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: 6 tips to help a loved one in a skilled nursing facility

Q. I enjoy your columns in the Sunday newspaper and appreciate your focus on the healthier philosophies on aging that include a positive quality of life. However, sometimes “life is life” and people find themselves in situations they never expected that often occur for those of a “special age.” We need advice to help cope with life in a roughly 10 x 12 foot dimly painted room shared with another person. So please, include a column on navigating skilled nursing facilities. S.M. Dear readers. I followed up this email with a phone call to S.M. She offered some important suggestions on how to help residents of a skilled nursing facility maximize the quality of their lives. Here’s the back story.

Successful Aging: Do you recognize the signs of elder abuse?

Dear readers, As with many important issues related to aging, there’s a date set aside to draw attention to what is considered one of the most serious public health and human rights crisis facing our nation. That is the mistreatment of our elderly, or elder abuse. June 15 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day acknowledging physical abuse, caregiver neglect, abandonment, financial exploitation, psychological and sexual abuse. Take this true or false quiz to check your knowledge on the facts. Increasing your awareness may help protect you and those whom you love from abuse. 1. Elder abuse is a big deal. 2. Most elder abuse occurs in nursing homes. 3. Physical abuse of an older person usually is

Successful Aging: What are the challenges related to getting older, and how do we deal with them?

This is the eighth year I have had the pleasure of participating in a special conversation with eight men and eight women to discuss retirement and life transitions relevant to our life stage. Most attendees were between 60 and 80 years: Some were retired, others were working part-time or engaged in full-time careers. All were highly accomplished in their respective fields, including medicine, advertising, business, higher education, global management, strategic consulting, aging and nonprofit leadership. Most described their priority of being engaged in meaningful giving-back activities; some were still searching. The men came from the Life Transition Group; the women from Renewment (which

Successful Aging: How to deal with loss and maintain healthy habits

Dear readers, I recently shared highlights of a talk I gave at the eleventh annual Daily Breeze Expo at the Torrance Marriott. My theme was Game Changers in Aging. I addressed topics that typically have positive implications for older adults, including longevity, information and movements. During a discussion after my presentation, a gentleman politely took the microphone and said, “You have missed something: the subject of loss.” Indeed, it is an important game changer. A few weeks ago I asked a group of women in their 70’s and 80’s what has caused major changes in their personal lives – their game changers. They replied, “loss of a spouse, not being able to do the things they used to do, c

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