Archive for the 'retirement' Category

Liz Taylor takes comments

One of the best reads ever on aging deliberately is Liz Taylor–
Her series has been mentioned previously –

I just discovered that the columns published at Kitsap Sun Stories: Liz Taylor: Aging Deliberately allow comments (registration required) and have an RSS feed . This is so much more convenient and useful than the Seattle Times venue. I’m not sure which is the primary home for Liz’s work, however, and Kitsap may not carry all her columns. At the Seattle Times I have to subscribe by E-mail to their health series (once a week e-mail, all health stories which are interesting) to get notice of her columns. Otherwise I have a Google News Alert for Liz Taylor+ aging, which sometimes brings in notice of National Velvet. [the colors behind some items below mean nothing except straightening out the code remains to be done.]

Liz Taylor began her career as a federal consumer-fraud investigator and was appointed by Elizabeth Dole in 1976 to direct a nationwide investigation of the nursing-home industry. She’s worked in the aging field ever since.

In the 1980s, Liz became one of the first geriatric care managers in the Pacific Northwest, working with thousands of families and older adults to find high-quality services. In 2000, she founded Aging Deliberately, a business that teaches people how to prepare for their aging so they’ll have more control over what happens to them. In 2005, she served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. She’s won the American Geriatrics Society’s 2007 Aging Awareness Media Award and the Washington Association of Homes and Services for the Aging’s Excellence in Media Award.

It’s relatively easy to age successfully if you’re wealthy. Money can’t buy happiness, but it certainly allows you to buy the things that make life more comfortable at any age. 1/26/2008 11:00 PM
In my last column, I wrote about a growing problem: what to do when an older person who has dementia hasn’t named anyone she trusts to make decisions for her. This week I’ll tackle a tougher issue: what to do when the person she names does a poor job. 11/17/2007 11:00 PM
My e-mail has had a repeated theme recently: An older person with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, isn’t paying bills, preparing meals, bathing, and other important tasks — but refuses to allow anyone to help.
11/3/2007 09:00 PM |
There’s a certain uniformity to finding a physician under Medicare these days. Rich or poor, if you’re 65 or older, you’re likely to have similar slim pickings (more so if you’re poor and on Medicare and Medicaid). 10/20/2007 11:00 PM |
Most of us want to live a long time, but nobody wants to grow old. The irony is, most of us will — live a long time and grow old. It’s easy to do — all it takes is letting the days roll by. As long as you’re healthy, getting old is a piece of cake.
10/6/2007 11:00 PM |
It’s easy as pie to age well when you’re healthy. The friction comes when you become frail. Sometimes it’s self-inflicted, the product of isolation, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and falls — all common problems for people who age in their homes but don’t plan it correctly. 9/22/2007 11:00 PM |
A woman in her late 70s, a good friend, is pondering her options. Her home is two stories (or three, including the basement), with many stairs to her bedroom, bathroom and the washing machine. 9/8/2007 11:00 PM
Dad is 87, fun and funny, with moderate dementia. He lived “on the edge” in his own home for years while we kids worried sick. 7/28/2007 11:00 PM
When I was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, cars were sort of round and later sort of square. My dad wore a hat to work and took the bus.
7/14/2007 11:00 PM
I’m 75 and have lived in an assisted-living facility for a year.
7/8/2007 02:00 AM
Older people are not simply younger people with wrinkles our bodies change dramatically as we age, both inside and out; some parts wear out before others, sometimes several at once.
6/17/2007 02:00 AM
Whether you live at home, in a retirement community, or in a yurt on top of a mountain, as you age, you want to do it consciously.
6/3/2007 02:00 AM

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Dr. Lydia T. Black

Dr Lydia T. Black, at Kenai Fjord, July, 2002 by grandson, Andrew McEvoy

Dr. Black survived Stalin, forced labor under the Nazis, refugee status, and never suffered fools, the pompous, the bully, nor laziness or sloppy scholarship. She was fond of cats, dogs, children, and those needing a friend in a strange land.

The following is summarized from documents at Lydia T. Black 1925 to 2007 and from the Kodiak Daily Mirror

Widowed with young children at 44, she went to college and finished her BA and MA in two years and her Ph.D. in another two years.

She studied at Northeastern University and Brandeis University in the Boston area before receiving her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She joined the faculty of anthropology in 1973 at Providence College in Rhode Island. She moved to Alaska in 1984 as Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, whence she “retired” in 1998.

She continued her work in Kodiak, where she helped translate and catalogue Russian archives of St. Herman’s Seminary. The Orthodox Church in Alaska recognized her contribution by awarding her the Cross of St. Herman.

She wrote at least 66 more books and articles appearing in publications as diverse as Natural History, Arctic Anthropology and Studies in Soviet Thought and was a contributor to various exhibits and conferences on the Arctic, including the Library of Congress’ Meeting of the Frontiers, the New York Museum of Natural History’s Jesup Centenary Congress and the Smithsonian Institution’s Crossroads of the Continents.

One of her best-known books, “Aleut art — Unangam aguqaadangin” is a collection of beautifully photographed and carefully documented art made by Alaska Natives of the Aleutian Islands. Another, “Russians in Alaska, 1732 to 1867,” was published in 2004, the year Lydia turned 79.

In 2001, Russia awarded her the Order of Friendship, honoring her contribution to promoting cross-cultural understanding between Russia and America. She received the Alaska Anthropological Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and the Alaska Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award for the Humanities in 2005.

Lydia was born in Kiev, where her grandmother came to live with the family. Her grandmother instituted an educational regimen for her which included two days per week of speaking Russian, two days per week of speaking French and two days per week of speaking German. On Sundays, the family could relax and speak Ukrainian. It was decreed that Lydia would study English in school. Lydia’s grandmother would take her to the ‘secret church’, hosted by three elderly women – the KGB eventually did arrive to arrest them.

Lydia’s father was executed when she was eight years old. At 16 (1941) her mother died of TB. Lydia was picked up into forced labor for Germany. At war’s end, Lydia was in Munich and got a job scrubbing toilets in American officers’ quarters. They realized Lydia could speak six languages (she had learned Polish during the war) so she became a translator at the UNRRA’s displaced children’s camp.

Lydia met and married Igor A. Black. They then emigrated to the U.S. in 1950. Igor became a thermodynamics engineer whose work on the Apollo Mission was officially commemorated by NASA. Lydia was a full-time wife and mother. Suddenly Igor died in 1969, leaving Lydia alone with three teen-aged daughters and a toddler. With her older daughters’ consent, Lydia returned to school as a full-time college student.

Dr Black died in Kodiak, AK, with family, friends, Orthodox services, and the feline sibling companions Masia and Vasia present. Masia, brother Vasia, and companion human Lydia Black
Masia, faithful guardian during Lydia’s illness would wake Lydia in the middle of the night, to great complaint. However, Masia seemed to be sensing something physically awry in Lydia’s breathing while asleep and was waking her to “reset” her. Masia would reach over and: Slap-slap-slap, at which point Lydia would sputter and tell the cat to stop it. [Click on small picture to enlarge.]

Anthropologist Lydia Black Dead at 81
Casey Kelly, KMXT

KODIAK, AK (2007-03-13) Anthropologist Lydia Black, author of many books on Alaska Native culture and Alaska history, died Monday morning of liver failure at her home in Kodiak. She was 81. © Copyright 2007, apti

audio file (mp3 format), click to play or right click to download and save.

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new life-course for an aging society

There needs to be an adjustment of living to fit the lifespan, but this seems an incomplete assessment. For example, if older workers weren’t discriminated against in hiring and in employment quality, I doubt there would be so few participating in work. The other bizarre aspect of changing demography, at least in the USA, is the voiced-in-public wondering Where is the educated workforce (and the post-bachelors educated)? I’d believe more in this “brains deficit” if I didn’t know so many bright people who are under- and un-employed against their will.

Of particular significance to western Alaska or any other small island developing state or rural province is the need as well to adjust social living to fit space. That is, many people, traditionally or as a “modern” adaptation, have seasonal residences. People work in one location, sleep in another or visit relatives and friends throughout an annual or multi-annual round. Remittances are sent around; children are sent around; knowledge is sent around. (Global kula ring)
Continue reading ‘new life-course for an aging society’

The End of Retirement

I guess I feel comforted to know it isn’t just my non-profit occupation which means no retirement, but many more, who have followed more conventional jobs, are also out of luck. Anyway, this is a thoughtful piece “Using history as our guide”—

by Teresa Ghilarducci
Monthyl Review, Volume 58, Number 1

The changes in the retirement future of Americans stem from the decline of union contracts, a dramatic shift in presidential and congressional attitudes about government responsibility for social insurance, and the substitution of defined contribution or 401(k)-type accounts for traditional defined benefit pensions….

Jobs and the Older American

Under what conditions can society provide jobs that older people want, not jobs that older people have to take? Currently it seems employers are offering jobs to older people that employers have previously reserved for other marginal workers. Instead of sixty being the new thirty, it would be the new seventeen as older people fill the area with the predicted largest growth in new jobs—retail clerks. This seems to be the direction in which we are going.

Since 1949, men and women over age sixty-five have said “ciao” to the labor market in recessions, and men withdrew from the labor force at the average yearly rate of 2.4 percent and women by 1.5 percent. Yet, in the most recent recession, men over age sixty-five still said “ciao” by 3.9 percent; but women said “hello” by increasing work effort by 5.3 percent. The labor force participation rate for slightly younger men and women, aged fifty-five to sixty-four, was higher over the most recent business cycle. However, if we remember our economics lessons, labor force participation and working are not the same thing. AARP analyst Sara Rix characterized 2002, the year the upturn began, as a mixed year for older workers. Despite the rapid increase in labor force participation, many of the elderly found unfavorable working conditions. If the elderly were laid off, they had half as much chance of being reemployed as younger people. The average duration of unemployment is higher for older workers and rose in 2002; the average search for job seekers over age fifty-five was sixteen weeks, up from 12.7 in 2001. Significantly, older men’s job security has gotten much worse. Their median years of tenure—the number of years a person has been employed by their current employer—has fallen dramatically, by almost 50 percent from 15.3 years for men aged 55–64 to just 10.2 years. (The decline is much smaller for women, from 9.8 years in 1983 to 9.6 years in 2002.)….

Read the entire article here–

Growing Older – Liz Taylor

My column addresses the many big and little dilemmas that people face as they age. It’s intended for middle-aged and older women and men who are concerned about the needs of their aging parents — and their own future needs. I’ll offer practical information and answer questions to help people make informed choices, and examine the issues that affect us as we grow older.

A starting point for locating eldercare services

Seventh of a series

Over the past six columns, I’ve been laying out the strategies, piece by piece, to help you become a savvy consumer… (Mon, 4/24)

New Report Includes “Call to Action” on Libraries and Active Older Adults


As the first of the baby boomers turn 60, public libraries are preparing to offer creative alternatives to retirement…. A new report from Americans for Libraries Council (ALC) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) describes this demographic revolution and offers guidance and examples of model programs to public libraries interested in connecting these active older adults to new opportunities for learning, work, and community service.

Designs for Change: Libraries and Productive Aging gathers insights from a day-and-a-half-long Library Leaders Forum, held September 26- 27, 2005, in Washington, DC. …Forum participants concluded that traditional adult services for “seniors” fall short in appealing to the interests of these older adults, and don’t take full advantage of their willingness to work, volunteer, and impart expert knowledge within the community.

“Libraries have the potential to make the process of re-imagining and revision possible,” said Mary Catherine Bateson, anthropologist, author, and one of the forum’s featured speakers…. A theme throughout the forum was the need to rethink stereotypes of aging and to find new ways in which libraries can connect older adults to opportunities that benefit both individuals and their communities….

Designs for Change: Libraries and Productive Aging

(PDF format; 1.7 MB). Hard copies may be obtained directly
from ALC at 646.336.6236.

Working women over 70 caught in the retirement trap

At 74, Marie Maes is scrambling to find work.

Even though she spent four decades working in Colorado hospitals and Seattle nursing homes, the veteran licensed practical nurse lives just above the poverty line on little more than $12 a day after she pays her rent.

She is among a near-record and growing number of women working well into their 70s, thanks to smaller Social Security checks, shorter careers, smaller pensions, longer life spans than men and bad financial planning….

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O’Folks (off their rocker)

Old age isn't a disease.

Arctic sunset

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