The Future of Retirement
Someday, Americans may recall the 20th century as the heyday of retirement, when individuals left the workforce in their 60s with decades ahead in which their time would be their own. Life’s later years are apt to be very different in the future—for better or worse. A quick look at the past suggests why that’s so and what may be in store for us. Read more...
What Is Old Age For?
Old age is humanity's greatest invention, and on an even deeper level, it invented us. Old age transformed the way our most distant ancestors gave birth, reared their young, lived together, and fed themselves. Later it propelled the development of culture, language, and society. Read more...
The Home Care Revolution: Are Robots the Answer?
If you are 55 years old, you could wake up 30 years from now to the warm, affectionate voice of your personal care robot, asking what you would like for breakfast and why you slept for only 5.8 hours last night instead of your usual 7.3. Read more...
The Home Care Revolution: Strangers in the Home
Many families plunge into the mysterious universe of elder home care after a hospital stay—often an unexpected one.
Shortly before it's time to go home, the patient or a relative typically receives a brochure for the hospital's recommended home health agency, with a brief discussion of the limited rehabilitation services Medicare will cover. Read more...
A Dying Art
In April 2011, my 98-year-old mother was hospitalized with a rapid heartbeat, pneumonia and an infection caused by wholly preventable bedsores. Given her advanced age and dementia, the prognosis was poor. One night soon after her admission, I was seized with the impulse to surround her with images of this beautiful world that she had inhabited for nearly a century. I wanted to fill her nondescript, antiseptic hospital room with life-affirming energy that might counter the threat she was facing and celebrate the precious gift of existence.
Early this spring, one of my Facebook friends posted a photo of a robin’s nest that had appeared in a lilac bush outside her porch. A few days later, she posted another picture: the nest now had two beautiful, blue eggs resting in it. And then, a few weeks later, a photo of the nestlings, their necks extended to the sky, their mouths wide open waiting for their next meal. This was followed, predictably, by a final image—the nest was empty again. Read more...
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The Hands-Some Journey Project
Photographer Elaine Zelker captures life stories through hand held objects.
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