‘Aging Matters: Second Acts’ premieres Tuesday, June 20

Aging Matters Second Acts

We all dream about what we’d do if we win the lottery. Instead, maybe we should start dreaming or planning about a more likely reality: What we’ll do in retirement. Specifically, we should think about what we’ll do on the first Monday of retirement, suggests Pam MacArthur, a social worker with Vanderbilt Internal Medicine Clinics, in Aging Matters: Second Acts.

This latest documentary in NPT’s Emmy Award-winning series premieres on-air and online Tuesday, June 20, at 8 p.m. A panel discussion about retirement issues follows at 8:30 p.m. The documentary was produced by Shawn Anfinson.

In Second Acts, MacArthur goes on to say having a plan of activity for retirement is important. “So you’re not just sitting at home thinking, okay, I want to do something, but what am I going to do?,” she continues. Perhaps this will mean rekindling a lapsed hobby or interest – or going off in an entirely new direction.

“The real beauty of aging is that it gives most of us space to engage in things that we’ve maybe never had time to do when we were younger,” says Deborah Lee, Ph.D., NHC Chair of Excellence in Nursing at MTSU.

Four Middle Tennesseans discuss their lives after retirement in this documentary, including the challenges they faced and the solutions they found. For performing artists Andrew Krichels and Jackie Schlicher, finding a new outlet for their creative energy after they left the stage was essential. Schlicher took a pottery class with her husband that led to the launch of Wildhair Pottery and a fully formed career as a ceramicist. (Schlicher recently narrated NPT’s Uprooted documentary about Black land ownership in Tennessee.)

Meanwhile, fellow artist Krichels founded a series of what he calls “experiential movement therapy” workshops. He has also become a passionate rollerblader. “I can still have what I call the kinesthetic yaya’s, that joy of movement just for myself,” he says in the film.

Movement, sports in particular, has twice been life-changing, maybe even lifesaving for Alonzo Murray. Two decades ago, coaching youth football helped his transition from the military into civilian life; he’s now found a community and numerous health benefits in pickleball.

Modern retirement often looks nothing like the retirement of old. But for Barbara Stanley, there is an element that our grandmothers might recognize: crocheting. Crocheting to the nth degree and for a good cause. Stanley’s STC DreamMakers organization has made approximately 1,500 fanciful wigs and beanies – think princess braids, superhero headpieces, cartoon characters, etc. – for juvenile cancer patients at Tri-Star Centennial and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, as well as three hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area. “To see their little face light up after we give them one of these is just remarkable,” Stanley says.

Additional broadcast times for Aging Matters: Second Acts on NPT are Friday, June 23, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m.; and Monday, June 26, at 11:30 p.m. Air times on NPT2 World are Saturday, June 24, at 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 25, at 2 p.m. A series of short videos on the topic are also available at youtube.com/@wnpt/videos.

NPT’s Aging Matters series is made possible by the generous support of the West End Home Foundation, the Jeanette Travis Foundation, The HCA Healthcare Foundation on behalf of Tri-Star Health, and Cigna. Additional support was provided by Jackson National Life Insurance Company and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

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