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Observations and commentary on aging, caregiving, and the complex journey through the second half of life.

Aging Boomers Playing the Cohabitation Card

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Boomers

“The rising number of cohabiters ages 50 and older coincides with rising divorce rates among this group. With the higher divorce rates and a growing share of people who have never been married in this age group, more individuals are unmarried and available for partnering or re-partnering. In 2016, 61% of adults ages 50 and older were married, compared with 64% in 1990.

Most cohabiters ages 50 and older have previously been married, including a majority who are divorced (55%). Just over a tenth of cohabiters ages 50 and older (13%) are widowed – a share that rises to 27% among cohabiters 65 and older. Still, about one-fourth of cohabiters (27%) ages 50 and older have never been married.”

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Death Is Not The Biggest Problem

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver

In her article Silicon Valley Would Rather Cure Death Than Make Life Worth Living Emily Dreyfuss takes Silicon Valley to task over their collective crusade to “cure death.” Not that curing death is a bad thing, but as Dreyfuss points out, it’s not the biggest thing that haunts our society. She asks:

What would it mean to design against despair or isolation or loneliness?

Indeed. Longevity in the hollow of despair and isolation seems a bitter gift. Our society is awash with large cohorts who feel untethered from any nurturing connections. This is especially true among its oldest members. While apps and games can’t restore this cultural breech, the brain power of Silicon Valley is capable of providing technological onramps for anchoring those in need of human contact.

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The Delirium Epidemic in Hospitalized Older Adults

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver

Hospital-induced delirium, the sudden disruption of consciousness and cognition marked by vivid hallucinations and an inability to focus, affects 7 million Americans annually. Once triggered, it can persist for months. The good news is the 40% of delirium cases are preventable. The bad news is that the nature of modern hospital care with large doses of anti-anxiety drugs and narcotics combined with a busy, noisy brightly lit environment where sleep is constantly disrupted amid frequent staff change can trigger an episode.

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Wisdom Cards

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver

Aging Parents Dance Cards are a deck of the 20 cards designed for anyone involved in the care of an older adult. Each card is an aphorism I created on a topic, issue, or situation common to the caregiving experience. They are my wisdom cards.

Cards on unknown or unappreciated “rules” about home, families, siblings, and driving help decode the underlying agenda of older adults and its profound impact on their perspective, behavior and priorities.

Cards on magical thinking, secrets, and dilemmas make a compelling argument for resetting expectations in line with reality.

Cards on reframing control, open questions and facilitating last stories provide prompts and strategies for establishing and sustaining rapport.

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Why Do We Teach CPR, But Not Caregiving?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Boomers, Caregiver

Indeed, why don’t we? This article by Dr. Richard Lindsey discusses how he enlisted help from Virginia’s college and university students to invent an app or product to improve the health of caregivers…This is the kind of intergenerational creativity we need to help ease the burden for everyone…

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Augmented Eternity: Ready or Not

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Advisors, Aging Parents, Boomers

Technology is rewriting yet another chapter in the book on death. In addition to forestalling physical death with machines that can breath for us when are efforts fail, pump blood when our hearts gives out or need repair, or float our brains in a medically induced coma to buy time to neurologically regroup, it is now making it possible to for all of us to have a digital afterlife that goes beyond a retrospective memorial of who we were.

We are talking about chatbots created from our personal data including emails, texts, and tweets that is then fed into artificial neural networks that have the ability to model brains and process new information. The end product is that we become a digital version of our physically departed selves.

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