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Aging in America

Aging in America: The Years Ahead is a journey across the topography of aging in search of what it means to have a “good old age”. This film traverses the experience of our elders from the wellderly to the elderly, as told through a series of intimate vignettes of people who are living the new old age. Through their stories, we laugh and cry as they celebrate their freedom, apply their wisdom, and suffer the consequences of their bodies’ limitations.

Aging in America: The Years Ahead is a journey across the topography of aging in search of what it means to have a “good old age”. This film traverses the experience of our elders from the wellderly to the elderly, as told through a series of intimate vignettes of people who are living the new old age. Through their stories, we laugh and cry as they celebrate their freedom, apply their wisdom, and suffer the consequences of their bodies’ limitations.

This film and its companion book are the result of seven years of fieldwork by the internationally-acclaimed team of writer Julie Winokur and photographer Ed Kashi. They traveled across the country, collecting scores of personal histories that, when taken collectively, challenge the culture of aging in America.

Running Time: 56 Minutes
Release Date: 2003

Aging in America series on MSNBC.com.

10 Things You Should Know About Aging in America:

  • By 2010, people over 55 will outnumber people under 18 for the first time in history.
  • More than a quarter of all nursing homes cause serious harm or even death to patients due to understaffing, minimally-trained aides who receive substandard wages, and overwhelming patient loads.
  • African-Americans, on average, die 6 years younger than Caucasians.
  • In San Francisco, where real estate prices rank number one in the nation, some 500 elders are evicted each year.
  • The share of employers offering retiree health benefits is steadily declining.
  • Medicare pays for 1 out of every 5 dollars spent on healthcare in the United States.
  • More than 84,000 inmates in America are over the age of 50— the fastest growing segment of the prison population.
  • There are currently 2.4 million grandparents raising their grandchildren in America.
  • Women account for 70% of older Americans living in poverty.
  • The fastest growing segment of society today is people over 85.

2005 Freddie Award in Cinematography and Geriatrics, International Health & Medical Media Awards

2004 Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Award

2004 National Press Photographers Association Best Feature Picture Story, 2nd Place for MSNBC.com series

2004 Pictures of the Year International, Best Multimedia Story & Essay, Best Multimedia Story & Essay for MSNBC.com Aging in America series, Judges’ Special Recognition for Best Photography Book

2004 Northern California Emmy Nomination, Best Documentary Film

One of the Best Photography Books of 2003, American Photo

One of the Best Photography Books of 2003, Village Voice

2003 Golden Light Award, Maine Photographic Workshops, Best Collaborative Photo Book

2003 Silver Images Film Festival, Best Educational Film

2002 National Press Club, Online Journalism Award

2002 Pictures of the Year International 2nd Place, Best Use of Multimedia/Interactive Publication – Large Media

2002 National Press Photographers Association, Best Picture Story, Best Feature Picture Story + Best Use of the Web

2002 National Media Award, American Society on Aging, MSNBC.com series

2001 Pictures of the Year International, 2nd Place, Single Picture Daily Life, “West Virginia Hospice”

2001 World Press Photo, 2nd Place, Single Picture Daily Life, “West Virginia Hospice”

2000-1 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation two-year fellowship grant

1999-2000 Open Society Institute grant

2000 Communication Arts Photography Annual, Award of Excellence for Unpublished Series, “Senior Foster Care”

1999 Communication Arts Photography Annual, Award of Excellence for Unpublished Series, “Spencer: Tornado Town”

1998 Communication Arts Photography Annual, Award of Excellence for Editorial Series, “America’s Aging Inmates”

1998 Pictures of the Year International, Award of Excellence, Magazine Division, Issue Reporting Picture Story, “Nilda & Nyco”

1997 Society of Publication Designers, 34th Design Competition, Merit Award, NY Times Magazine, “Aging Behind Bars,” Photography Reportage Story, July 13, 1997

1997 Pictures of the Year International, Third Place, Issue Reporting Picture Story, “America’s Aging Inmates”

Photo-series from Aging featured on msnbc.com

Aging in America reviewed on Salon.com

Aging in America featured at The Digital Journalist

“Aging Behind Bars”, The New York Times Magazine , July 13th, 1997

“New Elders”, Natural History Magazine , March 1998

“What They Were Thinking”, The New York Times Magazine , July 31st, 2000

“Rookie Candidate”, The Wall Street Journal, September 11th, 2000

“Friends for Life”, The New York Times Magazine November 26th, 2000

Ed & Julie interviewed by The San Francisco Chronicle September 12th, 2003

Article by Julie Winokur in The Wall Street Journal January 5th, 2006

AARP
www.aarp.org
AARP is a membership organization for people 50 and older that advocates for seniors and provides information and resources on issues ranging from aging to grandparenting.

Alzheimer's Association
www.alz.org
The Alzheimer’s Association’s nationwide network of chapters offer resources, information, and advocacy for individuals affected by Alzheimer’s. The website lists risk factors and warning signs for Alzheimer’s Disease.

American Society on Aging
www.asaging.org
This non-profit organization works to educate seniors, their families, and aging professionals on aging issues. The ASA website has links to publications and resources.

Benefits Check Up
www.benefitscheckup.org
Run by the National Council on the Aging, this website guides users through a questionnaire that ends with a detailed explanation of all the government benefits they or a loved one are entitled to.

Care.com Senior Care Resources + Articles
www.care.com
Care.com is a national leader helping families find senior care and child care. They offer a wide variety of free senior care resources and articles in addition to its searchable index of local care providers.

Today's Caregiver
www.caregiver.com
The website of Caregiver Media Group, a leading provider of information, support, and guidance for family and professional caregivers. The website includes Care Links, a resource for all ages including the elderly.

Encore.org
www.encore.org
Encore.org (FKA Civic Ventures) is a non-profit organization promoting productive retirement and civic engagement by older adults. Encore.org runs Experience Corps, which places senior volunteers in schools and youth programs across the country.

Family Caregiver Alliance
www.caregiver.org
An informative resource on long-term care and a public voice for caregivers.  FCA’s website provides policy information, research, and advice shared among caregivers.

FirstGov for Seniors
www.seniors.gov
This website provides accurate information about government services and benefits for seniors. It links users to topics such as retirement planning, tax assistance, and consumer protection.

Generations United
www.gu.org
Generations United is the only national membership organization devoted to intergenerational issues and policies.

Little Brothers–Friends of the Elderly
www.littlebrothers.org
This national, nonprofit organization is committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly.  Contact the main office for information on regional chapters.

Meals on Wheels
www.mowaa.org
Meals on Wheels, a national program with local chapters throughout the country, strives to eliminate malnutrition and hunger in the elderly population. Seniors can attend congregate meal sites or sign up for home-delivered meals.

National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
www.nccnhr.org
The goal of the coalition is to ensure safety and a high quality of life for residents of nursing homes.  The website includes fact sheets and evaluations of nursing homes.

National Council on the Aging
www.ncoa.org
The NCOA is a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of older Americans. It conducts research, fights for drug benefits, increased funding for support services, and better access to care.

The Spiritual Eldering Institute
www.spiritualeldering.org
This multi-faith organization works to promote the importance of elders in American society. The website has links to national conferences, training, and workshops.