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Senior Scams – Beware!

by Parke Thomas, Based partially upon the reporting of Suzanne Potter, Public News Service – CA, 2/14/2019


What is a “scam”?  It is a ruse of one kind or another aimed at separating you from some or all of your hard-earned money.  Beware!  Seniors are very often the targets of these schemes, schemes that come in all shapes and sizes.  One of the most insidious is the scheme that plays on the charitable natures of many older people, especially through feigned romantic emotional attachments.

A new AARP Fraud Watch survey found that more than half of adults have used the Internet to find new friends or dating partners.  In fact,millions of Americans look for love online, but more than 25 percent have found scamartists instead, or know someone who has, according to the same AARP study.

The evil online scammers often pose as someone living abroad or on military deployment. They spend weeks and sometimesmonths gaining trust, then ask for money to visit, or to cover a medical emergency, then disappear. 

Kathy Stokes, director of the AARP Fraud Prevention Program, says certain things can be a red flag.

“They profess love very quickly,” she relates. “They try to get them off of the dating site. If they stay on the dating app, they could be monitored by that dating app, but if they get off of that platform, there's no knowledge of what's happening.”

Some 17 percent of the survey respondents said they have been asked for money by a person they met online. 

Experts say when corresponding online, resist giving out personal informationand be very wary if the person promises to visit, then cancels at the last minute.

Stokes says there are ways you can check out the other person's story. In particular, take note if the picture shows someone extremely attractive, or if it looks like a professional photo as opposed to a snapshot.

“Google has an image search, (,” she says. “Put that picture in there and see what else shows up on the Internet where that picture is involved.

 “Maybe it's under somebody else's name and someone has stolen that picture."

You also can copy the suspect person's complimentsand  paste them into your browser to see if the language matchesexamples of scams posted online.

Remember this: If the clues suggesting you might be the target of a scam are present, trust your instincts – end the online relationship immediately and when you do, cut allthe connecting strings.

About the Need for Water... (added 2/8/2018)

As our residents are aware, Quail Run provides a pitcher of water at each table for each meal.  Our hope is that residents will partake of this water regularly and in full measure.  Doing so is one of the ways each person can be proactive in self-preventing such maladies as dehydration, urinary tract infections, and worse.


Unfortunately our kitchen staff routinely pours nearly untouched pitchers full of water down the drain.  That’s sad because it’s a waste of a precious commodity, and more so because it indicates folks aren’t taking in as much water as they really should.

Why do we encourage water consumption?  

1. Water Helps to Maximize Physical Performance  If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer.  Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body's water content. This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, and increased fatigue.

2. Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status.

Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function.

3. Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Constipation

Increasing fluid intake is often recommended to aid relief.

4. Drinking Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones  Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system. The most common form is kidney stones, which form in the kidneys.

5. Drinking More Water Can Help With Weight Loss  This is due to the fact that water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.  In two studies, drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours.  This means that drinking 2 liters of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day.

Here's to happy water consumption, from all of us at Quail Run.

The Good Old Days... (added 6/22/2017)


As idioms go, “the good old days” is certainly vague as to what it really represents. Which of our days, after all, were the good old days? Your good old days may not be mine. 

Were the days prior to World War II the good old days? Kids were polite, everyone went to church, seemingly nobody swore in public, movies were wholesome, people took care of their own without depending on the government. Yep, those were good times. Well, except for that Great Depression, the rise of fascism, the horrendous number of lynchings in the new Old South, etc.

Maybe it was the days of MY youth, the 1960s - maybe those were the good old days? Black folks were fighting for and getting political and civil rights straightened out, that was good; TV Dinners made life easier for homemakers; American foreign policy was making the world safe from communism — were those the good old days?  Sure, well… civil rights did improve but racism didn’t go away, we all decided that TV dinners were stinko, and our foreign policy led us into the social and physical devastation of Vietnam.  Hmmm.

It seems to me, that it’s not the politics or specific social conventions of a given period of time that leads one or another of us to think of an era as “the good old days,” it’s much more general, much deeper, and in a way, the good old days are much more plentiful than we may have thought.


It’s sense memories of the way our Mom’s cooking tasted — and that in turn had nothing to do with the way the food tasted, but was about the way the food felt! It’s the visceral memory of the warmth and pleasure of a summer afternoon spent rolling down a hill covered in tall grass, of riding out on a favorite horse, of rowing across the cove to dig for clams.  It’s the sweet smell of lilacs recalled from a day in the park - a park surely much cleaner in memory than ever it would be today.

  • Childhood.  Mom, Dad, brothers - innocence, fun, warmth.  Good Old Days.

  • College. Endless discoveries and the joy of the search. Dating. A first sense of independence.  Good Old Days.

  • Young Adulthood. Adventure, worlds to conquer, choosing friends who would be one’s family.  Good Old Days.

  • Middle Adulthood. New adventures. Maturing and deeper friendships. Explorations and self-discoveries. Letting go of certainties and embracing new questions. Likewise, hanging on tight to some certainties.  Good Old Days.


What “The Good Old Days” never were, was free of struggle, pain, sorrow, or defeat. They were good because we were living them in as fully engaged a manner as possible. We were being aware enough to truly experience those days. Making one's advancing years into “good old days” is largely up to each of us, but -  that is also exactly what we are able to help you do here at Quail Run.  Shall we give it a go?

Life at Quail Run...

It's the perfect day to think about making the move to Quail Run!  Our folks are out enjoying the sunshine, the beautiful spring flowers that are bursting forth, and fresh air, and the pastoral surroundings of Quail Run, the most intimate full-service independent retirement community in the Valley. 


Not only are we situated on four pastoral acres (far enough off the road that one is barely aware of traffic sounds), we are within very easy walking distance to shops, pharmacies, banks, a library, restaurants, a supermarket, and much, much more.


Quail Run is happy to continue to provide twenty-four hour, seven day a week ON-SITE STAFFING to assist residents in any emergency, at any hour.  This allows maximum peace-of-mind for the residents, and also for their families. 


We are proud to offer a level of personalized service rarely found in larger, corporate-owned establishments.  Here, when a decision is made that impacts the lives of our residents, that decision is made by people who know, love and respect them.  At Quail Run, a resident is never made to feel like they've become an apartment number - they are first and foremost an individual. 


Well, these are just some of the things that make Quail Run unique.  Why not be our guests for lunch and a brief tour and discover for yourself all the other reasons why we say, "Quail Run: The Perfect Place to Call Home!"

It Only Takes a Moment… by Parke Thomas – 2/1/2017

As I was making birthday cards for folks the other day, I stumbled upon some figures online that I used in addressing a resident’s big NINE-O - his 90th Birthday.  Wow!  You know it’s only in relatively recent years that many human beings have been able to take into account how many days, hours and minutes they’ve lived on the way to age 90.  Nowadays it’s getting commonplace, but think about it —


In one’s 90 years of life one has lived for 32,871 days.  788,923 hours have passed and 47,304,000 minutes have ticked by.  That’s really something.  In 1927 the Roaring Twenties were in glorious, if self-deluded full swing.  Clara Bow was still Hollywood’s “It Girl” and Garbo still wanted “to be alone.”  That year Al Jolson spoke those immortal words—from the screen—“Wait a minute, wait a minute - you ain’t heard nothin’ yet!”, words that bid farewell to the Silent Pictures and introduced the Talkies.  Henry Ford’s famed Model T assembly line came to a halt after production 15,000,000 vehicles since 1908.  The hottest non-alcoholic beverage in town was Kool-Aid and kids have been lapping it for every one of the last 90 years.  


In those 32,871 days since 1927, the United States has faced the Great Depression, World War II, Korea and Vietnam, Watergate, the end of the Cold War, the first Gulf War to liberate Kuwait, the horror of 9/11, and more recently the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We’ve lost presidents to bullets and to resignation.  We’ve suffered the plague of AIDS but also the virtual eradication of Smallpox, Rabies, Polio, Yellow Fever, Whooping Cough, and Measles.  Cancer and Diabetes are still with us but progress is made toward final victory every day. 


So ninety years can go by in a flash, all 47,304,000 minutes!  But that is as nothing!  The Sequoia Tunnel Tree was between 1,000 and 3,000 years old, the tunnel having been cut through it only in the 1880s.  It fell last month in a terrible storm, the worst in California history they say.  Just imagine yourself approaching not your 90th, but your 1,000th birthday — it only takes a moment!


It's another stunning day in our Valley. We feel so lucky to be able to call this warm, beautiful part of "God's green earth" our home. And that, as it happens, is just how we hope our residents feel about calling Quail Run 'home.' We don't want folks to just feel "okay" about where they live. No, we want them to agree with our resident Barbara Wyman who said, "I just don't want to live anyplace else!" To exceed the expectations of our residents and their families is our daily goal. We do this not so we can boast that "we're the best." We do it so that our residents lives will be the best. It's just that simple. Quail Run: "The Perfect Place to Call Home!"


Improving Channels of Communication with a Person Suffering from Memory Issues, Dementia or Alzheimer's.

Many of us know someone--a friend or loved one--who is having memory troubles, a bit of dementia, or even suffering from Alzheimer's. Communicating with such folks can be difficult and frustrating in the extreme. Frustration can lead to yelling and other behavior one would never expect to see from the loved one or, from oneself. Here are ten tips for better (not perfect, but better) communication with these precious folks:


1. Never argue. Instead, agree.
2. Never reason. Instead, divert.
3. Never shame. Instead, distract.
4. Never lecture. Instead, reassure.
5. Never say, "remember." Instead, reminisce.
6. Never say, "I told you...." Instead, repeat and regroup.
7. Never say, "You can't!" Instead, encourage them to do what they can.
8. Never command or demand. Instead, ask or model the desired behavior.
9. Never condescend. Instead, encourage.
10. Never force. Instead, reinforce.


It's not easy and it doesn't always work, but it's so worth the effort to preserve warm and peaceful interaction with a person whose mental abilities are changing.


To Be Considered:  Life Lessons

By way of celebrating our collective aging process, following are the life lessons of one individual.  Your own life lessons may intersect or diverge from this gentleman’s, but our eyes can always be beneficially opened by learning of someone else’s experience.  Enjoy!


1.  Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2.  When in doubt, just take the next small step forward.

3.  Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…even Republicans (or Democrats).

4.  Pay off your credit cards every month.

5.  Cry with someone.  It’s more healing than crying alone.

6.  You do not have to win every argument; agree to disagree.

7.  It’s okay to get angry with God.  God can take it!

8.  When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

9.  Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.  

10. If being absolutely sure of your facts has made you unhappy, seek different truths.

11. Don’t compare your life to others; you have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.  But don’t fret, God never blinks.

13. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood — but the second one is entirely up to you!

14. Use the good sheets, have a second cookie, wear your best dress — today is special.

15. Be prepared, then go with the flow.

16. You alone are in charge of being happy, nobody else.

17. Life is, actually, for living!

18. What another person thinks of you is none of your business.

19. Give time, time; it heals almost everything.

20. God loves you because of who God is, not because of who you are.

21. If you could see everyone else’s problems, you’d choose to stick with your own.

22. No matter how you feel - get up, dress up, show up! 

23. The pleasure is in the walking; we can be betrayed by destinations.

24. Life is not tied up with a pretty bow, but it is still a gift.  Unwrap your gift with gusto!


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