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wisdom | Nevada Senior Guide

How Old Are You Really? Biological Age

May 29, 2016 by · Comments Off on How Old Are You Really? Biological Age
Filed under: General 

People have always been interested in being “forever young” and today’s society is no different. We want to resist the ageing process.

The speed at which we are ageing can be measured – its called biological age, or how old your body really is.

The area of study which is now called longevity, and was once called anti aging, is hugely popular in the states.

It’s something I’m very interested in, and see it as a big part of the future for myself and my clients.

Your chronological age is how old you actually are.

Biological age is the age of your body at the cellular level.

Today we will look into how you can establish, what your biological age is and how you can improve it.

There are a few longevity factors in the list which surprised me!

(Deep question alert!)

What is the purpose of life? I don’t mean any deep seated stuff, like procreation.

I just mean, what is most people’s AIM in life. What do they want to get out of their time on earth?

Firstly and most importantly, people want to be happy. Easier said than done.

Happiness is a state of mind. It’s a feeling.

Ask someone with a big goal (like building a successful business or losing more than three stone).

“What will reaching your goal do for you?”

Often they will say something like “When I get there I will feel happy”, or “satisfied with myself”, or they say “I will feel proud”.

“I will have more energy”.

“I won’t be afraid of trying new clothes on or going out with friends”.

“I don’t want to feel like a slave to food”

“I don’t want to be scared to look in the mirror or get on the scales”.

Life is all about feelings.

People spend their entire lives in search of feelings! (mostly happiness, contentment, satisfaction and love)

How people actually reach this state of “happiness” is different for us all.

Most people I know AIM for a decent job (or business) with decent money.

All with the ultimate goal of having a good retirement.

I hear people say “When I finish work, I’m going to do this or I’m going to… (insert goal)”.

The point here being, if being happy and having a nice retirement is people’s main goal in life, then keeping your body fit and healthy surely must be part of your plan.

I know of a very wealthy man who got cancer and passed away just before his retirement, I’m sure that was not part of the master plan, he had built his business up so he could sell it and have a nice retirement (as most business people do).

He didn’t make it and didn’t get to “cash out”.

Many people don’t make it to retirement because their “plan” is messed up from the start.

Without sounding depressing we only get one shot remember.

This is NOT a rehearsal.

A lot of people get to retirement age and their body is wrecked!

This stops them from being able to enjoy their time off as much. Living life with lots of restrictions. “I can’t go there because of the steep hill”, or “I can’t do that because of my back or my knees”.

After working hard for 40-50 years – to give yourself a good pension and retirement, this is the last thing that anyone wants.

Peoples bodies are like cars.

On one hand you have new cars with high mileage that are not well serviced.

On the other hand you have old cars with low mileage that have been well looked after.

I want YOU to be like a well looked after old car, with low mileage when you get to your retirement.

I know some people, that slog away and get to the age of 40, and feel and look like they’re 50 or 60!

I also know many people who hit retirement age and feel like a 40 year old, and can keep on working and exercising for another 20 years!

This is all dependent on how we live our lives, obviously there are things such as injuries, diseases and other bad things which can impact our lives negatively through no fault of our own but on the whole we are in control of our own health.

What affects our longevity?

Scientists agree that these factors all affect your longevity in some way, big or small. (this is not a definitive list)

Muscle size and strength
Level of education
How pro active you are with going to see the doctor if needed
The amount of friends you can rely on, and love in your life
Your diet
Blood pressure
Your upper body strength
If you enjoy your work or not
Weather you smoke/drink alcohol or not, and the amount
If you exercise or not

Most of us shorten our lives and ultimately kill ourselves, through our bad habits and lifestyle choices, whatever they may be.

As you would of guessed, it is possible to slow down the onset of ageing and even reverse it to some extent.

I must say, that there is nothing wrong with ageing, it is inevitable. It is something we should be proud of, a chance to show our wisdom to the younger generation.

This article is just to show you how you can SLOW the ageing process with ease and actually enjoy it.

The Ageing Process

As we get older our bodies start to slow down and stop being able to function as well, sadly there is no getting away from this.

BUT through healthy living and making the right choices day in day out we can delay our body slowing down by years!

Just think how much more you will be able to enjoy your retirement if you feel like a 40 year old? and can spend it with the people you love.

Compare this to how much you will enjoy it if you can barely walk up a flight of stairs without having tired legs and being short of breath.

Your chronological age doesn’t have to be the same, or worse, than your physiological age.

How to slow the effects of ageing

The list above obviously helps you but here are a few more ideas for you to beat the clock.

When some people think anti aging, I’m sure some of you may think of things like anti wrinkle creams and lotions, hair dying products, botox and maybe even plastic surgery.

That does kind of sum up some of the western world that these are the steps that the majority of people (plastic surgery being an extreme example) will take to make them look younger, rather than eating healthily and exercising.

Aging leads to loss of muscle mass, loss of mental function, low mobility and a lack of energy, and as you know the cosmetic type anti aging steps I mentioned won’t help any of these.

Top tips to delay ageing naturally:

Enjoy the Outdoors – Don’t spend all of your time cooped up indoors behind the computer or watching TV. There are plenty of things to do and see outside, especially on a nice day I can’t think of anything better than going for a walk with the family down the park or beach. Sunlight also is a natural source of Vitamin D.

Yoga & Meditation – I would say that this is one of the most important strategies in staying young. I started to do this myself and it honestly makes me feel great. Yoga and meditation can help you relax and lower your stress levels (linked with aging) dramatically. It can also help you to see things a lot clearer.

Yoga is also great for your flexibility, the more flexible and supple you are the less chance you have in the future of suffering falls and lack of mobility.

Socialise – Loneliness can be a real killer. Socialise as much as possible with your friends and family. Get out there and do things, go to the cinema, concerts, attend an evening class (the more mentally stimulating the better).

Stay Strong & Active – You have to keep moving or your body will come to a standstill. Taking part in regular exercise is absolutely vital. Regular strength training is extremely important.

Losing muscle mass is something you want to avoid or at least delay for as long as possible so strength training will help this as well as keeping your bones strong, this will lower your chances of osteoporosis.

Nutrition

I believe food is medicine, many of the effects you get from modern day medicine you can get from eating the right foods.

Nutrition influences biochemistry. Biochemistry influences everything at a cellular level.

If you eat well there should be no need for some medications.

If you spend your whole life eating fresh, natural whole foods and stay active then it will also show. You will most likely be lean, mobile, disease free and full of energy, a rarity these days.

You should aim to eat a diet containing lots of quality fats and protein’s (the bodies building materials) which will help you to maintain your muscle stores. Also protein boosts the production of HGH in your body, HGH (Human growth Hormone) is your body’s natural ‘fountain of youth’.

As you age the production of this hormone slows down greatly, regular strength exercise (lifting, pushing and pulling heavy stuff) and quality protein keeps the production of this hormone going!

Eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods – Antioxidants which are found in colourful fruit and vegetables help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals in your system.

Free radicals can speed up the onset of ageing; they are unstable electrons (O1 molecules)which are produced during metabolism. They damage the cell nucleus and the mitochondria.

Free radicals bounce around inside your cells like a pin ball, causing damage every time they hit something. They cause absolute havoc.

Antioxidants provide the free radical with the extra O1 molecule they need to become stable O2 molecules.

Good quality natural foods are the best way to combat these harmful free radicals. Natural organic foods are packed with antioxidants which neutralise the free radicals before they cause too much damage.

Eat Omega 3s – They fight inflammation, improve the appearance of your skin and aid brain function. Three vital things that we need as we age. So make sure you get as many omega 3s into your system as you can, the best source is fresh fish, if not a fish oil supplement will do.

Lower Sugar Intake – Aim to cut out any excess sugar that you eat, excess sugars can modify essential proteins in our body which can lead to wrinkles and energy loss.

Look after your skin through good food and lots of water – Eating foods containing vitamin A (sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, asparagus and carrots), Vitamin C (red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, oranges, kiwi and pineapple) and Vitamin E (nuts, seeds and spinach) are a great way of helping your skin look healthy.

Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake – There are few things that age you faster than smoking and drinking alcohol every day so cut out smoking and do as much as you can to drink less.

Lower Stress Levels – This is another big one, I just mentioned that there are few things that age you faster than smoking and alcohol; well I think stress is one of them.

Being constantly stressed will ruin your mood, energy levels, social interaction as well as causing so many health problems.

As I mentioned above, I have found deep breathing techniques, yoga and meditation really important and a great way of combating stress.

Let’s be realistic the big medical and health companies aren’t going to promote anti aging through the things I just said, they are going to promote it through new miracle pills, lotions and creams, there is a lot of money to be made from it so they will keep on doing it.

The people who buy these products don’t have to alter their lifestyle one little bit so it suits them which is why it is so popular.

We ultimately reap our rewards in our retirement, if you have invested some time and effort into your “health & fitness account”, you will reap the rewards.

If you haven’t then you won’t!

You can actually measure your biological age online with a biological age calculator.

If all of the things I have mentioned above didn’t require effort or commitment then everyone would be running around into their 90s and later!!

But unfortunately we don’t, we die much younger than that.

Depending on what stats you use, in 2010, UK men were reported to live on average until about 77 or 78, and women on average live until 82 or 83 years old.

Do it naturally and do it right.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic, comment below, I really want to know what you think.

Thanks for reading, take care,

Richard

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Take a Number: Five Ways to Look at Age

April 24, 2016 by · Comments Off on Take a Number: Five Ways to Look at Age
Filed under: General 

One for the Ages

Satchel Paige was a great baseball pitcher, one of the greatest of all time. He was an African-American and, due to the racial discrimination of the time, most of his outstanding career was not spent in the (white) major leagues. However, after the historic breakthrough by the courageous and talented Jackie Robinson (Mr. Paige’s junior by about 14 years), Satchel Paige pitched in the major leagues for a number of years. In fact, he was still able to get major league batters out at the age of 60! (Mr. Paige’s age at his retirement from baseball is not known for certain because no one, probably including Mr. Paige himself, knew his exact year of birth; some thought he was older than 60). Mr. Paige revealed a mind as sharp as the break on his curve ball when he asked this profound question for the ages:

“How old would you be if you did not know how old you are?”

These writings are dedicated to the memory of Satchel Paige and to all the so-called “over-the-hill” guys and gals in every sport and in every area of life, from Churchill and Reagan in politics to Jessica Tandy in acting and Paul McCartney in fatherhood. They and many like them in the past and present will be joined by many more in the future who are not really “over the hill” because they are too busy taking the hill.

Five Ways to Look at Age

Chronological Age

The most common way to look at age is the Chronological. This is the one that everyone is familiar with. It is simply the time that has passed since your date of birth to today. It is the one that governments and insurance companies require of you and that your Doctor knows, even if your boy friend doesn’t. It is a unidimensional measure because it considers only time. It is uniform because everybody who is 48 years, 6 months, and 3 weeks old is exactly that, chronologically. People who view age only from the chronological perspective are somewhere between dumb and dumber.

True Age

True Age is another and better way to look at your age. True age is basically what a measurement of all the biomarkers of aging would reveal about you. Here’s four points about true age. One, if a well-trained physician did NOT know how old you are but reviewed a print-out of your biomarkers, she or he could accurately estimate your true age. Two, your true age is not uniform but varies by individual: you can be younger or older than your chronological age. Three, true age is multidimensional rather than confined to time. Four, absolutely nothing can be done about chronological age because it is fixed, but a great deal can be done about true age.

Appearance Age

Appearance Age is the age you appear to be to others. It no doubt has some relationship to both chronological age and true age. Yet it is different. This is because it is heavily influenced by a number of factors outside the scope of biomarker measurement, not the least of which is attitude. We all know people that appear to be quite a bit younger or older than their chronological age. But the only scientific way to measure a person’s appearance age would be to have a representative sample of the population observe a person for at least a few minutes. A quick glance is not sufficient because appearance age includes factors such as movement of the body and alertness, not just a frozen face. Then the estimates from all members of the representative sample would be gathered, simple statistical measures applied, and Voila! You have the person’s appearance age. Of course, unless we are part of a study, none of us will ever get this scientific about it. We will just have to rely on random comments from friends, family, and nice or mean strangers to estimate our appearance age; and usually it’s a pretty good estimate.

NEAT Age

A new way to look at age, which occurred to me awhile back, is what I call one’s N.E.A.T. age. This is simply one’s time left on the planet from right Now to the time of death. This age is unknowable by readers or anyone, except those committed to imminent suicide (and these poor folks are no more likely to take the short time remaining to do age calculations than they are to be caught dead reading an article about lively longevity). The best we can do is make a calculated estimate based on what we know about the general population and factor in any pluses or minuses that apply to us individually.

The N in NEAT of course stands for Now since the calculation is from the present, today, right now. E is for Elusive because I believe moments of time are elusive. As we humans try to hold or capture a moment of time it eludes us because the next moment is here, and then the next. Time and life are a flow.

The A in NEAT is for Allotted. Everyone who has ever lived has only so much time to live. Some have short lives, some have long lives, and some have lives neither particularly long nor short. But human life is finite and almost certainly will remain finite into the distant future if not forever. We do not need to take sides in the age-old debate about whether or not our allotted time is predestined by God in order to recognize that the amount is finite.

Of course, T is for Time. Time remaining is what it is all about. As has been oft noted: a millionaire on his death bed would gladly exchange his riches for a little more time, say one more day of healthy living.

So one’s NEAT age is one’s Now Elusive Allotted Time. It is a concept that provides a different perspective on aging and on life. For example, let’s suppose there was a 30-year old person named Terry and a 60-year old person named Sydney living in the same town in 1960. Conventional wisdom and simple arithmetic agree that Sydney was twice as old as Terry at that time. Such wisdom carries the (usually) unstated assumption that Terry is about 30 years further from the grave than Sydney. Statistically, this is difficult to argue with. But statistics are oft off for an individual and sometimes by a wide margin.

Let’s suppose that Terry had a lifetime of very bad health habits and, never having had the opportunity to read my writings, continued the very bad habits. Poor Terry expired a little shy of 40. (The same fate could have befallen Terry due to a dreaded disease or tragic accident.) Sydney, on the other hand, decided at some point to lead a health-conscious life. Sydney made good choices and stuck with them. Sydney enjoyed basically good health beyond age 100 before passing on. When Sydney was 60 and Terry was 30, Sydney had a NEAT age of 40+ and Terry had a NEAT age just under 10. So way back in 1960, who was younger: the one with less than a decade of life left, or the one with more than four decades of vibrant life left? One of the neat things about the NEAT age is that the bigger this age number the better.

Ideal Age

The fifth and final way that we will look at age is one’s Ideal Age. Your ideal age is your age of choice, your preferred age. The concept of ideal age brings us back to Satchel Paige’s question:

How old would you be if you did not know how old you are?

In a sense, perhaps most of us do NOT know how old we are anyhow. Sure we know our chronological age, and some of us have a rough gauge of our appearance age. But few of us know our true age, and none of us knows our NEAT age. So it should not be so difficult to put chronological age aside for a few moments and answer Mr. Paige’s question.

Before leaping to an answer like 21, keep in my mind that successful living usually involves a combination of physical vigor, mental acuity, and wisdom. Personally, my ideal age is 37; thus even at my next birthday I will still be one year younger than all the women over 40.

What about you? What’s your number? What’s your ideal age? The way my anti-aging program works for you is that after reflection you establish your ideal age. Then we work with all the tools and techniques of the program to bring your true age into ever closer alignment with your ideal age. There is a balance to be struck. A 90-year old reader shooting for an ideal age of 19 is setting up way too much of a challenge and thus is setting up for failure. A 50-year old reader settling for an ideal age of 45 is not challenging herself or himself enough.

Take a number.

Satchel Paige was the impetus for me to write the close to this article:

When it comes to matters of age,

It is best to take a page out of Paige,

And move forward with grace,

Paying no mind to this myth of the human race.

Gary Patrick is a certified anti-aging professional (Giovane Medical Services). He is also an author, hypnotist, personal trainer, and speaker. Free stuff is available for a limited time at his web site: [http://rapidresults.biz]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Gary_Patrick/18668

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

National Report: Oral Health of Older Americans In A ‘State of Decay’

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Oral Health America Launches First-of-its-Kind Website to Connect Older Adults to Affordable Dental Care and Resources

The oral health of older Americans is in a state of decay, according to a new national report released today by Oral Health America (OHA).  A State of Decay, a state-by-state analysis of oral healthcare delivery and public health factors impacting the oral health of older adults, reveals more than half of the country received a “fair” or “poor” assessment when it comes to minimal standards affecting dental care access for older adults. Florida and Arizona, areas with large older adult populations, rank in the bottom five states due to a shortage of oral health coverage, a strained dental health work force, and deficiencies in prevention programs.

“While we are seeing improvements in certain areas of older adult dental care, there is still a lack of progress in advancing the oral health of such a vulnerable population,” said Dr. Ira Lamster, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, ColumbiaUniversity, Mailman School of Public Health. “Older adults face significant health challenges if their oral health is poor, and there is no coordinated program to help fund necessary services.”

A State of Decay gave a rating of “fair,” “poor,” “good,” or “excellent” based on state level data analyzing five variables impacting older adult oral health: adult Medicaid dental benefits, inclusion of older adult strategies in state oral health plans, edentulism (loss of teeth), dental health professional shortage areas, and community water fluoridation.

The final evaluations in the report for each state are mixed, with several states performing well in some variables, but still in need of improvement in other important areas. The top findings of this report that require scrutiny and action are:

  • Persistent lack of oral health coverage across much of the nation. Forty-two percent of states (21 states) provide either no dental benefits or provide only emergency coverage  through adult Medicaid Dental Benefits.
  • Strained dental health work force. Thirty-one states (62 percent) have high rates of Dental Health Provider Shortage Areas (HPSAs), meeting only 40 percent or less of dental provider needs.
  • Tooth loss remains a signal of suboptimal oral health. Eight states had strikingly high rates of edentulism, with West Virginia notably having an adult population that is 33.8 percent edentate. Photo – PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
  • Deficiencies in preventive programs. Thirteen states (26 percent) have upwards of 60 percent of their residents living in communities without water fluoridation (CWF), despite recognition for 68 years that this public health measure markedly reduces dental caries. Hawaii (89.2 percent) and New Jersey (86.5 percent) represent the highest rates of citizens unprotected by fluoridation, an unnecessary public peril.

Daily, 10,000 Americans retire and only 2 percent do so with a dental benefit plan. The State of Decay analysis provides a tool for states to use in addressing shortfalls in oral health status, dental professional access sites, dental benefits for low-income adults, and population-based prevention, all of which affect the oral health of older adults, the fastest growing segment of the American population.

To help older adults and their caregivers address oral health needs and overcome many of the barriers to accessing affordable dental care, OHA launched toothwisdom.org. The website is a first-of-its-kind online tool that connects older adults to dental care and educates on the importance of maintaining oral health with age. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA) supported OHA and the launch of the website by encouraging their members to provide meaningful articles for the toothwisdom.org.

“Dental Hygienists have the opportunity to assist older Americans with the oral health challenges they may face as they age,”” said Ann Battrell, Executive Director, American Dental Hygienists’ Association. “We’re all committed to sharing the message that oral health matters and changing the common misperception that with age comes a decline in oral health.”

Few websites focus on oral and systemic health topics, and even fewer provide resources for older adult oral health. Toothwisdom.org offers oral care resources by state – including direct links to dental care, caregiving support, financial tools, social services, and transportation. It also shares the latest news and reliable health information from dental experts across the country on relevant oral health issues, the importance of continuing prevention with age, and the impact of oral health on overall health.

“My dental procedures have been very costly and I had to contact a social worker to help me understand my bills. Dental care should be more available and affordable because we know poor dental care affects overall health, which is particularly important for seniors,” said senior Patricia Cosgrove, a client of The Carter Burden Center for the Aging, Inc.  “Toothwisdom.org can help me find a community health center so I can finally get an affordable check-up and stay up-to-date on oral health information.”

A State of Decay and toothwisdom.org are part of Oral Health America’s Wisdom Tooth Project™, an initiative designed to meet the oral health challenges of a burgeoning population of older adults with special needs, chronic disease complications, and a growing inability to access and pay for dental services.

Links to the 2003 and 2013 editions of A State of Decay can be viewed on toothwisdom.org.

About OHA’s Wisdom Tooth Project
For 55 years, Oral Health America has been the leading national non-profit dedicated to improving the oral health and well-being of Americans throughout the entire spectrum of life. Over the decades, the organization has evolved and adapted to the dynamic nature of our country’s demographics and specific health needs. The Wisdom Tooth Project was born in 2010 due to the current and future implications of an aging population and the need for oral health resources for them mean that we must take meaningful action now.

About Oral Health America
OHA is a national, non-profit association dedicated to changing lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to oral health care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable. For more information about Oral Health America, please visit www.oralhealthamerica.org.

A Senior Citizen In Juvenile Hall by Eva Fry

August 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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It was my first time speaking at Juvenile Hall, I was terrified! I had seen enough movies to know I didn’t want to be there. As I hurried through the metal detectors, and pushed through the big metal doors, my heart was pounding and I was filled with fear. I wondered if I would get out of this place alive.

I passed the holding tanks, rooms with big windows containing kids who had just been arrested. In there were kids pacing, fighting addictions, fearfully waiting to be assigned to a unit. Some kids were right at home. They knew this place! They had been there before.

When I stepped into the inner sanctum I heard sounds that confirmed my fears. Angry kids were screaming, using profane language. I heard loud pounding on the doors, which dotted the narrow hallways. Juvenile inmates were communicating through the thick cement walls. As I scurried along, I saw empty eyes piercing out at me through the small, eye level windows of their rooms. I passed through more metal doors and hallways, until I came to the unit I was to speak in. Inside sat fifty young men, of all nationalities. I knew from their varying hair color. Their backs were toward me. They were juveniles from the age of 15 to 17.

As I slowly walked to the front of the room, I made sure there was a guard on either side, in case one of them grabbed me. I took a deep breath and turned toward them. My heart stopped! I was shocked! They were just kids! I expected them to look like criminals, but they looked like they could be one of my nine grandkids.

Although some did appear tough, and others rough, there was something about them that touched me. At that moment, my life changed! A still small voice inside me said, “you must try to help them!”

Thus began my continuing, nine-year mission, to help kids who are in trouble with the law. These are my kids. “The Forgotten Kid.” The children we think we can lock up, throw away the key, and forget. The ones who learned most of the bad things they have done, from us, the older generation. They are kids, paying the price for the sins of society. Our scapegoats

There are up to 600 kids locked up, in this facility, at any time. The Hall houses kids from the age of 10 to 18, although I saw a nine-year and ten-year-old carrying blankets and pillows. Were they going camping?
No! They were headed to their rooms, to be locked up, for armed robbery.

BE A WINNER IN LIFE IS MY PROGRAM. I help the kids believe they can still be WINNERS. I teach them they have potential to do amazing things with their life. In fact, I believe God sent them to this earth to do good with their lives. I tell them each one is a genius, in their own way, and can do something better than anyone else can do. They must find their genius. They must go to school, obey the law, obey their parents, be honest and work hard. My goal is to share with them the same truths I taught my kids: the basic truths of right and wrong.

I hope to support the parents who are good parents, but their kids got on the wrong track. I try to teach the ones with bad parents, or no parents, values they were never taught: basic principals of good and bad.

How did I start speaking at Juvenile Hall? It began a long time ago, when I was a little girl, the daughter of an alcoholic father who emotionally damaged my mother and us kids. I grew up in circumstances similar to some of these young wards.

I speak to them because I would have loved to have had someone, who cared, talk to me when I was young.

Some of these kids, like me, are the off spring of parents who didn’t care how their actions affected their kids. We were from homes full of contention caused by parents with addictions. Sick parents who were unable to control their own lives, let alone parent a child. So-called parents, who lived in their own hell and created havoc in the lives of their children. Parents who abandoned their kids.

When I talk to the kids, I relate to the ones who hope to fix their parents, and those who must care for their siblings. I relate because I remember pouring my Dad’s alcohol down the drain, thinking it would fix our problems but instead, I got myself into lots of trouble. I remember taking money from my Dad’s pocket, after he passed out, to give to my Mom. Money for food.

I remember the day I realized that whatever I did at home would change nothing. I would never have the loving family I longed for. Like many of these kids, I turned to friends for the family I needed. Like them, they were usually the wrong kids of friends, peers who were doing bad things. I remember drinking alcohol, even though I hated it, so I could fit in.

I hear my same story, over and over again, at Juvenile Hall.

To help them I share a profound truth, which I discovered in my young life. “Bad things happen for a reason!”

My bad thing: after a wasted life, at the age of 57, my Dad died an alcoholic. His drink of choice was 100% over proof rum. The good thing: My Dad’s death led to me realize I didn’t want to end up like him, or give my kids the life he gave me. I eventually made a commitment to stop drinking and change my life. Thankfully I was young and not an alcoholic, like my Father and Grandfather.

My commitment worked! I share with them how wonderfully my life has turned out, because of one small choice. I used my Dad’s mistakes to choose a better life for myself. I now have the life I dreamed about. My husband and I have been happily married for 45 years and with our children and grandchildren, are a close knit, happy, non-drinking family.

I tell them, “you can turn the bad things which have happened in your life into motivation for a better life too.” I help them believe they still have time to change.

Another reason I speak at Juvenile Hall is because I was a victim of a drunk driver. At the age of 17, the car I was riding in was hit head-on by a drunk driver. My head went through the windshield. My nose and part of my ear was torn off. Thankfully doctors put me back together, but I came to realize the terrible carnage alcohol could cause. I’ve had a mission all my life to teach the evils of alcohol use. I was a speaker for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving for several years. In fact, they were the ones who first sent me to speak at Juvenile Hall.

I teach the kids to abstain from alcohol and drugs. I have commitment cards, which I encourage them to sign and honor. I know if I can help them make a commitment not to drink alcohol, or use drugs; they will have a better chance at changing their lives and reaching their potential. They don’t need alcohol or drugs in their life. Most of the kids are locked up because of their first drink of alcohol, which lead to drug use and criminal behavior.

One of the questions people always ask me is “what is it like to talk to young criminals? Do they listen to you?”

My answer is, “at first it took a little time to know what to say and how to say it, so they would accept me. It took me time to overcome my fear of knowing how to communicate with them and have them accept me.”

One night, one of them asked, “why do you come to Juvenile Hall?” I answered, “why do you think?” His response, “for the money!” I replied, “no one pays me, in fact the first time I spoke, someone stole the hub caps from my car.” His mouth fell open and then he really listened to my program.

I’m happy to say I do very well with them! The kids are very attentive. They know I care. I don’t judge them. In most cases, I don’t know what their crime is. I don’t want to know. I tell them that what they have done is wrong and they must pay the price. On the other hand, I hope to stop them from getting deeper into crime. If I can stop them from hurting someone in the future, I feel my time is worthwhile.

I know I won’t get through to all of them, but I hope to plant seeds, which may take root someday when they have choices to make. My dream is to save as many as I can.

It is very gratifying when I feel I have gotten through to them and when they thank me. One boy said. “You told me bad things happen for a reason. Your right!” I never would have gotten an education if I hadn’t come to Juvenile Hall. I just got my GED. I applied to a college and was accepted. I will be going to school to be come an engineer when I get out.”

I am happy when I feel I have helped them look at life in a more positive way.

I try to help them turn their mistakes and bad experiences into something good. My greatest success is that I encourage the kids at Juvenile Hall to write letters to save other kids from the consequences they are experiencing. They have written incredible letters. Their letters have great impact on other kids because they come from their peers. My latest book “Letters from Juvenile Hall, Kids Helping Kids contain the letters.

Here are inserts from some of the letters:

Addiction controlled my life. Don’t let it control you! I wish for all you guys to be safe, and I pray for you kids that don’t know what life is really about, because after that second when you make the bad decision, it goes down hill from there. Only you can change your future. I hope you all understand that there’s a number in prison with your name on it, if you don’t change. Now’s the time to change. Not later. Not when you get out, but now! If you don’t change now you never will.

Gang banging was my worst thing I ever gotten into. If I could take it back, I would. I repeated my Dad’s cycle.

Now I sit here in a one-room cell, facing 25 years to life. I want you to look around and see what kind of situation you’re in. Open you eyes and your minds and soak as much education as you can. I’m 17 years old in a couple of weeks. I will be graduating from high school (in Juvenile Hall). Education is the key to life.

I’m in the Hall, Unit 800. Why? Because I committed a sin while I was on drugs. At the age of 13, I started using drugs because my best friend was asking me to try some. At the age of 16, my charges are DUI, evading a peace officer, driving at an unsafe speed with no license, a firearm in the car and 187 murder.

All the violence that is going on in our community is not solving nothing. The only thing it’s doing is killing us off, one by one. Before you know it the human race will be extinct. Because we are the last of the dying breed. I’m only telling you this so you guys can make the right decision. Your homies probably say they are down for you, but they be faking, and that’s real. The only people that’s going to stick by you is your mama and your family. I seen too much in my life young homies and it’s not what you are thinking. I lost my little homie and that really hit me. All that was on my mind was retaliation but when I thought about it, I knew it wouldn’t bring him back so I thought of another game plan. I prayed!

Eva, I want to thank you for all the help that you have given me. All the little words you’ve spoken in your groups have helped me so much along the way. I have changed in ways that people wouldn’t believe. I have done a whole 360. Without the help of you, I see the change being 100% more difficult. I wish my family was around to see my new life.

As you can see, my experience with my kids, at Juvenile Hall, has been emotionally rewarding and very satisfying to me. These kids give my life meaning. I feel I am making a difference.

I continue to try to help kids. I have written a book called “BE A WINNER IN LIFE”, which I hope to get into the hands of every child in Juvenile Hall’s, all over the country. Also, I want to get it into the hands of parents. I hope to get to kids before they are locked up.

Yes I’m a grateful to be a senior citizen at Juvenile Hall! I’m grateful my senior years have value and that I am doing something with my time, which is worthwhile.

I now know that every senior citizen can use the wisdom they have gained throughout their life to make a difference. We can all do something. I encourage you to find a way to help a child. Our kids need you!

Eva Fry is an author, singer/songwriter and motivational speaker. She had a ten year volunteer program at Juvenile Hall called “Be a Winner in Life” She has three books “You Must Have a Dream” for seniors, “Be a Winner in Life” for kids, troubled kids and their parents, and Letters from Juvenile Hall, Kids Helping Kids” – for all kinds, especially those who are locked up and to help kids from being locked up. She started writing and songwriting at the age of 60. Her goal is to encourage seniors to reach their potential and help kids do the same. She has many free articles on her web site to help young and old. She has six CD’s which are spiritually based and inspire young and old. She is avilable as a speaker or performer. Her work is available on her web site Eva Fry – eva@evafry.com http://www.evafry.com ( She has many free articles on her web site)

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

Top 100 Blogs On Senior Rights, Elder Law, And Anti-Ageism

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Top 100 Blogs On Senior Rights, Elder Law, And Anti-Ageism

At a time when thousands of Baby Boomers are reaching the age of 65 every day, the issues of senior rights, elder laws, and anti-ageism have never been more important, more volatile, or more questioned. After all, this is the generation that was ready to take down the establishment fifty years ago, and they haven’t lost any of their desire to change the world for the better. And, they have the numbers to do it. Here are our 100 top blogs for seniors dealing with senior rights, law & policy, and anti-ageism.

Boomers Against The Law

  1. Elder Law Plus: lawyer Evan H. Farr blogs about topics concerning elder law, including probate strategies and parental care.
  2. Michigan Elder Law Blog: the attorneys at Barsch & Joswick provide seniors and their loved ones with sage advice on a variety of Elder law issues.
  3. Everything Elder Law: Evan Farr is back at it again, this time focusing on Elder Law news, concepts, and innovations from around the country.
  4. Massachusetts Estate and Elder Law Blog: lawyer and blogger Stephanie Konarski gives tips on estate planning and other elder law topics.
  5. New York Elder Law Attorney Blog: your source for elder law news and comment in New York, this blog analyzes nursing home legislation and elder care costs.
  6. Elder Law Prof. Blog: Elder Law professor Kim Dayton authors a really nice blog that covers a wide range of Elder law issues, from Supreme Court cases to seminars.
  7. The Pop Tort: can a consumer advocates blog dealing with civil justice be cute? This blog proves it can, complete with an adorable “Pop Tort” logo, even while exploring such issues as Medicare and Medicaid lawsuits, nursing home scams, and medical malpractice against the elderly, among other legal issues.
  8. Supportive Senior Solutions: this blog from a geriatric care management practice in New York covers issues related to geriatric care, caregiving, and healthcare laws for the elderly and infirm.
  9. Aging Beats the Alternative: elder care specialist Lorie Ebers uses her blog to talk about overcoming the challenges of aging, caring for aging parents, and the less talked about side of elder law: Boomer divorce.
  10. Elder Law Blog: lawyer Ronald C. Morton’s elder law blog is full of sage advice for seniors looking how to tap into Veteran’s benefits, how to plan for their golden years, and more.
  11. The Best Elder Law Blog: published by the attorneys at Lamson & Cutner, this blog discusses elder law cases, the Affordable Care Act, and same-sex marriage.
  12. Elder Law Tips and News: the lawyers at Cooper, Adel & Associates bring you posts on living trusts, aging issues, and general estate planning.
  13. The Connecticut Elder Law Blog: lawyer Michael Keenan provides his readers with estate planning tips, elder fraud, and Medicare rules.
  14. The Teddy Bear Lawyers: attorney Rick Law gives readers a great resource for Elder Law in the Chicagoland area. Find articles on protecting vulnerable seniors and financial planning.
  15. Oregon Elder Law: attorney Orrin Onken blogs on elder law, estate planning, and probate proceedings in plain, easy to understand language.
  16. Florida Elder Law and Estate Blog: this informative blog includes great articles on VA benefits, estate planning, and trusts.
  17. Golden Law Center: written by attorney Sasha Golden, the Golden Law Center blog discusses elder law, special needs planning, guardianship, wills and trusts, and estate administration.
  18. Kraft Elder Law: attorney Robert Kraft blogs about Medicaid, Medicare, wills, trusts, probate, veterans benefits, and other elder law topics.
  19. Pennsylvania Law Blog: this elder law blog by the attorneys at the law offices of Shober & Rock discusses Medicaid, taxes, Veterans, banks, and annuities.
  20. Long Beach Elder Law Blog: this blog focuses on elder abuse, estate protection, the Cal MediConnect program, and reform of health law.
  21. Houston Elder Law Blog: the folks at Wright Abshire Attorneys blog about care planning, estate planning, Medicaid Planning, Probate & Estate Administration, and and Veteran’s Benefits.
  22. Hauptman Law Blog: readers of this blog can learn more about elder, estate, and special needs law. Includes articles on the Medicare Settlement and VA Aid.
  23. Fulkerson Elder Law Blog: the function of this elder law blog is for the firm to respond to common questions clients have about elder law and review developments in the law impacting elder law and estate planning.
  24. CMLP Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog: readers can look forward to reviewing articles on simplifying their estate plan and elder law news items of note.
  25. Massachusetts Estate Planning and Probate Blog: attorney Matthew Karr keeps readers up to date on estate planning and probate news and information.
  26. Marshall Elder and Estate Planning Blog: the author of this elder law blog has over 30 years experience in estate planning, special needs planning, and estates.
  27. Hartford, CT Elder Law Blog: the attorney’s at Ruggiero Ziogas & Allaire discuss estate planning, care planning, Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, and Probate.
  28. El Paso Elder Law Blog: the law firm of Stephanie Townsend Allala and Associates blogs on estate planning, guardianships, Medicaid Planning, Nursing Home Abuse, and Trust & Probate.
  29. Miami Probate Law Blog: the folks at the Byrant law firm keep readers up-to-date on estate administration, probate court, estate litigation, and the nuisances of will and trust disputes.
  30. Elder Law News: attorney Brian A. Raphan is based in New York City and specializes in Wills, Estates, Trusts, and Elder Care issues. His blog is full of great resources.
  31. Aging & Law in West Virginia: this blog contains news in law and aging in West Virginia, written by the West Virginia Senior Legal Aid organization.
  32. Florida Elder Law and Estate Planning: this Florida Certified Elder Law attorney provides in depth insights and news to help Floridians protect themselves and preserve their assets.
  33. Family Law Blog Maryland: while this blog looks at all matters pertaining to Family Law, elder law sneaks in as a prevalent theme in many of the cases discussed. They look at legal matters like when divorce and retirement coincide, or when grandparents wish to take custody of their grandchildren.
  34. Phoenix AZ Family Law Blog: looking at issues older couples face in Arizona, this family law blog explores the specific challenges elders face in divorces and custody battles, complete with the latest policy changes and laws.
  35. Otherspoon: hospice volunteer and blogger Ann Neumann talks about care-giving and the realities, politics, and senior rights involved in death and dying.

Seniors Talk Policy And Politics

  1. Aging in Place: this blog is concerned with seniors who are dealing with shrinking benefits and increasing costs—seniors find answers on how to protect themselves.
  2. Estate in Denial: providing news, analysis, and commentary on abusive practices occurring in probate courts. Features original perspective and direct communication.
  3. Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog: this blog covers estate planning legal issues, cases of interest, and news with a focus on Florida elder law.
  4. McGuire Woods: the people at McGuire Woods author this great blog on long term care legal issues, including timely news, articles, and white papers.
  5. Illinois Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog: published by the law office of Wilson & Wilson, this blog covers asset protection, banking, estate planning, and trusts.
  6. Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Blog: covers Illinois nursing home law, including Supreme Court cases and other information relating to residents and family members.
  7. Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli Blog: provides readers in New Jersey with information on elder law, estate and special needs planning, and mediation services.
  8. Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog: this blog offers insight on nursing home abuse reports, legislation, and legal opinions of elder law in Maryland.
  9. Massachusetts Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law: elder law attorney Brian Barreira writes on legal issues involving death, taxes, special needs, and long-term elder care.
  10. New Jersey Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog: blog posts explore life and death in New Jersey from a perspective of estate planning, elder law, taxation, probate, and estate administration.
  11. Medina Law Group: postings provide readers with advice on estate planning and management, estate taxes, elder law, and VA benefits.
  12. North Carolina Wills and Trusts: this blog provides readers with estate planning and elder law news with a North Carolina focus.
  13. California Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog: covers nursing home abuse, elder law abuse, and features many quality articles relating to California elder law.
  14. Nursing Home Law Blog: this well written blog discusses elder issues, legislation, legal news, protections of elder rights, and helpful health tips.
  15. PA Elder Estate and Fiduciary Law Blog: focuses on elder law, long-term care, end-of-life and health care surrogate decision-making, and estate planning.
  16. Patti’s Blog: find information about this lawyer’s practice, which concentrates on advocacy for seniors. She shares personal interests and her passions.
  17. Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog: this blog discusses nursing home abuse laws, cases, and news items from Pennsylvania.
  18. Barbara Cashman Blog: Barbara blogs about elder law and policy issues, and often hosts guest bloggers to share their insights on elder law and news.
  19. NJ Elder Law: lawyer Kenneth Vercammen blogs about topics related to estate planning and elder law. He was once awarded the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year.
  20. The Senior Sentinel: a blog compiling news and information for Baby Boomers, the Senior Sentinel concentrates on the intersection of ageism and public policy both nationally and world-wide.
  21. Elder Consult: this geriatric medicine blog not only covers Alzheimers, dementia, financial decision making, and medications, it also discusses related legal issues such as elder financial abuse.
  22. Grey Pride: a UK blog by the Anchor Digital Marketing team is dedicated to keeping older people at the top of the political agenda and petitioning the government to create a Minister for Older People to ensure their needs are met.
  23. Over 65 Blog: project organizers from Harvard, Yale, and The Hastings Center host this blog for “seniors seeking solutions for health care and security, mainly looking at health care system reforms, elder law policies and practices, and how seniors can achieve a stronger role in the future of health care.
  24. Reaping Hope Blog: a blog from an NGO in Nepal promoting dignified aging and elder rights, Reaping Hope explores elder abuse and elder oppression while actively helping elderly people claim their rights and challenge discrimination.

Age Against The Machine: Anti-Ageism

  1. Ageist Beauty: the musings, product reviews, and random thoughts of a woman who is fighting against her age.
  2. Everyday Ageism Project: this blog aims to capture people’s everyday experiences dealing with ageism. The author has discovered that ageism is the most commonly experienced form of prejudice.
  3. The Lonely Gerontologist: professor Kelly Yokum blogs about all things aging—including aging stereotypes and other aging topics that come to mind.
  4. My Elder Advocate: this blog provides comprehensive coverage of ageism, the dangers of nursing homes, elder abuse, and elder care.
  5. The Roaming Boomers: David and Carol are great examples of a couple who doesn’t let age get in the way of living life to the fullest.
  6. The Gypsy Nester: Veronica and David show readers how to rock the empty nest and get the most out of life as you age.
  7. Changing Aging: this multi-blog platform challenges conventional views on aging. The authors believe aging is a strength, rich in developmental potential and growth.
  8. The Elders: founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, the Elders is a group of seniors committed to addressing global challenges, including child marriage and climate change.
  9. Beauty and Wisdom: the blog of photographer Robbie Kaye, who traveled to salons throughout the US to photograph and interview women in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s and discovered that beauty is ageless.
  10. Advanced Style: don’t tell these women they are too old to model hip and alluring fashions. This blog teaches women how to dress to impress and that age is only a number.
  11. RL TV: the only cable network and online destination for folks 50+, features a nice blog that provides tips on elder issues and promotes active living.
  12. The 70-Something Blog: blogger Judy informs readers how to live a full and engaging life as she chronicles her journey of aging.
  13. Retirement is Work: newly retired librarian and blogger resolves to post one good thing about retirement every day for a year, but along the way struggles with senior rights and anti-ageism.
  14. Yo Is This Ageist?: a humorous blog by Ashton Applewhite dedicated to determining whether age-related remarks are offensive, “challenging the stereotypes that segregate us by age.”
  15. This Chair Rocks: a smart and sassy blog by Ashton Applewhite that challenges the ideas of ageism with humor and snark. All stereotypes and insensitive remarks are grounds for brilliant blog posts.
  16. Senior Planet: “aging with attitude” is the tagline of this blog community of older adults using technology to connect with each other and take on the issues of ageism and senior rights.
  17. Changing Aging: a blog founded by Dr. Bill Thomas to promote “a radical reinterpretation of longevity” which focuses on anti-ageism and senior rights, as well as getting the most out of a long life.
  18. Time Goes By: Ronni Bennett takes on aging, ageism and related issues with humor, exploring the truth of “what it’s really like to get old.” She starts by rejecting the “cutesy” terms for old people – they’re called “elders” around here!
  19. The Magic of Middle-Aged Women: author Daniel Even Weiss – a man – blogs on the theme of his latest book, The Magic of Middle-Aged Women, where he challenges the prevailing ageist idea that women don’t get better as they age. They do.
  20. Advanced Style: Ari Seth Cohen, a young-ish photographer, roams the New York City streets photographing stylish and creative elders. Here, art challenges the paradigm that age and beauty can’t co-exist.
  21. The New Old Age: the New York Times blog on aging takes advantage of the newspaper’s top writers to explore the unprecedented intergenerational challenge of the Baby Boomers.
  22. The Little Old Lady Stays Put (or doesn’t): explores the “lives, lifestyles and issues of interesting older people,” touching on the issues surrounding ageism, elder rights, living with dementia, and overcoming the struggles of aging with strength and good humor.
  23. Naked at Our Age: advocate of ageless sexuality, Joan Price, talks about sex and aging, taking on Senior Rights subjects like safer sex for seniors while providing helpful tips.
  24. Aging & Work at Boston College: scholars, academics, and researchers share their findings on ageism in the workplace and the challenges aging workers face in this PhD-heavy blog by The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College.
  25. Ethnic Elders: this newsy blog by New America Media examines the Senior Rights issues and Elder Law of minority groups such as age discrimination, lawsuits related to Social Security, and elder healthcare reform.
  26. The Everyday Ageism Project: blending blogging and research, this site’s goal is to capture the experience of age discrimination. The forum is full of people sharing their experiences in a supportive environment.
  27. Huffington Post’s Senior Citizens Blog: the Huffington Post’s Senior Citizens sub-blog offers wide ranging posts on issues including senior rights and ageism – with its signature left-wing perspective.
  28. Clinical Geriatrics: created as more of a peer-reviewed clinical journal by the American Geriatrics Society, some of the top scholars in geriatrics converge on this blog to discuss geriatric health and wellness issues, which often cross over into legal and anti-ageism issues.
  29. Age Action Alliance: this organization brings together a network of 300 organizations and individuals committed to helping older people. Its blog is dedicated to improving older people’s lives through advocating against ageism, particularly in Britain.
  30. Manitoba Senior Centres: this Canadian blog covers the rampant ageism in Canada and promotes world elder abuse awareness. It also has a list of resources for older adults.
  31. Fierce with Age: defying ageism goes mainstream at this blog, created by veteran journalist Dr. Carol Orsborn. Having written about the Boomer generation for major newspapers and blogged for the Huffington Post and NPR’s Next Avenue, Orsborn is well equipped to take on the spiritual and policy hurdles of aging.
  32. Live Better Boomer!: a Philadelphia-based blog, by social worker Tiffany Matthews, devoted to helping educate and empower Boomers advocate for their own improved healthcare.
  33. Third Age: billed as “health for Boomers and beyond,” Third Age offers relatively fluffy fare, like “Change your Mood with Color,” to the legal issues surrounding Boomer divorce and care-giving.
  34. The Old Gunhand: one facet of senior citizen rights you don’t see every day is elder gun advocates. This website not only tells you the best types of guns for elderly wielders, it also goes into gun policy and senior self-defense.
  35. Age Discrimination Info: a simple name for a one-stop source of statistics and information on age discrimination, including legislation, cases, news, publications, events and training. The perfect resource for the activist.
  36. Age UK: the largest organization in the United Kingdom for working with and for older people, this website has an entire section dedicated to age discrimination and ageism.
  37. National Youth Rights Association: not just for youngsters, the National Youth Rights Association combats ageism in all its forms. In fact, they probably wouldn’t appreciate being called “youngsters.”
  38. Disability and Representation: a blog by writer, photographer and activist Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg that discusses (and tries to change the discourse about) disability rights and ageism, along with autism.
  39. Over 50: Career coaching and workshops for the over-50 crowd, this blog doesn’t stop at finding a job. This site explores Baby Boomer activism in and out of the workplace.
  40. Activist Post: while this blog deals with many topics requiring advocacy, they often include issues that regard Senior Rights, Elder Law and anti-ageism.
  41. California Booming: an informational blog dedicated to California Baby Boomers, this blog covers everything from sex, to diet, to politics of the Boomer generation, including issues concerning senior rights and ageism in the workplace.

  • 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!