Aging

Murray Span, 1922-2012

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times Paula Span with her father, Murray Span, in 2011. One consequence of our elders’ extended lifespans is that we half expect them to keep chugging along forever. My father, a busy yoga practitioner and blackjack player, celebrated his 90th birthday in September in reasonably good health. So when I had(…)

Read More

Older People Become What They Think, Study Shows

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times Research shows that older people who have positive outlooks on aging eat healthier, exercise more and recover more quickly from illnesses. All of us have beliefs — many of them subconscious, dating back to childhood — about what it means to get older. Psychologists call these “age stereotypes.” And,(…)

Read More

In the Middle: Why Elderly Couples Fight

David Rochkind for The New York Times George and Gracie (let’s call them that because using their real names would make them even unhappier than they already appear to be) are in their 80s and have been married for more than 65 years. Until recently they seemed to ride the waves that are inevitable in(…)

Read More

The Gift of Reading

Lucas Jackson/Reuters Libraries, like the New York Public Library, are working with older people to help them navigate tablets and computer software. This is the year of the tablet, David Pogue of The Times has told us, and that may be good news for seniors who open holiday wrappings to find one tucked inside. They(…)

Read More

Fighting Off Age at the Pharmacy Counter

Niko J. Kallianiotis for The New York Times We wrinkle. We have night sweats. We forget names and wake, with brittle, unwanted consciousness, in the middle of the night. And we hate those indignities of aging — including those that extend to the bedroom — and mobilize to fight them using the tools of modern(…)

Read More

WSJ: Time for Elder Care?

WSJ Article By KRISTEN GERENCHER Pay close attention to your aging parents on a holiday visit this year. Does the normally tidy house now seem neglected? Is there hoarding? Do you notice memory problems, confusion or physical unsteadiness? Discovering that a parent’s physical or mental health is declining can be heavy on the heart. It also(…)

Read More

Reaching 90 With Only Three Prescriptions

Murray Span My father, Murray Span, turned 90 a few days ago. We kept the celebration pleasant but low-key, as he requested: lunch at his independent living community with my sister and me, her son and his girlfriend. Flowers and balloons. A round of “Happy Birthday” from everyone in the dining room. And two cakes(…)

Read More

How in the World Will We Care for All the Elderly?

All over the world, people are living longer than ever before and posing caregiving challenges that span the globe. We think of this phenomenon as particularly true of wealthy “first world” countries like the United States. But it’s not. Consider these facts, drawn from a fascinating new portrait of global aging published by the United(…)

Read More

‘Old’ Myself, and None Too Pleased

The first thing I learned about my new Medicare card is that it’s hard to fit in my wallet. Made of paper, not laminated, it’s a tad bigger than the slots perfectly sized for a credit card, a drivers license or my Blue Cross-Blue Shield card, which until Sept. 1, the start of the month(…)

Read More

Listening Carefully to Voice Changes

George Frey/Getty Images A study of the speeches of Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, revealed some clues about how voices change with aging. As is the case with so many bodily functions, our voices change with aging. The pitch of women’s voices becomes lower, while the(…)

Read More