A Harried Weekend
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This Week in Elder News – 16 December 2008

[EDITORIAL NOTE: This is what would have been posted last Sunday had I not been otherwise engaged.]

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.

A U.S. manufacturer is trying to gain approval for a handgun as a medical device from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Called the Palm Pistol, it is designed for people with arthritis or other debility that might prevent them from firing a normal handgun.

"'It's something that they need to assist them in daily living,' says Matthew Carmel, president of Constitution Arms in Maplewood, New Jersey, which hopes to manufacture the Palm Pistol - now just a patent and specifications. 'The justification for this would be no more or less for a [walking aid] or wheelchair, or any number of things that are medical devices,'" he says.

This guy is also seeking coding for the gun as a “durable medical device” which would make it eligible to be considered for reimbursement through Medicare. More here.

Although this video is a television commercial for a private health care organization, which I wouldn't normally post, it is so joyous about elder women that I don’t care. [1:01 minutes] (Hat tip to Jan Adams of Happening Here)

Whether due to hard economic times or the success of extensive lobbying here at Time Goes By (I doubt the latter), cosmetic surgery is falling out of fashion. More here.

At the Washington Post last week, age columnist Abigail Trafford wrote of elders and addiction, something worth being aware of with our older friends and relatives during the holiday season.

Memory can be an issue as we get older even without fear of dementia. Now, two new studies each have a different idea of what might help. You could try marijuana. Or, some different researchers suggest red wine. Make of it what you will.

It’s not true that we need less sleep as we get older and here’s some information on Why Sleep is Essential.

This has nothing to do with elder news unless you file it under the category of “you’re never too old to learn something new.” An elderblogger in Spain, LadyLuz of Costa de la Luz Gardening, sent a story about an old Mediterranean tradition of including a caganer in Christmas nativity scenes. Want more explanation? Here you go.

This year a new caganer figure has been created - Barack Obama - which you can purchase for 14 Euro. You’ll need to click this link to see it for yourself.

Although all the media attention in recent years to the sandwich generation – boomers with children and parents who need care – irritates me (it was the norm in many families when I was growing up), perhaps it’s not so for people younger than I. Here’s a story of tips on handling a multi-generational household.

It’s a book and it’s a film. It’s a whole lot of old people talking about what they think wisdom is. This video is a teaser for the movie – a good one - and I like it so much I’ve posted a tiny screen of it in the right sidebar. You can read more here about the project. [5:46 minutes] (Hat tip again to Jan Adams of Happening Here)

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Clair Zarges explains what it’s like to be a Second Tier Girl.]


Loved the clip about wisdom.
Most happy to know you are OK.
I too missed reading your blog and wondered if all was well with you.
The clock resumed ticking on Monday.

Hooray for dancing old women and red wine!!

Thanks, Ronni, for a truck load of good stuff, yet again! Absolutely love the video about old/elder women. The cheerleader is my kinda' gal & wow, can she move! Also, the piece about multi-generational living was a visit to the past since my parents & I lived with my grandmom until I was 5 when we moved just a few houses away. I had to chuckle at the comment about having enough space to have some quiet time alone. I remember when that could only be found in the daily trip to the "outhouse", you should excuse the expression! Anyway, could some of the links you provided be the beginning of the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction? One can only hope! Thanks again for uplifting my day. Dee

Thanks again for so many wonderful links.
Hope Ollie is still recovering!

The When I Grow Up clip is great, even with the ad, but I truly love the Wisdom project. Thank you for telling us about it.

(Stands up-raises his glass)

Here's to Ronni,Jan Adams and all those happy old gals in the Kaiser spot.
May you always smile right to the last curtain call, may your glasses never be empty and keep on truckin' ladies.

I too am amazed at the media's attention to the "sandwich generation" as if never before in the history of mankind have elders needed help from their grown children
My Mother lived to be 91 years old. She lived with my husband and me and our family for over 13 years. She had no where else to go. She was an invaluable help while we were raising our 3 children.
In the latter years of her life she needed more care than I could provide and she entered a nursing home where she lived until her death.

My husband's parents also needed help. We bought them a small house in their home state and helped them out financially also.
To me this is simply "the circle of life"
But still, I hope and pray we do not need to call on our grown childen for help anytime.

Thanks for running that "I want to be an old woman" ad. I've been enjoying it for weeks now and meant to get around to bringing it to your attention. Glad Jan did. I really like it. It's one of the few commercials I always pay attention to -- music, video and lyrics. Just goes to show what smart advertisers could do to attract our attention.

Yeah, I'm always annoyed about the big deal made of Boomers being the "Sandwich Generation" like none of the rest of us ever were. I surely was! Big time!!

A gun as "durable medical equipment" Medicare would pay for??? That guy ought to be railroaded out of town with all of the truly legitimate health needs in this country. There's enough ripping off of the system and we sure don't need more like this.

Yeah, elder addiction is an issue. Sadly, I encounter a few elders in therapy who have been self-medicating. Cognitive and memory problems can often be an issue preventing their positive response to therapy and overcoming deficits.

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