March 01, 2019
Former NEWS CENTER Maine Health reporter Diane Atwood, who now has a blog called Catching Health, is embarking on a new podcast series to shed light on aging in Maine, and her interviews will also support research at the University of New England.
Through the "Conversations About Aging" series, Atwood will travel around the state and interview people age 60 and older about their perspectives on aging. They will discuss issues like aging in place, loneliness and isolation.
When Tom Meuser, director of UNE's Center for Excellence in Aging and Health learned about the series, he realized it aligned with the goals of the center's research. "The CEAH aims to do narrative-informed research, and we are very interested in researching some of the very topics Diane will be discussing with older adults in Maine."
Meuser and Atwood collaborated to come up with some of the questions to ask during her interviews, and at the conclusion of the series, Atwood will provide the center with her transcripts, removing the names of her interview subjects for the sake of objective research.
"I believe that contributing to the research Tom is doing at CEAH may help shift people’s notions about what it means to grow older,” said Atwood. “Several months ago, I heard a quote that I couldn’t shake —that loneliness and isolation have become the chronic health conditions of this century, especially as people age. As I began doing my interviews, I quickly realized that while loneliness was certainly an issue, I was also hearing stories about resilience, resourcefulness, wisdom and joy – inspirational stories that must be shared.”