Category Archives: Aging

A profile of older U.S. veterans – National Council on Aging

“There are more than 11 million adults aged 60 and older alive today who have served in the military, representing over 15% of the 60+ population. It is important to learn more about this population to identify how they are faring during retirement and to identify their needs. To pursue this goal, the National Council on Aging and the Leading Age LTSS Center @ Umass Boston analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to learn about the health and economic characteristics of the older veteran population.”

profile older veterans

New World Health Organization (WHO) Online Training Programme on Healthy Ageing

decade of healthy aging

“Registration open for the first-ever WHO Online Training Programme on Healthy Ageing!

This training programme will equip policy-makers at all levels, UN staff and civil society representatives with the necessary tools and skills to develop concrete responses to foster Healthy Ageing in their respective contexts. Participants will learn from experts and peers from around the world, discover new resources and evidence, and develop the competencies that will allow them to become change agents in their countries or communities as part of the Decade of Healthy Ageing.

The course is available in English for free and will run for 14 weeks from 13 January 2020. Registration is open until 20 November 2019.

Click here to register and become a leader on ageing!

What’s behind the “OK, Boomer” surge

“A word to the youngs: The shiny tools of modernity will always fall prey to the ancient flaws of humanity.” – extracted from this New York Times opinion piece about US Representative Katie Hill’s resignation statement during which she stated:

“The forces of revenge by a bitter jealous man, cyber exploitation and sexual shaming that target our gender and a large segment of society that fears and hates powerful women have combined to push a young woman out of power and say that she doesn’t belong here.”

ok boomer

It’s somewhat scary that this intergenerational conflict was a central theme in the 2011 novel by Albert Brooks.

This New York Times article (‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations – Now it’s war: Gen Z has finally snapped over climate change and financial inequality.)

Ok Boomer: Cool or Not Cool?

“Ok Boomer” merch sent us through a range of emotions from indignation and outrage to wanting to reach out. Ultimately we asked: Is it worth the fight? –

“Adding a Dental Benefit to Medicare: Addressing Racial Disparities”

“This brief describes the racial disparities in access to oral health and oral health outcomes. Coverage is a key factor in reducing the existing disparities. This brief proposes adding oral health as a Medicare benefit as a potential solution. It also proposes additional policy options aimed at reducing disparities beyond expanding oral health coverage,”

dental care

Click on the graphic to read the report as a .pdf file.

“Elusive Zzzzzzzs: Setting back clock won’t erase sleep deficit nagging older adults” – The Boston Globe

ADULT SLEEPDr. Sanford Auerbach, director of sleep disorders at Boston Medical Center, checked on the fit of a CPAP mask.” JOHN TLUMACKI / GLOBE STAFF/GLOBE STAFF

by Robert Weisman

“Will you enjoy an extra hour of sleep when daylight saving time ends Sunday?

“Many sleep-deprived seniors, after dutifully setting back their clocks Saturday night, will mark the occasion doing what they’re often doing in the wee hours: tossing and turning, nudging snoring spouses, and fretting about being awake.

“It’s a cruel irony for older adults. At a time of life when they should be able to relax, after decades of raising children and trudging to work, falling and staying asleep are more challenging than ever. Chalk it up to rising anxiety, changing circadian rhythms, and unhealthy habits, ranging from late-day caffeine and alcohol intake to nonstop digital interruptions.”

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

WebMD / JAHF Survey Finds Older Adults and Their Caregivers are Misinformed

Care of older adults is mired in misinformation, with most older patients and caregivers mistakenly believing that sharp declines in quality of life are inevitable, according to a new survey from The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) and WebMD. Driving Towards Age-Friendly Care for the Future, a survey of more than 2,700 older patients and caregivers, found:

  • More than 40% of respondents believe depression is an inevitable part of aging;
  • Three in four older adults are not aware that they have the right to ask for, and receive, health care that is tailored to what matters to them;
  • Nearly 40% of respondents did not know that some prescription medications can impact cognition.

age friendly

The survey underscores the importance of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, a national movement led by JAHF and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the US, which is helping hospitals and health systems provide age-friendly care that focuses on the 4Ms.”

  • Read more about the survey findings;
  • Learn more about the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative.

“The Distressing Growth of Wealth: Inequality of Boomers Gaps between the haves and have-nots, and what could shrink them” – next avenue

Wealth_DisparityCredit: @taliamarie via Twenty20

by Richard Eisenberg

In her piercing new book Unbound: How Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do About It, economist Heather Boushey writes: “The trend toward greater economic inequality continues its seemingly inexorable march.” Four recent studies — including one just out today — reveal that wealth inequality among boomers specifically has been growing, turning this massive generation into one of haves and have nots.

The nonpartisan reports, which analyzed boomers’ retirement security, financial assets and housing status, come from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO); the National Institute on Retirement Security think tank; the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Their key findings:

Click here to continue reading this article at next avenue.

“Steps to Prevent Dementia May Mean Taking Actual Steps” – The New York Times


“Brain-training apps can’t match the several ways that exercise benefits the mind, research shows.”

by Austin Frakt

“To ward off age-related cognitive decline, you may be tempted to turn to brain training apps. Last year, consumers spent nearly $2 billion on them, some of which claim to improve cognitive skills.

“Evidence suggests you’d be better off spending more time exercising and less time staring at your phone.

“This year the World Health Organization released evidence-based guidelines on reducing risks of cognitive decline and dementia. Although it pointed to some systematic reviews that reported positive cognitive effects of brain training, the W.H.O. judged the studies to be of low quality. Among the studies’ limitations is that they measure only short-term effects and in areas targeted by the training.”

Continue reading this article at The New York Times, click here.

“Sleeping – or Not – While Old” – Time Goes By: What it’s really like to get old


by Ronnie Bennett

“Until about 18 months ago, most nights I slept for about four hours; five hours when I was lucky. There was a time, more than a decade ago, that an evening dose of melatonin kept me asleep for the more traditional seven or eight hours and I felt so much better then.

“But after a couple of years it stopped working.”

Click here to read this column in its entirety.

NOVEL CONCEPT: “This High School Has a Senior (Citizen) Center” – AARP

“How a shared-space solution helped a New England town save money and serve residents of many ages”

swampscott senior center“The exterior of Swampscott High School and (inset) the shared entrance sign.” – PHOTO COURTESY SYMMES MAINI & MCKEE ASSOCIATES

by Sally Abrahms, AARP Livable Communities

“The Swampscott Senior Center on Boston’s North Shore was ailing. Housed in an old Victorian house, the center had three flights of stairs and limited on-street parking. The only handicap accessible area was in the windowless basement, where the staff served lunch and offered bingo and exercise class twice a week.

“Sometimes, only two people would show up for a meal. The senior center wanted to relocate, but municipal funds and land within Swampscott’s 3.05 square miles were limited. A new, stand-alone senior center was not in the cards. Meanwhile, the town’s public schools were overcrowded. A new high school was needed.

“Fast forward to today: Swampscott, Massachusetts — population 14,000 — now has both the senior center and the high school it long needed. In fact, the two facilities share a plot of land and are essentially one, with the ground-level senior center occupying a 7,500-square-foot space that’s attached to the high school. Here’s how it happened.”

Find out how this highly creative and truly novel idea came about, click here.