. Barbara Streisand Hits The Right Note
Remember her soulfully sung words of “People Needing People”? One of my favorites. It turns out that Barbara Streisand was on to something. Not only do love struck twenty something’s need people – it’s even more important to us baby boomers we we grow older!
What’s So Great About Independence?
Some of us any recall hearing about how older generations often lived together in some type of communal fashion. It was a goal of most to be able to remove themselves from such situations and be able to live alone. These days with all the digital devices we have available and other conveniences, living alone is much easier and much more common. Current research reveals that over 13% of Americans live alone.
The latest wrinkle is that all this independence may not be the best thing for us as we get older. New research according to The Wall Street Journal is showing that being by yourself, even if you choose to – can be detrimental and curtail your life expectancy. Their research shows that “more than our eating or exercise habits, our social lives can predict how long we will live.”
Solitude – It’s Affect on Resilience
Research conducted at Brigham Young University reveals that our physical and psychological wellness can be compromised by living alone or spending lots of time alone – even when it’s our preference. Their research which was published in Psychological Science in March claims that the amount of social interaction you get is a strong predictor of your lifespan! There are three groups and if you fit into any one of them- the news is gloomy. The three groups are: living alone, spending most of,your time alone or feeling lonely. Those people that fit into one of those groups have a 30% higher risk of dying within the next seven years than people who have strong social connections
I will continue to blog more on this subject later this week!
. IMMEDIATE NEEDS OF SENIORS AND BABY BOOMERS
Every where I turn I read about and learn about the importance of social interaction, particularly as we grow older. All around me- in elevators and at restaurants to name a couple of places- you see IPhones constantly out with people texting. They are keeping in touch in the modern way.
It’s too bad that seniors and some baby boomers don’t have the wherewithal or dexterity to keep up with them Loneliness is apparent throughout the senior segment and a recent article made me really think about ways we could bring the new social networking to this generation.
How wonderful would it be to let someone recuperating from an illness or stymied by the aches and pains of aging have the opportunity to talk through social media outlets?
The article drew me in when they mentioned creating an App which would include colored rectangular boxes labeled with a topic. Every day a person would have a choice of featured conversations and be able to select those of interest. Sort of like a Chinese menu. The chat could be local, global or private. There would be a lo it of 10 to each conversation. Speaking into the computer is supposedly easy and the volume can be set to accommodate ones needs. People can connect by watching the list and making a match between voices and names. People can suggest a topic and there will always be someone standing by to assist.
BENEFITS OF TALKNET
The length of conversations is fluid Someone may just want a quick chat of a few minutes, and start a new one There are no requirements to stay in a chat Some may want to setup a pre-arranged chat at a specific time with the same group of people. Mr. Gelernter, author of the article I read thinks the benefits of TALKNET for seniors will be boundless. He mentions he said the same thing about the rise of the web and Twitter type streaming. I think it’s a great idea, easy to implement and use. Think of all the great conversations and friendships that can develop. Let’s get this generation talking- it’s the best thing for them and for society.
Usable Information on Fitness
NIH News In Health is a newsletter you can receive monthly that has the best and most reliable tips on health information according to the Wall Street Journal. They recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. It is a conglomeration of the amusing, helpful and amazing tips. Some of their titles include “Who Needs A knee Replacement” to “Galled by the Gallbladder”. Every issue provided two large articles and numerous smaller ones. For trustworthy info try checking it out at : newsinhealth.nih.gov
All the latest research seems to indicate that having consistent social connections as we age is an important ingredient in maintaining our brain elasticity as well as our positive attitude. The articles I have read never delve deep into what type of connections work best! Recently, I read that our friendship chain needs to be pruned periodically, much like annual Spring cleaning of our homes and closets. It was suggested that we may want to take a look at friendships that are mired in past experiences not our current ones.
BUCKETS OF FRIENDS
Think about all the different friends you have made as you move through life. I always like an analogy I created to describe my friendship network. Way back in grade school I made and met my first friend whom I still cherish today. So we stated out like a small snowball and as we experienced more of life together our friendship grew – much like snow adding more weight to that snowball. However, when the sun comes out – the snowball melts and eventually so does our snowball. Some of our friends go the way of the melted snowball while others keep growing and become a proverbial snowman – waiting to protect us! We grow up, move residences, change jobs and careers which usually results in some of our friends becoming what I call situational friends. Once they. I longer whirl in your life sphere they lose their importance.
Making new friends gives us that feeling of excitement of getting to know someone who knows nothing about us or our past. We may be different people today and it’s nice to live in the present. Perhaps, we should think about our older friends and assess whether we just have the past in common or whether we continue to share experiences. Is could be the determinant of whether to continue he friendship as hard hearted as it sounds
There are always those friends whom we don’t talk to for years, but when they call or write its easy to pick up where we left off. Also, an old friend who shows up in our lives at crucial moments is what my mom used to call ” her most important jewels.” So – what are you thoughts about keeping old friends? Do you think it may be more beneficial to make the break with some old friends or is it more important to keep these old friends just where they are today?
Scientists Leaf The Way To Live Longer Than Ever!
More and more attention is being given to the art of aging since I started researching it ten years ago. The National Center For Health Statistics claims that a person who turns 65 today can have a probable life expectancy of another 19.3 years. My generation of baby boomers is now marching into their 60’s and 70’s and always have been the ones to lead the way.
Baby Boomers Need To Come Up With A Name
We baby boomers will not March silently into this next phase of life so whom would be better than us to think of a catchy name for this piviotal period in our lives? The naming of a period of life will give it authencity and help to construct ways, products and services to meet the needs of this ever expanding community. I recently read an article that discussed the fact that 100 years ago there was no name to identify the population of people who weren’t kids nor adults. It wasn’t until 1904 when psychologist, G. Stanley Hall coined the term “adolescence”. The application of a term to describe that generation resulted in high school education becoming more commonplace and the expansion of child labor laws. So, what could we call this new phase of life? Look for my ideas in a future post.
Easing Into A New Mature Phase
Research from RAND Corp shows that many boomers are taking sabbaticals to get ready for what lies ahead. So,e return to their careers while others move on to other ventures. Much like the gap year that high schoolers take before starting college. This is a time for reflection on how we want to spend the rest of our lives and how we want to be thought of at the end of it. Today, boomers seem more interested in being involved in leaving the earth a bit better for their having lived on it than just playing golf all day. Encore.org stats show that 70% of this age group feel their impact on the world is important.
Grow old with gusto and make your imprint! Continue reading “Get Ready To Live Longer ….Better Lives”