Seeking Advocates and Activists for Positive Aging

About four years ago, I read Ashton Applewhite’s This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. That’s about the time I became keenly aware of how ageism was affecting my life and the lives of others around me.Ageism or discriminatory or stereotypical treatment based on age has been linked to various health issues including depression, stress, and heart problems. It has also been associated with a shorter lifespan. In addition, it is estimated that ageist treatment costs Americans and an additional $63 billion per year in health costs. None of us should tolerate ageist treatment. (To read more about the effects…

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We Can Practice Maintaining a Positive Attitude

Yesterday, I was paying for some groceries when the check-out associate asked me how my day was going. I responded the way I do almost every time someone asks me that question. “Every day is a good day.”  An older man standing behind me said, “Well, if you are on this side of the dirt, then it probably is a good day." In the bigger scheme of things, I think the man was right.Having a positive outlook has been associated with overall life satisfaction, health, and even longevity. The good news is that various reports suggest anyone can develop a…

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Baby Boomers and Fake News: A Challenge

Oregon has passed a ban on the use of plastic sacks in stores. Further, stores are now required to charge five cents per paper bag for customers who choose not to bring their own bags. I often bring reusable bags to the store when buying groceries. Today, however, I needed a paper sack for my weekly recycling. When I asked to purchase a paper bag, the grocery clerk grumbled about the sack tax and said that the reason we had to pay it was to shore up the Public Employment Retirement System (PERS).  I didn’t have the opportunity to ask…

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Confidence Comes with Constant Learning

Because we live in a youth-centric culture, it is not surprising that we are constantly bombarded with negative messages about getting older. If we accept ageist messages about being less competent as we age, it can become like a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we haven’t done certain things for a long period of time, we may convince ourselves that we no longer have the ability to do what we could once do. When we cannot quickly learn something such as new technology, we may want to give up and believe that we are no longer capable of learning something new. Or,…

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What the Elders Knew about Treating Colds

Sometimes I hear younger people discounting some of the wisdom and knowledge that generations that had come before them had learned. I used to think my parents and especially my grandparents were old-fashioned and couldn’t possibly offer anything useful that my generation didn’t already know. My great grandmother, who had grown up in a remote area on a farm, learned to rely on a few home remedies that she no doubt had learned from her elders. One of these old remedies has been used for literally thousands of years and is now recognized as a potential treatment for the common…

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Positive Aging Role Models are Easy to Find

 One of my goals for Boomer Best U is to promote positive aging. What better way to do this than to find examples of people who are living their best lives after fifty? Feature Articles in the Monthly Newsletter Today I sent out my 10th monthly Boomer Best U newsletter. In addition to typical newsletter content like announcements or short informational pieces, I include a feature article about someone who embraces positive aging. When I write the feature stories, I either conduct a face-to-face interview or send questions by email. Then I develop a draft of the story that I…

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Generational Differences and Mutual Respect

I hadn’t noticed that a huge generational shift had taken place until I was in my early 50s and interviewing for a new job. Because of the background I could bring to positions that interested me and because I had strong interview skills, I always assumed that I had a good shot at most jobs for which I was appropriately qualified. But then everything changed. When I applied for a full-time teaching position in communication, younger people on interview panels weren’t all that interested in hiring me. It wasn’t until I met with an interview panel in a rural area…

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Purpose: A Key to a Long and Satisfying Life

Various studies have suggested that having a sense of purpose is important for healthy living, longevity, and life satisfaction. Having a sense of purpose is also an important component of a satisfying retirement. Those who don’t find a sense of purpose in retirement are more likely to experience depression and regret than those who do.Even before I officially ‘retired’ a year ago from my teaching career, I had started to develop a sense of purpose for the new chapter in my life. I asked myself questions about what I thought was really important to me. I also considered what I…

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Reflecting on Post-Holiday Fatigue

It’s the day after Christmas. It’s been a little over a year since I ‘retired’ from teaching and started my new life.What I am realizing though is that I no longer have an endless well of energy from which to draw. Since early in December, I’ve been doing all the holiday preparations, visiting with family and friends, and doing other holiday activities that I somehow managed to do while working fulltime. But now, it takes more energy, and perhaps I expect more of myself since I no longer have a fulltime job.Maybe a Bit BossyA couple of days before Christmas,…

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Taking Time to Reevaluate Holiday Traditions

I write a monthly article for a 50+ women’s online magazine called Honey Good. This month, I wrote an article about rethinking holiday traditions. I realized I had kept doing some things simply because I had always done them—year after year. I had to reevaluate what I was doing.Some things no longer made sense to do. For example, I used to make all kinds of goodies and foods that were high in calories and weren’t missed after I quit making them.I suspect most all of us could find some traditions that we continue to carry on just because that is…

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