When it comes to getting old, some of us are a lot better at it than others. If I'm going to live to be 95 I would much prefer to be healthy, cogent and content. So I want to know the secrets of the healthy and very old.

Fortunately, scientists are starting to figure that out, "The good news is that there's a lot we can do about it," says Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, a geriatrician and scientific director at the National Institute on Aging. He wants to see more and more people in that state of "aging grace."

Remember that health class you had in middle school? Where you found out all that stuff about your body? We wondered why there wasn't a class like that for middle age. Could someone tell us what happens to us as we move through the decades?

Morning Edition asked listeners to send their questions about women's bodies and aging as part of our ongoing series Changing Lives of Women. We heard from hundreds of you asking about everything from sleeplessness to STDs to sex in old age.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Community forums on neurology topics continue in Murray, with a forum on caring for aging parents at Primary Care on November 12th. Dr. Chris King, a board-certified neurologist, leads the discussion and speaks with Tracy Ross on Sounds Good about caregivers, challenges they face, the parent-child dynamic and resources available.

A decades-long decline in the death rate of middle-aged white Americans has reversed in recent years, according to a surprising new analysis released Monday.

The cause of the reversal remains unclear. Researchers speculate it might be the result of the bad economy fueling a rise in suicides, plus overdoses from prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin, and alcohol abuse.

About one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older by the year 2030. NPR's Ina Jaffe covers this population — and says it's often difficult to find the right words to describe it.

"I realized what a minefield this was after I'd been on the beat just a few months," she says. "I did a profile of this 71-year-old midwife. She's still up all night delivering babies, and the headline on our website — and reporters ... do not write the headlines ... described her as 'elderly.'

Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine and author, Dr. Gary Small is going against the widely accepted theory that Alzheimer's disease is an unavoidable consequence of aging. Dr. Small's argument is to be found in his book, The Alzheimer's Prevention Program. The core elements in his seven day plan include memory training, food that promotes a healthy brain, the importance of aerobic and strength exercise, managing stress and maintaining strong emotional connections.

Commentator Celia Brewer returned to western Kentucky eight years ago. But in another, completely different way, she has also gone back to her roots.

In an episode of the 50s sitcom The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden comes home to find his wife Alice chatting with her friend Trixie. Ralph, never one for the delicate touch, tries to compliment Trixie on her recent trip to the beauty parlor. “Your hairdo looks nice,” he says, “and the color is almost natural.”

Todd Hatton looks into studies that say college towns, and the young people who live there, can help older people live longer and more active lives.