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Changing the message of aging…subliminally

October 27, 2014

Changing the message of aging…subliminally

By Matt Perry

As a reporter who covers Aging issues, discussing the topic in public typically evokes this response through clenched teeth:   “Getting old sucks.”

There are variations on this reply – some involve profanity – but today’s accepted cultural message is that aging is terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad.

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Finding Humor – and Wisdom – in Aging

October 13, 2014

Finding Humor – and Wisdom – in Aging

By Matt Perry

When actor and comedian Robin Williams committed suicide at age 63, the tragedy traumatized fans worldwide who wondered how someone so famous – and so funny – could pull the plug on a legendary life and career.

It also spotlighted the vicissitudes of aging. Besides Williams’ recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, friends say he was depressed over his faltering career after the cancellation of his TV show “The Crazy Ones.”

Fellow comic Jack Gallagher long ago started thinking about the same issues that ultimately doomed Williams, but came up with a very different solution.

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A Golden Idea for Senior Women Living Together

September 28, 2014

A Golden Idea for Senior Women Living Together

By Matt Perry

When Bea Arthur and her merry band of aging pranksters graced the airwaves with their “Golden Girls” sitcom a quarter century ago, they paved the way for shared senior housing that’s both fun and affordable.

And like the world-famous Red Hat Society which celebrates aging gracefully and vibrantly, expect the Golden Girls Network shared housing movement to grow rapidly in California.

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Surfing the Wave of Aging Latinos

September 15, 2014

Surfing the Wave of Aging Latinos

By Matt Perry

March marked a turning point in California’s ethnic breakdown: Latinos officially outnumbered the state’s white population.

Meanwhile, the aging Latino population is one of the fastest-growing demographics nationally, thanks to “a very high life expectancy among Hispanics,” according to noted aging researcher S. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Connecting the young and old in geriatric psychiatry

September 10, 2014

Connecting the young and old in geriatric psychiatry

By Pamela K. Johnson

Bella Schwartzbord, who turned 100 in August, recently added jewelry making to her busy schedule of playing Bingo, practicing yoga and taking walks. While she’s aging successfully, her daughter, Sarah Gelberd, M.D., knows that many older adults across California aren’t faring as well.

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The Future of Aging: Travel, Treatment, Retirement

September 2, 2014

The Future of Aging: Travel, Treatment, Retirement

By Matt Perry

These days, everything seems to be outsourced abroad. Jobs. Customer service. Even executive assistants. And today, so is aging – which is fast becoming very big business.

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Santa Barbara Joins Forces to Train Dementia Caregivers

August 18, 2014

Santa Barbara Joins Forces to Train Dementia Caregivers

By Matt Perry

With rates of dementia expected to reach epidemic proportions as an aging American populous lives longer, a Southern California city has formed an impressive coalition of business leaders, educators, foundations and long-term care settings to help train the next generation of caregivers.

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Aging’s Staunch Ally in The City of Angels

August 4, 2014

Aging’s Staunch Ally in The City of Angels

By Matt Perry

Inside a bureaucratic jungle, Laura Trejo always finds room to roar. When Trejo sat in the midst of a panel of experts during the recent launch of a new state senate committee on aging, she spoke plainly yet firmly. During her 10-minute lecture, simmering tension escalated into barely controlled fury.

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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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