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lon.gev.i.ty

Posted on October 12, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

LONGEVITY – Are there similarities between those who have aged successfully, that is, relatively disease free through the age of 70, 80, 90+? 

So, I work with Senior Citizens, primarily.  I work with lots of ‘em and you know what?  Many have exceptional longevity in their family history and look and feel great!  ‘What’s the secret’ I ask them.  Most have bacon, eggs and coffee every single morning, lots of starchy foods in their diets (think potatoes and biscuits), some smoked tobacco, almost all drink liquor or wine.  So, what’s the common bond?  What’s the secret?  Most studies point to genetics as a determining factor for longevity, followed by lifestyle choices.   

…Oh, and several of the women added that they ate chocolate or other ‘sweets’ daily, too.  That’s GREAT news.  I’m going to try that.

One definition in Wikipedia says that longevity is often a synonym for ‘life expectancy”.  Merriam-Webster considers longevity “a long duration of individual life.”  If you Google or Bing the word “longevity” you’ll mostly find “FIGHT AGING” and ‘anti-aging’ this and “INCREASE YOUR LIFE EXPECTANCY” and “live to 100+”.  Interesting.  It’s sort of a double-edged sword, isn’t it?  We want to live these long lives to see our children grow and progress made….but we only want to do it if we look fabulous (and 10 years younger, at least) without injury or other bothersome chronic conditions.  I’m often hearing people complain about the trials and tribulations of ‘getting older’.

What impresses me the most is the spirit of these individuals.  I’m thinking this longevity thing must have a lot to do with attitude.  With gratitude.  With really getting out there and LIVING.  Consistent answers from those senior citizens I mentioned earlier would lead me to believe that they all work hard, play hard and love deeply.  They also mention, (a little tongue-in-cheek) that there some added benefits to having an impressive, big number for their age…..as they feel it is their ‘right and responsibility’ to speak their minds.  And they do.  Maybe that’s good for the soul as well – speak your mind.

So, while I found no real common bond other than ‘live your own life and live it to its fullest’, I think it best to take care of the bodies we are in and do some hoping for the best.

 

 

holly pobst is a chocolate loving entrepreneur who freely recognizes that this blog is in no way intended to offer neither suggestion nor solution to the age-old question of longevity.

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Create an Emergency Plan NOW – before you need it

Posted on March 23, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Disasters can strike suddenly – at anytime and anywhere. It’s recommended to plan ahead…..
1. Get a kit together, 2. Make a plan, 3. Be informed

1. GET A KIT TOGETHER
At a minimum, have the basic supplies listed here:

Water – One gallon per person, per day,
Food – non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items at least 3 day supply, Flashlight, Battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries,
First aid kit, 7 day supply of medications and medical items, multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents (medications, proof of address, passports,
birth certificates, insurance policies), cell phone with chargers, family and emergency contact information, extra cash, emergency blanket, map of the area.

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to put together a kit:
Medical supplies – hearing aids require extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, canes,
Baby supplies including bottles, formula, diapers,
Pet supplies including collar, leash, food, carrier, bowl, ID,
Games and activities for kids
Two-way radios
Extra set of car and house keys
Manual can opener

Other items to consider include: whistle, surgical masks, matches, rain gear, towels, gloves, extra clothing, hat and shoes, plastic sheeting, duct tape, scissors, bleach, blankets/sleeping bags

2. MAKE A PLAN
-Meet with your family or household members

-Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play
-Identify responsibilities for each member of your household
-Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency:
-Choose two places to meet (right outside your home in case of sudden emergency; such as fire or outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate)
-Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or programmed into their cellular phones
-Plan what to do if you have to evacuate:
-Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there (hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives, evacuation shelter)
-Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive the planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes

3. BE INFORMED
Learn what disasters or emergencies may occur in your area

****Source: American Red Cross

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SAVING MONEY ON MEDICATIONS-

Posted on March 15, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Save money on your medications!

 

The cost of prescription medications can be staggering. It is common to hear that an elderly person might choose to go without his or her necessary prescribed medications in an effort to save a bit of money. Cigna Healthcare reports that people over 65 years of age make up just 13 percent of the population of the United States currently but account for 30 percent of the prescription medications filled at the pharmacy. That’s a lot of money being spent on medications! Here are some suggested ways one might cut some of those costs.

 

  1. Generic medications – Not all prescriptions have a generic available, but many do. Talk with your physician when he/she is writing out the prescription, making sure they mark the box or notate on the prescription pad that a generic substitute is allowed. There may a significant cost savings to you as it is estimated that one can save approximately $250 per year when you make the switch to the generic equivalent of a drug. If you already have an existing medication and there is a less expensive, generic equivalent available, ASK THE DOCTOR to rewrite the prescription for you, and start saving some money on your prescription costs.

 

  1. OTC (over-the-counter) options – It’s possible your medication is now available “over the counter”. Ask your pharmacist to see if the dose you need is available in non-prescription form. Some examples of medications that used to be prescription only are Zantac and Claritin. It’s worth checking out as it may just save you some money.

     

  2. Discounts with major retailers – Some major retailers (think Target / Wal-Mart) offer a host of generic prescriptions for as little as $4 per month and $10 for a three month supply. These are the costs without insurance. Go to the website of the retailer where they publish current lists of the drugs available at lower prices. Good savings abound!

     

  3. Mail-order rx – Your insurance may offer your prescriptions to be delivered to your doorstep (convenient!) and AT A DISCOUNT! You may be required to purchase a 90 day supply but there is typically a cost savings for doing so. To check out this option, contact your insurance company directly to see if they offer a cost savings for delivery of your medications through the mail.

     

  4. Evaluate – Talk with your prescribing physician regarding what other things you might do to try to become less dependent on the medication. For example, persons on a prescription for diabetes might be able to change their diet enough to lessen their need for the medication, or a person with high blood pressure might be able to alleviate the need for the prescription by increasing his/her exercise regimen and changing up the diet. The more medication you take, the more potential for side effects and drug interactions, so reducing the drugs you take may help your health in addition to your wallet.

     

  5. Medicare part D – Spend some time re-evaluating your prescription needs as they relate to what part D covers. Tweak your coverage to ensure you are not paying more than necessary. Check out the Medicare part D website here http://www.medicare.gov/navigation/medicare-basics/medicare-benefits/part-d.aspx for more information. This site will assist you in determining what coverage might be best suited for you, as well as offer a plethora of additional information regarding your Medicare and Medicare part D benefit.

     

Holly Pobst is a Gerontologist and CEO of CRESCENT Geriatric Care Management, Inc. in San Marcos, CA. For more information, please visit www.crescentgcm.com.


 

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Caring for your aging parent

Posted on February 18, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Are the roles reversing in your family? It can be really difficult to become the caregiver for your aging mother or father, become the decision maker and step in to assist when you already have full-time commitments with a full-time job, a full-time family and your own health to consider. Statistics show that the majority of family caregivers are women, and they are likely to be married and working full-time. It’s hard to “parent your parents” with no training, often no support and interesting family dynamics. Whether your mom and dad are at home or a care facility, caregiving can still be quite a burden on you. Here are some resources to help you and your loved ones navigate this territory.

 

  • Set limits. Set boundaries. Figure out what you can contribute, both physically and financially and stick to it. Advocate for your own needs. It will often feel like there is more to be done. You must take care of yourself and concern yourself with your own needs as much as the needs of those who depend on you. Don’t give and give and give until you suffer burn-out.
  • Hire help. Figure out who you can bring on board to assist with some of the tasks you don’t have the time or energy for…..maybe hiring someone for yard maintenance if mom and dad are at home or hiring a part-time caregiver for mom and dad. Housekeeper? Grocery delivery? Decide what will work for you and your situation.
  • Involve your siblings. Share the responsibility as much as you can. If you are the primary caregiver for mom and dad, communicate with your siblings what’s going on. Ask the siblings to help with caregiving if they are able, or ask them to contribute financially as needed. Try to come to an agreement with your siblings, and put it in writing.
  • Plan ahead. Have a conversation with mom, dad and the family regarding the long term plan. What are mom and dad’s wishes regarding staying home or moving into a retirement community? Discuss finances as it relates to paying for care, home modifications or to support a move to a retirement home. Is the estate plan comprehensive and up-to-date? Where are mom and dad’s vital documents located and do the appropriate people have copies? Always better to plan ahead and have a game-plan so everyone is on the same page.
  • Find support. Take care of yourself. You sacrifice a great deal for your family, and taking care of yourself is vital. Eat well, exercise and get enough rest so you can be there and be present for your loved ones. Find an ally, a friend, a neighbor, perhaps someone that is experiencing a similar situation. Consider a support group. It helps to talk about what you are going through during this difficult time.

 

For more information on Crescent Geriatric Care Management, Inc. visit www.crescentgcm.com, www.facebook.com/CRESCENTgcm, www.twitter.com/CRESCENTgcm or www.linkedin.com/in/CRESCENTgcm.

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Trial by jury – a retirees account

Posted on January 17, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Our right to a trial by jury is one of our most important constitutional rights. In our state superior court, I was Juror #5. There were 6 men and 6 women and 4 alternates chosen to sit at trial. They included a banker, postal carrier, teacher, nurse, realtor, medical technician, retired persons and others. Young and old. “How will this work” I thought.

“Do NOT discuss this case with each other or anyone else” commanded the Judge. We all listened carefully to testimony and evidence presented in the courtroom for more than 6 weeks, taking copious notes.

When we were eventually excused to the jury room to decide multiple verdicts, and where our conversations had been limited to weather and sports, I found the predominantly younger jurors were smart, focused, well organized, passionate and articulate. Of course we had our debates! But we operated like a team.

We delivered the verdicts, and returned to our jury room….

Then, we cried.

Men and women, young and old.

Our service in the administration of justice to the people of our state exceeded our individual strengths, made us a family of citizens and worked very well indeed!

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This is my take; part V

Posted on January 3, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Excerpts from some of my favorite blogs by Linda on CRESCENTgcm:

  • On inspiration:
    • The gentleman living next door is ninety two years young. He wears no glasses. He grows a garden, drives his car, takes his young great-granddaughters to school and back every day, takes NO medications, climbs on his roof to display the American flag. He thanks God every day for his blessings, and misses his wife immeasurably every day.
  • On retirement:
    • I enjoyed the life of being and having, but focus now on volunteering. I get back so much more than I give.
  • Just a funny:
    • Dear Holly – I recently went in to see my doctor for a check-up. He says for my height and age I should be 119 pounds! That’s ridiculous! If I caught a flu, I couldn’t survive! I’d end up frail and weak, disabled and dependent……..I need to find a doctor my age.

**Linda is a freelance writer from Puyallup, Washington. She is a multi-tasking, experienced, fun-loving grandmother of five. With 48 years of marriage under her belt & going strong, and raising 3 brilliant children….”this is her take”. Look for more to come from Linda.

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Holly Pobst (CRESCENTgcm) on Twitter

Posted on November 28, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Wanted to make it easy for you to follow me on Twitter.  🙂  Here’s where you can find me:

 Holly Pobst (CRESCENTgcm) on Twitter.

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They ask me all the time–

Posted on November 11, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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Posted on September 29, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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Return to a small town – this is my take

Posted on September 29, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For my return visit to the small town when my children were young, I chose the perfect friend (she’s a good listener), walking shoes and a rainy day. A winning combination it turns out! I’m here to find businesses and places that remain.

The first business on North Harbor Drive is still a family owned market and grocery. It needs paint, has just a few parking spaces, and the daily “specials” are handwritten and taped out front. Remember that?

On the road to our old neighborhood, we pass Creek park where my husband and service club members built a big wooden play structure for local children. This is “our” neighborhood, lucky kids…..

I see more fences in the area, I’m guessing ‘city folks’ have moved on our street.

My slow drive along the eastside where my son delivered newspapers felt salty and private, just as I remembered.

The sand spit at the end of the road where my children played is now a paddle-in-picnic spot. It is a great place to tell my friend about the sly-a-kite day I declared in a rowboat in the bay with my kids. Is that allowed?

My favorite locally owned Bookstore in town would be an historic site, if made of bricks. The new owner is competing with the internet for sales. I lingered there and spoke softly, seemed the right thing to do. I must add here that later that day I saw the stores first owner, and we shared a great chat. She now owns a used book store nearby. Consumer trend?

Lunchtime – we headed for a locally owned waterfront legend. At a waterside table (remember the rainy day), we ordered the outstanding clam chowder. Service was excellent, too. Great dining can be budget friendly! As we headed uptown, I added to my register the fresh flower shop which looked exclusive to the area. Why buy stems in the grocery store? And I found the small local newspaper pressroom. A survivor – in the demise of printed news!

I did not find the old hardware store with wooden floors that squeaked. Maybe some new owner of the building didn’t see the value in something old. Ah…another subject.

Walking back to my car on the avenue, no parking meters, we drove to our final destination, the Orthopedic Guild shop to see a dear friend who was working there. Same shop, no frills, 30 years serving others.

I am thankful this community values and retains old places, in place.

With love-

**Linda is a freelance writer from Puyallup, Washington. She is a multi-tasking, experienced, fun-loving grandmother of five. With 48 years of marriage under her belt & going strong, and raising 3 brilliant children….”this is her take”. Look for more to come from Linda.


 

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