I spent part of the holidays in southern Virginia, visiting with my husband’s family. The whole clan was there to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 95th birthday. Mom had been living with my sister-in-law — her daughter — for about seven years, but recently moved in to a nearby assisted living facility when my sister-in-law returned to work. The change in her cognitive status was noticeable. Continue reading
A unique outreach program is helping elders of the Lakota nation to address issues of palliative and end of life care among residents of reservations throughout South Dakota. The program incorporates culturally appropriate language and uses peer educators to promote advance care planning and wills.
When Mary Isaacson, an assistant nursing professor at South Dakota State University, began exploring the issue with older adults from the Pine Ridge reservation in 2014, she found an overwhelming need for education and materials. Within a year, Pine Ridge elders Patricia Catches The Enemy, Valaria Red Cloud and Garfield Apple collaborated with Isaacson to develop a Lakota-specific advanced directive brochure and received training to be advance directive coaches. While attending events, such as powwows and flea markets, and visiting community centers where elder meals are served, they hope to start conversations about advanced care planning and wills. Continue reading
Covering LGBT aging can be an exercise in frustration for journalists. Though more older adults are living openly as LGBT these days, health data on this segment of the population often is missing from government reports and statistics, according to Matthew Bajko, assistant editor at the Bay Area Reporter.
It’s been some month. With so many high-profile deaths reported this January — David Bowie, Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, Dan Haggerty of Grizzly Adams, the husband and the brother of singer Celine Dion, Mott the Hoople’s Dale Griffin – it’s enough to give you the shivers.
We know about these deaths because they’re high-profile celebrities and rock icons.We don’t generally know about the thousands of other, less-famous people who also died this month from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, complications from multiple chronic conditions or other causes. With the world paying attention — in part thanks to Bowie’s final gift of “Blackstar” – it’s an opportunity to extend the discussion surrounding palliative care, hospice and how we want to die. Continue reading
While waiting for a shuttle bus at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in Orlando, I met a fellow conference attendee who worked for a drug company. When he mentioned his company was researching a vaccine for a viral infection called respiratory syncytial virus, commonly known as RSV, I had to scratch my head.
I stupidly thought it was one of those recently concocted pseudo-conditions drug companies occasionally tout to market new products. Continue reading