Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Aging with Wisdom: Book Review

Published November 14, 2017. 
Since her forties, Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle has collected quotes, stories, and her own thoughts in a file labeled "Aging and Wisdom."

In her late seventies, this project came to fruition as a 2017 book, Aging with Wisdom: Reflections, Stories & Teachings.

The insights from this book, of course, are drawn from a broader source than a manila file folder.

Hoblitzelle has experience as a therapist, writer, and speaker. She draws from both Western and Eastern traditions, from quests of the mind and of the body.

The result is a book that conveys a tone of "Softness and Ease" (one of her chapter titles) that also offers quiet strength on how to negotiate the Second Half of life.

Summarizing the book proves challenging since the book serves as a catalyst for individual meditation.

I found myself reading some passages slowly. This allowed me to review events from my life in light of the chapter before me. Some of the sections address age-related challenges and opportunities I have yet to encounter. Consequently, I hope to reread this book as my life situation shifts over the coming decades.

Friday, August 17, 2018

2018 MAIA Concurrent Sessions

MAIA offered 36 concurrent sessions over two days. 
Concurrent sessions are a blessing and a curse.

Yes, it's wonderful to have an array of topics presented when attending a conference.

However, it's painful to choose among competing sessions.

See an earlier post for information about the 2018 MAIA plenary and keynote speakers

This was my experience during the 2018 Mid-American Institute on Aging and Wellness, which took place August 9th & 10th on the campus of University of Southern Indiana

As my name badge indicates, I was one of the people helping with the conference. Briefly stated, serving in the MAIA committee as a "Blue Shirt" further enriched my experience before, during, and after the conference.

But being a committee member didn't include the ability to time travel. Consequently, I can only report on a fraction of presentations.

Check out #maiarocks on Twitter for other attendees' photos and summaries of sessions. 

See an earlier post that lists Twitter and Facebook pages for many of the 2018 MAIA presenters and sponsors.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

2018 MAIA Keynote and Plenary Speakers

MAIA 11th anniversary swag bag, program, and tee.
What Is MAIA?

For the last eleven years, the University of Southern Indiana in partnership with Southwestern Indiana Council on Aging & MORE! (the local Area Agency on Aging) has organized an inter-professional gerontology conference. This year, the conference ran August 9th and 10th with a pre-conference workshop on the 8th.

Located in Evansville, Indiana, this two-day event offers keynote and plenary speakers with national--if not international recognition. In addition, dozens of other presenters also offer great information about promoting wellness across the entire life span. 

The participants are local health care workers, university students, and members of the broader Tristate (IN, IL, KY) community.

Last week was the third time that I attended the Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness (MAIA). However, it was my first time serving as one of the organizers as a member of the Blue Shirts team. 

This gave me the opportunity to see the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes. I'm grateful for all that USI, SWIRCA, the sponsors, vendors, and all the presenters do in order to make this event informative and exhilarating. 

By looking at the program ahead of time, I had a chance to read more about all the presenters before they arrived. However, with six concurrent sessions happening three times a day for two days, it was impossible for me to attend all 36 sessions!

Let me first report some key details about the keynote and plenary speakers. (Details about the 2018 concurrent sessions are now available here.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Natural Causes: Book Review

Published April 10, 2018.
Barbara Ehrenreich loans her considerable talent to the question, "How much control do we have over our longevity?"

The result is her April 10, 2018 book, Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer.

As a gerontologist and a self-professed health nut, I was attentive to her claim that we have a lot less control over our health than we (middle class people from industrialized nations) like to admit.

Her first few chapters describe the escalating number of diagnostic tools and treatments.

Increased health is primarily available to those with health insurance and the means to pay for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles--as well as to those who can go the extra mile and pay for gym memberships, meditation programs and organic produce.

But does throwing money at the aging body really result in longevity? Ehrenreich argues that it does not.