Tag: seniors

Follow Doctor’s Orders: The Danger of Skipping A Dose

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Non-adherence-image

Non-Adherence to Prescribed Drugs Comes with Staggering Costs

Funny thing about medication, it will not work unless you take it.  For many of us, that simple task just seems to slip through the cracks. In fact, medication non-adherence–not taking medications as prescribed—is one of America’s costliest health problems.

Nearly half of the annual prescriptions dispensed in the United States are not taken as prescribed. Total cost estimates for non-adherence range from $100 to $300 billion each year for additional doctor visits, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and additional medicines. The reasons for non-adherence are as varied as patients themselves. Among them are the cost of medication, concern about side effects, forgetfulness with taking or refilling medications and doubts about whether a medication is needed.

Getting In: The Ivy League

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Nassau Hall, Princeton University. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Nassau Hall, Princeton University. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Most of the Ivies will release regular admissions news this Thursday, March 28. Brown, Columbia, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale will let nervous seniors know that day.  (Cornell, Dartmouth, and Harvard will release in early April.)  There were, needless to say, a number of high school seniors pacing in their dreams this past weekend.

Last year, these most selective universities accepted less than 10 percent, collectively, of the students who applied to them.  Of the 242,621 applications submitted to the eight schools in the Ivy League, only 23,374 were successful, with the lowest percentage for acceptances at Harvard, scraping at a low 5.9% for overall acceptances, and an even lower 4.2% for regular decision acceptances.  If only six out of a hundred kids get in, I sure hope those applicants have a favored runner-up.

Just Older, No Wiser: College Admissions the Second Time Around

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As it turns out, we learned nothing last year.  I was hoping we would have gained some insights from having watched our oldest trudge through Senior year, trying to figure out where to apply, how to position herself, which side to feature, to get into the school of her choice.  Unfortunately, it seems, we are just a year older.  No wiser.

Getting In: Do Colleges Really Rescind Acceptances? They Sure Do…

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My nephew was so excited to be admitted to the University of Maryland Honors College.  It is a rigorous academic program, with selective admission, and delivers high quality education affordably.  Kiplinger’s ranked University of Maryland number eight in the country for top-value public colleges this year, and the Honors College is its elite program for “students with exceptional academic talents.”   So, like any bright, accomplished high school senior with all the stars aligned, his response to his good fortune was to stop going to school.  I’m only exaggerating a little.

Baltimore Seniors Get to Work in Final Days of High School

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Friends Senior Abby Preston at Days End Farm Horse Rescue

Area high school seniors eschew classes in May for a taste of the real world.

By May, most seniors are checked out of high school – at least unofficially. Having ripped open college acceptance (and rejection) letters weeks ago, the pending graduates find little to keep them motivated. Painfully aware of the rampant apathy, teachers are equally eager to see seniors go. Rather than suffer through an uninspiring end to the year, several independent high schools end senior classes in the final weeks before graduation, sending the soon-to-be graduates off campus for a glimpse of the working world.

Oh, Snap! The College Application is Incomplete

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One of Emily’s best friends, let’s call her Zoe, had a total “oh, no” moment this week.  Zoe got an email from one of the colleges she is anxiously waiting to hear from — one of her “reaches.”  The college told Zoe her application was incomplete; the school had not received her SAT scores.  Zoe freaked.  She was certain she had sent them!  She had been very careful to double check her application “To Do” list before that magic December 31 date, and everything was done.  Or, so she thought.  But she didn’t have any proof — no confirmation sheet, no credit card receipt.  Now, she feared, her applications would not be accepted, and because of one stupid mistake, she would be out of the running.

To request SAT scores be sent to a particular college, a student needs to tell the College Board when registering for the test where the scores are to go.  If applying to more than four colleges (the number included in the registration fee), the student can make the request for reports online, which is what most kids do.  It is what Zoe did — she requested her scores be sent to nine colleges.  Unfortunately, sometimes the College Board doesn’t send them — thus, Zoe’s moment of crisis. 

As it turns out, Zoe is not the first person to have this blood-draining, hyperventilating moment of panic.  And the solution is pretty simple.  Zoe got in touch with her college counselor at school, who contacted the seven (!!) colleges that had not received her scores by the application deadline.  I guess it’s not the first time they have heard this story, because the colleges said the counselor could send a copy of Zoe’s “unofficial” score report which could be used until the “official” report arrived from College Board.  No problem.  She re-ordered the scores.  

But in the intervening moments, Zoe was sure her future was derailed.  She feared that the colleges would surely evaluate that if she couldn’t even get her scores in on time, she wouldn’t have what it takes to succeed at their school.  She thought that one stupid mistake could spell disaster for her entire admissions process.  If only she had printed a confirmation!  If only she had double checked the next day to make sure the scores had been sent!  Good news for Zoe, though:  College Board’s reputation precedes it, and a little leeway is afforded.  What I say to Zoe: cheap lesson.  Next time, though, print the confirmation page.   

Early Decision Angst: Dartmouth Tells on Friday

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This email came from a friend early this morning:

“Did you hear Dartmouth sent an email to all its ED applicants saying, ‘We know we told you we’d respond by 12/15, but we’re going to send you all emails with results by this Friday.’ There are some pacing, nauseous kids around!!

Somehow my daughter knows that 30 (local) kids have already been admitted ED into her first choice school. What an awful reality — she can actually keep real -time track of her likelihood of admission!!!”

Good luck to all the students anxiously awaiting to hear from schools. Keep in mind the perspective of our wise college intern, Arlo Shakur: “You get to do whatever you want pretty much, there are no parents around and you live with people your own age. College is great no matter where you go.”

No truer words were ever spoken. 

Eight Over 80

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Eight Over 80 is a four-part series. Check in Tuesday and Thursday this week and next for profiles of vital seniors whose daily pursuits of activism, art, science and more make Baltimore a far more inspiring place to live. – The Eds. 

Photographs by Anne Sachs.

 

In the case of eight Baltimoreans, age 80 seems to be the new 64. These eight men and women remain active in work and in Baltimore.  Although official retirees, they could hardly be considered “retired.”  

While Americans are often labeled workaholics, these eight fall into another category. They are still following their passions, passions born sometimes in childhood, others at mid-career. All have received numerous awards for their achievements, some honorary doctorates. While they say they have slowed down physically, all push themselves with regular exercise. All are fully engaged mentally.

Most, in the course of their lives, have had to overcome discrimination because of race, creed or gender. One of these giants said of his peers, “We were fortunate. The world changed so much in our lifetime.”

Three are over 90 and were alive during World War I. All lived through the Great Depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the civil rights movement. These eight have experienced the proliferation of the automobile, air travel and computers. They are connected to a world and to times that most of us alive today have not known. Our Baltimore is different because of their work in the past and their work today.

 

Clinton Bamberger, Jr.

D.O.B.: July 2, 1926, Baltimore, Maryland

Education: Loyola High School, ’44, Loyola College, ‘49, Georgetown Law School, ‘51

Military Service: Army Air Corps, 1945-46

Career, Present and Past:
Clinton Bamberger recently returned from “Utopia,” a.k.a. six weeks at Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. A dedicated Baltimorean with an international reach, he read The Sun every day while there. One item still bothers him: why Baltimore city students are overlooked for summer employment in Ocean City. He’s just e-mailed the executive director of the Baltimore Safe and Sound Campaign to discuss the issue with her. 

She’s one of many “young people” who are his focus these days. So is the young man he’s connecting with a brilliant South African judge and the woman who runs a program for young prisoners who were children when they committed a crime and were charged as adults.

“I’m a busy-body,” he says in characteristic humor. That’s why he’s up at 7:30 a.m. emailing before breakfast, which he often postpones to 10:30 when his wife Katharine returns from errands. Many around the world seek his counsel.

The former Piper & Marbury (now DLA Piper) partner in 1963 represented a death row inmate; the case prompted the Supreme Court to write the Brady rule requiring the prosecution to make evidence available to the defense. In 1965 he accepted Sargent Shriver’s invitation to create the first federal effort to establish and support civil legal aid offices. Under his leadership the national budget for Legal Aid increased from $5 million to $25 million with offices in every state. “That year changed my life,” he says. 

All of his work since then has stemmed from that experience. “Through my year in Washington, I became involved in clinical legal education where law students, under the supervision of faculty, practice law for people who can’t afford it.” He left Piper to become Dean of the Law School at Catholic University, which then opened one of the first clinical law offices in a nearby depressed area. 

In 1979 he became executive vice president of the congressionally chartered Legal Services Corporation and later worked in Harvard’s clinical law office in a depressed area of Boston. He thought he would retire in Boston but was recruited to run the clinical teaching program at the University of Maryland Law School. 

After all of his work as Senior Fulbright Fellow in Nepal at 66, with visiting professorships at law schools from Stanford to South Africa and legions of awards, Bamberger feels passionately that more work needs to be done. “Legal Aid still only meets about 25 percent of the need… Any way you calculate it, the United States lags behind every developed Western democracy in its support for legal assistance for the poor.”

Key to Longevity of Engagement: “I just keep moving.”  He’s recently retired from 13 years as a founding board member of the Open Society Institute-Baltimore, where a community fellowship was established in his honor. 

Current challenge: “My pacemaker,” he jokes then adds, “The direction in which the country is headed…I’m 85. I will help wherever I’m asked.” The phone rings. 

 

Beatrice L. Levi

 

DOB: July 12, 1919, Baltimore, Maryland

Education: Western High School, 1936; Goucher College, 1940

Career, Present and Past:
“I don’t do much,” says Beatrice (Beatty) Levi, age 92, then rattles off a list of books she’s just read. During her 6 a.m. breakfast, she watches Charlie Rose on TV then thoroughly reads The New York Times and tends a massive balcony garden of vegetables, herbs and geraniums, which also grow in her spacious apartment. 

In good weather Levi drives out on errands, meets one of a wide circle of friends for lunch, attends a program of the Art Seminar Group whose executive committee she recently left for the first time in 55 years. “I don’t miss a program if I can help it,” she says from a chair in her library that’s her command center, complete with cell phone, land-line, Web TV, printer and iPad she’s had since they first came out. 

Because of a nine-month bout with lymphoma, she now “says ‘no’ to everything” like board memberships, but she still travels regionally with the Art Seminar Group which she helped found in 1956. “A group of us, led by Sue Baker, went on the ‘Ladies’ Day Special’ train to New York for $6.75 roundtrip.” Over the next 55 years the group expanded and diversified; it now numbers 299 members, including men.

Most importantly, the Art Seminar Group in the 1950’s was, she says, the first group in Baltimore to bridge the great divide between Christians and Jews. “Deep friendships were made that would otherwise never have been made….Baltimore’s a different city because of the Art Seminar Group,” says Levi whose active life still revolves around its membership.

Levi not only led the Art Seminar Group for more than a half century, in 1971 she also co-founded in Tips on Trips and Camps, an international business that served parents, in Baltimore and abroad, looking for unusual travel opportunities for children. As vice president of the League of Women Voters, still a passion, Levi worked on revision of the district court system and on redistricting to make government more representative of all races.

Key to Longevity of Involvement: “I’m an optimist. I’m not negative.” She attributes that attitude to her leadership accomplishments and to her comeback from lymphoma. “My two daughters keep me challenged. One is a leading art dealer in New York, and one has a chair at the University of Washington and also at the University of Sydney. I’ve learned so much from them.”

Current challenge: “The weather,” she says on a warm late-summer afternoon. “I have to water everything.” Sometimes twice a day. 

 

Up Next Tuesday, 11/15: Martin Millspaugh and Iris Rosenblatt

Eight Over 80

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Eight Over 80 is a four-part series. Check in Tuesday and Thursday this week and next for profiles of vital seniors who daily pursue activism, art, science and more with huge vigor. Meanwhile, they make Baltimore a far more inspiring place to live. – The Eds. 

Photographs by Anne Sachs.

 

In the case of eight Baltimoreans, age 80 seems to be the new 64. These eight men and women remain active in work and in Baltimore.  Although official retirees, they could hardly be considered “retired.”  

While Americans are often labeled workaholics, these eight fall into another category. They are still following their passions, passions born sometimes in childhood, others at mid-career. All have received numerous awards for their achievements, some honorary doctorates. While they say they have slowed down physically, all push themselves with regular exercise. All are fully engaged mentally.

Most, in the course of their lives, have had to overcome discrimination because of race, creed or gender. One of these giants said of his peers, “We were fortunate. The world changed so much in our lifetime.”

Three are over 90 and were alive during World War I. All lived through the Great Depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the civil rights movement. These eight have experienced the proliferation of the automobile, air travel and computers. They are connected to a world and to times that most of us alive today have not known. Our Baltimore is different because of their work in the past and their work today.

 

Marion Curtis Bascom 

D.O.B.: March 14, 1925, Pensacola, Florida

Education: Washington High School,’42, Florida Memorial College ’46,
Howard University, B.D. ’48

Career, Present and Past:
The legendary civil rights leader Reverend Marion Bascom continues, in an interpersonal way, his lifelong work for peace, equality and human rights. “I am counsel to a lot of people, a personal counselor, dealing with problems of people living together and with each other…I’m broadly humanitarian. I have no problems with lifestyles. One of my professors said often, ‘Only God knows what comes in one’s birthday basket.’ I’ve taken that for all of these years. I’m very much on the path with John Spong, retired bishop of the Episcopal Church. I’m not a typical Christian. I don’t make demands on how, when and under what circumstances people believe, God included. That’s one I’m free of.”

For 46 years as pastor of the historic Douglas Memorial Community Church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bascom, now 86, says, “I was concerned more with causes than huge places.” Under his leadership Douglas established the first church credit union in Maryland (Douglas Memorial Federal Credit Union), turned a block of decaying Victorian houses into Douglas Village with 48 affordable apartment units and founded Camp Farthest Out, a Carroll County camp for inner city children — all revolutionary efforts at the time. Also revolutionary was the fact that Bascom in the 1960’s was appointed the first African-American on the Board of Fire Commissioners of Baltimore City.

From the garden-surrounded Reservoir Hill home, where he has lived almost half a century, Bascom continues to shepherd people of all races and orientation. He still works with the organization he once lead, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, an interfaith group of all races. A proponent of social activism, this group helped found the Maryland Food Committee and spawned today’s powerful BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development).  

“Occasionally, I get involved still in things that are civic,” says Bascom. At 82, for example, he joined friends author Taylor Branch, Reverend Andrew Foster Connors and thousands of others at the 2007 Christian Peace Witness in Washington. On a windy, bone-chilling day he was one of 200 arrested. “I got the worst cold,” he remembers. He hasn’t marched lately but continues, as always, focused on people.

Key to Longevity of Engagement:  In his living room Bascom pauses by signs that say: “Colored Served in Rear,” “Colored Only,” “Colored Waiting Room.”  With characteristic dignity he reflects: “The key is that all of my life I have known that there is something of the ‘thatness’ of God in me very similar to the ‘thatness’ of all of His other creatures.”

Current Challenge:  Personally: “I am caregiver to my wife; she is my caregiver.” His ongoing challenge: “To improve the surrounding community of which I’m a part.”

 

Susan Pardee Baker

D.O.B.:  May 31, 1930, Atlanta, Georgia

Education: Catonsville High School, ’47; Cornell University ’51; Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, M.P.H. ’68, Phi Beta Kappa

Career, Present and Past: 
On the porch of the Broadmead apartment Dr. Susan P. Baker shares with her husband of 60 years, Dr. Timothy Baker, a visitor might guess from the perennial gardens and birds flocking to feeders that she might be a retired botanist. No, she is a Hopkins professor with an affiliation in three departments, an internationally recognized epidemiologist and leader in human injury prevention. She leaves this Eden with her husband, professor of international health and former assistant dean, four days a week to go to their offices at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The two work until five, then pick up dinner at the Broadmead Center. “After dinner I sit at the computer and do more work,” she says. While her husband works five days a week, she takes off a day to garden, catch up on correspondence and take advantage of many fine friendships. 

A zoology major at Cornell, Baker became an epidemiologist at age 38, after marrying and having three children. She fell into the public health specialty she pioneered, the epidemiology of injury. “It felt like an accident looking for a place to happen,” jokes this soft-spoken, now renowned professor of Health Policy and Management and former advisor to the World Health Organization.

After her husband suggested she look at the relationship between accidents and chronic disease, Baker began a 20-year study of the relationship between alcohol and automobile crashes. “Although 50,000 people died every year, no one at Hopkins was doing any kind of injury prevention.” 

Later, her groundbreaking research in occupational, aeronautical and motor vehicle safety prompted not only the requirement for car safety seats for children and helmets for motorcyclists but also the Center for Disease Control in 1987 to fund three centers for injury prevention and control.  Baker was the founder and first director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. There are now a dozen such centers in the U.S.

Last year she became the only injury control researcher ever to receive the prestigious Frank A. Calderone Prize from Columbia University. What she considers her greatest achievements, however, are scores of students she’s taught, “four academic generations who look at ways we can change things.”

A book she recently finished editing, on injury research methods with 35 experts from all over the world, will soon be published.  For her next project she will examine “something that’s falling through the cracks. That’s been the hallmark of my research.”

Key to Longevity of Engagement:  “A job that’s fun, interesting and exciting. Ditto: a husband who is the same…. I’ve had a lot of opportunities and encouragement, first from my husband.… As a colleague once said, ‘I’m on a very small raft. There’s no one on it. Welcome aboard.’”

Current Challenge: “Always the challenge is people who have a vested interest and who are not interested in changing but in keeping things the same.  I am an advocate of putting good data to good use.”

Next up on Thursday, 11/10: Clinton Bamberger and Beatty Levi.

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