At Home and Abroad

We've collected some funny, some serious and some informative articles for you in this corner. Welcome to our curated monthly collection.

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Thomas Jefferson, the original Democrat, and Fourth of July

Juneteenth is the anniversary of that June 19th, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, when – after an intentional delay to get one more cotton harvest in under slavery — the US Army assembled local black folks and told them that they were no longer slaves. It’s rightfully a liberation day to celebrate, but it also has an aspect of betrayal to it.

 

History gets like that, with contradictions and "other sides,” and to this day it gives those with no education or sense of history and people with hostile intentions their opportunities to deny and denigrate people and laws that should be held. Perhaps no other day is more symbolic than the Fourth of July. Perhaps there are no greater angles of attack than the sad legacies of conquest and often enough genocide against North America’s original nations and the legacy of African slavery.

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May 2022

Elderly Widower Finds A Fishing Partner After Posting A Tearjerking Classified Ad

Life is not easy when you get old. In fact, many older adults face so much pain and loss as they outlive their loved ones, one by one. Then there are the many health ailments that accompany old age. One widower already faced his share of troubles after losing his wife and fishing partner, but he refused to give in to the gloom and loneliness. Instead, he turned to the internet to find a new fishing partner. Read more

Woman Follows Little Boy Who Takes Leftovers from Her Restaurant Every Day

One night while at her restaurant until near closing time, a little boy came in to speak with the chef. From the start of the conversation, it was obvious that the boy and chef already knew each other. As soon as the chef saw the boy, he immediately knew what he was in the restaurant for. Read more

Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains

The link between a mother and child is profound, and new research suggests a physical connection even deeper than anyone thought. The profound psychological and physical bonds shared by the mother and her child begin during gestation when the mother is everything for the developing fetus, supplying warmth and sustenance, while her heartbeat provides a soothing constant rhythm. Read more


April 2022

The Loneliness, Loss and Regret: what getting old really feels like – new study (UK, September 2021)

Paula had not been living in her retirement apartment for very long when I arrived for our interview. She welcomed me into a modern, comfortable home. We sat in the living room, taking in the impressive view from her balcony and our conversation unfolded.

Paula, 72, told me how four years ago she’d lost her husband. She had been his carer for over ten years, as he slowly declined from a degenerative condition. Read more

This health care practice robs many seniors of vitality and life in their twilight years

“Doctor, what did they do to him? Dad just doesn’t look the same. Please help him!”

Of all the overnight admissions to the hospital, he looks the worst and the daughter’s cry pierces our heart.

A year ago, a prolonged surgery and trips back to theatre to battle the complications affected his memory …  Read more 

Why so many elderly in China are unvaccinated

For weeks the authorities in Shanghai tried to stem an outbreak of covid-19 with a whack-a-mole approach. Individual buildings were locked down, only for the virus to spread elsewhere. Finally, on March 28th, officials decided to lock down all of the city’s 25m residents in two phases, beginning with the east side of town, home to the main financial centre.  Read more 


March 2022

Remote indigenous Amazon tribe has lowest dementia rates in the world
Contributed by Karen Lee

Researchers working with remote indigenous populations in the Bolivian Amazon have found the communities experience extraordinarily low rates of dementia. The new study follows on from prior findings reporting the same groups display almost no cases of age-related heart disease.

The Tsimane (pronounced chee-MAH-nay) are a unique population of around 17,000 people living in remote areas of Bolivia who have been the subject of much research over the past few decades due to their unusually good health in older age. 

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Feeling Forgotten as Baseball Gets Back to Business
Contributed by Dan Smith

Senior former baseball player and brother of the infamous Pointer Sisters, of the disco 80s gets lost in the red tape…

Every spring for the past several years, Aaron Pointer has climbed his steep driveway, taken a short stroll down the street and opened his mailbox to find a letter from Major League Baseball. Each time, as he walks back to his home, with the Tacoma Narrows Bridge peeking out over the water, he reflects on the long struggle for this small recognition. And then he tears into the envelope, revealing a check for about $900 and a letter explaining how this payment is not guaranteed to continue next year.  Read more

 “Wisdom and respect”: what Peru’s forgotten generation can teach us about life and ageing
Contributed by Eric Jackson

Enedina Avilés sits on a rocky ledge surveying the city below. She comes to this spot every evening after spending the day earning a living peeling garlic cloves. “This is her moment of meditation,” says Peruvian photographer Alex Kornhuber.

Avilés’s home, a wooden shack with no running water or electricity, is perched on a hillside on the southern outskirts of Lima. She lived in the mountains for most of her life but moved to the city seven years ago after visiting her son and finding a small patch of land where she could build a house.

Peru had the highest death rate per capita in the world, a result of a desperately ill-equipped health system, lack of medical supplies, overcrowded housing and a huge informal economy. Many older people had no choice bux^t to continue fending for themselves. “I met one man with a walking frame. He was 88 but lived alone and had to go out to buy food and medicine,” says Kornhuber.   Read more…