Older Women & Friends

Jane Leder

Award-winning author Jane Leder and guests take a deep dive into the joys and challenges of being an older woman. "Older Women & Friends" is a podcast that sets the record straight, dispels the myths, explores the many contributions older women make and the wisdom they have earned and are anxious to share. Add a sense of humor, and there are many reasons why older women are the happiest demographic in the country today.

read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

The Long Distance Grandparent with Kerry Byrne
May 10 2024
The Long Distance Grandparent with Kerry Byrne
Send us a Text Message. Here's a whopper: there are approximately 67 million grandparents in the U.S. today. Slightly more than twenty-six percent of them in the U.S. are mid-lifers.  That's crazy, right?  Many grandparents are still working, many have older children living in the house, and many may be taking care of their parents. While there is little research, millions of grandparents live 200 miles or more away from their grandchildren. They are the long-distance grandparents.Kerry Byrne is the founder of The Long Distance Grandparent, an online learning hub that also speaks to grandparents who live closer to their grandkids.  When her husband landed a new job in Dubai, she and their one child (soon to become two) relocated. Kerry’s experience set the stage for her intense interest in long-distance grandparents and how the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren changes. The research underscores the importance of this connection and the positive effect a close relationship has on a bitter level of life satisfaction and fewer ageist ideas about older people.Being a grandparent, particularly a long-distance one, takes energy and planning. As Kerry says, contrary to the general opinion, she advises people to “sweat the small stuff.” Find out what your grandchild likes and how you can relate. Schedule your time so that every Sunday, for example, you call. And write a letter. Kids look forward to getting snail mail!   If you are currently a grandmother, a soon-to-be grandmother, or someone interested in this connection, you’ll want to listen to Kerry’s insights.  https://thelongdistancegrandparent.com/On another note, are you interested in hearing from an expert on sexual wellness?Send me a "Yes" or "No" email:  j.leder@comcast.nethttps://thelongdistancegrandparent.com/
Eightysomethings: Letting Go, Aging Well, Finding Unexpected Happiness w/ Katharine Esty
Apr 25 2024
Eightysomethings: Letting Go, Aging Well, Finding Unexpected Happiness w/ Katharine Esty
Send us a Text Message. For some of us, turning 80 is right around the corner; for others, 80 might seem a lifetime away. No matter your age, listening to the stories of older women and the wisdom they’ve earned can be instructive and uplifting. I don’t know about you, but every time I read about someone who has lived beyond the current life expectancy averages of 79.3 years for women and 73.5 years for men, I give a fist pump and feel even more optimistic about my chances of spending more time creating a legacy and enjoying life.Katharine Esty will celebrate her ninetieth birthday later this year. For her, being in your 80s hasn't meant focusing on survival. "It is," she says, “a time to enjoy a full life with people we love. Relationships are what matter most in life."Living as an eightyomething today is much different from how it used to be. There are more people in their 80s than ever before. People are healthier and unexpectedly happy.  "The stereotypes of people in their eighties as frail, uninvolved, lonely are so untrue," says Katharine. "The vast majority are doing all kinds of interesting "stuff," living independently, and enjoying the gift of longevity.But what about all the loss that eightysomethings will suffer? How can you be happy with so much heartbreak and with the end zone in view?  How can you make new, younger friends? What about this business of being grateful? Is it a bunch of psycho-babble? Katharine Etsy takes us on a journey of eightysomethings and introduces us to a group of older women and men who are happier now than ever. She shares their secrets and her own. You don't hear many people say, "Oh, I'm so excited! I turn 80 in two weeks!" After listening to this conversation, you might change your mind.www.KatharineEsty.comhttps://www.amazon.com/Eightysomethings-audiobook/dp/B07QG435WJ/ref=sr_1_1?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.W7QCvKnVBepwHGKDFaKA614cBJ6KZvLDor1aceAgkEv3NDx3skgAQVM4AXDOyNZ_ZT8h48PCmnwLIBgIAcKjtw.KjAJ-Wb9kHSts5mgdju0TNZoe3lOby4bBB6ZxCInKFI&dib_tag=se&qid=1713821841&refinements=p_27%3AKatharine+Esty&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Katharine+Esty
Friendships That No Longer Work & What To Do About Them with Jan Yager
Mar 28 2024
Friendships That No Longer Work & What To Do About Them with Jan Yager
Send us a Text Message.In the late 70s, Jan Yager was single and convinced she'd never find a life partner. So, she turned her attention, research, and writing to the importance of friendships and the many ways friends impact our lives.  Studies show that a network of good friends makes our lives more satisfying and that, as we age, it is important to replenish our circle of friends.Yager divides friends into three categories: best, close, and casual. Although there are no hard and fast numbers, she suggests we need one to two best friends, four to six close friends, and, for better or worse, a slew of casual friends like those we meet through social media. But what happens when a best or close friend betrays, abandons, or wounds us? How do we decide if the friendship is salvageable? How can we try to fix things? Or what can we do if the friendship is no longer worth maintaining? Breaking up with a dear friend can be as traumatic as breaking up with a partner, a family member, or a professional mentor.With decades of experience as a sociologist, friendship coach, author, and speaker, Jan is the go-to expert. You may be surprised at some of what she has to say and appreciate the concrete tools she provides.www. Drjanyager.comWhen Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You  Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our LivesFriendgevity: Making and Keeping the Friends Who Enhance and Even ExtendYour LifeFor a selection of other books by Jan Yager, go tohttp://www.Drjanyager.com
Life As An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet with Diana Place
Mar 14 2024
Life As An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet with Diana Place
Send us a Text Message. One of the first questions I ask a guest is to describe her childhood. It never fails that the child they describe is in so many ways the older woman they’ve become, As either a Jesuit or Aristotle said, “Show me a child until he (she) is seven and I will show you the man (woman.)” Diana Place is the  founder of the 333 Collective, QUEST Gathering & Celebration for women 50+, & Third Act Quest.  So, what was the young Diana like? Until the age of five, she was a “totally free spirit” who climbed trees, chased butterflies, and put dog poop in holes so that neighbor kids would – well, you get it. She loved art, loved to create, and loved to have fun. But when she started school, she was forced to "color within the lines." And she learned the hard way what you can and cannot say. She told a so-called friend that their teacher had a "wrinkly" face. From that point on, this girl threatened to tell their teacher. Diana made her first interpersonal blip and suffered the consequences.But that lesson informed the person she has become. She understands responsibility, is excited about life, and is open to possibility.  Diana was forced to use all those tools when she faced a serious cancer diagnosis while at the same time dealing with an empty nest and the loss of a business. You’ll love her story of a survivor who put fear in the backseat and found her “calling” to reimagine aging, encouraging other women 50+ to rewrite their stories, and embracing the third act as the best, most exciting times in their lives.www.thirdactquest.comhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/dianadunbarplace/https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7173303695055523840/
Older Women In The Media w/ Susan Douglas, professor of Communication Studies, University of Michigan
Feb 1 2024
Older Women In The Media w/ Susan Douglas, professor of Communication Studies, University of Michigan
Send us a Text Message.It's become a cliche: older women in the media are portrayed as mothers, grandmothers, washed-up lovers, mother-in-laws.  Think of the invasive mother-in-law in "Everyone Loves Raymond." And the same goes for "Steinfeld." And then think of how men in their 60s, particularly in movies, are paired with women in their late 20s or early 30s. James Bond gets older every year, and the Bond girls get younger. And then there's the Going Gray bru-ha-ha when women stopped coloring their hair during the Pandemic and, when they returned to work as, say TV anchors, they were given an ultimatum: Get rid of the gray or leave.But all is not lost, says Susan Douglas, award-winning author and professor of Communication Studies, at the University of Michigan. "Things have started to change in large part because there are more women 50+ than at any time in our history," says Douglas. "Older women want to see reflections of themselves in the media, and A-listers want to keep on working, fighting for better roles. Older women are a market, and for better or worse, our buying power puts pressure on film studios, broadcast media, and advertisers."We are at a turnstile moment," says Douglas. "There are those who want to push forward, while others want to push back. There is progress but not as much as older women want.Do you see more accurate reflections of older women in the media? Do you agree or disagree with Susan's research? https://susanjdouglas.com/If you want to record a question about the portrayal of women in the media or anything else related to "Older Women & Friends," go to:https://www.speakpipe.com/olderwomenandfriends SPEAK TO ME
SuperAgers with Emily Rogalski,  Director, SuperAgers Research Initiative
Jan 18 2024
SuperAgers with Emily Rogalski, Director, SuperAgers Research Initiative
Send us a Text Message.         I’m a big fan of the AARP Bulletin and was particularly taken by a cover article titled Super Agers. I’d never heard that term before. Is a Super Ager someone whose appearance belies their age? Or is it someone who can do the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in pencil? Or are we talking about something much bigger? Who better to answer my questions than cognitive neuroscientist Emily Rogalski, director of the Super Aging Research Initiative at the University of Chicago?        Emily does a stellar job of talking about the human brain and the many ways our memory can be affected both positively and negatively.  Many people think they have a good memory, but super agers are quite rare.  Less than ten percent of the men and women 80+ that sign up to participate in her studies at the Super Agers Research Initiative meet the scientific criteria.  We’re talking about a memory as sharp as folks twenty to thirty years younger! That leaves me out.        Studying that ten percent is providing keys to successful aging, as well as clues to what goes awry in cases of dementia.         Lucky genes don't fully explain why some older people have the memory of “an elephant.”  Is it a diet that makes the difference? Exercise? Social connections? Good mental health, low stress?  Do the brains of super-agers look and behave differently? You bet.Join Dr. Rogalski and me for a rousing discussion about people who are living long and living well, and why others are not. And, who knows, maybe you're a super ager.          Discover more about Emily and the SuperAgers Research Initiative. https://voices.uchicago.edu/haarc/join/https://neurology.uchicago.edu/news/emily-rogalskihttps://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-rogalski-phd-642204/https://twitter.com/ERogalskiPhD
Giving Oxygen to Your Wonderful, Untapped Self with Linda Rossetti
Dec 21 2023
Giving Oxygen to Your Wonderful, Untapped Self with Linda Rossetti
Send us a Text Message.     We all have bumps in our lives ranging from not-so-major (Think: a fender bender or a lost credit card) to the big stuff, like divorce, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job. The challenge is navigating life’s biggest changes and coming out stronger and happier on the other side. How the heck do we do that?       Linda Rossetti, business leader and author of Dancing with Disruption, shares more than a few suggestions in this thought-provoking conversation. She encourages us to welcome instability. Yep, welcome the stress and the self-doubt. She challenges us to sit with the instability and to take our time naming and exploring our emotions.  Sit with uncomfortable, often painful emotions? What’s she talking about? Listen as Linda gives listeners a series of steps that can help women (and men) change their personal lives and find their own, true voice. https://lindarossetti.com/https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/destination-unknown-a-field-guide/id1445942178https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/destination-unknown-a-field-guide/id1445942178https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/all/?fetchDeterministicClustersOnly=true&heroEntityKey=urn%3Ali%3Afsd_profile%3AACoAAAEZgi0BzD6En_b0xG1VZ-crSj9cNn62csw&keywords=linda%20rossetti&origin=RICH_QUERY_TYPEAHEAD_HISTORY&position=0&searchId=17bb1114-d327-4cb6-be89-2ea83c765f99&sid=b%40Q&spellCorrectionEnabled=true
The Secrets, Wit, and Wisdom of Age with Filmmaker Sky Bergman
Oct 19 2023
The Secrets, Wit, and Wisdom of Age with Filmmaker Sky Bergman
Send us a Text Message.“Your decisions should be based on your curiosity, not your fear.”   Are you curious why older people are the happiest demographic in the country? I know I am, which is why Sky Bergman, photographer, professor, and documentary filmmaker, is my guest in this not-to-be-missed episode. Sky’s first documentary, “Lives Well Lived,” is based on interviews with forty older women and men with a combined 3,000 years of life experience. The film celebrates the incredible wit, wisdom, and lives of these older adults whose stories are about perseverance, the human spirit, and staying positive. Currently, Sky has two films in production: “Mochitsuki” about an intergenerational family that prepares Mochi to celebrate the Japanese New Year, and  “Prime Time Band,” about a group of older men and women who pick up instruments that they haven’t played for years, even decades, and who make music together.What are you waiting for? Listen to this conversation on “Older Women And Friends.” And when you're done, please take a minute to participate in the questionnaire below. Email your responses to j.leder@comcast.net.POLL* Please rate this episode on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.★★★★★* What question(s) would you like to ask Sky?*  Will you watch the film, "Lives Well Lived?" by using one of the links below?*   What are subjects that you'd like to be discussed in future episodes?THANK YOUhttps://www.skybergmanproductionshttps://www.lives-well-lived.com/https://cogenerate.org/people/sky-bergman/https://www.lives-well-lived.com/https://www.lives-well-lived.com/upcoming-airdateshttps://www.lives-well-lived.com/stream-the-filmhttps://www.skybergmanproductions.com/mochitsuki
Why Menstrual Equity Matters with Celeste Mergens, Founder of Days For Girls
Oct 5 2023
Why Menstrual Equity Matters with Celeste Mergens, Founder of Days For Girls
Send us a Text Message. We’re so beyond periods. Hell, it’s menopause and post-menopause that we care about.      And as for changing the world . . . well, we’ve got a lot on our minds that does not include young girls and their periods.      Hold up. There’s a story here that reads like fiction. Millions of girls have no idea what is happening to their bodies and what to do about it. All they know is that every month, they have to stuff themselves with feathers or rags or anything else they can find. Or they sit on a piece of cardboard until the bleeding stops so they can return to school or work. Some girls are desperate enough to exchange sexual favors for one single pad. The shame is overpowering.      Then along comes Celeste Mergens who while visiting an orphanage for girls in Kenya is shocked by the stories she hears and overnight decides to help provide these girls with the supplies, education, and encouragement they deserve. And Days For Girls was born.      Why Celeste? How did her sparse childhood and years of working with non-profits groom her to launch an organization that has reached more than 3 million young women and girls in 145 countries?       You won’t want to miss her story and how she overcame a challenging childhood, survived serious health issues, and created an unlikely global movement for menstrual health.http://celestemergens.comhttp://www.daysforgirls.orghttps://www.linkedin.com/in/celeste-mergens/https://www,hello@celestemergens.comThe Power of Days: A Story of Resilience, Dignity, and the Fight for Women's Equityhttps://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/731292/the-power-of-days-by-celeste-mergens/