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Goodbye, Signs of Aging

June 19, 2016 by · Comments Off on Goodbye, Signs of Aging
Filed under: General 

Everyone is affected with signs of aging at some point in their life, be it visible wrinkles, blemishes, pigmentation changes, expression lines, discolorations, poor texture, or other environment-related conditions of the skin. As we age, the production of skin reviving and plumping collagen gradually slows, revealing fine lines and wrinkles.

Anti-aging creams promise to reduce these signs of aging. Yet, despite the ever-rising demand and great popularity, there has been skepticism and anxiety related to anti-wrinkle creams. Many believe that anti-aging creams are but fads, and do not work at all. Debates still continue whether anti-aging creams are cosmetics or drugs. Many argue that most of the anti-aging creams only enhance the outward appearance of the skin and only temporarily at that; and therefore should be placed on equal footings with other cosmetics.

So the promises of younger, fresher looking skin are nothing but lies? No. Fortunately for wrinkle-cream customers, that’s not always so. Granted, in most scenarios, wrinkle creams only offer what can already be achieved through the use of moisturizers and sunscreens. But with a little knowledge of active ingredients used nowadays in certain anti-aging creams, the promises may as well be fulfilled.

Anti-aging creams come under the category of “cosmeceuticals”, mixture of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals; which means they are cosmetic products containing certain biologically active ingredients claiming to give medical or drug-like effect. With ample scientific research and knowledge collected thus, researchers HAVE found out such ingredients which are almost just as effective and relatively inexpensive compared to medical cosmetic procedures.

Active Anti-aging Ingredients:

Most people usually stick to buying cosmetic products of their favorite brands. But to actually gain satisfactory results from anti-aging creams, you’ll have to go an extra mile and start with researching products containing active ingredients which really work on aging skin.

Retinoid:

The active ingredient in Retin-A is tretinoin. The chemical is the only one till date to achieve FDA approval ratings for anti-aging as well as anti-sun damage properties. Retinoid prevents the loss of collagen from skin due to excessive exposure and consequent photo-damage.

In anti-aging creams, retinoid-derivatives in the form of retinol and retinyl palmitate (combination of pure retinol and cleansing agent palmitic acid) are used. However, these must be present at a sufficiently high concentration of 0.04% to 0.07% to be effective. Customers should also take care to note the expiry date of the product, since products containing retinoid tend to expire after a month or so post opening.

Side effects may include mild irritation and redness. Customers with sensitive skin should use a much lower concentration of retinol (approx. 0.025%). It is also advisable to avoid the use of products containing retinoid during pregnancy or breast feeding period, since it is a Vitamin A derivative which is associated with birth defects.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs):

Various alpha and beta hydroxy acids are already popular ingredients in various cosmetic products like cleansers, moisturizers, toners, etc. Two most popular AHAs are lactic acid and glycolic acid, known for their ability to efficiently penetrate skin.

AHAs have superb exfoliation properties helping in removal of dead skin cells and growth of new ones. Effectiveness of anti-wrinkle creams containing AHAs depends upon concentration (5% to 8% are sufficient) and frequency of application.

AHAs can increase sun-sensitivity by almost 50%, therefore an effective sunscreen providing UVA and UVB protection is an FDA requisite in final product formulation. Irritation, redness and possible scarring can also occur as side effects. Some people tend to be allergic to certain hydroxy acids. Therefore it’s best to consult a physician before trying a product with an AHA mentioned in ingredients.

Peptides:

Peptides are short-chained proteins which occur naturally in the skin, mainly acting as messengers (in the form of signal peptides) or hormones. They are well known for their natural skin-healing benefits. Peptides such as oligopeptides work as collagen boosters, while Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 and Tripeptide-1 stimulate the skin for synthesizing collagen of types I and III, and simultaneously decreasing enzyme production to protect collagen and elastin integrity. Pentapeptide-18 and Acetyl hexapeptide-8 (Argireline) are peptides that are known to tighten the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

There are minimal side-effects related to use of peptides for anti-aging treatment. Not only they help against wrinkles, they also increase skin’s moisture retaining ability, elasticity, and resilience.

Anti-oxidants:

Anti-oxidants are substances that are known to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals-unstable molecules that damage cell membranes, proteins, lipids, and DNA. Free radicals are also one of the major causes of premature aging. Anti-oxidants are already popular for their extraordinary health benefits, and their use in anti-aging products is relatively new yet promising.

Green tea, rosemary, grapes, and tomatoes contain the most effective anti-oxidants and products containing extracts of same can give visible satisfactory results with regular application. A 10% concentration of green tea extract in a given product is especially effective for fighting aging.

It should be noted that although anti-oxidants can be used in diet and applied topically, the effectiveness of an anti-oxidant diet for anti-aging is somewhat debatable. Also, most anti-oxidants will only help in prevention of wrinkles, and may not work to remove those which already exist.

Sunscreens:

Excess exposure to sun leaves visible skin prone to aging effects of UVA and UVB rays. Increased levels of exposure can cause wrinkling, discoloration, formation of freckles and dark spots, damaging of elastin and collagen, skin cancer, as well as DNA mutations. Yes, those 2 minutes you saved by opting out sunscreen application will take its heavy toll.

Sunscreens and sunblocks are applied topically in various forms to prevent such skin related hazards. Following the age old adage of “prevention is better than cure”, sunscreen application substantially reduces chances of photo aging.

Nowadays, sunscreens with active anti-aging ingredients are on rise. These will not only prevent photo aging, but will also treat existing signs of aging. The most effective ones contain tretinoin, the efficacy of which has been already discussed in the Retinoid section as a miracle chemical with proven anti-aging as well as anti-sun damage properties. Other anti-aging sunscreens contain anti-oxidants in the form of minerals.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is one of the most widely used skin-care ingredient, given its astounding skin healing properties. It skin rejuvenation and anti-wrinkle properties have been scientifically proved: It is essential for synthesis of collagen in skin, thus curing wrinkles and fine lines; and it is a well-known anti-oxidant, capable of preventing skin-damage due to free radicals.

Vitamin C on its own is rather tricky, since it oxidizes instantly and may cause more harm than good when used topically. To overcome this barrier, anti-aging creams use the vitamin’s more stable and effective derivatives like magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, etc.

Vitamin C taken in dietary form is good for health, but provides insubstantial anti-aging benefits for skin, since higher concentrations for anti-wrinkle properties are required than those available to skin through vitamin rich diet.

Anti-aging creams do work, wonderfully. The effects of a given anti-aging product will depend upon active ingredients in its formulation, their respective concentrations, and frequency and regularity of application. Also keep in mind that many of the active ingredients listed above work best in ‘synergy’, i.e. combined form, than by themselves. For instance, AHAs sun-sensitivity factor can be negated by adding sunscreen in its formulation, and a sunscreen with retinoid will work wonders on wrinkle-ridden skin.

For more information about anti wrinkle creams please visit: [http://www.antiwrinklecreamsblog.com/]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Binh_Hanh_Thai_Nguyen/1413972

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7273758

The Programmed Cellular Death Approach to Anti-Aging Treatment

May 8, 2016 by · Comments Off on The Programmed Cellular Death Approach to Anti-Aging Treatment
Filed under: General 

Modern anti-aging treatment is built on a common base of knowledge that I will quickly review. Biochemistry and molecular biology tell us there are many types of chemical reactions going on in the human body. We know that it is the genetic information programmed inside our cellular DNA that defines what reactions occur. Genetic information, expressed in regulated ways, builds the body’s proteins and enzymes, and controls how enzymes carry out the cell’s biochemical reactions.

This information, contained in the DNA of our genome, consists of many thousands of long, often repetitive, sequences of base pairs that are built up from four basic nucleotides. Human genome mapping has shown there are over 3 billion base pairs in our DNA. It is estimated they contain some 20,000 protein-coding genes. All body functions are controlled by the expression of the genes in our genome. The mechanisms controlling the aging process are believed to be programmed into our DNA but only a fraction of the biochemical reactions related to the aging process have been looked at in any detail. Cellular aging is a very complex process and many of its low level operating details have yet to be discovered.

Anti-aging theory has consolidated itself along two lines of thought: the programmed cellular death theory and the cellular damages theory. The programmed death theory focuses on the root causes of aging. The cellular damages theory looks at the visible aspects of aging; i.e. the symptoms of aging. Both theories are correct and often overlap. Both theories are developing rapidly as anti-aging research uncovers more details. As works in progress these theories may take years to complete. This broad characterization also applies to the currently available types of anti-aging treatments.

The programmed death theory of aging suggests that biological aging is a programmed process controlled by many life span regulatory mechanisms. They manifest themselves through gene expression. Gene expression also controls body processes such as our body maintenance (hormones, homeostatic signaling etc.) and repair mechanisms. With increasing age the efficiency of all such regulation declines. Programmed cellular death researchers want to understand which regulatory mechanisms are directly related to aging, and how to affect or improve them. Many ideas are being pursued but one key area of focus is on slowing or stopping telomere shortening. This is considered to be a major cause of aging.

With the exception of the germ cells that produce ova and spermatozoa, most dividing human cell types can only divide about 50 to 80 times (also called the Hayflick limit or biological death clock). This is a direct consequence of all cell types having fixed length telomere chains at the ends of their chromosomes. This is true for all animal (Eukaryotic) cells. Telomeres play a vital role in cell division. In very young adults telomere chains are about 8,000 base pairs long. Each time a cell divides its telomere chain loses about 50 to 100 base pairs. Eventually this shortening process distorts the telomere chain’s shape and it becomes dysfunctional. Cell division is then no longer possible.

Telomerase, the enzyme that builds the fixed length telomere chains, is normally only active in young undifferentiated embryonic cells. Through the process of differentiation these cells eventually form the specialized cells from which of all our organs and tissues are made of. After a cell is specialized telomerase activity stops. Normal adult human tissues have little or no detectable telomerase activity. Why? A limited length telomere chain maintains chromosomal integrity. This preserves the species more than the individual.

During the first months of development embryonic cells organize into about 100 distinct specialized cell lines. Each cell line (and the organs they make up) has a different Hayflick limit. Some cell lines are more vulnerable to the effects of aging than others. In the heart and parts of the brain cell loss is not replenished. With advancing age such tissues start to fail. In other tissues damaged cells die off and are replaced by new cells that have shorter telomere chains. Cell division itself only causes about 20 telomere base pairs to be lost. The rest of the telomere shortening is believed to be due to free radical damage.

This limit on cell division is the reason why efficient cell repair can’t go on indefinitely. When we are 20 to 35 years of age our cells can renew themselves almost perfectly. One study found that at the age 20 the average length of telomere chains in white blood cells is about 7,500 base pairs. In humans, skeletal muscle telomere chain lengths remain more or less constant from the early twenties to mid seventies. By the age of 80 the average telomere length decreases to about 6,000 base pairs. Different studies have different estimates of how telomere length varies with age but the consensus is that between the age of 20 and 80 the length of the telomere chain decreases by 1000 to 1500 base pairs. Afterwards, as telomere lengths shorten even more, signs of severe aging begin to appear.

There are genetic variations in human telomerase. Long lived Ashkenazi Jews are said to have a more active form of telomerase and longer than normal telomere chains. Many other genetic differences (ex.: efficiency of DNA repair, antioxidant enzymes, and rates of free radical production) affect how quickly one ages. Statistics suggest that having shorter telomeres increases your chance of dying. People whose telomeres are 10% shorter than average, and people whose telomeres are 10% longer than average die at different rates. Those with the shorter telomeres die at a rate that is 1.4 greater than those with the longer telomeres.

Many advances in telomerase based anti-aging treatments have been documented. I only have room to mention a few of them.

– Telomerase has been used successfully to lengthen the life of certain mice by up to 24%.

– In humans, gene therapy using telomerase has been used to treat myocardial infarction and several other conditions.

– Telomerase related, mTERT, treatment has successfully rejuvenated many different cell lines.

In one particularly important example researchers using synthetic telomerase that encoded to a telomere-extending protein, have extended the telomere chain lengths of cultured human skin and muscle cells by up to 1000 base pairs. This is a 10%+ extension of telomere chain length. The treated cells then showed signs of being much younger than the untreated cells. After the treatments these cells behaved normally, losing a part of their telomere chain after each division.

The implications of successfully applying such techniques in humans are staggering. If telomere length is a primary cause of normal aging, then, using the telomere length numbers previously mentioned, it might be possible to double the healthy time period during which telomere chain lengths are constant; i.e. from the range of 23 to 74 years to an extended range of 23 to 120 or more years. Of course this is too optimistic because it is known that in vitro cultured cells are able to divide a larger number of times than cells in the human body but it is reasonable to expect some improvement (not 50 years but say 25 years).

We know that telomerase based treatments are not the final answer to anti-aging but there is no doubt that they can, by increasing the Hayflick limit, extend or even immortalize the lifespan of many cell types. It remains to be seen if this can be done safely done in humans.

Telomerase based treatments are only a partial answer to anti-aging. Please carefully research any anti-aging supplements based on this line of treatment. Through my articles and website I want to help you maintain your good health for the next 10 to 25 years. My hope is that within time period the fruits of anti-aging research will become available to everyone.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9227048

The Development of Old Age and Related Issues

April 18, 2016 by · Comments Off on The Development of Old Age and Related Issues
Filed under: General 

In traditional Chinese and other Asian cultures the aged were highly respected and cared for. The Igabo tribesmen of Eastern Nigeria value dependency in their aged and involve them in care of children and the administration of tribal affairs (Shelton, A. in Kalish R. Uni Michigan 1969).

In Eskimo culture the grandmother was pushed out into the ice-flow to die as soon as she became useless.

Western societies today usually resemble to some degree the Eskimo culture, only the “ice-flows” have names such a “Sunset Vista” and the like. Younger generations no longer assign status to the aged and their abandonment is always in danger of becoming the social norm.

There has been a tendency to remove the aged from their homes and put them  in custodial care. To some degree the government provides domiciliary care services to prevent or delay this, but the motivation probably has more to do with expense than humanity.

In Canada and some parts of the USA old people are being utilised as foster-grandparents in child care agencies.

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS

What is Aging?

Aging: Aging is a natural phenomenon that refers to changes occurring throughout the life span and result in differences in structure and function between the youthful and elder generation.

Gerontology: Gerontology is the study of aging and includes science, psychology and sociology.

Geriatrics: A relatively new field of medicine specialising in the health problems of advanced age.

Social aging: Refers to the social habits and roles of individuals with respect to their culture and society. As social aging increases individual usually experience a decrease in meaningful social interactions.

Biological aging: Refers to the physical changes in the body systems during the later decades of life. It may begin long before the individual  reaches chronological age 65.

Cognitive aging: Refers to decreasing ability to assimilate new information and learn new behaviours and skills.

GENERAL PROBLEMS OF AGING

Eric Erikson (Youth and the life cycle. Children. 7:43-49 Mch/April 1960) developed an “ages and stages” theory of human development that involved 8 stages after birth each of which involved a basic dichotomy representing best case and worst case outcomes. Below are the dichotomies and their developmental relevance:

Prenatal stage – conception to birth.

  1. Infancy. Birth to 2 years – basic trust vs. basic distrust. Hope.
  2. Early childhood, 3 to 4 years – autonomy vs. self doubt/shame. Will.
  3. Play age, 5 to 8 years – initiative vs. guilt. Purpose.
  4. School age, 9to 12 – industry vs. inferiority. Competence.
  5. Adolescence, 13 to 19 – identity vs. identity confusion. Fidelity.
  6. Young adulthood – intimacy vs. isolation. Love.
  7. Adulthood, generativity vs. self absorption. Care.
  8. Mature age- Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Wisdom.

This stage of older adulthood, i.e. stage 8, begins about the time of retirement and continues throughout one’s life. Achieving ego integrity  is a sign of maturity while failing to reach this stage is an indication of poor development in prior stages through the life course.

Ego integrity: This means coming to accept one’s whole life and reflecting on it in a positive manner. According to Erikson, achieving integrity means fully accepting one’ self and coming to terms with death. Accepting responsibility for one’s life and being able to review the past with satisfaction is essential. The inability to do this leads to despair and the individual will begin to fear death. If a favourable balance is achieved during this stage, then wisdom is developed.

Psychological and personality aspects:

Aging has psychological implications. Next to dying our recognition that we are aging may be one of the most profound shocks we ever receive. Once we pass the invisible line of 65 our years are bench marked for the remainder of the game of life. We are no longer “mature age” we are instead classified as “old”, or “senior citizens”. How we cope with the changes we face and stresses of altered status depends on our basic personality. Here are 3 basic personality types that have been identified. It may be a oversimplification but it makes the point about personality effectively:

a. The autonomous – people who seem to have the resources for self-renewal. They may be dedicated to a goal or idea and committed to continuing productivity. This appears to protect them somewhat even against physiological aging.

b.The adjusted – people who are rigid and lacking in adaptability but are supported by their power, prestige or well structured routine. But if their situation changes drastically they become psychiatric casualties.

c.The anomic. These are people who do not have clear inner values or a protective life vision. Such people have been described as prematurely resigned and they may deteriorate rapidly.

Summary of stresses of old age.

a. Retirement and reduced income. Most people rely on work for self worth, identity and social interaction. Forced retirement can be demoralising.

b. Fear of invalidism and death. The increased probability of falling prey to illness from which there is no recovery is a continual source of anxiety. When one has a heart attack or stroke the stress becomes much worse.

Some persons face death with equanimity, often psychologically supported by a religion or philosophy. Others may welcome death as an end to suffering or insoluble problems and with little concern for life or human existence. Still others face impending death with suffering of great stress against which they have no ego defenses.

c. Isolation and loneliness. Older people face inevitable loss of loved ones, friends and contemporaries. The loss of a spouse whom one has depended on for companionship and moral support is particularly distressing. Children grow up, marry and become preoccupied or move away. Failing memory, visual and aural impairment may all work to make social interaction difficult. And if this then leads to a souring of outlook and rigidity of attitude then social interaction becomes further lessened and the individual may not even utilise the avenues for social activity that are still available.

d. Reduction in sexual function and physical attractiveness. Kinsey et al, in their Sexual behaviour in the human male, (Phil., Saunders, 1948) found that there is a gradual decrease in sexual activity with advancing age and that reasonably gratifying patterns of sexual activity can continue into extreme old age. The aging person also has to adapt to loss of sexual attractiveness in a society which puts extreme emphasis on sexual attractiveness. The adjustment in self image and self concept that are required can be very hard to make.

e. Forces tending to self devaluation. Often the experience of the older generation has little perceived relevance to the problems of the young and the older person becomes deprived of participation in decision making both in occupational and family settings. Many parents are seen as unwanted burdens and their children may secretly wish they would die so they can be free of the burden and experience some financial relief or benefit. Senior citizens may be pushed into the role of being an old person with all this implies in terms of self devaluation.

4 Major Categories of Problems or Needs:

Health.

Housing.

Income maintenance.

Interpersonal relations.

BIOLOGICAL CHANGES

Physiological Changes: Catabolism (the breakdown of protoplasm) overtakes anabolism (the build-up of protoplasm). All body systems are affected and repair systems become slowed. The aging process occurs at different rates in different individuals.

Physical appearance and other changes:

Loss of subcutaneous fat and less elastic skin gives rise to wrinkled appearance, sagging and loss of smoothness of body contours. Joints stiffen and become painful and range of joint movement becomes restricted, general mobility lessened.

Respiratory changes:

Increase of fibrous tissue in chest walls and lungs leads restricts respiratory movement and less oxygen is consumed. Older people more likelyto have lower respiratory infections whereas young people have upper respiratory infections.

Nutritive changes:

Tooth decay and loss of teeth can detract from ease and enjoyment in eating. Atrophy of the taste buds means food is inclined to be tasteless and this should be taken into account by carers. Digestive changes occur from lack of exercise (stimulating intestines) and decrease in digestive juice production. Constipation and indigestion are likely to follow as a result. Financial problems can lead to the elderly eating an excess of cheap carbohydrates rather than the more expensive protein and vegetable foods and this exacerbates the problem, leading to reduced vitamin intake and such problems as anemia and increased susceptibility to infection.

Adaptation to stress:

All of us face stress at all ages. Adaptation to stress requires the consumption of energy. The 3 main phases of stress are:

1. Initial alarm reaction. 2. Resistance. 3. Exhaustion

and if stress continues tissue damage or aging occurs. Older persons have had a lifetime of dealing with stresses. Energy reserves are depleted and the older person succumbs to stress earlier than the younger person. Stress is cumulative over a lifetime. Research results, including experiments with animals suggests that each stress leaves us more vulnerable to the next and that although we might think we’ve “bounced back” 100% in fact each stress leaves it scar. Further, stress is psycho-biological meaning the kind of stress is irrelevant. A physical stress may leave one more vulnerable to psychological stress and vice versa. Rest does not completely restore one after a stressor. Care workers need to be mindful of this and cognizant of the kinds of things that can produce stress for aged persons.

COGNITIVE CHANGE Habitual Behaviour:

Sigmund Freud noted that after the age of 50, treatment of neuroses via psychoanalysis was difficult because the opinions and reactions of older people were relatively fixed and hard to shift.

Over-learned behaviour: This is behaviour that has been learned so well and repeated so often that it has become automatic, like for example typing or running down stairs. Over-learned behaviour is hard to change. If one has lived a long time one is likely to have fixed opinions and ritualised behaviour patterns or habits.

Compulsive behaviour: Habits and attitudes that have been learned in the course of finding ways to overcome frustration and difficulty are very hard to break. Tension reducing habits such as nail biting, incessant humming, smoking or drinking alcohol are especially hard to change at any age and particularly hard for persons who have been practising them over a life time.

The psychology of over-learned and compulsive behaviours has severe implications for older persons who find they have to live in what for them is a new and alien environment with new rules and power relations.

Information acquisition:

Older people have a continual background of neural noise making it more difficult for them to sort out and interpret complex sensory input. In talking to an older person one should turn off the TV, eliminate as many noises and distractions as possible, talk slowly and relate to one message or idea at a time.

Memories from the distant past are stronger than more recent memories. New memories are the first to fade and last to return.

Time patterns also can get mixed – old and new may get mixed.

Intelligence.

Intelligence reaches a peak and can stay high with little deterioration if there is no neurological damage. People who have unusually high intelligence to begin with seem to suffer the least decline. Education and stimulation also seem to play a role in maintaining intelligence.

Intellectual impairment. Two diseases of old age causing cognitive decline are Alzheimer’s syndrome and Pick’s syndrome. In Pick’s syndrome there is inability to concentrate and learn and also affective responses are impaired.

Degenerative Diseases: Slow progressive physical degeneration of cells in the nervous system. Genetics appear to be an important factor. Usually start after age 40 (but can occur as early as 20s).

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Degeneration of all areas of cortex but particularly frontal and temporal lobes. The affected cells actually die. Early symptoms resemble neurotic disorders: Anxiety, depression, restlessness sleep difficulties.

Progressive deterioration of all intellectual faculties (memory deficiency being the most well known and obvious). Total mass of the brain decreases, ventricles become larger. No established treatment.

PICK’S DISEASE Rare degenerative disease. Similar to Alzheimer’s in terms of onset, symptomatology and possible genetic aetiology. However it affects circumscribed areas of the brain, particularly the frontal areas which leads to a loss of normal affect.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE Neuropathology: Loss of neurons in the basal ganglia.

Symptoms: Movement abnormalities: rhythmical alternating tremor of extremities, eyelids and tongue along with rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement (akinesia).

It was once thought that Parkinson’s disease was not associated with intellectual deterioration, but it is now known that there is an association between global intellectual impairment and Parkinson’s where it occurs late in life.

The cells lost in Parkinson’s are associated with the neuro-chemical Dopamine and the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are associated the dopamine deficiency. Treatment involves administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa which can alleviate symptoms including intellectual impairment. Research suggests it may possibly bring to the fore emotional effects in patients who have had psychiatric illness at some prior stage in their lives.

AFFECTIVE DOMAIN In old age our self concept gets its final revision. We make a final assessment of the value of our lives and our balance of success and failures.

How well a person adapts to old age may be predicated by how well the person adapted to earlier significant changes. If the person suffered an emotional crisis each time a significant change was needed then adaptation to the exigencies of old age may also be difficult. Factors such as economic security, geographic location and physical health are important to the adaptive process.

Need Fulfilment: For all of us, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, we are not free to pursue the higher needs of self actualisation unless the basic needs are secured. When one considers that many, perhaps most, old people are living in poverty and continually concerned with basic survival needs, they are not likely to be happily satisfying needs related to prestige, achievement and beauty.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

Physiological

Safety

Belonging, love, identification

Esteem: Achievement, prestige, success, self respect

Self actualisation: Expressing one’s interests and talents to the full.

Note: Old people who have secured their basic needs may be motivated to work on tasks of the highest levels in the hierarchy – activities concerned with aesthetics, creativity and altruistic matters, as compensation for loss of sexual attractiveness and athleticism. Aged care workers fixated on getting old people to focus on social activities may only succeed in frustrating and irritating them if their basic survival concerns are not secured to their satisfaction.

DISENGAGEMENT

Social aging according to Cumming, E. and Henry, W. (Growing old: the aging process of disengagement, NY, Basic 1961) follows a well defined pattern:

  1. Change in role. Change in occupation and productivity. Possibly change in attitude to work.
  2. Loss of role, e.g. retirement or death of a husband.
  3. Reduced social interaction. With loss of role social interactions are diminished, eccentric adjustment can further reduce social interaction, damage to self concept, depression.
  4. Awareness of scarcity of remaining time. This produces further curtailment of activity in interest of saving time.

Havighurst, R. et al (in B. Neugarten (ed.) Middle age and aging, U. of Chicago, 1968) and others have suggested that disengagement is not an inevitable process. They believe the needs of the old are essentially the same as in middle age and the activities of middle age should be extended as long as possible. Havighurst points out the decrease in social interaction of the aged is often largely the result of society withdrawing from the individual as much as the reverse. To combat this he believes the individual must vigorously resist the limitations of his social world.

DEATH The fear of the dead amongst tribal societies is well established. Persons who had ministered to the dead were taboo and required observe various rituals including seclusion for varying periods of time. In some societies from South America to Australia it is taboo for certain persons to utter the name of the dead. Widows and widowers are expected to observe rituals in respect for the dead.

Widows in the Highlands of New Guinea around Goroka chop of one of their own fingers. The dead continue their existence as spirits and upsetting them can bring dire consequences.

Wahl, C in “The fear of death”, 1959 noted that the fear of death occurs as early as the 3rd year of life. When a child loses a pet or grandparent fears reside in the unspoken questions: Did I cause it? Will happen to you (parent) soon? Will this happen to me? The child in such situations needs to re-assure that the departure is not a censure, and that the parent is not likely to depart soon. Love, grief, guilt, anger are a mix of conflicting emotions that are experienced.

CONTEMPORARY ATTITUDES TO DEATH

Our culture places high value on youth, beauty, high status occupations, social class and anticipated future activities and achievement. Aging and dying are denied and avoided in this system. The death of each person reminds us of our own mortality.

The death of the elderly is less disturbing to members of Western society because the aged are not especially valued. Surveys have established that nurses for example attach more importance to saving a young life than an old life. In Western society there is a pattern of avoiding dealing with the aged and dying aged patient.

Stages of dying. Elisabeth Kubler Ross has specialised in working with dying patients and in her “On death and dying”, NY, Macmillan, 1969, summarised 5 stages in dying.

  1. Denial and isolation. “No, not me”.
  2. Anger. “I’ve lived a good life so why me?”
  3. Bargaining. Secret deals are struck with God. “If I can live until…I promise to…”
  4. Depression. (In general the greatest psychological problem of the aged is depression). Depression results from real and threatened loss.
  5. Acceptance of the inevitable.

Kubler Ross’s typology as set out above should, I believe be taken with a grain of salt and not slavishly accepted. Celebrated US Journalist David Rieff who was in June ’08 a guest of the Sydney writer’s festival in relation to his book, “Swimming in a sea of death: a son’s memoir” (Melbourne University Press) expressly denied the validity of the Kubler Ross typology in his Late Night Live interview (Australian ABC radio) with Philip Adams June 9th ’08. He said something to the effect that his mother had regarded her impending death as murder. My own experience with dying persons suggests that the human ego is extraordinarily resilient. I recall visiting a dying colleague in hospital just days before his death. He said, “I’m dying, I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it”, and then went on to chortle about how senior academics at an Adelaide university had told him they were submitting his name for a the Order of Australia (the new “Knighthood” replacement in Australia). Falling in and out of lucid thought with an oxygen tube in his nostrils he was nevertheless still highly interested in the “vain glories of the world”. This observation to me seemed consistent with Rieff’s negative assessment of Kubler Ross’s theories.

THE AGED IN RELATION TO YOUNGER PEOPLE

The aged share with the young the same needs: However, the aged often have fewer or weaker resources to meet those needs. Their need for social interaction may be ignored by family and care workers.

Family should make time to visit their aged members and invite them to their homes. The aged like to visit children and relate to them through games and stories.

Meaningful relationships can be developed via foster-grandparent programs. Some aged are not aware of their income and health entitlements. Family and friends should take the time to explain these. Some aged are too proud to access their entitlements and this problem should be addressed in a kindly way where it occurs.

It is best that the aged be allowed as much choice as possible in matters related to living arrangements, social life and lifestyle.

Communities serving the aged need to provide for the aged via such things as lower curbing, and ramps.

Carers need to examine their own attitude to aging and dying. Denial in the carer is detected by the aged person and it can inhibit the aged person from expressing negative feelings – fear, anger. If the person can express these feelings to someone then that person is less likely to die with a sense of isolation and bitterness.

A METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

The following notes are my interpretation of a Dr. Depak Chopra lecture entitled, “The New Physics of Healing” which he presented to the 13th Scientific Conference of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Depak Chopra is an endocrinologist and a former Chief of Staff of New England Hospital, Massachusetts. I am deliberately omitting the detail of his explanations of the more abstract, ephemeral and controversial ideas.

Original material from 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

In the lecture Dr. Chopra presents a model of the universe and of all organisms as structures of interacting centres of electromagnetic energy linked to each other in such a way that anything affecting one part of a system or structure has ramifications throughout the entire structure. This model becomes an analogue not only for what happens within the structure or organism itself, but between the organism and both its physical and social environments. In other words there is a correlation between psychological conditions, health and the aging process. Dr. Chopra in his lecture reconciles ancient Vedic (Hindu) philosophy with modern psychology and quantum physics.

Premature Precognitive Commitment: Dr. Chopra invokes experiments that have shown that flies kept for a long time in a jar do not quickly leave the jar when the top is taken off. Instead they accept the jar as the limit of their universe. He also points out that in India baby elephants are often kept tethered to a small twig or sapling. In adulthood when the elephant is capable of pulling over a medium sized tree it can still be successfully tethered to a twig! As another example he points to experiments in which fish are bred on

2 sides of a fish tank containing a divider between the 2 sides. When the divider is removed the fish are slow to learn that they can now swim throughout the whole tank but rather stay in the section that they accept as their universe. Other experiments have demonstrated that kittens brought up in an environment of vertical stripes and structures, when released in adulthood keep bumping into anything aligned horizontally as if they were unable to see anything that is horizontal. Conversely kittens brought up in an environment of horizontal stripes when released bump into vertical structures, apparently unable to see them.

The whole point of the above experiments is that they demonstrate Premature Precognitive Commitment. The lesson to be learned is that our sensory apparatus develops as a result of initial experience and how we’ve been taught to interpret it.

What is the real look of the world? It doesn’t exist. The way the world looks to us is determined by the sensory receptors we have and our interpretation of that look is determined by our premature precognitive commitments. Dr Chopra makes the point that less than a billionth of the available stimuli make it into our nervous systems. Most of it is screened, and what gets through to us is whatever we are expecting to find on the basis of our precognitive commitments.

Dr. Chopra also discusses the diseases that are actually caused by mainstream medical interventions, but this material gets too far away from my central intention. Dr. Chopra discusses in lay terms the physics of matter, energy and time by way of establishing the wider context of our existence. He makes the point that our bodies including the bodies of plants are mirrors of cosmic rhythms and exhibit changes correlating even with the tides.

Dr. Chopra cites the experiments of Dr. Herbert Spencer of the US National Institute of Health. He injected mice with Poly-IC, an immuno-stimulant while making the mice repeatedly smell camphor. After the effect of the Poly-IC had worn off he again exposed the mice to the camphor smell. The smell of camphor had the effect of causing the mice’s immune system to automatically strengthen as if they had been injected with the stimulant. He then took another batch of mice and injected them with cyclophosphamide which tends to destroy the immune system while exposing them to the smell of camphor. Later after being returned to normal just the smell of camphor was enough to cause destruction of their immune system. Dr. Chopra points out that whether or not camphor enhanced or destroyed the mice’s immune system was entirely determined by an interpretation of the meaning of the smell of camphor. The interpretation is not just in the brain but in each cell of the organism. We are bound to our imagination and our early experiences.

Chopra cites a study by the Massachusetts Dept of Health Education and Welfare into risk factors for heart disease – family history, cholesterol etc. The 2 most important risk factors were found to be psychological measures – Self  Happiness Rating and Job Satisfaction. They found most people died of heart disease on a Monday!

Chopra says that for every feeling there is a molecule. If you are experiencing tranquillity your body will be producing natural valium. Chemical changes in the brain are reflected by changes in other cells including blood cells. The brain produces neuropeptides and brain structures are chemically tuned to these neuropeptide receptors. Neuropeptides (neurotransmitters) are the chemical concommitants of thought. Chopra points out the white blood cells (a part of the immune system) have neuropeptide receptors and are “eavesdropping” on our thinking. Conversely the immune system produces its own neuropeptides which can influence the nervous system. He goes on to say that cells in all parts of the body including heart and kidneys for example also produce neuropeptides and neuropeptide sensitivity. Chopra assures us that most neurologists would agree that the nervous system and the immune system are parallel systems.

Other studies in physiology: The blood interlukin-2 levels of medical students decreased as exam time neared and their interlukin receptor capacities also lowered. Chopra says if we are having fun to the point of exhilaration our natural interlukin-2 levels become higher. Interlukin-2 is a powerful and very expensive anti-cancer drug. The body is a printout of consciousness. If we could change the way we look at our bodies at a genuine, profound level then our bodies would actually change.

On the subject of “time” Chopra cites Sir Thomas Gall and Steven Hawkins, stating that our description of the universe as having a past, present, and future are constructed entirely out of our interpretation of change. But in reality linear time doesn’t exist.

Chopra explains the work of Alexander Leaf a former Harvard Professor of Preventative Medicine who toured the world investigating societies where people  lived beyond 100 years (these included parts of Afghanistan, Soviet Georgia, Southern Andes). He looked at possible factors including climate, genetics, and diet. Leaf concluded the most important factor was the collective perception of aging in these societies.

Amongst the Tama Humara of the Southern Andes there was a collective belief that the older you got the more physically able you got. They had a tradition of running and the older one became then generally the better at running one got. The best runner was aged 60. Lung capacity and other measures actually improved with age. People were healthy until well into their 100s and died in their sleep. Chopra remarks that things have changed since the introduction of Budweiser (beer) and TV.

[DISCUSSION: How might TV be a factor in changing the former ideal state of things?]

Chopra refers to Dr. Ellen Langor a former Harvard Psychology professor’s work. Langor advertised for 100 volunteers aged over 70 years. She took them to a Monastery outside Boston to play “Let’s Pretend”. They were divided into 2 groups each of which resided in a different part of the building. One group, the control group spent several days talking about the 1950s. The other group, the experimental group had to live as if in the year 1959 and talk about it in the present tense. What appeared on their TV screens were the old newscasts and movies. They read old newspapers and magazines of the period. After 3 days everyone was photographed and the photographs judged by independent judges who knew nothing of the nature of the experiment. The experimental group seemed to have gotten younger in appearance. Langor then arranged for them to be tested for 100 physiological parameters of aging which included of course blood pressure, near point vision and DHEA levels. After 10 days of living as if in 1959 all parameters had reversed by the equivalent of at least 20 years.

Chopra concludes from Langor’s experiment: “We are the metabolic end product of our sensory experiences. How we interpret them depends on the collective mindset which influences individual biological entropy and aging.”

Can one escape the current collective mindset and reap the benefits in longevity and health? Langor says, society won’t let you escape. There are too many reminders of how most people think linear time is and how it expresses itself in entropy and aging – men are naughty at 40 and on social welfare at 55, women reach menopause at 40 etc. We get to see so many other people aging and dying that it sets the pattern that we follow.

Chopra concludes we are the metabolic product of our sensory experience and our interpretation gets structured in our biology itself. Real change comes from change in the collective consciousness – otherwise it cannot occur within the individual.

Readings

Chopra, D. The New Physics of Healing. 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

Coleman, J. C. Abnormal psychology and modern life. Scott Foresman & Co.

Lugo, J. and Hershey, L. Human development a multidisciplinary approach to the psychology of individual growth, NY, Macmillan.

Dennis. Psychology of human behaviour for nurses. Lond. W. B.Saunders.

[http://www.psychologynatural.com/DepressionBroch.html]

Dr. Victor Barnes is an Adelaide psychologist and hypnotherapist. He has also had three decades of experience in adult education including serving as Dean of a Sri Lankan college (ICBT) teaching several Australian degrees. His overseas experience includes studies and consulting experience in USA, PNG, Poland and Sri Lanka.

U.S. Veterans Honored by Encore.org’s 2013 Purpose Prize

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Seven Awards for People Over Age 60 Solving the World’s Toughest Social Problems

The Purpose Prize has become a “MacArthur genius award for people who develop a second career as social service entrepreneurs.” – The New York Times.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy organizes a network of volunteers across the country to teach disabled veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan how to combat stress — through fly-fishing.

A public relations executive helps wounded warriors find and renovate foreclosed homes – and transforms lives and neighborhoods in the process.

These are two of the seven winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, awarded by Encore.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people who translate decades of skill and experience into “second acts” that contribute to society’s greater good.

Now in its eighth year, The Purpose Prize is the nation’s only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for the social good. Created in 2005 by Encore.org, the prize is aimed at those with the passion to make change and the wisdom to know how to do it, showcasing the value of experience and disproving the notion that innovation is solely the province of the young.

Two winners will receive $100,000 each and five winners will receive $25,000 each.

This year’s winners:

* Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes, Weston, Ct.
Thomas rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. ($100,000 winner of The Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra)

* Ysabel Duron, Latinas Contra Cancer, San Jose, Ca.
Duron taps into her own experience as a cancer survivor to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. ($100,000)

* Edwin P. Nicholson, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., Port Tobacco, Md.
Nicholson mentors disabled veterans, healing emotional wounds through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. ($25,000)

* Carol Fennelly, Hope House, Washington, D.C.
Fennelly runs a unique summer camp behind bars that is transforming federal prisoners into involved parents. ($25,000)

* Elizabeth Huttinger, Projet Crevette, Pasadena, Ca.
Huttinger’s project is on a path to eradicate human schistosomiasis, a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest. ($25,000)

* Reverend Violet Little, The WelcomeChurch, Philadelphia, Pa.
Little is redefining the concept of “church” as she pastors Philadelphia’s homeless in a church without walls. ($25,000)

* Barbara Young, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
Young’s rise from immigrant nanny to passionate advocate gives her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers’ rights across the United States. ($25,000)

The Purpose Prize winners will be honored on December 5, 2013, at an awards ceremony in Sausalito, Ca. NBC’s Jane Pauley will emcee the event for hundreds of Encore leaders and the Purpose Prize winners.

Twenty-one judges – leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – chose the seven winners from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees. Judges include Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount; David Bornstein, author and New York Times columnist; Eric Liu, writer and founder of CitizenUniversity; and Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, The Purpose Prize is a program of Encore.org, which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining personal meaning, continued income and social impact in the second half of life.

This year, Symetra is sponsoring the $100,000 Purpose Prize for Future Promise, which recognizes an individual whose approach for helping society has the potential to grow steadily over the next five years. The company plans to sponsor another Purpose Prize for Future Promise in 2014.

“While Purpose Prize winners are helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems, they have one thing in common,” said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Encore.org and author of The Big Shift (PublicAffairs Books). “They – and millions of others in encore careers – are turning personal passions and decades of experience into invaluable contributions across sectors, continents and generations, often through entrepreneurship.”

Short summaries for all winners follow. Photos are attached. Longer bios and higher resolution photos are available.

Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes, Weston, Ct.
Thomas, winner of this year’s Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra, rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. Following a 35-year-career as a fundraising and marketing dynamo, she became the director of communications at Purple Heart Homes in 2008 in an effort to provide greater services for veterans who have service-connected disabilities. In just three years, Thomas helped take the fledgling nonprofit to new heights. She has raised millions for Purple Heart Homes in financial contributions and material donations. Revenue shot up 600% in her first year with the startup. She’s developed an innovative program that matches veterans with foreclosed homes donated by banks, then raises the funds to renovate a home for the individual veteran’s needs. It’s a win-win for all generations—and communities too. It helps veterans to grow assets, towns to recoup lost taxes and neighborhoods that have struggled with foreclosures to stabilize.

Ysabel Duron, Latinas Contra Cancer, San Jose, Ca.
Duron is an award-winning journalist with more than 42 years in television broadcasting. She tapped into her own experience as a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. To focus on the plight of low-income Latinos fighting the disease, Duron founded Latinas Contra Cancer (Latinas Against Cancer), an organization committed to educating, supporting and providing essential services to low-income Spanish speakers often overlooked by the health care system. Latinas Contra Cancer has offered a range of programs that have taught more than 3,000 men, women and teens about the disease, resulting in more than 300 preventative cancer screenings. The group has provided psychological and social support to over 100 patients per year. However, the call to action Duron answered has had an impact far beyond the Bay Area. Her passionate commitment is helping Latino communities across the U.S. gain access to cancer support, information and treatment. Her great empathy for cancer patients has made her utterly clear on her bigger purpose in the second stage of life.

Edwin P. Nicholson, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., Port Tobacco, Md.
Nicholson mentors disabled veterans, healing the emotional wounds of battle through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. A cancer survivor and war veteran himself, Nicholson was impressed by the fortitude of disabled veterans at the Walter Reed military hospital, where he was treated for prostate cancer in 2005. It spurred him to found Project Healing Waters, a program dedicated to helping disabled soldiers and veterans recover from the trying aftermath of war through the sport of fly-fishing. One-on-one connections have been key to Project Healing Waters’ approach since the beginning. Nicholson knew there were fly-fishing groups and facilities all over the country. His innovation was to convince them to start, manage and lead fly-fishing instruction and outings with veterans through military and Veterans Administration facilities. The quiet bonds forged over fishing lines began to transform lives. Again and again Nicholson heard from family members who said their loved ones had returned from war withdrawn, angry, and difficult to be around. But after fly-fishing with Project Healing Waters, they’ve become happier, more open and engaged. Project Healing Waters works closely with VA Recreational and Occupational therapies to identify those who would most benefit from the program. Many are in wheelchairs or using prosthetics. A few are blind. Participants reflect of full spectrum of disabled veterans and include all ages, genders, ethnicities and disabilities. Nicholson says the impact “goes well beyond the mechanics of fly-fishing.”

Carol Fennelly, Hope House, Washington, D.C.
A lifelong social activist who ran homeless shelters in the District of Columbia for 17 years, Carol Fennelly abandoned her plans to retire in 1998 when she learned that D.C. inmates had been transferred to Youngstown, OH. One woman made 10-hour round-trip drives twice a week to visit her son. Moved to answer a social need, Fennelly thought about opening a hospitality house in Youngstown for family members visiting inmates. She soon learned that while 93% of the federal inmate population is male, in sheer numbers there are more programs for mothers in prison than there are for fathers. She decided she had what it took to change things. “I had spent years organizing, dealing with government, making change happen, and that emboldened me to think I could go into prisons and start all these radical programs,” Fennelly says. So she launched an encore career with Hope House, an innovative organization that helps prison inmates stay in regular contact with their children. In the past 14 years, Hope House has hosted 200 video teleconferences, 18,000 personalized book readings by fathers and 31 week-long summer camps, which allow kids to spend time with their fathers free of the usual restrictions that come with visitor hours and family chaperones. California recently decided to implement the Hope House model in its 33 state prisons. Prisons in Texas, Idaho and New Hampshire may follow. In 2013 Fennelly was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change.

Elizabeth Huttinger, Projet Crevette, Pasadena, Ca.
International public health expert Elizabeth Huttinger spotted a big idea in shrimp, and launched an encore career that could eradicate a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest. Huttinger’s project – founded in 2006 – is targeting human schistosomiasis, an infectious parasite carried by river snails. Understanding that the population of prawns that eat those snails had precipitously declined, Huttinger, 63, has devoted her encore career to restoring the prawn population in the SenegalRiver Basin. Projet Crevette’s mission is multifaceted: the restoration of the prawn population diminishes the spread of schisto, provides new economic opportunities to afflicted communities and heals families infected by the disease. Today, Projet Crevette is a prawn-farming microenterprise, operated by locals at public watering holes. It has brought social innovation, new microbusinesses, environmental restoration and improved health to communities. Huttinger is confident Projet Crevette will meet its bold goal to fully restore the indigenous prawn population—and improve countless lives in the process.

Violet Little, The WelcomeChurch, Philadelphia, Pa.
Reverend Violet Little is redefining the concept of “church” as she pastors Philadelphia’s homeless in a church without walls. After 14 years as parish pastor trained in psychotherapy, Little left behind her traditional congregation to create a religious refuge for the homeless on the streets of the city, which became the “WelcomeChurch.” The church relies mostly on word of mouth, and services can pop up in a city park or on a sidewalk. No questions are asked, and everyone is welcome. The WelcomeChurch coordinates medical services through local universities, helps people get into rehab or jobs, and offers educational services to the public on the causes of homelessness. Little estimates 40 percent of her congregants have moved off the streets into permanent housing and the WelcomeChurch celebrates each and every one of them, many of whom stay connected with Little through their transition. Little’s congregation has grown to include hundreds of homeless as well as non-homeless volunteers in the EvangelicalLutheranChurch in America.

Barbara Young, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
An immigrant from the West Indies who built a meaningful life on meager income, Young’s gritty rise from nanny to passionate advocate gives her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers’ rights across the United States. She’s encouraged thousands to stand up for their right to earn a living wage, and counsels and trains others to become leaders themselves. In 2004, Young began building a movement to legislate a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New YorkState, which would make overtime, paid time off and rest days mandatory. In 2009, when she heard then Governor David Patterson say on the radio that he’d sign the bill if it made it to his desk, she put on a full court press, becoming the engine behind passage of the law in 2010. The law is the first of its kind in the country, but Young is committed to making sure it isn’t the last. She’s now a key player in the NDWA’s expansion from 11 to 44 affiliated organizations with 15,000 members, up from 5,000 in 2007. Young’s passion for serving her community has only just begun.

Read More About Encore’s Purpose Prize at www.encore.org/prize.

About Encore.org

Encore.org is a national nonprofit that promotes the idea that people in their second acts have the talent and experience to solve some of society’s greatest problems.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. In keeping with the Giving While Living philosophy of founder Charles “Chuck” Feeney, The Atlantic Philanthropies believes in making large investments to capitalize on significant opportunities to solve urgent problems now, so they are less likely to become larger, more entrenched and more expensive challenges later. The Atlantic Philanthropies also seeks to encourage others of significant wealth to engage in major philanthropic pursuits in their lifetime.

About The John Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality, supporting research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. We encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights.

About Symetra

Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors.

 

CONTACT: Sara Ying Rounsaville, srounsaville@encore.org, 415-952-5121, or Russ Mitchell, rmitchell@encore.org, 510-969-0801

Grants for Senior Citizens: Why Apply? by Erin Millano

June 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

The crisis-stricken global economy of our era has affected all people, even our seniors, too.

Retirement fund, whether invested in stocks, stored in the banks, or simply piled up in their safety vaults, has been much affected by the global crash. Most of which is spent to augment their emergency and urgent needs. This leaves them with nothing but literally crumbs of bread. Some cling to the vague hope of finding a home that will sufficiently and trouble-freely provide their every need.

But let’s face it, even the shelters for seniors nowadays are finding a hard time making both ends meet with the limited supply of finances they hold. They, too, are vulnerable to the economy as much as the elderly whom they are catering to.

The point here is that, no matter how non-profit organizations give their services for free, they still have to pay for what they give. And there lies the rub. In one way or another, somebody has to ask for help to supplement the elders’ needs. But the good news here is not only the shelter can ask for help, even the elderly are capable of it. All it takes is a bit of cunning to convince charitable companies and government units, and some guts to do it.

Never mind if you don’t have the writing prowess to jot a proposal, somebody else can take care of it.

So, are you too old to find ways to support your needs? Or are you too cliché of an organization to ask for support from the federal government and other agencies? Think again. For non-profit organizations, all it takes is determination, a will to sustain your noble cause in order to find ways for it. As for the seniors, all it takes is a handful of grit, a will to live your sunset days untroubled. Then let the rest take care of itself.

Or if you’re still doubtful whether there is an agency out there that will choose giving their charities to you than to a thousand others, here’s one advice: If you believe you deserve the assistance, just ask. Again just ask. There are people who are specially tasked to write a convincing grants proposal for senior citizens.

The government is spending millions of dollars for grants, mentioning aside what non-government agencies shed for it. If you believe there isn’t enough for you, rethink about it. Your only task here is to believe that you deserve a grant, and that you are fortunate enough that there are people out there who are willing to give them to you, and that senior citizens also have the right to quality life.

The grant for senior citizens, you see, is a privilege just waiting for any deserving person who has the courage enough to request for it. Now if that person is you, why have second thoughts? No one has been too old to be able to pose an appeal for a better life.

Mind you, more than enough are willing to help those who send their proposals.

Erin Millano has always been passionate to improve the quality of life of marginalized, low-income individuals, and families. She is a lobbyist, freelance photojournalist, and proposal writer.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Erin_Millano

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!