This is Growing Old—A Podcast

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“Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration I don’t think you can go wrong.”

—Ella Fitzgerald

At this very moment, no matter where we are, we all have one thing in common—from the moment we are born, we’re getting older. The experience of aging brings each of us challenges as well as adventures. And if we’re lucky, our lives will tell a tale that we can share to help others on their path.

The Alliance for Aging Research has encountered hundreds of inspiring people in its quest to promote healthy aging and we want you to meet them! Join the Alliance as we interview these changemakers in our podcast, This is Growing Old. Stay tuned for new episodes every other Wednesday.

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44. NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD Shares Vital Vaccine Info

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ Medical Director, Dr. William Schaffner answers some common questions about co-administration, dispel myths, and share tips to keep older adults protected against all vaccine-preventable diseases.

43. Alliance Board Chair Jim Scott Shares This Year’s Top Stories in Aging and Health

Jim Scott, Chair of the Alliance for Aging Research’s Board of Directors, joins Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin to reflect on the year’s top stories in aging and health.

42. How to Make a Difference this Holiday Season with Meals on Wheels

Colder weather is upon us, and that means that many older adults may be isolated at home. Here to talk about how Meals on Wheels is making a difference is Meals on Wheels President and CEO Ellie Hollander.

41. Fighting Ageism with Activist and Author Ashton Applewhite

At the Alliance for Aging Research, we are all about helping people live longer, happier, more productive lives. Unfortunately, ageism in our society can be a huge barrier to healthy aging. Here to talk about ageism is Ashton Applewhite, an activist and author who wrote This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.

40. Addressing Out-of-Pocket Costs for Older Adults with PAN Foundation’s Amy Niles

Being able to afford out-of-pocket prescription drug medications is a problem for millions of Americans, especially older adults. Every year, Medicare beneficiaries pay on average over 3,200 in out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs. For an older adult on a fixed income, this is no small chunk of change. Alliance for Aging Research Vice President of Public Policy Michael Ward is joined by Amy Niles, Executive Vice President of the PAN Foundation to talk about why out-of-pocket costs are so high, the real-world impacts of growing out-of-pocket costs for older adults, and what we can do about it.

39. Living with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease: Patient Advocate Jay Reinstein Shares his Story

Jay Reinstein is a graduate of the Alliance’s Talk NERDY to Me program, which trains older adult on patient-centered outcomes research and the clinical trials process. Jay, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, shares his story this Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

38. What is Geroscience? Dr. Felipe Sierra, International Advocate for Geroscience, Explains.

Alliance for Aging Research President and CEO Sue Peschin talks with Dr. Felipe Sierra about geroscience and the upcoming Euro-Geroscience conference, which he is chairing.

37. Malnutrition and Aging: What You Need to Know

Gail Cresci, PhD, RD,  talks with Lindsay Clarke about recognizing the signs of malnutrition and how we can fight against it as we age.

36. Are You NERDY? Become an Advocate for Older Adult Health with Talk NERDY to Me

Teresa Wright-Johnson shares her experience being a patient advocate and participating in the Alliance for Aging Research’s Talk NERDY to Me training.

35. Celebrating 35 Years of the Alliance for Aging Research with Founder Dan Perry

The Alliance for Aging Research is celebrating 35 years! Here to talk about this incredible milestone and all that the Alliance has accomplished for older adults is our founder, Dan Perry.

34. Celebrate Grandparents Day and Learn the Truth About Vaccines

Lindsay Clarke, Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy at the Alliance for Aging Research, interviews Generations United Executive Director Donna Butts about Grandparents Day and how grandparents can promote vaccines across the generations.

33. September is Hydrocephalus Awareness Month

Lindsay Clarke, Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy, talks with Diana Gray, President and CEO of the Hydrocephalus Association, about what hydrocephalus is and why an awareness month is so important.

32. How to Help Older Adults with Social Isolation and Loneliness

Sue Peschin, President and CEO of the alliance for Aging Research, chats with Mark Meridy, Executive Director of DOROT, about how we can decrease social isolation and loneliness among older adults.

31. What the 2021 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report Discovered About Older Adults

Sue Peschin, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research, talks with Dr. Rhonda Randall, Chief Medical Officer for UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual, about the UnitedHealthcare Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Report.

30. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Chairman and Co-Founder George Vradenburg

Alliance for Aging Research President and CEO Sue Peschin talks with George Vradenburg, Chairman and Co-Founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, about the recent aducanumab announcement, the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Brain Guide program, and the importance of the Medicare annual wellness visit for detection of cognitive impairment.

29. Mike Sylvester, Five-Time Heart Surgery Survivor and Stroke Survivor, Shares His Story

Mike Sylvester is a five-time heart surgery survivor, a stroke survivor, and an advocate who shares his story to help others live healthier lives. Listen to his conversation with Alliance for Aging Research Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy Lindsay Clarke and learn more about Year Without a Stroke at

28. Food for Thought: The Role of Nutrition in Healthy Aging

Alliance for Aging Research President and CEO Sue Peschin interviews Lindsay Clarke, the Alliance’s Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy, about the importance of good nutrition for healthy aging.

27. Ken Thorpe, Chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease

Alliance for Aging Research President and CEO Sue Peschin interviews Ken Thorpe, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, and Chair of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an organization that does incredible work to raise awareness of the impact of chronic disease on death, disability, and rising healthcare costs.

26. Shaking the Stigma of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms with Dr. Jeffrey Cummings

Diseases and injuries that damage the brain can impact how we interact with the world and lead to significant and disabling behavioral and psychological symptoms, which are also referred to as neuropsychiatric symptoms. Here to talk about neuropsychiatric symptoms and the challenges they present is Dr. Jeffrey Cummings. Dr. Jeffrey Cummings is the Joy Chambers-Grundy Professor of Brain Science, an endowed professorship at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He is the Director of the Chambers-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience, a center devoted to using the tools of neuroscience and neurologic drug development to transform people’s lives.

25. How COVID-19 Has Impacted Minorities with Dr. Gary Puckrein

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially devastating for people of color. Minority groups are more likely to get severely sick and die from COVID-19. Additionally, Black Americans are getting vaccinated at a slower rate than whites. Here to talk about these disparities and how we can work to overcome them is Gary Puckrein, President and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum.

24. Improving the Current Body of Evidence on Dementia Care with Dr. Eric Larson

According to a new report from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the current body of evidence on dementia care does not reflect the experiences of diverse populations. On the latest episode of This is Growing Old, Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin interviews Dr. Eric Larson, a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, and chair of the committee that wrote the report.

23. Bonus Episode: This Policy Would Have a Catastrophic Impact on Alzheimer’s Disease Research

In this special bonus episode, Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin discusses how implementing international reference pricing in the U.S. would decimate the clinical development of therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias with Vital Transformation’s Managing Director Duane Schulthess.

22. Speaking Out Against Discrimination in Healthcare with Terry Wilcox

Terry Wilcox, the Executive Director of Patients Rising,  talks about quality-adjusted life years and why they are bad for patients and older adults in particular.

21. Fighting COVID-19 Vaccine Myths featuring Dr. Todd Wolynn

Dr. Todd Wolynn shares best practices for fighting against COVID-19 vaccine disinformation and misinformation on social media.

20. Nutrition and Healthy Aging Featuring Bob Blancato

Bob Blancato, Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, talks about the importance of nutrition for healthy aging.

19. David Farber Explains How International Reference Pricing Would Impact Older Adult‪s‬

David Farber, a partner at King & Spalding LLP, talks about international reference pricing, an issue that impacts older adults and their access to prescription drugs.

18. Martha Taggart, BrightFocus Science Writer: Raising Awareness of a Leading Cause of Vision Loss for Older Americans

In recognition of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, Sue Peschin talks with Martha Taggart, a science writer for the BrightFocus Foundation, about age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, an eye disease that is a leading cause of vision loss in older Americans.

17. John Lewis, Executive Director of Heart Valve Voice US: Raising Awareness of Heart Valve Disease

On this episode of the podcast, Alliance for Aging Research Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy Lindsay Clarke speaks with John Lewis, Executive Director of Heart Valve Voice US, about how the organization is raising awareness of heart valve disease.

16. A Special New Year’s Message from Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin

What does 2021 have in store for the Alliance for Aging Research and older adults in general? In this first episode of season 2 and 2021, Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin shares her thoughts on the new year.

15. Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas: Bringing Joy to a Tough Year

On the season finale of This is Growing Old, Sue talks with Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas Chairman Ric Erwin and President Bob Callahan about why Santas would make for good messengers for promoting the COVID-19 vaccine, how Santas are bringing hope during a difficult year, and why they say real beards are better.

14. Ramsey Alwin, CEO of the National Council on Aging: Holiday Safety Tips During COVID-19

National Council on Aging President and CEO Ramsey Alwin talks about how older adults can stay safe and connected this holiday season, and provides updates on NCOA initiatives.

13. Emiliana Simon-Thomas: The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Sue talks with Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., the science director of the Greater Good Science Center, about the importance of gratitude and how we can incorporate it into our daily lives.

12. Grace Whiting: Caring for Caregivers During COVID-19

We recognize National Family Caregivers Month by interviewing C. Grace Whiting, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving. Grace talks about challenges caregivers are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

11. Dr. Jack Guralnik: What You Should Know About Sarcopenia

We talk about something that is quite common, but that you might not have ever heard of before: sarcopenia

10. Dr. William Schaffner: Why Getting Your Flu Shot is More Important Than Ever

William Schaffner, M.D., Medical Director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), explains why the flu vaccine is so important this year and answers questions about common questions about COVID-19.

9. Debbe McCall: Cardiovascular Patient Researcher, Advocate & Speaker

Debbe McCall talks about how she became a patient advocate and how patients can best advocate for themselves.

8. Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer at WebMD

Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer at WebMD, talks about common misconceptions about COVID-19, why COVID-19 is infecting and killing more Black and Hispanic Americans, and the most common questions he gets about aging.

7. Beverlye Hyman Fead: Changing How We Think About Aging

Beverlye Hyman Fead talks about embracing aging, why honesty and a sense of humor are so important as we age, and more.

6. Patty Peterson: Why Patient Advocacy is Important

Patty Peterson, a participant of the Alliance’s Talk NERDY to Me program, reflects on what she learned from the program and the importance of patient advocacy.

5. All of Us: Improving Health Care Through Research

Eric Dishman, Chief Innovation Officer at All of Us, explains why the organization is on a mission to collect and study health data from a million people or more,  and how will this data help improve health care for all of us.

4. Men’s Health Network: Healthy Aging for Men and Those Who Love Them

Ana Tomšić, Vice-President of Men’s Health Network, and Dr. Sal Giorgianni, Senior Science Advisor at Men’s Health Network, talk about how men can pursue healthy aging and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted men’s health.

3. Patient Advocates Jim and Geri Taylor: Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

Patient advocates Jim and Geri Taylor talk about their personal experience with Geri’s Alzheimer’s disease and what it’s been like during the pandemic; their work with the Alliance’s Talk NERDY To Me Training, and their latest campaign to change clinical trial recruitment in Alzheimer’s disease trials.

2. Sandy Markwood: How to Help Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We talk with n4a CEO Sandy Markwood about common challenges older adults face during the COVID-19 pandemic and how n4a is helping older adults get access to the information and services they need.

1. Lance Robertson: COVID-19’s Impact On Older Adults

Lance Robertson, who serves as both Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administration for Community Living Administrator, talks about COVID-19’s impact on older adults.