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. …

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 …

Aging in Thailand: Takeaways From a Year Abroad

They clutched their binoculars and scribbled notes in their programs. They paced behind the teller windows and snagged seats just before post time. Some spent the day on their own, but most huddled in groups, talking stats, favorites and odds. For the past year, I’ve studied aging at a population institute in Thailand. As a curious outsider — a farang (Westerner), as they say here — I’ve had the opportunity to observe aging, too. This weekend’s venue? A horse racetrack in …

How a Preschool in a Nursing Home Became a Viral Video

“What can the very young and the very old offer each other, if given the chance?” It’s a question that comes from a video about a child care program set inside a Seattle retirement home. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do. (You’re welcome.) It’s a touching concept, bringing 4-year-olds and 94-year-olds together, and perhaps that’s what sparked the outpouring of support. So far, the Present Perfect trailer has reached more than 2 million views on YouTube, and the …

9 Life Lessons From My 90-Year-OId Friend

I met Arthur six years ago, thanks to an online ad. A community-based nonprofit called DOROT — meaning “generations” in Hebrew — was looking for volunteers to visit older New Yorkers, many of whom couldn’t easily leave their homes. The commitment was once a week for an hour. Knowing how much my Pop Pop loved (and needed) company, I signed on. Little did I know that the decision would change my life. DOROT paired me with Arthur, and we hit …