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Senior Moments: Growing older doesn’t have to mean getting old

ROCKWALL,TX. (June 25, 2015) I love this time of my life, a senior citizen, with age-earned perks such as discounts at restaurants, theatres and events. Wisdom comes with age. Being older doesn’t mean being old!

This is my first Senior Moments article, and I am excited to be sharing some aging facts and concerns throughout the senior community, as well as some humor.

Who are all of these Baby Boomers? According to the latest census report, Baby Boomers comprise 13 percent of our population. There are just over 40 million Americans age 65 and older – and by 2029 when all the Baby Boomers will be or will have passed age 65, this percentage will increase to 20 percent of the total U.S. population. Baby Boomers are not content to be just Rockin’on the porch or Rollin’ in a wheelchair. Here are a few tips for achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Staying active is important. A recent study reported that seniors who do any amount of exercise appear to live longer and have a lower risk of disability. The benefits associated with physical activity were seen not only in individuals who maintained an existing level of physical activity, but also in those who began exercising between ages 70 and 85. Walking and swimming are low impact exercises that have healthful benefits.

Eating a healthy diet. Eating well isn’t a diet, it is a healthy lifestyle. The National Institute on Aging suggests that eating well helps keep up your energy levels and helps fight disease. Foods with whole grain fiber, fruits and vegetables and drinking more water aid in healthy digestion. Tip of the day: Remove the salt shaker from the table.

Socialization is still a key to healthy aging. It’s not just Bingo anymore! Dancing, playing cards, Bible studies and quilting are the top socialization activities for seniors. Harvard School of Public Health researchers found evidence that elderly people in the U.S. who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline and a lower mortality rate. In fact, memory decline among the most sociable was less than half the rate among the least sociable. 

Is it time for a move? As a senior real estate specialist, I recognize that the cost of home ownership can be costly for a senior that is on a fixed income. Maintenance costs are sure to be a future necessity. According to CostHelper.com, it costs about $10,000 to replace a furnace and central A/C system. Lawn care for 10 years is about $25,000, according to The-Lawn-Advisor.com. Depending on size, shape and quality, CostVsValue.com says replacement windows for an average home is $11,000, and the average roof replacement using composite shingles costs roughly $20,000.

The demand for affordable housing outweighs availability. Downsizing to a newer, energy efficient single story home, moving in with a family member or moving to a Senior Living Facility? These are options that are pondered.

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there trying to pick the locks, they are always locking three. ~ Elayne Boosler

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.~ Oscar Wilde

First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.~ Steve Martin

In my next article, I will talk about the Sandwich Generation. If you have a funny story or just want to share your situation, please email me at karen@seniorschoice.net.

By Rockwall resident Karen Straughan, Blue Ribbon News guest columnist and Senior Real Estate Specialist with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

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