GBO NEWS: NYT’s Presidential Ageism; Dying Youth–And Falling US Longevity; Researching 10,000 SuperAgers; Humanitarian Muhammad Ali; Bruce Willis’ Dementia; Caregiving Style Guide; Sex & Aging; New Safeguarding Social Security Book; & MORE


E-News of the Journalists Network on Generations.  

April ­­­­­­26, 2023 — Volume 30, Number 5

EDITOR’S NOTEGBONews, e-news of the Journalists Network on Generations (JNG), publishes alerts for journalists, producers and authors covering generational issues. If you have difficulty getting to the full issue of GBONews with the links provided below, simply go to to read the latest or past editions. Send your news of important stories or books (by you and others), fellowships, awards or pertinent kvetches to GBO News Editor Paul Kleyman []. To subscribe to at no charge, simply sending a request to Paul with your name, address, phone number and editorial affiliation or note that you freelance. For each issue, you’ll receive the table of contents in an e-mail, so just click through to the full issue at GBONews does not provide its list to other entities. NOTE ALSO: Some news links below hit paywalls and are inaccessible without subscriptions, although a number of those do allow free access to the first few stories.

In This IssueLions and Tigers and the Debt Ceiling, Oh My! (What’s the polling on that?)

1. THE STORYBOARD: *** “It’s Not ‘Deaths of Despair.’ It’s Deaths of Children,” by David Wallace-Wells, New York Times; *** “U.S. Life Expectancy Behind Other Nations. Why?” KQED Forum, with Wallace-Wells and others; 

*** SERIES by Alex RosenbergNerdWallet : Part 1 — * “Cost Plus Drugs Might Save Medicare Members Money — With a Catch,”  Part 2: * “Direct Primary Care Offers More Access, but Medicare Won’t Pay,” by * Part 3: “‘Health Care Sharing’ Mimics Medigap, but Isn’t Insurance.”

*** SERIES by Nora MacalusoNext Avenue: Part 1 –  “Could Professionalizing the Caregiving Workforce Have Impact?” , Part 2 – “How to Best ‘Navigate This World’ With Cognitive Impairment.”

2. GBO NEWS EDITORIAL: Off-Boarding NY Times Editorial Board’s Ageism on Biden.

3. THE BOOKMOBILE PLUS: *** High Time (Tidepool Press) by former Washington Post Health Editor and columnist Abigail Trafford; *** Safeguarding Social Security for Future Generations: Leaving a Legacy in an Aging Society (Routledge), by W. Andrew Achenbaum; *** “World’s Greatest Cemeteries” Season 2includes graveside interview with Muhammed Ali’s widow Lonnie.


*** American Federation for Aging Research Recruiting 10,000 SuperAgers

*** The New “Caregiving Coverage Style Guide” from the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative;

*** “Sexuality and Aging: Provocative New Perspectives,” Generations Journal (Winter 2022-23 issue) andDementia & Living Well,” (Spring 2022-23 issue), both from the American Society on Aging.


*** “It’s Not ‘Deaths of Despair.’ It’s Deaths of Children,” by science writer and essayist David Wallace-WellsNew York Times (April 6, 2023): [This guest essay is behind a subscriber-only paywall, but here are some key points.] 

The Lede: “How long a person can expect to live is one of the most fundamentally revealing facts about a country, and here, in the richest country in the world, the answer is not just bleak but increasingly so. Americans are now dying younger on average than they used to, breaking from all global and historical patterns of predictable improvement. They are dying younger than in any peer countries, even accounting for the larger impact of the pandemic here.”

The Stats: “Increasingly the American mortality anomaly, which is still growing, is explained not by the middle-aged or elderly but by the deaths of children and teenagers. One in 25 American 5-year-olds now won’t live to see 40, a death rate about four times as high as in other wealthy nations. . . . Little of the impact is from Covid-19, [which] was responsible for just 2 percent of American pediatric and juvenile deaths. Firearms account for almost half of the increase. Homicide accounted for 6.9 percent of deaths among that group, defined as those 19 years old or younger, and suicide accounted for 6.8 percent, according to . . . analysis published in JAMA Network Open

“Car crashes and accidental drug overdoses — which the National Center for Health Statistics collates along with other accidental deaths as ‘unintentional injuries’ — accounted for 18.4 percent.

In 2021, according to a JAMA essay published in March, more than twice as many kids died from poisoning, including drug overdoses, as from Covid-19. More than three times as many died of suicide, more than four times as many died from homicide, and more than five times as many died in car crashes and other transportation accidents (which began increasing during the pandemic after a long, steady decline). . . By the most fundamental measures of human flourishing, the United States is moving not forward but backward, at unprecedented speed.”

Nobel Research: “Anne Case and the Nobel laureate Angus Deaton, economists who, . . suggested that a broad social malady was visible in the growing mortality rates of non-college-educated white men in middle age. . . In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s rise, . . . the same data has invited a whole competitive roster of divergent analyses: that such deaths reflected social dysfunctions driven by ballooning income inequality; that they illustrated health disparities that frequently tracked those inequalities, from obesity and cigarette smoking; that they showcased the country’s threadbare social safety net, which briefly expanded during the pandemic and then abruptly shrank; that they arose from striking declines in what conservatives often call prosocial values like patriotism and religiosity.”

The Upshot: “The new data tells a somewhat different story. In the big picture, opioids still play a large role, and suicide contributes, too. But that pattern of elevated middle-aged mortality is giving way to a growing crisis of juvenile death.”

Mortality is still increasing more quickly for those without a college degree, but as John Burn-Murdoch demonstrated [paywall blocked] vividly in The Financial Times, except for a few superrich Americans, individuals at every percentile of income are now dying sooner than their counterparts in Britain, for instance.

For the poorer half of the country, simply being an American is equivalent to about four full years of life lost compared with the average Brit. For the richer half, being an American is not quite as bad but is still the equivalent of losing, on average, about two years of life.”

*** “U.S. Life Expectancy Falls Behind That of Other Developed Nations. Why?” KQED “Forum” (April 11,2023): — Financial Times columnist  John Burn-Murdoch, also discussed his widely discussed article, “Why Are Americans Dying So Young?” [Paywall obscured] on this hourlong “Forum” broadcast on San Francisco’s KQED public radio. (Oddly, this high-budget producing station still doesn’t provide transcripts.)

But reporters following the American longevity crisis should listen to the comments of another guest on this panel, Tony Iton, MD, JD, MPH, [pron: EYE-ton] senior VP at the California Endowment and lecturer at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. (Note his medical and legal expertise.) GBONews’ editor has followed him for years as one of the more incisive analysts of the economic and racial/ethnic impacts of health policies. As a former director of the Alameda County Public Health Department, serving the Oakland area, no one is more qualified and astute.

Those who listen, will hear that Iton is a powerful expert source for your contacts list. Also on this program was Penn State University demographer and sociologist Jessica Y. Ho, PhDwho has researched why American life expectancy lags far behind other high-income countries.

(Thanks to the Silver Century Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund for supporting the following 2023 Journalists in Aging Fellowship article series.)

*** Cost Plus Drugs Might Save Medicare Members Money — With a Catch,” by Alex RosenbergNerdWallet(March 28, 2023): * Part 1 — The Dek: “Cost Plus Drugs offers inexpensive generic prescription drugs, but it’s not a replacement for Medicare Part D coverage.”

The Lede: “Bill Hearn’s medication to treat his mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, would cost him $275 per month from CVS Pharmacy through his Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. But the 69-year-old retiree living in Knoxville, Tenn., gets a generic version delivered from a new online pharmacy, instead. It costs hundreds of dollars less. 

The Nutshell: The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co., or Cost Plus Drugs, is an online pharmacy for generic medications, . .  which launched in January 2022, takes its name from investor Mark Cuban, a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist. . . It sells “more than 700 of the most commonly prescribed generic medications” with no brand-name or specialty drugs. 

A Quote:  “‘We are cheaper than Medicare copays, so we are a great place for Medicare recipients to buy medications,’ Mark Cuban wrote in a Twitter direct message. . . Cost Plus Drugs doesn’t bill Medicare, . . . You’d have to pay for medications from Cost Plus Drugs out of your own pocket. . . You don’t get any credit toward your Part D deductible. . . . If you take mostly or entirely generic drugs, it might be tempting to use Cost Plus Drugs and go without Medicare Part D coverage. However, you could face the Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty.” 

In Fact: “A 2022 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine estimates that Medicare could have saved about $3.3 billion in 2020, if it had bought a subset of drugs available from Cost Plus Drugs at the company’s rates. (For context, the total Medicare Part D budget for fiscal year 2020 was about $89 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.)” 

The Caveat: “There are also some Medicare-specific downsides to Cost Plus Drugs. . . If you take a drug with a generic version, it’s worth checking the price on Cost Plus Drugs to see whether you could potentially save money. But Cost Plus Drugs isn’t a replacement for Medicare Part D, so take care not to run afoul of penalties that could add up to more than you save on prescriptions.”

* Part 2: “Direct Primary Care Offers More Access, but Medicare Won’t Pay, by Alex Rosenberg, NerdWallet (April 17, 2023): The Dek“Direct primary care doctors can offer long appointments on short notice, but they don’t take insurance.”

The Lede: “Sandy Thompson stopped working and qualified for Medicare based on disability at age 47 . . . Now 61 years old, she’s been on Medicare Part A [hospital coverage] since then, and she started Medicare Part B [physician and outpatient care] in April when her husband retired. Thompson’s doctor is an hour away from her home in Waltham, Mass., and he doesn’t accept Medicare.

But she describes the situation as “great” and “convenient . . . . Dr. Jeffrey Gold . . opened a direct primary care practice in 2015. He offers long appointments and guaranteed next-day scheduling, but . . . his patients pay a subscription fee that covers his practice’s services.”

How Many: As an emerging alternative to paying for health care with traditional health insurance, “there are about 1,600 direct primary care practices caring for more than 300,000 patients across 48 states, according to the Direct Primary Care Coalition, an advocacy group representing the industry. . . Like many DPC doctors, [Dr. Gold] sees a relatively smaller number of patients — about 700, compared to an estimated 1,200 to 1,900 for most primary care physicians, according to a 2016 literature review published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Because DPC providers see fewer patients, they can spend more time with them — 30 to 60 minutes per appointment, whereas the typical primary care visit lasts an average of 18 minutes, according to a study published in Medical Care in 2021.”

The Cost: “The average monthly fee for an adult is between $65 and $85, depending on age, according to a 2020 market survey of about 200 DPC providers conducted by Milliman Inc. for the Society of Actuaries. . . Medicare won’t reimburse you for any services from a provider who opts out unless it’s an emergency.” 

Considerations:  “Most DPC practices charge their highest fees for older patients. . . You’ll probably need to rely on other coverage to pay for hospital care, prescription drugs and services not covered by a DPC contract.” 

*Part 3: “‘Health Care Sharing’ Mimics Medigap, but Isn’t Insurance,” by Alex Rosenberg, NerdWallet(April 24, 2023):  The Dek: “Health care sharing ministries advertise programs for Medicare members, but there’s no guarantee they’ll pay for medical bills.” 

The Lede: “Health care sharing ministries, or HCSMs, advertise themselves as . . .  faith-based alternatives to health insurance that can help with medical costs. Several HCSMs offer programs that closely resemble a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. But these programs aren’t insurance, so many of the laws and consumer protections for health insurance don’t apply to them. In fact, there’s no guarantee that an HCSM will pay for your medical bills.”

Key Questions: Sections of Rosenberg’s story examine: 

* “What are health care sharing ministries?” They are nonprofits now including 1.5 million members.

* “Do health care sharing ministries work with Medicare?” Not all accept members of Medicare age, but several HCSMs have programs specifically for Medicare members. 

* “What are the key differences between insurance and HCSMs?” – 1) “Not all insurance laws and regulations apply.” 2) “Payment isn’t guaranteed.” 3) “There are religious and lifestyle rules for members.”

“Are health care sharing ministries a good idea for Medicare beneficiaries?” He explains, “In some cases, Medicare members could get some help with their health care costs by contributing to an HCSM that shares their values. But other options like Medigap policies, which have certain consumer protections built in under the law, are more reliable.”

*** Could Professionalizing the Caregiving Workforce Have Impact?” by Nora Macaluso, PBS Next Avenue (March 21, 2023): 

*Part 1 — The Lede: “The people who make a living caring for older adults — primarily women, typically women of color, often immigrants — are critical to the smooth operation of the health care system. Yet home health aides and other direct-care providers are among the lowest-paid and least respected workers in the U.S. The problem will only worsen if the jobs don’t improve, advocates say. The solution? Better pay, more training and options for career advancement.” 

A Quote: “‘We have essentially added another generation onto our lifespan without adapting policies’ to account for increasing longevity,’ said Ai-Jen Poo, president of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and executive director of Caring Across Generations, a coalition that advocates for caregivers.” 

In Fact: “The direct-care workforce is more significant than any other single occupation, with 1.2 million new jobs expected between 2020 and 2030, said Kezia Scales, vice president of research and evaluation at policy and advocacy firm PHI. . . ‘There are very limited opportunities for people to progress beyond these entry-level positions,’ Scales explained, adding that this leads people to leave for other, more lucrative industries.”

A Solution: “With immigrants making up one in four direct-care workers . . . changes to immigration policy are still necessary to meet the growing demand for direct care, said Daniel Kosten, assistant vice president of policy and advocacy at the National Immigration Forum. . .  [His] group is part of a coalition planning to lobby the Labor Department to expand its list of Schedule A jobs — hiring foreign workers would not hurt U.S. workers’ wages or working conditions — to include positions like home health aides.’” 

*Part 2 — How to Best ‘Navigate This World’ With Cognitive Impairment,” by Nora Macaluso, PBS Next Avenue (April 10, 2023): The Lede: “Bruce Willis’ wife, Emma, recently released an Instagram video asking photographers to stop ‘yelling’ at her husband — diagnosed with dementia — when he’s out in public. . . While most people navigating the world of cognitive impairment aren’t celebrities, many can relate to Emma Willis’ frustration with maintaining a whole and active life while coping with the condition.”

Advocates: Jim Taylor’s . .  wife, Geri, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 10 years ago. . . Geri Taylor, a longtime health professional — she has a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and was a senior executive at Beth Abraham Hospital and the Jewish Guild for the Blind — suspected something was wrong when she began noticing symptoms, according to her husband. So when she received the formal Alzheimer’s diagnosis, she swung into action. The Taylors developed Memory Advocate Peers, a New York City group.”

Clinical Trials: “Taylor is a big proponent of clinical trial participation, but said that, unfortunately, less than 1% of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s participate in trials and the figure for underserved communities is even less.” 

The Arts Lifeline: “Anne Basting, an English professor at the University of Milwaukee and a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging, . . . founded TimeSlips, a program that uses creativity to help people with dementia and their caregivers interact positively.

Dementia Advice? “‘Don’t use shared memories’ to reinforce a bond with a loved one with dementia because the person probably won’t remember a specific situation and will feel bad or defensive, Basting advised. ‘If you invite a person with dementia into a conversation based on a single shared memory, nine times out of 10 that pathway will get blocked. . . You are setting that moment up for failure and shame.’”

She recommends, “‘Rather than invoking a memory of a trip to a park, for example, you would say, ‘What does a park feel like . . . ? or, Why go to parks?’ Basting said. ‘We think something’s wrong with joyful playfulness; it’s somehow inappropriate — when it’s the exact, perfect thing to do.’”


*** “Biden Should Take Voters’ Concerns About Age [Maturity] Seriously,” by The Editorial Board, New York Times (April 22, 2023): Illustration: Aviator glasses as bifocals. OK, so GBONews took a liberty with NYT’s actual headline, but given President Joe Biden’s close chronological proximity to his likely rematch opponent, most would agree that in contrast to the 45th occupant of the White House, Biden’s stewardship of the U.S. Constitution has compared quite favorably.

With the president’s making his bid for re-election official this week, media may well remind voters – with a majority of Democrats reportedly opposed to his running again due solely to his age — that their predominate sentiment following the 2020 election was one of considerable relief.

The Lede: The NYT frames its editorial with a contradiction: “Only 47 percent of Democrats want to see Joe Biden on the ballot in 2024, according to the latest Associated Press poll”? The piece continues, “That’s not because they think he’s done a bad job in office. Democrats tend to like President Biden and continue to give him good marks on handling the economy and foreign policy.”

In Fact: “His first term, in fact, is already full of accomplishment: The economy has added 12.6 million jobs since he took office, inflation is cooling, and he has signed significant legislation to fight climate change, improve access to health care, and make investments in manufacturing and infrastructure. He has stood up to Russia’s destructive campaign in Ukraine, and rallied the West to Ukraine’s side.”

What’s More: “Those who are watching him with an open mind have seen a strong performance this year. His State of the Union address on Feb. 7 shattered the Republican attempts to portray him as doddering. With a passion rarely seen at one of these speeches — let alone in his political history — Mr. Biden presented a remarkably effective defense of his presidency and gave a preview of what is likely to be an imminent re-election campaign.”

So, What’s the Problem?: “But many Democrats, particularly younger ones, are worried that he will simply be too old to be effective in a second term, which would end when he is 86. ‘My problem with him running in 2024 is that he’s just so old,’ one Democrat told pollsters . . . Mr. Biden is 80 now, the oldest American to serve as president.” 

Gee, Can’t He Prove a Negative?: “Concerns about age — both in terms of fitness for office and being out of touch with the moment — are legitimate, as Mr. Biden acknowledged in an interview in February with ABC News. His standard line, repeated in that interview, is: ‘The only thing I can say is, Watch me.’” 

Age Matters, But So Does Ageism: The editorial links to a November 2020 Times article, which the piece says regards the president as he “nears his actuarial life expectancy.” But the Editorial Board would do well to read this piece. For it veteran reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg interviewed 10 experts in aging. Here’s one of several similar quotes:

“People in their 80s commonly experience declines; we shouldn’t be naïve about that,” said Lisa Berkman, a professor of public policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, who studies health and aging. ‘And at the same time, there is so much variability. People who are doing well and are in the top level of functioning, have the odds of going for another 10 years, of doing really well during this time and making very important contributions.’” 

The narrow focus on possible fears of the president’s possible decrepitude not only fails to consider the higher functioning level of today’s more affluent and purpose-driven “Super Agers” mentioned in the Stolberg’s linked Timesarticle, but it ignores the critical factors of aging for these perilous times: leadership with relevant political experience, competence, intelligence, compassion, well balanced deliberation, emotional maturity — and, one must hope, a measure wisdom. 

Repeatedly misguided speculation about the potential perils of this president’s “unprecedented” age not only detracts from concerns about his questionable decisions to date, such as on Afghanistan, Alaskan oil drilling, or along the US-Mexico border. But it also dismisses the president’s overall achievements and mostly steady guidance as an afterthought. 

But What If . . . ?: What if Joe Biden were to be reelected and become incapacitated or worse. Compared with a similar a decline in office by a resurgent Donald J. Trump,  which administration would the NYT or Democratic leaders prefer to have been in charge as the government would be trying to move forward? What does recent history reveal about side would actually do a “heck of a job” of steadying the ship of state and stabilizing the economy? Competence does count.

Or what if the Democratic Party were to nominate another candidate in 2024, losing the advantage of incumbency against prevailing GOP leadership? Would Dem leaders prefer a wide-open campaign against a vigorous younger red-state candidate with authoritarian proclivities? 

This editor, a registered non-partisan, has no qualms given today’s political environment about asserting a need for cognitive testing—of the Republican Party leadership of any age. Frankly, I take little pleasure in defending a Democratic president deserving of deeper scrutiny of multiple decisions.

This, however, is no longer a partisan issue; it’s a matter of national sanity with GOP politicians proposing to close libraries, overturn scientific judgment about medications, prohibit teachers from answering pre-teen girl’s questions about their periods, suppressing education about race when the national heritage has proudly beckoned the world to “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Anything may happen in the next year and a half, but nothing should be determined by presumptions about what someone’s age, race or gender may bring. 

*** Don Lemon fired from CNN after divisive morning show run,” by Avid Bauder, (April 24, 2023): Meanwhile, for women in politics it seems 51 is the new 80. CNN terminated the liberal commentator after 17 years. Following a series of on-air gaffes, he was recently shifted from his own prime time spot to the network’s morning show. Most embarrassingly, in February he had to apologize for commenting that GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, age 51, was “not in her prime.’ A woman, he said, is considered in her prime ‘in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.’” 

Bauder added, “He attracted negative attention last fall by saying that the U.S. men’s soccer team should be paid more than the women’s team, saying that the men were ‘more interesting to watch.’” The story notes that the audience for “CNN This Morning” is primarily women.


*** American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) Recruiting 10,000 SuperAgers:  To discern what we all can learn from centenarians, AFAR is seeking participants ages 95+ for the largest bio study of exceptional longevity to date. Their SuperAgers Initiative and associated Family Study aims to provide the basis for future research designed to understand what allows some of us to live longer and in many cases, healthier lives.  

“The goal is to amass the world’s largest data bank of SuperAgers, so we can begin to untangle how genetics contributes to exceptional longevity,” said Sofiya Milman, MD, Principal Investigator of the study and Director of Human Longevity studies at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Institute for Aging Research in New York City.  

The researchers will send participants a kit to collect DNA from saliva. They will also supplement that with a questionnaires about participant’s medical history, family history, lifestyle habits, and other medically relevant information. Later, they may do more detailed profiling of some. All data will be stripped of individual identities. And any qualified researcher will have “unprecendented” access to the data, such as to compare their data to AFAR’s, such as if scientists want to see how participants from the general population compare to SuperAgers.

Milman emailed GBONews, “We feel it’s important to highlight that the human body has an inherent capacity to live a long and healthy life. Age-related diseases and disabilities, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, are not inevitable. Every day, SuperAgers act as a reminder that we can remain healthy, active, and engaged even into very old age. Our goal is to understand the genetics of SuperAgers so that therapies can be created that will mimic their biology and allow all adults to achieve healthy longevity.” 

For more information, see their brief two-pager of the SuperAgers Initiative, and visit the website. Reporters interested in alerting readers to this opportunity can contact Valerie Ward ( to arrange interviews with Milman or AFAR Executive Director Stephanie Lederman

*** Caregiving Coverage Style Guide is a new usage guide to help writers avoid ageist and ableist locutions. Available online, the annotated glossary comes from the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, a two-year-old collaboration of about two dozen news and community partners across Western New York (Buffalo and Rochester areas) and Southeastern Michigan (primarily Detroit and its surrounding areas). Jack Rosenberry, data coordinator for the group, emailed, “It was created for use by collaborative members, but the collaborative is making it freely available for anyone with an interest in avoiding ageist constructions in their writing.”

Gen Beat reporters may find it handy to download, and it’s not a bad version, although I have some quibbles. Their guide dismisses “senior,” but as a “Senior Advisor” on a project and friend of parents with proud seniors in high school or college, I have no problem with the honorific short-hand based on seniority.

And, although I agree that “frail” appears too often out of a context of very vulnerable older adults, I regard it as a perfectly serviceable modifier; I would not, as the Collaborative guide does, pair it with “doddering” and “over the hill,” as necessarily ageist. Another is “elderly,” which I concur should not be used broadly as a noun for older adults (“the elderly”), but may be correctly applied as an adjective when describing elderly people who are clearly frail. 

Yet, with those and other exceptions, I find this stylebook to be a valuable desktop reference. Language guides, such as this, are written in moveable type, ever changing and challenged, as it any dictionary, to reflect the inherent imprecision of language in the impossible quest for exactitude in human communication. Fluctuating word choices record social thinking in a given  context, as much as they reflect core meaning. 

*** “Sexuality and Aging: Provocative New Perspectives,” Generations Journal (Winter 2022-23 issue, American Society on Aging): In her introductory essay, “Fifty Shades of Grey?,” Guest Editor Gayle Appel DollPhD (yes, that’s her real name), former director of the Center on Aging at Kansas State University, writes, “With this group of articles, I wanted to learn not only about some of the cutting-edge research but also more about what non-researchers could tell us about the real issues with sexuality and aging. And it happened! I counted several times when I was reading these articles when my eyebrows went up because I was seeing something new or hearing a perspective I had not heard before. These new perspectives made me reconsider some of my own notions about sexuality for older people.” 

Beside also including her own article, “I Saw It in the Movies: Accurate Representations of Older Adult Sexuality in Film,” Doll collected 10 other entries for this issue. Among them are: “Sexuality Has No Expiration Date”; “Older Black Women’s Narratives on Sexuality”; “Beyond the Binary: Bisexual Sexualities in Later Life,” and “Death, Sex, and Older Partners: Moving to Pleasure”.

*** “Dementia & Living Well,” is the theme of Generations Journal (Spring 2022-23 issue): According to their email release, this issue’s guest co-editor, Nora Super (indeed she is) “asserts that you can truly live well with dementia in her opening piece, Improving the Lives of People Living with Dementia and Their Caregivers. Then Betsy Groves shares her personal experience living with Alzheimer’s disease in Trying My Best to Live Well with Dementia, and Tom Allen tells us how he is Living Well as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver.  In four sections, the issue’s expert authors examine living well with Alzheimer’s; “how the Alzheimer’s pre-diagnosis stage is evolving”; post-diagnosis considerations; and “technological advances.” 

Unfortunately, Generations Journal currently allows nonmembers or the unsubscribed only three free articles. Reporters who reach that limit may inquire about access to additional titles by contacting the journal’s editor, Alison


*** High Time (Tidepool Press) by former Washington Post health editor, Abigail Trafford, rolled off the press or on to eBook screens in March. The title, she writes, derives from her realization that “it’s high time I made sense of life.” 

This memoir of a family, spanning a century beginning with the devastating Spanish Flu and coursing through world wars, the class decrepitude she calls “WASP rot,” the civil rights movement, the longevity revolution and COVID 19 pandemic, remaining buoyant with many highs. Among those highlights: rising against male-dominated newsroom culture, witnessing lift offs to the moon, and, her ultimate joy, becoming the “Granny,” who, like her own grandmothers, embraces the future of her family’s resilience. 

This book is the fourth by Trafford, among them, My Time: Making the Most of the Bonus Decades After 50 (Basic Books, 2003), stemming from her “My Time” column in the Washington Post.

Readers interested in memoir writing may find narrative grounding in how Trafford anchors her tale of family secrets, global journalism, and personal evolution to generations of life in one place, a large home built by her grandparents on a small island in Maine. 

Reviewers can request a press copy from Ingrid Mach,, or phone (978) 793-0315.

*** Safeguarding Social Security for Future Generations: Leaving a Legacy in an Aging Society (Routledge), published in February, is the sixth book by widely respected social gerontologist W. Andrew Achenbaum, PhD. Although this volume is targeted to academic readers, Achenbaum presents a clearly written case for preserving and strengthening the universal qualities of the nation’s pension program, as opposed to recurring conservative privatization proposals.

Reporters will find that the book brings the issues up to date, and Achenbaum, a semiretired gerontology professor at the University of Houston’s Texas Medical Center, is an excellent and measured interview source on this and related generational issues: Email:; Phone: 713-743-8070. 

Achenbaum writes, “As an historian of aging who has studied Social Security policymaking for four decades, I know that both disinformation and expert opinions fuel crisis-thinking about the program.” He counters a 2022 Washington Post editorial asserting that Social Security is a “disaster-in-the-making,” a common contention of political and economics journalists in mainstream media.

Safeguarding Social Security is not about leaving a legacy by giving away money and possessions, nor does it encourages individuals to seek happiness in later life. Rather, it “underscores why U.S. citizens across age groups need to assess the continued value of a program that for decades has provided an income floor for millions of Americans,” according to Achenbaum’s introduction. 

He asks, “What happens if Social Security stops delivering benefits to nearly 60 million Americans—roughly a fifth of the U.S. population? Can Social Security survive in an aging, deeply divided society grappling with major provocations here and abroad?” 

Achenbaum stresses, “The discussion is really about politics and values, not about affordability.” And he “proposes ways that Baby Boomers can transmit lessons to overlapping generations of Americans about their shared stake in [future of] the US.” 

Journalists can request a complimentary ebook of Safeguarding Social Security from: (Also, ask her about their 2021 title, Age and the Reach of Sociological ImaginationPower, Ideology and the Life Course by sociologist Dale Dannefer of Case Western Reserve University.)

*** “World’s Greatest Cemeteries” Season 2 is now digging into the headlines beneath the headstones for stories in repose, such as about boxer—and we learn, humanitarian– Muhammad Ali, through a fascinating interview with his last wife, Lonnie Ali. The champ rests at peace at Cave Hill Cemetery, along with such luminaries as Colonel Harlan Sanders and suffragist Susan Look Avery. It’s the first of six half-hour episodes, appearing this spring on PBS stations, by independent host-producer Roberto Mighty (yup, his family’s name).

Some other haunts in this all-U.S. season are in the Bronx, NY; Philadelphia; Cincinnati; New Orleans; St. Louis; and Concord, Mass. Reporters can search your local PBS stations and broadcast times here, and PBS “Passport” members can access the programs online.

Mighty is also the host-producer of “getting dot OLDER,” a 13-episode, half-hour, “docu-talk” TV series “featuring intimate, hilarious, heartfelt and tragic revelations from 39 diverse baby boomers, with commentary from experts at Harvard, Howard, Johns Hopkins and more. Includes short films on retired people following their dreams, and fun boomer quizzes. Website

To preview programs or interview Mighty at Celestial Media, or email him at .

The Journalists Network on Generations (JNG), founded in 1993, publishes Generations Beat Online News ( JNG provides information and networking opportunities for journalists covering generational issues, but not those representing services, products or lobbying agendas. Copyright 2023 JNG. For more information contact GBO Editor Paul Kleyman. 

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