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: How these vital women are managing social distance

Q. As a 73-year old healthy retired widow, I am having trouble with another transition just when I had the “retirement piece” all worked out. I had a great career, a fulfilling retirement and now am self-quarantined. The transition from work to retirement and now to isolation is a big one for me. Any thoughts? And please don’t give me an exhausting laundry list of things I can do. I am sure I am not alone on this. An added thought: Is anyone thinking about the impact of this big change on older adults? E.R. Dear E.R. Indeed, you are not alone. This isolation is a major transition for everyone, including older people. In your case, it sounds like it has occurred just when you figured out how

Successful Aging: I have free time after decades of hard work, so what’s the problem?

I have been working as an operating room nurse for the past 41 years, arising at 5:30 am every morning. Recently, I retired and moved to Southern California. Until my home sells in the north, I am living with my 80-years old cousin for which I am most appreciative. My issue is that I feel I am being judged about what I am doing – or not doing – every day. My cousin who is very busy asks me daily, “And what are you doing today?” I am busy when I want to be; I chill when I want and go where the winds blow. I feel I am being judged which is not a good feeling. Your thoughts? (P.S., I am taking tap dancing and flower arranging and spending time with grandkids.) M.S. Dear M.S. Let’s start with lo

Successful Aging: How to make and keep friends in our lives

Your column a few weeks ago about friendship and your perfect friends left me feeling lacking because my friends are not perfect. I imagine I am not the only person who feels that way. I faithfully read your column and usually appreciate the information and guidance you share. However, your column had the opposite effect on me to what I imagine you intended. Any comments? M.L. Dear M.L. I can well imagine how my column had the effect you described. And for that, my apologies. I don’t believe there is a truly perfect friendship, but we can come close. Perhaps what we can address are some obstacles to creating and maintaining friendships and how to make them as fulfilling as possible. I recent

Successful Aging: Too many doctor appointments? 6 tips to maximize wellness visits

I am 65 years old and basically quite healthy. Yet I feel I am always going to a doctor’s office for something. It could be for a bone density test, teeth cleaning, eye exam, gynecological exam, colonoscopy plus flu, pneumonia and shingles, vaccines. Is this typical? B.L. Dear B.L. Indeed, these appointments can be time-consuming. Here’s another way to reframe your concern. Each one of the tests or examinations you noted is proactive to determine if you are continuing to be healthy or if there is a sign of possible trouble ahead. These tests are a gift for early detection. We know that preventive measures can slow down the progression of many diseases common for older adults. If that conditi

Successful Aging: Why older people are starting new businesses — and succeeding

Q. I am over 50 and some of my newest entrepreneur partners are in their 60s and 70s. Their breadth and scope of experience is phenomenal. Is this common? I keep thinking that entrepreneurship is with the young folks in Silicon Valley. L.B. Dear L.B. Your experience validates the prevalence of older entrepreneurs. The media tends to describe entrepreneurs particularly those who are tech-savvy as being in their early 20s. That’s not the case. The highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. is among those 55 to 64 years, according to The Kauffman Index of Startup Activity. That’s been the case for the past 15 years, writes Elizabeth Isele, CEO of the Global Institute for Experienced

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