Senior Focus | April 5, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

- April 5, 2013

Senior Focus

'FIT OR FRAIL' ... Engagement — physical and emotional — is the "most important word" when it comes to reasons for longevity, says Portola Valley physician Walter Bortz, author of the 1996 book "Dare to be 100." Bortz was the keynote speaker March 23 at the sixth annual housing conference sponsored by Avenidas and held at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center. Bortz and his wife Ruth Anne, both in their 80s, are heading east next week to participate in the April 15 Boston Marathon — Bortz's 43rd consecutive annual marathon. Bortz said he's planning to give a talk at Harvard before the marathon on "the plasticity of human aging." "My mantra is 'use it or lose it,'" he said. "When you get old you're either alive or dead. If you're alive you're either fit or frail and that's a big difference. You're either a liability or an asset, and that's a big difference. That's not fated beforehand. It's all your choice. It's what you make of it."

REALLY RAGTIME ... A "rollicking romp through Ragtime music gems and favorites" is promised Sunday, April 7, at Really Ragtime, an afternoon event benefiting Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The $25 admission fee includes light refreshments and performances by Frederick Hodges, Jack and Chris Bradshaw, Robyn and Steve Drivon, Candace Fazzio, Professor Gordon, Larisa Migachyov and The Ragnolia Ragtette. Doors open at 1:15 for the 2 to 4 p.m. performance at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. The afternoon is sponsored by the Allied Arts Guild Auxiliary. To order online go to www.

AGING IN PLACE ... The Stanford Center on Longevity and the MetLife Mature Market Institute has developed a manual to help communities measure their capacity to help seniors remain in their own homes and communities as they age. The scholars developed a list of indicators — such as presence of public transportation, well-maintained sidewalks and presence of support services — and ways local governments can assess and improve them.

Items for Senior Focus may be emailed to Palo Alto Weekly Staff Writer Chris Kenrick,


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