The True Cost of Retirement
At first glance, you might think New Jersey was doing pretty well in 2010. According to federal guidelines, only 7 percent of its residents age 65 and older were living in poverty. But a study primarily funded by the Silver Century Foundation paints a much more disturbing picture—in the same year, nearly 43 percent of the state’s elders who lived independently in the community couldn’t afford life’s basic necessities: housing, health care, food, transportation and other essentials such as clothing. Read more...
Successful Aging—It’s Not Impossible
Maybelle lives with her daughter, Ella, in a two-bedroom house in rural Nevada. At 76 years old, Maybelle controls her type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure as best she can. Years of caring for her ailing husband left little time for exercise and little money for health checkups. Breaking her hip didn’t help with mobility. She uses a walker, though she doesn’t go out much. Read more...
Holding Stories in Their Hands
Photo of Thelma by Elaine Zelker
Thelma is 97. “Did you know I used to be a bartender?” she asks photographer Elaine Zelker. “I was,” Thelma says proudly.
The two women sit in Thelma’s nursing home bedroom, holding hands. Zelker also happens to be one of Thelma’s hospice nurses.
“No one really knows that about me,” Thelma confides. “My husband and I owned a lovely little hotel here in town and I was the barkeep.” Read more...
Developments in End-of-Life Care: The POLST Paradigm
For many of us, having a signed, notarized advance directive or living will engenders a sense of security. Once our medical wishes are set down in black and white, we feel confident they will be honored if we become incapacitated. But David Barile, MD, thinks such confidence is problematic. Read more...
Do Old Ladies Make World History?
Who influences history and how do we weigh that influence? Do we have biases about who qualifies as a “history maker”? When we read about historic events, for example, do we acknowledge the ages of the participants? Do some people count more than others?
Pain in the Bag
Ok, we can have
it all—but must we carry
Noticing that I use a very small purse, my daughter's chiropractor commented that I wasn't likely to need her services for the many aches and pains caused by women's larger pocketbooks. I had to laugh. When my daughters were small, I had a diaper bag that must have weighed 20 pounds. I swore that when I no longer needed all the baby supplies, I'd carry the smallest purse I could find. 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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"Adding years to people's lives through the magic of science and medicine, however impressive, is an insufficient ambition for American Society. Our objective, must be to add new life to those years."
President John F. Kennedy, 1961 White House Conference on Aging