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 Wed, 21 Apr 2021 06:21:17 -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 dd130d46320ac925bfee204b03d603d1 Your Story: Part 2 for 04/16/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/04/21/your-story-part-2-37b01 Fri, 16 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In my last column, I addressed the benefits of writing a memoir, both for yourself and your family members. After working with close to two dozen individuals who wanted to commit their life experiences to paper, I have learned that everyone's story has value. You don't have to be a hero, a survivor or an inspiring paragon of virtue to be worthy of having your story placed between two covers.</p> <p>Several years ago, a number of small publishers began releasing beautifully bound gift books along the lines of "Grandma Remembers" or "Grandpa's Stories." These printed volumes had lots of empty lines that were ready to be filled in by the recipient, who would then present the finished product to his or her loved ones. The problem was that most of these people had plenty of good intentions but somehow never got around to filling in any of the blanks beyond the first 20 pages. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021</p> a49b0fdda525ae7f81fcf39d19c9ca5f Your Story: Part I for 04/09/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/04/21/your-story-part-i-2ccb6 Fri, 09 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When I'm not working on my own writing projects &#8212; or lost within the pages of a spellbinding bestseller &#8212; I spend a lot of time helping other people write their memoirs. Since I live in South Florida, there are plenty of baby boomers (and even quite a few members of the greatest generation) who want to put the events of their lives in perspective. Now I have a treasured stack of 20 bound copies of my students' published memoirs, and I've enjoyed working on every single project.</p> <p>The Wall Street Journal published an article that highlighted the benefits of writing a memoir, even if nobody else will ever read it. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Evidently, writing about one's own life narrative can not only foster personal growth but also help the author reconcile and come to terms with painful and traumatic events.</span> Viewing life as a series of challenging and hurtful random events can have harmful repercussions both emotionally and physically. So when we allow ourselves to evaluate what has happened to us and how we have responded or reacted to those events, a sense of order gradually emerges. And order, rather than chaos, opens the doorway to forgiveness, gratitude and pride in our ability to overcome and survive adversity.</p> <p>According to researchers, taking the time to write your life story will result in several positive effects. Writing about difficult, painful or traumatic events can actually boost immunity, improve cognitive functioning, lessen depression and reduce stress levels.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 09, 2021</p> 63afec88a3dfe827d823569d65bfdc74 Do You Have a Morrie? for 04/02/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/04/21/do-you-have-a-morrie-77741 Fri, 02 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>Twenty years ago, the international bestselling book "Tuesdays With Morrie" was published, and since then, over 15 million copies have been sold. Millions more watched the ABC movie adaptation of the book, which starred Jack Lemmon as Morrie and Hank Azaria as author Mitch Albom. It's a short, sentimental book that honors the mutually beneficial aspects of a relationship between two individuals who are separated by a 40-year-plus age difference. Obviously, it's a book that I highly recommend &#8212; for readers young and old alike. <p>Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021</p> 5a42f5722f42a90e37a15e3e3e53d09b Seniors and Alcohol Abuse: Part 2 for 03/26/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/03/21/seniors-and-alcohol-abuse-part-2-894ba Fri, 26 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In the last column, we discussed the surprising trend of increased drinking among older Americans, as well as the risks that accompany alcohol dependency. We all most likely know someone who has overused alcohol for a long time &#8212; perhaps it's an uncle who always drinks too much at family dinners, or a sorority sister who can't get through the day without multiple glasses of her favorite wine. Because we've seen these people drink too much for so long, we're not surprised when they continue &#8212; or increase &#8212; this behavior once they reach retirement age.</p> <p>But what can catch many of us off guard is when people who have never professed an enjoyment of alcohol suddenly begin drinking once they become senior citizens. This is known among professionals as "late-onset alcoholism," and there are a variety of reasons why it is on the rise. As we age, we all face major, and often unwelcome, life changes. These upheavals can vary from loss of (or change in) employment, to unexpected health challenges or crises, to the death or loss of family members or friends, the last of which is most likely to "drive someone to drink."</p> <p>These emotional triggers can explain why your favorite aunt, who always declined the offer of a cocktail or an aperitif, is suddenly asking for a refill. It can also result in seniors drinking by themselves at home to dull the pain of loneliness or loss. Whatever the reason, when older people drink too much, it can cause changes that negatively affect many aspects of their health. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 26, 2021</p> c522b4c169da42be9427796197396011 Seniors and Alcohol Abuse for 03/19/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/03/21/seniors-and-alcohol-abuse-7fcb3 Fri, 19 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A study in the JAMA Psychiatry journal revealed a surprising health risk among older Americans. Researchers compared data from a national survey of about 40,000 conducted in 2001 and 2002, and again in 2012 and 2013. They found that "high-risk drinking" had increased for every age group, but the greatest increase was among older adults. The number climbed to 3.8%, a 65% increase. </p> <p>The researchers' definition for high-risk drinking was five or more drinks in a day for a man at least weekly during the previous year, and four drinks for a woman. According to the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the number of seniors who are wrestling with "alcohol use disorder" (alcoholism) has more than doubled in a decade. It now afflicts about 3% of older Americans. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 19, 2021</p> 3f34b0e142a2aca1a1d516194e6e1676 Legacy Plan for 03/12/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/03/21/legacy-plan-e28a6 Fri, 12 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>As many of you know, my much-loved husband, Tony, died a few years ago. Since there are almost 14 million widows in America today, I am well aware that whatever challenges I've had to deal with since his death are probably not all that unique. Unfortunately, I have felt blindsided by many of the issues that survivors must face after the death of a loved one, and I often wish that he and I had made better provisions for the inevitable, even though no one likes to admit it. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">I recently learned about two services that are precisely designed to eliminate complications and confusion following the death of a loved one, Everplans and Final Roadmap. </span>Everplans originally began as an end-of-life-related content website. Both originally began as tools to help attorneys and estate planners make sure monetary assets would be properly bequeathed. But it didn't take long for the professional money managers to recognize that survivors usually needed help with more issues than simply financial ones. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 12, 2021</p> 957f52ef44cea9edcb2ef0b1a6469c3e The Art of Aging: Part 2 for 03/05/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/03/21/the-art-of-aging-part-2-d510b Fri, 05 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Poet Robert Browning once wrote, "Grow old along with me!/ The best is yet to be."</p> <p>Today, I'd like to continue sharing with you my fondness for Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland's remarkable book "The Art of Aging: A Doctor's Prescription for Well-Being." This gifted author (who died in 2014 at age 83) wrote the book when he was in his 70s, and used his own aging experiences as a launch pad for re-evaluating every aspect of his life.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 05, 2021</p> f6ba731febbe715811a78b583def5b69 The Art of Aging: Part I for 02/26/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/02/21/the-art-of-aging-part-i Fri, 26 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For four decades, I was lucky enough to be a professional book critic. Sometimes my reviews would appear in The Wall Street Journal; sometimes they would show up in The Sunday Times; and frequently they would be in large American local newspapers &#8212; from Los Angeles to Seattle to Dallas to Miami &#8212; that regularly included "book pages" as part of their regular format.</p> <p>Sadly, newspapers appear to be dwindling these days, and the only major American Sunday book review section that has survived is in The New York Times. But <span class="column--highlighted-text">for me, old habits die hard, and when I come across a volume that deserves recognition, I automatically want to spread the good news</span>. So today's column (as well as next week's) will be devoted to a wonderful book that was published 10 years ago but still deserves to be appreciated by anyone old enough to be a member of AARP.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 26, 2021</p> 0cd7f60c4f80d03c479f89212b5e26c7 Flip-Flops After 50 for 02/19/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/02/21/flip-flops-after-50-74673 Fri, 19 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Most of us can fondly remember what it felt like to turn 50. And now that we've celebrated and survived additional landmark birthdays, it's easy to dismiss the anxiety and surprise that can accompany reaching a half-century of life. When I first picked up "Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts on Aging I Remembered to Write Down" by Cindy Eastman, I couldn't help but remember how I'd felt back when I reached that all-important birthday. </p> <p>This small book is a collection of columns divided into four sections: Fifty, Family, Holidays and All Grown Up. Luckily for us, Eastman has that enviable gift of sharing her own psyche with strangers and then reminding her readers that we have more in common than we could have ever imagined. For example, as her 50th birthday approached, she realized that she was fortunate enough to neither feel nor look old but that there are other age-related consequences that cannot be ignored. She says: "there are intrinsic elements to turning fifty that have to be addressed. It is certainly a time for reflection and stocktaking. ... the stock-taking part ... I'm having the teeniest bit of trouble with. The part where I look back on my life and check to see if I've gotten most of the things done that I've always wanted to do. The answer is no. And when you're fifty and the answer is no, a new time frame is suddenly in place....Turning fifty is like stopping at a travel center to check the map and maybe get a cup of coffee."<p>Updated: Fri Feb 19, 2021</p> 7a4ce3c028d5e791bf8ac28f7305e654 90-Year-Old Newlyweds for 02/12/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/02/21/90-year-old-newlyweds-72ab1 Fri, 12 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Here's a story to help you feel young at heart no matter how old you happen to be.</p> <p>While paging through The New York Times a few years ago, an article by Vincent M. Mallozzi really impressed me. It was about an elderly man and woman who had fallen in love and decided to get married. You may find this hard to believe, but the bride was 98 years old; the groom was 94 years old; and they had met eight years ago while working out at the gym &#8212; which is where they still exercise twice a week.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 12, 2021</p> 9c09de577db8f50a68845fa46dc56a2b The Silver Tsunami for 02/05/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/02/21/the-silver-tsunami-6e6be Fri, 05 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Some population experts have referred to the increasing numbers of aging baby boomers as the "silver tsunami." Longer life spans combined with an unusually large over-60 population segment could be seen as a major problem for both our economy and health care system. But this is not merely a problem here in the U.S. In fact, Japan appears to be feeling the effects of this trend even more starkly than we are.</p> <p>While 14.5% of the American population was over 65 as of 2017, that number in Japan was almost 27%. One of the reasons for this graying of Japan is that it has the world's second-highest life expectancy, 84 years. (Just in case you're curious, Monaco is No. 1 with 89.5 years, and the U.S. comes in at No. 42 with 79.8 years.) The country also has little immigration and a low birthrate. The number of births in 2016 fell below the 1 million mark for the first time.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 05, 2021</p> 46d809af664547f5ced9741c1d74caab LGBTQ Baby Boomers for 01/29/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/01/21/lgbtq-baby-boomers Fri, 29 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Did you know that LGBTQ individuals in America represent approximately 4% of the population as of 2016? Senior citizens who identify with this group face unique challenges on every level. Unfortunately, being such a small percentage means that their complications, issues or problems are all too often ignored or unacknowledged. According to a 2017 study by Dr. Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, a professor at the University of Washington, these challenges will almost certainly increase. Today, over 1.1 million Americans who are 65 or older identify as a member of the LGBTQ community, and there is no indication that the number will decrease. In fact, experts expect it to double within the next few decades.</p> <p>Back in 1978, a small group of LGBTQ activists in New York City recognized that older members of their community had needs that were not being addressed. They founded Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, or SAGE. Since then, SAGE has expanded nationwide, and it now offers a wide range of support, including support for older adults living with HIV or AIDS.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 29, 2021</p> 9f3f58f98cbb200583f6ee0000c9529f Caregiver Survival Guide for 01/22/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/01/21/caregiver-survival-guide-e286a Fri, 22 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Full disclosure: Even though I've been obsessed with health issues my entire life, I've never been interested in working in the medical field. Most of my classmates from my all-girls high school chose nursing as a career, but I was so freaked out by hospitals and illness that I was the only teenager in my class to actively boycott working as a candy striper.</p> <p>But life has a funny way of catching up with you. So, more than five decades after my high school graduation, I found myself firmly in the throes of a family medical situation, and I was a caregiver. Unfortunately, my husband was battling lung cancer, and I, for the first time ever, had an adult who looked to me to make sure that everything from appointments to comfort level to dietary restrictions to medications was maintained and observed.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 22, 2021</p> ff5a4af22f498bafd7767245d2c3780e Blue Zones: Part 2 for 01/15/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/01/21/blue-zones-part-2-9ab3a Fri, 15 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Last week, we talked about Dan Buettner's research on the Blue Zones, the five places in the world where people are the healthiest and live the longest. It's important to remember that our genes dictate 10% of our longevity and lifestyle controls the rest. You may have already read Buettner's bestselling books "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest" or "The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People." Perhaps you are one of the more than 300 million viewers of his TED Talk, "How to Live to Be 100+."</p> <p>Back in 2008, Buettner designed a plan with AARP to apply the Blue Zones guidelines to American towns. The first chosen area was Albert Lea, Minnesota, and the plan of attack was to create a healthy environment rather than try to dramatically alter or overhaul individual behaviors. Part of the challenge of turning a community from "normal" to "health-promoting" included building newly connected sidewalks and trails that reach the downtown area, local hospitals, neighborhoods and parks. By adding as little as 1.7 miles of sidewalk, residents were able to cycle, skate or walk to destinations rather than drive.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 15, 2021</p> 4b1b901e41495fc034513a7b97cbf849 Blue Zones: Part I for 01/08/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/01/21/blue-zones-part-i Fri, 08 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It's no secret that I've been labeled an alternative health advocate for most of my adult life. There's something undeniably seductive about the idea of trying to be the captain of your fate when it comes to taking care of your body. For that reason, I've been a huge fan of Dan Buettner, the National Geographic fellow and New York Times best-selling author. If the name seems familiar, it's because he wrote the 2008 book "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest" and the 2015 book "The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People."</p> <p>In 2002, Buettner met with demographer and scientist at the National Institute on Aging in Washington, D.C., and earned a grant to research longevity hotspots around the world. He first made his findings public in the National Geographic November 2005 issue with the article "The Secrets of Living Longer," which became the third best-selling issue ever in the magazine's history. Three years later, "The Blue Zones" was published, and Buettner became the patron saint of longevity.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 08, 2021</p> d268a1b87c44ec1cf7795d86b396fb45 Meet With a CAPS Professional Now for 01/01/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/01/21/meet-with-a-caps-professional-now-e5200 Fri, 01 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The number of people in America who are over the age of 65 is expected to double during the next 25 years. Some major readjustments need to be made regarding how and where seniors live (and, as your peer, I'm speaking to you, baby boomers). A 2010 AARP survey found that almost 90 percent of respondents over the age of 65 said they want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.</p> <p>A number of barriers stand in the way of fulfilling that wish, which is referred to as "aging in place." The biggest hurdle, of course, is financial. Other potentially complicating factors include transportation challenges, lack of access to necessary medical services, an unsupportive community design or inaccessible housing. Unsuitable housing, or leaving their established home to move to a new neighborhood, can be a trigger for social isolation, which can quickly become both emotionally and physiologically damaging.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 01, 2021</p> b1fa19b87d886a012194a7bb41d371d8 Meet Brenda Milner for 12/25/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/12/20/meet-brenda-milner-1ae9c Fri, 25 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you're like me, you probably experience plenty of days when you feel as if you are simply too old or too tired for whatever happens to be annoying you at the time. After all, we've weathered more than our share of challenges in the past decades, and the idea of lounging on a tropical beach or simply taking an extended break from our normal routine often seems more appealing with every passing birthday.</p> <p>But all my thoughts about retiring magically evaporated when I read about an amazing woman named Dr. Brenda Milner. At the age of 98, she was still a professor in the department of neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University as well as a professor of psychology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. This amazing woman holds more than 20 honorary degrees from different universities across Canada, Europe and the United States. Dr. Milner may not be a household name, but she is considered by many to be the founder of neuropsychology.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 25, 2020</p> 741729b7c552a0ae121e1d471323739b Stroke 101: Part 2 for 12/18/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/12/20/stroke-101-part-2-f3937 Fri, 18 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Last week, I shared with you the important warning signs and implications of a stroke. Today I'm giving you some statistics that will help you understand that there are concrete things you can do to prevent or recover from a stroke whatever your age.</p> <p>According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes kill more than 130,000 Americans each year &#8212; one every four minutes. That means that 1 out of every 20 deaths in our country is the result of a stroke. Fortunately, not every stroke is fatal. But it can lead to death or a wide range of permanent disabilities. Overall, the most common risk factors that can contribute to having a stroke are:<p>Updated: Mon Dec 21, 2020</p> adb92ec6314917636cde8a26e54ab3c5 Stroke 101: Part 1 for 12/11/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/12/20/stroke-101-part-1-2a856 Fri, 11 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I never run out of ideas for my column because the topic of positive aging covers so many aspects of life. But every now and then, I can't help but feel that the universe is nudging me to address a particular topic. The reason I've decided to explore strokes this month is I've recently had five different stroke encounters.</p> <p>The topic first came to my attention when one of the smartest and most powerful men I know experienced a series of TIAs, or transient ischemic attacks, otherwise known as mini-strokes. The second nudge came when an elderly woman I know was recently hospitalized with a stroke. It left her still looking beautiful, and able to walk and drive just as before, but with enough anomia (difficulty finding words, naming objects or describing pictures) that it was practically impossible to communicate with her. The third event involved one of my writing students, a young man in his 20s, who suffered a stroke immediately following surgery. He endured four years of physical therapy and now walks with a pronounced limp, but he managed to graduate from college this past week even though all the experts felt that the effect of his stroke would render that dream impossible.<p>Updated: Mon Dec 21, 2020</p> 48af894a6ab6bcb943d1d631b1d4d8cb How to Have a Great Smile for 12/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/positive-aging/12/20/how-to-have-a-great-smile-62dea Fri, 04 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>When I share my thoughts on growing older gracefully with my readers, it's important for everyone to know that, as in so many areas of life, I bring more enthusiasm to my activities than expertise. Fortunately, curiosity and enthusiasm often compensate for brilliance or a list of college degrees. Having said that, I'm going to go on the record to state that in my opinion, when it comes to walking through life, a great smile is your best companion. Not only does it automatically put other people at ease but it has also been shown to stimulate our feel-good chemicals.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Unfortunately, it's easy to forget about the importance of good dental care, habits and hygiene as we age.</span> Many senior citizens feel that it's no longer necessary to visit their dentist every six months, perhaps because the accumulation of cavities tends to decline with each decade. But I strongly remind readers that taking care of our gums and teeth is every bit as important for mature adults as it is for children.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 04, 2020</p>