Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Top Ten Posts

Photo by Sam Churchill.
Over the last year, this blog enjoyed a significant jump in readership.

Thank you, dear readers, for traveling with me.

This blog records my journey to better my own aging process while supporting the generation above me.

I'm hoping that other travelers have an easier path because of my "trail notes." 

Without further ado, here is a countdown of the Top 10 Posts written and posted in 2016, in ascending order:

Both of these films (one American, one Norwegian) chronicle the transition from full-time work to retirement.  The main characters, however, take a radically different approach to adjusting.  Great performances by Jack Nicholson and Baar Owe.  

Baby Boomers said farewell to many favorite entertainers.  While it's appropriate to memorialize them, we can also embrace many recording artists who are still living and working.  Are your favorite singers from the 1960s and 1970s on this list?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Forever Painless: Book Review

Published November 15, 2016.
Miranda Esmonde-White is a fitness expert, author and host of the PBS show called Classical Stretch, which has over 300 episodes.

This fall, Harper Wave has published Esmonde-White's most recent book:

Forever Painless: End Chronic Pain and Reclaim Your Life in 30 Minutes a Day. (Hardcover, 320 pages).

The book's main point is this:

Appropriate movement is key for managing chronic pain.

The first four chapters explain the theory behind this point. 

The next ten chapters provide detailed instructions for various types of movement.

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Available for purchase links:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Queen Mimi: Film Review

Released 13 May 2015.
Queen Mimi (2015) is a 75 minute documentary introduces the viewers to an octogenarian woman living in a Santa Monica laundromat.

Over the course of the documentary, Mimi shares her survival strategies, attitudes, and relationships.

The entire documentary is riveting.  Mimi defies stereotypes about the homeless and reveals herself to be very complex.

For example, she cannot abide homeless people loitering in "her" laundromat. She's also incredibly cheerful, given her limited resources.  She's also a bit of a flirt, charming those around her and not alienating them.

As a gerontologist, I was particularly interested in seeing how Mimi showed incredible emotional and physical resilience in late life. She serves as an example to me on how to be flexible and resourceful in meeting life's challenges.

I would outline the whole of her biography, but much of the documentary's tension comes from the aim to answer these questions: Has she always been homeless? Does she have a family Do they know where she is?

Well, in fewer than two hours of viewing, you can learn the answer to these questions while also complicating your view of the homeless.


Films about Aging
The Stranger in My Recliner: Book Review 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Care Partner: An Emerging Term

Photo by Ian MacKenzie
Since 2010, I have been spending about twenty hours a week reading about the challenges and opportunities of aging.  Part of this time included reading a great deal about caregiving.

As I read materials from a variety of hard copy and electronic sources, I observed the following related terms for people who help meet needs for those struggling to complete activities of daily living (such as dressing) and instrumental activities of daily living (such as managing finances).

I observed these terms:

  • caregiver (dominate term in the literature for both paid employees and family members providing care)
  • caretaker (dwindling term, also used in another context as a house servant)
  • carer (Commonwealth term used by UK, Canada, Australia, etc.)
Then this year, I read a couple of books that used "care partner" to refer to those in supportive relationships with those living with dementia.  I was pleasantly surprised at the resulting the shift in emphasis.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Dignified Life: Book Review

Published 21 September 2012.
In 2012, dementia care experts Virginia Bell M.S.W. and David Troxel M.P.H. published a revised and expanded edition of their 2002 book of the same title: A Dignified Life: Best Friends™ to Alzhemier's Care. 

By incorporating new research, more types of dementias, and additional stories about people living with dementia, Bell and Troxel build upon their already solid foundation of informed care. 

[I was provided a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.]

Their guide for care partners (a term that replaces caregivers) is rich with ideas, accessible and a conveys a tone of compassion and respect for people responding to the enormous challenges of living with dementia.  

Their Best Friends™ Approach includes the following (as adapted from a list of traits in their "Introduction" on pp. 2-4):

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Diminished Capacity: Film Review

Released 2008.
I viewed Diminished Capacity (2008) a few years ago, but I'm revisiting it today, given that the "MacGuffin" or plot device for this film is a 1908 Chicago Cubs baseball card.

[Listen to Alfred Hitchcock explain the film term "MacGuffin."]

This quiet little film featuring Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick and Virginia Madsen.  The title refers to the cognition problems experienced by two of the three main characters.

Broderick plays Cooper, a Chicago newspaper reporter who experiences a traumatic brain injury by being too close to a bar fight.

Alda plays Cooper's Uncle Rollie, a mature man who is living with some form of neuro-degenerative disease, probably Alzheimer's Disease.  The movie poster gestures to one of Rollie's odd habits--his method of creating poetry by having fish tug on fishing lines attached to typewriter keys.

Madsen plays Charlotte a recently divorced woman who still lives in Broderick's home town in rural Missouri, the same town where Uncle Rollie lives.  She's raising a tween son.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Telomere Length: Biomarker of Health

Photo by NHGRI.
Everyone agrees that good health is vital.

However, not everyone agrees on how to achieve good health.

There are a lot of ideas on how to be healthy and how to postpone the ravages of aging.

Similarly, there are a lot of ideas about what biological factors are correlated with healthy aging.

Since the mid 1970s, scientists have isolated a genetic feature called telomeres and argue that their length is correlated with health and longevity.

I don't believe there is one single genetic factor that humans can manipulate in order to ward off all aspects of aging.  However, telomere length is viewed by many as the chief marker for longevity and health.

I'm looking more closely at telomeres length as just one out of eighteen important biomarkers of health and longevity. But I do concede that it's an important one, in part because it's a genetic. Also, it's one of the newer biomarkers on the list. We still have a lot to learn.

This post is part of a series on biomarkers of health and longevity.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Donating Blood Diminishes Iron Levels

Photo by MattysFlicks.
Donate Blood.

Give the Gift of Life.

In early September of this year, my annual exam declared me anemic.

Blood tests revealed that my hemoglobin was only 11.4 g/dl when 12.1 g/dl to 15.1 g/dl is ideal for women 18 and up.

I was really worried about my low iron levels, because I was eating more protein than I did as a young adult.

Then I found out that blood donors are at higher risk for anemia. And I had donated blood on July 9th.

Here's a related statement from the NIH page "Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet: Iron":

"Frequent blood donors have an increased risk of iron deficiency. In the United States, adults may donate blood as often as every 8 weeks, which can deplete iron stores.  About 25%-35% of regular blood donors develop iron deficiency."

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Book Review

Published 13 September 2016.
Living with dementia presents a host of challenges.

While there are a number of tips available for family members, the most transformative tips all come from this common ideal:

Show love and respect for people living with dementia while maintaining a meaningful connection.

Connecting in the Land of Dementiia: Creative Activities to Explore Together offers specific, practical suggestions for making this ideal a reality.

Author Deborah Shouse has an earlier book that shares the journey she and her mother took while finding ways to connect after her mother's diagnosis of dementia*.

[See this post about the terminology change favoring Neurocognitive Disorder over dementia.]

I've read more than two dozen books about family caregivers, and Shouse's is one of the most positive and hopeful paths through the caregiving partnership.

After reading Living in the Land of Dementia (2013), I was eager to see how she has extended her work in a second book.

[I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.]

In the intervening years, Shouse has met with a variety of people within the United States and beyond, all exploring creative ways to keep people with dementia engaged in meaningful relationships and activities. Her new book makes reference to many practitioners and researchers.

I had the opportunity to meet the author and her partner Ron when they did a performance art activity at a local library in south Central Kansas.  They are intelligent, creative, and caring people. Her book conveys these same virtues.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Song of Lunch: Film Review

TV Movie aired Oct 2010
Based on a narrative poem by Christopher Reid, The Song of Lunch (2010) depicts two people having lunch together.

What makes lunch interesting?

In 50 minutes, we get more than enough material to reflect on how past relationships invite us to scrutinize or present selves.

The two people--played by Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson--are former lovers who haven't seen each other for fifteen years.  She left him for someone else.

What makes their break up painful?

It's hard to know how she feels because the poem--providing the voice over for the action--takes his point of view.  His feelings are complex, but know that his biggest aspirations are to be a famous poet.  He works reviewing manuscripts for a publishing house.

Her husband is a successful novelist.


People in midlife who read and perhaps write poetry will be the ideal audience for this film. Fans of Rickman and Thompson might brave this atypical film genre (the script taken entirely from a poem). The language is quite ornate. The attention to interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics are laser sharp.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

9 Realities of Caring for an Elderly Parent: Book Review

Published 2014 by Pressman Books
At first glance, I expected 9 Realities of Caring for an Elderly Parent to be a guidebook, filled with objective lists and a lot of information on how to contact government resources.

Then I started the book. It's more of a caregiver's memoir.

Finally, I noted the subtitle: "A Love Story of a Different Kind." That was my big hint, and I skimmed past it. However, author Stafania Shaffer shares the tender feelings she experienced over five years of caring for her increasingly dependent mother.

[Note: I receive a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.]

The books starts when Shaffer discovers that her widowed mother is living in a cluttered, unhygienic home.  Shaffer's mother is having trouble maintaining her finances, her diet, and her own cleanliness and grooming.

After making these observations, Shaffer takes on the task of caring for her mother, first from a distance of two hours until she can secure a new teaching job and move back into her childhood home.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Attending a 2016 Aging & Wellness Conference

Photo by Karen D. Austin.
It's vital to connect with other professionals in your field.

Attending conferences gives me the chance to observe best practices in a variety of topics related to healthy aging.

Great Resource, Great Region

Fortunately, I've moved to a region of Indiana that hosts an invigorating conference every year.

People interested in healthy aging should visit this page, Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness.  It contains information about some of best practices in healthy lifestyle choices and helping others improve their quality of life throughout the lifespan.

This is the 9th year that the Center for Aging and Wellness at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) has hosted the conference.  This summer, I moved just 15 miles from USI.  The campus is on the west side of Evansville, Indiana. This city is the 3rd largest in the state of Indiana, and the hub of a Tri-State region that includes southern Illinois and western Kentucky.

USI partners with a number of other businesses and organizations.  But because I recently became an employee of the university, I am a bit more focused on their role.  Afterall, I was just hired the week prior to the conference.  Everything is new for me: the faculty, staff, administrators, students. Even the campus buildings and parking areas are foreign to me.

Nevertheless, I jumped right in.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Shoulder Pain and Ageism

Photo by Dan Iggers.
Ten months ago, I started noticing pain in my right shoulder.  It has taken me that long to find a medical professional to take my complaints seriously.  Part of the delay is due to my move from Kansas to Indiana. However, part of the delay appears to be ageism.

Let me explain.

When I first reported shoulder pain in October of 2015, I was hoping to get some imaging on my shoulder and a referral to a physical therapist. That didn't happen.

Instead, my general practitioner told me: "At your age, you should accept that you are going to experience aches and pains. Just deal with it." 

Um, that seems ageist to me.  And unprofessional. "Aches and pains" isn't very specific or technical.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Gum Health: Biomarker for Longevity and Health

Photo by Jeff Seldon of UK's DFID.
Many people assume that gum disease is an isolated problem.

However, gum disease can affect the health of other systems of the body. Additionally, poor oral hygiene is correlated with poor self-care in other areas of the body.

The technical terms for gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.

1. gingivitis, meaning the inflammation of the gums (called the gingiva).

2. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which happens when immflamation causes the gums pull away from the teeth and gums bleed more readily. Left untreated, people with periodontitis can lose their teeth and suffer destruction of their mouth bones, gums and other tissue.

For a more thorough discussion of the causes, prevention, and treatment of gingivitis, see Medicine Net's page here.

The significance of gum health is demonstrated further by its inclusion as a biomarker of health and longevity.

This post is part of a series on biomarkers.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quotes about Aging: O through Z

Photo: Quinn Dombrowski.
Here for your review is the last list of quotes about aging from my treasury.

You can find the first two lists from this series here and here.

This caution bears repeating: I do not agree with every quote. Some depict aging in a negative or trivializing way.

However, I believe it's vital to respond to broadly circulated quotes in order to evaluate them. If a negative quote is popular, the underlying assumptions about aging should be addressed.

Offer your evaluation in the comments. Which is your favorite? Which rankles you the most? Which is the most ambiguous?

Some people are old at 8 and some are young at 90. Time is a concept that humans created. Yoko Ono


An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. Gene Perret

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

It takes a long time to become young. Pablo Picasso

We don't grow older, we grow riper. Pablo Picasso

One lives in the hope of becoming a memory. Antonio Porchia

This is your life and its ending one moment at a time. Chuck Palahniuk

I think it's time we learnd to be as good at dying as we are at living. Sir Terry Pratchett

No one is actually dead  until the ripples they cause in the world die away. Sir Terry  Pratchett (in Reaper Man)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Quotes About Aging: G through N

Photo by Raymond Zoller.
I have a treasury of quotes about aging that I have been sharing via Twitter since 2012.

Why not share these quotes here?

This is the second part in a series.

Note: I do not agree with all of these.

I do think that if a quote gets passed around, it contains elements that people should examine and discuss.

Which quotes should be promoted? Which contain assumptions about aging that should be challenged? Share your views in the comments.


I like to describe myself as a proudly visible member of the most invisible segments of our society -- older women. Cindy Gallop

There is still no cure for the common birthday. John Glenn

Old enough to know better and young enough to want to do it anyway. Stormy Glenn

I feel the tomb is just around the corner. And there are all these books I haven't read yet. Edward Gorey

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hello, My Name Is Doris: Film Review

Released 1 April 2016.
Hello My Name Is Doris has at least two themes, some of which contradict.

Does Doris encourage people to embrace change? Or does she warn people not to venture too far outside the norm?

What did the entertainment journalists think?

Why am I surprised that the majority of entertainment journalists failed to get past the jaw-dropping kiss featured in this film's preview?

Before the film's general release, the two leads, Sally Field and Max Greenfield, addressed questions posed to them about this film.

After watching several interviews conducted during the press junket, I have concluded that entertainment journalists failed to scratch the surface of Hello, My Name Is Doris (2016).

Yes, this is a movie that plays up the comedy about a mature woman who becomes increasingly infatuated with a man about three decades younger than she.  Yes, people want to talk about the scenes filled with sexual tension.

After watching ten interviews that never got past the lead actors' 34 year age difference, I was frustrated by the lack of discussion about the film's themes.

Hello, My Name Is Doris is more than a comedy about a woman who fails to read social cues.  For me, it was an allegory about breaking free from the safety of a comfortable routine and discovering that growth and opportunity can happen despite limits imposed by others and limits imposed by self.

Remember The Accidental Tourist (1988)?  Like Macon (played by William Hurt), Doris has created a buffer between herself and the world by keeping to a strict routine.  Her reasons differ from Macon's but are also tied to a losses from the past.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

When Breath Becomes Air: Book Review

Published 12 January 2016.
Paul Kalanithi was both a man of science and a man of letters with a promising future when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He had spent years training to be a scientist-doctor-author, only to find that his future largely erased by his cancer. 

Over the next 22 months, his life came into sharp focus as he tried to align his values with how he spent his dwindling time. 

The pages of his memoir make evident Kalanithi's three core values: develop the skill as a neurosurgeon in order to prolong life and quality of that life; read, write and think deeply about what it means to be human; and cherish loved ones.

As a retired English teacher, I particularly enjoyed how he found solace through the pages of literature. In years prior, Kalanithi not only studied biology and medicine, he also earned three degrees in literature and philosophy. His memoir draws on key passages from classic literature, helping him explore his thoughts and feelings. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Reinventing Myself at Midlife, Again

Newburgh, Indiana River Front. Photo by Karen D. Austin
When I was in my mid twenties, I spent a lot of time creating a life plan.

As I travel through life, I find that planning my life out 50 years ahead is futile.

Spending a lot of time thinking about the next 10 years or even the next 5 years ends up distracting me too much from current opportunities.

Now I visualize my life more in six months increments.  I might project a little further ahead, but I don't spend much time doing that, and those plans remain more ethereal.

Right now, I'm in a great state of flux.

I'm selling my Kansas house in May and moving to Indiana.

Not only do I have to manage a lot of pragmatics, I am managing emotional and conceptual aspects of my life.  A lot of my identity is wrapped up in my social connections and roles in various organizations.

By moving 600 plus miles away, I will have to reinvent myself. Again. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Quotes about Aging: A through F

Photo by SFView.
Since 2012, I have been scouring several venues for quotes about aging.

(Quotes on Aging: G through N)

Mind you, I do NOT necessarily agree with all of the following statements about aging.

But I do think they are all worth examining and discussing.

Which quotes reflect your view of aging?

Which quote irritates you the most?

Which quotes make you smile?

Which person is your favorite wit?

Enjoy these quotes organized by the author's last name.


Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise if you wish to keep them in working order. John Adams

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor. Sholom Aleichem

The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time. Dante Alighieri

Older women know who they are, and that makes them more beautiful than younger ones. Naveen Andrews

A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim. Maya Angelou

In Europe we admire grown-up women; I think men revere older women. Francesca Annis

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. - Marcus Aurelius

Monday, April 4, 2016

Somebody Stole My Iron: Book Review

Published 17 January 2014.
Supporting one parent through a chronic illness is challenging enough. Author Vicki Tapia chronicles her experience supporting her father through Parkinson's Disease and her mother through Alzheimer's Disease.

Her book is called Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia, published 17 January 2014, available on Amazon.

Tapia's parents are having more and more trouble managing the basics. As the only child living locally to her parents, Tapia helps her parents through a couple of moves--from their home to assisted living to a skilled nursing center.

Most of her memoir discusses her mother's problems with memory, mobility, language and self-care.  Her father is a quiet man who rarely complains. Her mother is more outspoken, determined and demanding.

It's difficult to walk the line between respecting her mother's desire for independence and her mother's need for safety.

Tapia learns again and again that her mother's can present an illusion of capability that exceeds the reality.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Home for an Emptying Nester

Photo by Greeblie.
I have been a little quiet on the blog lately.

Why? Change is in the air.

We are moving from Kansas to Indiana this summer, so I've been preoccupied.

Instead of reading about aging, I have been using my computer time to scout neighborhoods and high schools for my youngest.  After I post this, I'm getting driving to the city of Evansville to explore it in person.

I am having trouble deciding where to live and what kind of home to buy.

Downtown holds appeal because I can attend cultural events and have easy access to the public library and YMCA. There are also more volunteer opportunities and employment opportunities in town.

If we buy a home in a suburban neighborhood ideal for teens, that works well--for just three years. That is a very long time for a teen but a blink of the eye for a couple in their fifties.

So do I do what's best for them now? Or best for the parents down the road? Or do we move after three years?

I'm hoping to find a neighborhood that is somewhere in between downtown and the suburb high school that appeals to my youngest.


Plotkin Describes Life Stages

Monday, March 7, 2016

Midlife Ennui

Photo by LS Monocicio.
I've been very detached lately.  Low energy.

I do suffer a little seasonal depression in January and February.

However, this time I perceive a little generational perspective.

"Been there, done that."

"Nothing new under the sun."

I've cycled through a number of obsessions. I've been passionate about a lot of things.  Consequently, everything seems to be a repetition of something I've already experienced.  I don't have any drive.

This is probably a first world problem, or a landed gentry 19th Century problem. For this reason, I'm thinking of a word that reached its peak in the era of drawing rooms and salons:

Ennui -- from the same origin as "annoyed."

Both words are condensed from a phrase:

mihi in odio est  

You might see the root for "odious" there. Loosely translated, it means "It's distasteful to me."

Listless, languid, restless, bored.

I'm hoping spring snaps me out of this condition.  I certainly don't wish that tragedy does.

In the meantime, here is one of the neologisms from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.  I applaud the John Koenig for creating new words for complex feelings.

(Click on the image below for a link to the video.)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mean Arterial Pressure: Biomarker of Health

Photo by Christiana Care.
There are a few different ways to view blood pressure.

The most common is a reading of the systolic and diastolic functions, an ideal reading being 120/80.

However, medical personnel are also interested in the mean arterial pressure also known as MAP.

This post is part of a series on biomarkers of health and longevity.

This is calculated by doubling the diastolic blood pressure, adding it to the systolic and dividing by three.

For example, if we take the average blood pressure above and apply this calculation it looks like this:

(80 + 80 + 120)/3 = 93.3

Or you can plug in your systolic and diastolic numbers into an online MAP calculator.

The MAP lets them know if the body is getting too little profusion of blood (lower than 60) or too much (higher than 105).

Note: This post is to raise awareness only. It does not offer medical advice. If you have concerns about your circulatory system, please see a licensed medical professional. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Between Death and Burial

Photo by Don LaVange.
People who know me in person recognize that diplomacy isn't my strongest suit.

However, I do understand that the space between a person's death and their burial is a particularly tender time. 

I perceive this space as sacred, best met with reverence.

This time should focus on articulating the decedent's virtues, strengths and legacy. It's a time to comfort their friends and family members.

Friday, January 29, 2016

About Schmidt vs O'Horten: Film Pairing

About Schmidt Released 2002; O'Horten Released 2007.
After watching over 200 films depicting midlife and late life, I'm seeing patterns.

Sometimes one film influences another. For example, Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) has a strong influence on two subsequent films.

Other films are direct remakes, such as the 2014 English-language version of the 2005 Spanish film Elsa y Fred.

In this instance, I see two characters taking different approaches to the same life passage. For this reason, I recommend that people watch About Schmidt (2002) and O'Horten (2007) back to back--but necessarily in the same evening.

Schmidt and O'Horten are both men who retire at the beginning of their narratives.  Nebraska native Schmidt worked at a insurance company for decades before retiring at age 66.  Norway native O'Horten worked as a train conductor for decades before retiring at age 67.

Both men exhibit highly ingrained habits at work and at home.  Both men experience personal chaos because of the loss of their workplace routines.  This leads both men to question everything from their identity to their relationships to society at large.

What differs is their path through that chaos.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Stranger in My Recliner: Book Review

Published 26 January 2016.
Fate brought Sophie into John McGettigan's path one day--quite literally.

When Sophie fell on the sidewalk in front of him, John recognized this small, octogenarian woman from their casual friendship as residents of the same town.  

At that time, Sophie had been living outside after losing permission to sleep in a basement of a meeting hall.  

Once John learned she was homeless, he drove Sophie home where his wife Doreen agreed that they should make a bed on the couch for Sophie. 

A night's refuge turned into a week, then a month. 

Somehow, Sophie ended up living with the McGettigans for over a year.  As a writer, Doreen worked through her thoughts and feelings about caring for Sophie by writing The Stranger in My Recliner

With a combination of pragmatics and tenderness, McGettigan worked to improve Sophie's physical, emotional and mental health.

[I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.]

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Lie of "One and Done" Caregiving

Photo by RCC.
Aging is a gradual and dynamic process.

Many people do not realize this.

I say this because I have seen a lot of adult children hold onto an unrealistic view of aging.

Many adult children expect their parents to have full health until the week their parents move into a nursing home.

The adult child expects a "One and Done" type of intervention.

They expect that they will take one week off work to help transfer their parent from an independent home to a dependent nursing care environment.

One major change in health. One move. One intervention. One week. One and Done.

"One and Done" is NOT the norm.

For most older adults, aging is a dynamic experience.  The person's needs change frequently over time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Celebrate Singers Who Are Stayin' Alive

Photo by Phillip Pessar.
All too often, headlines announce the passing of an American music legend.

I honor their contribution to the music industry specifically and American culture in general.

However, I feel the need to focus on national treasures still with us.

I spent some time today looking at the Billboard Hot 100 lists for my teen years: 1973-1980.

Here is a list of singers who are still living, many of whom are still writing, recording or performing. 

So here is a shout out to those surviving singers (turning 66 to 78 this year) who provided the soundtrack of my teenage years.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Simple Grass Cutter: An Elder Tale

Photo by Nishanth Jois.
This post is part of a series on elder tales.

Most fairy tales cast young people as the protagonist.

There are a handful of tales that depict an older adult as the story's hero.

Here is a tale from India.

The protagonist is a poor laborer whose riches are contained in his character.  By late life, he is content, so he uses his resources to bless the rising generation.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2015 Films with Aging Themes

Photo by Bit50s.
It's tempting to claim that Hollywood ignores the over 50 crowd.

However, I find that a number of films do focus on the concerns of people in the second half of life.

These might be quieter films that fill fewer seats than action-packed movies or rom-coms featuring twentysomethings.

Nevertheless, mature movie goers can see actors in leading roles who look like them.

So grab your popcorn bowl and remote control and enjoy the following films--listed by release date.

See last year's list: 2014 Films with Aging Themes

Friday, January 8, 2016

FEV1: Biomarker of Health

Photo by CircaSassy.
This post is part of a series on Biomarkers of Health and Longevity

The most interesting research article I read last year was a report about the pace of aging among young adults as measured by a series of tests. 

The article listed 18 biomarkers of aging.  I only recognized 6 of them.  

In an effort to better safeguard my health, I decided to learn about all of these biomarkers. 

The biomarker FEV1 is an abbreviation for a common pulmonary function test.  In other words, FEV1 measures lung health. 

FEV is short for Forced Expiratory Volume.  The 1 indicates the duration of 1 second. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 4th Blogoversary to TGAM

Photo by Miken69er.
Today marks 4 years since I started this blog about aging.

In that time, I've published over 300 posts.

On prior blogoversaries, I have shared the Top 10 most viewed posts.

Because of the cumulative effect, older posts are over-represented in the most-viewed posts. By expanding to the Top 20, the statistics capture a few more recently published posts:

There are ten from 2012, six from 2013, three from 2014 and one from 2015.

Here are the Top 20 All-Time Most Viewed Posts in ascending order.


#20.  Movies about Mature Men Preserving Power(Jan 16th 2013) 
#19.  Celebrities Born in 1962. (Feb 8th 2015)
#18.  Long-term Care More Probable as We Age. (Apr 1st 2012)
#17.  Films about the Dying Process. (Nov 30th 2012)
#16.  Older Americans 2012 Federal Report. (Sep 15th 2012)


#15.  Books about Dementia. (Jun 5th 2014)
#14.  Age-related Risks for Dehydration(May 9th 2012)
#13.  Robert G. Peck's Tasks for Older Adults(Jun 1st 2013)
#12.  Films about Love for Those 50+ (Apr 1st 2013)
#11.  Mature Athletes(May 24th 2012) 


#10. Aging Films to Watch Next. (Mar 11th 2014)
 #9.  Life Span vs. Life Expectancy. (May 20th 2013)
 #8.  Films about Aging, Part III. (Mar 16th 2014)
 #7.  Hospital-induced Delirium. (Jul 6th 2012)
 #6.  Films Set in Nursing Homes. (Jun 13 2013)


 #5.  Label Clothing for Nursing Homes. (Feb 23rd 2012)
 #4.  Adjusting to Bifocals. (Dec 15th 2012)
 #3.  Books about Aging. (Jun 12th 2012) 
 #2   Films about Dementia. (Feb 25th 2013)
 #1   Films about Aging, Part I. (Jan 13th 2012) 


Happy 3rd Blogoversary to TGAM
2015 Top 10 Posts