Monday, December 30, 2013

Reviewing Tech from Midlife

Photo by Wendell.
Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Boomer Voices program and have been provided with a device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. 

For the last six months, I've had the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for Verizon.  During this time, I got to test a few products such as the Fitbit One activity tracker, the Razr Maxx HD phone with an amazing battery life and the Samsung Note 3 with a clear, large screen.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Exercise to Increase Bone Density

Photo by smcgee.
In September of this year, I found out that my bones are below the ideal limits for density.  I don't have osteoporosis--yet.  The range I'm in is a newly defined zone called osteopenia.  All is not lost. I still have a lot of control over my bone density. I can improve my diet with calcium-rich foods, and I can do bone-strengthening exercises.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Give Holiday Cheer

The holidays can be a joyous time of gathering with friends and family. However, some older adults struggle with loneliness and depression at this time of year.  

People of any age who have limited income, limited mobility or the loss of a loved one  can struggle to maintain the traditions of the season.  

These limits and losses are often more prevalent for older adults, which can lead to feelings of loneliness, regret or depression unless addressed.  

Also some diseases, some medications can push people further into depression.  And excessive alcohol consumption compounds the problem.  

If you see signs of depression in a loved one at any time of the year, encourage him or her to seek the help of a physician, psychologist or psychiatrist.  These signs might include the following:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Best of Boomer Blogs, 2013 in Review

Photo by  Kennymatic.

As 2013 comes to a close, Rita, Amy, Tom, Karen  & Martin--the contributors from Best of the Boomer Blogs--take a look back. Which posts were the most popular with their readers?  Join them for a retrospective: The Best of the Best in 2013!

Sarah Parrott

On The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist, has this to report for her 2013 review: 

Her readers liked articles most this year on credit reports, recalls, food safety, crowdfunding, cell phones, holidays, and mortgage reform. 

Runners up include scams, food waste, and health care credit card high pressure sales.


Take a look at Modern Senior's top blog posts of 2013. Read them for the first time or take a second look at your favorites!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mismatched Gifts

Photo by reikhavoc.
When it's close to Christmas, people will ask me, "What do you want?"  I have a hard time answering.

After the holidays, people will ask, "What did you get?" and "What was your favorite gift?"

I'm always hard-pressed to answer these questions as well. Why? I'm not really a "thing" person.  I enjoy more just spending time with friends and family and talking.

The greatest gift I ever received was an email listing 51 positive affirmations about me.

This post is part of a Blog Hop hosted by Midlife Boulevard,
a network of midlife women bloggers.
Because the links below will expire soon, here are a few post on the same topic:

"Self-Reflection, A Gift That Continues to Give" by Beth Havey @BoomerHighway 

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 Top Ten Posts

Photo by LEOL30.
As 2013 comes to a close, I'm looking over the statistics to see which posts written this year got the most views.

As with 2012, posts about films dominate the list.

However, a new genre of posts make an even stronger showing: blog hop posts.

I joined some network groups in 2013 that gave me the opportunity to connect with other midlife blogging women.  I enjoyed reading their posts, so I am sharing my findings.

Just click through to the posts marked "blog hop" to find links to my peers' posts.

So without further ado, here are the standout posts published in 2013--in descending order of popularity:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ossified Roles, Shifting Roles

Photo by Go Dakshin
No matter the time of year, family reunions usually involve family members playing particular roles.

I have developed in many ways since I lived as a tween/teen in Orange County California in the 1970s.

Nevertheless, I found myself falling back into the role of the chatty, strong-willed, domestically inept oldest daughter during family gatherings held in the 1980s.

Was I picking up that role or was it being foisted upon me? Probably a little of both.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Benediction: Book Review

Published Feb 2013 by Knopf.
Kent Haruf presents a novel spoken sotto voce and focused on the last days of a 77-year-old hardware store owner, Dad Lewis and his family living in east of Denver in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado.

Lewis learns in the opening chapter that he has cancer that will claim him in a matter of weeks.  During this time, Lewis reviews his life--his business relationships, his parenting choices, and his marriage.

While the title implies a sustained focus on achieving closure for a dying man, other characters from the same small town of Haruf's storyworld are taking stock of their lives as well.

The preacher and his family, newly arrived from Denver, must ask themselves if their lives have meaning, and if they should make a change. A mature woman long widowed and her never-married daughter make decisions on what "love your neighbor" really means One considers the meaning of romantic love in relationships now lost. An 8-year-old girl seeks to claim a sense of family in the wake of her mother's death from breast cancer.

Most of the novel brings the reader's attention to the dulled beauty and muffled joy of every day activities. This isn't a fast-paced novel filled with back-to-back conflicts. It's a Sunday drive through the countryside of people's ordinary lives.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Widowed Support Groups

Photo by megaroo.
The loss of a spouse is one of the most devastating events of a person's life. In fact, the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory lists "death of spouse" as the most stress-inducing life event.

While scholars attempt to study grief objectively, the reality is that each loss of a spouse is unique to the individual.

Even though I like to draw on evidenced-based research when confronted with conflict, I recognize that the bereaved don't need scholarly journals as much as they need a compassionate friend or comforting community.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sharing Photos

Photo by Fulvio. 
Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Boomer Voices program and have been provided with a device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. 

For the past three years, I've been visiting friends who live in skilled nursing centers.  I enjoy listening to them talk about people, places and events from their youth.  I have learned some things about the Dust Bowl, World War II, and life in small towns located in central California, south central Kansas and eastern Pennsylvania.

In order to aid the conversation, sometimes I bring in books and magazines to help jog a friend's memory. After spending some time and money on coffee table books, I finally recognized an inexhaustable and handy resource in my purse.

My smart phone.