12/29/2011 – The Unspoken Diagnosis: Old Age

It has taken physicians a very long time to accept the need to level with patients and their families when they have terminal illnesses and death is near — and we know that many times those kinds of honest, exploratory conversations still don’t take place.

Now Dr. Smith, a palliative care specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, who also practices at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and two co-authors are urging another change, one they acknowledge would “radically alter” the way health care professionals communicate with their very old patients.

Read the full article at The New York Times

12/15/2011 – Trusting Someone Over 60

At the Mind the Gap playwriting and theater-making series at the New York Theater Workshop, teenagers and people over 60 are paired to learn and write about each other.

Read the full article at The New York Times

12/31/2011 – Aging and Broke, More Lean on Family

More aging Americans are doing something they never would have imagined: turning to family for financial aid. Some are even asking their children for a place to live.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal

12/30/2011 – Shrinking brains and 'silent strokes' studied

New findings in Alzheimer’s disease support longstanding notions of what doctors have preached for years. The studies look at associations, not causes, but they further scientists’ pursuit of preventing the fatal brain disease.

Read the full article at CNN

12/14/2011 – Plain Speaking at the End of Life

Dr. Stephen Workman, an internist at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, takes exception to the language physicians use with patients near the end of life. In one of his recent publications, he called language the most important tool health professionals have to improve the care of dying patients.

Read the full article at The New York Times

12/14/2011 – Is 80 The New Retirement Age? Many Americans Think So

Concerns about having enough for retirement are widespread across the the income spectrum, according to a study released today by Wells Fargo. Almost 20% of affluent Americans says they will need to keep working until at least the age of 80. Slightly more (25%) of middle-class Americans said the same.

Read the full article at Forbes

12/6/2011 – Presidency not a death sentence

Despite the high levels of stress that accompany serving as president of the United States, commanders in chief don’t, in fact, experience a drop in life expectancy, a new study finds. Those who hold the highest office in the land may get a few more gray hairs and wrinkles by the end of their term, but they don’t age at an accelerated rate, suggests sociologist Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Read the full article at Science News

12/2/2011 – Older People Are a Larger Portion of U.S. Population

Elderly people are now a greater portion of the population than at any time since the government began keeping track, with those age 65 and older rising to 13 percent of the population over the past decade, the Census Bureau said.

Read the full article in The New York Times

11/29/2011 – Working Into Your 70s: A Smart Retirement Move

“As people get older, they care more about how they’re spending their time, and their motivation changes,” says Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Read the full article at U.S. News and World Report

11/26/2011 – The Death of the Fringe Suburb

Drive through any number of outer-ring suburbs in America, and you’ll see boarded-up and vacant strip malls, surrounded by vast seas of empty parking spaces. These forlorn monuments to the real estate crash are not going to come back to life, even when the economy recovers. And that’s because the demand for the housing that once supported commercial activity in many exurbs isn’t coming back, either.

Read the full article at The New York Times