Beverly Cleary Turns 100
Perhaps you read her award-winning Ramona Quimby books to a kid in your life, or maybe they were read to you — Beverly Cleary introduced the character 65 years ago when, as a librarian, she listened to a child’s plea for books about real children. On April 12, Cleary will turn 100. A star-struck Jenna Bush Hager interviewed her for the Today Show in anticipation of the event.
What They Said
“If you have a rigorous inquiry into your own life, when you’re 60 you get to start all over again like you’re 20, except this time raised by you. Your own values, you’re your own mother, your own father. That’s what’s exciting…. The latter part of your life is a time of completion of character… and it’s a pity that people are being scared away from it — that aging is seen as failing.” Performance artist Penny Arcade in an interview on Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s One Plus One. Watch the whole interview here. (Read Senior Planet’s Q&A with Penny Arcade.)
“At the present time, the U.S. health system almost entirely ignores nutrition in favor of pharmacology and is hugely expensive and ineffective compared with the systems in other countries.” Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard School of Public Health, quoted in a CNN report on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
This is definitely the deepest and most metaphysical question posed by NYC subway ticket machines pic.twitter.com/47mXKMvsma
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) March 23, 2016
Housing First of its kind housing development unites LGBT seniors and youth
Seniors in LA’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities will have a slick new place to call home come 2017 — and so will LGBT youth. The Anita May Rosenstein Campus, will house more than 200 people from both age groups as a way to foster mentorships and intergenerational friendships. “In the LGBT community, we talk a lot about the real tragedy that comes from the lack of connection across generations within our community,” Michael Adams of the national LGBT aging group, SAGE, tells KPCC. “In the LGBT community, we talk a lot about the real tragedy that comes from the lack of connection across generations within our community,” Michael Adams of SAGE told KPCC. “From younger folks what we hear over and over again is they don’t know very much about the history of their community or about the history of LGBT people.” The new housing initiative is designed to break that boundary as well as to offer homes to two age groups in the LGBT community that typically face discrimination. Read it — and listen to the audio report — at SCPR.org
Books The “Feminine Mystique” of 21st-century ageism?
“People are hungry for a narrative that rings true to our experience of growing older.” That’s Ashton Applewhite talking to the Washington Post about her new book, “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.” More than a manifesto, it’s a deep dive into fear of age — our own and our culture’s — and the systemic discrimination that we help perpetuate by going along with notions of “old” as lesser than “young.” The Post compares Applewhite to Germaine Greer and her book to “The Feminine Mystique,” a catalyst for second wave feminism. Will “This Chair Rocks” spawn a movement? Read Tara Bahrampour’s interview in the Washington Post, stay tuned for Senior Planet’s Q&A with Applewhite and check out our 2013 interview with her
Health Medicare to pay for diabetes prevention programs
On the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, the White announced a program that would cover seniors at risk of diabetes for lifestyle-focused diabetes prevention programs under Medicare. No, Medicare will not pay for your gym membership, but if you have been diagnosed as prediabetic, you’ll be eligible to receive online or in-person counseling as part of a program that in a pilot study helped participants lose an average five percent of their body weight. This would be the first time that an experimental program on this scale would be funded, and it’s expected to cover its costs by preventing full-blown type 2 diabetes in millions of patients. The proposal must go through a public comments phase but is expected to be be signed into law by the end of 2016. Read it at the New York Times
Volunteering They say it does you good…
Mary Margaret Sims has been volunteering for 31 years, driving door to door delivering Meals on Wheels lunches. At this point, many of the people she serves are quite a bit younger than her — Sims turned 90 last week. “They say it gives you self-satisfaction,” Sims told News Today. “And it does, it makes me feel good. That’s how come I’m still driving around delivering meals!” Read more about the health benefits of volunteering on SeniorPlanet.org and check out our article, “How to Find Volunteer Opportunities Online.”
Music Old tech is new again
In the past year, streaming has become the most popular way to listen to music, according to the US recording industry’s annual report. That means CDs and CD players, along with your trusty iPod, are likely to become obsolete before too long. But wait: Records and record players were obsolete not so long ago, and according to the same industry report, sales of vinyl (aka records) are now at their highest point in 30 years. Tech Insider says that “the sale of vinyl LPs reached $416 million, the highest level since 1988. That figure is up a whopping 32% over last year.” If the trend continues, could we one day see vinyl outpace streaming? Read it at Tech Insider
Arts At 84, a long-forgotten artist causes a sensation
Arthur Kern hasn’t been seen around much for the past few decades. In fact, some of those who knew him as an artist assumed he might have died. In fact, the painter and sculptor has been working away in his basement, producing a storage shed full of work. Late last month, that work came out into the open, along with the artist, when a major Kern retrospective opened in New Orleans. It was his first solo show since the ’70s. Read more about the artist and his work at the New York Times
Money Deadline looms for two Social Security filing strategies
File and suspend, and the restricted application strategy for spousal benefits — both of which have allowed some seniors to maximize their Social Security earnings — are set to expire after Congress shot them down late last year. The deadline for applying is April 29. You can get details on the Social Security Administration site, and read a detailed explanation, along with advice on how best to implement the strategies and what to do if a Social Security representative tells you no, at Kiplinger.com.
Trends People 65 to outnumber children under 5 by 2020 for the first time ever
Within the next four years, people over 65 will no longer be the smallest percentage of the global population; children under five will occupy that spot instead. For the first time in recorded human history, a combination of factors — declining fertility rates and increased longevity above all — will push the number of seniors up to outnumber preschoolers, and that trend will continue, with the twolines diverging every more widely, according to a recent Census Bureau report. “By 2050, the proportion of the population 65 and older (15.6 percent) will be more than double that of children under age 5 (7.2 percent). Read more at CNSNews.com
Bruce Springsteen and his mother dancing to “Ramrod” during his recent concert at Madison Square Garden.