Phooey on Active Aging
Sunday Election Issues - 14 September 2008

This Week in Elder News: 13 September 2008

In this regular weekend feature you will find links to news items from the preceding week related to elders and aging, along with whatever else catches my fancy that I think you might like to know. Suggestions are welcome with, however, no promises of publication.

The Centers for Disease Control released a study reporting that 50 percent of those who died as a result of Hurricane Katrina were 75 and older.

“The results present a tragic portrait of elderly residents,” says the AP story, “who may have thought the warnings were a false alarm, who feared that abandoning their homes would lead to looting, or who simply didn't want to leave their familiar surroundings for the unknown.”

Although those ageist reasons may have been the case for some, why do I think that isn’t entirely the case? Maybe the report didn’t have a category for needed-help-to-evacuate-but-none-arrived. More here.

There are plenty of coupon websites, but Coupon Chief is particularly well organized, easy to use and will even pay you cash for coupons you upload. In the past, I’ve never used coupons but nowadays with prices skyrocketing, we need to cut every possible corner. Coupon Chief looks to be a big help.

This past week, Slate published a large Geezer Issue - “a range of stories about the elderly experience.” The problem is, with the exception of a diary from a 100-year-old, all the stories are obviously written by younger people about old people instead of old people bringing their real-world knowledge to the project. Nevertheless, there are a couple of good features like this list of Greatest Songs about Aging and Mortality.

Are you emotionally stable, organized, disciplined, conscientious and resourceful? If so, you’ll probably live longer than those with opposing traits. This information is contained in a new report from the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging which has been tracking 2300 people for more than 50 years. More here.

68-year-old Al Pacino and 65-year-old Robert DeNiro have appeared together in a film only once before, the less than scintillating Heat. Now they’ve teamed again as two aging New York City cops in Righteous Kill. The critics are saying it’s no better than Heat, but I doubt I’ll be able to resist watching two of the best scenery chewers of my generation who between them have done so many great films, they’re allowed some duds.

Here’s another new film about aging and healing family rifts from childhood through adolescence and into old age. When Did you Last See Your Father? is based on the memoir of British poet Blake Morrison and sounds to me like a don’t miss. More here.

In separate, back-to-back appearances, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain spoke to an AARP gathering this week. McCain spoke mostly in platitudes and slogans, although he implied that as president he would seek to partially privatize Social Security. As of this morning, his appearance has not been posted to YouTube, but you can find it here on the ARRP website.

Senator Obama was specific and clear about how he would seek to deal with Social Security, Medicare and healthcare in general as president. [10:34 minutes]


Does anybody know a site that transcribes clips like these, from AARP? I'd rather read 'em than watch 'em. thanks -

I tried to comment earlier but had some problems. Thought I would try again.

I also watched the AARP appearances by the two candidates. I noticed how quick one had to be to catch the discrepancy between McCain's 'promise' to preserve Social Security and his reiteration of the Bush proposal to allow younger workers to opt out of Social Security and establish private accounts. He had them both there a few breaths apart. On the whole, he rambled so much off the topics we wondered at the end what question he was trying to answer. Not a very good performance especially coming after Obama who was concise and thoughtful in his comments which directly addressed the issues he had been asked to address.

My husband and I were talking the other night about your election in the perspective of being an elder. Given that media say elders tend to be conservative, it would mean they tend to vote Republican. Yet, given that most elders are concerned with their own welfare and those of their children and grandchildren, it only makes sense for them to vote Democrat. This video from Mr. Obama's speech at the ARRP proves this point succinctly.

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