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Drive Merry, Bright, and Sober This Holiday Season. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

In Dayton Ohio News, Health, Local News on December 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm

XENIA, OH — This holiday season, the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, part of Greene County Public Health is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind all drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. We’ll be working together to remind everyone of the importance of planning a sober ride home before heading out to enjoy the holiday festivities and en route to seasonal travel destinations. This holiday season and every day remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

“The holidays are a special time for every community, and it’s more important than ever for us to stress the importance of safe driving habits,” said Jillian Drew, Safe Communities Coordinator and Health Educator at Greene County Public Health. “We know everyone is rushing around, finishing those last-minute errands and attending various holiday parties. But before you ever head out to the festivities, make sure you plan a sober ride home, because driving drunk should never be an option. Help us spread the message: Even one drink is one drink too many. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

According to NHTSA, 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017, and 29% (10,874) of those fatalities occurred in crashes during which a driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08. In fact, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2017 alone. The holidays prove to be extra dangerous to drivers, as more people — drivers and pedestrians alike — are out on the roads.

Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem, for men and for women alike. If drivers are impaired by any substance — alcohol or other drugs — they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It is illegal in all states to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Remember: Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. It’s that simple.
Drinking and driving should never be combined. It’s essential to plan a sober ride in advance if the holiday celebration will include alcohol. The alternative could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, of pedestrians, or of other drivers and passengers nearby.

This holiday season, the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, Greene County Public Health, and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.

Party with a Plan
First and foremost: Plan ahead. Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll be drinking. If you
plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously — your friends are relying on you.
• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic
beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home
safely.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, report them by calling 1-800-GRAB-DUI or *DUI when it
is safe to do so.
• Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get
your friend home safely.
For more information about the Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving campaign, visit
https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/buzzed-driving-drunkdriving/holiday-season.

For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, call 937-374-5683 or email jdrew@gcph.info.
Greene County Public Health… Your Trusted Local Public Health Authority Since 1920

Jamestown Marketing Firm Produces Video Series Greene County Council On Aging

In Charities, Dayton Ohio News, Health, Local News, Senior Lifestyle on November 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm
Free Legal Chat educational series went live in October and includes a podcast companion.
Xenia, Ohio November 6, 2019Jamestown-based marketing firm, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., has produced a series of informational videos and companion podcasts for the Greene County Council On Aging. Titled, “GCCOA Legal Chat,” each program covers a common legal question affecting seniors and caregivers, ranging from wills and probate to guardianship. The videos are now available free of charge on the GCCOA’s YouTube channel and the audio programs can be found by searching for “Greene County Council on Aging” on most podcast streaming services such as Spotify and Stitcher. Direct Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCseUznkCiXQ_lUMgMQKN-xQ

GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. is a strategic, creative marketing agency founded in 1998 by Gery writer/entrepreneur Gery L. Deer. The firm provides everything from business consulting, public relations and branding to digital marketing, content creation and campaign implementation. The agency expanded in January of 2019 to include in-house audio and video production overseen by Julie Barth, who joined the firm at that time as Media Director.

“I’ve been a caregiver to both my parents over the last decade and I produced these programs with people like me in mind,” said Gery Deer, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. Owner and Creative Director. “The Greene County Council on Aging does a wonderful job helping inform and educate seniors and caregivers and this series is just another in a long history of that commitment.”

The Greene County Council on Aging is a not-for-profit, county-wide organization that promotes independence and quality of life for Greene County senior citizens and caregivers. GCCOA was originally established in 1979 and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Council’s primary funding source is the 1.4 mil Senior Services Levy renewed in 2019.

GCCOA provides a broad range of services and programs, including the Partners in Care (PIC) care management program, the Kinship Navigator Program (for grandparents raising grandchildren and other individuals raising someone else’s child), educational and support programs for caregivers, a caregiver resource center, and service grants to area senior centers and other service providers.

Each video and podcast features GCCOA Benefits Coordinator, Susan Allen, speaking with Attorney Dave Cusack, of Cusack Law Offices in Beavercreek, Ohio. The series was designed to supplement the GCCOA’s live informational sessions to offer valuable the same information to those who are unable to attend in person.

Western Ohio Writers Association Discontinues Operation After 11 Years

In Books, Business, Charities, Dayton Ohio News, Education, Literature, Local News, National News, Uncategorized on August 8, 2019 at 8:58 am

Writing workshops, live reading events to be offered publicly by parent organization

Dayton, Ohio August 8, 2019The executive editorial committee of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) has announced the organization will cease operation as of August 31, 2019. The group will hold a final, private author reading in mid-August to celebrate the successes of its members and provide a platform for one, final event they call “Beatnik Café.” Fee-based workshops and live readings will continue to be offered through the organization’s parent company, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., but will now be open to the public.

About WOWA — From inception in October 2008 through August 2019, the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) was a member-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting writers of all genres throughout the southwestern Ohio region. Through workshops, critique sessions, educational and networking opportunities, WOWA offered writers an outlet for support and creative feedback unmatched in the area.

Writer and entrepreneur, Gery L. Deer, is the co-founder and executive director of WOWA. “While discontinuing the organization was a difficult decision, we are proud of the work we have done over the last decade and,” he said. “Our parent organization, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., will continue to offer fee-based writing and professional workshops previously provided through WOWA.”

Deer explained that the organization has been thriving over the last several years but the increase in expense of operation, time and level of participation has made it difficult to maintain. Many of the educational programs will still be offered through the parent company, at a limited cost, in the near future, without membership fees or obligations.

WOWA’s authors have experienced a variety of successes over the years, from individually published works to some becoming highly-paid, professional authors. In 2013 the organization published an anthology of fiction titled, “Flights of Fiction.” Made up of 11 original short stories by member authors, the book sold more than 200 copies on the first day of its release and is still available from Amazon.com.

For more information on the transition of writing workshops and other services now moving to GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., call 937-902-4857 or email gdeer@gldenterprises.net.

WOWA, Western Ohio Writers Association, and its affiliated logos, icons, and referenced content are trademarks of and copyrighted by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. All rights reserved.

Greene County Performers Headline Wild West Shows at 2019 Annie Oakley Festival

In Business, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Education, history, Local News, Music, National News, State News, Theatre, Uncategorized on July 4, 2019 at 7:48 am

Greenville, OH – Entrepreneur and professional whip artist Gery L. Deer and Xenia thrown weapons expert, Kirk Bass, will lead a full troupe of Wild West arts experts during the 2019 American Western Arts Showcase at the Annie Oakley Festival, July 26 and 27 at the Darke County Fairground in Greenville, Ohio. The event is free and open to the public.

Presented in the spirit of the stage-style Wild West shows of the late 19th Century, each production will include some detailed history about how these arts came to be and who still practices them today. In addition to performing, Gery Deer is also the show’s producer and chief backer.

“This is a one-of-a-kind show in this region,” Deer says. “We have some of the best Wild West arts entertainment anywhere in the Midwest with real practitioners of each skill,” says Deer, who started the event in Jamestown, Ohio, in 2002. “These are talented performers with genuine ability, no fakery, no tricks. Everything you see in our show is real and all of our shows are in 3-D and high definition!”

Champion knife thrower Kirk Bass, of Xenia, Ohio, is co-producer of the event. He and his daring wife Melodee are among the performers to take the open-air stage for a series of western arts perform the suspenseful Bass Blades impalement show, and much more.

Whip marksmanship competitions headline the afternoon show beginning with the Whip Speed and Accuracy Exhibition Competition, the world’s first Bullwhip Fast Draw contest. Plus, there is a brand new contest taken straight from the big screen.

The Masked Man will make an appearance on Saturday during the contest events from Noon – 2 PM!

In the spirit of Dr. Jones’ proficiency, this year’s Showcase competition will include a special “blind fast draw,” where whip artists must mimic the move used in the film to turn, draw their holstered whip and shoot at a target with speed and accuracy. In 1981, a fedora-wearing, leather-clad archaeologist threw the crack heard round the world when he “whipped” a pistol from the hand of a jungle guide. At the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Indiana Jones demonstrated his skills with the holstered fast-draw of a 10-foot bullwhip, all while having to spin around to take aim first. Watch a video clip!

“With the popularity of Indiana Jones among western performers, particularly whip artists, it’s odd this hasn’t been done before,” says Deer, who holds multiple, national whip speed and accuracy titles and is the director of The Whip Artistry Studio, the only permanent whip training facility in America. Contests begin at 1 p.m., followed immediately by a matinee performance at 2PM and evening show at 5PM.

The event is sponsored by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., The Whip Artistry Studio and the Annie Oakley Festival Committee. All performances are family friendly and presented on the grounds of the Annie Oakley Festival. For links to the festival and sneak previews of the performers plus more information go online to ohiowesternarts.org.

Production video from a few years ago showing some of the event.

 

GLD Enterprises Communications, LLC celebrates 21 years with new services and additional staff

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, finances, Local News, News Media, psychology, Uncategorized on April 4, 2019 at 10:09 am

April 3, 2019, Jamestown, Ohio – GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. of Jamestown, Ohio, has announced the expansion of their company with the addition of a new principal staffer and additional services. The firm’s announcements come as it celebrates 21 years in business.

Julie Barth, Director of Digital Media Communication

Founded in March of 1998, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., is a marketing communications agency specializing in strategic marketing, copywriting, public relations, and creative development. The company’s CEO and founder is a lifelong entrepreneur, advertising award-winner and Pulitzer-nominated freelance journalist, Gery L. Deer.

To deepen the professional bench, Julie Barth has joined the agency as a partner in the role of Director of Digital Media Communication (Media Director). Her primary duties focus on audio and video development and production, media relations, digital content, and social media.

Originally from New Jersey, Barth earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Heidelberg University and recently graduated from the International College of Broadcasting in Dayton with a degree in Audio and Video production. She also supports some of the firm’s business development activities and represents them as a member of the leadership team of the Huber Heights chapter of the H7 Network business referral organization.

Because of the founder’s background, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. strengths have always been in the creation of marcom content for clients. Therefore, in addition to traditional communications and PR services, the agency’s expansion includes audio-visual production, such as promotional videos and podcasting services, and a unique, highly successful audience-centric content marketing approach called, “HEO ™,” which stands for Human Engagement Optimization™.

“We are excited about this next chapter in the firm’s evolution,” said Deer. “Most advertisers are trying to reach people, not search engines. After all, who is it that buys their products or services? Google? No, it’s people. We develop content for our clients to engage with the human being on the other side of the screen.”

According to Deer, over the years, GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. has gone through many changes including name and focus. “We’re always learning, always adjusting to the needs of our clients and the market,” Deer said. “To stay stagnant is to go out of business, and how will that help the dozens of clients who depend on us? We will continue to evolve.”

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.gldenterprises.net, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

WordPress Conference, WordCamp, Returns To Dayton May 18-19

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Education, Local News, Media, Technology, Uncategorized on May 3, 2018 at 3:20 pm

Dayton, Ohio, May 3, 2018 – The WordPress developer conference, WordCamp, returns to Dayton on May 18-19, 2018, as a two-day event packed with workshops, speakers and hands-on training for WordPress users of all skill levels. It will be held at a new location this year — the newly renovated Dayton Metro Library downtown. It is such a beautiful facility! General Admission tickets for both days are just $40!

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system for development of websites. The WordCamp conference is an informal, community-organized event that is put together by WordPress users. Everyone from casual users to core developers participates, shares ideas and gets to know each other.

The first WordCamp was organized in San Francisco by Matt Mullenweg in 2006. Since then, local communities around the world have organized over three hundred WordCamps, and we anticipate that number will pass a thousand within the next couple of years.

The tone and content of each WordCamp are unique based on the local communities that produce them, but in general, WordCamps include sessions on how to use WordPress more effectively, beginning plugin and theme development, advanced techniques, security, and marketing.

WordCamps are attended by people ranging from blogging newbies to professional WordPress developers and consultants, and usually combine scheduled programming with unconference sessions and other activities. For more information on common WordCamp elements, read about what to expect at a WordCamp. For more information or to order tickets, visit http://2018.dayton.wordcamp.org

Good Night, and Good Luck. The final installment of “Deer In Headlines.”

In Dayton Ohio News, Health, Home Improvement, Local News, News Media, Opinion, psychology, sociology, Uncategorized on May 2, 2018 at 12:32 pm

This edition of Deer In Headlines marks if you’ll pardon the dramatics, the end of an era, at least for me. The question I’ve been asked most often since announcing the end of the series is, “So what will you do now?”

Let me start by saying while an important part of my work over the last decade, this column is not all I’ve been doing, not by a longshot. I’ve run an ad agency, written thousands of published pieces on everything from public relations to marketing, and given lectures and workshops about the media and writing all around the region. I’ve covered a lot of ground and struggled with how best to say goodbye and then it occurred to me.

It has always been my goal to have readers to take something useful from my writings and I don’t want this final installment to be any different. Since it represents several hours a week in research and writing, in the hope of having a positive influence on the thoughts and lives of anyone I can reach, leaving this column behind is a big change for me.

For some people, change is the enemy, it throws them off their game and causes chaos and, for much of my life, it was the same for me. But in recent years, change has become more of a companion that walks through life with me, always nudging me in the side to never be complacent or stagnant either in my actions or my convictions.

We may not like it, but change is the natural order of things. Nothing stays the same for very long. As they say, “to everything there is a season,” and rather than fighting those changes, we should embrace them. It’s not easy, but it makes life more interesting and far less stressful.

It’s easy to see how change affects people in simple ways, like when a child graduates from high school or you move to a new town. We get caught up in happiness and sadness all at the same time, it twists our emotions and forces us to face new challenges and differences in our day-to-day lives. Of course, there are negative changes too, and we have to take the good with the bad. That’s just life.

We grow accustomed to how things are in our world and we’re thrown when it alters. We all know that person who has to have a cup of coffee at a certain time of day, with a specific amount of sugar, or just the right drop of cream. If those kinds of things aren’t met with an exacting order, he or she cannot function. The more flexible you are, the more enjoyable your life. Otherwise, you’re in a constant state of stress.

With that, I’ll take you back to the question of what I will be doing next. It is definitely a time of even more change for me. I’ve recently accepted a position as vice president of communications and public relations with a social internet company. That and caring for my father takes up most of my work time, but I have other projects as well.

I’m still doing television and writing for the print and online media from time to time. I’m concentrating my writing time on my fitness blog, The Old Nerd in The Gym (www.oldnerdinthegym.com). I’m hoping my work helps others who are new to fitness and more healthy living.

Life goes on and new challenges await. I’m just getting started. And that’s how you should feel today too. Treat every day as bringing new opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve, regardless of how great or small the accomplishment and embrace that change! Your future isn’t written yet, so get out there and make it a good one!

With that, it’s time for Deer In Headlines to pass into the newspaper archives. Thank you for indulging me every week and, whether you agreed with me or not, I hope you got something useful or insightful from my ramblings. So, I’ll borrow a classic sign off from a news hero of mine, Edward R. Murrow, and simply say Good Night, and Good Luck.

Rounding up a decade of Deer In Headlines

In Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, Local News, News Media, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Technology, Uncategorized on April 16, 2018 at 8:12 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

I wasn’t quite sure how to start this week’s edition except to just come out with it. The week of April 30, 2018, will be the final print edition of Deer In Headlines. After 10 years, it’s time for me to focus on something new. I greatly appreciate the loyalty of my readers and the opposing views and letters of praise I’ve received over the years. If just one person each week looked at the world just a little differently and appreciated anything new, I’ve accomplished my goal.

I started this column to offer my readers a look at subjects from all sides, rarely giving a hint of my personal opinion, although it was evident when I chose for it to be.  But today clear, logical viewpoints no longer have value. People seem to listen only to blowhards, the ignorant, and people who would rather spew hate than kindness. That’s why I have decided to focus on more positive projects, out of the public eye.

This is not a decision I’ve come to lightly, in fact, I have waivered numerous times in my deliberations about it. Over the last decade, I’ve offered a look at politics, religion, education, science, family, and even given you a glimpse into my personal life as I cared for my parents.

We live in volatile times and some have argued that now is when we need a clearer, more rational voice in the media. They may be right, but mine is simply not loud enough to be heard above all the noise of anger, fear, and ignorance out there.

There is a lot of negativity out there and I have worked hard to bring you thoughtful content. I’ve always hoped you’d take away something from the effort, even if, especially if, you didn’t agree with me.

I’ve always said I like to surround myself with smart people who disagree with me because it means I am forced to examine my own convictions, and I hope I’ve done that for you from time to time. If you’ve enjoyed my work, thank you. I appreciate your time and loyalty. If you haven’t, then I’m not sure why you’re even reading this, but, thank you anyway.

For more than 500 editions and in some 360,000 words, I have shared my observations of the world around us. I’ve found that most people are good and decent and try to do their best to improve the world around them. I’ve also seen some ugly things in researching these pieces, information I kind of wish I had never learned. As they say, ignorance is bliss, but I’m afraid I don’t operate that way.

I will continue my work quietly, however, in the background, making a difference by other means. I serve on charitable boards of directors, care for my family, and work to affect change in more concrete ways.

The world is a mess and our country is too, but I can’t do anything about it in the rail column of a newspaper because the people who could make a difference simply don’t want to listen. Still, as ugly as it can seem at times, the world is also a beautiful place, one of a kind – a spinning ball of life making its way around the sun, year after year, as our galaxy moves through the vast emptiness of space.

It was here millions of years before us, and it’ll be here millions of years after we’ve gone. We are but renters and if I were the landlord, I wouldn’t give back the deposit. But that’s a discussion for another time.

As you can see, I’m not done with my opinions quite yet and there are two editions to go. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be summing up the last decade in a look back at a few of my predictions for politics, newsmakers, and various other areas I’ve touched on over the years. I hope you’ll join me in these last editions, and thank you again.

Remote work builds community, grows revenue

In Business, Economy, Education, finances, Jobs, Local News, National News, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on February 26, 2018 at 10:22 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

As an entrepreneur, I have founded and grown three businesses over the last two decades. Each of them was started from my home office and eventually moved to another building, but still on my home properly.

When I first became an independent professional and started my own company, there was a stigma attached to “working from home.” For some reason, what we now refer to as remote workers were seen as less professional than our cubicle-bound counterparts.

Today, remote work, whether it’s from home or your favorite café, is becoming more common and better accepted by the business world. Remote workers are found in a variety of industries from journalism and finance to business coaching to insurance.

For all of that, however, there are essentially just two categories of remote worker. The first type, we used to call “telecommuters,” or people who are employed by a company which allows them to work from home or other off-site location.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 43 percent of all American employees work remotely at least some of the time. The survey found that workers who spent up to 80 percent of time outside the office had the highest rates of engagement. They were more productive and reported greater job satisfaction.

The remote work support informational website, Remote.com, noted also that remote workers exhibit lower stress and better morale. It also noted a lower rate of absenteeism.

The second type of remote worker is the independent professional, or what most people would commonly refer to as a freelancer. Many freelancers, like myself and other writers or consultants, are almost totally nomadic, needing only a computer and a Wi-Fi connection to be productive.

In the past, most “freelancers” were expected to be writers, photographers, artists, and the like. But today, independent, remote workers come from a variety of market sectors. Coding, for example, is more commonly a remote job. Coders develop websites, create apps, and work in areas like cybersecurity.

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of remote work, either to a corporate employer or a freelancer, is significantly reduced overhead. For a freelancer, setting up an office could be impractical, operationally and financially. Large companies with off-site staff can save millions of dollars a year in real estate, utilities, and other overhead costs.

Another benefit to working outside the corporate maze is potential interaction with a larger business community and the collaboration that can result from those connections. Many independents and corporate remotes are getting together at co-working meetup events, giving them the opportunity to network and collaborate.

As much social as it is professional, the experience allows those workers who might spend a great deal of the time working alone to build a community. Plus, there are also opportunities for a more formalized co-working environment.

Co-share workspaces have cropped up around the country offering remote workers a member-based workspace and the chance to exchange ideas and projects with others. These spaces charge memberships that come with various amenities that could be as little as a desk space or multi-employee workspaces, with many different types of independent professional under one roof.

If you’re a business owner with jobs to fill that don’t necessarily require the employee to be on-site all the time, consider hiring a remote worker. Remote and independent professionals are the ideal self-starter, typically efficient time managers, and are less likely to contribute to high turnover.

You won’t be sorry, and it’s the future of work. Embracing it now and developing policies and procedures will put your business light-years ahead of everyone else. Flexibility can greatly encourage productivity and increase profits.

For remote professionals looking for a co-working community, just visit Meetup.com and search on “Dayton co-working.” Most of the activities are free of charge, except for whatever refreshments you might purchase on your own. Or visit deerinheadlines.com for some links to local co-working activities scheduled throughout the area.

 

REMOTE WORK RESOURCES:

Co-Working Meetup / Yellow Springs: https://www.meetup.com/Creative-Pros-Collaborative/

Job Postings: https://weworkremotely.com/

Working Remotely (Twitter): https://twitter.com/workingrem

Resources for Full-Time Freelancers: https://www.themuse.com/advice/every-resource-a-fulltime-freelancer-could-ever-need-plus-some

Business Consulting / Coaching for Remote Workers & Freelancers: http://www.gldenterprises.net

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at gerydeer.com

Living Longer vs. Living Better

In Children and Family, Health, Local News, Opinion, psychology, Science, Senior Lifestyle, State News, Technology, Uncategorized on December 26, 2017 at 8:07 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

Modern medicine is an incredible thing, with breakthroughs almost daily that range from simple treatments for common ailments to advanced organ transplants. Through those great medical innovations, the lifespan of the average person is now well into the 80s, with better living through chemistry, or so they want us to believe.

But while we treat one area of illness another continues to progress making it seem like we’re falling apart in little pieces. Where we once just dropped dead from something simple like a heart attack, now it seems we deteriorate bit by bit, with each component of our bodies being held together by a separate roll of medical duct tape.

Think of it this way. We take a pill for blood thinning so we don’t have a clot and get a stroke or heart attack. We take a pill for diabetes to keep our glucose levels down. But at the same time, our mind is intact, with virtually no deterioration. Or maybe it’s the opposite, Alzheimer’s shreds the mind while the body is still healthy. Eventually, the body follows in decay since the Alzheimer’s begins to affect how the nervous system functions.

Thanks to modern science, we’re living longer than ever, but I wouldn’t call it healthier or with much of a quality of life. There’s something to be said for just having the lights go out all at once. One of the most horrific things I have had to endure is watching my mother’s mind go as her body still functioned reasonably well. Or what might be worse, having an active, clear mind trapped in a degenerating body that refuses to follow the brain’s instructions any longer.

At what point are we living too long for our own good and quality of life? Can medical science develop a plan to help the entire body and mind maintain the same or reasonably similar level of health for as long as possible? I don’t think that’s really possible.

So, here we are, a pill for this and a potion for that, all in the name of better living through chemistry. Granted, much of what’s wrong with us is their our doing – smoking, drinking, sugar, fat, it goes on and on. Personal responsibility as one ages should at least be taken into account here. We are what we eat, and boy, it’s a mess.

Formaldehyde and chemicals in our water, the carcinogenic material in our meat, pesticides in our vegetables, super-sized everything at the fast food counter, vaping (yeah, like that’s not smoking, whatever). It’s all killing us. But don’t worry, there’s a pill to counteract the effects of all that, so don’t worry about it.

Isn’t it idiotic, though, how much of what happens to us as we age is our own fault? We’re getting older, but we’re sicker when we live longer. When we won’t take care of ourselves even in the short term, someone else has to pay for that later on.

Last year, for example, obesity-related illness cost Americans nearly $200 billion and treating sickness related to smoking cost more than $300 billion. But wait, there’s more! Excessive use of alcohol costs Americans $249 billion.

Fighting obesity is sadly not as simple as trading a cheeseburger for a celery stick. It takes a full and complete lifestyle overhaul that may require generations to affect a family line. But you can totally prevent alcohol and tobacco illness by never lighting up or popping open that cold one.

Addiction may be a disease, but even that is 100-percent preventable because that first drink or smoke is a choice. A penny toward prevention is worth billions toward a cure.

Well, some of this we have control over, some we don’t. It’s so hard to imagine how people can just not care about their own well-being and how that affects those around them. As we age, we need more help from others. Wouldn’t it be great if that burden were just a little easier on our loved ones?

Yes, we’re living longer. But, despite what the big pharmaceutical company advertisements tell you, the quality of that long life is not measured in milligram doses.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at gerydeer.com