Sunflower Field

THANK YOU TO THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE OF LOUISBURG WHO WELCOMED MY FAMILY TO THIS WONDERFUL COMMUNITY NEARLY A QUARTER CENTURY AGO.

This website exists in large measure due to the generous encouragement and support of many friends and collaborators whose expertise and advice has inspired and motivated my work on this project. As time permits I will be adding the names of those who have helped to make my passion a reality.

My GOALS for this website are:

  • To inspire and empower seniors to embrace aging as something to look forward to, not something to fear; to see it as a period of growth, not decline; to recognize the opportunities, not just the challenges; and to see ourselves and others as contributors to society, not burdens.


  • To provide a source of information and help for seniors and those who desire to partner with us in creating a society in which aging is viewed as the life stage in which the experience and knowledge gained from a lifetime continues to enrich our communities and seniors are able to maintain control over their lives and simultaneously discover their legacy, or that which will live on after them.


  • To assist adult children who are concerned about the health and welfare of their aging parents to convey their concern without threatening the right of their parents to retain control over the decisions regarding their future.


  • Identify and publicize the variety of excellent services and programs for seniors provided by public and private agencies and organizations in our community.



  • The Louisburg Senior Center is a focal point for many of these services.

    The Louisburg Library, the City of Louisburg, Miami County, the Louisburg Recreation Commission, Louisburg Athletic Club, and many businesses offer special programs for seniors.

    Our churches are a vital part of the network of senior services. Assisted Living Facilities and Care Centers are some of the many resources that make our community "a place where people live by choice."


    The Paola Senior Center also provides a full range of programs serving the seniors in western Miami County. Check out their website.

    Aging Gracefully

    I recently discovered a beautiful book by Karsten Thormaehlen,Aging Gracefully a photographer, editor, designer, and artist based in Frankfurt, Germany. Thormaehlen traveled the globe taking photographs of the world's oldest people.

    Aging Gracefully, is a remarkable book with 52 stunning portraits of people over 100, capturing the beauty, personality, and insight that come with more than a century of life experience.

    "Aging has its own laws, but it is only our attitude and our judgements that make it into something positive or something frightening.

    We are the ones who determine how we age, and if we are smart, we will regard the aging process with the same remarkable serenity, curiosity, and humor that I discovered in the people I photographed."
    Karsten Thormaehlen


    Simple Recipe for a Good Life


    Louisburg Library


    A friend of mine, Doug Manning, has written a book that I recommend EVERYONE OVER FIFTY should read! Drawing on over 60 years as a minister counselor focusing on the challenges of life that affect all of us, now in his eighties, Doug is living those choices and issues. He has found that too many people of his generation are becoming defeated by the frustrations of an aging body and mind and are just waiting until the end without purpose or plan.

    His premise for this book is that everyone can make choices as to how to face living the final years of life, and he provides practical and personal suggestions for taking charge and living with intention, no matter the age.

    Back Nine is available from Amazon Books.

     



    "Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."  
    --Satchel Paige

    NEXT STEPS

    I am planning a series of small group sharing sessions where we can pool what we have learned and bring local expertise in to help us understand how to better deal with everyday challenges.

    I hope you will join me in making this a resource that responds to the range of issues and challenges we confront. Please contact me with suggested topics, questions, or references to resources you feel other seniors will find useful.

    I plan to create a Senior Hall of Fame including profiles of seniors in our community and beyond who are (or have been) role models of Healthy Aging. I need your help identifying the individuals worthy of inclusion.


    Click on this link to open the Registration/Feedback form and let me know your questions, suggestions, sign up for the Healthy Aging Blog or suggest others I should contact with information about the website. When you complete this form, you will be on the mailing list to receive an invitation to join us for the small group discussion sessions.



    John cleek Let's face it… like it or not, we are all getting older! At 85 there are a lot of things that I could do at 75 or 65 or 50 that I can no longer do.
      So what?

    SRESI can either dwell on the things I CAN NO LONGER DO, or I can celebrate the many things I CAN DO!

    I decided to create this website because I want everyone, at whatever age, to enjoy life to the fullest, using the experience gained from the past to make the future better for ourselves and for those around us!

    Click on this link to learn more about the SRES program.

    This website is not about adding years to our life; it is about adding life to our years. The statistics are undeniable! Living to be one hundred is no longer a rarity. It is rapidly becoming a realistic expectation and that means we should take care of ourselves and our health and we should continue to engage with others to make our communities better and more livable.


    Disrupt AgingAs Jo Ann Jenkins, notes in her excellent book, Disrupt Aging, "For the first time in history long life isn't a rarity. If you're fifty, you have half of your life ahead of you. Over half of the people born today will live to be one hundred. The fastest growing age group is people eighty-five and older." By the year 2030, one in five Americans will be eighty or older.

    The new reality is that we're not just tacking more years of physical and mental decline at the end of life; in most cases we're adding more years of healthy and productive living."

    About four decades ago, leaders in the field of aging made a revolutionary shift in their concept of aging. "Instead of merely accepting a gradual decline as inevitable, [they] began to focus on how to delay that decline through prevention, lifestyle changes, and health improvements aimed at pushing back the onset of morbidity."

    Today, turning fifty no longer marks the beginning of a long, slow descent into old age; instead, it marks the beginning of a new period of growth, an extended middle age that did not exist for most of our ancestors.


    "The truth is, aging isn't a roll of the dice. You don't have to get old, if you don't want to. That's because getting older doesn't inevitably lead to disease, decline and dependence, as so many people believe, No matter what your chronological age, you can continue to enjoy good health, happiness and an active lifestyle." (Healthy Aging, p. 11)


    Aging…by the Numbers

    • 47.3: Average life expectancy at birth, 1900
    • 78.7: Average life expectancy at birth, 2011
    • 43 million: Number of Americans ages 65 and over, 2012
    • 72 million: Estimated number of Americans ages 65 and over, 2030
    • 89 million: Estimated number of Americans ages 65 and over, 2050
    • 6 million: Number of Americans ages 85 and older, 2012
    • 19 million: Estimated number of Americans ages 85 and older, 2050
    • 3 thousand: Number of Americans ages 100 and older, 1950
    • 62 thousand: Number of Americans ages 100 and older, 2012
    • Approximately 1 million: Estimated number of Americans ages 100 and older, 2050
    • 23 million: Americans ages 65 and older reporting difficulty performing at least one basic or complex activity, 2010
    • 45.4 percent: Americans ages 65 or older reporting two or three chronic health conditions, 2012
    • 14.1 percent: Americans ages 65 and older reporting four or more chronic health conditions, 2012

    (Adults were categorized as having 0 to 1, 2 to 3, or 4 or more of these conditions: hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, hepatitis, weak or failing kidneys, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or current asthma)

    Sources: Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being; CDC and ACL data

    Is the world ready for exponential growth in the senior population?
     Are we seniors prepared for this new stage of life?

    Unfortunately, many of society's institutions have not adapted to the new reality of aging. Employers have been slow to make changes to accommodate the needs of older workers, colleges and universities are struggling to figure out how to best serve older students, our transportation system needs major improvements, and our homes were not designed to accommodate our needs as we age.

    Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer gives a graphic illustration of one of the ways society has not adapted to the needs of older persons. I recently bought a car and my number one requirement was ease of getting in and out of the car. While aging legs and a reduced sense of balance heightened my concern, the larger issue is the failure of car manufacturers to design seats that swivel so a person can get in or out easier than  sliding into or out of a fixed seat from the side.

    Every day older people are forced to navigate an environment that was designed neither by or for them. Rather than blame our limitations on the fact that we are getting older, the reality is that our environment doesn't fit us anymore.

    There are many other challenges that most seniors share, including:

    We will focus on these issues and identify the best resources availablecouples  relative to these and other challenges facing seniors today. It may sound like a cliche but we can all manage the challenges that come with advancing age more effectively by sharing what we have learned from our own experience. In other words, Seniors Helping Seniors is a large part of the motivation for designing this website and the related programs that will follow.


    Some aspects of life get a little tougher and some get a little easier as we get older, but it's all part of living, and we're determined to make the most of it. Adopting healthy habits and behaviors, staying involved in our community, using preventive services, and managing health conditions can contribute to a longer, more productive and meaningful life. "You are only old when you think you are, and act like it. Age is an attitude." (Healthy Aging, p 13)


    I have drawn on a wide range of  sources to bring together practical resources. To the extent possible I have provided links to these sources, either as specific citations or as links on the References and Resources page.