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Address service requested. 11155
The 2011 MindAlert Award Mines a JEWEL San Francisco, CA
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Marc Freedman on Mid-Life Migration
and the Big Shift
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In Focus: The Might of America’s Mature Women
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AGING TODAY
v
Covering advances in
research, practice and
policy nationwide.
www.agingtoday.org

Vol. xxxii, No. 2 The Bimonthly Newspaper of the American Society on Aging March–April 2011

America Is at the Nexus of Aging and Multiculturalism


By Fernando Torres-Gil sider. For America, broad diversity hopes of landing a new position—or
and Diana Lam among older population groups is an simply staying engaged in their com-
enormous factor—one that hasn’t been munities—have become part of the
The United States, like other nations, adequately addressed. The native-born “new normal” for people over age 50.
is now experiencing a “silver” tsunami. population of baby boomers is augment- Yet, on the other hand, living longer
And, as has occurred in other countries, ed by people who have, in recent years, inevitably raises a host of unique con-
we’ve seen this tidal force coming, but migrated to America. This immigration cerns. Longer lifespans mean increas-
are not prepared for it. is expanding the number of baby boom- ing healthcare costs and needs as peo-
ers—most notably, there is a cohort of 8 ple become more susceptible to chronic
million baby boomers hidden within the illnesses like heart disease, diabetes,
America has seen the rapidly growing Latino population. arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other
Photo: iStock Photo/stereohype

According to research, Hispanic, dementias. Increased longevity raises


silver tsunami coming Asian and black populations all will concerns about outliving financial re-
experience major growth by mid- sources, loss of independence and con-
but is not prepared for it. century. Projections indicate Hispanic trol, and fears of isolation.
growth by 188%, Asian growth by Bonus years for the largest senior
Millions of native-born baby boom- 213% and black population growth by population ever also mean there is an
ers started turning age 65 this year. By 71%. Around the same time, non- increased need for in-home care pro-
2032, there will be more people alive Hispanic whites will cease to be the viders—especially family caregivers,
over the age of 65 than under the age of majority population in America. past age 65 have no thoughts of retire- who may have health issues of their
15: there will be more older adults than ment. As we recover from the reces- own and are often overlooked as key
Longevity: The Upside sion, some older adults have come out players in the caregiving network.
children. And between now and 2050,
and Downside of retirement, searching for employ- Caregivers need guidance and assis-
the entire age 65-plus population will
increase from 13% to 20%. On one hand, it’s exciting that peo- ment to bolster diminished nest eggs. tance to care for loved ones’ needs. But
Beyond the realities of these num- ple are living longer and, for the most Switching careers, returning to school
l continued on page 2 l
bers, there is the fact of diversity to con- part, healthier lives. Many people well or taking on volunteer opportunities in

Fear, Discrimination and Abuse: Transgender


view these issues as trivial. But for
transgender elders they are fundamen-
tal to their sense of identity and digni-

Elders and the Perils of Long-Term Care ty. Many transgender elders report that
they would rather forego care alto-
gether than live in such a facility.
By Daniel Redman it, “A secret fear of all transgender peo- Transgender Aging Network, executive
To avoid dealing with bullying by
ple, surgical or not, is to grow old and director Loree Cook-Daniels says,
other residents, and because transgen-
Phyllis Frye is a long-time lawyer be psychologically abused, day after “People reported that they would rather
der elders are different, some facilities
and a judge in Houston. She is also a day, by the staff of a nursing home.” kill themselves than enter a nursing
will segregate them. An ombudsman
prominent transgender activist. To Transgender elders are afraid staff home and be at the mercy of staff. official reports that in one California
transition from male to female—her members will refuse to let them live That’s how afraid some people are at
true gender identity—she underwent consistent with their gender identity, the thought of being unable to defend
several medical procedures and takes deny them appropriate medical care themselves from transphobic health- ‘People reported that
estrogen. In Phyllis’s life, she chooses (such as hormone therapy), violate care providers.”
where and how she lives without fear. their privacy and leave them vulnerable they would rather kill
Looking to her future, she is adamant
she would not feel safe living in a
to harassment and mistreatment.
These fears are widely prevalent in
Erasing Identity
themselves than enter a
Nursing home staff members have
nursing home. the community. In a study published in enormous power to ignore—and thus nursing home and be at
Transgender elders are afraid of 2010 in the Journal of GLBT Family erase—a transgender elder’s identity.
long-term-care facilities. As Frye puts Studies, and conducted by FORGE/ For transgender elders, one of their
the mercy of staff.’
worst fears is being placed in a facility
that tries to force them to live in their
A Vibrant New Look for Aging Today original sex. By using the wrong pro-
nursing home, a transgender resident
was “prevented from eating with other
ASA is pleased to announce that the pages of Aging Today will soon have a nouns or names, a staff member essen- residents, talking with them or being
new look! Beginning with the May−June 2011 issue, you’ll see a major trans- tially negates a lifetime of struggle. involved in social and recreational ac-
formation to a brighter, bolder, more vibrant design. We’ll still bring you the Transgender elders also fear staff tivities with other residents.” Nursing
same timely, useful and engaging stories by experts in the field of aging—but will refuse to provide them with hor- home officials also employ this tactic
with the added touch of eye-catching four-color photography and graphics. The mone therapy, force them to wear the against lesbian, gay and bisexual el-
new Aging Today will debut at the 2011 Aging in America Conference and will other gender’s clothing or prevent ders. Jane Gross of The New York Times
arrive in your mailbox in early May. them from using appropriate rest-
rooms or showers. Facility staff may l continued on page 4 l
2 Aging Today March–April 2011

Aging and Multiculturalism Kaiser Study


l continued from page 1 l
Clarifies Level AGING TODAY
caregivers also need support with respect to income, respite, and physical, emotional
and mental health.
Elders who have recently come to America, or who have significantly different
of Healthcare American Society on Aging
backgrounds, may find dealing with these challenges while trying to navigate an un-
familiar culture overwhelming—not only for themselves but for younger family
Reform www.agingtoday.org

members who may not speak English.


As the elder population grows larger, so does the gaping hole, a rift caused by out- Confusion Aging Today (issn 1043-1284) is pub-
lished bimonthly by the American Society
of-date policies and a lack of products, services, benefits and resources necessary to One of the bigger stories not covered on Aging. Articles may be reproduced by
serve older Americans. America has been stuck—polarized about what, when and in the press in 2011 has been how bi- those obtaining written permission. Post-
how to implement overarching social changes to address the needs of a swelling partisan bickering over healthcare re- master: Send address changes to Aging
older population. form leaves the public mightily con- Today, ASA, 71 Stevenson St., Suite 1450,
What will it take to fill the hole in this new and changing America—a place where fused. On February 24, the Kaiser San Francisco, CA 94105-2938. Phones:
aging and multiculturalism are dovetailing to create a critical 21st century test of our Family Foundation published key find- editorial (415) 974-9619; advertising (415)
compassion, support and care for our oldest populations? ings from its Health Tracking Poll that 974-9600; or visit www.agingtoday.org.
succinctly clear up the misinformation. For membership or other information
Steps to Shape the Future
It turns out that 52% of Americans
Closing the hole will take nothing less than proactively advocating for extensive about ASA, call (415) 974-9600, fax (415)
are unaware healthcare reform is still
social change. On many levels, that’s a profound challenge in the current economic 974-0300 or visit www.asaging.org.
law; 22% think the law has been re-
and political climate. But one size won’t fit all. There is no “business as usual” with pealed; and 26% have no idea what’s Subscription Price: individual nonmem-
a task of this magnitude. We’ll be making history, but time is short, with leading- going on when it comes to healthcare bers: $53.00/year (included with annual
edge boomers turning 65 this year. reform. Forty-eight percent hold an un- membership); nonmember institutions/
As we embark on the massive undertaking of changing laws and policies (which favorable view of the law; and 43% libraries: $66.00/year.
rarely happens quickly), we shouldn’t miss out on taking the following common- favor it. When broken down along party
sense steps that can go a long way toward shaping future changes: lines, 66% of Democrats like the law; Aging Today is indexed in the Cumulative
Train geriatric specialists. We’ve never had a greater need for people specializ- and 84% of Republicans oppose it. Index to Nursing and Allied Health Litera-
ing in elders’ health needs. We must address the shortage of geriatric specialists:
ture and the areco Quarterly Index to Peri-
doctors, researchers, social workers, administrators, therapists, nurses and aides. We
odical Literature in Aging. Printed in the
need geriatricians just as we need pediatricians. It turns out that 52% U.S.A. © 2011 American Society on Aging.
Train in cultural competence. Care providers responsible for older patients and
clients, whether these people are served in hospitals, private homes, nursing homes of Americans are All rights reserved.
or community settings, will increasingly interact with people from different cultures.
Providers must be able to interact effectively by learning to manage language barri-
unaware healthcare
Publisher: Robert G. Stein, ASA President
ers and demonstrating sensitivity, understanding and respect for cultural differences. reform is still law. & CEO
These skills improve provider effectiveness.
Rethink housing options. Most people prefer to stay in their own home or com- ASA Board Chair: John Feather
munity as they age. AARP research consistently finds that this is the preference of Among older Americans, their oppo- Editor: Alison Hood
nearly nine out of ten households. Family or private caregivers can make this possi- sition remains strong, with 59% hold-
ble and, increasingly, Medicaid funding for home- and community-based services ing an unfavorable view, which repre- Copy Editor: Alison Biggar
rather than nursing home care is available in some states. Village models, which rely sents a 19% increase from December. Design & Production: Acacia Graphics
heavily on volunteers from within and outside the community, add another twist: This level of opposition mirrors what & Design
community members (who don’t have to be elders) incorporate into a nonprofit and elders thought right after the law passed
pay a yearly fee, with the monies used for providing support and services, such as in late March 2010, and turns around Contributing Writers: Beth Witrogen,
transportation, meals, in-home care and housekeeping, to older members. William E. Oriol, Joan Retsinas
what had been a lessening of opposi-
Increase nonprofit involvement in elder programs. The level of compassionate tion seen just three months ago.
care provided to patients can be improved by removing the profit element present in When it comes to the marketplace, Editorial Board
most nursing home administrations. Local agencies, religious groups and charities 14% of Americans claim to have bene-
engaging in these programs would create additional opportunities for people to re- Chair: Robert A. Rosenblatt, Journalist,
fited from the law, while 17% say they Washington, D.C.
main in their communities and receive services delivered with greater care. have been negatively affected, citing
increased costs that could be pegged to Robert C. Atchley, Professor Emeritus, Miami
fluctuations in the market that the pub- (Ohio) University, Boulder, Colo.
As the elder population grows, so does the gaping hole lic attributes to the law. William F. Benson, President, The Benson
caused by out-of-date policies and the lack of resources Tax credits to small business remain Consulting Group, Silver Spring, Md.
a popular provision of healthcare re-
necessary to serve older Americans. form, with 84% of Americans approv- Robert H. Binstock, Professor, Case Western
Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
ing of their retention. Seven out of 10
would retain the provisions that close Robert B. Blancato, President, Blancato, Matz
Tap into the value of older workers. Increased longevity and better health mean the Medicare donut hole, subsidize in- & Associates, Washington, D.C.
that people over age 65 may have many more years of productive work ahead. Older surance for low and moderate income
workers can help cover the approaching dearth of younger workers, filling jobs va- Jane Glenn Haas, Staff Writer, Orange County
earners, and prohibit insurance compa-
cated by retirees. AARP has long acknowledged companies that value older workers Register, Santa Ana, Calif.
nies from denying coverage based on
through its Best Employers for Workers Over 50 awards. These companies utilize pre-existing conditions. They would Neal E. Lane, Member, AARP National Policy
best practices to hire, retain and retrain older workers. also retain the CLASS Act provisions. Council, Washington, D.C.
Encourage volunteerism. Older people should be championed as a valuable The individual mandate, however,
Pamela J. Larson, Executive Vice President,
volunteer resource, but younger people also should be encouraged to volunteer to still comes in for a stinging 67% disap- National Academy of Social Insurance,
work on behalf of senior programs and services or other civic programs in a formal proval rating, despite experts’ concern Washington, D.C.
service corps. that the system may not work well
Share responsibility. Caring for elders in our society with dignity and respect without it. v Trudy Lieberman, Director, Heath/Medicine
isn’t just the government’s job, the private sector’s job or the individual’s job. It’s a Reporting Program, Graduate School of
shared responsibility and everyone needs to be involved. Journalism, CUNY, New York, N.Y.
These recommendations are not the far-reaching and necessary policy shifts re-
LETTERS
Andrew E. Scharlach, Professor of Social
quired to revamp laws affecting social programs, civil rights, disability issues, health- Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
care or financial security. But they are examples of constructive approaches we can
Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., Executive
take—as private citizens, community groups, businesses, educational institutes and We welcome your responses both to Director, MetLife Mature Market Institute,
professionals—that move us closer to the inevitable and herculean task of shaping Aging Today articles and to guest com- White Plains, N.Y.
laws to better serve our changing society. mentaries, which present the opinions
America isn’t the only nation experiencing phenomenal growth of cultural diversity of their authors and not necessarily
and an older population: we can look beyond our borders for workable solutions. What those of the American Society on
we must not do is wait, for the nexus of aging and multiculturalism is already here. v Aging. Letters should be no more than Aging Today is printed with soy-based ink
Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, an expert in health and long-term care, aging, social on 100% recycled paper.
350 words long. Submit them by mail
policy, ethnicity and disability, serves on AARP’s Board of Directors. He is professor to Aging Today, “Letters,” 71 Steven-
of social welfare and public policy director of the Center for Policy Research on son St., Suite 1450, San Francisco, CA Union Bug

Aging at UCLA’s School of Public Affairs. Diana Lam is a graduate research assis- 94105-2938; by fax to (415) 974-0300;
tant at UCLA’s School of Public Affairs. or by e-mail to ahood@asaging.org.
March–April 2011 Aging Today 3

FORUM
Assisted Living and Medicaid:
Exploring the Unanswered Questions
By Eric Carlson based if it provides single-occupancy
units with a lockable front door.
Increasingly, state Medicaid pro- Also, in 2009 the CMS requested
grams are offering to cover personal public input on the interpretation of the
and healthcare services provided by term community-based, and it is ex-
assisted living facilities. But it’s a pected to announce a broad policy on
new model, which means many poli- this issue during 2011. The NSCLC
cy questions remain unanswered, pos- and its partners in the Assisted Living
ing challenges for states, providers Consumer Alliance (www.assistedliv
and beneficiaries. ingconsumers.org) support an interpre-
In order to better understand these tation similar to the policy applied in
unanswered questions, the National MFP programs.
Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) Quality of care is another important
conducted a study of states that cover issue. When the Medicaid program
assisted living services through a Med- covers nursing home services, the nurs-
icaid Home and Community-Based Ser- ing home must comply with compre-
vices (HCBS) waiver. (The study was hensive quality standards set by the
funded through a grant from The Com- federal Nursing Home Reform Law. In
Photo: iStock Photo/MirekP

sharp contrast, when it comes to assist-


ed living, the CMS generally defers to
state assisted living licensure standards.
Increasingly, state In most cases these standards don’t
Medicaid programs may recognize that HCBS beneficiaries
have care needs warranting nursing
cover personal and home admission. The NSCLC recom-
mends the federal government take a
healthcare services waiver funding should be a win-win
for both the Medicaid program and
private home. Living units are often
shared with people other than family more active role in oversight of assisted
provided by assisted beneficiaries—the state spends less members, staff is allowed in and out of living facilities.
for HCBS than it would for nursing units without requiring permission and
living facilities—but home services, and beneficiaries re- residents don’t have access to private
Medicaid and the
‘Who Pays’ Conundrum
there are challenges ceive services and supports in a less
institutional environment.
bathrooms or a kitchen.
So far the Centers for Medicare and On the financial side, the fact that
with this new model. Medicaid Services (CMS) has consid- Medicaid cannot pay for room and
board in an assisted living facility
What’s Considered ered assisted living services communi-
Community-Based? ty-based when it comes to an HCBS causes various complications. Room
monwealth Fund and formed the basis But the first question is whether as- waiver, but there are indications that the and board is the resident’s responsibil-
of several papers based on the findings.) sisted living care should be considered CMS’s position may be shifting. For ex- ity, and, under Medicaid rules, resi-
Through an HCBS waiver, a state is “community-based” in the first place. ample, in the Money Follows the Person dents have a limited amount of monthly
authorized to provide long-term ser- An assisted living facility is almost al- (MFP) program —designed to transition income available to pay for it.
vices and supports to Medicaid benefi- ways less institutional than a nursing nursing home residents into community- In Arkansas, for example, a resident
ciaries whose healthcare needs would home, but an assisted living facility is based settings—an assisted living facil- is allocated $612 for room and board
warrant nursing home admission. The more like a nursing home than it is a ity can only be considered community- l continued on page 10 l

Training California’s Direct-Care Workforce of Tomorrow


By Athan G. Bezaitis and their decisions to stay in the field. To SCAN Foundation’s website (www. nisms during this often difficult time. 
Victoria R. Ballesteros help address this need, The SCAN TheSCANFoundation.org). The courses “Many times families have difficulty
Foundation supported the development are based on established adult learning knowing their role with their loved one
California is home to more than of five continuing education courses principles, and cover themes such as when [he or she] is unresponsive,” said
150,000 certified nursing assistants and for California-state-certified nursing understanding and responding to be- Paula McMenamin, clinical field in-
home health aides who provide paid assistants and home health aides. haviors of dementia; strengthening structor at The Institute. “Participants
care and support for older adults and communication and problem-solving; will learn communication strategies
persons with disabilities. These critical end-of-life care; medication and falls; and ways to support families during
laborers, a skilled infantry of profes- As the aging tsunami building partnerships with family care- this transition through [culturally com-
givers; and pain management. They are petent] conversations.”
sional caregivers, make up approxi-
mately 30% of the state’s direct-care
peaks over the next divided into modules, which include The third module describes the most
workforce and are employed in nursing 30 years, researchers detailed teaching guides for course in- effective methods for dealing with death
and grief as a process. “Death impacts
homes, hospitals, clinics, home health structors, and each curriculum includes
and health welfare agencies. These predict a major shortage PowerPoint presentations, handouts for other residents and the direct-care work-
participants, case studies and videos. ers themselves in their work life,” Mc-
fully trained and licensed workers pro-
vide vital daily care (including assis-
of direct-care workers. Menamin said. “This curriculum ad-
tance with bathing, dressing, eating and Coping with End-of-Life Care dresses ways…[to] bring about closure
medication management) that is a life- “A highly trained direct-care work- San Diego Hospice and The Institute within the facility [residents and staff].”
line for those who depend upon their force is critical in allowing those with for Palliative Medicine developed the
Communication Competencies
services. functional impairments to live with “Care at the End of Life” course, a se-
Are Key
Over the next few decades as the dignity and independence, in the envi- ries of three modules that are specifical-
aging tsunami peaks, researchers pre- ronment of their choice,” said Dr. Bruce ly designed for use in a long-term-care Another course curriculum devel-
dict a major shortage of these workers. Chernof, president and CEO of The setting. Available in both instructor-led oped by the New York-based PHI (www.
Challenges exist to the recruitment and SCAN Foundation. “We envision these and Web-based formats, courses can be phinational.org) provides six one-hour
retention of home health aides and cer- curricula leading to improved job satis- delivered in 15- to 20-minute sessions. in-service training sessions in commu-
tified nursing assistants, and their most faction, while addressing the need to The first module focuses on helping nications protocol and how to uphold
significant labor pool—women of color help train, retain and expand this vital workers understand patient and family the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
of ages 25 to 54—is declining. workforce in California.” choices as the time of death nears, with Services “resident-centered” practices.
Research from surveys and focus Following their initial launch in particular emphasis on understanding “Communications and problem-solv-
groups of direct-care workers shows March, the five programs will be rolled cultural differences. The second module ing competencies foster the ability to
the lack of adequate training as both a out over the next few months and avail- trains workers on how to engage family build effective relationships,” said Peggy
concern and a factor that influences able via download for free on The members by developing coping mecha- l continued on page 14 l
4 Aging Today March–April 2011

A JEWEL of a Program Earns the 2011 MindAlert Award


By Alison Biggar dan’s, supported a working mom. Jor-
dan’s relatives were of all ages, but
JEWEL (Joining Elders with Early they weren’t necessarily healthy or en-
Learners), a joint program of Family gaged. Yet Jordan still enjoyed and felt
Services of Westchester and the Mount their support. So she took “a leap of
Kisco Child Care Center, is the winner faith,” and agreed to work with FSW
of the 2011 ASA-MetLife Foundation Photo: Courtesy of Mount Kisco Child Care Center on the design and development of the
MindAlert Award, a national award pro- shared site, plus collaborate on the
gram that recognizes innovative ap- JEWEL program.
proaches to maintaining older adults’ Today, Jordan hosts 160 kids from
cognitive fitness. MindAlert annually three months to 11 years old at Mount
provides a way for nonprofit organiza- Kisco, and Rina Bellamy, director of
tions to showcase older adult mental fit- My Second Home, has 90 adults, ages
ness programs that demonstrate innova- 60 to 97, with some level of impair-
tive and effective application, and are ment, either physical or mental, com-
accessible to diverse communities. The ing to My Second Home on a daily
2011 MindAlert award will be given on basis. Several times a day the two pop-
April 27 at the National Forum on Brain ulations get together for joint activities,
The JEWEL program in action: preschool children and their “grandpa” friend help germinate the seeds
Health, during the 2011 Aging in Amer- that will be used for the outdoor “generations” garden. which can range from elders watching
ica Conference in San Francisco. children sing, or actively helping them
with painting projects.
A melding of two programs—the tional activities, and was responsive One of the beauties of JEWEL is
The JEWEL preschoolers Mount Kisco Child Care Center and to the proposal. that parents of the children in daycare
the My Second Home Adult Day pro- The more she researched the idea, can go off to work knowing that their
saw elders as healthy, gram—JEWEL is housed in one the more she heard people fondly re- kids are in doubly good hands, and
20,000-square-foot residential facility calling their youth in multigenerational
‘not grouchy.’ in Mount Kisco, N.Y. When the Mount households, some of which, like Jor- l continued on page 14 l
Kisco Child Care Center wished to ex-
It used to be that school kids would pand into its own home after renting a
come home to a grandma eager to help
with homework or maybe trounce them
series of sites in dour basements, an
anonymous donor offered land on Transgender Elders
in a game of gin rummy. Today, with which to build a new facility. When the l continued from page 1 l
families spread across continents, many donor came up with the idea to build
kids rarely interact with elders. The one facility to accommodate both pro- reported in 2007 that it was a “com- the National Gay & Lesbian Task
JEWEL, a joint program of Family grams, a good idea was born. mon” practice to “move gay residents Force, nearly a fifth of transgender
Services of Westchester (FSW) and the to placate others” if other residents people report that medical providers
Mount Kisco Child Care Center, which Multigenerational Memories were homophobic. have refused to provide care for them.
practically stumbled upon the immense Mine a JEWEL In addition, transgender elders fear Fear of disrespect or harassment by
benefits of intergenerational interac- Dorothy Jordan, executive director rejection and loss of privacy. Many medical professionals leads transgen-
tion, now sees these benefits and inter- of Mount Kisco, was just beginning worry they will be ostracized, ridiculed der elders to delay or avoid seeking
actions daily. to learn the benefits of intergenera- or harassed if residents learn they are needed care. According to Improving
transgender. Some would prefer to the Lives of LGBT Older Adults, a 2010
keep their transgender identity private, report by SAGE and the Movement

&OLFN&RQQHFWDQG/HDUQ
and may be devastated if staff or resi- Advancement Project, 30% of trans-
dents disclose that information. Others gender people put off or avoid seeking
want to live openly, but may be pre- medical care for this reason.
vented from doing so.
Hopeful Signs
Turned Away at the Door While all of this is cause for alarm,
‡„•‡‹ƒ”•…‘˜‡”‹‰ƒ†‹˜‡”•‡ƒ””ƒ›‘ˆ–‘’‹…• Sometimes, because of discrimina- there is cause for hope. Thirteen states,
tory attitudes, nursing home officials the District of Columbia and more than
ƒ”‡ƒ˜ƒ‹Žƒ„Ž‡ƒ–‘…‘•––‘‡„‡”•Ǥ will bar a transgender elder from their 100 cities have transgender-inclusive
ƒ”›‘—”…ƒŽ‡†ƒ”ˆ‘”–Š‡•‡™‡„•‡‹ƒ”•ǣ facility. In late 2007, an older transgen- nondiscrimination laws. Where those
der woman who was homeless contact- laws include public accommodations
ƒ”…Š͕͗Ȅ ”‘ ‘•’‹–ƒŽ–‘ ‘‡ǣ ed Chicago’s Center on Halsted—a provisions, they can be used to bring
community center serving the lesbian, lawsuits against nursing homes discrim-
Š‡Šƒ…‡†‹•…Šƒ”‰‡Žƒ‹‰”‘‰”ƒ gay, bisexual and transgender commu- inating against transgender people.
ƒ›͙ȄŠ‡ 
”‘™’ ƒ–‘‡ nity. She needed emergency brain sur- To change the climate of California
ƒ–—†‡–ǣŠ‡”–ƒ†…‹‡…‡‘ˆ‹ˆ‡Ž‘‰ gery, but doctors refused to operate on nursing homes, in 2008 the legislature
her unless she had somewhere to go af- passed a law mandating that the state
‡ƒ”‹‰”‘‰”ƒ• terward. She had already contacted Department of Public Health design
ƒ›͕͕Ȅ‘‰Ǧ‹•–ƒ…‡ƒ”‡‰‹˜‹‰ three nursing homes, but they had all and institute an LGBT-inclusive train-
turned her down. ing program for certified nurse assis-
ƒ›͕͝Ȅ‡‘”›”ƒ‹‹‰ǯ• ƪ—‡…‡‘‘‰‹–‹˜‡‰‹‰ “It was really blatant refusal,” says tants and other personnel. Advocates in
ƒ† —…–‹‘ƒŽ„‹Ž‹–› Serena Worthington, former director at the District of Columbia are currently
Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders working toward passing a similar law.
—‡͝Ȅ›—”ǣ†—…ƒ–‹‘ƒŽ”‘‰”ƒˆ‘”†—Ž–•͚͔ (SAGE) in Chicago. Worthington A nursing home in Chicago conducted
‡ƒ”•ƒ†Ž†‡” worked with the center’s Volunteer focus groups and is currently working
Transgender Community Liaison, and toward developing a policy that will
—‰—•–͕͕Ȅ‡†‹…ƒ–‹‘•ƒ†Ž†‡”†—Ž–•ǣ –”‘†—…–‹‘ together they found a long-term-care ensure that transgender elders receive
–‘Šƒ–˜‡”›‰‹‰‡–™‘””‘ˆ‡••‹‘ƒŽ‡‡†•–‘‘™ facility that would take her. When Wor- proper respect and care.
—‰—•–͕͛Ȅ Ǧ ‘‡ƒ”‡—”‹‰ƒ‡…‡••‹‘ thington shares this story with people These efforts are in their infancy,
who don’t work with LGBT elders, she and much more must be done. But with
—‰—•–͕͜Ȅ ‘™–‘‡…‘‰‹œ‡ƒ†‡†—…‡‡†‹…ƒ–‹‘Ǧ says, “They cannot believe it hap- more robust cultural competency train-
‡Žƒ–‡†”‘„Ž‡• pened.” But when she tells those who ings, vigorous litigation against dis-
work with LGBT elders, she says that criminatory facilities, increased activ-
—‰—•–͖͙Ȅ‡‹‘”ƒ”‡Šƒ”ƒ…‹•–•‹–Š‡‘—‹–› “each of them has a similar story. Un- ism both inside and outside nursing
‡––‹‰ǣ‡†—…‹‰‡†‹…ƒ–‹‘‹••ƒ† ’”‘˜‹‰ƒˆ‡ fortunately, people are refused medical homes, and more widespread nondis-
‡†‹…ƒ–‹‘•‡ services and housing and treated badly crimination laws across the country, we
all too often.” can hope for a time when no elder will
‘˜‡„‡”͕͚Ȅƒ–‹‡–Ȁ‘…–‘”‘—‹…ƒ–‹‘ Even medical providers can be un- fear the inside of a nursing home. v
welcoming—or worse. According to Daniel Redman is an attorney in the
Injustice at Every Turn, a study re- Elder Law Project of the National
‹•‹–™™™Ǥƒ•ƒ‰‹‰Ǥ‘”‰Ȁ™‡„•‡‹ƒ”•ˆ‘”†‡–ƒ‹Ž• leased in February 2011 by the Nation- Center for Lesbian Rights, San Fran-
al Center for Transgender Equality and cisco, Calif.
March–April 2011 Aging Today 5

The Engaged Age


The Mid-Life Migration, the Big Shift
and a New Social Imperative
ble space that has no name, no clear
By Marc Freedman
beginning or end, and no rites or routes
of passage. In trying to navigate this
We need a new map of life. We’ve
uncertain territory, they face a contra-
been making do with one that was
dictory culture, incoherent policies, in-
fashioned for an expected human lon-
stitutions tailored to a different popula-
gevity of 70 years. At one time such a
tion and a society that seems in denial
lifespan constituted progress, but we
that this stage of life even exists.
can’t stuff a 21st century lifespan into
a life course designed for the 20th A Second Chance,
century—or stretch the old model so a Social Imperative
that it accommodates a task well be- Coping with this new life stage—
yond its intended capacity. while a deeply personal experience—
Though it starts with the numbers, the signifies more than a conundrum to be
story really is about the nature of lives.
Photo: iStock Photo/aluxum

faced, alone, by an individual. The prob-


In 1900, the lifespan in the United lem is much larger: what we’re facing is
States was 47 years. Today, it is ap- not a solo matter, but implies a social
proaching 80 (although great disparities imperative—an urgent one that must be
persist across class and race). Overall, solved as the great mid-life migration
that’s an increase over a 100-year span gathers scale and momentum.
that approximates all the gains since the We need a call to action for creat-
beginning of time. And the length of life ing an “encore” stage of life charac-
may well be growing, headed toward The situation is beginning to fray, But now we’re looking at 30-year re- terized by purpose, contribution and
the century mark. Some think the up- especially in the period of life that is tirements in the era of the Great Reces- commitment, particularly to the well-
ward rise will be even more precipitous. emerging between traditional mid-life sion. A “golden years” retirement is being of future generations. But in-
and what used to be occupied by retire- simply not going to work, nor is it de- venting a new stage of life won’t
ment and old age. It’s fair to say that sirable. Does it make sense for our so- happen by itself, not easily or auto-
We’ve been remarkably this condition constitutes a longstand- ciety to throw away the most experi- matically, even as social conditions
adept at extending lives, ing problem, one that existed even be-
fore longer lives and changing demo-
enced segment of its population that is
a long way from obsolescence?
improve and become auspicious. If
we choose to act, this new life stage
but our skill in reshaping graphics made it a much bigger one. could well become a destination—
even the new crown of a life—and the
those longer lives has Goodbye to the ‘Golden Years’ Middle age—like all flood of people heading there could
not kept pace. It took ingenuity to redesign lives to
keep up with changes in longevity and good things—eventually offer the human-capital solution to
much that ails American society.

Yet while we’ve been remarkably


society in mid-20th century America, must reach an end. We are in the position to make a
but we rose to the occasion. We plugged monument from what used to be the
adept at extending lives, our imagina- the purpose gap with something called leftover years. There can be a second
tion and innovation in remaking the the “golden years,” a stunning innova- The way to make the most of the chance for people of all stripes to as-
shape of those longer lives have been tion that almost overnight turned an coming reality of 100-year human cend the ladder of contribution and ful-
struggling to keep pace. In the words arid economic institution—retire- lifespans is not to stretch and strain the fillment, offering society the opportu-
of anthropologist Mary Catherine ment—from an anteroom to the great contours of a life course set up for a by- nity to “grow up” along with its
Bateson, we’re “living longer and beyond into a core component of the gone era. This would be an effort akin population. This will mean nothing less
thinking shorter.” American dream. to performing plastic surgery to make a than changing the patterns of lives and
70-year-old face look like a 40-year-old reshaping the nature and possibilities
one—the result is unnatural and the in- of every progressive life stage.
Making the Shift: A Call to Action tention wrongheaded. Likewise, the an-
swer to unsustainable 30-year retire-
It’s time for a shift in our thinking
and in our culture, our social institu-
How do we ensure that the best thing that ever happened to us as individuals, the
ments is not substituting endless middle tions and public policies—a shift from
prospect of extended and healthier lives, is a boon to the broader community, now
age for endless old age, which is the al- what worked in the past to what can
and into the future? Here are a few ideas (for more ideas, visit www.encore.org):
ternative some are proposing to the carry us into the future. v
Create a gap year for grown-ups. The gap year, often an important rite of pas- much longer life. Marc Freedman is president and
sage for youth moving into adulthood, could offer older adults a chance for reflection, Middle age, like all good things, CEO of Civic Ventures (www.civicven
renewal and redirection—a possible foundation for starting a new stage of life. tures.org), a San Francisco-based think
eventually must reach an end. No use
Establish school for the second half of life. Let us develop a new kind of edu- in denying it. tank on baby boomers, work and social
cation suited to the new stage of life—learning that blends vocational preparation, The reality is that for most people, purpose. This article and accompany-
personal transformation and intellectual stimulation. the end of middle age is no longer at- ing sidebar are adapted from Freed-
Expand national service opportunities. Many older people are looking to na- tached to the beginning of either retire- man’s new book, The Big Shift: Navi-
tional service programs, such as AmeriCorps, as a way to give back and get a leg up ment or old age. Individuals entering gating the New Stage Beyond Mid-life
on a new career. this new stage are faced with an unsta- (New York: Public Affairs, 2011).
Fund Encore Fellowships. Encore Fellowships—paid internships for those in
their encore years—are highly effective in delivering new sources of talent to the
nonprofit world while helping Fellows transition to encore careers.
Revamp human resources policies. Employers can get in on the innovation act
more fully by creating new policies and practices (such as flextime, part-time work,
training, anti-ageism hiring policies) that help employees transition to the new stage.
Create Individual Purpose Accounts (IPA). With tax credits and other mecha-
nisms, Congress could support IPAs as distinct packages designed to make switch-
ing to encore careers easier, just as 401(k)s facilitated retirement saving. Financial
institutions could offer IPAs that facilitate the processes for taking advantage of tax
treatments, employer matches, investment options and loan programs.
Reform Social Security. Social Security could become a source of seed capital
Photo: Courtesy of author

to help individuals invest in life’s next stage. Why not allow people to stop and start
their Social Security payments as circumstances change?
Develop a comprehensive Encore Bill. Let us help people in the new stage to
develop their human capital, transition into new roles and cope with the financial
challenges by creating policy measures to ease the transition.
—Marc Freedman Marc Freedman
6 Aging Today March–April 2011

When it comes to health care,


you shouldn’t have to fend
for yourself.

Nine out of 10 older Americans suffer from at least one


chronic health condition, like diabetes, heart disease,
arthritis or Alzheimer’s disease.

Unfortunately, the daunting task of care coordination falls


on patients and their families.

It’s hard enough to do this when you’re healthy, and nearly


impossible when you are dealing with multiple problems or
facing a health crisis.

There is a better way.


The Campaign for Better Care is working hard to ensure health
reform is implemented effectively so that our nation’s new health
care system focuses on what’s best for patients and their families.
We get it – you’re not on your own. Join us today.

Better coordination means better care.

www.CampaignForBetterCare.org

The Campaign for Better Care is led by the National Partnership for Women & Families, Community Catalyst,
and the National Health Law Program and funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies.
March–April 2011 Aging Today 7

IN FOCUS

The Power, Might and


Influence of America’s Mature Women
Women Are the New
Women now are living longer and
healthier lives, and represent a new po-
litical and economic force in America.
March is Women’s History Month, and
this In Focus section highlights the
emergence of older women as a cohort
Economic Powerhouse
of influence in America, and their tran- our world. For example: in the United
By Maddy Dychtwald
sition from mid- to late life. Featured States, women start their own business-
es at twice the rate of the national aver-
Photo: Courtesy of author

articles are from speakers at the April We’ve seen amazing technological
28 Mature Women’s Summit at the age, and are the leaders in bringing our
and political evolution across the past
2011 Aging in America Conference (for country out of the recession. In devel-
century, but the single most powerful
more information visit www.agingcon oping nations, 90% of women who
economic change has not been caused
ference.org), as well as from experts in earn income reinvest it in families and
by technology or the rise of developing
communities—by sending kids to
the areas of finance, workplace issues nations. It has been created by women.
Maddy Dychtwald school or buying clean water and elec-
and caregiving. A hundred years ago, the world
tricity for their communities—com-
looked very different. Cars and tele-
phones were scarce, television not in- pared with only 30% to 70% of men.

From Success to Significance: vented and apples were just a tasty


fruit. Women couldn’t vote, own prop-
Stability Leads to Success

The first step for these successful


A Woman’s Place in a
erty or even open a bank account in
their name. Education was available women is to achieve financial stability,
primarily to wealthy women, and a because self-reliance is key to emo-

Post-Retirement World woman’s path to personal success was


often extremely limited.
tional well-being and security. When
women rise above the stress and pres-
sure of making ends meet, they gain
By Helen Dennis women now outpace their male peers
the time and space to figure out how
in graduating from college.
In her recent book, When Every- From the 1960s and on through the Women have they want to live their lives.
Once they have established financial
women’s movement, work has become
thing Changed: The Amazing Journey
of American Women from 1960 to the an increasingly significant part of contributed more to stability, women can turn their sights
women’s identity (despite the fact that outward—to get involved in their com-
Present (New York: Little Brown and
women in the American workforce still global GDP growth than munity and help improve others’ lives.
Company, 2010), The New York Times
columnist Gail Collins relates an inci- earn less than men—about 80 cents for
every dollar earned by men).
have either new Take Joan Ahimbisibwe, an HIV-
positive mother of three in Uganda. For
dent involving Lois Rabinowitz, a 28-
year-old secretary for an oil company So now we face the question: What technology or most of her life, she has lived on less
happens to that identity as this large than $1 a day, which is not enough to
executive. Rabinowitz, dressed in a
blouse and slacks, went to traffic court generation of women retires from their China and India. feed her family, let alone buy school
to pay her boss’s speeding ticket. As careers and jobs? For many, leaving the uniforms necessary to send her chil-
she approached the judge, he grew workplace for retirement often means dren to school—and certainly not
Even with all that technological
irate over her appearance and sent her leaving behind their identity—an inte- enough for any investments.
gral component to a sense of purpose. and global change, women’s influ-
home to change her clothes. Rabino- ence has had an even larger impact Then Ahimbisibwe began making
witz got her husband to pay the fine. And few, if any, role models exist for beads out of recycled magazine paper
these women. on our economy. The Economist in
And she promised that she would burn 2006 wrote that over the past two de- with a group of other women and sell-
all of her slacks. cades, “women have contributed ing them through BeadforLife, a non-
In the 1960s, many American laws profit started by two women in Colora-
more to global GDP growth than have
rendered women invisible: a husband ‘In the 1960s, many either new technology or the new gi- do, Ginny Jordan and Torkin Wakefield.
controlled his wife’s property and They sell the beads via private parties
earnings, and co-signed her credit American laws rendered ants, China and India.” And that’s
and on the Internet. Ahimbisibwe start-
cards; a woman had to have her hus- just the beginning.
band’s permission to launch a busi- women invisible.’ Last year, 72% of all high school ed making $5 or $6 a day—about what
valedictorians were women. For every a Ugandan policeman earns.
ness; and in some states, women could
100 men graduating from college, there With her new financial stability, she
not serve on juries.
The workplace also made women Although feelings of lost or mis- are 133 women, giving women the saved enough money to buy a pig,
invisible. Typically, women held be- placed identity are not shared by all tools to succeed in the new economy. which she raised and then resold at a
hind-the-scenes jobs as office work- pre-retirement or retired women— And they are. For the first time in his- mark-up. With those profits, she moved
ers, receptionists and part-time book- many of whom look forward to lei- tory, women make up more than half of her family into a storefront, from which
keepers. They cleaned offices and sure, rest and time to devote to other she sells vegetables and sugar, again
the workforce. While men’s earning
homes and were cashiers. If they were important pursuits—there are women upping her earnings. Ahimbisibwe’s
power has remained flat over the last
college graduates, they usually held who love or had loved their work, and daughter is in private school, which
several decades, women’s earning
low-paying jobs as teachers, librarians who are uncertain about their post-
power has grown exponentially. In fact, means she has a chance to escaping the
and nurses. retirement identity. They defy the ste-
today nearly a quarter of wives out- cycle of African poverty.
When it came to work, 1960s women reotype that a woman can always re-
earn their husbands. This is only one such story from my
were compliant. In her book Collins turn to a traditional domestic role for
her life satisfaction. If living life ex- book, Influence: How Women’s Soar-
writes, “When Nora Ephron graduated Super Spenders ing Economic Power is Transforming
from college and applied for a job at clusively in this role was insufficient
for many women 30 and 40 years ago, And women are taking that earning Our World for the Better. Many more
Newsweek she was told, “‘Women stories abound of women who have
it’s unlikely that a full-time return to it power and spending it in the market-
don’t become writers here.’” Accord- used their influence to change the
would be fulfilling. place. In fact, women represent a
ing to Collins, Ephron recalled that it
whopping 83% of consumer purchases, world. Imagine what could happen if
never would have occurred to her to be Of Downturn, Demography including 90% of food purchases, 80% all women wielded their influence to
outraged or object to such treatment. and a Bright Future
of healthcare spending, 93% of over- make the world a better place? v
Women: Fifty Years On Today’s uncertain economy points the-counter pharmaceuticals, 55% of Maddy Dychtwald is author of Influ-
Things have changed considerably toward looming anticipated shortages consumer electronics, 53% of stock ence: How Women’s Soaring Econom-
in the last 50-odd years: today, half of of retirement income. For many women market investments and 62% of new ic Power will Transform Our World for
medical and law school students are and men—exploring a new identity car purchases. They’re the primary the Better (New York: Hyperion Voice,
women. They dominate pharmacy and in retirement may be an unaffordable market for just about everything. 2010), cofounder of AgeWave and an
veterinary medicine. They represent luxury. The Center for Retirement With increasing speed, women are expert in the changing demographic
40% of dental school graduates. And l continued on page 13 l unleashing their influence to reshape trends of the marketplace.
8 Aging Today March–April 2011

Ageism and the Mature Jobseeker


Some programs have been launched ease by the sight of another older face, wouldn’t be working now. Or I would
By Rebecca Klein-Collins
by postsecondary education institu- many of the grantees have older staff. probably have another data-entry job,”
and Phyllis Snyder
tions, nonprofit organizations or pub- One of the biggest lessons from these she says. Not only does her new job
lic sector agencies. Since 2008, the programs is that they can transform pay much more, Michelle says it is “a
When Michelle, a 63-year-old work-
U.S. Department of Labor and The lives. After her training, Michelle began much more interesting job. I couldn’t
er from Washington was recently laid
Atlantic Philanthropies have collabo- to get interviews. Finally, she was hired praise the program enough—I have a
off, she worried she’d never find anoth-
rated on a new mature worker initia- as a receptionist and office administra- second lease on life and I’m in a bet-
er job at her age. And she was right.
tive, which has provided funding and tor at a sign and design company. ter place.” v
For months, she pursued leads and
assistance to 10 grantees across the “When we met Michelle, we knew Phyllis Snyder is vice president for
heard nothing back. Finally, she sought
country. The grantees are developing we had the right person,” says her new Healthcare Services and Mature Work-
help from the state’s WorkSource Cen-
strategies and programs to make employer. “She not only had a great per- er Initiatives at the Council for Adult &
ter. She was offered an opportunity to
their mature workforce an effective sonality, but she had so many computer Experiential Learning (CAEL) in Chi-
learn new skills, and finished four com-
asset for their regional economies, skills that we decided to hire her on the cago, Ill. She has conducted research
puter-training courses.
and the Council for Adult and Expe- spot—plus we increased our budget for for the Conference Board and Civic
riential Learning is working with the the position by $4 per hour.” Ventures, helped to develop and imple-
Council on Competitiveness to pro- Michelle says the training she re- ment the Tapping Mature Talent proj-
Surveys of employers vide technical assistance to the dif- ceived gave her both the confidence to ect, and created the Mentors 4 STEM
have revealed a clear ferent sites (for more information
visit www.cael.org).
apply and the skills to get a job she
loves. “If I had not taken the classes, I
program. Rebecca Klein-Collins is
CAEL’s director of research.
reluctance to hire The assistance these grantees have
been working to provide includes guid-
older workers. ance in career and educational choices;
computer training; retraining for new
Ageism in Black and White
careers; training and support for new It takes older jobseekers more time than their younger counterparts to
Michelle’s story is an increasingly businesses; short-term work experienc- find a job during this recession. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate
common one. At an age when she es in new fields; engaging employers in that the average period of unemployment for job seekers ages 55 and older was
could be coasting toward retirement, new ways; and raising awareness in the 40.6 weeks, compared to 31.6 weeks for younger jobseekers. Survey data found
Michelle had to make herself more community about the contributions of that 67% of older unemployed workers had been looking for work longer than a
marketable to employers. Leading up mature workers. year, compared to 43% of workers under age 55. www.bc.edu/research/agingand
to the recession, we saw increasing work/archive_pubs/IB25.html.
numbers of retirement-age workers What Makes a Mature Worker Many older workers have taken part-time jobs because there is no other
delaying retirement and continuing to Attractive? choice. The AARP Public Policy Institute reported that in December 2009, 1.4
work well into their 60s and even Mature workers often benefit from million older workers were working part time because they had no choice. They
70s. For many, it was a choice: “I’m support groups to help them cope with had take those jobs for economic reasons, either because of “slack working condi-
still healthy, I enjoy working, my job job loss and their struggles to interest tions” or because they could not find full-time work. AARP reports that the pro-
keeps me active and engaged with potential employers. The 10 grantees portion of older workers who were in part-time jobs for economic reasons was
other people, so why not?” But dur- are helping to provide moral support double the proportion doing so at the start of the recession. www.aarp.org/work/
ing this recession, continuing to work during the job search, and identifying retirement-planning/info-01-2010/fs165-employment.html.
past retirement age has become a how to help mature workers become
financial necessity. Older jobseekers believe that age discrimination is one of the main reasons
more attractive to employers. Often, they have trouble finding a job. According to a 2009 MetLife survey of workers
Older Jobseekers in Dire Straits
even the most industrious mature work- and jobseekers ages 55 to 70, 43% of those who are looking for work say that the
er needs to develop basic skills for em- primary reason they have not been able to find work was because they could not
Mature jobseekers face a number of ployability: computer skills, interview
challenges. Like Michelle, many lack find an employer who would hire someone their age. www.metlife.com/assets/cao/
skills and English language skills are mmi/publications/studies/mmi-buddy-can-you-spare-job.pdf.
the technology skills required in the the most valuable.
workplace, and also face employers’ Mature workers often need help un- Some employers acknowledge that an age bias exists in their employment
age bias. Surveys of employers have derstanding how to job search in to- decisions. A 2007 survey by the Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and
revealed a clear reluctance to hire day’s market. They may not understand Work found that 25% of surveyed employers say that they are reluctant to hire
older workers. That reluctance, com- the importance of using existing con- older workers. www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/research_sites/agingandwork/pdf/
bined with the decrease in available tacts, informational interviews, social publications/FS21_Recruit_Retain_OldrWrkrs.pdf.
jobs, has resulted in a dire situation media and other newer job search strat- — Rebecca Klein-Collins and Phyllis Snyder
for mature jobseekers. egies. And since they may be put at
The most recent data show that older
jobseekers stay unemployed about
30% longer than their younger coun-
terparts, and greater percentages of Mentoring Builds Bridges, Enriches Lives and
Supports Tomorrow’s Leaders
older unemployed workers remained
unemployed for a year or more. When
asked why they have a harder time
finding a job, these older workers firm- By Betsy Werley women who are at an earlier career es and opportunities (www.thetransi
ly believe that age discrimination is stage. Their mentoring sends a powerful tionnetwork.org).
the main factor. (See sidebar for find- In our modern world of work, job message by building bridges with the
next generation of leaders, demolishing Mentoring 101
ings from recent studies.) stability is uncertain and career paths
These issues can be compounded are more fluid. And for many, the cur- stereotypes about age and strengthening I have had the wonderful opportunity
with mature women workers. Older rent economic outlook dictates that organizations and professions. to mentor at least a dozen women at all
women often appear to have less work many older adults will extend their professional levels, and have collected
experience than men because they have work lives indefinitely. a portfolio of practical information on
taken time off to attend to family is- When faced with a major life transi- As mentors, women how best to make a mentoring relation-
sues, or have found meaningful work tion—whether it is influenced by job ship work.
later in life. As a result, they may have loss or voluntary retirement—people leaders can enhance Mentoring is a developmental rela-
a harder time convincing employers
that they have the necessary skills and
often seek ways to regroup, to re-ener-
gize. Mentoring can have that rejuve-
their legacy and tionship in which a more knowledgeable
person shares information and provides
competencies. Once employed, recent nating effect: it can make us feel wise, revitalize their lives. encouragement and constructive criti-
research has shown that the gender pay feel satisfied to be recycling our knowl- cism to a less knowledgeable person.
gap is even greater for older women— edge and can enrich our lives through Mentoring can be highly structured,
they earn only 68 cents to every dollar helping someone to grow, learn and “Mentoring was one of my most sat- with formal matching, satisfaction sur-
earned by men the same age. succeed. Mentors can provide day-to- isfying professional experiences—I veys and defined timeframes. Or it can
day support along with a crucial long- connected with amazing women and be informal—a breakfast with someone
Training Help for Mature
term view, access to their networks and enjoyed passing along my career’s who heard you speak on a panel, which
Workers
offer practical tips on how to stay em- worth of knowledge to help smooth leads to sporadic e-mail exchanges.
In recent years, many programs na- ployable for the long haul. their paths,” says Ann Mitchell, a If you want to be a mentor, you can
tionwide have been designed to con- Women leaders have a vital role to woman in her 60s who has mentored start the process by checking with your
nect mature workers to skills training play as both formal and informal men- several women in the financial services employer or professional organizations
and work opportunities, reach out to tors. They understand the special chal- field. Mitchell is also a member of the to find out what mentoring programs are
employers to sell them on the contri- lenges women face as they rise in their Transition Network, a community of available in your area. Colleges and
butions and value of mature workers, professions while juggling work and professional women ages 50 and over graduate schools often organize mentor-
and help those wanting to start their home responsibilities. They can balance whose changing life situations lead
own businesses. empathy and tough love in guiding them to seek new connections, resourc- l continued on page 15 l
March–April 2011 Aging Today 9

Tackling the Traffic Jam on the Work Highway: Wise


Work Practices Can Ease Intergenerational Clash
By Phyllis Weiss Haserot see themselves as “survivors” and so rewards come only from performing ted the bottom line. These companies
value autonomy. And the Traditional- functions that leave little time for are creating cultures where the value
It’s not just Britain’s Prince Charles ists and baby boomers can’t perceive knowledge transfer, mentoring, train- of institutional knowledge and putting
who suffers from a worklife “waiting what it’s like to be born into a world ing and coaching. Financial disincen- people first are reflected in financial
in the wings” syndrome: many work- with “e-everything.” Knowing these tives for taking on training roles need results. But this practice should be ex-
ing women, waiting interminably to things rationally doesn’t create the to be eliminated to reduce conflict. panded to meet the current and future
take over the reins, fear that their same mindset as experiencing the for- The trick is to capitalize on baby replacement needs.
chance may have passed. Some may be mational influences that created each boomers’ knowledge and experience The enduring challenge is to build
generation’s worldview. When that un- without alienating the bottlenecked sustainably strong organizations that
thinking, “Why won’t those baby
derstanding is achieved and accepted, Generation Xers and later, Millennials. engage and retain the most productive
boomers realize it’s time to go?”
we can move to greater cross-genera- One answer is to pay those baby boom- talent of every generation. It will take
My experience working with four
tional respect and collaboration. ers still in place to pass on their valu- frequent dialog, listening, mutual men-
generations of both genders in today’s
able acquired wisdom, contacts  and toring and empathy. Organizations
work settings shows this is not solely a Removing Potential Conflict skills before departure. That will pre- must assess and rethink the connection
women’s issue, but one that affects men
I do not favor involuntarily remov- pare Generation Xers to thrive when between attitudes, expectations, poli-
equally. There are aspects that have a
ing productive people. But in order to the bottleneck opens. cies, and financial and non-financial
uniquely female angle, however.
provide opportunities to the generation If knowledge transfer and coaching incentives in order to prevent genera-
waiting in line, the roles and responsi- are not built into transitioning roles tional tensions and provide continuing
bilities of senior professionals ap- (which are made attractive by accord- opportunities for all. v
About 80% of baby proaching traditional retirement age ing them respect and providing work- Phyllis Weiss Haserot, president of
life flexibility and engaging challeng- Practice Development Counsel, busi-
boomers want to keep must shift. This could mean cutting
back hours, job sharing with a protégé, es) how will the next generation of ness development and organizational ef-
working in some capacity and filling a coaching, mentoring and leaders and managers prepare to suc- fectiveness consulting and coaching, fo-
training role, or another creative and ceed? Some of the large accounting cuses on the profitability of improving
after age 65. needed role. and consulting firms, and other private intergenerational relations and transi-
Shifted roles must come with respect sector employers, have built these tioning planning (www.pdcounsel.com;
attached. The transition requires em- functions into job descriptions, per- www.nextgeneration-nextdestination.
Specifically, some older women feel formance evaluations and compensa- com). She is the author of The Rain-
ployers to rethink value and compensa-
that younger women don’t recognize tion decisions. What is measured and making Machine and The Marketer’s
tion for functions that were assumed to
and appreciate how hard they had to be provided gratis in the context of reinforced with financial reward and Handbook of Tips & Checklists (Eagan,
fight for changes in the workplace that professional roles. Too often financial recognition gets done and has benefit- Minn.: West Thomson Reuters 2010).
provided the worklife flexibility young-
er women take for granted. (Not to sug-

Long-Term Care Is Every Woman’s Issue


gest workplace policies have reached
anything near nirvana—just that some
major changes have come about.)
This lack of appreciation, however, By Laura Weber Rossman “Long-term care is a critically impor- While retirement savings and insur-
is not the crux of the matter. Baby tant issue for women,” says Jesse Slome, ance are important, they shouldn’t be
boomer women are sticking around for There are some phone calls you executive director of the American As- confused with having a long-term-care
two credible reasons: they like the ful- never forget. sociation for Long-term Care Insurance plan. A long-term-care plan is far more
fillment, challenge and social opportu- “I found your Dad unconscious on (AALTCI), a national trade group. “The comprehensive and includes identify-
nities that work brings; and they may the floor. The ambulance just left. I’m vast majority of women who are age 50 ing services and support; housing op-
need the money. In some cases there is going to the hospital. What are we or older considerably underestimate the tions; funding long-term-care assis-
a third reason: an uncertainty that suc- going to do?” risk and have no plan in place.” tance; and legal issues, such as advance
cessors are well-prepared to shoulder That early afternoon phone call from According to the Association’s publi- directives and a living will.
their greater responsibilities. 1,800 miles away changed our lives for- cation, A Woman’s Guide to Long-Term Where do you start? The National
ever. What we only came to realize later Care Insurance Planning, women are Clearinghouse for Long-term Care In-
Economic Reality Meets
was how caring for a stroke victim far more likely to reach an age when formation has a wealth of information
Career Desires
would profoundly affect the next 12 they will be the recipients of long-term that can help your clients or your fami-
The recession has given many orga- years of my mother’s life, and my own care. Some 980,000 women ages 65 and ly; or you can walk yourself through the
nizations a breather from brain-drain as a long-distance caregiver. And, how older are nursing home residents, com- steps of creating a long-term-care plan
threats because employees are afraid to ill-prepared we were to face the ever- pared with only 337,000 men. (see “Resources” sidebar on page 15).
leave and fewer are needed. At the changing issues of long-term care. Begin by asking yourself how you
same time, many baby boomers would Stories like this happen every day. would answer the following questions:
like to keep working, even if they can And most of us are not ready for the Because women live Who will help care for you? We
afford to retire. Surveys by Merrill resulting emotional and financial make assumptions about this, but rarely
Lynch and other financial firms in 2004 havoc. As professionals in the field of
longer than men, they are do we talk with our family about it di-
rectly. It is difficult to imagine our-
and 2005, when the economy was ro-
bust and retirement funds healthy, re-
aging, many of us provide direct assis- more likely to require care selves in need of care—and even more
tance to help families cope, make deci-
vealed that about 80% of baby boomers sions and plan for the future. Yet we for a longer period of time. difficult to ask for help. Yet one of the
wanted to keep working in some capac- too often don’t have a plan for our own greatest gifts we can give a partner,
ity after age 65. long-term-care needs. Long-term care child or sibling is clear guidance about
While personal priorities will domi- is a woman’s issue—one that too many Nearly three-fourths (73.6%) of as- how we want to be cared for. Ask any
nate decisions, there’s a bigger-picture of us ignore. sisted living residents are women. And caregiver how much easier caregiving
need for restructuring. Even in a flour- twice as many women ages 65 and older would be if that conversation had hap-
ishing economy things won’t go back Women and the Stats on are being cared for in a home setting than pened ahead of time.
to what they were 20 years ago in terms Long-Term Care men (3.27 million versus 1.68 million). Where would you live? We know
of structural hierarchy, patience for Women are particularly hard hit by When it comes to long-term-care insur- most people want to stay in their home
“paying dues” before expecting promo- long-term-care needs. First, they are ance, women account for nearly two- for as long as they can. Is your home
tion and management styles—all be- often called upon to be the primary thirds of the $6 billion in annual benefit wheelchair accessible; can modifica-
cause different generations have differ- caregiver for elderly family members dollars paid, according to AALTCI. tions be made if needed; would you take
ent expectations. or their own partners. That may mean out a reverse mortgage to help finance
And, significantly, the different cutting back on or stopping work earli- Women Must Plan for your long-term-care assistance at home?
generations don’t understand each er than planned, reducing the financial the Future Will you need to move closer to family
other’s perspectives and influences resources they will have available for On average, women fall behind men members? If so, the right time to move
very well. Generation X and Genera- their own care. when it comes to saving for retirement is when you are still independent.
tion Y don’t seem to recognize the im- Second, because women live longer and long-term-care costs. A recent study How would you pay for your care?
pact of the women’s movement and than men, they are more likely to re- by LIMRA (Life Insurance and Market There is a misconception that long-term
the civil rights movement on the de- quire care for a longer period of time. Research Association), Gender Matters: care is paid for by Medicare. Beyond a
gree of diversity in today’s workplace. And third, women save less for retire- Retirement Savings of Working Men and few weeks of rehabilitation, if you have
And they have never experienced the ment than men. Whether this is because Women, found that average defined con- the financial resources, you’ll be on your
loyalty that, in earlier years, Tradi- of lower income or more conservative tribution (DC) plan balances of working own to pay for long-term care. Do you
tionalists got from employers. savings, they end up with fewer funds women ages 50 years or older are below have enough money earmarked in your
The Generation Yers also don’t have to support their long-term-care-needs those of working men of the same age retirement savings for long-term care?
a clear sense of why Generation Xers as they age. by nearly $63,000. l continued on page 15 l
10 Aging Today March–April 2011

Women Face Extreme Multitasking When


Balancing Caregiving and Career
By Carol Levine financial impact can be serious. More-
over, many caregivers find it hard to re-
In Anna Quindlen’s novel One True enter the workforce.
Thing, Ellen Gulden quits her job as a While most women see their care-
giving decisions as intensely personal,
reporter at a New York magazine to take
there are economic implications for
care of her dying mother. Her boss
employers whose workers may be-
warns her that this is a bad career move.
come distracted and less productive.
“Not to be crass,” he says, “but a sick
Some caregivers face discrimination
mother gets you three weeks off and a
in the workplace. In 2007 the Equal
nice flower arrangement from the staff.”
Photo: iStock Photo/digitalskillet

Employment Opportunity Commis-


This being fiction, however, Ellen then
sion issued guidelines on discrimina-
becomes a better person, is accused of
tion against caregivers, particularly
(but not indicted for) giving her mother
singling out gender discrimination;
a fatal dose of morphine, enrolls in med-
there are local laws too. Bringing
ical school and becomes a psychiatrist.
family caregiving out into the open in
Few caregivers experience their role
workplaces will help create a more
this way. Yet the work-versus-caregiving
supportive environment.
dilemma is common. According to the
In its 2008 eldercare survey, the
2009 National Alliance for Caregiving/ working when a friend hears about a Most caregivers in their 40s and older Families and Work Institute found that
AARP survey, 57% of respondents who parent’s illness. Yet during the 17 years are not leaving the workforce but strug- the three top wishes employed caregiv-
were caregivers in the preceding 12 I cared for my late husband while gling to keep up with demanding dual ers report are: greater schedule flexibil-
months were currently employed. Even maintaining a full-time job, I heard this responsibilities. While the strains can be ity; time off (especially paid time off);
though more men are becoming caregiv- all the time. Moreover, many women severe, employed caregivers generally and more understanding of their situa-
ers for their family members, women accept this double standard. report higher levels of satisfaction and tion from management. Some forward-
still make up the majority of the coun- Unlike Gulden, who was in her 20s, well-being than unemployed caregivers. looking large companies are already
try’s estimated 52 million caregivers, most women face this decision much Ironically, many caregivers see work as offering more flexible benefits, such as
especially when it comes to hands-on later in life. They may still be caring for a form of respite. expanding the 12 weeks of unpaid fam-
care and emotional support. children or teenagers and managing a Leaving a job, reducing working
household. Some are caring for grand- hours or making some other accommo-
Battling the Double Standard
children. They may have worked hard to
In balancing work and caregiving, achieve professional success. They may
dation for caregiving can have both
short- and long-term consequences.
‘Ironically, many
women face special challenges. The
usually unstated assumption is that
still have personal goals, such as travel,
study, or turning an avocation into a sec-
The initial impulse when a parent has a caregivers see work as
stroke or a serious fall is to rush to
men “need” their jobs, while women ond career. The serious illness of a par- help. And while putting everything else a form of respite.’
work for other less important reasons ent or spouse threatens to derail every- on hold is appropriate in an emergency,
than supporting themselves or a family. thing and adds unknown and often it is not a long-term solution. Women
Very few men are asked if they are still unknowable challenges to their lives. who live at a distance from their ill par- ily leave required under the Family
ent are caught wanting to be in two Medical Leave Act, offering paid per-
places at once and feeling guilty wher- sonal leave days separate from vacation
Resources for Caregiving and Employment ever they are. and sick leave, and arranging flexible
The Family and Work Institute’s 2008 report, The Elder Care Study: Everyday Taking time to assess options, pref- schedules or telecommuting.
Realities and Wishes for Change; http://familiesandwork.org/site/research/reports/ erably in family discussions, is impor- Women, however, are more likely
elder_care.pdf. tant to establish who can take on which than men to be employed in small com-
tasks, how to divide financial responsi- panies or nonprofit organizations, which
The 2009 National Alliance for Caregiving/AARP Survey; www.nac.org. bilities and how to communicate about typically do not offer these programs.
The MetLife Mature Market Institute has published several reports on employ- treatment or other choices. Being both a devoted caregiver and a
ment and caregiving, as well as retirement planning and advice on legal and fi- responsible employee involves finding
nancial issues for caregivers; www.MatureMarketInstitute.com. Long-Term Financial Impact
and using an array of paid and unpaid
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Enforcement Guidance on For the long term, leaving a job resources, recognizing one’s own
Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities; means not only the loss of income but strengths and limitations, and setting
www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_caregiving.html. also the loss of benefits. The most ur- realistic boundaries. v
Joseph Coughlin’s “Estimating the Impact of Caregiving and Employment on gent is health insurance, but contribu- Carol Levine directs the Families
Well-being,” Outcomes and Insights in Health Management, May 2010; www. tions to a retirement plan and Social and Health Care Project at the United
healthways.com/success/library.aspx?id=615. Security credits also count. These loss- Hospital Fund in New York. She is the
es may not be significant if caregiving editor of Always On Call: When Illness
Resources for Navigating the Healthcare lasts a few months, for example, while Turns Families into Caregivers (Nash-
a parent is in hospice. But when it’s a ville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University
and Social Service Systems condition like Alzheimer’s disease, the Press, 2004).
The National Family Caregiver Support Program offers information, services
and referrals through Area Agencies on Aging. For a state-by-state list, go to
www.n4a.org/.
Family Caregiver Alliance, www.familycaregiver.org, has many publications, fact Assisted Living and Medicaid
sheets and other resources. l continued from page 3 l
The National Family Caregivers Association, www.thefamilycaregiver.org, offers
resources and advocacy for caregivers. and $61 for a personal needs allowance, briefs and white papers that explain
with any income above those amounts these and other issues, and make many
The United Hospital Fund’s Next Step in Care website, www.nextstepincare.org,
being paid as a co-payment on the as- recommendations that should be con-
has 20 guides for family caregivers to make transitions in care settings.
sisted living services. In many states, sidered by federal and state policy-
Disease-specific organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org, there are two problems—the room and makers. For example, the NSCLC rec-
has many resources for caregivers, including information on legal and financial board allocation is insufficient, and ommends that Medicaid-certified
planning, and support services. some facilities require residents or their facilities be explicitly required to ac-
families to make supplemental pay- cept Medicaid reimbursement when
Financial Planning Resources for Caregivers ments beyond the Medicaid-authorized an existing resident spends down sav-
The following three resources are from the Women’s Institute for a Secure room and board payment. ings to Medicaid-eligible levels. For
Retirement: The NSCLC commends the 16 more information and for copies of
Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know about Money and Retire- states that prohibit facilities from re- the papers, visit www.nsclc.org. v
ment; www.wiserwomen.org/pdf_files/stepscaregivers10_05.pdf. quiring or soliciting supplemental Eric Carlson is a directing attor-
The Effects of Caregiving; www.wiserwomen.org/pdf_files/the%20effects%20of payments so that residents can use ney at the National Senior Citizens
%20caregiving.pdf. their already meager personal needs Law Center. He is a frequent contrib-
Caregivers: Care for Yourself While Caring for Others; www.wiserwomen.org allowances to pay for clothing and utor to Aging Today and is a widely
/pdf_files/Caregivers-%20Care%20for%20yourself%20while%20caring%20 other necessary expenses. recognized author and speaker on is-
for%20others.pdf. Based on the study, the NSCLC has sues related to long-term services
—Carol Levine
developed a series of policy issue and supports.
March–April 2011 Aging Today 11

Then; Now: Anne Nolan, Providence, R.I.


The following is excerpted from the one of those what-if-I-win-the-lottery pain. It was just this awful building part. Let me just say that I’m still try-
appendix section of  The Big Shift: things. I can’t afford a house on the with a dirty stairway going down into ing to figure this out. At the same time,
Navigating the New Stage Beyond ocean, and I thought I couldn’t afford a basement. And at the bottom of the I wouldn’t change my position for
Mid-Life by Marc Freedman. Reprint- to run a homeless program. stairs there was a desk, and the place anything. It’s just so enriching. There’s
ed with permission from Public Affairs, One day, I realized that I was being was packed with people…men and no way I could ever go back to the
a member of The Perseus Books really stupid, that I had been working women and some very sick people and corporate world—ever, ever, ever. v
Group. Copyright © 2011. for money for so long, and it was time some crazy, inebriated people, and Anne Nolan has been president of
When I went to work for the corpo- that I worked for passion, and I just people who were terrified and people Crossroads, the largest homeless ser-
rate world many, many years ago, it had to make the money work. Was I who were just terrifying. vice organization in Rhode Island,
was exciting, and it was new, and I going to spend the rest of my life mak- And I was terrified on top of it all. since 2001.
was doing things I’d never done and ing money and being unhappy or not I met the woman who was president,
learning things. But over the years I making money and being happy? and she took me on a tour. She asked
lost a sense of purpose. That’s what it got down to. I knew me to join the board that day and then The Big Shift:
I was working for the money. I sim- said, “But I need to tell you that at the Navigating the New Stage
ply became more and more emotion- end of the year, I’m leaving.” I just
Beyond Mid-Life
ally distant, and it was less fulfilling. ‘Was I going to spend the knew it was the job I wanted.
Still, the president of the company I joined the board, and five months Public Affairs, $24.99, 256
was a wonderful man, and we did rest of my life making later, when the president’s position pages, ISBN 9781586487850
good work—we cleaned up the envi- became open, I applied. I almost
ronment. But I didn’t clean up the en-
money and being unhappy didn’t get it. Another candidate had a
By Marc Freedman
For more information about The
vironment. I was in corporate. or not making money and lot of experience in the not-for-profit
Big Shift, visit www.encore.org/
Then, one day in 1999, we made world, and the story I’m told is that
the decision to dissolve the company. being happy?’ the committee voted for her, but the
learn/marc-freedman-identifies.
It’s not easy to say this, but I guess I chairman of the board at the time
wasn’t invested enough to really feel changed his vote.
any grief about it being over. I did re- what I wanted and wouldn’t listen to It’s been nearly 10 years now, and
ceive a year’s salary as severance, anyone who discouraged me. A num- it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my
which gave me the opportunity to say, ber of people told me that I should go life. We changed the name from Trav-
“OK, what’s next?” to a little place called Travelers Aid elers Aid to Crossroads. We do a lot of
That year of reflection was an im- in downtown Providence. I had never housing now and we’re statewide, and
portant part of my journey. heard of it, and in my mind it was we deal with all kinds of issues that
I was never a walker before that something in a bus terminal. But we weren’t dealing with before.
year, but I started walking every day.... eventually I called the woman who I love my world here very much,
It was a form of meditation for me. I was president and asked if I could and I love this organization. I have
often had what-if-I-win-the-lottery have a tour. learned so much. And mostly what
thoughts…. I always had the same On the day of my appointment, I I’ve learned is to appreciate my life so
fantasy, that if I won the lottery, I turned into the building, and I opened much more.
would start a not-for-profit dealing the door and—true story—I started to I’m making all this sound like it’s
with homeless families. I also wanted cry. I was overwhelmed by the human- wonderful and grand, but the one part
a house on the ocean, but it was just ity of the place and the people and the that hasn’t been easy is the financial

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12 Aging Today March–April 2011

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March–April 2011 Aging Today 13

Talking to Wise Women: Stories of Purpose,


Meaning and Passion
By Patricia Gottlieb Shapiro she’s only one year older than I am,
she brings a different perspective as
Stereotypes about older women well as wisdom gained from 25 years
abound in modern American culture. of studying yoga philosophy and tra-
Ridiculed in television commercials that dition, which she shares as she guides
advertise dentures and incontinence my practice, my teaching and certain
products, mature women frequently are aspects of my life.
portrayed as incompetent, dull and stu-
Wisdom—A Force for
pid. But while researching my book,
Positive Change
Coming Home to Yourself: Eighteen
Wise Women Reflect on Their Journeys, We need nothing less than a societal
I discovered that this is untrue: I found shift to honor older women instead of
Photo: iStock Photo/eyecrave

mature women who are bright, engaged, scorning or ignoring them. Mentoring
passionate and wise. programs are an important step but, as
with any kind of prejudice, permanent
change begins on an individual basis,
‘Wise women are ideal person to person.
role models for the Writing Coming Home to Yourself has
been an eye-opening experience for me.
younger generation.’ Being a somebody simply means being broad vision. We all have such women In interviewing the 18 women in the
who I am and living that way. Being a in our lives, but most of them go un- book, I saw firsthand how women from
somebody is being myself.” noticed and unheralded. My 67-year- ages 55 to 77 years live with purpose,
Take Edie Elkan, who gave up the These are just a few of the thousands old yoga teacher, Sonia Nelson, is a
love of her life—playing the harp—at of older women from across America wise woman in my life. Although l continued on page 15 l
age 22 for financial reasons and who want to share their wisdom and
yearned for it for 28 years. Today at experience, if only our society would The following is excerpted from Coming Home to Yourself: Eighteen Wise
age 66, she runs Bedside Harp, which give them the respect and appreciation Women Reflect on Their Journeys by Patricia Gottlieb Shapiro (Santa Fe, N.M.:
brings harp therapy to patients in hos- they deserve. 2010 Gaon Books). Reprinted with the permission of Gaon Books.
pitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Elaine Pinkerton, age 68, was adopted at age five after spending her early
The Longevity Paradox
Her words of wisdom: “It’s never too years in abusive foster care. She finished graduate school, survived two mar-
late to follow your dreams. Allow your- Since January 1, 2011, more than riages, raised two sons, wrote four books and ran nine marathons, but she never
self to go after the things you long for 10,000 baby boomers daily have felt good enough. Here she describes the turning point that led her to acknowl-
or you’ll die never having done them.” reached the age of 65. That occurrence edge herself as a strong, wise woman.
Valerie Ramsey loved raising her six will continue for the next 19 years, and
result in more women living longer, My years with my adoptive parents were happy: I felt wanted…and they were
children and when they left home, she
proud of me. My parents wanted me to think of them as my “real” parents. I was
forged a career in the corporate world. healthier lives than the previous gener-
painfully self-conscious, because I felt I had to wear a mask, so I could be the
Today she is an author, public speaker ation. At age 65, we women are no lon-
“real” daughter. Of course, everything was so much better in my “new” life, but
and runway model. She said, “At sev- ger in mid-life and yet we don’t con-
the burning questions festered and took on a life of their own. I was just not
enty years of age, I’m comfortable with sider ourselves elderly either. This age
okay; otherwise how could my mother have given me away?
who I’ve become. I’m doing the things group is in a phase of adult develop-
that most fulfill my passion: inspiring ment without a name or an identity. When I was 11, I received a five-year diary with a red plastic cover and a lock
other women to continue to grow, to That’s the rub and the opportunity— and key for Christmas. That diary became my best friend. I wrote down every-
expand their horizons and to reinvent that there is no template for this stage thing, but mostly, I poured out my heart about my shameful secret. And I wrote
themselves as they move through tran- in our lives. Our parents died at young- every day in diary after diary, through my teen years and college, while I was a
sitions, especially aging.” er ages and viewed their lives as “over” wife and mother, and even later, as a grandmother….
Then there’s Victoria Zackheim, age once they retired. Not so today. Many Four years ago, after my second husband died, I felt lost. I decided to read my
65, who wanted to be “somebody” her of us are still working. If we’re not diaries…. Going through the journals, my feelings about myself began to shift.
whole life—somebody famous or some- working, we’re engaged in meaningful Reading my diaries was transformational for me: having more information made
body who would make her parents volunteer work or in pursuing a pas- me realize, in retrospect, how my life really was and how hard I tried…. I gained
proud. In 2008, after a traumatic fall sion. We still have a lot of energy and a new respect for myself. I had to reach back and symbolically put my arms
down the stairs in her San Francisco loft, years of life experience to share. around myself.
she realized, “After six decades, I finally Wise women are ideal role models I didn’t know what was in those diaries until I went back and read them. I
understand that being a somebody is not for the younger generation. They bring knew I was looking for a thread—about the adopted me. But now there’s another
the opposite of being a nobody. It has a sense of historical continuity, sea- me that’s wiser, richer, and better.
nothing to do with being famous…. soned judgment, encouragement and a

Success to Significance colleague Laura Rossman, members


of the ASA Business Forum on Aging
They Want and Need and Why You
Should Care.” For more information
l continued from page 7 l Leadership Council, led a March 17 and to view this seminar, visit www.
web seminar, “Mature Women: What asaging.org/webseminars.
Research at Boston College reports that worklife significance, America has the
among men and women ages 45 to 59 challenge and an opportunity to tap a

Tips on Transitioning
years old with substantial retirement wealth of talent, knowledge and expe-
savings before the downturn, 40% are rience. The options are endless: some
planning to work longer, delaying re- women may pursue politics, mentor- Here are few tips on transitioning to new roles:
tirement by four or more years. AARP ing, an encore career or become advo-
• Review your work experience and identify aspects of work you expect to miss
finds that 88% of those ages 46 to 53, cates. Others may teach, mentor, create
or actually do miss. You might want an experience that addresses a similar
and 87% of those ages 54 to 64, will new movements and organizations, and
need or value.
work during their retirement years. participate in the arts. Whether found
Assuming that retirement is still via- in work or volunteerism, these new • Speak to friends and colleagues who have made a good transition. Ask how
ble for a large number of women, de- roles and identities discovered in life’s they did it and what lessons they have learned.
mography may be a powerful guide to next chapter must satisfy these women • Ask yourself if you want to return to work, have an encore career, become an
anticipating what’s next. Forty million who have a track record of accomplish- entrepreneur or get involved in something very different from your primary
baby boomers are women, and more ments and success. v work. Explore a wide range of possibilities.
than one-third of them work in man- Helen Dennis is owner and found- • Be able to articulate your interests as well as the gifts you bring to an organiza-
agement and other professional capaci- er of Aging, Employment and Retire- tion or employer. Try your hand at creating your own position or unique role.
ties. About 10 million are likely to ment Specialists, Redondo Beach,
work in occupations that provide re- Calif., and is the chair of ASA’s Busi- • Explore some women’s organizations and movements that focus on the transi-
wards beyond money. ness Forum on Aging. She is the co- tion such as the Transition Network, WomanSage and Project Renewment™.
As many of these 10 million women author of Project Renewment (New —Helen Dennis
move from success to exploring post- York: Scribner, 2008). Dennis and
14 Aging Today March–April 2011

Training California’s Workforce JEWEL moods in adults who are physically or


mentally impaired can change dramat-
ically after a quick session of “baby
l continued from page 3 l l continued from page 4 l
bonding.” One caregiver agreed say-
Powell, PHI’s director of curriculum sessions will help direct-care workers elders’ caregivers in the My Second ing that when her parent has interacted
and workforce development. “One of identify fall risks and take actions to Home program get well-deserved res- with the children “he seems more ani-
the ways people feel they’re being lis- reduce them.” pite. There has even been a rare occa- mated when he comes home.”
tened to and honored is through core Rounding out the course modules is sion where a grandparent and grand- Another of JEWEL’s daily bonding
skills of learning how to ask good ques- a one-hour curriculum designed by The child attended at the same time. Both programs is Breakfast Buddies, where
tions and how to paraphrase a person’s University of California, Irvine, on Bellamy and Jordan like to think of
response in one’s own words.” pain management. Between 60%−70% the program as a neighborhood, not a
Similar skills are also necessary for of nursing home residents are in “sig- daycare center—a neighborhood that JEWEL staff see
fostering effective dialogue between the nificant pain” that is not identified or duplicates another era when families
individual who requires care, their fam- adequately relieved. This program weren’t so far flung. the program as a
ily members and the direct-care worker. trains direct-care workers to identify
Aging Services of California, Sacra- Banishing Stereotypes, neighborhood—one
mento, Calif., designed four one-hour
modules, which include practice scenar- ‘…direct-care workers
Bonding Generations

New York-based Fordham Universi-


that recalls another
ios, video clips, activity worksheets and
have an important role ty’s Ravazzin Center on Aging studied era when families
detailed instructions to train workers in participants in the JEWEL program and
family communication dynamics. in reducing falls.’ found that the program’s preschoolers weren’t so far flung.
tended to view older adults more posi-
Managing Falls, Medications tively than a control group that had little preschoolers are encouraged to eat
and Pain the signs of pain, how to assess it and interaction with elders. The JEWEL meals with elders. Bellamy told the
The in-service series “Pills and effective methods of properly reporting preschoolers also perceived the elders story of a diabetic older woman who
Spills,” which provides instruction on pain in older adults. as healthy, “not grouchy,” says Jordan. just wouldn’t eat. She was joined at the
medication management, the physical The program curricula are supple- She thinks that not only is the program table by a little girl in pigtails who was
environment and fall prevention, was mented by other materials, which in- beneficial to both populations, but it also not fond of breakfast. The woman,
developed by a collaboration between clude a fact sheet on California’s direct will improve overall relations between who had grandchildren, told the young-
the Fall Prevention Center of Excel- care workforce (produced by PHI) and a generations as stereotypes are constant- ster she should eat. The girl refused.
lence at California’s U.S.C. Davis policy brief (compiled by Dr. Monique ly broken down. When this elderly lady said, “Why don’t
School of Gerontology and the U.S.C. Parrish of Lifecourse Strategies, Orinda, One preschooler reported, “I like you watch me?” and proceeded to pol-
School of Pharmacy.  Calif.) that presents recommendations being with [the older adults] because I ish off her own breakfast, the girl rose to
Six sessions address fall risk fac- from a 2010 convening on strategies to can see the past in a different way when the challenge and did exactly the same.
tors, aging and falls, medical condi- advance the direct-care workforce. they tell me.” A shining facet of this program is
tions that contribute to falls, and rec- These materials can also be downloaded Bellamy says toddlers are favorites that old and young populations have
ognizing the links between falls and from The SCAN Foundation website. v with the elder program participants, as definitely formed a symbiotic relation-
the physical environment. Athan G. Bezaitis is a communica- toddlers’ language skills are still ship. “JEWEL can fulfill that need to
“Given their everyday interaction tion specialist with The Scan Founda- emerging and they are very dependent feel needed, valued and validated,”
with older adults, direct-care workers tion, Long Beach, Calif. Victoria R. upon adults. She has seen the joy on says Bellamy. v
have an important role in reducing Ballesteros is The SCAN Foundation’s elders’ faces when these generations Alison Biggar is a Bay-area based
falls,” said Brad Williams, professor of director of communications. The SCAN get together. Bellamy observes that freelance writer and editor. For infor-
pharmacy and gerontology, and princi- Foundation is dedicated to improving the older adults enjoy holding and mation on the MindAlert Awards, visit
pal investigator for the project. “These long-term care for elders. comforting the babies—and that the www.asaging.org/mindalert.

BRINGING BRAIN FITNESS TO YOUR COMMUNITY


MindAlert With generous support from MetLife Foundation, ASA offers free educational resources on
programs that help older adults maintain and enhance cognitive and mental function in their later
Speakers Bureau years. Speakers Bureau programs have received the MetLife Foundation MindAlert Award and are
recognized as innovative community-based programs translating research related to enhancing
2011 Web Seminar Series cognitive function in later life into practical mental/cognitive health promotion activities.

ASA is pleased to present a FREE MindAlert Speakers Bureau web seminar series delving into the nation’s most innovative brain fitness programs.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be a Student: The Art and Science of An Intergenerational Computing Model to Empower Older Adults
Lifelong Learning Programs May 5, 2011 Presenters: Jean F. Coppola,Ph.D., May 26, 2011
Presenter: Ruth Flexman, Ph.D. Barbara A. Thomas, RN, MA, MS, FNP,
Lin J. Drury, PhD, RN and Sharon Stahl Wexler, PhD, RN, BC
Research documents that lifelong learning contributes to the quality and length of life.
Learn how effective programs offer opportunities for older adults to expand knowledge, Computer technology enhances the quality of life and empowers older adults, and when
develop new interests and connect with old and new friends. Examples from the Osher coupled with intergenerational “teachers” energizes seniors for healthy aging in place.
Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware in Wilmington (2100 members per Participants in this webinar will obtain best practice insights and lessons learned to repli-
semester), Lewes (450 members), the new Dover program (130 members the first semes- cate a low-budget intergenerational computing program in their own agencies.
ter) and other programs will be used to illustrate how course content, marketing, adminis-
tration, and volunteer contributions support a successful online learning venture. My Turn—An Educational Program for Adults 60 Years and Older
Memory Training’s Influence on Cognitive Aging and Functional Ability Presenter: Beverly Collier, MBA June 9, 2011
The “My Turn” program is an educational program at Kingsborough Community College
Presenter: Graham McDougall, Ph.D. May 19, 2011 for adults over 60 years of age. Students attend the college and take tuition-free courses
As individuals age, many have decreased confidence in their memory, or memory self- for credit. This web seminar will provide an overview of the program, including its history,
efficacy, which is directly related to their everyday memory performance. This web seminar enrollment and registration, and special features.
will focus on one efficacy-based memory training program, SeniorWISE, and its longitudinal
outcomes on a triethnic sample. The Buddy ProgramTM—Pairing First Year Medical Students and Persons
with Early Stage Alzheimer’s June 30, 2011
Presenter: Darby Morhardt, MSW, LCSW
The goal of The Buddy Program is to provide a mutually enriching experience for medical
students and people with early stage dementia by strengthening the knowledge and sensi-
tivity of future physicians regarding issues of aging and dementia while offering a mentor-
ship opportunity to a person with dementia. This seminar will describe the development
and step-by-step organization of the program, share outcomes and lessons learned, and
MetLife Foundation how the The Buddy Program is currently being replicated at other medical schools.

All Seminars begin at 10 AM Pacific Time. Visit www.asaging.org/webseminars/metlife_mindalert_series.cfm for full details on how to access these free web seminars.
March–April 2011 Aging Today 15

Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders Wise Women


l continued from page 8 l l continued from page 13 l
ing programs. If you’re new to mentor- sional events I’m attending; we catch meaning and passion. I hope that Com- out older ones so we can receive their
ing, look for a relatively structured pro- up, and I can help them make net- ing Home will help dismantle stereo- wise counsel.”
gram with a go-to administrative person working connections. types about mature women; with each There are many advantages for
and fellow mentors who can share tips Another concern that prospective person who reads it and recommends it younger women (and men) to have ma-
and well-defined expectations about the mentors have is if they know enough to to another, perceptions of older women ture women to guide, mentor and in-
roles of mentors and mentees. advise a less experienced person. They may begin to change. spire them. And there are rewards in
While today’s working women have do! Years of day-to-day experience co- this process for wise women them-
many more options and role models alesce into wisdom about dozens of top- selves: being with younger people can
than women had in previous times, ics that a newcomer hasn’t mastered— Older women want to be rejuvenating and a source of new
they can always learn from a mentor’s office etiquette, an organization’s energy and ideas.
experience, network and enthusiastic history, who’s who in the profession. share their wisdom—if Wisdom, whether it is being given
support. A mentor can provide practi- That knowledge, plus the supportive at-
cal advice on worklife issues that loom tention of a more seasoned professional, only our society would or received, is a positive force for our
society—one that we collectively
large at certain points in a woman’s ca-
reer. And women who have their roots
are immensely valuable to a mentee,
even if the mentor is retired.
give them the respect and need to nurture and cultivate for ev-
eryone’s benefit. v
in other cultures, first-generation mem- In setting goals for the mentoring re- appreciation they deserve. Patricia Gottlieb Shapiro, M.S.W.,
bers of the professional workforce, can lationship, the mentor will quickly real-
benefit from cultural insights and expo- ize how she can help her mentee; a men- is the author of Coming Home to
sure to work environments. tee also sees right away how much the Would the younger generation be Yourself: Eighteen Wise Women Re-
One of my mentees, a 28-year-old mentor has to offer, regardless of her open to viewing older women in such flect on Their Journeys, and special-
Chinese immigrant who had two grad- champion’s age, work status or different a positive light? Some of them have izes in writing and speaking on wom-
uate degrees and worked in a financial professional background. One of my already moved in this direction. Margo en’s issues, mid-life and friendship.
firm, told me that she got had gotten most successful mentoring relationships Bachman, age 37, an Ayurvedic prac- Writer Victoria Zackheim spoke about
fed up and quit her job the day before. was with a 28-year-old woman who cre- titioner and mother of two, said, “Wise her book The Face in the Mirror:
After a long conversation, she realized ated mathematical models for complex women are a huge value because they Writers Reflect on Their Dreams of
that quitting wasn’t in her best inter- financial transactions—even though I have life experiences and wisdom Youth and the Reality of Age (Am-
est, and we worked out a successful am not mathematically inclined. from living all those years. In the past, herst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2009)
strategy for her to immediately with- Women leaders can enhance their we lived in small communities where in “Reflections on Youthful Dreams
draw her resignation. legacy and extend their impact through we had access to village elders. That and the Wisdom of Age” for the
mentoring while revitalizing them- has been lost in our modern society, November−December 2009 issue of
Mentoring: Challenges selves in the process. I encourage so we younger women have to seek Aging Today.
and Rewards women step into mentoring and enjoy
When I talk with potential mentors, its life-enhancing effect. v
some are put off by the imagined time Betsy Werley began her work life as
commitment. But even in today’s busy
world, spending only a few hours per
a corporate lawyer, then moved to the
business side at JPMorgan Chase.
Women and Long-Term Care
month with your mentee is both man- After 25 years in the for-profit sector, l continued from page 9 l
ageable and valuable. It’s important she became executive director of The Long-term-care insurance is one time comes to need care, you may not
to devote in-person time when you Transition Network (www.thetransi way to shift some of the financial risk be in a position to clearly articulate
begin the process—after that, phone tionnetwork.org), a nonprofit for from you to an insurance company. The your needs. Having the right legal doc-
and e-mail are effective ways to com- women ages 50 and over who are ex- key to buying long-term-care insurance uments in place helps provide the nec-
municate. I invite mentees to profes- ploring the next stage of life. is to do it when you are younger and essary guidance to your caregivers.
healthy—the average age of the pur- If there is one good thing that came
Five Tips for Would-Be Mentors chaser of long-term-care insurance is out of my own caregiving experience,
1. Mentoring is a two-way street. Mentees can teach mentors—if a mentor is 57, and the average cost at that age is it is that I took action to get my own
open to a mentee’s special areas of knowledge. My mentees are much more about $1,500 per year. long-term-care plan in place and have
experienced than I with technology and social media, so I ask them for advice. The older you are, the more expen- that conversation with my mother so I
sive it is to buy a policy. You can often know what she wants. Do not wait for
2. Bring your whole self to the mentoring relationship. Build trust by sharing buy a plan through your employer with the crisis. The tools and resources are
information about your background and extracurricular activities, and learning less stringent underwriting rules. A available to put your long-term-care
about your mentee’s life. Tell your mentees about your work challenges and new government long-term-care plan plan in place today. v
how you address them. for employees, commonly called the Laura Weber Rossman is director of
3. Go the extra mile. Mentees can sometimes feel awkward about reaching out CLASS Act, is expected to be avail- insurance and retirement services for
to mentors. To make a mentoring relationship work, be proactive and accom- able in 2012. variPhase Financial Partners, LLC,
modate your mentee’s schedule. One of my younger mentees, struggling with How will you ensure your wishes and co-chair of ASA’s Business Forum
family issues, computer meltdowns and school pressures, was non-responsive are carried out? Be realistic: when the on Aging.
for two months. When she reappeared, she said she was grateful that I had kept
in touch.
4. Define what’s most relevant to your mentee. Set goals and focus your ad- CLASS: A New Long-Term Care Option
vice. While you may be a Mississippi River of wisdom, sometimes a mentee Tucked away in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a plan for a
can only handle an 8-ounce glass. new voluntary long-term-care program to be administered by the government. It is
5. Understand that your role is limited. Support your mentee even if you don’t called CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports). With imple-
agree with all of her choices. You may have a different risk tolerance and more mentation expected after October 2012, the details aren’t pinned down yet. But it
confidence in her abilities than she does. My 42-year-old mentee, feeling uncom- may be an important way for people to fund long-term-care help in the future.
fortable about her prospects, didn’t take what I thought was a perfect next-step job The CLASS program will be available to employees ages 18 and older. The
for her. She then found a more suitable job that led to her desired promotion. We coverage will be on a guaranteed-issue basis, which means health issues won’t
talked through the situation, I accepted her reasoning and we moved forward. keep you from joining the plan. The cash benefit will be no less than $50 on aver-
—Betsy Werley age and will be paid as long as care is needed. You’ll have to pay into the plan for
at least five years (three of those years while you are working) before being eligi-
ble to collect benefits.
A Network for Life’s Next Stage Similar to long-term-care insurance, benefits will be paid when a CLASS enroll-
ee is certified as needing care for more than 90 days. Certification will include in-
Though there are a lot of organizations that focus on women’s professional devel- ability to perform a minimum number of activities of daily living (two or three) or
opment, until recently there was no organization for women exploring life after their substantial cognitive impairment.
professional careers. The Transition Network (TTN) (www.thetransitionnet What will it cost? Costs have been estimated at $120 to $240 per month. Because
work.org) fills that gap. The TTN was founded in 2000 by Christine Millen and of the price, some are concerned that few will participate. But we remain optimistic
Charlotte Frank—two women who were ready for a change and knew they had that this first-ever government program can help ease the financial burden of long-
many productive years ahead, but didn’t have role models for the next life stage.  term care in the future. For CLASS details, see this brief from Boston College:
Today, TTN is a national community of more than 7,000 women with a variety http://crr.bc.edu/images/stories/Briefs/IB_11-3.pdf.
of professional backgrounds. It offers peer support groups to discuss transitioning
and many other issues, educational programs  and volunteer opportunities.  The Long-Term-Care Resources
TTN is part of the positive aging movement, showcasing members as role models
From the AALTCI Women’s Guide: www.aaltci.org/subpages/resources/women.pdf.
for life after age 50 and presenting programs on career and life transitions. The
book, Smart Women Don’t Retire—They Break Free, a collaboration of the TTN From the Department of Health and Human Services: www.longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_
and Gail Rentsch, shares member transition stories and expert advice on finding Site/Planning_LTC/Considerations/index.aspx#PPS.
what’s next. For more information on the book, visit the TTN website. From the Kaiser Family Foundation: www.kaiseredu.org/tutorials/elderly/player.html.
—Betsy Werley —Laura Weber Rossman
16 Aging Today March–April 2011

ASA Update

A Commitment to the Cause


By Robert G. Stein we stand—whether it’s on healthcare Getting to know each other and our able planning tool for our community; I
ASA President & CEO reform, ageism or new medical moni- various specialties can also be enervat- hope you will use this issue’s ideas to
toring technology. They know that the ing. If you’re joining us, take a moment ensure the sustainability of your organi-
more they do this, the more help they this year at our Aging in America Con- zations. And, inspired by that issue of
Despite com-
provide to the millions of elders in need ference to meet some new-to-you Generations, the 2011 Aging in Ameri-
plaints that fre-
of services and support. They make members of our community and be in- ca Conference will feature a National
quently surface in
sure elders have a voice. spired by their ideas and presentations. Forum on the Future of Aging on Fri-
our media streams
As these professionals navigate Maybe it’ll be this year’s Mind Alert day, April 29, in San Francisco. For
about self-absorbed
Capitol Hill, or work in the trenches Award winner, who succeeded in com- more information on the Forum, visit
generations—Mil-
writing and amending policy, they bining a childcare center with an elder www.agingconference.org.
lennials are ego- daycare center to great effect for both
put the pressure on our ambassadors
centric, baby boom- populations. Or perhaps you’ll run into
of older Americans to do their best.
ers are the Me Robert G. Stein someone on the frontlines of caregiv-
This is active engagement that doesn’t
Generation—I see ing, someone whose passion began
end at 5 p.m. When you love the work
many people, across all generations, you’ve chosen and care deeply about very personally but has extended to
who are serving the greater good. Cali- the population you’re committed to years of service for others in like situa-
fornia’s new governor, for instance. No serving, the work doesn’t wear on tions. Or possibly it will be a researcher
one can deny that Jerry Brown is pas- you, but spurs you on. When every who’s constantly crunching numbers
sionate about fixing what ails the Gold- day you can say you may have en- and other data to make sure the true

Photo: iStock Photo/Aquir


en State, working tirelessly (if some- story is told about American confusion
times quirkily) toward that goal, no over healthcare reform or the state of
matter how many legislative hurdles When you believe you financial stability in the cohort of sin-
loom or how large the deficit may be. gle, older-than-age-65 women.
I’ve observed the same passion in the may have enhanced
people I work closely with every day in
the field of aging. Their commitment to
elders’ quality of life, ASA Builds Inspiring ‘Virtual’
Communities

the cause of supporting and serving el- when you know that a Every such meeting can inspire hard- The Winter 2010−11 issue of Gen-
ders is strong and whole-hearted. When- er work on your cause. And then there erations, which covered 21st century
ever I pick up the phone to garner sup- new idea or innovation are the advantages of “virtual” meet- workforce challenges and opportuni-
ties, was also an eye-opener to the
port for ASA’s mission, programs and
projects, or to discuss new ideas and
can potentially save a ings. ASA also builds collaboration and
community through weekly online plethora of needs that will face us in
plans with someone who already has a human life—these are learning gatherings—our web seminars. the near future as America’s aging pop-
full plate, I’m usually welcomed with On March 10 we offered a practical ulation increases. And in the Spring,
enthusiasm and heart. powerful motivators. and pragmatic seminar on “Sibling Generations will highlight the com-
Wars and Parent Care.” Led by Fran- plexities of healthcare reform and how
Getting the Word Out
hanced the quality of life for older cine Russo, author of They’re Your Par- the legislation can affect the ability of
Our ASA members, a dedicated adults, when you know innovation ents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive older adults in our country to age with
community of professionals, are deter- can potentially save a human life, it’s Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving dignity and a good quality of life.
mined to get the word out about where a powerful motivator. Each Other Crazy, clinical social
worker Steve Barlam and geriatric care ASA Members: Our Guiding Light

manager Rona Bartelstone, the session But before you see the Spring Gen-
taught participants how to become more erations in your mailbox, you’ll see the
sensitive to complex family dynamics, May–June 2011 issue of Aging Today.

REGISTER NOW!
and provided potential interventions to With that issue—and with all of our is-
help adult children reach resolutions. sues to come—you’ll see evidence of
In May we’ll offer a web session on the expert guidance and commitment
the inspirational “Art and Science of from our members who have stepped

Aging in America 2011 Lifelong Learning Programs,” presented


by Ruth Flexman, the Statewide Osher
up, ever committed to the cause of
serving older Americans, to help us
Lifelong Learning Coordinator for the cover all the bases with new knowledge
Annual Conference of the American Society on Aging University of Delaware. There are also crucial to our field.
San Francisco, April 26-30 upcoming web seminars on long-
distance caregiving, medication moni-
The May–June issue of Aging Today
will focus in on healthcare reform and
toring, in-home care during a recession feature stories including a Q & A with
and patient-doctor communication. Any nurses directly involved in the drafting
one of these seminars could be of value of the ACA, a look at how IT can con-
to our members and the public, but when tribute to saving reform (and cost-sav-
viewed as a series, you can see we’ve ings in general), thoughts about the
tried to cover all possible topic areas legal challenges to reform (both imme-
across the aging spectrum. You’ll find diate and in the pipeline), and reflec-
the full lineup on our website at www. tions on chronic care—and how the
asaging.org/webseminars/. practice of medicine may have to
change its ways.
Planning for the Future This thorough and well-crafted issue
The field of aging is becoming in- was guest-edited by ASA board mem-
creasingly complex. When you factor ber (and former ASA Award winner)
Make plans now to join the largest gathering of a diverse, in politics, our ability to access re- Bob Blancato, and we hope it inspires
multidisciplinary community of professionals in aging, sources is often threatened—which is you to continue on with your cause.
why every chance we have to improve And a final word on cause and com-
health care and education to learn: our knowledge base, and to pass that mitment: March is National Profes-
WHAT’S NEW learning along to our members and the sional Social Work Month, and we ac-
field of aging at large, is a chance we knowledge and thank these hardworking
WHAT’S IMPORTANT should take. We need to assess how to and compassionate professionals in our
most effectively manage for today, field. Over the years, ASA has been led
WHAT WORKS while at the same time plan for tomor- and guided by social work profession-
HOW WE CAN DO IT row’s new host of challenges. als—a group that includes past Board
Our Fall 2010 issue of Generations Chairs Jeanette Takamura and Robyn
on the Future of Aging went a long way Golden, our current Immediate Past
toward addressing how best to plan for Chair Cynthia Stuen, our current Trea-
tomorrow. With stories on housing, surer Jed Johnson and so many others.
transportation, retirement and encore It is their continuing mission—and
careers, plus a look at how healthcare, ours here at ASA—to serve elders to
medicine and our diverse population the best of their ability, doing the work
With special public policy and other programming by NCOA will look 50 years hence, it’s an invalu- that they love so well. v