Positive aging involves informed choices. This blog often offers research-based insights, experiences, and guest opinions.

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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Aging Realities: Knowledge is Power

Sometimes living in denial is easier than accepting reality. It took me a while to realize I wasn’t going to be “forever young.” I suspect that being in a state of denial is why research suggests a whole lot of people don’t adequately prepare financially, physically, or emotionally for the realities of getting older. But the truth is, all of us are getting older. Thankfully, I was initially pushed a bit to prepare. However, as I started educating myself about the realities of not only retirement but of aging, I became pretty motivated to start taking steps towards my best…

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“Elderly” is Not a Neutral Term

Shame on Writers Who Refer to Us as Elderly I’m truly tired of seeing headlines that refer to active, older adults as “elderly.” Even the style guide for the American Medical Association now recommends against using that pejorative term. Recently, I saw an article that Time.com ran using the term “elderly” to describe a seventy-five-year-old protester. Other publications referred to the protester as “older.” I contacted the editors at Time magazine about the recent article describing a protester as elderly.  I mentioned that the style guide for the American Medical Association advised against using the term “elderly” because it stereotyped groups…

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Racial Injustice: Protesting as an Older White Woman

During the past several days, I’ve seen images of young people all over the country protesting racial injustice and the brutal death of George Floyd. As an older female who remembers the 1960s, I’ve witnessed a lifetime of racism.  But until recently, I did not recognize the extent of my own “white privilege.” When a group of individuals organized a silent protest in my community, I knew that I needed to take a stand. Those with Hope and Those with Little I never thought much about enjoying certain privileges because I was born white. I grew up as a hard-scrabble,…

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Health-Span and Environment

Numerous studies have indicated that where we live affects our longevity. Our environment can also affect the number of years we live free of major chronic conditions (our health-span). One study suggests that most people will live about 20% of their lives with chronic conditions but that lifestyle can influence the number of healthy years we enjoy.  Our activity levels, our social engagement, our overall environment, availability of fresh food, and our access to healthcare are some of the factors that influence health-span. However, even if we lengthen our health-span, it is inevitable (unless we experience sudden death) that we…

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Bullying and Age Discrimination: Fighting Back

In some ways, bullying and age-discrimination feel very similar. When I was a child, I felt powerless when bullied. But now when I feel bullied as a result of age-discrimination, I fight back; I know that I have power and am willing to use it. Growing up, kids at school could plainly see that I was different. My mother routinely cut my hair with kitchen scissors and I wore Good Will clothes and durable shoes that my grandmother might have worn. The harder I tried to become invisible, the more obvious a target I was for bullies. Sometimes the bullying…

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Uncluttering and Discovering Hidden Treasures

Funny thing about sheltering in place—I have not been able to escape all the clutter I’ve collected over the years. Why did I save a dozen empty vases and then store them on top of shelves and cabinets? Why did I have a stack of bedding sitting on a chair and a closet so full that I couldn’t squeeze more bedding inside? Why did I have a bookshelf full of old textbooks from graduate school? Why did I have a double bed in a spare bedroom when I only needed a single and a fold-out for an occasional grandchild visit?…

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An Important Rule of Aging to Remember

My father caught my grandmother trying to break up concrete with a pic ax when she was eighty-eight. Grandmother was both strong and strong-willed. I think of myself as taking after my grandmother. I am strong, stubborn, and had generally maintained the belief that nothing can stop me from accomplishing my goals—including physical activity goals. I suppose I had always thought of myself as rather invincible; I somehow thought that certain rules of aging would skip right over me. I think one of the rules of aging is that when injured, we aren’t going to bounce back as quickly as…

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Medicare Decisions Don’t Have to Be Overwhelming

A Fidelity study projected the average couple would spend $285,000 in medical expenses after retirement. That's a huge amount of money! Medicare does not begin to cover all our medical expenses in retirement, and contrary to what people might believe, it is not free. Finding the right supplemental or Advantage plan is an important approach to managing medical expenses.About six months before I needed to make a decision, I started reading everything I could find on Medicare and various supplemental or Advantage plans. I also began receiving phone calls and all kinds of mail from various companies that touted their…

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My New and Better Life Outside the Box

We found our ‘forever’ puppy seven years ago. He was the last of a litter. When we first saw him, he was living in a 4 x 6 wooden box with a smaller box inside for sleeping. He was eager to play with us as long as he could stay inside his box. But when we took him outside for a taste of real freedom and an opportunity to explore the world around him, he froze. As confining as it was, his box was all he knew. Once we took him home, it took time for him to recognize that…

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