What’s your reason for getting up in the morning? The French call it your “raison d'être”. Costa Ricans call it “plan de vida” and Okinawans call it “ikigai”. However you say it, research published in Psychological Science shows people who have a sense of purpose live longer, better lives. The study, conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and Carleton University in Ontario, looked at how 6,000 adults of all ages answered survey questions like “Some people wander aimlessly through live, but I am not one of them” and other questions that measured individuals’ sense of purpose.

Last week I attended a regional conference for our senior volunteer programs. (It was held in beautiful downtown Indianapolis, which I hope to get back to soon, by the way!)

The conference held many sessions specific to technical issues related to funding and regulations, as well as recruitment and volunteer management.

Questions and Answers

Q:  Does anyone provide discounted dental services for people over 60?


Did you know that counting inland lakes and rivers, seventy percent of Berrien County residents live within one mile of a body of water? Not only are there forty miles of Lake Michigan coastline, southwest Michigan boasts 306 inland lakes and rivers as well. Couple that natural beauty with railroad, shipping and easy interstate connections to nearby cities, and you have core assets needed for economic growth. What a glorious area we live in!

                As a member of the Cornerstone Alliance Board, I’ve been privy to the impressive economic development work of the Alliance for some time. They are a local powerhouse responding to and attracting businesses seeking a place to call home. Now, recent creation of the Berrien County Economic Development Partnership offers a whole new level of collaboration.

Most Americans are strongly patriotic, but ironically a significant number of them resent their national and local democratic institutions, on which they have a direct electoral impact, getting involved in issues of importance.

It became very clear in 1949, after the successful conclusion of World War II, the Truman administration, with the initially demonstrated support of the American people, proposed a national, universal health care program.

An alarmed American Medical Association, strongly opposed to health care reform, solicited the services of Whitaker & Baxter, a conservative political public relations firm, to pit the American public against Truman. Whitaker had discovered that by calling any action by our democratic government “socialism,” detractors could strike fear in the hearts of Americans. So by publicly branding Truman’s initiative “socialized medicine”, they sent Truman’s proposal down to defeat. And nothing in the U.S. related to national health care transpired until Lyndon Johnson proposed government –administered Medicare in 1965.

Flowers, chocolates, special dinner…how did you celebrate Mother’s Day?  We might be a somewhat untraditional family when it comes to Mother’s Day. I like my flowers growing outside; chocolate is not a passion for me (don’t judge me!); and I prefer a steak on the grill over a restaurant meal any day. I don’t need a card or any other token of my children’s love. I’m fortunate to live near my adult children, and to realize their love on a daily basis.  

A majority of people turning 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care in their lives.

What does that mean? How can I plan for it?

Needing long-term care means sometime in the course of our lives most of us will need daily assistance with routine activities such as dressing, bathing, eating and attending to personal needs. Assistance can be provided in a nursing home, but it’s provided increasingly in one’s own home.