A Millennial’s Musings on Returning to the Nest

I’m 32 and I live in my mom’s basement. (For now!) Let me explain: I recently completed a master’s degree program, the second year of which was in Thailand. Before I left, I packed two suitcases and a backpack, and locked the rest of my two-bedroom apartment in storage. That’s what I have now at my mom’s — two big bags and a backpack — as I search for a job and plot my next move. Oh, and I should mention …

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 …

A Different Type of Long-Term Care, Resort-Style

I used to cringe when the staff at Pop Pop’s nursing home called him “Sweetie.” Bernie would have been fine. Mr. Covitch would have been better. Sweetie, to me, wasn’t a name you’d call a man who identified as a military officer, a business owner and a father of three. It was just too cute and too casual. So when I recently visited a long-term care resort in Thailand, I initially was struck by how the owner insisted on calling residents guests. Well, “care …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Two armored fish had the first sex 385 million years ago. (Learn more at Discovery) 2. Zombie-proof cabins come with a 10-year guarantee. (Learn more at C|Net) 3. Even people from Pittsburgh agree their accent may be the “worst” in the nation. (Learn more at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) 4. Soda might age you as much as smoking. (Learn more at Time) 5. A 3-D printer prints anatomically correct dog noses. (Learn more at Nextgov) 6. …

In Thailand, Retirement Is Not Always a Choice

Pa’ Noi manages the neighborhood restaurant that my boyfriend, Joe, and I love here in Thailand, where I’m doing part of my master’s program in gerontology. When we arrive, she greets and seats us, and patiently waits as we, the farangs (Thai for “foreigners”), fumble through our orders. When we finish, she brings us our check and our change, and she inevitably beats the busboys to a first swipe at our table. Pa’ Noi is 71, and she’s great at …

Blessings Near and Far: A Lesson in Honoring Elders

We arrived with jasmine garlands and two rosettes folded out of Thai baht. We slipped off our sandals and felt the cool, smooth tiles beneath us as we walked toward a woman sitting on her front porch. The woman was my friend Fon’s 90-year-old great grandmother, Chid. Fon had invited us – my friend Jess, my boyfriend Joe and me – to go to the beach, a few hours south of Bangkok. But first, she asked, could we stop to …