ADVICE FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST

Do you know what a bucket list is? Most people think it is a list of things you want to do before you die. A typical guess is people want to visit a particular place before dying. Based on an unscientific poll about bucket lists, that is not a bad guess. Travel appears to be a frequent bucket list ambition.  Anne is an American who is proud her ancestors lived for centuries on the group of small islands in the English Channel between the southern coast of England and mainland Europe.

REDUCE STRESS, INCREASE ENJOYMENT FOR A HAPPY 2018

Family caregivers provide practical assistance and enhance the quality of life for frail seniors who might otherwise require placement in a long-term-care facility. Typically, caregivers are spouses or adult children, many of whom are seniors themselves. Their role involves physical, psychological, emotional and financial demands. It can be a heavy load.  If you are a caregiver, consider the following strategies for not only surviving but thriving in the year ahead.

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DISCOVER A LOVE OF LIFELONG LEARNING

Curiosity, exploring interests and engagement are a few crucial ingredients to healthy and happy longevity. Enrolling in a class just for the love of learning is a great way to do this. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Kentucky offers educational and enrichment courses, forums, shared interest groups, trips and more for adults age 50 years and older. Membership for the full year is $25; summer programs are at a prorated fee.

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family member groups at Hospice. This is something different, she explains, than what she did before (she is a spiritual counselor), but it is a new way to use her gifts. And she is still searching for new paths to wisdom.


Lee Ann offers her own mother as an example of someone who used her gifts in her later years. “When my dad died, I asked my mom what she would like to do now that she hadn’t been able to do when Dad was alive,” Lee Ann said. “She said she wanted to square dance. It was at a square dance that she met her second husband. After that, she changed dramatically. She became very happy and found ways to use talents she didn’t know she had. She did a complete transformation. It was amazing.”


One senior stressed this was a time to focus on the spiritual. And several mentioned relationships as being of vital importance. Another said she found she did not always have to be correct, in fashion, appearance and many other aspects of life in her senior years. “Good enough is now good for me,” she said.

Are you a senior planning your goals for your later years? A survey was recently conducted in which the following questions were asked of seniors ages 64 to 94 years:



Answers to these questions varied according to how far along on the senior spectrum the individual was, what his or her limitations are and how his or her health is affected by advancing age.


“For me,” said Nancy, “my senior years are a time to begin a new avocation or mini-career. I have explored a new interest in depth and have challenged myself to compete with the younger crowd. As a result, I remain alert, more positive and knowledgeable.”


Harry spoke right up when asked if his senior years are an opportunity to “get it right.” “In my senior years, I am much more aware of my finality and see this time as valuable,” he said. “I want to do all I can to live fully, make a difference and enjoy the little things. These are  

SENIORS TAKE A SURVEY: THIS IS THE TIME TO ‘GET IT RIGHT’

definitely my golden years.” Indeed, Harry is 94 years old but looks and acts like a man in his 70s. He has a contagious laugh and uses it often. He and his wife host a prayer breakfast most Saturday mornings, and he goes to daily Mass.


Mary Faye, an 80ish woman who lives alone, said, “Life is more difficult and different now. I am making do with what I have now, only to find in doing so, second best is best for me.” She has advice for seniors and younger people as well: “Always say ‘yes’ to things that are a little stretch.” She adds, “Most importantly, do not talk about your aches and pains. Nobody wants to hear that. Keep your mind off your body.”


Mary Faye wants to see her grandchildren grow up. She looks forward to events such as a wedding in the family, someone getting a new job so she can celebrate with them or watching the antics of her young relatives.


One 60ish woman, Lee Ann, says she believes all those going into their 60s should reflect on how to use these years as an opportunity to gain and use wisdom. Her own personal experience bears this out: She is volunteering to lead

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN and a freelance writer. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines. Her Web site is at

www.normajean.naiwe.com

more articles by jean jeffers