Aging in America: Justice for All?
The 2021–2022 Sidore Lecture Series
The COVID-19 pandemic has once again revealed to the broader population that, while we are all aging and older adults are core members of our communities, older adults also face major social and health related disparities. In the US, aging is often seen not as something to honor and revere but as something to fight and avoid. This cultural reluctance to embrace aging, and failure to see diversity and different needs of older adults has resulted in structures and systems that do not adequately support people as they age nor their families and caregivers. This leaves older adults, family systems, and our communities multiply vulnerable. For many older people of color, LGBTQ older adults, and others, these barriers are heightened by disadvantages accumulated across a lifetime, such as inequities associated with racial, socioeconomic, and educational status. This lecture series is intended to examine these disparities, which are woven into the current fabric of our society and spark considerations for new systems—ones designed to honor, celebrate, and care for our older adults.
The 2021–2022 Saul O Sidore Memorial Lecture Series, “Aging in America: Justice for All?”, explores changing demographics in the US and how long-standing age-related biases in our society affect our health and well-being with the aim to broaden our understanding and awareness of agism as it intersects with racism, gender, sexuality, and class. It also celebrates the diversity of older adults and how attention to aging and disability can innovate and improve how we design, inhabit, and grow more sustainable communities. Speakers in the series aim to stimulate conversations among the UNH and broader communities about the roles we each play in creating the environment we want to age in—now and in the future. In this vein, our sessions include both keynote speakers and community-based panel sessions with area older adults, governmental and private service providers, and others. The resulting conversations will endeavor to empower individuals, UNH, and the greater community, to capitalize on the positive aspects of aging and build person-centered systems and communities that support all of us as we age.
The following are tentative events planned as part of the series. Please check back for final dates, times, and details.
Caregiving: Honor and Burden, Contributions, and Impact (November 9, 4:00-5:30pm, Zoom)
As with previous generations, Baby Boomers will depend on their friends and family to help them stay in their homes and communities as they age. Yet demographic shifts mean challenges for the future of caregiving, highlighting the question of who will provide this care. Panelists will provide an overview of the face of today’s caregivers and the costs of caregiving, to businesses, individuals and families, as well as society as a whole. They will provide perspective on how the shortage of home care workers impacts older people’s ability to remain at home as they age. This local perspective on home care and the pressure on a system which is already strained and bracing for increased needs will have all considering, “Who will be there when I need care?”
Dwight and Gayle Davis, owners of Senior Helpers based in Stratham, New Hampshire know the challenges and rewards of caring for a loved one. They both provided care for their own aging parents and understand the value of what it means to age in place, at home. Dwight, a native of Houston, TX is the President of Senior Helpers Stratham. He moved to New Hampshire in 2004. He is a former professional basketball player - a first round draft pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dwight spent many years as a realtor and working with youth across the state. His focus on teamwork and being the best that you can be is the focal point while building the most comprehensive home care team in New Hampshire. In addition to his responsibilities at Senior Helpers, Dwight serves as Vice Chairman of the NBRPA (National Basketball Retired Players Association), a board member of the New Hampshire Workforce Opportunity Council and the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire. Dwight is a graduate of the University of Houston and is Senior Gems® and Veterans Program certified.
Gayle is Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. She grew up on the New Hampshire Seacoast, attending school in Rochester and the University of New Hampshire. She worked in the high-tech field for more than 25 years and is known for mentoring and motivating employees to reach goals beyond their expectations. She is compassionate and caring, always willing to extend a hand to those in need. She is the co-founder of the National Aging in Place Council of New Hampshire and has been active with a number of charities/non-profits over the years. Gayle’s father was a WWII U.S. Navy veteran. She is proud to service Veterans and their families in his honor and to provide them with all the care and respect that they deserve. Gayle is Senior Gems®, Veterans and Parkinson’s Programs certified. She is a certified facilitator of the Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT). She received her Master Trainer certification in A Matter of Balance, an evidence based fall prevention program. Gayle is also a member of the NAPW (National Association of Professional Women), NBWA (National Basketball Wives Association) and represents the Northeast Region on the Senior Helpers Owners Council.
Bob Stephen is AARP’s Vice President, Caregiving and Health Programs and serves as AARP’s lead for family caregiving. In these roles, he leads the strategy and execution of AARP’s enterprise-wide efforts to help 50 plus Americans live independently at home and in the community, while supporting the 48 million family caregivers who so often make this possible.
Prior to joining AARP in 2010, Bob spent over two decades in strategy development and management consulting where he worked with rural communities and healthcare organizations. He has a BA from the University of Iowa and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School Of Business.
Pat Yosha is a retired educator and political activist. A graduate of the University of Michigan and University of Hartford, she taught secondary English in Connecticut and in Native American colleges in South Dakota and Kansas. With her husband, she did sexual harassment prevention training in Connecticut vocational schools. She designed the first high school women’s studies course in Connecticut. Upon retirement in New Hampshire, Yosha served on the Commission on the Status of Women, and as a member of the ACLU Board of Directors. She has been active in the Racial Unity Team and in social justice activities in the seacoast area. Yosha’s husband, Malcolm Wetherbee, was a retired psychology professor, having chaired the Psychology Department at Suffolk University. The couple enjoyed European travel, camping, skiing and bicycling, as well as regular BSO concerts until Dr. Wetherbee became seriously ill in the summer of 2017. At that time, Yosha became his full-time caregiver, until he died on December 26, 2017.
Graphic Recording - Live Mural Making
Kate Crary is a Project Director with UNH’s Institute for Health Policy and Practice. Her work includes policy analysis, project management, group and organizational strategic planning, and curriculum delivery and development. In addition to this work, Kate serves as a Person-Centered Systems and Planning Educator for the Center on Aging and Community Living. She is also a certified long-term care Ombudsman, and much of her work focuses on person-centered systems change, and resident’s rights. A life-long artist, Kate has been developing and sharing her graphic recording skills for more than 7 years throughout New England.
For this year’s Sidore Lecture Series, Kate will be creating unique artwork for each session. This artwork will be created live during each presentation, and will be in mural-sized. Each art work will flow into the next, creating a final, large scale, immersive mural at the end of the series, capturing the spirit and intention of Aging In America: Justice For All?
Aging in Place: Black Perspectives (February 2022)
Aging in place refers to the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level, and this session centers the perspectives of senior African Americans in their own words. In a roundtable session, individuals from several Black history, arts, educational, and activist organizations will share stories of how they’ve made a place called home in New Hampshire, the challenges they’ve faced (and still face), and how they actively shape their communities today. Their stories help interweave longer histories of regional, labor, and seasonal migration, the work of maintaining family connections and political presence as citizens, and what it takes to define themselves and the “Black community.”
Engineering for Humanity: Design, Accessibility, and Intergenerational Partnerships (March 2022)
COVID-19 has demonstrated the necessity of telehealth and provision of services in-home to safeguard older adults’ health and wellness. This session will explore outcomes and challenges of intergenerational design and engineering projects addressing the specific functional, social, and informational needs of older adults, and how new technologies and services enable them to actively contribute to our communities and workforce. Speaker/panel will focus on models and technologies that support older adults in their homes and as employees, and how an intergenerational workforce can positively impact individuals, families, and the community. Presumptions about older adults in the workforce will be challenged, and perspectives of an intergenerational workplace will be shared across the working age-span.
And co-sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa...
Distinguished Guest Lecture: Building a World that Includes Disability (March 24 or 25)
What would our world be like if it fully welcomed and included people with disabilities?
How could we build that world to share and live in together? Why would that be a better world for all of us? The human variations we think of as disabilities are part of the human condition and have been with us throughout history and across place. From Beethoven to Chuck Close, from Oedipus to William Faulkner, from FDR to Joe Biden, disability is everywhere once we know how to look for it.
LGBTQIA+ The Social Injustice of Being Forced Back in the Closet (April 2022)
While many LGBT older people are living vibrant, full lives they face unique challenges as they age, often resulting in poorer outcomes than heterosexual older people. This session will discuss the experiences of a generation that was a force behind civil rights and gay pride, returning to the closet out of fears of discrimination and harassment as they age. Speaker/panel will highlight the barriers LGBTQIA+ older people experience in receiving formal health care and social supports as well as discuss what it means to provide culturally competent services for LGBTQIA+ older adults. Learn more about the unique disparities facing LGBTQIA+ older adults, and how to remedy them in this session.
Aging in America: We Are All in This Together
previously held on October 6, 2021
This session set the context of aging in the United States by framing changing demographics, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized groups, and the role we all play in shaping our own future as aging adults. More about this session and keynote speaker Margaret Franckhauser.
We hope you will be able to join us for these interactive discussions. The October and November sessions will be held virtually, and we are planning for in-person events beginning in February. We will be honoring Covid-19 protocols for in-person events.
The series is being organized by Casey Golomski (Associate Professor of Anthropology), Allison Wilder (Faculty Fellow, UNH Center on Aging and Community Living and Associate Professor, UNH Department of Recreation Management and Policy), Laura Davie (Co-Director UNH Center on Aging and Community Living and UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice Director of Long Term Care and Aging, Jennifer Rabalais (Co-Director UNH Center on Aging and Community Living and UNH Institute on Disability Project Director), Allyson Ryder (Assistant Director, UNH Office of Community, Equity and Diversity), and Kate Crary (Project Director, UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice and Center on Aging and Community Living).
The Saul O Sidore Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1965 in memory of Saul O Sidore of Manchester, New Hampshire. The purpose of the series is to offer the University community and the state of New Hampshire programs that raise critical and sometimes controversial issues facing our society. The University of New Hampshire Center for the Humanities sponsors the programs.