Prepared to Live Into Your 90’s and Beyond?

You may have read that Olivia de Havilland just passed on at the age of 104. While living over 100 is still unusual, the number of people who live to 100 or more in the United States has increased from 53,000 in 2010 to a projected 92,000 in 2020. And the aging population trend is not going to slow down anytime soon. By 2060, the number of people in the U.S. who live to at least 100 is expected to be about 600,000. The Social Security Administration projects that if we make it to 65, then we have a little…

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Standing Tall for Better Health as an Elder Woman

A few weeks ago, I happened to get a glance at my slouching posture in front of a full-length mirror. My body looked a lot older than I felt. I immediately stood up straight with my chin parallel to the floor, my spine neutral, and my abdominal muscles “braced.”  It was easy for me to see that when I adjusted my posture, I looked more energetic and fit than when I stood with a slouching posture. As we age, it is not uncommon to develop poor posture from loss of muscle tone, spending too much time in front of the…

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The ‘Senior’ Discount: Who Me?

Senior Discount By Cindy Eastman Just this week, I happily bounced out of a Sutherlin, Oregon  beauty shop with a fresh haircut.  I’ve learned that in these uncertain times, we can’t always count on a beauty shop being open.  The cost was far less than I was expecting, too.  In my imagination, which works very well, I assumed they had given me a “welcome back, customer” discount or even a “good-looking discount” since I haven’t been in for a while.  But about halfway down the street, I realized with great dismay, that they had given me the senior citizen discount!…

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Defining Ourselves in an Ageist Culture

As I subscribe to the PBS Encore.org notifications, I received information about an opportunity to submit a response to The American Portrait experience questions: (1) Does age or life stage define you? And (2) How are you using this time in your life to create a better future? I found that defining myself as an older person in an ageist culture was complicated.Age and Life Stage: Do They Define Us? My initial response to the first question was that neither age nor stage defines me. But the more I thought about it, the more nuanced my response became.  I am…

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Resilience and the ‘Age’ Advantage

Two of my neighbors have lost their spouses or partners within the past five years. At least three members in my community have battled cancer, and one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Several of us in my community have experienced age-related injuries. In spite of these challenges and losses, I live in a very upbeat neighborhood. For the most part, people in my community “keep on keeping on.” One of my widowed neighbors, a man in his eighties, remarried recently and is still enjoying his life to the fullest. Another neighbor fought breast cancer for a year but continued…

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COVID-19: Communicating Safety Expectations

I live in a rural county with a little over 111,000 people. Just over 26% of our population is over sixty-five. I’m one of those older county residents.  I know that regardless of how healthy I am, my age puts me at greater risk for serious COVID complications. My husband, who has some underlying health issues, is at an even greater risk. I try to be very careful when I am around other people. I wear a mask when shopping, and I social distance when I interact with other people. I do this not only for my benefit and the…

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Declutter: Getting Your House in Order

After spending too much time at home, you may start noticing that you are living with far more clutter and chaos than you’d realized. Doing something about all the clutter is another matter. Some of us bravely attempt to go-it-alone. Others seek inspiration from declutter gurus like Marie Kondo whose book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up focuses on a minimalist approach of retaining items that spark joy. Still, others have expert home organizers come into their homes and help create uncluttered spaces.Cindy Eastman hired someone to help her do some decluttering. She has shared her experience with us:Home too…

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Common Experiences & Unique Perspectives

The Common Experience of Being Invisible A Pew Research survey found that women in our culture are primarily appreciated because of their appearance. Men, however, are more commonly valued for other attributes such as character. Once women reach their fifties, our appearance can start changing fairly quickly. Once we lose our youthful looks, we may start feeling invisible. Men may also start feeling invisible after fifty, though it is generally women who tend to talk about this experience. About two years ago, I wrote To Be or Not to Be Invisible After Sixty for an online site called Sixty and Me.…

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Age Separation: Volunteering Can Bridge the Gap

For the first time in U.S. history, people sixty and over now outnumber those 18 and younger. Yet we still live in a youth-centric culture that reinforces the separation of people based on age. Separation in the Workplace, in Our Neighborhoods and in Schools  Research suggests that workers over fifty have more than a 50% chance of being pushed out of their jobs before they are ready to leave. Hiring language like “energetic” and “enthusiastic” signal that certain workplaces belong to the young. Neighborhoods tend to be separated by age with “six in 10 leaning either young or old.”  We…

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Retirement: Over-Indulgences that Lead to Habits

My husband and I have a sweet 110+ pound Labrador Retriever.  When our dog, Ranger, developed a little ear infection, I took him to his veterinarian. The vet gave me a prescription for Ranger’s ear infection and a strong recommendation to quit overfeeding him. All I feed the dog is one cup of “fat dog” kibbles twice a day. Of course, I put a small amount of chicken breast on top of his food for flavor. I also feed him green beans for snacks—oh, and I do give him dog chews and dog treats after we take walks. And maybe…

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