Tag Archives: health

The Ups and Downs of Your Aging Immune System

In a few weeks, I’ll be lining up, along with about 35% of the Canadian population, to receive the flu shot. In doing so, I’ll be ignoring the bad press, the less than 50% prevention rate, and the physical discomfort to do this. Why? Because, as I grow older, I’m discovering that I can’t rely on my immune system to do the splendid job it did in the past to protect me from the millions of pathogens that come my way all fall and winter.

Up until 2 years ago, I never gave the flu a thought. Ominous suggestions that the ‘elderly’ were susceptible to illness and disease seemed at best, ageist, and at worst, insulting. I was in excellent health, I looked after myself—a weakened immune system couldn’t happen to me. read more

A Holiday Greeting to My Followers!

Thank you to all of my followers for making this year an extraordinary one! I have been so gratified to have you visit my blog regularly, and to post thoughtful, sometimes challenging and sometimes funny comments. You made me laugh. You made me think!

You helped me to feel connected while doing this work, which can be lonely and isolating.
I wish you all the best as you celebrate this time of year. May you have good health, happiness and an abundance of love in 2017.

I have many new writing ideas for my blog next year, and hope that I can entertain you, bring you a unique perspective, and contribute to your life in some way. I’ll be back in 2017, after a rest and a few days of celebration and reflection. read more

Family Reunion, Summer of 2016

I am entering the dining room at June’s invitation, along with my four sisters and brother, expecting to have lunch as part of the family reunion.

“We’ll seat all of the siblings first,”, she says, and we follow along, like we always did, after all, she is the eldest sister. What I don’t notice at first, but what dawns on me moments later, is that there are only seven plates set out, at an event that should host 22.

“This is just for us, the others are eating on the patio.” she tells us, ladling out the borscht, a soup our mother served us in our farm kitchen, some 55 years ago. read more

Solitude: The Gift of Reflection

solitude“For a younger person,” Carl Jung says, “it is almost a sin—and certainly a danger—to be too much occupied with himself. But for the aging person, it is a duty and a necessity to give serious attention to himself.”

Like Jung, I believe that the end stage in life, where many of us are now, is a time to think, to reflect, to make sense of everything that had gone on in our lives before, and to pay attention to ourselves.

This kind of remembering, and thinking, requires that we remove all chaos from our lives, still our thoughts, and find a quiet place in which to think. It requires being alone. and yes, solitude. This runs against the grain of much that is currently proposed about being solitary. Being alone goes hand in hand with being lonely, psychologists and researchers say. The dangers of loneliness in the elderly are so well documented that any image of an older person sitting alone evokes feelings of dread and despair in us. read more

My Senior Friends: Adrien and Natalia Reconsider Tango

tangoAdrien meets me at the door. He is all smiles, and for a moment I think that I had imagined yesterday’s phone conversation.

“Come and see us.” he had said. “We have found out about Natalia’s illness. It’s MS. Right now she is a little better. Her MS is in remission, but we don’t know how long that will last.”

I think back to the last time I was here. It wasn’t a good visit. Natalia was weak and uncoordinated. She was unable to speak well, and Adrien was tense and uncomfortable. read more

Seniors-A Check-up Your Doctor Can’t Do

active seniorDo you, as a Pre-Boomer or Boomer, find yourself  doing something you suddenly realize can be bad for you?  Like snacking instead of making a balanced meal, sitting on the couch reading or doing paper work instead of going for a walk, watching television late into the evening—habits that conspire to sap your energy and undermine your physical and mental health?  These are unconscious behaviours that whittle away at the quality of your life.

Be Conscious

In her blog, the Aging Generalist, Margie explains what being conscious, or mindful means to her : read more