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SUMMER 2019

Together Forever HOW TO NAVIGATE RETIREMENT WITH YOUR SPOUSE

50 Ways to Thrive FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE TIPS AND FLOURISH AT EVERY AGE

Life as Poetry

Tess Gallagher on Creativity, Vitality, and Resilience

NO BAD BREAKS Bone Up on Osteoporosis

FEAR AGING? You’re Not Alone

TECHNOLOGY WE LOVE It’s Not Rocket Science


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MESSAGE from the publisher

Fall in Love with this Fleeting Life

S

ummer in the Pacific Northwest is a love affair for me. I find myself breathless at the sheer beauty of this place. Nature bursts forth and thrives and I feel giddy. Damn, it’s good to be alive. Yet with each new season I become more acutely aware of how fleeting everything is: the rhododendron blossoms in spring, the scent of lilac then lavender in the air, the warm touch of the summer sun on my skin—and my energy and stamina sometimes. So, I am greedy with my time. I savor the moments and the people I care most about because I know I have far fewer summers ahead of me than behind. My priorities are shifting. To thrive at any age, we must live with intention, and the older we get the truer this becomes. What is living with intention? “Wisely, pragmatically, holistically, and happily taking care of your body, mind, and spirit,” says writer Jeanette Leardi, in her story

“50 Ways to Thrive in Your Third Act” (page 14), where you’ll find a list of actions you can take. But I think it’s more than that. I believe that to truly thrive, you need to fall in love with life. I fell in love a few Sundays ago at the home of poet Tess Gallaher in Port Angeles, transported by hea r i ng her read her poem “Ambition” (recently published in The New Yorker magazine) in her own voice. We explored her garden and I was gobsmacked by the gloriously gaudy display of huge rhododendrons—planted there by her mother. The sun played peek-aboo with the fog rolling in off the Strait of Juan de Fuca, adding to the magical moment. Beauty, abundance, and exuberance—woman-made and nature-made. Wow. There is a lot of thriving in the pages of this issue: A woman has a lifechanging injury in her 60s and begins a new life sailing; five men gather to explore their own aging and share their adventure in a humorous video series; a new trend in primary care emerges that is value-based, rather than volumebased—focused on helping patients thrive; and so much more. Summer’s here. How many more do you have? Regardless of our age, none of us know for sure. So, embrace your life with intention, and thrive.

“I believe that to truly thrive, you need to fall in love with life.”

OU R VI SI ON 3rd Act Magazine endeavors to inform, inspire, and entertain older adults. Our stories and articles challenge worn-out perceptions of aging and offer a dynamic new vision: Aging is good, let’s celebrate and embrace this stage of life, and let’s age together with confidence. PU B LI SH E RS Victoria Starr Marshall David Marshall EDITOR Victoria Starr Marshall COPY EDITOR Julie Fanselow ART DIRECTOR Philip Krayna WEBSITE Philip Krayna ADVERTISING Victoria Starr Marshall, Carolyn Hultz DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION David Marshall COVE R PH OTO Brian Farrell WRITE TO US 3rd Act Magazine wants to hear from you! Email your comments, ideas, and questions to info@3rdActMag.com or mail to 81 Canal Lane, Brinnon, WA 98320 3rd Act Magazine is published quarterly by Oshi Publishing, LLC. The opinions, advice or statements expressed by contributing writers do not reflect those of the editors, the publishers, or of 3rd Act Magazine. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, opinion, advice, or other content contained herein. Oshi Publishing, LLC makes no representation and, to the fullest extent allowed by law, disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied. The content published herein may include inaccuracies or typographical errors. Copyright 2019 Oshi Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Oshi Publishing, LLC, 81 Canal Lane Brinnon, WA 98320 · 360-796-4837 Email: info@3rdActMag.com For subscriptions and additional information, see us online at www.3rdActMag.com.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

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contents FEATURES 14 5 0 WAYS TO THRIVE

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Simple tips to help you flourish at every age. JEANETTE LEARDI

28 N O BAD BREAKS

Bone up on the latest ways to beat osteoporosis. PRISCILLA CHARLIE HINCKLEY

42 LIFE AS POETRY

32

Tess Gallagher’s love of language makes the ordinary extraordinary. ROBIN LINDLEY

46 TECHNOLOGY WE LOVE

Being smart with technology doesn’t have to be rocket science. JULIE FANSELOW

50 DON’T DIE UNTIL YOU’RE DEAD Fear of aging and

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mortality inspires creative action on both coasts. VICTORIA STARR MARSHALL

ARTFUL AGING 8 AGING WITH INTENTION

Clear out the mental cobwebs and make space to thrive. LINDA HENRY

10 HONOR YOUR LIFE

Tools to chart your individual future. JENNIFER JAMES

18 BIG FAT GREEK FUNERAL

10

Standing vigil at a festival of love. PAUL BOARDMAN

46

22 OPEN A NEW DOOR

A volunteer at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum discovers crosscultural riches. ELLEN KAHAN

24 THE LIGHTER SIDE

Malcolm Forbes fortune cookies and other witty wisdoms. ANNIE CULVER

36 PAY ATTENTION

The art of living with a cancer diagnosis. ANGELA MINOR

28 Aging with Confidence

summer 2019

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LETTERS

XX 58

Plastic Slip I love the inspiration I find in this magazine. However, I am shocked that—with an article about reducing plastic—your organization is choosing to mail in a plastic envelope. This is a disconnect and not practicing the walk.

20 LIFESTYLE 12 MONEY Think of savings as fuel for fun. DON McDONALD

20 TOGETHER FOREVER

How to navigate retirement with your spouse. BETSY WISE

40 NEUTRALIZING

Seeing your home through the eyes of a buyer. SUSAN RAVA A major loss reignites an old passion. NANCY ENGEL

56 COMING HOME

The Paddle Pilgrim explores his Scandinavian homeland. DAVE ELLINGSON

SUMMER 2019

Together Forever HOW TO NAVIGATE RETIREMENT WITH YOUR SPOUSE

50

WELLNESS 26 E NLIGHTENED AGING

Replenish your brain with healthy activity. DR. ERIC B. LARSON

32 VALUE-BASED CARE

Iora provides value over volume – a new trend in primary care. CONNIE MCDOUGALL

34 M ATURE CREATIVITY

A lifetime of constant reinvention powers the creative process.

MICHAEL PATTERSON

54 MY THIRD ACT

Ways to Thrive

—Jennifer Kropack

38 M EDICAL TOURISM

Want to save money on health care? Leave the country. ANN RANDALL

58 N OURISH YOUR BODY Delicious summer salads and soups –no cooking required. REBECCA CRICHTON

IN EVERY ISSUE 60 O N THE TOWN

Cozy local music clubs offer cocktails, dinner, and a swell date night. MISHA BERSON

63 BOOKS

Elderhood By Louise Aronson Reviewed by Jo Shilling

FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE TIPS AND FLOURISH AT EVERY AGE

64 B RAIN GAMES

Life as Poetry

Tess Gallagher on Creativity, Vitality, and Resilience

NO BAD BREAKS Bone Up on Osteoporosis

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FEAR AGING? You’re Not Alone

TECHNOLOGY WE LOVE It’s Not Rocket Science

3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

Challenge yourself with these word puzzles.

We were also shocked to learn that our subscribers received the Spring issue in plastic sleeves. Our standing instructions to the printer are to mail the magazines without any plastic packaging. It ironically happened due to human error in their mailing department. The good news is this incident has triggered an internal evaluation of their plastic use. —Victoria Marshall, Editor

Creating Results Thanks for recognizing the privileged life many of us lead and the need to leave a better world for our grandchildren, and my new great-granddaughter! (“Switching Entitlement for Enlightenment,” Spring 2019) There is a sense of urgency for us to use our voices. RESULTS (results.org) is working to end hunger and poverty. Since it was founded 39 years ago, the number of deaths of children under 5 has been cut in half; programs to assist those who are hungry have been protected; and volunteers are working to make affordable housing and an AIDS-free generation a reality. We are a diverse group in age, gender, ethnicity, and experience. Join us to help end all forms of oppression and leave a better world for all. — Willie Dickerson

talk to us! by mail: 3rd Act Magazine, 81 Canal Lane, Brinnon, WA 98320 by email: info@3rdActMag.com

Cover: Pacific Northwest poet Tess Gallagher is a prolific and admired master of verse. Photo by Brian Farrell.

Please include your name, city, state, and phone number when possible. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. www.3rdActMag.com


AGING WITH INTENTION

Clear out the Mental Cobwebs and Make Space to Thrive

advance medical directives documenting what we want (or don’t want) at the end of life. Taking these steps doesn’t mean we are employing negative thinking. Rather, they are empowering, and getting this paperwork done takes the burden of decision-making off our loved ones. Consider how we decide where to live. A retired couple decided to move to a lake home. As they aged, however, they found it increasingly difficult to manage—but they stayed, believing that the lake would encourage family visits. Not surprisingly, as their grandchildren became teens and then young adults, visits became less

BY LINDA HENRY

Linda Henry writes regularly on topics related to aging, health care, and communication and is the co-author of several books, including Transformational Eldercare from the Inside Out: Strengths-Based Strategies for Caring. She conducts workshops nationally on aging and creating caring work environments. Her volunteer emphasis is age-friendly communities.

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I WAS TALKING WITH A GROUP of people recently when one woman said vehemently, “Well, I can’t learn new things; I am too old.” To which a 90-year-old replied, “Speak for yourself!” Their exchange reminded me how our minds can be so full of old ideas, attitudes, and experiences that interfere with moving on. Much like dust bunnies that build over time, these mental cobwebs continue to accumulate unless we periodically clear them out so we can replace them with new understandings. From childhood, we have an understanding of our capabilities. If we believe that we are incapable of doing or learning new things, undoubtedly life’s experiences will only reinforce those impressions. So as we age, we may see ourselves as even less capable, especially if we believe that aging is a time of diminishment. Of course, age can be used as an excuse for not wanting to engage. A number of those cobwebs are connected to behaviors of denial and procrastination. Some of us are “what if-ers”—you know, the folks who like to prepare for life’s possibilities, making decisions and taking control before we are forced to do so. But people for whom denial and procrastination are their “go-to” responses may find it difficult to contemplate making early decisions. While most of us don’t deny the need for auto and health care insurance because we know the value of being prepared, a surprising number of people procrastinate on making a will or writing

3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

frequent. While having a sizable home with extra bedrooms may make us feel good, a dose of reality is in order. If we continue envisioning a home on a sprawling property surrounded by horses and a garden, it may be hard to see ourselves in another setting, even as we age and are less able to maintain such a space. Family members often report that their parents are reluctant to consider a move because they are not “ready yet,” whatever that means. Although it may be difficult to take charge, planning ahead and creating a new internal vision of what our home looks like can make us feel good. So what are the cobwebs taking up your space? I continue to check on my own, because when I clear them out, I know how satisfied I will feel. www.3rdActMag.com


Aging with Confidence

summer 2019

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HONOR YOUR LIFE

Your Personal Road Map

BY JENNIFER JAMES

REVISITING THE PAST CAN OFFER CLUES TO THE FUTURE “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” —Robert Frost My last column offered a few thoughts about our cultural past and future. This column is about charting our individual future. How can we use an understanding of our past to accept our situation or change it in a world of new options? If our life was a book, we would know most of the pages by now, yet we still have time to write the last chapters. I want to convince you to do that, not solely as autobiography but as a guide to your future. First, take time to visualize your memories as a path using words, symbols, drawings, etc. I used a big piece of paper but a white board or a mosaic of Post-it notes works too. It’s a way to record milestones, crossroads, turns, detours, intense experiences, and dead ends. Start with the beginning. Where were you born? Were you male, female, or in-between? How were you cared for? Did you feel safe, did you feel loved, were you supported and encouraged? Can you draw your face at 10? Fate, family, and positive and negative experiences are the bedrock of confidence and self-value. Were there adults who boosted your sense of self: family members, neighbors, teachers, coaches? You can use color-

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

coded stick figures or cartoon faces to identify them. Did you have friends who helped? Did you feel confident about your social place? What were your early comforts? Your sense of self by 20 is a backpack, heavy and wearing you down or lighter and easing your load. As you add, revise, and resolve the roadside attractions of your Visualize your map, it will become a coherent memories as a illustration of the path you have path—use a big taken. The crossroads, where piece of paper, choices were made by you or white board or a others, become obvious. Most of mosaic of Post-it us dream now and then about the notes. decisions we’ve made and what might have been. I once wondered about redoing high school knowing what I now know. Would I choose the debate squad again? Did I now know how to be popular? Follow the thought streams that may flow through your mind. Aging increases their relevance. Allow random thoughts about relationships, high points, and low points. Did you make good choices of love partners? Did they stay or go? Does it matter now? Design a symbol to mark things you think were mistakes. www.3rdActMag.com


Did you feel you Allow rando were a good person at m thoughts ab ou t 30, 40, 50? I became a relationship good person at 60. Were s, high points , and you living then by the low points. values you hold now? If you had children, were you an OK parent? If you had not made that choice, would the next turn in the road have been better? Do you understand in retrospect how your psychological makeup led you to mistakes or certain choices and even violations of your values? OK, why bother with all these introspective questions? The easy answer is that it clears your mind, quiets any demons, and frees up your energy and good feelings. Here’s an example from my life: After World War II, my mother was convinced that the future was in America. She arranged for us to emigrate. My father had been a police officer in London. His first job in America was stunning cattle with a sledge hammer at Armour Star. (He could not be a police officer because he was not yet a citizen.) He became a steelworker until a work injury opened a path to real estate sales in his 40s. His Welsh charm served him well there. People loved his stories of the mines he had worked in as a young man and his beloved police work. And yet he was dead by 56. He rarely talked to me my entire life, then he called me from a bar the night he died. The call left me with years of guilt. He had talked of having lived all his life by choices made by others and he believed it was too late to fix his mistakes. I was 25; I didn’t know what to say. I resorted to platitudes. Are there regrets at some of our choices? Do the losses pile up? Yes, there are accidents and tragedies. Go back over your path and mark the regrets, guilts, times of shame, misfortunes. Whenever you hit a psychological roadblock, work it through. Can you answer the “why” questions now? Can you make amends, let it go, forgive yourself, or make peace with the circumstances you were caught in then? Who are you now compared to then? If you are OK most of the time, it may not matter how it all happened. Even with the rough times, most of us prefer our own patched-up life. Would you change places with someone thinking they had a better life than yours? Remember you have to take all of that life, body, and mind—not just pick a part here or there. We don’t really know the pains

Aging with Confidence

of other lives we might once have envied. Drawing a life path can be confusing and painful, but it also brings clarity. Identifying the experiences that still wound you or surface in your dreams makes them understandable. Recognizing the good experiences and people that encouraged you—not just the bad—keeps you balanced. A change in perspective, at any age, can mitigate a hard fate, family, or past experience. How has time changed your interpretation of the marks on your map? Play with the twists and turns of your life path. What may still be lingering as pain may have been a turning point for something better. Pain and failure are such extraordinary teachers. A new viewpoint helps us let go of the free-floating guilts and shame that can weigh us down. You have thought about it, whatever it was, and paid your dues, so just say “enough” when that thought surfaces again. Mark PAID on your map. This is the time—there may be no other—to find ways to let True success go of any part of your current in life is the life that does not ring true. quality of your Who you are now is, in some chosen path, not ways, not who you have been. a destination. As you move through your days, let go of what you feel is false and pay attention to what is true for you. You have time to change your path, to choose your steps, clear regrets, and assuage guilt. It may be as basic as always being kind to yourself and others. When you write your final chapters, “What is unfinished?” may be a last question. “What do I still want? Who do I want to be now? What do I care about? What feels good?” True success in life is the quality of your chosen path, not a destination. The journey’s end is, after all, the same for everyone. When I created my life map, in my 60s as a new widow, my father’s phone call rang again in my mind. I finally realized that by his call and his suicide, he paradoxically gave me the ultimate gift a parent can offer. He reminded me to live my own life, to find my own future, to let the past go—and that has made all the difference. Jennifer James has a doctorate in cultural anthropology and master’s degrees in history and psychology. She was a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington Medical School. Jennifer is the founding mother of the Committee for Children, an international organization devoted to the prevention of child abuse worldwide.

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MONE Y

The Fuel for a Fantastic Future BY DON MCDONALD

The host of the nationally syndicated Don McDonald Show for over 20 years, Don now co-hosts Talking Real Money with Tom Cock on Seattle’s KOMO radio Saturdays at noon (talkingrealmoney.com). Don also publishes the investing magazine, real investing journal (realinvestingjournal. com).

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WE ALL WANT to enjoy life, but as the end of it draws nearer, that desire takes on more urgency. What will it take to create a satisfying future? Even though we are in our early 60s, my wife and I have been thinking about our vision for retirement for about a decade. Our ideas evolved and slowly gelled as we kept asking ourselves what we would need to really enjoy the final act in our lives’ play. The list of things I don’t want to do was long, so I concentrated on those that I love. What floated to the top was performing. I love to act. However, performing opportunities don’t come around regularly. I enjoy reading. I am rarely without a book (on my iPhone or iPad) in my hand. Finally, I am easily bored, so I never plan to voluntarily stop working. This introspection eventually led to an epiphany. Why not create a podcast in which I both read and perform short stories? So, in October, I began my retirement avocation: a podcast called Litreading (litreading.com). This soon led to another short story podcast—for kids—called Readastorus (as in “read a story to us”). Now I have something that I will likely relish doing until I am no longer able to utter coherent sentences. However, I would not have been able to embark upon this new endeavor without one crucial thing: money. A studio costs money (luckily, I already had one). There is a monthly cost for hosting the podcasts. Then there is the added expense of editing (which I could do myself, but

3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

it’s a time-consuming process). Thankfully, the costs haven’t been excessive, but for many, paying the monthly bills could be a challenge. Next came the matter of where to live. There are myriad “best places to retire” lists, but we wanted a place that was right for us. A community for my wife, some arts for both of us, affordability for me (there’s that money issue again). We love the place we live now for several reasons, but it is missing a few of our smaller wants and it’s definitely not affordable. I believe it’s foolish to live somewhere that might cause future financial stress when there are so many incredible places to live that cost so little. The last thing we need as we grow older—and, inevitably, frailer— is fiscal anxiety. So, part of the search had to involve affordability. To determine our financial comfort zone required a little thought and a bit of guesswork. We wanted to find a home that will allow us to survive on our Social Security payments (starting at age 70, when they will be dramatically higher). In that way, we could use the income from our investments to thrive—and, if need be, protect against unexpected expenses. I’m happy to report that we recently managed to find what we believe is just the right place to live our third act (or fourth quarter). On a recent trip, we ran across a beautiful house in a small, arts-oriented town for less than the equity in our current home (although we will likely make payments on our new 3.625 percent mortgage and invest the gain from our old house to try and make a bit more). Again, money drove much of our quest for an enjoyable future as we asked ourselves these critical questions: How much do we have now? How much income will we have when we are no longer earning? What will it cost to live out the rest of our lives securely? After that, will we have enough left over to pursue those things that give us joy? After answering all of those questions, I am more confident than ever before that a fantastic future awaits. www.3rdActMag.com


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Ways to Thrive in Your Third Act BY JEANETTE LEARDI

As you get older, of course you want to thrive. But how? By wisely, pragmatically, holistically, and happily taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. In order to nurture every part of who you are and enhance everything you want to do, consider these 50 tips for aging well. Some are mundane, others lofty—and all can help you live your best third act!

Live With Purpose

Manage Your Finances

1. Think outside the box. Look for creative ways to share your gifts and improve yourself. Seek out people who can help you with both. 2. Appreciate the roles you can play. You can be a mentor, a financial supporter, an advocate for social justice, a catalyst who helps others network. 3. Is there a cause that’s close to your heart? Focus your passions on doing good by volunteering or working for organizations that reflect your interests. 4. If you’ve always wanted to be your own boss, now might be the time to start a new business. 5. Get feedback from others. Consider forming a support group of fellow explorers with whom to share goals and strategies.

11. Create a budget and stick to it. Paying in cash rather than using a credit card can help you stay within your means. 12. Reduce your debt. Prioritize which loans you’ll pay off first, and set dates by which you’ll retire each debt. 13. A void theft by having Social Security, pension, payroll, and other checks automatically deposited into your bank account. 14. C onsider bundling your phone, cable, and Internet services into one package; adjusting your thermostat with the seasons; Susan Mann and and consolidating your errands Chuck Bergman into one trip. Comparing prices, clipping coupons, and shopping on senior discount days can save you money, too. 15. A ppoint a durable power of attorney to have access to your documents and assets, and periodically revise contracts to reflect any important changes in your life situation.

Engage With Others 6. Don’t hang out solely with people your own age. Actively network with those who are significantly younger or older than you. 7. Do you enjoy playing a sport? Join an amateur league team and get fit at the same time. 8. Universities and community colleges are great places to meet new people. Audit or enroll in a course. 9. Connect with others at your local library or senior or community center. Take advantage of the many free events they offer. 10. Find out if your community is part of the national Village to Village Network. If not, consider working with others to start one.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

Stay Fit 16. Create an exercise routine that will increase your strength, coordination, flexibility, balance, and endurance. 17. Include cardio fitness, weight-bearing resistance training, and stretching, as well as a warm-up and cool-down. 18. Rest your muscles between workouts by focusing on www.3rdActMag.com


exercising different groups (upper body, lower body, core) on different days. 19. If you get bored, try some new movements, take a different walking/jogging/running route, and consider working out with a friend. 20. Track your progress to determine how well you’re doing and what you need to work on. Share this information at your next doctor’s visit.

Eat Wisely 21. Create a nutritional plan with your doctor based on your medical needs. 22. Shop from the departments (dairy, produce, meats, fish, breads) along your supermarket’s perimeter. If a food in your cart is in a form that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize, you probably should return it to the shelf. 23. Store and cook your foods at the proper temperatures. 24. Whenever possible, eat slowly and socially. Savoring your food, especially with people you enjoy, can reduce both waistline and loneliness. 25. Pay attention to your body’s signals of hunger, thirst, and satiation. Try not to skip meals or eat too closely to bedtime. Stop eating when you feel slightly full.

Sleep Well 26. Get enough undisturbed rest, which includes cycles of deep sleep as well as dreaming. If you’re still drowsy in the morning or lack energy during the day, consult your doctor. 27. Make sure your mattress and pillows provide enough support and your bedroom temperature is on the cool side. 28. Prepare yourself for sleep about an hour before bedtime. Lower the lights in your house to get used to darkness, and do something relaxing (read, listen to soft music, take a warm bath, etc). 29. Avo i d l a te - n i g ht overstimulation such as exercising, drinking caffeinated beverages, looking at a computer screen (and even watching the news). 30. See your doctor if you have sleep apnea or take medications that interfere with sleep. Aging with Confidence

Boost Your Brain 31. Aerobic exercise, which is good for your heart, is a major brain-booster. 32. Reduce your stress by enjoying relaxing activities: doing yoga, meditating, taking nature walks, journaling—the options are endless. 33. Challenge your brain by “kicking it up a notch” in everything you do. Take different routes to work or the store. Cook new recipes. Learn a foreign language or take music lessons. 34. Don’t just solve puzzles, create them. And find a “brain buddy” who’s willing to do the same and share with you. 35. Engaging socially is an extremely healthy brain activity. Make new friends and maintain older, valued ones. Have meaningful conversations—the deeper, the better.

Travel Safely 36. Research your destination in advance to determine the safest places to visit and stay. Read online reviews by travelers and get recommendations from people you know. 37. Pack and carry the minimum amount of clothing and other items. (Your body will thank you as you run to catch that flight or train.) But take along prescription medicines to last a week longer than you’ll be away. 38. Before boarding public transit, know your route and have your fare handy. Onboard, be aware of your surroundings and the actions of other passengers. 39. Avoid using public Wi-Fi, carrying your Social Security card, or posting your itinerary on social media. Keep secure online copies of forms of identification. 40. If possible, take only one credit card on your trip.

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Ways to Thrive in Your Third Act

Care Compassionately 41. Keep your loved one at the center of all caregiving decisions. If possible, discuss his or her needs in advance, including end-of-life care. 42. Clarify expectations with family members to avoid misunderstandings or resentments. If you engage professional caregivers, discuss all expectations and the best ways of working together. 43. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be specific about what you need. By involving others, you give them the satisfaction of helping in a time of need. 44. Take care of yourself and include an occasional break. It’s important to recharge your batteries in order to make good decisions and avoid burnout. 45. Check in with yourself regularly to keep your perspective. Make any changes that allow you to regain a sense of balance and control.

Be Safe at Home 46. Do a “safety sweep” of your house. Discard expired medicines, secure or remove slippery rugs, and check electrical cords and sockets for damage or overload. 47. Avoid injuries by decluttering your garage and keeping your landscape trimmed and free of ground debris. 48. If aging in place is your goal, consult a specialist who can help you retrofit every room in your home to allow future physical accessibility. 49. Let technology work for you. Consider wearing a personal alarm or using a mobility sensor to track your daily needs or movements and install a home-monitoring system. 50. Get to know your neighbors and have them get to know you. Building mutual trust is the best-ever home insurance. Jeanette Leardi is a Portland–based social gerontologist, writer, editor, and community educator who has a passion for older adult empowerment. She gives popular presentations and workshops in journaling, spiritual writing, memoir writing, personal mythmaking, ethical will creation, brain fitness, ageism, intergenerational communication, and caregiver support to people of all ages. Learn more about her work at jeanetteleardi.com.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

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Don’t miss a single issue! (But you can still order back issues if you did.) SPRING 2019

Natural Legacy

Skagit Valley’s Samish Bay Cheese is a Labor of Love

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Time to Take Charge A Dementia Diagnosis Sparks Action

Happiness Why We Get Happier with Age

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Art Without Borders

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| 3rd Act magazine 17


BIG FAT GREEK FUNERAL

BY PAUL BOARDMAN

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

I tended to 74-year-old Darian of one’s head—that ultimate show of Christopolous’ funeral at the Greek respect. Children joined the procession, Orthodox church. Nine long-robed too, learning the naturalness of this priests stood in front, basking in the event. A mother leaned her little girl glory of Darian, who had worked as over, holding her in her arms, to kiss a special ed teacher. The vibrancy Darian’s forehead. of Darian’s life shone through, and I stood vigil, my hands folded, his wife and children were gracious, witnessing so much demonstrativeness. vivid, and beautiful. Nearly 500 people My task standing at the front was to attended, midday on a Wednesday. keep the crowds focused on their job There were too many pallbearers, so of just kissing Darian goodbye, then Greg, the funeral director, and I created getting down to the basement repast. a scrub B-team bench to follow behind As I fought off my emotion, a woman the casket. All wore proper mourning suddenly stepped out of line and walked clothes—the Greek men in black or up to hug me. Then, she kissed Darian charcoal sharp-fitting suits with white and made the sign of the cross. As shirts and black ties, the women in she walked away, I recognized her as black dresses. Four myrrh bearers— Debbie, the grandmother and guardian women holding icons and pictures— of Courtney, a 21-year-old who died proceeded behind the casket and the tragically and at whose service I’d junior varsity “no-carry” pallbearers presided. in an extravagant pageant. The mourners walked downstairs to Darian and his sons were thick roast beef, wine, and beer—a big, fat Greek men who wore their weight like Greek church basement feast. Everyone an expression of manliness. Darian wanted to speak about Darian, wore his weight proudly, including his oldest son: “My puffed up. His bulk was his father Darian said, ‘I lived on “THE WORLD identity. The final viewing I LIVED IN HAD A this earth as close to heaven of the body took a long as anyone possibly could. I SOFT VOICE time. One after another, married an angel. I loved my AND NO CLAWS.” sons and my sons married these huge lovers of Darian bowed before him and —LISEL MUELLER angels. It’s only about this.’” kissed his thick hands and Darian’s was a world his forehead and patted his chest. The without claws. He bear-hugged his manly Greek men fist-bumped his still community—he was a big contributor heart. to the annual September Greek Festival, The row of seated, dark, handsome he loved his church. He rode it hard. pallbearers and their lovely wives all And it paid off. His people returned the crying for Darian witnessed what embrace. I witnessed—we watched in stereo. This funeral was a festival of love— Some older men knelt on one knee to a big, fat love fest. bow and cross themselves. Other men Paul Boardman is a writer and interfaith funeral knocked on the wood casket, tears in chaplain and celebrant living in Seattle. He grew up in Tokyo and is a graduate of Princeton their eyes. Some women kissed Darian’s Theological Seminary. His work has been in The Good Men Project, Gravel, forehead and patted his gargantuan, featured P.S. I Love You, and the ICCFA funeral trade meaty hands—tenderly, but casually. magazine, and in the anthologies Just a Little Time, We Came to Say, and We Came Everyone leaned down. The leaning, More Back to Say. He is seeking a publisher for his the bowing, the stooping, the lowering memoir.

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summer 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 19


TOGETHER FOREVER (

BUT NOT ALWAYS AT THE SAME TIME

HOW COUPLES CAN ADJUST TO RETIRED LIFE WITHOUT DRIVING EACH OTHER NUTS BY BETSY WISE

Retirement reminds me of when, as a new mom, I stared more than anything else. I gazed into the face of my sleeping daughter, taking in every new change. Nope: There wasn’t anyone quite as pretty. It felt right to stare because she was a tiny miracle in progress. Then, almost overnight—in reality 28 years later— I decided to retire in 2015. I’d had enough of coworkers, humanity, and boring work. Excitedly, I imagined how retirement would be for me and my husband. (He’d taken the departing step from normalcy six months earlier.) After all, we were approaching our 38th wedding anniversary, so our history together laid a solid foundation. We’d bought a travel camper, gotten our financial ducks in a row, and bid our adieus to those less fortunate and still tethered to jobs. But here I was “60-something,” and staring again, only this time, I was looking into my husband’s face 24/7. I noticed everything he did and didn’t do. Keeping busy and enjoying trips sustained our interest for over a year.

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)

I was fortunate that I continued to work from home as I had since 2013. Still, to be honest we both felt suffocated, choking on each other’s familiarity. The other nagging reality was that we each had different ideas of what retirement should be. So what’s a viable game plan when retirement seems to take you hostage? • Do the math. Running and hiding is not a bad idea when you realize how much time you spend together. Before retirement, couples may spend, on average, 40 waking hours a week together. (My estimate is four hours together a day throughout the week and 20 hours on weekends.) When you retire simultaneously, you spend most of your hours together. Day. After. Day. If you aren’t used to doing that, it’s not any fun sidestepping each other all day long. • Create space apart. Deliberately schedule time away from each other. While one works outside, the other can work on indoor projects and vice versa. Go out to lunch separately as well as together. Just an hour or two away from each other can help. There’s nothing wrong with sleeping in separate beds if one or both of you snore. A good night’s sleep gives anyone a better perspective on life, and you regain an amount of privacy you may feel you’re missing. www.3rdActMag.com


• Accept differences. It’s not uncommon for one person to be a night owl. Some retirees decide to catch up on all the TV programs they’ve ever missed. Others may want to sleep late because they never could before. Learn to take a deep breath and just get on with what makes you happy while respecting the other person’s retirement dreams. • Do at least one thing your spouse likes. Living in the same space when you both have different ideas is difficult. Without getting an attitude that you’re giving up anything, do what pleases the other. Maybe you don’t like taking walks together and your spouse does—walk anyway. Perhaps one likes hot tea in the morning—fix it for them. Bake a cake just because your spouse likes sweets, give hugs frequently, and keep making to-do lists, every day without fail. A purposeful life leads to meaningful days. • Learn something new. If you’re bothered that you never finished your college degree, now is the perfect time to pursue your passion for education. Write a book, start a blog, learn to cook new dishes, do home projects, or catch up with high school or college buddies. If you sit in a rocking chair and just rock, you’ll become older than you are—quickly.

• Keep children in the loop. Couples may think differently about how often to visit children and grandchildren. If one of you needs more time with family, don’t worry about solo visits if they contribute to your partner’s happiness. • Stick to a budget. Thankfully, I was an accounting manager for over 30 years. I spent years helping others stay on budget. Before I ever retired, I prepared an in-depth accounting of expenses to expect during retirement. I built in what-if scenarios so we always had more money than expenses, and I allocated 40 percent of our income to savings. • Think young thoughts. I am responsible for what I think, so I choose to fill my head with positive rather than negative thoughts. If both of you make up your minds to do that, you set yourselves up to succeed at enjoying the rest of your lives. Stay sensitive to each other’s needs when transitioning as retirees. Retirement isn’t anything you’ve ever done, so you’re learning as you go. Weave and dodge, run and hide, and wink and cry as you write the script. Make it a good one! Betsy Wise has been a freelance writer since 2013 and currently blogs regularly at her website, WritingForJesus.com.

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summer 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 21


Open A New Door

BY ELLEN KAHAN

Cross-cultural sharing brings richness to retired life In a familiar dream, I wander my house and discover a new door. I still don’t know what’s behind that dream door, but finding a hidden place in a familiar world really happened. Each week, I step off the bus into a neighborhood steeped in the smell of baking fortune cookies mixed with the aromas of dried fish, incense, and unfamiliar spices. I cross under a lamppost’s clinging dragon, past a park’s red arch and pavilion, and into the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience—“The Wing,” for short. Although the Chinatown-International District neighborhood is the traditional home to many Seattleites of Asian heritage, it had been unfamiliar to me. But I believe that retirement is the time to seek new learning, not relax into the familiar, and working as a volunteer in the exhibit department of The Wing has demanded that I grow. My family stories and traditions come from European traditions. The palettes of color, taste, smell, story, and design familiar to me are rooted in European origins. Mine was a childhood of brave pioneers, flowered party dresses, Christmas stories, boardwalk taffy, Nancy Drew, and handmade

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

patchwork quilts. Working at The Wing has opened a new treasure chest. Housed in an historic Chinatown hotel (and named to honor the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest), The Wing creates exhibits by working with the communities it represents. Exhibits are made more intimate by oral histories recounting personal stories connected to a time, place, or event. At first, I transcribed interviews, but I’ve gradually been entrusted to lead them. Sitting in a quiet room absorbing the intimate stories of lives so different from mine has educated my mind and heart. Through these histories I have come to know the owner of a bubble tea shop, the Buddhist mother of the first Korean American rabbi, and the first female Asian astronaut. I’ve heard the painful stories of Khmer Rouge survivors, and I’ve listened to Samoan tattoo artists and sports stars, from football to basketball, roller derby to ultimate Frisbee, women and men. These stories—and the laughter and tears in the telling—exploded into my world. My understanding of America stretched and expanded. During my lunch break, I join a convivial but generally much younger staff of colleagues with family roots

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Photos: Alan Alabastro Photography

scattered across Asia and the Pacific Islands. Chatting My most valuable and poignant learning at The over lunch allows me a peek into different traditions Wing comes from being a white woman in an Asian of food, culture, and family expectations. There I was Pacific American community. As a member of a society’s introduced to a variety of treasured treats never before dominant culture, it is an amazing growth experience to a part of my life. A young tour guide craved a mochi, suddenly be in the minority. It has allowed me to learn which I learned was a pastry made from sweetened rice from uncomfortable situations. I’ve heard young tour flour and often filled with azuki red beans. Discussions guides process visitors’ racist comments knowing that of milk teas revealed the contrast between the familiar some were driven by hate while others were the product British cup of Earl Grey with a little milk and of ignorance. I’ve been presented with As a member the wildly varying milk tea concoctions of perspectives on city happenings that are flavors, sweet syrups, warm milk, and bubbles totally different than mine, and suddenly of a society’s they were talking about. Azuki pastries and I can see the validity of that point of dominant warming milk teas are both delicious and culture, it is an view. I listen and continue to learn I’m grateful that I can easily track down new amazing growth how members of my Anglo community taste experiences in the neighborhood. My process history and issues limited by experience to lunch break is always an adventure. our own vantage point and in a way that suddenly be in Young staff members offer me pop may lead to misunderstandings about the minority. cultural insights as well. My husband and I the intentions, lives, and experiences were invited to join the group for a screening of others. of the recently released movie Crazy Rich Asians. The I don’t have ancestral ties to Chinatown or to the universal love story of clashing families and young lovers people living there, but I feel at home in The Wing Luke, was familiar, but enlightening were the gasps and giggles and I am thankful for all I am learning. I am grateful for generated in the audience by stars unfamiliar to me. I the amazing cultures, stories, and friends I discovered might remember an actor’s small role in a Hollywood when I opened the door to this special world. film but nothing that would have elicited the swoons What hidden doors do you pass each day? Now is of appreciation or laughter this audience expressed. your time to turn the handle. That night I was introduced to a group of fine actors and Ellen Kahan loves learning and new challenges. Following a career actresses of Asian heritage largely unseen in American in school leadership she views this time in her life as the glorious opportunity to pick and choose new adventures, especially those films. that require a little risk taking. She lives in Seattle.

Aging with Confidence

summer 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 23


THE LIGHTER SIDE

QUICK WIT A from few word cook s ies t of wisd o o —Ann ie C cough d m, ulve rops r

IN

the early 1980s, curiosity moved me to plunk down $17 for a tall tin of Forbes Capitalist Cookies filled with sayings from eccentric multimillionaire Malcolm Forbes. The editor and publisher of Forbes Magazine preferred to call his Capitalist Cookies “fortunate” cookies rather than Fortune cookies, a dig at a magazine competitor of his. These may have looked and tasted like fortune cookies, although they weren’t quite what you’d anticipate after moo goo gai pan at your favorite Chinese restaurant. Each saying featured a copyright date of 1978, which made them stale, to my thinking, so I teasingly dubbed them “an unfortunate lot” in my 1981 newspaper article. Faster than greasy spoon takeout, a personal letter arrived from Forbes in which he conceded he had challenged his copyright lawyers and lost. He included an inscribed copy of his book, The Sayings of Chairman Malcolm, the expanded version of his cookie quips. The inscription? “With only slight hope these won’t give you further indigestion!!” His letter noted: “Needless to say, I read with hungry interest your feature and quickly discovered you sure do know how to crumble unworthy cookie stuffings!” Regardless of their age—and what in 2019 would be dubbed cultural misappropriation by Forbes—fortune cookies frequently hold sage insights. This was true for the ones from flamboyant Forbes, who, among other colorful ventures, held world records for piloting hot-air balloons. He also had a massive collection of Harley-Davidsons and took that distinctive rumble on the first-ever motorcycle tour of China. Here are a few gold nuggets attributed to Forbes: “When you cease to dream, you cease to live.” “Anticipating is more fun than recollecting.”

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

“The best vision is insight.” “The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” “Whoever coined the phrase ‘smart ass’ has got to be at least half right.” Forbes died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1990, but not before his $2 million 70th birthday bash in Morocco where he flew in 1,000 guests, including Donald Trump, Julio Iglesias, Liz Taylor, and Henry Kissinger. A fitting swan song for Forbes, author of another book called They Went That-a-Way, amazing accounts of how 175 famous people died. Tough to figure what Forbes might think of ending a modern-day Chinese meal with a fortune cookie that makes lottery number recommendations or marketing ploys. P.F. Chang’s restaurants offer this fortune: “Your confidence will lead you to the right choice.” On its flipside, there’s a plug for how well P.F. Chang’s slow-braised spare ribs go with a cold beer. Fortune cookie heresy? Move over, Malcolm! Some tea bag tags now feature wisdom from Virgil and Aristotle. What about cough drops with wrappers that boast “a pep talk in every drop”? These include “Get through it” and “Put your game face on” and “You can do it and you know it!” Shades of a rabid coach, but maybe it’ll cure a cough. Even some Dove ice-cream bar sticks advise, “Take a moment. Enjoy what you have.” Sounds like the life of Malcolm Forbes. Annie Culver developed a knack for unearthing oddball characters and improbable events as a staff writer for various newspapers. In the early 1990s, she went to work for websites where she wrote sassy essays aimed at women, then she morphed into a writer for several universities in the Northwest. She is retired, yet she still enjoys freelancing.

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summer 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 25


ENLIGHTENED AGING

Your Brain is Like a Reservoir

The more intellectually challenging your activities, the lower your risk of developing dementia and the slower your rate of cognitive decline. You want to avoid too much emotional stress, too much sitting, and too much passive, repetitious activity. When it comes to hobbies, people who pursue games like bridge or other mind-challenging pastimes appear to have better brain health than those who choose passive activities like watching television. Some research suggests that dance is an ideal hobby because of its unique combination of exercise, socializing, and mental work needed to get the steps just right. Your social life is also important for promoting healthy brain aging, avoiding dementia, and preventing other chronic illnesses. Having a supportive network of family and friends correlates with dodging early death in general. The reasons are many and complex. But basically, we need other people around to keep us talking, thinking, working, moving, caring for ourselves, and generally engaged in our lives—all necessities for good brain health. Setting intentional goals for friendship and family relationships becomes increasingly important in old age, when we naturally lose friends and family due to death or moving away. It’s the quality and not just the quantity of these relationships that seems most important. It’s good to have friends with whom you can share interesting conversations and meaningful activities—people who inspire you to get going every day, pursuing activities that get your blood pumping and stimulate your brain. Everybody eventually has some loss of memory and cognitive function with age. Like any body part, your brain undergoes wear and tear. And there’s certainly nothing you can do about past experiences that may have already affected your brain reserve (such as playing youth football or taking harmful drugs over a long period of time). But you can take steps today to maintain or build healthy habits like exercise and an active social life. Doing so, you can minimize the drain of your brain reserve and refill your reservoir for a net gain of healthy years.

Replenish it with Healthy Activity BY DR. ERIC B. LARSON

I’VE OFTEN HEARD PATIENTS express the same wish for old age: They want to live independently in good health, postponing serious illness and disability until the very end. Research suggests our generation has a better chance than our ancestors of experiencing old age with less illness. Socioeconomic and medical advances have allowed many people to prevent or postpone common conditions of aging, especially heart disease and maybe even Alzheimer’s disease. Protecting our brain health involves building so-called “cognitive reserve”—a process that likely starts before birth as a fetus’s brain takes shape. It continues throughout life as brain structure changes in response to our experiences and environment. Some experts believe brain development can persist up until the time we die. You can think of your brain like a reservoir, gathering rain for later use over time. Many things happen throughout life to drain and refill your reservoir. Your brain can build and maintain a reserve of cells and connective structures allowing it to continually adapt and function, staying resilient in the face of stress and strain. Your level of reserve is likely to fall as the size of the brain naturally shrinks with age, but certain activities may act like spring storms, replenishing reserves for better function—even in old age. Factors affecting your brain reserve can include your choice of work and leisure activities, social relationships, level of physical exercise, and getting enough sleep. sleep.

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Dr. Eric B. Larson is vice president for research and health care innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington and author of the book Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Long, Active Life.

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Now is the Best Time to Bone Up on Osteoporosis BY PRISCILLA CHARLIE HINCKLEY

No Bad Breaks Osteoporosis

is a completely silent disease that affects millions of people, yet many of us won’t know we have it until we break a bone. And that will happen to many of us: An estimated one in two women, and one in four men, over age 50 are at risk of a bone fracture. For older adults, those breaks are very serious. “Your life is never the same afterward,” says Dr. Julie Carkin, director of the Strong Bones Program at UW Medicine. She says there’s a crisis in osteoporosis care, and that people are often undertreated for breaks that happen with a fall that’s from no higher than standing height, or as a result of a very low impact. Low-trauma fractures and fragility fractures are indicators of osteoporosis, so just treating the fracture isn’t enough. “That’s a big warning sign, it’s a bone attack, and if you have one of those you need to get evaluated,” says Carkin. Ideally, she adds, it’s best to assess your risk before a first fracture, “because bone health is a lifelong thing to pay attention to.” When we’re young, good health and nutrition help build a strong “bone bank.” We reach peak bone mass at around 25 to 30 years old. Then, if we stay healthy, bone density decreases slowly over time. While osteoporosis is a disease and not part of normal aging, we are

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more at risk as we age. Women take a big hit in bone density after menopause, due to the loss of estrogen. Men, who have a higher peak bone mass than women to begin with, are less at risk until around 70. Besides age and being female, fixed risk factors for developing osteoporosis include family history, having a small frame, long-term steroid use, and a number of health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, and hyperparathyroidism. Other risk factors are more in our control, such as alcohol use, smoking, Vitamin D deficiency, poor nutrition, low calcium intake, and lack of exercise. So how do we pay attention to bone health? If you’re a postmenopausal woman over 50, or a man over 70, ask your doctor about getting a DEXA scan (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) if you’ve never had one. It measures bone mineral density in your hip, spine, and forearm, and can detect osteoporosis (or its forerunner, osteopenia) at any stage. “Bone scans are very low radiation—the technician is in the room— there are no needles, and it’s surprisingly precise,” says Carkin. If you’re diagnosed with bone loss, consider consulting a practice specializing in bone health. Then you, the specialist, and your physician can determine whether it’s time for treatment. First, explains Dr. Chris Shuhart of the Swedish Bone Health and Osteoporosis Program, “I talk to patients about their risk for fracture. There are patients with osteoporosis who are not at risk for fracture. We work on understanding fracture risk to decide on treatment.” Tools have been developed to help assess fracture risk. For example, FRAX (fracture risk assessment tool) is one of several models that ask a series of questions that determine risk level together with whether there are secondary causes for bone loss that should be addressed, such as kidney disease or a variety of other medications. Shuhart explains that treatment of the skeleton has two parts: foundational and pharmacologic. Foundational treatment includes calcium, Vitamin D, no smoking, no excessive alcohol use, and correct exercise. Pharmacologic treatment includes two categories of medication:

Aging with Confidence

antiresorptive (to stop bone loss) and anabolic (to form bone), and a recently FDA-approved medication that includes both functions. If you do take medication, you must also get enough calcium and Vitamin D to make it effective. “Medications are like a brick mason: they need materials to work with,” says Carkin. Jane’s mother and aunt had osteoporosis, so she has always known she could be at risk. She’s had three DEXA scans in the last 10 years, and she’s lost about an inch of her height. “All of a sudden chairs don’t take me high enough— I feel like a child who can’t reach the table,” says Jane. She also cracked a bone while stepping off a sidewalk. She worries constantly about developing a “dowager hump.” Every Tuesday morning, Jane takes an antiresorptive oral medication. She hasn’t had side effects, but she does have to watch for reflux afterward, waiting 30 minutes to have coffee or food. She’s working with her osteoporosis specialist to track her meds, and to make lifestyle changes that include weight-bearing exercises and swimming. And while she has never been a heavy drinker, “Now I make sure I have only one four-ounce glass of wine a day, max.” Jane’s next bone scan will be in September 2019.

“If you’re diagnosed with bone loss, consider consulting a practice specializing in bone health. Then you, the specialist, and your physician can determine whether it’s time for treatment.” Medications for osteoporosis have been available since the mid-1990s. They reduce the probability of a fracture by about 40 to 50 percent and are commonly used for three to five years. It’s essential to work closely with your doctor to determine which medication will be most effective for you, based on possible interactions and your own health. While some patients may have issues with a particular medication, serious side effects are rare. Bone fractures, on the other hand, are very common, and would be far more debilitating in most cases. “Treatments generally are effective even

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No Bad Breaks

Mercer Island OsteoStrong owner Brent Jordan coaches client.

“Any exercise is good, but weight-bearing exercises strengthen the skeleton, and anything that improves flexibility and balance, like tai chi, helps prevent falls.” when bone density doesn’t increase. As long as it doesn’t decline, patients are protected from fractures,” says Shuhart. However, he adds that if patients don’t take bone-boosting lifestyle steps, too, “medical treatment is probably going to be less effective.” It’s tough to get people to exercise unless they’re already in the habit. Any exercise is good, but weight-bearing exercises strengthen the skeleton, and anything that improves flexibility and balance, like tai chi, helps prevent falls. Medicare Advantage plans often include free gym access, and senior exercise programs are available in many communities. Before choosing a program, ask if the instructor has specific training in working with people who have osteoporosis. Victoria has osteoporosis in her spine. She’s in good shape, very active, and a downhill skier, which she’s not ready to give up. Her FRAX evaluation puts her at fairly low risk for fractures in the next 10 years, but she’s being aggressive in her approach to taking care of herself. “While I was disappointed to learn I have osteoporosis, that knowledge also gives me the ability to take action,” says Victoria. She uses a combined approach of medication to prevent bone loss, weight-lifting and balance

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exercises, and specialized body armor to protect her spine when skiing. Her goal is to extend the years that she can ski, and to continue to live the life she loves in a way that will protect her health. And she’s exploring other options for strengthening her bones. One of those is OsteoStrong, a system of resistance exercise that uses stationary machines. Brent Jordan, owner of OsteoStrong on Mercer Island, explains that clients use OsteoStrong’s proprietary machines to push or pull against resistance that targets specific muscle/skeletal groups, “putting compression in a controlled manner that provides a trigger.” When a certain trigger point has been met for stress, he says, “the body has no choice but to make that particular system, in this case, the skeletal system, stronger.” Using machines for wrists, hips, core, and spine, clients exert as much pressure as they can, or as much as they feel comfortable doing. OsteoStrong describes this as “self-loading,” meaning no external weights are used in the exercises. The circuit of four machines takes about 10 minutes, once a week. The goal is to build or rebuild bone density; results are measured by comparing yearly bone scans. “I’m very excited about adding OsteoStrong to my regimen,” says Victoria. “Their data is encouraging.” Whatever way you choose to treat osteoporosis, it’s critical not to ignore it. Get a bone density scan to start. Consult your doctor, or a specialist if you’d like, about fracture risk and underlying problems. (You can find and print a list of questions on the National Osteoporosis Foundation website; search for “doctor visit checklist” at nof.org.) Make a plan for diet, exercise, calcium, and Vitamin D. Keep an open mind about medication. Ask your doctor about the variety of medication types out there, and maybe do some research on your own. Whatever you do, don’t simply wait for a first break that could change your life as you know it. Priscilla Charlie Hinckley has been a writer and producer in Seattle television and video for 35 years, with a primary interest in stories covering health and medicine, women’s and children’s issues, social justice, and education. She enjoys taking a lighthearted approach to serious topics.

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Aging with Confidence

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Value Over Volume What if going to see your doctor could opposed to volume based.” be a spa-like experience, where you’re The traditional primary-care ushered into an attractive lobby with model is fee-for-service, meaning you comfy couches, a welcoming fireplace, get a face-to-face visit with a doctor and free coffee—a place where your who then charges your insurance every health need for service rendered. is attended to, at no Critics claim this is an additional cost. expensive, inefficient way It’s called Iora to handle care, resulting Primary Care, and while in frustrated doctors and you can’t get a manicure poor patient outcomes. there, you can receive The value-based premium health care model that Iora and some BY CONNIE from a caring team, says other organizations use MCDOUGALL Dr. Carroll Haymon, is different. Insurance Iora’s regional medical director in the companies pay doctors a monthly sum state of Washington and head of its at a higher rate that, in theory, costs less office in Seattle’s Central District. because patients are healthier. With primary care offices in Seattle, It seems to be working, Haymon Shoreline, Renton, Federal Way, says. “We see people when they’re Tacoma, and Puyallup, Iora accepts sick, but also when they’re well, so patients with traditional Medicare (Part that we can keep them healthier. Iora A and Part B) with or without most has a 40 percent decrease in patient supplement/Medigap plans, as well as hospitalizations and a 20 percent Humana Medicare Advantage plans. decrease in emergency room visits. And “We see our patients as partners we have high satisfaction scores,” she in their health, helping them to says. “Iora patients report an average 90 succeed and thrive, to have a deep net promoter score—that is, how likely understanding of their health,” says patients are to recommend us —where Haymon. “We put a lot of time and the industry average for primary care energy into that. It’s value-based care as is three.”

A New Trend in Primary Care

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Megan Prock McGrath, Iora’s director of public relations and communications, explains that they achieve these results through a coordinated, relational approach. “Our care is built on genuine relationships and our care team works together to treat the whole person. At Iora, each patient gets a team dedicated to their care.” That team includes a physician or nurse practitioner, team nurse, behavioral health specialist as needed, clinical team manager, and an operations assistant. “Just as important, each patient is paired with a health coach that works with them to determine their health goals,” Prock McGrath adds. “The team spends more time with patients, listens to them, and respects and addresses their questions, concerns, and goals.” Haymon notes that Iora teams take a much deeper dive into patient conditions than the average 12-minute doctor consultations offered in traditional medicine. “We’re working to build patient skills,” she says. “For example, take someone with high blood pressure. Often in traditional care it goes like www.3rdActMag.com


At Iora, each team starts the day with a Huddle. They meet for 30-45 minutes at the beginning of every day to set the stage. Teams review the daily patient and class schedules, discuss plans for high-risk patients, address operational needs of the practice, share patient story highlights, and participate in activities and learning moments that offer motivation and intention for the day.

this: You have high blood pressure, here’s a pill, see you in three months, good luck. But in the value model, we can take the time to make sure that people understand their condition, what the medications are for, what they do, what the side effects might be. And if they have concerns or questions, they can call their health coach.” Haymon came to Iora from a career in traditional medicine as a family doctor and a teacher. “Although everyone tries their best and works hard, I felt that the problems revolved around the delivery of care,” she notes. “We don’t have a health care system that promotes the right priorities, especially for people as they age. What’s rewarded is volume, not value. That means more tests, labs, imaging, consulting, specialists, more drugs. We have a very expensive health care system, a lot of expensive drugs and care that is often not coordinated; the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.” Aging with Confidence

In 2014, she saw an opportunity for change via Iora. “In the beginning, we just had two doctors and people thought I was out of left field. But we built up our teams that are focused on the whole person, not just a collection of organs.” Value-based care appears to be making inroads on fee-for-service. “There’s increasing interest in it nationally,” Haymon says, “and programs like ours are gaining traction as they get better outcomes at a lower cost.” She points out that in Washington state, no organization is doing things quite the way Iora is but there are similar reimbursement strategies available. One major change agent is the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), which buys coverage for more than 2 million people through Medicaid and the Public Employees Benefits Board program. HCA is using its considerable buying power to move

Dr. Carroll Haymon

away from fee-for-service plans to value-based care. By 2021, HCA plans to move 90 percent of state-financed health care to value-based payments. In the end, patients are not the only ones who will enjoy the benefits of this kind of care, says Haymon. “I found that in traditional care many doctors are frustrated with the limits put on them. They’re tired and burned out,” she says. “But in this model, doctors are happy. At last, they can give the care they want to offer. This is care they can believe in.” Connie McDougall is a former news reporter and current freelance writer of nonfiction and personal essays. A lifelong student and proud English major, she has pursued lessons in flying, scuba diving, tai chi, Spanish, meditation, hiking and, most recently, Zumba.

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mature creativity The powerful balance between novelty and routine

BY MICHAEL C. PATTERSON

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I

recall a conversation I had with a very creative friend. He worked at a highly respected television production company, but he hated his job. To help him feel better, I made a rather stupid and ageist comment: “Well, at least you get to work with a lot of creative young people.” “You know,” he replied, “the young employees aren’t that creative. They are too young. They’ve learned one successful trick and are too scared to try anything else.” Creativity is a dynamic partnership between novelty and routine. The two perform a fluid dance in which neither one leads or dominates for too long. Successful creativity requires flights of the imagination coupled with the stability of process and procedure. One basic formula for creativity is to use novelty to come up with a useful idea that is then turned into a routine. Then, come up with another good idea that can be turned into another routine. Repeat and repeat again. Along the way, you check and monitor your routines to see if they still work. Discard them if they don’t and replace them with new routines that you’ll check and monitor. That’s how our evolved problem-solving algorithms are refined through experience. The young people who worked with my friend were stuck using the one creative routine they had managed to discover. They had neither the wisdom nor confidence to be truly creative. True creativity—mature creativity—is a constant process of reinvention that generates an endless supply of creative routines. Creativity is usually defined as the process of bringing something new into the world that is useful and adds value. Novel ideas are important, but they also must be useful and of value. Flights of imagination can be hugely entertaining, but they aren’t truly creative unless they are converted into actionable steps that we can use to make our lives more comfortable and meaningful. Creativity is a multi-step process. The cherished Eureka moment—the “a-ha!” reaction, that flash of insight—is intoxicating,

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but it is only one step in the process of turning ideas into useful and valuable tools. It takes maturity and patience to work through the entire creative process. This is especially true with complex projects. It takes time, and myriad creative cycles, to accumulate the broad and diverse array of useful routines you need to generate creative options. Steve Jobs offered us this: “Creativity is just connecting things.” Creativity is knowing how to connect the dots in new and useful ways. The more “dots” you have in mind and at your disposal, the more chances you have to find new, interesting, and useful combinations. Mature creativity thrives because you’ve had time to accumulate a wealth of useful routines. Mature creativity is powerful because the growing portfolio of routines can be refined and improved through trial-and-error testing. Mature creativity is effective because we learn what routines work best and, with that experience, develop the mastery to deploy them effectively.

Age alone is no guarantee of creative power. Without wisdom, curiosity, and a fascination with change, the dominance of routines can become stultifying. If we aren’t careful, this trend toward automatic routine can take over our lives and stifle creative living. If we get lazy and allow routines to dominate, the delicate dance between process and innovation is disrupted. Novelty, exploration, experimentation, and curiosity are forced to sit out the dance. When this happens, we become the cliché of old dogs who can no longer learn new tricks. Navigating the river of life requires constant creative adjustment. Keep your mature creativity alive and active in these ways: • Stay curious. Continue to explore and question. • Never believe that your current solution is the final solution. • Discard obsolete, destructive, or obstructive routines. • Continually replace worn-out ideas and routines with new and improved versions. • Keep dancing.

Are you getting the primary care you deserve?

Michael C. Patterson, founder and CEO of MINDRAMP Consulting, writes extensively on the art and science of brain health and mental flourishing. He is an educator and consultant who previously managed AARP’s Staying Sharp brain health program and helped develop the field of creative aging.

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Nancy, Iora patient

Aging with Confidence

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Jamie and Angela

Pay Attention

The art of living after diagnosis BY ANGELA MINOR

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Granddaddy taught me how to drive when I was only 12 years old. With a belly full of butterflies, I’d slide into the driver’s seat and stretch tall to see over the steering wheel. “You only need to remember one thing to be a good driver,” he’d say at every lesson. “Pay attention.” Decades later, when the oncologist tenderly announced Jamie’s stage IV metastatic breast cancer, we couldn’t crane our necks high enough to see the road ahead. For an interminably long period of time, which passed in a blink, we fought the battle inch by inch every moment of the day. It was all we did in the beginning. While logic might dictate this approach, we soon realized that navigating this journey required something more. We talked with new friends in the cancer battle; researched and searched ourselves for a strategy; and finally landed upon a tiny bit of wisdom from my childhood driving lessons. To pay

3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

attention, we would lay claim to a minute, an hour, a day, and more—with all of our senses. In an unexpectedly liberating way, the circumstances of this illness soon rendered us “able, perhaps for the first time in years, to look round, to look up—to look, for example, at the sky,” as Virginia Woolf wrote in her essay, “On Being Ill.” Now, rather than drive on autopilot, we’d stop for a sunset, a view of the mountains, cloud formations, fruit-bearing trees, and fields of corn combed into rows. We tracked the seasons by the landscapes rather than the calendar. And, hundreds of doctors’ appointments gave us the opportunities. Then Jamie brought nature’s cycles inside with small herb gardens, starting flowers from seed. This expanded to reading magazines on the topic, visiting farms and markets, cooking in-season dishes with new recipes, and canning, drying, and freezing local produce. We made it a goal to support as many small business eateries as possible, and sometimes we’d just order dessert! As partner and caregiver, the world suddenly looked different from behind my eyes as well. “Now, lying recumbent, staring straight up, the sky is www.3rdActMag.com


discovered to be something so different, that really it is a little shocking. This then has been going on all the time without our knowing it!” Woolf wrote. “This incessant making up of shapes and casting them down, this buffeting of clouds together, this incessant ringing up and down of curtains of light and shade, this interminable experiment with gold shafts and blue shadows, with veiling the sun and unveiling it…” It became our conscious challenge to find a myriad of ways to experience the world. We re-watched favorite movies; read aloud to each other; turned up the volume way too high on the oldies music channels; and laughed out loud at reruns of classic Britcoms. The treasure hunt was on at resale bookshops for favorite authors, and any book signing within 100 miles was fair game. Going to the movie theater for new release matinees and popcorn felt like more than the sum of its parts. In these activities the ordinary became extraordinary. Thank you, granddaddy, for so much more than Living Care Comm WW_3rd Act Vibrant Living Ad.pdf a driving86546 lesson. When we pay attention, time layers

Aging with Confidence

When the oncologist tenderly announced Jamie’s stage IV metastatic breast cancer, we couldn’t crane our necks high enough to see the road ahead. upon itself, giving us much more than the tick of a clock. In the words of poet Rainer Maria Rilke: “Death is our friend precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love… Life always says Yes and No simultaneously. Death (I implore you to believe) is the true Yea-sayer. It stands before eternity and says only: Yes.” While I must now speak for both of us, I’m certain Jamie would quietly say that our art of living after diagnosis was simply to “pay attention.” Angela Minor has lived, traveled, and birded the U.S., Caribbean, and seven European countries. A former teacher and small business owner, she writes for travel publications including Blue Ridge Country, Smoky Mountain Living, and Ft. Myers Magazine; serves as field editor with Birds & Blooms and as “Park Watch” Beat Writer for 10,000 Birds; and authors the Bird 1 6/7/19 12:05 PM Watcher’s Digest state park birding series.

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M A World of Wellness Medical Tourism is on the Rise Around the Globe BY ANN RANDALL

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y first experience with out-of-country medical care happened when a moped accident on a gravel road landed me in the emergency room of a rural clinic in the Bahamas. Two decades later in Costa Rica, I lost a dental filling. My hosts called their dentist and an hour later I was ushered into her clinic for a fix and cleaning that cost less than I paid for a bag of groceries back home. Until recently, I’d been a foreign patient because of travel emergencies. But when pending dental implant surgery not covered by insurance sent me looking for less expensive options, I recalled the modern dental office amenities and gentle efficiency of Englishspeaking Dr. Viquez in Costa Rica. I searched online for “Costa Rica dentists” and discovered an entire flourishing industry of medical tourism. International travel in search of a health cure isn’t new. The ancient Greeks traveled distances seeking relief Two-thirds of in the temples of Asclepius, U.S. medical tourists the god of medicine. Later, use out-ofwell-heeled American travelers country care ventured abroad for medical for dentistry care from exclusive European and cosmetic spas. However, the current U.S. surgery. trend of travel for health care is driven by the economics and bureaucracy of the medical system and insurance industry. Patients wanting low cost, high-quality medical care are seeking it in countries previously considered less developed where procedures are offered for far less than in the U.S. And those nations are discovering an untapped tourism market.

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International medical facilities marketing to U.S. patients are often staffed by physicians and other health professionals trained in the U.S.

Fifty countries now actively cater to the international health traveler, according to Josef Woodman, author of the book and website, Patients Beyond Borders. Mexico, Costa Rica, and Hungary are popular destinations for dental work. Mexico, Costa Rica, and Thailand draw the most international patients for cosmetic surgery. India, Thailand, Singapore, Israel, and Malaysia specialize in invasive surgeries like cardiovascular and orthopedic treatment. Long known by Arizona snowbirds, medical tourism is a profitable business for some Mexican border towns drawing U.S. residents south for regular dental and vision care. The community of Los Algodones, Mexico, 10 miles from Yuma, AZ, bills itself as “Molar City” with more dentists per capita than anywhere in the world. Drawn by its 350 dental clinics and 150 optical clinics, an estimated 6,000 U.S. citizens cross the border each day from November to March seeking dental and vision care that can cost two-thirds less than it does back home. In December the town even throws a party with food, drink, and live music to welcome its annual influx. Over the past 15 years, a medical accreditation infrastructure has emerged to both attract and assure patients. Professional organizations such as the Medical Tourism Association and accreditation services like the Joint Commission International inspect, evaluate, and rate facilities and treatment to standardize quality care. The American Journal of Medicine estimates that 800 hospitals across the globe had received JCI accreditation by 2017 with 20 percent more added annually. Countries who actively promote medical tourism have their own national Yellow Book is accreditation service such as the Centers for Disease Control and India’s National Accreditation Prevention’s guide of Board for Hospitals and health information Healthcare Providers. And for overseas travel, individual hospitals sometimes with an entire promote a U.S. hospital chapter is devoted to medical tourism. affiliation. Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has partnerships with hospitals in Saudi Arabia, China, and Panama, among other countries. Some countries and individual facilities specialize in treatments excluded by health insurance plans such as dental implant surgery, vision treatment, cosmetic surgery, infertility treatment, bariatric surgery, and specialty treatments without FDA approval. However, even if insurance covers treatment, high deductible and co-pay

Aging with Confidence

requirements can make U.S. treatment cost prohibitive. A good rule of thumb, claims Woodman, is the $6,000 rule. “If your specialist quotes you a price of $6,000 or more for treatment, chances are good that one or more foreign countries can offer you the same procedure and quality for less, even including your travel and lodging expenses.” Businesses who self-insure their employees’ health care plans are beginning to realize the value of encouraging outof-country care. Three years ago, in Antigua, Guatemala, I met four vacationing families working for the same Colorado business whose employer annually covered their Guatemalan vacation and medical costs for dental and medical checkups because it was less expensive than offering an insurance plan. Beyond cost, international medical facilities actively market an improved patient experience. Amenities like TreatmentAbroad.com low nurse-to-patient ratios; publishes patient reviews by treatment, country, deluxe hospital suites; provider, and facility. boutique recuperation PatientsBeyondBorders. resorts; airport and intown limo transportation and concierge services to make all arrangements during a medical stay are often included as part of the care. For less invasive treatment, the facility’s concierge or a specialized medical tourism travel agent can assist with logistics should you decide to combine treatment with vacation. Research is important no matter what type of care you may be seeking. Is the out-of-country facility accredited by the Joint Commission International or a national accreditation? How often has the facility performed the surgery? Does the provider speak English, or do you speak the country’s language (including medical terminology)? Will your U.S. doctor share your medical records and coordinate back home aftercare? Do you need a companion to travel and stay with you? Does the facility have a concierge to coordinate logistics? My search for a dental treatment alternative is increasingly common. The American Journal of Medicine estimates that 1.4 million Americans sought international health care in 2017. The number is expected to increase 25 percent annually, driven by a maturing population and increasing medical costs. It turns out that an October flight to Hungary for a combination dental surgery and weeklong vacation is equivalent to the price quote provided by my dentist. It’s been decades since I’ve seen charming Budapest. It’s a tantalizing possibility. Ann Randall is an independent traveler and writer who loves venturing to out-of-the-way locales from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. A former educator, she now observes international elections and does volunteer work in India. Her articles have appeared in online and print publications and she blogs at PeregrineWoman.com.

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NEUTRALIZING “We can help. It’s a question of—how shall I say it? Of. . .?” Mary Louise, an interior designer, hesitated, ran her fingers through her short, frosted hair, looked intently from me to John, my husband of 53 years. She had volunteered to help us prepare our home for sale while advising us on our new condo. Jen, her assistant, spoke up: “A question of making it more palatable, let’s just say. Yes, more palatable.” “You know,” said the senior designer, “it’s the young people these days. Like Jen here. Now Jen, what would you do if you were buying this house?” “Well,” Jen paused. Pretty with a high forehead and ebony hair pulled into a low bun that gave her a professional air, Jen glanced around our dining room: floor-length lace curtains with sheers at the French door, a mahogany table with claw feet, an antique Italian fruitwood secretary with a silk-tasseled key hanging from its door, a Persian rug in ocean blue and burnt sienna, all set in a room with wallpaper. “Well,” Jen said, glancing at her superior, “I’m like my generation—we like open spaces and open windows for light to come in. My generation doesn’t do window treatment, like

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drapes or sheers. Like your lace curtains here probably have to go. And the wallpaper. Then, what with the kitchen just through that swinging door. . . .” Mary Louise continued, “You could take the wall out. Open up the eating and dining areas. BY SUSAN RAVA Before you sell your house, you’ll have to make it appealing. So people can imagine living here.” “Appealing, you mean, to young people.” I’d heard this from a real estate agent, too. “I get it. No one your age is going to buy a 100-year old house fixed up by 80-year olds. The buyers are bound to be young.” “Which means …,” Mary Louise said as she pulled up straight in our dining room chair and spoke, “which means you have to neutralize your house.” “Neutralize my house. A-ha, neutralize 52 years of life.” I saw those years in my mind’s eye there in our dining room as designer and assistant rang the death knell for decades of my husband’s and my life. Years with three children grown

When Selling a Beloved Home Means Erasing Parts of the Past

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now into the fullness of adulthood; dinners with friends, political campaign parties, and church gatherings; wedding and baby showers, and memorial services with music on our piano; guinea pigs buried in the back yard and fuchsia peonies bursting forth in May; dark nights of adolescent anguish and family deaths; the luminosity of grandkids up and down the stairs, pleading to go to the attic to search for their great-grandfather’s sword; three basset hounds, a Scottie, and now a beloved found dog who wags at Mary Louise and Jen without suspecting that they propose to neutralize her beloved home. “I hear, Jen, that your generation doesn’t do brown wood either.” “Correct,” Jen said and nodded. “A bit of a marketing problem for us. Just look around,” I said. “We’ll work around that. And as for books, no paperbacks. Best to have the hardbacks arranged by size and color.” “Ummm.” That we wouldn’t obey, not me (a former academic) nor John (a retired lawyer and politics buff). “Finally, rugs. Not so many. Your house will look bigger without them.” I will roll up the Tree of Life rug we bought on a whim in Seattle. The memory of the rug dealer in Fez spreading out carpet upon carpet until, like magic, we owned three—that memory will linger. Today as I step into my now ivory-colored dining room, bare of my ornaments— flowered demitasse cups, Italian secretary, and the royal blue Venetian glass ball—I breathe deep the grace of that room ready for the next owner. Freed, I fly to my new place—fresh, too, and beckoning. I weigh the possibilities of its now-empty rooms. Shall I repeat the cups and wallpaper with curlicues? Or shall I venture forth with everything different in what will soon become my home? Susan Rava, a former French teacher, lives and writes in St. Louis. She is the author of Swimming Solo: A Daughter’s Memoir of Her Parents, His Parents, and Alzheimer’s Disease (Plateau Books).

Aging with Confidence

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Tess Gallagher on Creativity, Vitality, and Resilience BY ROBIN LINDLEY

A Poet of Two Photo by Brian Farrell

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I begin to think I am sometimes trying to catch up to what has happened in a time that hasn’t happened yet. — Tess Gallagher, Is, Is Not

Tess Gallagher begins each day with meditation and silence. “Words come from silence,” she says, and if she is not present to what is within, it will not emerge; it will be lost. This practice— in spaces that verge on forests and expansive waters—sparks her inner music, her creative art, and she writes through the morning. Then, by teatime, she opens her home to visitors. She greets her guests with a warm smile, kindness, humor, ripping yarns, and maybe a poem or two. In the evening, she may go down to the boats to hear from fishers about their day and their catch, and there she masterfully reels in more images and stories. Gallagher, who turns 76 this summer, is one of the most admired and prolific poets working in America today. She may be best known for evocative poems and stories that bring wonder as they make the ordinary extraordinary. Readers also will recall her powerful words of love and loss, notably for her late husband, renowned author Raymond Carver, and her “beloved Irish companion” of almost 25 years, the late storyteller and painter, Josie Gray.

Gallagher describes herself as a poet of two Northwests. She usually writes at one of the two homes “in her heart”—her hometown of Port Angeles, in northwest Washington on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and her adopted home on Lough Arrow in the parish of Ballindoon, County Sligo, in northwest Ireland. She is a tireless traveler, and has made the journey between her two homes at least once annually for more than 40 years. These round-trip cycles may help explain why Gallagher sees her life as non-linear, as a “roundness” that unseats our sense of time. “When you have a constant coming and going pattern in your life you are making a kind of circling motion physically and emotionally,” she tells me. “You bring forward into your life elements that bind each place to the other.” Gallagher’s creativity sustains her. She has been a literary force for decades with previous books including

In her new book Is, Is Not (Graywolf Press), she writes at the height of her powers, offering revelation, stunning imagery, epiphanies, wholeness out of brokenness, interpenetrating worlds. In the book’s afterword, she writes, “…I seem to be writing in some sense beyond language.” Poet Scott Neuffer commented: “These poems delight with their willingness to trespass into unknown realms of thought and being.”

Instructions to the Double (1976), winner of the prestigious Elliston Award; numerous poetry collections including Midnight Lantern (2011); and three collections of short stories. She is also an essayist, a translator, a screenwriter, and a teacher. She worked alongside Carver for several years at Syracuse University, and, more recently, she was the Edward F. Arnold Visiting Professor of English at Whitman College.

Northwests Aging with Confidence

Gallagher’s work is grounded in her early childhood in Port Angeles and its nearby logging camps of that time. Her mother and father were both loggers, and the life was tough, wild, and unpredictable. “I grew up in a very edgy way, day by day hanging on the prospect of not having enough food on the table,” she recalls. “I didn’t have shoes until I went to school at age five.” Her literary influences include the legendary poet Theodore Roethke, who she studied with at the University of Washington, as well as UW poetry professors such as David Wagoner and Nelson Bentley, and other poets including Mark Strand and Stanley Kunitz. And, of course, she and her late husband Raymond Carver inspired and influenced one another. Visual art also feeds her spirit, such as the work of her longtime friends, Seattle painters Alfredo Arreguin (profiled in 3rd Act Magazine, Winter 2019) and his wife Susan Lytle, who both bring an ethereal sense of the sublime into their work—a sensibility also evident in Gallagher’s art. Gallagher has always found strength and inspiration in helping others, says Lytle, who calls her “a born nurturer.” Now a celebrated chapter of American literary history, the Ray-Tess relationship demonstrated this caring nature. She met Carver in the late 1970s, when he “was trying to make up for the lost time of 10 years of alcoholism which had destroyed his marriage and marooned him in bankruptcy,” she says. “He was fragile in that he was having to do without alcohol, which had been his crutch. No one gave him much of a chance to stay sober, until I came into his life.” (Continued on Page 44) summer 2019

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Their friendship blossomed and, by 1979, they embarked together on a collaboration “of hearts and imaginations,” as they truly enjoyed working on each other’s writing. In their near decade together, Carver— who came to be known as “America’s Chekhov”—wrote his most famous stories and poems, and Gallagher likewise created some of her most powerful work. Gallagher’s writing can be humorous and joyous, but she also is appreciated for her deft reflections on grief, particularly in her work after Carver’s death at age 50 in 1988. Moon Crossing Bridge (1992) is a book of poetry in his honor. Gallagher displayed remarkable resilience in caring for Carver as lung cancer wore him away. “The alternative is a kind of self-annihilation,” she says. “Even when Ray was having the last of his life (I thought) you’re next to this person who is having the last of their life, and you want to be useful and you want them to be shining, not just given over to medicine and sustaining, but instead filling the time left with the little glimmers of life. And so as long as we could, we worked on his book, A New Path to the Waterfall.” That experience together strengthened her and helped carry her through sorrow as she turned her grief to writing about her love and admiration for Carver. Her caring for Carver also helped her face her own aggressive cancer in the early 2000s that required four years of intensive treatment with surgery,

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From Left: Raymond Carver, Tess, and Alfredo Arreguin in 1987, Tess with her Spanish translator, Eli Tolaretxipi, in San Sebastian. Photo by Morella Muñoz-Tebar

chemotherapy, and radiation with the loss of a breast, hair, and fingernails. She suffered extreme fatigue, and more. Gallagher stresses that she had to fight for her life. “It was a quite rigorous, nasty thing. But you know what? I didn’t stop anything.” She kept writing. “That was the best thing to do because you’re fighting for your life and, if you’re not doing anything with your life, you’re not fighting very much.” She also found comfort in her relationship with acclaimed Irish storyteller Josie Gray who she met in 1994 through his family in Ballindoon. He was her “beloved Irish companion” until his death in 2017. As with Carver, Gallagher encouraged Gray in his creative pursuits, eventually persuading him to record his stories, now collected in their book Barnacle Soup. And, even though Gray had never made visual art, Gallagher sensed a painter within, so she urged him to paint and furnished him with art supplies. By the time he died, Gray’s expressive paintings were widely exhibited and collected in the U.S. and Ireland. Through her loss of two great loves, Gallagher has persisted. “Many things in contemporary life subdue us, break us apart and shatter us,” she says. “In my poetry and life, I try to work toward getting things to come together, for the broken elements to point back toward the wholeness they came from.”

Her recent poem “Recognition” offers insight on the shattering: Staring down from the bridge at the moon broken up in the river, who could know, without looking up, it stands whole above its shattered self. “You see a shattered moon on the river, but then you look up and you can see a whole moon . . . an experience in the world against shattering. For me, even in our shattering, there’s also a wholeness at the core.” Tess Gallagher provides an example of how to thrive despite life’s vicissitudes. “It’s not all Pollyanna. There’s a lot of trouble out there. . . but by rising (and) extending you become a strong presence. We don’t do anything perfectly. We have arrows sticking out of our backs . . . But by golly, I will pull my arrows out, and try my best the next time.” In her new poem “Opening,” Gallagher reflects on her journey: I entered this world not wanting to come. I’ll leave it not wanting to go. All this while, when it seemed there were two doors, there was only one—this passing through. Robin Lindley is a Seattle writer, illustrator, and attorney, and serves as features editor for the History News Network. He can be contacted at robinlindley@gmail.com.

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Aging with Confidence

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Technology We Love How to Keep Up (as Much as You Like, Anyway) as Our World Keeps Getting More Connected

BY JULIE FANSELOW

Fifty years ago this summer, we thrilled to the sight of humans walking on the moon for the first time. The Apollo 11 mission was a human triumph and an engineering milestone, the first time digital computers controlled the movements of a vehicle carrying people. Perhaps you feel tempted to glance at your smartphone as you read this, maybe to see if the Apollo 11 movie is on Netflix yet, or to check email—and why not? Your phone is 4 million times more powerful than the 70-pound computers that guided astronauts to the moon. Of course, smartphones are just one tool in our increasingly digital world. Computers run our cars and many of our homes. They’re making our lives easier, better, and chockful of distractions. But being smart with technology doesn’t have to be rocket science. Stick with me as we take a quick tour of some of the ways technology is transforming our lives (and how to best navigate those changes).

Smarter Home and Health Broadband access to the Internet has transformed how we use technology in our homes. Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home can read a recipe, check sports scores, play your favorite music, and order a case of detergent. Plenty of people love smart speakers; others happily live without them. A smart speaker is listening, “but it isn’t listening so it can do anything nefarious,” says aging and technology expert Laurie Orlov. Rather, it’s working to learn your speech patterns so it can do what you ask of it. There’s a privacy tradeoff, but Orlov says it’s the same tradeoff many of us already make when we use free email and social media—and why we continually see ads based on things we’ve searched for or liked online.

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2 Smart security systems help you keep an eye on your home from afar and, when you are home, see who’s at the door before you get up. Companies including Seattle’s BuildSOUND are taking this a step further by installing systems (including a smart hub developed by another local company, Kirio) that regulate everything from home comfort to shutting off water or power in an emergency. Technology is transforming personal health, too. Your Internet-connected smartphone, watch, or even a smart pill bottle can remind you to take medications. As we age, and especially if our memory falters, voice-activated technology and wearable trackers can help augment in-person contact from loved ones and paid caregiving. “A smartphone coupled with turn-by-turn directions is invaluable in a car,” Orlov says, and GPS tracking technology can keep watch over frail people who’ve stopped driving but might wander.

Safer and Smarter on the Road While autonomous (that is, self-driving) cars still aren’t commonplace, they’re on the way. Meanwhile, many high-end carmakers have introduced semi-autonomous systems that can take over in heavy stop-and-go driving or offer mostly hands-free driving on the open road. Even more moderately priced vehicles—and some older models—offer driver-assist features to prevent crashes, but you need to know how to use them. “We always advise car buyers to make sure you’re asking a lot of questions at the dealership,” says Rhonda Shah, manager of traf f ic safety advocacy at the American Automobile Association. Watch demonstrations of safety features, take a class, and read the owner’s manual. Another AAA program looks at current vehicle makes and models to identif y those that m ig ht h ave featu res that are helpful to people with limitations due to arthritis or recent surgery, for example. (Search online for

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Aging with Confidence

“Smart Features for Older Drivers.”) Personal cars are far from the only way to get around these days, and we are spoiled for choice in Western Washington. King County Metro and Sound Transit have begun teaming with ride-hail services and car-share companies to help people reach transit hubs, and transportation tech companies are using Seattle as a place to roll out new options, such as the Fiat “Lime Pods” offered by the same company that rents e-bicycles around the metro area.

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Balance Needs and Wants Of course, just because a new technology exists doesn’t mean you must adopt it. “I resist the thought of ever buying technology because it looks cool,” says Orlov. Before adding another device to your home or trading in for an even-smarter car, think about whether you really need the upgrade. “Smart in terms of safety is good,” Orlov notes, while smart for convenience—think remotely controlled thermostats or lighting—is more a matter of personal preference. Also think realistically about your interest in keeping up with ever-advancing technology. Says Shah from AAA, “Technology has the ability to keep us safer behind the wheel,” but drivers always need to understand the limitations of their car’s cool new features. That goes for trading up for a new phone or tablet, too. “It’s very important that people demystify technology that they want to use because otherwise it becomes junk,” Orlov says. Speaking of junk, think about the planet and the likelihood that what you buy today will be outdated soon. “The worst thing about technology bought over many years, and we certainly have this in my house, is the junkyard of obsolete technology that we no longer use,” says Orlov. Many sophisticated home and car systems now get automatic software updates, but Apple and Amazon thrive on people craving the latest and greatest gear. “Useful is good, appealing is good, but don’t overbuy,” she adds.

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Tech we love: 1: The Kirio hub integrates all smart home systems into one so users can control everything from sound and lighting to the garage door with a single app. The company has its headquarters in Lynnwood. 2: Pillsy uses an app and a blinking smart cap to remind people when to take their meds. Creator Jeff LeBrun says he developed the idea when he couldn’t get in the habit of taking his allergy medications. 3: The June Oven uses sensors and a high-definition camera to detect the type of food you put in and how best to cook it. A smart speaker or the June app lets you know when your meal is ready. 4: Lime, better known for its bike-sharing, has hundreds of Fiat 500 LimePod cars available to drive for 40 cents a minute in Seattle and Bellevue.

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Just Enough Tech

One of my strongest childhood memories is of watching the Apollo 11 landing and moonwalk with my dad in July 1969. Six weeks later, when I started third grade, my classmates and I were all over the moon in our admiration for the astronauts—and a few years after that, we all started sixth grade in the brand-new Neil Armstrong Middle School. So I got a kick out of learning that Don Eyles, a computer BY JULIE FANSELOW scientist who worked on the Apollo program, has the same kind of smart phone I do: the discontinued iPhone SE, first released in 2016 and still prized by fans for its smaller size. “Smartphones are just getting too big,” he told tech writer Dwight Silverman. I like technology. I especially like how I can stream music and podcasts and how my phone can tell me if my bus is running late or if it’s going to

Rather than adopting an all-or-nothing stance on technology, we ought to use it in ways that reflect who we are and who we aspire to be.

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start raining in a few minutes. I don’t know how I lived—never mind how I researched more than a dozen travel guidebooks—before Google Maps, and the Internet is central to my work as a writer and editor. But with all the reports of data breaches and political havoc, I’m spending a lot less of my free time online, and I’m choosing less technology when I have a choice. Earlier this year, I moved into a 400-square-foot apartment that immediately reminded me why, when we were kids, these places were known not as studios but “efficiencies.” I feel I have plenty of room, but I had to make decisions, especially in my kitchen. One was deciding to live without a microwave—I simply don’t want to sacrifice the counter space—and while learning about the June all-in-one cooking appliance briefly made me say “hmmmm,” I’m doing fine with my old-school setup of four burners and an oven. A few years ago, I read and enjoyed the book Mindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to Our Digital Lives. It helped me think more deeply about my tech use, so I asked its author if he had time for coffee. I met David M. Levy, a professor in the Information School of the University of Washington, at his favorite coffeeshop and we talked about how technology continues to permeate our lives. www.3rdActMag.com


I tell Levy that I liked Mindful Tech in part because he doesn’t insist that we unplug from our devices—that we are living in the modern world and social media and email have their benefits. Yet I am skeptical about how much tech we really need, and Levy says he has concerns about technology, “not just on the individual level of privacy but on continuing to promote a view of life that is primarily based on a narrow conception of what it is to be human,” of valuing productivity and efficiency above all else. Levy mentions the importance of intention and attention in deciding how to use technology. “What I’ve learned from my work on phones and social media is that there has to be a reflection based on the actual circumstances of the person’s life,” he says. “How do you decide whether the invasive side of having a camera in grandma’s room is more or less important than the benefits?” Rather than adopt or reject new technology in a knee-jerk way, Levy advises that people think about what they’re trying to accomplish. Technology can be a lifeline for an elderly person, but it’s complicated,

Aging with Confidence

“especially if adult children use it as a reason not to be more fully in touch”—or when frazzled new parents hand their toddlers an iPad. Before we depart, I tell Levy that I’m wasting far less time on Facebook, but how messages of love and support I received on the social network were of great comfort to me when my dad passed away in 2012 and again when my husband died last year. I also spend less time on Twitter and Instagram than I did a few years ago, but I still like to visit the sites occasionally—no more than an hour or so a week, in small doses—to keep up with family and friends. Levy and other experts say that rather than adopting an all-or-nothing stance on technology, we ought to use it in ways that reflect who we are and who we aspire to be. As Cal Newport writes in his recent book Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, people who take this approach see new technologies “as tools to be used to support things they deeply value—not as sources of value themselves.” That sounds about right to me.

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Julie Fanselow lives in Seattle. Her earlier writings for 3rd Act include the essay “Just Enough News” (summer 2018). Read more from her at surelyjoy. blogspot.com.

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DON’T DIE UNTIL YOU’RE DEAD The Third Act Project, The Five Wise Guys, and Life as Improv BY VICTORIA STARR MARSHALL PHOTOS BY EDWARD ACKER

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F

rom a very early age, Sam Bittman was terrified by the idea of death. In his early 60s, he decided to tackle his fear head-on— after all, it was ridiculous that he often still slept with the lights on—so he started reading everything he could find “by anybody of substance” on mortality. The result? “I became even more bedeviled by frightening thoughts of mortality than before. My sleep didn’t improve,” he says. One of the largest generations in history is moving beyond midlife and, true to form, we’re not doing it quietly. Our exploration of old age is happening on a global level, so when I received a call from Harryet Candee, publisher of The Artful Mind in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts, wondering if I’d heard of the Third Act Project and The Five Wise Guys, I was intrigued. “Read my interview with Sam Bittman,” she told me. “You are kindred spirits.” About the same time my fear of aging motivated me to launch 3rd Act Magazine, on the other side of the country Bittman’s fears of aging and mortality were deepening, as I learned in Candee’s interview and in my own recent phone conversation with him. When Bittman was invited to join a group of guys to talk about what it feels like to be getting older, his first thought was “more sleepless nights ahead.” But he took the plunge, and that first men’s weekend together was transformative. “Instead of kicking a hornet’s nest, it was like arriving in a safe house where I didn’t have to translate the language of my aging experience. Where nobody was slinging that ‘60 is the new 40’ bullshit,” Bittman says. “My deflector shields came down. There was nonstop talk, non-stop laughing, steady food, and drink to lubricate the camaraderie and good will among seven men. It was remarkable.” The group met a few more times over the next year to schmooze, laugh, and explore aging in warm fellowship. No topic was off the table. “Guys want to talk about the changes in their sexual image of themselves, the insistent and terrifying ticking of time, the looming incapacities of old age and, naturally, the Big D or ‘curtains’ as we refer to it,” he recalls. On one drive home with “the glow of their gathering still alive,” Bittman wondered if they could foster this same kind of engagement for others with a website, and the idea for Third Act Project was born.

Aging with Confidence

The Five Wise Guys from left: Bob Lohbaur, Matt Tannenbaum, Sam Bittman, Danny Klein, Jeff Kent

The Third Act Project is dedicated to the proposition that you can be falling apart physically but that spiritual, intellectual, and creative growth is boundless. What we say is: Don’t die until you’re dead.” —Sam Bittman To move his idea from concept to reality, Bittman partnered with Bill Davis, a Harvard-trained psychologist and psychotherapist (and member of their original men’s group). Together, they focused on creating an online community for men with a goal of inspiring their audience to keep going and not fall for ageist and outdated ideas about being older. At the same time, they wanted to be as entertaining as possible. The name, Third Act Project, was inspired by much of the same thinking behind our magazine title, 3rd Act. Their website explains: “The third act of a play and of life features the climax resolution of a story and its subplots, leaving the protagonist and other characters with a new sense of who they are. Third Act Project encourages older men everywhere to be the spirited protagonist in their own stories until the final curtain.” Bittman curates the content for the TAP website, pulling mainly from the visual and performing arts. An idea struck him: He and two friends, Matt Tannenbaum and Jeff Kent, have been taking acting classes together for years, and after class they usually

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Sam Bittman

stop for dinner and “talk about everything.” One day he asked them how comfortable they would be talking about these same topics in front of a camera. With Tannenbaum and Kent enthusiastically onboard, they recruited two more friends, Bob Lohbauer and Danny Klein, “all of us actors, writers, gagsters, retailers, and fires burning,” says Bittman, and created the video series The Five Wise Guys.

The 20-minute episodes are largely unscripted and Bittman describes the show as “a group of older men ranging in age from 69 to 84 (and getting older by the minute!) who gather regularly to shoot the breeze, often with great hilarity, about what’s going on in our lives, our thoughts, our imaginations.” You can watch all of the episodes on their website at ThirdActProject.com. “The essence of acting, which is to say, connecting with people, is listening and responding to the people who are on stage with you. It gets you asking questions, and maybe you come up with some new thoughts of your own,” Bittman says. “Life is improv. I used to think it was a sign of intellectual weakness and lack of discipline to make things up as you go along, fly by the seat of your pants as they used to say, but I love the freshness that it brings to my life and to my relationships.” Bittman no longer fears death. He’s too busy living.

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Aging with Confidence

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MY THIRD ACT

New Wind in Her Sails

I think of myself as a competent, independent woman with an adventurous streak. I was dedicated to my career in health care, eventually working in reproductive health in developing countries. My life plan was clear, until an accident BY NANCY ENGEL changed its trajectory and I had to reimagine everything. In the late ’90s, I proudly served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the small West African country of Togo. I was assigned to Togo’s second-largest city, where there was a hospital, a post office, a market, and one paved road, the national highway—two lanes that cut through the center of town. I worked for the regional Ministry of Health, so our office had electricity (most of the time) and half a dozen computers. Working with local doctors, we set up family-planning programs in the larger villages and trained care providers. I also helped establish a health-information system for the region, computerized the inventory system for the pharmacy supply depot, and trained local staff to run both. The most satisfying part was training people in modern health care management, knowing they had the skills and confidence to carry on after I left. After the Peace Corps, I worked in Washington, DC, then Seattle, designing and managing family-planning and reproductive health programs in Africa and Southeast Asia. I loved the work. Then it ended with a crash—a bicycle accident and brain injury. After months of rehab, and a trial return to work, I found I couldn’t do it, not even part-time. I retired in 2011 at 58. So began my new life. Like many people after a major loss, I wondered: What’s next? I had always been active outdoors, but now I had trouble focusing my eyes. For the first few months, I tripped over curbs because I couldn’t see properly. I thought my active days were over. One day, a friend enthused about learning to sail. Something stirred in me. Although I grew up sailing and sailed whenever I could as an adult, it had been a decade since I’d been on a boat. As she talked about sailing, I thought maybe I could do that, too. I asked her to take me along. We rented a 20-footer at the Center f or Wooden Boats on Seattle’s Lake Union.

Reigniting an Old Passion After a LifeChanging Injury

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MY THIRD ACT

It was a perfect day and I was reminded how I loved sailing as a kid: the wind snapping my hair back, the crisp air, the sheer exhilaration and freedom of skimming fast across water. That day launched my third act. The center became my home away from home. I took sailing classes and started volunteering so that I could trade hours for time on the boats. After a year, I volunteered as a sailing instructor and I was good at it. After a couple of years, I decided to see if I could get paid to teach. Turned out that’s a big deal. I needed a U.S. Coast Guard master’s license requiring seven written exams, a physical, drug test, and security clearance, plus certifying I’d had 360 days of qualified sea service. The process was daunting. It took me months to track down the owners of boats I had sailed on over the years and collect signatures for the sea service. I took an eight-week review course to learn the material for the written exams—navigating and reading charts, ships’ lights and sound signals, towing barges, putting out fires, and operating safety equipment. After my brain injury, I wasn’t certain I could learn all of this but I studied hard and passed. I got my USCG master’s license at age 64 and was hired to teach sailing at the Center for Wooden Boats. This spring, I went further, gaining the basic keelboat instructors certification from U.S. Sailing. This three-day course pushed me to master new skills and got me thinking differently about how to teach sailing as I demonstrated my technical abilities in the classroom, on the dock, and in the water. The wonderful thing is that over the last six years, I’ve reconnected with a sport I loved as a child and found new purpose and passion. In spite of my accident, I pushed myself to learn and master new skills. Now, when the sun shines and the wind blows, I am right where I want to be, a place I didn’t imagine possible—on the water, sharing my love of sailing.

Aging with Confidence

Clockwise from opposite page: Nancy Engel sets the sails at the Center for Wooden Boats on Seattle’s Lake Union, Photo by Ellen Regier; The Center for Wooden Boats on Seattle’s Lake Union opened a new venue this spring, Photo by Ellen Regier; Mariner Nancy Engel dons serious rain gear at a local regatta, Photo by Mitch Reinitz; Sailing instructor Nancy Engel (in red) oversees Jessie Yadlowsky who works with the rigging, Photo by Ellen Regier.

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COMING

HOME

THE ‘PADDLE PILGRIM’ SEEKS HIS PEOPLE ON A JOURNEY TO NORWAY BY DAVE ELLINGSON

These days, the President of the U.S. says he’d rather have more emigrants from Norway than what he disparaged as “s___-hole” countries. It wasn’t always this way, however. My Scandinavian ancestors immigrated to the United States in the mid-19th century and were commonly called “Dumb Norwegians,” giving rise to a vast and vacuous genre of Ole and Lena jokes. Rather than the darkness of their skin, they were denigrated for the whiteness of their hair. How times have changed, with the Scandinavian countries frequently praised today as the happiest places on earth. Last summer, I traveled to kayak my ancestral fjords in Norway on a quest to find out more about my people and my ancestral inheritance. I wanted to know why they left their homes and what they left behind. I discovered that they left their homes because of poverty, poor soil, and religious intolerance. They didn’t want to leave

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their magnificent fjord farms, but better health and growing family sizes left all but the oldest son—and women until they married— landless and poor. The American Dream with its lure of flat, fertile, and free land tore them away from home. Between 1845 and 1915, more than a third of Norway’s population and over half of Ireland’s came to America. I guess those dumb Norwegians were pretty smart after all. Having traveled in Norway before, I knew of its rugged and fierce beauty, but paddling the “holy waters” of my ancestors taught me lessons about the values of my people that endure to this day. Locals call it “friluftstliv,” or freshwww.3rdActMag.com


air-life. It is embodied by a nation which celebrates the environment year-round by skiing, hiking, paddling, and fishing. Caring for creation isn’t a new concept. It’s as Norwegian as lefse and cross-country skiing. No doubt the benefits of the oil industry have raised the standard of living for all, but renewable energy sources (wind, solar, geothermal, hydro) are seen everywhere. My Leaf electric car is still uncommon here in America, but in Norway over half the cars are electric. Progressive politics is another hallmark of Norway. The Scandinavian countries have long been leaders in hospitable immigration policies. While paddling, I met people from all over the world who had come to this place which celebrates diversity and welcomes the stranger. America is a nation of immigrants, but we need to be reminded of what immigrants have long brought to our land. Many students I’ve taught were from other countries and the first in their families to embark on the journey of higher education. I can bear witness to the fact that these “dreamers” were often the hardest working, generous, and appreciative students. Long ago, my own ancestors were dreamers who came

to this land of opportunity. Their hard work, deep faith, and creativity helped shape the land of the free and the home of the brave. Like today’s newcomers, they heard the words of the poet Emma Lazarus, as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” My adventure to my home in Norway was a wonderful reminder of the wisdom of the great American poet Robert Frost: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned on my paddle pilgrimage is that sometimes you need to go on a journey to find your home. Dave Ellingson is no stranger to journeys of discovery. He has paddled 2,300 miles down the Mississippi River, 500 miles down the Erie Canal and Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty, and now the fjords of Norway. He has taught courses in spirituality, environmental ethics, human development, and youth ministry at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett. He is a Lutheran pastor, master gardener, former distance runner, and father of five grown children. He lives in Edmonds.

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Learning to

Chill!

BY REBECCA CRICHTON

In cold weather I want soup for both lunch and dinner. Turns out that is true in the summer too! Of course, the soups are cold, and the salads filled with seasonal abundance. Here are some tips and recipes to get you started—and you will never have to turn on a burner! The Multi-Element Salad • Greens: While we know that dark green ones pack the most vitamins, try some of the tender leaf varieties like butter lettuce or red and green lettuces. Frequent farmers markets to support local agriculture. And be aware that almost any green

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you might want is packaged and washed, ready to use, from many grocery stores. My favorites are arugula, mache (corn salad), baby spinach, mizuna, and baby mixed leaves. • Vegetables: Fresh tomatoes can star on their own in variations on caprese salads, as well as going into mixed salads. Uncooked corn kernels, cut right from the cob, add a sweet spurt of flavor. Fresh grated beets add snap and color. Sliced edible pea pods and green peas taste terrific. The choices are many, so be creative. • Fruit: Berries, cherries, watermelon, plums, nectarines, peaches, and grapes are all good in salads. Dried fruits (ones that are softer as opposed to overly leathery) can also be used: cherries, apricots,

cranberries, blueberries, dried mandarins, or lemons. • Cheese: Crumble or grate feta, blue, gorgonzola, goat cheese, cheddar, or other cheeses that catch your fancy. • Proteins and/or Grains: Chicken, turkey, shrimp, tuna, and salmon are all good. Try using cooked grains like wheat berries, faro, lentils, or barley. Dressing it up I always make my own dressing since it is easy and the results wonderful. If you have favorites among the many excellent bottled dressings on the market, by all means use them. But give my dressings on opposite page a try—you might be a convert to homemade dressing! Rebecca Crichton is the current executive director for the Northwest Center for Creative Aging. She has taught cooking to seniors and others, and she can reel off food ideas and recipes for any part of a meal or event. She believes in easily prepared, healthy, and taste-filled food that delights and satisfies.

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Sipping Summer Soups Starting your summer meals with cold soups is a delicious way to increase the vegetables or fruits on the menu. While many require either a food processor or good blender, some can be made from a mix of existing ingredients. As always, be willing to experiment and find the flavors and textures you like.

Summer Salad Soup Serves 3-4

Tomato Soup Serves 4

I developed this soup many years ago when I had leftover salad and hated to waste it. I remembered that wilted greens are actually ingredients in some salads (think warm spinach salads) and decided I could use it as a base for a chilled soup. This is one of those recipes you need to keep tasting until the balance of flavors—tart, salty, sweet, spicy, herby—feels right for you.

2 – 2 ½ lbs. mixed ripe organic tomatoes – yellow, red, orange, heirlooms, etc.

Ingredients:

1-2 cups leftover salad (all vegetables work best for this, although some fruit would be a nice element) 3-4 green onions, ½ small sweet onion, or 1 clove garlic if you like those flavors 1-2 cup buttermilk or half buttermilk and yogurt (or other liquids such as chicken or vegetable broths or tomato juice) Optional: ½ or whole avocado – it adds good texture and mild flavor. Hot sauce is also an option. Handful of fresh herbs: mint, basil, dill, chives, sorrel

Ingredients:

Fresh tarragon (approximately 1-2 tablespoons leaves) Juice of 1 or 2 limes

The mint takes the bite out of the garlic and the dressing gives a bright, fresh feel to the greens. Ingredients:

½ cup chopped fresh mint 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed

Salt and pepper Directions:

Cut tomatoes into chunks, add everything to processor, and process until soupy. Chill and serve, or serve immediately. You can also add the uncooked kernels from one ear of corn, cut off and added to the processor. Check flavors to balance the tart and salt and the amount of tarragon you like.

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette Excellent over hearty salad with lots of elements. Ingredients:

¼ cup good balsamic vinegar—try some of the easily found flavored ones

Juice of 2 lemons ½ cup virgin olive oil salt and pepper Directions:

Mix all ingredients and pour over tender greens (butter lettuce or other soft-leaved greens).

Buttermilk Dressing Use with whatever salad you’ve assembled. Ingredients:

1 cup buttermilk ½ cup yogurt (you can also use good mayonnaise or sour cream) Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup wine vinegar

Lemon juice

2 T. pomegranate molasses

Salt and pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

Directions:

1 tsp. Dijon or other mustard

Put all ingredients into processor or blender and process until the mixture has the consistency you want. This soup won’t get totally smooth the way cooked vegetables do, but it will be satisfyingly soupy! Chill for several hours.

¾ cup virgin olive oil

Aging with Confidence

Minty Lemon Dressing

Small clove garlic – smashed but not crushed (you can take this out later)

salt and pepper

½ cup of fresh herbs of your choice: tarragon, basil, dill, cilantro, chives, mint. Feel free to mix these, they all go well together.

Directions:

Directions:

Crush garlic and mix with mustard. Add other ingredients and blend well. Taste for the right blend of sour with touch of sweetness.

Mix all ingredients. It will keep for three to four days.

summer 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 59


Cozy Local Music Clubs Offer Cocktails, Dinner, and a Swell Date Night

O

BY MISHA BERSON

ne thing I’ve always loved about classic American films from the 1940s and 1950s, the ones about swanky swells, is how a big night out on the town means dressing sharp and heading to a sleek nightclub for cocktails, dinner, and great music. Most of those films were shot on sets built on Hollywood sound stages. But they were inspired by real, sophisticated nightspots. Think the fabled Stork Club in New York. The Chez Paree in Chicago. The plush Venetian Room in San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel. Seattle may not have anything quite so grand these days where you can spot movie stars dripping with minks and bigwigs duded up in tuxes. But

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

The Taj Quartet playing at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in 2016

while the dress code and patrons are now more diverse, I can recommend some fine contemporary and attractive local supper clubs that cater to adults enjoying a good meal and an array of eclectic music that won’t punish your eardrums. Here are some top picks: Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley. One of the premier nightclubs in the nation, this comfy downtown spot has presented giants of jazz for decades and has branched out into other styles of music as well, bringing in nationally acclaimed soul, Latin, and pop acts. Musicians and patrons alike love the chill atmosphere and respectful audience, the intimacy, and good food (continental, with a light New Orleans tilt). Host and owner John Dimitriou knows how to maintain an informal but classy vibe, and it’s all in the family: His son Charles Aristotle (“Ari”) Dimitriou manages the bar and large party reservations to keep the Alley humming. The mid-summer/early autumn calendar of acts includes the Pete Escovedo Latin Orchestra, New Orleans piano legend Marcia Ball, silky-voiced jazz www.3rdActMag.com


ON THE TOWN

diva Jane Monheit, and, for fans of Brazilian music, Sergio Mendes and his band. If you sign up to be an “Alley Cat,” the club will send you priority booking notes and opportunities for discount tickets. Another plus: all patrons have access to free parking at a nearby hotel. The Royal Room. This festive, casual bistro is a mainstay of the Columbia City neighborhood. The kitchen serves up Mexican-style eats. There’s a full bar and—lo and behold!—a dance floor in case you get a case of happy feet. Spearheaded by noted Seattle keyboardist-composer and recording artist Wayne Horvitz as a kind of a community “corner bar” with great sounds, the club offers an assortment of music seven days a week and caters to all ages until 10 p.m. (Closing time for the over-21 crowd is 2 a.m.) The lineup emphasizes both local and national acts, ranging from a “Great Women of Country” tribute series to appearances by the area’s swinging and award-winning local high school jazz bands, to concerts by Horvitz and company. It also hosts benefits for good neighborhood causes. The Triple Door. When Wild Ginger, the popular panAsian Pioneer Square restaurant, relocated to its present downtown location near Benaroya Hall, the owners did music-lovers another favor. They revamped a former movie theater into the Triple Door, an excellent music venue featuring local and big-name artists. Audience members, mostly sitting in spacious booths, have the option to order dinner from a menu of select Wild Ginger dishes or just stick with the cocktail and munchies menu. Arranged in tiers, the seating has excellent sight lines to fully experience sets from a wide-ranging musical menu that includes modern jazz, gypsy jazz, salsa, light rock, and neo-burlesque shows. Tula’s. As Belltown has been rezoned and gentrified with canyons of skyscraping apartment complexes earmarked for young techies, this beloved club has managed to hold its ground—and inspire others working to preserve it as a cultural landmark. It certainly deserves the designation. Occupying an older building on bustling 2nd Avenue for the past two decades, the place harkens back to older jazz hubs

GAMES FOR YOUR BRAIN ANSWERS

(Puzzles on page 64)

Aging with Confidence

and was listed by jazz superstar Wynton Marsalis as a “cool” place and one of his top 10 favorite clubs. Offering music six nights a week, and a full dinner menu focusing on Greek and Italian fare, Tula’s has been a showcase for many hot local jazz artists and welcomes top student bands also. It’s got a funky grandeur that will put you in the right zone.

Beyond Seattle Bake’s Place. A stylish Bellevue boîte, this club keeps

the emphasis on a wealth of local talent performing blues, acoustic rock, soul, and jazz. The menu is a potpourri, too, with an emphasis on Northwest bounty and a choice of snacks, small plates, and entrees, as well as a large wine list and craft cocktails. There is on-site parking. North City Bistro & Wine Shop. If you’re up in the Shoreline area, don’t overlook this cozy corner for sipping, munching, and listening. The emphasis here is also on superior local talent, like jazz chanteuse Greta Matassa and harmonica wizard Lee Oskar. There’s usually only room for solos, duos, and trios, with the musicians performing in front of shelves holding North City’s impressive wine collection. Misha Berson writes about the arts for The Seattle Times and many other publications, and is the author of four books, including Something’s Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination (Applause/Hal Leonard).

Numerical Titles 1. “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover” 2. The House of the Seven Gables 3. A Tale of Two Cities 4. Around the World in Eighty Days 5. Fahrenheit 451 6. Eight is Enough 7. “Seventy-Six Trombones” 8. Sixteen Candles 9. Catch-22 10. Four Weddings and a Funeral

11. The 39 Steps 12. The Crying of Lot 49 13. Three Coins in the Fountain 14. Slaughterhouse Five Geographical Name Game 1 Abraham Lincoln 2. Bob Hope 3. Irving Berlin 4. Jack London

5. Michael Jackson 6. Joe Montana 7. Janet Reno 8. Montgomery Clift 9. Florence Henderson 10. Tennessee Williams 11. Chelsea Clinton 12. Indiana Jones 13. Georgia O’Keeffe 14 Minnesota Fats

summer 2019

Razzmatazz 1. Klutz 2. Chintz 3. Ersatz 4. Blintz 5. Fizz 6. Spitz 7. Waltz 8. Spritz 9. Kibbutz 10. Soyuz

| 3rd Act magazine 61


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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

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BOOKS REVIEWED BY JO SHILLING

Elderhood

Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life BY LOUISE ARONSON For almost all of us, there is an “a-ha” moment about aging. For me, it was almost 50 years ago when my mother asked me to accompany her to a fireplace store. When we walked in, we were immediately approached by a young man who addressed me, ignoring my 50-something mother, who was standing right beside me. As we left the store my mom commented, “Well, I guess you’ll have to go shopping with me from now on. I get much better service.” A-ha. These tiny indignities become so commonplace as we age, that now, in the latter years of my 60s, they barely even register. Many people don’t miss unwelcome attention they used to get, like catcalls women might receive when walking by a construction site. But in some arenas, invisibility can be hurtful, even deadly. I n her new book, El d e rhood (Bloomsbu r y Publ ish i ng , 2019), geriatrician and talented writer Louise Aronson makes the case that Western society’s disregard for the old not only discounts as “not useful” the worth and abilities of huge numbers of our population, but that bias also increases costs and creates harm when aging bodies are treated the same as the middle-aged. “Older adults make up 16 percent of the population, but over 40 percent of hospitalized adults,” she notes. And of those patients, those over 65 are the most likely to be harmed by medical care that trains physicians, tests drugs, and creates surgical procedures based on the bodies of the middle-aged. Through a series of startling, sometimes cringe-inducing, but often uplifting anecdotes about her own parents, patients, and

herself, Aronson vividly relates the ways she has called on the medical community to help patients enjoy their life and reduce medical mistakes, such as her story about Ray. At the age of 100, Ray was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in his leg. On his third day of hospitalization, the hospitalist— a doctor specialized in the care of hospitalized patients—called Aronson to ask how they should determine Ray’s outpatient treatment. “What does he want to do?” Aronson asked. After an awkward laugh the hospitalist said he assumed that Ray couldn’t make his own care decisions due to dementia. Aronson told the doctor that Ray’s brain was just fine—he was profoundly deaf. He’d left his costly hearing aids at home so they would not get lost. Aronson suggested the hospitalist borrow the pocket talker from the nurses’ station. “The what?” he asked. “An associate professor well into his career, this doctor didn’t know about the little devices that enable communication with hard-of-hearing patients,” writes Aronson. She goes on to say problems like Ray’s could easily be avoided if simple hearing and dementia tests were given to elders routinely upon admission. The solution, says Aronson, is both a society and health care system that do not reduce the elderly to their bodies and ailments, but values health and wellness as much as diseases and trains doctors accordingly. Elderhood is a triumph of compassion and reporting. It should be required reading for everyone in health care and anyone who has known, will know, is, or will become an old person.

The solution is both a society and health care system that do not reduce the elderly to their bodies and ailments.

Aging with Confidence

summer 2019

| 3rd Act magazine 63


GAMES for your brain Exercise your brain and have some fun with these puzzles designed to stimulate different cognitive functions.

Numerical Titles (easier)

Can you fill in the missing number from each of these song, movie, or book titles? 1. “_________________ Ways to Leave Your Lover”

8. _________________Candles

2. The House of the _________________ Gables

9. Catch _________________

3. A Tale of _________________ Cities

10. _________________Weddings and a Funeral

4. Around the World in _________________ Days

11. The _________________ Steps

5. Fahrenheit _________________

12. The Crying of Lot _________________

6. _________________ Is Enough

13. _________________ Coins in the Fountain

7 “_________________ Trombones”

14. Slaughterhouse _________________

Geographical Name Game (harder)

Complete the names of these famous real and fictional people whose first or last name can also be found on a map. Try it first without using the hints. 1. Abraham_ ____________________ Capital of Nebraska 2. Bob___________________________ Hometown of Bill Clinton 3. Irving_________________________ Capital of Germany 4. Jack_ _________________________ Capital of the United Kingdom 5. Michael _______________________ Capital of Mississippi 6. Joe_ __________________________ “Big Sky” country 7. Janet_________________________ Second-largest city in Nevada 8. _ ______________________________ Clift Capital of Alabama

Razzmatazz (hardest)

9 _ ______________________________ Henderson City called Firenze in Italy 10. _ ______________________________ Williams Home state of Nashville and Memphis 11. _ ______________________________ Clinton A very hip section of London 12. _ ________________________ Jones Home state of South Bend and Fort Wayne 13. _ ______________________________ O’Keeffe Gone with the Wind state 14. _ ______________________________ Fats “Land of 10,000 Lakes”

All the answers in this quiz end with the letter Z.

1. This Yiddish word for a clumsy or awkward person is also used in English. ___________________________________________ 2. A colorful cotton fabric with a glazed finish, mostly used for curtains or upholstery. _ _______________________________ 3. Fake, artificial, or false._______________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. A thin pancake filled with cheese, similar to a crepe, but of Jewish or Slavic origin._ _________________________________ 5. Effervescence, bubbles, froth._______________________________________________________________________________________ 6. This Mark won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics.____________________________________________________ 7. A popular ballroom dance that likely began in Austria in the 16th century. ___________________________________________ 8. To spray a liquid in quick, short bursts. _ _____________________________________________________________________________ 9. A communal settlement in Israel, typically a farm.___________________________________________________________________ 10. A type of Russian spacecraft. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Reprinted with permission from Nancy Linde, author of the best-selling books 399 Puzzles, Games, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young and 417 More Games, Puzzles, and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young. She is also the creator of the website Never2Old4Games.com, which is used by many senior-serving organizations in the U.S. and Canada.

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3rd Act magazine | summer 2019

ANSWERS ON PAGE 61

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JANE GOFF: AN OSTEOPOROSIS

SUCCESS S TORY SUCCESS STORY JANE GOFF: AN OSTEOPOROSIS

Janet goff of Port townsend, WA tells the story of her search to find a safe and natural way to treat osteoporosis.

Janet goff of Port townsend, WA tells the story of her search to find a safe and natural way to treat osteoporosis.

Why OSteOStROng?

“I did extensive research looking for a way to build bone Why OSteOStROng? naturally, that’ s how I looking found OsteoStrong. OsteoStrong “I did extensive research for a way to build bone is a safe, scientifically proven way to build bone. naturally, that’s how I found OsteoStrong. OsteoStrong is a safe, scientifically proven way to build bone.

I feel confident that I am being pro-active in taking care I feel confident that I aminbeing pro-active taking care of my osteoporosis the safest way inI possibly can.” of my osteoporosis in the safest way I possibly can.”

What have you experienced so far? “I am surprised

What havemuch you experienced so far? “I am surprised at how more confident I am about my bone at stability, how much more confident I am about my bone I no longer feel fragile, I feel strong.” stability, I no longer feel fragile, I feel strong.”

OsteoStrong is a gift that I am giving my future self. I

OsteoStrong is a gift that I am giving my future self. I want to be dancing in my 90’s!” want to be dancing in my 90’s!”

What would you like people to know?“Building bones

What would you like people to know?“Building bones with OsteoStrong is the best way to build bone without with OsteoStrong is the best way to build bone without side effects of pharmaceuticals.” thethe side effects of pharmaceuticals.”

s fun, easy.” “It’s“It’fun, fastfast andand easy.” Janet is a paying member of OSteOStROng Island Janet is a paying member of OSteOStROng MercerMercer Island who haswho has volunteered to share her personal experience with her community. volunteered to share her personal experience with her community. is anot a paid model, employee, or representative of OSteOStROng. SheShe is not paid model, employee, or representative of OSteOStROng. Unique experience and performance past performance not guarantee future results. Unique experience and past do notdo guarantee future results.

WHAT ISOSTEOSTRONG? OSTEOSTRONG? WHAT ISSTUDY CASE RESULTS CASE STUDY RESULTS

OsteoStrongis isa ascientifically scientificallyproven proven OsteoStrong approach N AVERAGE OFto create stronger bones, approach AVERAGE OFto create stronger bones, without special diets, strenuous workwithout special diets, strenuous work-

77% 77%

BONE BONEDENSITY DENSITY

ANALYSIS

ANALYSIS

ANALYSIS FROM 152 PEER REVIEWED STUDIES

ANALYSIS FROM 152 PEER REVIEWED STUDIES

outs, or prescriptions. Measurable

outs, or prescriptions. Measurable results are attained from just one M P results R OV E M T areE N attained from just one R OVweekly EMEN T 10-minute visit. weekly 10-minute visit.

OsteoStrong Sessions

Drugs

OsteoStrong Sessions Bone Anabolic

Drugs

Bone Anabolic Drugs Bisphosphonate

Weight Bearing

Bisphosphonate Drugs

Whole Body

Exercise Weight Bearing Exercise

Walking

Vibration Whole Body Vibration

No Activity

Walking

Non Active Lifestyle

No Activity

Non Active Lifestyle and no supplements and no supplements

• Improved Density • ImprovedBone Balance & Posture • Improved • ImprovedBalance Strength& Posture • Reduced Joint & Back Pain Improved Strength nce •Test after the First 5 Sessions & Back Pain Test• Reduced after the FirstJoint 5 Sessions

OSteOStROng Mercer IslandIsland OSteOStROng Mercer offers two complimentary sessions offers two complimentary sessions to 3rd Act Magazine readers. to 3rd Act Magazine readers. To claim your two sessions, To claim your two sessions, visit www.TwoSessions.com visit www.TwoSessions.com or call, 206-453-6166

or call, 206-453-6166

MANY MEMbERS

MANY HAVEMEMbERS EXPERIENCED: HAVE EXPERIENCED: • Improved Bone Density

TRYTRY OSTEOSTRONG OSTEOSTRONG

In each of these studies, participants also took Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements

In each of these studies, participants also took Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements

WWW.OSTEOSTRONG.ME

WWW.OSTEOSTRONG.ME


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Profile for 3rd Act Magazine

3rd Act Magazine – Summer 2019  

3rd Act Magazine is a bold, fresh, lifestyle magazine for older adults. In every issue, we focus on stories and information that resonate wi...

3rd Act Magazine – Summer 2019  

3rd Act Magazine is a bold, fresh, lifestyle magazine for older adults. In every issue, we focus on stories and information that resonate wi...