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PRIME TIMES

For those who weren’t born yesterday

Playing Catch-Up

Saving strategies as retirement draws near

Clearing the fog Myths and facts about cataract surgery

Fitness Over 50 How exercise can help you live longer

How to plan the perfect game night and much more!

A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021


PAGE S2 • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

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JULY 15, 2021 • TBR NEWS MEDIA • PRIME TIMES • PAGE 3S

PRIME TIMES | LEISURE What fully vaccinated seniors should know about travel

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he efforts of researchers and public health officials in developing safe and successful COVID-19 vaccines was nothing short of historic. Vaccines typically take years to develop, but a combination of factors enabled researchers to make COVID19 vaccines available to vulnerable populations by December 2020, or roughly nine months after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. Researchers had already conducted years' worth of vaccine research on human coronaviruses, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes were first identified in the mid-1960s. That research proved invaluable as pharmaceutical companies raced to produce COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, a less linear approach to testing and vetting vaccines than was traditionally applied in past outbreaks enabled the vaccine to be rolled out more quickly, potentially saving millions of lives. Men and women over the age of 65 were among the first groups to be given the COVID-19 vaccine. Many people within that group are retired and had looked forward to traveling, only to have those plans interrupted by the pandemic. Now that they're fully vaccinated, seniors are setting their sights on travel once again. Though the COVID-19 vaccines have made vulnerable groups like seniors less likely to suffer severe illness from the virus, there's still a few things adults over 65 should know when making travel plans.

THE VIRUS

Data from the CDC indicated that more than 87 million people in the United States had been fully or partially vaccinated as of April 20, 2021. Among those, just 7,157 had become infected with COVID-19, and only 331 of those required hospitalization. That's an encouraging figure that illustrates just how effective the vaccines are at preventing

O

6 TIPS TO TRAVEL SAFELY

ne of the perks of getting older is having more time to devote to recreation and traveling. Before taking off for parts unknown, take steps to ensure that your excursions are as safe as they are memorable. Consider risk. The coronavirus pandemic taught the world that situations can change rapidly. Before booking any travel, weigh the risks and the benefits of a trip. Determine if COVID-19 is spreading where you live or at your destination. Older adults have a higher risk for severe illness caused by the virus. Until you are

Seniors are setting their sights on travel once again. infection and serious illness. Recognizing that efficacy may help calm any concerns fully vaccinated seniors have about traveling. As of July 8, 2021, more than 331 million doses had been administered, fully vaccinating over 158 million people or 47.6% of the total U.S. population.

ATTRACTIONS

Though a significant portion of the eligible populations in the United States and Canada had been fully or partially vaccinated by mid-spring, overseas travel restrictions may still be in place. Some countries, such as India, continued to confront devastating waves of the virus and may not be allowing overseas visitors anytime soon. In addition, in mid-spring the European Union was still devising a strategy to allow fully vaccinated foreign tourists to visit the continent. It's important that seniors learn of any potential restrictions before booking trips.

When planning a trip, seniors may want to look for areas with plenty of outdoor attractions. The CDC continues to recommend that people, even those who are fully vaccinated, gather outdoors, where the virus is less likely to be transmitted. When traveling, seniors may be spending time around people who have not yet been vaccinated, and despite the efficacy of the vaccines, that might make some travelers nervous. So choosing locales with plenty of outdoor attractions can be a great way to quell any travel-related concerns seniors may have. The remarkable achievements of researchers involved in developing COVID-19 vaccines has helped seniors return to something resembling normal life. Seniors with their eyes on travel can safely book trips after doing some research about their destination and giving careful consideration to their comfort levels.

vaccinated, it may be best to wait to travel. Use senior-friendly services. Seek out travel services that offer the best perks for older adults. Many travel providers no longer offer senior discounts, but they may offer other benefits, such as early boarding or assistance with traveling from gates to baggage areas. Get travel insurance. Older travelers may be more at risk of falling or getting sick and some may need extra medication if travel is interrupted or delayed. Travel insurance can provide extra coverage for a relatively low price if something goes wrong. Don’t advertise your absence. It may be tempting to upload photos of your beachside vacation to social media as you are immersed

in paradise. In addition, have a neighbor periodically pick up your mail and set lights on timers to give the impression you are home even when you’re not. Share your itinerary. Keep loved ones apprised of your general travel itinerary, especially if you are traveling solo and keep a mobile phone on you at all times. Pack copies of important documents. In the event paperwork is lost while traveling, request copies of prescriptions and/or statements of medical conditions from each physician and medical treatment center so you have a second set. Keep copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance cards, travel tickets, and other documents as well.

RESTRICTIONS

TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Leah S. Dunaief GENERAL MANAGER Johness Kuisel MANAGING EDITOR Rita J. Egan EDITOR Julianne Mosher LEISURE & SUPPLEMENTS EDITOR Heidi Sutton ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kathleen Gobos ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Elizabeth Bongiorno Robin Lemkin Minnie Yancey ART/PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Beth Heller Mason ART DEPARTMENT Janet Fortuna Sharon Nicholson CLASSIFIEDS & SUBSCRIPTION DIRECTOR Sheila Murray CLASSIFIEDS Joann Brady BUSINESS MANAGER Sandi Gross CIRCULATION & LEGALS MANAGER Courtney Biondo COPY EDITOR John Broven SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER Kathryn Mandracchia INTERNET STRATEGY DIRECTOR Rob Alfano --------------------------------------------Subscription $59 year/ $99 two years

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PAGE 4S • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

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JULY 15, 2021 • TBR NEWS MEDIA • PRIME TIMES • PAGE 5S

Exercise helps you live longer no matter when you start

PRIME TIMES | FITNESS

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here are many reasons to get in shape. Weight loss is a prime motivator, as is reversing a negative health effect, such as high cholesterol or increased diabetes risk. Routine exercise also can improve life expectancy. WebMD says exercise keeps the body and brain healthy. That’s why exercise should be an important component of daily life no matter one’s age. And research published in the journal Immune Aging found that how people age is 75 percent lifestyle and only 25 percent genetics, which underscores the importance of the lifestyle choices people make.

CARDIORESPIRATORY FITNESS

Many health experts say that cardiorespiratory fitness may be just as valuable a metric to determine overall health as blood pressure and lipid levels. People with a high aerobic capacity can deliver oxygen to tissues and cells efficiently to fuel exercise, according to data published in 2014 in the journal Aging & Disease. In a study involving 11,335 women, researchers compared V02 max, also known as aerobic capacity, in women with mortality data. Women who were fit from a cardiovascular perspective had a lower death rate from all causes, irrespective of the women’s weight.

IMPROVE BONE HEALTH

Strength training and physical activity can stave off the effects of frailty and osteoporosis, which affects bone strength. A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2017 found that hip fractures are associated with diminished quality of life and survival among the elderly. One in three adults aged 50 and over dies within 12 months of suffering a hip fracture, and older adults have a five- to eight-times greater risk of dying within three months following a hip fracture. Building muscle strength, balance and bone density through exercise can reduce falls and frailty, helping to prevent fracture-related health risks.

Effective exercises for seniors

Exercise has direct stress-busting benefits that can promote longevity. MANAGE STRESS AND MOOD

Exercise has direct stress-busting benefits that can promote longevity. The Mayo Clinic says physical activity can increase the production of endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good neurotransmitters. In addition, exercise can imitate the effects of stress, helping the body adjust its flight or fight response accordingly, and help them cope with mildly stressful situations. While engaged in exercise, people may forget about their problems as they are focused on the activity at hand.

Physical limitations may be a part of aging for many people, but such obstacles need not limit seniors looking to banish boredom from their workout routines. In fact, many seniors can successfully engage in a variety of exercises that benefit their bodies and are unlikely to grow stale.

overlook the benefits of strength training. The CDC notes that seniors who participate in strength training can stimulate the growth of muscle and bone, thereby reducing their risk for osteoporosis and frailty. In fact, the CDC notes that people with health concerns like arthritis or heart disease often benefit the most from exercise regimens that include lifting weights a few times each week.

Strength training: Seniors on the lookout for something more challenging than a daily walk around the neighborhood should not

Water aerobics: Sometimes referred to as “aqua aerobics,” water aerobics may involve jogging in the water, leg lifts, arm curls, and

ADDRESSES SARCOPENIA

The health and wellness resource Healthline defines sarcopenia as the loss of muscle mass specifically related to aging. Doctors once considered this muscle loss inevitable, and it can affect stamina and lead to weakness. However, new indications suggest that exercise is the main treatment regimen for sarcopenia, particularly resistance training. This is designed to improve muscle strength and help balance hormone levels by turning protein into energy for older adults.

other activities that can safely be performed in a pool. The YMCA notes that water aerobics exercises are low impact, which can make them ideal for seniors with bone and joint issues like arthritis. Resistance band workouts: Resistance band workouts can be especially useful for seniors who spend a lot of time at home. Resistance bands are inexpensive and don’t take up a lot of space, making them ideal for people who like to exercise at home but don’t have much space. They can be used to strengthen muscles in various parts of the body, including the legs, arms and back and can be pulled or pushed in any direction, which allows for more versatility

in a workout than weight machines and dumbbells. That versatility allows seniors to spice up their workout regimens when things get a little uninspiring. Pilates: Pilates is another low-impact exercise that can be ideal for seniors with bone and joint issues. According to SilverSneakers®, a community fitness program for seniors that promotes living through physical and social engagement, Pilates can help seniors build overall strength, stability and coordination. SilverSneakers® even notes that seniors can experience improvements in strength and stability by committing to as little as 10 to 15 minutes of daily Pilates exercises.


PAGE 6S • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

PRIME TIMES | FINANCES

For years, they took care of us. Now, it’s our turn.

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Saving strategies as retirement draws near

rofessionals on the cusp of retirement are often excited about what lies ahead. Some prospective retirees may look forward to traveling once they no longer have to go to work each day, while others may plan to return to school. Regardless of how adults envision spending their retirement, they’re going to need money when they’re no longer being paid by their employers. As retirement nears, some professionals may be concerned that they haven’t saved enough. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer in regard to how much money people will need in retirement. People who are worried they haven’t saved enough can try various strategies to build up their account balances before they officially call it a career.

Catch-up contributions

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Adults who are 50 or older are eligible to take advantage of catch-up contributions. These are designed to help people over 50 contribute more to certain retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA, than statutory limits would otherwise allow. There are limits that govern the amount of money people can designate as catchup contributions, but taking advantage of this perk can help people save more as retirement draws closer.

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A recent study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that housing costs accounted for 49 percent of seniors’ spending. Professionals nearing retirement who live in areas traditionally associated with a high cost of living can begin to rethink their long-term housing strategy. Relocating to an area with a lower cost of living is one option, while those who prefer to remain in their current town or city can consider downsizing to a smaller home to reduce their property taxes and monthly utility bills.

Continue investing

Conventional wisdom suggests moving away from investing in stocks the closer you get to retirement. Though that’s a sound strategy, professionals who are trying to build their retirement savings in the final years before retiring could be missing out on significant growth by abandoning stocks entirely. Speak with a financial advisor about stock-based investments and your risk tolerance.

Find ways to reduce spending so you have more to save or invest. Maintaining a diversified portfolio with a little risk can be a great way to grow your savings as retirement draws near.

Consider delaying Social Security

Delay claiming if you can. The the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes that you can expect to get an additional 5 to 8 percent in monthly benefits for every year you wait to claim your Social Security benefits after age 62, maxing out at age 70. If you can afford to do so, wait to claim your full benefit until age 70, as doing so can translate to a benefit that's 32 percent higher than it would have been had you claimed your benefit at age 62.

Rein in spending

Examine your budget. You might negotiate a lower rate on your car insurance or save by bringing your lunch to work instead of buying it. Determine where your money is going — and find ways to reduce spending so you have more to save or invest. Professionals approaching retirement may be dealing with a mix of excitement and anxiety, particularly if they’re concerned about their retirement savings. Various strategies can help quell such anxiety and make it easier for professionals over 50 to build their savings as retirement nears.


JULY 15, 2021 • TBR NEWS MEDIA • PRIME TIMES • PAGE 7S

PRIME TIMES | HEALTH

The benefits of living in a skilled nursing facility

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any aging adults reach a point in their lives when they can no longer care for themselves without some help. Some may just need a little help around the house, while others with more extensive needs may choose to relocate to skilled nursing facilities. Some aging adults may be able to choose living facilities on their own, and many may even dictate their choices as part of their estate planning. In other instances, such as when seniors suddenly become ill and are incapable of caring for themselves, the decision may need to be made by relatives. Families have a variety of options when looking for living facilities for aging men and women, and there are a host of benefits to skilled nursing facilities.

Professional care

Many facilities offer skilled nursing care. Skilled nursing care is administered by licensed nurses and therapists. Skilled nursing facilities, or SNFs, are designed to tend to the needs of residents who require

a level of medical care that goes beyond what assisted living facilities can provide.

Peace of mind

Medical attention at SNFs is available around the clock. That often provides residents’ relatives substantial peace of mind, as they know licensed professionals will be on hand to address their loved ones’ needs at all hours of the day and night.

Criteria

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will only certify facilities that meet strict criteria. When shopping for an SNF, individuals and families should inquire about certification. CMScertified facilities are subject to periodic inspections to make sure residents are receiving the highest quality care. That’s another factor that should give families some peace of mind.

Proximity

According to Commonwealth Medicine, there are more than 15,000 SNFs in the United States. These facilities care for

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JULY 15, 2021 • TBR NEWS MEDIA • PRIME TIMES • PAGE 9S

PRIME TIMES | VISION

CLEARING THE FOG: What to expect from cataract surgery

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f you’re over 40 years old, you may have noticed your vision getting worse – maybe you need a light when reading or have trouble driving at night. What is often shrugged off as another unavoidable part of aging could be a sign of something that can be quickly and safely resolved – cataracts. According to research by the Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan, most people will get cataracts at some point in their lives, yet misconceptions exist around what they are and the treatment options available. “Many people think worsening vision is a natural sign of aging and it’s something they just have to learn to live with,” said Dr. Daniel Chang, ophthalmologist at Empire Eye and Laser Center. “I tell my patients it doesn’t have to impact your daily life, there are treatment options, and you don’t have to suffer. Cataract surgery is both safe and effective with an extremely high success rate of improving vision.”

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye that can cause blurry vision and increase glare from lights. The Mayo Clinic indicates that cataracts can make it difficult for people to carry out their normal activities or interfere with treatment of other eye problems. In such instances, doctors may recommend cataract surgery. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says cataract surgery involves removing the lens of the eye when it's cloudy. A cloudy lens can make people feel like they are looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. That's because a cataract-plagued lens cannot refract light rays effectively. Many images appear hazy and blurry, or less colorful. Surgery is the only way to effectively treat cataracts. The cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial clear lens called an intraocular lens, or IOL, says the AAO. Cataract surgeries have become routine and most operations are successful. The National Institutes of Health says as many as 95 percent of people who undergo cataract procedures experience an improvement in the sharpness of their vision. Replacement of the damaged lens is the goal, but there are different types of cataract surgery that vary based on the size of the incision and the technology used to remove the cataract. Phacoemulsification is one popular procedure during which a surgeon will make a two- to three-millimeterlong incision in the front of the eye for an ultrasonic probe. The probe utilizes vibration to break up the cataract and removes the fragments with suction. A foldable lens is

Cataract surgery can give people a new lease on life through improved visual clarity. then inserted through the incision. Here are some things to expect from cataract surgery. ◆ A week or more before the surgery an ultrasound test will measure the size and shape of the eye. This helps to determine which type of IOL will later be inserted and become a permanent part of the eye. ◆ IOLs can come with different features, such as blocking ultraviolet light or being monofocal or bifocal in nature. Others correct astigmatism. An eye doctor will discuss which type of lens is best.

3

myths

ABOUT CATARACTS

MYTH #1: A cataract is a rare condition where a film grows over the eye. FACT: Cataracts are far from rare, impacting more than 90% of people by the age of 65, according to the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. Rather than something growing over your eyes, cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. According to Dr. Daniel Chang, a healthy lens is made of water and proteins, and is clear so light can pass through it. With age and certain conditions, these proteins start to clump together, leading to blurry or foggy vision.

◆ Medicated eye drops may be prescribed before surgery to reduce the risk for eye infections. ◆ Patients may need to stop taking certain medications prior to surgery, particularly if they can increase bleeding risk. Also, doctors may advise patients to avoid solid food several hours before surgery and avoid drinking alcohol for a day prior. ◆ You will be awake for the procedure, but your eye will be numbed and you won't be able to see what the surgeon is doing.

Some doctors provide a sedative to help with relaxation. ◆ Typically the surgery is an out-patient procedure, meaning you'll be able to return home the same day. However, you will not be able to drive, so arrange for transportation. ◆ Medicated eye drops may be prescribed, and recovery may include limiting activities for a few days. Any eye discomfort should disappear after a couple of days. Eye patches and protective sunglasses also may be recommended.

MYTH #2: Cataracts can be reversed.

FACT: Cataracts are fixed by surgically removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a permanent, artificial lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL), which can restore or even improve vision. “Advanced IOLs can also help widen your range of vision and correct presbyopia (age-related near-vision loss) at the time of surgery,” said Chang. “[If correctly selected], IOLs may even reduce the need for glasses after surgery.” MYTH #3: Cataract surgery is risky and results take time. FACT: Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States with a success rate of around 98%, according to the VisionAware campaign from the American Printing House for the Blind. The surgery is quick – with each eye taking approximately 15 minutes. “After the surgery, you can typically go back to your daily low-impact activities

Dr. Daniel Chang – with the exception of driving – after 24 hours,” Chang said. If you are experiencing cataracts symptoms, talk to an eye doctor to determine if surgery is right for you. To learn more or find an ophthalmologist near you, visit www.beyondcataracts.com.


PAGE 10 S • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

PRIME TIMES | HOME DESIGN

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fter bringing home a bubbly baby boy or girl, it can be hard for parents to imagine that a day will come when their kids are off to college and then onto their own apartment or house. After spending decades nurturing and caring for children, parents are then left with a suddenly quiet house and probably much more time to spare. If saying goodbye to the kids also means extra house, there’s the option to downsize or make that extra space more useful. Homeowners who choose to stay put can renovate vacant rooms into spaces that meet their newfound needs. HOBBY HAVEN: If you’ve always meant to set up a crafting room, home-brewing station or an artist’s studio, now is an ideal time to do just that. Figure out which supplies you will need and begin reworking that former bedroom into a new sanctuary for leisure interests. GUEST SUITE: If you’ve never had a spare bedroom to entertain guests, a child’s former bedroom can fit the bill. It may not be that difficult to transform such spaces into relaxing and inviting rooms for overnight guests. Be sure there is at least a queen-sized bed and a dresser or chest of drawers to stash belongings. Select paint colors and linens in neutral tones so the room will be inviting to guests. LIVING ROOM REDO: When there’s an entire soccer team coming over to hang out,

that large sectional sofa or modular seating may be ideal. Now that the kids are out of the house and their friends are no longer coming over for movie night, living rooms can be made more intimate with small-scale seating. A small sofa and two comfortable chairs may be a more fitting option. AT-HOME GYM: Save on gym membership fees by building a mini studio right at home. Choose one of the larger bedrooms and then fill it with some fitness equipment, such as an elliptical trainer, a bench press bench and some free weights. Store rolled-up mats in the closet for yoga or Pilates sessions. EXPANDED BATHROOM: If space has always been at a premium in the bathroom, borrow area from an empty bedroom and turn it into a spa. Install a soaking tub separate from the shower, and fill the room with other amenities, such as a warming lamp or even a small sauna. HOME OFFICE: Working from home a few days a week may be more plausible when nearing retirement, as it will be a smoother transition from heading to the office each day to spending more time at home. Turn a bedroom or den into an office space with a new desk and bookshelves. An empty nest can be a bittersweet experience, but parents can make such situations work for them by transforming their homes to better reflect their current needs.


JULY 15, 2021 • TBR NEWS MEDIA • PRIME TIMES • PAGE 11 S

PRIME TIMES | FINANCES

Enjoy senior discounts on recreational activities and Friendly’s offer various senior discounts. Most are 10 to 15 percent off the meal. Others offer free beverages or an extra perk with purchase. Hotels: Seniors booking their stays through select hotel chains may be eligible to reduce their costs by 10 percent or more. Travelers age 62 and older are privy to a 15-percent discount on room rates at Marriott brand hotels, subject to availability. When making the reservation, check to see if you qualify for an age-related discount. Some may be affiliated with memberships in organizations like AARP. Theme parks: Before buying entry tickets or season passes, check with the membership office regarding senior discounts. Certain items also may be discounted throughout the parks. Entertainment: Playhouses like Theatre Three and the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts offer senior discounts for their Mainstage shows and certain movie theaters like PJ Cinemas offer special viewing days or times that are discounted.

Travel: Travelers age 65 and older can enjoy a 10 percent discount on rail fares on most Amtrak trains. For those who prefer ground travel but want to leave the car at home, this can be a great way to get around. Discounted senior fares are available on select flights for Delta Airlines and American Airlines. Seniors can enjoy discounts on select cruises through Carnival. Rental car companies also offer discounts for senior customers. Clothing: Looking your best for a night out may mean shopping for new clothing. Kohl’s offers a 15 percent discount for customers ages 55 and over every Wednesday. Gym memberships: Individuals who are eligible for Medicare also may be entitled to a free SilverSneakers membership, which provides access to over 13,000 participating fitness centers. Park admission: Seniors age 62 and older can purchase a Senior Pass for $10 that’s good for more than 2,000 federal recreational sites and national parks in the United States. The pass is good for a lifetime.

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espite the efforts of Juan Ponce de Leon, there is no magical Fountain of Youth. Getting older is inevitable and it is important to see the silver lining of aging. Among the various perks that come with age, including increased knowledge and experience, are a whole host of discounts for the aging population. Men and women who have reached a certain age are entitled to key discounts if they know where to look. The ages at which discounts are available vary. Auto insurance companies may provide a senior discount to drivers who are over 50. Certain restaurants offer these discounts for those over the age of 55. Retailers may begin offering discounts to customers who are over the age of 60. Many discounts can be used for recreational activities. Dining out: Why pay full price for a meal if you don’t have to? Fast-food/sitdown restaurants like Wendy’s, Arby’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Applebees, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chick-fil-A


PAGE 12 S • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

PRIME TIMES | HEALTH

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Has telehealth become a post-COVID-19 reality?

hange was a big part of life in 2020. As the world confronted the COVID-19 pandemic, changes had to be made to keep people safe and prevent the virus from spreading. Some of those changes will no doubt prove temporary, while others may have staying power. An increased reliance on telemedicine is one notable change to take place during the pandemic that figures to stick around long after people have gotten rid of their masks. When in-person doctor visits became risky, many doctors increased their telemedicine offerings, allowing patients to call in and discuss issues or symptoms over the phone. In many instances, doctors can prescribe medications or recommend treatments without seeing patients in their offices, and patients may appreciate that convenience even after the pandemic has ended. Some people may have been hesitant to embrace telemedicine, and reports during the pandemic’s early stages reflect that hesitation. Data from the National Cancer Institute indicates that screenings for breast cancer and colorectal cancer dropped by roughly 89 and 85 percent, respectively, in the first couple of months after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Though cancer screenings typically must be conducted in person, the decline in screenings suggests patients were not speaking with their physicians during the early months of the pandemic. Had patients been more willing to speak with their physicians over the phone or via video conferencing apps like Zoom, the decline in cancer screenings likely would not have been so significant, as doctors would have emphasized the importance of screenings, even during a pandemic.

Telehealth appointments can be valuable for anyone, and patients can take steps to ensure their telemedicine sessions with their physicians are as productive as possible. Write down questions. Prior to an appointment, patients can write down any questions they have for their physicians. This helps ensure nothing is forgotten during the appointment. Writing down questions is especially important for telehealth appointments, as it can be easy to be distracted when calling in from home. Keep a health diary. A health diary can help patients point to symptoms or other persistent issues they’ve faced in the weeks or months leading up to their telehealth appointments. Jot down everything from the severity and frequency of symptoms to fluctuations in weight to any reactions to medications. No detail is too minor, as the more informed patients are the more fruitful their discussions with physicians can be. Photograph any extraordinary symptoms. Physical examinations are vital components of preventive health regimens, but many people have delayed or skipped annual physicals during the pandemic. If any unusual symptoms or issues like rashes arise, document them by taking photos and measure the size of any lumps. Any symptoms should be reported to a physician immediately, but documentation like photographs can ensure nothing is lost in translation during telehealth appointments. Telemedicine figures to play a bigger role in health care in the years to come. Embracing strategies to make telehealth appointments more successful can help patients adapt to the changing health care landscape.


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Senior communities cater to active lifestyles

PRIME TIMES | HOME

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qualified communities, more than 32 million would consider living in such a community. The website 55places.com, which specializes in promoting age-restricted communities, indicates Florida has the most age-restricted communities in the country, followed by New Jersey. Choosing an age-restricted community requires consideration of a host of factors, including the amenities residents most desire

and the cost of a facility. Homes built in retirement communities are designed to be comfortable and convenient for aging residents. Many are single-floor units. Certain communities may be comprised of apartments, condos or townhouses, while others may be single, detached residences. When comparing age-restricted communities, consider the amenities available. Do they include on-site dining,

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iving life to the fullest does not need to stop when adults near or reach retirement age. Age-restricted housing communities once bore the stereotype of having limited recreational options and dated surroundings. But modern senior homes and facilities are all about catering to active lifestyles — with some communities offering resort-like amenities and pristine properties. Furthermore, certain communities provide niche offerings for people who are looking for something even a little more different. Eligibility to live in these communities varies, but generally speaking one resident in the home must be age 55 or older. According to research by TRI Pointe Homes, of the 75 million people who comprise the Baby Boomer generation who are eligible for age-

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transportation, travel assistance, pools, fitness centers, walking trails, or outdoor sports facilities? Some communities have “aging in place” amenities, which means residents can move from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care as their needs change. Make a list of interests and then match them to a community that can fit your needs. Investopedia advises seniors to consider the community’s location and what is being offered, as these factors will affect costs. In addition to rent or mortgages, most communities also have monthly maintenance or homeowners association fees that need to be compared and considered. Read contracts carefully to see which other costs are included. Unique men and women call for unique communities. If standard age-restricted communities do not fit the bill, 55places. com says there are specialized offerings for people who spend retirement in an RV; communities just for postal workers; or communities tied to a local college to continue lifelong learning. Age-restricted retirement communities are evolving and many specialize in catering to active lifestyles.

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PRIME TIMES | LEISURE

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hared experiences are ideal ways to make new friends or solidify established relationships. Bonds can be strengthened even further when those shared experiences include entertaining activities. This is a great reason for adults to incorporate routine game nights into their social calendars. Game nights are nothing new. Perhaps your parents or grandparents gossiped over a few games of gin rummy or weekly poker gatherings? Before the widespread proliferation of digital video games, board games were a go-to way to have fun. Even now, game nights can provide the perfect way to slow down, have fun and get together with friends. Hosting a game night can be an ideal way to have fun at home without turning on the television. The following are a few things to consider when planning:

The number of people dictates which games can be played How many people are invited to game night will determine the games that can be played. Game nights tend to be more successful with a guest between four and eight players. Keeping people engaged in a game can be more challenging if there are more than eight individuals, and most games are designed for a maximum of eight players. Plan for finger foods Game night etiquette typically dictates that hosts will provide refreshments. In lieu of a sit-down meal, offer finger foods,

which are easier to manage while engaged in game play. Premade party platters are an option if you want to spend more time entertaining and less time preparing food. Guests also can be encouraged to bring small dishes, such as sandwiches, chips and dips or other snacks. Have a variety of games on hand Let the course of the night be relatively fluid, even if you have a certain game in mind. If guests are not fans of a particular game, make sure you have others at the ready. Music or a sports game playing in the background also can be a way to keep guests entertained between turns. When deciding on games, consider these criteria, courtesy of Game Night Gods, an online game night resource: • The game should be easy to learn. • The game should be relatively fastmoving. • The game should pique interest and be strategic. Get out of your comfort zones Acting zany and engaging in games that push people out of their comfort zones can help guests get to know one another and laugh along the way. Games also are a perfect way to learn something new with little to no pressure. A game night can unite existing friends and help people interested in making new acquaintances find common ground. If in person game nights are not doable, gather virtually through video chat applications.


JULY 15, 2021 • TBR NEWS MEDIA • PRIME TIMES • PAGE 17 S

PRIME TIMES | HEALTH

The risk of an overly sedentary lifestyle at home and at work

H

ealth experts call it “sitting a risk of dying similar to the risks disease.” It refers to when of fatality linked to obesity and people spend more of their smoking. Increased blood pressure, time behind a desk or steering high blood sugar, abnormal wheel of a car or cholesterol levels, and planted in front of a excess body fat all television than they do can be attributed to engaging in physical inactivity. activity. According Mental health can to the American be adversely affected Heart Association, by a sedentary sedentary jobs have lifestyle as well. increased by 83 Australian researchers percent since 1950, surveyed more than and technology 3,300 government has reduced many ERIN MICHOS, MD, MHS employees and found people’s need to get men who sat for up and move. Inactivity is taking a more than six hours a day at work considerable toll on public health. were 90 percent more likely to feel A study from the University moderate psychological distress, of Cambridge equated inactivity such as restlessness, nervousness with being obese. The Mayo Clinic or hopelessness, than those who sat advises that research has linked for less than three hours a day. sedentary behavior to a host of In addition, a sedentary lifestyle health concerns, and found those can significantly increase a person’s who sat for more than eight hours risk for various types of cancer. a day with no physical activity had A German meta-analysis of 43

Moving every 30 minutes is one way to reduce the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

studies involving four million people indicated those who sit the most have higher propensities to develop colon cancer, endometrial cancer and lung cancer. Johns Hopkins Medical Center says research shows that high levels

of exercise at some point in the day can lessen some risk, but it’s not entirely effective if most of the rest of the day a person is inactive. Risk for cardiovascular disease increases significantly for people who spend 10 hours or more sitting each day.

Various medical organizations recommend individuals get up and move at any opportunity to help reduce risks of inactivity. Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., associate director of preventive cardiology at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, advises people who are very sedentary to aim for 4,000 steps per day. Such individuals can then build up to a target of 10,000 steps daily. The Mayo Clinic recommends these strategies to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting. ▶ Stand while talking on the phone or watching television ▶ Invest in a standing desk ▶ Get up from sitting every 30 minutes ▶ Walk at lunch or during meetings Sedentary lifestyles can affect health in many negative ways. But there are various ways to get up and go over the course of a typical day.

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PAGE 18 S • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

PRIME TIMES | FOOD

The Recipe Corner

CO N N E C T E D FOR A LIFETIME Coconut Key Lime Creme Pie

THE PERFECT SUMMERTIME PIE Summer is the time to relax, refresh and indulge in sweet and heavenly treats. This luscious Coconut Key Lime Cream Pie has a smooth texture with toasted shredded coconut on top. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and will leave your taste buds wanting more as soon as you take your first bite.

Coconut Key Lime Cream Pie

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YIELD: Serves 6 to 8 INGREDIENTS: • 1 package (11 ounces) vanilla wafers • 1/3 cup butter, melted • 2 cups heavy whipping cream • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar • 1/2 cup Key lime juice, divided • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk • 1 teaspoon coconut extract • 1 cup shredded coconut • 1/4 cup toasted shredded coconut • lime zest • maraschino cherries

3/24/21 11:38 AM

In blender, pulse vanilla wafers into crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until combined. Press crumbs into bottom and up sides of greased 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate. Refrigerate 30 minutes. In large bowl, beat whipping cream until it thickens. Add confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon lime juice; beat until stiff peaks form. Remove 1 cup; set aside. In separate large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk and coconut extract; beat until blended. Add remaining lime juice and shredded coconut; stir until combined. Add reserved whipped cream. Stir until combined. Pour into crust. Refrigerate 4 hours. Before serving, garnish with toasted coconut, lime zest and maraschino cherries.

PEANUT BUTTER PERFECTION If you’ve ever taken a bite of something and the only word that came to mind was “yum,” you know what it’s like to experience this dessert. This Fluffy Peanut Butter Pie is sweet, perfectly crumbly and tastes delicious. Rich but light, it’s a dessert that will likely never go out of style. Although it tastes like you have been in the kitchen all day, it’s a simple-tomake, delightful treat with luscious peanut butter flavor that melts in your mouth.

Fluffy Peanut Butter Pie YIELD: Serves 6 to 8 INGREDIENTS: • 20 chocolate cream-filled cookies • 1/4 cup butter, melted • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened • 1 cup smooth peanut butter • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk • 3 tablespoons lemon juice • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 cup whipping cream • chocolate syrup DIRECTIONS:

Remove cream filling from chocolate cookies; set aside. With rolling pin, finely crush chocolate cookies. In medium bowl, combine finely crushed cookies with melted butter. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate; chill while preparing filling. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add reserved cookie cream filling, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk; beat until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract. In medium bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture. Mix until combined. Pour into crust. Chill 4 hours, or until set. Drizzle chocolate syrup over pie before serving. Cover leftovers and store in refrigerator.


JULY 15, 2021 • TBR NEWS MEDIA • PRIME TIMES • PAGE 19 S

PRIME TIMES | HEALTH

Always tired? Eat a balanced diet to improve your energy levels

A

little energy during the day could benefit just about anyone. Late morning mental fatigue and the post-lunch yawns may seem unavoidable, but there are plenty of ways to improve energy levels throughout the day. One such means to getting an extra hop in your step involves utilizing food. The health care experts at Kaiser Permanente® note that every part of the body, including the brain and heart, require energy to work. The body gets that energy from food. A healthy, balanced diet is the best way to maintain sufficient energy levels throughout the day. A dietary approach rooted in eating to energize can change the way people eat, potentially helping them avoid unhealthy foods that won’t give them the boost they need. Eat every three to four hours. Eating every three to four hours helps to fuel a healthy

metabolism. This approach also can prevent the between-meal hunger pangs that compel many people to reach for whatever food is readily available, even if it’s unhealthy. When eating every three to four hours, remember to prepare smaller portions than you would if you were eating three meals per day. Feeling comfortably full but not stuffed is a good indicator that you’ve eaten enough. Choose the right snacks. Stick with snacks that have lean protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates. Low-fat Greek yogurt, apples, a handful of unsalted nuts, and carrots are some examples of healthy snacks that will provide an energy boost between meals. Aim for balance. A balanced plate should include foods from multiple food groups. Even a small amount of fat can find its way onto your plate, which should include a combination of

whole grains, lean protein, fiberrich fruits and vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat dairy. If that’s too much for a single sitting, ensure these food groups are represented on your plate at some point during the day. Avoid added sugars. Added sugars can adversely affect energy levels. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that consuming too many added sugars, which are found in sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and iced tea and sweet snacks like candy, increases a person’s risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Energy provided by foods with added sugars is typically misleading, as it wears off quickly and ultimately leads to an energy crash. If you’re looking to eat and drink for energy, then choose water or low-fat milk instead of coffee and soda and replace sweet snacks with fruit.

How people eat can help them overcome fatigue or exacerbate existing energy issues.

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PAGE 20 S • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

PRIME TIMES | FINANCES

Relax...

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How expenses can change during retirement

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ork is a major component of daily life, so much so that Andrew Naber, an industrial and organizational psychologist and an associate behavioral scientist at RAND Corp., determined that the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over the course of his or her lifetime. According to a recent Gallup poll, the average American retires at age 62, but roughly 64 percent of professionals bid farewell to the workplace between ages 55 and 65. Retirees must make a number of adjustments once they call it a career. No such adjustment is as significant as the financial one. Most people find their post-retirement income is considerably less than when they were working full-time. That is why financial planners often recommend saving and investing enough during working years to be able to replace 80 percent of preretirement income. Certain expenses get lower after retirement, but some will rise. Here’s a look at what to expect when EAST SETAUKET • WESTHAMPTON BEACH the bills come due during retirement. NEW YORK CITY • EAST HAMPTON FOOD COSTS: Food costs may go down in retirement because shopping and preparing meals for one or two people is much less costly than feeding a family of four or more. However, dining out may increase as you have more free time to visit local eateries. AUTOMOTIVE COSTS: According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average commuter spends 25.8 minutes behind the wheel twice a day, and the average driver puts in 13,474 miles behind the wheel Elder Law, Estate Planning, Trusts & Estates, Real Estate each year — with people between the ages of East Setauket • Westhampton Beach • New York City • East Hampton 35 and 54 clocking close to 15,000 miles. Less Paid Attorney Advertising time spent in the car means fewer gasoline fill-

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ups and longer durations between oil changes and other services. In addition, based on the Internal Revenue Service reimbursement rate of 58 cents per mile, a typical commute of 20 to 30 miles a day costs $11 to $16 a day or $55 to $80 a week. In a year, you could easily be spending $2,000 to $4,000 a year commuting if you live within 15 miles of your job. Without commuting, that cash stays in your pocket. TAXES: Many people can expect to be done paying federal income taxes when they are retired and no longer earning an income. If the majority of retirement savings were in Roth IRA accounts, contributions are available for withdrawal tax- and penalty-free at any age. HOUSING: Your mortgage may be paid off before or soon after retirement. That eliminates the single largest expense in many people’s budgets. If your home will not be paid off, it’s possible to downsize to reduce monthly payments. TRAVEL: While many other expenses can go down, travel is one expense that can shoot up during retirement. But many people are happy to bear this cost. With more time for travel, retirees may allocate more funds toward vacations and other great escapes. HEALTH CARE: Seniors often see their health care needs and costs go up after retirement. It’s important to understand what is covered by health plans, and it’s equally important to set money aside for unforeseen medical expenses. Many costs of living decrease after retirement. However, it is wise to take in the whole picture to understand how to budget for retirement.


JULY 15, 2021 • TBR NEWS MEDIA • PRIME TIMES • PAGE 21 S

PRIME TIMES | LEISURE

Summer is ripe for exploration and adventure

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ummer highlights Long Island’s including bocce, golf and that trendy rival abundant charms, from our farmlands of horseshoes, cornhole. Shuffle board and and farm stands to our vineyards, parks, croquet have their longtime fans as well. picturesque downtowns and world class These games have endured and remain a beaches. The long days and favorite among all age groups warm temperatures set the stage as they are very social, easy to for getting out and enjoying the learn, portable, low cost and can company of family, friends and be enjoyed at every fitness level. neighbors. Many senior centers, parks and Getting out and about is not public beaches have courts and just the province of the young equipment that can be reserved, — it’s just easier for them to some for a fee and others for free. stay up late. For older folks A visit to one of Long Island’s to maintain their get up and many museums and parks is a go, it’s important to embrace a wonderful way to enjoy Long wellness lifestyle, from a good BY LINDA KOLAKOWSKI Island’s rich history, culture, and night’s sleep to good nutrition, walking trails. The Long Island that contributes to overall well-being. From Museum in Stony Brook is a local favorite there, add intellectual stimulation and for Jefferson’s Ferry residents, many of whom socialization and you’re ready to embrace the volunteer there. The Town of Brookhaven’s life to its fullest. While life plan retirement Cedar Beach is another favorite, with summer communities like Jefferson’s Ferry include programs that include a full moon walk later these important elements in their programs this month, and osprey and plover walks and living environments, those who live during the summer. Pick up a takeout picnic, elsewhere can partake in the general playbook. some cold drinks and take advantage of the Especially popular among the outdoor many beautiful picnic spots at our beaches activities at Jefferson’s Ferry are lawn games and parks. You may even catch an outdoor

concert. There’s always ice cream to be had on the way home. One of the great joys of summer is outdoor dining. Port Jefferson, Northport, Huntington, Stony Brook, Smithtown, Mount Sinai … the list goes on. Whether you’re out for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there have never been so many restaurants that offer open air dining. You can always take a stroll afterwards to work off the calories. Book clubs are very popular year-round at Jefferson’s Ferry, with numerous groups that meet regularly. Some discuss fiction, others a mix of many genres such as history, philosophy, short stories, poetry and memoirs. Local libraries offer book groups via Zoom — check to see if your library holds summer book group meetings) and in person. If you enjoy reading, there’s a book group out there for you. And, since it’s summer, you may want to exercise and read simultaneously. The libraries in the Suffolk County Library System lend free audio books through its Libby app. Put on your headphones and head to your favorite walking path. Long Island’s libraries also offer free passes to both Long Island and New York City museums by reservation.

Libby is a free app where you can borrow digital audiobooks, ebooks and more from your public library. In addition to activities offered through your library, the local school district and community centers may offer performances, guest speakers, field trips and other opportunities for ongoing intellectual growth and stimulation. Programs are reopening, some with a more limited schedule. Check local listings in your paper and online. Don’t miss out. Summer is short. Linda Kolakowski, vice president of resident life at Jefferson’s Ferry Life Plan Community in South Setauket, oversees an extensive program of activities for Independent Living residents.

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PAGE 22 S • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

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PAGE 24 S • PRIME TIMES • TBR NEWS MEDIA • JULY 15, 2021

See the best in new independent

films July 22 - 31

Or join virtually August 5 - 30! The Virtual Festival is an encore screening of the Live Festival.

GOLD PASS Guarantees entry and preferred seating for ALL Live films at the Staller Center in July. Also guarantees full access to the Virtual Festival. Plus VIP perks and discounts. | $250 FESTIVAL PASS Guarantees entry to ALL Live films at the Staller Center in July. Plus Festival gift and discounts. | $125 VIRTUAL PASS Guarantees access to ALL virtual films. | $85

TICKETS AND INFORMATION stonybrookfilmfestival.com (631) 632-ARTS

and corporate partners

@stallercenter 34300

Thank you to our presenting sponsor

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Prime Times - July 15, 2021  

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