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Saturday, April 27, 2013

How Can I Relax In Retirement

A Retirement Stress Test[i]

It is important that we deal effectively with Stress. I know from my research that it can be a major factor in memory degradation. The author tells us that our doctors are very concerned with our stress experiences including how our hearts and lungs react.
         With retirement we are likely to face stress factors even though we may not pay particular attention to them.  After we have been retired for a while the author tells us to ask ourselves the following questions:
·   Do I look forward to each day?
·   Am I accomplishing the retirement goals that I established for myself?
·   Do I take initiative in planning activities with friends?
·   Am I broadening my understanding, capabilities and experience?

         If we answer yes to all of them we pass and are very likely feeling good about our retirement.  If there are one of more no’s we need to do something about it.
         Some stressful things are easier to fix than others. For example if our goals aren’t working, maybe we need to look into some new ones.  “When you achieve your goals, you’ll broaden your understanding, capabilities, and experience.”
         The book tells us not to take to long to administer your exam. The sooner we deal with the stress the happier we will be in retirement. Check it out.  If you would like, let me know about your experience.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Somewhere Over The Rainbow[i]

         I recently came across the research article listed below and my heart started beating faster. The goal of the authors is to explore the significance of music to us older folks.  We are told in the first paragraph that while younger person’s attachment to music is well known, that of seniors is less understood.
         Some research articles even suggest that we seniors become less attached to music as we age.  So the researchers, who are here in Canada, began their journey by gathering info from the Canadian Study on Health and Aging.  First the researchers developed a questionnaire that asks about the importance of music in the person's lives.  Wow, this partly explains why I love Glee, American Idol, and The Voice.   Oh yes and I also love So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars.
         Recently, upstairs in my art painting “office.”, I recently plugged in a portable radio and I plan to turn it on whenever I go up to paint.
         I also like to hum and sing and play with a harmonica. I also have a dulcimer, which I don’t play with very often.
 Now here is an interesting quotation “ Moreover, because music listening entails complex cognitive processes in structuring and retaining information, it is reasonable to ask if the  judged importance of music depends on general cognitive status.”
         So the began their research. There were  320 subjects with a mean of 78.3 years.  The subjects were asked five questions:
1.     How frequently do you listen?
2.     Do you participate in choirs?
3.     Do you play a musical instrument”
4.     Name a favorite song and it’s popularity/
5.     How important do you think music is?
Next,   “  ---It can be inferred that music can contribute can contribute to the quality of life regardless of mental capacity.”
    Finally, there are three important things to consider:
A)     First: government should make music a priority in connection to seniors
B)     The issue is challenging for example the government should ensure access and proper use of hearing aids (I have hearing aids for both ears and quite often forget to put them on when I walk out the door
C)     “Finally:  there is a role for education  in the fields of gerontology, developmental psychology, music education, music therapy, and music psychology to emphasize  the importance of music.”   PS I seldom get feedbacks from my blog posts but I would love to read what you think.

[i]  A, Cohen,  B. Bailly & T, Nilsson (2002). The Importance of Music to Seniors, Psychomusicolgy,  ,18, 89-102.