Tags >> seniors
Mar 11
2010

Doris Murphy

Posted by Bruce Robinson in West County , seniors , nonprofit orgs , history , families , events , community , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

The town of Occidental has changed a good deal since Doris Murphy first moved there more than half a century ago, something she herself has had a hand in doing. It’s reason enough for a community-wide party tonight to celebrate here 100th birthday.

When Joe Murphy first brought Doris from San Francisco to Occidental, he showed her the 18 acres of redwood-sheathed ridgetop he had purchased nearby.  For more than two years thereafter, Doris recalls, their weekends were spent traveling to the remote property and constructing the solid green and white house with its large stone fireplace, where  she has lived fulltime since about 1960.

Doris was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, but hitch-hiked south to San Francisco after graduating from Reed College in 1938. There she met Joe Murphy, the influential leader of the Hod Carriers Local 38 union, and a high-profile organizer for the International Workers of the World. But Doris insists that meeting Joe did not inspire her to change her politics.

This picture of Doris and Joe Murphy adorns the cover of Love and Labor, the lively autobiography she published just a few years ago, at the age of 96. Her lifetime of  energetic participation in the town of Occidental will be celebrated in the new Occidental Center for the Arts on Thursday March 11, starting at 6 pm.

 

Feb 18
2010

Music and Memory

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , students , speaker , seniors , research , recreation , nonprofit orgs , music , medicine , media , Ideas , healthcare , Health , gadgets , events , education , disability , author , aging

Bruce Robinson

Even in patients with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, familiar music from long ago can awaken memories and prompt interactive behaviors. But how does that happen? A U.C. Davis researcher is working to unravel the neural mechanisms within the brain.

Much of the research that has been done so far on how music stimulates the brain has used musical samples that are not particularly stimulating. Dr. Petr Janata, associate professor of Psychology at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, says that a new round of studies should work with recognizable samples, and could discover that the brain encodes different types of music in different ways or areas.

That’s one area of research that Janata hopes to explore himself, along with expanding the studies he’s done on Alzheimer’s patients to include different age groups.

Dr. Peter Janata will discuss his research into “Music, Memories and the Brain"  in a public presentation Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 pm in the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa, a benefit event for the Sonoma County Bach Society.

You can read more about research into the associations between music, memory and Alzheimer's Disease in this Wall Street Journal article.

 

Feb 08
2010

2010 Estate Tax

Posted by Bruce Robinson in seniors , politics , legislation , history , government , finances , families , budget

Bruce Robinson

Last year, the federal estate tax earned the government about $25 billion dollars. This year, unless Congress takes action, the amount will be zero.

The missing Estate Tax in 2010 means more than just less revenue for the federal government. Santa Rosa tax attorney MaryClare Lawrence explains it has a ripple effect that touches virtually anyone who has some kind of an estate plan.

Nor are the complications in the tax law that apply in 2010 limited to the Estate Tax. Lawrence says that calculating Capital Gains on inherited wealth has also gotten trickier.

This table shows how the revenue collected from Estate Taxes was apportioned before the minimum exemption was increased. The first blue column, for estates of less than $2.5 million, has gone away for the past several years, but unless Congress enacts changes, Lawrence says it is due to return with a in 2011.

 

 

Jan 04
2010

Elder Financial Abuse

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , seniors , rights , public safety , poverty , nonprofit orgs , news , Napa , Marin , law enforcement , justice , finances , families , education , economy , California , aging , activism

Bruce Robinson

The recession can be a triple threat to the financial security of seniors. Not only are their savings shrinking, family members may have crucial needs, while unscrupulous predatory sales operations that target elders are on the upswing.

The Elder Financial Protection Network has collaborated with NBC Bay Area to create the television documentary “Be Wise, Be Aware,” which was first broadcast on Jan 3, 2010. Much of that program’s power comes from its first-person case histories, but Jenefer Duane, the EFPN’s founder and CEO (below), says it isn’t easy to find such people who are willing to come forward and tell their stories.

Duane founded the Elder Financial Protection Network in 1999, but she’s been working on senior advocacy issues much longer. It’s a calling she traces back to her childhood, growing up in Corte Madera.

A good resource for finding assistance when you suspect instances of senior abuse or fraud is the National Eldercare Locator. There are additional resources here on the EFPN website.

The North Bay Report previously reported on this issue on October, 2008.

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