New Science Sheds Light on the Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease, New Direction for Finding Cure - AARP Bulletin

This news about oligomers, a floating protein in the brain, causing Alzheimer's is incredible. Now, some scientists say it's not the sticky plaque, just the proteins. The plaque actually protects the brain, they think. Amazing! Read more in the AARP Bulletin. Link below.

New Science Sheds Light on the Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease, New Direction for Finding Cure - AARP Bulletin

Needed, Now: New Approaches to Financing Old Age - Knowledge@Wharton

How do you finance old age today? You may have to work into your 70s. That's what experts are now saying. With the decline of corporate pension funds and with people living longer than ever, you may outlive your savings. We certainly can't rely on Medicare and Social Security.

We all need to become financially more literate -- to understand the power of compounding (if we ever get higher interest rates again), investing for the long-run and the way annuities work.

Read more in this alarming article from the Wharton School.

Needed, Now: New Approaches to Financing Old Age - Knowledge@Wharton

Take Care With Medications

Last week I attended a talk on Medication Management for seniors. A registered nurse who is with Nursing and Home Care gave the presentation, which was really excellent. What I liked most was how many seniors showed up and how engaged they were in listening. They are confused by those "meds" they're taking are, and came to find out more about how to manage taking them. The woman sitting next to me came with a baggie filled with about 10 different pill bottles.

That's why it was great that there was a useful freebie being given away at the talk - a seven-day pill organizer. This is a plastic case with seven rows of little square holders for your pills. You organize the pills by day and time, so that you can keep track of what you've taken and not taken.

I can see how this would be really helpful. Two years ago, I had an infected dog bite, and I had to take two antibiotics on two different schedules. Plus, I could only take them within a certain number of hours before or after taking a multivitamin. The regimen was quite complex.

My solution was to write out the schedule on one piece of paper that I left on the kitchen table. Then, I had another piece of paper on which I wrote down the date and time that I had taken each pill -- immediately after I had taken it. This way, I didn't have to wonder if I had taken it or at what time I had done so. The system worked very well for me and helped keep me out of the hospital.

Try it for yourself. I'll be writing more on medication management this week.

Please send me questions and comments.

Seniors: How to Avoid Scams

I just got this notice from the Bedford, NY, Police Department. In the spring bunco artists (i.e., scammers and crooks) prey on seniors. Even though it comes from police in New York, seniors everywhere can benefit by reading this and taking care.

April 29, 2010 Contact: Det. Sgt. William Hayes PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Bedford Police are reminding residents, particularly seniors, to be on the alert for con artists that often ply their trade during the spring months. These individuals engage in activities such as driveway paving or sealing scams, chimney repair or other home improvement offers. Criminals also pose as fake water or utility inspectors who try to talk their way into your home. Residents should be suspicious of anyone who comes to their home uninvited and offers these types of services.

All contractors must be licensed by the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection. Their website has some excellent resources regarding assistance to homeowners desiring to hire contractors, as well as information on other types of scams, the website is

Other types of scams include having a female or child come to your door and ask to use the bathroom or phone. When allowed in, the person claiming to need assistance or nearby accomplices will steal items from the home of the unsuspecting homeowner. Some groups will try to lure a homeowner out of the house by claiming a neighbor is cutting trees or constructing a fence near the property line to get the homeowner out of the house and allow accomplices to enter and steal property.

Another good resource for information on these and many types of scams is This organization, the National Association of Bunco Investigators (NABI), is a non-profit organization that assists law enforcement in solving confidence scams, commonly known as “bunco” crimes. NABI has assisted the Bedford Police in the past and has directly led to arrests of perpetrators of bunco crimes committed in the Town of Bedford.

Residents are encouraged to check on their elderly relatives and neighbors frequently and particularly if you see suspicious activity at their homes. If you see something suspicious, call Bedford Police right away, don’t wait!


Medication Management for Seniors - May 18 in Darien, CT

Did you know that one in every three hospitalizations in older adults results from medication mishaps?

Did you know that one in every four medications prescribed may be unnecessary?

Aging In Place in Darien and Nursing and Home Care are jointly presenting Medication Management at the Darien Town Hall.

Elaine Abrams, MPH, RN, and Community Health Coordinator at Nursing & Home Care will talk about drug interactions, how to read drug facts and labels and what to ask your doctor.

I'm going to attend and will blog about the information I get from the presentation.

Don't miss this important meeting - Tuesday, May 18th, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. -- Room 119 at Darien Town Hall. It's free and open to the public.

To register, call Aging In Place at 203-202-2912.

Follow me on Twitter: @indieseniors.

Betty White Monologue

Even if you don't normally watch Saturday Night Live, this opening monologue of Betty White's is worth watching. I love Betty. She is still charming, gracious and very, very funny. I wish more people were like her.

If you want to talk about aging with grace, Betty is doing it. Except, at 88 1/2 years old, she really doesn't seem that old. Take a look.

Betty White Monologue

The Zimmers "My Generation" Released: 28/05/07

My Generation Video

A must-see video. I found a link to this video on the USC Davis School of Gerontology Web site.
It is absolutely fabulous.

News from Aging In Place in Darien

News from Aging In Place in Darien

The one place to call for information and referral to senior programs and services! Call 203-202-2912

DCA Plant Sale
Friday, May 7th, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Darien Community Association (DCA), 274 Middlesex Road.  There will be wonderful plants grown in the DCA's own greenhouse by their greenhouse members, as well as perennials donated from the gardens of garden club members.  Experienced gardeners and designers will be on hand to offer advice and suggestions.  Come early before that perfect plant is gone!  For additional information, call the DCA at 203-655-9050 or go to

Burlesque: The Way it Was…
Friday, May 7th, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Lifetime Learners, Norwalk Community College, Pepsico Theater, 188 Richards Ave.  Former international burlesque queen Bambi Jones traces the history of burlesque and will perform for the audience while educating on the origins of burlesque styles and trends.  Bring your lunch or buy it there.  For more information, call Lifetime Learners at 203-857-3330 or go to

Darien Library Book Sale
Saturday, May 8th to Friday, May 12th at noon at the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road.  Shoppers will find recent bestsellers, fiction, mystery, cookbooks, travel, biographies, and children’s books.  On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, books, audio books, CDs, and videos are $1 each or three for $2.  DVDs are $5 each.  Paperback books are $.25 each or five for $1.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, all items will be half price.  Thursday is Dollar-a-Bag Day and on Friday, visitors to the Library may fill a bag for free until 12 noon.  For more information, call the Darien Library at 203-655-1234 or go to

Mother’s Day High Tea and Entertainment with Pianist Marilyn Beede and singer Cookie Martini
Wednesday, May 12th, 12:30 p.m. at the Darien Senior Center, 30 Edgerton Street.  Come at 12:00 p.m. for a delicious lunch prepared by Master Chef Tom Mirto (only $4.00).  To make a lunch reservation, call the Darien Senior Center at 203-656-7455 or email           

Medication Management
Tuesday, May 18th, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Darien Town Hall, Room 119.  Learn about drug interactions, how to interpret the drug facts label and what questions to ask your doctor.  Get the facts about generic vs. brand name, buying medications online, travelling with your meds, and preparing for emergencies.  Presented by Elaine Abrams, RN, MPH of Nursing & Home Care.  Refreshments will be served.  To register, call Aging In Place in Darien at 203-202-2912.

Need a ride?  Take the Gallivant for a donation of only $5.00.  Call 203-655-2227 to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.  Or purchase Half-Price Taxi Vouchers from Darien Social Services.  Call 203-656-7328 for more information. 

Please feel free to forward this bulletin to friends and family who might be interested!

Alyssa Israel, MPH, CHES
Aging In Place Coordinator
P.O. Box 926, 701 Post Road
Darien, CT  06820
Tel:  203-202-2912  Fax: 203-655-9416

Practical Assisted Living Structures - PALS

A couple of years ago I met a man named Henry Racki. Henry is a builder, and he had a vision for families to be able to keep their loved ones at home and out of institutions. It wouldn't matter if the loved ones were old and frail or young and disabled in some way. He developed modular, temporary additions for homes called Practical Assisted Living Structures, or "PALS."

Henry's company is going strong. They are building the PALS and attaching them to homes. Even cooler, he has built this business during the worst recession our country has had since the Great Depression. He has built this home-building company in the midst of our worst housing slump in ages. That is something to be proud of.

Another thing we all can be proud of is that Henry is a veteran, and he first thought of PALS to help disabled veterans. In fact, he installed the first unit onto a veteran's home, donating the time and materials. I wrote about this in a previous blog.

Take a look at the PALS website and watch the video of the PALS being put in place.

New Approach - New Title

If you follow this blog, you should know that I have changed the title to: "Independent Seniors" from "Aging With Grace."  I have registered a new address, too, "". You'll see that still comes up in the address line. I've left that as it is so as to not confuse search engines. But my heart and mind are in the right place. I've learned from my older friends.

Too many older adults have told me that "aging in place" or "aging with grace" has the wrong connotation. As one of my older eloquent pals told me:

"I am definitely aging (88 1/2), but in spite of the fact that I am in
my home, I do not feel that I am "in place" nor do I feel that I am
doing whatever I am doing "with grace."  I think I have mentioned to
you before that the title "Aging in Place" conveys to me the picture
of an inactive, helpless person who has decided that life is over and
action of any kind is undesirable.  It sounds like a static condition,
whereas I feel and believe that the most important thing we can do as
we age is move--participate, reach out, enjoy.  There are multiple
ways we can do this, and no doubt your writing will deal with some of
this, but I feel that the title is not going to get me to read it in
the first place.

"The strange thing about age is that there is a part of you that never
does feel old.  Maybe the bones ache, or the mind refuses to bring up
a word, but for most of the older people I know the spirit is strong
and memory holds a basket full of goodies along with a few pickles.
...I think the title needs to convey a more upbeat feeling than "Aging in

So here we are with a new approach. I want to hear from you!. I have another email, too: