It's hurricane season, and the state Department of Elder Affairs has produced its annual Florida Disaster Preparedness Guide for Elders. The guide discusses how to protect yourself, your pet and items in your home, all with a special emphasis on seniors. The guide also has a hurricane tracking map and a place to record personal and medical information and phone numbers to keep with you when you evacuate. For a free copy, write to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Elder Update, P.O. Box 10118, Tallahassee, FL 32303-2118 or call (800) 96-ELDER.
No doubt about book's content
The book's long title says it all: Unbelievably Good Deals & Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50 (Contemporary Books, $8.95). Most of the information involves travel deals and discounts available for people 50 years or older, although there are chapters on volunteering, education programs and insurance. The book, by Joan Rattner Heilman, is being released in its seventh edition, so look for that version in bookstores ("7th Updated Edition, Over 500,000 Copies Sold" is printed on the top right corner of the book).
Carrots really are good for your eyes
People who regularly eat lots of leafy green vegetables, carrots, collard greens, squash and broccoli are 40 percent less likely to develop cataracts, the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 65, researchers say. A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the lens of the eye that forms when proteins clump together. Reporting on recent research, the nonprofit Better Vision Institute said the theory is the right veggies are high in two pigments _ lutein and zeaxanthin _ which are also found in the yellow ring, or macula, around the eye. Researchers believe these pigments help filter out dangerous ultraviolet light, a common cause of cataracts. Doctors also think taking a vitamin supplement high in A, C and E might help prevent cataracts by countering oxygen atoms that injure eye cells. Have your eye doctor check your eyes for signs of cataracts and ask his or her advice about a vitamin supplement. You also might want to have a glaucoma test. For more information on eye care, contact The Better Vision Institute, P.O. Box 77097, Washington, D.C. 20013.
Free brochure has arthroscopic answers
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is offering a free brochure that explains arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure using pencil-sized instruments to peer inside a patient's knee, shoulder or other joint to diagnose and treat problems such as torn ligaments and cartilage. By attaching the arthroscope to a miniature television camera, the surgeon can see the interior of a joint, remove loose bone particles or diagnose whether a problem is caused by arthritis, torn ligaments, a ruptured disc or other ailments. For a brochure, send a stamped, self-addressed business envelope to Arthroscopy, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, P.O. Box 2058, Des Plaines, IL 60017.
SeniorCom joins the World Wide Web
A Seattle company has started what it calls the first commercial site for senior computer users of the World Wide Web, a graphical section of the Internet. When it is fully operational, SeniorCom is expected to provide seniors with a way to search for national information on retirement communities, health care providers and financial and legal advice. To access the site, you must have a web browser, like those offered by commercial services such as America Online and Prodigy in their Internet areas. The site's address is http:///www.senior.com. The best place to start is the What's New area once you access the site. Be forewarned: As with any web site, it can be torture waiting for the graphics to unfold if you have a slow modem.
Quote of the Month
"One of the greatest gifts you can get as a writer is to be born into an unhappy family. I could not have been born into a better one."
_ Author Pat Conroy in an interview about his new book Beach Music in July's Vanity Fair. Conroy also wrote other tales of dysfunctional families, including The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides. We're not suggesting this month's short stories writers found their inspiration in the same place as Conroy, but you can read their selections in Seniority's centerpiece.
_ Compiled by John A. Cutter from staff and wire reports