Want to hear history as it was made in the 1960’s? This collection of magnetic reel and cassette tapes contain over 2000 pieces, many available to view, read or hear free online. The collection contains interviews and musings of Allen Ginsberg from the 1950’s through the 1980’s.
The Voices of the Beat Generation
The recordings not only let you listen in on informal coffee table conversations with Allen Ginsberg, but also include the reading of poems, audio recordings of William S. Burroughs, Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Gregory Corso and many other voices of the times. The digital project is a collaboration between the Stanford Media Preservation Lab, the department of Special Collections, and the Allen Ginsberg Estate.
The entire Ginsberg digitized catalog is available at here and includes not only audio recordings, but video and images.
All content is subject to Stanford Libraries fair use and permission to publish policies.
How senior adults are at higher risk from climate change, natural disasters and loss of electricity.
Unless you have restricted mobility or care for someone who does, you may not realize the multitude of challenges senior adults living alone face, sometimes multiple times a day. When natural disasters strike or summer temperatures rise, older adults may be some of the most vulnerable.
For older adults with no support system in place or family to rely on, losing electricity in the winter or heat of summer can be fatal. The lack of mobility not just related to driving, but walking, loss of vision and neuropathy make day to day activities a challenge. One example is when electrical services go out and a phone won’t work without electricity. The senior has no way to let anyone know they may need help.
After water poured into lower Manhattan subway lines, two million Con Ed customers lost power and Breezy Point took a direct Hurricane Sandy hit.
In this video, Cornell University’s Elaine Wethington, Professor of human development, discusses the tolls major storms and climate change take on senior citizens. The talk is titled “Aging in the Age of Climate Change“.
As the climate changes, so does our understanding of old age
As the climate changes, so does our understanding of old age. As the devastation of hurricanes Sandy and Irene showed, older adults – some of whom have limited mobility or depend on home nurses for vital care – are among the most vulnerable when major weather events paralyze city and regional transportation systems, medical facilities and other key infrastructure.
Many seniors live alone, and with limited mobility makes them more likely to experience social isolation causing stress to their health. Elderly adults who and have disabilities may not be able to follow evacuation and possibly no way to communicate by telephone.
This video addresses how seniors respond to high-stress events, isolation and the impact it has on the mental and physical health of aging adults.
Getting Enough Iron in Your Diet
Iron is a natural mineral present in many foods. Iron is also added to many food products, and is also included in multi-vitamins and as a dietary supplement. According to the National Institute of Health
Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, an erythrocyte protein that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues 
. As a component of myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to muscles, iron supports metabolism. Iron is also necessary for growth, development, normal cellular functioning, and synthesis of some hormones and connective tissue. National Institute for Health
Anemia in the U.S. is uncommon but not unheard of, and in seniors “unexplained anemia” is not uncommon in adults over 65 years of age. People more susceptible to anemia include children and infants, pregnant women, individuals with liver or blood disorders, frequent blood donors, people with intestinal or colon disease and those with cancer.
It is uncommon for adults to suffer from too much iron but taking more than 20 mg/kg iron from supplements or medicines can cause stomach upset, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, or faintness. Iron is best taken with a meal and not on an empty stomach.
Symptoms of Anemia
The signs and symptoms of anemia are subtle and can be easily confused with other health problems both minor and serious. A simple blood test can identify if you are anemic. Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding supplements into your diet as they may need to be taken with a meal or on an empty stomach. Some supplements conflict with medications and other supplements, so be sure to check with your doctor or naturopath.
Symptoms of anemia may include:
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
As you can see, symptoms are not enough to determine if you are anemic, so ask your doctor about a blood test. In the meantime, you can add some of the delicious foods below that will naturally increase your levels of iron.
I’ve prepared a list of high iron foods that are suitable for everyone including those on low sugar, low glycemic and diabetic diets. With the exception of the dried apricots which are higher in sugar, but also high in iron, most are not going to dramatically raise your blood sugar when recommended portions are followed.
Food high in Iron (8-10 mg a serving)
- Dried Apricots
- Apple Sauce
- Beans (white)
- Beet greens (cooked)
- Beets (cooked)
- Kimchi (cabbage based)
- Chard or Spinach (cooked)
- Dark Chocolate
- Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans)
I first saw Leon Russell in 1970 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. It was the Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour and I wasn’t yet thirteen years old. The counselors for the “youth group” my parents had sent me to with the intention of pointing me in the direction of growing up to be an obedient civil servant (until I got married), had planned the trip to a real concert for all the kids ages 12 and up. In retrospect, I feel confident none of them knew what they signed up for by their reactions once the concert was underway.
Once the concert started, I was mesmerized. I had found my people, my tribe. There on stage was Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Billy Preston, Rita Coolidge, a row of what I can only at the time describe as hippies lining the back of the stage, a woman holding a baby and a dog sleeping on the stage.
Leon Russell played piano, Billy Preston played a Hammond Organ. I had never in my short suburban life seen or heard people who had long hair, patches, long skirts, just total freaks! If I took anything away from that night besides recreating in 3D, the “muscle arm” image on the album cover, in my junior high ceramics class, it was that as soon as I was able I had to find “those people.” I did find those people a little later in Topanga Canyon, which is the beginning of another chapter.
Russell was such a talent, playing with many musicians and bands including Badfinger, “A song for you” also released in 1970 has been recorded by over 40 artists, he produced tracks for Bob Dylan. His honky-tonk southern blues piano style, songs, and music live on. What a sad election week with the loss of Russell and Leonard Cohen.
Are you taking advantage of your FREE SENIOR GYM MEMBERSHIP?
(Please check with your physician before starting a fitness program.)
Most everyone 65 and over with a Part-2 Medicare Supplemental plan, is eligible for a free gym membership through Silver Sneakers, or your health insurance plan. Check your plan to see if you are eligible. Seniors can check with your health plan or Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan to see if gym memberships or fitness programs are part of the coverage offered. Joining a gym with water sports and classes could do wonders for your movement and joints.
And if you are using a fitness tracker to measure your steps, keeping up with your walking in the wet or snowy months can help to keep your blood sugar and A1C down, if that’s relevant. Doctors and researchers have determined that exercise and movement have a direct beneficial impact on our health from reducing heart disease to helping to naturally lower blood sugar in diabetes.
Where can you find free or low-cost gym memberships
Even if your insurance doesn’t offer free gym memberships, many gyms offer free or discounted classes and memberships if you are over 65, although some gyms may set a different age of eligibility. Most YMCA’s and YWCA’s also offer free or discounted senior stretching, swimming and workout classes. Check with the YMCA in your area. Check with your local parks department for senior yoga, tai chi, and art classes. You can also check with your county or city senior services to see what they can offer you.
How much stiffness, and aches and pains we suffer, may be benefited by adding more physical exercise into your daily routine.