Welcome to 2016! Before you go rushing into the new year, take a look back with us at the “best”of Senior Planet from the past 12 months.
In 2015, we watched the word “ageism” enter mainstream discourse and saw older people gain huge intergenerational followings on YouTube, Quora and Flickr, as well as on Instagram. We amplified senior voices and showed how we can use the Internet to bash a few stereotypes. And as always, we profiled people who inspired us, explored ways to connect, followed the latest research in physical and cognitive health, shared innovations in aging — and explored what it means to age with attitude.
Ready? Here are the 15 “best” – the 15 articles from 2015 that you, our readers read, shared and “liked” the most. We hope you’ll enjoy revisiting them.
“I was 61. I realized that I needed to compete to inspire others to not let age or any limitation keep them from passionately pursuing their dreams.” We didn’t take up pole dancing (did you?) — but Pontarelli did inspire us. Read more about her.
“Grace and Frankie” — an TV show starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin — may have been the the first ever to joke about vaginal dryness. In an interview, Fonda said, “There is no face of older women in mass media, and both Lily and I wanted to give a face to us, and we wanted to do it in a comedy format.” They gave more than a face. Read more
Hearing aids? Yes! A cane? Cool! Reading glasses? Funky! Old lady shoes? Awesome. We raided the Internet looking for ways to redefine what “older” means by making its signs more visible, instead of trying to hide them. Take a look at the creativity we found!
Carol Netzer wasn’t a big fan of assisted living. So to help herself adjust, she self-published a book about it. Then she started her wickedly witty blog. We went to visit her and learn more about how she started her blog and the funny things she’s overheard. Read more
YouTube is a treasure trove of online video tutorials — including some terrific make-up how-tos. We picked the best — tutorials that show women how to change techniques and products without trying to “look younger.” Watch them here.
Who needs gyms? A new trend in fitness has people who are way past childhood working out – or just hanging out – in playgrounds designed especially for seniors. Read up while we work on a sequel: How to advocate for a playground where you live. Click for playgrounds.
Based on a new understanding of what causes Alzheimer’s Disease, this experimental treatment plan is simple to follow and medication-free. It’s still undergoing more tests — but meanwhile, scientists see no harm in people following it. Read more.
The Tiny House movement is growing fast – and not just among the young. Seniors are finding that it makes sense to downsize, personalize and save. Read about some people who’ve gone the tiny house route and what it takes to make it happen. Click here.
A pair of artists are traveling the world, collaborating with seniors in places as far as Iceland and as close as Brooklyn on a project that’s rooted in folklore. The photographs are stunning. Take a look.
There are so many good reasons to make digital albums of your old photographs. Here’s how. (You’ll be surprised how simple it is!)
His grandson taught him how to read. Then he taught him to be an artist, got him an art show in a London gallery and let the world know about it via social media. The goal: To give an old man a voice and teach the art world a thing or two about exclusion. It worked. Read more
In 2015, Facebook got a new tool that lets you pick what appears on your News Feed. If you haven’t discovered it yet (most people haven’t), use our guide to See First and learn how Facebook’s algorithm works. Click here
Turns out, it’s not all downhill. Each of our cognitive skills peaks at a different age, and even past age 60 we haven’t reached our peak on some of them. Learn more
Millions of TV addicts are learning how to cut their cable TV service without losing the shows they’re hooked on. It’s called Internet TV. And even our recovering technophobe has figured out how to make it work for her. Read more
They’re cute, colorful and come in a multitude of styles. And using one can be good for your all-around health. Our senior sexpert Joan Price has the lowdown on how to choose and buy the right vibrator for you and your older body. Learn more
Plus, 5 runners-up!
“As I honor these artists, I wish to honor the older woman I will be one day, when I reach the age when the receding flamboyance of flesh lets through more of the original soul.” The quote is from a book about elder burlesque artists by photographer Marie Baronnet (see top photo). Read more and check out Baronett’s soulful photographs — click here.
Ninety-three-year-old artist, performer and Advanced Style icon Ilona Royce Smithkin is best known for making her own eyelashes — but we were intrigued by her insights on finding yourself in older age. Smithkin says she came into herself in her 80s, when she became an art teacher. Read more
This TED Talk describes the Village movement. A solution designed and operated by elders for elders, the “village” model is a mutual support system of neighbors helping neighbors. It’s built around shared resources, social connections and plenty of volunteers. Watch.
Dan Buettner is a Blue Zones expert who’s been studying those rare places on our planet where people tend to live long and healthy lives. What’s so special about these places? Lately, Buettner’s been zeroing in on diet and has come up with some guidelines we can all follow. Read what they are and listen to Buettner discuss them – click here.
The Brits are saddled with an “old people crossing” sign that makes aging look like another word for almost dead — and one group decided to do something about it by asking top international designers to come up with alternatives and letting the public vote on their favorites. Our picks range from elegant to hilarious – take a look!
Featured (top) photo © Marie Baronnet from her book “Legends: The Living Art of Risqué” (available from IdeaBooks.nl)