aging

Not Depressed At All

Nov 9, 2018
Edvard Munch / Google Art Project, Wikimedia Commons

Hello, I’m Lynne Hewes. I’ve just finished reading the books on HPPR’s Radio Readers’ fall list—and I’m not at all depressed.

When I discovered that our steering committee (of which I am a member) had chosen the theme of Aging, Death, and Dying for our 2018 fall read, I was a bit disappointed.  Seeing a booklist with titles like Medicine Walk, Being Mortal, and Why Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? made me think, Why can’t we read something more pleasant? 

Old Age Intensifies What Is There

Nov 5, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

This is Leslie VonHolten of Lawrence with another HPPR Radio Readers’ Book Byte.

My father-in-law was a quiet, devout farmer who raised corn, hogs, and three beautiful sons on the flat plains of Illinois. When he retired, he worked three part-time jobs: He helped Doc, the veterinarian, with his hog farm; he worked the vineyards at a nearby winery; and on Saturdays, he manned the town’s recycling center.

Maybe Not So Pleasant

Nov 2, 2018
Courtesy

The supremest act of love is to cover the shame of the vulnerable. On the other hand, to broadcast their shame -- even a caricature of it -- is the worst kind of betrayal, the victims unable to defend themselves and unlikely to be defended.

Herein lies the transgression of Roz Chast, author of the memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

Old, Old Age Isn't for Sissies

Oct 26, 2018
Brewminate / Wikimedia Commons

This is Denise Low, a regular contributor to the High Plains Public Radio Book Club.

When my mother had her first health crisis, the social worker at the hospital informed me that at 72, she was in young old age, how fortunate because odds of successful treatment were high. I thought everyone over retirement age was just old. This was my introduction to the changes of aging, ahead for both of us.

Chast's Experience Instructive

Oct 5, 2018
Wikipedia

A hundred years ago the Sears and Roebuck catalog, in addition to ordinary household goods, carried numerous advertisements for coffins, wreaths, and clothes to wear to funerals. The average life span was short: every family had first-hand exposure to death and dying.

It's A Meaningful Discussion

Aug 27, 2018
Rembrandt (1632) / Wikimedia Commons

In the last part of his book Being Mortal, Atul Gawande addresses the events following his father’s being diagnosed with a rare caner, astrocytoma of the spinal cord. Questions of surgery now or later, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, assisted living or hospice created emotions that swirled through the family like a tornado.

Facing the Ultimate Fact of Life

Aug 24, 2018
Joe Lovell - Amarillo, Texas

“Aging.”  That used to be just a word, one not often considered, that I reflexively associated with gaining access to things and experiences previously unavailable to me. 

Now, as I begin my sixth decade, “aging” is a word that reveals itself to me daily – in the aches and stiffness that greet my every morning; in the faces of my siblings, colleagues, and, of course, that sagging, grizzled image in the mirror; in the daily physical challenges of my parents and my wife’s; in the constantly declining memory of my mother-in-law.

Aging - The Challenges And The Costs

Aug 20, 2018
Phillip Periman / Amarillo, Texas

I’m Dr Phillip Periman from Amarillo TX. 

In Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, I found the second chapter the most sobering. In “Things Fall Apart,” previously published as an essay in The New Yorker, Gawande discusses the inevitability of the biological decline of old age.

In fact, this chapter influenced my own decision to retire from the active practice of medicine at age 78. I know of no one who can do at 88 what they did at 78.

Maintaining the Integrity of One's Life

Aug 13, 2018

In his book Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande discusses nursing homes and why 50% of us will spend a year or more of our lives in one. The other 50%, especially if we are in the very old category, will live alone. Unfortunately, Gawande observes,  “We give virtually no thought to how we will live out our later years alone.”

Preparation Required

Aug 10, 2018
leocontent.acu.edu.au

My name is Valerie Mendoza and I’m Director of Programs for Humanities Kansas based in Topeka. 

My grandmother was an advocate for the elderly. She and others in our community noticed that those who were Spanish-speaking lacked services as they aged and in the early 1970s she helped to found a senior center for them where they could gather, socialize, and have something to look forward to.

Medical Problems Or The Meaning of Life?

Aug 8, 2018
Wyatt McSpadden

This is Dr. Phillip Periman. I am a retired hematologist/oncologist in Amarillo, Texas. I have been asked to review Dr. Atul Gawande’s  Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End published in 2014 and now available in paperback.   Two chapters, “Things Fall Apart” and “Letting Go,” first appeared as articles in The New Yorker for which Gawande regularly writes. He is a surgeon in the Harvard system in Boston.

Let's Talk - Aging, Death and Dying

Aug 6, 2018
Wikimedia

Elizabeth Kubler Ross once called America a “death-denying society,” a description not necessarily shared across cultures. In Bhutan – one of the happiest countries on the globe -- talking about death at least once a day is considered a necessity. Hyolmo Buddhists in Nepal regard dying as an intricate art to be learned throughout life. And in Papua, New Guinea, older people often describe themselves as “being the process of dying.”

The 2018 Fall Read's theme is Let’s Talk – Aging, Death & Dying.  You'll find thoughts and ideas about books from Radio Readers through a series of BookBytes posted below. If you'd like to contribute a BookByte, simply contact Kathleen Holt for more information. 

High Plains Morning thanks Lisa Hancock from the  Area Agency on Aging of the Panhandle  for stopping into the studio today to share information about their 2018 Older Americans Month Celebration: Engage at Every Age.

Here are the details!

WHEN:            

May 4, 2018

9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m

***Registration check in opens at 8:30 a.m.***

 --FREE EVENT!

Kansas officials are moving to protect more than 800 vulnerable residents of 15 financially troubled nursing homes across the state.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is seeking court orders to put the facilities — currently operated by a New Jersey company — into receivership.

That would allow another company to take over operations pending arrangements to either sell the homes or close them.

Colorado facing tidal wave of senior citizens

Dec 13, 2016
Colorado Department of Local Affairs

To get ahead of Colorado’s aging population, the state of Colorado just released an action plan that lays out a vision for handling the state’s graying demographic through 2030.

oriooli.com

A phone call brings Karen one step closer to becoming the oldest generation.

Dave Ranney / Kansas Health Institute

From the Kansas Health Institute:

A recent change in Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services policy will reduce access to services that help the state’s frail elders avoid often-costly nursing home stays, according to directors of the state’s Area Agencies on Aging.

Estate taxes can complicate farm transitions

Jul 26, 2013
Kansas Poetry (Patrick) / Flickr

Welsh-born immigrant William R. Charles in 1868 fought an uphill battle with Indians and grasshoppers when he homesteaded 400 acres of well watered crop and timberland in Republic County, Kan., that his great-grandchildren farm today. The family’s first log cabin burned to the ground in December, 1869 and they dug through two feet of frozen dirt to find shelter.

Today, Charles’ grandchildren, great-grandchildren and their children are far flung from that homestead, Valley Point Farm, 240 miles northwest of Kansas City.

Video Documentary: Aging of the American Farmer

Jul 14, 2013
Ray Meints for NET News

Farmers are getting older.  They’re working longer, staying on the land later and continuing to do what they’ve done for decades: heading out day after day after day to work their land.

In 1978, the average age of the American farmer was just over 50. In 2007, it was creeping toward 60, at just over 57-years-old. What does that mean for the agriculture industry? Harvest Public Media went to answer that question by focusing on this massive demographic shift that affects not just rural America but the power and potential of an entire industry. 

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

While the farming community continues to age fewer young people are filling the ranks, prompting the question: Do young people even want to farm anymore?

The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. And surveys indicate many of them don’t want to farm in conventional ways.

A civic lesson for rural towns

Jul 11, 2013
Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

It’s not just lifelong farmers who feel the pull of the land as they get older. For some Americans, retirement is an opportunity to begin the farming dream.

“I wanted to be able to be active and have a pastime that ensured physical activity,” said beginning farmer Tom Thomas, who at 65 still has the physical fitness to wrestle and brand steers at his son’s ranch in Oklahoma. 

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

It’s not just lifelong farmers who feel the pull of the land as they get older. For some Americans, retirement is an opportunity to begin the farming dream.

“I wanted to be able to be active and have a pastime that ensured physical activity,” said beginning farmer Tom Thomas, who at 65 still has the physical fitness to wrestle and brand steers at his son’s ranch in Oklahoma. 

Thomas retired two years ago after teaching exercise physiology for 35 years and he knew what he wanted to do next.

Facing the family farm legacy

Jul 9, 2013
Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Driving out of the western Iowa town of Panora, the winding roads offer broad vistas of rolling hills. Many of the mailboxes along Redwood Road show the name Arganbright. Jim Arganbright grew up in this area, one of 10 children. He and his wife, Beverly, have eight kids.

Though Jim Arganbright farmed here his whole life, three years ago at the age of 80 he started renting his cropland to his son Tom, the only one of his children who farms full-time. Now, all Jim Arganbright has to worry about is the livestock — and he doesn’t have too much of that.

How long can you farm?

Jul 8, 2013
Bob Hawthorn

Working beyond retirement is a fairly common refrain these days. In 2012, 5 percent of the U.S. workforce was beyond retirement age. But farmers seem to work longer than most. In the last Agriculture Census 25 percent of all farm operators were over 65 years old.

Why do farmers keep working? For one thing, modern machinery makes it easier to work longer.

“It’s more you use your mind rather than your back, so you can go longer,” said Mike Duffy, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University.