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Art With Elders: Stop Making Sense

July 20, 2014

Art With Elders:  Stop Making Sense

By Matt Perry

When expressionist painters like Pablo Picasso, Otto Dix and Barnett Newman waved their defiant brushes over blank canvases, they rebelled against the “logical minds” that had brought about one World War, then another. Art, they insisted, should free the mind from oppressive reality.

So it’s not surprising that in the shadow of the Beat Generation and Sixties counterculture, a Bay Area arts program has gained prominence in helping older adults circumvent constrictive thought to free the artist within.

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State Senate to Aging Californians: We Care

July 15, 2014

By Matt Perry

While the state Assembly has a committee dedicated to aging and long-term care, the State Senate hasn’t had one since it disappeared from the Committee on Health along with termed out sponsor Elaine Alquist at the end of 2012.

That changed last week when the Senate publicly launched a new Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care at an informational hearing at the Glendale Central Library attended by 125 people.

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Too Few Docs to Set Baby Boomer Bones

July 8, 2014

Too Few Docs to Set Baby Boomer Bones

By Lisa Renner

More and more baby boomers start their senior years they are encountering an unwelcome side effect of aging – more falls and more fractures. At the same time, orthopedic surgeons in underserved areas are retiring to enjoy their golden years. Soon, advocates worry, there will be too few surgeons left to treat the growing number of elderly people who will require expert help with their broken bones.

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Dementia, The Greatest Generation, and a Ray of Sunshine

July 7, 2014

Dementia, The Greatest Generation, and a Ray of Sunshine

By Matt Perry

After restaurateur Sam Stelletello opened Sunshine Care to offer high-quality assisted living to World War II’s “Greatest Generation,” nearly all of his aging residents succumbed to dementia – most frequently Alzheimer’s disease.

As Sunshine’s original 10-bed 1990 facility expanded into today’s immaculate seven-building site in the hills of homespun Poway – San Diego County’s “City in the Country” – the residents’ natural cognitive decline spawned one of the state’s few facilities devoted to patients with dementia.

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When the Spirit Moves You… in Later Life

June 22, 2014

When the Spirit Moves You… in Later Life

By Matt Perry

Sex scandals in the Catholic Church. Nativity scenes nixed during Christmas holidays. God kicked out of schools.

In American culture, God is taking one hell of a beating.

At the same time, the nation’s hunger for divine connection – especially among older adults – has never been higher.

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California Improves its Long-Term Supports – Improvements Still Needed

June 18, 2014

By Matt Perry

California’s support systems for older adults, the disabled, and their family caregivers have improved in recent years and now rank among the top ten states in the nation, according to a scorecard released Thursday.

Yet while the state came in ninth overall – with substantial improvements in many areas – its high ranking is due largely to one area in which it excels: a vast choice in long-term care settings and providers.

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Older, Homeless Veterans: Hope and Despair

June 8, 2014

Older, Homeless Veterans: Hope and Despair

By Matt Perry

Marine veteran George Flynn, 74, sits in his wheelchair in front of a Mojave desert grocery store, playing his harmonica for spare change.

Despite his many health woes – including an infected leg and cancer he says was caused by Agent Orange in Vietnam – Flynn takes the bus here most mornings to play for eight hours in hopes of making $15 or $20 a day which he uses to pay for his spot in a remote campground where he can wash his clothes and shower.

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Cost-Saving Hopes Still Pinned on Accountable Care Organizations

June 5, 2014

Cost-Saving Hopes Still Pinned on Accountable Care Organizations

By Lynn Graebner

Two goals drive health care reform and the dramatic changes now reshaping our health care system: cutting costs and improving care. Accountable Care Organizations are one cost-saving measure rolling out across the U.S., a change pushed by the Affordable Care Act. But how much they will save – and when savings will start – remains an open question.

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New USC Aging Center Asks “Is there an App for That”?

May 25, 2014

New USC Aging Center Asks “Is there an App for That”?

By Matt Perry

Is there an app for aging? That’s the question Pinchas Cohen, dean of USC’s renowned Davis School of Gerontology, is posing to the rest of his Trojan nation.

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Changing the Story of Aging

May 22, 2014

Changing the Story of Aging

As a cub reporter for San Francisco’s alternative weekly in the early ’80s, Tim Carpenter loved slaying sacred cows. If asked what he was rebelling against during this “fun time,” he would have channeled Marlon Brando in “The Wild One” with this famous line: “Whaddaya got?” Thankfully, some people never grow up. Carpenter, now 52, has directed his rebellious spirit into fixing a broken system—housing for the aging.

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