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The Agewyz Podcast

Storytelling Podcasts

Author and caregiver Jana Panarites engages with unsung heroes — people caring for family members, friends and relatives amid the demands of their own lives — plus professionals in the field of aging and people using media to creatively address major health issues and challenge widespread assumptions about aging. Laugh, cry, share and know you're not alone. Check out our TRANSCRIPTS:

Author and caregiver Jana Panarites engages with unsung heroes — people caring for family members, friends and relatives amid the demands of their own lives — plus professionals in the field of aging and people using media to creatively address major health issues and challenge widespread assumptions about aging. Laugh, cry, share and know you're not alone. Check out our TRANSCRIPTS:


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Author and caregiver Jana Panarites engages with unsung heroes — people caring for family members, friends and relatives amid the demands of their own lives — plus professionals in the field of aging and people using media to creatively address major health issues and challenge widespread assumptions about aging. Laugh, cry, share and know you're not alone. Check out our TRANSCRIPTS:






Dr. Pauline Boss on The Grief That Has No End

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many residential care facilities to go on lockdown and implement “no visitor” policies. As a result, family members with loved ones in care facilities are feeling a heightened sense of “ambiguous loss”—a term coined by pioneering educator and researcher Dr. Pauline Boss to describe a form of never-ending grief. Common in caregivers of family members with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, this feeling of grief arises because the person with dementia...


Nancy Picard: Caregiving in a Crisis

Like many adult children, psychologist Nancy Picard is determined to prevent her aging parents from contracting Covid-19. But Nancy and her parents live in separate states. So she's in daily communication with them, and has wired up their house with cameras placed at strategic locations - at foot level, to give her parents some privacy. A returned Peace Corps volunteer who has supported people from age four to 94 as a clinician and researcher, Nancy also focuses on supporting people's needs...


Eugenia Zukerman: Like Falling Through a Cloud

Renowned flutist Eugenia Zukerman has performed in concerts and recitals all over the world. She was the artistic director of Colorado's Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival for 13 years, and the arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning for over 25 years. And then in her early 70s, Eugenia was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Instead of crawling into a corner, she picked up paper and pencil and started writing - in poetry. She has no idea why she wrote in verse, but the words flowed and...


Jason Resendez: LatinosAgainstAlzheimer's

Growing up in Alice, Texas, Jason Resendez didn't have any experience with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. But more recently dementia has started to become an issue in his family. Now the issue has come full circle: as Executive Director of the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer's Network, all Jason thinks about are the changing demographics in the Alzheimer's community, and in our nation. That's because the number of Latinos in the US over age 65 is set to triple by the year 2050,...


Leslie Gray Streeter: Black Widow

Veteran writer Leslie Gray Streeter established a loyal readership through her Palm Beach Post column, "That Girl." Now a general entertainment columnist at the Post, her writing for the newspaper began in the early 2000s and eventually included mentions of Scott Zervitz, referred to in Leslie's column as The Gentleman Friend when she and Scott were dating, and The Mister after they married. Baltimore natives who went to the same high school but didn't know each other well at the time,...


Medication Overload: Time For An Action Plan

In the last two decades the number of people age 65 or older who are taking five or more medications has increased 300 percent. A problem that is much bigger than America’s opioid crisis, the scope and impact of over-prescribing in older adults is detailed in “Medication Overload: America’s Other Drug Problem,” a report co-authored by The Lown Institute’s Judith Garber, a Health Policy and Communications Fellow at Lown; and Shannon Brownlee, Senior VP at the Institute and author of the book,...


VIP Care Management With Sonja Kobrin

Geriatric Care Manager Sonja Kobrin was in her twenties when she began caring for the grandparents who raised her. She had no help and was traumatized by the experience, but it informed her approach years later, when she cared for the biological father who had been absent in her childhood. This school of hard knocks training has influenced Sonja’s holistic and comprehensive approach to helping her clients at VIP Care Management, the Palm Beach County, Florida company she co-founded with her...


Deirdre Fishel on her documentary film “Care”

Award-winning filmmaker Deirdre Fishel walked around in a state of rage during the making of her documentary film, “Care,” which delves into the world of paid care from the perspective of both workers and care recipients. Deirdre talks about the making of her film, and about how her vibrant but frail mother influenced her decision to make it. As we head into the 2020 presidential elections, “Care” is a must-see film for candidates—and a powerful tool for advocates. Note: this episode...


LGBTQ Sandwich Generation

Brent Wright is one of 64 million sandwich generation Americans who has simultaneously cared for an aging parent and his kids, all under the same roof. What made their setup unusual? His mom moved in with Brent and his husband, Sandis, and their two adopted daughters. Brent tells us how the dynamics in their family changed when his mom moved in, and how his 7- and 10-year-old daughters help care for their grandma. Brent Wright is the Chief Operating Officer of Family Equality, a nonprofit...


Autism Village Founder Topher Wurts

One in 68 children born in the US today is diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. The vast majority of them are being raised by single moms, and boys make up roughly three-quarters of those diagnosed. Faced with these and other alarming statistics, Topher Wurts decided to use his background in tech media to develop Autism Village, a free mobile app designed to help families find autism-friendly places and services. The issue is personal for Topher: his son, Kirby, was diagnosed with...


Shaista Kazmi: Serving Elderly Ethnic Minorities

Michigan resident Shaista Kazmi has firsthand knowledge of the isolation and guilt felt by millions of family caregivers. But as a Pakistani Muslim, she's had the added challenge of finding culturally competent home health aides for her elderly family members. To help caregivers like her avoid the same fate, Shaista founded Detroit-based Apna Ghar, the first senior care agency in America dedicated to serving the needs of elderly ethnic minorities. Shaista tells us how well-meaning senior...


Suzanne Garber: Unraveling Global Healthcare

Single Payer, Medicare For All, Universal Healthcare - as these phrases get tossed around the presidential debate stage we get real with Suzanne Garber, whose documentary film, "Gauze: Unraveling Global Healthcare" compares and contrasts healthcare systems around the world to determine what "best healthcare" means and what it really looks like. We talk with Suzanne about her own experience with medical care, both in the US and abroad, what she discovered during the making of "Gauze" and why...


Cynthia Lim: Carving a New Path After Loss

LA resident Cynthia Lim, author of the book, "Wherever You Are: A Memoir of Love, Marriage and Brain Injury," returns to the show a year after our first interview to talk about how her life has changed since the death of her husband, Perry. Retired from working in the LA Unified School District, Cynthia has also raised two grown sons and been a fulltime caregiver for her husband. She talks about the gradual changes she’s made, to her house and in her life, now realizing this is a point in...


Elissa Altman on "Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing and Longing"

What happens when a gay, middle-aged daughter who has never gotten along with her makeup-addicted, former television singer mother is suddenly thrust into the role of her caregiver? That's the subject of James Beard Award-winning food writer Elissa Altman's new book, "Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing and Longing." Jana talks with Elissa about how “Motherland” evolved and what it was like for the author to revisit her complex relationship with her mother, Rita, this time through the...


Millennial Caregiver Adrienne Glusman

Adrienne Glusman always knew she would have to care for her mother at some point. It just happened 30 years sooner than she expected. An only child of divorced parents, Adrienne was 29 years old and traveling the world in between waitressing gigs in New York City when her mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Adrienne initially managed her mother's care from a distance, flying back and forth between New York and her mother's home in Tampa, Florida during emergencies. But as her...


Contemplative Caregiving with Dr. John Eric Baugher

Pioneering educator and researcher Dr. John Eric Baugher was just eighteen years old when his mother was murdered. Filled with rage, John felt he was fated to join his mother's killer in life imprisonment. Not behind bars, but behind psychological walls of unresolved grief and anger. How he channeled his grief and discovered compassion and even humor in the face of death is at the heart of John's new book, "Contemplative Caregiving: Finding Healing, Compassion and Spiritual Growth Through...


Valerie Bourdain: Finding Shelter in the Storm of Cancer

In a span of five years, Nebraska native Valerie Bourdain lost her daughter to adrenal cancer, her mother to lung cancer and her father to Chronic Lymphomatic Leukemia (CLL). Midway through their daughter’s cancer journey, Valerie's husband left the marriage. Valerie forged ahead. But as the sole caregiver for all three family members, her weight and blood pressure soared to dangerously high levels. Finally, she was motivated to get healthy so her grown son wouldn’t have to care for her...


Before It's Too Late

In 1996, Mike O’Krent became a volunteer interviewer for Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, the largest oral history project captured on video in the world. The experience of interviewing Holocaust survivors rocked Mike’s world and led him to found Life Stories Alive, which records the life stories of individuals, couples and siblings for their families before it’s too late. Mike’s own father and grandfather died before he could capture their stories, so he...


Janet Elsbach: Caring, Connecting & Building Community One Dish At A Time

Janet Elsbach was raised by people who did a lot of cooking, but she didn't go to professional cooking school. A home cook inspired by seasonal food, the cravings of those she loves to feed and the idea of bringing people together at the table, Janet knows from personal experience that in times of illness and sorrow there's nothing like the gift of food. Her new book, “Extra Helping: Recipes for Caring, Connecting, and Building Community One Dish at a Time” includes personal stories from the...


What Would The Patient Want?

What happens when a family member or friend is incapacitated and they’re counting on you to make a healthcare decision for them? Do you take the doctor's advice for treatment? Or do you push back, knowing the patient would never want the treatment the doctor is suggesting? In high pressure situations like this, the wisdom of someone like Viki Kind is invaluable. Viki is what's known as a clinical bioethicist. She helps families make good medical decisions and she counsels healthcare...