Blog Posts by Author

Share:
   email article Email   Print article Print
   

Author's image

Pepper Evans is a community activist, a versatile entrepreneur and the mother of two teenage daughters. She has worked as a researcher and editor for authors and filmmakers. She puts her time and resources to use in the nonprofit sector and serves on the Board of Education in Lawrence Township, New Jersey. She has also had extensive personal and professional experience as a caregiver.

 

Lying to Mom?

Lying to Mom?
A few years ago, a New York Times New Old Age blog had me thinking about my mother's later-life driving. The blog is about lying to an older person, ostensibly for his or her own good. In one tale, a grown daughter sabotages her mother's driver's license renewal to avoid confrontation over concerns about waning driving skills.  Read more...


 

Helping Hands, Joined Online

Helping Hands, Joined Online
When you’re coping with the needs of someone who is hospitalized or convalescing, you may wish you could clone yourself to handle everything on your plate. Take heart—a website can become your personal assistant. What’s more, it won’t cost you a thing.  Read more...


 

Weighty Issue

Weighty Issue
Are we teaching our children today what they need to know to assure good health beyond childhood and throughout their lives?  Read more...


 

The Happiness Check

The Happiness Check
I received a milestone-birthday gift from a dear, longtime friend. It was a generous monetary gift that came with a caveat: I must spend it on myself. No college tuition help, no car repair, no electric bill—I had to spend it on something that made me happy.  Read more...


 

Mind Your Qs, Help Your Diet

Mind Your Qs, Help Your Diet
Is your midlife palate bored to ambivalence about mealtime? Often I lament the ho-hum of my menu repertoire, but I still go back to the tried and true in every food group. But recently, in an unlikely coincidence, I tried and enjoyed two new- to-me foods that begin with the letter Q: quinoa and quark.  Read more...


 

Now Hear This

Now Hear This
I love to feel connected and informed—both, keys to successful aging. I no longer get a newspaper and don’t watch much television. I live between New York City and Philadelphia, where there’s no shortage of media outlets, but I get virtually all of my news from the radio. I know—old school. The radio is on in my kitchen, home office and car, not for music but to stay on top of what’s happening in the world and for infotainment. I’m sort of an NPR junkie. The hosts’ voices are as familiar to me as my family’s.  Read more...


 

Whose Vision Problem Is It?

Whose Vision Problem Is It?
I recently saw a feature in a magazine about an item so intriguing that I was compelled to investigate the retailer's website. I left my comfy reading chair to go to the computer with the intention of making a purchase. When I got to the website, I found that I could barely make out the product description because of the font and color they used. The print was small and the colors—gray on gray—did not provide contrast for me to read what I wanted to learn. So frustrating!  Read more...


 

Save the Planet, Harm your Family?

Save the Planet, Harm your Family?
I like to think of myself as being more open to new ideas at midlife, willing to change some practices in the name of progress. I have, for example, taken greater personal responsibility in the reduce, reuse, recycle realm.  Read more...


 

Mom's Bridge Club

Mom's Bridge Club
Lately I'm reading a surprising number of memoirs written by adult children about their experiences with their parent(s) as they age. I find myself identifying so often with the authors' stories, though my parents are no longer living.  Read more...


 

Books to Give or Keep in 2016

Books to Give or Keep in 2016
It’s that time of year—when I am asked to recommend books I’ve read to friends who are working on their gift lists. I primarily seek out new fiction, but I enjoy deviating for an interesting memoir. Each of these books connects to aging, from midlife on up.  Read more...


 

Getting over the Cold Shoulder

Getting over the Cold Shoulder
About a year ago I had a pain in my shoulder that didn't go away. I am still not sure what caused the problem but it started with a tingling and got progressively worse. Over a period of a few weeks, it turned into a condition called frozen shoulder, when the large bone of the arm sticks to the shoulder blade. I could not raise my right arm above my head and had a hard time doing even simple daily tasks like getting dressed or reaching for something from a high pantry shelf.  Read more...


 

New Names for Today's Households

New Names for Today's Households
As I wrote in a previous blog about older kids returning to live with their parents, it really wasn't that long ago that it was okay, respectable even, for a young adult to live at home until marriage. Then it became almost unheard of in my generation. And now, everything old being new again, 85 percent of college grads return home before flying solo, according to Time magazine. Sociologist Katherine Newman, author of The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition (2012), says it's a global issue.  Read more...


 

They're Baaaaack!

They're Baaaaack!
I was intrigued to read a Gallup-poll finding that 14 percent of 24- to 34-year-olds are living with their parents, and more than half of 18- to 23-year-olds are still at home (or are back there again).  Read more...


 

All in Good Taste

All in Good Taste
Recently, I overheard someone turning down a gooey, brownie-like concoction, saying, “No thanks, it's too sweet for my taste.” Wait a minute, was that me uttering those words? Too sweet? That's up there with too rich and too thin, isn’t it?  Read more...


 

Very Pinteresting

Very Pinteresting
Lonely? Can't find your best girlfriends, not even on Facebook? Don't despair; I know where they all went. They are on Pinterest (pronounced like interest, only starting with a p, pin-trest).  Read more...


 

Homesick

Homesick
Two friends of mine recently experienced something you don't hear about often: grieving the loss of their childhood homes. For people who spent a long stretch of their formative years at a single address, the childhood home is a repository of memories, an emotional scrapbook of sorts.  Read more...


 

Avoiding Drug Interactions Just Got Easier

Avoiding Drug Interactions Just Got Easier
My mom had a great relationship with her regular pharmacy. In addition to getting prescriptions filled, a visit there included a dedicated, professional woman assembling our nonpharmacy shopping list so Mom could go to the back of the store and her “order” would be ready. On days when I was not free to drive her to that pharmacy, the backup was a drugstore with free delivery. They wouldn't add in a box of tissues or a magazine, however, so we used it as a last resort.  Read more...


 

Drinks on Me

Drinks on Me
I am not a big drinker. Most days, I need to remind myself to drink liquids to stay healthy and hydrated. A normal part of aging, I have learned, is that I don't register thirst the same way I did when I was younger. A friend told me she drinks more water if she has a straw, and I find that is true for me as well. Then I read that pursing your lips to drink from a straw causes mouth wrinkles. You just can't win, can you?  Read more...


 

May Day Surprise

May Day Surprise
“Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other, gold.” —Girl Scouts

We are often reminded of the importance of keeping social as we age; isolation has proven to be hazardous to healthy aging, while friendships engage and stimulate us. I am fortunate to have longtime friends as well as newer ones. I have two friends from grade school who have been dear to me for 50 years. Every summer we meet for lunch to catch up and to recharge those life-shaping memories.  Read more...


 

Yo, Am I Ageist?

Yo, Am I Ageist?
Unless you are Peter Pan, one day you'll be old. I don't want to experience discrimination because of a date on my birth certificate. I don’t want people to lump me into a one-size-fits-all assumption based solely on my age. Neither does author Ashton Applewhite, whose new book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism (2016), calls upon the thought leaders of aging to debunk the myths that are filling us with dread and keep us from realizing that all aging can be successful aging.  Read more...


 

Taking a Stand

Taking a Stand
By now you have probably read the headlines about the negative health effects of sitting too long. The studies show that not only couch potatoes, but desk jockeys as well, are compromising health and longevity by sitting for long periods of time. Runners and gym rats are not exempt. In fact, many articles claim that sitting is the new smoking.  Read more...


 

Getting Out Alive (and Staying That Way)

Getting Out Alive (and Staying That Way)
My role as caregiver and advocate has me quite familiar with transitioning a patient from hospital back to home sweet home. In my experience, the weak link in the process is almost always with discharge instructions and expectations. Patients leaving facilities are overwhelmed with instructions they (and even their caregivers) can't understand; doctors' orders get lost and misinterpreted; one doctor doesn't know what the other has prescribed, and so on. When patients return home to an unsafe environment, unprepared to cope with new limitations, too often they end up right back in the hospital. It's a problem so pervasive that hospitals are now literally paying the price for readmissions—they're fined by Medicare.  Read more...


 

In Dog Years

In Dog Years
Have you met my dog, Ruffles? At her annual well-dog visit, my vet referred to her as geriatric. Ruffles is almost a decade young, and sure, she is a little grayer and sometimes doesn't make the leap onto the bed on her first try, but geriatric?  Read more...


 

Check This Out

Check This Out
One day last summer when I was wearing cropped pants and flip flops, I thought my ankles looked swollen. Was I retaining water? Standing too long? Did I need a new pair of shoes? (Let's hope.)  Read more...


 

Mentors for Med Students

Mentors for Med Students
When my mother was alive, her medical care was spread out among specialists. She had an internist as her go-to, primary doctor, but she had a Rolodex of others to manage specific health issues: dermatologist, podiatrist, cardiologist. At one point she was referred to a geriatrician who we hoped would become a general contractor of sorts for Mom’s total care. Older bodies are different from younger ones. The same disorders produce different symptoms in elders, and they respond differently to medications and other therapies. Many doctors who are not geriatricians don’t know much about that. Sadly, the travel to the only geriatrician was far and the wait for a new patient appointment was months, so in the end she didn't go. Why is there such a shortage of geriatricians?  Read more...


 

Books to Give or Keep

Books to Give or Keep
I am reprising my blog from 2014 with new suggestions for books to give or to keep this season. I have a few I've loved and can't wait to share, and I get unparalleled joy from matching a book to a recipient. My personal choice in reading is usually new fiction, but I also have some tried-and-true nonfiction titles for your TBR (to be read) list. Each book connects to midlife and beyond.  Read more...


 

Addicted to Tech

Addicted to Tech
My teens are considered “digital natives,” because they grew up with computers and other tech marvels. I, on the other hand, am considered a “digital immigrant,” because computing is a foreign language to me and people in my age bracket. I will say, though, that just to stay relevant, I took up computers as a second language, and I'm connected almost all the time with my smartphone, tablet, laptop and home desktop. I'm not “fluent” like my younger friends, but I'm not in the dark either. I know folks who never turn off their tech. I'm not one of them, but I followed along with a radio quiz about tech habits, conducted by a therapist, to determine if I am “addicted” to tech. I take lots of quizzes. Maybe I should see if I am addicted to quizzes.  Read more...


 

I Shopped, I Dropped

I Shopped, I Dropped
Not too long ago my daughter needed some retail therapy. She works part time, had just gotten paid, and she could hear the stores calling her. The mall was the last place I wanted to be on the weekend, but I was a teenage girl once, and I knew exactly how she felt. In the absence of any BFFs, I was her default shopping partner. Now it was me, not the teenager, with the big sighs and eye rolls.  Read more...


 

Coming Up Short

Coming Up Short
Can you talk about your finances without feeling uncomfortable? Let's face it: some topics are still off limits, even among the closest friends. I'm going to talk about income disparity, even if it IS the last taboo.  Read more...


 

Good Scents

Good Scents
As I get older, I find it harder to get a good night's sleep. I know I function better on seven (or more) hours of uninterrupted sleep, but it's elusive. Night sweats wake me or the furry friends purr too loudly or hog the bed. I used to sleep through that. Caffeine also bothers me more. I can't have any after five p.m., or I'll fall asleep but wake shortly after. I can't fall back to sleep as easily as I once did.  Read more...


 

Beyond Books

Beyond Books
My friend's mom was a voracious reader. Well into her 90s, Bernice, having only recently retired, would read several books each week. When I took her to the library, she would check out a huge stack at every visit, give them a few chapters to prove themselves and continue only if worthy.  Read more...


 

Betrayed by an Author

Betrayed by an Author
Why wouldn't I read a memoir by Joyce Carol Oates? She is a widow, as am I, she lives nearby, and books from her prolific writing career have graced my nightstand frequently over the years. So I bought a copy of A Widow's Story: A Memoir. It seems odd to say that I looked forward to reading the intimate details of her grieving, but I did eagerly await this particular memoir, even if the sharing of our grief was to be one sided.  Read more...


 

Spanning the Generations

Spanning the Generations
I wore bell-bottoms and collected troll dolls; my mother had saddle shoes and jitterbugged. For most of my young life, I couldn't see many areas where we overlapped. Then in my 20s I worked at a restaurant with live music on weekends. The lead vocalist was a crooner whose repertoire was mostly American classics and show tunes. I may have been young relative to the audience, but this was my mother's music, the tunes she listened to on the radio when I was growing up, and as a consequence I knew every word. In fact, coworkers would joke that I could go on the television show, “Name That Tune.”  Read more...


 

The 411 on 911

The 411 on 911
Do you ever worry about what could happen if you ended up in a hospital and no one knew who you were? What would happen to you if you were in an accident and unable to tell first responders whom they should call?  Read more...


 

Grandma Took the iPad

Grandma Took the iPad
I am a reader who reads all the time, for work and pleasure. I even read about what to read next so I am never caught without something to read! My idea of hell would be to lose that ability.  Read more...


 

From Babyproofing to Grannyproofing, Don't Ignore This Health Checkup!

From Babyproofing to Grannyproofing, Don't Ignore This Health Checkup!
My mother's safety became a concern to me as she aged. My mom lived alone and hated to ask for help. We both wanted to keep her safe and independent.  Read more...


 

Something's Fishy

Something's Fishy
Pick up any women's magazine or any healthy-living publication and you are sure to be admonished to eat more fish. It's good for your brain, your weight, your longevity. I know!  Read more...


 

Live to 100: Do You Have What It Takes?

Live to 100: Do You Have What It Takes?
There's an old joke that goes something like this: The Japanese drink very little wine and experience fewer heart attacks than US or British citizens, while the French and Italians drink wine at every meal and experience fewer heart attacks than US or British citizens.  Read more...


 

New Cream on the Block

New Cream on the Block
Skinstitut
Here at the Silver Century Foundation, we are all about the positive aspects of aging. That said, I confess that hope springs eternal when I read about the age-defying beauty products on the market. I'm in my mid-50s and the laugh lines aren't necessarily a laughing matter.  Read more...


 

Step It Up

Step It Up
I just learned that fewer than half of adults are getting enough physical activity to benefit their health. (Um, yes, that would be me.) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while 60 percent of us are walking for exercise, we're falling short of the recommended intensity and duration. (Me, again.)  Read more...


 

Shingles—Are You Protected?

Shingles—Are You Protected?
When was the last time you thought about chicken pox? Not since you were a child, I bet. A middle-aged friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles. It’s caused by the same virus as chicken pox, varicella zoster. WebMD reports that your chance of contracting shingles increases when you are older than 50, or if your immune system is compromised by illness, stress or medications.  Read more...


 

Great Reads for the Book Lovers on Your Holiday List

Great Reads for the Book Lovers on Your Holiday List
I love to give books as gifts. I strive to match the book to the recipient the way some givers try to find the right scarf or tie—I want to make eyes sparkle. If you are shopping for a book this holiday season, I have a quick list that will please a reader in midlife and beyond.  Read more...


 

Time to Rethink Ink

Time to Rethink Ink
Tattoos—love them or hate them? If you are like me, you shudder at the thought. The mere word can conjure movie images of bikers, sailors, trollops—not to mention the creepy, all-night tattoo parlors—and brings to mind a long-held belief that tattoos are for someone who fits a mold to which I do not aspire.  Read more...


 

The Zen of Tony, Spanning Generations

The Zen of Tony, Spanning Generations
I heard a voice from my past when I stumbled upon an interview on National Public Radio (NPR) with the legendary singer Tony Bennett. It triggered many happy memories. I would know that voice anywhere—singing or telling a story—and it always makes me nostalgic. Bennett was a constant in my house growing up, as well as music from others of his generation, like Sinatra, Goulet and Como, to name but a few. My parents had a respectable collection of LPs under the turntable. This was the background music of my young life, and it stuck with me even as my tastes changed over the years.  Read more...


 

Imagining My Father's Story

Imagining My Father's Story
I recently read two nonfiction books about soldiers from World War II. One was the memoir Breaking the Code: A Father's Secret, a Daughter's Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything by Karen Fisher-Alaniz (2011). It is the story of a woman my age who gets to know her father as a soldier by reading the letters he wrote during his tour of duty in World War ll. Coincidentally, a long-awaited book I had on hold at the library came into my hands right after that: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (2010). It tells of the remarkable fortitude of one soldier fighting in the Pacific and his tumultuous life after he returned from the war.  Read more...


 

Emergency Rooms Get a Face Lift

Emergency Rooms Get a Face Lift
According to a story on National Public Radio, people 65 and older are more likely to go to the ER than any other age group except babies. It may be time for hospitals to consider changing to accommodate the people they serve.  Read more...


 

In the Air with a Chair

In the Air with a Chair
A friend received one of those worst-nightmare phone calls—her husband had had a skiing accident out West and was about to undergo emergency surgery on a very smashed-up knee.  Read more...


 

Salad, for Breakfast?

Salad, for Breakfast?
What are you eating for breakfast these days? Green tea and a protein bar? McSomething? Coffee and a doughnut? Seeing Michelle Obama with the new USDA food plate (replacing the old pyramid) has me rethinking how my own food habits stack up. I’ve decided that at midlife, I can’t afford to be careless about my diet choices.  Read more...


 

The Doomed Experiment in Intergenerational Living

The Doomed Experiment in Intergenerational Living
I recently picked up Katie Hafner's Mother Daughter Me: A Memoir (2013). All it took was a glance at the book jacket for me to know that the author was telling part of my story along with her own.  Read more...


 

Fear of Falling

Fear of Falling
My sister-in-law took a tumble down a few steps the other day, ending up in the ER with a badly sprained ankle. Claire is my age, mid-50s, and she is in good physical health. She even does Italian folk dancing for fun. She was doing some chores around the house, not in a rush, not dizzy, just a little preoccupied, and fell with her laundry basket. I don't often hear of 50-somethings losing their footing on the stairs, but I'm sure it could happen to anyone. In fact, I worry that it will happen to me!  Read more...


 

Stalked

Stalked
News reports alleging that the NSA has been collecting mobile-phone data have brought to mind a creepy feeling I sometimes get when I am online. Someone is “reading” my mail and likely yours too. Email, that is, as well as your online searches. The proof? Those ads that pop up on the right side of your screen, echoing the email you just wrote a friend about your new diet or the search you just did for sneakers. The ads are not coincidence  Read more...


 

Emily, You Remind Me of Someone

Emily, You Remind Me of Someone
Sometimes fiction is so spot-on believable, I am convinced the author must have walked in the shoes of a particular character. I recently read Emily, Alone, by Stewart O'Nan (2011) and have come to believe that he was once an 80-year-old widow.  Read more...


 

Fifty Shades of I Know Not What

Fifty Shades of I Know Not What
It's been in the headlines of weekly magazines, on the television talk shows, in the book clubs. I am talking about E.L. James's best-selling novel, Fifty Shades of Grey (Vintage, 2012). And just when I thought we were so over that, the movie casting calls, and the speculation and hype that go with that, seem to be never ending, putting the provocative book in the news again.  Read more...


 

Pain in the Bag

Pain in the Bag
Ok, we can have it all—but must we carry it all?

Noticing that I use a very small purse, my daughter's chiropractor commented that I wasn't likely to need her services for the many aches and pains caused by women's larger pocketbooks. I had to laugh. When my daughters were small, I had a diaper bag that must have weighed 20 pounds. I swore that when I no longer needed all the baby supplies, I'd carry the smallest purse I could find.  Read more...


 

Characters I Almost Missed

Characters I Almost Missed
“You will get paid to read and review current fiction if it has a compelling story with an aging protagonist.” Sounds like a good news-bad news joke, right? I love fiction, I told my boss, but the thought of reading novels starring an older person was filling me with dread. I'm in my mid-50s. I found the assignment depressing.  Read more...


 

Share:
   email article Email   Print article Print
   



Reduce font sizeReset font sizeIncrease font size
Change font size

Our Mission

The Silver Century Foundation promotes a positive view of aging. The Foundation challenges entrenched and harmful stereotypes, encourages dialogue between generations, advocates planning for the second half of life, and raises awareness to educate and inspire everyone to live long, healthy, empowered lives.

Notable Quote

"It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment; in these qualities old age is usually not poorer, but is even richer."

Cicero (106-43 BC)