Staying at Home in Montgomery County

Thank you for "Stay-at-Home Elders" [Aug. 2] on new ways to help seniors stay independent and age in place. I would like to mention that the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington operates five NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) programs in our community. These programs and services go by the name Community Partners, which is part of the national NORC network and is housed in five apartment buildings in Montgomery County: University Towers, Silver Spring; The Forum, Rockville; Grosvenor Park I, Rockville; The Pavilion, Rockville; Congressional Towers, Rockville. For information on these local NORCs, contact Community Partners at 301-348-7341.

The local NORC programming is funded by federal and state grants, with matching funds provided by the Jewish Federation.

Beth Shapiro

Director, Community Partners

Rockville

The Joys of Living Long

Two of your Aug. 2 Aging Well articles, "Joy or Pain" and "Lean Plate Club" [Aug. 2], struck a chord.

Last year, my 82-year-old mother suffered a series of ischemic strokes resulting in cognitive, organizational and physical deficits, including left-side weakness. After her strokes, the seemingly simple tasks of lifting herself out of a chair or car have become no small feat. It was belief that her decades of everyday strength and muscle mass building have contributed to her ability to literally lift herself up and keep on moving. After physical and occupational therapy, I am happy to report that she was able to join her classmates at her 60th college reunion, where a parade of younger graduates cheered the older graduates on, toured, on foot, River Farm's spectacular gardens, and climbed the steps of the bishop's home at the National Cathedral to join the 4th of July fireworks celebration. Thanks to your articles I can quote the science behind my beliefs to help maintain encouragement.

Ann Mahony

Kensington

Norman Cousins said it decades ago: Laughter helps you stay young! I have had multiple sclerosis since 1955 and have used a wheelchair for mobility since 1975. I smile and laugh a lot. Next January I will be 74 years young, but I don't act my age.

Frank W. Uhlmann, PhD

Washington

The Aging Well special section was great. I just wanted to inform you and the public about two extremely beneficial forms of movement that will keep the body healthy and young. I am a physical therapist, gyrotonic instructor and Pilates instructor and I primarily use gyrotonic and Pilates to teach people how to use their bodies correctly. If you form good habits with posture, daily movement and exercise when you are young, you will stay young for many more years. Posture is the key to staying young. Kelly Evans Bradley

Washington

Let's Stick to Medical Matters

Dr. Abbott's remarks about the spiritual dimensions of reiki [Interactions, Aug. 2] would have been hilarious if they were not so offensive. It might be best if he restricted his remarks to areas in which he has been trained -- to his medical specialty, perhaps, or to evangelical Christianity if he wishes. Or perhaps it would be best if the Health section restricted the contents of published letters to those actually dealing with medical issues, and not dire warnings about the blasphemous nature of certain medical practices.

If Jews had to avoid all medical practitioners who might call upon entities to whom making entreaties would be, for us, blasphemous, we would not be able to visit any Protestant practitioners, any Catholic practitioners and certainly not any evangelical practitioners. Dr. Abbott's knowledge of Jewish teachings is clearly limited, and it would serve all of us better if he would refrain from making comments as to what health practices might be against teachings of a faith other than his own, or at least if the Post would leave such speculation out of the Health section.

Marla Brin

Alexandria