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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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Hi there, I just went to a weight clinic to see what I can do about losing some weight. I have tried dieting of course, exercise (not often enough), and now I'm getting frustrated because my calorie/fat intake isn't much but I can't get results. The doc said my diet was fine for some but not for me and I am now trying a totally different approach.

Our weight is so important to good health, and that is the key to longevity as we age. As difficult as it is to pass up our comfort foods at this point, we've got to tackle staying healthy, and excess weight is one of those issues that can effect so many other health and disease factors. I will keep you posted on how well I do with my new eating and exercise regimen based on a physician's feedback. And best of all, the visit was paid for by medicare.

I think we should all be serious about our health as we age since it affects all aspects of our quality of life!

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It is amazing how many kinds of issues lead to an improved quality of life. Sometimes we forget about improved oral health, hair and skin care, stress issues, feeling safe in our homes, removing clutter, feeling good about ourselves by volunteering and helping others, eating foods we love that are good for us, laughing until we hurt, listening to the birds, and planting flowers.

Quality of life is so important as we age and many of the things we can do to improve it are easy and inexpensive but require action. Buying a flower pot at a thrift store and planting our favorite flower(s) in it for the balcony or planting them in our yard and watching them grow is a real treat.

Getting a cup of coffee or tea in the morning and just sitting for awhile listening to the birds sing bring more joyful moments and put us back in touch with nature.

Spending a few hours "lightening up" our favorite room in the house by getting rid of junk and clutter can be a delight once we are finished.

Treating ourselves to a home facial and a total skin moisturizing application using a nice body lotion is also a great treat. Our skin will dry and sometimes itch as we get older and regular moisturizing feels great.

Doing one or two good things for others each week also brings a great deal of satisfaction, whether through volunteering or helping a neighbor, or visiting someone in the hospital or nursing home. These are terrific ways to feel great and make others feel special as well.

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As I view all of the issues that make us happier as we get older. Many of us didn't have the role models in our parents and grandparents. They would talk about "if you have good health you have everything" but would smoke, drink, not exercise, not eat well, etc. etc. Of course they didn't have the knowledge we now have, and didn't really understand the full picture of what quality of life was all about. Many didn't have the funds or the education or leisure time to ponder what would make them happy and healthy.

Our generation has had the opportunity to study aging and put into place the results of these studies that lead us to a happier, healthier lifestyle. But alas so many of us don't heed the information and ignore the obvious. I'm interested in your opinions as to why this is so. It is painful to see our friends or loved ones with the means to improve their lives on many levels and are stuck in an unproductive, unhealthy pattern. Is there a solution?

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Many articles on my site have to do with enhancing quality of life. Take a look. Some are under various topics that you can scan for articles of interest. There are so many areas that as a whole comprise a good quality of life and they may vary for each of us. The ones that cross-cut are the most important: health, mental and physical; socialization; interests; comfortable environment; and more. Take an interest in each for yourself and learn what you can do to make each area better for you personally. I know that I am taking more of an interest in my health as I age and in my environment.

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I am amazed at the fact that so many of my friends and acquaintances have kept themselves in stressful situations that they can easily escape if they thought through their problem and took action. I think feeling stuck and unhappy is a much worse consequence than getting through the steps that are required to take action. As we age, it is very important that we minimize the stress in our lives, as we all know that stress has a negative impact on our health.

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I'm going to put this note in here because it seems to fit. I really don't like to exercise at the gym and have been trying to find something to do regularly besides just walking to get in some movement. Most of my hobbies are sedentary. I love to read, write, watch movies at night, so I have to make myself move to get my heart rate up. It just happens that I like to dance. So I put on my favorite oldies, and if I dance by myself for half an hour each day (I try for 5 times a week, but more is good) I am getting all of the exercise I need. I make myself do it and have a lot of fun singing along and trying all of the old dance steps I did way back when. How about the twist, the stroll, the bop, etc.?? Believe me you don't need a partner. It's a hoot.

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I was thinking that almost anything we do as we age that is uplifting and helps us focus on good memories and making plans for the future that are interesting and fun has to be where it's at..

I am in the process of joining a program that helps seniors get along better in their homes. Just thinking about doing this gives me a lot of pleasure and I haven't even started doing it! There are so many things that we can plan for ourselves that are uplifting and will make us feel good about ourselves. Working with others is one way, but planning a fun trip, learning a new skill, reading that self help book we have put off (or any book we think we would enjoy), are all ways to build in satisfying thoughts and events that are lasting and enhance our quality of life.

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I discovered that there are numerous places that are hiring seniors to take care of other seniors who need help. In fact, I have a friend who was thinking of volunteering to do this and she found out that she could get a small salary for being a senior companion/caregiver, work her own hours and not necessarily weekends. So she is working two days during a week, three hours a day. She says she loves it and is earning some "pin money" for the holiday season.

This is a way of improving another senior's quality of life as well as our own. How cool is that?

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I just posted an article on being healthy and "green" at the same time. I placed it under the News You Can Use category but it also could go under Quality of Life. As we age, I feel our health is priority one, but we also need to consider what kind of world we will eventually leave behind and do what we can to protect it. In fact, there are many ways to support the environment each day, which is a "feel good" thing to do. One friend of mine has adopted a road and gets great exercise while keeping it free from trash. Another volunteers at a park and helps to keep the paths free from falling branches, and also gets in some great exercise while doing that. The combinations of seeking out healthy habits while simultaneously benefiting the environment are endless. Share some of them with others here!!

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