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“Celebrating Age and Maturity�

April 2010

Seniors Strive for Gold

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*Advertised public charter fares are one-way, do not require a round trip purchase, and include Federal Excise Tax of 7.5%. Fares are capacity controlled and some advertised airfares not be available on all seats on all flights. Airfares do not include September 11th Security Fees of $2.50 per person per enplanement, Federal Flight Segment Taxes of $3.70 per person per flight segment, Passenger Facility Charges (PFC) of up to $4.50 per person each way. Advertised fares cost $11.25 more per person each way when booked by calling 1-888-FLY-BKG1 or through BransonAirExpress.com. Tickets purchased at the airport are not subject to this increase in price. Fares are subject to availability at the time of booking, and are subject to change. A $15.00 checked baggage fee will apply for the first checked bag and $25.00 for a second checked bag per person. Each checked bag weighing over 51 pounds will be assessed a fee of $40 in addition to the checked bag fee.

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April Contents BRIEFly 8 News & Info 10 Eat Like Your Life Depends On It 12 Medical News & Info

departments 14 Is There a Doctor in the House?

5 Steps to Better Heart Health

16 Special Report 6 Ways to Make Retirement a Reality (in a Bad Economy)

advice

18 Marci’s Medicare Answers Cataract Surgery, Hospice Care & Extra

feature

Columns 42 The Bookworm by Terri

20 Money Matters by Jason Alderman Earn Higher Interest 22 Ask Dr. Marion by Marion Somers

24 26 28 38 40

Ask Grand by Lillian Carson Am I Too Old to Raise My Grandchildren?

Laws of the Land by Lee Aronson Outrageous Car Problems Dear Pharmacist by Suzy Cohen Try These Natural Memory Boosters

Moving Free with Mirabai by Mirabai Holland Fight Upper Arm Flab

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Schlichenmeyer

“Over 40 & You’re Hired!" 43 Weather Facts for Thought by Al Bolton 44 Profile in Pizzazz by Amanda Newton

Volunteer Billy Barefield Named CASA Champion

46 Travelizers by Andrea Gross Mesa Verde, Colorado and Acoma, New

From the Bench by Judge Jeff Cox Teen Court Program Helps Area Youth

competitive spirit and the thrill of the games have to end when a person hits 50. Senior Olympics gives athletes the opportunity to go for the gold.

36 2010 Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympic Games Schedule

Help Special Enrollment Period

Hiring Home Health Aides, Caregiver Apps and Websites

31 Seniors Strive for Gold by Amanda Newton Age alone does not have to mean that a

Mexico

48 60

Restaurant Review by Lizzie Lyles Abby Singer’s Bistro The Best of Times & RSVP Salute Betty Williams by Teresa Micheels

In every issue 50 What’s Cooking? Potatoes Take Center Stage 54 Get Up & Go! A full month's worth of activities 56 Our Famous Puzzle Pages Crossword, Suduko, Word Search 58 Gold Pages Resource Directory of businesses, services,

Dan Usery, Larry Smith and Mike Cox

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April 2010

and organizations for “those of us 50+”

61 Parting Shots See and be seen

Loyal readers know that I play tennis. Win or lose, I love the game... running all over the court, strategizing with my partner, getting hot, sweaty and tired, and, especially, facing the challenge of another team that's much younger or better. Winning medals is exciting, but the truth is that it's fun to play, period. Our area is overflowing with athletes of all ages, who like me, play for the love of the game. This month Amanda Newton introduces us to some of these athletes and to the Senior Olympic games that give "those of us 50+" the opportunity to play the sports we love in a competitive and fun atmosphere. This issue is bursting with as much news and information as these pages can possibly hold. Every month, we have access to so much content that we feel is informative and/or entertaining, but, no matter how many pages we add, there is never enough room. Our solution - beginning this month we will be putting it all on our website at TheBestOfTimesNews. com. For details make sure you see page 6. Until next month, let the games begin!! ~Tina TheBestOfTimesNews.com


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tHe best of times

Radio HouR

Hosted by GaRy CalliGas

Streaming live on the internet at www. KWKHonline.com

Broadcasting every Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on AM 1130 KWKH, A Gap Broadcasting Radio Station in Shreveport, LA.

APRIL 3 “Lessons Learned from Older People,” Dr. Eric Z. Shapira, Clinical Gerontologist and Aging Specialist www.agingmentorservices.com APRIL 10 “The Art of Wine Making and Enjoying Fine Wines,” Panel of Winery Representatives, www.corkwinefestival.com APRIL 17 “Northwest Louisiana Senior Olympics,” Doyle Blasingame and Gerry Robichaux, www.nwlsog.org

www.TheBestofTimesNews.com • Download or view monthly issues of The Best of Times and our annual senior resource directory, Silver Pages, for FREE!

APRIL 24 “How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents,” Jacqueline Marcell, internationally known author, www.elderrage.com MAY 1 “They’re Your Parents Too!” Francine Russo, noted journalist with Time Magazine, www.yourparentstoo.com Previously aired programs are available at www.TheBestOfTimesNews.com Do you have a question for one of our guests? Call 320-1130 during the broadcast or email Gary.Calligas@gmail.com prior to the show.

• Listen to past radio programs. • View listings of senior news, information and events.

NEW! We’re Busting at the Seams! Read original content not published in this issue.This month on

TheBestOfTimesNews.com “Home Weatherproofing Aid for Low-Income Families” “New Drugs Approved for 2009” “Do Shoes Really Matter When Beginning a Walking Program?” “When Am I Legally Required to Give My Social Security Number?” Medicare Savings Programs

April 2010 • Vol. 17, No. 4 Founded in 1993 as Senior Scene News ISSN Library of Congress #1551-4366 A monthly publication from TBT Multimedia, LLC P.O. Box 19510 Shreveport, LA 71149 (318) 636-5510 TheBestOfTimesNews.com

Account Executive Philip Maxfield philip.maxfield@gmail.com

Publisher Gary L. Calligas Gary.Calligas@gmail.com

Contributors Jason Alderman, Lee Aronson, Al Bolton, LA Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, Suzy Cohen, Judge Jeff Cox, Andrea Gross, Mirabai Holland, Ted Kooser, Teresa Micheels, Marion Somers, Terri Schlichenmeyer

Editor Tina Miaoulis Calligas Editor.Calligas@gmail.com Writers Lizzie Lyles Amanda Newton Design & Layout Katherine M. Branch Jessica Rinaudo

Webmaster Jason P. Calligas

Council of Advisors Terri Brock, Senator Sherry SmithCheek, Clara Farley, Dora Miller, Raymon Owens, Mary Anne Rankin, and Mary Alice Rountree

THE FINE PRINT: All original content published in THE BEST OF TIMES copyright © 2010 by TBT Multimedia, LLC, all rights reserved. Replication, in whole or in part by any means is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the publication, TBT Mulitmedia, its publishers or staff. Always consult properly degreed and licensed professionals when dealing with all matters financial, medical, legal or emotional. We cannot accept liability for omissions or errors and cannot be responsible for the claims of advertisers.

Crossword and Suduko Puzzles 6

April 2010

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April 2010

7


News  Info

Social Security Unveils New Online Medicare Application

Governor Jindal Honors Louisiana’s Longest Married Couple Governor Bobby Jindal and First Lady Supriya Jindal recently held a reception at the Governor’s Mansion to honor Louisiana’s Longest Married Couple – Bennett and Pearl Robin of Duson who have been married since July 2, 1932. The Robins were presented with an official certificate from the Governor’s Office honoring them for 77 years of marriage. The Robins will be inducted into the Louisiana Family Forum’s (LFF) Marriage Hall of Fame. The Louisiana Commission on Marriage and Family is working to identify the longest married couples in each parish across the state and honoring them locally. Entrants may apply by sending their contact information, number of years married, wedding anniversary and brief description of their life together to info@ lafamilyforum.org.

Green Globe Certification Awarded to Overton Brooks VA Medical Center Overton Brooks VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Shreveport, Louisiana was recently awarded three Green Globes by the Green Building Initiative (GBI) for leadership in energy, environmental efficiency and their efforts to achieve sustainable energy. Overton Brooks VAMC is the only hospital as well as the only facility in Louisiana to receive this designation.

Cash for Appliance Rebate Program Louisiana's “Cash for Appliance” rebate program began on April 1 and will be available until funds run out. Louisiana residents will have access to up to $250 in rebates for ENERGY STAR (R) -qualified appliances. Eligible products include refrigerators, freezers, washers, dishwashers, room and central

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April 2010

air conditioners, water heaters, gas furnaces, and heat pumps. Rebates are first come, first serve and will run until February 2012, or until funds run out. Residents of Louisiana are required to reserve their rebates online or by phone and will receive a mail-in rebate once a proof or purchase is submitted. Additionally, Louisiana residents must provide proof that a participating retailer removed the old unit and disposed of it responsibly. For more information go to www.dnr.louisiana.gov

The Social Security Administration has just launched a new service that will allow more people to enroll online for their Medicare benefits. This new online application, which takes less than 10 minutes to complete, is for people reaching the Medicare eligibility age of 65 who want to delay filing for Social Security retirement benefits. Currently about a half million Americans enroll in Medicare each year without applying for monthly benefits. The application guides people through a brief set of questions that will help them consider either filing for Social Security AND Medicare benefits, or filing only for Medicare. There are links to more information for people who have questions. To apply online for Medicare, go to www.socialsecurity.gov and choose Retirement/Medicare under the header, “Click Below To Apply For.” You will be asked a brief series of questions. If you have a question or need any additional information, there are convenient “more info” links. When you’re done, just click the “Sign Now” button to submit the application. There are no paper forms to sign, and usually no additional documents are required. If more information is needed, Social Security will contact you by phone or letter.

Healthcare Fraud Alert The Louisiana Attorney General and the US Department of Health and Human Services want the public to be aware of possible Medicare fraud. To report suspected Medicare fraud, call at 877-272-8720. Arthritis Kits - Many seniors in Louisiana have been surprised to discover a Medicare Arthritis Kit on their doorstep. They did not order the equipment and in many cases have no use for the flimsy ace bandage-type equipment found in the box. These kits are not endorsed by Medicare and they are an example of Durable Medical Equipment (DME) fraud. False Front Providers - A new type of Medicare fraud is appearing in Louisiana and it's easy to determine if your Medicare card has been used

to perpetrate this type of fraud. Read your Medicare Summary Notice or Explanation of Benefits carefully. If you see any charges billed to you from a physician in an unfamiliar city, call the Medicare Fraud number. Physicians identities are being stolen and used to open false front offices. These offices do not provide actual medical care; they exist for the sole purpose of stealing money from Medicare. REMEMBER: Do not give your Medicare number to telephone solicitors, sales people and people you are not familiar with. Once given, Medicare can be billed time and again with your number for services you do not want and have not authorized. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


Medicare's Hospice Benefit Comforts Patients and Their Families

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By Bob Moos, SW regional public affairs officer,Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospice care isn’t about giving up. It’s about making every moment matter. Medicare beneficiaries who choose hospice receive palliative care and support for their terminal illness. They’re no longer seeking a cure, but they do want to live out their last months as comfortably as possible and with dignity. Medicare’s hospice benefit began in 1983 and has helped millions of Americans and their families. To qualify, patients must be eligible for Medicare’s Part A hospital insurance, and they must be certified by their physician and hospice medical director that they have a prognosis of six months or less to live, if their illness runs its normal course. They also must sign a statement electing the Medicare hospice benefit and another statement that they understand they’re forgoing curative treatment for their terminal condition. When considering and selecting a hospice program, ask these questions: Is it certified and licensed? What kind of training does the hospice provide its caregivers? How does the hospice staff respond to after-hour emergencies? What measures are in place to ensure quality care? How does the hospice involve the family in planning the care? Hospice programs follow a team approach. The doctor and the hospice medical staff work with the beneficiaries and their families to plan the care. Most patients remain at home and receive regular visits from the hospice’s nurses, social workers and counselors. If someone needs hospital care, though, the hospice makes the arrangements. The primary goal is to relieve the pain and manage the symptoms. As long as the care comes from a Medicare-approved hospice program, Medicare covers such costs as the physician services, nursing care, drugs, medical equipment and supplies, and physical and occupational therapy.

Though the hospice benefit is part of original Medicare, it’s also available to anyone with a Medicare Advantage plan. And both original Medicare and Medicare Advantage will continue paying for the treatment of other conditions unrelated to someone’s terminal illness. Medicare understands that family members need a rest from caregiving. So, beneficiaries can request to stay up to five days at a time at a Medicare-approved hospice inpatient facility, hospital or nursing home. For that, they pay 5 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for respite care. Overall, Medicare beneficiaries pay almost nothing for their hospice care. Their only expense may be copayments of $5 or less for drugs prescribed to manage their symptoms or relieve pain. Patients can receive hospice care as long as they’re recertified. After 90 days of care, beneficiaries are re-evaluated by the hospice’s medical director or other hospice doctor to determine if the care is still appropriate. Another re-evaluation is done after another 90 days and then every 60 days. Patients whose health improves or whose illnesses go into remission may not need to remain in a hospice program. In those cases, they return to their previous Medicare coverage. If someday their condition worsens and they again require hospice care, they can be recertified and re-elect the benefit. Beneficiaries wanting to learn more about hospice programs in their area should talk to their doctor or call their state’s hospice organization or state health department. Their physician will also help determine whether a particular hospice program has been approved by Medicare. Even if a patient is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage HMO plan, that person can still choose hospice care from any available Medicare-approved hospice. For more about Medicare’s hospice benefit, visit the Medicare Web site at medicare. gov or call Medicare’s 24-7 customer service line at 1-800-633-4227. A Medicare publication, titled “Medicare Hospice Benefits,” can also be downloaded from the Web site or requested by phone.

East 70th Street

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eat like your life depends on it

Can Chocolate Lower Your Risk of Having a Stroke?

A Long Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries Research shows that potent anthocyanins and other phytochemicals found in tart cherries have superpowers that may help nix cell aging and cancer-causing oxidative damage. According to research, the compounds stopped certain cancer cells from growing and even helped kill some off in lab and animal studies. Another added benefit - these same compounds may protect brain cells from neurodamaging oxidative stress - the kind seen in Alzheimer's disease. (RealAge.com)

Mood Improves on Low-Fat, but Not on Low-Carb, Diet Plan

After one year, a low-calorie, low-fat diet appears more beneficial to dieters’ mood than a low-carbohydrate plan with the same number of calories, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Obese individuals who lose weight tend to have an improved psychological state, including a better mood, according to background information in the article. After one year, the overall average weight loss was about 30.2 pounds with no difference between the two groups. Both groups initially (after the first eight weeks) experienced an improvement in mood. However, most measurements of mood revealed a lasting improvement in only those following the low-fat diet. This outcome suggests that some aspects of the low-carbohydrate diet may have had detrimental effects on mood that, over the term of one year, negated any positive effects of weight loss.

Brain’s Response to Seeing Food May be Linked to Weight Loss Maintenance

A difference in brain activity patterns may explain why some people are able to maintain a significant weight loss while others regain the weight. The investigators report that when individuals who have kept the weight off for several years were shown pictures of food, they were more likely to engage the areas of the brain associated with behavioral control and visual attention, compared to obese and normal weight participants. Findings from this brain imaging study, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that successful weight loss maintainers may learn to respond differently to food cues.

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April 2010

Eating chocolate may lower your risk of having a stroke, according to an analysis of available research that was presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting. Another study found that eating chocolate may lower the risk of death after suffering a stroke. The analysis involved reviewing three studies on chocolate and stroke. Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a protective effect against stroke, but more research is needed. The first study found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22% less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate. The second study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than people who did not eat chocolate. The researchers found only one additional relevant study in their search of all the available research. That study found no link between eating chocolate and risk of stroke or death.

Caffeine Doesn’t Reverse the Negative Impact of Alcohol People who drink may want to know that coffee won’t sober them up, according to new laboratory research. Instead, a cup of coffee may make it harder for people to realize they’re drunk. Those who have consumed only alcohol, who feel tired and intoxicated, may be more likely to acknowledge that they are drunk. Conversely, people who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine may feel awake and competent enough to handle potentially harmful situations, such as driving while intoxicated or placing themselves in dangerous social situations. What’s more, popular caffeinated “alcohol-energy” drinks don’t neutralize alcohol intoxication, suggest the findings from a study reported in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.

Skip Colas to Help Control Your Blood Pressure

Which is more likely to lead to high blood pressure -- colas or coffee? In a new study of women, a cola-a-day habit was associated with about 15% higher risk of hypertension, while a pattern of coffee drinking appeared to have little impact. In fact, the more cola the women drank daily, the higher their hypertension risk appeared to be, even if they drank diet cola. And because the same effect was not seen with coffee drinkers, the researchers speculate that it's not the caffeine that makes cola bad for blood pressure, but something else -- possibly the corn syrup used to sweeten it, or the coloring used to give it that caramel look. Caffeine can temporarily increase blood pressure in people who are sensitive to the stuff, so it's best to cut back on caffeine if you have high blood pressure, are at risk for it, or are generally sensitive to caffeine's effects. For most others, though, consuming up to 250 milligrams of caffeine per day may be safe. (RealAge.com) TheBestOfTimesNews.com


The Best Of Times

April 2010

11


medical news & Info

New Test Catches Most Pancreatic Cancers Early

Feeling Lonely Adds to Rate of Blood Pressure Increase Chronic feelings of loneliness take a toll on blood pressure over time, causing a marked increase, according to a new study at the University of Chicago. The study shows, for the first time, a direct relation between loneliness and larger increases in blood pressure four years later - a link that is independent of age and other factors that could cause blood pressure to rise, including body-mass index, smoking, alcohol use and demographic differences such as race and income. The researchers also looked at the possibility that depression and stress might account for the increase but found that those factors did not fully explain the increase in blood pressure among lonely people 50 years and older. “Loneliness behaved as though it is a unique health-risk factor in its own right,” wrote researcher Louise Hawkley in an article published in the journal Psychology and Aging. High blood pressure, often called a silent threat as it has few symptoms, undermines health in many ways. It increases the risk for heart attack and stroke and impairs kidney function. Like blood pressure, loneliness is sometimes not easy to detect. People who have many friends and a social network can feel lonely if they find their relationships unsatisfying. Conversely, people who live rather solitary lives may not be lonely if their few relationships are meaningful and rewarding.

Steroid Injections May Slow Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Researchers led by specialists at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute have found that injecting a corticosteroid, triamcinolone, directly into the eye may slow the progression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that frequently leads to blindness. Authors of the study published in Archives of Ophthalmology caution, however, that because use of steroids in the eye may increase the risk of glaucoma and cataract, laser photocoagulation remains the treatment of choice until further development of drugs that may reproduce the good effects of steroids, without the damage.

Researchers report they’ve developed a test that detects early-stage pancreatic cancer by measuring levels of a protein that’s present in 90% of cancerous and precancerous lesions. According to researchers from the Garden State Cancer Center in New Jersey, development of the test is significant as most patients with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed when the disease is advanced and more difficult to cure. If validated in larger studies, the test would be a promising tool for detecting this disease in its earlier, more treatable stages, before it spreads to other organs. In early studies, the test detected stage 1 pancreatic cancer 62% of the time and stage 2 pancreatic 86% of the time. Ninety-one percent of the time, it detected cancer in stages 3 and 4. Overall, the test detected 81% of pancreatic cancers. Currently, only 7% of pancreatic cancers are detected before they have spread to other parts of the body. According to the study, the test rarely picks up cases of pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas - which is often confused with pancreatic cancer.

The Benefits of Surfing the Web A 2009 research study of 7,000 retired adults over the age of 55, found that spending time online decreases the likelihood of depression by 20%, and that significant savings could be realized as it is estimated that late-life depression affects as many as six million older Americans. The researchers point out that the results have important implications for broadband policy and programs that increase Internet access among this age group. (Internet Use and Depression Among the Elderly)

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Avoiding ‘Boomeritis’ - The Achilles’ Heel of a Fit Generation Orthopedic surgeons are seeing a wave of exerciserelated injuries among baby boomers - a phenomenon dubbed “boomeritis.” Baby boomers are fitter and more athletic longer into their lives, compared with their parents’ generation. They are running marathons, hitting the slopes, playing hockey, cycling the country, and more. While staying active promotes health, at age 50 and older the body is less forgiving. Injuries can occur when people push beyond the body’s capability. Typical problems include tendinitis, bursitis, stress fractures and tendon tears (such as rotator cuff injuries). Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource offers these tips to help avoid boomeritis: Doctor approval: A doctor can offer advice when a person is considering a new sport or activity. In general, it’s wise to start slowly and increase gradually. Warm-ups: A warm-up prepares a body for activity by getting the blood flowing, raising muscle temperature and increasing the heart rate. Moderate activities, such as walking on a treadmill or cycling in a low gear, are good warm-ups. Cold muscles are more prone to injury. Stretching: Past age 40, joints, tissues and muscles may not be as flexible as they once were. Stretching after exercise, when muscles are warm, can help prevent injury and may improve performance. Cross-training: Alternating different types of activities works various muscle groups, which helps muscles adapt to new activities. A balanced fitness program should include cardio work, strength training and flexibility exercises, such as yoga, and exercises such as Pilates that target the core muscles. Consistency: Compressing hours of heavy activity into the weekend sets the stage for injury. A better approach is aiming for 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily. Listening to the body: Boomers may not be able to tolerate the same sports or participate as long or as intensely as they could when they were younger. Significant stiffness or strain indicates too much intensity. Avoiding overdoing: A rest period or a rest day after an intense workout can help avoid injury. A good rule is to increase activity by no more than 10 percent each week, for example, adding one mile a week to reach a 10-mile-per-week walking regimen. Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource is published monthly to help women enjoy healthier, more productive lives. To subscribe, please call 800-876-8633, extension 9751, (toll-free) or visit www.bookstore.mayoclinic.com.

Bone-Building Drug May Cut Cancer Risk Drugs with a long history of effective bone-building and strengthening in osteoporosis patients may also significantly reduce breast cancer risk, according to several new studies. In one study of 150,000 post-menopausal women conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), invasive breast cancer was reduced by 32% in the participants taking bisphosphonates. Participants not taking the drug did not experience the same results. A similar long-term Israeli study showed a 29% reduction in breast cancer in a group of postmenopausal women. Additional testing is necessary to confirm these findings. Bisphosphonates help bones absorb calcium thus preventing them from becoming too brittle and prone to fracture or breakage, a common occurrence in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, which tends to leech calcium from bones. The drugs are currently being used to treat breast cancer which has spread to a patient’s bones, but they are not widely used beyond these studies for purposes of preventing the disease. Another benefit is that these drugs prevent excessive calcium accumulation in the blood of breast cancer patients. Too much calcium in the blood may cause heart attacks. The Best Of Times

April 2010

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Is there a doctor in the house?

H eart disease - or cardiovascular

disease - seems like something that happens to other people. But the truth is, about one third of adult Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 80 million Americans - that’s one of every three adults - live with one or more types of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In addition to reducing quality of life and raising health care costs, heart disease kills more people than any other disease, including cancer. The CDC estimates that every 37 seconds, someone dies from heart disease. What can you do to reduce your risk of heart disease? Following these five steps can help you take control of your heart health and put you on the path to a healthier life.

1. Know the Risk Factors.

Knowledge is power. Once you know what behaviors and conditions contribute to the problem, you can take action. n Unhealthy Diet. Foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol raise blood pressure levels and promote atherosclerosis. Too much sodium causes high blood pressure levels as well. n Physical Inactivity. A sedentary lifestyle impacts blood pressure, the amount of good cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, and weight. n Tobacco Use. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4800 chemicals, many of them damag­ing to the heart. Cigarette smoking promotes atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) and raises the levels of blood clotting factors. Nicotine raises

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

blood pressure and heart rates, and carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. Exposure to secondhand smoke can significantly increase the risk of heart disease in non-smokers. n Heredity. Genetic factors may play some role in high blood pressure, heart disease and other vascular conditions.

2. Know Your Numbers.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing them, you probably won’t know whether or not you have these conditions. It’s important that you know what your levels are, to keep track of them over time, and track your numbers and assist in determin­ing your personal blood pressure and choles­terol

goals. n Adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years. You may need more frequent checks if your numbers aren’t optimal, or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury. n Adults should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years. You may need more frequent testing if your numbers aren’t optimal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. The optimal cholesterol levels are determined by the number or risk factors and other diagnosis.

3. Stop Using Tobacco Products. When you quit smoking, your risk

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of heart disease is dramatically reduced within just one year. No matter how long or how much you’ve smoked, you start reaping rewards as soon as you quit. Talk to your doctor about effective ways to stop smoking. In addition, you can find online tools and information at n www.smokefree.gov n www.lungusa.org n www.mayoclinic.com

4. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet.

Many doctors recommend the DASH diet - DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. That may not sound like a tempting menu description, but eating to protect your heart really can be delicious and satisfying. Reducing the amounts of saturated and trans fat you eat is key. Sources of saturated fat include beef, butter, cheese, milk, and coconut and palm oils. Check package labels for “partially hydrog­enated” to avoid trans fats. Heart-healthy eating isn’t all about cutting things out. The DASH diet is rich in fruits and vegetables (the recommendation is 5 servings a day), whole grains and other foods that can help protect your heart, help you control

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your weight, and improve overall health. Learn more at www.dashdiet.org.

5. Get Moving.

Physical activity can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. It helps you control weight and reduces your chances of developing other condi­tions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. It also reduces stress, which may be a factor in heart disease. n Guidelines recommend exercising vigor­ously at least 150 minutes per week. n Keep in mind that gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total time. Try to maintain a BMI (body mass index) of 25 to 30. It’s easier than you think to prevent and manage heart disease. Taking small steps can make a big difference. Start following these five steps, and track your progress using an application like Mayo Clinic Health Manager at www.healthmanager. mayoclinic.com. It’s free and you don’t have to be a Mayo Clinic patient to use it. (Courtesy of FAMILY FEATURES)

Online Tools To help people manage their health better, Mayo Clinic and Microsoft worked together to develop Mayo Clinic Health Manager, www.healthmanager.mayoclinic. com, powered by Microsoft HealthVault. Mayo Clinic Health Manager is a free privacy-and-security-enhanced online application where you can organize your health information and receive personal­ ized guidance. Features include: n Take a heart disease risk assessment. n Use the Prepare for Appointment feature to customize and print relevant information on medications, blood pressure and cholesterol before a doctor’s visit. n Get personalized heart health guid­ance. Mayo Clinic Health Manager allows you to create custom trackers for blood pressure (you can download data directly from compatible devices like blood pressure cuffs), cholesterol, weight, exercise, and more. View the charts over time to see if everything is in check. Based on the information you enter, you’ll receive reminders for screenings you may need and the latest information on heart health.

April 2010

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special report

6 Ways to Make Retirement a Reality (in a Bad Economy)

By Bill Losey

1.

Control your emotions -take a deep breath. During this volatile period and every volatile period there is always a cycle of greed and fear. Greed and fear are the two things that move the market. We have periods where the markets get ahead of themselves and investors become too optimistic – and other periods where investors begin to panic, throw the baby out with the bath water, and become overly pessimistic. We are obviously in the throes, or very close to the latter scenario. This volatile period will pass like all the others have.

extra dollars for you to spend come retirement time. Also, every dollar you invest in your 401k/403b plan today is one less dollar included in your income this year so you can lower your tax bite. Employee’s elective contributions are limited to $16,500 per year in 2009 ($22,500 for those people age 50 and over). How much are you saving? Can you save more?

3.

Consider reallocating yo u r 4 0 1 k / 4 0 3 b t o higher yielding investments. I realize that this may be counterintuitive to what you’re feeling given the recent market slide but perhaps you should invest more aggressively. Over time, stocks have historically outpaced bonds and inflation. Certainly, Consider increasing your the greater the potential return annual savings and re- on your money, the more risk tirement contributions. This is you’ll be taking. However, if one area you have direct control you have 10 years or more over. It may require that you until your retirement date (and reduce your current spending or have at least 20 years or more earmark your raise for savings, of life ahead), you may well but putting more away now will be rewarded for taking this allow you to buy more shares at additional risk. Certainly, past cheaper prices (since the market performance is no guarantee of is lower). The younger you are future results and I’m not saying and the earlier you start saving, you should get more aggresthe more years your money can sive; but you should take a few grow tax deferred inside your minutes and review your asset 401k or IRA. This tax deferred allocation. Most people have compounding can mean thou- no idea what they’re invested sands or tens of thousands of in, what they can expect to earn,

2.

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and how much risk they’re taking with their portfolio. This can all be quantified. What percentage do you hold in stocks versus bonds? If you’re not sure, talk with a professional or trusted advisor and gets his or her guidance. Recognize that every extra 1% you can earn on your money over time will go along way to helping you enjoy the retirement you envision sooner.

4.

Consider retiring later. Don’t retire when what you really need is a break. All too often I see people in their fifties and sixties who retire or take an early incentive offer because they think they’re ready to stop working. After a few months or a few years the find themselves bored and restless and wanting to go back to work. Before you decide to fully retire, discuss a phased retirement or flexible work schedule with your employer. Explore all of your options before retiring. Gaining an extra day or two a week of free time may be just what the doctor ordered. Realize that every year you earn an income is another year you defer money into your 401k/403b, lower your tax bill and allow your savings to grow tax deferred. The longer you work the less

you would need to accumulate to afford your desired lifestyle. If you love what you do, why would you ever completely retire? If you don’t love what you’re doing, why are you still doing it? What’s holding you back (time, money, confidence, knowledge, connections)? Research indicates that there is a direct correlation between our happiness, our health, and our financial wellness. When was the last time you examined your situation?

5.

Consider lowering your investment costs. Do you have any idea what you’re paying in dollars and cents for your investments and/or investment management? If you’re like most people I see, you don’t have a clue. Recognize that each investment has its own internal cost

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structure. Usually this information is contained in small print in the back of the prospectus, which most people never take the time to read. Additionally, these fees usually get skimmed off the top and you don’t even realize it. You get my point! Take some time and review your investments. Quantify what you’re paying. Determine if you’re getting good value for what you’re paying. Understand that every dollar you lower your investment costs by is another dollar in your pocket. Can you say ca-ching?

6.

Consider reducing your retirement income needs. At the end of the day (or work week), you can only control what you can control. If you can make astute lifestyle choices, control your spending, eliminate your debts and live on less, you may feel more in control of your future. FYI - my happiest private clients are those that

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have downsized, organized and simplified their lives. Bill Losey, CFP®, CSA, America's Retirement Strategist®, is a highly sought-after advisor, retirement authority, thought-leader, author and TV personality because he makes the complicated and mundane topics of investing and retirement fun! Bill has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry and is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner, a Certified Senior Advisor and Certified Retirement Coach. He is the author of Retire in a Weekend! The Baby Boomer's Guide to Making Work Optional (a 2008 Finalist at The Indie Excellence Book Awards), Founder of National Retirement Planning Month, and he publishes "Retirement Intelligence®", an award-winning weekly newsletter that reaches thousands of subscribers worldwide. For a complete bio, please visit, www. myretirementsuccess.com.

April 2010

17


marci’s medicare answers

Cataract Surgery, Hospice Care & Extra Help Special Enrollment Period

Q:

Dear Marci, I just had cataract surgery. Will Medicare cover it? --Jack Dear Jack, Yes. Although Medicare will not generally pay for routine eye care, it will pay for some eye care services if you have a chronic eye condition, such as cataracts. Medicare will cover: • Surgical procedures to help repair the function of the eye due to cataracts. For example, Medicare will cover surgery to remove the cataract and replace your eye’s lens with a synthetic intraocular lens. • Eyeglasses or contacts, but only if you have had cataract surgery, during which an intraocular lens was placed into your eye. Medicare will cover the dark glasses that you must wear immediately after surgery to protect your eyes, and a standard pair of

untinted prescription eyeglasses or contacts if you need them after surgery. If it is medically necessary, Medicare may pay for customized eyeglasses or contact lenses. • An eye exam to diagnose potential vision problems. If you are having vision problems that indicate a serious eye condition, Medicare will pay for an exam to see what is wrong, even if it turns out there is nothing wrong with your sight. ~Marci

Q:

Dear Marci, When will Medicare pay for hospice care? --Wanda Dear Wanda, Medicare will help pay for your hospice care if: • You have Part A; • The hospice medical director (and your doctor, if you have one) certify that you have a terminal illness (your life expectancy is six months or less); • You sign a statement electing to have Medicare pay for palliative care, such as pain

management, rather than care to try to cure your condition; • Your terminal condition is documented in your medical record; and • You receive care from a Medicarecertified hospice agency. You do not need to be homebound to qualify for the Medicare hospice benefit. The benefit is a comprehensive set of services delivered by a team of providers. Many hospice services are provided in the home, but inpatient care is covered under specific circumstances. ~Marci

Q:

Dear Marci, I have Extra Help, and I was told I can change drug plans at any time. Is that true? --Oliver Dear Oliver, Yes. If you receive Extra Help, the federal program that helps pay for the Medicare drug benefit, you get a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that allows you to join, disenroll from or switch Medicare drug plans once per month. The SEP begins the month that you become eligible for Extra Help, Medicaid or a Medicare Savings Program and continues as long as you have Extra Help. To switch plans, you should enroll in your new plan without disenrolling from your old plan. It is best to enroll into your new plan by calling 800-MEDICARE, rather than the new plan. You will be automatically disenrolled from your previous Medicare private drug plan when your new coverage starts. ~Marci Marci’s Medicare Answers is a service of the Medicare Rights Center (www.medicarerights.org), the nation’s largest independent source of information and assistance for people with Medicare. To speak with a counselor, call (800) 333-4114. To subscribe to “Dear Marci,” the Medicare Rights Center’s free educational e-newsletter, simply e-mail dearmarci@medicarerights.org. To learn more about the services that Medicare will cover and how to change plans, log on to Medicare Interactive Counselor at the Medicare Rights Center’s website at www. medicareinteractive.org.

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19


money matters

by Jason Alderman

People stash their money in safe havens such as savings accounts, Treasury Bills and Certificates of Deposit for a variety of reasons. It could be fear of losing money in the stock market, the security of knowing their deposits are government-insured or, with bank accounts at least, being able to quickly withdraw funds when needs arise. In return for that convenience and security, however, interest earned usually doesn’t keep pace with inflation. When the economy was cooking a few years ago, 5 percent interest rates and higher on long-term CDs were not uncommon. But when the recession hit and the inflation rate began dropping, so did interest rates. These days, traditional savings accounts commonly earn just a fraction of 1 percent interest, while many CDs and T-Bills aren’t much better. So how can you earn more interest on insured savings these days? Would you believe a checking account? Although checking accounts usually earn little or no interest, in the past few years a product called high-yield reward checking has gained in popularity. These accounts often pay much higher interest rates than regular checking or savings accounts – or even long-term CDs in the current market. In addition to paying higher interest, financial institutions offering these accounts typically will refund each month a certain

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Earn Higher Interest – With a Checking Account amount in transaction fees charged by other banks for using their ATMs. For smaller institutions, this helps make up for not having their own extensive ATM network. However, high-yield checking accounts usually come with restrictions that may include: • A minimum number (usually 10-15) of monthly debit card purchases. • Direct deposit (like a paycheck) and/or automatic debit transactions (e.g., monthly gym membership dues). • Issuing electronic statements only.

• There may be a cap on account bal-

ances eligible for the high yield (commonly $25,000 or less); over that cap, the rest may earn a much lower rate. (There usually is no minimum account balance required, as there often is with regular savings accounts.) • Accounts may be limited to local customers only, although many are available nationally. If you don’t meet all requirements during a particular month, the interest rate paid for

that month could drop substantially, but typically will bounces back once you again meet all conditions. Keep in mind a few other factors when considering a high-yield checking account: • Interest rates are variable, so watch for notification of changes. • Compare any fees side by side with those charged on your current account. • Vigilantly track your balance to ensure it covers all debit card transactions; otherwise, overdraft charges could erase any interest earnings. • Make sure the bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation so that up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution will be insured. Search “Bank Find” at www.fdic.gov. • Similar coverage is provided to credit unions by the National Credit Union Administration. Search “Find a Credit Union” under the “Data and Services” tab at www.ncua.gov. Numerous websites track banks and credit unions offering high-yield accounts including www.highyieldcheckingdeals. com, www.checkingfinder.com and www. bankingmyway.com. You won’t get rich from the interest earned on these accounts, but in this economy every extra dollar helps. Jason Alderman directs Visa’s financial education programs. Sign up for his free monthly e-Newsletter at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/ newsletter.

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age comes wisdom.

They say with

As Louisiana’s oldest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana proudly offers Senior Solutions to our members with Medicare. Senior Solutions includes Medicare supplement plans, BlueChoice 65, as well as Medicare prescription drug coverage, RxBLUE PDP.

Consider these solutions from BlueChoice 65: • Affordable rates • Freedom of choice • Benefits that travel when you do • No waiting period on pre-existing conditions • Automatic claims filing – no time-consuming paperwork for you

Call us today at 1.800.593.9701 to find out more about Senior Solutions

RxBLUE PDP helps pay for your prescriptions and protects you from high out-of-pocket drug costs, with features including: • Low monthly premiums • Coverage for all Medicare Part D-approved drugs • Protection from catastrophic drug costs • Most major pharmacies in network • Automatic claims filing – virtually no paperwork for you

(TTY 1.800.947.5277). One of our courteous agents will contact you with more information.

BlueChoice 65 refers to contracts #40XX0420, #40XX0421, and #40XX0425 and is not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. Please see your agent for benefit exclusions, limitations and reductions. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has contracted with the federal government to offer RxBLUE PDP, a stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, but not a comprehensive description of available benefits. Additional information about benefits is available to assist you in making a decision about your coverage. This is an advertisement; for more information contact the plan. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana incorporated as Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Company 01MK3028 3/10 The Best Of Times

S5937_032210AFU April 2010

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ask Dr. marion

by Marion Somers, PhD

Q:

My mother needs help but she’s reluctant to let anyone come in. How do I hire the right person? Isabelle in Montana, 46 Once you reach the decision to hire someone else to help with your elder care challenges, you need to determine the answers to the following questions: • Who is going to pay for the help (you/your elder/insurance)? • Does the helper take insurance as a form of payment? If so, what insurance? • Should you hire a therapist, and if so, what type(s)? • Does your elder need an aide of companion to live in the home 24/7? • Who pours and dispenses your elder’s medication? Aides should be hired only to take care of your elder and perform the agreed upon chores directly related to that care. Don’t load them up with extraneous duties, even if you see they’re highly competent, unless of course the aide agrees to it. Then, they should be duly compensated for additional tasks. Also, and this is very important, take the time to make

Hiring Home Health Aides, Caregiver Apps and Websites a match. Have the potential helper spend some time with your elder before they’re hired. Hiring an aide really comes down to a matter of time and financial resources. If you and your elder have the financial resources to free up some of your time, I highly recommend hiring help. Even if it’s for just 10 hours a week, you’ll be amazed at the difference a wellorganized, competent aide can make in your life and the life of your elder.

Q:

I’m a busy work ing mom whose own mother is getting older - in fact, she just moved in with us. I use my iPhone all the time and have found a ton of apps that make my hectic life easier...what about some apps that can make it easier for me to care for my mom? – Cynthia, 45 Juggling your family and career is never easy - and caring for an aging parent, can make things extra tough. But in this modern age, there are definitely some technological tools that can help. Since you have an iPhone, you already know that there are hundreds of thousands of downloadable applications available - and now, some of those have been

designed specifically with the caregiver in mind. I've been doing my due diligence on these apps to help the people I work with, and - as you may already know - even created a few myself. Here are a few of the ones I like best: • Personal Caregiver: Make sure that medications are taken at the right time, by sending alerts and reminders. Also, includes a comprehensive database of important drug information such as precautions and interactions. (www. personalcaregiver.com) • Care.com: Easily search for local caregivers, including job posting functions to help caregivers locate senior and in-home health aides - as well as nannies, babysitters, and more. (www.care.com/press-release-iphone-app-p1186-q58700.html) • Polka; AllOneMobile: Both of these apps store, track and share important medical information (like diet, prescriptions, fitness regimens and blood pressure levels) with doctors or family members, which can be helpful for any caregiver needing to coordinate care for an older loved one. (www.polka.com) (www.allonemobile.com) • Care Connector: Created by Johnson & Johnson, this adds a community/support component to the information tracking process – connecting caregivers with others like them through message boards, video stories, and more. (www.strengthforcaring. com/util/about.html) • Elder 411/Elder 911: These are my apps, designed to "put an elder care expert in your pocket" with quick access to caregiving insights, checklists, and support - for everything from how to deal with financial and housing concerns, to what to do in an emergency or crisis situation, and more. (www.elder411.net) Don't have an iPhone? Don't worry. These apps are also part of a larger trend of technology that's making life easier for seniors and their caregivers - like Apple’s iPad with its large-print reader, Verizon’s Coupe phone with bigger keys and quick emergency access, and more. The fact is, when it comes to caregiving, knowledge is power. Even when you’re on the go, it is so important to have the right information at your fingertips, so you're not without answers when you need them. Good luck! Over the last 40 years, Dr. Marion (Marion Somers, Ph.D.) has worked with thousands of seniors and their caregivers as a geriatric care manager and elder care expert. It is now her goal to help caregivers everywhere through her book (“Elder Care Made Easier"), iPhone apps (www.elder911.net), web site, columns, public service announcements, and more. For more information, visit www.DrMarion.com.

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23


from the bench

Teen Court Program Helps Area Youth by Judge Jeff Cox

In the last few months, I have seen news about different programs which help our teens. One program on the news in recent days discussed the success of the Drug Court Program. This program has been very successful in helping juvenile offenders and their families overcome addiction. Another program is the teen court program.

Since 2002, I have had the opportunity to be involved as a volunteer Judge with a wonderful program that helps teens in our community. This program is sponsored by the Bossier/ Webster District Attorney’s Office in our 26th Judicial District Court region and is headed by Pat Faulkinberry in Bossier and Elizabeth Hollingsworth in Minden. This program is the Teen Court Program. Teen Court is a program where teenagers who get in fights at school, get speeding tickets, disturb the peace, or any

other first time offenses not of a serious nature appear in court before their peers. A judge, usually a local attorney who volunteers their time, presides over the hearing. The local attorneys have been continuously volunteering with this program as Judges over the years. When a teenager gets into trouble on a non-serious offense covered by the Teen Court Program, the teenager will appear in the Teen Court setting. Before the teenager appears, he or she must admit their guilt and must have no other offenses. Teenagers act as the prosecutors to question the teenager who committed the offense and recommend a sentence to the jury, who is composed of teenagers who had prior offenses before the teen court and are required to serve on the jury as part of their teen court sentence. Another teenager will represent the person who is appearing before the Teen Court and will recommend an alternative sentence. After both the prosecutor and defense have questioned the teenager appearing before the court, each will make a closing argument. The jury then will retire and consider what sentence to impose. The jury imposes from one to four jury terms upon a teenager, community service hours, and may require anger management classes or driver improvement courses. The Judge who presides may deviate up or down on the sentence, but very rarely disturbs the jury’s decision. Teenagers who appear before the Teen Court can only do so one time. The Teen Court helps to save valuable time in our Juvenile Court system and keeps the teenager who participates and completes their sentence from having any type of juvenile record. In addition, teenagers get to participate in a court-type proceeding that helps them to learn about our judicial system. Most teenagers who have participated have enjoyed the experience once their sentence is completed. However, all teenagers that participate learn to respect the law. Fortunately, out of the teenagers who participate in the Teen Court Program, over 90% of them are not seen back in the Juvenile Court or the Adult Court system. As you can see, Teen Court is a wonderful program that helps our teenagers. It is a wonderful alternative to a teenager having to appear in the Juvenile Court and its use in our community gives us a valuable alternative to deal with non-serious crimes involving our children. Teen Court can always use volunteers. If you would like to volunteer to help with this program, please call the District Attorney’s Office and ask for the Teen Court number. Jeff Cox is the 26th Judicial Court Judge for Bossier/Webster Parishes, Division C

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25


Ask grand

by Lillian Carson

Q:

My son and his wife have just informed my husband and me that they have designated my daughter-in-law’s sister and her husband as guardians for my grandchildren should, heaven forbid, my son and his wife die or become incapacitated. Our grandchildren are 4, 7 and 8; I am 57, and my husband is 59. I won’t even be 70 when they’re teenagers. On the one hand, everyone is saying, “Oh, 60 is the new 40,” and on the other, a crowded young family is chosen to be the guardians. (The in-law couple has four children of their own, and I’m sure they will always love their children first, unlike us - we will always love our grandchildren first.) I’m angry and hurt, but, of course, I can’t say anything because the whole premise of the argument is based on horrific circumstances. Are we too old? We’re 20 years younger than Michael Jackson’s mother, who, by the way, didn’t even have any toys in her house. --Young Enough To Do It Again

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Am I Too Old to Raise My Grandchildren? The family politics of legal guardianship You can say something about this to your son and daughterin-law - you should talk this over as a practical matter. Planning for a potential catastrophe is prudent; it is not the same as wishing for it to happen. And your children deserve to know how much you’d love to raise your grandchildren should the need arise. Certainly, age may be a factor in your son and daughter-inlaw’s decision. To some young people, 57 and 59 may seem too old to keep up with young children. (Yes, Michael Jackson’s 79-year-old mother, Katherine Jackson, has been awarded custody of his three children as stipulated in his will. However, and more relevant to your point, it has been reported that his older sister, 59-year-old Maureen Reilette “Rebbie” Jackson, will raise them. Their grandmother will have the legal right to make decisions on the children’s behalf.) There are many possible reasons that may have entered into your son and daughterin-law’s decision. Ask yourself some questions, and be brutally honest with your answers. • How would you assess your relationship with your children?

• Have you been critical of their parenting? • Do you share similar values? • Do you think your son harbors any resentment about the way he was raised? • Do you and your daughter-in-law and her family differ culturally or religiously? Perhaps your children don’t want to burden you with the responsibility. Or they may have concerns about your present or future health. Let them know you are fit and up to the task. One grandmother I know underwent a thorough physical at the parents’ request to prove she was able to take care of their baby. However, if the parents hold to their original decision, request they create an addendum to their legal document stating that you be allowed weekly visits, overnights and vacations with the grandchildren. I cannot stress the importance of having these visitation rights in a legally binding document [www.findforms. com/single_form.php/form/9394]. There are too many sad stories of grandparents who have been shut out of their grandchildren’s lives after a death, divorce or remarriage occurs in the lives of the parents. One such case was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, and sadly, the grandparents lost their plea for visitation rights. With your request legally in place, you’ll all have the assurance that your relationship with the grandchildren will remain unbroken and your grandchildren will continue to enjoy the love and family continuity you provide. Lillian Carson, D.S.W., is a nationally recognized grandparenting expert and the author of "The Essential Grandparent: A Guide to Making a Difference" [www.essentialgrandparent.com]. This “Ask GRAND” column appeared originally in the September 2009 issue of GRAND, the online magazine for grandparents. For information or to subscribe, go to www.grandmagazine.com.

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LAWS OF THE LAND

by Lee Aronson

I recently read a case out of New Orleans that is older than I am. It involved a fellow named Earnest, who needed some work done on his car. So he took his car to a mechanic and explained that he wanted his motor repaired, the body painted and a small vent glass installed. The mechanic gave Earnest a written estimate, stating that the work would cost about $200 and Earnest paid a $50 down payment. A month or so later, Earnest went back to the mechanic to see if his car was ready. Earnest saw that his car was “disassembled” but the mechanic promised that the repairs would

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Outrageous Car Problems be “completed shortly.” So Earnest paid another $50 to the mechanic, for a total of $100 with the remaining $100 to be paid upon completion of the job. But 48 months passed and Earnest’s car was still not ready! Earnest claimed that he had he had gone to the mechanic’s shop at least 50 times to check on the status of his car during these 48 months and had seen the headlights, tires and parts of the chassis had been removed from his car. Earnest thought this odd as he had not given permission for these parts to be removed and he didn’t think that they needed to be removed in order for the mechanic to do the work he was paying for. So Earnest eventually sued the mechanic.

The mechanic came to court and said that the reason why the job had taken so long was because he had to replace the motor in the car twice because the block of the original replacement engine was cracked by freezing weather. The mechanic stated in addition to replacing the motor twice, he had also repainted the car and installed the glass. The mechanic said that the car had been ready to pick up a long time ago but he would not release the car because Earnest had never paid the remaining $100 due. In Louisiana, there is a special law that governs situations such as this. The law says that “any person operating a garage or other place where automobiles are repaired” may retain possession of a customer’s car until the bill is paid. So in Earnest’s case, if the mechanic’s testimony was true, if the mechanic had really completed the repairs on the car and Earnest still owed $100 for the job, then the mechanic could keep Earnest’s car until he paid in full. But it turned out that the mechanic was not telling the truth. The mechanic didn’t even have Earnest’s car anymore: it had been impounded and towed away by the police. And pictures taken by the police showed that the car had not been painted or repaired. The pictures showed that “the front part of the body of the automobile was missing, that the front wheels were missing, and that the vehicle, in short, was nothing more than a derelict.” So the Judge ordered the mechanic to reimburse the $100 Earnest had already paid and to pay Earnest the full value of the car. Two other things worth mentioning: first, just because a mechanic who operates “a garage or other place where automobiles are repaired” may require payment in full prior to releasing a customer’s car, he does not have to. If a TheBestOfTimesNews.com


mechanic wants to return a car to its owner after the repairs are made and accept payment on an installment basis, he is certainly free to do so. But if you make such a deal with your mechanic, make sure you get it in advance and in writing. And secondly, suppose that the mechanic had repaired Earnest’s car in a timely and workman like manner. But when Earnest showed up to get his car, the mechanic claimed something like, “I know I gave an original estimate of $200 but the job turned out to be much more complicated and therefore the final bill came to $500.” Would Earnest have to pay $500 to get his car back? Only if the mechanic “secured authorization to exceed the amount of the estimate.” So if Earnest never authorized the extra $300, then he would only need to pay the amount of the original estimate, i.e. $200, to get his car back. But even if Earnest paid the $200 and got his car back, it’s probable, depending on the circumstances, that he would still owe the extra $300 to the mechanic. Lee Aronson is an attorney with Legal Services of North Louisiana. His practice areas include consumer protection law, housing law and health care law.

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Seniors Strive for Gold

by Amanda Newton

hen young, lots of people like to compete in a variety of sports. They have lots of opportunities to try to out run, jump or play others their age. Just because someone gets a little older doesn’t mean that they don’t still enjoy competing or developing the relationships that come with it. That is where the Senior Olympics come in. Thanks to the Senior Olympics and the National Senior games, age alone does not have to mean that a competitive spirit and the thrill of the games have to end when a person hits 50. The Senior Olympics, at least on a national level, is a fairly young event, as far as these things go. In 1985 in St. Louis, Mo., a group of seven men and women formed the original leadership for what was initially known as the National Senior Olympics Organization (NSOO). That fall they hosted a meeting of individuals who were currently conducting games for seniors in 33 states. That group planned the first National Senior Olympic Games, held in 1987 in St. Louis. These first games hosted 2,500 competitors. More than 100,000 spectators viewed the first Games’ ceremonies, which featured Bob Hope at the St. Louis Riverfront Arch.

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The second national Games also took place in St. Louis in 1989 and hosted 3,500 seniors, and received national media coverage by the “New York Times”, ESPN and Good Morning America. The United States Olympic Committee objected to the use of the term “Olympic” in the organizations corporate name and an agreement was reached in 1990, with the organization changing its name to the U.S. National Senior Games Organization, which today conducts business as the National Senior Games Association (NSGA). Its national games are now known as the National Senior Games. Through a grandfather clause, states that were using the name “Senior Olympics” at the time of the agreement were allowed to continue doing so. The National Senior Games Association moved its corporate office to Baton Rouge in 1998 and is a notfor-profit organization. Its stated goal is that it is

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dedicated to motivate active adults to lead a healthy lifestyle through the senior games movement. The NSGA Summer Games has seen tremendous growth in a short amount of time. From that first year with 2,500 competitors the games have grown to more than 12,000 at last year’s games in San Francisco. For the next summer games in Houston in 2011, it is estimated that 15,000 people will compete. Qualifying for the national games requires placing at state level. States hold their games on even numbered years, with national games held on odd numbered years. Getting to state requires qualifying on a district level. In Louisiana, there are 10 districts. Fortunately for local residents, it is very convenient to participate in the Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics. This local organization makes sure competitors have an outlet to compete in an atmosphere is that flat out fun. Gerry Robichaux has been involved with the Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics since it began. He was working with the YMCA when the state organization decided to have

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separate district qualifiers for state competition. So the YMCA stepped right in to get that set up. There are 10 districts in Louisiana and the northwest district is made up of seven parishes. Through the local Councils on Aging, the early organizers got input from people who had competed at the state level. After two years of competitions, local organizers were approached by the Bossier Council on Aging to see if they would like to host the yearly games under their umbrella. From those early first years, the competition has grown and there are now about 500 competitors each year. “We are always striving to add new competitors and events and to polish up what we offer,” said Robichaux. “We want to make even better what we have.” He said the Senior Olympics gives anyone age 50 and older, with vim and vinegar in their system, the chance to compete on two levels. There is the physical, active realm of competition, but also the more cerebral side of competition. The events range from track and field competitions to chess. So it really does fit a broad range of people, both regarding physical ability and also personality. “Something for everyone,” Robichaux said. “That is our claim to fame and we trumpet that.” There has been a recent surge in the popularity of the bowling competition. The number of participants has increased in doubles, singles and mixed doubles. Bean bag baseball is also very popular with competitors. “There is no running involved but teams are just really exuberant and, ironically, the biggest cheers often come from a teams’ competition. But that is a sign of old-school sportsmanship.” When asked about the benefits of participating in Senior Olympics, Robichaux recounted what a friend said. “He told me that he uses his

participation as a kind of yardstick to see how the aging process has affected him. He can see how age has affected his ability to compete and also how well he is combating the aging process by staying active.” Robichaux also said that one of the local Senior Olympics most successful competitors, James Patty, told him that competing is a way for him to connect with his younger self. “He is a very successful sprinter and has won at the

“This local organization makes sure competitors have an outlet to compete in an atmosphere that is flat out fun.” national level. He competed in track and baseball when he was young and this is a way for him to relive his youth.” Robichaux said the local organization prides itself that it has a regular open competition and also offers a retirement community team competition. That gives those living in retirement communities the opportunity to compete in bean bag baseball and washer pitch. Last year they had a competitor who was 100 years old. Doyle Blasingame has been working with the Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics almost since the beginning. With a 15 year history, the event as grown considerably, said Blasingame. Although growth as slowed in the past few years, organizers still expect bigger and better things in the future. “We have a pretty steady number now of about 500 contestants each year,” he said. “We grew pretty well, but there is still a lot of potential for more growth.” If you consider that each of the 500 or so yearly competitors can and do participate in multiple events, then the competition field grows. If you were to count each event participant separately, then there would be about 3,000 people competing. Blasingame said the biggest benefit for people who compete in the Senior TheBestOfTimesNews.com


Olympics is that it keeps them active. Of course for some people, just because they age doesn’t mean they lose their desire to win. “The competitiveness doesn’t go away. The competitive spirit is still strong in a lot of our participants,” Blasingame said. Those participants range in age from 50 to 100. They come from all walks of life and many backgrounds. While some might be long-time athletes, others are finding the joy in athletics later in life. They compete for different reasons: some to see if they still have what it takes to win and others to meet new people and strike up new friendships. Howard Robertson, 89, is one of the oldest participants in the local Senior Olympics. He competes in bowling and has been bowling since he was 20 years old. It is something he does to fill the time, he said. A pretty good bowler, even when not considering his age, he did bowl that elusive perfect game of 300 about 10 years ago. And he bowls twice a week with the same group of bowlers. “(Competing) in the Senior Olympics is just enjoyable and the people are nice,” he said. “This coming year might be my last year to bowl in the Senior Olympics. I am just getting too old. I don’t know though, I might compete in other events after that.” Some people take part in a lot of “other events.” The nice thing abut the Senior Olympics is that participation is not limited to one or two events. If you think you might enjoy it or be good at it, you can go for it. Frances Hutton, 85, loves to compete in the local Senior Olympics. She loves it so much she has a hard time not competing in just about every event. “The biggest event for me is bowling. I still bowl twice a The Best Of Times

week in a league,” Hutton said. “I compete in shuffleboard and used to do table tennis, but had to stop that. I compete in bocce ball and washer pitch, too.” She has been participating in the local games since they began. In those early days she used to compete at the state competition as well. Hutton said she has always been into sports, but had to wait until she was older to actually pursue that particular passion. “When I was in high school, they didn’t let girls participate in those things. The only thing the girls could do was tumbling,” she said. “Staying active is good for you and I don’t like to just sit around,” Hutton said. “It has kept me going.” Hutton is quick to spread the word about how much fun it is to participate in the Senior Olympics. “I don’t think I have any friends who don’t now compete in them,” she said with a laugh. Asked about any specific memories from her years of competing, she told of actually finding love at the games. “I was at the state games and had lost my first husband and had said I would never marry again. Well, I met a man who had lost his wife and we ended up marrying. I lost him in 2007.” Hutton said participants in the Senior Olympics are sure to make a lot of friends, even if they don’t come home with medals. And really, isn’t a friend better than a medal? Sam Merritt is a newcomer to the local Senior Olympic Games. Merritt, 62, competed for the first time last year. Tennis, his sport of choice, is something he has enjoyed for a while and he was talked into competing. He found he really enjoyed it. “I had a good time,” he said. “I enjoy the athletic part of playing April 2010

33


and I do like to win. But, I like to play more than I like to win.” He said that just like with any athletic competition, there are those competing in the Senior Olympics who are very competitive and are out there to win. “But for the most part, everybody is just out there to have a fun time” He pointed out that there are so many different events for people to choose from, regardless of their age or athletic ability, and he is looking forward to many more years of competing. Dan Ursery, 61, has competed and placed at both the local and state level of the Senior Olympics. He has competed in the track and field events since he was 50 years old. “I like the competition and I like the camaraderie,” he said. Ursery, quite the athlete, competes in the 500 meter, 100meter, 200 meter, the long jump, triple jump and the high jump. As if that wasn’t enough, he also competes in the shot put and discus. Training for his Senior Olympic performances motivates him to stay in great shape. “I don’t like doing cardio (exercise) just for the sake of doing cardio. If I am training for a purpose, then that is better,” He works out 5 days a week at the gym and if the weather cooperates, he runs outdoors two or three days a week. Last year at state, he had two first place finishes, two second place finishes and three third place finishes. “I was pleased with my finishes,” he said. “I always want to do my best at state and I am highly competitive.” He has only decided to make the trip to national Senior Olympic competition once, when it was held at LSU in 2001. However, the 2011 games will be held in Houston and he said he just might have to make the trip there. As Ursery ages, he changes age brackets in competition. Sometimes he might be the youngest male in the field and others he has been the oldest. That doesn’t really matter, he said. “I have been beaten by people older than me and I have beaten people younger than me.” So age really doesn’t matter and that is always nice to know. Tommy Poljak, 70, has been playing tennis longer than some Senior Olympic competitors have been alive. He started playing when he was about 10 years old in his native country of Bosnia. All those years of playing translate into an amazing level of skill and talent. Poljak even led a team in the Davis Cup, the premier international team event in men’s tennis. It is the biggest annual international team competition in sports. In Bosnia, Poljak was a sixteen time national champion. However, tennis was not his profession there, it was his hobby. After attaining his education, he was an engineer and tennis was something he did because he enjoyed it so much. After moving to the United States, tennis became his career. Although he didn’t speak English when he moved here, he was easily able to pass the tests required to become a top level tennis professional. He has taught hundreds of students and his days are filled with tennis. “What was once my hobby is now my job, so it is not my hobby (anymore),” he said. But being a person who likes to

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compete, Poljak finds that the Senior Olympics gives him that outlet. He wasn’t satisfied with his performance at the last National Senior Games and he plans on a better performance next time. “Next year the games will be in Houston and I will be better prepared,” he said. As a man who has competed since the age of 10, both nationally and internationally, stopping now is not an option and the Senior Olympics give him the perfect opportunity to hone his competitive edge. “I think I will play for many, many years,” he said. And that is really the great thing about the Senior Olympics. It doesn’t matter how old a person gets, age is never going to knock them out of competition. If their physical ability changes, they can just choose a different sport to compete in. Even if they find themselves living in a retirement home, the competition will come to them and they can still put their competitive spirit, or their desire to have fun, to good use. A little information on competing in the Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics: ELIGIBILITY: This is an OPEN competition. Out-ofdistrict and out-of-state entries are welcomed and encouraged. Anyone who will be 50 years of age as of December 31, 2009, is eligible. District competitors are those from Caddo, Bossier, Bienville, Claiborne, Webster, Desoto and Red River parishes. FEES: Entry fee is $15.00 for any three sports or games. Northwest Louisiana Senior Athletes Association members are allowed unlimited sports or games. Track and field, bowling, tennis and table tennis are considered one event, regardless of the number of activities you choose within them. Bowling requires a $7.00 facility fee each in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Miniature golf ($4.00) and golf ($30.00) also require additional fees to basic entry. STATE GAMES: For information about the state games to be held September through November in Baton Rouge, go to www.lsog.net or write the LOUISIANA SENIOR OLYMPIC GAMES, P.O. Bo x 14748, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-4748. The telephone number is 1-225-925-1748 or 1-800-799-8309. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go to the Northwest Louisiana District website at www.nwlsog.org.

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35


2010 Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics April 9 - May 22 Retirement Communities Competition April 9

BEAN BAG BASEBALL Southern Hills gymnasium, 1002 Bert Kouns, Shreveport, 9 a.m.

April 16 WASHER PITCH, Southern Hills gymnasium, 1002 Burt Kouns , Shreveport, 9 a.m.

Open Division

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April 2010

April 23

GOLF, Presented by LANDERS Dodge Chrysler Jeep (Course TBA), 8:30 a.m.

April 24

BEAN BAG BASEBALL , Knights of Columbus Hall, 5400 E. Texas, Bossier City, 9 a.m.

April 25

BIKING TIME TRIALS (Ellerbe Road at Frierson Road), 2 p.m.

April 30

BOCCE BALL, Betty Virginia Park, 3901 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport), 9 a.m.

May 1

PICKLE BALL, Noel Methodist Church gym, 520 Herndon, Shreveport, Report by 8 a.m.

May 3

8-BALL POOL, Randal T. Moore Center, 3101 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport), 9 a.m.

May 5

SENIOR HEALTH FAIR/OPENING CEREMONIES (Bossier Civic Center), 9 a.m. Includes Competition In Dance Team 9:30; Accuracy Throws 11 a.m., Darts 10 a.m., Arts and Crafts competition and Bean Bag Baseball finals competition for Retirement Communities at 10 a.m. and 50-Plus at 1 p.m.

May 6

MARKSMANSHIP in .22 rifles and pistols, Shooters USA, 357 Magnum Drive, Bossier), 1 p.m.

May 6

MINIATURE GOLF, Party Central, 4401 Viking Drive, Bossier 6:30 p.m.

May 7

CHESS, Randle T. Moore Center, 3101 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport, 8:30 a.m.

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May 7

BOWLING MIXED DOUBLE, All Star Lanes, 9130 Mansfield Road, Shreveport, 1 p.m. (Must Choose your own partner and list name)

May 7

TABLE TENNIS, Parkview Baptist Church, 2307 Samford Avenue, Shreveport, 5:30 p.m.

May 8

HORSESHOES, Knights of Columbus Hall, 5400 East Texas Avenue, Bossier City, 8 a.m.

May 10

WASHER PITCH, Bellaire Complex. 4330 Panther Drive, Bossier City, 8 a.m.

May 10

SHUFFLEBOARD SINGLES, Bellaire Complex. 4330 Panther Drive, Bossier City, 8 a.m.

May 10

SHUFFLEBOARD DOUBLES, Bellaire Complex. 4330 Panther Drive, Bossier City, 1 p.m.

May 10

BASKETBALL FREE THROWS, Bellaire Baptist Recreation Bldg. 4330 Panther Drive, Bossier City, 10-11:30 a.m.

May 15

REDNECK GOLF, Knights of Columbus, 5400 East Texas Avenue, Bosssier City, 10 a.m.

May 12

BOWLING DOUBLES, All Star Lanes, 9130 Mansfield Rd., Shreveport, 1 p.m. (Must choose your partner and list name)

May 13-16 TENNIS, N. Bossier Tennis Center. 4440 Benton Road, Bossier, Match times to be announced. May 13

TABLE GAMES (Skipbo, Pinochle, Dominos, Phase 10) Bossier Council on Aging 9 a.m. (Choose and list partner for Skipbo and Pinochle)

May 14

RECREATIONAL WALK, One Mile and 3-Mile, Bossier Brownlee Park, 9 a.m.

May 14

BOWLING SINGLES, All Star Lanes, 9130 Mansfield Road., Shreveport, 1 p.m.

May 15

DINNER AND DANCE, Bossier Council on Aging, 6 p.m. ($5 for participant; $8 for guest)

May 22

TRACK AND FIELD, Airline High School Track, Viking Drive, Bossier. 8:30 a.m.

The Best Of Times

April 2010

37


Dear Pharmacist

by Suzy Cohen, RPh

Q:

Dear Pharmacist, My father was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s although mom has complained for years that he was forgetful. This became crystal clear to our family when we sat down to Christmas dinner and he couldn’t remember what holiday it was. The doctor wants to prescribe Aricept for dad, but we are all fans of yours and hope you can recommend something natural to try before the medication. -- H.C. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida You have lots of choices. With your doctor’s approval, you can

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April 2010

Are You Forgetful? Try These Natural Memory Boosters try a couple of these, or look for a multi-tasking product that combines many of the ingredients below. Huperzine A: It’s number one on my list because research proves it has a beneficial effect on memory and cognitive function. The herb -popular in Chinese medicine- works by boosting levels of the neurotransmitter “acetylcholine,” a memory chemical that is deficient in people with Alzheimer’s. Acetyl-L-Carnitine: It creates acetylcholine, a primary memory molecule. DHA: This is a type of essential fatty acid that improves learning and memory. It’s super important for brain function. CoQ10: This antioxidant and its active form called “ubi-

quinol” offer maid service to your brain cells. Research suggests the cleansing action of CoQ10 slows down dementia and memory loss. Pregnenolone: This improves nerve firing, protects brain cells and enhances a process called “myelination” which protects nerve fibers. It’s made in your brain from from cholesterol and if you take drugs to lower cholesterol, your memory function plummets right along with those triglycerides! Does this explain a lot for those of you who feel like you’re losing your mind? Simply put, statins could make you as sharp as a marble! Ask your doctor if you can supplement with pregnenolone while taking your medicine, or to discontinue your medication. Lithium orotate (5-10 mg daily): A natural over-the-counter supplement that may reduce feelings of anger/agitation and promote cheerfulness. You may associate lithium drugs with people who have bipolar disorder, however lithium is essential for everyone. This

Did You Know? Generic medications offer a low-cost alternative to pricey brand name drugs and work just as well.

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mineral helps to reverse early Alzheimer’s, improve spatial memory, Meniere’s syndrome and migraine/cluster headaches. Bacopa monniera: This is a smart pill, which Ayurvedic physicians have known about for eons. In the United States, it is grabbing hold of the interests of even traditional docs because some good studies prove that it can improve memory recall, alertness and cognitive function. Vinpocetine: The periwinkle extract increases blood flow feeding your brain cells more oxygen and glucose. That makes nerve impulses fire better. If your condition is due to poor blood flow, then vinpocetine may be right for you. Phosphatidylserine or PS: This fatty substance makes up cell membranes and declines with age. It easily slips into brain cells and helps preserve and/or enhance memory. The studies aren’t jaw-dropping, but PS is essential in my mind. This information is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Suzy Cohen is the author of “The 24-Hour Pharmacist.” For more information, visit www.DearPharmacist.com. © 2010 Suzy Cohen, RPh. Distributed by Dear Pharmacist, Inc.

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April 2010

39


moving free with mirabai

by Mirabai Holland, MFA

Q:

I’m starting to feel that flabby arm anxiety again. With Spring around the corner I don’t want to face my sleeveless blouses with these 54 old arms a year flabbier than they were last year. Is there anything short of surgery for me to do? Sedentary women in general and women at a certain age in particularly are faced with this problem every Spring. And it does get worst, as you get older. In fact we can lose up to 40% of our muscle cells by

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April 2010

Fight Upper Arm Flab My inbox is trying to tell me something. I’ve gotten several versions of this question in the past week alone. the time we hit 70. This is called sarcopenia. Weight resistance exercise can reverse this process and can help you regain some muscle you have lost. Here are two easy site-specific exercises that target those problem areas in your upper arm. Bicep Curl for the Front Arm: Grab a set up hand weights and stand erect with your feet about shoulder width apart. Weights down at your sides, p a l m s f o r w a rd . Remaining erect, bending only at your elbows bring the weights up towards you until they reach your shoulders. Slowly return to starting position.

Repeat 8-15 reps. Pick a weight that will just barely allow you to complete the final rep in good form. Triceps Extension for the Back of the Arm: You will probably need a lighter weight for this exercise because those muscles are often weaker. Stand erect, weights at your sides, palms in towards your thighs. Remaining erect step forward with one foot and slightly bend the knee. Keeping arms straight, bring both arms behind you just at or above waist height. You should feel the contraction on the back of your arms. Gently lower down to starting position. Repeat 8-15 reps. Do these exercises every other day. You should expect some soreness. It’s common when you are building muscle. Doing the exercises every other day gives your muscles a chance to recover and grow. You should see results in about 3-4 weeks. Mirabai Holland M.F.A. is one of the leading authorities in the Health & Fitness industry, and public health activist who specializing in preventive and rehabilitative exercise for people. Her Moving Free® approach to exercise is designed to provide a movement experience so pleasant it doesn't feel like work. www.easyexercisevideos.com. © 2010.

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East Texas Eye Doctor Helps Legally Blind to See Again Diplomate in Low Vision Care trains Dr. Larry Chism to help those with macular degeneration to keep reading and driving. By Elena Lombardi Freelance Writer

Donald Paquette, 72, a former assessor from Anaheim, California thought that his driving days were over. “I could not read the street signs soon enough and I couldn’t pass the vision test at the DMV office.” Gonzalo Garcia, 74, Albuquerque, New Mexico, wanted to be able to read and write more easily. He wanted to see the nails and screws when he tried to use them in home repairs. He wanted see his grandchildren singing in the church choir. But he thought those days were over when he was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. California Optometrist, Dr. Richard J. Shuldiner and East Texas optometrist, Dr. Larry Chism, are using miniaturized binoculars or telescopes to help people who have lost vision from macular degeneration or other eye conditions. “Some of my patients consider us the last stop for people who have vision loss,” said Dr. Chism, a low vision optometrist who has just completed training with Dr. Shuldiner in California. “Amazing!” says Donald. “I can read the street signs twice as far as I did before and even see the television better!” Dr. Shuldiner also provided special prismatic reading glasses to make the newspaper a little easier to read. Macular Degeneration is the most common eye disease amongst the senior population. As many as 25% of those over 65 have some degree The Best Of Times

Carole Buckels wearing bioptic telescope driving glasses. of degeneration. The macula is one small part of the entire retina, but it is the most sensitive and gives us sharp images. When it degenerates, Macular Degeneration leaves a blind spot right in the center of vision making it impossible to recognize faces, read a book, or pass the drivers vision test. The experts do not know what causes macular degeneration. But major factors include UV light from the sun, smoking, aging, and improper nutrition. Vitamins can help. The results of two studies, AREDS and LAST demonstrated a lowered risk of progression by about 25% when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamins. A new, proprietary supplement based on the scientific studies is available from these doctors. Nine out of ten people who have macular degeneration have the dry type. There is no medical treatment except for vitamins. The wet type involves leaky blood vessels that can sometimes be sealed with hot or cold laser. Unfortunately it’s a temporary fix. Newer treatments, such as Macugen injections try to prevent leakage. “Our job is to figure out everything and anything possible to keep a person functioning,” says Dr. Chism. “Whether it’s driving, reading, watching television, seeing faces,

playing bridge…we work with whatever is on the persons “wish list”. Even if it’s driving. Louisiana and Texas allow the use of telescopic glasses for safer driving. Carole Buckles, 71 of Arcadia, California came on the advise of a friend. “I wanted to be able to keep driving and do the fun things in life.” One of those fun things is baseball. “I love going to baseball games and now I can see those close plays again,” she says. Bioptic Telescopic glasses were prescribed to read signs and see traffic lights farther away. As Carole puts it, “These telescope glasses not only allows me to read signs from a farther distance, but makes driving much easier. I’ve also used them to watch television so I don’t have to sit so close. Definitely worth the $1975 cost. I don’t know why I waited two years to do this; I should have come sooner.” “Telescopic glasses usually cost over $2000”, says Dr. Shuldiner, “especially if we build them with an automatic sunglass”. Not all low vision devices are that expensive. Reading glasses start at $500 and hand magnifiers under $100. Every case is different because people have different levels of vision and different desires. Dr. Chism also provides special prismatic reading glasses to make the newspaper a little easier to read. Dr. Larry Chism speaks to every patient on the telephone before scheduling the one hour low vision evaluation appointment.

Call Dr. Chism, toll free, at 1-888-243-2020 for a FREE telephone interview. April 2010

41


the bookworm

by Terri Schlichenmeyer

Your teenager reminds you of it every day. Not overtly, mind you. Nothing’s mentioned straight-out, but the eye rolls and heavy sighs say it loud and clear: hands-down, she thinks you’re old and out of touch. And you can handle that from a teenager. You kind of expect it. But because you’re out of work, your self-confidence begins to wonder if she’s right… So is it true? Are you “too old” to land a job in this economy? No, says author Robin Ryan and in her new book “Over 40 & You’re Hired!” you’ll learn that your age may be one of your handiest advantages. No doubt about it, the rules have changed since you last job-hunted. But then, so did you, says Ryan. You’re no kid anymore, and that’s good: the skills, maturity, and contacts

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April 2010

“Over 40 & You’re Hired!” by Robin Ryan

©2009 Penguin Books l

$15.00 l

234 pages

you’ve gathered over the years are exactly what some employers look for. But first, you need to re-make yourself into the Number One Best Candidate for the job, starting with technology. In today’s work world, you absolutely must get up-to-speed with computers and electronic devices. Take classes, ask your kids or grandkids, ask the people at the cell phone store. Today’s workplace does not operate without technology, and neither should you. Next, get out your card file and start calling those contacts you spent years cultivating. Through what Ryan calls the “hidden job market”, somebody on your list may know somebody else who has a position to fill, and you can bet they’d rather fill it themselves than go the long route through HR. Never go anywhere or talk to anyone without looking for a job. Think about your strengths and weaknesses and have ready a “60-Second Sell.” That is, be able to tell someone who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and where you want to be, all within one minute. To bolster this, you’ll want to have a stellar resume and a cover letter that WOWs your prospective new boss. Ask for what you want and be specific. Update your look and wardrobe and boost your attitude. If you get a lot of rejection letters, ask (nicely) what you could have done differently. Send thank-you notes. And remember – no perk negotiations until the job is offered. Using interviews with real decision makers, as well as information from her own career workshops, author Robin Ryan gives mature job-seekers plenty of do-able, step-by-step advice on landing the right job, maybe at a better salary. Ryan’s confidence and can-do attitude is contagious and though most of the information here is level-headed, basic stuff, her updates help make sense of what may be very unfamiliar terrain for even the highest-level job hunter. If you’ve been laid off, fired, or you hate your current job; if you’re re-entering the workforce after temporary retirement or raising a family; or if you’re looking for work for the first time, this book is just the kind of literary pep-talk that mature jobseekers need. “Over 40 & You’re Hired!” is a book to put your hands down on. 

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Al Bolton’s Weather Facts for Thought

The tornado season has begun. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year but they occur more frequently during the months of April, May and June. Tornadoes can occur at any hour, but the most favored time is between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. during maximum daytime heating. Tornadoes usually move from the southwest to the northeast. When a tornado watch is issued, it means that weather conditions are favorable for one or more tornadoes developing in or close to the watch area. The outline of the watch area is shown on television weather broadcasts. A tornado warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted or indicated on radar. The warning will give the location of the tornado and its direction of movement. Here are some tornado safety rules. In homes, a basement usually affords the best protection. If there is no basement, take shelter in an interior closet or bathroom on the first floor. Surveys of tornado damage to homes have shown that first floor bathrooms and closets are often left standing. Stay away from windows. Do not open doors or windows. Abandon mobile homes even if they are tied down. In buildings, go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor or to a designated shelter area. If in open country, move away from a sighted tornado at a right angle to its path. If there is no time to escape, lie flat in the nearest depression such as a ditch or ravine using your arms and hands to protect your head. April has proven to be an interesting weather month. Our hottest April temperature of record was 96° on the 29th in 1887. Coldest of record was 31° on the 4th and 5th in 1987, 31° on the 11th in 1989, and 31° as late as April 15, 1920. Wettest April of record was 11.19 inches in 1957. Our latest snowfall of record occurred on April 15, 1933, but it was just a trace...not enough to measure. Last April our warmest temperature was 89° on the 22nd. Coldest temperature was 34° on the 7th. Rainfall measured 3.97 inches. Our normal April rainfall is 4.42 inches. The Best Of Times

April 2010

43


Profile in pizzazz

Volunteer Billy Barefield Named CASA Champion by Amanda Newton Billy Barefield is not one to toot his own horn. Thankfully, someone else was happy to sing his praises. Last year, Volunteers for Youth Justice named him one of their CASA Champions. In a very short amount of time, Barefield showed that anyone can make a real difference in the lives of others if they are willing to put in the time. Barefield, 81, has only been a CASA volunteer since March of 2009. CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocates) recruits volunteers to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children and make sure they don’t get lost in the legal and social service system, or stuck in an inappropriate group or foster home. CASA volunteers receive a good deal of training and are appointed to a case by a judge. Barefield, a Bossier resident, first learned of the program when his daughter told him she thought it would be a good fit for him. She had served as a foster parent and had gone to work for the Office of Community Services (OCS). “She thought I would enjoy it and she was right, I do enjoy it,” he said.

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When asked about the award he received, he had a quick comeback that was true to form. “I don’t do any more than the rest of the volunteers do,” he said. Barefield only takes on teenage boys and he was assigned two when he began the program. One of those boys was in institutional care in Ruston. Barefield made the drive every week to see him. Asked if he was still making that drive, Barefield was happy to say that he does not. “I did from March of 2009 until about October. But I got that boy released to his family in Houston. I took him to his family last Friday,” he said. (That) was the best (feeling) in the world. It’s what I was working for.” Getting that boy back to his family actually required finding the family first. OCS had been trying for years, but with so many cases per caseworker, they simply didn’t have enough time to dedicate to the task. Barefield however had time and a number of contacts he used to help him. His work paid off and resulted in his best moment as a CASA volunteer. “When I found the family and called them on the phone, with the boy with me, and let

him talk to his mother and two brothers who he hadn’t talked to since he was seven (was the best moment). Then the next best moment was when the judge, a week ago, let him go live with his family,” Barefield said. CASA volunteers are asked to devote five to 20 hours a month to their kids. Barefield, unsurprisingly, goes the extra mile. He put in 35 to 50 hours a month with one boy and 30 hours a month with the other. But he doesn’t want that to sound like bragging; he just has the time, he said. He is currently working to help one of his boys find out who his birth father is through DNA testing. He said CASA volunteers just do whatever is necessary. He visits the boys as often as they would like, checking to make sure that their needs are met. If they are in foster homes, he checks to make sure there is food in the pantry and that they have a good bed to sleep in. He is allowed to go to school with the boys and sit in on their classes. The real challenge is in earning the trust of boys who have often been neglected or abused

by the people who are supposed to love them. Barefield lets the boys take the lead in the relationship. “I talk to my kids like I am a daddy or a granddaddy,” he said. “I don’t push them on certain questions. I let them lead me. The main thing, I think, in having a good relationship with them, and I sound like I am bragging, is that I am probably the only constant in their life.” The 17-year-old boy that Barefield recently reunited with his family had been in the system since he was 10. When Barefield asked how often he would like to see him, the boy asked if he could come once a week. “I was in Ruston every Friday at 3:30 p.m., he could depend on it. I just try to be there when they want me. If they want me more than once a week, I will be there more than once a week.” When Barefield says he talks to the boys like he was their

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daddy or granddaddy, he has the years of experience to back that up. He has been married to his wife, Frances, for 57 years and they have three children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Through the years he has developed a philosophy that he uses today with his CASA boys. He admits it might sound a little backwards to some people, but it works for him. “Until proven that they are right, they are wrong,” he said. “That is just the way I have lived and how I tried to look after my kids.” CASA volunteers advocate only for the children. They don’t concern themselves about the parents, siblings, aunts or uncles, only with what is truly in the best interest of the child. The advocates report directly to the court and the court gives a good deal of weight to what the advocates have to say. It is a big responsibility, but

one Barefield said is helped by the fact that he has great supervisors. They have backed him on just about anything he has wanted to do, even if they weren’t sure it would work, he said. Clearly Barefield’s volunteer work has made a difference to that 17-year-old boy, but it also changed him, he admitted. “I am too emotional now,” he said. “(The boys) have never had anything and just anything they get…I am ashamed to say it, but I have cried over this first kid. He was sullen and wouldn’t talk, and was against the world, and I guess I can say rightly so because everything that happened to him was not his fault.” “I tried to be a role model; I don’t know how good of one, but I tried to be.” The world would probably be a much better place if more people like Billy Barefield were serving as role models for today’s youth.

©2010 HARveSt mAnAgement SuB, LLc 0331

Singing Praises

At Snell’s Orthotics and Prosthetics, we often hear praises from patients and members of the medical community alike. But rarely are those praises sung so beautifully as when Eddie Mae Montgomery bestows accolades upon us. You see, music is an important part of Eddie Mae’s life, and for more than forty years she has ministered to others through her music at St. Mary Baptist Church in Shreveport. Together she and her husband direct the church’s choirs. “I wouldn’t want to go to anybody else,” says Montgomery. “They take the time necessary to understand their patients’ needs, and work hard to exceed expectations. I always recommend Snell’s to anyone who has needs similar to mine.” When you have a special orthotic or prosthetic need, it pays to work with a team that has the experience and long-term commitment that we do. We believe that while biomechanics, technology, and mathematical precision play a large part in the services we provide, the true heart of our work is based on humanity rather than science. Which is precisely why compliments from those we serve are always music to our ears.

Fun, stress-free and all-inclusive. The way retirement living should be. Discover how simple and enjoyable Independent Retirement Living can be when you leave life’s daily details to us. tour today and learn about our current move-in specials! Welcome to Holiday. Welcome home.

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9133 Baird Road, Shreveport, LA 71118 318-688-9525 | summerfieldestates.net The Best Of Times

Returning independence to our patients since 1911

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1833 Line Avenue • Shreveport • (318) 424-4167 • Toll-Free 1-800-219-5273 8730 Youree Drive, Building A • Shreveport • (318) 795-0953 211 Hall Street • Monroe • (318) 388-3126 • Toll-Free 1-800-685-2268 1404 Jackson Street • Alexandria • (318) 443-6391 • Toll-Free 1-800-289-3260

www.SnellsOandP.com Serving Shreveport (2 locations), Bossier City, Monroe, Alexandria, Ruston, Minden, Natchitoches, Coushatta, and Mansfield.

April 2010

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Visiting Pueblos - Past and Present

Traveltizers

Mesa Verde, Colorado and Acoma, New Mexico Story by Andrea Gross Photos by Irv Green I take a deep breath, reach for the side rails, and scramble up a ten-rung ladder. There before me is a small city, tucked into a shelf on a canyon wall, protected by a huge overhang. Some of the buildings are circular, like tall towers. Others are rectangular, with sharp, crisp angles; all are made of sandstone bricks and have small, open windows. I’m in the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park, a United Nations World Heritage site in the southwest corner of Colorado. Here,

using only rocks and sticks as tools, an ancient people created not only a city, but a society. They farmed, prayed, made pottery and wove sandals for approximately 800 years, from roughly 500 to 1300 AD.

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Today Mesa Verde has more than 4,000 archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Four of these are open to the general public. Spruce Tree House, which is only a ½-mile round-trip walk from the

Archeological Museum, can be visited without a guide, but the other dwellings can only be seen during scheduled tours, presumably because accessing them is more difficult. To see Balcony House, for example, visitors must climb a 32-foot ladder and crawl through a 12-foot tunnel. A trip to Long House requires a 12-mile ride in a ranger-driven van and a hike that isn’t long but is definitely breathtaking - in both senses of the word. No one knows exactly why the ancient folks left the dwellings they’d so carefully constructed. But for the Pueblo people of

New Mexico and Arizona, where they went is no mystery at all. Modern-day Pueblo people claim the cliff dwellers as their ancestors, and thus they have become known as the “Ancestral Puebloans.” The cliff dwellers used to be referred to as “Anasazi,” but the park ranger informs me that this word is now politically incorrect. Why? Because “Anasazi” is a Navajo word. When the deserted dwellings were discovered in the 1880s, Navajos were the only Natives in the area. “It was not our ancestors who lived here. It was the Anasazi, the ‘older ancients,’” they explained, meaning that the caves had been inhabited

by old people from other tribes. Unfortunately, the Navajo word for “ancient” also means “enemy,” and today’s Pueblo people are understandably reluctant

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to have their ancestors described by a Navajo word, especially one that often means enemy. Thus, said the ranger, “we now call the cliff dwellers ‘Ancestral Puebloans,’ which more accurately explains who they were.” Point well taken, although personally, I could have found an even better word. “Genius” is the one that comes immediately to mind. For more information: www. nps.gov/meve/

Modern-day Puebloans

I am - almost literally - blown away when I visit Acoma, New Mexico. Although the official name, Acoma, means “a place prepared,” the residents call it Sky City for obvious reasons: it’s perched on a windy mesa 370 feet above the surrounding desert. The oral history of the Acoma people says that their ancestors wandered through the Southwest in search of a place that

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“had been prepared for them.” Did their wanderings take them to Mesa Verde? Were they joined there by puebloans who were already planning to evacuate their cliff dwellings? The timing is certainly right, and the architecture indicates that, whether the Acoma ancestors actually lived in Mesa Verde or merely visited it, they were certainly influenced by the style of its dwellings. Acoma pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, although today most of the people have homes on the desert floor and merely live in their ancestral homes during special celebrations. A cultural center and museum provide visitors with insight into tribal traditions. Tickets for a tour of the pueblo are available at the cultural center. For information and tour reservations: www.skycity.com/ (www.andreagross.com)

April 2010

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restaurant review

Abby Singer’s Bistro Scores 4.5 Forks

Reviewed by Lizzie Lyles Located in the artsy and hip Robinson Film Center, Abby Singer’s Bistro is the place to do dinner and a movie, or just dinner, in downtown Shreveport. And much like the ever-changing film industry, the bistro’s menu is always changing and offers funkier fare like Goat Cheese Ravioli Salad, Chicken and Waffles and Crab-Stuffed Avocado with pimento aioli and apple smoked lardon (pork fat). Classics like Caesar salad with parmesan crisps, an 8 ounce Royale burger and a petit filet are also featured. The

Best of Times readers should remember that the Robinson Film Center hosts monthly Silver Screenings with lunch at Abby Singer’s Bistro. The Best of Times restaurant review team – Gary, Tina and I – tried out the lively bistro for dinner. The film theme and cinema experience are incorporated all throughout the bistro. Movie posters are displayed on walls and flat-screen TVs play trailers of the latest movies. Tables, chairs and salt and pepper shakers resemble cameras and film. “CinemaQuick” options can be ordered from the menu to ensure diners make it to their movie on time. Cocktails have names like The Three Stooges, The ‘Rita Hayworth, Breakfast at Terri’s and Marilyn Monroe. And the bistro’s name is a film term used to signal the second to last shot of the filming day, a term named after longtime film and television producer Abby Singer. The bistro has a loft or studio feel with its

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high ceilings, bare brick walls and use of glass and metal in its décor. A small group of young female musicians performed while we ate dinner, live music being another feature of Abby Singer’s; although we found the music to be too loud. With its tight seating, I could see how the bistro could become very crowded and noisy during Happy Hour or on weekend evenings with live music and many people gathered around the small bar area. Kelly, our young server, took our drink orders and answered our questions about the menu. The editor and I kicked off our dinner with cocktails. Tina had a Cosmopolitan and I tried The Weather Girl martini ($10), a zingy mix of passion fruit, blood orange French vodka and rum. We chose a good night to dine, a night when the chef was on his toes. We ordered

sauce and Louisiana hot sauce beurre blanc. Our entrees were equally impressive and delicious. Gary ordered Pork Medallions ($15) in an apple brandy and thyme jus with roasted fingerling potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower sauté. He assured us that the pork was cooked well and that the dish with its heaping portions of potatoes and veggies tasted as good as it sounded. Gary also ordered a cup of Clam Chowder Soup ($4), which Kelly accidentally forgot. She apologized, brought the cup of soup with Gary’s entree and offered the soup free of charge. It was a little late, but Gary enjoyed it anyway and said, “You can tell it’s homemade.” Tina ordered the Chef ’s Fish Special, Grouper served over orzo with cherry tomatoes, haricots verts and bourguignon wine sauce. She deemed it “delicious and perfectly cooked.” She liked it so much that

four seafood dishes (shrimp, scallops, grouper and clam chowder), which, according to Tina, is a way to test the chef since seafood is a more delicate meat that requires more attention to cooking detail. We started with two appetizers: Portabella Mushroom Bruschetta ($8) spread with fresh creamy goat cheese and piled high with sundried tomatoes, artichokes and kalamata olives; and Shrimp Remoulade ($14), which is normally an entree. It was served hot and qualifies as the best shrimp remoulade I have ever tasted: four huge and succulent sautéed shrimp served over thick slices of crispy fried green tomatoes drenched in spicy remoulade

she ate the whole thing. I savored my Seared Scallops ($17) served with butternut squash risotto, shiitake mushrooms, tart cherries and sage beurre blanc. The scallops were plump, meaty and caramelized, which brought out their sweetness. I found the risotto to be a bit thick and bland, but the mushrooms and cherries gave it a bold earthy flavor. We had little-to-no complaints about our appetizers, entrees and dessert, a rich and creamy Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée dusted with powder sugar. Each dish was fantastic in its unique flavors, sauces and interesting pairings (fried green tomatoes and shrimp remoulade, cherries with mushrooms and risotto). After considering atmosphere, service, price and food, The Best of Times highly recommends Abby Singer’s Bistro and gives it 4.5 forks out of 5. Abby Singer’s Bistro (at the Robinson Film Center), 617 Texas Street, Shreveport. 459-4122. www.robinsonfilmcenter.org TheBestOfTimesNews.com


heLp wanteD

Downtown Shreveport

part- time GaraGe anD parkinG Lot attenDant neeDeD • Must be dependable, trustworthy and honest • Perform opening and closing of garage Monday through Friday, 6:30am - 7am for opening and 6:30pm - 7pm for closing. • Perform general maintenance and clean-up • Help in collecting delinquent parking fees •Renting vacant parking spaces to new tenants

to apply Call 510-881-4981 or email aainvestments@sbcglobal.net

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April 2010

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what’s cooking?

Potatoes Take Center Stage

T

Family Features

here are so many ways to prepare potatoes that it’s no surprise spuds remain a family favorite. People most often think of potatoes as the ultimate side dish; however, it’s time to move potatoes to the center of the plate! Prepared mashed potatoes can help add a little extra flavor, crunch or creaminess to a variety of recipes. Visit www.idahoan.com for more unique recipes and meal ideas.

Roasted Garlic Halibut

Prep Time: 5 minutes; Cook Time: 15 minutes; Servings: 4 2 pounds halibut Canola oil 1 4-ounce package Roasted Garlic Salt and pepper Mashed Potatoes, dry 1 lemon Cut halibut filet into 4 pieces. Lightly salt and pepper. Empty contents of mashed potatoes package on large plate. Coat filets liberally, gently pushing potatoes into filets. In large sauté pan, preheat a generous amount of canola oil, on medium heat. When oil is hot, gently place the halibut in pan, being careful not to splash. Sauté fish until golden brown (approximately 2 to 4 min­ utes). Turn filets and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pan and let sauté until done (until flaky, or approximately 8 to 12 minutes). Remove from heat. Add lemon juice to taste and serve.

Idahoan Pizza

Prep Time: 15 min.; Cook Time: 30 min.; Servings: 2 medium pizzas 2 ounces warm water 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon active, dry yeast 1 6-ounce package of shredded 1 4-ounce package of dry mozzarella cheese Roasted Garlic Flavored 1 to 1½ cups tomato sauce Mashed Potatoes Toppings: diced ham, pepper- 2¼ cups all purpose flour oni, sausage, hamburger, 6 ounces cool water pineapple chunks, green 1 ounce olive oil pepper, onion, extra cheese Stir the yeast into the warm water until dissolved. Add mashed potatoes flakes and flour. Stir in cool water, olive oil and honey. Knead by hand for approxi­mately 5 minutes, or until dough is elastic and smooth. Place dough in a mixing bowl sprayed with non-stick spray. Set in a warm area, covered with a towel, and let rise for 1 hour. Punch down dough and divide into two halves. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out until it is very thin. The shape of the pizza doesn’t matter - round or square. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place dough on baking sheet or pizza sheet. Top with desired amount of pizza sauce, spreading evenly.Evenly distribute the cheese and your favorite toppings. Bake for 17 to 21 minutes, or until crust edges become light brown. When pizza is done, take out of oven and let rest for 3 minutes. Slice and serve.

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April 2010

Crab-Stuffed Roasted Chicken Breast

Prep: 5 min.; Cook Time: 1 hour Servings: 8 8 boneless chicken breasts 1 10 to 12-ounce bottle Italian salad dressing 1 4-ounce pouch Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes ½ pound crab meat 6 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper 2 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped fine Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken breasts in 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Pour dressing over chicken and bake for 25 to 30 min­utes. Remove from oven and cool. Cut a slit in middle of chicken breast with sharp knife. Do not cut all the way through. Cut a little pocket on either side of slit, again, making sure not to cut all the way through. Prepare potatoes according to package directions. Mix in crab. Salt and pepper to taste. Distribute potato mixture evenly among chicken pockets. Sprinkle with cheese. Place in a non-greased baking dish. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese has completely melted. Remove from oven and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

Savory Potato Wraps

Prep: 5 min.; Cook Time: 5 min. Servings: 4 wraps 1 cup prepared Original Mashed Potatoes 4 (9-inch) red pepper or flour tortillas ½ pound cooked turkey breast or ham, thinly sliced (approximately 8 slices), or diced into small chunks 1 cup shredded lettuce 1 cup diced red bell pepper or tomato Prepare potatoes as package directs for 2 servings. Cool potatoes to room temperature. Warm tortillas individually in microwave for 8 to 10 seconds. Spread each tortilla with ¼ cup mashed potatoes. Top with 2 slices of turkey or ham, ¼ cup shredded lettuce and red pepper or tomato. Roll up and place seam-side down.

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April 2010

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hospice

Ophthalmology

Nursing Home Care

Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice, or should I raise it first? The most frequent comment hospice agencies hear from their patient’s and families is “I wish I would have known about ‘it’ sooner.” In 2008, 35.4% of those served by hospice died or were discharged in seven days or less - a timeframe way too short to realize the full benefits of hospice care. Ideally, discussions about adding the benefits of hospice services to an individual’s care regimen should begin when it appears that a cure may not be possible for a lifelimiting illness and within the context an individual’s goals for treatment. It would not only be appropriate, but also prudent to initiate the conversation with your physician about hospice services.

My father has glaucoma and is blind in one eye. When should I be checked, even though I see fine? A family history of glaucoma is a very strong risk factor for the disease. Other risk factors include advancing age, African-American race, and nearsightedness. If you have a first or second degree relative with glaucoma, you should be evaluated as soon as possible. Glaucoma is a painless progressive disease which, left untreated, causes irreversible blindness. If you have a family member with glaucoma or have other risk factors, schedule a screening at 212-3937.

After a person is admitted to a nursing home, how long will they stay there and will they ever return to their home? Length of stay varies and is generally dependent on 3 things: 1) the potential for improvement to the point that the individual is able to resume caring for themselves and meet their own vital needs (this is frequently the case after health management and rehab), 2) the ability of the family to provide the care themselves in a home environment, and 3) the comfort level of the physician that the person’s needs can be met outside a medical setting.

Rick Bauer

LifePath Hospice Care Service 8720 Quimper Place, Ste 100 Shreveport, LA 71105 318-222-5711; 1-866-257-5711 www.lifepathhospicecare.com See our ad on page 19.

Chris Shelby, MD

Pierremont Eye Institute 7843 Youree Dr. Shreveport, LA 1105 318-212-3937; www.ShelbyEye.com See our ad on page 47.

Vicki Ott

NurseCare Nursing and Rehab Center 1736 Irving Place Shreveport, LA 71101 (318) 221-1983 See our ad on page 62.

reverse mortgages

Orthopaedics

Neurosurgery

What are the benefits of a Reverse Mortgage? Some of the benefits of a reverse mortgage include: retain ownership of & title to your home receive tax-free funds to use however you choose receive payments instead of making them receive a lump sum, monthly installments, line of credit, or combination loan proceeds are not considered income and do not affect Social Security benefits proceeds may be used to fund long-term care needs or long term care insurance a reverse mortgage may be used to enhance your financial strategy for retirement For a “FREE” Reverse Mortgage Guide, call toll free 1-866-910-8192.

My shoulder hurts. Should I play through the pain? Over 12 million people visit a doctor’s office for a shoulder problem annually. Athletes are particularly prone to shoulder injuries due to repetitive, cumulative stress/injuries. Injuries occur during sports, as well as every day home and work activities. Most shoulder problems involve muscles, tendons, and/or ligaments and can be treated effectively with exercises, medications, physical therapy, etc. Steady pain, limitation of motion, difficulties with work activities of daily living or difficulty with sleep should alert you to seek an orthopedic surgeon for help in diagnosing and treating your shoulder pain.

Who are candidates for balloon kyphoplasty to relieve back problems? The best candidates for balloon kyphoplasty are those who have new (within a few days or a couple of weeks) fracture. Fractures are most common in older patients with osteoporosis and the typical symptom is severe, immediate onset back pain. Kyphoplasty has to be one of the most satisfying procedures - there is practically immediate relief in most cases, and people go home with only 2 tiny needle incisions. We treat other backrelated problems which affect pain down the legs of ‘fatiguing” down the legs, and not every patient needs surgery - just an honest assessment.

• • • • • • •

Bill Burt, Reverse Mortgage Consultant Wells Fargo Home Mortgage 8835 Line Avenue, Ste 100 Shreveport, LA 71106 (318) 682-5568 www.reverseguy.com

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April 2010

John J. Ferrell, M.D. Mid South Orthopaedics 7925 Youree Drive; Suite 210 Shreveport, LA 71105 (318) 424-3400

Dr. Ravish Patwardhan The Comprehensive Neurosurgery Network 8001 Youree Dr., Ste 970 Shreveport, LA 71115 (318) 797-5543 www.neurosurgery.ws TheBestOfTimesNews.com


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April 2010

53


Krewe of Elders

Fundraiser

Support Group

The Krewe of Elders Party - Sunday, April 11 from 1:30 until 5:30 at the American Legion Hall located at 5315 South Lakeshore Drive. Bobby Langston with Shree and Gold Rush Band. $7.00 per person at door. Food available for purchase. Cash bar, door prizes, 50/50 raffle. Open to public. Info 635-4901, 752-9175, 518-8092.

Food Bank of NW Louisiana Launches Empry Bowl Fundraiser - The Bossier City Kick-off will take place on Friday, March 26 from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the old Chico’s location at the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City. The Shreveport Kick-off will take place on Saturday, April 17th at South Highland School from 11:30 – 2:30. For a $5 donation, guests of all ages can hand paint ceramic bowls which will be used by patrons of the Empty Bowls event set for June 10th at El Dorado Casino. Tickets for the event will also be available for purchase.

Fibromyalgia Support Group - 12 noon to 1 pm at Steen-Hall Auditorium located at 2611 Greenwood Road in Shreveport. For more information, please call Brenda Anders at 318-377-3313 • Tuesday, April 20. Topic of group discussion will be “Share and receive information: Medications and Doctors" from other people who have Fibromyalgia. • Tuesday, May 18. Topic of discussion will be “Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia” by Faith Pease, RN, LMT, NCTMB, ACMT with The Hands of Peace Massage Therapy.

Tour First Saturday Tour Series - Norton Art Gallery, 4747 Creswell Ave., Shreveport. First Saturday of every month at 2:00 3:00 p.m. All tours meet in the lobby. No reservation is required, though groups of 10 or more are asked to call ahead. This tour, like all tours and admission to the Norton, is free of charge. • April 3 - Spring Walking Tour. Guided tour outside for a tip-toe through the tulips. Wear walking shoes - there are 40 acres of manicured gardens, including azalea beds, bronze statues, and water gardens to explore. In case of rain there will be an indoor RainyDay tour, exploring spring-themed artwork throughout the museum.

Science Fourth Friday Astronomy - Friday, April 23, 2010 @ 4:00 pm Presented by Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center, 820 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport. Every Fourth Friday of the Month. Dedicated to exploring the cosmos. Learn about the latest space missions, recent discoveries and other news from space! FREE with Admission.

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Theatre "Don't Dress for Dinner" - Presented by the Shreveport Little Theatre. Play by Marc Camoletti (author of Boeing, Boeing), adapted by Robin Hawdon. April 30, May 1, 7, 8, 2010 at 8 p.m. May 2, 9, 2010 at 2 p.m. Staged at Woman's Department Club, 802 Margaret Pl., Shreveport. For tickets call 318) 424-4439.

Arts Market Art Affaire in the Garden - Saturday, April 17 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Presented by Barnwell Garden & Art Center, 601 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport. An impressive showcase of handmade arts and crafts will be on sale. A treasure- trove of handcrafted works in glass, jewelry, fiber arts, mixed media, visual art, photography, and souvenirs. Art Affaire in the Garden will also offer a variety of Louisiana grown plants for the home and garden. For more information, call (318) 673-7703.

Movies "Gentlemen Prefer Blonds" - Silver Screenings presentation at Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas Street in downtown Shreveport. April 20. 10:30 p.m. Senior admission: $5.75 for the movie only; $14 for movie and lunch. For reservations call 459-4122. Movies & Moonbeams Films - Presented by SPAR and the Robinson Film Center on the first and third Friday of each month. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Family entertainment event. For more information call (318) 673-7892 or visit www.myspar.org or www.moviesandmoonbeams.org. FREE. • "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" - Friday April 9 at 8:00 p.m. at Riverview PArk, 601 Clyde Fant PArkway in downtown Shreveport. • "Rookie of the Year" - Friday, April 16 at 8:00 p.m. at Fairgrounds Field.

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Driving Class

Exhibit

AARP Driver Safety Program - A classroom refresher course for drivers age 50+ which may qualify participants for an automobile insurance premium reduction or discount. Participants must preregister. $14 for non-AARP members; $12 for AARP members (AARP card required at registration). • April 17 - 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Central Assembly of God Church 700 Highway 80, Haughton. Contact: Tammy 318-949-0010; Instructor: James Smith • April 22 - 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. First Baptist Church, 201 Attaway, Blanchard. Contact: Richard Gates – 318-929-4640; Instructor: Ray Branton. • April 24 - 8:30 a. m. 'til 12:30 p.m. Northpoint Community Church, 4204 Airline Drive, Bossier City. Contact: Lisa 318-671-7100; Instructor: James Smith. • April 27 - 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church, Head of Texas St., Shreveport. Contact: Carl Rhoads – 318 -424-7771; Instructor: Ray Branton. • May 3 - 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Airline Drive Church of Christ, 2125 Airline Dr. Bossier City. Contact: Church office – 318746-2645; Instructor: James Smith.

"Alex Dzigurski (1911-1995): Poet of the Land and Sea" - April 27 - August 1, 2010. Norton Art Gallery, 4747 Creswell Avenue, Shreveport. Special Exhibition. A selection of 18 works from the artist's estate which demonstrate his masterly technique in painting scenic America from coast to coast. The New York Times said, "Few marine painters have been able to tell the story of the sea so beautifully." For more information, see www.rwnaf.org or call (318) 865-4201.

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K e e p e r s®

In-Home Care tHat’s • Companionship • Cooking, Light Housekeeping, Laundry • Incidental Transportation • Medication Reminders • Personal Care Services Call Us Today!

318-934-0090 Each office independently owned and operated. © 2009 CK Franchising, Inc. W W W. C o m f o rt K e e p e r s . C o m

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April 2010

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puzzle pages

Across 1 Pamplona parlor 5 1912 Nobelist Root 10 New Balance rival 15 Ancient symbols of Egyptian royalty 19 2005 A.L. MVP, familiarly 20 They get carried away 21 Vietnam's capital 22 First name in "Popeye"? 23 Chancellor Angela Merkel leads it 26 Clue 27 Historical records 28 Oft-named period 29 __-a-brac 30 Cathedral feature 31 Rise 32 Bologna location 36 Top cards 38 Radio CD players 39 "Mad Men" airer 40 Tubs with jets 44 "Shall we?" response 46 Internet commerce 49 Truman's Missouri birthplace 54 1989 Fred Savage comedy 57 Tussaud, for one 58 Firenze's land 59 Luau fare 60 Friend of Rover 62 Neural impulse conductor 63 1983 self-titled debut album 65 Pigged out (on) 68 Ristorante dessert 70 Houdini et al. 73 Do covers 77 Con __: spiritedly 78 Furniture movers 83 Salinger character who said "I prefer stories about squalor" 84 Ply a scythe 86 School name follower in many addresses 88 Eye maliciously 89 Car shoppers' options 91 Proving ground NW of Vegas 95 Olive Garden specialty

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April 2010

96 Had an effect on 97 Bigfoot cousin 98 Come across as 99 Genealogically based men's gp. 101 "Norma __" 103 Rave partner 105 50:1 bet, e.g. 112 A different one is hidden in each of this puzzle's seven longest answers 117 Ditzy waitress on "Alice" 118 Trompe l'__ 119 Winter coat 120 Sault-Marie filler 121 Dhow sailor 122 Striped reef dweller 126 Diana's escort 127 Lingerie shade 128 "__ a Grecian Urn" 129 Heavy reading? 130 Crossed (out) 131 "Consequently ..." 132 Jane of "Father Knows Best" 133 NY Giants lineman Chris Down 1 Epics 2 Ain't like it oughta be? 3 Doone of Devon 4 Hyper? 5 Coastal raptors 6 Something to shake or break, so to speak 7 NYSE launch 8 Ramshackle home 9 PIN relative 10 Philip of "Kung Fu" 11 Carnival dance 12 Like helium 13 Like dunce caps 14 "The Big Bang Theory," e.g. 15 Lewis lion 16 Used a broom 17 Veggies in a porridge 18 Passover feast 24 "Flash of Genius" actor 25 Certain aircraft engine 32 Regard 33 Prohibit, legally 34 Right on a mapa

From The Produce Department

By Pamela Amick Klawitter; Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

(Solution on page 59)

35 Golden State sch. 37 Spot removers 40 Unlikely 41 Gyro bread 42 The slightest bit 43 Manche department capital 45 Poke around 47 Corgi comment 48 Last Supper query 50 Sistine Chapel ceiling figure 51 Modest skirt 52 Cookie guy Wally 53 Eye care brand 55 Sheets and such 56 Hit back? 57 Sermon subject 61 Record 64 French play part 66 Kernel holder 67 Did a dishwashing chore

69 Plus 71 Yoga position 72 USA __ 73 Troubleshooting menu 74 Cruising, maybe 75 "__ shocked as you are!" 76 Musical symbol 79 Alec D'Urberville's slayer 80 Northern terminus of I-79 81 Matter of interest? 82 Apple projection 85 Candy originally from Austria 87 Unborn, after "in" 90 Effortlessness 92 Offscreen friend in "Ernest" films 93 Slowly, to Liszt 94 Coup d'__

96 Citizens 100 Lab slide critter 102 Third-party account 104 Nonstick cookware brand 105 Dodge 106 Copy 107 Diamond deal 108 Beyond gung-ho 109 Oily compound 110 Designer Cassini et al. 111 Intoxicating, as wine 113 Breaks in relations 114 Strike caller 115 Shout upon arrival 116 Little laugh 120 E-mailed 123 Vintage auto 124 Museum funder: Abbr. 125 Figured out TheBestOfTimesNews.com


SUDOKU - Fill in the blank squares in the grid, making sure that every row, column, and 3 x 3 box includes all digits 1 through 9.

SCRABBLE ® TOURNAMENT Saturday, April 10, 2010 CENTENARY COLLEGE

Kilpatrick Auditorium in the Smith Building (Corner of Kings Hwy. & Woodlawn)

Two person teams will compete in “Beginner” or “Experienced” levels Prizes for First and Second Place in each Level will be awarded!

$200 for 1st place team $100 for 2nd place team Entry Fee: $25 Adults in advance • $18 Students in advance ($5 extra day of the tournament – Limited to 144 players)

For player application forms; sponsor application forms, or additional information, please contact Literacy Volunteers at Centenary College: Telephone – (318) 869-2411 Email lvcent@bellsouth.net Website: www.shreveportliteracy.org SCRABBLE® is a registered trademark of Hasbro in the US and Canada.

(Solution on page 59)

Accuracy Throws Basketball Bean Bag Baseball Biking Bocce Ball Bowling Chess The Best Of Times

Dance Team Darts Field Golf Horseshoes Marksmanship Pickle Ball

Ping Pong Pool Shuffleboard Tennis Track Washer Pitch April 2010

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Shreve Hearing Aid Service (318) 797-7733

Ambulance Services

Cemeteries/ Funeral Homes

Balentine Ambulance Service (318) 222-5358

Centuries Memorial (318) 686-4334

Artificial Limbs and Braces

Hill Crest Memorial (318) 949-9415

Snell’s Orthotics and Prosthetics (318) 424-4167

Counseling Services

Associations and Organizations BluePrint Louisiana (866) 483-3920 Bossier Council on Aging (318) 741-8302 Caddo Council on Aging (318) 632-2090 Shreveport Little Theatre (318) 424-4439 The Robinson Film Center (318) 424-9090 Webster Council on Aging (318) 371-3056

Care Providers Comfort Keepers (318) 934-0090 Elder Kare (318) 469-1711 Elite Health Solutions (318) 213-5483 Entrum Care, Inc. (318) 949-1828 Family Care Services (318) 671-1799 Interim HealthStyles (318) 741-3776 Northwest LA INCS, LLC (318) 636-0390 ResCare Home Care (318) 678-1890 Seniors Club Personal Care Services (318) 635-0010

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April 2010

The Center for Families (318) 222-0759

Educational Courses Bible Correspondence Course (318) 797-6333

Emergency Response Systems

Home Products and Services Doug Weatherton Handyman Services (318) 868-9993 Gutter Helmet of North Louisiana (800) 284-9777 Lex Plant Farm and Garden Center (318) 797-6035 Simmon’s Exterior Cleaning (318) 636-6035 Stanley Steamer Carpet Cleaner (318) 631-6655

Willis Knighton Medical Center – North Shreveport (318) 212-4000 Willis Knighton Medical Center – Bossier (318) 212-7000 Willis Knighton Medical Center – South Shreveport (318) 212-5000 Wilis Knighton Medical Center – Pierremont (318) 212-3000

Insurance Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (800) 495-2583

Medical Supplies and Equipment

Home Health Care (Medicare Certified)

FastServ Medical (318) 741-9586

Employment Opportunities

Ark-La-Tex Home Health, Inc (318) 747-6180

Home Health Medical Supply (318) 631-1466

US Census Bureau (866) 861-2010

Medistar Home Health (318)742-4026

AA Investments (510) 456-5901

Synergy Home Care (318) 550-0285

Medtronics – XSTOP Spacer (866) 580-5242

Financial & Estate Planning/Legal Services

Hospice Care Providers

Acadian OnCall (800) 259-1234

Serio Investments Phillip Serio (318) 221-0889 The Law Practice of Joseph Gilsoul (318) 222-2100

Cemetery Upkeep and Flowers Flowers Forever, LLC (318) 925-2323 Lex Plant Farm – Cemetery Services (318) 797-6035

Hearing Care Services Better Hearing Systems (318) 747-9191

Hospice Compassus (318) 524-1046

Pet Sitting Services L’ll Rascals Pet Setting (318) 573-6672

Real Estate Agents Century 21 – Judy Holland (318) 349-6983

Restaurants and Catering Cupcake Gallery and Coffee Shop (318) 752-2253 Imperial Wok Chinese Restaurant (318) 687-6668

Senior Living Options Azalea Estates Assisted Living (318) 797-2408 Horizon Bay Assisted Living (318) 747-2114 Kingsley Place of Shreveport (318) 524-2100 NurseCare of Shreveport (318) 221-1983 Southwood Gardens (318) 682-4022 Southwood Square (318) 671-1888 Summerfield Estates (318) 688-9525

LifePath Hospice (318) 222-5711

Your Pet’s Nanny (318) 868-9993

The Waterford at Shreveport (318) 524-3300

Physician Services

Spas/Skin Care

St. Joseph Hospice (318) 222-8723

Dr. Gary Booker (318) 227-9600

Willis Knighton Hospice of Louisiana (318) 212-4697

Mid South Orthopaedics (318) 424-3400

Jeany Mitchell’s Skin Technology (318) 347-3567

Home Infusion Services IV Plus (318) 683-5139

Hospitals Brentwood Hospital (318) 678-7500 Minden Medical Center (318) 377-2321

Pierremont Eye Institute Dr. Chris Shelby (318) 212-3937 Vision – Source Dr. Larry Chism (888) 243-2020

Radio Stations KWKH AM 1130 Radio Station (318) 688-1130

Travel Services Cruises, Inc (318) 746-3745 Fly Branson Airline Services (888)359-2541

Telephone Book User-Friendly Phone Book (318) 865-1280

TheBestOfTimesNews.com


Have you made prearrangements for your family, or do you still have that to do? Leaving these decisions to your children on the worst day of their lives is a terrible emotional burden.

Call Today To Receive a FREE Family Planning Portfolio

Centuries Memorial 8801 Mansfield Shreveport, LA 71108 (318) 686-4334

The Best Of Times

Hill Crest Memorial 601 Hwy. 80 East Haughton, LA 71037 (318) 949-9415

April 2010

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“A Resource You Can Trust” 6425 Youree Drive, Suite 585 Shreveport, LA 71105 318-213-5483

www.elitehealthsolution.com

Our medical staffing business provides clients the companionship and assistance to live independently no matter where they call home. Caregiver services are provided from just a few hours a day to 24 hour care, any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

D o u g We a t h e r t o n Licensed Contractor • Dependable • Maintenance

• Excellent References • Repair Work

Call 318-464-6777

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April 2010

The Best of Times & Caddo/Bossier RSVP Salute Volunteer of the Month Betty Williams by Teresa Micheels Happiness seems to follow Caddo/Bossier RSVP volunteer, Betty Williams no matter where or when you see her. Finding Ms. Betty to test this happiness theory will take you on a tour of many of the nonprofits and service organization in our community. Over the years, Betty has volunteered for 27 different organizations in the Caddo and Bossier area. Nonprofits like; The Strand, LA State Museum and the James Burton International Guitar Festival, just to name a few. Giving so much of her valuable time to our community has not gone unnoticed. Ms. Williams has been awarded the Silver and Gold Presidential Service Awards. In 2009, Betty was presented with the 2009 Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Diplomat Spirit Award. Though awards are nice, that is not what motivates Betty. With a touch of arthritis, and a few other issues that might seem to slow a body down, Ms. Betty refuses to give in. “Volunteering is the reason that I am able to get out of bed every morning with hope and peace of mind that I can make a difference in my life and the communities,” she will tell you if asked. Always an advocate for volunteering, you need only be around her a few minutes before she draws you into a conversation on the subject. Volunteering has become a way of life for Betty Williams in the years following her retirement from Lucent Technology. To look at her life you would see a happy inspired person who makes a difference no matter where she is standing. To look a little deeper you will find the true heart of a volunteer that knows, it’s not just what you give, it’s what comes back to you. If you are interested in volunteering please call or email the Caddo/Bossier RSVP office at (318) 632-2113 or email lmulliccoa@yahoo.com. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


The Best Of Times

April 2010

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For people with Alzheimer’s there’s no time to lose. Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial If you are age 50 or older and have a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease, you may be eligible to participate in this study. Throughout the 12 week study, participants will receive the investigational drug, study related physical exams and laboratory services at no charge. All participants will be monitored by a medical team, including a physician, nurse and study coordinator. For more information call:

J. Gary Booker, MD or Keith B. Kessel, MD at

318.227.9600 jgarybookermd.com

The Best Of Times

April 2010

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The Best of Times April 2010