Our 8th season of Boston Bridge opened with a stimulating and thought-provoking presentation by Maureen Bisognano. Maureen founded “What Matters To You” (www.WMTY.world) and she shared its inception and so many success stories with us. WMTY is a global movement that has positive health outcomes for older adults. Instead of asking “What is the matter?”, we need to be empathetic and ask, “What Matters to You?” Maureen urged us to adopt this in both our professional and personal lives. Thank you Maureen for an inspiring talk.
- Please send any job openings and announcements of events of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- While it is clear that COVID-19 will be a factor in our lives for a while, it also seems obvious that older adults will be facing longer-term changes. Two such changes are the use of telehealth for older adults on Medicare, and the need for more geriatricians.
- The FrameWorks Institute acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating ageism that has always existed. But they also explain how using specific strategies can stem the tide of ageism. Read their 2014 study and strategies.
- The FrameWorks Institute, known specifically for its help in re-framing issues to make them more positive for the common good, also shares strategies to use when facing difficult issues and tough times such as COVID-19. Read and share with colleagues!
- The New York Times reports that a blood test for Alzheimer’s Disease is being tested with positive results. Better testing (including determining whether patients with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related issues) might be available within 2-3 years.
- Two studies at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference reported that both flu and pneumonia vaccines may lower the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.
- The University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, with support from AARP, conducted a poll of 2,200 older adults age 50-80. 80% of those polled report having experienced ageism, yet 88% report being happier as they age.
- Genetics has had a transformation in the last few years. Can it also tell us why some people live longer and better than others? The American Federation for Aging Research has conducted studies on centenarians and superagers and suggests drugs to live longer and healthier are being developed.
- Telemedicine has been important to taking care of older adults during the pandemic. As reported in the ASA Generations SmartBrief, Consumer Health Day suggests that telemedicine is here to stay and shares tips about telemedicine for older adults.
- Baby Boomers seem to show greater cognitive decline as they age than other age cohorts. This is a reversal of past trends in dementia studies. Find out why.
- While everyone seems to be facing financial concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults, especially those still working, are affected even more. The Boston Globe provides links to various reports on this issue.
- During the pandemic, subsidized housing has made efforts to check on people daily to insure their health and well-being. Yet, despite best efforts, older adults are dying unnoticed, and alone. ProPublica Illinois reports should be a wake-up call for every city and town in the US.
- If the pandemic experience has any positive outcome for older adults, it might be that addressing the issue of isolation at living facilities is crucial. Are there ways to build or renovate facilities that create community even within situations that seem isolating? This Next Avenue article gives six issues that can and should be addressed.
- Having recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage/the 19th Amendment, and the importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement emphasizing the need for justice concerning systemic racism in America, this November’s election is crucial for our country. Rewire, a non-profit journalism website by the Twin Cities PBS station, reviews a book entitled She Votes – which could be an incentive to remind everyone you know to vote!
- Please log on to the website www.wmty.world to see what Maureen Bisognano was sharing at our virtual meeting. While we may not understand the languages, we will understand the message. Try to pass this information on and make empathy a significant part of our work with older adults.
Stay well and healthy. We look forward to “seeing” you again at our October 21st meeting.
Colleen Morrissey and Barbara Friedman, Boston Bridge Board Members