Of the subjects analyzed, the half that took care of their grandchildren or children were still alive 10 years after their first interview in 1990. Caring for non-family members also produced positive results, with half of the subjects living for seven years after the initial interview.
Want to age well? The answer isn’t in your 401k. Self-acceptance, a positive attitude, creative expression, purposeful living and spiritual connections all anchor successful and meaningful aging. In fact, these kinds of preparations are just as important as saving money for retirement, according to Ron Pevny, director of the Center for Conscious Eldering, in Durango, Colorado, and author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging.
A favorite of Clemson Downs residents is an intergenerational program called Brain Fitness Camp. Hosted by Dr. Cheryl Dye, Director of the Institute for Engaged Aging at CU’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Science, undergraduate students establish a program of activities that Marketing Specialist Ruthie Millar says, “meet residents where they are”. The six-week programs encompass a variety of subjects such as fitness, exercise, music, dance, food and more. Friendships are formed between students and residents, sometimes lasting beyond graduation.
Another issue that can occur at any age is inappropriate thyroid medication and dosing. Most doctors’ offices test only TSH, but at LivingWell we look further and test T3, T4 and reverse T3. We also may test thyroid antibodies to see if a patient has Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease affecting the thyroid gland.
Membership in all OLLI programs is open to all seasoned, mature learners. The Clemson OLLI program has a membership fee of $30 plus the cost of individual courses and materials. Subjects with courses include Business, Computers, Health, Home and Garden, Languages and Travel, Natural History, Outdoor Adventures, Practical Arts (Hobbies), Psychology and Science, Arts, Culture and Music.
“Research with older people at both rehabilitation and nursing centers tells us that the human body wasn’t designed to begin a major decline in function until age 70, barring major illness or accidents along the way. Most of individual decline is due to lifestyle choices, not nature’s plan.”