Category Archives: Aging With Grace

Secrets Of Longevity

Who doesn’t want to know the secrets of longevity?   Ponce de Leon was searching for the Fountain of Youth when he travel to what is now Florida in 1513.  So, the quest for longevity and a anti-aging formula has been around for along time.

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In 2000, a team of scientists studied cultures where people lived the longest.   These cultures don’t belong to health spas, use expensive face creams and believe it or not… don’t diet.   Longevity was contributed to a general lifestyle.  Their average life expectancy was well into their nineties.

Here are 10 secrets of longevity according to longevity research of these cultures.

1.  Keep Moving: Find ways to keep moving naturally.  Walk instead of riding, garden, enjoy playing a sport.  It’s important to keep your body in motion.  (I love to garden… but I have to admit… I try and find a parking place as close to the store as possible.)

2.  Find Purpose: Find something you can be excited about and pursue it with passion.  Whether it’s a job or a hobby… give it your all.  (If that means playing with the grand kids all day long… I’m on board.)

3.  Stop Eating: Don’t over eat.  In other words, stop before your full.  (Hmmm  I’ve never quite figured out how to do that.)

4.  Dine On Plants: Eat more veggies and less meat and processed foods.  (Now here’s one I can get my stomach around.  I enjoy a bit of meat but I do love veggies.)

5.  Slow Down: Work less, rest, and take vacations.  (Who are they kidding.  I was raised in a family that looked upon “rest or a vacation” as lazy.  Running around like a chicken with its head cut off is a habit hard to break.)

6.  Drink Red Wine: Do it consistently but in moderation.  (My moderation is:  I don’t drink… except for Diet Coke, which is a habit I’m trying desperately to break.)

7.  Join A Group: Create a healthy social network. (Does that mean my twitter, and forum friends are healthy social networks?  I actually think it means healthy face to face relationships now and again.)

8.  Don’t Smoke: Smoking of any kind decreases longevity.  (No problem here… I don’t smoke but I have a lot  of other unhealthy habits… like eating cookies for breakfast.

9.  Feed Your Soul: Engage In Spiritual Activities:  (I love attending my church meetings and being involved.  I spend a lot of time in spiritual study.)

10.  Love Your Tribe: Make family a high priority.  (If this longevity factor could supersede all the rest… I’d live longer… perhaps to 125 years old.  I’m crazy about my family of 4 kids and 15 grands.  In fact…we all actually like each other.)

How is your longevity index?

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S.  My mom is approaching ninety.  She has always taken good care of her self… and the folks in her family lived a long time.  A longevity gene perhaps?

True Friend – Ruth Jensen Tuttle

Today, I say good-bye to a true friend.  Ruth Jensen Tuttle passed away last week and her services are today.  She was 89 years old and was one of the kindest women I know.

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Even though there was a number of years difference in our age, she was no less a true friend and a heart felt companion.  We shared the same birth date and would always make contact on that day.

She was a gardener.  Her yard was filled with many unusual flowers.  Ruth seemed to have an extra passion for roses.  She had so many beautiful varieties.

She shared her garden with us every Sunday.   Without fail, next to the pulpit sat an arrangement of exquisite beauty.  Even during the winter months, there was an arrangement of some type provided.

Last week, my sister Nicole called from and was planning to attend a birthday party of a friend who was turning 90.  She said her friend was a warm, delightful woman who made her laugh.  Nicole’s last comment was, “She is one of my best friends.”

Age has no barrier when it comes to friends and companionship.  The elderly, because of their experience, can can offer wisdom and compassion.  They’ve been down a road or two.  It’s good to have a “boomer” as a friend.

I’m going to miss Ruth.

Till later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  I’m also friends with Ruth’s daughter, Karen and Becky, a daughter in-law.  They share Ruth’s sweet giving spirit and kindness.  They both fit in the  “true friend” category.

Anti-Aging Secret Revealed! – Amazing Clara

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“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing”. -Oliver Wendell Holmes-

At 93 years old… Clara is a prime example of aging gracefully… with a playful spirit.

Anti-aging studies have proven over and over again that physical and mental activity is one sure way to stave off the aging process.     Aging research tells us, longevity is enhanced by staying  physically active, reading books, having hobbies and interests, eating healthy foods, participating in an active social life and taking an interest in others.

Clara is a YouTube cooking celebrity with her popular Depression Cooking segment.   Not only is she a “Star” because she’s entertaining… but a stellar model of staying active and serving others… long after she’s expected to be rocking in her chair.

Clara,  is a perfect example of aging with grace.    Along with sharing her “depression cooking”  ideas… she shares her experiences of living during the Great Depression….with fond memories and with a smile on her face… mind you.   I’ve included two segments for your enjoyment.   Hey, Clara… you’re the greatest… and such an inspiration.

Allow yourself a few minutes to watch this amazing woman!

Peppers and Eggs:

Poor Man’s Feast

Isn’t she terrific!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  I bet Clara has always lived an active lifestyle.  I must keep her in mind… when I want to slow down a bit.   Retirement?  No such thing if you keep your interests alive and are willing to share them.

Aging Gracefully Is Not Always Easy

Aging gracefully is not always easy if you’re ill or incapacitated in some way. It’s hard to keep a smile on your face when your body doesn’t function well or you can’t remember your grandchild’s name.

Since I have been helping to take care of my aging mother, I have begun to question this business of  “growing old” and living to the age of Methuselah.  Among many variables, medical science has done much to increase the expectancy of human life.  Most people will live well into there eighties and life expectancy is increasing all the time.  That’s all well and good… unless you are ill or incapacitated in some way.

For instance… what good does it do to have a body that functions but have a mind that can’t remember one thing from the other. The older you get…. the greater the chances you will have some form of dementia… especially if you live into your eighties.

Alzheimer’s, the severest form of dementia, is increasing every year. Between 2010 and 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer’s will increase from an estimated 5.5 million up to 14 million, as the Baby Boomers enter the age of highest risk.

When our elderly get sick, we rush them to the Dr. and load them up with medication that will extend their life well beyond the body’s natural ability to survive.  Sometimes I think the only real winner here is the drug companies.  One elderly lady in our local rest home put it this way,  “Medical science has keep us alive until go into a rest home where… we just rot away.”

Laws often bind doctors, hospitals and nursing homes into keeping a patient alive even under the most adverse conditions… often beyond patient and family wishes. When is enough… enough?

My mom is 88 years old and, up until this past year she has had very good health and a pretty good mind despite the fact she sometimes loses her purse.  Early last spring she contacted the flu and not only lost her physical health… but lost her ability to think clearly.  She is now confused most of the time.  She went from being independent to needing almost around the clock care in a matter of a few days.

Just as she was beginning to improve, she contacted a bacterium that has taken a toll on her body again.  We’ve loaded her up with all sorts of vitamins, antibiotics and the like… and for what?  She’s weak, miserable and confused…. and we are undertaking around the clock care again.  She will never recuperate to the point she was, even a month ago.

I know… I can just hear it now.  “God is in charge… and he will take her when he’s ready.” But, perhaps He’s saying, “Hey, butt out and quit cramming all that stuff down her and let me do my job.” We just need to listen.

What’s the alternative for her and for us?  Home health care?  Rest home?  Do we continue family care?  When can she say, “Enough is enough?”  When can we say, “Enough is enough,” without legal consequences?

Upon some investigation, we found that an individual does have a right to say, “I’m done!” and stop all medical intervention.  There’s a little legal document that’s called, Advance Health Care Directive.  This document is separate from a Living Will or can be a part of a Living Will.  It’s a directive that you can detail as to what medical care you wish to have withheld… in the event that you become incapacitated.

It covers everything from withholding artificially supplied nutrition and hydration to food and water.  It can include withholding surgery procedures, CPR, antibiotics, dialysis, respirators, chemotherapy, radiation, medication and all other life prolonging procedures.

It’s the best way to make your medical and health care wishes known to your family and doctors.

Each state has it’s own requirements, and restrictions. You need to follow the guidelines provided by your state.

In looking into my mom’s trust, we discovered that she had stated and signed such a directive in 1995… we just became aware of it.  It will make it easier for us to make decisions on her behalf.

We want what’s best for our mom.  And, now comes the big question… when is “Enough… Enough?

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Baby boomers are now the caretakers of this older generation.  Except for medical procedures, home health care in not covered by Medicare… so companionship, household duties, dressing, feeding and companionship are the responsibility of the family… unless you can afford to put your loved one in a care facility.

Baby Boomer Farmer Grant

Meet boomer, Grant Holdaway, better known in these parts as Farmer Grant.  Well…Grant Holdaway may not technically fit into the baby boomer age category, but he’s a great example of staying fit, active, and still going strong at a mature age.  A lesson for all of us true “baby boomers.”

It seems like I’ve been buying veggies from Farmer Grant and his wife Barbara forever.  The first time I remember buying produce and flowers from them was about 40 years ago when their little stand was next to their home down on the Geneva Road… next to the Geneva Steel Plant.  If I remember right… it was called “Grant’s Plants.”

Grant claims he’s been selling produce for over 60 years. In fact, he remembers selling produce to workers who were helping to build Geneva Steel Plant in the 40’s.  Several years ago… Geneva Steel was closed down and dismantled.  Grant’s seen it come and go…all the while, selling produce and flowers to loyal customers.

When they built their new nursery across the street from their home… they named their new location “Vineyard Gardens”… but it’s still “Grant’s” to me and my kids and grand kids.

By the first of May, his green houses are filled with annuals, perennials, herbs, shrubs, irises and roses.  Grant is well known for hybridizing irises… coming up with many new striking varieties.

In early August, after the flower and shrub sells slow down… fresh veggies, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, string beans, egg plant, potatoes, and peppers appear in the front entry of his nursery. For the next several months, I make several trips a week to buy his fresh produce.  Heaven!

His produce is fresh from the field every morning and it’s washed and cleaned before being put it out in baskets on the table. I’ve been to many produce stands and his is absolutely the finest.

I love tomatoes, and this is a mecca for fresh toms… especially if you’re in the business of canning for winter storage.

His cantaloupe are just the best… so sweet and flavorful.

As fall approaches, “Pumpkin Land” is prepared at the nursery for the kids. Halloween decorations are placed among the sprays, fertilizers, flower bulbs, and veggies.

Buses bring school children to visit “Pumpkin Land”.  And…I swear every mom in the county bring their pre-schoolers  to “Pumpkin Land.”  There’s a corn maze, a animal petting zoo… or rather a “looking” zoo… inflated jumping toys and best of all… there’s hundreds of pumpkins in various sizes.  The kids get to choose and purchase their own pumpkins.

Now, all this takes a lot to time and energy, and at 77 years old, Farmer Grant is still going strong.  Along with his employees, he’s continues to make his produce and flower nursery the best in the county.

Now if that’s not enough…this summer, this active man ran the Provo marathon and a 50 mile race through the Wasatch mountains called the “Squaw Peak Fifty Miler.”  Just wears me out just thinking about it.

No slowing down for this farmer.

Thanks Farmer Grant… for being a great example to this old baby boomer.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Did I mention… Farmer Grant was a school teacher until he retired?   Retired?  Doesn’t look like it to me!

Squidoo Queen – Baby Boomer Joan Adams

Squidoo Queen is a perfect name for baby boomer Joan Adams… She maintains she’s going to have 100 Squidoo Lenses up before the end of the year… and at the rate she’s going…she’ll make it.

I first met Joan by seeing her photo on Pat O’Bryan’s Internet Marketing forum chat site. I liked the way she looked… kind, and fun. (Besides, she and I are in the same baby boomer category and, that has to count for something.) Her comments on the forum were thoughtful. So, I watched her from a far for awhile until I contacted her by e-mail. Soon we were visiting by phone.

This photo is of Joan and her boomer sisters… They’re know as the “Tate Girls” and originally come from Pendleton, South Carolina. From left to right is: Nancy, Joan and Betty. You can almost hear their southern accent.

Both Joan and I, being newbies to the Internet Marketing world, had lots to discuss and sort out… mainly getting our “mature” brains working out all the tech stuff. What a challenge. She, and her sister Betty, wrote an e-book called, Banish The Blahs And Be Happy and offer a free work book called, Ten By Ten Workbook. Joan put up a blog and a web site … but seems to have settled in to writing Squidoo Lenses. A boomer woman on the go.

At the present time, Joan has 53 lenses and her interests range from the Legally Blind Golfer… to Tailgating Recipes (of which I am proud to be a contributor) to music of the 50’s. Oh, the memories I had when I listen to the Platters … “Only You”. Go see. You need to check out all of Joan’s Squidoo lenses. Such a treat!

Her sister, Nancy, has also created Squidoo Lenses… and a favorite of mine is, Greeting Cards For Fun.

The point of all this being… we’re never to old to change gears and do something interesting and challenging. In fact, because Joan is a Boomer, she has lots of entertaining experiences to draw from… she’ll never run out of ideas.

Just who says young folks have all the fun!

Thanks, Joan Betty, and Nancy, for being great examples to the rest of us baby boomers.

Till later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. Joan has been encouraging me to put up a Squidoo lens… perhaps a recipe or two. Hmmmm… just might do that. It really looks fun!

Aging With Grace

Aging With Grace” could be the motto for my mother and her friend, Mavis. Their anti aging formula of “Keep On Trucking,” has certainly worked for this pair of elderly women. Evelyn, my mom, is 88 years old and Mavis is 89 and, they’re still going strong.

Mom’s kept her youth by adhering to healthy eating practices, vitamins, (no drugs) and exercise. She walks at our local mall several times a week. You might say she believes in “healthy aging.”

(However…. even though she passed her drivers test a couple of months ago… her driving is a bit scary. “Who is that darn little white haired lady straining to see over the steering wheel… going 15 miles an hour?) Mom?

Mavis has some health problems…but that doesn’t keep this 89 year old woman from putting in time furthering her “career.” She still stands on her crippled and swollen feet… cuts, perms, colors, and sets hair for her friends…. for those… of course… who are not in rest homes or dead. (When they die… she provides her final service and magic touch at the mortuary… and it’s on the house!)

Mavis has been doing my mom’s hair for over sixty years. Mom started during the “dark ages” when a wash and set was $.50. Today was no exception. I drove Mom to her hair appointment for a cut, color and perm… and she paid a “dark age” price of $15.00 for her new dooo. Unheard of!

The fact we had to get Mavis out of bed because she had forgotten and… it took her one hour to dress and… she couldn’t find her hearing aid and… it took her 6 hours to cut and perm Mom’s hair… is perhaps…an indication she’s aging a bit.

If the truth be know… I believe Mom might be her only customer… as several gals just entered homes for the aging to live out their “twilight years.

Oh my gosh… the salon! I don’t believe the salon even begins to meet county or city standards for a home business… not by any stretch of imagination. Her mirror is covered with hundreds of photos of friends and family that must date back to the depression. And, I believe every small memento and gift she’s ever received, since she put out her shingle over 65 years ago, still adorns her workstation. Clutter… oh my gosh!

And… who am I to criticize? These two women can teach me a few things about “Aging With Grace.” They love, support and serve each other… Mavis still does a great job with Mom’s hair… and Mom is still willing to sit for 6 hours and listen to Mavis talk.

I’m not too far behind these aging women… I can only hope I do as well. And clutter… you should just check out my basement.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. Would you believe it if I told you… Mavis has not a gray hair in her head. No dye… no rinse… and no lie? Now… if that’s not aging gracefully… I don’t know what is.

P.P.S. Now if we can just keep my mother from repeating the same story over and over again. “By the way… have I ever told you about….”