Financial Makeover Helps One Woman Plan an Independent Future

More than 20 years ago, Celia Nathan’s mother became very depressed. As she was flying from Maryland to Savannah, Ga. to see her mother, Celia read a book a friend had given her about depression. The book described recreation therapy and how it helped those with depression. Celia, always an active person, said she was immediately hooked. “I thought here’s a profession where you’re helping people and also involves recreation!” she told me recently. So she kept exploring the field and …

Caregivers Share Coping Ideas at Life@50 Event

I’m jazzed about AARP’s annual Life@50+ member event going on this week in New Orleans. Attendees can exercise, listen to all kinds of music, hear commentators  James Carville and Mary Matalin argue politics, and take in sessions on such meaningful topics as finance, work, scam artists, social media and happiness. I like to think the biggest attraction, at least so far, has been today’s session on caregiving – and not just because I was on the panel! The group came up …

Plenty of Movies for Grownups at Friday’s Film Festival

Greetings from New Orleans. I’ve just spent the evening strolling around the French Quarter, which for those of you who have never been is something of a cross between Downtown Disney and the Innermost Circle of Hell.But most importantly, this afternoon I was at the Louisiana Theatre at the New Orleans Convention Center watching the final preparations for our Movies for Grownups Film Festival. It’s all part of AARP’s Life@50+ Member Event, which is drawing tens of thousands of folks …

How To Teach Kids Nutrition? Plant Something

“What do you do to get the kids to like stuff like kale? Or radishes?” I asked. Ms. Denise immediately begins shaking her head in protest, with a huge grin on her face. “If they take the seed and plant it. If they grow it. If they see it every day while they’re out on the playground. If they walk by and smell it. They will love eating it,” she said. We were standing in an edible schoolyard on a …

Brushing with Kindness in New Orleans’ Hollygrove Neighborhood

“Welcome back to the Hollygrove neighborhood, ” a Habitat for Humanity staffer said as she greeted a second wave of AARP members arriving ready to paint houses here this afternoon. “AARP has a lot of history helping out in this neighborhood, and we’re glad to see you again.” It’s true. After Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, we realized we had a lot of members – more than 1,000 – living in this working class neighborhood of New Orleans. We asked …

Sandra Cisneros inspires Crowd at Life@50+ in Los Angeles

“I am a chingona,” said Sandra Cisneros, acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street, at this year’s AARP Life@50+ National Event and Expo in Los Angeles. Nervous laughter and anticipation filled the room. But as Sandra’s embodiment of the word began to unfold, a feeling of inspiration swept over the crowd. At 56, Sandra’s spunk, guts and artistry are simply infectious. Watching her, it became clear, that her magnetic energy and thoughtful insights on life are truly representative of …