Take a ride with the Whatcom County
Senior Tour Program
Mature adults in the community have numerous opportunities to take advantage of day trips throughout Whatcom County and the region, through the Whatcom County Senior Tour Program.
The group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, and is inviting any outgoing individual interested in travel to join. Future trips include:
� Tulip Cruise on April 14-15 around Friday Harbor, featuring a guided tulip tour with two farm admissions, prepared meals, and a cruise of the islands.
� Shopping at the Morning Sun Factory Outlet in Tacoma and a visit to the Emerald Queen Floating Casino on the Tacoma waterfront for an all you can eat buffet.
� A trip to the Pacific Science Center on April 8 for a space exhibit and lunch.
� An all inclusive cruise to Alaska June 12-19 aboard the Royal Caribbean�s �Radiance of the Seas.�
� Mother�s Day getaway to the Oregon Coast. Travelers will stay on the beach in Lincoln City and enjoy a nearby casino.
� Package of six Seattle Mariner games against teams such as New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox.
Program officials say the costs for these programs have increased, mostly due to wholesalers raising their prices, and the bus costs increasing due to gas costs and driver wages. Anyone interested in signing up, should call the Bellingham Senior Activity Center at 676-1450. All of this information and more is available through the Whatcom County�s Senior Centers� monthly bulletin, available at the Blaine Senior Center.
Hanging up on elder fraud
Every year, Americans lose more than $40 billion to telemarketing fraud. More than half of the victims are over age 50.
Credit card and sweepstakes scams, work-at-home schemes, and advance-fee loans account for most telemarketing cons. To avoid getting stung, know the warning signs of telemarketing fraud: offers for �free� trips and prizes that require you to buy something, attend a sales presentation, or give a credit card number; demands to act immediately for a one-time opportunity; promises of fantastic financial returns or risk-free investing; and requests for your credit card, Social Security or bank account numbers.
For more information, call 1-800-FYI-CALL, the National Center for Victims of Crime Helpline, or visit www.ncvc.org.
Medication: Keeping daily routine error free
For many mature adults, taking medication is part of their daily routine. And the last thing that seniors need is to worry about a medication error. Unfortunately, errors do occur, but they can be prevented through special attention and careful monitoring.
As part of its work in patient safety, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has created a list of tips for seniors and their care givers on how to better manage the medication use process and decrease the risk of medication errors.
� Check the label when you get a prescription to verify that you�re receiving the proper medication. If possible, read back the prescription to your pharmacist or health care provider.
� When possible, keep all medication in original containers.
� Know what to do if you miss a dosage, and always remember to contact your health care provider or pharmacist if you have any doubts.
� Try to fill all prescriptions at the same pharmacy.
� Read the patient information sheet that accompanies your medication.
� Should there be a change in the color size, shape or smell of your medication, notify your pharmacist immediately.
� Do not share or take another person�s medications.
�When in doubt about a medication you are taking, always consult your pharmacist and/or health care provider! And remember to ask about any side effects that you might experience or expect.
� When in the hospital: State your name before taking any medications and always offer your wrist bracelet for identification. Ask the nurse to identify each medication by name before you take it.
If your medication has not been given at its regular time during your hospital stay, inquire of the nurse as to why.
Remind your health care provider if you have any allergies to certain medications and food or if you also have a health condition that could affect the use of certain medications.
� Also remember to tell your health care provider if you are taking any dietary supplements or over-the-counter medications.
� Finally, create a list of all the medications you�re taking.
list should be updated on a monthly basis and a copy should
be kept with you at all times. Also keep copies at your
home and share with family members and friends who need
to know where your personal medication list is located.