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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Live Your Best Life by Practicing This

Almost anyone can benefit from it, but a lot of people don’t recognize its value. It is free, but it often involves some effort to develop and retain it. Live a Longer, More Active Life This particular attribute is also associated with greater longevity. One study even suggested the people who nurture this are 11-15% more likely to “live longer overall.” Research suggests that older people who have this attribute develop fewer difficulties with tasks of daily living and mobility problems than their less optimistic peers. So, not only could we live longer but live better as a result of…

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Lifestyle, Aging, Gender & Alzheimer’s Disease

When we were younger, it was easier to convince ourselves that we were invincible. Some of us could push ourselves hard and feel like we could make up for lost sleep on the weekends. We could gorge on holiday foods and then drop extra weight by increasing our exercise and dieting for a short period. We could even enjoy a second glass of wine and handle it without question. But then, something changed. Aging and Gender As we are all aware, our bodies (and our metabolism) start changing after fifty. As we move into middle age and beyond, we also…

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1968 and 2020: A Boomer Perspective

In a 2018 article, the Washington Post described it as “the year the center did not hold” and the year “many Americans saw their country spinning out of control. It was a shocking time, a moment of danger, destruction, and division—yet also a time of passion and possibility." It was also the year the Beatles released their top hit, “Hey Jude.” We Have a Valuable Perspective1968 was one of the most difficult years in American history and one that forever changed our country. For those of us who remember 1968 and/or the challenging years that followed, we have a unique…

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Long-term Care: Do You Have a Plan?

When our mother’s overall physical and mental health deteriorated to the point that she needed constant care, we were able to find a comfortable assisted living facility for her because she had some financial resources—at least enough for about two-years. But when our mother’s resources were gone, she had to leave her assisted living facility. Our mother was distressed when she had to move from a nice facility that had become her home. Because my sisters and I were not in a position to take care of her, we had to explore her options. Fortunately, her financial situation and her…

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Think Like a Tree, Age Strong, and Stand Firm

Deadwood: Attitudes toward Older Adults The World Health Organization reports that ageism – age discrimination and stereotyping is the most prevalent form of prejudice in the world today. It also reports that ageism has adverse effects on our health and well-being. In the Public Domain: COVID-19 has peeled back long-held cultural attitudes about aging and older people. Even the Lt. Governor of Texas suggested that old people or “grandparents” wouldn’t mind sacrificing themselves for the good of the economy.  Of course, we do know that older people in nursing homes and poorer people – particularly poorer people of color—have been…

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Social Security & COVID-19: Trust the News?

Is Social Security bankrupt? Are our lawmakers planning to do away with Social Security? Is COVID-19 now under control or is it out-of-control? Is COVID-19 a foreign plot to undermine the U.S.? As responsible citizens, it is important for all of us to stay informed. But with so much contradictory information available and from so many different sources, how do any of us know what to believe? I asked an expert for her advice on how to be a better consumer of news. Here are some of her tips. How to Distinguish Between Credible and Questionable News  By Melinda Benton,…

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Aging in Place: Practical Considerations

Sixteen years ago, my husband and I moved to a rural area so I could accept a teaching position at the local community college. I was fifty-two at the time, and my husband was sixty-two. We are now both retired. We don’t have immediate plans to move; we enjoy our home, our friends, and our community. And, like many other retirees, we’ve long assumed we would age in place. Research suggests most retirees want to age in place. But there are considerations we all have to weigh when determining if, when, and to where we might need to relocate. As…

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COVID-19: A Retirement Wake-up Call

We’re all eager to get back to some sense of normality once it is safe to do so without risking COVID 19 exposure. Yet it feels like we are living in a perpetual holding pattern. When talking with acquaintances who are working from home, some have expressed a sense of boredom as one day pours into the next. None of us could have prepared for what we are now experiencing! In an April 19, 2020, Forbes article, senior contributor Chris Carosa suggested that having to shelter in place could be a wake-up call or preview for those who are eager…

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Poetry as a Powerful Art Form to Help Reframe Aging

Research has been clear, embracing a positive view of aging can improve our quality of life and even extend our lifespan. Yet we are constantly being bombarded with anti-aging and other negative messages about getting older. A Kaiser Health News article suggests that one way we can counter negative views related to getting older is by seeking encouraging images of living our best lives as we age. One powerful and inspirational way to fill our lives with positive images of aging is through the arts. Art can move us in ways that no other form of communication can accomplish. Healthy…

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