60 and middle-aged?
If you don’t feel old, it’s because you’re not old. Two new research studies suggest that due to improvements in health, our life expectancy has increased dramatically thus making 60-year-olds still considered middle-aged.
In fact, hitting the big 6-0 and beyond is a time of immense enjoyment for a lot of people. The nest is empty; you’ve already achieved your career goals and you can now finally put yourself first. To put it in the words of one 68-year-old, “It’s go time!”
Becky Wells, is one sixty-something who is ready to embrace that 60 is the new 40. “I honestly still feel like I’m in my forties. If I want to do something I do it. Age has never stopped me.”
This “Go For It” attitude has seen an upswing in seeing the world. Travel is cited as the number one goal for the 60-plus population. Hawaii tops the list of must-see places followed by Italy, Alaska, England and Ireland.
Travel planners say the best way to save money is to book your travel during the off season and to stay flexible. Travel operators often slash prices at the last minute to fill empty seats and rooms. If you’re willing to travel on a moment’s notice, there are all sorts of deals. One couple saved almost $1,000 on airfare to Paris by waiting and diligently watching for fares to drop.
Giving back is also a must for many baby boomers. In a recent poll, more than half the people 65 and older said that they either are currently volunteering or plan on volunteering. The Corporation for National and Community Service reports that in just one year, more than 18 million adults aged 55 and up contributed three billion hours of service.
Jackie Baker with Kansas City’s Nonprofit Connect, says they’ve seen a growing number of volunteers over the age of 65. “The mature volunteer is a huge asset. We consider them invaluable. Not only are they usually skilled, but their life experience brings with it a wealth of wisdom.”
A recent search of volunteer opportunities on the Nonprofit Connect website revealed everything from volunteering at a Nutcracker tea party to bookkeeping and mentoring.
Fitness Over 50
If you did aerobics to Jane Fonda while wearing leg warmers and got hooked on the running boom of the ‘70s, chances are you’ve been active most of your life. In fact, most baby boomers say they still enjoy working out. Here’s a list of the top six favorite fitness activities for the 60-plus generation.
Water is terrific for joints and reducing the impact that all of that running might have caused. It also helps tone your muscles and is one of the best low-impact aerobics activities you can do.
Pilates has been called the gift that keeps on giving. It’s also low impact and besides increased flexibility, better balance and improved circulation, it helps with your range of motion and strength.
Andrea O’Dell, owner of Club Pilates Overland Park, says 70 percent of her clientele are over 50. “Pilates is a low-impact workout that the majority of baby boomers can do. Instructors can offer modifications for most injuries. In fact, physical therapists use a lot of Pilates exercises during their sessions with clients.”
Biking is a great sport for everyone, especially boomers. It can be an intense cardio workout along trails, or a slow ride through the park with grandchildren. A lot of the growth in bike riding is coming from the 60 to 79 age demographics. 72-year-old James McDonald, says he started riding a bike seriously four years ago after running had “beat up” his knees. “I love it. I get on a bike and feel like a kid again.”
Strength training is excellent for retaining muscle mass as we age. You don’t have to bulk up like the Hulk, but lifting light weights and doing resistance training has impressive long-term benefits. We begin to slowly lose muscle mass in our late 20’s and it increases significantly when we enter our 60’s. Strength training won’t stop muscle loss but it can significantly slow it way down.
Walking is a classic and is still the gold standard for exercising. It’s one the best and easiest activities to do. No equipment is required except shoes. It decreases your risk of heart disease, increases muscle strength, flexibility and sense of balance. It’s also something that is enjoyable to do with friends and is proven to elevate your mood. If walking outside doesn’t appeal to you, hop on a treadmill and get moving.
LIVING TO THE FULLEST
Cedar Lake Village in Olathe
Cedar Lake Village in Olathe, is a partnership between Olathe Health and The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. A full continuum of care is offered including maintenance-free villas, apartments with services, assisted living, memory care, post-acute rehabilitation and skilled nursing. Along with the advantage of being located on the campus of Olathe Medical Park, residents benefit from many amenities including chef-prepared meals, housekeeping, transportation services, a highly regarded wellness program, indoor heated swimming pool, gym and a new worship and life center. For more information, or to schedule a tour, please visit www.cedarlakevillagekc.org.
15325 S. Lone Elm Road, Olathe, Kan., (913) 780-9916, cedarlakevillagekc.org
Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit
Cross Creek at Lee’s Summit, a Capital Health Management community, is a new assisted living and memory care community designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s and related disorders. Cross Creek’s mission is to serve their residents by helping them achieve the highest level of physical and mental well-being. Daily life at Cross Creek is based on the five pillars of brain health, designed to encourage residents to move, discover, relax, nourish and connect. A 24-hour licensed nursing staff trained in dementia care, endless amenities and activities and deliberately designed studio, one- and two- bedroom suites with private baths, allow residents to continue doing the things they love in a safe and supported environment.
3320 NE Wilshire Drive, Lee’s Summit, Mo., (816) 607-5700, crosscreekatleessummit.com
Liberty at Shoal Creek
There’s so much to love about being an empty nester! Free time, the ability to do exactly what you want to do, and finally being able to put yourself first.
Liberty at Shoal Creek, a 55 and better luxury living community, is solely focused on making your new dreams come true. The community is thoughtfully designed for mature adults who want to free themselves from the responsibilities of home ownership, but aren’t ready for the slower pace of a retirement community.
It all starts with your new home. At Liberty at Shoal Creek there are stunning one- and two- bedroom options available with “plus dens and plus units” for those who desire a larger floorplan. But, that’s just part of the story of life at Liberty of Shoal Creek. The community is rich with amenities and there is an abundance of opportunity for social and recreational fun. Residents call it the “Vacation that never ends!”
There’s a reason Liberty at Shoal Creek has a high-end resort feel. Residents have full access to an indoor pool and spa, movie theater, tavern room with simulated golf and table and arcade games, arts and crafts studio, putt-putt green, bocce ball court, sports and cards lounge, yoga and Pilates studio, multi-purpose gathering room with a chef’s demonstration kitchen, music room, library with a fireplace and more.
Liberty at Shoal Creek is dedicated to creating a fun-filled, active and social community. This is the place for mature adults who value quality, while living life to the fullest.
8800 NE 82nd St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 272-5722, libertyatshoalcreek.com
Mission Chateau Senior Living Community
Mission Chateau Senior Living Community, developed by Tutera Senior Living & Healthcare, is the newest, luxury retirement community in the heart of Prairie Village. Mission Chateau spans 18.4 gated acres, offering the finest country club style senior living community in Johnson County.
To meet the diverse lifestyle and health care needs of seniors, the rental-based community will offer Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care residential options that exemplify the highest standards in senior and wellness design.
Executive Director, Peaches Cunningham states "What makes Mission Chateau Senior Living Community different is that we are locally owned and operated. As the Executive Director, I will be there to make sure that our high standards are being met and fulfill the needs of every resident. Our team makes it a priority to provide unparalleled hospitality while getting to know each resident and their family personally. After all, family is at the heart of everything we do."
4100 W. 85th St., Prairie Village, Kan., (913) 249-0112, missionchateaubytutera.com