Elders Share Wisdom on Love: A Valentine’s Day Treat!

Adult children learn a lot from elder parents.

book-cover-305x450Take a few minutes to read Love Lessons From the Wisest Americanspublished over at the NextAvenue.org site and a great Valentine’s Day treat. The article, published on February 12, 2015, will help to clear up quite a few misconceptions about our aging parents.

Written by Suzanne Gerber, this piece describes research interviews with around 700 elders documenting what they say, looking back, about love and life. Cornell University gerontologist Karl Pillemer, Ph.D conducted the research and wove it into a book, 30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationship, and Marriage.

At his Vimeo video website, Dr. Pillemer has posted some of the interviews. You can also visit Dr. Pillemer’s Legacy Project website. Check them both out.

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Detached Retina/PVR Update: 14 Months Later

The sketch of my retina with shading that represents the oil.

The sketch of my retina with shading that represents the oil.

Now it is 14 months after the fifth and, at this point, last surgery on my right retina. My eye, which has proliferative vitro retinopathy (PVR), is stable, though it has oil inside, which distorts my vision.

On a retina listserv that I read regularly, I’ve noticed that several people who have been through multiple surgeries on a single eye are wondering if — after all that looking down and lying in various positions — life ever gets back to normal.

The answer in my case is yes. I’ll explain and also answer a few questions below.

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Does More Care Do More Good?

When we are sick, how much health care is good health care? These days when we call an ambulance, the medics rush in with all sorts of equipment and medications — called advanced life support, which replaces the basic life support that many of us learned in CPR classes.

Doing More for Patients Often Does No Good, a January 12, 2015 article appearing in the New York Times, makes the point that more advanced therapies and medical care do not guarantee higher quality or better outcomes. Written by Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., the piece shares a study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine that compared the outcomes for patients who had received life support — basic or advanced — before being admitted to the hospital. He also writes about other studies that appear to show how the most advanced emergency care does not necessarily mean longer survival.

Dr. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University Medical School, further reinforces this “more may be less” point of view by describing studies that show how women with breast cancer receive complex and also more expensive breast surgical cancer treatments that are no more effective than outcomes with a more standard breast conservation therapy.

This article requires readers to process fairly complex explanations about medical care, and it may be necessary to read some paragraphs more than once. Yet, it’s worth taking the time to understand that doing more medical care in many cases will not give us extra quality or a better outcome.

Help Elders Understand More: A History of the Way the Web Works

After breakfast three seniors work on three different digital devices.

After breakfast three seniors work on three different digital devices.

My parents and other elders often ask me questions about the Web — the way it works, how it really got started, how it’s evolved, and how why it changes so much.

I have the answers to many of these questions and willingly take the time to explain, but often wish I could hand the questioners something to read. Each of my  answers teaches an individual one time. By providing an article or other resource that can be consulted again and again and is eminently readable, I offer a person the opportunity to learn or relearn over and over.

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Reblogged: Please, Stop Sending Dreamcatchers: Or, How I Tried to Tame Charities Asking for Money

Marti Weston:

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Visit GuideStar.org

Check out the Mom and Dad Move In blog for some interesting insights and observations about caregiving.

An especially great post focuses on a charitable giving issue that affects lots of people. It is especially a problem for seniors who believe in the importance of giving and helping others and give lots of smaller contributions to many organizations. The situation is further complicated when elders give a memorial gift and the organization automatically adds them to the mailing list, thus adding even more solicitations.

Originally posted on mom and dad move in:

Our mailman, Chet, already struggled to deliver the bevy of catalogs my husband and I generated when it was just the two of us.

But after my parents moved in, Chet fled the U.S. Postal Service for a career in nursing. I always imagined his job change was fueled in part by the stacks and stacks of mail my parents received from charity and non-profit groups seeking money.

Giving money to organizations you believe in, groups that have a proven track record and groups that wisely spend your money  is admirable.

But we were pummeled with pleas from scores of charities, from the established SPCA to some group that claimed to help armless children paint with their toes. (These groups asked for money on the phone, too, but that’s a whole other story).

So we cut back on giving. Way back. I used the free website guidestar.com to ferret out…

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Watching Opera With Lots of Older People

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.29.27 PMThis weekend I went to the Metropolitan Opera to watch Renée Fleming, Sir Thomas Allen, Nathan Gunn, Kelli O’Hara, and a host of other polished singers offer amazing operatic performances. No, I was not in New York City, and I did not sit in the Met’s gigantic performance hall that holds as many as 3,800 people. I did not purchase one of those hugely expensive tickets (though someday I’d love to buy one), and I did not get all dressed up. But the opera was still superb.

On Saturday afternoon my husband and I went to a local movie theatre to watched Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow streamed live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera. Along with several hundred other, mostly gray-haired, people we watched with rapt attention as the performers sang and danced on a huge screen, streaming into our theatre while the plot unfolded in the hall at Lincoln Center. We even got to see the bows and curtain calls.

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