Simple daily habits to ignite your passion for writing/feed//feed/




courtesy dollarphoroclub a good cup of morning coffee
courtesy dollarphoroclub
a good cup of morning coffee

As I sit writing this post early in the morning a question springs to mind : can you teach an old dog new tricks? Continue reading “Simple daily habits to ignite your passion for writing/feed//feed/”

The Best of the60life in May

via dollarphotoclub - the good life
via dollarphotoclub – the good life

Nearing the end of a busy month. The following are the Best of the60life in May  which you may have missed: Continue reading “The Best of the60life in May”

Why changing some old habits can benefit you in later life

How's this for a good habit?
How’s this for a good habit?

Breaking old habits of a lifetime is just what the doctor ordered if,for your health’s sake,you take for inspiration that you’re never too old to adopt new healthful habits. The rewards: In the Johns Hopkins-led Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis,which tracked more than 6,000 people ages 44 to 84 for over seven years, those who made good-for-you changes like quitting smoking, following a Mediterranean diet, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight decreased their risk of death in the time period by 80 percent. The following changes not only keep you healthy, they can help slow down the ageing process, inside and out. Continue reading “Why changing some old habits can benefit you in later life”

Top March event Sport Relief 2016 discovered Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em still

Simple Life Reunion 2057
Gruhn creative commons

Sports Relief 2016 gave a platform for Michael Crawford to reprise his Frank Spencer character last played on TV 42 years ago.With an hilarious ten minute sketch Frank has several hair raising adventures on bicycle or roller skates in his typical physical comedy style.Although the sketch was widely acclaimed much comment has been made about the fact that Michael Crawford is 74 years old and, of course,considered to be a pensioner.What’s he doing all this for at his age? Many might say :Is he up to it?Wasn’t it all a long time ago when the series he starred in finished?

Apparently, this sketch was to be a ‘one-off’ in aid of charity.It took many weeks to bring to the screen.Michael might be a little stung by the age remarks.It seems he is not concerned.As in his earlier career, he did all his own stunts.Which brings us nicely to a wonderful web page featuring other senior people acting in most unexpected ways. Is it not time that the ‘old person’ stereotype was buried once and for all? Times they are a changing in our senior classes.Many people are not settling for retirement from life.They are embracing later life with both hands,working enthusiastically at remaining fitter for longer, and enjoying active and fulfilling lives.

So do spend a few moments here being entertained and amazed by a veritable ‘troupe’ of impressive people who are destroying age stereotypes.

Oh…and you can still donate to Sport Relief 2016 to support its work on projects for people in essential need in many places around the world.




Online access boosted by the tablets

Smiling senior woman using digital tablet while lying at the parkRecent official statistics show a positive trend in the use of available online access by the over 65s. Over one third are using the internet regularly.The Office of National Statistics (ONS) says that for the first time, over half of those in the age range 65-74 now have access to the internet at home.

Although this is greatly encouraging,there is still a great number of people for whom the digital revolution has had little or no impact. It is reckoned that there are still 5 million people over the age of 65 who have never been online.

With this high number in mind, government and many charities are actively promoting the benefits and confidence that skills on the internet can bring to older people. Apart from the many ways to cut domestic bills and other spending by being online, many people find that they are less isolated by being more connected with family,friends and the world at large. Age UK, provides information about the value of these internet skills, together with details of suitably tailored courses.

Some further ONS stats are:

“While nine out of ten adults (90 per cent) aged 35-44 have the internet at home, this falls to just a quarter (26 per cent) of over 75s. And while virtually all (99 per cent) 25-34s own a mobile phone, only half (51 per cent) of over 75s own a mobile, with this age group more likely to have a landline (94 per cent) than 16-24s (67 per cent).” It is also interesting to note that when asked what media would be missed the most, people aged over 75 are also far more likely to miss their TVs the most (65 per cent), and then the radio (15 per cent).  Young adults aged 16-24,however, would miss their mobile phone the most(28 per cent), followed by the internet (26 per cent) and TV (23 per cent).”

The over 65s play catch-up

The ONS says there is evidence, however, that older age groups are getting to grips with technology.For the first time, over half (55 per cent) of those aged 65-74 have access to the internet at home while over three quarters (77 per cent) now have a mobile.

And the tablets?

Well, tablets like the iPad have grown dramatically in popularity being a handy mobile device of choice for would be silver surfers of the net.The tablet is seen as a driver in the surge of internet access by older people.

If you know of family or friends seeking or needing to join the digital revolution, why not help them look out for a course nearby on computers and the internet.Indeed,you may be interested in learning more of the wide range of the fascinating information you can ‘tap into’ on a daily basis. It is such a valuable facility that can enhance the quality of life. Another source of inspiration for you maybe silver surfers training. Please do let me know how you get on.Feedback may help me to find other resources that could be helpful. You can stay in touch by signing-up for my newsletter, which among other topical things will have some further information from time to time on joining the online community.

Who will care for the carers in our society beyond 2017?

Geriatrics and elderly careWho will care for the carers ?

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), more of us are worrying about how we will be cared for when we are older. A growing number of us have taken on the  responsibility for the care of parents, but the IPPR sees a growing ‘family care gap’ developing as the number of older people in need of care  exceeds the number of family members able to provide it. This gap is expected to be apparent for the first time in 2017

The huge challenge is to meet the care needs of an ageing baby boomer generation.This could increasingly continue to fall on adult children and their partners, with women being seen as the main carers and most likely to have to give-up work to take on the care responsibilities. The IPPR draws out a number of key issues which demand a rethink of how we look after each other in later life. There is the refocusing of the respective roles of state and individuals, also the widening of the narrow  focus on physical and health needs to include those needs necessary  to lead a decent life in older age.
Whose responsibility is it anyway?
The state though holding a pivotal role has never been the main provider, in the post-war period, of care and support for the elderly. It is family support that has carried most of the weight for this, at an estimated annual value of £55billion.
As budgets for spending on elderly care continue to be severely constrained, a recent NHS survey reveals that few of us believe government has the right social care policies. Post-war society has changed rapidly as the baby boomer generation age. More people now live alone, and family members often live far apart for both social and economic reasons. Looking forward,the IPPR in its report, is seeking to highlight solutions that place greater value on mutual  support provided by resources working within families,neighbourhoods and community networks.
So finally what can be done?
In making its recommendations the IPPR,believes the post-war model of social care needs a fundamental rethink, as it does not meet the wants and needs of the elderly, nor does it it prepare society to deal with an ageing  population.
A core recommendation is
  • the building and development of new neighbourhood networks  designed to help older people stay active and healthy, and support families find the right work care life balance.

This would work with other recommendations for

  • better care-coordination and single point contact
  • giving power to older people, families and carers to buy services directly using a community based ‘shared budget’
  • stronger employment rights enabling carers to better able combine work and care.
You can read the full IPPR report here…

Have you planned your New Year Resolutions?


The old year has nearly gone

and many of us will go through that timeless ritual of seeing the New Year in with one or several resolutions. We will be in earnest.But how many of us will manage to keep any of those promises to ourselves or others?According to some estimate as few as 1 in 10 of us will manage to achieve this self inflicted goal.
So why do we fail? It seems straight forward enough when the idea of self improvement,or perhaps a worthy cause, is born on the wave of a rush of blood when the sentimentality of the waning year is upon us. Why don’t our resolutions work out?
These key questions, and others, are answered in an excellent book which also provides an easy to follow blueprint based on 12 good habit types…to read more

UK helpline for lonesome older people launched


Believing that there is a serious need in the UK for a new service to help pensioners who suffer from loneliness, Esther Ranzten of  That’s Life! fame has recently launched Silver Line. In these days of potential information overload, help in making the right links to appropriate resources for a disadvantaged section of our society would seem to be great idea.
Silver Line with some founder sponsors and ongoing public donations has set itself-up to act as a ‘befriending’ organisation which those in need of its services can access by telephone 24/7. Trained advisors will be on hand to provide free and confidential advice, and of course a comforting word.
0800 4 70 80 90
Of course, many older people of pension age are not lonely, in the sense that living alone they are unhappy with that condition. But for others, there will be that constant debilitating feeling of being left adrift from mainstream society.This feeling of no longer having purpose in life with no tangible contact with other people may arise from from many causes. Perhaps the sudden lack of camaraderie provided by an active and busy workplace, little social interaction from enforced immobility from accident or illness, the lost contacts as family members move or pass away.
0800 4 70 80 90
The helpline advisers will help to point callers in the right direction for resources specific to a caller’s needs. That might be locating services in a local area provided by say, ageUK or the Royal Voluntary Service which can give further advice and offer companionship.
0800 4 70 80 90 
Many elderly people are not be prepared to admit they are lonely.They maybe too proud,or they may fear the prospect of inviting someone to ‘befriend’ them. Trained advisers will attempt to break down these issues,with security of the individual very much in mind.
The service of course requires public financial support, and there are opportunities to become a volunteer and an adviser to the cause. This may be just for you, if you now find  you have more time to spare and would like to help people in need.
0800 4 70 80 90
It these times, it seems to me that another such help link is to be welcomed. Some may feel they are being patronised. But from the TV and press coverage, and public reaction, to the announcement of the new service, it has been generally well received.
The founder,Esther Rantzen, was successful with the child line she set-up 27 years ago which now forms part of the NSPCC.
If you can bear the jingle when you go to the Silver Line website you will find the contact telephone details if you haven’t spotted them already in this post! Do let me have your views.

The age of fear for the over 60s?


RenderedImageOne third of people in their 60s  experience a ‘later-life’ crisis 


The other day ,The Daily Mail reports, the Harrogate conference of the British Psychological Society heard from Dr Oliver Robinson, a lead researcher at The University of Greenwich, that in a survey of 282 people aged 60 or over, 32 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women said they had had a crisis since the age of 60.


At the centre of this later-life crisis for many over 60s is the big question : What is the meaning of life?


Why particularly at this time of life? Is it not stating the blindingly obvious, you may say, that as we become older we fear more, and feel more vulnerable? Illness and isolation become the enemies to be feared, and very often actually endured. There may be loss of family members and friends, or of gainful employment or occupation; physical or mental disability may restrict activity, and a break in connection with the world outside. This is said to be different from the ‘mid-life’ crisis of younger people.


The survey’s findings may perhaps not surprise. For some over 60, the figure of a third may seem rather low. What is there left to do, and where is it all going?


The questions are hugely important,so too is helping to find some answers. The experts conclude that unless the ‘triggers’ of a crisis, for example, bereavement or illness of a loved one, are properly addressed, then a spiral can often develop leading to and accelerating personal decline into physical and meant suffering.


It seems that two or more stressful life events, and the subsequent sense of loss, are likely to raise an acute awareness of mortality and frailty.


In Dr Robinson’s words: “It was important for people in their 60s to recognise the signs and for some to seek help.” It was not something to be ashamed about, either having these experiences or seeking help.”


And the Good News…Overcoming, the crisis can often make life seem even better than before.

Where to go to for help? Obvious immediate answers may be : your general medical practitioner, at first instance, or close family members and friends. In these pages ongoing, we will try to offer some regular and helpful information to help fill the knowledge gap, in what is a large and complex area to cover. If you see in the near future, on the side-bar of this page, an opportunity to sign-up for regular updates and news about what you have just been reading – Do sign-up! There is no cost, and no obligation, your details are treated as strictly confidential and will never be passed on elsewhere.


Health Disclaimer! The information provided on this site should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.



You may wish to follow full reports covered in this article and related articles:

One in three over-60s are hit by a ‘later life’ crisis about the meaning of life

Keep an eye also on updates to Your Health here>>




Stand up for your health




Over recent years,there have been academic studies which have concluded that sitting down too much during each day is bad for us, and may significantly reduce our lives, perhaps by several years.


Standing too much,too, may also not be good either. What seems to be important from all these studies is regular physical movement. So if you are inclined in the day to sit a great deal for whatever reason, it is beneficial to move about say every 20 minutes,or so. Why not programme into your day, if you are stuck at home for instance; a regular cup of tea(which you get up and make yourself), or make a bed ;or perhaps  potter in the garden if the weather permits; or do that small fixing job you’ve been meaning to do for a while.

Taking regular light exercise, whether at home or at work which breaks up otherwise lengthy sedentary periods during the day may help ward off long term health issues which can arise from excessive sitting. Now it is easy to read these academic reports and terrify ourselves with the long words and dire consequences described, the easy bit though seems to be  a truly simple solution – we just need to get off our butts more each day.

The sooner we start the better, but it is never too late too tweek our lifestyles a little – small adjustments make a big difference according to most of the studies on the dangers of excessive sitting.

How long do you sit down on average each day? Apparently, according to the Daily Telegraph some figures show some of us in the UK spending up to 14 hours per day sitting down!

So let’s MOVE IT!

Looking at the wider opportunities for  taking regular appropriate exercise, may I leave you today with a great link to exercise tips you can consider  building into your lifestyle practice. For those who don’t swim there is a great section on swimming. It is never too late to learn.Let me know how you get on.Maybe you have tips to benefit others.


the60life salutes star of TV’s “The Good Life”

It is with great sadness that we read that Richard Briers,CBE, a star of the highly successful 1970’s TV sitcom series “The Good Life”, has passed away at the age of 79. He will for most people be strongly associated with his role as Tom Good who made them laugh uproariously with his antics during his chosen life of self-sufficiency in Surbiton. What may surprise many is that “The Good Life”  ran for only three years, and was but a minute part of his work in an acting career that spanned some fifty years. He was a highly regarded English actor whose career covered stage,film, TV, and radio.

The long list of acting credits to his name will be well covered by a great number of obituaries, and in interviews with friends and colleagues who knew him well and will testify to his genius. They will also talk of his great generosity shown to people he worked with. He was by all accounts in real life always a “thoroughly good and nice bloke.” What better thing can be said of anyone.

In his sixties and seventies, he worked mainly doing TV work, as in “Monarch of the Glen”, and eventually towards the end of his life happy only to do voice overs, but he was also acclaimed during these years for fine Shakespearean performances.

The writer for one will still enjoy immensely watching repeats of TV episodes of “The Good Life”,which was the work that made him a much loved household name.He apparently never tired of the attention received when recognised in public.

You can’t do that! You’re over 50, stupid!

How many of us of a certain age have had this sort of thing said to us; often by friends and relatives, or the media. How strange then that,in a world which seems to daily challenge long held rules and customs, older people are being constrained in their activities or in what they wear by some long held arbitrary boundaries. A letter writer to the Sunday Independent was recently sufficiently moved to have a ‘rant’ about this in response to an article in that paper (published August 5,2012). Eleanor Coggins in the article had asked the two questions: “Should I embrace my inner pensioner?” and “When do I let the hair grow 50 shades of grey,wear twinsets and flesh-coloured tights?”

The writer was robust in her response. She remembers rules and criticisms from parents,teachers and community as a 16 year-old. Her hair was too short, or it was too long … Boyfriend was too old, and her hot pants too hot! Although high-fashion magazines say that women over 50 should never do this or that, she is determinedly going to embrace absurdity (she has decided to buy a pair of shiny red platform sandals) with the same brazen attitude she showed when she wore her much maligned green plastic platform shoes so many years ago.

It is probably true that many people, men and women, of a certain age, wear a kind of uniform dress code which can tend to define their age group. But if they break-out , and  wear what they feel best in, should they not be encouraged? This should also apply to activities where, within the physical and mental capacity,they should sky-dive, skinny-dip in the ocean, travel the world, join an amateur dramatic society,go to pubs and clubs, and so on.

I’m with the writer of the letter to the Independent. These pages will frequently return to this theme, and to give current news and ideas for breaking the ‘mould’.

So,where are you on this? Let me know.I’d love to hear from you.


Satisfaction with Life: the keys to a fulfilling retirement

This post keeps on the theme of retirement. It is well known that life expectancy among those currently retiring in their sixties means they could have some 25-30 years more ahead for them.But what to do with all that time?That is the challenge.

We are accustomed to seeing emphasis placed on good financial planning for retirement. Although having a good income behind you when you finally give-up the 40-hour working week knocks away a high hurdle when contemplating a long period of retirement, this of itself does not guarantee a fulfilled and positive retirement.So if you have looked forward to no longer having to answer to your boss, or the demands of every day business, how can you give yourself the chance to enjoy your new found freedom?How do you find satisfaction in your and real quality of life?

Recently, the University of Greenwich in England, undertook a survey to try and find the answer to the above and other questions. This study in conjunction with Laterlife Learning,looked at the responses to an e-survey conducted for the period October 2008 and January 2010. This study found that the keys to a fulfilling retirement were:

1. Having  aspirational reasons for retiring

2.Going on a retirement course

3.Having an active social life

4.Having someone to share retirement with

5.Having at least three of the ‘the Big Five’ personality traits

6. Money matters:Having a lack of financial resources,though, was not an impediment to satisfaction in retirement, and access to enjoyable experiences.

Some help tips in the conclusions from the survey report briefly are:

  • aim to retire on your own terms
  • find a goal for retirement that excites you
  • have activities that go beyond job work and non-work activities and breach the transition into retirement
  • gain a positive effect by attending a retirement preparation course
  • find an active social circle in retirement doing things you enjoy
  • look on money as only part of the retirement satisfaction jigsaw

You can read the full brief report providing the findings for the keys to a fulfilling retirement by the University of Greenwich

And,if you would like to also see what the pre- and post- retirement counseling course team Laterlife can offer




As you grow older have you become invisible in your own community?

Have things changed significantly for you as you have grown older? Perhaps you have noticed how once when your hair was not so grey or white, or you walked with less of a limp, or without the the use of a walking stick, that people were more prepared to stop and take time to listen to you. They  would offer you the common curtesies of a valued member of society.

A recent report in the Daily mail says that: ‘The elderly believe they have become invisible in Britain’s youth-obsessed society with more than half feeling ignored, a survey revealed yesterday.

They fear being sidelined  despite embracing modern  technology such as surfing  the web and going on Facebook and Twitter.

Pensioners claim that their opinion is never solicited, nothing on TV  and radio is made for them and that they are written off by and ridiculed by society.

As the report says,although many people are living much longer and enjoying active and fulfilling lives as never before, there are many who still feel marginalised merely because they are stereotyped as older people and of low value.
So what do you think? I would like to hear from you. Maybe you feel angry about this; or you may feel of such low self esteem now that you appear not to have anything  more to contribute to society. Well, we’d like to prove to you that you are wrong to feel this way by sharing of a wide range of views. This can be of great benefit to many.

Can you be too old to be a Girl Guide leader?

Apparently so, according to the Girl Guide organisation which has decided that a woman is too old at 65 to be a Guide leader.

The Daily Telegraph today reports that a Girl Guide leader has pledged to fight the organisation’s “insulting and outdated” rules “tooth and nail” after being forced to stand down from her post after being deemed too old at 65. What do you think?

Read more here…

Graceful Women of Sixty

The following extract from the Pall Mall Gazette of circa.1890 gives us an interesting insight into the contemporary perception of the lady 60-lifer of those days:

“Old ladies in the ordinary sense of the word are getting remarkably scarce.I never came across old ladies’ bonnets,dresses,cloaks,or finery in any shape or form for old ladies at the shops. People tell me they don’t make such things. The fact is that women of 50 and 60 have ceased to make frights of themselves. They don’t wear their clothes (boots,bonnets, and gloves included) four time too big for them, like old ladies of past years used to. Less capacious garments are found to be just as comfortable.

“Women of sixty can and do dress gracefully nowadays. Those who have lost their own hair wear artificial ,and look all the better for doing so. With nice hair, whether real or otherwise,a woman of sixty can always put on a respectable looking bonnet. Ugly old ladies will have vanished altogether by the time the Princess of Wales is 60.”

Well, ladies, all I can say is thank goodness we are living in more enlightened times!

Hints to Wives on the Way to Charm Their Husbands

How things do change even in a hundred years! This extract was found in a magazine of 1891:

How many a family quarrel a button missing from my lord’s shirt has caused; how many a man has found a dainty, well cooked dinner,with which his wife has really taken pains, all distateful,because she did not remember that he did not like onions in the soup, or oil in the salad!Unreasonable?Yes,and a little thing to put him out ,but who, dear madam ,finds the grain of sand in the eye less irritating because of its minutenes, and have not you yourself have all your pleasure in your new bonnet destroyed because the ostrich plumes and the ribbon wre a little different in colour? It was so little that no one but yourself probably ever noticed it, but nevertheless you hated that bonnet and felt cross when you wore it.

Men are luxurious creatures, and the wife nearest her husband’s heart is she who studies his comfort.Men may be charmed,tantalized by, infatuated with the beautiful,the witty, the cocquettish for a time, but it is the woman who keeps his hose darned ,who lays his paper on his plate ,remembers the eaxact number of lumps of sugar ,and the quantity of cream in his coffee, who avoids the subject of Jone’s success in the very undertaking he himself failed in,because she knows it is not pleasant – this is the woman who takes permanent possession of his heart, rules it through never letting him suspect she is aught but his humble handmaid, and when she dies is mourned and missed sincerely
-from a correspondent at the St Louis Globe-Democrat 1891
Of such little things a marriage was made!

A story of a fern for your life and relationships

This story was brought to my attention recently by a successful internet marketer,Perry Marshall. It’s a good read, and ends as a kind of cautionary tale about not neglecting things like our relationships, which might otherwise wither like a plant that is deprived of attention. I thought I would share it with you today.

I have an asparagus fern named Lazarus, writes Tom Hoobyar

Why did I name him Lazarus? I’ll tell you why.

I named him Lazarus because when I first got him for my batchelor apartment I was sometimes a neglectful caretaker.

I got the plant so there would be something alive in my apartment besides me. It came in a small green plastic pot about the size of a coffee mug and cost two dollars. It was a little green living thing and it kept me a kind of quiet company… to read more

An every day story of June Spencer

Perhaps you, too, grew up with ‘The Archers’ playing on the radio in the background. For me it signalled the end of yet another day, and time to go to bed when the latest evening instalment finished. There is one of the original cast from those faraway days, who is still going strong…

The Daily Telegraph reports:

“June Spencer OBE, 90, has been the voice of Peggy Woolley (née Perkins, formerly Archer) in Radio 4’s The Archers for 60 years and is the only remaining member of the original cast. She will be granted the Freedom of the City of London at the Guildhall on June 4. She lives in Surrey and has a holiday house in Menorca.”

You can check her day out in a full report at
June Spencer on being Peggy Archer