Will You Become a Super-Ager ?

My grandmother was a super-ager. My dad caught her trying to bust up concrete with a sledgehammer when she was in her eighties. He scolded her for her “foolish” behavior. But my grandmother was used to being physically active. She also remained mentally engaged until two months before she died at age ninety-six, outliving her son. Super-agers: Cognitive and Physical Functioning A super-ager is someone who is at least in their seventies and has the cognitive functioning of an average middle-aged person. “Normally aging adults lose roughly 2.24 percent in brain volume per year, but the super-agers lost around 1.06 percent.…

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100-Years-Old and Dementia-Free?

Have you noticed that more and more people are living into their nineties and even to 100 and beyond? Recently, I read that beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary was 104 when she died last week. According to a March 3, 2021, New York Times article, there are approximately 92,000 people in the United States who are over 100-years old living today. The number of centenarians in this country has grown by 44% since 2000. The Census Bureau projects this special group of people will be six times higher within the next forty years. Will You Live to Be 100? My…

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Poor Sleep quality Can Lead to Health Problems

The majority of us will shift to daylight saving time this Sunday, March 14th. As a result of this change, we’ll immediately enjoy more natural light later in the day and into the evening. The downside is that this change can disrupt our normal sleep patterns—patterns that may have already become fragmented with age.  As older adults, we are often more sensitive to our sleep environments or may have chronic conditions that interfere with our sleep. Possible Immediate Consequences Some may believe that older people need less sleep. But according to Sleep Education, most older adults need seven to nine…

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Aging, Location, and Available Medical Care

I’ve touted the benefits of living in a relaxed, rural environment on more than one occasion. Living in Southern Oregon for the past 17 years after spending most of my life near Portland, Oregon, has given me a new appreciation for a less complicated life. We don’t have big city traffic. The abundance of recreational opportunities is mind-blowing. The value of our house is about half of what it would be in Portland. And, we have a strong sense of community. But what we don’t necessarily have is the availability of complex medical care. Do You Know Your Risks? My…

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Hospitalization: A Helpful Read Before Experiencing It

Most all of us will end up experiencing at least one hospitalization—especially as we get older. Any hospitalization can be disorienting, but knowing a little about how to prepare and how the system operates may help us reduce the likelihood that the communication ‘ball’ gets dropped or that a medical error occurs. Reading books written by doctors who specialize in care for older adults has been eye-opening. One that helped me understand age-biases in medicine was Elderhood by Louise Aronson, M.D. One of the books I am currently reading is Treat Me, Not My Age: A Doctor’s Guide to Getting…

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Aging and The Beauty of Community

For many of us, the holiday season—typically a time of family and social gatherings—is shaping up as an experience like no other. Some of us in the neighborhood wondered if we even wanted to bother with outside decorations. Due to the pandemic, many of us who are older aren’t planning on having any company. But then just a day after Thanksgiving, some of our neighbors started stringing lights on their homes and setting up deer, snowmen, even a grinch or two on their lawns. Within about a week, our block started looking like Disneyland at night. Why were we all…

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S.A.G.E. – Bridging the Gap Between Generations

  Written by Beryl Katz, the following article describes a nonprofit program the author was instrumental in helping develop that helps connect older adults with school-aged children. This article has been lightly edited for brevity and requirements for our site.  Twenty-one years ago, as a parent at a school board meeting, I saw two distinct groups of people: parents who wanted the best education for their children and older adults who did not want higher taxes. As a  mother, a former English teacher, and taxpayer, I sat there an idea began forming in my mind. Why not bring in older community members as volunteers making them…

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Resilience is Key for Positive Aging

Less than two weeks ago, I was able to enjoy morning walks wearing sleeveless tank tops. Most afternoons, I could still wear shorts while working in the yard or taking hikes. Early last week, we had our first frost and have had several frosty mornings since then. As much as I wanted to continue basking in the early autumn sun, that season is quickly coming to an end. This morning, I adapted to the cooler weather by wearing a sweatshirt, a heavy coat, and winter gloves. I even put the dog’s coat on him before taking our walk. It felt…

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Setting Necessary Boundaries During a Pandemic

Even though leading health experts advise wearing a mask and keeping socially distanced during the pandemic could save lives, we know that too many people are ignoring this advice. Certainly, some are refusing to take prescribed precautions because of political views. Others choose to ignore these safety recommendations when it is not convenient for them. All of us have both the right and the responsibility to set boundaries for our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others around us. But sometimes other people will unwittingly try to push us beyond the healthy boundaries that we have set for ourselves. Challenges…

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Listen More to Live Your Best Life

Today, I remembered to Listen! Before it got too hot, I took a brisk walk around a local pond and then up a hill. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to anything at first, but then I focused on the natural symphony all around me. I noticed the sound of ducks splashing in the water, the whirl of insect swarms near patches of blackberries, the crunch of dried grass under my feet, and the rapid tapping of a woodpecker near an oak grove. To enjoy all that was around me, I had to intentionally focus outward so that I…

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