Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rita Hayworth, Alzheimer's & a Life Worth Living . . .

The London TimesOnline has a great article Fighting Alzheimer's With a Touch of Beauty.  People who appear to be lost to the world through this devasting disease can still be reached through art, literature and music. Rita Hayworth, known as the “Love Goddess” in her heyday, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1981, at just 63 years old.
Hayworth’s behaviour could be nightmarishly difficult. She suffered from the anxiety, aggression and agitation common to Alzheimer’s, but as the disease progressed she found something that soothed her mood and gave her a focus — painting. As her mind disintegrated, she worked away at an easel in her apartment, producing beautiful, detailed likenesses of flowers. "So many people give up with this disease," says the princess [Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Hayworth’s daughter], who is now president of Alzheimer’s Disease International, the umbrella organisation for Alzheimer’s associations around the world, “but it brought her peace of mind and helped her to relax."
“The development of new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s is helping people live a little bit longer,” says John Zeisel, founder of Hearthstone, a pioneering program caring for people with Alzheimer’s. “What we’re asking ourselves is, how do we make that life worth living?”
The article points out the we need to get away from constant questioning of people with dementia, which only adds to their confusion and sense of failure. Rather than ask if your loved one knows who you are, Zeisel says it is ...

“... better to walk in, take her by the hand and say, 'I’m your daughter and I love you.' And smile. You’ll reach the bit of the brain hard-wired to respond. If you are looking at a painting, don’t test her on whether she can remember who it is by: instead, open a conversation about the shapes and colours.”
“The development of new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s is helping people live a little bit longer,” says Zeisel. “What we’re asking ourselves is, how do we make that life worth living?”
This article is well worth reading in full.  Go here to see what more Zeisel has to say.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

AARP Call for Artists

Calling All Artists for the
AARP Foundation 2011
Calendar Contest!

The AARP Foundation invites artists to submit original pastel, oil, acrylic, or watercolor paintings between March 24 and June 4, 2010 as part of their AARP Foundation 2011 Calendar Contest! (Amateur artists only.)

AARP Foundation will select 14 paintings for their annual calendar — and one could be yours! In addition to being featured in the 2011 calendar, the winning artwork will be exhibited during this year’s AARP 2010 National Event and Expo taking place in Orlando, FL, September 30 - October 2, 2010!

The theme for the 2011 Calendar Contest is “Everyday Gifts.”  The 2010 theme is “There’s Nowhere I’d Rather Be,” and you can purchase a 2010 calendar here.

“Everyday Gifts” calendar will celebrate everyday life and experiences most people take for granted. Artists are requested to submit one image; entries should feature a depiction of a cherished moment that inspires gratitude and joy.
To Enter Your Artwork:
  1. Take a photograph of your best piece of art that depicts “Everyday Gifts.” Photos should be converted to a color slide or burned to a CD as a JPEG file. (Slides and CDs will not be returned.)
  2. Fill out our “Everyday Gifts” Calendar Contest Official Entry Form.
  3. Review the Official Rules.
  4. Send your completed entry form and color slide or CD of your artwork to:
    AARP Foundation 2011 Calendar Contest
    PO BOX 93028
    Long Beach, CA 90809-3028.
  5. All entries must be postmarked by June 4, 2010.

For more details, go here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Facebook is Easy as 1-2-3! Take Notes!

Yes, Facebook has grown up...
and is for grownups!

As an Organization serving Older Adults, you need to create a Facebook Fan Page.
As an Artist you need to create a Facebook Fan Page.

Here are three places that will help you do just that:
  1. Over at Alyson Stanfield's ArtBizBlog you can clear up your confusion about Facebook profiles and fan pages. Still wondering why anyone would want to join your fan page even if you had one? Facebook Fan Pages: What, Why, and How attempts to answer these questions.  Alyson shares Textile Artist Lisa Call's response to Do I Need a Facebook Fan Page? as well as Lisa's Practical Tips for Setting Up a Fan Page. Lisa knows what she's talking about and Creative Arts and Aging just became a Fan of her MakeBigArt.com Facebook Page as well as ArtBiz Facebook Page. Check them both out!
  2. HubSpot has two great resources for you.  View their great, easy-to-understand, step-by-step video on How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps. Then, read HubSpot's clear and informative ebook How to Use Facebook for Business. And yes, Artist, and yes, Nonprofit, you are a business.  CAAN is a Fan of HubSpot's Facebook Page.
  3. Now go over to Tech Soup and read their A Beginner's Guide to Facebook to learn how nonprofits--or actually, anybody--can get started on Facebook. Tech Soup is a great resource. You can access their archived webinars and learn things like How to Integrate Social Media into Your Website and Introduction to Social Media and Fundraising. Yes, Creative Arts and Aging Network is also a Fan of Tech Soup's Facebook Page.
Did you Take Notes?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Judith Zausner on Seeking Solutions With Suzanne!

CAAN has a celebrity amongst us!  Enjoy this video as Comcast's Suzanne Roberts interviews CAAN Board Member, Judith Zausner, in this Seeking Solutions with Suzanne episode:

What a great interview! Now, before you close this post and go on with your day, I’m asking you to do one more thing. . .  Please go here to the YouTube site. Let’s see how many votes (views) we can give Judith’s video!  And feel free to leave a nice comment while you're there.

Read more about Judith Zausner and Caring Crafts on her website and on her Creativity Matters blog. Find out more about Seeking Solutions With Suzanne here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What's Age Got To Do With It? - Part II

"I'm too old for this social media stuff."

"I prefer talking to actual people, not websites and computers. At my age, I'm more of a 'people person.'"

"My customers are all baby boomers, like me. They aren't using Twitter or Facebook."

Let HubSpot's Are You Too Old for Social Media demolish some of these myths about social media right now!

Take Notes!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's Age Got To Do With It? - Part I

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know there is no "one size fits all" approach today to our older population. Even what to call them is no longer one label--senior, older adult, boomer, elder, 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, and so on (and on, and on...)  Clearly, today's older adult population is not one homeogeneous cohort, but has distinct groups within it. 

Mature Market Institute (MMI) is MetLife’s research organization and is recognized as a leader on the issues of aging and longevity.  Well MMI has put together Generational Profiles giving us great information and insight into each group. Each Generational Profile shows a timeline of cultural and social influences on that generation, as well as their racial & ethnic composition, and statistics about health & longevity, work, family, housing, finances.

The 65+ group represents 13% of the today's total population.
Therange of experience spans the “oldest-old” who were directly influenced by the Great Depression and the introduction of Social Security, followed by those in the middle—the “Greatest Generation”—who lived through World War II and who came home to start families which resulted in the Baby Boom—to the “youngest-old,” the “Silent Generation,” characterized by some as the “Lucky Few” because of the relatively small and financially secure generation they represent.
And even Baby Boomers are not one, homegenous group.  Older Boomers, born between 1946 and 1951, represent only about 7% of the total population.
Being on the cusp of the age wave, they will put increasing pressure on government programs, including Social Security and Medicare, and will be an influence on how public programs and services are delivered. At the same time, many will want to be involved in civic engagement activities just as they did in their youth, contributing their time and talent to making their communities and the world a better place. With their youth culture roots still intact, these Boomers may be getting older, but will undoubtedly claim that they are getting better as well.
While Middle Boomers, born between 1952 and 1958, are 10% of the total population.
While many of them were old enough to have participated in the social change of the 1960s, many Middle Boomers were also just young enough to have watched from the sidelines. The economic and social world they entered as adults in their twenties was quite different than that of their slightly older siblings, providing them with a world view less driven by exuberance and more by a new sense of an emerging, more sober reality.
Then there are the Younger Boomers, born between 1959 and 1964, who are a whopping 34% of the population.  This group is just entering their 50s now. Hmm..but are they really "Boomers" in their identity?
Younger Boomers also found themselves associated with a Boomer identity and character more appropriate to their slightly older Middle and Older Boomer siblings than  themselves. This may account for the fact that nearly half (48%) of 45-year-olds reject the term “Baby Boomers” to describe themselves, while 35% prefer to be identified with “Generation X” rather than their demographically correct affiliation. While clearly part of the Boomers demographically, Younger Boomers’ self perception puts them in a different part of the generational spectrum.
Generational Profiles are also given for Gen X, born between 1965 and 1976, making up 16% of the population (who are, believe it or not, turning 45 this year) and Gen Y, 25% of our population, born between 1977 and 1984. Those who are under 15 haven't yet acquired a generational label. We'll just have to wait and see what comes after "X" and "Y"!

When you are working on your programming planning, your marketing, your outreach efforts, finding your target audience, you may find that these Generational Profiles come in handy.  They may not provide all the answers, but at least they explain all the confusion!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Take Notes! Even AARP Says Resistance is Futile!

OK, all you Aging Services Organizations--Senior Centers, Adult Day Centers, Adult Living Communities--have you been paying attention to CAAN's Taking Notes! posts?  Did you think CAAN has only been talking to Artists about all this Social Media stuff?

Think again.

Take a look at AARP's slideshare Effective Social Communications Strategies. Yes, that's right--AARP!

Pay particular attention to:
  • 7 Reasons Why You Should Care
  • Getting Started (or There's No Such Thing As A Social Media Expert)
  • Social Communications Do's
  • Social Communications Don'ts
  • Homework
Take Notes! 

P.S.--When you do your AARP Homework (and if AARP assigns Homework, you should do it!), remember to become a Fan of Creative Arts and Aging Facebook Page.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

AARP is Looking for Older Artists to Interview

Freelance writer Jamie Katz is looking for outstanding American artists to interview for a feature article in AARP—The Magazine, Not just any outstanding American artist though. Katz is looking for older artists who have discovered their creativity after reaching age 50 (or later) and who have gone on to become recognized and accomplished practitioners.  In other words, people who have entered the arts as an encore career and whose work has now earned some recognition through gallery shows, published work, awards, accolades, performances in serious venues—as opposed to being very talented amateurs and hobbyists.

Katz is interested in the arts, broadly defined—music, writing, painting, sculpture, dance, theater, performance art, digital art, folk crafts, and so on. And she is especially interested in people with a compelling personal story.

She is not looking for lifelong artists who only earned recognition late in their career.  Katz is looking for folks who only became serious artists later in life.  Folks who typically had another occupation altogether before that point: a waitress-turned choreographer, a soldier-turned-clarinetist, an accountant-turned–Off-Broadway actor...

If you know someone who has become an accomplished artist (performer, dancer, musicisian, etc.) after age 50  (or you are that someone!), please send a brief description with contact information to Jamie Katz  at jamiekatz44@gmail.com by Sunday, March 7.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


CNBC will premiere a 2-hour documentary, TOM BROKAW REPORTS: BOOMER$! on Thursday, March 4th at 9pmTom Brokaw tells the story of history’s wealthiest and most influential generation. From hula hoops to civil rights, in war and politics, Brokaw chronicles the extraordinary impact 78 million baby boomers have had on American society over the past six decades, and explores the challenges they face as they begin to approach the age of retirement.

Tune in and watch!  Read more about the show here.