Show cover of This is Growing Old

This is Growing Old

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.


Navigating Neuropsychiatric Symptoms with Terrie Montgomery
Are you familiar with the symptoms of Alzheimer's? Neuropsychiatric symptoms, or NPS, are mood and emotional symptoms of dementias and other brain diseases that are often overlooked and under-treated. This Alzheimer's Awareness Month, we're amplifying the voices of those experiencing NPS. Today, we're joined by Terry Montgomery, a friend of the alliance, a patient advocate, and someone who, after receiving a dementia diagnosis, has committed her voice to ensuring that Alzheimer's patients have access to treatments and care and that there's a nurturing community for everyone.
20:28 11/8/23
Fall Prevention with Occupational Therapist Dr. Scott Trudeau
As we age, we become more susceptible to accidental injury. What may seem like a minor slip, trip, or fall could cause severe bruising, breaks, or even death among older adults. In fact, falls are the leading cause of accidental injury and death in adults over age 65. For the American Occupational Therapy Association, creating innovative solutions for daily living is critical in preventing falls. Joining us to explore fall prevention is occupational therapist Dr. Scott Trudeau. Dr. Trudeau has committed his career to ensuring that older adults "thrive in place." As the Director of Practice Engagement at the American Occupational Therapy Association, Dr. Trudeau addresses the risk factors that lead to falls and empowers patients to live each day confidently, independently, and safely.
38:30 10/19/23
Celebrating 30 Years of Heroes in Health with Kevin Rigby
On September 26th, the Alliance for Aging Research will be celebrating our landmark 30th annual Heroes in Health Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in Washington DC. In anticipation of this historic evening, we’re joined by our master of ceremonies, Kevin Rigby, to discuss our honorees, favorite moments, and a few Heroes In Health fun facts that may surprise you! Visit to learn more about our annual awards dinner.
12:18 9/20/23
Navigating Grief with the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
August 30th is Grief Awareness Day, a time to educate others on grief, create space for loss, and prepare ourselves and loved ones for this difficult, yet, inevitable experience. Joining us to explore some of the misconceptions around grief and the growing effort to support patients as they navigate their journey into the final stage of life are two experts in end-of-life care. Tom Koutsoumpas and Carole Fisher lead the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation, a membership organization dedicated to innovating effective models of palliative and hospice care that centers the patient and their families. During our chat, Tom and Carole share their unique insight and lived experience with hospice care that drives their incredible advocacy work.
33:52 8/23/23
Aging with Pride with Mary Anne Adams
As we observe pride, a time when LGBTQ+ plus folks celebrate their enduring fight for liberation, we must recognize the communities that strengthen this movement. Zami Nobla is one of those groups. Founded by Mary Anne Adams, a Metro Atlanta community activist, social worker, and public health researcher, Zami Nobla aims to increase opportunities for networking and social support and to explore the healthcare needs and coping strategies of Black lesbian older adults.
48:41 6/28/23
Breaking the Color Barrier with Gretchen Wartman
On the heels of National Minority Health Month this past April, we're joined by Dr. Gretchen Wartman, Vice President for Policy and Program at the National Minority Quality Forum, to discuss what healthy aging looks like for Black and Brown older adults and some of the barriers to healthy aging that PoC older adults face.  The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) combats health disparities among Black and Brown communities and empowers our most vulnerable neighbors to create healthier outcomes through culturally and linguistically appropriate resources. An advocate for over 30 years, Gretchen has committed her career to advancing health policy and restoring equity.
48:41 5/25/23
Exploring Brain Donation with Tish Hevel of the Brain Donor Project
May 7th is National Brain Donor Awareness Day, bringing attention to the critical need for brain donation and the advances in research made possible by donors across the country. Leading the charge is the CEO and Founder of the Brain Donor Project, Tish Hevel. In this episode, we sit down with Tish to dispel misconceptions about brain donation and discuss the crucial role that donated brain tissue plays in unraveling the complexities of neurological disorders.
23:20 5/3/23
The Truth About Alcohol with Dr. George Koob
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to address the stigma around alcohol use disorder, or AUD, and share resources to support those who suffer from this often underdiagnosed and undertreated condition. Among the millions of Americans impacted, older adults remain at heightened risk of alcohol abuse due to a variety of environmental, medical, and social factors.   Joining us to discuss the risks of alcohol abuse as we age is the Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Dr. George Koob. Dr. Koob is an internationally recognized expert on alcohol and stress and the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction.
27:36 4/5/23
Kick QALY to the Curb with Terry Wilcox
For more than 40 years, the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) has been devaluing the lives of older adults and patients with chronic medical conditions. Yet, thanks to organizations like Patients Rising, we may finally put these discriminatory assessments to rest once and for all. In light of the recent QALY Ban Bill introduced to Congress, we're joined by returning guest, Co-Founder, and CEO of Patients Rising, Terry Wilcox, to break down the impact of QALYs on patients whose quality of life relies on access to critical treatments.
28:00 3/22/23
Speaking From The Heart: A Conversation with Heart Valve Voice Canada
On Wednesday, February 22nd, the Alliance will be joined by more than 119 partners who are all working together to help raise awareness of valve disease—what it is, who’s at risk, what the symptoms are, how it’s detected, and how it’s treated. This year, we’re proudly expanding internationally with the help of Heart Valve Voice Canada. There are an estimated 11 million Americans with heart valve disease and more than 1 million Canadians—so this topic is of great importance to both of our organizations. Heart Valve Voice has a number of exciting events and outreach activities planned for Heart Month and Valve Disease Day, and their managing director, Ellen Ross, is here to tell us more about their work. 
16:16 2/15/23
Listen to Your Heart This Valve Disease Day with Lindsay Clarke
It’s Heart Month, which is a busy time at the Alliance as we prepare for Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day on February 22nd. In the spirit of Heart Month, we're joined by Lindsay Clarke, the Senior Vice President of Health Education & Advocacy at the Alliance, to talk about the risk factors, symptoms, and importance of increasing awareness about Valve Disease. Lindsay has been heading up Valve Disease Day since its start in 2017 and leads our efforts to educate consumers, patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals on a variety of diseases and conditions of aging.
12:40 2/8/23
Addressing Barriers to Adult Immunization with Abby Bownas
It’s no secret that vaccination is our best defense against preventable illnesses like the flu and COVID-19. However, for our most vulnerable communities, access to preventative care can feel just out of reach. Luckily for us, the Adult Vaccination Access Coalition is combatting the financial obstacles to critical treatment that many older Americans face. Joining us today is a patient advocate and co-manager at AVAC, Abby Bownas. Tune in as we discuss the importance of vaccination along with the amazing work that AVAC is doing to support older adults everywhere this flu season.
28:56 1/25/23
2022 in Review With Dan Perry, Founder of the Alliance for Aging Research
It’s hard to believe that 2022 is over. As we step into a new year, it’s important to look back and reflect on the year that we’ve just had. Dan Perry, Founder of the Alliance for Aging Research and member of our Board of Directors, joins Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin to reflect on the moments that defined 2022. 
51:08 1/11/23
It Takes Two: Living With Early Stages Alzheimer's Disease
On the heels of National Family Caregivers Awareness Month and National Alzheimer's Awareness month, we're joined by two patient advocates that epitomize this critical intersection. Roger Cochran is a member of the Early-Stage Alzheimer's Advisory Commission for the Alzheimer's Association. He has an MA in Anthropology, MS in Health Systems (Ga Inst Tech), a Ph.D. in Sociology, and has worked for over 30 years in community health planning. Roger is also living with Alzheimer's disease. Dorothy Merrick is married to Roger and is also his primary caretaker. She is passionate about the topic of Alzheimer's disease and is a powerful advocate for her husband and others living with this condition.  During our chat, we explore their journey together, as they navigate the challenges that follow the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
24:24 12/7/22
55. Deciphering the Inflation Reduction Act with Michael Ward
In August, the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law. The bill includes provisions to address a number of issues including healthcare, to climate change, and deficit reduction. In this episode, we're joined by our very own VP of Public Policy and Government Relations, Michael Ward, to discuss some of the most important provisions of the bill for older adults, as well as how you can engage with the federal government to ensure that patients are able to easily benefit from the law’s changes.
31:20 10/19/22
54. Celebrating Our Heroes with Kevin Rigby, Master of Ceremonies
Each year, the Alliance hosts Heroes in Health, an event to honor individuals and companies making great strides to further research and innovation in aging. Kicking off our 29th annual celebration and here to share his excitement with us is master of ceremonies Kevin Rigby, a champion in the health space and a fierce advocate for aging Americans. Join us on Tuesday, September 20th at the United States Institute of Peace for an evening of generativity and joy as we honor the the heroes who are advance the science of human aging. Click here to learn more or register for our Heroes in Health Celebration. 
10:42 9/7/22
53. Changing the World, One Button at a Time with Robert Bolen
Who needs the bells and whistles when inventor, Robert Bolen is changing the world with a button? Created as a teenager to help restore the independence of a friend, the Button Helper has empowered thousands of older adults, veterans, and differently abled individuals to dress themselves with dignity and ease. As the Button Helper continues to enhance lives across the country, Robert is proving that the most enduring innovations aren’t always complicated. They just make life easier. Robert Bolen joins us to demonstrate just how easy, accessible, and inclusive the Button Helper really is!
12:43 8/24/22
52. Rallying For Medical Research with Jon Retzlaff
Each year, the Rally for Medical Research raises awareness of the urgent need for increased investment in the NIH to improve health, spur progress, inspire hope, and save lives. In collaboration with over 350 organizations, the Rally urges policymakers to make biomedical research a national priority. Now in its 10th year, we are proud to celebrate the critical advances made possible by the efforts of advocates nationwide. Joining us today for the conversation is Jon Retzlaff, Chief Policy Officer and VP of Science Policy and Government Affairs at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Since launching the Rally in 2013, AACR has united thousands of Americans in one cause: the vital national importance of medical research.
17:24 7/27/22
51. Practicing UV Safety This Summer with Jay Sirois
July is UV Safety Awareness Month, which is a time to spread awareness about how important it is to protect our eyes and skin from the side effects of ultraviolet rays. This month continues to be a reminder on the connection between over exposure to UV light and cancers that occur in the eyes, lips, and the skin. While sun safety has always been an important topic, especially as we age, the last couple of years have added new confusion to which sunscreens we should buy and how to use them properly. Joining us today for the conversation is Jay Sirois, Vice President of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. CHPA is the leading voice fighting to ensure that Americans have access to over-the-counter (OTC) medications, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices they can count on to be reliable, save money and time, and deliver new and better ways to get and stay healthy.
22:39 7/6/22
50. Celebrating Pride Month with Sage CEO Michael Adams
June is Pride Month, which is when LGBTQ+ communities and their allies come together to celebrate the freedom to be themselves. In recognition of Pride month, we are talking with Michael Adams, the Chief Executive Officer of SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBTQ+ Elders), the world’s largest and oldest organization—founded in 1978—dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older people.  Prior to joining SAGE, Adams was the Director of Education and Public Affairs for Lambda Legal and spent a decade leading cutting-edge litigation that established new rights for LGBTQ+ people. A graduate of Stanford Law School and Harvard College, Adams is a professor, an advisor to leading local and national aging organizations, and prolific author of numerous publications on an array of LGBTQ+ issues. To learn more about Sage and how to get involved, visit
20:52 6/29/22
49. Gone Phishing: How to Protect Your Loved Ones from Financial Abuse with Deborah Royster
June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. In recognition of the day, we are joined by Deborah Royster, the Assistant Director of the Office for Older Americans at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to share the tools and resources for later life financial security. 
38:10 6/15/22
48. Celebrating Mental Heath Awareness Month with Geriatric Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Dilip Jeste
May is Mental Health Awareness Month as well as Older Americans Month. This critical intersection implores us to explore emotional, psychological, and social-well being as we age. Here to join us for this conversation is Dr. Dilip Jeste, professor of psychiatry and Director of the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at UC San Diego. Dr. Jeste is a geriatric neuropsychiatrist who specializes in mental health and well-being with age.
26:40 5/18/22
47. Living with Atrial Fibrillation with Mellanie True Hills
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, and impacts as many as six million Americans. While the irregular heart rhythm itself isn’t generally serious, the abnormal blood flow and strain to the heart can lead to serious and deadly medical conditions, including heart failure and stroke. In this episode, we are joined by Mellanie True Hills, the CEO and founder of, a patient-to-patient website and resource that helps all AFib patients make informed decisions regarding their life and health. Mellanie is an AFib survivor herself and created so that others will have the resources, answers, and support they need when they are facing a diagnosis. Mellanie shares her perspective on living with AFib, common questions asked by the people who turn to for information, why AFib patients need to take stroke risk seriously, and more.
23:44 5/11/22
46. Raising Awareness With Valve Disease Day Partner Karyne Jones
On February 22 we'll be hosting our sixth annual Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day, a conference dedicated to increasing recognition of the specific risks and symptoms of heart valve disease, improve detection and treatment, and ultimately save lives. Valve Disease Day would not be possible without the more than 100 partners who have joined the campaign to lend their voices. Among the incredible organizations that we've partnered with is the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, the only national organization devoted solely to providing effective leadership in making minority participation in aging services a national issue and priority. This week, we sat down with NCBA president and CEO Karyne Jones to discuss the importance of health equity in combatting valve disease along with the NCBA's role in raising awareness. We're looking forward to celebrating this year with a Valve Disease Day virtual celebration, a Facebook Live, a Twitter chat, and more.  Please visit to see how you can get involved.
15:36 2/9/22
45. David Farber Discusses the Implications of CMS' Recent National Coverage Decision Proposal For FDA Approved Alzheimer's Treatments
On January 11th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released an NCD proposal that would require “coverage with evidence development” for monoclonal antibody therapies aimed at amyloid for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. CMS’ coverage determination is deeply troubling, as it restricts Medicare recipient access to critical treatment. Here today to discuss CMS’ national coverage determination and its implications on patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias is David Farber, an expert on international reference pricing, healthcare reimbursement, and the regulatory approval process for drugs and medical devices.
32:16 1/28/22
NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD Answers Common Questions About Co-administration And Shares Vital Vaccine Info
The CDC has recommended COVID-19 boosters for many Americans and has also approved co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines. Though many Americans have received their COVID-19 boosters and their flu shots this Winter, there are many questions about co-administration and vaccine hesitancy remains. Here to answer some common questions about co-administration, dispel myths, and share tips to keep older adults protected against all vaccine-preventable diseases is National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ Medical Director, Dr. William Schaffner.
36:47 1/12/22
43. Alliance Board Chair Jim Scott Shares This Year's Top Stories in Aging and Health
It's hard to believe that 2021 is almost over. As we prepare for the new year, it's important to look back and reflect on the year that we've just had. 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.
12:37 12/15/21
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. 
24:00 12/1/21
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.
25:23 11/17/21
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.
32:13 11/10/21