Elders and the Wall Street Mess
Sunday Election Issues - 21 September 2008

This Week in Elder News: 20 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.

It’s been an busy and stressful week chez timegoesby due to the ups and down of Wall Street, so the Elder News is a little light today. Barring new painful surprises, we’ll try to do better next week.

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: I pulled this post together on Friday in the early afternoon. Later in the day, I ran across these two stories about the financial crisis. It is important that you read them:

Pentagon Ships Troops to U.S. to Prepare For Civil Unrest

Congressional Leaders Were Stunned by Warnings

Also this from William Greider: The Scent of Fear

Now back to our regularly-scheduled Elder News.

As far as Hollywood is concerned, old people don’t have sex. Now comes a new German film, Wolke Neun (Cloud Nine) to fill that void. “The first love scene of note in Cloud 9 occurs when sixtyish seamstress Inge becomes infatuated with 76-year-old customer Karl, leading to a lustful encounter atop a rug,” reports one review. Read more here.

Half the people who died in Hurricane Katrina were elders. In Hurricane Ike, nearly 300 disabled elders were abandoned by their caregivers. The Texas governor says there will be an investigation. More here.

In case you missed it this past week, Dr. Bill Thomas’s column, The TGB Geriatrician has some hard numbers on the growing lack of physicians trained to treat elders. It’s an important story and you can read it here.

People 85 and older are the fastest growing age group in the U.S. Now, researchers at the University of California at Irvine have begun a study of 1,000 nonagenarians hoping to learn more about healthy longevity. One of those subjects is 95-year-old Gordon Bern.

"People have a picture in their head of what someone in their mid-90s might look like,” says study leader Dr. Claudia Kawas, “unfortunately someone in bed or completely helpless or needing a nursing home. He's not any of that. We're just trying to find out his secrets."

Bern says he doesn’t think he’s done anything extraordinary to account for his many years. Read more about him here.


Ronni, I had thought of sending you the reviews about the German Cloud 9 film, but I was worried that it wouldn't "translate" so well with your predominately American readers. It is not really the nudity and sex scenes that makes this movie intriguing (Europeans are notoriously causal, even blasé about such things), but how the main characters are surprised about the intensity and beauty of their affair, and the conflict that arises in their family relationships because of this new love.


The two links provided before the Elder news was more than sobering. It was akin to being doused with ice water.

Paralyzing. One of those feelings where you stomach literally lurches over.

What do we, ordinary paycheck to paycheck citizens do?

Stockpile canned food? Wood to burn?

We don't all live on or near a farm like the Depression years of yore.

Nightmares to follow.

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