Senior Activities in Darien, CT - Fall 2010

Aging In Place in Darien is the one place to call for information and referral to senior programs and services!
Call 203-202-2912

Fall News:
Darien Health Department Flu Clinics
•    Wednesday, September 29th, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. at the Darien

Senior Center
•    Tuesday, October 5th, 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. at Darien Town Hall
•    Tuesday, October 19th, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at Darien Town Hall
•    Tuesday, October 26th, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. at the Darien

Senior Center
•    Tuesday, November 2nd, 3:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. at Darien Town Hall
The cost is $30.  Medicare is accepted.  For further information, contact Molly Larson, RN at or call the Darien

Health Department at 203-656-7394.

Ask the Doctors
Tuesday, October 5th, 7:00 p.m. at the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road. 

Doctors4Darien, a team of four esteemed community physicians, will discuss new research findings and information related to our bodies and our health.  From dental care to foot care and everything in between, this is your chance to learn new and better paths to wellbeing.  For more information, call the Darien Library at 203-655-1234 or go to

Medicare 411
Tuesday, October 12th, 10:30 a.m. at the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road.  Learn about the types of Medicare plans that are available, buying and paying for plans, and how the new healthcare reform benefits affect you.  Presented by Christine Crain, Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging and Inta Adams, Assistant Director of Darien Social Services. 

For more information, call Inta Adams at 203-656-7321 or e-mail

AIP Annual Luncheon:  How To Live To Be 100
Tuesday, October 19th, 12:00 p.m. at the Darien Community Association, 274 Middlesex Road.  The Aging in Place Annual luncheon is free and open to the public.  Dr. Edward Schuster, Medical Director at Stamford
Hospital Health & Fitness Institute will give a dynamic presentation on “How to Live to Be 100.”  Please call Alyssa Israel, AIP Coordinator, at 203-202-2912 by October 13th to reserve a space.  Also, please visit the Darien Community Association Website for a full list of classes and activities at or call 203-655-9050.

Why and When to Consider Long Term Care Insurance
Wednesday, October 27th, 5:30 p.m. at the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road.  Sponsored by the Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care, this forum will help you gain a better understanding of the risks and costs of nursing home and home care; why it’s important to consider these long-term care factors in retirement planning; what you need to know before purchasing long-term care insurance; and how the State’s
Partnership program can add to your long-range financial security. 
Space is limited so please call 1-800-547-3443 or 1-860-424-4943 to reserve a seat.

Mahjong at the Darien Senior Center
Every Monday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. at the Darien Senior Center, 30 Edgerton Street.  Learn a new and challenging game or refresh your skills.  Mahjong, an ancient game that involves strategy, skill and luck is played with a set of 152 decorative Chinese tiles with a variety of symbols from nature.  Stay until 12:00 p.m. to enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by Master Chef Tom Mirto (only $4.00).  For more information, call the Darien Senior Center at 203-656-7455 or e-mail  For a full list of activities at the Darien Senior Center, go to

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!

For more information contact: 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

How to Live to Be 100!

On Tuesday, October 19th, Come hear Dr. Edward Schuster, Medical Director of Stamford Hospital Health and Fitness Institute, speak on "How to Live to Be 100". Dr. Schuster's talk will be part of the annual Aging In Place in Darien luncheon. This year's lunch will be held at the Darien Community Association, 274 Middlesex Road, Darien, CT.

Lunch will run from 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. and is free. But you must register before October 13 by calling the Aging In Place coordinator, Alyssa, at 203.202.2912. Or email her at:
If you want to get a flavor of Dr. Schuster's tips on How to Live to Be 100, here is a handout from one of his previous talks. Dr. Schuster is a cardiologist.

Note: the Out and About fall newsletter had the wrong email address for me. I'm at

Holding Down Medical & Hospital Costs

When my mother had a stroke, I was appalled by the bills I got from the hospital and the doctors. Even more, I couldn't believe how much she was responsible for paying, even after Medicare and supplemental insurance had paid their share. Blue Cross denied practically every expense or said they were unreasonable for her area.

While I was grateful for my mother's care, I still wound up calling the hospital billing office to question the bill, as my mother had suffered severe cognitive impairment from the stroke and could not do anything herself. I was able to reduce the bill. The doctors, however, stood their ground when I contacted them.

That's why I loved Jane Brody's column in the New York Times Science section on Tuesday, September 14, 2010. It was called "Put Your Hospital Bills Under a Microscope". In the article, Brody talks about scrutinizing her aunt's hospital bill, as I had my mother's. She also gives lots of wise tips about how to hold costs down. She suggests going to the Health Care Blue Book Web site--
to look up what various hospitals charge for various procedures.

Brody also points out that hospitals and doctors charge insured people less than they charge uninsured people. That's because the hospitals negotiate rates with the insurance companies. The same can apply if you go out of your insurance company's network. You'll get socked with a much larger bill when paying nonnegotiated rates.

The moral of the story is: Do your homework. Read and question all bills. Be your own or your loved one's advocate. 

Read more at:

Put Your Hospital Bills Under a Microscope
Published: September 13, 2010
Medicare does not cover everything. Closely vet hospital costs and if you can, shop around beforehand.

Can B Vitamins Slow Dementia?

Yesterday, I saw a news item that said B vitamins can help slow the development of dementia. A study in Britain showed that large doses of B vitamins can actually slow down rate at which the brain shrinks in elderly people with memory problems. This may slow the slide into dementia.

These results were achieved in a two year clinical trial at Oxford University. Now, more clinical trials have to confirm the results. The vitamins B12 and B6 were given in huge quantities -- not over-the-counter doses. Dosages this high make the vitamins more like drugs than mere supplements. It doesn't sound like something you should do at home.

But B12 and B6 do seem to cut the amount of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine has been linked to the risk of developing Alzheimer's. People taking the high doses of vitamins did better on cognitive tests vs. those taking a placebo. More studies are coming.

Read more via this link: 

Senior Who Exercise Can Remain Independent

It stands to reason that if you exercise, you'll be stronger and healthier. But recent research shows that specific types of exercise are particularly useful to older adults. That's because people lose muscle mass as they age, and lose even more if they're sedentary. When you lose strength, you lose mobility and then independence.

An article in the New York Times on August 31 says that scientists are now studying why muscles wither, just like bones lose density. The scientists say that losing muscle will be as important a topic as osteoporosis very soon. The term for muscle loss with age is "sarcopenia".

Most seniors want to maintain their independence. Doing the right exercises everyday is a small price to pay to have mobility and independence. The University of Florida is doing research to help seniors gain strength and balance, both keys to mobility. It's worth reading about via the links below.

You can read about this in depth at the New York Times:

Find out more about the research going on at The University of Florida: