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1995 - 2001










Elder Rights

United States

- Archives 2008 -

Background Documents | Care-Giving and Nursing Homes |
 Economic Focus | Old Age Employment | Neglect/Abuse  |
Political Rights and Legal Actions  
| Aging Lives | Demographics |
Promising Initiatives 
| Trade Unions 

Background Documents

Older American Act (1965)
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act into law on July 14, 1965. This Act aims at providing help for older persons by claiming indisputable elder rights such as adequate incomes in retirement and the best possible physical and mental health. The Act established the Administration of Aging, a federal advocacy agency to represent and protect older US citizens. This agency is empowered to oversee services and providing opportunities for older people across the Nation. The Act also authorizes grants to States for community planning and services programs aimed at older persons. Title XVIII covering Medicare and Title XIX covering Medicaid were also signed into law in 1965.

Amendment to Older American Act (2000)
The Amendment to Older American Act in 2000 added grants to Area Agencies on Aging. It also established an important new program, the National Family Caregiver Support Program. This Support Program aimed at addressing the nation’s needs of caregivers. It was intended to help hundreds of thousands of family members who care for their older loved ones. Also, the 2000 Amendment maintains the original ten objectives of the Older American Act about the protection of the older US citizens’ rights and dignity.

Reauthorization to Older American Act Choice for Independence (2006)
The 2006 Reauthorization of the Older American Act includes a project called “Choices for Independence” which promotes consumer-directed and community-based long term care options.

Violence Against Women Act of 1994
President Bill Clinton signed into law The Violence against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA).  It is enacted as Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It enhances the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes perpetrated against women. Also the Act changes federal criminal laws by including a civil rights remedy for victims of “gender motivated violence,” a provision declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court

Violence Against Women Act of 2000
On October 28, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Violence against Women Act of 2000 as division B of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. The VAWA 2000 continues the essential work begun in 1994 and creates new grant programs, in order to create transitional housing for victims of domestic abuse or enhance protection for elderly and disabled victims of domestic abuse among others.

CRS Report: Violence against Women Act: History, Federal Funding and Reauthorizing Legislation (October 2001)
Read this report to have complete knowledge about the Violence against Women Act.

Care-Giving and Nursing Homes

Reports | Articles 


End-of-Life Care in Nursing Homes: 2004 National Nursing Home Survey (October 8, 2008) 
Approximately 20 percent of all deaths in the US occur in nursing homes. Studies of the quality of life and family satisfaction with end-of-life (EOL) care of nursing home residents reveal a need for improvement in the EOL care provided to dying nursing home residents. The US Department of Health and Human Services presents a report that provides information about nursing home residents receiving EOL care. Demographics, functional and cognitive status, reported pain, medications, and diagnoses are compared for those receiving EOL care with those not receiving EOL care.

How Do Lower-Income Families Think about Retirement? (September 2008)
This paper presents the results of a comprehensive survey of low-income families in the Detroit area and investigates their preparedness for retirement. The interviewers found that a great majority of low-income families think about retirement but “this does not mean that they are able to plan/or save actively for retirement.” 

Culture Change in Nursing Homes: How far Have We Come? (May 2008)
In 1987 the Nursing Home Reform Act passed. This reform focused on residents' rights and quality standards. But since 1987 the culture continues to change in nursing homes. This Commonwealth Fund shows how nursing home care and the other facilities are transitioning to put the older person at the center rather than regard them as a product. For example, janitorial staff members are expected to talk with patients and become part of teams that report in on any changes they see in the older persons' behaviors. The report shows that nursing homes that adopted "culture change principles" have benefited. 

2008 Cost of Care Survey; Home Care Providers, Adult Day Health Care Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes (April 2008)
What are the care options available today for the old people and how much does long-term care cost in the US? The survey analyzes data from 10,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care providers and adult day care facilities in 50 states and in DC. The researchers offer a five-year historical view of trends that will help older persons make an informed decision if they need to choose some kind of long-term care. 

The Caregiver's Handbook (April 2008)
This report covers the issue of aging parents, tackling problems like funding, finances, and health care that revolve around caring for parents. The handbook encourages children to talk about technical, legal matters (i.e. wills, trusts, guardianship) with their parents in order to protect the children from difficult legal procedures after the parents’ death. 

Ohio Health Care: a Study of Current Challenges and the Support for State Reform (February 2008)
Results from different surveys about what Ohio residents think about their health care system have been compiled and summarized into graphs by AARP. Ohioans definitely think the health care system needs change and the majority of the lower income respondents agree that health care in Ohio is ‘in a state of crisis.’ They are especially concerned about the cost of care services. And 14% of Ohioans are not protected by any kind of health care insurance. 

Delaware Health Care: A Study of Current Challenges and the Support for State Reform (February 2008)
The AARP based in Delaware commissioned a survey of its members’ (ages 50-64) views on the healthcare in the state. Seventy percent believe the system is in a “state of crisis.” Nine in ten members strongly believe that the state must reduce the number of people without coverage as well as make healthcare affordable to all. Fifteen percent of Delaware residents in this age bracket do not have any health care coverage of any sort.

They are Still in Control Enough to Be in Control: Paradox of Power in Dementia Caregiving (January 2008) 

Many family members taking care of their parents with dementia find themselves at the depth of hopelessness when faced with resistance, anger and the desire to maintain control on the part of the care recipients. Research shows that people with dementia may understand their need for help, but the decline in their abilities may result in frustration, anger and increasing demands on the caregiver. The research raises crucial questions about such paradoxes of power in care giving. 


Nursing Home Volunteer Creates Recycled Christmas Decorations for Residents (December 24, 2008)
Shirley Bedwell, a volunteer at Southern Hills Care Initiatives, made more than 70 completely recycled decorations for the residents at the nursing home. With a bit of creativity, she brought each and every one of them back to life. Most of the decorations were made for a specific person. 

N.E.W. Curative Rehabilitation Helps Disabled, Elderly be Independent (December 8, 2008)
Currently, more than 3,500 adult day centers are operating in the United States. However, a recent survey found that more than 5,000 new adult day centers are needed to meet the increasingly older and disabled population. Diana Brown is the vice president of programs and services for N.E.W. Curative Rehabilitation, a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist people with their goals for independence. 

Fund Would Help Needy Seniors with In-Home Care (December 7, 2008)
The founder and chairman of Silver Spring's Family & Nursing Care, Sandy Kursban, celebrated the firm's 40th anniversary this fall by establishing the Family & Nursing Care Foundation, a fund overseen by the Montgomery County Community Foundation that is aimed at making home care an affordable option for more Montgomery County, Maryland seniors. The Foundation aims to address the caregiver shortage on two levels: by providing grants to non-profit organizations that can help low-income seniors afford home care, and by providing scholarships to people who want to become certified nursing assistants.

More Men Take the Lead Role in Caring for Elderly Parents (November 28, 2008)
Peter Nicholson, 53, is part of a growing number of men who are providing primary care for their aging parents. When Nicholson’s mother suffered a series of strokes last winter, he did something women have done for generations; he quit his job and moved into her West Hollywood home to care for her full time. The Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving estimate that men now make up nearly 40% of family care providers. For Nicholson, the whole experience has been a journey into the surreal.

Nursing Home Sex Becoming More Acceptable (November 19, 2008)
Research from Kansas State University’s Center on Aging reveals a great need for education for nursing home staff concerning the sexuality of nursing home residents. Senior sexuality is a highly taboo subject in the United States, especially within the context of nursing homes. However, this does not mean it is an issue that should not be addressed. Instead, staff members should be trained to handle situations that otherwise can result in awkward or embarrassing misunderstandings.

Inadequate Pain Relief at End of Life in Elderly Patients (November 13, 2008)
A study of more than 65,000 cancer patients aged 65 years or older has found that older cancer patients often do not receive appropriate pain relief at the end of life, and about one-quarter are admitted to a hospice within days of death. In the report issued by the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers found that opiates were administered to around 10% of patients. 

Violations Reported at 94% of Nursing Homes (September 29, 2008)
Federal inspections of nursing homes this year yielded a 94% violations rate. While 17% of reported deficiencies related to “actual harm or immediate jeopardy,” the overwhelming majority was cited for unqualified staffing and illegitimate reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid. For-profit nursing homes were charged with the highest number of violations, as opposed to non-profit and government homes.

We're Aging, but Our Care System Isn't Keeping Pace (September 18, 2008)
Six million Americans over age 65 need long-term care. Despite families' considerable efforts to provide care themselves, and despite huge public expenditures, the system is still failing many families and individuals. Many people are still left to struggle with unmet needs and catastrophic costs. Medicaid was originally designed to be a safety net for families. Unfortunately, Medicaid has become our largest payer of aging services and the sole long-term care insurance policy for most Americans. The system is not working, and greater effort is needed to define workable alternatives.

Grant to Help Seniors Return Home After Hospital Stays (September 16, 2008)
Hospitals tend to send patients who cannot care for themselves to nursing homes once they no longer need hospital care. Therefore, four Wichita organizations will use a $1.3 million grant to enable senior citizens and people with physical challenges to return to their homes after a hospitalization. The organizations will evaluate the way hospitals discharge patients and how they interact with community services. After the testing phase, the goal is to implement this model in all Kansas hospitals and thereby provide another option to nursing home placement.

Senior-care Industry Expands with Elderly Population (September 13, 2008)
With the number of elderly people increasing every day, entrepreneurs are rushing to set up new companies to meet the demands of the elderly care market. This includes private nursing homes and home assistance, along with consultancies that advise the elderly and their families on what type of care is available in their area. Increasing competition drives down the cost, but with workers in the industry paid approximately minimum wage, cost reductions can only be made by reducing the number of caregivers or by decreasing amenities. Regulation of the industry is conspicuous by its absence. 

Private Equity Companies Purchase Nursing Homes, but Care Does Not Suffer (September 10, 2008)
A recent study by the Harvard Medical School has concluded that private equity purchases of nursing homes—many of which result in administrative and corporate restructuring—have not caused quality of care to decline significantly to date. In fact, in some aspects, the quality of care has improved. The study compared the quality of care in private equity-purchased nursing homes to those that had not undergone these transactions. 

Elder Care Programs Take Center Stage as Baby Boomers Age (September 2008)
While employers have traditionally offered childcare services as part of benefits packages, senior care services have often been overlooked. With the onset of the baby boomer retirement, however, more and more employers are providing their workers with financial options to help care for parents or other elderly dependents.

Home Care Providers Keep Loved Ones in Comfort Zone (September 8, 2008)
The Medicaid Older Adult Waiver Program provides compensation for individuals who wish to undergo elderly care training. The program provides training for any person who wishes to become an elderly caregiver, other than a spouse. Elderly care allows seniors to remain comfortable in their homes while being cared for by any qualified trainee. Services provided by the elderly care program include home-delivered food, assistive devices, a monthly nurse visit and adult medical day care.

Ending Elder Homelessness, One Case at a Time (September 8, 2008)
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has reported a 30% decrease in national homelessness since 2005. Thanks to affordable assisted living at places like Hearth Inc., homeless elders can now have a place to call home. Homeless seniors face special challenges that are often overlooked by family-focused homeless shelters. Housing, coupled with personal care assistance, provides homeless elders with the proper environment to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Nursing Homes Use Katrina Lessons for Latest Storm (August 29, 2008)
Nursing homes and care facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi have prepared for the onset of Hurricane Gustav. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina has left residents and authorities concerned with evacuation plans for seniors throughout the region. Many nursing home residents have been relocated to the North or have otherwise moved home with their families. However, not all residents agree that these precautions are necessary; many argue that abrupt transportation may endanger the lives of seniors and blame the social and political pressure brought upon by Hurricane Katrina as the cause for unnecessary transportation. 

Senior-Living Community's Residents Push for Greener Lifestyle (August 22, 2008)
Residents of Austin’s Barton Creek retirement community are giving back to the environment. The community installed light harvesting in some of its buildings and is now using renewable energy, bought from Austin Energy. Many residents have retired from work in the energy business, and wish to use their knowledge to better the environment. Residents also hope to collaborate with students from the University of Texas to discuss options for energy efficiency. With more and more seniors demanding that their housing be sustainable, companies such as StudioSIX5 realize that all future residential planning must be green. 

How to Make a Better Sandwich (August 11, 2008)
Many members of the Baby Boomer generation are daily faced with a difficult decision: Will they attend to their ailing parents or growing children first? Many in the sandwich generation try to segregate their responsibilities, not wanting their children to be affected by the challenges of long-term care. Fortunately, help is available from many places. Volunteers are available through schools, churches and colleges. Children should also get involved in providing care, allowing intergenerational interactions to flourish. 

Aging Inmates Adding to State's Prison Strain, Costing More (July 7, 2007)
Older inmates cost the California government a huge amount of money. Many have received life sentences, some due to crimes such as repeated theft. Today, prisons face problems, such as overcrowding and lack of facilities. Incarceration facilities nationwide confront similar problems. J. Clark Kelso, overseer for prison health care, wants $7 billion to build a 10,000 bed facility for the aging prison population. Legislators, on the other hand, are considering compassionate-release laws to free older inmates who have committed non-violent crimes. 

Gas, Food Prices Pinch Elderly Meal Programs (July 1, 2008)
“I couldn’t do nothing,” said 91-year-old Mary Elliot, who benefits from a nutrition program. Unfortunately, as fuel and food prices soar, organizations providing home-delivered meals start to shrink their services and implement cost-cutting measures. The Meals on Wheels Association saw over 60% of their volunteers who delivered meals leave due to high fuel costs. Some 5,000 nutrition programs are facing this problem. They are also consolidating routes, changing from warm to frozen meals and cutting back on home visits. Other organizations, like Citymeals on Wheels of New York City, are following suit. Lawmakers have recognized the needs and are proposing increases in funding. However, funding still remains insufficient. Ultimately, older persons who depend on these services will suffer the most.

Elder Abuse May Net Prison for Craig (April 8, 2008)
In 2003, Riyoji Hirokawa’s wife put him in the care of Jason Craig because she could no longer take care of the 83-year-old man, who suffered from dementia, Parkinson’s and high blood pressure. Under Craig’s care, Hirokawa became malnourished and dehydrated. Craig neglected Hirokawa’s medication needs and canceled doctor’s appointments. In 2005, the elderly man died due to the lack of care. Authorities have sentenced Craig up to six years in prison and he must also pay fines for neglect and abuse. 

Nursing Homes Cut Back on Restraints (March 27, 2008)
In recent years, studies have shown that physical restraints through the use of belts and bed rails can affect the psychological and physical state of an older person. Because a federal law passed in 1987 makes it illegal to use restraints as a matter of convenience, restraints used in nursing homes are on the decline. Now, some nursing homes are implementing other precautionary measures such as password locks on doors. 

Retirement Homes Court Gay Seniors - Baby Boomers Are Creating New Demand (March 23, 2008)
In the US many are demanding retirement communities for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. But there are only three such facilities nationwide. Young people ask why GBLT people cannot live in any retirement community. The answer is that much discrimination still exists among the aged cohort. Older persons’ acceptance of “difference” is much less than with youth. 
Poor Elderly Wait for Care as Florida’s System Backs Up (March 8, 2008)
Florida is one of only a few states that has a guardianship system in place for making decisions for care of older persons who are unable to make their own decisions or who lack family help to sort out choices. There’s a waiting list of seniors who need the service, a particular need among the poor. The scarcity will only increase as boomers age and begin to retire, adding to the pool of those who need counseling and intervention, especially in cases where they are not receiving adequate or appropriate care.

Elderly Claim Cuts Would Force Them into Nursing Homes (February 14, 2008)
Legislators in Maine have proposed a multi-million dollar budget cut in Health and Human Services to mitigate the large state budget deficit. A recent public hearing allowed older residents and their caregivers to speak out against the cuts, which they feel will affect seniors’ ability to age at home. If the legislators cut the budget, then the State of Maine will no longer be able afford to pay for personal care services for older persons. This budget cut would also affect caregivers who need home care services to assist with in-home duties.

'Green House' Nursing Homes Expand as Communities Reinvent Elder Care (January 23, 2008)

Aging advocates hail ‘Green house’ nursing homes as the latest advance in comfort and security for elder residents.  The ‘Green house’ approach offers a peaceful, serene environment consisting of plants and animals with the latest surveillance technology to monitor and assist residents. Now with 35 ‘Green houses’ operating on 13 campuses around the nation, we can expect expansion of these new age nursing homes nationwide.

Nursing Homes: Elderly Protection Still Needed (January 18, 2008)
In this opinion piece, the author reflects upon the dire need for elderly protection in nursing homes, as indicated by increased inspections of Mississippi facilities by the State Department of Health. Last year, sanitary issues in the washrooms of a nursing and rehabilitation center raised a red flag for inspectors. The same facility was cited in previous years as well. A Vulnerable Adult Act was passed in the state to protect the elderly in nursing homes, but made records of nursing home inspections unavailable to public scrutiny. More stringent legislation and public scrutiny would ensure that the rights and well being of the elderly are protected. 

Finding Day Care -- For Your Parents (January 10, 2008)
Increasingly, we see greater demand for adult day care centers, with a jump over the past few years. The National Adult Services Association reports day care centers take care of more than 150,000 residents a day. It could be even more. People often consider day care for seniors ‘childish.' However, it can be an interesting approach for older people who can spend time with other retirees. Moreover, services include physical therapy and exercises. This article may give you clues to find the appropriate day care center for the senior person in your life.

County Plans Green Nursing Home (January 8, 2008)

A Wisconsin County plans to create a public nursing home boasting environmentally friendly features. To qualify as a green facility, the home must have building features that would be given certain points on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Critics of the LEEDS certification system say a desired rating can be acquired by incorporating cheap green features. On the other hand, this initiative may encourage more homes to adopt energy conservation features. 

Economic Focus

Reports | Articles 


Report: How is the Financial Crisis Affecting Retirement Savings? (December 3, 2008)
The US stock market lost 47 percent of its value between 2007 and 2008. As of December 2, 2008, retirement accounts have lost $2.8 trillion, 32 percent of their value. The loss reduced the retirement savings of many people in the United States and will impact their lives in many ways. 

Report: How is the Recession Affecting Older Workers? (December 2008)
At the end of 2008, 298,000 adults age 65 and older were unemployed, about 50 percent more than in December 2007. It is the highest unemployment rate among older workers in more than 30 years. The current recession limits job opportunities for older workers, is destroying retirement accounts and putting pressure on seniors to work. 

Report: Cohort Differences in Wealth and Pension Participation in Near-Retirees (December 2008)
As US baby-boomers approach retirement, many are concerned about their financial security. By comparing near-retirees in 2007 with the cohorts of the same age group in 1994, researchers found that in both cohorts, about 40 percent of people hold little or no wealth at all. The very low level of total net worth, coupled with a lack of access to pensions, raises many concerns about recent near-retirees' income security in the future. 

Report: A Model for Policy Change: Addressing Elderly Poverty in New York City (November 13, 2008)
In 2005, nationally, 9.9 percent of older US citizens were living in poverty. The poverty rate among those 65 and over in New York City was twice the national average at 20.3 percent. In 2007, possibly to counter the widespread misperception that adequate support for older persons is in place, a Mayoral Commission on Economic Opportunity was created to develop new ideas to address poverty among the City's youth and working families. Elder poverty was not included. Prompted by the exclusion of poor older persons, the New York Citizens' Committee on Aging decided to undertake an Initiative to Reduce Elder Poverty. This initiative gives visibility to the existence and extent of poverty among the City's older residents and identifies policy changes needed to address this issue.

Report: AARP The Magazine Survey of Investors Ages 50+; Reactions to 30 Days of Frenzy in the Financial Sector and Stock Market (November 2008)
The survey commissioned by the AARP The Magazine aimed to find out how investors 50+ had reacted to the economic turmoil of September 2008 – a 30-day period when major changes occurred in the financial sector of the US economy. The results surprisingly found the midlife and older investors did not take any drastic steps, despite the turbulence in the financial sector. What can be the reasons for such lack of action during the 30 days of economic frenzy? 

Report: Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Family Caregiving, Update 2008 (November 2008)
In today’s tumultuous economic situation, family caregivers, together with friends and neighbors, remain the backbone of the US long-term care system (LTC). Their unpaid contributions include not only personal care and help with everyday tasks but also health-related interventions, such as administering complex medications. This report provides estimates of the economic value of family caregivers’ contributions at both the national and the state level. Moreover, it summarizes key findings about the costs of caregiving to caregivers themselves, as well as how informal caregiving helps to improve the quality of health and LTC of recipients.

Report: Going Grey in the Golden State (October 2008)

In this document, the Oakland Institute examines the root causes of poverty among seniors in Oakland, California. Oakland has the largest population of impoverished seniors in California, which leads the nation in the number of seniors living in poverty. Anuradha Mittal, the executive director of the institute, has said that “the reality is that insecurity among seniors is influenced by low wages, the high cost of living, rising health care costs, and grossly inadequate public safety net programs for the elderly poor .”

How Is the Economic Turmoil Affecting Older Americans? (October 2008)
The plummeting value of retirement assets – housing, pensions and other savings – may have serious repercussions for US older people. Retirement accounts lost 18 % of their value over the past 12 months. Housing prices fell dramatically. This fact sheet examines the impact of ongoing economic crisis on retirement savings, home values and retirement decisions.

Retirement Security or Insecurity? The Experience of Workers Aged 45 and Older (October 2008)
How have recent changes in the economy affected your family? A recent national survey aimed at investigating how secure workers aged 45 and older feel about their retirement. Some 69% of respondents feel that if the economy does not improve significantly they will spend less in retirement as well as delay retirement and work longer (65%). The survey results clearly show growing insecurity about retirement savings among the US population. 

Are Low-Wage Workers Destined for Low Income at Retirement? (September 2008)
Low-wage workers in the US have to rely on Social Security and pensions when they retire since they do not have enough savings to support themselves at older age. However, these incomes are based on earnings. So, are low-age workers destined for low incomes at retirement? The study conducted by the Urban Institute found that, for most of them, the answer is yes.

How Much Do State Economic and Other Characteristics Affect Retirement Behavior? (August 2008)
Labor force participation varies significantly among the US states. What could be the reasons for such disparities? The authors demonstrate that the differences in labor force participation of men age 55-64 can be attributed to economic conditions, the nature of employment and the employee characteristics in each state. 

Baby Boomers: The Gloomiest Generation (June 2008)
Many baby boomers rate their overall quality of life lower than adults in other generations. They worry more than others that their income won’t keep up with inflation. Although many are still in their peak earning years and receiving higher incomes than other groups, baby boomers, on average, feel anxious about their personal finances. Analysts have produced many theories to explain this situation, including increased competition from younger persons and heavy family responsibilities.

The Economic Slowdown's Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans (June 2008)
How are older people responding to the economic downturn in the US? This telephone survey asked middle-aged and older Americans about their view of the current US situation, what actions they are taking to ensure their own financial stability and whether they felt enough was being done to address economic problems. Read the report further for survey results. 

Generations of Struggle (June 2008)
Worry about debt has become “a common denominator of American life.” The report found that the rate of bankruptcy filings among those aged 65 and older almost doubled since 1991. In particular, those 65-74 years old showed a 125% increase in bankruptcy filings and those 75-84 showed a stunning 433% increase. The sharp increase of filings in old age signal that US citizens face financial stress over the years but put off their bankruptcy filing until an older age. 

The Administration on Aging's Nursing Home Diversion Program (May 2008)
The Older Americans Act (OAA) has for many years authorized funding for community-based services for older persons over 60 years. The Nursing Home Diversion Modernization is a new OAA program targeted “to assist individuals at risk of nursing home placement and spend down to Medicaid to receive home and community-based services.” The report provides an overview of the promising initiative including highlights on the history and role of OAA in delivering home and community-based services for elderly.

Social Security Reform: Possible Effects on the Elderly Poor and Mitigation Options (April, 2008)
This comprehensive report prepared by CRS Report for Congress studies the effects of the Social Security benefit reductions on low-income older persons in the US. Researchers focus on four different ways of mitigating the effects of Social Security changes and analyze their effects on poor older people in the US. 

A New Look at the Wealth Adequacy of Older U.S. Households (April 2008)
The multiple authors of this report construct two measures for evaluating the current wealth adequacy of older US households. The authors say that “comparing the leading edge of the baby boomers in 2006 to households of the same age in 1998, we find that the baby boomers show slightly less wealth, in real terms, than their elders did, and single boomers show a bit higher incidence of “inadequacy” than did their elders.” In short, it appears that boomers are entering old age in worse shape financially than did those eight years ago.

Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being (April 2008)
In 2030, adults over 65 will represent 20% of the population. To measure the well-being of older Americans, this report uses 38 indicators and one special feature related to health and economics. It finds that older Americans are living longer and enjoying more prosperity than any previous generation. Despite these advances, inequalities between the sexes, among income groups, and among racial and ethnic groups continue to exist. For example, inequalities between “white” and “black” households are huge; the median net worth of a “white” household is six times larger than that of a “black” household. Read the report and examine the charts for extensive details.

Preparing for Their Future: A Look at the Financial State of Gen X and Gen Y (March, 2008)

The American Savings Education Council and the American Association of Retired Persons conducted a survey to understand better what the younger generations are thinking about their retirement. The interesting findings may help young people to attain financial security as they age.

Childlessness and the Economic Well-Being of Elders (March 2008)
Researchers at the   University of  Washington  conducted a study on the economic trends of childless elders. Childless individuals spend more on self consumption, including health care and typically are in better health. Childless seniors, particularly women, are wealthier than their elderly parents, a situation that may put increased pressure on funding Social Security under current formulas. Because an increasing number of people are childless, due to choice or infertility, we can expect to see a rise in the ratio of older persons to younger ones. As global warming proceeds with tremendous pressure on food and other supplies for sustaining populations, perhaps a reduced number of humans on the planet would be helpful.  

Can Faster Economic Growth Bail Out Our Retirement Programs? (March, 2008)
High rates of population aging are expected to cause Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs to increase. Rudolph Penner in his report for the Urban Institute says that economic growth will not solve budget problems. The paper lays out some of the choices available to US citizens from a fairly conservative point of view. As the   US  economy descends into a sharp downturn that other economists suggest will continue for a decade, Penner’s discussion seems dated. Indeed, more social protection measures may well be needed to keep the  US  economy afloat.   

An "Elastic" Earliest Eligibility Age for Social Security (February 2008)
The Earliest Eligibility Age (EEA) for US Social Security remains at 62 while the Full Retirement Age (FRA) has been raised to 67 years. While raising the EEA to 64 years is being considered, researchers claim it’s unfair to those unable to work or find employment and to disadvantaged groups with lower life expectancies. The report addresses these concerns by introducing an “elastic” EEA, basing a worker's earliest retirement age on average lifetime earnings. 

The Effect of State-Legalized Same-Sex Marriage on Social Security Benefits and Pensions (January 2008)

Under current US law, same-sex spouses are not eligible for Social Security benefits because they do not meet the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) definition of a spouse as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” The report investigates the effects of same-sex marriages legalized by states on payments of Social Security benefits and private pensions. 


Seniors Delay Moves to Retirement Homes, Wait for Real Estate Rebound (December 18, 2008)
The wealth portfolio of older people is very much tied to the value of their homes or the stock market; when both of the markets collapse, people no longer have financial flexibility. Many are postponing moves to retirement communities or other care facilities until their homes sell, forcing many to remain in place much longer than they originally anticipated. 

Seniors Face Grim Choices amid Market Shock (December 9, 2008)
According to a survey released by Golden Gateway Financial, 50% of senior citizens are either postponing retirement or planning to return to work due to the economic crisis. For most seniors this seems the only way to cope with falling home values and deteriorating investments. However, older persons who are looking for work may have a hard time landing a job. Employers this year are shedding jobs--more this year than at any other time since 1974. 

Help for the Elderly (December 6, 2008)
Judy Milone is the assistant director of the member services department at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. In this article she answers selected questions of older US citizens about what kind of assistance is available to seniors who are struggling financially. Ms. Milone also provides contact information for seniors to get further assistance. The questions concentrate particularly on issues of housing, Medicaid, public transportation and health reimbursement accounts.

Insurer Casts Off Long-Term-Care Policies (December 3, 2008)
Long-term-care policies help defray nursing-home or assisted-living costs. About eight million Americans now own one. Conseco, a major insurer of long-term-care, has transferred a chunk of its long-term-care policies into a state-supervised nonprofit trust, potentially putting tens of thousands of policyholders at risk of reduced benefits or big premium increases. The trust will pay claims from a pool of funds transferred to it from Conseco, but A.M. Best Co., the insurance-rating firm, warns that the trust may need to raise rates and reduce benefits and has no access to additional capital.

Retiree Havens Turn Younger to Combat the Housing Bust (December 1, 2008)
When Sheldon Behr bought a condominium in Century Village East it meant having a chance to live out his retirement years with other older adults who enjoy golf, long walks and comedy nights at the clubhouse. But with the economic meltdown and the housing market crisis, a growing number of units at the 55-and-over community are vacant. Some residents are now considering the once unthinkable - letting younger people in. At "active adult" developments across the US, residents are debating whether to scrap the age restrictions that have helped define their way of life for almost five decades.

Debt Struggles and Elderly Living (November 25, 2008)
Despite high occupancy rates, two of the largest publicly traded operators of housing for older persons are facing severe financial problems. Sunrise Senior Living is trying to stave off bankruptcy, while Brookdale Senior Living faces a mountain of debt in the next few years. This is unfortunate news at a time when housing construction for older persons has seen a significant slowdown in the last five years. This slowdown has increased the probability that there will be a shortage of senior housing in coming years.

Unable to Sell Homes, Elderly Forgo Move to Assisted Living (November 21, 2008) 
The current global financial crisis is forcing seniors to abandon their attempts to sell their homes, thus inhibiting them from moving into assisted living centers. This is tragic for the many older persons who are no longer able to care for themselves and require the services and assistance of others. Selling their home is the critical first step for most seniors to move on to retirement communities, and when they are unable to do so they remain confined in a difficult living situation. 

States Cut Services for Elderly, Disabled (November 20, 2008)
At least fifteen states, including Alabama, Virginia, and Massachusetts, will cut support for programs that target “low-income shut-ins” in order to stabilize widening state deficits. These cutbacks will negatively affect the already long waiting lists for home-care support services in many states. This will directly impact the well being of older persons, who rely on such programming for daily living support. 

Financial Woes Force Boomers to Work Longer. That's Good (November 18, 2008)
Although some baby boomers will be unhappy that they may need to postpone retirement and work longer, the rest of the population may benefit from this situation. In addition to the negative impact on GDP, which could fall from an average of 3.2% a year since 1965 to about 2.4% over the next three decades, the huge group of retiring baby boomers will create a labor shortage. The Department of Labor projects that by the year 2010, fields like education, health care, engineering and nursing will probably suffer from a scarcity of workers.

North Carolina Slices Funds for Elderly (November 10, 2008)
In an attempt to trim the state budget, North Carolina will withhold $2 million in funding for Meals on Wheels and other programs essential for the well being of disabled and older persons. The recipients of this funding are on average 77 years of age, typically low-income females. This funding cut will greatly impact older persons who rely on in-home aides and home-delivered meals to maintain their domestic independence from nursing homes and assisted living centers.

Economic Crisis Impacts Older Persons (October 30, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
The economic crisis is affecting older persons living in the US. Older adults, who once received help from their children, now find it hard to get by since, in some cases, their children are being laid off from their jobs. Seniors now have to use their Social Security money to pay everything from rent to medicine, making it harder for them to survive each month because of higher prices. Community centers that were set up to provide seniors with meals and support might even be closed down due to the scarcity of resources, thus affecting older persons even more. 

Elderly Women are More Vulnerable to Stress Due to Economic Recess (October 24, 2008)
(Article in Russian)
Older women are more vulnerable to stress due to the financial crisis that is sweeping the world, according to recent research by the American Psychology Association. The survey showed that women over 63 years are much more worried about their financial assets and health care provision during the turbulent times than men. Psychologist Katrin Nordall gives some practical advice on how to overcome stress during the financial crisis: good nutrition, sufficient sleep and socializing with friends and family. 

As Rents Rise, Seniors Seek Upgrades (October 23, 2008)
Residents of San Diego’s City Heights are demanding housing improvements as a result of increasing rent. Most of the tenants, who rely solely on Social Security to pay their rent, are finding it even harder now to get by. If they are going to have to pay higher rent, they believe they should have upgraded services as well. 

HHS Releases $5 Billion from Low Income Energy Assistance Program for Winter (October 17, 2008)
A $5.1 billion funding from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will help low-income seniors get through the cold winter. The federal program addresses older persons’ need for heating fuel as well as other energy needs. Thereby the HHS aims to reduce the risk of health and safety problems aggravated by exposure to extremely low temperatures.

The Economics of Caring for a Growing Number of Older New Yorkers (October 1, 2008)
One segment of the International Day of Older Persons at the United Nations focused on the economics of family care giving. According to Gail Hunt, the President of the National Alliance on Caregiving, there are 2.5 million family caregivers in New York who save taxpayers $24 billion a year. With an ever-increasing aging population, family caregivers will need greater support, such as supplemental income and aid relief, in order to manage rising costs. 

Baby Boomer Examiner: Wall Street Jitters Force Baby Boomers to Rethink Retirement (September 23, 2008)
The current economic blow on Wall Street has impacted early retirement plans for most baby boomers. Despite the potential hardship, most baby boomers should remain in the work force in order to increase and secure their existent savings and investments, some say. A difference of about five working years could significantly stabilize retirement funds and increase benefits from Social Security. 

10 Secrets to a Financially Secure Retirement (September 23, 2008)
This articles shares ten “secrets” to ensure a financially secure retirement. Impulsive and rash decision-making is discouraged. Seniors are encouraged to add stock to their retirement portfolio, despite the current economic situation on Wall Street, which will usually surpass the returns on other investments. Furthermore, delaying collecting Social Security beyond the minimum age of 62 will greatly increase long-term benefits.

Region's Seniors Remember the Depression (September 21, 2008)
Senior citizens at the Fairfield Senior Center believe there are some definite parallels between the Great Depression--which began with the stock market crash of 1929 and stretched until the late 1930s—and the economic hardships of today. For example, the panic on Wall Street, rising unemployment and a record number of people losing their homes. On the other hand, unemployment today is about 6%, compared with roughly 25% during the Depression. Whatever the similarities and/or differences, this financial crisis has caused an increasing number of older persons to be very concerned about their economic future.

Higher Prices are Making it Harder for Elderly to Buy Food They Need (September 19, 2008)
Seniors are particularly prone to the effects of the economic recession. Faced with great financial constraints, many seniors are finding themselves forced to choose between paying utility bills, medicine costs or food. However, with the help of groups like the Chicken Soup Brigade, old people are finding the social and economic support to get by. 

Long-term Care Insurance: Pricey but Necessary? (September 17, 2008)
About 70 percent of people over 65 will require some type of long-term care services during their lifetime, which is one of the reasons why 8 million Americans hold long-term life insurance. Unfortunately, this insurance can add a significant cost at a time when many elderly people are saving for their retirement. But foregoing it is risky. Retiree health costs can be enormous without even factoring in the savings needed to cover long-term care expenses.

Largest Social Security COLA Increase in Over 25 Years May Greet Senior Citizens in 2009 (September 15, 2008) 
Presumably, seniors face their largest pay increase or cost of living adjustment (COLA) since 1982. Whereas the COLA in 2008 was just 2.3%, the projected increase for 2009 will be over 6%. Recent reports actually indicate a substantial slowing in the rate of increase for healthcare costs. However, the increase also reflects the high rate of inflation for goods and services seniors have to buy. The high price of gasoline continues to be a major contributor to the increasing inflation index. 

More Elderly Residents Facing Threat of Poverty (September 9, 2008)
Pablo Gasner, a 70-year-old Berkeley resident, receives a monthly income of $328 from Social Security and is unable to afford a good television. The latest US Census Bureau report found that 8.4% of people over 65 were living in poverty in 2007 in California, one of the nation's wealthiest states. "It's certainly a very serious situation, because older people in general are at elevated risk for a variety of health problems and other types of limitations…When you overlay that with the problems of poverty, it just becomes a more serious situation," says Professor William Satariano. 

CCRC vs. Life Care: Which Contract is Right for You? (September 8, 2008)
The burgeoning senior care market has introduced a slew of new concepts and terms that are easily confused, and often vary from state to state. Many people believe, for example, that life care and continuing care communities are the same thing, and they use these terms interchangeably. However, life care is actually a subset of continuing care. While the offerings may look similar at a glance, don’t be fooled. This article takes a look at the differences between the two, beginning with continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).

Women Have More Years of Retirement to Fund (August 31, 2008)
Women spend an average of 32 years in the workforce, compared with 44 years for men. Eileen Ambrose reports on some of the issues facing women in planning for their retirement. Women live longer than men and have more hurdles to overcome in their working life, so planning for the future is even more crucial.

Some Early Retirees Have Second Thoughts (August 27, 2008)
Sandra Block and Ramya Gopal investigate recent and prospective retirees’ opinions on the topic of retirement. The authors cover several topics: how the recent economic downturn has affected retirees; how the economic downturn altered prospective retirees’ plans; whether recent retirees have any regrets; how the high cost of medical care has influenced their investment decisions.

Meal Program For Elderly Faces Cuts (August 18, 2008)
The Meals on Wheels program in Pima County, Arizona, is in a state of financial crisis due to rising gas and food prices. Unfortunately, the program will have to cut back on the number of older people it serves. By serving food to seniors living alone, Meals on Wheels not only provides food but also social interaction for isolated individuals. The article argues that federal funding should be used to support social services for older persons.

FDIC Retirees Ride to the Rescue in a New Era of Bank Failures (August 16, 2008)
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is rehiring some retired workers to help it solve the current sub- prime mortgage crisis. Many retirees lost their jobs in the late 90’s when the FDIC was almost finished selling the assets of banks that had closed in the 80’s. Hiring retirees presents a huge advantage to the agency. They not only have the experience to help the banking system manage a financial crisis, but they are also less likely to be tied down by a young families.

Economic Woes Especially Hard for Elderly (July 31, 2008)
Retirees with fixed incomes are the most vulnerable in these days of economic woes. Relatives find it hard to help because of increasing expenses. Unfortunately, seniors, especially those who went through the Great Depression, are starting to conserve in these tough economic times. Many are desperately cutting corners, eating cheap, unhealthy fast food, gravely affecting their health. Some forego their medications to ensure that there will be sufficient income for their spouse or grandchildren. 

City Refines Formula to Measure Poverty Rate (July 14, 2008)
New York City is instituting a new way to define poverty. The local government will now take into consideration health care, fuel and child care expenses. The current system, based on a 1955 survey of grocery expenses, is in need of an update. Today, it is estimated that groceries make up 1/8 of the total income. Other expenses, such as fuel, take up a larger proportion of the income. With the new system, it is estimated that 1/3 of seniors will be considered ‘poor’ as compared to traditional 1/5. This dramatic increase is due to rising health care costs. 

Help for Grandparents Raising Orphans of War (May 2008)
Grandparents caring for the children of deployed soldiers will begin to get needed financial security from the government. The US military will allow soldiers to earmark a $100,000 payment to their children’s caregivers, such as grandparents, in the event they are killed while serving their country. This is a change from the previous policy of allowing a one-time benefit only for the soldier’s spouse.

1 in 10 Boomers Borrows for Everyday Expenses (May 13, 2008)
Older boomers in the US are trying to make ends meet but it is not always easy. One of out ten households say they had to borrow money to pay living expenses. Forty percent of older adults are also helping or have assisted their children to pay bills. According to AARP, the most vulnerable boomers are the youngest, between 45 and 54 years old.

Pitfalls of Working Past Retirement Age (April 29, 2008)
Growing numbers of older persons in the US are working beyond the official retirement age because they do not have another option. But it is very important to know about how their paychecks will impact their Social Security benefits and any other pension they might have. The writer points out some of the most common drawbacks. 

Older People Want to Work In Retirement, Survey Finds (April 24, 2008)
“The Golden Years are dead!” That’s what Marc Freedman says, head of the non profit organization, Civic Ventures, that aims to integrate seniors better into US society. He cites a new survey finding that older American adults want to be active when they retire. They hate being called ‘elderly’ and look for meaningful work or volunteer opportunities. 

She Wants a Career and He Wants Golf. Now What? (April 21, 2008)
Often women who began working in the 70’s or 80’s often don’t want to retire early. They feel they have the right to a career, even if their husbands retire. However, it is not always easy to mesh two different lives, when one is active and the other one is not. How can two people manage this situation? The author suggests dialogues between the parties and compromises to arrange a life at two. 

Testing the Waters with Internships (April 21, 2008)
Adult internships opportunities are growing slowly: the New York Times reports on older adults who wanted to ‘test the waters’ of a new job, to see if what they think was their interests or passions were real ones. Paid or not, these people chose to learn new things, as young people, bringing their experience and skills to an organization. We can expect companies and non- profits to try to welcome older workers as well as the young.

John Laird: Old People Know About Recessions (April 13, 2008)
John Laird says that we should listen more to older persons because they have a wisdom arising from their experience. He is certain that if his father were still alive he would have foreseen the current recession. His father was a member of the generation that lived through the Depression and the Dust Bowl and encountered economic hardships that most of us have never experienced. 

Americans Delay Retirement As Housing, Stocks Swoon (April 1, 2008)
With the real estate and stock market crisis, many US older workers are delaying their retirements in order to consolidate savings. From April 2006 to February 2008, the percentage of senior citizens aged 55-64 still in the work force rose by 1.5 percentage points. This article explains the phenomenon and relates some stories about older workers who are feeling the negative effects of the economy. 

The Wall Street Journal’s Retirement-Planning Guide (April 1, 2008)
Retiring is often seen as a way of aging gracefully, a time to enjoy the rewards of years of employment. But for this period to be enjoyable, people should follow some guidelines to help them know if they have enough money, are ready to leave their jobs, and inform them about health coverage and security. The Wall Street Journal’s recently published book, Retirement Planning Guide, offers tips for a successful retirement. 

Aging Americans Unsure They Can Afford to Retire: Survey (March 12, 2008)
Only one-third of American citizens over 50 have enough money to enjoy their retirement. The rest are concerned about the future. An analysis by a retirement services firm, SecurePath by Transamerica, revealed that most US citizens aren’t looking for a life of leisure or luxury, but hope they can leave financial and other stresses behind in retirement.

Long-term Care Insurance on Rise (January 4, 2008)
Baby boomers are finding themselves paying large annual rates for long-term care insurance policies due to the rising cost of insurance. Medicaid covers the cost of nursing home care in some cases, but not in every situation. The article offers tips for purchasing long-term care insurance. Individuals in the market for insurance policies are advised to consult with financial planners before buying and to make practical decisions instead of emotional ones. 

Old Age Employment

Reports | Articles


Are Older Men Healthy Enough to Work? (October 2008)
Working longer increases income, Social Security benefits and decreases the length of retirement. Health of the older working-age population seems to be a key prerequisite to extending retirement age. However, the question is not whether people will be able to live longer but rather how much longer they will be capable of working? This report uses the National Health Interview Survey to examine trends in life expectancy for men at age 50 and to define their implications for policy-makers. 

Will Changing Job Demands Boost Older Workers' Prospects? (September 2008)
Fewer jobs rely on physical labor nowadays which means that more people might continue to work at older ages. However, the shift from manual labor to knowledge-based employment increases cognitive demands at work. This brief describes trends in job demands for the past 40 years and their effect on work at an older age. 

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Challenge of Population 
Aging (September 2008)

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is thought to combat age discrimination in US labor markets. However, how is ADEA effective in the face of such rapid aging of the population it is designed to protect? The report prepared by the National Bureau of Economic Research discusses possible changes in age discrimination policies that may encourage the employment of older individuals in the US.

Do State Economics or Individual Characteristics Determine Whether Older Men Work? (September 2008)
Labor force participation for older men varies dramatically from state to state. However, little is known about the reasons for such different work patterns. The research aims at identifying state vs. individual characteristics that can explain the differences in labor force participation among the states. The results of the research have significant implications for the different states as the baby boomers start to retire.

Report: EBRI 2008 Recent Retirees Survey: Report of Findings (July 2008)
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) conducted a survey of recent retirees “to better understand the tools and practice that might encourage workers to postpone their retirement.” Researchers find that affordability of retirement, lack of job satisfaction, a desire for more personal time and health status are the main reasons people to retire. Read the report to find out what incentives employers can offer to prospective retirees to encourage them to postpone leaving the workforce. 

Report: US: Supreme Court of the  United States Decision: “ Kentucky Retirement Systems et al. V. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission” (June 19, 2008) 
In the case Kentucky Retirement Systems vs. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a former police officer filed a complaint of age discrimination against the state of   Kentucky for its pension plan for hazardous position workers.  Under the plan, these workers receive retirement benefits as well as disability retirement benefits when they become 55.  These disability benefits are calculated by using the number of years left until the worker is eligible for retirement benefits.  The Equal Opportunity Commission claimed that workers disabled before the age of 55 received better benefits than those disabled after the minimum retirement age.  In the end, the Supreme Court determined that the Plan violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.  

Employment and Training: Most One-Stop Career Centers Are Taking Multiple Actions to Link Employers and Older Workers (April 2008)
The Department of Labor established one-stop career centers to link older workers with potential employers. How do the centers help employers hire older workers and how does the Department of Labor help the centers to make this link? The researchers at the US Government Accountability Office address these questions. 

The Geographic Distribution and Characteristics of Older Workers in Colorado: 2004 (March 2008)
US Census researchers examined how many older persons (55 to 99 years old) were working in 2004 in Colorado. Older workers had the best luck finding jobs in retail jobs but their monthly pay was relatively low at an average $2,192 per month. Elders eager to find a job pushed the Accommodation and Food Services sector of Colorado employment to its largest gain, with an average monthly wage of $1,544. The percentage of older workers in Colorado increased almost everywhere, signaling the dissatisfaction of older Colorado people with their retirement and/or income situation. The study does not address age discrimination in the workforce. 

The Graying of the Ohio Labor Force: Aging Through 2016 (March 2008)
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the growth of the population resembled the entire country. However, after the 1960s, its rate of growth declined. Today almost a quarter of the Ohio population is older than 55 years. That means Ohio has to think more about the needs of its older citizens. This report gives us a comprehensive view of the demographic changes and an overview about future expectations for Ohio through 2016.

A Micro-Level Analysis of Recent Increases in Labor Force Participation Among Older Workers (February 2008)
This Center of Retirement Research at Boston College study examines data that shows an increase in labor force participation among older Americans since 2000. “The key to understanding workers’ retirement decisions in recent years is to understand the interaction between long-run incentives and short-term market fluctuations.” Thus it is predicted that older workers may “postpone retirement or reenter the labor market during a recession, and then retreat from the labor force during a boom.” 

Current Strategies to Employ and Retain Older Workers (January 2008)
This report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to support the work of the Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce, describes current strategies used by employers to help attract and retain older workers and by nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and the government to facilitate their employment.



The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Teacher in Retirement (September 29, 2008)
Many retirees feel that a lifetime of work has provided them with adequate experience to begin a second career in teaching. In fact, corporations such as IBM provide benefits for employees who wish to go back to school to pursue a degree in education. Despite low salaries, teaching during retirement is often a source of great fulfillment and satisfaction for many.

A Decline in the Value of Real Estate Shatters the Dreams of Retired Americans (September 22, 2008)
(Article in Arabic)
The collapse of the housing industry has forced many persons above the age of 65 back into the work force. There are many personal stories revealing the heavy burden placed on older persons in the United States. Nat, at the age of 70, pointed out that his debt currently surpasses his home’s value and if he took another loan he would not be able to make payments. 

The Right to Age without Suffering (September 15, 2008)

(Article in Arabic) 
Persons live longer than they used to. Many programs, including pension plans, do not cover sufficiently the ongoing needs of old people. Older persons have the right to a reasonable pension so they are not forced into the work force. Pension rights should not depend on the person’s work or marital status.

It Gets Better (September 5, 2008)

A new report by ComPsych indicates that workers in their 50s and 60s are more likely to have adopted better lifestyle choices than their younger colleagues. The report, drafted after an unscientific survey of 1,000 employees, shows that workers in the 30s tend to exercise less and worry less about eating healthy food. The conclusions of the report could help shed the stereotypes of older workers as unhealthy and slowing down. 

The Power of Older Workers (September 3, 2008)
As baby boomers reach retirement, the percentage of skilled workers in the workforce will decrease. According to AARP, 70% of older employees do not plan to retire at an early age. Many employers have cited the benefits of older workers, who provide the office with an experienced maturity not seen in their younger counterparts. 

Cozy Bistro Where Traditional Trumps Nouvelle (July 14, 2008)
At 87, Marguerite Bruno still serves as the head chef of Chez Napoleon at 365 West 50th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in New York City. Ms. Bruno, also known as Grand-Mere, has been cooking since the family-owned restaurant opened in 1982. Twenty-six years later, the restaurant still maintains its traditional French flavors that even tourists from France crave. Ms. Bruno, though having to commute every day from Bellerose, Queens, considers this 44-seat restaurant her home. 

Boomers Taking on Second Careers (June 19, 2008)
Retirement, it seems, is not the end of working life for baby boomers. According to a survey by Hart Research Associates, up to 8.4 million baby boomers are embarking on later life “encore” careers for extra money, social interaction and personal fulfillment. This trend of later life careers opens doors for elders and offering them a sense of satisfaction and contribution to society.

Greying of the Peace Corps (May 27, 2008)
Many older persons become interested in the US Peace Corps. Currently (2008), there are 8,079 volunteers who are over 68 years old. They help with training activities and much more. Also, seniors can share their experiences and wisdom with people from developing countries who respect and appreciate age. 

Older Workers Looking More Glamorous to Recruiters (April 27, 2008)
Due to rising costs of medication and living, older people are re-joining the workforce. However, due to their age, finding work can often be difficult. To ameliorate the situation, AARP has created an employer database for its members. Recently, they have added three federal agencies including the Peace Corps and Internal Revenue Service. The 38 employers are looking for people over the age of 50 years old. 

More Seniors Heading Back to Classroom, Work Force (March 22, 2008)
In the US you can see an growing number of seniors who are returning to school in their retirement. They feel hat they are not ready to be retired. They want to share their knowledge and are still eager to learn more. Younger persons benefit from learning from their older colleagues.

Older Workers are Turning to Government for Secure Jobs With Good Benefits (January 17, 2008)
Many elder-oriented organizations and non-profits like the National Older Worker Career help seniors find jobs in the public sector. They can enjoy a good heath care protection and a well paid, interesting job with the government. Since the public sector expects to lose many in its workforce to retirement and resignations, it’s good to welcome seniors back into the workforce. Federal or national agencies often appreciate help from seniors as they are hard workers, mature and experienced. 



Elder Abuse Reports Rising (December 13, 2008)
Studies have shown that elder abuses are extremely underreported. It is estimated that 1 in 14 cases in domestic settings are reported and that 1 in 25 victims of financial exploitation come forward. Reports of elder abuse rose to all-time highs in Dane County, Wisconsin last year. Advocates and officials said that the rise of reports is likely due to a growing elder population and increasing public awareness and improvements in the law in 2006. However, the local government complained that there is not enough funding from the state and federal level to follow up on the cases. 

Abused Older Persons (November 19, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
The abuse and maltreatment of older persons has become a national problem. It is estimated that 1.5 to 1.84 million older adults are victims of some sort of abuse. Abuse can emerge not only as physical and psychological abuse but also as financial exploitation of older adults, and abandonment. The most common form of abuse is negligence, which often comes from family members. Sexual abuse has increased in the last few years and with it the number of older adults getting venereal diseases. We should always be alert for signs of abuse or neglect. 

Eviction Anxiety Rattles a Formerly Subsidized Upper Manhattan Building (October 15, 2008)
With New York City becoming increasingly gentrified, seniors are finding themselves subjected to unfair evictions and are facing severe housing predicaments. With projects like Columbia University’s planned $6.3 billion campus expansion, old persons living in rent-controlled apartments are now receiving eviction notices. The Legal Aid Society of New York, however, intends to file a class-action suit against the building’s owner. 

State Kicks Off Task Force to Protect Seniors from Fraud (October 7, 2008)
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink kicked off her new "Safeguard Our Seniors" task force Monday, pledging to find better ways to protect the elderly from financial fraud. Unscrupulous insurance agents frequently sell older persons annuities they don’t need, and then collect substantial commissions. These insurance contracts offer a guaranteed series of payments over a period of time, but the contracts carry large financial penalties if they are cashed out too soon. 

Forensic Skills Seek to Uncover Elder Abuse (September 27, 2008) 
For decades, forensic techniques have been the state-of-the-art approach for investigating child abuse and domestic violence. Elder abuse has lagged far behind, suffering from a lack of financing, research and data. That is changing. Forensic techniques are just one of many new initiatives nationwide to protect the elderly. Medical workers, social workers and law officers are collaborating and sharing information to investigate physical and other forms of abuse of older persons. 

Gov. Joe Manchin, Robin Talbert: Program Helps Seniors Sort Finances (September 26, 2008)
The AARP Foundation Money Management Program was launched at this year’s West Virginia Governor's Summit on Aging. Using trained volunteers to help clients manage their money and pay their bills on time, the Money Management Program will reduce the chances of financial exploitation--including fraud and abuse--for those older adults who have difficulties keeping track of their financial matters. This will reduce the chances of older West Virginians falling prey to scams, fraud and abuse.

Scam Savvy (September 5, 2008)
According to Consumer Action, elders are particularly prone to fraud and other financial scams. As baby boomers become more computer-savvy they expose themselves to the risks of internet fraud. Baby boomers are targeted more frequently because of their impending access to pension plans and retirement funds. In New York, those convicted of fraud face the additional charge of a hate crime if the victim is over the age of 60. 

Survey Assesses Elderly Mistreatment in America (August 19, 2008)
Is there anyone who hits, kicks, slaps or throws things at you? Is there anyone who insults you or puts you down? Writers included these questions in a comprehensive survey to assess mistreatment of older people in the US. It found that 13 percent of the US older persons are mistreated--verbally, financially or physically. The survey is the first comprehensive attempt to look at this serious human rights issue in the US. 

Prosecutors: Elder Abuse Cases Difficult (July 7, 2008)
‘No elderly person wants to believe a family member has exploited them,’ said Janet Graham, assistant deputy attorney general in Kentucky. Prosecutors face many challenges with elder abuse cases. Many old people don’t want to implicate their loved ones, often refusing to report the case or recanting their testimony later. The National Center on Elder Abuse research suggests that only one in 14 cases of home abuse are reported. Unfortunately, the problem is growing. Allison Martin, spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s office, reports that Kentucky has already prosecuted 30 cases this year. 

Neglect Case Part of Rising Problem (May 14, 2008) 
Self-neglect is little discussed but is believed to be the most common form of elder abuse in recent years. Elderly women in Woodford County, IL, live in squalor and yet continuously reject help and medical treatment from authorities. The discussion raises the question whether agencies should intervene even though adults choose to neglect their personal health and safety. 

Rockland Holds Elder-Abuse Awareness Campaign (May 13, 2008)
Someone-family, friends, or strangers--abuse about 500,000 elders every year in the US. Family members usually hurt women more than men. Abuse comes in many forms, such as psychological, physical, sexual and even financial exploitation and neglect. Often abuse goes unreported, making it even more crucial for evidence to be spotted, documented and corrected. People should feel morally obligated to report possible abuse or neglect.

NYC Doormen Being Trained To Spot Elder Abuse (May 13, 2008) 
There are many examples of elder abuse, and some occurs within the family where care is given to an older person. In the case of Sophia, both her daughter and son-in-law abused her until she finally moved into a home for the aged. Training doormen of apartment buildings to detect cases of abuse offers an important way to make people aware of abusive situations.

Elderly Woman ‘Aggressively’ Beaten (April 24, 2008)
Read this article giving a sad account of elder abuse. A man aggressively beat an old women,age 88 years, in her home, a residence for the aged and disabled. Furthermore, the account terrifies other seniors and residents living in this crime-ridden housing complex. What influences a person to engage in this sort of crime?

Elderly Abuse Victims Out of Shadows (April 9, 2008)
Reports about elder abuse will increase more and more. Few elders report abuse and take this secret with them to their graves. From a medical point of view, physicians caring for the elderly must be more alert to warning signs. Even after death, obvious abuse signs are ignored, resulting in a certification that the patient died of natural causes. Eighty percent of abuse is at the hands of relatives, who underestimate the responsibility or have no training in how to handle the elderly ill family member entrusted to their care. 

Safeguarding the Elderly (March 25, 2008) 
Older people must be made safe from financial abuse. Often it’s hard to detect financial crime until it’s very serious. Anyone who cares for older persons must learn the signs that indicate that an older person is having difficulty. This means that families, social workers, police and older persons themselves must be trained in this field.

Elder Abuse Calls for Your Attention (March 22, 2008)
The US must give much more attention to older persons. While the US has federal legislation to protect animals, there is no federal law to protect elderly people. For every government dollar spent on child-protective services training, only four cents goes to support adult-protective services programs. But everyone knows that seniors need more support. Horrifying stories of elder abuse at the hands of adult children and caregivers appear routinely in newspapers. Will the US take responsibility for assuring the human rights of its older citizens? 

Brown Receives grant to Study Elder Abuse (March 4, 2008)
The Brown University Center for Gerontology & Health Care Research has received a $209,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging to get a better handle on how much elder abuse exists in Rhode Island. Abuse is widely underreported; often doctors and police fail to report. Rhode Island ranks fourth in the country for residents aged 75 and older. Studies show that people over 75 are the most likely victims of abuse. This project will also try to detect unrecognized cases of elder abuse.

NY Report Signals Need to Address Elder Abuse (February 28, 2008)
In 2007, nearly 9,000 elder abuse cases were reported in the upstate New York area. A State Assembly committee estimated that 30,000 seniors have been abused or exploited throughout the state, but many go unreported. It may be difficult for victims of elder abuse to file reports because of the shame attached to it. Elder abuse exists in various forms, including physical abuse, emotional stress, and financial exploitation. The Senate Finance Committee is considering an Elder Justice Act bill. If passed, the legislation will protect elders from abuse and provide support in the reporting and documentation of such cases.

San Jose 'Clergy Summit' Confronts Reality of Elder Abuse (February 22, 2008)
Recognition, reduction and prevention of elder abuse have become social and moral obligations deferred to clergy leaders who have direct contact with seniors active in their congregations. According to authorities, about 500,000 to 5 million cases of elder abuse occur every year, but only as few as 5 to 20 percent are reported. Aside from commonly reported physical abuse, financial abuse is a hidden form of elder abuse that can be kept clandestine for a long time and can have detrimental effects on the senior. Anyone from caregivers to salespeople may be guilty of financial elder abuse. 

Political Rights and Legal Actions

Crab-Apple Clash, Birdhouse Ban Pushed Seniors to Take a Stand (December 2, 2008)
Francis Gardens is a kind of "independent living" community for older people who want to avoid living in nursing homes. Recently, Lee Perrone and Pat Henry, residents of the subsidized senior housing complex, raised a protest, drawing curious onlookers and local reporters. In order to keep the housing agency from chopping down a crab-apple tree--to make way for a large trash bin--both seniors tied chairs to the tree and sat down to protect it. In return, their landlord, the Shrewsbury Housing Authority, sent them eviction notices, which were later rescinded.

United States and Canada: The Human Rights of Older People in the United States and Canada (December 2008)
The authors of this report suggest that enacting more comprehensive federal United States and Canadian laws to address the inconsistencies and gaps in public policies towards older persons would help elders age with dignity. The present economic downturn coupled with a rapidly growing senior population and increasing reports of elder abuse reveal the inadequacy of laws protecting the human rights of older persons in the US and Canada. The paper focuses on the violations of the economic and social rights of older people, including elder abuse and age discrimination, occurring in the US and Canada that present the most serious threats to aging with dignity.

Laguna Woods Rich Pensioners Tempted by Obama (October 21, 2008)
(Article in French)
Laguna Woods, Orange County, is one of the biggest residences for older people in California. The article reviews the political opinions of the residents at the dawn of the presidential election. Interestingly, the minds are divided: opinions differ as to who has the best managerial capacities to deal with the economic crisis. 

Senior Rights and Wrongs (October 16, 2008)
Due to a wave of federal court decisions, it is difficult for older persons to obtain important rights. These rights particularly include hard-earned pension benefits, freedom from age discrimination, access to long-term care, compensation for injuries caused by faulty medical devices and decent treatment in nursing homes. Although congressional leaders have called for legislation to restore rights of older US citizens in some of these areas, no action is expected in this Congress.

Invisible and Overlooked (September 18, 2008)
A growing population of lesbian and gay senior citizens seeks recognition for their unique needs and challenges. The recognition is much needed since older people spent much of their lives hiding their sexuality and have memories of being shunned and isolated. Gay seniors are faced with unique challenges: they are more likely to live alone and not having any caretaker. Many face discrimination in medical and social services, stay uninsured and are at high risk for HIV. It is time to redefine what it means to be a senior. 

Bill Would Create Alerts for Missing Elderly (September 16, 2008)
On September 15, the General Assembly advanced a bill that would create an alert system for missing elderly in the State of New Jersey. The system would be very similar to that already used for children and known as the Amber Alert. It could even draw on the same broadcast resources so that its implementation would be inexpensive. 

Report: More to Give: Tapping the Talents of the Baby Boomer, Silent and Greatest Generations (September 2008)
AARP conducted a national survey of Americans aged 44-79 in an effort to better understand the civic behaviors and attitudes of Americans towards volunteer service. The study has found that more retirees are volunteering their services and many Americans are “healthy, free of care-giving commitments and are ready to serve."

Florida Has New Law to Protect Senior Citizens, Statement by Commissioner Kevin McCarty (July 1, 2008) 
Sales agents for insurance annuities often target and cheat older persons. Insurance annuities, often complex and expensive, can be extremely confusing to many potential buyers. Agents take advantage of the situation, luring many old people into buying unnecessary annuities. Recently, the ‘John and Patricia Seibel Act’ was signed into Florida law and protects older people against such unethical practices by increasing penalties up to $250,000. The law also requires insurance agents to have objective reasons for their recommendations.

Gay Marriage in California: Two Octogenarians Are the First Homosexuals to Unite in San Francisco (June 18, 2008)
(Article in French and in Russian)
Two elderly ladies, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, ages 87 and 84 years old respectively, married last Monday, making them the first couple to take advantage of the new gay marriage law in San Francisco. California is the second state in the US (after Massachusetts) to legalize same-sex marriages. The aging of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community raises urgent questions because American gay seniors represent 2.4 to 8 million people. The LGBT community feels excluded from everyday life and faces discrimination from needed health care and social service providers. 

Isolation an Age-old Issue for Gay Seniors (May 12, 2008) 
Gay seniors continue to be isolated from the community, feeling ashamed to tell their family and friends about their sexual preferences. “New York can still be a lonely place for the elderly,” says John Genke, 67, a social worker for Services & Advocacy for Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian and Transgender Elders (SAGE). SAGE continues to offer a vast program of activities intended to bring gay seniors together. 

GI Forum Celebrates 60th Anniversary (March 26, 2008)
On March 26, American GI Forum held an event to celebrate its 60th anniversary. Hispanic war veterans from World War II to veterans of the Vietnam War came. Some spoke about dealing with job discrimination and difficulties in receiving GI benefits. Others addressed problems from the scaling back of GI pensions to inadequate health care of veterans. 

Anti-War Grannies Arrested Trying to Enlist (March 17, 2008)
Older women from 58 to 80 years old protested against the US war and occupation in Iraq on the occasion of its 5th anniversary. Part of an organization, “Grandmothers for Peace,” the ten older women pelted the Atlanta Army Recruiting Center's staff with questions. The Grannies wanted to enlist instead of young people. Combining humor with their pleas to stop the war, they talked with Army recruiters. Eventually the Army called the police to arrest the older women. But the Grandmothers for Peace had confronted the war machine and made their opposition public. 

Lack of Transportation Leaves Seniors Feeling Helpless (March 11, 2008)
For older people, to stop driving in Weymouth and other small towns or suburbs across the US also means giving up independence. With very rare public transportation systems, older seniors depend on limited rides provided by local transportations services for the elderly for everyday needs and medical services. However, it is almost impossible to have a social life, which is an important consideration for continued integration into the life of the community. 

One in 9 Senior Citizens Going Hungry Says Report to Senate Aging Committee (March 10, 2008)
Last week, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to analyze the findings of the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA). A study revealed that older persons are more susceptible to poverty because they are less connected to their environment. Though eligible, a surprising number of senior citizens who live under the poverty line do not receive available food stamps. The Senate committee plans to increase funding in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to provide senior citizens with monthly food staples.

A Community for Aging Suburban Gays (February 2, 2008)
A new organization, Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders on Long Island (SAGE-LI), is committed to providing care to GLBT members of the older generation who face discrimination as they age without the support of friends and family. Discrimination against the GLBT community affects elders as they seek social and medical services. GLBT elders will appeal to legislators to make services more available to them, as it is more difficult for their generation to be openly gay without facing discrimination.

Boomers Want to Help: But They Want Their Life Skills Put to Good Use (January 27, 2008)
The article suggests that older volunteers are more likely to have high expectations of their volunteer experience due to a higher education and longer tenure in the work force. Survey statistics show that although the number of volunteers remains high, volunteers spend one year or less with a particular organization. To encourage higher rates of volunteerism within the older crowd, non-profits should offer more skill-matching opportunities and change their appeal to baby boomers. 

81-Year-Old Pension Cheater Gets Prison Time (January 17, 2008)

Recently officials discovered that Joseph S. Apelman Jr, an 81 year old pensioner, was been receiving his dead mother’s pension income for more than 20 years. Apelman was sentenced to 3 years of prison on January 16th by New Orleans' U.S. District Court, sentenced for theft of public money. Taking into consideration that housing one prisoner costs the State between $18,000 and $31,000 annually, this article raises questions about the financial trade-off of sending this old man to prison. 

Aging Lives

Reports | Articles


Statistics on Old Age Hunger in the US in 2007 (November 2008) 
The United States Department of Agriculture issued a report in November 2008 on the Household Food Security in the United States during 2007. The report does not mention older persons specifically, except in the statistics that GAA has pulled out. As shown, the rates of food insecurity vary considerably from household to household. Some 11.1% of US households were food insecure at some time during the year, meaning they did not have enough food to meet their nutritional needs. For households with older persons, this rate is 6.5%, below the national average but still shocking in a rich country.

An Exploratory Study of Spiritual Care at the End of Life (September 2008)
In the United States 67% of people die in hospitals or long-term care facilities without assured access to spiritual care. Patients approaching the end of life traverse an unknown spiritual terrain, and physicians, nurses, and others are being called upon to assume greater responsibility for providing spiritual care. At the same time the definition of spiritual care is uncertain and has multiple interpretations. Three components of spiritual care given by health workers, being present, opening eyes and cocreating, are identified and discussed.

The Do-not-resuscitate Order: Associations with Advance Directives, Physician Specialty and Documentation of Discussion 15 Years after the Patient Self-Determination Act (September 2008)
The Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) requires that healthcare institutions inform their patients about their medical decision-making rights, including the right to refuse life-sustaining care. After the law was passed in 1991, a study revealed that patient involvement in do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders (including the influence of advance directives such as living wills) was still limited and that physician related factors were still highly influential in end of-life care. This study, carried out at Indiana University Hospital in 2005, concludes that the physician’s specialty continues to have a significant impact on the frequency and timing of DNR orders, while advance directive status still has no measurable impact.

Increasing Home Access: Designing for Visitability (August 2008)
It is not a secret that seniors prefer to live independently in their own homes as they age. However, most of the current housing designs prevent older adults and people with disabilities from leading independent lives and fully participating in their communities. Read the report about “visitability” - a new concept which promotes integration of a few basic accessibility features into housing construction projects. Making homes “visitable” will allow people with mobility limitations use and visit homes of friends and family.

2007 Colorado Transportation Survey: Aging and Mobility (May 2008) 

Today older persons in the US largely rely on cars for transportation. However, with aging, they may have difficulty driving and become increasingly isolated. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) survey tells the story. Over 90% of older persons use their vehicle as their primary mode of transportation and nearly half said they could no longer live in their communities if they were unable to drive. Persons with health and disability problems were far less likely to drive and suffered far higher rates of isolation. Half of older persons wanted more transport and delivery alternatives in their neighborhoods. 

Predictors of American Elders' Home Stay: A Secondary Data Analysis Study (May 2008)
This report looks at what factors enable seniors to remain in their homes instead of relocating to care facilities. Among the most important were their health, familial, and socioeconomic status. 

Opportunities for Creating Livable Communities (April 2008)
AARP has produced a guidebook directed towards planners, regulators, policymakers, and community advocates on how to create livable communities for older people. In a 2005 report, it concluded that “housing, supportive community features, and mobility options” are crucial for empowering older persons to remain independent. This report hits on six key components that AARP believes make a community livable as well as touches on the obstacles that stand in the way of creating such communities.

Why do More Older Men Work in Some States? (April 2008)
Researchers looked at the relationship between retirement benefits and older male workers’ participation rates across US states. More older male workers seem to be working in the Midwest and Western regions of the United States when compared to other regions. If there is a strong labor market for younger workers, a large percent of self-employed persons, and a highly educated workforce, then it’s more likely that older males will be in the workforce. For more information, read the report.

Impact of Rising Energy Cost on Older Americans (March 4, 2008)
Congress recently examined the effects of increasing energy-related expenditures. It concluded that the rise in energy costs is affecting elder households (headed by person of 65 years or older) more than younger households. While, in actual dollar terms, the elder households spend less, they must use a higher share of their incomes for energy-related expenditures. Some 40% of eligible households have a member age 60 or older. Over time, while energy costs have risen as a share of income, public programs like LIHEAP (Low- Income Home Energy Assistance Program) have faced declining funding. 

From Work to Retirement: Tracking Changes in Women's Poverty Status (February 2008)
Poverty among older women is double the rate for older men in the US. This study tracks changes in women’s poverty status starting from their 30s through their retirement age demonstrating how poverty changes over the entire life course. Race, marital status, health, employment are all found to be important issues underlying women's poverty in old age. 

2007 AARP Driver Safety Program Course Evaluation (January 2008)
Do people age 50 and older adjust their driving behavior to accommodate their aging? The AARP Driver Safety Program is the only course created to encourage safe driving among people age 50 and older. The evaluation looks at whether the course has been successful in changing driving-related behaviors and whether participants achieve satisfaction in the course. 

Urban Elders and Casino Gambling: Are They at Risk of a Gambling Problem? (January 2008) 
What are the predictors of problem gambling behaviors among elders living in urban areas? The study examined 1410 seniors and verified evidence of problem behaviors for one of every five older adults who enters a casino. They found that low income, being married, poorer mental and physical health, lack of senior optimism, frequent casino visitation and lower social support networks are among the major indicators of problem gambling behaviors among seniors. 

Discussions by Elders and Adult Children About End-of-Life Preparation and Preferences (January 2008)
Do elders discuss their end-of-life preferences with their children? Why do people usually avoid such conversations until a crisis? Researchers conducted exploratory interviews with older adults and their childrenasking them about end-of-life preparation and both sides’ preferences. 


Spreading Holiday Cheer Can Reveal Seniors' Addiction Problems (December 9, 2008)
The holiday season can bring out holiday cheer in many older adults, but it can also lead to their abuse of alcohol. US citizens 50 years and older are more susceptible to alcohol abuse due to a genetic predisposition or to a developed pattern of substance use, putting them at risk for health problems. Seniors drink because they are lonely, depressed or do not know how to cope with the loss of a loved one. Alcohol abuse can be extremely detrimental to older adults because they are physiologically more vulnerable to the effects of liquor. It is important to identify lonely seniors during the holidays and reach out to them.

Senior Housing Builders Seek to Lower Eligibility Age (December 9, 2008)
Due to the decline in the housing market, two condo complexes in Hempstead Town, NY want to lower the minimum age to 55. Originally, both received permission to build more units and provide less parking in exchange for selling only to people age 62 and older. Neither developer will be able to provide the additional parking spaces that would be required for condos that do not have age restrictions. The town board is scheduled to decide whether to grant the requests by the developers of Dutch Gate in North Valley Stream and The Seasons at East Meadow.

Tips for Multigenerational Households (December 8, 2008)
Intergenerational living is no longer the norm in United States. The “experts” who live this life successfully have sent in their stories and tips to the New York Times for how to avoid the minefields and maximize the pleasures of living in intergenerational households. 

Where Budget Cuts Strike the Old and Vulnerable (November 27, 2008)
Alma Ortiz, 86, spends six days a week at the C.V. Starr Adult Day Services Center, a program for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Unlike many other senior centers, the C. V. Starr Center is a pleasant surprise. Aides keep spirits high and seniors dancing to songs from their childhoods. Nevertheless, Michelle Coombs, the director of the center, is concerned whether she can keep the beloved senior center going because of budget cuts.

National Hospice Month's Goal Is To Educate (November 26, 2008)
As part of National Hospice Month, Good Samaritan Hospice in Christiansburg, Virginia, hosted an open house during which information about palliative care was provided. The cost of hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies. However, the Good Samaritan Hospice is committed to providing care regardless of a family's ability to pay. The goal of the open house event was to educate visitors about the philosophy of hospice care and to provide information about end-of-life planning.

Thanksgiving Feast: L-S to Host Luncheon (November 20, 2008)
Over 50 students from the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School (Massachusetts) will join about 150 seniors for an intergenerational Thanksgiving luncheon. The luncheon is organized through the MLK Action Project, and will provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal with live entertainment. Most importantly, the event offers both students and seniors the chance to socialize and interact, while allowing the former to acknowledge and appreciate the role the latter has played within the community.

Florence S. Wald Dies; Brought Hospice to US (November 15, 2008)
Florence S. Wald brought hospice to the United States and in the process revolutionized the care of the terminally ill. Wald sparked a movement that grew from the first hospice program established in the United States in 1971 to more than 3,200 programs nationwide, offering comfort, care and pain relief to patients in their final weeks and months and helping to ease the distress of families faced with the loss of loved ones. Today, US hospice programs care for about 900,000 patients every year.

Vision Tests Cut Death Rates for Older Drivers (November 11, 2008)
As of 2004, Florida law required residents aged 80 and older to undergo screening tests for vision to qualify for a driver’s license. Research led by Dr. Gerald McGwin, Jr. of the University of Alabama at Birmingham , found that although there has been a 6 percent increase in overall automobile mortality rates from 2001 to 2006, the mortality rate for drivers over 80 years old has dropped by 17 percent. 

Defining the Grandma Effect (November 10, 2008)
Child welfare experts have cited the importance of grandparents in child rearing, particularly when there is an absence of one or more parents. A study at Johns Hopkins University has found that children are more likely to receive better grades and are less likely to suffer injuries under a grandparent’s care. Researchers have coined the term “grandma effect” to describe the psychological benefits of having a grandparent care for a child rather than the child’s parent.

Her New York (November 7, 2008)
This article is an interview with Ada Louise Huxtable, perhaps the foremost authority in American architectural criticism. She provides interesting insights concerning the growth, expansion and development of New York City and its architectural evolution. She is not shy about giving her age, but emphasizes that she does not wish to be judged because of it. At 87, she is a champion of active aging, as she continues to write for The Wall Street Journal and many periodicals.

Depression-era Seniors a Source of Wisdom in Tough Times (October 31, 2008)
Those currently trying to grapple with the financial crisis on Wall Street should seek the advice of Depression-era seniors, who know a thing or two about frugality. Unlike younger generations, older persons who grew up during the Great Depression have a unique insight concerning the habits and values of thrifty living, knowledge that would be helpful to us all. 

Plan Early for Moving an Elderly Parent (October 29, 2008)
Planning for the care of an older parent of relative is most effective when done early. Home-safety modifications can often replace the need for assisted living, and can be as easy as installing better lighting fixtures. Furthermore, it is better to learn local tax laws when making decisions about a move, as that may affect the total financial picture.

Elderly Fare Better When Included in Decisions on Treatment Trade-offs (October 28, 2008)
The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine has found that senior health care is most effective when older persons take an active role in their medical decision making. About 65% of older Medicare beneficiaries have two or more chronic conditions, which further complicates health choices among older persons, particularly with regard to prescription drugs. It is the patient, however, who should ultimately decide. 

End-Of-Life Preferences Appear to Remain Stable as Health Declines (October 27, 2008)
The initial survey of 818 physicians led by Dr. Marsha N. Wittink of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that over 60% of those who responded preferred minimal or no aggressive interventions as part of their end of life care. The follow-up survey, conducted three years later, suggested that although the respondents did not substantially change their preferences over a three-year period, persons from the initial survey who did not have advance directives and who desired the most aggressive treatment exhibited the most changeable preferences.

Groundbreaking Guide for African-Americans is the First of Its Kind (October 21, 2008)
Because of African-Americans' unique cultural history and value system, the decision-making process on end-of-life issues is often based on spirituality and religious influences. Nevertheless, as Gloria Thomas Anderson, the author of the Guide states, “When you are in an emergency situation at a hospital and not prepared to deal with your own business of healthcare, it can be devastating. Taking control of your life and health is a choice.” The guide offers the basic information essential to making a wise choice concerning end-of-life care.

NY Confab to Confront Gay Elder Issues (October 8, 2008)
AARP will sponsor the 4th National Conference on LGBT Aging in New York. It is the first time a mainstream aging organization will do so. LGBT seniors are significantly more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to live alone during old age and they also tend to have fewer children or relatives to care for them. Older persons of the LGBT community are often overlooked because of the youth-oriented image that the community often portrays. 

Incapacitated, Alone and Treated To Death (October 7, 2008)
This is the story of the late Mr. Green who was one of thousands of New Yorkers — physically devastated, mentally depleted, without hope of recovery and without surrogates — for whom the prolongation of life at all costs was the only legally sanctioned course of treatment. Unfortunately, Mr. Green was also a valuable commodity. He developed pneumonia, urinary infections and other complications, each requiring transfer from the nursing home to the hospital, stabilization and transfer back again. The providers were reimbursed for each of these procedures. 

In ‘Sweetie’ and ‘Dear,’ a Hurt for the Elderly (October 6, 2008)

Elderspeak, loosely defined as the affectionately disparaging words and tone used to address the elderly, may have negative health effects on its recipients, according to a study currently underway. Being called ‘dear’ or being yelled at because they are assumed to be hard of hearing can create a negative self-image for old people. Seniors feel undermined and frustrated when they are treated in a manner usually reserved for children. Although this research study helps raise awareness about the effects of elderspeak on elder health, many people find it difficult to break these behavior patterns toward seniors.

Assisted Suicide: Truth and Transparency (October 5, 2008)
Barbara Coombs Lee, President of Compassion & Choices, a national non-profit advocating for better care and choices at the end of life, responds to two right-to-life doctors who suggest that Compassion & Choices carries out its mission with secrecy and force. Ms. Lee quotes a Hastings Center Report by ethics professor Daniel E. Lee: "When all things are considered, the arguments in favor of continued prohibition (of aid in dying) are not particularly compelling."

Gay Elders' Distinctive Challenges Get Closer Look (October 5, 2008)
“We tend to age alone, with no one to call on in times of need," says Amber Hollibaugh, 62, an expert on aging with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We don't have a daughter to move in with us — we don't have a kid to call when we're admitted to the hospital because we fall and break a hip." Are gay and lesbian elderly doomed for isolation and neglect? AARP involvement in supporting the rights of the gay elderly is called “a breakthrough.” This article recounts inspirational stories of AARP volunteers who make a difference in the lives of this vulnerable elderly population. 

Minorities Less Likely To Plan for End-Of-Life Care (September 30, 2008)
Researchers, led by Dr. Alexander K. Smith of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, have found that among patients with advanced cancer, African-American and Hispanic patients were about one-third less likely to have an advance care plan: documented preferences for end-of-life care, such as a living will or do-not-resuscitate order. Smith and his colleagues based their findings on interviews with 449 cancer patients who were believed to have fewer than six months left to live.

Too Old to Dance with the Stars? (September 25, 2008)
Eighty-two year old contestant Cloris Leachman wowed judges, audience members, and doctors alike with her performance on “Dancing with the Stars.” While many may consider such activities to be too strenuous for seniors, such forms of exercise—when practiced carefully—benefit older persons both physically and mentally, doctors say. 

Race in America (September 23, 2008) 
The US presidential election has centered heavily around the issues of race and gender. Sociological research reveals that elderly white Americans are more inclined to follow their racist predispositions in determining their vote this November. Their prejudices, however, may be more than a generational oversight, researchers say. The effects of aging on the frontal lobes of the brain may have some determinative power over the way in which seniors can relate and inhibit their racial biases. 

State Can't Afford to Ignore Data on End of Life Care (September 19, 2008)
Survey research shows that when asked what people want for end-of-life care, 83% said they would like to spend their last days at home. This contrasts sharply with the fact that only about 25% of Americans actually die there. Patients who choose hospice care more often get their wish to die at home. Nationally, less than 10% of hospice patients die in the hospital. And nationwide, over 95% of all families who have experienced hospice care for a loved one would recommend hospice to others. 

Study: Social Nets Snare Boomers (September 12, 2008)
While Facebook and other social networking sites have traditionally attracted younger patrons, membership increasingly includes baby boomers as well. Companies now use such sites to market products to older consumers, although the majority of marketing is still targeted towards more youthful markets. 

Seniors Dive into Web Waters (September 11, 2008)
While the internet has traditionally attracted younger users, seniors are more and more frequently exploring the worldwide web. The internet is particularly helpful to elders who are physically impaired—they can expand their horizons from the comfort of their home. Although many seniors are intimidated and hesitant about learning how to use a computer, there are many courses available to assist with learning. 

Clinton Township Leads the Way with Speed Dating for Seniors (September 9, 2008)
Speed dating is no longer just an activity for youthful singles in search of love. Seniors in Clinton Township have abandoned conventional dating methods in hopes of finding companionship later on in life. Nationally, older persons have increasingly turned to alternative means of dating, including the internet, to find that special someone. 

Grandkids Are Great, but Name Change Not Always So Welcome (September 9, 2008)
The notion of a “grandmother” is changing around the world. “Sixty is the new 40. These new grandmothers are the urban, marginally hip, accomplished boomer who's too busy getting her Web site up and running to take up needlepoint,” says Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO of the web site devoted to first-time grandparents. Today's boomers don't want themselves to be called “grandmas” when they are 60 because the name signifies that you are “old.” “Instead of being an old person dealing with your grandchild, you're a young person -- younger and fitter and richer." 

Grandparents Take on Parenthood, Again (September 8, 2008)
Rosa Foster, 54, is a single parent raising four grandchildren under age 19. Foster is one of 2.5 million grandparents in the US who are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. Grandparents, at a time in their lives when they are ready to take care of themselves, are often faced with the financial and health demands of becoming a parent the second time around. “Make sure you're up for the challenge, because if you're not, you're going to break some kids' hearts,” says Foster. 

HOPE Awards Gala to Honor Brooklyn’s Outstanding Seniors (September 8, 2008)
Elderly volunteers will be honored by HOPE (Honor Our Phenomenal Elders) on September 23 at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The award ceremony will formally recognize seniors who have contributed their time and effort to benefit their community. Recognition of older volunteers is often overlooked, despite their dedication to community betterment. 

Internationally Known Palliative Care Physician to Address End of Life Choices at Sept. 18 Event (September 2, 2008)
To increase awareness of the choices available to an individual at the end of life, David Kuhl, M.D., will address a public meeting in Michigan later this month. This is the one public event in a two-day program for health care professionals put together by University of Michigan Health System, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and Hospice of Michigan, and provides a good opportunity for citizens to interact with an expert in this field.

Retirement no Longer on Seniors' Radar (August 27, 2008)
Joel Dresang reports that more Americans are choosing to retire later in life. Americans are reversing a decades long trend of retiring earlier. In the last 30 years the number of American workers 65 and older grew by 101 percent, compared with a 59 percent increase in all workers. Those 75 and older increased by 172 percent. It is thought that this trend stems from the recent economic downturn and the resultant income insecurity.

Who Are You Calling Old? (August 26, 2008)
The average US life expectancy is now age 78. Geriatricians now talk of those younger than 80 as the "young old," and of those younger than 65 as the "near old." What role does age play in a country changing so rapidly? How does the age of candidates affect people’s decision about voting in the elections? Labels may change as Americans live longer and healthier lives, but age still plays a role in elections.

Stitching Together a New Life in Riverdale (August 10, 2008)
Bernard Alder, 87, is a passionate tailor who continues to practice his craft in the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, an age-restricted community in the Bronx. Mr. Alder’s love for sewing is understandable, as being a tailor saved his life during the Holocaust. Jovial and light-hearted, he joined the community in 2006 a year after his wife made the move because of nursing needs. For Mr. Alder, the Home is his Gan Eden (Hebrew for the Garden of Eden).

In Strangers Centenarian Finds Literary Lifeline (August 1, 2008)
In Elizabeth Goodyear’s small one bedroom walk-in, New York turns into a small town where unrelated strangers become friends. It all started with Alison West, a yoga instructor and a neighbor, who once asked the centenarian to watch her bag. As Ms. Goodyear grew frail, Ms. West visited her more often and even raised funds to pay the rent and wages for a house aide. Today, Ms. Goodyear, 101 years old and whose eye sight failed 4 years ago, has been receiving guests who read her books, talk to her and bring her dark chocolate. A good neighbor.

Former Seattlites are Reinventing Themselves in the Hills of San Miguel (July 28, 2008)
Retiring in Mexico is not in the plan of most people, but for several Seattllites, the town of San Miguel is home. Americans are now slowly discovering Mexico as a possible place to retire. Taxes, food and services are cheaper, allowing many Americans to live very comfortably from Social Security alone. Many have even built their own dream houses. Retirees are also pursuing second careers, often involved in business or volunteer opportunities. "I felt it was home from the day I arrived," said Margo Lane, now a resident of San Miguel. "My country will always be the U.S., but my home is San Miguel."

The Cadillac of Walkers (July 28, 2008)
Today, a walker--outfitted with ribbons, baskets and tennis balls--would have made a person look like a nerd, neglected and a penny pincher in the limited mobility community. Old persons in many long-term care facilities today sport “Cadillac walkers.” Ranging from racecar blue walkers with four rotating wheels for mobility to personalized canes, today’s mobility-assistance equipment models have become fashion accessories. An endless list of brands offers sleek, fashionable, but useful devices at reasonable prices. Even in old age, first impressions make a difference! 

Dancing is 102-Year-Old Woman’s Fountain of Youth (July 26, 2008)
Dancers never lose their love of music and movement. This is true for Evangeline “Van” Shuler, who at 102, still dances with grace and energy. The centenarian started dancing in her 20’s, only stopping momentarily when she got married. “There are several men that are still very active," she said. "And I love it." Shuler also serves as an inspiration to many in their 80’s and 90’s. "At all the dances, the women and a few men will tell me that I'm an inspiration. It makes me feel good, I guess," said a smiling Shuler. 

More Senior Find Love a Click Away (July 20, 2008)
US senior citizens are not only dating more, they're the fastest-growing users of Internet dating services. The surveys also show that cohabiting among older people increased 50% in the past 6 years. Longer life expectancy, better drugs and treatments, financial stability in older age, change of social attitudes towards re-marriage all contribute to the biggest jump in on-line dating among older persons. “I never had a relationship such as I have now,” shares Eleanor Robinson after finding her love at the age of 85 years. 

Elderly in the US Feel Much Happier than Their Younger Counterparts (July 18, 2008)
(Article in Russian)
The image of youth as being the happiest time of one's life may no longer be accurate. A questionnaire repeated by the University of Chicago since 1972 aims at detecting whether people of various age groups feel happy or not. The researchers found that people who are biologically older feel happier than younger adults. Moreover, those people who continued to work over 65 had the highest level of job satisfaction, too.

Communities Pay for High Prison Rate, Phoenix Neighborhood's Missing Men (July 10, 2008)
“I didn’t intend to raise my great-grandkids,” said Sarah Coleman, now 66 years old, who is raising three children ages 5, 3 and 1. She doesn’t know the whereabouts of her granddaughter, the children’s mother. Both the children’s fathers have been in trouble with the law. In the South Mountain area in Arizona, many old people find themselves filling in the gaps that incarcerated young parents leave. On average, more than 6 out of 100 people are incarcerated from this area, creating a missing generation of young men. 

Aging Parents, Children Must Discuss Finances (July 9, 2008)
“…Money is such a symbol of independence, if only that were true," said Susan Livingstone of Dallas, an occupational therapist specializing in geriatrics. Ms. Livingstone is having difficulty managing her parents’ finances after her father died. Her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, could not be of much help either. Her parents had refused to share any financial information. Many old people don’t want to give personal information to their caregivers and adult children. However, it is essential for the elderly to provide tools that will enable people to help during emergencies. Fortunately, neutral third parties are available for consultation and help. Social workers, attorneys and financial advisers may prove helpful in planning for the future.

Does an Elderly Couple Have a Right to a Sex Life? (June 14, 2008)
What would you think if you found out that your 95-year-old father who suffers with dementia is still sexually active? When this man’s son discovered what was going on, he demanded that the care facility end the relationship with his partner. The result was that the woman lost a lot of weight and now suffers from depression. Even though the elderly man had heart problems, a doctor emphasized that, rather than killing him, having sex might prolong his life. The conclusion: Yes, older couples have a right to sex. 

Old People Are Inspiring in Young@Heart (May 26, 2008)
Earlier this summer GAA reported on the movie Young@Heart. But now the GAA Team has seen the movie and can recommend it wholeheartedly to persons of all ages. The singers give their amateur performances energy and emotion. But the movie also shows the other side of that what it means to be old. It describes health problems some older persons encounter. If you like films and enjoy elders in action, see this one. 

Older Americans Must be Ready to Stay Connected as Nation Goes to Digital TV (May 12, 2008)
Television broadcasting in the US will change from analog to 100% digital on February 17, 2009. Television sets will not work if you use “rabbit ears” or a rooftop antenna with an analog television after this switch to digital unless the owner takes action. This change will especially affect older persons, particularly those who live alone, who are in rural or remote locations, who are low income, or who are non-English speakers. This article gives some important tips on how to handle the change. 

Working With Elders to Stay Young (May 5, 2008) 
This article is about Carrie Cook, who took over the program for seniors at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco when the former director became ill. Carrie is 78 years old. She speaks about her work with seniors, many of whom are younger than she. She points out that the work makes her feel young and vital. She has no intention of slowing down. 

Never Mess With Old People (April 30, 2008)
An elderly man in Mississippi called the police when he saw people stealing items from his garden shed. The police said they were busy and would send an officer when one became available. After counting to 30, he called again and said the police shouldn’t worry. “I just shot them,” he reported. Within minutes, police cars and rescue equipment arrived and caught the burglars. One of the policemen said, “I thought you said that you’d shot them!” The man replied “I thought you said that there was nobody available!” 

Centenarians Could Strain Budgets (April 28, 2008)
Will people in their 90s and 100s have longer periods of mobility and independence or just more years of disability and dependence? - This is a good question. Analyses pointed out nowadays there live 95,000 Americans with an age of 100 or older. In 2050 the estimated data are at 1.15 million. This means a dramatic increase in Medicare and Medicaid costs. 

Parents, Adult Children Need to Talk It Out (April 28, 2008)
It is up to adult children between 40 – 70 years-old to speak to their older parents about their health and future needs. Adult children must understand that their older parents will need more help and that their roles are changing. Both sides must declare their wishes and needs, especially about health care. Sometimes, professional help may be needed to guide the discussion. 

66-Year-Old Columbian Tackles 42-Mile Bike Ride - Now Knudson is Preparing to Leave for New York City to Ride in the Five Boro Bike Tour, Which Takes Place Sunday (April 28, 2008)
Knudson is a 66-year-old woman who found a way to give up smoking and to take up serious bike riding. She said she felt bad when she began and could not bike more than 2 miles. But now she will ride 42 miles through the five Boroughs of New York. And she beat back her smoking addiction.

The Short End of the Longer Life (April 27, 2008)
A Harvard University study has punctured the notion that all US citizens can expect to live a long life. However life expectancy is dropping for poor persons, particularly women. In short, income inequality is killing some US citizens. Check your US county to see what’s happening to your neighbors.

Computer Classes Help Seniors Learn New Skills (April 20, 2008)                  As part of a national demographic shift, more and more seniors are learning how to join the growing population of online surfers. This article highlights a computer-training program for older adults run by a college senior in Fairfield, Connecticut. According to the AARP, nearly half of all senior citizens have heard about the benefits of the Internet, such as fast and convenient communication and socialization through playing games with other seniors. Older persons may also use the Internet to gather information on medications and illnesses. The Internet has proved a helpful tool for a growing elderly population.

Older Americans Are More Socially Engaged than Many People May Think (April 16, 2007)
The University of Chicago study analyzed the notion that old people are lonely and unhappy. The research team found out that seniors are more active than people in the 50’s age range. Older persons often act as volunteers, participate in religious services and are more socially engaged.

Retired, Yes, but Never Too Old to Rock (April 9, 2008)
Last week GAA reported about the Zimmers and a Chinese aged art group. This week we report the opening of a new movie called Young@Heart. It is a movie about singers with an average age of 80 years. This movie features the vitality of elderly citizens when they are turned on to music, even those that may not be familiar to them. Their voices waver sometimes but their spirits are upbeat.

60-Plus, Ripped, and Natural Competitors (April 3, 2008)
Since 2003, the number of older people, ages 60-70 years, has doubled at the United States Bodybuilding Federation. The elders want to improve their fitness and health, and this is one way they can do it. “Age is a statistic, not a burden and there is no reason a man or woman can’t get into and maintain the best shape of their lives at any age,” said Scott Hults, 64, a former Naval officer who turned body builder. There are always some who are skeptical that bodybuilding among older people can be truly drug free. Others insist it is strictly the result of exercise, good nutrition and vitamin supplements.

We are Living Longer and Healthier, but... (March 28, 2008)
At a national conference on aging this week, a report was issued entitled “Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being.” The report presents encouraging data about US people living longer and being better off physically and financially. But is the picture that positive? The article reveals some alarming findings. 

Some Seniors Having Trouble Affording Food, Medicine - Fixed-Income Renters Lament Rising Costs (March 25, 2008)
Many older people have to save their money to pay high rents. Recently the increasing cost of gas and electricity makes their situation worse. They are forced to reduce their needed medication in order to pay other bills. Seniors increasingly look for jobs and special Section 8 housing. Unfortunately the federal government only allowed 75% of the needed monies for Section 8 in late 2007. Hard times ahead for US seniors.

Women, Blacks Face Poverty in Retirement (March 20, 2008)
Many more women than men are affected by poverty. African-American women are three times more concerned about poverty in their aging years than white women in the US. Also, two-thirds of white women are not in poverty before their retirement. Women must especially be alert early about their retirement future and should create a plan and a goal for the years after they are no longer employed.

Firm Offer Seniors Coaching for the Future (March 15, 2008)
A new company in Santa Fe, New Mexico, “Walks Beside Coaching and Consulting,” run by Bradley Morgan and her partner Stephen Marais, began coaching older people on how to solve their problems and enjoy retirement. Professionals prefer a conversational therapy rather than the typical clinical therapy. They discuss strategies for leading a peaceful and exciting retirement.

Seniors Reach Digital Age: More Elderly are Taking Courses on Computer Usage to E-mail and Instant-message their Friends and Family Members (March 14, 2008)

According to current research, 37% of older US citizens are learning to use the Internet to communicate with friends and family through e-mails and instant messaging. The diffusive nature of the Internet has allowed it to reach all parts of the global population, including older persons who grew up in an era when technology was sparse. Exposure to the Internet and training enable seniors to overcome their fear of technology. Many senior centers offer computer training to their members as they are steadily bridging the technology gap. 

Early Retirement May Mean Earlier Death (March 14, 2008)
According to a study at the University of Athens, early retirement could result in earlier death. The study follows 16,827 adults for 7.7 years. The results show that there is a connection between retirement and death. This could partially be caused by financial concerns or because of psychological and other issues that make early retirees more susceptible to illness. 

Aging Boomers Could Burst Housing Bubble (March 9, 2008)
In the last three decades, Baby Boomers have dominated the market as primary buyers. Now with increasing mortgage debts and decreasing housing prices, people in the US are trying to avoid the housing market. On the contrary, as they age, the Baby Boomers are expected to downsize their homes, thus pumping more available houses into a stagnant market. This, economists predict, will prolong the housing crisis.

Aging with Grace, Devotion - Dance Teacher Still Kicks Up her Heels at 94 (March 3, 2008)
This article describes a lovely old lady who will be 95 years old very soon. She works as a dance teacher in Cathedral Village, a retirement community in the Upper Roxborough section of Philadelphia. Despite breaking her pelvis at 89 years and suffering from osteoporosis since she was 92 years old, she has not yet lost her vitality. Impressive is that she teaches students to dance while they sit in chairs. Many are limited with walkers, even wheelchairs.

Rochester Priest Studies Loneliness in the Elderly (February 28, 2008)
Parochial administrator Father Peter Abas has carried out a study to help the elderly fight loneliness in old age. Because many of the elderly population suffer from feelings of loneliness or emptiness in their lives, Father Abas promotes his findings and offers ways to overcome loneliness through social and religious interaction.

A Difficult Transition to Retirement Living (February 8, 2008)
With the US economy in a downward spiral and the housing market suffering, older persons looking to downsize to smaller retirement homes are finding it difficult to sell their houses. Despite the economic downturn, the move towards retirement homes has not been deterred. Since 2003, household heads 65 years and older have been the biggest buyers of new homes. Seniors who want to enter retirement homes should consider applying for residences early, as waiting lists continually grow longer.

New Boss Will Work to Help Lift Seniors (February 8, 2008)
This article calls attention to Meals on Wheels, a not-for-profit organization that provides hot meals to homebound seniors on a daily basis. Food deliveries to seniors also provide opportunities for lonely residents to have visitors, a very beneficial side effect of the meal deliveries. For some seniors, the meals are the only food and source of nutrition they receive. This organization relies on donations to sustain its service to seniors. 

Governor Calls for Tests of Elderly Drivers: Doesn’t Yet Know at What Age or What to Test For (February 8, 2008)
The Governor of Massachusetts has proposed testing older drivers, although he is uncertain what senior drivers will be tested for and at what age. This announcement was made in light of accidents involving older drivers. Recently, an 86-year-old driver hit a young girl on the road and a 76-year-old driver accelerated into a post office building. While most other states have special requirements for older drivers, Massachusetts does not. The state is working on legislation to test older drivers. 

Keep Busy in Retirement (January 21, 2008)
Before retiring, older people need to think about the amount of financial support they will need. But they also must think about what they really want to do during their retirement. Kelly Campbell, a certified financial planner in Fairfax, VA, advises people, among other things, to create a top 100 list with activities they have always wanted or dreamed of doing. Planning for retirement is more than setting money aside. It is also following your dream. 

Blagojevich Wants Free Rides for Seniors But Only if it's Local (January 16, 2008)
Gov. Rod Blagojevich amended legislation dealing with free transportation for seniors over 65 years in the Chicago-area mass transit. If the legislators accept his change, Chicago senior citizens would be the only ones enjoying free transportation in Chicago. Other Illinoisans will get free transport within their local mass transit district. This unplanned surprise “benefit” for seniors appears very difficult to implement. Stay tuned! 


Reports | Articles


The Worries Adult Children and Their Parents Experience for One Another (September 2008)
This study looks at the worries adults and their parents experience for one another. Adult children worry primarily about their parents’ health. In contrast, parents’ worries are more diverse than those of adult children and include worries about their adult children’s health, safety, relationships, and finances, among others. Furthermore, parents’ worries are associated with their perceptions of relationship quality. Notably, parents who worry about their adult children’s finances reported having poorer quality relationships with their adult children than parents who experience other worries (e.g., about safety).

Do Assets Change the Racial Profile of Poverty among Older Adults? (March 8, 2008)
Elderly poverty rates among African-Americans are nearly triple and among Hispanics are more than double those of whites, according to the federal government. But this report shows how important it is to include the housing rent and annuitized assets in the official poverty measure, items that are currently excluded. Adding the rent and assets reveals that poverty of African-Americans and Hispanics will increase up to 2.3 percentage points due to their relative lack of housing equity or financial assets.



Differences in Health and Life Expectancy (February, 2008)
The life expectancy of older Americans is much higher than in the past due to improvements in health care and higher incomes. But a gap still exists between racial and ethnic groups, especially as the   US  becomes more racially and ethnically diverse. African-Americans are the worst off in terms of mortality and health, followed by American Indians. There are also significant disparities because of geographic locales. As the numbers and diversity increase, it is important to find ways to reduce the disparities for the benefit of the nation’s overall health and the many people who are now underserved.

Promising Initiatives


Students Gather Christmas Blankets for Elderly (December 8, 2008)
Students at Silver City High School are making sure that every one of the 165 residents in the nursing homes in Silver City has a Christmas blanket this year. The students decided to focus their community project on the nursing homes and provide each older person with a meaningful gift. This will be especially appreciated by the residents who no longer have family or friends to visit them over the holiday season. When word of the student council's endeavor reached the Western Bank, where a student from the school is working, two branches of the bank donated money to help the project. 

Silver Alerts Help Track Wandering Seniors (September 15, 2008)
Eleven states have implemented the Silver Alerts system as a means to track lost elderly persons who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The alerts broadcast media bulletins to alert local police officials so that lost seniors can be found and retrieved as soon as possible. Unlike missing children, wandering elders can often be hard to locate; as adults, social inhibitions concerning personal privacy may prevent immediate assistance to those seniors who need it the most.

Food Banks Finding Aid in Bounty of Backyard (September 13, 2008)
Noticing an abundance of fruit going to waste in her neighbors’ backyards, Natasha Boissier, a social worker, saw this as an opportunity to provide locally grown organic produce to the hungry and those who cannot afford to eat the government-recommended portions of fruit. Bossier started the North Berkeley Harvest in California to engage the community in harvesting surplus fruit to donate to senior centers and food banks. Many seniors cannot afford fresh fruit, but organizations such as the North Berkeley Harvest ensure that the elderly have access to nutritious fruit for free. 

Senior-living Residences Go Green for the Golden Years (August 5, 2008)
Seniors are now taking the green approach to life, with an eye on an environmentally friendly future. As architectural advances lead the way to greener life, more seniors seem to be conscious of sustainable construction methods that offer comfort, conservation and preservation of the natural world. With more 'green' projects under development, many older persons will find a priority on reducing the carbon footprint of their retirement community.

Program Lets Kids, Elders Share Lesson (August 5, 2008)
Joan Sills, 77, enjoyed the company of her partner Zoe Zimmerman, 3, even though Zoe threw flour at her! The two learned from each other in Virginia Tech’s Neighbors Growing Together program. Three times a week, for twenty minutes, children from the neighboring Child Development Center for Learning and Research visit Tech’s Adult Day Service, where they have craft activities. The seniors benefit from the opportunity to take care of someone, building self-esteem. Likewise, the children learn empathy when they interact with the elderly, many suffering from cognitive difficulties. 

Simulating Age 85, With Lessons on Offering Care (August 3, 2008)
How does it feel to be 85 year old? In Xtreme Aging, a training program, caregivers are exposed to conditions faced by old people. They wear special glasses that distort vision, simulating an old person’s eyesight. Wearing latex gloves with adhesives to mimic the loss of manual dexterity, they place corn kernels in their shoes to recreate the discomfort that comes from loss of fatty tissues. The program creators hope that people will understand the challenges that come with an aging body, fostering sensitivity towards older people. 

Life Long Learning Opportunity Connecting Seniors and Youths (July 31, 2008)
The MetLife Foundation has recently provided funding for eight institutions to design programs that promote learning for older adults. The La Mesa Park and Recreation Foundation received a grant for their RhythmWorx project. The program uses instruments and music to reach out to seniors, providing an avenue for them to interact with young people. The activities also provide relief from the stress they face. RhytmWorx is only of the many intergenerational programs being designed today. 

Fourth-Graders Learn from Their Elders (May 28, 2008)
Fourth grade students of Conemaugh Township Area Intermediate School recently read a story called “The Hundred Penny Box.” The main character, a boy, comes to live with his 100 year old great-great aunt, who has a box of 100 pennies, one to represent each year of her life. Throughout the story, she teaches the boy about her experiences gained during her 100 years. As a supplement to the story, the fourth-grade class invited senior citizens from their community to share their live stories with them. The gap between these young children and their elders was bridged, at least temporarily. 

Office Is Sought to Protect Elderly (August 8, 2007)

  Kane  County  ’s State Attorney John Barsanti is seeking to establish an advocacy center to investigate elder abuse and exploitation. The recent homicide of an 84-year-old woman who lived with her two daughters in   Kane  County  is not directly related to the call for the center, but it certainly illustrates the need for an official elder advocate. “It seems we are somewhat under-reacting to the [needs of the] elderly,” said Barsanti. 

Trade Unions

CWA Local 1180: GAA Presents Unions with Outstanding Retiree Programs
Local 1180, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) located in   New York City  , represent more than 8,000 workers. Their retiree division has an outstanding retiree program, which offers benefits, year-round activities and seminars to their members. Click above to read more.

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