Welcome to the new ChangingAging.org weekly blog roundup for August 2 to Sept. 10, 2010.
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The Senior Emergency Center
Patricia G. Kallsen asked me on Facebook to explain some of the key concepts behind the Seniors Emergency Center project. This is a fun challenge to boil things down:
1) Typical emergency departments are optimized for the acute care of ill and injured adults and children. People who have accompanied frail older people into the ER know first hand that these environments create many difficulties for older people.
2) The American population will grow older each and every day for the next half century. Aging is changing our society so we need to change our health care system.
3) Making emergency care better serve the needs of elders requires three distinct types of changes.
Folstein from the Front End
Here is an excerpt from a journal entry from Grace, who lived with us at St. John’s Home and passed away a few years back.She was an English major in college and an avid public speaker. And she journaled. Many years before coming to us, she spent some time in another nursing home out of state, and wrote about the “admission evaluation”:
Cult of Adulthood
Different Can Be Better
The New York Times’ Fashion Section has an interesting feature on a subculture of women who are proud and happy to have small breasts. Shunning the “bigger is better” ethic in America takes self-confidence and bit of vinegar. I am excerpting from the piece because it helps show how people can cut against the grain. For older people the challenge is to be comfortable with age and to be willing to show others how our age makes us more attractive and interesting.
The 41 Year Old Teenager
Here’s the next installment in our series on anti-aging nonsense:
He promises viewers permanent youth.
He says that it’s all about the foods he eats.
Do you want to become a “super being” like him?
His says that his skin is incredibly soft and smooth.
If you don’t expect to age… you won’t!!!
The first secret is “get as much sunshine as you can!”
That’s it except for the the thing about him wanting you to go to his website.
This is a very sad man.
Slate is running an in depth look at income inequality in America.
What does that have to do with changing aging?
High levels of income inequality damage the sense of fairness on which civil society is based.
Merle Travis wrote a song about this:
“You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.”
Click here for a taste of the series:
Top Comments: Joan Raderman
In response to my post about Port Huron, their Senior Emergency Center and the struggle against ageism in health care, Joan Raderman writes:
A new study released in Chicago today. Insights:
1) Being more mentally active and having a high score for mental activity do help delay the onset of Alzheimers. This is a kind of cognitive reserve.
2) Once these mentally engaged people do start to show decline the decline is faster than that experienced by people with fewer cognitive reserves.
Staying active mentally can compress the experience of living with dementia. The onset comes later but the decline proceeds faster. Doctors call this the “compression of morbidity” and we generally think of this as a good thing.
Take home message: Staying mentally (and physically) active will delay but not prevent dementia.
Power-Up Friday…What Is Frailty?
Those of us who have worked in long-term care are aware that two people can be the same age and take the same medications for the same diagnoses, and yet have very different life trajectories. Doctors continue to struggle with ways in which we can measure “frailty” and its associated health risks among older adults.
Click here to continue reading.
Eden Down Under
Congratulations to our talented and hard working friends in Australia and New Zealand. The Eden Alternative was just a named a top ten innovation in health care Down Under.
The Tao of Travel
During my stay in London last month I was fortunate enough to be invited to play a game of cricket.
As a red blooded Yankees fan I have my doubts about cricket but as the saying goes “when in Rome do as the English do.” Who could possibly turn down the chance to sit in a field for four hours drinking beer and heckling batters?