Senior Living


Health & Spirit



Restaurant Confusion

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: Going out to eat is making me feel old. My grandchildren came to visit and took me out for a meal at a popular local restaurant I'd never visited.

Even though it was a nice gesture, I didn't have a great time. When we entered the lobby, it wasn't clear where the line started or what the food options were. I wasn't able to get a look at the...Read more

Travel: 2,500 days at sea and counting for South Florida woman who is the queen of Princess cruise ships

For the past 30 years, South Florida resident Ilene Weiner has traveled around the world aboard Princess cruise ships.

In fact, she's been on 282 cruises and has logged 2,500 days at sea with the company.

That makes her the cruise line's "most travelled guest," according to the company.

"We're incredibly honored to have the ...Read more

55 Plus: Are your children taking advantage of you?

It's a hard thing to go from being dependent on parents to being independent. Many offspring never entirely get there. Genuine dependency does not include creating a tradition of Sunday family dinners or having mom do one's laundry occasionally. But both children and parents should realize that being independent should not include frequent ...Read more

Many retirees taking classes … but not to earn a degree

For many years, Tom Anderson of Woodbury sent off his 11-year-old granddaughter, Mackenzie, to school with a simple directive to go forth and learn.

This fall, on her first day of junior high, the preteen got a chance to give her grandpa the same advice. After the two posed for a "back to school" photo, backpacks slung over both of ...Read more

Boomer U: Neurological service dog helps Alzheimer's patient stay on track and in the moment

A nudge from her new dog Teagan will bring Marcia Lathrop out of a daze. If Lathrop shows signs of anxiety like rubbing her hands, the 2-year-old black goldendoodle leans in close and touches her.

Teagan also is trained to stand between Lathrop and the door if her owner tries to leave the house without giving the proper command. This spring, ...Read more

Seniors largely ignore cognitive checkups, putting themselves at risk

Just one out of seven seniors take part in assessments for cognitive problems, according to a new report from the Alzheimer's Association. But much higher numbers get regular screenings for ailments like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The disconnect means that millions of seniors with early cognitive problems aren't getting medical ...Read more

A Norfolk WWII hero rarely talked about battle. But the discovery of the USS Hornet has changed that.

NORFOLK, Va. - When the USS Hornet was attacked by Japanese airplanes in 1942, James Gardner raced to fill out a gun crew after one of his shipmates was killed.

He shot down at least two airplanes before everyone aboard the aircraft carrier was ordered to abandon ship near the Santa Cruz Islands in the South Pacific.

He didn't think he'd ...Read more

Pearl Cleage's new play takes on aging and generation wars

Pearl Cleage understands how Southerners use honorifics to show respect for elders.

She knows that "Ma'am," drawled a certain way, shows deference, and that, these days, when younger black people say "Auntie" before uttering an elder black woman's first name, it's a form of veneration.

But now that she is 70, those good ...Read more

Social Security and You: Absolutely Not True

I was answering emails from my readers today. And after a while, it dawned on me that three or four of them in a row began with some version of "My neighbor told me this" or "Some friends told me that." Each email went on to describe an unsubstantiated rumor about Social Security. I began each answer with the same phrase: "That is absolutely not...Read more

Social Security: Resources for women

March is Women's History Month. It's a time when we reflect on the achievements and contributions of our nation's remarkable women. Many of these heroes might be people close to you: mothers and daughters, aunts, and grandmothers. Each of them plays a special role in our lives as they provide love and support.

Social Security plays an important...Read more

Aging Skin

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: I'm finding that my skin is getting more fragile and dry with every year. Winter is especially harsh on my tender skin.

I've resorted to showering less frequently, which has helped. On the other hand, I don't feel clean, and I worry that people are judging me.

What's the best way to stay clean?

A: Bodily changes are a natural part of ...Read more

Social Security and You: Seniors with Disabilities

Baby boomers (like me) aren't just getting old. Some of us are also getting frail. I'm a pretty good example. After a lifetime of essentially good health (I was once honored for using the fewest sick leave days by my former employer, the Social Security Administration), in the past few years, I've had to deal with issues as minor as a bum knee ...Read more

Dog walking is leading to more broken bones in older adults

For years, we've heard that dogs can be good for human physical and mental health in part because the canines' need for exercise gets their sluggish human companions out of the house for a walk at least a couple of times a day.

Now some University of Pennsylvania researchers point out that those walks sometimes end in broken bones and trips to ...Read more

Dog walking is leading to more broken bones in older adults

For years, we've heard that dogs can be good for human physical and mental health in part because the canines' need for exercise gets their sluggish human companions out of the house for a walk at least a couple of times a day.

Now some University of Pennsylvania researchers point out that those walks sometimes end in broken bones and trips to...Read more

Luddite Woes

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: I can't seem to keep the technology I have functioning right. I'm always running into problems, especially with my landline phone and television remote.

I'm starting to think that I'm just too old to keep up with technology. My family still lives in the area and is willing to come over and help me with my problems. But it's a little ...Read more

New Regiment

Senior Living / Dear Doug /

Q: At my last appointment, my doctor put me on medication for high blood pressure. My stats have always been borderline and getting worse over time. It looks like they finally got to the point of needing intervention.

This is the first long-term medication I've been put on. Many of my friends are on one or two different pills, so I know it ...Read more

My mother doesn't have many memories left, and most of them are wrong. What's going on?

People with dementia are often said to forget recent events but remember the past. Caregivers can easily imagine their loved ones' memories as a lifetime's worth of photos. The newer ones are disintegrating but the old ones are still sharp.

So it was a surprise to my brother and me when our mother, now 89, started telling stories about her ...Read more

Social Security and You: Rules I Can't Explain

I pride myself on being able to give my readers the rationale behind various Social Security rules and regulations. Many times, readers will send me emails in which they express utter befuddlement at a law or regulation that affects their eligibility for Social Security. It's usually a situation that results in them getting reduced benefits. And...Read more

Listening to older patients who want to stop dialysis

Dr. Susan Wong sat down with an 84-year-old patient in the hospital, where he'd been admitted with a flare-up of a serious autoimmune condition and deteriorating kidney function.

The older man told her he wanted to go home; he'd had a good life and was ready for its end. He didn't want aggressive care - including dialysis - having witnessed ...Read more

Social Security and self employment

If you are not self-employed, Social Security taxes are typically taken out of your paycheck automatically. You and your employer each pay a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your earnings and a 1.45 percent Medicare tax on all earnings in 2019. You don't have to do anything extra for the coverage you will one day receive ...Read more


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