Archive for September, 2007

Nonagenarians by the handsful

There’s a nifty set of brief stories in the Sunday BBC News magazine, How we got to 90 By Tom Geoghegan
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7016844.stm

There are more centenarians then ever, according to new estimates. But those who turn 100 must first make it into their 90s – a landmark age that was all but unimaginable when they were born.

Ninety is the new 80, it seems, and the increasing number of people reaching that milestone has contributed to a record number of 100-year-olds.

There were an estimated 9,000 centenarians in England and Wales last year, an increase of 7.5% on the previous year.

The major factors, says an Office of National Statistics report, are increased survival rates between 80 and 100 due to improvements in hygiene and sanitation, improved food, housing and living standards and medical treatment.

Reaching 90 in the post-war period was a rare event but now many lead fit and active lives. Here some of them talk about life at 90.

The newsfeed on the sidebar (at the bottom for those of you using MS Internet Explorer) is a crude way to track the increasing number of people who celebrate their 90-something birthdays. It’s not just the numbers and not just the “stories”. As a kid, I was in awe of meeting anyone 90+; it was a unique experience. There’s something about the way the human species and society has changed that is reflected in even having a blog category of “nonagenarian”. But if you track the newsfeed (and read the article) you’ll also find lives that reflect that we have such a long way to go to maximize everyone’s contributions.

[The newsfeed, when it functions, is http://tinyurl.com/2sgdbr or the longish version, which you can copy and paste into your own news reader but remove all the spaces. I had to add spaces so it would wrap correctly for you to view.
http://news.google.com/news?svnum=10&tab=wn&client=firefox-a& ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8& rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial& as_drrb=q&as_qdr=w&as_mind=16&as_minm=6& as_maxd=23&as_maxm=6& q=age+90+OR+91+OR+92+OR+93+OR+94+OR+95+OR+96+OR+97+OR+98& auth=DQAAAH0AAADF16CVTK-dZNTSMnBN1gsn_2JOePX8bvD8agNWJum7cGlPN1H61zNpQxat8mHmcJH3JSldEGPc_ sklPqXf77zlyhCc_bjAr1qTCbIXvqTC-gwSITa8KqbCutFPEY2ITk7KhquWkf8Fb9BDmXBkBaWjXqKdorP9j5EevRmPsbq5pQ& output=atom

Better yet, if the RSS button on the sidebar is working, try clicking on the title or left-click this Nonagenarian news. Depending on how your browser is set up, you will then be able to subscribe in your own news aggregator or RSS feed reader]


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Newsbits for the elderlies

Nunavik elders raise voices at Quebec seniors’ parliament Last Updated: Monday, September 10, 2007

Four Inuit elders from the Nunavik region in northern Quebec will speak for the first time Monday at that province’s seniors’ parliament, in the hopes of raising issues specific to seniors in their area. Politicians in Nunavik have long lobbied to have the elders address the special assembly, which runs Monday and Tuesday in Quebec’s national assembly. They will speak in their own language and demonstrate the challenges they face as Inuit elders, including the lack of Inuit language in government documents. Currently, such documents are only offered in English and French.

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Is dignity at home too much to ask for our elderly?
Jo Revill, Denis Campbell and Amelia Hill, Sunday June 17, 2007

Hundreds of thousands of Britain’s elderly rely on home care visits to live a dignified life in their own house. But as local authorities reduce funding, an increasing number of our most vulnerable citizens are being neglected and are suffering as a result. Now, with our elderly population set to rise dramatically, we launch our campaign for the right to stay at home….

The Observer launches its Dignity at Home Campaign, to fight for the right of such people as Miss Tugwell to receive the care she needs in order to maintain a decent life in her own home. We have discovered that an insidious kind of rationing is happening in England and Wales, more covert – and in some senses more cruel – than the kind we read about when an expensive cancer drug is not prescribed by the NHS. It is a rationing that involves not giving baths to frail elderly people who are unable to clean themselves, cutting back on the daily visits from care staff, closing day centres, not visiting homes to ensure they have the right medication. No dramatic headlines perhaps, but home care is a lifeline for thousands of old people.’… More and more of us are seeing this indignity and disgrace inflicted on our elderly relatives,’ said Mervyn Kohler, director of Help the Aged [see sidebar]. ‘It is shameful that as people in such a wealthy society, we can treat our elderly in this way. The care services have been eroded to a point where they are no longer meeting the needs of people who really deserve more than this.’

read more Growing old

11m Number of pensioners living in Britain
20,000 Number of pensioners believed to be abused in their own homes and nursing homes every day, according to a report by Age Action
£2bn Amount of unclaimed benefit each year. Almost half of older people entitled to Pension Credit are not receiving it.
£21.50 Average amount spent each week by pensioners on food and drink
13 Percentage of elderly people who do not get out of their homes more than once a week
Tell us your stories, Write to Dignity at Home, The Observer, 3-7 Herbal Hill, London EC1R 5EJ or email news@observer.co.uk, placing ‘Dignity at Home’ in the subject field.
On the web
www.helptheaged.org.uk/
www.ageconcern.org.uk/

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Now the elderly will get equal rights Radical initiatives will benefit all older people Ivan Lewis Sunday June 24, 2007

As The Observer is rightly highlighting, there are few more important challenges than the way society treats older people. The realities of demographic change, the expectations of the ‘baby boomers’ and the values of a progressive centre-left government are all reasons why this issue must move from the margins to the mainstream of the government and public policy debate.

Equally, demographic pressures and a largely unreformed social care system are leaving too many older people with inadequate support. The quality of provision is patchy from service to service and area to area. People who pay for their own care are frequently left alone to make difficult choices and eligibility criteria take little account of loneliness and isolation. The current system was built in a postwar era when Alzheimer’s disease, elderly carers, scattered families and elder abuse were unknown forces. Today, 70 is the new 50. Older people view post-retirement as the next stage in their life; many grandparents are surrogate parents to their grandchildren; medical advances and greater affluence will continue to extend life.

This week, I will be launching a new national framework for the funding of continuing care, the intensive, long-term nursing care for the elderly outside hospitals, mainly in nursing homes. This will seek to end the current postcode lottery that has seen some older people wrongly denied NHS funding for the nursing element of their care…. [continue reading Ivan Lewis is the Care Services Minister]

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Sunday, 2 September 2007, 23:03 GMT

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How To Steal an Estate

…Identify Elderly Affluent People Who Are Alone – Target people who do not have strong family relationships, who are either estranged from their families and children or whose families live and work out of state…. Aversion to Extended Care – Targets often exhibit a horror of nursing homes and extended care facilities and have a strong desire and determination to continue living in their home until they die. If they move, your years of hard work may be wasted…. Alcohol Helps – Alcohol lowers people’s resistance, raises their susceptibility to suggestion, makes them relax, feel good and festive. It’s easy to manipulate alcoholics and make them angry and emotional… People Are Especially Susceptible To Suggestion When Sleepy – During those hazy, lazy moments when they are just drifting off to sleep or waking up. Visit or telephone when the impact of your communication will linger in their minds long after you finish. …

[continue reading Protection – Defense and other helpful pages]

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Retirement out of sight? Working past 90: 1 million elderly Americans still in work force By John Chrisoffersen The Associated Press Article Last Updated: 09/02/2007 11:35:07 PM MDT

…Manpower has urged companies to start thinking about ways to retain and recruit older workers, through flexible scheduling, for example. This will help them fill positions as the labor pool shrinks. According to Holmes, companies need to extend their diversity training to include age, as well as race and gender.

…Experts cite several factors for the growth, including people living longer and the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act in 2000, which allowed workers 65 through 69 to earn as much money as they want without losing Social Security benefits. Other reasons include the gradual increase in the age for receiving Social Security benefits to 67 and a decline in traditional pensions and retiree health benefits. [read more, They’re all younger than Waldo McBurney, a 104-year-old beekeeper from Kansas who was recently declared America’s oldest worker.]

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Oldsters Help Propel Wii to Number 1

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TOKYO TURNING GREY…By 2020, about 14 percent of the population of greater Tokyo — around 4.9 million people of a predicted population of 35 million — will be aged 75 or older. Currently only around 7 percent of the greater Tokyo area are in this age bracket.

Within the next 15 years, the bustling city that never stops will be one of the world’s greyest metropolises…. Though greater Tokyo does not yet have a clear strategy for dealing with its greying population, some other Japanese cities are already taking steps of their own. [read more By Hideyuki Sano TOKYO, Sept 21 (Reuters)]

Nonagenarian archaeologist Kathleen Gilmore

2011-08-17 Dr Gilmore’s death was npt widely known, unfortunately, in the news media. She would have been someone to have known. Kathleen Kirk Gilmore | Visit Guest Book Gilmore, Kathleen Kirk Kathleen Kirk Gilmore, born Nov. 12, 1914, in Altus, OK. Passed away March 18, 2010. She was the daughter of Jessie Horton Kirk and Rufus Patrick Kirk and wife of late Robert Beattie Gilmore. She worked since Junior High at various jobs while going to school to earn her BS in Geology from Oklahoma University. After raising 4 daughters, she returned to school earning her PhD in anthropology in 1973 from SMU and she has been working as an archaeologist since. She was an adjunct professor at North Texas University from 1974 to 1990 and led many archaeology digs in Texas and elsewhere. Past contributions in her field include the first female President of the Society for Historical Archaeology, President of the Texas Archaeological Society, President of the Council of Texas Archaeologists, served on the Texas Board of Review, Board of Directors of the Texas Historical Foundation. In 1995 she was the first woman to receive the Harrington Medal in Historical Archaeology and in 2008 she received the Governor’s Award for Historical Preservation. She was the first archaeologist to prove the location of La Salle’s Fort St. Lewis settlement. Survived by daughters Judy Gilmore Lepthien, Pat Gilmore, 5 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchild-ren. Donations can be made to Texas Historical Commission, Texas Archeological Society, or the Society for Historical Preservation. Services will be held at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home at 4 pm on Tuesday March 23, 2010 and following the services will be a celebration of her life at the house.

Archaeologist Kathleen Gilmore has unlocked some of the most elusive mysteries of Texas history.
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/082807dnmetarc.3157d1e.html
By ALLEN HOUSTON, The Dallas Morning News, 05:01 AM CDT on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kathleen Gilmore by JIM MAHONEY/DMN

VICTORIA, Texas –
Kathleen Gilmore, the first archaeologist to prove the location of explorer La Salle’s Fort St. Louis, returned to the site near Victoria, Texas, earlier this year with a French documentary film crew.

She spent decades hunting down the location of the French explorer La Salle’s lost fort before discovering it near the Gulf Coast. She also excavated a number of Spanish colonial forts in Texas, including Mission Rosario, near Goliad.

At age 92, the Preston Hollow resident will visit Spain in December to study a recently discovered cache of documents sent from early Texas missions.

But her greatest accomplishment may have been digging the way for other women to follow in her footsteps….

[Now, why would she need to dig her/our way forward? for example,

Jeff Durst, an archaeologist with the Texas Historical Commission, added: “She’s got an incredible amount of spirit and spunk for her age.

Time’s passage hasn’t slowed Dr. Gilmore.]

Dr. Gilmore grew up in Tulsa and in the 1930s attended the University of Oklahoma, where she studied geology, believing that it would be easier to help support her family during the Depression.

Instead, the only work she could find was as a secretary for a geologist in Houston.

“That’s the way it was at the time, and me and a lot of women were forced to accept that,” she said.

In the early 1940s, Dr. Gilmore married her husband, Bob, and moved to Dallas, where they had four children. She didn’t go back to school until she was 49, enrolling in the archaeology program at Southern Methodist University.

… Dr. Gilmore became the first female president of the Society for Historical Archaeology and was an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas for 15 years. She also was the first archaeologist to prove the location of La Salle’s Fort St. Louis, according to the Texas Historical Commission….

Fort St. Louis lasted from 1685 to 1689 before its last inhabitants were killed by Indians, according to the Texas Historical Commission. By the camp’s end, La Salle had been murdered by some of his men while trying to make his way to French settlements in Canada.

Dr. Gilmore’s search for the fort began in the early 1970s when she helped analyze some ceramic fragments found in a field near Victoria. The shards turned out to be from the Saintonge area of France…. “One of the great what-ifs of Texas history is, ‘What would our state be like today if the French had been successful with their colony?’ ” Dr. Bruseth said, laughing….


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