Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Look at America's Aging Future

America's Aging Future

Over the next few decades Baby Boomers will transform aging in the United States, presenting both opportunities and adversities.

In 2017, the United States senior population, 65 and over, quickly rolled past the highest number ever, a historic milestone of 50 million. Looking at the aging in America digital counter, a linear interpolation of the 2015 U. S. Census population estimates, the count will not let up soon. Even earlier estimates by the Census Bureau dating back to 2005 show us crossing the 50 million threshold at the beginning of 2017. Regardless, the gray tsunami has arrived.

It's the baby boomer segment, along with the longer life expectancy, that creates the surge, and it affects each state in the nation for the next several decades. This increase will result in more Medicare beneficiaries and higher Medicare spending, while fewer citizens pay into the system. The significant shift will cause challenges that we must address.

The Data

  • 75 million babies were born between 1946-1964.

  • If all the seniors in the U.S. held hands; they'd wrap the world twice.

  • 36,924,413 baby boomers will turn 65 over the next decade.

  • The number of U.S seniors will climb from just over 50 million in 2017, to 83 million by 2050.

Expected Senior Population Growth in Cities

  • Austin, TX - ↑ 8%

  • Seattle, WA - ↑ 8%

  • Charlotte, NC - ↑ 7%

  • San Jose, CA - ↑ 7%

  • Houston, TX - ↑ 5%

What the Experts Predict

The sheer number of aging baby boomers will transform our economy and our services. To get a better understanding, I asked the Aging Council at, "What industries will be affected most by the large segment, and explain how?"

"The wellness industry has a need for gyms specifically designed for boomer and seniors. And the food industry faces a big issue, food insecurity. Getting seniors to eat correctly will be both a challenge and an opportunity."

-Anthony Cirillo, CEO,

"Health care, home care, attendant care, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, incontinence products. Finding qualified people to provide direct service to aging seniors is going to be a problem due to low wages and poor working conditions. It is also hugely expensive to get the care one might need, which could compromise the savings that seniors have squirreled away."

-Donna Schempp, Eldercare Advocate

"Most people know the critical impact that the population will have on healthcare and the housing industry. We do not have enough affordable and accessible homes in the major cities, and developers and builders are not paying attention to the trends."

-Nikki Buckelew, Founder, and CEO, Senior Real Estate Institute

"The industries affected most include skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation, memory care, etc., the pharmaceutical industry, and the medical device industry, especially assistive medical devices."

-Betsie Sassen, Advisor, Capitol Consulting, LLC

"The suburban model of single-family homes is too much for older adults to maintain. Living in suburbia will put a great strain on them and their independence. Co-housing options is a better choice for those in need of care."

-Margo Rose, President,

"Older adults apply massive demand across all services - from mental health, practitioners and providers, drugs, therapy, etc. Consumer Packaging: Smaller, lighter and easy to open/hold containers will be important design features. And of course, transportation – better public/private transport options are needed."

-Michelle Jeong, Vice President Marketing,

"Demand for LTSS (long-term care support and services) will increase, with attendant trickle-down effects (e.g., the rise of "silver industries" like geriatric care managers, senior relocation specialists, senior concierge services, and certified aging-in-place specialists). Baby boomers demand high-quality residential care, with an emphasis on privacy, personalization, luxury and access to integrated recreation and mental health."

-Stephen D. Foreman, (CLTC), Senior Vice President, Long-Term Care Associates, Inc.

"Technology - while many seniors have embraced it, others have not. Technology needs to adapt to those who aren't that adept and who have vision and hearing loss."

-Kaye Swain, President,

"The caregiving industry will experience significant growth as more people choose to age in their homes. It includes in-home medical care professionals & non-medical caregivers that provide aid in daily tasks. Tech companies that help seniors stay independent will grow, as more seniors & family caregivers adopt tech to give peace of mind and confidence to the senior."

-David Inns, CEO, GreatCall, Inc.

"The insurance industry will change, specifically health, life and long-term care. Insurance companies must do a better job of addressing health issues and promoting healthy living. Insurance actuaries need to do a better job calculating for longer life spans and more chronic conditions."

-Admond Fong, Co-Founder,

"The obvious answer: Hospitals, rehabs, and doctors are overwhelmed. The senior housing industry will be challenged to add services. Home care agencies will need to find other services to deliver at an affordable cost over the traditional minimum hourly contracts."

-Caryn Isaacs, Patient Advocate,

"Financial advisors will see a significant number of clients selling off their stocks and bonds to pay for retirement. Apparently, the medical profession will see a shift in elder care needs. The travel industry needs an overhaul."

-Ben Mandelbaum, COO,

"Government: Social Security remains unsustainable due to sheer numbers. We’ve long outgrown it. Healthcare: We are unprepared, and yet we continue to treat and suspend entire industries on the focus of youth and longevity. We lost quality to quantity. Marketing has fed and shaped our culture, and sadly they may prevail. Housing: again we are behind the eight ball in planning and access."

-Nancy Ruffner, CEO,

"In particular, aviation. There will be a global shortage of pilots over the next 20 years. In 2009, the FAA raised the mandatory retirement age of airline pilots from 60 to 65 to help with the decrease. Low starting salaries and rising costs of licensing has contributed to the shortage. Airline profits skyrockets."

-Scot Cheben, Co-Founder,

"Aging services will be most affected by the growing number of seniors. Demand for medical care for complex cases involving multiple chronic health conditions will grow exponentially. Long-term care needs will also rise dramatically. Healthcare providers need to increase staffing and training in geriatrics. Medicare and insurance companies have to figure out how to pay for this care."

-Connie Chow, Founder,

Author -  Carol Marak

- By Carol Marak

Carol Marak, aging advocate, syndicated columnist, and editor at She earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology. Carol ages alone and shares her experiences with followers via Next Avenue, Huffington Post, and over 40 newspapers nationwide.


An Aging Nation: The Older Population in the United States,” U.S. Census Bureau.

Aging America: The U.S. Cities Going Gray The Fastest,” Forbes.

The Growth of the U.S. Aging Population”

Monday, May 15, 2017

How to Design and Create a Senior-Friendly Bedroom

How to Design and Create a Senior-Friendly Bedroom

Not all homes and bedrooms are ideal for senior citizen use. This is because a lot of the simple activities that we take for granted in childhood and adulthood can become increasingly difficult with old age. Whether it’s because of a disease, a chronic injury, or the ravages of time, even moving around the room can pose a challenge for some senior citizens. If you want to create a fully safe and comfortable room in your home for either grandma or grandpa, there are some important factors that you need to consider first.

Pick a Room on the Ground Floor for Easier Access

Make it easier on your senior by selecting a room on the ground floor. The less stairs and rises that they have to worry about, the better. In fact, any stairs or level changes between the front door and the senior bedroom should be eliminated using ramps, especially if they need a wheelchair to move around. If not, you can just install handrails/grab bars for added safety while crossing steps or level changes.

If there’s no room on the first floor for a senior bedroom, you can place it on the higher floors of your home, provided you also install a stairlift or a chairlift so they won’t have to use the stairs. Providing your senior with easy access to their bedroom is not just for comfort, it’s also safer as it greatly lessens the chances of injury at home.

Minimize Bedroom Clutter to Prevent Accidents

There should be nothing in the bedroom that can potentially fall and cause accidents. The floors of the room should be clear, and the bedroom essentials (mattress, dresser, medicine cabinet, etc.) should be easily accessible without having to hop over some clutter. The cleaner and simpler the bedroom, the safer it is.

Make Sure the Bed is Clean and Firm

Whether you’re planning to furnish the room with a brand new mattress or an old one at home, hygiene comes first. The last thing you want is to let grandma/grandpa sleep on a moldy or dust mite infested mattress, possibly exacerbating any existing medical conditions. Before you set it on the stable bed frame you’ve picked for the room, make sure that your mattress is 100% clean. Before putting on fresh sheets, wrap the bed in a waterproof mattress protector for best results.

Another important concern is the firmness of the mattress. Apart from your senior’s personal preferences, you should also consult their attending physician as to what kind of bed is most ideal for their patient. Those with chronic back problems are usually advised to get a firm mattress that offers full back and body support. Don’t let your senior sleep on an old, busted spring mattress that’s more suited for the landfill or home DIY projects.

Include an Exercise Option In the Bedroom

If the bedroom is big enough for more than a bed and a dresser, then it might be big enough to include an area for exercise. Depending on how fit the senior is, there are a bunch of exercising options that you can make available right in the comfort of their bedroom. From elliptical trainers to resistance-training bands, any low-impact exercise can increase the senior’s health and mobility with minimal risk of injury.

Ensure Adequate Lighting and Temperature Control

Install more lighting options inside the bedroom to make up for your senior’s poorer eyesight. Even if their eyes are perfectly fine, better lighting will allow them to better see obstacles or find stuff that they’ve dropped on the floor. Also, depending on your location, make sure that there’s a working air-conditioner, electric fan, or heater in the room. If uncomfortable temperatures make it hard for us kids and adults to sleep, imagine how much harder it is for senior citizens.

Choose a Bedroom Close to the Bathroom

What’s even more ideal is for your senior to have their own bathroom attached to the bedroom. Again, the less they have to move around, the less chances of any injury occurring at home. The nearest bathroom, like the bedroom, should also be cleared of any unnecessary clutter as well as any objects that might fall and cause accidents.

Grab bars should be installed near the toilet for easier maneuvering, and if your budget allows, consider installing an elevated toilet. Cover the floor with generous patches of anti-slip pads. Place additional lighting in the bathroom. Even the simplest changes can make any bedroom/bathroom much safer for senior citizens.

Author -  Peter Mutuc

- By Peter Mutuc

Peter Mutuc is obsessed with natural, non-pharmaceutical solutions to insomnia and awry sleeping patterns, which comes in handy at his job as the web content writer for a small, Aussie startup mattress company called Onebed.


Making Your Home Senior Friendly,” National Aging In Place Council.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Smart Home Technology for Seniors

Smart Home Technology for Seniors

New systems can save you money and make your place more secure and safe.

As technology enters every part of our lives, there’s one area that is now getting a lot of attention: our homes. With automatic lighting, video cameras and thermostats, among other smart systems, we can make our homes safer, more secure and more cost effective. We can use technology to do our bidding. From the comfort of your couch, you can turn on and off the television and lamps, raise or lower the blinds, and instruct the thermostat to cool down or heat up your home.

Recently the Hartford and the MIT AgeLab identified the top 10 home technologies for homeowners age 50 and older. Technology can make life easier for anyone, but a safer environment that can save money can especially benefit older adults.

1. Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The latest instruments do more than monitor your home for smoke and carbon monoxide. They can detect just about anything in the air: carbon dioxide and monoxide, temperature, humidity, dust, soot, pollen, air staleness, pollution and other particulates.

When you’re home, smart detectors alert you with an alarm or loud recorded voice, and when you’re away, they communicate through your smartphone app. One detector system will contact assistance (including the fire department) if you’re not home.

2. Wireless Doorbell Cameras

In the past, to see who was knocking at your front door, you looked through a pinhole opening in the door (or peeked from the curtains at the front window). Now windowless doorbell cameras, more commonly known as video doorbells, use installed cameras to show you, whether you’re in the backyard, in bed or at work (using your smartphone), who’s at your door.

You can even communicate with the visitor, telling the delivery person, for example, to leave the package on the front porch. Some video systems have motion sensors that activate the camera. One system takes videos of your front door, so if a package goes missing, you can peruse the videos for information. Another system will alert more than one person, so your children, for instance, know what’s going on.

Video doorbells are especially good for those who live alone or homeowners who travel a lot.

3. Keyless Entry

Instead of using a key to unlock your home, you punch your personal code into the lock box. Not only does this eliminate the need for keys, which can be lost, it provides access for others, such as your children who may need to check on you, friends who volunteered to water your plants, or services (such as cleaning) that come when you’re not home. You can also use a temporary code and then change it when necessary.

4. Automatic Lighting

If you don’t like coming home to darkness, or if you want to turn on the lights while you’re away, you can now adjust your lights using your smartphone, a preset timer, a key fob, a remote control or an exterior motion detector. This technology is available for both outdoor and indoor lights, and you can use it when at home or away.

5. Smart Water Shut-Off Valves

When you’re traveling, you may have nightmares about arriving home to burst pipes and a flooded house. However, smart shut-off valves will automatically turn off your water if they detect a burst pipe. Plus, you will receive an alert, via your smartphone, wherever you are.

More expensive technology goes even further. One system automatically turns off the valve to the water main when certain weather conditions are forecast, such as freezing temperatures.

6. Smart Home Security Systems

There’s no need to get up in the middle of the night if you hear a strange noise in your backyard. Smart home security systems use motion sensors to detect if someone is near your doors or windows, and then transmit this information to you through your smartphone. You can even monitor your home when you’re away. More complex systems include surveillance cameras, lights and sirens, and allow you to turn on the lights when motion is detected, unlock your doors when a smoke alarm goes off, and start a video recording when a sensor is triggered. You can oversee the system yourself or hire a professional agency to do it.

7. Smart Outlets/Plugs

You can use these plugs on any outlet to remotely turn on and off any appliance. This convenience can save energy costs and improve security by letting you turn on lamps, for example, to make it look like someone is home. Some smart plugs even let you monitor your power consumption in real time.

8. Smart Thermostats

In addition to programming your thermostat for ideal comfort throughout the day, you can remotely control it. If you’re on your way home and want to warm up the house, you can increase the temperature using your smartphone.

The high-end smart thermostats even learn your habits and temperature preferences and can set up the ideal home environment without you having to lift a finger. Some let you know how much money you’re saving on energy costs by regulating the temperature.

9. Water and/or Mold Sensors

These sensors can detect water leaks and, in some cases, small changes in moisture levels that could indicate mold—whether from your refrigerator, toilet or washing machine. Place battery-operated sensors around the appliances you want to monitor. They will alert you via your web browser, smartphone app, text, email or phone call when leaks occur.

10. Smart Window Blinds

While raising and lowering window blinds is not a difficult chore, doing so remotely can save energy costs and add to your home’s security. Smart blinds can permit more or less sun—and warmth--depending on the weather. And closed blinds can deter possible burglars who might assume the house is occupied, even when it’s not.

With so much smart home technology available, you can choose to try out a few at a time or you can install a whole safe-home system that integrates all the pieces.


New Research By the Hartford and the MIT AgeLab Reveals Top 10 Smart Home Technologies For Mature Homeowners,” Nov. 29, 2016, Hartford Newsroom.

The Best Smart Home Security Systems of 2017,” Feb. 15, 2017, PC Mag.

8 Best Video Doorbells,” April 2017, Wiki.ez.vid.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What Happened to Mom?

Warning signs that your aging parents may need more help to stay home

Warning signs that your aging parents may need more help to stay home.
By Hannah Draeger Ross

Time and obligations have a way of interfering with the best laid plans of family members. Trips to visit an aging parent or relative become more and more infrequent. Many of our parents or grandparents have relocated to states that offer climates more conducive to shoveling sand versus snow. Or adult children have moved to distant states for better jobs or opportunities.

Many of us have limited our travel planning for various reasons, including the difficulty of taking time off from work. Our daily responsibilities often take precedent to seeing aging relatives, and another year’s plans to visit slip away.

Finally, a visit is possible, and the door to their home is opened by a very frail parent.

“What happened to Mom?” is a question I hear quite frequently these days.

“I knew my mother needed a little help around the house, and we did hire an agency to come once in a while to assist with the housekeeping. But I had no idea she had changed so much,” I recently heard a daughter lament.

How do I know about these instances? I operate a senior service designed to offer resources and assistance to families. Many of my clients live hundreds or even thousands of miles away from their parents.

An elderly person may sound great on the phone while hiding health issues. Your loved ones don’t want you to worry about them. They might also be nervous that you will suggest they move into a retirement home. The majority of senior clients I work with want to remain in their own residences.

Or they may be unaware that they need help. Over time, older adults can gradually lose some of their functioning. Their hearing gets worse, they’re more tired, they can’t remember how to turn on the shower or the stove. Slowly, they withdraw from some of life’s daily chores.

When you visit an aging parent, use your senses to evaluate whether your mom or dad needs additional care.

Warning Signs Your Parents Need Help

Watch. Do they dress appropriately for the weather or the season? Does your dad have on a soiled shirt? Is his appearance disheveled? Is he well-groomed? Do his teeth appear clean? Does your mom continue to wear make-up? Is the car dented and dinged? Is the house clean and free of clutter? Is mail all over the counters and tables?

Listen. Can they carry on a general conversation and understand what you are saying? Are they speaking too loudly? Is the television blasting in the background? Do they call you by your name? Do they engage in phone conversations with telemarketers?

Smell. Does the home have an unpleasant odor? Is there outdated or spoiled food in the refrigerator? Is the garbage can overflowing? Is the heat or air-conditioning completely off? Do you smell a litter box or other pet odors?

Touch. Do they look healthy? Do they feel cold to the touch? Is their skin supple and normal in color? Are there any bruises or skin tears? Have they lost weight? Have they gained excessive weight? Has their eyesight failed?

Observe. Are there many medications and pills around? Are there different doctors’ names on pill cases? Has their personality changed? Do you see a big supply of liquor? Are bills marked “past due” or unopened? Is there an abundance of letters from charities or contests, indicating they have been too susceptible to every appeal that comes their way?

Be proactive. If you sense a problem, take action immediately. Discuss the issues you find with your loved ones. Set up doctor appointments and determine what services are needed.

How to Help

Once you have noticed concerning changes in a loved one that may be putting them at risk physically or financially, please think about respectful and practical solutions to help them. Many elder citizens want to live life in their own way and resist changing residence. They would prefer to bring the help they need into their homes rather than move.

Put yourself in their place. Would you want to leave your own home to stay with your kids? Or would you prefer to make renovations to your place to accommodate your changing health and safety issues? Do you enjoy your neighbors and your neighborhood? Is your garden your pride and joy? Do you have a beloved pet that would not be welcomed into assisted living?

Bringing care into the home extends the time your parent can stay in the comfort of their own residence with their memories and their precious belongings around them. Your parents deserve to live their lives to the fullest. Helping them stay in their own home can often provide a less expensive alternative to special-assistance housing. Sometimes, a caregiver simply needs to come by for a few hours a day.

Of course, these solutions for enhancing at-home care are intended to address the natural stages of aging, not dementia. If you suspect that your parent’s behavior points to the cognitive decline associated with dementia then trust your gut. Before you embark on improving their lifestyle at home, where they could be at risk, get your parent to an appropriate doctor for cognitive testing and diagnosis.

How to Change the Home

My senior clients have commented about how much life has improved for them because of the addition of a ramp or bath designed for handicapped use (please make sure proper training is included). Renovating a home for special needs can also prove a wonderful alternative to geriatric housing facilities. We “baby proof” homes for safety, but rarely “senior proof” them on the opposite end of life.

Installing “nanny cams” and proper security when a senior is at risk due to cognitive issues is a smart idea. I have one client who installed this sort of security for her father, along with a phone app, so she can routinely check to make sure he is OK.

It also makes sense to have someone assist with cleaning and cooking to help ensure your parents eat properly in a hygienic home. One of my clients found a retired nurse to move in with her parents. Lucky her! Caregivers can also drive your parents to the doctor, out to lunch or to visit an old friend. Many of my clients have stayed in their homes until the very end because they took advantage of care and services from family members, caregivers and hospice.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

If you are not able to be your loved one’s primary caregiver, take the proper precautions so that you have peace of mind. For example, make sure the caregiver and any other important people know to call you if needed. Clearly display a list of emergency contacts such as your parents’ or relatives’ financial planners, lawyers and doctors. List the medications they take and their pharmacy’s phone number. When you visit your loved one, get the name and number of one of their close friends or neighbors so that you can check with them if needed.

Finally, stop beating yourself up and schedule time for at least one phone call every week. Mom and Dad already know you have other responsibilities. In the meantime, let’s hear it for this wonderful, stubborn generation of “Golden Agers” who still watch Jeopardy, play cards with friends, sign up for dance lessons and believe that 90 is the new 80!

Author - Hannah Draeger Ross, CSA
- Hannah Draeger Ross, CSA

Hannah Draeger Ross, CSA, is the owner of Elderlinx Senior Services. She has been a geriatric homecare professional for over 15 years and resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Probate and Estate Planning Considerations for Seniors

Probate and Estate Planning Considerations for Seniors

Although estate planning may seem confusing and daunting, not having your affairs in proper order can create issues for the loved ones you leave behind and mean your wishes aren’t carried out as you desired. If you don’t have an estate plan, you need to create one as soon as possible. If you already have an estate plan, be sure your plan is up to date and accurate. This is especially true for seniors, who are older in age.

Probate and Estate Planning

Probate is the legal process for transferring your assets to your heirs and is based on your state’s laws. Some estate plans are sufficient on their own and don’t require probate; however, each state sets limits for estates that can be transferred without going through probate. For some states, the limit is only a few thousand dollars, but other states have limits up to $200,000.

Probate is also utilized as a public notice of death. Creditors can file claims against an estate to be paid, and the remaining assets of the estate go to the heirs. If a will doesn’t exist to name heirs, the state will decide how to distribute the assets.

Avoiding Probate

There are ways to avoid probate. Some people wish to avoid probate because of the cost of legal fees, which can cost thousands of dollars and are usually paid from the estate. It’s also a long process, lasting between six and 12 months. Those who appreciate privacy may also wish to avoid probate, as the proceedings are public.

However, you usually need a lawyer to avoid probate, which is sometimes more costly than the legal fees associated with probate. Trying to avoid estate taxes is another invalid reason for avoiding probate because the estate and gift tax exemption is $5.49 million per individual in 2017. A positive attribute of probate is that it’s a final decision for how your estate will be distributed, so it cannot be challenged in the future.

If you decide you’d like your heirs to skip probate, you can have your assets put in a revocable living trust for your heirs. According to Bankrate, “A trust is a legal document that authorizes a trustee, who can be the grantor (or the creator of the trust), to hold title to and manage assets.” A revocable living trust allows you to change or cancel the trust at any time, as long as you’re alive. Also, since a living trust doesn’t go through probate, it’s more private.

Bank accounts for individuals have FDIC protection against losses for up to $250,000 per account, which may not be enough for some people. However, a living trust increases the protection amount. Each beneficiary named in a living trust adds an additional $250,000 in protection, and that maxes out at five beneficiaries, bringing your total to $1,250,000. For six or more beneficiaries, the rules get a little more complicated.

Downfalls to a Living Trust

Note that a living trust has disadvantages. If you have a simple trust, the costs may not be too bad and can be less expensive than a professional executor. On the flipside, a complicated estate can push the cost up to $10,000, which is substantially more than probate. You could complete a living trust online; however, trusts can get tricky, so it’s best to consult with a lawyer. Also, unlike probate, there’s no time limit on a legal challenge to a living trust.

Lastly, if you forget to transfer the title of your property to a trust before passing, then the portion of your trust that gives away your home or car is worthless. A quitclaim deed is a common way to transfer property from one individual to another when no money is involved. As the name entails, a quitclaim deed releases any ownership claims an individual may have in a piece of property. “Families often use quitclaim deeds to transfer a property between family members, such as from parents to a child,” says

Be sure that you research and fully understand each part of estate planning, as well as living trusts and quitclaim deeds. Since each state’s laws can vary, know your specific state’s handling of estate planning, living trusts, and quitclaim deeds. Finally, you should speak to a qualified attorney for the most accurate and assured legal advice.

Author -  Julie Morris

- By Julie Morris

Ms. Morris is a life and career coach who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. Ms. Morris spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways.


What Is a Quitclaim Deed?,”

California Quitclaim Deed Form,” DeedClaim LLC.

6 surprising facts about a living revocable trust” Bankrate.

Probate, Wills, Executors: Your Estate Planning Questions Answered,” Next Avenue.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Right, Before I Die

Photographer captures pictures and thoughts of people facing death

Photographer captures pictures and thoughts of people facing death.

Kim said that once she became ill, friends stopped coming by, as if they were afraid of catching her illness. “Most people are like that because they are scared, scared of I don’t know what.”

She was one of 20 people photographed and interviewed by Los Angeles artist Andrew George for his project, “Right, Before I Die,” about people nearing death. His work has been displayed at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, at Musea Brugge in Belgium and the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

George told California Healthline that he wanted to know his subjects’ perspective on their lives, their dreams and their deaths. In addition to asking them questions, he gave each a piece of paper to draw or write whatever they wanted.

Ediccia wanted to be remembered as someone who didn’t give up. Chuck said some of his favorite times were playing baseball with his brothers. Joe said he was the luckiest man in the world. Jack confessed that his true love wasn’t his wife, but rather a woman he’d met in Japan in the 1940s who had been sent to a relocation camp. Donald said he still loved his ex-wife, even though she had married another man.

Abel summed up his thoughts this way: “You have a one-way ticket. Don’t waste it!”

You can view more comments from the project’s participants at Right, Before I Die.


Saying Goodbye, The Right Way,” Sept. 29, 2016, California Healthline.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Famous & 65

Look Who’s Turning 65

May 2—Christine Baranski

May 2—Christine Baranski

The stage and screen actress is currently starring in The Good Fight following seven years in the same role of Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife. Baranski made her Broadway debut in Hide & Seek in 1980. For her next Broadway performance, in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, she won the 1984 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. Other Broadway credits include The House of Blue Leaves, Rumors (for which she won her second Tony) and Nick & Nora. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Baranski starred in Sweeney Todd in 2002 (for which she won the 2003 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical).

In film, some of Baranski’s better known roles are as Katherine Archer in The Birdcage, Mary Sunshine in the musical Chicago, Martha May Whovier in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Connie Chasseur in The Ref and Tanya Chisham-Leigh in the hit musical Mamma Mia! She also played Cinderella's stepmother in the film adaptation of the musical Into the Woods.

Baranski was featured as Cybill Shepherd's sarcastic, hard-drinking friend Maryanne Thorpe in the CBS sitcom Cybill (1995-1998), for which she won an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series along with three other nominations. She has guest starred in several episodes of The Big Bang Theory, for which she has received two Emmy nominations.

From 2009 to 2016, Baranski played the role of Lockhart, a top litigator and senior partner of a Chicago law firm on the CBS series The Good Wife. For the first six seasons of the series, she was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In the series’ spinoff, The Good Fight, which began airing on CBS and then CBS All Access in February 2017, her character joins another law firm after being forced to return to work.

May 14—David Byrne

May 14—David Byrne

The Scottish-born American musician was the founding member, principal songwriter and lead singer and guitarist of the American new wave band Talking Heads, active between 1975 and 1991. A multi-instrumentalist, Byrne is known for his distinctive voice. He has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media, including film, photography, opera, fiction and non-fiction. He has received Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe awards.

Byrne started his musical career in a high school band in Baltimore, where his family had moved when he was 8 or 9. In 1974, Byrne moved to New York City and founded Talking Heads with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, later joined by Jerry Harrison. The band released eight studio albums before going into hiatus in 1988 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, when they reunited to play four tracks, including "Psycho Killer" and "Burning Down the House."

During his time in the band, Byrne took on outside projects, collaborating with Brian Eno during 1979 and 1981 on the album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which attracted considerable critical acclaim due to its early use of analogue sampling and found sounds. Rei Momo (1989) was the first solo album by Byrne after leaving Talking Heads, and features mainly Afro-Cuban, Afro-Hispanic and Brazilian song styles. His third solo album, Uh-Oh (1992), featured a brass section, while his fourth solo album, titled David Byrne (1994), was a more proper rock record, with "Angels" and "Back in the Box" as its two main singles. For his fifth studio effort, the emotional Feelings (1997), Byrne employed a brass orchestra, and Look into the Eyeball (2001) continued the same musical exploration. Grown Backwards (2004) used orchestral string arrangements and includes two operatic arias. In 2008, Byrne and Eno reunited for his eighth album, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

Byrne has also worked in theater and film. In 1981, he partnered with choreographer Twyla Tharp for a ballet, The Catherine Wheel. In 1991, he released a classical instrumental album, The Forest. His work has been extensively used in film soundtracks, most notably on Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. In 2008, Byrne released Big Love: Hymnal, his soundtrack to season two of the HBO TV series Big Love. He and Eno provided the soundtrack for the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

In 1990, Byrne founded the world music record label Luaka Bop, which includes music from Cuba, Africa, the Far East and beyond. In 2005, Byrne started his own internet radio station, Radio David Byrne. In addition to his other endeavors, he is known for his activism in supporting cycling and for using a bike as his main means of transport throughout his life, especially around New York.

May 18—George Strait

May 18—George Strait

The country music singer, songwriter, actor and producer is known as the "King of Country" and is considered one of the most influential and popular recording artists of all time. Strait is known for his neotraditionalist country style and cowboy look, and for being one of the first and main country artists to bring country music back to its roots and away from the pop country era in the 1980s. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time, including 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum and 38 gold albums. His best-selling album is Pure Country (1992), which sold 6 million copies.

Strait’s success began when his first single "Unwound" was a hit in 1981. During the 1980s, seven of his albums reached No. 1 on the country charts. In the 2000s, Strait was named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music, was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame and won his first Grammy award for the album Troubadour. In 1989, 1990 and 2013, he was named Country Music Association (CMA) Entertainer of the Year, and Academy of Country Music (ACM) Entertainer of the Year in 1990 and 2014. He has been nominated for more CMA and ACM awards and has more wins in both categories than any other artist.

In 2009, Strait broke Conway Twitty's previous record for the most No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart when his 45 No. 1 singles surpassed Twitty's 40. Counting all music charts, Strait has amassed a total of 61 No. 1 hits, breaking a record also previously set by Twitty, and giving him more No. 1 songs than any other artist in any genre of music. Strait is also known for his touring career when he designed a 360- degree configuration and introduced festival style tours.

Source: Wikipedia

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