Archive for August, 2007

Althea Gibson

Amy Sancetta / AP
Tennis great Billie Jean King holds a plaque honoring Althea Gibson during opening night ceremonies of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York on Monday. The plaque is commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gibson’s U.S. national championship title.

Althea Gibson plaque with Billie Jean King

NEW YORK — They honored the daughter of a sharecropper at the U.S. Open, and a crowd of 23,000 that included many people with incomes resembling plantation owners stood and applauded.

Althea Gibson died four years ago at age 76. Monday night, the U.S. Tennis Assn. did its best to resurrect her.

In 1957, Gibson became the first American of African descent to win the United States tennis title. It was the U.S. Nationals at Forest Hills then, it is the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows now. Monday night marked the 50th anniversary of her victory.

In 1950, Gibson was the first of her race [sic] to be allowed to enter the U.S. Nationals. The 50th anniversary of that was in 2000, when she was still alive and living nearby in Montclair, N.J. Her tennis barrier-breaking occurred only three years after Jackie Robinson had done a similar thing in baseball. That anniversary, as well as several of Robinson’s other landmark moments, were never missed by baseball or society.
[…]

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Tolstoy’s Bicyclist nonagenarian George Dawson and brain fitness

“Some people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Edwards said. “So I always like to mention George Dawson. He died a couple of years ago at age 102 or 103. What’s remarkable about George Dawson is that he learned to read at age 98.”

Dawson, of Texas, who was the grandson of slaves, then collaborated with co-author Richard Glaubman to write his autobiography, “Life is So Good,”‘ published in 2000 by Random House.

2011-05-28 Oprah recently posted this video about Mr Dawson’s legacy, George Dawson’s Legacy May 13, 2011

According to this entry, Mr Dawson published his first book at 102 years.

African American Read-In has a more detailed biography, “George Dawson also received two Doctorates of Humane letters from Texas Weslyan University and New School of New York City. In 2002, George Dawson Middle School was named in his honor in Southlake, Texas.” Click the photo to visit. George Dawson reading at 102

Mr Dawson’s accomplishments came up in a news summary of what the latest studies say about retaining or improving mental agility (caffeine in women. not men, is another finding). The summary is pretty good about the types of “neurobics” (stupid term, IMO) which are recommended more and more frequently. They also note the relationship between physical exercise and mental ability, “The general concept is: what’s good for your heart is good for your brain,” Mirza said.

In Bethel, they will probably just hide another jigsaw piece I hear they still won’t let the elderlies run the place.

Work your way to brain fitness
Posted by Linda S. Mah/Gazette August 21, 2007 17:14PM

…Physical exercise, social involvement, challenging activities and new experiences are all recommended as ways to help keep our brains in top-notch condition.

“The analogy may be trite, but the brain is like a muscle,” said Morry Edwards, a licensed clinical psychologist with Neuropsychology Associates in Kalamazoo. “The circuits strengthen when you use your brain. If you don’t, the circuits fade.”…

“Some more-recent research shows it’s not just the exercise but the type of exercise or variety of exercise that you do which is important,” Mirza said.
[…]

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Man who rediscovered the takahe, nonagenarian

The man who refused to believe the takahe was extinct died in Dunedin on Tuesday at the age of 98.

It was assumed, when Dr. Geoffrey Orbell rediscovered the takahe in Fiordland’s Murchison Mountains in 1948, that the bird had been extinct for over 50 years. Dr. Orbell described the magical moment this way: “Suddenly I saw in a clearing in the snow grass a bird with a bright red beak and a blue and green colouring. And there, no more than twenty metres away from us stood a living Notornis, the bird that was supposed to be extinct.”

I saw takahe at Mt Bruce. It is a wonderful place to visit. The birds are about a large chicken in size.
Takahe Maungaclick to enlarge

The Associated Press, Published: August 15, 2007

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: New Zealand doctor Geoffrey Orbell, who rediscovered a flightless bird that was believed extinct almost 60 years ago, has died in the southern city of Dunedin, his family said Wednesday. He was 98.

No one had seen a live takahe — a unique blue-green, hen-like bird with a bright red bill — since the late 1890s, when Orbell and three companions found a small colony in Fiordland on South Island in November 1948. The discovery stunned the world of ornithology and made front-page news across the globe.

Geoffrey Buckland Orbell was born Oct. 7, 1908, at Pukeuri on South Island… He graduated in medicine and chemistry in 1934, then went to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London where he received a Diploma in Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery… Orbell didn’t retire from medicine until he was 70….

Almost 300 takahe (Notornis mantelli) now live in Fiordland and other sanctuaries thanks to careful husbandry and breeding programs…. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II made him a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1953

Regnum: Animalia • Phylum: Chordata • Classis: Aves • Ordo: Gruiformes • Familia: Rallidae • Genus: Porphyrio

Geoffrey Orbell, a doctor who was happiest in the outdoors where he found the “extinct” takahe in 1948, has died in Dunedin just a few weeks short of his 99th birthday. Orbell was a man of many talents – ophthalmologist, cabinet maker, boat and house builder, skilled shot (founder of the NZ Deerstalkers Association), tramper, fisherman and local body politician. But above all he will be remembered for his rediscovery of the takahe, the unique and flightless blue-green, hen-like bird with the bright red bill in the depths of Fiordland. […]

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Rosalynn Carter Caregiving Award

Rosalynn Carter Caregiving Award to Recognize Partnership Between Research and Community Organizations
Deadline: August 30, 2007 A program of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving ( http://www.rosalynncarter.org/ ) at Georgia Southwestern State University, the 2007 Rosalynn Carter Caregiving Award will provide $20,000 to continue the work of an outstanding partnership between a research organization and a community-based organization that have come together to implement an evidence-based caregiver intervention.

Winning partnerships shall have clearly demonstrated one or more of the following: dedication to developing effective evidence-based caregiver interventions that improve the health and well-being of caregivers; encouragement of collaboration and partnerships between all stakeholders in the caregiving process; potential for developing or more effectively using financial, educational, and human resources to support caregivers effective reach into the target population; and potential to serve as a model for other individuals, groups, organizations, or communities in efforts to better serve the needs of caregivers.

Visit the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving Web site for program information and nomination form.

RFP Link: http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/pnd/10008402/rosalynncarter

For additional RFPs in Human Services, visit:
http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/rfp/cat_human_services.jhtml


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Preventive health care in elderly people needs rethinking

This sounds like it could be an interesting think-piece. Unfortunately, BMJ no longer gives free access to articles the first year. [this article was subsequently made available to the public for discussion.]

I don’t know what they mean by elderly, the oldest olds? The age group was 70-82. See comments.

BMJ 2007;335:285-287 (11 August), doi:10.1136/bmj.39241.630741.BE1
Analysis by
Dee Mangin, senior lecturer in general practice1, Kieran Sweeney, honorary clinical senior lecturer in general practice2, Iona Heath, general practitioner3

1 Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch New Zealand, 2 Peninsula Medical School, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter EX2 5DW, 3 Caversham Group Practice, London NW5 2UP

Dee Mangin, Kieran Sweeney, and Iona Heath argue that, rather than prolonging life, preventive treatments in elderly people simply change the cause of death—the manner of our dying

The first 150 words of the full text of this article appear below.

Summary points

* Single disease models should not be applied to preventive treatments in elderly people
* Preventive treatments in elderly people may select cause of death without the patient’s informed consent
* Preventive use of statins shows no overall benefit in elderly people as cardiovascular mortality and morbidity are replaced by cancer
* A more sophisticated model is needed to assess the benefits and harms of preventive treatment in elderly people

Preventive health care aims to delay the onset of illness and disease and to prevent untimely and premature deaths. But the theory and rhetoric of prevention do not deal with the problem of how such health care applies to people who have already exceeded an average lifespan. In recent years, concerns about equity of access to treatments have focused on ageism. As a result, preventive interventions are encouraged regardless of age, and this can be harmful to the patient and expensive for the health . . .

[Full text of this article via paid subscription only] The full text is now available.
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/335/7614/285?etoc

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Tolstoy’s bicyclist scholars, Phylliss Turner, MSc, nonagenarian

Phylliss Turner, MSc graduate
Photos aren’t allowed in comments, 😦
https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2007/05/01/tolstoys-bicyclists-nola-ochs-95/#comment-19820

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Ralph White, MD nonagenarian

This was a nice surprise in my E-mail, an article about Dr White. Not only is he still contributing to his community (well, duh 😉 ) but he is one of the unique Orange County residents who have seen southern California’s orchards, onion farms, and dairies.

Retired 97-year-old O.C. doctor is still in the game
By GREG HARDESTY, The Orange County Register

…White, two weeks after suffering a minor stroke he diagnosed himself, is touring the $203 million Patient Care Center at St. Joseph Hospital, where he began mending bodies in 1939, in the old hospital building that now houses administrative offices.

… The sleek operating rooms inside the new St. Joe’s facility, opening in October, have ceiling-mounted surgical lights and voice-activated surgical equipment, flat-screen computer monitors and tiny video recorders to transmit live feeds of procedures… White used to make $15 house calls at a time when Orange County’s population was 130,000 (Irvine alone today has more than 200,000 residents).

He’s delivered more than 1,500 babies….

One former patient takes him to lunch every year … on his birthday (June 30, 1910). White diagnosed her breast cancer in the early stages, when she was in her 40s. She’s in her 60s now. Perhaps these connections explain why, after retiring as a family practitioner 31 years ago – the year Jimmy Carter became president – White still hasn’t had his fill of St. Joe’s. Since retiring, White has volunteered more than 11,000 hours at the hospital – the equivalent of working for more than five years, every day, without a day off. […]

Dr Ralph White, nonagenarian

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/life/themorningread/article_1803814.php

Read the rest, especially his list of the changes he’s seen in healthcare over the years, White titles his list, “From Cradle to Grave Practice.” That would make an exciting oral history or blog. Especially for eldercare from the participant/observer point of view.

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Old age isn't a disease.

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