The Art of Aging Podcast

A Transformative Podcast

The Art of Aging Podcast was started by a fellow with The Dayton Foundation Encore Fellows Initiative, which provides fellowship opportunities for older adults.

Today the podcast is part of the Abundant Aging podcast series where Rev. Beth Long-Higgins and Michael Hughes interview guests who offer ideas, information and inspiration on how to improve our lives as we grow older.

Visit to listen to the podcast or watch the episodes on YouTube.

Archived Podcast Episodes

Episode 25 – The Technology and Ethics of Prolonging Life: A Conversation with Dr. Tracy Trothen

Do you want to extend your life? How can technology improve your life? Dr. Tracy Trothen researches the ethics of advanced technologies. She joins us to talk about gene editing, mind uploading, restorative technologies such as cochlear implants and stem cell research. What questions are raised when we use technology to pursue a longer, more perfect life?

Dr. Trothen is an author and faculty member at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She will be the keynote speaker at the Ruth Frost Parker Center’s Fall Symposium on September 30th.

Episode 24 – A Conversation with Geriatrician Dr. Cynthia Olsen

What can we learn from talking to a recently retired geriatrician?  In this episode we meet Cynthia Olsen who recently retired from a career in geriatrics medicine.  She talks about how older patients differ from younger patients, issues of ageism among medical students, polypharmacy, new medical innovations that benefit the elderly and much more.

Episode 23 – Aging Hero – Mary Tyler

This month we introduce you to another aging hero. Mary Tyler has worked with United Way programs from all over the United States, been a community activist, social justice researcher and continues to pursue higher education even into her retirement.

Episode 22 – Reflections on Retirement with Reverend Beth Long-Higgins

Our co-host Reverend Beth Long-Higgins shares some insights about the non-financial aspects of retirement. Many people find that after retiring they have not taken time to reflect on the potential ways their lives will change. Beth offers her experience and some of the latest research by Ken Dyctwald and Edward Jones Investments. She also shares insights from Joe Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab and Laura Carstensen of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Recently, Beth has also participated in teaching the online course NEXTSTEPS: MIDLIFE AND BEYOND. For more information about this course, visit the Ruth Frost Parker Center Web site.

Episode 21 – An Exploration of How Libraries Serve Older Patrons 

Rachel Gut, the Executive Director of the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, shares some of the extraordinary services the library provides older adults. Listen and take some time to explore what your own local library offers in terms of movies, audio books, volunteer opportunities, research assistance and services to help those with special needs.

Episode 20 – A Conversation with Kathryn Brod, President and CEO of LeadingAge Ohio

LeadingAge Ohio is a not-for-profit association that represents more than 400 long term care organizations who provide hospice, housing, nursing and ancillary services for older adults throughout the state.  Kathryn Brod tells the story of how the approach to this care has evolved to become less restrictive, providing patients with more control over their care.  LeadingAge has helped to lobby for better pay and conditions for employees, in response to the staff shortages that face all medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  She also shares some strategies for addressing employee shortages.

As a new feature, we are offering a book review of Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal”, a must read for anyone who is aging during this era of increased lifespans.  The author defines what conversations we must have in a world where the treatment may be worse than the disease.

Episode 19 – Silver is Gold: Encore Employment and Volunteer Opportunities

Many people find themselves looking for employment and volunteer opportunities after retirement that match their skillset.  In this episode, we will talk to the initiators of the Silver Is Gold website in Dayton, OH.  We will hear from some of the job seekers, employers and organizers of this venture.  As this concept grows, it is hoped that other communities will adopt this platform.

Episode 18 Part Two – Service Coordination for Residents in Independent Living Facilities – Urban
In this two-part episode, we explore the role of service coordinators in independent living facilities.  In part two, we meet Natalynne Baker, Vice President of Resident Services at St. Mary’s Development Corporation in Dayton, Ohio.  St. Mary’s has helped to build 65 apartment communities for low income residents across Southwest, Ohio.  Natalynne shares how her service coordinators are able to draw upon a rich variety of resources, that are available in a mid-sized city.

Episode 17: Part One – Service Coordination for Residents in Independent Living Facilities – Small Communities
In this two-part episode, we explore the role of service coordinators in independent living facilities.  In part one, we meet Kim Yoder the Manager of United Church Homes Engage and Barbara Rose, the service coordinator for UCH Shawnee Springs.  Together they tell the story of how service coordination helps residents in UCH independent living facilities remain independent for as long as possible.  Service coordinators connect residents with home health aides, transportation, meal delivery, and expert advice on Medicaid and other issues.  Shawnee Springs is an independent living facility in Bellefontaine, a small town in northwest Ohio.

Episode 16: The Role of Race in Healthcare Outcomes
Dr. Jamie Mitchell, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, shares research she has done in effective communication between doctors and African American men.  She explains how poor communication and confidence in the health care system, can impact prostate cancer patients, vaccination rates and general healthcare outcomes of African American patients.  Her studies of video records of doctor/patient interactions illustrate how this communication can be improved.

Bonus Episode: Producer of “A Life’s Story” Podcast
Leslie Gold, an accomplished radio host and producer, shares some of the stories behind the subjects of her new podcast, A Life’s Story. Her subjects are all over 85, some over 100. The stories push back on ageist myths and stereotypes, inspiring us to see aging in new ways.

Episode 15: Aging Hero – David Rough Hikes the Appalachian Trail at 64
What happens when a 64 year old man decides to hike more than 2000 miles of the Appalachian Trail?  In this episode, we meet David Rough who was inspired to take on this challenge as a way to raise money for Dayton Christian Schools.  Take this journey with David and find out what he learned about himself, and what he wants others to know about setting ambitious goals as we age.

Episode 14: Aging Hero – Rev. Bobbie McKay 
In this episode, Bobbie McKay speaks to her call to ministry during the 1960s when it was rare for a woman to be ordained in the Methodist Church. She went on to have a career that included pastoral counseling, starting an experimental church and pursuing a major research study on “God Experiences” that she partnered with George Gallup to complete.  In this episode, our co-host Rev. Beth Long-Higgins invited her own pastor, Rev. Beth Gedert to discuss their backgrounds as pastors, in light of three generations of female clergy.

Episode 13: Susan McFadden, author of Dementia Friendly Communities: Why We Need Them and How We Can Create Them and co-founder of Memory Camp.
In this episode, Susan shares her years of research in how communities in England and the U.S. have made life more manageable for persons with dementia, and their caregivers.  She shares many stories about strategies that work, how better to cope with this diagnosis, and how her community in Fox Valley, Wisconsin has adapted to better serve the needs of persons with dementia.  We also hear from her husband John, about how they have pioneered a concept they call, Memory Camp.

Episode 12: Dr. Stacie Levine, the University of Chicago Medical Center, June 16, 2021

Palliative care is a team approach to supporting patients with serious illness.  In this episode, we meet Dr. Stacie Levine, who is the founder of the palliative care program at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  Dr. Levine explains the importance of palliative care in helping patients and their families cope with the the symptoms and emotional impact of serious or terminal illness.

Episode 11: Dr. Robert Applebaum, Director of the Long Term Care Research Project, May 4, 2021

How likely is it that you will need long-term care in your future? What are the factors that you need to take into consideration? In this episode, we talk to Dr. Robert Applebaum, Director of the Long Term Care Research Project at the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University. Dr. Applebaum talks about how long-term care has changed, what the options are and what you’ll need to consider when covering costs.

Episode 10: Kate Munger, founder of the Threshold Choir movement, April 4, 2021

In this episode, we learn about the Threshold Choir movement. Threshold Choirs help people during the transition between life and death, or during severe illness. We will meet Kate Munger, the founder of the Threshold Choir movement and hear from two women who are veteran choir members.

Episode 9: Elizabeth Lokon, founder of Opening Minds Through Art (OMA), March 4, 2021

In this episode, we meet Elizabeth Lokon, founder of Opening Minds Through Art (OMA). OMA, which is based at the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University of Ohio, provides a research based arts program for people with dementia. This intergenerational program is being used in over 200 facilities across the U.S. and Canada.

In our second segment, we will visit the memory neighborhood at Trinity Community at Beavercreek, and hear about how OMA has impacted their residents. Amy Kotterman, Director of Customer Experience for United Church Homes, tells the story.

Finally, we hear the story of Jenny Haack, an artist who did art with a person with dementia who was still at home.

Episode 8: Dr. John Fleming, founder of African American History Museums, February 4, 2021

In honor of Black History Month, we hear the story of Dr. John Fleming, who grew up during the 1960’s civil rights era, protesting at lunch counters and marching from Selma to Montgomery.

Episode 7: Coping with Memory Loss, January 21, 2021

In this episode we meet Rev. Scott and Rev. Karen Griswold. Scott talks about his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and the steps he and his wife Karen have taken to understand and prepare for his future.

Episode 6: Technology Tools that Improve Life as We Age, December 6, 2020

In this episode, we look at a number of technologies that can significantly improve our lives.

Episode 5 — Facing Assisted Care as an LGBT Person, November 3, 2020

Stu Maddux produced the film “Gen Silent” ten years ago, about the unique fears many older LGBT people have, about entering an assisted care facility. In this episode, Stu reflects on the making of the film.

Episode 4 — Aging Hero Al Schleuter, October 14, 2020

In this episode, we share the remarkable life story of Al Schleuter — a man who was born in Ferguson, MO, in 1940. Al never met an African American until he was an adult, but he went on to devote his life to racial and economic justice.

Episode 3 — The Benefit of Intergenerational Relationships, September 24, 2020

In this episode, we explore various ways people benefit from intergenerational relationships, including a church congregation that has successfully drawn parishioners of all ages, an adult day care that works with an early childhood day care, a retired man who mentors an 18-year-old boy and a retired woman who volunteers for a “Homework Helper” program at her local library.

Episode 2 — Age-Friendly Communities, July 3, 2020

In this episode, we will be talking to Katie White, director of Age-Friendly Columbus about the first four years of their efforts to establish Columbus, Ohio as an “Age-Friendly Community.”

Episode 1 — How The Village Network Is Helping People Age in Community, June 11, 2020

The Village Network, that started in Beacon Hill, Boston, has spread worldwide. A village is a neighborhood community organized around providing support for older citizens’ needs. Village members live in their homes an average of two years longer than non-members. Columbus, Ohio, has four villages and is in the process of building villages citywide.