Life stories and individual memory define our roles, however small, in history. The good news of growing old is that we have more to tell.
Tom Meuser, with stories from Fay Badasch
Tom Meuser is a clinical psychologist and directs the Gerontology Program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), where he is associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Gerontology and Gender. As an applied gerontologist, Dr. Meuser is interested in how losses and transitions in advancing age impact coping and personal well-being. His areas of research include reminiscence and life review, grief in widowhood and dementia caregiving, driving fitness, and mobility loss and associated transitions. He is known internationally for his work on older driver safety. Prior to joining the faculty of UMSL in 2007, he served as the Education Core Leader for the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis.
Fay Badasch retired as a bank officer after 18 years. Her stories on family history started research in genealogy. Her interest in personal development began a new career as a volunteer. She became a lay counselor at a women’s center and at a family center in Los Angeles. In St. Louis, she tutored elementary school children, taught a course in living with chronic conditions and assisted with training volunteers for a new Wellness Partner program at the Oasis Institute. For three years, she taught an ESL class at the Chinese community center and participated in studies on Alzheimer’s disease and aging at Washington University. At UMSL/SLU she did medical training films and was on older driver panels done by Professors Thom Meuser and Marla Berg-Weger.
Posts by Tom Meuser, with stories from Fay Badasch
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.