The word “Alzheimer’s” puts fear in the hearts of anyone over 60. Every time we forget our keys or can’t recall the name of a friend or family member, we worry that we are in the early stages of this horrible disease. Diagnosis of a disease as serious as Alzheimer’s is not to be ignored, so, a new research report from the United States caught my attention.
When we get a bad cold or just feel run down, we often like to blame it on our immune system. It’s easy to think of our immune system as being separate from the other functions in our body. Like border guards or traffic cops, we expect our bodies’ defenses to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of what else is going on in our lives. The reality is somewhat more complicated.
Misao Okawa is a Japanese woman who was born in 1898. She is the world’s oldest person at 116 years young. In a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, Misao explains her simple recipe for longevity. She advises we eat lots of sushi, sleep eight hours a night and learn to relax.
There is an old saying that “women make good cooks, but men make better chefs.” Setting aside the inaccuracy of this statement, it does tell us something important about the way that society looks at the roles of men and women in the kitchen. Women have traditionally taken on the role of family cook. But they were usually not seen as suitable candidates for the more complex and prestigious job of managing elaborate kitchens in fancy restaurants.
We all know that exercise is good for our health after 60. It helps us feel energized and optimistic and reduces the risk of many serious illnesses. So why is it that, even though we know exercise is essential to a long and happy life, only 32% of people over 65 regularly exercise?
It’s never too late to learn something new. Whether you want to become an expert on a specific topic, or simply stretch your brain, online courses make the concept of lifelong learning a reality. The even better news is that most of these courses are absolutely free and you can take them day or night from anywhere in the world.
There is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Every woman over 60 understands this. Being alone is something we have all experienced in our lives at one time or another, sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstances beyond our control.
What do medieval beguines, communal living apartments, the Golden Girls and Suzanne Braun Levine all have in common? They’re all examples of how women can support one another in dealing with the challenges of getting older. There are many things that today’s women can learn from the idea of shared living communities.
Having lived in Seattle for 20 years, I know what it means to be part of a city infused by “coffee culture.” In Seattle, no one honestly seems to be able to function until they have had their morning caffeine kick. You’ll see people walking the streets with disposable coffee cups almost as a fashion accessory. The original Starbucks in Pike’s Market is a bit of a shrine for tourists and normally has a long queue of customers. There are also lots of local boutique cafes with baristas celebrating coffee as an art form.
Today, I want to talk about the importance of brain games for seniors. But, first, a little context. The last time I had to fill in a medical form, it asked me “How many hours a week do you exercise?” I had to laugh. Hours? Surely you jest!