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FIGHTING AGEISM: A recently published book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism aims to help do for ageism what Betty Freidan's The Feminine Mystique did for the women's movement.

Ashton Applewhite's manifesto is a feisty, vital and well-researched call to arms.

The book's nine chapters deal with the brain, the body, sex, work, the need for community and the end of life. The author and activist draws on her interviews with 50 adults aged 80, and older and her personal experience.

Applewhite challenges us to imagine a better world by shifting the conversation around longevity from:

  • deficit to opportunity
  • dependence to interdependence, and
  • burden to gift.

But This Chair Rocks is also a consciousness-raising document. This powerful tool catalyzed the women's movement in the '60s and '70s. You can download the author's free booklet "Who Me, Ageist? How to Start Your Own Consciousness-Raising Group" here.



AT LONG LAST, A SONGWRITER WINS A NOBEL: At 75, Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, compared Dylan's work to that of ancient Greek writers Homer and Sappho.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, after the award, the singer said:

Everything worth doing takes time. You have to write a hundred bad songs before you write one good one. And you have to sacrifice a lot of things that you might not be prepared for. Like it or not, you are in this alone and have to follow your own star.



IT JUST GOT REAL: "Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

                               - Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit



LUNCH PROGRAM GARNERS RAVE REVIEWS: An innovative social eating program dubbed "eating with friends" has older Australians, cheering.

Funded by the former Home and Community Care Program, the program has been operating for 15 years in Tasmania, Australia. It has grown from one suburban group to more than 30 groups spread across the state.

Researchers from the Centre for Rural Health at the University of Tasmania recently evaluated the program from the perspective of participants. The study included six groups from rural and urban areas.

The findings appeared in the September 2016 issue of the Australasian Journal on Ageing

Older adults gave the program top marks. Here's why.

  • Fosters social relations: As one participant noted, "The people here are absolutely kind and thoughtful, everybody is friendly.
  • Serves low cost delicious meals: "I cook my own meals so it's nice to have a meal out," one woman remarked. "The food is always different. . . . it would cost a fortune if you had it at a restaurant," another added.
  • Offers a sense of ownership: Individual members shape the activities of the group. For example, some groups meet on the weekend instead of during the week. Some meals are three courses, others two. And wine is an option in one group.
  • Provides easy access to meal locations.

Still work to do

Perhaps unsurprisingly, researchers found the key challenge for both rural and urban groups is finding suitable, affordable transport for those who needed it.

Finally, we at Aging Horizons Bulletin want to wish all our wonderful readers many blessings in 2017! — Ruth Dempsey