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.
Claude of Blogging in Paris alerted me to the work of her Flickr friend, 86-year-old artist, Norma McGuire (also known as Nonie Vogue) whose work ranges from photography to quilting, painting and recently she branched out into sketching. Here are some samples and you can see more here, here and here, plus Claude's birthday tribute to Norma.
Joan Didion's book about the year following her husband's death has been around for awhile now, but it's good to see a review from an elder's perspective. It's amba of ambivablog's 85-year-old mother, Jean Gottlieb. You can read it at amba's blog.
On Wednesday, I wrote again about Dr. Bill Thomas, Green Houses and his latest video campaigning to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In that video, Dr. Thomas asked viewers to make their own videos or write stories about the experiences with growing old. Darlene of Darlene's Hodgepodge followed through.
“My days are full of the simple pleasures,” she writes. “I am grateful for the parts that still work. I can read, watch programs that I enjoy, write and call friends, or simply do nothing. The choice is mine and mine alone.”
Read more of her beautiful and honest post here.
After a disgusting story like this one, there can be no doubt that we need more of Dr. Thomas's Green Houses than ever before. The New Jersey Department of Public Advocate reports that an assisted living company that operates eight facilities in their state threw out aging residents after having lied to them about being able to remain when their savings were depleted and they converted to Medicare.
“...the company, Wisconsin-based Assisted Living Concepts, instituted a policy of involuntarily discharging elderly residents once they had spent-down all of their life savings, leaving them essentially destitute, said Chen.”
Read more here. (Hat tip to Susan Gulliford)
Much ado is made about how much more dangerous childhood is these days that when we were kids. I don't believe it nor does Robin Hemley who recounts some of his childhood adventures:
"I built a bomb when I was nine. I rooted around under the sink and poured every chemical I could find (this was the 1960s, chemicals were never in short supply) and poured them into a Windex bottle and made a fuse out of a shoelace. Then I went outside and placed the bottle in a field full of dry brush.
"I didn't think it would work. It did. I set the field on fire, but luckily I was able to stamp it out before it spread and burned down the neighborhood. My sneakers melted."
More of his fright-producing adventures are here.
According to a new blog about funerals, the ancient Greeks hired professional mourners.
“...hired mourning continued; through the Middle Ages and the Age of Enlightenment it was practiced in Ireland, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Romania, and China. And then, sometime in the last century, for the most part, it stopped,” writes Justin Nobel.
There is at lot more information on the ways and means of sending the dear departed off into the great unknown at funeralwise.com.
This story from the BBC is about research that appears to show working past retirement age may ward off Alzheimer's Disease. There have been a lot of such news items in the past year and I'm just cynical enough to notice that they have turned up in force following the wipeout of retirees' savings in the economic collapse giving many elders no choice but to return to the workforce.
Last summer, I went on a rant about the oxymoron of fashion for elder bodies. Now at least one other person has taken up this cudgel against fashion designers who have an extreme preference for 20-year-old bodies. This graph from the story shows the change in spending on clothing by women between March 2008 and March 2009.
The story also contains some interesting information about new ways to purchase clothes online. Read more here. (Hat tip to Paula Kimbrough)
Like me, you have undoubtedly noticed over the years that photographs accompanying obituary notices in newspapers invariably show the newly deceased at a much younger age. A recent study of one Ohio newspaper over a period of 30 years revealed an increase of 17 percent in “age-inappropriate” obit photos.
"Families may want to show pictures or tell stories of their deceased family member at his or her peak," [said one of the researchers]. "We have a lot of pictures of young age, but how about pictures of old age? We might want to think about this related to ageism in society."
My Australian friend, Peter Tibbles, sent along this amazing story of a 94-year-old Japanese man who survived the nuclear bombings at BOTH Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You can read it here and listen to the interview.