St. Petersburg Times Online: Seniority
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April 24, 2001
Slipping behind the wheel
[Times photo: Amber Tenille Woolfolk]

Driving under the influence of age
The impact of aging on our bodies affects virtually everyone's ability to drive, whether or not we want to admit it. The key is to understand the limitations and adjust.

  • Alternatives for the older driver
    If a dispassionate assessment tells you that you are still a safe driver, some tips, both behavioral and physical, can keep you on the road with greater comfort and confidence.
  • When it's time to get off the road
    Because Florida is such a sprawl, most of us have cars. Those of us who live in cities use public transportation as a last resort when our vehicles are in the shop or when injury or other unpleasant circumstance leaves us without wheels.

Tell me your story
Intimacy, sensuality and romance can nourish us all, no matter what our age or stage in life. It's how we share ourselves with others, how we experience love. It can sizzle with passionate abandon. It can arrive softly as a gentle touch or soothing voice.

Living up to her title
In a manner befitting a queen, Thelma Mackel's reign as Ms. Senior Citrus County will continue for the rest of her life.

Retirees take to the stage
Some have lots of experience; some don't. "No one seems to think they can entertain, but anyone can," the director says.

Love danced in for them
ST. PETERSBURG -- First came the spark.

She loves to be behind the ball
HOLIDAY -- Mary Jane Ruggiero, who will be 92 on Monday, says she gets a kick out of people who are surprised that she still bowls at her age.

When do we hang up the car keys?
To drive, or not to drive? Privilege or right? How big a part does age alone play in this enormous decision, and who gets to decide?

Making goodbyes a little less wrenching
One morning several years ago, I awoke and heard my neighbor calling out his usual "goodbye" to his wife as he left his home for work. He fully expected her to be there when he returned, but she wasn't.

Seniority in brief
Looking for America's Oldest Worker

JCPenney and I aren't what we used to be
I'm really depressed. My JCPenney stock is sinking with the current stock market. I had to make the decision to sell it. I can recoup some of the loss by selling another healthy stock and taking a tax break, but there is more involved here than money. I fear that we are losing another American icon.

Books of interest
When Someone Dies in Florida: All the Legal and Practical Things You Need to Do, by Amelia Pohl. Eagle Publishing of Boca, $22.95.

Maybe we'll just take the bus . . .
When my thoughts turn to aging drivers -- as they seem to do with increasing frequency these days -- one of the first images I call up is of my mother-in-law.

May offers opportunities for merry entertainment
When my family first moved to the Tampa Bay area in 1954, May was the end of the "season."

55 Alive driving classes scheduled for May
She was on her way to a doctor's appointment. Her mind was on her condition, not her driving. He was leaving a parking lot with a lot on his mind, too, and not much of it on his driving. He forgot one of the cardinal rules: Look left, look right and look left again. His first and only look to the left had noted a car approaching, but its turn indicator was flashing. (She had failed to cancel it.)

Volunteering sent her back to school
Sara Schepke, 79, went to Walsingham Elementary School in 1990 to apply for a part-time job but didn't find any openings, so she decided to volunteer and fell in love with it. For over 10 years, Sara has volunteered at Walsingham two days a week for four hours each morning. She tutors four classes, two first grades, one second grade and one third grade.

To stretch your body, first stretch your mind
Some of the old "fitness fiction" may be slowly losing popularity, but there remain lingering exercise misconceptions. Based on updated research, here are a few of the more common myths that still play out on the exercise field.

Nursing aides need greater support
While in Tallahassee, I had the opportunity to attend the House of Representatives' committee meeting on elder and long-term care. The House bill under discussion is concerned with providing and revising the definitions for classifying nursing-home deficiencies and imposing penalties. Under discussion also were nursing-home staffing standards for certified nursing assistants and licensed nurses.  

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