May - June 2013 E-zine

This Issue's Highlights:
· "FEEBLE" By Whose Perspective
· Managing Your Anxieties
· Vision and Age

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A1. "FEEBLE": By Whose Perspective
by Barbara Krueger

In my mind, "feeble" means someone whose faculties are not good, and I strongly associate it with feeble-mindedness. I now know that is technically wrong. My definition is not comprehensive enough, according to the 1158-page The Living Webster dictionary.

The Living Webster defines feeble as "physically weak, mentally or morally weak; lacking in force or effectiveness; lacking in volume, brightness or distinctness."

What caused my investigation into the dictionary definition in the first place? A conversation with my son, who as a PhD and University Professor, knew the full scope of "feeble" as defined in the dictionary.

In a telephone conversation we had about the forgetfulness and distracted behavior of other seniors I know, my son said, "Ma, without all your joint replacement surgeries you would be 'feeble'".

I was stunned. First, as you can see above, I did not associate the word with physical feebleness. Second, how dare he refer to ME and "feeble" in the same sentence!

I think I'm still mentally sharp. True, I forget people's names, can't remember words or names of places and things I don't think of regularly; my friend Bev assures me that's a synapse problem that comes with aging and is not connected to Alzheimer's. And it pleases me to believe she is correct.

Another friend once told me, "As long as tomorrow you remember that yesterday you couldn't remember 'X', you donít have Alzheimer's. It doesn't matter that you still can't remember the fact today--just that you remember what you thought about yesterday." Well, back to my sonís remark.

So, like one in three Americans who, according to a Pew Research Study, search the internet before seeing a doctor, I decided to research some medical websites on the definition of "feeble."

The sites definitely referred to physical "feebleness."

Medline Plus, sponsored by NIH (National Institutes of Health) at had articles like: Spinal Muscular Atrophy: feeble movement of the arms and legs...

No denying, my son had a point.

If I had had two hip replacements, and were in a wheelchair because I could not walk without pain, the world could define me as "feeble"?

If I had had the two hip-replacement surgeries, but not the shoulder-replacement surgery, and couldn't feed myself nicely with my right/dominant hand, those who saw me eating clumsily could define me as "feeble".

If my many friends with bionic knees had not had surgery, they also might now be too "feeble" to play golf. My brother-in-law with post-polio syndrome could be so defined.

Well, I strongly object to that broader definition and labeling.

As long as I can write articles, pay bills, file taxes, vote responsibly (well, maybe just "vote," without qualifiers), navigate the Web, send and receive emails, pass the driverís license written test and/or the driving test, I am not feeble. Whether I walk with a walker, a cane, or navigate in a wheelchair or scooter, I am not feeble, and resent being regarded as such by others. And certainly by my adult children! Aha! That's it. There is a generational divide. Hhmmm? How did I regard my parents' growing infirmities? Surely I never thought of them as "feeble."

Learn more about walking exercise at:

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A2. Finding Techniques That Will Manage Your Anxieties
By Stanley Popovich

Are you having trouble finding effective ways to overcome your fears and anxieties? It can be difficult to find all of the answers in managing your anxieties. The best way to overcome your persistent fears is to find those coping skills that effectively manage the fear and anxiety.

The first step is to take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, persons with these problems will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.

It doesn't stop there. The next step is to apply what you have learned. Make it a point that every time you experience a fearful or anxiety related situation, to use the information you have learned. In every anxiety related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn't work, and what you need to do to improve on your anxiety-management skills.

Continue to do more research to learn even more effective techniques in managing fear and anxiety. Remember to focus on the strategies and techniques that actually reduce the fear and anxiety. All it takes is one effective technique to make a world of difference in managing your fears.

As for some of the skills that manage fear, learn to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.

Sometimes, a person may encounter a lot of scary thoughts coming at them all at once. Instead of getting upset, remember that these thoughts are exaggerated and are not based on reality. Usually it is the fear behind the thoughts that gets us worked up. Ignore the fear behind these thoughts, regardless how the strong the fear may be. If you ignore the fear behind these thoughts, then the thoughts become easier to manage.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things, and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. Focus on the present and stop trying to predict what may happen next week. Next week will take care of itself.

Remember that alcohol and substance abuse or any other addictions will not take away your problems and fears. In the short run, they might make you feel better, but in the long run these addictions will only make things worse.

The main point of this article is that no matter how difficult it is to manage your fear, the answers are out there if you look hard enough. It might take some hard work and persistence, but it is possible to find those techniques that work for you.

Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non-Resistant Methods" - an easy-to-read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties

Learn more about health at

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1. Trips With Aging Parents
Are you thinking about taking a trip with your aging parents? If so, here are some factors to consider. While the trip may be a good family bonding experience, there may be special needs and restrictions to contemplate. Here are few things to assess in order to make the trip fun and safe for all:

  • Pick a destination together. Let your parents help choose the destination. It will help your them feel involved and allow them to voice any concerns with the destination and activities.
  • Plan an itinerary. A written itinerary will result in a more-organized and less-stressful trip.
  • Book direct flights. Direct flights will prevent any of you from having to rush to make a connecting flight, which could be difficult for those moving with the aid of a walker or other assistive device.
  • Arrange special needs early. These could include a hotel room with disabled-access bathroom facilities, a wheelchair at the airport, or a shuttle van with a wheelchair ramp.
  • Label and transport all medications. Clearly label medications with name, dosage and administration instructions. This may be required through airport security checkpoints. It is generally safer and easier to carry medications in your carry-on luggage instead of checked luggage.
  • Schedule periodic breaks. This will provide a chance to rest, take medications , hydrate, and assure that all are enjoying the trip.
  • Talk to their doctors. Consult parentsí physicians about any medical needs. Be sure to take documentation with contact information for doctors or caretakers in case of an emergency.

Learn more about aging at

2. Vision and Age
As we age, subtle changes in our vision and eye structures take place. These changes include:

Reduced pupil size.
Muscles that control our pupil size and reaction to light lose some strength. This causes the pupil to become smaller and less responsive to changes in ambient lighting. Hence, seniors may need up to three times more ambient light for comfortable reading. Our eyes may be easily dazzled by bright sunlight and glare when we emerge from a dimly lit facility. Eyeglasses with photochromic lenses and anti-reflective coating can help reduce this problem.

Dry eyes.
Older folks produce fewer tears. This may result in burning, stinging, or other eye discomfort. Artificial tears may be needed throughout the day for comfort. Consult your eye doctor for other options.

Loss of peripheral vision.
Aging also causes a normal loss of peripheral vision, which may impact driving reactions. To increase your range of vision, turn your head and look both ways when approaching intersections.

Decreased color vision.
Retina color vision declines in sensitivity with age. This causes colors to appear less bright and contrast between different colors to be less distinct. Those in a profession (artist, electrician) requiring color awareness should be aware of this issue and take necessary precautions.

Vitreous detachment.
With age the gel-like vitreous humor inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina, causing "spots" and "floaters" and (sometimes) flashes of light. This condition, called vitreous detachment, is usually harmless. However, this could be the beginning of a detached retina--a serious problem. Hence, if you observe flashes and floaters, see your eye doctor immediately to determine the cause.

Learn more about aging vision at

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We present here some words from those with a birthday this period.

Burt Bacharach - "A small town is a place where there's no place to go where you shouldn't."

Cate Blanchett - "If you know you are going to fail, then fail gloriously."

George Lucas - "Good luck has its storms."

George Brett - "If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out."

Debra Winger - "I push for what I think can be the best, and if I feel they're not going for the best, it kills me."

More "Thoughts" at:

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1. Depression Era Songs
Vaughn Trapp is the nom de rock of veteran singer-songwriter Doug Hammond (formerly of the band "Suncatcher"). Vaughn Trapp has released a an album called "Songs Of The Great Depression." Two years in the making, the album is a collection of songs inspired by the ongoing great American "recession." You can stream it for free, or download it (lossless or MP3) for $5. Here are the tunes.

Songs Of The Great Depression
Happy Days Are Here Again
Let's Be Good
Ball & Chain
My Death Is Coming for Me
Honey PowR
Paradigm Shift
In the Dark With a Friend
Permanent Plan "B"
Keep Your Lovin' Kind
The Boy With His Shoes Tied On
Listen to the songs here

2. Army Retirement Help
The Army Retirement Services provides information on benefits and entitlements to active duty soldiers and families preparing for retirement, and to retired soldiers and families. This service is provided through Army installation Retirement Services Officers (RSO).

Do you have questions? The installation RSO is the source for information for retiring and retired soldiers, their families and, ultimately, surviving spouses. Before retirement, one goes to your RSO for pre-retirement and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) briefing. After retirement, the RSO provides assistance and information for special program items such as the installation retiree council, the annual Retiree Appreciation Day, and installation retiree newsletter. Learn more here:

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1. We Live by Words

  • On the other hand, you have different fingers.
  • The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
  • Always try to be modest, and be proud of it!
  • If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked

2. Bragging Is Not for Wimps

Rog was in the hardware store the other day, pushing his cart around, when he collided with a young guy pushing his own cart.
Rog said to the young guy, "Sorry about that. I'm looking for my wife, and I guess I wasn't paying attention to where I was going."
The young guy says, "That's OK. It's a coincidence. I'm looking for my wife, too. I can't find her and I'm getting a little desperate."
Rog said, "Well, maybe we can help each other. What does your wife look like?"
The young guy says, "Well, sheís 24 years old, tall, with blond hair, big blue eyes, long legs, she's wearing tight white shorts and a cute halter top. What does your wife look like?"
I said, "It doesn't matter--let's look for yours."
Most old guys are helpful like that.

"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at:


This issue has been edited by Betsy Day ([email protected]).

Copyright 2013, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Other products, service and companies named herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders and are solely responsible for the content of their articles. Articles are included for informational purposes and are not an endorsement.

This Copyright E-zine may be forwarded to others only if sent in its entirety. Other uses are subject to written permission of the publisher.

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