Ibasho: Elders as Social Capital

The concept of ibasho—a Japanese term meaning a place where one feels a sense of belonging and purpose, and is accepted as oneself—challenges prevalent perceptions about aging. The Ibasho approach recognizes elders as valuable assets to their community, empowering them to be active participants and changing the harmful outcomes created by society’s negative perceptions and expectations—social isolation, a loss of dignity and respect, and a sense of uselessness and irrelevance. This approach …(creates) a strong informal support system in which elders are the catalyst to strengthen social capital among community members of all ages.

Click on the picture below to learn more:

Ibasho Café


Are you 60 or older? Have difficulty leaving home without help? If you are not receiving home-delivered meals, you may be eligible to participate in a University of Maryland Study on nutrition.

Research Participants Wanted – Can You Help or Do You Know Someone Who’d be Eligible to Participate?

From the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, UMD

Project 1- Phone Interview 

The University of Maryland is conducting interviews and is looking for participants!  We are interviewing adults age 60+ who have difficulty leaving home without help, and who are NOT receiving home-delivered meals.  Those who participate will receive $10 for completing a 30-45 minute interview.  Interviews are on-going through Spring 2020 and take place over the phone.  The questions are about the foods that you eat, and how your health may impact your daily activities and the quality of your life.  If you are age 60+, have difficulty leaving home without help, and are not receiving home-delivered meals, please call Anna Vaudin at 301-500-9154, or email her at avaudin@umd.edu.  (Home-delivered meal applicants are still eligible for interviews if they have not started meal service yet!)  If you know someone who is eligible for an interview, please provide them with this information so they can get in touch!

Project 2  In-Person Interview

The University of Maryland is conducting interviews and is looking for participants!  Those who participate will receive $10 for completing a 45-60 minute interview.  The interview is about difficulties older adults may have with getting food and preparing food, the resources they choose to use to deal with these difficulties, and what impacts quality of life as we age.  Interviews will begin in February and can take place in your home or in a private community space of your choosing.  If you are age 60+ and are interested, please call Anna Vaudin at 301-500-9154 to set up an appointment, or email her at avaudin@umd.edu.

The science of psilocybin and its use to prevent sufffering

“Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients. Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential.”
– Paul B. Rothman, M.D., Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

Scientists today are entering a new era of studying a truly unique class of pharmacological compounds known as psychedelics. Although research with these compounds was first started in the 1950s and ‘60s, it abruptly ended in the early 1970s in response to unfavorable media coverage, resulting in misperceptions of risk and highly restrictive regulations.

After a decades-long hiatus, in 2000 our research group at Johns Hopkins was the first to obtain regulatory approval in the United States to reinitiate research with psychedelics in healthy volunteers. Our 2006 publication on the safety and enduring positive effects of a single dose of psilocybin is widely considered the landmark study that sparked a renewal of psychedelic research world-wide.

Since that time, we have published further groundbreaking studies in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles in respected scientific journals. This makes Johns Hopkins the leading psychedelic research institution in the U.S., and among the few leading groups worldwide. Our research has demonstrated therapeutic effects in people who suffer a range of challenging conditions including addiction (smoking, alcohol, other drugs of abuse), existential distress caused by life-threatening disease, and treatment-resistant depression. Studying healthy volunteers has also advanced our understanding of the enduring positive effects of psilocybin and provided unique insight into neurophysiological mechanisms of action, with implications for understanding consciousness and optimizing therapeutic and non-therapeutic enduring positive effects.

At the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, researchers will focus on how psychedelics affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological markers of health. Upcoming studies will determine the effectiveness of psilocybin as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (formerly known as chronic Lyme disease), anorexia nervosa and alcohol use in people with major depression. The researchers hope to create precision medicine treatments tailored to the specific needs of individual patients.

To watch a TED talk on this topic, click on the following link:  https://hopkinspsychedelic.org/

Caregiving Tips for Traveling with an Older Adult

You don’t have to cancel the annual family vacation just because your loved one is getting older. With some careful planning, you can still get away and have an enjoyable time. This article provides some tips on how to plan a trip with an elderly loved one.



Airport Assistance for Seniors

Airport Assistance for Seniors

Airport Assistance for SeniorsAirport Assistance for Seniors

Navigating an airport can be frustrating even to the young and limber; it can become a huge hurdle as your body ages. But never fear. Help is available. All you have to do is ask. There are lots of things you can do to make your travel easier, even if you feel safe travelling alone or as an older couple. Most of them require a phone call, even though your actual ticket may be booked online.

Here are our top three tips for making airport travel easier as a senior:

1. Have a loved one escort you to your flight

Anyone elderly can be accompanied to their gate, or met at the gate of their destination, by an assistant, family member, or friend, even if the helper does not have a ticket. They just have to show a government issued ID at the ticket counter. That way you can be sure that Grandma gets on her flight to visit your sibling. This is limited to just one person, so don’t expect the family to be allowed to see her off. You may phone the airlines the day before the flight to arrange this. There are even companies that provide this service, from helping check baggage at the curb and getting her to her gate, all the way to taking the flight with her and helping every step of the way – for a fee.

2. Breeze through the security line

Persons aged 75 and older can go through security without removing shoes or jackets and may have a special line. If you use oxygen, check with your airlines; some require a document signed by your doctor to allow it to be brought onboard. Be sure that liquid medicines are separate from your toiletries. You can bring more than three ounces of liquid medicine, but know that it will be screened separately. Call the Transportation Security Administration (855-787-2227) if you have questions about passing through security. Fliers with special needs can ask to have an airport contact meet them at the airport when they fly.

3. Take advantage of mobility devices

Don’t hesitate to ask for a wheelchair. You may not need one every day, but if you have to connect with another plane in a giant airport then don’t be so proud. This makes it their responsibility to get you to the gate on time. Let them know if you are able to walk onto the plane by yourself; if you cannot, then this requires another level of assistance. Don’t forget to ask for a wheelchair at your destination and at any airports in between where you have to change planes.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to ride in a wheelchair, ask about an electric cart. They are cruising around almost every airport but you can’t take a chance on them picking you up if you don’t reserve in advance by phone. I learned from travel with my mother that your companion gets to ride along on the electric cart, even if they aren’t disabled. I got early boarding, too, for those who need extra time to get on the plane.  Trains also allow early boarding. Don’t be too shy to take advantage of it. Even hotels sometimes have a wheelchair to help you to your room. Take advantage of the respect and help that your graying hair has earned you!