Monthly Scoop: May 2021

Thank you to our speaker Jeff Weiss, President and CEO of Age of Majority, an organization that researches how marketers disproportionally appeal to youth rather than active agers. Jeff shared what they call “The Dirty Dozen Myths of Aging Consumers”, indicating that stereotypes abound and prevent commercial enterprises from reaching full potential with consumers. The discussion was lively and stimulating.

Announcements
In addition to our usual Job Board where organizations list openings for positions, Boston Bridge website now has included a job seekers listing in a further effort to assist those looking for employment. Fill out the form (remaining anonymous), listing your interest and qualifications, and organizations seeking professionals in the field can contact you.

The Massachusetts Gerontology Association, Encore Boston Network, and the CNAP Alliance Initiative are hosting a free webinar on Monday, June 7th, that brings together a panel of experts speaking about housing issues critical to older adultsRegister here for Finding Your Way to Home.

AARP Connecticut, Quinnipiac University, and Masonicare are hosting a free webinar on Tuesday, June 8th, titled Virtual U: Pathways to Living in an Age-Inclusive Society. Moderated by Joann Montepare from Mass Gerontology Association, it will be a global discussion about creating societies for every age and any stage. Click here to register.

Articles
Ageism
While ageism is an ongoing issue for older persons, it is time to recognize that ageism exists for ALL ages – young adults often feel ageism in the workplace. The World Health Organization’s Global Report on Ageism calls for ending ageism across the life span. Read this article and the link to the Global Report. Another look at how ageism affects ALL ages is this first-hand account of how society has determined that we have a “narrow window between age 20 and 30 when we’re neither ‘too young’ to understand or ‘too old’ to be relevant.” But why should that blatant ageism dominate our lives? This article from Elle magazine show how ageism hurts those at any age.

Housing
A small cluster of rental private homes (400-600 sq ft each) on the grounds of a nursing home where medical care, paid for by Medicaid, can be delivered on an as needed basis? That is the future Bill Thomas, a geriatrician (whose initial aim at reforming traditional nursing homes was the Greenhouse Model), sees in his quest to completely reform nursing homes. Politico reports on another breakthrough in helping people age in place in their own home.

Health & Wellness
Self-neglect by older persons is considered elder abuse by the Adult Protective Service (APS) and 51% of all elder abuse is due to self-neglect. That revelation comes from a report to APS from the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System. Read this article to learn the signs of self-neglect and how to assist those in danger.  

United Healthcare has launched a new program for MA retirees aimed at lowering the rates of readmissions following hospitalization. This Healthy at Home program includes services such as meal deliveries, transportation options, and home care visits. Read about home-based discharge support services here.

Dementia
A recent study in the Journal Geriatrics points to a way to use driving data to pre-determine mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Algorithms were created using data from the Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD). Not happening anytime too soon, but on the horizon!

Friendships can be tested when dementia becomes a reality for one. How to stay connected and be there for your friend in the most difficult of times is challenging, yet ever so important. This blog from JF&CS is an example of how Memory Cafes can keep the connection and friendship strong.

Work & Entrepreneurship
Older entrepreneurs are active new business owners, but they also play a huge role in both break-through innovations and incremental innovations. In fact, older adults excel at innovation, as this article points out.

Lifespan
Will more immigrant workers and a higher retirement age – both of which are huge barriers government would have to hurdle – be the immediate answer to the conclusion by the 2020 census to the lowest population growth rate since the Great Depression? Initial results of a 2020 census hampered by the pandemic and the Trump administration show a continuation of a trend that has far reaching implications. Read this Washington Post article to learn about 2020 census results.

VIDEO 
In a four-part PBS docu-series titled ”Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer”, the how and why of our increased lifespans are explored. From disease interventions to racial health care disparities, the series is a tribute to the work done in science and public health over the past 100 years. Watch PBS Tuesdays (May 11-June 1). 

Take Action
“Want to help a caregiver? Volunteer your online research skills.” That is the title of a Next Avenue article that suggests a call for assistance with anyone you know who might be overburdened by being a caregiver. Spending time – something that caregivers often have little of – can be of great help.

Looking for a way to pass on memories – and recipes? Why not create an heirloom family cookbook that also tells the family stories? This Do it Yourself idea can help keep families connected.