Entries in Elderly (5)


Four Generations Skydive for Washington Man's 87th Birthday

KOMO/ABC News(TACOMA, Wash.) -- Monty Montgomery had one wish for his 87th birthday. He wanted to go skydiving, and he wanted it to be a four-generation family event.

His family granted his wish. Montgomery's 60-year-old daughter, Donna Haskins, took the leap with him, along with a 38-year-old grandson and a 19-year-old granddaughter in Tacoma, Wash.

It took several years for Montgomery to convince Haskins to take the jump, but he said it was important to him to do it now because he is going blind.

"He has macular degeneration, so he's losing his eyesight, and my son is deploying to Afghanistan in the near future, and he wanted to do it while he could still see and while he grandson was still here," Haskins told ABC News.

Montgomery is blind in his left eye, but still has some vision his right eye.


The group jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet and fell for 8,000 feet before deploying parachutes.

"It was awesome," Haskins said. "When you're doing the free fall, it's like the world was at my feet and the horizon was beautiful, and it just felt very freeing."

Montgomery told ABC News' Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV that he was thrilled to feel the fall, hear the wind, smell and taste the air, but, most of all, that he could see the view.

"He loved it," Haskins said. "He wants to skydive once more."

The adventure was especially meaningful for Montgomery and Haskins, who were reunited seven years ago after a divorce separated them when Haskins was a child.

"I took me a while to just work through all the emotions of the whole thing and I finally contacted him. I called him on the phone and said, 'This is your daughter,'" she said. "We met and we've had many adventures, skydiving being the best."

When Montgomery saw Haskins seven years ago, he told KOMO he "cried like a baby."

"One day I don't have a family and the next day I have beaucoups of them," Montgomery said with a laugh. He is expecting his first great-great-grandchild next spring.

He and his family are relishing all of their time together.

"He's got a very quick wit," Haskins said. "He's very funny and he's a typical man from that generation. He does not like to show emotion, but now as he's around his family and great-grandchildren, he can be very tender and emotional."

The 87-year-old Montgomery is already planning his next big adventure.

"He said that he would like to try bungee jumping," Haskins said. "He walks every day and he lives alone, and he still cooks and takes care of his house. He's just amazing for his age."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


TSA Modifies Screening Procedures for Elderly

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Transportation Security Administration is hoping to give travelers over the age of 75 a more hands-off experience as they pass through airport security.

As part of a pilot program, passengers over age 75 will be allowed to go through what the TSA describes as a modified screening procedure. It means that in many cases they will be allowed to leave their shoes on and take multiple passes through screening machines to reduce the need for pat-downs. For now there will only be one checkpoint at each of the four test airports as the agency vets the program.

The pilot program will begin next week at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Denver International, Orlando International and Portland International.

The TSA has come under criticism in the past for its treatment of elderly passengers. The pilot program is similar to the change the TSA made for those 12 and under and is part of the broader change at the agency towards a more risk-based approach.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Elderly International Jewel Thief, Doris Payne, Wants to Stay in Jail

Kevin Horan/Stone(SAN DIEGO) -- An elderly, international jewel thief is fighting her early release from prison.

Doris Payne, 80, was convicted in January 2011 for stealing a diamond ring from a Macy’s in California worth almost $9,000, according to local affiliate KGTV located in San Diego.

“She doesn’t have anywhere to go, so she’s staying in there,” attorney Gretchen Von Helms told KGTV.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Von Helms receives letters regularly from Payne.  In one letter, Payne described inhaling pepper spray during an inmate fight, resulting in her breathing “harshly.”  She also bragged about a ring she stole in the 1960′s. The wife of baseball star Willie Mays was the prime suspect in the case and mistakenly arrested.

Just last year when Payne was convicted, she fought the five-year sentence.

“I really don’t think you should be that harsh with me.  I am truly sorry this went on as long as it did,” Payne told the judge, who gave her the maximum term, according to KGTV.

Von Helms argued for a three-year sentence, citing the fact her client had serious health problems.

Payne stole jewelry for six decades, reportedly around the world.

“I didn’t start out stealing jewelry,” Payne told KGTV.  “I started out making the salesperson forget it.”

In an interview with ABC News last year, Von Helms said Payne would dress to the nines, try on pieces of jewelry, banter with the clerk and, only after the fact, the clerk would realize a piece was missing.

Von Helms said the case in California was one of mistaken identity.

“She’s had a history of other times where she’s been accused righteously, and also accused falsely,” she said in the interview.  “She has a certain notoriety.”

Payne reportedly had 20 recorded aliases, five Social Security numbers and nine dates of birth on record.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


FEMA Wants Money Back from 73-Year-Old Couple

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- One senator took action against the U.S. Treasury Department Wednesday, telling it to call off the debt collection branch trying to collect $37,000 from an elderly couple.

The Treasury Department seeks money from the Arkansas couple because of what looks like a FEMA mixup. The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the couple $27,000 for damages sustained during a flood in 2008, but three years later, FEMA said it had made a mistake. The letter FEMA sent to the couple said the two were ineligible for the funds they received because their home was located in a Special Flood Hazard Area and their community chose not to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

This March, FEMA demanded the couple pay back every single penny the government had given them within 30 days.

The elderly couple couldn’t do that. So FEMA turned the matter over to the Treasury Department for debt collection, upping the amount due to $37,000 to include late fees and interest.

Seventy-three-year-old Carolyn Guglielmannas sent a handwritten letter to Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., recounting her story and asking for help.

Wednesday morning Pryor took to the Senate floor and put a hold on all Treasury Department nominees until the group agreed to leave the couple alone.

In Arkansas news reports Pryor said this hold would force the Treasury Department to work with him to resolve the case.

The U.S. Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a call or emails.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Census Data Reveals Aging Population

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Women continue to have longer life expectancies than men, but according to new 2010 Census data released Thursday, men are inching towards women as they narrow the gender gap in old age. Technological, healthcare, and policy advancements are providing many Americans with tools to lead longer lives.

In the category of Americans ages 65 and older, the number of men has grown by 21 percent since 2000 while the number of women has increased at a slower pace of 11.2 percent.  In the subgroup of Americans ages 65 to 74, the male-to-female ratio has narrowed.  Women only exceed men by 1.5 million, a drop from 1.8 million in 2000.

Women continue to outnumber men in the United States by 5.18 million, a slight jump from the 5.3 million difference in 2000.  Despite being outnumbered, the number of men in the country increased at a faster rate, growing by 9.9 percent, while the number of women only increased by 9.5 percent.  For every 100 women in the U.S. in 2010, there were 96.7 men.  In 2000, the male-female ratio was 96.3.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio