Search This Blog

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fox Theatre offers an early Christmas Present with ‘White Christmas’ magic moments

Publisher’s Note:  One of the gifts of aging is the richness of entertainment such as the offered by The Fabulous Fox in St. Louis.  With that, we are proud to incorporate our entertainment section from our previous format into our new blog of Aging in America.  
On Sale NOW
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Tickets: $25 to $100
Performances: Tues.-Fri. 7:30pm; Thur. 1pm Sat. 2pm & 7:30pm; Sun. 1pm;
Click here to order tickets
By Steve Russell
Vice President, 

Irving Berlin's White Christmas opened at the Fox Tuesday. The performance included several magic moments. This classic film adapted to the stage, was originally produced years ago and is set in 1944. The production lends itself to an easier time in America's history.

The entire ensemble proved worthy with strong performances by all cast members. The vocals were both energetic as well as elegant in their delivery.

The opening choreography was sensational some of the best dancing that I have witnessed in several years. One of my favorite choreographed songs was "My Piano". 

I was not anticipating tap dancing, it was a real surprise. 
The quality of not only the actors as singers, but as dancers was amazing. 
For me Rita (Kristyn Pope) and Rhoda  (Elish Conlon) proved to be quite an amusing duo, very charming indeed.

The sets and scenery were absolutely breathtaking. From opening scene, to the closing number - when snow actually descended upon the audience from the heavens above, glittering through soft lighting that made each flake glisten.

Being a nostalgic creature of sorts, I was impressed this performance at the Fox hearkened of days gone by. My youth was vividly returned to me on this evening with a fantastic rendition of White Christmas.  

Added to that, of course, is the story line of an era from Our Greatest Generation.

This production is a family fun filled timeless entertainment gem that will make the entire family grin from ear to ear. I highly recommend that you take in a performance of this classic this week at the fabulous Fox Theater. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Millions of Senior Citizens Ill-Prepared to Live Alone

 8 in 10 Americans Concerned about Safety of Older Loved Ones, Most Not Doing Anything about It

November 18, 2015--PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 8 in 10 Americans (77%) are worried about the safety of their parent and/or grandparent living alone or with a spouse/partner, according to a new report. Yet despite these concerns, the majority of children and grandchildren have not equipped their older loved one's home with safety features such as grab bars in the shower, raised toilet seats, an emergency response system and/or an entrance ramp.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.5 million adults 65 years and older are treated for unintentional fall injuries each year. While many of these injuries can be prevented by equipping senior citizens' homes with relatively inexpensive safety equipment, most are living without these features.

In fact, in a recent survey of adult children and grandchildren age 18 and older, these family members reported that among seniors living alone:

  • 46% do not have grab bars in the shower
  • 63% do not have a raised toilet seat
  • 64% do not have an emergency response system
  • 76% do not have an entrance ramp
"People tend to wait until a concerning incident or tragedy happens to actually prepare themselves and their loved ones for old age," said Andy Cohen, CEO and founder of "That's a huge mistake because you're actually putting them at a bigger risk for injury."

Living without these items not only endangers a senior's personal well-being, but it could lead to high health-related costs down the line. The average hospital cost for a fall injury is about $35,000 and Medicare typically only covers about 78% of that, according to the CDC.

"Many of the basic safety features can be purchased for less than $1,000," said Cohen. "That's much more reasonable than being hit with a $10,000 hospital bill, and worse, having a parent or grandparent with a broken hip."

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in more detail here:

PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults living in the continentalUnited States. Interviews were conducted by landline (1,000) and cell phone (1,000, including 595 respondents without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source, September 17-20 and October 1-4, 2015. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

With more than three million visitors per month, is a leading senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. A Bankrate company headquartered in San Mateo, CA, provides helpful caregiving content, online support groups, and a comprehensive Senior Care Directory for the United States, with more than 85,000 consumer ratings and reviews and a toll-free senior living referral line at (800) 325-8591. Connect with on FacebookTwitter,Google+PinterestLinkedIn, and/or YouTube.

New Study on Senior Deaths: Drowning and Fires Lead List of Non-Fall Related Deaths

November 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -There were more than 12,500 deaths of adults 65 years old and older from 2009 to 2011 that were associated with consumer products reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  Nearly three-quarters of the deaths involved falls, 70 percent of which were due to falling on stairs, ramps, landings and floors. 

Twenty-seven percent of the consumer product-related deaths reported to CPSC were not fall related.  Instead, the deaths most frequently involved drowning in pools or bathtubs, fires in the home involving clothing, cigarettes, lighters, cooking or heating, and rollovers or collisions involving ATVs.     A report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), "Consumer Product-Related Non-Fall Fatalities Involving Victims 65 Years of Age and Older 2009-2011", identifies the following top 10 product group hazards involved in the non-fall senior deaths.

Product Groups
Swimming activity, pools, equipment
Bathtub & shower structures  
Cigarettes, etc., lighters, fuel  
Home fires/carbon monoxide/gas vapors with unknown product
ATV's, mopeds, minibikes, etc. 
Tip Over, Instability, Rollover
Cooking ranges, ovens, etc. 
Heating stoves & space heaters 
ATVs, mopeds, minibikes, etc.  
Bicycles & accessories

Non-fall related deaths were reported more frequently for adults age 65 to 69 than for older seniors. In contrast, the fall-related deaths reported peak between the ages of 84 and 89.

Interestingly, more non-fall-related deaths were reported for senior men than women up to the age of 90.  Men age 65 and older accounted for 64 percent of the non-fall related deaths, but they make up only 43 percent of the population.

More non-fall deaths were reported for women above 90, which is not altogether surprising given that the population 90 and older is 72 percent female.

The number of older adults is expected to rise as baby boomers age. The life expectancy of the average resident in the U.S. has risen from 70.8 years in 1970 to 77.8 in 2008 and it is expected to rise further in the future.  It is important for the aging population to understand the risks associated with consumer products and activities performed during their daily lives and how to take proper precautions.

This is the second in-depth report by CPSC on older adults and consumer product-related injuries and deaths.  Areport released by CPSC in 2013 looked at which consumer products were associated with injuries and deaths to older adults and found that most involved falls.  This report looked at non-fall fatalities involving consumer products and seniors. 

CPSC Consumer Information Hotline
Contact us at this toll-free number if you have questions about a recall:
800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
Times: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime
Call to get product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products.

Monday, November 16, 2015

PCOM Launches Master's Degree Program in Aging and Long-Term Care Administration

The new program is designed for those interested in advancing their career or interested in starting a career in the growing field of aging services and facility administration.

Newswise, November 16, 2015— According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of medical and health service administrators is expected to grow by 23 percent by 2022—much faster than the average for all occupations in the U.S. What’s more, the BLS reports that there will likely be increased demand for nursing care facility administrators as Baby Boomers continue to age.

To that end, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has launched a new master’s degree program in Aging and Long-Term Care Administration (ALTCA), for those interested in advancing their career in the growing field of aging services and the administration of institutional and community-based care.

At the core of the new program is the Nursing Home Administration 120-hour program, which satisfies the educational requirement for licensure in Pennsylvania. In addition, students will complete a six-credit Administrator in Training course, which provides 1,000 hours of administrative experience in a long-term care facility.

The interdisciplinary program features courses in the biological, environmental and psychosocial aspects of aging as well as courses in organizational development and leadership (supervised by Jeffrey Branch, EdD, assistant professor, psychology, and director of the Organizational Development and Leadership Graduate Program) to provide students with management and leadership skills.

“The focus on administration is directed toward furthering the careers of those already employed in the aging services, as well as those who have an interest in working in facilities and providing services for the aging population,” said Ilene Warner-Maron, PhD, RN-BC, NHA, clinical assistant professor, psychology, and co-director of the ALTCA program.

Warner-Maron says graduates of the program can take advantage of careers in organizations including nursing home facilities; home health care programs; assisted living facilities; and opportunities in community-based aging organizations along the continuum of care.

For more information about the MS program in Aging and Long-Term Care Administration, visit:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

AARP Expert Amy Goyer Shares Tips for Caregiving Success in New Book for America's 40 Million Caregivers

ABA/AARP book "Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving" is now available in time for National Family Caregivers Month

November 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Amy Goyer, AARP family and caregiving expert and author of the new book Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving, is among 40 million Americans who know the challenges and joys of caring for loved ones. Goyer's personal experience caring for her grandparents, parents and sister helped shape her newest book.

Her 92-year-old father, who has Alzheimer's disease, currently lives with her. Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving is available just in time for National Family Caregiving Month in November.

"I've been a caregiver my entire adult life and Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving shares what I've learned from my own hard-earned experience and the resources of the caregiving community," said Goyer. "No matter where you are in your caregiving journey, this book is a quick and easy guide to help you support your loved ones and be a resilient caregiver."

Goyer has more than 30 years of experience in aging and caregiving, including working in adult day services centers and nursing homes, monitoring programs for the Ohio Department of Aging, and leading AARP's intergenerational and grandparent caregiver programs.

Caregiving Book Gives Guidance 

Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving offers family caregivers useful tips and tools whether they are caregiving day-to-day or periodically, planning for future needs, or experiencing a crisis. The book covers everything from using technology to creating a caregiving team and caring for yourself, to handling housing and medical care, to grieving and life after caregiving. 

Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving is a companion book to Sally Hurme's book Checklist for Family Caregivers: A Guide to Making It Manageable (ABA/AARP) and the PBS documentary Caring for Mom and Dad. The books from the ABA and AARP are available at online retailers and bookstores.  

AARP members receive 40% off the retail cost of ABA/AARP books when they're purchased online through and the ABA purchase option is chosen.

To learn more about caregiving resources, visit the AARP Caregiving Resource Center at

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Research Finds Midlife Fitness Helps Reduce Health Costs After Age 65

Newswise, November 10, 2015 — People with high fitness levels in midlife have significantly lower annual health care costs after age 65 than people with low fitness in midlife, after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

Vanderbilt cardiologist and first author Justin Bachmann, M.D., MPH, and researchers studied 19,571 healthy individuals who underwent cardiorespiratory fitness assessment at a mean age of 49 and received Medicare coverage about 22 years later, from 1999 to 2009, at an average age of 71.

Cardiorespiratory fitness was estimated by maximal metabolic equivalents (METs) calculated from treadmill time. METs are used to estimate the oxygen cost of activity; for example, sitting equals one MET while running hard on a treadmill on incline equals 15 METS.

The researchers followed healthy individuals in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study and found that average annual health care costs, obtained from Medicare files, were significantly lower for participants 65 years or older with high midlife fitness than with low midlife fitness in both men ($7,569 vs. $12,811) and women ($6,065 vs. $10,029).

The study also looked at hospitalization rates and found that the low fitness group was hospitalized at a much higher rate than the MET fit group. Mean annual inpatient rates and physician office visits were also significantly higher in the low fitness group.

“No one had previously investigated whether fitness in midlife translates into decreased health care costs 20-30 years later while adjusting for the risk factors,” said Bachmann, instructor in Medicine. “For every metabolic equivalent you are able to achieve, your health care costs decrease by about 7 percent. A lot of exercise machines these days will measure METS, so this is information people can access.”

These findings may have important implications for health policies directed at improving physical fitness, he added

In addition to Bress, Hess, and Muntner, the co-authors are Rikki Tanner and Lisandro Colantonio from the University of Alabama, and Daichi Shimbo from Columbia University.

“Generalizability of results from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) to the US adult population” will be published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiologists on Nov. 9, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

AARP, State Treasurer, Senior Service Groups Urge Governor, Legislature To Pass Budget, Protect Older Illinoisans State Seniors Face Grave Hardships as Local Organizations Cut Critical Services & Face Closure

November 9, 2015/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With thousands of older adults at risk of, or already losing, in-home services due to the current budget stalemate, today AARP, State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs, community organizations and Alton residents urged Governor Rauner and the General Assembly to cease political posturing and pass a full Fiscal Year 2016 state budget that funds the critical home and community-based programs and services countless Illinoisans depend on.

During a press conference inside Senior Services Plus (SSP) of Alton – an organization that has recently been forced to cut services and staff due to the lack of a state budget – the speakers noted that older Illinoisans are already facing grave hardships because the organizations they rely on are no longer able to provide essential services like meals on wheels, financial, or transportation assistance. 

With the Governor and legislators due back in Springfield for session, it is imperative to fully fund programs in efficient and effective ways that save taxpayers' money, stimulate our state's economy and provide critical services to vulnerable populations.

"The lack of a state budget is not only hurting countless older residents, individuals with disabilities, children, and working families; it is also deepening our financial crisis now, and for the foreseeable future.  Fully-funding home and community-based services is a win-win as it both protects the dignity and independence of those who rely on the services and it is good stewardship of state taxpayer dollars," said Ryan Gruenenfelder, Manager of Advocacy and Outreach for AARP Illinois.

"The financial crisis in Illinois is hurting our state's most vulnerable, including Illinois seniors," said Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. "It is vital that the Governor and General Assembly put aside their differences to end this budget impasse and alleviate the uncertainty for the many families who rely on state funding."

"The lack of a state budget has been and will continue to be devastating to SSP's operation and the seniors we serve," said Jonathan Becker, Executive Director of Senior Services Plus, Inc. 

"We have had to reduce services, seen the creation of waiting lists and deny services because of the impasse. SSP has had to eliminate positions and operate under enormous pressure and strain because we have no way of forecasting what our financial future is. It is the most ineffective manner to operate a business and the impact of this budget stalemate will affect the state economy for many years to come in a permanent negative manner."

"The ongoing budget impasse is causing the dismantling of the service infrastructure that has been built to support seniors to live safely and independently in their homes and communities," said Joy Paeth, CEO of AgeSmart Community Resources. 

"Without this service infrastructure we will begin to see an outmigration of seniors when they cannot find services to support them as they age."

"Senior Services Plus has been providing me meals for eight years. I have always received a hot, nutritious meal daily but recently I have only received meals twice a week," said Francis Gonzales, a local, 77-year-old male who lives alone in a senior apartment in Alton. 

"I fear this is only the beginning of a downfall of critical, life-saving services that is going to affect a lot of people."

State programs providing caregiving services for older individuals, such as Illinois' Community Care Program are catalysts for economic growth and prosperity for Illinois statewide. AARP highlighted important economic advantages these programs invest in Illinois, according to the Innovation Illinois Caregiver Impacts Reportbased on Fiscal Year 2013 numbers:

  • Every dollar spent on home care in Illinois generates $2.04 in economic activity in the state.
  • The Community Care Program created 35,400 home caregiver jobs, and indirectly generated another 12,390 jobs in Illinois.
  • Based on the program's monthly average cost of care per client ($854), CCP is estimated to provide average cost savings of $20,496 per consumer per year compared with nursing home care.
  • Illinois saves more than $600 million a year in Medicaid costs via the home-care model instead of more costly public institutionalization. After subtracting the Federal Medicaid match, that translates into more than $300 million in GRF savings.
AARP, on behalf of our 1.7 million Illinois members, along with State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs, Senior Services Plus of Alton, Southwest Illinois Visiting Nurses Association, AgeSmart Community Resources, dozens of other organizations, and area residents urge the Governor and the General Assembly to rise above politics, prioritize the life and well-being of our state's most vulnerable population and immediately pass a budget which fully funds home and community-based services.