The Consumer Vision

            November/December, 2012

Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746

Telephone: 508-994-4972

Web Site:

Email Address:

Publisher: Bob Branco

Editor: Janet Marcley

CD Production: Allen Hensel

CD Reader: Bob Zeida

Email Production: Bob Branco and Janet Marcley

Braille Production: Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library

Print Production: Alpha Graphics

Board of Directors: Clement Beaulieu, Darryl Breffe, Steve Brown, Lauren Casey, Dan Germano, Bob Hachey, Allen Hensel, Alan Soule and Gail Teixeira

Note: For searching purposes, three asterisks (***) have been inserted just before the beginning of each new article or section.

Table of Contents:

Blind Poised to See in Bionic Eye Drive for 285 Million

Braille is the Word

Blind People More Likely to Suffer from Light-Related Sleep Disorder

Buying a Home, Townhouse or Condominium while Visually Impaired

Massachusetts Agency Goes Too Far with Independence

Important Notice from a Reader

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News: November is American Diabetes Month

Computer Addiction in the Workplace

To Whom It May Concern

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News: Healthy Foods Under $1

Chocolate Cakes

Consumer Vision Trivia Contest


            Blind Poised to See in Bionic Eye Drive for 285 Million.

by Jason Gale and Natasha Khan

September 6, 2012

Jeanette Pritchard slides a brain onto the table and points to the area where scientists will implant 600 tiny electrodes to produce bionic vision. The wobbly white organ is a silicon replica of the human one a 60-strong team of researchers at Melbourne's Monash University is trying to rewire, sending electrical impulses directly to the region creating visual percepts  the brain's interpretation of the nerve signals it would receive from a functioning eye. Their device will be tested in animals later this year before the first human studies in 2014.

Across town, doctors at the University of Melbourne are taking a different tack, developing an implant to sit at the rear of the eye and do the work for damaged retinas. Both groups are in a race to capture the market for bionic vision, offering hope to the world's 285 million blind or partially sighted people.

The Melbourne teams may have an edge: expertise in stimulating the brain in the city that produced the top-selling bionic ear and made a $4 billion company of maker Cochlear Ltd. (COH).

"As far as we're aware, we're at around similar stages to all of the other groups - certainly not too far behind and, if anything, a little bit ahead," said Pritchard, Monash Vision Group's general manager.

No Steve Austin

Almost four decades after bionic implants created the fictional Six Million Dollar Man, scientists are far from being able to replicate a fully functioning human eye, let alone the one with zoom and infrared capabilities of Steve Austin, Lee Majors' character in the 1970s television show. The most advanced attempts have produced pixilated images in monochrome.

Besides the two groups in Melbourne, Second Sight Medical Products Inc., based in Sylmar, California, and Retina Implant AG, based in Reutlingen, Germany, are among as many as 20 groups worldwide trying to reproduce vision that's closer to that enjoyed by sighted people. Most research utilizes retinal implants, relying on still-functioning components of the visual sensory system, including the optical nerve.

By acting directly on the brain, Monash Vision's device will counter all causes of blindness, except those resulting from damage to the visual cortex  where the percepts are formed. The group devised the approach three years ago for the project, which has a budget of about A$15 million ($15 million).

It entails surgically implanting more than a dozen 8-millimeter-square tiles  each about a quarter of the size of a thumbnail  into the visual cortex, located at the back of the brain. Each tile contains 45 electrodes that will penetrate about 2 millimeters into the surface of the brain.

The tiles also contain a microchip and wireless receiver to convey signals delivered from a mobile-phone-sized computer that relays compressed visual data from a camera worn by the user. The device will have modes for navigation, detecting people and gauging the proximity of objects, said Arthur Lowery, director of Monash Vision Group.

 In the Race

Researchers are testing the tiles in animals for safety and biocompatibility and are studying their function in rats, said Jeffrey Rosenfeld, head of neurosurgery at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, who will lead the team implanting the Monash device. Studies in primates will start later this year, he said.

"We're in the race and are confident we'll produce a commercial device," Rosenfeld said in an interview. "Whether it will be as successful as the cochlear device, who knows. It's at the forefront of Australian technological design, but it's also at the world's forefront of new technology."

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Even among the groups developing bionic prostheses for the retina, there are differences in approaches. The team at the University of Melbourne, known as Bionic Vision Australia, has implanted its device behind the eye in an area known as the super-choroidal space. Their prototype, carrying 24 electrodes on a thin silicon sheet, has been put in three patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa, an inherited condition affecting about one in 4,000 people in the U.S.

The first recipient, Dianne Ashworth, described seeing flashes of light when the electrodes were stimulated by a computer connected to a wire attachment behind her ear.

"It was amazing," Ashworth said in an August 30 statement. "Every time there was stimulation, there was a different shape that appeared in front of my eye."

Ashworth's response to the stimulation was "vital," said Penny Allen, who led a surgical team implanting the prototype at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

Right Assumption

"The fact we are getting visual stimulation from the device in that position means that we are right in our assumption," Allen said. "We believe it will be stable there long term, and that's very important in any prosthesis."

Ashworth's surgery took four-and-a-half hours. It involved removing some muscle around the eye so the eyeball could be rolled over and the device placed behind the retina. Once fitted, the muscle was stitched back on. The third surgery took just over three hours, indicating the technique may be less taxing than some approaches that have taken as long as 12 hours, she said.

Researchers will work with the recipients over the next 12 months to determine exactly what they perceive each time the retina is stimulated. They're looking for consistency of shapes, brightness, size and location of flashes, to determine how the brain interprets the information, said Rob Shepherd, director of the Bionics Institute, which designed, built and tested the early prototype.

The next stage of development will incorporate an external camera from which messages will be sent to the device behind the eye. The scientists aim to produce a wide-view implant with 98 electrodes, producing vision with about as many pixels, and a high-acuity model with 1,024 electrodes that might enable users to read large-font text, Shepherd said. By early 2016, he expects the devices to be used in a large-scale patient study.

Recognizing Faces

"All these patients really want is facial recognition," he said. "That's potentially possible with a high-resolution device." A more achievable target is a device that enhances mobility, enabling users to  walk through doors, see large objects,' " he said.

Shepherd, who is also professor of medical bionics at the University of Melbourne, was a member of the team that developed the cochlear implant in the 1970s. At the time, scientists weren't aware of the brain's ability to reorganize its neural pathways in response to the hearing device, so amplifying its benefit, he said.

"We called it an aid to lip-reading," Shepherd said. "But now, children as young as six months are using them and people are using them with mobile phones and in noisy environments."

Second Sight, co-founded by rival cochlear implant pioneer Alfred E. Mann, began selling its Argus II device in Europe in October. Some patients have been using the implant for more than five years, said Brian Mech, vice-president of business development.

Beer Glasses

The device typically takes two-to-three hours to fit, with users able to detect faces  though not recognize them  and read large-text font, he said in an e-mail. "Most significant gains are in the areas of orientation and mobility," he said.

Another approach is used by Retina Implant, whose device has 1,500 electrodes that convert light entering the eye into electrical energy, relying on intact nerves inside the retina to relay information via the optical nerve to the brain.

It takes about eight hours to fit the implant, which lets users identify and locate objects like beer glasses, cutlery or bananas, Walter Wrobel, the company's chief executive officer, said via e-mail. Users can also read four-to-five-centimeter letters from a distance of about half a meter, he said.

While the teams in Melbourne are playing catch-up with more advanced products, it's not a prospect that fazes Allen.

"If we have a surgical procedure that is safe and readily reproducible, then you don't really need to be first," she said. "You actually want to be better."

Source URL:

| Table of Contents |


            Braille is the Word

by Bob Branco

In 1965, nearly 48 years ago, I was introduced to Braille for the first time, probably unaware of how valuable it would be for the rest of my life. Though I had usable vision during my school years, I didn't have enough to read printed text, so I depended on Braille for reading, writing, math, computer operating, and other necessary tasks. During my young adult life, I slowly lost any usable vision I previously had, so Braille became my world. I had to transfer most of my labels into Braille, which were in very bold print.

Although modern technology for the blind is in direct competition with Braille, I still feel the need to depend on Braille as my main reference point. Braille pages, unlike data in a computer, will not crash or be lost, unless I personally lose them or throw them out. If I'm doing a job, and my computer crashes, I have to think about what we all used to do in the old days in order to get by. For example, I have nearly 3,000 email addresses in my Braille files which I keep in reserve in case anything happens to my computerized address book.

Despite all the wonderful advantages Braille offers, nearly 80% of the blind population are not familiar with it. This is a sad state of affairs. Despite the stat, nearly every student at the Perkins School in the 1970s who didn't have enough usable vision learned Braille.

When I was in elementary school 45 years ago, Braille tutors would spend an hour a day teaching the blind. Today, this type of tutoring is usually part of a preexisting criteria in order to become a special-needs instructor. With that said, I believe, with my experience, I can teach Braille to anybody who wants to learn, blind or sighted. I have had great success in the past teaching this very practical method of reading and writing, and I would be proud to continue doing it. Braille will never get old, despite all the new efficient ways that the blind can get their work done.

| Table of Contents |


            Buying a Home, Townhouse or Condominium while Visually Impaired

by John Justice 

The conditions for buying a home of any kind are ideal at this time (October 2012). The mortgage rates are low and the real estate market is still recovering from the disaster which occurred approximately four years ago. Buying a home can be a daunting and even frightening experience for those who are visually impaired.

Before we begin this article, definitions are in order. A home can be a free-standing house, a townhouse or row home, or a condominium.  But what is the difference?

The free-standing home is individual in every respect but it carries a great deal of responsibility and purchasing one can be expensive. If a family owns a home, then they are responsible for making any repairs which will inevitably become necessary. This might include roofing, siding, repair or replacement of the heating system and water heaters. The care of the property, including mowing the lawn, trimming trees, clearing snow, is the responsibility of the owner.  

A townhouse or row home requires a more detailed description.  These homes are built in rows from two, up to as many as twenty. With the exception of the end properties, each townhouse shares a common wall with the one on either side of it. Each unit has its own utility system including heat, water, electricity, gas or oil. In most cases, the buyer is responsible for all maintenance within his particular unit and the association takes care of repairs to common areas. The buyer might pay an  Association Fee,  billed on a monthly or quarterly basis. That association fee pays for services such as trash removal, snow removal and other services performed for common areas not included in the purchased home.

The buyer purchases the individual unit, the attached yard and parking area. He is responsible for snow removal and lawn care within that specified area. These townhouses can be quite extensive and often run to several floors. The fenced in yards, where available, share common fence lines with neighbors on either side of the home itself. In the suburban Philadelphia area, the price ranges from about $180,000 to upwards of $400,000 or more, depending on the size and extent of the accommodations.

Each of the townhouses in a particular set are usually exactly the same in design. Most have a living room, dining area, eat-in kitchen and a rear patio. There is usually a bathroom on the main floor but it is often what is referred to as a powder room, a small room containing a sink and commode only. The second floor contains the bedrooms and a full-sized bathroom with a tub shower.

The walls are well insulated and are fitted with fire protection which prevents flames from spreading from home to home. 

The condominium is usually an apartment building. The buyer purchases the use of a particular unit but never really owns the property at all. In a condominium, some utilities such as electricity are billed individually but things like heat and hot water are common to the entire building. Depending on the type of structure, the buyer pays a fee and then continues paying a monthly charge which supports the building' s maintenance. Things like snow removal and lawn care are not an issue since these buildings have grounds which are common to all of the residents. Parking is assigned to each unit and its use is often strictly controlled.

Which type of accommodation is best for a visually impaired individual or family? That decision is based on what each person needs to make his or her life comfortable. Condominium living is much more simple but offers less privacy to the residents. Townhouse purchases tend to cost somewhat less than an individual home but still offer some of the private space many people need. The first decision has to be what kind of home is preferred. 

The next decision should be whether or not the person can afford the choice which has been made.

The third decision must be where the home should be located. For visually impaired people, the proximity to transportation and shopping should be paramount.

Many visually impaired people throughout the world have made a decision to rent rather than buy because the responsibility for maintaining the property is never an issue for them. If something needs attention, the management office or landlord is called and the repairs are made at no expense to the renter. This is the way it was done until recently. Today, a renter might be held responsible for all maintenance except for major structural or equipment/appliance replacement.

But what happens when the landlord decides to sell? Apartment dwellers can often continue living in their home without a problem other than increased rent or changes in maintenance rules. The only thing that might impact an apartment renter is the conversion of rented property to condominium status. When that occurs, a complete overhaul of the building might be planned. The renter might be given the opportunity to  buy his apartment or he might be ordered to vacate the premises so that the facelift can be undertaken.

If the family has been renting a home for years, the sudden notice could be devastating. If the renter has a lease, in most states, he or she is protected from this kind of interference by the terms of the lease. Any new owner must honor those terms for as long as they last but is under no obligation to renew the lease, once the specified term ends.  If the renter has been converted to a month-to-month status, the family has to try to find another place to live and is often given as little as sixty days to do it.

Many landlords will  under-rent their property in order to use it as a tax shelter. When a property is sold which has been rented at lower than the going rate for that kind of accommodation, the lessee will find that locating a similar property might be difficult and finding one at the same monthly rate might be virtually impossible. When a new landlord is deciding how much rent he will charge, in many states, the amount of increase is limited to a certain percentage of the total rent. Other states place no limit at all on rent increases, which means that a new owner can raise the rent as high as the market will allow. 

The rental of other apartments in the area has a direct effect on what anyone can and will pay for a particular unit.  

The Details of Purchase

When considering purchasing a new home, a down payment is the first and often most difficult challenge to overcome. At best, the new owner must be able to invest at least 3.5% of the total value in the form of a down payment. That kind of mortgage is handled by the Federal Housing Administration or FHA. A more traditional mortgage, which often allows for better rates, expects at least 20% in a down payment; if the house is valued at $200,000, for example, the down payment would be $40,000. But it doesn' t end there. The term  settlement cost is often heard when buying a house. Settlement costs include things like inspection fees, appraisal costs, initial tax payments, reimbursements to the present owner for fees accumulated during the transitional period, etc. etc.  In actual fact, the new buyer will need something like $46,000 at the time of purchase. At one time, first-time buyers could get approximately $10,000 in reduced charges through a Federal program, which no longer exists.  That special project was abandoned during the real estate crash of 2008.

There are several things a blind buyer can do to protect himself against making the wrong decision.

1.     Always buy through a reputable real estate broker. A person or agency like that will know much more about what is right or wrong about any potential property. 

2.     Find and appoint someone to act on your behalf through a power of attorney. A notary public will be necessary to make this process legal but it is well worth the additional expense. The designated power of attorney can read necessary documents, explain terms and conditions and even sign the immense piles of documents required for any mortgage application. 

3.     Never ever buy a house without having it inspected by a qualified professional. A home inspection can cost $400 or more but having full knowledge of a home' s problems can often make the difference between buying the house and walking away. 

4.     You will probably only be able to do this once so do not compromise on what you want in a home. The only time you might have to readjust your parameters would be when what you want is more than you can afford.  

5.     Keep your special needs as a visually impaired person in the foreground of any decision. If your real estate agent or banker doesn' t understand those special requirements, it is your responsibility to educate them. In order to get what you want, you must clearly state what you need.  

Buying a house is not for everyone. Maintaining your own home will require a high level of ability, which could be especially challenging for someone with visual impairment. Do what you can but do not attempt something you don' t understand. There are times when it is safer to contact a professional.

There is no crime in renting instead of buying but there is no greater joy than coming home to your own house. Whatever you decide, be well prepared. Learn as much as you can about any property for sale or rent before attempting to make any decision.   

John and Linda Justice

with Guide Dogs Jake and Zachary

personal e-mail:

| Table of Contents |


            Important Notice from a Reader

This is in response to Teri Winaught' s article in the September/October Consumer Vision about the Kindle.

I am writing to inform you that the link posted to the petition is broken and it comes up with a webpage-that-cannot-be-found error. This was the page where the petition could be signed, asking the Author' s Guild to accept some kind of non-discriminatory compromise to make the Kindle accessible. I would not buy any of Amazon' s products until this issue is resolved and urge other blind users to do the same and recommend boycotting any Kindle devices until the Author' s Guild either accepts the compromise of a registration code to unblock text-to-speech when the reader has purchased the book through the Kindle, or the two major blind organizations, NFB and ACB, take a class-action suit against Amazon and the Author' s Guild. 

On a more important issue, I also urge the readers to press the major blind groups to stand up to the pharmacy industry by way of a class-action suit to let them know that it is our right to have accessible prescription labels attached to our medication bottles. Also, meantime, I urge readers of your magazine to call En-Vision America at 1 800 890-1180 and find out what pharmacies are offering the script-talk services and to switch to an insurance company that uses that pharmacy, either by home delivery or by some other means. This way, we can stand up to the big pharmacy corporations and let them know we are demanding our right by way of boycott. The small business pharmacies are doing it. I use one out in New York called New Utrecht Pharmacy and where I am on part D Medicare, and using Aetna, which has the New Utrecht pharmacy in their network, I can get most of my prescriptions on audible format using the script-talk system. If we all do this together, we can drown out the big guys, and maybe even force these major blind advocacy organizations and the Independent Living Centers in this Commonwealth of ours to take a class-action suit to get the job done.

Sincerely Yours,

Brian J. Coppola

| Table of Contents |


            Blind People More Likely to Suffer from Light-Related Sleep Disorder

            Alyssa A. Botelho

            From The Washington Post, Monday August 06, 2012,  Blind people often find it hard to align their sleep-wake cycle with 24-hour day

WASHINGTON  Melanie Brunson, who has been blind since birth, suddenly awoke and found herself standing at 15th and K streets in Northwest Washington. She had stopped at the corner on her way home from work to await a safe time to cross and had dozed off. Even on awakening, she was so groggy she couldn't focus well enough to hear passing cars and judge when it was safe to cross.

The incident was a startling reminder of the sleep problems that had plagued her since birth. "Who knows how long I had been standing there," she said. "I realized then that my safety was in jeopardy, and I began searching for remedies with a vengeance."

But years after that 2005 traffic scare and many subsequent visits to doctors and sleep clinics, Brunson still lies awake in bed night after night and then is desperately sleepy during the day.

Although doctors have not definitively identified her disorder, researchers believe she suffers from non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder, or "non-24." The chronic and little-known sleep condition is characterized by a body clock that is not aligned with a 24-hour day.

Though non-24 can affect those with normal vision, it is especially prevalent among blind people who cannot sense light, the strongest environmental signal that synchronizes the brain's sleep-wake pattern to the 24-hour cycle of the Earth day.

According to the preliminary results of an ongoing clinical trial that were released earlier this summer, of the estimated 65,000 to 95,000 blind people in the United States who have sleep complaints, up to 70 percent might suffer from non-24.

"It is a devastating condition ... because you are trying to keep a job and a social life while your body's internal clock is competing against the 24-hour outside world," said Harvard neuroscientist Steven Lockley, who is one of the principal investigators of the clinical trial.

It was Lockley who told Brunson about non-24 at a meeting of the American Council of the Blind (ACB).

"My boss at the time, who had been hearing about my sleep problems for years, dragged me by the arm to Dr. Lockley and demanded, 'Fix her!'" Brunson said.

With that introduction, Brunson, who is now the executive director of the ACB, enrolled as a participant in one of Lockley's early studies on sleep disorders of the blind. After working with his team, she learned that her body clock ran on a cycle longer than 24 hours.

The human body clock consists of an intricate network of chemical and electrical signals controlled by two rice-grain-size structures deep in the brain. Most people's internal clock runs slightly longer than 24 hours.  However, among sighted people, the clock is reset each day by light-sensing cells in the eyes that signal to the brain that it is daytime.

For the blind, this reset mechanism fails. The resulting symptoms are similar to those experienced by sighted people who chronically disrupt their light cycle by shift work or travel across time zones.

Here is how it works: In theory, a blind person with an internal body clock of 24.5 hours may feel ready to fall asleep at 10:30 p.m. on Monday but not be able to fall asleep until 11 p.m. on Tuesday. This cycle is unrelenting, making those affected want to fall asleep later and later each day.

For Brunson, the waves of disturbed sleep typically occur in three- or four-week episodes of insomnia that cause her to wake up between 1 and 2 in the morning, regardless of when she goes to bed.

Jack Mendez, a 35-year-old information technology professional who learned last year that he has non-24, often finds himself awaking between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., unable to fall back to sleep. On the evening that he spoke with a Post reporter, he had been awake since 3 in the morning.

Some who suffer from non-24 have found limited relief through treatment with synthetic versions of the hormone melatonin, which works to drag forward the body clock's reset time by providing a chemical pulse to the brain that signals nighttime. Synthetic doses of melatonin help alleviate Brunson's non-24, but the treatment does not work at all for Mendez. "It gives me nightmares and cold sweats, and I feel hung over the next day," he said.

Shuttled from doctor to doctor as a child, Mendez has been prescribed everything from sleeping pills to psychotropic drugs. Thus far, he has found no treatments that help. He praises his fiancée for her patience in tolerating their often opposite sleeping schedules.

There are no FDA-approved medications to treat non-24. However, the ongoing clinical trial has advanced from screening participants for non-24 to testing a candidate drug called tasimelteon. The drug, which is intended to treat non-24 and other circadian rhythm sleep disorders, is being developed by Washington, D.C.,-based Vanda Pharmaceuticals.

Vanda scientists hope that tasimelteon, which has a similar molecular structure to melatonin, will have superior beneficial effects. Synthetic melatonin itself is classified as a dietary supplement.

Northwestern University professor Phyllis Zee, a neuroscientist and sleep specialist who was not involved in Vanda's research, said that tasimelteon's long-term effects remain unclear, but at the very least the trial is valuable in raising awareness about and creating a better understanding of the condition. "Most physicians and blind patients are unfamiliar with non-24, and a large-scale study of the totally blind is crucial in developing criteria for diagnosis," she said.

Although Brunson and Mendez both participated in the screening phase of the tasimelteon trial, neither of them chose to take the drug because they were wary of its impact on job performance and its interactions with other medications. But Mendez, who is at the Louisiana Center for the Blind finishing a nine-month training program that will help him travel and work more independently, plans to rejoin the trial and try tasimelteon after his course ends. "The training has helped me learn to think about blindness as just a characteristic, not as a thing that consumes my life," he said. "Of course, a good sleep helps with that thinking, too."

| Table of Contents |


            Massachusetts Agency Goes Too Far with Independence

by Bob Branco

Based on the title of this article, you might assume that I feel there's a limit to how independent someone with a disability should be.  On the contrary, I promote independence, but not if the client's well-being is at stake.

In Massachusetts, there is a government agency that has money available for clients to pay for their own care givers. It is the client's job to hire his own workers, give them time sheets, and pay them according to the number of hours they work every two weeks, as long as they work within the number of care-giver hours the client is allowed based on the original evaluation of his home environment by the agency. Furthermore, the agency has no influence over the type of care giver the client hires.  The client is asked to be the boss, and hire and fire according to performance. Some clients put ads in the newspaper, while others use the buddy system in order to network for qualified help.

While I understand the agency's point when it encourages the client to pick and choose his own care givers, there is a dangerous downside to this process. I know many clients of this agency who have hired care givers who turned out to be very questionable individuals. Some of the workers do drugs, others drink, others steel from the home, and others quit on the client without giving a fair amount of notice, even to the point where the care giver walks out on the job in the middle of bathing a client.

The agency's reaction is that this is very unfortunate, and that the client should use better judgment next time he hires a care giver. My problem is that we're talking about the privacy of the client's home and of his personal anatomy. If I, God forbid, was incapacitated to the point where I needed personal care, I would never hire a stranger off the street to take care of me in my home, no matter how great the interview was. After all, there are people who are so anxious to make money that they will try to impress you for several weeks, and then, consciously or not, show their true colors. I would prefer a care giver who is certified by an agency, or someone who is a friend or loved one.

At times, clients of this agency are very successful when hiring care givers, but I've heard way too many stories to the contrary to feel comfortable with this agency's policy. Just last week, a care giver who was hired by a client of this agency died of a drug overdose. I don't have to tell you what a care giver, or anyone for that matter, is capable of doing in order to support a drug habit. You would think that this agency has this in mind while allowing their clients to use their own judgment when looking for workers off the street, and then paying them with government money to boot.

The agency will offer guidance to the client on how to conduct an interview, but I am still not satisfied, because we're not all perfect judges. This agency is best suited if they screen people to be quality care givers, and have the list available to any client who requests help.  The client can still give the workers time sheets in order to get paid.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

| Table of Contents |


            Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

            From the desk of Kimberly Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN

November 2012 

November is American Diabetes Month  It' s important to know your risk factors! To find out if you are at risk, give yourself one point for every YES Answer.

1.  My close relative has diabetes (parents and/or siblings)

2.  I weigh at least 20% more than my ideal body weight

3.  I often feel thirsty

4.  I wake up to urinate two times or more every night

5.  I am tired most of the time

6.  I have unexplained weight loss

7.  I have pain, numbness or tingling in my feet

8.  I sometimes experience blurred vision

9.  I am of Native American, Hispanic, Asian, or African-American descent

10. I have high blood pressure (over 140/90)

11. I have elevated levels of cholesterol (over 200 mg/dl) or triglycerides (over 150 mg/dl)

12. I am a woman who has had a history of diabetes during pregnancy, or more than one baby weighing over 9lbs. at birth

A score of 3 or more indicates a recommendation for a fasting blood glucose test. It may be a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor. 

Facts About Diabetes

·    About 24 million people have diabetes.

·    Since 1987, the death rate due to diabetes as increased by 45%, while the death rates due to cancer, heart disease, and stroke have declined.

·    Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

·    Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.

·    Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure.

Sources: American Diabetes Association,

Coastline Elderly Nutrition News.

Contact me with any questions at (508) 999-6400 x194 or


| Table of Contents |


            Computer Addiction in the Work Place

by Bob Branco

Thirty years ago, companies operated exclusively by paper work.  The workers would get the job done to everyone's satisfaction, and customer service was humane and friendly. I am not implying that we don't receive quality customer service today, but with the invasion of the computer, automation has taken over humanity in many ways.

Thirty years ago, you could ask a human telephone operator to give you any number you want just by dialing three digits. Today, we have to go through an obstacle course to get the same results. If you want to ask your local Cable Television provider a simple question on the phone, you practically have to go around the world five times to get the answer.  And, believe it or not, there have been times when I have had to wait for service because the office computer broke down, and the workers didn't know what to do. 

Doesn't anyone remember what they had to do before the computer existed? Are we so hooked on this machine that older methods aren't thought of any more? The work was done, and there were no problems whatsoever. Today, it's the end of the world if, God forbid, your computer crashes while on the job. In many cases, it is obvious to me that office management doesn't seem to encourage the continued use of old-fashioned methods in case something happens to the computer, because, after all, the customer needs to be pleased in order for the business to succeed. If I am forced to wait a half hour for service at a bank because of computer failure, I won't go any more. The tellers should be able to do their job anyway without interruption.

Computers are great, but in the first place, they are fallible machines, and they only do what humans tell them to do. If the human makes a mistake, the computer won't do the proper job.

As long as we have trees in this world, there is no excuse for offices not to use paper, so let's continue to use it when it' s necessary, and let's not tell the customer that he needs to wait because the computer isn't working.

| Table of Contents |


Please forward to your readers

To Whom It May Concern:  

Dr. Eloise Monzillo, Adjunct Professor at Hunter College, is requesting a person that can transcribe audio tapes into manuscript.  

Dr. Monzillo is working on a self-directed project. The project is on the recordings (audio tapes) from a number of Dora Kunz's lectures/workshops sessions from the 1980s (On Healing and Therapeutic Touch). 

Dr. Monzillo states that  Throughout the years of being present and recording her lectures, I have a number of tapes which I would like transcribed. My project is to trend her narrative, identifying themes and perhaps write a paper or two on her teachings.

There are a total of about 25 tapes. They are anywhere for 30 -45 minutes. 

If anyone is interested in assisting Dr. Eloise Monzillo in this special project please contact her at the information below:

Dr. Eloise Monzillo


Phone: 973-571-9828  


Wilman Antonio Navarreto, MSEd.

Academic/Vocational Counselor     

| Table of Contents |


            Coastline Elderly Nutrition News

            From the desk of Kimberly Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN

December 2012 

Healthy Foods Under $1

With the holidays upon us, it can be a very expensive time for us. Thankfully you can continue to eat healthfully without killing your budget. 

Check out these 10 Healthy Foods Under $1

1.  Lentils (about $1.49 per pound or $0.11 per ¼-cup dry serving): Lentils provide 3 grams of fiber per ½-cup serving. Plus, they are rich in folic acid and vitamin B6 and are a great vegetarian source of iron. Serve them with a good source of vitamin C, like tomato, red pepper, or a squeeze of lemon, to make the iron more absorbable.

2.  Kiwis (about $0.50 each): Kiwis are packed with nutrients such as fiber, vitamins C and E, and potassium. They also contain the phytonutrient lutein, which can help protect your eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts. Leave on the fuzzy brown skin to increase your intake of fiber and vitamin C.

3.  Canned Salmon (about $4.89 per 14.75-oz can or $0.90 per 2-oz serving): Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to help reduce inflammation and the risk of heart attacks.

4.  Bananas (about $0.45 each): Bananas are rich in fiber, vitamins C and B6, and, most notably, potassium, a mineral known to control blood pressure. One medium banana contains more than 400 milligrams of potassium.

5.  Oatmeal (about $4 per 42-oz can or $0.18 per ½-cup dry serving): This unassuming breakfast option contains soluble fiber, which may help lower cholesterol and consequently the risk of heart disease. For a quick breakfast, cover ½ cup oats with 1 percent milk or soymilk and place in the fridge. In the morning, top with your choice of grated fruit, nuts, or ground flaxseed and drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey.

6.  Brown Rice (about $1.99 per pound or $0.18 per ¼-cup dry serving) It has more fiber and therefore a lower glycemic index than white rice, so it will give you a steadier level of energy. 

7.  Navel Oranges (about $0.84 each): These citrus fruits are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and folate, which can help prevent neural-tube birth defects. Look for the best ones from mid-fall to early summer.

8.  Baby Carrots (about $1.45 per pound or $0.27 per 3-oz serving): These easy-to-eat vegetables are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A. This vitamin promotes eye health and gives the immune system a boost.

9.  Popcorn ($3.49 per 9-oz box or $0.39 per 1-oz serving): Plain air-popped popcorn is a great whole-grain snack that adds up to only 30 calories per cup.

10. Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans ($1.19 per 15.5-oz can or $0.31 per ½-cup serving): Chickpeas are low in fat, high in fiber, and a great plant-based source of protein. Chickpeas have approximately 5 grams of protein per S! cup, almost as much as 1 ounce of meat. Rinse and drain chickpeas to decrease sodium content and add to salads for a hearty dish. 


Coastline Elderly Nutrition News.

Contact me with any questions at (508) 999-6400 x194 or


| Table of Contents |


            Chocolate cakes

by Karen Crowder

On my birthdays, Mom would prepare delicious chocolate cake.

It is an intoxicating smell permeating our home.

Mom said I could only have one or two pieces of this tender light cake with divinely smooth frosting.

At seventeen, she made irresistibly chocolaty fudge frosting; I wished to have more than one piece that special night.

The cakes from restaurants never matched Mom's cake, made with love,

I tried but could not master her skill at making chocolate cake.

I left it to mixes hoping to reproduce what Mom had made.

It was after I was married I became brave I tried

succeeding in making chocolate and yellow cake from scratch.

Guests always ask for a recipe.

I succeeded in making frosting irresistibly divine, good.

The Hershey chocolate or mayonnaise cake recipes were favorites among guests,

The easy chocolate sour cream frosting or new fudge frosting my favorites.  

Today I do not have the ambition to make those wonderful cakes.

If someone requests it or if I know about a birthday, the motivation is there.

Cakes from mixes or supermarkets cannot match the indescribable flavor.

The whipped frosting has you asking, "Where is the chocolate?

Homemade dark chocolate or yellow cakes made with thoughtfulness and love exceeds anything else.


If asked I will also make delicious fudge frosting thinking of Mom..    

| Table of Contents |


            Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the September/October Consumer Vision.

The number-one hit song from 1989 that ends with the singer wondering,  That' s the end? was  Miss You Much by Janet Jackson.

There were no winners.

And now, here is your trivia question for the November/December Consumer Vision: Name the cat that Archie and Edith Bunker had before  All In the Family was a TV series. If you know the answer, please email or call 508-994-4972.