Sam Bauman: City takes care of us stumbling seniors |

Sam Bauman: City takes care of us stumbling seniors

Sam Bauman

Last week I stood at the entrance to the Senior Center off the Long Street dining room. Some 150 seniors were spread out enjoying the regular lunch. Ruben sandwiches were on the menu, and the sandwiches were thick and juicy. Another 200 or some Meals on Wheels were on their way to seniors around town.

And as I battled my way through the thick sandwich, I thought, “Yeah, Carson City does take care of its seniors.”

If you don’t drive, you can always grab a JAC bus (the senior center hands out vouchers, thank you). It’s practically door to door.

Then there’s the new multi-purpose recreation center on Russell Way. Living next door, I see the evening crowds filling the large parking lot almost nightly.

Certainly worth the admission for seniors is the Western Nevada Musical Comedy Theater presentations at the Community Center. The hit “42nd Street” is coming in May.

Among the more expensive outings for seniors are the Saturday morning Metropolitan Opera TV broadcasts at the Galaxy. These vivid close-ups of operas are $18 but certainly worth every penny. Last week I saw Puccini’s “Turandot” along with a crowd largely of seniors who filled the second tier of the theater. I was lucky in my childhood to have a mother who doted on opera; Saturdays were silent in our home except for the Westinghouse radio pouring out the forerunner of today’s TV operas.

Another Puccini comes up March 5. The schedule, unfortunately, does not include “The Barber of Seville” or “Carmen,” two operas a friend of mine vows are the only two he would see. What a closed mind!

Seniors interested in travel can join the Sierra Adventurers group at noon today at the Carson Nugget to find out what’s on the travel horizon at 2 p.m. Free, of course.

And for seniors not willing to sit back and watch TV, there’s the table tennis action at the Senior Center. About a dozen seniors 67 to 81 will travel to Reno for the Seniors Winter Games.

So as a busy senior, I want to thank the city for helping me enjoy life full bore. Unfortunately, the city can’t pick up my ski lift fees at Heavenly.

Sleeping pills: The good and the bad

The February issue of Consumer Reports carried several lengthy articles on sleep, including coverage of the heavily advertised suvorexant Belsomra. Studies show that those taking 15 or 20 milligrams Belsomra pills fell asleep just six minutes faster than those who took a placebo.

And they sleep 16 minutes more than those on the placebo.

One risk of sleeping pills is the next day aftereffect. But Consumer Reports found people who take the pills to better function the next day actually work more poorly, having problems with driving. A study of June 2015 by the American Journal of Public Health found that people using sleeping pills were twice as likely to be in car crashes as nonusers.

Some pills come with instructions not to use them unless one can stay in bed for seven or eight hours after taking the pills. To cut the dangers of next-day drowsiness, Ambien and Lunesta doses have been reduced to 20 milligrams along with cautions about driving the next day.

Lots more about sleep in the February Consumer Reports. I’ll try to digest it soon.

Where oh where is my lost hearing aid?

I’ve been so pleased with my new VA wireless hearing aids that I’m saddened by the fact that I’ve lost the right earpiece.

I’m reluctant to tell the VA that I’ve lost it; after all these wireless ones cost $6,000 for the set. But then going to lunch Friday I spotted the lost hearing aid atop a clump of melting snow. Was it buried for the last week? Who knows, but I brought it home, put in a new battery and tested it, and it worked and still does. So I’m spared confessing the loss to the VA and what did you say?

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.