Aging in Place: May 2023

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Last month’s column was about retirement and making changes in your life and new connections. I am writing this column on Sunday and just reconnected with my high school class with a Zoom 60-year reunion. I grew up in Virginia and went to an all-girl day/boarding school with a graduating class of 36. We live all over the country now, even in British Columbia and Puerto Rico. After 60 years, it feels like making new connections.

There were some classmates I didn’t remember or recognize and others who looked the same, just a little older and grayer. Many memories were shared, some I remember and some I don’t, many successes, some failures and hardships endured, and lots of laughs and warmth exuded throughout the Zoom—connections I didn’t anticipate making again. I’m so glad I got the opportunity. I’m feeling a lot of joy today connecting. 

My point is that, as we navigate through our senior years with all the changes this brings to us personally and to our family and friends, connections, old and new, are vital to our well-being. Don’t hesitate to reach out, call, text, email, visit in person, or Zoom – modern technology has actually made it easy in some ways and challenging in others. We can figure it out somehow because we are vital and viable and can still learn. Isolation or less contact with people is not an option for our well-being and overall health. 

On another topic, I attended a presentation last week on how to downsize and what resources are available for assistance in tackling small or monumental tasks. While I can’t recommend specific companies, I can tell you that when making any changes, always ensure the company or organization is a certified senior specialist and has accreditation as such. Examples are: if you need a realtor, ask if they are a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES); if you need to downsize your home, one room or your whole house, look for National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASM); if you are ready to change your lifestyle or move to a senior community, look for Certified Senior Advisors (CSA) who are trained to find the right fit for you. Attorneys, banks, mortgage companies, in-home care, and even utility companies are more examples where a senior specialist can assist. You can google any one of these categories, and information will be there – i.e., I need a SRES in or near Tualatin. Ask at our library or senior center for information or call the Chamber of Commerce. Protect yourself and be able to make informed decisions for whatever your needs are.

And, keep connecting!!! Your health will thank you.

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Susan Noack has lived in Tualatin for 15 years. Before retirement, she was a development director/event planner for non-profits. Now as an “Aging in Place” senior, her passion is being an advocate for seniors and giving back to the community. She is a member of both the Meals on Wheels People and Juanita Pohl Center advisory committees and chair the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force committee.