seniorresource.com
*** March 2008 ***
* E-zine *

This Month's Highlights:
· Healthcare Coverage Real Plus
· Markets Fluctuate; Don't Panic
· How to Manage Depression


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CONTENTS

A. HEALTHCARE COVERAGE A REAL PLUS
B. MARKETS FLUCTUATE; DON'T PANIC
C. HOW TO MANAGE YOUR DEPRESSION
D. DID YOU KNOW...?
E. THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH
F. SPECIAL OCCASIONS THIS MONTH
G. SPECIAL SURFING SITE
H. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE

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A. HEALTHCARE COVERAGE A REAL PLUS

A recent study funded by the Commonwealth Fund and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) http://jama.ama-assn.org concludes that seniors without access to healthcare live better once they achieve coverage from Medicare. In a 12-year study, individuals, some of who had insurance coverage over the entire period and others with little or no coverage during the period, those without coverage cited health improvements after gaining access to Medicare, while the continuously insured did not report any major improvement after enrolling in Medicare. This study comes to similar conclusions as a July 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/357/2/143

At first blush, the conclusion seems obvious. However it has larger political implications, especially since some healthcare experts have questioned that the insured have improved health, and the current presidential candidates address the heath care issue.

Recently the mainstream media has been focused on the wave of childhood obesity sweeping the nation, and the efforts to provide coverage to poor children. The rate of Type II diabetes is growing among school children, potentially robbing the nation of its future workers and threatening to bankrupt Medicare in the future. Some have opined there is a de facto competition for government assistance between the young and the baby boom generation.

This report shows that the nation has a real need to provide healthcare to seniors and uninsured adults who are not yet elderly as well as children. With the explosion in the cost of healthcare access sapping the American pocketbook in the midst of a recession, we all need affordable health insurance to keep our economy strong and to live more satisfying lives.

When older Americans gained health insurance, their health improved measurably. "Health improves when people gain insurance coverage," said the study's senior author, Dr. John Ayanian. The study finds that for every 100 uninsured people who contracted heart disease or diabetes before age 65, those with Medicare coverage had 10 fewer major cardiac complications than expected by age 72.

Uninsured adults who are not yet elderly will use more Medicare services after age 65 than their peers who are currently insured. This drives up demand for the taxpayer funded health services Medicare provides. Uninsured Americans with diabetes who suffer a stroke, or who have a history of heart disease or high blood pressure, are most likely to see a benefit to their health upon gaining Medicare coverage. As weight-related diabetes is surging among young Americans, this study's conclusions are evermore significant as we look to the future of healthcare funding, and access to healthcare.

For more information on these illnesses check out these links for combating diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease:

Diabetes:

http://www.govtech.com/gt/93224
http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/5622/1/Fighting-Diabetes-Mellitus.html

High blood pressure:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE4D6173CF937A35756C0A96F958260
http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/alerts/hypertension_stroke/
JohnsHopkinsHypertensionandStrokeHealthAlert_51-1.html

Heart disease:

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200247&division=NEA110
http://healthletter.tufts.edu/issues/2003-01/heart_disease.html

Additional health-related information for seniors can also be found at:
http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm


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B. MARKETS FLUCTUATE; DON'T PANIC... Get Professional Advice and Dollar-Cost Average

"The market is up." "The market is down." Where are you? Probably, you're sitting in your home as you read this.

What's our point? What matters is YOUR finances - not the global investor's. Do you own stocks? If not, you've got little to worry about. In fact, with consumer interest rates now declining as the Federal Reserve Bank lowers the rate charged to lenders for short-term borrowing, you may even be ahead of the game!

If you do own stocks, take a refreshing glance at this 100-year historical chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average: http://stockcharts.com/charts/historical/djia1900.html With all dividends reinvested, it has averaged roughly 9% since 1900. The Standard and Poor's Index has averaged roughly 10.5% annually since its inception in 1923. Because an investor is more likely to succeed by being invested over time, rather than by timing investments with market fluctuation, the age of an investor is a key factor in a professional's advice to him or her. It is also why portfolios of senior citizens are typically well diversified with fixed income investments to offset fluctuations in equity investments.

The most important thing to do if you think you may be affected by stock market fluctuations is to speak with a professional about your particular situation. Such a professional will need to know your needs and goals in life - whatever they may be. They will ask about your income level, income sources, and investments in securities, insurance, and real estate. They'll ask you about your investment experience.

Based upon your age and life expectancy, income, net worth, investment mix, family goals, health, and risk tolerance an investment professional will make a series of recommendations. This is why it is also important to speak with your family, if you haven't before, about inheritance, estate planning, and your retirement financing plans. If you know what your family's needs and goals are when you invest, you'll be able to plan for them. Otherwise you are just guessing in the dark.

If you own equity mutual funds, one of those pieces of advice may be to invest more every month, starting now. "Invest when the market is dropping? Are you nuts?" That is sometimes the reaction investment professionals get from clients at such advice. Mathematically, it works wonders. It is called "dollar cost averaging." If you invest the same dollar amount every month into a mutual fund, you'll always be purchasing the fewest shares at the higher prices, and the most shares at the lowest prices. This creates an average cost per share over time. When the market rebounds, you have more shares purchased at the most effective price. The risk protection results can be dramatic. Here's an example:
http://beginnersinvest.about.com/cs/newinvestors/a/041901a.htm

Remember: Don't panic. Speak to a professional and be forthcoming with your answers to their fact-finding questions. Speak with your family, if you haven't before, about inheritance, estate planning, and your retirement financing plans. Then take action in confidence.

Additional financial information for seniors can also be found at:
http://www.seniorresource.com/finance.htm


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C. REVIEW OF TECHNIQUES IN MANAGING YOUR DEPRESSION
By Stanley Popovich

Some people have a difficult time managing their depression. Sometimes their depression and fears can get best of them. Here is a short list of techniques that a person can use to help manage his or her depression.

One way is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. For example, you're afraid that if you do not get that job promotion then you will be stuck in your job forever. This depresses you. However, your thinking in this situation is unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that there all are kinds of jobs available, and just because you don't get THIS job promotion doesn't mean that you will never get one. In addition, people change jobs all the time, and you always have that option of going elsewhere if you are unhappy at your present location.

Some people get depressed and have a difficult time getting out of bed in the mornings. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get their mind off of the problem. A person could determine to take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, or do another activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. Doing something will get your mind off of the problem and give you confidence to do other things. And it will get you out of that bed!

Sometimes we can get depressed over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that you're playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements or affirmations that make you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel positive or just plain better, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping himself in the long run, because he will become better able to deal with these problems in the future. Managing your fears and anxieties takes practice. The more you practice, the better you will become.

The techniques that I have just covered are some basic ways to manage your depression; however your best bet is to get some help from a professional.

BIOGRAPHY:
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods"- an easy-to-read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com

Additional health-related information for seniors can also be found at:
http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm


 
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D. DID YOU KNOW...?

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center
The center will be located underground, striking a balance with the three-acre Vietnam Veterans Memorial site nearby. The underground location protects the visual integrity of the National Mall, while enhancing the experience of visiting The Wall. The center, which has been authorized by Congress, is working with Memorial Fund officials in partnership with the National Park Service, which will operate it.

The Center will help visitors learn the importance of the Memorial Wall, its role in helping to remember those who served, and the vital part it played in helping to heal the deep societal divisions resulting from the Vietnam War. The Memorial Fund hopes the Center will encourage citizenship and an appreciation of those who have served and continue to serve in America's armed forces.

While the design approval, fundraising and building schedule for the Memorial Center is not fully fixed at the moment, groundbreaking is expected in 2010, with the Center being completed within 18 months after that. Learn more at http://www.vvmf.org/

Safe Driving Saves Money
For seniors, one of the best ways to reduce high auto insurance cost is to avoid accidents. No surprise there! Here are some tips that may keep the wrecker (and the insurance agent) away.

A. Slow Driving: Drive at the right speed. Driving too slowly can be as dangerous as speeding, especially when entering or exiting freeways. It can also trigger dangerous "road rage" in other drivers.

B. Intersection Confusion: Many seniors' car accidents happen at intersections.

  1. Traffic is often shuttled into dedicated lanes; hence scan ahead to allow plenty of time to change lanes.
  2. Look for protected left-turn lanes with their own arrows.
  3. Keep your tires pointed straight while stopped, so that a rear-end accident doesn't push you into oncoming traffic.

C. Yield right-of-way: Violations include improper turning or incorrect lane changes, so keep current on new traffic design rules.


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E. THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH

We present here some words from those with a birthday this month.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee -- "It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret."

Knute Rockne -- "Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points."

Chastity Bono -- "I don't look at sexual orientation as that big of a deal. It's just an orientation."

Rex Harrison -- "I'm at the age where I've got to prove that I'm just as good as I never was."

Miriam Makeba -- "Age is…wisdom, if one has lived one's life properly."

More "Thoughts" at: http://www.seniorresource.com/thought.htm


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F. SPECIAL OCCASIONS THIS MONTH

1. Red Cross Month
Every year the President of the United States proclaims March to be "Red Cross Month," giving the American Red Cross an opportunity to promote its services and celebrate its successes in serving communities across the U.S. The March celebration began as a way for the public to learn more about the organization and support it through donations and volunteerism. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first "March is Red Cross Month" proclamation in 1943. For the first 25 years of its existence, the Red Cross held no regular fund-raising drives. But the success of this war-time special-need fundraiser caused the Red Cross to decide to repeat the March drive during the remaining years of the war, and then to make it the occasion of its annual membership and fund-raising efforts ever since. Learn more and make your donations at http://www.redcross.org

2. Irish-American Heritage Month
The histories of Ireland and the United States are deeply intertwined. For generations, the sons and daughters of Ireland have come to America with a spirit of determination and optimism that has strengthened our nation's character and enriched our history. During Irish-American Heritage Month, we celebrate Irish Americans and the significant contributions they have made to our country. Find your local Irish American organization and celebrate with them. (Be sure to enjoy St. Patrick's Day this month!)

3. March 2008 National Women’s History Month
Generations of Women Moving History Forward
Each year, March is designated as National Women's History Month to ensure that the history of American women will be recognized and celebrated in schools, workplaces, and communities throughout the country. The stories of women's historic achievements present an expanded view of the complexity and contradiction of living a full and purposeful life. The knowledge of women's history provides a more expansive vision of what woman are capable of doing. This perspective can encourage girls and women to think larger and bolder and can give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience. Learn more at http://www.nwhp.org/

Visit the Senior Bazaar, http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm
for some well written feminist history books.

 


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G.SPECIAL SURFING SITES

Get Caught Up on Coupons

CouponMom.com catalogues the coupons that appear in newspapers and other circulars over time. Perhaps you were out of town and missed last month's papers and the accompanying coupons. Print them out at this site and save money on groceries.

Patient Safety

The National Patient Safety Foundation is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has been diligently pursuing one mission since its founding in 1997 - to improve the safety of patients. A decade later, NPSF remains the sole organization in the field with this singular focus.

NPSF also occupies a unique position in this field by virtue of its inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach. From the composition of its board to the structure of its programs, NPSF fosters collaboration on the issue of patient safety.

The foundation provides timely and important information on patient safety implementation strategies, along with practical tools to facilitate the incorporation of patient safety into the hospital culture and enhance existing safety and quality programs. Learn more at http://www.npsf.org/

Junk Email Strategy

The downside of many of many great online offers is registration. Avoid clogging your email with many unwanted ads that will follow, but having a free "junk" email. When that email gets too loaded with unwanted solicitations, abandon it and select a new "junk" email address.


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H. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE

An Irish View

Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and says to the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
The man says, "I do, Father."
The priest says, "Then stand over there against the wall."
Then the priest asks the second man, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
"Certainly, Father," is the man's reply.
"Then stand over there against the wall," says the priest.
Then Father Murphy walks up to O'Toole and asks, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
O'Toole said, "No, I don't, Father."
The priest says, "I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?"
O'Toole said, "Oh, when I die-yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now."

Things to Ponder
- thanks to I.J. Hart

If you eat pasta and anti-pasta, do they cancel each other out?
Do infants have as much fun with infancy as adults have with adultery?
Is there any such thing as tomorrow?
If you can't get enough, stop before you have too much!
One way to begin is to start a revolution!
Pizza is pretty good either hot or cold. To the person who ate my last piece, revenge is best served cold!

Visit 1000's of jokes of interest to people who have lived a long and rich life
"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at:
http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm


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Visit us online at http://www.NewLifeStyles.com to find what you are looking for. Read descriptions, view location maps and online tours, compare amenities and services, contact companies directly via e-mail, and save and recommend your favorites, all from the comfort of your own home.

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This issue has been edited by Betsy Day (Betsyjday@aol.com).

Copyright 2008 seniorresource.com, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Other products, service and companies named herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders and are solely responsible for the content of their articles. Articles are included for informational purposes and are not an endorsement.



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