Deathpods and the Deathlab
ELDER MUSIC: Rodgers & Hart

INTERESTING STUFF – 29 October 2016

ELDERS WALKING FROM FLORIDA TO TIMES SQUARE FOR NEW YEARS

Times Square

As the Bradenton, Florida Herald reported this week,

”Some of the roughly 50 residents of the Windsor of Bradenton's assisted living community started walking Wednesday toward Times Square in New York City, where they hope to arrive just in time to see the ball drop for 2017.”

Well, sort of. Actually, it is a new health regimen to get staff and residents exercising more and they hope their pedometers will show they have covered the 1163 miles there are between Bradenton and Times Square by 31 December.

"'I love the whole idea of it,' said Faythe Askew, Windsor's life enrichment coordinator. 'Getting the residents to exercise is one thing, but to actually have them prove the program is working by taking their step record to their doctors and being able to tell them they walked miles is also great.'”

What do you want to bet that they'll all be watching the ball drop together this year too. You can read more here.

JOHN OLIVER TAKES ON BIG PHARMA

And the opioid epidemic on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight.

Besides always learning from John Oliver's essays and admiring the excellent research and writing that goes into them, I love how he finds the humor too – both silly and often sophisticated. John Oliver has become a national treasure.

METLIFE HAS FIRED SNOOPY

I was surprised to learn that the Peanuts cartoon dog, Snoopy, has been shilling for MetLife for ONLY 31 years. I can't remember a time in my life without him doing that.

But now, the association is no more. This week, MetLife fired the little guy.

You can read more here.

ALL THE PEOPLE TRUMP HAS INSULTED ON TWITTER

Last Monday The New York Times published two-page spread of the (so far) 281 people, places and things Donald Trump has insulted on Twitter during the presidential campaign.

NY Times Trump List

Actually, the total is up to 282 as of this writing. You can see the full-size list here where the most recent insults – tracked within the past 30-odd days – are highlighted in yellow.

PLEASE RE-ELECT GERALD

I think this is the absolute best video of our entire sorry election campaign. It features the wife of Gerald Daugherty who is running for Travis County Commissioner in Texas. Enjoy.

HOW PEOPLE SURVIVE IN ALEPPO

However much his ignorance helped sink Libertarian presidential candidate, Gary Johnson, Aleppo is not a political joke. It is a tragedy.

Here is one before-and-after photo. You can see more here.

Aleppo Before and After

And here is a short drone video of the city:

What had been the largest city in Syria is in ruins. Many residents have fled but a quarter of a million people are trapped in east Aleppo. Last week, one of them, a student name Omair Shaaban wrote about what it is like for him and his wife to live in this war-ravaged city.

"If you want to stay alive in Aleppo, you have to find a way to keep yourself safe from explosions and starvation.

"Here’s how.

"First of all, to survive the many different kinds of airstrikes, shells, rockets, phosphorus bombs and cluster bombs, you’ll need to live on the lower floors of a building. They’re less likely to be hit than the upper floors are...

"Listen for scouting planes, which sound different from fighter jets on bombing runs. The scouts fly lower, and they make a constant buzzing sound. If you hear them, you’ll know that shells will be falling soon, bringing death with them...

"Staying cooped up at home all the time will get boring, and you’ll eventually want to try to live some semblance of your normal life — to see friends, to attempt to find food. People want to go out. But if you leave, remember that you might not make it back. Whenever I run into friends, I keep in mind that I might never see them again...

"It’s so easy to lose your mind here. You might go out one day to look for food and come back to find that your building has been destroyed and your family killed. I’ve seen people standing in front of bombed-out buildings, screaming and crying in disbelief."

Go read Shaaban's entire story at the Washington Post and remember how blessed you and I are to live where we do.

INAPPROPRIATE DRUGS FOR ELDERS

TGB reader John Starbuck sent me a link to this important story about elders and prescription drugs.

”The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 75 percent of Americans age 75 and over take at least five prescription medicines daily....

“Although taking multiple meds may be appropriate, it also can lead to problems such as interactions between drugs, difficulty following directions, problems communicating with health-care providers, and problems getting all the information patients need.”

The article also notes what I have, in past written about at some length, that most medications are not tested on old people and no one knows for sure what dosages are appropriate compared to mid-age people.

There is an important source for such information mentioned that I had forgotten about, the Beers List. It contains what little is known about the effects on old people of many well-known prescription medications and was revised most recently in 2015.

It is free for everyone. One source is at the American Geriatrics Society but if you can figure out how to see it, you're a better man or woman than I am.

However, I did track down two other sources. There is an html version here (scroll down to the chart). And a PDF format at Wiley. The Wiley charts are sideways on the screen so you may need to print it to check your drugs.

MAKE PHONE CALLS WITH YOUR FINGERTIP

I want this so bad I can taste it. Take a look:

That pretty well explains it all but you can read more at the Gajitz page.

The goal of the original Kickstarter campaign was US$50,000 but they raised US$1,581,506 within the time limit. So many more people want in that the Indiegogo campaign is now live here. There is also a website and a Facebook page.

The price is US$150 plus shipping and the company expects to ship in February 2017. Even with all the amazing technology of recent years, it's been a long time since I wanted something new as much as this. Yes, I've put in my pre-order.

RESCUED WOLVES HELP HEAL VETERANS

Veterans suffering from PTSD now have a variety of options other than traditional treatment and medication. One is wolf therapy. At Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, these veterans are getting back their nature.

Many more videos at the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center website.

* * *

Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog IF you include the name of the blog and its URL.


Comments

Excellent post. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks.

The article on Aleppo is disturbing enough on the face of it, but reading the entire article on the Washington Post website, along with the comments readers have posted there, is extremely disturbing. It was really good to read the wolves and veterans post after that to help clear my head.

All of the interesting stuff was informative. The tragedy that is Aleppo is horrifying. Is there no end to man's inhumanity to man?

I thoroughly enjoyed laughing at John Oliver, but I have a personal story to tell about how easy it would be to obtain prescription drugs.

I was recently treated for a compressed vertebrae and upon leaving the hospital I was given a prescription for Tramadol. It clearly stated "no refills." It is not an opiate. I only used one or two tablets for pain. Later I had to go to the hospital again and another prescription for Tramadol was given to me by a different doctor.

I eventually ended up in a pain center where I was given another prescription for Tramadol. No one asked me if I had a pain killer at home. After a spinal procedure the office manager came to the wheel chair I was forced to use and asked me if I needed a refill on my pain medication (again, Tramadol). Before I could respond she asked if I wanted morphine. I rather sharply told her that , no, I didn't need morphine.

No one checked my medical history to see if I had been given pain medication in the past. It just shows how vital it is to be your own advocate and pay attention when given a prescription. You need to ask all the right questions such as, why do I need this drug?, what are the side effects? , how long should I take it? , is there any interaction with other medications I am taking ?, etc.

Would the three different doctors that prescribed my pain medication been more careful if it had been an opiate? I don't know, but I doubt it.

Excellent assortment this week. I sure hope Gerald gets re-elected!

Here all doctors have a form that you will agree only they will give you pain medication. I signed my Pain Management doctor's form. I rarely take my pain med as I'm fearful of addiction which doesn't seem to bother my young doctor. Though he admits he has had elderly over dose patient so he knows it can happen. Whenever I take it I write the time down on the white board near my kitchen. I also keep track in my calendar and paper journal.

What is irritating to me is having to leave a urine sample like I was a drug addict. This is a requirement from the Government if I remember correctly. Or maybe it is Medicare. I forgot.

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