Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Older Americans are healthier and wealthier

"Though you'd never guess it from our youth-centric culture, older Americans are actually happier than younger folks. Americans 55 and older eat more fresh produce, smoke less, and have less worry and stress than their younger counterparts, a Gallup Survey[1] found. They also have a greater sense of purpose and well-being.

Older Americans also do particularly well when it comes to financial well-being, the study found, thriving at a rate of 53%, compared with 33% for younger people. They are happier with their standard of living, worry less about money, and say they have enough money to do what they want — all at significantly higher rates than those under 55."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Are you relocating in retirement?

1. Don't hole up in your house. Get out, mingle and meet people.
2. Get your spouse out, too. If you have kids, even better.
3. Don't make a big deal about your self-importance or what you did previously.
4. Find something in the community that interests you and get involved.
5. If you have a specialty or skill, offer it for free.
6. Get involved with local sports. Games are major social events.
7. Offer to write or report, article or guest editorial for the local paper.
8. Take a class or teach a class.

This advice is from an author whose book I'll receive soon for review. 
"Radical Relocating: A northern big-city executive joyfully reflects on his move to the Virginia countryside" by Tony Vanderwarker.

I'm crispy

Image may contain: cat and text

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sydney retired at 44 and wrote a blog

I'm retired and I write blogs. Nine blogs. One is about retirement. (I also do other things like volunteer, go out with friends, and travel. For the first 9 years I also painted). I found a really great retirement blog yesterday I'll return to. Here's something she wrote in 2013.

Things you won’t accomplish in retirement:
Sending out Christmas cards,...
Losing five pounds,
Cleaning out your closets,
Reading a ton of books,
Keeping your house and garden in pristine condition,
Watching less TV,
Mastering a new instrument, language, or other field of study,
Becoming Martha Stewart, or
Saving The World.

I do still send real Christmas cards, and I've lost weight twice, 2006 and 2015. I did clean some closets and repack everything about 8 years ago. Also when we remodeled our bathrooms, three closets were reorganized and things tossed.  Three years into retirement I started pitching all the stuff I didn't throw out when I retired. It was amazing to see what I thought was important.  I did join a book club. One of the club's selections actually started my husband on a reading binge--Maisie Dobbs. No garden and not much house cleaning. I do watch more TV--but mostly news and HGTV. Learned blogging. Received as a gift a lot of Martha Stewart cookbooks--and I do more cooking than I did when I worked, but also we go out to eat more. And yes, I am saving the world, one baby at a time at PDHC.

Christmas card 2015

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Leg pain solutions

About two and a half years ago I developed bursitis (inflammation of the bursa) in my right hip. Although it seemed to happen overnight, I recognized it as a pain that I had off and on since childhood. After it seemed to heal in a year, it started in my left hip, probably because so much dependence on it. I did the ice and exercise routine again, but always took a folding cane with me, avoided stairs and any incline if I were walking. Then in June I read several articles on fish oil being an anti-inflammatory, so figuring it couldn't hurt, I tried it. Maybe it's a placebo, but I'll take it and leave the cane at home, because I can now walk miles and even do the stairs in my home without pain (although I would NEVER do stairs for exercise like I used to). No more Advil. Last week I was talking to my daughter about it, and I guess we'd never discussed it. She'd done the same thing, but for auto-immune related problems and she's been able to give up Aleve, and move without pain. She also said her fingernails were strong for the first time in her life, and I looked at mine, and what do you know, mine were too, and I hadn't even noticed.

 Apparently, I have a mild form of peripheral neuropathy--although I haven't really had an exact diagnosis. I have none of the usual indicators--no diabetes, I'm not overweight, and I don't have high blood pressure, kidney disease or thyroid problems. I'm not missing any vitamins, and I'm not an alcoholic. After all the tests and my doctor coming up with nothing, she sent me to a sports doctor (really fancy facility for all the important athletes). I don't recall him saying neuropathy, but I looked up the prescription, gabapentin, and that's what it's used for. I had no relief for 2-3 months, but finally, I can sleep without leg pain waking me up, so I'm crediting gabapentin. There is a side affect I've had to get used to; I feel a little tipsy in the morning, and that goes away by afternoon. In researching this I figure the neuropathy (if that's what it is) may be from falls, which is another underlying cause. I've never broken anything, but I have gone down stairs bumpty bump and fallen off my bike. And of course, my age. It seems a lot of aches and pains come with age.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

. . . the researchers looked at 65 different mortality risk factors as they tracked participants through the later years of their lives. Once the number crunching was finished, the factor that rose to the top was surprisingly simple and straightforward.

The most sensitive measure of longevity was the individual’s own subjective evaluation of how healthy he or she felt. In other words, a person reporting that he or she feels healthy outweighed any other single predictor of a long life, including any medical measures such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure.'

It's hard for someone with diabetic neuropathy or COPD to report "I feel healthy." Unless they lie.  Unless they just haven't been to the doctor in years and don't know better.  Having a positive attitude and a fulfilling life is different.  I have a friend about 80 with a wonderful sense of humor, bright fulfilling volunteer life, and so many ailments she should be in a text book.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bursitis and Walking Update

Finally, I saw a sunrise. I'm getting 6-7 miles a day in walking at our summer home in Lakeside, Ohio, and mornings are best. All these miles are broken into small segments of one mile or less so I don't risk inflammation.  I use only the flat, east-west streets of Lakeside which indicate where the shore line was about 8-10,000 years ago.  We had a glacier in this area of the U.S. and then that darn climate change and global warming.  It was very hazy today, and promises to be very hot, but those first few moments as the sun pops over the horizon are glorious.

 I've seen several people using hiking poles, and when checking I seek trekking, hiking, walking, shock absorbing, ultralight, women's, cork, rubber, etc. Sure looks better than using a cane.

One woman I saw with walking poles is getting ready for the 500 mile Camino in Northern Spain where hikers stop at monasteries, villages and churches. She did it several years ago, and is planning another one. She talked about it for a Women's Club program.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Stretching routines

Lately I've noticed some loss of grip strength and have to have my husband open bottles and jars (I think I need to ask the pharmacist for non-child proof containers, because they've made them older adult-proof).  So I turned to Google, but before I got to hand and finger, I came across this nice stretching routines for seniors web site.  It doesn't start out with finger and hand stretches, that is #11, but begins with shoulders and neck, etc., all while sitting down, and instead of a gorgeous 25 year old in shorts and tiny t-shirt, they have an 80-something woman as the model.  The voice over is quiet and pleasant and there's no obnoxious music. Elder Gym also is printable, so after you watch the videos you can print out the instructions.  Yes, you do have to work around some ads, but that's how these useful educational sites recover their costs. He has DVDs for sale, but I think watching the simple videos and then DOING them, would be helpful.
  • Stretching techniques for seniors and the elderly exercisers are designed primarily to improve function in older adults.
  • There are minimum ranges that we must use for many of our daily activities.
  • For example, you need to raise your arm to at least shoulder height to put on a shirt.
  • Your knee must bend at least 90 degrees (like an L shape) in order to go up stairs.
  • In other words, good stretching techniques for older adults will stress improving what we call the end range.
  • That is the farthest point your joint will go when reaching overhead for example.
  • So to get  your shirt on you will have to work on getting your arm to raise to at least your shoulder height.
There are also other tips, like breathing and posture, and how to take it up a notch.

Here's the video for the neck stretch.  Each basic exercise has a separate video.

Here's a list of all the exercises, upper and lower body are separate.

Instructions for calf strengthening are simple--hold on to the back of a chair and raise up on your toes. 
  • Calf exercises strengthen the lower body and are important in maintaining balance and walking ability by improving your ability to push off and accelerate as we walk.
  • It is vital to keep these muscles working not only every day but several times a day.
  • This is because, as I like to say, they are the "heart" of your legs.
  • Calf contractions help pump the great volume of blood up from your legs to your upper body and brain.
  • No more fainting or getting light headed when standing still when you raise up on your toes a few times during the day.