Good News for Seniors – Not Everything about Aging is Bad

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
– Will Rogers –

The Crabby Lady from the Complaints Department was in my office when I arrived this morning. “It’s a conspiracy!” she cried. “They are trying to kill us all by scaring us to death! Look at this headline in today’s news!” I looked at the paper she had shoved under my nose (The Paranoid Times). The headline read, “The Dangers of Breathing for Seniors“.

“It’s part of their series called “A Danger a Day”, and I tell you, they want to scare us to death so that the Government doesn’t have to pay out Seniors Benefits. Yes, the Government and the Media are in this together…” Before I could duck, she had slapped another yellow stickie on my forehead, and stomped off.

I peeled off her note and read: “Give me some good news about aging. I’m tired of all the negative crap.”

This jolted me out of my happy world of Sunshine, Daffodils, Paddling Ducks, and Hawks that swoop down and pluck up Gophers. Good News for Seniors. That wasn’t going to be easy when the whole world seemed to be heading into group hysteria over the perceived catastrophe of  Baby Boomers entering seniorhood.

After a lot of research, I came up with these three positive stories:

–  Scientists are finding more and more correlation between Heart Disease and the many forms of Dementia. Medications and lifestyle changes that have been used to promote heart health may actually protect brain health as well.  One study has even shown that treating high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in people already starting to show signs of memory problems!

The Quippery– A three year study of 3200 Germans aged 75+, showed that seniors that drank a glass of wine or a pint of beer a day were less likely to develop Dementia and Alzheimers.

– Exercise continues to be of importance to Seniors. The good news is, the exercise doesn’t have to be at all strenuous. Being “active” can include physical activities such as housework, yard work, child care and just about any activity that requires standing up and moving around.

Now, it’s your turn to be crabby: There is no question that most of us will just keep getting older – what would you change in your life, family or country to make being a senior better?

Post 226

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20 thoughts on “Good News for Seniors – Not Everything about Aging is Bad

  1. I do yoga and 30-minute walk to start my day. I also try very hard to be kind to myself. As I do, often, I am able to be kind to and respect other people. Growing old (or older) is a journey…

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  2. Hi,
    I don’t think I would change anything in my life as such. I live very close to the city so most things for seniors are at our fingertips so to speak, what I would like to see, is more things available for seniors that live in rural or country areas, some of these places have nothing to help out seniors, they don’t organize senior bus trips, outings to meet other people, some places don’t even have buses handy to be able to get out of the house if you can no longer drive. I think a lot more can be done in these areas..

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    • Hi Mags – I agree it would be nice to have services for rural or country seniors. In our part of the world, seniors would either be able to stay on the farm because their family would be there to help, or they would move into town. The women seem quite happy to move into town, but I think it is hard on their husbands!
      The upside for rural seniors is that when they drive into the nearest small towns, the traffic is a lot less and willing to slow down to a seniors pace. Unfortunately, the traffic in the two cities near us just gets heavier every year!

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  3. The best part about being older is being Grandma.
    Except for wanting to totally remove the meno-issues from my life, I’m fairly happy at the moment. However, I would like employers to look at older job seekers in a more positive light.
    For the elderly, I wish the health care system was more user friendly and didn’t require so many forms, piles of paper work and hoop jumping.
    This is all I can think of at the moment.
    Great post of positives for the aging. Thanks. 🙂

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    • Hi EC – I think being a Grandma is great too. You know what they say – “If I had known grandchildren were so much fun, I would have had them first.”
      You bring up some good points about what would make it easier to be older.

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    • Hi Murr – Yes, I get the closer-to-death part, but I work pretty hard not to let that thought live in my mind. I wrote about it in Fear of the Future.
      I am a faithful reader of your blog, Murr, and I can see why you love every single thing about being where you are in life!

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  4. Lots of things:

    -Teach the country that the word “senior” doesn’t represent a doddering, wrinkled old fool ready to die or a person who has nothing left to offer the world.
    -Change the belief of the cosmetics and entertainment industry (and 50-60ish men!) that a woman in her 50’s and 60’s and beyond isn’t one broken hip away from assisted living!
    -Encourage all seniors to stay mentally and physically active because we might be working into our later, later years.
    -Make home health care more affordable so that more seniors can stay independent and remain part of their communities!
    -Teach young people that they have much to learn from seniors
    – Eat more dark chocolate.

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    • Hi SDS – I agree with everything on your list, which is why all of us have to keep spreading the word about seniors! I think I am doing my part, especially when it comes to the dark chocolate…

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  5. Qi Gong, Baby! It’s a miracle. Stop following the news (unless they come up with a Good New Station). And stop pre-worrying.

    I love the headline about how breathing is bad for seniors. What, I ask is the suggested alternative? 😉

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    • Hi Lorna – I made up the headline, as you realized, but it isn’t too far off the mark of everything we get warned is bad for us! You are right that most of the time just following the news is what is bad for us.

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    • Hi Marcie – good advice. We aren’t getting any younger, and no matter what the beauty industry tells us, we can’t stop the hands of time. So we might as well just enjoy it!

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  6. Hi Margie, I’m in my 50s and know there will never be any sort of “retirement” for me…but I think it’s a blessing in disguise. The longer we work and are productive, useful, and have responsibilities, the less we feel “old.” Even if you are lucky enough to retire, being a vital part of your community through volunteering is essential. I know seniors who do very little and it’s no wonder they don’t feel good! And learn, learn, learn and never stop. So though I have my own set of problems, becoming an “old lady” is not even a consideration! Oh, and then there’s Clairol…

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    • Hi Find an Outlet – I think a traditional ‘retirement’ is being redefined to meet both the economic realities of these times, but also the fact that people are living longer, healthier lives. I certainly agree that the happiest seniors are the ones that still have ties to a community, or are doing things that keep them learning.

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  7. I love being a senior. For the first time in my life I am freer than ever AND I can still move. I take walks daily and work in the garden. The only down side is osteoarthritis. But at least it is managed. What else can you say about that.

    Three things that keep me going, good wine, great grandchildren and living each day to the fullest. Reminding myself that this day only lasts once I do not get a do over. Ever.

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    • Hi Amanda – It is interesting that you should comment about a health issue, because, let’s face it, they can be a part of aging. But I wonder how many of us can look back on our younger years and say that we also had health issues then too. I certainly did, and it took a bit of surgery to fix that one! The point is, youth isn’t a bed of roses either!
      I whole heartedly agree with your observation that it is important to live one day at a time, and not dwell on how many more we will have. As I’ve said before, “Have a Nice Day” isn’t as trite as it sounds. It is good advice.

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  8. Methinks some seniors, as they become less physically capable of doing stuff independently should move closer to services, which might mean more urban areas.

    What we should seriously consider is designing communities that are walkable, with services close by, etc. Not huge sprawling isolating suburbs where you have to drive everywhere to access shops, services, friends, etc.

    I’m sorry, I don’t have sympathy for disabled/weakened seniors who insist on staying out in rural areas and look for help…when there may not be enough people around to help regularily.

    I will vouch for these personal stories:

    *My parents. In their early 80’s. My father has prostate cancer. Mother has hypertension, etc. But they live 10 min. walk from grocery store, a bus top….if there is a situation where father can’t drive but he doesn’t want to wait around for one of his children to drive him (who live in big city of Toronto) who are at work or looking after their own young children. They live just a few kms. north of downtown Toronto core. Thank goodness, they live near services.

    *My parner’s mother who lived until age 93. Never learned to drive a car. Yet she walked close to shops, services into her late 80’s. Then into nursing home where my partner biked over several times per wk. to visit her. Only 5 kms. away from our home. This is all in downtown Vancouver.

    *A good friend, mentor (for my career) in her early 70’s. Always a single, career woman. Did own her own home until she decided to rent. Now has a hip problem and is using cane to move around. This is a woman who has been fiercely independent her whole life, always lived alone and drove her car regularily for over 50 yrs. before giving up her car. She lives 5 min. walk from subway, grocery store is next door, etc. Downtown Toronto. Now she needs to move because rent is too high for her. She really wants to find a place close to services.

    So cities are not big scary places for seniors, if they are designed properly.
    So, we need to adjust now….while we are still healthy and open to change.

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    • Hi Jean – I lived in England for a few years, and many of their communities were designed for walkers. I agree that it makes a lot of sense to design areas such that the car isn’t the only method of transportation!
      I also think it is possible to design housing in rural areas so that those seniors who wish to be surrounded by nature still have access to sources of transportation to services. For instance, why couldn’t school buses be used for senior transportation when they aren’t being used for the kids!

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