Seven facts about old age

Think you know a lot about the senior population?

The social change website for young adults,, has an “11 Facts About . . .” series on topics as diverse as cyberbullying, blizzards, recycling and even old age.

Now, before you visit the site to see a few of these answers, let’s test your knowledge about old age.

True or false?

Eighteen percent of people over 65 live in nursing homes.

False. The actual percentage of people over 65 living in a nursing home is very small

When the doctor won’t talk to you

doctorRecently my niece Sammie, a freshman at USC, contracted mononucleosis, better known as “mono.” Five days after her diagnosis at the campus infirmary, and after taking all of her meds and beginning to feel better, Sammie relapsed and headed back to the clinic with excruciating pain in her throat and difficulty swallowing. Sammie’s mom, my sister Paula, called the infirmary, very worried about her daughter. What happened next was a surprise— she was told the doctor could not talk to her because Sammie is 18 and had not turned in the form to permit the doctor to give medical information to her mother. Somehow that form, among the multitude of forms filled out during registration, never made it to USC. Being the organized mom my sister is, she found the original form signed by Sammie, scanned it and sent it over to the infirmary. Now the doctor could fill my sister in on Sammie’s condition. That was good news, but it didn’t prepare us for the next step in Sammie’s journey. I should...