Category Archives: Aging

“Know the signs of elder abuse and how to get help” – National Institute on Aging

The mistreatment of older adults can be by family members, strangers, health care providers, caregivers, or friends. Abuse can happen to any older adult, but often affects those who depend on others for help with activities of everyday life. Learn how to recognize some of the signs of elder abuse so you can step in and help. For example, you may notice that the older adult:

  • Seems depressed, confused, or withdrawn
  • Appears dirty, underfed, or dehydrated
  • Has unexplained bruises, burns, cuts, or scars
  • Has unpaid bills or recent changes in banking or spending patterns 

elder abuse spotting the signs

 

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“Opinion piece: Lessons from a Job Search” – Age Equity Alliance

older worker

“Author Dan Saffer provides some well-needed advice for job-hunters entering the fray. From the ageist attitudes in the tech industry to the importance of a well-maintained portfolio, Saffer encourages all to keep their heads high when the search can feel stressful.”

agesim

by Dan Saffer

“Note: I didn’t really want to write this article, but am doing so at others’ urging hoping it’ll give other job hunters some hope, some insights, or at least a laugh.

“There’s an idea held by many that the more experienced you are, the more accomplished you are, the better your network, the easier it is to find a job. I’m here to debunk this. I have 20+ years of experience, 10+ years in design management, a master’s degree in design from a great school, a seemingly good reputation, and my last role was at a high-profile company. Still, I was ghosted, given take-home design exercises, was told job offers were coming that never materialized, given ‘personality quizzes’ that I apparently didn’t pass, and suffered the same sorts of indignities during my exhaustive search for a new role.

“For about eight months, I hunted for a job. Unlike the last time I was out of work, I had no trouble landing interviews.” 

Read this opinion column in its entirety, click here.

“Caring for an Aging Nation” – KHN

“The number of Americans 65 and older is expected to nearly double in the next 40 years. Finding a way to provide and pay for the long-term health services they need won’t be easy.”

aging nation(LYDIA ZURAW / KHN)

by Lydia Zuraw and Carmen Heredia Rodriguez

“Health care for the nation’s seniors looms large as the baby-boom generation ages into retirement. President Joe Biden tacitly acknowledged those needs in March with his proposal to spend $400 billion over the next eight years to improve access to in-home and community-based care.

“The swelling population of seniors will far outpace growth in other age groups. That acceleration — and the slower growth in other age groups — could leave many older Americans with less family to rely on for help in their later years. Meanwhile, federal officials estimate that more than half of people turning 65 will need long-term care services at some point. That care is expensive and can be hard to find.”

disability 56

Click here to see the Kaiser Health Network data visualizations in full.

“What Robots Can—and Can’t—Do for the Old and Lonely” – The New Yorker

“For elderly Americans, social isolation is especially perilous. Will machine companions fill the void?”

animatronics

by Katie Engelhart

“It felt good to love again, in that big empty house. Virginia Kellner got the cat last November, around her ninety-second birthday, and now it’s always nearby. It keeps her company as she moves, bent over her walker, from the couch to the bathroom and back again. The walker has a pair of orange scissors hanging from the handlebar, for opening mail. Virginia likes the pet’s green eyes. She likes that it’s there in the morning, when she wakes up. Sometimes, on days when she feels sad, she sits in her soft armchair and rests the cat on her soft stomach and just lets it do its thing. Nuzzle. Stretch. Vibrate. Virginia knows that the cat is programmed to move this way; there is a motor somewhere, controlling things. Still, she can almost forget. ‘It makes you feel like it’s real,’ Virginia told me, the first time we spoke. ‘I mean, mentally, I know it’s not. But—oh, it meowed again!’

“‘She named the cat Jennie, for one of the nice ladies who work at the local Department of the Aging in Cattaraugus County, a rural area in upstate New York, bordering Pennsylvania.”

Click here to read this New Yorker article in its entirety.

“Tips for Older Adults to Regain Their Game After Being Cooped Up for More Than a Year” – Kaiser Health Network

activity after covid

Jane Collins “loves getting outside and that has been wonderful,” says daughter Laura. “Her mood immediately shifts when she gets out of the building.” (Laura Collins)

by Judith Graham

“Alice Herb, 88, an intrepid New Yorker, is used to walking miles around Manhattan. But after this year of being shut inside, trying to avoid covid-19, she’s noticed a big difference in how she feels.

“’Physically, I’m out of shape,’ she told me. ‘The other day I took the subway for the first time, and I was out of breath climbing two flights of stairs to the street. That’s just not me.’

“Emotionally, Herb, a retired lawyer and journalist, is unusually hesitant about resuming activities even though she’s fully vaccinated. ‘You wonder: What if something happens? Maybe I shouldn’t be doing that. Maybe that’s dangerous,’  she said.

“Millions of older Americans are similarly struggling with physical, emotional and cognitive challenges following a year of being cooped up inside, stopping usual activities and seeing few, if any, people.

“If they don’t address issues that have arisen during the pandemic — muscle weakness, poor nutrition, disrupted sleep, anxiety, social isolation and more — these older adults face the prospect of poorer health and increased frailty, experts warn.”

Continue reading this article at Kaiser Health Network, click here.

Column: “A Birthday Milestone: Turning 80!” – The New York Times

“The secret to a happy and vibrant old age? Strive to do what you love for as long as you can do it.”

turning 80

Gracia Lam

by Jane E. Brody

“When a 50ish woman at my Y learned that I was about to turn 80, she exclaimed, “80 is the new 60, and you set a great example for the rest of us!”

“At least, I’m in good company:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, national infectious disease guru, is five months my senior, sharp as a tack even under withering political fire;
  • Nancy Pelosi, 81-year-old Speaker of the House, also stands up well against fierce opposition;
  • Anthony Hopkins, 83, Oscar winner for “The Silence of the Lambs” and a frequent nominee, won again this year for “The Father”;
  • Morgan Freeman, also 83, acts with a voice of distinction bested only by his formidable talent. He has four upcoming movies and a TV series.
  • Bernie Sanders, former presidential hopeful who will be 80 in September, remains a force to be reckoned with in the U.S. Senate;
  • Paul Simon, a month younger than Mr. Sanders, has won 12 Grammys as a singer and songwriter in a now six-decade career. He recently sold his songwriting catalog to Sony for around $250 million.)

“The list goes on.”

Click here to continue reading this column at The New York Times.

“American Jobs Act proposes big dollars for caregiving — here’s the bigger vision it lacks” – The Hill

“It’s about time we as a nation acknowledged the critical importance of caring for adults in their fragile years to both the economy and the fabric of our society.”

home care

by Amy Cameron O’Rourke, opinion contributor

“President Biden’s American Jobs Plan includes a provision to invest $400 billion in “caregiving infrastructure,” including to create jobs and raise wages and benefits for workers who care for the elderly.

“Having built a 40-year career as a care manager to older adults, my first reaction to this news was sheer jubilation. It’s about time we as a nation acknowledged the critical importance of caring for adults in their fragile years to both the economy and the fabric of our society. Once I’d come back down to earth, I began to wonder: In what other ways might a $400 billion investment be used to jumpstart the sort of fundamental change our eldercare system so desperately needs?

“As everyone knows, the coronavirus hit nursing homes and other long-term care facilities the hardest. Their residents constitute less than 1 percent of the U.S. population yet accounted for at least 32 percent of all COVID-19 deaths. To date,182,000 COVID fatalities occurred in long-term care facilities, residents and staff combined. What seemed minor by comparison was the emotional blow for families unable to visit their loved ones in nursing homes.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of the nursing home dilemma … ”

Continue reading this article in its entirety at The Hill, click here.

“A Son Turned His Mother’s Story Of Workplace Ageism Into A Heart-Warming Documentary With A Message” – Forbes

biggest adventure“Despite struggling for three years to find work, Rebecca Danigelis is learning to enjoy life–thanks to her filmmaker son.” –  SIAN-PIERRE REGIS

by Sheila Callaham

“Sian-Pierre Regis’ documentary Duty Free chronicles the story of his mother, Rebecca Danigelis, who was fired without cause at age 75 from her job as a hotel housekeeper.

“Danigelis had spent her life working in hospitality and prided herself on perfection. While she admits to having seen other people pushed out of the workplace as they got older, she was determined it would never happen to her.

“Until it did.

“On the day she was fired, the first person she called was Regis. She’d cashed out most of her 401(k) to pay for his college education, and when he asked how much money she had saved, the answer was frightening–only $600.

“Danigelis needed another job and fast.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety at Forbes Magazine.

“‘Your mouth becomes a minefield’: the Americans who can’t afford the dentist” – The Guardian

“Pandemic job cuts have meant many people have no insurance to pay for dental work – and the poorest are hardest hit”

older persons dentistryMillions of Americans have no dental insurance coverage and cannot afford to pay out of pocket for extensive dental care needs.” Photograph: Megan Jelinger/Reuters

by Michael Sainato

“Maureen Haley, 66, lost her home in Florida in the wake of the 2008 recession. She now lives in a camper near Greensboro, North Carolina, relying on social security and Medicare to make ends meet and pay for healthcare.

“But Haley has problems with her teeth, and cannot afford to see a dentist to have them fixed.

“’My teeth problems are the biggest problem I have each day,’ said Haley. ‘I need root canals and implants. I have a tooth impaction. I have to massage the heck out of it to get the air out of my gums and cheek after chewing a meal. Painful is an understatement, and the worry of how this may affect my heart compounds it.’

‘She worries about remaining independent, and not ending up in a nursing home. On a limited income, her decisions revolve around what is most pressing, such as fixing her vehicle and drug prescriptions. The last time she was able to visit a dentist was three years ago, and she was given an estimate of over $8,500 for the work she needs.”

Continue reading this article at The Guardian, click here.


In September, 2019, PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area coordinator, Brian Long, appeared with others on a panel at a United States Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing entitled, “Promoting Healthy Aging: Living Your Best Life Long Into Your Golden Years.” 

In his testimony, he reinforced “Partial and total tooth loss is something that a larger share of older persons deal with, particularly if they are from disadvantaged populations. We know that older seniors, women, persons of color, current smokers, and those with lower incomes and less education are more likely to have fewer or no remaining teeth. Missing teeth and gum disease are prevalent among many older people in those demographics. Earlier lifestyle choices and forgoing dental treatment, perhaps, have contributed to this, but we know that the absence of regular dental care and treatment can lead to disastrous health consequences.

“Again, affordability is a huge contributor. The issue of coverage for dental, vision and hearing services is about healthy
aging. Without access to these services, we know that older adults have a greater likelihood of:

  • Experiencing social isolation or mental health issues
  • Becoming the victim of a scam
  • Having difficulty accessing transportation resources
  • Struggling to adhere to their prescription medicines
  • Encountering hazards in the home”

May is Older Americans Month!

older americans month

Every May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). The theme for 2021 is “Communities of Strength.” 

Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM, we will celebrate the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.

There are many things we all can do to nurture ourselves, reinforce our strength, and continue to thrive. Connecting with others is one of the most important—it plays a vital role in our health and well-being, and in that of our communities. From finding joy in small things and sharing our stories, to looking at the big picture and giving to others, join us in promoting the ways we are connected and strong.

The ACL has created a website that provides activity ideas, social media resources and other materials to help you observe Older Americans Month.