Positive Aging from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 18 Sep 2020 02:44:21 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Positive Aging from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/positive-aging-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging cace670d429dda52af54a5e0c7629e77 The Hottest Grandpa in China for 09/11/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/09/20/the-hottest-grandpa-in-china-35fa3 Fri, 11 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For years, the stereotypical image of a grandfather wasn't all that attractive. In fact, it often swerved between two extremes: the rail-thin visage of the man in Grant Wood's "American Gothic" and the iconoclastic overweight Archie Bunker body type. These days, men are paying closer attention than ever before to their health markers, their waistlines and their weight. We used to think this was primarily true only in America, but masculine vanity is on the rise elsewhere &#8212; even in China.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">I love a story about someone who has shattered ageist stereotypes.</span> At the 2015 China Fashion Week in Beijing, an 82-year-old star was born, and now he's being hailed as China's hottest grandpa. Wang Deshun was born in 1936 in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang. At the age of 14, one year after the Communist Party came to power, he began working as a streetcar conductor. His real loves, however, were acting, dancing, singing and playing musical instruments.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 11, 2020</p> a78a0f7439af3a9b901f248e2d88553c Why Not Write Your Life? for 09/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/09/20/why-not-write-your-life-b06ab Fri, 04 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When I'm not writing columns or working on my books, I devote a lot of time to helping seniors commit their life stories to paper. Currently, over a half a dozen of my local first-time authors have completed and published their memoirs. </p> <p>When I turned 65, I experienced a tangled mass of conflicting emotions, most of which centered around the fact that I simply could not believe that I had reached official retirement age. In an effort to make sense of what had once seemed impossible, I began deconstructing the decades of my life. And, much to my surprise, I found the process both enlightening and liberating. <p>Updated: Fri Sep 04, 2020</p> 8f6ae37a3a964acda6b293f02096f41c Why a Men's Shed Is a Good Idea for 08/28/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/08/20/why-a-mens-shed-is-a-good-idea-e8a35 Fri, 28 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It's no secret that many older men face serious challenges when it comes to healthy social connections. Traditionally, women often maintain a family's social connections. If a man loses his wife through death or divorce, then staying connected can become a serious challenge. In the U.S. and the U.K., nearly 1 in 3 people who are older than 65 live alone; and in the U.S., half of those who are over 85 live by themselves.</p> <p>Loneliness has become problematic for seniors, and a variety of researchers have discovered that feeling isolated can have almost twice the impact as obesity on an early death. According to John Cacioppo, co-author of "Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection," the ache of loneliness can be equivalent to physical pain.</p> <p>Cacioppo has written that the increasing number of baby boomers who are facing retirement has created what he calls a "silver tsunami." And the more challenging issue for senior males is feeling isolated, especially those who spent decades interacting with colleagues and co-workers on a daily basis. He urges retirees - male and female - to stay in touch with their former co-workers, and make it a priority to interact with friends and family members.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 28, 2020</p> 32a947e1e87857262fabb667ee156d1b Want a Job? for 08/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/08/20/want-a-job-7393f Fri, 21 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Do you remember the days when everyone seemed to retire on or before that ominous 65th birthday? Well, that was then, and this is now. Research says in recent years, there have been more seniors employed than ever before, and they are often being given jobs that are categorized as age-appropriate. </p> <p>According to Matthew Rutledge, an economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, older workers seem to be clustered in what are referred to as "lower-skilled service jobs." For example, older workers are 65% more likely to find jobs in child care, 93% more likely to find work as cabdrivers and twice as likely to find work in retail. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 21, 2020</p> d7dc546aa16d93903f4b18b275e8e8e6 Why Social Interaction Is Essential for 08/14/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/08/20/why-social-interaction-is-essential-bc73f Fri, 14 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For years, researchers have known that everyone benefits from socialization &#8212;regardless of age or gender. We've all seen the tragic videos of neglected orphans who failed to grow and develop because they were kept in isolation and deprived of interaction with others. According to functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, or fMRI studies, it's become common knowledge that adults, particularly the elderly, need the same sort of social stimulation that infants do. In fact, feeling alone can actually be worse than feeling annoyed or harassed. Why? Feeling isolated activates many of the same areas of the brain involved in physical pain.</p> <p>Unfortunately, after reaching retirement age (and when others leave the household), many seniors find themselves spending way too much time alone. This is particularly true if they are no longer able to drive or have other transportation issues. But in order to maintain a sense of belonging, stay happy and keep their minds sharp, seniors really need to find a reliable way to socialize with others on a regular basis.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 14, 2020</p> ddbca14bfa05076cf8da971ed00fa926 Senior Sweethearts for 08/07/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/08/20/senior-sweethearts-e804e Fri, 07 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I have a dear friend who has been a widow for three years. She recently told me that special days, like her birthday, Valentine's Day or her anniversary always make her feel depressed. She knows that no one would ever love or pamper her the way her husband did. And that sobering fact always makes her really sad. </p> <p>I let my friend verbally cry on my shoulder for as long as she needed to. Then I looked her directly in the eyes and said: "I know that you feel very alone right now, but experience has taught me that you never know who or what might be right around the corner. I'm willing to bet that you won't always feel so lonely." She didn't know it, but I had just finished reading the latest data about people who fall in love later in life (sometimes much later). Statistically, she stands a good chance of once again becoming a much-loved wife.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 07, 2020</p> 531407c3648196a46ec83b1e370e6a5e Gratitude for 07/31/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/07/20/gratitude-9208f Fri, 31 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>At this stage of our lives, especially if we are having a down day, it can be all too easy to tell ourselves that our lives were better when we were younger. My goal today is to remind you that sort of negativity can be a form of misguided nostalgia, because there is no payoff or upside to imagining that "the way things used to be" is somehow superior.</p> <p>When I feel an episode of longing to turn back the clock or wishing I were in the past is headed my way, I force myself to shift gears quickly. The first part of this process involves reminding myself that the mere passage of time has the power to smooth out and sand down the rough (i.e. painful) edges of memories. The soft-focus effect of distance combined with youth-tinged memories and dissolved emotional scar tissue can play tricks on us. It can convince us that our present circumstances are inferior, more challenging or second-rate compared with our memories of what we may or may not have experienced years before. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 31, 2020</p> 42ab0a85fcfac65db52977128c73c412 How to Not Be Grumpy for 07/24/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/07/20/how-to-not-be-grumpy-b7f19 Fri, 24 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Do you remember the 1993 hit movie "Grumpy Old Men"? It starred Jack Lemmon, who was 68 at the time, and Walter Matthau, who was 73. The gist of the comedy is that older people are almost inevitably in a bad mood, and because of their advanced age they have essentially forgotten how to laugh or smile. A more recent example of this ageist stereotype is the 2009 animated movie "Up." The main character, retiree Carl Fredericksen, was voiced by then-80-year-old Ed Asner, and Carl was definitely in a bad, bad, very grumpy mood for much of the movie.</p> <p>Obviously, I strongly disagree with this premise. Instead, I prefer the arguments proposed in 1872 by Charles Darwin and given additional credence by William James in 1884. They both believed that there is a direct link between our facial expressions and how we feel. More recently, Amy Cuddy, Harvard professor, TED Talk superstar and author of the best-selling book "Presence," has suggested that our bodies (i.e. our faces) impact our mood rather than the other way around. What a relief that, according to Darwin, James and Cuddy, we have the ability to affect the state of our emotions no matter our age. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 24, 2020</p> 2bb506ddad22138b3067ad452bf8b410 Are You Resistant to Change? for 07/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/07/20/are-you-resistant-to-change-41503 Fri, 17 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>About 100 years ago, Anatole France, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1921, weighed in on the reason why change can be so challenging. He wrote, "All changes ... have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."</p> <p>As we age, for many of us anything that involves change begins to look more and more like an unwelcome intruder. External life issues (i.e., the economy, heath issues, Mother Nature, technology, etc.) have begun affecting the way we live and limiting our choices. All too often, we are prevented from things being the way we want them to be because of changes that are beyond our control. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 17, 2020</p> dad110fd5bb9daaa3f1dda659f2ebd11 Vanity Part Two: Senior Celebrities for 07/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/07/20/vanity-part-two-senior-celebrities-a670b Fri, 10 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I don't know about you, but I just love it when older celebrities choose to embrace their age rather than try to look several decades younger. Recently, there has been a spate of photographs circulating on the internet of famous seniors who are vibrant, active and (really) attractive &#8212; even though they moved into what the entertainment industry considers the retirement-status wasteland years ago. </p> <p>From Robert DeNiro to Julie Christie to Jack Nicholson to Jane Fonda &#8212; all of whom are in their 70s &#8212; a growing number of talented actors have turned the art of acknowledging and accepting one's age into a worthy cause. And don't even get me started on the appeal of 80-something screen icons like Michael Caine, Julie Andrews and Robert Duvall, and whether or not these living legends have "had some work done," as they say in Hollywood. They've obviously &#8212; and wisely &#8212; chosen to accept and embrace the process of aging rather than pretend they're decades younger. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 10, 2020</p> 00594ba68c60f6eb4466425852219440 Vanity: Part 1 for 07/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/07/20/vanity-part-1-3874c Fri, 03 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There are plenty of cynical and clueless amateur social theorists who believe that after a certain age seniors no longer pay attention to or are invested in their appearance. According to these out-of-touch observers (maybe they're millennials), the middle-aged and elderly actively avoid gazing in mirrors. Instead, they prefer to focus their time and energy on larger social and political issues like pollution, debt, terrorism, and racial strife. But all you have to do is investigate the current statistics, which show a dramatic increase in cosmetic surgery for those of us in our golden years, to quickly understand that vanity will always be with us, no matter how old we are.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Did you know that the number of plastic surgery procedures has consistently grown for septuagenarian, octogenarian and even nonagenarian patients?</span> According to many doctors, this "down-aging" trend is currently in full swing and sure to grow as more and more baby boomers turn 65. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 03, 2020</p> 758cce44c5600574011f65eee5cff044 Psych Yourself Up for 06/26/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/06/20/psych-yourself-up-23bc1 Fri, 26 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Unless you are blessed with superior, Zen-like mind control, you have probably noticed an unwelcome uptick in your anxiety levels as you've grown older. It's not uncommon for seniors to be burdened with a variety of age-related concerns &#8212; on top of the ordinary worries everyone else copes with. But it doesn't help us to obsess and worry over scary questions like "What will happen to me if (or when) my health deteriorates?" or "How will I manage if I haven't saved enough money for my retirement?" or "Why do I always feel so lonely?"</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">If you've ever tormented yourself with these sorts of accusatory questions, you are not alone.</span><p>Updated: Fri Jun 26, 2020</p> 3477433c4bf7d954f3992d3b53144c2d How Happy Are You? for 06/19/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/06/20/how-happy-are-you-66e8a Fri, 19 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I've always liked this quote from Abraham Lincoln, who was known to suffer from major bouts of depression: "Folks are usually as happy as they make their minds up to be." </p> <p>In the last decade, dozens of best-selling books have been published that dissect the various attitudes and techniques needed to get and keep a positive frame of mind. From Martin Seligman's "Authentic Happiness" to Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project," there is no shortage of sage advice regarding how to be a more upbeat person. After all, according to Rubin: "Contemporary research shows that happy people are more altruistic, more productive, more helpful, more likable, more creative, more resilient, more interested in others, friendlier, and healthier. Happy people make better friends, colleagues, and citizens." Who wouldn't want to be part of that group? <p>Updated: Fri Jun 19, 2020</p> 9b7833e51a8574ace0bdb6f76eb9a952 Dr. You for 06/12/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/06/20/dr-you-93051 Fri, 12 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Unless you are part of a microscopic minority, something has probably happened within the last 10 years to serve as a reminder that you are not as physically young as you used to be. Perhaps you're a little stiffer in the morning. Maybe your tennis game is a bit slower. Or maybe you've developed an illness that has seriously affected the way you live. Whatever has happened, this is the time we all need to get serious and proactive about protecting our health. </p> <p>Of course, we all need to maintain a good relationship with our health care providers. And those regular checkups, tests and procedures (colonoscopy, anyone?) are designed to help us monitor the ever-evolving state of our health &#8212; so no wimping out. But <span class="column--highlighted-text">for decades, way too many Americans have complacently assumed that a visit to the doctor's office will automatically fix whatever ails them physically.</span><p>Updated: Fri Jun 12, 2020</p> 423490064178e017ec6a1d506b9b38d3 Be Bold for 06/05/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/06/20/be-bold-df580 Fri, 05 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Have you noticed that something strange seems to happen after you reach the age of 60? The people in our lives, especially those closest to us, often make a quiet (but frequently misguided) gear shift into protection mode. Our children urge restraint when it comes to physical activities, our colleagues begin shifting stress-laden and travel-intensive assignments to younger employees, and our financial advisors cringe at the very thought of us making even a mildly risky investment. </p> <p>Since I am wheelchair-dependent &#8212; it's no longer politically correct to say, "confined to a wheelchair," even though I have been for the past 25 years &#8212; I've been spared those annoying caveats ever since receiving my multiple sclerosis diagnosis back in 1984. But regardless of the state of our physical vitality, when we turn 60, others' fears and concerns for our safety enter our unconsciousness as a soft whisper. And by the time we've begun to receive regular Social Security checks, their uninvited, bright-yellow "caution" signs can literally dominate the landscape of our lives. <p>Updated: Fri Jun 05, 2020</p> f1c00a19c4952986f25e345b123ac71c Diabetes and You for 04/24/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/04/20/diabetes-and-you-bc22e Fri, 24 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">Last month, I wrote about the remarkable book "Genius Food," which gave me a whole new perspective on our health in general and diabetes in particular. According to author Max Lugavere and his co-author, Dr. Paul Grewal, a variety of medical issues stem from our bodies' inability to process all the sugar found in the standard American diet. Some experts have decided to label Alzheimer's disease simply Type 3 diabetes and label macular degeneration little more than "diabetes of the eye."</span><br></p> <p>There's no doubt that more people &#8212; including plenty of baby boomers &#8212; are diabetic today than ever before. In fact, more than 25% of Americans over the age of 65 have the disease, which means that those of us who were born in the 1950s have a higher likelihood of having diabetes than any other age group. For this reason alone, a British study that examined ways to self-control Type 2 diabetes is particularly noteworthy.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 24, 2020</p> 8ba16ad6c0a3e7a97138e741066dfaed Bonus Benefits of Dance for 04/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/04/20/bonus-benefits-of-dance-db085 Fri, 17 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">For those of us old enough to remember the popular TV program "American Bandstand," dancing has always seemed like a fun social activity. And even now, when "Dancing with the Stars" is a hit network show, few people think of dancing as an easy way for seniors to stay healthy and avoid health problems. But the truth is, as far back as the 1940s, dancing has been proven to be both a natural form of communication and a way to improve physical and mental well-being.</span><br></p> <p>We all know that dancing is a great way for our bodies to get needed exercise, but a 2003 study funded by the National Institute on Aging, led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that <span class="column--highlighted-text">it can also build better brain function and even reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease.</span> When a group of seniors over age 75 were followed to see which activity offered the most benefits &#8212; bicycling, crossword puzzles, dancing, housework, golf, playing cards, playing musical instruments, reading books, swimming, tennis, walking, writing for pleasure &#8212; the seniors who danced were 76% less likely to develop dementia.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 17, 2020</p> 92d4b6ea9ae4a2983f6d21cb75da0e48 Are Your Finances in Order? for 04/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/04/20/are-your-finances-in-order-99b93 Fri, 10 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">My new personal hero is New York Times science writer John Schwartz, but the reason I admire him so much has nothing at all to do with science. He is on my hero list because he was brave enough to honestly admit that he was "financially squeamish" and then (as a public service) decided to share his story &#8212; and his money issues &#8212; with the rest of us. The result is the least didactic (and possibly the most enjoyable) advice book you will ever find: "This Is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order."</span><br></p> <p>One all-too-common trait among baby boomers is the tendency to be a little money-phobic. And after decades of chasing dreams, caring for our kids and doing our best to build a worthwhile career, one thing that can kind of slip through the cracks is putting our financial lives in order. That's exactly what happened to Schwartz, and so &#8212; like any seasoned journalist &#8212; he tackled the issue the same way he would have approached a front-page assignment: with analysis, authenticity, discipline and painstaking research.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 10, 2020</p> 48b8d3f1e0dd4d59d17b3338487acb96 Can a Broken Heart Kill You? for 04/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/04/20/can-a-broken-heart-kill-you-93031 Fri, 03 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">I had never heard of what is officially labeled "Broken heart syndrome" until a friend of mine collapsed five weeks after her long-term sweetheart died. She was rushed to the emergency room and admitted into the hospital, but within 36 hours, she, too, was dead. When 92-year-old former first lady Barbara Bush died IN 2018, her husband &#8212; of 73 years! &#8212; was admitted to the hospital the day after her funeral. He recovered and was able to return home, but many observers worry that he might become develop Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which often claims the lives of broken-hearted survivors.</span><br></p> <p>The condition &#8212; which is the result of abnormal movements of the walls of the left ventricle in the heart &#8212; was first named by Japanese physicians back in 1990. Unlike a standard heart attack, <span class="column--highlighted-text">Broken heart syndrome involves a bulging ventricle that resembles a "tako-tsubo," which is a type of round-bottomed narrow-necked pot used by fisherman in Japan to trap octopuses.</span> <p>Updated: Fri Apr 03, 2020</p> 7ec5f86f9808a5dd72151158eff1fe08 Genius Foods for 03/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/03/20/genius-foods-6992e Fri, 27 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">It's no secret that when I come across an amazing book, I feel compelled to sing its praises to anyone who will listen. I'm practically a professional proselytizer for the publishing industry! (How's that for alliteration?)</span><br></p> <p>The latest book that I'm urging everyone &#8212; especially baby boomers &#8212; to read is "Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life." I first saw the author, Max Lugavere, on an episode of "The Dr. Oz Show" talking about his film, "Bread Head," which followed his immersion into the world of Alzheimer's disease after his mother was diagnosed with a mysterious form of dementia in her 50s. Now that his book has been published, we can all benefit from what he learned during his journey to better understand how to help his mother and protect himself &#8212; and the rest of us &#8212; from this cruel illness. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 27, 2020</p>