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Jul-11-2013 12:43printcomments

ELDER PREP 101: Aging's Tribulations

To recast that old cliche: An ounce of prevention is worth more than a ton of loot! What a hoot!!

Aging three generations

(SALEM) - Inevitably, all of us age by increments. Over the past year a relative began to notice changes in her level of energy and perception. She twice fell out of bed and once left her extra car key in the auto's trunk keyhole. These clues were indeed an alert to take action.

Having been a medical social worker for three decades, I had a handle on the situation.  These are some of the resources all of us should keep in mind here on the Salem scene:

  1. Assessment: Contact the NW Senior and Disabilities Service to arrange a home visit interview.  They can best assess the needs and possible eligibility for homecare helpers.
  2. Companionship: At that same source, ask about their Senior Peer program for companions.
  3. Transit Pickup: With your doctor's approval, you may be able to obtain rides via CherryLift.
  4. Cane or Quad Cane: Again after doctor consult, you may receive Rx for a cane or walker.
  5. Meals on Wheels: Phone the Center 50+ to learn the current standards to be qualified.

These five facets of senior social support can prove invaluable.  Be aware that over-medication can cause significant side effects.  Query your doctor and do not blindly accept whatever is offered.   And keep tabs on any special diet you'll need to get used to is heart problems or diabetes are on your radar.

To recast that old cliche: An ounce of prevention is worth more than a ton of loot!  What a hoot!!


NOTE: Lee Coyne did counseling of the elderly from 1975-2008.  He has written widely on related subjects and can be contacted at:

B. Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William

Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.

Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at:



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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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