Silver Sands

Richard Swift grew up in the era of John Wayne and Gene Autry, cinematic cowboys whose armed antics drove his daydreams. He had a BB gun years before the first whiskers sprouted on his chin. At 12, he got a .22-caliber rifle that he’d lug around the hills and fields of his rural southeastern Pennsylvania burg, shooting targets and learning to hunt.
When a person becomes disabled, it can be a very stressful time in their life. There are many questions and unknowns when you have to transition out of the workforce due to medical issues. While an employer may offer short or long-term disability, most people faced with a disability will file for benefits with Social Security.
When most people begin their career, retirement is the farthest thing from their mind. Instead, they focus on trying to purchase a home, start a family, or perhaps save money for travel. Retirement seems so far away for many younger people that they delay putting aside money. However, it’s very important to save for the future — if you want to enjoy it.
SAN FRANCISCO — Janet Prochazka was active and outspoken, living by herself and working as a special education tutor. Then, in March, a bad fall landed her in the hospital. Doctors cared for her wounds and treated her pneumonia. But Prochazka, 75, didn’t sleep or eat well at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. She became confused and agitated and ultimately contracted a serious stomach infection.
“Let me leave you with one thing,” says Herb Wendroff, who claims to be 116 years old. He pauses to let the gravity gather. “Time is candy and we ate all we bought.” It’s a lyric from an early ‘70s country song, and the last words from one of the last men out the door of a senior center where time ran out. It was the final day that the St. Francis Living Room, a place for homeless and low-income elders in the Tenderloin, could afford to stay open. In the neighbourhood for nearly three decades and at its current spot on Golden Gate Avenue since 2000, it serves some 15,000 meals a year to people over the age of 60.
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