Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Senior News

While checking my blood pressure over at the CVS (only borderline hypertension) I picked up a copy of the Waco based publication “Senior News”. While generally aimed at those 65 and over, it was astounding how many of the articles I found riveting. Would Medicare buy in work for those under 65 ? Well that’s aimed right at me ! I’m all for it. Why ?  Because a story back on page 17 says that Medicare recipients give their health care services higher marks than private health insurance recipients. Now, I assume that some of that is because of the rather huge disparity in Medicare and health insurance payments. If you don’t pay much, you don’t expect much. If you pay a lot, you don’t expect much, but you reserve the right to be really pissed off about it.


Page 18 contained a fascinating story about slot machines. This is amazing. Last year in Las Vegas,25% of all slot machine revenue came from the penny machines. Now I don’t want to seem like too much of a snob, especially since I don’t gamble at all, but how much fun can it be to sit around a loud casino in Las Vegas with a big cup of pennies plowing them, one after another, into a slot machine ? The author of this gem interviewed Cora Logan of Kansas City (72) who spent her 42nd anniversary at the Isle of Capri in Kansas City playing the penny slots. “It’s all just for recreation” she explained. How boring must it be in Kansas City to have to go over to the Isle of Capri and drop pennies down a slot ? Well, much to my surprise, Cora was up $100 at the time of the interview after spending only three hours of her anniversary at the machine (so far). With these penny bets she’d have to make 10,000 more drops for the casino to break even (5,000 if she was doing the more risky two cent slots).


The humor page was not bad. Although its placement next to a rather depressing Alzheimer’s story seemed to me a layout error. There was a story on how to survive a move (presumably into assisted living). “never hire a mover who insists on a cavity search before leaving the premises.” I certainly y agree with that. Then there was a long joke about an octogenarian who had trouble getting out of sand traps.


A disproportionate number of stories were “memory” ,or lack thereof, stories. There were web sites for improving memory which I would give you, but I’ve forgotten them (that’ s a little senior humor). The best story was about the Four Corners area out west where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet. People drive there to  take pictures of themselves shaking hands across borders. It turns out that the Four Corners is not actually located at the Four Corners marking, but about 2.5 miles west of  where we thought it was. All of those pictures you took ? Useless !


One of the things that does freak you out about the newspaper is their reprinting of 50 year old stories. You are reading along and suddenly realize that Price Daniel is not the Governor of Texas and so could not recently have christened the first Texas submarine , the oddly named Turtle II. One cannot help but wonder about Turtle I. The sub can be seen today at a Corsican welding shop, or at least could have been in 1958.


there’s more and more, managing postmenopausal osteoporosis, warnings to nursing home patients not to let the home take away your $250 government stimulus check, and the final nail in the coffin of the old myth that acid reflux disease is related to asthma. Many or the stories look much like the drivel seen in this blog on a daily basis, which is perhaps why I enjoyed the paper so much. It just seemed so familiar, although I never wrote a story about the new American Society of Aging Clearing House for resources for senior gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT). This story  had the following critical finding; “the oldest LBGT people, those in their 80s and beyond remain largely invisible. “ That has been my experience, but stories like this can help get great grandpa out of the closet. All in all, this is a great read. Pick one up wherever geriatrics congregate, or just follow me over to the free CVS blood pressure machine.


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