Embrace retirement by working

After about three months of experiencing retirement, I realized I wasn’t ready for the drastic adjustment.  I had worked full-time as a high school teacher so I decided to embrace retirement by working part-time as a substitute teacher to help with the transition.  I loved the flexibility and the ability to continue working with young people.  Rob Peters was in a similar situation…

A Californian’s ‘Retirement’ is Part-Time

By Kim Blanton, Squared Away Blog

April 20, 2017

A new body of research indicates that continuing to work but gearing down to a lower-intensity job is often good for older Americans, because it reduces their stress, increases their job satisfaction, and is an encouragement to continue working and preparing financially for retirement.

“Rob Peters’ approach to retiring wasn’t much different from hitting the road in 1975 to help drive a college friend from New York to California. He didn’t really know where he was going.

When he first laid eyes on California, he was captivated by its beauty, as well as the left-leaning politics absent in the conservative Long Island community he grew up in. But Peters, equipped only with an English degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, bounced around for years among the various part-time and full-time counseling jobs available to him in his new paradise.

Not until age 38, after earning a master’s degree in counseling and 13 job interviews, did he land his dream job at Diablo Valley College, a community college serving mostly low-income and minority students. He stayed more than 26 years, as a student adviser, program facilitator, and instructor.

He took a blind leap into retirement, too. Again, finding his place was a process. Within four months of retiring, at the end of 2014, he contacted Diablo Valley College.  Yes, they would welcome him back as a counselor for four hours in the morning, two days per week in the spring and three days in the fall.”

Read more about embracing retirement while working

At 101, Kaur runs and wins the race…

I’m not sure I could even run 100 yards and I’m only 57!  Maybe I could start running for fitness though…

101-year-old woman wins 100 metre sprint Kaur

By Adam Boult, The Telegraph

“Man Kaur, a 101-year-old Indian woman, racked up her 17th gold medal this week at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, completing the 100 metre sprint in one minute 14 seconds.

Truth be told, she was the sole competitor in the race, with no other runners coming forward to take part in the 100-years-and-over category.

Speaking to reporters via an interpreter, Kaur said after the race: ‘I enjoyed it and am very, very happy. I’m going to run again, I’m not going to give up. I will participate, there’s no full stop.’

Kaur started participating in athletics events eight years ago, at the age of 93, following encouragement from her son Gurdev Singh, 78, who also competes in the Masters Games.”

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Benefits of owning pets like Lily and Goldi

Lily, my cat, came to live with me in 2009 and my dog, Goldi, in 2010.  I adopted them as adults from the Humane Society.  They both give me something to care for, a companion for walks, and a security alarm. Don’t tell the possible intruder, but Goldi’s bark is way worse than her bite, as she is a very gentle dog.

The following article describes some of the benefits of owning pets:

benefits of owning pets

The Benefits of Elderly Owning Pets

Kentish Homecare, April 12, 2017

“Studies have shown that owning a pet may help you live a longer, healthier and happier life thanks to the complex ways that animals can affect human emotions. A study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society suggested that elderly people who live with pets tended to be healthier both physically and mentally than those who didn’t. Plus, the experimental residential home Eden Alternative has filled their facility with over 100 birds, cats, dogs, rabbits and chickens and has proven to have a 15% lower mortality rate than other traditional nursing homes.”

  • Pets can provide companionship
  • Allows owners to be more active
  • They can reduce stress and depression
  • Something to focus on
  • Give a sense of security

More details about the benefits of owning pets


Do you take an afternoon nap?

afternoon nap

Afternoon Naps May Help Preserve Memory for Older Adults, Study Says

By Fran Kritz, Neurology News

April 11, 2017

“For people 65 and older, a daytime nap just after lunch and for at least an hour may be just the thing to preserve memory and cognition. That’s according to a new study published online in the December 20, 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Previous studies found cognitive declines in some people 65 and older, as well as an increase in afternoon napping among some older people. Researchers at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and School of Nursing wondered if there was a relationship between the two, says Junxin Li, RN, PhD, the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow at the center.

Dr. Li says earlier studies showed that 22 to 69 percent of older adults take daytime naps, a much higher rate than younger people, and that in China a post-lunch nap is considered part of a healthy lifestyle.

Nap-Cognition Link

After accounting for differences in age, education, and general health, researchers found a correlation between naps and performances on cognitive assessments. Participants who took an hour nap after lunch did better on the cognitive tests compared to the people who did not nap or who took either shorter or longer naps. Significantly, people who took no naps, short naps, or longer naps had decreases in their mental ability that were four-to-six times greater than those who took one-hour naps. Those decreases in ability were about the same as would be expected for someone about five years older than each participants’ actual age, according to the researchers.

Dr. Li calls the results ‘intriguing’ but acknowledges that the results show an association between napping and cognitive ability rather than a causal effect. The team plans more studies to see if a causal relationship exists.”

Read more about afternoon naps

Are you taking an omega-3 supplement?

I always heard that taking an Omega-3 supplement might be good for me, but until I read the following article I didn’t know why.

omega-3 supplementOmega-3 fatty acids good for adult, elderly brain health

By Dr. Joel Fuhrman, for Uinta County Herald

April 16, 2017

“The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, usually obtained from eating fish, are important nutrients for proper brain function, starting with fetal development, and continuing into old age. DHA is most often associated with cognitive functions like learning and memory, and EPA with mood and anti-inflammatory effects.

I recommend taking an omega-3 supplement (preferably one derived from lab-grown algae, rather than eating fish or taking fish oil), since most people have a low intake of DHA and EPA unless eating fish regularly; research has confirmed that vegans tend to have low omega-3 levels.

In adulthood, omega-3 adequacy helps to maintain optimal brain function, prevent depression and lay the groundwork for a healthy brain later in life. A 6-month study of DHA and EPA supplementation in young adults (18-45 years of age) documented improvements in measures of memory.

Additionally, 12 weeks of DHA supplementation was found to improve blood flow to the brains of healthy young adults during a cognitive task.

No matter what your age, maintaining adequate omega-3 stores is crucial now, and for the later life health and functionality of your brain.

…Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are the two most common neurodegenerative diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids appear to be useful for preventing these diseases. Low omega-3 intake and low levels of DHA in the blood are associated with age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

Also, DHA depletion in certain areas of the brain occurs in Alzheimer’s disease. In some studies, low plasma EPA also associated with risk of dementia or cognitive decline.

More recent studies have investigated brain volume, finding that higher blood omega-3 levels are associated with larger brain volumes in older people, implying that abundant DHA and EPA could help to prevent brain shrinkage with age.”

Read more about omega-3 fatty acids

Dr. Fuhrman is a #1 New York Times best-selling author and a board certified family physician specializing in lifestyle and nutritional medicine. The Eat To Live Cookbook offers over 200 unique disease-fighting delicious recipes and his newest book, The End of Heart Disease, offers a detailed plan to prevent and reverse heart disease using a nutrient-dense, plant-rich eating style. Visit his informative website at DrFuhrman.com

Are you a member of the “sandwich generation?”


sandwich generation

When You’re Taking Care of Your Kids and Your Parents at the Same Time


“The term ‘sandwich generation’ was coined by social worker Dorothy Miller in 1981, to describe women in their 30s and 40s who were the primary caregivers for their young children and their aging parents. The reality today is that the sandwich generation includes both men and women, ranging from their 30s to their 60s.

According to nonprofit association Aging Life Care, America’s sandwich generation is one of the fastest-growing populations. ‘This group of people often find themselves stuck in the middle of trying to juggle a hectic schedule that includes caring for parents experiencing a decline in health, keeping up with adult children as they struggle to make it on their own and begin their families and managing the financial and emotional stressors that arise throughout these circumstances.’

A 2013 Pew research report found that 47 percent of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older). Around 1 in 7 middle-aged adults is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child.”

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“Pre-hospice” program called Transitions

Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN

‘Pre-Hospice’ Saves Money By Keeping People At Home Near The End Of Life

“Gerald Chinchar isn’t quite at the end of life, but the end is not far away. The 77-year-old fell twice last year, shattering his hip and femur, and now gets around his San Diego home in a wheelchair. His medications fill a dresser drawer, and congestive heart failure puts him at high risk of emergency room visits and long hospital stays.

Chinchar, a Navy veteran who loves TV Westerns, said that’s the last thing he wants. He still likes to go watch his grandchildren’s sporting events and play blackjack at the casino. ‘If they told me I had six months to live or go to the hospital and last two years, I’d say leave me home,’ Chinchar said. ‘That ain’t no trade for me.’

Most aging people would choose to stay home in their last years of life. But for many, it doesn’t work out: They go in and out of hospitals, getting treated for flare-ups of various chronic illnesses. It’s a massive problem that costs the health care system billions of dollars and has galvanized health providers, hospital administrators and policymakers to search for solutions.

Sharp HealthCare, the San Diego health system where Chinchar receives care, has devised a way to fulfill his wishes and reduce costs at the same time. It’s a pre-hospice program called Transitions, designed to give elderly patients the care they want at home and keep them out of the hospital.”

Read more about this pre-hospice program

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