Tue, Nov 21, 2017
Home Town Debate
Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577
Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 36
Prev - Next
Assistance Dogs Provide Help and Love
Assistance Dogs Provide Help and Love

Dear Savvy Senior,

What can you tell me about assistance dogs for people with disabilities? My sister, who's 58, has multiple sclerosis and I'm wondering if an assistance dog could help make her life a little easier.

Inquiring Sister

Dear Inquiring

For people with disabilities and even medical conditions, assistant dogs can be fantastic help, not to mention they provide great companionship and an invaluable sense of security. Here's what you and your sister should know.

more
Sheaffer: Time Passes
Sheaffer: Time Passes

Once upon a time, there was a family of Mom, Dad, and little ones. And once upon a time, while it wasn't quite Father Knows Best, it was a generally happy time of growing up together and doing what Mom and Dad thought was best.

Time passed and the family, unremarkably, didn't remain in a bubble where time didn't impact them. Soon enough, the little ones were adults--at least in their own eyes. (Mom and Dad have a mantra: No matter how old they are, they're still our kids.)

more
What makes a car or truck reliable?

There are multiple factors that drivers may consider when buying a new vehicle -- from body style and interior features to engine performance and gas mileage. However, there's one valuable measure that remains wholly invisible: reliability. Discover how experts define car dependability and see which makes and models best fit the bill.

What Is Reliability?

Reliability stems from trustworthiness. Though the occasional auto issue may be unavoidable, reliable vehicles experience fewer problems throughout their lifetime. But how is that predicted? A few reputable sources take annual surveys and review major car manufacturers.

more
If You Want To Change Things...

One of the gifts of living in a representative democracy is that voting is only one of the rights it confers. For ordinary people who want to make change -- who in some way want to alter their neighborhood or town or state or even the nation -- the promise exists that by dint of their own efforts they can do so. This is a precious gift.

But it is not an easy one to enjoy. Even in a democracy, bringing about significant change requires hard work -- a level of intensity and commitment beyond the ordinary responsibilities of citizenship. You need a workable, achievable remedy that will correct the problem you're worried about. You need patience and perseverance, and a specific set of skills and capabilities.

more
Savvy Senior: How to Search for Forgotten 401(k) Money
Savvy Senior: How to Search for Forgotten 401(k) Money

Dear Savvy Senior,

How do I find an old 401(k) that I think I contributed money to at a former employer?

Approaching Retirement

Dear Approaching,

If you think you may have lost track of a 401(k) retirement account, you aren't alone. As Americans jump from job to job, many leave scraps of their company sponsored 401(k) plans behind, believing they'll deal with it later, but never do. To help you look for an old 401(k), here are some suggestions along with some free resources that can help you search.

more
Sheaffer: Fall Awareness
Sheaffer: Fall Awareness

Fall awareness. Yes, the wind is getting a bit chilly sometimes, and leaves are bouncing along the roads, but I also want to talk about fall prevention--obviously not the season since we can't really prevent that.

This time out, let's take a look at how falls can impact our lives--and how we can possibly avoid such incidents.

more
Exercises that Help Ease Arthritis Pain and Stiffness
Exercises that Help Ease Arthritis Pain and Stiffness

Dear Savvy Senior,

What exercises are best suited for seniors with arthritis? I have osteoarthritis in my neck, back, hip and knee and have read that exercises can help ease the pain and stiffness, but I don't know where to start, and I certainly don't want to aggravate it.

Stiff and Achy

more
Top New Cars for Older Drivers
Top New Cars for Older Drivers

Dear Savvy Senior,

My wife and I are both in our late sixties and are looking to buy a new car. Can you recommend some good resources that can help us evaluate and choose a good car for older drivers?

Car Shoppers

more
Check-In Services That Can Help Seniors Stay Put
Check-In Services That Can Help Seniors Stay Put

Dear Savvy Senior,

Are there any services you know of that check in on elderly seniors who live alone. I worry about my 84-year-old father falling or having a medical emergency, and not being able to get to the phone to call for help. And he won't wear a lifeline help-button.

Desperate Daughter

more
How to Stop Unwanted Junk Mail and Guard Against Mail Fraud
How to Stop Unwanted Junk Mail and Guard Against Mail Fraud

Dear Savvy Senior,

My elderly father gets over 100 pieces of junk mail every week, and I just discovered that he's given away nearly $5,000 over the past few months to many of the solicitors that mail him this junk. Can you offer any tips on how can I stop this?

Irritated Son

more
Computerized Fabric could Revolutionize Fitness Tracking
Computerized Fabric could Revolutionize Fitness Tracking

It's 2017 and now more than ever people are starting to take into consideration their health and fitness. In doing so most people end up purchasing some type of fitness tracker to assist in keeping tabs on their individual fitness progress. However, these fitness trackers can be cumbersome and bulky as most are made with rubber, plastics and other inflexible materials.

Enter a team of researchers from Harvard Universities Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. They have developed an elastic fabric-based sensor that detects and transmits data on a very wide range of human movements. These sensors might just be incorporated into future generations of smart apparel, essentially turning your clothing into a computer.

more
Skills to Master Before Leaving Home

The excitement of a college acceptance letter can have teens and parents celebrating for weeks. But once the new semester approaches, many students may be anxious about leaving the comfort of their childhood home. Having a handle on these five essential life skills can help ease the transition.

more
Windows on Education: What Teachers Know
Windows on Education: What Teachers Know

I recently read a book written by Denver elementary school teacher Kyle Schwarz. The book, entitled "I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids," details some of the experiences that Ms. Schwartz has had in her role as teacher in the primary grades and how they have affected her personally and professionally. It is a stark reminder that 1) adults are primarily teachers of children, rather than simply subject matter and 2) every child has unique talents and needs. Though these insights are neither new nor unique, it is sometimes easy for parents, community members and school staff to forget how important (and challenging) it is to strive to always take these two facts into account when working with our young charges.

more
Windows on Education: Teaching Confidence
Windows on Education: Teaching Confidence

Recently I was reflecting on a study I read about years ago regarding a phenomenon known as "learned helplessness." A quick trip to Wikipedia helped refresh my memory regarding this theory. In 1967, an American psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania was interested in researching depression. The psychologist, Martin Seligman, came up with an ingenious (if somewhat barbaric) experiment in an effort to find out how depression affects living organisms. The experiment he performed would likely face ethical challenges today, but here is what he did in his two-part experiment:

Part 1: He created three groups of dogs and placed them in harnesses. The dogs in Group 1 were kept in the harnesses for a certain period of time and then released. The dogs in Groups 2 and 3 were paired with a yoke that linked them so that when Group 2 dogs were given electric shocks at random times, Group 3 dogs would also receive a shock. Group 2 dogs had the ability to end the shock by pressing a lever; the shock would then end for both dogs. Since Group 3 dogs could not see what caused the shock to end, they perceived their shocks as unavoidable and inescapable.

Part 2: The three groups of dogs were put in boxes that had low walls that could easily be jumped over, thus removing themselves from any shocks that might be administered. When the researchers administered shocks, the dogs in Groups 1 and 2 quickly learned they could escape the shock by simply jumping the wall. The majority of the Group 3 dogs (those who had previously learned that nothing they did would have any effect on the shocks) just lay down and whined, rather than jump the wall to avoid the shocks. This behavior was termed "learned helplessness."

more
Low-Cost Wireless Plans for Seniors Who Use Smartphones
Low-Cost Wireless Plans for Seniors Who Use Smartphones

Dear Savvy Senior,

I'm interested in downsizing my smartphone wireless plan, and am looking for the best low cost options. I use my phone primarily for talking and texting, but also need some cellular data for checking my email and other functions when I'm away from WiFi. What can you tell me?

Senior Saver

more
Saving Money
Saving Money

Speaking of maybe saving some money...

I was talking with one of our SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) people the other day and he mentioned a renewed interest in our communities about a program that can actually reduce some premium costs.

more
How to Hire a Home Helper
How to Hire a Home Helper

Dear Savvy Senior,

I would like to hire a personal assistant/home helper for my mom to assist with some simple household chores like house keeping, errand running, driving her to the doctor, and keeping her company. But mom doesn't require personal/physical caregiving nor does she require any home medical care. Any tips to help us find someone?

Looking for Mom

more
Living
Living

I've noticed something. Many of the people in my area of social services appear to be aging. And sometimes when I need a new picture ID, or really look into the mirror, I realize I seem to be one such person.

On the other hand, it also appears that a lot of people are becoming involved at a much earlier age, which is encouraging.

At times, I run into folks who say they know very little about "senior" services or about related issues and concerns. And sometimes, I think "Keep on living, and you'll become very familiar with them".

more
EMS
EMS

I'd like to take an opportunity to remind us of some very dedicated professionals in our community who usually go about their services without a lot of public attention. You might not even think about them very often--until you have a crisis. And then, you need them right now.

I'm talking about our EMT's and/or Paramedics, often referred to as Emergency Medical Services (EMS). I know, we tend to think about TV shows where explosions are going off among twisted metal or broken concrete, while breaking through the smoke, the ambulances with these folks comes racing through with lights flashing

more
Windows on Education: When Can My Child Wash the Dishes?
Windows on Education: When Can My Child Wash the Dishes?

Over the years, some parents have asked me when the proper time is to expect their children to help with the chores and other household duties. I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that touched on this issue; it caused me to reflect on my parents' expectations, as well as my wife's and my expectations for our kids. I've included some of those ruminations, as well as others' thoughts below. I recognize each family is different, so your mileage may vary.

more
Savvy Senior: Can I Inherit My Parent's Debt?
Savvy Senior: Can I Inherit My Parent's Debt?

Dear Savvy Senior,

What happens to a person's debt after they die? My mother has taken on a lot of medical and credit card over the past few years and I'm worried that my brother and I will be responsible for it when she dies. What can you tell me?

Worried Daughter

more
Issues on Aging: Legal Assistance
Issues on Aging: Legal Assistance

It seems sometimes that the quest for information moves in cycles. We might get several calls in a month about anything from Assisted Living and Adult Family Homes, to Meals on Wheels.

Next there could be run of questions about Home Care agencies, and so on. One of the recent flurries has been about legal advice--where to look, what's involved, etc. Since many of us have limited contact with legal types until we need it ASAP, let's do a little information sharing.

more
Happenings

Upcoming Community Events

April 29: Celebrate International Table Games Day at Raymond First Baptist Church, 913 Duryea Street on Saturday, April 29, from 1-4 p.m. Bring your favorite game or use the games there. Refreshments provided.

2nd Wednesdays: Alliance for a Better Community meetings are the second Wednesday of each month, at noon, at Liang's restaurant. Public is always welcome.

VFW Pacific Post 968 is holding regular monthly meetings every second Wednesday. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held at 221 Duryea Street in Raymond.


more
Savvy Senior: Coping with Ringing in Your Ears
Savvy Senior: Coping with Ringing in Your Ears

Dear Savvy Senior,

Are there any new treatments you know of that can help with constant ear ringing syndrome known as tinnitus? I've had it for years but it's gotten worse the older I get.

Ringing Louder at 62

more
Issues on Aging: Saving Money
Issues on Aging: Saving Money

QMB. SLMB. QI. QDWI. All MSP's.

There you go--now you know all about them--whatever they are. Let's start at the end of the list.

Medicare Savings Plans (MSP) are programs designed to help qualified individuals with the costs of their Medicare plans, such as premiums, co-pays and so on.

If you like to collect acronyms and what they mean:

  • QMB=Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program
  • SLMB=Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program
  • QI=Qualified Individual Program
  • QDWI=Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program
more
Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 36
Prev - Next
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: