Because I'm getting emails like the one that showed up this morning from Steven Frank, a career geriatric health care administrator.
Questions I'm asking
As questions come up, here's where I write them down
Every few weeks there seems to be a new story about how attitudes towards aging affect the way older minds and bodies function. Better attitude, better health. The latest was an irresistibly titled one in the Los Angeles Times: “Karma bites back: Hating on the elderly may put you at risk of Alzheimer's.”
I like to talk about becoming an Old Person in Training as way to move beyond denial, overcome internalized ageism, and connect to our future selves. At the BOOM conference in Denver in October, it was wonderful to come across a kindred spirit, aging-focused psychotherapist Kyrie Sue Carpenter, and her very different scenario for achieving the very same goals.
Big news. For several years I've been writing a book, This Chair Rocks: Why Ageism is Bad and What to Do About It. This week I sent the manuscript to be copyedited. Next it gets designed, then published.
I was delighted to see an editorial in the New York Times about a crisis in the making, the growing shortage of geriatricians. (Geriatricians are doctors trained to treat older people. Lots of people don’t know that.) The way the editorial made the case, however, was deeply flawed.
This week Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab ran a piece about the New York Times’ digital branding efforts. It quoted a series of tweets by Max Pfennighaus, who is the executive creative director of brand and marketing at the Times and previously held a similar position at NPR, and whose job is to build the newspaper’s digital brand. He described the core challenge as the “grandpa in a nightclub” problem.
That’s a question that Dr. Laura Carstensen regularly fields after explaining why older people are happier than younger ones—the basis of the ubiquitous Happiness U-curve. As I admit in my talk, I didn’t really believe the curve existed until I understood why. Carstensen, a psychologist and the founder of the Stanford Longevity Center, explains it beautifully.