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Find & Claim Your Family’s Unclaimed Money


Food Review: Rheinblick German Restaurant in Canandaigua


PLUS Issue 47 September / October 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Great Loopers 6,000-mile waterway trip challenges even the most grizzled of travelers

Don Alhart TV personality talks about his new Guinness World Records award


Dr. Nancy ‘Nana’ Bennett: A major force putting public health initiatives into action in Rochester region

You’ve Made It: Welcome to Age 66! Big question now: Should you apply for full retirement with the Social Security ot wait? See ‘Financial Health’ column inside

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September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS



Find & Claim Your Family’s Unclaimed Money


Food Review: Rheinblick German Restaurant in Canandaigua



Sept/Oct 2017

PLUS Issue 47 September / October 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Great Loopers 6,000-mile waterway trip challenges even the most grizzled of travelers

Don Alhart


Pittsford resident making a difference in the lives of refugees


Dr. Nancy ‘Nana’ Bennett: A major force putting public health initiatives into action in Rochester region

You’ve Made It: Welcome to Age 66! Big question now: Should you apply for full retirement with the Social Security ot wait? See ‘Financial Health’ column inside

12 Savvy Senior 6 Financial Health 8 Dining Out 10 My Turn 40 Addyman’s Corner 44 Visits 46 Long-term Care 48


Jean Loomis, of Rush was awarded the Leading Age Employee of Distinction honor in August for her work at St. John’s Meadows 4

55 PLUS - September|October 2017





• Find out what motivates those who become “Great Loopers”

• Bucket list: Don’t wait too long to turn your dream projects into reality









• Stu Cliburn oversees Red Wing pitchers

• TV anchor Don Alhart makes the Guinness World Records Last Page Q&A

• Canandaigua woman has worked abroad building homes, serving in orphanages, daycares

• Ballroom dance anyone? It’s great for health, relationship building

• Nancy ‘Nana’ Bennett: Making a difference in public health

• Thinking about retiring? Then it’s time to start a business

• What to do when you lose your job of 23 years? Find out what a local woman did

•Do you need a family trust? We’ve asked some local experts

Ask questions. Get answers. MVP is your trusted Medicare resource.

Turning 65? Retiring? Leaving employer group or individual health plan coverage? MVP Health Care® has experts to guide you through your Medicare choices. • Schedule a free personal consultation • Sign up to attend a no obligation information meeting • Get answers to your Medicare questions • Request a free MVP health plan information kit

Call 1-800-324-3899 Monday–Friday 8 am–8 pm Eastern Time TTY: 1-800-662-1220 Visit MVP Health Plan, Inc. is an HMO-POS/PPO/MSA organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in MVP Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. Y0051_3345 Accepted (03/2017) September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS


savvy senior By Jim Miller


Find and Claim Your Family’s Unclaimed Money

orgotten or lost money is actually quite common in the United States. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, there is around $42 billion in unclaimed funds sitting in state treasuries and other agencies just waiting to be found. These unclaimed funds are from accounts that are inactive or whose owners, or their heirs, cannot be located. Unclaimed funds can include lost or forgotten saving or checking accounts, stocks, utility security deposits, tax refunds, life insurance proceeds, uncashed dividend checks, contents of safedeposit boxes and more. This typically happens because of a change of address (the owner moved), a name change (the owner got married or divorced), or the owner dies and the estate was unaware of the money. By law, companies and financial institutions that can’t find the owner or their next of kin within two to five years must turn the property over to the state where it’s held indefinitely.  Where to Search — It’s very possible that your father, or you, have some unclaimed money out there and you don’t even know it. To start your quest go to, which has links to all state programs that will let you to do a state benefits search online for free. Or, you can do a multistate search in 40 states at Check every state in which your father or you have lived, worked or conducted business.  Also, if you’re married, make sure to check under your maiden name as well. Using a first initial and your last name is also encouraged to make sure everything comes up.

Look Here Too

In addition to state treasuries, 6

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here are some other agencies that can help you find unclaimed money. IRS — Each year thousands of refund checks totaling millions of dollars are returned to the IRS by the post office. To look for lost federal tax refund checks go to, or call 800-829-1954.  U.S. Treasury — To find out if there are any savings bonds your dad didn’t claim dating back to 1974, go to For older bonds or those still drawing interest use form 1048, which you can download at pdf, or call 844-284-2676 to request a form by mail. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation — If your dad worked for a company that went out of business or ended its defined benefit pension plan, you may be entitled to some of his benefits. To look for lost pensions, use the pension-search tool at search/unclaimed-pensions, or you can call 800-400-7242 and get help over the phone. National Association of Insurance Commissioners — To track down a lost or forgotten life insurance policy, the NAIC, an insurance regulatory support organization, offers a national policy locator service at Locator. PenChecks Inc. and Millennium Trust Co. — To search for lost or forgotten retirement benefits or 401(k) funds left behind with an old employer, go to  UnclaimedRetirementBenefits. com and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — To search for unclaimed bank accounts at firms that were shut down between January 1, 1989 and June 28, 1993 go to funds. State treasuries hold assets from shutdowns after 1993.  Social Security —  To find lost Social Security benefits, including the $255 death benefit, call 800-772-1213.

55PLUS Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo

Writers & Contributing Writers Deborah J. Sergeant Ernst Lamothe Jr., Jacob Pucci Donna Cordello, Melody Burri Arn Albertini, Todd Etshman Mike Costanzza, Christine Green


Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Jim Miller, Bruce Frassinelli John Addyman, Sandra Scott


Anne Westcott, Denise Ruf H. Mat Adams

Office Assistant Kimberley Tyler

Layout and Design Dylon Clew-Thomas

Cover Photo

Chuck Wainwright 55 PLUS –A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area is published six times a year by Local News, Inc., which also publishes In Good Health–Rochester—Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper.

Health in good

Rochester–Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Mailing Address PO Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 © 2017 by 55 PLUS – A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area. No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. Third class postage paid at Syracuse, NY. Permit Number: 3071

How to Reach Us P.O. Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 Voice: 585-421-8109 Fax: 585-421-8129

Social Security


Q : I am nearing my full retirement age, but I plan to keep working after I apply for Social Security benefits. Will my benefits be reduced because of my income? A: No. If you start receiving benefits after you’ve reached your full retirement age, you can work while you receive Social Security and your current benefit will not be reduced because of the earned income. If you keep working, it could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefit amounts your survivors could receive. If you begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, your earnings could reduce your monthly benefit amount. After you reach full retirement age, we recalculate your benefit amount to leave out the months when we reduced or withheld benefits due to your excess earnings. Learn more about Social Security reading by reading “How Work Affects Your Benefits” at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs/10069.html. Q: I have two minor children at home and I plan to retire this fall. Will my children be eligible for monthly benefits after I retire? A: Monthly Social Security payments may be made to your children if: They are unmarried and under age 18; Age 18 or 19 and still in high school; or Age 18 or older, became disabled before age 22, and continue to be disabled. Children who may qualify include a biological child, adopted child or dependent stepchild. (In some cases, your grandchild also could be eligible for benefits on your record if you are supporting them.) For more information, see our online publication, Benefits For Children, at

Primary care

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Jewish Senior Life’s Physician House Calls program brings a team of skilled, compassionate healthcare professionals and a wide range of services— directly to your home. Our doctor provides one-on-one primary care, medical assessments, and coordination of care with other home health services. The Physician House Calls team will work with you to develop a comprehensive care plan that will give you and your family peace of mind. This program is available to individuals 65 years and older.

Call (585) 244-5993 or visit An affiliate of Jewish Senior Life 2021 Winton Road S., Rochester, NY 14618



financial health By Jim Terwilliger

Happy Birthday! Welcome to Age 66


here are many age-related milestones. This is one of them. Other than wishing for the good old days when your physical and mental capabilities were a bit sharper, age 66 does bring some benefits when it comes to Social Security retirement benefits. Age 66 represents full retirement age (FRA) for those born in the 1943to-1954 timeframe. For others born later, FRA ranges from age 66 and 2 months up to age 67. So, what is magic about FRA? First, don’t confuse FRA with actual retirement. One can retire from full or part-time work years prior to reaching FRA — or years following FRA. Full retirement age is simply a name used by


55 PLUS - September|October 2017

the Social Security Administration to indicate the age at which full retirement benefits are payable. These benefits are determined via a formula based on your highest 35 years of earned income adjusted by inflation. The FRA benefit is called the primary insurance amount — or PIA. Using age 66 as FRA for today’s baby boomers, if one starts to receive benefits at age 62, say, the benefit would be about 75 percent of PIA. If one delays benefits beyond age 66, the benefit increases by 8 percent of PIA for each year of delay up to age 70, making the age 70 benefit equal to 1.32 times PIA. For FRA greater than age 66, the numbers are a bit different but the idea is the same. Second, three options are instantly available at FRA that were not options at a younger age. Earnings test disappears — If

benefits start earlier than FRA, earned income exceeding an inflation-adjusted threshold ($16,920 in 2017) results in having a portion of benefits withheld. Earned income is defined as W-2 or self-employment income. For ages 62 to 65, the reduction is $1 for every $2 of earned income in excess of the threshold. In the year that FRA is reached, the reduction decreases to $1 for every $3 of earned income exceeding a higher threshold — $44,880 in 2017. Starting the month FRA is reached, the earnings test disappears and earned income is no longer subject to a benefit-reduction limit. Note that if you are subject to the earnings test, the retirement benefit is recalculated at FRA to account for the withheld benefits, resulting in an increased PIA. The increase is modest, however, taking until about age 80 to make up the difference. Ability to temporarily suspend benefits — Although the rules changed a few years ago to no longer allow an unlimited “Do-Over” option (ability to stop and pay back benefits at any time to completely restart the benefits “clock”), there still remains flexibility to adjust for earlier claiming decisions that are later judged to be unwise. F o r t u n a t e l y, Cong ress

preserved the ability to suspend benefits at or after FRA, following the earlier commencement of benefits. During a suspension, deferred benefits grow at a rate equal to 8 percent of the FRA benefit (PIA). An extreme example is when an individual begins reduced benefits at age 62, taking a 25 percent “haircut” compared to the age 66 benefit. If that person suspends benefits for four years starting at age 66, the new enhanced benefit at age 70 would about be equal to the original age 66 benefit. This is a great way to partly correct for an earlier claiming decision that is later regretted. A limited “Do-Over” option, any time between ages 62 and 70, is still allowed, but it is only available for up to 12 months following commencement of benefits. One’s future benefits will then grow as if he/she had never previously filed. Ability to Restrict Benefits to Spousal Only — This option is now reserved for a very limited group of people, those born on or before Jan. 1, 1954. These folks who are now grandfathered are allowed to file for spousal benefits only at or after age 66 — provided the other spouse is receiving benefits. Restricting benefits to spousal only is a great way to sequence spousal-followed-by-own benefits and take advantage of enhancing one’s own benefit by an additional 32 percent starting at age 70. Recall from past columns that the restricted application strategy also works for divorced individuals as long as certain conditions are met, including the requirement that a former marriage must have lasted at least 10 years. And if the divorce occurred at least two years prior, the requirement that the ex-spouse be receiving benefits is waived. As we always warn, choosing an optimal Social Security claiming strategy is a complex exercise that should be carried out in partnership with a trusted financial adviser who knows all the rules. James Terwilliger, CFP®, is senior vice president, financial planning officer, Wealth Strategies Group, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at 585-419-0670 ext. 50630 or by email at





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DiningOut By Jacob Pucci



A bottle of Schneider Aventinus Eisbock and a glass of Berliner Weiss beer with a shot of raspberry syrup, the special of the house.

Rheinblick German Restaurant

From the locally sourced sausages and crispy fried schnitzels to the homemade desserts and great red cabbage, Canandaigua eatery serves delicious German food


t’s too easy to call Canandaigua’s Rheinblick German Restaurant a step back in time. Yes, the Tudor-style dining room and dark wood tables, cut and scraped by years of use and enthusiastic slamming of stone beer steins are not cutting-edge style. The nutcrackers and decorative beer steins that line the wall tread the line between authentic and delightfully kitschy. Yes, true German restaurants that serve the likes of sauerbraten, kartoffelpuffer and, on weekends, sauteed calf’s liver with onions and bacon are something of a dying breed in cities 10

55 PLUS - September|October 2017

across Upstate New York. In Syracuse alone, Danzer’s closed in 2015 (though is expected to reopen soon), Weber’s closed in 2009, Gruen’s closed in 1994 and Mirbach’s closed in 1981 after being fixtures in the city for decades. But Rheinblick doesn’t rely on nostalgia. Its food — from the locally sourced sausages and crispy fried schnitzels to the homemade desserts and the best red cabbage I’ve ever eaten — speaks for itself. Dinner started, as so many good things often do, with a platter of meat. The Deutsche Wurstplatte (Ger-

man sausage plate. $9.99) includes brie and butterkase cheeses and four types of cured meats, highlighted by Black Forest ham. This ham bears more resemblance to an Italian speck or prosciutto than it does to the large lobes of ham found behind the usual supermarket deli counter that somehow shares a name with this delightfully smoky and salty treat. Green salads come with every entrée and while it’s easy to phone it in with the usual iceberg lettuce, a few cherry tomatoes and a single slice of cucumber offering, knowing that diners can’t complain too much about

a “free” salad, Rheinblick doesn’t ignore this start to the meal. The chopped romaine mix is topped with shredded carrot, radish, red cabbage, sunflower seeds and a creamy homemade dressing that looks very sweet, but actually has quite a bit of tang. The menu has about two dozen entrée choices, including 11 types of schnitzel. Like listening to a new band’s greatest hits album, we wanted a crash course on the best Rheinblick had to offer, so we went for the Oma’s Teller (plate) for Two ($44.75), a large sampler platter with sauerbraten (German braised beef pot roast), schweinebraten (Bavarian pork roast), bratwurst, bauernwurst (a smoked pork and beef sausage), kartoffelpuffer (German potato pancakes), red cabbage and spätzle (German egg noodles). Recipes for sauerbraten always seem to be passed down from German grandmothers and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the source of the recipe they use here — a time-tested take on the classic dish that results in tender, but not fall-apart mushy beef and a rich sauce cut by the dish’s characteristic vinegary bite. Pork roast always sounds good in theory, but the final product is often a too-bland, too-dry roast that no amount of gravy can rescue. That’s not the case here, where the pork is tender and just-so-slightly shreds when cut with a knife. It’s a fair bit leaner than the beef, which makes this dish’s delicious execution that much more impressive. The pair of sausages are sourced from Artisan Meats (formerly known as Hartmann’s Old World Sausage), also in Canandaigua. Both were deeply grilled until the casings just began to rip and placed on top of the platter like the cherry on top of a banana split. Both were great, but the white bratwurst, seasoned with garlic, nutmeg and other spices, was the standout of the two. The beautifully irregular spätzle soak up some of the gravy from the pork and beef, adding another element beyond the butter they’re tossed with. Toothsome and satisfying in the way that homemade pasta always is, it’s one of the better renditions of the dish I’ve tasted. The kartoffelpuffer pancakes were well-seasoned and fried to perfection — the inside remained creamy,

Deutsche Wurstplatte: Leona, liverwurst and Black Forest ham with butterkase and brie cheeses, with sweet gherkins and olives. while the exterior was golden brown and crunchy, providing a welcome textural and temperature contrast to the chunky applesauce served alongside. Fried potato pancakes can sometimes be too greasy and while these are far from a diet food, they did not feel too heavy. How do you know Rheinblick is a proper German restaurant? Even the vegetables are cooked with meat. The red cabbage is stewed with pieces of meat (beef, I believe). Those chunks of meat, stained deep red by the cabbage, are ethereally tender, yet pack an even bigger acid punch than the sauerbraten. The cabbage is sweet, sour, warm and pairs brilliantly with the other components of the plate. After dinner, our dirndl-donning waitress came to our table with a platter of plastic models of the restaurant’s homemade desserts. A little corny? Sure, but very effective. With little room left after our meat-laden feast, we opted to split a slice of sachertorte ($7.75), a classic Viennese chocolate sponge cake with a layer of apricot jam in between the two layers and a thick coating of chocolate icing on top. Apricot and chocolate is an unlikely pairing, but the fruitiness of the jam helped keep the richness of the chocolate in check and kept the whole dessert light, which after consuming a dinner of eight different meats, was just what the doctor ordered.

Oma’s Teller: The German sampler platter includes sauerbraten, schweinebraten, bratwurst, bauernwurst, red cabbage, spatzle and a side of kartoffelpuffer with chunky apple sauce. 

Rheinblick German Restaurant Address: 224 S Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14424. Hours: Monday, Wednesday-Saturday: Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays. Phone: 585-905-0950 Website: September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS




The Cat’s Meow, docked during its 7,000-mile trip around the inner waterways of eastern North America.

Great Loopers 6,000-mile waterway trip challenges even the most grizzled of travelers By Arn Albertini


t was a quiet, calm night on the Gulf of Mexico and Jay Rodman and Rob Hall were 20 hours into a 24-hour trip to cross the gulf. Suddenly, the weather turned. The wind started blowing in one direction, the current started flowing in another direction and the waves came at them from a third direction. “We couldn’t go forward,” said Rodman, 69, remembering the trip recently. “The wind, waves and tide had us in irons.” They kept the boat at full throttle, but the boat wasn’t moving forward, it was standing still, he said. They steered the boat so it was facing into waves and let the wind and waves move them, a technique called crabbing, to shallower water where they could anchor, Rodman said. “Everything [inside cabin] had broken,” he sad. “The beer bottles in the fridge exploded, the pantry came open and food was all over. Lamps broke in the living room. “It was just like being in a salt shaker.” This harrowing trip across the Gulf of Mexico was just one part of a 12

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7,000-mile trip along a series of waterways on the eastern portion of North America. The trip is known as the Great Loop and includes the Atlantic and Gulf intra costal waterways, the Great Lakes, the Canadian Heritage Canals and the inland rivers of America’s heartland. Rodman and Hall did the trip twice. The first time, they were on their own and the second time Rodman’s wife, Mary Jo, joined them. The harrowing trip across the gulf was part of their first trip in 2011. “In the Gulf of Mexico, there’s no place to run because the water is extra shallow,” said Rodman. “There’s no safe harbor for miles and miles. There was no choice but to ride it out in high waves. What choice do you have? You have no choice. It’s where your experience, boating skills and the strength of your craft all come together. It’s man against the sea.” Hall, 73, added, “You just have to learn to deal with it and that’s what we did. We’re still alive to tell about it so it wasn’t that bad.” Throughout the Great Loop, it was always important to plan a route

and try to work around the weather, but it was also important to be ready for the unexpected, he said. Rodman added, “There’s a saying — the weather forecast is only as good as when you’re out in it.” The later in the year it gets, the harder it is to find a good day to cross the gulf, he said. “People can wait weeks to find a good day to cross the gulf once you get into the early winter months,” he said. The advantage of traveling across the gulf is time. It’s a 24-hour trip as opposed to the three or four days it takes to go along the Florida panhandle, said Rodman. On the second trip, they took a longer route. “Generally speaking, it’s more enjoyable,” he said. “You get to visit places most boaters don’t get to see.” Like Steinhatchee, Fla. “It’s a beautiful marina. It’s a beautiful town. But 12 miles upriver at seven miles per hour — it’s a long way to go just for a place to spend the night. There are not many places you can get into to get off the gulf,” Rodman said.

On average, the Great Loop takes about a year, but that varies greatly, said Kim Russo, director of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association. Some people do the trip in a few months and some take up to 12 years, she said. It’s a highly seasonal trip, and you want to be on the northern parts in the summer and the southern parts in the winter, Russo said. Since the association started in 1999, 1,400 boats have made the trip, she said. On average, less than 100 boats a year complete the trip, but 2016 was a record year with 127 boats completing the trip. Typically, people travel on a trawler, like the Cat’s Meow the Rodmans and Hall took, but sometimes people travel by Jet Ski or dinghy. There are four people paddling the route using both kayaks and paddleboards. About 9 percent make the trip by sailboat, but “that can be cumbersome as you need to remove the mast to clear some of the bridges,” Russo said.

Trip of a lifetime “It was marvelous every day,” said Hall. “It was just enjoyable to get up every morning and do the trip. “We never had a bad moment even when we got into rough sea. Maybe I just have a different attitude on life.” For Rodman, the Great Loop was a way to see a different side of the country. “When you’re driving on the roads and on the main highways you see all the storefronts, the movie theaters, the restaurants; you see what’s in the town.” But, when you’re on the canals and rivers of the Great Loop, you see a different side of town, he said. “You get to see the back side of America. It’s a whole different perspective. “Some of the waterways date back to George Washington.” Back then, there weren’t any good roads so the rivers and canals were the main way to get around. And that’s where industries started and in many cases towns grew out from the rivers’ banks, Rodman said. Rodman is an avid boater. In addition to sailing boats, he also enjoys restoring antique boats. He grew up in Lakeville and his family has had a

Jay Rodman, Rob Hall and Mary Jo Rodman and a family friend sit on the deck of their boat while docked at the Holland Harbor marina in Michigan. It was a stop on their 7,000-mile trip around the inner waterways of eastern North America.Rob Hall, a family friend who joined them for the entire 7,000-mile trip, stands to the left of Rodman. cottage on the water on Pebble Beach Road since the 1930s. The original cabin is gone, but a newer, two story home stands in its place with floor-toceiling windows facing the banks of the lake and a parlor filed with models of boats, maps and other nautical paraphernalia. Hall is an old friend of the Rodmans. He married a high school friend of Mary Jo Rodman’s. Hall’s wife is deceased, but Hall and the Rodmans have bought several boats together and traveled together several times. The Rodmans split their time between Lakeville and Pine Island, Fla. Hall, formerly of Lakeville, lives in Pine Island year-round. Rodman is a freelance metal broker, which means he can work from his home in Lakeville on Lake Conesus or Pine Island, Fla. or even the boat, as long as there’s cell service and internet. Both Hall and Mary Jo Rodman are retired. On the Cat’s Meow, the ship they sailed for the Great Loop, is a 1977 36All Marine imagesTrader courtesy of the artist, foot trawler single-enRoslyn Rose, and copyrighted by gine Leeland. The boat came with the the artist. name and boaters consider it unlucky

to change a boat’s name without going through several customary rituals, so they kept the name. It has a washer/dryer, hot and cold running water, water maker and a full bath and shower. “We all got along extremely well,” said Hall. “You have to be able to do that. You can’t have arguments among crew. “I guess it was my idea,” he said of how they decided to take the Great Loop trip. “As Mary Jo would say, it was on my bucket list. I’d read about it and I’d always wanted to live on a boat.” Rodman added, “This just felt like it would be a fun challenge. And it was.” Each type of waterway requires a different type of navigation, he said. In 2009, Hall and Rodman left from Pine Island, Fla. and headed east across Florida to the intra costal waterway all the way up to Norfolk, Va., where the waterway ends. Next, they motored through a series of lakes and rivers and canals to make it the rest of the way up the coast. The waterways along the coast September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS


of New Jersey were some of the most challenging to navigate, said Rodman. “A lot of boats wait until the ocean is calm and go out to sea rather than fight their way through the inner water ways of New Jersey,” he noted. “We went up the ditch from Cape May.” The inner waterways in New Jersey are referred to as the ditch, he said. This is partly because the waterway is poorly maintained, but also, there are several openings to the open ocean along the route, Rodman said. “Outside (on the ocean side) it’s just barrier islands. When the weather comes up, it can push sand in through the inlet, changing the course and depth of the water (in the waterway).” So, navigating the water means navigating an ever-changing waterway; you’re never quite sure where the shallow parts might have moved to, he said. But, if you decide to try the ocean, you’re in trouble if the weather turns bad as it’s 60 to 70 miles between harbors, Rodman said. “You’re stuck. There’s no place to drop anchor and it’s too far to get to a harbor. You have to ride it out,” he said. But, once you get through the New Jersey waterway and pass through the New York Harbor, you get to the Hudson River. “It’s very quiet, almost challenge-free,” said Rodman. “It’s like a honeymoon.” Hall and Rodman spent about three and a half months making the trip from Florida, up the coast, to New York Harbor, up the Hudson River to the Erie Canal and to Midlakes Marina in Macedon. Two years later, in 2011, Hall and Rodman finished up the second half, traveling north across Lake Ontario, through the Trent Severn Canal into Georgian Bay, across Lake Huron, on to Lake Michigan and down to Chicago. The Trent Severn Canal, which connects Lake Ontario with Lake Huron’s 47-lock canal, has a lock that lifts boats 65 feet into the air — high enough to get to the next section of the canal. At another spot, boats get put on slings in a cart that runs on tracks over a hill to get to the next section of canal. From Chicago, they went down 14

55 PLUS - September|October 2017

Jay Rodman, of Lakeville, at the helm of Cat's Meow. He, his wife and their friend Rob Hall took a 7,000-mile trip around the inner waterways of eastern North America. the Illinois River to the Mississippi River and then on to the Ohio and Cumberland rivers, through Lake Barkly and then into the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, which took them down to Mobile, Ala. where they emptied into the Gulf of Mexico.

Dodging debris Mary Jo. Rodman joined Hall and Rodman’s for the second Great Loop, which they started from Florida in April 2015 and finished last fall. They basically retraced the same route as the first trip, which meant they knew where the good marinas and anchorages were, how to maneuver through locks on the canals and how to get through other tricky parts of the trip, said Jay Rodman. “You have more experience, which is invaluable. The second trip was much more relaxing and much more enjoyable. It was so much easier,” Rodman said. And having another person on board is a big help as well, he said. But, that doesn’t mean the trip was entirely smooth sailing. When they got to the Mississippi this time, the river was at flood stage and it was moving fast.

“It was terrifying,” said Rodman. “There were whole trees floating down the channel.” Sometimes they would see swirling water, like a whirlpool, in the middle of the channel. It was debris that got stuck and pulled under water by a buoy. You had to be careful because the debris could become untangled from the buoy and launch up, potentially shattering the hull of your boat, said Mary Jo. Rodman. In addition to the added debris, there was also commercial barge traffic to work around. “They can’t move very much so you have to,” she said. When you approach a barge, sometimes there are as many as 25 barges tied together and pulled by tugboats. You radio the captain to see what side he or she wants you to pass the boat,” she said. On the Mississippi, you travel a 200-mile stretch with no marinas and only a few good spots to anchor. “You need an anchorage where you are safe from the water and from other boats,” she said. At the head of the Mississippi, there’s one marina and just a series of barges tied together where boaters meet daily to hear about what conditions to expect and about good anchorages. “Some days you may need to travel 12 to 14 hours to find a safe anchorage, and then, some days you can only go 15 or 20 miles because otherwise it’s too far to the next anchorage,” said Mary Jo. Rodman. She said one of her favorite spots was the eastern coast of Lake Michigan. “It’s a beautiful place to visit” “I don’t know why more people know about it.” She also enjoyed Mackinac Island, and island off the coast of Michigan on Lake Huron with no cars. To get around, you need to travel by foot, bicycle or horseback. “It’s beautiful,” she said. On this second trip, they spent an unplanned three weeks in Atlantic City, N.J. They spent a few days waiting out some bad weather to the north, said Rodman. After that weather cleared up, they decided to stay a lit-

continued on page 45



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September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS



55+ coaching

Pitcher Aaron Slegers, who currently leads the league with 12 wins, practicing under Stu Cliborn’s supervision. Joe Territo/Rochester Red Wings

All About Pitching Stu Cliburn oversees Red Wing pitchers By Todd Etshman


t’s a warm August night and as the players warm up and fans start arriving at Frontier Field, Red Wings pitching coach Stewart “Stu” Cliburn is at work doing the job he’s loved for 27 years. That’s helping his players do the best they can today, get to the next level in the future and enjoy the game as much as he has since he started as a pro player in 1977. “I look back on my career and how many coaches helped me realize my dream and I want to do that for the guys we have here,” says Cliburn, 60. To do that means one size does not fit all. Like any good teacher in a classroom, some will seemingly pick it up on their own while others will require careful prodding, nurturing and encouragement. “You do have routines but you’re dealing with 13 different individuals. I try to relate to them in a professional manner. There are times you have to have a stern voice but it’s their career. We’re here to help them not hurt them. You have to stand by your players, be patient, treat them with respect and help them learn from their mistakes,” he said. Even though he doesn’t want to hurt his players, releasing or waiving them is “the worst thing” coaches like Cliburn have to do, he said. 16

55 PLUS - September|October 2017

“It’s a tough few days but it’s not the end of the world. If you’ve been around long enough as a player, you’re going to get released,” says Cliburn, who experienced it a few times in his career. It doesn’t mean you can’t play in the International League or the majors for someone else.” Not surprisingly, Cliburn says pitchers and hitters today are bigger and stronger than yesteryear. Just check the left field velocity meter at Frontier Field to see how hard IL hurlers throw. “There are more of them because of the strength and conditioning programs we have today,” Cliburn explained. Injuries are also up because of the hard throwing, but procedures such as Tommy John surgery have them rebound quickly. “At least they don’t throw as long. There are fewer complete games pitched today as flame-throwing relievers finish up,” he said. Fans might not always like it, but coaches like Cliburn must often monitor a pitcher’s pitch count. When it’s up, the pitcher’s coming out before an injury happens no matter how well he’s doing or how fast he’s throwing. The 2017 season is Cliburn’s fifth in Rochester but not consecutively. He’s been with the parent Minnesota Twins for 25 years but has served

the organization in places like Chattanooga, Tenn., New Britain, Conn., Fort Wayne, Ind. and Single-A ball in Florida. He attributes his nomadic life playing baseball as the reason for marrying late at age 38 to his wife, Cyndi, who joins him in Rochester sporadically during the season.

Twinning on the Twins He’s close with a lot of current and former Twins organization members but none more than his twin brother, Stan, who managed the Wings in 2006 to the Governor’s Cup championship series with Stu as the pitching coach. The Cliburn brothers grew up in Jackson, Miss., where their dad had an auto parts and service business. Cliburn is grateful for his life in baseball but imagines he’d have been involved in cars if it were not for the game. He’s interested in life outside of baseball but said he is grateful he hasn’t had to face it yet. A friend he met in spring training, Gene Young, offered up his home in Penfield for Cliburn to stay in during the IL season. Not that there is a lot of time to spend anywhere but a ballpark in the five-month, 142-game IL regular season. The season can also

be lengthened deep into September by securing a playoff spot. Cliburn says his home park, Frontier Field, is fair to both pitchers and hitters. “The infield’s not real fast. A lot depends on the weather. It plays both ways. The ball travels more when it heats up here, which is not a lot. When it’s cold and windy — like April — the ball stays in the park.” Cliburn’s favorite venue in the IL is Charlotte, N.C.’s downtown park. He likes Pawtucket, R.I. for fan interaction and the park’s history as well as Buffalo, another place he and Stan have in common during long baseball careers. When he does get rare time or days off, golfing at area courses — such as Eagle Vale, Blue Heron Hills, Ravenwood in Victor, and Lake Shore Country Club — is a favorite pastime along with fishing for salmon and lake trout on Lake Ontario. “The great thing about golf is you can play it at any age,” he says. “The ball’s sitting still, but it’s still so hard to hit.” For Cliburn, Dinosaur Barbecue downtown and Trata are his two favorite area restaurants when time allows; otherwise, dinner is at the park. Good old-fashioned Bud Light is a longtime American favorite of many ballplayers like Cliburn, but these days, Red Wings’ manager Mike Quade has introduced Cliburn to wine. Rochester puts him in the right place for one of the many fine Finger Lakes varieties. Instead of going home to Fort My-

Pitching coach Cliburn during a 2016 game in Buffalo. Courtesy of Joe Territo/ Rochester Red Wings ers (the Twins’ spring training home) the past few off seasons, Cliburn has broadened his coaching to include winter ball in South American countries including Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

“Winter-ball leagues kind of found me,” he says about the off-season work that is not affiliated with the Twins organization but minor league players are encouraged to participate in.

 September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS




Don Alhart Makes the Guinness World Records Longtime Rochester TV anchor talks about covering the news, his retirement plans and on being included on the Guinness World Records as the record holder for ‘longest career as a television news broadcaster’ By Mike Costanza


t 73, Don Alhart, WHAMTV’s well-known nightly news anchor and associate news director, has a lot to be proud of — not that he’d point that out. For over 51 years, Alhart has brought his easygoing, down-to-earth reporting style to stories as small as the birth of quadruplets and as big as the destruction of the World Trade Center. The Rochester native is a five-time winner of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award and a 2010 inductee into the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. Alhart also gives a great deal of time and energy to local causes and is a past president of the Rochester Rotary Club and past governor of Rotary District 7120. Married for 47 years, the father and grandfather credits his wife, Mary, for giving him the support he needed to meet his profession’s demands. The pair sold their house in Penfield, and recently moved into a brand-new townhome in Pittsford. Alhart continues to anchor WHAM’s weekday newscasts at 6 p.m. and to co-anchor them at 11 p.m.—though that could change in a year or so. Q. Guinness World Records just announced that you hold the world record for “longest career as a television news broadcaster.” As of last Dec. 2, you’d put in 50 years and 179 days for the same station, beating the previous record of 49 years and 218 days. How’s that feel?


55 PLUS - September|October 2017


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Don Alhart was on the cover of the very first edition of 55 PLUS, Winter 2009. At the time he was 65 years old and said he had no plans to retire. Now at 73 he said he might retire in about a year. A. It’s flattering to be recognized for really doing a job that I’ve loved for over a half century. The recognition is special, of course, but more important is the fact that even with the record, it kind of speaks to the fact that I still enjoy what I’m doing — I still enjoy going to work. Q. Fifty-one years in broadcast news is quite a spell. What’s the secret to keeping viewers tuned in? A. I never have read the news. I

always try to converse. If there’s been any success over the years, I think all of it has to do with just being on so long — you become comfortable with people and people become more comfortable with you. I also make it sincere and conversational — just kind of talk to people and tell them what is going on. Q. How does that work on the air? A. We did a spontaneous story — we had quadruplets born. I’m standing right by a monitor with these four little babies and one was yawning and one was crying and one was smiling. Before I started reading the intro I turned to the camera and said “I just nicknamed them, here’s Sleepy and Happy,” and then read the intro. Q. Was it hard to stay in that style on 9/11? A. On 9/11, I think it was that same thing. It was like “I share with you the terrible grief of this day. I am sharing with you the fact that I am probably talking to people who are watching who have a friend or a relative that was in 9/11. I may be talking to people whose husband is a first responder, whose wife is a first responder.” I’ve always kind of stressed that to reporters. Don’t just read a news story — think about who’s watching. Q. Has TV news changed since you began covering events? A. Modern journalists are some-

times accused of knocking on the doors of grieving families a little too often. Long before we had all the modern technology and communications, we’d be sitting in the newsroom and clearing that AP [Associated Press] paper wire ticker. It would be a simple sentence: “Staff Sergeant so and so of Rochester, New York, died in Vietnam.” I can remember Dick Burt going to our crisscross directory and finding it, and then very delicately calling the family. You’re reasonably sure that the family’s been notified if they’ve put it on the wire but you don’t know 100 percent, and you very delicately are trying to just to say “We want to honor and respect the person you’ve lost.” Q. And now? A. Now, sometimes we go looking for the controversy. I can understand it, with the competition on cable and everything else, but I think there’s this need to set yourself apart or to grab stories. It’s almost to the point now, with some of the stories I’m looking at, is this really news?

Q. What advice would you give young broadcast reporters? A. I’ve always kind of stressed to reporters to don’t just read a news story — think about who’s watching here. Go to the mall, sit in this chair and watch people. The next time you write a story remember their faces, because that’s who you’re speaking to. You can write a piece of literature that would win a Pulitzer Prize, but if the people that are walking thorough the mall or down the street don’t understand it, you’re not going to communicate to them.

job or life has dealt me a bad blow or whatever it is, I’m going to look at those two guys and say ‘If they can be happy and smile doing that, how can I ever complain?’”

Q. You have a copy of a blackand-white Democrat and Chronicle photo from 1986 in your office that shows two men wearing broad smiles and work clothes. What’s that all about? A. The caption, to my recollection, was that these two gentlemen worked for the city of Rochester, and their primary job was to pick up dead animals. I said “Look at those faces. Happy as you could be.” I said, “I’m going to keep this in my office on my desk. On those days when I’m saying I can’t stand this

Q. I understand that you write children’s stories. Anything in the works? A. I wrote a couple of them. I’ve written one about a mouse who lived at Sibley’s downtown. It lives in the toy department. It overhears everyone saying they’re going to close Sibley’s. I’ve kind of written a little story about how he deals with that, and eventually he gets over the skywalk and to Midtown and he goes on the monorail. It’s a fun little story. I’ve got to get together with somebody and illustrate it.

Q. Do you have any post-retirement plans? A. If I wasn’t working in news, I could do voice work or narration for videos. Commercials and that type of thing, too, probably with the same creativity that I’m able to express here, but finding new ways to express it on your own terms.

September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS



volunteer Dee Dee Williams of Canandaigua has worked in Ecuador, Guatemala, Morocco and other countries building homes, serving in orphanages, daycares

Hooked on Volunteerism By Melody Burri


t 58, Canandaigua resident Dee Dee Williams is living the dream — at home and in Ecuador, Argentina, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Morocco and wherever the wind takes her. But it’s not glamorous destinations that call her name. It’s the third and fourth world country orphanages, daycares and Habitat for Humanity building sites that have captured Williams’ heart. “I started volunteering very young in my life,” she said. “Working at the Newark Developmental Center


55 PLUS - September|October 2017

when I was 14 gave me my first taste of doing something good.” At a personal crossroads in 2013, Williams found herself contemplating divorce and considering how she wanted to spend the next chapter in her life. It didn’t take long for an answer, and in 2014 Williams booked a ticket to Costa Rica to spend five weeks volunteering at a government-sponsored daycare. She worked alongside people aged 18 to 70, all at different stages of their lives. Together they served five days each week in

exchange for housing, security and transportation. On the weekends Williams went exploring, because “that’s really what gives you the sense of what the world is like,” she said. “It’s the way you experience the full flavor of a destination.” She was hooked. Enough so that in October of that same year, Williams boarded a plane to Morocco for a four-week stint at a government-sponsored orphanage and daycare for toddlers and disabled children. “It’s interesting,” said Williams. “You have the highest of highs, like seeing a little boy getting adopted.” She’d met little Yousif the day before, played with him and watched as he rolled over for the first time. When she returned to care for him the next day, he was dressed up to meet his new adoptive parents, and then gone. At the other end of the spectrum is the tragedy, she said. “I watched one of the disabled children die,” she said. “You get to witness the greatest opportunities, and then care for someone at the end of their life.” Although she’s there to serve, Williams says she’s the one who receives so much. “The look on people’s faces when you offer comfort — there’s nothing like it,” she said. “When you’re building someone a home that they’ll have for the rest of their life, you know that makes an impact. They now have shelter, security for their family.” But volunteers come and go every day, she said. The people she

serves will see hundreds of volunteer faces in their lifetime. “They won’t remember me, but I will remember them,” said Williams. “That’s what brings me joy at this stage in my life. Knowing I have an opportunity to make a difference.” International volunteer trips are hard work, and “you have to go in at the top of your game,” she said. “They’re fourth world countries,” said Williams. “It’s easy to pick something up [that could compromise your health] — you’re working in remote areas.” The 57-year-old works hard to keep herself fit. Part of it’s to maintain a healthy immune system and be able to fight off illness. But there’s a pride factor in play as well. “If I’m working side by side with 20 year olds, I want be able to pull my share of the load,” she said. “I’m not going to be the last one carrying concrete blocks.” So in addition to caring for children, Williams has learned to work with rebar, pour cement, swing a hammer and paint. “The first time I worked with Habitat International it was in Guatemala,” she said. “Seven of us had to move 1,600 cement blocks by hand.” Williams has worked with organizations like Cross Cultural Solutions, Global Volunteers and Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village. “A lot of churches do missions trips to different parts of the world,” she said. “And sometimes things just pop up.” And she likes to jump in and immerse herself in her surroundings. “It’s hard to get a feel for something if it’s short-lived,” she said. “Usually go a week in advance and get a lay of the land.” On one recent trek, Williams hopped on Trip Advisor and hired a guide who picked her up at the airport ahead of her volunteer experience. “It gave me the sense of what I was getting into in the country,” she said. “I ended up going on an overnight camel trek five miles from the Algerian border.” In May 2016, Williams went to Argentina to work with Habitat for Humanity International. In early 2017 she was supposed to work in Tanzania, but got sick. She’d also

Williams smooths out cement at a Habitat for Humanity project in Argentina, where she spent two weeks.Photo provided.

Working with cement blocks in Guatemala through Habitat International. “Seven of us had to move 1,600 cement blocks by hand,” Williams said. Photo provided

Dee Dee WIlliams playing with stuidents during a visit to a Guatemalan school. Photo provided September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS


planned to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro after her volunteer stint, but “will have to do that next March,” she said. “Time’s ticking,” said Williams. “I’m on the backside of my life. Every moment I try to make it count for something. So fulfill your life to the fullest. It’s going to be over in a flash and there’s no more ‘wishing I had’ done something.” Each person has the power to change his or her corner of the world, she said, but “we all have to do our part.” “I think we forget that,” Williams said. “We’re watching the world fall around us, just trying to get from point A to point B.”

“They won’t remember me, but I will remember them. That’s what brings me joy at this stage in my life. Knowing I have an opportunity to make a difference.”

There’s no time like the present to become more aware of what can be done to assist people, even in your own hometown, she said. “You get back so much more than you could ever have dreamed of,” Williams said. “I’ve met some tremendous people in the last couple of years. You hear people’s stories. It’s really been a gift that I’ve gotten.” Trips overseas — they’re not free. The volunteer has to bear the weight financially. “But it’s money well spent,” Williams said. “You can’t buy that kind of peace of mind when you’re doing something worthwhile.” In addition to taking one or two international volunteer trips each year, Williams has also launched a new modeling career, is acting in commercials and — believe it or not — is taking classes in improvisation, standup comedy and voice-over recording. “My life is only going to be enriched by the experiences I choose to let in,” said Williams. “It gives you such a different perspective, and it’s an opportunity to give back. “We’re not all Oprah, but you know what, we can all do something.”

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Dee Dee Williams takes a moment with some of the children at a government-sponsored daycare in Costa Rica, where she volunteered for five weeks in 2014. Photo provided 22

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Building Relationships By Christine Green


veryone in the classroom of the Penfield Recreation Center on June 11 was looking at their feet. “One and two, one and two…” called out ballroom dance instructor Michelle Madore as she taught a beginner group of students the east coast swing. Some got the steps right away, but others needed a little extra time and instruction. But everyone, despite the 90 degree heat, was laughing and chatting merrily by the end of class and most stayed for the USA Dance Flower City Chapter monthly dance. Many of the class attendees told 55 Plus that one of their favorite aspects of ballroom dancing is the sense of community. Indeed, many people on the dance floor that night greeted each other with big smiles and lots of hugs. These were people who had strong connections and enjoyed the time they spent together dancing and socializing. Lessons and social dances are great ways to find friends and establish community ties. Ballroom dancing also helps strengthen the romantic bond between couples. Beth and Terry Kirkpatrick took dancing lessons with Jay Russet at Rochester Dance Lessons in preparation for their son’s wedding two and a half years ago. The wedding has come and gone and they 24

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continue both private and group lessons in order to maintain the connection they have with each other, and Beth said that, “learning new dances and their various steps together is a lot of fun.” Their joy and affection was easy to see as they sweetly held hands both on and off the dance floor.

Good for Mind and Body But dancing does more than enrich social and personal relationships. Studies have shown that ballroom dancing can significantly lower a person’s risk of age-related dementia. In 2003 the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York, published an extensive study on aging and dementia. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the 21-year study revealed a significant correlation between ballroom dancing and a reduction in occurrence of age-related dementia. The 76 percent risk reduction associated with ballroom dancing was more than for any other hobby or physical activity including reading and doing crosswords, both of which believed to be excellent ways to decrease one’s risk of dementia. No other physical activity such as swimming or golfing showed such a positive outcome, ac-

cording to the study. The reasons for these are many and may be related to the decision making, mental planning and spatial awareness needed to participate in ballroom dancing. These skills stimulate the brain, which sharpens mental acuity thus reducing the risk of all forms of dementia. Ballroom isn’t just a protective factor against memory loss and dementia, though; it’s also good for general fitness. The physical benefits include increased strength, flexibility and balance. It’s also a form of aerobic activity that can aid in maintaining or increasing overall physical well-being including cardiovascular health. Ballroom dance is usually a low impact exercise, so it is a great way for those recovering from illness or a hospital stay to keep in shape. After Robert Nuttall underwent hip surgery his physician advised against some of the high-impact activities he used to love like running. But the doctor did give the thumbs up to continue ballroom dancing. Nuttall keeps in shape by frequent dancing and is an active participant in the Rochester dance community.

All Ages Welcome Ballroom dancing attracts stu-

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September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS


Ou C A S F E D C O a S O C

dents of all ages from very young children to adults in their retirement years. Donna Gates of Rochester started dancing five years ago when she decided to take advantage of an offer for a free lesson. Today at 79 she practices many forms of ballroom but is partial to the Latin dances, including the chacha. Ballroom dancing has brought great joy to her life by increasing her fitness and enhancing her social life. Others, like Ruth Hyde, have been dancing since grammar school. Now, at 88, she still enjoys everything ballroom has to offer, including stimulating community interaction and an enjoyable form of exercise. Hyde also participates in English country dancing as well as international folk dancing. She just returned from two weeks in Albania where she learned and participated in their native dances. She usually practices dance twice a day when she isn’t traveling and has recently rearranged her living room so that she has a wide, open space for home practice. Suzanne Sabol and Jens Ingemann began dancing in 2000 after watching their 12-year-old son take dance lessons. Today they not only dance locally but they also compete all over the country. Sabol is the current president of the USA Dance Flower City Chapter in Rochester. The couple delights in traveling to competitions and meeting new people at the different events they attend around the nation. Sabol, 69, noted that a person’s needs and desires don’t change much as they mature and that is why dancing holds appeal for all ages. She believes that ballroom dancing and her organization, USA Dance, can fulfill the universal “need for friendship and belonging, the need for creative endeavor and accomplishment, the need for music and body movement, the need for exercise and stress release.”

Suzanne Sabol and Jens Ingemann began dancing in 2000 after watching their 12-year-old son take dance lessons. Today they not only dance locally but they also compete all over the country. Sabol is the current president of the USA Dance Flower City Chapter in Rochester.

Music to Move to Another draw for Hyde, Sabol and many others is the nostalgic music that accompanies several styles of ballroom dance. This upbeat big band era music adds another element of fun for students, particularly those who have fond memories of listening 26

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Beth and Terry Kirkpatrick took dancing lessons in preparation for their son’s wedding two and a half years ago. The wedding has come and gone but they continue both private and group lessons in order to maintain the connection they have with each other. “Learning new dances and their various steps together is a lot of fun,” Beth said.

to it in past years. To be sure, as soon as the music started that night at the Penfield Recreation center the event quickly went from “community event” to “party.” And if a dancer was taking a break they certainly were tapping their toes in time to the beat even if just watching from the sidelines. While lessons and social dances usually use recorded music, occasionally a live band will play adding a further sense of festiveness to an event. Steve Link, a ballroom dance instructor who teaches classes at Weider Hall in Rochester’s South Wedge, also plays trombone in the Greece Jazz Band. Link said that ballroom gives him the chance to incorporate his two favorite things — dancing and music. “When I dance, I feel the music. The dance becomes a visual expression of the music. And dancing with a partner lets me communicate that feeling and expression to her. I don’t know of many things that make me feel better than that.”

Looking for dance studios in Rochester? Check out the following studios and associations for further information: • USA Dance Flower City, NY Chapter #3005

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September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS




Don’t Wait A By Donna Cordello

year ago, I asked my husband to promise me that we’d never be too old to go to concerts. I love music and whenever I have the opportunity to see one of my favorite artists, we’d go. But this past year I had to cancel three shows we had tickets for because of an injury. I thought I was a big shot. Every morning, I’d jump on my treadmill and multitask by walking, watching the news and reading my emails. Each week, I’d up the speed and incline. My doctor explained this is probably how I tore a tendon in my inner ankle, which is painful from my heel to my calf. I put a sticker on my treadmill: “Warning — exercise could be dangerous!” I’ve been wearing an ankle brace and I have a walking boot which is cumbersome and heavy. I’ve been nursing my injury for months in an attempt to avoid a complicated surgery and long recovery. And although it’s not a terminal disease or life threatening injury, it’s become a real source of frustration. I’m particularly unsteady on uneven ground, so I’m the one who had to break the promise I asked my husband to keep. Other than canceling events, my routine has changed and sometimes it’s difficult for me to do ordinary things, like carrying a basket of clothes up the stairs or even being able to stand for more than a minute without pain. And because I’ve been walking lopsided for so long, my knees, hips and back have all started to bother me as well. But the good news is, I don’t need an alarm clock anymore because my body parts all fight over whose turn it is to wake me up. After a follow-up visit with my doctor, I discovered I wasn’t healing like I had hoped. I was thinking 28

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about how my son had asked me a while ago if I could plan a trip to go visit him. He found a beautiful place he wanted to share with me, which involves climbing up a mountain. I assured him we’d do it as soon as I healed. But here I was, barely able to climb a stair. When I went to check out from my appointment, I was near tears, depressed and starting to feel sorry for myself. I noticed a young man, probably in his late 20s or early 30s laughing with the receptionist. He wore a metal prosthesis where his leg used to be. My heart sank as I wondered what might have happened to him. Cancer? An injury from a bomb? A horrific accident? It was as if God gave me the slap I needed. My situation is uncomfortable, painful and temporary. And although they don’t work like they used to, I still have both of my legs. I thought back to a conversation several years ago. A husband and wife, who were my customers, came into my office. We were talking about vacations and I mentioned how someday, my

husband and I would like to go to Italy. They told me how they had both been recently diagnosed with cancer and were struggling through treatments. The wife said, ‘Don’t wait. Go now while you can still walk.’ I don’t know why, but for some reason, this stranger’s advice stuck in my head. I couldn’t imagine that there would ever be a time when I’d be somewhat immobile. Plus, that was a line on our ‘someday wish list’ – down the road. We were raising our young children and running a business. We didn’t have the funds and we couldn’t get away long enough to go on a trip. But, I kept thinking about what she said — “Don’t wait.” We always think there’s more time, more tomorrows to do things we want to do in the future. But, as they say, life happens and sometimes, our journeys take detours. Wouldn’t it be great if we could enjoy more of our lives when we are younger — instead of working and saving our entire lives to do the things we want to do when we get older or perhaps,

‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could enjoy more of our lives when we are younger — instead of working and saving our entire lives to do the things we want to do when we get older or perhaps, when and if we finally get to retire?’ when and if we finally get to retire? Although we still haven’t crossed off that trip to Europe from our bucket list, my husband and I have managed to get away for vacations, but not nearly enough. We usually park the car and forget about it. Sometimes, we never use a vehicle at all. We take an Uber from the airport to the hotel and we walk everywhere, enjoying the sights and sounds of our destination. I never realized how much I took for granted, especially a simple thing like putting one foot in front of the other. My doctor gave me a temporary handicapped parking pass to make my life easier. It’s been in my purse for a month. I just can’t seem to bring myself to use it because I always think there might be another person who might need it more. So, I circle around parking lots hoping I’ll find a closer parking space. I often look at the distance between me and the entrance and convince myself that I can walk the amount of steps required to get to the door. Sometimes, I get angry as I pass the handicap spot and see someone jumping out and running by me. But then I think that maybe their real handicap is not physical. And I laugh to myself and shake my head, thinking about how some people just don’t get it. Although he’s been very helpful, I’ve even have had to remind my husband from time to time why I’m not up to socializing. Unfortunately, he really understands my predicament now, although, I wish he didn’t. A few weeks ago, he stepped off of a curb and felt a painful whack and a pop on the back of his leg. He tore a muscle in his calf. Now, he has a walking boot on his left leg and I have one on my right, and

neither one of us has a good leg to stand on. But we would make a great team for a three legged race! It’s almost comical. Whenever we go anywhere, limping in, people always ask what happened to the two of us. Instead of the boring circumstances, I usually make up stories, which might be anything from a skydiving mishap to falling off a tight rope. This time and situation in my life has humbled me and made me thankful for all the things I have and for all the things I’ve taken for granted. My husband and I laugh when I thank him for being so compassionate and empathetic, that he decided to join me on this journey — with crutches in tow! I find joy in knowing that we kept the vows we made to each other so long ago, particularly the promises to stick together “through good times and bad” and “through sickness and health.” Our lives haven’t always been easy and we’ve had our share of heartaches. But we’ve always managed to overcome them together, right up until now –— in our matching walking boots. And we still lean on each other — literally. I’ve come to realize I’m at the ‘itis’ stage of my life, which includes bursitis, tendinitis and arthritis. And I’m not alone because many of my friends are also dealing with their own health issues. A few of them aren’t well enough to enjoy their retirement, while others never got to make it to the finish line. So I have a new plan. As soon as we both heal, my husband and I are going to take that woman’s advice and go on that road trip or jump on that plane. We are going to do all the things we were planning to do sometime in the distant future…. We aren’t going to wait.

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September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS





Nancy Bennett: A major force putting public health initiatives into action


oo often, there’s a disconnect between the public health research world and the people on the frontlines delivering care to the community, said physician Nancy “Nana” M. Bennett. She has spent most of her career trying to change that. Many times, the academic world studies and recommends solutions to public health problems, but they rarely get implemented, said Bennett, 66. Too often, academic institutions have a limited understanding of the public health challenges faced by communities, she added. As director of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Center for Community Health, an organization she helped found, she works on the front lines, putting public health initiatives into action. She is also co-director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of the University of Rochester. Bennett plans and implements research that provides new ideas on how to improve the health of the community. The institute helps scientists conduct research and communicate with each other about their research across different fields, she said. It also works to seek and incorporate community input into university research projects. Bennett is also chairwoman of the Centers for Disease Control’s advisory committee on immunization practices, which helps set immunization 30

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By Arn J. Albertini policy for Monroe County. She is on the faculty of the University of Rochester’s schools of medicine and public health. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and has been involved in numerous research projects throughout her career. “Working with the community gives me a tremendous amount of joy. One of the things that really means a lot to me is that other center employees are really mission-driven,” Bennett said. “People work here because they really care about what they’re doing and that means everything to me.” The Monroe County Medical Society recently awarded Bennett recently the Edward Mott Moore Physician Award for 2017 for her ongoing efforts to improve the health of the community as teacher, mentor and community leader. “In these leadership roles, she has performed faultlessly and exhibited a role model of community involvement beyond her professional career that is respected and acknowledged by community leaders, physician peers and physicians in training,” a news release stated.

National, local leader Bennett played a lead role in helping the URMC become one of the first academic medical centers to include improving the health of the commu-

nity as a part of its core mission, said Mark Taubman, CEO of the medical center, dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Rochester. Part of what distinguishes Bennett is the breadth of her experience that spans both the clinical and research worlds, Taubman said. “I think the critical element that Nana has is the ability to evaluate whether the approaches being used are working. When you have a limited amount of funding within the health care system, you don’t want people to be involved in community initiatives that sound good, but aren’t working. “I think there are so many issues involved in how to deliver the best treatment. What’s needed is someone capable of making priorities.” The ability to identify those programs that work along with Bennett’s understanding of which diseases affect some parts of the community more than others, especially those with limited access to health care, help her set those priorities, he said. “She has a national reputation and an extensive level of experience and understanding of what are the issues,” Taubman said. It was through Bennett’s efforts that Rochester has become a hub for studying infectious respiratory diseases. Locally, she’s been a leader in

Dr. Nancy Bennett photographed at her Rochester office by Chuck Wainwright on June 14. September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS


efforts to reduce C diff (Clostridium difficile infection), a serious infection that occurs in hospitals and nursing homes. As a result of that program, the area’s four hospitals saw a 34 percent drop in C diff cases, according to figures provided by the center. “The experience, knowledge and history of engagement that Nana has with public health is significant,” said Wade Norwood, chief strategy officer for Common Ground Health. “Most of the great work done in public health, Nana has been part of. “As a clinician, she really knows about what works to support healthy living on the human scale.” Common Ground Health, a nonprofit that brings together health care, community and education sectors to work together on solutions to community health care problems, has collaborated with the Center for Community Health on a number of initiatives over the years. Norwood is co-chairman of a community advisory committee, convened by Bennett. This URMC-based committee brings together stakeholders from around the community and provides input for the center and Clinical and Translational Science Institute of the U of R. When considering new initiatives, Bennett is always careful to think about context, he said. When the center was reviewing a nationally renowned program for helping people cope with diabetes, Bennett recognized that the program may not be well received by the urban Latino community, Norwood said. “Instead of forcing the model to the participants, Bennett engaged with the participants to understand the cultural mismatch and developed an innovative program tailored to that population. “That knowledge and insight is absolutely necessary.” Bennett also has the ability to take part in discussions where’s there’s a wide range of opinions “and engage with gusto, contribute and learn,” Norwood said. “She’s that type of dynamic person that engages and helps find common ground. She stands out as a medical center official who remains very skilled at engaging the community,” he added. Fran Weisberg, president and CEO of United Way, met Bennett 32

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shortly after she had moved to Rochester. Weisberg decided she wanted to have Bennett be her primary care doctor. “I wanted an energetic, dynamic and incredibly smart female doctor with great values,” Weisberg said. But, before she got a chance to even have an appointment, Bennett called Weisberg personally to say that she couldn’t be her doctor because she was becoming the head of the county health department. The two have worked together on numerous public health projects in various roles. “When I think of Dr. Nana Bennett, I think of someone who is a real pass breaker, an innovator,” Weisberg said. “She has been a passionate, powerful force in increasing health equity and improving the health of the entire community. She is a real leader in this whole area on a local and national level. “She was really ahead of the curve in all of this work.” It’s rare to see someone deeply involved in the academic and research world also be passionate about being involved in the community, Weisberg said. “She walks the walk and talks the talk. It’s not just case studies,” Weisberg noted. “Actually getting into the

Lifelines Name: Nancy M. Bennett Age: 66 Hometown: Brighton Education: General medicine fellowship, Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, New York City (1985); Master of Science degree in epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; chief resident, Bellevue Hospital, New York City (1984-1985); residency, Bellevue Hospital, New York City, (1981 to 1984); medical degree, New York University School of Medicine (1977-1981); Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and literature; post-baccalaureate premed studies, Sarah Lawrence College (1969-1973). Personal: Bennett and her husband, Rob, have three grown daughters, Jessica, Eliza and Kate. Hobbies: Spending time with family, reading, gardening, tennis, hiking, yoga, sailing, spending time at the ocean

community and doing something, that’s powerful. That’s Nana Bennett.”

Drawing the line One of the biggest challenges Bennett said she has grappled with as she juggles multiple responsibilities is leaving time for herself and her family. About 20 years ago when Bennett was at the county health department, things got really busy for several years in a row. It was the time of the West Nile virus and then the anthrax scare, followed by smallpox vaccination, monkeypox, influenza vaccine shortages, severe acute respiratory syndrome and more, she said. “I led the health department’s responses, which included the actual things we did to address the challenges, such as figuring out environmental protocols, creating health care personnel information systems, coordinating with multiple community organizations, setting up immunization programs, and implementing broad community education,” Bennett said. “This included media relations, all on top of my normal responsibilities at the health department. By 2004, I was exhausted. On New Year’s Eve, I took stock of my life and realized I was missing out on my children’s childhoods — not entirely — but I just wasn’t as present mentally or physically as I wanted to be. I realized I would never get that time back. They couldn’t and wouldn’t wait for me,” she said. Ever since, Bennett said she makes sure to leave time for herself and family, and that means setting aside work on evenings and weekends. “I don’t think I have any innovative ways to manage my time other than just drawing the line and making time for family and myself,” she said. Drawing that line is a challenge when you work in public health, she said. “You can never say, ‘My work is done.’ There’s always more to be done,” she said. Besides making a point to make time for herself and her family, Bennett makes sure her colleagues and staff at the center does the same.

“Because our staff members are so mission-driven, they often put in long hours sometimes to the detriment of their personal lives,” she said. “We try very hard to encourage balance and to remind everyone that the work they do will still be there the next day, that they should make time for themselves and their friends and families, and that they will be more successful in their work if they attend to their own needs.”

Nana’s roots Bennett grew up outside of Philadelphia and was raised as a Quaker. “I always wanted to make some contribution to make the world a better place,” she said. She said her mother encouraged her to be a doctor because she liked science and math. “But, I was drawn into the humanities, which was common for girls in the 50s and 60s,” she said. After high school, Bennett went to Sarah Lawrence College graduating with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and literature. For a time, she wanted to be a writer, but she decided she didn’t want to make a living as a writer. “It wasn’t until after college that I thought about medicine again, probably because I knew another young woman who also returned to the sciences after her college degree,” Bennett said. “It was fairly uncommon in those days to do what is now called a post-baccalaureate pre-med program, but I managed to piece together all the courses I needed and successfully applied to medical school.” Prior to her post-baccalaureate studies, she hadn’t taken a science class since 10th grade biology, she said. Medicine provided her the opportunity to pursue many different interests, such as patient care, research, education and community. “Medicine seemed like the perfect way to help people every day, but it was also a way to get involved in social justice,” she said. While she worked on her premed studies, Bennett occasionally worked part-time as a waitress and as a receptionist at ad agencies. She attended medical school at New York University, did her inter-

Nancy Bennet, middle, with some of her staff members from the Center for Community Health, during a recent event sponsored by the Monroe County Medical Society, which recognized Bennett with its Edward Mott Moore Award. nal medicine residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and then trained in a fellowship in epidemiology at Columbia University. During her fellowship, Bennett studied why people were being hospitalized for severe high blood pressure. “I learned that most of the cases did not have a physiologic reason for their condition,” Bennett said. “Rather, they had previously been diagnosed with hypertension but were not taking their medications for a number of reasons: lack of health education, lack of access to care and medications, unaddressed side effects, competing issues in their lives — in other words, social determinants. “I tried to learn about ways to assess these issues and to see if there was a way to essentially classify and score them. I wrote a paper about the use of a variety of factors to essentially characterize a person’s social risks. This is still an area of inquiry and scholarship.” While completing her fellowship, Bennett got a master’s degree in epidemiology. She was also an assistant professor of medicine and taught at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. When Bennett first moved to Rochester in 1988, she was an attending physician at Genesee Hospital where she later created and serves as

the director of the division of clinical epidemiology. She was also an assistant professor of medicine and a professor of public health at the U of R. In 1992, Bennett became the deputy director of the Monroe County Department of Public Health, a post she held for 14 years. In 2006, Bennett was recruited by Dr. Mac Evert, who was then CEO of URMC, to develop the community health mission of the URMC, which led to the opening of the center.

Right at home Bennett and her husband, Rob, live in Brighton and have three grown daughters. Raising their daughters in Brighton offered opportunities to participate in activities they might not have had access to in a larger community, Bennett said. The diversity of the community helped prepare them to live in larger communities such as where they now live, she said. Until recently, all three daughters lived in New York City. One moved to Baltimore to start her residency training to become a physician, another moved to the Boston area to attend business school and the third remains in New York City, where she works as a consultant. “We’re still very involved as a September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS


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55 PLUS - September|October 2017

family,” said Bennett. Besides spending time with her family, she enjoys reading, gardening, tennis, hiking and yoga. Staying active hasn’t always been a priority, she said. Bennett was an athlete in high school, but physical activity wasn’t a priority during college, medical school or residency for Bennett or any of her contemporaries. “I have to work hard to get enough physical activity, but friends and family help,” Bennett said. “I have learned that doing activities with others is very helpful for my motivation, but I don’t always make the time to arrange for them. It’s an ongoing challenge.” Bennett said her mother taught her to eat healthy. She “was a great cook and we ate a good balance of protein, fruits and vegetables,” Bennett noted. With that foundation, it’s been easy to maintain a healthy diet throughout her life. “In addition, my husband Rob is an excellent cook of mostly healthy food and my daughters are bigger food police than I am,” she said. “I tend to avoid processed foods and sweets, except chocolate of course.”

Going forward Bennett said she doesn’t have any specific professional goals. “I am not a person who sets specific goals and tracks my progress toward them,” she said. “I tend to wander a bit more and follow opportunities where they lead me. That being said, my primary goal is to ensure the success of the Center for Community Health and the commitment of the URMC to improving the health of the Rochester region. But again, it is not a destination, but rather the journey that drives us,” she said. On the personal side, Bennett said she’d like to spend more time on creative writing, such as essays, short stories and perhaps memoirs. “I also hope to stay healthy and active. I love to play tennis, hike, sail and garden and hope to be able to do those things indefinitely.  I love the ocean and hope that it will be a part of my life forever,” she said.

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second act

Entrepreneurship as an Encore Career

Thinking about retiring? Then it’s time to start a business — just follow the example of two Rochester retirees By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


o you know what you’ll do once you retire? If you’re like many baby boomers, you’ll be working in some way or another. According to a Pew Research Center study released in 2016, 18.8 percent of Americans 65 and older — numbering almost 9 million — work full- or part-time, up from 12.8 percent or 4 million in 2000. For many baby boomers, their labor won’t be for someone else once they retire from their career position. In “The Multistage Life and Self-Employment in the On-Demand Economy” posted in March 2017 by Small Business Labs, “Americans over the age of 55 have the highest rate of self-employment of any age cohort.” Many factors account for the entrepreneurial bug biting retiring boomers. Rochester resident Chris Pulleyn wanted to keep her life flexible. She had owned an advertising agency and felt she would not enjoy working for someone else. That realization spurred her to look into starting another business, but one on a less intense schedule. Pulleyn said she had always been interested in psychology — and marketing has to do a lot with understanding how people think. She researched the mental health field and through conducting oneon-one interviews and discussing mental health with professionals in the field, she decided it was the route she would take. “Managing employees entailed a lot of psychology,” she said. “You do a lot of people wrangling when you own a company.” Making the leap from advertising to mental health wasn’t a huge


55 PLUS - September|October 2017

leap for Pulleyn. At age 60, she retired and went back to school. Now 70, she has been practicing eight years as licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Rochester. Pulleyn said that operating her own part-time therapy practice allows her to travel. Another example is Jane Falter of Rochester. She transitioned from working in human resources to offering professional coachPulleyn ing as a way of

parlaying her years of experience into a successful small business. Falter said she felt a little young to retire at the time and thought that starting her own business would allow her to finally accomplish her dream that previously “I didn’t have the guts to do.” She advises soon-to-be retirees to examine themselves for “some sort of skill that may indicate what they want to do.” That may be completely different from what people have been doing, such as a weekend hobby they’d like to make profitable or, like Pulleyn and Falter, a half-step away — with some education needed. Falter has furthered her education to learn coaching and effective resume writing.

What does it take? Falter advises would-be entrepreneurs to network with others in their desired industry and in business or entrepreneurial groups. It takes time to establish and grow a business. Falter said that about five years is right. To help Falter soften the effect, would be entrepreneurs can establish networks


and work at it part-time before retirement. “Start planning, if you still have a job,” Falter said. “It takes more resources that you initially may estimate.” It’s also important to look at the up-front investment. Consulting, writing and similar home-based work may require $1,000 or less investment. Opening a major franchise location often requires hundreds of thousands — and much more time involvement and a longer return on the investment. Be honest with yourself as to how much of your time and financial resources you want to commit. For some people, taking over an existing business represents the way to go. It already has an established customer base, vendors and business

6 Business Ideas That Don’t Require Employees

any entrepreneurs are embracing the “lean startup” model, in which operations are kept simple and overhead remains low. Few businesses are run leaner than those without any employees. A good “solopreneur” reaps all the benefits of the business, but also has to do all of the legwork. For some, this is the ideal arrangement. Here are seven ideas for a business owner who wants to go it alone: Virtual Health Coaching Are you educated in nutrition but are still looking to get your career to go in the right direction? Turn your healthy lifestyle choices and education into lucrative business decisions by becoming a virtual health coach. You’ll be aided in your efforts by the myriad new health-related apps and devices being developed to help clients keep track of fitness goals and weight loss.

Chore/Errand Service for Seniors Anyone with aging loved ones knows how hard it can be to care for them without extra help. Elderly people living in their own homes need help with lots of routine chores like cooking, cleaning, grocery shop-

ping and yard work. Why not start a business that offers senior citizens and their families the help they need to maintain their households without breaking their budgets? With wordof-mouth endorsements and social media targeted at the overworked baby-boomer set, you could get this business off the ground in no time. Microbrewery Want to turn your love of beer into a viable occupation? Why not jump on the microbrewing bandwagon? With the popularity of craft beers on the rise in the U.S., the demand for innovative breweries is growing. Take a page from the successful owners of Brooklyn Brewery and start by focusing on branding and distribution of your beverages. With some thirsty investors and a few barrels of persistence, you could have your brewery up and running faster than you can say “cheers!” Personal Trainer With employers and corporations looking to decrease health care costs and a greater awareness of diseases associated with obesity, America is looking to get fit. Freelance personal trainers make their own schedules

systems in place; however, people may find that they don’t like the direction the business is going or how the processes work. Revamping a business may prove more difficult than starting from scratch. Regardless of what type of business you run, Falter thinks that the most difficult part is marketing. She always keeps her eyes open for opportunities and encourages entrepreneurs to “follow your gut.” While marketing experts produced a professional online presence for her, she realized it was too stiff and formal for her. She wrote her own and felt that it was more authentic (though if writing isn’t your forte, a proofreader may help you). “It has to be deeper than what you do but who you are,” Falter said. and work for a diverse range of clients. If you’re a fitness guru with a head for business, this might just be the right idea for you. Learn more about how to become a personal trainer. Special Deliveries Whether it’s a bouquet of flowers in celebration of a wedding anniversary or an ice cream cake delivery for a child’s birthday, there’s a need for businesses that carry out long-distance requests on behalf of those whose loved ones live far away. With the right website and a PayPal account, you could start building your reputation as a “special delivery” courier today. Business Coach Are you business-savvy with years of experience, and willing to pass that knowledge on to others? With the right marketing tactics, a strong personal network and a great website, it’s simple to become a business coach on your own. Work with small business owners or startup-hopefuls to carefully craft business plans, and advise those who need that extra motivation. If you know you can be a good motivator and not just a “yes man,” their investment in you will have great returns. Published previously in Business News Daily, an online news service. September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS




Career: Changing Lanes at 55 Gorham woman loses her job of 23 years and embarks on an 11-month job search that brought frustration, financial stress and left her reevaluating her professional relevance By Melody Burri


retchen Daugherty loved her job of 23 years. It was a perfect fit for her lifestyle, paid well and allowed her to care for the unique needs of her young triplets and busy husband. Making a major career change was not on her list of things to do in 2015. Because she could work about 90 percent of her job from her Gorham home, Daugherty could be around to make lunches and put kids on the bus, while tending to ongoing and significant family medical issues. The remaining 10 percent of her week was spent making sales calls to other large businesses to pitch products and ideas. It was an ideal and very manageable situation for more than two decades. Which made it a bitter pill to swallow when Daugherty saw the three-generation family-owned company she loved begin to struggle, downsize and eventually be sold. At 55 she was suddenly jobless and, after 23 years, without any of the tools needed to market herself. Daugherty launched an aggressive, 11-month job search that brought frustration, financial stress, technical challenges, and left her reevaluating her professional relevance. 38

55 PLUS - September|October 2017

But after dead ends and disappointments, Daugherty’s work finally paid off, and she landed the role of her dreams in a brand new setting and new arena. Working for United Natural Foods, she now pitches ideas to one client: Wegmans. She now works just two days a week from home and three days in Rochester at Wegmans’ corporate office. It’s a whole new world, said Daugherty, who’s now the primary breadwinner for her family. “I went from selling lipsmackers and cosmetics to selling groceries,” said Daugherty. “When I first started, the learning curve was straight up. But this is the job that proves you can teach an old dog new tricks.” Now she’s on the hunt to find new and unique products for Wegmans, like “almond butters, cricket flour, and ready-to-drink beverages.” “I just love presenting new products and watching them get to the shelf,” she said. For others facing a big career change — one they didn’t choose — Daugherty recommends talking with friends and family and getting the word out.

“Go to the New York State Department of Labor,” she said. “Sign up for one of the classes that help you update your resume, practice interview techniques, learn about social networking and new technology.” One interview she had was particularly discouraging. “I didn’t get the position because I was overqualified,” she said. “That’s disappointing when you know you could do the job, but it goes to someone younger.” Find ways to keep yourself relevant, she said. Learn what’s trending in terms of job openings. And reinvent yourself for the next step in your professional journey, she said. “At this point in my life I thought I‘d be kind of coasting through,” she said. “I thought I’d have 10 more years [before retiring], but I’m working harder than I ever have and I do love what I’m doing. The job keeps me sane.” Family medical issues continue to be demanding, but Daugherty is taking it all in stride. “With three kids, two dogs and a husband, it’s quite the ride,” she said.

“He Says/She Says”

For Many, Friends Are Key to Happiness in Old Age


s you age, the friends you keep wield an ever-greater impact on your health and sense of happiness, new research reveals. They may even outstrip family in terms of the sway they have over you, according to a new study. Lead investigator William Chopik cited several reasons why friendships might pack a bigger punch than blood relationships when it comes to influencing health and well-being. "We spend leisure time with friends. We freely choose to continue relationships with friends," said Chopik, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University. If the friendships last until older adulthood, "clearly these are good friendships," he added. "As we age, we prune away at some of the friendships that are more superficial and acquaintance-like," he said. That means that as older adults, "we're left with the ones that are deeper and make us happy," Chopik explained. In contrast, he said, family interactions can be very serious or monotonous, and those relationships are harder to leave. The study findings stem from two surveys that, in total, asked almost 280,000 people about their relationships, their happiness and their health. Chopik found that people who placed more importance on friendship and family tended to say they were happier, more satisfied and healthier than those who didn't. But older participants indicated that only their friendships loomed large as reliably strong predictors of how happy and healthy they felt. This rising impact of friendship occurs gradually, Chopik said. "I would say the changes begin around age 30 (or) 40, and then peak for ages 50 to 60, and remain large throughout the rest of life," he said.

Couples talk about Retirement

“He Says/She Says” Still playing your song but in new ways over the years? Over time you’ve grown as a couple and you’ve grown as an individual. How can you blend and balance the many facets of your lives?

Still playing your song but in new ways over the years? Over time you’ve grown as a couple and you’ve grown as an individual. How can you blend and balance the many facets of your lives?

In the 1960’s

Now in their 60’s

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In the 1960’s

Now in their 60’s

A work/play brainstorm session for couples co-creating a shared vision of retirement. “He Says / She Says” - Couples talk about Retirement Men and women have very different views on retirement. A work/play brainstorm session for couples co-creating a shared vision of retirement. Few people have a clear picture of their desired future. Given the gift of more time, what’s next? Craft your retirement vision to hone common goals and support individual interests. • • • •

Men and women have different views on retirement. Few people have a clear picture of their desired future. Will you speed up life exploration or slow down and relax? What’s your view of money, changing family roles, making new friends, community involvement, personal growth, purpose and meaning? • This session will help you examine your personal views of time and effort. • Craft your retirement vision to hone common goals and support individual interests.

Sat, Oct 21 9am-12 pm $45/couple Waterstone: 10 Office Park Way, Pittsford, NY Join Retirement Options Certified Coach, Gary R. Jay, and


Certified Financial Transitionist®, Join Retirement Options Certified Coach, Gary R. Jay, and Certified Financial Transitionist®, Kathleen Roth, CFP®, CeFT® as you collaborate on this workshop experience. Kathleen Roth, CFP®, CeFT® as you collaborate on this workshop experience. Kathy provide theframework framework forfor conversation. Gary Gary and and Kathy provide the conversation. You provide ideas perspectivesto to craft craft aagame forfor a satisfying life ahead. provide your your ideas andand perspectives gameplan plan a satisfying life ahead. For more information and scheduled sessions visit

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my turn By Bruce Frassinelli Email:

Grocery Store Pet Peeve. Is It Just Me?


iving alone, I am engaged in shelf-to-shelf combat in my own personal version of the supermarket wars. One of my biggest pet peeves is the requirement to buy multiple items to get the sale price. The most recent affront was a great Cheerios sale price of $1.87, but to get this price I needed to buy four boxes. I like a bowl of cereal now and then, but It will take me months to eat four big boxes of Cheerios, and by that time the last box will be borderline stale, so there goes my savings. For the last decade or so, supermarkets have tried to entice me with offers such as 10 containers of yogurt for $5. This was OK, though, because if I bought one or two, I paid 50 cents or $1 — no penalty for the smaller number of purchases. Shoppers in the know realize that you are not required to buy 10 units to get the sale price. You can buy as few as you want and pay only the per-unit price times the number of units. 40

55 PLUS - September|October 2017

When I shop, I must be on constant guard for my mortal enemy — the fine print. The other day I saw Kraft Cracker Barrel cheese for $1.97. My eyes widened. I love cheese, and normally this product sells for $3.39, but as I reached for an 8-ounce package, I spied the dreaded fine print — “must buy four, all others $3.19.” My heart sank. My mood darkened. I felt disrespected, betrayed. I calculated briefly how long it would take to consume four packages of this cheese, especially since I might have a piece or two with a glass of wine. I quickly concluded that it just wasn’t worth taking the chance. Moldy cheese is not my idea of an appetizing accompaniment to Ritz crackers. Sometimes it is clearly stated that you must buy the advertised quantity to get the advertised price. At other times, I wished I had brought along my magnifying glass. Depending on where the product is positioned, I sometimes must get on my knees to read the

small print. Then I’ve got to get up. Well, that’s another story. No combat compensation either. At least twice during the past year, I went home thinking I had paid a certain price for a product, only to realize that I had paid up to 40 percent more. Why? I didn’t pick up on the blasted fine print. In each case, I went back to the store to plead my case. Each time I was given a refund, because the store manager agreed that the disclaimer was small and possibly difficult for these senior citizen’s eyes to read. Now, before I leave the store, I sit on a bench near the checkout and go over each purchase carefully, paying special attention to the bargains I thought I was getting. So far, so good. I don’t want to be a skeptic, but I figure stores may be counting on the fact that most shoppers don’t check their store receipts carefully and won’t catch the higher price if they missed the fine print and bought just one of the advertised items. When I was discussing my

discontent with pricing policy, a friend, who is married with three children, told me to “suck it up” and “stop whining.” He said the requirement to buy three, four or more works out “just great” with his family of five. “It’s discriminatory,” I told him, the same argument I made with the manager of the supermarket where I shop. I have complained so many times that the manager decided to shut me up. He told me that even though the advertised price requires multiple purchases, he would allow me to buy just one item at the best sale price. It’s a bit inconvenient, however. I must go to the service desk where I am charged the higher price, then I am given the difference between this price and the sale price in cash. “What, are you nuts?” my friend asked. “You sometimes must wait in line five minutes to save 26 cents?” “Hey,” I told him, “better to have the 26 cents in my pocket. Besides, I’m retired; what do I have to do that’s so urgent that I can’t wait around for five minutes?” Phil Lempert, a California-based food industry analyst known as the “supermarket guru,” advises shoppers to adopt my tactic. In stores where buying the whole deal is required, Lempert said that shoppers should take the items to the courtesy counter and ask if the store will give the discount on just one item purchased. “If not, and it’s a product that will not spoil, see if it is one that you might use over the next 30 or 60 days. It may well be worth the savings to buy both.” These chains need to realize that not every shopper has a family at home. We seniors who have lost spouses are especially vulnerable to this discriminatory pricing practice. “This is not fair for the elderly who do not need that many of the same item because of storage problems or price,” says shopper Helen Olander of Mexico. Among large chains, Wegmans promotes consistent low prices so customers don’t have to run around town chasing deals, a spokesperson at the Rochester area-based company said. For multiple-item promotions, in almost every case you can buy just one item at the sale price, the spokesperson said.

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The Magazine For Active Adults in the Rochester Area How to Get ‘Senior Discounts’ on Just About Everything


Buffet at del Lago Resort & Casino. We review the new restaurant



Steps to Financial Fitness in the New Year


Savvy Senior: How to Locate Lost Life Insurance

PLUS Issue 43 January / February 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Issue 44 March / April 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Gone are the shoulder-length dreadlocks but the energy and the passion to connect with people through storytelling and the arts remain the same for this Rochester larger-than-life artist



First Novel at 73

Book focuses on a psychopathic killer who is terrorizing the streets of Rochester

Leaving at freethe Top


Gray Divorce?

Savvy Senior: ‘Can I Inherit My Parent’s Debt?’ In general, figures are

Issue 45 May / June 2017

down, but rate among The Best New Restaurant in the Country? It’s Right Here in Geneva

Three local explorers uncover sunken treasures on Lake Ontario

Almeta Whitis

Work in Retirement: How it Affects Your SS Benefits

Skaneateles’ Doug’s Fish Fry Has Some of the Best Fish in Upstate

Dr. Nina Schor is leaving her position as pediatrician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital. She talks about her decadeslong career

Johnny Matt Band continues tradition of big band music Should you consider getting a job coach? Many boomers are going that route Getting married later in life? Talk over finances

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

55 boomers skyrocketing

Is 55 the New 40? Local boomers redefining what it means to grow older

Deborah free PLUS Hughes She’s celebrating her 10th

Jim Terwilliger: What’s Up with Medicare Part B Premiums?anniversary directing the Susan Issue 46 July / August 2017

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area


Simpler Life

B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester as New York state recognizes the centennial of women’s suffrage

Mom’s ‘Medical’ Cures VapoRub, castor oil, Carter’s Little Liver pills were always on the menu of cure-all medicines

RoCo 6X6 2017 Art center presents annual event featuring thousands of small pieces of artwork

Couple leaves everything behind to live a in a tiny Patrick Fisher: Head of Us TOO Reinvents Life After Cancer home in rural Yates County

Fairport Husband-Wife Team Cares for 400+ Antique Clocks

Homegrown Humanitarian

How Gary Mervis, an underpriviledged kid who grew up in Rochester, turned personal tragedy into a nonprofit that has benefited more 50,000 people from 22 states and 35 countries

Helping Refugees Pittsford resident making a difference in the lives of refugees

Retirement Joe Flaherty, founder of Rochester’s Writers & Books group, adjusting to a new life as retiree

You Just Inherited $1 Million. Now What?

Rochester’s first real magazine to celebrate life after 55. Don’t miss out future issues. Subscribe today

Financial planner Jim Terwilliger offers 10 steps on what to do if you are the beneficiary of a financial windfall

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September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS




Do You Need a Family Trust? Attorneys suggest the document as a way to protect family’s assets By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ow is a family trust different from a will? Should you include a family trust, also known as a living trust, in your final planning? That depends. A family trust can help the estate avoid probate court when the grantor (the person who has the trust written) dies. With a simple will, any unlisted assets can end up in probate court — an outcome most people want to avoid. According to experts, probate courts can take a long time to decide how to settle the non-designated parts of the estate. The process can cost up to 10 percent of the value of the assets involved and is all public. Unlike wills, family trusts are extremely difficult to contest, so the grantor can rest assured that his or her wishes will be carried out. A family trust can also reduce the estate’s tax liability and make transferring property easier, according to experts interviewed for this story. The grantor can change the terms of the family trust whenever he wishes. Most of the advantages of a living trust benefit those inheriting the estate; however, they can also help the grantor. Since the trust legally owns the estate — not the grantor or the beneficiary — the trust protects the grantor’s assets should he be admitted to long-term care. Otherwise, Medicare would not cover these longterm care expenses. People don’t have to be wealthy to have a trust written. “I’ve had clients with very modest estates who want to set up a trust


55 PLUS - September|October 2017

and avoid probate and maintain privacy over their estate,” said Patrick D. Lydon, attorney and owner of Sutter, Summers & Lydon, P.C. in Webster. It may seem like the extra expense for forming and maintaining a trust wastes more money from the estate than it’s worth; however, Lydon said that the costs of a trust are “substantially less” than a will that is administered through probate. Lydon advises people to make an informed decision based on their own circumstances and desires. Lydon and other estate planning attorneys offer regular workshops to help people better understand their options. “Don’t try this at home alone,” Lydon said. “Get someone with expertise.” Richard Kroll, attorney and founder of Kroll Law Firm, LLP in Rochester, also said that getting professional legal advice is important and that “using a trust is one method to get our clients ready for government benefits eligibility,” he said. Simply signing over assets to a relative may seem an easier way to accomplish this goal than a trust; however, Medicare reviews the owner’s finances for the past five years and each instance of giving a gift worth $11,237 (the Rochester rate. It varies by location) bars him or her from one month of Medicare coverage for long-

term care. “What if that child has a judgment, bankruptcy, divorce or they themselves need public assistance or the child spends the money or, heaven forbid, the child dies?” Kroll said. “The money cannot be recovered.” Trusts are immune to all of those asset-sapping circumstances. Kroll said that trusts offer clients many advantages but they’re not perfect for every circumstance — and they’re not the only way to achieve common financial goals. Other financial planning vehicles can save clients on taxes and protect their estate from probate. Someone who’s already incapacitated may not be able to form a trust unless their legal guardian or designated person with power of attorney has an enhancement that permits them to make those decisions. “Consider the advantages and disadvantages and get competent advice from an experienced practitioner,” Kroll said. “Get input from the family. One of the family members would be the trustee. You’re giving up control over your assets that the family will let you recover your assets if you need to and that the family will honor your wishes and they’ll understand why you’re undertaking this and won’t develop jealousy later on. “That’s why we call it a ‘family trust.’”


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addyman’s corner By John Addyman

Shifting Memories


Gears don’t quite mesh when teaching daughter how to drive standard

unny how time changes memories. My oldest daughter, Amy, and I were having a discussion about learning how to drive. In four years, Amy will be thinking about driver training for her oldest daughter. My memory is still pretty vivid about what we did when Amy was old enough to drive. She and I have different recollections of the same situation. I learned how to drive in high school. Mr. Brunetti took us out in the school’s driver education car — a four-door Corvair with a push-button automatic transmission in the dashboard between the steering wheel and radio. My dad was a little excitable, especially with me. He had much more patience with my two sisters. So, for me to go practice driving with my dad was really tense. He was an overthe-road furniture salesman for many years, and had well-developed driving habits from years of safe driving. I just wanted to learn how to put my foot down on the pedal. So when Dad and I went driving together, there was a lot of screaming and language usage that the Legion of Decency and Altar & Rosary Society wouldn’t have condoned. When we successfully pulled up to the house, my Dad would literally bound out of the car. I think he went straight into the house to have a highball. When Amy was ready to drive, I was supremely confident of my ability to handle the instruction. I’d been a teacher for many years by then, a guidance counselor, and could be as calm as a lake at midnight if need be. Cataclysms


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didn’t faze me. Certainly I could ease Amy’s passage into adult driverhood. I think moms and dads approach driving lessons a lot differently. Dads think it’ll be easy; moms think it’ll be awful. My philosophy in raising girls (we have three daughters) is that I wanted them to be confidently self-sufficient. I wanted to give them challenges growing up and as they conquered them, they’d be stronger women. So, when it was time to start Amy’s driving lessons, we were going to start with a standard transmission using a stick shift. OK, OK. I know you’re reading that and saying to yourself, “This man has already taken leave of his common sense.” But since Amy was the oldest, she got more challenges thrown her way, and blew them down. She was a smart, tough cookie. Still is. My wife, Gayle, learned how to drive a stick first (her dad was a del i v e r y m a n ) , so I figured Amy had s t a n d a rd

transmission gene markers. This should be a piece of cake. The day arrived for the first lesson in a family car after some introductory stuff at school. My car was shined and ready to go.

Prized Mitsu Oh, my car: It was a Mitsubishi twin-turbo all-wheel drive coupe. I had learned how to put my foot down. The car was a nice smallish size, very comfortable, and I figured Amy would be challenged a little bit going through the gears the first few miles, and then need some practice with hills and slowing down using the engine. But we had a beautiful bright summer’s day to ourselves and off we went. The car had some get-upand-go, yes, but it also handled very well and stopped on a dime. It was a confidence-inspiring car. We made a couple of spins around our small town, which didn’t have too many stop signs. That was good, because stop signs were a problem. We stalled lots of times. She was thinking to herself, “I’m never going to get the hang of this.” I was thinking, “I hope I still have a transmission at the end of the day.” Finally, I figured we needed to go back to the house and talk through the Zen of shifting easily and effectively, by listening to what the engine is doing. At the last stop sign before our street, on a little bit of an incline, Amy brought the car to a chugging, too-high-agear stop, and the car stalled once more. She got it restarted imme-

diately; she’d had lots of practice doing that. “Then I laid some rubber,” she said recently, remembering the day. My memory is different. When she started the car again, she revved the engine way too high and instead of easing the clutch out, popped it off the floor. My fire engine-red Mitsubishi did not know what to do. The twin turbos were whining, and the clutch had just engaged all four wheels. The car didn’t want to peel out; it wanted to jump over a tree. I’ve never been in a car that reacted the way the Mitsu did. It kind of shuddered and threw in the towel, deciding that it would like to take a break and go home. Amy knew that Dad was not pleased, although he did not use language that his father might have. I did get out of the car, told her to get out, and I started the Mitsu up. Thankfully there weren’t transmission parts laying all over the road, and we went around the corner to our house and parked the car behind the garage in the shade, so my little red Mitsubishi could gather itself and stop shivering. Amy went into the house and either had a long talk with her mother about future driving lessons with me, or she went to her room to cry. I stayed outside with the Mitsubishi to make sure nothing fell off underneath. Not too long after that – with lessons at school and with Mom — Amy got her driver’s license. But she couldn’t drive the first car we bought her: It had a stick shift in it. Funny thing, my other daughters didn’t want me to give them driving lessons when they got to be 16.

What if you could choose?

5 Days or 45 Days

Great Loopers Facing a 6,000-mile waterway trip continued from page 14 tle longer to avoid arriving in New York City along with the throngs who would be celebrating the Fourth of July. With the Independence Day celebrations complete, they were ready to set sail again, but heavy rains closed the Erie Canal, which was where they would need to end up after going through the harbor and up the Hudson River. “These are the kinds of things that happen when you’re traveling,” Jay Rodman said. And then there are the unexpected mechanical issues. Rodman and Hall know the basics of boat mechanics so that they could keep the boat running smoothly and fix smaller things that went wrong, like a leaky hose or a broken water pump. “It makes a huge difference when you are able to do your own repairs,” said Rodman. Hall added, “We never missed a day checking the oil and the transmission fluid. It’s the first thing we did every morning.” But, early in the first trip, something went wrong with the transmission. It was a $200 part, but cost just under $4,000 to fix, said Rodman, adding that marine mechanics is a highly specialized field, which makes repairs expensive. And you can’t just pop a 27–foot long, 30-foot tall boat on a trailer and take it home to your local mechanic, said Rodman. “You can’t get the boat home without sawing the upper half off.” There were several places on the trip where they had to take down their mast to clear bridges.

If you go For those interested in braving the Great Loop, Redman recommends a good GPS as well as an extensive array of paper charts. “A GPS gives you a screen-sized idea to where you are,” said Rodman. “To see where you are going, you need to navigate to another screen. With paper charts, you have much broader view on one or two pages of where you’re going to be traveling for that day or for that week. It’s much easier to plan and see what is going on for that day.” Also, paper charts don’t crash like a GPS can. “Your electric chart can go blue screen, but the paper chart never goes blue screen,” said Rodman. Besides getting charts and a good GPS, Rodman suggests reading up on the waterways you’ll be navigating and contacting people who’ve done the trip before, such as through the American Great Loop Association. Rodman recommends getting “Skipper Bob,” a series of booklets that provide information about marinas and anchorages along the waterways of the Great Loop. “Anyone trying to do this on their own would probably just give up,” Rodman said. September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS




Staten Island is a 25-minute free ferry ride from downtown Manhattan.

10 Things to Do in Staten Island Surprise, surprise: Yes, there are tons of things to do and see in this NYC borough By Sandra Scott


hen people say they are going to New York City they usually are referring just to Manhattan. New York City is divided into five boroughs: Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Think of Staten Island as the “other NYC” and it is only a 25-minute free ferry ride from downtown. It is an island of parks, cultural activities, and where the hotels are reasonable, offer free parking along with complimentary transportation to/from the ferry. It is said “If you haven’t seen Staten Island, you haven’t really seen New York. Think of it as small town New York City. It is the least populated of the boroughs. Staten Island Museum: The museum has two locations, one near the Staten Island Ferry and one in Snug Harbor. It is the oldest cultural institution on the island and the only general interest museum in NYC. At the Snug Harbor location, check out “Remember the Mastodon” and at the one near the ferry learn about Staten Island’s first settlers, the Lenape. The Lenape Collection dates back more than 10,000 years.

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Snug Harbor Cultural Center: Snug Harbor, a Smithsonian affiliate, started as a sanctuary for aged sailors in 1801 and grew to have 50 structures and nearly a 1,000 residents. It was a self-sustaining community with a dairy, chapel, hospital and music hall and the richest charitable institution in the United States. Today it has been transformed into a center of art, culture and nature. Buildings are being restored including the music hall that rivals Carnegie Hall. It is also home to the Staten Island Children’s Museum. Historic Richmond: Step into the past at Historic Richmond Town, with over 30 original historic structures and where some of the treasures date to the mid-1600s. It is the only historic town in New York City. After watching the introductory video, take a guided tour that is available Wednesday through Sunday. The general store is stocked with items typical of the late 1800s. Try to schedule a visit to coincide with one of their special events. Don’t miss an evening at The Tavern where the area’s top musicians regularly perform jazz, blues and sea

shanties. Fort Wadsworth: The fort is one of the oldest military sites in the United States. It guarded New York Harbor for over 200 years. Located on high ground overlooking the Narrows, an enemy entering the area would be caught in the crossfire between Fort Wadsworth and Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. It was especially important during the War of 1812 when it protected the harbor from the British. When the fort was closed in 1994 it had been the longest active military site in the United States. Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art: The museum provides a peek into the Tibetan world. Even the building, complete with a chanting hall filled with Tibetan statues and artifacts, was built to resemble a Tibetan mountain monastery. The Samadhi Garden features a fish pond and meditation area. Spin the Tibetan prayer wheel to spread spiritual blessings and wellbeing. There is a great view from the gardens even if is not a view of the Himalayas. The founder, Ms. Jacques Marchai, never visited Tibet but was an avid collector

of all things Tibetan and said “If I can give the world something that would be uplifting and a genuine help, perhaps, I should try.” Tai chi and meditation classes are offered. Staten Island Zoo: It may be small but they like to say they have “the best little zoo in America.” It is family friendly with plenty of animals to pet. Wander through the Earth’s various habitats and learn about the denizen of tropical rainforest, Sahara and temperate forest. Check out the llamas and the rare ibex, now nearly extinct in the wild. You have heard of Punxsutawney Phil, the famed prognosticator of the length of winter. The zoo’s Chuck the Groundhog has been better at predicting the end of winter with an 85-percent accuracy. Garibaldi-Meucci Museum: Who is the true inventor of the telephone? Antonio Meucci filed a patent in 1871. It is thought that when Meucci was ill, his wife sold his documents and projects to Alexander Graham Bell for $6. If the destitute Meucci had $10 to renew the patent in 1874 no patent could have been issued to Bell. Garibaldi, the “Washington of Italy,” was a friend of Meucci who took him in while he was in exile. National Lighthouse Museum: The newly created museum is dedicated to the history of lighthouses and the lighthouse keepers. Check out The Wall of Lights, models of a wide range of lighthouse types seen throughout the world. From May to October the museum offers a variety of boat tours. It is located in an area where, prior to Ellis Island, immigrants of questionable health were quarantined. Take time to walk out on the pier for a great view of Manhattan. Greenery: Staten Island with more than 170 parks is called “the greenest borough.” More than one-third of the island is protected parkland. Greenbelt Nature Center is a good place to start. It is three times the size of Central Park and a contiguous stretch of green land with miles of hiking trails. Their nature center offers educational exhibits and classes along with trail maps. It is a great place for bird watchers. At Snug Harbor there are nine distinctive botanical gardens including a chinese scholar’s garden. And more: Not to miss is the Noble Maritime Museum to learn about the life and times of the retired sailors of Snug Harbor.



Photography buffs will want to visit the Alice Austen House. The Staten Island Children’s museum is the perfect place to explore and learn.

Watch a Staten Island Yankee baseball game and no visit to Staten Island is complete with trying their famed pizza and Ralph’s ice cream.

Greenbelt Nature Center is three times the size of Central Park and a contiguous stretch of green land with miles of hiking trails.


A llama at Staten Island Zoo. Locals say they have “the best little zoo in America.”



Fort Wadsworth is one of the oldest military sites in the United States. September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS


long-term care By Susan Suben

Books of Courage and Hope


love to read. Put me on a porch, by a beach or lake, and I can spend the day musing over the characters and plots in a good novel. Two of my favorite books include “The Shell Seekers” (I’ve read it three times)” by Rosamund Pilcher and “The House of Special Purpose” by John Boyne, both with historical backdrops. I also enjoy the authors Anita Shreve (all she’s written), Jodi Picoult (“Leaving Time”), David Baldacci (“The Last Mile”) and Nelson DeMille (“Upcountry”). Reading opens your mind and elicits emotion. We learn many things about ourselves and the world around us as we participate in the lives of the people placed before us. This is especially true when it comes to reading books about individuals and families faced with the challenges of Alzheimer’s. Caregiving is never an easy task but we feel less isolated, guilty and frustrated when we share the experiences of other people going through the same things we are. In the hopes of giving you a brighter day, support and compassion if you are caring for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, I would like to share a few books with you. Two deal with early onset of the disease and one is for children trying to understand what is happening to someone they love. In “Jan’s Story,” Barry Peterson, a CBS correspondent, shares the story of his and his wife’s journey with her diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s. Former first lady, Rosalyn Carter, calls this book “a story of immense love… that will give comfort to those already caregiving and offer insight to


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the many who don’t know today that this may be their life and their story tomorrow.” Peterson’s book is based upon his saved notes, his “Jan Updates” and the emails sent to him by friends and colleagues. According to Peterson, the book measures how he lost Jan yet keeps alive the shared memories they had. As I read it, I could not help but cry for the loss of such a beautiful, young woman but even more so for the courage and strength Peterson exhibited taking care of someone he loved so deeply. The book emphasized that we are all capable of rising to meet the challenges placed before us. “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova is the story of Alice, a happily married professor with grown children who struggles to stay connected to who she once was while dealing with early-onset Alzheimer’s. This book is told from the vantage point of Alice instead of from the caregiver’s perspective. We get a better understanding of what the person afflicted with the disease is struggling with. The book shows the strength and creativity Alice displays fighting the disease that is slowly taking her away. It does not romanticize Alzheimer’s but is an honest portrayal of the day to day toll it takes on someone’s life and that of their family. The book was brought to life on the big screen with exceptional acting that won Julianne Moore an Oscar nomination. Children have a difficult time dealing with the concept of illness and death. Oftentimes, adults are afraid to share with a child what is

happening to a loved one for fear of frightening them. In reality, the more that is shared with a child in a loving, simple way, the less afraid they will be. In “What’s Happening to Grandpa?,” Maria Shriver tells a poignant story through the eyes of Kate, a young girl who tries to understand what is happening to her grandfather who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The book shares the many questions that Kate has about her grandfather’s future, how her mother tells Kate about the progression of the disease, and how Kate finds a way to connect with her grandfather through the telling of stories so that the “bond between them forever remains in their hearts.” It can be read to any child by a parent who wants to demystify the disease. These books are not meant to make us sad even though that emotion will surface throughout each page we read. They are not meant to scare us about the unknown future we all face. They are meant to fortify us as families and friends who will ultimately become caregivers to those we love. They are meant to comfort us, heal our hearts, and enable us to live on in the face of loss. There is strength in knowing we are not alone. Susan Suben, MS, CSA, is president of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and Elder Care Planning. She is a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. Contact her at 800-422-2655 or by email at Ideas for this article came from Sheila Cevera’s presentation, Alternative Solutions for Long Term Care.

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September|October 2017 - 55 PLUS


last page Jean Loomis, 66

By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

Jean Loomis of Rush was awarded the Leading Age Employee of Distinction honor in August for her work at St. John’s Meadows Q: What do you do at St. John’s Meadows? A: I coordinate the volunteers at St. John’s. It is something that really gives me a lot of happiness. They are just great people and they really make me enjoy my job. When you are working with people who volunteer and give of their time for outreach, in schools, ringing the kettle bell every holiday season, you are truly dealing with special people who understand the importance of giving back.

Q: What aspects of your job do you like the most? A: I enjoy the personal conversations that I get to have with these volunteers. They are people who support me whenever I need them and I would like to think I help them out in whatever way they may need. Some of them are fun-loving people and some of them are very serious. But regardless, you see that they really do enjoy their jobs and they feel very comfortable talking to residents. It is the same way with me. I think interacting with people makes life great. When you get a chance to hear someone’s story about their life and see that you can make a difference in some way it really makes you feel great too.

Q: How did you feel when you heard you would be receiving a prestigious award? A: I was really surprised when they told me I won. There are so many really deserving people who do incredible work every day that I sometimes don’t know how I won. When 50

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I read the nomination letter that was given on my behalf, I couldn’t believe the wonderful words they were saying about me. I am truly humbled and want to continue doing this work. I was joking with people saying that I hope my head doesn’t get too big after winning the award. But in all honestly, all I feel is truly blessed because my job is serving others and I love doing it all the time.

Q: Why should more people volunteer? A: I really think being involved keeps your mind active. I know people who are in their late 70’s who started volunteering and I know someone who is 101 who keeps helping out. I know the average age of my volunteers are around 85 years. When I talk to them about why they want to volunteer, they talk about how much fun they have giving back. It can really add to your value and quality of life. It gives you a reason to get out of the house or apartment. Sometimes seniors are in a lot of pain and, because of that, they choose to sit in the house and do nothing. That is also how your bones stiffen up. When you get out of the house and experience life and interact with others, it is a special feeling. Some will even bring a friend to help them volunteer and it becomes a fun activity for the both of them. It helps get them energized.

Q: What do you do with your free time? A: I like to be outdoors and dig in the garden. I can make quite a mess, but it keeps me relaxed. I like to plant

different kinds of flowers and work on my rock garden. A lot of people think that being outside and gardening can be stressful, but it does really relax me. Pulling weeds is actually therapeutic for me. I don’t know why but it is. I am someone who also enjoys camping. There is something about being out in the outdoors and sitting around a camp fire that really does something for me. People really underestimate the power of the outdoors. It can really be something that brings you closer to nature and just makes you appreciate life a little more.

Q: What do you do to stay active ? A: I do like moving around. People always ask me when I am going to quit but I have no intention of quitting anytime soon. I am happy when I am moving around and doing something. I tell people all the time that you can’t just sit still while you get older. You have to stay active. I might not have a hitch in my giddy up like I used to but I can still move around pretty good. I really advocate for people to eat healthy.

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