Professor Ellen Langer, better known as "the mother of mindfulness,” spent the better part of her 45-year career challenging widely-held assumptions about the power of our minds. Her famous "Counterclockwise" study, first conducted in 1979, showed it's possible to reverse the affects of aging in one week. In her latest book, The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Chronic Health, she says our minds can make us more hopeful, speed the healing process, and even help us live longer. The key: remember your mind and body are one integrated unit. "Where you put the mind, the body will follow." Langer defines Mindfulness as being in the moment — noticing new things about yourself and the environment rather than assuming today will be the same as yesterday which, in turn, opens us to new possibilities. In this rapid-fire conversation with Melinda Blau, Langer talks about applying mindfulness to aging, grief, caretaking, and serious illness. You can find Ellen's books on Amazon and her websiteSupport the show
Thinking about returning to work, “working in retirement,” or launching an encore career? Ever experienced ageism in the workplace, felt pressured to leave a job before you’re ready, or overwhelmed at the thought of trying to rejoin the workforce?
The last week of September is National Employ Older Workers Week. Join Jan M. Flynn in conversation with Janine Vanderburg, founder of Changing the Narrative, a leading initiative working to increase awareness of ageism and change how people think, talk, and act about aging and ageism.
Leading Changing the Narrative, is Janine’s encore career. She's led media and social media campaigns about the value of older folks, advocated for age-friendly public policies and stronger anti-discrimination laws, launched an anti-ageist birthday card campaign, and trained over 10,000 people in research-based messaging to counter negative stereotypes of older people and advocate the adoption of age-friendly policies.
Janine has been recognized by the City of Denver, Denver Regional Council of Governments and the Colorado Center for Aging for her innovation and advocacy for older adults. Her favorite saying: “We are the leaders we are looking for.”
Links To Resources
Changing the Narrative website: https://changingthenarrativeco.org/
Anti-ageist birthday card campaign page (that also links to artist cards):
Resources on age-friendly workplaces:
You know her as Granny from Space Jam 2, Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory and memorable characters from decades of TV and movie roles. Nearing retirement age she can still sound like a 9-year old boy. Maybe growing up in a halfway house for the emotionally disturbed and developmentally disabled had something to do with it? Join voiceover artist, comedian, and author, Candi Milo as she dishes on her career, life, and thoughts about aging with host, Nancy Franklin.Support the show
A spiritual alignment coach, motivational speaker, and global ritual expert, Barbara Biziou believes rituals can help us connect with one another, expand our levels of success, and create meaningful visions for our lives. As she puts it, ritual is where neuroscience meets old world tradition. In this episode, Barbara reveals how to bring rituals into daily life with Crow’s Feet writer Jean Feldeisen, a psychologist and poet. Learn more about Barbara at her website: https://www.barbarabiziou.com/Support the show
A child prodigy on the piano, music gave Patricia Ross refuge from a chaotic home. In this episode, Ross tells host Melinda Blau how resilience, curiosity, and making good choices were key to her life — achieving what Blau calls “exuberant geezerhood.” Becoming sober in her 40s was one turning point for Ross, along with learning photography from the great Ansel Adams, which led to a career in the craft. Marrying a psychologist put her on the path to becoming a psychotherapist herself and, now in her ninth decade, she writes personal essays on Medium. You can listen to Ross’s amazing dexterity on the keyboard at https://soundcloud.com/patricia-ross-131826129.Support the show
Join host Jan M. Flynn in conversation with Lenore Guido, Bereavement Coordinator for a New Jersey hospice program, who has a private counseling practice focusing on compassionate grief care. Grief is something we often shy away from thinking about, but it’s also something we’ll all experience. Lenore, who is drawing on more than 45 years’ experience in the field to write a book on healing from loss, shares a perspective both clear-eyed and hopeful. There is, she says, life after loss — and even joy.Support the show
Her famous husband thinks he's signing autographs when being admitted to the ER. He runs from airport security as if he's scoring a Super Bowl touchdown. Famous for bulldozing would-be tacklers, he's blindsided by brain trauma. Meanwhile, his remarkable wife not only coped, she launched a new career and became a fierce activist for other football families dealing with former players' brain injuries. Today, she's still flying high as an 81-year old flight attendant.Support the show
What if there were a way to get your teen grandkids to put down their phones and talk to you? Join host Jan M Flynn in conversation with Elly Katz, who left a successful career as a graphic designer to found Sages & Seekers — an innovative, immersive, and award-winning program that brings older adults (Sages) together with Seekers (teens). Over eight weekly sessions, the Sages and Seekers share their stories, linking the wisdom and experience of the elders with the energy and curiosity of the youth. With the program now reaching across international boundaries, two independent studies have shown that both the Seekers and the Sages reap significant benefits — and some that might surprise you. Check out the program, including fun shots of participants, at sagesandseekers.orgSupport the show
The New Florida Follies Proves That People Of All Ages Can Put on a Show. Artistic director and choreographer Cheryl Steinthal has been dancing most of her life, from Radio City Music Hall to a career in choreography and retiring to Florida where she joined the dancers of The New Florida Follies. Host Jean Feldeisen talks with Cheryl about the troupe of dancers who put on an annual Broadway calibre show, complete with tap dancing and Rockette-style big production numbers to raise money for children's charities in South Florida.Support the show
Host Betsy Allen talks with Bobbi Carducci, Certified Caregiving Consultant, author, educator, and caregiver advocate, about caring for Rodger, her father-in-law, who suffered from Lewy Body Dementia, COPD, and schizophrenia. It was a challenging, life-altering experience for Bobbi: navigating the healthcare system, weathering her own health issues, and dealing with the stress it put on her relationship with her husband. After Rodger passed away, Bobbi became an advocate for other caregivers—and she’s got a lot of practical advice for the growing number of older adults who will either become caregivers or be cared for. Learn more about her at her website: www.bobbicarducci.comSupport the show
“I never planned on doing this in my 50s,” says humor writer Amy Sea about Breast Stories, her online publication on the Medium.com platform. It’s dedicated to all things related to breasts, from cancer to breastfeeding. On the podcast, she talks with host Warren Turner about her publication and how she uses humor to figure herself out. When you hear Amy Sea read her work, you’ll laugh knowingly about all the quirky things haunting our minds when we can’t sleep at night. Read more of Amy Sea’s work on Medium here or visit the publications she writes for Muddy-Um, Contemplate and Breast Stories.Support the show
Listen to the riveting story of how a passionate cyclist, at 70 years old, tackled the grueling challenge of riding his bicycle from coast-to-coast — even setting an uphill record for his age. Eric Jeppesen shares his experience with Crow’s Feet Podcaster Lee Bentch, explaining his training and motivation to make the trip, along with the ups and downs of tackling multiple mountain ranges, weather changes, illness, and forest fires.Support the show
Host Jan M Flynn talks with Sky Bergman, a filmmaker raised in an intergenerational household where she developed a lifelong fascination with the magic that can happen when elders and young people have the chance to interact. Best known for her feature-length film “Lives Well Lived”— which has won awards, garnered rave reviews, and has the rare and coveted “100% fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes — Sky is also a filmmaker whose work focuses on the inspiration and wisdom offered by people in their later years, and the gifts they offer younger people when the generations are brought together. She is the former chair of the Art & Design department at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California and is currently a professor of photography and video. Learn more about the film and about Sky at her website, www.skybergmanproductions.com
Support the show
In this rollicking episode, physical therapist Brittany Denis joins host Melinda Blau, a self-confessed exercise avoider. Denis, who admits she doesn’t like the gym either, discusses lifestyle changes she teaches her older clients in order to stay agile as they age. Sit on the floor every day, she suggests, or put dishes on a higher shelf where you have to stretch to reach them. Denis shares lots of other helpful suggestions for integrating “mindful movement” into your day. Read Brittany Denis’ writing on staying active here.Support the show
Orrin Onken is an author of mystery novels, a collection of essays, and a regular contributor to Crow’s Feet on Medium.com. He’s also a retired elder law attorney, who talks with host Jan M. Flynn about some of his more memorable cases. He offers sage and witty advice about what to watch out for when your kids or relatives want to help you manage your affairs, why leaving someone a dollar in your will is a terrible idea, and what to avoid if you want to leave all your money to your cat.Support the show
“The group most satisfied with sex are women in their 80’s,” says Katharine Esty, PhD and author of ‘Eighty-Somethings: A Practical Guide to Letting Go, Aging Well, and Finding Unexpected Happiness. Join host Jean Feldeisen as she talks with Dr. Esty about relationships, sex and aging in your eighties. Learn more about Dr. Esty at www.katharineesty.comSupport the show
“Conventional wisdom is that when you get old, you get old and lonely, old and sad, old and isolated, old and depressed. Even happy elders — which as it turns out, is most elders — believe other elders are lonely, sad, isolated, and depressed. The conventional wisdom is wrong,” writes Priscilla Long in her new book Dancing With the Muse in Old Age.
In this episode, host Jan M Flynn talks to Long, a Seattle-based writer, about her book exploring both current research into aging and the lives of more than one hundred dynamic elders whose stories provide inspiring models for how to live well and craft a satisfying old age.
Learn more about Ms. Long at www.priscillalong.netSupport the show
Award-winning author Melinda Blau talks with Crow’s Feet writer Warren Turner about the women she calls her “old ladies,” people who inspire her to squeeze the most out of life in her own late 70s. Meet Zelda, who played tennis until she was 99 and who still got a kick out of telling dirty jokes. Or Marge, a financial whiz at 104, who laughed as she pushed around her Rollator. Listen in as we learn what matters is not how old you are, but how you are old.Support the show
Mary Louisa Cappelli was already in great shape, hiking five miles a day regularly. When she decided to walk the Camino at age 67, her main fear was getting lost. Mary Louisa had already achieved so much – recognition as an ethnographer, a teacher, a surfer, and a mother of five daughters. What drove her to walk the fabled Spanish holy trail, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela? Host Jean Feldeisen, a therapist and Crow’s Feet writer, talks with Mary Louisa about her solo pilgrimage and some of the lessons she gleaned from other Elder pilgrims she met along the way.
If you’d like to read more of Cappelli’s work, visit her page on Medium (https://marycappelli.medium.com/)
When he was younger, Judah Leblang formed a special bond with his Uncle Jerry through a shared struggle—striving to be something they weren’t in an unaccommodating world. Jerry was a deaf man trying to pass as hearing. Judah was a gay youth trying to pass as straight. As he’s aged, he’s embraced writing and performing as a way to talk about his family and engage with others. Join host Betsy Allen as she talks to Judah about his fascinating past and his ongoing desire to seek connection even as he navigates the challenges of aging (including some hearing loss of his own). https://judahleblang.com/Support the show
Meet Rand Bishop. He's a singer, songwriter, author, actor, music producer, and activist. A man with many accomplishments, including a Grammy nomination and a No. 1 hit song he co-wrote that was recorded by Toby Keith. At age 67 Rand Bishop did something remarkable. He walked 900 miles up the Pacific coast in 90 days. His intention was to listen to what people had to say. Join us for some musical fun, a great story, and a deep insight into a fascinating guest. https://medium.com/@randbishopSupport the show
Twenty-two years ago, Roz Warren decided that fun was a higher priority than money. So she retired from the practice of law and became a librarian — providing rich material for the essays she began writing. She’s the author of two essay collections, “Our Bodies, Our Shelves” and “Just Another Day at Your Public Library.” She’s written for a host of publications, from the New York Times to the Funny Times, has appeared on “The Today Show” and has been published in 16 “Chicken Soup for the Soul” collections.
Join host Jan M. Flynn as she talks with Roz about how nobody cares how old you are as a writer, as long as you’ve got something worthwhile to say — and how she went from being a lawyer to being an essayist, writing coach, editor, and a proud grandmother who is having the time of her life.
Meet Melanie Chartoff, an actor and comedian famous as the voice of Didi Pickles and Minka in “Rugrats,” and for her starring role in the ABC late night comedy show “Fridays,” alongside “Seinfeld” creator Larry David and star Michael Richards. You may also know her from roles on “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Seinfeld,” and “Allie McBeal,” among many others. Chartoff, a Crow’s Feet contributor, joins host Betsy Allen to discuss her career and the joy of marrying for the first time at 65.
Learn more about Melanie Chartoff at her website, www.melaniechartoff.com or find out about her performing and coaching services at www.charmismatizing.com. She is also on YouTube here.
From circus performer to podcaster, Jan M. Flynn talks about aging while experiencing it all.
Host Warren Turner interviews Jan M. Flynn — who reveals how her meandering work history helps to inform her writing. From teaching middle school English, to running her husband's specialty lumber business after he died, to riding exotic animals in a circus act, she's living proof that aging provides a writer with plenty of experience to draw from.
At 68, Lee Bentch doesn’t fit the stereotype. He’s still working, and after his day job, he cooks dinner for his five grandchildren and daughter. Lee is one of more than a million grandparents who are helping to raise their grandchildren and he’s also a Crow’s Feet writer. In this episode he tells us how he manages to plan and cook healthy meals seven days a week. Lee is interviewed by Jean Feldeisen, another Crow’s Feet writer, therapist and grandmother. Join her as she discovers how the multigeneration household enriches Lee’s life, and how the grandchildren’s presence, filled with love and caring, extended his wife’s life.Support the show