Ina Jaffe

Ina Jaffe is a veteran NPR correspondent covering the aging of America in all its variety. Her stories on Morning Edition and All Things Considered have focused on older adults' involvement in politics and elections, dating and divorce, work and retirement, fashion and sports, as well as issues affecting long term care and end of life choices. She also has an ongoing spot on Weekend Edition with Scott Simon called "1 in 5" where she discusses issues relevant to the 1/5 of the U.S. population that will be 65 years old or more by 2030.

Ina also reports on politics, contributing to NPR's coverage of national elections in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

From her base at NPR's production center in Culver City, California, Ina has covered most of the region's major news events from the beating of Rodney King to the election of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She's also developed award-winning enterprise pieces. Her 2012 investigation into how the West Los Angeles VA made millions from renting vacant property while ignoring plans to house homeless veterans won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists as well as a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media. A few months after the story aired, the West Los Angeles VA broke ground on supportive housing for homeless vets.

Her year-long coverage on the rising violence in California's public psychiatric hospitals won the 2011 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award as well as a Gracie Award. Her 2010 series on California's tough three strikes law was honored by the American Bar Association with the Silver Gavel Award, as well as by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Before moving to Los Angeles, Jaffe was the first editor of Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon which made its debut in 1985.

Born in Chicago, Jaffe attended the University of Wisconsin and DePaul University receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in philosophy, respectively.

Some encouraging news in the battle against Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia: The rate at which older Americans are getting these conditions is declining. That's according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine . Researchers say one reason for the improved outlook is an increase in education. The study used data gathered in two snapshots, one in 2000 and another in 2012, that each looked at more than 10,000 Americans who were at least 65 years old. In the first...

Loneliness can be a problem for older people, especially when they're in the hospital. Their children may have moved away. Spouses and friends may themselves be too frail to visit. So a California hospital is providing volunteer companions in the geriatric unit. One of the volunteers at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica is 24-year-old Julia Torrano. She hopes to go to medical school. Meanwhile, her twice-weekly volunteer shifts give her a lot of practice working with patients. One of...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Donald Trump has agreed to pay $25 million to settle three lawsuits that targeted his now-defunct Trump University real estate seminars. NPR's Ina Jaffe has been following the cases, and she is here in the studio with me now. Hi, Ina. INA JAFFE, BYLINE: Hi. MCEVERS: So what can you tell us about settlement? JAFFE: Well, Trump or his businesses will pay $25 million compensation to the plaintiffs in these suits....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: As Donald Trump prepares to take over the White House, he's also facing trial on civil fraud charges in a federal court in San Diego. The suit was filed by students who took real estate seminars at his Trump University. The trial is scheduled to begin just 10 days from now, although Trump wants a delay and there's a hearing on that today. NPR's Ina Jaffe has been following the case. She joins us now. Hi, Ina. INA...

The market for products designed specifically for older adults could reach $30 billion by next year, and startups want in on the action. What they sometimes lack is feedback from the people they hope will use their product. So Brookdale , the country's largest owner of retirement communities, has been inviting a few select entrepreneurs just to move in for a few days, show off their products and hear what the residents have to say. That's what brought Dayle Rodriguez, 28, all the way from...

Here in Japan, the buckwheat noodles known as soba are a staple. Nowhere more so than in the mountains of the southern island of Shikoku . The soil there is poor. Buckwheat is one of the few crops that will grow. So the region has been known for its soba for centuries. Reiko Tsuzuki, 70, has been carrying on the tradition of soba-making for more than four decades. She runs a small restaurant – Tsuzuki Soba House – in a little village in the remote mountains. She runs the place by herself:...

In Japan, you sometimes hear the term "village on the edge." What it means is "village on the edge of extinction." Japan's population is declining. And the signs of that are easiest to see in rural areas, like the mountainous interior of the southern island of Shikoku. For example, the village of Nagoro used to have around 300 residents. Now it has 30. Visitors know they've arrived when they see the three farmers in floppy hats resting against a telephone pole by the side of the road. They're...

Hiromi Yamamiro is doing something that's relatively rare in Japan. At age 67, he's still working in the corporate world, where traditionally, the mandatory retirement age has been 60. But Yamamiro keeps going, because he loves his job — which he's been doing for 18 years — selling environmentally friendly products at Tokyo-based Sato Holdings. "We're developing new products every single day," he says. "Plus the purpose is to create an environmentally friendly world. And it's just so much fun...

Early mornings are routine for 69-year-old Hiroyuko Yamamoto. He's typically at a busy intersection in the city of Matsudo, near Tokyo, where he volunteers as a school crossing guard. But one rainy morning a little over a year ago, an old woman caught his attention. She was pushing a bicycle. She was kind of disheveled. Despite the rain, she didn't have an umbrella. When Yamamoto spoke to the woman, she said she was trying to get to the city of Kamisuwa. That's about four hours away by train....

In Japanese cities, space is at a premium. So convenience stores that cram everything from Kleenex to rice balls into a few square yards are everywhere. You can't walk five minutes in most cities without running into one or two or even half a dozen. But they're not just a place for Slurpees and snacks. Nearly 27 percent of Japan's population is now 65 or older, and convenience stores are changing to serve this growing market. Case in point is a Lawson convenience store in the city of...

The dictionary defines ageism as the "tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment." But research indicates that ageism may not just be ill-informed or hurtful. It may also be a matter of life and death. Not that it's literally killing people. Researcher Becca Levy , a professor of epidemiology and psychology at the Yale School of Public Health, says it depends on how much a given individual takes those negative ideas to heart. In one...

Older voters might wonder this campaign season whether presidential candidates are taking them for granted. People 65 and older make up more than a fifth of the electorate , but the issues that concern them are rarely mentioned on the campaign trail. Rudy Pavini, 81, and Tommie Ward, 84, recently spent lunchtime dancing at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center north of Los Angeles. It takes their minds off their worries about Social Security. "Some people say they're gonna change it, destroy...

One of the keys to providing good care in nursing homes is simply having enough staff. The federal government says about a quarter of all nursing home complaints can be traced back to low staffing levels. And studies have connected low staff levels to lousy treatment. The state of New Mexico connects it to fraud. The state's Attorney General is suing a chain of nursing homes , alleging that the facilities were so severely under-staffed, they couldn't possibly have provided the care they...

What if you had to go to the hospital, and when it came time to return home, your landlord said you couldn't move back in? Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents face that situation every year. In most cases, it's a violation of federal regulations. But those rules are rarely enforced by the states. So, in California, some nursing home residents are suing the state, hoping to force it to take action. One of the plaintiffs is Bruce Anderson. Currently, he lives in a hospital...

If you pictured a dancer, you probably wouldn't imagine someone with Parkinson's disease. Worldwide, there are 10 million people with the progressive movement disorder, and they struggle with stiff limbs, tremors and poor balance. But over the past 15 years or so, a few thousand have taken dance classes that are part of a program called Dance for PD . It began in Brooklyn and has spread throughout the country and around the world. It has also attracted the attention of scientists interested...

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