Aging

Neovain / flickr

Older adults living alone are more likely to be emotionally well if they feel close to their neighbors and connected to their community, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh.

When Kristin Armstrong pedaled across the Olympic finish line to win a cycling gold in Rio de Janeiro, her nose was bleeding and her 5-year-old son was waiting for her.

The 42-year-old told reporters that people constantly ask why she keeps competing despite her age and multiple hip surgeries.

Her response? "Because I can."

Bob Gaffney / Flickr

Pennsylvanians with aging family members are underutilizing many of the state’s assistance programs, Department of Aging officials said.

Secretary Teresa Osborne said the department could be doing more to inform the public.

“While we’re doing an okay job of it, we need to do better,” she said. “So, what better opportunities are we going to take advantage of in order to ensure that the services and support that are available to older Pennsylvanians and their caregivers are known before somebody is in a crisis mode?”

While Allegheny County remains one of the oldest counties in the nation, the national senior population is actually growing more quickly than the senior population in the county.

That’s according to a new report from Pittsburgh Today and the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research, or UCSUR.

In 2000, 17.8 percent of people in Allegheny County were 65 or older, compared to 12.4 percent nationwide. In 2010, the gap began closing, with 16.8 percent seniors in the county and 13 percent nationwide.

The Challenges of Aging for LGBTQIA Individuals

Nov 19, 2014
Patrick / Flickr

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 45.3 million Americans live in poverty. While poverty affects people from all walks of life, last week WESA’s Deanna Garcia reported on the prevalence of poverty among those who identify as LGBTQIA, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual. Poverty becomes an even greater problem as they grow older.

Kathi Boyle, coordinator of older adult services for the Persad Center, is part of a national group called SAGE, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders. August “Buzz” Pusateri, a retired pharmacist who was diagnosed as HIV positive in the early 1980s. Buzz is chair of the Pitt Men’s Study community advisory board and lives in a retirement community in Oakland. They join us to talk about the challenges of aging and being out.

How Better Communication Can Help Patients Die with Dignity

Nov 6, 2014
Alex Proimos / Flickr

With the recent assisted suicide of a woman in Oregon named Brittany Maynard, we want to talk about how conversations on death and dying are changing, or need to change between medical professionals and terminally ill patients and their families. 

Dr. Robert M. Arnold, professor of medicine and Medical Director at UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute says before the need for assisted suicide comes up, we need to look at how quality of life can be better for people who are terminally ill.

Changing Attitudes of Aging: 50 is the New 50

Nov 6, 2014
Ronn aka "Blue" Aldaman / Flickr

 

According to our guest Dr. Bill Thomas, an internationally recognized expert on elderhood and geriatric medicine, Americans need to rethink their attitudes on aging. Dr. Thomas joins us for a conversation about aging. He is also the founder of the Eden Alternative and Green House Project.

In the face of clichés like “65 is the new 50,” Thomas stresses that 50 is the new 50, encouraging people to embrace the age that they are and not aspire to something else.

Alzheimer's Research in an "Unprecedented Era of Innovation"

Oct 13, 2014
Clear Thoughts Foundation / Facebook

  

In addition to National Breast Cancer Awareness, October is also Alzheimer’s Disease  Awareness Month

Our guest, Hayley Jameson is founder and president of the Clear Thoughts Foundation which raises funds to discover drugs and treatments to stop dementia and eventually end Alzheimer’s.

Also taking part in the conversation is Dr. Susan Catalano, chief science officer of Cognition Therapeutics which is focused on finding new medicines to stop Alzheimer’s.

Rosie O'Beirne / Flickr

    

 

"The  majority of what makes the disease difficult is the emotional toll. It’s a 24hr job," says Suzanne Weessies.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can take an emotional, physical and financial toll on caregivers. We’ll address the services available and particular concerns of caregivers with Karen Schaeffer, founder of Age and Dignity, which provides education and guidance for families. Also taking part in the conversation is Suzanne Weessies Family Services Coordinator of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater PA Chapter.

For caregivers or for those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's who need support or information, contact the 24/7 Alzheimer's Association hotline. 1.800.272.3900

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

A few days a week, Joe Finkelpearl goes to the Jewish Community Center and makes phone calls.

He calls a few dozen fellow seniors from an office and chats them up, talking about sports and books, but also ensuring their meals are delivered and their furnaces are working in the winter.

An 81-year-old retired widower, he is a volunteer for Agewell Pittsburgh, a one-stop referral system that provides coordinated access to services for seniors who are living independently.