Two years ago, the owner of an assisted living residence in Brooklyn’s Park Slope announced that he was closing the facility. The business, he claimed, is unsustainable. Residents and their families pointed to the area’s rising property values as the likely reason for the closure. They mobilized, wrote letters to local officials, protested outside the building, all to no avail. One by one, the residents found new homes (a few died as a result of the destabilizing move, their families said) — all except five holdouts who are refusing to leave, despite deteriorating conditions at the residence. “At this age, each year, the moving becomes more difficult,” one of the hold-outs, retired bacteriologist Alice Singer, told the Miami Herald. “When I grow up, I’ll find out if stubbornness is good or bad.” Read the whole story at the Miami Herald
What They Said
“It is not the number of years in your life that counts, it is the life in your years.” —Amy Kaye, a senior answering a question on Quora.
“It’s very unusual. We’re both in our 90s. We’re both handicapped. Neither of us drive… It’s not easy, making connections as a senior, but we need it. It’s up there with Medicare and Social Security. I hope people remember that.” Harold Sharlin, 90, quoted in Mashable after a photo of him and his blind date went viral on the Internet.
— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) May 12, 2016
Ageism How a senior center stopped pitying seniors and started supporting their goals
Sheltering Arms senior centers used to operate on the savior model: older people are vulnerable and dependent, and we’re here to make their miserable lives better. Then came a sea change: The social services provider merged with another one, and the new boss suggested the staff rethink their perception of aging by asking seniors about what’s good in their lives. What came out of the rethink was a vastly different approach — one that sees older people as capable, curious and looking for opportunities to give back and grow. A Next Avenue article describes the new mix of activities at Sheltering Arms (maybe they should rethink their name?), including a theater group and current events discussions, and community service projects. Read more at Next Avenue
Ageism? Seniors react to a driverless car
The video below appeared on Wired.com, which points out that some 30 million seniors who want to age in place in areas that lack public transportation could stay independent if they get over their fear of driverless cars. The seniors in this video seem pretty cool about it—but Wired characterized them as “adorable, mildly confused.” Ageist? We think so. Feel free to comment under the video on Wired — just click here to read what Wired said and have your say!
Internet How might we reimagine the end-of-life experience?
That’s the question that the crowdsourcing site Open Idea recently posed. How can we allow for a more dignified death? During the project’s “Inspiration” phase, anyone with an idea, a story, a point of view, or a creative expression about the topic can add it to the pile; others can like and comment on these entries. Eventually, during the Ideas stage, you’ll be able to flesh out solutions, which others can build on. To contribute, just create a simple profile on the site — or you can browse the Inspirations. Either way, click here.
Politics Elizabeth Warren lets loose a tweetstorm
One more reason to check out Twitter, even if you never tweet: Last week, after Donald Trump insulted Elizabeth Warren on the social mdeia platform, Warren retaliated with a series of tweets that silenced the presumptive Republican nominee. Here’s the begining of her tweetstorm. To see the whole stream, click through to Politico.com.
Style An interview with Ari Seth Cohen
The guy who was inspired by his grandmother to start photographing stylish older women for his street style blog now has a global brand in Advanced Style, with a second book, “Older & Wiser” out now. London’s Financial Times interviewed him (along with his newest find, 61-year-old fashion designer Sarah Jane Adams). The big news: Ari has moved back West, where’s he’s bringing his age-positive lens to the Los Angeles scene. “I have a wonderful new crew…. They’ve told me there is even more need for this in LA, where you barely see a wrinkle.” Read more at the Financial Times
Apps Your health app may be lying to you
The past year has seen a proliferation of apps that promise not only to track your steps and monitor your heart rate, but in some cases also monitor chronic conditions and keep your doctor plugged in to the results. Many of these apps have the blessings on major hospital systems. Some 165 thousand health and wellness apps are on the market — but, according to CBS News, most of them are inaccurate. Of the thousands available, only 160 are FDA approved. To see the list of FDA approved apps, click here.
Good Read The wisdom of the aging brain
Does age bring wisdom? Senior Planet explored the topic in an article some time ago; now award-winning science writer Anil Ananthaswamy has dived deeper in the current issue of Nautilus magazine. In a fascinating exploration, he looks at the history of “wisdom” as an idea and the longstanding connection between age and wisdom in classic literature and mythology. Why do we keep believing they’re connected? Ananthaswamy looks at what we’ve recently discovered about how our brains change over the years; there’s growth in neural activity associated with supportive and social behaviors. No, it doesn’t mean that wisdom inevitably comes with age. But it might mean that by learning to live interdependently, we might increase our chances of growing wiser with age. Read “The Wisdom of the Aging Brain” at Nautilus. It’s part of an entire, wide-ranging issue on Aging that’s well worth checking out — click here.
Arts After 60 years on the job, he’s America’s longest-working cartoonist
“I’m not going to retire. They’re going to have to suffer the ignominy of firing a 95 year old man.” That’s Al Jaffee talking about his intention to keep cartooning for MAD Magazine for as long as he can hold a pencil. Soon after his 95th birthday and on the occasion of Jaffee being awarded a Guinness World Record for his longevity as a staff cartoonist, Gothamist talked to the veteran New Yorker. Read more at Gothamist and watch the video below.
Video The beauty of immigration
Max Galka loves data — and turning it into visualizations. He has a blast with Excel spreadsheets. Recently, Galka created a data visualization of immigration patterns to the US through history. Watch the video or, to look at a specific era, pause the video and use the slider. Read more about the map on Galka’s site
Medical research 5-year study of drugs for macular degeneration shows results
It takes a few years to get this much skill.