Are You Growing Old

Celebrating life each day at 73!

Next year I will turn 70. Not only am I old, but I am getting old(er). LOL!

I don’t know what it would be like to be 70. What I know is that I will be doing the things I am doing now and keep on doing them as long as I can do them – just like this sidewalk vendor.

She’s 73 yr-old-widow with 9 children and as many grandchildren (some of her children are not married yet).

She has to commute more than 10 kms/day, lugging her basket of green mangoes to sell them on the same spot I met her in one day.

When asked why she’s still doing it at her age, with a toothless smile, she said, “Because I can still do it. I love doing it.”

She lives alone, despite the urging of her children to live with them, because she doesn’t want to get into their lives – as she puts it with a smile. 

“Aha!” I said to myself. Now I know how not to grow old. Or do I? Do you?

Notice my sleight-of-hand use of words – rather than “get old” I used “grow old” because they are different. To “get old” is an inevitability, while to “grow old” is a matter of perspective.

 

Getting Old vs. Growing Old
Getting old means having more years added to your life yet, at the same time, you lose some of your hair, some of your eyesight, hearing, balance, appetite and a lot of other things in exchange.

Growing old, on the other hand, is a way of thinking, a mindset.  You can be old even if you are young in years, or young even if born after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

It is how you look at life. And that’s what I would like to look at myself next year when I turn 70. And you should do the same.

Look at life through the eyes of your youth, your vigor, your thirst for excitement and adventure.

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius

I always believe that at this age, I have more freedom to do as I wish – even to be freaky at times. And I am not alone.

A new national survey done by the Pew Research Center shows that:

Most adults at 50 feel at least 10 years younger than their actual age…one-third of those between 65 and 74 said they felt up to 10 to 19 years younger, and one-sixth of people 75 and older said they felt 20 years younger.

In other words, if you start sucking a lollipop right now, there’s a good chance that some people of your age will start doing the same.

No, you don’t have to go that far to prove a point. But Paul Tayler, Pew Research Center’s executive vice president and author of the study said it succinctly, “…you are never too old to feel young…”

I never dwell on my age. Instead, I dwell on the experiences I’ve accumulated over the years, and the people who helped shape my life.

At my age, these things are worth celebrating.

 

To be Old is to Start Anew:
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Oliver Sacks, a New York University professor of neurology, upon turning 80, wrote a piece for The New York Times. In the first paragraph, he wrote:

“My father, who lived to 94, often said that the 80s had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective…”

So never let the effects of old age affect your vim and vigor of life. Rather make use of them to remind you that time is fast running out and you should make the most of what is left.

If you are like me, maybe most of the kids you grew up with are either dead, too sickly to hang out with the boys, or indisposed for one reason or another.

That your not one of them, isn’t that worth celebrating?

Nobody at this age hasn’t had his share of life’s problems, i.e., money, relationship, children, career, etc. They are very traumatic experiences; they scarred you for life, maybe even made you cynical and pessimistic.

But would things be any better if you dwell on them? They won’t. In fact, they will just make you miserable. They will put blinders over your eyes making you fail to see the beauty of being old and alive and experiencing things that we totally sci-fi during your time.

Discard your past, Put on fresh clothes, comb your hair, look your best and say, “Old age, here I come, the new kid on the block.”

Then just dig in and have fun.

I am sure you have not lived the kind of life this mango vendor has lived hers. Yet, her heart is fuller with joy and contentment than yours.

Please share with other seniors so they, too, will know how to grow old.

~oOo~

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Secrets

~oOo~

Reasons Why Not Take Opioids to Ease Pain

Are you suffering from aches and pains? If you are well into your 60s and beyond, then you must have experienced them. They are awful, to say the least.

But before rushing off to your doctor for a painkiller prescription, you must give it a second or third thought. Here’s why:

 

What are prescription painkillers:
Prescription painkillers are mostly opioids – opium-based or opium-like compounds to relieve pain, i.e., Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Codeine, etc.

They work by increasing the brain’s production of dopamine – the chemical responsible for creating feelings of pleasure, excitement; the Adrenalin rush.

Opioids inhibit the body’s ability to feel pain; they make you feel great (even if the source of pain still persists).

They are addictive because they force the brain to produce artificial endorphins (another feel-good chemical naturally produced by the body). When its effects wear off, and the brain cannot take up the shortfall, you will be in pain again and will be forced to ask for it and in heavier doses, too.

Current estimates show that 3 in 10 adults, between ages 57 to 85, use at least five prescription drugs  – putting them at high risk for drug abuse and addiction, according to the Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).

Aside from being addictive, the following are other reasons to them away.

 

1.  It’s killing a fly with a sledgehammer:
Opioids are intended to relieve acute pain after a surgery or chronic pains like arthritis, lower back pains, or trauma pains.

Taking them for age-related aches and pains like a headache, occasional lower back pain, muscle strain, or a migraine is an overkill and risky.

Should you consult a doctor for chronic pains, ask for non-addictive drugs. If that is not possible, be sure it is pain-specific. Don’t go for a one-drug-cures-it-all approach. Chances are that it will not be as effective, forcing you to ask or more potent types.

Whatever you are prescribed with, take it per doctor’s orders. Your health will be at risk if you venture outside of its parameters.

 

2.  Unnecessary cost: 
The prices of opioids cover a wide range, depending on application and potency. Some are as low as less than $10 dollars, while others can go as high as more than $200.

They may seem cheap on a per unit basis, vis-a-vis its purpose, over the long haul, they are a huge cost item in your budget.

Bear in mind that there a lot of options to ease age-related aches and pains which are cheap or cost nothing at all. Look for them and try them out. Only when you run out of options will you think about opioids.

 

3.  Risky to your health: 
Opioids first affect the brain, making it block out the pain. But it will also make you feel sedated and dizzy putting you at risk for falls. In fact, seniors taking opioids have as much as four times the probability of suffering bone fractures than those who don’t. And 68% of those are hospitalized, and out of this number, 87% die from their injuries. – National Safety Council.

Then they affect the entire body (slowing it down at times), like the digestive system where they may experience “opioid-induced constipation.”

Other than the digestive system, opioids also affect the kidneys.

The kidney is the body’s filtration system. It filters blood circulating throughout the body, extracting liquids (disposed of as urine), and other solids (disposed of as fecal waste).

And when you grow old, it becomes so delicate and sensitive to foreign substances like alcohol and drugs.

A study done last year showed that opioid users are more likely to develop kidney failure than those who are not.

Is that the end of the ugly effects of opioids on your body? No! It can trigger dangerous and life-threatening side effects or reactions with drugs against high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

I believe in the body’s ability to heal itself (provided it is not subjected to too much abuse), and going for do-it-yourself management of minor aches and pains.

I never have a headache that lasts longer for comfort. If I do, I will just “will” it away. Though I take Tylenol before playing tennis to ease the osteoarthritis pains in both my knees, I keep away from anything stronger than that.

It is a tough call for a lot of seniors. but it can be done if you just put your mind and heart into it.

Please share with other seniors to spare them the risks of taking opioids for their aches and pains.

~oOo~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Avoid Health Problems from Reheated Foods

food

Food for the next meal

Do you recycle food leftovers?

I do as well as you. It is convenient and economical, especially if you are a live-alone senior living on a tight budget.

But there are trade-offs. Reheated foods taste differently and there are potential health risks if not done well.

Be Healthy by Doing Things Your Way

my way

Doing things my way!

Do you want to live a healthy life? Then don’t burn your midnight candle searching for ways from the Internet. You can’t find them there. Don’t fall for things like:

–  Foods that Lower Cholesterol Naturally,
–  Super Foods that Help You Live Longer,
–  Walking may Reduce Cardiovascular Disease by 50% and many others.

They don’t work any more than I become a Caucasian by dying my Asian hair black. Here’s why:

1.  Old age brings a lot of medical issues. Nothing in the world can make you healthy if you are afflicted with any of them. You can only cope with them if you want to enjoy life.

2.  but if you are healthy at your age but nothing can make you any healthier than you already are.

Don’t change anything, just temper them. Changing your lifestyle is stressful and restrictive. It will rob you of the pleasures and joy of old age.

 

Health is not purely about healthy eating:
Good health for seniors is not just about nutritious foods. There are more important things that make one healthy.

For example, the leading causes of deaths among people 65 years old and above are heart disease and cancer. While these figures are irrefutable, saying that improper diet is one of the major causes of these diseases is going to polarize the health community.

Some will insist that food is crucial to good health, while others won’t. And both sides will present voluminous data to support their stand.

Joshua Rosenthal, founder, and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and author of the book Integrative Nutrition will not be on either side.

Mr. Rosenthal says,

“Eating well helps, but don’t expect it to work miracles. It can fill you, but it cannot fulfill you.”

Then he adds,

“If we are not physically starving, other dimensions of human experience are much more important than what we put in our mouths. The foods you eat are secondary to all other things that feed you – your relationships, career, spirituality and exercise routine. All that we consider today as nutrition is really just a secondary source of energy.”

To emphasize the point that nutrition, alone, cannot make you healthy, Dr. Mark Hyman, chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine and author of the book Blood Sugar chimes in by stating:

“95 percent of all illnesses are caused by or worsened by stress… it can disrupt almost all your body’s processes, making none of our organs immune to its effects. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hypertension, depression, ulcers, headaches and chronic anxiety are all scientifically linked to chronic stress.”

Then he adds, “…the health of your mind and spirit and your sense of connection to your community has an immense impact on the health of your body, In fact…the biggest predictor of longevity is psychological resiliency – being able to roll with the punches life throws at us.”

My take on this…

Two weeks ago, I had chest pains in the evening which forced me to see a doctor the following day. After some examinations and questions, he said that it was not a heart attack.

However, he said that chest pains must not be taken lightly and told me to have some lab tests. He also cautioned me against my smoking – not for cancer because even non-smokers can get cancer. But it is a risk factor for heart attack or stroke at my age.

Towards the end of my consultation, I mentioned in passing that I regularly go for long drives or an overnight stay in beach resorts. He said, “That, too, contributes to good heart health.”

Nobody knows your overall health better than you. You, alone, know what is good or bad for you, what works or doesn’t work. And by this time you must have learned to do what is best for you and do things your way.

Note: All my lab tests were good, i.e., blood chemistry, ECG, and Treadmill.

Please share with other seniors to brighten their day – and do things their way!

~oOo~ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mantras to Help You Through Adversities

mantra

Mantra for stress-free days

Do you know that I start and end my day reciting a mantra? I am not doing it because I am into the mind-over-body thing, or I am into this “meditation.“  I do it because it gets me into a positive, hopeful mood; gives me faith that my day will always end right.

But wait, “what is a mantra? “ you may ask.

For a layman, a “mantra “  is a word or group of words or a sound repeated several times to aid concentration in meditation.

The word is Hindu in origin and comes from the words “man,“ which means mind, and “tra,“ meaning transport or vehicle. In other words, a mantra is an instrument of the mind to enter into a deep state of meditation.

For people who are not into meditation, like me and you, a mantra is simply the seed for energizing intention.

Mantras are good to ease the ill-effects of aging by refocusing the mind into thinking positive, cheerful, happy and uplifting thoughts.

 

They help remove stress, depression and can lower blood pressure. And they cost nothing but a few minutes of stillness and concentration.

To get you started in reciting a mantra here are one-liners that are easy to memorize:

 

1.  I love my body;

2.  I am powerful, or I am strong;

3.  I am enough;

4.  I am at peace, or I am where I am supposed to be;

5.  I have love in my life and joy in my heart;

6.  I trust my path;

7.  I embrace change;

8.  I am worth it;

9.  Be still;

10. Breathe in, breathe out.

If you want poetic mantras, try any one of these:

11.  There are blessing found everywhere. I will find them;

12.  I focus on how I feel, not what I want to achieve;

13.  Accept “what is,” instead of resenting it;

14.  Just to be alive is a grand thing;

15.  I am not a drop in the ocean. I am the entire ocean in a drop;

16.  Don’t postpone joy.;

Now I would like to share with you my mantra:

“Sometimes the best thing we can do is not think, no wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”

I got it online but I can’t remember who passed it on to me. Whoever it was my gratefulness for his act reaches Heaven-wards.

I say this twice a day- early in the morning before I get into my work, and when I am lying flat on my bed for the night.

It works all the time. My mantra gives me stress-free days, and sleep like a baby at night.

Please share to help other seniors who are struggling with adversities all days of their lives.

Image: http://www.reneweveryday.com/how-meditation-could-be-the-key-to-senior-addiction-recovery/

~oOo~

 

Twenty Adorable Quotes for Seniors

quotes

Never been as happy!

Can the life of a senior be described?

No! Objects can be described, but seniors are people and people cannot be described – especially seniors.

You have to live and experience it to know how it is to be one. So if you are not, be patient. You will soon find out.

Suffice it is to say that seniors are a diverse lot and how they live and experience their lives is highly individual-oriented.

But they are all driven by the same desire – to be happy.

These 20 adorable will augment that desire:

 

1.  The surprising thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools.

2.  lt is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

3.  By the time you are 80-yrs-old you have learned everything. You just have to remember it.

4.  In order to be old and wise, it is necessary to be young and stupid

5.  At my age, I’ve seen it all, I’ve heard it all and I’ve done it before. I just can’t remember it all.

6.  I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

7.  The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.

8.  Wrinkles were not one of the things I wanted to have when I grew up.

9.  It’s frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you questions.

10.  I  have a photographic memory. Unfortunately, it no longer offers same day service.

11.  Young at heart, slightly older in other places.

12.  I’m not aging. I’m marinating.

13.  You know you are getting old when your pacemaker opens the garage door when you see a pretty girl.

14.  You know you are getting old when everything hurts and what doesn’t doesn’t work.

16.  Old age takes away what we’ve inherited, and gives us what we’re earned.

17.  Age isn’t important unless you’re wine.

18.  Aging is not “lost youth” but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

19.  Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.

20.  Sex after 60 is like shooting pool with a rope.

And to inspire you all, be like George…

When asked by friends what he was doing now that he’s retired, his usual answer is:

“Well…I’m fortunate to have a chemical engineering background and one of the things I enjoy most is converting beer, wine, and whiskey into urine. It’s rewarding, uplifting, satisfying and fulfilling. I do it every day and I really enjoy it.”

Groucho Marx said, “Anyone can get old, all you have to do is to live long enough.”

If you are reading this, you have lived long enough.

Please share these quotes with other seniors who need cheering up.

 

~oOo~

 

 

 

 

10 Essential Apps for Seniors

Aren’t people like Steve Jobs (may his soul rest in peace), astonishing?I find people like Steve Jobs (may his soul rest in peace) astonishing. Why? Because the world of technology seems to keep in step with their thoughts.

For example, in 1983, he predicted the evolution of a “new digital distribution system.” Ten years later, in 1993, the first PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), the forerunner of the smartphone, came into the market ten years later.

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