If You’ve Reached this Far, Celebrate. Here’s Why

Health Secrets

celebrate life

Celebrating life at 86

Do you know why you have to celebrate if you’ve reached this far? Because it takes a lot of hard work and a huge dose of luck to make it. In fact, many did not make it.

The current average lifespan, both make and female, is 69 years. But how many of your boyhood friends, cousins, neighbors, work associates are still today? The fact that you are, isn’t it worth celebrating?

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Can Elderly People do without Computers

Health Secrets

elderly

Elderly Geek

No, you cannot do without computers – unless you shut yourself from the rest of the world in the middle of an Alaskan wilderness with no power, use wood for cooking and heating and you hunt for food.

Otherwise, you cannot get by without it or, at the very least, one of its “cousins,” like tablets, smartphones, wrist instruments, health monitors, home security systems, microwave oven and many other day-to-day personal gadgets that have become parts of your home.

Your life, as well as ours, has been enslaved by the computing power of the IC (Integrated Circuit), the heart of all computers. Even if you suffer from cyberphobia (fear of computers), your day is still dependent on computers or any of its variants.

For example, my coffee buddies can’t comprehend why my laptop goes with me everywhere.Yet, they spend most of their coffee time checking their emails, react in FB, send tweets, or listen to MP3s through their smartphones.

The computer has become an indispensable tool in our daily lives. It is here to stay and will continue to do so into the distant future. You cannot do without computers or any of its cousins, and if you want to keep up with other seniors (and the rest of the world), you should get into it right now.

The charts below leave no doubt why…

computers

Computer Use Among Seniors

Elderly people now are more tech-savvy than their predecessors. They go online for the latest trends and news, gadgets, weather reports, book airline ticket or restaurant and hotel reservations. They buy stuff online and look for a second chance at romance through dating sites

Other than its practical uses, here are ten other reasons why you should keep up.

 

10 Ways Computers can Help You:

1.  Connect with family members and friends:
Getting in touch with family members and friends has never been so easy, fast and cheap. You can send messages through text, voice and/or video.

And you can do them in the comfort of your home or anywhere in the world. All you need is an Internet connection. No frills, no hassle, just log in and you get connected.

It removes loneliness and feelings of isolation. It also allows you to get immediate help in case of emergencies.

 

2.  Slow down age-related decline:
Regularly getting information online enriches your mind, helps you stay sharp and mentally alert, and physically active.

These simple activities, as small as they are, help slow down cognitive decline – one of the natural consequences of aging.

 

3.  Enhance your life:
Some studies show that people who regularly use the computer have lesser depression symptoms than those who don’t.

This is because going online is as enriching as going on a trip or an adventure. You get to know places, people, and culture without actually being there. It expands your knowledge and boosts your self-worth.

 

4.  Increase your self-confidence:
The knowledge you get from browsing the Internet increases your knowledge base, allowing you to interact with your social circle with ease and finesse.

Other than becoming more socially adept, computers and computer-based products like fall detectors, health monitors, wrist instruments, locators and emergency dialing capabilities, give you the self-confidence of going about your daily activities without anxiety or fear of something going wrong.

 

5.  Better bonding with grandchildren:
What do most children do these days? Play computer games! They are in front of computer game consoles at home, glued to their smartphones or tablets outside, or hang out in arcades shooting down virtual monsters or aliens.

And what’s to stop you from joining them? Cool, huh!

Speaking the language of your grandchildren and playing with them promotes bonding. It is also good for your physical and mental health.

Just don’t overdo it. Overexcitement may not be good for your old heart.

 

6.  Help solve mobility problems:
Computers, well above and beyond expectations, have made life easier, faster and cheaper.

They allow you to pay bills online, do bank transactions, buy groceries or personal stuff, make hotel, restaurant or flight reservations, to name a few.

This is kind of basket-full of goods if you suffer from mobility or driving problems.

 

7.  Automate records keeping:
You can get rid of those handwritten notes, i.e., your health history, your bank transactions, you next doctor’s appointment, drugs you are taking and when to take them, by using computers.
.
There are apps (electronic applications) in the market that can do all these, ether from desktops or portable, like laptops, smartphones and tablets.

All you have to do is encode all your important information into your computer and the apps will do the rest. They will even beep you a reminder.

 

8.  Get connected with other people or groups:
You can easily reach people or groups with similar interests, idealism, political color, sexual orientation, etc., online.

They are found in FB, Twitter, Instagram and many other social sites. Joining is easy and interacting with them even easier. All you have to do is take part the in the group’s discussion

What makes this kind of getting-to-know-you setup great is that you can voice out your thoughts and opinions over a wide range of issues, yet remain anonymous.

 

9.  Find a new romance:
If you are looking for another chance at romance but is a bit shy about, join dating sites.

They are as popular as any health and fitness site and as widely-visited, too. Millions of men and women gather around these sites looking for the same thing as you.

These sites can provide you with a virtually all kinds of women to choose from. All you have to do is send a “friendship request” to start the ball rolling. If she accepts, then you are off to a possibly wonderful ride.

There is no guarantee of success, though. The Internet is the hunting ground of scammers, psychotics, losers, and online thieves. So don’t rush into a relationship like a boy on his first crush. While there are success stories, there are also tragedies.

 

10.  Earn supplemental income:
Computers have redefined work. Whereas it was a home-to-office-and- back routine before, now you can do it at home or anywhere.

You can now “work” while basking on a tropical beach or flying from one country to the next. You can work in a bus, a train, or in your pajamas at home.

There are thousands of ways to earn a living through your computer..

In 1973, roughly three years after the first computers were used in the office, an article titled, “Computers and Technology: Aiding Tomorrow’s Aged,” was published in a periodical called, The Gerontologist.”

The article wrote in part…

“The powerless and helpless feeling of the aged is due not only to increasing infirmity but to society’s failure to set up institutions and systems that make it possible for the elderly to overcome the handicaps they have…An elderly person’s maximum amount of ability to care for himself/herself would save society huge sums of money.”

Still skeptical why you cannot do with computers?

Please help other seniors by sharing this. Better still, subscribe to my newsletter to get a weekly update of the exciting and bittersweet life of a senior.

~oOo~

Elderly Poverty: Shocking but True and What You can Do About It

Health Secrets

Elderly poverty

Elderly poverty – shocking but true!

Elderly poverty is true and shocking but you hardly notice it, or ignore it. You’re so busy with your own life to give it any attention.

But it is all around you. You see it each time you take a walk or go to your neighborhood convenience store. They are those dirty and bedraggled senior citizens sleeping on street corners, alleys and even subways.

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How to Treat a Gay in the Family

Health Secrets

I am surrounded by gays, but this one tops them all…

“Uncle, I want you to meet my husband, David.”

Immediately, my jaws dropped and I was transfixed not knowing whether to jump with joy or drop dead with embarrassment. I was totally taken off guard that I froze – unable to give the couple a hug or a congratulatory handshake.

Why? You see, husband David, apparently married my nephew, not niece.

Same-sex marriage is not only taboo in my country’s strictly religious culture, it is also not allowed by law (they married in Australia). To have a close relative, a nephew, marrying another man is nothing short of a near-death experience; my ancestors must have turned in their graves.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against gays. In fact, I am surrounded by them. There is a gay in every generation of both sides of my family, i.e., a brother, an uncle, close and distant relatives, not to mention close friends. Even I was effeminate as a child my Mom wanted me to become a priest, and had I more than one son, the other would probably be gay, too.

I am ambivalent towards them. I know that their sexual orientation is not their fault. In fact, I sympathize with them for having to face the stigma of being gay everyday of their lives.

If you have a gay in the family, as I do, treat him with respect and understanding – especially when they are old and grey. Their sexual orientation is a work of Nature which they couldn’t do anything about as you can’t do anything about yours.

Don’t be swayed by ill-informed statements like that of Ben Carson’s that being a gay is a choice. Nobody would choose to live a life of constant harassment, ridicule, abuse, or be ostracized by the mainstream.

Would you?

I once had a lively chat with two gays in a coffee shop. I wanted to pick their brains on how it is to be gay. Well, both are earning a living and, at the same time, supported by closet lovers.

Even as a child, they knew that they were “different,” and had to fight a long battle of attrition against family members who couldn’t accept them as they are. They won, ultimately.

That’s how it is with gays. Before making a public “debut,” they have to face the same gauntlet of disapproving family members. For them, that is the toughest hurdle. Once they gain acceptance at home, let the general public be damned.

Younger gays are a raucous bunch, even vulgar. There is nothing sacred for them and are always ready to take a swipe at anybody or anything that frowns on their sexual orientation. And they are fearless fighters for their rights. Never lock horns with a gay. You will surely lose.

Age mellows them somehow, and elderly gays are more subdued, introspective, genteel, and act accordingly. But that doesn’t improve their lot in the eyes of society in general.

They still are subjected to unfounded restrictions you and I are spared from. For example, gays are…

 

1.  Childless and alone in their old age:
Studies show that gays are four times less likely to have kids compared to non-gays of the same age group.

This leaves them with without any help when they need it most.

Relying on government programs is not encouraging either. Medicare  doesn’t cover everything for a long-tern nursing home care and, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, only 3% of  senior gays are covered with a private long-term insurance.

Elderly seniors’ old age future is anything but rosy.

 

2.  Poorer than non-gays:
Gays, even today, suffer from employment discrimination. This leaves them with hardly any savings when they reach retirement age.

A study done by the University of California, LA, shows that 4.9% of elderly gays (collectively called LGBT) are poorer compared to non-gays. Overall, 42% of elderly gays suffer from financial difficulties at retirement.

 

3.  Still discriminated upon:
Despite gaining much acceptance, gays still feel biases against them.

For example, gays are often not welcomed in some senior centers where they could socialize with other seniors and to fill out important paperwork dealing with government assistance programs for seniors.

Even the professional staff at these centers is, in most cases, not trained to handle the peculiar needs of gays.

 

4.  Having peculiar health problems:
Many gays suffer from mental issues that affect their lives like loneliness, depression, isolation and thoughts of suicide, according to SAGE (Strategic Advisory Group of Experts).

This because a lot of them dd not seek treatment early on for fear of being considered mental cases. Now it is considered to be due to a genetic framework that didn’t perfectly fit – not a mental illness.

Another health issue is HIV. In 2011, more than a quarter of the 1.2 million with HIV in the U.S. were gays, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

There are currently more than 39 million people in the U.S, aged 65 years and older, who identify themselves as gays (LGBTs, for lesbians, gays, bi-sexual, transgender). That’s a lot to reckon with; a lot of votes no politicians can ignore.

You can mock them, ostracize them, call them names or label them but that can’t change what they are. They cannot do anything about their sexual orientation as much as you cannot do anything about yours.

At the end of the day, you are left with no choice but accept them as they are. Besides, other than their sexual orientation, they also need the same things you and I need; the same hopes and aspirations. They also expect the treatment from society you expect.

And they are a gregarious lot to be with.

Please help other seniors by sharing this. Better still, subscribe to my newsletter to get a weekly update of the exciting and bittersweet life of a senior.

Image: http://www.advocate.com/marriage-equality/2016/1/25/watch-sweethearts-candy-celebrates-same-sex-marriage

~oOo~