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#889215 03/30/15 05:40 AM
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Hello to my readers,
I just talked to a friend's mom who is 95 and living alone. She has her own apartment! Her daughter lives about a half hour away and checks on her. She is upbeat and happy. What do you think are the reasons people still can get much joy out of life in older age?

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Independence and confidence. High self-esteem probably. Seeing the glass half-full instead of half empty. Possibly a good belief system.


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Hi Sheryl, Yes, you are right on. Katie is very upbeat and says she can entertain herself and loves to read. She is very health conscious too and is careful about her weight, participates in yoga. She also says she never thinks about her age, just looks forward, never back! She also has a strong support system. I am writing an article about her and will post it soon! Thanks so much for your comments.

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Hello All, I just talked to a friend who was telling me she wants to retire to a new area, but she wants to be sure she will have a good life where she moves. She said she wants to be sure she already has friends there and there will be enough for her to do.

I also talked to her about other kinds of things that are important, such as climate, housing that is affordable, and that she "tests out" the area first before she moves to ensure she really can love it there.

Can you give her any other advice? What are the things that are important to you in retirement? Night Life? Museums? or a more rural, peaceful setting? It all matters in later years and we have to figure out which compromises are important to us.

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I've been looking to downsize and realized that there were many other things to consider besides the size and location of the house. The one I'm in now gives me lots of access to the outside and has some lovely views. Most of the smaller townhouse and villa communities I'm looking at in this area have nice overall settings, but the houses themselves look at each other and don't offer much outside access via porches, balconies, patios, etc.

I realized that this is important to me and I'll have to be very careful when I choose -- I need to not only look at the beauty inside the house (example: the new and beautiful kitchen) but also check out the views outside each window, determine whether there will be enough natural light, and also be critical about the convenience of the neighborhood (how far is it from stores, etc.?)

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Another thing I realized as I was looking for a new place to live is the proximity to good health care. As I age I realize that just having a hospital nearby might not be enough. I just had a friend's husband airlifted to another hospital because the ones nearby couldn't handle his problem. Now she is staying in a hotel near the new hospital which is several miles from her home.

And let's not forget about the changing weather. I never minded the winters in my younger years but now I can't take the cold as readily. It doesn't mean I'll move South but it does mean that local conveniences are even more important because I don't want to be driving any distances in ice and snow.

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I plugged in a few locations at the Zillow website and every day I get notifications of homes/condos for sale in my price range and the size I'm looking for. It's a great feature when trying to get ideas of what is affordable and where in a city it is located. Usually you get pics of the home and a map telling you exactly where it is located. They tell you when it last sold, how much, and also the taxes. You can also check your own neighborhood for sale information.

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A friend of mine is a realtor. She notes that some realtors specialize in older adults as customers. She says if someone is trying to decide about homes in a specific neighborhood but it's too early to actually look (perhaps they are planning to retire in a year or want to downsize), they should call a local realtor and make an appointment to go to the office. During some slow times day or evening people looking for real estate usually can get a listing of homes for sale and for rent in a certain neighborhood/area and then they can drive around themselves. That takes the pressure off of the customer and that way the customer remembers who helped them out when they are finally ready to purchase or rent. There are also realtors specializing in 50+ active communities and communities that have "aging in place" services.

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I just finished talking to a friend who is ill now and is totally focused on past mistakes. He is so negative it makes me want to avoid him. This is sad because now is the time he needs the most support.

What I'm thinking is that every time we think of a negative past event (which we can't change) we need to quickly make ourselves think of a positive one. We all have both in our past lives and can't change either one.

What we can change is the future. We need to make positive memories each day so that as we age our "past" will become a joyful visit. It's the here and now that makes a difference to our lives at this point. Planning for a delightful day today and for a future that is appealing and perhaps even exciting to us is a positive and successful way to make our quality of life improve. What say you?

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At the holidays it is so important to be aware of the joy of the season and seek out people and activities that make us happy. It is easy to fall into negative thinking and past losses or mistakes at this time of year.

We need to focus on the good in life and ensure that each day brings us some comforts and enjoyment by being proactive. We should use positive affirmations and any other mechanisms that help to bring uplifting "happy" thinking to our every day lives especially at this time of year!

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