Issue 79 October 2021

Tech Savvy Larry Magid

Bridging The "Digital
Gap" For Seniors
By Evelyn Preston

Larry Magid, tech columnist (Digital Crossroads) for the San Jose Mercury News, should be required reading, especially for
older adults. Along with his notable blogs, books and websites, his continuing personal technology columns stand out as accessible, understandable and very pleasing prose. A clear path through the wilderness of confusing info
and jargon.
After reading his nuanced comments on specific tech products and programs, a potential purchaser or user can feel a little wiser, a lot smarter and much more comfortable by making informed decisions.
“Give me something that works and won’t crash!”
No matter our regular use of it, the attraction of all things technical isn’t in
older adults DNA as it often seems innate in their children and grandchildren. Some three-or four-year-olds raise sites a lot quicker than their grandparents. Kids who grew up with the bells and whistles of computers, iPhones and other devices often put us older people to shame. Talk about a digital divide.

Most of us just want to keep things simple--to find a computer, program or smartphone that’s easy to use and meets our needs.
Magid raises the right generic questions, explores diverse features and offers possible answers. His unbiased reviews help interpret “sales pitches” and ferret out truth in advertising. Helping a buyer feel empowered when dealing with the endless tech choices available offers peace of mind as well as pocket-book savings.
“iPads are great but consider other alternatives.”

Even with no interest in the product, I was still hooked by Magid’s detailed review of a wide range of a) what’s available, b) the concerns potential buyers should consider and c) his personal experience—all necessary to help people cut through the hype and make the best buy. His analysis would quickly lead readers to accurately pinpoint their unique needs.

And like a “good read,” I simply couldn’t put the article down and had to find out the “end of the story.” Also, like the very best writing. I learned so much along the way…painless, interesting, useful and enjoyable. Many of Magid's articles speak directly to older folks.
Magid points out that 60% of those over 65 now go online for everything from medical information and financial transactions to socializing.
Particularly useful are his “walk-throughs” of “smart” equipment and applications and his rationale for final recommendations. I personally have
too often relied on well-meaning (but often inexperienced) salespeople for
their reasons to purchase computers, printers and programs that wound up inappropriate for my needs. “My bad,” as the kids say. To those of us who
shun doing the homework, missteps in tech selections can cost a lot more
than dollars. 
tech literate in a fast changing digital world.
Love Your Home But Need Extra Space?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit, also known as an ADU, may be the perfect fit for you. In addition to fully custom ADUs, Next Stage Design offers three pre-designed, ready-to-build floorplans. Each of our pre-designed ADUs offer the same high quality features and finishes we specify for our remodeling projects. To learn more about what we can build for you, call 408.323.5300 or visit us at and click "Get Started."

Myth or Fact?

By Paula Spencer Scott

At 61, I'm fitter than ever in my adulthood.
I work out most days — a mix of strength-training, cardio, HIIT (high intensity interval training), flexibility and balance. I count macros, eat "clean and green." My weight falls in the normal range with body fat hovering around 22%.

But a recent companion never leaves my side — er, my belly. A poochy, uninvited, most unwanted guest.

The Internet dubs it a "meno-potbelly"— the potbelly that shows up after menopause. I'm not plagued by hot flashes, dryness, insomnia or mood swings. This shape change, on the other hand, has remade my sanity along with my midsection.

Note: The story originally appeared in Next Avenue, a website from PBS stations that inspires America’s 50+ generation to live the most meaningful, vibrant life possible.
It’s Medicare Open Enrollment Time! October 15 - December 7
What’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year—things like cost, coverage and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.

How do people know if they need to change plans?
People in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan should always review
the materials their plans send them like the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC)
and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). If their plans are changing, they should make sure their plans will still meet their needs for the following year.

If they’re satisfied that their current plans will meet their needs for next year and it’s still being offered, they don’t need to do anything.

When can people get information about next year’s
Medicare plans?
Information for next year’s plans is now available.

Where can people find Medicare plan information
or compare plans?

1-800-MEDICARE or

Physicians Medical Group of San Jose is the largest independent physician’s association in Santa Clara County representing most Medicare plans. We have been part of the community for over 40 years with more than 1,000 doctors in 460 offices, plus we speak 30+ languages. Call 888-988-8682 or for Medicare information visit our website.

Senior Independent Living Community With a Flair

Senior living doesn't get any better than living at Chateau-Cupertino whether you're in retirement or just ready for the next great phase of your life. Enjoy a home-life environment in your own senior apartment with three fresh served home-style meals daily.

Housekeeping and laundry services, all basic utilities, great activity programs, game rooms and transportation--all included starting at $3,000 per month.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Cupertino is one of the best places to live in CA--home to world famous Apple company.

Come and see for yourself. Schedule a Tour Today! Call 408.446.4300. Or email:


 --Larry Hayes, A050 Founder and CEO

"Move Or Stay?"

Q: "We're tempted to cash out of our home in San Jose, CA and buy a less expensive home in another state. And pocket the difference. My wife and I are in our 80s, love the Bay Area and in good health. Is it a good idea to move at our age?"--WH

Tempting, indeed. Especially with San Francisco Bay Area homes often selling 5X what was paid for. Some homeowners are “taking the money” and moving to greener pastures.
However, life is not always about the money. What about leaving behind family, friends and community? How important? A Harvard
study reveals that the key to living a longer and healthier life depends upon having a “community.”
The older you get, the harder and longer it takes to make new friends and join a community because you don’t have time to build relationships. A friend of mine cashed out a few years ago and moved to an island to get away from it all.
Biggest mistake of his life. Today, he’s stuck on an island lonely and depressed without family, friends or community. He wants to return
to the Bay Area but can’t because of exorbitant housing costs.
Back to your question--moving might work for you but consider carefully all the pros and cons. How important are family, friends and community? Once you leave, you may not be able to come back. Money can’t buy friends or happiness.
Got a Question? Ask me anything. If I don't know the answer, I'll ask someone who does. Email me at ASK LARRY
is written by Larry Hayes, founder and CEO of A050.
"Social Insecurity" is a new book of charming, witty, crazy, offbeat, happy comics about getting older from the comic series "Under Cardiac Arrest" by John Donaghue.
John Donaghue is an award-winning advertising art director and cartoonist from San Francisco. To order a copy of his new book
"Social Insecurity," CLICK HERE.
Iconic Venice Beach Is Back And Worth The Trip

By Don Mankin, The Adventure Geezer

Frank Lloyd Wright once wrote, “Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” To this,
I would add: Tip Los Angeles on its side and everything loose will land in Venice Beach. 

I’ve lived in Venice Beach for almost 40 years (most recently in a house just two blocks from the ocean and boardwalk) and have witnessed many changes over the years from funky and rough to hip and pricey. 

But this past year has been like none other. Because of the pandemic and economic downturn, homeless people took over Venice Beach’s world-famous boardwalk — also known as Ocean Front Walk, the second most popular tourist destination in Southern California — and turned it into a mile-long encampment.

Many businesses were closed and foot traffic dropped off precipitously. What remained felt dark and sinister. Trash was strewn everywhere; there were constant street fights and crime rates soared. The charred remains of at least one building burned down by an out-of-control fire from a nearby tent loomed over the once bustling, boisterous boardwalk.

Numerous articles appeared in the national and international press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Guardian, and Globe and Mail, lamenting the demise of the iconic Venice Beach scene. 

For months I stayed off the boardwalk, giving up one of my favorite leisure (un)activities of sitting on a bench where I would munch on a sausage sandwich and watch the colorful parade of tourists and locals walk by, all dressed (or barely dressed) to the nines in their versions of funky, hip and casual.

This past June, though, the city finally started to pay attention to the complaints from residents and cleared up the encampments one by one in a somewhat humane fashion. All campers were offered temporary housing and storage for their tents, bikes and shopping carts.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I decided to take a walk along
the boardwalk to check on the progress of the cleanup. We were pleasantly surprised. As usual, the sun was shining, the breeze was light and balmy, and the temperature was a beach-perfect 75.

Most of the boardwalk had been cleaned up, many stores were open for business and the boardwalk was packed with tourists. The bars and restaurants were jammed. Street musicians and tarot card readers were back, taking over spots recently occupied by tents and clapboard shacks.

So, come back for a visit! No need to wait until next summer: The Los Angeles summer extends into mid-October, and even in the depths of winter, it’s more likely to be sunny, warm and dry than cold, wet and dreary.
CLICK HERE to read Mankin's full story on the many attractions in Venice Beach including lodging and his favorite restaurants.
For Senior
Living Housing?

Sue Gibson is with CarePatrol and she helps families find assisted living, memory care, board & care and independent living facilities.

She checks the state care and violation reports and only recommends safe options. She tours with her families to be there to ask and answer questions. She follows up 2, 7 and 30 days after move in to be sure all
is going as planned.

CarePatrol is a FREE placement service. Sue is compensated by the 200+ homes and communities in her network. She is a trained Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and has helped over 600 families in the past 6+ years. And although she personally covers San Mateo county, there
are over 150 CSAs in her network so she can help you all across the
U.S. with just one phone call or email. 

What people are saying about Sue Gibson and CarePatrol:

"It has been wonderful to work with Sue Gibson. She is competent, helpful and extremely knowledgeable. She has provided an invaluable service to our family."~Helen S.

"Sue is amazing! She guided us through the process of finding
a memory care facility for my mom with empathy, care and efficiency. 
It was clear she had done the hard work for us. We were able to place my mom within 36 hours. I highly recommend Sue."~Diane P.

Contact Sue at 415.656 6869 or Visit her website:
Clint Eastwood:

A Cinematic Legacy

Tough guy. Western star. Oscar winner. Few artists in film history cast a longer shadow than Clint Eastwood. As he enters his eighth decade in the movies, Warner Bros. celebrates this cinematic icon – actor, producer, director, master filmmaker – with a nine-episode docuseries covering the entire breadth of Eastwood’s remarkable career.
 Click to see more:
Your Local
With over 15 years experience right here in Silicon Valley,
I can answer all your questions.

Q: Will the bank own my home?
The bank does not take ownership of your home; they simply extend a loan
to you. You continue to own and live in your home and are responsible for payment of property taxes, required insurance and if applicable, HOA fees.

Q: Do my children/family members lose their inheritance?
No, a borrower may designate an heir of their choosing.The heir(s) will inherit the home after the last surviving borrower passes away and may then choose to keep (by paying off the amount of reverse mortgage balance) or sell the home. Should they choose to sell, any remaining equity after paying off the loan (minus interest and fees) would be theirs.

Q: What is the lending limit of the HECM reverse mortgage?
As of January 1, 2021, it increased to $822,375. Which means it's very likely you can qualify for more money.

To learn more, call me today: 408.722.0010 

Marilyn Brown Ross Branch Manager & Reverse Mortgage Professional
FREE Alzheimer's Support
For Families

National Memory Screening
Memory screenings are an important part of a good health and wellness routine for everyone. They are simple, quick, noninvasive healthy brain checkups which consist of a series of questions to gauge memory, language, thinking skills and other intellectual functions. 

Free, confidential memory screenings are available through AFA’s National Memory Screening Program. Screenings are conducted one on one through secure video conference (i.e., Zoom, Facetime, Skype) and the program is open to everyone; there are no minimum age or insurance requirements.
Virtual Activity  
To help individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers
stay active and engaged from anywhere, AFA offers free daily activity and therapeutic programs through its website. Activities at “the AFA Teal Room” include music, art, movement, chair yoga, fitness, meditation, virtual tours
and more.

Telephone Support
AFA offers free weekly, telephone-based support groups, facilitated by AFA’s licensed social workers, designed to give caregivers a place to connect and share with one another from anywhere in the country. Contact AFA’s Helpline at 866.232.8484 for additional information about registering for a caregiver support group. View our website.

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A Longer, Healthier, More Meaningful Life
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