The Power of Pause: Taking Time to Visit Seniors

I’ll admit it: I love a good to-do list. When I’ve got a lot on my plate, or even when I don’t, there’s something so satisfying about crossing things off as I go. But my latest project has been a lesson in letting go of the list. As part of my grad school assistantship, I’m administering cognitive tests to older adults at a care facility near campus. When my adviser, Kate, told me about it, I was excited to jump …

Meeting Older Adults Where They Are

The other day, one of Arthur’s former students commented on an interview we did months ago with Eileen Fuentes, founder of The SPEACH: I was lucky enough to be one of Arthur’s students at Hofstra in 72-73. In addition to basic Freshman English he taught a lecture course in the history of American Musical Theatre. I didn’t always agree with him but admired his passion for the subject… Please send him my warmest regards and thanks. I called Arthur immediately. “A …

The Doctor Will (Really) See You Now: An Alzheimer’s Program

The Buddy Program, an initiative that pairs medical students with those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s for social activities, not doctoring, is proving therapeutic for both sides. Students learn about dementia outside the classroom so it is demystified and humanized, while people with Alzheimer’s get to act as mentors. The mentors not only have fun, but also feel that they are contributing to future physicians’  understanding of a disease they will inevitably face with their patients. Over the course …

The Beginning of a Beautiful (Long-Distance) Friendship

One Friday last month, I finally broke my news to Arthur. “I have something I need to tell you,” I said, taking a deep breath. “I’m going to graduate school.” “That’s great!” “For gerontology.” “To study old people?” “Yep. And it’s in Ohio.” “Ohio?!” That’s the part I had been nervous about – telling him I’m leaving New York. Apart from his time in the Navy and a year sabbatical in China, Arthur has lived in New York his whole …

Rethinking Elder Care . . . With an Eye to the Future

By Liz Seegert for Kaiser Health News The elderly population of the future may not look much like the old people of today. It will be less white and with fewer native English speakers. That means physicians, nurses, social workers and health aides will have to adapt to our increasingly diverse society, according to Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, professor, health policy & management, and interim co-director of the Institute on Aging at the University of North Carolina. She says that not understanding …

Education Knows No Age

Hey blog readers! Jenn here from the AARP Communications team – sharing the story of one of our volunteers Zig Sokolnicki. He gave the commencement speech this past weekend in Chicago to a group of students at Wilbur Wright College. Eleven Gerontology students completed the Basic Gerontology Certification. As Zig’s speech proves – you’re always young enough to learn something new! Are you interested in becoming an AARP Illinois Volunteer? We’ve got lots of opportunities to fit your skills. From …