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Professional development and mentorship for emerging leaders in the field of aging
The Monthly Scoop

December Boston Bridge Conversations is an annual opportunity for members to network, share thoughts on issues pertinent to the field of aging, and learn from each other. This year, Taylor led us in a discussion on climate change and longevity, sharing a passage from The Gerontologist and a brief video on retrofitting housing. We had a lively discussion, sharing our own personal concerns for climate change, and then dissecting its impact (or future impact) on older adults specifically.

  • Our next meeting will be hybrid, and we strongly encourage you to join us in person! Directions to MIT's Sloan School can be found on the homepage of our website. We will meet on the 5th floor in Room 550.
    • Please note: MIT has just changed campus access policy. You should no longer encounter locked doors at the Sloan School before 6pm, but we will still provide a phone number to call on meeting days just in case.
    • Free parking is available after 5PM for MIT affiliates in the Amherst Street E51 lot. Paid garage parking is available in the Hayward and Sloan garages.
    • MIT's latest COVID-19 policies: Events are allowed and welcomed on and off campus. All Covid-era event restrictions are lifted: there are no capacity limits, food service constraints, contact tracing requirements, or masking rules. All campus visitors and attendees of MIT-sponsored events are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and boosted, unless they have a religious or medical exemption. Read more here.
  • The Board of Directors of Boston Bridge is looking for a new Board Member with a focus on communications! We're looking for someone with a strong ability to navigate social media and keep our name in the forefront of the aging field. If you or someone you know might be interested in this Board position, please click this link and fill out the nomination form.
  • US demographics continues trending towards an aging population. With the boomer generation choosing to age in place, and the oldest of the millennial generation reaching the age of 50 in about seven years, many retailers of furniture, interior design, and clothing are laser-focused on what is being called the Coastal Grandmother look and lifestyle. Celebrities such as 30-something Anne Hathaway and 80-something Jane Fonda are embracing the look on social media. Is ageism slowly disappearing?
  • Advocates against age discrimination and disability discrimination should intersect in their need for activism. While some will argue that money should not be spent on expensive health care procedures for older adults but on younger generations without health care, others indicate the value and worthiness of treating older adults and those with disabilities. This article, "Disability Justice and Elder Activism: Two Sides of the Same Coin", outlines the issue in detail. Read it here.
  • The 5th Annual Intergenerational Symposium, sponsored by the Fuss Center at Lasell University, introduced us to Michael North. Mike is Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at NYU Stern School of Business, and the founding director of the AGE Initiative. This research lab explores the idea that Youngism is as much an issue in society as Ageism. Perceptions of generations influence the workplace, and young adults seem to have a high level of stigmatization today. The Academic Work section will point you to many articles on this topic.
  • In addition to all the scholarly articles about ageism and its lasting effects, the writer of this article provides a very personal perspective of ageism.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Maintaining Healthy Aging
  • The Frailty Index for Elders is a scoring tool used by doctors to determine outcomes post-surgery and speed of recovery. But what does it mean to be frail? It encompasses almost 40 different parameters, including grip strength, speed of walking, range of motion, cognitive abilities, self-assessments, and more. Read how maintaining good health habits can greatly affect that score in this article from Next Avenue.
  • Aging brings with it many challenges, including fear! But telling our stories and facing our fears can be cathartic and liberating. This take is so thoughtfully explained here by an 84-year-old Canadian woman.
  • While it has become increasing acceptable and usual for men to be caregivers for aging parents, it is still women who carry the greatest burden in caregiving for family members and loved ones. When they are working mothers and working daughters, the task only increases and the pandemic exacerbated it further. Yet, the largest study of women in corporate America by McKinsey & Company largely ignores this reality. What has to change?
  • In support of the needed change described in the previous post, a National Poll on Healthy Aging from the University of Michigan indicated that 50% of Americans over 50 years are caregivers, and the psychological and emotional effects of caregiving are challenging. This white paper by The Roslyn Carter Institute for Caregivers makes recommendations to address caregiving as a business imperative.  
  • Articles, podcasts, research studies and media reports are plentiful concerning the crisis in caregiving. But fewer, if any, are the articles where the caregivers themselves are asked how to resolve the crisis or what their daily work entails. PHI National held focus groups to listen to their voices. Read it here.
Mixed Media
Member Spotlight
In case you missed it: check out our latest Meet-the-Member profile on our LinkedIn page, featuring Meg Barhite. Stay tuned for our January 2023 meet-the-member!
Become a Boston Bridge Member
We wish you a very happy and safe New Year. May 2023 be peaceful and meaningful. Our next meeting on January 18, 2023, will be both in-person and virtual. We look forward to seeing you then.

Barbara Friedman and Colleen Morrissey, Boston Bridge Board Members
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