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VOL.25, NO.12

From disabilities to art abilities PHOTO COURTESY OF IONA SENIOR SERVICES

By Barbara Ruben Great art has often been associated to some degree with artists stalked by psychological conditions and other impairments. Vincent van Gogh, whose works are currently being displayed at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., is probably one of the first examples to come to mind. So might it also be true that older adults with Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury or stroke might be able to communicate better via art than words? The answer, at least in some cases, appears to be yes, as evidenced by another exhibit now at the Phillips Collection, called “Art and Wellness: Creative Aging.” It showcases work by participants in an art therapy program jointly sponsored by the Phillips, the 92-year-old Dupont Circle museum, and Iona Senior Services, a D.C.based nonprofit that provides a wide variety of services to adults 60 and over. After viewing the work of Impressionist and modern art luminaries such as Mark Rothko, Paul Klee, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Georgia O’Keeffe, visitors to the Phillips can enter the gallery featuring works by Sidney Weintraub, Penelope Niland and 30 other area seniors. Some of them are coping with serious health challenges that leave them grappling for words and turn once-familiar terrain into a thicket of confusion. But when they begin to paint or draw, a kind of transformation takes place. A memory emerges or the soothing rhythm of sketching smoothes the edges of agitation and confusion. Larry (who, like some of the participants, asked that his last name not be used) summed up his return to art, a former hobby of his, simply. “It’s magic,” he said. And that’s exactly the response Brooke Rosenblatt, who works with the program at the Phillips, is hoping for. “The motivation for us to start this program really begins with the philosophical underpinnings of the museum,” she said. “Duncan Phillips founded it in 1921 after the sudden deaths of his father and brother. He believed strongly that art can impact wellbeing. He said that art helped give him the will to live.

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LEISURE & TRAVEL

Georgia is known for peanuts, presidents and prisoners; plus, gifts for travelers, and what travel insurance to buy page 25

ARTS & STYLE

Susan Meyers works on an art project in the art therapy program at Iona Senior Services. She is “deconstructing” an earlier work to turn it into something new. An exhibit now at the Phillips Collection features artwork by Meyers and 30 other older adults in the program, all of whom have challenges due to Alzheimer’s, stroke and other conditions. Says Meyers, “This is my home. The art is my home.”

“So this theme of creativity and wellness is part of our DNA, you might say,” said Rosenblatt, the museum’s manager of public programs and in-gallery interpretation. This is the second year the Phillips has collaborated with Iona on the exhibit. Last year’s enthusiastic response by participants, their families and museum visitors helped spur the Phillips to expand the exhibit’s showing from one month to two. The current exhibit can be seen through Jan. 5.

Bringing back memories In the grant-funded program, the Iona participants visit the Phillips once every other month to look at and discuss several pieces of art.

The next month, they go to Iona’s art studio in Northwest Washington to make their own creations, interpreting what they saw at the museum through the prism of their own experiences and creativity. Thus, a 1922 oil painting of mountains, river and a brooding sky by American artist Rockwell Kent, is replicated in near perfect detail by one artist using watercolors, while another made a more abstract drawing of the scene. “I think I have seen a place like this. I had the good fortune to fly with the U.S. Air Force, so I got to see a lot of places,” said Irving, painter of the realistic version. See CREATIVE AGING, page 60

Highlights of local festive holiday productions; plus, Bob Levey on late-life love page 55

FITNESS & HEALTH 4 k Pros and cons of preservatives k Take charge of your migraines SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors

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LAW & MONEY 35 k Profit from the oil and gas boom k Foreign funds are on fire CAREERS & VOLUNTEERS 43 LIFETIMES 47 k News from the Charles E. Smith Life Communities PLUS CROSSWORD, BEACON BITS, CLASSIFIEDS & MORE


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Imperfect harmony You know how it is that sometimes the same service cannot carry a tune. I something very ordinary strikes you as have learned to tune out his near misses on those occasions when he meaningful in a new way? chooses to sing along. For example, I attend SabBut this new fellow was difbath services every week at a ferent. He didn’t have any trousynagogue near my home. ble keeping to his key. He was There are a number of places dead on — just in a different in the service where everykey from everyone else, and it one is expected to sing along or sing in response. wasn’t a key that harmonized. Normally, at these times, I He even had a nice voice. hear mostly my own voice in He probably was well aware my head. But if I stop singing of that, too, as he continued and listen for a moment, I can FROM THE to sing quite loudly and clearhear the whole room singing PUBLISHER ly in his own personal key, as if it were a symphony. By Stuart P. Rosenthal every single note clashing There are the lady sopraagainst the others in the nos (with a diva or two), some altos, the room, grating on my nerves. male tenors and baritones, an occasional In the sanctuary as a whole, his dissobass. All blend, usually, into a nice, rich nance was probably negligible. In fact, I tone, at least when the tune being led is a may have been the only person aware of it. familiar one. For some reason, though, it continued to But the other day, I was aware not of a occupy me long after the song was over. symphony, but of a cacophony. A fellow sit- (Yes, I daydream in synagogue. Sometimes.) So I kept thinking: Why did this fellow, ting near me, apparently a visitor or newcomer, had begun to sing loudly right at who evidently was quite musical, not realize the start of the song — but at a note or two that he was out of sync with everyone else? lower than the leader and, to my mind, the Or did he realize it and not care? Was he, perhaps, trying to make a statement? rest of us in the room. Now, I happen to be used to the fact that Did he think that, somehow, he was a different gentleman who often attends singing in the “right key” and everyone

else was wrong? Was he listening so intently to his own voice that he remained truly unaware of the dissonance he was causing? Or did he view the clashing notes as a problem created by others, not himself? I have no idea who the fellow was or what, if anything, he was thinking. But I couldn’t help but see the whole experience as a metaphor of sorts — for human differences in personality, political beliefs, lifestyles and the like. Most of us are content to play our role in society and to focus for the most part on ourselves, with some secondary attention to those around us and to society as a whole. We prefer to do the work, or sing the part, that comes most naturally to us. (Perhaps that’s because when we must strain to reach beyond our register, our voices become “falsetto.”) Then there are some whose song/personality/belief is a bit different. It sounds to the rest of us like it’s off-key, or as if those people can’t carry the tune the way most of us can. But they’re singing along just the same, eager to participate in their way, and we generally respect that. But it can be harder to deal with those who, knowingly and unabashedly, insist on singing loudly in a different key altogether — a key, in fact, that creates dissonance

with the song the vast majority of us sing. Now, it’s interesting to realize that, were we to listen to this other song on its own, we might well think it is a perfectly fine song, as melodic as any other. It only produces dissonance when it’s sung a half-tone or so differently from the song others sing. (After all, it takes two to make a dissonance.) If yet more people start to pick up the same “off” melody, the resulting “dischord” can grow even more noticeable for awhile. But in some cases, so many others adopt the new melody that it can supercede the first one. We hear a lot nowadays about our diversity in culture, our conflicting political parties, and the split in opinions that deeply divide us. These are not subtle differences, and they can tear apart a family, an institution, even a government. Yet, on some level, we are all just trying to sing our song — sometimes following the notes, sometimes riffing on the melody, other times purposely belting out something completely different. It’s all just part of what it means to be a free human being, a member of the chorus, each with our own unique voice.

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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 • Graphic Designer ..............................Kyle Gregory • Assistant Operations Manager ..........Roger King • Advertising Representatives ........Doug Hallock, ................................................Dan Kelly, Cheryl Watts • Publishing Assistant ....................Rebekah Sewell

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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 barbara@thebeaconnewspapers.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: I read Victor Block’s article on Myrtle Beach in the August issue. I followed in his footsteps and stayed at Island Vista. It was an excellent place to stay, both in terms of price and quality. Amit Singh Alexandria, Va. Dear Editor: I just turned 50 in August and have returned from a tour overseas (I work for the Dept. of Defense). I was deeply moved by your article concerning how the opera Lost Childhood came to be (“Cousins debut Holocaust opera,” November). I served in Germany and there is a theater in Wiesbaden, Germany called the Amelia Earhart (as well as the English Theater in Frankfurt) which would love to have this amazing opera perform there. I would like to help in any way possible. I prayed a lot and hoped that the two inspiring men, who lived through such horrors, were able to attend. I read the article two days after the opera! Thank you for such an incredible magazine. I look forward to becoming a regular reader. Marisol Marengo via email

Dear Editor: While many of us have chosen to believe that the tragedy of the WW II Holocaust against European Jews during — and after — WW II is rich in history and is therefore worthy of an operatic setting, there are many of us who believe that despite its recognition, it must first be put into perspective. As with any human tragedy of this magnitude, bluntly, there is nothing to be learned by extensive, retrospective study. We simply, collectively, “let it happen,” even as the United States recounted its attitudes during and after WW II, establishing quotas for immigration, graduate school policy and “security” measures in employment. Particularly offensive are historical notes pertaining to the artistry of Richard Wagner of the previous century whose music Hitler “respected” because of its supposed anti-Semitic overtones. The musical journey of Lost Childhood as portrayed by its producer is about two cultures that “are in conflict,” as stated, learning to listen to each other’s narratives. These are glossy words, perhaps beSee LETTERS TO EDITOR, page 56


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We wish to thank our 2013 Beacon and Resource Guide advertisers and 50+Expo exhibitors for the products and services they provide to older adults and for utilizing the Beacon to reach them. 20/20 Gene Systems, Inc 4 More Travel A First Class Move A & A Hearing Group A&A Hearing Group AAA Mid-Atlantic AARP Maryland AARP Virginia Abbvie Pharmaceuticals Adventist Home Care Services Advocate 360 LLC Alan J. Nuta, Attorney At Law Alfred House Elder Care, Inc. All Pet Crematory Alliance Francaise Alzheimer's Walk American Cabinet Refacers Ameriprise Financial Services ampf.com Angels of Care Apsenwood Arden Courts Arlington Aging & Disability Services Arlington County Fire Department Arlington County Office of Senior Adult Programs Arlington County Sherriffs Office Arlington Police Arthur C. Hamm & Associates Inc. At Home Care, Inc. Auditory Services, Inc. Azman Eye B'nai B'rith Homecrest House Bauer Park Apartments Bayada Home Health Care Beckham Publications Group Beltone Hearing Beltway Movers Belvoir Enlisted Spouses' Club Best Senior Care Beth Shalom Congregation Biomet Mid-Altantic Boone & Sons, Jewelers Brace Kennedy BrightStar Care Broadmead Brookdale/Solana of Olney Brooke Grove Foundation Brookeville House Assisted Living Burke Internal Medicine, Inc. Capital Digestive Care Capital Remodeling Care For You, Inc Care Givers Home Health Services CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Carol Shifter, Esq. Centenarians Luncheon CeralsoliStafford Media Management Chabad of Chevy Chase Chancellors Village Charles E. Smith Life Communities Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Chesterbrook Residences, Inc. Chevy Chase House Children's National MC Churchill Senior Living City of Fairfax Classic Cottages, LLC Clear Choice Management Services College Manor Collington Colonial Opticians Columbia Lighthouse For The Blind Comfort Keepers Community Radiology Associates Congressional Bank Council House Country Gardens Assisted Living Country Meadows Culpeper Baptist Retirement Home Culpepper Garden Custom Senior Living Search CVS/pharmacy

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Health Fitness &

TAKE CHARGE OF MIGRAINES Consider seeing a headache specialist or neurologist and keep a diary NEEDY CAREGIVERS More help is needed for family caregivers of those with dementia REDUCE STROKE RISK Lose weight, drink less alcohol and consume less sodium to cut stroke risk SCREENINGS OVERDONE Whole-body CT scans and some other tests can do more harm than good

Preservatives: How much is too much? By Sharon Palmer, R.D. “Natural” foods, free of preservatives, continue to trend. But is avoiding preservatives really necessary? If you keep a loaf of homemade bread on the counter for a few days, the telltale signs of spoilage begin: mold, discoloration and an off taste. The same thing will happen if you leave most perishable food products — such as cooked vegetables, meat or eggs — at room temperature for too long. Bacteria, microorganisms and enzymes begin to do their job by essentially “feeding” on the food, resulting in decay. That’s why food companies add preservatives to foods — to extend shelf life, maintain high quality and prevent spoilage. Before the advent of modern chemical preservatives used by the food industry, such as sodium benzoate and sulfites, our ancestors used other means of preservation, like drying foods and adding salt. We know that too much salt in preserved foods isn’t good for us, but what about synthetic preservatives? While many preservatives appear to be

safe and perform an important function in our food system, some of them may be of concern.

Many benefits of preservatives Many of our modern preservatives were introduced in the 1970s. “Before then, you couldn’t leave foods out at room temperature for long,” said Roger Clemens, internationally recognized food science expert and professor of pharmacology at the University of Southern California. “The addition of preservatives has changed our behavior on how we store and use food.” Now we have the ability to purchase larger amounts of foods less often, and fewer foods need to be refrigerated. Chemical preservatives function to preserve food in many ways, including preventing the growth of microorganisms, reducing moisture content, increasing acidity, preventing the natural ripening process, and acting as an antioxidant. The biggest advantage of using preservatives is lowering food waste. “We’re losing up to 50 percent of our food supply around the world due to food waste,” said

Clemens. “We’re in a bit of a conundrum; we want healthy food that will last a long time, but if you don’t put preservatives in it, you lose food due to spoilage.” Preservatives also can help protect our health by decreasing the risk of foodborne illness caused by microorganisms in food. They also play a role in lowering oxidation in the body, which may occur as a result of ingredients in foods that become oxidized (or rancid). Oxidized compounds in food products can promote the formation of free radicals in the body, which produce oxidative stress. It’s well known that oxidative stress is linked with the development of diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Questions raised on some The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for ensuring the safety of foods, but is not required to review preservatives currently in use that are considered “generally recognized as safe.” Many food preservatives appear to be completely safe, including alpha tocopher-

al (vitamin E), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), calcium propionate, nisin, tartaric acid and TBHQ. On the other hand, several food additives have been banned, because — after many years of use — they’ve been deemed unsafe. Others have been called into question because of potential carcinogen or allergen risks. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI) has petitioned the FDA to reevaluate the safety of some food additives. Clemens reports that the FDA hasn’t made a move on this issue yet. The following additives have been questioned regarding their safety, according to CSPI: 1. BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers this chemical to be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” 2. Propyl Gallate. Animal studies suggest that this preservative might promote cancer, however additional research is needed. 3. Sodium Nitrite/Nitrate. These are used See PRESERVATIVES, page 5

Where you live affects what meds you get By Lauran Neergaard Where seniors live makes a difference not only in how much healthcare they receive but also the medications they’re prescribed — as some miss out on key treatments while others get risky ones, new research shows. More than 1 in 4 patients on Medicare’s prescription drug plan filled at least one prescription for medications long deemed high-risk for seniors, according to a study released by the Dartmouth Atlas Project. Seniors who live in Alexandria, La., were more than three times as likely as those in Rochester, Minn., to receive those potentially harmful drugs — which include muscle relaxants and anxiety relievers that can cause excessive sedation, falls, and other problems in older adults. On the flip side, far more seniors who survived a heart attack were filling prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs in Ogden, Utah, than in Abilene, Texas — 91 percent compared to just 44 percent, the study found.

The spread was lower around our geographic area, but still noticeable. In Arlington, Va., 86 percent filled these prescriptions, while 78 percent got the statins in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. That’s even though statins are proven to reduce those patients’ risk of another heart attack. Even more surprising, the study found just 14 percent of seniors who’ve broken a bone because of osteoporosis were receiving proven medications to guard against another fracture — ranging from 7 percent of those patients in Newark, N.J., to 28 percent in Honolulu. In Baltimore, 17 percent got the drugs, while just 12 percent took them in Washington, D.C. and 15 percent in Arlington, Va. “There’s no good reason” for that variation, said lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Munson, an assistant professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

More isn’t necessarily better Researchers with the Dartmouth Atlas

have long shown that the type and amount of healthcare that people receive varies widely around the country, and that those who live where Medicare spends more don’t get better quality care. The newest report examined 2010 prescription data from the 37 million patients who get drug coverage under Medicare Part D, and found even more of a mixed picture when it comes to seniors’ medications. For example, patients in the South were more likely to fill prescriptions for riskier medications, but less likely than those in other regions to get the long-recommended treatments for heart and bone conditions. The average Part D patient filled 49 month-long prescriptions — either new ones or refills — in 2010. But the study suggests doctors in some areas prescribe more readily. The highest number of prescriptions filled was in Miami — 63 — and the lowest in Grand Junction, Colo., 39. In Washington, D.C., Arlington, Va. and Baltimore, the number was 46. Overall, patients in regions where

Medicare Part D spent more on medications weren’t more likely to receive the most effective medications, the study found. Yes, seniors who are sicker will use more medications, but the general health of a region’s Medicare population explains less than a third of the variation, the researchers concluded. Patients don’t always fill their prescriptions, because of cost or fear of side effects or myriad other reasons — something this study couldn’t measure. It also didn’t examine differences in benefits between cheaper and more expensive Part D plans.

Docs don’t follow guidelines But if doctors were following guidelines on best medication practices, there would be far less variation around the country, Munson said. Doctors “really need to ask themselves, ‘Is there a good reason why my patients are getting less effective care than patients See WHERE YOU LIVE, page 6


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Of greater concern may be the sheer amount of preservatives we’re getting. Many health experts fear that with our increasing intake of highly processed foods, we’re inadvertently upping our intake of these additives. According to Clemens, when you consume too many foods with preservatives, it may cause problems (as is true for most things in our diets) Ironically, problems can also be caused by using too little preservatives. A 2010 study by Swedish researchers found that when a small amount of a common preservative was added to different types of pork meat, it increased the amount of toxins produced by the bacteria in food. The toxins from food microorganisms are generally responsible for making you sick when you acquire a food-borne illness. The scientists reported that the preservatives may cause the bacteria to become

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as preservatives in processed meats, linked to increased cancer and heart disease risk. 4. Sodium Benzoate. While these chemicals appear to be safe for most people, some report severe allergic reactions. 5. Sulfites. Though sulfites appear safe for non-sensitive people, they can cause severe allergies in some.

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stressed, which means they produce more toxins. However, when a larger amount of preservative was added, the bacteria did not survive. The solution to eating a healthful diet seems clear. “Eating less packaged food is ultimately the solution,” said Gerri French, nutrition educator at Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara, Calif. “Enjoy more fresh foods, including [those with] healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds and quality oils, and eat less [processed] food products. “Eat more dried fruit and nuts rather than nutrition bars; plain yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit rather than ‘fruit-flavored’ yogurts; milk in coffee rather than artificial creamer.” When you do use packaged foods, avoid the preservatives that are of the greatest concern. “Read the ingredients on food labels in the foods that you frequently use,” French said. “The next time you shop for those foods, look for a substitute that does not contain the ingredient you’d like to avoid. There might be refrigerator options with fewer food additives for products like bottled salad dressings.” Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 1-800-8295384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com. © 2013 Belvoir Media Group. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Suffering migraines? How to take charge A panel of leading headache specialists recently convened to identify specific steps migraine patients can take to better communicate with their healthcare providers

and obtain a successful treatment program. Effective physician/patient communication is increasingly important given today’s time constraints for office visits and the va-

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Take these 10 steps 1. Seek help. Be a self-advocate. You owe it to yourself. Let go of the biases and guilt. There’s no need for you to endure headache pain. Understand that migraine is a disease that deserves the same attention and care as any health condition. 2. Educate yourself about migraines so you’ll know what to communicate to a physician. Attend support groups and join resource organizations such as the National Headache Foundation (NHF); 1-888-NHF-5552. Pay attention to newspaper, magazine, TV and radio coverage of migraine, and ask your physician about what you’ve seen or heard. 3. Visit a doctor specifically about your headaches. Search for a physician who’s interested in treating headaches and make an appointment to discuss your migraines. Find out if your primary care physician (family physician, internist or OB/GYN) treats migraine. Consider seeing a headache specialist or neurologist. Call the NHF for a state-by-state list of member physicians. 4. Prepare for a dialogue with your physician. Keep a headache diary. Be organized, specific, direct and ready to talk details. Be prepared to provide information on your headache history and general medical history. Track your attacks and

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From page 4 in the other regions,’” he said. He urged patients to ask more questions, too: Why is this medicine being prescribed? What are the pros and cons? Is there something else I should consider taking?

how you treat them. Note the date, length of each migraine, severity, symptoms, triggers and impact on your life (i.e., how many days lost from work, how many family/social activities missed). Track medication taken, when, for how long, and effectiveness in relieving pain and symptoms. Get to know your migraine patterns and triggers so you feel more “in control.” 5. Have reasonable expectations about treatment. Understand that there’s no cure for migraine, but the disease can be managed with an effective treatment program. Be patient and give treatment time to work. Realize that treatment success will ebb and flow. Be willing to listen to your physician. Be flexible, open-minded and prepared to modify your treatment as necessary. 6. Be honest about all current medications and other medical conditions. Tell your doctor about all your current therapies, including prescription, over-thecounter and natural remedies (because certain medications interfere with each other). Share any psychological history or “emotional disturbances” and medications you take for those conditions now or in the past. 7. Focus on solutions. Be positive. Don’t blame yourself; headaches are not your fault. Focus on finding the best treatSee MIGRAINES, page 7

The Dartmouth Atlas, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, studies health trends using Medicare data. Similar figures aren’t readily available for the general population. For more information from the Dartmouth Atlas, see www.dartmouthatlas.org. — AP


WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Health Shorts Communicating when you can’t talk A range of problems, from stroke to dementia, can hamper speech. Add the stress of being in the hospital, and communication can be nearly impossible. Boards with pictures and phrases can

Migraines From page 6 ment options by working with your physician to find solutions. 8. Ask for detailed instructions for taking medication — and follow them. Ask for specific instructions on taking prescribed medication — how often, with meals or on an empty stomach, what to do if a dose is missed, side effects, and what to do if pain and symptoms persist. 9. Partner with your physician for treatment success. Enter into a partnership with your physician and bridge the communication gap. See your physician on a regular basis and develop a relationship. Treatment is a process that works better

help patients get across their message without speaking a word. They can be downloaded in paper form from several websites for free. The pages can be laminated or placed in sheet protectors. “The use of images with medical personnel and family can help people understand and remember what is said to them. I have been to many emergency rooms and hospitals and am usually surprised that more isn’t done to help patients communicate. Everyone is [so] busy focusing on medical needs, that the communication needs of individuals are often overlooked,” according to Joan Green, a speech therapist in Potomac, Md. with in-person visits. 10. Follow-up regularly with your physician. Your treatment program will only be as good as the time you invest. Schedule a follow-up appointment as you conclude each physician visit. Physicians say three months is usually a reasonable time period to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment program. Source: National Headache Foundation, headaches.org. From WhatDoctorsKnow, a magazine devoted to information on health issues from physicians, major hospitals and clinics, universities and healthcare agencies. Online at www.whatdoctorsknow.com. ©2013 Whatdoctorsknow.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

One of the downloadable communication boards for use in the hospital states “I need help with something…” at the top, and includes 30 simple drawings — from “sit in chair” to “nurse call button” to “clean glasses.” Another says “This is how I feel…” with such choices as “sore throat” and “too hot.” To download these and other free boards, go to www.amyspeechlanguagetherapy.com/communication-boards.html. Another resource are the “cue cards” created by Eastern Health. They can also be downloaded for free after entering your email address. They are available at

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http://www.easternhealth.org.au/services/cuecards/default.aspx. — Barbara Ruben

Sleep keeps your brain healthy When we sleep, our brains get rid of gunk that builds up while we’re awake, suggests a study that may provide new clues to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders. See HEALTH SHORTS, page 8


8

Fitness & Health | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

Health shorts From page 7 This cleaning was detected in the brains of sleeping mice, but scientists said there’s reason to think it happens in people, too. If so, the finding may mean that, for people with dementia and other mind disorders, “sleep would perhaps be even more important in slowing the progression of further damage,’’ Dr. Clete Kushida, medical director of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center, said in an email. Kushida did not participate in the study, which appeared in the journal Science.

People who don’t get enough shut-eye have trouble learning and making decisions, and are slower to react. But despite decades of research, scientists can’t agree on the basic purpose of sleep. Reasons range from processing memory, to saving energy, to regulating the body. The latest work, led by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center, adds fresh evidence to a long-standing view: When we close our eyes, our brains go on a cleaning spree. The team previously found a plumbing network in mouse brains that flushes out cellular waste. For the new study, the sci-

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

entists injected the brains of mice with beta-amyloid — a substance that builds up in Alzheimer’s disease — and followed its movement. They determined that it was removed faster from the brains of sleeping mice than awake mice. The team also noticed that brain cells tend to shrink during sleep, which widens the space between the cells. This allows waste to pass through that space more easily. Though the work involved mouse brains, lead researcher Dr. Maiken Nedergaard said this plumbing system also exists in dogs and baboons, and it’s logical to think that the human brain also clears away toxic substances. Nedergaard said the next step is to look for the process in human brains. In an accompanying editorial, neurosci-

entist Suzana Herculano-Houzel of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro said scientists have recently taken a heightened interest in the spaces between brain cells, where junk is flushed out. It’s becoming clearer that “sleep is likely to be a brain state in which several important housekeeping functions take place,” she said in an email. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In a statement, program director Jim Koenig said the finding could lead to new approaches for treating a range of brain diseases. — AP See HEALTH SHORTS, page 9

BEACON BITS

Dec. 9+

FREE DIABETES INFO AND TEST Friendship Terrace is hosting “On the Road,” a three-part diabetes

program providing information, a free A1C diabetes test and a blood pressure test. Free gifts will include drawstring bags, pedometers, exercise DVDs, resistance bands, pill boxes and lunch bags. Light snacks will be provided. The first of these events will take place on Monday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to noon. The second on Monday, Dec. 16 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The third is not yet scheduled. All events will take place at the Friendship Terrace Retirement community, 4201 Butterworth Pl. NW, in Washington, D.C. For more information, call (202) 244-7400.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Health shorts From page 8

Foods that help you sleep better Some people have trouble falling asleep. Others can’t stay asleep. And then there are the people who have trouble turning life “off” and tucking into bed at a reasonable hour. Whatever the reason, they are not alone — more than 50 million Americans don’t get enough shut-eye. Yet the health benefits of a good night’s rest are countless: Sleep helps keep you happy, your brain sharp, your immune system strong, your waistline trim, your skin looking youthful, and lowers your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Here’s the good news: Adding certain foods to your diet may help to increase your odds of successful slumber. (Though

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

FREE COUNSELING Free counseling with

a licensed therapist is now available for persons 55 and older at the Bowie Senior Center. If you are suffering from grief, experiencing anxiety, or need help making a decision, contact Susan DeNardo, LCPC, at (202) 2563336 or sddenardo@aol.com to schedule a private appointment at the Bowie Senior Center, located at 14900 Health Center Dr., Bowie, Md. Counseling will be available through March 2014.

these foods won’t answer e-mails, clean your house, or complete whatever to-do item is keeping you up late.) Here’s what you can eat for a better night’s sleep: 1. Fish. Most fish — and especially salmon, halibut and tuna — boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness), according to an article published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Other B6-rich foods include chickpeas, bananas and fortified cereals. 2. Jasmine rice. When healthy sleepers ate carbohydrate-rich suppers of veggies and tomato sauce over rice, they fell asleep significantly faster at bedtime if the meal included high-glycemic-index (GI) jasmine rice rather than lower-GI longgrain rice, in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 3. Tart cherry juice. In a small study, melatonin-rich tart cherry juice was

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

shown to aid sleep. When adults with chronic insomnia drank a cup of tart cherry juice twice a day, they experienced some relief in the severity of their insomnia. 4. Yogurt. Dairy products like yogurt and milk boast healthy doses of calcium — and there’s research that suggests being calcium-deficient may make it difficult to

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fall asleep. Other calcium-rich foods to try: leafy green vegetables like kale and collards. 5. Whole grains. Bulgur, barley and other whole grains are rich in magnesium, and consuming too little magnesium may make it harder to stay asleep, reported the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. — EatingWell


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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

How Alzheimer’s strains family caregivers By Lauran Neergaard David Hilfiker knows what’s coming. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so early that he’s had time to tell his family what he

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own life,” said the retired physician, who is still well enough that he writes about the insidious progress of the disease on his blog, called “Watching the Lights Go Out.” Nearly half of all seniors who need some form of long-term care — from help at home to full-time care in a facility — have dementia, according to the World Alzheimer Report, commissioned by Alzheimer’s Disease International. It’s a staggering problem as the global population ages, placing enormous strain on families who provide the bulk of that care at least early on, and on national economies alike. Indeed, cognitive impairment is the strongest predictor of who will move into a care facility within the next two years — 7.5 times more likely than people with cancer, heart disease or other chronic ailments of older adults, the report found.

budget cuts known as the sequester. Overall, the nation has been investing about $400 million a year in Alzheimer’s research. But the disease’s financial toll is $200 billion a year in the U.S. alone, a tab expected to pass $1 trillion by 2050 in medical and nursing home expenditures — not counting unpaid family caregiving. The world report puts the global cost at $604 billion. Families affected by Alzheimer’s, as well as aging advocates, say it’s time for a global push to end the brain disease — just like the world’s governments and researchers came together to turn the AIDS virus from a death sentence into a chronic disease. “We need a war on Alzheimer’s,” said Sandy Halperin, 63, of Tallahassee, Fla., who was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s three years ago. He now finds himself stumbling for words, but still visits lawmakers to urge more funding.

Who will provide the care?

Caregiver education needed

Even as the number with Alzheimer’s grows, dropping birth rates mean there are fewer children in families to take care of aging parents, said Michael Hodin of the Global Coalition on Aging. “Very shortly there will be more of us over 60 than under 15,” he noted. Today, more than 35 million people worldwide, including 5 million in the U.S., are estimated to have Alzheimer’s. Barring a medical breakthrough, those numbers are expected to more than double by 2050. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recently announced $45 million in new Alzheimer’s research, with most of the money focused on finding ways to prevent or at least delay the devastating disease. The Obama administration had hoped to invest $100 million in new Alzheimer’s research this year, a move blocked by the

Meanwhile, the world report focuses on caregiving, stressing how the needs of people with dementia are so different from those of other ailments of aging, such as cancer and heart disease. People with dementia begin needing some help to get through the day early on, to make sure they don’t leave the stove on or get lost, for example. But eventually, patients lose the ability to do the simplest activities of daily life, and can survive that way for a decade or more. Often family members quit their jobs so they can provide round-the-clock care, and the stress can harm their own health. The world report said families need early education about what services are available to help before they’re in a crisis.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Ways you can reduce your risk of stroke Strokes don’t usually come out of the blue. True, nobody can predict the precise time when a stroke will strike, and more than two dozen factors make it more likely a person will suffer a stroke. But even when family history or an underlying medical condition puts you at risk, you can do more than you think to avoid a fatal or debilitating stroke. “Stroke is potentially one of the most devastating illnesses that we see, and it’s especially tragic when simply taking good

care of one’s blood pressure or some other preventive measure might have averted it,” said Thomas Lee, M.D. of Harvard. If you’ve already had a stroke or ministroke (a transient ischemic attack, or TIA), cutting your stroke risk isn’t so much an option as a lifeline. Sadly, far too many people who’ve suffered a stroke or heart attack don’t heed the warning.

Eliminate lifestyle stroke risks Smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for

stroke. What’s more, smoking makes just about all your other stroke risks worse. If you smoke cigarettes, you know what you need to do. Nothing will help you prevent a stroke more than quitting. Other important ways to lower your odds of having a stroke: 1. Lose weight. Get down to what your doctor considers a healthy weight for you. 2. Drink less alcohol. If you drink, keep it moderate (that’s no more than two drinks a day for a man, no more than one a day for a woman), and remember that a drink is only an ounce and a half of liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer. And no binges on weekends, even if you don’t drink at all on weekdays. 3. Consume less sodium (salt).

Limit sodium to no more than 2,300 mg. per day — and no more than 1,500 mg. per day if you’re over age 51, African-American, or have diabetes, kidney disease, or certain other chronic conditions. 4. Eat a healthy diet. Cut way back on saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol, but don’t be afraid of foods with healthy unsaturated fats. [See “Enjoy more good fats; cut out bad ones” on facing page.] Eat less sugar and red meat. Your mealtime mainstays should be vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts. 5. Exercise. Are you sitting down? Get up! Your couch may be one of your biggest

Alzheimer’s

has Alzheimer’s as a way to break some of the stigma, “so when I make dumb mistakes, I don’t need to be embarrassed,” he said. He urges other patients to plan their end-of-life care early, while they’re still cognitively able to participate. He believes that telling his wife he wants no extraordinary care — no feeding tubes, for example — will ease her burden. Hilfiker’s big unanswered question: “If I’m at peace with my disease, does that make it easier [for others] to care for me later? — AP

From page 10 They also need training in how to handle the behavioral problems of the disease — such as not to argue if their loved one thinks Ronald Reagan is still president, or how to handle the agitation at dusk known as sundowning, or how to react when the patient hits someone. Hilfiker, the blogger with early Alzheimer’s, takes that education idea a step further. He tells everyone he knows that he

See STROKE RISK, page 13

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Stroke risk

sense for virtually everyone,” said Dr. Lee. High blood pressure. Most people can control high blood pressure by eating a low-salt diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, by getting regular exercise, and by taking blood pressure medications exactly as prescribed. High cholesterol and atherosclerosis. High cholesterol levels build up fatty plaques that reduce blood flow in the arteries — a condition called atherosclerosis, which can lead to a stroke. If diet and exercise don’t bring your cholesterol levels down far enough, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs that can significantly cut your stroke risk. Atrial fibrillation. “A-fib” is an impor-

From page 12 stroke risks. Find kinds of physical activity you enjoy. Talk with your doctor about how much exercise is right for you. Spend less time in front of screens and more time walking.

Reduce medical stroke risks Many underlying medical conditions add to your risk of stroke. By keeping these conditions under control, you minimize that increased risk. “It’s now clear that many of these measures also reduce your risk of heart disease and other medical problems, so they make

BEACON BITS

Dec. 10

NEUROPATHY DISCUSSION Holiday Park Senior Center presents a discussion on a new nonsurgical method for treating peripheral neuropathy. Dr. John

Melmed of Silver Spring Medical Center will lead this discussion on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. at the Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton, Md. For more information, (240) 777-4999.

LOW VISION SUPPORT LUNCH

Dec. 19

The Prevention of Blindness Society presents a low vision support group and complimentary lunch on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 12:30

p.m. at the Friendship Heights Village Center, 4433 South Park Ave., Chevy Chase, Md. For more information, call (301) 656-2797.

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tant cause of stroke, and unfortunately it tends to cause larger strokes. Treatment with medications that prevent blood clots reduces this risk. “Many people with atrial fibrillation who would benefit from blood-thinning medications are not being treated,” warned Dr. Richard Lee. “This is especially true for people with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation — this is when the atrial fibrillation occurs once in a while, and not all the time. They should be treated as if they had atrial fibrillation all the time.” Diabetes. Diabetes quadruples stroke risk. Two-thirds of people with diabetes

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eventually die of a stroke or heart attack. For people with type 1 diabetes, close monitoring of blood sugar and careful insulin use helps reduce risk of complications. Those with type 2 diabetes, in addition to diet and exercise, may need metformin (Glucophage, others) or other diabetes drugs. Managing high cholesterol and high blood pressure is extremely important for people with diabetes. —Harvard Heart Letter ©2013. President and Fellows of Harvard College. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Should we routinely map new baby DNA? By Lauran Neergaard Little Amelia Sloan became a pioneer shortly after her birth. The healthy baby is part of a large research project in Falls Church, Va., that is decoding the DNA of hundreds of infants. New parents in a few other cities soon can start signing up for smaller studies to explore whether what’s called genome sequencing — fully mapping someone’s genes to look for health risks — should become a part of newborn care. It’s full of ethical challenges. Should parents be told only about childhood threats? Or would they also want to learn if their babies carried a key gene for, say, breast cancer after they’re grown?

Could knowing about future risks alter how a family treats an otherwise healthy youngster? And how accurate is this technology — could it raise too many false alarms? This is the newest frontier in the genetic revolution: how early to peek into someone’s DNA, and how to make use of this health forecast without causing needless worry. “This was something that was looming over the horizon,” said Dr. Alan Guttmacher, a pediatrician and geneticist who heads the National Institutes of Health’s child health division. Last month, NIH announced a $25 million, five-year pilot project in four cities —

Boston, San Francisco, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Kansas City, Mo. — to start answering some of the questions before the technology is widely offered for babies.

How babies are screened today Today, the 4 million U.S. babies born annually have a heel pricked in the hospital, providing a spot of blood to be tested for signs of at least 30 rare diseases. This newborn screening catches several thousand affected babies each year in time for early treatment to prevent death, brain damage or other disabilities. It’s considered one of the nation’s most successful public health programs. A complete genetic blueprint would go well beyond what that newborn blood spot currently tells doctors and parents, allowing a search for potentially hundreds of other conditions — some that arise in childhood and some later, some preventable and some not. “If I truly believed that knowing one’s genome was going to be transformative to medicine over the next decade or more, then wouldn’t I want to start generating that information around the time of birth?” asked Dr. John Niederhuber, former director of the National Cancer Institute, who now oversees one of the largest baby-se-

quencing research projects to date.

Looking for predictive patterns At Niederhuber’s Inova Translational Medicine Institute in Falls Church, Va., researchers are mapping the genomes of newborns, along with their parents and other relatives for comparison. The longterm goal of the privately funded study is to uncover genetic patterns that predict complex health problems — from prematurity to developmental disorders. But the experimental tests will turn up some gene mutations already well-known to cause serious ailments, and participating parents must choose upfront whether to be told. They don’t get a full report card of their baby’s genes. Only ones that cause treatable or preventable conditions — so-called medically actionable findings — are revealed, to the family’s doctor. That means in addition to pediatric diseases, parents also could learn whether a baby carries a particular breast-cancercausing gene, information useful once she reaches young adulthood. Nurse Holly Sloan was eager to enroll daughter Amelia, although she thought See DNA MAPPING, page 15

BEACON BITS

Dec. 10+

HEALTHIER SWEETS Katie Strong, registered dietician, will lead two cooking demon-

strations of healthier versions of sweet treats. The first takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Langston-Brown Senior Center, 2121 N. Culpeper St., Arlington, Va. The second takes place on Friday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Arlington Mill Senior Center, 909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington, Va. To register, call (703) 228-6300.


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Four views into the future The NIH decided this was a window of

searchers are “trying to figure out what is legal, versus ethical, versus good medicine” in revealing results, said geneticist Joe Vockley, Inova Translational Medicine Institute’s chief science officer. Mom and Dad may be told something that their child, once grown, wishes hadn’t

been revealed. Other findings may be withheld now that would be good to know years later, as new treatments are developed. “This is a living, breathing problem,” Vockley said, “not a static decision that’s made and lasts for all time.” — AP

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hard about how she’d handle any bad news. “If it was something that we could hopefully prevent through diet or exercise or some kind of lifestyle change, we could start with that as early as possible,” said Sloan, of Warrenton, Va. “I guess I’m just the type of person, I would rather know and address it.” Five months after Amelia’s birth, she hasn’t gotten any worrisome results. Until now, genome sequencing has been used mostly in research involving curious adults, or to help diagnose children or families plagued by mysterious illnesses. But many specialists say it’s almost inevitable that DNA mapping eventually will be used for healthy young children, too — maybe as an addition to traditional newborn screening for at least some tots. It takes a few drops of blood or a cheek swab. And while it’s still too costly for routine use, the price is dropping rapidly. Whole genome sequencing is expected to soon come down to $1,000 — what it now costs for a more targeted “exome” sequencing that maps only certain genes and may be enough.

opportunity to explore different ways this technology might be used. One of the four teams — at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City — will test rapid gene-mapping to speed diagnosis of sick babies in intensive care. Another will look for narrow sets of genes important in childhood, such as those involved with immune disorders not detected by today’s newborn screening, or that alter how a child processes medication. “It’s not going to be some sort of fishing expedition throughout the genome,” said Dr. Robert Nussbaum of the University of California, San Francisco. The two other projects — at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill — will go a step further by enrolling healthy infants as they explore what kind of information parents want about their babies’ future. “We aren’t even sure that genome-scale sequencing in newborns is really a good idea,” cautioned UNC lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Berg in a recent Facebook chat to alert the community about the study. Rather than a one-time mapping, it’s possible that “we will use targeted sequencing at certain times in a person’s life, when that specific information will actually be medically useful.” For those pioneering babies whose DNA is being mapped already, re-

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Stomach discomfort could be gastritis The lining also protects itself from acid damage by secreting mucus. But sometimes the lining gets inflamed and starts making less acid, enzymes and mucus.

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This type of inflammation is called gastritis, and it can cause long-term problems. Some people think they have gastritis when they have pain or an uncomfortable feeling in their upper stomach. But many other conditions can cause these symptoms. Gastritis can sometimes lead to pain, nausea and vomiting. But it often has no symptoms at all. If left untreated, though, some types of gastritis can lead to ulcers (sores in the stomach lining) or even stomach cancer.

Bacteria to blame People used to think gastritis and ulcers were caused by stress and spicy foods. But research studies show that bacteria called Helicobacter pylori are often the culprit. Usually, these bacteria cause no symptoms. In the United States, 20 to 50 percent of the population may be infected with H. pylori. But for some reason, H. pylori breaks down the inner protective coating in some people’s stomachs and causes inflammation. “I tell people H. pylori is like having termites in your stomach,” said Dr. David Graham, an expert in digestive diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. “You usually don’t know you have termites until someone tells you, and you ignore it at your own risk.” H. pylori can spread by passing from person to person or through contaminated

food or water. Infections can be treated with antibiotics. One type of gastritis, called erosive gastritis, wears away the stomach lining. The most common cause of erosive gastritis is long-term use of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include aspirin and ibuprofen. “When you stop taking these drugs, the condition usually goes away,” said Graham. Doctors might recommend reducing your dose or switching to another class of pain medication. Less common causes of gastritis include certain digestive disorders (such as Crohn’s disease) and autoimmune disorders, in which the body’s protective immune cells mistakenly attack healthy cells in the stomach lining. Gastritis can be diagnosed with an endoscope, a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end, which is inserted through the patient’s mouth or nose and into the stomach. The doctor will look at the stomach lining and may also remove some tissue samples for testing. Treatment will depend on the type of gastritis you have. Although stress and spicy foods don’t cause gastritis and ulcers, they can make symptoms worse. Milk might provide brief See GASTRITIS, page 17

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Right foods can help you cope with IBS help both with diarrhea and constipation. It also helps with weight management. Since fiber is not itself absorbed, it does not add calories. But be selective. Just because a food is high in fiber doesn’t necessarily mean other ingredients in the food are low in calories. 3. Drink plenty of water. This is a must if you have constipation-predominant IBS. Also, drinking a glass of water can help dampen an urge to snack. 4. Eat small portions and eat them slowly. If you keep your portions small, this will help reduce your total calories. Hurried eating or drinking can cause you to have increased gas due to swallowed air, so eating slowly can reduce bloating symptoms. 5. Watch for specific food triggers. By keeping a food diary or by trial and error, some people can identify specific dietary triggers for their symptoms. Lactose (found in milk products) is a very common trigger. Others include eggs, wheat and

Gastritis

b) briefly stops if you eat or take antacids c) lasts for minutes to hours d) comes and goes for several days or weeks Contact your doctor right away if you have: 1. sudden sharp stomach pain that doesn’t go away 2. black or bloody stools 3. vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds Source: NIH News in Health, November 2012, published by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information go to www.newsinhealth.nih.gov ©2013 Whatdoctorsknow.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

From page 16 relief, but it also increases stomach acid, which can worsen symptoms. Your doctor may recommend taking antacids or other drugs to reduce acid in the stomach. Talk with a healthcare provider if you’re concerned about ongoing pain or discomfort in your stomach. These symptoms can have many causes. Your doctor can help determine the best course of action for you.

Watch for ulcers Gastritis can lead to ulcers over time. Symptoms of ulcers include pain between the belly button and breastbone that: a) starts between meals or during the night

foods that contain “salicylates” or “amines.” Salicylates are natural ingredients found in various fruits, vegetables, nuts, tea, coffee, honey, numerous spices, beer, wine,

juices and peppermint flavoring. Amines are found in aged or fermenting See IBS, page 18

WHAT MATTERS MOST TO

you? “If my mom wants to stay at home, I’ll do all I can to honor that. I just want what she wants.” When we ask people caring for a loved one at the end of life what matters most, this is what we hear. But we also hear about how the responsibility can be overwhelming for the whole family. And what an incredible relief it is when people realize how much support is available. Emotionally. Spiritually. They wonder why they didn’t reach out to us sooner.

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By Dr. Mary Pickett Q: I have irritable bowel syndrome. I’m also about 20-25 pounds overweight. What kind of diet do I need to follow to address both of these issues? A: Obesity and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are common problems. Still, it’s not easy to prescribe a diet without considering your own food preferences, calorie vices and symptom triggers. The best diet for you will be highly personalized. Here’s some general advice for you to work with: 1. Avoid fats. Fats are full of calories, so they’re an obvious contributor to obesity. And fats may contribute to the abdominal cramping common in IBS. Fats in your stomach can cause your colon to respond to a meal with a more exaggerated set of contractions. 2. Eat more fiber. Fiber is food residue that your digestive enzymes can’t break down, so it travels the whole length of your colon and exits as stool. Fiber can


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Health Studies Page

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

THE PLACE TO LOOK FOR INFORMATION ON AREA CLINICAL TRIALS

Diabetes drug study seeks volunteers 70+ By Barbara Ruben The numbers are daunting: A quarter of those over 65 have diabetes. And 50 percent of those in that age group who don���t have the disease yet have pre-diabetes. Yet doctors have little information from research studies about how to treat diabetes in older adults. “The problem is that the largest clinical trials in diabetes typically exclude people over 65. The question that’s coming up more and more is, is diabetes the same in people in this age group?” said Dr. Michael

Dempsey, who focuses on diabetes in his practice in Rockville, Md. His office is now participating in eight clinical trials on diabetes, and most have no upper age limit.

New drug under study One trial, which looks at how well a new drug called lixisenatide can control blood sugar, is focused on people who are 70 and older. “We know lixisenatide works in the traditional [younger] group, but does it work

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Dec. 13

HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING TIPS

Virginia Hospital Center is sponsoring a free health lecture called “Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season,” presented by Jessica Mack on Friday, Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to noon. Learn about techniques and suggestions on how to curb the temptations by allowing yourself to enjoy holiday foods without losing healthy habits. Virginia Hospital Center is located at 601 S. Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington, Va. To RSVP, call (703) 558-6859.

as well in people who are older?” he asked. Lixisenatide is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat any age group yet. However, it has been approved by the European Union and several countries for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the kind of diabetes that develops in adulthood. Lixisenatide is part of a newer class of drugs called prandial glucagon-like peptide-1, or GLP-1 for short. They stimulate insulin secretion. In addition, the drugs can help patients lose weight, typically six pounds in six months, although some people lose more or less weight. Unlike older diabetes drugs that can cause weight gain, GLP-1 drugs help people eat less because they slow the emptying of the stomach so people feel full earlier and longer. While this class of drugs lowers blood sugar, they don’t cause hypoglycemia, dangerously low blood sugar. “The advantage in people over 65 is, as you get older, hypoglycemia becomes more and more of a risk and has more potential complications,” Dempsey said.

Volunteers being sought The study on lixisenatide is seeking those who are 70 or older with type 2 dia-

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products, such as cheese, wines, beer, yeast extracts, vinegars and soy sauce. They’re also present in chocolate, bananas, avocados, tomatoes and some fish products. 6. Avoid food additives that increase gas. People often use these three sweeteners — mannitol, sorbitol and fructose. But these carbohydrates are not easily digested and promote gas production by bacteria in the intestines. They are commonly added to many liquid medicines, health foods, juices, can-

betes diagnosed at least one year ago. They must have a body mass index (BMI) between 22 and 40. They cannot have a history of unexplained pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatectomy, stomach/gastric surgery or inflammatory bowel disease. The study lasts 24 weeks, and participants will visit Dempsey’s office 13 times and talk with the study doctors 10 times on the phone. Participants will be randomly divided into two groups. One group will inject a dose of lixisenatide once a day before breakfast. The other will inject a placebo solution with no active ingredients. All in the study will continue taking their currently prescribed diabetes drugs. The primary side effect is stomach upset, but that often gets better after the first few weeks on the drug, Dempsey said. While there is no monetary compensation for taking part in the study, gas cards are offered for travel expenses. In addition, “an advantage of being in the trial is much more intensive follow up of diabetes and state-of-the-art sugar testing,” Dempsey said. For more information or to volunteer, call (301) 770-7373.

dies, dietetic snacks and chewing gum. Avoiding these sugars may be particularly important for people who experience bloating or diarrhea. Mary Pickett, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland, where she is a primary care doctor for adults. Dr. Pickett is a Lecturer for Harvard Medical School and a Senior Medical Editor for Harvard Health Publications. For additional consumer health information, please visit www.health.harvard.edu. ©2013. President and Fellows of Harvard College. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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Some screenings do more harm than good Certain health screenings, such as colonoscopies and cholesterol checks, are wise preventive measures. But other common tests may be unnecessary. “I think we’re doing too much overscreening,” said geriatrician Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School. “This leads to the discovery of too many harmless variations of normal body parts, which then lead to expensive, anxiety-producing and often painful further over-testing and unnecessary procedures.” Here are the top five tests experts from Harvard say you can probably forgo: 1. Electrocardiogram In this test, also known as an ECG (or EKG), technicians place electrodes on your chest to check for abnormalities in your heart’s electrical activity. But for healthy people without heart disease symptoms or risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking or diabetes, the test is not recommended. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said there’s no evidence that routine ECG screening offers any benefits, and that it might pose some risks if further unnecessary tests are done. “Even though an ECG is extremely safe and relatively inexpensive, the cumulative costs add up if everyone gets one,” said cardiologist Dr. Deepak Bhatt, a professor at Harvard Medical School and editor in

chief of the Harvard Heart Letter. 2. Whole-body CT scan This test uses x-ray computed tomography (CT) to look inside your body for early warning signs of conditions such as heart disease, aneurysms, cancer, osteoporosis and lung disease. But these scans cost hundreds of dollars, aren’t usually covered by insurance, and involve radiation exposure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said there’s no scientific evidence that whole-body scans of individuals without symptoms provide more benefit than harm. “These pick up all kinds of ‘incidentalomas’ that lead to needless anxiety and expensive screenings, as well as excessive radiation. I don’t think doctors order them. I think people see ads in magazines and sign up for them,” said Dr. Salamon. While it’s possible that technological improvements could make such scans a good idea someday, that’s not the case today. 3. Coronary calcium score This test uses CT to scan your arteries for signs of calcium deposits that put you at risk for heart attacks. Dr. Bhatt said studies have shown that it may be useful when used in patients who are at intermediate risk, according to traditional risk factors, since abnormal results can push a person into a high-risk group. “Perhaps knowing that they have a high

calcium score would encourage them to lose weight or stay on their statin, for example, though the data supporting this are mixed,” he said. But because of radiation risk and the risk of additional unnecessary tests and procedures, he recommends against this test for routine screening, as does the American Heart Association. 4. Chest screening The American Lung Association recommends low-dose CT to detect early signs of lung cancer for current or former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74 with a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years. But if you’re not in this group, you should not have a routine screening. The

risk from radiation exposure and potential unnecessary follow-up testing is not worth the small chance of benefit. 5. TB skin test A skin test can detect if you’re been infected with the tuberculosis (TB) bacteria. But if your doctor suggests a routine screening, make sure to ask why. The TB skin test is recommended only for people who have spent time with a person with TB; who have a weakened immune system from HIV or another medical problem; who have TB symptoms such as fever, cough and weight loss; who use illegal drugs; or who are from or work in countries where TB See SCREENINGS, page 20

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Ways to avoid overeating at gatherings Q: How can I avoid overeating in re- lack of overeating may go undetected if sponse to people pushing food at me you don’t make a big deal of it. during family gatherings? If people do urge you to A: Family dynamics vary, take more than you are comso an approach that works in fortable eating, try for reone family might not do well sponses that don’t put them in another. on the defensive. You might Is your family one in which compliment the food and say eating rich foods in large that you are so full you’d like amounts is seen as an essento wait until later for more. tial part of gatherings, and not If you refuse in a way that doing so is met with resistmakes others feel guilty by ance? implying that they are eating Rather than making a major NUTRITION excessively, or that the food statement that you don’t want WISE they have served you is unto eat that way, you might try By Karen Collins, healthy, they may be offended to let your healthy eating qui- MS, RD, CDM and push further. etly fly under the radar. Remember that the health Especially if you are busy impact of a food varies with its helping, or not sitting right next to the per- portion. If you help with serving, or the son most likely to push food at you, your meal is family style, you can choose the

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portion that’s right for you. Try to find some vegetables or other healthful choices to savor slowly, so that if others are going back for third or fourth portions, you still have something to munch. Don’t let other people derail your efforts to take care of your health. Nevertheless, try to be sensitive when you are dealing with people for whom you know refusing food feels like you are refusing their love. Q: Do those elastic tubes and bands really work for strength training? A: Yes, elastic tubes and bands are now available for virtually all levels of strength training, and they’re inexpensive and easily stored. You need to use the right band or tube to match your strength level and the particular muscle group being exercised. Chest presses, for example, need more resistance than the arm curls that exercise your upper arms. When working with an elastic tube or band, you secure it under your feet or around a heavy piece of furniture or a pole. Focus on squeezing the muscle in use when you encounter resistance as you pull on the tube/band. Stop and pause, keeping the muscle tight when you’ve completed the pulling motion. Then keep the muscle working as you release the weight slowly, rather than letting it spring back as

you return to starting position. Just as when strength-training with free weights or stationary machines, good posture and proper technique is important to work the muscle appropriately and to avoid injury. You can use many of the same exercises you may have learned with other forms of strength training, but if you haven’t received instruction, it’s best to learn good technique by meeting with a certified fitness trainer at a local facility. If this isn’t possible, check out a recognized fitness organization’s DVD or website. For example, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers a free suggested routine with elastic tubing at http://bit.ly/elas tic_band_exercises. You also can see how to use a resistance/stretch band in this video from AICR: http://bit.ly/elastic_band_video. 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.

Screenings

have to trust your doctor’s judgment,” said Dr. Bhatt. If a risky or expensive test or procedure is recommended and you feel apprehensive, you might consider a second opinion. —Harvard Health Letter © 2013. President and Fellows of Harvard College. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

From page 19

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is common. (Russia is one example.) If you don’t fall within those categories, a skin test is likely an unnecessary expense. But what if your doctor recommends it? “That is what makes medicine not just a science, but also an art. Ultimately, you

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Rainbow trout with oranges and tomatoes With its wealth of nutritional benefits, including heart healthy fats, many health experts recommend adding more fish to our diets. During the holidays, eating more fish may make it easier to eat some lighter meals. This delicious dish can be the inspiration to eat more fish as the New Year begins. Rainbow trout is actually part of the salmon family and is also known as golden trout. It has tender flesh and a delicious, mild, nutty flavor. Most rainbow trout available in the United States is farm-raised, and it’s done using a system of continuously flowing water to reduce any pollution or safety concerns. Environmental organizations, like Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, recommend buying U.S. rainbow trout and avoiding imported farm trout, which is often sold as steelhead. When buying fish, don’t be misguided by the term “fresh.” Ask your purveyor for their definition of fresh. If buying fillets, look for gaps in the flesh, because that’s a sign fish may not be fresh. Likewise, any discoloration, such as brown or yellow edges, is a sign to avoid. If buying whole fish to fillet at home, look for firm, shiny flesh. It should bounce back when you touch it. Trust your nose: a strong fishy smell may mean it’s too old.

The eyes should be clear, not cloudy. The gills should be pink or red and wet, not slimy or dry. Once you have fresh, quality rainbow trout, pairing it with a vibrant tomato and orange sauce enhances its natural flavor. The acidity of the tomatoes balances with the sweetness of the oranges to produce a delightful taste and aroma. The addition of ginger imparts a hint of the Orient. This beautiful dish is served on a bed of whole-wheat couscous, but you can easily substitute brown rice or quinoa. This recipe gets you off to a good start to make eating fish twice a week a New Year’s resolution you can keep, benefit from and enjoy!

small bowl, separate oranges into sections and cut each section in half, while catching any juice. Set aside. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Cook fillets until opaque, about two minutes per side or until done. Season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Use remaining oil and sauté garlic and ginger until light brown, about two minutes. Add tomatoes and stir gently and occasionally until tomatoes start to break down, about three to four minutes. Add or-

anges and any juice, and gently toss to heat through. On four individual serving plates, make a bed of couscous. Carefully lay a fillet on top and spoon tomato and orange mixture over fillet. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 406 calories, 11 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 47 g. carbohydrate, 29 g. protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 48 mg. sodium. — The American Institute for Cancer Research

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Rainbow trout with oranges and tomatoes 1 cup whole-wheat couscous 2 medium oranges 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 4 rainbow trout fillets, about 1 lb. Salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger root 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 4 green onions, thinly sliced, including stems Cook couscous per package directions. Peel oranges and trim off white pith. Over

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Better solution to the ‘bedroom problem’ Dear Pharmacist: I have a bedroom problem. I took Viagra for several years, and it stopped working, so I was put on Cialis. Sometimes that helps, sometimes not. I’m too embarrassed to ask my doctor again. He says this is a part of aging because I am 58. Any suggestions? — T.M., Bethesda, Md. Dear T.M.: I have many! I’m stunned that your doctor hasn’t mentioned bio-identical hormone re-

placement for you, as in testosterone or “T.” The reason most men develop erectile dysfunction in the first place is because they are low in their natural ‘manly’ hormone, which starts to decline with age. The declining T causes a relative increase in circulating estrogen, a hormone found in higher concentrations in women. Restoring testosterone puts balance back, so it’s my best recommendation for increasing mojo. Giving a man one of those super sex pills like Viagra, Levitra or Cialis is the equiva-

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lent of jump starting the car every two cholesterol correctly, but that’s another miles, rather than just fixing the battery. column.) I think there is an incomWhy do men medicate themplete knowledge or underselves every weekend, when standing of physiology or they can fix the root cause by hormones, because sex pills balancing their hormones? should not be your go-to A good physician should drug for erectile dysfunction. evaluate your hormones and You think it’s just me sayneurotransmitters, and deciing that to alarm you? Not a pher if your problem is low chance. I would never scare testosterone, low dopamine, you, that’s not how I roll. high cortisol, high estrogen, A study published in low progesterone, high inDEAR March 2010 in Circulation sulin, low DHEA or oxytocin. PHARMACIST concluded, “Erectile dysfuncWhether you’re a man or a By Suzy Cohen tion is a potent predictor of woman, if you’ve ‘lost that all-cause death and the comlovin’ feelin’, you need to evaluate and replenish your hormones. Pre- posite of cardiovascular death, myocardial scribed sex pills, as useful as they are, infarction, stroke and heart failure in men with cardiovascular disease.” can’t balance hormones. Replacement therapy is controversial. There’s another reason I get hot under the collar about this topic. Men are dying Some studies suggest the very use of every day from heart attack and stroke testosterone increases heart attack risk, that may have been prevented. The clue but I find flaws with those studies. Balance that you’re headed for trouble is erectile is key. [Editor’s Note: Last month, a review of dysfunction. Think that out, it’s not hard to under- veteran medical records published in the stand. If the blood isn’t effectively flowing Journal of the American Medical Associadown south to your penis, it isn’t flowing tion found an increased risk of stroke, heart up north either, to your heart. When your attack or death among male heart patients blood vessels are clogged, that could with low-T who had T supplementation.] This information is opinion only. It is not cause erectile dysfunction years before a intended to treat, cure or diagnose your conmassive heart attack occurs. What does conventional medicine do? dition. Consult with your doctor before using Prescribe a quick fixer upper so you can any new drug or supplement. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist have a night of fun, instead of helping you clear your arteries, improve vessel flexibil- and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist ity, correct hormonal imbalances and man- and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To age cholesterol. (They don’t even measure contact her, visit www.dearpharmacist.com.

Send a letter to the editor. See page 2.


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Dear Solutions: That’s how you can stop the discussion. I have an African American friend I Dear Solutions: like very much, but we get I was at a gathering reinto these discussions cently of people who considabout what I call “unfair er themselves very up to experiences.” date on political matters. She says that because of Conversation went back racism she has had these exand forth with different opinperiences. But I’ve also had ions, but when they started bad experiences for other to talk about gay marriage, it reasons (I’m white), and I’ve really heated up. also been very upset when One neighbor that I’m they happened. fairly friendly with kept I think a bad experience SOLUTIONS ranting and raving about By Helen Oxenberg, is a bad experience, no mathow he thinks it’s wrong ter what the reason, and we MSW, ACSW and immoral and irrelikeep disagreeing about this. gious and on and on. I I’d like to stop this discussion. How? know I’m going to hear from him — The Friend again on this. Dear Friend: I disagree with him completely, but I Join her. Recognize that because of don’t feel like arguing with him, beracism, the so-called “bad experiences” cause that’s what he wants — a constant that she’s had, and probably continues to soap box to bring attention to himself. have, are different from other bad experi- Can you think of a simple answer I can ences that most people have from time to give that will close the argument? time for many different reasons. — H.B. Something may happen, and you may Dear H.B.: have a bad experience, and then it’s over. Yes. Just say: “I hear you loud and clear. She can’t count on racism being “over,” so So, since you think gay marriage is wrong, those kinds of experiences, sadly, can don’t marry a gay person.” End of discuskeep recurring for her. sion. Telling you that her experiences are re© Helen Oxenberg, 2013. Questions to be ally worse than yours is not just one-up- considered for this column may be sent to: manship. It’s really true. The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, If you can express your understanding MD 20915. You may also email the author and empathy to her, she won’t have to con- at helox72@comcast.net. To inquire about stantly try to make you see this her way. reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N


WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Travel

25

Leisure &

Garments that hide your valuables, language translating devices and more gifts for travelers. See story on page 28.

In Georgia: peanuts, presidents, prisoners cheese rings, cornbread dressing, jelly and more pecan-based goodies. And peanuts galore. Georgia produces more than any other state. The sharp-eyed might see a Georgian drop a shelled peanut into his Coca-Cola. It’s small town USA, where Miss Miriam, the mail lady on the route to the town of Leslie, gladly takes cash from your mailbox and brings stamps the next day. Exuding southern hospitality, people will call out, “Y’all come back to see us some day, ya heah!” Though slow, this corner of the state has seen some action in times gone by. Around 45,000 Civil War POWs from the north were shipped by rail to Andersonville, a notorious Confederate prison, now a National Park Service site. That era is still recalled. In 2011, Georgia celebrated the 150th anniversary of the state’s secession in Milledgeville. Even now, signs recruiting members to the Sons of the Confederacy pop up here and there.

PHOTO BY GLENDA C. BOOTH

By Glenda C. Booth Southwest Georgia is a slow-moving, quiet corner of the state, with broad, flat fields stretching for miles. It’s a “truly languid, southern atmosphere,” President Franklin Roosevelt said about southwest Georgia, site of his woodsy retreat. Splayed along the highways in the state’s least populous region are field upon field of peanut farms, as well as pecan and peach orchards interspersed with piney woods. On car radios, Willie Nelson might croon, “Peach-pickin’ time in Georgia is girl-pickin’ time for me.” And there are plenty of sightseeing “pickin’s” for travelers. When I commented on the slow pace of Plains, a sales clerk in the Trading Post quipped, “Some mornings I could walk down the street neked, and no one would notice. It’s quiet around here except Sundays, when Mr. Jimmy teaches Sunday School.” Mr. Jimmy, of course, is native son and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who, in fact, does teach Sunday school every week at Maranatha Baptist Church. It’s a popular event advertised in store windows. Two-lane country roads link small towns where aromas of fried chicken, fried okra, fried squash and even fried dill pickles waft out of down-home eateries. It’s also the “Pecan Capital of the World,” touting pecan brittle, pies, cakes, cookies,

The Billy Carter Service Station Museum in Plains, Ga., pays homage to former President Jimmy Carter’s flamboyant, notorious brother.

Americus A good base and jumping off point is the town of Americus, the only U.S. town with that name — the masculine version of America, named for Amerigo Vespucci. A plaque in the airport announces the town’s claim to fame: Charles Lindbergh bought his first airplane, the “Lone Eagle”— a World War I surPHOTO BY GLENDA C. BOOTH

plus “Jenny” biplane — in Americus. The restored Rylander Theatre, built in 1921, has a 1928 “Mighty Mo” Möller theatre pipe organ. After a 40-year closure, it re-opened in 1999 to celebrate President Carter’s birthday. The restored Windsor Hotel, built in 1892, offers Victorian flourishes, including a pre-Civil War mirror, a mahogany telephone booth, and the original marble floor. Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org), which is headquartered in Americus, operates its Global Village and Discovery Center there. Take a self-guided tour of sample houses Habitat volunteers have built in 15 countries, adapted to meet each country’s climate and other conditions. Many demonstrate how these low-cost homes can improve standards of living in nations around the world.

Plain Plains

Shortly before becoming president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt built this house in Warm Springs, Ga. He was drawn to the town because he hoped its mineral springs would help heal his polio. The house came to be known as the Little White House, and is now open to the public for tours.

The people of Plains are proud as peaches to have spawned the nation’s 39th president, James Earl Carter, Jr., a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the world’s most famous peanut farmer. He sold boiled peanuts on the streets of Plains at age five, earning about $1 a day. Plains looks like a 1950s movie set, and gives visitors insights into the early cultural influences on Carter’s life and philoso-

phy. “Downtown” Plains, the two-block Main Street, looks much as it did in Carter’s youth. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site (www.nps.gov/jica) is actually a complex of four sites. Carter grew up on a farm in nearby Archery during the Depression, where his family raised peanuts, cotton, vegetables, pigs, chickens and cattle. A walk through his boyhood farm is a nostalgic throwback to rural life in that era. His parents, Earl and Lillian, moved here in 1928 and raised Jimmy, Gloria, Ruth and Billy on the farm, considered successful by rural Georgia standards at that time. Carter wrote that 1938 was a momentous year — “an almost unbelievable change took place in our lives when electricity came to the farm.” Today’s visitors can see the home’s pre-electricity interior, barn, blacksmith shop and pump house. Plains High School, alma mater of Jimmy and Rosalynn and now a museum, honors Carter’s accomplishments. The Plains Railroad Depot, built in 1888, has been restored to its 1976 “glory days” when it was headquarters for Carter’s presidential campaign. And don’t miss headline-making Billy See GEORGIA, page 26


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Georgia

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Andersonville

BEACON BITS

prisoners who died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure to the elements. Visitors learn how prisoners boiled weeds and otherwise survived (or not) under Confederate handlers. The museum commemorates POWs throughout American history, starting with the Revolutionary War up to U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who deployed to Afghanistan and is believed to be imprisoned in Pakistan. In filmed interviews, POWs like now-Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain tell their poignant stories. Artifacts from POWs are displayed.

Jan. 22

The Little White House

From page 25 Carter’s Service Station, a popular hotspot from 1972 to 1981, today a museum featuring “Billy Beer” paraphernalia. Plains people love their peanuts, celebrated by a 13-foot grinning goober bearing Carter’s toothy smile. The town even has an annual September peanut festival highlighted by a parade and beauty queens at which the Carters award prizes and sign books.

In 1864, the Confederates hauled 45,000 Union prisoners of war to Andersonville, then Camp Sumter, to secure them away from Federal troops. Tiny Andersonville village, where prisoners disembarked from the train, is a collection of quaint buildings and the Drummer Boy Civil War Museum. Andersonville National Park, site of the 1864 POW camp and one of the most infamous of its kind (www.nps.gov/ande/ index.htm), recounts the history of 13,000

GET ON THE SLOPES Take a ski trip with Senior Outdoor Adventures in Recreation to

Whitetail Mountain Resort in Mercersburg, Pa. on Wednesday, Jan. 22 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Bus transportation is $25, and lift and equipment costs are on your own. The trip leaves from Olney Manor Park, 16605 Georgia Ave., Olney, Md. For more information, call (240) 777-6870 or see www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was lured to southwest Georgia’s 88-degree mineral waters in Warm Springs, hoping to cure his polio. A walk through the Little White House (www.gastateparks.org/LittleWhiteHouse) takes one back to 1945, the year he died there while portrait sitting. A video narrated by Walter Cronkite re-

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counts that FDR was a “child of privilege,” but became “a man of the people.” The house has a raised toilet, and a wheelchair-kitchen chair combo that FDR designed to help him function. The Historic Pools Museum, where he sought healing respite, is nearby. Koinonia Farms (www.koinoniapartners.org/) is called by its founders and current residents “an intentional Christian community” of people living together who “seek to embody peacemaking, sustainability and radical sharing” regardless of race. Combating the racism of the 1960s, the founders’ products were boycotted by many locals, so the farm began a mailorder pecan business that continues today. Farm residents also sell chocolate, jelly, baked goods, coffee and organic peanuts. Residents welcome visitors and encourage people to help with chores. There are community member-led tours six days a week through gardens, orchards and the bakery (they can bake 100 cakes at a time). There are also self-guided tours. The farm has guest housing and RV accessibility for up to two weeks. Koinonia, by the way, is where the eventual founders of Habitat for Humanity originally developed their volunteer-built housing concept. On the quirky-but-fascinating side, the telephone museum (www.grtm.org) in Leslie explores “telephony,” displaying over 2,000 objects, probably the largest collection in the U.S. of telephones from 1867 to the present. All kinds of telephone paraphernalia are crammed into a restored cotton warehouse. Today’s cellphone addicts might be baffled by wall-mounted phones the size of toaster ovens and apparatuses like switchboards, operator headsets, a pay phone booth, and a replica of Alexander Graham Bell’s workshop. See GEORGIA, page 27


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Leisure & Travel

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Georgia From page 26

Food specialties This is the world of finger-lickin’, rib ticklin’, southern cookin’ — specialties like

fried chicken, catfish, corn fritters, sweet potato pie, banana pudding and collard greens. Friendly waitresses might greet you with, “Whatcha gonna have, sugah?” At Mom’s Kitchen in Plains, locals favor buttermilk, slaw dogs and fried quail. At

BEACON BITS

Dec. 10

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Green Spring Gardens presents a trip to visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Va. The Garden Festival of Lights features beautiful botanic displays and more than a half million lights arranged in botanical themes throughout the gardens, including an orchid and model train display. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Trip cost of $110 per person includes motor coach, driver tip, entrance fee, garden tour and semi-private buffet dinner. Register online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring or call (703) 642-5173.

Dec. 7

Granny’s Kitchen, lace cornbread is a hit — thin, fried cornbread resembling lace. Then there’s the Georgia hotdog, smothered with Vidalia onion relish, cheese, and/or chili. There’s also a scrambled hotdog, a chopped-up wiener under a mound of chili, onions, mustard, cheese and oyster crackers. For dessert? Peanut butter ice cream, of course. The Americus Welcome Center at http://visitamericusga.com/hotels-motels/offers several choices of lodging, from the historic Windsor Hotel to chains like Knights Inn and Days Inn. The renovated Windsor, in the heart of downtown, houses the Rosemary & Thyme Restaurant, which specializes in farm-totable local ingredients. Rooms start at $105 per night. (www.windsor-americus.com/) The Americus Garden Inn Bed & Break-

27

fast (Motto: “Where history meets romance”) is in the residential historic district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rooms start at $129 per night. See www.americusgardeninn.com/tour.html or call 1-888-758-4749. Any time except summer is likely to be pleasant. “Georgia summers are brutal,” a Virginia transplant told me. The heat index can hit 120 degrees. The fastest way to get to southwest Georgia is to fly to Columbus and rent a car. Delta Airlines has flights from Baltimore-Washington International for around $374 roundtrip in mid-December. For further information, contact the Americus Welcome Center, www.visitamericusga.com, (229) 928-6059, and the Plains Welcome Center, www.plainsgeorgia.com, (229) 824-5373.

CHRISTMAS PARADE

Arlington County presents a day trip to see the Middleburg Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 7. Tickets cost $9. For more information or to register, call (703) 228-4748.

Dec. 13+

WHITE CHRISTMAS FILM

AFI Silver Theatre presents two showings of the holiday classic, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as army vets-cum-nightclub impresarios who fall for a beguiling sister act in the form of Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. The first showing takes place on Friday, Dec. 13 at 12:45 p.m., and the second on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. Tickets cost $12; $10 for those 65+, students and military (with valid ID). For more information, call (301) 495-6700.

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Gifts for travelers on your shopping list By Victor Block With the holiday season here, have you finished your gift list, checked it twice and finished your shopping? Or do you still have some presents to buy? If you need ideas for what to get for folks who travel a lot for pleasure or business, a “gift of go” can be the perfect solution. Whether scratching your head about what to buy for someone who visits a different Caribbean island every winter or for Aunt Matilda who’s planning a trip to Europe next spring, the selection is long and varied. If you can’t decide what makes the best present, a gift certificate is a welcome alternative. But to pick up something special

that travelers will appreciate, peruse catalogues or websites of companies that specialize in items that make travel more convenient, comfortable or safe. Ordering is convenient, no further away than your telephone or computer. Here are some suggestions:

Safe travels Magellan’s claims to be “Your Trusted Source for Travel Supplies,” and the company comes up with a number of nifty ideas. Luggage scales (analog $12.50, digital $25) can quickly pay for themselves by avoiding overweight airline baggage fees. An inflatable Back Buddy Pillow ($28) provides comfy lower back support in other-

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wise uncomfy airplane seats, as well as on a train, in a car and even at home. Security-conscious travelers may opt for a Cash Safe Belt ($16), which protects paper money in a hidden zippered pocket. More protection is provided by VaultPro tote bags ($50-$90) made of slash-proof mesh with a cut-resistant carrying strap and locking zippers. There’s even high-tech protection against cyber identity thieves who scan credit card chips remotely to steal the data they contain. For more information or to order a Magellan catalog, call 1-800-962-4943.or log onto www.magellans.com. Safety is also the goal of some merchandise sold by TravelSmith Outfitters, which covers all aspects of trips from packing to in-flight and hotel comfort. Smart Pouches — which are great for organizing and packing shoes, soiled or damp articles, toiletries and any number of other things — are transparent for easy viewing and made with a spill-proof lining. A set of four costs $29. In the safety line, the imaginative Travelon Garment Hideaway ($25) offers a place to conceal valuables where would-be

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This holiday season give yourself the

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thieves are least likely to look. Styled to resemble a woman’s tank top, the ersatz garment has eight concealed pockets for hiding jewelry, documents and other things you don’t want to lose. For more information, call 1-800-770-3387 or log onto www.travelsmith.com. Eddie Bauer has been selling quality outdoor clothing since it was established in 1920, and it’s still the go-to place prefer red by many outdoor lovers and travelers. With winter here, the choice of fleece jackets, coats, pants and other outer wear for men and women offers somethingfor-everyone variety. Lightweight, quick drying fabrics combine warmth with ease of packing, perfect for family or friends heading for colder destinations. Women’s zipper jackets with handwarmer pockets ($79.95-$89.95) are designed to provide an excellent warmth-toweight ratio. On the other hand, items like zip pullover jackets ($39.95-$49.95) are designed to offer what the company describes as “exceptional price-to-warmth ratio.” For more information, call 1-800-

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Gifts From page 28 426-8020 or log onto www.eddiebauer.com. Orvis makes gift giving convenient. Among choices on its website are links to pages listing presents for men, women, fly fisherman and even dogs. What frequent traveler wouldn’t welcome a 12-in-1 Multi-Flashlight ($25) that casts a super bright beam and includes two screwdrivers, two knives, a can opener, scissors and other attachments? A four-dial Brass Word Lock ($12) replaces the usual number combination with an easy to remember word that is set by the user. At the higher end of the price spectrum is a compact Bushnell Backtrack GPS ($89) that guides people back to their starting point whether they’re driving, riding a bike or walking in the woods. For more information, call 1-800-541-3541 or log onto www.orvis.com.

Gadgets galore Sharper Image promises “Gadgets Galore” on its website, and lives up to that pledge. A minuscule, light weight Travel Razor ($39.99), which is smaller than a smart phone, charges from a computer and provides 30 minutes of shave time when at full power. A multi-voltage four-port Universal Charger (also $39.99) allows four devices to get juiced up at the same time, and (the catalog claims) “works in over 150 countries.” Light sleepers should welcome a Travel Sound Machine ($89.99) that offers 17 soothing sound options to drown out unwanted noise. Among choices are pleasant sounds of ocean waves, rain and a gentle brook. For more information, call 1-877-363-9984 or log onto www.sharperimage.com. Anyone heading for a country where they don’t speak the language is sure to get a lot of use out of an electronic translator. Franklin Electronic Publishers offers an array of compact, lightweight devices

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Leisure & Travel

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

ranging in price from a basic Spanish-toEnglish model ($9.99) to a deluxe 17-language translator ($179.99) that includes both the major languages plus some that are less commonly studied here, such as Korean, Farsi and Hindi. The words and phrases are both displayed on the screen and spoken out loud. It’s also possible to enter into the database in advance some words and expressions that the traveler expects to use while abroad. For more information, call 1-800266-5626 or log onto www.franklin.com. Then there’s Hammacher Schlemmer, which has been selling “the unexpected for 165 years.” That company’s annual holiday gift catalog is fun to peruse even if you have no intention of ordering, for both its product claims and some items themselves. For example, “The World’s Smallest Automatic Umbrella” ($34.95) measures only 8 inches when closed, small enough to fit in many purses and pockets. How have your traveling relatives and friends lived so long without a Flat Fold Travel Mirror ($49.95) which expands from 11/2 inches thick when closed to a height of 16 inches? It has 1X and 10X magnification for both close-up and full-face viewing, and each mirror is surrounded by a fluorescent light. The traveler who uses the Power Nap Head Pillow ($99.95) to catch 40 winks on an airplane, in an airport or elsewhere appears to have a pumpkin on his head. The cocoon-like head rest is designed to block out both sound and light, while leaving an opening for the nose and mouth. The soft cushion collapses for easy packing. The question is whether the opportunity to get some sleep is worth the risk of attracting attention, and perhaps guffaws, from fellow passengers or passers-by. For more information, call 1-800-543-3366 or log onto www.hammacher.com.

BEACON BITS

Dec. 28

WINTER HIKE FOR WOMEN

The Brookside Nature Garden presents a monthly free hike for ladies, exploring the winter landscapes of Montgomery County. Each month is a new trail. December’s hike takes place on Saturday, Dec. 28 from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. on the Magruder Branch Trail in Damascus, whose boardwalk overlooks the marshes bordering a stream. Directions to the trailhead will be provided. Dress for the weather. Appropriate for ages 18 to 80. To register, visit http://bit.ly/LadiesHike.

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

How to find travel insurance that pays off When you start to look at the subject of travel insurance, you find a bimodal distribution among both consumers and travel mavens: Some say it’s a scam; others say it’s indispensible, at least for some trips. Count me in the second group. My overall take for decades is that trip-cancellation insurance is a valuable protection any time you face lots of cancellation penalties, and that travel medical insurance is a good idea for many travelers. I agree, however, that many travelers believe that travel insurance companies cheated them out of promised benefits. A recent release by my go-to authority on travel in-

surance, QuoteWright’s John Cook, helps shed some light on the problem.

Pre-existing condition problems The number one cause of disappointment (often rage) over travel insurance has been the denial of claims — for cancellation, interruption or medical expenses — due to a traveler’s “pre-existing medical condition.” Most policies include blanket exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions. Typically, pre-existing conditions may be defined as any medical condition for which the traveler has seen a doctor within a period of three to six months previous to buying the insurance.

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That can be pretty draconian, and insurance as a “covered” reason in the policy fine print. You experience lousy weather at your golf company bean counters love draconian. resort? No coverage unless the Furthermore, some policies resort actually has to close that cover cancellation or interdown or the airline can’t fly ruption due to a problem expethere. Street demonstrations in rienced by a traveling compana city you plan to visit? No covion (or by close relatives who erage unless the city suffers an are not traveling) apply the actual “terrorist” act. Hardly pre-existing conditions excluany policies cover cancellation sion to them, as well. for work reasons. Fortunately, however, you Taken together, these two can get around a large part of problems are why I recomthe problem. Most good travel mend policies that include a insurers waive this pre-exist- TRAVEL TIPS By Ed Perkins “cancel for any reason” proviing exemption, provided: • You buy the insurance within a set sion. That way, you decide whether to travnumber of days — typically 10 to 30 days el, not an insurance company bean counter — within making the first payment or de- paid to figure out ways to deny claims. Yes, any-reason policies are usually posit for your trip, • You be physically able to travel at the more expensive than conventional politime you buy the insurance and cannot fore- cies, they don’t cover any-reason cancellation within the last 48 hours before schedsee any specific upcoming problems, and • You insure the entire amount of uled departure, and most of them pay off less than 100 percent of the value. money you have at risk in prepayments. But the any-reason provision is an add-on According to Cook, that last one “causes the most heartache.” With most policies, you to a conventional policy, not a substitute: If can’t insure just part of your risk, and if you you cancel for a “covered reason,” you get underinsure, even just by “rounding down,” the full recovery; the any-reason option many companies can deny your entire claim. kicks in only when your reason isn’t covered. Travel insurance remains a complicated Moreover, as far as I can tell, policies vary in terms of whether you have to cover issue. One of the best sources of further inthe total outlay or just the outlay for nonre- formation I know is Travel Insurance Ratings and Reviews (travelinsurancerating.org), an fundable services. online resource maintained by Cook. As an agent, he obviously carries favorable Cancellation complaints The number two cause of complaints is bias to insurance, but his company arranges about denials of claims when something policies with all the big insurers and he is unactually happens that requires you to can- biased in recommending policies he prefers. Check it out if you’re at all unsure about cel or interrupt a trip. As Cook points out, trip insurance poli- whether to buy insurance for your next trip. Send e-mail to Ed Perkins at cies are “named peril coverages,” meaning that they reimburse you only in the case of eperkins@mind.net. © 2013 Tribune Content Agency, LLC. an event or occurrence specifically included

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE ON AGING

Spotlight On Aging VOLUME XXIV, ISSUE 12

A newsletter for D.C. Seniors

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE By John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA In this month’s edition of “Spotlight on Aging,” I would like to share some exciting news about the D.C. Office on Aging’s (DCOA) Nursing Home Transition Program, which was started on April 8 with new funding from Mayor Vincent C. Gray. This program, which is important to me both personally and professionally, is designed to assist nursing home residents to return to the community. During the very short time since the program’s inception, the agency has been able to touch many lives across the District of Columbia and neighboring jurisdictions. I mentioned that this program is personal to me, as I faced a situation for a couple of years when my elderly cousin, who suffered a stroke, remained in a nursing home with no one advocating for her return home. It appeared that my cousin had all odds working against her. The Area Agency on Aging in her North Carolina hometown, which is equivalent to the functions of the Office on Aging here in the District of Columbia, did not take a strong interest in assisting my cousin with transitioning from an institution. The nursing home was receiving payment from my cousin every month and was not working to discharge her. Lastly, my cousin had no knowledge about home- and community-based services and how she could receive quality care at home and save over $40,000 of her retirement each year as compared to what she was paying to the nursing home. Her ordeal lasted well over two years in an institution that prevented her from experiencing Thanksgiving and Christmas in the comfort of her home, where she enjoyed cooking, baking and spending quality time with family and friends for decades. However, as a result of our persistence and advocacy, I am glad to report that my cousin was able to spend this past Thanksgiving at home! The same approach that I used to help my cousin to return home is what we do in the District of Columbia through our Nursing Home Transition Program. Through this service, my colleagues visit nursing homes across the District of Columbia, and in other jurisdictions, meeting with residents who are interested and able to return home. After identifying these individuals, we work closely with the nursing home staff, sister District governmenSee DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE, page 32

December 2013

In The Community DCOA Executive John M. Thompson speaks during a caregiving event held recently at Hughes Memorial.

Nearly 100 seniors participated in the roundtable discussion hosted by DCOA at the Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center, located at 3500 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE.

Seniors at the Washington Seniors Wellness Center are engaged during a DCOA sponsored roundtable discussion. The Ward 7 center is located at 3001 Alabama Avenue, SE.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program Important Update As of Jan. 1, 2014, the Greater Washington Urban League location at 2901 14th St NW, Washington, DC, will be closed, and seniors participating in this program will no longer be able to pick up the commodity food bags at this location. All seniors will be reassigned to a location to start receiving commodity foods from a community-based site. These sites are located throughout Washington, DC and have spe-

cific distribution hours. The Capital Area Food Bank thanks you for your understanding and we hope that these sites will help provide you with additional ser vices. Please contact the Capital Area Food Bank for your specific locations. There will be no change in service or the items in the bag. For more information, please contact Ms. Washington at 202-644-9800, ext.663 or at 202-644-9861.


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D.C. OFFICE

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AGING NEWSLETTER

Holiday Depression and Stress The holiday season can be a time of joy, cheer, parties and family gatherings. But for many people, it is a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures and anxiety about an uncertain future. What causes holiday blues? Many factors can cause the “holiday blues” — stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial constraints, and the inability to be with one’s family and friends. The demands of shopping, parties, family reunions and house guests also contribute to feelings of tension. People may also develop other stress responses, such as headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating and difficulty sleeping. Even more people experience postholiday let down after January 1st. This can result from disappointments during the preceding months compounded by the excess fatigue and stress. Coping with stress and depression during the holidays • Keep expectations for the holiday season manageable. Try to set realistic goals for yourself. Pace yourself. Organize your time. Make a list and prioritize the important activities.

Director’s message From page 31

tal agencies, and community-based providers to ensure that we locate housing, home and communitybased services, and other resources that will help a discharged nursing home resident return to the community. As this is a new challenge for those who have become accustomed to nursing home living for an extensive period of time, our transition coordinators work closely with each individual in ensuring their success during and after transition. Success for the agency is not only discharging the person, but ensuring that they remain in the community and experience quality and productive living. To date, I am excited to report that our agency has been successful in assisting 57 nursing home residents return to the familiar surroundings of their communities. Some of these individuals are seniors, while others are not quite at the age of 60. In reviewing the data, the agency learned that the average length of a

• Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Don’t put the entire focus on just one day (e.g., Thanksgiving Day). Remember that it’s a season of holiday sentiment, and activities can be spread out to lessen stress and increase enjoyment. • Remember the holiday season does not banish reasons for feeling sad or lonely; there is room for these feelings to be present, even if the person chooses not to express them. • Leave “yesteryear” in the past and look toward the future. Life brings changes. Each season is different and can be enjoyed in its own way. Don’t set yourself up in comparing today with the “good ol’ days.” • Do something for someone else. Try volunteering some of your time to help others. • Enjoy activities that are free, such as taking a drive to look at holiday decorations, going window shopping, or making a snowperson with children. • Be aware that excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression. • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way. • Spend time with supportive and

nursing home stay for these citizens is approximately three and a half years. These are not typical residents whose nursing home stays were only for short-term rehabilitation. Additional data reveal that DCOA’s assisted discharges have taken as little as six days. Do you know of someone who is in a nursing home but would like to return to the community? If they are a District resident living in a D.C. nursing home or in a neighboring jurisdiction and desire to return to their homes, we would like to hear from you. In this season of giving, why don’t you give them the gift that they so desire by telling them about our program and calling us so that we can visit them in the nursing home? Our team will work swiftly at beginning the transition process if they are ideal candidates for returning to the community. Please contact Dr. Chantelle Teasdell, associate director of the DCOA’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, at 202-724-5622 or chantelle.teasdell@dc.gov for more information about the program or to make a referral.

caring people. Reach out and make new friends, or contact someone you haven’t heard from in a while. • Save time for yourself! Recharge your batteries! Let others share in the responsibility of planning activities. Can environment be a factor? Studies show that some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which results from being exposed to fewer hours of sunlight as the days grow shorter during the winter months. Phototherapy — a treatment involving a few hours of exposure to intense light — is shown to be effective in relieving depressive symptoms in patients with SAD.

Other studies on the benefits of phototherapy found that exposure to early morning sunlight can be effective in relieving seasonal depression. Recent findings, however, suggest that patients respond equally well to phototherapy when it is scheduled in the early afternoon. This has practical applications for antidepressant treatment because it allows the use of phototherapy in the workplace as well as the home. Information courtesy of the National Mental Health Association. For help locally, call the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health seven days a week, 24-hours a day at 1-8887WE-HELP (1-888-793-4357).

The District Releases First Alzheimer’s State Plan Alzheimer’s disease is the sixthleading cause of death in the U.S. and ranked as the ninth-leading cause of death in the District The D.C. Office on Aging (DCOA) announced the release of the District’s first-ever State Plan confronting Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 9 percent of seniors living in the District have the disease. This chronic illness not only impacts the lives of those with this disease, but has a profound effect on their families and social networks. For this reason, the District of Columbia State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease seeks to set measurable goals to help improve the lives of District residents living with this disease, and to reduce the burden on caregivers and their families. “We developed this plan to ensure that all residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers receive the adequate support needed to reduce the burden that is often associated with this illness,” said BB Otero, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services. The plan engages District government agencies, federal partners, the private sector and nonprofits to make Alzheimer’s disease a priority for the city. Additionally, the plan outlines several goals and inclusive strategies to enhance care and support for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s. These goals include:

• Developing comprehensive research and data, • Enhancing quality care for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, • Creating a robust public awareness campaign to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease throughout the District, and • Improving training and workforce development. “We understand that Alzheimer’s disease is a complex issue that will take time and collaboration for various stakeholders to address this problem. With an increase in the number of Washingtonians living with the disease, there will also be an increase in family caregiving demands, both emotionally and financially. “Therefore, we have created a five-year plan that includes various short- and long-term solutions that seek to enhance the lives of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their families,” said D.C. Office on Aging executive director John M. Thompson, Ph.D. “The District of Columbia needs an ambitious plan to educate and support individuals with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them,” said Sally White, co-chair of the Senior Advisory Coalition and the executive director of Iona Senior Services. “We look forward to working with the D.C. Office on Aging and others to meet the important goals set forth in the new State Plan.”


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D.C. OFFICE

ON

AGING NEWSLETTER

District Senior Takes Part in National Competition Ms. Senior D.C. Nancy A. Berry was one of 34 contestants 60 years of age or older to compete in the Ms. Senior America Pageant held at the Resorts Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. Ms. Senior D.C. performed a jazz dance to “Sweet Georgia Brown” from the play Bubbling Brown Sugar. Berry also talked about a “Plan B” as part of her philosophy during the evening gown and philosophy of life segment of the competition. Ms. Tennessee Senior America Carolyn Corlew was crowned the winner, singing a hip shaking “Tell Momma” by Etta James during the talent segment. Corlew also wore a stunning strapless, white sequined gown that dazzled audiences with its shimmering effect. First runner-up was Ms. New Jersey Senior America, and second runner-

up was Ms. Nevada Senior America. Included in the top 10 finalists for the pageant was a contestant from Colorado who competed with her service dog and an escort to assist with her visual disability. During her philosophy of life segment, a contestant from Louisiana in her 90s said, that “90 is the new 60.” Ms. Senior America Pageant contestants are judged on a personal interview with a panel of judges, their philosophy of life, talent and evening gown presentations. A complete list and information is located at senioramerica.org. Congratulations also to Shirley Rivens Smith, Ms. Senior DC 2009, who was appointed Parliamentarian for the National Senior America Alumni Organization during the pageant activities.

Ms. Senior America Carolyn Corlew during the crowning.

DCOA Job Announcement The D.C. Department of Human Resources has posted Job #22575 Supervisory Public Health Analyst for the D.C. Office on Aging. Located within the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), this position is responsible for participating in the overall management of the ADRC under the general supervision of the Associate Director for ADRC. Responsibilities also include overseeing and monitoring the services rendered through the Hospital Discharge Planning, Diabetes Self-Management Programs and other grantfunded projects within the ADRC. The incumbent serves as an au-

thority on the ADRC program, and has oversight responsibility for ensuring that all Medicaid recipients who are receiving long-term care or home and community-based services are provided with adequate and appropriate services. Duties also include responses to all funding opportunities available to increase ADRC programs. This full-time position has a salary of $76,996 - $107,794. The Supervisory Public Health Analyst position will be open until filled. Only online applications will be accepted; visit www.dchr.dc.gov to view the complete position description.

Ms. Senior D.C. Nancy A. Berry joins with other state champions, including Debbi Miller, Ms. Senior Virginia, at the pageant.

Berry poses during the evening gown competition.

2013-2014 Citizen Snow Team The District of Columbia is at its best when neighbors, government and businesses work together in the face of adversity, challenges, and even Mother Nature. Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism is seeking volunteers from across the District to join our 2013-2014 Citizen Snow Team that will clear sidewalks of elderly and disabled residents after it snows. The District requires property owners (residential and commercial) to clear the sidewalks surrounding their property within 24 hours after a snowfall. Even a dusting of snow can be too much for elderly or disabled residents to shovel. That’s why we are asking you to volunteer your services and make winter a little easier on everyone.


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D.C. OFFICE

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Community Calendar December events

11th • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Bernice Elizabeth Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center will hold a community health and information fair. The center is located at 3531 Georgia Ave. NW. For more information, call 202-727-0338.

11th • 10:30 a.m. Model Cities Senior Wellness Center will host a community outreach health fair sponsored by Verizon. Model Cities is located at 1901 Evarts St. NE. For more information, call 202-635-1900.

Seabury Resources for Aging Ward 5 will distribute toys to the Second New St. Paul Day Care Center, 2400 Franklin St. NE. For more information, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

Seabury Resources for Aging Ward 5 will hold its holiday open house at 2900 Newton St. NE. For reservations, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

18th • 1 to 3 p.m. 15th to 17th Model Cities hosts a Christmas in the Cities trip to see the Rockettes in New York and a Christmas show in Atlantic City. The trip departs on Dec. 15 at 7:45 a.m. There is a $246 donation for the trip. For more information, call 202-635-1900.

Health Insurance Enrollment Help DC Health Link, in partnership with DC Public Library, has opened two new health insurance enrollment centers, one in downtown DC and the other in Ward 7. At each enrollment center, trained experts — known as DC Health Link Assisters — and licensed health insurance brokers will be on-hand to answer questions and guide people through the process of obtaining health insurance. In addition to the new Enrollment Centers, a series of health insurance enrollment events will be hosted throughout the city to help District residents and small businesses compare and choose quality, affordable health insurance plans. • DC Health Link Enrollment Center at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW, operates Monday through Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

17th • 2 p.m.

13th • 11 a.m.

4th • 11 a.m. Model Cities will hold a holiday bazaar at 1901 Evarts St. NE. For more information, call 202-635-1900.

Attend a community health and wellness fair at St. Mary’s Court apartments, 725 24th St. NW. For more information, call 202-223-5712.

19th • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Model Cities Senior Wellness Center will hold a community health and wellness fair. Model Cities is located at 1901 Evarts St. NE. For more information, call 202-635-1900.

Hypothermia and Hyperthermia Watches

DC Health Link Enrollment Center at Deanwood Library and Recreation Center, 1350 49 St NE, operates Monday and Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 2 to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Enrollment Centers at both libraries will be open until March 31, 2014.

The District of Columbia is committed to protecting the homeless from extreme weather injury by meeting the demand for shelter during hypothermia (not enough heat) and hyperthermia (too much heat) seasons. The District’s Winter Plan for homeless services is in effect from Nov. 1 to March 31, the hypothermia season, when all homeless people must be housed when the temperature falls below freezing (32 degrees F).

Resources for Consumers

Call the Hotline

New website: www.DCHealthLink.com • Toll-free hotline – 1-855-532-5465 • In-person assistance from trained experts • Enrollment began Oct 1, with coverage taking effect January 1, 2014. • In order for coverage to begin on Jan. 1, 2014 enrollment needs to occur by Dec. 15 • Events will be held at libraries, CVS stores, recreation centers, and elsewhere throughout March

You can help. Call the hotline when you see a homeless person who may be impacted by extreme temperatures. The Hypothermia/Hyperthermia Hotline, 1-800-535-7252, is operated by the United Planning Organization (UPO). Families seeking emergency shelter should go to the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 33 N St. NE. The shelter operates Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (except for holidays and days on which the District government is closed). After 3:30 p.m. and on weekends, during extreme temperature alerts, families should call the Shelter Hotline (same number as above) for transportation to the DC General family shelter or other available family shelter. Some of the severe weather shelters operate from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. during extreme temperature alerts only.

Seasonal Shelters

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 • www.dcoa.dc.gov John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA Executive Director Darlene Nowlin Editor Selma Dillard Darrell Jackson, Jr. Photographers The D.C. Office on Aging does not discriminate against anyone based on actual

or perceived: race, color, religion, 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.

Other single adult hypothermia and hyperthermia beds will also be available 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. These shelters open at the time of the first alert of the season and remain open every day of the extreme temperature season. These are seasonal shelters. Overflow single adult shelters operate only when all other shelters are near capacity.


WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Money Law &

35

FOREIGN FUND FRENZY Inventors are pouring money into international funds, but beware of risks FEWER HAPPY RETURNS Stores become less generous about returns, so follow rules carefully COOLING HIGH HEATING COSTS Gas and electricity prices are rising; how to save energy and money GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER Prepare key financial documents and instructions now to help your spouse

Profiting from the new oil and gas boom By Kathy Kristof Decades of importing crude from the vast Arabian deserts left many people believing that America’s dependence on foreign oil was as inevitable as the tide. But sweeping changes in the way oil and gas are extracted are challenging that assumption. The United States, which was once so dependent on imported oil that energy laws were designed to conserve domestic reserves, is now expected to be energy-independent by 2020. In fact, the nation is rapidly overtaking Russia to become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. As anyone who has seen the classic 1956 film Giant or the TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies” knows, drilling for oil in America is as old as the hills. But that history means that opportunities for landbased drillers are limited. “The largest onshore oil fields have been developed,” said Todd Scholl, an ana-

lyst at Wunderlich Securities. “All the lowhanging fruit is gone.”

Off-shore investments Drilling at sea, on the other hand, offers a new frontier, especially as rigs and drilling techniques become more sophisticated and are better able to probe into deeper waters. Scholl is especially bullish on offshore contractors that don’t own the wells but hire out their crews and equipment for offshore exploration. Most offshore producers also have onshore operations. We’ve identified two companies with major water-based projects that are certain to play a key role in their growth. One of them is Anadarko Petroleum (symbol APC). Some of its most promising projects are located in the Gulf of Mexico and off the shores of Brazil, Colombia, Kenya and Mozambique. Analysts praise Anadarko for its skill in

finding large-scale discoveries at a low cost. At $97, the stock sells for 18 times projected earnings — not terribly expensive in view of Anadarko’s expected longterm earnings growth rate of 22 percent. The other company, Apache Corp. (APA), has gone through a rough patch over the past couple of years. Shares of the Houston exploration firm, which peaked at $133 in April 2011, sank to $69 two years later, thanks to a combination of low gas prices and operational missteps. Investors also fretted that political instability would derail Apache’s joint ventures on some 10 million acres in Egypt. But Apache launched an aggressive restructuring program this year, selling off one-third of its Egyptian assets as well as fields in Canada and the Gulf of Mexico. It is using the $7 billion in proceeds to pay off debt and buy back shares. Apache said that recently completed wells

in the North Sea contributed 16 percent of the company’s worldwide production revenue in 2012. The firm is also developing projects in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and off the shore of Australia. At $90, the stock is cheap, trading for just 12 times projected profits.

New natural gas extraction One reason for the turnaround is the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in horizontal wells, which allows for vastly increased amounts of oil and gas extracted from shale. This ability to pull gas out of previously unfriendly rock has been a boon for production but — at least from an investor’s viewpoint — a bane for prices. Natural gas, which sold for $10.91 per thousand cubic feet in 2005, was selling for $3.41 in July. That’s partly because domesSee OIL AND GAS, page 36

Good financial advice that’s available free By Anya Kamenetz Between the rocky rollout of Obamacare and the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis, it’s been a jittery season for finances. There’s so much new information, and so many decisions to be made with the facts in flux: sell or hold stocks? Change your health plan or stick with what you’ve got? We live in a time when there are more avenues than ever for learning about what to do with your finances. The problem is simplifying all that information so you can make decisions based on what’s most important to you. Recently, I came across two resources worth sharing that do just that. One is a list that’s gone viral on the web. It came out of a conversation between Washington Post contributor Harold Pollack and journalist Helaine Olen, who has written an exposé of the personal finance industry. Olen’s book Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry (Portfolio, 2012) has been called a “shocking” narrative of the misleading advice given by big-name money gurus. One reason many people dread managing their money is that the huge financial

services industry promotes the impression that it’s harder than it is. That’s a crucial part of getting you to pay for their advice. As Pollack wrote on his blog: “The financial industry’s most basic dilemma: The best advice fits on a 3-by-5 index card and is available for free at the library.”

Financial advice condensed A reader challenged him and Olen to produce the card. The following (edited just a bit) is the advice they came up with: Maximize your 401(k) or equivalent. Buy inexpensive, well-diversified mutual funds such as Vanguard target-date funds. Never buy or sell an individual security. Save 20 percent of your income. Pay your credit card balance in full every month. Maximize tax-advantaged savings vehicles like Roth, SEP and 529 accounts. Pay attention to fees. Avoid actively managed funds. And that’s it. Of course, the problem with acting on information like this is that it’s not necessarily complete and customized to your individual circumstance. Target-date funds don’t constitute a fully

diversified portfolio for everyone; some prefer even cheaper index funds. Some people don’t earn enough to save 20 percent of their income while also paying off their credit cards. If you’re looking to go a bit deeper, the smart choice is to internalize the principles behind such advice in order to make your own bets.

Free online financial course For that, there’s a new free resource available online: http://online.stanford .edu/course/rauh-finance. Josh Rauh, a finance professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is teaching a free and open video-based version of his graduate course on the finance of retirement and pensions. Some of the videos are available on YouTube now, and you can sign up for the eight-week class starting in January at the site Novoed.com. There are ten 45-minute lectures in the course, broken up in to very manageable chunks of 3-8 minutes. By watching just one of them, I learned a couple of interesting principles behind the standard stock market advice.

One is risk and return. Very simple. The reason we invest in stocks is that they offer potential returns over inflation. But any investment that offers potential returns over inflation also has the potential for losses in equal measure. No risk, no return. A second is reversion to the mean. This is the idea that, over time, stocks and many other assets return from high or low periods to something close to the moving average. That means if you are retiring into a down market — say, in 2009 — it would make sense to hold off cashing out your portfolio for a couple of years in the hopes of a recovery. Reversion to the mean is a widely held theory, but it’s only a theory. Japan’s history, Rauh said, may be a counterexample: its stock market, the Nikkei, peaked just shy of 40,000 in 1989, a generation ago, and is only slightly above 14,000 today. I’ve been writing about personal finance for almost 10 years, and there is always more to learn, even if the basics are simple. Anya Kamenetz welcomes your questions at diyubook@gmail.com. © 2013 Anya Kamenetz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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Law & Money | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

Oil and gas From page 35 tic use of energy is on the decline, leaving newly prolific producers with more supply than demand. U.S. companies are also hampered in their ability to sell gas overseas, where prices are far higher. Opening the export

market would boost demand and create greater parity between international and domestic prices, a move almost certain to boost domestic gas prices. But because no one knows when supply and demand will come into better balance, your best bet is to invest in low-cost producers that can make money even when gas prices are low.

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Companies to consider Three attractive producers are Range Resources (symbol RRC), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), and Southwestern Energy (SWN). All three have stakes in the Marcellus Shale basin in southwestern Pennsylvania, which produces prolific amounts of energy for a relative pittance. All three are growing and profitable. And earnings could soar if gas prices rise to $4.50 to $5 per thousand cubic feet. Range, which has a one-million-acre shale-bearing property in the Marcellus region, predicts that its gas production will soar seven- to tenfold over the next few years. The Fort Worth-based company reported that revenues rose 50 percent and profits soared 159 percent in the second quarter from the same period in 2012. Its stock isn’t cheap, however. At $77, Range sells for 42 times projected earnings for the next 12 months. Still, if the projected growth rates hold, Range’s stock price could prove to be a bargain.

Cabot sells for a similarly lofty price, trading for 30 times estimated year-ahead earnings. The Houston concern expects to boost gas production in the Marcellus region by 30 to 50 percent annually over the next several years. Southwestern started to lease Marcellus land in 2007, making it one of the newer players in the region. Overall, Southwestern’s growth rate is slower, so its stock, selling for 17 times forecasted year-ahead profits, is less pricey than the other two. Kathy Kristof is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit www.Kiplinger.com. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

BEACON BITS

Dec. 17

ELIMINATE DEBT

Ongoing

HELP FROM REBUILDING TOGETHER

Rosemary Hill presents a program that teaches you how to get out of debt quickly using the fast track payoff plan. Learn how to free up additional money by using the step-down budgeting plan. This free program takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Walter Reed Senior Center, 2909 S. 16th St., Arlington, Va. To register, call (703) 228-0955.

For many seniors, the cost and effort involved in the seasonal upkeep of a home is often beyond their financial and physical capabilities. That’s why volunteers from Rebuilding Together Alexandria work to fix up and upgrade homes yearround to make them safer and more energy efficient. If you know of a senior who needs help making repairs, refer them to Rebuilding Together Alexandria at (703) 836-1021 or www.rebuildingtogetheralex.org.

Dec. 8

FESTIVE OPEN HOUSE

Green Spring Gardens is hosting a free holiday open house on Sunday, Dec. 8 from noon to 4 p.m. Grandchildren are welcome. There will be a holiday puppet show, festive greens and tree ornaments for sale, a vintage train display, freshly baked seasonal breads for sale, and complimentary refreshments. There will also be a whimsical gingerbread house contest. Get your Gingerbread House contest entry form at www.greenspring.org on the Special Events page. Tickets for the 2 p.m. puppet show are $3 per person, but admission to the event is free. Green Spring is located at 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, Va. For more information, call (703) 642-5173.


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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More investors looking to foreign funds By Stan Choe Willkommen, investors. Domo arigato for the cash. Investors are piling into mutual funds that invest outside of the United States. The lure of Japan’s soaring market, Europe’s nascent economic recovery, and the potential for stronger economic growth in developing economies have led investors to pour a net $91 billion into world stock mutual funds through the first eight months of the year. That’s nearly six times what they’ve put into domestic stock mutual funds, according to the most recent data from the Investment Company Institute. It’s a continuation of a trend that’s been going for years, both by average investors and by mutual fund providers, in the search for a more diversified portfolio. Stocks from other countries can zig when U.S. markets zag, offering a smoother ride for investors. That’s why fund companies have bulked up on foreign stocks in their target-date retirement funds, which are built to take care of investment decisions for savers. The average target-date fund designed for those aiming to retire in 2040 had 36 percent of its stock portfolio in foreign companies at the end of 2012, up from 24 percent at the end of 2005, according to Morningstar. The split in interest has become even more pronounced this fall: Investors added a net $924 million to world stock funds during the two weeks ended Oct. 2. Over the same time, they turned their backs on domestic stock funds and pulled out a net $8 billion.

Larger dividends abroad One attraction has been the bigger dividend yields that foreign stocks offer. Stocks from developed markets around

the world carried a dividend yield of 3.1 percent at the end of September, according to the MSCI EAFE index. Stocks from Brazil, China and other developing economies in the MSCI Emerging Markets index had a yield of 2.7 percent. That compared with a 2.1 percent yield for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and a 2.6 yield for a 10-year Treasury note. Investors who bet on Japanese stocks have done well this year. A big push of stimulus by the Bank of Japan has invigorated the country’s market, and the country’s Nikkei 225 index has surged 37 percent this year. But even better buys are available in Europe, where stocks have lagged the U.S. market since the recession, said Phil Camporeale, client portfolio manager at J.P. Morgan. He helps run the $7.9 billion JPMorgan Income Builder fund (JNBAX), which invests in stocks and bonds from around the world. The fund keeps about 17 percent of its assets in Europe, which is close to the highest it’s been since the fund’s inception in 2007. “They’re where the U.S. was three years ago,” Camporeale said. The European Central Bank has shown that it will be the lender of last resort and will support the economy, which recently had its first quarter of growth in its last seven. Stocks across Europe and other countries are also trading at lower prices relative to their book values than their U.S. counterparts, said Bill Nasgovitz, one of the managers of the Heartland International Value fund (HINVX). That can provide investors with a stronger safety net in case volatility hits the market again. Investors who have focused on emerging-market stock mutual funds struggled in the summer. Worries about slowing economic growth and a possible pullback in stimulus by the Federal Reserve dragged

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down markets from Brazil to China. But that also put many emerging-market stocks on sale, proponents say. To be sure, investing in international stock mutual funds carries risks, of which investors should be mindful. They include:

Currency changes Swings in foreign currency values can hurt returns for investors after translating them back into dollars. Indonesia’s stock index is up 4 percent this year in terms of

the Indonesian rupiah, for example. But in U.S. dollar terms, it has dropped nearly 13 percent. Currency swings can also slow an otherwise quick ride for markets. Japanese stocks have shot up 37 percent this year, roughly double the 18 percent gain of the S&P 500. But much of the gain has been due to the yen’s falling value against the dollar. InSee FOREIGN FUNDS, page 38


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Stores are getting stingy about returns By Kaitlin Pinsker As you’re double-checking your holiday shopping list, tack on a reminder to read each store’s return policy before making your purchase. Some retailers are feeling a little less generous when it comes to returns. Such stingier policies are intended to combat return fraud. Fraudulent returns cost retailers $8.9 billion in 2012, according to the

National Retail Federation, $2.9 billion of which occurred during the holiday season. Customers can expect tougher return policies to spread. “As retailers see competitors or stores with some of the most lenient policies tighten up, it’s going to signal to them that they can do the same,” said Phoenix retail consultant Jeff Green. “We’re going to see a shift toward a short-

er, 30-day return policy in 2014.” Customers can also expect added scrutiny when taking back merchandise without a receipt.

Identifying repeat offenders Retailers want to identify the bad actors. To do so, some companies are gathering data on customers who return merchandise, watching for suspicious patterns, and warning or denying repeat offenders. Clerks may ask for state-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, before you can make a return. Nearly 10 percent of retailers require ID for returns made with a receipt, and 73 percent require ID for returns made without a receipt. Some scan the ID into their own system; others send the info to a third party. If you exceed a retailer’s limit for the number of returns within a given time frame or for the value of returned products, you could be denied more returns for a period of time (typically 90 days). If you are given a warning or denied a return, the Retail Equation, a company that collects return information for 27,000 merchants in North America, will provide you with the information in its return-activity report over the phone. To request your report, visit www.theretailequation.com/consumers.

Foreign funds From page 37

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vestors expect the devaluation of the yen to help Japanese exporters by inflating the value of their overseas sales. After adjusting for the currency changes, the Nikkei 225 is up a more modest 20 percent in U.S. dollar terms. Some mutual funds try to mitigate effects of currency swings by hedging their portfolios. They do this by entering complicated contracts, but funds incur costs to do so, and there’s still the risk that they’ve guessed wrong on the direction of currencies.

Volatility and politics Foreign stocks can have more severe swings than U.S. stocks, particularly those from less developed economies.

Holiday returns are easier Despite the general trend toward Grinchier return policies, some retailers are giving shoppers a break during the holidays or when shopping online. Last year, 10 percent of retailers relaxed their return policies for the holidays, and similar promotions are expected this year. Lenient online return policies — and acceptance of returns in stores for items bought online — will likely continue. Look for more stores to offer free shipping for both purchases and returns. As policies shift, the key to keeping your returns hassle free will be staying organized. The ReturnGuru app, free for iPhone and Android, lets you snap pictures of your receipts and reminds you as the deadline approaches to make returns. The new rules may take some getting used to. But if you expect great deals, that’s part of the trade-off. Kaitlin Pinsker is a reporter at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit www.Kiplinger.com. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Brazil’s Bovespa index plunged 11 percent in June amid worries about economic growth and protests in the streets, for example. The S&P 500 fell a more modest 2 percent during the same month. Indonesia’s stock index dropped 9 percent in August, compared with the S&P 500’s 3 percent loss. Other risks include the fact that companies in other countries may use different accounting standards than U.S. companies, and the fear that governments in some countries could expropriate private assets. Fund managers closely follow elections and other political changes that could quickly affect investors. “You can have somebody win an election and create better or worse tax environments for dividends for these companies,” JPMorgan’s Camporeale said. — AP


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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

How to cool the cost of high heating bills By Jonathan Fahey After two years of flat or lower fuel prices, many residents will pay sharply more to heat their homes this winter, according to government forecasts. Fortunately, there are a number of ways residents can blunt the expected rise in heating bills — beyond putting on a turtleneck. Staying warm is expected to cost more because fuel prices are rising and forecasts call for cooler weather, in some areas, after two relatively warm winters. Natural gas, propane and electricity prices are expected to rise, affecting 94 percent of U.S. households. Heating oil users will catch a slight price break, but still pay near-record bills to heat their homes. One obvious way to lower your heating bill is to lower the thermostat — sleep under a few more blankets, watch TV in a sweater, and use a programmable thermostat to turn the heat down when you are away or fast asleep. The Energy Department estimates that a resident can save 1 percent on their heating bill for every degree a thermostat is set back.

Energy-saving steps Here are a few other ways to lower costs: • Think of the sun as a heater, and your drapes as a blanket: Open drapes when you are getting direct sunlight, then close them at night to keep heat from escaping. • Make sure the damper in your fire-

place is closed when you aren’t using it. • Keep air vents clean and uncovered so heat can easily flow throughout your home. • Shut off kitchen fans and bathroom fans as soon as they are no longer needed. • It takes more energy to heat water in cold weather. You can lower the temperature of your water heater a bit and still get a hot shower, and use cold water to do laundry and rinse dishes. Also, insulate pipes that move hot water around the house.

Prices on the rise A look at the government’s forecast for winter fuel costs shows why homeowners will want to use some cost-cutting measures this winter. Natural gas customers will pay an average of $679 this winter for heating, up 13 percent from last year. Electricity customers will pay $909, up 2 percent. Propane customers in the Northeast will pay $2,146, up 11 percent. Heating oil customers will pay $2,046, down 2 percent. At the same time, funding for low-income heating assistance is falling. In 2010, Congress set aside $5.1 billion for heating assistance. This year Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, is expecting $3 billion. Many states and utilities offer incentives for home energy audits and home weatherization programs that include things like adding insulation, installing more efficient

windows, and replacing an old boiler or furnace with a new one. These investments can pay for themselves in heating savings in just a few years, especially when energy prices are high. Switching from oil heat to natural gas is expensive — it costs $5,000 to $10,000, depending on how much workers have to do

to reconfigure the heating system. But the Energy Department says the average heating oil customer will pay a whopping $1,367 more this winter than the average natural gas customer — and that gap is expected to remain wide. If it does, the payback for a switch would be four to seven years. — AP

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Prepare key docs and instructions now Losing a spouse is one of the most diffi- policies, will, trust agreements, pension cult events a person may face. The transi- and retirement account documents (see tion that follows is difficult, discussion below on survivor but it can be helped immensepension rights and beneficiarly if key records and docuies), recent tax returns, funerments — along with clear inal instructions, titles, deeds, structions about necessary fimortgage and loan agreenancial, legal and other ments, lines of credit, latest inarrangements — are left for vestment and retirement acthe surviving spouse. count statements, latest loan Here is a list by category of and credit card statements, the things a surviving spouse key account logins/passwill need access to. words for computer access. Contact list: names and THE SAVINGS Bill paying instructions: contact information for the fu- GAME I recommend that the spouse neral home, Social Security By Elliot Raphaelson who handles the bill paying Administration, Medicare, function request that the current or former employer, life insurance other spouse handle this function periodiagent, attorney, accountant, financial plan- cally, so they are familiar with it. ner and credit card companies. Bills that have to be paid each month Important documents: life insurance should be kept in a specific location known

to the other spouse. Bills that are automatically paid each month from a financial account should be documented. Bills that could fall into this category are various loans, insurance premiums, cable service, credit cards, automobile policies and so forth. There are some bills, such as property taxes, that are generally due once a year. Such items should be documented. Automatic investments/payments: Any automatic monthly investments, such as to mutual funds, should be documented. The surviving spouse may wish to discontinue some or all such investments. The financial institution should be informed to discontinue any life insurance payments for a policy of the deceased spouse. Short-term cash sources: Funds that are available for the short-term cash needs of the surviving spouse should be identified, such as savings accounts, money mar-

PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T

Choosing Memory Care for a Loved One. dining room to promote a familiar and more appealing atmosphere. Hallways are bright and engaging, showcasing resident art. A secure, beautifully landscaped courtyard invites time outdoors. The residents’ bunny, Baxter, and visits by therapy pets brighten the day. A Cultural Arts Calendar is tailored to the resident’s specific interr ests and abilities. Massage and Reiki therapy also are available.

Normal forgetfulness is part of the aging process and usually begins in middle age. However, there is a great difference between forgetting your keys and dementia. Of the various types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is the most common, and is characterrized as a severe, progressive loss of memory and thinking ability. The Benefits of Stimulation and Success. A lifestyle found to be especially effective for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia is an environment that provides mental stimulation, awakens the senses and provides residents with moments of perrsonal success. One example is the newly renovated City Club at The Residences at Thomas Circle, located at 1330 Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington, DC. In this soothing environment, residents engage in esteem-building activities that enhance their independence. The City Club Memory Care specialist and caregivers are

specially trained to bring out what makes each person unique; to recognize his or her life’s achievements, and to treat each individual with well-deserved respect. “My mother has lived at Thomas Circle for a year,” said Kelly Gailbraith. “The move has definitely made a positive impact on both mine and my mother’s life. I find the most important benefits to be the safety and social interaction. The City Club is clean, beautiful and staffed with cheerful and well-trained professionals. I would highly recommend this community.” When seeking professional memory support, it’s vital to visit a memory care center and note if it is well maintained inside and out. Is the atmosphere cheerful and positive? Does it feel welcoming? City Club residents enjoy daily exercise, outings, group activities, and regularly scheduled visits with volunteer youth groups. Chef-prepared meals are served family-style in the new

Feels Like Home. The City Club neighborhood and home-like surroundings soothe and comfort, as well as stimulate reminiscence. “The goal is to use every opportunity to take residents on a soothing journey to a place that is comfortable, pleasant and familiar,” said Angie Layy yfield, Executive Director for The Residences at Thomas Circle. In addition, Thomas Circle is a source of information and guidance on topics related to memory care. Informational seminars are regularly held and the public is invited.

For more information about City Club Memory Care at Thomas Circle, the next seminar, or the community’s assisted living, skilled nursing or independent living, call (202) 626-5761 or visit www.ThomasCircle.com.

ket funds and lines of credit. Retirement and investment accounts: It is crucial that the surviving spouse know about assets he/she will be inheriting from a spouse. Handling IRAs, for example, is very important. If the surviving spouse is not knowledgeable in this area, then recommendations should be documented regarding whom the surviving spouse and other family beneficiaries should work with. It could be a financial adviser, attorney or mutual fund representative, but it is very important that the adviser be competent. Records should be retained indicating who account beneficiaries are. Beneficiaries documented on plan documents will take precedence over any wishes specified in the will. It is not unusual for one of the spouses to make all or most of the investment decisions for the family. If the surviving spouse has not been involved, then it is crucial that he or she be provided reliable sources to make investment decisions in the future. One approach is for the spouse who has been making the investment decisions to document his or her recommendations. For example he may recommend an immediate annuity with insurance proceeds, specifying a trusted insurance agent. Other possible sources are a financial planner, attorney, mutual fund adviser, stock broker or trusted relative. Pension/life insurance: When individuals retire with a defined-benefit pension plan, they generally have the option to provide pension income to the surviving spouse. It is crucial that this information be documented and known to the surviving spouse in order to ensure pension payments are continued. See DOCUMENTS, page 41

BEACON BITS

Dec. 16

SEASONAL MUSIC

Dec. 15

FREE PIANO CONCERT

Holiday Park Senior Center presents musical guest singer and guitarist Steve Gellman for seasonal music on Monday, Dec. 16 from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. This free event will take place at the center at 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton, Md. For more information, call (240) 777-4999.

The Washington Piano Society presents its anniversary concert on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. This free concert and reception will include works by Beethoven, Chopin, Ginastera, Scarlatti and Villa-Lobos, and takes place at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md. For more information, visit www.dcpianosociety.org or call (301) 793-1863.


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Assistance for Montgomery County homeowners Failure to pay homeowners’ association (HOA) fees can result in the loss of your condominium to foreclosure. The same can be true of failure to pay property taxes if you have a reverse mortgage on your home. Thanks to a limited grant, older Montgomery County residents who are having trouble paying these taxes or fees may be eligible for an interest-free loan through the Montgomery County-funded Home Savers program. Asian-American Homeownership Counseling, Inc.(AAHC) will loan up to $4,000 to pay past-due fees or taxes, and will negotiate a payment plan if additional money is owed. The loan has a repayment period of 12 to 24 months with no interest.

The organization also offers free money management and credit education. Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements: 1. Have a low to moderate income. 2. Be a resident of Montgomery County. 3. The property must be their primary residence. 4. The mortgage payment and escrow must be current, except for senior homeowners with reverse mortgages. 5. Have the ability to repay the loan. To learn more about the program, or to speak to a housing counselor on the phone or in person, contact AAHC at (301) 7607636 or email counseling@aa-hc.org. AAHC’s website is www.aa-hc.org.

Documents

relevant information for his or her surviving spouse, death will be followed by a difficult transition period. However, without this information and accompanying advice, costly mistakes will likely be made. Every person has an obligation to ensure that a surviving spouse and family members have the necessary information to make informed decisions. One of your best legacies will be the means for your loved ones to carry on with life. Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at elliotraph@gmail.com. ©2013 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

From page 40 If the employer/former employer provided life insurance that named the surviving spouse as the beneficiary, this information should also be documented. Future assets: The deceased spouse may have been named as a beneficiary in other wills or trusts. To the extent that this information is known, it should be documented, so the surviving spouse has knowledge about other assets that may be available in the future. Even if each spouse has documented all

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Careers Volunteers &

43

Did you (or someone you know) change careers, start a business or go back to school after retirement? Please share your story. Email info@theBeaconNewspapers.com or call Barbara at (301) 949-9766.

Volunteers share their hi-tech know-how First learn, then teach SeniorTech is led and coached by older adult volunteers, many of whom once took classes there. “The idea is seniors teaching seniors,” explained Gordon. Along with classes, there are assisted practice sessions and open lab days, where past students can attend and hone their skills. Before retiring, LeVine worked as a window trimmer and a shoe salesman for Woodward & Lothrop, the former retailer, in Washington, D.C. “I had no experience in computers,” he said. It was his retirement in 1993 that brought him to JCA. “I was bored and looking for something to do,” he explained with a laugh. Once he took some classes and had the skills, he began coaching. Coaches act as assistants to the instructors. They typically sit in the back of the room. “We tell them to be as unobtrusive as possible,” explained Robin Blackman, program specialist for SeniorTech. But when students seem to be off track with the curriculum, coaches step up to assist. There are typically one to two coaches for every

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

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vises the County Board on aging issues and advocates to ensure that the needs of Arlington’s older adults are included in all county planning and activities. Commission members are appointed by the County Board and must live or work in Arlington. For more information or an application, see www.tinyurl.com/arlcoa, or contact the Agency on Aging at (703) 228-1700 or Arlaaa@arlingtonva.us.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF SENIORTECH

By Rebekah Sewell Twenty years ago, Les LeVine wandered into Mazza Gallerie in Northwest Washington and discovered a computer room on the top floor. An instructor waved him in, and he stayed for the class. Now 85, LeVine volunteers for SeniorTech, the Jewish Council on Aging (JCA) computer education program he stumbled upon all those years ago. SeniorTech was founded in 1991 and was still young when LeVine began taking classes. “At the time we looked into doing this, people were commenting that computers were just for young people. We felt that senior whiz kids should be able to use the computer as well,” said Micki Gordon, assistant CEO of JCA. The program changed locations many times as it spread across the Greater Washington area. The Mazza Gallerie location was shut down to make way for the movie theatre. JCA now holds classes in three locations: Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Md., JCA’s Bronfman Center in Rockville, Md., and Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Va.

Bob Nisbet teaches computer skills to older adults at the SeniorTech location at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Md. The former Navy cryptologist is one of a number of volunteers who share their high-tech skills as part of the Jewish Council on Aging program that is offered at three venues.

class, depending on number of students. Instructors not only teach the class but also formulate the curriculum. They are responsible for leading the lecture and an-

swering questions. After taking that first class, LeVine didSee HI-TECH, page 45


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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Older entrepreneurs create new careers By Matt Sedensky Every passing month and unanswered resume dimmed Jim Glay’s optimism more. So with no job in sight, he joined a growing number of older people and created his own. In a mix of boomer individualism and economic necessity, older Americans have fueled a wave of entrepreneurship. The result is a slew of enterprises such as Crash Boom Bam, the vintage drum company that 64-year-old Glay began running from a spare bedroom in his apartment in 2009. The business hasn’t made him rich, but Glay credits it with keeping him afloat when no one would hire him. “You would send out a stack of 50 re-

sumes and not hear anything,” said Glay, who had been laid off from a sales job. “This has saved me.” Some are making the transition to entrepreneurship more slowly. Al Wilson, 58, of Manassas, Va., has kept his day job as a program analyst at the National Science Foundation while he tries to attract business for Rowdock — the snug calf protector he created to ward off injuries rowers call “track bites.” Though orders come in weekly from around the world, they’re not enough yet for Wilson to quit his job. “At this stage in my life, when I’m looking at retiring in the near future, to step out and take a risk and start a business,

there was some apprehension,” Wilson said. “But it’s kind of rejuvenated me.”

Highest rate of self-employed The annual entrepreneurial activity report, published by the Kansas City, Mo.based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, found the share of new entrepreneurs ages 55 to 64 grew from 14.3 percent in 1996 to 23.4 percent last year. Entrepreneurship among 45- to 54-year-olds saw a slight bump, while activity among younger

age groups fell. The foundation doesn’t track startups by those 65 and older, but Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that group has a higher rate of self-employment than any other age group. Part of the growth is the result of the overall aging of America. But experts say older people are flocking to self-employment both because of a frustrating job market and the growing ease and falling See NEW CAREERS, page 46

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

VOLUNTEER IN THE ARTS

VisArts is looking for volunteers to assist with guests and gallery exhibitions. Volunteers receive $5 credit per hour, which can be applied to the cost of art classes at VisArts, 155 Gibbs St., Rockville, Md. There are also opportunities for free dinner and movies on Thursdays and Fridays. To fill out an application, visit www.VisArtsCenter.com/volunteers. For more information, call (301) 315-8200.

Dec. 10

MAKE THE MOST OF LIFE

Death Cafes encourage open discussion about death in order to make the most of living. D.C. is hosting its next Death Cafe on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at Teaism, A Tea Shop in Penn Quarter at 400 8th St. NW, Washington, D.C. The discussion is from 7 to 9 p.m. Death Cafe DC is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Make your reservation by sending an email to deathcafedc@enbloommedia.com. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/DeathCafeDC.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

Hi-tech From page 43 n’t know that he would go on to become an instructor for almost 20 years. “It just snowballed from there,” he said.

Hooked on volunteering Unexpected volunteer careers seem to be commonplace with SeniorTech. Bob Nisbet was a volunteer at Asbury Methodist Village’s computer club. JCA learned of his skills by referral, and contacted him about setting up a JCA-sponsored SeniorTech program at Asbury. Before volunteering, Nisbet spent 26 years in the Navy as a cryptologist. Though not an Asbury resident, his service there was an outlet for his technological skills. In 2001, SeniorTech set up classes in a bare room in nearby Lakeforest Mall. Two years later, they moved to a specially made computer room at Asbury, where they continue teaching classes today. The classes are not limited to Asbury residents, and about half of the participants come from outside the retirement community. Nisbet remembered a 90-year-old woman who once took his class. “She really stuck through it,” he said. “When something like that [happens], a person who has never used a computer before, whose grandkids want them to send email, those kind of moments are very nice. You’re also always learning [as a teacher],” Nisbet added. Similarly, LeVine enjoys teaching his students what he knows about word processing. “There are a lot of things you can do. There are many shortcuts that can enhance what you are printing or typing up. I also get a lot of feedback from the students like, ‘Isn’t that interesting. I didn’t know

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

ADVOCATE FOR LONG-TERM CARE

The Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program needs volunteer advocates for residents in assisted living and nursing facilities throughout the area. Volunteers can work in facilities close to where they live. Training is provided. For more information, call (703) 324-5861, TTY 711 or email Lisa.Callahan@fairfaxcounty.gov

Ongoing

DRIVERS NEEDED Shepherd’s Center in Northern Virginia

needs volunteers to drive seniors to appointments. The center’s client base is rapidly growing. If interested in volunteering, call (703) 506-2199.

you could do that,’” he said. Over the years, LeVine has met a few interesting people through SeniorTech. He once realized he hadn’t paid much attention to a woman who was quiet. After class, he spoke to her one-on-one to make sure she understood the content. “I discovered she was the wife of an ambassador from South America. I can’t remember what country it was. She was just so lovely, and I had a long chat with her. It was so great that she had picked up a lot of things we went over in class.” He also once met Tipper Gore, when her husband was vice-president of the U.S. The second lady was taking a tour of SeniorTech and even posed for a photo with him. JCA gave her a chocolate computer. “She got a kick out of it,” he laughed. Both LeVine and Nisbet plan on remaining with SeniorTech. “I’m hooked on the program now. I will be involved as long as I’m in the area,” Nisbet said

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Volunteers & Careers

For more information JCA interviews all volunteers, and candidates must provide a resume and references. If interested in volunteering, call Robin Black at (240) 395-0916 or email seniortech@accessjca.org. Classes cost from $15 to $80, depending on the course level and number of class sessions. For example, the six-session beginner course, “Computer Basics with

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Windows 7,” costs $80. For more information about SeniorTech or to see the class catalogue, visit www.accessjca.org/article/18/programs/embrace-technology. The Gaithersburg location can be reached at (301) 987-6291, the Rockville location’s phone is (301) 255-4200, and the Alexandria office’s number is (703) 9411007.

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New careers From page 44 cost of starting a business. “It’s become easier technologically and geographically to do this at older ages,” said Dane Stangler, the research and policy director at Kauffman. “We’ll see continued higher rates of entrepreneurship because of these demographic trends.” Paul Giannone’s later-life move to start a business was fueled not by losing a job, but by a desire for change. After nearly 35 years in information technology, he embraced his love of pizza and opened a Brooklyn, N.Y., restaurant, Paulie Gee’s, in 2010. Giannone, 60, had to take a second mortgage on his home, but he said the risk was worth it: The restaurant is thriving, and a second location is in the works.

“I wanted to do something that I could be proud of,” he said. “I am the only one who makes decisions, and I love that. I haven’t worked in 3 1/2 years, that’s how it feels.”

Cost and technology barriers Mary Furlong, who teaches entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University and holds business startup seminars for boomers, said older adults are uniquely positioned for the move because they are often natural risk-takers who are passionate about challenges and driven by creativity. There can be hurdles, however. Though most older entrepreneurs opt to create at-home businesses where they are the only employee, even startup costs of a couple thousand dollars can be prohibitive for some. Also, generating business in an online economy is tougher if the person

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

has fewer technological skills. Furlong said many who start businesses later in life do so as a follow-up to a successful career from which they fear a layoff or have endured one. “The boomers are looking to entrepreneurship as a Plan B,” she said.” Antoinette Little would agree. She spent 20 years at a law firm, starting as a legal secretary and working her way up to manage the entire office. The stress of working 80 or 90 hours a week and always being on call started taking a toll. After being diagnosed with an enlarged heart, she said, “The doctor told me either quit or you’re going to die.” Little took a series of culinary classes and found a new passion, opening Antoinette Chocolatier in Phillipsburg, N.J. She misses her previous career and, though the store is now in the black, the profits aren’t robust. Still, she said she is having fun making chocolate, particularly when children press their noses against the glass doors to the store’s kitchen. “I’m my own boss, and you get to eat your mistakes,” she said. “How bad could it be?”

Personal satisfaction, control Jeff Williams, who runs BizStarters — which has helped Glay and thousands of other boomers start businesses — said most older entrepreneurs want to make a minimal investment, typically less than $10,000, to get off the ground. As a result,

most boomer businesses are at-home ones, not brick-and-mortar establishments like those of Little and Giannone. Williams classifies about 40 percent of his clientele as “reluctant entrepreneurs” who are turning to their own business because they can’t find any other work. Williams said owning a business also gives older adults the flexibility they desire and a sense of control while remaining active. “To suddenly leave the corporate world and to be sitting around the house all day long? This is an alien concept to boomers,” he said. Glay said he needed the paycheck, but starting his business was also about keeping his mind engaged. He had worked for the same record company for 23 years when he was told to meet his boss at an airport hotel, where the bad news was delivered. Though Crash Boom Bam hasn’t come close to replacing an annual income that crept into six figures, Glay said he’s busier than ever now, between the business, regular drumming gigs, and part-time work at a bookstore and a wine-tasting event company. Sitting among shelves full of drums and their shimmering chrome, he is reflective thinking about what his business means. “The satisfaction of doing what I’m doing now is much greater, but the money is less,” he said. “Even if it’s not making me a millionaire, I know what it’s doing for my head. There’s no price you could put on that.” — AP


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A Special Supplement to The Beacon newspaper

A+ grades Page 2

December 2013/No. 31

Ring House welcomes groundbreaking statistician and Senior Olympics gold medalist by Emily Tipermas “I believe I’ve lived an unusual life,” says Ring House resident Harvey Geller. At 92, outgoing and flashing a wide grin, this remarkable statistician was the first to compile tables that have become the basis for all actuarial tables on life expectancy. His work also produced early proof that mammograms could improve breast cancer survival rates. But Harvey starts the interview with how he met his wife Helen 70 years ago at Brooklyn College. Emerging from an accounting mid-term, an “A” in his pocket, Harvey spied a coed on the lawn anxiously studying for the same test. “I think I can help you with that,” offered Harvey. He did, she passed with ease, and they celebrated. Two years later, just 12 days after his 1945 discharge from the U.S. army -- Harvey served in Patton’s 3rd Army -- Harvey married Helen in his parents’ living room. Hired by the DC Health Department in 1949 to head up a statistical section for cancer research, Harvey moved his family to Maryland. He next took a position at the U.S. Public Health Service where he would make two significant contributions to health care management. Using data from the 1960 U.S. “mortality experience” and population census, Harvey created statistical tables to predict death probability: within five years and from the top 15 causes for each age-sex-race group. His groundbreaking work, the first Probability Tables of Deaths from Specific Causes, became known as The Geller Tables; updated and expanded, it has evolved into the basis of all actuarial life tables employed in public and private sectors. Harvey’s second career achievement was a statistical analysis for a team of radiologists led by Dr. Robert L. Egan to support a theory that mammography might improve breast cancer survival rates. Geller’s

“One of the things I’m most grateful for is that my mind is acute and active,” says Harvey Geller, 92. “I can sit and discuss things that happened a long time ago…and learn new things.”

Harvey Geller (center) excelled on the Brooklyn College track team in the 1940’s, and has gone on to become a Senior Olympics gold medalist.

work demonstrated the irrefutable clinical importance of this technology as a tool for early cancer detection in women. But there’s more to Harvey than statistics. A college cross-country team captain and life-long athlete, Harvey began competing at age 60 in the Senior Olympics in cycling, running, and race walking. He accrued over 100 medals, mostly gold. During his 80s, he shifted to competitive swimming. These days Harvey maintains flexibility and muscle strength with non-competitive exercises. In his new home at Ring House, Harvey stays active and engaged. Life continues to be a joy, filled with enthusiasm for the next interesting experience around the bend. Boomers in need of a role model should take note! n

Hebrew Home of Greater Washington • Smith-KoGod & Wasserman Residences Cohen-Rosen House • Hirsh Health Center • Landow House • Revitz House • Ring House

Design matters

Open Wide: see our new dental clinics

Refreshing Wasserman

Lisa Fischer entertains at Starlight

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More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

For 103 years, we have been there to provide care for the elderly in our community. In this season of gift giving: • your used car can turn into a fabulous trip to Strathmore Music Center • naming us as the charity of choice can fund creative arts programs • a gift of stocks or bonds can help staff learn state-of-the-art memory care • your employer’s matching gift can double the impact of your contribution. Learn how you can help by calling 301.770.8329 or visit www.hebrew-home.org.

First person

Campus news

Our quality report card

Special events at Ring House

As a community, we focus on providing quality services and programs. I am extremely pleased to share recent evaluations by independent authorities that demonstrate how our commitment to quality is paying off. H CMS 5-Star Quality Rating — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Nursing Home Compare website, which is widely referred to, gives the Hebrew Home an overall rating of 5 stars – the highest possible. H Family Survey — The Maryland Healthcare Commission’s 2013 Maryland Nursing Facility Family Survey measures satisfaction in five domains. The Home’s high ratings, which exceed State averages, include overall care (8.9 on a 10-point scale) and percentage of families who would recommend us to others (96%). H Pay for Performance — This State of Maryland program links nursing home payment to specific, defined quality measures. The Home ranks 12th among 205 facilities (compared to 24th in 2012 and 36th in 2011), based on staffing patterns, staff retention, family satisfaction, employee influenza vaccination rates, dedicated hours toward infection prevention, and CMS quality measures. H Landow House and Cohen-Rosen House State Inspection — Our assisted living and memory care residences received a perfect deficiency-free survey, an exceptional accomplishment. H Ring House HUD Inspection — Ring House received a score of 93 on its Housing and Urban Development Inspection, the equivalent of an A grade for excellence in safety and maintenance. H Revitz House REAC Inspection — Revitz House received a score of 85 on its HUD Real Estate Assessment Center Inspection. This inspection covers site, exterior, building systems, common areas, and dwelling units. H Cohen-Rosen House Design — Find the impressive list of 2013 awards on page 3. Each of these rankings is a singular accomplishment; taken together, they paint a picture of exemplary programs and service. Kudos to our staff who lead this focused effort on quality each and every day.

>>In a win-win intergenerational program at Ring House, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School students read to residents who are delighted to encourage youngsters to savor the joy of sharing a good book.

Warren R. Slavin, President/CEO

Page 2 | December 2013

<<Over 60 Mah Jongg enthusiasts played for fun, enjoyed lunch and met new friends at a special Ring House community event. It was a great day and a chance to show off this outstanding senior living residence to guests. To be notified of upcoming special events at Ring House, call 301.816.5052. n

VP for Development named Charles E. Smith Life Communities is pleased to announce the appointment of Abbey Silberman Fagin as Vice President, Development and Public Affairs. She comes to our senior community from American University where she was Assistant Vice President of Development. Abbey brings broad experience in fundraising, campaigns and events, stewardship and strategic planning. At American University, she served as campaign director for a successful $200 million capital campaign, the largest in the institution’s history. A member of Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, Abbey lives in Gaithersburg with her husband Ken and two daughters. In accepting her new role, Abbey shared, “it is an honor for me to continue my commitment to philanthropy at an organization that so beautifully honors our aging loved ones by delivering exemplary clinical care with social, cultural, and spiritual services that bring them joy and meaning.” For more information on making a gift, contact the Office of Development and Public Affairs at 301.770.8329 or visit www.hebrew-home.org. n


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Staff and board members from Pittsburgh’s Jewish Association on Aging toured the campus of Charles E. Smith Life Communities to gain insight into our campus’ success in senior services. They took particular interest in the design features of Cohen-Rosen House. “It was like an oasis,” commented Stephen Halpern, JAA Board Chair. “A magnificent, small, community of residents right out of a Frank Lloyd Wright design and setting.”

Generation to Generation Design matters

Initiatives

Perhaps you have had the experience of entering a medieval cathedral and feeling awestruck, or entering a friend’s home and feeling immediately welcomed and at ease. The environments we build do affect our mood and our behavior. Designing senior-friendly environments Designing an environment for someone with memory issues is a special challenge. SAGE, the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments, offers these principles of design: • Provide for physical safety and psychological security. • Use all aspects of the environment as a resource for healing and improved functioning. • Focus on the needs and desires of the whole person: social, emotional, spiritual, physical, intellectual. • Maximize choices and opportunities for individual rights and personal autonomy, including accessibility. • Generate opportunities for meaningful interactions and relationships among peers, families and staff. • Create an environment that supports caregivers. • Harness technology to increase functionality. • Encourage innovation, diversity of approaches, experimentation and evaluation of outcomes.

Putting principles into practice The homelike environment of Cohen-Rosen House promotes a healthy lifestyle, dignity and personalization, and is a model for memory care design. The residence is all about making connections, and some of its special features are: • The design is based on the layering of residents’ life stories, and incorporates Judaic traditions and historical continuity. • Daily life activities take place in an environment that connects residents to each other, their families, caregivers and with nature. • The large centralized living space is bounded by a window wall, a fourseason porch, and views of the landscaped resident courtyard. It offers an aquarium, open bookshelves and two-sided fireplace. • Outside each resident’s room is a large memory box to display items that reflect his or her unique personality and life story. • A resident can securely explore the large “house” and exterior courtyard or find areas to sit quietly, inside or out, including a Calming Room. n

The following organizations have honored Cohen-Rosen House and its design team for improving quality of life through innovation in memory care: • U. S. Green Building Council, which named Cohen-Rosen the first Assisted Living LEED-Silver Certified NC (New Construction) project in Maryland for its environment-friendly features. • The Design for Aging Review, a joint program of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and LeadingAge. This recognition includes a juried exhibition, companion book and educational programs. • The International Association of Homes and Services for Aging, which will feature Cohen-Rosen House at its annual conference in China. • The Assisted Living Federation of America’s second annual Senior Living By Design awards, published in the November/December issue of Senior Living Executive. • Environments for Aging magazine, Citation of Merit, in conjunction with the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments, the Center for Health Design and the International Interior Design Association. The design team for the award-winning memory center includes architect THW Design, interior design THW Interiors and general contractor Whiting-Turner. Lead donors are Judy and Richard Cohen. “Perhaps the most meaningful recognition is the selection each family makes when they choose Cohen-Rosen House for a loved one,” says Warren Slavin, President/CEO. To learn more about this unique residence, or to place a name on the waiting list, call 301.816.5050. Perspective “At Cohen-Rosen House, the quality and connectivity of spaces, unique design of individual resident rooms with large memory boxes, generous use of artwork and homelike feel all contribute to an enhanced quality of life for its residents.”

— E nvironments for Aging , 2013 Showcase issue

LifeTimes | Page 3


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D e c E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — wa s h i n g t o n B e a c o n

Reading the November issue of Generation to Generation newsletter and learning about dental health tips for seniors is guaranteed to be painless. Find it at hebrew-home.org under Newsroom. While you’re there, check the archives for 100+ topics.

Open Wide

Dr. Williamowsky knows his history – of the Home’s Dental Clinic Reminiscing about the Hebrew Home’s early days on Spring Road in Northwest DC, retired dentist Ben Williamowsky talks about the 1940s when local Jewish dentists turned out in impressive force to volunteer at the Home’s dental clinic. He himself joined their ranks in 1949, a year after graduating from University of Maryland’s Dental School. “On Sundays, we had to wait in line to use the chair,” he recalls. This singular tradition of providing all-volunteer dental services continues today with the involvement of Alpha Omega dental fraternity, and although Dr. Williamowsky is retired, he continues to attend Dental Panel events and recently toured the new Diener-Friedlander clinic in the Wasserman Residence. “Our goal is to provide optimal dental care for residents,” says Dr. Richard Meltzer, chair of today’s Dental Panel. “We’re dedicated to helping the elderly maintain oral health and, in turn, enhance their quality of life.” This is accomplished in two recently remodeled state-of the-art dental clinics — equipped with digital x-rays, modern cleaning equipment and, most notably, special technology that allows residents to be treated in their wheelchairs without having to transfer to a dental chair. A full range of preventive, restorative and prosthodontic care is offered to residents, and the volunteer dentists do not charge residents for their services. Dr. Ben, as he’s affectionately called, has a bounty of stories to tell from his five decades of volunteer involvement at the Home. Here are two of his favorites:

Meet the volunteer dental panel

Page 4 | December 2013

The daughter of a resident once asked if he would examine her mother, a beautiful woman whose remaining teeth were healthy but loose. When Dr. Ben completed treatment, the resident said, “I’d like to pay you now.” “But there is no fee,” he answered. “Well then, I’d like to sing you a song,” she said, crooning in the sweetest voice, I Love You Truly. Dr. Ben assured her that, thanks to her lovely performance, they now had reached a “square deal.” The second story Dr. Ben relates concerns a blind patient who asked, “Do you know me?” “No,” the doctor replied. “Did we ever meet?” “No,” said the patient, “but I know your father.” “How do you know him?” asked Dr. Ben. “I know his voice,” the patient said, “and you sound just like him.” Dr. Ben’s father, Chaim Williamowsky, was the respected rabbi at Southeast Hebrew Congregation for many years, a leader in the Jewish community, and a man who impressed upon his son the values of tzedakah, mitzvot and tikkun olam – charity, good deeds, and saving the world. That response, says Dr. Ben, “made me feel so good.” Considering how good Dr. Ben and his colleagues have made our residents feel through the years, that’s another “square deal.” For more information about dental care for seniors, read the November issue of Generation to Generation newsletter, at www.hebrew-home. org, on the Newsroom. n

Dr. Ben Williamowsky

Dr. Marc Fisher, DDS, is a member of the volunteer dental team that cares for residents in the Hebrew Home’s new dental clinic.


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Here’s a hot new idea for a chilly season: be a snowbird in Rockville. Winter is the perfect time to try us out. Our social programs, drivers, chefs, snow shovelers and back-up generators take the chill out of winter.

Call now about a short stay at warm, welcoming Ring House, 301.816.5000.

Sharing our expertise

Saving energy Charles E. Smith Life Communities enlisted the Maryland-based company greeNEWit to provide free “Quick Home Energy Checkups” for our two senior living residences, Ring House and Revitz House. Residents are now benefiting from energy-saving and cost-saving items in their apartments, including compact flourescent light bulbs, faucet aerators and shower heads, all installed at no cost to them. The result is that both buildings will experience substantial savings in electricity and water and help curb the release of CO2 emissions into the air. By the end of 2015, our campus should be able to reduce per capita energy consumption and per capita peak demand by 15 percent. How do residents feel about the conservation effort? Ring House Administrator Carol Cohen-Wolfe reports that seniors who welcomed work crews into their apartments have expressed excitement and support for the idea that they have been able to play an active role in reducing their own environmental footprint. For tips on what you can do in your own home, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s online guide, EnergySavers – Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home at http://energy.gov/energysaver/downloads/ energy-savers-guide. It presents a “whole house” approach for savings and touches on energy savings related to driving. n

Wasserman modernizes second floor Rehabilitation patients, residents and visitors are all enjoying the positive results of our 2012 projects in the Wasserman Residence – the beautiful new Elizabeth Gelman lobby, new Dekelboum Therapy Center and life skills apartment, Ratner beauty salon and Rutstein Wi-Fi café. Now, work to modernize the second floor is underway. The results will be: • All-private patient accommodations • A totally redesigned and updated dining room • New spa areas and day rooms • Access to the second floor outdoor porch These improvements will make our rehabilitation center as attractive a place to stay during recovery as it is an exceptional place for care and therapy. Work will take place in four phases, so only a small portion of the second floor will be closed at any time. While most visitors may not even be aware of the work that will be going on, some changes will be evident. For example, during the first phase, the center elevators in the Wasserman Residence will not stop on the second floor. Signs will guide visitors to their destinations. Should you have any questions as we improve our environment and services, please contact Neal White, Nursing Home Administrator, at 301.770.8331. We look forward to inviting you to see the new areas as we bring our plans to life. n

Youth Philanthropy begins fifth season The fifth season of our successful Harold and Shirley Robinson H2YP Youth Philanthropy Program begins in January. Teens participating in this program have funded a Spanish for Seniors class at Ring House, a high-tech device for residents with dementia and trips to musical and theatrical performances. Each year from January to May, about 15 high school students play an active role as philanthropists and act as a foundation board, making decisions on grant proposals to benefit campus residents. Each participant will make a contribution of $250 toward the grant pool. The students gain a personal knowledge of tzedakah and what it can accomplish, learn more about Charles E. Smith Life Communities, and earn service learning hours. Encourage your high school student to participate in this worthy program. Please forward their name and contact information by January 15 to Gale Deitch at deitch@hebrew-home.org or call 301.770.8409. n

A model room has been set up for staff and visitor comments as renovation begins on the Wasserman Residence second floor. Director of Admissions Elaine Gebell explains how floor space has expanded by replacing a dresser with new built-in cabinets in the closet space.

LifeTimes | Page 5


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D e c E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — wa s h i n g t o n B e a c o n

More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

“Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.”

If you’ve purchased a new set of wheels, consider donating

your used vehicle to the Hebrew Home. Proceeds directly benefit our elderly residents.

~John Harrigan

A gift of flowers for your favorite Hebrew Home resident is a lovely way to express affection. Order a colorful bouquet by calling 301.770.8333.

Call 301.770.8329 for details.

<<Our Clinical Education team conveyed their message to get a flu shot in a colorful and creative way. The campus offers free flu shots to all staff as one way to protect staff and residents’ health.

People in the news

Recognizing a Shining Star “I call them my VIP people,” says geriatric nursing assistant Miriam Montenegro, referring to the residents whom she has patiently cared for throughout her nearly 20 years at the Hebrew Home. Describing how she responds to a wide and complex range of needs, she adds, “I want Miriam Montenegro to give our elderly the respect and dignity they deserve.” Along with reporting important health information to the medical team, Miriam assists residents with all aspects of daily living. “She is so sensitive to my needs without even asking,” notes Lucille Kligerman. “I feel as though she’s my dear friend.” Such sentiments are shared by everyone under Miriam’s care and for that reason she is among the most deeply appreciated members of our staff. n

>>Rabbi James Michaels has added a Certificate in Palliative Care Chaplaincy to his credentials. The course covered enhanced communication with patients and families, cultural sensitivity and dialogue with clinicians.

<<When generous donor Sylvia Greenberg couldn’t be present at her latest Woodmont Country Club luncheon for 80 campus residents, son Ken Greenberg and daughter Beverly Halpert made it a point to warmly greet residents at every table on her behalf.

Patty Hagen, director of Memory Care Programs, is one of an elite group of professionals who have earned Dementia Capable Care/ Care Partner recognition.

>>

>>

Musician-in-residence for 26 years, Liz Kruger sings her way into the hearts of our residents.

Warmest thanks to Jason Rubin of Entertainment Experts for donating a traditional jukebox to Ring House as part of his Jukebox Memories Project, and to his friend Dale Lazar, owner of an electronic games business, for donating the CDs. Isabel Kaufman enjoys listening to old favorites, and some residents have been spotted dancing.

Page 6 | December 2013

While the Hebrew Home partners with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington on community issues, we are not a beneficiary agency and do not receive any of its funding. LifeTimes is published quarterly by the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Inc. The Hebrew Home is a registered charity in Maryland and Virginia. A copy of the Home’s financial statement is available from the Maryland Secretary of State or the Virginia State Office of Consumer Affairs. We are an equal opportunity employer and we provide access to community programs without regard to race, age, national origin, familial status, religion, sex or disability. Our services and programs are open to all in the community.

Marc F. Solomon, Chair Warren R. Slavin, President/CEO Abbey S. Fagin, V P, Development and Public Affairs Marilyn Feldman, Editor © 2013 by The Hebrew Home of Greater Washington 6121 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852 301.881.0300 www.smithlifecommunities.org

Support the Hebrew Home through your gift to United Way

3 check 8111 or for CFC n 3 check 49705. n


wa s h i n g t o n B e a c o n — D e c E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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Can you help others …and decrease your taxable income at the same time? YES! If you’re at least 70 1/2 years old, you can make a 2013 gift directly from your IRA, up to $100,000, to benefit the residents of the Hebrew Home. An IRA Rollover donation that equals the amount of your required minimum distribution does not have to be recognized as income on your taxes. Learn more by calling Elana Lippa at 301.770.8342.

Lifelines

Event makers

Making an impact Bessie Cohen Levenson was very petite, very feisty, and she made sure she made an impact. Born in Poland, she and her sister Emma came to the United States as youngsters. Both women enjoyed successful, if wildly different careers. Emma became an opera singer at the Met in New York. Bessie went to law school at American University right out of high school, earning her law degree in 1915 and becoming one of the first female attorneys. Bessie’s husband Jacob Levenson and his family owned a jewelry store on Pennsylvania Bessie Cohen Levenson’s graduation photo from Avenue called J. B. Levenson American University. Jeweler. Bessie rescued the business from bankruptcy and then ran the store for the rest of her life. According to family, Bessie was a suffragist, not very religious, and felt that Judaism at that time was sexist. Considering Bessie’s non-religious leanings, her family was fairly surprised and quite pleased at the number of Jewish charities she included in her estate plans. Bessie’s personality, strength of character and impact will continue to be remembered at the Hebrew Home where we received an estate gift from her trust this summer. Find out how you can make an impact by remembering Charles E. Smith Life Communities. Contact Elana Lippa at 301.770.8342. n

Sandy and Stanley Bobb and Mildred Hoffberg, of blessed memory, will be honored at Starlight on Thursday evening, December 12. The event features Lisa Fischer, who tours with the Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Sting, and Chris Botti. Her amazing stagecraft, tone and featured role in the documentary film Twenty Feet from Stardom have created an anticipatory buzz.

CRIME SCENE

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CRIME SCENE Photo by Randy Sager

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U OF CRIME AND PUNISHMENT CR CRIME SCENE NAT NATIONAL MUSEUM IONAL MUSEUM O F CRIME AND PUN ISHMENT CR CRIME SCENE IM ME S Kathy Dweck tries her hand as medical examiner. Barbara and Allan Hurwitz pose in front of Bonnie and Clyde’s getaway car from the 1967 movie at the 2013 President’s Circle Dinner on November 11, a special “thank you” to donors at the President’s Circle level and above. This year’s event was an exclusive visit to the one-of-a-kind National Museum of Crime and Punishment, generously hosted by Augustine Home Health Care and the Jonathan S. and Patricia G. England Foundation.

CRIM CRIME SCENE CRIME SCENE CRIME SCENE E EN SC E IM CR E EN SC E IM CR

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Dear 1 East staff members,

C D PUNISHMENT N A E IM R C F O UM NATIONAL MUSE CRIME SCENE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CRIME AND PUNISHMENT CRIM CRIME ME

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I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly touched I was by your care toward my mother and my family during the last days of her life. I always knew you were special because my mother was so happy at the Hebrew Home. From the moment she arrived, you made her feel welcomed and safe. Her last year of life was a remarkable one, and I am so happy that she had the chance to spend it with you. You all made such a difference in the quality of her life. She loved you all. Thank you. Holly

From our inbox, regarding the 2013 Home Run, chaired by Marc Schlesinger: “First things first, absolutely super job on the race yesterday, I sent a personal note to Ron Paul of EagleBank today noting how well organized it was; your team and you are the consummate race professionals. You should be very proud of the turnout, race organization and the monies raised for such a great cause. BTW, I noticed I placed third in my division - can I pick up that medal sometime? - The 54 year old male ego is pretty fragile.” Alan Carruthers

LifeTimes | Page 7


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D e c E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — wa s h i n g t o n B e a c o n

More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

Calendar of events DECember

7 12

5

GROWS breakfast Professionals serving seniors meet at Ring House. RSVP and pay at 301.765.3325 or growsmc.org

Chanukah Eighth day of Chanukah

Starlight, an evening with Lisa Fischer Bethesda North Marriott, 6:30 pm RSVP at 301.770.8329 or hebrew-home.org

January

12

“Joy in Color” resident art show opening reception Landow House Gallery, 2 – 3:30 pm Made possible by Ellen Gelman Special Exhibition Fund.

15 Artist: Pearl Rubenstein

We have outstanding programs on campus, but our residents don’t just hang around home. Betty Kedan, Isabel Kaufman and Libby Kaner join frequent Ring House trips to Strathmore, the Kennedy Center, museums and other cultural venues.

H2YP application deadline The 2014 session of the Shirley and Harold Robinson Youth Philanthropy Program is about to kick off its fifth year. See page 5.

Other Events Hebrew Home Family Council Open to family members and friends of Hebrew Home residents, Wasserman board room, 1 pm, on Sunday, Dec. 15, Jan. 26, Feb. 23. For more information email hhcouncil@comcast.net

1st Sunday of the month Jewish War Veterans Ring House, 10 am, Veterans and interested persons welcome. 2nd Monday of the month Family Caregiver Support Group Presented jointly by Ring House and JSSA Senior Services Free, open to the community Ring House, noon – 1:30 pm. Call 301.816.2635. For more information about community events, resident programs and news for families, visit www. hebrew-home.org and www.smithlifecommunities.org.

Online now at www.hebrew-home.org: • 2014 price lists • New welcome guide to rehabilitation • Make a year-end gift to the Hebrew Home

It was a real treat for Hebrew Home resident Sylvia Golnick, 90, when her family popped by for an impromptu lunch visit. This special four-generation event included her daughter Mindi Weisenbloom, granddaughter and son-in-law Meriam and David Grimsley, and great-grandson M.J. Apart from these visits which brighten her day, Sylvia happily notes, “If you ever have to be in a retirement place, you should be here. I feel like I’m in a family-I feel like I’m home!”

How to Reach Us

While the Hebrew Home partners with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington on community issues, we are not a beneficiary agency and do not receive any of its funding.

Page 8 | December 2013

n H  ebrew Home 301.770.8476 Rehab and Long Term www.hebrew-home.org

n C  ohen-Rosen House 301.816.5050 www.cohen-rosen.org

n H  irsh Health Center 301.816.5004

 n Landow House 301.816.5050 www.landowhouse.org

 evitz House n R 301.770.8450 www.revitzhouse.org

 ing House n R 301.816.5012 www.ringhouse.org

facebook.com/ceslc

twitter.com/hhgw


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© AMY BOYLE PHOTOGRAPHY 2013

Style Arts &

The national touring company of the Broadway show Elf the Musical is now appearing at the Kennedy Center.

Highlights of festive holiday productions his identity and bring the Christmas message to New Yorkers. Elf will be performed in the Kennedy Center Opera House Dec. 17 to Jan. 5. Performances: Tuesday through Sunday evenings in the Opera House at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 1:30 p.m. There is no evening performance on Dec. 24. There is an additional matinee performance on Dec. 26. The evening performance on Dec. 31 begins at 8 p.m. and includes admission into the Kennedy Center’s New Year’s Eve party in the Grand Foyer. Reserved tickets range in price from $49 to $130 and can be purchased at the Kennedy Center box office, at www.kennedycenter.org, or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Now to the Christmas chestnuts. The theme, as always, is tradition, with variations on the work of Charles Dickens coming back year after year on a number of stages. The grand-daddy of them all is always Ford’s Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (now through Jan. 1). Local stage favorite Edward Gero is back as miserly Scrooge in this “music infused” take on the Dickens classic story of a man finding redemption

with the help of the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Ford’s recommends the show for ages five and up. A Christmas Carol will be performed at Ford’s Theatre through Jan. 1, at 511 10th St. NW. Performances: Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. (except Dec. 24 and 25); Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except Dec. 7). Mondays Dec. 23 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. Weekday noon matinees are Dec. 4, 5, 11 and 12. Weekday matinees at 2 p.m. are Dec. 18, 19, 23, 26, 31 and Jan. 1. There will be audio-described

PHOTO BY SCOTT SUCHMAN

By Michael Toscano December is traditionally the familyfriendliest month on D.C.-area stages, with a mix of holiday-themed perennials and time-honored favorites. A listing of some of this year’s top attractions follows. Before we get to the more traditional offerings, there’s something a bit different at the Kennedy Center: Elf The Musical (Dec. 17 to Jan. 5). The Opera House will vibrate with the national touring company of the show, which is based on the 2003 comedy film starring Will Ferrell. The Kennedy Center bills this as a “modern day Christmas classic.” While we’re not sure it has achieved that status yet, the musical does boast good theatrical genes. The music and book come from a group of Tony Award winners, and the story is both funny and heart-warming. Naturally, it focuses on discovering the “true meaning of Christmas” as Buddy, a young orphan child, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag and soon finds himself at the North Pole. He grows up thinking he’s an elf, but Santa helps him find the truth by letting him go to New York to discover

See ROUND UP, page 56 Ford’s Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol runs through January 1, featuring Tre Jones as Tiny Tim and Bobby Smith as Bob Cratchit. Other versions of the popular Dickens story are on stage at the Olney Theatre and MetroStage.

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Arts & Style | More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

Round up From page 55 performances on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. A captioned performance is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. A sign-interpreted performance is Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $20 to $91 and are available at www.fords.org and Ticketmaster 1-800-982-2787. Ford’s Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, of-

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

fering wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms and audio enhancement. For information, call (202) 347-4833. There is no parking at Ford’s, but there are parking garages close by. Olney Theatre Center’s A Christmas Carol (now through Dec. 29) is becoming a tradition now, too, as this is the fourth year they’re presenting local actor Paul Morella’s version of the classic. Morella notes of his adaptation, “What makes this one unique is the fact that it is

2014 Season Subscriptions now on sale! Call the Box Office today!

the only true version of the Dickens classic, presented as Dickens himself originally intended. So many claim to be faithful to the original, but this is the original — with 99% from the novella itself.” The theater recommends the show for ages 10 and up. A Christmas Carol will be performed at Olney Theatre Center’s Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. in Olney, Md. Performances: Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Additional performances will be Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 23 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office (301-924-3400) or online at www.olneytheatre.org. Audio described performances are offered on the second Wednesday evening of each production’s run. A Broadway Christmas Carol (through Dec. 22) is back at Alexandria’s MetroStage for the fourth season, and, yes, it’s the same show formerly performed at Round House Theatre in Silver Spring for seven years. There’s a Scrooge, of course, and remnants of the Dickens’ tale, mixed with song parodies from 33 classic Broadway shows, including work by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and others. A Broadway Christmas Carol will be performed at MetroStage, 1201 N. Royal St. in Alexandria, Va. Performances: Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 and 7 p.m. All tickets are $50. For reservations, call 1-800494-8497 or visit www.metrostage.org. There is a free parking lot. Toby’s Dinner Theatre is also a holidaytheatre destination this year, with its production of Miracle on 34th Street (now through Jan. 5). This is another musical adaption of a movie favorite, the 1947 film starring John Payne and Maureen O’Hara. (There have been three other cinematic versions, but the 1947 film is the one that has become a staple of holiday TV fare.) With music, lyrics and story from Meredith Wilson (The Music Man), this is the tale of a white-bearded gentleman who

convinces New York that Santa is real. The score features the song “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” Miracle on 34th Street runs through Jan. 5 at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, 5900 Symphony Woods Rd., Columbia, Md. With performances seven days a week, the doors open at 6 p.m. for evening-and-dinner shows Monday through Saturday, and at 5 p.m. for the Sunday evening performance. Doors open for matinee-and-brunch performances at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Sundays. Following the buffet, the evening performances begin at 8 p.m. except Sundays, when show time is 7 p.m. Matinee performances begin at 12:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Ticket prices range from $37.50 to $56, depending on which performance is selected. Ticket prices include an all-you-caneat buffet. There is ample, free parking on the premises. For reservations and information, call (410) 730-8311 or 1-80088TOBYS (888-6297). You may also visit www.tobysdinnertheatre.com. Here is a list of shows that may not have holiday-specific themes, but are considered family favorites: Cinderella (Dec. 6 to 22) is a budget-friendly show staged by The British Players, which means there will be a dash of vaudeville added to the magic of a fairy godmother who helps our heroine break free from her wicked stepmother and nasty stepsisters to find happiness with Prince Charming The Players perform the show in what is called “traditional British pantomime,” which they describe this way: “a popular form of theatre, incorporating song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, in-jokes, audience participation and mild innuendo.” Despite the “innuendo,” they say the show is suggested for ages 4 and up. Cinderella will be performed Dec. 6 to Dec. 22 at Kensington Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell St. in Kensington, Md. Performances: Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. (except Dec. 24 and 25); Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except Dec. 7). Mondays, Dec. 23 and 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Letters to editor

best to simply forget? It’s best that we forget, lest others suffer from a resulting vengeance; this vengeance perpetuates into yet more vengeance. Immediately, stop! Edward Abramic Washington, D.C.

From page 2 11/15/13 - 1/5/14

1/11/14 - 3/23/14

3/28/14 - 6/22/14

fitting to the opera’s story, but is also a lament toward a story that might instead be forgotten. Why enunciate this tragedy when it’s

See ROUND UP, page 58

BEACON BITS 6/26/14 - 8/31/14

9/5/14 - 11/9/14

11/14/14 - 2/22/15

SPEND YOUR NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH TOBY’S! Dinner, Show, favors, champagne toast at midnight, dancing and breakfast buffet

TOBY’S DINNER THEATRE OF COLUMBIA • CALL 410-730-8311 Based on availability. Due to the nature of theatre bookings, all shows, dates and times are subject to change.

D in

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RESERVE YOUR SEATS TODAY!

Dec. 7+

WINTER CHORAL CONCERT

The Gaithersburg Chorus presents its winter concert in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. The chorus will perform Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” and “Rejoice in the Lamb.” On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and 8, performances will be held at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 9000 Warfield Rd., in Gaithersburg starting at 7:30 p.m. Another performance on Tuesday, Dec. 10 will be held at the Rosborough Cultural Arts Center Theater at Asbury Methodist Village, 409 Russell Ave., in Gaithersburg starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, call (301) 258-6394


Say you saw it in the Beacon | Arts & Style

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2013–2014 SEASON

THE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON

Handel’s Messiah Rossen Milanov, conductor Leah Crocetto, soprano Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo-soprano Russell Thomas, tenor

Iain Paterson, bass-baritone The Choral Arts Society of Washington, Scott Tucker, artistic director

THU., DEC. 19 AT 7 P.M. | FRI., DEC. 20 AT 8 P.M. SAT., DEC. 21 AT 8 P.M. | SUN., DEC. 22 AT 1 P.M.

SUN MAT DAY INEE

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! With Brian Stokes Mitchell

Steven Reineke, conductor The University of Maryland Concert Choir, Edward Maclary, director Praised for his “singularly thunderous baritone” (The New York Times), versatile entertainer Brian Stokes Mitchell headlines this annual NSO Pops tradition filled with joyful songs of the season conducted by NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke. Look out for festive decorations, a visit from Santa Claus, and even snow in the Concert Hall! STEPHEN HOUGH

SIR MARK ELDER

Hough plays Liszt Sir Mark Elder, conductor Stephen Hough, piano

David Hardy, cello Daniel Foster, viola

ELGAR: In the South LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 1 R. STRAUSS: Don Quixote THU., JAN. 16 AT 7 | FRI., JAN. 17 AT 8 | SAT., JAN. 18 AT 8 *AfterWords: Thu., Jan. 16 performance followed by a free discussion. David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of the NSO.

THU., DEC. 12 AT 7 | FRI., DEC. 13 AT 8 SAT., DEC. 14 AT 1:30 & 8 David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of the NSO. The 2013-2014 NSO Pops Season is presented through the generosity of

SATU MAT RDAY INEE

General Dynamics is the proud sponsor of Happy Holidays! Additional support is provided by The Honorable Barbara H. Franklin and Mr. Wallace Barnes.

(202) 467-4600 nationalsymphony.org Tickets from $10 available at the Box Office Groups (202) 416-8400 | TTY (202) 416-8524

The Blue Series is sponsored by United Technologies Corporation.

The Kennedy Center welcomes patrons with disabilities.


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Round up From page 56 Weekday noon matinees are Dec. 4, 5, 11 and 12. Weekday 2 p.m. matinees are Dec. 18, 19, 23, 26, 31 and Jan. 1. For tickets, call the box office at (240) 4479863 or visit www.britishplayers.org. Prices are $20 for adults, $12 for kids under 12. Over on the other side of the Olney Theatre Center campus, away from old Scrooge, is The King and I (through Dec. 29). The Rodgers & Hammerstein classic is now 60 years old, but its sparkling, hit-filled score remains timeless. The musical is set in Siam (now Thailand) in the 1860s. The King is a single parent who imports a prim English nanny, the “I” of the title, to raise his children. She ends up helping the King to usher in a new, modern age for his people, while en-

gaging in fairly sophisticated dance and singing a score including such tunes as “Getting to Know You,” “Shall We Dance?,” “I Whistle A Happy Tune,” and “Hello, Young Lovers.” Recommended for ages 5 and up. The King and I will be performed at the Olney Theatre Center’s Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. in Olney, Md. Showtime Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday is 8 p.m.; 7 p.m. Sunday; with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tuesday performances are scheduled Dec. 17 and 24 at 7:30 p.m.; with additional Wednesday matinees at 2 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 18, and matinees at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24, Thursday, Dec. 26, and Friday, Dec. 27. Ticket prices range from $48.50 to $55 and are available at the box office (301-9243400) or www.olneytheatre.org. Olney Theatre Center is accessible to patrons

Donate your vehicle and support three agencies. • Jewish Foundation for Group Homes • Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

with mobility impairment (mention seating needs when placing ticket order). Audio described performances are offered on the second Wednesday evening of each production’s run. At Arena Stage, Maurice Hynes is Tappin’ Thru Life (now through Dec. 29). Broadway legend Maurice Hines has put together a show in which he uses song and dance to pay tribute to his brother, Gregory, and the singers who have inspired him — from Frank Sinatra to Lena Horne. He’s also gathered up the amazing Manzari Brothers, a couple of local young men who are spectacular dancers, to help bring the story of American tap vividly to life, along with an all-female big band. Maurice Hynes is Tappin’ Thru Life will be performed at the Kreeger Theater of the Arena Stage Mead Center for American Theater through Dec. 29. Ticket prices range from $50 to $99 and are available at www.arenastage.org or by calling the box office at (202) 488-3300. Performances: Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.; and weekday matinees at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 4 and 11, and Tuesday, Dec. 17. There will be an open-caption performance on Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. and an audio-described performance on Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. Limited accessible parking is available in the Mead Center garage by reservation 24hours before each performance. Arena

Stage offers valet service at no additional cost to patrons with accessibility needs who call (202) 488-3300 in advance. Finally, Shakespeare Theatre Company has gone all silly with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (through Jan. 5). The popular farce, based on the plays of ancient Rome’s Plautus, features a beloved score by Stephen Sondheim and an uproariously funny book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. (The musical’s original Broadway production won several Tony Awards®, including Best Musical and Best Book.) It’s the bawdy story of Pseudolus, a slave in ancient Rome, who goes to great lengths to gain his freedom. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is being performed by Shakespeare Theatre Company at Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW. Performances: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $20 to $110, with special discounts available for military, seniors and patrons under 35. Contact the box office at (202) 547-1122 or visit www.ShakespeareTheatre.org for tickets and information. An audio-described performance of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will be on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. A sign-interpreted performance will occur on Monday, Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

For nearly a century, the Washington Jewish Week has been a currency of Jewish culture Take advantage of this special offer – only for our older adults

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Mom’s apron strings strangle late-life love I told her I had three answers — one for FOR THE LOVE INTEREST: Aaaaaragh! Ann Landers has been gone for some allegedly asked the Lone Ranger in his each of the three people in the drama. Any court in the land would find in your time now, and I’ve never seen myself as a hour of need. “What do you mean, we?” Here they are: favor if you told the old lady off, in very unlareplacement. But one recent She left. She broke off conFOR THE MOTHER: Are you serious? dylike terms. day, the phone rang with a tact. Months later, it’s still And if the answer to that is yes, what beneBut she’s not the long-run issue. You question that was vintage Ann: broken. fit do you think you are bringing to this sit- and her son are. So try to see that relation“How do you keep a 90-someBut so is her guy’s heart. uation? As Ann Landers famously and reg- ship for what it is or isn’t, irrespective of thing mother out of the love life He calls her about six times a ularly said, butt out. the mother. of her 60-something son?” day. She never answers. He FOR THE SON: You’re in the toughest You may still elect to pass. But for a few The person doing the askfloods her with e-mails. She position. But I suspect you have a handle weeks, by your own account, it was a “magic ing was the love interest of the never replies. on how to handle it. After all, you have 60- rediscovery.” If there was some “there 60-something son. She is 60Quaint soul that he is, he something years of experience with The there” at the beginning, it may still exist. something herself. even sent her a special deliv- Dragon Lady. You will never persuade her TO ALL THREE: Ann Landers would I know both lovebirds well. HOW I SEE IT ery letter (when’s the last to become Snow White. And you can’t pre- tell the mother to grow up, the son to grow I like them both tons. I can By Bob Levey time you’ve sent or gotten one tend that she isn’t in your life. a backbone, and the love interest to bide easily see them starring in one So, rather than getting tearful with your her time. I’d tell the mother to go away, the of those gooey travel commercials, where of those?). She read the single sheet inside the lucky couple is sitting on a veranda — “full of tears and more tears and plead- love interest, you should assure her that son to stop begging, and the love interest you aren’t a marionette whose strings can to run as far as she can run. Somewhere Warm And Southern, sipping ing” — and didn’t respond. Finally, she called me. “I’m caught be- be pulled. You’re a grown man who makes Sorry, Ann, but this one can’t be saved. Mai Tais and looking searchingly into tween being a witch and preserving my- his own decisions. And you’d like to give Bob Levey is a national award-winning each other’s eyes. late-in-life love another try. columnist. But the only searching going on at the self,” she said. “What should I do?” moment is by the love interest. For help. The situation in brief: The 60-something son is an accomplished professional who still works full time. He is honored and respected within his field. He became a widower about three years ago. His adult children are grown and gone. He had recently dipped deep into a lonely funk. So one day, he picked up the phone. His love interest had been a friend — but no more than that — in high school. She was glad to hear from him. She is single, and always has been. GROU PS They met for dinner. Then another dinS A V E! ner. They joked about how they had been meant for each other at 16, so why not half a century later? The Kennedy Center welcomes Something clicked, and kept on clicking. patrons with disabilities. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater She moved across the country to spend a summer in the same town (but not the same house). All was well until, one memPeter and the Starcatcher Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Winner of five Tony Awards®, this innovative and One of the world’s favorite dance companies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater orable day, The Mother appeared. imaginative prequel to Peter Pan—based on the led by Robert Battle returns with a week of new works and classics, including the “She poisoned the well right away, by best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Dave Barry and iconic Revelations on every program. Program A (Tue., Feb. 4 at 7; Fri. & Sat., Feb. 7 Ridley Pearson—takes a hilarious, swashbuckling romp & 8 at 7:30): Chroma (McGregor), D-Man in the Waters (Part I) (Jones), Revelations (Ailey). telling me that she had never liked her through the Neverland you never knew. Suitable for Program B (Wed., Feb. 5 at 7:30, Sun., Feb. 9 at 1:30): The River (Ailey), Four Corners son’s wife,” the love interest told me. younger audiences, but most enjoyable for ages 10 and up. (Brown), Revelations. Program C (Thu., Feb. 6 at 7:30, Sat., Feb. 8 at 1:30): Petite Mort Then, within a week or so, she was treat(Kylián), LIFT (Barton), Revelations. Jan. 28–Feb. 16 Eisenhower Theater ing the love interest as if she were married Feb. 4–9 Opera House The Kennedy Center Theater Season Comedy at the Kennedy Center to her son. “She advised me on clothes and is sponsored by Altria Group. Presenting Sponsor jewelry. She told me her son’s favorite foods, even though she knew I never cook. East Coast Premiere! “She even started telling me how to do Moby-Dick my hair. She was pure horror-show stuff.” Mariinsky Ballet One man’s obsession leaves a lethal wake of destruction But her son wasn’t. “He was warm and in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s triumphant new opera Swan Lake caring, so alert to The Real Me,” the of Melville’s literary masterwork—featuring massive St. Petersburg’s historic Mariinsky Ballet presents its nautical sets, dazzling visual effects, an achingly beautiful woman told me. “I really thought we’d signature staging of Tchaikovsky’s mysterious, lyrical, score, and a talented all-American cast—led by renowned and dramatic Swan Lake, hailed by the San Francisco have a future.” American director Leonard Foglia and conducted by Chronicle as “a vision of Romantic ballet heaven.” American maestro Evan Rogister. Performed in English with However, in best Ann Landers fashion, Casting available at kennedy-center.org. projected English titles. the situation soon reached a boil — folJan. 28–Feb. 2 Opera House Feb. 22–Mar. 8 Opera House lowed by a boiling-over. David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of WNO. The Kennedy Center’s Ballet Season is presented with the support of Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian. The mother insisted that her son’s love General Dynamics is the proud sponsor of WNO’s 2013-2014 Season. Mariinsky Ballet’s engagement is presented with the support of the State Plaza Hotel. interest move into his house and take care International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the WNO’s production of Moby-Dick is made possible through Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts. the generous support of Jacqueline Badger Mars. of him. Yes, she did the insisting. He did not. Tickets on sale now! The two lovebirds caucused. He apoloGroups (202) 416-8400 kennedy-center.org gized profusely, but he said he could never Visit our Web site at ditch his mother, or disrespect her. “We’re Tickets also available at the Box Office. kennedy-center.org/groupsales stuck with her,” the son said. (202) 467-4600 | TTY (202) 416-8524 At which point the woman trotted out the famous question — the one that Tonto ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER’S ALICIA GRAF MACK AND JAMAR ROBERTS. PHOTO BY ANDREW ECCLES

Bring Your Group to the Kennedy Center

JOEY DEBETTENCOURT AND MEGAN STERN FROM THE PETER AND THE STARCATCHER TOUR COMPANY. PHOTO BY JENNY ANDERSON

for Entertainment on a Grand Scale!

PHOTO BY CORY WEAVER

PHOTO BY NATASHA RAZINA

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

MARIINSKY BALLET IN SWAN LAKE

MOBY-DICK


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Creative aging From page 1 Sidney Weintraub used watercolors to depict his more abstract interpretation of the painting. He said art stimulates his memory. “While I’m working on art, life experi-

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ences do come back. I don’t see a one-toone relationship, but it does spur my memory,” said Weintraub, who is turning to art for the first time. “I’ve discovered things in me I didn’t know were there. I think it makes me a fuller person.”

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“With individuals who are at end of life, as well as those faced with changes in their bodies and cognition, there’s a lot of loss,” said Jackie Sargent, Iona’s art therapist. “There’s a lot of changes happening. “It’s kind of validating, reminding them they are not alone, that there is a community of people that is here that can help them through this experience,” she said. Doris, an Iona participant, agrees: “Art is a special gift, and as long as you can follow it, you will never be lonely,” she said. Sargent might ask targeted questions while the participants work on their art. “Last year we had a conversation about an image with a clown, and so we had a conversation about masks. We made our own masks, with the idea it was inspired by the painting, but giving them the opportunity for their own deeper experience. “We talked about instances when they felt they had to put on a mask and how that felt,” Sargent said. Bertha found she could better understand modern art thanks to the program. “It’s amazing to know that you can take trash and turn it into art, even little things like leaves off the trees or a soda bottle,” she said. “It can be turned into a beautiful, beautiful sight to see. You might see something one way and someone else will look at it differently, and that’s OK. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Rosemary had enjoyed water color painting when her daughter was a toddler,

and has returned to it as she grapples with memory loss. “It’s made me calmer and more observant of things around me. And it’s not every day you’re in a museum,” she said with a smile. Her water colors of a delicate red flower and a sailboat are in the exhibit. The artists also rediscover a sense of joy and happiness as they work. Penelope Niland took one look at Joan Miro’s surrealist painting “The Red Sun” and laughed. “When I first saw it, I kind of giggled to myself...It’s playful.” And this positive energy can continue when the participants go home and face new challenges. “A lot of feedback I’ve gotten from families, especially with the exhibition, is ‘it’s so nice to see what they can still do,’” said Sargent, the art therapist. “They’ve been faced with doctors saying, ‘This is what’s wrong, and these are the changes, and this is what’s going to happen in the future. Prepare yourself,’ and all this negativity. “So they come to this space and it’s about what they can still do. That pride of, ‘Oh my gosh, someone’s chosen my art to be put on display’ is such a motivation.” “Art and Wellness: Creative Aging” is on display through Jan. 5, 2014 at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C., at the corner of Q Street. For more information, see http://phillipscollection.org or call (202) 387-2151.


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ONE BIG HAPPY By Rick Detorie

ANSWERS TO SCRABBLE

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD P A W S

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O T H S G R E W L I E K E E H E A D E N T U R E Y E I E A R S S W S S A C E A R A N N S R O T W E S E T H E Y R O A R S E T S

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Classifieds cont. from page 63. Personal Services LADY WANTS TO CLEAN HOUSES. Charge $70 a day. Help Elderly/Babysit $15 per hour. Call 703-341-6722. Dorothy. MINT CONDITIONING MOVING – We have been giving quality moves in the D.C. area for over twenty years with friendly service. Give us a call today for a free quote. 703261-3851. VAN MAN – For your driving needs. Shopping, appointments, pick-up and deliver – airport van. Call Mike, 301-565-4051. WILL TYPE YOUR MEMOIRS, manuscripts, etc. For info and rates, call 703-671-1854. 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. www.CherylsOrganizing.com. 301-916-9022.

Volunteer Oportunities COLUMBIA LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE BLIND, a nonprofit organization serving people of all ages in the Washington metropolitan area who are blind and visually impaired, is recruiting adult volunteers to serve as Readers and Friendly Visitors. Participants in the Readers & Friendly Visitors program are adult volunteers who are matched one-on-one with blind or visually impaired adults. Volunteers arrange weekly meetings with clients at their homes to assist with activities, such as reading mail, grocery shopping or running errands. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Jocelyn Hunter at 202-454-6422 or jhunter@clb.org to attend an upcoming orientation.

Wanted JOIN JUMPSTART’S COMMUNITY CORPS to put children first. Work with preschool children on reading, receive professional training in early education and serve a team with your peers. If you are interested, please contact Jamarl at 202-223-7050 or Jamarl.clark@jstart.org.

Wanted

Wanted

Wanted

WANTED: OLDER VIOLINS, Guitars, Banjos, Mandolins, etc. Musician/collector will pay cash for older string instruments. Jack, 301- 279-2158.

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 202-726-4427, MD 301-332-4697.

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, 301-279-8834. Thank you.

WE BUY OLD AND NEW JEWELRY, Coins, Silver and Gold, Paper Money Too. Watches, Clocks and Parts, Military Badges and Patches Old and New. Call Greg, 717-6587954. HIGHEST CASH PAID FOR ANTIQUES, ESTATES - Cash paid for antiques, estates. I’ve been in the antiques business for over 25 years. I live in Silver Spring and work in Bethesda. I’ve been selling on EBAY for over 15 years. I pay the most for your valuable treasures. Buying the following items: furniture, art, silver, gold, old coins, jewelry, wrist watches, military items including, guns, rifles, knives, swords, medals, etc. also buying old toys, dolls, trains, books, tools, musical instruments, old sports items, memorabilia, gold, baseball, fishing, old photos, comic books, etc. Please call TOM at 240-476-3441. Thank you. OLD AND NEW WE BUY Sterling Silver Flatware, Tea Sets, Single Pieces, Fountain Pens, Lighters, Tools, Cameras, Glassware, Art Work. Toys From Trains to Hot Wheels to Star Wars. Call Greg, 717-658-7954. 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 301-6540838.

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, 202841-3062. 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, 301-5966201.

WANTED: ANTIQUE ELECTRONICS, engineers’ estates, Hi-Fi Stereo, huge old loudspeakers, ham radios, records, professional quality musical instruments, antique computers, scientific curiosities. 202-527-9501, vcvdc@msn.com.

BUYING MILITARY MEMORABILIA WW2, WW1, Civil War uniforms, weapons, photos and items associated with US, German, Japanese or items of other Military History. DAVE, 240-464-0958.

STAMP COLLECTIONS, AUTOGRAPHS purchased/appraised – U.S., worldwide, covers, paper memorabilia. Stamps are my specialty – highest price paid! Appraisals. Phone Alex, 301-309-6637. Stampex1@gmail.com.

CASH FOR ESTATE BUYOUTS, estate clean-outs, jewelry to furniture, one item or whole state. Free Estimate, Will Travel. 301520-0755.

STERLING SILVER – I WILL PAY TOP DOLLAR for your silver marked “sterling,” “925,” “800.” Please, no silver plate. Want flatware, bowls, plates, candlesticks, etc. Call Richard, 301-646-0101.

CASH FOR RECORDS & CDs. BEST PRICE GUARANTEED. Free appraisals. All types of music, 33, 45, 78 & CDs. Call Steve 301-646-5403. Will make house calls.

Thanks for reading the Beacon!


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1. Resort hotel feature 5. Flame finder 9. Bridge lead, perhaps 14. Purina brand 15. Creature observed in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 16. Grill maker 17. Star of the 1894-1896 NL champion Baltimore Orioles 20. Emilio Estevez, to Martin Sheen 21. Female antelope 22. Medicine men 23. NaCl, more commonly 25. Can calamities 26. Start of 17 Across’ philosophy of hitting 29. Mo. with the most fresh flower sales 32. Noted brand of pepper spray 33. Compete 34. Show up 36. Gillette razors 38. General path from ME to FL 40. Flounder relatives 41. ___ alcohol (demonstrate drunkenness) 43. Amniotic ___ 45. An other Spanish word 46. Demolition acquisition 47. More of philosophy 50. Russian images 51. Optimistic 52. Car dashboard feature, usually 55. Horror director Craven 56. King Kong studio 59. End of philosophy 62. Crazies 63. Chewbacca comment 64. Cool stage name of rapper Tracy Marrow 65. H.S. exams 66. Puts out the china 67. Stat start

Down 1. Goldilocks’ hosts had 12

2. Butter substitute 3. Everybody knows it; nobody says it 4. In the dumps 5. Bolshevik diplomat, whose name inspired inexpensive weapons 6. Look up and down 7. Start of a cycle 8. Chortle sound 9. Mister Rogers’ zip-ups 10. Yellow slippers 11. Competent 12. Venison source 13. Botches 18. Without much activity 19. Country on the equator 24. Opposite of an abyss 25. Imitate, visually 26. Discounter, founded by Sebastian S. Kresge 27. Consumed 28. The University of Illinois at Springfield (in boxscores) 29. Rolling in dough 30. “... ___ saw your face” 31. In a daze 35. Big crosses 37. In flip-flops 39. Simple card game 42. Minimum amount 44. Resume writers’ goals 48. Pays the admission fee 49. Curious, and then some 50. Sweats 52. Plant displayed at The National Aquarium 53. Comedian Philips, and namesakes 54. Org. with motto “eliminating racism; empowering women” 55. Second baseman, per Bud Abbott 57. Banjo holder 58. Palindrome game: “Toot and ___” 60. Footprint feature 61. Basketball force

Answers on page 61.


WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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 at the right. 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.

Business and Employment Opportunities AUTHORS! WRITERS! I am an author of 32 books. I’m willing to help you finish and publish your book. Call Donald R. Downing, 301-839-1583.

Caregivers I WILL CARE FOR YOUR LOVED ONES NIGHT/DAY. Own transportation. Good references. Lots of experience. 301-502-2258. I AM A DEPENDABLE, CARING NURSING ASSISTANT – CNA. Looking to care for the elderly, full time, day or night, own transportation. Excellent references. Call 240-476-6005. ALLOW YOUR LOVED ONES to live where they are most comfortable... in their own home! Quality and reliability at an affordable price. Errands, shopping, meal preparation, hygiene assistance, light housekeeping. Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Temporary or long-term, up to 24-hour care. Bonded and insured. 301-4909050, visitingangelsmd@verizon.net. www.visitingangels.com/Laurel. CNA/COMPANION FOR SICK OR ELDERCARE. I am experienced, compassionate and reliable. Available days, nights, Mondays through Fridays and weekends full time or part time with 23 years experience. Own transportation. Call 301-442-9324. COMPASSIONATE CAREGIVER – LADY COMPANION available for elderly or adult with disabilities. Very reliable, experienced, own car with excellent references. CPR/First Aid/Hospice/Mental Health Aide Certified. I can provide respite care, concierge, plus more services for your loved one. Please call 240-426-3548 and kindly leave me a message.

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Computer Services COMPUTER LESSONS – Personal Computer training at your home. Email, Internet, general computer use. Windows 8, Smartphone/tablet, digital camera. Learn at your own pace with gentle & patient tutor. We also troubleshoot problems & setup new computers. Teaching Seniors since 1996. Senior Discount. Call David, 301-762-2570, COMPUTERTUTOR.

Entertainment THE SOUND OF JEWISH MUSIC, December 31 @ 6:00 p.m., sponsored by the Shalom Signature Club. Enjoy a journey through Jewish culture and nostalgia via songs sung in three languages: English, Hebrew and Yiddish. This heartfelt rendition of both celebrated classics and modern Jewish songs is performed by Singer-Composer Boruch Blesofsky, a NY icon. Tickets: $10 ($8 for seniors). At the Norwood Park Activity Center, 4700 Norwood Dr., Bethesda, MD. Light refreshments served. Seating is very limited. To reserve yours, call the Shalom Signature Club, 240-200-4515.

Financial Services AFFORDABLE ACCTG/TAX SOLUTIONS @ BAI-TECH. Automation, Bookeeping, Payroll Tax Planning, Preparation & Representation. CPA on Demand 24/7. 26+ years experience. Email inforequest@bai-tech.com or call 301-6082248.

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate LEISURE WORLD® - $247,500. 3BR 2FB 1HB “M” in Greens. Table space kitchen, separate Dining room. Large enclosed balcony. New paint and carpet. 1530 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $98,500. 2BR 1-1/2 BA “Elizabeth” Coop. Window in the kitchen, builtin microwave, enclosed balcony.1308 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $299,900. 2 BR 2 FB FF in Overlook with Garage + Golf cart space. Table-space kitchen open to enclosed balcony with custom shades. Close to elevator.1320 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-9283463. LEISURE WORLD® - $185,000. 2 BR 2FB “O” with Garage + Golf Cart space in Fairways. Table-space kitchen with window, separate dining room, enclosed balcony. 2nd bedroom with built-in. 1138 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $159,000. 3 BR 2 FB “Ellicott” model with table-space kitchen, separate dining room, separate laundry room, new paint and carpet, enclosed balcony. 1400 sq. ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $275,000. 2BR 2FB “E” in “Villa Cortese.” Table-space kitchen, large enclosed balcony, and Garage parking. 1340 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $249,900. 3BR 2-1/2B “M” in the “Greens.” Great space with enclosed balcony, new paint and carpet and separate storage room in basement. 1530 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463.

CNA/MED TECH ELDERLY CARE for livein/live-out, taking care of the elderly. 15+ years experience. Own transportation. Excellent references upon request. 240-482-9027, 202-710-3127.

LEISURE WORLD® - RENTAL - $1400. 2 BR 2 FB “F” in the “Greens.” Updated kitchen, enclosed balcony, treetop view. 1115 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463.

LOOKING FOR A LOVING, caring, compassionate, dependable and reliable caregiver with years of experience and references for your elderly loved ones? Have experience with MS, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes and other health problems. Please call, 301-908-9134.

LEISURE WORLD® - $268,000. 2BR 2FB “D” in Villa Cortese. Table- space kitchen, separate kitchen, enclosed balcony, new paint and carpet. Garage space. 1300 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463.

Computer Services COMPUTER PERSONAL PC/APPLE IT SERVICES HELP – transfer 3.5 floppy or camera pictures to CD, download music and books, update computer programs, training, setup, email, apps and accounts. Contact Wilson, 301830-2344, Personal_IT@aol.com. PROBLEM WITH YOUR PC/MAC OR NETWORK? Computer Systems Engineer will come to you with help. Call: D. Guisset at 301-6424526.

LARGE ROOM FOR RENT – Senior looking for same. Must be reliable, no smoking, no drinking, no drugs. Call 202-629-4096. THE GREENS $265,000. 1615 SQ FT! Bring everything! 3BR, 2.5 BA condo. Freshly painted, new carpet, table space kitchen w/ stainless steel appliances, new washer/dryer and new A/C compressor. Balcony and patio. Nancy Einwaechter, Weichert Realtors, 301-460-6976. I BUY HOUSES ANY CONDITION – Fairfax County, VA, Save time, money and worry. Not an agent, no commissions. Female owned. 703-9695847, ibuyfairfaxhouses@gmail.com.

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For Sale/Rent: Real Estate

Health

SPIRITUAL, PROGRESSIVE HOUSEHOLD OF WOMEN (39-69) in Takoma Park MD (at DC edge) seeks two-three separate compassionate women – with these underlying values – for friendship and mutual supportiveness. Non-smokers. No pets. $950 for lower level small suite (small efficiency) with unfurnished private carpeted bedroom, private tiled full bathroom, private full kitchen, partly private/partly shared storage area, and access to back porch (mostly private use) and yard. And $750 for top level unfurnished carpeted private master bedroom, private tiled full bathroom with two sinks and skylight, walk-in closet, and double floor-length windows/glass-door opening to small private deck overlooking lower deck/forest... includes all the shared outdoor house. Small carpeted room with closet/ window and a hall bathroom: $650. Shared utilities (1/3) + deposit. One reducible for bartering & help. Begin Feb. 1 or ½ month – 2 months later. TBD. Email: thefairygodmom@gmail.com.

PAID RESEARCH STUDY – Participants needed for NIH-funded hearing experiments conducted at University of Maryland, College Park. Seeking people ages 65-80 with normal hearing or hearing loss. Hearing evaluation included as part of study. Participation time is 12 hours; $12/hour. Contact Hannah or Rebecca at 301-405-7454 or hearingresearch@umd.edu.

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 12. Contact me: 301-580-5556, SueHeyman@aol.com, www.SueHeyman.com, Weichert Realtors.

WHERE IS YOUR PAIN? Back, neck, nerve, arthritis, joint & muscle pain etc. Give us your opinion on our homeopathic, topical pain relief lotion. Free sample & follow up on request. 202-726-2602.

WE’LL BUY YOUR HOME Without the Hassles. Local Company in business since 2003. BBB Accredited. Call 877-948-3232 today for details. No Obligation or Fees.

For Sale CEMETERY PLOT, KING DAVID MEMORIAL PARK. Falls Church, Va., Block 2, Lot 82, Space 4. Lists for $4,650. Sell for $2,100. Call 301-258-7633. ITEMS FOR SALE – Low vision enlarger with table, $150. Hospital bed with electrical controls, $150. Shower chair, $30. Shower hose, $15. Call Paul, 301-572-4046. SIX GRAVE SITES GEORGE WASHINGTON CEMETERY. Cemetery cost is $2,975 each. Will sell for $1,500 each or less for all six. 256-764-3846. FT. LINCOLN CEMETERY – Garden of Reflections. 2 burial rights, bronze/granite memorial. $5,795 or best offer. Call Harold, 301-928-9731. PARKLAWN MEMORIAL PARK: One cemetery plot, two chambers; beautiful settling. $1,800. Please call 301-351-9305. PLOTS FOR SALE AT G.W. MT. LEBANON CEMETERY – Jewish section. Well maintained at a discounted price. Call: 301-984-1109.

SANOWAR FITNESS – kinesiologist and certified personal trainer offering in-home personal training and fitness classes for baby boomers and small groups. Contact Mustapha Sanowar, 202-717-0980 or msanowar@yahoo.com for a free consultation. MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING with home-bound seniors in lower Montgomery County by state licensed counseling provider. For an appointment, please call 301-340-1510.

Home/Handyman Services EXPERT ROOF REPAIRS and new installations. 40 years experience. 5 year warranties. Rated A on Angie’s List. See our photo gallery at RamboandRamboConstruction.com. MHIC# 8342. Call, 301-220-4222. NEED HOUSE CLEANING? PROFESSIONAL SERVICE at an affordable rate! Weekly, BiWeekly, Monthly or One Time. Call Fulvia for a free estimate, 240-644-4289.

Legal Services PARALEGAL EXPERIENCED IN WILLS, trust and estate administration as well as other accounting and administrative paperwork. Will make house calls. 301-565-2917.

Miscellaneous Donate Art to JCCGW! Fine to folk art, Judaic, non-Judaic, modern, traditional, collectibles, fine crafts, good condition, for JCCGW’s annual art sale. Bring to JCCGW’s front desk anytime JCCGW is open. 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD. 301-3483770; paltman@jccgw.org. Profits benefit educational programming. The JCC of Greater Washington is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.

Personals

Health

RENAISSANCE MAN LOOKING for an adventurous woman to spend quality time together, for a respectful, warm and affectionate relationship. I am an unhappily married man, with none of this in my marriage. Be my soul mate, for safe fun and mutual enjoyment. P.O. Box 10456, Silver Spring, MD 20914.

QUIT SMOKING - ONLY IF YOU ARE SERIOUS about quitting. Send $20 to E. Harris, Box 737, Bethany Beach, DE 19930. No pills/drugs. Results are guaranteed or money back!

Classifieds cont. on p. 61

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.


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December 2013 DC Beacon Edition