Holiday Blues? 7 Ways to Cheer Up

The winter solstice — and the shortest day of the year — will soon be upon us (Dec. 21), and not everyone is feeling the holiday spirit. Illness, loneliness, financial troubles, family problems and depression can make many dread the “most wonderful” time of the year and endanger both mental and physical health. A recent University of Chicago study found that feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to increased stress, higher blood pressure and other health problems. Here are some things you can do …

AARP Debuts RealPad Tablet

AARP debuted its first-ever consumer product at the Ideas@50+ conference in San Diego last month. Called RealPad, it’s bigger than a smartphone yet smaller than a laptop computer. The tablet was designed with tech-shy people in mind, AARP says, making it easy for them to keep in touch with family and friends — including their grandkids, for whom the art of letter writing is often a lost cause. Helping people navigate the digital age is important to AARP, says CEO Jo Ann Jenkins: …

Web Series ‘My Mom on Movies’ Highlights Dynamic Mother-Son Duo

Most adult children will tell you they think their mothers are superstars, but Pat Seftel really is one – thanks to her film director son, Josh. The two collaborate on a Web series, My Mom on Movies, in which Pat shares her observations about everything from movie stars (she loves Bradley Cooper) to books (she embarrassed herself talking about 50 Shades of Grey) and politics (she says Anthony Weiner is in “deep doo-doo”). It all started when Josh’s father died, …

Can Keeping a Hen Help You Live Longer?

Want to stay active, feel less lonely and generally be healthier? Maybe it’s time to get yourself a hen. HenPower, an experimental project based in Gateshead, England, aims to get older residents of the community involved in hen keeping as a way to reduce their feelings of isolation and to enhance their health and well-being. The “pensioners,” as the Brits refer to retired folks, look after the hens, collecting their eggs and rearing their chicks; the handiest among them design …

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 …

Having My FaceTime With Arthur

I didn’t know what to expect from my long-distance friendship with Arthur – but it wasn’t this. It’s been three months since I moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to small-town Ohio for grad school. It was tough telling friends I was leaving, especially Arthur, who had come to rely on my Friday visits. Several weeks before the move date, I called our social worker Sasha at DOROT to strategize about how to break the news. “When do you think I should …