Wednesday, August 17, 2016



An article in today's New York Times reported on a new drug that stimulates bone growth and prevents fractures at least as well as the other drug on the market. The drug is expected to receive FDA approval soon.

Some 10 million Americans have a disease that weakens bones, 80% of them are women. This leads to an increased frequency of fractures of hip, spine and wrist. These fractures often have a high price, including death, increasing incidence of disease, and high dollar costs. 

We are living longer. We can control chronic conditions such as coronary function, we can treat (with some measure of success) cancers, and we don't smoke -- we take better care of ourselves. But with this increased longevity has come diseases such as osteoporosis (not just one disease but a complex) that in an earlier time we might not have lived long enough to have experienced. In the case of osteoporosis we experience age-related deterioration of our bones.With the dramatic growth of the elderly population and the rise in the incidence of fractures at earlier ages, osteoporosis has become a major public health problem of epidemic proportions.  All ethnic groups are susceptible to osteoporosis, and the disease is under diagnosed in the African American population.

Among the several risk factors for osteoporosis are genetics, insufficient calcium and vitamin D intake, along with some of the usual factors that are out to get us: smoking, too much alcohol and the 'couch potato syndrome.'  

The care for patients with established osteoporosis should include:
  • Early diagnosis of potentially treatable secondary types of osteoporosis
  • Decreasing fracture risk by utilizing medications, such as SERMs, bisphosphonates, denosumab, teriparatide
  • Exercise and activity programs
  • Injury prevention strategies
  • Optimizing nutrition and lifestyle variables to decrease risk.
There is available one hormone-based drug that stimulates bone growth, and the NY Times article reports on a second drug that is likely  to receive federal approval soon. While these drugs offer great promise for some, they -- like many drugs today -- are very expensive and becoming more so. 

Osteoporosis is a serious health problem. It demands federal research funds for research and education to reduce the incidence of  fractures associated with osteoporosis.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Here is an interesting concept: local nonprofit organizations (think: GREATER HILLSBOROUGH SENIOR SERVICES) enrich their communities ... and usually are strapped for funds! 

Recognizing this, the TD Bank established the Affinity Membership Program as a way to help nonprofit organizations, including GHSS, with an easy way to raise money. Basically what happens is that when you open an account with TD Bank, or have an existing account, you let the bank know that you are a supporter of GHSS. Once a year the bank contributes its own funds to GHSS. The size of their contribution depends upon the amount  of money that GHSS supporters have on deposit with the bank. As they say, The More The Merrier! 

The bank donates its money, not yours. The more you have on deposit with them, the more of their money they will donate to GHSS.

But, maybe you knew that!

 Here is something you might not know. I didn't.

The Bank will make a financial donation to GHSS based on the wishes of the bank’s subscribers in September.


Please stop by the TD Bank in the next two weeks and let them know that you want them to contribute to GHSS!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Seniors Alive! for August

Here is your August 2016 issue of Seniors Alive! 
 This and past issues are available at the tab above.

When you go to Shaw's in Hillsborough you might notice a sign at the entrance that gives an update on GHSS fund raising efforts to  buy a new bus. "A new bus? I thought you had a bus!" I can hear you now! So, what's the skinny on the 'new bus' already?

Getting older is not something that you should try on your own. You lose a spouse ... and you are left alone. Your family is far away ... and you are left alone. You no longer drive... and you are left alone. Know what happens to your brain on loneliness? Mush. That's what happens. You need to keep those gray folds churning, solving problems, exercising, looking outwardly ... and socializing. In a word: not being alone. 

This is exactly where GHSS can help: we're the cure for loneliness. GHSS sponsored and supported activities such as our monthly luncheons, pickle ball, and shopping trips bring seniors together for friendly interactions.

This brings us to The  Bus.  We had a choice in this. On one hand we could wait. And wait. And fund raise until we could purchase a new one. AS they say, though, we're not getting any younger ... we decided to first buy an older but still serviceable bus that would buy us a few years and a whole lot of trips. Thanks to some generous corporate and personal donations, and a lot of fund raising, we decided to buy a used bus, which we call Betsy. We don't like to reveal a lady's age,  but our girl has about seventy thousand miles on her and, while she is  fighting trim now, she's got maybe five years of good service left before she heads to Bus Assisted Living, or whatever older buses do. 

Thing is, we're going to have to replace  Betsy, and that means: MORE FUND RAISING! 
Another thing is that Betsy has got to be maintained and fed and this requires MOOLA.

So, yes, we continue to raise money for a bus while we continue to provide Seniors in our area with some pretty nifty trips.

You can check out Betsy's schedule for August in this issue of Senior's Alive! (along with other interesting stuff) but here is the schedule of trips for August:

August 11, Thursday: League of NH Craftsmen Fair at Lake Sunape ( This is a display of truly fantastic craft items and crafting displays. The bus will leave Shaw's at 10 am. Admission is $12.00 (an AARP discount is available) and the bus fare is $5.00. (minimum 6 persons). Reserve by calling Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272.

August 12, Friday: Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA ( This is the New England Wildflower Society public botanic garden. There is a pond, a bog, woodland.  Trails meander over glacier-sculpted ridges and through narrow valleys. Admission to the garden is $12.00 ($9.00 for seniors 64 yrs and older) and transportation is $11.00. a box lunch is available at the garden or you can bring your own. The bus will leave Shaw's parking lot at 9:00 am.  Reserve by calling Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272.

August 18, Thursday: Monthly trip to Walmart.  The bus fare is $5.00 (minimum: 6 people). Lunch and other possible destinations will be determined at the time. The bus leaves Shaw's parking lot at 9:30 am.  Reserve by calling Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272.

August 18, Thursday: Fisher Cats with fireworks! A generous Hillsborough business person has donated some tickets. To score your ticket hurry up and call Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272. The bus will leave  Shaw's at 5:30 pm.

August 19, Friday: USS Constitution Museum ( The 200+-yr-old USS Constitution houses the largest collection of articles related to the construction, and role of that great sailing ship in the early days of our young republic. Admission on Friday is free, the cost of transportation is $11.00. The bus will leave Shaw's at 8:00 am. Bring a lunch as there  is no restaurant. Reserve by calling Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272.

August 16, 23,  30,  Tuesday nights: Henniker Concerts. 
   August 16: North River -- Pure Americana harmonies from Dylan to the Dixie Chicks
   August 23: Nick’s Other Band -- Party on with this high energy audience engaging band 
Charge for the ride is $1.00. The bus will depart Shaw's. Reserve by calling Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272.

August 23, Tuesday: Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Concord. Original art and contemporary craft by regional and national artists in a home-like setting. If you aren't interested in the art, Betsy will be stopping at Beech Hill Farm for an icy delight on the way back home. Transportation is $3.00. The bus will leave from Shaw's at 1:00 pm. Reserve by calling Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272.

August 26, Friday: Franklin Park Zoo, Boston ( With 128 different critters you're bound to find one to love. An arachnid anybody? A train will carry you from exhibit to exhibit so you can be sure to see each and every one of them. Admission to the zoo for seniors is $16.95. Bus fare is $16.00. The bus will leave Shaw's at 9:00 am. Reserve by calling Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272.

The August Senior Luncheon will take place on  Wednesday, August 17 at the Deering Community Church.This will be a chicken bar-b-cue. Come and meet Hillsborough PD's Sgt. Hogden and his K-9 pooch. Yes, you CAN bring something to share! If your last name begins with A-L, please bring a dessert. those beginning M-Z bring a salad please. The cost for this mid week feast in scenic Deering is only $4.00. Reserve by calling Marie Mogavero at 464-4726 or 727-5272. NO LATER THAN 12 August.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Poison Ivy Season


An article recently published in Yankee Magazine gives some great advice for identifying and removing poison ivy.You might want to have a look at it because, believe me, 'tis the season to be itchy!

Here's a summary.
Of course in order to avoid poison ivy you must know what it looks like. There is enough growing along our stone walls and rock walls hereabouts that you can get lots of practice. Basically it's a scrambling plant. Although it can be variable, it is most readily recognized  by the three shiny leaflets. Sometimes they are not so shiny but there are three. This can be confused with Aralia species that occupy the same roadside habitats, but the aralias have a long stem and do not scramble along the ground.  Poison ivy can make dense growths over the ground. Here are pictures of poison ivy. It can also climb trees and form quite an large vine. In autumn the leaves turn a beautiful red/orange; you can see them climbing up tree trunks.

It's the oil in the leaves that gets you. All you have to do is touch the leaves and you can be affected. The oil will stick to your clothes for some time, so if you have been prancing about in the stuff, get your clothes into the washing machine. That should take care of  it.

How do you get rid of poison ivy? First, think about how much trouble it is giving you in your own site. Can you coexist with poison ivy if you know what it is? If so, maybe you don't have to do anything. Contrary to a popular song a long time ago, poison ivy does not come creeping when you're sleeping. Do your kids tend to play where it grows? If so, or if as happened here when it arrived with some planting material that Patty received from a friend, you probably want to get rid of it.

The most effective way is to physically remove it. You might be able to use a glyphosate spray but glyphosate will kill everything but not necessarily the poison ivy. In Patty's case there were just a few sprigs of poison ivy so she used a plastic bag as a kind of glove and placed the plant in the garbage.

If you have to deal with a larger patch: suit up! Gloves, shirt with sleeves and long pants. Things you can throw into the washing machine. Pull out as much of the root as you can. What root you miss will re-sprout so be diligent. That's pretty much it. Put the plants into some kind of bags and put the bags in the garbage.  Don't compost it.

An important point, and one you might not think of is DO NOT BURN POISON IVY. The oil will be in the smoke. If you inhale poison ivy laced smoke it can affect your lungs. That would require medical intervention.

In the fall poison ivy can be quite lovely but it packs a kick. If you cannot coexist with it, then I suggest you read the article referenced here.

Let us now examine our guts


Microbes in our guts? An organ?

One of the greatest challenges to independent living for the elderly is frailty. Frailty occurs when our organs and other bits, such as our eyes or hips, accumulate disorders or just give out. One organ that you would not think would age is the one that consists of the microorganisms in our gut.

Actually, there are about ten times more bacteria than human cells in your body. Together these microbes have over 150 times more genes than you. These microbes, which occur in your gut, are known as the ‘intestinal microbiota’ or ‘microbiome.’ The microbiome is so critical in your life that some scientists call it ‘the forgotten organ,’ or ‘the second brain,’ and the microbiome and the brain are in constant communication with each other.

Our mothers contribute the microbes we are born with, and their activity is crucial in our first days and weeks for development of our immune and neurological systems.  As we age our microbiome becomes more diverse. Each of us has our own microbial community and while it changes somewhat through life, it basically remains constant. We get into trouble when our microbiome is disturbed.

The microbiome can be a friend or a foe, depending upon on how we maintain its composition. This depends upon our diet and our physical environment.  

The composition of our microbiome is all important. There are millions, billions, of microbes down there. Mainly bacteria but also bacterium-like microbes called archaea, fungi, and even viruses. Some are beneficial or at least neutral while others are pathogens that can do you harm. In the environment of your gut there  is constant jockying for dominance. The key is homeostasis, where the good keeps the bad in check. This balance can get out of whack, and when that happens there can be trouble.

The homeostasis of our microbiome is greatly influenced by our individual menvironment and our diet. To illustrate this, scientists compared the diets and gut microbiomes of a modern-day hunter-gatherer people in Tanzania, the Hazda, to contemporary Italians. The research found a marked difference in protein and carbohydrate metabolism between the Hazda and the urban Italians. The diet of the Hazda people consists of 70% plant materials, and this includes many indigestible substrates that favor microbial diversity and gene action in the gut. In contrast the urban Italian diet consisted of highly refined sugars and processed foods that favor lower microbial diversity. Westernized diets comprise cultivated foods that are selected for palatability and caloric content and are subject to extensive processing for maximal digestibility. Interestingly, there was a much lower opportunity for horizontal gene transfer in the Hazda gut microbiome than in the Italian. Horizontal gene transfer is a process by which traits such as antibiotic resistance are transferred between organisms. Horizontal gene transfer is considered to be a main cause of antibiotic resistance and the consequent development of 'super bugs' that cannot be controlled by antibiotics. That western diet of foods that have been cultivated for digestibility and are highly processed seems, indeed, to  contribute to an environment that favors the development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

In other studies scientists observed that the incidence of autoimmune diabetes was much higher in Finnish and Estonian children than in kids living across the border in Russia. The scientists found  sharp differences in the types of microbes in the guts of the respective groups of kids. While both microbial gut communities produced endotoxins, the endotoxins in the blood of the Russian children could excite their immune systems much more strongly than could the endotoxins in the blood of  the Finnish and Estonian children. The difference could not be explained by breast feeding but was attributed to an early childhood where the Russian children experienced a greater exposure to microbes that would stimulate, or ‘educate’ the immune system than the kids in the 'more highly developed' (i.e. sterile) environment of Finland and Estonia.

A diverse microbiome is essential for good health. A good diet promotes beneficial microbes while limiting colonization by pathogens. Beneficial microbes produce anti-inflammatory factors, pain relieving compounds, antioxidants and vitamins.  The two-way communication between our brain and our gut microbes modulates brain development. It possibly plays a role in our moods. The association of a disturbed microbiome with behavioral and gastrointestinal manifestations of autism spectrum disorder suggest treatments.

Foods containing probiotics and prebiotics help us maintain our microbial communities. A probiotic is a living organism that may improve the health of the host beyond its inherent nutritional content. Probiotic foods typically contain lactic acid bacteria that are present in traditionally fermented foods such as soy products, pickles, sauerkraut, and yoghurt. Many supplements containing probiotics are available. An important point to consider when purchasing one of the probiotic dietary supplements is that it contain live bacteria.

Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients that benefit us by stimulating the growth of one or a limited number of certain bacteria in the colon. Foods rich in prebiotics include banana, chocolate, onions, legumes, whole grains and cabbage. 

Probiotics and prebiotics are features of a ‘Mediterranean-style’ diet. Our Standard American Diet, high in trans-fat, sugars and highly processed food, only encourages growth of gut pathogens. In the study cited above, the diet of the Hazda people mainly consists of vegetable material and this is thought to be much closer to the diets of our prehistoric -- or even as recent as early 20th Century -- ancestors.

In the elderly the microbiome may become diminished due to the general state of health, malnutrition, a diet low in microbe-accessible carbohydrates, increased use of antibiotics and pain relievers, and insufficient exercise. One large study revealed that the microbiomes of nursing home residents were far less diverse than those of seniors living in the community.

Among the problems experienced by the elderly is lactose intolerance and an inability to digest dairy products. Probiotic lactic acid bacteria can treat lactose intolerance. Some studies show that older subjects given fermented milk had less severe colds and flu, and were quicker to recover than those who did not get the milk. Other research suggests that probiotics protect against traveler’s diarrhea, help prevent tooth decay, and reduce the severity of eczema.

Changes in the composition of the microbiome in the elderly have been linked with inflammatory and metabolic disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, obesity, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, gout and cardiovascular disease.

A common problem in the elderly, and antibiotic induced diarrhea, a significant cause of mortality in the elderly.  Fecal transplants, which is exactly what it sounds like, has been adopted as a measure to treat antibiotic induced diarrhea that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile. The explanation for the effectiveness of this seemingly radical, or at least ‘icky,’ procedure rests in the replacement of a ‘sick’ microbiota, one in which the offending bacterial species has been allowed to dominate, with one in which there is a benign, balanced and diverse microbiota.  Other as yet experimental evidence indicates that fecal transplant may help in the struggle against obesity. Exactly how this all happens, which microbes are involved, is unknown so there is no pill in sight.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a condition that causes extreme fatigue and the inability to take part in daily routines, has been considered to be a psychological problem. Newly developing evidence at least suggests a physical cause that might be linked to bacteria in the gut. People with CFS had a much less diverse gut microbiota and much higher levels of inflammatory molecules in their blood than did healthy people. Researchers were able to identify people with CFS through diagnosis of their gut bacteria and inflammatory molecules in their blood in about 80% of the cases. This gives new clues to understanding CFS and to why people experience these symptoms.

Study of our gut microbes is the object of a very large international research effort. Science has revealed astonishing roles for our microbiome in our health. With astonishing frequency links between dysfunction of our microbial organ and medical conditions are being revealed. The connection between our gut microbes and our brains through the vagal nervous system has even lead so speciulation about which is the controlling organ! It is all fascinating in a brave new world sort of way, and at least to me, so unexpected. Tantalizing results suggest that fuller understanding of the human-microbiome connection will soon yield major health benefits to all.

Meanwhile, eat your yoghurt and sauerkraut. They are good for your gut microbes!

Beatrice Trumm Hunter contributed to this article

Friday, July 1, 2016



There are several trips to entice you

Of special note is an AARP workshop for anybody wanting to get the most out of their smart phones.

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM GHSS will take a minimum of six people to  The cost of the bus ride is $6.00.

GHSS will get you there. The  bus leaves Shaw's Hillsborough parking lot at 9:30 am.


 OR  BY CALLING 1 866 591 8105.

Here is the program description from AARP'

Intro to Android Smartphones:  Beginner Workshop
Are you new to mobile technology and ready to discover the power of apps?  Join us for a hands-on workshop covering smartphone skills – Touchscreen Basics, Texting, Taking and Sharing Photos, Downloading Apps, and more.
Books, News, and Music – Android Smartphones:  Intermediate Workshop
Take your Daily News, Digital Book collection, and Favorite Songs with you wherever you go.  Explore having fun with digital media on smartphones in this hands-on workshop.
Staying Safe Online:  Smartphone Beginner Workshop
If you want to ensure you’re doing what you can to be safe online, then this course is for you!  This hands-on smartphone workshop will cover ways to identify and avoid some of the most common online scams.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Intro to Android Smartphones
10:30 am to 12:00 noon
Books, News and Music
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Staying Safe Online
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Manchester City Library
Winchell Room; 405 Pine Street; Manchester, NH
There is metered street and lot parking outside the library.
Register online

or by calling 1 866 591 8105
If you want to get the most out of your smartphone, please join us!



There is a lot of music, some antique cars. baseball and, well 



Unless otherwise stated all trips will leave from the UPPER PARKING LOT at Shaw’s Supermarket, Hillsborough
You MUST call Marie Mogavero to be put on the list for each trip    Phone numbers HOME 464-4726 CELL 724-5272 

July 2 Washington (NH) Flea Market & Pie Sale, $2.00/person, leave Shaw's 8:30 am, return 2:00 pm

July 5 Henniker 39thARMY BAND. Celebrate our nation's birthday, $2.00/person, leave Shaw's 6:15 pm, return 9:00 pm. Music starts at 7 pm @ Robinson Bandstand, Community Park  Bring a Chair    If rain move to Community Center

July 7 Fisher Cats Game in Manchester, $15.00/person, leave Shaw's  5:30 pm, return time uncertain

July 7, 8, 9 10 GHSS at the Annual Hillsborough Balloon Fest   Major GHSS BUS Fundraiser/Raffle

July 11 Washington (NH) Tankards to Teapots, $2.00/person, leave Shaw's 5:15 pm, return 9:00 pm. includes  Camp Morgan Pot Luck 6 to 7P.M. Business meeting 7 to 7:30, Program 7:30 to 8:30P.M. (Wash. Historical Society)

July 12 Henniker Concert HIGH RANGE BLUEGRASS & BEYOND, $2.00/person,  leave Shaw's  6:15 pm, return 9 pm. Music starts at  7 P.M. @ Angela Robinson Bandstand, Community Park  Bring a Chair   If rain move to Community Center

July 13 AARP Assisting Seniors with Smart Phone, FREE.     leave Shaw's 9:00 am, return 3:00 pm. Includes introduction to Android SMARTPHONES (10:00- 11:30) Books, News, and Music (12:30-1;30) They supply the phones
            NOTE: Participants must register with AARP (1-800-591-8105) for this FREE Manchester, NH workshop

July 15 Larz Anderson (Boston) Auto Museum, $15.00/person, leave Shaw's 8:30 am, return 4:00 pm. Includes Arts/Crafts in the Tent – Special Display of Collection Vehicles, balloon sculptor & scavenger hunt (Bring a lunch)

July 16 Warner (NH) BLUES & FOLK fest, $4.00/person, leave Shaw's  2:00 pm, return  9:00 pm.     Lineup includes: Alex Smith & the Mountain Sound, Bow Junction, and Etna Old Time Association. Bring a chair

July 22 Otter Brook Beach Park “Let’s have a picnic”   $8.00/person.  Leaving from Shaw’s at     10:00A.M.

July 26 Henniker Concert ACOUSTIC TRUFFLE, $2.00/person, leave Shaw's        6:15 pm, return 9:00 pm.      Music starts at 7 pm @ Angela Robinson Bandstand, Community Park  Bring a Chair   If rain move to Community Center 

July 29 Mystery Ride to Somewhere. $5.00/person. Leaving from Shaw’s at 11:00A.M.

July 30 Wilmot Bandstand THE CLOUD BAND, $3.00/person, leave Shaw's 5:30 pm, return 7:30 pm. Includes a Concert of Classic Rock. Music starts at 6:00pm.    Food sold by the Women’s Aid Society     Bring a chair