Category Archives: Old Age

On Aging: A Look At Friendships “Changing” At The End Of Life (Atlantic)

From a The Atlantic online article:

How Friendships Change at the End of Life - The Atlantic - Illustration by Wenjia TangBeing with people at the end of life is very intense work. You are regularly seeing a part of life that a lot of people don’t see, or see very rarely. How do you feel that affects your relationships generally and your friendship specifically?

People become frightened at the end of life. Sometimes I see them moving away from friends as they get sicker. Once people get past that fear of what’s going on, they can be friends again.

Every week, The Friendship Files features a conversation between The Atlantic’s Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship.

This week, she talks with two women who met through the nontheistic religion of Ethical Culture and have spent a significant amount of time ministering to aging and dying members of their congregation. They discuss how friendship changes at the end of life, and how they work to foster connection and community for members of all ages.

To read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/11/how-friendship-changes-end-life/601204/

Health: Asymptomatic Bacteriuria Diagnosis In Older Patients Should Not Require Antibiotics

From a New York Times online article:

Asymtomatic Bacteriuria DefinitionAt Dr. Soong’s hospital, withholding the results of urine cultures, unless doctors actually called the microbiology lab to request them, reduced prescriptions for asymptomatic bacteriuria to 12 percent from 48 percent of non-catheterized patients, with no loss of safety.

“The extra step of having the clinician call eliminated a lot of frivolous testing,” Dr. Soong said.

In patients who have none of the typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection — no painful or frequent urination, no blood in the urine, no fever or lower abdominal tenderness — lab results detecting bacteria in the urine don’t indicate infection and thus shouldn’t trigger treatment.

Older people, and nursing home residents in particular, often have urinary systems colonized by bacteria; they will have a positive urine test almost every time, but they’re not sick.

To read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/14/health/urine-tests-elderly.html

Harvard’s “Housing America’s Older Adults 2019” Study Highlights Increasing Housing Cost Burdens For The 65+

From a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report:

As both the number and share of older households in the United States increase to unprecedented levels, inequalities are becoming more evident. Within the 65-and-over age group, most recent income gains have gone to the highest earners, and the number of households with housing cost burdens has reached an all-time high. Ensuring that middle- and lower-income households in this age range have the means to live affordably and safely in their current homes or move to other suitable housing will be a growing challenge.

Over the Next 20 Years, Households in Their 80s Will Be the Fastest-Growing Age Group Harvard

Meanwhile, many households in the 50–64 year-old age group have not recovered from the Great Recession, leaving them with lower incomes and homeownership rates than their predecessors at similar ages. For the nearly 10 million households in this age group that are cost burdened, ensuring financial and housing security in retirement will be a struggle.

 

https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/Harvard_JCHS_Housing_Americas_Older_Adults_2019.pdf

Consumer Issues: Many Products Designed For Older People Are Just “Brown, Beige And Boring”

From a MIT Technology Review online article:

Engaging older people in designing for older people “is a good thing,” says Smith. “Because younger people do tend to have this picture of designing things that are functional for older people, but not really understanding what makes them happy.” Presented with products that are “brown, beige, and boring,” many older people will forgo convenience for dignity.

MIT Technology Review why are products for older people so uglyIt’s a familiar tune to engineer Ken Smith, director of the mobility division of the Stanford Center on Longevity. He says one of the biggest mistakes designers make is to assume that around the age of 60 people lose interest in aesthetics and design. This can have dire consequences for products meant to help people with their health. No one wants to stick a golf-ball-size hearing aid the color of chewed gum in their ear, any more than they want to wear a T-shirt that reads “SENIOR CITIZEN.”

To read more click on the following link: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614167/why-are-products-for-older-people-so-ugly/?utm_campaign=the_download.unpaid.engagement&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=76169117&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_dlTg24O7Cr_1b5J4cniKFvi74Dmh8Fm3nuJVTbblAB8Z3fna_Rj6WoV6M6aodqOVSJnh603-liOHFgjAr_EQEh9sVQw&_hsmi=76169117

MIT AgeLab: Consumer Product Companies Need To Make Older Adults A “Core Constituency”

From an MIT Technology Review article by Joseph F. Coughlin:

MIT Technology Review Old Age Is Over October 2019Technologists, particularly those who make consumer products, will have a strong influence over how we’ll live tomorrow. By treating older adults not as an ancillary market but as a core constituency, the tech sector can do much of the work required to redefine old age. But tech workplaces also skew infamously young. Asking young designers to merely step into the shoes of older consumers (and we at the MIT AgeLab have literally developed a physiological aging simulation suit for that purpose) is a good start, but it is not enough to give them true insight into the desires of older consumers. Luckily there’s a simpler route: hire older workers.

Of all the wrenching changes humanity knows it will face in the next few decades—climate change, the rise of AI, the gene-editing revolution—none is nearly as predictable in its effects as global aging. Life expectancy in industrialized economies has gained more than 30 years since 1900, and for the first time in human history there are now more people over 65 than under 5—all thanks to a combination of increasing longevity, diminished fertility, and an aging Baby Boom cohort. We’ve watched these trends develop for generations; demographers can chart them decades in advance.

To read more click on the following link: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614155/old-age-is-made-upand-this-concept-is-hurting-everyone/