Best Things About Growing Old
Here’s a list of 10 great aspects of aging — from the financial perks that come with turning 65, to the personal insights that come with decades of experience:
1. A Happier Outlook
It may surprise some, but studies show that seniors are among the happiest groups of people, and that they are significantly more happy than their middle-aged counterparts.
The author of a study on the subject, Dr. Saverio Stranges, says, “This could be due to better coping abilities. Older people tend to have internal mechanisms to deal better with hardship or negative circumstances than those who are younger.” Another reason seniors may also be happier is because age means that they are “more comfortable being themselves.”
American writer Gore Vidal once joked, “Never have children, only grandchildren.” Grandparents often get to experience the joys of little children without the diaper changes and sleepless nights. Grandparents love their grandchildren, and this love lightens their own heart while simultaneously benefiting the grandchildren who receive this love.
Dr. Karl Pillemer. who studies aging and intergenerational relationships, is a firm believer in the importance of the relationship between children and their grandparents. He notes that, “Research shows children need four to six involved, caring adults in their lives to fully develop emotionally and socially” and that “the grandparent/grandchild relationship is second in emotional importance only to the parent/child relationship.”
3. More Time for Loved Ones
Retirement isn’t inherently joyful or relaxing — it’s how that time is used that makes it special.
One of the best parts of retirement is spending time with family, friends and other loved ones.
4. Opportunity to Pursue Your Dreams
Victorian novelist George Elliot wrote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have become.” The time gained during retirement is an excellent opportunity to pursue dreams and passions that you might have put on hold.
For instance, you can learn a new language, take that trip you’ve always dreamed of, or write the novel in your head that’s been waiting to get out.
5. Participation in Civics and Volunteering
Growing old provides a sense of broader perspective, and it often makes people inclined to focus much of their efforts and energy towards bettering society and creating a better world for future generations.
In addition to spending time with loved ones and pursuing passions and personal dreams, retired seniors have more time to be civically and politically involved, and they do just that.
For example, people over aged 65 vote at a higher rate than any other age group according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. They also volunteer at a high rate. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that one in four U.S. seniors 65+ actively volunteered during 2015.
A Smithsonian Magazine article described a number of recent studies demonstrating the emotional and intellectual benefits of aging. One study described in the article showed that seniors have better control over their emotions than other age groups. Researchers had participants of all ages play a gambling game “designed to induce regret” and found “unlike 20-somethings, those in their 60s didn’t agonize over losing, and they were less likely to try to redeem their loss by later taking big risks.”
To read some great advice from America’s wisest, see our blog post, “Priceless Advice from Older Americans.”
7. Better Social Skills and More Empathy
Another study described in the aforementioned article asked participants to give advice to hypothetical authors of “Dear Abby” letters. The findings indicated that seniors have have superior empathetic and social abilities. The study said:
“Subjects in their 60s were better than younger ones at imagining different points of view, thinking of multiple resolutions and suggesting compromises.”
While seniors may have acquired better social skills than their younger peers, they can be vulnerable to isolation.
8. Guaranteed Minimum Income, Medicare and Social Security
In an article about the history of aging, we discussed how, before the 20th century, seniors without the means to support themselves were forced to move into what were referred to as “poorhouses” or “workhouses.” This was the lot of seniors who were not independently wealthy or who did not have family members who could take care of them.
While poverty is still a big problem among seniors, safety-net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security mean that American seniors should have a guaranteed minimum income and health insurance even if they aren’t wealthy and don’t have children who can support them.
President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 described the importance of Social Security and similar safety-net programs that he helped to enact, “We can never insure one-hundred percent of the population against one-hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life. But we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”
9. Senior Discounts
As trivial as senior discounts may seem, there must have been a time you envied them. The discounts offered to seniors can help people save money in a period when income tends to be fixed and limited. These discounts also provide a great incentive for seniors to make the most of their retirement, for the discounts are often for the exact types of services that help seniors stay engaged and active, such as dining, medication, entertainment and transportation.
There are even websites like SeniorDiscounts.com which exist to help seniors locate businesses that offer senior discounts.
10. Sense of Accomplishment
Older people often have a healthy sense of pride that comes from their accomplishments. These accomplishments needn’t be great feats.
John Lennon’s lyric, “A working class hero is something to be,” puts it well. Seemingly ordinary achievements like raising a healthy and happy child, being happily married, serving in defense of the nation, or retiring from a job in good standing after years of dedicated service, can be the foundation of a pleasant contentment in old age.
(By Jeff Anderson for Senior Living Blog)
You can save a load of money clipping coupons out of newspaper inserts, but you can save even more by adding digital coupons and other online shopping tools to the mix. One sign of how popular they’ve become: In 2018, Americans “clipped” 8.4 billion digital coupons, according to the analytics firm Kantar.
Here are five essential tools that will help you get the most value as you shop during the year. Some are what are known as extensions (or plug-ins or add-ons) for the internet browser on your computer; others are apps for your smartphone or tablet.
If you’ve never tried, or heard of, browser extensions before, don’t worry. They’re super easy to use! Simply go to the listed websites, click a few times to install the add-ons, and soon they’ll automatically start popping up when you shop online. They’re all free, and I consider each to be best in class.
1. Honey (joinhoney.com) Best for: online coupons and price alerts
This browser extension literally automates your savings. When you check out at Amazon or any of 30,000 other websites, you just click on Apply Coupons in a pop-up box, and Honey will input coupon codes for you. Honey can alert you when a product’s price drops and provide price histories on many items, perhaps helping you decide whether to buy now or hold out for later.
2. Fakespot (fakespot.com) Best for: choosing what and where to buy
This site’s browser extension is essential if you shop on Amazon, Walmart or any other e-retailer that offers products sold by third parties. The problem that the plus-in solves in that fake reviews are rampant on many retail sites, as are counterfeit products, including cosmetics, electronics and other merchandise that could pose health or safety risks. Fakespot flags both reviews and products it suspects to be bogus and gives letter grades to products’ reviews to help you avoid being duped by fake 4- and 5-star reviews. The app also gives you a summary of the most helpful reviews, saving you time and flagging items that are most likely duds.
3. PriceBlink (priceblink.com) Best for: price comparisons
Here’s how it works: When you land on a product page on a retail site like Target or Amazon, a yellow bar will pop up; click on Compare Prices and you’ll get a list of prices for that item at other stores. According to Karl Quist, president of PriceBlink, the browser extension checks prices at 11,000 stores. There is no PriceBlink mobile app, so when I’m out shopping in stores, I use a different app, called ShopSavvy, to compare prices. Or I’ll turn to the Amazon and eBay apps. (Tap the camera icon in each app’s search bar and point your phone at an item’s bar code to find competing prices.) Another option is to search for a product on google.com/shopping.
4. Rakuten (Rakuten.com) Best for: cash back
Using Rakuten’s mobile app on your smart-phone or its browser extension on your computer, you’ll earn cash back when making qualifying online purchases at more than 3,500 merchants, including Macy’s, Walgreens and Best Buy. Rakuten, formerly known as eBates, sends out a check in the mail quarterly, once you’ve racked up at least $5 in rewards. The reward you’ve earned may grow even bigger if you take it as a gift card instead. Deals also extend to services like Lyft, GrubHub and DoorDash. Link your credit card to the smartphone app and you can also earn cash back on certain in-store purchases, plus 5 percent cash back on meals at more than 10,000 participating restaurants.
5. RetailMeNot (retailmenot.com) Best for: in-store coupons and sales
Add this service’s app plus Coupon Sherpa, (couponsherpa.com) to your phone before you head to the mall. When you’re at Bed, Bath & Beyond or Michaels, or a wide selection of other stores and food chanins, you can check both of these apps for coupons and sales; they’ll supply you barcodes to be scanned at the register. Similar to Rakuten, RetailMeNot also features cash-back offers for both in-store and online purchases.
(written by Lisa Lee Freeman, for AARP Bulletin, November 2019)
(Federal government to spend nearly $1 Billion to find non-opioid solutions)
The search for relief from chronic pain without the risk of potentially deadly opioid addiction will get a boost as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends nearly a billion dollars over this fiscal year to look for less addictive pain relievers.
The funding, totaling $945 million, will go to 375 grants or programs that seek treatments for chronic pain or reducing opioid abuse, says NIH Director Francis S Collins, who calls it an “unprecedented” investment—the largest NIH has ever made in one year to tackle a single problem.
Leigh Purvis, AARP’s director of health services research, welcomed the news. “It will help ensure efforts to address the ongoing opioid crisis do not negatively affect patients with legitimate medical needs.”
Studies receiving funding are taking many different approaches, including Oakland’s Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, which is testing acupuncture for chronic lower back pain; Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which is investigating the use of opioids in patients undergoing total joint replacement; and Philadelphia’s Drexel University, where researchers are studying how music therapy can relieve pain in cancer patients.
“Research funding is tremendously important right now,” says Ajay Wasan, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who is overseeing two funded studies. “The field is already moving away from opioid use to manage chronic pain, but there’s still work to do.”
(as written in AARP Bulletin, November 2019)
The New Year is here, the holiday season is soon over and people are indulging in retrospection and reevaluating some of their life choices. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity for all those who have failed to start making the changes that they said they would make next week, next month, or perhaps when winter starts.
Well, now’s your chance to sit down and prepare a list of important lifestyle changes you want to make, and being the charitable and caring bunch that we are here at Bailey Park, we’ve decided to give you a bit of help – because since the majority of people fail to stick to their resolution, you’ll need all the help you can get.
What follows is a list of 10 common New Year’s resolutions with a piece of advice and plenty of links to useful articles that deal with the issue in greater detail. If you are looking for effective ways of changing your life for the better, then you’ll be sure to find tons of useful information here.
- Get in shape: Losing weight is the top resolution for Americans, and combined with “exercise more” and “stay fit and healthy” it is something that over a third of the population wishes to achieve. It’s easy enough to start an exercise and diet program, but the trick is to find a decent one that will give you steady results and will be easy to stick to in the long run.
- 2. Start eating healthier food, and less food overall: This is usually an extension of the previous resolution. Switching to a healthier diet can be incredibly tricky when we are surrounded by cheap junk food. However, with a good amount of determination and some basic tips you can slowly develop healthier eating habits. Learn to control emotional eating, be aware of reasons for diets to fail, make use of these tricks and have a look at these awesome and healthy recipes.
- 3. Stop procrastinating: The biggest barrier that keeps most people from reaching their goals is the desire to relax and do something fun instead of working hard. Once you get used to procrastinating it’s difficult to snap yourself out of it, so you’ll need to put in a lot of work to change this bad habit. There are many useful tips out there to find your way to stop procrastinating. There are also tools which can help you achieve this task.
- 4. Improve your concentration and mental skills: People have been trying to find ways to improve their focus and cognitive capacities for thousands of years, and most ancient civilizations had some combination of mental exercise and herbal medicine to help them reach this goal. Today we can use anything from apps to ancient meditation techniques to boost concentration and hone our mental skills. If you go through with this, you will be able to control your mood, learn faster and have an easier time solving problems.
- 5. Meet new people: When we get stuck in a rut, we usually end up staying at home most of the time, missing out on a lot of interesting opportunities for networking and having fun. Meeting new people can be beneficial to your mental well-being and help your career, so don’t be afraid to get out there and make some friends. Overcome your shyness, get some knowledge and go and get to know new and interesting people.
- 6. Become more active: Some people don’t really have a big weight problem, and they even get some exercise a few times a week, but they just sit around the most of the time at home and at work, which can have a negative effect on their posture and health. In that case, all you need is to find ways of moving around more throughout the day instead of staying hunched over the computer. It’s even more fun if you share your activity with friends and family.
- 7. Become more confident and take some chances: If you are confident other people notice it, and it is much easier to have your opinions heard, ask people out on dates and get ahead at work. A good dose of self-confidence will help you lead a much happier life overall. Don’t hesitate to get some input on ways to boost your confidence.
- 8. Earn more money: Even billionaires are always looking for ways to earn more money, and we common folk can definitely use an additional source of income to make life a bit more comfortable. Fortunately there are plenty of options available, like having sidejobs, working as a freelancer or using the internet to your advantage
- 9. Become more polite: Good manners have always been an important part of a civilized society. They make it easier to connect with others, avoid offending people and will ensure that others perceive you as a good and trustworthy person. So know the etiquette, be prepared or other manners in other countries, deal with rude people in the right way and learn how to say no.
- 10. Reduce stress: They say that stress is one of the biggest killers out there, and it can have a very destructive effect on your relationships as well as your health. It may be an unavoidable side effect of our hectic modern lifestyles, but it can be effectively managed with the help of useful, unconventional and easy to practice tricks for stress management.
(by Ivan Dimitrijevic for Lifehack.org)
Are you ready to live your best life? Ready for changes for the better?
Call us today at 570-925-2077 to schedule your tour of Bailey Park and put the hassle-free life behind you….
Of all the things we waste, food may be the number one area where you can make a serious impact. Here’s how:
BEFORE YOU SHOP…
Up to 40 percent of food in the United States goes to waste, and about 40 percent of that waste happens at home, per the Natural Resources Defense Council. “When food goes to waste, so do all the resources it takes to get that food on our plates, including land, energy, water, fertilizer, and labor,” says Elizabeth Balkan, NRDC’s food waste director. Buy only the amount of food you need to make the meals you’re planning. If you can’t predict on Sunday what you’ll want on Thursday, that’s OK: Decide on menus for the first half of the week, then give yourself flexibility to do a leftovers night, get takeout, or go on a second round of (intentional) grocery shopping. Try NRDC’s planning tool, Meal Prep Mate. And don’t forget to check your cabinets for items on your list you may already have.
AT THE STORE….
“I tell my clients to shop naked,” says Abby K Cannon, a registered dietitian and sustainability expert (and lawyer!) who runs a private nutrition practice and writes the blog Abby’s Food Court. That is, buy as few items that come “dressed” in plastic packaging as possible. Buy lettuce in a bunch instead of cut and chopped in a bag; buy a head of broccoli instead of the plastic container of chopped florets. Use bulk bins; you could even bring your own containers and ask the store to tare them for you before filling.
WHILE UNPACKING GROCERIES….
“Chop up peppers and carrots, put them in a glass container, and then put them in the fridge,” suggests Cannon. This makes cooking so much faster and easier and makes you more jazzed about eating healthy. Remember to clean your reusable totes and put them back in the car or by the door for next time.
WHEN YOU COOK…
Front load the week with recipes that use the quicker-to-spoil items in your fridge, like fish or delicate greens. “The cabbage and cauliflower can wait a few more days,” says Balkan. If you have picky eaters on your hands, consider dining family-style instead of giving people portions they may not finish. “Try putting a plate of vegetables in the middle of the table,” says Balkan. “The kids who like the veggie will grab it, and maybe they’ll influence the pickier eaters, but you won’t end up with food that’s been tainted and can’t be saved as leftovers.”
Compost anything you can’t save. It’s the best outcome for unusable food scraps, says Balkan. (Food put in the garbage disposal gets mixed with municipal wastewater and must be treated in an energy-intensive way.) If your town doesn’t have curbside compost collection, research drop-off programs at farms, community gardens, or farmers’ markets. Or consider composting in your backyard—done properly, it won’t generate odors or attract pests, and your garden will love the nutrient-rich results.
Getting together with family during the holidays almost always includes some movie time. We all know the classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, but there are several Christmas movies that are sure to warm your heart and please grandparents (and grandkids) alike.
1. A Christmas Story
Routinely played during Thanksgiving weekend, this American classic never loses its place in any holiday movie list. Every son and every daughter can relate to that one toy that they wanted for Christmas but couldn’t get, while every mom and dad can relate to the chaos of holiday moments and making the best out of the hardest of situations.
2. Miracle on 34th Street
This movie spices up the spirit of the holidays by bringing a little magic and imagination to the soul. It’s perfect to watch with your grandchildren yet mature enough to enjoy with fellow adults.
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
Set in black and white, yet still relevant to the modern world, this movie shows us all what true Christmas is about and what family means.
4. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1951)
This oldie yet goodie is a wonderful way to remind us of the preciousness of life. That each soul is important. That each interaction has significance. That we all matter.
5. We’re No Angels (1955)
This movie takes a twist on the traditional feel-good Christmas movies by showcasing three escaped convicts who go out and literally ruin the holidays for others with their selfish ambitions, but have a change of heart after fixing up a delicious Christmas meal for their neighbors.
6. Christmas with the Kranks
A tale of empty-nesters trying to dodge the Christmas bullet by setting off on a cruise, this Christmas movie is easily relatable for boomers who are switching gears with their kids who have grown up and left home.
7. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Steve Martin is comical as ever in this hit movie. As he tries to make his way home for Christmas, a series of hilariously wrong events spiral out of control. We all can relate to him as he desperately tries to reach home in time for the holidays but is side swiped by one mishap after another.
8. White Christmas
Just a beautiful movie inside and out. Every scene is wrapped in detail and evokes the spirit of the holidays.
This movie is one that you can easily watch with your grandchild over and over again. Filled with humorous moments and life teaching moments, this movie definitely warms the heart.
Movies have a way of bringing us closer together as family. The moments that we laugh at funny situations during the show remind us of the importance of family and being able to celebrate good times with each other. It’s also a time to let go of the serious moments and to relax and enjoy each other’s company. After all, some people (like the ones in the movies listed above) may have it worse than you! Enjoy the season with these heart-warming movies.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas !
Kevin, Rob & Dean
Recipe By: ashbeth
“This is so easy, so good, and so versatile! I’ve used pork chops with and without bones, pork loin, and pork roast. You can sprinkle the brown sugar, salt, and pepper on the different layers or all at the end, as mentioned in the recipe. Play around with the brown sugar and spices to your taste.”
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 4 pork chops
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 onions, sliced into rings
- 2 sweet potatoes, sliced
- 2 apples – peeled, cored, and sliced into rings
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper to taste, and arrange in a medium oven safe skillet. Top pork chops with onions, sweet potatoes, and apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Season with 2 teaspoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Cover, and bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until sweet potatoes are tender and pork chops have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2019 Allrecipes.com
Printed From Allrecipes.com 11/21/2019
Thanks to fast fashion, we’re buying more clothes than ever and keeping them for less time. A better, money-saving approach: Extend the life of your clothes and build a wardrobe that lasts.
DO A MINDFUL CLEAN OUT. “Textiles are one of the fastest-growing categories of waste in U.S. landfills,” says Elizabeth Cline, author of The Conscious Closet. Tired of having a closet stuffed with disposable clothes you don’t love? Go through your items one by one and decide what to keep and what to part with. But then take a careful look at the “toss” pile. “Ask yourself, ‘What did I buy that never got worn or that wore out really quickly? What materials were uncomfortable? What materials were uncomfortable? What brands did I buy and not wear?’” suggests Cline. Notice, too, what you kept—what brands, colors, and materials do you truly love? “Reflect on how you’ve been buying clothes and figure out ways to shop smarter moving forward.”
RENT OR BORROW. “I always ask whether my need has to be solved by buying something,” says sustainable-fashion expert Jessica Marati Padparvar, founder of the social-impact consulting firm Reconsidered. “You can shop a friend’s closet for a wedding, or have a stylish friend help you style pieces in your wardrobe in different and creative ways.” Services like Rent the Runway keep clothes in use as long as possible, “allowing clothes to be given a second, third, fourth life, she says.
PASS IT ALONG. The resale market can extend the life of your clothes once you’re done with them, and you could make a little money out of it. Sites like ThredUp and, for luxury items, The RealReal will send you a bag or label to mail in your clothes and then give you cash or credit for accepted items (they recycle the rest). If you’re getting rid of something out of style or in poor condition, consider textile recycling—some farmers’ markets have drop-off sites, and retailers like H&M accept old items. These clothes typically get sold into the second-hand industry: Companies generally export wearable items overseas, and worn-out goods are shredded for insulation or rags, says Cline. It’s considered downcycling because the value is diminished, but it’s preferable to sending textiles to landfills.
CLEAN and REPAIR. “Remove stains, sew that loose button back on—do your part to keep clothes in good condition and pass them on in good condition,” says Cline. When you ensure an items will be worn longer, you minimize its impact on the environment.
(Real Simple, September 2019)
Invest a month’s paycheck without feeling it….. Many people are paid over 26 pay periods. That means, twice a year, you could receive three paychecks a month instead of the typical two. Mark these extra paychecks on your calendar and arrange to put them in an investment, retirement or high-interest savings account.
Budget with a gift card…..If you have a splurge-type item in your budget (like eating lunch out) and find yourself overspending, buy a gift card at the beginning of the month for the allotted amount. Once the gift card is spent, you’re cut off from shelling out any more.
Ditch Auto Insurance Fees…..Call your insurance agent and ask if you’re being charged a fee for paying your bill monthly. If so, you can save on insurance costs by opting to pay for six months or one year at a time (if you can afford to do so)—whatever is necessary to stop paying the monthly fee.
Declare No-Spend Days…..Whether for a month, a week, or just a few days, it’s beneficial to reset and find a way to recommit to your savings goals. Some people have saved more than $3,000 a month with this trick.
Get a Tax Credit on some Home Improvements…..Researching state and federal tax credits or rebates when you’re remodeling can be really valuable. Check out dsireusa.org for a list of possible savings.
(Real Simple, September 2019)
PERFECT FALL DAY IN OCTOBER 2019!
Is a 55+ senior living community right for You?
The concept of 55+ senior living community is simple: people 55 or older live in a planned community with a variety of amenities that cater to the senior resident. These residents usually live an active and healthy lifestyle so the amenities are geared toward that.
What defines an active adult community?
Active adult communities aren’t much different than any other residential community, aside from their age requirements, but most are designed with a retirement-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle in mind
The pros of choosing an active adult community
When looking at the many different senior living options that are out there, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of your various choices. And while the advantages and disadvantages of any decision are in the eye of the beholder, for active adult communities, here are a few key points you may want to consider…
- Low- or no-maintenance exteriors: This is possibly the top selling point for people who choose an active adult community. After years of mowing, snow-blowing, raking, and painting, ditching exterior maintenance is very appealing! Many residents are downsizing from the home they raised their family in, and the smaller interior square-footage to keep clean is attractive as well.
- Opportunities to make friends with other retirees: When you move someplace new, there’s something to be said for having a conveniently located group of potential friends. In active adult communities, residents are all pretty much in the same place in life, having worked hard for many years, raised a family, and now looking to enjoy a relaxed retirement, so it is easy to find people with whom you have much in common and wonderful friendships can result.
- A quiet, mostly kid-free environment: While adult children and grandchildren are of course welcome to visit, the 55+ age requirement for residents means that active adult communities are usually nice, quiet places to live. Younger visitors are usually encouraged to be considerate of this expectation.
- Amenities: An active adult community will provide you with many opportunities to get exercise, socialize, and stay spry into your retirement years. In addition to the aforementioned amenities like pools and fitness centers, these communities’ residents will often organize social events, affinity clubs, volunteer groups, and other ways to stay active and involved.
As the Baby Boomers reach retirement age, active adult communities are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. These new retirees don’t see themselves as “old folks,” so the idea of a senior living community that offers—even facilitates—an active lifestyle is appealing to them. Ditching exterior home maintenance chores frees residents of active adult communities to enjoy their retirement years and do more of the things they love.