A number of former congressional staffers have written this guide listing best practices to make congress listen. It contains local advocacy tactics that work.
I am interested in old people applying the lessons. In 2014 people in the US over 65, constituted 28.4% of the voting population. Check your state. How many voted? How many over 65 voted? What does your state do for seniors? What senior benefits are being cut?
The next generation of seniors will have little money to support themselves. Families are spread out. Homeless seniors may be the future unless you do something.
What do you want from your government?
Seniors are interested in preserving:
- Social Security
- Consumer protection
- Fraud and scam protection
- Their assets
- Their health
and a lot of other things. Seniors have more difficulty finding jobs, have more medical problems and have less time to live than the rest of the population.
Seniors must do something! Is there a grocery cart loaded with your possessions in your future?
Seniors can make a difference:
- Seniors have time
- Seniors have a life-time network of people
- Seniors have organizations – church, senior centers, senior services, etc.
- Seniors have families and friends
- Seniors have more skills than they know
- Seniors need a purpose…
- And, Seniors are bored and need something to do.
The bottom line is that seniors can make a political difference.
Seniors just need guidance; and, Indivisible provides it.
When was the last time you were involved, really involved, in anything worthwhile?
Indivisible tells you what works and what doesn’t. It tells you where and how to start. It tells you that you what you can do at the grass-roots level. And, if the Tea Party could do it, you can do it.
Check your precinct voting record for the last election. A small turnout? How much did the conservative candidate win by? A few votes would have made a difference. Look what the Tea Party managed to do six years ago using a lot of the techniques set out in Indivisible. How many seniors voted? How many could have voted? Would those votes make a difference?
You can go to meetings. You can ask questions. You can call your elected representative. You can organize your neighbors. You can provide a ride to the polls.
It will only take a few “old votes” to make a change.
You can buy Indivisible on Amazon.com for $3.59.
Join an Indivisible group; or start one for old people.
Then, get off your ass, turn off the TV and see how you can make a difference for yourself, for your neighbors and for your grandchildren who will be old sooner than you think.
Look in the mirror! Who do you see there and what is that person doing for the society that has benefitted him/her?
There are now over 6000 Indivisible groups in the US.
You can check out the Albuquerque Indivisible Group.
These old people follow Hurricane Irma in. We have a tendency to want to see coastal storms which don’t occur in New Mexico, so this is the second year that we have been right behind a hurricane. We are attracted to the Gulf Coast in September, hurricane season.
We sit on our balcony, drink some wine and watch the cloud formations in the evening.
We walk on the beach in the morning.
We end the day with a glass of wine and walk to dinner.
Bird at the beach.
Sometimes being old is not all bad.
Walking on the beach and breakfast at Crabby Bill’s in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida.
I was raised in the mid-west and have lived in New Mexico for over 50 years, so the beach has always drawn me.
My wife’s family lived in Largo, Florida and Indian Rocks Beach has been a place she has been familiar with for over 50 years.The attraction has rubbed off on me.
Our life there is simple. We rent a condo overlooking the beach, we rent a car through Costco, we use Uber, we go to the library and frequent consignment stores. We have wi-fi.Good restaurants are within walking distance.
My morning routine is what makes my day. I wake-up early and walk a mile and a half on the beach to Crabby Bill’s, a restaurant/bar that awakens at 7:00 AM. It is simple, indoors and outdoors, and caters to different customers depending on the time of the day. At 8:00 AM there is a smaller more mature crowd. At noon and in the evening they serve great fresh fish and beer at long communal tables.
Prior to breakfast is a stop at the CVS Pharmacy next door for the New York Times, a habit I have even in New Mexico. As an aside, since old people always have something wrong with them, don’t forget that CVS Pharmacies have a “Minute Clinic.” They can handle all sorts of minor health problems; and, if nothing else triage you and get you more help if needed. You can get a place in line on-line, but I have always found them to be quick, helpful and professional. Why go to an emergency room unless it is an emergency?
I read the times while eating the All American Special with crisp bacon for $5.00. I then walk a mile and a half back to the condo; hopefully with a new blog topic.
Fresh air, great breakfast and the news by 9:00. What could be better?
We are spending the month of September on the beach in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. My wife was raised on Long Island and grew up around beaches; but after 50 years in New Mexico is not sure she wanted to live East. Her parents lived here for 45 years so she is familiar with the area.
At 76, moving to a new place, even for a month, requires a “senior’s” perspective.
We need a purpose. We don’t swim, golf, play tennis, or do any of the usual things. We walk, do yoga and read. We like to eat out; and, most importantly we like to sit on the balcony and watch the gulf – especially if there is a hurricane. September 2016 is perfect. We rented a 4th floor condo overlooking the gulf and Hurricane Hermine hit on September 1.
The plan is that my wife will paint and I will work on geezer2go!
I hope to tell you about our experiences; day-by-day, with a 5 day lag for editing. The blog will continue its “senior twist.” I will suggest some providers, but don’t be limited by what I suggest. Use your own common sense.
Being old and fearful, preparation is everything:
- Money – cash in a money belt, two credit cards, and a debit card. Take a few blank checks with you. If you need something notarized, Bank of America will do it, at least if you are a customer.
- Prescriptions – Enough for a month with extra in case you overstay. Contact your pharmacist to arrange to have your prescriptions filled at a chain drug store where you are going if you run into problems.
- Uber – Join and experiment with Uber in advance. It is quick, cheap and safe. You don’t have to worry about a tip. See my Uber Blog.
- Airplane tickets – SouthWest. They have a senior fare, if you cancel, you get a credit, there are two bags free, and since they don’t transfer bags to other carriers, they don’t seem to lose them. Get your boarding passes on-line exactly 24 hours before your flight.
- Chargers – I only blog to old people who know how to use the internet. You need chargers for smart phones, computers and i-pads. If you do forget chargers, stop by a hotel/motel. They usually have extras that people left behind. Tip the desk clerk.
- Back-up numbers – A list of phone numbers that you need. Kids, neighbors, place you are going, favorite restaurants, etc. You can never find a phone book, and if you do, it is out-of-date.
- Auto-pay – All deposits including social security, dividends, etc. should be made electronically. You should use e-bills. If you can’t, estimate the amount that you might owe while gone and pay ahead.
- Wi-fi – make sure that where you are going has wi-fi. Even at 76, you need it. If you don’t have it, or if it is bad, learn how to use your smart phone personal hotspot. I have T-mobile and for a few bucks a month was able to hook-up my computer at places without wi-fi.
- Rent Car – Rent it off airport. Cheaper and you avoid driving on the maze of roads around most airports; especially Tampa. Enterprise as it has a free pick-up service. You can use Super-shuttle to get from most airports. You may also be able to use Uber. Try CostCo Travel for good rates.
- Join Silver Sneakers – Free and nation-wide. Access to thousands of exercise classes, yoga classes, Pilates classes and YMCA’s.
- Sick/hurt – Unless it is serious, remember urgent care facilities or the CVS Pharmacy Minute Clinics. Quick, they take Medicare and you can reserve your place in line, on-line. For minor injuries. More importantly, they can recognize serious problems and get you help.
- Packing – I am old. I need less clutter. I travel with a carry-on bag, which I check. For Florida, 7 t-shirts, 7 underpants, sandals, shoes, 3 socks, 3 handkerchiefs, 7 short-sleeved shirts, hat, umbrella, plastic rain poncho, shorts, 2 pair light weight travel pants. I will use the washer/dryer/laundry 4 times. I check the bag so I can get around in terminals and don’t worry too much if I lose it. I also have a brief-case with a notebook, an i-pad, with 600 kindle books and my favorite magazines, and my cell phone. Plus the chargers. What else do I need. Certainly not 3 large suitcases.
This is my preparation. I have high-lighted the web pages of my sources so that you can check them out for yourself. When you are old: TRUST, BUT VERIFY!
I hate to exercise, but not exercising is even worse. Since my goal is to keep present pain to a minimum, exercise is as necessary to me as sleep. I suffered from spinal stenosis in the past; at one time, I could not get out of bed. I needed to exercise to avoid the pain; so, I walk at least 2 1/2 miles per day and do stretching exercises “ordered” by a physical therapist. No more pain; no more spinal stenosis, at least that I am aware of. However, I can trigger it. If I go for two weeks without walking and doing the stretching, spinal stenosis is back; or, at least the pain is. Needless to say I don’t trigger it very often.
Traveling presents a problem; mostly mental, but I still find exercising on the road a problem.
Silver Sneakers is free fitness offered by a number of senior insurance policies. To find out if you qualify, go to the site, put in your info, and if you qualify, you can print out a membership card. They are located at YMCA’s across the country and at numerous health clubs. You just go to the web site, enter a zip code, and you get a list of places available.
There are 13,000 places nation-wide with free exercise, yoga and more. It covers the time when it is too cold or rainy to walk, or when you are in a place not conducive to walking. It gets you into a social atmosphere. Thus, when I visit my grand kids, I can take my card and do a bit of work on the treadmill, attend a yoga class, or try tai chi. It is also a good excuse to try something new; to get out of the “box” in a safe environment.
You might even tie it to your UBER membership and have someone drive you in a strange city; or, if you don’t have a car because your kids picked you up at the airport and they need their cars to go to work. Don’t be stranded.
Approximately 60 years ago, I worked at a McDonald’s in Wichita, Kansas. I worked the evening shift after a day of spot-welding, making french-fries to pay for college. It was a summer job and taught me a lot.
At 75, I find McDonalds useful to me again. In the morning, both in Albuquerque, NM and on the road when I travel, it provides me with a “Senior Coffee” for 47 cents and an Egg McMuffin; frequently two for the price of one, if you participate in their survey, and get a validation Code. Thus breakfast for two this morning, with good coffee and fresh-fried eggs, came to $4.17 plus .29 tax for a total of $4.46; and, no tip.
Getting the validation code only takes a few minutes on your computer and at my age the hand-eye coordination is useful. The survey site marks a sample Promo receipt so it is easy to know how to fill in the survey.
I like the clean restrooms, the free Wi-Fi, and the staff; a bit older than when I was running the french fry machine in the late fifty’s. It makes a clean, safe, stop where I can check my e-mail, have a coffee and use the restrooms.
Groups of seniors seem to gather in the early morning at many local McDonald’s; and, on the road at the highway McDonalds. Most are great, one or two, I wouldn’t go back to, but for us McDonald’s has become a senior ritual not to mention a social gathering place.