3rd Act Magazine - Summer 2018

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What We Hold Dear

A City for Everyone

Seattle’s Quest to be Age-Friendly

Affirming Our Shared Common Values How Long Will You Work? It’s Not Just About the Money



TRIPPING HAZARD A Bad Day for a Good Dog

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MESSAGE from the publisher

The Politics of Aging It’s summer 2018, the midterm elections are just around the corner, and our lives have become inundated with politics. It’s even become political to grow old! We are watching our country change— some say unrecognizably so—and there is much at stake. As I wrestle with worry and discomfort over the disunity in our country, I am heartened by small ac ts: neig hbors who sit on our community HOA board and work to preserve and strengthen our neighborhood; the couple two doors down who devote hours upon hours ever y week to ensure the local foodbank is wellstocked, staffed, and ready to serve struggling families; the tireless work of people I’ve met, inside government and out, who are committed to making living as an older person (or person of any age and ability) easier for all of us. In this issue we examine the politics of aging: Seattle’s quest to become a designated Age-Friendly City, AARP’s

advocacy of a long-term care benefit, finding the political will to stop Alzheimer’s, and navigating Washington State’s Death with Dignity Act. In his essay What We Hold Dear, University of Washington Professor Emeritus and National Book Award recipient Charles Johnson, asks “Do we have any values in common anymore?” as Americans. And writer Ann Randall calls us to action when she says in This is What Democracy Looks Like, “Our obligation as participants in a democracy is both civic engagement and civil discourse.” Our communities, our nation, and our world need us—our experience, our engagement, and especially our civility. We need you, too. With this issue, 3rd Act Magazine is beginning our transition to paid subscriptions. While you will still be able to find us at the library, your doctor’s office, and various locations around Western Washington, we hope you will join us as a paid subscriber to have 3rd Act delivered directly to your mailbox. Your support of just $18 a year (or $24 for 2 years) will ensure that we can continue to bring you great writing, beautiful design, and our insightful, innovative, and bold exploration of aging. (It will also make it easier than ever to get every issue of 3rd Act!) This issue asks a lot of you. We are all up to the task.

“Our communities, our nation, and our world need us—our experience, our engagement, and especially our civility.”

Publisher Victoria Marshall with Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

OU R VI SI ON 3rd Act Magazine endeavors to inform, inspire, and entertain older adults. Our stories and articles challenge worn-out perceptions of aging and offer a dynamic new vision: Aging is good, let’s celebrate and embrace this stage of life, and let’s age together with confidence. PU B LI SH E RS Victoria Starr Marshall David Marshall EDITOR Victoria Starr Marshall COPY EDITOR Julie Fanselow ART DIRECTOR Philip Krayna WEBSITE Philip Krayna, Gayle Fox ADVERTISING Victoria Starr Marshall, Carolyn Hultz DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION David Marshall COVE R PH OTOG R APHY Teri Thomson Randall WRITE TO US 3rd Act Magazine wants to hear from you! Email your comments, ideas, and questions to info@3rdActMag.com or mail to 81 Canal Lane, Brinnon, WA 98320 3rd Act Magazine is published quarterly by Oshi Publishing, LLC. The opinions, advice or statements expressed by contributing writers do not reflect those of the editors, the publishers, or of 3rd Act Magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, opinion, advice, or other content contained herein. Oshi Publishing, LLC makes no representation and, to the fullest extent allowed by law, disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied. The content published herein may include inaccuracies or typographical errors. Copyright 2018 Oshi Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Oshi Publishing, LLC, 81 Canal Lane Brinnon, WA 98320 · 360-796-4837 Email: info@3rdActMag.com For subscriptions and additional information, see us online at www.3rdActMag.com.


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contents FEATURES 30 N AVIGATING LONG-TERM CARE Olympia considers a longterm care benefit for Washingtonians. CATHY MACCAUL



As the American story fractures, do we still share common values? CHARLES JOHNSON


10 32

LOOKS LIKE It’s time to think

and act like a young republic again. ANN RANDALL


Seattle’s quest to become agefriendly. TERRY TAZIOLI


Actor Amy Thone defies aging and gender stereotypes. ANN HEDREEN



5 tips for focusing on the present. LINDA HENRY



How not to fall (or survive it if you do). JENNIFER JAMES


Another reason to throw out those stilettos. ANNIE CULVER


A fork in dementia’s winding road. SUSAN RAVA




Why it’s time to retire this meaningless phrase. JEANETTE LEARDI


Think outside “the box” for burial. ASHLEY T. BENEM

Aging with Confidence

summer 2018

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22 LIFESTYLE 14 MONEY Politics’ effect on market performance. DON McDONALD

WORK? Employment’s effect on

our health and happiness. DR. ERIC B. LARSON



Is it time for a media diet? JULIE FANSELOW


Retirement sparks a new relationship and joyful journey. SHARMAN HALEY


A POLITICAL ACT It starts with

getting out of your comfort zone. RICK STEVES


people do uncommon work for the common good. SALLY FOX


Bayview residents and staff join forces to combat ageism. NANCY WEINBECK


What We Hold Dear


A City for Everyone

Seattle’s Quest to be Age-Friendly

Affirming Our Shared Common Values

Simple exercises to boost flexibility, mobility, strength, and balance. KYLE CIMINSKI


ALZHEIMER’S Could public

political pressure end Alzheimer’s? MICHAEL PATTERSON


Help for navigating Washington’s Death with Dignity Act. SALLY MCLAUGHLIN


Delicious, easy summer meals from your cupboard. REBECCA CRICHTON

IN EVERY ISSUE 60 O N THE TOWN Summer outdoor concerts you won’t want to miss. MISHA BERSON


Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right Reviewed by Jo Shilling


How Long Will You Work?

Challenge yourself with these word puzzles.

It’s Not Just About the Money

LETTERS A Bold Move I took a leap almost four years ago and unloaded the family homestead near Burien, which was the center of the universe since I was two—and moved to Ellensburg. I didn’t know what would happen (or) what to expect. What I got was a rich life, sans traffic. I rent a quirky house near CWU, where I can watch the college kids ride by on their bikes and enjoy the family across the street in their yellow Craftsman. I help with the film festival and Ellensburg Community Radio and attend many free (or almost free) events at the public library or the university. Your magazine is made for me. Mr. Sleicher’s Steptoe picture (Art & Adventure, 3rd Act, Spring 2018) cements my plan to drive to the Palouse in early May to wallow in that green. Wish I could hug those hills. I’m a Cougar from when it was still Dubba Ess See. Can’t believe I’ll be 80 in June. How did THAT happen?! —Judy Sanders, Ellensburg, WA

Genuinely Inspired I picked up my first copy of 3rd Act at Seattle’s U-District YMCA. I thought it was going to be a thinly veiled excuse to get targeted ads in front of seniors’ eyes. But the magazine was written with a kind of genuineness that I didn’t expect. Please do start my subscription. I would love to see more of this. And thank you. This one issue of your magazine has made me feel better about getting older. I’m inspired to see so many people doing it so well. — Brad Miller, Seattle

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by mail: 3rd Act Magazine, 81 Canal Lane, Brinnon, WA 98320




TRIPPING HAZARD A Bad Day for a Good Dog

3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

Cover: Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw with her commuter e-bike in the courtyard of City Hall. Photo by Teri Thomson Randall

by email: info@3rdActMag.com Please include your name, city, state, and phone number when possible. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. www.3rdActMag.com


ending relationships, or had the courage to start over when we didn’t think it possible?

Embrace the Five A’s of Aging BY LINDA HENRY

Linda Henry writes regularly on topics related to aging, health care, and communication and is the co-author of several books, including Transformational Eldercare from the Inside Out: Strengths-Based Strategies for Caring. She conducts workshops nationally on aging and creating caring work environments. Her volunteer emphasis is age-friendly communities.


IN HIS BOOK With Purpose: Going from Success to Significance in Work and Life, Ken Dychtwald describes life as a “caterpillar becoming a butterfly.” Don’t you love that image? Too often, we spend so much time looking in the rearview mirror of our lives at what was, that we are unable to celebrate our today, or to appreciate the future. As Joan Chittister reminds us in The Gift of Years, “One of the obstacles to leading an exciting life in our later years is that we become so sure we are losing something and so unaware of what we are gaining.” Of course, being a Pollyanna about aging is no more useful than dwelling on loss. What is helpful in taking our own aging journey is to focus on the present. Here are five reminders to help you do this: Attend to life as it is We cannot undo our present; we can choose to embrace the now. Sociologist Sara LawrenceLightfoot emphasizes the importance of forgiveness, humility, patience, and resilience as being critical in navigating the chaos and complexity of our new learning. While important in our third chapter, in truth, these are essential in all stages of life. Without resilience, how would we have passed through job losses, survived

3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

Accept who I am right now The second half of life has been described as a time when we experience the freedom to become ourselves. Although we may be disenchanted with some of life’s changes, most of us would not want to return to an earlier age or stage of life. For many of us, the freedom to do and be what we want is a gift that may arrive later in life. Amplify positive feelings through purpose Engaging in one’s life’s passion brings an abundance of positive feelings. As James Hillman wrote in The Soul’s Code, “Whether recognized or actualized, all humans have an exceptional component to their lives.” Research psychologist and author Martin Seligman explains that lasting happiness requires us to find our core strengths and figure out how to deploy them. It is not too late to find a sense of purpose and fulfillment that makes us glad to get up in the morning. Accept help Although receiving help is difficult for many of us, an offer of help is truly a gift— and one to be accepted in that spirit. Without the help of friends, I would not have made it through some rough times in the past, and I suspect this is true for most of us. Appreciate who and where you are “The secret to aging well is developing the capacity to be grateful and to forgive,” says Robert Weber in The Spirituality of Age. Equally important, but more difficult, is to name and appreciate the gifts that we give to others.

Choosing to live in the now is not always easy, but it is not impossible. Which reminders will you embrace? www.3rdActMag.com



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summer 2018

| 3rd Act magazine




IT SEEMS INEVITABLE that at a certain age we will fall. Joints become less stable, osteoporosis takes its toll, reaction time slows—yet on good days, we may feel the same as we did at 50 as we exult in running around and getting things done. In that frame of mind, we assume those who do fall are really old, in bad shape, ill, or careless like the ones in the commercial: “I’ve fallen down and I can’t get up.” “That is not me,” we think—until it is. The experts who see the results of all these falls warn us about creating a safe house, with non-slip rugs, grab bars, stair rails, and so on. Being responsible adults, we make those changes, or maybe our worried children make them for us. Given our quick recovery from small slips, we still assume


3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

we won’t fall. We become careless and keep zipping around. And then it happens: the real elder fall. Maybe I lost focus because I was feeling so good. But, somehow, in a moment, I was on the cement floor of the garage. Maybe it was Alfie. He bounced against my weak knee, bad dog. I could not rebalance fast enough, I spun around, and I landed hard on my left shoulder. Before I finish my story, please listen to me as if I am your fairy godmother. Keep your focus, especially when you are walking around animals and small children. Lift your feet if you hit uneven pavers or anything with the front of your shoe. (Toe-stubbing is a common cause of falls.) Go downstairs slowly; hold onto the rail. You can still run upstairs, as falling up is usually more interesting than dangerous. Hold on to someone if the terrain is unstable; a cane or walking stick is limited protection. OK, now. “Promise me.” I knew as I went down that this was a serious fall. The sound of my shoulder breaking was clear. The shock led to me screaming for help. Alfie ran away. Ron came quickly and we very carefully got me up. I did not want to go to an emergency room. I have been there through the long waits with friends too many times, but I knew I had to do something. We called my doctor and luckily he squeezed me in within three hours. With one look at my face and its excruciating pain, he told me I had a broken shoulder. X-rays confirmed that diagnosis, so now I have six to eight weeks with my shoulder immobilized and months of rehab—so perhaps I will listen to my own advice. “Jennifer, you are not 50, you have rheumatoid arthritis, you have osteoporosis, you ran around without paying attention, and you have been very, very bad.”


“Before I finish my story, please listen to me as if I am your fairy godmother. Keep your focus, especially when you are walking around animals and small children.” Week one: I feel anger and deep depression. Why live if this is my future? It is spring, gardening is my passion, the weeds will win, I am so bored. Any movement hurts, so I cannot even put on a bra. Week two: With the miracle of Amazon, I have a wheeled walker, a grabber, hygiene tools (even a lotion spreader), long-handled clippers, and drugs. A good grabber can pull weeds. My gallows humor has returned.

Aging with Confidence

I have to sleep more-or-less upright and wear a sling at all times. My entire arm is deep purple, as is one side of my butt. It is ugly. My sweet husband has solved most of my daily hassles but, as usual, he doesn’t tolerate whining and does not see the need to entertain me because I am bored. I have reached the “this too shall pass” phase of recovery. I can do lots of things. Laundry only takes one hand and my grabber stick is a great help. My grandchildren arrive in two weeks, so I’ve hired a friend’s granddaughter to help me and drive us places. I haven’t told my son about the fall because I feared he would worry and cancel the kids’ annual trip. I am smiling as I write this. Once again, repeat after me: “I will focus when I am walking about. I do not want to end up like Jennifer.”

summer 2018

Jennifer James has a doctorate in cultural anthropology and a master’s in history and psychology. She was a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington Medical School. Jennifer is the founding mother of the Committee for Children, an international organization devoted to the prevention of child abuse worldwide.

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Highs and Lows

A Manifesto for Sensible Shoes BY ANNIE CULVER

Annie Culver developed a knack for unearthing oddball characters and improbable events as a staff writer for various newspapers. In the early 1990s, she went to work for websites where she wrote sassy essays aimed at women. In recent years, she morphed into a writer for several universities in the Northwest. She retired in 2016, yet still enjoys freelancing.


SHE WASN’T PUSHING a shopping cart when she pranced out of Costco in red stilettos. “Why would a woman wear six-inch spike heels in Costco?” I wondered. Mysteries like this are what make me ponder the podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons I’ve visited, a fellow I knew who admitted a fetish for a certain type of high heel, and a bloke I met in 1980 named Frederick Mellinger. Mellinger—the legendary Frederick of Hollywood— weathered braless times, earth mamas in Birkenstocks, and feminists who picketed his stores. For decades the mustachioed Mellinger scoffed and simply stuck to fantasies that harked back to the trenches during World War II, he told me. That’s where he and his Army buddies had visions of women in push-up bras, open-ended or padded girdles, and high heels. By 1946, he launched his lingerie company, where he introduced the first padded bra in 1949. “Passion fashions” is how he described what

3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

followed, with plenty of sequins, black lace, and pointy bras that had names like “Rising Star” and “Cadillac.” The bikini, according to Mellinger, didn’t originate on a Hollywood movie set. Nope, he insisted bikinis started with abbreviated getups worn by senior citizens who attended belly dancing classes in Los Angeles. Naturally, during my interview with him I just had to request that he open his hotel dresser drawer so I could have a look at what underwear he wore. Tidy whiteys they were, neatly folded piles of white cotton boxers and undershirts. It might seem a stretch, but Frederick of Hollywood did play a role in the ups and downs of high heels. Hey, he turned out to be the man who persuaded me to donate what pumps I had to Goodwill long before any foot doctor recommended tossing them. “I always love to see a woman in high heels,” Mellinger said, an unforgettable twinkle in his eyes, “because she looks so helpless up there on those stilts.” It’s unclear how he thought this comment would sell heels of any configuration, but it was all the motivation I needed more than 35 years ago to modify my Dress for Success fashion statement. Still, I was surprised on a recent wander through an American Cancer Society Discovery

“Why would a woman wear six-inch spike heels in Costco?” I wondered.


Shop (a thrift store) to find 20 or more pairs of never-worn spiky heels on sale for chickenfeed. What a relief. Is the demise of high heels here at last? After all, even Melania Trump took criticism for wearing vampy stilettos en route to survey the damage of Hurricane Harvey in Texas last year. Then a terrific New York Times article appeared about high-heel naysayers and how footwear can play an effective role in upending gender biases. Gal Gadot of Wonder Woman fame told USA Today she loved wearing high heels, yet offered this unexpected caveat: “But at the same time, especially stilettos, it puts us out of balance. We can fall any minute. It’s not good for our backs. Why do we do it?” I haven’t a clue, Wonder Woman, but as soon as I read that, I slipped on my Uggs and felt empowered. I began to pay closer attention to what women had on their feet. Those in their 20s and 30s were more likely to be “up there on those stilts” while those with even a little gray hair appeared to be bounding through life more sensibly. Or so I thought. This week I met up with my 62-yearold girlfriend Vicky at DSW (aka Designer Shoe Warehouse), where she said she hoped to land a new pair of walking shoes. At some point, she wandered into the sale racks and, before I knew it, started strutting around in a pair of fancy black pumps. “What do you think?” Vicky asked. “Aren’t these adorable? I just received an invitation to a semi-formal wedding. Perfect, right?” My eyes rolled. “They’ll be dancing shoes once I break them in,” Vicky added. Frederick Mellinger died in 1990, but no doubt he had a good laugh from the afterlife.

Aging with Confidence

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summer 2018

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Don’t Bet Your Future on the Political Winds BY DON MCDONALD

The host of the nationally syndicated Don McDonald Show for over 20 years, Don now co-hosts Talking Real Money with Tom Cock on Seattle’s KOMO radio Saturdays at noon (talkingrealmoney.com). Don also publishes the investing magazine, real investing journal (realinvestingjournal. com).


HUMANS NATURALLY LOOK FOR SIMPLE explanations for complex systems. Few systems upon which we rely for our long-term well-being are more perplexing than fluctuating stock prices. We seek to find simple reasons to explain the market in the hope that we might be able to use it to predict future market direction. Since politics is an omnipresent part of our lives, we want to believe that our political choices might have some effect on our financial future. A perfect example was the so-called Trump market rally in 2017. This moniker was foolish for several reasons. First, no single individual can change the business climate. Even if they could, that change could not possibly occur quickly. If you want to attribute the market’s rise to anyone, it would have to be someone who governed before 2017. There is widespread belief that a pro-business (Republican) U.S. President should be better for the stock market. Yet, when you compare the average annual return under administrations since 1929, market returns have been at least twice as high when a Democrat is in the White House. Even with these averages, it’s almost impossible to show a direct cause-and-effect linkage between political affiliations and market performance. In truth, there is no person, group, or even nation that has the power to change the direction of our global economy. World economics is just too big and powerful. Yes, politics can affect markets on a smaller scale. Venezuela is the most recent example. Bad government policy can temporarily destroy a market, as can dramatic world events. Even major geopolitical occurrences generally had no lasting impact on the global economy. The Nazi invasion of France in 1940

3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

and Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941 had significant negative impacts on the stock market. Yet, despite the enormity of a globespanning war, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was back above its pre-war highs by January 1943. Even more surprising, given the destruction wrought on much of Europe and Asia, Index Fund Advisors Inc. found that a globally-diversified portfolio of stocks gained about 300 percent between 1938 and 1945. Other major events have had a market impact that didn’t last long. In the wake of 9/11, stock prices plunged dramatically. But, just 15 months later, the S&P 500 had posted gains. Many expected that the subsequent war in Iraq would set off an even more dramatic sell-off. Ironically, the market turned higher the day fighting began, and stocks climbed for much of the next five years. Political events can impact securities prices in the short run. Playing the markets for short-term gains is not investing, it’s gambling. Real investors should have little to fear from political decisions because there is little evidence that political machinations have ever had a long-lasting impact on the value of the global stock market. So, enjoy (or suffer through) the political process, but stop worrying about the effect it might have on your investment portfolio. If you have created a science-based, globally diversified portfolio of equities and high-quality fixedincome investments—based on your tolerance and need for risk—you will likely do well. It is possible that a politician could provoke a total global conflagration on a scale never before witnessed. However, should that happen, it’s unlikely that the survivors will be thinking about their portfolio losses.


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| 3rd Act magazine 15

Food Strike

A Fork in Dementia’s Winding Road BY SUSAN RAVA

MY CELL PHONE RANG. I was on a trip with friends in Arkansas not far from my home in St. Louis. It was the charge nurse at the nursing home where my mother, Dorothy, lived with her Siamese cat YumYum. When the nurse said, “It’s about your mother,” I sighed, shrugged, and waited. “We’re going to have to do an intervention,” the nurse said in a stern tone. “Or at least use far stronger medications to calm your mother down.” My mother had Alzheimer’s disease, and I knew from my psychotherapist friends that an intervention was drastic. “I’d like to send her to the psychiatric section at the hospital this afternoon,” the nurse added. “Hold on,” I said. “What’s going on?” “Your mother’s stirring up the other residents.” I squeezed the phone tight and bit my bottom lip. I tried to picture this: My mother was wheelchair-bound and rarely spoke, usually in a sort of pig Latin dialect. Yet she still

held her head of lustrous white hair like a woman in charge. Over the decades she’d been in charge a lot. A fund drive, a United States Senate campaign, a dinner party, a legislative initiative—she could organize and lead any of the above. By now, Alzheimer’s dementia was taking its toll, but what was I hearing from the charge nurse? “How so, stirring up the residents?” I tried to picture my mom’s cadre of immobile, mostly non-verbal companions. “Well, she’s telling them not to eat. They’re pushing their food away. She says she’s organizing a food strike.” I swallowed a chuckle. In my mind’s eye, I conjured up gray, gravy-soaked meat; hard, pale green melon chunks; cottage cheese measured with an ice cream scoop. And paper napkins and slap-dash service, without a touch of the gracious living my mother cherished. “How about if you do nothing for 24 hours?” I said. “Just let me think about it until I get back to St. Louis tomorrow afternoon. Please don’t do anything.” I caught up to my travel friends, savored lunch, but then my phone rang again. This time it was my mother. An aide must have dialed for her. “What’s going on, Mom?” “I need money.” Her voice was as strong and clear as I’d heard it in a while. “Money, Mom?” She hadn’t mentioned money or used money for months. “What for?” “Food. I’ve got to buy some food.” “Food, how come?” “Well, if we’re having a food strike, I have to provide something to eat.” “Aha,” I said, stifling a laugh. “Let’s talk about it tomorrow when I get home.” And so it is: Alzheimer’s disease bears away all remnants and scraps of personality, character, will, and individual dynamism—until it does not. To my joy and amazement for one shining February afternoon, the Alzheimer’s disease stepped aside. My real and beloved mother stood up ready once again to change the world around her for the better. Courageous, she could still defy the status quo in the small orbit of her 94-year old life. She needed no intervention and no drugs, just a cheering squad for the glimmer of the self she’d been for most of her long years. By the time I arrived at my mother’s nursing home the next day, she had—to my dismay— forgotten the food strike. Susan Rava, a former French teacher, lives and writes in St. Louis. She is the author of Swimming Solo: A Daughter’s Memoir of Her Parents, His Parents, and Alzheimer’s Disease (Plateau Books), where a shorter version of “Food Strike” first appeared.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2018


You Are More Than Your Age. So Act Like It.

Professional photographer and retired University of Washington professor Charles Sleicher on the 2018 photo safari he led in Tanzania at age 93. His planned winter 2019 safari is already full. This is one way to age with confidence, let us show you more.

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summer 2018

| 3rd Act magazine 17




sn’t it time we finally retire the phrase “successful aging”? Three years ago, I wrote a piece for Dr. Bill Thomas’s Changing Aging blog called “Successful Aging—On Whose Terms?” My main point at the time was that there’s an inherent problem with equating aging with the kind of success that is solely based on conscious individual achievement. Even if an older person has adequate health and wealth and is socially active and passionately engaged in living, success is never solely due to that person’s choices, actions, and abilities. Luck and uncontrollable external factors play equally influential roles in the outcome. I’d mistakenly assumed I had covered all of the points I’d ever want to make on the topic. But even now, if I do a Google search for “successful aging,” I see that the term and all its attached misconceptions remains slow to die. I wish it would. Quickly. Here’s why. Every time we assign the sole responsibility of aging well to an individual, we disregard that person’s uniqueness in a very unrealistic and unjust way. Each of us has gone through a combination of biological and socioeconomic experiences that have affected us at every turn. Are you a male or a female? Are you a member of an ethnic or racial majority or minority? Females and minorities in general are economically disadvantaged throughout their lives, earning less than their white, male counterparts and subsequently receiving smaller pensions and Social Security benefits. In addition, more women than men leave the job market to become unpaid laborers who raise children, care for elder parents, or both.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

expectations common goals opportunities public policies

Society Empowered Aging

Individual skills personal history values aspirations beliefs Have you spent most of your life on a farm or in the middle of a big city? Did you inherit great wealth or have you had to earn all or most of your income? How much education were you able to afford and receive? What career paths were open to you? Did you ever experience serious health problems that affected your ability to work? How many children, if any, do you have, and are they willing and able to help you in your later years if you need support? Do you have easy access to nearby and affordable housing, transportation, and other vital services for older adults? Somehow, the media still miss these questions in coverage and definitions of “successful aging.” And because these factors aren’t foremost in the public’s consciousness as issues to address, they are often ignored or considered irrelevant in government and private-sector policy decisions. This situation must change. “Success” implies accomplishment within an established system. But what if that system is outmoded, disjointed, or worse, deliberately fostering social inequality? Then successful agers who have


been lucky, wealthy, and in the majority are aging well because of our social policies and cultural norms. But people in other categories who have managed to age well are successful despite those same policies and norms. Their challenge has been far greater. And let’s not forget that there is a huge population of older adults who struggle to stay economically and physically stable as well as purposefully and socially engaged. In many cases, their difficulties could be significantly eased if our society would redefine “successful aging” in less polarizing terms. Let’s stop evaluating aging as either the result of being ambitious and productive or being negligent and irresponsible. In fact, let’s totally ban the term “successful aging.” We need to replace that unproductive and discriminatory paradigm with one that is realistic, compassionate, and fair—one requiring an equal commitment between the individual and society.

Let’s coin a new term: “Empowered Aging.” Why “empowered”? Because it moves the focus away from the static goal of accomplishment and toward an ongoing process of maintaining autonomy, dignity, and self-worth through interdependence. This bilateral commitment should be fostered throughout a person’s life, starting from childhood. We should raise children to appreciate every age through which they pass and expect our cultural values to honor and support them all along the way, in their education, careers, personal relationships, and social contributions. When an individual’s skills, values, aspirations, personal history, and beliefs are continuously supported by a pro-aging society’s common goals, expectations, opportunities, and public policies, empowerment becomes the inevitable human condition. And isn’t that the kind of success we should aim to achieve?

Jeanette Leardi, is a writer, editor, and community educator who has a passion for older adult empowerment. A blogger for ChangingAging. org, she teaches journaling, memoir writing, fighting ageism, brain fitness, intergenerational communication, and caregiver support to people of all ages. She lives in Portland and can be reached through her website, jeanetteleardi.com.

We help people age where they’re most comfortable. At home. Since 1996, we’ve helped thousands of people receive the personal care and companionship they need to stay in their own home. See if we’re the right choice for you. Seattle/Snohomish County: 206.545.1092 Bellevue/Eastside: 425.455.2004 Tacoma/Pierce County: 253.761.8019


Aging with Confidence

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How long will you work? Whatever your choice, make it count


Dr. Eric B. Larson is vice president for research and health care innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington and author of Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Long, Active Life (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).


Choosing when to retire is an important decision. People often focus on finances—and for good reason; we want enough money to live comfortably. But that’s just one piece. We must also consider how employment affects our health and happiness. For many people, jobs lend meaning, structure, and a sense of belonging. But work can also take time away from life-enhancing activities we look forward to in later years—like travel, hobbies, and spending time with grandkids. What does research say about health and employment as we age? Much depends on your job, of course. For those who like their work, staying employed can be beneficial—especially if it keeps them active mentally, physically, and socially. Some studies show working can help you avoid health hazards that commonly emerge in retirement— problems like weight gain, too much alcohol, and depression. Does that mean you should scrap plans to retire in your 60s or 70s? Not necessarily. But you don’t need to approach retirement as a hard stop either. You may, for example: • Narrow the scope of your job. Perhaps you can stay in the same field, but focus more on the work that you like best. A teacher, for example, might go from teaching several topics to just one or two favorites. • Switch from hands-on problem-solver to mentor/ consultant. Many older people provide tremendous service as advisers, tutors, counselors, and board members. This allows them to leverage wisdom gained through decades of experience.

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• Do something completely new. You may want to take classes, start a business, or pursue some unexplored aspect of yourself. Artist? Swimmer? Caregiver? Spiritual seeker? How about the World’s Best Grandparent? The possibilities are endless. And if you’d rather stop working altogether, that’s fine, too. But whatever path you take, don’t go into mental retirement and don’t become too sedentary, spending excessive time with your TV or computer. There’s great truth in the phrase, “Use it or lose it.” Keeping your mind and body actively engaged helps maintain your thinking skills. This requires far more than crossword puzzles! It means pursuing activities that give your life structure, challenge your mind, and keep you active. You may find your niche in volunteer work, hobbies, sports, religion, or whatever. Just make it rich and make it count. I’m reminded of my longtime friend and fatherin-law, Bob Zufall. He’s a physician who left a successful urology practice in his 60s to set up a free clinic that eventually served tens of thousands of disadvantaged people in his hometown of Dover, New Jersey. I once asked him why he didn’t just kick back like so many retirees do. “Fortunately, I’m a lousy golfer,” he laughed. He also said retirement is the perfect time to ask, “What needs to be done that I can do and that I enjoy doing?” I love this question because it points to one of the most important elements of healthy aging: Having a sense of purpose that keeps you engaged in the world mentally, physically, and socially. And what could be better than that?


Live well & thrive With quality care and affordable Medicare health plan coverage you can count on You want to live well and feel great. With a Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage (HMO) health plan you get hospital, medical, and prescription drug coverage all in one convenient plan1. Stay healthy so you can enjoy life to the fullest. Plus, you can become a Kaiser Permanente member as soon as next month if you’re turning 65, new to the area, losing employer coverage, or qualify for extra help paying for Part D coverage2.

To learn more or schedule a personal appointment, call your Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plan licensed sales specialist at 1-855-207-1943 (TTY 711), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week. 1Includes Medicare Part A hospital care, Part B medical services, and Part D prescription drug coverage in a single plan. Excludes Basic Plan. 2You must meet all Medicare health plan requirements. Kaiser Permanente is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Kaiser Permanente depends on contract renewal. You must reside in the Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plan service area in which you enroll. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premiums and/or copayments may change on January 1 of each year. Š 2018 Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington. All rights reserved.

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not caving inward or bowing out. Use your arms to lift the weight upward while performing the squat. You should feel this working in your legs, glutes, and arms. Practice engaging your core and mid-back for stabilization. This exercise can be modified with changes in speed or weight to increase or decrease difficulty. The movement is great preparation for activity that requires you to focus on strength, endurance, and stability for your lower body.

Tune Up Now for Summer Fun BY KYLE CIMINSKI

WITH SUMMER HERE, everyone wants to get outside, but our bodies might be a bit rusty from the winter. Hiking, bicycling, paddling, and even gardening and household maintenance all require some level of total body engagement. To get ready, let’s look at two exercises you can do anywhere to boost flexibility, mobility, strength, and balance.

Kyle Ciminski is a personal trainer at the Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center in Anacortes. He holds over 30 professional certifications, and you can reach him at kyleciminskitraining@ gmail.com or at 360-969-1386. Learn more at trainwithkyle.com.


Squat to overhead press To strengthen your legs, find a bench or chair to support your sitting weight. Grab a dumbbell or another object that weighs a few pounds. If possible, position yourself in front of a mirror to check your form. Your legs will be in line with your hips. We want a 90° bend from your hip to your knee and another 90° bend from your knee down to your ankle. Hold the weight to your chest. Place pressure and weight between the center of your foot and your heel while standing up from the sitting position. Avoid pressure on your toes and do not let your knees jut out past your toes. Keep your knees in line with your hip,

3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

Push-ups Push-ups do not need to be done on the floor. Anyone who wants to work their way up to floor push-ups can use an elevated surface to increase strength without risking injury. Look for an extremely solid object such as the back of a heavy couch, a park bench, or even a wall. Place your palms against the elevated surface with your arms at 90° to your upper body. For greater stability, have your feet apart about hip width or shoulder width apart. For increased strength stability, have your feet together. If you have shoulder difficulties, you may have to scoot yourself farther in toward the wall so that your elbows can be a little bit lower. Focus on lowering your body down slowly and pushing away about the same speed. We are not trying to go fast. Focus on your breathing; breathe in while coming down and exhale while pushing up. Focus on feeling the muscles through the chest, shoulder, and even the back when you come down. This exercise will help with core and lower back strength along with shoulder stability and mobility. Both exercises should be done in three sets of 12-15 repetitions. Do them at home, at a gym, or in a park. If you have had any shoulder or joint issues, talk to your doctor for safe modifications. Remember, exercise is a preventative medicine to avoid injuries—and these exercises will get you ready for summer adventures and your daily activities, too.


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Let’s Find the Political Will to End Alzheimer’s We could make dementia a rare condition—if we had the political will to do so. I base this bold assertion on a well-founded hypothesis: Premature aging and accelerated cognitive decline are most often caused by exposure to a variety of avoidable risk factors. If this is true, we can dramatically reduce the incidence of dementia by reducing our exposure to risk factors. So why don’t we do it?


CogWheel Risk Factors



Chronic, unrelieved stress; PTSD, poverty.


Prevalence of preventable chronic conditions caused largely by poor diet.



Isolation and isolationism, tribalism, hatred, sexism, ageism, racism, etc.


Exposure to toxins and pollution, poverty, war, natural disasters.


A sedentary lifestyle; a lack of public places for recreation and exercise.


Insomnia and sleep deprivation; disruptive sleep schedules.

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Excessive sugar, carbohydrates, packaged foods, fast foods.


Limited access to quality education. Anti-intellectualism and disrespect for reason and science.

There are two main obstacles: First, dementia is not caused by a single factor. And second, some risk factors are far too complex to address through behavioral changes and lifestyle modifications alone. They require a public or political response. Think of a leaky boat Each of the major risk factors need to be recognized and addressed if we hope to reduce the incidence of dementia worldwide. (See graphic.) There are multiple risk factors that can undermine the function of our brains. As more and more brain cells are compromised, our mind sinks deeper into decline. All, or most, risk factors must be removed to give the brain a chance to heal itself. The sooner these risk factors are addressed, the better. Think of a boat with multiple holes in the hull. Plugging one hole does no good. The boat is still filling with water and it will eventually sink. All the holes must be plugged and the bilge water pumped out before your boat can continue to float. There are major risk factors for dementia that require a public response, including changes in public policy and public health initiatives. We can’t, for example, avoid toxins hidden in water and food by ourselves. We can’t breathe clean air if our skies are polluted.


How to bring real change Some despair that the public health approach is hopeless, but there are numerous examples where public pressure and political will have successfully motivated real change. Take smoking, which is a major risk for dementia. As with many risk factors, the tobacco industry’s economic interests conflicted with national public health priorities. Real progress in reducing smoking was not made until a coordinated effort of public awareness, taxation, advertising bans, legislation, and even criminal proceedings were put in place. While the global effort to eliminate smoking is not over, a strong public health response has given human well-being the upper hand. The Alzheimer’s Association seems well positioned to apply pressure on both government and industry to reduce identifiable risk factors for dementia. It could become a powerful lobby to promote much-needed reform. Unfortunately, its overarching focus has been on funding research. The Alzheimer’s Association’s dual mission; “To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the

advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected” has been criticized as being drastically unbalanced in favor of funding research. Very little funding is directed toward caring for people who are affected by dementia and even less toward reducing risk factors. To its credit, the Alzheimer’s Association has recently expanded its mission statement to include efforts “to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.” This additional objective is long overdue. It is time for the Alzheimer’s Association to rebalance its mission. More money should be directed toward making life better for people who live with dementia, and for their caregivers. And it’s critical that energy and resources be directed toward mobilizing public opinion to demand policies and practices that will seriously reduce, rather than exacerbate, the risks for dementia. Until we find the political will to eliminate the root causes of dementia, we will condemn generation after generation to coping with a disease that should become extinct.

Michael C. Patterson, founder and CEO of MINDRAMP Consulting, writes extensively on the art and science of brain health and mental flourishing. He is an educator and consultant who previously managed AARP’s Staying Sharp brain health program and helped develop the field of creative aging.



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Aging with Confidence

Independent & Assisted Living

summer 2018

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nd of Life Washington is a new name for an old organization. Sprouting 30 years ago as the Hemlock Society Chapter of Washington, our family tree has branched out over the years to include an impressive number of end-of-life service and activist organizations. In 2015, Compassion & Choices of Washington rebranded as End of Life Washington in an effort to have our name clearly speak to our purpose: support and choice at the end of life. The heart of our mission is our stewardship of Washington’s Death with Dignity Act. Since the law came into effect in 2009, the Department of Health

Your Life. Your Death. Your Choice.

End of Life Washington Helps People Navigate State Law BY SALLY MCLAUGHLIN

has recorded 843 deaths involving the ingestion of life-ending medication, from 36 that first year to 192 in 2016, documenting steady yet modest increases each year. End of Life Washington volunteer client advisors actively supported over 90 percent of those cases. Even with the law in place, Death with Dignity can be challenging for those seeking to access it. In order to qualify, a person must be 18 years or older, a resident of Washington State, and have a prognosis of six months or less to live, as verified by two physicians. In addition, the patient must be deemed mentally competent to make an informed decision. Should either physician have concerns about competency, the patient must submit to an evaluation administered by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Finally, the patient must be capable of self-administering the life-ending medication, either by swallowing it or injecting it into a feeding tube.


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The requirement of a first request for Death with Dignity, followed by a 15-day waiting period before a second request, assures that patients seeking lifeending medication cannot rush into a hasty, irreversible decision. These stipulations mandate that terminally ill patients begin the process earlier rather than later in order to clear the hurdles to physician aid in dying put in place by the law. Interestingly, about a third of the patients who obtain a prescription for life-ending medication never fill it—but simply knowing that they have access to the medication proves palliative, affording them agency at end of life. For those patients who do avail themselves of Washington’s Death with Dignity Act, End of Life Washington provides assistance every step of the way. Because the law allows healthcare providers and facilities to opt out, many patients struggle to find physicians who will write a prescription or pharmacies that will fill it. Our volunteer client advisers help patients navigate this terrain, guiding the process from initial inquiry to ingestion of life-ending medication. We are the only organization in the nation that consistently provides this support at no cost. Over the past 30 years, our efforts have remained admirably focused. Besides leading the charge that placed Initiative 1000, Washington State’s Death with Dignity Act, on the ballot in 2008 (when it passed by a large margin), we have participated in legislative efforts to expand choice for terminally ill citizens. Our forerunner, Compassion in Dying, developed and filed two federal lawsuits to assert that a mentally competent, terminally ill patient had the right— protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of liberty, privacy, and equal protection—to choose aid in dying. In both cases the U.S. Supreme Court declined to find constitutional protection of aid in dying and referred the issue to the states, where it remains to this day. We lobbied the Washington State legislature about the Safe Medicine Return Bill and the Pain Management Bill, and encouraged the retaining of the Hospice Medicaid Bill. We currently support the Protecting Patient Care Act, which will prohibit healthcare entities from interfering with a medical provider’s effort to deliver accurate information and service.


Advance planning is another area where we have led the way. In 2005 we created a new, more detailed version of the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Healthcare Directive or Living Will, combining these two documents. Many Washington elder law attorneys claim it as their advance-planning document of choice because of its comprehensive attention to detail. In 2012 we crafted our Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia Mental Health Directive, which

Ask your physician if she will support you should you be diagnosed with a terminal illness and wish to use the Death with Dignity Act. Washington doctors join the ranks of those who actively participate because, when beloved patients ask them to help, they find it difficult to refuse. Finally, help us to eradicate the use of the “s” word: suicide. Physician aid in dying is not suicide, which suggests the premature ending of a life, often through violent or solitary acts.

“I want every Washington resident to have a robust, up-to-date advance directive for health care and a full awareness of our legal right to Death with Dignity.” enables people newly diagnosed with these diseases to document their wishes—while they are still able— about nonmedical issues regarding future care. This is the only document of its kind in the nation. In 2017, we created My Instructions for Oral Feeding and Drinking, which seeks to allow people with dementia to proactively eschew feeding and hydration by others, should they find themselves in a care facility. As executive director of End of Life Washington, my mission is straightforward: I want every Washington resident to have a robust, up-to-date advance directive for health care and a full awareness of our legal right to Death with Dignity. I hope to never again hear, “If I ever come down with that disease, I plan to move to Oregon!”

Aging with Confidence

Folks who use Death with Dignity would live on if they could. They are already dying, and instead of following the difficult trajectory of their disease, they are choosing the manner and the hour of their deaths. Granted, Death with Dignity is not for everyone, but for those who need it, it provides a significant choice at a time in life when choices are sorely limited. I am reminded of the words of a terminally ill patient I met when I first began my work with End of Life: “I don’t even know you, but I love you. You’re the first person to offer me any real help.” Sally McLaughlin joined the staff of End of Life Washington in 2015 as the organization’s first community education director and became the executive director in 2016. She promotes education on advance planning for health care and expanding choice at the end of life throughout the state. She can be reached at smclaughlin@ endoflifewa.org.

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I have to admit I was one can be used instead of a of those kids who liked standard coffin or casket the creative challenge of for cremation, standard trying to put the round burial, or green burial. They circle into the square box. tend to be more traditional, I would protest, “It would more personalized to be such a cool pattern match the deceased if it f it!” I guess some person’s style, and they things haven’t changed, cost significantly less than especially when it comes casket options. to finding alternatives to We had the opportunity how people are buried. to film a simulated burial We s p e n d m o n t h s with one of these shrouds. before we’re born curled Seeing the shallow round up in a comforting fetal op en g rave wit h our position in our mother’s friend wrapped to look b e l l y. A s s c a r e d o r like a bright green pea exhausted children, pod was moving. As we we return to that same stood holding hands in a curled-up pose—and as circle around the floweradults, we return to the adorned grave, it created inner sanctity of the fetal an overwhelming feeling BY ASHLEY T. BENEM position when we are sick, that this type of burial upset, or seized by pain. It would be like “planting” a only makes sense that as we drop into our dying process, loved one back into the earth. we would end in this familiar posture. Now you can leave It was completely different than any funeral with a box this world in the same position from which you emerged— or a rectangular grave I have ever participated in. It was fetal position death shrouds are emerging as an option for a profoundly heart-stirring experience, one of beauty final burial or cremation containers. and grace so completely in tune with nature it seemed My company, A Sacred Passing, had the privilege to impossible that it could be done any other way. Our filming work with a death shroud maker who brilliantly designed took place at White Eagle Memorial Green Burial Grounds the Fetal Pod Death Shroud in which a full-grown adult outside of Goldendale, WA. We stayed up well past dark, could be sweetly wrapped and tucked inside. The shrouds, lit candles on the grave, and sang songs to the coyotes. with their wooden platform bottom and handles sewn We passed the good Irish whiskey and told stories of life in, can be easily carried by four to six people. Shrouds and death.




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At White Eagle you are encouraged to come and spend time with your loved ones’ graves or get to know the place before your own passing. This 1,000+ acre protected Land Trust makes their green burial ground the only one of its kind in Washington State. It’s a place where the circle of life goes on in beautiful ways. Ashley T. Benem is the founder of the non-profit A Sacred Passing: Death Midwifery Service and the creator of the Art of Death Conference. She is an advocate for palliative and end-of-life care issues, empowering and supporting families to reclaim their right to die in congruence with their lives. Contact Ashley at asacredpassing@gmail.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit White Eagle Memorial Preserve Cemetery at Ekone Ranch’s website at naturalburialground.org or call 206-383-3285. Guided tours are available by appointment. The address is 401 Ekone Road, Goldendale, WA. The shroud maker is April Lynn, out of Bellingham, WA. You can reach her at Lynn_April@live.com.

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Navigating the Complexities of LongTerm Care Support BY CATHY MACCAUL AARP WASHINGTON ADVOCACY DIRECTOR


ost of us know that we are likely to need some type of assistance, whether at home or in a nursing facility, as we age. In fact, 70 percent of Washingtonians 65 and better will require some type of long-term care. Often referred to as long-term services and supports, this level of help becomes a necessity when older adults and those with disabilities are no longer able to perform what’s known as activities of daily living (or ADLs). Longterm care insurance can provide families some financial relief for the hefty cost of care. Yet it is very expensive and more than 90 percent of adults are not covered. Purchasing long-term care insurance is a significant investment, and many people are too focused on keeping up with current daily living expenses to look that far into the future or add another bill to the mix. Others mistakenly believe Medicare or private insurance will be there with the onset of a chronic illness or injury. The truth is Medicare only pays for short-term stays in a nursing facility for a maximum of 100 days. The same holds true for assistance at home—shortterm only. Most health insurance plans, both employer-covered and private pay, follow similar time restraints as Medicare. So who provides long-term care? Across the nation, the first to step up are family caregivers. In Washington, more than 828,000 residents help their aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones, to the tune of $11 billion in unpaid care—a whopping five times what Medicaid spends on long-term services and supports each year. With every task they undertake, family caregivers save


3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

the state money by keeping their loved ones out of costly nursing homes. However, due to the large population of boomers, smaller family sizes, and geographical distance among family members, the number of potential family caregivers is projected to decrease 43 percent by 2030. When an adult’s care progresses beyond what a family member can provide—or for those who don’t have family to rely on—Medicaid is the next line of defense. The program has become the primary payer for long-term services on behalf of low-income older adults and people with disabilities regardless of their age. To qualify, most must deplete their savings and assets down to a poverty level. Families aren’t the only ones concerned with the cost of care. Washington spends more than $2 billion annually on Medicaid-funded support and services. Current projections estimate a 91 percent increase by 2040, a cost of $8 billion every two years. With the growing age wave, states are trying to prepare for an exponential increase in needed funding. Washington and several other states are taking steps to help families better deal with their caregiving needs. Hawaii has started a program called Kupuna Care, kupuna being a term of respect for elders. Done properly, this type of support can be a win-win for family and state budgets. AARP Washington and a coalition of nearly two dozen advocates, including the Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging, have spent the last several years searching for a solution. “Area Agencies on Aging are on the front lines for those desperation calls when people find out they need long-term care,” says Dan Murphy, legislative chair of the Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “Those calls start with phrases like ‘I don’t know what to do’ or ‘I’ve tried to care for mom and I can’t take any more time off from work’ or ‘we can’t do this anymore’ or ‘we’ve spent the savings, or the proceeds from the sale of the house—now what do we do?’ We are excited to be part of the coalition that is crafting a better solution for Washington State.”


“Long-term care insurance can provide families some financial relief for the hefty cost of care. Yet it is very expensive and more than 90 percent of adults are not covered.” Saying the task is daunting is an understatement. We are inventing an entirely new social system to fix a difficult social problem. Our state also has unique challenges finding ways to fund the program. Other states have considered financing through an increase in personal income tax—not an option here—and our homeowners are already struggling with increases in property taxes. This year, legislation was introduced to create a program that would be funded by a payroll tax collected from all Washington workers. The proposed program would provide a benefit of $100 a day for 365 days of coverage, providing some relief for family caregivers who currently spend an average of 20 percent of their income on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving. The program would also alleviate some of the stress on the state’s Medicaid budget. Possible improvements to the measure are still under discussion including providing the flexibility needed for family caregivers and care

Aging with Confidence

recipients to decide on how to best use the money they have put away for care. This would also help families in rural areas who may have a more difficult time finding someone to provide in-home support. Crafting a viable, robust tool to assist with long-term care is critically important for Washington families and for our state. Pioneering a solution will take time, but advocates are eager and determined to work toward a comprehensive solution.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2018



kept in their place by patriarchy while blacks and other minorities faced violence, red-lining, and a systemic victimization that exploited their labor to enrich a mere 1 percent of the White Some days I feel, at age 70, that I no longer understand America. Anglo-Saxon Protestant population. The metaphor for this America is a That it has morphed, splintered, or collapsed into something wall. Today that specifically means a unrecognizable. wall along the border with Mexico. These two stories seem When I read about weekly school In the first and older “official” irreconcilable. We also know shootings and hate crimes against story dispensed in public schools in that, at least in the sciences, most people who are black, Jewish, Muslim, the 1950s when I was young, America “experiments” fail. But whenever or LGBT; when I see powerful men in is a land of opportunity, a shining I think about what the future might all professions using their positions to “city upon a hill,” and the last great hold for my 36-year-old daughter sexually abuse women, or watch both hope for humankind. It is founded and her 6-year-old son, I do see how political parties catering to their most on the Declaration of Independence’s these two stories about America, extreme elements, embracing incivility assertion that “all men are created each with its own elements of truth, and fueling a polarization between equal,” and have a right to “life, can be acknowledged and even progressives and conservatives that has liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” transcended. hardened into mutual hatred; when I This story emphasizes the American Although nearly all the ideals in see mass deportations of people who “experiment in democracy,” a nativist the Declaration of Independence came to America for a better life, or “exceptionalism,” fairness and fair and Constitution, those two listen to the despair in the voices of play, an individualism where documents that define our people in my millennial daughter’s one’s ancestry is unimportant, BY secular religion, have been Generation Y who wonder if they will and where upward mobility from CH A R L E S betrayed at one time or another, ever own a home or have financial one generation to the next is, J OHN S ON and continue to be violated security; or when I observe the easy if one worked hard, assured. today, I think a majority of tribalism and self-segregation of Its metaphor is an open window. Americans do hold dear such ideals identity politics; when I reflect on But there is a second narrative more as fairness, fair play, equality, a strong these 21st-century developments, I ascendent in 2018, one that reminds us work ethic, individual excellence, wonder: Who are Americans? Do we that for 244 years America was a slave and helping one another. In 1952, have any values in common anymore? state, and for nearly 70 years after that in his magisterial novel Invisible Man, Did we ever? racially segregated. That it slaughtered An American writer—a storyteller— and stole lands from Native Americans, which is no longer just a novel now but an American cultural artifact, who feels he no longer understands as well as from Mexico, and waged Ralph Ellison addressed this very his country or kinsmen is in trouble, wars of conquest. This is America question. especially in a nation as culturally spelled by radicals in the 1960s as For the entire 581-page novel, and racially diverse as this one. But it “AmeriKKKa,” a nation the founders Ellison’s narrator struggles to is precisely because I am a storyteller (as well as opponents of slavery like understand a cryptic warning given that I can see how our present situation Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Beecher by his grandfather on his death bed is based on two competing narratives Stowe) envisioned as “a white man’s concerning how black people should about this country. country.” In this story, women were

Aging with Confidence

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deal with white America: “I want you to overcome ‘em with yeses, undermine ‘em with grins, agree ‘em to death and destruction…” And it is only in the novel’s epilogue that the Invisible Man gains a glimmer of understanding about what his grandfather meant: “Could he have meant—hell, he must have meant the principle, that we were to affirm the principle on which the country was built and not the men who did the violence. Did he say ‘yes’ because he knew that the principle was greater than the men, greater than the numbers and the vicious power and all the methods used to corrupt its name?... Or did he mean that we had to take the responsibility for all of it, for the men as well as the principle, because we were the heirs who must use the principle because no other fitted our needs?”

It is the principles on which America was founded, and not the flawed men, that we and future generations must affirm as shared, common values. And we should also be aware that the principles themselves were originally flawed and imperfectly conceived. They were not static, unchanging ideas fully realized at their conception. Rather, like everything else in this world, ideas or ideals such as equality are historical and, like a novel that must move through several drafts before reaching its full promise and potential, they are constantly evolving. For example, when first presented in the Declaration, the idea of equality was not fully formed in the minds of men; in practice it was restricted to propertied white males. It took a Civil War, then one hundred years later a Civil Rights Movement, to bring forth the full potential in the meaning of

equality so that in both its theory and practice it by necessity included black Americans. And in the half century since the 1960s, logically expanded to include women, gay people, indeed, all Americans. The “experiment in democracy” is, then, a cross-generational task in which our children and grandchildren must continue to refine and bring to greater precision and clarity those principles and shared values on which the nation is founded. This is a slow, often frustrating process spanning centuries. But I have the faith that my daughter and grandson—and yours—are up to this perennial challenge. Charles Johnson is a MacArthur Fellow and professor emeritus at the University of Washington. His fiction includes Dr. King’s Refrigerator, Dreamer, Faith and the Good Thing, and Middle Passage, for which he won the National Book Award. His new collection of short stories Night Hawks, was released this spring. He lives in Seattle.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2018


October 28, 2000: The line to the village’s single polling station in the wood stove-warmed school stretched out the classroom door into the increasingly frigid evening. Despite the weather and crowded conditions, voters continued to come, most of them trudging through fields after a hard day of manual labor. Those too old or infirm arrived in horse-drawn wooden carts. Stooped-over grandmothers in slippers and threadbare vests. Veterans of the region’s protracted wars, their status evident by a missing arm, leg, or hand. Aged voters, too poor to afford glasses, passing down the line a single pair of smudged spectacles so the next person could also see the ballot. I was in Eastern Europe’s autonomous region of Kosovo as an election supervisor, monitoring their first election after a decade of civil war. Despite the many physical, ethnic, and historical obstacles, almost 80 percent of Kosovo’s voters turned out that day to elect their mayors and town officials. Kosovo’s citizen commitment toward that election strikes me everytime I cast a ballot here at home, where voter turnout pales by comparison despite a system that makes it easy. In Washington, we register to vote when getting a driver’s license, then we have two to three weeks to vote by mail in the comfort of our homes. Such accessibility is rarely afforded to most emerging democracies. Yet only 60 percent of Washington’s voting age population bothered to cast a ballot in the high-profile 2016 general election. Nearly 25 percent of the voting-age population didn’t even register to vote. The numbers are even more dismal for special elections focused on local public infrastructure issues or who will serve as county judges. In November 2017, only 35.6

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percent of Washington voters bothered to return the ballot they found in their mailbox. Historically, our senior demographic votes in higher ratios than most, but even that’s changing. AARP reported that 45 percent of the electorate in the 2016 election was 50+ years old. While that may sound impressive, the Pew Research Center concluded of those results, “Boomer and older voters represented fewer than half of all voters for the first time in decades.” A close look at Washington’s 2017 election data reveals a pattern consistent with other age groups. While about 85 percent of eligible voters over age 54 were registered to vote, only 46.2 percent of 55-64-year-olds and 61 percent of voters over age 65 turned out. The message? Eligibility to vote means nothing if you don’t seal the civic deal by casting a ballot. To improve turnout, the 2018 Washington State Legislature passed

five bills that make Washington one of the most progressive states for voter access. Beginning in 2019, residents who are citizens will be automatically registered to vote when applying for or changing a driver’s license or identification card. Teenagers can preregister to vote when they get their driver’s license at age 16 or 17 and be automatically added to voter rolls at age 18. Schools are required to coordinate a January voter registration day; the timeline to register before election day has been shortened; and Washington recently announced it will include a postage-paid envelope with ballots in 2018, making ours the only state to eliminate the lack of a stamp as a voting barrier. But voting is just one act. I’ve become particularly fond of the activist refrain, “This is what democracy looks like,” because it speaks to the broader responsibility of civic engagement to shape policy at every level. Fire and police protection are local ballot-box issues. So are public library services, upgrades to your local schools, and the selection of port commissioners and mayors. In Washington, many issues are decided by state citizen initiative. It’s how the minimum wage was increased and recreational pot was legalized. Boomercentric issues such as cuts to Social

Our generation has a unique contribution to the political process—the long view.

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Security and Medicare may get decided in the other Washington, but the 2,300plus miles between us and the federal Capitol shouldn’t deter us from engaging in the effort it will take to preserve the benefits we’ve earned from decades of work—by us as well as the generations behind us. No matter what your political persuasion, the candidates who run for office and those who win should hear from you before they cast a vote that decides your future (and before you cast a ballot that decides theirs). Most elected officials have a story about a bill or regulation they sponsored because a single constituent approached them, provided the research, and thoughtfully assisted in the work it took to be a civic partner. School board and city council meetings have public comment sessions. You can write a letter, send an email, make a phone call, attend a legislative town hall or—even better—sponsor a neighborhood meeting. Partner is the key word. Our obligation as participants in a democracy is both civic engagement and civil discourse. Civil and civic have the same etymology, both coming from the Latin word “civis.” Elected officials are human beings. Their political office is a part-time or temporary job and particularly at the local and state level, it’s a job with limited resources. Citizens have a job as well. Our role in the process is to educate ourselves with verifiable information, to inform, to lobby, and to be present at influential, decision-making points in the process. Many of us came of age at a heightened time of citizen activism— the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Era, and Women’s Movement. The marches, sitins, and walkouts of the 1960s and ’70s were multi-generational and many of us find ourselves protesting today in new multi-generational efforts. There was a lot of gray hair under the pink knitted hats of the Women’s Marches. Photos of the


3rd Act magazine | summer 2018


No matter what your political persuasion, the candidates who run for office and those who win should hear from you before they cast a vote that decides your future. recent statewide teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado showed veteran educators and grandparents holding picket signs. And MeToo is not just a hashtag for Hollywood’s young generation of stars. Twenty-first century activism has more tools at its disposal then we had in our twenties. We can encourage friends to join us on Facebook. Post photos of the rally on Instagram. Conduct a planning session on Skype or any number of video-conferencing tools.

Our generation has a unique contribution to the political process— the long view. It’s time for us to serve as civic role models. We bring to today’s politics a wisdom burnished by decades of marriage, partnership, and family dynamics; of running a home; and of navigating health care, education systems, and workplace politics. We understand compromise. We realize change takes time. We grew up when being civil wasn’t just an expectation, it was the norm.

So we shouldn’t just vote. We should sit with family and friends to discuss what’s on the ballot and cast our votes and mail the ballots together. (Why not make an event out of it?) We should encourage the 16- and 17-year-olds in our circle to take advantage of the new voter preregistration law. We should attend school board meetings and legislative town halls, speaking out with conviction but also as wellinformed, civil citizens. And some of us should take the ultimate step of civic engagement and run for office. Because that is what democracy looks like. It looks like us. Ann Randall is an independent traveler and writer who loves venturing to out-of-the-way locales from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. A former educator, she now observes international elections and does volunteer work in India. Her articles have appeared in online and print publications and she maintains a blog, PeregrineWoman.com.

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Seattle Joins Movement to Elevate and Celebrate Life Experience BY TERRY TAZIOLI


ally Bagshaw hops on her preferred around-town vehicle— her e-bike—and deftly negotiates the traffic and construction-limited streets that have become Seattle’s trademark. She is on her way to the local kickoff of Older Americans Month, an acknowledgement launched by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 to honor the country’s older citizens. Actually, the moniker Kennedy used then was Senior Citizens Month. The word “senior” later fell out of favor and was replaced by “older.” Bagshaw, 67, and in her third term on the Seattle City Council, doesn’t like “older” either. Maybe “more-experienced,” she muses as she glances up at the offending word blazing in blue on a screen at the front of the room where she is speaking. Her “more-experienced” audience nods and laughs. Bagshaw has cycled from her home in downtown Seattle to Mirabella. The upscale retirement community, host to May’s Older Americans Month launch, is practically in the heart of what some might consider its antithesis—the living, breathing, youthful tech-world behemoth of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

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A perfect contrast that suits the city as a whole, you might say. The young and the… let’s say the words together: “more experienced.” The vibrant and the active; the retired and the inactive? If you’re inclined to dwell in these stereotypes, you’d be steamrolled by the energy and determined involvement of a growing army of those “more experienced” who are still working (or going back to work), who are setting records by their participation in a variety of programs offered by the city of Seattle for the 50-and-over set—from computer training to East African cuisine—and who are volunteering. Bagshaw has a perfect example: 91-year-old John Pehrson, whose civic involvement is legendary. His latest project? A proposed walkway from South Lake Union to the waterfront. Does he have clout? Do people listen? “When he comes to the city council, we recognize him as such a scholar,” Bagshaw says, “as someone who does his homework.” “He doesn’t come in and say, ‘Be nice to me because I’m a senior.’ He does it because he’s friggin’ smart and engaged!” says Bagshaw. You’d be hard-pressed to find two people more enthusiastic over what’s happening in Seattle than Cathy Knight, director of Aging and Disability Services (a division of the Seattle Human Services Department), and Irene Stewart, who is project manager for Age-Friendly Seattle. Although city programs aimed at older adults have been in place for years, Seattle City Council signed on to the AgeFriendly commitment in 2017, linking the city to the World Health Organization and to the AARP www.3rdActMag.com

Network of Age-Friendly Communities. Knight Issues for Seattle’s aging population are on and Stewart have wasted no time in getting its Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s plate, too. (Durkan message across. Age-Friendly Seattle’s website (see turned 60 during this year’s seattle.gov/agefriendly) is packed with information. Older American’s Month.) She Dancing? There. Tax relief? There. How to organize lists several city endeavors, your own political interest group? There. among them a $100 million “People think of Seattle from the outside as affordable-housing investment Amazon and all of these millennials,” says Knight, that includes low-income “and forget that this is a vibrant city with people (CONTINUED ON PAGE 42) of all ages. Part of staying here for some people is to continue working, it’s the way they can stay in the city. We need to capitalize on people’s interests in giving back, to extend Photo by Lorraine Sanford those interests in a meaningful way.” It’s a message she’d like to spread across the city, from business boardrooms to government bodies. However, there remain some powerful roadblocks. “Ageism and ableism are two things we need to meet head on,” says Stewart. “A lot of people don’t want to address senior issues. They don’t want to face their own mortality. But we’re Photo: Brian Chu Photography Photo: Brian Chu Photography all going to grow old.” And ability? “Ableism is even more complex. “Look at us,” Stewart says, pointing to the threesome sitting in Knight’s office. “Two of the three of us are wearing glasses.” (The third was wearing contacts.) “Where does disability start?”

Clockwise from the top: Cathy Knight with Age Friendly Seattle program manager Brent Butler; Suggestions from attendee to Engage at Every Age; Irene Stewart with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan; Councilmember Bagshaw.

Photo courtesy of West Seattle Blog

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To obtain your FREE Copy of The awardwinning Where We Live go to AARP.org and type “Where We Live” into their search field.

seniors; a pilot program offering “last-mile” transit (getting from the last bus stop to home, for example); and a citywide focus on improvements to transportation, housing, outdoors

spaces, community support, health services, and access to information. “In every policy and piece of legislation, I consider the impact on seniors in our city,” Durkan says. “Seattle is my home. I was born here, just like my mom, and I am committed to ensuring that longtime residents of Seattle are able to stay in the city they love.” So, as part of the decision-making process, how do you get more people like activist John Pehrson involved? There’s a recruiting program in Seattle called “Get Engaged” for young people ages 18 to 29 to serve yearlong terms on various boards and commissions. “Why not the same thing for our more experienced residents?” Bagshaw asks. “People really underestimate the influence they can have,” adds Knight. “I sometimes feel that if we could get ourselves organized around some issue and be very vocal, we could make a difference.” Terry Tazioli works part time at University Book Store in Seattle. He left The Seattle Times in 2008 and since then has been serving in various volunteer positions, hosted a national PBS book show called WellREAD, and now cohosts an online and on-air book club produced by the bookstore and KOMOTV’s Seattle Refined afternoon program.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2018


The Power of One BY JUDITH ADAMS

The power of one to turn a battleship around, save a difficult day. And change a mood when it has set in like the weather. Or march to the pentagon for the sake of a sister. I could list hundreds who have made a difference; you already know them. But what of the unknowns with a small bit of power, say, a receptionist who makes you feel better already, her smile gladdens. And those who don’t, who inflate on vulnerability; the civil servant who would have you shot at dawn and cold-hearted priests who refuse the ordinary cry, too busy boring God to tears. How we set off in the morning is a catastrophe or miracle.

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BODY OF WORK Actor Amy Thone Explores Politics and Gender in Her Roles BY ANN HEDREEN PHOTOS BY JOHN ULMAN


She’s played Juliet, Cleopatra, and Lady Macbeth. She’s also played Shylock, Prospero, King John, and Richard Nixon. In the 11 years since she was awarded a Stranger Magazine Genius Award, Seattle actor Amy Thone’s already remarkable career has taken an intriguing turn. “As a woman, as a regional, stage-based actor—and I know it’s true in Los Angeles as well, especially for people doing film and television— you hit about 42 and you’re basically done,” Thone explains over coffee. It is hard to imagine Thone ever accepting that she is “basically done” and needs to go sit on the retired actor bench. “At one point,” she goes on, “between like 38 or 39 for me, I don’t look like anybody’s grandma, but nobody wants to have sex with me now, so I’m in this no-man’s land. And you fall to the wayside.”

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But she didn’t fall to the wayside. Instead, Thone, now 54, started playing men. Maybe she was able to pull it off because she is tall, wiry, has a big stage presence and a rich, deep voice. She says she feels “lucky and grateful” because “otherwise, I wouldn’t be working. I mean, I would work half as much. Maybe.” “I have found tremendous freedom,” she continues. “It gives you a different kind of power. Men’s roles are written differently than women’s are. They’re more powerful as they age, and I think women are considered less powerful. Men have this sort of aging lion metaphor that rumbles around in their heart, and they can produce offspring until they’re 80, however grotesque it may be. So it’s been sort of fun to put on the pants, metaphorically and theatrically.” Seeing Thone play Nixon in Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s recent all-female production of Frost/Nixon was an eerie and immersive experience—both metaphorically and theatrically—like a dream where everything is off-kilter but you can’t figure out why, and you vow you won’t wake up until you do. www.3rdActMag.com

It’s the mid-1970s. Again. Nixon has resigned. No one is quite sure what to be obsessed about, now that the Watergate hearings are over. British TV personality David Frost thinks we might not be done talking about Nixon; he sees and seizes an opportunity, and proposes to the ex-president that they sit down for a series of lengthy TV conversations. Nixon sees the Frost interviews as an opportunity to redefine his reputation. He says yes. If we’d seen Frost/Nixon put on by “a bunch of white men,” says Thone, we “would have thought, yeah, whatever. But when you see it through the different lens of gender—I think we’re starting to be interested in those different lenses and how we can revisit works and reexamine history.” The play, by Peter Morgan, was first performed in London in 2006. Through the lens of either the #MeToo movement or the 2016 presidential election, 2006 now seems a long time ago. In 2018, an all-female production of a play about how the lust for power brought down a presidency resonates in a way it might not have then. And Thone brought something to the role that Aging with Confidence

few other actors could have. Just two weeks before Nixon resigned, Thone’s father, a Republican congressman (and later governor) from Nebraska and a Nixon protégé, was invited to bring his family to a reception at the White House. Thone was 10 years old when she shook President Nixon’s hand. She said her father thought Nixon’s downfall “was a tragedy and a frame-up, and still to his dying breath—and he wasn’t talking a lot during his dying breath, so that’s just a figure of speech—he always believed that Nixon got a teeny bit of a raw deal.” But as Thone prepared to play Nixon onstage, her own research confirmed her belief that “Nixon got the opposite of a raw deal. I mean Nixon was a corrupt, addicted, bullying, deceitful—” She pauses for an instant. “I think he opened the barn door to Donald Trump, actually.” The challenge of playing against gender— especially an outsized personality like Nixon—is to find a way not to mimic or caricaturize but to “embody” a character. To play him not as a monster, but as a tragically flawed human being.

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Thone recalls learning this lesson when she played Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl years ago. Riefenstahl “never ever took any responsibility for what she did. Never ever even signaled any awareness of complicity for the Third Reich. And I said, I can’t play this person, she’s a monster,” Thone says. “And my director said: There are no monsters. And so playing Dick Nixon, there are no monsters. Dick Nixon was, they’re fairly certain, fairly intensely physically beaten by his father, and two of his brothers died of tuberculosis, so there was lots of intensity and tragedy in that home, and so Dick Nixon came out distorted. My dad was very much cut from the same cloth. I think he perceived Dick Nixon as his mentor, so there was a lot of hero worship of Nixon in my family growing up. So it was fairly easy for me to not demonize him. He was a wounded, pugnacious, defensive, corrupt man.” And that is the Richard Nixon that Thone thoroughly embodied. Thone is married to former actor Hans Altwies, who retired from the stage about five years ago and now works full time as a contractor and carpenter, which he used to juggle with acting. Thone says she thrives on wearing many hats: She teaches at the University of Washington

and Cornish College, she is the casting director at Seattle Shakespeare Company, and she has been a massage therapist for 25 years. She and Altwies have two daughters, ages 18 and 12. Their older daughter wants to become an environmental lawyer. The younger one? “An architect, a race car driver, or an actor.” Thone took a long break from political involvement after her childhood in Washington, DC, and her teen years in the Nebraska governor’s mansion, when she was “very active, in response to my father’s perceived nefarious right-wing activities.” But these days, Thone and Altwies “go on the marches, we sign petitions, and we give as much as we can.” She’s even thought about running for office locally. But she’s not ready to give up teaching. Or acting. There are just too many good roles out there. “In fact,” says Thone, on the opening night of Merchant of Venice—in which she played Shylock—“Mike Winters, who’s my favorite actor in town, came up and said, ‘So what’s next, kid? King Lear?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, why not?’” Ann Hedreen is a writer, filmmaker, and the author of Her Beautiful Brain, winner of a 2016 Next Generation Indie book award. Ann and her husband, Rustin Thompson, own White Noise Productions and have made more than 150 short films and five feature documentaries together, including Quick Brown Fox: an Alzheimer’s Story. Their newest film, set in Peru and inspired by Ann’s great-uncle, is Zona Intangible.


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3rd Act magazine | summer 2018




Erik Hagerman has been living under a self-imposed news blackout since shortly after the 2016 presidential election. His stance—and his simple life near Athens, Ohio—drew the attention of The New York Times, which ran a profile of him under the headline “The Man Who Knew Too Little” and this subhead: “The most ignorant man in America knows that Donald Trump is president—but that’s about it. Living a liberal fantasy is complicated.” Nearly a thousand comments poured in, many deriding Hagerman and noting that only a wealthy white guy— Hagerman used to be a digital commerce executive for Nike—has the latitude to practice such willful apathy. I first saw the article when a friend posted it on Facebook, noting its dateline. (We both went to college at Ohio University.) One of her friends commented, “It’s a weird kind of privilege to be able to simply opt out of paying attention or participating.” I replied, “Oh, he’s definitely paying attention.” Hagerman’s news boycott (he calls it The Blockade) was the story’s obvious hook, but to me, the most interesting part was how two years before he gave up the news, Hagerman had decided to Thoreau-ly simplify his life. He

Aging with Confidence

bought some land and makes art. He travels into town every day to visit his favorite coffee shop. He still follows the Cleveland Cavaliers and reads art reviews in The New Yorker. Photos accompanying the story show a man who drives a practical car and has clean, simple furniture. With more time on his hands once he began his Blockade, Hagerman decided last summer to buy 45 acres of stripmined land that nature has reclaimed. “Mr. Hagerman sees this land as his life’s work,” Sam Dolnick wrote in the Times article. “He plans to restore it, A ONETIME protect it, live on it and then preserve POLITICAL it for the public.” Hagerman envisions a giant barn that’ll feel like a cathedral, JUNKIE plus loads of art installations. “He FINDS wouldn’t exactly put it this way, but BALANCE he talks about the land in part as penance for the moral cost of his BY JULIE FANSELOW Blockade,” Dolnick added. “He has come to believe that being a news consumer doesn’t enhance society. He also believes that restoring a former coal mine and giving it to the future does.” I understand Hagerman’s desire to run away. Although I’ve spent most of my career in journalism, I made an extended detour into politics starting with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when I became one of the nation’s first political bloggers, a pursuit that led to a string of paid campaign work. After

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I’d left a particularly toxic job, my minister told me to call her if I ever again was tempted to take another political post. My soul was at risk, she said. I understood what she meant. Alas, not long af ter that, I became communications director of the Idaho teachers’ union. I thought: How political could that be? My predecessor had been on the job for decades,

intake and be as intentional as I can be in sating my curiosity so I can be an informed voter and engaged citizen. Here’s my usual routine: I get up early each morning to read and write (mostly offline) and watch the sun come up. I listen to a few minutes of NPR and KUOW while I make breakfast. I read some of the print edition of the Seattle Times over lunch and look at The New York Times’ website in the evening. Like many people, I f ind that social media can be my Achilles’ heel, so I try to stay especially vigilant over how I use it. I’m not immune to the occasional diversionary scroll through Facebook or Twitter, but I try to recognize when my likes and shares have become mindless, and that’s my cue to log off. I almost never watch TV news. Even with the probable Russian use of social media to manipulate our last election, I believe the cable networks a n d c austic enter t ain erpundits on both wings of the political spectrum bear large A FEW TIMES A YEAR, I TRY TO UNPLUG FROM responsibility for our divided, dysfunctional culture. THE NEWS AS COMPLETELY AS I CAN. I DID SO THIS I know that sometimes it’s SPRING WHILE VOLUNTEERING IN A REMOTE PART useful to shake up my routine OF SCOTLAND. even more, so a few times a year, I try to unplug from the but not long after I started, the state schools news as completely as I can. I did so this spring superintendent launched a campaign of punitive while volunteering in a remote part of Scotland school reform efforts that made national where what little power we had—all wind news. I spent two fulfilling yet exhausting and solar—was used to heat water and cook years defending hard-working educators who food, not charge electronics. Using a rare wiwere suddenly being demonized by a politician fi connection to check in with my sweetheart who wanted to privatize and monetize Idaho’s before my phone’s battery wore down, I still schools. After a stint with a nonprofit organizing managed to hear about James Paxton’s nofaith communities to combat climate change— hitter for the Seattle Mariners. But otherwise, I there’s no politics in that!—I had finally learned was able to live without knowing any news at all my lesson. for more than a week. These days, I like to write about travel, the The upshot of this media rationing is that I arts, creative aging—pretty much anything but am a far happier person than I was when I was politics. I identify with Erik Hagerman’s desire immersed in politics. I look forward to updates on for simplicity, but a news blackout won’t work Erik Hagerman’s Midwestern version of Walden for me. Instead, I’ve learned to ration my media Pond; I may even want to visit it someday. Yet as


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wrenching as it can be to see the hard news we get every day, I don’t want to miss the signs of hope, like teens rising up against gun violence and advances against poverty, war, and disease. This balanced approach extends to my activism. I’m no longer organizing or agitating or marching on a regular basis, but I still vote. When I had the chance to sign a petition to seek a vote on universal health care in Washington, I did so gladly and thanked the nurse who was gathering signatures. When the state legislature tried to close public records, I joined the legions of people urging the governor’s veto. I’m glad I no longer marinate in the news and the woes of the world the way I once did. I won’t go off the grid; I’ve simply decided to resist information saturation and emotional overload, knowing the great world will spin on without my engagement in every issue. Julie Fanselow is a writer living near Seattle and the author of Surely Joy: Reflections from a Simple, Beautiful Life, available at Third Place Books. Read more from her at surelyjoy.blogspot.com.



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Peak Experiences Around the World

A new partner and many friends made along the way bring joy to the journey BY SHARMAN HALEY

I LOVE RETIREMENT! After 30 years hunkered down with single parenting, professional work, and home ownership, I was ready to stand up and shout “Liberté!” and set out to explore this brave new world. I soon found a companion: The online personals showed me a lithe, gray-haired man on a rocky, alpine ridge high in the North Cascades. My one-line overture—“That looks like my kind of place”—kindled a partnership unimaginable in midlife. The freedom, perspective, and grace of maturity opens new windows! I am now geographically unstable, wandering between Alaska, Seattle, and the world at large. My Seattle home is an unfinished house-barge that Mike-the-artist is creating. After four years we still have no bathroom or stove, but it’s not that different from my early years in a summer cabin. The dancing figures on the windowsill, made out of the leads from wine bottles, are joyful companions. I devote my precious time to grandkids, civic action, writing, travel, and climbing. And I get eight hours of sleep on a regular basis! We love the mountains. I am mindful that my aging body is no match for my youthful ambitions, but I have great role models in my older climbing buddies. Tom Choate (who calls himself “the mountain goat”) set the record as the oldest person to summit Denali despite his hip, knee, and foot problems. He knows how to manage his disabilities with pacing, medication, and the support of younger climbers who find him inspirational. Kay McCarthy no longer


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climbs, but she still launches multiweek paddling trips in the wilds of Alaska with her muchyounger husband. Paul Emerson suffered severe osteoporosis and was hunched over, but he still knew how to use his hiking staff, weight, and balance to safely ford a mountain stream. I have shed my heavy, 30-year-old gear for an ultralight backpack. I protect my knees with trekking poles. Although I have metatarsalgia, slight osteoarthritis, and tendonitis in my feet, I manage these with good boots, custom orthotics, prophylactic foot exercises, and vitamin I (ibuprofen). With this regimen—plus attention to how I walk and the pacing and perseverance I’ve learned over a lifetime—I have climbed the highest summit in every country in Central America. We are now planning a 502-mile hike along the crest of the Pyrenees. When I can’t hike anymore, I will take up biking. When I can’t bike anymore, I will ride the mules to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. When I can’t ride the mules anymore, I will roll my wheelchair through the arboretum. www.3rdActMag.com

People were among the joys of our climbing trip in Central America. The mountains are generally off the tourist circuit, and everyone we met on our road trip—from officials to gas attendants to local people—was honest, friendly, and willing to go well out of their way to be helpful. For example, while heading for the summit of Cerro El Pital, the highest point in El Salvador, we were halfway up the steepest, curviest, narrowest mountain road we’d ever seen when the engine of our VW Eurovan started making a horrible racket. We pulled over. Mike had been staring at the engine for about 20 minutes when an extended-cab Ford full of Salvadorans on a family outing pulled up. Despite little shared language, the muscular guy leading the family expedition went right to work, diagnosed the problem, improvised a temporary Aging with Confidence

solution, and got us on our way back down. Later, at a used auto parts store in northern Honduras, we tried to explain in Spanish what we were looking for when the lean guy in line behind us said—in perfect American English—“May I help you?” For more than two hours, in the middle of his workday, Rafael translated for us and helped find a creative work-around for our problem—then he invited us to spend the night at his house with his two kids. Similarly, we didn’t have the requisite fourwheel drive for the access road to Cerro Mogotón, the highest summit in Nicaragua, but decided to just go and see how far we might get. We ended up parking on the side of the dirt road and getting a ride with the Jimenez brothers on their way to their finca. After our hike, they gave us a tour of their coffee operations and dropped us back at our van. We returned home from our 15,000-mile road trip with vivid memories, nourished spirits, and a new sense of kinship with people throughout the Americas. We may not ever manage such an ambitious trip again, but the memories and satisfaction from what we accomplished— physically, logistically, and emotionally—will abide with us the rest of our lives.

Clockwise from top left: Sharman and Mike in Alaska; On top of Volcán Barú, Panama; Housekeeping on the road; Culling fresh coffee beans, Las Brisas finca, at the trailhead to Cerro Mogotón, Nicaragua

Sharman Haley retired from a 30-year career in research, teaching, and public policy. She now devotes her time to civic activism, writing, and adventure travel. Read more of her writing at rauxaseny.blogspot.com.

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The hippie squatters’ community of Christiania in Copenhagen is as far from Old World Europe as you can get. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)



Visiting Hebron — home to the Tomb of Abraham, so revered by both Jews and Muslims — got Rick out of his comfort zone. (photo: Rick Steves)


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The great value of travel is the opportunity it offers you to pry open your hometown blinders and broaden your perspective. And when we implement that world view as citizens of our great nation, we make travel a political act. Here are my top 10 tips for doing just that:


Get out of your comfort zone: Choose Managua over Mazatlán or Turkey over Greece. When visiting Israel, explore the West Bank. You can enjoy far richer experiences for far less money by venturing away from the mainstream.


Connect with people, and try to understand them: Make itinerary decisions that put you in touch with locals. Stay in people’s homes (check out Airbnb or Couchsurfing) and spend time with your hosts. Visit a university, eat in the cafeteria, and make a new friend. Seek answers for cultural riddles: Why do some Hindus feed their cows better than their children? Why do many Muslim women wear scarves? Why do Norwegians so willingly pay high taxes?


Be a cultural chameleon: Embrace cultural differences with joy rather than with judgment. Eat with your fingers in a Sri Lankan restaurant that has no silverware, dip your fries in mayonnaise in Belgium, smoke a hookah in Greece, kiss a stranger on both cheeks in France, or attend a hurling match in Ireland. Rather than gawking at pilgrims, become one. Climb Rome’s Scala Santa (Holy Stairs) on your knees, feeling the pain while finding comfort in the frescoes of saints all around you.


Understand contemporary context: While traveling, read the local news. Scan The Times of India in Mumbai. Go to a political rally in Scotland. Listen to expat radio on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Think about how all societies are on parallel evolutionary tracks. Imagine how the American approach to vexing societal problems might work in other places—and (more importantly) vice versa.


Empathize with the other 96 percent of humanity: Just like Americans have the American Dream, others have their own dreams. Put yourself in the shoes (or sandals, or bare feet) of the people you meet. Find out why Basque people are so passionate about their language. Drink with Catholics in a Northern Ireland pub, discussing the notion of the tyranny of the majority. As you travel, learn to celebrate the local Nathan Hales and Ethan Allens, such as Turkey’s Atatürk or El Salvador’s Oscar Romero. Aging with Confidence


Identify—and undermine—our own ethnocentricity: The US has been preoccupied with terrorism for the last generation. But other nations have their own, sometimes heavier baggage. Ponder societal needs even more fundamental than freedom and democracy. Why is Putin so popular in Russia? Why would a modern, well-educated Egyptian be willing to take a bullet for the newest military dictator (as my friend in Cairo just told me)? Why, in some struggling countries, does stability trump democracy?


Accept the legitimacy of other moralities: Be open to the possibility that controversial activities are not objectively “right” or “wrong.” Consider Germany’s approach to prostitution or the Netherlands’ marijuana policy, both of which are based on pragmatic harm reduction rather than moralism. Get a French farmer’s take on force-feeding his geese to produce foie gras. Ask a Spaniard why bullfighting still thrives—and why it’s covered not in the sports pages, but in the arts section of the local newspaper. You don’t have to like their answer, but at least try to understand it.


Sightsee with an edge: Seek out political street art, and find out what it means. Read local culture magazines and attend arts and political events. Take alternative tours to learn about heroin maintenance clinics in Switzerland and maquiladora labor in Tijuana. Tour the alternative-living commune of Christiania in Copenhagen. Walk with a local guide through a slum in a developing country. Meeting desperately poor villagers living with a spirit of abundance, ponder how so many rich people live with a mindset of scarcity.


Make your trip an investment in a better world: Our world has a lot of desperation, and travelers are the lucky few who can afford to experience what’s outside their hometowns. Travel with a goal of good stewardship and a responsibility to be an ambassador to, and for, the entire planet. Think of yourself as a modern-day equivalent of the medieval jester: sent out by the king to learn what’s going on outside the walls, then coming home to speak truth to power (even if annoying).


Make a broader perspective your favorite souvenir: Back home, be evangelical about your newly expanded global viewpoint. Travel shapes who you are. Weave favorite strands of other cultures into the tapestry of your own life. Live your life as if it shapes the world and the future—because it does. Believe that you matter. Then make a difference. Rick Steves writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio. Email him at rick@ricksteves.com and follow his blog on Facebook.

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A Few Favorite Foods for Easy

Summer Meals


In the beginning, there was food! Before Rebecca Crichton worked for Boeing, taught leadership development, or became executive director of the Northwest Center for Creative Aging, she was a caterer, recipe developer, and food journalist. She has taught cooking to seniors and others, and she can reel off food ideas and recipes for any part of a meal or event. She believes in easily prepared, healthy, and taste-filled food that delights and satisfies.


“There’s nothing to eat in the house,” laments a good friend who struggles to keep her home stocked with appetizing food for everyday eating. No longer cooking and buying for a family, she wants simple ingredients for meals that are fast, delicious, and nutritious. Stocking our pantries and refrigerators with good food that is readily available and doesn’t take a lot of preparation is easy—once you know how to make simple ingredients come together deliciously. For health and flavor, fresh foods should be your first choice, but keep these canned and frozen foods on hand to add ease and value to meal preparation (and complement summer’s bounty): • Canned beans—Beans are nutritious and turn into delicious appetizers, salads, and main dishes within minutes. Keep a stash

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of garbanzos, navy, black beans, or other favorites on your shelf. Vacuum-packed cooked lentils (available at Trader Joe’s in their refrigerated section) are super healthy and easy to use. Try my Lentil and Walnut Salad and you’ll be hooked. • Canned fish—Tuna, salmon, sardines, smoked trout, and herring are all high in Omega 3 oils and become wonderful sandwich fillings, salad toppings, or additions to main dishes. Try my Tuna, Marinated Artichoke, and Garbanzo Salad for a fast and tasty maindish salad. • Frozen wild-caught Patagonian shrimp— Available at many markets, these large shrimp are easy to peel, defrost in minutes, cook quickly, and make great appetizers and main dishes. My Shrimp in Citrus-Garlic Marinade is so easy you don’t even have to peel the orange. • Two herbs to love—Summer means you can find abundant herbs at your local grocery store or farmers market or even grow them yourself. – Tarragon is classically used with eggs, fish, and chicken, and it goes well with citrus. I use it to add brightness and flavor to my lentil salad recipe. – Cilantro (also known as fresh coriander)— a popular herb found in Latin, Indian, and Asian food—is one that people either love or hate. If you’re a cilantro lover, check out my crowd-pleasing Cilantro Salsa recipe and its multiple uses online at 3rdActMagazine.com.


Shrimp in CitrusGarlic Marinade Ingredients:

1 ½ lb. Wild-caught Patagonian shrimp—defrosted and peeled



1 small jar marinated artichokes (with marinade)

5 cloves garlic—use pre-peeled garlic if available

Lentil and Walnut Salad Ingredients:

1 package vacuum packed lentils from Trader Joe’s ½ C toasted walnuts 2-3 T fresh tarragon, chopped fine 3 T chopped sundried tomatoes (the moist ones in a package – not with oil) 1 red onion—chopped and “tamed.” Put chopped onion in microwave proof glass bowl, add 3T red wine vinegar, and microwave for 2 minutes. Onions get sweet and the remaining vinegar can be used in the dressing.

1 whole clementine or other small seedless orange Juice of 1-2 lemons 3 T. fresh mint, tarragon, dill, or other favorite herb (or mix them) 2 T good olive oil Directions:

1. Using a processor or blender, coarsely chop the marinade ingredients together. Don’t peel the small orange. 2. Put the peeled shrimp into a bowl with the marinade for at least a half-hour, or as long as several hours. 3. Pre-heat broiler and move the top oven rack to the second rung.

Salt & Pepper Directions:

5. Pour marinade over shrimp.

1. Break up lentils with hands or wooden spoons. Try not to mush them up too much.

6. Broil on one side for 3 minutes, turn over and broil for another 2 minutes until shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Don’t overcook.

1/3 C olive oil or to taste

2. Add other ingredients and mix well. The mixture should be nicely moist, but not too wet. 3. Taste for balance—you want a distinct flavor of tarragon and tartness but not overwhelming. Serves 4-6 as side salad.

Aging with Confidence

1 can good-quality tuna

1 can garbanzos 1 bunch green onions Optional: Sundried tomatoes (Trader Joe’s without oil) Chopped green olives or pitted kalamata Chopped canned pimentos or other marinated red pepper

4. When ready to use, spread shrimp in single layer on baking sheet. If you use grill-strength aluminum foil, the clean-up is easy.

Juice of 1 lemon

Tuna, Marinated Artichoke, and Garbanzo Salad

Vinaigrette of your choice. I use a mixture of Dijon mustard, balsamic and lemon juice, some herbs and oil. Fresh basil and/or dill are always good. Directions:

1. Drain tuna and garbanzos. Chop onions and olives, 2 Mix all ingredients and let chill. Taste for balanced flavors. Serves 4-6 as side salad or 2-4 as main-dish salad. (For a crowd of 10 or more, head to Costco or another outlet store and buy a large jar of marinated artichoke hearts, large jar of pitted olives, and several cans of garbanzos. Follow directions, increasing ingredients for vinaigrette.)

7. Serve with bread to sop up the juices, or on top of pasta or quinoa or other preferred starch. Serves 4 as appetizer, 3 as main dish.

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How to Build a

New Ways to Find Connection Wherever You Are by Sally Fox


hat does it take to build a thriving community? It can begin with simply sharing stories and inviting people to listen, connect across differences, uncover commonalities, and learn from each other. Over the past 10 months, I participated in three story-filled events sponsored by the Thriving Communities Initiative out of Whidbey Island. As a group of participants from diverse races, backgrounds, and ages, we explored what it takes to build healthy, sustainable communities. Story Bridge, a team that facilitates social transformation through story, led the first day of each event. After leading warmup exercises, Story Bridge facilitators gave us our assignment: to share our individual stories and create “a play in a day.” We were each to tell a personal story, and then, in groups, select eight to develop and perform before a live audience at 7 that evening. Working against the clock, we bonded as a group. Differences in experience and background were no barrier to connection. Strangers quickly became friends. I listened as former gang members, tribal leaders, grandmothers, and activists etched their stories into my heart. I discovered that once I’ve deeply witnessed someone’s story, I’ll always carry it in me.


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Thriving Communities includes movement, story, and song at its events to encourage safety and openness among participants. As we danced, shared stories, and sang, we readied ourselves to tackle tough topics such as the disastrous impact of gentrification on Seattle’s historically black neighborhoods. As difficult as that subject was, I felt hope as we all joined in a rousing rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing, often called the Black National Anthem. Thriving Communities was created in 2011 on Whidbey Island to explore what can happen with “common people doing uncommon work for the common good.” Jerry Millhon, 77, a member of the founding team, wanted the world to know about the innovative practices he observed on Whidbey Island, where people regularly stepped up to address challenges that concerned them, such as poverty and food inequity. Thriving Communities began creating videos to spotlight common people doing innovative projects, then convened gatherings, like the ones I attended, to explore what helps a community to thrive. Thriving communities provide safety and connection. We know that if something happens to us, we won’t be alone. We find opportunities for social engagement, a key element in preventing memory loss. We discover ways to give to others, which then contributes to our own sense of worth. Millhon believes you build a thriving community by starting where you are. In times past, when people stayed in one place most of their lives or lived close to kin, it wasn’t hard to find a community of place. Today we may need to take initiative to find a community. If you want a more thriving community in your life, try these ideas: Connect to where you are. Instead of lamenting that there’s nothing happening in your community, learn


more about it. Take a class. Join a discussion. Explore the needs, strengths, and opportunities where you live. You’ll meet interested others. Walk around. In some parts of the world, people see each other regularly while strolling the piazza or town plaza. In our car-dependent towns, many people no longer stroll. Walking is still a great way to meet new people, learn what’s happening, and develop a stronger sense of place. Share stories. In the groups you belong to, encourage people to share stories. It will help you learn about group members, find commonalities, and build empathy. Sing! Move! Dance! New relationships are born and strangers quickly become friends after sharing in an artistic activity. Contribute. Whatever your interests (or limitations), there’s a way you can enrich your life by contributing.

Aging with Confidence

Millhon suggests asking three questions as you consider how to give: Where am I called? What do I love? What do I have to offer? If you love creating scrapbooks, start a group to do that; if you’re concerned with income inequality, join with others to take action. When what you do is done in love, even small actions can contribute to the greater good. When asked why community is so important, Millhon has a hint of tears in his voice as he says, “Miracles happen as people come together” and describes women who changed Whidbey Island by sharing their concern about homeless youth and taking action. Being part of a community, Millhon believes, helps us feel safe and connected to where we live. It also feeds our spirit. Sally Fox, owner of Engaging Presence, is a coach and writer who helps individuals develop and craft compelling stories. She writes about following your creative calling after midlife. Find her blog at engagingpresence.com and listen to her podcasts at 3rdActMagazine.com.

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turns outrage to action The rebellion began with a moment of small outrage. Bob and his wife were having dinner at their retirement community as a snowstorm headed toward Seattle. Bob worried about how staff were going to make it home, and he expressed his concern to the young gentleman serving BY NANCY him dinner. His server replied that he didn’t WEINBECK drive, but he would sleep over if necessary. Bob said he’d be happy to drive the server home while the roads were still clear, but the young man indicated, “No, you can’t do that, I’m here to care for you.” Bob felt helpless, diminished, and “doomed to be on the receiving end,” rather than be recognized as someone who can help others. These unintended indignities, often accompanied by a patronizing pat on the shoulder, are one of many ways older adults feel devalued. Too often, we take away people’s power, agency, and value as contributing members of society. After hearing our resident’s story, our team at Bayview realized that if we do nothing to combat ageism, there will be no change. What actions could we take to change the way people think about aging and to fight the harmful effects of negative age stereotypes? Together, staff and residents created an anti-ageism task force that we call AgeUp, capturing the spirit of activism, ownership, and pride in our own aging—with an added spark of revolutionary energy. AgeUp has a big vision: to create a world where the possibilities of aging are not limited by perceptions or expectations of the general public or among older adults themselves—a world where ageism does not exist, where older adults and “wise eldering” are valued and balanced equally with the contributions of other age groups. In essence, we seek to transform the possibility and perception of aging.

Our thoughts and feelings around aging are influenced by the images of aging we see. Of the few images of older adults in media, most reinforce negative stereotypes of aging. To get positive images in front of the public, our AgeUp task force investigated wrapping Seattle city buses with photographs of vibrant Bayview residents. We quickly realized we would need to start a little smaller and wrap our own Bayview bus first, so a photo of one of our beautiful residents now graces our 12-passenger van. A start! As AgeUp launched our initiative to shift mindsets on aging, we realized we needed a partner to track and measure the impacts we hope to make. Dr. Michael Roe, a developmental psychologist at Seattle Pacific University, was intrigued with our campaign and wanted to develop an older adult research study for SPU’s developmental psychology program. He put together a team of student researchers and we were off and running.

AgeUp has a big vision: to create a world

where the possibilities of aging are not limited by perceptions or expectations of the general public or among older adults themselves


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The pilot study investigates “Attitudes, Well-Being, and Life Satisfaction Among Independently Living Older Adults.” It seeks to advance our understanding of the impacts of negative age-related stereotypes on quality of life for older adults; ways to counter such stereotypes; the impact of positive age-related perceptions and attitudes on quality of life for older adults; and proactive “engaged” programming to foster positive psychosocial development in late adulthood.

Join the Revolution You can sign up to receive the AgeUp online newsletter at AgeUp.org Here are some recommended AgeUp Book Club reads: • The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister • The Creative Age by Dr. Gene Cohen • The End of Old Age by Dr. Marc Agronin

Findings from this research will give us new insights and tools to improve the lives of all older adults. The AgeUp newsletter includes research summaries and the latest findings from neuroscience, the benefits of a culture of giving, AgeUp Book Club recommended reads (see sidebar), and what “aging up” is all about. Our AgeUp website is another way we are spreading the message. A call to action asks what “AgeUp” means to our readers, populating it with their insights. See “My AgeUp is” on AgeUp.org to learn more. AgeUp is already shifting mindsets. We recently won the 2018 United Methodist Association Innovation Award. We have more work to do, but we are Aging Up to the task! Nancy Weinbeck has spent over 25 years in the field of aging, with an academic background in anthropology, gerontology, clinical psychology, and nonprofit management. She spent the last 17 years building an awardwinning culture as director of residential operations at Bayview, a nonprofit Life Plan Community in Seattle.

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ze Downsi ht Size to the Rig

FREE downsizing guide! Call (206) 829-4855 to learn more or visit eraliving.com/downsizing


(Puzzles on page 64)

Aging with Confidence

Down to the wire (Other answers possible) 1. Word to the wise 2. Belly up to the bar 3. Cut to the chase 4. Dressed to the nines 5. Race to the finish 6. Filled to the brim

7. “Hail to the Chief” 8. J ourney to the center of the earth 9. Nose to the grindstone 10. Off to the races 11. Preaching to the choir 12. Stuffed to the gills

Finish the quote 1. “... take it.” 2. “... cannot stand.” 3. “... a bad peace.” 4. “... ninety-nine percent perspiration.” 5. “... it is not illegal.” 6. “... and leave a trail.” 7. “... my education.”

8. “ ... by the content of their character.” Capitonyms (Other answers possible) 1. Pearl Bailey 2.Eve Arden 3. Nick Nolte 4.Brad Pitt

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5. Dean Martin 6. Faith Hill 7. Ginger Rogers 8. Grace Kelly 9. Lance Armstrong 10. Ray Romano 11. Robin Williams 12. Gene Wilder

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Get Ready for the Sounds of


So you enjoy hearing live music by top musicians playing jazz, country, soul, folk, blues, and other popular styles? But you’re not big on attending massive stadium concerts? Or cramming yourself into crowded late-night music club engagements? Fortunately, each summer around the Puget Sound there are excellent alternatives: stellar musical acts in the great outdoors, graced with fresh air and (usually) sunshine. These concerts take place throughout our area, and they range in cost from free to fairly pricey for the biggest-name talent. For most, you are invited to bring a blanket and a picnic basket to enjoy an alfresco repast while you’re soaking up the rays and listening to hitmakers and up-and-coming musical artists. Some (though not all)


3rd Act magazine | summer 2018

Summer fun at the Zoo! Clockwise from left: Adam Ant; the zoo stage; Pink Martini.

of these shows are ticketed, and appearances by the most renowned artists tend to sell out, so be sure to reserve in advance whenever possible. In every case, it’s a good idea to arrive early: to park if you’re driving, and to get a choice spot to see and hear well. Here is an assortment of some of the prime outdoor concert series of summer 2018: Zoo Tunes (Seattle) For more than 30 years, the Woodland Park Zoo has hosted family-friendly concerts on its spacious back lawn—no lions, tigers, or bears in sight. The shows benefit the zoo’s operations budget and the programming emphasizes indie-

folk and pop artists. Zoo Tunes is a mostly bring-your-own (low back) seating affair with a few premiere reserved seats available and some seating for the disabled. Food and drinks are available for purchase, but you can tote in your own munchables and (only) non-alcoholic beverages. Kids are welcome, and each ticket-holding adult can bring in a child under 12 for free. (Visiting the animal exhibits requires a separate ticket.) Among the bright spots on this year’s lineup: MTV faves Adam Ant and the Fixx (Aug. 2); soulful folkie Amos Lee; a New Orleans extravaganza with Trombone Shorty, the www.3rdActMag.com

Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/ Woodland Park Zoo

2018–2019 SEASON Inspiring theatre starts here!

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and other Big Easy favorites (Sept. 9); and Portland’s petite pop orchestra Pink Martini (Aug. 22-23); Details: 206-548-2500 or zoo.org/ zootunes Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concerts (Woodinville) Another longtime favorite is this adults-only, Baby Boomer-favorites series, held on the beautiful grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. Patrons arrive early to purchase wine and cheese at the Chateau’s well-stocked on-site store, and stake out a good general-admission spot on the lawn. Some bring elegant spreads of gourmet treats, but you can also buy vittles and drinks from a row of vendors. (Reserved chair seating is Aging with Confidence

also available, though pricier.) This year’s schedule boasts concerts ranging from the stillrockin’ John Fogerty, founding member of Credence Clearwater Revival (July 19; his July 20 show is sold out) to the Wine Country Blues Festival with ace bluesmen Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ (July 29), guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela (Sept. 7), and the twangy singersongwriter Lyle Lovett and his Large Band (Sept. 15). Details: 425-488-1133 or stemichelle.com Centrum Summer Concerts (Port Townsend) Every summer Centrum arts center in the charming Olympic Peninsula burg of Port Townsend sponsors intensive musical workshops, ending with public concerts by the nationally-respected artists who are teaching them. Some of those tuneful affairs are held in the semi-enclosed McCurdy Pavilion on the bucolic grounds of Centrum, a former military base. But others take place in an array of restaurants and cozy music clubs in the walkable center of this Victorian seaside town. For the club crawl, you just buy a wristband that serves as a ticket to any of the shows—and get roaming.

SEPT 13 – NOV 18, 2018

NOV 8, 2018 – FEB 3, 2019

JAN 17 – MAR 24, 2019

MAR 14 – MAY 19, 2019

MAY 9 – JULY 28, 2019

Subscribe and save 20% or more! ISSAQUAH (425) 392-2202 EVERETT (425) 257-8600 VILLAGETHEATRE.ORG

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Jazz Port Townsend concerts take place July 26-28 this summer. The Port Townsend Acoustic Blues and Gospel performances are August 3-4. And the annual Port Townsend Ukulele Festival occurs Sept 13-14. Details: 800-7461982 or centrum.org

featuring mostly local musicians, here are a few of the no-admission pop series to consider:

Marymoor Park Concert Series (Redmond) Over on the Eastside, the sprawling Marymoor Park hosts its own annual outdoor concerts in the evenings. Highlights this year include country music legend Willie Nelson and Family, with Grammy-honored fiddle player and singer Alison Krauss (Aug. 1) and a bill featuring the charmingly upbeat “good vibes” singer-songwriters Jason Mraz and Brett Dennen (Sept. 9). Details: 888-929-7849 or marymoorconcerts.com

Freebies If you are hankering for more casual, free, drop-in-style outdoor concerts 1 3rdAct_SIFF_Ad_1/6pg_PRINT.qxp_Layout

Downtown Summer Sounds This long-running program (formerly called the Out to Lunch series) includes music events of many types (in 2017 there were 47 of them), offered for free at midday and after work in the heart of downtown. For the 2018 line-up, go to downtownseattle.org/events University Village Sounds of Summers Concert Series This series caters to adults and youths alike. It takes place Wednesday evenings, July 11 through Aug. 22, at the University Village shopping center in Laurelhurst. Seating starts at 6, and the music begins at 7. Check out this summer’s schedule at uvillage.com

Kirkland Summer Concerts The City of Kirkland sponsors children’s concerts at Juanita Beach Park 6/7/18 10:18 AM Page 1

“ When Oine hundred yearS old You reach, looK as good You will not.” ---YodA

Amos Lee

(Tuesdays at 10 a.m., July 10-Aug. 21) and evening events, including Beatles and Tom Petty cover bands and a ukulele group (Thursday evenings at 7 p.m., July 5-Aug. 17) at Marina Park. Info at kirklandsummerconcerts. weebly.com Misha Berson writes about the arts for The Seattle Times and many other publications, and is the author of four books, including Something’s Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination (Applause/Hal Leonard).

Known around the world for the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema also programs mini-festivals throughout the year.


Featuring the best of French language films from around the world.

KINOFEST OCTOBER 19 - 21 Contemporary German language films from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Cinema Italian Style NOVEMBER 8 - 15 Una settimana straordinaire di film Italian!

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2018



Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right BY ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD In the past, a good-hearted-yetheated discussion over political differences didn’t end up with permanent repercussions. Now, it often can. So when Arlie Russell Hochschild, an award-winning sociologist from the University of California at Berkeley, describes the beginning of her journey to understand the Tea Party, I cringed at the thought of a West Coast liberal attempting to create a dialog with conservatives. As she says in her book, “not only have the country’s two main political parties split further apart, but political feeling also runs deeper than it did in the past. In 1960, when a survey of American adults asked whether it would ‘disturb’ them if their child married a member of the other political party, no more than 5 percent of either party answered ‘yes.’ But in 2010, 33 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Republicans answered ‘yes.’” Hochschild’s travels to the Louisiana bayou bring her into conversation with homemakers, church leaders, and bluecollar workers. Among those she interviews is Mike Schaff, who she noticed as he spoke at an environmental rally, his “voice cracking” with emotion. “He had been a victim of one of the strangest, literally earth-shaking environmental disasters in the nation, one that robbed him of his home and community—a sinkhole that devoured hundred-foot-tall trees and turned forty acres of swamp upside down… The disaster had been caused by a lightly regulated drilling company. But as a Tea Party advocate, Mike had hailed government deregulation of all sorts. How could he be both near tears to recall his lost home and also call for a world stripped of most government beyond military and hurricane relief?”

Aging with Confidence

No less puzzling was Lee Sherman, who dumped toxic waste for Pittsburgh Plate Glass into the bayou near his home and was fired when those chemicals made him ill. Or Harold Areno, who lives on a swamp so polluted even his beloved cypress trees are dead. He and his wife fight cancer, yet Areno supports politicians hostile to environmental regulation because he cares more about banning abortion. To explain this dichotomy, Hochschild proposes to her subjects “the deep story,” which she describes as a “feels-asif” story: “You are patiently standing in a long line leading up a hill…Just over the brow of the hill is the American dream. You are situated in the middle of this line, along with others who are also white, older, Christian, and predominantly male…. Many in the back of the line are people of color— poor, young and old, mainly without college degrees. It’s scary to look back; there are so many behind you, and in principle you wish them well. Then “Look! You see people cutting in line ahead of you!...Who are they? Some are black. Women, immigrants, refugees, public sector workers—where will it end? “And who runs the government? ‘The biracial son of a lowincome single mother,’ and he’s cheering on the line-cutters. ‘The president and his wife are line cutters themselves.’ The liberal media mocks you as racist or homophobic. Everywhere you look, “you feel betrayed.” Hochschild runs this story past her Tea Party friends. “You’ve read my mind,” Lee Sherman said. “I live your analogy,” Mike Schaff said. Harold Areno’s niece agrees and says she has seen people drive their children to Head Start in Lexuses. “If people refuse to work, we should let them starve,” she said. Strangers in Their Own Land is one of the best explorations of the powerful feelings of red state Americans— and although it was published just before Donald Trump’s election, this book may provoke a deeper look at what divides us.

summer 2018

| 3rd Act magazine 63

GAMES for your brain Exercise your brain and have some fun with these puzzles designed to stimulate different cognitive functions.

Down to the wire (easier)

Fill in the blank space with the word or words that complete each expression. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

________________________________________ to the wise _________________________________________ to the bar _______________________________________ to the chase _______________________________________ to the nines _______________________________________ to the finish ________________________________________ to the brim

7. “_____________________________________ to the chief” 8. ___________________________ to the center of the earth 9. __________________________________ to the grindstone 10. _______________________________________ to the races 11. ________________________________________to the choir 12. ________________________________________ to the gills

Finish the quote (harder)

Can you finish these well-known quotations? 1. Yogi Berra: “When you come to a fork in the road _______________________________________.” (2 words) 2. Abraham Lincoln: “A house divided against itself ________________________________________.” (2 words) 3. Benjamin Franklin: “There never was a good war or ________________________________________.” (3 words) 4. Thomas Edison: “ Genius is one percent inspiration ________________________________________ .”(3 words) 5. Richard Nixon: “When the President does it, that means that ____________________________________.” (4 words)

6. Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path ________________________________________.” (4 words) 7. Mark Twain: “I never let my schooling interfere with ________________________________________.” (2 words) 8. Martin Luther King Jr: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but _________________________________________________ ________________________________________.” (6 words)

Capitonyms (hardest) A capitonym is a word that changes its meaning (and sometimes its pronunciation) when it is capitalized. We provide the definitions for words that, when capitalized, are also common first names. From each definition, can you provide a well-known person with that name? For example: What tool is used to fix a flat tire? The answer is: Jack Nicholson (or anyone named Jack). 1. A precious gem from an oyster.______________________________________________________________________________ 2. The night before an event or occasion.________________________________________________________________________ 3. A small shaving cut._________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. A small wire nail.___________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. The head of a college or college department.__________________________________________________________________ 6. A strong belief. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 7. A root spice often used in making cookies.____________________________________________________________________ 8. Elegance and poise.________________________________________________________________________________________ 9. A long, spear-like weapon.___________________________________________________________________________________ 10. A stream of light.___________________________________________________________________________________________ 11. A bird that lays blue eggs.___________________________________________________________________________________ 12. The biological unit that controls inherited characteristics._______________________________________________________ Reprinted with permission from Nancy Linde, author of the best-selling book 399 Puzzles, Games, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young and her newest book, 417 More Games, Puzzles, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young. She is also the creator of the website Never2Old4Games.com, which is used by many senior-serving organizations in the U.S. and Canada.


3rd Act magazine | summer 2018



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