Monthly Scoop: October 2020

Thank you to our October speaker, Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith, coordinator of the Boston Goldenaires, for an important and heartwarming talk. The Goldenaires is an organization that has been active in Boston civic issues and also provides social outlets for many, including those with compromised health, allowing them to be an active part of their community. Jumaada shared that when it began, neighbors got together and realized that while racism was blatant in the South, it was hidden in the North. They decided to act to combat that by getting involved in their communities. They have done wonderful things for Boston and themselves. Thank you, Jumaada, for sharing that with Boston Bridge.

Announcements:

  • Send any job openings and announcements of events of interest to bostonbridgeinc@gmail.com.
  • Upcoming event on November 10 – Virtual Symposium: Let’s Talk About Dementia and Culture. Join JF&CS for a conversation about disparities in the risk of developing dementia, and in access to dementia diagnosis, research and care, and to explore cultural values and ways of understanding dementia. The symposium will feature speakers from African Americans Against Alzheimer’s, Latinos Against Alzheimer’s, the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, and several other organizations. RSVP here.
  • PLEASE remember to VOTE!

Articles

Articles about the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • While older adult illness and mortality due to COVID19 has been exceptionally high, the psychological effects of the pandemic will have long term consequences. Elder abuse and ageism are more prevalent; the value of a life is being questioned; and social media, and the healthcare profession itself, contribute to these negative findings. Read The Psychiatric Times report.
  • Added to the above concern about ageism in today’s world is the economic ageism that also exists. Older people are losing jobs at a rate higher than younger people. While age discrimination is against the law – it still exists. 24/7 Wall St reports on this form of ageism.
  • The American Society on Aging (ASA) has devoted an entire issue of their quarterly Generations Journal to the continuing issue of social isolation and loneliness during this pandemic. Considering that the pandemic will not be over anytime soon, the articles presented should offer some important insight into this aspect of caring for our older populations. Read the ASA articles here.
  • This article from Next Avenue shares that many people in the Boomer generation are feeling cheated by the pandemic. Their retirement years are being altered and even though they are still young, they feel the ageism associated with the virus. Read ways to cope with that problem.
    • Editorial Comment: Generations younger than Boomers are also finding their lives disrupted. While not dealing with ageism, they too might be yearning and striving for things in their lives that are on hold, altered, or put off. They too must feel cheated. Therefore, these tips for coping should be helpful for everyone!
  • Those who work from home are also feeling the stress of the COVID pandemic. Burnout from working at home is real. Not being able to be with co-workers, sitting in front of a screen all day, and feeling overworked contribute. Read four recommendations to cope with work burnout.  
  • The Longevity Economy has been thoroughly discussed by AARP in their report, The Longevity Economic Outlook, and also by many experts in the field (including Joe Coughlin at the MIT AgeLab in his book, The Longevity Economy). But due to COVID19 and the many disparities it has created, many older adults are left out of the growing economic possibilities. Here’s the interactive Outlook Report.
  • Will the lessons learned from this pandemic force changes in housing and health care for older adults? Will building designs and living environments need to be re-imagined? Read this article from the Milliken Institute Center for the Future of Aging.
  • Finally, COVID19 has created memorable moments both sad, and happy. Enjoy this exhibition called “Hold Still” at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Which is your favorite?

Other Articles of Interest:

  • People think of climate change as an issue about which young people are mobilizing. While that is true, climate change is not only a young person’s problem. Read about older adult activists here.  
  • Needing an interactive and inspiring activity for older adults? Tune into Days at Dunrovin, a free, virtual YouTube experience connecting to nature, animals, and the beauty of Montana.  One can also be part of a virtual community through chat rooms, and live visuals of life on this ranch. The Dunrovin experience has been presented to the National Councils on Aging (NCOA) as a possible respite for caregivers. This article explains.
  • Older men and women have stereotypically had reverse career trajectories. But gender roles have changed since the 1950s and women and men are sharing career paths that are creating new needs in society. Harvard Business Review shares insight into this issue.

Stay safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing all of you at our November 18th Zoom meeting. AND PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE!!!

Barbara Friedman and Colleen Morrissey, Boston Bridge Board Members