sounds clearly, but might miss some of same. the consonant sounds” such as t, k and s, Curhan said. “Although speech will be Often, young people turn their digital detectable, it might not be fully intelligiplayers up to levels that would exceed ble,” he said. While the researchers didn’t federal workplace exposure limits. In single out iPods or any other device for Fligor’s own study of about 200 New York blame, they found a significant increase in college students, more than half listened high-frequency hearing loss, which they to music at 85 decibels or louder. That’s said may indicate that noise caused the about probWe often think of hearing loss as a problem affecting only older Americans. as lems. loud And However, a stunning one in five teens has lost a little bit of hearing, as a they hair cited a 2010 Australian study that linked dryer or a vacuum cleaner. Habitual use of personal listening devices with listening at those levels can turn microa 70 percent increased risk of hearing scopic hair cells in the inner ear into scar loss in children. Theses findings recently tissue, and for reasons that we don’t fully appeared in the Journal of the American understand, some people may be more Medical Association. predisposed to damage than others; Fligor believes Brady is one of them. And Loud music isn’t new, of course. Each new remember, once damage is inflicted, it generation of teenagers has found a new cannot be undone. technology to blast music - from the bulky headphones of the 1960s to the handheld These days, Brady still listens to his Sony Walkmans of the 1980s. But accorddigital player, but at lower volumes. His ing to Dr. Brian Fligor, an audiologist at sage advice…”Do not blare your iPod,” he Harvard Medical School, today’s young said. “It’s only going to hurt your hearing. people are listening longer, more than I learned this the hard way.” twice as long as previous generations; older technologies had limited battery life If you or a loved ones are concerned and limited music storage, he points out. with a teen’s hearing or listening habits, And with the Apple iPod, users can set visit www.doctorshearingclinic for more their own volume limits, but parents can information, or contact an audiologist for use the feature to set a maximum volume comprehensive hearing evaluation. on their child’s iPod and lock it with a code. To learn more, visit doctorshearingclinic.com or One of Fligor’s patients, 17-year-old Matthew Brady of Foxborough, Mass., recently was diagnosed with mild hearing loss. He has trouble hearing his friends in the school cafeteria. He ends up faking comprehension. “I laugh when they laugh,” he said.

Fligor believes Brady’s muffled hearing was caused by listening to an iPod turned up too loud and for too long. After his mother had a heart attack, Brady’s pediatrician had advised him to exercise for his own health. So he cranked up the volume on his music while walking on a treadmill at least four days a week for 30-minute stretches. One day last summer, he got off

call for an evaluation at (334) 396-1635.

Dr. Bettie B. Borton is a licensed audiologist in Alabama, was the first board certified audiologist in Montgomery, and recently served as National Chair of the American Board of Audiology. She and her husband, Dr. Tom Borton, are the only audiologists with ABA certification in the Montgomery area.

HEARING IMPAIRED SUPPORT GROUP

The group will meet the second Thurs. of each month at First Methodist Church, 4-6 PM, refreshments and speakers will be provided.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


TONE IT UP!

6 ways to avoid saggy skin

Just because you’re over 50 doesn’t mean you’re destined to have skin flaps under your arms and above your knees. Will losing weight help? It depends. Many people wrongly assume that if they simply lose weight, they’ll get rid of sagging skin. The problem is, many diets focus on losing pounds _ but it’s pounds of fat and muscle if you don’t do it right. And when you lose muscle, your skin loses its tone. Sagging skin isn’t folds of fat. It’s the result of skin that’s not being supported by underlying muscle. That’s why people who are “thin” often have floppy underarm skin or folds above their knees _ like the now-famous images of Demi Moore’s knees before her rumored plastic surgery. Once your skin detaches itself from the muscle, it ages quickly. Skin stays healthy by attaching itself to muscle and being nourished by it.

Our body is not meant to be too skinny. The first reason we have muscles is to be able to move, and the second is that muscle fills us out and gives us shape. Hanging and unhealthy skin is the result of: 1. Losing weight too fast, 2. Poor nutrition, 3. Dieting without exercise, 4. Dieting plus endurance exercise, 5. Dieting plus low-range-ofmotion strength training, 6. A diet low in vegetables.

The good news is that you can regain toned arms and legs no matter how old you are. Here are six solutions: 1. Don’t lose weight too fast. Don’t embark on a crash diet, like a liquid diet that promises to help you lose 30 pounds in 30 days. A healthy rate of weight loss _ that is, losing weight while building muscle _ is 1-2 pounds per week. Sagging skin can happen

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

when we lose weight too fast. The slower the weight loss, the more time for the skin to adapt and not lose its elasticity and connection with muscle.

2. Eat food rich in vitamins C, E, A, B complex and K; essential fatty acids; and three minerals _ selenium, copper and zinc. All these muscleand-skin-supporting essential nutrients can be found in vegetables, fruits, animal protein, grains, nuts and vegetable oils, but mostly in: asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, garlic, olives, leafy greens, bananas, vegetable oils, flax and safflower oils, flaxseed, rice, salmon, sardines, mackerel, oysters, poultry, eggs and lean meat.

3. Never lose weight without exercise. If you lose weight without exercising, you will lose weight but you will also lose underlying muscle tone. The muscle will not grow in the area where you lose fat and the skin will wrinkle and hang. 4. Never do endurance exercises while losing weight. If you lose weight by dieting and with endurance exercises _ such as treadmill, stationary biking or jogging _ you will lose fat and lose muscle. This is the worst scenario for losing weight; the skin will wrinkle and hang the most. Instead, do resistance training and speed lifting using light hand weights. This builds muscle while burning fat.

By Aniela and Jerzy Gregorek

5. Use the full range of motion while strength training. If you lose weight by dieting and low range of motion strength training, you will not gain enough muscle in the area necessary. For example, if you do a half squat you will gain muscle in your thigh but not

in your knee area; therefore, the skin around knees will wrinkle and hang. Lifting weights that are too heavy will also lead to hanging skin.

6. Eat twice as many fruits and vegetables as any other food at lunch and dinner. If you do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, your body will develop chronic inflammation and your skin will lose elasticity. Aniela and Jerzy Gregorek own a successful personal coaching and athletic training practice, which has helped hundreds of people achieve their ideal size. They have devoted the last 30 years to researching and designing The Happy Body Program, and now share that program in a new book, “The Happy Body,” winner of six national and international awards. Find the authors online at www.thehappybody.com. If you have comments about this article please send them to jim@riverregionboom.com (c) 2010, Basil & Spice Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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Healthy Life Choices for Living to 100 By Amy Sherman

Although most people think longevity is solely related to genes, it really depends on genes, attitude and lifestyle. Centenarians attribute their long lives to eating well, being optimistic and keeping busy. The Census Bureau estimates that by 2050, there will be 1.1 million people 100 years or older. Do you want to be one of them?

There are several things you can do to start living right and working your way to the triple digit numbers.

Be your own best advocate when it comes to your health... Know what medicines you’re taking, why your taking it and for what duration. Know if your medications have any contraindications and be aware of all side effects. Explore alternative ways you can deal with your condition so you can perhaps eliminate some of the medicines. The reason why this is important is to keep your medications simple and your side effects low.

Be smart about what and how much food you consume...

Nobody forces you to finish what’s on your plate. Research shows that portion size has increased and that it is related to an increase in obesity. Therefore, understand that you, and only you can reduce your food consumption. Do it because obesity is related to many debilitating illnesses, which shorten your hopes for a long lifespan. Conscious eaters have lower blood pressure, reduced body fat and diminished risks for heart disease and even cancer. Eat a Mediterranean diet, which includes colorful fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish and whole grains. Keep a trim waist for a healthy heart. Be active. The more you move, the more you maintain flexibility, range of motion and responsiveness.

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Have long-term loving relationships and many special friends, that is a good recipe for longevity... Maintaining strong social groups and lively interactions keeps you alert, active and involved.

Live in the countryside...

Associate with other optimistic, light-hearted people... As you age, you’ll notice that discussions tend to be directed toward illness or misfortune. Avoid those conversations by focusing on how much you appreciate your life and how good it’s been for you. Some people also try lifestyle changes, like meditation, relaxation, and yoga exercises to keep their perspective upbeat and focused on the sunnier side of the spectrum. Others seek professional help through cognitive-behavioral therapy to change their negative thoughts into more logical, hopeful thinking. Your body tends to thrive when you feel supported, encouraged and connected.

Drink moderately and don’t smoke...say no more!

People who are married tend to live longer than those who never married, or who are divorced or separated Of course, don’t just get married for the sake of it. Those in unhappy relationships tend to lose the health benefits associated with that kind of commitment.

The less pollution you experience, the healthier you will feel and be. If you can’t move out of the city, make visits to the beach, lake resorts or other open areas a weekly adventure. The further you are from car exhausts, factory residue and other pollutants, the less your body has to work to fight off these harmful toxins.

Successful aging is really based on good psychology and lifelong choices...

Therefore, start now to reduce your stress, to keep your mind active and occupied, and to be the best you can be. While age keeps creeping up, there is hope that you can turn the clock around and be healthier in your later years. The goal is to not only live longer, but also to live healthier. Being 90, with a poor quality of life, is not something to aspire towards. Rather, if you can be as healthy as a 60 year old, that is really something. It is not too late to change your lifestyle to reflect a healthier way of being, and the time to start is now. Therefore, be aware of how your behaviors may be sabotaging your health and well-being. The fountain of youth is right at your fingertips. Grab hold and don’t let go. Amy Sherman is a licensed mental health counselor and trainer. She is the founder of Baby Boomers’ Network, a resource designed to give baby boomers the insights, information and inspiration they need to live their best lives. To learn more, go to www.bummedoutboomer.com. Sherman is also the co-author with Rosalind Sedacca of “99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!” Go to www.99-series.com/index.html for more information.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Join the Circle of Knowledge @ Your Library

New Book Titles

Montgomery City County Library www.mccpl.lib.al.us 334.240.4999

ADULT FICTION

1022 Evergreen Place, by Debbie Macomber And Thereby Hangs A Tale by Jeffrey Archer Angel Song by Sheila Walsh As Young As We Feel by Melody Carlson Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson Bad Blood by John Sandford Be Careful What You Pray For by Kimberla Roby Bells by Richard Harvell Body Work by Sara Paretsky Betrayers by Bill Pronzini Callen And Zach by Joan Johnston Cat, The Professor And The Poison by Leann Sweeney Colourful Death by Carola Dunn Cut To The Corpse by Lucy Lawrence Darling Dahlias And The Cucumber Tree by Susan Albert Dead Lie Down by Sophie Hannah Death Ground by Edward Gorman Desert Heritage by Zane Grey Don’t Blink by James Patterson Exclusive by Fern Michaels Fragile Beasts by Tawni O’Dell Fall by Guillermo Del Toro Fall Of Giants by Ken Follett Fifty-Seven Traveling by Lonnie Cruse Flight Of Shadows by Sigmund Beouwer Fort by Bernard Cornwell Gentleman Always Remembers by Candace Camp Ghost Moon by Heather Graham Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck Gun Country by Ralph Cotton Heaven’s Fury by Stephen Frey Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor Last Lie by Stephen White Last Night At Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger Man Named Yuma by Theodore Olsen Man You’ll Marry by Debbie Macomber Manhunt by Lyle Brandt Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

My Lost Daughter by Nancy Rosenberg Naked Heat by Richard Castle Narrow Path by Gail Sattler Network by Jason Elliot No Need For A Gunfighter by Robert Conley Nose For Justice by Rita Mae Brown One Enchanted Evening by Lynn Kurland Painted Ladies by Robert B. Parker Queen Of The Night by Judith Jance Room by Emma Donoghue Rule’s Bride by Kat Martin Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay Shoot To Thrill by P.J. Tracy Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs Stormchasers by Jenna Blum Stranger In The Family by Robert Barnard Santa Fe Edge by Stuart Woods Savagery Of The Mountain Man by William Johnstone Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay Scorpion Trail by Larry Sweazy Skein Of The Crime by Maggie Sefton Some Sing Some Cry by Ntozake Shange Sourland by Joyce Carol Oates Spring’s Renewal by Shelley Gray Stranger In Thunder Basin by John Nesbitt Valcourt Heiress by Catherine Coulter Vermilion Drift by William Krueger Waking Up In Dixie by Haywood Smith Whiskey Kills by Johnny Boggs White Heat by Brenda Novak Wicked Witch Murder by Leslie Meier Wildfire by Christine Feehan

ADULT NON-FICTION

Becoming A Woman Of Destiny by Suzan Cook Boiling Mad by Kate Zernike Bought And Paid For by Charles Gasparino Coke Machine by Michael Blanding Dare To Take Charge by Glenda Hatchett Disconnect by Devra Davis Don’t Vote, It Just Encourages The Bastards by P.J. O’Rourke Grace Of Silence by Michele Norris Healing The Addicted Brain by Harold Urschel Home Within Us by Bobby McAlpine Love, Lust And Faking It by Jenny McCarthy Making Our Democracy Work by Stephen Breyer Man’s Way Through Twelve Steps by Dan Griffin Memoir by Patti LuPone Red State Uprising by Erick Erickson Passages In Caregiving by Gail Sheehy Promise Me by Nancy Brinker Son Of Hamas by Mosab Yousef Ten Commandments by David Hazony Washington by Ron Chernow Wave by Susan Casey What In The World Is Going On by David Jeremiah White House Diary by Jimmy Carter With Love And Laughter, John Ritter by Amy Yasbeck r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

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Grandparenting

Talking About

Body Image With Your Granddaughters By Paula Silverman

“My grandchildren are absolutely perfect,” says Marie DeGuara, the grandmother of two young adults. “There’s nothing wrong with them.” It’s not unusual, of course, for grandparents to believe their grandchildren are perfect. Most wouldn’t change a hair on their grandkids’ heads, which is why it can be so upsetting when a grandchild says he or she wants a nose job as a high-school graduation present, or another wishes she could get breast implants.

AN EPIDEMIC OF INSECURITY Several recent reports have found that the widespread availability of plastic surgery and the pervasive influence of reality shows focused on surgical makeovers may be having a profound effect on the self-esteem of young people, especially girls. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of cosmetic surgeries performed on people 18 and younger rose from 59,890 in 1997 to 205,119 in 2007. The most common procedure was rhinoplasty (a nose job), but there also were 9,295 liposuction procedures in the age group in 2007, and 7,882 breast augmentations; the latter procedure was being performed on teens six times more often than in 1997.

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A recent survey of more than 1,000 girls in the United States, ages 8 to 17, sponsored by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which has a partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, found 70 percent of the girls felt their appearance did not “measure up”; only 10 percent said they believed they were “pretty enough.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM Experts say it can be easier for grandparents, who are not caught up in the daily stresses of teens’ lives, and whose opinions teens may respect more than those of other adults, to step in and bolster their grandchildren’s self-esteem and even talk them out of plans for plastic surgery. Encouraging, well-timed words from a grandparent can give a grandchild more confidence than plastic surgery ever could. Here are some tips to help navigate the rocky terrain of body image with your teenage grandchildren:

Know what’s happening. To be an effective influence, you must be informed about your grandchildren’s lives, the challenges they face, and the influences

on them. Don’t assume that things are the same as when your kids were teens, in the 1970s and 1980s, there were no TV shows like MTV’s “I Want a Famous Face,” which follows 12 young people seeking plastic surgery to look more like their celebrity idols. There are many reasons why teens feel the need to change their appearance, but it often boils down to low selfesteem and poor body image. For that reason, the most effective steps grandparents can take are simply devoting more time and positive attention to their grandchildren. “You can develop a trusting relationship by quietly observing their likes and dislikes and noting their favorite TV shows, celebrities, and music, without critiquing,” advises psychologist Erik Fisher, author of “The Art of Empowered Parenting: The Manual You Wish Your Kids Came With” (Ovation, 2007). “Then ask your grandchildren, ‘What attracts you to those people? Do you like the way they dress? The way they look?’ Ask your grandkids how they feel about the way that they look. If they shy away, don’t push. They may come to you later when they feel more comfortable. Let The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


them know that you realize that growing up in today’s world can be tough, and you want to be someone they can talk to.”

Slow them down. If grandchildren confide in you that they are considering radical cosmetic procedures, discuss with them how this is not a decision that they should make impulsively. By encouraging them to sit down and think it through, you can play a major role in helping them make informed choices. “Hormonally, teens are all over the map, their brain development is not at a place where they can evaluate themselves and do a good job of predicting outcomes of choices,” says Annie Fox, an online advisor for teens and the author of “Middle School Confidential: Be Confident in Who You Are” (Free Spirit, 2008). “Therefore, they’re more likely to make choices they’ll later regret, from their need for peer approval. Grandparents can be a wonderful antidote to the stresses of peer group, school, and home, as they are less likely to have ‘carved-in-stone’ expectations of the child. Grandparents also have fewer short-term expectations than parents, so it’s easier for the child to just ‘be’ with a grandparent.” Be an oasis of acceptance. “Your response to a teen is vital,” says Alice Aspen March, author of “Attention: It’s the Problem, It’s the Solution.” March, who helped her own granddaughter as she struggled with weight fluctuations, says, “If people think that they’re not loved because of how they look, it’s a serious problem. My granddaughter was very thin. Then she put on considerable weight and didn’t know what to do. She’d discuss her insecurities with me, saying ‘I’m so fat,’ and I’d respond very low key. I’d ask, ‘What would you like to hear from me? How can I help?’ The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

“I know I helped,” March says, “because she kept coming back. She needed to be in my space, because she felt she was accepted. A grandmother can talk about her own body, and what she went through as a teen, so she connects with her grandchild on the inside. My own grandmother played a huge role in helping me feel good about myself, by giving unconditional love.” WHEN THEY STILL WANT SURGERY But how do you respond when a healthy, normal-size grandchild insists that she needs liposuction because she thinks she’s too fat? “It’s important to realize that you can’t argue with an adolescent’s reality,” says Dr. David Elkind, author of “The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon” (Da Capo, 2001). “Present your position in a nonconfrontational way; You may be right, but that’s not the way I see it; What makes you think that?; Tell me more about your thoughts on the issue. Help them think through their reality and in the process, help them gain a more objective perspective.”

When a tween feels insecure about looks, athletic ability or school performance, says Fox, you don’t need to talk about it directly. Simply work to create an ongoing, positive relationship in which your grandchildren can feel good about themselves. “Catch a child in the act of doing something right,” Fox advises. “Offer realistic and specific feedback like, ‘I really liked how you helped your sister do her homework.’ Don’t just say, ‘You’re a great kid.’ Young adults become self-confident when they’re given a task and responsibility. Show appreciation. Give them the opportunity to try something and do it well and be acknowledged for it.”

MORE WAYS TO HELP GRANDDAUGHTERS Other ways you can help a granddaughter build self-confidence include sharing books with her like “Our Bodies, Ourselves” (Touchstone, 2005); encouraging her to exercise and eat a healthy diet, which should make her feel better about herself from head to toe; and shopping with her for a new outfit or taking her on a salon trip for a new hairstyle _ making relatively minor improvements and adjustments to one’s appearance can have a great impact on self-esteem. B If you have comments send them to jim@riverregionboom.com Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Find more expert advice on teens and body image from these sources:

Center for Young Women’s Health www.youngwomenshealth.org

The InSite

www.theinsite.org

Girls Inc.

www.girlsinc-online.org

Uniquely Me

www.girlscouts.org/program/program_opportunities/leadership/uniquelyme.asp

Breast Implants

www.breastimplantinfo.org/teenimplants.html

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JANUARY 2011

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

BIRMINGHAM

Los Angeles Philharmonic w/ Gustavo Dudamel Live in HD Sunday, January 9, 5 pm

To make world-class orchestral performances accessible to all, the Los Angeles Philharmonic is embarking on an innovative program called LA Phil LIVE. They will simulcast live in high-definition three programs led by the dynamic conductor Gustavo Dudamel from iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to movie theaters nationwide. Regal Cinemas Trussville 16. 5895 Trussville Crossings Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35235, 205-655-2875. $18$22; $20 seniors; $16-$18 students. Laphil. com/laphillive

MONTGOMERY

Waiting to See Superman Capri Theatre January 7 - 13 Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education “statistics” have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying “drop-out factories” and “academic sinkholes,” methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. Fri & Sat: 7 & 9,Sun - Thurs: 7:30 only. Capri information 334.262.4858. www.waitingforsuperman.com

MONTGOMERY Photo Classes January 11, 13, 18

Learn how to use that camera you got for Christmas! Three classes held in January by Capital Filmworks’ Trey Ward. Classes are from 6-9 pm and cost $40. Call for more details and registration, 334.269-3456 or treyw@totalimage.com

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MONTGOMERY Bear Country at ASF January 13-23

Bear Country, the highest attended and biggest selling play in the 25 year history of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Octagon stage will return to ASF for a limited engagement January 13-23. This Silver Anniversary encore production will take place on a reconceived set in ASF’s 750-seat Festival Theatre. Tickets start at $30 and are available at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival box office, on line at www.asf.net or by phone at 1.800.841.4273. ASF is located at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park. www. asf.net

MONTGOMERY

Our History, Heritage, and Culture: An American Story, The Art of Ted Ellis. Troy University Rosa Parks Museum January 13 - February 24 Troy University Rosa Parks Museum will present the art of Houston, TX artist Ted Ellis in the exhibit “Our History, Heritage, and Culture: The Art of Ted Ellis” from January 13, 2011 to February 24, 2011 in the museum’s exhibit hall. Ted Ellis grew up in New Orleans and is able to blend realism with impressionism in his works. The subjects that he paints are inspiring, as well as nostalgic, depicting historic events form the past and present. Ellis has strong ties to his community as well as a strong appreciation for the history of African Americans and he is able to evoke that to the viewer thorough his art. According to Ellis his art is “the history and story of my people – and it must be told. My way of telling it just happens to be visual.” For more information on this exhibit and on the programs taking place with it please contact museum curator Viola Moten at 334-241-8701.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


MONTGOMERY

Home and Garden Show @ Renaissance January 14-16 Features exhibitors displaying and selling home and garden related products. Includes landscape and garden displays, learn about new subdivisions, builders, finance options, interior design and decorating exhibits and tips, how-to seminars and celebrity guest appearances. Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Convention Center, 201 Tallapoosa Street. Admission Free. Fri. 2pm-9pm, Sat. 10am-9pm, Sun. 11am-5pm. For more information call 877.663.6186

SEASIDE

30A Songwriters Festival January 14-16 Scenic Highway 30A will again be transformed into a music highway this coming Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend (January 14-16, 2011) when an internationally prominent line up of singer-songwriters converge in Northwest Florida’s Beaches of South Walton for the second annual 30A Songwriters Festival. Scenic Highway 30A will again be transformed into a music highway this coming Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend (January 14-16, 2011) when an internationally prominent line up of singer-songwriters converge in Northwest Florida’s Beaches of South Walton for the second annual 30A Songwriters Festival. Weekend passes may be purchased online at 30ASongwritersFestival.com for $75, and $35 day passes will also be available. (850) 622-5970

MONTGOMERY/AMERICA Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 17

Martin Luther King Jr. and his family lived here in Montgomery from 1954 to 1960 while he served as pastor of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. During the Bus Boycott, Martin Luther King Jr. became a leader in the community and was elected as president to a newly formed group, the Montgomery Improvement Association. In 1956, terrorist who tried to intimidate the protesters of the boycott bombed the parsonage where he and his family lived. Dr. King’s involvement with the boycott gave him the credibility he needed to become a national leader for the Civil Rights Movement. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

MONTGOMERY

Color and Light Photographs by Carl Burton Montgomery Museum of Fine Art January 22 – March 13 During a thirty-year career as a professional photographer, Carl Burton has documented the distinctive landscapes of Europe and the United States with particular focus on New York City. His images record both splendid vistas as well as beguiling details. Because he works with a panoramic camera and large, horizontal prints, the viewer is enveloped by the environments that Burton records. The artist writes, “As I work, I’m dazzled by the beauty I see, by the intensity and quality of light, by color, and by the world’s evanescence. Indeed, as I look over my work, I realize that I’m trying to stop time and capture a small part of the world before it disappears or is completely transformed. Most of the New York images, for example, now serve as records of places that no longer exist. My images document the subtle—and not-so-subtle—ways that people make their mark on the natural world.” For information, mmfa.org or 334.240.4333

MONTGOMERY

ASF Armchair Auction Saturday, January 29, 2-6 pm On Saturday, January 29, 2011, shoppers across Alabama can sit back, relax and tune in for unbelievable deals on a variety of exceptional items. The Auction will be broadcast live from 2 – 6 PM on Cumulus station AM 950 WNZZ and streamed live online at WSFA.com. From 5-6 PM the auction will be simulcast on WSFA TV 12. All proceeds benefit the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. The auction is sponsored by WSFA TV 12, AT&T, Cumulus Broadcasting Montgomery, The Montgomery Advertiser and Pickwick Antiques. Bidders may also participate from the comfort of their armchairs, or join the fun in person at ASF from 2-6 PM. Radio personalities, JT and LeeAnn from Cumulus’ Mix 103, will host bidders ASF, the perfect atmosphere to shop along with fellow ASF friends and bargain hunters. For more information on ASF or the Armchair Auction call Denise Greene 334-2715380. www.asf.net

MONTGOMERY

Entrepreneurial University Montgomery Chamber of Commerce February 1, 6-8 pm Entrepreneurial University (EU) will help you build a solid foundation as you start your own small business or grow an existing one. You will spend 13 weeks (12-week course, plus a graduation ceremony) with certified instructors in NxLevel, a nationally-recognized curriculum developed by the University of Colorado. Classes include Planning & Research, Organizational Matters - Legal Structure, Organizational Matters - Management, Marketing Behind the Scenes, Marketing On Stage, Financial Overview, Financial Planning & Budgets, Using & Managing Financial Statements, Managing Your Cash Flow, Financing Your Business, Negotiating & the Deal Making Process, and Your Business Future. 600 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104. Fees: $200 per person (13 week course) Contact: Heidi Ellis 334-240-6863 hellis@montgomerychamber.com. Registration Deadline is January 18

MONTGOMERY

Willie Nelson Concert Wednesday, February 9, 7:30 pm Tickets: $73, $53, $43, $35 Willie Hugh Nelson is an American Country singer-songwriter, author, poet, actor and activist. He reached his greatest fame during the outlaw country movement of the 1970s, and remains iconic, especially in American popular culture. Now in his 70s, Willie Nelson continues to tour and has performed in concerts and fundraisers with other major musicians, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Dave Matthews. He also continues to record albums prolifically in new genres that embrace reggae, blues, jazz, folk, and popular music. MPAC Box Office 334-481-5100, www.ticketmaster.com, www.mpaconline.org

Please submit any events/pictures to jim@riverregionboom.com

The Boomer Market is to Big to Ignore...How will you Seize the Opportunity?

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Grumpy Aging Boomer by Alisa Singer

Resolve for 2011: If I Have Nothing Nice to Say... The other morning I made a ruckus trying to get my chronically late teenager up in time for school. She pleaded for “just another ten minutes” but I yelled, screamed and threatened waterboarding until I got her up and into the bathroom. But when she hadn’t surfaced a half hour later I peeked in to find her curled up on the floor of the shower, sleeping, or pretending to sleep. She was going to get those extra ten minutes one way or another. My daughter was treating me to a taste of passive aggressive behavior; better said, she was treating herself, because passive aggression is not only one of the most underrated tools in our arsenal, it’s also one of the most satisfying. (More about that later.) For those of you who are not regular users, passive aggression can best be described as a statement or act that appears on the surface to be innocent or even sweet, but is actually motivated by hostility, containing a hidden barb of some sort - a sugar-coated pill with a really bad aftertaste. This compliment, for example, from a slim woman to a heavy one: “How brave of you to wear leggings!” It’s the kind of behavior that characterizes the so-called “mean girls”.

So, mean girls, mean women, how did we get to be that way? After all, evolutionary psychologists tell us we’re programmed to be pleasers. When the cavemen went off to hunt, the women stayed behind to care for the kids, bonding together in the face of danger and finding safety in numbers. They had little choice – a woman fleeing from a saber-tooth tiger with an infant hanging from her breast and a toddler in tow was not likely to achieve a personal best for the 400 meter run. Exclusion from the protection of the clan posed an existential threat – you could starve or be eaten by predators - so the cave women learned to get along, spritzing each other with oxytocin and becoming BFFs. And they learned to express anger in safe, subtle ways. Since the outright expression of hostility was

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dangerous, passive aggression was born to fill the gap between mute compliance and rebellion.

My family recently presented me with yet another excellent example of passive aggression. (Apparently we are very good at this.) My mother had just learned that she had been excuded from the birthday party of Joan, a member of her social circle. Truth be told, she was not overly fond of Joan and, in fact, rather disliked her. Nonetheless, she felt snubbed. I was with my mom when she first heard about this and as she mulled over the situation. After a while she announced: “I think I”ll get her a nice present.” On the surface this would appear to be a generous impulse. However, knowing my mother, this was not a selfless gesture but the stroke of a master manipulator. She could have opted for direct, honest confrontation, but that would have been potentially disruptive to the balance of relationships. Equally important, it would have all been over too soon.

Woody Allen once described a debate he and his wife had about whether to use their savings to take a nice vacation or to get a divorce. They opted for the divorce, reasoning that a vacation is over in a week, but a divorce is something you’ll always have. Open aggression is like a nice vacation – momentarily satisfying but then, you know, it’s over and you’re left with a hefty bill. But the pleasures of passive aggression go on and on. To illustrate, the scenario between my mother and Joan might play out like this: My mother would pretend not to know about the party and send a thoughtful gift. First, she would enjoy imagining Joan’s discomfort upon receiving the present. Then, Joan would call and thank her, feeling obliged to extend an invite to the party, thereby allowing my mom the further joy of turning her down with all the sweet insincerity she could muster.

Or the plot might thicken. Joan could send a thank you note but fail to proffer the expected invitation. Then my mother would have to wonder - was Joan “on to her” and retaliating in kind, or was she the rare woman that was simply immune to guilt and other devious tactics? Either way, the game promised to be highly entertaining. But here we are in the 21st century and it’s fair to ask the question: Why are we still afraid to openly express our negative feelings? The saber-tooth tigers are long gone. A third of the country is obese so there appears to be plenty of food. And the men, well not the hunters they used to be, are they. So maybe we should resolve for 2011 and beyond: “If we have nothing nice to say, … we’ll just come right out and say it! “

But this, like all New Year’s resolutions, is destined to fail because straightforward and honest aggression is just not as much fun as the insidious kind, the kind that has delighted and amused women since long before the Pleistocene era. And who are we to tamper with such a time-honored tradition? So for 2011 lets resolve, instead, to do exactly what we intend to do anyway: “If we have nothing nice to say, we’ll just say something that sounds really nice.“ And by the way, what an adorable dress you’ve got on! I admired it so much last week when my sister’s housekeeper wore it. G.A.B.

Alisa Singer’s humorous essays have appeared in a variety of print and online newspapers and magazines across the country. You can learn more about her work by visiting her website: www.AlisaSinger.com or contacting her at ASingerAuthor@gmail.com.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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BOOM! January 2011  
BOOM! January 2011  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine