Being 60 – Reflections on Life (Video)

Being 60 (reprinted from my Sixty and Me Blog)

Reflections on Life: 5 Things I Have Learned by My 60s

Yes, the big SIX ZERO hits me on April 29. I remember freaking out at 30 but no so much with the other decades of 40 and 50.

I have mixed emotions on being 60. Make no mistake, I have a blessed life – great wife, three kids, six grandkids, financial security. But as typical of this age, you start to look at legacy and contribution. And I grapple with what is success.

Being a Weekend Warrior Actually Lowers Death Risk – Smilecast 42

Does the Weekend Warrior Lower His/Her Risks of Death – Yes!

Is being a weekend warrior and cramming the recommended amount of weekly physical activity into one or two sessions associated with lower risks for death?

A new article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that compared with inactive adults, weekend warriors who performed the recommended amount of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity in one or two sessions per week had lower risks for death from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer.

Being 60 – Reflections on Life

being 60

Being 60 (reprinted from my Sixty and Me Blog)

Reflections on Life: 5 Things I Have Learned by My 60s

Yes, the big SIX ZERO hits me on April 29. I remember freaking out at 30 but no so much with the other decades of 40 and 50.

I have mixed emotions on being 60. Make no mistake, I have a blessed life – great wife, three kids, six grandkids, financial security. But as typical of this age, you start to look at legacy and contribution. And I grapple with what is success.

I’ll be straight up. My wife has been the breadwinner since we moved to North Carolina from New York some 15 years ago. I abandoned corporate life then for a purposeful life of helping organizations and individuals face aging issues not in crisis but with quality. So, I abandoned financial security for other pursuits.

My wife is amazing, smart and successful. She pursued a corporate life, is a born leader, and has prepared for aging more so than most. Who after all do you know that purchased long-term care insurance when she was 38?

Definitions of Success

She and I go back and forth with the definition of success. I look at her and it’s clear – super successful. If I gauge my success by financial metrics, well, I don’t measure up. And that’s when she reminds me of the great things that I have done and how many people I have impacted.

And that is comforting because for the ladies out there, while it may not seem so, the white male dominance of the Western world is over. The current U.S. administration is nothing but a last-gasp effort to hold on to that dominance. So that gives white men like me pause for reflection.

Yes, 99 point 99 percent of the time I am happy with my life. And at this point I have learned a few things. They are obvious but worth noting.

Your Health is Really Everything – Take Care of It

I thought for sure I would never make it to 50 because my dad passed at 49. Of course, he had leukemia at a time when few knew what to do about it. On the other hand, mom lived to 94.

I was at the spine doctor recently. I have scoliosis and my back has been giving me some fits. He examined me and basically said he would prescribe no medications or therapies or suggest surgery. He said I was my own best friend in this fight because of the way I keep myself physically fit. I took comfort in that.

Your Family is Everything – Stay Close

In my work, I see many families become estranged because of caregiving issues. The top blog on my own web site, which was written several years ago, has to do with reconnecting with estranged loved ones. It obviously struck a nerve. One study I came across presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) noted:

“We found that older individuals who had more family in their network, as well as older people who were closer with their family were less likely to die,” said James Iveniuk, the lead author of the study and a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “No such associations were observed for number of or closeness to friends.”

Social networks and friends are fantastic. But when the rubber hits the road, a close family trumps all.

Yes, Purpose is Important – Pursue It

I would have gone stir crazy if I had stayed in hospital marketing for my whole life. There was no clear purpose. When I discovered elders through singing, everything changed. Without laboring on it, watch this video of how I found my purpose. It is called the Story of Esther. Every time my lack of progress frustrates me in my advocacy or my finances, I am reminded by Esther that I am doing important work.

Gratefulness is Contagious – Practice It

I go to bed every night and think of three things that I am grateful for in life. Of all the traits I have observed about older adults I am around, gratefulness is one of the most dominant and is a reason people in long-term care places, which we associate with death, thrive.

Tenacity and Persistence Pays Off

If I had not gone in business for myself, I would have missed incredible opportunities like speaking and consulting in Dubai three times; speaking before thousands of people in various venues; becoming a TV media expert on aging. I’ve had to reinvent myself three times or so. But I believe in what I am doing. And to boast, I have been ahead of the marketplace in envisioning trends as well as starting them.

So, while it would be tempting to retire when my wife does later this year, I do not think my work is over. And if you are restless, your work may not be over either.

Being 60 – What life lessons have you learned now that you are in your 60s or better? How has your definition of success evolved over the years? Please join the conversation.

Caregiver Cruise: Send a Caregiver on the Caregiver Smile Cruise

Caregiver Cruise

I wrote the following for healthcare CEOs suggesting that they may want to sponsor a
caregiver to go on Caribbean conference / cruise next January. In fact, anyone who wants to start a
campaign for a deserving caregiver can do so
following a template that I started and which you can modify. 

I want to tell you about a special event I am hosting that your organization may be interested in participating. I will be hosting the Caregiver Smile Cruise to the Caribbean next January 13 where attendees will experience a bucket-list vacation, gain knowledge, create new friendships, and deepen relationships with other family members and older loved ones.

caregiver cruise

Here’s my pitch. It’s simple. I’d like you to send a deserving family caregiver and the person they care for on this cruise/conference. The value to them – immeasurable. The value to your organization – immense. Here’s why.

Caregivers comprise 29% of the U.S. population, 66 million people who control 85% of the buying decisions. Seventy-percent are women; 25 percent are Millennials. Six out of ten caregivers are in the workforce and 40% to 70% of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression. Caregivers often neglect their own health and well-being. In addition to health consequences, caregivers suffer financially. Seventy percent of working caregivers suffer work-related difficulties due to their dual caregiving roles. Ten million caregivers over 50 lose an estimated $3 trillion in lost wages, pensions, retirement funds and benefits.

Caregivers need a break. Chances are you know someone who can benefit. I’d like you to consider hosting a family caregiver recognition event in your community. The event can culminate in an awards ceremony and a grand prize award of the cruise. You can utilize the media and your employees to surface heroic family caregiver stories that creates publicity before, during and after the event. I can help you plan it as I travel the U.S. speaking at these types of events.

Another option to consider is to start a funding campaign for a deserving individual or couple using this template. Interested in being a sponsor? You can contact me about opportunities to support caregivers as well.

Caregivers need to recharge and need to smile. The dreary winter will have hit the U.S. But they can escape it. We will travel to Half Moon Cay, the Bahamas; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Bonaire, Netherlands; Curacao, Netherlands and Oranjestad, Aruba.

Caregiver Cruise – A Non-Threatening Environment to Discuss Important Family Issues

Someone may just be seeing the signs that mom or dad needs care or are new to caregiving. Chances are they did not prepare for it. Because typically, aging around the world happens in a crisis. The cruise provides a perfect setting for a family reunion. Families can have fun and learn about the issues ahead and plan for them together. In fact, everyone will learn something about how to prepare for their own aging too. It’s a great way to discuss important issues in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere.

Caregiver Cruise – Meet New Friends in a Mutual Support Group

Because this is a cruise dedicated to family caregivers, attendees will meet others going through what they are going through. Even former caregivers, like myself, will be around to lend an ear and a shoulder.

We have assembled an A-Team of professionals. Check out our faculty.

A complete list of educational sessions can be found here. In addition, I will be doing a fun keynote and entertaining during the cruise as well.

I am passionate about older folks and helping people prepare for aging sooner in life so that they can “rock it” in their older years. This cruise is a great way to begin.

Won’t you join me? www.theagingexperience.com/caregivercruise.

 

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Want to know how to turn caregiving from a burden to an opportunity? Sign up for our newsletter and receive this free 55-page guide as well as a white paper that can guide your community and health providers in becoming dementia friendly. It's not about surviving caregiving. It's about thriving!

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