Insights and Ideas – More Info

deciding to stay or move icon  DECIDING TO STAY OR MOVE


Creating Aging-Friendly Communities book coverCreating Aging-Friendly Communities by Andrew Scharlach and Amanda Lehning Creating Aging-Friendly Communities (CAFC) examines the need to redesign America’s communities to respond to the realities of our rapidly aging society. The text focuses on the interface between individuals and their environments, and the ways in which communities can enhance individual and community well-being. What differentiates CAFC from other books is its breadth of focus, its comprehensive and evidence-based consideration of key concepts, its inclusion of social as well as physical infrastructure characteristics, and its intensive examination of models of community change for fostering aging-friendliness.



senior woman kissing another's handRebecca Mead: New Ways to Care for People with Dementia An Arizona nursing home offers new ways to care for people with dementia. Beatitudes aims at offering dementia patients—“people who have trouble thinking”—a comfortable decline instead of imposing a medical model of care, which seeks to defer death through escalating interventions – The New Yorker

forget me not flowers16 Things I Would Want If I Get Dementia Honestly, there are many things that scare me much more than dementia does. Don’t get me wrong: dementia is a terrible group of diseases. I’ve been fortunate, however, to see many of the beautiful moments that people with dementia can experience. Just in case I do get dementia, I’ve written a list of rules I’d like to live by.  – The Alzheimers Reading Room

  health tips icon HEALTH TIPS


Senior woman looking through medicine cabinetHow to Organize Your Medicine for Safety and Convenience  A discombobulated mess of expired medicines, old prescriptions and a scattered array of Band-Aids and other first aid items, medicine cabinets are notoriously disorganized. You’ll want to ready yourself and your family for whatever may arise and that means having medicine and health equipment organized and accessible. Don’t miss these quick medicine cabinet cleaning tips. –

hoarding icon  HOARDING


woman and her clutter Is Your Loved One Hoarding? If your loved one is hoarding, you may be desperate for ideas about how to help. You probably have already figured out that trying to reason with the person or throwing away excess possessions isn’t effective, and may actually have exacerbated the issue.  – Psychology Today

shelves full of cansTreating People Who Hoard: What Works for Clients & Families  Popular “intervention” TV shows have begun dramatizing the clutter associated with hoarding: newspapers piled from floor to ceiling, clothes and linens stacked on furniture, stuff everywhere with only a narrow path to walk through a house. Extreme cases—where stray animals are packed into a small apartment or so many items have been accumulated that floors collapse—illustrate the severity of some instances of hoarding. – Social Work Today

Other organizations

other cultures icon OTHER CULTURES


new ramp for elder native americanHousing for Native American Elders  Over time, these situations are improving, but it’s one household at a time. This makes me grateful for NRC’s home improvement service.  Each summer we provide major home improvement or build modest housing for several Navajo Elders and Elders on other reservations when the homes they are living in or put life or health at risk.  – Partnership with Native Americans

student with seniorsDutch nursing home offers rent-free housing to students A nursing home in the Netherlands allows university students to live rent-free alongside the elderly residents, as part of a project aimed at warding off the negative effects of aging. In exchange for small, rent-free apartments, the Humanitas retirement home in Deventer, Netherlands, requires students to spend at least 30 hours per month acting as “good neighbors.” PBS News Hour

3 Babayagas womenThe Babayagas’ house, a feminist alternative to old people’s homes, opens in Paris It’s been 15 years in the making but the Babayagas’ House, a name taken from Slavic mythology meaning “witch”, has just been inaugurated in Montreuil, on the east side of Paris. It’s a self-managed social housing project devised and run by a community of dynamic female senior citizens who want to keep their independence but live communally. France – RFI

Norwegian senior womanNorway ranked best country for elders; U.S. makes No. 8 No country takes better care of its seniors than Norway, where those over 60 enjoy social security bankrolled by the nation’s oil wealth and are well represented in politics and the workplace, a global study on aging reported this week. By contrast, the worst place in the world to grow old is Afghanistan, where per capita GDP is a mere $1,100 and life expectancy only 50 years.— San Francisco Chronicle

Mayor Naomichi SuzukiAging Japanese Town Bets on a Young Mayor  Most young people have already fled this city of empty streets and shuttered schools, whose bankrupt local government collapsed under the twin burdens of debt and demographics that are slowly afflicting the rest of Japan. Now, Yubari, a former coal-mining town on Japan’s northernmost main island, Hokkaido, is hoping an unlikely savior can reverse its long decline: a 31-year-old rookie mayor who has come to symbolize the struggle confronting young Japanese in the world’s most graying and indebted nation. —The New York Times

Film & Television

World getting super aged at scary speed The world is graying at a break-neck pace and that’s bad news for the global economy. By 2020, 13 countries will be “super-aged” — with more than 20% of the population over 65. That number will rise to 34 nations by 2030. Only three qualify now: Germany, Italy and Japan. “Demographic transition … is now upon us,” warn Elena Duggar and Madhavi Bokil, the authors of the Moody’s report. “The unprecedented pace of aging will have a significant negative effect on economic growth over the next two decades across all regions.” – CNN Money

elderly hispanic womenAs Hispanic population explodes in the U.S. so too will their need for long-term care By 2060, nearly one in three U.S. residents will be Hispanic. That population is expected to more than double from the current 53 million to nearly 129 million. And as a group, Hispanics are projected to make up more than a fifth of the 65+ U.S. population by 2060.  PBS


The World Until Yesterday book cover The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond This is Jared Diamond’s most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others. Diamond doesn’t romanticize traditional societies—after all, we are shocked by some of their practices—but he finds that their solutions to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. Provocative, enlightening, and entertaining, The World Until Yesterday is an essential and fascinating read.

The Blue Zones Solution- Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People book coverThe Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner In this groundbreaking book, Dan Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as “Blue Zones”—those places with the world’s longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people, including locations such as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way by Dan Buettner What makes us happy? It’s not wealth, youth, beauty, or intelligence, says Dan Buettner. In fact, most of us have the keys within our grasp. Circling the globe to study the world’s happiest populations, Buettner has spotted several common principles that can unlock the doors to true contentment with our lives.

Two Old Women, An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival book coverTwo Old Women, An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival by Velma Wallis Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska. this is suspenseful. shocking. ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute. they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail. Velma Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women. she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal. friendship. community. and forgiveness speaks straight to the heart with clarity. sweetness. and wisdom ( Ursula K. Le Guin).

parents icon  PARENTS


son with elderly fatherWhat Do We ‘Owe’ Our Parents? More magazine conducted a nationwide survey of 751 men and women 18 and older with the hopes of giving some definition and parameters to this situation. If you could reduce the findings to one sentence, it would be that most Americans (81 percent) plan to help care for their aging parents. That’s the good news. But the not-so-good news is that more than a quarter said they didn’t know what was involved or how to plan for it –  Next Avenue

senior balck man recieves care from black caregiverTake time to find the right home for aging loved ones Who would like to have good company, good food and a safe, affordable, attractive, lively place to live? Count me in – at any time of life. This seems particularly important as I grow older. What about you and your parents? You or they may eventually be faced with the question: Where is the best place for me or my parents to live? – SF Gate

3 Mantras Every Caregiver Needs3 Mantras Every Caregiver Needs It’s a good idea to remember that no matter how much planning you do, there’s no substitute for experience. Research is important but it’s overrated as a predictor of success.— Anne Tumlinson,


Bittersweet Season book coverBittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents — and Ourselves  by Jane Gross The longtime New York Times expert on the subject of elderly care and the founder of the New Old Age blog shares her frustrating, heartbreaking, enlightening, and ultimately redemptive journey, providing us along the way with valuable information that she wishes she had known earlier.

  When the Time Comes- Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions book coverWhen the Time Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions by Paula Span What will you do when you get the call that a loved one has had a heart attack or a stroke? Or when you realize that a family member is too frail to live alone but too healthy for a nursing home? Journalist Paula Span shares the resonant narratives of several families who faced these questions. Each family contemplates the alternatives in elder care (from assisted living to multigenerational living to home care, nursing care, and at the end, hospice care) and chooses the right path for its needs. Span writes about the families’ emotional challenges, their practical discoveries, and the good news that some of them find a situation that has worked for them and their loved ones. And many find joy in the duty of caring for an older loved one.  

statistics and information iconSTATS & INFO


elderly mother and childResearch Network on an Aging Society This research network brings together scholars who are conducting a broad-based analysis of how to help the nation prepare for the challenges and opportunities posed by an aging society. Research focuses on how major societal institutions, including retirement, housing and labor markets, government and families, will have to change to support the emergence of a productive, equitable aging society. – The MacArthur Foundation


Population Reference Bureau logoAging in America In 2011, the oldest baby boomers—Americans born between 1946 and 1964—will start to turn 65. Today, 40 million people in the United States are ages 65 and older, but this number is projected to more than double to 89 million by 2050. Although the “oldest old”—those ages 85 and older—represent only 15 percent of the population ages 65 and older today, their numbers are projected to rise rapidly over the next 40 years By 2050, the oldest old will number 19 million, over one-fifth of the total population ages 65 and older. – Population Reference Bureau

thoughts about the end icon  THOUGHTS ABOUT THE END


sketch of elderly womanZen and the Art of Dying Well According to the National Institute of Health, 5 percent of the most seriously ill Americans account for more than 50 percent of health care spending, with most costs incurred in the last year of life in hospital settings. Economists call this a “cure at all cost” attitude. And in the next 25 years, longer life spans and the aging of baby boomers are expected to double the number of Americans 65 years or older, to about 72 million. What if the most promising way to fix the system is to actually do less for the dying? – The New York Times

suitcase on bedHow to Talk About Dying I was 25 when I flew home for my father’s last birthday. His cancer had returned and he would die three months later at the age of 57. What I remember most about that weekend was the large rectangular gift box he opened. My mother had bought him a new suitcase. The New York Times

elderly couple in bedExperts on Aging, Dying as They Lived At 10 years old I knew my parents did not wish to be resuscitated nor plugged into machines in the event of serious illness. They told me they were not afraid of death but rather of being kept alive at any cost. I knew they would refuse medical interventions, if they felt there was no purpose except to separate the dying from their deaths. They were wary of doctors who my parents said were trained by a medical culture that had lost touch with what should be its major focus: ending suffering. The New York Times

woman playing piano blindfoldedThe Best Possible Day I spoke with more than 200 people about their experiences with aging or serious illness, or dealing with a family member’s — many of them my own patients, some in my own family. I interviewed and shadowed front-line staff members in old age homes, palliative- care specialists, hospice workers, geriatricians, nursing home reformers, pioneers, and contrarians. And among the many things I learned, here are the two most fundamental. The New York Times

watercolor old man with caneOn Dying After Your Time The dream of beating back time is an old one. Shakespeare had King Lear lament the tortures of aging, while the myth of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth in Florida and the eternal life of the Struldbrugs in “Gulliver’s Travels” both fed the notion of overcoming aging.– The New York Times

sketch of man and dogWeighing the End of Life One weekend last year, we asked our vet how we would know when it was time to put down Byron, our elderly dog. Byron was 14, half blind, partly deaf, with dementia, arthritis and an enlarged prostate. He often walked into walls, stood staring vacantly with his tail down, and had begun wandering and whining for reasons we could not always decipher. The New York Times

drawing of man at fork in a wallEnd-of-Life Choices Should Be Clearly Mapped  Robert H. Laws, a retired judge in San Francisco, and his wife, Beatrice, knew it was important to have health care directives in place to help their doctors and their two sons make wise medical decisions should they ever be unable to speak for themselves. With forms from their lawyer, they completed living wills and assigned each other as health care agents. SF Gate

drawing of woman facing hospital equipmentTaking Responsibility for Death I was standing by my 89-year-old mother’s hospital bed when she asked a doctor, “Is there anything you can do here to give me back the life I had last year when I wasn’t in pain every minute?” The young medical resident, stunned by the directness of the question, blurted out, “Honestly, ma’am, no.” And so Irma Broderick Jacoby went home and lived another year, during which she never again entered a hospital or subjected herself to an invasive, expensive medical procedure. The New York Times

old woman holding caregivers handsAmong Doctors, Fierce Reluctance to Let Go  The conversation took place two years ago, but Dr. Daniel Matlock still recalls it quite vividly. You tend to remember when a physician colleague essentially brands you a Nazi. Dr. Matlock, a geriatrician who specializes in palliative care, had been called in to consult when a woman in her 70s arrived at the University of Colorado Hospital, unresponsive after a major stroke. The New York Times

senior getting news from doctor Imagine a Medicare ‘Part Q’ for Quality at the End of Lifes I spent the last Sunday of my father’s life sitting by his bed on the hospice unit in a small Connecticut hospital. He was dying of pneumonia, once called “the old man’s friend.” There was a nondenominational chapel down the hall, and a sheet cake in the kitchen. His hand was warm. Reassured by the quiet presence of the hospice nurses and feeling the mysterious quickening of life through his veins, I gave over to being his daughter and letting him be my father one last time. The New York Times

Other Organizations


Being Mortal book coverBeing Mortal by Atul Gawande  Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced. Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients’ anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them.

When Breath Becomes Air book cover When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naive medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” as a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

tips ideas philosophy icon   TIPS/IDEAS/PHILOSOPHY


illustration of confused woman in parking garageAs We Age, Keys to Remembering Where the Keys Are I recently told my 70s-something walking group that I wanted to write about “retrieval disorder,” our shared problem with remembering names and dates, what we had just read and where even what we had for dinner last night. Or, in my case, the subject of the column I wrote the day before. One walking buddy suggested I call it delayed retrieval disorder. “It’s not that we can’t remember,” she said. “It just takes us longer, sometimes a lot longer than it used to.” Then she wondered, “Is it really a disorder? Since it seems to happen to all of us, isn’t this just normal aging?” – The New York Times

back of elderly man's head look out windowThe Liberation of Growing Old Why do we have such punitive attitudes toward old people? Granted, the ancients did hideous things to elders who were unable to work but still needed food and care, but in more recent times, that had changed: In 18th-century New England, it was common for people to make themselves seem older by adding years to their real age, rather than subtracting them. Once upon a time, “senile” just meant old, without being pejorative. Even “geriatric” was originally a value-free term, rather than part of the lexicon of contempt toward old people. – The New York Times

elderly couple on train platformWhen Planning for Retirement, Consider Transportation During retirement planning, transportation is often an afterthought. Yet, figuring transportation into plans is essential, experts say.According to the American Journal of Public Health, Americans are outliving their ability to drive safely — a woman, on average, by 10 years, a man by seven. Overall, the ability to drive safely as one ages depends on health. Some people can drive into their 90s while others begin to cut back at 65.  – The New York Times 

senior and younger woman working togetherLiving on Purpose It turns out that purpose is, on many counts, a good thing to have, long associated with satisfaction and happiness, better physical functioning, even better sleep. “It’s a very robust predictor of health and wellness in old age,” said Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago. She and her colleagues have been tracking two cohorts of older people living independently in greater Chicago, assessing them regularly on a variety of physical, psychological and cognitive measures. The subjects agreed to donate their brains after their deaths. – The New York Times

illustration of man & diseaseWhen Life Goes On, and On … Mainstream aging research neither promises radical immortality nor seeks to keep old people sick longer. Aging is a driving factor in the most prevalent and costly chronic diseases. Research indicates that interventions slowing aging delay the onset of these diseases. Therefore, they extend not only lifespan but also health span, the disease-free and functional period of life. – The New York Times

sculpture by Lisa KokinArtist Kokin’s Mill Valley exhibit explores memory, loss, and connection  Lisa Kokin had been watching her mom decline for a long time. Even though she had years to grieve and say goodbye, it still wasn’t easy for Kokin when her mother, fragile and succumbing to dementia in an Oakland nursing home, died a few months shy of her 100th birthday in December. So the next day, Kokin started sewing. Marin Independent Journal

senior playing violin with young girl singerFor Health Aging, A Late Act in the Footlights What kind of old age will you have? Many of us look forward to spending retirement expanding our world — traveling, trying what we never had time to do, taking classes that give us new knowledge and skills. These activities are not only desirable in themselves, they help us to live longer and healthier lives. But they are not within everyone’s reach. – The New York Times

elderly man eatingLoneliness lethal for seniors, UCSF study says Feeling lonely always hurts, but when it comes to the elderly, it may actually contribute to failing health or an early death, UCSF researchers say. In a study of 1,600 seniors, the results of which were published Tuesday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, doctors found that people who reported being lonely were more likely to suffer a decline in health or die over a six-year period than those who were content with their social lives. SF GATE

collage of hair color adsMy Silver Hair’ (video) When I was in college, I met a beautiful woman in her early 20s who had a full head of gray hair. At first, I pitied her for being so radiant and yet cursed with such a glaring blemish. But after talking with her for just a few seconds I realized it wasn’t her appearance that I was attracted to — gray hair or not — but her confidence and poise. Her clear self-acceptance, regardless of how others might view her, impressed me so deeply that 30 years later, I still remember the chance meeting. Today, all I remember about her was her hair color and her confidence. – The New York Times

illustration of senior woman close upWhat Old Age Is Really Like What does it feel like to be old? Not middle-aged, or late-middle-aged, but one of the members of the fastest-growing demographic: the “oldest old,” those aged eighty-five and above? This has been the question animating me for a couple of years, as I’ve tried to write a novel from the perspective of a man in his late eighties. The aging population is on our collective minds; a statistic that intrigued me is that the average life expectancy in the U.K.—and, by extension, most of the rich West—is increasing by more than five hours a day, every day. I’m in my mid-thirties but felt confident that I could imagine my way into old age. How hard could it be, really? – The New Yorker

man setting table for oneThe High Price of Loneliness Loneliness stings at any age. But in older people, it can have serious health consequences, raising the risks of an earlier-than-expected death and the loss of physical functioning, according to a study published on Monday. – The New York Times

FIlm and Television

Lee Gorewitz subject of the doc ‘You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here,’ a Documentary You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t (documentary)  Perhaps years from now, after a scientific breakthrough has turned Alzheimer’s disease into a memory as distant as polio wards are to younger Americans today, someone will stumble upon Scott Kirschenbaum’s hard-to-watch documentary, “You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t,” and be stunned. “I’ve read about Alzheimer’s,” this person will say, “but I had no idea what it was actually like.” – The New York Times Click here to watch clips from the documentary.  


The Joys of Aging and How to Avoid Them book coverThe Joys of Aging and How to Avoid Them by Phillis Diller Diller takes aim at the technology of youthfulness–face-lifts, peeling, waxing, coloring, slimming, firming, plumping, relocating, and eradicating–in a book crammed with zany anecdotes

I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts about Being a Woman book cover  I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts about Being a Woman by Nora Ephron With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself. Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as a woman of a certain age. Utterly courageous, uproariously funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling, I Feel Bad About My Neck is a scrumptious, irresistible treat of a book, full of truths, laugh out loud moments that will appeal to readers of all ages.

The Big Shift- Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife book cover The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife by Marc Freedman Marc Freedman, hailed by the New York Times as “the voice of aging baby boomers [seeking] meaningful and sustaining work later in life,” offers a recipe for how we can transform America’s coming midlife crisis into a midlife opportunity. Millions of people in their fifties, sixties, and seventies are searching for answers to the question “What’s next?” and are navigating their way to an entirely new stage of life and work, one that could last as long as midlife. Shifting to a much longer lifespan isn’t as easy as it may seem. Unlike the transition from adolescence to adulthood, managing this process for many is a do-it-yourself project. Drawing on powerful personal stories, The Big Shift provides not only direction but a vision of what it would take to help millions find their footing in a new map of life.

What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self book cover   What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self edited by Ellyn Spragins If you could send a letter back through time to your younger self, what would the letter say? In this moving collection, forty-one famous women write letters to the women they once were, filled with advice and insights they wish they had had when they were younger.

veterans icon  VETERANS


3 senior vets sittingMedical Foster Homes – An Emerging Supportive Housing Choice for Older Veterans Recently I found out about an interesting project that the Veteran’s Administration has been spearheading for several years called “Medical Foster Homes”. These homes provide an alternative to nursing homes for veterans who are unable to live safely and independently at home or lack a strong family caregiver. The homes are open to vets of all ages but the average age is 70.– Nancy Rhine, MS, LMFT, CPG

2 senior veterans at homeFor Veterans, an Alternative to the Nursing Home Paulia and Bienne Bastia set two dinner tables in their house in Mount Airy, Pa., each night, one for their three children, and another for themselves and the two older men the children call “Grampa.”The Army veterans Booker Lovett, 79, and Wesley Ottis Furr, 95, are not related to the Bastias or to each other, but this has been their home since late winter. They’re participants in the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Foster Home program, which places veterans who need round-the-clock care in private homes. – The New York Times



Joan and Erik EriksonThe Science of Older and Wiser Since ancient times, the elusive concept of wisdom has figured prominently in philosophical and religious texts. The question remains compelling: What is wisdom, and how does it play out in individual lives? Most psychologists agree that if you define wisdom as maintaining positive well-being and kindness in the face of challenges, it is one of the most important qualities one can possess to age successfully — and to face physical decline and death. – The New York Times

Buck institute buildingBuck Institute partners with Google’s Calico in a quest for longevity The Buck Institute for Research on Aging has entered a new partnership with Google’s Calico subsidiary, a deal that will set up science operations for the longevity and age-related disease venture at the institute’s Novato campus. Under the agreement, Calico Life Sciences will have the opportunity to identify, fund and support innovative research, from basic biology to potential therapies for age-related diseases. Calico has the option to obtain exclusive rights to discoveries made under research it sponsors.  – North Bay Business Journal

crossword puzzleHow to Make Your Brain Healthier What can we do to ward off Alzheimer’s and keep our learning, thinking and memory skills sharp? Unfortunately there is no known way to prevent Alzheimer’s, however, there are some things we can do to keep our brains as healthy as possible to delay or lessen normal cognitive decline that comes with age. Next Avenue

Edward O. Wilson, naturalist and author, 85, at Walden PondOld Masters at the Top of Their Game The portraits here are of men and women in their 80s and 90s, rich in the rewards of substantial and celebrated careers, and although I know none of them except by name and reputation, I’m asked why their love’s labor is not lost but still to be found. Why do they persist, the old masters? To what end the unceasing effort to discover or create something new? Why not rest on the laurels and the oars? The short answer is Dr. Samuel Johnson’s, in a letter to James Boswell in 1777: “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” – The New York Times

senior woman stares out windowWho Will Take Care of Childless Boomers? One study predicts that about a quarter of boomers may become “elder orphans.” That’s a newly coined term for people who reach old age with no family or friends left, like the 81-year-old North Carolina man who made the news in May when he called 911 for food because he had no one else to turn to. –

illustration of man with objects all making soundsHearing Loss Costs Far More Than Ability to Hear Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting adults and the most common among older adults. An estimated 30 million to 48 million Americans have hearing loss that significantly diminishes the quality of their lives — academically, professionally and medically as well as socially. – The New York Times

elderly man in wheelchair in nursing homeWhat Home Means to New York’s Oldest Old In the time I’ve spent with the oldest of the old, conversations have returned frequently to questions of home: what it means to live independently or in a residence for old people; how to balance safety and essential care with privacy and autonomy. – The New York Times

senior female businesswomanAgeism in Modern America I believe that we lose out as a culture and a people when we do not value our older women and listen to what they have to teach us. Margaret Mead told a story about the old does of the red tail deer herds in Alaska. In times of drought or severe storms, it was the old does who had the memory of out of the way watering holes or sheltering cliff where they could find refuge from the storms. The herd rallied behind and old does towards safety. – Nancy Rhine, MS, LMFT, CPG

senior couple driving in big carAmerica’s Seniors Find Middle-Class ‘Sweet Spot’ People on the leading edge of the baby boom and those born during World War II — the 25 million Americans now between the ages of 65 and 74 — have emerged as particularly well positioned in the nation’s economic timeline. While there are plenty of individual exceptions, as a group they are better off financially than past generations and may well enjoy a more successful old age than future ones, even those merely a decade younger. – The New York Times

Lynsey Moore, in her 80s, and Stedman Joseph, 99, take the air at the Morningside Heights Housing CorporationElderly New Yorkers, Here for the Duration It used to be that New Yorkers of a certain age reflexively said goodbye to all this — the traffic, the tumult, the long lines and the incomparable bagels — and headed south or west for their sunset years. No longer. Around town these days there are many more than 50 shades of gray. According to the city’s Department for the Aging, the 60-plus population increased 12.4 percent between 2000 and 2010. By 2030 it is projected to grow by 35.3 percent to 1.84 million. – The New York Times

The Childless Plan for Their Fading DaysThe Childless Plan for Their Fading Days According to an August 2013 report from AARP, 11.6 percent of women ages 80 to 84 were childless in 2010. By 2030, the number will reach 16 percent. What’s more, in 2010, the caregiver support ratio was more than seven potential caregivers for every person over 80 years old. By 2030, that ratio is projected to decline to four to one. By 2050, it’s expected to fall to three to one.— The New York Times

seniors relaxing outsideStudy Highlights Need for “Creative” Senior Housing Models One of these “creative” housing models includes a technology-enabled senior housing that allows older adults to participate in both active and passive health monitoring as well as socialization activities, LeadingAge writes. This calls for partnerships between housing providers and community organizations that enhance the opportunities for seniors to engage in wellness activities, such as the co-location of managed long-term care providers and subsidized senior housing to allow ill, older residents to safely age-in-place. – Senior Housing News

Films and Television

Tippi Hdren Whiskey & Apple Pie (Documentary Film) Enjoy the wit & wisdom of over 30 men and women across America. Find out what they have to say about the secret of happiness. Get inspired with their messages to younger generations. Laugh out loud and enjoy the ride! Whiskey & Apple Pie is a recipe for living a better life and a delicious journey for all generations to enjoy!

senior and caregiverLiving Old | FRONTLINE PBS With 35 million elderly people in America, “the old, old” — those over 85 — are now considered the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. While medical advances have enabled an unprecedented number of Americans to live longer and healthier lives, this new longevity has also had unintended consequences. For millions of Americans, living longer also means serious chronic illness and a protracted physical decline that can require an immense amount of care, often for years and sometimes even decades. Yet just as the need for care is rising, the number of available caregivers is dwindling. With families more dispersed than ever and an overburdened healthcare system, many experts fear that we are on the threshold of a major crisis in care

Legacy Film Festival logo Legacy Film Festival on Aging The Legacy Film Festival on Aging celebrates the aging process as profound and meaningful, often challenging, and always courageous. Will we ‘age gracefully’, or crankily, or painfully? Or defiantly? Our filmmakers portray some of the many facets of this unique, ever-changing experience honestly and artfully and always with compassion and love for their subjects.