Welcome to the September newsletter. Hurricane Irene did not come with much wind in NY but the water has been extra destructive. I am still dealing with water issues AND damp....and of course mold so today's newsletter is a bit shorter than usual.

1. Mary Delaney's biographer thought it amazing that she found life work at age 72. Delaney lived in England and originated the art of cut paper flowers (This was a precursor to 20th century collage). Her works are displayed int British museum and are remarkable for their authentic appearance. Seeing one of her flowers you might be tempted to smell it - if you did not know it was paper.

Still when I think of about it, I know many men and women who have found a 'life passion' after age 70. Some move into the arts: drawing, painting, music, poetry. Others write. (Amazon now allows authors to upload their ebooks to be sold.) This is a boon to older writers who do not want to go through the process of finding a literary agent or publisher. Then too blogging has become a passion.

As we shift from adulthood to elderhood our lives often take new directions - discovering, sharing talents and energy. So Mary Delaney finding her life work in her 70's is really NOT so unusual.

2. This last storm made me doubly grateful for or Town of Newburgh Friends of Seniors program.

New research shows that staying in your own home adds to longevity. 'Aging in Place' is the new goal. It is good for the senior and good for the community since seniors who do not go out to work are automatic 'neighborhood watch' participants AND seniors pay taxes but do not have children in school.

Insurance companies have been marketing long term care insurance with abandon. BUT many seniors do not really need a nursing home or assisted care BUT they do need 'short term help' after an illness, fall or hospitalization that prevents them from driving and doing their own errands.

Antia Manly and Vivian Carlin are two women who live in The Town of Newburgh, a town in Orange County New York which has more older residents than any of the surrounding towns. Both women are committed to the idea of 'aging in place' and both were aware of needs for transportation or a friendly visit for those unable to drive.

Anita and Vivian held a few meetings, found support for the idea of providing such services and the Town of Newburgh Friends of Seniors program was born. Now volunteers drive elders to doctors, shopping, do errands, offer visits (One woman even brings her therapy dog when visiting those who are home bound). Some get weekly phone calls and recently the Town Police department set up a contact list to check on elders during power outages or other weather emergencies.

Best of all it is volunteer run so there is NO CHARGE for any of these services.

Having gone through several major surgeries in the last few years I have used these services of the Town of Newburgh Friends of Seniors. The program made it possible for me to stay in my home and out of an assisted living facility. I even have made some new friends from among the volunteers!

If you think that your community might benefit from such a program and want more information , do a web search for Town of Newburgh Friends of Seniors. You will find several articles on line. Some even have contact information. Recently the city of Poughkeepsie has decided to set up a similar program. All it takes are a few people to get the ball rolling. The program is effective AND it does not use tax dollars. Do check it out. It could make all the difference for elders in your area.

3. Health improvement tip. Do you know your acid/alkaline level? This is one of the easiest health improvement tests you can do. Yes, YOU can do it.

Just go to your pharmacy and buy PH test strips. These are paper and on the package will be a set of colors with number under them from Acid (lowest numbers) to Alkaline (highest numbers).

When you first wake up in the morning spit to remove any accumulated saliva from your mouth. Then create some new saliva and spit some onto a plate. Tear off a bit of the PH strip (I use less than a half inch) and lay it over the saliva.

Go about your morning routine. About 20 minutes later check the strip. Its color will now indicate your PH level. You want it at least slightly alkaline - the darker color.

Why? Arthritis and cancer both need an acidic environment to thrive. Neither can exist in an alkaline body. Think about that!

Also our bodies are programed for 'homeostasis" ie., keeping everything in balance. And the human body ought to be slightly alkaline.

When we become more 'acidic', our body's begin to pull alkalizing minerals into the blood stream to keep the acid/alkaline balance. Calcium which is stored in your bones and teeth is the easiest of these alkaline minerals for our body's to access. And so we lose calcium from our bones or teeth. This is one of the possible causes of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis.

Taking Osteoporosis drugs does not over come acid-alkaline imbalance. Eating a more alkaline foods can. (There are lots of web sites that list alkaline and acidic content of foods)

Getting your body to a more alkaline state is not only good for your bones, it is also a cancer preventative and over the long term can relieve arthritis. (Note: There are several non-pharmaceutical cancer therapies based on creating a highly alkaline environment in the body. ) Depending on the country where your live these may be regular medical treatments or 'alternative' treatments". Medical supervision may be necessary for some of these treatments but getting your diet in order is something you can do on your own.


That is it for this month. I hope that at least one idea has been useful to you. Oh, and if you or your community sets up a Friends of Seniors program do let me know. I am creating a list and will add it as a page in the Best Places to Retire section.

Thanks. Be well. Be happy.