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What's up: Sharon Gless plays mama on 'Burn Notice'; a new book on fixing long-term care; slippers with lights

The spy who loved her

She'll likely be best remembered as the Cagney of CBS's Cagney & Lacey in the '80s, but Sharon Gless, 66, is carving another sharp niche in the USA series Burn Notice. The show, which also stars Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell and Gabrielle Anwar, is part drama, part action, part romance — and part hell-on-wheels mom. She plays the maternal mettle to blacklisted spy Michael Westen (Donovan). Gless, as mama Madeline, has a knack for calling at just the wrong time, usually when Michael's up to his armpits in bombs or perched precariously atop a skyscraper in Miami, where the series is shot. Gless is fun to watch. Now if she would just stop the chain-smoking! Burn Notice began its third season this month; 9 p.m. Thursdays on cable network USA.

President goes prime time (again)

President Barack Obama appears in a prime-time interview about health care on ABC at 10 p.m. Wednesday. Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer will moderate the White House discussion on a two-hour tape delay with a live audience. After a break for local news, the discussion will continue on Nightline. It airs on WFTS-Ch. 28.

Tripping the light fantastic

Well, no more tripping, at least. Comfy slippers. With lights. Why didn't we think of that? These polyester fleece slippers with rubber soles have a built-in LED light in the toe area so you can see where you're going at night. Lights turn on at first step. The slippers come in navy, in various sizes, for men and women. Two replaceable lithium batteries are included in each slipper. $39.95 a pair at www.seniorstore.com.

Long-term care? It needs care

Been there? We have. The first chapter in a new book, Caring for Our Parents, is "The Phone Call." Mom has broken her hip. Or Dad's had a second, more serious, stroke. Or one of a host of other numbing calls that devastate families every day. Author Howard Gleckman tells his own personal story as well as those of others in a book that focuses on the broad inadequacies of long-term care in the United States. The cost is overwhelming, the emotional toll crushing and the care itself oftentimes not what anyone would hope. The author — a veteran journalist who has covered heath care, personal finance and was a senior correspondent in the Washington bureau of Business Week — moves forward to examine alternatives not just for the eldest among us but also for boomers, who will find themselves with their own long-term health care needs. (Caring for our Parents: Inspiring Stories of Families Seeking New Solutions to America's Most Urgent Health Crisis, Howard Gleckman, St. Martin's Press, 320 pages, $24.95.)

Compiled by Mimi Andelman, LifeTimes editor

How to reach us

Mimi Andelman, LifeTimes editor: mimi@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8272

Sherry Robinson, LifeTimes news editor: robinson@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8305

On the Web at lifetimes.tampabay.com: Find a nursing home that's right for your loved ones, read other

features for folks who are living well after 50 and catch up on relevant news headlines.

What's up: Sharon Gless plays mama on 'Burn Notice'; a new book on fixing long-term care; slippers with lights 06/22/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 22, 2009 4:30am]
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