Ina Jaffe

Ina Jaffe is a National desk correspondent based at NPR West, NPR's production center in Culver City, Calif.

Covering California and the West, Jaffe has reported on nearly all of the major news events, elections, and natural disasters in the region. Currently, she covers issues related to aging. She also reports on regional and national politics, contributing election coverage in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

In addition to captivating and informing listeners, Jaffe's reports have garnered critical acclaim. Her 2012 investigation into how the West Los Angeles VA made millions from renting 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.

Jaffe's 2011 series on rising violence in California State Psychiatric Hospitals was also honored with a Gracie Award as well as awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the American Bar Association. Her three-part series on California's Three Strikes sentencing law won the ABA's Silver Gavel Award in 2010, as well as the Sigma Delta Chi award from 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-Madison and DePaul University receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in philosophy, respectively.

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On Aging
5:04 am
Mon July 13, 2015

Needs Of Retirees Take A Smaller Center Stage At White House Forum

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 12:48 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Salt
3:35 am
Tue June 2, 2015

Mush No More: Retirement Home Food Gets Fresh And Local

Chef Eric David Corradetti presents dinner to residents at the Bethlehem Woods senior living facility in La Grange Park, Ill. His kitchen emphasizes fresh produce and meats and meals made from scratch.
Courtesy of Unidine

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 8:05 am

Want to eat food that's fresh, local and cooked from scratch? Consider a retirement home. Once known for bland, institutional fare, hundreds of retirement communities around the nation now tout their restaurant-like dining experiences.

One of those is Bethlehem Woods in La Grange Park, Ill. Resident Marge Healy counts on having dinner with the same group of friends every evening.

"We're almost like a family," she says, as her friends nod in agreement.

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Movies
6:13 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Documentary Spotlights Perfectly Accessorized Iris Apfel

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 10:45 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Everyone gets dressed in the morning, but Iris Apfel has made it her art form. She is 93 now and a subject of a documentary opening around the country this month titled "Iris." NPR's Ina Jaffe covers aging and caught up with the fashion icon.

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Shots - Health News
5:04 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Are You Sick, And Sick Of Hearing 'Everything Happens For A Reason'?

Courtesy Emily McDowell Studio

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 3:24 pm

When a friend or loved one gets sick β€” really, seriously sick β€” it's hard to know what to say. So some of us say nothing. Which seems better than saying the wrong thing, though people do that too.

Los Angeles graphic designer Emily McDowell's solution to this dilemma are what she calls Empathy Cards. When someone is seriously ill, she says, the usual "Get Well Soon" won't do. Because you might not, she says. At least not soon.

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Shots - Health News
4:32 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Drop-In Chefs Help Seniors Stay In Their Own Homes

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 11:29 am

A healthy diet is good for everyone. But as people get older, cooking nutritious food can become difficult and sometimes physically impossible. A pot of soup can be too heavy to lift. And there's all that time standing on your feet. It's one of the reasons that people move into assisted living facilities.

But a company called Chefs for Seniors has an alternative: They send professional cooks into seniors' homes. In a couple of hours they can whip up meals for the week.

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Shots - Health News
3:49 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Can A Person With Dementia Consent To Sex?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 12:18 pm

Sexual relationships in long-term care facilities are not uncommon. But the long-term care industry is still grappling with the issue.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

#NPRreads: From The Hell Of The North To 'Trash' Food

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:38 pm

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we share with you five reads.

From Ina Jaffe, a correspondent on NPR's National Desk:

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Shots - Health News
5:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Videos On End-Of-Life Choices Ease Tough Conversation

Hawaii ranks 49th in the nation for use of home health care services during the last six months of someone's life. Videos from ACP Decisions show patients what their options are at the end of life.
ACP Decisions

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 9:39 pm

Lena Katakura's father is 81. He was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer and doctors don't expect him to survive the illness. Katakura says a nurse at their Honolulu hospital gave them a form to fill out to indicate what kind of treatment he'd want at the end of life.

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Humans
8:10 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Seniors Speed-Date In 'Age Of Love'

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 1:08 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's a new documentary out with a very simple message - people want to find that someone special no matter their age. It's called "The Age Of Love," and it takes us to a speed dating event for seniors. NPR's Ina Jaffe has more.

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Movie Interviews
5:22 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Speed Dating For Seniors Who Aren't Interested In Slowing Down

Janice Ledtke and Pacho Lane chat during a speed dating event in The Age of Love.
Courtesy of Free Play Pictures

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 6:55 pm

The idea of speed dating for people over 70 can evoke laughs from anyone who's younger, along with reactions from "how cute" to "how silly" to "how gross." And while the documentary The Age of Love does have plenty of ha-ha moments, most of the time its subjects are reflecting on a need for intimacy that never seems to die.

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On Aging
4:23 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

GAO Report Urges Fewer Antipsychotic Drugs For Dementia Patients

About 1 in 3 patients with dementia who live in nursing homes are being sedated with antipsychotic drugs, the GAO says. Outside nursing homes, about 1 in 7 dementia patients are getting the risky drugs.
Wladimir Bulgar iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:16 am

Older adults with Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia are at risk of being prescribed dangerous antipsychotic medication whether they live in nursing homes or not. That's according to a study from the Government Accountability Office published Monday.

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Movie Interviews
7:06 am
Sun February 15, 2015

In 'Still Alice,' Director Couple Tells A Story That Mirrors Their Own

Despite his ALS diagnosis, Richard Glatzer (right) says he was on set every day during the filming of Still Alice.
Jojo Whilden Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 12:49 pm

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Business
4:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

How 'The Interview' May Change How Big Studios Do Business

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 12:13 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's Christmas day and it is opening day for the movie The Interview."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SETH ROGEN: Thank you so much for coming. And we thought this might not happen at all.

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On Aging
5:36 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Services Offer A Means To Foil Widespread 'Elder Fraud'

More than a quarter of the victims of financial fraud are over 60.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:50 pm

This is the season for generosity β€” and for con artists who take advantage of it.

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to scams; more than a quarter of the victims of financial fraud are over 60, according to the FTC. But now there are products on the market designed to protect seniors' nest eggs.

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Shots - Health News
5:16 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

This Nursing Home Calms Troubling Behavior Without Risky Drugs

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:34 pm

It's a sunny autumn afternoon and a good time to make apple crisp at Pathstone Living, a memory care facility and nursing home in Mankato, Minn. Activities staffer Jessica Abbott gathers half a dozen older women at a counter in the dining area, where the soundtrack is mostly music they could have fox-trotted to back in the day.

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Shots - Health News
3:35 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Nursing Homes Rarely Penalized For Oversedating Patients

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:26 pm

Antipsychotic drugs have helped many people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But for older people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, they can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has given these drugs a black box warning, saying they can increase the risk of heart failure, infections and death. Yet almost 300,000 nursing home residents still get them.

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Shots - Health News
4:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Old And Overmedicated: The Real Drug Problem In Nursing Homes

Antipsychotic drugs aren't necessary in the vast majority of dementia cases, gerontologists say. The pills can be stupefying and greatly raise the risk of falls β€” and hip fracture.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 4:22 pm

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

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Shots - Health News
6:18 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Love And Sex In The Time Of Viagra β€” 16 Years On

Mountains of "little blue pills" and their chemical kin have transformed the way many people think about sex and aging.
Raphael Gaillarde Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 5:37 pm

The lives of older men have changed in a significant way since 1998, or at least their sex lives have changed. That's the year Viagra was introduced. Cialis and Levitra followed a few years later.

The once taboo subject of erectile dysfunction is now inescapable for anyone who watches TV. Late-night comedians continually mine the topic. By 2002, Jay Leno had told 944 Viagra jokes, according to the Wall Street Journal. We couldn't independently verify that number. Actually, we didn't try.

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Shots - Health News
8:39 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Feds Hope Hitting Nursing Homes In The Wallet Will Cut Overmedication

Federal prosecutors allege two nursing homes in California have "persistently and severely overmedicated elderly and vulnerable residents." Antipsychotic drugs like risperidone, also known as Risperdal, can be dangerous for elderly people, but are frequently prescribed to nursing home patients.
JB Reed Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 9:27 am

A federal lawsuit against two Watsonville, Calif., nursing homes may offer a new approach to dealing with the persistent problem of such facilities overmedicating their residents.

The lawsuit details multiple cases when the government says these drugs were inappropriately administered to patients.

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All Tech Considered
5:30 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

ISO Romance: Dating Sites Help Older Singles

The fastest-growing part of the online dating market is people over 50, according the CEO of the Match Group.
Carmen Winant Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:01 pm

With nearly 40 percent of Americans over 50 single and many looking for love online, dating sites are catering to this fast-growing market.

Vicki Cherco, 58, of Libertyville, Ill., uses one called OurTime.com. Her most recent date went well. "He was good-looking and funny and nice and thoughtful and paid for everything and asked for my phone number and said he'd like to call me again," she says.

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Politics
6:44 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Will Seniors Leave Republicans Out To Dry In 2014?

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some of the Republican Party's most reliable support has come from voters over the age of 65. But a recent survey suggests this could be changing.

NPR's Ina Jaffe went to the Palm Springs to look at a congressional race where we might be seeing this change play out.

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Health
5:28 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Despite Early Stages, Alzheimer's Affects Couple's Big Picture

Pansy Greene, 73, is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. She and her husband, Winston, have been married for 57 years. She says her secret to maintaining a normal life is to stay active and positive.
David P. Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 11:22 am

NPR has been following Pansy and Winston Greene, a California couple struggling with an Alzheimer's diagnosis. Three years ago, Pansy learned she had Alzheimer's disease, and over this past summer, the couple told NPR that their day-to-day lives haven't changed much. That's still true. But on this second visit, they each seem to be looking at the future a bit differently.

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Around the Nation
4:28 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Arguments Over Social Security Pit Old Vs. Young

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:24 am

Congress has until Jan. 15 to come up with another spending plan. As they negotiate, one thing you'll hear a lot about is overhauling entitlement programs β€” particularly Social Security.

The program accounts for about 20 percent of federal spending. One argument in favor of cuts is that Social Security amounts to a huge transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

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Shots - Health News
3:43 am
Wed September 4, 2013

For Hospital Patients, Observation Status Can Prove Costly

The next bed could cost you a lot if the hospital says you're there on observation.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 9:25 am

If you're on Medicare and you're in the hospital for a few days, you may think you're an inpatient. The hospital may have other ideas. Increasingly, hospitals are placing older patients on "observation status." They may be there for days, but technically they're still outpatients.

This is a big deal for someone on Medicare because follow-up treatment in a nursing home isn't covered unless someone has been an inpatient for at least three days. That's leaving some seniors on the hook for thousands of dollars in nursing home bills.

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Sports
3:33 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Pickleball, Anyone? Senior Athletes Play New Games And Old

Hazel Trexler-Campbell throws spray-painted horseshoes during the Senior Games in Cleveland on July 23.
Benjamin Morris for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 11:23 am

A lot of what you'd see at the National Senior Games looks familiar if you've ever watched the Summer Olympics: There's track and field, basketball and swimming. At the Summer Olympics, however, you will not hear voices in the crowd cheering "Go, Grandma!"

Everyone at these games is over 50, and they play some sports that will likely never appear at the Olympics. Here's a sample:

Pickleball

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Sports
3:16 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Age Hasn't Stopped This Man From Swimming β€” And Winning

Graham Johnston, 82, poses for a portrait through an underwater window at the pool on Wednesday. Graham competed at the Senior Games in Cleveland, where more than 10,000 athletes older than 55 are competing in various sports.
Benjamin Morris for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:01 pm

More than 10,000 athletes are meeting in Cleveland for The National Senior Games. Adults older than 55 β€” and some older than 90 β€” are running track, riding bikes, playing basketball and competing in many of the sports you might see at the Summer Olympics. In fact there are a few who were Olympians themselves back in the day who say they find that competition is just as satisfying in their later years.

One of those is 82-year-old swimmer Graham Johnston. When he's not racing or getting ready to race, he's in the stands, checking out the other swimmers with an expert eye.

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It's All Politics
3:15 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

How To Turn A Red State Blue: California Edition

Republicans celebrated when California Gov. Pete Wilson was re-elected in 1994. But his divisive campaign led to a backlash, especially among the growing Latino population in the state.
Kevork Djansezian AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 6:11 pm

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade β€” and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

Democrats who hope to turn Texas from red to blue are looking to California for inspiration.

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Health
5:17 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Despite Alzheimer's, Couple Holds Tight To Old Memories

The Greenes say they take it a day at a time and relish the many long-term memories they've shared for nearly 60 years.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 3:44 pm

Right now, 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. One of them is 73-year-old Pansy Greene. She's in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and she and her husband, Winston, want people to know that so far, their daily lives have changed little despite the diagnosis.

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Around the Nation
4:54 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Plug Pulled On California Nuclear Plant, For Good

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Southern California, a nuclear power plant that supplied energy to more than a million homes is shutting down for good. As NPR's Ina Jaffe reports, the San Onofre nuclear plant has been idle for repair since January of 2012.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: The twin, white domes at the San Onofre nuclear power plant have been landmarks on the California coast for more than four decades.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS CHANTING)

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Law
4:25 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

A Mother's Fight Against 3 Strikes Law 'A Way of Life'

Sue Reams campaigned to change California's three-strikes law and help set free her son, Shane.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:19 pm

Since the November election, 240 California prisoners facing potential life sentences have been set free. That's because voters changed California's tough three strikes sentencing law.

As NPR reported in 2009, that law sent thousands of people to prison for terms of 25 years to life for minor, nonviolent crimes. Now those prisoners can ask the court to have their sentences reduced.

One of those set free under the new law is Shane Reams. He owes his freedom in no small part to his mother Sue's 17-year campaign to change the law.

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