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Mature Times - November 2011

Mature Times - November 2011

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My Mature Times - For Today's Active Seniors November 2011 Issue
My Mature Times - For Today's Active Seniors November 2011 Issue

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MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 2

Social Security payments will increase, but, so will Medicare fees
By Joe Olvera ©,2011 The saying goes that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. There’s also one that states that the government gives with one hand, and takes away with the other. For senior citizens, both clichés are coming true because what emerged as good news on the one hand, provides bad news on the other. In a recent announcement, seniors who receive Social Security payments are slated for a 3.6 percent increase after three years going without an increase of any kind. But, the euphoria is short lived, because news followed that Medicare costs will increase, dampening the raise somewhat. About 55 million seniors are expected to receive the increase, which for someone getting $1,082 per month – the average stipend from the feds – would have their money increased by at least $39, pushing them past the $1,100 mark. This slight increase, unfortunately, will be curtailed by a rise in Medicare costs. For some, Medicare Part B – the prescription medication part – will erase about one-fourth of the gigantic gains senior citizens would receive. Of course, gigantic is a laugher because a $39 raise in Social Security payments amounts to almost nothing. However, any increase is welcome, and so the good news must be taken with the bad. The increase will allegedly start in January, 2012 for the 55 million Americans who receive the av-

erage stipend. For eight million other Americans, however, the increase is much smaller, especially for those who receive Supplemental Social Security Income. Their increase will amount to a paltry $18 per month, or an average of about $216 for the year. It is estimated by those who run the program that one in five recipients stand to get a raise from the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. As little s that may sound, many advocates for seniors, the poor and the disabled, say any increase is welcome and long overdue. However, the celebrations and jubilation will be tampered by the knowledge that their Medicare payments will also increase. For three years, seniors have had to go without any increases, even though automatic increases were initiated in 1975. Medicare payments, which are taken from Social Security income will increase from $96.40 a month to $!06.60. However, those who enrolled in the program in 2010 were charged $110.50, while those who enrolled in 2011 were charged $115.40. So, enjoy your windfall, senior citizens, if, indeed, it can be called that.

Mana Asociacion Catolica received a check from the El Paso Community Foundation
Emma Molina and Pedro Gomez were ecstatic that the first check from the El Paso Community Foundation just came in. “We’ve been working on this for about a year. We are trying to get more aid in helping those in the Agua Dulce colonias that need help,” says Emma Molina, M.A.C. president. Currently, the Mana Asociacion Catolica is able to help the families about once a month with food. The help from the Community Foundation, $10,000 from this check, will help pay for more food to stock the food pantries in the Horizon area. “We will be using this help immediately. We received our bill from the West Texas Food Bank and we need to stock up for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” says Pedro Gomez, MAC treasurer. Mana helps out approximately 200 families in the

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 3

Members Horizon area. They base the help on federal property guidelines, but they do not discriminate. “We help out anybody who needs it.” Mana hopes this will be only the first of an on-going relationship

with the El Paso Community Foundation. “We see a particular need in this neighborhood. We hope that in the future we can provide more than just food. There is a need for blankets at this time of year. We’d like to give out turkey dinners for Thanksgiving and special food for the Christmas holiday. We have a lot of dreams and this check is a good affirmation to our efforts.” For more information about the Mana Association or to help in their efforts, call Molina at 778-2235.

Members

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 4

Social Security Column

VETERANS DAY REMINDER: MILITARY SERVICE AND SOCIAL SECURITY
type of benefit. Any future Social Security benefit payment depends on a person’s earnings, averaged over a working lifetime. Generally, the higher a person’s earnings, the higher his or her Social Security benefit will be. And remember that Social Security is more than retirement. If a worker becomes disabled before reaching retirement age, he or she may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. A disabled worker’s spouse and dependent children also may be eligible for benefits. If a worker dies, the widow or widower and dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. If you, or someone you know, were wounded while on active duty in the military, find out more about what Social Security can do by visiting our website designed specifically for wounded warriors: www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors. There, you will find answers to a number of commonly asked questions, as well as other useful information about disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Veterans and others who are within 10 years of retirement age should begin planning for retirement. A good place to start is with Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. For more information, you can read our fact sheet, Military Service and Social Security, which is available on our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/1001 7.html.

By Ray Vigil
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, El Paso, Texas Each year, on November 11, America observes Veterans Day and honors the men and women who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces. Many of our Vietnam era veterans are now nearing retirement age, or already there. It is important that they — and other American service personnel — know just what retirement benefits they can count on from Social Security as they make their future financial plans. Like most of the civilian workforce, all current military personnel pay Social Security taxes and earn Social Security coverage. Earnings for active duty military service or active duty training have been covered under Social Security since 1957. Also, earnings for inactive duty service in the reserves (such as weekend drills) have had Social Security coverage since 1988. In addition to regular military pay,

Social Security adds special earnings credits to an individual’s Social Security record when he or she serves in the military. The extra earnings are for periods of active duty or active duty training. If, for example, a person served in the military between 1957 and 1977, he or she has been credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which active duty basic pay was earned. These extra earnings may help someone qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of the Social Security benefit. The number of credits an individual needs to qualify for Social Security depends on his or her age and the

Sleeping off Alzheimer's
Scott LaFee At this point, it's more speculation than hard science, but researchers at Washington University in St. Louis say they've identified a marker for Alzheimer's disease in spinal fluid that ebbs and flows in a pattern echoing the sleep cycle. The marker is a protein called amyloid beta, a byproduct of brain activity that accumulates during waking hours and is cleared away during sleep. In healthy, young people, amyloid beta levels are highest about six hours after waking up and lowest about six hours after falling asleep. These levels begin to flatten with age when sleep periods typically..Continues on page 7

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 5

Boomers: Meet the new face of Grandparents
Throughout all of my articles, I have pointed out how boomers are redefining the face of aging. Grand parenting is no exception. Focalyst conducted one of the largest, most comprehensive studies of Boomers called The Focalyst View. A portion of the study was conducted on Boomers views on grand parenting which I found particularly interesting. 1.The internet is key to the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Grandparents rely on the internet to gather information about the likes and dislikes of age appropriate items for their grandchildren. 2.Grandparents are big spenders and are actively looking for things to buy their grandchildren. 3.Grandparents are making financial investments on behalf of their grandchildren, such as stocks and bonds, life insurance and trust funds. 4.Many want to contribute to their grandchild’s college education. Today there are 70 million grandparents in the United States and 11 million Boomers welcome a grandchild each year. This number will increase exponentially as the massive Boomer generation ages and the younger Boomers become grandparents as well. Today’s grandparents are quite different from generations past; they are active, online, and youthful and open to new media and experiences. Although long conversations over hot cocoa have their place, grandparents who really want to stay connected with their teenage grandchildren must become users of technology. Actually, this is an opportunity for grandparents to learn from their grandchildren, as most teens know all about text messaging, instant messaging, social networking and other types of technology. Text messaging. A QWERTY keyboard makes texting easier, but you can learn to send short messages without one. Don’t feel that you have to learn the lingo. The kids may say “CUL8R,” but “See you later” is perfectly acceptable. Teens sometimes prefer text messages to phone calls because they don’t have to answer right away when they are doing something else. Also, text messages are more discreet. They don’t have to put their coolness factor at risk by talking to grandparents in front of their friends. grams. Many other programs, such as Facebook, also support IMing. Email. Unfortunately for grandparents, who have probably mastered email, it’s seen as somewhat old-hat by most teens. It has been largely replaced by instant messaging and text messaging, but it can still be a way of connecting with your grandchild. It’s important to know your teen's email habits. Some check email constantly, and some check rarely. Some love forwarded jokes and funny pictures; others hate them. Gear your communications to your grandchild’s tastes. Social networking sites. Chances are excellent that your teenager belongs to a social networking site such as Facebook or MySpace. If your teen grandchild is into social networking, you can create an account that will allow you to request “friend” status and view your teenager’s site, but discuss this with your teenager first. Parents should be monitoring their teenagers’ sites, so that is not really your job. Continues on next page

Instant messaging, or IMing. In this form of communication, both parties are online at the same time, and they type messages to each other. It’s more like a real conversation or “chat” than texting or emailing because the responses can be so rapid. MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger are the most popular IM pro-

PICTURES FOR ILLUSTRATION ONLY

Aging Gracefully: Why Am I So Cold?
As we grow older, we are likely to ask ourselves the questions, “Why am I so cold? What does it mean?” Chances are, your body is merely going through a natural dip in metabolic rate due to the aging process. A lowered metabolic rate affects the body’s ability to maintain what is considered a “normal” temperature of 98.6 degrees. When metabolism slows, so does the body’s ability to generate heat. This means seniors can become chilly or downright cold in the summertime or even inside during winter with the heater on. There are other reasons a senior may be unduly cold. Encourage them to seek medical advice in order to properly diagnose the reason they are unable to stay warm. Hypothyroidism warm can lead to hypothermia if body temperature reaches 95 or below. Some frail seniors are more susceptible to hypothermia even when the room temperature is 71-75 degrees. Whether being cold is the result of slowed metabolism or a medical condition, older adults must stay warm to maintain an appropriate body temperature. Nearly half of the elderly who develop hypothermia die from its effects. Therefore, Comfort Keepers® suggests that sweaters should be staples for men and women alike. While they should not bundle up so much that they overheat, keeping a cozy blanket nearby may help a senior during times of low activity in the home. Cover a senior’s head with a cap or scarf when going outdoors. Gloves on their hands are a must during cold months. Enjoy large meals during cold weather as the digestive process generates heat within the body. Warm drinks such as hot chocolate can help. Avoid alcoholic beverages as they cause the body to lose needed heat. With a little education one can determine which changes are part of the natural process of aging versus changes that may indicate an underlying condition that may require medical attention. The key to aging gracefully is to know what changes seniors may experience as they grow older and how they affect the body. Continues on page 10

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 6

and cardiovascular disease are chronic medical conditions that affect body temperature, as well. If the senior determines the possibility of an underlying medical condition, help them take necessary steps to manage it accordingly. It is important to note that, regardless of the reason, the body’s inability to stay

Boomers Grandparents...
Continued from page 5 If your teenager doesn’t want you to view his or her site, that is a good opening for discussing the inadvisability of posting questionable material. Chances are that your grandchild won't mind your being a "friend," but he or she may prefer that you not post public messages. It's that coolness factor again. If so, stick to private messages and emails. One of the most frequent online activities of grandparents is sharing and viewing photos of their grandchildren. When I set up my Facebook page, my daughter plugged in a photo of me and my grandson as my main photo for all to see. Now, I upload all my pictures of my grandchildren and love to gush to friends about how smart they are on my page. Photos are playing a very important role in the grandchild/grandparent relationship, and the prevalence of digital cameras has made it easier for grandparents to watch their grandchildren grow and keep a virtual “brag book” online. Grandchildren to Boomers are a blessing and Grandparent’s must keep up with this new technology to really connect and if you really want to be cool, go out and buy Guitar Hero. Enough said. Sandi Smith, President Comfort Keepers in El Paso & Las Cruces Certified Senior Advisor 915-842-8195

Sleeping off Alzheimer's
Continued from page 4 ... become shorter and more prone to disruption. In persons with Alzheimer's, amyloid beta plaques become permanent and levels of the protein don't change much at all. "We've known for some time that significant sleep deprivation has negative effects on cognitive function," said Stephen Duntley, a professor of neurology and director of Washington University's Sleep Medicine Center. "But it's recently become apparent that prolonged sleep disruption and deprivation can actually play an important role in pathological processes that underlie diseases. This connection to Alzheimer's disease isn't confirmed yet in humans, but it could be very important." The scientists want to pursue further studies to determine if sleep deprivation in young people increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life and, conversely, if getting sufficient sleep might help prevent it. "It's still speculation, but there are tantalizing hints that better sleep may be helpful in reducing Alzheimer's disease risk," Duntley said. "We know from a number of studies that exercise enhances sleep, and research also has shown that exercise is associated with decreased risk of Alzheimer's. Sleep might be one link through which that effect occurs."

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 7

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 8

Social Security Expands Compassionate Allowances Conditions
Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today (October 13, 2011) announced 13 new Compassionate Allowances conditions involving the immune system and neurological disorders. The Compassionate Allowances program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years. Commissioner Astrue made the announcement during his remarks at the U.S. Conference on Rare Diseases and Orphan Products in Washington, D.C. “Social Security handles more than three million disability applications each year and we need to keep innovating and making our work more efficient,” Commissioner Astrue said. “With our Compassionate Allowances program, we quickly approved disability benefits for more than 60,000 people with severe disabilities in the past fiscal year. We have made significant improvements, but we can always do more.” The Compassionate Allowances initiative identifies claims where the nature of the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets the statutory standard for disability. With the help of sophisticated new information technology, the agency can quickly identify potential Compassionate Allowances and then quickly make decisions. Social Security launched the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008 with a list of 50 diseases and conditions. The announcement of 13 new conditions, effective in December, will increase the total number of Compassionate Allowances conditions to 113. The conditions include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, a number of rare genetic disorders of children, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and other disorders. The agency announced a small grant program for graduate students that will help Social Security improve its list and has recently awarded an approximately $1.5 million grant over a five-year period to Policy Research, Incorporated (PRI) through the Disability Determination Process Small Grant Program. This new program aims to improve the disability process through innovative research by graduate students who will receive small stipends for their work. In addition, the agency recently streamlined its online disability application for people who have a condition on the Compassionate Allowances list. For more information on the Compassionate Allowances initiative, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

New Compassionate Allowances Conditions
Malignant Multiple Sclerosis Paraneoplastic Pemphigus Multicentric Castleman Disease Pulmonary Kaposi Sarcoma Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma Primary Effusion Lymphoma Angelman Syndrome Lewy Body Dementia Lowe Syndrome Corticobasal Degeneration Multiple System Atrophy Progressive Supranuclear Palsy The ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 9

The Power of Touch and What It Means for the Elderly
Touch is perhaps the most powerful sense of all. From the moment we are born, before our eyes are open, a gentle touch calms us and lets us know someone cares. In the beginning stages of life, a nurturing touch helps create a bond that shapes us for the rest of our lives. Even though research cannot prove exactly how touch positively affects us, it has shown that those who are physically touched on a regular basis experience higher levels of the hormone oxytocin. According to the National Institutes of Health, oxytocin lowers stress hormone levels and, by doing so, plays a part in lowering blood pressure, maintaining good moods and increasing pain tolerances. No one can deny the warm feeling we experience when we are touched. Hugs, holding hands and other physical gestures of affection have the potential to ease our minds, make us feel less isolated, and reduce stress and anxiety. The need for constant touches may fade as we grow older but the feelings certain touches invoke do not. As we grow older, touch is a communication that transcends age and time. No matter how old we are, we all love to have our hand held, our backs rubbed, or the feel of a warm embrace. Seniors who live alone often do not experience the simple act of touch on a daily basis. The reasons vary: spouses and close friends have passed away, families live in other states, or physical limitations may affect activity and contact with othhumans, we are programmed to form emotional bonds that strengthen our relationships. Verbal communication facilitates those bonds. Physical communication confirms those bonds. Touching someone you love often conveys a message in a way words cannot. The next time you spend time with your elderly loved one, reach out and touch them. Hold their hand. Offer a warm embrace. Chances are you may see the loneliness and worry in their face replaced by a smile…and you may notice the same happens for you. ers. Remember this when spending time with the senior in your life. A simple, encouraging arm around a shoulder or a momentary grasp of a hand conveys a message of affection. Feelings of affection can make a big difference in the lives of seniors. The sense of touch is so powerful that some experts recommend elderly clients receive regular, professional massages. Massages in general are not meant to convey affection, but use the power of touch in another way. Gentle kneading of muscles helps release tension, can improve blood flow through the body and ease the pain of arthritis. While no affection is involved during a professional massage, oxytocin released in the body during the process produces the same comforting effects. In place of a full-body massage, foot and hand rubs can be just as emotionally and physically beneficial. The message of touch is simple. As

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 10

Mother’s Love

The Value of Living a Life of Gratitude
Mary Hunt Giving thanks and counting our blessings is good for us. It reminds us of the positive things in life. Gratitude turns bad things into good things and reminds us to thank others. Just imagine what might happen if our annual single-day tradition of giving thanks were to become a daily routine? Medical professionals suggest we would be rewarded with better health, as mental health research reveals more about the strong connection between gratitude and good health. And just as strong is the belief that stress can make us sick. It's linked to heart disease and cancer. Shockingly, stress is responsible for up to 90 percent of all doctor visits. Just think about the financial costs associated with stress-related maladies. The antidote for stress is gratitude, as it calms our minds and lowers our blood pressure. Then, we are able to see our circumstances in a fresh, new light. Gratitude makes us feel optimistic, and that boosts our immune systems. In one study, researchers compared the immune systems of healthy firstyear law students under stress. They found that by midterm, students who remained optimistic maintained higher numbers of blood cells that protect the immune system, as compared with their more pessimistic classmates.

Yamasaki knits a blanket for her daughter while she waits for her to come out of dialysis, she says that it is very cold inside and this way her daughter is comfortable and feels that her mother is with her.

Even in the face of tremendous loss or tragedy, it's possible to feel gratitude. Adversity can actually boost feelings of gratitude, a phenomenon that many of us experienced immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, as we saw the tremendous loss in light of what we still possessed. You don't have to wait for a tragedy to grow your feelings of gratitude. You can start today with something as simple as a gratitude journal. Research shows that people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis feel better about their lives as a whole, exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms and maintain greater optimism about the future. Perhaps you're wondering what to be grateful for. Be thankful that you don't have everything you desire. If you did, you would have nothing to look forward to. Be thankful for the difficult people you have to work with. They are improving your patience and understanding. Be thankful when you don't know something, because it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for difficult times, because it's in times of hard-

ship that you grow. Be thankful when you're exhausted at the end of a day, because you know you've accomplished something. What do I give thanks for, privately, in my own gratitude sessions? It varies every day. I thank my readers for the encouragement they give me by reading this column. I thank my family and friends for all they do for me. I thank God for the life he's given me. I thank people I know around the world for the things they're doing out of personal sacrifice to make the world better. Choose to be grateful today — and every day — for all that you have. Gratitude will fill your heart with contentment. And best of all? Gratitude is 100 percent free, in any amount you desire. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 18 books, including her bestselling classic "Debt-Proof Living." You can email her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723.
COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM

Aging Gracefully
Continued from page 6...While one may not be able to prevent some of these changes, one can be prepared. Encourage your senior loved one to be aware of their body, its signals and transitions. By spending time with them, you can be more aware of these changes, too. Make adjustments as needed to ensure their health, happiness, and independence for as long as possible.

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 11

By: “Doppler” Dave Speelman

Saving Money as Colder Air Arrives
Since we are beginning to experience some colder air it's a good time to review ways to save energy and thus lower our energy bills. Did you know that almost 30 percent of our energy bill goes to heat our homes? Here are some ways to reduc e your home heating costs: - Turn down the thermostat. Home heating experts say that by lowering it by just 1 degree can reduce heating energy costs by 4% or between $20 and $40, depending on the fuel used to heat the home. - Plug leaks – Gaps between windows and doors may be small, but they can collectively add up to big energy losses. Plugging these leaks with caulk or other materials is the first action homeowners should take to combat high heating fuel costs. By sealing those leaks and installing proper insulation, especially in the attic and crawl spaces, El Paso households can reduce home heating costs by up to $100-$205 per year, depending on the fuel used. - Heat people and pets, not empty space – about 80% of space is usually not being used at any given time. Closing vents in unoccupied rooms and using small space heaters to heat occupied areas can save a significant amount of energy and money. - Set the hot water heater at 130 degrees. Washing clothes in cold water can save resident households up to $85 a year. - A programmable thermostat costs about $100 – but if used properly, it can save you up to $50-$100 a year on home heating bills. Extra Tip: By replacing their four most used bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, you can save about $145 over the lifetime of the bulbs.

Weather Trivia
When was the earliest snowfall recorded in El Paso? A. September 28 B. October 15 C. October 30 D. November 10
“Doppler" Dave Speelman is the chief meteorologist at KVIA-TV in El Paso. You can watch his forecasts at 4, 5, 6 and 10 pm on ABC-7 (channel 6 cable). If you would like Doppler Dave to address (explain) any weather issues you can email him at Dopplerdave@kvia.com.
Answer: B – October 15, 1925

Incandescent vs. Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Bulb type 60W Incandescent ($) 0.75 750 hours 3 hours 13W Compact Fluorescent ($) 3.50 6,000 hours 3 hours 1 $ 3.50 800 $9.36 12.86

Purchase price Life of the bulb Number of hours burned per day

Number of bulbs needed for five years 8 Total cost of bulbs Lumens Total cost of electricity over five years Total cost over five years $ 6.00 850 $43.20 ($) 49.20

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 12

Why Do Some Seniors Not Take Nutrition Seriously?
choices. Add cheese to dishes, such as rice, pasta and sandwiches, to make tasty meals. Top yogurt with wheat germ and add extra egg whites to scrambled eggs.

That is a good question. It can also be misunderstood by younger generations who do not understand the challenges many seniors face. The problem is not necessarily that seniors are not serious about their own good health, but rather, the malnutrition they experience can be caused by factors beyond their control. Malnutrition in seniors is often caused by a combination of physical, social and psychological issues. Many seniors experience lack of appetite due to the effects of illnesses or medications they take for those illnesses. Some medications change the effectiveness of taste buds, making food less appealing. Seniors who live on limited incomes may pay high out-of-pocket costs for medications and do not have funds left over to purchase healthy foods. In addition, those who have restricted diets because of medical conditions may not find their re-

•Help the senior choose healthy snacks such as peanuts, nutrition-boosting shakes,
health food bars, and other nutrientpacked items designed for immediate consumption with no preparation needed.

•Introduce the senior to seasonings, such as lemon juice and
quired bland meals appealing. Some seniors do not have easy access to grocery stores, or the means to get there to shop. Seniors who live more isolated lives may find cooking for one and eating alone a challenge. Alcoholism and depression may also be key factors in the lives of some seniors, further inhibiting consumption of necessary amounts of nutritious food. Whether you are a family member, friend or caregiver of a senior, Comfort Keepers® believes there are ways to recognize whether or not the senior you care for is eating properly and steps you can take to fix the problem and avoid malnutrition. It may not always be easy to determine whether or not your senior loved one is at risk for malnutrition. An easy, step-by-step quiz is available at www.InteractiveCaregiving.com ,which provides a nutritional score that can be printed and taken to a doctor to discuss the senior’s nutritional needs. You can also easily contact a Comfort Keepers office to help seniors who may need assistance from a caregiver. herbs, that can make bland meals taste better.

•Monitor alcohol intake and be
on the alert for signs of depression that may affect appetites.

Here are additional steps you can take to help seniors avoid malnutrition: •Visit often and monitor what the senior eats. If possible, help
cook meals and dine together to ensure healthy meals are prepared and consumed. Doing so also makes mealtime more enjoyable for lonely seniors.

•Consult the senior’s doctor regarding changing medications that might suppress the appetite.
The dynamics of a senior living alone pose unique challenges as opposed to those who have other family members living in the household and more interaction on a daily basis. Good nutrition for seniors is a key factor in maintaining good health necessary to leading active, healthy and independent lives. Keeping an eye on seniors who live alone is critical to helping them maintain their safety, well-being, and ability to live independently.

•Offer to take the senior shopping. Help choose nutritious
and easy-to-prepare items that the senior likes. Foods packed with nutrients such as peanut butter, fresh fruits and vegetables are good

When Trash Becomes Treasure: Seniors and Hoarding
Thanks to television, the subject of hoarding is no longer as taboo as it once was. While TV has not glamorized the issue, shows depicting hoarders have broadened our knowledge of who hoarders are…the man next door, the woman who sits next to you in church, your own mother or grandfather. We now know many hoarders have other underlying psychological problems such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), while others do not. Regardless of other issues, the effects of hoarding are complicated and far-reaching. Hoarding can become a way of life for people of all ages, but this article is meant to help determine if a senior in your life is suffering from the condition. Hoarding at younger ages may not be as prevalent or noticeable as it is with the elderly, who have had years to acquire their things. In fact, while you might have considered your parents pack rats when you were growing up, you may not realize until years after you have moved out that they have become full-fledged hoarders. The reasons the elderly become hoarders has not been fully determined. In fact, if there are no other underlying psychological issues, the reasons could be simple. Seniors may become attached to certain things that remind them of times past or lost loved ones. If lonely and isolated, some seniors may find comfort in collecting things the rest of us consider trash. Depression can also play a key role. The things people choose to hoard range from animals to shoes, clothes to unique toys, and even empty boxes or trash. The results can be just as complicated as the possible causes. In extreme cases, things can be piled from floor to ceiling, throughout rooms and hallways, making safe pathways virtually impossible. Most of the time, treasures – and hoarders do treasure their things – have the potential to fall over and harm someone. Trash and forgotten food packages become lost in the mess but provide feasts for bugs and mice. If a person is an animal hoarder, you can add waste and feces to the mix. Quality of life becomes minimal. Many hoarders will not have visitors in their home because they are embarrassed and do not want others to know their situation. Extreme hoarders have only a spot they can sit in, which may just be on the bed where they sleep. There is no room to walk, sit, or sometimes stand in their homes. Harmful impacts on health, injuries and in some cases even death can result from extreme hoarding. The key to preventing hoarding may very well lie in early detection. Visit your elderly loved one frequently. Know their personalities and habits . If you live far away, have a Comfort Keeper® visit to help keep clutter to a minimum and to monitor potential hoarding habits. Comfort Keepers can also keep your loved one busy, in touch with others, and feeling less lonely or isolated. Treating hoarders can become a delicate subject. If you suspect

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 13

hoarding may be an issue, seek help for the senior. Thanks to the publicity, hoarders know they are not alone, which may make it easier to face the problem. Be patient and understanding but firm even if you cannot comprehend the issues. With loving support and help, your elderly loved one can find the road to a healthy recovery.

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 14

Calendar of upcoming events for El Paso/ Southern New Mexico are from November 2011

If you want your upcoming event listed in SPOTLIGHT’S Out & About section, please send all your relevant data by e-mail to: editorial@spotlightepnews.com

NORTHEAST/CENTRAL Dia De Los Muertos Festival Sun Bowl Art Exhibit 2011 —
The Southwest’s longest running art exhibit run through November and December at the International Museum of Art, 1211 Montana. Museum hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Admission is free. Information: 543-6747. — Concordia Heritage Association hosts a special Day of the Dead festival 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Concordia Cemetery. Booths will be set up with Dia de Los Muertos, paranormal and Halloween items. Attendees encouraged to dress up in costume. Live music, guest speakers, and more. Information: 581-7920, 5912326 or concordiacemetery.org.

Las Artistas Art Show and Sale — The 40th annual juried
event, one of El Paso’s premier arts and crafts shows, is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19-20, at First Presbyterian Church, 1340 Murchison. The show features fine artists and artisans showing works in various media. Information: lasartistas.org.

The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department and the senior participants at Father Martinez Senior Center, 9311 Alameda Ave. will join together with students from Presa Elementary School, 128 Presa Place at 9:00 a.m. on November 11, 2011 for a ceremony with Fort Bliss soldiers. The Veterans Day event will honor veterans at the center with presentations by the Del Valle High School Color Guard, performances by the Trans-Mountain Early High School Group followed by Grupo Amor from Father Martinez Senior Center. Information - (915) 860-9131

Recreation Center or at Grandview Senior Center on the day of the walk at 7:30 a.m. The monthly walks have a one - time registration fee of $5 for all new participants. Each paid participant receives a free T-Shirt. Information Sandy Rodriguez (915) 240-3310 Eliseo Duran (915) 252-9031

South El Paso Senior Center Thanksgiving Event
Music, dancing and a Thanksgiving Meal The City of El Paso Parks and

Healthy Hearts Fun Walks
at Grandview Senior Center, 3134 Jefferson Ave.

Provost Gun Show — The El
Maida Provost Guard gun, small antique and Southwest art show is Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13, at El Maida Shrine Temple, 6331 Alabama. Information: 241-1761.

Father Martinez Senior Center Veterans Day Event

Fort Bliss Holiday Bazaar —
The NCO Wives’ Club’s annual Bazaar will host the annual bazaar Nov. 5-6. Information: 590-7202.

Intergenerational Event with: Presa Elementary School Del Valle High School\ Trans Mountain Early College High School Ft. Bliss

The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department will host the final Healthy Hearts with Parks Fun Walk of 2011 on November 12th at Grandview Senior Center, 3134 Jefferson Ave. Register at any

Recreation Department will host a Thanksgiving Celebration at the South El Paso Senior Center, 600 S. Ochoa St. on November 23, 2011. The event is open to seniors 60 years of age and older. The ceremony will feature a special Thanksgiving meal (free to daily participants at the center, $3 for individuals not registered participants). The food will be provided by the County Nutrition program featuring pumpkin pie along with egg nog provided by the South El Paso Senior Center ...Continues on next page

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 15

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South El Paso Senior Center Thanksgiving Event
...Advisory Council from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. only. A dance will follow from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. with entertainment by Angel’s Disco. Information - (915) 577-9870

EASTSIDE Marty Robbins Recreation Center Thanksgiving Family Night Event open to all ages
The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department will host a Thanksgiving Family Night from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on November 14, 2011 at Marty Robbins Recreation Center, 11600 Vista Del Sol Dr. The free event is open to all ages and will feature arts and crafts, games, prizes and family challenge activities. Information - (915) 855-4147

children of El Paso County and its surrounding area. Information: 4944881, 740-9991 or elpasomotorcyclecoalition@gmail.com.

$10, plus service charge. information: 474-1666 or elpasorollerderby.com. TV will host a Chef Showcase of selections from local culinary masters at the annual fundraising event Thursday, Nov. 10, at El Paso Community College Administrative Service Center. Information: 590-1313 orkcostv.org.

MISSION VALLEY Orangutan Awareness Weekend — The weekend celebrating the
playful primate is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19-20, at the El Paso Zoo, 4001 E. Paisano. Information: 532-8156 or elpasozoo.org.

‘Wine & Chocolat!’ — KCOS-

Adult Softball “One Pitch” Tournament

Special Olympics Fall Games
— The 2011 fall games are Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 3-5, with Opening Ceremonies at 6 p.m. Friday at the Valle Verde Campus Gym, 919 Hunter. Victory Dance follows at 7 p.m. Spectator admission is free. Information: 532-1795.

El Paso Roller Derby — The
new roller derby league takes on the Crossroads City Derby Saturday, Nov. 12, at El Paso County Coliseum, 4100 E. Paisano. Tickets: $6-

MCA Turkey Trot — The 35th
annual Thanksgiving Day 5K run, 3K fun walk and 1500-yard swim benefiting the YMCA’s youth and

Sports Tournament: 9th Annual King of the Hill City Championship Adult Softball “One Pitch” Tournament Start Date: December 2, 2011 End Date: December 4, 2011 Registration Deadline: November 28, 2011 6pm Acosta Sports 4321 Delta Dr Anticipated Days of Play: Friday, Saturday, Sunday December 2-4, 2011 Anticipated Sites of Play: Blackie Chesher, Marty Robbins, Northeast Regional Guaranteed Games: 3 games Meeting Date: December 2, 2011 prior to games starting Entry Fee: $150, includes Umpire Fees Governing Body: National Softball Association (NSA) Contact Information: Acosta Sports 351-6266 Guaranteed “No scheduling conflicts” for men or women also playing in coed brackets.

teen programs is Thursday, Nov. 24. Information: 755-5685 or 533-3941.

Gift to the River Clean Up —
Keep El Paso Beautiful will hosts its annual river clean up along the Rio Grande in November. Participating groups may check out clean-up supplies from all area tool sheds. The community is invited to participate. Date to be announced. Information: 546-6742 or kepb.org.

El Paso Toy Run — El Paso Motorcycle Coalition’s 29th annual toy run parade Sunday, Nov. 6. All proceeds benefit the underprivileged

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 16

DOwNTOwN/ wESTSIDE ‘Young Frankenstein’ — Broadway
in El Paso presents Mel Brooks’s “scariest comedy ever” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov.

Miners’ home games are Saturdays at Sun Bowl Stadium. Ticket information: 747-5234, 544-8444 or utepathletics.com. • Nov 12 — East Carolina • Nov. 19 — Tulsa

SOUTHERN NEw MExICO Renaissance Artsfaire

‘A Christmas Fair’ — The Junior
League of El Paso’s annual holiday shopping fair is Friday through Sunday, Nov. Saturday, November 5th and Sunday, November 6th Young Park, Las Cruces , NM 20, at the Plaza Theatre, based on the hit 1974 film comedy. (Ticketmaster). Ticket information: 2311111 or theplazatheatre.org. Since its inception in 1971, this annual festival has steadily grown and now attracts over 25,000 people to Young Park on the first weekend of November — this year on Saturday, November 5th and Sunday, November 6th, 2011. 4-6, at the El Paso Convention Center. Information: 584-3511 or jlep.org. One of the largest cultural events in Southern New Mexico, this juried art show showcases local and regional ...Continues on next page

El Paso Symphony Orchestra - The Symphony performs with
guest conductor Lawrence Loh at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19, in the Plaza Theatre. Loh, resident conductor of Pittsburg Symphony, is one of six candidates for EPSO’s new conductor. Ticket information: 532-3776 or epso.org.

UTEP Men’s Basketball - Home
games are at the Don Haskins Center. Game times to be announced. Ticket information: 747-5234 or utepathletics.com. • Nov. 3 — Eastern New Mexico (exhibition) • Nov. 5 — Sul Ross State University • Nov. 11 — UTSA • Nov. 13 — UC Riverside

UTEP Football —
The

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 17

Continued from page 16

Renaissance Artsfaire...artists,
crafts-people and entertainers. All proceeds from artist booth fees, food booth fees, non-profit information booth fees and donations at the gates go to support Arts Council programs. Hours: The Faire will be open 10am – 6pm on Saturday and 10am – 5pm on Sunday. Gate admission is $6.00 for adults, while children 12 and under are free. Proceeds from the

oboeist Carl Fels, bassoonist Paige Bartz, Janet Loman on harpsichord and soloist Chavez for a celebration of Handel’s “Messiah.”

chants, a food court, holiday music and decor. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Hosted by the Ruidoso Valley Greeters. Admission: $1 (free for active duty military and children under 12). Information: (575) 336-7632 or ruidosochristmasjubilee.net.

Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference 2011 —
The 18th annual conference is Nov. 11-13 in Las Cruces. The conference hosts about 750 students each year

NMSU Choirs ‘Go Baroque’
— NMSU Choirs welcome NMSU alumna and internationally acclaimed opera star Kirstin Chavez, mezzo-soprano, for their fall choral concert 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1112, at NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall. Chavez is back for her second set of concerts with NMSU Choirs, and is Artist-in-Residence at NMSU for the 2011-2012 academic year. Ages 7 and older welcome. Tickets: $12 and $15 ($5 for students); available at the Pan Am Box Office (575) 646-1420. Information: NMSU Choir Office, (575) 6462067. The Baroque program introduces excerpts from Gluck’s opera, “Orfeo ed Euridice.” The piano accompanist is Aaron Rosenthal, with choruses by University Singers. The second half of the program brings together Combined Choirs, NMSU’s La Catrina Quartet, flutist Lisa Van Winkle,

Faire are designated for art programs and other cultural activities in the community – all sponsored by the Doña Ana Arts Council. For health and safety reasons, faire-goers are advised that no pets, except service animals, will be admitted to the Faire. Location & Directions: Young Park is located one block south of the intersection of Lohman and Walnut Avenues and is easily accessible from both I-25 (Lohman exit) and I10 (Amador exit). To avoid parking congestion, attendees are encouraged to ride the FREE yellow-bus-shuttles from the Mesilla Valley Mall, to and from the park. Watch for the signs and the big yellow school buses. The shuttle will run every 10 – 15 minutes beginning at 9am each day.

through workshops, concerts and more. Conference tickets start at $18. Information: (575) 525-1735 or lascrucesmariachi.org. Events for the public: • Student Showcase Concert, 7:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at Pan American Center featuring more than 750 student mariachi groups, vocalists, folkloric dancers. Showcase gala precedes the performance at 5:45 p.m. Tickets: $9 (Ticketmaster). • “Spectacular Concert,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at NMSU’s Pan American Center, featuring internationally known recording artist Vikki Carr, with Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and returning favorites Mariachi Cobre celebrating their 40th anniversary. CONT/NEXT P.

Christmas Jubilee — The 25th
annual Ruidoso shopping extravaganza is Friday through Sunday, Nov. 11-13, at the Ruidoso Convention Center, with more than 80 mer-

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 18

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Mariachi Conference 2011...Tickets: $25 regular admission; $78 VIP (include reception at 5:45 p.m. before show). (Ticketmaster). • The annual non-denominational Mariachi Mass is 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Pan American Center, led by Bishop Ricardo Ramirez with music by Mariachi Cobre. Admission is free. • The Mariachi y Mas Fiesta is noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, in Old Mesilla Plaza, with mariachi music, folkloric dancing, arts and crafts, New Mexican foods and children’s activities. Admission is free.

ment and flag-raising ceremony by Friends of Fort Selden at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, at the historic Mesilla Plaza. Admission is free. Information: (575) 524-3262, ext. 116. The Gadsden Purchase, also referred to as “El Tratado de La Mesilla,” included a payment of $10 million by the United States for 45,535 square miles from Mexico in 1853. On Nov. 16, 1854, the Mexican flag was lowered and the U.S. flag was raised at the plaza in Mesilla.

Learn to Swim (Adult Only Class)
Starts November 1, 2011
El Paso,Texas - The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department will be offering Learn to Swim Classes for adults only, that have never learned to swim or have a fear of the water, starting in November. The classes are $25 per participant and the class size is limited. Laura Castle, a member of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of El Paso, which was formed in March, 2010 says that “30% of adults do not know how to swim, according to statistics from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.” Wright Stanton, Aquatics Manager for the City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department says, “The class will focus first on getting individuals to overcome their fear of water with simple and careful exercises along with understanding water safety for all bodies of water.”

‘Wait Until Dark’ — No Strings
Theatre Company presents the thriller by Fredrick Knott Oct. 28Nov. 13 at the Black Box Theatre at the Downtown Mall in Las Cruces. Directed by Karen Caroe. A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6 and 13, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. Tickets: $7-$10. Information: (575) 523-1223 or nostrings.org.

Antique Car Show — The 13th
annual Veterans Day Antique & Classic Car Show is Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Veterans Center, 992 S.

New Horizons Symphony —
The symphony presents a concert of romantic music at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall in Las Cruces. Admission is free. Information: (575) 5225571 or nhsocruces.com. Guest soloist is Jason Strause, French horn, who will perform Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1. The concert also includes the “Egyptian March” by Johann Strauss II, “Symphony No. 1 in C Major” by Georges Bizet, and Habanera, from Bizet’s “Carmen,” with soloist Stephanie Robinson. The Symphony is directed by Shawn Robinson.

Broadway, Truth or Consequences, N.M. With antique and classic vehicles on display along with a swap meet and concessions. Information: (575) 894-7640. The annual ‘Run For the Wall’ motorcycle run will also be held with games, food, belly dancers, drummers and more.

Gadsden Purchase re-enactment — The historic land purchase
will be celebrated with a reenact-

Information – (915) 544-3556

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 19

Taking pets to visit family means permission and planning
By Dr.

Marty Becker Universal Uclick

Our culture has become very petfriendly, but as much as I love this shift in attitude, I am also aware that some people don’t approve of the change, especially when other people start planning to bring dogs home for the holidays. Now I’m a veterinarian, not a family counselor. But I do have some suggestions for minimizing the friction between those who always want their dogs with them and those who believe pets should never be imposed on people who don’t like them. When bringing together people and pets, everyone should be honest about potential problems, as well as likes and dislikes. And you need to be honest with yourself about your dog. Is your pet well-socialized, well-mannered, and well-groomed? If not, your dog’s not ready to tag along on a family visit. Your pet should also be up to date on preventive health measures, especially those involving parasites. If your dog is a party-ready animal, ask your host if it’s OK to bring your dog along. Never just show up at someone’s house with a pet in tow. My “ground rules” suggestion is that the person who has the ground sets the rules, and the decision to bend or break them is hers alone. If you want

Before taking a dog to visit family, the health and safety of everyone — pets and people, alike — must be considered.

to take your pet to a family gathering but your son-in-law says absolutely not in his house, respect that. If your host has pets who don’t get along with or would be stressed by a canine visitor, respect that, too. If you’re dealing with someone who will become ill if exposed to a pet, the discussion is over. Leave your pet out of the mix. This extends to people who are afraid of animals or when there will be other guests who

might be at high risk of injury around a pet, such as your greatgreat-aunt who has already broken her hip twice. If you’ve been invited to bring your dog along, here’s what you will need: ÷A considerate attitude Taking your dog to someone else’s place is a privilege. Ask where your dog is and isn’t allowed to be and where you’ll be taking him to potty.

÷ Potty bags You will need to pick up after your pet. And ask where those little bags should go after you pick up. ÷ Leash Your dog might be awesome at home, but in a new environment you never can tell. Good manners dictate you keep your pup under control. ÷ Crate Taking a crate when you visit someone allows you to give your dog a room of his own wherever you are and provides your host with options to accommodate other guests. ÷ Food dishes Don’t expect to borrow bowls from your host’s kitchen. Take your own and ask where you should clean them after meals. Don’t be offended if it’s a utility sink in the garage. ÷ Linens It’s a good idea to take a sheet to throw over your bed if you’re allowed to have your dog in your bedroom when you stay over at someone’s house. Pack towels as well, since your host may not want you to use the good towels to dry your dog. If you’re a considerate guest, chances are even those who don’t like dogs won’t have complaints — and you and your dog will be welcome back. That’s the goal, isn’t it?

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 20

Royalty

43 Hinged implement 45 Part of a pedestal 46 Actor Estrada 47 Dots 49 Prison term 51 Uproar 53 Soissons street 54 Eye sore 57 1943 Triple Crown horse 63 Chocolate cookie 64 Soprano Te Kanawa 65 Fastener 66 Pause 67 Bulldogs 68 Gerald Ford's birthplace 69 Stet's opposite 70 Midterm 71 Lycra's kin

DOWN ACROSS
1 Philatelist's find 6 Foxhole entree 10 Chip's companion 14 Zealous 15 Lunar light 16 Recycled 17 Battlefield 18 Governor Grasso 19 Sort 20 Trafalgar Square monument 22 Word with chair or street 23 Grimalkin 24 School session 26 Catch of the day 31 Kingdoms 35___ Do Is Dream of You 36 Barbershop request 38 Magic man 39 Great northern diver 40 New Testament ruler 42 Source of the Nile 1 Sea World attraction 2 Edible tuber of Polynesia 3 Ain't She Sweet ? songwriter 4 Fix 5 Horse's gait 6 Protected 7 Mutt and Jeff, e.g. 8 Divvy up 9 Nag, e.g. 10 Humphrey Bogart role 11 The A in SEATO 12 Monocle 13 Whirlpool 21 Last word of the Gettysburg

Address 25 Model T contemporary 26 Milk drinks, for short 27 Thrown for ___ 28 Replica 29 1958 Elvis film 30 Dino's dollars 32 Live's partner 33 ___ Monday : 1986 song 34 Allay 37 Frank Lloyd Wright, e.g. 41 Bakery product 44 Hit the slopes 48 Lightbulb's place 50 Nonstick coating 52 Transparent linen 54 Auctioneer's cry 55 Quiz choice 56 "Gimme an A . . .," e.g. 58 Exodus author 59 Death Comes for the Archbishop name 60 Catchall abbreviation 61 Sonar blip 62 Holier - ___ - thou

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 21

By T.J. TOMASI
TEEING OFF

How to choosebest driver weight
In the consistent swing, the hands are responders, not initiators. The lower body sets up the release of the angles of power that were stored up during the backswing, removing the need for conscious timing from the equation. Take the 90-degree angle formed by the front arm/wrist duo and the club shaft. These angles are “catchers of energy,” and the emptying of the catchers is known as “the release.” In a repeating swing, the release of this angle is triggered when the right side of the body runs into a posted lower left side formed by the left leg and hip. Done correctly, there is no need to time the release because the move is timed for you by the correct use of your lower body. Imagine snapping your favorite person with a towel — your weight hits your front foot and your arm stops abruptly, sending the

ABOUT THE WRITER
Dr. T.J. Tomasi is a teaching professional in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Visit his Web site at tjtomasi.com. snap on its way. Like the snap of the towel, the best swings require the least timing, but they also require an active lower body that moves first to start the downswing. But understanding the release of the club and being able to do it are two different things. Release, as defined above, is the dumping of energy from the clubhead into the ball, and it can happen too early, at just the right time or too late, making the timing issue a major determiner of your swing’s effectiveness. If your timing is too early or too late, your swing will be weak; if it’s just right, you’ll produce maximum power transfer.

Think of this player’s arms as the horse and the clubhead as the rider. When the horse reaches the wall that the solid left leg and hip have established, the horse slows down, triggering the rider to fly over the wall. This is the release.

Horse and rider have both jumped the wall here, and the power in the 90-degree angle of this player’s lead wrist has been fully released into the ball. Note how the left leg and hip still form the wall.

I advise my students that since there is so little actual time to impact (the downswing takes less than half a second), your release cannot be left to a conscious effort. It must be a result of something else — namely, hitting the wall established by your front leg. As shown below, the left leg forms the solid wall to hit across.

The new space-age materialsused to make drivers weigh less have done wonders for the average golfer. The theory is sound: You can swing a lighter driver faster, and more clubhead speed translatesinto more distance. Using a driver that’s too heavy (even by just a few grams) causes fatigue, fostering the feeling that effort is needed. Also, it makes you feel as if you must speed up the club by manipulating it, and this leads to inconsistency, especially at the end of a round when energy reserves run thin. There is, however, a point of diminishing returns that varies from golfer to golfer. Drivers that are too light can produce less power — just the opposite of what you want. A driver that is too light makesit difficult to feel where the clubhead is during the swing, and this leads to a higher percentage of off-center hits and inconsistent shots. This is one reason Steve Stricker likes it heavy: “I’ve always used heavier shafts. I need to feel that weight during my swing. I’ve tried clubs with lighter shafts, and it didn’t work out too well.” To find that happy medium between too heavy and too light, try out new drivers immediately after playing a round to find one that you can hit consistently while still fatigued. Continues on next page

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 22

DON’T MISS IT

Booming underwear
John Daly is famous for many things, and one of them is his long, booming drives. Plus, he wears Loudmouth pants while he plays. Now Loudmouth is selling boxer shorts — underpants that might contain the secret. In any case, they look like fun-to-wear underwear. The cost is $18 at www.loudmouthgolf.com.

GOLF SPOKEN HERE

Dub
Continued from page 21 ..You want one that you can rip off the 18th tee as well as you do off the first tee. To maximize both distance and accuracy, identify the lightest driver that yields the most consistent center hits by visiting an experienced PGA club fitter, who willuse impact tape to chart your face impacts. You may not end up with the lightest driver on the market, but it will be the lightest one that’s right for you.

ASK THE PRO

A poorly hit shot. As in, “I dubbedthat shot.”
anywhere else will prevent the proper cockingof your wrists on the backswing. While you are learning the new grip, put your handson the club as follows before you take your stance: Using your trail hand only, hold the shaft in your fingers at its midpoint, extending the club at arm’s length in front of you so that the shaft forms a 45-degree angle with the ground and the club head points to the sky. Then wrap the fingers of your target hand around the grip and position your thumb down the side of the shaft. Now simply slide the fingers of the trail hand down the shaft until they reach your other hand. (To Ask the Pro a question about golf, email him at: TJInsider@aol.com.)

Q: My grip feels uncomfortable. I can’t get my left
thumb in the right place. How hard should I grip it, and do I grip it before I address it?— P.W.

A: I’m going to assume you are right-handed
and therefore are asking about your target (left) hand. The target thumb should fit in the canal formed by the trail thumb and its fat pad. Your hands should mold together as closely as possible, and you should not be able to see your target thumb once you have completed your grip on the club. The canal of the trail hand should cover the top joint of the target thumb and should be the only pressure point in your grip. Pressure

MYMATURETIMES NOVEMBER 2011 PAGE 23

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