Check out The Atlantic article, How Loneliness Wears on the Body. Written by Jessica Lahey and Tim Lahey, the piece points out loneliness is almost as big a health risk for elder adults as insecure food sources. The authors describe research published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that identifies a strong connection between loneliness and susceptibility to viral infections and inflammation.
The Atlantic article offers a link to the highly technical PNAS research report and it is freely available. Most of us who we want to learn a bit more than The Atlantic piece may be satisfied with the research abstract.
Any of us who have delivered food to the elderly or sick know from experience that our interactions with the recipients is almost as important as the food itself.
The information presented in this report includes data collected from participants about their views on family caregiving in the United States including:
the different people for whom family members provide care;
the ages at which people are most likely to become caregivers;
that most family caregivers are unpaid and not providing financial aid to the family member for whom they offer support;
how emotional support appears to be a significant part of the caregiving responsibilities; and
the rewards and stress that caregivers experience.
In addition to the graph at the right, the article features several more images that depict survey data and much more information, especially if you click to look at the more comprehensive report. Pew reports that surveys were conducted from October to December 2014 among 1,692 adults in the United States, 1,700 in Germany, and 1,516 in Italy.
On a daily basis I hear people use the word facility, and it’s almost always modified by the adjectives such as assisted living, nursing, and care. I’ll stand in the supermarket line and overhear a conversation between two people about moving a frail relative into a nursing facility. I’ll read an article or watch a television program, and sure enough, if an elder who needs care is involved, they go to a facility. I’ll listen to a social worker (who should know better) in a hospital tell a friend that her parent needs to be moved from the hospital into a rehab facility (and my friend has two days to pull off the move). Continue reading →
If you want to help your kids or grandkids learn more history about interesting ways that women contributed to saving lives during World War II, look no farther than Top Secret Rosies, a PBS video that tells the story of the women who were a part of a secret project to figure our mathematically various trajectories of weapons during the war.
Called female computers — that is people who compute — these women were recruited from all over the country to go to Philadelphia and work in secrecy at a special lab set up just for them.
With so many STEM-in-the-curriculum (STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and math) discussions and the urgency to encourage 21st Century girls and young women to take more interest in science, math, and technology, it’s exciting to discover a resource that shares a story about women and their amazing mathematical achievements. Top Secret Rosies is a one-hour documentary, produced by LeAnn Erickson, a professor at Temple University tells the story.
I’ve written a number of times about 24-7 monitoring services and personal safety devices. My mother-in-law was supposed to wear one around her neck for — well, 24 hours a day. Except that she didn’t. At first she wore it. Then she took it off with the rest of her jewelry each evening. Then she only wore it when we visited. Finally we cancelled the service, because she found the it was too intrusive.
When it comes to supporting elder parents, so much is about respecting their wishes and not assuming that your good idea is good for them. It’s also about asking what they want and how they wish to be helped.
Paula Span’s article To Reach Seniors, Tech Start-ups Must First Relate to Them describes the predicament well. The October 26, 2015 piece explains how ideas that people have for elder adult products are often not at all successful and, more importantly, not what people want. She also writes about the preoccupation of many product developers with monitoring seniors — something that seems important to well-meaning adult children but not to that many seniors. Continue reading →
Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, an attorney at the FCC, shares her experience with an IRS scam call that she got at home.
The woman on the phone recording was serious and calm, but she said that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was calling me with my last warning. I was told to press a number to speak with a live person and there might be a penalty if I did not answer. And yes, this woman sounded like she knew what she was talking about
Sigh! Here we go again. I am so tired of phone scams. In this particular case I just slammed down the phone, but it was easy to imaging a worried elder following up the call by pressing the number to get a “real IRS person.” Sometimes the scammer leaves a message asking a person to call back. If you Google IRS phone scams there are some pretty funny recordings of people talking to these scammers.
Note: The IRS will never call you with a “last warning.” In fact, IRS probably won’t ever call you at all because the agency uses the U.S. postal service to communicate.