An inspiration to help older adults get around came to Bob Carr and his wife, Anne, as they parked for an exercise class at the YMCA one day in Atlanta. A group of older people exited the building, having just finished an AARP driver re-certification course. One woman loaded her walker in her trunk, got in the driver’s seat and hit the gas, in reverse, narrowly missing the remainder of the group, who was just able to scuttle out of the way.
In response to the longevity revolution, geriatric professionals nationwide are promoting “aging in place.” With the demise of pensions, salary stagnation and the failure of many to save for retirement, remaining in the old home may be the only option for many.
Life in a CCRC
By 2030, there will be an estimated 70 million elders in the United States, accounting for about 20 percent of the total population. Given the scale and pace of the greying of America, and because satisfaction with living conditions correlates highly with life satisfaction, housing for this population has become one of the more salient policy issues in America today.
Dr. Susan Enguidanos, a palliative care expert and professor at the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology, and Dr. Anna Rahman, a research consultant working with Dr. Enguidanos, engaged in the following email discussion of California’s assisted suicide bill in the month before Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill. Anticipating that more states will eventually pursue similar laws, we—Drs. Enguidanos and Rahman—share our exchange now to illustrate the complex issues such laws raise.
I have to admit I was excited to be given a press pass to attend the 2015 Conference on Aging, my first time covering a White House event. But by the end of the seven-hour conference, I felt flat rather than fired up. Having had a couple of months to reflect on the gathering and to hear from others who attended regional conferences, I feel most of all that it was a lost opportunity.
The patient, an African American man in his late 50s, was critically ill and tethered to a ventilator. Bacteria grew from his blood, his kidneys had shut down and his liver had been rendered wooden and cirrhotic by decades of silent hepatitis C infection. His death, in hours or days, was inevitable.
ASA Board Chair Lynn Friss Feinberg, senior Strategic Policy Advisor with the AARP Public Policy Institute, Washington, D.C., is the Fall 2015 recipient of the Paul Nathanson Distinguished Advocate Award, from Justice in Aging. Feinberg is being honored for bringing an advocate’s spirit to her work on family caregiving issues and for consistently championing the needs of low-income families.
This week Next Avenue released a list of the 50 most influential people in aging. The list is a who’s who of folks who are redefining aging, including thought leaders, executives, writers, artists, researchers, experts and everyday people. And, unsurprisingly, many members of the American Society on Aging are honored.