Monthly Scoop: September 2016

The Monthly Scoop:

A huge thank you to Massachusetts Secretary of Elder Affairs, Alice Bonner, for kicking off our first meeting of the 2016-2017 year last night! Secretary Bonner discussed the top three priorities of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs: to promote aging in community, create livable communities, and to ensure adequate “careforce”. 

For Our October Meeting:

  • Please Note—New Parking Lot:
    • The Hayward Lot is no longer available to us. Luckily, we have an even closer lot available that we can use: The Tang lot, located at 2 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA 02142. See E51 on the map
  • Dues
    • If you’d like to become a member, please fill out a membership form and bring it, along with your dues, to our next meeting. We are excited to welcome Harriet Warshaw, Executive Director of The Conversation Project, to our next meeting on October 19th.

The MIT AgeLab Needs Your Help!

  • The MIT AgeLab is working to better understand the challenges faced by family caregivers caring for a parent or parent-in-law. Eligible participants will be compensated for their participation in a discussion group about their experience. Click here to learn more. 

Boston Bridge Needs Your Help!

  • Have a suggestion for The Monthly Scoop? Please send any article, resource, or mixed media suggestions to bostonbridge@bostonbridge.org, with the subject “Scoop Suggestion“.
  • Know of a job opening in the field of aging? Please send any job openings to bostonbridge@bostonbridge.org, with the subject “Job Listing“.
  • Want to be part of an affinity group? So far we have two: a Book Club and an Entrepreneurial Group. If you missed last night’s meeting, it’s not too late to sign up! Send an email to bostonbridge@bostonbridge.org, with the subject “Affinity Group” and specify which group (or groups!) you’d like to join. 

Upcoming Events:

  • “Reel in the Closet”, an intergenerational documentary film including rare home footage by LGBTQ people from the past, will be playing at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, MA on October 19th, 2016 at 7:00 pm. A Q&A with the film’s director, Stu Maddux, will follow the screening. Click here for more information.  

And now, for your reading pleasure, three months’ worth of articles, resources, and mixed media:

Articles

  • This article highlights older adults as the biggest market opportunity in America for start-ups, and offers a closer look at some of the new start-up companies catered to the “longevity niche.”
  • In contrast, this article highlights “hackers”—older adults who are creatively repurposing everyday items to meet their own needs better than the store-bought items geared towards their age group.
  • Wearable safety devices for the rest of us? Check out this Boston Globe article on personal safety wearables notably not geared toward a particular age group.  
  • For decades, only nonprofits could run PACE programs. The government changed that rule last year. Is there a profit to be made? Click here to learn more.
  • A new Medicare law requires hospitals to inform patients who have been there 24 hours or more as to whether they are under “observation” status, or if they have been admitted. Read more to better understand the financial implications for older adults.
  • LGBT older adults are re-entering the closet as they age. Why? And how can we help them to come back out? Learn about the work of Hebrew SeniorLife’s religious and chaplaincy services director to provide a safe environment for LGBT older adults.
  • Read about 93-year-old veteran Ernie Andrus, and what prompted his inspiring 2,600 mile run from coast to coast across the United States. 
  • If you’re looking for more fitness-related inspiration, read about older adults preparing for the Senior Games. The oldest competitor is 102!
  • Ever wonder what it’s like to work in hospice? Click here to step into the shoes of Heather Meyerend, a hospice nurse in South Brooklyn.
  • We don’t often talk about organ donation. Yet this is a relevant topic for many older adults and for anyone who works in hospice. Check out this article to learn how older adults can be great candidates for organ donation, and this article for a related, literally heartwarming story.
  • Read about linkAges, a volunteer time bank project being piloted in Mountain View, California. The project connects people across generations through an exchange of their interests and abilities.
  • Another program creatively connecting the generations is a combined preschool, community center, and adult day center in Ohio. Read more about their success here
  • Loneliness is a health concern, especially for older adults. Learn about creative programs developed in Britain to heighten awareness and address the issue of loneliness.  
  • Why are hundreds of older adults on waitlists for meal preparation assistance in Massachusetts? Learn about the impact of budget cuts to the Massachusetts state home care program. 
  • This article features baby boomers in a Pennsylvania town who are coming to terms with the fact that their parents’ retirement and theirs will likely look very different.
  • A women recounts her relationship with her late grandmother, a story told through the belongings her grandmother left behind, including one special item that still connects them to this day.
  • In 1981, there were 8,853 adults over 55 in prison. By 2030 there will likely be 400,000 adults over 55 in prison. This New York Times opinion article argues against keeping reformed older adults in jail.
  • Does Alzheimer’s really affect more women than men? Maybe not, according to this Washington Post article.
  • Read about a newly proposed diagnosis—mild behavioral impairment—and its potential for identifying those at greater risk for Alzheimer’s.
  • This article highlights a relatively new program designed to support people with dementia and their caregivers, by helping the person with dementia to live at home for as long as possible.
  • Age discrimination in the workplace is illegal, yet very much present, according to this opinion piece.
  • What is resident engagement? Read about new findings identifying key aspects of engagement in Life Plan Communities (formerly known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities). 

Mixed Media

  • In Japan, few companies are open to retaining workers over 65, and workers’ salaries are drastically cut as they approach 60. What do older adults think of this? Listen (or read) this NPR piece to find out.
  • Humanitas, a Dutch nursing Home, invited 5 students to move in, rent-free, in exchange for spending 30 hours each month acting neighborly. Watch this video to see what happened next.
  • This Freakonomics podcast, “Are you Ready for a Glorious Sunset?” explores a hypothetical health care plan that lets you decide whether to accept standard treatment at the end of life, or forego it for money you can use towards, say, your grandkids’ college tuition.
  • Check out this Modern Love podcast to hear Eve Pell’s poignant essay on new love in old age.
  • Sitcom creator Norman Lear has a new script—“Guess who Died”—a series set in a retirement community. Watch as Lear hears the script read aloud for the first time.
  • What does it mean for a community to be age-friendly? Listen to this discussion of what communities can do and are doing to support older adults in living with purpose while accessing needed services.

Resources:

  • How do you talk to someone with dementia about the changes they are going through? Why is it important to get an early diagnosis? These questions and more are answered in Hebrew SeniorLife’s resource for families, “Understanding & Living with Dementia
  • Looking to reduce falls and decrease social isolation among older adults in your building? Read the “Aging in Place Guide for Building Owners”.
  • Check out this toolkit for property managers and affordable housing providers in New York City, highlighting best practices for housing aging tenants. 

We look forward to seeing many of you in October!

~Ilana Klarman and the Boston Bridge Board