Category Archives: Aging Well

5 lessons from the oldest old

Photo cedit: Adobe Stock

By Robert DiGiacomo

New York Times reporter John Leland thought he knew how to write about the “oldest old” — people 85 and up. For a proposed year-long series, he figured he would chronicle a laundry list of their issues: things like the dangers of falling, financial pressures and family conflict.

As Leland delved deeper, however, he realized the people in this age group were more than the sum of their problems. And he saw how much he didn’t know about the realities of aging. The resulting “85 & Up” series took a more holistic view of their lives. “I thought aging was about decline and loss,” he told Next Avenue. “I found the problems, but none of the people defined themselves by that.” read more

Tell Your Doctor What’s on Your Bucket List

It’ll help direct your health where you want it to go. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Grace Birnstengel for Next Avenue

Your doctor can’t read your mind. A doctor assumes everyone wants to live and continue to live the best, healthiest, happiest life possible — but that means something different for everyone. If your doctor knows about your long-term goals and “bucket list” items, however, that can be used to direct your health plan and goals.

Dr. VJ Periyakoil, an internist, geriatrician and palliative care professional at Stanford Health Care wrote a piece for the New York Times about how she regularly asks her patients about their bucket lists. read more

5 Life Lessons From Stephen Hawking

As his death is met with grief, we remember his wisdom. [Photo credit: hawking.org.uk]

By Bryce Kirchoff for Next Avenue

As the passing of renowned physicist and public intellectual Stephen Hawking is met with grief and remembrance the world over, Next Avenue wanted to honor the man who educated the world on a host of issues by sharing five important lessons we learned from him:

1. Trust in science, but remember that we haven’t uncovered all its mysteries yet.

At 22, Professor Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neuron disease and told he only had a few years to live. For most of his adult life, he was wheelchair bound and could speak only with the aid of a vocal synthesizer. Yet, against all odds, Hawking had a successful career and rich family life until passing away at the age of 76. read more

One Surprising Way Older Adults Can Get Healthier

You know about the obvious things. Now try this. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Dr. Ann Hwang for Next Avenue

Whether or not we actually do the right things to improve our health, many of us probably assume we know what they are. Walk more. Quit smoking. Eat healthier.

It’s a familiar list, and a good one. As a primary care doctor, I spend plenty of time counseling people to do exactly these things. But here’s another, less familiar thing I think you should consider: get engaged in your community.

The Benefits of Connection

Civic engagement may not be on the top of everyone’s to-do list, but it probably should be. There is intriguing evidence to suggest that people who are engaged in their communities — through activities like participating in local organizations or volunteering — could also have better health. read more

7 Reasons Why You Should Travel

Reap the benefits of health, happiness and gratitude on your next journey. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Wendy Sue Knecht for Next Avenue

Some people are just lucky — they’re born with it. I’m not talking about good looks or money. I’m talking about wanderlust …. that something inside of you that just makes you want to go places, explore and of course, wander.

My own wanderlust was cultivated at a young age. Although my family never took anything but road trips growing up, my father used to regale me with bedtime stories of Gee Gee Go-Go, a fictional character who traveled all over the world on his tricycle. It’s no surprise I became a Pan Am flight attendant! read more

The Power of Sharing Our Stories

Playing a game at an assisted living facility opened up connections [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Reyna Marder Gentin for Next Avenue

My friend runs an assisted living residence not far from where I live. When she called to say she had a mitzvah (a good deed) for me that was “right up my alley,” I was wary, to put it mildly. She explained that she was running an event where the residents would play a game encouraging them to share, open mic style, stories from their lives. My friend knows I write — essays, memoir pieces, a novel. I tell stories.

“Will you come?” she asked.

I wanted to say no. As my children will tell you, with the rare exception of a Shabbat round of Scrabble or Bananagrams, I don’t play games. Maybe I’m uptight, or just no fun, but games are not my thing. The idea of helping to facilitate an octogenarian quiz show was not high on my list. read more

8 Ways to Preserve Your Family Memories

How to save precious images so future generations can enjoy them [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Claire Zulkey for Next Avenue

Does that box of unsorted family photos in your closet give you a gnawing feeling? Always wonder what you’re supposed to do with your old slides? Make it a winter project to organize and annotate your family images and records, not just for your current family but for future generations.

After all, said genealogy consultant Maureen “The Photo Detective” Taylor, “It’s your identity. It’s who you are. And you can’t see where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.” read more

How to Leave an Inheritance Without Causing Grief

A family wealth expert offers advice for parents. [Photo credit:
Adobe Stock]

By Amy Castoro, financial adviser

“I give them a $20,000 gift and I don’t get a thank you?” Sound familiar? The dollar amount may vary, but the frustration is the same. More and more people are frustrated and confounded at the lack of appreciation they experience when passing along their wealth to their children and grandchildren.

They worked hard for their money because they wanted to give their kids and grandkids a better life. But these generous people are realizing that their wealth is causing them more grief than gain. read more

Cashing In On Your Life Experience

Meet three people who share their wisdom and make money doing it. This is Monica Parikh.

By Barbranda Lumpkins Walls for Next Avenue

Forget traditional jobs where you earn a living working 9 to 5 at a desk or an assembly plant. You can tap into your own experiences, at your own schedule, and share your wisdom for a price.

Here are three entrepreneurs who have done just that and are enjoying the ride:

Nina Keneally: Need a Mom

In 2013, after living in Connecticut for more than 30 years, empty nester Nina Keneally and her husband decided to leave their suburban life and move to the hip neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn, N.Y. That led her to start Need a Mom, a site providing motherly-type support to young adults. read more

When Your Best Friend Dies

How to grieve and minimize the feeling of loss (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

By Gary M. Stern for Next Avenue

Josh Koplovitz, an attorney based in Woodstock, N.Y., communicated with his best friend Lester Fensterheim nearly every day. They first met in 1999 and connected over their love of tennis. The two played tennis together and occasionally poker, socialized with their spouses and developed a strong bond. On Aug. 1, 2017, 74-year-old Fensterheim felt a pain in his face, suffered a minor stroke and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died three months later on Nov. 4.

Koplovitz misses Fensterheim terribly and feels a void over his death and the loss of their friendship. “I was drawn to Lester, and he was drawn to me and the friendship developed,” Koplovitz said. Fensterheim was a “magnetic personality,” said Koplovitz., adding: “When you came into his presence, you felt an unmistakable connectivity, as if he was saying to you, ‘You are a special person.’ He taught me to be more accepting of people than I otherwise would have been. He had a basic love of humanity.” read more