Marriage in Arizona is now constitutionally defined as one man and one woman. But for most who live long enough, it will eventually turn into one man or one woman.
Nearly always for these, one will die first. Or both will divorce.
Either way, for the surviving senior, it means a life alone. And all of the things, large and small, that he or she did for you, you now have to do yourself.
Except that in many cases, he or she never showed you how, Tim Delaney said.
Delaney produces shows for Scottsdale's CityCable Channel 11. What began as an eight-minute segment on a show called "Senior Spotlight" received something that municipal TV channels don't get much of: viewer response.
Once that segment aired about a month ago, Delaney said that older Scottsdale residents were calling and writing about how much they benefited from being shown how to cook a basic meal that doesn't come out of a box or that you don't order from your car window.
Realizing that they were on a roll of sorts, the folks at Channel 11 have now made that segment into a half-hour program of its own.
After discarding "Suddenly Single" as too depressing, the working title Channel 11 has given the program is "Just for You," although Delaney said he and his colleagues are trying to come up with another with some more zing to it.
Last week, Delaney and his crew were shooting the first 30-minute show (seen Wednesdays this month at 12:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.) at the Via Linda Senior Center. Host and city recreation coordinator Kira Peters and cook Noreen Roman were showing viewers how to prepare a baked chicken dinner with potatoes, onions and roasted garlic (it was delicious).
Seniors at the center, many who are already fans of the program, walked by inhaling the yummy smells coming from the oven.
One of them, disabled veteran Roger Fieldhouse, 77, of Scottsdale said with his high-cholesterol and high-triglycerides counts, he tries to eat healthy food as much as possible.
But the Wisconsin native - "I love cheese" - said that's not easy.
"Every summer, my diet goes to hell," Fieldhouse said. "You can't eat at restaurants and find things that are real good for you."
Betty Leonelli, 71, of Scottsdale, said she's seen the show a few times. People who don't like to cook need to learn, she said.
"We need it here," Leonelli said of the program.
Delaney said upcoming segments will include learning tasks that for many of us sound quite simple, but quite daunting for many seniors whose spouses had always handled them: separating clothes for the laundry, filling one's car with gasoline via self-service and balancing a checkbook, for example.
Seniors who aren't quite as independent as "Just for You's" intended audience will soon be able to benefit from the return of Scottsdale's only adult day care facility, city officials said.
When rising costs led the Foundation for Senior Living to close the previous facility at Park Scottsdale at Granite Reef Road and McDonald Drive in July 2007, the adult children of about 50 clients were forced to transport their loved ones to FSL's nearest facilities in north Phoenix or south Tempe, each quite a distance away.
Early next year, FSL and the Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services will share renovated quarters at the old downtown Senior Center at 7375 E. Second St., city human services coordinator Sharon Light-Stephenson said.
The city has been repainting and refitting the building's exterior - including gravel and awnings, separate utility meters and smoke and burglar alarms - while each of the two organizations will be responsible for work on the inside, Light-Stephenson said. The remodeling will include grading concrete sidewalks to be in line with Americans With Disabilities Act requirements, she said.
The location is a "premier site" for seniors needing adult day care because of its proximity to so many other services, amenities and places to recreate, said FSL real estate services director Steve Hastings.
"It's so convenient to shopping, museums, the ballfield (Scottsdale Stadium), library, the outpatient therapy at Scottsdale Healthcare," Hastings said.
Permits should be pulled by mid-November for interior work such as moving walls, adding restrooms and showers, Hastings said, that would begin near the end of the month. If everything goes smoothly, FSL officials hope to open their new adult day care center in late January or early February, he said.
A city cable TV show or a day care facility won't solve every challenge a senior faces. Getting old, it is often observed, isn't for sissies.
But that doesn't mean that even the tough and determined can't benefit from the help and support of a generous community that should be grateful for the contributions of its oldest residents.
Read Mark Scarp's blog, Scarpsdale, at http://blogs.evtrib.com.
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