Archive for month: August, 2012

REALITY CHECK: One In Five Americans Can’t Afford To Put Food On The Table

30 Aug
August 30, 2012


As a nationwide drought threatens to drive up prices for food staples this fall, it could pose an even greater challenge for the one in five Americans who weren’t able to afford food so far        this year.

For the first six months of 2012, Gallup surveyed 1,000 Americans each day to see whether they’d been able to afford basic food. From the report:

“In 15 states, at least one in five Americans say they struggled to afford the food they needed at least once during the past 12 months. Nationwide, 18.2% of Americans so far in 2012 say there have been times when they could not afford the food they needed, on par with the 18.6% who had trouble affording food in 2011.” Read more →

How is society to look after the ever-growing number of people with dementia? A curiously uplifting care home near Amsterdam may have the answers

28 Aug
August 28, 2012

There are no cars or buses to worry about … Margaretha Bos and her brother take a tour of Hogewey. Photograph: Anita Edridge for the Guardian

The Woman Who Lives in the Brown Chair

28 Aug
August 28, 2012


On a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon I grab my tripod and video cam and head outdoors to capture on tape some of the more colorful species that visit the three large birdfeeders I’ve anchored in the fifteen-inch-wide flower bed that marks the boundaries of my patio.

I navigate my wheelchair to the metal plate on the wall that opens the electronic doors in the foyer, and I’m about to push myself outside when something catches my eye – the brown chair that sits by the doors furthest from me. It’s empty.

Normally, I don’t find empty chairs – brown or otherwise – to be a great cause of concern, but this particular chair is special. For a resident we’ll call “Maggie,” the chair has become her nest – part sanctuary, part refuge, and part Romulan cloaking device. (Sorry for the obscure Star Trek reference. A cloaking device makes any space vehicle it’s installed on, invisible to others.)  Read more →

One Hundred Chronically Ill, Disabled, Depressed and Demented People Stuffed in a Bag.

21 Aug
August 21, 2012



You can use fancy names – continuing care retirement community or adult congregate living facility – hire a landscape architect – use aroma therapy – even run full billboard ads showing octogenarians dancing the night away.

But as Anne Richards, former Governor of Texas, was fond of saying “You can put lipstick on a sow and call it Monique, but it’s still a pig.”

Institutional aging exists in America because we’re confused. We’re not quite sure how to balance our dramatic shifts in mortality and morbidity demographics, fractured nuclear family,  failed long-term care system and the distaste for our frail, incontinent elders. Additionally, there are quality of life considerations that parallel our dwindling reserves of religious faith. (There is an eerie silence in our churches and temples,  while casino blackjack tables operate 24/7)

Yet, you have to look closely to find the real “bad guys” in this story.  The anti-heroes are not always obvious.

It’s easy to point a finger at a greedy aging facility owner who pays his CNAs $8/hr and shout “Ah-Ha”, while the real culprit – the social and cultural stereotyping of an aging population- remains hidden.

After the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in the 60s, we thought we’d found the answer for the terminal end of a rapidly aging population: the skilled nursing facility( i.e. ‘nursing homes’). Here’s the recipe –  take one group of sick, depressed, demented, disabled, and near-the-end-of-their-life folks; put them all in a bag. Add enough psychotropics to keep the whole lot manageable and shake vigorously.

We thought this was a formula that would work.  It didn’t. It doesn’t. And it wont. Its time to take a step back, rethink the challenges an aging population presents and redesign a new terminal aging model.

For Healthy Aging, a Late Act in the Footlights

16 Aug
August 16, 2012



For Healthy Aging, a Late Act in the Footlights

CCAL – Martin Bayne to the LeadershipTeam

15 Aug
August 15, 2012






Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jackie Pinkowitz,M.Ed.
Chair, CCAL-Advancing Person-Centered Living
Leadership Team – National Dementia Initiative
announces the addition of Martin Bayne to the LeadershipTeam:

“Martin Bayne is an Advocate Extraordinaire in the aging sector! As a writer, commentator, and publisher, Martin provides his unique “insider perspective” about assisted living, residents’ needs and wants, and the challenges facing all stakeholders with the aging of Boomers. We could not be more honored to have Martin share his incredible knowledge and understanding of the long-term care industry; as well as his compassion and commitment to bringing “Purpose and Community” to all who live in community-based settings.”


[Exo] Skeletons in the Closet

15 Aug
August 15, 2012

August 14, 2012          Martin Bayne’s 7,500-word horror-thriller, Exoskeletons in the Closet was published today in Bewildering Stories.  As an undergraduate, Bayne worked with the species Periplaneta Americana – the most common member of the cockroach family. It was here, during his formative literary years, he was bitten by the . . .[Not A Chance!]

Exoskeletons in the Closet

by Martin Bayne

part 1 of 3

Driving on Route 17, just east of Binghamton, New York, I first saw him. He was standing by an old Plymouth station wagon, staring with resignation at a steaming radiator, his long gray ponytail dancing in the hot summer breeze.

I slowed, pulled in behind him and rolled down my window. “I’ve got a phone!” I shouted.

He walked toward me: a tall man with rugged good looks and an easy smile. Crouching on one knee, he poked his head in the car. “Hey, thanks for stopping, but with all this highway noise, I didn’t catch what you said.”

I looked at his face, feeling a sense of comfort that was strangely familiar. “I said I have a phone.”

“And I’ll bet your folks are pretty proud of you, too,” he said, wiping the road sweat from his neck with a blue paisley bandana, as a smile played at the corners of his mouth.  read more


Seven Levels of Parkinson’s Hell – Part I

14 Aug
August 14, 2012 YouTube Preview Image

Last year, just under 40 million Americans provided care to an elderly spouse, family member, neighbor or friend

12 Aug
August 12, 2012

Los Angeles, CA, August 11, 2012 –(–

Last year, just under 40 million Americans provided care to an elderly spouse, family member, neighbor or friend, making up 16 percent of the U.S. noninstitutional population age 15 and over. According to analysis of data by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance the majority (56 percent) were women. Read more →

“Let me die in my own home.”

09 Aug
August 9, 2012 YouTube Preview Image