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By Roz Rogoff

71 is the new 70

Uploaded: Jan 23, 2014

Most Americans, and Europeans, are living longer and healthier lives, or at least more cosmetic lives, than their parents and grandparents. Aging seems to have moved at least a decade down. Now 30 is the new 25, 40 is the new 30, 50 is the new 40, and 60 is the new 50. I thought 70 would be the new 65, but Nooo. For me right now, 71 is the new 70 at best.

Yes dear readers as a septuagenarian I can tell you, at least for me if not Jane Fonda (she's 77 now!), 71 is OLD. Once I moved over the line from 69 to 70, and now 71, I is OLD. OLD is no fun. Well maybe it's fun for some seniors but not me or most of my contemporaries. I have several long-time friends who tell me that now they are over 70 they feel their age.

There are all kinds of assistive devices for OLD people. My mother, who just turned 98 and wasn't OLD at 71, uses a rollator now. She's one of the oldest people in her retirement community, but looks younger than many residents ten or more years younger. I visited her last September when she was 97, and when she keeps her teeth in she hardly looks a day over 85.

I bought mother a folding cane because she carries a heavy wooden cane with her on the rollator. She uses it for getting out of a chair or onto a curb. The problem is it sticks out across the rollator and hits things or catches on doorways.

So I bought her a folding cane from the Walgreens in Scarborough, Maine. I thought this would be much easier for her to carry on her rollator and flip open when she needed a cane, but she didn't like it. Flipping it open and folding it back up again was too confusing for her. That's not because of her age. Mother was never very mechanical.

So I took it back to the Scarborough Walgreens. I couldn't find the receipt, so they gave me a credit for it. That was OK since I could use that credit at the Walgreens here in San Ramon. I thought I might get myself one of those folding canes, since my balance isn't so good anymore and I could use a cane for getting up and down from a curb. I thought about keeping the one I bought mother, but it was black and I wanted one in a brighter color.

At the beginning of January I noticed a big Walgreen's ad for Senior Day on January 7th. I thought I saw it in the Contra Costa Times, but I couldn't find it when I looked back through my e-Edition. The e-Edition, which costs $1 a week for a subscription, is a daily online facsimile of the complete hardcopy newspaper.

The ad, where ever I saw it, announced that seniors 65 and over would get a 15% discount on all items purchased on January 7, 2014. That seemed like the perfect time to claim my credit and buy myself a fancy folding cane. The Walgreens in the Lucky shopping center had one in silver with a blue pattern described as "glow in the dark." Perfect!

I bought a lot of other items that day since everything was 15% off. I like Walgreens better than CVS but I hardly ever drive down to the one here. I asked the clerk when they would have another Senior Day. She said to ask the Manager.

I asked the Manager, but he seemed a little doubtful about it. "It's the first Tuesday of the month for now, unless Headquarters changes it." He didn't say "again," but it was implied.

The first Tuesday of next month is February 4th. I'll keep my eyes open for an ad the weekend before or phone the store to see if this will become a monthly event. It is a very good deal for folks like me on a mostly fixed income.