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Aspects of Aging

Retirement and Aging Gracefully

New York Times
March 2016
Several wide-ranging retirement articles, including health care, Medicare, post-retirement careers and entrepreneurship, fraud against the elderly, veterans benefits, investments and finances, trusts and more.

New York Times
March 7, 2014
The aging population is spurring new fields and job openings for those in their 50s to 70s to care for those who are 80 and older.   Many older Americans not only change occupations, but in large numbers they also transition from wage-and-salary employment into self-employment.  One increasingly popular niche for those who want to be their own boss is job

New York Times
March 12, 2014
Since ancient times, the elusive concept of wisdom has figured prominently in philosophical and religious texts. The question remains compelling: What is wisdom, and how does it play out in individual lives? Most psychologists agree that if you define wisdom as maintaining positive well-being and kindness in the face of challenges, it is one of the most important qualities one can possess to age successfully — and to face physical decline and death.

New York Times
January 3, 2015
There is liberation: old people simply care less about what others think, but also that our sense of what’s important grows with age. We experience life more intensely than before, whatever our physical limitations, because we know it won’t last forever. How to enable the growing numbers of old people to live comfortable, meaningful lives is a fundamental issue of equality, with benefits for all. If we make the world better for old people, we make it better for everyone, from stroller-pushers to wheelchair-users.
New York Times
April 3, 2015 
For many, a retirement of babysitting grandchildren, golfing and relaxing on the beach is passé. Older people today approach work as a pillar of a retirement lifestyle, planning ahead and adding skills even before leaving their current jobs.  As demand for more adult learning opportunities accelerates, colleges and universities are trying to figure out how to tap into the market for second careers to bolster their revenue and perhaps build alumni loyalty. The potential audience is huge. 

New York Times
April 10, 2015
Should you downsize and move to a new neighborhood? Or renovate the family residence to suit your retirement needs and lock in for the long term? It is one of the most vexing questions older people face as they plan the shift from a working life to retirement. Many people think that they would be better off updating their existing home and staying put. “We might not even get the money out dollar for dollar,” said one, but “We’ll get the living out of it. You can’t put a price on comfort.”

November 20, 2015
A growing body of research suggests that creativity and artistic expression contribute to healthy aging. Creativity is linked to decreased stress, better cognitive health, self-acceptance and a sense of purpose. Gay Hanna, executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging, observes that “art is spiritual and its community building. Co-housing with like-minded people makes it easier to pursue individual interests. “Aging in place and age-friendly communities are going to make it more conducive for these informal groupings of artists and interest groups to form.”  

New York Times
April 15, 2015

Exercise has had a Goldilocks problem, with experts debating just how much exercise is too little, too much or just the right amount to improve health and longevity. Two new, impressively large-scale studies provide some clarity, suggesting that the ideal dose of exercise for a long life is a bit more than many of us currently believe we should get, but less than many of us might expect. The studies also found that prolonged or intense exercise is unlikely to be harmful and could add years to people’s lives.  No one doubts, of course, that any amount of exercise is better than none. Like medicine, exercise is known to reduce risks for many diseases and premature death.


New York Times
March 12, 2016
INTIMIDATED by digital technology? So was Marian Goldberg, 70, until she went to a  class, which teaches older adults how to become more comfortable being online. For example, apps can help you. Pillboxie uses color coding and simple menus to help older people remember to take their medications. EyeReader turns a smartphone into a magnifying glass. And the Silver Surf app was designed for people over 50 to read small print with zoom control. Many more apps are available for your use.

New York Times
February 27, 2016

Is it possible to have it all in retirement? That’s what so-called continuing care retirement communities promise. These hybrids offer independent living apartments (and sometimes free-standing cottages) along with assisted-living support, home care, a nursing home and often specialized memory care, all within one complex. The idea is for a resident to “age in place” and obtain additional services as that person becomes more frail and dependent, without having to move.

New York Times
January 26, 2015
Geriatrics is one of the few medical specialties in the United States that is contracting even as the need increases.
New York Times
March 7, 2016
Throughout the country, the arts are pumping new life into the bodies and minds of the elderly. (Ed: see ViV Events) 
Washington Post
January 23, 2016

“I have a confession to make,” Bill Thomas announced several months ago at a conference on aging in Oregon. “I am an old man.” 

“No, you’re not!” an audience member called out. It was meant, no doubt, as a compliment: Despite his gray-streaked beard and crow’s feet, the 56-year-old geriatrician-cum-thespian crackles with high-octane energy. And isn’t that what we all want to hear as we age? That we don’t look old? That we seem younger than we are?

It’s not what Thomas wants to hear. After more than 20 years of trying to make life better for old people, he believes the correct message is the opposite: That we are lucky if we get to grow old. That there is a “third” phase of life beyond adulthood that can be as rich as either of the phases that came before.

Multigenerational Homes That Fit Just Right
New York Times
April 9, 2016

The number of Americans living in multigenerational households — defined, generally, as homes with more than one adult generation — rose to 56.8 million in 2012, or about 18.1 percent of the total population, from 46.6 million, or 15.5 percent of the population in 2007, according to the latest data from Pew Research. By comparison, an estimated 28 million, or 12 percent, lived in such households in 1980. “People lost jobs, and with tighter household budgets, a lot of homes consolidated,” said Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow, the home pricing website. “We’re seeing more children living with their parents and elderly parents moving in with their adult children.”

A Second Look at a ‘Misconception’ on Exercise and Bones

New York Times
April 22, 2016

Clarifying misconceptions of the link between weight bearing exercise and adult bone strength.

New York Times
August 6, 2016
The law requires notification to Medicare beneficiaries that they may incur huge out-of-pocket costs if they seek care at nursing homes after not being formally admitted to hospitals as inpatients. A new law reqires hospitals to notify patients that they may incur huge out-of-pocket costs if they stay more than 24 hours without being formally admitted. Because of the notice act, passed by congress in 2015 with broad bipartisan support, patients can expect to start receiving the warnings in January, 2017.

New York Times
July 22, 2016

Moving is stressful at any age, but for those who have lived in one place for many years, getting rid of things that have accumulated over decades is a large barrier to overcome. As people get older, said David J. Ekerdt, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of Kansas, cognitive and physical issues hamper divestment.  “It’s also a very emotional task. It’s hard to quantify the attachment one has to certain possessions,” he said, adding that the probability of people divesting themselves of their belongings decreases each decade after age 50. Read this article, but also note that MovingEZ, a local company, is listed in our Contractors' list. Jenny and her staff readily use efficiency and good humor in helping people move. 

New York Times

September 23, 2016

Estate sales are a step up from tag sales with the promise of nicer items, the potential for rare finds and an expert to curate it all. But they exist in an unregulated market in which an agent's average fees are 35-40 per cent of the sale total.

As Their Numbers Grow, Home Care Aides Are Stuck at $10.11
New York Times
September 23, 2016
That’s the median hourly wage for the workers, mostly minority women, caring for older adults. Not surprisingly, the annual turnover rate is 40 percent to 60 percent.

New York Times

September 20, 2016

Working families in the United States have many struggles today: expensive child care, not enough time to cook healthy meals, disconnection from nature, a sense of social isolation--what the sociologist, Robert Putnam, famously called "bowling alone"-- and more older Americans, a booming population, often end up segregated generationally and in dire need of care and companionship.
May 15, 2016
Nearly one-quarter of Americans 65 and older could become "elder orphans" with no family to help care for them. Approximately one-third of Americans 45 to 63 years of age are single. There are not enough nursing homes and facilities to care for the growing number of seniors who are on their own.

September 2016

When I look at my retirement stash, I have to admit it's kind of small. When I look at my house,I realize it's kind of big. and when I consider the two together, I think that maybe I should downsize and use the equity in my house to buy a condo or add to my retirement savings and rent.

Home Renovation for the Golden Years
New York Times
December 30, 2016

There are many things you can do to make your home continue to work as you age. For practical advice, see Tips for Creating a Home for Aging Owners

Next Avenue: News and Information for People Over 50

Website of an organization providing articles on a wide variety of aging-related topics, as well as links to related news sources. Constantly updated.

Warning to Retirees Who Take Up Music: The Cat May Flee the Room
New York Times
January 27, 2017

Many retirees take up musical instruments they played as youngsters, or start playing for the first time. Reactions of others in the house isn't always positive, but the effect on the musician always is.

A Housing Crisis for Seniors
New York Times
January 28, 2017

The senior population is growing rapidly in the suburbs, where suitable housing, transportation and other services are not generally available. The problem needs to be addressed soon.

Generation Us: Simple Strategies Make Cooking for One Easy and Enjoyable
Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA)
February 16, 2017

Recognize that food preparation for one or two is a different stage of life, resulting in an adjustment in the kitchen. But there are easy ways to continue to nourish your body without a health compromise. 

Easy Fixes Can Make a Home Safer for Seniors
Albuquerque Journal 
February 19, 2017

Practical suggestions of things to do to make your home safer.

How to Find Your Missing Keys and Stop Losing Other Things
New York Times
April 3, 2017

Everybody forgets where they've put things. Here are tips for searching, and things to do so you don't have to search.

To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year Old
New York Times
April 7, 2017

Profile of Dr. John Goodenough who, with a team from the University of Texas, Austin, just filed for his latest patent on a lightweight battery that could revolutionize things like electric cars. He's 94. At 57, he was co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery. Many younger people insist that old people can't be creative or inventive. Don't listen.

Moving to Be Near the Grandkids
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
May 2017

Things to consider before relocating to be near family.

More Older Couples Are "Shacking Up'
New York Times
May 8, 2017

Living together, without marrying, used to be something for younger people. For a variety of reasons, seniors are doing it too.

Use Your Phone as a Digital Magnifying Glass
New York Times
May 16, 2017

You can download an app, but there are also features built into smartphones that can use the camera as a magnifier. So you can read that menu even if you forgot your reading glasses.

Baby Boomers Look to Senior Concierge Services to Raise Income
New York Times
May 19, 2017

Senior concierge services, where older people pay for assistance with daily activities like shopping, reading aloud, or company, are a new employment opportunity for baby boomers. As the article points out, the Village movement provides many of these services for a much lower cost (full membership).

"No One Wants to Be Old": How to Put the "Non-age" in Nonagenarian
Kaiser Health News
June 26, 2017

Advice from folks in their 80s and 90s on how to remain active and younger feeling. 

Hire Women Your Mom's Age
New York Times
August 5, 2017

Older women, who may have taken time off to care for family, are penalized when they seek a new job. They bring a lot of skills but may be overlooked by employers.

Writing the Script for Your Next Act
New York Times
August 4, 2017

As they approach retirement age, many people are experimenting with options for what comes next.

Graying of the Suburbs Presents Challenges for the Community
Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA)
August 10, 2017

A rapidly growing percentage of those who live in the suburbs are seniors. The privacy and space they sought when they were younger now pose dangers. And the lack of public transportation isolates them further. Public officials are just beginning to grapple with the issue.

What Happens to Creativity as We Age?
New York Times
August 19, 2017 

Report of a recent experiment to study how creative thinking and problem solving change with age. It turns out there are two ways of thinking: exploration and exploitation. Adults exploit acquired knowledge to solve a new problem using known solutions. Children and adolescents explore, trying "crazy" possibilities that may or may not work.

Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don't Want It
New York Times
August 18, 2017

What happens when seniors downsize and their kids don't want the china and crystal? There's a growing demand for companies who specialize in downsizing and relocation services.

Many Now Spending Retirement Years Caring for Elderly Parents
Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA)
September 7, 2017

As the number of "old old" grows, their retired children are facing new responsibilities in caring for them. The financial and physical burdens are real.

Feeling Older? Here's How to Embrace It
New York Times
September 12, 2017

Feeling old is as much a state of mind as of years or even physical limitations. You can feel old at 30 or young at 80.

Safer Cars Help Keep Older Drivers on the Road
New York Times
August 28, 2017

Safety features on new cars - rear cameras, lane departure warnings, collision avoidance - make it easier for older drivers to stay mobile. Technology helps compensate for slower reaction times, loss of visual acuity, and other age-related issues.

5 Signs You Retired Too Early
CNN Money
September 12, 2017

For some, retirement is too tempting to resist. And then they discover that it was the wrong decision. You can recognize the symptoms and return to the workforce if you made the wrong decision.

Aging With Purpose in America is Underestimated
Next Avenue

October 23, 2017

One of the worst forms of ageism is the assumption that seniors are either incapacitated or uninterested in contributing to society. The opposite is true, of course. And 
"aging with purpose" by volunteering and making a difference in the community helps everybody and adds to our self-value.

Why You Can't Think of the Word That's on the Tip of Your Tongue
New York Times
October 22, 2017

Don't worry, it isn't dementia. Everybody - all ages, all languages, all cultures - has trouble coming up with words, and especially with names, at times. It's called "tip of the tongue state" and there isn't much you can do about it, except using the words or names more frequently. 

How to Age Well
New York Times
November 2017

Suggestions on how to stay healthier and happier as you get older. Includes diet and exercise, but also mental fitness, staying connected.....

Why Ageism Never Gets Old
New Yorker
November 20, 2017

Ageism and age discrimination are nothing new, but trends in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and beyond are making it more prevalent. The tech industry and its venture capitol allies find ways to push out workers over 40. Actresses over 40 are too old to be the romantic interest of actors over 60. The model/spokeswoman for a new "anti aging" beauty cream is under 30.......

Kids Are the Future? So Are Older Adults
Nonprofit AF
November 2017

Although the percentage of the population over 65 is growing rapidly, funding for nonprofit organizations serving or doing research on seniors is extremely limited and hard to get. 

Why Older Women Will Rule the World: The Future is Female, MIT Expert Says
NBC News
December 5, 2017

Older women may feel overlooked, but Joseph F. Coughlin of MIT's Agelab points out that they are really in charge. Women live longer, there are more of them, they make most of the decisions for their families, they are better educated than ever (and than men, on average), they are creating new businesses as they are hitting a wall in the corporate world. Dr. Coughlin also offers advice on how women can prepare for their futures.

Are You Old? Infirm? Then Kindly Disappear
New York Times
December 16, 2017

Too many seniors and those with disabilities find themselves ignored, talked over or talked down to. 

Asked About Retiring, They Have a Simple Answer: Why?
New York Times
December 16, 2017

Some people choose to continue working well past the "typical" age of 65 - even into their 80s and 90s. They love what they do, they feel they are still contributing. Why retire?

Aging Like a Fine Wine: Mellow, Not Bitter
Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA)
December 31, 2017

"'Aging in place” never meant being stuck in one place. Being generous with our time, liberal with our compassion and malleable in our mindset can create new relationships and opportunities with outward and positive thinking.'"

There's Community and Consensus. But It's No Commune
New York Times
January 20, 2018

Cohousing - jointly owned communities of homes with shared space and shared governance - is growing, especially as a multigenerational way of promoting "aging in place."  For more on senior choosing, see This is the Future of Aging from Berkleyside (March 7, 2018)

Total Recall: A Reader's Guide to Memory Gain
New York Times
January 7, 2018

A reporter tests several books and online "games" that claim to improve memory. The results are less than spectacular, but some might be worth considering.

The Connection Between Retiring Early and Living Longer
New York Times
January 29, 2018

A small Dutch study indicates that retiring early can lengthen life. But it depends on what you do after you retire. Physical and social activities are among the factors cited.

You Can't Be Afraid of the Tech
New York Times
February 28, 2018

While older workers face skepticism from employers, there are a lot of opportunities for second careers using technology.

Remember, also, that the Corrales Library offers tech classes to help us be more comfortable with technology.

Many Americans Try Retirement, Then Change Their Minds
New York Times

March 30, 2018

"Unretirement" is increasingly common. Longer, healthier lives give more people the option to continue working, as are jobs that are less physically demanding than in the past. The reasons for going back to work are many, including the desire to make a contribution to society, to "keep using my brain," and to stay socially engaged. Surprisingly, given reports of fewer people saving enough for their old age, making more money is not as frequently cited as a reason to keep working.

How to Maintain Sibling Relationships
New York Times
May 8, 2018

Your siblings probably know you better than anyone else. Research shows that strong sibling relationships can help avoid problems with other relationships during your lifetime. But keeping those strong relationships takes work. Here are some tips on how to build or even restore relationships.

The Case for Having a Hobby
New York Times
May 10, 2018

A hobby can be very important when you're working. It's a place to go to relax and do something you really enjoy. When you retire, it can be even more important, as it provides a focus for your days.

How Exercise Can Help You Recall Words
New York Times
May 15, 2018

We all have those times when we just can't remember a word - it's right there....... This is very common, even among younger people. New research indicates that vigorous aerobic exercise can help you recall words more easily.

How to Age Well and Stay in Your Home
New York Times
May 21, 2018

Many seniors want to remain in their homes for the rest of their days. It is generally cheaper, even if you have to make modifications and have help from time to time. This article includes some tips and recommends a book, Age in Place, by by Lynda G. Shrager. Although aimed at adult children helping their aging parents, the information is equally useful for seniors planning their own "aging in place."

Fostering Connections Between Young and Old
New York Times
June 5, 2018

Research indicates that isolation can affect the health of all of us, but particularly the aging. Efforts to counter that isolation are growing in senior living arrangements and senior centers. Some senior communities providing housing for young adults in exchange for their participation in programs. Some senior centers also house day cares. Spending time with young people is good for you!

Still Looking for the Best Place to Retire? This Might Be Perfect for You
June 2, 2018

More and more, retirees are choosing to stay where they are rather than move. "...Studies (and experience) show that it's hard to leave a place where you have roots....And being around a mix of people can give you a longer, happier life. If you spend time only among people your own age you'll be less stimulated than if you're around a diverse group, and that includes friends and family..."  Cities and towns need to recognize this and look at ensuring that they are accessible for all citizens.

In a Tight Labor Market, Retirees Fill Gaps Their Previous Employers Can't
New York Times
July 13, 2018

The need for experienced employees in particular fields, such as health care, exceeds the supply of workers. So increasingly, employers are luring recent retirees back to work with flexible schedules, attractive pay, and other perks in addition to their existing pension payments.

The Secret to Aging Well? Contentment
New York Times
October 2, 2018

Aging really is in your head. While physical well being helps, the most important thing to aging well is contentment and acceptance. Don't dwell on the nagative.

How to Make U.S. Cities Blue Zones for Health Longevity
Next Avenue
November 2, 2018

"Blue zones" is a term used to describe places where average life expectancy is longer than average. Research into blue zones provides guidance on how cites can adapt  and promote healthy aging. Social interaction, opportunities to feel valued (i.e. through volunteering), public transit and walkability are just some of the factors. 

The Future of Aging Might Just Be in Margaritaville
New York Times
November 11, 2018

As life expectancy grows, and healthy aging becomes the norm, senior living communities are changing. While most people hope to remain in their homes as they age, some will always choose to move. One new community in Florida is "Margaritaville" inspired by the well known Jimmy Buffett song. 

Companies Respond to an Urgent Health Care Need: Transportation
New York Times 
August 9, 2018

Getting to the doctor's office can be a challenge if you don't drive. It's a bigger challenge for those who use a wheelchair, walker, oxygen tank, or other medical device that Uber, Lyft or even a taxi can't handle. A number of companies are working to meet the need. Rides can be scheduled by patients or providers for office visits, tests, discharge, or other needs. Fewer missed appointments means better health for the patient and reliable income for the provider.

No, they aren't in New Mexico yet. But we can hope they're coming.

Why the World Needs to Rethink Retirement
New York Times
December 4, 2018

As the world's population ages, with many nations seeing the number of elderly increasing much faster than that of younger people, countries around the world are hanging policies and encouraging older workers to keep working. This article reviews what's happening.

The Secret to a Long, Happy, Health Life? Think Age-Positive
January 3, 2019

Living longer and better can be the result of thinking positively about aging, and living in a community that brings people of all ages together. Isolating the aging isn't good for them or for the rest of the community.

A related New York Times article,Bringing Older Americans Back into the Fold talks about efforts to re-integrate the older generation into the lives of the younger. It used to be the rule to have multiple generations living in the same house, or at least the same neighborhood. Now that it isn't, a variety of organizations are working to recreate that feeling. 

Federally Funded Companions Keep Seniors Connected to Their Neighbors
January 20, 2019

A federal program, Senior Companions, pays seniors to visit their aging neighbors. Since isolation is one of the biggest problems among the aging, the program serves to assist them by keeping them connected. It also helps the visitors stay active and connected.

The Elderly and Driving: When Is It Time to Hit the Brakes?
New York Times
January 18, 2019

The "car key conversation," it turns out, is the one caregivers dread the most. Taking away the keys significantly decreases the independence of the elderly. But research shows that older drivers are as dangerous on the road as teenagers, and many don't acknowledge that they shouldn't be driving whether due to impaired vision, slower reaction time, side effects of drugs, dementia, or other causes. Doctors could play a role in helping with this, as could motor vehicle departments. Safety features on new cars may allow the elderly to keep driving longer, though, and more technology is on the way.

Want to Leave a Legacy? Be a Mentor
New York Times
March 4, 2019

While leaving money in your will is a great way to support future generations, not all of us can do that. Becoming a mentor - to a child or teen or to someone starting out in your profession - is something all of us can do to make a difference now. There are a lot of formal mentoring/volunteering programs you can join. Or think about organizations that you can reach out to directly - local schools, your alumni association, professional organizations, unions.... The list is endless. 

Ageism: A "Prevalent and Insidious" Health Threat
New York Times
April 26, 2019

The World Health Organization has commissioned a series of studies of the effects of ageism, and the effectiveness of programs designed to combat it. Preliminary results indicate that ageism is real, and has real, negative impacts on the mental and physical health of older people. Programs to combat ageism have a mixed record of success.

Why Working Till Whenever Is a Risky Retirement Strategy
New York Times
May 16, 2019

A lot of people assume they will just keep working well past 65, and therefore don't need to worry so much about not saving enough. Layoffs, illness, and other factors can make those "plans" obsolete, however. Saving for retirement must be a priority.

Can We Live Longer But Stay Younger?
New Yorker
May 13, 2019

As the population ages and life expectancies expand, more and more research is going into helping us age better. These include medical research into how cells age and how to slow the process, as well as products and services for the aged. But helping people "age in place" is a big, and often ignored issue. Simple things like changing a light bulb or going out for ice cream become major challenges that may actually mean a person can't stay where they want. (Note: a long article, but interesting and worth the time)

Grow Old Like "The Golden Girls"
New York Times
June 7, 2019

We all need help as we get older, and we can't always depend on adult children to provide that help. And we're lonely, but our children can't always be there. Increasingly, older people are building networks of "housemates" to help fill the gap.

At 75, Taking Care of Mom, 99
New York Times
June 27, 2019

As people live longer, their caregiving family members are also aging. The result can be elderly adult children, with their own health and financial problems, caring for very old parents.

Payroll Tax is One State's Bold Solution to Help Seniors Age at Home
June 7, 2019

Washington and Hawaii are experimenting with taxpayer funded programs to allow seniors to remain in their homes, with the help they need as they age. The states see the programs as a less expensive alternative to nursing homes. Other states are watching how the programs play out.

Older People Need Rides. Why Aren't They Using Uber and Lyft?
New York Times
August 16, 2019

While the majority of older adults own smart phones, only about a quarter use ride hailing apps. As the need increases for transportation for these people, the question arises of why they don't use them, and how to increase use of generally faster and less expensive alternatives to taxis. In response, the companies are contracting with hospitals and large medical practices to provide transport for non-emergency medical appointments. They are also working with senior residential communities. Experiments also show that individual instruction increases the likelihood of seniors using these services.

Optimists for the Win: Finding the Bright Side Might Help You Live Longer
September 1, 2019

A recent long-term study found that people who are optimistic are more likely to live to be 85, or even older. Research also indicates that optimism can be taught, so even those not naturally disposed can improve their outlook and extend their lives.

Older People are Ignored and Distorted in Ageist Marketing, Report Finds
New York Times
September 18, 2019

A recent report from AARP demonstrates that ageism is prevalent in marketing. Even though people over 55 account for 1/3 of the population, they are almost invisible in advertising, and are usually shown at home with a spouse or caregiver rather than in the workplace or otherwise active. They're almost never shown using technology, even though the majority of people between 55 and 79 own a smart phone. AARP is pressuring advertising agencies and their clients to change how they depict older people.

How to Make Your Home "Inclusive" As You Grow Older
Washington Post
September 23, 2019

"Inclusive design" is a growing home design trend to ensure that buildings are accessible to everyone. Some of its ideas can be adapted to existing structures as part of "aging in place" modifications.

"We Need Each Other": Seniors Are Drawn to New Housing Arrangements
New York Times

February 27, 2019

As the population ages, alternatives to living alone are becoming more popular. It may involve sharing a house or moving to a specially designed co-housing, or "villages." This article describes what each is, highlighting the Village movement around the country.


Her mother, who taught in a one-room schoolhouse in the hills of Kentucky a century ago, had some words of wisdom for Adna Bert Baldwin: A woman should be independent and have money to pay her own way.


Ms. Baldwin, 81, took that advice seriously. She married young, to her high school sweetheart, but followed in her mother’s footsteps, teaching elementary school students not far from Cincinnati for 27 years. The pension she earned when she retired two decades ago left her more secure than her mother, Adna Burns, who taught in an era when the idea of paid retirement was just emerging for teachers.

Her mother, who taught in a one-room schoolhouse in the hills of Kentucky a century ago, had some words of wisdom for Adna Bert Baldwin: A woman should be independent and have money to pay her own way.


Ms. Baldwin, 81, took that advice seriously. She married young, to her high school sweetheart, but followed in her mother’s footsteps, teaching elementary school students not far from Cincinnati for 27 years. The pension she earned when she retired two decades ago left her more secure than her mother, Adna Burns, who taught in an era when the idea of paid retirement was just emerging for teachers.

Her mother, who taught in a one-room schoolhouse in the hills of Kentucky a century ago, had some words of wisdom for Adna Bert Baldwin: A woman should be independent and have money to pay her own way.


Ms. Baldwin, 81, took that advice seriously. She married young, to her high school sweetheart, but followed in her mother’s footsteps, teaching elementary school students not far from Cincinnati for 27 years. The pension she earned when she retired two decades ago left her more secure than her mother, Adna Burns, who taught in an era when the idea of paid retirement was just emerging for teachers.

Older Americans Are Increasingly Unwilling - Or Unable - to Retire
October 2, 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in four Americans over 65 is in the work-force, and the number is projected to increase, making them the fastest growing group of workers. Many are still working because they like what they do and don't want to stop. More and more, however, are working because they can't afford to quit. The reason for this include the end of traditional pensions in favor of 401K plans that lost significant value during the last recession, people dipping into their retirement savings to help their children or pay unexpected bills, the fact that many employers don't offer retirement savings plans of any kind, and just not saving enough.

60 Years of Higher Ed - Really?
New York Times
October 10, 2019

Employees change jobs several times over the course of their lives, and rapidly evolving industries change the skills that workers need. The result is a change in how universities view education, and how they are adapting their continuing education models to respond nimbly to changing needs and demands. Workers will need to go back to school repeatedly to keep up with developments.

For Baby Boomers, Age-Proofing a Home Doesn't Come Cheap
Washington Post
October 16, 2019

Adapting a home so you can "age in place" can be very expensive. Inexpensive fixes like adding grab bars and changing door hardware may be enough. But you may need to add a bathroom to the lower level, or a ramp to the door. While some seniors have the money to make those fixes, others do not, and their retirement planning is much more complicated. Recent studies of income disparities among the aging highlight these concerns.

Not Yet Ready for Retirement? Give Us One Week
New York Times
November 6, 2019

Article linking to a 7 step process to think about and plan for your retirement. You can do the exercise all at once, or save it to return to at a later date.

When the Grandparents Don't Visit
New York Times
November 21, 2019

There are any number of reasons why grandparents might not visit their grandchildren, but the result can be harmful to both generations. Using video chat apps like Facetime can help bridge the gap and build that critical connection.

In Helping Elderly Parents, Caregivers Get A Peak at Their Futures
Washington Post
November 25, 2019

AARP estimates that 4 in 10 adults are providing care for older relatives. These caregivers see what is needed as we age, and are more likely than most to have made plans for their own elder care.

Program Offers TLC to Older Adults and Their Homes So They Can Stay Put
November 26, 2019

CAPABLE, a program in California, combines home health visits with social workers and connections to those who can do repairs so that older people can safely stay in their homes.

We Need a Major Redesign of Life
Washington Post
November 29, 2019

Life expectancy has increased rapidly, but quality of life hasn't improved for the oldest. Fear of financial hardship or of dementia haunt those who think about living to 100. We need to rethink life models to reflect  increased longevity and to improve all stages of life, not just old age.

Life Plan Communities Offer Another Alternative to Aging in Place
Washington Post
April 16, 2020

Life plan communities, also called life care or continuing care communities, are an alternative to staying in your home or moving into assisted living or active adult communities. In addition to independent living spaces (apartments or sometimes small houses), the community offers living assistance and skilled nursing care in the same facility. Some also have memory care units. Life plan communities provide meals, activities, transportation, etc. A large "buy in" is required (usually at least partly refunded if you move out or die), and a monthly fee for everything else.

"I'm Missing It All": Grandparents Grieve Over Loss of Visits with Grandchildren
Washington Post
May 31, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has meant isolation, particularly for older people. And they miss their grandchildren. This article provides suggestions on whether and how a visit might be safe.  A New York Times article suggests how to make hugs safer when you do visit.

Older Adults Remain Isolated Despite Reopening. These Programs Help
New York Times
June 8, 2020

As states and municipalities reopen, medical authorities urge older people and those with chronic medical conditions to continue to stay home. But social isolation is unhealthy, too. Volunteer programs are being created across the country to make sure that people who are still "sheltering in place" aren't cut off.

A Pandemic Problem for Older Workers: Will They Have to Retire Sooner?
New York Times
June 26, 2020

Older workers are finding themselves faced with the need to retire earlier than they planned. They may have been laid off and not brought back when their employer reopened. Or they may not feel safe returning to their workplace wile the virus spreads and threatens older people particularly. Losing a paycheck and having to draw on retirement savings and/or Social Security early has long term negative consequences.

A Pandemic Upshot: Seniors Are Having Second Thoughts About Where to Live
September 17, 2020

As news of lockdowns in nursing homes and senior apartments spreads, seniors are rethinking where to live in their retirement. Some are choosing to stay in their homes or move into larger houses rather than into senior residences. Others are looking at alternatives like co-housing communities. Avoiding a nursing home has become a higher priority.

Abandoned Retail Sites Become Senior Housing
New York Times
October 24, 2020

There's a growing number of abandoned malls and shopping centers. Some of them are being converted to senior housing communities, frequently including retail areas as part of a residential community built on the site.

Virtual Volunteering Still Offers Benefits
New York Times

October 28, 2020

Retirees continue to volunteer for their favorite groups, but increasingly that work is done online. The benefits to the organizations and to the volunteers remain.

Aging in Place Comfortably and Stylishly
New York Times
May 21, 2021

As the baby boom generation ages, home builders are recognizing the need to create homes that accommodate their changing needs. Major home improvement retailers like Lowes and Home Depot are also developing lines of products to help adapt existing homes easily and (relatively) affordably.

"Grandfamily" Housing Caters to Older Americans Raising Children
New York Times
August 19, 2021

Due to a variety of circumstances, more and more senior are raising children - grandchildren, great nieces or nephews, etc. And they're frequently doing so on a limited income. There are an increasing number of communities being built to support them.

Don't Mind the Gap in Intergenerational Housing
New York Times
September 2, 2021

Many older people are reluctant to move into "senior" communities because they don't want to live with just "old" people. In response, a growing number of communities provide supportive housing for seniors while also welcoming families and younger residents. A related article in the Washington Post discusses the health and social benefits of the arrangement for everyone.

Want to Add Health Years to Your Life?
Washington Post
October 11, 2021

Research on longevity is revealing ways to live longer and stay healthy. No surprise, it's a combination of a health diet and the right kind of exercise.

You're Not Uncool. Making Friends as an Adult is Hard
Here & Now/WBUR
November 10, 2021

Loneliness and isolation are proven to be bad for you. But as you age it's harder to find new friends. Working at building a community is essential.

As We Live Longer, How Should Life Change? There Is a Blueprint
New York Times
November 24, 2021

As life expectancy increases, we need to rethink everything about how we live our lives, including continuing education, extending careers, financial planning, etc. A "New Map of Life" provides guidance for all stages.

The Secrets to Successful Aging in 2022
New York Times
December 31, 2021

A compilation of articles providing guidance on aging gracefully and successfully.

How Smart Tech Around the Home Can Help Seniors and Their Caregivers
Washington Post
January 20, 2022

It seems like there are new technology tools every day that can help seniors stay safe and reassure their families and caregivers. Medic alert devices, fall sensors, medication reminders, and remote cameras are among them. Concerns about privacy and independence need to be addressed, and the senior should be able to agree to the use of these tools, but they can be very useful.
In Japan, surveillance systems in the community are being used to help monitor the fastest growing population of older people in the world. 

The Joys (and Challenges) of Sex After 70
New York Times
January 12, 2022

Of course seniors have sex. And while it may be different from when they were younger, that doesn't mean it isn't good - or even better than before.

What the "Active Grandparent" Hypothesis Tells Us About Aging Well
New York Times
February 2, 2022

Evolutionary biologists believe that humans evolved to have older adults - grandparents - with a specific role in raising children among hunter gatherers, allowing parents to participate in the search for food without having to care for children. Grandparents can still serve that role, and staying physically active is essential.

How to Discover the Life-Affirming Comforts of "Death Cleaning"
New York Times
February 23, 2022

Professional home organizers report that older clients are contacting them to help get rid of "stuff" to make their lives more comfortable. It may be because they're downsizing, but it's also attributed to COVID and not wanting to live with all the clutter we realize we have after being shut in for two years. It's also, of course, a kindness to those who will have to deal with it when you're gone. Keep memories, not necessarily things.

Aging In Place Can Be So Much Easier With Smart Home Technology
Washington Post
April 7, 2022

A wide variety of easy to install and use smart home products can help aging homeowners stay where they are, providing help and improving safety.

When Should Older Adults Stop Driving? It Depends
Washington Post
April 24, 2022

There's no simple answer to the question of when we need to give up our keys. Physical limitations, slower reaction times, slipping memory, and any number of other factors have to be considered. New cars, with many added safety features, can help compensate.

Don't Let Ageism Define You. How to Enjoy Life at Every Stage

June 28, 2022

Ageism is, unfortunately, common in our society. Research shows that people who ignore the stereotypes and maintain a positive attitude about their lives do better on cognitive tests and other measures of wellness.

How to Make the Most of E-Books, and Find Free Ones
New York Times
November 23, 2022 (updated Nov. 28)

A comprehensive guide for those getting started with e-books. While they're handy, you don't need a dedicated reader. And you don't have to spend money. Ask the Librarians to help you get started with Libby or (in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho) Hoopla. Downloadable audio books are also freely available from the Library.

3 Steps to Age Exuberantly
New York Times
January 19, 2023

Advice from a recently published book by an 86 year old Swede. Look for the positive in things that are annoying. Spend time with younger people. Say "yes" as much as you can - embrace change.

Want to Live to Be 100? Here's What Experts Recommend
Washington Post
January 25, 2023

The number of centenarians is growing. The secret? Good genes are key, but environmental factors including where you live and what you eat, are also important. And if you hope or expect to live longer, plan your retirement income carefully.

Senior Housing That Seniors Actually Like
New York Times
January 29, 2023

"Granny flats" are providing one way for seniors to remain independent while being close to family and community - aging in place. Zoning restrictions are limiting where they can be built.

9 Tips for Creating a Home That Is Safe for Aging in Place
Washington Post
February 6, 2023

Existing homes can be modified to allow residents to remain even if their physical abilities are shrinking. Some are free or inexpensive (moving furniture and removing throw rugs, for example), while others are more expensive (such as a barrier free entry and wider doorways).

Downsizing During Retirement Can Be Draining. Pros Can Help
Washington Post
February 9, 2023

When it's time to move out of a long-time home, the task of getting rid of "stuff" can seem overwhelming. There is a growing group of senior move experts who can help both in the decision making and in finding new homes for your treasures.

Cooking With Physical Limitations? Try These Creative Workarounds
Washington Post
January 24, 2023

Physical challenges can make cooking harder. Standing for an extended time, holding a knife steady, opening cans and jars can be difficult. There are ways to stay in the kitchen despite the limitations.

How Does the Brain Age Across the Life Span?
Washington Post
February 28, 2023

A research study examined the physical changes of the brain, looking at those of a 16 week fetus and a 100 year old, and every age in between. While the basic structure is set at birth, how different parts of the brain communicate changes with age, adapting to changing needs and compensating for losses in some parts.

How to Be a Better Grandfather
New York Times
March 3, 2023

As family structures change along with expectations, older men are taking on new and unfamiliar roles, caring for grandchildren. In many cases, they don't have models from previous generations - their grandfathers and even their grandfathers were pretty "hands off." There are lots of books and blogs about grandmothers, but not about grandfathers. Models are coming, and this article provides some ideas of how to get more involved.

How - And Why - You Should Increase Your Social Network as You Age
Washington Post

April 22, 2023

Research demonstrates that people with strong relationships with their family, friends and community are healthier, happier, and live longer than those without those bonds. There are lots of ways to build new connections. Even virtual ones are helpful, but they aren't enough.

Moving Is a Monumental Task for Many Older Americans. These Organizations Can Help
New York Times
May 20, 2023 (updated May 22)

When it's time to downsize, the task can be overwhelming. A lifetime's possessions can't all be moved. Organizations can help identify what can be kept, and how to dispose of those things that can't.

What Mark Zuckerberg Doesn't Understand About Old People
New York Times
September 6, 2023

Silicon Valley is completely focused on the youth market and ignores or even denigrates older people. When they develop products for an aging market, the focus on health care and stereotypes (e.g., fall detection in a smart watch). The senior market is growing, and has more disposable income than the teens who big tech focuses on.

The Magic of the Granny Flat
New York Times
September 6, 2023

"Accessory Dwelling Units" (ADUs), small living spaces that share land with a larger home, are increasingly popular, and are seen as part of the solution to lack of affordable housing and the need for senior care. They can house an older relative near the home of younger family, or a paid or family caregiver, or they can provide extra income for an older home owner who can rent them out. Another growing movement is for intergenerational housing complexes, where young and old live in a community, usually with shared as well as private spaces.

How to Change Your Mindset About Aging
New York Times
September 20, 2023

If you have a positive attitude about aging, you'll live longer and healthier. If you want to improve your attitude, find older role-models, be honest about your optimism, challenge and face your fears about aging, and focus on what you gain by being more positive. 

Forget About Living to 100. Let's Live Healthier Instead
New York Times
September 28, 2023

Research on aging should stop focusing on longevity. "A new health moonshot should not just be oriented around increasing life spans but should focus, too, on what's referred to as health span - the years people can expect to live in good health." A bold but reachable goal would be to add a decade of healthy living after retirement age (the current state is one year, on average).

One of the Touchiest Housing Decisions: Do We Stay or Do We Go?
New York Times
November 1, 2023

A common point of disagreement between aging couples is whether to stay in their long-term home or move to a retirement or continuing care community. The recognition that physical limitations may make staying in a home with stairs - for example - challenging. But moving may mean giving up old friends and familiar surroundings and activities.

Ready to Retire? Consider Your Family First
New York Times
October 31, 2023

Instead of moving to a retirement community in the sun, a growing number of seniors are instead moving to be nearer children and grandchildren.

When the Neighbors Are All Older, Too
New York Times
November 25, 2023

The standard model in the US for post-retirement residence is a community of older people, whether it's an over-55 community, life care community, subsidized senior residences, or some other model. These appeal to many people (obviously). Others prefer to live in a community with people of all ages. And of course the majority of seniors prefer to remain in their current home. There is little research to show that one model is better than another.

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