Category Archives: Aging

An idea that’s time has come? | “Rethinking What Makes a Great Roommate” – AARP

“Many older adults own homes with rooms to spare and could use some help around the house. Young, helpful renters need safe, affordable places to live. Nesterly is helping them find one another.”

co-housing“PHOTO BY GARY BATTISTON, CITY OF BOSTON – Brenda, an empty nester, and Phoebus, a Ph.D. candidate from Greece, used the Nesterly website to become housemates in her Boston home.”

“Noelle Marcus and Rachel Goor, urban planning graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology turned business partners, wanted to put their skills to use in addressing two housing crises: the paucity of affordable housing and the financial difficulties faced by older people who don’t want to give up their homes.

“The result: Nesterly, a website that connects older people who have rooms to spare with young and lower income people seeking medium-term affordable housing. ‘Homeshare with another generation: The easy, safe way to rent a room,’ states the site’s homepage.

“Launched in 2016, in partnership with the city of Boston, the service stems from the chaos of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Northeast hard in October 2012. At the time, Marcus noticed that Airbnb was asking its hosts to house people whose homes were in danger from the storm.”

Continue reading this article at AARP, click here.

“Who are you calling senior? For older folks, some terms are fast becoming radioactive” – The Boston Globe

what do we call older

by Robert Weisman

“Jill Tapper knew she’d made a mistake at the annual meeting of condo owners in Salisbury when she referred to their 55-plus complex as an ‘aging community.’ She may as well have invoked rocking chairs and shuffleboard.

“‘Some of the other members were furious,’ recalled Tapper, a longtime social worker. She quickly backed off and tried again. ‘Now I just call it the Windgate community.’

“Tapper had stumbled onto the third rail of life-stage nomenclature. Words once commonly used to describe older folks and their lives — ‘elderly,’ ‘geriatric,’ ‘in their golden years’ — are now scorned by some as patronizing.”


BG aging article

Continue reading this Boston Globe article, click here.

“1 in 4 older adults report feelings of isolation” – STAT: Morning Rounds

lonliness and health

One-quarter of adults between the ages of 50 and 80 feel isolated from others, and 1 in 3 report a lack of companionship, according to a new national poll from the University of Michigan. Previous research has found that feeling socially isolated can negatively impact health, including increased stress and an elevated risk of dementia or suicide. In the survey of nearly 2,000 adults, more than a quarter of those who reported feeling isolated also reported being in fair or poor health. The poll’s authors say encouraging and supporting meaningful social connections and more frequent interactions is one way to combat isolation and subsequent health effects.

 

“Nursing Homes Are Closing Across Rural America, Scattering Residents” – The New York Times

nursing homeRamona Labrensz with a photo of her husband Harold at her home in Mobridge, S.D. When the local nursing home where he was living failed, Mr. Labrensz was transferred to another nursing home 220 miles away in North Dakota.” Credit Kristina Barker for The New York Times

by Jack Healy

“MOBRIDGE, S.D. — Harold Labrensz spent much of his 89-year life farming and ranching the rolling Dakota plains along the Missouri River. His family figured he would die there, too.

“But late last year, the nursing home in Mobridge, S.D., that cared for Mr. Labrensz announced that it was shutting down after a rocky history of corporate buyouts, unpaid bills and financial ruin. It had become one of the many nursing homes across the country that have gone out of business in recent years as beds go empty, money troubles mount and more Americans seek to age in their own homes.

“For Mr. Labrensz, though, the closure amounted to an eviction order from his hometown. His wife, Ramona, said she could not find any nursing home nearby to take him, and she could not help him if he took a fall at home. So one morning in late January, as a snowstorm whited out the prairie, Mr. Labrensz was loaded into the back of a small bus and sent off on a 220-mile road trip to a nursing home in North Dakota.”

Click here to continue reading this New York Times article.

“Suicide prevention: Research on successful interventions” – Journalist’s Resource

suicide

by Chloe Reichel

“As suicide rates rise in the United States, researchers have been working to identify approaches to curb the trend.

“This roundup looks at recent publications in the field of suicide prevention research.

“The findings are organized by risk group, an approach endorsed by Cheryl King, a professor in the University of Michigan Medical School’s department of psychiatry. Behind this structure is the understanding that different populations exist in different contexts with respect to access to and provision of health care.

“As an example, King compared youth and veterans: youth require family permission for health care, and veterans generally have the option of seeking health care from an entirely separate system than the civilian population. This means ‘there are differences in the interventions, in the approaches we take,’ she explained in a phone call with Journalist’s Resource.

“The research below includes a sampling of successful strategies for suicide prevention for certain risk groups including men, the military, the incarcerated, youth and the elderly. ”

Click here to continue reading this article at Journalist’s Resource.

“The Dangers of Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers” – AARP

“Some can be deadly. Some hit older adults harder than others. How to know how much is too much”

Various pills bottles and heap of drugs

by Betsy Stephens

“If the good news is that over-the-counter pain killers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen won’t put you at risk for addiction issues like prescription opioids or narcotics can, the less good news is that no pain pill comes without the potential for problems, says Nitin Sekhri, medical director of pain management at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.

“Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is considered the safest option by many, and yet, Sekhri notes, it’s still to blame for about 50 percent of acute liver failures in the U.S. Acetaminophen also is the leading reason behind calls to poison control and to blame for more than 50,000 emergency room visits a year.

“Often problems arise from people not realizing they’ve taken as much acetaminophen as they have. The over-the-counter painkiller isn’t just in Tylenol: It shows up in remedies meant to fight allergies, colds, flu, coughs and sleeplessness. It’s also an ingredient in prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet.”

Read this article in its entirety at AARP, click here.

 

Technology and home health care: a match?

We’ve been reading so much about advantages that aging persons can accrue with the introduction of emerging technology, we decided to list some of the articles.

Aging In Place Technology Watch shares this in today’s newsletter: “… it’s good to see that Envoy (concierge service for independent living), Kindly Care (home care agency), Caremerge (home care platform), and Seniorlink (care coordination) are in their same businesses from 2016 – and others from the period like Envoy and CareLinx received additional investment and moved forward.

aging technology

“New Tech Options are Helping Seniors Age in Place – Systems that offer reminders and assistance are creating ‘monitored independence.’”Scientific American

“Smart Home Technology Becomes a Must-Have in Senior Living”Senior Housing News

A 2016 article | “Home care robotics market set to quadruple – The robots are finally coming home, but the undisputed category leader isn’t what you had in mind.”ZD Net

“A Glimpse at Healthcare Technology May Give Signs to the Future of Home Care”HomeCareDaily

“Home Instead Inc. — the international franchise company behind the Home Instead Senior Care network — is joining forces with senior-friendly tablet startup GrandPad in an attempt to reduce client loneliness and improve connectivity.”Home Health Care News

“Where the Home Health Aide Shortage Will Hit Hardest by 2025” Home Health Care News

What does “successful aging” look like? Will boomers continue to be interested in senior centers and “villages?”

Two recent articles weigh in on topics that will have profound impact on services that may have to be modified as persons age.  These aging persons are not “their father’s” peers. It is a very different time and will continue to be.

successful aging“Salem residents, including baby boomers, exercised at the advanced fitness class at the Salem Community Life Center.” – SUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF

“What Is Successful Aging?” – (This nextavenue article is excerpted from the new book Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging by Alan D. Castel PhD. Copyright  © 2019 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.)

“The phrase ‘successful aging’ has grown in popularity over the past few decades. At some point in life, people become concerned about aging and want to know what to expect, what to avoid and ways to adapt. New research has shown that important paradoxes exist regarding how we think about old age and how we actually age.

T”he term successful aging was made popular in 1987, when the scientists John Wallis Rowe and Robert Kahn published an influential book entitled Successful Aging. Rowe and Kahn stated that successful aging involved three main factors: (1) being free of disability or disease, (2) having high cognitive and physical abilities, and (3) interacting with others in meaningful ways.

“Extrinsic and Intrinsic Factors of Successful Aging

“Importantly, Rowe and Kahn acknowledged that successful aging involved both intrinsic genetic factors and extrinsic lifestyle factors. Extrinsic factors such as diet, exercise, personal habits and psychosocial aspects of aging are often underestimated if one takes the simplistic view that aging  is guided by genetics.” – Click here to continue reading this article.

This Boston Globe article, “Senior groups struggle to attract ‘forever young’ baby boomers” sheds new light on what the “boomers” think about traditional senior centers and “villages.”

“I have no interest,” responded one person in the article when asked to visit the local senior center.”

Are you “ageist?” Find out here.

Ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age. Ageism is widespread and an insidious practice which has harmful effects on the health of older adults. For older people, ageism is an everyday challenge. Overlooked for employment, restricted from social services and stereotyped in the media, ageism marginalizes and excludes older people in their communities.

“Ageism is everywhere, yet it is the most socially ‘normalized’ of any prejudice, and is not widely countered – like racism or sexism. These attitudes lead to the marginalization of older people within our communities and have negative impacts on their health and well-being.” – SOURCE: World Health Organization

Watch this 11 1/2 minute TEDTalk and for a look at ageism in this country.

agism

“Take the Ageing Attitudes Quiz as a first step in your Stand Against Ageism. Check your attitudes against these commonly held views of ageing and older persons and find out how much you know about ageing and older people.”

“Time for a Manhattan Project on Alzheimer’s” – The Conversation

by Marc Diamond

“Imagine if Alzheimer’s was treated like other common diseases. Instead of worrying about the prospect of slowly losing your memory, you might get a series of shots during middle age to prevent the onset of this neurological nightmare, just as we do to reduce the risk of flu. Or you could take a daily pill as many do to control their cholesterol or blood pressure.

alz reportIn Alzheimer’s, toxic clumps of protein kill brain cells which shrinks the size of the brain as the disease progresses. BlueRingMedia/Shutterstock.com

“That may sound improbable, given the long string of Alzheimer’s drugs that have failed to work in clinical trials, but I remain optimistic. As a physician-scientist leading research into the causes of neurodegenerative diseases, I believe that we are making significant progress on uncovering the roots of Alzheimer’s.

“Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that has stymied researchers for years. The disease develops when two proteins – A-beta and tau – accumulate in the brain. A-beta builds up outside of nerve cells, and tau inside them. Decades of study suggests that A-beta somehow leads to the accumulation of tau, which is what causes nerve cells to die. This may explain why early treatments focusing exclusively on A-beta failed. These ideas have led to new diagnostic criteria that take into account these two proteins to make the definitive diagnosis.”

Continue reading this article, click here.