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The Savvy Senior    by Jim Miller order for
Savvy Senior
by Jim Miller
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Jim Miller developed the concept of 'savvy senior' after the death of his parents. In his grief, Miller took a temporary position in a retirement community. He submitted a question and answer (Q&A) column for seniors to a local newspaper. This has grown to syndicated coverage in 400 newspapers, and led to the writing of The Savvy Senior. This exceptional reference guide for seniors and their families covers 'AARP through Zee' and, as some would say, everything from Soup to Nuts. It begins with a subtitled list of contents for quick-page reference. Within the main sections (such as Health, Social Security, and Medicare), the reader is introduced to an organized breakdown of pertinent information and resources.

The concept's success lies in its subject matter, which is timely for today's growing numbers in the senior community. Miller offers a golden treasure trove of information for the Golden Years and, for that matter, the Silver as well. If the information seeker has access to a computer, all the better, but it is not necessary. The author provides names, toll-free telephone numbers, and telephone directory yellow pages references with contact information and descriptions of agencies in local and national, public and private sectors. Helpful devices for daily living are listed, including pillboxes with alarms, eye magnifiers for television and computer screens, and vibrating alarm clocks to place under your pillow.

Of vital interest are sections on utility payment plans and discounted rates, long-term-care 'Ombudsmen', the 'Appeals' process for Social Security and Medicare claims, and names of organizations such as 'Experience Works'. The aforementioned are only a few of the areas unknown to me until I read Miller's book. If the truckload of information becomes overwhelming for some readers, I recommend that a friend or relative assist in breaking it down to fit the individual's immediate needs. While many resources mentioned (and issues like Medicaire claims and Social Security appeals) are specific to the United States, the book's general topics (like coping with visiting grandchildren and avoiding telemarketing fraud) are universal.

The Savvy Senior provides an all-in-one reference guide for seniors in an easy-to-use format. I recommend Miller's book as a major contribution to resource material -- a book which belongs in every home (certainly every U.S. home), and a reference that will never grow old!

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