Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.

Joy of Retirement

We All Fall Down – The Aftermath of a Tumble


As active seniors, many of us feel invincible. We try to eat right, exercise regularly, think positively, reach out to others and spread the joy of being alive. We tell ourselves that “age is merely a number, and if we don’t mind it doesn’t matter.” All this is positive thinking: a healthy approach to later life. We skip blithely from one day to another UNTIL something happens like a sudden clap of thunder. Wowzer, how quickly life can change in a nano second.

As from an unexpected fall: tripping over our own two feet or an unseen object. Seniors don’t bounce. Our bones are softer, more brittle. Bones break or even shatter. Three weeks ago, while finishing up a bi-weekly exercise session, I announced to our visiting 21 year-old granddaughter, “lookie at what grammy can do!” Slide, skip, slide, skip KERPLOP! It didn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce the break(s). The ER, hospitalization, hand surgeon, IV pain drugs every three hours, two-hour surgery to fix two broken bones in left arm plus “shattered” wrist. Humbling, debilitating lesson not ever forgotten. No time for self-pity…

It is important to know some sobering statistics from the Phillips Lifeline website about how often falls occur as people age. Here is a brief synopsis of information:

“About one-third of people over age 65 fall (accidentally) each year. By age 80, over half of seniors fall annually. Yet many falls are unreported, as they do not result in injuries requiring medical treatment. Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly. Eighty-seven percent of all fractures in the elderly are due to falls. Forty-seven percent of seniors who fall (and are uninjured) do not know how to get themselves up unassisted. Those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again.”

However, seeking help from a trained exercise professional can make a huge difference for all seniors. Increase your core strength and by all means, every senior needs to be taught to get up from the floor unassisted. You can do it!!

As I wrote Joy of Retirement: Live, Love, and Learn we retirees are responsible for being proactive in all areas of our lives. As I look at my vibrant amethyst colored cast, I am inspired to share some thoughts for you to ponder. If just one cautionary tidbit resonates with you, that will be a step forward!

How do we avoid taking chances and avoid breaking bones in later life?

  1. Hold onto railings beside stairways.
  2. Keep all clutter off floors.
  3. Pick up your feet as you walk.
  4. Beware of scatter rugs!
  5. Put them in a closet!
  6. Mop up all spills on wet floors.
  7. Avoid icy patches in winter.
  8. Tie shoelaces securely.
  9. Keep closets and garages tidy.
  10. Refrain from standing on step stools, ladders and chairs.
  11. Look at the ground, not the stars when walking.
  12. Walk your dog cautiously…careful of tangled leash.


If you are way too young to relate to this article, perhaps it can help you as you love and care better for older friends and family members.  It is never too soon to plan ahead and never too late to learn.

Joy Nevin’s book Joy of Retirement: Live, Love, and Learn can be bought on Amazon.

Keeping Yourself Open to Change


One of the most critical aspects of the retirement years is the need to be open to the inevitability of change. For some people this is not too difficult, as they may have experienced multiple career moves. Pulling up roots and relocating to new cities at different times of their lives is the norm.  They learned how to replant and bloom again…often, repeatedly. These experiences are beneficial and broadening. For some, however, unwanted moves are anathema and leave them resistant to change. At least they have the know-how buried deep inside, and when presented with the challenge of changing, they are well equipped to do it. For others who have spent all their lives in one house or one city, change is unthinkable…and impossible to ponder.

Yet keeping yourself open to change is voluntary. It requires determination and effort. Here are six positive reasons why we should all embrace change:

1. Downsize. As grown children graduate from college, find jobs, marry and move to their own homes either close by or far away, the need for a large home becomes unnecessary. There are many unused rooms, plus the cost of upkeep: heat, lights, repairs, paint, etc. and even higher taxes. Why spend your well-earned money when you can move to a smaller home and have less work and pay less to the government?

2. Travel. During the early years of retirement, use the money you save by living in a smaller house for traveling to new cities and new countries. Take a cruise, go on a bicycle trip through France, visit the country of your ancestors. ENJOY your freedom of retirement and inhale its benefits while your body is still young enough to travel with ease.

3. Expand your thinking. Find your passion: spend your time pursuing hobbies you always wanted to explore but were too busy to enjoy. Audit college courses, take an art course, learn to paint, or, write a book.

4. Volunteer. Give of your talents to a worthy organization. Become a hospital or literacy volunteer, teach English as a second language, and bring yourself closer to children who are the future of our country. Give them a good dose of your wonderful old-fashioned values.

5. Give generously of yourself to friends in need. As we age, more and more of our peers experience health crises, losses not only of spouses but of adult children. Reach out and give sustaining love and support to them. None of  us is impervious to loss. “What goes around comes around.” Or as my mother always said, “Ye reap what ye sew.”

6. Locate an affordable, topnotch retirement facility. Give your family the gift of not worrying about your old age. Give yourself the security of moving to a fully staffed and equipped step down retirement center, where your needs as they increase can be met. Give yourself the gift of peace of mind and your family the freedom to lead their own lives without caring for you.

Live your life to the fullest every day you have on earth.

Joy Nevin is the author of Joy of Retirement. Click to purchase on Amazon.