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Monthly Archives: April 2015

22 Simple Ways for Baby Boomers to Re-Invent Themselves

baby boomersThe spring flowers blooming and the trees blossoming after a long, hard winter has gotten us thinking about beginning anew. Like those flowers, we baby boomers can also bloom. The process doesn’t have to be arduous or extreme; here are 22 ways to re-invent yourself that are as effortless as last year’s bulbs poking their heads above the soil.

 

  1. Like what you see in the mirror. Regardless of the wrinkles or the weight or whatever else you see in your reflection, that body has successfully gotten you through multiple decades. It is time to let go of what your body is “supposed” to look like and embrace the wonderful vehicle that it is.
  1. Don’t let others’ opinions stop you. Some fear they grow invisible as they age, but there is a freedom in that invisibility: You can get away with more! Do what you want to do and stop worrying about what others think.
  1. Take a class. The Greek playwright Aeschylus said, “It is always in season for old men to learn,” and in today’s world – with classes online, at the local junior college, or even at your local Home Depot – the opportunities are too plentiful to miss.
  1. Get more sunshine medicine. Take a hike if you’re active or go sit on your porch if you’re not. Scientists say more Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – can help prevent osteoporosis, cancer, depression, heart attacks and strokes.
  1. Do something crazy. Go skydiving, buy that overpriced scarf, or eat a banana split for breakfast. There’s no better time than the present to experience something silly or crazy or ridiculous that you’ve always wanted to do.
  1. Say you’re sorry. Apologizing and meaning it is a wonderful gift not only to the people you care about but to yourself. Allowing yourself to sometimes be wrong – and human – means you no longer have to work so hard to always be right.
  1. Write letters. Share your day with someone through email or by putting pen to paper. The act of writing will help you process and remember your day, and the rarity of letters will make them a special gift to the person who receives them.
  1. Drink more water. Dehydration is blamed for achy muscles, digestion issues, exhaustion and poorly functioning kidneys. Wash away those woes by keeping a filled water bottle by your side.
  1. Embrace your age. We always like to remind people who bemoan growing older that it’s better than the alternative! Be proud of those accumulated baby boomer years and the experiences and wisdom that came with them.
  1. Find a hobby. Whether it’s crafting or volunteering or exercising, you now have the time to do that activity that you always dreamt about doing when your life was hectic from dawn to dusk.
  1. Buy something extravagant. Thrift and maintaining a budget are commendable qualities – but you can’t take it with you! Allow yourself one gift, and don’t for one second regret the purchase.
  1. Go for a walk. Older people who exercise are three times more likely to have better physical and mental health than those who don’t.
  1. Do things for pleasure. After years of hustling through our days, we now have the time to take a long bath or savor chocolate or admire a rose garden. Do activities for the sheer pleasure of delighting the senses.
  1. Appreciate your partner. Our list of what bugs us about our spouses can grow infinitely. Try to re-focus that list on what you enjoy about him or her.
  1. Re-invent your living situation. Nothing will inject new energy into your life better than joining a Golden Girls Home. Welcoming like-minded baby boomers into your life as a homeowner or housemate will allow you to see the world from a whole new perspective.
  1. Hug more. Not a touchy-feely kind of person? Shake hands or pat shoulders. That human contact will instantly make you and everyone around you feel better.
  1. Explore technology. We’re still amazed daily by the Encyclopedia Britannica we can now all carry around in our back pockets. Use technology to answer any question you’ve ever had, or take a class that will help you find the technology less intimidating.
  1. Confront your fears. No longer be limited by the things that you’re afraid of. Face your fears and show them, once and for all, who’s boss.
  1. Add flair your wardrobe. We get inspired by the blog Advanced Style, which focuses on senior fashion. While we may not be wearing a turban anytime soon, it does inspire ways to shake up our closets.
  1. Dance. Whether in your room, in a class, or on a dance floor, now is the time to reject the insecurity of youth and let your body enjoy the Fountain-of-Youth-like power of music.
  1. Let it go. The greatest gift you can give yourself is letting go of long-held resentments. You will instantly feel healthier and happier shedding that emotional weight.
  1. Do one thing you said you would never do. One thing. One thing you were too shy, anxious, proper, scared, or beautiful to do. Do it now. Carry that pride forever after.

How Do I Find A Golden Girls Housemate?

Now that your soon-to-be Golden Girls Home is housemate ready, it’s time to start looking for those special roommates who will help you embark on this grand adventure of making new friends and trying new things while you save money on living expenses.

Your first step will be writing the advertisement:

— Start your ad with “JOIN A GOLDEN GIRLS HOME.” This lets everyone know that you’re seeking to live like Rose, Dorothy, Blanche, and Sophia.

— Liven up your ad with something about you. For instance, are you a retired teacher, a golf lover, a cat fan, or a vegetarian? Then say so. Details will help you find roommates who share your interests.

— Decide how much you will charge to lease the room in your home. Check out Craigslist.com and your local newspaper to find the cost of similar rooms in your area. Set your price where you feel comfortable, but if you have difficulty finding a housemate after three months of advertising, consider lowering the price.

— Understand fair housing rules. Most Golden Girls Homes are exempt from the Fair Housing Act, but do not discriminate. Of course you won’t!

— Don’t list your phone number because the calls will come at all hours and will become Use an email address instead.

— Be specific about how many adults will be living in the home.

— Indicate the size of the room, whether it is furnished, whether the bath is private or shared, and anything that makes the room special.

— Highlight the benefits of your home: Does it receive lots of light? Are you in walking distance from a park or great shopping district? Do you have access to a pool, hot tub, or gym? Use details that make your home shine.

Here is a sample ad that you can edit to meet your needs:

$700 – JOIN A GOLDEN GIRLS HOME!  I have an amazing 4-bedroom home and am looking for roommates who have a vision of living together with autonomy and quiet time but who want to share occasional vegetarian meals and activities. We will all pitch in to make it work. Unfurnished room, private bath, utilities included, no pets, no smoking, lease required. Email me at xxxx@xxxx

Your second step will be placing the ad where potential housemates can find it:

— Target your advertising to find people who might share your interests. If you’re a member of a church or community organization, talk to your friends there, place a flyer on the bulletin board, and advertise in the monthly newsletter.

— In most places, local print newspapers aren’t great for attracting prospects, but if yours has a decent online version, try placing an ad there, too.

— Register on roommate websites. GoldenGirlsNetwork.com offers an electronic matching service for adults over 40 to meet other mature adults who would like to live in shared housing. The membership fee is $39 for six months. Once you put your data into the system, you can search for promising housemates and contact them.

Roommates.com and Craigslist.com are other online services where you can search for housemates.

Next month, we’ll discuss how best to choose a housemate from all of those people eager to live in your lovely Golden Girls Home. Until then, good luck on your housemate search!

Excerpt from “How to Start a Golden Girls Home” by Bonnie Moore. Click here for more info or your own copy.

Eight Ways Baby Boomers Can Defeat Loneliness

Everyone experiences loneliness at some point. But with the transitions that can come later in life – the children moving out, retiring from a job, losing or leaving a spouse – loneliness can hit particularly hard. The AARP surveyed over 3,000 adults in 2010 and found that over 35 percent of adults age 45 and older are lonely.

One of our goals at the Golden Girls Network is to ensure older adults have companions by pairing people with like-minded roommates, providing our members with someone to say hello to when they walk in the house, share a meal with and enjoy a movie with on a rainy day. But in a Golden Girls home or out of one, we believe there are many ways older adults can make meaningful connections with other adults and, together, defeat that gray cloud called loneliness.

  1. school-73497_1280Take a class – Margaret Manning in her blog Sixty & Me discusses how baby boomers aren’t just looking for contacts; they’re looking for people they share interests and values with. What better way to meet those people than in a class where you’re exploring a topic that fascinates you? Many colleges and universities – including Ivy Leagues – allow seniors to audit a class for free or at intensely slashed tuition rates. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, your local community/senior center generally offers reasonably priced classes on a variety of topics. Even your local library, grocery store and hardware store can offer free seminars or “how-to” courses.
  1. Get active – Loneliness can be as detrimental to a person’s health as smoking and alcohol consumption and more detrimental than obesity or physical inactivity, according to a 2010 study. So conquer both mental and physical woes by finding a walking buddy or joining a fitness class. Certain fitness centers, such as Welcyon and Nifty After Fifty, cater to the over-50 crowd, and many community/senior centers offer classes specifically geared toward older adults.
  1. Be the initiator – Don’t wait for the phone to ring or an invitation to come in the mail. Take the initiative and call the people you’d like to know better or spend time with. Put together an eventful afternoon, like a museum visit and then an early dinner at a nice restaurant, or keep it carefree and invite everyone over for a potluck. Nothing will make you feel more powerful than taking your loneliness in hand and not letting it control you.
  1. Attend a Meetup – “Find Your People” is the motto for the website Meetup.com, which helps people find and organize gatherings based on interests. A quick look at Meetup in the Washington, D.C.-metro area shows a large selection of Meetups for people over 50. And our Golden Girls Network regional directors are establishing them all over the country! In Georgia? Check out Beth’s. While many are “singles” or dating oriented, other 50+ groups bring together travel enthusiasts, female book club members, movie lovers and “women over 50 field hockey” players. Your choices are only limited by your imagination.
  1. Volunteer – “During the holidays, spend Thanksgiving at a homeless shelter,” said our founder Bonnie Moore. “You will realize how lucky you are.” Volunteering not only connects you with other volunteers who share your passions, but it also helps you conquer your sadness by showing you how useful you can be in your community. If you have a favorite non-profit organization, call them up and ask how you can lend a hand. If you’re not sure where to start, use VolunteerMatch.com to find a volunteer opportunity in your area that matches your interests, skills and available free time.
  1. Join a Golden Girls Home! – Have an extra room in your home or interested in downsizing and moving into a home with other like-minded adults? Creating or moving into a Golden Girls Home is a great way to defeat loneliness. Golden Girls Network works to match mature adults who will become friends, rather than just housemates, and helps you find people who share your interests and values.
  1. Travel – People 50 and over are the fastest growing segment of the travel industry and, because these travelers consider the companionship as important as the destination, you can find any variety of group tours for the 50+ traveler to anywhere you’d like to go. You can take a train trip, travel for volunteerism or education, or even take a “surprise tour” where you don’t know where you’re going until you end up at your hotel. Road Scholar, ElderTreks, AARP, and Senior Women’s Travel are all websites that provide information on trips for the over-50 explorer.
  1. Participate in local senior center – People who engage at their local senior center are healthier, happier and more socially connected, according to the National Council on Aging. Senior centers provide access to almost every loneliness-busting activity we mentioned above: fitness programs, volunteer opportunities, and social and recreational activities. Since baby boomers are two-thirds of the over-50 population, senior centers are re-inventing themselves to meet the interests of this active group.