ANNOUNCEMENTS. Elva Roy thanked Gena Long from Town Village Crossing senior living for providing refreshments for the meeting.
Elva spoke briefly about how newer research has shown that social determinants of health (SDoH) are very important for maintaining a healthy body at any age. Doctors, hospitals, insurers, and social workers are very interested in educating people about how important SDoH are, one of which is loneliness and isolation. Here is a link to a Dec. 11, 2018, article entitled "The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone." on.wsj.com/2ryjKz8 And here is another link from a recent Cigna study entitled "Research Puts Spotlight on the Impact of Loneliness in the U.S. and Potential Root Causes." bit.ly/2jkwFk3
Connect Here Project. The leadership team (Ann Williams, Darla Peznell, Elva Roy, Kay Reynolds, Peggy Masters, Sandee Reutebuch, Sharron Merrill) of Ambassadors met to discuss if there is any way we could help alleviate loneliness and isolation in Arlington and we're thinking that collaborating with others to set up some "Connect Here" tables and benches in different places around town could help. Anytime you see one of the "Connect Here" tables, you know that you're automatically invited to sit down and join in whatever is happening at that table...the conversation mostly, but maybe someone will have cookies to share. Bring your book and your water in case there is no one sitting there yet, and hopefully someone will happen along to sit down for a chat. If you're lucky it will be someone different from those you normally associate with. We need to get out of our silos and meet people who are not "just like us." In our publicity campaign, we would designate a certain color for the tables/benches that would be consistent and identifiable. The items below are just samples of what could be. Details are to be worked out.
Patient Safety Week. The Ambassadors would like to sponsor/collaborate on a Patient Safety Week, similar to what Canada has done. Further information can be seen at this link which explains the concept. bit.ly/2tjz978 This project might spill over to become a project for next year. We'll have just see how things go.
Buddy Pool. Elva is still collecting names of people who live alone who might want an Ambassadors member to go with them to an appointment where they might not be able to drive themselves home. Examples are after they've had anesthesia for dental or other outpatient services. Doctors will not release a patient to drive themselves home nor will they permit the patient to use a ride share service like Uber because they want someone to make sure you get comfortable inside your home afterwards and that someone will stay with you until the anesthesia has worn off. Email Elva at email@example.com if you would like to be added to the Buddy Pool list.
Local Senior Housing Update. When Elva tried to do a drive-by of the new Secretariat senior apartments at 1121 Debbie Ln, Arlington, she didn't find Secretariat (still under construction) but she did find the Ladera Mansfield independent 55+ community on Debbie Ln. Looks like a lovely place to live if you can afford it (single, detached houses). More info at this link to their website bit.ly/2GIiuSw
Medicare Doctor Recommendation? One of our members is seeking a new Medicare doctor. If you have one that you highly recommend, please pass that name to Elva at firstname.lastname@example.org so she can pass it along.
Arlington's Aging Well Expo on Feb. 21, 9:00-2:00. E-Sports Stadium (formerly Arlington Convention Center), 1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington 76011. Elva will be a speaker at 1:30 with a talk entitled "New Solutions to Help Pay for Your Long-Term Health Care (including at-home custodial care)--You Don't Know What You Don't know." Elva would be happy to see you in the audience. There is no charge to attend the Expo.
Mona Bailey, Silver Haired Legislators, asked me to announce that she is looking for Tarrant County volunteers to serve. They do important lobbying work for us older adults. The term would start in July. Anyone interested is encouraged to call Mona at (817) 542-4486 for more details.
TIPS & TRICKS
Privacy. Elva wanted members to be aware of how "big data" is scraping information about every American to sell to corporations for not only targeted advertising but also to help insurance companies set rates, etc. It's a long-known fact that your physicians and hospitals and other providers report your medical diagnoses, treatments, etc. to the MIB (medical information bureau) but "data companies" are scrubbing through your social media and your web browser to determine your buying habits, reading habits, tv watching habits, grocery purchases, clothing purchases, in order to make assumptions about you. The risk is that some information that is being collected is inaccurate or should not be used to make assumptions about a person. For example, Elva is interested in Alzheimer's/dementia, mainly so she can share information with people who want to know about it, and insurers could wrongly assume that she's worried that she has Alzheimer's which is not the case. "Scrapers" will know that Elva buys plus-size clothing so insurers could assume that she has high blood pressure (not true) or high cholesterol (not true). One "big data" company which collects info about us is Lexis Nexis. Consumers can "opt out" by clicking on this link bit.ly/2GP05nt We consumers have no idea what information about us is being used to set prices for various things so there's no way to refute the accuracy except that some data companies such as Lexis. One good article about it can be found at this link bit.ly/2NnbLgX
While you're on the ProPublica site at the previous link, you might want to check "Dollars for Docs" to see what conflicts of interest your doctor might have, or at least see who is paying him/her to prescribe certain meds. Here is that link bit.ly/1JmXJHk
Oncor Power Outage Notification. If you want to be notified by text message to your smart phone when Oncor experiences a power outage, you can sign up by texting "REG" to 66267 or by visiting Oncor's website here "My Oncor Alerts" bit.ly/1JmXJHk The advantage is that you can see if someone else has already reported the outage to Oncor and Oncor will text you with the estimated restoration time and tell you when power is back on (in case you're away from home).
John Roland, M.D., spoke about functional medicine and stem cell therapy, Dr. Roland had lived and practiced medicine in Arlington and Cleburne as a Family Medicine doctor, and then emergency medicine before he became interested in helping patients by using stem cells. As she has done several times before, Elva encourages members to do your own deep research before you decide that stem cell therapy is right for you. Please try to speak to others who have had the same treatment that you are contemplating. In spite of some claims that there is no "downside" or "side effects," the media has reported some bad outcomes. Mostly the negative press about stem cells is that they don't work. But some people have been helped so there isn't one answer for everybody. As an interesting aside, for those of you who know Bowie Hogg or Sue Hogg here in Arlington, Bowie let me know that Dr. Roland is his uncle. Here's a link to Dr. Roland's practice bit.ly/2GnJJ5P
Debra Kerper, Owner of Easy Access Travel, who is a double amputee (but doesn't let that slow her down) gave an excellent talk about how to travel with a disability. She has been on 100+ cruises (ocean liners as well as river cruises), and is a frequent flier (prefers Southwest Airlines). She recommended that if you're going to travel by air, to call "TSA Cares" at (866) 787-2227. She said that TSA will furnish an agent to go through the TSA check point with you. Here's a link to Debra's company and she welcomes questions bit.ly/2TLW7zm
NEXT MEETING: Monday, March 11, 1:00, 700 E. Abram St. See you there!
Elva (Roy) - cell (817) 557-5700 Feel free to call me or text any time.
Elva Roy is the Founder & Lead Ambassador of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.