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: There is no excuse to accept ageism or patronizing attitudes

Q. When I look up the word “old” in the thesaurus, I find the following: elderly, aged, gray-haired, grizzled, past one’s prime, decrepit, doddering, senile and over the hill. I feel I am treated like all of the above. Recently, I asked my doctor how my migraine medication worked? Expecting a scientific answer, he told me that “the medication gives little messages to my brain to tell it to stop hurting.” I also asked why my eyes were so teary. His reply, “Because they are old.” In social events, men don’t ask me about my previous career, although I ask about theirs. I am feeling patronized. What to do? P.S. I am 77, female with white hair and a previous pre-school director, attorney and avid

Successful Aging: Maintaining a positive outlook helps in recovery and good health

I am a 78-year old healthy woman facing a fourth surgery on my leg and am a bit depressed. Fortunately, I’ve recovered well from the previous three. Up until now I have been very active, hiking, traveling, dancing and continuing to work in my career. Several friends who have had recent surgeries tell me I need to get used to doing less and that’s just what I should expect given my age. Their negative outlook is distressing to me. Can you offer a little hope? T.S. Dear T.S. Yes, hope is on its way. Let’s look at the reality. We know with age we will experience changes at some point in time. Some might be disease related, others more mechanical such as a joint replacement. We may need more sle

Successful Aging: What we need to do to change our perception of retirement

Dear readers, Last week we congratulated Doug McIntyre on his retirement after 22 years from the “McIntyre in the Morning” radio show. McIntyre, a noted Southern California News Group columnist, KABC 790 AM radio host, TV/film writer and producer shared some of the struggles in making the retirement decision and coming to grips with the “dreaded ‘R’ word.” His candor was a societal commentary on how many feel about retirement. A significant number of hard-working Americans have no problem with the decision and look forward to the long-awaited gift of freedom with no commute or workplace hassles. But that’s not the case for all. We know age is intrinsically connected with retirement. “Retire

Successful Aging: My 87-year-old father cares for my ailing mother, but won’t accept needed help

Q. My father is 87-years-old and cares for my 85-year-old mother who suffers from dementia and lung cancer. He resists home care for my mother that is beyond the current one-hour a day, four days a week. My father is exhausted, stressed and says that only someone who loves my mother should care for her. I am not sure my mother is receiving her medication as prescribed. They live 3,000 miles away from me. Money is not the issue. I am so frustrated as are my siblings. Any recommendations? S.L. Dear S.L. You indeed are facing a difficult situation. Clearly, the problem is with your father and not your mother. Your father is one of about 34 million caregivers in the U.S who are caring for an adu

Successful Aging: Doug McIntyre’s retirement from radio raises issues familiar to many older America

Dear readers, Doug McIntyre — a noted Southern California Newsgroup columnist, KABC 790 radio host, TV/film writer, producer and emcee — wrote on Dec. 23 of his retirement after 22 years from his “McIntyre in the Morning” radio show. He shared his struggle with that decision. McIntyre’s views are personal, realistic, inspiring and a societal statement. He writes, “What’s hard is coming to grips with the word ‘retirement.’” “Even partial retirement means I have to face the dreaded ‘R’ word.” “Retirement is something old people do. I’m not old! Or am I?” There is good reason to be ambivalent when it comes to retirement. Of course, that’s not everyone. Many are eager to retire, welcoming no co

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