Kat Ellington


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What does aging well look and feel like? Do have elders in your life, work place and community who defy stereotypes and limitations?

October 1st is the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, which celebrates achievements and contributions of older people make in our society as well as the economy. Those who age well often live well. The world is becoming healthier in some places with a 1 in 3 possibility of living until your 100 years old. It not just genes, but place matters for health. So let's talk aging well for the future.

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    Lejan .

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    Oct 8 2013: I once met a young woman at a party, who happen to have lived in the same apartment I was living in then but some years before me.

    A good start for a conversation and we ended up talking, laughing, flirting and enjoining each others company till the end of that very night. She got all a man could possibly wish for in a woman. A beautiful heart, a brilliant mind, witty humor, beauty and decency.

    Before and ever since I've never been enchanted more by the 'spirit of youth', as by the purity and intensity of her very character.

    I was 39 at that time, she was 86 and returned to her place at the old people's home when the party was over.

    Defying stereotypes, she truly did it for me.
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      Oct 8 2013: It sounds inconceivable! She must have accepted lots and lots of cosmetic surgeons.
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        Oct 8 2013: No she didn't. She was all in wrinkles, usual for her age. You just didn't catch the metaphor when I introduced her as 'a young woman'. She was young by heart and the sparkles in her eyes!
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          Oct 8 2013: My god~!I knew what you meant young but I'm still surprised. I'm sorry, in my age, I can hardly imagine that. Kinda culture difference.And I hope I can be an 86 elderly like that. Thank you~
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        Oct 8 2013: I was surprised too. Usually we have a sense for the 'age group' we are in, which are not as strict all the times, yet somewhat acts like a compass.

        This experience was totally different. She looked just as we expect old ladies to look like at this age, although one could tell she must have been very pretty in her youth. Yet she didn't hide her age or tried to cover it up to look younger.

        She was an old lady to me when we got introduced to each other by the host of that party, who was the landlord of that apartment building giving a come together party for his current and former lodgers.

        Just like a friendly looking granny, but then we started talking to get to know each other and my 'transformation' began as my 'expectations' got wiped off by the way she just was.

        Of course she looked old, yet she wasn't old at all. It was just the outside, like a facade, it is very difficult to describe this with words.

        I once thought of it as if the spirit of a 20 year old was captured in the body of an old woman, yet this analogy doesn't work, because there was no negative flavor to this 'capture' at all. She was all in grace with her age at any moment I spent with her.

        It was me changing, not her!

        I think during our conversation we fell in love with each other in a certain way and for what we were, not for what was left on our biological clocks. At least I am certain for my part, which alone was confusing in retrospect as this experience was new to me.

        We never met again and may never will, yet my views one age have changed since.
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          Oct 8 2013: Yes, I appreciate your elegant and graceful elaboration of the feeling from the most sensitive and soft part of your heart. I really think this kind of elderly people are miracles and beautiful sceneries in our life. I've also found one video(Sorry ,in Chinese), she's German,too. She started learning gymnastics from 30 and in this video she was 86.
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          . .

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          Oct 9 2013: See "Somewhere in Time"-1980-Jane Seymour & Christopher Reeves
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        Oct 8 2013: Thank you for the link. Truly impressive!

        Everything she did I could do as well. But sequenced and only once, as in between I would need serious medical assistance to get me going again ... :o)
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          Oct 8 2013: hehe.....Compared with you, I'm really an elderly because I can't do that~!:)
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        Oct 8 2013: Probably not older, but wiser on that matter ... :o)
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          Oct 9 2013: :) Although I'm young, I feel I'll get fractures if I do that.I'm afraid no wiser. :)
      • W T

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        Oct 8 2013: Now THAT is what I call aging well...............

        Did you notice the beginning, where she moved the springboard.......I would have thrown out my back right there and then.......hahahaha.........I should have played more volleyball when I was a young girl.

        Thanks for sharing the video Yoka!!
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          Oct 9 2013: :) She's amazing~. Even I can't do what she did although I was trained in adlescents' sports school when I was young.:)
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      Oct 9 2013: Great, Lejan!
    • Oct 13 2013: It goes beyond age groups. Its more personality types. The people I jive with the best has nothing to do with age. (º●º)
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    Oct 6 2013: I have an 87 year old elder in my life, and at 60, I'm knocking ever louder on the door of being one myself.

    That elder is my mother in law - a sparkling, intelligent, woman who regularly beats me and everybody else at scrabble even though German is her first language, whose logic and wisdom keeps my own tangential flights of fancy in check during the many stimulating debates we have.

    One of the things that keeps her going is the certain knowledge that her family actually want to be with her, and it's not just through the coldness of duty. She has often said that had it not been for the family's love and support, she would have died 20 years ago - and I believe her.

    I think this has illustrated to me the importance of close familial and community ties and its positive impact on the comfort of old age. Although old age can be made more comfortable via medicines and physical aids, the real comfort comes from the unconditional love and deep respect from those closest.
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    Oct 8 2013: Hi Katherine
    I am what healthy aging is all about .. I am 62 years young and I feel fabulous.. a few aches and pains.. but fabulous anyway.. I am a brain tumor survivor and living life to the fullest. Going back to school to get my certificate in gerontology and my mission is to impact the babyboomers and beyond!!!!
  • W T

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    Oct 5 2013: To age well begins when you are young..........eating well, resting well, exercising well, being well-rounded, becoming a life long learner.....etc...

    I think it is important to reach young ones with this type of message.
    It would be wonderful if the elderly reached out to the younger ones with this type of message.
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      Oct 7 2013: Dear Mary, you're exactly right. And in China, people also prepare themselves for the old age by saving up a lot of money~. So I think the financial and health conditions(including physical and mental) will be most important for Chinese to age well.:)
      • W T

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        Oct 7 2013: Yoka, from previous conversations we have had on TED about aging and the elderly, I have learned that there has been a lot of media attention given to the problems with the elderly being neglected in China by their children.
        How is it where you live?

        Does the younger generation take care of their elderly parents, or do the elderly parents pay for someone to care for them?
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          Oct 8 2013: No, children are normally dutiful here. But Chinese people usually care much about their children. So they will not only prepare money for themselves for better future medical treatment but for their children as well. I've heard from many foreigners that they had to be indepent from 16~18, even to be driven out of their home. But in China, you'll find people still regard a 22-year-old adult as a child.People here care and love children more.
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        Oct 8 2013: In that respect, then Chinese are a lot like Cubans.
        Many times, even after marrying, the married child lives with the parents.
        And even if you are 30 or 40, still mother spoils the children....especially the boys.
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          Oct 8 2013: hehe... You're right. In parents‘ eyes, daughters and sons are always their little boys and girls in China. They seldom drive children out only when they push the child to get married. You are Cuban and Spanish? I know Cuban volleyball is very strong and Cuban females have an excellent body shape. :)
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        Oct 8 2013: Hahahaha......yes Cuban women have an excellent body shape........a head (oval), limbs (4, two arms, two legs), a torso....I think that's about it.

        Why? Chinese women do not have this same shape?

        And Cuban females are strong at volleyball?? Who knew?
        Have you met Cuban people before Yoka?
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          Oct 8 2013: hehe.... You are the first one I have talked to. Others are volleyball sports women on TV. They are really in good shape with charming curves compared with Chinese flat body.:))
      • W T

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        Oct 8 2013: I think most women who live an active life have "charming curves".

        There is a gym here in the United States that is for women only called "Curves".

        We kind of all have different body types.
        There are women in my family who are flat as boards.....and then there are others who are pleasantly plump and/or curvy.

        There are many kinds of curves.....



        One of my favorite quotes........

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          Oct 14 2013: hehe.......I opened your link and had a look at them finally. It's interesting~!Tks Mary!
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    • Oct 5 2013: Life is a jigsaw puzzle for which we only get a few pieces a year.
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    Oct 22 2013: Colleen, Katherine: Honor to those who daily honor their ancestors ..Personally, I feel often alive into me all my loved ones who preceded me and who are no longer in this world, but in my heart.This is a beautiful feeling that in intimate moments makes me feel in peaceand in difficult ones pushes me to keep fighting for, if one day I anywhere will be with them, their souls, if that exists, can be proud of me and quiet, and rest assured that I continued doing what they could not.
  • Oct 21 2013: A funny thing about aging is that the older I get, the younger I feel.
    The older I get the more I enjoy life. When I was younger I feared death more. Now I do not.
    When I was younger I loved older women, now the older women are younger than me.... so now, I guess I love younger women. Maybe that is why I feel younger as I age.
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    Oct 21 2013: My mother was 97 , when she past on . She didnt take getting old very graciously . Mom always enjoyed life , always saw the funny things in life . It always amazed me how she could keep up that fun positive attitude . She loved those silly Aflac (the duck) insurance commercials , she would just laugh and it was a contagious laugh , so silly . She spent the last two years in a nursing home . It always made me laugh when she would tell me " Jeff you know this place is full of old people " I would say I know ,with her responding I dont like dont like being around all theses old people they are boring .

    I think that a good method for getting older as in my moms case that is , to enjoy the small things in life
    and to know life can be taken at any time so enjoy every minute , and not to have too many regrets.

    The main thing is to never never never loose your sense of humor . A good belly laugh seems to have kept her young at heart .
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      Oct 21 2013: Hi Jeff,
      Your mom and my mom sound similar, although my mother was 10 years younger than yours when she died of a brain tumor. She always had joy and humor in her heart even in the face of challenge. At the end of her life, we were no longer able to give her the care she needed, so she moved into a nursing home. As my sister and I took her to her room in a wheel chair, she was observing the other residents, and finally said....these people need some humor!

      And that is precisely what she brought to them. While she was still able to get around in a wheelchair, she visited other residents and brought joy with her wherever she went. When she could no longer get around at all, people came to her room to visit. She was 6 months in the nursing home before she passed on, and in that time, she touched a lot of hearts, as she did her entire life.

      I am curious to know why you say that you mother "didn't take getting old very graciously"?

      You say she enjoyed life, always saw the funny things in life, positive attitude, laughed, enjoyed the small things, enjoyed every minute, no regrets.........that all sounds like graciousness to me my friend:>)

      Wholeheartedly agree....never lose our sense of humor and a good belly laugh seems to help keep us young at heart....laughter is good medicine:>)
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        Oct 22 2013: Hi , I guess the way you put it my Mom did age pretty graciously , she was a gentle woman , she never drank alcohol , never smoked , she raised seven kids , stayed married to my Dad, he passed on before her i think they were married for sixty plus years , so she buried my dad , my three brothers, my sister and a few other family members plus friends .
        My Mom never lost her sense of place in this world , her children was her everything , I am the youngest , the was so proud of us . There are three of us left ,a sister and a brother and me
        She died about three months ago , I haven't had a good cry in a little while , so I will end this and have my cry .
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          Oct 22 2013: Crying is good medicine too Jeff.....I am very sorry about all your losses. I've only lost one brother so far (last January), my father died 22 years ago.....2 years after my mother.

          More in common for us....my mother never drank alcohol, never smoked, raised eight kids, I'm the youngest, married to my father for 65 years, and she never lost her sense of her mission on this earth school, or her sense of "self". Sounds like they both taught us something about humor and laughter as well:>)
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    Oct 10 2013: Hello again Katherine...nice to see you:>)

    The aging process looks and feels great to me....I'm getting close to 70:>) I have lots of friends in their 70s & 80s and a couple in the 90s. These are the folks I bike, hike, sail, kayak and enjoy life with. We are relatively healthy, because we keep moving through the life adventure with curiosity, joy, exercise and good eating habits. Everyone has challenges, and they/we do not focus on the challenges and limitations. Although we are well aware of the challenges, we focus on the beauty and joy in our world, with a great deal of gratitude:>)

    We just had an end of year banquet for our bike group a couple nights ago, and even though there have been several biking accidents, some other injuries, joint replacements, and surgeries in the group, everyone seems to focus on gratitude.

    You said it Katherine..."Those who age well often live well"......I find that to be true. I have enjoyed all the stages of the life adventure, including the challenges, and plan on enjoying everything until I take my last breath......I'll probably enjoy that too! It is really a state of mind, and we have a choice in each and every moment to enjoy it.....or not. we have a choice to focus on our limitations, or focus on the beauty and joy around us....with gratitude......it's a choice in every moment.
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      Oct 20 2013: Of course, this is a good model for well aging.
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        Oct 21 2013: Thank you Sean....it works well for me, and I follow in the footsteps of my mother, because I embrace many of her ideas, beliefs and practices:>)
  • Da Way

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    Oct 6 2013: You may be interested in this talk, I think it's one of the best I've come across so far:

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    Oct 4 2013: Interesting~! Oct.1 is our National Day in China, we're all on holiday these days. :)
    So do you mind telling me something about what you Americans do on your senior citizens' day?
    In China, we also have this day but it's on the lunar calendar. It's the ninth day of the ninth lunar month called "chong yang jie" and it's Oct.13 of the solar calendar this year. Usually some junior citizens will get together to climb a tower or a mountain to exercise their bodies to celebrate it. And young people will buy some special cakes to the elderly to show their respect and care(http://upload3.95171.cn/Topics/20121017/17d9a244-54ac-4fe1-98c7-86e44a0f05e5.jpg).Because it's in the autumn, so it's also a good time to admire the flowers,the "chrysanthemum" represents "long living",so on this day, people also go to see all kinds of chrysanthemums.(http://www.chinese.cn/culture/image/attachement/jpg/site2/20091025/0023ae9af0dc0c4e319c05.jpg)
    In our society, because of the one-child-policy,taking care of the elderly people has become a problem. There are lacks of nursing houses and retirement houses for the elderly. And this industry will be prospective in the next 30years.
    I've heard in America , loneliness and isolation are the problems for the elderly. Isolation is worse to the elderly people because they can't get timely help from others. Could you share with me about what your services provided to help elderly people are in your country?
    • Oct 5 2013: On the Americfan "Senior Citizens' Day", we pretend very hard that nobody exists over the age of 25 and get angry if anyone reminds us of reality. In the USA, every day is American Senior Citizens' Day.
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      Oct 15 2013: Many families live apart and the separation of generation challenges care and living well across life span. It's often complicated by lack of support, but when there's interdependence life can be better for young and old.
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    Oct 4 2013: What is the current stereotype? We can see older people, even in their nineties, volunteering in the community, doing tai chi in the park, sketching in plein air, attending lectures at the local college or museum, taking care of little ones...Many people in their seventies are still at work at their careers.
    • Oct 5 2013: And don't forget refusing to stop looking hot...
      (I know, sexist and wrong, but still...)
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      Oct 8 2013: So often assume those over 80 years old will not be active and viable parts of life and societies, but their influence is an integral for families, communities and the world to thrive.
  • Oct 30 2013: Is the following an answer to your question? After a lifetime of Bible centered churchgoing on autopilot, it became clear I needed to do a religious reality check. Now after a dozen years of science and religious study, my findings thus far at my 79th year are (1) it is evident we humans have evolved hardwired as individuals who care for each other. (2)...for our species to endure and individuals to reach a level of personal contentment the prime directive (consilience?) is to treat others the way one would like to be treated...no matter what and all the time. (3)...this can be cultivated through inclusive social groupings using music, sport, dance, art, literature, oratory/debate, and good works as exist metaphorically in certain religious traditions. Nevertheless, I still advocate and "do" church (whatever is in one's heritage or study conclusion)...a place supporting introspection and spontaneous good works, such is as necessary as are civic and education institutions for orderly growth. We will always have the 5% crazies(individuals and organizations) at both ends of any distribution. For me, the living definitions have changed dramatically as are those of religious groups...change is afoot. Doing a reality check at 79 just for me without regard to others, was tough...but envigorating. Liberating is the best word I can find to express my feeling as I head to my last few years of life. J part of JnR/
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    Oct 23 2013: Humor kept my Mom going through life when the times were hard , and as her child it has kept me sane through my children and my X wife .
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    Oct 21 2013: I think that the way of life makes people be sick or cure. Maybe a part is in genes, but the way of living is the key. This is why the agricultural countries, has old population. The way of their life, give them a chance to channeling their stress, by the physical work. My country is agricultural.(machinery is in a very small percentage)

    My grandpa, died when he turned 85, he was full of joy, happy and humorous. He was very interesting when he did talk about happenings in world war II. Sometimes I felt like I was listening Albert from "only fools and horses"...."during the war..." :)))

    What I wanted to say is that geting old is not that bad. The elders has finally time on their own, and have chance to make themselves feel happy. And they know the best, how much happiness brings a small little things.
  • Oct 14 2013: Since population of 1/4 are more than 65 years old in my country, I see them everywhere like club, most TV show, or Disneyland. For example, one of my classmate is 83 years old, and my father is 61 and still enjoy snowboarding and working. Therefore, I feel elderly people are like respectful friends.

    Thank you for providing me a nice chance to talk about elderly people.

    Also, my grandmother who died 98 years old who had almost never became ill, had been eating variety of things, mainly tasty light seasoned vegetables, and enjoying communications with friends and grandchildren.
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    Oct 8 2013: It should feel wonderful. It is necessary to adopt a sense of gracefulness and warmth about life by a person and live life's each moment with love, passion and romance. That way when skin sags and hair greys one can look as lively and desirable as when she was in twenties.
    It is an art to belong in the physical age with an ageless attitude.
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    Oct 6 2013: Disintegration of the traditional family has hit hard on the the old folks. Special facilities, from urine-soaked permanent flop houses to 5-star resorts have become the waiting room for the forgotten but not gone generation. Back in the day Grandma enjoyed repayment of all the care and nurturing she gave by living-out her days with her loving children. So, to answer your questions, aging well looks like active, helpful participation in the social game. And yes, I know two girls in their late 80's who oversee the day-to-operation of a private school where thousands of children have become people of value over the past 44 years.
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      Oct 7 2013: "two girls in their late 80's...."

      I would love to meet these girls! And learn some valuable lessons from them.
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      Oct 8 2013: One of the two girls in my life is turning 80 this December. It's a happy co-incidence that she is my mother but when I was younger and was looking for a partner I was actually looking for someone as strong, as kind and as wonderful as her.
      In her frail frame, grey hair and kind smile she remains a powerhouse for me, I can freely draw strength from her as she never appears to be falling short on that account. She has grown older so gracefully that people half her age would envy her.
  • Oct 5 2013: Less hair, more pain, sleep worse, more pain, recover slower, more pain, children acting like they were my parents, more pain.
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    Gord G

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    Oct 5 2013: I feel we decline from the ravages of relentless expectations more than physiological limitations. Most infirmity begins at an early age and comes to fruition in old age.
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      Oct 5 2013: I agree with your statement Gord, that "Most infirmity begins at an early age and comes to fruition in old age." If you want to know what a person's unresolved issues are, all will be revealed the older they get. That's a great incentive to both resolve one's own "inner stuff", as well as to practice compassion with those who are struggling on the journey of life.
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        Gord G

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        Oct 5 2013: Well said Joshua.
    • Oct 5 2013: The abstract of one of my papers:

      Neurobiological disorders have diverse manifestations and symptomology. Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, manifest late in life and are characterized by, among other symptoms, progressive loss of synaptic markers. Developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum, appear in childhood. Neuropsychiatric and affective disorders, such as schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, respectively, have broad ranges of age of onset and symptoms. However, all share uncertain etiologies, with opaque relationships between genes and environment. We propose a 'Latent Early-life Associated Regulation' (LEARn) model, positing latent changes in expression of specific genes initially primed at the developmental stage of life. In this model, environmental agents epigenetically disturb gene regulation in a long-term manner, beginning at early developmental stages, but these perturbations might not have pathological results until significantly later in life. The LEARn model operates through the regulatory region (promoter) of the gene, specifically through changes in methylation and oxidation status within the promoter of specific genes. The LEARn model combines genetic and environmental risk factors in an epigenetic pathway to explain the etiology of the most common, that is, sporadic, forms of neurobiological disorders.

      The LEARn model: an epigenetic explanation for idiopathic neurobiological diseases.
      Lahiri DK, Maloney B, Zawia NH. Mol Psychiatry. 2009 Nov;14(11):992-1003. doi: 10.1038/mp.2009.82
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        Gord G

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        Oct 5 2013: Fascinating excerpt Bryan. I've believed this at an intuitive level for many years. It's interesting to read how it's expressed through our genome.
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        • Oct 6 2013: Did you actually even read the abstract I posted? Did you read it? That is not our hypothesis. We are saying that it is not a matter of DNA mutations. Try again. What journals can I find your publications in?
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        Gord G

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        Oct 6 2013: Bryan - oops...epigenome ...of course...thanks.
        • Oct 6 2013: It's an important distinction, given that someone who allegedly read the abstract then went off half-cocked to complain about how something that wasn't even within the abstract was not novel.
    • W T

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      Oct 5 2013: "Most infirmity begins at an early age and comes to fruition in old age."

      Hear, hear! As someone who is starting to 'feel' my years, I can relate to this.
  • Oct 20 2013: Aging looks and feels like anything else.

    Death is not in the future.
    It can only happen in the here and now.
    Is one present or not, for that is the only "time" that actually exists
    and the only "time" in which one may be present.
    Now the present is....isn't.
    Even time cannot move or go into the future.
    We measure time by the sequence of events we experience and are arranged
    by our memory.
    Each increment of time ends immediately and spontaneously the moment it occurs,
    in a timeless now.
    So to be as present as possible is the best I can achieve because,
    as I said, "now the present is.....isn't."
    The only question is whether one is present or not for each moment.

    Cells must die, or learn how to die in order for new ones to exist.
    So death is really a new beginning of consciousness, a new awareness.
    This isn't all there is, but I don't mean that in any religious sense or even
    a spiritual one.
    Both my parents lived fairly long but even though I don't believe in god,
    if there is one, I do believe then that the reason my father lived so long was
    that neither place (we can go to after we die according to that belief),
    wanted him and argued about it for a good amount of years before he finally went
    A couple of years after he died, I saw him. He was a dog, and a family dog at that.

    So actually, it looked like he had it pretty good, so I'm happy for him from that standpoint.
    He got a nice family, took him to the beach but he spotted me and let me know.
  • Oct 14 2013: The only time I am my age is when I notice the wrinkles above my knees or when I notice how dense the white patches of my Afro are becoming. I leave the young standing as i descend all way up or down the escalator since I cut back on the orange juice and standing still. I feel old for a second, but lose that thought when I start talking with the blossoming painters, graphic artists, and musicians in this city. I'm only addled when I let hopeless hijack my neural pathways. I'm two years from eligibility for Medicare, but I'm not stopping there: I'm walking the road to my next 30. You can consider this an update to my mission statement.
  • Oct 13 2013: big part of it is genes. In fact most of it is genes. Eating right taking care of yourself helps but superior genes are the leading in adding well.
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    Oct 10 2013: Nothing lasts forever. We are only here for a while. No matter the number of years that has gone past, we should keep an open mind to recieve the good people and things that keeps coming our way.
    We should never get to that age when we think we've got life all figured out.
    Through it all, we should know that nature has its way(s); and we should enjoy every step of the way.

    Wisdom is knowing what to hold on to, an what to let go.
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      Oct 11 2013: Good point Feyisayo!
      When I was 20, I thought I had a lot of things figured out. At 30, some of the same questions came up again...same thing at age 40. Sometime in my 50s, I was having a conversation with a friend, and we were laughing about this....we think we have certain things figured out, and....oops.....there is the same issue again...LOL! We agreed that the life process is a constant exploration, and with curiosity, intent to learn, open heart and mind, we may continue to delve into things on deeper and deeper levels all the time:>)
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    Oct 10 2013: When asked about one's age, one answers in English (and German and Danish etc) "I am 53" or whatever. It's as if that's what you ARE, the number defines you, you are your age. I object to that and I like the French (and Spanish etc) way: They say, "I have 53 years." It's a beautiful thought: the years are not what you ARE, but are something you HAVE, treasures that you build up over time and never lose. If you have fifty-three of them you have greater treasure than one who only has thirty. If you treat your treasures right, they add to your experience and understanding. It's a shame that we in western societies seem to have lost sight of that - we would honor our elders more if we grasped it.
    (OK, I understand that not all older persons follow this model ... some just get cantankerous. There's more than one life path and everyone has choices to make.)
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      Oct 11 2013: I like that Paul.....the years are not who or what we ARE....it is how much time we have spent on this earth...so far, and how we have "spent" our time:>)
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    Gord G

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    Oct 9 2013: We're all aging. None of us are the person we were yesterday. None of us know what the future holds. Why make an arbitrary distinction for the elderly?

    My personal feelings on the subject…

    I've reached the "dead zone" (as I call it). It's the age when you could drop dead at any moment. It's the age when people your age begin to die of natural causes. People who were actively engaged in life. People who had a dinner date planned for next week. You know…the age when you're suppose to take inventory of your life.

    But I'll be damned if I'm going to start looking back. There will be plenty of people to assess my life after I'm gone. I'm going to continue to follow my curiosity to wonderment.

    I plan to stay true to myself…Faith in the future. Engagement in the journey. Living in the moment… knowing I have more to contribute (and by not letting the self righteous or the well meaning extinguish the light).

    It's not about aging. It's about living. And I plan to live until I die.
    • Oct 13 2013: Actually every second could be considered the dead zone cause most the of there departure from life.
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    Oct 6 2013: .

    Quit invalid (harmful) happiness and will "age well".
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    Oct 5 2013: The weight of frailty and the frailty of weight, the constant parade in and out of medical offices, pokes with needles, a dozen pills, loss of hearing and of teeth and dimming vision; the floor goes out of reach as do feet when attempting to put on socks... these are some of the pitfalls awaiting us....
    However, The good news is... we say exactly what we mean, no hemming or hawing, no political correctness...just... it is what it is. If someone challenges you.... you say "I'm old and I don't care". It makes all the bad stuff bearable.
    If you get old without bad stuff... don't brag, you just didn't try.
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    Oct 5 2013: Aging well is more than physical appearance. A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind in many ways, but society, in America at least, seems to look at getting older like a disease. But, all you youngsters out there, It is unavoidable unless you die before you get old. I am in my late 50's and although I still wear a bikini in the summer, and work out everyday and do yoga and meditate, I still find myself occasionally fearing getting older and dying. I do not think I am alone in this. I do not feel that way constantly, but sometimes it really scares me. Aside from those times I feel pretty darn good.
    So that being said, I do not believe there are many who truly "age gracefully" on the inside, only on the outside. As you get older (hopefully) you do realize it is what is on the inside that matters the most.
    I would love to see young people utilize the wisdom of their elders and be respectful, but I also see many elders that are so angry, maybe at aging, that I understand why they don't!
  • Oct 5 2013: I'll give it some thought. I wanted to mention that I like your use of the word Elders. I often here the sterile term "Senior Citizen" used. The only people I know who use the word Elders regularly are friends of mine who are Native American.
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    Oct 4 2013: I'm looking for the "wise elders"; people who have faced their challenges in life, done their "inner work", completed their heroic journey and who are now dotted around our villages and communities having earned the right to give "wise counsel". Unfortunately I don't see that many; do you in your community?
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      Oct 5 2013: No I don't see many. The world spins too rapidly these days. Welcome to generation question mark.
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        Oct 8 2013: Then step on your brakes, pal, before it will be you in the mirror ... :o)
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      Oct 5 2013: I had this in a very special loved one, though of course once the journey is complete, it is too late. It completes in the final moments.

      I believe there are many, as you say, dotted around our villages and communities, but you cannot tell just by looking. You have to get to know people, and not everyone really expects to find this and so many don't try.
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        Oct 8 2013: I try. To apply the wisdom of yesterday in the modern world is of very little help. The relation and respect is there but the problem solving is very different as if plugging a hole in the bottom of a boat. Yesterday there was only one hole. Today, their are many holes and to patch every one of them would not be effective or economical compared to simply replacing the whole bottom of the boat with a new sheet of material. It's like a very old saying, "once man were made of steel and made wooden boats. Today, men are made of wood and boats are made of steel". I could say this statement different today, "people are made of programs and boats are made of machines (technology)". We are aging well and living longer because of this. I'm still trying to program the gap of how we treat others because of it. Civil philosophy is my biggest tool I found so far I believe. It is as if we are constantly passing down more and more problems to the generations below us which is good in a sense because eventually the amount of problems become too large to patch up which results in a big movement for an alternative way. The word "change" sold very well, who does not feel cheated? BTW, I don't vote.
    • Oct 5 2013: They are few and they have always been few. The difference is that, long ago, you had to be wise simply to survive past young adulthood. Thus, the fools got weeded out. Now, it's as many fools at any age as at any other age.
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        Oct 5 2013: Bryan, I would cry if what you wrote wasn't true.
        I think Fritzie brings out a good point, in that you must establish a relationship with someone who is elderly to really appreciate their wisdom.

        I think people of any age who are story-tellers, and who enjoy conversation with meaning (ideas, life experiences, passing on knowledge) will become those older ones with wisdom.

        What I have noticed is that the older some wise ones get, the less they talk, and the more they listen. And getting them to open up requires a lot of personal interest in them. Have you observed this kind of behavior?
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      Oct 5 2013: Sometimes it can feel like looking for a needle in a hay stack.
      But if you have a place where you associate with people on a regular basis, then it is possible to run across these type of older ones every once in a while.

      I think that volunteering in an elder care facility is a great place to meet wise elderly people.