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Embrace of aging examines male perspective of getting old

Tune in Sundays as the documentary looks at heart disease, diabetes, weight, relationships and man caves

Embrace_Men (2)The process of growing old. We all face it — if we’re lucky. We all fear it. Some do it gracefully, and some are not so lucky. What’s the secret to aging and doing it well? Is it genetics, attitude, environment, diet, love, or an active lifestyle – perhaps all of these?

Dr. Kim Eagle joins the conversation as the PBS TV series “The Embrace of Aging” follows the personal stories of men at various ages and stages of their lives. “You cannot beat it. You have to just do it,” Eagle says in the series that examines heart disease, prostate cancer, weight gain, relationships, exercise and man caves.

Eagle cared for coaching legend Bo Schembechler during his battle with heart disease, a disease progression that Eagle says “played out … like a football game.”  

The film promises to be an in-depth documentary that will traverse the world to discover how men from diverse environments and of different cultures face the inevitable. How do they embrace aging?

My Beating Heart  Oct. 13 6:30-7 pmDr Eagle  (2)

Featuring  Eagle in an in-depth overview of men’s heart health, we learn about late coach Bo Schembechler’s 37-year fight with heart disease. Eagle gives advice on how to approach aging and how to keep your cardiovascular system healthier. 

Arthrtis /knee joint replacement featuring Sidney Martin

Use it or Lose It   Oct. 27 6:30-7 pm

The term “Use It or Lose It’ has to do with cognitive function of our brain. In this in-depth segment, we learn about Alzheimer’s and dementia through the lives of a retired fireman and a husband of a woman living in a senior care facility.

Experts at Central Michigan University explain what’s new in neurosciences research. We meet second chair violinist Adam Stepniewski from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and one of his students. We step into the Naples Tango Studio and learn about the brain strengthening through the art of dance. We end with an 80-year old Italian immigrant Guiliano Zuccato whose sculpting keeps him young and sharp. 

My Man Cave Men and their man caves features Stew Francke , master chef Milos , retired Brigadier General John Kulhavi and Mark Ridley as well as experts talking about the importance of the man cave. 

Stand By Me     Nov. 3  6:30-7 pm

This episode is dedicated to understanding why it is important for men to develop lasting relationships with each other and to spend time reviewing life’s issues. We are able to experience three scenarios of men spending time with each other.

The first is the Michigan Senior Softball League. Every year, all 100 guys between the ages of 70 and 90, gather to play two or three times a week. In the context of this story, the series follows 82-year old Rudy Kramer, who undergoes carotid artery surgery.

‘Manuary’ : Six Michiganders head out to Jackson Hole Wyo., for a five-day trip of skiing and snowshoeing. During the trip, one of the men breaks down and talks about his 19-year old son who died a year prior to this trip. This segment features the song “Roll Me Away,” by Bob Seger.

Washington D.C. / Vietnam Memorial Wall: We travel with Michigan Patriot Guard, a group of Vietnam veteran riders from Detroit who travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall. This segment features Bob Seger’s song, “Like a Rock.” 

Having a Purpose      Nov. 10  6:30-7:00 pm

Researchers and psychologists, along with gerontologists have learned that having a purpose later in life can lead to a longer and healthier aging process.

In this episode we gain insight from author Ken Dychtwald and Dr. Peter Lichtenberg on the importance of finding a purpose later in life. You will hear from retail pioneer and University of Michigan donor A. Alfred Taubman and see Bill Gates, Sr. at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.

“Retirement is a terrible word,” Taubman says in the series.

We go with one-time cancer patient and singer/songwriter Stewart Francke, as he visits patients at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center. 

Day in the Life :  The ‘Day in the Life’ follows nationally well-known restaurateur Drew Nieporent of the Tribeca Grill in New York City.Drew has been fighting weight issues his entire life. He talks openly about his weight. 

Diabetes: The story leads us to the laboratory of Dr. Peter Arvan, chief of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes at the University of Michigan. Dr. Herman B. Gray, president of Children’s Hospital of Michigan, gives us statistics about diabetes in America and the effect it has on children. Dr. Tom Rifai of St. Joseph’s Mercy Oakland in Michigan allows us to step into the exam room.  

Urology/holistic health    Nov. 17  6:30-7:00 pm

Dr. Kenneth Pienta, former urology professor at the U-M, talks openly about urology and men’s issues. He explains the importance of prostate exams. We follow the story of one his patients who is battling late stage prostate cancer.

Also, well-known radio personality, Dick Purtan, takes us through his own fight with prostate cancer. Urologist Dr. Emmett T. Boyle explains the symptoms of bladder cancer. We learn first-hand how bladder cancer was diagnosed in a patient with no symptoms that he was aware of. 

We hear about two stories from men one about prostate cancer and his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war and the other about coming to terms with balder cancer. 

The second part of the episode opens up the world of holistic health, from acupuncture to Chinese herbs and yoga. From the Chinese school of medicine in Berkley California to the yoga studios of the Yoga Shelter in Michigan with Yoga master Eric Paskel, we explore different methods of finding kurt chi balance. 

Fountain of Youth   Nov. 24  6:30-7:00 pm

Dr. Richard A. Miller, professor of pathology, Geriatrics Center of Biogerentology at the University of Michigan and Dr. Peter Lichtenberg, Director, Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University discuss a man’s desire to hold old to their youth and what is being done in the laboratory. Dr. Ergun Sahin, professor at the Harvard Medical School enlightens us on what the significance of telomeres are to our body. 

Relationships and Love: During the love segment, we watch as Kevin Mains, our psychologist in the film, share the emotional story of losing his wife to cancer. We also visit the 9/11 Memorial in NYC with retired NYC Police Capt. Ed Mamet and well- known restaurateur Drew Nieporent.In relationships,

We explore the older men/younger women scenario.

Spirituality: To end the series, we listen to three of Michigan’s most respected spiritual leaders. Pastor Dr. Norman Pritchard, Father Tony Tocco, and Rabbi Joseph Krakoff.


For more than 160 years, the University of Michigan Health System has been a national leader in advanced patient care, innovative research to improve human health and comprehensive education of physicians and medical scientists. The three U-M hospitals have been recognized numerous times for excellence in patient care, including 18 years on the U.S. News & World Report honor roll of “America’s Best Hospitals.”