Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: A new way to look at aging

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 20, 2016 9:00 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, January 20, 2016:

Our population is getting older.  For the first time in the U.S. we have a larger proportion of people over the age of 60 than under 15.  Americans can expect to live 15 years beyond the traditional retirement age.

The post-World War II baby boom generation is reaching retirement age in larger numbers too.

Baby boomers bring a unique perspective to getting older.  Boomers grew up in a time of great change socially.  They were comfortable for the most part in living the American Dream.  They also took advantage of the innovation and technology introduced during their lifetimes.

So much so that many don't want to admit and fail to accept they're getting older.

So says Dr. Bill Thomas, author of the book Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life.  Dr. Thomas will be speaking at York College on January 25 and joins us on Smart Talk Wednesday.

Dr. Thomas' appearance is part of the York County Community Foundation's Embracing Aging initiative.  The project's Managing Director Cathy Bollinger explains on Smart Talk.

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Cathy Bollinger & Dr. Bill Thomas

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2016-01-20 09:58

    Faith emails:

    I can certainly identify with this topic. I was "invited" to retire early at the age of 61. So, that's business. Moving on, I'm now only 64, in good health, and have been struggling to find supplemental earnings through a part time job. With a wealth of diverse professional experience from administrative to logistical analysis, Master's Degree (American Studies) earned late in life, and excellent references, it's like I have a disease. I tried taking temp jobs, but can only earned up to the Social Security max. Here's this bargain that no one in business wants!

    I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Just hoping someone will hear this and perhaps be more welcoming to folks like me!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2016-01-20 09:59

    Jenn in York emails:

    The challenge of aging gracefully is a very important topic. Earlier in the program you commented that the number of Alzheimer's Facilities is not a good measure of a positive experience for aging. Another way to look a this is these programs and facilities are critical to helping the health of caregivers.

    A family member has Alzheimer's and watching the daily of struggle of his wife as caregiver is heartbreaking. In York there is one facility that offers a “daycare” programs for seniors. There are no programs that offer relief for caregivers on the weekends. This is a key part of the discussion.

    If the health of one spouse is failing how does a community support the healthy spouse in a way that they can lead a full life?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2016-01-20 09:59

    A Listener Emails:

    A few years ago I had the chance to interview my father for the story core project regarding World War II veterans. He is 90 years old now, at 17 he served in the D-Day invasion on a navy patrol ship. I knew he served in the war but it was something you never talked about, I was astounded to learn when I was age 50 what a hero he was and how humble to his experience. I would like to see how story core would start a conversation with 80-year-old ladies involved in the civil rights movement.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2016-01-20 10:18

    Linda in Harrisburg emails:

    We know that older white males have one of the highest suicide rates in the country, but we rarely discuss this fact. Once again an issue of age-related stigma. Suicide in older adults is related to “late life” depression which is related to physical/ chronic illness. Depression is rarely recognized by primary care. According to the American Psychiatric Association 20 % of older white men who committed suicide saw their primary care physician within 24 hours of committing suicide. A topic for you to consider - mental/ behavioral health issues in older adults.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2016-01-20 10:19

    Rob in Harrisburg emails:

    Is there a website of resources that I can direct retired residents within Harrisburg. I work at the Neighborhood Center at 3rd and Kelker and developed a small free initiative to help residents become better connected with technology - GLEAN (Generations LEArNing) - https://www.facebook.com/GLEANNeighborhoodCenter/ I focus on building digital literacy (internet/computer safety - laptops/desktops/tablets/smart phones - via Google Docs) and digital citizenship (harnessing social media for good - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Meetup.com and Nextdoor.com). I find that a good percentage of residents in Harrisburg have smart phones.

    Another goal of this initiative was to have youth, young adults, older adults, and retirees connect through technology. I love the idea of taking school students into local Assisted Living Facilities to have them interact. I don’t know why there are not more Daycare Facilities partnering with Alzheimer’s Facilities. The benefits to both young and old is amazing.

    Lastly, connected to the idea of schools students going to Assisted Living Facilities, I was wondering if there are any programs out there in Harrisburg that connect to NPR’s Story Corps concept, to aid in the recording of fascinating life stories between generations?

    Great topic, keep up the wonderful work.