Getting old is no fun

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Prepping the swamp cooler for summer. Unlike last year, the calcium scraped off easily in the pan!
Changed one cooling pad and it wore me out. I'll have to do the others in two steps - remove one day, put in new one the next. <sigh> Wasn't that long ago I did all three quickly in one session. Soon fiddle with water lines to pads. That's always a lot of fun, removing and cleaning out these that are plugged up.
--
You know it's time to clean the refrigerator
when something closes the door from the inside.
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On 2/22/2016 11:02 AM, KenK wrote:

For our old cooler, I installed a second pump, feeding the "spider" from an opposite corner (wasn't a true spider; rather, a rectangular loop originally fed from one corner) and putting check valves in each feed (in case a pump failed, the pads would not dry out).
The EXTRA water made a noticeable difference in cooling efficiency.
Biggest hassle was periodica AGGRESSIVE cleaning, repainting, etc. (previous owners had poorly maintained it; we should have replaced it long before we *did*!)
New cooler purges the sump periodically to reduce mineral build up (at the expense of greater water usage). But, it's a naive implementation -- the "purge pump" can end up draining the pan while the cooler is running (think: hot air).
OTOH, it has kept the pads and cooler in pretty good shape!
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I'm at 70 and I swim 3x a week. Still putting on muscle. I'm wondering how long this can go on before I really start to get less physically fit.
Anyway, my advice to all seniors. You need to exercise. If you can't walk far, try walking farther. If you can walk, run. If you don't want to exercise, you've given up.
--
Dan Espen

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On 2/22/2016 12:22 PM, Dan Espen wrote:

From what I've seen (friends, colleagues) what typically ends up happening is an "accident" (e.g., fall) that breaks this routine. Your body spends time healing AND not getting the benefits of the exercise. You lose ground pretty quickly (easier to lose muscle tone than gain it!).

SWMBO has taken to a less aggressive set of stretching exercises, ~30 minutes/day, 7 days/week (unless she has to leave for class at 7:30 -- the days of getting up before the sun JUST to exercise are long gone!). She has found that helps her strength and, most importantly, balance. Prior to this, she did more aerobic exercise -- but less frequently. She also hikes regularly.
[I think there are ~30 in the series so it doesn't get to be monotonous]
I just walk the neighborhood, daily -- 3.8 miles in 56 minutes (4MPH). But, it's not truly aerobic as I simply can't get my heart rate up very high with that level of energy expenditure.
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Per Don Y:

That's what I am trying to keep in mind.... also, I had direct experience a couple years ago: intestinal infection + shingles that put me on my back for 5 months.
I still have not fully recovered muscle strength/nerve function - and do not expect to ever recover fully.....that showed me firsthand how destructive inactivity can be.
I have been working on stair climbing/descending technique - against the day when a leg collapses or something.
What I have come up with is both ascending and descending bent over in the direction of upstairs - one hand on the railing and the other touching a stair at all times. i.e. When I descend, I go down backwards.
My rationale is that will limit the distance/severity when the inevitable fall occurs.
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 2/22/2016 2:45 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

Yup. One rationalization I use for all the work I do around the house, on the cars, etc. is to keep my body doing things OTHER than what's my "norm". E.g., lugging 60 pound containers of paint up onto the roof ("balancing" on the rungs of a ladder -- very different than carrying 60 pounds across a room!)

Chances are, it will be something totally unexpected!
A friend tripped over her *dog* and struck her chin on the edge of a coffee table -- breaking her neck in the process.
Another friend fell off a roof.
Surprisingly, many EYE injuries (in seniors) are the result of falling and striking the eye on <something>.

I'd be leary that you might set a foot in the wrong place while unable to see it (or something on the stair, etc.)

New business opportunity: Bubble Wrap *suits* for seniors -- endorsed by AARP. Available in three exciting colors! Act now and we'll include a second one, FREE (just pay separate shipping and handling). Operators are standing by to take your call...
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Per Don Y:

Or single-story houses..... -)
I am beginning to think we should have chosen a different house 35 years ago....
--
Pete Cresswell

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On 2/22/2016 7:43 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

Some days I think the same. I'd like to eliminate the steps. Eventually I may get a new knee but my wife won't be getting a new heart.
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Kinda the same thing here - I've got knee hip and back pain and my lungs aren't real good - but I can still walk or bike a good distance if I take my time or use the "cheater bike" to help me on hills etc - but the wife has a bad heart valve that may or may not get replaced in the next couple years. Sure glad I live in Canada and not the USA on that count...
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On Mon, 22 Feb 2016 22:45:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I force myself to walk some distance, but if I don't do it, I won't be able to. Steps are more difficult and ibuprofen is a regular part of my diet.
My wife had CHF about 15 years ago and is now borderline for valve replacement. It will be covered 100% with insurance if it does happen. I think the big difference is how we pay for it. I pay for insurance, you pay in taxes though overall it may be cheaper for you.
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Not entirely true, in Ontario, Health Care is paid as a separate insurance item on the income tax form for those who earn more than $20,000 in a year, employers pay a portion for each employee directly, and the balance is paid through federal and provincial tax contributions. This is only for items covered, which is quite a lot, the rest we pay ourselves or have a separate Health Care Supplement insurance. Over 65 years of age, our Medicare covers some additional items and prescription drugs.
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On 2/24/2016 12:00 PM, EXT wrote:

I'm sure I can look this up, <somewhere>, but easier when the horse is on hand! :>
Neglecting, for a moment, the "Supplement", is your "Health Care" a "single payer innsurance"? I.e., all health care "providers" are independant entities (businesses) that *bill* the "Central Government" for the services that they provide?
Or, is it more like Britain's -- where the providers are actually EMPLOYEES of the government? As such, the government is providing the service instead of just "underwriting" it?
The "Supplement", presumably, covers things that "Health Care" doesn't. Is it really an insurance policy? Does it use the same providers as the aforementioned? (gummit vs private sector) Said another way, does this cover things that the aforementioned CAN'T cover (chooses not to have the capabilities to provide)? Or, does it cover things that yo (as a society) have decided aren't "rights" but, rather, optional privileges?
And, of course, the toughest question of all (one that *I* would be as clueless to answer as you may be), what sorts of things fall into this Supplemental coverage?
To pick on more outrageous examples: - if I broke a hip and was 97 years old, would that be covered under the "basic"? Or, would I have had to have purchased supplemental for it? presumably, if I broke it when I was 62 it would be part of basic coverage (but, at 97, your policies may have decided that the expected value of the repair don't significantly improve my REMAINING quality of life) - if I wanted a sex change operation? - breast augmentation/reduction? (with or without medical justification) - IVF at 55 years of age? 65? 25?
(see where I'm going with this? i.e., what has your society decided are the "rights" to health care and for which portions of the population?)
Keep in mind, the US has the *best* health care, bar none! (tongue planted firmly in BOTH cheeks!)
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On Wed, 24 Feb 2016 13:37:46 -0700, Don Y

The hospitals are locally run and government funded. Doctors bill the provincial health system directly The Old Age "supplement" covers things like most perscription drugs that pre-65 folks pay for themselves or hold private supplemental insurance for.

There is no official cutoff age for any surgery - Hip and knee replacements, heart valves, bypasses etc are covered as long as a "quality of life" arguement can be made for it.

Cosmetic surgery is not covered unless it is "medically necessary"
Not sure about IVF or sex change - I'm pretty sure a sex change at 93 would not be covered!!!!

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On 2/24/2016 3:29 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Not wanting to split hairs, but... my point is, are the hospitals "for profit" entities that compete with each other -- just "billing" the government for the services they provide?
Or, are their budgets set *in* the government -- there's no "extra money" that they can glean from providing services?
If I hire someone to make me a sandwich, they will presumably make a profit on that activity. OTOH, if I make a sandwich for myself and have to dip into "petty cash" for the funds, my "budget" only sees the cost of buying the provisions for that sandwich.

So, they are not *employees* of the health system?
Said another way, if one doctor can get by paying his office staff 10% less (so, his cost of providing a service is 10% less!), does he end up making 10% more than the practitioner who pays a better wage (or, is less efficient in providing care -- possibly because they provide BETTER care?)

But there are limited resources. Who decides that the quality of THIS life justifies these dollars whereas the quality of THAT life may not be AS JUSTIFIED?
I'm thinking of a discussion I saw on TV in Manchester (England) many years ago. An example that they put forth was: do we fix an 84 year old's *hip* (expecting that 84 year old to be nearing or past nominal life expectancy) OR use the SAME FUNDS to vaccinate a bunch of toddlers?
Presumably, the gummit doesn't just "bill the populace" (via taxes) for the costs of the past year's health care. So, there are some sorts of limits in place that RATION coverage?
A limit case: imagine a pandemic (or something similar) that suddenly and dramatically increases the monies outlayed for health care in a given year (AIDS, SARS, Hepatitis, etc.). Does anyone get turned away? Or, does the service just operate at a deficit? What happens to the tax levy NEXT year? Is it automagically increased to make up for the deficit incurred in the previous year? Or, are benefits adjusted??

A friend is suffering from heart failure. An LVAD could extend his life for some period of time -- at some significant expense (have to also factor in expected complications and cost of treating those). But, hes already "outlived his genes" by 30 years. If those monies are coming from a gummit fund, somebody is potentially losing SOME benefit...
What's the calculus that's performed? Is it an actuarial calculation or a "heart strings" one?

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On Wed, 24 Feb 2016 15:50:40 -0700, Don Y

They are not "for profit" entities.

The hospitals set a budget and apply to the government for funding. They are not SUPPOSED to run a deficit.

The doctors own or rent their own clinics, and pay their own receptionists and nurses, and buy their own equipment - all paid out of what they charge the provincial healthcare system.. There is a limit as to how much a doctor can bill the system. There is a limit to how many procedures he can perform. Surgeries are done at the hospitals where the doctor has "privileges" - the hospital gets paid for the use of the facility, and the doctor gets paid for doing the procedure. Anything not covered by the provincial health care sydtem is charged to the patient or his/her private supplemental insurance provider. Some billing is direct to the insurer - some is billed to thepatient who submits to the insurer for re-imbursement

If a doctor owns his own clinic building and it costs less than leasing, he makes more than the doctor who leases. There are standards in place that limit how much different the "profit" of one doctor is than another - but some doctors do "make" a lot more money than others under the same system - efficiencies are rewarded - and if they cut too many corners trying to make money, the "college of physicians" will discipline them (self governing professional body)

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Hi Clare,
On 2/24/2016 4:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Man of our hospitals are "non-profit". But, that doesn't mean that they don't *turn* a profit (i.e., take in more than they need to provide the services). Where does that surplus go?

But can they run a SURPLUS? Even if they "absorb" that surplus by spending it on, say, new "executive waste baskets" for everyone in Administration? Or, remodeling a waiting room, doctor's lounge, etc.? I.e., what's to stop waste, over billing, etc. -- the very same issues that US institutions face?

But, a doctor can decide to pay his staff *less* than some other doctor might. A doctor can opt to spend 5 minutes with each patient -- instead of 15 -- and "pocket the difference" (i.e., leave early for a round of golf).
Again, where are the controls that suggest you have a BETTER handle on providing more efficient ($$) care?

I don't see how that inherently won't also lead to the same abuses that we have here -- unnecessary procedures, etc.

Shirley you jest? We have many such "self-governing professional bodies" here. I think you have to be caught on national TV screwing a goat before they even THINK about slapping you on the wrist.
I just don't see anything different, here, that would account for the perception that it's "better" than our "money takes all" approach. I'd like to understand where the savings/efficiencies creep in. It just seems like you *might* have done away with share holders (?) but still left the providers to run surpluses that THEY control (surplus == inefficiency, from the patient's viewpoint).
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On Thu, 25 Feb 2016 01:12:44 -0700, Don Y

Sometimes they can apply a surplus to past deficits, sometimes it reduces the amount of funding they need from the government system next year - sometimes it goes towards expansion or new equipment, or hire back a few staff members that were trimmed last yer to meet budjet - but it is a very odd occurrence for a Canadian (ontario, anyway) hospital to run a surplus

The budget is so SLIM there is no room for significant waste - the budget is pretty closely scrutinized

Paying less than average means he's always looking for help Qualified staff don't grow on trees. As for time spent - everything is booked and open to scrutiny. The Ontario Medical Association (and other provincial groups) are self governing, self monitoring, self policing associations, but are open to public scrutiny.

They can only bill so many procedures, and we are far from having a surplus of doctors or opperating room space, so things get prioritized and abuses are very rare - and when they happen they are publicised. When doctors are charged it is news.

No shareholders, and no surpluses controlled by the medical institutions - and like our banking system, checks and balances are built in. On the whole, they work.
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On 02/25/2016 11:48 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote: ...
> They can only bill so many procedures, and we are far from having a > surplus of doctors or opperating room space, so things get prioritized > and abuses are very rare - and when they happen they are publicised. > When doctors are charged it is news. ...
It's been a while since quit the traveling road show supporting coal analyzers but when in Saskatchewan for SaskPower, the locals there routinely drove to Minot, ND owing to extreme waiting times for appointments. Don't know if it's improved or not...
We're in rural area with continuing shortage of medical professionals willing to locate outside the major metro areas where are amenities and potentially much more lucrative practices but there seems always a ready supply of Canadian doctors willing to give up the hassles of the system north of the border. We typically have from 3 to 5 in town at any one time. Like all the rest, the wives generally are unhappy with the locale so it's difficult in retaining them for long-term, but there seems an unending supply or replacements.
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On 2/25/2016 11:17 AM, dpb wrote:

OTOH, US citizens seem to enjoy slipping NORTH to buy meds. (But, of course, those aren't as GOOD as the US versions... "Say what??")

Do those who "give up" slip back north of the border? Or, move further south/bigger communities?
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On Fri, 26 Feb 2016 22:00:52 -0700, Don Y

A lot of doctors have left Canada for the USA over the years - and a vast majority come back when they realize the grass isn't any greener and isn't any more palatable on the other side of the fence.
There was a time a few decades ago when Canada produced more nurses than we had jobs for, and a lot of them headed south. Quite a few stayed..Some went on to further their education and became doctors. A lot of others married doctors - - -
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