Friday, May 30, 2014

Inspiring Legacies of Fitness

Jack LaLanne, fitness celebrity. Photo by nathancremisino.

I am very inspired by mature athletes. I maintain a post about them. Because so many people are remaining active into advanced ages, I decided to split the post.  

Here is a list of some mature athletes who were active at advanced ages, but who have now passed away. Follow the link for one of them, and then get some exercise today and think about that person's legacy. 

Here's the list (organized by longest living first):


Shot Put, Ruth Frith (b. August 23, 1909 d. February 28, 2014 at 104)
Track, John Whittemore (b. November 20, 1899, d. April 13, 2005 at 104)
Table Tennis, Dorothy DeLow (b. October 5, 1910, d. January 25, 2014 at 103)


Monday, May 26, 2014

Met a WW2 Vet Today

Martin Weibel, WW2 Veteran
On Mondays I volunteer at Kansas Masonic Home here in Wichita, Kansas.  I help call bingo in the afternoons in the skilled nursing campus.

I have volunteered here since October of 2011. I know residents from the independent living campus and the assisted living campus, too.

Today, Memorial Day, I was walking into the lobby and saw a gentleman wearing a navy ball cap, so I stopped to talk with him. I'm very glad that I did.

He was visiting a fellow sailor's widow, Barbara, who lives at KMH. He drove down with a relative from Minnesota in order to spend the weekend visiting with Barbara and sharing memories about his service with her husband.

I'd like you to meet Martin Weibel, age 90, who served in the navy on the USS Hadley, a destroyer.  He worked in the boiler room. 

I found a webpage about 16 reunions of the crew members, and Martin has the distinction of attending all 16. He's pictured in a group photo of the 2007 reunion.

I was late for meeting with a resident at 1:30 pm, so I didn't get to speak with him for very long, but I shook his hand and thanked him for his service to the country.  Serendipity!

Related:

Life with Father: Ship Shaped


Saturday, May 24, 2014

All Gone: Dementia Memoir with Recipes

Published September 27, 2012
I continue to read memoirs about caregivers supporting a family member with dementia.

I do so because memory changes affect each person uniquely.  And scientific studies of dementia don't do enough to explain the impact memory changes have on relationships and identity.

Most recently, I have read All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother with Refreshments (2012) by Alex Witchel, whose mother, Barbara, is living with vascular dementia, which may or may not have been the result of a 60 year smoking habit.

But with all other dementia memoirs, the book does not limit Barbara Witchel to a case study in dementia. She is not defined by this disease.

Instead, her daughter Witchel spends the majority of the time describing her mother's childhood, vocation, family relationships and personality.  She celebrates her mother while at the same time trying to support her in practical and emotional ways as the disease progresses.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Working Actors, 90 plus

Christopher Lee
b. 1922 d. 2015 at 93
Photo by avda-foto.
In Sunset Boulevard (1950), Hollywood newcomer Joe Gillis contends with Norma Desmond, a fading Hollywood star.

The film makes it clear that she is well past her prime. The plot centers on her delusions of returning to her former glory.

Just recently, I found out that at 52 [in 2014], I am older than the character Norma Desmond! And older than Gloria Swanson who was the same age as the character at the time of filming.

"Norma, you're a woman of 50, now grow up. There's nothing tragic about being 50, not unless you try to be 25."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Twitter Handles with an Aging Twist

My Twitter Profile @TheGenAboveMe
In another couple of weeks, I'll reach my two year mark since joining Twitter.  Beginning in June of 2012, I have enjoyed connecting with people from all over the world--primarily people who are interested in aging issues.

Their niches run the gambit from family, fitness, food, fashion, finance, health, technology, travel and more.

I have had the opportunity to meet face-to-face a couple dozen of those whom I follow on Twitter.  And I am hoping to attend aging conferences in the future where many of my active aging "Tweeple" congregate.

In the meantime, I try to maximize the opportunities of Twitter by reading tweets, replying, using hashtags, and following links to blogs.  If you are new to Twitter, check out this glossary of terms.

At the very least, I get a big kick out of some of the usernames aka Twitter handles that gently poke fun of the aging process.

These writers are doing their part to control the images used for people as they age. Instead of being passive, they are actively putting their spin on how midlife and late life are represented in the media.  Image creation is one way to fight ageism.

Everyone I follow in Twitter delivers great content.  Suggesting them all in one post would be like drinking from a fire hydrant.  So making concessions to the limits of the human attention span, I combed through my list of the 2,238 people I follow in order to share this list of 16 handles chosen because make me smile and because they refer to aging.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Berry-licious Lighter Dessert

Berries pair well with Reddi-Wip®.
I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Reddi-wip®. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Reddi-wip® and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

Spring is concluding, and summer is just around the corner. With warmer weather, I'm craving lighter desserts.  

As a hypoglycemic, I am always looking for a way to satisfy my sweet tooth without indulging too much in refined carbohydrates.  

Many people in midlife are doing the same since the rate of hypoglycemia and diabetes increase as people age. 

Berries and whipped cream make a great lower-calorie alternative.   At only 15 calories per serving (2 tablespoons), I can enjoy Reddi-wip®--made with real dairy cream--without compromising my nutrition goals.  

Now through July 7, 2014, share your Reddi-wip® berry-licious moments on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the #BerryJoyfulSweeps hashtag for the chance to win a trip for two to the 2015 Watsonville Strawberry Festival, Reddi-wip® coupons or berry keepers.

Learn more about the sweepstakes here


Monday, May 19, 2014

The Story of My Father

Published June 8, 2004
For the last four years, I have been trying to learn more about Alzheimer's Disease.  As a retired English teacher, I frequently have people ask me about age-related changed to cognition.

Of course, people should talk to a neurologist for an expert opinion. Nevertheless, I am trying to learn what I can so that I can point people to resources.

More and more I am seeing the value in dementia memoirs, written by caregivers.  Although published in 2004, I recently got my hands on a copy of The Story of My Father by Sue Miller.

The author describes her relationship with her father in general and her need to respond to his Alzheimer's Disease in particular.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Comforting the Bereaved

Published May 6, 2014
Aging affords many opportunities for sharing long-developed talents. Aging also provides opportunities for continued growth and development. This is one of the greatest discoveries I made while training to be a gerontologist.

However, it's also a time where death claims relatives, childhood friends and even at times younger relatives.  

Part of aging successfully means learning how to survive such losses.  Ultimately, this is an opportunity for growth as well. 

I remember asking my grandfather--in his late 80s at the time--why he wasn't attending his supper club anymore.

"Grandpa, you really enjoy getting together with your friends once a month for those potlucks. Why aren't you going?"

"Karen, they're all dead now." 

My grandfather had lived in the same town his entire life, and he was losing friends he had known for decades.  He didn't talk much about how he managed theses losses.  I'm highly verbal, and I need words to help guide me through challenges. 

Melissa Dalton-Bradford has provided these words.

After the loss of Parker, her 18-year-old son, Melissa found comfort in the works of writers who had lost a loved one. She combed through the writings of famous people who suffered loss such as Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis and Anne Marrow Lindbergh. She shares these in her book, On Loss and Living Onward: Collected Voices for the Grieving and Those Who Would Mourn with Them. 
  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Legacy of Pioneer Mothers

My great-great grandmother Mary Ann Ward Webb
front and center with her children. Taken 1924.
My house echoes with the voices of my pioneer ancestors. I am a fifth generation Mormon woman, and I feel this ancestry often.

Whether I'm cooking dinner, folding laundry, teaching my children or doing my devotional reading, I think about my fore-mothers daily.

In fact, I named my daughter after two of my pioneer ancestors: Mary Ann and Clara.

This is a Midlife Boulevard Blog Hop. Because the 37 links below will disappear soon, I am saving three for future reference:
@piaSavage of Courting Destiny describes a Good Cop, Bad Cop mothering moment
@LynnCobb shares a double dose of mother's intuition birth story on her blog.
@loisaltermark of Midlife at the Oasis marvels at her mother's sense of style 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rate of Total Knee Replacements


Edward Ferguson
I have a little arthritis in my knees.  At this point, they aren't bothering me enough to seek medical care.

However, many people my age or just older than I are seeking a TKR or total knee replacement.

For these reasons, I decided to look at the rate of total knee replacement for persons in the US.

For an overview of key statistics about knee surgery, see this excellent infographic by Healthline: