Online fitness for heart health, a “dementia farm” – and more from the week online


From news you can use to finds you might love, click through our picks from the week online.

Going viral: One crazy dream crossed off the bucket list

“It was thrilling to get to do it after all these years – which I thought would never happen.” That’s Walter Thomas, of Woodstock, Illinois, and the “it” that he finally got to do last week was to drive through his garage doors. It may not be everyone’s idea of a bucket list item, but then, not everyone wants to climb Mount Everest, either. What’s on yours?

(Video link for mobile)

A new online fitness program for heart health

The well respected Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at Toronto General Hospital unveiled a web-based program that’s designed for heart patients, but is a good tool for anyone looking to improve their cardiac health. The site features medical information, step-by-step fitness instruction for beginners, intermediate and advanced users, and individual exercise videos as part of a proven fitness program for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients. Each workout sequence takes less than half an hour to complete. The 70 exercise videos currently on the site help with core stability, muscular endurance, relaxation and breathing techniques. Read more here or go straight to the site by clicking here.

A farm community for people with dementia

In the Netherlands, small-scale facilities are providing community living for people with dementia who can no longer be cared for in their own homes. But these facilities aren’t your typical nursing home; they’re farms, like one in Reigershoeve. According to the World Health Organization, over the past decade Holland has been a frontrunner in developing national plans to care for its dementia patients (the country is well known for its “dementia villages“). “It is important that people with dementia experience freedom and normalcy every day,” says Reigershoeve manager Dieneke Smit. “Our residents are able to enjoy being outside when they choose and it is a safe environment for them.” To read more, click here.


Why is work not part of “financial security” at the White House Conference on Aging?

When the White House Conference on Aging convenes next month, one focus will be senior financial security. In conference terms, that means Social Security, savings and investments, and pensions – in other words, retirement financial security. What about work? That’s the question’s Betsy Werley asks in an opinion piece on Next Avenue, where she challenges the conference to broaden its definition of financial security and consider four key policy areas that can help seniors stay in – and enrich – the workforce. Among Werley’s recommendations: Highlight the value of older workers “rather than reinforcing stereotypes of frailty and dependency”; create opportunities for paid work where seniors can have the most impact on their communities; find ways to use older workers’ talents as mentors and connectors; and expand educational opportunities and loan programs – “let’s help people gain new skills in their 40s… 60s… and 80s as well.” Read more on

Netflix sitcom “Grace and Frankie” opens up taboo post-menopusal sex topics

The popular Netflix show “Grace and Frankie” that stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomplin as two 70-year-olds who are newly single after being married for 40 years has been lauded for giving a truer (if somewhat privileged) picture of aging than TV’s known for. Now the Irish Examiner is weighing in with its own take: This is the first show to take on topics around post-menopausal sex, such as pain, STDs and the ageist notion that older women just aren’t interested. To read “Frisky Business As Usual in Later Life,” click here.

If you missed “Grace and Frankie: A Taste of TV’s New Aging” on Senior Planet, click here.

America’s Got Talent publishes video of “world’s oldest dancer”

Forget about the wow factor that America’s Got Talent banks on (“wow, she’s 96”), the dancers’ typical pedestrian start that breaks into a “had you fooled” high-energy routine and the predictable closeups of the judges’ astonished faces after they made several veiled jokes about the age difference between these ballroom partners. The joy that famed yoga teacher Tao Porchon-Lynch exudes as she and her dance partner Vard Margarya perform is enough to convince us all that dancing is the road to happiness – even if, like Porchon-Lynch, you’ve had several hip replacements. The pair competed in America’s Got Talent last week.

(Video link for mobile)

Making Skype even simpler for Windows users

Skype announced that starting July 7, PC users will get an update of the “modern” version of Skype’s desktop application – a favorite for connecting with family on video. The tech company says the update will work better with touch applications and offers better navigation tools. To read more about the changes, click here.

Working towards that perfect slice of salmon

Most job applications don’t list these types of credentials: “I’ve been one of your best customers; I’m reliable; I’ve always been a fish person.” That’s what Len Berk, a retired accountant, wrote in his application for a job as a salmon slicer at Manhattan’s iconic gourmet food store Zabar’s. Now 85, Berk is a veteran salmon counter worker who says his life-long love of lox drew him to his second act – and he’s still pursuing his goal of making that perfect slice. “I want my slices to have more style, more character… more panache,” he said. Listen to the story on NPR, below.

For more on Berk, watch a video portrait on Senior Planet.

Online dating fraud is on the rise

The Federal Trade Commission says that that complaints about online dating ploys – scam artists posing as would-be partners – more than doubled between 2013 and 2014, and according to the FBI, some $82 million were lost to online-dating fraud by Americans during the last six months of 2014. A story on AARP describes a typical scenario and points to how online daters can better protect themselves. Click here to read more.

Last week it was inspiring, this week the Caitlyn Jenner cover is called “ageist”

Last week, named 65-year-old transexual Caitlyn Jenner an inspiration for late-life self-reinvention. This week, Jenner was still the most talked about senior on the Internet – but the tone changed. Some called her now famous image that graced the cover of Vanity Fair sexist. And former Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman made a claim for it’s being ageist, too – the cover makes a “fantasy” of Jenner’s age. “As an (even) older woman, may I add a little something to the sexism?” she writes. “May I ask why Caitlyn couldn’t come out as a 65-year-old woman rather than a 25-year-old starlet?” Goodman blames veteran photographer Annie Leibowitz – a senior herself – as well as Vanity Fair editors for not understanding that for many, being 65 is more about hip replacements than breast enhancements and offers the chance to finally quit the “extreme sport of femininity.” To read more of Goodman’s take, click here.


Welcome to the retirement village of the future

AARP predicts that retirement villages of the future will play off Baby Boomers’ desire to stay in their own neighborhoods. Beth Baker, author of “With a Little Help from Our Friends – Creating Community as We Grow Older,” believes that naturally occurring retirement communities, or NORCS – neighborhoods or complexes where a lot of people are aging in place – will be the norm in 2025. “It will be the community you create and build without packing a single moving box,” Baker says. Instead of downsizing, seniors will come together as housemates to help defray costs and earn extra income. They also may form “Villages” – small living communities where driving and household chores are shared, like Beacon Hill Village in Boston. To read more about senior living trends, click here.


And finally…

What happens when you play classical music to elephants!

(Video link for mobile)

Happy clicking!


0 responses to “Online fitness for heart health, a “dementia farm” – and more from the week online

  1. Fabulous article….have always felt that eating alone is unhealthy, and certainly a plant based diet can’t be beat. I personally stick to the Mediterannean Diet mostly…..but several very small meals, as is very high in calories. I think communal eating is about the most important piece of this artcle!

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