Successful Aging

A weekly syndicated newspaper column by Helen Dennis

After 18 years and more than 875 columns, Helen continues to delight readers with her Successful Aging column for the Southern California News Group.  The syndicated column reaches more than 1.6 million readers weekly.



Successful Aging appears

in the following newspapers:

The Los Angeles Daily News

The Daily Breeze

Pasadena Star News

Long Beach Press Telegram

Whittier Daily News

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Santa Barbara Sun

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Orange County Register

Redlands Daily Facts

Press Enterprise

Successful Aging: Love advice for when you and your partner live apart

Q. I am 75 years old and have a relationship question. I am in love with a woman who lives two thousand miles away. She has a deep affection for me but prefers to live alone – without me. Needless to say, I would like to move in with her. We both are widowed. Any advice? E.S. Dear E.S. You have identified a new kind of later-life relationship called Living Apart Together, or LAT, an intimate relationship without a shared residence. Because of the doubling of the divorce rate among the 50-plus and longer life expectancy, these new partnerships are becoming more popular. Jacquelyn Benson, an assistant professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at University of Missouri, studies

Successful Aging: How to create a more age-friendly world

Dear readers. I recently returned from Toronto where I attended and presented at a conference offered by the International Federation on Ageing. More than 77 countries were represented with about 1,500 attendees from around the world. The theme was “Towards a Decade of Healthy Ageing,” with the goal of engaging stakeholders in meeting the challenges of global aging as well as those in their own communities. Dr. John Beard, an Australian physician and director of the Department of Aging and Life Course at the World Health Organization, shared four lessons learned as he reflected on his past 10 years in a leadership role. These lessons are applicable in some way to each of us — as policy maker

Successful Aging: Find your passion — more strategies for the road to discovery

Dear readers, Last week S.G., a recently retired scientist, had difficulty answering this question: “What is your passion?” He felt guilty having no answer. We provided 10 questions to help him. This week, we offer another approach. But first, a few lines about passion. It’s defined as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something.” The humanitarian Albert Schweitzer emphasized its importance and also a concern. He wrote, “As soon as you notice the slight sign of indifference, the moment you become aware of the loss of a certain seriousness, longing, of enthusiasm and zest, take it as a warning. You should realize your soul suffers if you live superficially.” That seems like a

Successful Aging: Important questions that will help you find your passion

Question: I recently retired as a senior scientist from a laboratory. Several people have asked me what I plan to do next. Some have asked, “What is your passion?” To be honest, I have loved my work but never described my work or interests as my passion. I don’t know if I have a passion for something to do in my retirement. I almost feel guilty not being able to answer the question. Am I unusual? — S.G. Answer: Dear S.G., Most middle-age and older adults were not coached on finding their passion. When we were growing up our parents typically wanted us to prepare for work rather than “filling our heart space” or embracing our passions. Our parents were practical. From my experience, the word

Successful Aging: I don’t have children; where will I live as I get older?

Dear readers, Last week, we discussed some options for S.K., who is in her mid-60’s, lives alone and has no children. She wants to know about her options when the time comes that she may need help, knowing there are no children or grandchildren to look after her. This week, we’ll talk about opportunities for relocating. Continuing Care Communities (or CCRCs): Sara Zeff Geber, author of “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers,” recommends these, which are also known as life care communities, particularly for those without children because they provide safety, security, community and care. CCRCs offer a tiered approach of independent living units, assisted living units and skilled nursin

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