Planning for Life

Aging 2.0 Conference in Boston Paints Challenging Picture for Hub Baby Boomers

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 29, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

Elder-care-aging-support-margolis-and-bloom-wellesley

 

Organized by the indefatigable Tim Driver, founder of RetirementJobs.com, the Age Friendly Foundation, and AgeFriendly.com, hundreds of aging professionals, academics, medical providers, journalists and government leaders met at the Seaport Hotel on October 23rd to discuss the future of aging in Massachusetts. Driver's incredible slate of presenters included Mayor Marty Walsh, Governor Charlie Baker, industry leaders, Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy, and Alexander Kalache, MD, Co-President of the International Longevity Centres Global Alliance.

There were a few common themes about the challenges of our increasingly older population voiced by speakers from many different perspectives:

  • Inequity is a big problem; the wealthy can buy the care they need, there are some programs for the poor, and not much for the vast majority of Americans.
  • We have over-medicalized elder care and invested too little in social supports; this is a very expensive approach.
  • We operate too much in silos, health care professionals not talking to social service providers, who are not talking to private industry.
  • Social isolation versus participation in community is a big determinant of our welfare as we age.
  • Any solution will have to come through public-private partnerships.
  • Workforce -- If we don't expand and better train and compensate the workforce that provides care to seniors, nothing else will work.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Topics: Caregivers, Aging Population, aging

Massachusetts Scores in Middle of Ranking of Best States for Aging

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 23, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

massachusetts-aging-margolis-and-bloom

For those of us in Massachusetts who expect our state to score high in every state-to-state competition, the recent US News & World Report ranking of the best states for aging is a disappointment. In a ranking that doesn't even takes into account our winter weather, we rank 27th out of the 50 states.

The ranking takes into account several factors, including the quality of nursing homes and medical care, life expectancy and the cost of living. We score well on life expectancy (12th), Medicare quality (4th), percentage of seniors who are able bodied (15th), and primary care (6th).

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Topics: Aging Population, demographics

Is Demography Destiny?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on February 13, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

During a recent bike trip in in Vietnam, I was struck by how youthful the country seems. The streets are full of young people on motor scooters. We were told that in a country of 95 million people, there are 35 million motor scooters (called Hondas just like we call tissues Kleenex). Riding the country's web of rural lanes, we passed hundreds of schoolchildren who waved and called “Hello” to us.

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Topics: Aging Population, demographics

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents -- and Ourselves

Posted by Karen B. Mariscal on October 3, 2017

By Karen B. Mariscal, Esq.


 
In A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents -- and Ourselves, 41wqspmOZNL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgJane Gross, a former New York Times reporter, writes a page-turner about how it feels to take care of an aging parent, while providing very valuable information about elder care. The journey begins when Gross’s mother, a long-time widow in her mid-80s, becomes too frail to live alone in Florida. Gross recognizes it’s time for her mother to undertake a “reverse migration” back to New York City to be near her and her brother. 

But Gross was completely unprepared for the crises that followed when she enrolled her mother in an assisted-living facility: the pleading phone calls, the too-numerous late-night emergency-room visits (due not to true emergencies but to bureaucratic regulations), and the medical tests that stretched into all-day ordeals while Gross was trying to hold down a full-time job.  Many of the problems could have been prevented had Gross understood the system, and she describes her mistakes in detail, with honesty and humility.

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Topics: Aging Population

Are You Aging Wisely? Advice From Those Walking the Path

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 5, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

A local psychologist (formerly a lawyer) and her 97-year-old father have recently published an inspiring volume, Aging Wisely . . . Wisdom of Our Elders, 128414173X.jpgof more than 100 essays, and a few poems, by 73 contributors commenting on what they've learned, sometimes painfully, during their lives. Irving I. Silverman and Ellen Beth Siegel divide the selections into 19 parts, including Life Stories, Using Internal Strengths, Work and Retirement, The Meanings of Success, and Coping with Losses.

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Topics: Aging Population, aging

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