“You missed your chance to be a prodigy, but there’s still growth left for grownups.” – The New Yorker
by Margaret Talbot
“Among the things I have not missed since entering middle age is the sensation of being an absolute beginner. It has been decades since I’ve sat in a classroom in a gathering cloud of incomprehension (Algebra 2, tenth grade) or sincerely tried, lesson after lesson, to acquire a skill that was clearly not destined to play a large role in my life (modern dance, twelfth grade). Learning to ride a bicycle in my early thirties was an exception—a little mortifying when my husband had to run alongside the bike, as you would with a child—but ultimately rewarding. Less so was the time when a group of Japanese schoolchildren tried to teach me origami at a public event where I was the guest of honor—I’ll never forget their sombre puzzlement as my clumsy fingers mutilated yet another paper crane.
“Like Tom Vanderbilt, a journalist and the author of “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning” (Knopf), I learn new facts all the time but new skills seldom. Journalists regularly drop into unfamiliar subcultures and domains of expertise, learning enough at least to ask the right questions. The distinction he draws between his energetic stockpiling of declarative knowledge, or knowing that, and his scant attention to procedural knowledge, or knowing how, is familiar to me. The prospect of reinventing myself as, say, a late-blooming skier or ceramicist or marathon runner sparks only an idle interest, something like wondering what it might be like to live in some small town you pass on the highway.
“There is certainly a way to put a positive spin on that reluctance.”
Read this article in its entirety at The New Yorker, click here.
Download the Ticket To Work three page file; click on the graphic or here.
“Five myths about loneliness | The elderly aren’t the people who feel the most isolated.” – The Washington Post
“Few windows with lights on in an office building at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Jan. 6. Germany has extended its coronavirus lockdown until the end of the month. (Filip Singer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)“
by Noreena Herz
“Lots of people are lonely these days. Months of stay-at-home orders and other limits on face-to-face contact are taking their toll. But even before the pandemic introduced us to terms like “social distancing,” loneliness was a defining condition of the 21st century: More than a fifth of U.S. adults said in a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation survey that they ‘often’ or ‘always’ felt lonely, lacking in companionship, left out or isolated. Britain even appointed a minister for loneliness three years ago to confront the problem. Why did we become so lonely? Who is most afflicted? And what harms does it cause? Misconceptions persist around each of these questions; here are five of the most common.
Myth No. 1
The elderly are the loneliest generation
Click here to see all the myths about loneliness in this Washington Post article.
“Meals on Wheels delivery driver Pasquale Fabbricatore, 66, delivers meals to homebound senior Louise Delija, 93, during the coronavirus pandemic, in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Thursday, May 7, 2020.” (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
By Sally Herships/NPR
“Growing up in the 1930s in a small, marshy town in the Calabrian region of Italy, Rose Frusciante was constantly bombarded by mosquitoes. But one bite in particular proved dangerous.
“Frusciante, who is now 85, still remembers the sweating, fever and chills that followed as well as being heaped under blankets and all the clothing she had as her mother desperately tried to keep her warm. The tiny bite had given her malaria, which also claimed the lives of three of her siblings.
Still, Frusciante, who now lives in Mount Vernon, N.Y., says there is no comparison between the insect-born disease and the invisible threat that is the coronavirus.
“’I’m afraid to go out,’ she says. ‘Because if you walk outside, somebody may have it and they don’t even know.’
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight out of ten deaths during the pandemic have been among seniors like Frusciante. And while seniors are among the first in line for the vaccine, other safety nets in place to catch the elderly are unraveling quickly.
“Frusciante’s husband died last year and she lives alone in an apartment. She uses a walker to get around. She needs help, but can’t afford it on $2,000 a month.”
Keep reading this article at WITF; click here.
“Like 1968, 1945, 1918 and so many other landmark years, we won’t have to work hard to remember, in the decades to come, what year COVID-19 struck. It was in 2020 — a year to remember, whether you like it or not.“
“Protesters gathered July 25 in Springfield to complain about (Illinois) Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 restrictions.” The State Journal-Register, distributed by the Associated Press
by Neil Steinberg
“An Easter like no other.
“A summer like no other.
“A World Series like no other.
“A year like no other.
“The description ‘a _____ like no other’ wasn’t invented in 2020. It has been used for more than a century: ‘It has been a year like no other,’ wrote R.M. Squires, summing up the world of dentistry in 1919.
“But the phrase was worn to a nubbin over the past nine months by journalists lunging to convey in a handy three-word code the baked-in strangeness and continuous turmoil we’ve been enduring. A branded logo to rubber-stamp this slow-motion train wreck: COVID-19 pandemic meets civic unrest meets economic disruption. Our locked-down society of shuttered schools and struggling restaurants, all playing out against a political clown show that veers from farcical to frightening, sometimes within the same hour.
“A presidential election like no other.
“A Thanksgiving like no other.
“So often was ‘like no other’ flung, at times I wanted to scream, ‘EVERY year is a year like no other!’ Years are unique, like snowflakes. And besides, 2020 is like other years. It’s like 1968, 1945, 1918 … all the way back to 1066, landmark years where you won’t have to purse your lips and ponder, trying to dredge up a single event. We all know what happened in 2001. Nobody is going to snap their fingers and try to recall what year COVID struck: 2020, a year to remember, whether you like it or not.”
Want to read more about the year like no other? Click here to read the entire article at The Chicago Sun-Times.
VOX: Are we doomed? An investigation
At the conclusion of a dystopian year, we look to historians, preppers, and even the heavens in search of answers: What exactly was 2020, and what happens now? Click to read opposite opinions.
The last few years have yielded new insights into human anatomy. Click here to explore this interactive graphic to learn about some of these discoveries.
More than 4,000 people with disabilities have over $40 million saved in the PA ABLE Savings Program (PA ABLE) for disability-related expenses. PA ABLE has built a network of family members, advocates, and disability resource providers it relies on as an important part of its success.
By saving with PA ABLE, you or a loved one can build a better financial future and live more independently. Remember that savings in a PA ABLE account:
- May be deducted from Pennsylvania state income tax.1
- Do not affect eligibility for any federal needs-based programs with a limitation for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.2
- Can be contributed from a bank account, paycheck or Social Security benefits.3
- Can be allocated into various savings options, including an FDIC-insured checking account and six asset-allocation investment options.
- May be used to build savings or pay expenses such as rent, transportation, groceries, assistive technology, and much more.4
- Provide other benefits unavailable with other states’ ABLE plans.
How the pandemic is changing our understanding of mortality.
by Dr. Miller is a hospice and palliative medicine physician, author of ‘A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death,’ and founder of Mettle Health, which provides consultations for patients and caregivers navigating serious illness.”
“This year has awakened us to the fact that we die. We’ve always known it to be true in a technical sense, but a pandemic demands that we internalize this understanding. It’s one thing to acknowledge the deaths of others, and another to accept our own. It’s not just emotionally taxing; it is difficult even to conceive. To do this means to imagine it, reckon with it and, most important, personalize it. Your life. Your death.
“Covid-19’s daily death and hospitalization tallies read like ticker tape or the weather report. This week, the death toll passed 300,000 in the United States. Worldwide, it’s more than 1.6 million. The cumulative effect is shock fatigue or numbness, but instead of turning away, we need to fold death into our lives. We really have only two choices: to share life with death or to be robbed by death.
“Fight, flight or freeze. This is how we animals are wired to respond to anything that threatens our existence. We haven’t evolved — morally or socially — to deal with a health care system with technological powers that verge on godly. Dying is no longer so intuitive as it once was, nor is death necessarily the great equalizer. Modern medicine can subvert nature’s course in many ways, at least for a while. But you have to have access to health care for health care to work. And eventually, whether because of this virus or something else, whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, death still comes.”
Read this opinion column at The New York Times in its entirety, click here.
by David Schaper
“The days of bringing your emotional support cat, pig or even a miniature horse on a plane may soon be coming to an end. The federal government is enacting a new rule restricting the types of service animals allowed on commercial airline flights, allowing only dogs that meet specific training criteria.
“The new Department of Transportation rule is in response to a growing backlash in recent years to airline passengers trying to bring all kinds of wild and outlandish pets onto planes, including the woman who tried to bring an “emotional support” peacock on board a United Airlines flight in 2018, and the “comfort” turkey that was actually allowed to fly on Delta Airlines back in 2016.
“‘It’s gotten really out of control,’ says Paul Hartshorn, Jr., a flight attendant for American Airlines and spokesperson for the flight attendants’ union there. ‘For years, our members have been dealing with untrained, sometimes wild animals in the aircraft cabin.
“‘For the most part, I will say it’s dogs that are not properly trained, but we’ve seen everything from pigs, to monkeys, to hamsters. You name it, we’ve seen it,’ Hartshorn added.
“The untrained animals can have behavioral issues, and some even relieve themselves on the plane.”
Continue reading this article at NPR; click here.
- The population of the United States is rapidly aging.
- By 2030, one of every five people in the U.S. will be 65 or older.
- By 2035, the number of adults older than 65 will be greater than the number of children under 18.
That’s why AARP staff and volunteers are working throughout the nation to engage and mobilize communities, share expertise, and deliver technical assistance to the towns, cities, counties and states in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities
The work that happens within the network — which is a program within the larger AARP Livable Communities initiative — is hands-on and locally determined and directed.
The common thread among the enrolled communities and states is the belief that the places where we live are more livable, and better able to support people of all ages, when local leaders commit to improving the quality of life for the very young, the very old, and everyone in between.
AARP engages with elected officials, partner organizations and local leaders to guide communities through the age-friendly network’s assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation processes.
Read more; click here.