Volunteering

Laura Hahn is a gerontologist who writes about intergenerational friendship on her blog, Arthur & Bernie. Arthur is her 90-year-old friend. Bernie was her grandfather, Pop Pop. Here, Laura explores the topics of age-friendly communities, social connection, volunteerism, aging in place, technology, ageism and end of life. Her work has appeared in People, Good Housekeeping and more. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @arthurandbernie.

A Millennial’s Musings on Leaving the Nest … Again

At 32, I didn’t expect to move into my mom’s basement. I also didn’t expect to miss it so much, now that I’m gone. I wrote about my living situation in October. My boyfriend, Joe, and I were just back from Thailand, where I finished my master’s degree and he taught at a university. With our belongings locked in storage, we — yes, both of us — moved in with my mom while we searched for jobs and found our …

The Best Gift We Can Give Each Other (and It’s Free)

Growing up, we got our Christmas trees from Mr. Munro, the man who owned our house before us. He had studied horticulture in college and taught at a school for years. He owned a tree farm a few hours away from his home, so in his 70s, he decided to sell that home and move to the farm full time. My mom and dad were new to town and in their late 20s — sans kids and dog. Those would come later. …

‘Alzheimer’s Stole Her’: Changing Our Narrative About Dementia

My grandmother lived with Alzheimer’s disease for years. And for years, my family and I would say things like: “Alzheimer’s stole her from us.” “She’s not herself now.” “She’s a shell of who she was.” That’s our cultural narrative about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia — that it’s the aggressor. It has power over us, we say. It can take away our loved ones right before our eyes. If we’re lucky, we might catch a glimpse of them …

A Millennial’s Musings on Returning to the Nest

I’m 32 and I live in my mom’s basement. (For now!) Let me explain: I recently completed a master’s degree program, the second year of which was in Thailand. Before I left, I packed two suitcases and a backpack, and locked the rest of my two-bedroom apartment in storage. That’s what I have now at my mom’s — two big bags and a backpack — as I search for a job and plot my next move. Oh, and I should mention …

Green Peace: The Healing Power of Parks for Young and Old

One of my very best friends died three years ago. He happened to be my grandfather, who was 96 years old. He was ready. It was time. But it wasn’t easy. I missed him. It took me months to delete the calendar alert I’d set up to ping me every day at 11:20 a.m., a reminder to stop what I was doing and “Call PO9,” short for Pop Pop. (As a kid, when I was learning to write, I accidentally addressed …

Ways for Generations to Stay Active Together

There were yoga classes in California’s Silicon Valley and line dances in Washington. There were bocce ball matches in Rochester, N.Y., and water volleyball games in Mason City, Iowa. But best of all, across the country, there were younger people and older people coming together to participate. It happened just a few weeks ago. From Aug. 1 to 8, the YMCA and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy teamed up for A New Way to Move, a weeklong initiative promoting physical activity that connects kids and older adults. According to …