Aging and Embracing the Value of Interdependence

We live in what some social scientists refer to as an individualistic culture. We pride ourselves on our self-reliance and independence.  But as we age, an individualistic mindset doesn’t serve us very well.A few months ago, I wrote about a loved one who was quite ill. Not knowing how the story was going to unfold, I didn’t mention that the ‘loved one’ was my husband. For nearly three months, my husband had difficulty walking, getting out of a chair by himself, or even putting his socks on in the morning. He could no longer mow the lawn, do any other…

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Planning for Tomorrow, Living for Today

Last year daughter-in-law and son gave me a lovely blue hanging patio globe with mini solar lights that shine at night. Lately, I’ve noticed that the lights don’t stay on at night as long as they did a few months ago. My beautiful globe is starting to lose its ability to recharge.Life with LimitsThis morning went for my usual four-mile jog. As I was heading back home, an older man stopped me and said, “I see you 'walking' all over the place. How far do you walk?”  I felt like I had been moving at a fairly good pace. (Couldn't…

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When I am Gone Will You Know What to Do?

Last month my husband got a new 6th Generation IPAD to replace his failing older tablet. My husband also has an Apple Watch and an iPhone. He uses technology to keep in contact with family and friends, to pay bills, and to keep up with the news. You’d think my guy would be pretty tech-savvy. Instead, he has a live-in technical assistant to take care of set-up, technical difficulties, and to troubleshoot problems. As you’ve no doubt guessed, that tech-assistant is me. My husband is the keeper of financial documents and the one who does our taxes. He even took…

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Autumn Years and Leaving a Legacy

A couple of weeks ago, I reluctantly put aside my short-sleeved shirts and comfortable shorts. It had taken me a while to accept that the dog-days of summer were finally over. This morning I wore a sweatshirt, jacket, and long pants to go jogging. The air was crisp and the autumn leaves on every street were vivid. My ‘forever young’ years—the summer years of my life—have come to an end. I enjoyed those years and had a hard time letting go at first. But now I’m experiencing a third season of living – one that brings new clarity into my…

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Choosing to Be a Positive Aging Advocate

I am no longer used to getting up in the dark. This morning I got up before 6:00 a.m. to attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting. Technically, I am not currently operating a business per se, even though I own a registered business entity. Instead, I consider myself a positive aging advocate. Nonetheless, I think of the business owners at Chamber as part of my audience for the work I am doing. Originally, I focused just on Baby Boomers who were either preparing for retirement or who wanted more out of their retirement life. I became a certified professional retirement…

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An Evolving Identity after Retirement

I officially ‘retired’ and left my teaching career ten months ago. I strongly identified with my career and wondered how I would adjust to my new life. Several of the books I had read about transitioning into retirement had talked about the struggle most people have with the loss of their identity. For the first few months after starting my new life, I wondered when my identity crisis was going to hit; it never happened. Instead, my identity has evolved since leaving my career. An Evolving Identity I suspect that part of the reason I don’t feel like I’ve lost…

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Pet Ownership Can Be Beneficial for Older Adults

Referring to a national poll, Livepast100well.com says that more than half of all adults 50 to 80 share their home with a pet. The majority of those polled indicated that their pets helped them keep physically active, reduced stress, and gave them a sense of purpose. Another report suggested that our pets can actually help reduce cardiovascular disease risk, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol. I’m not sure how that works, but if it helps me justify all the attention I shower on the dog, then I’ll buy it. As an older doting dog parent, I recognize that our four-legged…

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Reducing Ageism through Education and Interaction

Can Ageism—Stereotyping or Discrimination Based on Age—Be Reduced? The World Health Organization has made it clear that ageism—stereotyping or discrimination based on age—is one of the most “normalized” forms of prejudice today. As the global population continues to age, experts in aging expect negative attitudes toward older people will likely increase. The Problem with Ageism The culturally reinforced belief that we automatically become mindless, grumpy, and frail after we reach a certain age is not only inaccurate, it is unhealthy for all of us. When younger people think of older people as incapable, the end result is often the loss…

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Petspeak or Elderspeak: Is There a Difference?

Is there a difference between petspeak and elderspeak? That's what I was thinking about this week. I had just parked my car in a parking lot at Washington Square Shopping Mall near Portland, Oregon. I happened to be with a friend at the time. As my friend and I got out of the car, we noticed a grey-haired woman gently lifting a little poodle from the back of her mini-van. The woman cooed at her dog and used ‘petspeak’ saying something like, “There you go my sweet little precious.” My friend and I looked at each other while trying to…

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Everyone has stories that matter

Each month I put together a newsletter for our Boomer Best U community. I’m working on our 6th issue this week. What I enjoy most about this project is getting to interview people for our feature story. I thought I knew some of the people I’ve interviewed until I actually listened to their stories – or at least to the stories they chose to share. Everyone has a story. I also believe every person's story matters. I Assumed I Knew More Than I Did Our first issue was in April. It featured Susan Rochester. Because Susan is a friend and…

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