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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Monday, November 20, 2006

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn, founder of FiftyandFurthermore.com.
Growing older can be a time for creative and passionate 
living, and I will apply my years as a psychologist to 
help you with the challenges and wonders that come with 
this new life stage."
------------------------------------------------------------

Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE! 

Today I'll answer a reader question and share with you 
a surprising study. If you would like to make a comment 
or ask me a question, please email me at the address 
below and as always, I will do all I can to provide you 
with the advice you seek.

As I always say, "life is too hard to do alone - reach 
out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist


Please send questions and comments to: 
email Dr. Lynn

Question:

I live in Atanta and I moved here a few years ago.  I 
am 55. Instead of doing things with my family I am 
looking to meet some women of my own age.  Like going 
to arts and crafts, movies, shows, things like that.   
My co-workers are a lot younger and all have families.  
Any suggestions??

Answer:

Sign up for an art class, go see a show, volunteer at a 
local theater or do what else tickles your fancy. Do 
these things by yourself at first because you enjoy them 
but make an effort to get to know your classmates, fellow 
theater patrons and anyone else you may encounter while 
enjoying your chosen hobbies. An automatic conversation 
starter will be the activity you are doing, and you can 
take it from there in becoming friends. Since you are the 
"new" one, it may take you inviting these women out for 
coffee or to your home to take the friendship to the level 
you desire, but if they are worthwhile friends, they will 
soon return the favor. Atlanta is a big city with some-
thing to meet most everyone's interests. If you happen to 
come across someone your age at the grocery store or bank, 
why not ask them to tell you more about the city. Everyone 
loves to promote where they live and again, you never know 
what may transpire from a little openness. As a final 
suggestion, I revert back to an old standby: volunteer. Not 
only will you feel good about yourself as a result, but you 
will meet other do-gooders in the process who just may be 
up for a movie after the hard work.

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I recently read the following article on MSNBC.com and 
wanted to share it with you. I'd be interested to hear 
how you think your hometown rates when it comes to being 
elderly-friendly.


"Many cities unprepared for aging boomers"

Less than half of the nation’s communities have begun 
preparing to deal with the needs of the elderly, whose 
ranks will swell dramatically with the aging of the 
baby boomers, according to a study released Wednesday.

A survey of more than 1,790 towns, counties and other 
municipalities found that just 46 percent are looking 
at strategies to deal with aging America.

The issue is critical because the baby boomers — those 
born between 1946 and 1964 — began turning 60 this year 
and are rapidly approaching retirement age. By 2030, 
the number of people over age 65 in the United States 
will exceed 71 million — double the number in the year 
2000, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National 
Association of Area Agencies on Aging, or n4a, one of 
the sponsors of the study.

The report, titled “The Maturing of America — Getting 
Communities on Track for an Aging Population,” looks 
at health care and nutritional programs, transportation, 
public safety and emergency awareness, volunteer 
opportunities and other services.

Sandy Markwood, chief executive of the n4a association, 
told The Associated Press that the findings “should 
serve as a wake-up call for communities to begin plan-
ning now.”

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Markwood added that providing adequate services also will 
require participation by corporations, nonprofit groups 
and individuals.

“The question that people need to ask themselves — and 
their community leaders — is, ‘Is my community a good 
place to grow old?”’ she said. Steps to make it so, she 
added, “will make the community a better place, not just 
for the elderly, but for all.”

Among the key findings in the report:

    * Health care. In one-third of the communities surveyed, 
older adults do not have access to services such as health 
screenings, counseling on prescription drugs or health 
education.

    * Nutrition. Some 80 percent of communities have pro-
grams providing home-delivered meals for the elderly, but 
just 25 percent provide nutrition education.

    * Exercise. More than one-third of communities do not 
have fitness programs for older adults.

    * Housing. Just half of communities have home modifica-
tion programs to help the elderly with physical limitations 
stay in their houses.

    * Work force development. More than 40 percent of com-
munities do not offer formal job training or retraining 
programs.

    * Human services. Many communities have failed to 
create a central point for seniors to go to seek infor-
mation.

Sibyl Jacobson, president and chief executive of the 
MetLife Foundation, which underwrote the study, said the 
results indicate America has much more to do to prepare 
for a graying population.

“The good news is that 46 percent of American communities 
have begun planning to address the needs of this exploding 
population,” Jacobson said. “The other side is that many 
communities have not. We hope this will spur discussion, 
will spur interest.”

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     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit:              
fiftyandfurthermore.com
------------------------------------------------------------

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