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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Seniors Who Stop Driving = Social Isolation and Health Decline │ Surgery Patients Require Less Sedation When Exposed to Music First

I may have made it to bed around 10:38 p.m. last evening ─ that time seems stuck in my recollection.

And I had a reasonable night's sleep, although not as many hours of solid sleep as I should be getting.  But sleep had become so unlikely that I was actually up for the day ahead of 7:00 a.m.

My youngest step-son Pote had just taken away his 'overnighted' girlfriend Priyanka, driving her off in his older brother Tho's car.

Pote was to have to work today, so after his return, he was soon enough gone again to catch his bus.

I spent some while setting up a new post at my Thai-Iceland website.  During that time, my younger brother Mark arrived home after having spent the night at his girlfriend Bev's residence.

I was determined to try and get out to Surrey Place (Central City) to mail the $1,058 cheque for our annual home insurance policy ─ the old one ends and the new one begins on June 14.  I also had a cheque to deposit ─ Mark had written me out a cheque for half of the insurance policy.

First, though, I needed to rest my eyes.

Mark had already sought a nap, so I did the same ─ but could not relax sufficiently to nap.  However, at least I did give my bad eyes a decent rest.

With Mark still in his bedroom, and my eldest step-son Tho not yet up, I readied myself and was probably on my way by 11:40 a.m. at latest.

As reported yesterday, the Coast Capital Savings ATM at Surrey Place (Central City) has been decommissioned because the credit union has relocated to a huge building they now own over by the King George SkyTrain Station.

I don't like having to go over there ─ it was more convenient using Surrey Place.

The morning had been mostly cloudy, but the Sun started to take over well into my trip ─ in total, the entire jaunt as a round-trip would likely be something over two miles.

I found myself uncomfortable out there ─ uncomfortable in a social sense.  In fact, before I had quite made the King George Boulevard, a bit of a panic began to germinate that threatened to have me forsake the entire enterprise, but that was not really feasible.

I had to do my best to get the payment mailed at Pearl Cleaners, operators of the postal depot at Surrey Place.  The payment would likely get collected later today and the mail sorted in time for the letter to be delivered on Tuesday.

And I also wanted to get the ATM deposit over with.

So I did do that ─ I made the deposit, and then worked my way over to Surrey Place where I mailed the payment.

I had eaten nothing just on the off-chance that I might take advantage of the Surrey Greek Food Festival not a block away from where I live...but I was to pass it on by, just as I have always done.

This is its 25th year; and today is its final day after a run that began on June 3.

I have lived in this house since (I believe) June 2002, yet I have never attended the Festival.

My excuse today was simply feeling too bashful entirely on my own.  Besides, I had no idea if it was cash only; and if it was possible to have the food as 'take out,' or if it had to be eaten there.

I do not relish sitting amongst strangers ─ especially families.

At least I got out and accomplished my two errands.

The day became quite sunny.  I could have sunned in the backyard this afternoon, but I felt that my outing had used up all of the spare time I would have otherwise allocated to a sunning session.

Mark was gone for the afternoon by the time I had returned, but layabout eldest step-son Tho was still in bed.

Since quitting his second job over two weeks ago, he often manages to remain in bed until well into the noon-hour.  Heck, he has even remained there until after 1:00 p.m.


Here is a somewhat peculiar old photo ─ the description beneath it is from the Google album where I have the scanned photo filed:   

This is clearly an exhibit of some bears, but I cannot quite accept that they are alive.

It seems to me that this is some facsimile of what a live bear exhibit might be like.

The photo is from a collection of my mother Irene Dorosh's.

It is impossible for me to guess when or where this was taken.
Initially I thought that it depicted living bears; but upon closer examination of the erect bear in the foreground, its paws don't look natural, and its torso and the thighs of its hind-legs seem too shapeless ─ there isn't the musculature a living bear would be displaying.


I am 66 years old, and have never had a driver's licence.

As I often detail, I now feel as if I am incarcerated.  There is nowhere pleasant around me in which to enjoy a good, long walk.

So I stay home, only venturing out such as I did today when there is some errand to run ─ there is no pleasure in walking the endless miles and miles of traffic-choked streets.

Buildings and people are everywhere ─ there is no peace and calm out there.  Reflection is just about impossible ─ it might come in very brief snatches, and then is lost again by whatever multitudinous intrusions beset one.

Mostly, there is stress.

Anyway, I found this report to be of particular interest:

The know-it-alls at the DMV are looking for any excuse they can to keep seniors off the road, forcing older folks into the indignity of extra vision and road tests.

In some states, neighbors and even just random jerks with an ax to grind can call the DMV and snitch on you… even for something EVERYONE does at times, like accidentally backing into your own garbage cans.

One phone call, and you’ll be REQUIRED to take a new road test!

Well, my friend, I’m here to say it’s time to put the snitches in their place.

Fight back – fight tooth and nail to keep yourself on the road, because it’s not just key to your independence.

The latest research shows how it’s absolutely essential to your overall wellbeing!

When folks stop driving, they stop getting out and engaging socially with their friends and the community.

Seniors who drive are three times more likely to visit friends and three times more likely to go out to social events such as movies and dinners.

And they’re more than twice as likely to go to church.

Yes, folks who stop driving practically turn into shut-ins! The researchers say they don’t know why, but I can take a guess.

If you’ve spent 60 or 70 years coming and going as you darn well please – driving your own car when and where you want – you don’t want to ask someone else to drive you around.

And you certainly don’t want to get on the bus.

So you stay in.

But that’s exactly what you shouldn’t do, because once you lose your connection to the outside world, you start to lose everything else you care about… you even lose your mind!

Your brain is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition, and part of using it is making sure you get out and talk, engage, and do things. Seniors who stop doing that… folks who stay inside and rarely get out… are much more likely to slip into the nightmare world of cognitive decline and dementia.

Some seniors quit driving because they’re already battling a serious health condition such as dementia.

But for many others, the main reason they can no longer get behind the wheel isn’t a disease.

It’s vision loss – including the loss of distance vision or night vision. It might even be because you refuse to wear your glasses… or even visit the eye doctor to get checked out.

Don’t let any of that keep you from driving, my friend. Boost your intake of vision-saving nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids, wear those darn glasses if you need them, and – if push comes to shove and a cataract is making it too difficult to see – go ahead and have the surgery.

Don’t fear it. Get it done and over with. And I’ll have one simple tip that can make the experience a whole lot easier to handle later today.

Your driving force....
This is the study:  Social Participation in Later Years: The Role of Driving Mobility (doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw057).

And here are a couple of other reports about it:

There was a related study published earlier as this January 26 report shows:

I haven't priced the supplement lutein, but I know that zeaxanthin is beyond my reach if its as costly as astaxanthin is.  I had to quit buying astaxanthin after I retired and no longer had a salary ─ and I had only just discovered the stuff!

I can strongly attest that there is very little attractive about living a life like mine.


As that report I quoted above indicated, there is a second part to it that concerns handling one's unease of surgery:

Protect your peepers, my friend.

Sharp eyes will not only ensure you can keep reading the Daily Dose instead of asking Siri to read it to you, but it will also keep you out and about and on the roads.

Don't give those clowns at the DMV any excuse to take your license away!

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in older folks -- and when you flunk an eye exam because you refuse to get them taken care of, you lose more than your driver's license.

You lose your freedom... your independence... and even a piece of your dignity when you have to call someone and beg for a ride.

I get why seniors often refuse to have cataract surgery, even when it's well past the point where they need it.

The very idea of that blade coming down on your eyeball while you're wide-awake is downright terrifying!

Well, my friend, don't let your nerves keep you from getting the procedure if you need it -- make the call, schedule your appointment, and then bring something with you that can make the whole experience a whole lot easier to take.


You know the old saying about how music soothes the savage beast? It can also soothe some pretty savage nerves, too -- because the latest research shows how listening to some tunes can help you power through cataract surgery.

Listening to your favorite relaxing tunes for 15 minutes before cataract surgery can dramatically calm your nerves for as much as an hour afterward, reducing anxiety levels by nearly two-thirds, according to the new study out of France.

That didn't just give patients a little more calmness. It also reduced their need for brain-blending sedative drugs -- and, as a result, the folks who listened to some music before surgery were more satisfied with the procedure overall.

The downside is you generally can't listen during the procedure itself, since your headphones would get in the way.

But you don't need to listen to music during the procedure to get the benefit anyway, as the new study shows you can get the calming benefits of music by listening just before your surgery.

Of course, cataracts don't always mean surgery. If you can still see well enough to read this without zooming in too much, there are natural therapies that can slow your cataract or even stop it cold.

Get the full story on the vision-boosting, cataract-shrinking nutrient you need to protect your peepers in this free report from my Daily Dose archives.

Playing some tunes....
This study has yet to be published ─ it was part of a presentation at Euroanaesthesia 2016 held in London May 28 - 30.

However, here are some further reports about it:


I close now with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The house the room was located in was at Ninth Street & Third Avenue.
THURSDAY, June 12, 1975

I still am affected by an itch on my back.

I went to Safeway this sunny day, and returned with $5.39 worth of heavy produce; looks as if Sunday I'll be having a chicken pie if I am cook enough.  I was very listless going.

Next I packed up and wasted a day by going to Burnaby Lake where I never even sunned a full hour.  Too, a news report mentioned a high incidence of expected skin cancer due to the effects of extensive aerosol can usage.  

I've decided to give up sunnings just for sunnings' sakes.

If I hadn't brought so much weight, instead of going home I perhaps could have visited dad again.

Wanting to view a 9:30 p.m. movie, I next retired, finally arising after 5:00 p.m. (I bedded at 2:30 p.m.).

Soon after, I realized my interested movie is to air tomorrow; a different one is on tonight.

Bedtime no later than 11:25 p.m.
I sure used to get in lots of walking back then!

The itch I mentioned was probably due to the severe sunburning I experienced on June 1st ─ I was likely still healing.  

The hike out to Burnaby Lake from where I lived was truly an enterprise ─ it was where I got my sunburn on the 1st.

I never actually went to the shore of the lake.  Rather, I would find a secluded spot ─ often the cement foundation of a power-lines tower ─ close to the freeway (Trans-Canada Highway).

I'm unsure of just what I would have hauled there with me ─ a portable radio for certain, and maybe a container of water.  But could there have been more?

My father Hector lived in Burnaby ─ he had moved to an apartment building at 3825 Sunset Street, apparently.

If this map displays for you, it would seem that he was roughly located between Boundary Road and the Burnaby Hospital.

Had I less baggage with me, I would have hiked there from Burnaby Lake.  If you refer to this map, you can see the lake well off at the right; whereas Sunset Street is unmarked, but just above Kincaid Street at the left centre of the map.

And this map shows roughly where I was living in relation to Burnaby Lake.

I don't remember anymore, but it must have taken me an hour just to get to Burnaby Lake.

Had I gone to visit my father, I likely would have walked all the way back to my room afterwards.

But I was so darned fit.  

I can remember later on when he moved back to the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver, I would hike to there from New Westminster ─ sometimes so full of energy that once I got to Kingsway, I would launch myself into a powerful run in my boots and not stop except when necessary for a traffic light. 

I was a strong runner, and I am so sorry today that I never competed formally.  I now have no idea just how fast I might have been.  I only ran for myself.

I don't know how many times I was to later hike to the Pattullo Bridge when I lived in New Westminster, and then start running into Surrey and up the King George Highway all the way to the railroad tracks around 72nd Avenue in Surrey.

I tell people this who know the area, but they just don't seem to fathom what the distance involved.

My mother was living in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey, so from those railroad tracks, I would turn right and hike them until I got to her home.

Then after a good recuperative visit, I would take a direct route and walk back to where I was living in New Westminster.

Now today, I just hide away in this debtor's prison that is my home, and only walk somewhere when I have to do something such as shop.

I miss life.
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