Turning Sixty

May 26, 2009

May 24, 2009. Don’t feel different from yesterday, when I was in my fifties. But I do feel different from May 24, 1989, when I got up and ran 10 miles to celebrate 40. And I do feel different from May 24, 1967, when I graduated from Hobart High School. And I do feel different from May 24, 1955 when I got a new tricycle and Roy Rogers chaps. . . Hmmm, shouldn’t I have been riding a bicycle by then?
But, you know, I don’t really feel different. Internally, I am the same person and chronological age really has no felt meaning unless I or someone draws it to my attention – what gerontologists call “timing events.” Age is actually a pretty weak variable for determing who we are, who we should associate with, who we can be, how we should feel.
I have always looked forward to old age, though people sometimes express surprise at this position. So far, it has brought good things – two incredible grandchildren, for example. Yes, it brings loss too, but this makes the beautiful world what it is.
Take your place on the great Mandala, as it moves through your brief moment of time. (lyrics by P, P and M).

Kansas City Region Addressing the Demographic Imperative

May 22, 2009

Enjoyed traveling to Kansas City, Missouri this week to speak to the regional EngAgement Initiative, a two year project funded by Grantmakers in Aging and designed to build awareness about aging issues within the regional philanthropic community. I was joined at the gorgeous Kauffman Foundation conference center by friend and colleague Mia Oberlink of the Center for Home Care Policy and Research, VNS of New York. We provided an overview of the national AdvantAge Initiative planning model (see http://www.advantageinitiative.org, or http://www.agingindiana.org). I spoke to the importance of attention to aging as a phenomenon of place and relationships, not time and the body, suggesting this provides a transformative way of thinking about aging in community.

The folks in KC are energized. The KC4Aging in Community project is getting off the ground as an impressive, comprehensive regional planning initiative. I had the opportunity to learn about their Senior Mobility Framework, which is an inspired approach to the long term, massive need to re-engineer transportation (mobility) options for the growing older population.

I attaching my slides from the morning presentation with funders and an afternoon workshop with providers organized by John Carney of the Center for Practical Bioethics.

(http://www.practicalbioethics.org/). A podcast interview from the conference is planned for the Center website.
Many thanks to Kathy Boyer-Shesol and friends for the warm mid-western hospitality, even though I didn’t get any barbeque. Next time!

Here are the links to the presentations:

AM Presentation

PM Presentation

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