Information, Inspiration & Celebration to navigate the new longevity and live easier, smarter & better
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Long term & Positive
Although it’s an interesting time to be living/aging in the US, we’re thinking long term and positive. On our list: Lots of folks are in our same boat-Byy 2040, 20% of Americans will be age 65+ (up from 12% in 2000) and heads of households age 80+ will be the fastest growing demographic (census.gov); Technology including telemedicine, in-home monitoring, self-driving cars, robots and devices will be part of our daily routines; and New medicines and therapies will help us live even longer and healthier (note: the FDA is reviewing Alzheimer’s treatments now and breakthroughs are close); and We are hopeul that aging won’t be dreaded, it simply will be a part of a fantastic life.
Hope Floats with Age
Holiday decorations, smiles over Zooms, the vaccine, and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel has us feeling hopeful these days. Older adults tend to develop a sense of hope as they review their lives (Moore, 2012). And hope is associated with better physical, psychological and social outcomes. Willpower serves as a roadmap and patience fosters hope. Plus, being in stable relationships, support networks and strong communities contribute to us feeling strong and hopeful (Long, Kim, Chen Wilson, Worthington, VanderWeele, 2020). So we’re embracing HOPE with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words, “This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
Resilience is Ours
As part of the Post War Baby Boom generation, we’ve experienced Civil Rights, JFK, MLK Jr, Bobby, Vietnam War, Woodstock, Peace & Love, Cold War, MoTown, Watergate, Disco, MTV, the start of the Internet, Y2K, 9-11, Dot com bubble, Going green, Smart phones, BLM and now COVID-19. Plus the good, bad and ugly of our own health challenges, personal reltationship and financial swings. WOW! We are resilient. Aging and experience build our ability to cope and grow (Agronin, 2018). And everyday is a new opportunity. Oh, it’s not all champagne & roses. Yet we choose to get up, engage and learn, all while building our endurance and becoming more resilient.
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Improve Indoor Air
Aging and spending more time indoors can lead to respiratory, sleep, fatigue and even digestive problems because of unhealthy indoor air containing dust, radon, mold, bacteria from pet stains, chemicals from fragrances, cigarette smoke and other allergens. Improve your air: Vacumm carpets 1-2 times per week (hard-surface flooring is favored); Eliminate or clean clutter (it collects and retains dust); Change your filters and get ducts cleaned; Open a window for a fresh air blast (even in cold months) and use your fans to circulate; Test for radon (it’s colorless, orderless and raises the risk of lung cancer); Consider an air purifier and dehumidifier; and Contact professionals to solve severe problems. (HarvardHealth, 2018)
Tech Savvy During COVID
Mmedicine (mobile medicine) telehealth and other types of virtual appointments and businesses will likely flurish as we move forward. With more internet usage, we have a responsibility to be safe online-not clicking on links from people/places we don’t trust, not giving out personal or financial information when responding to emails, and not clicking on something that sounds too good to be true. Get training from Senior Planet, TechBoomers, Geekatoo or the Visual Steps and For Dummies books. When the economy re-opens check your library, community college or local coffee shop for in-person classes.
Stand up Straight
Our mommas were right. Poor posture limits our range of motion, lung capacity and increases shoulder and neck pain. We shrink about 1/2 inch every 10 years after the age of 30 and at age 70 the rate may increase due to bone density loss and the cartliage between each back vertebra hardening. Tips to help our posture: Practice erect posture, Exercise, Strengthen our core, Try Pilates or Yoga, Eat Healthy, Don’t Smoke and see your medical professionals as needed (Harvard Health).
Your neighborhood, park or local arboretum is a fantastic place to continue your walks as we head into winter. Walking for Seniors strengthens joints, muscles and bones plus it helps lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. We go mid-morning, wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. If you are a step-counter aim for 7,500-10,000 steps. Keep in mind that even 4,400 steps per day deliver health improvements (Harvard Women’s Health).
Advance Healthcare Directive
About 75% of us DON’T have an Advance Healthcare Directive or Living Will, yet it is one of the first things asked for when being admitted into the hospital. An Advance Healthcare Directive is simply a way to communicate your values and preferences pertaining to your future medical care. Forms are by state (you can check boxes and fill in the blanks) and need to be signed and notarized. Click here for your state’s form.
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Flexibility, Endurance and Strength
Almost 50% of Americans age 65+ report experiencing pain, possibly from ligaments & tendons becoming “stiff & leathery” and cartilage between joints wearing away. Exercising for Flexibility, Endurance and Strength may provide some relief. Flexibility exercises might include stretching, swimming, yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi; Endurance activities like walking, biking, low-impact aerobics and swimming increase your heart rate; and Strength exercises target specific muscles in your upper and lower body usually using repetitions, light weights or bands. Check with your medical professionals before beginning or changing your exercise routine. More info: Fit for 50 youtube vids Four Types of Exercise Can Improve Your Health and Ability, nia.nih.gov Exercises to Relieve Sore Muscles, aarp.com, The best exercises for Achy Backs, Knees, Hips and more, webmd.com,
Ease Aging with a Positive Attitude
Ease aging with a positive attitude. Happy Seniors have fewer mobility challenges and health problems including diabetes, heart disease, cancer & strokes (University College, London). Things that help positivity: Exercise, Be purposeful, Laugh-watch funny shows & videos, Continue learning, Spend time with loved ones, Stay current & involved, and get more information by clicking the live link.
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Less Cognitive Decline
A healthy brain means a lower risk of cognitive decline which is directly related to heart and blood vessel health. The brain makes up 2% of a person’s body weight, yet consumes 20% of its oxygen and energy. Suggestions for better brain health: Exercise, Keep learning, Socialize, Eat healthy, Sleep 7.5 to 9 hours nightly, Manage your stress and do Mental Exercises like reading, puzzles, games, listening to classical music, etc. For more info: These Preventive Measures Might Help Delay Dementia or Cognitive Decline by Judith Graham (Kaiser Health News), Six Steps to Cognitive Health (Harvard Health), 10 Ways to Love Your Brain -Alzheimer’s Association
Say Goodbye Negative aging … Hello 55+ potential
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What is the Silver Tsunami?
Led by seniors, baby boomers and those 55+, the Silver Tsunami will be 30% of the US population, or about 98 million people by 2020. We are living longer, staying active, eating healthy, working, volunteering, traveling, exercising, using our iPhones and so much more. And there is no how-to manual on this new type of retirement.
Therefore learning from each other and our curated article recaps, lists, hints and tips based in research reports and articles prepares you to conquer challenges. Topics include Physical and Emotional Health, Money Matters, Work & Volunteer, Interest & Leisure and Organizations, Agencies, Apps & Books.
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Fantastic55 uses research, reports and data from many sources including the MIT Age Lab, Administration on Aging, Milken Institute for the Future of Aging; news sources like The Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNBC, Forbes, PBS and digital sources like TedX Talks, webmd.com, nextavenue.com; and organizations like AARP, National Age in Place Council and popular podcasts.
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