ChangingAging™ is a multi-blog platform challenging conventional views on aging. We believe aging is a strength, rich in developmental potential and growth. Below is a list of ChangingAging’s regular blog contributors. We also encourage Guestblog submissions from our readers. Click here for submissions.
Journalist, Buddhist monk, MIT graduate, and founder of the blog The Voice of Aging Boomers, Martin Bayne has had a colorful career. At the age of nineteen, while working at the Times Herald Record, he was contacted by the mother of a soldier serving in Vietnam. Her request that he help bring her son home to be with his father during open heart surgery catapulted Bayne into the world of advocacy. He arranged a meeting at the Pentagon with Lt. Col. John C. Payne, MD, in the Office of the US Army Surgeon General, and within a week, the soldier, John Fasanello of Florida, NY, was on a plane home.
A year later, motivated by a need to discover the source of self-compassion, Bayne entered Shasta Abbey, a Soto Zen Buddhist monastery, where he spent his next years learning to “sleep when tired and eat when hungry”—skills that would prove essential when he was immobilized after being hit by a car at the age of 31. Alive, yet unwilling to spend his time shaking his fist at the sky, he obtained his brokers license and began to market socially responsible funds as he recovered from his injuries. In 1992, a decade before most Americans were even remotely aware of a problem with their long-term health care system (LTC), and with the experience of protracted disability fresh in his mind, Bayne began publishing a newsletter and website under the nom de plume Mr. Long-Term Care. The website quickly grew to become one of the nation’s most trusted sources of information on long-term care. Additionally, Bayne was CEO and cofounder of New York Long-Term Care Brokers, one of the nation’s largest LTC insurance brokers. In the nineties, at the peak of his professional career and personal eldercare advocacy, Bayne was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. For the past ten years he has lived in an assisted living facility.
Ronni Bennett coined the term “Elderblogger” and is the founder of Time Goes By, a wide-ranging blog covering social issues, work, retirement, age discrimination and ageism, politics, media, health, family, Medicare and Social Security, love and sex, entertainment, humor, grief and mortality, culture, technology and more – all as related to aging.
Thousands of readers visit Time Goes By every day or subscribe via RSS, email, Facebook and Twitter. You’ll also find here a vibrant community of smart, informed, thoughtful and funny elderbloggers and blog readers who enrich the conversation and widen the context creating a remarkable record of what it’s like to get old.
Ronni spent the last decade of her career (before being forced to retire) working on websites beginning as managing editor at CBSnews.com through other sites on sports medicine, restaurants, finance and business research.
For 35 years prior to that she produced for such network television programs as 20/20, The Barbara Walters Specials and other shows at NBC, PBS, CBS, Lifetime, etc.
In 2006, after 40 years in New York City, Ronni sold her apartment in Greenwich Village and moved to Portland, Maine. Since May 2010 she has lived in Lake Oswego, Oregon with her Savannah cat, Ollie.
Through no fault of his own, Bruce is a baby boomer.
Born in Oklahoma in 1946 and raised in south central Kansas, Bruce graduated from Wichita State University in 1969 with a degree in Journalism. This was followed by a three-year hitch in the U.S. Army where his journalism education kept him from most of harm’s way. He then earned an MBA from Texas Christian University followed by several years in the advertising and market research industries,eventually launching and running his own research firm for 22 years. In 2003, Bruce founded Wisdom River Partners to explore the business opportunities of the geriatric care management industry.
Currently, Bruce devotes time to writing articles targeting the baby boom, writing and performing original music, writing a blog called “the 13th Clown“, promoting a book he wrote titled Marriage Roulette and encouraging his five children and four grandchildren to forgive his being a boomer and sucking up all the government money. Learn more about Bruce at www.brucebrittain.com
In 2003 David Goff had a brain aneurism. As a result of his stroke, and the onset of a rare brain syndrome, he nearly died and ended up permanently disabled. This experience had a transformational effect on David, which made him “Lucky,” and cued him into how radically connected all things are. This broader awareness now informs his approach toward what it means to be human.
David is also a co-founder of the Elder Salon in Sebastopol CA, and has a monthly radio program (listen to archived programs on elderculture.com) called Growing An Elder Culture. He has authored Embracing Life: Toward A Psychology Of Interdependence (available through Amazon), and with his partner Alexandra Hart has written The Age of Actualization: A Handbook For Growing An Elder Community (also available through Amazon). He is currently active with the Senior Center Without Walls, a volunteer organization in California that serves the disabled and home-bound.
Jeanette Leardi is a Portland, Oregon, writer, editor, and community educator who has a passion for older adult empowerment and finds special personal fulfillment helping Boomers and older generations identify and share their wisdom with others. Her decade of experiences as the primary caregiver to both of her parents inspired her encore career goals of changing perceptions about the aging process and helping people appreciate elders’ inherent dignity, wisdom, and unique value as mentors and catalysts for social change. She accomplishes this through her successful presentations and classes in journaling, spiritual writing, memoir writing, personal mythmaking, brain fitness, intergenerational communication, and caregiver support to people of all ages.
Jeanette’s publishing experiences include positions at Newsweek, Life, People, Condé Nast Traveler, and Sesame Street magazines and The Charlotte Observer. She has a master’s degree with honors in English from Rutgers University and a graduate certificate in gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She can be reached through her website, www.jeanetteleardi.com.
Angie McAllister is Director of Cultural Transformation for the rural division of Signature HealthCare in Tennessee. Angie is an advocate for Elders’ rights and culture change initiatives. She is also a Certified Eden Educator and is proud to promote the 10 principles of the Eden Alternative as a staple of life in the 30 homes she serves.
For fun, Angie enjoys reading, art and spending time with her 14-year-old daughter.
Kavan Peterson is a co-founder of ChangingAging, a multi-blog network committed to challenging conventional views on aging and using social media to promote the equality, sustainability, health and well being of people of all ages. He was also co-founder of ChangingMedia, a full service creative consulting and production company working with higher education, non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Combining careers as a national journalist and social media entrepreneur, Kavan focuses on the power of user-generated content to communicate pro-aging ideas and build movements. He has developed strategies for organizations to understand and engage in social media communications that build purpose, engage audiences and make change.
As a reporter for Stateline.org in Washington, D.C., and contributor to NPR, Kavan specialized in social justice reporting on aging, gay rights, education reform, immigration and the death penalty.
A writer, blogger and videographer, Kavan enjoys exploring caves, mountain tops and vintage motorcycles, and splits time between his home in Baltimore and Missoula, Montana, with his wife and two kids.
Christina Pierpaoli, 21, is a fourth year undergraduate at American University studying psychology and public health, with particular academic, clinical, and research interests in life span development, aging, and adult sexuality. Since her time in Urbino, Italy—where she shared brief but infinitely insightful exchanges with older Italians—Christina has sought to empirically examine the biopsychosocial factors that predict, and are associated with, healthy aging and longevity.
As a Killam Fellow alongside Fulbright scholar Dr. Charles Emlet, Christina has qualitatively studied healthy aging and resilience in a sample of HIV positive Canadian elders as well as the neural substrates of memory and attention in older adults under the auspices of Dr. Morris Moscovitch. At present, she is a research assistant at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington, DC and facilitates support groups through the Alzheimer’s Association.
Christina’s research has been featured in The Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with a specialization in aging.
G. Allen Power, MD is Eden Mentor at St. John’s Home in Rochester, NY, and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester. He is a board certified internist and geriatrician, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians / American Society for Internal Medicine. You can follow his blog at www.Changingaging.org/AlPower/
Virgil Thomas is the Technical Support Guide with The Eden Alternative. His focus is on social media outreach and connecting a generation of culture change advocates. A recent graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, he earned a degree in Political Science with a focus in Political Philosophy. As son of Dr. Bill Thomas, Virgil grew up around The Eden Alternative and the culture change movement.
Since his freshmen year of college, Virgil has been active in the blogospher, writing for a student-run blog, USDemocrazy.com. He has been a contributor to ChangingAging.org since 2010. When he is not at work Virgil practices Martial Arts and enjoys time with his two German Shepherds, Carter and Valor.
Dr. Bill Thomas is an author, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, farmer and physician whose wide-ranging work explores the terrain of human aging. Best known for his health care system innovations, he is the founder of a global non-profit (The Eden Alternative) which works to improve the care provided to older people. He is the creator of The Green House(R) which Provider Magazine has called the “pinnacle of culture change.” Dr. Thomas also developed the Senior ER model of care and is now working to transform the acute care services provided to elders.
His most recent novel (“Tribes of Eden“) is a post-apocalyptic thriller that explores the value of community in a world that is increasingly defined by and dependent on digital technology. Dr. Thomas’ latest play (“Play What’s Not There”) blends Greek mythology and Jazz with a taut exploration of the tension between work and life. The play premiered at the prestigious Guthrie Theater. In Spring 2014, Simon and Schuster will publish Dr. Thomas’ non-fiction reconsideration of the mythology that surrounds America’s Post War Generation (Coming of Age: Outgrowing Adulthood and Becoming the Person You are Meant to Be). As the guitarist for the acoustic duo “Hot Koko,” Thomas has recorded and released two collections of American roots music.
Dr. Thomas’ eclectic career has included two decades living off the grid and running a mixed power farming operation (Summer Hill), founding one of the first technology companies to offer clinicians immediate access to outcome data (Rumpelstitlskin), teaching medical students and serving as a founding faculty member of UMBC’s Erickson School of Aging. He is also the founder of the influential multi-author blogging platform, ChangingAging.org. A popular public speaker, Dr. Thomas is known for his thoughtful, heartfelt (and Powerpoint-free) approach to engaging with a wide range of audiences.
This synthesis of imagination and action led the Wall Street Journal to highlight Dr. Thomas as one of the nation’s “top 12 innovators” changing the future of retirement in America and US News and World Report to name him as one of “America’s best leaders.” The magazine noted his “startling common-sense ideas and his ability to persuade others to take a risk,” and concluded that “this creative and wildly exuberant country doctor has become something of a culture changer–reimagining how Americans will approach aging in the 21st century.”
Dr. Thomas continues to write, perform and help Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profits develop new products and services that make the most of normal human aging.