weekly blog--one for the ages
My wife and I watched the new movie Nomadland over the weekend. It’s the story about an older woman who has lost her husband and job and decides to live as a nomad. She’s not alone. She’s one of many Americans over 60 who have lost their jobs or a loved one, sunk into debt and have nothing to lose by hitting the road in a van or small RV in search of work and life’s meaning.
The movie is both uplifting and depressing, and in our CoVid environs, makes you want to hit the road too--if nothing more than to go on a vacation or to visit family and friends. The good news is that day is coming soon. The most difficult chore in Massachusetts right now for the 65+ crowd is getting vaccinated. And trying to make an appointment is a frustrating daylong struggle that often results in failure. So on to spring. On my walk yesterday, the temperature topped 50 degrees for the first time in weeks, the snow was melting and on a hillside, I saw crocuses starting to break ground.
The Reality of Nomadland Life in America | Next Avenue
If you are interested in doing research on longevity, the Boston area just might be the place to start as the city and its environs push to become the “Silicon Valley” of aging. Boston: The Silicon Valley of longevity? - The Boston Globe
US life expectancy dropped amid the CoVid pandemic. Between 2019 and the first half of 2020, life expectancy decreased 2.7 years for Black people, to 72. It dropped 1.9 years for Hispanics, to 79.9, and 0.8 years for white people, to 78. U.S. life expectancy plummets amid pandemic - POLITICO
Surprisingly, the COVID-induced recession appears to have had little impact on retirement because: Social Security checks still go out and its finances are little changed; 401(k) contributions and balances seem relatively unaffected; and unemployment has not disproportionately hurt older workers. COVID-19 Is Not a Retirement Story | Center for Retirement Research (bc.edu)
February is Black History month. The precursor to this was created in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 20, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.
Within this context, ConfrontingAging wanted to take a look at Aging within the African American community and found the following research study that was published in 2019:
Early life stress from racial discrimination puts African Americans at greater risk for accelerated aging, a marker for premature development of serious health problems and perhaps a shorter life expectancy, according to a 2019 study led by a Georgia State University psychology researcher.
Findings revealed that high discrimination at ages 10–15 was associated with depression at ages 20–29, controlling for depression at ages 10–15, which, in turn, was related to accelerated cellular-level aging after controlling for gender, alcohol consumption, and cigarette use. The indirect effect of racial discrimination on aging through depression at ages 20–29 was significant, accounting for 32.3% of the total variance.
Conclusion: These findings support research conceptualizations that early life stress due to racial discrimination led to sustained negative affective states continuing into young adulthood that confer risk for accelerated aging and possibly premature disease and mortality in African Americans. These findings advance knowledge of potential underlying mechanisms that influence racial health disparities.
Separately, 26 Little Known Black History Facts: 24 Black History Facts You May Not Know (oprahmag.com)
The effect of early discrimination on accelerated aging among African Americans. - PsycNET (apa.org)
The importance of black history and why it should be celebrated beyond February - ABC News (go.com)
Punxsutawney Phil is predicting six more weeks of wintry slop. The polar vortex has collapsed over the arctic and is heralding in extremely cold weather. And then there is CoVid and its variants and vaccines which have led to the following…
A 9% year-over-year increase was observed in the number of US Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled in a Medicare Advantage health plan in 2020, with the increase in enrollment influenced by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and its related effects.
A divide between “haves” and “have-nots” is emerging as older adults across the country struggle to get covid-19 vaccines. Seniors with family members or friends to help them are getting vaccine appointments, even if it takes days to secure them. Those without reliable social supports are missing out
Dose No. 2 of your CoVid vaccination is more likely to pack a punch because when hit with the second injection, the immune system recognizes the onslaught and starts to take it even more seriously as it solidifies its defenses against the virus. However, within 24 hours of the second shot, you are most likely to feel well enough to continue with your daily routine.
More Americans Choosing Medicare Advantage Plans Amid Pandemic | AJMC
Older Adults Without Family or Friends Lag in Race to Get Vaccines | Kaiser Health News (khn.org)
The Second COVID-19 Shot's Side Effects Are Worth It - The Atlantic