Death Cafes

Excerpt from “Death Cafes: All About Life”: Death comes to all. But heaven forbid it be mentioned. Certainly not over tea and cake. Yet people young and old are bucking social mores and having oh-so-morbid conversations about d-e-a-t-h—all while enjoying a civilized nosh. They’re called Death Cafes—these meetings at coffee shops, cafes, libraries, even cemeteries, […]

Medical Journalism

Excerpt from “Behind the Scenes: How the Media Reports on Research”: I’ve worked as a health journalist for over a decade, with a specialty in aging for much of that time. I started out with an unusual educational leg up: my father, James Hubbard, a family doctor and writer, taught me key points about understanding […]

Concierge Medicine

Excerpt from “Membership Medicine: When the Doctor Is Always In”: At just 20 years old, membership medicine still carries a lot of controversy and questions. There’s the long-expressed concern that it could lead to a two-tiered health system, in which poorer people are shut out of the premier slots. But not as often brought up […]

Successful Aging

Excerpt from “Successful Aging—It’s Not Impossible”: In 1984, screaming teenagers celebrated the launch of the irreverent MTV Video Music Awards, and the popular movie Footloose preached freedom for young people against the tyranny of stuffy, middle-aged fogies. To be young was to be free and cool. And to be older? Think Murder She Wrote, which […]

Online Mourning

Excerpt from “Living Through Death, Online: A New Approach to Age-Old Traditions”: In the 20th century, with hospitals, nursing homes, and young people just plain not dying as often, death receded from view and public mourning grew passé. “Grief was tacky; it was outdated. Now, having control over your grief was honored and respected,” Sweeney […]

Expired Antibiotics

Excerpt from “Investigative Report: Do Antibiotic Expiration Dates Matter?” Though SLEP is often cited as proof your antibiotics will outlast your dog, what’s not often emphasized is the fact that most people don’t store their prescription medications ideally, like they’re stored in the study. For one thing, at home, prescription meds are usually in a […]

Older Organs

Excerpt from “Why Older People Don’t Register as Organ Donors—and Why They’re Sorely Needed”: Though concerns about age and health are the main reasons older people cite for not becoming organ and tissue donors, some other factors do come into play. For one thing, organ transplantation is relatively new. It made the news in the […]

Midlife Exercise

Excerpt from “It’s Never Too Late to Exercise—but Starting by Midlife Is Best”: Harrison Caldwell had a good excuse for not being athletic: one of his legs was about a quarter inch shorter than the other, thanks to a childhood bout with polio. Plus, his feet were so flat that the Army turned him down […]

Positive-Thinking Hype

Excerpt from “Of Pink Bears and T-Shirts: Science and the Hype of Positive Thinking”: “Positive feelings are signs of health; they do not cause good health,” says Howard S. Friedman, PhD, coauthor of The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study (2011). “Thinking positive thoughts will not cause […]

Henry Cisneros

Excerpt from “Henry Cisneros: Envisioning Neighborhoods for the New Old Age”: Though life expectancy has increased, today’s houses, neighborhoods and cities haven’t caught up with the times. Even when older homeowners can remodel their houses for changing mobility needs, as Cisneros’ parents did, they still need age-friendly neighborhoods, transportation and services to make aging in place […]