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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Golden Treasure Or Old Fogey @JoanReeves

This book has a secondary romance: 2 senior citizens!
My daughter and I were having a conversation about aging. We have a mutual acquaintance who is rapidly becoming a boring old person--and she's not even that old yet!

Our conversation ranged from what makes someone seem old to stories about my grandfather who was 100 when he passed away.

My grandfather was as vitally alert and intelligent until the day he passed. Everything I've read about aging makes me think about him because he lived a lifestyle that was exactly what is espoused by all doctors and scientific studies.

I guess I've patterned many of the senior citizen characters in my novels after him and the other remarkable, long-lived seniors I've known. In several of my novels, like Still The One for instance, I've had a secondary romance involving senior citizens.

So how come some senior citizens are vibrant and engaging and others are mere shells? The subject is interesting. After all, none of us are growing younger each day. So I thought I'd pass along some information I read recently and show it in relationship to my grandfather's life.

What the Medical Community Says

To be healthy, mentally and physically, do these things:

1. Exercise
All studies show exercise is crucial. When aerobic exercise like walking is combined with strength training, the rewards are even greater. A 30 minute session is better than three 10 minute sessions. My grandfather walked at least a mile or two every day.

2. Engage in activities that challenge your brain.
Read books, write letters, and learn something new like a language or how to navigate Facebook, etc. My grandfather worked crossword puzzles every day. He was a voracious reader. When he was in his 70's, he bought a portable typewriter. He wrote me a letter just about every week. One of his favorite sayings was: "Learn something new every day, and you'll be smarter and happier."

3. Avoid isolation.
Strengthen your friendships and family relationships. Meet new people. Volunteer, join a club, or a special interest group like bridge club. Go to worship services, and talk with friends. My grandfather was sociable. When he moved into a retirement home, he was the one everyone gravitated to.

4. Eat a healthy diet.
If you're eating margarine, convenience foods, fast food, and too much empty calorie foods, make a list of changes you can make to get better nutrition. Tackle it one step at a time. My grandfather never ate sweets. He just didn't care much for them. He ate simple meals and snacked only on fresh fruit. He never ate after supper. He drank mostly water, tea, and coffee.

5. Get a good night's sleep.

Sleep deprivation or poor quality sleep is linked to cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's. Sleep apnea puts people at higher risk for memory problems and dementia so if you think this may be a problem for you, talk to your doctor.

My grandfather went to bed at the same time every night. He also rose every morning at the same time. Two hours after lunch, he'd lay across his bed and take an hour's nap. My brother and I were talking about that one day because neither of us nap. We sometimes feel like a nap, but we never give into the feeling because we always have so much to do. I wonder sometimes if this was a key to my grandfather's longevity.

6. Keep your heart healthy.
Studies show that what's good for the heart is good for the brain. Monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. My grandfather had no heart issues until his last year. His heart problem was due as much to age as anything because he never had high blood pressure or cholesterol issues.

Take charge of your life now. Make changes now. Design your old age the way you want it to be. Who knows? Maybe you'll inspire an author to create a character after you. 

Post Script

Joan Reeves is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Sassy, Sexy Contemporary Romance. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers with audio editions available at  Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. In 2017, new print editions of her books will be published.

All of Joan's books have the same underlying theme: It's never too late to live happily ever after. Joan lives her happily ever after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State.

Sign up for Joan's mailing list/free NL and receive a free ebook. Find Joan online: Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. eek major typo required deleting and reposting... never can edit too much :)

    All great ideas. Did he also have the benefit of lucky DNA? That makes so much difference as I can think of those who did it all right and still died in their mid-50s. On TV recently was the oldest GI from WWII. He died at 104 and drank whiskey every day, smoked cigars and can't remember what else but that kind of thing would kill off others very early. DNA isn't everything but it sure helps. I've written several books now with older romances, but they were all in early 60s or late 50s. It's easier then-- at least for most

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Rain. Yes, I believe DNA has something to do with it.

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  3. Isn't it amazing that some people remain alert even at remarkably advanced ages? My friend died a couple of years ago at 105. She was a sharp cookie the doctor had told when she was 90 that she only had a few weeks to live. All her siblings were long-lived also.

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    1. Yes, it's interesting. Of course, our family doctor says if you can make it to your eighties and have healthy heart and good health habits, barring any "bad luck" like cancer, that it's possible to make it to 100.

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