Photo by Huron Travel and Tours

Exercise is an important part of staying independent and mobile as we age. Some couples want to exercise together and others would rather exercise alone. There are many different types of activities and exercises that are both fun and helpful in our pursuits to maintain our mobility. One such activity is ballroom dancing.

Why should I pick up ballroom dancing? That’s a great question and will be the question that we answer during the remainder of this article. There are three big reasons for why a person should begin to ballroom dance later in their life. They are social, health and enjoyment.

The first reason for why you should begin to learn ballroom dancing is for social purposes. As a person ages and retires they find themselves with a lot of time on their hands, time that they used to not have. They want to fill the void but don’t know of activities that they would enjoy doing. The people and friends that they had might either no longer be around or are too busy to participate in the activities that you used to participate in.

Ballroom dancing is a great way to learn something new and meet new people. Many people use this reason alone as a reason to begin ballroom dancing.

Photo by Huron Travel and Tours

The second reason is health reasons. There are several health benefits that come with exercise and specifically ballroom dancing. According to a report by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, they studied 469 people over the age of 75 and found that ballroom dancing was associated with a lowered risk of dementia. They found that the ‘mentally challenging aspects of dancing, following complex dance steps, moving in time and staying with the rhythm of music, is believed to be responsible.’

The third reason is enjoyment. As we age and new things become old things and new activities become boring and repetitive, treating your mind and body to something new is both rewarding and fulfilling. Ballroom dance is a good way to keep both your body and you mind active.

“We see the benefits of ballroom dancing in our studios every day, and we see it whenever our students and teachers gather for dance parties and competitions. Dancers are a lively and social group, excited about what they are doing and enjoying each other’s company,” says Thomas D. Murdock, Vice President, Marketing for Arthur Murray International. “They are happy and they are having fun. It’s a winning combination for everyone.”

Posted in Activities For Seniors, Baby Boomers, Increase Flexibility, Senior Health | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Photo by Björn Bechstein


One of the biggest challenges that recently retired people face is what to do with all of the time that they now have on their hands. Some people keep working because of this. After working for the majority of their life it’s hard to see what is going to happen in the next phase of life. If you have recently retired or know someone who has recently retired suggest some of the following activities to help them stay active and busy.

Travel:

One of the first things to consume time for many recently retired people is to begin traveling. Many people make lists of things that they would like to do or places that they would like to visit someday, there is no better time than now to begin crossing those items off of your lists. Some of the most visited places by senior citizens are Las Vegas, Branson and Washington D.C.

Take Up a New Sport:

Exercising is one of the best ways to remain active and for people that want to stay competitive should take up a new sport. Some senior citizens after retirement begin playing golf, swimming or other sports. One of the fastest growing sports among senior citizens is a game called pickleball. Pickleball is a game which combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

Start a Hobby

Starting a hobby is another way of having fun during your retired years. Hobbies can be a good way of consuming time that the retired find on their hands and learning a new skill that they can become passionate about.

According to therichest.com the most popular hobbies in the United States are fishing, bowling, collecting and biking. Whatever hobby that you choose to do, choose something that you can remain passionate about for a long period of time.

Volunteer

Another good use of the extra time that retirees find themselves with tis to volunteer their time to local charities or organizations. The trick to this is finding something that you are passionate about. Usually a good way of choosing a charity or organization is to think about something that you could do that was similar to work you performed as your career. For instance if you were a teacher and really love to work with kids, you could volunteer for The Boys and Girls Club.

Another good way to find an organization to volunteer for is to use the website volunteermatch.org. Volunteermatch.org will allow you to search for a topic of something that you care about and then allow you to choose from the listings on their websites.

Another option that they give you is the chance to choose local or virtual, meaning you can volunteer in your community or online.

Take a Part-Time Job

This next suggestion might sound a little bit weird because after a person retire the last thing they think about is returning to work even if it’s only part-time. However this is a great way to meet new people and to continue to remain active after retiring. Another benefit is that you will be making money while living on your retirement savings. Here are a few ideas of places where you can go to work.

Grocery Store- Many grocery stores are always looking for employees to help with their customer service.  Bagging groceries may sound like a boring job but you get to meet many new people, both employees and customers.

Golf Course Marshall- Golf courses need employees to help keep the course of play moving on the golf course. Many of these marshalls don’t work for a wage but receive free golf for their time. If you really enjoy golfing then this might be the part-time job for you.

Customer Service- According to bankrate.com, one of the best jobs for a part-time retiree is to work for a customer service company. Many of these companies employ part-time workers and many of them are retired.

Remodel the House

Most people have the list of things that they would like to do to their house. Now is the time to cross those things off of the list. For people that aren’t handy this would be an excellent time to learn a new skill. Another suggestion is to work in the yard or start a garden. Working with your hands provides satisfaction and activity for many retirees.

Spend Time with Family

One of the number one things that women do after they are retired is spend time with their family and mainly their grandkids. A really great way of having fun and staying active would be to volunteer to babysit your grandkids. Not only would this give mom and dad some time to themselves but it would give you time to build those relationships with your grandkids.

Related Articles:

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2011/02/11/25-things-to-do-when-you-retire

http://www.retirement-cafe.com/Fun-Things-to-Do-When-You-Retire.html

http://retirehappy.ca/what-can-you-do-in-retirement-to-have-fun/

Posted in Baby Boomers, Senior Holidays, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Photo by Arya Ziai

1. Make the Commitment to Stay Active

One of the most important things to do as a person ages is to remain active.  A good way of staying active is to exercise.

According to healthfinder.gov, an elderly person should aim to do two and half hours of moderate aerobic per week. That ends up being 30 minutes five days out of the week. Moderate aerobic activity includes walking fast, cycling and dancing. Also included are common yard work chores like raking leaves or mowing the lawn with a manual lawn mower.

Whatever you decide to do to increase your level of activity it’s important to remain active. As you increase your level of activity your balance and muscle strength will improve to help you increase your mobility.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Something often is the types of foods that we put into our bodies. Think of your body like a car and food is your fuel. Now you wouldn’t put the worst types of gasoline into your car, would you? Hopefully the answer is no but sometimes we worry more about what we put into our cars then our own bodies.

Photo by Lisa Clarke

As a person ages their energy levels can also decrease, food gives us the energy to move about and stay active. Eating a healthier diet gives us more energy than eating a poor diet. When you have more energy you’re more likely to stay active and activity leads to mobility.

3. Take Care of your vision

Having the ability to see where you are walking or obstacles that are in your way can be a great way of decreasing the risk of a fall. Falls can lead to serious injury and sometimes death. Keep your prescriptions up to date and go visit your eye doctor often. Another good way of taking care of your vision is to eat foods that will help you conserve your vision like carrots, broccoli and turkey.

Being able to see clearly will give you the confidence to increase you activity and your mobility.

4. Know your Boundaries

Just because you have increased in age doesn’t mean that you are less capable but it does mean that there are some things that you shouldn’t risk doing. Don’t risk your mobility on activities or exercises that you are unfamiliar without talking to your doctor or having assistance the first time.

5. Have comfortable shoes

Probably one of the best ways to increase your mobility is to make sure that the shoes you wear are comfortable. Don’t wear shoes that are uncomfortable to walk in or limit your mobility due to their design.

Another thing to think about when purchasing or wearing your shoes is to make sure that your shoes fit. Shoes that are too loose can lead to loss of balance. Shoes that are too tight can limit the mobility of your ankle and foot.

6. Focus on preventing falls

Falls lead to injuries and sometimes death. By using the above steps and increasing your mobility this will automatically decrease your chances of falling.

Metro Walker

Another way of preventing falls is to purchase products that will help you stay mobile and active without the risk of a fall. Using a Metro Walker from Stander can help you maintain the balance that you need while still being able to travel and do the things that you want to do to remain active.

Another great product that can be used to increase mobility is the Security Pole by Stander. The Security Pole can be placed in any room, including the bathroom.  The Security Pole provides tension between the ceiling and the ground to provide something for you to pull yourself up with or help you maneuver the room.

Posted in Activities For Seniors, Baby Boomers, Fall Prevention, Improve Mobility, Increase Flexibility | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Some People Have Overcome Age

Age is something everyone has to deal with. Each day each one of us is growing older and there is nothing that we can do to stop that. Although our bodies age our minds don’t have to. Several people do some of their best work late in their lives. Many famous people accomplished some amazing feats when they were in the older part of their lives. The following are a few of those people and their accomplishments.

Edgar Rice Burroughs- American Writer

Edgar Rice Burroughs is best known for writing Tarzan and other science fiction novels.  He wrote many novels involving life on mars including John Carter which was recently made into a film. What very few people know is that at age 66 Burroughs became the oldest war correspondent ever. Burroughs joined the army shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and fought in World War II until the end of the war.

Barbara McLinctock- American Scientist

Barbara McLintock won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for Physiology or Medicine. She became the first woman to win the award unshared and she did it at age of 81.

Sir Francis Chichester- English Sailor

At the age of 52 Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world alone in a 53-foot boat. The boat was intended to be manned by a six-man crew but Sir Chichester piloted the boat on his own. Shortly after this feat he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

J.R.R. Tolkien- English Writer

J.R.R. Tolkien is known for writing The Lord of the Rings books among other works of literature. He makes our list because he was 62 years old when he published The Lord of the Rings series.

Miles Davis- Jazz Musician

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Miles Davis performed many concerts and sold a lot of albums in his career. However his last final live album was performed by him at age 65 just a few weeks before he died.

Noah Webster- Lexicographer

A lexicographer is one that edits and compiles dictionaries. Noah Webster completed the American Dictionary of the English Language when he was 67 years old.

Ed Whitlock- Canadian Long-Distance Runner

Ed Whitlock became the oldest person to run a standard marathon in under three hours at age 69. Whitlock’s official time is 2:52:47.

John Glenn- Astronaut

John Glenn was the oldest astronaut recruited with NASA’s first initial recruitment for astronauts. He was 40 years old at the time. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth when he was 44 but the accomplishment that he is most known for is being the oldest man to go to space. In 1998 at age 77, Glenn flew on the Discovery shuttle to earn this honor.

Asa Long- U.S. Checkers Champion

Asa Long became won his first checkers world title in 1934 that would not be his last. Long won the 1984 United States Championship becoming the oldest person to win a U.S. checkers championship. Long continued his career and was a grandmaster for 70 years.

Michelangelo- Italian Sculptor

Michelangelo designed and painted several works of art throughout his lifetime. This continued all the way up to his last few years. He created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli at age 88.

Paul Spangler- U.S. Navy Surgeon

Paul Spangler retired from being a U.S. Navy Surgeon and began the sport of running. During his running career he ran in 14 marathons finishing his 14th at age 92.

Harry Bernstein- Author

Harry Bernstein began writing his only published book The Invisible Wall when he was 93 years old. He began writing the book to cope with the loss of wife. The book was published when he was 96 years old.

Posted in Baby Boomers | Tagged , | Leave a comment

                Studies have shown that regular exercise is a significant factor in living a long and healthy life. According to study performed at Harvard University, people that exercise daily have several benefits opposed to those that do not. Some of these benefits are improves sleep, prevents weight gain and reduces the risk of falling among older adults. Although to some this may seem like common knowledge, sometimes it may be difficult to know where to start and how to continually exercising every day. The following tips will help you as you begin and continue exercising daily.

1. Commit to your exercise plan

Starting any activity or goal is easy, finishing that activity or goal is the difficult part. Before you begin exercising make sure that your exercise goals are realistic. Choose activities that are enjoyable to you and schedule out a week of activities. In this schedule indicate which activities you will perform on which days and stick to it.

The more that you exercise and build muscle the easier exercising will become. However starting and stopping every few months or even weeks doesn’t provide the sustained growth that exercising everyday does. So when you make your exercise goals and plans make sure that it is a plan that you can commit to.

2. Start Slow and Gradually Increase your Level of Activity  

When beginning exercising decide where you are at with your physical fitness and begin slowly and increase your activity as your level of fitness increases. Avoid generalized workouts because they are designed to work for as many people as possible. What works for someone else might not work for someone you.

Don’t get stuck in a rut continue to progress and make the exercises challenging. As your body grows in strength and endurance activities that were once challenging will no longer be as challenging. An important part of exercising is challenging your body to achieve more each time. This is how sustained muscle growth is achieved.

3. Save Stretching For Last

Think of your body as a rubber band that has been placed in a freezer. When you take that rubber band out of the freezer and try to stretch it, the rubber band breaks. The same thing applies to our muscles and bodies. They take time to warm up, that is why it is important to stretch throughout your exercising.

Many people believe that they should stretch before they perform an activity. However recent studies have proven this to be incorrect.

“It has been a long time since anyone has recommended extensive stretching before exercise, because it has been known for a while now that the best time to stretch is after,” said Richard Cotton, the national director of certification at the American College of Sports Medicine.

If you decide to go on a walk or run wait to stretch your muscles until after you have finished. This time gives your muscles a chance to loosen up a little bit and will make your stretching more beneficial for your overall mobility.  Stretching can be a great tool to help with overall mobility but only when done right and at the right time.

 4. Don’t Exercise With a Friend……

 Having someone that is interested in your exercise goals can help you to be motivated to accomplish those goals. Even if you don’t have a desire to exercise with someone you should explain your exercise goals to family members and friends so they can help you with the process. Having someone to help motivate and encourage is a good way of having exercise success.

Another aspect of exercising with a friend is the social aspect of exercising. Sometimes it’s just good to have someone to talk to when you wake up for that early morning walk, jog or weight training session.

 5. Don’t Exercise Painfully

 The old saying of ‘no pain, no gain’ should not be considered when exercising. Reasons vary for why people want to exercise but for the most part it is to become healthy. Stop anytime during exercise when you feel pain. The last thing that you want to do is to hurt yourself and not be able to perform daily tasks or to continue exercising daily.

 6. Hydrate

One of the best ways to overcome illness or recover from an injury is to hydrate; the same thing applies when exercising. When you exercise you lose water through perspiration that water needs to be replenished.

According to Webmd.com, you should be drinking six or eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day (48-64 ounces) and 8 ounces for every 15 minutes exercised.

To help you stay hydrated check out the Hydra-Paks found at Stander.com

 7. Don’t get discouraged

Anytime that people start a new routine in their lives they will be faced with days where they don’t want to continue the routine. This especially applies when beginning a new exercise routine. The important thing to remember is to continue to push through the times of discouragement. Having help from family members and friends to help motivate you is a good way of overcoming this discouragement.

Another way of not getting discouraged is to set small manageable goals to help you to see the progress that you are making.

Posted in Activities For Seniors, Fun, Mobility Tips | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

According to the Center for Disease Control and the National Safety Council falls are the leading cause of death among people 65 years and older. One in every three people ages 65 years and older die from a fall each year.

With falls being the leading cause of death there has been a lot written about the prevention of falls. Preventing falls begins with educating everyone about when falls occur. Most of the time falls occur when a person is getting into and out of bed. Sometimes falls occur because their sleep is being disturbed. Reasons for why people have disturbances in their sleep that lead to falls include:

  • Diseases- Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson disease are the leading diseases that cause elderly people to wake up during their sleep. Sometimes they forget where they are and attempt to roll out of bed or get out of bed to go do something in their sleep.
  • Medicines- Some medicines react differently with different people. Sometimes a certain medication can cause your body to move around while sleeping or make you disoriented when you wake up.
  • Pain- Aging people often experience pain in their joints and muscles. This pain can cause a person to wake up in the middle of the night and attempt to adjust to minimize the pain.
  • Sleep Disorders- Many people have sleep disorders and don’t know that they have them. Some sleep disorders will even occur later in life in people that haven’t had any previous history of sleep disorders.

People ages 65 and older also can experience loss of balance when walking, especially after a recent surgery. Special precautions should be made to help elderly people that experience loss of balance.

No matter what your reason for falling out of bed at night is, preventive measures can be and should be taken to ensure safety during your sleep.

Below are safety measures that can help with people getting into and out of bed. There are several different options, some of which are free and others which are not.

Free short term solutions:

Sometimes you need something that will help to solve the problem of falling out of bed immediately and can’t wait for a product to ship in the mail or go to the store and pick one up. The following solutions are short term solutions for the problem of falling out of bed. These solutions are not intended to be permanent solutions.

  • Lower your bed

Lowering your bed can help limit the size of the fall when you fall out of bed. Although lowering your bed doesn’t completely eliminate the problem this will lessen the likelihood of a fall resulting in death.

  • Position your bed against a wall

Another suggestion is to position your bed against a wall and then sleep next to the wall. This suggestion works for people that have a bed that is bigger than a twin-sized bed.

  • Eliminate The Need of Getting Out of Bed

Most of the time elderly people get out of bed because they need something. Whether that is a drink of water, use the bathroom or are uncomfortable. One solution is to eliminate the need so that the elderly person doesn’t need to get up. Find ways that will help to eliminate the need to get up at night. Some ways might include making sure they have enough water throughout the night and give them something to do in bed in case they wake up early or can’t sleep like reading a book.

Paid and Long Term Solutions:

The following solutions are paid and long term solutions. These solutions are meant to last. All of these suggestions include purchasing one of Stander’s products.  On all of Stander’s products there is a lifetime warranty, so if the product ever breaks Stander will send you a new product free of charge.

Many elderly people have a difficult time climbing into and out of bed. Most people fall out of bed when attempting to get into or out of bed.  One solution for helping people is the Security Pole made by Stander. The Security Pole can be used anywhere in the home and is secured by creating tension between the ceiling and the floor.

  • Use a Stander BedCaddie

A good way of helping elderly people sit up and move around the bed is the BedCaddie. Stander makes the BedCaddie that attaches to the bottom of the bed frame

and allows the person to grab the handles and help them sit up. This product works really well when combined with a bedrail.

  • Use a Stander Bedrail

One of the best solutions and most long term solutions is to purchase a safety bed rail. Bedrails are a great way of having the safety and security that elderly people will stay within the bed.

Stander has several different options for bed rails including some that can be used for traveling. Stander bedrails come with a safety strap that secures the bedrail between the mattress and the bed frame. This strap makes the bedrail stay snug and secure against the mattress.

Posted in Bed Rails, Caregiving, Fall Prevention | Leave a comment

Copyright by Moyan Brenn


For many seniors with retirement comes with free time to do the things that they enjoy in life. Some seniors will attempt to spend more time on hobbies or interests and some would rather spend time with their kids and grandkids. For most seniors an element of travel is involved in their plans. Traveling is a great way to remain active even after you decided to retire. Below are listed some ideas for seniors that are looking to go on that next vacation.

1. Cruises

 

Cruises are a great way of spending time with that significant other or the entire family. For seniors cruises are an inexpensive way to begin to go to places all over the world. One of the good things about cruises is that on average cruises cost significantly less than other types of vacations.

Cruises are an easy way of traveling considering that most of the details and plans are already lined out for you before you get on the ship. All of your food, housing and entertainment is already a part of the upfront price you pay. Cruises have a wide variety of shows and activities to do so there is never a dull moment. For cruisers that aren’t interested in doing anything that is also an option. Relaxing lounges can be found on almost every deck.

Vacation destinations include Europe, Bahamas, Alaska and several other destinations. No matter where you decide to go cruises are a great way of traveling.

2. Theme Parks

This option is for seniors that want to spend time with their grandkids as well as travel a little bit. One of the best theme parks to visit with family is the Walt Disney theme parks. Disney has done a good job at being able to have activities for everyone so that adults can enjoy the trip as much as the kids.

For seniors that aren’t interested in riding roller coasters Disney has a number of rides that are relaxing and enjoyable such as boat rides and the monorail. Also Disney has several nice golf courses and fine dining options available at or near the theme parks.

For seniors that want a little extra help moving around the theme park, try the Metro Walker from Stander. The Metro Walker is a lightweight walker that comes in a variety of colors and weighs only 6.5 lbs.

3. Relaxing Vacations

 

Aren’t all vacations relaxing? Well hopefully. The types of vacations that we are speaking about in this section are the vacations that you take to just lounge and do absolutely nothing. Sometimes you just have to get away from where you live to relax. Many people take vacations to destinations like Hawaii to get away from it all. Renting a condo for the week is really easy to do and quite relaxing. With beautiful scenery and beaches Hawaii is a good place for one of these vacations, but anywhere that you feel relaxed can be your ideal spot.

4. Explore World Cities

 

As a retired senior now is the best time to see some of the best cities in the world. Visiting sites like Stonehenge, the Tube (London’s subway system), the Eiffel Tower and many more can be a very relaxing and rewarding experience.

Copyright by Daniel Aguilera Sánchez

 

Several group tours are offered to help you explore these historic locations. Whether you travel with a group or explore by yourself, seeing the world’s site is one of the best ways to spend your time while you’re retired.

 

5. Go to the Theater

One of the ideal locations for seniors that love going to the theater is Branson, Missourri. Branson is host to over 50 theaters and feature some of the best names in entertainment.  Some of the artists that perform in Branson are Dolly Parton, Bill Cosby and the Oak Ridge Boys.

There is also plenty of things to do during the day like go golfing at one of the several world-class golf courses or shopping in downtown Branson.

Posted in Activities For Seniors, Baby Boomers, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stairs Safety Checklist

  • Handrails are installed on both sides of the stairs
  • Steps are free of clutter
  • Loose or worn carpet is repaired
  • Rugs are removed from the top and bottom of stairs (or edges are secure)
  • Stairwell is well lit
  • Optional: Extra support to prevent falling
  • Stair lifts can provide assistance upstairs to prevent falling
Posted in Stair Safety | Leave a comment

Living Room Safety Checklist

  • Floor is free from clutter
  • Room is well lit
  • Furniture is positioned to get around easily
  • Optional: Extra support to prevent falling
  • Grab bars can be used to stand from the couch (or see the CouchCane)
  • Rugs can be secured with carpet tape to prevent tripping
Posted in Living Room Safety | Leave a comment

Bathroom Safety Checklist

  • Floors are dry (and if not – quickly cleaned to prevent slipping)
  • Floor is clear of clutter (towels, clothes, etc.)
  • Rugs are secure to the ground with carpet tape
  • Room is well lit
  • Night-lights brighten the pathway to the bathroom
  • Optional: Extra support to prevent falling
  • Non-slip rubber mats in bathtubs/showers prevent slipping
  • Grab bars offer support to get in-and-out of the shower or stand from the toilet
Posted in Bathroom Safety | Leave a comment