September 9 - 16, 1998

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The mail is full of things to do...things for all "third age" adults, things for some "third age" adults and events for everyone. Sit down for a few minutes and think what you would like to do, what you can afford to do, and where you can get tied into it. Don't give up living because the doctor has told you have a problem of one kind or another. Go to the library and see what you can find out about your problem, its limitations, and put aside the old-wives tales of what you have been told about how you need to stay home and baby yourself. Then do what it takes to live with it and enjoy life.

There are limitations, but the truth of the matter is that those with a chronic condition tend to live with it, work with or against it (as required) and as a result, live much longer and much happier than those who give up.

As a reminder, the life span of all of us (but particularly women) has expanded. Living beyond retirement takes real thought and planning. The money we get at retirement is what we will have the rest of our lives, except for the pitiful Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment, which can be eaten up in rental and taxes, let alone the constant increase in the cost of everything else.

Because we will feel the pinch in the future we need to take a hard look at what we have, how we use it, set up a budget that allows a little freedom for things we want, look for part time work if that is a possibility.

I am well aware that many of us should have started a long time ago to arrange these later years, and that almost every plan seems unsurmountable. However, there are many ways we can enjoy our lives if we look for those ways.

In my work at the Senior Center, I see so many who have very little money but are having a fine time enjoying senior center activities, accepting help from their children without feeling guilty, who have a smile on their faces in spite of serious chronic illness or responsibilities of disabled children or grandchildren or ill spouses. Many are active in their churches and in their neighborhoods, volunteer their time for non-profit agencies in lieu of cash donations, and accept the benefits available with good grace.

But there are also many who are ready to die tomorrow. They can't cope with the Dial-A-Ride, the world is against them, they are paying too much for rent and utilities but will not consider moving into Senior Housing, who can't keep their vital papers together so they can get benefits. These poor souls recount their ailments, set-backs, and annoyances over and over, forgetting that we all have problems and we don't all use those problems as a reason to stop living.

I do not know all the answers for people but when you are living into the nonagenarian years, it is smart to set up those years as soon as possible, understanding that you will be joined by many others as life goes on.

On Tuesday, September 15, from ll am to 7 pm at the New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the second Gadgets and Electronics, an Assistive Technology Trade Fair, will take place.The entrance fee is $5, but free tickets are available, although there may still be a parking charge.

Absolutely everything that can make life easier will be on display with people there to tell you where it can be had. Be prepared to ask questions, try out equipment, watch demonstrations and even to buy appropriate devices on the spot.

Call 424-4871 to ask about the free tickets and directions to the Coliseum.

If you can't get to the above display, visit Evis Medical Supplies, 283 Franklin Avenue in Hartford. Ask for Anastasia, who will listen to your problems and if the item that will help you is not in stock, she will be happy to order it if it is made.
I have found her very helpful both for myself and for friends.

The store is open Monday through Friday. Closed on Saturday. If getting there is a problem for you, call 296-3565 as they deliver.

For those of you who are interested in sports and concerned that young people are not getting into programs, save the date of Sunday, October l8 for an event at Chowder Pot Restaurant with George Cruz, Doc Hurley and Bob Steele. Details in a future column. Watch for it.

Need a little extra money? Why don't you call your Registrar of Voters and see if they need you to help at the polls on election day? It is a long day, but you meet interesting people, and feel you are doing a valuable thing. The pay is excellent and they can tell you all about it. Democrats ask for Tony Mein, Republicans and Unaffiliated Voters ask for Joe Di Lorenzo. The number is 543-8585. The registrars are at City Hall, 550 Main St., Hartford.

Talk with you next issue.

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