Home & Family blogger

I am the Vice President for Home and Family at AARP. That means I get to work with folks all across AARP to make sure we understand what is most important regarding family relationships and connections -( caregiving and kids) and staying in your home and community and are delivering the right information and services. My family includes my wife, two teens, pets, and four generations of family spread across the country.

Games for the 50+: A New Outlet for Mentoring

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about the gaming study by Dr. Jennifer Jacobs Henderson, associate professor and department chair, and Dr. Aaron Delwiche, associate professor, of the Department of Communication at Trinity University. For the final installment in this series, I want to focus on a very interesting insight from Drs. Henderson and Delwiche – many older gamers really like the mentoring aspect of multiplayer online games. It’s not about the competition but about helping others. As we …

Games for the 50+: Games Provide Family Caregivers With Time to Recharge

I’ve been writing about the landmark gaming study by Dr. Jennifer Jacobs Henderson, associate professor and department chair, and Dr. Aaron Delwiche, associate professor, of the Department of Communication at Trinity University. Their study is based on over 32,000 users of  Wizard101, an online multiplayer game that surprisingly has a large number of 50+ users. One of the biggest surprises to us at AARP are the findings that show gaming benefits for caregivers and those who have gone through a …

Games for the 50+: Grandparents & Grandchildren Find Adventures, Memories

Over 60 percent of Americans over the age 50 are grandparents. But, as the average age of a first-time grandparent in the United States is 48, there are also a number of grandparents under 50, too. So, grandparents are something we feel is important to understand at AARP. We know that grandparents want to increase the connection to their grandkids and want to help get them on the right path in life. But, there are barriers – distance or physical …

Games for the 50+: Strengthening Friendships

In my last blog post, I described a very large study of 32,000 users of the free online multiplayer game, Wizard101. The study found that not only were the Wizard101 subscribers over 50 playing more every week compared to younger users, but that they also reported social benefits from playing the game, including the ability to make new friends and stay connected to old friends. The virtual world aspect of Wizard101 and similar games provide participants with an opportunity to …

Games for the 50+: Benefits Include Socialization, Activity

At a conference last year, several of us at AARP had the chance to hear about the ways in which the 50-plus and those not quite 50 find benefits in playing online multiplayer games.  There are several parts of that last statement that tend to elicit pushback from others – first, many believe online multiplayer video games are played by teens or young millennial men.  Second, the idea of a multiplayer video game may elicit images of violent games which …

4 Things I Learned From My Teen’s Driver Safety Program

My second child is learning to drive. In our state one of the requirements for driver education is for the student and a parent to attend a 90-minute seminar on safe driving. I’ll admit that I was not looking forward to attending this session, but left having learned far more than I imagined possible. For example, it turns out they no longer teach the same steering wheel or mirror positions from my high school days. Technology and distracted driving is an …