*Contest* Old People are Cool because…

We are excited to announce an Old People are Cool contest! We are launching this contest to celebrate the many reasons why old is cool in order to promote a world that is loving, aging and united!

Visit our Facebook Page starting this Monday and post a photo or video to our wall or send us a direct message that finishes the sentence: Old People are Cool because...

Winners will be announced by November 30th. The top ten submissions will receive a *free* Old People are Cool T-Shirt!

Submissions will be accepted starting Monday November 13th until 5pm EST on Monday November 27th.

Some ideas to get your started, submitted by our friends at Activity Connection:

 Old People are Cool because …

  • They have so many life experiences and wisdom.
  • Their stories are inspiring. They love new things and are grateful.
  • They are a wealth of knowledge.
  • They teach us everything we know.
  • Their lives enrich mine.
  • They are honest.
  • They appreciate the little things you do.
  • Their wisdom and strength and the way I feel when with them.
  • They’ve been through it all!
  • Their life experiences and the changes they have seen.

*By submitting on Facebook you are agreeing to let Linked Senior share your contribution publicly.

Featuring Wes Morrison, Renaissance Man

At a recent Aging2.0 gathering in Washington, DC, the Linked Senior team had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Morrison speak about his inspiring life experiences and how he overcame ageism in the work place. We are thrilled that we could continue the conversation with Mr. Morrison below:

(Linked Senior): What makes you cool?

I let others determine whether I am cool or not. Cool is very subjective for each person has their perception of what is cool. What I try to project is openness and friendliness to all people. I try to make each person feel special. The renaissance man knowledge of many varied topics as well as a sense of style that is uniquely mine. 

(LS): What are a few of your favorite memories from childhood and young adulthood?

I was raised by my grandmother and aunt in Durham, North Carolina. My aunt who was a school teacher, she was my “Auntie Mame” taught me to look at the world as a whole and to enjoy the rich cultures of other nations.

 Upon graduation from college I gave myself the present of going to Europe to study fine arts. At the end of the tour I returned to Paris on my own to look for work in fashion design.  On the train from Rome to Paris, the train compartment was shared by some college students from Italy.  I didn’t speak Italian and they didn’t speak English but we all had elementary French. So we enjoyed each other speaking in a language not native to us.  That is truly a highlight in my life.

(LS): What are you most passionate about?

I am passionate  about seniors ability to live and be happy in their retirement years. Especially LGBTQ  seniors.  Also the social and racial injustices that are plaguing America now.

(LS): Do you have any words of wisdom for younger generations?

Yes put down  your cellphone and talk to each other in sentences. Technology is causing us to lose the ability to empathize with our fellow men. The time is coming fast we wont need to leave our homes for anything.  You can now order fully cooked meals or  meals to cook your self,  order clothes, shoes, razors, paper towels and of course telecommute for work.

(LS): What accomplishment in your life so far are you most proud of? 

I am proud of the fact God has given me the gift of trustworthiness. People know they can trust me to help them even if sometimes they don’t want it or the outcome may not be what they hoped for.

Featuring Old People are Cool Poem

As the Old People are Cool campaign continues to grow, we have received many creative perspectives on the project from the community.

Below is a very cool poem created by Lynne Grip, the Creative Director at Activity Connection. Lynne is a registered nurse with a long (we won’t say how long) and varied career in a number of diverse settings from emergency room and oncology nursing to hospice care and quality improvement/risk management in long-term-care and pharmacy settings.


Old People Are Cool

 Old people are cool, there isn’t a doubt,

Having lived enough years to figure things out.

There’s been enough time to know real from fake,

With so much learned from every mistake.


A look in the mirror shows all that has changed—

Once youthful features have been rearranged.

But what’s inside is what matters more.

That doesn’t change—one’s heart, one’s core.


Being old’s the number of years one has turned,

With each year a blessing most carefully earned.

Being older is cool in so many ways,

So celebrate each and every one of your days.

Featuring Misha Volyanyuk, Surgeon

85-year-old Mihailo Andronovych Volyanyuk, or just Misha, was born in Polish occupied Ukraine along with his 2 sisters. He has been in the medical field for over 67 years and served in the army for 30.

Misha’s father was arrested by the communist party and sent to a gulag (work/prison camp) in far-east Siberia where he passed away a few years later. Misha on the other hand was branded a son of a traitor and relocated along with the rest of his family to Kazakhstan. He later returned to Ukraine after the end of WW2. Even though he excelled in grade school and on entrance exams, he was not able to pursue a higher education unless he renounced his father’s name. Misha did not.

Misha’s passion has always been medicine and surgery. While in school, to make money to help support the family, Misha also began working at the local psychiatric ward. After completing a basic medical education, he was conscripted into the army as a junior officer. As a captain, he was sent to serve in Siberia where it was common for soldiers to get mauled by polar bears at the time. During his service there he tried to gain entrance to the surgeon’s academy but was denied the opportunity by his superior officer. However, one day an important visitor came to the base. This was the same day that a soldier was snatched right from outside the barracks and dragged off to the wilderness by a polar bear. Although eventually rescued by a fellow soldier, the damage had been done and the bear inflicted multiple wounds including a scalped head. Even though chances of survival were slim, Misha did a fantastic job in operating on him that he saved his life. This impressed the visitor so much that he was able to pull a few strings and get Misha the acceptance letter to the national surgeon’s academy.

Misha was sent to serve in the Gobi Desert, in Mongolia, as the senior surgeon consultant to the Surgeon General of Mongolia where he attained the rank of Colonel. After military service in 1988, he returned to Chernivtsi, Ukraine, where he became the head surgeon in the city hospital. In the 90’s he and some of his fellow doctors traveled to multiple rural areas in Ukraine and provided free medical aid to people who otherwise could not receive it. Because of his actions, he was knighted into the Holy Order of Archangel Michael and given the title of Count. Misha still resides in Chernivtsi where he continued to performed surgeries until his 80’s.

In his spare time, Misha loves to read and go fishing. No matter what has happened, he has always kept a contagious upbeat attitude and character. Even though Misha was denied his dreams multiple times and set up for failure by constantly being sent to some of the most inhospitable places on earth, he still prevailed. Misha has 2 sons. The youngest followed in his footsteps and became a surgeon, the oldest pursued a career in engineering and eventually won a green card and moved to the United States with his wife and son.

Featuring Sandy Ransom, Artist

Sandy Ransom ( began painting in 2003 while studying with Lilli Pell of Wimberley, Texas. Largely self-taught, she participates in workshops whenever possible and delights in plein air painting with fellow artists. Linked Senior was delighted to catch up with Sandy this month:

(LS): What are you passionate about?

(SR): I am passionate about people and about our Earth – about caring, helping, and loving each other. I am passionate about beauty and expressing that beauty through my art. I love to garden and derive great pleasure from growing pretty much anything and nurturing our Earth.

(LS): How did your new book Musings + Art from Elderhood come to be?

(SR): Jeff had been writing a weekly blog entitled “Musings from Jeff” for several years. In his blog, Jeff ponders a wide range of topics. He decided to publish a book of his musings and approached me about doing a series of paintings that would provide a visual reflection of his writing. This project was pure joy to bring to fruition.

(LS): Do you have some “words of wisdom” to share with younger generations?

(SR): Some of the following “words of wisdom” were taught to me by cherished elders in my life and others are concepts I have learned through living:

  • ALWAYS believe in yourself no matter what life brings your way
  • Follow your heart
  • Learn to listen…to focus on others and truly hear their words and sense their feelings
  • There is no such thing as failure. If something doesn’t go the way you intended, there is a lesson. Look for that lesson
  • Forgive. The act of forgiving truly frees the forgiver
  • BE in the present whether that is doing a mundane task, creating a masterpiece or engaging in conversation with a loved one
  • Be thankful. Living each day with gratitude brings peace and delight
  • LOVE. This is the biggest one. I could write volumes about it. Each of us has a core of love. Think what this world will be when we project love and compassion with every word we speak and action we take

Featuring Robert (Bob) Shipman, Music Lover

We are excited to share how cool we think 89-year-old Bob, Mr. Robert Shipman, is! Bob, aka PopPop, is the Grandfather of one of Linked Senior’s very own Customer Success Managers. Want to know his story? Well, it’s so cool that we want to share it!

Bob has always been interested in music. Since high school, he has pursued learning how to play clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, piano, and he is currently taking organ lessons alongside his wife Betty. He spent 21 years in the United States Army and followed up his military service by spending 20 years working as a part of the FBI. Since retiring, he seems to be more active than ever! Outside of organ lessons, he enjoys woodcarving, playing the clarinet for his church, listening to classical music, working on his “honey-do” list from his wife, and he just finished up a 17 year research project that has left him with a completed manuscript on the NAZCA Biomorphs and the Olmecs that is awaiting publication.

His joy in life is found through making other people smile, playing a “wicked clarinet”, and approaching life knowing every day has a little more to offer through his faith in God.

In the words of his doctor: “Bob, if you keep all this up, you’ll live to be 140!”

Mr. Shipman has overcome a battle with cancer and through that, his life mantra has become: “Each and every day is exciting, my glass is half full and there is more on the way.”

(Photo credits go to his 9-year-old great-granddaughter: Taylor Ann)