2005 Annual Report

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Wider Horizons Service


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Wider Horizons Service

On & Off-Air Programs & Services

Over the next 30 years, the largest number of people in history will swell the ranks of retirees and elderly. More than 77 million baby boomers are now entering their 50s and 60s, and many are making the transition from full-time employment and searching for meaningful engagement. At the same time, our communities have a desperate need for the skills and experience of older Americans in education, family intervention, community building and civic life.

Our Wider Horizons service this past year has addressed these needs through a series of innovative and stimulating interactive community events and broadcast programs.

WHYY hosted a Coming of Age series of high-energy community dialogues entitled Boomervision!, which focused on making the transition from work to a personally rewarding and enriching retirement.

David Oldfield, Director of The Midway Center for Creative Imagination in Washington, D.C., explored the adventure of seeking fulfillment in retirement. Suzanne Braun Levine, Ms. Magazine's first editor and author of Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood addressed whether the transition is different for women. Coming of Age director Dick Goldberg engaged a panel of Philadelphia personalities in a discussion of their personal plans for retirement. These three events, held at WHYY's Independence Foundation Civic Space, will be broadcast on WHYY Digital TV.

WHYY produced a series of television profiles as part of an awareness campaign to promote the launch of the new Coming of Age Web site for baby boomers and retirees in the fall of 2005.

WHYY and its Caring Community coalition hosted their 5th annual Wider Horizons Forum in April, which focused on "Ethical Dilemmas at the End of Life." This provided an opportunity for professional and community members to come together with experts to learn about family experiences at the end of life and specific ethical issues related to mental and physical disabilities. Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Director, Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, was the keynote speaker. The afternoon featured the Hospice Foundation of America's annual Living with Grief teleconference. The daylong forum was webcast live, and facilitated groups participated via the webcast from the University of Delaware and Temple University's Department of Therapeutic Recreation. Next year's topic will be "Pain Management at the End of Life."

Wider Horizons and Caring Community presented "An Evening with Bill Thomas, M.D." Dr. Thomas, a national leader in culture change for long-term care, discussed ideas from his latest book, What Are Old People For?.

Wider Horizons continued on-air programming initiatives with a weekly segment on Delaware Tonight, WHYY's nightly half-hour news program. This segment gives viewers important health, financial and lifestyle information as well as interesting profiles of people making a difference in their communities.

Voices in the Family with Dr. Dan Gottlieb, a weekly program on issues surrounding emotional and physical health, often focused on issues related to aging, such as creativity, depression and caregiving. Wider Horizons collaborated with WHYY's Children's Service on the community forum "Families and Aging: Caring for Our Elders, Caring for Ourselves" with Dr. Gottlieb, which was also broadcast on 91FM and on WHYY Digital TV.