Senior Living - Fall 2019


Senior resource guide that provides important and interesting information to seniors.



A Special Supplement to


Fall 2019


Page 2 • Senior Living


Giving back to the community

WITHOUT a regular

job to go to, many

retirees find

themselves with lots of time to

volunteer in their community.

Many community organizations

need volunteers who are

available during working hours

or who have the flexibility to

Volunteer as a tour guide or

docent at a museum, landmark,

botanical garden or historical

site. There may also be behindthe

scenes work for people with

a passion but who don’t want

that much time with people.

Meals on Wheels is frequently

looking for volun-

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a group of

travel for days or weeks at a

time. How Stuff Works had a

number of suggestions for best

ways for seniors to give back.

Being a foster grandparent

or working with young people

in some other way is a lowimpact,

self-guided opportunity

that is available in almost every

community in the U.S. The

Senior Corps Foster Grandparent

program connects people 55

and older with children in Head

Start programs, area schools

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and other youth groups. You can

also try Big Brothers Big Sisters,

children’s hospitals, the school

district and more. This also

provides a sense of community

for senior residents who live far

away from their own families.

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larly social people; many of the

elderly people who are recipients

of meals don’t get as many visitors

as they would like, and, in

addition to dropping off meals,

drivers have the chance to visit

with residents. Meals on Wheels

is available in all 50 states and

has more than 1.5 million volunteers,

many of them retirees,

delivering meals to more than 1

million seniors each day.

Want something a little

out of the box? Habitat for

Humanity offers opportunities

to help build houses. These

opportunities can be in your

neighborhood, but Habitat also

has retired and semi-retired

volunteers who go to disaster

about 6,000 volunteers who, as

their name suggests, drive RVs

to participate in different homebuilding


Retirees are frequently a good

fit for a variety of disaster relief

efforts, particularly those with

special skills, such as doctors,

nurses, EMTs, pharmacists, language

interpreters, lawyers and

even chaplains and fundraisers.

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Senior Living • Page 3


Upkeep or downsize?

RETIREMENT opens up a range of options for housing.

Some people choose to stay in the homes in which

they raised their families, keeping space for visiting family, enjoying

a big backyard and staying close to their pre-retirement

lifestyle. Others sell their house and move somewhere smaller,

possibly even a condo or townhouse, reducing the need for

yardwork, or they choose to relocate somewhere else — closer

to family or to a more temperate climate. At some point, people

may opt for a senior living community. The decision is different

for each retiring person or couple depending on their wants,

needs and financial situations.

Forbes suggested making the decision with two factors in

mind: quality of life and financial reasons. Although more than

80 percent of Americans say that would prefer to stay in their

homes through retirement, it may not be the best choice longterm.

Financial questions

Can you afford to keep your home? That includes a mortgage

payment, insurance and upkeep. Even if you can make those

payments, leveraging the equity in your home for a less expensive

housing option may allow you more financial freedom

in retirement. According to a 2015 Merrill Lynch study, most

Americans of retirement age have more than $200,000 in equity

in their homes but less than half of that in retirement savings.

Can you afford to move? A smaller home doesn’t always

lower your expenses — you may want to live somewhere with a

higher cost of living, or you look at a smaller but nicer home or

an area with more amenities. Consider the differences you’ll see

in finances. Additionally, moving itself is expensive.

Quality of life considerations

Many people want to travel when they retire or otherwise

have more freedom. If this is you, selling your house and renting

a home or apartment may allow for that lifestyle. Even if

you don’t plan to roam, you may want less responsibility for

maintenance and upkeep, which can be achieved either through

renting or buying a property in a neighborhood with an involved

homeowners association.

Also consider whether you want to stay. Perhaps your friends

and family are all in this community, you’ve joined organizations

and have roots that you want to keep. Or you may find

yourself in a school district with high property taxes that made

sense when kids were in school but no longer do now that

you’re empty nesters.

Page 4 • Senior Living


Studies show that more

than 90 percent of

physical ailments are

caused or exacerbated

by stress

Mental and emotional health

MENTAL and emotional issues also can bleed into

the body, with depression and isolation contributing

to physical pain and a lowered immune


According to Dartmouth-Hitchcock, people 65 and older

need to be extra careful to stay sharp and take care of themselves

as they move into retirement.

Keeping your brain in good shape

One in eight people 65 years and older has Alzheimer’s

disease, and that number gets bigger with other forms of

dementia. We’ve all heard about the need to do crossword

puzzles to keep your mental faculties intact, and studies

have shown that, while some cognitive decline is normal as

you age, working in cognitive stimulation like word or logic

puzzles, trivia games, reading books and other activities that

stretch your brain can help with mental acuity.

Want something a little more active? Take a dance class

that requires you to learn new steps, learn a new language (or

remind yourself of one you used to know), go to lectures or

the local museum, learn an instrument or join a choir.

Working on your relationships

Retirement can be isolating. Many adults spend most of

their working lives going to the office and building relationships

with coworkers. Not seeing friends as frequently and

even not having the routine of getting up and ready and going

to the office can be isolating. The death of a spouse or retired

friends relocating somewhere warmer or closer to family can

also cause isolation. Losing these relationships can contribute

to depression.

Combating isolation often means a concerted effort to

cultivate relationships. About a quarter of retired adults live

alone, which requires even more effort. Set up a regular call

with children, grandchildren, siblings and friends who live

out of town. Meet for lunch, dinner or coffee; find other

retired friends who want to travel and take trips together;

invite people over for dinner; and join groups for people with

similar hobbies.

Managing stress

According to Dartmouth-Hitchcock, stress may become

more of a health factor as we age. Long-term stress can damage

your brain and lead to depression, memory loss, fatigue

and a lowered immune system. Learn what your stressors are

and do what you can to avoid or mitigate the effects of stress,

then find healthy ways to handle it — yoga, exercise, therapy,

journaling or meditation.

Senior Living • Page 5




Healthy choices are

just as important


retirement as

they are in

your younger


THAT doesn’t make it easy all the time, though. Exercise,

sleep, healthy eating and regular visits to the doctor can

often be more complicated as your body ages. Dartmouth-

Hitchcock offered tips to stay healthy so you can fully enjoy retirement.

Eat healthy foods

Talk to your doctor about how many calories are good for you

and make sure you’re sticking within a good range. But developing

healthy eating habits is about more than calories. Pay attention to

sodium, cholesterol and other ingredients on the label. Studies show

most Americans eat twice as much sodium as the recommended daily

amount, which can lead to hypertension and heart disease. Eat whole

foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains like wheat bread and pasta,

brown rice, while minimizing fast food and highly processed foods.

Get plenty of sleep

Your body may not be growing like a teenager’s, but older adults

still need seven to nine hours of sleep a night (perhaps with a nap

thrown in since afternoons are free). Not getting enough sleep can

lead to depression, irritability and memory problems and just make

your day-to-day functioning more difficult. Get into good sleep habits

such as going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time each

day, and keep your bedroom screen-free — no taking your laptop to

bed! Avoid caffeine late in the day.

Preventative care

Keep your vaccines up to date, including the annual flu vaccine;

flu tends to be much more dangerous for older patients. Be aware

of fall risks around your home and take precautions to reduce those

risks. See an eye doctor regularly and keep glasses and contacts up to

date, which will make getting around your house and neighborhood

more safely. Talk to your doctor about vitamins or supplements like

calcium or vitamin D.


Find what works for you and do it regularly. You don’t have to

be the 90-year-old running a marathon; a brisk walk around your

neighborhood or a low-impact class at the gym work just as well.

Weight lifting, cycling, yoga and hiking all are good ways to stay

fit. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor or a trainer about a good

exercise routine.

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Page 6 • Senior Living


Taking time to travel


unlimited vacation

days — time to take

all those trips you couldn’t fit

into your few weeks of annual

vacation during your working

life, energy for day and weekend

trips to explore your own region

that always seemed like too much

after working 40 hours.

While there are plenty of trips

that are fun for any traveler, senior

citizens have additional options to

see the world.

Find a senior

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longer excursions to Central and

South America, Europe, Africa

and more. These programs allow

you to sign up for the trips you

want to take, browsing through

different adventure options like

train travel, hiking, sea trips and

more, and they do the planning

for you.

Traveling by yourself? There

are tour groups that cater to

single senior citizens as well.

Look into

discounts AARP and other organizations

for senior citizens offer

travel group

ElderTreks and Road Scholar travel discounts on flights,

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offer discounts as well, so find

the best deal you can. When you

go to museums and other sights,

ask about a senior discount.

You also can get deal on some

train tickets throughout Europe,

according to Rick Steves; ask at

the train station what discounts

are available.

Even without special deals, retirees

have the advantage of more

open schedule. Rick Steves suggests

traveling during shoulder

season (April-May, September-

October), when prices are lower

because it’s not peak season, but

the weather is still fairly good.

Get a national

parks pass

Seniors can get a lifetime

National Parks pass for $80,

allowing entry into all the national

parks and monuments

throughout the country.

For the outdoorsy types, this

is an inexpensive way to spend

a day or a weekend hiking or

camping. Even the less outdoorsy

types can find easy hikes

or beautiful drives through some

of the country’s most pristine,

gorgeous landscapes, including

the red rocks of Zion National

Park, the geysers of Yellowstone

or the green, rolling hills of

Shenandoah National Park.

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Senior Living • Page 7


Retirement is a great opportunity

to travel, learn, read, rest and

spend time with your family. The

last thing you want to think about

is going back to work.

However, many retirees find

themselves heading back into the

workforce out of a desire for more

career challenges, a way to fill time

or a need for money or health insurance

in retirement.

Going back to work

AS you’re thinking about returning to the workforce

for full- or part-time work, consider several

questions. Health insurance may be a big factor,

according to New Retirement. People who retire before age

65, when Medicare kicks in for all Americans, may find

insurance and other out-of-pocket costs eating into their

retirement savings, so getting a job that provides health insurance

can be the most financially sound option. There are

some part-time jobs that offer health insurance, so consider

those options as you’re looking at a return to the workforce.

Other people find they have not saved enough money for

retirement and need the salary. Determine how much additional

money you need each month to determine if you need

full- or part-time work. It’s also a good idea to talk to your

financial planner to see if you’ll face any tax implications.

In addition to your planner, talk to the Social Security

Administration in your area. According to New Retirement,

Social Security income could be reduced if you go back to

work, depending on what age you were when you retired.

Full retirement age is 67 for people born 1960 or later, and

if you retire before 67, you will receive less money from

Social Security each month. If you retire and go to back

to work before you reach 67 (or the full retirement age,

which may be younger for those born before 1960), Social

Security deducts a dollar in benefits for every $2 you earn

above the annual limit, though this is not a permanent


Finally, if you have a pension, it could be affected if

you go back to work for the same company or organization

that you worked during your career. Often, companies will

suspend benefits when you get back on their payroll, so

check with the company so you don’t get an unpleasant surprise

your first month. Your pension shouldn’t be unaffected

if you work somewhere new.

Page 8 • Senior Living


According to the National Institute

on Deafness and Other Communication

Disorders, about one

in three people between the ages

of 65 and 74 have hearing loss and

nearly half of those older than 75

have difficulty hearing.

Hearing better for a happier life

IF you are experiencing a decline in how you hear, it may be

time to invest in a hearing aid. There are several considerations

you should make before committing to a certain model. Make

sure to get your doctor’s opinion on the option that is most efficient

in your situation.

Here are some factors to consider before you begin shopping.

Key features

Hearing devices typically consist of four basic components:

a microphone, a processor, a receiver and a power source. The

microphone recognizes the sounds you hear and transfers them to

the processor.

Those sounds are enhanced by the processor, which then amplifies

them to your ear canal via the receiver, or speaker. The system

is powered by a power source, or battery.

While most operate the same, you can find units with other hightech

features. Here are some to look for.

• Automatic gain control picks up on soft sounds while maintaining

loud noises at comfortable levels.

• A feedback manager is helpful to minimize annoying whistling,

while boosting amplification.

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• Noise reduction is great for reducing background noise so you

can concentrate on speech intelligibility.

Set reasonable expectations

A hearing aid won’t completely restore your hearing, so it’s

important to understand what you should expect.

Most users experience a better quality of life by picking up on

sounds they couldn’t hear in the past and enjoying conversations

without asking someone to repeat themselves.

You also should allow yourself time to adjust to the new type

of hearing experience. There may be a short period before you feel

comfortable with your new earpiece and its capabilities.

Assistive lisetening device

In addition to a hearing aid, take advantage of assistive listening

devices that can make an aid more effective. Installing wireless

systems or neck loops in rooms in which you have difficulty hearing

can make the sounds more prevalent to someone with a hearing aid.

Before making a purchase, check with your insurance policy

to see if they help cover the cost. Some high-end models can be


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Senior Living • Page 9


7 healthy habits for seniors

If your age is catching up to you, there may be some lifestyle changes you

can make to give you a boost in energy and better overall health

TRY to incorporate a few of these healthy habits, recommended

by Parent Giving, to feel better and live longer.

Quit smoking

Smoking tobacco can cause cancer, stroke and heart failure. It

also affects your skin by causing excessive wrinkling weakening

skin elasticity.

If you’re having difficulty quitting cold turkey, try cutting back

with the aid of nicotine gum or patches.

Stay active

You should do something that boosts your strength, flexibility

and balance. Participate in activities that help you stay at a healthy

weight to prevent heart issues, sleep better and reduce stress.

Eat well

The right diet will make it easier to remain active. Schedule

an appointment with a nutritionist to find the eating plan that will

benefit you the most. Dietary changes and exercise can prevent or

control illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure

and diabetes.

Maintain a healthy weight

Carrying around excessive weight is dangerous for your heart

and promotes diseases such as diabetes. Find out what your ideal

weight is for your body type and work to achieve it. You can

maintain it by staying active and eating right.

Prevent falls

Analyze your home for fall risks and eliminate them. Things

such as loose carpets or rugs, cluttered walkways and unlit hall-

ways should all be addressed. According to the National Council

on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries

for older Americans. In most cases, they can be easily avoided.

Stay up-to-date on immunizations

and screenings

Staying on top of your health is crucial, especially as you age.

Follow your doctor’s orders and receive the immunizations and

life-saving screening schedule they provide to watch for serious

health problems.

Manage stress

Try to limit the amount of stress you put yourself through. Exercising

and meditation have shown to relieve pent-up frustration.

You also should make time to socialize with friends and peers, as

positive thinking has beneficial effects on our health.

Page 10 • Senior Living

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Senior Living • Page 11


The importance of good sleep

AS we age, our bodies

produce less melatonin,

which can lead

to slight disruptions throughout

the night.

However, if you experience


sleep, are tired when you

wake up or experience other

aspects of insomnia, there may

be serious underlying issues.

Learn more information

regarding your sleeping patterns

and if you should visit a

specialist, from the American

Geriatrics Society.

Common sleep

problems for


Problems with sleep can

lead to numerous issues for

older adults. Here are a few of

the most common types they


Insomnia: a condition which

causes you not to fall asleep

when you think you should,

causes you to stay asleep or

gives the feeling you have not

slept enough once you wake


Sleep apnea: a condition

that may cause seniors to stop

breathing during sleep. A lack

of oxygen causes some to

A good night’s sleep

affects much more

than how you feel

the next day. With

age, it’s not uncommon

for sleep habits

to change.

Most seniors notice

they are ready to fall

asleep earlier in the

evening and wake

up at later hours.

wake up gasping for air. This

condition may lead to diseases

such as high blood pressure and

heart conditions.

Restless Leg Syndrome: a

condition that causes people

to repetitively kick their legs

during sleep. While it may not

wake you up, it’s likely your

legs will be sore in the morning

and it will affect your comfort

and ability to rest.

What you can do

Your actions throughout the

day can play a huge role in how

well you sleep. Take the advice

from the group Health in Aging

to set yourself up for a full

night’s rest.

• Avoid caffeine, tobacco

and alcohol in the later part of

the day;

• Eat smaller portions before

bed- time;

• Follow a strict sleep schedule

and routine; and

• Exercise regularly, especially

early in the day.

Reach out for


If you have tried to make

yourself tired and are still

having difficulty sleeping,

visiting a specialist is the

next step. Through tests and

studies, they can find what is

keeping you awake.

They may choose cognitive-behavior-

al therapy,

medical management or

sometimes prescription medicine

to help you get a better

night’s sleep.



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Page 12 • Senior Living





THE Skin Cancer Foundation

reports the odds of developing

skin cancer rise as you


In fact, about 50 percent of Americans

who live to age 65 will have

experienced at least one type of skin


Before enjoying the summer outdoors,

don’t skimp on the sunscreen.

What is skin cancer?

This type of cancer develops in

one of the tissues in the skin. When

caught early, most instances are considered

minor problems and are easily

removed. However, if left unresolved,

they can lead to a fatal disease.

Regular annual checkups are encouraged

by the American Geriatrics

Society. They report that more than 2

million cases of skin cancer are discovered

annually in the United Sates.

There are three common types that

experts look for during examinations.

Basal cell carcinoma: The most

common type in the country, starts in

the outer layer of the skin and slowly

grows in its original location without


Squamous cell cancer: Developed

from flat squamous surfaces on the

skin, it is commonly caused by exposure

from the sun. It’s more likely to

spread than basal cell but chances are

still relatively low; and

Melanoma: This is the most dangerous

form of skin cancer, which

often spreads to important parts of the

body. It occurs by affecting specialized

cells in the skin that produce

melanin. If caught early, 97 percent

of melanomas can be cured, but it

becomes more difficult to treat in later


Protecting yourself

The most important thing to do

to lessen the risk of skin cancer is to

avoid staying out in the sun. When

going out- doors, wear long-sleeved

shirts and pants when temperatures

permit. During sunny days, make sure

to liberally apply sunscreen with a

UPF of 30 or higher on exposed skin.

Don’t forget to reapply sun- screen

after every few hours if you will be

outside for long durations.


If you find yourself diagnosed with

skin cancer, a specialist may offer

different treatment methods based on

its severity.

Sometimes surgical extraction can

be performed to easily remove the

growth. For early cases, an incision

usually eradicates the disease.

However, for more advanced stages,

extensive surgery may be required to

eliminate deeper lesions.

Serious cases which have spread

may require chemo- therapy and

radiation to shrink or eliminate the


Senior Living • Page 13


Flying in


If you are retired or approaching retirement,

you may be planning to do your fair share

of traveling. Sometimes, flying seems like

too much of a chore to entertain, but driving

long distances can be just as difficult. Don’t

let your fear of being uncomfortable in flight

stop you from seeing the world.

HALF the struggle of flying occurs before you even enter

the plane. Navigating huge air- ports while hauling luggage

can take a toll on your body.

Before traveling, consider investing in suitcases with highquality

wheels to make walking more comfortable.

Check out these other helpful tips to enjoy your flight, from the

experts at Parent Giving.

Pre-flight planning

Packing lightly for your flight will lessen the strain you feel

when boarding. Try to show up early so you have plenty of time

to check all your baggage before waiting in line. Only bring along

the necessities you will require while you’re in the air.

You should also wear comfortable clothing and shoes, since

you may expect to be standing in lines for long durations. Don’t

forget to request an aisle seat that provides easy access to the bathroom

and allows you to get up to stretch during a flight.

Bring medication

Remember to bring the medication your body needs to remain

healthy. It’s import- ant to receive a doctor’s note before

your flight as it may raise questions when you are going through


Without a note, you may experience delays or worse, have your

prescriptions confiscated.

It’s also important to pre- pare an in-flight medication schedule,

especially when crossing multiple time zones. You will want to

make sure you stick to your body’s schedule, not what the clock


Travel aids

Sitting still for long periods of time can wreak havoc on our

comfort level. Pack noise-reduction headphones to make the environment

more suitable for a power nap or a peaceful experience to

enjoy a book.

Items to prevent becoming sore include compression stockings,

which can reduce the risk of blood clots if you are on an extremely

long flight.

Bring snacks

Plan for delays or reroutes by bringing a suitable selection of

food. This is especially important if you suffer from a disease like

diabetes or eating is required after taking certain medications.

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Page 14 • Senior Living


Vacation with grandchildren

TAKING your grandchildren with you on a vacation is a

wholesome experience for the entire family. Whether it’s

a cruise, camping trip or visiting an amusement park, the

journey will help build the bond you have.

Plan to bring the little ones along for the adventure of your lives.

If you haven’t spent an extended time alone with your grandchildren,

a trial run before you invest in an expensive trip is important.

Talk with their parents about any nighttime issues their children

may have, such as nightmares, trouble sleeping or incontinence.

While remaining close to home, invite them over for an overnight

or weekend visit.

If all goes well, plan your trip but don’t forget to listen for the

kiddos’ input. This vacation is just as much for them. Here are

some other considerations you should make before leaving for


Follow mom and dad's rules

While you may not be familiar with asking your children for

permission, it’s respectful to ensure you are following wishes

regarding their kids.

Ask about any special instructions they have about their

behavior and how to resolve it. For instance, if a child talks back

or tries to act out, you should know how to keep punishments consistent.

It’s important to have your grandchildren’s respect so they

don’t test their limits and bring this misbehavior home.

Where will you go?

Consider talking with a local travel agent to find a combination

tour tailored to grandparents and their grandchildren. These specialized

trips will give the entire group a chance to socialize with peers

of the same age from all over the world.

Booking a rental property nearby favorite tourist locations is

another good idea. These condos are usually less expensive than

staying at hotels for a few nights, plus they offer enough room to

give everyone their own space.

Camping is another experience to share with your grandchildren.

You can teach them the value of nature and show them useful skills

such as fire building, outdoor cooking and fishing.

What should you bring?

In addition to luggage and supplies you’ll need for your vacation,

you also should bring a few special documents along. Get notarized

letters from the parents giving their permission for you to travel with

the children and one giving permission for you to make decisions

about medical care. You’ll also want copies of the children’s medical

and dental insurance cards.

Hopefully these forms will stay in your suitcase, but it’s best to

be prepared for issues.

Senior Living • Page 15


Continuing to learn

YOU’RE never too old to learn a new skill, take up

a new hobby or even go back to school. Not having

a full-time job opens up your schedule and your

energy level to try something you’ve always wanted to learn.

It’s also a great way to keep your brain active and engaged.

Sign up for a class at

your local college

If you live near a community college or university, see

what classes are available to take for non-degree-seeking

students. Some colleges have community-oriented classes

with a variety of skills, but retirement is also a great opportunity

to take classes you didn’t have time to in college. Sign

up for world history or anthropology courses or take a voice

or music class.

Or, if you’re ready for a major commitment, go back to

school full-time to earn that second bachelor’s degree or sign

up for a graduate program.

Read all the books you can

Now’s your chance to knock out “War and Peace” or that

series you’ve had on your shelf for years. Retirement provides

a great opportunity to spend time reading. You can

join (or start) a book club and explore different genres and

authors. Check out your library for reading groups or lists.

You can also find a group of students to read to.

Find a new hobby

Go to your local senior center and learn a new dance,

take a cooking class or break out an old camera and go to a

photography class. Cities and towns of all sizes have these

gathering places, and in addition to learning something new,

they provide great opportunities to meet new people and find

people with similar interests to yours.

If you can’t go to a senior center or yours doesn’t offer

the classes you want, check out online options. Many groups,

including major universities throughout the world, offer online

courses; there also are companies that offer classes from

the best of the best, including acting from Oscar winners,

photography from professional photographers, cooking from

the best chefs in the world and more.

Alternatively, volunteer to teach a class at your local senior

center, start a quilting or hiking club.

Page 16 • Senior Living




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