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VOL.27, NO.7

Chief cuckoo clock surgeon PHOTO BY REY LOPEZ

By Jessica McKay Lloyd Lehn retired 12 years ago, after a 35-year career as a mechanical/manufacturing engineer with the Department of Defense. But his lifelong love of detangling mechanical problems didn’t stop there. Today, you can find him in his own personally designed and whimsically-named workshop — the Cuckoo Clock Hospital, of which he is the chief surgeon. There, Lehn has been fixing cuckoo clocks for 20 years: oiling, cleaning, replacing and adjusting clock movements and music boxes. It became his full-time vocation after retiring in 2003. Lehn and his wife Laura moved in 2013 from their home in Annandale, Va., to the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, Va. He quickly set up shop in his apartment. He receives many referrals from local clock shops and works on one or two cuckoo clocks per week, on average. Much of Lehn’s business is local, but he has also repaired cuckoos from all over the country, including ones from Idaho, Illinois, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee and Washington.

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Housing & Homecare Options Magazine after page 26

Pursuit requires patience Why cuckoo clocks? “Most clockmakers won’t work on cuckoos. It takes a lot of trial and error work,” he said. “I’m not so sure they are harder to repair, but repair people don’t like them. Many think the only tool one should use [on them] is a sledge hammer.” But teasing out the puzzle of what has gone wrong with the clock’s innards is right up Lehn’s alley. “They are machines, and I like to try to figure out how machines work and to fix them when they don’t. It’s always a challenge for me,” he said. He said one must have the patience to work on them: “Like anything else, the more experience you have doing it, the easier it becomes.” While he has affection for the clocks and their mechanical birds that announce each hour, he’s not a collector himself. He has only one cuckoo clock that functions, plus several that do not. The one that works is a cuckoo that had a standard movement when he got it; he later put in a quartz movement.

LEISURE & TRAVEL Lloyd Lehn sits in the workshop area of his apartment, which he calls the Cuckoo Clock Hospital, at Greenspring Village in Springfield, Va. Lehn, a retired mechanical engineer, has fixed cuckoo clocks from throughout the United States, patiently using trial and error to find and repair problems in the clocks.

Post-doc certification Lehn earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering, and has published many articles on a variety of topics — from statistics and operations research to deer deterrents. He first attended a clock class offered through Fairfax County about 30 years ago, and began working exclusively on cuckoo clocks about 10 years later. He completed 12 semesters of the local clock repair class/workshop, then went on to earn designation as a Certified Clockmaker from the American WatchmakersClockmakers Institute (AWCI). He was also elected to the AWCI board of directors, and currently represents the local Potomac Clock Guild as a board member of the

Horological Association of Virginia (HAV). The largest cuckoo clock he ever repaired was three-feet tall. It is part of the décor of a Georgetown restaurant. When it arrived, the clock was covered with 60 years of smoke and grease from the restaurant’s kitchen. “It took me over 10 hours to clean it with cleaners, toothbrushes and dental picks,” he recalled. “It is a beautiful clock.” Now. But repairing cuckoo clocks also has high-tech components. Lehn uses a timing device called MicroSet and its associated computer software program to record, analyze and adjust the cuckoo mechanism. “It’s sort of like a clock EKG,” he said. See CUCKOO FOR CLOCKS, page 45

Eager to visit Cuba? Some things to know; plus, Shreveport, La., a cultural crossroads, and how to avoid travel insurance disputes page 36 TECHNOLOGY k Local computer classes


FITNESS & HEALTH 10 k A blood test to replace biopsies SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors


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J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Do we save too much? Just a few years ago, before the Great Recession hit, economists were reporting a “negative savings rate” among Americans. That meant many of us were spending even more than we earned each year. How could that be? At the time, hard as it may be to remember now, the rising stock market and booming housing prices gave many Americans such a sense of wealth and optimism about the future that they felt comfortable spending everything they earned and borrowing to spend yet more. (Sort of like the federal government.) The result was that, not only were we not saving for a rainy day, we were borrowing against or spending what little rainy day fund we already had, believing it

would never be needed. So when the recession had the gall to rain on our parade — causing stock prices to fall by half, slashing value from houses so that millions of homeowners were “underwater” on their mortgages, throwing millions out of work and keeping young people from finding employment — there was little to cushion the blow. The Great Recession officially ended five years ago, believe it or not. But we are still clawing our way out of it. Most of us are doing better, some are doing great, but many are still just hanging on, waiting for their turn. So what’s happening with our national savings rate today? Well, it’s actually pretty




Dumbarton House in Georgetown presents Yoga in the Park on Sundays through Aug. 30. The guided outdoor sessions are followed by mediation and meet from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the East Park. Bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing. A donation of $5 per class is suggested. Dumbarton House is located at 2715 Q St. NW, Washington, D.C. Reservations aren’t required, but are appreciated. For more information or to register, visit or call (202) 337-2288.

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The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain the citizens of the Greater Washington DC area, and is privately owned. Other editions serve Greater Baltimore, Howard County, Md. and Greater Palm Springs, Calif. Readership exceeds 400,000. Subscriptions are available via first-class mail ($36) or third-class mail ($12), prepaid with order. D.C. and Maryland residents: add 6 percent for sales tax. Send subscription order to the office listed below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns represent the opinions of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. • Publisher/Editor ....................Stuart P. Rosenthal • Associate Publisher..............Judith K. Rosenthal • Vice President of Operations ....Gordon Hasenei • Director of Sales ................................Alan Spiegel • Managing Editor............................Barbara Ruben • Art Director ........................................Kyle Gregory • Assistant Operations Manager ..........Roger King • Advertising Representatives ........Doug Hallock, ................................................Dan Kelly, Cheryl Watts • Editorial Assistant ........................Rebekah Sewell

The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915 (301) 949-9766 • Email: Website: Submissions: The Beacon welcomes reader contributions. Deadline for editorial is the 10th of the month preceding the month of publication. Deadline for ads is the 15th of the month preceding the month of publication. See page 51 for classified advertising details. Please mail or email all submissions.

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Those of us who lived through 9/11 also strong. About 5.5 percent. have a taste of how quickly things can That’s good, right? No? Well, I guess some economists are change for the worse. Holding onto savings doesn’t mean we never satisfied. The latest word is that our have lost faith. It doesn’t failure as consumers to spend mean we don’t think we can our rising incomes more gentrust in the future. erously is responsible for the On the contrary, I think it tepid nature of the recovery. shows exactly the opposite: We’re described as “sitting It takes faith in the future to on our money,” having the hold back some of today’s gall to exhibit “newfound prulargesse to invest in that fudence,” and exhibiting a ture. “deep psychological trauma” that keeps us from spending We know we are strong, our hard-earned dollars as that we can bounce back freely as we used to. Even mil- FROM THE from adversity. But we also lennials have become cau- PUBLISHER know it’s wise to keep some tious spenders, having been By Stuart P. Rosenthal resources in reserve. It’s shaped by high student debt, how a sensible family acts. a dearth of jobs and low pay. It’s how a sensible country acts. The result of all this, it appears, is a slow So if you’ve been saving a bit more lateeconomic recovery, fewer new jobs and — ly, I say pat yourself on the back. It might oh, the pain — rising savings. lead to a somewhat slower national recovExcuse me, but I find it difficult to be ery overall, and that is sort of a shame. But in the long run — especially given upset that American consumers have learned an important lesson from the reces- how much longer most of us will live than sion (and from the banking crisis, the hous- any generation before us — its seems to me to be a smart move and a sound philosophy. ing crisis, the national debt crisis, etc.). If you disagree, or even if you don’t, In fact, I’m rather in shock and awe that Americans of all ages have developed at least please write and share your thoughts. some of the self-restraint and appreciation for Opinions don’t need to be saved for a rainy savings that once characterized the Greatest day! Generation — those who lived through the Great Depression and were never quite able to shake the feeling that the best of times could come crashing down in a day.

Letters to the editor Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in the Beacon as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915, or email to Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: Regarding “Generics go farther for less” in the report on Medicare drug spending in the June issue, an expert stated, “from a practical perspective, there is no substantive advantage to giving someone Nexium over omeprazole.” Some patients may have a different experience. A friend of mine was prescribed and took Prevacid (also a proton pump inhibitor) for several years and then tried the generic lansoprazole for the condition laryngopharyngeal reflux, a condition in which stomach acid backs up into the throat and larynx. The generic was not effective for her, and her doctor went back to prescribing the Prevacid, which continued to be effective. I wonder if other Beacon readers had a similar experience with this class of drug, or in fact any other drug, with regard to brand name versus generic. By the way, initially the instructions for taking Prevacid were to take a 30 mg. capsule twice daily. When doing this did not work that well, fortunately another doctor

suggested she take both capsules together in the morning, and this worked. The initial doctor’s instructions were changed. I add this to say that it seems the taking of medications may be quite individualized. Susanne M Humphrey Silver Spring, Md. Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Helen Oxenberg, who writes our Solutions column. Dear Ms. Oxenberg: As a retired MSW, ACSW (Master of Social Work, Academy of Certified Social Workers), I send you this note of appreciation. Your comments are spot-on and your sense of humor, likewise. When I pick up the Beacon at my church in D.C., your column is just about the first thing I read. I hope you don’t contemplate “retiring” from this writing. Your advice is surely helpful to those who write you. So — many more years and thanks for the ones so far. Sherrill Taylor Washington, D.C.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Three words describe the new Holy Cross Germantown Hospital:

Your Very Own.

Getting Marie Back On Her Feet When 76-year-old Marie Wallace stumbled down the stairs, she fell forward but landed on her feet. “I was hopeful that everything was okay, but I soon realized something was very wrong,” says Marie. As her feet swelled, she was rushed by ambulance to Holy Cross Germantown Hospital.

Colorectal specialists treat lower-digestivesystem diseases and disorders that require surgery. For patient comfort and peace of mind, Holy Cross Germantown Hospital features a spacious preoperative area for patients and families and a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit staffed with critical care nurses. The hospital is designed with the latest surgical technology and equipment and features three general operating rooms, two complex operating rooms, two endoscopy rooms and an interventional radiology room with catheterization lab.

“During our time in the Emergency Department we received all of the necessary medical procedures, but what impressed us the most was the amount of caring attention given to my mother,” explains Marie’s son, Glenn. Marie’s accident resulted in a broken right ankle and left foot. She was admitted to Holy Cross Germantown Hospital and had surgery to repair both of her feet. Marie is now on the road to recovery. Expert Surgery Close to Home Holy Cross Germantown Hospital’s experienced surgeons are using the most advanced technology and techniques to successfully treat patients who require surgery for many conditions, including orthopedic, gynecologic, urologic, colon and rectal, and more. “Our surgeons perform the latest minimally invasive procedures across a wide range of surgical specialties,” says Douglas Murphy, MD, orthopedic surgeon, and president of the medical staff at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital. “All of the staff is top-notch, especially the nurses and the anesthesia department.”

All Private Patient Rooms

“We cannot thank Holy Cross Germantown Hospital enough for the tremendous, high-level care they offered my mother,” says Glenn Wallace of Montgomery Village, pictured with his mother Marie. “The hospital is a very valuable asset to our community.” Physicians at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital use the latest advances in orthopedics to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate injuries, disorders or diseases that affect the joints. A highly skilled team of gynecologic surgeons provides services, including a range of minimally invasive procedures for women with gynecologic and urologic problems that require surgery. Board-certified urologists provide surgery for patients with diseases of the urinary tract and male reproductive organs.

Spacious private rooms at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital have comfortable furniture, private bathrooms, cable television and wireless Internet access. And, with the hospital’s 24/7 visiting hours, visitors can come anytime. For added comfort and convenience, patients are able to control their own room temperature and lighting.

To find a physician on our growing Holy Cross Germantown Hospital medical staff, visit or call 301-754-8800.


All lectures are held at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, 19801 Observation Dr., Germantown, MD 20876. To register or for more information, call 301-754-8800 or visit Wednesday, July 22, 6:30-8 p.m. Sports Ankle Injuries Ricardo Cook, MD, Orthopedic Surgery

Thursday, August 13, 6:30-8 p.m. Prevention of Concussions and Head Injuries

Wednesday, August 26, 6:30-8 p.m. Dietary Supplements for a Healthy You

Zachary Levine, MD, Neurosurgery

Douglas Murphy, MD, Orthopedic Surgery



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Technology &

Innovations Man controls robotic arm with his thoughts TBy Alicia Chang A man paralyzed by gunshot more than a decade ago can shake hands, drink beer, and play “rock, paper, scissors’’ by controlling a robotic arm with his thoughts, researchers reported. Two years ago, doctors in California implanted a pair of tiny chips into the brain of Erik Sorto that decoded his thoughts to move the free-standing robotic arm. The 34-year-old has been working with researchers and occupational therapists to practice and fine-tune his movements. It’s the latest attempt at creating mindcontrolled prosthetics to help disabled people gain more independence. In the last decade, several people outfitted with brain implants have used their minds to control a computer cursor or steer prosthetic limbs. The work was published recently in the journal Science. Doctors at the University of Southern California implanted small chips into

Sorto’s brain during a five-hour surgery in 2013. The sensors recorded the electrical activity of about 100 brain cells as Sorto imagined reaching and grasping. Researchers asked Sorto to think about what he wanted to do instead of breaking down the steps of the movements, said principal investigator Richard Andersen at the California Institute of Technology.

Weeks of training After weeks of imagining movements, Sorto trained with Caltech scientists and therapists at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center to move the robotic arm, starting with a handshake and graduating to more complicated tasks. The sensors relayed their signals to the arm, bypassing Sorto’s damaged spinal cord. Scientists have long strived to make robotic arms produce movements that are as natural as possible. Previous research targeted a region of the brain known as the motor cortex, which controls movement.

The new work zeroed in on a different area of the brain — the posterior parietal cortex — that’s involved in the planning of movements. The hope is that this strategy will lead to smoother motions. It’s unclear whether the new approach is better because no side-by-side comparisons have been made yet, but it gives researchers a potential new target in the brain. In 2012, a Massachusetts woman paralyzed for 15 years directed a robotic arm to pick up a bottle of coffee and bring it to her lips. In another instance, a quadriplegic man in Pennsylvania used a robotic arm to give a high-five and stroke his girlfriend’s hand. Sorto has a caregiver at home, but he goes to the rehab center several times a week to practice using the robotic arm. Since suffering a gunshot wound 13 years ago, he longed to drink a beer without help. The first time he tried with the prosthetic arm, he was so excited that he lost his concentration and caused the arm

to spill the drink. On the second try, he directed the arm to pick up the bottle and bring it to his mouth where he sipped through a straw. The beer tasted “like a little piece of heaven,’’ Sorto said.

What the future holds Despite progress in the last decade, hurdles remain before brain-controlled prosthetics can help paralyzed people in their daily lives. Experts said computer programs must run faster to interpret brain signals, and the brain implants must be more durable. Currently, wire connections run from a patient’s brain to outside the skull, increasing the risk of infections. Future systems need to be wireless and contained within the body like pacemakers, experts J. Andrew Pruszynski of Western University in Canada and Jorn Diedrichsen of University College London wrote in an accompanying editorial. — AP

Smart mirrors help boost clothing sales By Anne D’Innocenzio Imagine a fitting room with a “smart’’ mirror that suggests jeans to go with the red shirt you brought in. It snaps a video so you can compare the image side-by-side with other colorful shirts you try on. It might even show you how the shirt will fit without you having to undress. A handful of primarily upscale retailers, including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, are testing versions of this high-tech fitting room. And experts say the masses will be able to try these innovations at more stores in the next few years as the technology gets cheaper.

Luring shoppers to stores This trend is a way stores aim to catch up to online rivals like, which are able to gather information on which items shoppers browse, and use that info to recommend other products. The new technology enables physical stores to collect much of the same data as online retailers. It raises privacy questions, but executives say customers are offered a choice, and the data is protected. Stores are tapping into the significant role

the often-forgotten fitting room can play in purchase decisions. While 36 percent of store browsers wind up buying something, 71 percent of shoppers who try on clothes in the fitting room become buyers, according to Paco Underhill, a retail consultant. Yet the typical fitting room isn’t always inviting: Only about 28 percent of shoppers even walk into a dressing room of a typical clothing chain, Underhill said. “The dressing room experience in many places has been close to miserable. There’s bad lighting. They’re dirty. And they have poor service.’’ Some companies are working to change that impression. Later this year, Big Space, a technology company, plans to test at an undisclosed clothing chain a new mirror that recognizes the gender of a customer and makes recommendations based on that. Customers also will be able to request or purchase the items directly from the mirror and have them shipped.

Mirror, mirror on the wall Other technologies already are being tested in stores. In recent years, Bloomingdale’s and Top Shop, among other stores, have tested technology that enable shop-

pers to see how they look in an outfit without trying it on. The patented MemoryMirror, from a Palo Alto, California-based company called MemoMi, is one of the most advanced in this socalled virtual dressing — a feature that’s expected to be tested in U.S. stores later this year. The mirror is outfitted with sensors, setting off motion-triggered changes of clothing. MemoryMirror uses pixel technology that captures even small details, such as a wrinkle on a skirt as it moves. Even for those actually trying on items, the mirror doubles as a video camera, capturing a 360 degree view of what an outfit looks like and making side-by-side comparisons. Shoppers can replay the video and share it with friends Earlier this year, Neiman Marcus rolled out the MemoryMirror outside fitting rooms in three of its locations — Walnut Creek, Calif., San Francisco and the Dallas suburb of Willow Bend. It is considering activating the “virtual dressing’’ feature. John Koryl, president of Neiman Marcus stores and online, said the mirror allows the retailer for the first time to have specific information regarding who tried

on the dress and bought it. He said shoppers must register for a unique account with their email address in order to use the mirror’s features. Any data collected on the mirror’s usage is anonymous and aggregated, he said.

More fitting room tech A division of online seller eBay called eBay Enterprise, which specializes in providing retail technology and service, also has fitting-room technology that some stores are testing. Designer Rebecca Minkoff’s first two stores in New York and San Francisco are testing the new fitting room technology that uses radio frequency identification that embeds data in clothing tags. It will be rolling out the technology when it opens stores in Chicago and Los Angeles later this year, said CEO Uri Minkoff. It works this way: a touch screen allows the customer to flip through a catalog and indicate which items he or she wants in the dressing room. The customer inputs their cellphone number and the sales clerk See MIRRORS, page 5

❏ Arbor Terrace of Herndon (See ad on page B-8) ❏ Ashby Ponds (See ads on pages B-5, B-10 & 48) ❏ Chesterbrook Residences (See ad on page B-8 & B-12) ❏ Culpepper Garden (See ad on page 38) ❏ Fairfax, The (See ad on page B-5) ❏ Falcons Landing (See ads on pages B-9 & B-20) ❏ Great Falls Assisted Living (See ads on pages B-7 & B-12) ❏ Greenspring (See ads on pages B-10, B-16 & 48) ❏ Gum Springs Glen (See ad on page B-17) ❏ Herndon Harbor House (See ad on page B-17) ❏ Lockwood House (See ad on page B-17) ❏ Morris Glen (See ad on page B-17) ❏ Potomac Place (See ad on page B-15) ❏ Sommerset (See ads on pages B-3 & B-18) ❏ Tall Oaks Assisted Living (See ads on pages B-4 & B-19) ❏ Tyson Towers (See ad on page B-7) ❏ Vinson Hall (See ads on pages B-15 & B-16) ❏ Virginian, The (See ads on pages B-14 & 52) ❏ Waltonwood (See ads on pages B-2 & B-18) ❏ Wingler House (See ad on page B-17)

Health Study Volunteers ❏ Alzheimer’s Prevention Study (See article on page 18) ❏ Depression Medication Study (See ad on page 18) ❏ Diabetes Studies (See ad on page 18) ❏ High Cholesterol Study (See ad on page 19) ❏ IDEAL Study / Healthy Volunteers 80+ (See ad on page 19)


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❏ Arden Courts (See ad on page 12) ❏ Brooke Grove (See ads on pages B-5, B-6 & B-9) ❏ Charter House (See ad on page 15) ❏ Churchill Senior Living (See ad on page 39) ❏ Covenant Village (See ads on pages B-4 & B-17) ❏ Emerson House (See ads on pages B-12 & B-17) ❏ Homecrest House (See ads on pages B-17 & B-18) ❏ Mrs. Philippines Home (See ad on page B-17) ❏ Olney Assisted Living (See ads on pages B-5 & B-10) ❏ Park View Bladensburg (See ad on page 8) ❏ Park View Columbia (See ad on page 8) ❏ Park View Emerson (See ad on page 8) ❏ Park View Laurel (See ad on page 8) ❏ Riderwood (See ads on pages B-10, B-14 & 48) ❏ Ring House (See ad on page 41) ❏ Solana (See ad on page B-15) ❏ Springvale Terrace (See ad on page B-4 & B-12) ❏ Village at Rockville (See ad on page B-19)


It works this way: Products like shoes

It works this way: Technology allows shoppers to see themselves in outfits without having to try them on. The technology allows shoppers to add items like coats and accessories, and change colors and materials. Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky, CEO of MemoMi, says shoppers will see the company’s virtual dressing technology in some U.S. stores in the next few months, and noted a variety of stores from luxury brands to mid-level departments stores are interested. — AP



Magic carpets

Virtual dressing

❏ Friendship Terrace (See ads on pages B-3 & B-14) ❏ Knollwood (See ads on pages B-7 & B-16) ❏ Residences at Thomas Circle (See ads on pages B-9 & B-13)

It works this way: Pick up a shoe and information pops up about the color and designer. Who’s doing it? Start-ups like Perch Interactive Inc. use projection light and motion sensors. It detects when a product is being picked up. Perch then monitors the interactions and sends that information to the retailer. Perch says it has worked with several accessories brands like Kate Spade who have tested the technology. Jeans maker Levi Strauss is testing the Perch technology on a few of the jeans maker’s essentials, like the trucker’s jacket and the 501 jacket in one store in San Francisco and one in New York City.

District of Columbia


Interactive shelves

are tagged with Radio Frequency Identification, and when shoppers step on a carpet, information pops up on a screen, including available sizes and colors. Who’s doing it? Uggs is testing the technology from tech firm Demandware at its Ugg Tysons Galleria store, McLean, Virginia, and its parent store Deckers in San Francisco.

Housing Communities


Here are three other high-tech trends that some shoppers will see in retail stores this year:

For free materials on housing communities and health studies, just complete and clip this coupon and mail it to the Beacon.

High-tech comes to retail


See MIRRORS, page 8



texts when the fitting room is ready. When the shopper walks in the dressing area, the mirror recognizes the items and displays the different clothing on the screen. Minkoff said the two stores testing this technology are selling the clothing two and a half times faster than expected, and shoppers are increasing the number of items they buy by 30 percent. “We are creating dressing room therapy,’’ said Uri Minkoff. EBay Enterprise is also working with Nordstrom, helping the company understand how the technology performs on a larger scale. Nordstrom uses the mirrors


From page 4

in some fitting rooms in Seattle and in San Jose, Calif., but they work a little differently: Shoppers are equipped with bar code scanning devices so they’re able to see what’s in stock in the dressing area. “We will listen to the customer as they use the mirror and see what changes make sense to improve the experience,’’ said Nordstrom’s spokesman Dan Evans. The new technology has some consumer advocates concerned. “One assumes that the mirror is not looking back at me unless you are in a fairytale,’’ said Nuala O’Connor, president & CEO of the nonprofit Center for Democracy & Tech-




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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5


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Asbury Methodist Village 409 Russell Ave, Gaithersburg, MD



JCA Bronfman Center 12320 Parklawn Dr, Rockville, MD



Prerequisite: Computer Basics or equivalent Fee: $65 4 sessions Limit: 8 # 330 Wed July 8 — July 29 1:00pm-3:00pm Learn to create spreadsheets. This class is suitable for students who use spreadsheets for personal or business organization. IPAD® FOR THE



Prerequisite: iPad® needs to be updated to IOS 7 and have an Apple ID and password Bring fully charged iPad® to class 2 sessions Limit: 8 Fee: $ 35 # 332 Wed July 9 — July 16 10:00am-12:00pm Terms and vocabulary related to the iPad® will be defined and explored. This course would be helpful to anyone who will be taking an iPad® class.


Prerequisite: Computer Basics or equivalent Fee: $20 1 session Limit: 8 # 335 Wed July 1 1:00pm-3:00pm In this course, you will be introduced to and explore 10 of the best websites. IPHONE®,


Prerequisite: Bring fully charged iPhone® to class 1 session Limit: 8 Fee: $20 # 338 Fri July 10 10:00-12:00pm Want to get the most out of your iPhone’s camera? This class will discuss how to use your iPhone to Get fabulous pictures and how to edit, enhance and send photos to others.


Prerequisite: Computer Basics or equivalent Fee: $ 35 2 session Limit: 8 # 340 Tues/Wed Aug 4 & 5 10:00am-12:00pm This class will teach you how to set up and use an account. Great tool to keep family members in touch.


Fee: $30 per individual session Limit: 8 Experts available to help individuals with hardware/ software issues. Topics: iPhone®/iPad®, backing up the cloud, Laptop/desktop Issues, photos/videos, PowerPoint® and more. # 345 Tues July 14 1:00pm-3:00pm # 346 Tues July 28 1:00pm-3:00pm # 347 Tues Aug 11 1:00pm-3:00pm # 348 Tues Aug 25 1:00pm-3:00pm

 NEW  NEW  NEW 


Presentations on hot topics in technology


1 session July 14

Limit: 25 10:00-12:00pm

Fee: $20 # 354 Tues

1 session July 28

Limit: 25 1:30-3:30pm


1 session Aug 11

Limit: 25 1:30-3:30pm

Crystal City

1750 Crystal Dr Shops, Suite 1638B Crystal Square Arcade, Arlington, VA



Prerequisite: Bring a flash drive to class Fee: $85 6 sessions Limit: 8 # 357 Tues July 7 — August 11 10:00am-12:00pm Instruction covers: creating/saving documents, editing text, organizing files/folders, copying text and more.


Prerequisite: Computer Basics or equivalent Fee: $85 6 sessions Limit: 8 #359 Wed July 1 — Aug 5 10:00am-12:00pm In this intermediate course learn to use the Windows taskbar and Start Menu, how to better manage files/folders and meet your individual needs.


Prerequisite: Computer Basics or equivalent 6 sessions Limit: 8 Fee: $85 # 363 Mon July 6 — Aug 10 1:00pm-3:00pm Learn email, attachments, Internet security, utilizing the web for shopping, travel, entertainment and more.


Fee: $20 1 session Limit: 8 # 365 Mon Aug 24 1:00pm-3:00pm Topics: important issues/features to consider when purchasing your next personal computer.


Prerequisite: Basic computer and mouse skills Fee: $35 2 session Limit: 8 # 367 Tues Aug 18 – 25 10:00am-12:00pm

Learn to import digital photos from cameras, phones, and tablets and use Picasa, a free photo-editing program.


Prerequisite: Bring a fully charged Apple iPad® to class 3 sessions Limit: 8 Fee: $50 # 370 Tues-Thurs July 21 - 23 1:00pm-3:00pm Bring a fully charged iPad®, no demonstration devices provided. Topics: iPad® features, configuration settings/customization, email, photos, apps, and security.


Prerequisite: Bring fully charged iPhone® to class 1 session Limit: 8 Fee: $20 # 372 Mon Aug 17 1:00pm-3:00pm Bring a fully charged iPhone®, no demonstration devices provided. Topics: surf the Internet, take and share photos, play games, read books and more.


Fee: $20 1 session Limit: 8 # 374 Thurs Aug 20 10:00am-12:00pm A free application program to communicate with your relatives and friends. Learn to download/set up an account, and to make video calls.


Prerequisite: Basic computer skills 1 session Limit:8 Fee: $20 # 376 Thurs Aug 6 10:00am-12:00pm View movies from home and pay little or nothing. Learn about Netflix®, Hulu® and Crackle®


Prerequisite: None, you may bring your own laptop with Windows® 8.1 1 session Limit:8 Fee: $20 # 378 Thurs Aug 27 10:00am-12:00pm Learn the new features of the Microsoft Windows® 8.1 operating system, concentrating on its “Tile” mode of operation.


Prerequisite: Knowledge of Photoshop® Elements 10 or 11 software Ongoing sessions Limit: 8 Fee: $35 # 380 Mon July 6 - Aug 31 10:00am-12:00pm Providing own copies, Use Photoshop® Elements 10 or 11 to enhance photographs using several workbooks. No instructor or syllabus.


or email

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5



No Fee Limit: 8 FREE sessions: an integral part of your learning. You must be registered for at least one class to participate. All practice sessions 10:00am-12:00pm. Speak with your instructor for details.

Microsoft at Westfield Montgomery Mall

7101 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD


All classes at Montgomery Mall are taught on the Surface Tablet (Microsoft) or you may bring a laptop computer. No Apple® products.


Prerequisite: Computer Basics or equivalent 3 sessions Limit: 6 Fee: $50 # 383 Mon Aug 10 — Aug 24 8:30am-10:00am

ATTENTION: Instruction, course materials and all computer language settings are in English. Courses are taught with Windows computers.


Each contribution or remittance of payment by check is considered authorization to convert that particular check into an electronic fund transfer. If your check is unable to be converted, it may be processed as a Check Replacement Document drawn against your account. When we use information from your check to make an electronic fund transfer, funds may be withdrawn from your account as soon as the same day you make your payment, and you will not receive your check back from your financial institution. You have the right to opt out of Electronic Conversion. If you choose to exercise this right, write the words ‘Opt Out’ in the memo field of your check and JCA will process it as a draft against your account.

For more information, call 240-395-0916.




BY PHONE: Call 240-395-0916 with your credit card information


1961 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA


Include your payment with form to JCA SeniorTech 12320 Parklawn Drive Rockville, MD 20852-1726

NOTE: ALL REGISTRATIONS ARE DUE 7 DAYS PRIOR TO START OF CLASS. Name: ___________________________________________________________ Age: _____________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________ City: _________________________________________ State: _______ Zip Code: _______________ Phone#: __________________________ Email: ____________________________________________ I have taken a JCA SeniorTech class before: ____ Yes ____ No

Student ID (Office use only)_______


Class Title


Start Date

Start Time


The Microsoft operating systems vary by site and include Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. Classes are designed to help older adults, 50+, refresh or advance their computer skills and learn to use social media. Courses are taught by volunteer instructors and coaches. Courses are almost always “hands on” in which students practice skills and techniques on a computer during class.







Each JCA SeniorTech center follows the weather-related decisions of the public school system in its jurisdiction, except that if a school system is closed for even part of the day, the center will be closed the entire day. As soon as possible, your instructor will arrange to make up any classes cancelled due to inclement weather.



Students who wish to withdraw and receive a full refund must notify JCA at least 48 hours before the first class begins. A 50% refund is given after the first class.





TOTAL $ ________

❒ Master Card ❒ VISA ❒ American Express ❒ Check (Make Checks payable to JCA SeniorTech.) Name as it appears on card: ____________________________________________________



Card Number


__________ __________ __________ ___________

Exp. Date

______ /______




Microsoft at Tysons Corner 703-336-8480


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Sec. Code


OFFICE USE ONLY Course #____ Paid____ Registration #_____ Date_______ Course #____ Paid____ Registration #_____ Date_______

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Fitness bands that won’t break the bank By Jeff Bertolucci Whether you want to lose weight or simply stay fit, electronic fitness trackers may be able to help. Fitness bands, often worn around the wrist like bracelets, are designed to keep track of your progress and keep you motivated. Many of them are used to set fitness goals, track the amount of calories burned, and the distance walked or run. They can even monitor your heart rate and sleep patterns. Fitness trackers have become popular because they are lightweight, user friendly, wearable, and sync with computer programs or apps to log the information and display the user’s progress. Some apps even allow you to digitally share your achievements with friends, and provide encouragement to get off the couch. Now a variety of smart watches (which include fitness tracking, games and many more

apps) have arrived. So why buy a fitness band now? If all you want is the bare bones, any of the wearables below will do the job — generally for a lot less than the cost of a smart watch (e.g., $349 for the new Apple Watch). Each of these fitness bands is water-resistant, so you won’t have to take it off to jump in the shower.

Misfit Flash; $50 To see how you’re progressing toward a daily fitness goal — say, walking 3,000 steps or burning 300 calories — click on the display (a circle of LEDs) and a number of consecutive lights will appear that show how far along you are. As for monitoring sleep, the Flash records “light” and “deep” sleep, as well as the number of hours slept. The Misfit’s smartphone app (Android and iOS; Windows Phone coming soon)

links to the Flash via Bluetooth; you use the app to set and track your daily goals. The Flash runs on a 3-volt coin cell battery that lasts up to six months with normal use. Misfit recently announced that users would be able to use the Flash to control home automation devices, such as Google’s Nest thermostat and the August smart door lock. One drawback: The round plastic module feels flimsy, even a little cheap.

Fitbit Flex At $100, the Fitbit Flex lists for twice the price of the Flash, but it has a web interface for users who would rather monitor their activity via a Mac or PC. Each of the five LED display lights represents 20 percent of the way toward your daily fitness target. The Flex can tell you how long you slept

and how often you got up, and the silent vibration motor will gently wake you in the morning. The Flex’s brain is housed inside a module that needs charging every three to five days. You’ll need the mobile app (Android, iOS or Windows Phone) to plan and track your fitness goals.

Garmin Vivofit; $130 The Garmen Vivofit has an honest-togoodness display that shows your steps, calories and distance, as well as sleep patterns. It will run for more than a year on two lithium coin-size batteries. The Garmin Connect app, where you’ll track your fitness goals, runs on Macs and PCs, as well as on Android and iOS mobile devices. One nifty feature: a “move bar” that’s designed to prevent binge watching. An optional heart rate monitor ($60) wirelessly transmits your heart rate to the fitness tracker. © 2015 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Mirrors From page 5





A PA RT M E N T H O M E S F O R T H O S E 6 2 A N D B E T T E R



Furnace Branch 410-761-4150

Easton 410-770-3070

Severna Park 410-544-3411



Bel Air 410-893-0064

Ashland Terrace 410-276-6440

Box Hill 410-515-6115

Coldspring 410-542-4400



Colonial Landing 410-796-4399

Catonsville 410-719-9464

Columbia 410-381-1118

Dundalk 410-288-5483

Ellicott City 410-203-9501

Fullerton 410-663-0665

Ellicott City II 410-203-2096

Miramar Landing 410-391-8375

Emerson 301-483-3322

Randallstown 410-655-5673

Snowden River 410-290-0384

Rosedale 410-866-1886


Taylor 410-663-0363


Bladensburg 301-699-9785

Towson 410-828-7185

Laurel 301-490-1526

Woodlawn 410-281-1120

Laurel II 301-490-9730 = NEWLY RENOVATED Call the community nearest you to inquire about eligibility requirements and to arrange a personal tour or email Professionally managed by The Shelter Group.

nology. “People love new technology — as long as they are aware of what is happening to them and have control of their data.” But some customers are embracing it. Wendy DeWald, of San Francisco, spent $1,000 on her first trip to the Rebecca Minkoff store; she’s returned a few more times. She doesn’t mind sharing some of her personal data to get a better experience. “I’m pretty blown away,’’ she said. “It’s a toy in the dressing room. It enhances the experience.’’ — AP

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Technology & Innovations

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N â&#x20AC;&#x201D; J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Beacon Links By Barbara Ruben

is written by two moms who have experienced these issues and others as their children have matured.

Take a seat

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in a name?

Looking to get comfortable on your next airplane flight? That may not be an oxymoron if you check out the website or app Seat Guru. Sponsored by Trip Advisor, Seat Guru allows users to look up the seating chart for their next flight or search individual airlinesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; planes to see how many seats they hold and in what configuration. You can also compare seat pitch, width and flight amenities. Site users can also leave comments and photos about their flight experience.

The Social Security Administration does more than issue checks for retirees. It also tracks baby names. That may not be a surprise, given that all babies get Social Security numbers. The administration recently released the top baby names of 2014: Noah and Emma. With a wealth of historical name data, the site offers a window into the changing popularity of names going back to 1900. You can track a name by year. Barbara, for example, reached its pinnacle of popularity from 1937 to 1944, when it was in the number two spot for girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; names each year. Today, it is #863. My grandmotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, however, is on the rise. Last year, Lena was the 279th most popular name; it hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been that high on the chart since 1946.

Grown and flown Once your kids were tikes, scraping their knees and struggling to memorize the times tables. And there was a bevy of books and, later, websites that helped steer parents of young children through the early years. But once they are in college and beyond, there is far less guidance about interacting with your young adult offspring. The website Grown and Flown offers advice about navigating college admissions, coping with the empty nest, and the new relationship you have with your children when they are living on their own. The site

with discounts. Each item found provides the minimum age for the discount, address, phone number, website and directions from your current location.

Take note Give your memory a digital assist with the Evernote app. You can type in your grocery list as you remember to add items, take notes from a meeting, or add any other text you need to keep handy. You can then access the notes on any device, including a tablet or laptop. The app also takes dictation, adds photos to documents, and adds sound directly to notes. The basic app is free, but some advanced features cost $5 a month.

Never stop learning Want to take a college class for free from the comfort of your couch? Check out iTunesU, which provides access to complete courses from dozens of leading universities from the workâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest digital catalog of free education content. iTunes U includes more than 750,000 videos, presentations, documents and books in subjects from algebra to zoology. Students participating in private courses can pose questions on the course or any post or assignment, and other students can jump into the discussion and ask more questions or provide answers. You must have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to use the app. Download iTunesU from the iTunes store

What is Red, White & Blueberry? Kick off July with the Areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Blueberry Pancakes Crepes, Omelettes & Waffles Also serving Gluten Free Pancakes

Senior discounts There are several apps for searching senior discounts that themselves cost money (99 cents to $1.99), but the Sciddy app allows users to search for discounts at no charge. Search under a variety of topics, from movies to grocery stores. The app uses your location to find the closest retailers

(Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes will be served for a limited time only)

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Health Fitness &

THE POWER OF CHOCOLATE Flavanols in cocoa can improve blood flow, thinking skills and memory LOWER GLAUCOMA RISK The drug metformin may help reduce glaucoma risk in diabetics PREVENTING ALZHEIMER’S How to join a large study on preventing Alzheimer’s in healthy seniors TIMING IS EVERYTHING Maximize the effectiveness of your vitamins, minerals and medications

Vitamin B3 may help prevent skin cancer By Marilynn Marchione For the first time, a large study suggests that a vitamin might modestly lower the risk of the most common types of skin cancer in people with a history of these relatively harmless yet troublesome growths. In a study in Australia, people who took a specific type of vitamin B3 for a year had a 23 percent lower rate of new skin cancers compared to others who took dummy pills. In absolute terms, it meant that vitamin takers developed fewer than two of these cancers on average versus roughly 2.5 cancers for the others. The study did not involve melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Instead, it aimed at more common forms — basal and squamous cell cancers. More than 3 million cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. “These are sort of the run-of-the-mill skin cancers that so many people get,” said Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, an organization of cancer specialists. “They’re rarely lethal, but they’re very persistent and they keep coming back.” They are also expensive to remove, usually through surgery, freezing off the spots or radiation.

certain ones can be harmful. Researchers also stressed they were not suggesting vitamin use for people who have not yet had one of these cancers. “At the moment, it’s not something for the general population,” said the study’s leader, Dr. Diona Damian of the Dermatology University of Sydney in Australia. “We must always remember the basics of sun-sensible behaviors” — avoiding overexposure and using sunscreen — as the best ways for anyone to lower risk, she said. The study involved 386 people who had at least two skin cancers in the previous five years. They took either 500 milligrams of the vitamin or dummy pills twice a day for a year. Neither they nor their doctors knew who got what until the study ended. Besides reducing the rate of skin cancers, vitamin use also seemed to cut the rate of pre-cancers — scaly patches of skin called actinic keratoses — by 11 percent after three months of use, and by 20 percent after nine months. Participants were tracked for six months after they stopped taking their pills, and the rate of new skin cancers was similar in both groups. “The benefit wears off fairly quickly,” Damian said. “You need to continue taking the tablets for them to continue to be effective.”

More research needed Schilsky and other doctors with the oncology group said the vitamin, called nicotinamide, could offer a cheap, easy way to lower risk. However, Australia has higher rates of skin cancer than the U.S. and other parts of the world, and some doctors may want more evidence beyond this single study before recommending the pills. Vitamins have long proved elusive for cancer prevention, and some studies have even found

A special kind of vitamin B3 Nicotinamide (nih-kuh-TEE’-nuh-myd) is thought to help repair DNA in cells damaged by sun exposure. It is not the same as nicotine, the addictive stuff in tobacco. It’s also not the same as niacin and some other forms of B3, which can cause flushing, headaches and blood pressure problems. Those problems were not seen with nicotinamide in the study. Nicotinamide is sold over the counter, is

easy to take, and “there are essentially no side effects,” Schilsky said. However, it might be a little tough to find. A check of one major drugstore chain found only other forms of B3, such as niacin, or combination B vitamins. Online, some retailers offered nicotinamide for prices ranging from a nickel to a dollar a tablet, sometimes

combined with other things. Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council funded the study. Information on vitamin/cancer evidence can be found at Lear n more about skin cancer at — AP

These drinks may protect your skin Sunscreen is the first line of defense against sun damage (experts say slather on an ounce — about a palmful — of SPF 30 or higher and re-apply every two hours). But now it has some help. New research suggests that these beverages may also deliver nutrients that protect your skin:

skin cancer) than those who don’t. Moreover, the risk was lowest for those who drank the most — three cups a day lowered risk by 20 percent in women and 9 percent in men. Researcher Fengju Song, Ph.D., thinks the caffeine in coffee helps reduce potentially-cancerous UV-damaged cells by stimulating them to naturally die off.

Green tea Study results published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank four cups of green tea per day for 12 weeks lowered their risk of sunburn by 25 percent. Plus their skin density and elasticity — qualities that make skin look younger — improved. According to the 2011 study, powerful antioxidants in green tea called catechins absorb UV light, protecting the skin.

Coffee That morning cup of coffee can do more than boost your energy. A 2011 study out of Harvard Medical School found that people who drink coffee are less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of nonmelanoma

Red wine Although white wine might be your summer sip of choice, preliminary research out of the University of Barcelona points to a new reason to choose red. Researchers found that proanthocyanidins, antioxidants found in red grapes, may help prevent oxidative reactions in your skin. Oxidative reactions, often stemming from sun exposure, can damage and kill cells, which in turn may lead to sunburns, wrinkles and possibly skin cancer. Before you pour yourself another glass, though, remember that the recommended cap on alcoholic beverages is one a day for women, two for men. — EatingWell

Genetic testing results can often conflict By Marilynn Marchione The first report from a big public-private project to improve genetic testing reveals it is not as rock solid as many people believe, with flaws that result in some people wrongly advised to worry about a disease risk and others wrongly told they can relax. Researchers say the study shows the need for consumers to be careful about

choosing where to have a gene test done and acting on the results — such as having or forgoing a preventive surgery. “We have very clear documentation that there are differences in what patients are getting” in terms of how tests on the same gene variations are interpreted, said the study leader, Heidi Rehm, genetics lab chief at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in

Boston. When deciding to get tested, either through a doctor’s office or by sending in a swab to a private company, “patients need to choose labs that are sharing their data” with the broader research community so scientists can compare and learn from the results and make testing more accurate for everyone, she said.

Interpretation is key Dozens of companies now offer gene tests to gauge a person’s risk of developing various disorders. One of the newest tests on the market costs $250 and checks about 20 genes that can affect breast cancer risk. But not all gene mutations, or variants, are See GENETIC TESTING, page 11

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Genetic testing

fect on it, or having an unknown effect.


From page 10

Affects life-altering decisions

July 18

equal. Some raise risk a lot, others just a little, and some not at all. Most are of unknown significance — a quandary for doctors and patients alike. And most variants are uncommon, making it even tougher to figure out which ones matter and how much. To solve these mysteries and give patients better information, the U.S. government several years ago helped form and fund ClinVar, a database for researchers around the world to pool gene findings, coded to keep patients’ identities confidential. More than 300 labs contribute to it, including universities such as Harvard and Emory and some private companies such as Ambry Genetics and GeneDX. In May, the group made its first report at a conference in Washington. The study also was published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. So far, the project has tracked more than 172,000 variants in nearly 23,000 genes — a small portion of the millions known to exist but some of the more common ones that have been identified. More than 118,000 of these variants have an effect on the risk for a disease — and 11 percent have been analyzed by more than one lab so results can be compared. In 17 percent of those cases, labs interpreted the findings differently, as either raising the risk of a disease, having no ef-

At least 415 gene variants now have different interpretations that could sway a medical decision — such as whether to have healthy breasts or ovaries removed to lower the risk of cancer, or to get a medical device such as an implanted defibrillator to cut the risk of sudden cardiac death. “The magnitude of this problem is bigger than most people thought,” said Michael Watson, executive director of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, one of the study’s authors and a partner in the data pooling project. And it can harm patients. Rehm described a woman who had genetic testing and wrongly was told she did not have elevated risks for breast cancer. She later developed the disease, and realized she could have had preventive surgery had the right gene analyses been done. An independent expert, Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif., commended the study leaders and the database project for “cleaning up the mess” from labs that have not shared data in the past. “We need millions of people sequenced, sharing all the data,” to make things better, he said. With more sharing, the mystery gene variant problem “will largely go away, but that’s going to take a few years at least.” — AP



Haven of Northern Virginia presents “Journey Through Grief,” a grief workshop on Saturday, July 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit or call (703) 941-7000.

July 29


Montgomery Hospice presents “Grieving Mindfully,” a free workshop for Montgomery County residents who have lost a loved one and are interested in learning about mindfulness. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, July 21 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Montgomery Hospice is located at 1355 Piccard Dr., Rockville, Md. Registration is required. For more information, call (301) 921-4400.


If you or someone you know is facing mortgage or tax foreclosure, or you need help understanding and enforcing your tenants’ rights, we’re here to help. From health care coverage to fraud, Social Security to end-of-life planning, we’ve been empowering, defending and protecting D.C. seniors by providing them with free legal help for the past 40 years. Learn how we can help by calling 202-434-2120 or visiting Legal Counsel for the Elderly is an afÞliate of AARP.


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Cocoa improves thinking skills, memory Chocolate is more than just a tempting treat. Certain compounds in chocolate, called cocoa flavanols, have been shown to boost health. But that doesn’t mean you should start loading up on the sweets. “Consuming cocoa flavanols in chocolate is tricky. You need to understand the risks and benefits first,” said Dr. Miguel

Alonso-Alonso, a neuroscientist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass.

Magic beans Flavanols are a type of plant nutrient found in many foods and drinks — such as tea, red wine, blueberries, apples, pears,

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cherries, and nuts. They’re particularly abundant in cacao beans, which are the seeds of the cacao tree. Fermenting, drying and roasting cacao beans yields cocoa powder, which is used to make chocolate. Flavanols in cocoa have been studied for many years. They’ve been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage. They’ve also been shown to help thinking skills. A study published in the February 2015 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that older adults with normal thinking skills who consumed between 500 and 900 milligrams (mg.) of cocoa flavanols every day for eight weeks made significant improvements on tests that measured attention, executive function and memory. A similar study in 2012 showed that daily consumption of cocoa flavanols was associated with improved thinking skills in older adults who had cognitive problems. “From laboratory and animal studies, we know that flavanols facilitate brain cell connections and survival, and protect brain cells from toxins or the harmful effects of inflammation,” said Alonso-Alonso.

Not all chocolate is healthful

60% of people living with Alzheimer’s wander. Safeguard the Ones You Love Against Wandering

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Source: Alzheimer’s Association,

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Since cocoa flavanols are so beneficial, it would seem that you should add chocolate to your daily diet. But you must use caution. The amount of cocoa used in chocolate varies by manufacturer, and flavanols are often destroyed in the production of chocolate. Remember, too, that chocolate candies are high in sugar and saturated fat. Adding chocolates to your diet without taking out other foods can lead to weight gain, which may cancel out any health benefit. In addition, too much saturated fat can raise blood levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. In the U.S., there are not yet recommendations for daily consumption of cocoa flavanols. But the European Food Safety Authority concluded that 200 mg. of cocoa flavanols per day is a good target for the general population. Alonso-Alonso agrees that 200 mg. can help maintain a healthy blood circulation.

To find out how much you’re getting, though, you’ll have to do some detective work about the source of your cocoa flavanols, especially in chocolate. The amount of flavanols in chocolate is not always listed. While as a general rule dark chocolate has more cocoa and therefore more flavanols than milk chocolate, the amount can vary enormously depending on how the chocolate has been processed. If you can, avoid chocolate that’s been processed with the Dutch method — which includes alkali to reduce acidity, but reduces the flavanol content. The ingredients in “Dutched” chocolate will list cocoa processed with alkali. If a chocolate bar doesn’t list the cocoa flavanol amount, see if it lists the concentration of what’s called “cacao.” Generally, dark chocolate with a higher concentration of cacao contains more cocoa flavanols. And remember that chocolate candies containing caramel, marshmallow and other flavorings add no more flavanols — just more calories.

Other cocoa options Other sources of cocoa flavanols include baking and beverage cocoa from the grocery store, and “fortified” supplements and powders from health food stores. But be careful: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not review and approve dietary supplements based on their safety and effectiveness. Consumer groups studying the amounts of cocoa flavanols in products have found that the actual amount in supplements and cocoa powders varies widely. Alonso-Alonso said it’s best to get cocoa flavanols from unsweetened cocoa powder that has not been processed using the Dutch method. The label may state that it’s not Dutch processed or simply that it’s natural cocoa, but if it said “alkalized” or “Dutch processed,” look for another brand. It should come from a major manufacturer and guarantee at least 200 mg. of cocoa flavanols per serving. It will have a bitter taste, but it may have sweet results. © 2015. President and Fellows of Harvard College. All Rights Reserved. Distributed By Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5






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!"#"$%&'()*+)*,-.,(.()/"')&(%#-+)01)2.&'+)"/)&$.)"')"#(.')34")&'.)&-)&5.'&$.)'*+6)/"')7"#",)7&,7.'89 Cologuard is not for everyone. Cologuard is not a replacement for diagnostic or surveillance colonoscopy in :&-*.,-+)&-)4*$4)'*+6)/"')7"#"'.7-&#)7&,7.'89;"-4)/&#+.):"+*-*5.+)&,()/&#+.),.$&-*5.+)(")"77%'8)<,)&)7#*,*7&#)+-%(2) of Cologuard, 13% of people without cancer or precancer tested positive. Any positive should be followed by a diagnostic colonoscopy. A negative Cologuard test result does not guarantee absence of cancer or advanced &(.,"=&89>"##"3*,$)&),.$&-*5.)'.+%#-?):&-*.,-+)+4"%#()7",-*,%.):&'-*7*:&-*,$)*,)&)+7'..,*,$):'"$'&=)&-)&,)*,-.'5&#) and with a method appropriate for the individual patient. Cologuard performance when used for repeat testing 4&+),"-)@..,).5&#%&-.()"').+-&@#*+4.(89!"#"$%&'()'.+%#-+)+4"%#()@.)*,-.':'.-.()3*-4)7&%-*",)/"')*,(*5*(%&#+)"5.') &$.)A0)&+)-4.)'&-.)"/)/&#+.):"+*-*5.)'.+%#-+)*,7'.&+.+)3*-4)&$.89B&-*.,-+)+4"%#(),"-):'"5*(.)&)+&=:#.)/"')!"#"$%&'() if they have diarrhea or if they have blood in their urine or stool (e.g., from bleeding hemorrhoids, bleeding cuts or wounds on their hands, rectal bleeding, or menstruation). Rx only.

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Health Shorts Blood test may replace cancer biopsies for some A new type of blood test in the U.S. is starting to transform cancer treatment, sparing some patients the surgical and needle biopsies long needed to guide their care. The tests, called liquid biopsies, capture cancer cells or DNA that tumors shed into the blood, instead of taking tissue from the tumor itself. A lot is still unknown about the value of these tests, but many doctors think they are a big advance that could make personalized medicine possible for

far more people. They give the first noninvasive way to repeatedly sample a cancer so doctors can profile its genes, target drugs to mutations, tell quickly whether treatment is working, and adjust it as the cancer evolves. Two years ago, these tests were rarely used except in research. Now, several are sold, more than a dozen are in development, and some doctors are using them in routine care. The huge potential for these tests is clear. The problem: There are no big, definitive studies to show they help patients, how accurate they are, which type is best, or who should get them and when. Still, patients do better when drugs are matched to their tumors, and liquid biopsies may give a practical way to do that more often.

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J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

“I’m really excited about all of this,” said Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, a University of California, San Diego cancer specialist. “I spent most of my life giving drugs that were useless to people” because there was no good way to tell who would benefit, or quickly tell when one wasn’t working, she said. “This is so much better.” — AP

Competency tests for older doctors? Unlike U.S. pilots, military personnel and a few other professions where mistakes can be deadly, doctors have no mandatory retirement age. All doctors must meet state licensing requirements, and some hospitals require age-based screening. But there are no national mandates or guidelines on how to make sure older physicians can still do their jobs safely. It’s time to change that, according to a new report by an American Medical Association council that says doctors themselves should help decide when one of their own needs to stop working. The report notes that the number of U.S. physicians aged 65 and older has quadrupled since 1975 and now numbers 240,000 — one-fourth of all U.S. doctors — although not all still see patients. The report asks the AMA to spearhead

a doctor-led effort to develop national guidelines and screening methods. The AMA’s Council on Medical Education wrote the report and says “physicians should be allowed to remain in practice as long as patient safety is not endangered.” But physicians should develop guidelines and standards for monitoring and assessing both their own and their colleagues’ competency. Doing so “may head off a call for mandatory retirement ages or imposition of guidelines by others,” the council’s report says. Typical age-related changes in hearing, vision, memory and motor skills could potentially affect physicians’ competence, the report says, but notes there is no evidence that directly links these changes to worse outcomes for patients. While some physicians think they will know when it’s time to hang up the stethoscope, the report says evidence disputes that. It’s a touchy topic for older doctors, and not all welcome the prospect of extra scrutiny. “I don’t myself have any doubts about my competency and I don’t need the AMA or anybody else to test me,” said Dr. William Nyhan, an 89-year-old pediatrician, genetics researcher, runner and tennis player who works with the University of California, San Diego and a children’s hospital there. “There are a lot of people overlooking See HEALTH SHORTS, page 15

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Health shorts From page 14 my activities” already, he said. “This is a litigious society — if we were making mistakes, we’d be sued.” The University of Virginia Health System and Stanford Health Care, at Stanford University, are among institutions that require additional scrutiny of older doctors. The University of Virginia’s screening began in 2011 for doctors and some other medical staff starting at age 70. It involves physical and cognitive exams every two years. “The vast majority of them score very well,” said Dr. Scott Syverud, chair of the university medical center’s credentials committee. Those who don’t “can choose to cut down their practice or even to retire,” Syverud said, although he declined to say if any have been deemed incompetent. — AP

More is better in breast cancer surgery Having a little extra tissue taken off during breast cancer surgery greatly lowers the risk that some cancer will be left behind and require a second operation, according to a new study that could change care for more than 100,000 women in the

United States alone each year. Women having a lump removed dread learning there was a positive margin, an area at the edge of the tumor that looked healthy but turned out to harbor cancer when studied later. There are no good ways to tell during the surgery whether the doctor has gotten it all. The new study tested cavity shaving — routinely removing an extra thin slice all around the margins — as a way to lower this risk. “With a very simple technique of taking a little more tissue at the first operation we can reduce the chances that somebody would need to go back to the operating room a second time by 50 percent,” said the study leader, Yale Cancer Center’s Dr. Anees Chagpar. “When you think about the emotional impact, let alone the economic impact, of those second surgeries, that’s a big deal.” The study rigorously tested cavity shaving. First, 235 women were given the usual surgery and while they were still in the operating room, doctors opened letters telling them what to do next. Roughly half of the women were randomly assigned to get the extra cavity shave. Only 10 percent of those who had extra tissue removed needed a second surgery versus 21 percent of the others. There was no difference in how women in the groups regarded their cosmetic results. The study could change practice, said Dr. Deanna Attai, a University of California,

Los Angeles surgeon who is president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. “We now have much stronger evidence than we’ve ever had” that it helps, she said. — AP

Replace lost Medicare card online Medicare beneficiaries can now obtain a replacement card if they have lost, damaged, or simply need to replace it using their online My Social Security account. The portal is at


myaccount. The Medicare card is the most important piece of identification a beneficiary needs because it’s proof that they have Medicare health insurance. Medical professionals and insurance companies need this proof to provide care and accurately calculate compensation for services. Once logged in, select the “Replacement Documents” tab. Then select “Mail my replacement Medicare card.” After you request a card, it will arrive in the mail in approximately 30 days. In addition, you can also get a letter showing what benefits you receive, change your address and phone number, and access Social Security information.

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J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Diabetes drug may lower glaucoma risk By Dr. Howard LeWine Q: I just read that the drug metformin might help prevent glaucoma. I have pre-diabetes and am working on lowering my blood sugar. My last eye exam indicated my eye pressures were in the high-normal range. Should I start metformin now? A: Metformin is the best medicine to use first for people with type 2 diabetes. And some experts suggest people with pre-diabetes should consider taking it, in

addition to diet and exercise. You have a higher than average risk of developing open-angle glaucoma, so your question is very timely. A study published in May in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology suggested metformin might decrease the risk of glaucoma in people with diabetes. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can lead to irreversible vision loss through damage to the optic nerve, a collection of specialized nerve fibers that connect the back of the eye (the retina) to the brain.

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Fluid builds up in the eye Glaucoma is caused by a problem with the circulation of fluid in the eye. Normally, a clear liquid called aqueous humor circulates continuously inside the front part of the eye. To keep a healthy pressure within the eye, an equal amount of this fluid flows out of the eye. In open-angle glaucoma, this drainage system becomes less efficient. The outflow of fluid slows. The fluid then backs up in the eye, like water in a clogged sink. Internal pressure in the eye rises. This, in turn, puts stress on the optic nerve. If the pressure continues, nerve fibers that carry the vision messages to the brain begin to die. Vision starts to fade. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Results of the new study showed a 25 percent lower risk of open-angle glaucoma in people who took the highest amount of metformin compared with those who



didn’t take the drug. The higher the dose of metformin, the lower the risk of openangle glaucoma. Even people taking smaller doses of metformin had a lower risk compared with non-users. Other diabetes drugs did not have the same effect. Talk with your doctor. I think it’s very reasonable to start a low dose of metformin now. But diet and exercise should remain your primary therapy to prevent diabetes. And calorie restriction might also lower your glaucoma risk. Howard LeWine, M.D., is a practicing internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass., and Chief Medical Editor of Internet Publishing at Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School. For additional consumer health information, please visit © 2015 President and Fellows of Harvard College. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


July 22


Rockville Public Library presents free computer tutoring on Wednesday, July 22 from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers can help with Internet, email, word processing. Registration is required. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit evanced/eventcalendar.asp or call (240) 777-0140.

We Can Help You Be Weather-Ready for Storms. WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW


#! !Update Your Contact Information

Use these resources to stay connected to information should an outage occur.

Call 202-833-7500 to ensure that your current phone number is displayed on your account. That way we can accurately identify you if you call to report an outage.

#! !Assemble an Emergency Storm Kit



! se our mobile app on your smartphone or tablet to get the U latest news, report an outage or a streetlight problem, access outage maps of your area, call us directly and get estimates for when power will be restored – it’s free and available from your app store or at



Take a few minutes to gather important items to keep handy in the event of a storm. Your kit should contain bottled water, non-perishable foods, blankets, flashlights and extra batteries, a first-aid kit and prescription medications, special medical supplies, hand tools and other essential items.

#! !Make a Plan in Case of Extended Power Outages

Know where you will go in the event of a power outage lasting multiple days. Most communities have a designated location with back-up power, or you can plan to stay with a relative, friend or neighbor. Important: If you have a generator, never run it indoors or inside a garage or carport – only operate it outdoors in a well-ventilated area, following all safety guidelines.

#! !Register for the Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program This program is important for customers who rely on electricity to power life-support equipment in their homes. Call 202-833-7500 and ask for a Customer Care representative or visit to learn more.


Call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) to report outages and downed wires, and please request a call back so we can verify if individual or small groups of outages still exist.


Go online to, click “Outage Center” and enter your account information to get the latest news, report an outage, access outage maps of your area, get important contact information and estimates for when power will be restored – from anywhere you can access the Internet.

Severe weather is a fact of life in a changing world and restoring power safely takes time. Take steps to be weather-ready today.



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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5



Preventing diabetesrelated blindness People with diabetes are more likely to develop blinding eye diseases. Yet recent studies have revealed low awareness of the issue among those at higher risk for diabetes, and few preventive eye exams among affected Medicare beneficiaries. While it’s recommended that people with diabetes have a dilated eye exam every year, one study recently published in the journal Ophthalmology found that, among Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetes — all conditions that require an annual eye exam — three-quarters of those who didn’t have an exam in five years were those living with diabetes. The term “diabetic eye disease” encompasses a number of diseases and conditions that can cause blindness if left untreated, including: 1. Diabetic retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels in the retina), which is the leading cause of blindness in working-aged adults in the United States. “In the beginning stages, the blood vessels in the eye leak, causing swelling of the retina. If diagnosed early, this swelling can be treated, which has been shown to reduce vision loss,” said Harry W. Flynn, Jr., M.D., professor of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Fla. 2. Cataract (clouding of the eye’s lens)

3. Glaucoma (increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision) “Most people don’t know that diabetic eye disease is often asymptomatic. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect changes inside the eye before loss of vision begins,” Flynn said. The best way to prevent diabetic eye disease is through strict control of blood sugar and blood pressure. These measures significantly reduce the risk of long-term vision loss. With annual eye exams and prompt treatment, few people progress to serious vision loss. Tips to help prevent diabetes-related vision loss: 1. Control your blood sugar. Choose high-fiber, low fat foods such as vegetables, lentils, beans and whole grains. Eat more fish and chicken. Avoid juice, soda, candy and fried or oily foods. 2. Reach and stay at a healthy weight. Get regular physical activity; thirty minutes a day can help prevent disease, and 60 minutes a day can help you lose weight. 3. Quit smoking. 4. Get a comprehensive dilated eye examination from your ophthalmologist at least once a year. 5. Call your ophthalmologist immediately if you’re having any vision problems, or if you have a sudden change in your vision. — What Doctors Know


Hope Connections for Cancer Support presents Pink Ribbon Pilates, a class for breast cancer survivors led by Jill Studley on Wednesdays from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Healthy lifestyle and positive body image are part of the experience as participants are challenged to regain strength and mobility. Registration is required. Comfortable clothing and physician approval recommended. Hope Connections is located at 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Md. For more information or to register, call (301) 634-7500 or email info@hopeconnectionsforcancer.

Aug. 12


Ring House presents Mah Jongg and Bridge for Fun on Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $5, which includes lunch. Ring House is located at 1801 E. Jefferson St., Rockville, Md. For more information or to register, call (301) 816-5052.

Caring for your aging parent or loved one? It’s not all up to you. Call us. 240-777-3000


July 21



CHRONIC DISEASE SELF-MANAGEMENT Fairfax County presents a free, six-week chronic disease self-management program workshop series. Learn and share positive

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Aging & Disability Services

the skills you need to take control of your health and happiness. The course begins on Tuesday, July 21 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente at Tysons Corner Medical Center, located at 8008 Westpark Dr., McLean, Va. For more information or to register, visit or call (703) 324-5489; TTY 711.

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Health Studies Page

J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N


Alzheimer’s prevention study recruiting By Lauran Neergaard Sticky plaque gets the most attention, but now healthy seniors at risk of Alzheimer’s are letting scientists peek into their brains to see if another culprit is lurking. No one knows what actually causes Alzheimer’s, but the suspects are its two hallmarks — the gunky amyloid in those brain plaques, or tangles of a protein named tau, that clog dying brain cells. New imaging can spot those tangles in living brains, providing a chance to finally better understand what triggers dementia.

Now researchers are adding tau brain scans to an ambitious study that’s testing if an experimental drug might help healthy but at-risk people stave off Alzheimer’s. Whether that medication works or not, it’s the first drug study where scientists can track how both of Alzheimer’s signature markers begin building up in older adults before memory ever slips. “This is perhaps the most monumental undertaking to stop Alzheimer’s disease in its tracks,” said Dr. Thomas Obisesan, the study’s principal investigator at Howard University in Washington, D.C. “This

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study gives us the ability to identify individuals on the trajectory of developing Alzheimer’s 15 to 20 years before they have symptoms of the disease so we can work very aggressively to stop it in its tracks. This is perhaps the only study at this time to do that.” In addition to Howard University, the study is also being conducted locally at Georgetown University and more than 60 other locations across the country. “The combination of amyloid and tau is really the toxic duo,’’ said Dr. Reisa Sperling of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who is leading the so-called A4 study. “To see it in life is really striking.’’

Aim is prevention The A4 study — it stands for Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s — aims to enroll 1,000 healthy seniors like Judith Chase Gilbert, 77, of Arlington, Va. The recently retired government worker is mentally sharp but learned through the study that her brain harbors amyloid buildup that might increase her risk. In May, researchers slid Gilbert into a doughnut-shaped PET scanner as she became one of the first study participants to also have their brains scanned for tau. “We know that tau starts entering the picture at some point, and we do not know when. We do not know how that interaction happens. We should know,’’ said chief science officer Maria Carrillo of the Alzheimer’s Association, which is pushing to add tau scans to other dementia research, too.

More than 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s or similar dementias, including about 5 million in the U.S. Those numbers are expected to rise rapidly as the baby boomers get older. There is no good treatment for the condition. Today’s medications only temporarily ease symptoms, and attempts at new drugs, mostly targeted at sticky amyloid, have failed in recent years. Maybe that’s because treatment didn’t start early enough. Scientists now think Alzheimer’s begins quietly ravaging the brain more than a decade before symptoms appear — much like heart disease is triggered by gradual cholesterol buildup. Brain scans show many healthy older adults quietly harbor those sticky amyloid plaques: Not a guarantee that they’ll eventually get Alzheimer’s, but an increased risk. Yet more recent research, including a large autopsy study from the Mayo Clinic, suggests that Alzheimer’s other bad actor — that tangle-forming tau protein — also plays a big role. The newest theory: Amyloid sparks a smoldering risk, but later spread of toxic tau speeds the brain destruction. Normal tau acts sort of like railroad tracks to help nerve cells transport food and other molecules. But in Alzheimer’s, the protein’s strands collapse into tangles and eventually the cell dies. Most healthy people have a small amount of dysfunctional tau in one part of the brain by their 70s, Sperling said. But amyloid plaques somehow encourSee ALZHEIMER’S STUDY, page 19

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Alzheimer’s Study From page 18 age this bad tau to spread toward the brain’s memory center, she explained. The A4 study, which is enrolling participants in the U.S., Australia and Canada, may give some clues. The $140 million study is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Lilly and others. The Alzheimer’s Association helped fund the addition of the tau scans.

Taking part in the study To qualify for the study, participants must be ages 65 to 85 and have normal thinking and memory abilities. Those who enroll will be given a PET scan to check for amyloid. People who do not show evidence of elevated amyloid in their brains will not be able to participate in the main study, but may be able to participate in a separate study where they will complete memory tests every six months to compare changes in cognition over time. Those in the primary study will be checked for tau three times over the three-

year study, as researchers tease out when and how it forms in those who are still healthy. They won’t be told the results — scientists don’t know enough yet about what the scans portend. At the same time, study participants will be chosen randomly to receive either an experimental anti-amyloid drug — Eli Lilly & Co.’s solanezumab — or a placebo (an inactive substance) as researchers track their memory. The drug or placebo is administered through an IV infusion that takes up to one hour. Those in the study will receive the infusion once a month for three years. If the drug proves to be helpful, it might be tamping down amyloid formation, which in turn reins in toxic tau. In previous studies, solanezumab failed to help fullblown Alzheimer’s but appeared to slow mental decline in patients with mild disease, raising interest in testing the still healthy. “We’re trying to remove amyloid’s downstream effects on tau formation,’’ said Dr. R. Scott Turner of Georgetown University Medical Center, where Gilbert




The city of Georgetown presents Sunset Fitness in the Park, an ongoing program through Wednesday, Sept. 2. The hour-long sessions begin at 6 p.m. at the Waterfront, located at the intersection of Potomac and K St. in Washington, D.C. The classes are hosted by Georgetown Yoga, Georgetown Barre 3 and other local fitness studios. Complimentary snacks are provided. Participants must bring their own yoga mat for yoga classes and wear athletic attire and shoes. Registration is required. For a class schedule or to register, visit

July 21


The U.S. Navy Memorial presents a talk by John Grady, former managing editor of Navy Times, about his book Matthew Fontaine Maury, Father of Oceanography in the Burke Theater at the Memorial, located at 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. For more information, visit or call (202) 737-2300.

enrolled in the study. Seeing how amyloid and tau interact in living brains “is opening a whole new chapter into possible therapies,’’ Turner added. For Gilbert, learning she had amyloid buildup “was distressing,’’ but it has prompted her to take extra steps, in addition to the study, to protect her brain. On her doctor’s advice, she’s exercising more, and exercising her brain in a new way by buying a keyboard to start piano lessons. “It’s exciting to be part of something that’s cutting edge,’’ said Gilbert, who had never heard of tau before. And she has a spot-on question: “So


what’s the medication for the tau?’’ Stay tuned: A handful of drugs to target tau also are in development, but testing will take several years. Compensation may be offered to study participants for time and travel. To learn more about the study, go to For more information about the Georgetown University study site, contact Erica Christian at or (202) 687-8800. The Howard University site contact is Saba Wolday at or (202) 865-7895. — AP, with additional reporting by Barbara Ruben


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J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Timing of vitamins, minerals can be critical We are better off getting our nutrients from healthy foods and beverages. But dietary supplements can fill a nutritional gap. It’s confusing to know when you should take certain nutrients, especially the minerals which can bind or “chelate” with a lot of different medications. It’s also difficult to time your supplements around meals and medications. Over the years, I’ve used my own vitamin list to help me remember when and how to take supplements. I think it could help you, especially if you have to take a lot of different things. You can download my form for free at my website and fill in the blanks with your own supplements. This cheat sheet will help you stay on track. As a pharmacist, it’s kind of in my blood

to “approach with caution,” and I don’t necessarily mean pharmaceuticals. Supplements (the high quality ones that really work) will act in your body exactly like a drug, and the timing of ingestion affects their efficacy. Before you embark on any supplement regimen, I suggest you ask a holistic-minded practitioner what is right for you, giving consideration to your allergies, your liver, kidney function and even genetic mutations. By learning all you can about vitamins and minerals, you can make better choices about dosages. There are times when I need to dump out half of one capsule to get a lower dose, and other times I will take more than what is typically recommended. Each of us is unique.

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Probiotics can usually be taken anytime Today, I will teach you more about timMedicines and supplements that are ing your medications and supplements so best taken in the evening you can optimize effect and or bedtime: minimize risk. Taking some Diphenhydramine medicines too late in the day Aspirin will make you wide-eyed at 3 Magnesium a.m.! Interactions with minerAshwagandha als can defeat the purpose of Goto kola taking medications. Skullcap Since there are thousands of Muscle relaxants medications and supplements, I Statin cholesterol reducers obviously can’t cover them all ACE inhibitors (like here, but I’ll hit the big cateenalapril) gories. When you’re done read- DEAR PHARMACIST ARB class of blood presing today’s column, visit my By Suzy Cohen sure pills (candesartan, etc) website ( and Do NOT combine: sign up for my newsletter so Vitamin K or ginkgo with anticoagulants you will receive the longer version of this arFolate with methotrexate or phenytoin ticle, along with a sample “Vitamin List” that Minerals or dairy foods with minocyyou can adapt and use for your own regimen. Medicines and supplements that are cline or doxycycline Grapefruit or pomegranate foods/supbest taken in the morning: plements with statins Thyroid medication Chocolate with Nardil Modafinil (Provigil) Licorice extract with digoxin or HCTZ Stimulants (Ritalin, Concerta, Adderal) HCTZ with vitamin D (raises calcium Diuretics like HCTZ, furosemide, dantoo much) delion, berberine, neem, green tea 5-HTP with any antidepressant Osteoporosis drugs (Boniva, Fosamax, St. John’s wort with any antidepressant etc.) This information is opinion only. It is not Medicines and supplements that intended to treat, cure or diagnose your conare best taken with food: Mineral supplements (iodine, magne- dition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug or supplement. sium, calcium, iron) Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist Vitamin A, D, E or K (fat-soluble vitaand the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist mins) and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To Anti-fungals contact her, visit CoQ10

Write a letter to the editor. See page 2.

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5


CAN SAVE YOU MONEY. Receive a credit off your bill when you save energy on Peak Savings Days. The Peak Energy Savings Credit is the hands-on way for customers to save money and energy on Peak Savings Days. Last summer, customers who reduced their energy use on Peak Savings Days earned approximately $4 million in bill credits. You can save, too.

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What we know about tea, flax seed benefits Q: Is it true that drinking tea with milk However, more research is needed to unkeeps you from absorbing the healthful derstand how beneficial tea is for heart substances in tea? health and reduced cancer A: Although it’s possible risk. In cell and animal studies, that you will get more of whattea’s compounds seem to inever health benefits can come hibit cancer development at from tea by drinking it withseveral stages — decreasing out milk added, if you prefer tumor growth, increasing selfyour tea with milk, research is destruction of cancer cells and not strong enough to suggest restraining ability of cancer that you change your habit. cells to spread. Proteins in dairy and soymilk But population studies are do seem to bind and form a inconsistent. The American Incomplex with tea’s polyphenol NUTRITION stitute for Cancer Research’s compounds, which potentially WISE review of the global research reduce health benefits of drink- By Karen Collins, found evidence too limited to ing tea. draw any conclusions about tea MS, RD, CDM In one human trial with and cancer risk. Many quesgreen tea, although ECGC tions remain about how choice (green tea’s most-researched compound) of tea, its brewing time and methods, and was not completely blocked, it was reduced differences among people drinking it may about 30 percent. However, the milk did all influence its effects. not decrease the absorption of all types of As long as you aren’t choosing one of catechin polyphenols found in green tea. the highly sweetened options, tea remains With black tea, the few human studies a healthful choice and a much smarter althere are suggest that adding milk does ternative to sugary soft drinks. not make a difference to the amount or For more information, see AICR’s Foods availability of tea’s beneficial compounds. that Fight Cancer: Tea, at

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that-fight-cancer/Tea.html. Q: I’ve heard that flaxseed can help lower blood cholesterol, but I’m worried that it could pose breast cancer risk. What does current research say about this? A: The latest research shows that consuming flaxseed does not increase risk for breast cancer. At one time, there was concern that flaxseed’s lignans, classified as phytoestrogens could raise the risk of breast cancers that are fueled by high levels of estrogen. Now studies show that although lignans’ chemical structure is like estrogen, they don’t act like estrogen in the body. In fact, research indicates flaxseed may be protective, especially in post-menopausal women. It seems to decrease cell growth, increase self-destruction of abnormal cells, and shift estrogen metabolism to less cancer-promoting forms. As for heart health benefits, some studies do show that including four level tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure, although we need more research to understand who benefits and how much is needed. Flaxseed does provide other valuable nutrients: it is concentrated in dietary fiber and contains the plant form of omega-3 fat known as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). An

additional benefit —bacteria in our gut convert flaxseed’s lignans into compounds with antioxidant effects. Do check with your doctor before beginning daily flaxseed if you take fish oil or EPA + DHA supplements or anticoagulant medicine. Also, if you are undergoing cancer treatment, discuss potential use with your care providers. If you take any prescription or non-prescription medicine, be sure to take flaxseed one hour before or two hours after to avoid blocking absorption of the medicine. Finally, if you’re considering daily flaxseed, note that four tablespoons of ground flaxseed contain about 150 calories. Substitute it for some other food to avoid undesired weight gain, which would raise risk of both heart disease and cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research offers a Nutrition Hotline, 1-800843-8114, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This free service allows you to ask questions about diet, nutrition and cancer. A registered dietitian will return your call, usually within three business days. Courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research. Questions for this column may be sent to “Nutrition Wise,” 1759 R St., NW, Washington, DC 20009. Collins cannot respond to questions personally.

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Salmon and potato salad with ‘magic milk’ By Dana Jacobi I want to rename buttermilk. It should be called magic milk because of all it does. Pancakes and muffins are so light they virtually float when made with buttermilk. It also transforms mashed potatoes, turning them fluffy while adding a fresh taste. For more culinary magic, whirl a pound of fresh strawberries with chilled buttermilk and a handful each of fresh mint and ice cubes. Serve this as a cold soup in a bowl or sip it as a refreshing smoothie. The chunky potato and roasted salmon salad recipe below uses a creamy buttermilk dressing, blended with Dijon mustard and shallots instead of the usual garlic and herbs. Buttermilk’s ultimate magic is delivering its flavor and creaminess with minimal calories. Originally the by-product from churning cream into butter, now buttermilk is made by culturing low-fat or skim milk with bacteria — the same method used to make yogurt. This means an 8-ounce glass delivers a mere two grams of fat, only one of them saturated. At the same time, the live bacteria used bring probiotic benefits.

Warm Salmon and Potato Salad with Green Beans 3/4 lb. farmed salmon filet, skinned ½ tsp. salt, divided

Freshly ground black pepper 1 lb. yellow potatoes, the smaller the better 1/4 lb. fresh green beans 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots 3/4 cup buttermilk, light or regular 4 tsp. Dijon-style mustard Freshly ground pepper 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives, for garnish Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place salmon in center of 18-inch piece of foil. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds pepper. Loosely seal foil and place salmon in oven. Roast until it is opaque pink in center at thickest point, 20 to 22 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Start checking it at 18 minutes. Open foil and set salmon aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, place potatoes in large saucepan and cover them by two inches with cold water. Cover, bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and boil gently until small knife easily pierces largest potatoes, about 25 minutes. Drain potatoes and place in large mixing bowl. When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into 1½-inch chunks. At the same time, in covered medium saucepan, boil 2 inches cold water over medium-high heat. Add beans, cover and

cook until tender but not soft, about 4 minutes. Immediately transfer beans to medium bowl and place under cold running water until cool, 1 minute, or place them in bowl of ice water. Drain and dry beans, then cut them into 1½-inch pieces. Add beans to potatoes. Add chopped shallots. Holding large chunks of warm salmon over bowl with potatoes, break them into bite-size pieces and large flakes. In small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mustard, remaining salt and a gener-

ous amount of pepper. Pour dressing over salad and, using two forks, mix to combine. Garnish with chives and serve immediately, while potatoes and salmon are still warm, or at room temperature within 1 hour. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 286 calories, 10 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 26 g. carbohydrate, 22 g. protein, 3.5 g. dietary fiber, 507 mg. sodium. Dana Jacobi creates recipes for the American Institute for Cancer Research.

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Who makes first move when both are shy? By Helen Oxenberg, MSW, ACSW Dear Solutions: I am basically shy and also have a hard time making a real commitment to someone. It seems I’m always unsure. Now I met a man who I really like, but I’m told by friends that he’s shy, too, and also has trouble with commitment. We’ve been seeing each other for quite a while now, and I know the feelings are mutual. But I don’t say anything, and neither does he.

I want this relationship to move forward seriously, but I’m afraid to say anything. We really get along very well and seem to have much in common. Do you think it will spoil things if I say something to him about being serious? — Joan Dear Joan: Indeed you do have something in common — fear. Sounds like you’re in a race to see who won’t speak first! If you want forward motion but won’t do

anything, the winner will be the loser — you — because this is a race where everyone stands still. Move! Take the risk. Say what you want. If you’re sure of your feelings and are pretty sure of his, you have nothing to lose but your uncertainty. And if you don’t get what you want? Well, you’re not getting it now, are you? Dear Solutions: Almost every time that I invite my husband’s older son and family to a holiday dinner or Father’s Day or something, he finds an excuse not to come. I’m sure my husband feels bad about this, but he never says anything. I know it makes me angry. We’re in a second marriage, so I haven’t said anything to my husband or to his son. Should I speak to my husband about how I feel or just stay out of it? — Janice Dear Janice: Give your husband a chance to speak — and then stay out of it. Ask him what he thinks about this — what he would like to say to his son — and then stay out of it. He may never say it to his son, but being able to express it somewhere will help him to get it out of his system. Try it — and then stay out of it!

Dear Solutions: I was trained when I was a kid to always be on time, so I am. I have at least one friend who is never on time, even though she always has an excuse and always promises to be on time. I don’t want to give her up, but it’s so frustrating for me when I’m waiting around for her, and embarrassing if she’s supposed to meet other people with me. Any suggestions? — Lisa Dear Lisa: So you’re the “punctual” one. You must be very lonely. After all, waiting around alone for someone is sad and infuriating I’m sure. I don’t know that you can get someone like that to change, but at least make it more comfortable for yourself. Reverse the order. Figure out how late she’s going to be, and don’t get there until you know she’s there. Let her do the lonely waiting. Also when you’re meeting with other people and she’s late, introduce her as “the late Ms. whatever,” because she is dead wrong! © Helen Oxenberg, 2015. Questions to be considered for this column may be sent to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You may also email the author at To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Spotlight On Aging VOLUME XXVI, ISSUE 7

A newsletter for D.C. Seniors


July 2015

Information Senior Drivers Should Know

June 17, 2015 Dear Colleagues, It is with mixed emotions that I announce my resignation as Executive Director of the District of Columbia Office on Aging (DCOA) effective Monday, June 29, 2015. Since joining DCOA in March 2011, I have been blessed to work with many talented professionals within District Government and around our great nation. I must say that since 2011, we have built a governmental agency that has experienced so many wonderful accomplishments. Our efforts have led to the completion of the first senior needs assessment in over three decades and the development of the agency’s five year strategic plan, which includes decentralizing the Aging and Disability Resource Center and transforming Washington, D.C. into an age-friendly city (AFC). I can confidently say that we have met 75% of the strategic goals, and we have two years remaining to reach 100% of the goals once we fully satisfy the World Health Organization’s requirements for AFC. In addition to the strategic plan, we have transformed from an agency in 2011 with only 25 full-time equivalents (FTEs) and a budget of $26 million to an agency in 2015 with 76 FTEs and a budget of $43.5 million. We streamlined services for seniors and persons with disabilities by acquiring the Commodity Supplemental Food Program from the Department of Health and secured an extremely capable partner with the Capital Area Food Bank. We also acquired the Money Follows the Person Program from the Department of Health Care Finance, which has helped us to move more citizens from institutional settings back into the community. This is the humanistic approach, but also a great way to preserve the Medicaid budget. Our agency has also been instrumental in establishing the District’s Silver Alert System. I am confident that through this system, numerous District governmental agencies and private organizations will continue to work tirelessly in locating missing seniors and ensuring that they return home safely. In addition, we have partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to provide the Money Smart training program to our seniors. It is our best defense to reduce financial exploitation among the senior population. Because of this great work, we have been honored by Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen. Moreover, we have established a number of new programs including the Senior Symposium, Nursing Home Transition Program, the Volunteer Ambassador Program, the Senior Home Repair Intergenerational Program, the Pre-K Intergenerational Program, Call-In-Talk Line, First Responders Program, and the Falls Prevention Home Assessment Program. I am also pleased that we were able to overhaul senior transportation that resulted in a 3-week reduction in wait time and increased access to new destination points across the city. It is worth mentioning that because of the hard work of the team, we have been nationally recognized by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging for establishing a best practice in transportation with the advent of the Seabury Connector Card, which provides seniors with increased transportation options. Thank you for partnering with DCOA during my four years and four months here! Although it is time for me to close this chapter in my life, I am confident that my dedicated colleagues at the agency will continue to serve the District most vulnerable citizens. Best,

John M. Thompson

500 K Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 724-5622

If you are 70 years or older you must renew your driver’s license in person at a DC DMV Service Center:

Georgetown Service Center 3222 M St. NW Canal Level Washington, DC 20007

Penn Branch Service Center Penn Branch Shopping Center 3220 Pennsylvania Ave. SE Washington, DC 20019

Rhode Island Service Center (Located in Rhode Island Row, at the corner of Rhode Island Ave. NE (Near CVS) and Washington Pl. NE and closest to Rhode Island Metro) 2350 Washington Pl. NE, Suite 112N Washington, DC 20018

Southwest Service Center 95 M St. SW Washington, DC 20024 To register, have your physician complete the certification on the driver’s license application, and pass the eye test. If necessary, you may be issued a 45-day temporary license to allow time to obtain your physician’s certification on the driver license application. We understand that mobility and independence are crucial to all District residents. Therefore, it is our goal to work with you to ensure you can continue to drive safely. In many cases, it may be necessary to restrict driving to daylight hours or to require special equipment on your vehicle. In other cases, your physician may make recommendations to us about ways in which you can continue to drive. Many of you self-regulate by electing to stop driving when you believe you are no longer able to safely operate a vehicle. See SENIOR DRIVERS, page 26


J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N




Staying safe in summer heat The District of Columbia Government, through the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), implements the District Heat Emergency Plan when a heat emergency occurs and the National Weather Service (NWS) issues an “extreme heat warning” for DC. The District Heat Emergency Plan provides information on the District operations to aid all constituents — particularly vulnerable populations with health issues, the homeless, and visitors to the city. On days when the “heat index” (a measurement of the air temperature in relation to the relative humidity, used as an indicator of the perceived temperature), or temperature reaches 95 degrees, the DC Government will activate Cooling Centers. The Cooling Centers will be activated in publically accessible government facilities, homeless shel-

ters, and senior citizen wellness centers, and will be open until 6 p.m., or until a time specified by the facilities below. HSEMA, in conjunction with the DC Department of Health, will also disseminate emergency information to the public through the DC webpage at In case of a heat emergency: • Stay indoors as much as possible. • Turn on the air-conditioner or fan. • DO NOT leave children or pets in vehicles. • Drink plenty of water. • Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothes. • Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside. SPF 15-30 is best. • Limit exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when it is strongest • Watch for symptoms of heat cramps,

heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Visit one of the District’s “Cooling Centers” located throughout the city if you do not have access to a cool-temperature location. DC Senior Cooling Centers for 2015



Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center

VIDA Spanish Senior Center 1842 Calvert St. NW Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 202-483-1508

4125 Albemarle St. Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 202-966-1055


324 Kennedy St. NW Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 202-291-6170

Ft. Stevens Recreation Center Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center 3531 Georgia Ave. NW Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 202-727-0338

WARD 2 Asian Senior Center 417 G St. NW. Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 202-842-4376

1327 Van Buren St. NW Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 202-576-6916

WARD 5 Model Cities Senior Wellness Center 1901 Evarts St. NE Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 202-635-1900

WARD 6 Senior Center for the Homeless Elderly 1226 Vermont Ave. NW Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 202-265-2017

Senior Drivers From page 25

If you decide to discontinue driving, we encourage you to exchange your driver’s license for an identification card (ID). For drivers 65 years and older, identification cards are free of charge.

Older Adult Driver Safety Course An online course is recommended for drivers age 50 and older as a refresher or to enhance your driving knowledge and skills. Upon receiving a completion certificate, drivers may be eligible to receive discounts on motor vehicle insurance. The online course can be accessed 24 hours a

Hayes Senior Wellness Center 500 K St. NE Weekdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 202-563-7725

day, 7 days a week for your convenience. Visit AARP also offers classes at these Smart Driver Safety Course Locations. Call to register for upcoming classes: Washington Hospital Center, 202877-2084 Washington Seniors Wellness Center, 202-575-7711 Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center, 202-291-6170 Emery Recreation Center, 202-3218265 Fort Stevens Recreation Center, 202321-8265 For more information, visit or call 311.

Spotlight On Aging continues on page 27, following the Housing & Home Care Options magazine at the right Please pull out and keep the magazine. You may also pull out and keep Spotlight on Aging.

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Say you saw it in the Beacon



Housing Options | More at

J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Share your home like the Golden Girls did By Carol Sorgen Eight years ago, Bonnie Moore found herself divorced with a newly remodeled five-bedroom home in Bowie, Md. “I had all the bills and half the income,” she said. Moore didn’t want to lose her home, so she decided to take in roommates. But unlike many landlords who don’t have a particular tenant in mind, Moore had a plan. “I wanted women the same age I was,” the now 70-yearold retired management consultant recalled. Moore rented out four bedrooms. For a while it was trial and error. “I had a lot to learn about being a landlord,” she said. After several years, however, she had it down pat — so much so that she and her roommates decided there must be other women in the same circumstances who would rather live with other women than

live on their own. The result of that discussion was the Golden Girls Network, launched in June 2014.

A national roommate database Moore explained that the Golden Girls Network is a group of single mature women (and men, despite the name) who love the idea of shared living and who are looking for an economical lifestyle by forming communities together. The organization operates a nationwide electronic database that provides an opportunity for older singles to connect with compatible housemates. Currently there are about 700 people listed in the database, spread among 45 states. About 100 of the listings are in the Baltimore/Washington area. A six-month

membership costs $39. Demographic trends indicate that conditions are ripe for continued growth of shared living, particularly among women. According to statistics compiled by AARP, one out of three baby boomers will face old age without a spouse. In addition, women live about five years longer than men, on average. Also, adult children often live far away. And since 1990, the overall divorce rate for the 50plus demographic has doubled. The Golden Girls Network promotes shared housing among seniors in three distinct manners: 1) a group that shares and manages equally, either through shared ownership or equally sharing a lease, 2) a landlord/tenant arrangement, where one person owns the home and others are roommates, and 3) a homeowner and a home companion, where one person provides some household assistance and companionship for an older adult. Golden Girls Network does not do the matching for prospective housemates, but simply provides an opportunity to find other like-minded individuals who are also searching for an affordable, friendly place to live through senior home sharing.

Tackling tricky issues Moore has recently published a new edition of her book, How to Start a Golden Girls Home — a primer that offers guidance in many areas. For example, she describes how to make your home attractive to roommates, questions to ask in an interview, how to handle pets, boyfriends, and other tricky situations, as well as other tips for those sharing homes. The book draws on Moore’s real-world experience, both in her own shared home and as founder of the Golden Girls Network. The book also includes sample applications,

leases and other practical resources for homeowners and potential roommates. Choosing the right roommate(s) is paramount, according to Moore. “You need to look at certain criteria and define the type of person you’re looking for — smoker or nonsmoker, early riser or night owl, tidy or more casual about housekeeping, etc. “Determine what your deal-breakers are,” she said. “If something’s important to you, say so. Ask enough questions and pay attention to their responses.” Once you have roommates lined up, make your home welcome for them. Paint the bedrooms, clean the carpet, clear some shelves in the kitchen, etc. Having a house agreement is also helpful, said Moore, since despite everyone’s best intentions and expectations, sometimes a roommate will not work out. “That’s where a house agreement comes in particularly handy,” said Moore. If, for example, someone is not following house rules — is too noisy perhaps, or helping him or herself to someone else’s food — that can be grounds for eviction. But with good planning, said Moore, those instances will not be the norm. Moore’s book, How to Start a Golden Girls Home, is available on for $14.99 (paperback) or $10.99 in Kindle e-reader format. For more information about the organization or shared living, visit

On the cover: Bonnie Moore relaxes in the solarium at her home in Bowie, Md., which she shares with several housemates. She founded the national Golden Girls network and website to help others who would like to rent out rooms in their homes or are looking for affordable housing. See story above.

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

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Moving between levels of care at CCRCs By Erin G. Roth Senior housing options that include a range of care services — from independent apartments to assisted living to nursing care, commonly referred to as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) — provide seniors and their family members with a sense of security and peace of mind. Because everything is offered under the same institutional umbrella, there’s no need for another often stressful search for housing and services should additional care be needed. Interviews of residents in several Maryland CCRCs from our research at the Center for Aging Studies at UMBC illustrate both the promise and the challenges of such communities from two married couple’s perspectives.

One couple’s story The Griers, married for over 60 years, are like many people who prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible. But after a serious car accident and a severe winter, their only daughter —whose own quadriplegic daughter needed constant care — said she couldn’t continue to help them out as long as they lived in a rural area far away from her. So the Griers reluctantly moved to an independent living apartment at a large religiously-affiliated CCRC ten minutes away from their daughter. “We lived there on our own,” Mrs. Grier said. “We used to go out daily. And I took care of my husband and me for three years over there; done the cooking and everything.” Over time, Mrs. Grier recognized she and her husband needed more assistance, so they moved to the community’s assisted living section. The move was a relief both to the Griers and to their daughter, who told us, “My father did not want to move. In fact, we had a

hard time getting him here. And now he loves it, you know. And I look at him and I say, there is no way they could have stayed up in the woods and been cared for.” Mr. Grier said, “Whenever you need anything, the staff is always there.” “They’re wonderful,” agreed Mrs. Grier.

Another couple’s story Still, there are challenges to living in a place where progressive levels of care are provided. When a resident’s health changes, this can require a move. And although it may be a move within the same building or complex, it can be quite significant to those who find themselves at that point. After living with his wife in a spacious independent apartment for 10 years, Jack Martin (not his real name) was approached by the administrators with an ultimatum: He could either hire a full-time aide to assist his wife, or she would have to move to a higher level of care within the community. Edith Martin had been cognitively declining for a while. The Martins regularly played cards with friends in the independent living area of their CCRC. When the friends initially noticed Mrs. Martin’s forgetfulness, they were patient and understanding. But over time, her memory changes interfered with their enjoyment of the game. Eventually, they complained to administrators. Mr. Martin said he felt he was managing okay caring for his wife. “[The neighboring residents] said they had to help her get around, and they found her confused if she walked out of the apartment and was downstairs,” he recalled. “And that she smelled like she had urine on her. I don’t know how they could smell that because I made sure she was changed.” When he finally agreed to have his wife moved, Martin said, “She doesn’t like

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[having to move]. Upsets her to talk about it.” Mr. Martin became teary eyed as he explained, “I can’t take care of her any longer. She’ll get more attention there.” From the administration’s perspective, Mr. Martin’s grief could be weighed against the relief and freedom they anticipated he would experience. They tried to minimize the impact of Mrs. Martin’s relocation by reassuring him that they were in fact still under the same roof. The administrator said, “I know you want to take care of your wife, but look at you. You can’t do anything; you have to be able to do what you need to do. Let us take care of her. Still visit with her.” Although Mr. Martin understood the need for more help, he said that this move

took his wife far enough away that he felt as if she had died. “We were sharing life together, which we can’t do now,” he said.“Edith was my stand-by, and now she is gone.” Mrs. Martin apparently had difficulty understanding what had happened. One of the administrators told our researchers: “You know what the saddest thing is? She thinks her husband left her. That’s all she keeps saying, ‘Why did he leave me?’ It just breaks your heart.”

Safety and care above all Resident safety is a priority in communities that have agreed to provide care. The requirement to move from one part of the See CCRCs, page B-5


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Seabury at SPRINGVALE TERRACE 301-587-0190 8505 Springvale Road Silver Spring, MD 20910 The team at Springvale Terrace is excited to debut a new look and feel, thanks to a recently completed $5.4 million renovation project. Located in the heart of Silver Spring, Springvale Terrace blends affordability with convenience, style and quality care. Independent apartments are available, and enhanced senior living is complemented with personal care services, including three meals a day, housekeeping, laundry, and medication administration. And, if additional care is needed, Springvale Terrace also has beautiful assisted living apartments. This range of services—combined with low monthly rates—provides just the right amount of assistance to meet your needs while allowing you to live in an apartment you’ll love. Call today to learn more and schedule your personal tour.


Covenant Village 301-540-1162 18889 Waring Station Road Germantown, MD 20874 • Spacious 2-bedroom plans with washer/dryer in each apt. • Covenant Village shuttle bus for shopping and local trips • Fitness room, billiard room, game/crafts room, movie theatre • On-site beauty salon, garden plots It’s all about our residents, says Kathy the Property Manager. The staff ensures that the residents always have interesting and exciting activities going on. Some of the fun includes movie nights, new resident meet and greet, holiday parties, fashion shows, and community dinners. Attendance at the wine and cheese and ice cream socials is close to 100%. Covenant Village was recently awarded a trophy by the Property Management Association for being Maryland’s Best Affordable Community in their category! Please call today to make an appointment for a tour.


Tall Oaks Assisted Living 703-834-9800 12052 N. Shore Drive Reston, VA 20190

Tall Oaks Assisted Living has proudly served Reston and the Metropolitan DC area since 1991 by providing quality Assisted Living and Memory Care to seniors. From superb and delicious dining to engaging activity programming and 24-hour licensed nursing care, our goal is to exceed expectations in every aspect of community life. The friendliness and longevity of our leadership team give families peace of mind knowing that their loved one’s care is in experienced hands. Call today to schedule your personal visit, and be sure to ask about our current leasing specials.

J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

What factors make a community ‘livable’? By Glenda C. Booth Do you consider your community “livable”? If not, what would make it so? Or where would you move to find one? AARP has developed a new web-based tool called a “livability index” to help people of all ages define what they mean by livability and to measure the level of it at various states, cities and neighborhoods. The index can also help policymakers and advocates identify ways to make communities more livable and senior-friendly. Livability, to many, is in the eye of the beholder. For some people, it’s easy access to shopping. For others, it’s sidewalks and one-level, affordable housing and multi-generational neighbors. Many people factor in weather and proximity to family. AARP chose seven categories of livability after surveying 4,500 Americans over age 50, and developed an index that even the statistically-reluctant can easily use. The seven categories are: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunities. The index also considers various factors within each category. Taking a holistic approach, AARP’s basic definition of livability “considers whether everyone can continue to take part in the vibrant communities they know and love as they age.”

High scores for our area The index separates cities by size. Among “large cities” (more than 500,000 residents), Washington comes in as number 9 on the livability scale. San Francisco, Boston and Seattle top the list. D.C. also ranks highly in some of the factors that make up the livability quotient, particularly socially. It ranks first among Best Cities for Making Friends and second among Best Cities for Date Night. Despite the traffic, Washington is ranked eighth for Easiest City to Get Around. No Washington-area neighborhood made the top 10 among AARP’s list of most livable neighborhoods, however. As for D.C. metropolitan area localities, Arlington, Va., ranks sixth among the top 10 medium-sized cities for staying healthy. For the staying healthy category in Maryland, among “small cities” Potomac comes in sixth and North Bethesda, seventh. Here is a sampling of other overall neighborhood scores on a zero to 100 scale (no neighborhoods anywhere in the country got a 100; the average score is 50): In Maryland, Takoma Park, 63; Chevy Chase, 57; and Largo, 45. In Virginia, Springfield, 57; Woodbridge, 53; and Manassas, 50. The city of Alexandria is rated at 59. Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood has an overall score of 62, garnering in the high 70s for neighborhood, health and transportation. In Washington, the Brentwood

area is scored at 61; Anacostia, 59; and Cleveland Park, 54.

Check out where you live At, you can enter your zip code, address, state, city or community to get an overall livability score. You can then click on each of the seven categories and drill down further to factors within a category. For example, if you enter your community and click on the category “health,” you can learn the percent of people who smoke, who are obese, who have access to exercise opportunities, as well as the availability of healthcare professionals, the preventable hospitalization rate per 1,000 patients, and percent of patients who give area hospitals high ratings. You can also compare these measures to the median U.S. numbers. The AARP website describes the scoring method like this: “The Livability Index score rates the overall livability of the selected neighborhood, city, county, or state on a scale from 0 to 100. The total livability score is based on the average of all seven category scores, which also range from 0 to 100. “We score communities by comparing them to one another, so the average community gets a score of 50, while above-average communities score higher and below-average communities score lower.” The index rates cities, counties and states based on the average scores of neighborhoods within them. Most communities score above average in at least one category of livability. The site also has a customization tool, allowing users to weight personal priorities in each category. For example, you can give a category like transportation or health a higher weight and other categories a lower weight.

An instrument for improvement The AARP index is not just a tool for evaluating your current or future home area. It’s also a tool for making communities more livable. “Eight out of 10 people want to remain in their own community,” said Jana Lynott, AARP’s Senior Policy Advisor on Livable Communities. “We wanted to put out a tool that could really prompt community conversations around livability so that individuals and local leaders can get together, focus energies, and prepare for the aging population.” Every community can improve, says AARP’s website. AARP further defines a livable community as “one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and has supportive community features and services. Once in place, those resources enhance personal independence, allow residents to age in See LIVABLE, page B-7

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

CCRCs From page B-3 setting to another is part of a senior housing design that is more convenient, cost-effective and efficient than bringing extra care to individuals. Many CCRCs will allow for the resident to pay for a certain level of extra help to be brought in. But this can become costly and has its limits. It was not an option Mr. Martin felt he could afford. And although the community would have welcomed him to join her in the assisted living wing, he said he did not seriously consider this option. He described himself as too proud. For those who seek social interaction, a CCRC offers opportunities unmatched by living alone. Still, our research with residents of multilevel senior housing indicates that the move from one level of care to another can be challenging for couples and individuals even though it’s within the same setting.

Plan ahead; ask some questions Recognizing the possible challenges, proactively seeking information, and planning ahead are important steps when moving to a CCRC.

Here are some questions potential residents and their family members should be asking before choosing a community with multiple levels of care: • What are the triggers for a move to the next level? How is that handled? • What sorts of exceptions have been made to allow someone to stay in their room or apartment? • How are couples accommodated in terms of moving between levels? What are some specific examples of how couples there have navigated these transitions? • How much socializing is there between the different levels of care? • If someone is required to move because of cognitive decline, how much specialized training do the people working in that area receive? For more information about current work in the culture change movement, see Erin G. Roth is a senior ethnographer at the Center for Aging Studies within the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UMBC. The research this article is based upon is funded by the National Institute on Aging, J. Kevin Eckert and Leslie Morgan, Principal Investigators. For additional information, contact Roth at



Ashby Ponds 703-723-1999 or 1-800-564-0155 21170 Ashby Ponds Boulevard Ashburn, VA 20147 Ashby Ponds in Ashburn offers maintenance-free retirement living combined with a vibrant lifestyle--all in a beautiful, private and gated community. Without the worries of a house and yard, you can spend more time pursuing your passions. Travel, volunteer, take a college class and explore some of Ashby Ponds many clubs and interest groups. Campus restaurants offer a variety of delicious dining options, while security offers protection and peace of mind. Enjoy the stability of predictable monthly expenses and look forward to a healthy future with our health care and wellness services. Whatever your passions in life, you’ll find the freedom and opportunity to follow them at Ashby Ponds. Continuing Care at Ashby Ponds is now open and features assisted living, nursing care, post-acute rehabilitation, and memory care.


Olney Assisted Living Memory Care by Design


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Meeting the High Standards of Military Families It’s all about maintenance-free living at The Fairfax, one of Northern Virginia’s finest retirement communities. Located adjacent to Fort Belvoir, our gorgeous 60-acre campus is the premier choice for retired military officers and their families. We provide peace of mind—so you can enjoy every day to the fullest.

16940 Georgia Avenue Olney, MD 20832 A memory care specific community, Olney Assisted Living offers compassionate care in an environment designed specifically for those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Each building trait and feature has been selected to foster independence and freedom. This includes cozy interior “neighborhoods,” a central Town Center featuring a beauty/barber shop, and individual memory display cases outside of each resident’s room to help with recognition. Daily life enrichment programming is provided with the goal of enhancing cognition, feelings of accomplishment, and quality of life. Licensed, on-site nursing care is provided 24 hours a day by a team of experienced professionals. Families seeking memory care will feel right at home in this brand new community, which is filling quickly. For more information, call 301-570-0525 today.


Brooke Grove Retirement Village 301-260-2320 18100 Slade School Road Sandy Spring, MD 20860 “M My son id to to me, me, ‘Thanks, ‘Th ‘T hanks, k M Mom ou ttook ou ookk a llot ott off worry worr y off ffff off me.’” ’” “My son said Mom.. Y You –Anne Arnhart ngeniall environment. We love gh “This h is a … ver veryy co congenial l our nei neighbors.” hb bors.” –Bri –B gadi dier Gen ener eral all LLeo eo B Bro rook oks and d Mr Mrs s. N Nao aomi mi B Bro rook oks – riga –Brigadier d er G General Brooks ks an Mrs. Naomi Brooks ks

CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE A TOUR. 9140 Belvoir Woods Parkway, Fort Belvoir, VA 703-799-1200 | Independent Living | Assisted Living | Memory Care

You’ll feel it as soon as you drive onto our 220-acre campus of lush pastures and hardwood forest—all that makes independent living at Brooke Grove different. Beautiful cottages in a truly picturesque setting. Maintenance-free living, with more time for what you really want to do. Personalized fitness programs, meals prepared by talented chefs, clubs and social events. Neighbors who share your interests and passions. Come for a visit and see why Brooke Grove Retirement Village is one of the most sought-after retirement communities in the state. Living here is simply different … because what surrounds you really matters.


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J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

July - november 2015


As experts in senior care and memory support, Brooke Grove Retirement Village is pleased to offer free monthly seminars on topics related to caring for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. All seminars will be held at Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, located at 18131 Slade School Road on the Brooke Grove Retirement Village Campus. Please register with Toni Davis at 301-388-7209 or “Communicating for someone with memory loss” July 14, 2-3 p.m. Learn how to effectively communicate your loved one’s information to medical professionals, home care staff an and d community members. FR FREE. Register by July 112.

“The language of dementia” August 18, 2-3 p.m. Hear about helpful strategies for reducing misunderstandings and frustration when communicating with a person with dementia. FREE. Register by August 16.

“When is it time to ask for help?” October 13, 2-3 p.m. Explore the many ways to find the support you need when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. FREE. Register by October 11.

Independent living

assisted living

“Managing caregiver stress” September 22, 2-3 p.m. Learn to identify and manage your stressors as a caregiver to someone with es Alzheimer’s h me or dementia. FREE. Register by b September 20.

“Becoming an Alzheimer’s whisperer: A loving and gentle approach to challenging behaviors” November 10, 2-3 p.m. Discover the link between brain damage and specific challenging behaviors—and interventions to manage them with love. FREE. Register by November 8.


long-term care

memory support

18100 Slade School Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860 • 301-260-2320 or 301-924-2811 •

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Livable From page B-4 place, and foster residents’ engagement in the community’s civic, economic and social life.” The index does not include weather be-

cause, AARP officials contend, people’s weather preferences vary considerably and weather cannot be changed. A list of the most livable places for people over age 50 can be found in the May 2015 AARP Bulletin at home-family/your-home/best-places-to-live/.




PIANO PLAYER NEEDED The Herndon Adult Day Health Care Center needs a piano player to

play classical or music from the 1960s and before. For more information on this and other volunteer opportunities, visit and click on Volunteer Solutions or call (703) 324-5406; TTY 711.

Washington, D.C. — a city of contrasts While AARP may find many positive aspects to living in Washington, D.C., the city landed first on Kiplinger magazine’s April 2015 list of worst places to retire. Financial factors gave the city several black marks, in Kiplinger’s view: “the greater metro area is among the most expensive in the country,” with a cost of living 39.9 percent above average (only New York City’s is higher). At the same time, Washington has the highest average income for people 65+ (“home to a great many millionaires,” Kiplinger notes). The average income for households led by a person 65 or older is $90,755, and their median home value is $424,400, second only to Hawaii. However, the city has a 14 percent poverty rate among seniors, tied with Mississippi’s.

Kiplinger paints D.C. retirees’ tax situation as “not friendly.” “High taxation (without representation, no less) is another deterrent. D.C.’s top income tax rate is 8.95 percent, among the highest in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. The sales tax is 5.75 percent. One bright spot on taxes: Social Security benefits, as well as up to $3,000 of military, federal and D.C. pensions, are tax-exempt,” the magazine reported. Another negative: The violent crime rate is 3.5 times the national average, and the property crime rate is higher than average. Maryland, with the third highest average household income in the U.S., ranked 13th worst on the Kiplinger list, in part for high healthcare costs. — Glenda C. Booth


SENIOR DRIVERS SeniorConnection in Silver Spring is looking for volunteers to drive older adults to medical and other appointments, and help with gro-

cery shopping and monthly money management. Volunteering is flexible: As little as two to three hours a month can make a huge difference. The Senior Connection office is located at 3950 Ferrara Dr., Silver Spring, Md. For more information, call (301) 962-0820.




Fairfax County needs respite care volunteers to give family caregivers of a frail older adult a break so they can go shopping, attend a doctor’s appointment, or just have coffee with a friend. Volunteers visit and oversee the safety of the older adult for a few hours each month. Support and training are provided. For more information, contact Kristin Martin at (703) 3247577; TTY 711, or

Innovative Memory Care...

By Design !"#"$%&!'(%#!)*#'+,'!'$""-.+/&0!1%#(/!2(33)!4()!5##.! /4$-64/7-33&!8#)+6.#8! 9+/4! /4#! .##8)! $7! &$-%! 3$:#8! $.#!+.!"+.8;!!<#8+'(/#8!/#("!"#"5#%)!$77#%!'(%#!+.! 7$-%!-.+=-#!.#+645$%4$$8)!/4(/!(%#!'$>&!(.8!+.:+/+.60! .$/!$:#%94#3"+.6;!!?-%!%#)+8#./)!#@*#%+#.'#!)#'-%#8! 7%##8$"!()!9#33!()!(!4#(%/A4#(3/4&!8+#/0!9(3B+.6!*(/4)! (.8!*(/+$)0!(.8!C+7#!D.%+'4"#./!*%$6%(")!E+.'3-8+.6! (%/0!"-)+'0!(.8!8(.'#E)#:#.!8(&)!(!9##B;

Call to schedule your personal visit: 703-421-0690 1121 Reston Avenue | Herndon, VA Coordinated Services Management, Inc. Professional Management of Retirement Communities since 1981

The nation’s first military retirement community has provided more than 50 years of ser vice to those who experienced the unique life of the military family. Knollwood is built on the cornerstones of personal attention, superior care and camaraderie. Knollwood, bordering Rock Creek Park, is convenient to all Washington, D.C., has to offer. Our affordable continuing care retirement community features modern independent living apar tments from 500 to 2,900 sq. ft., assisted living apartments, skilled nursing and memory care.


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J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

How to get financial help to age in place By Carol Sorgen and Dahna Chandler The vast majority of older adults say they prefer to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Those who need assistance with the ordinary activities of daily life, or even long-term custodial care, may bring in private help if they have the means. And some choose to move to assisted living or continuing care communities where their needs will be taken care of — again, if they can afford it. But for those with low income and minimal assets, bringing in daily home care or moving to assisted living are generally out of the question if their needs are great. Typically, their sole option is to apply for Medicaid, which is the primary government program that pays for long-term custodial care for those with few resources.

[See “Who qualifies for LTC Medicaid coverage?” on page B9.] Traditionally, Medicaid — which is a joint federal/state program — has required recipients to move to a skilled nursing facility (nursing home) in order to qualify for funds. But in recent years, there has been a nationwide effort to help keep people in their homes and communities, and to move nursing home residents back into their homes or the homes of their families, if possible. This is growing in popularity not only (or even primarily) because it’s what people want. It’s grown because it’s generally less expensive — in fact, about half the cost — to help people bring in home care and other needed services than to cover their costs at nursing homes. This effort is sometimes called “rebal-

ancing,” suggesting that Medicaid’s longtime bias towards institutional (nursing home) care is being balanced out by companion efforts to support people in their homes and communities.

Programs in this area In Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, several programs are helping rebalance Medicaid spending: Medicaid Waivers, the Community First Choice Program (CFC), and Money Follows the Person (MFP). These programs involve a partnership between each jurisdiction and the federal government. Community First Choice — a new program run by the Maryland Medicaid Agency (housed in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) — allows older Maryland residents to choose the service providers they want to assist them with activities of daily living, including bathing, toileting, mobility (including transferring from place to place), eating and dressing. The funding for those services is delivered directly to the providers. Those who qualify may also receive assistance with household services related to medical needs, escort services to a medical appointment, and personal hygiene and grooming. Participants of CFC are also eligible for other Medicaid-covered services — such

as physician and hospital care, pharmacy, home health, laboratory services, mental health services, disposable medical supplies, and durable medical equipment. The District of Columbia offers its residents similar resources and support through its Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (EPD) Waiver Program. Virginia offers two Medicaid Waiver programs: the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and the Elderly or Disabled Consumer Directed Waiver (EDCD). These programs have requirements and offer services similar to those described in Maryland’s CFP. However, in some jurisdictions, there may be a waiting list for these programs.

Money follows you home The other option — for people already in nursing homes who desire to move into the homes of family or elsewhere in the community — is called Money Follows the Person. Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia all offer the program to eligible seniors. Though money is not given directly to the participants, it allows the person who is receiving Medicaid in a nursing home to move back to their home or the community and receive the type of supports available through the Waivers and CFP. See AGE IN PLACE, page B-10

SUMMER At Chesterbrook Residences, the Livin’ is Easy!

There’s no better time to make the move to Chesterbrook Residences. Our residents enjoy great services and amenities in the summer and all year long!

Where friends and food come together in the most flavorful ways

24/7 licensed nurses on-site • Affordable monthly leases • Delicious, chef-prepared meals • Gazebo and outdoor gardens • Fun, engaging activities and trips

Learn more about Chesterbrook Residences. Call 703-531-0781 today to schedule your personal visit.

1100 Dranesville Road, Herndon, VA (703) 956-6311 •

Assisted Living Community

2030 Westmoreland Street • Falls Church Coordinated Services Management, Inc. - Professional Management of Retirement Communities since 1981

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Who qualifies for LTC Medicaid coverage? By Kimberly Lankford Medicaid is the largest payer of longterm care services for the elderly. Eligibility rules vary from state to state, but you generally must have less than $2,000 in “countable” assets — including savings, retirement accounts, investments and most cash-value life insurance balances. You can generally keep your car, primary residence, and money in certain kinds of trusts. If you’re married and your spouse lives at home, he or she can usually keep up to $119,220 in countable assets in 2015 (see for your state’s rules). Your countable income to qualify for Medicaid must generally be less than $2,163 per month. That includes Social Security benefits and pension, dividend and interest income. Your spouse living at home may keep all of his or her income and may be able to keep some of yours — up to a total of $2,931 per month, depending on the state. After you qualify financially, Medicaid may send a social worker or nurse to certify that you’re medically eligible, which generally means that you need help with activities of daily living. Medicaid has traditionally covered care in nursing homes but not in assisted-living facilities. But many states now have voucher plans that let you use Medicaid money for assisted living or home care. These programs have limited funds, however,

and long waiting lists in many states. Some nursing homes don’t accept Medicaid, and those that do may have a limited number of Medicaid beds. Some facilities that don’t accept Medicaid up front will let you stay after you run out of money and have to turn to Medicaid. Before choosing a facility that doesn’t take Medicaid, calculate how long your money will last. If your top choice takes private-pay patients only, it may still be an option if you can pay the bills there for a few years, then move to a Medicaid facility before your money runs out. Working with an elder-law attorney who knows your state’s laws can save thousands of dollars (find one at or If you’re helping aging parents, meet with the attorney as soon as they need help, even if they still have plenty of savings, says Bernard Krooks, an elder-law attorney in New York, because you’ll have more options if you plan in advance. And make sure you get power of attorney for your parents while they can still make decisions so you can pay their bills if they can’t. Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to And for more on this and similar money topics, visit © 2015 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




The University of Maryland’s Legacy Leadership Institute on Public Policy, in partnership with the state of Maryland, is looking for volunteers age 50+ to serve as volunteer legislative leaders during the 2015-2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly. Classroom training begins in September for 10 weeks, two days per week, at the College Park campus, with site visits to the state complex in Annapolis. The volunteer assignment will be for a minimum of two days per week, starting Jan. 2016 in the Annapolis offices of various senators and delegates. For more information or for an application, contact Wesley Queen at or call (301) 405-2529.



Falcons Landing 703-439-5151 20522 Falcons Landing Circle Potomac Falls, VA 20165 Luxurious Living after a Career of Service. Nestled near the Potomac River in scenic Northern Virginia, Falcons Landing is a vibrant hub for residents who have retired from work, but not from life! We continually strive to provide the best experiences for our residents. Come see our new expansion, which includes a new Wellness and Fitness Complex, contemporary Woodburn Café and stylish Compass Club! Falcons Landing is a community of retired military officers of all branches of service, senior-level federal employees, their spouses and surviving spouses, as well as those officers honorably discharged with any length of service. At Falcons Landing, the adventure continues! Call us to schedule a lunch in our new Woodburn Cafe!


Brooke Grove Retirement Village 301-260-2320 18100 Slade School Road Sandy Spring, MD 20860 This community hums with warmhearted camaraderie and a zest for life shared by residents and staff alike. Experience all that makes assisted living at Brooke Grove extraordinary. Cozy, homelike dwellings with easy access to beautiful courtyards and walking paths. Caring staff trained in using memory support techniques, building independence and lifting selfesteem. Innovative LIFE® Enrichment Programming with meaningful activities and off-site adventures. Visit us to see why Brooke Grove Retirement Village is one of the most sought-after continuing care retirement communities in the state. Living here is simply different … because what surrounds you really matters.


The Residences at Thomas Circle (202) 626-5761 1330 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20005 The Residences at Thomas Circle is an exceptional senior living community located in the heart of the district in Washington, DC. Here, residents enjoy a stimulating lifestyle filled with activities and entertainment as well as the company of a diverse group of interesting people. The excellent location means residents can easily visit area attractions, museums, theater, special events and more via the Metro or a short walk. In addition to Independent Living, The Residences at Thomas Circle is the only in-town senior living community to offer an on-site continuum of health services: Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, and Memory Care. Ask about our new respite program, Circle Stays, and special savings in Memory Care. Visit to learn more or call 202.626.5761.


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J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Home care and nursing costs keep rising By Matthew Craft The steep cost of caring for older adults continues to climb. The median bill for a private room in a nursing home is now $91,250 a year, according to a new industry survey. In the Washington area, it is even higher, with a median cost of $107,858. The annual “Cost of Care” report from Genworth Financial tracks the staggering rise in expenses for long-term care, a growing financial burden for families, governments and insurers like Genworth. The cost of staying in a nursing home has increased 4 percent every year over the last five years, the report said. Last year, the median bill was $87,600. “Most people don’t realize how expensive this care can be until a parent or fami-

ly member needs it,” said Joe Caldwell, director of long-term services at the National Council on Aging. “And then it’s a real shock.” The annual report from Genworth, which sells policies to cover long-term care, looks at costs for a variety of services, including adult daycare and home health aides. Nursing home bills are rising at the fastest pace, twice the rate of U.S. inflation over the last five years. One year in a nursing home now costs nearly as much as three years of tuition at a private college. For its report, Genworth surveyed 15,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other providers across the country in January and February. It found wide differences from state to

Paying for care So, who pays the nursing-home bill? “A lot of people believe Medicare will step in and cover them, but that’s just not true,” said Bruce Chernoff, president and CEO of The Scan Foundation, a charitable organization. Medicare will cover some short visits for recovery after a surgery,

Age in place From page B-8 However, an additional requirement must be met by all applicants for MFP: they must be living in a nursing home at the time of application and for at least the past 90 days.

W hat Makes

How to apply

Olney Assisted Living

If you live in Maryland and need support with activities of daily living and accessing community services and support, you can apply for the CFC program. You must undergo a medical assessment, as well as a review of your income and assets to determine your financial eligibility for community Medicaid. Medicaid coverage information is available

U nique? Olney Assisted Living is a

state. In Oklahoma, for instance, the median cost for a year in a nursing home came out to $60,225. In Connecticut, it was $158,775. Alaska had the highest costs by far, with one year at $281,415.

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for instance, but not long-term stays. Often enough, experts say seniors wind up spending their savings until they hit their last $2,000, and at that point they can turn to Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for the poor, to help cover the bill. As a result, Medicaid pays for more than half of the country’s long-term care bill. That cost accounts for more than a quarter of overall Medicaid spending, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And as the See NURSING COSTS, page B-12

at To apply, call (410) 767-1739. If you live in Virginia, contact your local Department of Social Services to determine Medicaid eligibility and obtain information regarding waivers and PACE. You may also call the Division of LongTerm Care at (804) 786-6145. If you live in the District, contact the Washington, D.C. Aging and Disability Resource Center at (202) 724-5626 for information on the EPD Waiver. For MFP, individuals living in nursing homes may contact their discharge planner, the facility’s social worker, and/or their local Area Agency on Aging for information regarding their eligibility for the program.

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seniors living with dementia. We provide &" )'((*"-'.!% &'#! and daily life enrichment programming with the goal of enhancing cognition, feelings of accomplishment, and /,'0*.$%"1%0*1!2

Educate Yourself about today’s retirement living options

Call (301) 570-0525 to schedule your personal tour.

Brought to you by Erickson

Living and the Tribune

Se nio r Liv ing


Memory Care

pes about Smashing the stereoty America’s best—and most ment living option. misunderstood—retire to senior rental rom Active 55 communities villages, today’s senior properties to retirement when it comes to has a wide range of choices retirement. One of the most where they will live after options is the continuing commonly misunderstood (CCRC). People often care retirement community nursing homes or assisted categorize CCRCs with them with a loss of living facilities and associate this is far from freedom and personal identity—but

F This arrangement

16940 Georgia Avenue • Olney, Maryland 20832

is ideal from seniors who want to live an

active, independent lifestyle today, ce peace with added pe of mind that vels off higher levels high lyy ily dily dil adily a eead ea rreadil re aree readily ar re are arre a are cca care available, should they need ever eve be needed.

an accurate picture. fiction, here is the truth To help sort facts from care myths about continuing behind some common retirement communities:

of older people will be boring Myth 2: Living with a bunch and depressing. sit in rocking chairs If you think CCRC residents again! Communities like playing Bingo all day—think list LOCATOR have a long COMMUNITY NAME in clubs, including resident-run activities to choose from, and dozens of volunteer continuing education classes, campus. Visit the COMMUopportunities on and off and you’ll likely see seniors NITY NAME clubhouse in the fitness center, swimtaking yoga, working out or heading to the pub or ming, playing Wii bowling, café for a meal with friends.

nursing homes. Myth 1: CCRCs are just fancy ptions iin ng options living senior livi of senio CCRCs offer a full range in nttllyy in den dentl de d nd n pen p dependen n nd nde ind iindependently ve ve in ive liv live nttss lli ents den dent de d ide siid esi rre residents osstt res os Most Mo n. M on on. ion io caatttion occcat llocation. nee loc n one on o he th th oyy the njjjoy n njoy d eenjoy n nd and mees aan m mes om homes ho hom ntt h n men ment m rtm rtm artmen partm apartment ee ap ee ree frrre nccce--fr n nce een ena i tteenan int aint maintenance-free maint m nd ervice and de rrangee of services ing a wide having h nce off havi convenience conv resources right on campus. living apartments, In addition to independent na re iin rrsing care nursing nd nu ng and ng ing in ivvin llivi t d living iste CCRCs also offer assisted on d on ocaated lo oo llocated o ho rh rh or o orh bo eig bor neighborhood ree n care nui g car in o tiinuin con continuing ted teed continuin d caate dedicated dedi ded is n is nt meeen em nggem ran ra rrr rra aarrangement is ar is This nityy Th un u o co hee community. h the off tth ds o d n nd und u oun ou rou ro rroun grounds he ggr the th the ndende ndeee,, iindevve, ive tiv cti active, n aacti ivve aan iv live o lliv ntt to n aan want who w orss w or ni n nior enio seniors m sse om o rro from a ffr eal deal d de ide iid ideal hat ha that tha d th nd min m off mind cee o eaace peace p d pe ded d deed d dd dded added iith itth aadd with d yy, w oday, oday od o le ttoday, yle eessttyl fes ifffe lif lifestyle n lli dent den de nden n nd eenden end pe p pendent they readily available, should higher levels of care are nee d. ev be needed. ever

as residents are free to be Much like a college campus, are lots of opportunities active as they choose. There solitary well as places to enjoy for social interaction as Bingo, you’ll be able to s, if you like Bingo pursuits. And yyes, e! e! me! me m am game! nd a gga nd find fi fin C. RC R CR C CC CCRC. to move to a C M 3: You have too be rich Myth illl often will wi RC w CR C C CCRC er, living at a CC homeowner, If you’re a homeown se. Regular use u ou o ho house. ur h u your n you he same as staying in the b o t about cost meals elect meal sselect d se nd n xess,, aand taxes, ie property taxe ties, utilities, expenses like utili same ayys the sam stays haatt ssta n le monthly fee tthat ingle single are covered by a si urprise ssurprise h su itth with dw dened won’t be burdened u won ou You n ng Y eaar long. aall yyear and ncccee inside an n naaan nten int Maintenance o either. Main osts p ccosts pk pke p eeeeep upkeep upk up upkee orr u rs o aiirs paai ep ep repairs re repa rrep ded in the ud u ncclu included l o iin partment home iss also pa ur aapartment ou our o your d yyo siide utsi u outside out ou o ee. fee. fee hly hlllyy fe nth on onth on ont monthly mo m ictable edicta pre p pred predictable o pr on to d ion dit addition In addi

Request our FREE resources to learn more about your local Erickson Living®community, the area’s most popular choice for active, independent seniors.

Cs like C RC CR CR CCRCs n e C expenses, ueed on page 3 nu n in tin ti nti n on continued C cco CCRC C

Call 1-800-989-1503 today!

FREE CAREGIVER BOOK with community visit & tour


Ashburn, VA

Tour our community and receive a complimentary book on caregiving for Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Springfield, VA

Tours must be scheduled in advance.

Silver Spring, MD

Please call 301-570-0525. We look forward to meeting you! 10895517

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5


FREE HOUSING AND OTHER INFORMATION For free information from advertisers in this special section, check off those that interest you and mail this entire page to the Beacon. Please do not request info if you are not interested. All replies have an equal chance to win. To be eligible for Wolf Trap tickets, your reply must arrive by August 1, 2015.

HOUSING COMMUNITIES: WASHINGTON, DC ❑ Friendship Terrace . .B-3 & B-14 ❑ Knollwood . . . . . . . .B-7 & B-16 ❑ Residences at Thomas Circle . . . . .B-9 & B-13

MARYLAND ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

Brooke Grove . . . .B-5, B-6 & B-9 Covenant Village . . .B-4 & B-17 Emerson House . . .B-12 & B-17 Homecrest House . .B-17 & B-18 Mrs. Philippines Home . . . .B-17 Olney Assisted Living . .B-5 & B-10 Riderwood . . . . . . .B-10 & B-14

❑ Solana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-15 ❑ Springvale Terrace . .B-4 & B-12 ❑ Village at Rockville . . . . . . .B-19

VIRGINIA ❑ Arbor Terrace of Herndon . . .B-8 ❑ Ashby Ponds . . . . . .B-5 & B-10 ❑ Chesterbrook Residences . . . . . . .B-8 & B-12 ❑ Fairfax, The . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-5 ❑ Falcons Landing . . . .B-9 & B-20 ❑ Great Falls . . . . . . . .B-7 & B-12 ❑ Greenspring . . . . . .B-10 & B-16 ❑ Gum Springs Glen . . . . . . .B-17 ❑ Herndon Harbor House . . . .B-17 ❑ Lockwood House . . . . . . . .B-17

❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

Morris Glen . . . . . . . . . . . .B-17 Potomac Place . . . . . . . . . .B-15 Sommerset . . . . . . .B-3 & B-18 Tall Oaks . . . . . . . . .B-4 & B-19 Tysons Towers . . . . . . . . . . . .B-7 Vinson Hall . . . . . .B-15 & B-16 Virginian, The . . . . . . . . . . .B-14 Waltonwood . . . . . . .B-2 & B-18 Wingler House . . . . . . . . . .B-17

HOME CARE SERVICES: ❑ Best Senior Care . . . . . . . . .B-2

REAL ESTATE SERVICES: ❑ Care Patrol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-3 ❑ Jefferson Mortgage Group . . . .B-9

Check the boxes you’re interested in and return this entire coupon to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227. You may also include the free info coupon on page 5. One entry per household please. Name __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________________E-mail_______________________________________________ City _______________________________________________________ State ______________________ Zip ____________________ Phone (day) _______________________________________________ (eve) ________________________________________________ Please provide your telephone number and e-mail address so we may contact you promptly if you win the drawing.


Housing Options | More at

Chesterbrook Residences 703-531-0781

Housing Notes By Barbara Ruben and Rebekah Sewell

New community to open in Ashburn, Va.

2030 Westmoreland Street Falls Church, VA At Chesterbrook Residences, you will be able to live with dignity, grace and security, close to the people and places you love in a comfortable, neighborhood setting. We offer an active assisted-living lifestyle for those 62 and over. A variety of one- and two-bedroom floor plans are available. Enjoy our community living room with fireplace, beautiful views, and chef-prepared meals in our gracious main dining room. Rehab services are available 5 days a week, offering physical, occupational and speech therapy, most of which are covered by Medicare Part B. We also have an on-site wellness center with visiting physician and podiatrist. We are a mixed-income nonprofit, so our rates are affordable with uncomplicated all-inclusive pricing. No additional fees for medication administered by a registered nurse or specialized diets.


Great Falls Assisted Living 703-421-0690 1121 Reston Avenue Herndon, VA 20170

Emerson House 301-779-6196 5999 Emerson Street Bladensburg, MD 20710 Emerson House Apartments is conveniently located on Emerson Street, just off of Rt. 450 and 57th Ave in Bladensburg, Md. A quaint residential setting, just minutes from neighborhood shopping, the community is convenient to Prince George's Hospital, a local library, public transportation and parks. Activities within Emerson House include: exercise classes, a Wii bowling league, arts and crafts classes, bingo, movie night, parties, bus trips and much more. Emerson House is a nine-story community designed for today’s seniors (62 and older). Our 220 one-bedroom units offer Section 8 rent subsidy for low- to moderate-income households. Please call today to request an application or make an appointment to tour our community. 301-779-6196. Monday – Friday 8:30 to 5:00.

From page B-10 country ages, those costs will increase substantially. Genworth and other insurers offer longterm care policies to help people shoulder the financial burden. But people have to be healthy enough to qualify for coverage. The younger you are when you acquire coverage, the less it costs per year. But those who take out policies will generally find their insurance bill rises steadily as they age. Caldwell described Genworth’s survey as essentially a marketing pitch. “Of course they want people to see how much it costs to sell long-term care insurance,” he said. “What they’re not telling you is that the long-term care coverage is becoming more and more unaffordable for mid-

dle-class families.” Mounting costs have also pushed many insurance companies out of the business. Four of the five largest providers have either scaled back their business or stopped offering new policies. The largest provider, Genworth, has struggled under the weight of old policies.

Costs for other care Less-intensive care remains much cheaper than staying at a nursing home, according to Genworth’s survey. One year in an assisted-living facility runs $43,200, on average. A year of visits from an agency’s home health aides runs $45,760. Again, costs in the Washington area are generally higher. Here, a year in assisted living costs a median of $48,120, while a part-time home health aide costs $46,904. — AP

A Legacy of Senior Living


Times have changed, but our mission to provide personalized, affordable services and housing to seniors has remained constant. Our care options include Independent Living, Enhanced Living, and Assisted Living services, all under one roof and just a heartbeat away from downtown Silver Spring and the Red Line Metro Station.

Come visit us and see why families have

been choosing Springvale Terrace for half a century. Call 301-587-0190 (TRS 711) today.

Senior Living,in the Heart of it All 8505 Springvale Road, Silver Spring, MD 20190 1-800-552-7724 MD RELAY SERVICE


T ING 50







Nursing costs

See HOUSING NOTES, page B-13


Imagine a memory care specific community with open spaces, walking paths, and a family feel. Add security, an experienced team, and 24/7 licensed nursing care. Top it off with robust programming, outings, and activities tailored to the individual and you have Great Falls Assisted Living! Our mission is to promote independence and dignity for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. This commitment is reflected in the design of our community and through everything we do. A family member recently said, “Great Falls has been wonderful. I no longer feel alone in caring for my dad, I feel like I have a team with me now.” Schedule your tour today and experience the feeling for yourself.

Waltonwood Senior Living is currently accepting names for a priority list for Waltonwood in Ashburn, Va. — a new continuing care retirement community (CCRC) expected to open in 2016. This is the 11th Waltonwood community built by Singh Development, a familyowned business with 40 years’ experience. This will be their first community in Northern Virginia. The other communities are located in Michigan and North Carolina.

As a continuing care community, Waltonwood in Ashburn will offer independent living, assisted living and memory care. Short-term stays are also available to provide respite to caregivers. Independent living features one- and two-bedroom apartment units with fully equipped kitchens and private balconies or patios. Assisted living residents have a choice of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and licensed nurses are available for daily assistance, medication and wellness management. The memory care facility also offers studios as well as one- and two-bedroom apartment homes. The community has a fitness program and offers a spa and salt water therapy pool. Its EXPAND Life Enrichment Program offers recreational activities, including classes and outings around the Wash-



J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N



Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Housing notes From page B-12 ington, D.C. and surrounding areas. For more information or to join the priority list now forming, visit or call (571) 266-1810.

Emeritus becomes Brookdale Senior living developers Emeritus Senior Living and Brookdale have merged, and the names of Emeritus communities in the area have changed to reflect their new connection to Brookdale. Brookdale is the nation’s largest operator of senior living services. With approximately 1,150 communities in 47 states, Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living and dementia-care communities, as well as continuing care retirement centers. “Uniting both Emeritus and Brookdale communities with the Brookdale name shows that we are a part of something bigger, and that we are engaged in a nationwide mission to provide seniors with the highest quality care, service and living accommodations,” said Kristin Puckett, spokesperson for Brookdale. In March, four Emeritus communities in Virginia — in Arlington, Lake Ridge, Manassas and Sterling — changed their names to Brookdale.


July 1+


In June, four additional Maryland communities changed their name from Emeritus to Brookdale: Potomac, Pikesville, Towson and Woodward Estates. Lear n more about Brookdale at or call 1- 855-444-7658.

Property tax bill scam Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection is warning property owners not to be fooled by a letter they may receive encouraging consumers to pay $99 to petition to have their property tax assessment reviewed. This direct mail solicitation gives the appearance that it is from a state or local government agency, but it is not. It provides a return address that is, in reality, a maildrop location, and fails to disclose that there is actually no cost for property owners in Montgomery County to personally petition for a tax assessment review. Information regarding this scam has


been reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Consumers who have provided credit card information or sent checks to this merchant may file a complaint with Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection. If you wish to file a petition to have your property tax assessment reviewed, information is available at the website of the Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation: See an example of the deceptive letter at For more information, call (240) 777-3636 or visit

Mixed-use community opening this fall The Stories, a new 48-apartment active older adult community, is under construc-


tion at Congressional Plaza shopping center in Rockville, Md. The upscale community, where rents will start at $2,500, will include an onsite concierge (called a Lifestyle Ambassador) who will provide connections to services, programs and wellness options, as well as facilitate opportunities for interaction between neighbors and the neighborhood. The apartments include universal design features, such as low-profile step-in showers, glare-free lighting, and slip-resistant tile. The Stories will also feature a fitness center, club room with catering kitchen, flex office space, and outdoor gardens with patios and grill stations. The Stories, built by Federal Realty and Smart Living 360 will be surrounded by stores, including Fresh Market, the Container Store and Last Call by Neiman Marcus. For more information about the Stories, which is expected to be completed this fall, call (301) 289-7573 or see




OLYMPICS Register starting July 1 for the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics, which take place this year from Saturday, Sept. 12 to Friday, Sept. 25 at 23 local venues. Older adults are eligible to compete if they are 50 years of age by Dec. 31 and live in Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. Events


include track and field, rowing, swim-

The Residences at Thomas Circle is downtown’s only senior living community

ming, diving, tennis, table tennis,

offering all levels of care, so your loved one can age in place. And never

pickleball, racquetball, handball,

have to give up the lively atmosphere he or she enjoys. Plus you can rely on

bocce, golf, miniature golf, ten pin bowling, Frisbee throw, football throw, bunco, badminton, volleyball, cycling, duplicate bridge and more. Registration fee is $12, which covers

superior assistance and supportive care as needs change. It’s all here: lively senior living, comfortable assisted living, and City Club Memory Care.

More / !"# $%& /%'((")*& /+#,$&

Only in the Circle.

multiple events. There is no onsite registration. Participants can register online at starting July 1. Registration forms are also avail-



able at senior centers, community


centers and senior residences or by

1330 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, DC 20005

calling (703) 228-4721.



Housing Options | More at


Seabury at FRIENDSHIP TERRACE 202-244-7400 4201 Butterworth Place NW Washington, DC 20016 Active, affordable senior living close to stores, restaurants, transportation and entertainment can be found at Seabury at Friendship Terrace! Located in a quiet, tree-lined northwest Washington neighborhood, Friendship Terrace is just two blocks from the Tenleytown Metro station. The community offers affordable senior living with subsidy assistance to those who are eligible, as well as exciting on-site events including performances, lectures, holiday observances, socials, and more. A rooftop deck, greenhouse, library, lounges, and a dining room overlooking an outdoor courtyard are highlights of the community. If needed, additional on-site care can be arranged. Come for a tour and learn how to make Friendship Terrace your new home.


The Virginian 703-385-0555 9229 Arlington Boulevard Fairfax, VA 22031 Welcome to the Virginian – one of Northern Virginia’s most respected Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Since 1980, our community, located on 32 wooded acres, has been home to hundreds of residents from all walks of life. With accommodations of one- and two-bedroom apartments in Independent, Assisted, and Enhanced Assisted Living, The Virginian also offers Long Term Nursing, Rehabilitation, and now, Home Health Services. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the many amenities offered. We offer age in place apartments ideally suited for mixed level-of-care couples. Call today to schedule a tour and enjoy a complimentary lunch or dinner. The Virginian offers surprisingly affordable luxury living in the heart of Fairfax. Come see why our residents are proud to call The Virginian home.


Riderwood 301-495-5700 3140 Gracefield Road Silver Spring, MD 20904 Ideally located in Silver Spring, Riderwood offers maintenancefree retirement living combined with a vibrant lifestyle―all in a beautiful, private community. Without the worries of a house and yard, you can spend more time pursuing your passions. Travel, volunteer, take a college class and explore some of Riderwood’s many clubs and interest groups. Multiple campus restaurants offer a variety of delicious dining options, while 24-hour security offers protection and peace of mind. Enjoy the stability of predictable monthly expenses and look forward to a healthy future with our full continuum of health care and wellness services.

J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

How to obtain ‘special accommodations’ By Rebekah Sewell Ingrid Wilson lived in a newly built highrise with different elevators for different floors. Unfortunately, as a wheelchair user, she could barely fit into the narrow elevator intended for her floor, and couldn’t maneuver in the small elevator at all. Once, Wilson got stuck between the quickly-closing elevator doors, and it took two other residents to free her after rushing to her aid. Wilson asked the building manager for access to a larger elevator, which happened to also have slower-closing doors. But because that elevator was intended for another part of the building, and claiming her secure keycard could not be modified to work in the other elevator, they refused. After nearly a month of arguing, Wilson contacted Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE) — a nonprofit service of AARP that provides free legal and social services for vulnerable, low-income DC residents 60 and over. LCE representatives met with Wilson to discuss her issue, researched the problem, and were able to resolve it quickly with the building’s property managers. “All in a couple hours!” Wilson marveled. LCE is currently celebrating its 40th year of service. Its staff and volunteers assist more than 6,000 seniors each year with consumer protection, fraud and identity theft; the creation and update of personal wills; assistance with Medicaid and other federally-funded benefits; and housing advocacy.

Federal protections As we age, our needs often change, and people sometimes require assistance, or renovations in their apartment, to be able to live where they want and to do so safely. Federal laws provide that seniors and individuals with disabilities have the right to choose where they want to live, and to have access to “reasonable accommodations” if a facility is not accessible for them. The right to live where they choose is enshrined in the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which exists to protect seniors and individuals with a disability from being discriminated against based on their needs. According to the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Fair Housing Act “prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability.” Twenty years later, the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) of 1988 was passed, to guarantee that tenants with disabilities may obtain “reasonable accommodations” in order to enhance their quality of life. A reasonable accommodation is “a change in policy and procedures to enable people with disabilities to

use and enjoy their home,” explained Jennifer Berger, an attorney for LCE. It is illegal for housing providers to refuse reasonable accommodations when appropriately requested, and providers must take affirmative action to grant the request. LCE is often contacted for help in obtaining such reasonable accommodations from housing providers. Over the years, they have successfully obtained reasonable accommodations for older adults and people with disabilities, including modifications to their existing homes, apartment transfers, and access to wheelchair-accessible units. The program has a high success rate. “Once we become involved and we ask, in almost every instance the housing provider will afford more time to resolve the issue,” said Berger. LCE also refers its clients to services and resources for further assistance if needed — such as home healthcare aides and bill payer assistance. Reasonable accommodations help combat poverty by enabling residents with disabilities to stay in their current homes that may be rent controlled or inexpensive. Many individuals with disabilities are unable to work, and live off Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. They are not able to afford market-rate rent.

Landlord cooperation It is often in a housing provider’s best interest to take early action to assist their residents with reasonable accommodations. In that way, they build a good reputation, follow the law, prevent harm to their tenant — and avoid potential lawsuits. They also save the costs associated with going to court. WC Smith, a company that owns and manages several apartment communities in D.C. and Maryland finds that waiting for legal action isn’t their best option. “We believe in assisting those in need,” said Anna B. Channell, senior vice president of WC Smith. “Our experience with the Alternatives Project [of LCE] has allowed landlords and tenants to resolve issues without resorting to legal action.” An affordable living community, Wilson’s building — Overlook at Oxon Run, managed by Edgewood Management Company — responded well after communication from LCE. “Overall, [living here] is a good experience,” Wilson said. In fact, it was her building’s excellent provision of resources for tenants, including educational resource fairs, that led her to LCE. As at the Overlook, WC Smith’s properties provide appropriate accommodations when necessary, such as the need for “service animals, being transferred to lower floor units, even some waivers of increases See ACCOMMODATIONS, page B-15

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5


Ready to buy? How to visit an open house By Alex Viega More homes are hitting the market, and that means would-be buyers can expect to see a pickup in open houses, when real estate agents allow prospective buyers to tour a home, usually within days after it’s been listed for sale. Open houses offer more than just the opportunity to get a closer look at a property, so being prepared is key. “Look at open houses as a fact-finding mission,” said Mia Simon, an agent with the real estate brokerage Redfin in Palo Alto, California. Here are five tips to get the most out of your open house visit: 1. Do your homework Unless you’ve stumbled upon an open house while on a drive, take time to research the home you’re going to visit online. Before you set foot in the house, rule out

any potential deal-breakers. Do you have concerns about public transportation that serves the area? Is the garage too small for your needs? Is the neighborhood not walkable enough for you? Home listings on websites like, and offer lots of details on homes and neighborhood information that can help you determine whether it’s worth it to go to an open house. 2. Bring proper tools Be sure to carry a tape measure, notebook and a camera. You’ll need these, especially if you plan on hitting several open houses in one weekend, because you will likely want to follow up with the sales agent later on specific questions. The tape measure will come in handy, to gauge space for beds and other big furniture pieces. 3. Stop, look and listen


in D.C., visit LCE.html or call their hotline at (202) 4342120. For assistance in Maryland, contact Maryland Legal Aid at (240) 314-0373 or visit For assistance in Northern Virginia, contact Legal Services of Northern Virginia at (703) 778-6800 or (866) 534-5243 (toll free), or visit

From page B-14 in rent when possible.” “The key to resolving many issues is good communication,” said Channell. Services like those of LCE are also available in Northern Virginia and Maryland. For more information, or for assistance with obtaining a reasonable accommodation




Rather than settling for a quick walkthrough, consider spending some time at the house, really getting a feel for what it would be like to live there. Staying 20 to 30 minutes or longer makes it more likely you’ll spot something that you might otherwise miss, like a recurring noise. Don’t think twice about opening closet doors, peering underneath a corner section of carpet, inside cabinets or behind paintings, which sometimes may be covering up damage or flaws in the house. You’ll also want to check bathroom surfaces for mold. “It’s OK to open closets, because you need to see if your clothes are going to fit,” said JoAnne Poole, associate broker at Berkshire Hathaway Homesale Realty in Baltimore. “If the refrigerator is going to

come with the property, you need to open it and make sure it meets your expectations.” Also walk around the house and then around the block. Check out the condition of nearby homes. Are they in disrepair or has the landscaping run amok? If you’re in the market for a condominium, make sure you view any common areas, such as a pool or club house, as well as extra storage. And don’t forget the parking area. Is it tandem parking? 4. Engage in chit chat Open houses tend to draw neighbors and maybe even the seller. Chatting up the other people in the open house to determine if they live in the See OPEN HOUSE, page B-17

You Deserve It All And you’ll find it at Potomac Place! “The people at Potomac Place are the nicest people. They always greet you with a smile or a hug.” Dorothea Alexander {resident since 2012}

Call 703-494-3817 today.

2133 Montgomery Ave., Woodbridge

Coordinated Services Management, Inc. - Professional Management of Retirement Communities since 1981


Solana Difference 75 N Inde EW pend Livin ent g apar tmen ts ar NOW e OPE N

VINSON HALL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY Vinson Hall Retirement Community !"#"$%$&'%(")"*%$) $+ $,"*#'-".-) '-/-$)"*%//+$ )0" located in idyllic McLean, VA and offers independent residential living 1%'"/ 2 )#'0"%1("3-'!4")5- '" //-6 #)-"1#/ 204" and select government employees of equal rank. Arleigh Burke Pavilion Assisted Living and The Sylvestery Memory Support !"#!$"%&'()%&"*)+)$,%-",./"+),$)!#0

VINSON HALL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY supported by Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation 6251 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA 22101 Please Visit Us at 703-536-4344

The Solana® Olney, a Brookdale® managed community, offers senior living solutions from the nation’s leader in senior accommodations and related services. Stop by and discover all the places life can go at The Solana Olney.

Stop in for a personalized visit today or call (301) 570-2611 for more information.

Assisted Living Alz zheimer’s & Dementia Care 2611 Olney Sandy Spring Road | Olney, M MD 20832 | !!"#$%"&! '%("!)*%"' +",-"./"0"#10234015"67"816652093"(3:.61"!.;.:<"):=>?"+0/@;.993?"#+?"A( >"B"C3<>"A>(>"&0D3:D"0:2"#E"-7F=3>"GHIIJKC%(JLKJIGM"(N


Housing Options | More at

J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Many ways to make your bathroom safer


Greenspring 703-913-1200 or 1-800-788-0811 7410 Spring Village Drive Springfield, VA 22150

By Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior: What tips do you recommend for making a bathroom safer and more functional for older adults? My 79-year-old mother slipped and fell getting out of the shower last month, and I’d like to modify her bathroom a bit with some safety features that can help protect her. — Searching Daughter Dear Searching: Because more accidents and injuries happen in the bathroom than any other room in the house, this is a very important room to modify for aging in place. Depending on your mom’s needs, here are some tips for each part of the bathroom that can make it safer and easier to use. Flooring: To avoid slipping, a simple fix is to get non-skid bath rugs for the floors. Or if you want to put in a new floor, get slip-resistant tiles, rubber or vinyl flooring, or install wall-to-wall carpeting. Lighting: Good lighting is also very important, so install the highest wattage bulbs allowed for your mom’s bathroom fixtures, and get a plug-in nightlight that automatically turns on when the room gets dark. Bathtub/shower: To make bathing safer, purchase a rubber suction-grip mat, or put down adhesive nonskid tape on the tub/shower floor. And have a carpenter

Situated in beautiful Springfield, Greenspring is the perfect place to enjoy an active lifestyle now, with added peace of mind for the future. Everything you need is right on campus, including continuing care services, should your health needs ever change. Greenspring is supported by the nation’s largest integrated health and wellness system for seniors. Nestled on 58 acres and bordered on three sides by wooded parkland, Greenspring is home to more than 2,000 residents. A refundable deposit guarantees there is no financial risk and the monthly service package includes utilities, maintenance, and flexible dining plans you can use in any of the four on-site restaurants. On-site amenities include restaurants; stores; medical center with full time physicians; an all-season swimming pool; a fitness center with full-time trainers; barber shop and hair salon; bank; and a full-time, interfaith pastoral staff.


Vinson Hall Retirement Community 703-536-4344 6251 Old Dominion Drive McLean, VA 22101



Our nonprofit continuing care retirement community enhances the lives of our residents through person-centered care and services while fostering dignity, security, and friendship. As an innovative retirement community, we attract leaders in the field of aging who pilot new initiatives and technology to improve the lives of our residents and seniors everywhere. Vinson Hall Retirement Community provides all levels of care. Our independent living is open to commissioned military officers and their immediate family. Everyone is welcome at Arleigh Burke Pavilion, where we provide assisted living, skilled nursing, and private pay nursing care services; and at The Sylvestery Memory Support, where we offer assisted living care for those with memory impairment or other forms of dementia

properly install grab bars in and around the tub/shower for support. (They must be anchored to be sure they support a person’s weight.) If your mom uses a shower curtain, install a screw or bolt-mounted curtain rod, rather than a tension-mounted rod, so that if she loses her balance and grabs the shower curtain, the rod won’t spring loose. If your mom has mobility issues or balance problems, get her a shower or bathtub seat so she can bathe from a seated position. In addition, you may also want to get a handheld, adjustable-height showerhead installed that will make washing easier while sitting down. Another, pricier option is to install a walk-in-bathtub or a prefabricated curbless shower. Walk-in tubs have a door in front that provides a much lower threshold to step over than a standard tub. They also typically have a built-in seat, handrails and a slip resistant bottom. Some have therapeutic spa features with whirlpool water jets and/or bubble massage air jets. Curbless showers have no threshold to step over, and typically come with a built-in seat, grab bars, slip resistant floors and an adjustable handheld showerhead. Prefab-


Knollwood 202-541-0149 or 1-800-541-4255 6200 Oregon Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20015 Knollwood is a continuing care retirement community owned and funded by the Army Distaff Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. Located in Washington, DC, the continuum of care includes independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care and memory care and is home to approximately 300 residents. The community offers apartments ranging from 500 sq. ft. to 2800 sq. ft. for independent living, and handicapped accessible apartments for assisted living. It also features multiple dining options, a salon, library, a fitness center and pool, several music rooms and art studio. Coming soon are newly renovated, state-of-the-art wellness and fitness centers, independent living apartments, front lobby and a lounge. As the first military retirement community of its kind, Knollwood has provided quality retirement living to military officers and their relatives since opening in 1962.

Grab bars and a bench can help make showering safer. Other changes in the bathroom can also help accommodate changing needs, including slip-resistant floor tiles, better lighting and taller toilets.

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Open house From page B-15 neighborhood can pay off, as you could glean more information about what the neighborhood is like and whether anyone else on the block may be looking to sell. Should you encounter the seller at the open house, introduce yourself. That could help down the road, should you put a bid on the house, said Redfin’s Simon. One way is to look around the house for books, framed photos and other personal items that could provide insight into the sellers and perhaps a way to bond over a mutual interest or hobby. “You’re looking for shared experiences, so if you see a lot of Cal Berkeley gear and you went to Stanford, maybe you don’t want to submit a cover letter with you in a Stanford hat,” said Simon. “Something that little can put you over the edge in a competitive situation.”

Safer bathroom From page B-16 ricated curbless showers and walk-in-tubs typically cost anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 installed. Toilet: Most toilets are about 14 to 16 inches high which can be an issue for many people with arthritis, back, hip or knee problems. To raise the toilet height, which can make sitting down and getting back up a little easier, you can purchase a raised toilet seat that clamps to the toilet bowl, and/or purchase toilet safety rails that sit on each side of the seat for support. Or, you can install an ADA compliant toilet that ranges between 17 and 19 inches high. Faucets: If your mom has twist handles on the sink, bathtub or shower faucets, replace them with lever handle faucets. They’re easier to operate, especially for those with arthritis or limited hand strength. Also note that it only takes 130-

5. Crash the brokers’ tour Often, an agent hired to sell a home will offer buyers’ agents an opportunity to visit the property ahead of the initial open house. This so-called brokers’ tour typically happens midweek, during business hours. But if you can make it, it’s a good way to get a look at the home ahead of other prospective buyers, giving you extra time to consider making an offer before the broader open house. A newly listed home will have an open house within days of hitting the market, especially in markets where there’s a lot of competition for few properties. But in areas where there may be more homes available than buyers, an agent could list the home but hold off on the open house for a few weeks. In such cases, there’s no need to wait for the official open house. Instead, have your agent reach out to the listing agent and set up a private viewing of the home.

degree water to scald someone, so turn her hot water heater down to 120 degrees. Entrance: If your mom needs a wider bathroom entrance to accommodate a walker or wheelchair, install some “swing clear” offset hinges on the door which will widen the doorway an additional two inches. Emergency assistance: As a safety precaution, purchase a waterproof phone for the bathroom or get a medical alert device (SOS emergency call button) that your mom could wear in case she falls and needs to call for help. You can find all of the products suggested in this column at various medical supply stores, pharmacies, big-box stores, home improvement stores, hardware and plumbing supply stores as well as online. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


Affordable Senior Communities Discover how great senior living is at one of our affordable apartment communities. Many of our communities feature 24-hour emergency maintenance, full activities programs, spacious floor plans, affordable rents, caring and dedicated staff, and much more. We are conveniently located near shopping, including grocery stores and pharmacies. Let us help you live life to the fullest. Call or visit our web site to view these communities:

Lockwood House 600 North Madison Street, Arlington, VA 22203

7010 Schoonmaker Court Alexandria, VA 22310



Rent based on income

From $856

873 Grace Street Herndon, VA 20170

703-904-9444 From $910

7837 Richmond Highway Alexandria, VA 22306

703-780-9072 From $966

Wingler House Apartments 20900 Runny Meade Terrace Ashburn, VA 20147

703-858-9507 From $903

5999 Emerson Street Bladensburg, MD 20710

301-779-6196 Rent based on income

Mrs. Philippines Home for Seniors, Inc. 18889 Waring Station Road Germantown, MD 20874

6428 Bock Street Oxon Hill, MD 20745



From $1,015 for 2 bedroom

Rent based on income

5101 River Road, Suite 101 • Bethesda, MD 20816

301-941-8040 Professionally managed by Quantum Real Estate Management LLC T/A Quantum Property Management


Housing Options | More at

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Remodel to pursue post-retirement interests


Waltonwood Ashburn 571 982-6318 44144 Russell Branch Parkway Ashburn, VA

By John Byrd As people retire, they often find themselves spending more time at home. But the house that once fit the needs of the family may not work as well as it once did. Some older adults are remodeling their homes to accommodate new hobbies, grandchildren and other lifestyle changes. In fact, “older Americans re-doing parts of their homes for better personal use has become one of the factors driving the remodeling industry,” according to Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Programs at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. A space conversion plan can be as personal as an owner’s needs are varied and overlapping. One case in point is the recently re-invented lower level of the home of Lesley and Tim Hackman in Great Falls, Va.

Social opportunities and luxury amenities await you at Waltonwood Ashburn, a community from Singh Development opening late 2016 with independent living, assisted living and memory care communities. Our broad range of amenities includes a spa, saltwater therapy pool, fitness and wellness center, movie theatre, cafe, convenience store and more. Enjoy chef prepared meals in our elegant dining room, plus personal care services and courtesy transportation. You will love our beautifully appointed studio, 1- and 2-bedroom apartment homes. Visit our on-site information center Monday-Friday (or Saturday or Sunday by appointment) to learn more. It's located on Russell Branch Parkway near the intersection of Ashburn Village Blvd. and Russell Branch Parkway. We look forward to your visit. The priority waiting list is now forming.


B’nai B’rith Homecrest House 301-244-3579

Space for crafts and grandkids When Tim retired from a busy corporate career, the couple pondered how to better utilize their spacious home. With two daughters raising families of their own nearby, the ability to spend more time with grandchildren seemed like an obvious focus for a home improvement. Lesley also wanted space for her quilting studio and writing salon. Both Hackmans envisioned better guest accommodations. Nothing on the Hackman’s wish list pointed to the home’s multi-room lower level — until the entire area was unexpectedly flooded, and something had to be done. That’s when Lesley called in Mindy Mitchell, a professional organizer and design consultant at Sun Design Remodeling. “My first job is to help owners sort out and prioritize what they’re looking for,” Mitchell said.

14508 Homecrest Road Silver Spring, MD 20906 Homecrest House is a non-profit, affordable subsidized community offering two options: independent and personal care services. PERSONAL CARE offers: assistance with bathing, daily meals, weekly housekeeping and laundry services with optional medication administration. Homecrest is nestled on ten beautiful acres with its own pond and neighbors Leisure World. Residents may qualify approximately 30% of their adjusted income for rent, and personal care subsidies. Homecrest offers a full array of activities both in-house and around the metro area via our van service. Our computer lab, beauty shop, exercise room, library and social halls are just a few amenities our residents enjoy at Homecrest House. Call today for a personalized tour or visit us on the web at


22355 Providence Village Dr. Sterling, VA 20164 At Sommerset Retirement Community, located in the heart of Sterling, Virginia, you’ll experience exceptional independent living at its best, with a comfortable, fulfilling, secure and active lifestyle. Sommerset’s unique amenities include restaurant style dining, housekeeping, 24-hour front desk personnel and private transportation. Enjoy the convenience of being just minutes from medical services, shopping, banking and entertainment. For two years in a row now, Sommerset has been voted by the readers of Virginia Living Magazine as one of the best retirement communities in Northern Virginia! Call us or visit our website to request more information or to schedule your tour and complimentary lunch. Also be sure to see our video, our commercial and many testimonials.

Converting an attic Not far away, Wanda Rogers, 73, had her own epiphany as retirement neared. See REMODEL, page B-19


Sommerset 703-450-6411

For instance, Lesley wanted studio space for her quilting and photography, but had also decided to babysit two of her grandchildren three days a week — a commitment that would benefit from work stations for arts and crafts, and a kitchenette suitable for cooking lessons. They also decided they wanted a family media center, and places to prepare and share meals with easy access to an adjacent outdoor grilling patio. On a different note, the lower level still had to perform as the family laundry and provide quarters for the occasional sleepover guest. These goals in mind, a plan with modular features ensued. The existing full bath was enlarged and upgraded into something suitable for overnight guests; a cabinet concealing a comfortable Murphy bed was customfitted into one wall of Lesley’s studio. The lower level’s southwestern corner has been re-configured as an entertainment center. There’s a beverage center with a wine refrigerator in one corner. On the opposite wall, a flat screen television stretches out in front of an L-shaped “viewing” couch. The new family room segues down an adjoining hall into Lesley’s new studio, which is also accessed from the “all-purpose room” (kitchen and laundry) through a pair of frosted glass doors designed to maximize available light from the rear elevation. “I can spend the morning or afternoon working on art projects and helping the grandchildren. It’s a great environment,” she said, “I’m really glad we created it.”

When Lesley and Tim Hackman remodeled their home in Great Falls, Va., they wanted better guest space, along with room for hobbies and grandchildren. To help accommodate their multiple needs, a pull-down Murphy bed for guests is concealed in a cabinet in the home’s new quilting studio.

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Housing Options

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

From page B-18 “I knew my plans for a quilting studio were getting closer to reality when we added drywall to the attic room above the garage,” said the long-time resident of Annandale, Va. This was part of a carefully orchestrated, phased-in home remodeling plan. The studio space had been shelled-in three years ago while other parts of the home were being enlarged and upgraded. As Rogers approached retirement, the finish work began. She sought a self-sufficient work space, including a kitchenette and full bath. “We designed the suite specifically to support Wanda’s creative process,” said David Foster, who has operated Foster Remodeling Solutions for over 35 years. “We had to allocate enough floor space in the middle of the room so she could lay out a quilt in progress.” With large windows on either side, the 400 square foot studio is flooded with natural light during the day. The hickory wood flooring — apart from its lovely aesthetics — is entirely functional as a surface for cutting and assembling fabrics.

Built-ins on either side of the assembly area have been designed to hold specific fabrics, some of which were passed down from Rogers’ grandmother. The studio also provides 64 cubic feet of fabric storage space behind each wall. While the comfortable accommodation can even double as a guest room when needed, Rogers says her suite is fundamentally designed for quilting. By inserting a specially designed cutting board over the sink, the L-shaped kitchenette surface converts to a work table. There’s even an unseen niche to hold the ironing board Rogers uses to flatten fabric. “I see the studio as an integral part to my life ahead,” Rogers said, adding that her 10-year old granddaughter is now learning quilting techniques from her. Several local companies periodically offer workshops on home remodeling topics. For more information, contact Sun Designs, Inc. at (703) 425-5588,; Foster Remodeling Solutions at (703) 550-1371, John Byrd ( has been writing about home improvement topics for 30 years.

For more information return the form on page B-11.




Situated above the family’s two-car garage, a new quilting studio provides the privacy Wanda Rogers was seeking when she decided to resume practicing the craft she originally learned from her grandmother more than 60 years ago.




Call today to schedule a personal tour.

703-834-9800 12052 N. Shore Dr. • Reston, VA 20190 Coordinated Services Management, Inc. Professional Management of Retirement Communities Since 1981

A lot more than you thought. For a lot less than you think. The Village at Rockville— the area’s greatest value in Continuing Care Retirement You probably didn’t realize that The Village at Rockville included a friendly neighborhood of one- and two-bedroom cottage homes within a beautiful 30-acre enclave. You get all the benefits of home ownership without the burden of upkeep and maintenance—we take care of all of that for you, inside and out. An additional benefit: You have access to our highly-rated continuum of care, including memory support Assisted Living suites (coming fall 2015), Long Term Care, as well as myPotential Rehabilitation in newly-renovated private rooms.

Upcoming Event The Essentials of Estate Planning: What You Need To Know

Luncheon & Community Tours Wednesday, July 29, 2015 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. To RSVP, visit our website or call.

Would you like to learn about The Village at Rockville? Call 301-354-8486 to schedule your personal tour of our community. 9701 Veirs Drive | Rockville, MD 20850 | 301-354-8486 | Celebrating 125 years of service, The Village at Rockville is sponsored by National Lutheran Communities & Services, a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving people of all beliefs.



Housing Options


J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Cocktails & Cappuccino with Friends It's easy to make new friends at Falcons Landing. Our Compass Club is an elegant and comfortable destination, perfect for any get-together. Whether it's to relax with a cappuccino, watch a big game, grab a quick bite or to enjoy pre-dinner drinks with friends, the Compass Club is the social hub of our community. Visit and learn more about Falcons Landing. The cappuccino's on us!




WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5




Spotlight On Aging, continued Continued from page 26, preceding the Housing & Home Care Options magazine at the left. Please pull out and keep the magazine. You may also pull out and keep Spotlight on Aging.

Mayor’s 4th Annual Senior Symposium Nearly 1,000 people attended the Fourth Annual Mayor’s Senior Symposium held at the Downtown Renaissance DC hotel. The event offered a variety of workshops to help District seniors maintain a high quality of life. Mayor Bowser stated, “It is important to me, as we carve out pathways to the middle class, that my administration continues to work toward building an age-friendly city where all District residents continue to do the things they love while they age in place in their city.” More than 30 exhibitors provided information, giveaways and free health screenings The Alzheimer’s Foundation provided approximately 50 memory screenings, and seniors were advised to follow up with their primary care physician afterwards.

Aging Executive Director, also addressed Dr. John Thompson, outgoing D.C. Office on symposium participants.

Deborah Royster, DCOA general counsel, and Evette Munroe, DCOA chief information officer, speak with an attendee during the event.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bows er spoke about the import ance of becoming an age city during the symposium -friendly .

Verizon demonstrated various forms of technology for attend ees during the event.

Health Secretary for Aging, US Department of Edwin L. Walker, the Deputy Assistant ker. spea ote and Human Services, was the lunch keyn


J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N




Community Calendar July Events

8th • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

7th • 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Alliance for Retired Americans will hold its 2015 legislative conference at its office at 815 17th St. NW. For more information, call 202-637-5399.

7th • noon The DC Caregivers Online Chat at Noon will discuss “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.” Log on for advice, resources and tips to assist you with your caregiving responsibilities. If you are not available at noon, check back at your convenience and hit replay to see the entire chat. Join the discussion at For more information, contact Linda Irizarry at 202-535-1442 or

7th, 10th, 14th, 16th, 21st • 11:30 a.m. to noon Attend a “Produce Plus Workshop” by Dominique Hazzard, outreach specialist for DC Greens, at the following locations: July 7, Edgewood Terrace Apartments Nutrition Center, 635 Edgewood St. NE; July 10, Senior Village 1 (Fort Lincoln 2), 3001 Bladensburg Rd. NE; July 14, at Delta Towers Apartments, 1400 Florida Ave. NE; July 16, (starting at 11 a.m.) at KibarHalal Nutrition Center (rescheduled), 1519 4th St. NW; and July 21 at Gettysburg (Fort Lincoln 1), 2855 Bladensburg Rd. NE. For more information, call Thelma Hines at 202529-8701, extension 222.

Behrend Adas Senior Fellowship will host a Community Health, Wellness and Informational Fair on the 3rd floor at 2850 Quebec St. NW.

8th • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CSOSA’s 5th Annual Women’s Unit & Day Reporting Center will hold a Women’s Resource Fair at 633 Indiana Ave. NW, 6th Floor. For more information, contact Lakisha Copeland at 202-443-1242.

11th • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A Community Health, Wellness and Informational Fair will be held at Resurrection Church, 3501 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave, SE. Call Al Scott at at 301-442-6010 for more information.

14th • 11:30 a.m. to noon A talk on “Senior Exploitation” will be given by Monica Veney, 5D community outreach specialist, US Department of Justice. The event takes place at Green Valley Apartments, 2412 Franklin St. NE. For more information, call Thelma Hines at 202-5298701, extension 222.

16th • 10 a.m. to noon The D.C. Office on Aging (DCOA) Ambassador Program is a FREE, interactive, member-based program designed to reach out to older adults and their caregivers to help them learn about the services and resources available to them through DCOA. If you are interested in expanding your network and educating older adults about the services and resources available to them, join us

SPOTLIGHT ON AGING Spotlight On Aging is published by the Information Office of the D.C. Office on Aging for D.C. senior residents. Advertising contained in the Beacon is not endorsed by the D.C. Office on Aging or by the publisher.

500 K St., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 202-724-5622 • Executive Director John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA Editor Darlene Nowlin Photographer Selma Dillard The D.C. Office on Aging does not discriminate against anyone based on actual or perceived: race, color, reli-

gion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, source of income, and place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited by the Act. In addition, harassment based on any of the above protected categories is prohibited by the Act. Discrimination in violation of the Act will not be tolerated. Violators will be subjected to disciplinary action.

The Office on Aging is in partnership with the District of Columbia Recycling Program.

for our next Ambassador Training Workshop to learn about all of the programs and services that DCOA offers to the community and how you can become an Ambassador. All workshops include an overview of Office on Aging programs and services, information on how to access resources, and guidance on your role as an advocate. Call 202-724-5622 to register.

18th • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church will hold a Community Day at 5109 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. NE. For more information, call Thelma Hines at 202-529-8701, extension 222.

20th • 7 p.m. Attend a play reading at Iona in partnership with Thelma Theatre. In The Loathing by Michael Oliver and directed by Gillian Drake, a young philosophy of ethics professor, an English professor specializing in the “Fallen Poetics” of Emily Dickinson, and a young mathematics student’s anxious search for forgiveness come together. The play explores the enduring need for atonement, especially in a secular age. Admission is $5. Iona is located at 4125 Albemarle St, NW. To reserve a seat, call Patricia Dubroof at 202-895-9407.

21st • noon The DC Caregivers Online Chat at Noon will discuss “Summer Travel Plans for Caregivers.” Log on for advice, resources and tips to assist you with your caregiving responsibilities. If you are not available at noon, check

back at your convenience and hit replay to see the entire chat. Join the discussion at For more information, contact Linda Irizarry at 202-535-1442 or

21st • 2 pm United Health Care will conduct Medicare Benefits Bingo at the Washington Seniors Wellness Center, 3001 Alabama Ave. SE. For more information, call 202-581-9355.

23rd • 10:30 a.m. to noon The “Eye Care is for Everyone” Eye Health Community Day will be held at the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 2900 Newton St. NE. The keynote speaker is Dr. Michael Summerfield. For more information, call Thelma Hines at 202 529-8701, extension 222.

21st to Aug. 25th • 10:30 to noon The six-part class for individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes, “Everyone with Diabetes Counts,” by Delmarva Foundation will be held on Thursdays from July 21 to August 25 in the dining room of the Edgewood Terrace Nutrition Center, 635 Edgewood St. NE. For more information, call Thelma Hines at 202-529-8701, extension 222.

29th • 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunrise Senior Living will host a Community Health, Wellness and Informational Fair at 5111 Connecticut Ave. NW. For more information, contact Alyssa at 202-966-8020.

Saturday Respite Program DCOA’s Saturday Respite Program provides a four-hour break each Saturday for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, including people with dementia and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Participants in this pilot program engage in interactive and stimulating activities with other participants and program volunteers. To enroll individuals, please contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center’s Information & Referral/Assistance Unit at 202-724-5626. Washington Seniors Wellness Center (Ward 7) 3001 Alabama Ave. SE Washington, DC 20020


Coordinator: Katrina Dale Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center (Ward 8) 3500 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE Washington, DC 20032 Coordinator: Aisha Bailey

Eligibility • Age 60 years or older • Low to moderate income • Has mild to moderate dementia and/or memory loss • D.C. resident (priority given to those in wards 7 & 8) • Needs minimal assistance with prompting and/or cueing For more information, contact the Information & Referral/Assistance Unit at 202-724-5626.

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Money Law &


JUNK THESE BONDS OR NOT? As junk bonds fluctuate in popularity, it can be difficult to tell if it’s time to hold or sell these high-yield bonds CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVES Hedge fund-like “alternative funds” hold both stocks and options to offer stability instead of wild price swings

Healthcare continues to offer good returns By Steven Goldberg Healthcare stocks, traditionally defensive investments, are proving to be the market’s best all-weather sector. Since the start of the last bear market on October 9, 2007, Standard & Poor’s Healthcare index has been by far the best performing of S&P’s ten sectors, climbing 140.3 percent, or 12.2 percent annualized. Over that period, health stocks beat the number two sector, consumer discretionary, by an average of 0.7 percentage point per year, and topped Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index by an average of 5.9 points per year. Healthcare’s dominance, moreover, is long-lived. The sector held up remarkably well during the 2007-09 bear market. The S&P Healthcare index was the second top sector during the bloodbath, falling 38 per-

cent, compared with a 55.3 percent tumble for the S&P 500. And since the bear market’s nadir on March 9, 2009, healthcare has returned 287.4 percent, or 24.3 percent annualized. That beat the S&P 500 by an average of 1.7 percentage points per year.

Endless demand Healthcare has long been one of my favorite stock sectors. Why? Because of the unquenchable demand for healthcare products and services, and the continuing breakthroughs in medical science that further spur demand. Just ask yourself one question: Would you rather have a new BMW or two more years of life? That’s why healthcare is the classic de-

fensive sector. Most people don’t cut their health spending much, even during a recession. After all, if you have a heart attack, you’re going to the hospital regardless of the state of your finances. What’s more, several strong tailwinds have propelled health stocks to record heights. Obamacare has swelled the ranks of Americans with health insurance by more than 11 million. Aging populations in most of the developed world, including the U.S., are boosting demand for healthcare. Incomes are rising in many emerging countries, further swelling spending on healthcare. In addition, after a long dry spell during the ‘00s, biotech breakthroughs are now coming at a breakneck pace, and biotech stocks are on a rampage. But here’s the rub: In the stock market,

everything has a price. And major parts of the healthcare sector — biotechnology and some drug companies — have seen their shares rise too far, too fast.

High price-earnings ratios Consider a few price-earnings (P/E) ratios (the ratio of the company’s current share price to its earnings per share). The S&P 500 Healthcare sector boasts a P/E of 19 based on analysts’ earnings estimates for the coming 12 months. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index carries a P/E of 31. The P/E of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (symbol REGN) is 46, that of Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) is 33 and that of Illumina (ILMN) is 58. By contrast, the long-term average P/E of See HEALTHCARE, page 31

A review of useful freebies for retirees By Cameron Huddleston Senior discounts abound, making life in retirement a little more affordable. In some cases, though, older adults can get more than just a lower price; some goods and services that appeal to retirees come free of charge. Here are eight great freebies many retirees can enjoy. Some are available only for those who’ve reached a certain age. Others are accessible to people of all ages, but can be especially beneficial for retirees living on fixed incomes. 1. Free preventive care The Affordable Care Act of 2010 now requires health insurers to cover certain preventive care — ranging from flu shots to cholesterol screenings — without these services being subject to the policy’s deductible or co-payments. Medicare beneficiaries can also get many preventive benefits without co-payments or deductibles. The list includes mammograms, screenings for cervical and colorectal cancer, pneumonia shots, and an annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan. See Medicare’s Preventive and Screening Services, /pdf/10110.pdf, for a full list. You become eligible for Medicare at 65. 2. Free prescription drugs Several supermarket pharmacies, including Harris Teeter and Publix, offer select antibiotics, diabetes medications and

other generic drugs for free. You might need to enroll in a pharmacy loyalty program to receive the free drugs. Pharmaceutical companies also offer free and low-cost drugs to low-income people who do not have prescription-drug insurance. You can use the RxAssist database,, to find free medication through drug companies’ patient assistance programs. 3. Free eye care EyeCare America, a public service program of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provides free eye exams and up to one year of care for any disease diagnosed during that exam for those who are 65 and older and haven’t seen an eye doctor in three or more years. Visit for program guidelines and to see if you qualify. 4. Free education About 60 percent of accredited, degreegranting institutions offer tuition waivers for older adults, according to an American Council on Education study. State-supported colleges in Maryland and Virginia and some other states offer free tuition. Some tuition-waiver programs allow credit to be earned for the course, while others only allow the course to be audited. In Virginia, for example, those who are 60 and over with incomes under $15,000 can get credit. The University of the District of Columbia offers free courses to those 65

and over, but you must pay half of the regular tuition to receive credit. 5. Free tax preparation The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help to all taxpayers, with an emphasis on those 60 and older. Volunteers, who are certified by the IRS, specialize in pension and other retirement-related tax issues. Use the TCE locator tool at to find a site near you. And AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation for low- to moderate-income taxpayers, especially those 60 and older, at more than 5,000 locations. Its locator page, at Locator/searchTaxAideLocations.action, is operational only from January through April 15 each year. 6. Free museum admission Most museums offer senior discounts for admission, but a few actually let older adults visit for free on certain days. For example, the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City gives people 65 and older free admission the first Monday of every month. In Washington, D.C., of course, admission to Smithsonian museums is free for everyone. Several museums offer free admission one day a month to residents of the city, county or state where they’re located. For example, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta offers free ad-

mission for Fulton County, Ga., residents the first Saturday of each month, and the Art Institute of Chicago lets Illinois residents visit for free on Thursday evenings. And Bank of America cardholders can gain free admission to more than 150 museums on the first full weekend of every month. 7. Free state park admission Several state park systems — including those in Maryland, New Hampshire, New York and Texas — offer older adults free admission or a free annual pass. Some passes require a small processing fee, and some state sites are not included in the admission-fee waiver. Virginia offers several types of annual and lifetime discounted admission and parking passes. 8. Free transportation Some localities and states let older adults ride for free on public transportation. For example, Ride On buses in Montgomery County, Md., offer free rides for those 65 and older from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Pennsylvania Free Transit Program allows people 65 years and older to ride bus, trolley and rapid-transit lines for free with a senior transit identification card (which also is free). Some places, such as Orange County, Calif., offer free community transit programs that help older adults get to select locations. © 2015, Kiplinger. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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Hospital ‘admission’ policies can cost you By Susan B. Garland It’s bad enough spending three or more days in a hospital — undergoing a barrage of medical tests and procedures. Brace yourself for even more pain at discharge if the hospital tells you that you were actually never admitted but were on Medicare “observation status.” That designation could cost you big time. Hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries who are “under observation” are considered outpatients, even if they spend many days in the hospital. If you find yourself in this boat, there’s a chance you’ll pay more for services than if you had been formally admitted. Observation patients are also not eligible for certain extended-care benefits. In 2012, the number of hospital patients

under observation status rose to 1.8 million, up 88 percent from 2006, according to federal data. During the same period, hospital admissions dropped. Federal investigators have found, though, that observation patients show symptoms similar to that of patients admitted to the hospital. “It just doesn’t make sense,” said Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

Big price disparities When it comes to how Medicare covers your hospital stay, your designation makes all the difference. For someone admitted as an inpatient, Part A picks up the tab after the deductible ($1,260 in 2015). After three days in the hospital, Part A also will pay

part or all of the costs for up to 100 days in a skilled-nursing facility if a patient needs follow-up care after being discharged. But you have to look to Part B when it comes to outpatient care, including patients under hospital observation. Part B does not pay for post-hospitalization nursing care, even if a doctor recommends it. After a $147 deductible for 2015, patients pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved cost of each hospital service and procedure, with no limit on the amount they owe. And many Part D prescription-drug plans will not cover the cost of drugs prescribed by hospitals. The costs can mount. According to a study released in April by the AARP Public Policy Institute, 10 percent of observation patients (about 167,000) spent more for hospital services than if they had been admitted as inpatients — meaning their costs exceeded the Part A deductible. “For each CAT scan, each EKG, each cardiac catheterization, you’re paying coinsurance, and that can add up to more than the inpatient deductible,” said Keith Lind, senior strategic policy adviser of the AARP institute and co-author of the study. Only 7.4 percent of those placed under observation were referred to a skilled-nursing facility. Of those 159,960 patients, 22,520 had spent three or more days in the hospital but were not eligible for Medicare-

paid skilled-nursing care, according to the study, which was based on 2009 data. Medicare mistakenly paid the nursinghome bills for many observation patients. But those who did not get coverage paid an average of $12,970 for follow-up care, AARP found. “It’s a small number of patients, but they have extremely high out-of-pocket liability if their claims are not covered by Medicare,” Lind said.

A cautionary tale Jim Tadych, a retired police officer in Oshkosh, Wis., was one of the unlucky ones. Three years ago, at age 85, he developed shingles. When the pain wouldn’t subside, he went to a Milwaukee hospital for a spinal cord stimulator implant. Complications, including paralysis from the chest down, forced Tadych to stay in the hospital for eight nights. “He had deteriorated rapidly,” according to his daughter, Debbie Sorensen. His doctors recommended that he go for rehabilitation at a skilled-nursing facility. But at his hospital discharge meeting, the social worker told him that Medicare would not pay for his nursing care. Sorensen was stunned. She went to the hospital’s patient advocate, who told her See HOSPITALIZATION, page 32

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Healthcare From page 29 the S&P 500 is 15.5. Yes, many biotech and pharmaceutical companies will see sharply rising earnings in the coming years. But their stock prices already reflect a whole lot of future growth. According to Alec Lucas, a Morningstar analyst, “Scientific breakthroughs can boost stock prices, but they can’t immunize them from sell-offs.” Stock sectors almost never turn around on a dime when they reach an inflated P/E. More typically, their stocks continue to rise for months or years, becoming increasingly overpriced — and only falling when some catalyst precipitates a sell-off in the sector.

What to expect in the future What does all this mean for you, the investor? Unfortunately, it’s a complicated picture. The P/Es of many biotech stocks are crazy, and I wouldn’t buy them. Hundreds of companies have developed promising compounds only to have them fail in late-stage trials, often because of deleterious side effects. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must find a product to be both safe and effective before approving its use.) Hundreds of other biotech companies have simply run out of money. But future growth in healthcare spending is inevitable, and some of these biotech firms will hit pay dirt. Shares of health insurers and some drug companies

do trade at more palatable prices. Plus, mergers and buyouts should further help drive up healthcare stocks. Healthcare accounts for 15 percent of the S&P 500. I think that’s a sensible allocation for most investors. You can find out what percentage each of your funds has in healthcare at If your portfolio is light on healthcare, consider adding a dose of Vanguard Healthcare (VGHCX) to your investments. Run by Wellington Management, the fund has beaten the S&P 500 every year but one since 2007. Over the past 10 years, it has returned an annualized 13.6 percent — an average of 5.4 percentage points per year more than the S&P. With a distinct value tilt relative to most healthcare funds, Vanguard has been 15 percent less volatile than the S&P over the past 10 years. Only 13.4 percent of assets are currently in biotech. The retirement in 2012 of longtime manager Ed Owens is a loss, but Wellington has plenty of good managers. Expenses are just 0.34 percent annually. In sum, many health stocks appear to be overpriced, but over the long term, this sector will perform well — even if you end up buying at a peak. Just don’t overdo it, particularly now. Steve Goldberg is a local investment adviser and former Beacon columnist. All contents copyright 2015, The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Hospitalization From page 30 she could not help because her father was not an inpatient. “I asked why he was not an inpatient — he became paralyzed,” she said. “I was told the doctors had decided that his condition was not serious enough to be an inpatient.” He spent two weeks in a nursing home, shelling out between $4,000 and $5,000 for skilled-nursing care. Medicare requires hospitals to decide within 24 to 48 hours whether to admit or discharge a patient under observation. But

J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

several studies have shown that hospitals often flout this rule. Consumer advocates and hospital officials say that hospitals are under pressure to keep patients in outpatient status rather than admitting them. If Medicare auditors later decide that a patient should have been treated as an outpatient rather than being admitted, the hospital must return all Part A reimbursements to the government. “Hospitals would rather take lower Part B reimbursements by keeping a person as an outpatient” than take the chance of having to pay back the Part A money later, Edelman said.


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Verizon Washington, D.C. Lifeline Plans: Verizon Washington, D.C.’s Lifeline service, known as “Economy II,” offers reduced rates on Verizon’s monthly telephone bill and one-time discounts on the cost of installing phone service. Additionally, toll blocking is available to Economy II customers at no charge. Economy II Service*: $3.00 per month for unlimited local calling. Value-added services are not included (e.g., Call Waiting, Caller ID). No connection charges apply. Also, customers will not be charged for the federal subscriber line charge. Economy II customers who are 65 years of age or older can have this service at a further reduced rate of $1.00 per month. • Full terms and rates for these services, including terms of eligibility, are as set forth in federal and in Verizon’s tariffs on file with the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia. All rates, terms and conditions included in this notice are subject to change and are current at the time of printing. Contact Washington, DC Lifeline Program at 1-800-253-0846 to apply To learn more about the Lifeline program, visit

Economy II is a Lifeline supported service. Lifeline is a government assistance program. Only eligible consumers may enroll. You may qualify for Lifeline service if you can show proof that you participate in certain government assistance programs or your annual income (gross and from all sources) is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. If you qualify based on income, you will be required to provide income verification. Proof of participation in a government assistance program requires your current or prior year’s statement of benefits from a qualifying state or federal program; a notice letter or other official document indicating your participation in such a program; and/or another program participation document (for example, benefit card). Proof of income requires your prior year’s state or federal tax return; current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub; a statement of Social Security, Veterans Administration, retirement, pension, or Unemployment or Workmen’s Compensation benefits; a federal notice letter of participation in General Assistance; a divorce decree; a child support award; and/or another official document containing income information. At least three months of data is necessary when showing proof of income. In addition, the Lifeline program is limited to one discount per household, consisting of either wireline or wireless service. You are required to certify and agree that no other member of the household is receiving Lifeline service from Verizon or another communications provider. Lifeline service is a non-transferable benefit. Lifeline customers may not subscribe to certain other services, including other local telephone service. Consumers who willfully make false statements in order to obtain the Lifeline benefit can be punished by fine or imprisonment, or can be barred from the program.

Bipartisan support is growing in Congress for legislation that would count observation days toward the three-day inpatient requirement for Medicare-paid skilled-nursing care.

What you should do For now, the Center for Medicare Advocacy suggests some steps you can take to protect yourself in its “Self Help Packet for Medicare ‘Observation Status,’” available at When you are hospitalized, ask whether you have been officially admitted. If you are under observation, try to get your status changed — especially if the doctor thinks you are in for extensive tests and may need some nursing care. “The best thing you can do is to get your own doctor to go to bat for you,” Edelman said. Assuming this doesn’t work and you need post-hospital care, you can ask your physician if you are well enough to return home with a few hours a day of home healthcare, Edelman said. If you’re homebound, Medicare is likely to pay for a cer-

tain amount of skilled-nursing care or physical therapy.

Lengthy appeal process If you need skilled care in a nursing home, you can try to appeal Medicare’s denial of nursing-home benefits. The Medicare Summary Notice that you receive in the mail will likely deny coverage because you did not have a three-day hospital stay. Write that you are appealing because you did receive three days of hospital inpatient care. Send your hospital discharge papers as evidence of your three-day stay. The appeal could take a year or more, and Edelman warns that winning is difficult. In the meantime, you will have to pay for the nursing care out of pocket. If you racked up drug costs during your hospital stay, ask your Part D drug plan for an out-of-network pharmacy claim form. If the drugs you received were not part of the plan’s formulary, ask for an exception. All contents copyright 2015, The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




The Herndon Adult Day Health Care Center needs a piano player to play classical or music from the 1960s and before. For more information on this and other volunteer opportunities, visit and click on Volunteer Solutions or call (703) 324-5406; TTY 711.

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High-yield (junk) bonds: hold or sell? By Stan Choe Don’t know what to make of the junkbond market? Join the club. One month, dollars are flooding into junk-bond mutual funds and exchangetraded funds. The next, dollars are pouring out the opposite direction. Consternation is nothing new for this part of the market: Junk bonds are essentially loans made to companies with poor credit ratings, and they have to offer relatively big yields to attract investors. But skittishness has been particularly high recently, with $9.3 billion fleeing junk-bond funds in December only for $9.6 billion to go right back in two months later. Since then, flows have continued to be erratic into and out of junk-bond funds, which are also called high-yield bond funds. Several factors worry investors. The biggest is the threat of rising interest rates, which would knock down the price of all kinds of bonds. Last year’s plummet in the price of crude was also a big scare, because oil producers make up a big part of the high-yield market. In addition, skeptics are warning about the high number of “tourists” in junk- bond funds. These are investors who would otherwise put their money in investmentgrade bonds but are desperate for higher yields. They could quickly abandon junk bonds en masse, driving down values.

Doing well this year Even with all the jitters, junk bonds have produced better returns this year than most other parts of the bond market. The average high-yield bond mutual fund has posted a return of 3.7 percent, versus 1 percent for intermediate-term bond funds, the largest bond-fund category by assets. If interest rates continue to rise gradually and if the economy avoids a recession — and granted, those are significant ifs — many strategists say junk bonds can continue to outperform the rest of the bond market. “Right now, you’re getting paid for the risk of owning high-yield debt,” said Jim Kochan, chief fixed-income strategist for

Wells Fargo Funds Management. That hasn’t always been the case, he said, citing periods when junk-bond yields weren’t high enough to make up for their riskiness, such as before the Great Recession and last summer. “If the high-yield market gets too expensive, like it was in 2007 and in June of 2014, it’s due for a correction. But it’s not that expensive now,” he said. To judge whether junk bonds are expensive, one factor to consider is how much more interest they pay over high-quality bonds. Yields for junk bonds are generally around 6 percent today. That’s not as much as they have been historically, but strategists say they’re still comfortably above what high-quality bonds are paying. The 10-year Treasury note has a yield of 2.10 percent.

Effect of higher interest rates Because of that cushion, Kochan and others say high-yield bonds can better withstand a gradual rise in interest rates. It’s a key question because the Federal Reserve is expected to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate from its record low later this year. Rising rates drag down prices of bonds that have already been issued because their yields suddenly look less attractive. Prices for junk bonds would also fall as rates rose, but the increased income that they pay could help protect total returns. And given how wide the gap is between the yields of junk and investment-grade bonds, the cushion has room to shrink. If that were to happen, price drops could be less severe for junk bonds than for investment-grade bonds. Defaults, another traditional fear for junk-bond investors, also look relatively benign for now. The default rate is below 2 percent, as companies have refinanced their debt and earnings growth means they have enough cash to make good on their bond payments. Many fund managers expect the default rate to tick higher as energy companies struggle with the lower price of crude oil. But unless a recession is imminent, they

don’t see the default rate jumping higher for other areas of the junk-bond market. To be sure, if interest rates were to spike sharply and quickly, or if the economy does fall into a recession, most everyone agrees junk bonds would suffer. And losses for junk bonds can be more swift and severe than for other areas of the bond market. “High-yield acts like stocks in a recession,” said James Swanson, chief investment strategist at MFS Investment Management. The average junk-bond mutual fund lost 26.4 percent in 2008. That’s closer to the 37 percent loss for the S&P 500 index than the 5.2 percent return for investment-grade bonds.

Lower liquidity If high-yield bond prices start to tumble, there’s a concern that the market will become illiquid — meaning fund managers will have a tougher time finding buyers when they want to sell bonds. In the past, big banks would help with liquidity by buying when the market was too skittish. But new regulations are making banks less willing to step in when there’s a sell-off in

the market. Market watchers have been warning that liquidity is worryingly low. Fund managers say they’ve already seen signs of lower liquidity. Prices for bonds move more quickly than they did in prior years, said Richard Lindquist, head of the high-yield fixed-income team at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Last year, for example, when the high-yield market was struggling with the fallout from the plunge in oil, bond prices were quicker to fall. This year, as the high-yield market has recovered, prices have been quicker to rise. But he said he still can find buyers for bonds he wants to sell. Regardless of how much confidence anyone has in high-yield bonds, most advisers say they should still be only a small portion of a bond portfolio. Wells Fargo’s Kochan said they likely shouldn’t be more than 15 or 20 percent, for example. “It’s very difficult to generate income outside of high-yield corporates,” he said, “but it’s only sensible to maintain some discipline.” — AP

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Alternative funds seek lower-risk returns By Stan Choe For most of us, investments fall into two simple categories: stocks or bonds. Some investors are adding an “other” category in their search for possibly safer or better returns. They’re pouring into what the industry calls alternative funds, which are generally bringing hedge-fundlike strategies to the masses. It’s still a niche corner of the market, but nearly $13 billion flowed into alternative funds over the last year, according to Morningstar. Still, there’s confusion about what these funds do and whether they’re worth the costs they charge over more straightforward index funds. The Gateway fund is one of the largest

and oldest alternative funds in the market. Managers Mike Buckius and Paul Stewart recently discussed their fund’s strategy. They invest in stocks, like a traditional stock fund, but they also buy and sell options, which they use to steady returns. Answers have been edited for clarity and length. Q: What’s the broad objective of the fund? Buckius: We own stocks because they go up most of the time, and we do some things on the management side to smooth the ride out. We’re trying to get a decent amount of the return with a lot less of the risk. That means we have smaller losses in downturns and shorter recovery periods. In bull markets, we tend to lag, but we still

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have positive returns. Q: You’ve historically generated about two thirds of the S&P 500’s returns, but with milder swings. Wouldn’t a diversified portfolio, in which bonds balance out the risk of stocks, be similar? Stewart: The thing is that the 10-year Treasury yield is hovering around 2 percent (about half what it was a decade ago). It’s very difficult, nearly impossible, for the bond market to replicate the returns they had over the last 10 years. Buckius: We’re not investing in bonds, but the problem we’re trying to address is: How do I manage the risk of my equity portfolio the way bonds have historically done? Q: So the people coming into your fund are moving money that had been in bonds? Or are they selling stocks instead? Buckius: I think a little bit of each. People in our fund are a little more on the conservative side, or they’re older and they don’t have the time to accept a three-, fiveor seven-year time horizon to recover their losses from a bear market. Q: Is there a wrong reason to get into a fund like yours? Buckius: If you think a market crash is coming. We’re there to cushion that, but we’re not betting against the market. We expect the market to go up over a long pe-

riod of time. We just don’t want to ride the roller coaster. Q: So much focus recently has been on keeping fees low. Your fees are maybe triple what an S&P 500 index fund charges. Stewart: Yes, it’s more expensive than an index fund. There’s no denying that. But I would submit we’re doing a lot more work than an index manager. Q: How much of a portfolio should be in alternatives? Buckius: We see people having anywhere from 10 to 20 percent either in us or in a portfolio of two or three alternatives. The thought process behind that is you want to have enough to make a difference, but you still want to have exposure to traditional asset classes. A more aggressive portfolio may have 10 percent in alternatives, while a more conservative one may have as much as 40 percent. Q: Was it difficult to convince your parents to invest in the fund? Buckius: I think our parents probably fit the typical profile of someone who invests in us. It would be tougher to convince someone who’s 20 years old and has all the time in the world until they retire. If they have 30 years or more, that’s when they should be taking risks. — AP

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Travel Leisure &

The Shreveport-Bossier area of Louisiana offers a mix of Cajun, Creole and east Texas traditions and culture. See story on page 38.

Eager to visit Cuba? Some things to know Few amenities


By Beth J. Harpaz “Is travel to Cuba for tourist activities permitted? No.” That’s what the U.S. Treasury Department website says. And yet Havana is loaded with Americans, from the Floridita bar, where they pose for photos with a bust of Ernest Hemingway, to the Rum Museum, where they swig rum samples after trudging through dim displays of old casks. Sure, some Americans follow the rules on sanctioned travel — bringing supplies to Cuban churches or synagogues, for example, on a religious activities license. Others come on approved group tours known as “people-to-people” trips with themed itineraries like the arts. But the 36 percent increase in American visitors here since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced a thaw in relations includes many travelers who sidestep the rules. Some travel via third countries by flying to Cuba from Mexico or the Bahamas. Others fly on their own from the U.S., casually filling out paperwork for one of 12 categories of travel authorized by the U.S., without much worry that anyone will check on its accuracy. The fact is, “there’s been almost no active enforcement” of the tourism ban under the Obama administration, according to attorney Robert Muse, an expert on the legal aspects of Cuba travel.

Add to this the fact that travel experts and upscale magazines are urging travel to Cuba — before it changes. But visitors envisioning salsa in the streets and glamorous vintage cars should also be prepared to manage without ATMs, credit cards, wi-fi, air-conditioning, seat belts or toilet paper. Here are eight tips for visiting Havana.

If you need it, bring it I forgot to bring my toothbrush to Havana. It took me three days to find a new one. Granted, I was in a “casa particular,” a Cuban homestay booked through Airbnb in a rundown part of town. Street vendors sell Che Guevara T-shirts and tropical fruit. But good luck buying sunscreen or Band-Aids. The fancy hotels sell some things in shops onsite, of course, but Havana just doesn’t have many stores. Even Harris Brothers, a market on Monserrate at O’Reilly Street, isn’t overflowing with consumer goods — though you can buy souvenir bags of coffee. Public bathrooms aren’t bad, but I was glad I’d brought a roll of toilet paper in my bag.

Hustled in Havana “Happy holiday, lady!” This cheerful salutation greeted me as I

American-made cars from the 1950s pass by Cuba’s National Capitol Building in Havana. The building, modeled after the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., was the seat of government in Cuba until the communists took power in 1959, after which it fell into disrepair. After renovations earlier this year, Cuba’s National Assembly now operates from the building.


walked past crumbling buildings and rubble-filled streets in many sections of Old Havana. Blonde, 5 foot 10, map in hand: Yeah, I stood out. But conversations with overly friendly strangers often devolved into shakedowns. They wanted to sell me cigars or exchange my dollars. Could I buy them drinks or give money for their children? Violent crime in Havana is rare. I never felt threatened — just hassled.

Don’t look for logic For my flight home, I got to Havana’s airport at 5:30 a.m., just like the paperwork specified. Too bad the airport didn’t open until nearly 7 a.m. I also went to the famous H. Upmann cigar factory for a tour, only to be sent to a different location for a ticket. There I was told, “There are no tours today, but we can sell you a ticket for tomorrow!” And so it went. Havana is not always a logical place.

Money Street musicians that play for tips from tourists are a common sight in Havana. More U.S. visitors are now visiting Cuba as restrictions begin to loosen.

Are you old enough to remember traveling without credit cards, ATMs and smartphones? Then visiting Cuba will be a trip back in time.

Bring cash to change into convertible pesos, also known as CUCs (not CUPs, the currency used by locals). And budget carefully: There are only a handful of ATMs in Havana, and U.S. bank cards aren’t currently accepted. On paper, one U.S. dollar is worth one CUC, but the Cuban government takes a 13 percent fee, so you get 87 cents for your dollar. Privately, Cubans may offer 90 cents or more on the dollar; be careful whom you trust. I have MasterCard, Visa and American Express cards, but none could be authorized for use in Cuba in May. Even when the rules change (or if your card is from a non-U.S.-bank), businesses in Cuba rarely accept plastic.

Limited Internet and wi-fi Cuba’s offline culture makes trip-planning complicated. It takes days to confirm arrangements because most Cubans can’t check email from home. Automated online reservations are rare. If you must go online in Havana, hotels sell Internet cards for lobby wi-fi for $4 or $5 per 30 minutes. Even then, though, the See CUBA, page 37

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Cuba From page 36 wi-fi may not work. A paper map is essential — drivers don’t have GPS, and there’s no Googling an address on the fly.

About those cars Cuba’s vintage cars sound picturesque — until you’re in one with no seat belts, no air-conditioning in 90-degree heat, broken windows, belching smoke, and doors that open in transit. The old cars aren’t just American. One 20-something driver told me he inherited his 1981 Russian-made Moskvitch car from his grandfather, who was awarded the car for being a good worker. Havana’s official, government-owned taxis seemed to be in better condition than privately owned cars — though tourists are routinely overcharged. Meters supposedly exist, but I never saw one.

Food and drink Government-run cafeterias in public places like museums are dreadful. Stick to “paladares” — privately owned restaurants. You’ll need reservations for the best. Prices are moderate but not cheap; food is

good but not outstanding. My best meals were at 304 O’Reilly (the restaurant name is also the street address), which offers trendy, light fare (terrific ceviche, lobster and pasta), and Cafe Ajiaco in Cojimar (Calle 92, number 267), whose owner showcases what he sees as the best of traditional Cuban cuisine. A safe bet in most eateries is a ham and cheese sandwich — called a Cuban in the U.S., but jamon y queso here. Cafe con leche is uniformly superb, as is tropical fruit. For a drinking tour, consider Ernest Hemingway’s advice: “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita.” The handwritten quote, allegedly scribbled by Hemingway himself, is framed at La Bodeguita del Medio over a bar mobbed with tourists. The Floridita is nicer: great airconditioning, icy daiquiris and a bust of Hemingway, perfect for selfies. The Hotel Nacional’s outdoor bar is lovely, on a lawn with a view of the sea. Have a Cuba libre (rum and cola, but not Coke) or a Cristal beer, then check out the photo gallery of famous guests — mobsters and Hollywood celebs.

Attractions Havana’s best attractions include: the waterfront promenade known as the Male-


July 25


Arlington County presents a daytrip to see The Producers at Olney Theatre. This Mel Brooks comedic masterpiece follows the adventures of washed-up Broadway producer Max Bialystock and his mousy accountant Leo Bloom, as they scheme to get rich quick by producing the most notorious flop in the history of show biz. The bus will leave from Lubber Run Community Center, 300 N. Park Dr., Arlington, Va., at 12:25 p.m. and will return at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $47 for residents; $50 for non-residents. For more information or to register, visit the website or call (703) 228-4744.

con, Old Havana, Hemingway’s estate at Finca Vigia, and the Museo de la Revolucion, where “Cretins’ Corner” mocks Ronald Reagan and the Bush presidencies. The stunning Cuban collection at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes ranges from colonial portraits to 20th century political pop art. The show at the Tropicana is on many top 10 Havana lists. If spending nearly $100 to see skinny dancers in see-through bodysuits with sequin pasties and chandeliers on their heads sounds fun, by all means, go. Otherwise, try the music scene at Casa de la Musica in Central Havana. To learn about the array of hotels, go to the website Cuba Hotel Bookings, Hotel rates are lower than in the US. For example, the Melia Havana, which bills it-


self as a luxury hotel, charges $175 for a room with breakfast ($198 with an ocean view). The hotel boasts the largest swimming pool in Cuba and a cigar bar. For more information, call 1-877-696-6252 or see Tourists cannot book their own flights to Cuba or easily search for them online — and must use a travel agent. Nor do U.S. airlines offer flights from the U.S. directly to Cuba. One travel agency, Island Travel & Tours, will start to offer nonstop flights from BWI-Marshall Airport to Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport twice a week starting on Sept. 30. Round-trip fares will be $775, but the first two flights are offered at a discounted rate of $695. — AP


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Shreveport, La. — A cultural crossroads By Chris Jay The Shreveport-Bossier area of northwestern Louisiana serves as a crossroads where the Cajun and Creole traditions of Louisiana blend with the wide-open spirit of Texas. This unique combination of two great American heritages can be tasted in the food, where Texas-style barbecue often shares a plate with traditional Louisiana favorites like gumbo, po-boys and crawfish etouffee.


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It can also be heard in the music pouring out of local nightclubs, where jazz and soul share the stage with blues, country, rock and zydeco. Local festivals, which celebrate everything from crawfish to black history, provide year-round opportunities to become immersed in the blend of cultures that is Shreveport-Bossier, the third-largest community in the state. Music history enthusiasts will find much to explore. Shreveport Municipal

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Auditorium, a national historic landmark situated downtown, was home to the legendary Louisiana Hayride live radio broadcast from 1948 to 1960. Elvis Presley made his performance debut onstage at the Louisiana Hayride on Oct. 16, 1954. Today, a statue of Presley stands outside of the auditorium on Elvis Presley Boulevard. Blues legend Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter was born and raised in Mooringsport, La., just outside of Shreveport, and his gravesite at Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery in Mooringsport is a frequent destination for blues aficionados. Shreveport-Bossier has six riverboat casinos and a live horseracing track. Margaritaville Resort Casino, which opened in 2013, is the most recent addition to Shreveport-Bossier’s gaming scene. The 30,000-square-foot casino has more than 1,300 slot machines and 54 table games. Located just south of the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets on the banks of the Red River, Horseshoe Casino and Hotel is another popular gaming destination. It’s also home to the Horseshoe Riverdome, one of Shreveport-Bossier’s hottest live music venues. Legendary performers like Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, the Beach Boys and Diana Ross have recently brought their world tours to the Horseshoe Riverdome. Enjoying the great outdoors can take many forms in Shreveport-Bossier, from a relaxing cruise down the Red River aboard the Spirit of the Red River, to zip-lining through a swamp filled with live alligators at Gators and Friends Alligator Park and Exotic Zoo. One of Louisiana’s top bird-watching destinations, the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City, features a 6.5-mile network of hiking trails, a lake for fishing, and an interpretive center offering interactive educational programs for all ages. Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park in Shreveport also offers a network of trails, including some that are wheelchairaccessible. For those who enjoy traveling “off the beaten path,” Shreveport-Bossier is a good entry point from which to travel along Louisiana’s Boom or Bust Byway, a scenic route that winds its way through historic rural communities like Oil City, Plain Dealing and Homer. An audiovisual tour has been created for visitors.

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Several Shreveport-Bossier eateries are among the best-known in Louisiana. Strawn’s Eat Shop, a mom-and-pop diner with celebrated ice box pies, has been featured in Southern Living magazine on numerous occasions. Herby-K’s, a popular local seafood restaurant, has earned rave reviews in numerous national publications and was referenced in Garden & Gun magazine’s list

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of “100 Southern Foods You Absolutely, Positively Must Try Before You Die.” The Wall Street Journal has listed Bossier City’s Silver Star Smokehouse among the best barbecue joints in the United States. Fans of craft beer travel from across the U.S. to sample the acclaimed brews created by Great Raft Brewing, Shreveport’s first craft brewery and tasting room. Gourmet magazine recently named it “One of 10 U.S. Breweries to Watch in 2015.” Mardi Gras, known as “the biggest free party on Earth,” is often associated with New Orleans. But carnival season — with its parades, parties and costume balls — is huge in Shreveport-Bossier. During carnival season, which officially begins on Twelfth Night and ends on Fat Tuesday, local social clubs known as “krewes” present enormous parades featuring hundreds of floats, marching bands and more. As Carnival season draws to a close, a busy calendar of major festivals commences in early spring. Holiday in Dixie, one of the oldest annual festivals in the U.S., celebrates the arrival of spring in mid-April with a carnival, live music and more. Holiday in Dixie concludes with the Ark-La-Tex Ambassadors BBQ Cook-Off, a competitive event that attracts many of the top barbecue teams in the South. Barbecue lovers can enjoy live music while sampling outstanding barbecue and voting for the winners of top prizes. Shreveport-Bossier is home to the United States Air Force’s oldest bomb wing, housed at Barksdale Air Force Base. Each May, the might and power of the U.S. Air Force is showcased during the Barksdale Air Force Base Airshow. Many of the world’s top aerobatic teams regularly perform at the air show, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

Festivals year-round Each Memorial Day Weekend, the sounds of zydeco music and the scent of boiling crawfish drift through the air in downtown Shreveport as the Mudbug Madness Festival brings four days of music, food and fun to Festival Plaza. Named one of the “Top 100 Events in North America” by the American Bus Association, this festival includes outstanding Louisiana cuisine, three stages of live music, activities for kids and more. One of most anticipated events each June is the Let the Good Times Roll Festival, a celebration of black history and culture that features old-school, gospel, R&B and funk music, as well as an outstanding array of food vendors, art booths and more. As temperatures drop each fall, every weekend in September is packed with events — ranging from the Pioneer Heritage Festival in Greenwood, Sept. 18 and 19, to the Highland Jazz and Blues FestiSee SHREVEPORT, page 39

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From page 38 val, a music festival held in Columbia Park that regularly attracts top names in jazz and blues music, Sept. 19. Fall’s most-anticipated event may be the annual Red River Revel Arts Festival, an enormous, eight-day outdoor arts festival featuring hundreds of visual artists and three stages of non-stop live music, children’s entertainment and food vendors, Oct. 3 to 10. The State Fair of Louisiana is held each October and November on the State Fairgrounds in Shreveport. The State Fair of Louisiana has received national acclaim for its unusual variety of food vendors and free entertainment, along with all of the delights of a State Fair midway. The 2015 State Fair of Louisiana will be held, Oct. 22 to Nov. 8. Throughout November and December, the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights provides countless ways to enjoy the spirit of the holidays “Louisiana style.” One of Shreveport-Bossier’s best-known holiday events is Christmas in Roseland, a holiday lights extravaganza at the Gardens of the American Rose Center, Nov. 27 to Dec. 23.

Other popular events include the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival, a charming, small-town Christmas festival featuring fireworks over scenic Caddo Lake, Dec. 5, and Les Boutiques de Noel, a weekend-long holiday shopping extravaganza at the Bossier Civic Center, Nov. 19 to 21. From the glittering excitement of the casinos to the wonderful array of festivals, the mouth-watering local cuisine, fantastic shopping and numerous outdoor activities and attractions — Shreveport-Bossier has all of the necessary ingredients for a memorable getaway.

For more information To learn more about what to see and do in Shreveport-Bossier, visit or call 1-800-551-8682. A digital copy of the official visitor’s guide to Shreveport-Bossier may be downloaded at A print copy may be requested by phone. Currently, the lowest round-trip airfare from the Washington area to Shreveport is $330 via American Airlines from BWI. Chris Jay is the public relations manager of Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.



Huge parades fill the streets of Shreveport, La., for Mardi Gras each year. Carnival season in late winter is also filled with parties and costume balls.

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Montgomery County Senior Outdoor Adventures in Recreation (SOAR) presents a boat trip on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Board the cruise ship, the Steven Thomas, for a 75-minute trip to historic Tangier Island. Tangier is an unspoiled fishing village with quaint narrow streets and is the “soft shell crab capital” of the United States. Take a stroll through this unique and picturesque island, or be guided on a golf cart for a nominal fee. A family style seafood lunch, featuring crab cakes, clam fritters, Virginia ham, corn pudding, vegetables, homemade rolls, pound cake, and coffee/tea, is included. The trip cost is $80 for residents and $95 for non-residents. The air-conditioned van will depart from Olney Manor Park, 16601 Georgia Ave., Olney, Md. at 8:45 a.m. and return at 8:30 p.m. For more information, call (240) 777-4926.


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How to avoid travel insurance disputes By Ed Perkins If you’re planning a big trip, chances are you’re at least considering travel insurance. Travel insurance can either be a great idea — or a waste of money if you encounter a gotcha or two. Fortunately, you can avoid most gotchas if you buy and act carefully.

Pre-existing conditions As with health insurance, pre-existing conditions can become a major gotcha for both trip-cancellation/interruption insurance and medical insurance. But that’s an easy issue to dodge if you follow the specific requirements of each policy. Most travel insurance policies specifically exclude pre-existing medical conditions as “covered reasons” for canceling or interrupting a trip and for covering a medical claim. However, most insurance companies specifically waive that exclusion provided you buy the insurance within a specified period after you make your first prepayment for the trip. The waiver period is generally a week, 10 days, or two weeks, but a few companies extend it to as much as 30 days. A waiver for the exclusion for pre-existing conditions does not add a penny to the cost of the insurance; it’s just something you have to do soon after you start arranging your trip. But policies vary a bit in the way they treat prepayments:

— With any policy, you must be physically able to travel on the day you buy the insurance. You can’t buy insurance if you’re unable to travel at the time but expect to get better by the time you’re supposed to leave. This limitation applies to any traveler in a family or group covered by the insurance. — You must insure the “full value” of the trip. But this requirement is a bit tricky. With some policies, this means the total cost including refundable components that you can recover or re-use. With others, you must cover only the nonrefundable components of your trip. In any case, the policy may not allow you to cover only a portion of the value; you can’t “round down” the trip cost to squeeze in under a lower insurance price bracket. — If you add additional nonrefundable payments later, you must increase the value of coverage, typically within 21 days of the added prepayments. In any case, most policies clearly cover only “unforeseen” circumstances — even those that would normally be considered “covered reasons.” Almost all cancellation/interruption policies and many medical policies provide only secondary coverage. That means cancellation/interruption insurance will cover only those prepayments that you can’t first recover from the primary supplier — air-

line, cruise line, resort or tour operator. Similarly, secondary medical insurance will cover only what you can’t first recover from your regular health insurance.

Follow the rules Many travel insurance policies cover onsite medical expenses, as well as early return home. But to take advantage of the policy’s coverage, you have to follow the fine print. And that almost always means going through the insurance company’s designated representative before you take on any initiative of your own. If you decide to return home early, for example, don’t just go out and buy a new airline ticket or charter a business jet. Instead, inform the insurance representa-

tive, who may say, “let me take care of that” rather than authorizing you to go ahead. Money you spend without authorization may never be reimbursed. Because of differences in the fine print, my recommendation is that you compare policies carefully. Do not blindly take whatever your airline, cruise line, or tour operator suggests. Most of the big online travel insurance agencies publish elaborate side-by-side comparisons of different policies, including,,,,, and © 2015 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin play Grace and Frankie in a new Netflix comedy series. See story on facing page.

What if Romeo and Juliet were seniors? his 97-year-old grandmother at an assisted living community in the area. “Going into that place is terrifying,” he said. “Our society has a tendency to infantilize these people, and to not take them seriously. In the lobby, there’s no life. It seems as if they’re waiting to die. But what I see when she gets into her room is life, is vibrancy, is wit.”

Way beyond bingo And there’s something else going on. A New York Times article called “Sex and the Single Senior” ( cites a surprising finding: There is a rising rate of sexually transmitted diseases in retirement communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Clearly, there is a lot more activity than bingo these days, as seniors live longer and with better health. As Goodrich put it: “Everyone is having sex with each other.” Goodrich has set the story in the lobby of a senior facility. The change in age means dialogue has to be revised. Juliet’s nurse can’t mention weaning her; she’s now a caregiver for the elderly, as is Romeo’s pal Mercutio. The actor playing Lady Capulet is

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By Michael Toscano “First of all, they look at you like you’ve lost your mind. And then, when you explain the concept, every single person I’ve talked to says, ‘That is such a fantastic idea. I can’t wait to see it.’” That’s local actor Elliott Bales, discussing his role as Romeo in Unexpected Stage Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet: Love Knows No Age, onstage July 16 to Aug. 9 at Randolph Road Theatre in Silver Spring. Bales is no kid actor. He’s a seasoned veteran, a thespian with credits in theater, film and television. He’s got a few gray hairs. So what’s he doing playing a 14-yearold lovesick teenager in medieval Italy? He’s not. He’s playing a 70-something, lovesick guy in 2015 America. The concept is simple, and yet both radical and common-sense. What if those storied star-crossed lovers, Juliet and Romeo, are not teens of olden times but modern seniors living in a retirement facility? Rather than the lovers’ parents opposing the relationship, it is their adult children. For director Christopher Goodrich, the idea to explore the inner life and sensuality of older people materialized while visiting RESERVE YOUR SEATS TODAY!

Claire Schoonover and Elliott Bales discuss their lead roles in Romeo and Juliet: Love Knows No Age, which relocates Shakespeare’s classic to a contemporary American retirement community with the titular characters in their 70s. The play will be performed at Randolph Road Theater from July 16 to Aug. 9.

pregnant, so that adds another dimension to the family dynamics at play. I visited an early rehearsal, only the second time they worked their way through the play as an ensemble. Goodrich, a wiry presence with intense blue eyes, sits crosslegged on a table pushed up against a wall, speaking softly to his actors. They are in a large conference room, a borrowed space in a Rockville office building. They are feeling their way through the dialogue, finding spots where changes need to be made. Finding new layers of meaning when the words are spoken out

loud for the first time. And they’re improvising; a rolling office chair becomes a walker for an aged character, for example. This is clearly an experiment. “It’s a complete risk,” Goodrich admitted. “We have no idea if it will work. We’re just going for it. It looks like it’s working. We’re coming up with ideas and issues that happen with the life experiences of characters now over 70.”

Reversing roles Yes, it does appear to be working. For one thing, it becomes a very modern See ROMEO, page 44

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Fonda, Tomlin star in new Netflix series By Lynn Elber Age rarely catches a break in pop culture. But when Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin lend their outsized talents to a sitcom, expect something far removed from oldlady clichés and self-negating punch lines. “Grace and Frankie,” the 13-episode Netflix comedy that debuted in May with the two longtime friends in the title roles, is striving to be funny, honest and, to use Fonda’s description, “really fierce.” As might be expected from actresses who are also activists, the series has points to make about older women — who, the 77-year-old Fonda pointedly notes, are an increasing part of the population. “Grace and Frankie” represents “a chance to blow away the stereotypes and give a poignant but also fresh and new and hopeful image of older women,” she said. It’s an opportunity that Tomlin, 75, said she’d come close to when she played Reba McEntire’s mother in 2012’s “Malibu Country,” but that comedy was short-lived.

Older actors for older audience

you deal with problems with adult children? With grandchildren?” She contributes a political fillip to the equation: “And older women tend to be more radical. And why not?” That opens the door for Tomlin, who can’t suppress her wonderfully mischievous streak. “What about the Red Hat ladies?” she says, referring to the Red Hat Society that encourages women of all ages to pursue, among other things, fun and freedom.



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“And the Gray Panthers?” Fonda said, parrying with the social justice group.

A 35-year friendship The women’s relationship, formed during the making of the 1980 movie 9 to 5, is cited as important and rewarding by both. Not so with their sitcom characters, Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin), who have barely tolerated each other over the See NEW COMEDY, page 45

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Once Fonda and Tomlin were on board, it easy to cast the rest of the show of the show with older actors, according to Marta Kauffman, the show’s creator and writer. Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen play Fonda’s and Tomlin’s husbands.

“I think that all four of them were really looking forward to a steady gig as the most important people in a show,” Kauffman said. “There aren’t a lot of shows where...the four leads are all of this age. I think that was exciting. I know it certainly was to Jane and Lily. I believe there was an element of that for Sam and Martin, too.” Kauffman, who also created the TV show “Friends,” said that Netflix had no reservations about targeting an older audience for “Grace and Frankie.” “What you have here is an opportunity to target a marginalized audience. Nobody targets a show for people over 50; no one. [But] the baby boomers who are over 50 are the largest segment of our population. (Netflix) saw this as an opportunity to reach out as a new audience for them,” she said. Tomlin and Fonda were happy to talk about aging and their roles. With the Netflix series, said Tomlin, “I knew Jane would be politically in the right place and want to do what I hoped would get done: Getting to the bottom of an older woman’s relationship to herself, to her friends, to the culture.” Adds the ever-glamorous and fit Fonda: “What do you do when your body starts to weaken but you still feel young? How do


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Romeo From page 42 story, as Romeo and Juliet’s children are now parents to their own children and simultaneously parents to their parents — a very contemporary squeeze. Capulet now wants to marry his aged mom off “properly,” so he’s not burdened financially (since he has his own growing family to support). That refreshes the entire concept. And then there is the chemistry, the theatrical magic that cannot be faked, between leading man Bales and leading lady Claire Schoonover. They’ve just met, and yet they banter and occasionally finish each other’s sentences like old friends. Schoonover, born in England, has spent much of her life living in Germany. She’s married to an American and has three strapping sons.

Now residing in the D.C. area with her family, she (like Bales) is two decades younger than her character. But she is able to bring her own life experiences to the role the way a teenager might not be able to finesse, especially in understanding the tense relationship between Juliet and her son. “There is something to be mined in understanding his frustration at having to look after me,” she said thoughtfully, falling into stream-of-consciousness introspection. “Say, if my husband were to pass away, and my three sons were left to care for me. Exploring that, something I may be facing in the future, and wondering, having no girls and, typically, thinking a daughter might take after me more. That’s something to think about and understand.” The duo has had to formulate their own “back-stories” for Romeo and Juliet, filling in the decades before we meet them.

J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

“You have to decide about your spouse, whether you’re divorced or a widow, what kind of relationship you had, and how that informs your attitude toward love, especially a new love,” Schoonover explained. “And, are you a sexual person?” Ah, yes, that last part again. There is a lot of serious stuff to be said about how we treat older people and their place in our society. But I know what Beacon readers really want to know, so I ask. Goodrich responds by saying there is no flinching: These are lovers, sensually sentient people. And that’s something we rarely see in film, TV or stage depictions of older people. The director considers this, saying “Love is something that keeps you alive, keeps you moving forward. For these two, now, needing to find that thing that keeps you getting up in the morning, that thing being intense, urgent love.” So, how hot do they expect it to get? Claire jumps right in: “Oh, steamy!” she calls out before dissolving in laughter. “Get ready, you’re going to have your socks blown right off.” Elliott chimes in, trying to act professional, declaiming, “Shakespeare put language there that is sexually suggestive, and when you see Romeo now as a person who’s been down the road before…” and then trailing off as if he cannot help himself, then trying, and failing, to recover his gravitas. “Look, there will not be two bath tubs

here,” he finally states firmly, referring to the ubiquitous advertising for a chemical aide to male performance. That prompts another outburst of laughter from the two of them, as Claire rolls her eyes and gazes innocently upward. This kind of chemistry is so much better than that other kind.

Inexpensive preview tickets Romeo and Juliet: Love Knows No Age is onstage July 16 to Aug. 9 at Randolph Road Theatre, 4010 Randolph Rd. in Silver Spring, Md. Show times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $18, except for the Saturday 7:30 p.m. shows, which are priced at $25. Tickets for seniors are discounted $2 each. There is a pay-what-you-can preview on Thursday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. (Reserve your ticket in advance, then pay what you wish at the door.) The preview performances on Friday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 18 at 2 p.m. are priced at $10. Student, senior, military, group and subscriber prices are available. Purchase tickets online at or by telephone at 1-800-838-3006. For information and tickets, visit or call (301) 337-8290. The Randolph Road Theatre is wheelchair accessible and has free parking.


July 10+

WWI ONE-WOMAN SHOW The Hello Girls is a 60-minute one-woman show about how U.S. women telephone operators during World War I used portable

switchboards near the battlefields in France to play a key role in the war effort. The show, written and performed by local writer Ellouise Schoettler, will be performed at the Capital Fringe Festival on Friday, July 10 at 6:15 p.m.; Sunday, July 12 at 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 18 at 5:45 p.m.; Tuesday, July 21 at 6:15 p.m. and Sunday, July 26 at 12:15 p.m. The show takes place at the Brookland Artspace Lofts Studio, located at 3305 85th St. NE, Washington, D.C. Seating is limited, but the venue is accessible and air-conditioned. For more information, visit or call or 1-866-811-4111.

July 18

FILM FESTIVAL The annual indoor and outdoor Clifton Film Festival will take place on Saturday, July 18 in the Rizer Pavilion in the Workhouse Arts

Center, 9601 Ox Rd., Lorton, Va. Arrive early and enjoy live music from Dream Disc beginning at 7 p.m. Food, beer, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase beginning at 6 p.m. throughout the evening. The films will begin at 9 p.m. For more information, visit


ART LEAGUE EXHIBIT The City of Gaithersburg presents an exhibit of multimedia works by members of the Maryland Art League at the Kentlands

Mansion, through Friday, July 17. This exhibit displays an array of pastel, acrylic, Habotai silk, Murano glass, collage and photographic images. The mansion is located at 320 Kent Square Rd., Kentlands, Md. Viewing hours are generally Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but due to event scheduling, call the Mansion at (301) 258-6425 prior to your visit to confirm Gallery access. For more information, visit or contact Shellie Williams at (301) 258-6394 or

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Arts & Style

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

New comedy From page 43 years despite the closeness of their lawpartner spouses. When those husbands, played by Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen, announce that they’re in love and want to marry each other, the spurned wives share shock and then the bumpy quest — sometimes comic, sometimes touching — for new lives. Fonda says her character echoes her in some respects. Grace was compelled to settle down with the “right man” and then allowed her spouse to define her, said the thrice-married and divorced Fonda (who at one point observes that most of her male friends are feminists, but “not my exhusbands”). “That’s an important issue to get into for women, because I’m not the only one

Cuckoo for clocks From page 1 The device provides detailed information and precise measurements regarding the timing and beat of a clock. These metrics and diagnostics allow him to properly adjust the cuckoo. For those with a mechanical bent of their own, Lehn sells DVDs he’s prepared

that’s tied myself in pretzels so I wouldn’t be alone,” she said. Fonda and Tomlin said they are boosters as well as pals, showing up to support each other’s causes, including fighting violence against women and aiding adolescents. Both express a fervent desire to protect animals and the environment, and espouse the value of sisterhood for women young and old. In conversation, they show how it works. Fonda compares Tomlin at one point to “this wild, free spirit floating in the cosmos ....I watch her on the set and she just comes up with things from left field. That’s her charm and her brilliance.” “Oh, stop it,” Tomlin said. “I’m too anal,” continued a self-chastising Fonda. “No, you’re not. You’re so good,” her friend replied. — AP

showing how to repair cuckoo clocks, and their music boxes, step by step. Previews of both DVDs are available on YouTube.

Valuable in many ways While there is some dispute regarding the origins of cuckoo clocks, they appear to have originated in Germany’s Black Forest area in the mid-18th century. Most of the cuckoos Lehn works on are German-made Black Forest cuckoo clocks with move-


Real longtime friends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin connect as a pair of mismatched ladies who bond in the new Netflix show "Grace and Frankie."

ments made by Regula and Hubert Herr. One might imagine such antiques are quite valuable. But Lehn avoids estimating the monetary value of any cuckoo clock he sees, and notes that most people value their clocks for personal reasons. “Ninety-percent of the value is related to emotional attachment,” he said. He specifically recalled one customer’s tearful joy after hearing her grandmother’s cuckoo clock sounds for the very first time.

Enjoy a bath again…

“If there is a lot emotional attachment, they want to spend a lot of money on them,” Lehn said. “Once they get out of here, I don’t want them to come back. That means I’ve done my job.” For more about the Cuckoo Clock Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, visit Lehn’s website at or call (703) 256-2684. You can reach him via email at

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the world at your fingertips. From the moment you open the box, you’ll realize how different the WOW Computer is. The components are all connected; all you do is plug it into an outlet and your high-speed Internet connection. Then you’ll see the screen – it’s now 22 inches. This is a completely new touch screen system, without the cluttered look of the normal computer screen. The “buttons” on the screen are easy to see and easy to understand. All you do is touch one of them, from the Web, Email, Calendar to Games– you name it… and a new screen opens up. It’s so easy to use you won’t have to ask your children or grandchildren for help. Until now, the very people who could benefit most from E-mail and the Internet are the ones that have had the hardest time accessing it. Now, thanks to the WOW Computer, countless older Americans are discovering the wonderful world of the Internet every day. Isn’t it time

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Arts & Style

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

I scoffed as a teen, but have seen the light Aches and pains, pains and aches. It’s a they didn’t love. Make that “love twice.” He preached up one side and down the central fact of aging, isn’t it? other about the value of exerAnd it’s oh-so-central to any cise. But tilting back the conversation among oldies of Barcalounger was the extent a certain age: Oh, my feet! of exertion for many of us. Oh, my back! Oh, my neck! And Jack counseled — for Oh, my fill-in-the-blank! decades! — about what would The only thing more prehappen if we didn’t prevent dictable is that oldies will traumatic bashes to our bodsoon follow with a complain-aies. thon about their doctors. No, we couldn’t necessarily But I’m here to praise a family member who’s long HOW I SEE IT prevent car accidents or falls down the stairs. But for me, he dead, but who has proven to By Bob Levey had special words of concern. be very wise. He was my uncle Jack. Jack had been a football star in high Jack never had any aching anythings, to school. Modestly, I have to confess that I my knowledge. He lived a very good, very was one, too. When my age still began healthy life, and he died a quick and pain- with a one, Jack would march right up to me at family gatherings and smack me on less death (heart attack). He never griped about his failing body, one knee, then the other. “When you’re old and gray, your knees or his failing docs. He knew that because his docs never really failed. He didn’t ei- are going to kill you,” he would say. I scoffed. I fancied myself a tough dog ther, for a long time. But one thing that always failed was the who could take the punishment that footfamily members to whom Jack gave ad- ball routinely dishes out. If my knees didn’t hurt during a scrimmage or a game, vice. They failed to listen. Jack would warn them about the perils and they usually didn’t, why would they of calories. But our family kept spooning hurt 50 years later? up dessert. Well, gang, it’s now more than 50 years He warned about what alcohol could do. later, and I am here to give Jack a pat on But many relatives never met a martini the back. He was absolutely right.

The accumulated stress of serving as a teenaged human tackling dummy has begun to add up. I haven’t been tackled in many, many years. But when I hurl myself to the edge of the bed each morning, place my feet on the floor and begin to rise, I can’t help but burble: “Oh, my knees!” Yes, I’ve consulted doctors. They tell me that there’s nothing they can do. “I can’t unplay all those football games from the last century,” said one doc, who really knows how to hurt a guy — his feelings as well as his knees. Yes, I’ve tried salves. They work (sort of) on the surface of a knee. But tackles

leave their calling cards way, way inside a knee. Yes, I’ve tried hot baths. Those work beautifully — for about 15 minutes. And yes, I’ve tried regular, dedicated knee lifts. Those only make the aching worse. I’ve even called the National Football League. Some guy said he’d get back to me with advice. He never did. What a great comfort to know that I’ve ended up in the NFL’s “nut case caller” file! It makes my knees — and my feelings — See BOB LEVEY, page 49


















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35 40











Scrabble answers on p. 47.





















23 26












1. Santa’s subordinate 4. Molten rock 9. Dickens’ characters 14. “More grass, please” 15. Some have “Double Stuf ” 16. She said “I didn’t want to be just another orphan” 17. Holiday or Comfort 18. Quickly forgotten event 20. “Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a ___” (David Ben-Gurion) 22. Expense report category 23. Chip’s partner 24. Barbie’s partner 25. The Belmont Stakes, for example 26. Kite connector 28. Network that hosted “Renovation Realities” 29. Sheets of stamps 30. Fourth base 31. Word repeated in the chorus of the Beatles’ “Nowhere Man” 32. See 39 Across 33. Accrue interest 34. Puckered (or one potential title for this puzzle) 36. “Hey; quiet down” 39. Part of 40. Sculler hauler 41. What buffalo do 42. Liver leavers 45. 1960’s US Attorney General 46. Instrument for June Carter Cash 47. Change for a five 48. Clumsy moron 49. Impacts heartstrings 50. Cherry ___ 52. Zeppelin 55. Low commitment fashion statement 57. “That was a pretty firework” 58. Look away 59. The reindeer, before Rudolph 60. She sheep 61. Tries out a new car 62. Makers of psychedelic shirts 63. Was a witness

1. Arabic prince 2. Like Texas’ star 3. Quickly change one’s plans 4. Home or phone (but not a home phone) 5. Juliet’s metaphor 6. Mannerly man 7. Bon ___ (clever comment) 8. One of the Olsen twins 9. Beaver believer 10. Maraschino, for harmonicas 11. Third of five, by depth 12. Future bride 13. Ridged fabrics 19. Long, long, long, long, long time 21. Daily Planet byline 24. Go away! (or one potential title for this puzzle) 26. However, briefly 27. Palindromic praise 28. Apply sour cream 29. It boils in Hell’s Kitchen 31. Batting average increaser 32. Mangy mutt 34. Third part of UCLA 35. Poison ___ 36. Comfy footwear 37. The ___ (Uris novel) 38. Med. care provider 39. Mousse, maybe 41. Material for Cinderella’s first dress 42. Californian carnivore 43. Head over heels 44. West African currency 45. Force a bill through Congress 46. Overfills a balloon 48. Middle FLOORED 49. Exxon symbol 51. HS students’ stressors 52. Pay to play 53. Part of the Louisiana Purchase 54. “That was a close one” 56. Slippery

Answers on page 47.

Jumbles: ROBIN SHINY ACCEDE UNLIKE Answer: Important when buying an audio system -- A "SOUND" CHECK

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Arts & Style

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Bob Levey From page 47

ONE BIG HAPPY By Rick Detorie

hurt even more. If he were here, Jack would be nodding up a storm about all this. But the one thing he wouldn’t be doing — and never did — was to condemn football. He would regularly observe that there’s a price to be paid for any form of exercise. Late in life, he took up bicycling. It gave him tendinitis. “Football never did that,” he would say. “But I guess there’s a downside to every activity.” Yes, Unk, I guess there is. All those touchdowns were tons of fun. But learning how to eat crow is, too. I would like to announce to the memory of my uncle that he was absolutely right. Football hurts your knees. Football hurts MY knees. I should never have scoffed when I was a teenager. Now, if only there were a salve for ignoring your wise, wise uncle… Bob Levey is a national award-winning columnist.


July 19


The Washington Piano Society’s summer concert with guest artist Audrey Andrist will take place on Sunday, July 19 at 3 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, located at 9545 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md. This free concert will feature Schubert and classics of France, Spain and Russia, from Albeniz to Tchaikovsky. No tickets required. A reception will follow. For more information, visit or call (301) 793-1863.


July 23+

DRAWING AND PAINTING LAB Green Spring Gardens presents a drawing and painting lab on

Thursdays from July 23 to Aug. 13 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Students will explore shape, line, texture and color blending. The class costs $77 for four, two-hour lessons, but students must bring supplies. Green Spring Gardens is located at 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, Va. For more information or to register, visit and use code 290 330 3501 or call (703) 642-5173.

July 9+

WRITING WORKSHOP Vienna Parks and Recreation presents Writing Circles: Destinations, from Thursday, July 9 to Thursday, July 30 from 1 to

3 p.m. Writing Circles use writing prompts and discussion to explore different angles of a common theme. Constructive and supportive feedback from fellow writers help participants deepen and develop their writing. The group looks at the following topics, including Travel, Objectives/Goals, Intent/Purpose, and Endings. The next meeting will take place at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. E, Vienna, Va. The cost is $60 for residents and $75 for non-residents. For more information, call (703) 255-6360.

WB 7/15



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CLASSIFIEDS The Beacon prints classified advertising under the following headings: Business & Employment Opportunities; Caregivers; Computer Services; Entertainment; For Sale; For Sale/Rent: Real Estate; Free; Health; Home/ Handyman Services; Miscellaneous; Personals; Personal Services; Vacation Opportunities; and Wanted. For submission guidelines and deadlines, see the box on page 51. CAVEAT EMPTOR! The Beacon does not knowingly accept obscene, offensive, harmful, or fraudulent advertising. However, we do not investigate any advertisers or their products and cannot accept responsibility for the integrity of either. Respondents to classified advertising should always use caution and their best judgment. EMPLOYMENT & REAL ESTATE ADS: We will not knowingly or intentionally accept advertising in violation of federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, familial status or handicap in connection with employment or the sale or rental of real estate.

Caregivers KIND, DEPENDABLE, EXPERIENCED caregiver for live-out care or live-in care for a flat rate. Hygiene care, Meal preparation, Housekeeping, Errands, Appointments, Medication reminders. Call 301-490-1146. CERTIFIED, LICENSED CAREGIVER for homecare job – honest, reliable and compassionate. Available 7 days per week, nights or day. Rates negotiable. Call Babeth at 240-351-7295. ELDERLY CARE – FEMALE care provider, English speaking, with car. I cook, clean and take to all appointments. I’m experienced in caring for people with MS, Alzheimer’s and other health problems. Excellent references. 301-2757283. COMPANIONSHIP, HOUSEHOLD assistance for seniors. Housekeeping, laundry, cooking, errands. Excellent references. 301-2536470. “A” HOME HEALTH CARE – Experienced nurses, CNA, GNA are available 24/7. Cooking, companionship, personal care, housekeeping, driving. Full/Part-time or live-in. Flat rate for live-in care. 15 years experience. 240-533-6599. I WILL CARE FOR YOUR LOVED ONES night/day. Own transportation. Good references. Lots of experience. 301-502-2258. CHEVY CHASE HOME CARE – reliable certified caregivers at time of illness, infirmity, loneliness. Personal assistance, ALL AGES, 4- to 24-hour shifts, homes, hospitals, nursing homes. MD, DC, No. VA. Tel.: 202-374-1240.

Computer Services PROBLEM WITH YOUR PC/MAC OR NETWORK? Computer Systems Engineer will come to you with help. Call: David G at 301-642-4526.

Entertainment SCHEDULED BUS SERVICE TO HORSESHOE CASINO Baltimore & the Maryland Live! Casino from Northern Virginia. Contact Dulles Tours at 703-592-9905 or visit

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate LEISURE WORLD® – $249,000. 2BR 2FB “E” model in “Villa Cortese.” Table space kitchen plus spacious dining room, enclosed sunroom, close to elevator. 1340 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors. 301-928-3463.

J U L Y 2 0 1 5 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate

Personal Services


LEISURE WORLD® – $269,000. 2BR 2FB “EE” model in “Vantage Point West.” Open floor plan, upgraded kitchen, separate dining room. Spacious enclosed balcony. 1260 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors. 301-928-3463.

READY TO DE-CLUTTER? I can help. Sort, donate, discard. Reasonable rates. Call Jan, 301933-7570.

FINE ANTIQUES, PAINTINGS AND QUALITY VINTAGE FURNISHINGS wanted by a serious, capable buyer. I am very well educated [law degree], knowledgeable [over 40 years in the antique business] and have the finances and wherewithal to handle virtually any situation. If you have a special item, collection or important estate, I would like to hear from you. I pay great prices for great things in all categories from Oriental rugs to Tiffany objects, from rare clocks to firearms, from silver and gold to classic cars. If it is wonderful, I am interested. No phony promises or messy consignments. References gladly furnished. Please call Jake Lenihan, 301-2798834. Thank you.

LEISURE WORLD® – $279,000. 2BR 2FB “FF” model in “Vantage Point East.” Open table space kitchen, separate dining room, enclosed balcony. 1305 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors. 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® – $289,000. 2BR 2FB + DEN + Garage + Storage room. “K” in the “Greens.” New kitchen with granite and stainless, enclosed balcony with golf course view through trees. 1480 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors. 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® – $175,000. 2BR 2FB “J” model in “Greens.” 2BR 2FB “J” in “The Greens,” golf course view from enclosed balcony, new paint and carpet. 1317 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors. 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® – $269,000. 2BR + Den 2FB “K” in “Greens.” Table space kitchen with large pantry/storage, balcony open to living room and both bedrooms. 1480 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors. 301-928-3463. NEWLY RENOVATED BASEMENT APT in cozy Brookland and CUA area. Quiet, safe neighborhood close to Metro, bus line, and local hospitals. $875/month (utilities included). Nonsmoking/no pets allowed. Available immediately! If interested, contact Ms. Habermehl for details at 202-276-4958. LOOKING FOR A QUIET AND FRIENDLY WOMAN between the ages of 55-70 to share my lovely home in a quiet area of Silver Spring, MD. Must be a strict vegetarian, non-smoker and non-drinker. The rent is $600/month including utilities. Call Carol at 301-754-1289 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. LOOKING TO TAKE THE LEAP? I’ll take you on a tour of the community, show you floor plans, discuss campus amenities, & offer how to best coordinate your move. I will preview units & contact you with a match. I also offer exceptional service selling your home. I’m a Seniors Specialist, Buyer Broker, Top 1% of Agents Nationwide, and a Leisure World resident! You can see my current listings on page 14. Contact me: 301-580-5556,,, Weichert, Realtors. RENT IN LEISURE WORLD – A LOVELY 2BR 2FB + enclosed sunroom + carport + storage. Open floor plan, including updated kitchen with granite counters, newer cabinets, stainless steel appliances, laminate flooring in living/dining/kitchen and hallway. No smoking/no pets. Available July 2015. Call 301-346-0047.

For Sale 2 SALVADOR DALI woodblock prints from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Signed and framed. Asking $900 for the pair. Can email pictures if desired. Call Steve, 410-913-1653.

Home/Handyman Services BILL’S LIGHT HAULING. Garage, basement, attic cleanouts. Junk to the dump, yard debris, storm damage, etc. No job too small. Call Bill, 240-876-1206.

Miscellaneous THE GOLDEN NETWORK offers Jewish seniors and retirees a variety of engaging programs, including lectures, classes, one-on-one learning in person and by phone, concerts, sing-alongs and more! For more information and details about upcoming events, call 301-338-4810, email, or see

Personals HUSBAND OF BRAIN-INJURED WOMAN seeks Long-Term Relation with Marriage in Mind. In my late 60s, DC area, active and fit, gentleman. Wife in accident 2 years ago with major brain injury, mental and physical abilities poor, no communication or companionship. Relation reduced to caregiver. No immediate divorce now, but want relation with good lady. Marriage likely. Race irrelevant. Please contact Paul at

INSTRUMENTAL IN-HOME MUSIC LESSONS in piano, flute, saxophone and clarinet from professional musician and pedagogue. Lessons carefully designed and implemented according to each student’s individual level and interest. Students of all ages from beginning to advanced level are especially welcome. Please call Dilyana at 202-352-4430 or email VAN MAN – For your driving needs. Shopping, appointments, pick-up and deliver – airport van. Call Mike, 301-565-4051. VIRGINIA PARIS SHUTTLE – PICK UP & DELIVERY service. If you need boxes, small furniture, appliances, packages or other items delivered to you or to another location, call Mr. Penn, 703-896-2545. “Spring Cleaning Time.” CHERYL’S ORGANIZING CONCEPTS LLC – Professional Organizing Services. Help with all aspects of home organizing. Experienced – References – Member NAPO. All work confidential. Licensed – Bonded. $25 discount on initial appointment. 301-916-9022. WILL TYPE YOUR MEMOIRS, manuscripts, etc. For info and rates, call 703-671-1854. RESPONSIBLE, KIND, CARING LADY will run errands, take to appointments and companionship. 301-943-7430.

Wanted WE BUY JEWELRY, SILVER, GOLD, AND COSTUME. Coins, Paper Money Too. Watches, Clocks, Military Badges and Patches Old and New. Call Greg, 717-658-7954. OLD AND NEW, WE BUY STERLING SILVER FLATWARE, Tea Sets, Single Pieces of Silver, Large pieces of Silver Plate. Attic, Basement or Garage. Call Greg, 717-658-7954. You have something to SELL, we are looking to BUY. WANTED: OLDER VIOLINS, Guitars, Banjos, Mandolins, etc. Musician/collector will pay cash for older string instruments. Jack, 301279-2158. CASH FOR RECORDS & CDs. BEST PRICE GUARANTEED. Free appraisals. All types of music, 33, 45, 78 & CDs. Call Steve 301646-5403. Will make house calls. STERLING SILVER... TOP DOLLAR paid for silver marked “Sterling,” “925” or “800.” Want flatware, bowls, plates, candlesticks, etc. Please, no silver plate. Call Richard, 301-646-0101. BUYING MILITARY MEMORABILIA WW2, WW1, Civil War uniforms, weapons, photos and items associated with US, German, Japanese or items of other Military History. DAVE, 240-4640958. HIGHEST CASH PAID FOR ANTIQUES, JEWELRY, ESTATES. I have been advertising in the Beacon for 20 years. Montgomery County resident – will travel to D.C., MD, VA. Buying following items: Furniture, art, jewelry, gold, sterling silver, old coins, vintage pocket and wrist watches, old tools, books, camera, military items – guns, rifles, knives, pocket knives, swords etc. Also buying: old toys, dolls, trains, comic books, photographs, autographs, musical instruments, guitars, violins, etc. Also old sports memorabilia and equipment – baseball, golf, football, fishing etc. Please call Tom at 240-4763441. MILITARY ITEMS WANTED: Collector seeks to purchase military uniforms; flight jackets, patches, insignia, medals, etc. from the Civil War through Vietnam. Especially seeking U.S. Army Air Corps, USMC, Airborne, and German/Japanese/Italian items from WWII. ALSO BUYING old Boy Scout, Airline Items, Toys, Lighters. Call Dan, 202-841-3062. CASH FOR JEWELRY: Buying jewelry, diamonds, gold, platinum, silver, watches, coins, flatware, etc. We make house calls. Ask for Tom. Call anytime 301-654-8678 or 301-654-0838. STAMP COLLECTIONS, AUTOGRAPHS purchased/appraised – U.S., worldwide, covers, paper memorabilia. Stamps are my specialty – highest price paid! Appraisals. Phone Alex, 301309-3622.

CASH FOR ESTATE BUYOUTS, estate clean-outs, jewelry to furniture, one item or whole state. Free Estimate, Will Travel. 301520-0755. COLLECTOR BUYING MILITARY ITEMS: Helmets, weapons, rifles, shot guns, knives, swords, bayonets, web gear, uniforms, etc. from all wars and countries. Large quantities are okay. Will pay top prices for my personal collection. Discreet consultations. Call Fred, 301-9100783. VINYL RECORDS WANTED from 1950 through 1985. Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Disco. 33 1/3 LPs, 45s or 78s, Larger collections of at least 100 items wanted. Please call John, 301-596-6201. WE PAY CASH for antique furniture, quality used furniture, early American art, pottery, silver, glassware, paintings, etc. Single items to entire estates. Call Reggie or Phyllis at DC 202726-4427, MD 301-332-4697. LADY WHO LOVES DISHES and figurines wants to buy yours. Especially Royal Copenhagen, Deco Noritake, Limoges, Herend and English bone china. Do you have a collection of cup and saucers, dog and cat figurines, Royal Doulton ladies or salt and pepper shakers? Also mid-century Scandinavian ceramics and glass, Asian items, silver, paintings and costume jewelry. Anything else old and interesting, please call me. 301-785-1129. OLD PHOTOS. 19TH CENTURY and early 20th century. Stereo views (double photos on cards). Daguerreotypes. Photos in brown cases. Other photos in brown cases. Other photos on cards. I’m in downtown Silver Spring. Call Bruce, 301-767-5249.




Northwest Neighbors Village hosts line dancing for those 60 and over every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon in the Multipurpose Room on the 2nd floor of Chevy Chase Community Center, located at 5601 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. For more information or to register, visit

Aug. 1


Montgomery County Master Gardeners present Grow It, Eat It, an open house, on Saturday, Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Extension office at Agricultural History Farm Park, 18410 Muncaster Rd., Derwood, Md. Many parts of the event are free, but donations are encouraged. Take a class, visit the demonstration garden, meet with Master Gardener consultants to discuss your gardening plans, attend demonstrations, learn how to care for your gardening tools and more. For more information or to register, visit or email

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J U L Y 2 0 1 5

Say you saw it in the Beacon


July 14



The State Health Insurance Assistant Program (SHIP) presents a free information session on Medicare for Montgomery County residents on Tuesday, July 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Rockville Senior Center, located at 1150 Carnation Dr., Rockville, Md. Topics include, signing up for Medicare, working and Medicare, and terminology. For more information, visit or call (301) 590-2819.




The Maryland Senior Olympics runs from Saturday, Aug. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 27 in Montgomery County, Baltimore City and County, and Howard, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Frederick and Queen Anne’s counties. The games feature over 140 events in 22 sports, including non-qualifying billiards, bocce, croquet, disc golf, lawn bowling and pickleball. Several new events debut this year. Participants must be 50 or older. Maryland is open to outof-state athletes. Registration deadline is two weeks prior to the chosen event. For more information, visit or call (240) 777-4930.

Deadlines and Payments: Ad text and payment is due by the 20th of each month. Note: Only ads received and prepaid by the deadline will be included in the next month’s issue. Please type or print your ad carefully. Include a number where you can be reached in the event of a question. Payment is due with ad. We do not accept ads by phone or fax, nor do we accept credit cards. Private Party Text Ads: For individuals seeking to buy or sell particular items, or place a personal ad. Each ad is $15 for 25 words, 25 cents for each additional word. Business Text Ads: For parties engaged in an ongoing business enterprise. Each ad is $35 for 25 words, 50 cents for each additional word. Note: Each real estate listing counts as one business text ad. Send your classified ad with check or money order, payable to the Beacon, to:

The Beacon, D.C. Classified Dept. P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227 For information about display advertising, or to request a media kit, call (301) 949-9766.

ADVERTISERS IN THIS ISSUE Clinical Research Studies Diabetes Clinical Study . . . . . . . .18 High Cholesterol Study . . . . . . . .19 IDEAL Healthy Aging Study . . . . .19 Major Depressive Disorder Study .18

Computer Classes JCA SeniorTech . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-7

Dental Services Friedman, Stephen, DDS . . . . . . .20 Oh, Judy DDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

Events Beacon 50+Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

Financial Services Capital Trusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Children’s National . . . . . . . . . . .33 Jefferson Mortgage Group, LLC B-9

Funeral Services Fram Monuments . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Going Home Cremation . . . . . . . .34

Government Services DC Office on Aging . . . . . . . .25-28 Montgomery County Aging and Disability Services . . . . . . . . . .17 Montgomery County Information & Services/311 . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Public Service Commission of DC .30

Hearing Services Auditory Services, Inc . . . . . . . . .18 Family Hearing Services . . . . . . .11 Sound Hearing Centers . . . . . . . .14

Home Health Care Best Senior Care . . . . . . . . . . . .B-2 Elder Caring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Liv Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Options for Senior America . . . . .39

Housing Arbor Terrace of Herndon . . . . .B-8 Arden Courts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Ashby Ponds/Erickson B-5, B-10, 48 Brooke Grove Retirement Village . .B-5, B-6, B-9 Charter House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Chesterbrook Residences . .B-8, B-12 Churchill Senior Living . . . . . . . .39 Covenant Village . . . . . . . . . . . .B-4 Culpepper Garden . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Emerson House . . . . . . . . . . . .B-12 Fairfax, The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-5 Falcons Landing . . . . . . . .B-9, B-20 Friendship Terrace . . . . . .B-3, B-14 Great Falls Assisted Living . .B-7, B-12 Greenspring/Erickson .B-10, B-16, 48 Homecrest House . . . . . .B-17, B-18 Knollwood Military Retirement Community . .B-7, B-16 Olney Assisted Living . . .B-5, B-10 Park View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Potomac Place . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-15 Quantum Property Management . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-17 Residences at Thomas Circle, The . . . .B-9, B-13 Riderwood/Erickson .B-10, B-14, 48 Ring House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Solana of Olney, The . . . . . . . .B-15 Sommerset Retirement Community . . . . . . . . . .B-3, B-18 Springvale Terrace . . . . . .B-4, B-12

Tall Oaks Assisted Living B-4, B-19 Tysons Towers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-7 Village at Rockville, The . . . . .B-19 Vinson Hall Retirement Community . . . . . . . . .B-15, B-16 Virginian, The . . . . . . . . . .B-14, 52 Waltonwood . . . . . . . . . . .B-2, B-18

Housing Referral Service

Retail/Pawn/Auction Four Sales LTD . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Jacuzzi Walk-In Tub . . . . . . . . . . .45 Quinn’s Auction Galleries . . . . . .12 Perfect Sleep Chair . . . . . . . . . . .47 Second Time Around Book . . . . . .8 WOW! Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation

Care Patrol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-3

Legal Services Eleff Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Law Firm of Evan Farr . . . . . . . . .31 Law Offices of Paul Riekhof . . . .32 Legal Counsel for the Elderly . . .11

Medical/Health Cologuard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Dupont Gynecology . . . . . . . . . . .24 Holy Cross Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Medical Eye Center . . . . . . . . . . .23 Stem Cell Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Rite Aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Real Estate Services Long & Foster/Eric Stewart . . . . .35 Long & Foster/Inderjeet Jumani . . .16 Weichert/Douglas Brasse . . . . . . .31 Weichert/Sue Heyman . . . . . . . . .14

Restaurants Original Pancake House . . . . . . . . .9 Wrap2Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

Communicare Health . . . . . . . . . .20 Health South Rehab Hospital . . . .19 Manor Care Health Services . . . .15 Village at Rockville . . . . . . . . . . .23

Subscriptions Beacon Subscription . . . . . . . . . .49 Washington Jewish Week . . . . . . .38

Theatre/ Entertainment American Century Theater . . . . . .43 Toby’s Dinner Theatre . . . . . . . . .42 US Navy Memorial . . . . . . . . . . .42 Washington Ballet . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Wolftrap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

Tour & Travel Eyre Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Festive Holidays . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Tripper Bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Vamoose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

Utilities DC Utility Discounts . . . . . . . . . .24 Pepco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16, 21 Verizon DC Lifeline Program . . .32


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Profile for The Beacon Newspapers

July 2015 | DC Beacon  

July 2015 | DC Beacon Edition

July 2015 | DC Beacon  

July 2015 | DC Beacon Edition