“We miss too much when we treat all seniors as helpless.” (Unsplash/@unitednations/Lélie Lesage)”
by Sally Chivers
“‘Unprecedented’ might be the word of the COVID-19 pandemic. But for many, especially older adults, life has taken many abrupt turns. Maybe it’s their first pandemic, but it’s not the first time they’ve pivoted without calling it that and created a new normal.
“Yet, we persist in treating people over 70 as an undifferentiated blob of neediness and vulnerability. When we do, we once again miss what older adults contribute.
“As an aging studies scholar, my focus is on the portrayal and treatment of older adults in literature, film and popular culture. During COVID-19, dire fictional portraits of nursing homes as places to avoid and escape appear to be coming alive. We hear a lot about them, but less attention lands on older adults living and making do at home. Public health issues reminders to check on what they call “elderly neighbours.” Those reminders ignore what older people in and out of nursing homes offer to the rest of us.”
by Bruce Horowitz
“Imagine this scenario, perhaps a year or two in the future: An effective COVID-19 vaccine is routinely available and the world is moving forward. Life, however, will likely never be the same — particularly for people over 60.
That is the conclusion of geriatric medical doctors, aging experts, futurists and industry specialists. Experts say that in the aftermath of the pandemic, everything will change, from the way older folks receive health care to how they travel and shop. Also overturned: their work life and relationships with one another.
“’In the past few months, the entire world has had a near-death experience,’ said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a think tank on aging around the world. ‘We’ve been forced to stop and think: I could die or someone I love could die. When those events happen, people think about what matters and what they will do differently.’
“Older adults are uniquely vulnerable because their immune systems tend to deteriorate with age, making it so much harder for them to battle not just COVID-19 but all infectious diseases. They are also more likely to suffer other health conditions, like heart and respiratory diseases, that make it tougher to fight or recover from illness. So it’s no surprise that even in the future, when a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available — and widely used — most seniors will be taking additional precautions.”
“Most older adults say they’ve experienced ageism, but a majority still hold positive attitudes toward aging, a new poll finds.”
by Kara Gavin
“An offhand remark by an acquaintance about using a smartphone. A joke about someone losing their memory or hearing. An ad in a magazine focused on erasing wrinkles or gray hair. An inner worry that getting older means growing lonely.
“All of these kinds of everyday ageism, and many more, are common in the lives of Americans over 50, a new poll finds. In fact, more than 80% of those polled say they commonly experience at least one form of ageism in their day-to-day lives.
“The poll even shows relationships between experiencing multiple forms of everyday ageism and health. In all, 40% of all poll respondents said they routinely experience three or more forms of ageism—and these older adults were much more likely to have poor mental and physical health.”
by Judith Graham
“For months, Patricia Merryweather-Arges, a health care expert, has fielded questions about the coronavirus pandemic from fellow Rotary Club members in the Midwest.
“Recently people have wondered ‘Is it safe for me to go see my doctor? Should I keep that appointment with my dentist? What about that knee replacement I put on hold: Should I go ahead with that?’
“These are pressing concerns as hospitals, outpatient clinics and physicians’ practices have started providing elective medical procedures — services that had been suspended for several months.
“Late last month, KFF reported that 48% of adults had skipped or postponed medical care because of the pandemic. Physicians are deeply concerned about the consequences, especially for people with serious illnesses or chronic medical conditions.”
Mark this date and time on your calendar: Wednesday, July 22, 1:00 to 2:30 pm. Join Link partners, Karen Greth, Meagan Good and Chris Hainley as they introduce you to special animal friends of theirs during this Webinar presentation.
Our special presenters (human and animal) will be sharing ideas and examples of the ways animals help fight social isolation, loneliness, anxiety and other emotional and out-of-normal feelings. COVID-19 and the resulting stay-at-home orders have changed everything except the joy that animals bring to people.
- Karen Greth, K-PETS – Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services
- Meagan Good, Take Heart Counseling & Equine Assisted Therapy
- Chris Hainley, Fairy Tail Acres, the Rescue.
Each of the presenters will introduce Webinar participants to their animal presenters.
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jul 22, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: The Joy of Animals!
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
“Art Ballard loads a 25-pound plate onto the leg press. ‘At my age, the best thing you can do is find a routine.'” (Heidi de Marco/KHN)
by Heidi De Marco
“MONROVIA, Calif. — Most mornings, like clockwork, you could find Art Ballard pumping iron.
“At least five days a week, he drove to Foothill Gym, where he beat on the punching bag, rode a stationary bike and worked his abs. After he joined the gym five years ago, he dropped 20 pounds, improved his balance and made friends.
“At 91, he’s still spry and doesn’t take any medication other than an occasional Tylenol for aches and pains.
“’Doctors love me,’ he said.
“But when California enacted a statewide stay-at-home order in mid-March, his near-daily physical exercise and social interactions abruptly ended.”
Keep reading this inspiring article, click here.
This site has been recommending this Website for a number of years. The creator of the site has been contributing witty, brilliant, funny and candid writings about the subtitle: “What it’s really like to get old.”
What better to write about any topic hat to have experienced it.
For those of you who may have been following Ronnie Bennett’s journey, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago. Today’s column is entitled, “And Now, Hospice.”
Ronnie, we admire your strength, courage, foresight and candor. Thank for taking us along on your journey.
“I had forgotten to get married, forgotten to have children, forgotten to make money. After caretaking two older parents, I am now alone in our house, which I own.”
by Mary Ann D’Urso
“A stone’s throw away from 40, my New York sublet ending, and with not much more than my demure velvet sofa, a suitcase of regrets, and the manuscript I had bled over in my thirties, I headed back to the suburbs and my childhood home.
“I had forgotten to get married, forgotten to have children, forgotten to make money. In our culture, no one views an adult’s move back home as a boon. I was the Hester Prynne of Forest Drive, my Scarlet ‘L’ for Loser strapped to my chest for all the neighbors to see.
“After caretaking two older and full-blooded Sicilian parents, I am now alone in our house, which I own.”
Click here to continue reading this piece at The Boston Globe.
Download the file, click on the graphic.
This guide provides tools, resources, and best practices that the Aging Network can use as a reference to plan services and programs that are more inclusive to these diverse elders. The guide outlines background information on diverse elders; discusses how to asses the needs of this population and include them in the planning process; and highlights inclusive goals, objectives, and measures of success.
The National Consortium on Aging Resources for Seniors’ Equity has produced a guide to providing services for diverse populations of older adults. The group is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and includes the National Caucus & Center on Black Aging, Inc., National Indian Council on Aging, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, Asociación Nacional Pro Personas Mayores and National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.
“In Ventura, California, a woman who is social isolating greets a little boy who has come to visit. – Getty Images / Brent Stirton”
by Paul Nash and Philip W. Schnarrs
“People over 65 years old account for about 80% of the deaths related to COVID-19 in the U.S. But we have to consider comorbidity, not just the number of years lived. Older people more likely live with underlying health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, lung conditions, diabetes and cancer. It is these complications, not just age, that dictate the mortality of COVID-19.
“Yet the misperception persists that older adults are frail and weak. As educators in the field of health and gerontology, we can tell you research shows that ageist attitudes harm the health of older adults. Indeed, the World Health Organization acknowledges ageism as the last socially accepted form of prejudice. And this impacts the kind of care they receive and the health care outcomes they experience.
“In the U.S., these perceptions are reinforced in medical training; geriatric care doesn’t even appear on the list of required training for doctors. This approach may have contributed to the U.S.‘s arguably poor response to COVID-19.”
Click here to continue reading this article at The Conversation.