- Judith Broder, a psychiatrist who now enlists therapists to provide free counseling to returning veterans and their families
- Timothy Will, a former telecom executive who brings broadband â€“ and profits â€“ to economically distressed farm communities inÂ Appalachia
- Henry Lui, a professor who now turns toxic waste into safe, â€œgreenâ€ bricks
Five Purpose Prize winners have won $100,000 each.Â Five more won $50,000 each.Â Â And 49 were named Purpose Prize fellows.Â What distinguishes the Purpose Prize from others is that it not only honors past achievements, but it provides the funds and recognition for winners and fellows to continue their groundbreaking work.
Retirement?Â Not for these folks.Â They are just getting started on Encore Careers that will make the world a better place.Â ReadÂ about their big ideas.
A report just released by the PHOENIX CENTER POLICY PAPER SERIES indicates that Internet usage can significantly reduce depression among older adults.Â Of course, since I’m writing this and you’re reading it, we are in the minority of older adults who are already online (42% of people over 65).Â Chances are you, like me, regularly use the Internet to manage your money and health, keep up with the news, shop and share stuff. Â You may also have joined one of the many social networks and now have a host of online friends.Â You stay in touch with distant family and friends, sending photos and your favorite You Tube videos.Â For me, all of this now seems as natural as breathing and I have to remind myself how relatively new the marvelous Internet is.Â But I didn’t know that I was also keeping myself — and the economy — healthy by doing all these things until I came across this report.
Here are some interesting facts about depression and the older population:
- latelife depression affects about six million Americans age 65 and older
- depression is estimated to cost the United States about $100 billion
- included in this figure is direct medical cost (31%) and latelife suicide (7%)
Here’s an excerpt of the the abstract:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directs over $7 billion to expand broadband Internet availability and adoption in the United States. One target of such funding is the elderly population, a group of Americans for which broadband adoption is relatively low. An interesting question is what benefits do such efforts
afford? We employ a dataset of over 7,000 elderly retired persons to evaluate the role of Internet use on mental well-being…using the eight-point depression scale developed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies (CES-D)…All procedures indicate a positive contribution of Internet use to mental well-being of elderly Americans, and estimates indicate that Internet use leads to about a 20% reduction in depression classification.
On the chance that Pseudo-R2 Analysis of Matching Algorithms are your thing, the full report is available in a pdf file,Â see link in opening line.
In the meantime, do your patriotic duty.Â Surf on!Â And invite the Internet holdouts among your buddies to jump in.Â The water’s fine.
Here’s some very good news. Positive aging — a discipline that focuses on mature creativity, adult development, lifelong learning, and the opportunities available to older people — is fast becoming a movement, with its own conferences, speakers, books, and experts. Last year, the first Positive Aging Conference was held at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, and drew over 200 professionals in the field of aging. This year, we got word from author Richard Leider (his Something to Live For: Finding Your Way in the Second Half of Life is just out), one of the conference organizers and speakers, that the second annual Positive Aging Conference will welcome both professionals and members of the public.
You might want to take advantage of ithis important shift if you live in or near Minneapolis where the conference is being held, November 12, at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing. For those of you not in the area, check with the organizers about simulcasts that will be taking place around the country at various host sites. For information about a simulcast in South Florida, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or watch this space for more information as plans firm up.
What do John Kanzius and Dr. Jose Antonio Abreau have in common, beside being featured in two back-to-back good news segments on a recent 60 Minutes (April 13)? Although motivated by very different causes, both 60-somethings came out of retirement to make contributions to humanity that will be felt for generations, perhaps forever. Here are the summaries of their stories.
Unable to sleep one night during a recent bout of chemotherapy for leukemia, John Kanzius, a retired businessman and radio technician, had a brainstorm: was it possible that radio waves could kill cancer? Months of tinkering in his own garage and thousands of dollars of his own money later, he produced the Kanzius Machine which, combined with nano technology, zaps cancer cells in experimental animals, leaving healthy tissue intact.Â Kanzius’ invention has been deemed promising enough to attract research funding.
El Sistema, founded by retired economist Dr. Jose Antonio Abreau in 1975, is rescuing hundreds of thousands of young Venezuelans from lives of poverty and neglect, by teaching them to play a musical instrument and introducing them into youth orchestras. The Simon Bolivar National Youth Orchestra, the flower of eL Sistema, now plays to packed concert halls around the world. Says Raphel Elster, one of the leaders, “We work hard. And they love it!”