Tag Archives: aging

Life Lessons Offered by Two People Facing Death – A Beautiful Short Essay from the L.A. Times

Life Lessons Offered by Two People Facing Death


Please help the L.A. Dream Center restore Seniors Christmas Gifts Burned in Fire

Downtown L.A. fire destroys hundreds of Christmas gifts for seniors.

– See more at: http://www.dreamcenter.org/seniors/#sthash.gqTxJTfg.dpuf

A blaze erupted early Monday that destroyed a building where the city’s Department of Aging rents space.  Approximately 2,000 Christmas gift bags were soaked with water and destroyed. Presents included sweaters, socks, DVDs, lamps and food.

The gifts were part of a Secret Santa-type program called Project CARE, which matches city and Los Angeles Police Department employees with senior citizens in need. Most of the seniors in the program are low-income, live alone or don’t have family nearby.

The Dream Center is stepping in to help meet this important need.  We are partnering with the city of Los Angeles to replace the damaged gift bags.  Please give a gift below to help make their holiday merry and bright!

– See more at: http://www.dreamcenter.org/seniors/#sthash.gqTxJTfg.dpuf

They Say It’s My Birthday! 49 Today

Today, is my 49th year on the planet.  Some years have been okay, some pretty rough and most fantastic.  The last few years have been an extraordinary time of personal growth.  I attribute the extraordinary years to three thing 1) When I purposely (finally) took my paws off of the steering wheel of my life,  lo and behold, God immediately took over and Wow!  what a driver. Thank you Thank you Thank you. 2)  I’ve made it a habit to step OUT of my comfort zone.  One of my biggest fears/obstacles has been heights. I am a nurse and once my children matured and were beginning their lives, it became time to expand my career/life and get my rear on a plane!  I sat at the airport back home repeatedly over the course of years watching grandmothers and 5 year olds confidently board and deplane and I was terrified!  Finally screwed up the gazongas to board a plane (carefully choosing mid-plane inside row away from windows) and my life changed!  I love flying.  Now I press my face to the window and watch and listen to take-off and landing – marveling every time it is happening.  It’s beautiful up there, I can’t imagine never experienceing it.  Fying opened up the world to me, truly.  I’ve met the most diverse , interesting people from all parts of the world, experienced cultures that I would never have imagined.  Yes, I have seen beautiful places and I am grateful. The people that I have known in these 49 years are like exotic flowers in a beautiful bouquet and I love love love them!  This has been such a blessing. 3)  Life sometimes gets overwhelming/stressful (surprise).  It turns out that when I focus on others, helping or caring about them, my problems get really small.  Life gets bigger and better.          May I now request my birthday present? 1)  Face your area of discomfort or fear head on!  Look at one area in your life that you think  “I can’t do that, I am afraid to do that” and just do it (thanks Nike).  I have heard wonderful sermons that state “Your blessing is in the area that you are most afraid.”  This has proven to be true in my life. Take one small step and your life is going to change, I promise.. 2)  Travel!!            Look around you now and realize the beauty and diversity of the landscape and the people.  Experience other ways of approaching situations and life and appreciate it all! 3)  Find a cause that you are interested in and believe in and get involved. Chase your passion. Keep at least one pair of new, thick socks, a new toothbrush and toothpaste in your car and GIVE IT AWAY to a person in need. Thank you for 49 wonderful years! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your friendship and your time.  I am truly blessed! Thank you God for my wonderful children! Thank you for my Beloved! Let the party continue…49 birthday agian 49 birthday


I have a mortal fear of speaking in public.  I go completely blank.  Here’s the thing. It’s kind of necessary.  I had an epiphany about a year ago and did everything required to teach CPR, everything until it came time to be monitored teaching a class on a subject that I have specialized in for 15 years – I froze!  I love Zumba, survived 8 straight hours of intense Zumba instructor training and earned my certification.  Have I taught it?  Nope – freeze.

So, I joined my local ToastMasters recently, they seem like a knowledgeable and friendly bunch, right?  I volunteered to be the “speech timer” person tonight and was certain that bought me safety and anonymity.  Um, no. I was called on in front of everyone in the room to give an impromptu speech of about 2 minutes regarding travel.  I know travel.  My face beet red, my heart racing, I gracefully (not) ambled up to the lecturn and proceeded to babble something about travel,” no I won’t sue Toastmasters for calling me up here” and I’m pretty sure that I jumped in my boots when the green sign was up to tell me I was done.  At the end of the meeting, they are giving out awards for “table topics” “prepared speeches” and “evaluators” and I hear my name.  (insert Da Da Da) I froze, turned beet red, cackled in disbelief and worst of all, teared up.  Oh no!  I was shocked.  People clapped and my body again gracefully (not) floated up front to have my teary face photographed.  These people were being kind.  But…I did it.I

Joined local ToastMasters to overcome my fear of public speaking.  Look at what they gave me:>
Joined local ToastMasters to overcome my fear of public speaking. Look at what they gave me:>

Happy Flash Mob Small Group One Great Group Pic post Flash October 23, 2014Last week, dramatic double chin pre flash mob Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles my Beloved and I performed with a Flash Mob in a fancy schmancy hotel in Los Angeles with fancy schmancy dressed up folks to the tune of Pharrell William song “Happy” with Flash Mob Nation.  That was wild and fun.  The black jacket and scarf are to cover up the bright orange T-shirt we are all wearing.  There were about 600 attendees at this charity fundraiser and we were interspersed with them.  They are still mingling (kind of where we need to dance).  There was this nice young-ish couple that I had been talking with a bit while waiting for our part. The music started , so I said “look up there” as the core group of mob was beginning their dance at the top of the stairs.  I begin unbuttoning that jacket as I have to jump up behind core group in a minute and the look in that ladies eyes was priceless!  “I knew it!! she exclaimed. Beloved and I took our places and proceeded to bust a move.  It was a blast! BTW, I will be 49 years old in a few days and life is fabulous!

“Life is a Highway and I Wanna Ride it All Night Long!!!

Styling and Profiling Is Evidently In My Genes (if not yet, In My Jeans).

I have seen this picture numerous times and not until this very moment – post meeting with a group of fabulous, well-dressed, bejeweled ladies – did I happen to notice THOSE BOOTS!  Ha ha. I love it.  My 90+ year old, sharp as a tack, funny, sweet, quiet and slightly shy grandmother was definitely a fashionista!  What a sweet gift she is sending from her perch on the cloud up in Heaven.  I have embraced/resigned to my place in this world as an ambassador for the outfit-challenged, destined to forever admire those upon whom  the fates have smiled upon and given the ability to at least put together a decent ensemble (suck in your cheeks when you say that, please).  Me, not so much.

Granny is perhaps saying..”hold on – there IS hope. You CAN rock the world – you DO have a unique voice, a unique style”.  Thank you Granny.

Thank you Granny!
Thank you Granny!

8 Medical Bills Errors You Need to Watch For article link to First Avenue

(This article previously appeared on Nerdwallet.com.)

Millions of Americans are potentially overpaying on their medical bills because of eight common errors — from duplicate charges to incorrect insurance ID numbers. Inaccuracies with any one of them could result in thousands of dollars wrongfully added to your final bill.

In fact, mistakes on medical bills may be more widespread that many consumers realize, according to Pat Palmer, founder of Medical Recovery Services, a national organization that helps patients identify and correct medical bill errors.

“It’s astounding that eight out of ten hospital bills we receive contain numerous overcharges,” Palmer said.

(MORE: How to Negotiate Doctor Bills)

So, bring a healthy skepticism to any medical bill you receive by carefully checking for common errors to ensure that you are paying the right amount. By looking out for them, you can protect yourself from potentially paying thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.

Spotting 8 Common Medical Bill Errors

After visiting your medical provider, you’ll receive an invoice telling you how much you owe. However, because errors are common, request an itemized bill or statement from the hospital or your doctor. This way, you can carefully check each service you are being charged for.

If you have health insurance, you should also receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement from your health plan. Compare the EOB statement with your medical bill carefully.

The EOB should provide details such as:

  • the type of service received
  • the date of service
  • the amount your health care provider billed your insurer
  • the total amount that was not covered
  • the total patient cost.

    (MORE: Be Your Own Health Advocate)

    Watch out for these eight common medical billing errors when you receive your itemized bill and EOB statement:

    1. Duplicate charges: Carefully check to make sure you were not billed twice for a single service or procedure. With an itemized bill, this error should be much easier to spot.

    2. Canceled tests or procedures: Review your itemized bill to make sure you weren’t charged for work that wasn’t done. If you think you were wrongfully overbilled, collect all the necessary documents to prove that you did not receive the service, so you can dispute the charge.

    3. Incorrect patient information: Small errors such as wrong name spellings or policy number misprints are common on medical bills. If your insurance ID number is wrong, that can lead to a claim denial or your being charged an inappropriately high amount.

    4. Upcoding charge: A hospital could inflate your diagnosis to one representing a more serious procedure, leading to a higher medical bill. For example, you could have received the lowest level of emergency room services but be billed at the highest level. This is an illegal, fraudulent practice and you should ask your health care provider to correct the charge immediately.

    5. Unbundling of charges: This mistake refers to the separation of charges that should have been billed under the same procedure code. It can be tricky to identify unless you’re a certified medical bill coder, but you can reference the National Correct Coding Initiative by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services if you suspect such a mistake on your bill.

    6. Balance billing when in-network: Balance billing or extra billing is when a health care provider bills you for the difference between what your health insurer reimburses and what the health provider believes it should receive. It’s often improper when the care was provided by an in-network hospital or physician.

    Balance billing is most common when you are treated out-of-network for non-emergency care, since doctors can set the rate to charge you and bill you for anything over what your insurance covers. If you think you’ve been balance billed, compare the bill with your EOB.

    7. Incorrect quantity: Make sure you weren’t charged extra for the wrong number of medical items or medications. This mistake could be as simple as an extra “0” being placed at the end of a number by the billing department.

    8. Operating room and anesthesia time: If you underwent surgery, check your medical records to see how long you were in the operating room or under anesthesia. Because patients are usually billed in 15-minute increments in these instances, mistakes here can add up quickly.

    Andrew Fitch is a Senior Associate at NerdWallet Health, where he leads consumer engagement strategy.

Article reprinted from : http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2014-09/8-medical-bill-errors-you-need-watch?utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=07cb5947e3-10_07_14_NextAvenue_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-07cb5947e3-164934573