Vermont Maturity September-October 2021 Issue

Page 1

September/October2021 Issue


Vermont Blue Advantage Plans for Vermonters with Medicare Vermont’s Covered Bridges are Where History and Beauty Converge How Vermont’s Unique History Created an Idyllic Place to Live The 3 Top Smartphones for Tech-Shy Seniors

VERMONT MATURITY Product of RTN Publishing 6170 Forest Hills Drive Dubuque, IA 52002 Change Service Requested

Permit # 1884 LITTLE ROCK, AR



the art of stone crafting

Table of Contents Vermont Maturity

For Vermonters Age 50 and Older

RTN PUBLISHING, INC. Phone – 802.332.3254




CONTRIBUTING EDITORS James Conner Carolee Duckworth Scott Funk Brigitte Harton

Jim Miller Phyl Newbeck Kirk Shamberger Nick Thomas

Vermont Blue Advantage Plans for Vermonters with Medicare



IT & WEB DESIGN Mark Chaney

ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL INQUIRIES Phone – 802.332.3254 Fax – 563.557.7641 Vermont Maturity is published times per year by RTN Publishing, Inc. and is distributed without charge to qualified subscribers in Vermont. Nonqualified reader subscription costs are $39 per year for United States residents. No international subscriptions are available. Subscription requests must include name, address, phone number and email address. The publisher makes no representation concerning any product or service advertised in this publication. Vermont Maturity and VermontMaturity. com serve only as a medium for sellers to reach potential buyers and does not warrant the accuracy of any advertisement. Vermont Maturity makes every effort to eliminate typographical errors and assumes no responsibility for misspelling names of people from handwritten copy. All editorial items submitted are subject to editing and alteration at the sole discretion of publisher. Design and format of this magazine is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part is prohibited without express written consent of the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Vermont Maturity, 6170 Forest Hills Drive, Asbury, IA 52002-9349.

Vermont’s Covered Bridges are Where History and Beauty Converge by Clover Whitham Needs versus Wants and HyperConsumption: How Did We Get Here? by Kirk Shamberger How Vermont’s Unique History Created an Idyllic Place to Live by Ben Durant Essential Shoe Buying Tips for All Feet by Lisa Schmitz

The Psychology of Healthy Aging by Dr. Richard Houston



The 3 Top Smartphones for TechShy Seniors by Jim Miller




A Tale of Two Maldens - Carla and Karl by Nick Thomas

: ATURIT Y M T N O VERM . . . 30 ards. . . . . C s s e in s Bu


4 | September/October2021 |


Covid’s tough but I’m tougher. And, turns out, getting vaccinated isn’t tough at all.

Learn more about the Covid vaccine and how easy it is to get vaccinated. Call our Helpline at 1-800-642-5119 or visit

Helping older Vermonters age well.

Vermont Maturity Cover Story

Vermont Blue Advantage Plans for Vermonters with Medicare


e are getting close to the annual enrollment

Advantage individual plans cover these three to form

period when Vermonters can make changes

Part C which is an alternative way to receive benefits.

to their Medicare plans. Vermont Blue

Pamela Getsie, the Plan President of Vermont

Advantage® is encouraging seniors to consider their

Blue Advantage, believes their plans are perfect for

Vermont-grown Medicare Advantage coverage. The

Vermonters with Medicare. “Vermont Blue Advantage

enrollment period starts on October 15 and is open

is the fastest-growing Medicare Advantage plan in the

through December 7. On October 1, Vermonters will

state,” she said. “It offers three comprehensive plans

be able to take a closer look at the plans which have

with premiums starting at $0 a month. All Vermont

coverage beginning January 1, 2022.

Blue Advantage plans include medical and Part D drug

Medicare is a federal health insurance plan for those

coverage, along with dental, hearing, vision, fitness, and

65 and older. In what is described as Original Medicare,

more.” Getsie added that Vermont Blue Advantage Plans

Part A covers in-patient services at hospitals and other

also feature over-the-counter benefits that give members

facilities, Part B covers out-patient care and medical

a quarterly allowance for common care items like

supplies, and Part D, which is purchased separately from

vitamins, bandages, and cold medicine.

an insurer, covers prescription drugs. Vermont Blue

6 | September/October2021 |

L uxurious Guided Tours are Now Available! Call Now to Reserve Your 2021 Christmas Trip!! A Nashville Christmas November 26-30, 2021 (Friday – Tuesday) If you are looking for a traditional celebration with flare, you need to join us in Music City, Nashville. We’ve put together the ultimate holiday package that includes the grandest hotels, backstage passes, premium seats to the shows, a meet-and-greet with a member of the Johnny Cash & June Carter family, and so much more!

Nantucket Christmas Stroll December 3-5, 2021 (Friday – Sunday) Share Christmas memories and create new ones as you ring in the holiday season wrapped in tradition. This package includes lodging at the Dan’l Webster Inn, bedazzled with tinsel and holiday cheer. The highlight of this tour is when you are whisked away to the island of Nantucket for the festive Christmas Stroll. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on a Coast Guard Vessel and welcome visitors as they ride through town in a horse-drawn carriage. Sounds of the season fill the air as Victorian carolers, bell ringers and choirs parade through the village. Warm up in the shops and boutiques and enjoy samples and holiday specials. Christmas and Cape Cod wouldn’t be the same without a stop at the original Flagship Christmas Tree Shop as we head back home!

Scan Here with Smartphone for All Current Tours

Deluxe Christmas in New York City December 4-6, 2021 Join us at the center of the world for an unforgettable holiday celebration in New York City. Discover what makes this our 5-star rated tour! FIRST CLASS MEALS AND HOTEL. We’ll enjoy strolling through Rockefeller Center where we’ll see the famed Rockefeller Christmas tree and the skaters in the park. We’ll witness New York City’s most famous and popular destinations for Christmas decorations in the storefronts of Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Tiffany’s, and many more. Oh, and let’s not forget the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall! Our seats are good enough, you may finally be able to answer that aged old questions... Are Santa’s whiskers actually real?

New York City Family Christmas December 11-12, 2021 (Saturday Sunday) Join us at the center of the world for an unforgettable holiday celebration in New York City. We’ll enjoy strolling through Rockefeller Center where we’ll see the famed Rockefeller Christmas tree and the skaters in the park. We’ll witness New York City’s most famous and popular destinations for Christmas decorations in the storefronts of Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Lego Land, and many more. This tour is designed for those looking for a more budget friendly option to see New York City at Christmas time! A modest hotel, with all the same spectacular highlights as our Deluxe itinerary.

Space is Limited! Call Now for a Reservation. Champlain Tours • 802-540-0055 •

Getsie said that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont formed Vermont Blue Advantage to deliver

deductible and prescription drug coverage is included with co-pays starting at $0.

affordable Medicare Advantage products and services

Freedom Plus PPO: Getsie said this is the most

to Vermonters and retirees from Vermont businesses.

popular of the three plans and has a $59 premium, no

She said that unlike other Medicare plans, Medicare

medical deductible, and prescription drug coverage.

Advantage plans have an out-of-pocket maximum

It includes the same features as the Freedom plan, as

which limits the amount members pay each year for

well as lower co-pays, the lowest out of pocket costs

covered medical services. “That gives seniors a level of

of all Vermont Blue Advantage plans, and allowances

security not provided under other plan types or original

for extras such as dental, vision, hearing aids, and over

Medicare,” she said.

the counter drugs, plus a personal emergency response

Vermont Blue Advantage offers three plans: Freedom PPO, Freedom Plus PPO, and Unity HMO. As a general

system. Unity HMO: This option is designed for Vermonters

rule, PPOs or Preferred Provider Organizations have

who plan to stay close to home and has no monthly

higher premiums but greater network flexibility.

premium. It includes medical, prescription drug,

Updated benefit information for the 2022 plans will be

telehealth, and other benefits. The Unity plan provides

available on October 1, but below is a brief description of

broad network coverage throughout Vermont plus the

the plans available today:

security of urgent and emergency care during travel.

Freedom PPO: This $0 premium plan provides

Getsie said Vermont Blue Advantage is able to offer

members with a choice of nationwide providers and

these plans with no or low monthly premiums because

worldwide coverage for emergency situations. Extras

they replace the Medicare coverage provided by the

include dental, hearing aid, and vision coverage. Like

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

all Vermont Blue Advantage plans, there is no medical

“Vermont Blue Advantage’s efficiencies and health plan expertise allow them to develop Medicare Advantage plans that provide great value for Medicare beneficiaries,” she said, adding that seniors are required to continue to pay their Part B premium to CMS. “Vermont Blue Advantage Medicare Advantage plans are created for Vermonters, by Vermonters,” Getsie said.

Home is 1,700 square feet of memories.

For help with everyday tasks like showering and dressing, cooking, cleaning and running errands...

We give people the help they need to live in the place they love. ™

“The Blue Card nationwide network provides access for the Freedom and Freedom Plus plans to 92% of doctors and hospitals nationwide. All Vermont Blue Advantage PPO and HMO plans provide the security of emergency and urgent care coverage around the world, ensuring that Vermont seniors can travel with confidence.” Since the pandemic, more Vermonters have begun to make use of telehealth, and Vermont Blue Advantage plans have no co-pay charges for these online visits. “Members can get a virtual doctor’s visit using their phone or computer 24 hours a day, seven days week,” Getsie said.

802-862-7200 | © 2019 Griswold International, LLC

8 | September/October2021 |

Getsie said Vermont Blue Advantage individual plans combine all the benefits of Original Medicare

plus Part D drug coverage and dental, vision, and

Those interested in Vermont Blue Advantage must

hearing coverage. One add-one is a fitness benefit

either enroll or already be enrolled in Original Medicare

known as SilverSneakers® which allows seniors to

Part A and Part B and pay their Part B premiums. Those

visit any participating gym free of charge. There are

who are not yet enrolled should call Social Security at

several locations across the state from Burlington to

(800) 772-1213 or use their TTY line at (800) 325-0778.

Bennington, Brattleboro and Newport, as well as a

Seniors can also set up an appointment at their local

variety of on-line classes.

Social Security office where they will need to provide

South Burlington’s New Flooring Showroom and Warehouse



Visit our showroom or schedule your Covid-safe in-home consultation. We’ll bring the samples to you!

All in-stock flooring on sale now from $1.99 sq. ft. Compare our prices, selection, and personalized service.

LOCALLY OWNED • COMPETITIVE PRICING • EXPERT INSTALLATION Mon-Fri 9-4 and weekends by appointment 20 San Remo Drive, South Burlington | 802 497 1410

10 | September/October2021 |

proof of age, such as a birth certificate. There are Social Security offices in Burlington, Montpelier and Rutland. Enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan can take place during the Initial Enrollment Period and each year during the Annual Enrollment Period. The Initial Enrollment Period for those turning 65 is a roughly seven-month window which begins three months before their birth month and ends three months after their birthday. Special Enrollment Periods are available after certain events like relocation or retirement with loss of employer coverage. The Annual Enrollment Period is from October 15 to December 7 and allows members to sign up for coverage that begins January 1. “We designed plans we are proud to sell to our friends, family, and neighbors,” Getsie said. “We are solely focused on meeting the needs of Vermonters and retirees from Vermont employers. Doing right by Vermonters is at the heart of everything

Seniors can learn about Vermont Blue Advantage plans by calling a licensed agent a 800-516-8021 (TTY: 711) or by going online at

we do. We provide all the benefits you need, all in one plan. It’s as simple as that.” VM

CBD Hot Cocoa Mixes The Ultimate in Relaxation Enjoyment Nothing comforts like a mug of steaming hot cocoa with soothing CBD. It promotes relaxation, better sleep, and relief from everyday anxiety and stress. Now in 3 great flavors – Classic Blend, Madagascar Vanilla, and Spicy Aztec. 5 pouches per box / 40 mg CBD each. No unnatural or artificial additives or ingredients. CBD that tastes great and contains no THC!

Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 11

Vermont’s Covered Bridges are Where History and Beauty Converge


by Clover Whitham

ermont boasts some impressive statistics when it

bridges -- and along the way has created a fellowship of

comes to covered bridges: There are more than

fans and an online depository for bridge news and stories.

100 in the state, which ranks it No. 1 in the nation

in covered bridges per square mile. One of these spans is

But why, when it clearly takes more effort and expense, cover a bridge anyway? The very reason for covered bridges is why centenarian river crossings remain standing. The roof and sides, which can more easily be replaced and repaired, protect the main structure that carries the weight. In his book “Spanning Time: Vermont’s Covered Bridges,” Joseph C. Nelson argues that a well-made wooden bridge protected from moisture can be superior to concrete and steel because wood is impervious to salt damage. A side benefit was that the walls protected horses and livestock from being spooked while crossing

the longest wooden bridge in the country. Ninety of the

turbulent waters. (They may also shield the antics of bored

state’s covered bridges have been listed in the National

kids and lovers stealing kisses.)

Register of Historic Places, according to the state. Every

Nelson and other covered bridge enthusiasts urge

Vermont county except one has a covered bridge, and one

visitors to do more than take a quick picture while passing

Vermont town lays claim to more covered bridges than

through. Covered bridges hold within tangible glimpses

any other town in the United States.

into history. The bridge truss types, tool marks left on

With more than 100 bridges -- many more than

beams, bridge location -- even the density of wood grain

a century old -- there are countless stories to tell

-- tell more about the bridge and the context in which it

about them. Many predate motor vehicles, many have

was built.

suffered damaging floods, some are said to be haunted. Covered bridge enthusiasts have documented many of these physical and lyrical histories in books dedicated to Vermont and New England’s covered bridges. The Vermont Covered Bridge Society formed in 2000 in an effort to actively preserve the state’s remaining covered

With so many stories to explore, where to start? Let’s start with the biggest bridge. In fact, the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, which spans the Connecticut River between Cornish, N.H. and Windsor, Vt., is the

12 | September/October2021 |

longest wooden covered bridge in the United States. And,

Vermont according to “Covered Bridges of Vermont” by

according to the state of New Hampshire which owns the

Ed Barna. It was built after another historic flood back in

bridge, it is the longest two-span covered bridge in the

1869 changed the course of the Williams River, according


to a website dedicated to the efforts to rebuild the bridge

The Cornish-Windsor Bridge was built in 1866 and is officially listed as 449 feet and five inches long (though

in 2011. The bridge was rebuilt, and the new Bartonsville

some accounts say it is 460 feet). Perhaps even more

Covered Bridge opened in January 2013. Hammond,

impressive is that it is still in regular use today. In January

whose heartbreak can be heard in the viral video, led a

it underwent significant work to replace worn deck planks,

fundraising effort to help rebuild the bridge. Hammond’s

an essential fix for a bridge that still carries about 2,700

father was the first to cross the newly built bridge at the

cars daily.

opening day ceremony, according to a news article from

The structure originally cost $9,000 to build, according to the state of New Hampshire, which purchased the span in 1936 and operated it as a toll bridge until 1943. The bridge suffered damage from flood and ice in 1977 and a decade later it was closed entirely for reconstruction that cost about $4.5 million. It reopened in 1989. The bridge is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and as an American National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the Society of Civil Engineers. Prior to the covered bridge built in 1866 the site was home to three bridges that were all damaged by floods. The first was built in 1796, the next two 1824 and 1850. The last was destroyed by water and ice in March of 1866. Yet, at nearly 150 years old, the Cornish-Windsor Bridge survived Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, which damaged or swept away other covered bridges in Vermont and elsewhere in the Northeast.

A Bridge Reborn One of those that did not survive that historic deluge was the Bartonsville Covered Bridge. Video shot by resident Susan Hammond during the storm aired on the national news and people around the world saw footage of the bridge sinking down into the water and being swept, almost whole, down the Williams River. The original Bartonsville Covered Bridge was built in 1870 and stood at 159 feet long, one of the longest in

the day.

See For Yourself There is no better time than autumn to enjoy the beauty and history of Vermont’s covered bridges. Many are clustered close enough together to make it easy to see a handful in one drive. Perhaps the best place to start is the state’s “covered bridge capital,” Montgomery. The small northern

Something To Think About James A Meunier, director

LENGTH OF CONDOLENCE CALL There is no strictly prescribed ritual for making a condolence call. It seems sensible, however, to plan on no longer a call than one plans on for a hospital visit — that is, not more than fifteen minutes. That should be enough time to express condolences, to speak a few words of comfort and commendation of the decedent, to offer help, and to say good-bye. At the same time, you should try and be flexible. One can often tell from the mourner’s behavior whether

or not there is a wish for a longer visit. Though it is sometimes hard to gauge the true feelings of the bereaved, the sensitive individual can usually do this. If the mourner appears to wish a longer visit, and if it is possible for the caller to remain longer, that may be the kind thing to do. If the caller cannot remain longer, but a longer visit seems desired, it would be appropriate to give an assurance of a return call, and that call should be made.


Elmwood Meunier Funeral Home & Cremation Service 97 Elmwood Avenue • Burlington, Vt • (802) 864-5862

Service to Five Generations Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 13

Vermont town champions its bridges. “Our unique geography required many bridges, and as recently as the 1940s there were 13 covered bridges within the town’s limits. Today there are six covered bridges within town limits, and one which straddles the town line with Enosburg — the most of any town in the country,” the municipal website proudly states. The town of Northfield is not far behind with five public covered bridges. Three are in close proximity on Cox Brook Road. The town is only about 10 miles south of Montpelier, making a visit to the historic state capital an easy addition. Woodstock is as quaint and iconic as a Vermont town could get and is a popular destination in all seasons. Four covered bridges are nearby: the Lincoln Covered Bridge on Route 4 near the Lincoln Inn and Restaurant in West Woodstock; Middle Bridge on Mountain Avenue near the intersection with North Park Street in Woodstock; and the Taftsville bridge near the intersection of Vermont 12 south and U.S. 4.


org ✔ Vermont Department of Tourism covered bridge

site ✔

arts-and-heritage/covered-bridges ✔ *Note the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum

mentioned in the video on this site is now closed ✔ Town of Montgomery website, including

information about its covered bridges:

BOOKS: ✔ “Spanning Time: Vermont’s Covered Bridges” by

Joseph C. Nelson ✔ “Covered Bridges of Vermont” by Ed Barna VM Clover Whitham has been a journalist at Vermont newspapers for more than a dozen years and is now a freelance writer and editor near Burlington.

Family Owned and Operated Since 1951

RESTAURANT: Lunch • Dinner • Eat-In or Take-Out




• Lobster • Clams • Fresh Fish • Bulk Seafood • House made Chowders • House made Soups & Salads

Try our Seafood Platters: Choice of Lobster meat, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Crab Claws, Shrimp Cocktail, Smoked Fish... & Chicken Wing Platters

Catering for parties or family gatherings


800-649-5215 | WWW.AMRAMP.COM 14 | September/October2021 |

Open 7 days a week • 10am-8pm 7 Pinecrest Drive, Essex Junction | 879-3611

Needs versus Wants and Hyper-Consumption: How Did We Get Here? by Kirk Shamberger


spoke with a client recently about the concept of “needs”

versus “wants” and that society seems to have lost the distinction between the two. Our over-spending and

consumption reflect a mentality of instant and superficial

gratification, with little concern for the future. My client’s parents, born during the Great Depression and now in their early 80s, are still in “saving mode.” They are not spending their money on the latest flat screen TV, Jacuzzi tub, travel, or new car. Instead, they are saving for the long term—their grandchildren, perhaps—rather than spending money freely or consuming blindly. Why aren’t more Americans living with this mentality? How did our debt grow to at an all-time high, with people buying houses they cannot afford and over-

It all comes down to values: Have we lost them? My client reported that her parents attribute their “saving” mentality primarily to good, old-fashioned values: hard work; resourcefulness; honesty; fairness and accountability. They don’t place much value on “things” and therefore don’t feel the need to buy things to bring them pleasure. Their satisfaction and security are


extending their credit cards—consuming for the sake of consuming?

Savings versus Debt: A Startling Statistic Compare our skyrocketing debt with the declining level of savings and the situation looks even bleaker. According to a New York Times study, the “average annual savings per household in 1923 was $5,533 versus $6,219 in debt. By 2008, our savings had slipped to $392 versus $117,951 in total household debt. And by 2018 the average family savings has grown to $2,100 vs $263,000 in total household debt”.

802-897-4477 Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 15

founded on prudent management of resources, rather

when facing the

than instant gratification.

overwhelming media campaign to consume

Bigger is Not Better

more and more every

“Downsizing” or “right-sizing”, especially in the housing market, has become a popular emerging paradigm. While a large home may be appropriate for some, many have found the merits of smaller homes are very attractive: reduced time and cost of maintenance; lower utility bills and property taxes; less “junk”; more time with family; less clutter; and, lest we forget, maintaining a smaller home is so much easier.

day. I hope my client wins her battle against the consumption machine. And I also hope that others will take time to reconsider their own choices of saving and consumption and take inspiration from the example of her parents. How do your money habits demonstrate your

How are your values reflected in your spending? My client has great admiration for the way her parents manage their lives and their money, and she intends to pass on these values to her children—

values? Are they aligned? VM Kirk Shamberger is a partner with C.K. Financial Resources and has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry specializing in retirement strategies. He may be contacted at Kirk Shamberger 802-238-8187 or

although some days she feels this is a losing proposition

Vermont’s leader and most trusted Memory Care Community We offer: • • • •

Individualized plan of care to meet your loved one’s specific needs 24-hr specialized dementia nursing care A Dedicated Geriatric Medical Director on-site Residential care & nursing home license so your loved ones can age in place • Daily specialized activities – 7 days a week (9 a.m.-7 p.m.) • Upfront pricing model; no tiers or hidden fees

Vermont’s Leader in Memory Care… for Over 30 Years

687 Harbor Road • Shelburne • • (802) 985-8600 16 | September/October2021 |

How Vermont’s Unique History Created an Idyllic Place to Live


by Ben Durant

hen stuck in Washington DC traffic, what’s

but think of how humanity has roamed the earth for

a better thing to do than daydream about

100,000 years. And during the vast majority of that that

than a Vermont lake house? According

span, our ancestors spent a significant amount of time

to one of my newer clients, Jane C. of Alexandria VA,

staring at embers in the campfire with family and close

there’s nothing better to get you through the tough times

relations, experiencing the passing of time in terms of

than going to her happy place. As it turns out many

seasons, lunar cycles, harvests, and hunts. Today, we

people dream of moving to Vermont for their next phase

measure time in terms of nanoseconds and are whisked

of their lives.

out of our temperature-controlled houses, into our

As the world gets more crowded and urban planners

climate-controlled cars, over the battle worn 8 lane

figure out how to stuff more of us into cities and

roads to offices where we stare at blue screens all day.

suburbs, many of us yearn to get away from it all. As

Nothing has ever been so easy, safe and yet nothing has

someone who works in Vermont real estate, I spend a

ever been so un-natural. Who wouldn’t want to step

lot of time thinking of how people use our world and

away from it all?

how to connect people with that perfect lake house, ski

The interesting thing about the Covid 19 lock downs

house, or townhouse. In my way-back years at UVM , my

is it hit the pause button on the status quo. People have

studies in historic preservation and archaeology gave

been able to consider what’s truly important in life and

me a unique lens to view our world. Now I can’t help

a lot of people are finding that a life more connected Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 17

to the rhythm of our natural world is more fulfilling.

and agriculture were also an important aspect of the

When exploring why Vermont has become a destination

development our state. Eventually, Vermonters stripped

state, it’s important to understand how we came to be,

the mountains of trees and allowed Merino sheep all the

and you’ll find that our history and current state are

way to the mountain tops. We cut down approximately

inextricably intertwined.

80% of the trees leaving the state mostly barren by

Much of Vermont’s built environment is archaic

1880. Burlington was the third largest lumber port in

compared to our neighboring states. Maybe, that’s the

the nation and our trees were used as lumber to build

way it should be. Our architecture, size and scale were

our early nation. Our populations growth rose with

developed in the 19th century and hasn’t changed a lot

the development and much of our built environment

since then. The 19th Century was a time that people

was completed during this time. However, the drivers

were still connected with community and nature, or

of our early creation came to a rapid end around the

at least were less insulated from it. In our 230 years

turn of the century. Westward expansion led to more

of statehood, the first half of our saw almost all our

productive agriculture elsewhere, and the electrification

development. Our state played an important role in

of the nation put an end to the advantage of hydropower

the agricultural and industrial revolution. Before the

driven manufacturing.

advent of electricity, our mountains gave us a powerful

Since around 1900, our state has grown slowly

advantage that allowed early pioneers like Ira and

relative to our northeastern neighbors. This meant that

Ethan Allen to harness the potential energy of rivers

our built environment didn’t have to expand allowing

for industry that processed the goods of the day:

our 19th century footprint to remain largely intact. The

including wool, timber, marble, and granite. Forestry

environmental damage from our industrial revolution days has been mostly repaired, the forests returned,

We’re looking for caring volunteers.

rivers flowed freely again, and industrial waterfronts are now teeming with residents loving the views. The balance between our built environment and our natural environment in 2021 is a healthy mix made possible by our smart growth since the turn of the last century. It’s this mix that makes Vermont quaint and idyllic and makes people feel like their traveling back to a different era; an era where people are just a little bit

Are you 55+? Help children learn! Make extra income!

more connected with the rhythm of nature, where we can still gather by the campfire and stare at the embers with family and friends. Therefore people are coming to Vermont, and honestly, who can blame them? And if you’re luck enough to live here, count yourself lucky to

Contact Danielle today to learn more about the Foster Grandparents Program: (802) 861-7821.

18 | September/October2021 |

have such a wonderful place to call home. VM Ben Durant is a Senior Real Estate Specialist® and Owner of Transitions Real Estate. He is dedicated to helping Vermont Seniors and Boomers find their best housing solutions. Ben lives with his wife and three children in Williston. He can be contacted by visiting Transitionsvt. com or by calling 802-355-6688.

Essential Shoe Buying Tips for All Feet


by Lisa Schmitz

t’s no secret that women love shoes! Many times, we even build our outfits around the shoes we want to

wear. And who hasn’t spent more time trying to find

the perfect shoe to complement an outfit than we did

finding the outfit! While shoes can be our best friends, they can also be our worst enemies. There are some key factors that need to be considered when purchasing shoes – especially if you actually plan to wear them and walk in them for an extended period of time. Here are some tips to consider, regardless of how old you are, what size shoe you wear, or what style of shoe you are considering.

Measure Your Feet If you haven’t had your foot measured since you were a kid, find a full-service shoe store and get it done. By far, the biggest problem with shoes not feeling as good as they can is due to wearing the wrong size. The most accurate form of foot measurement is still

so important to have both feet measured, and when purchasing shoes, to try them on both feet.

Darn That Smaller Foot What happens if your heel is slipping on your smaller

a Brannock® device. You will need to stand up when

foot? We recommend trying a heel insert/grip. Found

having your foot measured and make sure to measure

in shoe stores, online at Amazon, at drug stores such

both feet (preferably with socks off ).

as Walgreens and big-box stores like Target and Wal-

What? They’re Not the Same Size? Your feet are not the same size. If I had a nickel for every time someone thought their feet were weird because they don’t measure the same, I would be retired and living on a tropical island. Therefore, it is

Mart, heel inserts come in several forms: cushion, felt, gel, leather. These have adhesive that applies to the heel cup of your shoe, taking up the little bit of extra space if the shoe on your smaller foot is slipping a bit. If you are needing heel inserts/grips for both shoes, the shoe is either too big or poorly made. A clear gel heel insert adheres easily into the back of most shoes. Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 19

Try Them as You’ll Wear Them If you plan to wear socks with the shoes you are trying on – try them on with socks. If you are not planning to wear sock with the shoes – then don’t try them on with socks. This really does make a difference.

Afternoons Are Better to Shoe Shop Speaking of trying on shoes, try to do so later in the day when you have been on your feet. Our feet do swell during the day. Also, it’s always a good idea to select the shoe size based on what feels best on your larger foot.

Width Matters Some shoe brands only come in one width. This isn’t good if you wear a Narrow, Wide or Wide-Wide shoe.

Are you Retired

or about to Retire?

Consider your guaranteed life-time income options!  7% Annual Compound Growth for 10-years Guaranteed  Bonus on Your Initial Deposit  All gains Protected and Guaranteed by A Rated Insurance Companies  Growth is Based on Leading Index Strategies Developed by Nobel Prize Economists

The most common mistake we have found is women go up a size (i.e., from a 9 to a 10) because they are unaware that they should be going up a width (from Medium to a Wide). Trust me when I say that we have had countless women tell us that finding their correct size and width has been life changing.

You Get What You Pay For Sizes across brands vary greatly. Each brand has a different way of fit testing their shoes – if they fit test them at all. The saying “You get what you pay for,” can be very relevant when it comes to shoes. The amount you pay for your shoe could be an indicator of how many sizes the brand offers and how much testing is done on the shoes to ensure proper fit and comfort. Buying a shoe that starts out ridiculously cheap will probably never be a win-win. Finding a good sale on a quality

What part of your retirement income should be left to chance?

shoe brand is like Christmas every time!

Form & Function “They’ll feel good once I break them in” is not a

Kirk Shamberger • (802)238--8187 We are a financial services firm helping Vermonters prepare for retirement through the use of insurance and fixed annuities. We do not offer investment products or advice. Insurance and annuity guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

20 | September/October2021 |

statement that should be made with shoes. If they don’t feel good when you first wear them, chances are they will never feel good. If a shoe is uncomfortable and it fits

properly, you should consider the purpose for which you are purchasing them. Admittedly, I do have several pairs of “artwork for the feet” that I only wear when I know I

Take Care of Your Back Same goes for flats. Some people just don’t want to

will be sitting down for most of the time, but this should

wear heels, but did you know that completely flat shoes

be the exception – not the norm.

can wreak havoc on your lower back? Flaunt those sassy, classy ballet flats, but make sure to mix it up with a low

Will These Stretch?

heel now and then to give your lower back a break. The bottom line is that you do not need to sacrifice

This is a complicated question for shoes. The simple

comfort for style or vice versa. If you look great all over,

answer is “maybe.” The more complicated answer is “it

but your feet are killing you – guess what, it shows in

depends.” Leather stretches, but you shouldn’t expect

your face and your stride. My key shoe advice? Find

it to stretch another shoe size to feel ok later (see the

shoes that fit properly and feel good, right out of the box.

previous point). Fabric shoes also tend to give a little

The best shoes are the ones you don’t want to kick off

bit once you wear them. Patent leather and man-made

every chance you get. VM

leathers are not going to stretch. So, going back to the previous point – if they don’t feel pretty darn good when you try them on, you need to put them back and find a pair that does feel good.

Cab to Table Shoes

Lisa Schmitz is the Director of Marketing and Creative Development for The Walking Cradle Company and has over 25 years of experience in the shoe industry. She may be reached at 636-203-4563 or lisaschmitz@walkingcradles. com. Walking Cradles shoes come in Narrow, Medium, Wide and Wide-Wide widths. They also

What about dress shoes? If, like me, you love your fancy, night-out-on-the-town shoes, you know you don’t want to give them up entirely. If you have paid attention to all the points made above and have found a well-fitting dress shoe that you love – by all means, buy them and wear them – in moderation. Our feet need to have some variety happening to keep the range of motion going on. Make sure to mix up wearing higher heels with lower heels. According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, women should wear shoes with a height of no more than two and a quarter inches and shoes at these heights should be worn no more than two or three hours each day. The best time to wear your dressy (i.e., possibly less comfortable shoes) is when you know you’ll be spending more time sitting down than on your feet.

Guided by deep experience and expertise. Dedicated to your investment success. Unbiased investment advice, portfolio management and unlimited financial planning for individuals and organizations since 1995.

We are a low-fee fiduciary. Contact us to start securing your financial future.

Historic Maltex Building - Burlington, VT - 802.658.2668

Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 21

The Psychology of Healthy Aging


by Dr. Richard Houston

ehavioral science research has conclusively

memory impairment. Every senior citizen dreads the

shown that psychological factors impact quality

appearance of symptoms that could potentially suggest

of life for adults over age 50. Seniors have

a dementia diagnosis.

tangible opportunities to maintain their cognitive acuity

The human brain is a miracle of evolutionary

and physical vitality that will benefit personal health and

development. Major software companies have devoted

wellness outcomes. Yet millions of mature adults leave

billions of dollars to building artificially intelligent

these rewards on the table.

systems that mimic the human brain. Despite well

Nearly everyone who passes the threshold of

publicized successes in the ability to play chess and

their 50th year has reflected on the risk of losing

a few other specific applications, the technology

their cognitive agility – with good reason. NIH

initiatives have disappointed. With a few exceptions ‘AI’

– The National Institute of Health - reports that 40-

remains stuck in its toddler phase.

45% of adults over 65 experiences some kind of

Introducing Northwestern Sleep Center FROM NORTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER

Northwestern Medical Center is proud to expand access to sleep disorder diagnosis throughout northwestern Vermont. Working with Dr. Haitham Nsour at our St. Albans campus sleep lab, we treat adult sleep-disordered breathing, sleep apnea, and more.

Do you experience: • • • • •

trouble staying awake during the day? difficulty sleeping or waking unrefreshed? loud snoring or snorting sounds when you sleep? waking with the sensation that you are choking or gasping for air? general moodiness, depression, or irritability?

Ask your provider for a referral

Visit or contact 802-752-1502 to learn more. NMC Campus, 133 Fairfield Street, Medical Office Building, St. Albans, VT

22 | September/October2021 |

Y tomorrow OUR

Now accepting new patients

A sixty-year-old adult has no

of conspiracy tainted information

more neurons in his or her brain

regarding the evils of the Covid

than they did when they born – less,

vaccine. Groundless beliefs are

in fact. The brain ‘prunes’ neural

literally creating life and death

circuits that are idle, resulting in


fewer actual neurons in the adult

Tom Frieden, former director of

brain. With one notable exception,

the Centers for Disease Control and

the human brain does not generate

Prevention has stated, “We know

new neurons.

that … being active is the closest

Seniors should know that they

Yet, according to the CDC, over

neurons in the hippocampus, a sea

60% of American adults fall short

horse shaped element of the brain

of recommended activity habits and

tucked deep in the middle of the

25% of the population maintain

skull. The hippocampus plays a

totally sedentary habits. Researchers at the the

storage of memory. Mature adults

University of California San

can actively promote neurogenesis

Francisco concluded that close to

in their hippocampus every day.

half of all Alzheimer’s cases could

Two activities stimulate this process.

be prevented with positive lifestyle

Physical exercise and challenging

habits. Our own research sample

mental activity are the two features

revealed insidious psychological

of a regimen that will generate new

habits that were associated with

‘wiring’ in the hippocampus.

sedentary behavior.

In our own research with 1600


thing we have to a wonder drug.”

have the power to generate new

central role in the formation and

Estate Planning & Elder Law

In the meantime, know that

Glenn Jarrett and Jennifer Luitjens Certified as Elder Law Attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation

Let our knowledge and experience help you plan for the future. ♦ Wills & Trusts ♦ Long-term Care Planning/Medicaid

adult residents of Silicon Valley,

you can do something important

we showed that active lifestyle

to promote your brain health right

♦ Special Needs Planning

habits can be either strengthened

now! Go out for a brisk walk. VM

♦ Trust Administration

or undermined by psychological factors. The problem is that these psychological dynamics often operate ‘behind the scenes’ or what we call ‘backstage.’ We live at a time when the psychological impact on healthoriented behavior has rarely, if ever, been more dramatically displayed. In the coming weeks, hundreds of our fellow citizens will potentially die because they believe purveyors

Richard Houston holds a Doctorate in Education and was licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Psychology. He is a graduate of Brown University. He has conducted research on the psychological dimensions of healthy lifestyle behaviors and has had long term consulting relationships with several continuing care retirement communities. You can visit his website at Resilience-Advocate. com.

♦ Probate Administration

1795 Williston Rd., Ste. 125 So. Burlington


Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 23

The 3 Top Smartphones for Tech-Shy Seniors


by Jim Miller

To set-up an iPhone and make it senior-friendly,

here are several smartphones that provide seniors a simpler, less intimidating smartphone

start by cleaning-up/decluttering the home screen, which

experience. If you are purchasing a smartphone

you can do by deleting the apps the user won’t use and

or looking to help a senior purchase one, here are my top

hiding the apps they will rarely use in labeled folders or

three options.

the App Library. The fewer options the better! System The Beautyrest® SmartMotion™ combines an upinnovative bed of contacts base, You’ll also want to set a small number

Apple iPhones

advanced and biosensors andinstall the (with photos) to familymotion and friends and possibly

Because of the quality and functionality of Apple

some apps they would using. to help youenjoy sleep and wake up better with personal sleepa wide feedback. And finally, iPhones have variety of built-in

Sleeptracker® smartphone app designed

products, an iPhone is a great choice for seniors who are inexperienced with technology. But, to

accessibility features you can turn on depending on your

4050 it Williston make easierRoad, to South Burlington, VT 05403

use, you will need to set it up and customize it to meet

needs. These features, which you access through the


phone’s settings, Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm; Sun 11am - 5pmcan

help users that have diminished


the users’ needs and preferences.

One-of-a-kind selection. happy customers. that’s the wendell’s way.


697 Hercules Drive, Colchester, VT 05446 802.861.7700


Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm; Sun 11am - 5pm










Mon - Sat 10am - 8pm

24 | September/October2021 |

medical ID set up. But there are dozens of other tweaks you can make to enhance your experience. For a rundown of the different accessibility features and instructions on how to set them up, see accessibility. If you’re interested in this option, the iPhone 12 (5G, 6.1-inch display screen, $800) or iPhone 12 mini (5G, 5.4-inch screen, $700) are excellent choices. Or, for a more budget-friendly phone consider the iPhone SE (4.7inch screen, $400) that came out in 2020.

Samsung Galaxy vision, hearing impairment, hand dexterity problems or cognitive loss. iPhone users include larger text and icon display, zoom (screen magnification), magnifier (turns iPhone into a control, find my iPhone, and emergency SOS and

a phone that you’re familiar with, you should consider a Samsung.

Some popular accessibility features among older

magnifying glass), increased volume and alerts, voice

If you’re an android phone user and would like to get

All Samsung phones offer an “Easy Mode” feature in their settings that boosts the text and icon size, and simplifies the home-screen layout and contacts, which makes these phones a nice option for seniors or technewbies.

Jane chose...

Age Well makes staying at home a reality with over 40 years of experience in care coordination and a network of services.

• Helpline • Care Coordination • Meals on Wheels • Medicare Counseling

Helpline: 1-800-642-5119

Age Well is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 25

These phones also have a variety of accessibility

✔ Urgent Response, which is a mobile medical alert

features – see

service that would connect the user to a Lively

mobile for instructions – that can accommodate your

agent in emergency situations, 24/7, who would


confirm her location and get her the help they

The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G (6.2-inch screen, $800) or more moderately priced Galaxy A71 5G (6.7-inch screen, $600) are good choices to consider here.

need. ✔ Urgent Care, which would let you speak to

a registered nurse or board-certified doctor anytime.

Lively Smart

✔ Lively Link, which is an app that sends alerts

Another less expensive option to consider is to purchase a smartphone that’s specifically designed for seniors. The best one available is the new Lively Smart offered by Best Buy. This phone has a 6.2-inch screen, large text and a simple list-based menu that provides one-touch access to frequently used features like video chat, camera, email and more. It also offers a nice variety of optional health and safety features you can add on like:

to family and friends if the user calls urgent response. ✔ Personal Operator Service, who can assist you

with tasks like helping find addresses, setting up appointments booking Lively Rides through a partnership with Lyft and much more. The Lively Smart is available online at or at Best Buy stores for $150. VM Jim Miller publishes the Savvy Senior, a nationally syndicated column that offers advice for Boomers and Seniors.

VERMONT FURNITURE DESIGNS ______________________

" Thank you for the beautiful work you’ve done. It’s such a pleasure working with a company that practices such a high level of customer service, intelligent design, and superior craftsmanship. "

John, Burlington, VT

1265 Laconia Road, Rte 106 Belmont, NH 03220 603-267-7778 ELECTRONIC LUCKY 7 MACHINES FULL BAR & RESTAURANT





KENO 4 Tigan St., Winooski 802.655.6568

Check us out on

26 | September/October2021 |

A Tale of Two Maldens Carla and Karl


by Nick Thomas

arla Malden credits her father, actor Karl Malden, for sowing the seeds of her writing career – first as a screenwriter then an author.

“He used me and my sister to cue him quite often

when he was learning a part,” she recalled from her home in Los Angeles. “I think I learned a lot about writing as a result. If it was a heavily dialogued scene, he’d sometimes tell me to cross a line out of the script because he said, ‘I can act that.’ It taught me the

Get involved in your community!

Find an opportunity that’s right for you. Contact Danielle to learn more about the RSVP program today: (802) 861-7821.

Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 27

importance of seeing the actor’s character on screen as

Malden (1912-2009) is viewed by many as one of the

well as through the dialogue. It was fascinating to watch

great character actors from the 50s, 60s, and beyond,

him break down a part and develop a character.”

with critically acclaimed dramatic roles in films such

Earlier this year, Carla published her fourth book,

as “A Streetcar Named Desire” for which he won a Best

“Shine Until Tomorrow,” branching out into the Young

Supporting Actor Oscar. In the 70s, he co-starred with

Adult (YA) book market. The story features a teenage girl

Michael Douglas in the popular “The Streets of San

who travels back to 1967 and the summer of love in San

Francisco” ABC crime drama series.


“He had been approached to write his autobiography

“It’s not a traditional sci-fi adventure or even a

by a few people and tried to do it on his own over a few

fantasy really, but a girl’s coming-of-age story that

years then asked me to help,” Carla recalled. “Writing it

happens to involve time travel and features a driven

with him was one of the great joys of my life.”

teenager who learns about having to live in the present

Raised in Gary, Indiana, Karl Malden came

by traveling back to the past. It was designed as a YA

from immigrant parents, his Serb father barely

book, but I’ve been gratified to see it’s crossed over to

speaking English. “His father was very involved in the


church which was the social hub of the Gary Serbian

A longtime screenwriter alongside her late

community, and he organized all the plays that were

husband (see, Carla published her

integral to the community. So, my grandfather was

first book co-written with her dad in 1997, the well-

always enlisting my dad as a kid to be in the plays and

received Karl Malden autobiography “When Do I Start?”

that’s how he got the acting bug.”

Spring into wellness with Bone Builders. YOUR PATH ONWARD AND UPWARD

Serving Vermont's Seniors and Boomers, statewide with all of their real estate needs. Ben is dedicated to problem solving the unique issues facing Vermont's greatest generations.

FREE classes reopening now! Visit our website to find a class near you:

Call Ben today for a free consultation. Phone number: 802.355.6688 Website: email:

28 | September/October2021 |

Away from the screen, Malden says her dad was a fabulous father and husband, married to his wife, Mona, for 70 years. “He was also an amazing grandfather and even had a few years of being a great grandfather.” She says her father was very down to earth, would often work in his garden for hours, and never craved the adulation that often follows entertainers. “After he died, I got reams of letters from people for whom he had done major acts of kindness in all kinds of ways that I never knew about,” says Carla. “I miss him every single day of my life, ferociously.” VM Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama and has written numerous features, columns, and interviews for magazines and newspapers. See

Independent Living Rental Apartments for those 55 Years of Age and Older

7 & 9 Joshua Way, Essex Junction • 1-2 Bedroom Apartments w/Balconies • No Smoking & No Pets • Walking Distance to Pharmacy, Restaurants and Other Services • Coin Operated Laundry on Site

• Underground Parking • Outdoor Gardening • Reasonable Market Rate Rent • State-of-the-Art Life Safety System • Many Optional Extras • Monthly Calendar of Events

Call or E-mail today for more information 872-9197 •

Pinecrest Full Circle Property Management, Inc.

at Essex

A Senior Living Community

Vermont Maturity | September/October2021 | 29



vermont maturity


Home Inspections • Commercial and Manufactured Home Inspections • Mold Assessment, Testing, Remediation & Removal • Radon Testing • Water Testing

Help with your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Patient, Kind & Trusted Apple Certified

Virtual Tours Available Contact Us • Phone: 802.309.2648 •


COVID Safe Practices

Ark Lemal 802-349-0404

Champlain Monuments, Inc. We are the area’s leader in monument sales for a reason. Beautiful memorials to fit every budget DISCOUNTS ON IN STOCK MEMORIALS

• Family Memorials • Monuments • Cremation Memorials • Lettering & Cleaning

• Bronze Plaques • Granite Signs • Markers • Benches

848 Sheldon Rd, St. Albans Call

(802)524-4104 OR





Over 35 Years Real Estate Experience in Vermont Certified Residential Specialist Seniors Real Estate Specialist ReMax North Professionals Real Estate

Janice Battaline, Realtor




$10 OFF

Loc ally Ow ned

Your purchase of $75 or more

Get Fit by a Pro! WILLISTON

Maple Tree Place, Williston

Present at time of purchase. Cannot be combined with other offers. VTM. Expires 12/31/21

30 | September/October2021 |


Handcrafted Furniture

Visit our Showroom at 4 Tigan Street, Winooski, VT 05404 PHONE:

High Quality Furniture for Your Bedroom, Dining Room, Office & More

802-655-6568 •



Pain relief could be as easy as a visit to New Balance Williston! Free 1-on-1 Fit Service New Balance Williston connects the advice of your medical health professional to footwear and fit expertise. They can help you choose the right product, get the ideal fit and customize a product that fits your unique needs.

Customized Comfort This complimentary services includes a gait analysis, inspection of your current shoes, mapping of your foot pressure points and identifying your arch type. This detailed analysis will ensure that you go home with the perfect fit.

All Widths & Sizes With in depth knowledge of foot anatomy, understanding of shoe design, and custom modification services, New Balance Williston can create the best fitting shoe to keep you moving at peak performance.

Get Fit by a Pro Maple Tree Place behind Best Buy

(802) 288-9090 Open M-F 10-6 Sat 10-4


Locally Owned