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Columns

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Q. It seems like a lot of my friends are watching TV with the volume way up, and accusing everyone of mumbling. How common are hearing problems among seniors?

About one in three Americans over 60 suffers from loss of hearing, which can range from the inability to hear certain voices to deafness.

There are two basic categories of hearing loss. One is caused by damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss is permanent. The second kind occurs when sound can't reach the inner ear. This can be repaired medically or surgically.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Baked Italian Chicken is a simple dinner. Toss everything into one dish, bake and serve.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you know that my mother was an exceptional cook.

Many of the recipes we grew up with were her own creations. Some were from cookbooks or clipped from newspapers or magazines, but those were often tweaked until they met with her approval. We were always happy to be her guinea pigs, and to be honest, I can't remember any flops coming from my mother's kitchen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Q. If you want to control your weight, is it better to eat three meals a day, or should you eat more, smaller meals?

There is no scientifically proven answer to this question. Until there is, I'd suggest simply reducing your total food intake for each day until your weight goes down.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
@$:Banana Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

A few weeks ago, while staring down some ripe bananas, I got a hankering for a banana cupcake with a cooked white icing that a friend used to make.

I searched high and low and could not locate that recipe anywhere. I lost touch with the woman who gave me the recipe about 25 years ago, so there was no way I could follow up and get it again.

I was disappointed but not dissuaded.

I decided to try and recreate the recipe. In that respect, I would have to say I failed. My cupcakes taste nothing like my friend's, but they are delicious.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Q. I don't walk so well anymore and I'm considering getting one of those scooters that I see seniors driving. What do you know about them?

They have become increasingly popular since they were invented in 1968. As more baby boomers hit the market for mobility assistive equipment, we will see more scooters.

There are about 1.7 million in the United States using wheelchairs or scooters. About 90 percent of these people have manual wheelchairs. There are 155,000 using electrically powered wheelchairs, and 142,000 riding scooters.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One of my all time favorites is Caesar Salad.

While the kind served in most restaurants is fine some chopped romaine lettuce topped with a drizzle of creamy "Caesar" dressing and a few sad croutons you can't beat a traditional Caesar Salad, prepared tableside at a fine restaurant.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Q. Are hallucinations reason enough to see a doctor?

Hallucinations can be a symptom of a variety of problems both physical and mental. They can be caused by schizophrenia, dementia, depression, Parkinson's disease, stroke, fever, drugs, and alcohol. You should see a doctor immediately about this symptom.

Visual loss is a common cause of hallucinations, too. About one in 10 people with vision problems has hallucinations. It is suspected that this phenomenon is underreported because victims fear they are losing their minds and don't want their doctors to know.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Oma's Potato Salad

Since the unofficial start of summer has arrived, I am officially declaring "Picnic Season" now open. That means it's time for all of those yummy seasonal staples, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and my all-time favorites potato salad and baked beans.

I have several potato salad recipes, and I enjoy them all, but this version is on the top of my list. It comes from my former mother-in-law, Gerda, who I am blessed to still have in my life.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Q. My daughter heard that grapefruit juice can be toxic for some people. Is that true?

The juice, itself, is not toxic, but you should be careful taking medicine with any grapefruit.

Grapefruit juice can raise the level of some medications in the blood. The effect of grapefruit was discovered after using juice to mask the taste of a medicine. So, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to have grapefruit with your medications.

Taking medicine can be hazardous to your health. You have to know what you're doing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Many years ago, while attempting to double a favorite muffin recipe, I was briefly called away from the kitchen. I can't remember why, but I'm going to assume some child was doing something to bother another child.

When I returned, I picked up where I thought I'd left off. It seems, however, I forgot where I was and ended up changing the amounts on some of the ingredients, but not others.