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: Ways to prevent social isolation from turning into depression

Q. I have an issue. This statewide “one-size-fits-all” order that we stay imprisoned in our homes condemns the widows and widowers among us older people to solitary confinement. If you have family in the house of one or more people, it’s not so bad. My wife passed away over six years ago after 58 years of being together; the loneliness is still with me. I go out to eat at restaurants just to have people around me not because I don’t know how to cook. What good does it do to save lives if these lives are not worth living anymore? We’ve had other crises without bankrupting America. Sorry to vent on you, but I am in danger of going stir crazy. Humans are wired for contact, not cages. H.R. Dear

Successful Aging: Are some adult children overprotective in trying to shield their parents from COVI

Q: Although well meaning, my four adult children are driving my husband and me crazy because of the COVID-19 virus. They insist on checking up on us multiple times a day to see if we are OK and to remind us what we should and should not be doing. Although they are children, they are acting like helicopter parents. I recently went to a store to pick up some fabric and safely stayed in my car as the sales woman handed me the items through my car window. This created a family explosion. Is there a way I can tone down their worries and reassure them that we are fine? — S.G. Dear S.G.: In all likelihood, your adult children are anxious and worried about your health and safety. As background, le

Successful Aging: These are traits that help older adults in times of crisis

Dear readers. Given the COVID-19 environment, it seems timely to identify the strengths older adults can rely upon to help cope with this unprecedented time. The literature provides a variety of age-related traits that can work in our favor. Check if some of these apply to you or your loved ones. Resilience. Older adults have the capacity for resilience. By resilience, we mean recovering from difficult experiences, the ability to bounce back. In general, older adults adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or sources of stress. An article in the journal Geriatric Nursing cited research suggesting that older adults are capable of being resilient despite their socioeconomic backgroun

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