I wish I could say I learned of this novel take on a peanut butter sandwich while reading some serious book about Ernest Hemingway. But alas, I read about it in Trader Joe’s August 2019 Fearless Flyer. It was tucked in a snippet about TJ’s Creamy Salted Peanut Butter, which has spoiled me for life: Since I discovered it years ago, I’ve been unable to consume any other mass market brand. Made with only, exclusively peanuts from the southeastern U.S. and salt – no sweeteners or additives – TJ’s makes a strong case for “Simple really is better.” Now, the Hemingway part: “If you have aRead More →

In my June 3, 2016, blog post, “PARO, CHARLI, Pepper, and the debate around robot caregivers,” I noted the public policy trend toward, and seniors’ preference for, aging in place (i.e., at home). I also talked about geriatrician Louise Aronson’s difficulty with gracefully taking her leave from a loquacious [read: lonely] elderly client who seems to need more than the skeletal support framework she has in place. In closing I said that next time I’d share my own idea for helping the homebound lonely and disabled. Enter 22-year-old Matt, whom I have not spoken with in a few years. Without our ever comparing notes aboutRead More →

In a 2014 New York Times article, “The Future of Robot Caregivers,” Louise Aronson, associate professor of geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote about her difficulty in parting with her elderly “house call” clients. She talks about staying “much longer than I should” because she can’t gracefully disengage from a clenched hand or doesn’t have the heart to cut off a reminiscing patient mid-story to take her leave. Ms. Aronson notes that one client has a faraway daughter (who may, or may not, call regularly―she doesn’t say), twice weekly caregiver visits, a friend who checks in now and then, and regular callsRead More →

In many ways, robots rock. They’ve been behind huge advances in productivity in manufacturing such as the automobile industry. Today they mix cocktails, cook, and assist in surgeries. A few years ago I bought a Roomba-like robot that sweeps my hardwood floors and scurries under the bed to retrieve dust bunnies. I love that thing―no more crouching to get at those fuzz balls, and it does a decent interim job until cleaning day. But robots as caregivers for the elderly and disabled? In Western countries with rapidly aging populations, we may not have a choice. Long-term care and assisted-living facilities are expensive and, anyway, mostRead More →

You may have noticed that I often channel vintage ad campaigns in my posts (as in this one). In Third Age “Sandwich Corner” I echo Budweiser’s 1979 “This Bud’s For You” spot, which Budweiser Ireland has just reintroduced. If you are over age 40, it’s likely that these posts are for you—they may resonate either from a career or caregiving perspective or both. In a study released in 2013, Pew Research Center found that nearly half (47 percent) of middle-aged adults have a parent 65 or older and are caring for or financially supporting a child. Look to Sandwich Corner posts for commentary and informationRead More →