Thursday, December 22, 2011

Should You Age Disgracefully?

Special Guest Post by Jane Baskin

Jane Baskin, author of Jane of the Jungle, thinks you should.

“People say there’s something to be said for aging gracefully,” says Baskin. “Baloney. Between the longer lifespan and the economy, it’s time to age with attitude.”

• If it sags, lift it. 13.1 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2010. Why not?
• If it’s gray, dye it.
• If it’s baggy, throw it out.
• If it’s stuffy-sedate, avoid it.
• If it’s lonely, check out (this is not a dating site)
• If it’s still lonely, run as fast as you can to the nearest saloon and talk to strangers. It’ll do in a pinch.

To the many seniors crippled by the recession, she says, “If your choices have been cut back, you may be bent, but you don’t have to be broken. Hit the road. Live cheap. Live in an RV, stay with friends, live in your car. Be like you were when you were young and carefree, and thumb your nose at misfortune.”

Mind you, Baskin is not trying to deny aging. “Of course we’re going to get older. But over the hill has become a very long trek these days,” she says. “We have to do it differently.”

Longer lifespans are becoming the norm. Social Security estimates that most baby boomers will live to an average 93 years of age.

“It used to be, you worked ‘til 65 or so, hit the rocking chair, and waited,” says Baskin. “In most cases, it wasn’t that long of a wait. But now, it could be 25 or 30 years or more. That amounts to 2,912,000 rocks for the duration of your retirement. Are you kidding?

“I believe in a whole second stage of life – ‘Life 2.0.’ Rather than becoming sedate, this is the time to kick up your heels. This is the time to not give a tinker’s damn what people think of you. It’s a second childhood, the last one you’ll ever have. If you really want to bake cookies, do it in between adventures.

So, skip the mumu and the rocking chair. Skip the tea parties unless the company is lively and the tea is spiked. Says Baskin, “Gray is for cars and gun barrels. Dye your hair. Lift your face if you want. Work out, run, dance, use it or lose it. With modern medicine, nutritional and exercise science, you can be healthier than some thirty-year olds when you’re in your sixties and beyond. So I ask you, why not?”

“And if some kid in the saloon where you’re playing trivia for free drinks calls you ‘grandpa,’ tell him, ‘Fasten it, kid. I’m old enough to really know this stuff.’ And then go ahead and win the trivia. You could take a snapshot of his face on your cell phone, but that might be nasty.”

About Jane Baskin
Jane Baskin is a former Boston TAB features writer and clinical social worker. She lives in the mountains outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and their herd of dogs and cats. For more on the adventures of aging disgracefully, visit Baskin’s blog, Forever Kinda Young, at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Seniors and Plastic Surgery

At one time about 5 years ago, I thought about having breast implants. My husband, however, convinced me I looked fine just the way I was. That's all I needed to hear to keep me from going under the knife. But what about those women 50 years old and older who don't have anyone to convince them breast implants aren't necessary? What about those women who truly believe breast enhancements will make them look younger and as appealing as they did 30 years ago? Certainly we all want to look as good on the outside as we may feel on the inside but what are we willing to risk in order to do it?

According to one cosmetic surgeon, as long as the patient is healthy there are no additional risks to the surgery nor a longer recovery time. As a matter of fact, nearly 85,000 people aged 65 and older are getting plastic surgery these days. Joan Rivers, at 78 years old, is one of them.

Here's my question, what is so bad about growing older? One would think it would be wiser to save your money to live well in retirement---not for the purpose of becoming well-endowed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baby Boomers Looking to God for a Hook Up

If you're over the age and 40 and still single, chances are you have probably considered online dating as an alternative to finding a good mate. But which site(s) do you consider?

The fact that more and more baby boomers have gotten into the online dating game has created a million dollar industry for a number of sites like and, to name a couple.

Now it appears another dating site has sprouted up and directly targeting the Christian community. In a recent press release, announced that nearly two million singles joined ChristianMingle this year in hopes of finding God’s match for them. Now, with over 5 million registered members, ChristianMingle is the largest and fastest growing online community for Christian singles.

“ChristianMingle believes that marriage is important, but also that relationships and community are important,” said Matthew Barnett, ChristianMingle Advisory Board member and lead pastor of Angelus Temple. “ChristianMingle serves as a great resource for singles looking for companionship in like-minded Christians who share the same belief system and interests.”

Online dating through ChristianMingle is a targeted, self-selecting experience, based on the premise that Christianity is central to whom a person is and, therefore, the driving force behind what Christians look for in a potential mate.

So whoever thinks the internet is the devil's playground may need to think again.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Baby Boomers at Risk for Hepatitis C

If you're a baby boomer who used heroin in the 60s, you may be at risk for Hepatitis C. Medical experts from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York are urging the general public to be tested for the Hepatitis C virus, especially baby boomers who, they say, could be most at risk for this disease. Baby boomers are more likely to have been exposed to dangerous risk factors decades ago, such as sharing a drug needle, being tattooed or pierced with unsterilized tools or receiving a tainted blood transfusion.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common chronic blood borne infection in the United States, with 35,000 to 185,000 new cases diagnosed per year. Worldwide, 180 million people are chronically infected with Hepatitis C, with an estimated 3-4 million new cases reported each year. The disease particularly affects Hispanics, Asian-Americans and African-Americans.

Unlike Hepatitis B, there is no vaccine to prevent this disease. While the symptoms are similar, distinct differences exist between the two viruses. Hepatitis B is primarily transmitted through sexual intercourse and is less severe.

Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala will be available for a live twitter chat to answer questions about Hepatitis C and liver disease on December 8, 2011 at noon. You can follow @MontefioreNews to discuss #MonteHepC.