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September 2009

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The Best Of Times

September 2009




Your response to last month’s “Pets & Their People” issue was darn near overwhelming. Thousands and thousands of copies disappeared from distribution points all over Northwest Louisiana as quickly as our crews could put them out! We suspect that many who sent in pictures for that delightful issue gathered up a “few extras” for friends and family. We don’t mind. In fact, we expected it. It’s what family does. And fans do. Speaking of fans, you sure did show up in droves to listen to James Burton & His Friends and to get his autograph



September 2009

Amanda Newton checks in with two articles, one focusing on the outstanding health care offered at local hospitals, and the other looking into Senior PerQs at local gaming casinos. at The Best of Times booth at Festival The RED HAT LADIES had a Hoot Plaza on Friday, Aug. 21. So many of us & and I was honored (by surprise)! Their showed up that it made the TV nightly coverage (page 50) is mostly photos. It’s news! James spent over two hours auto- awash in red and purple and all is right graphing anything you waved at him. with the world. What a grand group! What a great 2-day charity benefit Mr. The big news this month is our Burton has put together for our town! centerspread feature on Complementary KUDOS, sir, on another successful event. Therapies available to “Those of Us Now that August is but a too warm 50+” It’s an eye-opener. ...And there’s memory, behold the September issue. more! It is, as they used to say, a Doozie! We Did we have fun putting this issue tohave packed it so full that it threatens to gether? Will you enjoy reading it? Yes on spill out all over your coffee table. both counts. -- Waiting on your email, --Tina. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


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The Best Of Times

September 2009




We can breathlessly report that shown here is NOT the cover of the 2010 issue of the SILVER PAGES! The real cover is a deep, dark GLOSSY secret and will be revealed when the annual hits the stands at the turn of the New Year. (We like that we’re getting well known for our interesting covers and, even better, important coverage.) The SILVER PAGES is the one publication that is kept at hand for an ENTIRE YEAR! You tell us all the time that it’s a very useful, nay, invaluable directory and say that if it didn’t exist, somebody would have to invent it. So we did. ( ...”Nay”?) You readers can now turn to another page while we address those advertisers who can help bring you the Silver Pages: HEY, YOU GUYS! (Don’t be glancing behind you, it’s you we’re lookin’ for.) Our relentless campaign to include your fine business in the 2010 DIRECTORY begins Sept.1st. The ANNUAL begins distribution as 2010 gets here. You’ve got about 90 days to decide how big an ad you would like. (It’s okay to be a bit of a show-off; we love full-page ads.) Actually, truth be told, we like ads of all sizes. They all help bring our nearly 100,000 LOCAL fans the best and most up-to-date information available to the 50+ community. Thanks to you, our great advertisers, of course. Okay everybody, back to this BIG issue. Enjoy!



September 2009

TheBestOfTimesNews.com


The Best Of Times

September 2009




MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN PREMIUMS TO INCREASE SLIGHTLY

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assistance with Payment for prescription medications available

Most pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs (PAPs) that provide uninsured and low-income people access to drugs they couldn’t otherwise afford. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or clinic how to proceed, or visit Partnership for Prescription Assistance (www.pparx.org), which has enrollment information on over 475 public and private PAPs, including links to Medicaid programs.

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reduce home energy bills with energy efficiency tax credits

The Tax Incentives Assistance Project urges U.S. homeowners to enjoy the “triple crown” of energy efficiency – lower home energy bills, lower federal income taxes, and increased home comfort – by making energy efficiency home improvements that qualify for up to $1,500 in federal income tax credits. The federal income tax credits for specific home improvements are available now through 2010.

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Attention War Veterans

As part of the national Veterans History Project, the Voluntary Service Office at Overton Brooks is collecting and experiences from war veterans. The interviews are video recorded and then submitted to Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. They are then made available to researchers and the public. These experiences can help future generations learn directly from veterans and gain a better understanding of the realities of serving in the military. Email Robert. Frasier@va.gov if you or someone you know is interested in being interviewed. To see experiences that other veterans have submitted to the project visit www.loc.gov/vets.

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access free life directions, retirement & encore careers guide

The MetLife Mature Market Institute has released a workbook with a DVD containing assessment tools, information and resources to help those contemplating whether or not to retire and how to move on to encore careers. The workbook, also useful for those adapting to the economic downturn, is designed for individuals contemplating the next phases of their lives with information on how to find purpose and direction. A follow-up to the Institute’s January 2009 study, Discovering What Matters: Balancing Money, Medicine and Meaning, the workbook is available free to the public at www.metlife.com.



September 2009

The majority of Medicare beneficiaries currently enrolled in Medicare drug plans should see only small changes in their Part D premiums or benefits in the coming year, but some may need to take steps to ensure they have the coverage they need when open enrollment begins later this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced recently. In particular, some beneficiaries who receive the

low-income subsidy to pay for their premiums will need to move to a new plan to ensure that they can remain in a zero-premium plan in 2010 because the plan’s premium will be higher than the 2010 subsidy amount. Based on the bids submitted by Part D plans, CMS estimates that the average monthly premium that beneficiaries will pay for standard Part D coverage in 2010 will be $30, an increase of $2 over the 2009 average premium of $28.

BBB Warning on Scams Targeting Job Hunters

Better Business Bureau warns job hunters to be extremely cautious in their search for work because scammers are out to take advantage of them and make a fast buck. Job hunters should beware of: • Job offers that require an upfront fee, even if the amount is small. If a potential employer asks the job hunter to pay to cover the costs of testing, training or background checks, it should be considered a red flag. • Job placement companies, or headhunter firms, often do not charge the job seekers for help finding a job, but are instead paid by companies that need help filling positions. Some job placement companies, however, have been taking money from job hunters and not fulfilling their promises of quick employment. Research a job placement company first with BBB before signing any contracts or paying any money. • Phishing attempts by ID thieves pretending to be real businesses. Spam e-mail might offer a great opportunity and direct the job hunter to a website that is designed to install malware on his/her computer or solicit bank account or Social Security numbers. In other cases, the job hunter might find out they’ve been hired and then immediately be asked for bank account or Social Security numbers. Be extremely cautious when responding to unsolicited e-mails from supposed employers and do not click on any links in the e-mail until confirming that the e-mail came from a legitimate source. Legitimate employers will need Social Security numbers for tax purposes and may need a bank account number to deposit paychecks, but job hunters should be wary of any requests for such information from companies and job offers that they have not vetted fully. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


Billy Barefield Recognized as CASA Champion

Volunteers for Youth Justice recognizes Billy Barefield as CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Champion for August and September. Mr. Bill, as he is fondly referred to by everyone, is an 81 year old Bossier City resident with the spirit, endurance, persistence, and fortitude of a teenager. He uses humor, combined with a strong sense of caring, to not only teach the child, but to reinforce the fact that every child has worth. He goes out on a limb for his CASA child and is there to help keep his CASA child on a good path with encouragement and support. Since becoming a CASA volunteer, he has been an asset to the program, proving one person can and does make a difference.

Scott Green Named Executive Manager of the Tower at the Oaks

Scott Green has been named executive manager of The Tower at The Oaks, a luxury residential tower for active senior adults on the campus of The Oaks of Louisiana. As executive manager he will be responsible for oversight of the 210,000 square-foot, $35 million complex which is part of a senior residential community in southeast Shreveport. Green, who was most recently executive director of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, brings to the position extensive experience in business as well as nonprofit management expertise. The Tower will offer apartment residences, spa and wellness center with indoor pool and exercise facilities, theater, menu-style casual and formal dining venues, library and computer center, and many outdoor activities and gathering places.

Centenary College Announces Incoming Alumni Association Board Officers and Members

Centenary College of Louisiana and its National Alumni Association Board have announced the selection of three officers and seven members-at-large that will begin serving their individual terms this year. The new officers for the 2009 National Alumni Board are Cindy Gleason Johnson - President; Michael Woolbert, DDS - Vice-President/President Elect; Angie White - Secretary. The new members-at-large for the 2009 National Alumni Board are Megan Conway, Ph.D., Calvin Head, Katie Barkley Loomis BA, Tim Marshall, Andrew Meeder, Kimberley Brobst Meeder, and Mary Walter. The Best Of Times

September 2009




Heavy Drinkers Face Increased Cancer Risk

This Just In: people get happier as they age

Most people get happier as they grow older, studies on people aged up to their mid-90s suggest. Despite worries about ill health, income, changes in social status and bereavements, later life tends to be a golden age, according to psychologists. They found older adults generally make the best of the time they have left and have learned to avoid situations that make them feel sad or stressed.

complex surgery, one small  incision Surgeons at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center have performed the next in a series of groundbreaking single-incision surgeries. Through one small port in the navel, surgeons removed a kidney and ureter and reconstructed a patient’s bladder as part of an innovative cancer surgery. This is the first time this minimally invasive procedure has been performed in the western United States.

common sleeping disorder chances of dying  ups

Nightly bouts of interrupted, oxygen-deprived sleep from a collapsed airway in the upper neck raises the chances of dying in middle-aged to elderly people by as much as 46% in the most severe cases, according to a landmark study on sleep apnea by lung experts at Johns Hopkins and six other U.S. medical centers. Even in people with moderate forms of the sleeping disorder, with anywhere from 15 to 30 episodes of interrupted breathing during each hour of supposed rest, risk of death jumps 17%. (Newswise)

 artificial liver may extend lives

The first artificial organ for liver patients that uses immortalized human liver cells, the Extracorporeal Liver Assist Device, or ELAD®, is a bedside system that treats blood plasma, metabolizing toxins and synthesizing proteins just like a real liver does. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is currently one of only a small number of hospitals in the U.S. offering this therapy to acute liver failure patients as part of ongoing clinical trials. The studies are looking at how well the system can extend patients’ lives until a liver transplant becomes available, as well as to see if it can relieve the burden on the patient’s liver enough so that it can regenerate and regain some of its function.

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September 2009

Heavy drinkers of beer and spirits face a much higher risk of developing cancer than the population at large, says a group of Montreal cancer researchers. Findings show that people in the highest consumption category increased their risk of developing esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer. Strongest risk was for esophageal and liver cancer. Moderate drinking and wine consumption did not show the same effects, however.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults need vaccination shots just as much as children do. So if you are: • an adult of any age, you need a tetanus shot once very 10 years; • age 50 or older, you should get a flu shot every year; • age 60 or older, you may need the Zoster vaccine to prevent shingles; and • age 65 or older, you need the pneumonia vaccine, which is sometimes called PPV.

The drug, called denosumab, blocks production of cells called osteoclasts that break down bones. In two studies, spinal fractures were reduced by two-thirds in women ages 60-90 and in men undergoing hormone-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Physicians have high hopes for the drug because of its efficacy, ease of administration and apparent lack of severe side effects. But it’s a biological agent rather than a chemical, meaning it’s difficult to produce, and it is likely to be the highest-priced osteoporosis drug.

Healthy Lifestyle habits Linked to Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease

Four healthy lifestyle factors - never smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and following a healthy diet - together appear to be associated with as much as an 80% reduction in the risk of developing the most common and deadly chronic diseases, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine. According to the article, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes - chronic

diseases that together account for most deaths - are largely preventable. The four factors were associated with a 93% reduced risk of diabetes, 81% reduced risk of heart attack, 50% reduced risk of stroke and 36% reduced risk of cancer. The largest reduction in risk was associated with having a BMI lower than 30, followed by never smoking, at least 3.5 hours weekly of physical activity and then adhering to good dietary principles. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


The Best Of Times

September 2009

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Popeye knows how to keep mentally ship-shape

Here’s to good nutrition:

Cranberries for your bladder

In two recent studies, daily intake of 1 cup of cranberry products significantly reduced the incidence of urinary tract infections over the course of a year. Cranberries contain a special compound that can prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Additionally cranberries are high on the list of best-for-your-heart foods, help prevent cancer and, may boost brainpower boost.

regular yoga practice associated with mindful eating

Regular yoga practice is associated with mindful eating, and people who eat mindfully are less likely to be obese, according to a study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. They found that people who ate mindfully – those aware of why they ate and stopped eating when full – weighed less than those who ate mindlessly, who ate when not hungry or in response to anxiety or depression. Researchers found no association between other types of physical activity, such as walking or running, and mindful eating. (Journal of the American Dietetic Association)

DASH diet to prevent hypertension may also prevent kidney stones

Researchers have found another reason to eat well: a healthy diet helps prevent kidney stones. Loading up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, while limiting salt, red and processed meats, and sweetened beverages is an effective way to ward off kidney stones, according to a study appearing in the Journal of the American Society Nephrology. Because kidney stones are linked to higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, increased body weight, and other risk factors for heart disease, the findings have considerable health implications.

come over to the dark side...of bread

A recent study suggests that dark brown bread crust may contain up to six times more antioxidants than the lighter colored innards of the loaf. High heat during baking turns the carbohydrates and protein in the dough into new compounds that appear to have high antioxidant potential. Just be sure to choose whole-grain, dark, and crusty bread. Yummy!

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September 2009

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that you may be more prone to depression due to folic acid and B-12 deficiencies. Both vitamins play a role in regulating mood. To keep that spring in your step, pair dark, leafy greens rich in folic acid, such as spinach or broccoli, with shellfish or fish, which contain high amounts of B-12.

A Stanford University School of Medicine study found that taking a probiotics supplement after gastric bypass surgery helps patients lose weight faster and avoid vitamin B deficiency. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria found in yogurt and in dietary supplements that aid digestion. (Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery) High-Salt Diet may Lessen the Effects of Blood Pressure Drugs

Not only does a high-salt diet contribute to hypertension, but it can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications, finds a small study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and reported in Hypertension. Study participants were taking an average of three blood pressure medications. Half were assigned to a low-salt diet (about a half teaspoon), the other half had a high-salt diet (2.5 teaspoons) daily. They all spent time on each diet, and continued to take their prescribed medications. Those on the

low-salt diet had an average drop of 22.7 points in systolic blood pressure and 9.1 points in diastolic blood pressure. Another study reported in the same issue of the journal described a significant reduction in high blood pressure from a modest reduction in salt intake. After reducing salt intake from 9.7 grams a day to 6.5 grams a day, the average reduction in a six-week period was 4.8 points in systolic pressure and 2.2 points in diastolic pressure. For Americans, most salt comes in processed foods. Researchers warn to always check food labels.

When it comes to garlic for heart health - go fresh

Much has been made of the benefits of eating garlic, but not mentioned is what kind of garlic to eat. A study by researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that for certain elements of cardiac health, fresh-crushed is better than processed. Among other things, the fresh-crushed garlic was better at suppressing chemicals that act as a “death signal” for heart muscle cells. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


The Best Of Times

September 2009

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Part One of a 3 part series by amanda Newton Shreveport-Bossier City Hospitals Are On the Cutting Edge of Medical Technology and Treatments Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Shreveport-Bossier City is known for its casinos, great fishing and friendly people, among other things. When someone thinks of the area, they can be forgiven if being a hotbed of cutting-edge technology is not one of descriptors that come to mind. But it might surprise you to know that right here at three of our major hospitals, amazing, cutting-edge technology is being used to diagnose and treat a number of health issues. This is the first part of a three part series where you will be introduced to some of the newest techniques being used locally. Hopefully this information will serve to open the eyes of the community to the fact that top-notch care doesn’t always require a trip to Atlanta or Houston, but can be found right here at home.

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September 2009

In 2003 CHRISTUS Schumpert acquired a robot. This robot would not be easily confused with the robots from “The Jetsons” or “Lost in Space.” No, this robot enables surgeons to perform robot-assisted surgeries. The hospital was so pleased with how beneficial the robot was for patients that they acquired a second da Vinci Surgical System in 2007. The combined cost of the systems was about $3.5 million. The da Vinci is a descendant of a robot created for the Department of Defense in the 1980s. The original robot was designed to allow surgeons to operate on wounded soldiers on the battlefield from a safe distance. The modern design used in hospitals allows surgeons, while sitting next to the patient, to provide a surgical alternative to traditional laparoscopic surgery that has many benefits for both surgeons and patients. The robotics component improves the surgeon’s range of motion and eliminates any natural hand tremor. The surgeons view is similar to what they would normally get with very large incisions. In standard laparoscopic surgery, surgeons have to move a tool to the left if

they want it to go right, so the orientation is reversed and can be awkward. With the da Vinci, the surgeon operates in the same orientation as open surgery. Dr. Antonio Pizzarro was the first surgeon in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma (and is still one of the few across the country) to offer minimally invasive hysterectomy using the da Vinci Surgical System at CHRISTUS Schumpert. Since that first surgery, he has performed between 200 to 300 robotic-assisted surgeries, treating a number of gynecologic issues. Most any woman is a candidate for robotic-assisted surgery, Pizarro said. Surgeries that would normally be performed with a large abdominal incision can be done now with very small incisions when the da Vinci system is used. He said he rarely hears of fears his patients might have of a robot being used in their surgery because he presents the surgery to them in very honest terms and in a direct matter-of-fact language. “I am trying to engender their confidence,” Pizarro said. “In the past, many years ago, patients have had some concerns because they thought the robot was doing the surgery. It is very easily clarified that that is not the case.” “As far as (patient) recovery, I would say the recovery with most (robotic-assisted) surgeries is the same as with standard laparoscopy, as far as getting back to work sooner, less pain, less blood loss,” he said. “But what it does is makes it much easier to offer women small incisions and it makes the visit to the operating room so much easier.” In his practice, the two most common issues Pizzaro treats using robotic-assisted surgeries are reconstruction of pelvic floor defects and removal of problems related TheBestOfTimesNews.com


to the ovaries such as cysts, tumors and masses. “These are the types of surgeries that, when I do them, I am so grateful we have the robot. There are so many patients for whom it would be so much more difficult to offer small incisions with standard procedures. They go home the same day and they do so well.” From the patient stand-point there is no increase in cost to have robotic-assisted surgery, Pizarro pointed out. Insurance companies have been very good about the use of this new technology. “I have had no difficulty at all for reimbursement for patients from insurance companies,’ he said. “So many women realize the benefit of going home early, with less time in the hospital and getting back to work quicker. I know that in the long-term it will be seen as an overall cost savings.” Dr. Patrick Springhart, a urologist in practice with Regional Urology, performs robotic prostatectomy and other urological procedures using the robot. He has used the da Vinci system in many types of surgeries, among them removing the prostrate, the bladder, the kidney, and partial kidney removal. “Anything that you can do open, we can do robotically,” he said. When his practice first began offering robotic-assisted surgeries, Springhart said they were more discriminating in who they decided was a good candidate for the surgery. Now, almost anyone can reap the benefits of this type of surgery. “When these first started, we wanted to keep it simple. You don’t go from taking the training wheels off of your first bicycle to a ten-speed. The Best Of Times

You start out with baby steps and get more advanced. Basically nothing gets in the way anymore.” He does still occasionally hear concerns from patients who are apprehensive about robotic-assisted surgery, but he has a ready explanation to eliminate their fears. “My response to that is that if I ask you to type a letter on the computer, does the computer type the letter or do you type the letter? You type the letter. When people get concerned that the robot is going to take over the surgery, it can’t. It can only make a motion when I make a motion with my hand. It can’t do it on its own.” He cites some of the same benefits as Dr. Pizarro; less blood less and a quicker return to normal activity. As a surgeon, he also sees benefits. “I think for me, the most glaring is that you have less fatigue,” Springhart said. “When you get less muscle fatigue, you tend to get less frustrated throughout the surgery. If you are more relaxed, things just keep going smoothly - not that they don’t normally go smoothly. It is more ergonomic for the physician.” As word as gotten out about robotic-assisted surgery, more people are opting for the procedure and it has kept Springhart and his partner very busy. He said that patient knowledge about this procedure is still not as widespread as it should be, though. “I do know that I am one of the highest volume surgeons in the United States for robotic-assisted surgery. No one would think that of a surgeon in Shreveport, but it’s true.” Springhart, like Pizarro, likes to make sure his patients are (Continued on page 16)

Meet Your Surgeon’s New Assistant The da Vinci™ uses smaller incisions for shorter recovery time and less discomfort.

A ROBOT NAMED

daVinci

CHRISTUS Schumpert is the only area hospital to offer robotic-assisted surgery, the latest technology for prostate, gynecologic and urological conditions. FOR

MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL

866-358-DOCS

September 2009

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Continued from previous page

well informed about the surgery beforehand. He said he does not just want people nodding their heads as if they understand a situation, when in fact they don’t. To avoid that, he explains the procedures in very simple terms so the patients can ask informed questions. If one of those questions is why he doesn’t just perform a surgery using traditional laparoscopic surgery, he as a ready answer for that question, too. “My answer is why would you not just use a manual typewriter when you are typing a letter. You have to physically exert force on each key and you are using so much more movement. Now, you can just fly on the computer and it is quick with less effort. In our case, we are still doing the surgery and the steps are still the same, but you are using a robotic interface, like a computer - because that is what it is - to do the work for you.”

Physical Therapy for the Treatment of Incontinence

Darla Cathcart is a physical therapist at CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System who is trained in Specialty Physical Therapy. One of the medical conditions she treats is incontinence, a problem many people suffer from. Incontinence treatment does not have to involve surgery and most of it can be done in the comfort of a patient’s home. Cathcart said she often hears that people had no idea physical therapy treatment existed for incontinence. The treatments have been around for more than 30 years, but are not widely known. While the treatment is used for both men and women, incontinence is more prevalent in women. “There are different things

that can bring about incontinence,” Cathcart said. “It can happen in women who have had babies and women who have not. Usually it is due to weakness of the muscles of the pelvic floor. Sometimes it can be due to the bladder itself being overactive.” Physical therapy can possibly help some people avoid surgery, Cathcart said. “When patients come in to see me, I do a thorough history taking,” she said. “I ask when the leaking started, what causes them to leak and I get a full picture of what they are eating and drinking. Then I will evaluate the muscles of the pelvic floor. I can find out if they can do the exercises correctly and how strong their muscles are.” At the end of the initial visit, Cathcart gives her patients a home exercise program. Pa-

Senior Care at Brentwood Hospital Levels of Care • Inpatient • Partial Hospitalization (Day Treatment) • Outpatient

Call us, we can help!

Brentwood Senior Care Unit (318) 678-7500

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September 2009

Warning Signs That May Indicate the Need for Treatment

• • • • • • • •

Depression, extreme sadness Confused thinking, difficulty concentrating Hallucinations; hearing voices Misuse of alcohol or medications Disorientation Numerous unexplained physical ailments Difficulties coping with daily living Excessive fears, anxieties or suspiciousness TheBestOfTimesNews.com


tients do the exercises multiple times a day at the start, and then taper off to once a day to maintain their progress. Onsite therapy is generally only needed once a week for the first three or four weeks, and then they come in about every other week to check their status. During one of those clinic visits, Cathcart might hook a patient up to a pelvic floor biofeedback device. This can be very beneficial for her patients. “A sensor is put on the muscles of the pelvic floor,� she said. “It is not painful and it doesn’t shock them or anything like that. It connects to a computer monitor and as the patient exercises, it allows them to see on the screen what their muscles are doing. It sort of gives them a mirror to know what their muscles are doing and to know how it feels to correctly contract the muscles.� Cathcart said her patients

usually start to notice some improvement within the first two weeks; with improvement continuing for about six months after they start therapy. “Some will get completely better within six weeks and some it will take six months,â€? she said. “It really depends on how much they are leaking.â€? The success of Cathcart’s program is undeniable. “If a patient does what they are supposed to do - if they do all their exercises and make the changes we talk about - I would say about 90 percent of patients get better.â€? There is only one other physical therapist in the area offering this therapy for incontinence, said Cathcart. She sees patients from Texas and Arkansas, in addition to patients from the northern part of Louisiana. She hopes to see even more as word of the program spreads. “I want people to know that they have options.â€? ď ¨ A member of the ResCare family of companies

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Medicare Rights Center www.medicareinteractive.org

Tips to Get Through Medicare Part D’s “Doughnut Hole” Have you heard of Medicare’s “doughnut hole”? It’s also known as the “coverage gap,” and it is unique to Medicare Part D, the prescription coverage part of the Medicare program that is available only through private insurance companies. Many people find out about the doughnut hole by accident, when all of a sudden their plan stops paying for their medications. Here’s how the doughnut hole works: The coverage gap will start when the total cost of your prescriptions - what you and your plan have paid for covered drugs - reaches a certain amount. Individual plans can determine when

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September 2009

the coverage gap starts, but in most plans it begins when your total drug costs reach $2,700 in 2009.

While you are in the doughnut hole, you have to pay 100 percent of the cost of your drugs. And you will still pay

your drug plan’s monthly premium while in the gap. In all plans, the coverage gap ends when your total out-ofpocket costs (just what you have paid) for covered drugs reach $4,350 in 2009. After that, you will have “catastrophic coverage,” and you will pay 5 percent of the cost of each covered drug, or a copay of $2.40 for generics and $6.00 for brand-name drugs, whichever is greater. Your Medicare drug plan should be keeping track of how much money you have spent out of pocket on your covered prescription drugs and how close you are to the coverage gap. This information should be printed on your monthly statements. To make sure this information is correct, you should keep your receipts from the pharmacy. If you have full Extra Help, the highest level of assistance from the federal program that helps people with low incomes pay for the costs of Medicare drug coverage, you will not have a gap in coverage. You will pay your Extra Help copays for covered drugs until you reach catastrophic coverage. Once you reach catastrophic coverage, you will no longer have copays. Catastrophic coverage for people with Extra Help begins as soon as your total drug costs (what you pay plus what your drug plan pays for your covered drugs) reach $6,153.75. Your total drug costs will reach $6,153.75 faster if you take more expensive brandname drugs (for which you will pay $6.00 copays). If you have partial Extra Help, you also will not have a coverage gap. You will pay either your plan’s copay or 15 percent of the cost of your drug, whichever is cheaper. Once you reach catastrophic coverage, your copays will go down to $2.40 for generics and $6.00 for brand-name drugs. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


Even if you don’t have Extra Help, there may be ways you can keep your costs down while you are in the doughnut hole: • Ask your doctor about lower-cost generics if you currently take brand-name drugs. • If you can’t take any drugs that cost less, ask your doctor if free samples are available. • Your state pharmaceutical assistance program (SPAP) may help its members pay the out-of-pocket costs of a Medicare private drug plan. • There may be charities that can help reduce your costs. (Go to http://www. medicareinteractive.org/uploadedDocuments/mi_extra/copay_charities.htmlfor a list.) In some cases, the amount the charity pays counts toward your catastrophic coverage limit. You can also see if your hospital has a Charity Care Policy to reduce your copays if you cannot afford them. • Some pharmaceutical companies have Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) that offer low-cost or free drugs to people with low incomes. However, only a few accept people with Part D. (Go to http:// www.medicareinteractive.org/uploadedDocuments/mi_extra/pap_chart_national. html for more information.) If you get help from a PAP to pay for a drug on your Part D plan’s formulary, only what you pay for your drug will count toward meeting your out-of-pocket limit. Assistance from a PAP will not count toward the out-ofpocket costs that you must spend before catastrophic coverage begins. If you are interested in a specific PAP, call the program to find out how it works. • If a pharmacy in your plan’s network has a special promotion (limited time offer) to sell a medication that is on your plan’s formulary (list of covered drugs) for a cheaper price than your plan, you can buy the medication for this price. You will need to tell the pharmacist to refill your medication without using your Medicare drug coverage. It is best to take advantage of such specials only during your deductible or coverage gap because it is only during these times that what you pay will count toward reaching your plan’s catastrophic coverage limit. You will need to submit your receipts to your plan with any other required documentation in order for this amount to count toward reaching the The Best Of Times

catastrophic coverage limit. Find out what your plan requires by calling the customer service number listed on the back of your Medicare drug plan insurance card. • Pharmacy discount generic programs. Some retail pharmacies offer year-round discounts on generics. If a pharmacy in your plan’s network regularly sells a generic medication covered by your plan for a cheaper price than that offered by your plan, you can take advantage of this price at any time. You will pay the pharmacy price or your copay, whichever is lower. If your plan charges coinsurance, the

percentage you pay will be based on the lower store price. To learn more about programs that can lower Medicare prescription costs, go to Medicare Interactive at www.medicareinteractive.org. Medicare Interactive is a resource provided by the Medicare Rights Center, a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives.

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By The Medicare Rights Center (www.medicarerights.org)

Pelvic Exams, Routine Physicals and Drug Coverage an abnormal Pap smear in the past 36 months, Medicare covers the cost of one Pap smear a year (every 12 months). When you get your Pap smear, Medicare will cover the full cost of your Pap lab test, and 80 percent of the cost of the Pap test collection, a pelvic exam (used to help find fibroids or ovarian cancers) and a clinical breast exam (you are responsible for 20 percent of these costs). Medicare will cover all of these services with no Part B deductible required. (If you are in a Medicare private health plan - HMO or PPO - you may have a copay for some or all of these services. Call your plan to find out what you will have to pay.) ~ Marci

Dear Marci, Does Medicare cover pap smears and pelvic exams? -- Dorothy Dear Dorothy, Pap smears can detect cervical or vaginal cancer in its early stages. Medicare covers 100 percent of the lab cost of one Pap smear every two years (24 months) for all women with Medicare. If you are considered at high risk for cervical or vaginal cancer (e.g. have had a sexually transmitted disease, your mother was given the drug diethylstilbestrol [DES] during pregnancy), or are of child-bearing age and have had

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Dear Marci, I heard that Medicare covers the cost of a routine physical just once. What exactly is included in this physical? --Ralph Dear Ralph, Medicare will pay 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount of a onetime routine physical examination during the first 12 months after you enroll in Medicare Part B, regardless of your age. The Part B deductible does not apply to this benefit. The initial preventive physical exam, referred to as the “welcome-to-Medicare” exam, includes: • An electrocardiogram (EKG) • Measurement of height, weight and blood pressure • Education, counseling and referral

related to other preventive services covered by Medicare • Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) if you are at risk The “welcome to Medicare” physical exam benefit does not include payment for clinical laboratory tests. Medicare does not cover routine physical exams. You pay 100 percent for annual physical exams. Some Medicare private health plans (HMO, PPO, PFFS) may cover routine physicals. ~Marci Dear Marci, I’m on Medicaid and am about to turn 65 in a few months. Will my drugs be covered by Medicaid or Medicare? --Sally Dear Sally, Once you have both Medicaid and Medicare, you must get your drugs covered by the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D). You will be automatically enrolled in a Medicare private drug plan if you do not choose one yourself. You will also automatically get “Extra Help,” federal assistance that pays for most of the costs of Medicare drug coverage. You do not need to apply for this assistance. If you’d like to choose a Medicare private drug plan yourself, call 1-800MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov and use the Medicare Drug Plan Finder tool. If you’d rather have Medicare choose a plan for you, wait for the letter from Medicare telling you which plan you have been enrolled in. And then call 1-800MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov

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to make sure your assigned plan covers the drugs you need and that the pharmacies you use regularly are part of that plan’s network. If not, ask the counselor to help you enroll in a different plan that meets your needs. People who have both Medicare and Medicaid are allowed to change Medicare private drug plans once a month. In most states, Medicaid will work with the Medicare drug benefit (Part D) and will step in and cover some drugs that are excluded from Medicare coverage by law. To see how Medicaid coordinates with Part D in your state go to: www. medicareinteractive.org/uploadedDocuments/mi_extra/medicaid_variables.html. ~Marci Marci’s Medicare Answers is a service of the Medicare Rights Center, 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, e-mail dearmarci@ medicarerights.org. To learn more, log on to Medicare Interactive Counselor at the Medicare Rights Center’s website at www.medicareinteractive.org.

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By Judge Jeff Cox, 26th Judicial District Court Judge for Bossier/Webster Parishes, Division C

What is an Annuity?

In recent weeks, I have heard a number of people in our area talk about annuities. Annuities are financial instruments which pay a stream of income to the holder of the instrument. The annuitant pays a certain amount of money into the instrument and then the annuity pays the annuitant a stream of income. Part of the stream of income is principal, which represents a repayment of the amount paid into the policy, and part of the stream of income is interest on the money paid into the policy. The annuity will pay interest depending on

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the prevailing rate at the time the annuity is bought. Annuities are similar to insurance policies and many insurance companies sell annuities. Annuities differ from insurance policies in that the annuity pays a stream of income while you live whereas an insurance policy pays a benefit when someone dies. The stream of income is determined by how long the annuity is taken out and the interest paid on the annuity. Many annuities are sold on the premise that they avoid succession as the annuitant can name a beneficiary to inherit the annuity if they die during the time the money is being

paid. Other reasons given for having annuities is to attempt to help a person to qualify for Medicaid when they start to enter the nursing home. Another reason annuities are sold is so that a person can have a steady stream of income and be able to budget according to the amount of money they will receive as annuities provide a steady and certain stream of income. Usually, annuities are sold at a percentage of the money being placed into the policy. This percentage can range from 5% to 10%

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on the front end of monies being placed into the annuity. Some annuities will have long surrender terms meaning that they will pay out the proceeds over a long period of time. Annuities sold with long payout periods will usually have huge surrender costs, meaning that if you try to get out of the annuity before the end of annuity period, you lose a large portion of the money you placed in the annuity. Annuity interest payments are set on the prevailing interest rates at the time the annuity is sold. With current interest rates at 2% to 3%, having a long term annuity may cause the annuitant to lose money if the interest rates rise. Although annuities do not pass through succession as they are paid to the beneficiary, the annuity is still subject to estate taxation. The annuity counts as a taxable asset for estate tax purposes. Any pay-

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ments made from an annuity have to be paid to the nursing home if the annuitant is in the nursing home and the stream of payments will be looked at as a countable asset if the annuitant is receiving payments. In recent years, the government has also looked at counting an annuity as an asset for Medicaid purposes where the annuity was left to a beneficiary. This may again be looked at in the future as our governments are dealing with huge budget deficits. Finally, depending on the goals of the individual, the stream of income paid by an annuity may not meet their needs. In looking at annuities, one must weigh all the pros and cons. Annuities have their place in certain situations, but they are an investment just like stocks and bonds. All considerations must be taken into account when purchasing an annuity.

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By Jason Alderman, director of Visa’s financial education programs

overzealous collecoverstepping Know Your tors their legal bounds. Rights Here are a few with Debt precautions you can Collectors take: First, recognize that you are responLike many folks, I recently sible to pay off legitimately had an awkward encounter incurred debt. If you realize you may have difficulty paying with a debt collector. Someone had stolen my a bill, however, proactively credit card number and used contact the lender to work out it to charge a hotel stay. a payment plan. Don’t wait for Thanks to my card’s zero them to contact you and cerliability policy the charges tainly don’t ignore their calls were quickly reversed and I or correspondence; that could didn’t have to pay anything. harm your credit rating. You have certain rights But unbeknownst to me, the thief had booked an ad- whenever dealing with debt ditional reservation, so my collectors. For example, under cancelled card was later the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they cannot harass charged a no-show fee. Long story short: After you by: • Using abusive language trying to collect the $350 bill from the thief’s non-existent or threatening arrest. • Calling before 8:00 a.m. address, the hotel turned the claim over to a collection or after 9:00 p.m. • Contacting you at work if agency. Fortunately, I was able to unravel the mess and you tell them your employer got the unpaid collection disapproves. • Contacting others, except removed from my credit to verify where you live and report. Not everyone is so lucky, work. • Revealing to others that however. Although the vast majority of debt collec- you owe money. Once a debt collector contors operate reputably, the Federal Trade Commission tacts you: • Get the names of the perreceives tens of thousands of complaints each year about son calling and his/her agency,

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its address and phone number. • Take detailed notes of all conversations, correspondence and pre-recorded calls, noting names, dates and times. • You may request that all subsequent contact be handled by mail. Send this request – and all further correspondence – by certified mail, return receipt requested. • Request that all conversations be followed-up in writing. • Document any false, misleading or harassing statements and include them in your correspondence. • Ask for full details about any debts the collector claims you owe, including dates, amounts, lender’s name, etc. • Instruct that you be the only person contacted, unless you wish an attorney to be involved. • Retain all records indefinitely in case of future disputes. • Have all agreed-to repayment plan terms verified in writing, including promises to remove or adjust reports to your credit history. If you feel you’ve been targeted in error, tell the collection agency, in writing, that it has the wrong party and to stop contacting you. If they can’t provide proof, by law they must cease collection efforts. And finally, don’t pay bills you don’t owe just to make the collector go away; that’s considered acknowledgement that you are responsible. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s “Debt Collection Practices: When Hardball Tactics Go Too Far,” offers great tips on navigating the debt-collection process, including your privacy rights, sample letters and where to turn for help (www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs27-debtcoll.htm). 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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By Lee ARonson, an attorney

with Legal Services of North Louisiana the other driver’s fault but his insurSpeak Now or ance company is Forever Hold unwilling to pay to have your car Your Peace fixed. You have 1 year from the date of the accident in Speak now or forever hold which to sue. And if you miss your peace: that’s something that 1 year deadline, it’s too we hear at weddings but it’s late. You will have to forever a concept that also applies to hold your peace. But not all lawsuits come the law. Here’s an example: let’s say that you get into an with a one year deadline. The auto accident. It’s clearly length of the deadline, or in le-

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gal terms, the prescriptive period, will depend on the type of lawsuit. Lawsuits based upon a breach of contract generally have a 10 year prescriptive period. And here’s a different deadline: if I lend you money and you don’t pay me back, I have to sue within 3 years. Other lawsuits that must be brought within 3 years include actions for the recovery of compensation for services rendered, including professional fees such as a bill from a doctor; actions for back due rent; and actions on open accounts. An open account is “an account in which a line of credit is running and is open to future modification because of expectations of prospective business dealings.” An example would be a credit card. A 48 month car loan, on the other hand, would not be an open account. One case I recently read involved a gentleman who bought a computer. Rather than using his credit card to buy the computer, he agreed to make monthly payments to the retailer. The court held that this was not an open account, but rather a contract subject to a 10 year prescriptive period. In other words, if the man who bought the computer didn’t make payments for 4 years, it would not be too late for the computer retailer to sue. However, if over 10 years pass without any payments and without the retailer filing suit, then it would be too late: the computer retailer must forever hold its peace. Another case I read about involved a homeowner and a roofer. They had a written contract for the roofer to render some services, i.e. repair the homeowner’s roof. After the work was done, the homeowner did not pay. Knowing that breach of contract actions must be brought within 10 years and that suit for services rendered must be brought within 3 years, how long do you think the roofer has to file suit against the homeowner? The court decided TheBestOfTimesNews.com


that such suits must be brought within 3 years. But even though these deadlines exist, you could still end up being sued after their expiration. The law in Louisiana says that a Judge cannot automatically throw out a case against you that was filed after the prescriptive deadline has passed. The Judge is only allowed to throw out such a case if you ask. Bottom line: no matter how old the matter of litigation, if you are served with court papers, you need to consult a lawyer right away. And here’s another word or warning. Let’s say that you owe money to a credit card company. (That’s an open account subject to a 3 year deadline for suit.) You don’t use the card or make any payments for 2 years and 11 months. The credit card company then calls you and asks you to make a payment. You

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admit that you owe the debt and agree to make payments when you can. At that point, even though the 3 year deadline for bringing suit is about to expire, by acknowledging the debt you have caused the 3 year time line to start all over again. Here are some more examples of legal deadlines: An action against a contractor or an architect based on “defects of construction, renovation or repair of buildings and other works” must be brought within 10 years. An “action for the recognition of a right of inheritance” has a 30 year deadline. A federal law says that actions for money owed on a cell phone bill have a 2 year deadline. And actions for past due student loans never prescribe. Lee Aronson’s practice areas include consumer protection law, housing law and health care law.

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“The Counseling Corner”

by the American Counseling Association

Retirement and Its Potential Impact on a Marriage

Most couples look forward to the time and opportunities retirement can bring. And they should. It allows couples

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quality time together and a chance to do things that you’ve both looked forward to. But sometimes retirement can also add stress to a marriage. It’s important to realize retirement means more than just not working. It always brings very significant changes in one’s life. One change is the loss of identity that often accompanies leaving a job. Most of us, whether male or female, define ourselves with that job

title that we use in response to the “what do you do” question. But when no longer being that “vice president” or “department manager,” it’s common to experience a sense of diminished self-worth because you are no longer “doing” something of value. Depression can result, especially for someone who has been dedicated to a job and developed few interests or friends outside the workplace. Such depression, and the health problems it may bring, can certainly add stress to a marriage. Money can also be a source of retirement marital stress.

Retirement incomes seldom match pre-retirement pay checks, yet expenses may be even higher. Medical bills might increase, or travel and other retirement activities may cost more than planned for. Even the extra time together that retirement brings can sometimes be a source of stress. For many wives, retirement can mean “twice as much husband and half as much money.” A newly-retired spouse may interrupt the established daily routine of his or her spouse, expecting to be the center of attention now that work no longer calls. Or that extra time together may

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bring forward marriage problems that were ignored when the demands of a job kept a couple apart for significant parts of the day. Does retirement always bring stress and trouble to a marriage? Of course not. Most couples handle retirement extremely well and enjoy their golden years together. But don’t ignore the warning signs of problems that retirement might bring. Retirement-related marriage problems won’t magically disappear. If retirement is placing a strain on a marriage, see it as a challenge, and seek help if the problems are serious. There are counseling professionals who specialize in retirement issues as well as relationship issues. What they have to offer can help make possible a relationship in which marriage partners are not just retired, but happy and satisfied. “The Counseling Corner” is provided as a public service by the American Counseling Association, the nation’s largest organization of counseling professionals. Learn more about the counseling profession at the ACA web site, www.counseling.org.

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l Acupuncture is used to relieve a chemotherapy patient’s

nausea symptoms. l A Reiki team at MD Anderson Cancer Center eases a patient’s pain and anxiety after a surgery. l A doctor refers a breast cancer survivor to a massage therapist for lymphatic drainage. The gap between alternative and conventional medical treatments is closing as complementary therapies merge with the mainstream. Branching from alternative medicine, complementary medicine is used along with conventional medicine. Awareness and popularity of complementary therapies grow as more and more people find new levels of health and well-being from these natural, non-invasive, drug-free treatments. Complementary medical therapies such as acupuncture, Reiki and massage therapy can ease many of the common health conditions that mature adults and seniors may have - arthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica, high blood pressure, stress, insomnia, fibromyalgia and everyday aches and pains. These therapies can also increase energy, vitality, mental clarity and have profound, even life-changing effects. As with any medical treatment, efficacy and safety are concerns for senior health. Here are some things to consider: • Complementary medical therapies should not be associated with products advertised on TV or in magazines. Complementary therapies should be administered by experienced and certified healthcare professionals. • Complementary care is not for all patients. Seniors with certain medical conditions may not qualify for treatments. • Cost of complementary medical therapies can be a disadvantage. Many complementary The Best Of Times

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therapies are not covered by insurance, so paying out of pocket might be necessary. Check with your insurer for details. • Some complementary therapies lack scientific research.

• Complementary therapies cannot cure health conditions, especially if the condition has persisted for many years. Improvements may take time and frequent sessions may be necessary. • Do not forgo the advice of your primary healthcare physician. Remember, complementary medicine is used in addition to conventional medicine. Complementary medicine offers a wide range of therapies, many of which have Eastern influences. Therapies range from micro-current acupuncture and detoxification foot baths to tai chi and yoga. To clarify some of the practices in this area of health care, five of the more recognized complementary therapies are presented to show how they can fit into a senior’s health regimen.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine based on the principle of balanced energy flow through a healthy body. When energy pathways, called meridians, become blocked and energy flow is restricted, the body goes into an unhealthy state. Thin metal needles are inserted into acupuncture points along meridians to trigger the release of the body’s natural painkilling chemicals, to balance energy and to restore the body back to health. “Just about anything you can think of can be treated with acupuncture,” says Candace Warner, MD, a medical acupuncturist who practices in Baton Rouge. Arthritis? Osteoporosis? Sure. The list goes on: relief from stress, pain, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, the common cold, migraines, depression, sciatica,

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fibromyalgia and high blood pressure. “All regular acupuncture treatments work fine for seniors,” says Warner. The majority of her patients are over the age of 65. Most use medical acupuncture for neck and back pain, stress and insomnia. “I never tell anybody to stop taking their medicines, even people who are on blood thinners.” Because she uses high quality needles – about the diameter of an eyelash – she never has had any problems. Acupuncture is a relatively

Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. A certified and experienced practitioner can ensure the proper placement and sterilization of needles to avoid punctured organs and infection.

pain free treatment, but it can hurt a little bit if a patient is tense. Warner places points in her patients’ ears to help them relax. “If I put a needle in the middle of a trigger point, it might hurt a little bit, but the outcome is so good people don’t mind.” Patients respond differently to acupuncture. Most will have an immediate response by feeling relaxed or energized. Sometimes conditions can worsen before they improve. Treatments are accumulative for longer lasting effects. The type and duration of acupuncture treatments depend on the patient’s individual health. It is important to find an experienced practitioner of acupuncture who is licensed by the state where they practice and who is certified by a national organization such as the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture or the National

To correct spinal alignment and naturally revitalize the body from the inside, chiropractors perform a variety of spinal adjustments. Adjustment techniques involve thrusts, pressure, stretching or heat delivered to specific areas along the spine and joints. Sometimes popping or cracking sounds are made with aggressive adjustments. Most chiropractors use gentle soft tissue techniques for seniors. “The popping noises from joints in chiropractic techniques may not be the best thing for senior patients because of brittle bones or osteodegeneration,” says Diane Sino, DC, a chiropractor in Shreveport. Conditions like osteodegeneration and osteoarthritis are taken into consideration along with a senior’s medical history, medications and risk of stroke to determine whether they qualify as a chiropractic patient.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic is more than bone cracking to treat neck and back pain. Chiropractic care aligns the spine to ensure proper function of the nervous system. A misaligned spine pinches the spinal cord and nerves, which impedes communication from the brain to tissues, organs, bones and muscles all throughout the body. This results in pain, disease and organ dysfunction.

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“There may need to be certain amount of repetition of the adjustments because in chiropractic, like exercise, each adjustment is based on the last and you need a natural progression to help correct the problem,” Sino says. The duration of treatment depends on the patient, their conditions and how their body responds to chiropractic care. Backed by scientific research and millions of success stories from its patients of all ages, chiropractic is a safe and natural way to promote health. Chiropractic has shown to be effective in treating asthma, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, pinched nerves, stress, hearing problems and more. Like any manual therapy, chiropractic leaves patients feeling relaxed and revived. Many patients schedule regular visits to their chiropractor for “tune-ups” to maintain their body’s innate healing and well-being.

Massage Therapy

Much like chiropractic, massage therapy is a complementary

manual therapy that taps into the body’s natural healing ability. Both chiropractors and doctors of conventional medicine refer patients to massage therapists. Patricia Copeland, a massage therapist certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, practices several types of massage including Geriatric massage at the Wellness Center of Lincoln Parish in Ruston. “Geriatric massage is usually a more gentle massage since many people who are elderly have osteoporosis and are on medication. The therapist takes into consideration the amount of heat and the amount of pressure used,” says Copeland. Massage therapists should be aware of their client’s health condition and history before giving geriatric massage. Conditions that should not be paired with massage are broken bones, some types of cancer and heart conditions, open sores or risk of blood clots. Copeland integrates other forms of massage into Geriatric massage. She performs lymphatic drainage – a massage technique that moves lymph fluids into the circulation system to be eliminated – on senior clients who have had lymph nodes removed, edema or swelling from excess water retention. Copeland uses acupressure in all of her massage. By applying pressure to acupressure points – the same as acupuncture points – until pulsing is felt, tension is released from the body to help her clients relax. Reflexology can accommodate her more modest clients who do not want their body touched. Only the hands and feet are touched to stimulate The Best Of Times

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reflex points that correspond with internal organs. Engag-

ing these points can relax and rebalance the body. Copeland cites many benefits for seniors. Massage reduces stress and pain, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, calms the nervous system and enhances the im-

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mune system. Massage can alleviate complications with arthritis, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Gentle kneading andstretching reduce muscle tension to increase comfort and deepen sleep. The release of muscle tension also improves posture, coordination and mobility of joints. Circulation improves and brings nutrition to the cells and oxygen to the brain, which increases vitality, energy and mental alertness. The psychological aspect of

feeling a loving, healing touch is an added bonus. However, massage is not meant to cure health conditions. “The immune system boost from massage promotes healing, but is certainly not going to cure any condition,” Copeland says. Many of Copeland’s senior clients are in excellent physical condition. They exercise regularly, play tennis and golf, take no medications and maintain good nutrition. Such seniors can benefit from sports massage therapy or orthopedic massage therapy. Jay Harbert, a Licensed Massage Therapist, practices medical and orthopedic massage at Body Mechanics of Shreveport. Trained in medical massage therapy, Harbert works the soft tissue in the body-muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. With his orthopedic massage training, he works the muscles as they apply to a joint. “My training has taught me not to chase the pain, but to look instead at where the real problem lies,” says Harbert. Harbert’s aim is to bring the body back into balance. Most of us participate in daily activities that bring our bodies out of balance - sitting, pushing a buggy through a store, doing dishes, walking. In performing these repetitive actions, some muscles are tightened while others lengthen. Stretched muscles loose their metabolic activity which causes burning, tingling and aching. But by simply reversing the motions, Harbert can restore balance and proper function of the muscles.

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Harbert acknowledges the permanence of ossified bones and arthritis with his senior patients, but he can still relieve pressure and alleviate pain from arthritis. If there is arthritis in the knee, Harbert addresses the imbalance of the surrounding muscles. Orthopedic and medical massage are complementary therapies that address some issues that medical doctors, physical therapists and orthopedic doctors may not be able to treat. “I consider myself an extension of their hands,” Harbert says. “This can complement the medical modalities very well.” To find a qualified massage therapist, look for someone who is a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) or a member of a national organization like the American Massage Therapy Association. Ask a therapist how long they have practiced, what modalities they perform and how they can help your specific health concerns.

Reiki

Reiki (“ray-kee”) is a Japanese relaxation technique and energy therapy that can promote the body’s own self-healing. Translated from Japanese, the word reiki means universal spiritual energy. This energy is transferred from a Reiki practitioner or Master to another person. It is a religiously neutral practice that can reduce pain, stress and anxiety. Reiki is described as a subtle energy that feels warm, bubbly, relaxing and refreshing.

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“I have personally seen miracles with it,” says Janis Blanchard, a Reiki Master who practices and teaches Reiki in North and Central Louisiana. Blanchard is an advocate of Reiki’s ability to relieve stress and accelerate the natural healing process. Her husband found pain relief from a compressed disc through Reiki. Even Blanchard’s dogs love Reiki. Reiki can help people of all ages, but it is especially beneficial to seniors. “One of the best things that Reiki does is relieve pain,” says Blanchard. It is a safe complementary

therapy for seniors. “It works with anything, any medication they’re taking or any doctor they’re seeing because Reiki is so gentle.”

For a Reiki session, a Reiki therapist’s hands are placed on or above a client’s body. Hand positions are held until the therapist feels a certain flow of energy. Usually the head area is treated followed by the heart, stomach and feet. Sessions generally last 30 to

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60 minutes. Reiki is becoming increasingly popular in the US, but it is uncertain exactly how this energy therapy works. Currently there is a lack of scientific research on Reiki, but studies are beginning to explore how Reiki works and how it benefits specific ailments. Also, there is no formal regulation of Reiki practitioners. Therefore it is important to research a potential Reiki practitioner’s training and experience. There are three levels of Reiki training that must be taught by an experienced teacher and completed by a student to become a Reiki Master.

Yoga

Years ago yoga was thought of as an al-

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ternative practice. Today, yoga is widely accepted as a complementary therapy for the mind, body and spirit. Whether it’s the physical aspect of twisting your body into poses while sweating and breathing heavily or the awareness of breath, this ancient healing art – over 5,000 years old – helps its students of all ages change their health, happiness, fitness level and life for the better. Stretching, breathing and mental focus in yoga reduces stress, back pain, arthritic pain, blood pressure and heart rate. Yoga improves balance, muscle strength and overall feelings of well-being. Lydia Morton, an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the Lafayette Center for Yoga, recommends any type of Hatha yoga class or

slow-flow yoga class for seniors. She also recommends a Yin yoga class that focuses on breathing, stretching and a deep sense of awareness. Yoga is accessible to anybody and everybody. It is practiced by people who are on medications for high blood pressure or arthritis; by people undergoing physical therapy or returning from surgery; by people with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis; and by people recovering from lung cancer and heart attacks. “The main thing you want to be careful of in yoga is to have a qualified teacher,” Morton advises. Certain postures can raise the blood pressure or put too much stress on joints. A qualified yoga teacher should tell a student to adjust the poses depending on the student’s individual health concerns.

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Morton suggests a yoga teacher who has at least 200 hours of teacher training and who is registered with the national governing body Yoga Alliance. This may be hard to find in some states like Louisiana. “But if that’s not available to you, I still don’t think that you shouldn’t practice yoga,” she says. Go out and try a teacher to see what is right for you.

A New Dynamic in Healthcare

Because most illnesses are complex, patients respond better to a combination of therapies. An integrative approach of combining the wisdom of the past with today’s science and technology allows patients of all ages more options to promote and maintain their individual health. With this new approach, seniors can benefit from the best of both health disciplines: complementary therapies that engage the whole person to heal the body from within and modern medications and surgery when necessary. Emerging research and acceptance of complementary therapies by the conventional medical field will continue to bolster the popularity, effectiveness and safety of these natural therapies. 

Reaping What You Sow Some see an empty field of dirt. Robbie Brown sees bushels of homegrown tomatoes, foot-long zucchinis and some of the sweetest peas your teeth have ever had the pleasure of meeting. When he’s not driving his tractor or guiding his tiller through the garden, you’ll find him living life to the fullest in some other way. “I do anything I want to do with the legs I get from Snell’s,” Brown says confidently. “I don’t back up for nothing.” It is that same type of commitment that Snell’s licensed practitioners and technicians make to our patients every day. Our staff members take the time to attentively listen to the patient to determine what his or her needs truly are. Then, after careful consultation with the patient’s physician, we begin the design and fabrication process. Once the prosthesis or orthosis has been fitted, we work tirelessly with the patient to make sure that it functions correctly. Our investment in new technology and in specialized training for our staff allows us to deliver prosthetic and orthotic devices of the highest quality. Because, as Mr. Brown will attest to…what you invest in today will yield abundant returns tomorrow.

Returning independence to our patients since 1911

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

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The Shreveport-Bossier City area casinos are among the regions most popular attractions. They are an entertainment highlight for both locals and out of town visitors. While you might think that going to a

casino is not a frugal proposition, there are several ways that casinos can help you stretch your entertainment dollars. Additionally, there are many aspects of casinos that make them very well suited for older adults. Firstly, parking at casinos is both plentiful and free. If you going during off hours, and there are lots of off hours since they are open 24-7, it can be very easy to find a parking space close to the elevators. The elevators, combined with the large number of ramps and escalators, mean getting around in a casino is easy for people of all ages and abilities. Secondly, it doesn’t really matter when you like to eat breakfast, lunch or supper, since there is always a restaurant serving a wide variety of food, from buffet to fine dining. An often overlooked aspect of our local casinos is the wide variety of entertainment acts they host. From classic rock, to country, bands from the 60s, to comedians, there

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are always several options each week to catch a topnotch act close to home. Because the venues are smaller than a stadium or arena, every seat is a good one. Ticket prices are generally lower than those at larger venues, and there are ways to save even more - we will get to those discounts soon.

If you want to entertain out of town guests, a trip to the casino can be lots of fun without spending a lot. The people watching is plentiful; there are several shopping venues, many carrying a large array of Louisiana focused products; all of those dining opportunities; and, if you stick to the low priced slot machines, you can gamble without a lot of money out of pocket. Now, the best way to get the most bang for your buck is to sign up for the casinos’ player or rewards cards. You can usually sign up on-line, or at the casino, and get a card quickly. These cards will enable you to earn points when you gamble, which in turn will earn you discounts at the casino. They often give you a sizeable discount on the entertainment tickets, and may also give you discounts on the casino buffets. By getting a rewards card, you can get advance notification of upcoming events and find out when casinos offer new promotions, many of which are targeted to seniors. There is no charge for signing up for the rewards cards and the process is quick and easy. While the casinos do excel at providing a variety of gambling options, they offer up so much more than that. A trip to the casino does not have to break the bank. And, who knows, if lady luck smiles on you, you might even come home with a little extra money in your pocket. 

Boomtown Casino & Hotel

300 Riverside Dr. (I-20 Exit 19B) Bossier City, LA 71111 (318) 746-0711 www.boomtownbossier.com Boomtown offers over 1,100 slot machines and over 30 table games. Restaurants at the casino are Circle B

Ranch Steakhouse, Sundance Cantina, Cattleman’s Buffet and Boomer’s Cafe.

DiamondJacks Casino & Resort

711 DiamondJacks Blvd. Bossier City, LA 71111 (318) 678-7777 or (318)678-7646 www.diamondjacks.com DiamondJacks has over 1,000 slot machines. Legends Theatre, the entertainment venue, seats over 1,600. There are four casino dining options: DJ’s Steakhouse, Legends Buffet, The Lucky Bean and The Diamond Café. DiamondJacks offers those 50 and older free chances to play the “Crack the Safe” game. Golden Gamers 50 and older receive 50 percent off at Legends Buffet. A players card is required for both promotions. (See ad on page 5.)

Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport 451 Clyde Fant Pkwy. I-20 Exit 19A (Spring Street Exit) Shreveport, LA 71101 (318) 220-0711 ww.eldoradoshreveport.com Eldorado offers over 1,300 slot machines, 50 table games, and the market’s largest poker room. The casino restaurants include: The Vintage, The Café, The Market Place Buffet and Sportsman’s Paradise Café. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


Harrah’s Louisiana Downs 8000 E. Texas St. Bossier City, LA 71111-7016 (318) 742-5555 www.ladowns.com Harrah’s Louisiana Downs offers live and simulcast thoroughbred racing. The casino has over 1,400 slot machines. Restaurants include: Fat Tuesday, Fuddruckers, Harrah’s Club, Pepper Rose Too and The Buffet. For Total Rewards members age 50 and older, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs offers Totally Golden Tuesdays. Guests swipe their Total Rewards card at the promotions desk and one guest’s name will be called every 15 minutes from 1p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for a chance to win cash. Guests will have a chance to multiply their age up to 3 times and win that amount of cash.

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Horseshoe Casino & Hotel

Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino Shreveport

711 Horseshoe Blvd. I-20 Exit 19B Bossier City, LA 71111 (318) 742-0711 www.horseshoe.com Horseshoe Casino has over 1,500 slot machines and over 50 game tables. There are several restaurants for your dining enjoyment: Four Winds, Jack Binion’s Steakhouse, Oak Creek Café and Grille, and Village Square Buffet.

315 Clyde Fant Pkwy I-20 Exit 19A (Spring Street exit) Shreveport, LA 71101 (318) 424-7777 www.samstownshreveport.com Sam’s Town has a spa and four restaurants on site: William B’s Steakhouse, Smokey Joe’s Café, Java and International Buffet. There are more than 1,100 slot machines and 30 game tables. Sam’s Town offers a “50 Plus Frenzy” promotion every Monday and Wednesday for those over age 50. They select five winners every 30 minutes from noon until 4:30 p.m. Each winner spins the prize wheel to win various prizes, such as gas cards and small appliances. All day, every day (when the buffet is open) Sam’s Town offers seniors 50 and older a 50 percent discount off the regular price at the International Buffet. Both promotions require a player’s card.

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BY Suzy Cohen, R.Ph.,

author of “The 24-hour Pharmacist” ment, cold intolerance, and diabetes. That last one is a shocker to most people but it’s true -- low thyroid often precipitates diabetes and all of it’s potentially devastating complications. Doctors often prescribe Synthroid (sold generically as levothyroxine). It provides your body with a precursor to thyroid hormone called T4. Your body converts T4 into T3 which is really what you want because T3 does all the work for you. T3 is active thyroid hormone. All thyroid medications should be taken on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning unless otherwise directed. It is usually taken orally or sometimes sublingually. Your doctor could also prescribe “Armour Thyroid” for you, which may work better because it provides both T4 and T3 in one pill. Even better, progressive doctors can call the local compounding pharmacy to have them prepare a special formula of natural thyroid hormone for you. Dosage is individual, and based on your

Natural Ways to Boost Thyroid Function Dear Pharmacist, I am constantly fatigued, my hair is thinning, and I am gaining weight. My doctor says that I have hypothyroidism and prescribed Synthroid. Can you give me more information about thyroid medications and natural ways to help myself? Approximately 12 million Americans have hypothyroidism. You are lucky if your major symptoms are fatigue, hair loss and weight gain, because there are about 40 possible other symptoms related to low thyroid, including allergies, goiter, depression, swollen eyelids, brittle nails, infertility, irritability, constipation, menstrual irregularities, psoriasis, eczema, constant infections, yeast overgrowth, fibromyalgia, heart palpitations, high cholesterol, memory impair-

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blood work, symptoms, and basal body temperature (your body’s lowest temperature during sleep). Next, try these few suggestions: Switch your regular table salt which only contains “sodium chloride” to sea salt which contains a full range of minerals. Your thyroid gland loves minerals and makes thyroid hormone more efficiently in the presence of natural minerals. Go gluten-free. Researchers have found a significant link between wheat allergies (Celiac disease) and people with thyroid disease (especially Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease). Antibodies may come down within months of going gluten-free. Limit intake of certain supplements. For example, alpha lipoic acid could interfere with the amount of active T3 your body makes. Keep dosages low (or avoid) in thyroid disease. Limit intake of certain

foods. For instance, processed soy foods (tofu, tempeh, soy milk) and cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower) work against your thyroid. In addition, depending on what your doctor says, supplement with the following: Multi-minerals - People with reduced levels of zinc, iodine, selenium, copper and magnesium have difficulty making active T3 thyroid hormone. Spirulina supplements - a natural dietary supplement that is rich in trace minerals (and precious iodine) helps drive the production of thyroid hormone. Ashwagandha - an Ayurvedic herb that appears to nourish the thyroid gland, make thyroid hormone and provide antioxidant protection. This information is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose your condition. For more information visit www.DearPharmacist.com. ©2008 Suzy Cohen, R.Ph. Distributed by Dear Pharmacist, Inc.

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By mirabai holland, M.F.A., www.MovingFree.com

This was a real challenge for many of my Cardio students who had never Dance May done anything like this Improve before. As they got more proficient, the class beMemory came a social gathering; because of this shared I became interested in experience. exercise and memory in the My students felt energized 1970s when my older stu- afterwards, not exhausted. dents began to tell me that They told me that besides their memories seemed to getting a good body workout improve after they took my they were getting a memory class. workout as well. They said I was teaching mostly they could actually remember dance-exercise in those days. things better. I started with simple steps I wondered if there was sciand built up to a pretty com- ence to support our anecdotal plex routine. experience. There has to be a connecI contacted a couple of local tion I thought, between the Alzheimer’s specialists (there physical movement, making was no internet back then) and your brain learn this routine, they told me – you’re probably and improved memory. right but there weren’t any I’m no scientist but I was specific studies on this. curious. So I started to break Such was the case in the it down. 70’s. What I was having people Even now the research is not do is learn short phrases of conclusive. But, technology in movement and then link them the last 15 years has allowed together. The cardio dance science to discover a lot more routine required them to about the brain. move forward and back, side Vascular memory loss has to side, remember specific been linked to heart disease and steps; and stay in rhythm. cardio fitness is a major factor

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in preventing and managing that issue. Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain improving mental function. Cardio fitness has been shown to reduce loss of brain cells in older adults. A study reported in The Lancet Neurology of 1,449 older adults, shows those who in middle age exercised vigorously enough to perspire and breathe hard for 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a week reduced their risk of later developing Alzheimer’s disease by about 60 percent. But cardio is just part of the equation. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that certain types of dance, particularly with routines to learn and remember, may help prevent age-onset memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s. “…. cognitive activity may stave off dementia by increasing a person’s “cognitive reserve.” And a study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, says activities that combined mental and social as well as physical stimulation offered the greatest protection against dementia. Activity is the active word. Be physically active, mentally active and socially active, preferably all at once. Taking a Cardio Dance class or getting together with friends to do a Cardio Dance DVD is a good place to start. And to this day, when I start my cardio dance class I say, “It’s time to workout our hearts and minds!” Mirabai Holland M.F.A. is public health activist who specializes 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.movingfree. com. Mirabai Holland © 2008

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Does Osteoarthritis Pain Affect Your Daily Activities? Local doctors are conducting a research study using NSAIDs for the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis. You may qualify for a research study if you meet the following criteria: t%JBHOPTFEXJUI0TUFPBSUISJUJT t"HFPSPMEFS t5BLJOHQSFTDSJQUJPONFEJDBUJPOGPSZPVSPTUFPBSUISJUJT

Qualified participants receive, at no charge, study related: t1IZTJDBMFYBNJOBUJPOTt4UVEZNFEJDBUJPO

(318) 212-3796 The Best Of Times

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by the award winning

Amanda Newton

Keith Jeffrey stays pretty busy with his job as area manager for AT&T. His job in the telecommunication field also provides him with the opportunity to be a part of a pretty special group that many people might not have heard about. Jeffrey, 53, is not only a member of the TelecomPioneers; he has also served as president of the local chapter for the past three years. The TelecomPioneers has a really interesting and long history. TelecomPioneers is a network of current and former telecom industry employees and their families who volunteer to address community needs. The organization was founded in 1911 as a social group and Alexander Graham Bell was the first

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member. It changed its mission to one of community service in 1958. The TelecomPioneers is the largest industryrelated volunteer organization in the world. Membership totals 620,000 and there are 350,000 AT&T pioneers. In 2007, AT&T Pioneers donated more than 10 million hours to community service projects. Jeffery first became involved with the group about 20 years ago and has been very actively involved the last five years, he said. When asked to name a few of the projects the group supports, Jeffrey has a long list, including the AdoptA-School Program, Junior Recycling, Junior Achievement, Butterfly Gardens, Chat Room/Internet Safety, and numerous military projects. One of the simpler volunteer tasks he has taken a part in also proved to be very enjoyable for Jeffrey. “We will do the (Salvation Army) bell ringing and that is kind of fun frankly,” he said. “Standing out there at WalMart for an hour, I had fun just watching the people. That is not even like work. You would be surprised how much money people put in the kettle at Wal-

Mart. So many stick in dollar bills and any amount helps. At least from our perspective, it is 100 percent profit. They have paid workers, too. So if we can collect a couple of hundred bucks during our volunteer time, then that is all profit.” With the current economy, Jeffrey thinks there is probably more of a need than ever for people to give what they can in the community. He has personally seen the impact even small gestures can make. Not too long ago, he went around asking each employ at his office for one dollar for the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank. There are over 600 people in the building and it didn’t take long before he had $500. He then was pretty blown away by what the local food bank was able to do with that money. Occasionally the food bank will be offered an 18-wheeler full of food that they can purchase for shipping costs only. The day Jeffrey took the check by, an 18-wheeler full of cheese was there and the shipping costs were $500. “It doesn’t take much, a

dollar at a time, to help somebody,” he said. “We bought that 18-wheeler full of cheese. I thought that was neat that we got to help them get an 18wheeler full of food for $500. It might not seem like much but it really does impact some people.” Another project that Jeffrey thinks really brings home the idea of small things meaning a lot to others is providing the LEAP testing snacks. The TelecomPioneers collect a few hundred dollars and go and buy snacks for local students to enjoy during LEAP testing periods. It is just one of several education projects the group participates in, but Jeffrey said the kids really enjoy it. “The fun part about the schools is that you can impact a lot of people,” he said. “The best part is when they send us their notes back about what their favorites were. Seems that hot Cheetos are everybody’s favorite - they all write about how good the hot Cheetos were. I think everybody enjoys doing that and we try to share that with everybody that helps

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because regardless of who you are, every now and then you like a little thank you. People are very good about thanking us and I share that with everybody and I think it makes everybody want to do a little more.” Keeping a chapter of 450 active volunteers and 900 retired volunteers informed about all the activities that need support is a pretty busy job. While Jeffrey would tell you he doesn’t do it alone and that AT&T is very supportive of community involvement, it still requires a real time commitment on his part. It is something he is happy to do because it complements the way he tries to live his life. “Anything that I do from a volunteer standpoint I try to keep it in perspective of Christianity,” he said. “Anything that I do ought to point to helping other people as Christ would have. I am not earning my way into heaven, but we ought to give back. Particularly now, there are probably more people hurting now, relative to jobs and so on.” The TelecomPioneer project Jeffrey is most proud of is Freedom Calls, where they were able to link up loved ones with their deployed soldiers in Iraq. Family members of a local naval reserve unit were able to come in and spend 30 minutes talking to their deployed family members. A live video hook-up also allowed the families to see each other. For one soldier, it was the first chance he had been able to see his newborn baby. “That was hard to beat. We are kind of a military community and our servicemen deserve way more than we can give them and that was just a small way. They really, really enjoyed that and we enjoyed it as much as they did. It was very emotional. There were very few dry eyes, including the Pioneers.”

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BY lillian Carson New Form of Abuse Threatens Our Granddaughters Q: A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon with Lauren, my 15-year-old granddaughter. While I was there, her cell phone rang constantly and she was preoccupied with writing and receiving text messages. At last, exasperated, she began to cry and told me that her boyfriend won’t leave her alone. He is also demanding she send him, via her cell phone, nude photos of herself. She claims she doesn’t think this is “weird,” but she’s clearly confused. I want to help her, but I’m not entirely sure I understand what’s going on here. A: The act of sharing nude and explicit images or messages via text on a cell phone is called sexting. Your granddaughter has become a victim of abusive behavior, and her willingness to confide in you is a plea for guidance. You are right to take this behavior seriously, as the implications are far reaching. One underage girl who posted nude photos of herself has been arrested for child pornography. Another, who finally gave in and sent her boyfriend a nude photo, was publicly humiliated after they broke up and he sent the photo to hundreds of other people as retribution. A third girl, caught in a similar situation, committed suicide. As a grandmother, you need to help Lauren to find the courage to tell her parents. They must be aware, supportive and vigilant. This is also an opportunity for you to educate yourself and your granddaughter about the dangers of sexting. [A useful Web site for teens is www.thatsnotcool.com/]. Explain that her boyfriend’s relentless demands are cyberbullying. Remind Lauren that “love” has nothing to do with it. Further, if she were to give him compromising photos, she would have no control over how they were used, now or in the future. Also, sending nude pictures of a minor (herself) over the Internet is illegal. Keep talking to her. Refrain from criticism or probing questions that will frighten her into silence. Most of all, encourage her to protect herself by taking the social risk of saying, “No.” Lillian Carson, D.S.W., is a nationally recognized grandparenting expert and the author of The Essential Grandparent: A Guide to Making a Difference [http://www.essentialgrandparent.com]. Excerpt from the “Ask GRAND” column - June 2009 issue of GRAND, the online magazine for grandparents & the grandkids who love them. For more information on grandparenting or to subscribe ($7.99), go to www.grandmagazine. com and put “Senior” in the special promotion box so you can receive a discount for being a reader of this publication.

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The Fall season will begin on September 22 nd . The average date for our first freezing temperature of 32° or less is around November 15 th . Last Fall our first freezing temperature was 30° on November 16th, though there were many nights with low temperatures in the 30s and 40s. Here’s a look back at what our weather was like last September. The warmest temperature was 94° on the 11th. The coolest temperature was 56° on the 17th and the 27th. Rainfall measured 3.84 inches. Normal rainfall is 3.21 inches. As for September’s temperature records, the hottest was 105° on the 9th in 1925. The coldest temperature was 42° on the 29th in 1967 and again on the 30th in 1984. Our wettest September of record was 16.5 inches in 1913. The hurricane season, which begins each year on June 1 st, will continue through November. August, September, and October are the most active months for hurricane development with more developing during the month of September, on the average, than any other month of the hurricane season.

Have you ever been curious as to how high weather can extend? The lowest layer of the atmosphere is known as the troposphere which extends upward for 40,000 feet, about eight miles. It is within this layer where all weather occurs. Al Bolton, a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, began reporting with KSLA-TV in February, 1954 and for The Best of Times in February, 2002. The Best Of Times

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Red Hatters came from all over Louisiana and Texas to attend the Lagniappe Queens Council HOOT on August 8. The event was held at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Sky Club. All kinds of red, purple, and pink hats were in evidence. (Members wear purple hats during their birthday month. Pink hats are worn by members younger than age 50.) Needless to say, there was LOTS of Red Hatter bling! It was, indeed, a hoot! I’m as shy and reticent as Gary is outgoing, so to say I was surprised to receive an award from the group is an understatement. They put Gary in charge of getting me to the event to be introduced by Lynda Herzog-Pope and to accept a special Red Hat from the LA State Queen Council Liaison Too Too Theriot. The award is given to a local lady in the area of the hosting Queen Council for their civic contribution in promoting the health, beauty and/or fun of women 50+. (Thank you all again!) PHOTO 1: Chairwoman Ginny Bates, Guest of Honor Tina Calligas, State Liaison Too Too Theriot, Pat Gordy, Theda Dyer, Lynn Singley, Christy Gorbig, and Lynda Herzog-Pope. PHOTO 2: Gladys Clinton, Theda Dyar, Shirley Walker, Alva Ironsmith, Laura Cannon, Mitzi Bryson, Dawn Tisdale, and Jean Stafford. PHOTO 3: Elvige Himel, Anna Himel, Jo Anne Polk, DeLia Triche, and Anna Pierrepart. PHOTO 4: Hajah Bangura, Lausa Bray, Frances Cooper, Janette Kohl, Alice Ruegg, Lisa Sangall, Nancy Lambert, Wendy Newman, and Lee Brantley. PHOTO 5: Sue Bramlett, Shirley Graham, Christy Goerbig, and Linda Ward. We don’t have enough room to see or even name everybody who was there! ~ Tina Calligas, Editor

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Paid Advertisement

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, watch-

ing 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. September 2009

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Center Coach Conversion Cornerback Defense Downs Football Formation

Guards Holding Interception Offense Pass Punt Return Roster

Rushing Sacks Schedule Stadium Touchback Touchdown Training Yards

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.

(Solution on page 55)

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Across 1 “Satisfied?” 6 Controversial initiation practice 12 Concert dancing areas 20 What Mexican Olympians go for 21 “Kick it up a notch!” chef 22 Internal company info- sharing system 23 Rockies music festival site 24 Pool hall “Better luck next time”? 26 Garish 27 Jai __ 28 Rock outcroppings 29 Golfer Woosnam 30 Sound of a breakup? 33 Elmer, to Bugs 35 Squirreled-away item 36 Supportive cheer 37 Fighters’ home 41 Body language? 43 Columbus college funds? 47 Medley 48 Colombian city 50 Managed care gps. 51 Abound 52 Temper tantrum? 57 N.J. town on the Hudson 58 Junior 59 Itty-bitty bit 60 They may be girded before battle 61 Zagreb native 62 Furthermore 63 Wall supports 64 Comparison word 65 MP quarries 67 Text alternative 68 Romulus, e.g. 69 AT&T rival, once The Best Of Times

72 Minos’ domain 73 Steinway’s idea for a large piano? 76 China setting 77 Play a mean sax, say 78 Stretching discipline 79 Airline to Tel Aviv 80 Minimum for a Maybelline ad shoot? 85 Surgical solution 87 Back 88 Fabrication 89 Words to live by 90 Concorde, e.g. 91 Place-marking lessons for readers? 97 ‘50s song syllable 99 “24” superagent 100 Markers 101 Schlep 102 Sorrows behind bars? 106 Cuban dance 107 Taxpayer’s headache 108 Go off on 109 Diarist Nin 110 Distribution slips? 111 Ore appraisals 112 Old lab heaters Down 1 Gets better 2 1940s-’70s journalist Stewart 3 Resident count 4 Meteorologist, at times 5 Hither’s partner 6 “Battle Cry” actor Van 7 “You’re __ One, Mister Grinch” 8 Woody Allen mockumentary 9 NYC subway line 10 Composer

Organ transplants

By Dan Naddor; Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

(Solution on page 55)

Paganini 11 Morning __: flowers 12 Gnatlike insect 13 Yoko et al. 14 N.L. Central team 15 Charlemagne’s realm: Abbr. 16 It’s pressed in distress 17 Machu Picchu builder 18 Many a minor 19 Map abbrs. 25 “If I Ruled the World” rapper 27 Just plain awful 31 Overly 32 “__ didn’t!” 33 Goes kaput 34 Sun or moon 37 Hardly hardly 38 Amtrak’s “bullet train” 39 It’s similar to

sporting clays 40 Salinger heroine 41 Discard 42 Chorus line 43 Gymnast Korbut 44 Old what’s-__- name 45 Dilutes 46 Half of an old radio duo 49 Farm workers? 53 __ Bornes: card game 54 John of England 55 Rational 56 Cassette half 57 Swiss capital 61 Segment of the western Pacific 62 Picnic side 63 Will 64 Nest component 65 Illegal firing? 66 Bizarre 67 __-dieu

68 New Mexico art community 69 Revolutionary soldier 70 The Kennedys, e.g. 71 Loaf at work 72 Bistro 73 “Let’s Get It On” singer 74 Loaf in a deli 75 “Twister” actress 77 Wild place? 81 Jr. and sr. 82 Subject with many unknowns 83 Milieu for John Muir, with “the” 84 “Isn’t __ bit like you and me?”: Beatles lyric 86 Request to Sajak

89 Estate lawyer’s specialty 91 Dashes 92 In the open 93 Rodeo rope 94 Wine mentioned in Hungary’s national anthem 95 Egypt-Sudan region 96 Calm water metaphor 97 Delhi wrap 98 Catcall 99 Leave quickly, in slang 102 Dandy dude? 103 Shade 104 Author LeShan 105 USNA grad 106 English singer Corinne Bailey

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BY TED KOOSER,

U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 I suspect that one thing some people have against reading poems is that they are so often so serious, so devoid of joy, as if we poets spend all our time brooding about mutability and death and never having any fun. Here Cornelius Eady, who lives and teaches in Indiana, offers us a poem of pure pleasure.

A Small Moment I walk into the bakery next door To my apartment. They are about To pull some sort of toast with cheese From the oven. When I ask: What’s that smell? I am being A poet, I am asking What everyone else in the shop Wanted to ask, but somehow couldn’t; I am speaking on behalf of two other Customers who wanted to buy the Name of it. I ask the woman Behind the counter for a percentage Of her sale. Am I flirting? Am I happy because the days Are longer? Here’s what

She does: She takes her time Choosing the slices. “I am picking Out the good ones,” she tells me. It’s April 14th. Spring, with five to ten Degrees to go. Some days, I feel my duty; Some days, I love my work. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright © 1997 by Cornelius Eady, from his most recent book of poetry, “Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems,” A Marian Wood Book, Putnam, 2008. Reprinted by permission of Cornelius Eady. Introduction copyright © 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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September 2009

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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.

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

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

September 2009

55


places2go, people2see, things2do driving classes

Krewe of Elders

festival

AARP Driver Safety Program - An 8 hour classroom refresher course for drivers age 50+ which may qualify participants for an automobile insurance premium reduction or discount. Where 2 days are listed, participants must attend both days. Participants must preregister. $14 for non-AARP members; $12 for AARP members. • September 8 & 9 - 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Bossier Council on Aging, 706 Bearkat Dr., Bossier City. Contact: 318741-8302; Instructor: L. Ray Branton. • September 14 & 15 - 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cypress Baptist Church, 4701 Palmetto Rd., Benton. Call: Sherry Bell 318-965 2296; Instructor: James Smith

Party - The Krewe of Elders is having a party on Sunday, September 20 from 1:00 until 6:00 p.m., at the American Legion Hall, 5315 South Lakeshore Drive. A. J. Cascio & the Two Tone Band. Barbeque buffet. $15.00 per person. Cash bar, door prizes and 50/50 raffle. Info. 635-4901, 752-9175, 518-8092.

Red River Dragon Boat Festival - Saturday, September 12. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Riverview Park under the Steel Roses. Dragon Boats, 40’ long canoes rowed by 20 people, will be racing on the Red River. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Proceeds will be used to purchase computers for Caddo Parish public schools. FREE to spectators. Spectators are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs. Presented by Rotary Club of Shreveport.

support groups Grief Support Group - Fall groups for “A Place that Warms the Heart” Grief Support Groups will begin Tues., Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m. at Broadmoor Baptist Church, Youree Drive, Shreveport. To register contact Leigh Peregoy 746-5775. There is no charge for these groups, and all are welcome. The groups have 8 weekly sessions.

car show Annual Corvette Revue - The River Cities Corvette Club will host its Corvette Revue 2009, Sept. 11-12 at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport. 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Open to the public. The event will include a showing of Corvettes of all different body styles, models and years.

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September 2009

fitness for a cause Shreveport Bossier Race for the Cure® - Saturday, September 19. Start/ Finish at Mall St. Vincent parking lot (behind Sears). Entry fee: $25 now through September 18th; $30 Race Day, September 19th. Visit www.komenshreveportbossier.org. For more info, contact Danielle Voumard at (318) 220 7050 or 318 780 0324 . • 7:00 - 8:30 a.m. Late Registration • 7:00 - 7:30 a.m. Breast Cancer Survivor Breakfast • 7:30 a.m. Breast Cancer Survivor Recognition Program • 8:00 a.m. Kids for the Cure® 50Yard Dash (Ages 9 and under) • 8:15 a.m. 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk • 8:45 a.m. 5K Runners followed immediately by 5K Walkers • 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Post Party Northwest LA Start! Heart Walk - Sept. 26. Louisiana Boardwalk, Bossier City. 7:30 a.m. 5K walk. Walk route is 3.1 miles. Contact Darla Williford at darla. williford@heart.org 318.677.2483. www. northwestlaheartwalk.kintera.org Mad Scientist Cycle for Sci-Port Saturday, October 3. 70-, 45- and 20-mile routes. Ride registration is just $35 and includes a free t-shirt, rest stop snacks, SAG vehicle support, a healthful post-ride meal and “mad scientist” at day’s end as only Sci-Port can provide. Ride registration closes on Monday, September 28 (no registration after September 28 and no registration on ride day). Friday, October 2 Early ride number and jersey pick-up at Sci-Port between 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Supporting Sci-Port and its mission to wow, educate and inspire with informal science education.

movie Silver Screening - The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas, Shreveport. Tues. Sept 15 at 10:30 a.m. Movie only: $5.75; Movie & Lunch $14.00. To RSVP call 318-459-4122.

membership drive Bossier Council Aging Membership Drive - Any Bossier Parish resident age 21 or older may become a member. Membership is free and includes a newsletter to keep members up to date. Anyone wishing to join may come to the Bossier Council on Aging, 706 Bearkat Drive, Bossier City, to fill out an application. For more information, contact Mary Anne Rankin or Sandra Carter at 318-741-8302.

book bazaar 23 Annual Book Bazaar - Friday, September 11 from 4 - 9 p.m. and Saturday, September 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (from 1 - 4 p.m. on Saturday all items will be 1/2 off) Centenary Gold Dome. Sponsored by the Centenary Muses with proceeds used to fund projects and programs for Centenary students. For more information, contact the Book House at 318.219.3409 or David Williams at 318.869.5162. rd

astronomy Fourth Friday Astronomy - Friday, September 25, 2009 @ 4:00 pm. Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center, 820 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport. Celebrating The International Year of Astronomy with programs for the general public. TheBestOfTimesNews.com


“You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers” Ophthalmology

Nursing Home Care

How long do the positive effects of CK last? Will I ever have to wear reading glasses again? Conductive Keratoplasty, or CK, is a wonderful procedure to help reduce your dependence on reading glasses. The positive effects of CK will last a lifetime, but everyone becomes more presbyopic with advancing age. As time goes on, patients will find themselves needing to use reading glasses more often. The good news is, because CK has such a high safety profile, it can be enhanced years later. For more info on CK and its benefits, visit us online at www.ShelbyEye.com or call us at (318) 212-3937.

My husband is taking many prescription medications and is about to be admitted to a nursing home for rehab care from hip surgery. How will he get prescriptions refilled and will Medicare cover them? The hospital’s discharging physician will write orders for medications. Generally, the nursing home’s primary pharmacy will dispense the meds and they will be delivered to the center the same day. As to cost, if your husband admits under Medicare Part A, the medications are paid for by the nursing center. If he admits as private pay, either your husband or his prescription drug plan will be billed for the costs. If he is eligible for Medicaid and has been awarded benefits, the pharmacy will bill Medicaid for reimbursement.

Chris Shelby, MD

Pierremont Eye Institute 7843 Youree Dr. Shreveport, LA 1105 318-212-3937; www.ShelbyEye.com See our ad on page 34.

What are the symptoms and treatment of torn cartilage? Meniscus tears are the most common surgical condition involving the knee. Medial meniscus (inside) tears are 3 - 4 times more common than lateral tears (outside). The meniscus support 50% of the body weight with the knee extended and 90% with the knee flexed 90°. Because the meniscus supports body weight every attempt should be made to repair or maintain as much meniscus tissue as possible. Popping, giving way, locking, tenderness at the joint line, stiffness, and swelling are some of the signs/symptoms of cartilage tears. Arthroscopic surgery is generally done on an outpatient basis and recovery is from a few days to a weeks.

Are there new treatments for epilepsy? Epilepsy affects 1 out of 100. While many have seizures controlled by medications, one-third don’t. For those who still have seizures, they can’t drive, be employed in unsupervised positions, or enjoy independence (because a seizure can occur at any time). For these people, two more common procedures are options. With careful screening and a multi-disciplinary team, we have cured about patients using temporal lobectomy, some of who have had seizures for over 30 years...none of these have any permanent problems otherwise. Another option is vagus nerve stimulation, which reduces seizures by about 30 - 60% but rarely cures them. This involves putting a pacemaker-like device around a nerve in the neck.

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In-Home Care tHat’s t$PNQBOJPOTIJQ t$PPLJOH -JHIU )PVTFLFFQJOH -BVOESZ t*ODJEFOUBM5SBOTQPSUBUJPO t.FEJDBUJPO3FNJOEFST t1FSTPOBM$BSF4FSWJDFT 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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Neurosurgery

Mid South Orthopaedics 7925 Youree Drive; Suite 210 Shreveport, LA 71105 (318) 424-3400

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Dr. Ravish Patwardhan The Comprehensive Neurosurgery Network 8001 Youree Dr., Ste 970 Shreveport, LA 71115 (318) 797-5543 www.neurosurgery.ws September 2009

57


Counseling Services The Center for Families (318) 222-0759 More info on page 24 Ambulance Services

Care Providers

Courses

Balentine Ambulance Service (318) 222-5358 More info on page 29.

Comfort Keepers (318) 934-0090 More info on page 57

Bible Correspondence Course (318) 797-6333 More info on page 60

Artificial Limbs & Braces Snell’s Orthotics and Prosthetics (318) 424-4167 More info on page 37. Associations and Organizations AARP of Louisiana (866) 448-3620 More info on page 49. BluePrint Louisiana (866) 483-3920 More info on page 43. Bossier Council on Aging (318) 741-8302 Caddo Council on Aging (318) 632-2090 NWLA Employment Opportunity Network (318) 677-2559 More info on page 54 Robinson Film Center (318) 424-9090 More info on page 48 The Best of Times (318) 636-5510 Webster Council on Aging (318) 371-3056 Automobile Care and Repairs Brock’s Collision Centers (318) 798-1353 (318) 742-5575 (318) 687-5070 More info on page 63 VM Services (318) 820-9187 More info on page 30

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September 2009

Family Care Services (318) 671-1799 More info on page 23 Home Assistance Services (318) 682-8182 More info on page 43 Northwest LA INCS, LLC (318) 636-0390 More info on page 9

Thru the Bus Radio Program (888) 777-5422 More info on page 47 Emergency Response Systems Acadian OnCall 1-800-259-1234 More info on page 60

ResCare Home Care (318) 678-1890 More info on page 17

Financial & Estate Planning/Legal Services

Seniors Club Personal Care Services (318) 635-0010 More info on page 47

Serio Investments Phillip Serio (318) 221-0889 More info on page 29

Casinos

The Singleton Law Firm (318) 631-5200 More info on page 27

DiamondJack’s Casino and Resort (318) 678-7777 More info on page 5 Cemeteries and Funeral Homes Centuries Memorial (318) 686-4334 More info on page 55 Hill Crest Memorial (318) 949-9415 More info on page 55 Complementary Medical Therapies Johnston Chiropractic Care Dr. Paul Johnston (318) 687-9671 More info on page 37 The Chiropractic Health Center Dr. Diane Sino (318) 687-0881 More info on page 30

The Law Practice of Joseph Gilsoul (318) 222-2100 More info on page 7 Flowers Flowers Forever, LLC (318) 925-2323 More info one page 57 Fitness Centers Curves ( 318) 670-2005 (318) 629-2222 (318) 752-9906 (318)949-3131 More info on page 60

Shreve Hearing Aid Service (318) 797-7733 More info on page 60 Home Furnishings The Bedroom Sleep Shops (318) 688-6877 (318) 741-1871 (318) 219-2533 More info on page 52 Home Maintenance and Repair Services Gutter Helmet of N.LA. (800) 284-9777 More info on page 19 Stanley Steamer Carpet Cleaner (318) 631-6655 More info on page 26 Home Health Care (Medicare Certified) Ark-La-Tex Home Health (318) 747-6180 More info on page 45 Synergy Home Care (318) 550-0285 More info on page 27 Hospice Care Providers Hospice Compassus (318) 524-1046 More info on page 18 Odyssey Healthcare (318) 868-8788 More info on page 36 St. Joseph Hospice (318) 222-8723 More info on page 21 Home Infusion Services IV Plus (318) 683-5139 More info on page 29 Hospitals

Fitness Lady (318) 747-1897 More info on page 17

Brentwood Hospital (318) 678-7500 More info on page 16

Hearing Care Services

Christus Schumpert Health System 866-358-DOCS More info on page 15

Better Hearing Systems (318) 747-9191 More info on page 15

Willis Knighton Medical Center – North (318) 212-4000 More info on page 2 Willis Knighton Medical Center – Bossier (318) 212-7000 More info on page 2 Willis Knighton Medical Center – South (318) 212-5000 More info on page 2 Wilis Knighton Medical Center – Pierremont (318) 212-3000 More info on page 2 Insurance Humana (800) 301-8998 More info on page 64 Insurance Agent Bobbie Thomas (318) 344-6633 More info on page 40 Insurance Agent Jennifer Doolittle (318) 458-7738 More info on page 40 Sterling Health Plans (866) 217-3666 More info on page 62 Medical Supplies and Equipment FastServ Medical (318) 741-9586 More info on page 47 Home Health Medical Supply (318) 631-1466 More info on page 56 Medtronics – XSTOP Spacer (866) 580-5242 More info on page 3 Pet Care and Services Airline Animal Hospital (318) 747-9150 More info on page 21 Lil’ Rascals Pet Care (318) 573-6672 More info on page 45 TheBestOfTimesNews.com


Pharmacies

Senior Living Options

Medic Pharmacy (318) 222-8477 More info on page 16

Azalea Estates Assisted Living (318) 797-2408 More info on page 42

Physician Services Cardiovascular Consultants Dr. Phillip Rozeman (318) 631-6400 More info on page 25 Dr. Britain P. Auer (318) 798-4623 More info on page 9 Dr. Gary Booker (318) 227-9600 More info on page 20 Mid South Orthopaedics (318) 424-3400 More info on page 57 Pierremont Eye Institute Dr. Chris Shelby (318) 212-3937 More info on page 34 Vision Source Dr. Larry Chism (800)243-2020 More info on page 51 WK River Cities Research (318) 212-3796 More info on page 45 Radio Stations KWKH AM 1130 (318) 688-1130 More info on page 41 Real Estate Agents Century 21 - Judy Holland (318) 349-6983 More info on page 51 Restaurants and Catering Cupcake Gallery (318) 752-2253 More info on page 23 Imperial Wok (318) 687-6668 More info on page 55 ShoeBooty’s Restaurant (318) 550-0444 More info on page 54 The Best Of Times

Kingsley Place of Shreveport (318) 524-2100 More info on page 46 Leslie Lakes Retirement Center (318) 263-9581 More info on page 22 NurseCare of Shreveport (318) 221-1983 More info on page 13 Princeton Place Rehabilitation Center (318) 255-4400 More info on page 28 Southwood Gardens (318) 682-4022 More info on page 11 Southwood Square (318) 671-1888 More info on page11 The Waterford at Shreveport (318) 524-3300 More info on page 35 Spas/Skin Care Jean y Mitchell’s Skin Technology (318) 347-3567 More info on page 30 Mary Kay Cindy Dawson (318) 578-5965 More info on page 47 Travel Services Cruises, Inc (318) 746-3745 More info on page 21 Red River Coaches (318) 221-5797 More info on page 14 Telephone Book User-Friendly Phone Book (318) 865-1280 More info on page 39 September 2009

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September 2009

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1 - Monty Walford, Candy Marshall, Apollo King Paul Weiss & Patricia Presley enjoy The Philadelphia Center’s 20th Birthday Bash and Auction Against Aids Benefit held on August 15 at the Eldorado. 2 - Johnny Brock celebrates his birthday with wife Dianne at Ellerbe Fine Foods in Fort Worth. This fabulous new restaurant is owned by former Shreveporters Richard King and Molly McCook. 3 - The Shreveport - Bossier affiliate of Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure held their 11th annual Survivor Luncheon on July 29th at Eldorado. (a) Board members Dr. Joyce E. Feagin and Bob Crosby; (b) Helen Black with local author Judy Christie. 4 - Many visiting Shreveport’s Farmers Market stop by to get great tomatoes and their copy of The Best of Times at Power’s Produce Booth. (a) Tom Flynn picks up his copy and says hello to Brandi Calligas; (b) Krisdee and Bud Power with Brandi. 5 - Star Women Association 2nd Annual Cake Classic was held July 25 at the Light House Center. Cake Classic Winner Linda Jones with Co-chair Latonya Lewis. Proceeds benefit the Star Senior Citizens Care Basket and Stars of Tomorrow Mentor programs. 6 - Multiple Sclerosis Health Fair was held on August 15th at Willis Knighton Hospital. (a) Bob Ward, Executive Director of LA Chapter of National Multiple Sclerosis Society Crystal Smith, Dr. A. Minagar, and Dr. Harris. (b) Bobby & Frances Moore 7 - Harry Asimakis (center) celebrates his 92nd birthday with siblings Louis Asimakis, Angel Pappas, Helen Yampanis, and Mary Janaveris. 8 - Cathy and A.J. Cascio and Jimmie and George Brazzel enjoy the Krewe of Elders Fish Fry at the American Legion Club. 9 - Chesapeake Energy recently opened their new office in downtown Shreveport. (a) Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal with Tom Pace; (b) the governor congratulates Aubrey K. McClendon, Chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy; (c) Virginia Shehee and Richard Bremer. The Best Of Times

September 2009

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My clients here at Sterling really enjoy the fact that

we are local.

Sterling Agent, Sylvia O’Leary

Our Health Plan Clients Seem to Like Us. A lot.

For years, Sterling Health Plans has helped people just like you get the most out of Medicare and their health care. And we’d like to add you to the family. We are very proud of the fact that our clients like how we do business. We hope we can provide the same caring service for you. Call toll-free 1-866-217-3666 from 7 am to 10 pm Central time. Hearing impaired persons may call our TTY line toll-free 1-888-858-8567. 2620 Centenary Blvd, Suite 207, Shreveport, LA 71104 www.sterlingplans.com

Underwritten by Sterling Life Insurance Company

Available through your Sterling Agent: Health, Life, Prescription Drug, Long Term Care and Critical Condition or Cancer Plans. M0010_S4802_17009(8/08) 62

September 2009

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Brock’s Collision Repair Center values their clients, their employees and the community, and feel responsibility to each. In keeping with these ideals, we are proud to announce “We’ve Gone Green”! At all three Brock’s Collision Repair Centers, we are committed to promoting a “greener” Shreveport/Bossier. Each of our stores has replaced the traditional solvent-based paints and coatings with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) waterborne basecoat. By using the more environmentally friendly products to refinish our clients’ vehicles, we are able to significantly reduce the emission of VOCs into the atmosphere. This change not only improves the quality of our air, it also contributes to a healthier working environment, and provides a safer place for us to conduct business with our clients. VOCs are chemical compounds commonly found in paint coatings and cleaning products, and when released into the atmosphere, contribute to the creation of smog and ozone pollution. By switching to a low VOC waterborne basecoat, these emissions can be reduced by up to 80%. This is a major technological advancement that creates a “win-win” situation all around. Waterborne basecoat is the latest coating system used by manufacturers to create the color on vehicles today. This is the first product to be as close to factory paint that has EVER been available to collision repair shops before. Using waterborne color toners in our centers affords us the ability to achieve more exact color matches and shorter repair completion times. We are serious about being a “green” business; so we are transcending to paperless working files, recycling parts instead of sending to a landfill, using biodegradable paper cups instead of plastic, and using environment friendly cleaning products. This is our home, and we believe in what we are doing to help make it a cleaner place in which to live. We invite all businesses to join us in this worthy endeavor.

Brock’s Collision Repair Centers Shreveport AutoMall 8752 Business Park Dr. (318) 798-1353

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South 740 Bert Kouns (318) 687-5070

Bossier City 2654 Barksdale Blvd. (318) 742-5575

September 2009

63


There’s a lot to consider when choosing a Medicare health plan. Humana can help. Are you about to become eligible for Medicare? Humana offers a variety of Medicare health plans and the experience to help you find the right plan that meets your needs. And our licensed representatives still make house calls!

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M0006_GHA04A8HH_2R

6/09


The Best of Times September 2009