Taylor Patskanick Appears on MA's Connect TV to Discuss Lifestyle Leaders Panel, Social Engagement

by Adam Felts

AgeLab researcher Taylor Patskanick made a local TV appearance to discuss the AgeLab’s research, the 85+ Lifestyle Leaders, and how the Lab’s current research and initiatives pertain to addressing loneliness among older adults.

The Massachusetts Task Force to End Loneliness hosts a monthly community access television series titled Connect TV. The program, which is broadcast statewide, is hosted by Sandra Harris, State President of AARP Massachusetts.  Ms. Harris is a co-founder of the task force with Caitlin Coyle, Director of the Center for Social and Demographic Research at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Its episodes have addressed topics such as lifelong learning, intergenerational connections, and family caregiving.

In an interview with Ms. Harris on Connect TV, Ms. Patskanick gave an overview of the AgeLab and discussed some of the Lab’s current research projects. She focused particularly on the AgeLab’s 85+ Lifestyle Leaders group, a panel of adults ages 85 and older. The Lifestyle Leaders panel provides insights into how members of the “oldest old” navigate the frontier of old age in the 21st century, and the challenges and experiences that future generations might face as they reach later life.

In addition to serving as a research tool, the panel is also an outreach and community group. Members of the panel, some of whom have been participants for nearly a decade, have developed relationships with each other as peers and with AgeLab researchers. Participating in research provides an opportunity for the panelists to describe their perspectives, experiences, and histories. Research participation, in this case, serves as a form of social connection.

The program also included an excerpt from an interview between AgeLab researcher Sophia Ashebir and Lifestyle Leaders panelist Gloria Jefferson, in which they discussed Gloria’s favorite Lifestyle Leader workshops, including retirement from driving and transitioning to other modes of transportation. Ms. Jefferson has been a member of the panel for over five years.

The Lifestyle Leaders panel is actively recruiting participants. All U.S. adults ages 85 and older are eligible to participate in the panel, which currently meets in a hybrid format at the MIT AgeLab and over the Zoom teleconferencing platform.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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