A tale of two very different travellers

By Rona Barrett This is a tale of two very different travellers — going in two different directions — on two different journeys — for two very different reasons. But in the end their journeys shared much in common. Let's call the first traveller, “Mighty 90.”  That's because … [Read more...]

Getting a stent: chalk it up to groin pains

By Rona Barrett Until a few weeks ago, the only thing I knew about Percutaneous Coronary Intervention was that I couldn't spell it. PCI is the insertion of a metal stent into a narrow or blocked artery to restore blood flow. My general practitioner had regularly run a battery of tests that … [Read more...]

Dementia: The cocoon of confusion

By Rona Barrett Haunted eyes. Angry glare. Vacant look. Scared animal: It’s the Alzheimer’s stare. Ever seen these expressions on a loved one? I have. We know that those who suffer from advanced dementia are lost in a different realm—one we who care for them can't … [Read more...]

SAY WHAT? A male decibel-measuring contest

By Rona Barrett Friends, readers and fellow graying ones, lend me your ear. On second thought don't bother.  If you're over 65 like I am, your ears probably don't work as well as they used to. But we’re not alone. One-third of us over 65 and more than half of us over 75 have difficulty … [Read more...]

Have I told you lately that I love you?

By Rona Barrett “...I was unable, for the first time, to celebrate my 52 year anniversary with the love of my life.” A friend of a friend posted these tender laments on her year-end Facebook page in response to watching her husband slowly succumb to the scourge of dementia. “It is so … [Read more...]

The old age farce awakens

By Rona Barrett “Did you ever think of getting rid of that mole on your lip?” My very dear friend recounted my elderly father, Harry’s, punch-to-her-solar-plexus question when they lunched together at his favorite Chinese restaurant. When my friend replied “No,” he jabbed, … [Read more...]

All the world’s a stage and…I can’t remember the rest

By Rona Barrett The end of another year and time for top ten lists: best of, worst of – and I wouldn't be surprised if someday there is an award show for best award shows. So why not affix myself to the fracas by handing out my own awards?  Call it "Great Moments in Star-Studded Senior … [Read more...]

When Harry Met Max — Intergenerational Programming Connects Young and Old

By Rona Barrett | Published on 03.09.2015 1:30 p.m. “A very interesting thing happened today,” my girlfriend told me in a conversation a few years ago. Her son Max had come home from school excitedly and exclaimed, “Ma, I had a fun time today. We went to see the old people. I talked to … [Read more...]

Where Words Fail, Music Speaks*

By Rona Barrett | Published on 03.25.2015 11:00 a.m. Here’s a question for you that I’m betting will put a smile on your face: What is the very first song you remember? Got it? Good. See, you’re smiling, aren’t you? How old do you think you were? Was it sung to you, or did you … [Read more...]

A Mindful Way to Be ‘In the Moment’

By Rona Barrett | Published on 03.30.2015 1:43 p.m. When your brain acts like a washing machine, whizzing away, ruminating about the past and worrying about the future, what can you do to stop it from spinning out of control? When all the bells, whistles and tweets demand you do this, that … [Read more...]