The Dementia That Is Often Misdiagnosed

Deborah and Todd Dolan [Photo credit: Courtesy of Deborah Dolan]

By Kevyn Burger for Next Avenue

Marriage problems take many couples by surprise. But Deborah Dolan was caught particularly unaware when her husband Todd began to distance himself from her.

“We were truly happy. We were on the same page,” she said. “He was such a gentle, kind, funny man. No one laughed more than we did.”

They were both divorced and in their mid-40s when they met; Todd Dolan was delighted to become stepfather to Deborah Dolan’s three adolescent children.

“He said he was a man looking for a family, and he found a family looking for a man,” recalled Deborah Dolan. read more

A Final Salute to a Military-Veteran Father

Struggling to correct a 21-year-old error: Emma at Arlington Cemetery [Photo credit: by Cory Schuman, courtesy of the author]

By Wendy Schuman for Next Avenue

Day is done, gone the sun, from the lake, from the hill, from the sky. All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh. — “Taps”

A soldier is buried. Echoing across the cemetery is the plaintively haunting sound of “Taps,” the final bugle call that signals the end of a serviceman’s day. Someone from the same branch of the military as the deceased hands a crisply folded American flag to the next of kin, then salutes. Every person who has ever served in the U.S. armed forces or in the military of U.S. wartime allies and died during active duty or was honorably discharged is eligible for this final show of respect. read more

21 Unvarnished Truths About Retirement

Jonathan Look being “attacked” by baby elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand [Photo credit: Jonathan Look | lifepart2.com]

By Jonathan Look for Next Avenue

Six years ago, at 50, I took early retirement, sold almost everything I owned and began traveling the world. I had been living a good life but longed for something more. My passions have always been travel, photography and writing, so I decided to take a calculated risk and create a new life on “the road less traveled.”

Hunter S. Thompson said it better than I ever could: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” I am fortunate to have done many extraordinary things since I retired, but none of them would have happened had I not dared to take a few tentative first steps and begin to live differently. read more

Art is Ageless wins creativity award

Winning submissions to juried art competitions exclusively for people age 65 and older are displayed in the ever-popular Art is Ageless calendar.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s 2018 Art is Ageless® calendar won a gold award from the Hermes Creative Awards competition.

The Hermes Creative Awards competition is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The awards recognize the outstanding work of creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media. Nearly 6,000 entries were judged in the international competition.

A direct mail invitation to an Historic Olathe Trolley Tour, created for the Aberdeen Village campus in Olathe, Kan., received honorable mention.

A list of winners is available at HermesAwards.com. read more

When Your Parent Doesn’t Know He Has Dementia

It’s a common aspect of the disorder, but tough on caregivers.

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue

Both of Kathy Kling’s parents, who are divorced, have Alzheimer’s. Kling recently talked with her mother, Karen Kelly, about her father’s disease. “Oh, I hope I never get it,” her mother replied.

She was diagnosed six years ago.

Kelly, 82, was a champion high school debater, an activist who spearheaded a Supreme Court victory for the disabled, and a Mensa member. Now, she lives in an assisted living community in Spearfish, S.D., frequently repeats herself and blames her memory problems on old age. read more

What We Can Still Learn From Mister Rogers as Adults

6 gems from the late, great PBS star [Photo credit: PBS PressRoom]

By Shayla Stern for Next Avenue

Hi neighbor.

You cannot say those words, even many years since Fred Rogers last created new TV shows, without knowing that they’re from Fred Rogers. That gentle voice with the slight drawl soothed even the most restless spirits.

I remember coming home from preschool and having my babysitter turn on Channel 12 – my local PBS channel – to calm me before “rest time.” But it doesn’t matter if you were a child in the decades that Mister Rogers was on TV. Rogers, who died in 2003, created nearly 900 episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood — and in the process, cultivated life lessons to last the rest of our lives. And so much of his wisdom applies to us in our many stages of adulthood. read more

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America wins marketing awards

Winning submissions to juried art competitions exclusively for people age 65 and older are displayed in the ever-popular Art is Ageless calendar.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s 2018 Art is Ageless® calendar won a gold award from the Healthcare Advertising Awards. The 35th annual competition is administered by Healthcare Marketing Report.

More than 4,000 entries were received in the competition, making the awards the largest healthcare advertising awards competition and one of the 10 largest of all advertising awards. A national panel of judges were engaged to review all entries based on creativity, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact. Gold awards were given to 360 entries. read more

The Case for Swedish Death Cleaning

A bestselling book argues for a new approach to decluttering. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Shayla Stern for Next Avenue

Although I’ve never visited Sweden, I find myself attracted to simple, clean-lined architecture and furniture. I love Swedish pop music. And herring. Plus, I live in Minnesota, with our cold but beautiful winters where I (a short brunette) am surrounded by tall blonde people.

It’s no surprise to me that I would also be drawn to another Swedish import of a darker nature: Swedish death cleaning.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, by Margareta Magnusson

Swedish death cleaning, or döstädning, is the premise of a recent best-selling book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, by Margareta Magnusson — a Swedish artist and author who is “between 80 and 100,” and quite charmingly reflective about her life and the things surrounding her. read more

Americans with Alzheimer’s Now Number 5.7 Million

The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual count reflects the aging population. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Beth Baker for Next Avenue

The estimated number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias has risen to 5.7 million, from 5.5 million in 2017, according to a report released today by the Alzheimer’s Association.

That’s an increase of roughly 3.6 percent and largely reflects the aging of the boomer generation.

By 2025, the 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report projects, 7.1 million Americans aged 65 and older will have Alzheimer’s, and by 2050, some 13.8 million. read more

5 lessons from the oldest old

Photo cedit: Adobe Stock

By Robert DiGiacomo

New York Times reporter John Leland thought he knew how to write about the “oldest old” — people 85 and up. For a proposed year-long series, he figured he would chronicle a laundry list of their issues: things like the dangers of falling, financial pressures and family conflict.

As Leland delved deeper, however, he realized the people in this age group were more than the sum of their problems. And he saw how much he didn’t know about the realities of aging. The resulting “85 & Up” series took a more holistic view of their lives. “I thought aging was about decline and loss,” he told Next Avenue. “I found the problems, but none of the people defined themselves by that.” read more