Loneliness And Isolation Put You At Risk

Loneliness and IsolationA new study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science is shedding new light on loneliness and isolation. The study was conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University and found some alarming trends when it comes to loneliness and isolation. In short, researchers found that “Actual and perceived social isolation are both associated with increased risk for early mortality”. That means a life cut short by being lonely… and that is a shame.

Several lifestyle and environmental factors are risk factors for early mortality, including smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and air pollution. However, in the scientific literature, much less attention has been given to social factors dem- onstrated to have equivalent or greater influence on mortality risk (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010).

Loneliness and Isolation Study

The study was a meta-analysis (a study of many studies) involving millions of data-points.  Researchers concluded that there is substantial evidence that indicates people lacking social connections “are at risk for premature mortality”. The risk associated with social isolation and loneliness are comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality, like obesity.

The data in this meta-analysis should make researchers call into question the assumption that social isolation among older adults places them at greater risk compared with social isolation among younger adults. Using the aggregate data, we found the opposite to be the case. Middle-age adults were at greater risk of mortality when lonely or living alone than when older adults experienced those same circumstances. – Julianne Holt-Lunstad et al

In an surprising twist, there was greater risk for those individuals 65 and under vs their older counterparts. I would have thought just the opposite, but the risk is there nonetheless.  I think it further confirms the need for awareness and caring for others, and the importance of connectivity to family and friends. Technology helps us stay connected, as do social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In my mind, nothing can take the place of personal visit to family or a phone call that reaches out and touches someone you care about.

After 60 Years Of Marriage Man Finds Note From Diseased Wife

don't cry because I died

Man Finds Note

In a perfect ending to a 60 year love story, Cliff Sims’ grandmother penned one last love letter to her husband… And it’s gone viral.  Cliff Sims posted the note to his Facebook page, and it’s currently flying around the world wide web.  The note reads:

Please don’t cry because I died!  Smile because I lived!  Know that I’m in a happy place!  Know that we will meet again!  I’ll see you there! – Billie  Breland

Billie Breland (Mimi) stuffed the note into her checkbook before she died.  Her final love letter (that we know of) has the internet buzzing today.  Hopefully this story fills your Thursday with inspiration and happiness.

Photo credit: Cliff Sims/Facebook

People and Products on Twitter this week

products on twitterThis week saw a lot of interesting eldercare news out on the Twittersphere.  If you’re on twitter and want to have your tweets featured on The Senior List make sure you follow us there.  You can find us here @SeniorList.  Same goes for Facebook, if you’re on Facebook make sure we’re connected up so we can talk there too.  You can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheSeniorList or just put The Senior List into your search bar.  OK, here are your Sunday morning tweets that caught our eye… Oh and enjoy your day!

The Pic Scanner App is a new “old photo scanner” that makes it easy to digitize your family pictures that are sitting in the shoe box. This might be one of our favorite products on Twitter this week.  Here’s the description in the App Store: Love old photos? Then you will love this app. Scans up to four pics simultaneously, and crops them automatically. So easy! Preserve & share memories with friends and family. A “must-have” app for tbt, craft, genealogy, ancestry and digital scrapbooking lovers.

If you needed inspiration this week (after digging out of all that snow), this sign may have done the trick for you. I love these kind of anonymous gestures!

If that weren’t enough, here’s some more inspiration for your Sunday morning!

Given today is the first day of March, this tweet seems appropriate!

I never thought of Bangkok at an optimal retirement destination but apparently some think it is!

Unless you were buried in snow, and just dug out… You know that we lost generational icon Leonard Nimoy this week. He lived long, and he prospered.

You’d be surprised to know how many people are afraid to discuss real issues that affect aging adults. Topics like urinary incontinence and hemorrhoids affect a lot of people as they age, no reason to hide from these things… Let’s learn about them!

Finally – I found a nice one to end on. One of our favorite posts of all time. You’ll want to click through and read this letter if you haven’t already. Also, feel free to RT!

10 Stars Turning 50 in 2015

Guitarist Slash: Stars turning 50 in 2015

We recently posted a Happy Birthday to Chris Rock on The Senior List Facebook Page.  I mean he’s the voice of Marty-the-Zebra (my favorite Madagascar character) for goodness sake!  Thinking about Chris Rock getting his senior discount at McDonalds not only gave me a coffee craving, but it really got me thinking about time marching on.  I know, turning 50 is no big deal, but it’s a milestone, and you can’t argue that one.

Stars Turning 50

I’m amazed at how well time has treated some celebrities (and how it’s betrayed others).  Probably no different than the rest of us eh?  (Have you seen how great Chris Rock looks?)  Let’s take a look at 10 mega stars that will be turning 50 in 2015.  How is it that some of my favorite celebs are already eligible for their AARP discounts?

(Click Image For Gallery)

Old Paintbrushes Become Works Of Art

When speaking about Paintbrushes the Encyclopedia Brittanica (2008) notes that paintbrushes are a “device composed of natural or synthetic fibres set into a handle that is used for cleaning, grooming, polishing, writing, or painting. Brushes were used by man as early as the Paleolithic Period (began about 2,500,000 years ago) to apply pigment, as shown by the cave paintings of Altamira in Spain and the Perigord in France. In historical times the early Egyptians used brushes to create their elaborate tomb paintings, while the ancient Chinese employed the tip of a long-haired brush to make the many intricate characters of their writing, a practice continued in the Orient today.”

The Paint Brush Series - Works of Art

So what does one do with an old and discarded paleolithic pigment propagator?  Well if you’re Rebecca Szeto, you turn it into an exquisite piece of art!  That’s right, old and discarded paintbrushes can be turned into works of art IF you have an eye for the creative… and a desire to find “the poetic intersection of the material and the immaterial”.  If that sounds a little odd or even ironic, this is exactly what happens when San Francisco artist Rebecca Szeto gets her hand on old paint brushes.  What began as an afterthought, Ms. Szeto was looking for something to do with discarded paintbrushes left over from her faux finishing jobs.  What she came up with is truly inspiring!

The Paint Brush Series - Works of Art

“These works play with notions of re-forming beauty and value. I use humble, end-of-life, mass-produced materials inspired by my experience as a faux finisher. The paintbrush is self-referential, acting as both subject and object. It refers to the history of painting, through the medium of paint, with its own tool.” –Rebecca Szeto

The Paint Brush Series - works of art

Old Paint Brushes Are Works of Art

(Click to View)

Top 10 Inspirational Photos From Last Week

We searched the web high and low to come up with the top 10 inspirational photos from the web last week.  Origins are unknown, but we thought sharing these would put a smile on your face and bring inspiration to your day!

We routinely post inspiring images and thoughts-of-the-day on our Facebook page, along with articles that are pertinent to the lives of boomers and seniors everywhere.  Be sure and join our robust community on Facebook so we can share with one another on a personal level.  If you’re on twitter, you can follow us there too at @SeniorList.  Enjoy!

Top 10 Inspirational Photos

Top 10 Inspirational Photos

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Top 10 Inspirational Photos

Top 10 Inspiring Photos

Top 10 Inspirational photos

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Top 10 inspirational photos

Top 10 inspirational photos

Top 10 Inspirational Images

top 10 inspirational images

If you have words of wisdom, or sources of inspiration to share with The Senior List community we invite you to do so in the comments section below.  We love hearing from you!

Asimbonanga Flash Mob – Touching Tribute to Nelson Mandela

If you haven’t seen the Asimbonanga Flash Mob (Nelson Mandela tribute) yet, it’s worth a look.  A local supermarket collaborated with the Soweto Gospel Choir to organize a flash mob at a Parkview store in Johannesburg.  The Asimbonanga flash mob (posing as workers and shoppers) spontaneously join together and sing the lyrics of “Asimbonanga” (We have not seen him).  This powerful song was written as a call for Nelson Mandela’s freedom during his 27 year imprisonment.  We hope you enjoy it!

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy.  Then he becomes your partner – Nelson Mandela

Lead from the back and let others believe they are in front – Nelson Mandela

“Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release. He was released in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa’s first black president.” (Wikipedia on Nelson Mandela)

Percentage of Seniors on Facebook Growing

Percentage of seniors on Facebook: A few simple steps can protect your privacy on facebookAccording to a study conducted in 2011 by North American Technographics, 49% of U.S. seniors spend time online.  Just under half of that number are currently active on Facebook.  Many use the site to keep in touch with old friends and keep tabs on their family members.  The percentage of seniors on Facebook is growing! Some seniors are new to the technology, and they may not be aware of the need to protect their information from potential hackers. This leaves them extremely vulnerable to frauds, scams, and even theft and burglary in some cases.

Many seniors attend classes to learn about Facebook terminology. The following is an extensive guide for seniors on how to stay safe on Facebook.

Facebook Basic Terminology

Friends: These are generally family members and friends you know personally. However, some people have hundreds of friends whom they’ve never met. You can add friends by sending a friend “request” and the person has to accept the request to become one of your Facebook friends.

Be careful when responding to friend requests from people you don’t know personally. Your “friends” have access to your personal information on Facebook that the general public can’t see.

Wall: Your FB “wall” is where people can write public (within FB) messages to you, like “Happy Birthday!” Your wall also shows the posts you’ve made personally and has links to your friends’ posts if you’ve commented on their posts.

Status: Your “status” is anything you want to post about yourself. It can be family news, a joke, or anything you find interesting. When you update your status, whatever you post appears on your friends’ news feeds.

Be selective about what you share as your status! Don’t, for instance, announce that you’re leaving for a month in Europe or even that you’re at Lone Star Steakhouse for dinner. Beside the dangers of announcing you aren’t home, most friends really don’t care if you’re at the grocery store or shoe shopping.

Groups: FB groups are where people with shared interests – cooking, knitting, cats, politics, power tools, etc. – can interact by sharing comments and links. Groups are a good way for clubs to publicize events and keep members up-to-date on events.
Things to remember about groups:

  • Non-FB friends in your groups see your name, but don’t see your personal information.
  • Groups can either be tagged as “open, closed, or secret.”
  • Secret groups are invisible to search engines and even FB searches. Group members have to “invite” new members to join. Secret groups are a good option if you want to keep information completely private and hidden – like youth groups, a Sunday school information board, etc.

Shared Links: Many people have inadvertently downloaded viruses & other malicious software by clicking on suspicious links in Facebook. This usually happens when a friend’s account gets hacked and the hacker posts a link with a provocative – but generic – title like: “See what miraculous ingredient gets rid of stubborn belly fat!” or “Look at the family pictures I just posted” or “Can you believe this?” or “Claim your $500 gift card to Starbuck’s, Costco, ….” or any other offer that sounds too good to be true.

Secure URL: Pay close attention to the link’s URL (http address). If it’s to the New York Times, WalMart.com, or other recognizable sites, then it’s probably ok. But if it’s to a site you’ve never heard of – especially if it has an international address (something other than .com, .org, etc…), then it very well could be a spam and/or dangerous link. When in doubt, don’t click.

Keeping Your Private Information Private

Password: Follow all the basic security steps to set your Facebook password (and all other online passwords for that matter)– avoid using your pet’s names, children’s names, and other things that are easy to guess. One good hint is to use both numbers and letters, but make sure you can remember them. If you remember your childhood phone # or a random grouping of numbers and letters, that’s a good start.  There are sites that will generate strong passwords for you if you are having a hard time coming up with one on your own.

Security Settings: Under the “Account” link in your account, there’s an option titled “Account Settings.” Click the link and then select “Security” from the left-hand menu.

  • Enable “Secure Browsing”: That sets up a secure http connection. So when you log into your FB account, the URL in the browser window will start with “https” instead of just http.

Privacy Settings: Access your privacy settings from the “Privacy Settings” option under the “Account” tab.

Be careful when you play any games or take Facebook quizzes.  They will most likely require you to give access to your personal data that will be used to target advertising to you and your friends.  The Privacy Settings page also offers options to control how people can find you on Facebook and whether search engines will index your content to show up in search results.  Make sure to select the “off” option for search engine indexing to maximize your privacy.

In the past, Facebook has justifiably been criticized for its lack of transparency with privacy. The service recently launched a “Privacy Shortcuts” link that’s always in the top right-hand corner of your Facebook page.  Be sure to check your privacy settings occasionally to make sure they are up to date and in line with your preferences.

Carli De La Cruz is the Sales & Marketing Assistant at Bay Alarm Medical. Carli earned a B.A. in Sociology with Legal Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She currently manages all of Bay Alarm Medical’s social media sites, and assists with advertising campaigns. She writes blogs on senior health, retirement, senior living, baby boomer news, and medical alert industry news. You can read more of her posts at Bay Alarm Medical blog.

Five More Senior Care Experts You Should Follow On Twitter

In June we wrote a piece called “5 Aging Experts You Should Be Following On Twitter“.  It was a popular post and features some of our favorite eldercare advocates that you should be following on Twitter (if you’re into tweeting).   Today we thought we’d give you 5 more senior care experts that you should add to your list.  Drum-roll please…

#1) Dr. Kathy Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Home Care Assistance. She is a certified care manager, psychologist and caregiver, and tweets about a multitude of aging issues (and solutions).

#2) Lynn Wilson founded The Care Giver Partnership, which provides advice, services, resources and products to Caregivers and their loved ones.

#3)  Nanette Davis, Ph.D.  is a writer, speaker, advocate and life coach for caregivers.  She’s also a community educator who’s written several books including; “The ABCs of Caregiving: Words to Inspire You” and “Caregiving Our Loved Ones: Stories and Strategies That Will Change Your Life”.

#4) Beverly Parsons is a licensed clinical social worker who has 12 years of geriatric care management experience working with aging families.  Beverly is also a family mediator who helps families navigate troubled waters.

#5)  Dementia Journeys – John Belchamber founded Dementia Journeys with great inspiration from his mother Anne.  He found comfort sharing his feelings through writing AND sharing with others.  A very nice dementia resource.

 

We hope you enjoy the above senior care experts on Twitter.  Click here to find The Senior List on Twitter, we look forward to interacting with you on Twitter soon!

Also, make sure you follow us on Facebook today or just click the big “f” and then click LIKE.

  facebook app for apple

NPR Scott Simon Tweets From Mother’s Bedside

In a stunning series of poetic tweets, NPR’s Scott Simon is tweeting from his mother’s bedside. It’s not very often we get a real-time glimpse into the late stages of caregiving. For Mr. Simon to let us take this journey with him is incredibly generous (and a great learning experience). It seems Patricia may not have much longer, but a son’s love for his mother undeniable, and you can feel it with every tweet. | NPR Scott Simon tweets |


I love holding my mother’s hand. Haven’t held it like this since I was 9. Why did I stop? I thought it unmanly? What crap. – Scott Simon