Choose those words carefully!

Written by Ellen C. Boone, PhD, Co-facilitator, OLLI Memoir Class Last week, the director of our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute handed me a paper that began with the sentence, “May is Older Americans Month and the theme this year is Connect, Create, Contribute.” It went on to say that OLLI students are invited by the […]

Connect, create, contribute: Reflections during Older Americans Month 

Written by Leonard Adreon, Washington University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) participant I am a lucky 92-year-old guy who retired from an active career a decade and a half ago. Lucky, because not long after retirement I found Washington University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), where I have been an attendee of classes and now […]

Helpful resources for caregivers

Written by Christine Hustedde, chief operating officer at Aging Ahead According to research by AARP Public Policy Institute, there were approximately 792,000 caregivers in Missouri in 2013 providing unpaid care for an adult, valued at an estimated $8 billion. Nationally, unpaid caregiving was valued at $470 billion. This is more than the worth of Coca-Cola […]

Transition of care for older adults

Written by Behnaz Sarrami, MS, PharmD, TL1 predoctoral clinical research program alumnus As we celebrate Older Americans Month, it is important to be reminded of those who struggle in an aging society with a health care system that is complex. Imagine a 69-year-old woman admitted to the emergency room for the first time for a […]

Taking steps to end ageism

Written by Gloria C. Gordon, PhD, psychologist and co-founder of STL Village This year, Older Americans Month urges us to take part in activities that enrich our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The theme brings to mind tried-and-true activities such as physical exercise, learning new skills, doing creative work, and socializing with others. I suggest […]

Transforming aging from a aocial problem to a social solution

Written by Paul Weiss, PhD, president of Oasis Institute This March I had the opportunity to sit on a panel at the Aging in America Conference in San Francisco, along with Kate Hoepke, executive director of San Francisco Village, and Jim Emerman, executive vice president of Encore.org, to discuss purpose. Jim presented findings from recent […]

Meaningful engagement across ages and cultures

Written by Rey Castuciano, founder & CEO of Table Wisdom, Inc. So there I am, waiting to take my dad home from his weekly stroke therapy group, when I recognize someone I know. It’s Mary, one of the first participants in our intergenerational program. At first she didn’t recognize me, but after I reminded her […]

When social benefits outweigh health risks

Written by Juliet Simone, MPH, MBA, national health program director, OASIS My dad was not the model of health by anyone’s measure. He had diabetes for 40 years, didn’t get much exercise, and had a heart attack accompanied by a valve replacement 25 years before he died. He was a lifelong smoker and an (almost) […]

Opening the door: How to engage a “loner”

Written by Sarah Z. Levinson, St. Louis NORC manager, Jewish Federation of St. Louis The desire to engage individuals who are isolated appears like the best goal possible. After all, loneliness and social isolation are correlated with increased health risks and decreased quality of life. But what about people who actually prefer to be alone? […]

Making the move

You are likely to help that person downsize in the future, probably sooner rather than later.

Ancora Imparo — I am still learning

Written by Pat Ginn, member of the Lifelong Learning Institute at Washington University in St. Louis For many people who are getting older, building a sustained life can be a daunting task.   Friends move away, you can become distanced from coworkers once you retire and don’t see them every day, an accident has posed physical […]

Making a difference through research

Written by Andrea Denny, JD, MSSW, outreach, recruitment and education core leader at the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis When I learned the theme for Older American’s Month was how older adults are taking part in activities that promote wellness and making a real difference in their communities, I […]

Supporting the right to vote for older Americans

Written by Kerri Gallagher, development assistant for Aging Ahead (formally Mid-East Area Agency on Aging) While celebrating Older Americans Month, we should think about making strides to preserve older citizens’ right to vote by readily providing voting information, absentee ballots, and transportation to polling sites. Historically, older voters have the highest turnout rates. According to […]

American Indian elders: Living libraries

Written by Kelly Connor, research assistant for the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies & MSW candidate, with support from Molly Tovar, EdD, director, Buder Center for American Indian Studies at the Brown School There is a saying in indigenous culture that “when an elder dies, a library burns.” American Indian elders in […]

Discovering purpose in retirement

Written by Leonard Adreon, facilitator, Lifelong Learning Institute, Washington University in St. Louis The year was 2005. I decided to hang it up after a long and relatively successful career. I started working at age 9 as an office boy for the St. Louis Cardinal Baseball team. I was drafted into the Navy during World […]

Learning to fall

Written by David Marchant, Professor of the Practice in Dance at Washington University in St. Louis As we age, we instinctively move more slowly, cautiously avoiding situations and activities that challenge our balance. But what if we’re going about the problem in the wrong way? What if instead of avoiding risk of falls, we need […]

Exercise your body, exercise your brain!

Written by Elyse Murrell, MSW, education and outreach manager of the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Missouri Chapter “What can I do to protect myself from Alzheimer’s?” This powerful question is a common one among aging individuals and the loved ones of people who have the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s latest Facts and Figures, more […]

Promoting quality of life through art

Written by Lynn Friedman Hamilton, Maturity and Its Muse The 2018 theme for Older Americans Month, Engage at Every Age, emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I engage in my community by sharing my passion for art — and […]

Home sharing: Living with roommates in later life

Written by Karen Backes, masters research fellow in aging, Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health Thanks to decades of advances in technology, public health, and medicine, many Americans are able to live independently or semi-independently well into late adulthood, and the vast majority of older adults seem to prefer […]

The power of connecting

Written by Nikki Goldstein, MSW, executive director, Crown Center for Senior Living All the lonely peoplewhere do they all come from?All the lonely peoplewhere do they all belong?  Beatles, Eleanor Rigby There are a myriad of programs, classes, events, and activities just waiting for someone to register; the list of options for involvement, connecting and […]

Finding purpose through volunteering

At the time of publishing, Jeanie Bryant worked with the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at Institute for Public Health As we celebrate Older Americans Month, I have been thinking about what it means to be an older person. In 2017, when I retired at the age of 65, I did not think of […]

Older Americans Month 2018: Engage at every age

Written by the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging team It’s time to celebrate the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.  Across the country, older Americans are taking part in activities that promote wellness and social connection. They are sharing their wisdom and experience with future generations, and they […]

Sexually transmitted infections among adults

Written by Aishwarya Nagar, research assistant and Anne Trolard, manager of the Public Health Data and Training Center, with support from the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging staff at the Institute for Public Health Missouri and the St. Louis region consistently observe rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia that are higher than the national average. […]

Aging and public health

Written by Taylor R. Patskanick, master’s research fellow in aging, Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health Evidence-based public health includes the use of proven approaches to improve population health. Historically, public health interventions were not always scientifically-based. And in today’s increasingly connected, yet resource-scarce world, public health practice has […]

Choosing work in later life

Written by Taylor R. Patskanick, master’s research fellow in aging at the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health Have you ever thought about how much of your life you will spend working? Now more than ever before, older Americans are living longer and working longer. The average age of […]

Entrepreneurship in later life

Written by Cal J. Halvorsen, MSW, doctoral student and the William E. Gordon Research Fellow at the Brown School I recently conducted an on-the-spot focus group among my geographically dispersed, early-30s friends in our online group chat. I asked them to describe an entrepreneur, giving me their initial, gut reactions. Responses centered on the image […]

Healthspan is more important than lifespan, so why don’t more people know about it?

Written by Tim Peterson, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis  While more and more people are taking an interest in aging and lifespan, awareness on healthspan lags (Figure 2). If you don’t know what healthspan means you aren’t alone. What is healthspan? Many might agree that “healthspan” can […]

Shifting gears: aging & transportation planning

Written by Bailey Widener, graduate assistant at the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health For many of us, our vehicles are essential to our daily lives. We use our cars to commute to our jobs, to run errands, to visit with family and friends, and to accomplish countless other […]

Become an advocate for seniors

Written by Mary Schaefer, executive director of the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging Missouri advocates are needed for seniors and senior programs. This past session of the Missouri legislature has clearly shown the need for our legislators and public officials to hear from their constituents about the value of seniors and the services that support […]

Aging out loud: finding courage to love

Written by Amy Sobrino, LMSW, program services coordinator at Memory Care Home Solutions When I think of this month’s theme of ‘Age out Loud,’ I think of bravery, courage, and challenging the status quo. There are countless examples of older adults ‘stepping outside’ of their comfort zone to challenge ageism. In my work with families […]

What is a NORC?

Written by Karen Berry-Elbert, manager at St. Louis NORC The vast majority of adults aged 65 and older still live in the homes in which they raised families and developed social networks. As the American population continues to age, more communities are home to growing populations of residents who have aged in place. In addition, […]

Old is in the eye of the beholder

Written by Nikki Goldstein, MSW, executive director for Crown Center for Senior Living As we recognize May as older adult month, it begs the question, what is an “older adult”? Older than who? Older than what? Isn’t everyone over the age of 21 an older adult? Other than Benjamin Button, aren’t we all aging? As […]

Age out loud – with Dementia?!

Written by Jill Cigliana, MSOT, OTR/L, program director at Memory Care Solutions I am often asked, “Is there really quality time when living with dementia?”  At my organization, Memory Care Home Solutions, we work with families to demonstrate that dementia is not an end to quality of life, but an opportunity to stay engaged and […]

Speaking up about ageism

Written by Gloria C. Gordon, PhD, psychologist and co-founder of STL Village This year’s theme for Older American’s Month, “Age Out Loud,” invites me to speak up loudly about ageism—the “ism” that refers to how our society stereotypes and treats older adults. As children we absorb and internalize the way we see older adults, including […]

Attitudes on aging

Written by April Callen, strategy and outreach associate at Frameworks Institute We are a nation of problem-solvers. When we see an opportunity, we figure out how to seize it. And when we see that something isn’t working, we rethink our approach. We need to draw on our ingenuity so we can communicate more effectively about […]

Older Americans Month: age out loud

Written by Stephanie Herbers, MSW/MPH, manager of the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health Getting older doesn’t mean what it used to. Many aging Americans are finding ways to re-think traditional phases of life and give their interests, goals, and dreams a new or second start. Today, older adults […]

Can intergenerational cooperation defeat climate change?

This article originally appeared on the Gerontological Society of America website and is reproduced here with permission. Older adults are powerful allies in addressing climate change, according to “Gray and Green Together: Climate Change in an Aging World,” the latest edition of Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR) from The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Research shows […]

Queer aging: Implications for social work practice with LGBTQ older adults

In social work, the current evidence-based practice guidelines for working with LGBTQ older adults are offered by Fredricksen-Goldsen and colleagues (2014) who propose ten practice competencies that “account for the unique circumstances, strengths, and challenges facing LGBT[Q] older adults”. Two of these competencies are particularly aligned with social work values and ethics: Critically analyze personal […]

Venture out to Venture Café

Written by Stephanie Herbers, MSW/MPH, manager of the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health Venture Café is a weekly gathering of St. Louis innovators and entrepreneurs working in education, arts, healthcare, manufacturing, social enterprise, and many other sectors. If you want to learn more about the St. Louis startup […]

Encore careers and entrepreneurship

By Karen Sanders, encore innovation fellow at the Brown School Americans love the entrepreneurial spirit. Many imagine that entrepreneur as young, wildly energetic, sparking on a great idea, without a lot to lose other than a bit of time or a handful of someone else’s venture capital. The implication is that youth and limitless tolerance […]

The financial vulnerability of older adults

There is a widespread belief that all older Americans are financially set, living their retirement years in relative comfort, able to enjoy their leisure time. It is true that the current poverty rate among older Americans is lower than that among children, thanks to the federal programs of Social Security and Medicare. But not all […]

Aging with HIV

One of the most positive features of the current era of HIV, particularly in the Western world, is the fact that patients are aging successfully. In the 1980s, when the disease was first recognized, the average survival after someone was given a diagnosis of AIDS was approximately two years; indeed, on average, the interval between […]

Putting your words in someone else’s mouth: A good, necessary thing

“What do you want to have for dinner?”“Should we go to that art festival this weekend?”“Does this shirt make me look weird?” We ask our family and friends for their opinion and input all the time. Sometimes we ask about relatively minor things. Sometimes we ask about more major things. “Should I move to New […]