It’s Time To Be Kind To Family Caregivers

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to be especially kind to those who care for aging family members. Many of those who are family caregivers are boomer women, sandwiched between the needs of their parents and their own kids. They give, give, give to loved ones, while often sacrificing their own needs.

The Life Of A Family Caregiver
I’m familiar with the life of a family caregiver. I was a caregiver to my late husband during his illness. For many months, I visited him in the hospital each evening, driving a long distance after a full day of work, then home to make dinner for my son, leaving little time to rest, and start the routine all over again.

Shortly after my husband died, my sister N and I became more active caregivers to my mom. We were grateful that mom lived on her own for most of her senior years. Yet when she became ill at 89 and we had to give care from afar (since mom lived in Florida and N and I lived in the northeast), it became quite difficult.  We decided it was best for mom to move into an assisted living environment where she would have the ongoing care she needed. As devoted daughters, moving my mom was a tough decision. We were glad mom thrived in her new home. She passed in her early 90s.

caregiving, life after 50, over 50, retirement, AARP, boomer women, baby boomer women

My sister N and I were caregivers to my mom until she passed away a few years ago.

Being a family caregiver is a major commitment. Many of my friends who have aging parents tell me of their challenges. When their dad falls and  breaks an ankle or hip, when their mom forgets to take her medicine due to dementia or Alzheimers, when they have to play the parent to their parents and take away driving privileges — so much debating and deciding ‘what should I do?’ issues pile on the family caregiver that their shoulders begin to weigh down.

How Can You Help?
The Ad Council and AARP have kicked off a program this month that is designed to encourage all Americans to perform an unexpected ‘Random Act of Kindness‘ for a caregiver. This nationwide movement is an effort to raise awareness of caregiving while at the same time reaching caregivers directly – rewarding them for their ongoing support.

AARP, Ad Council, Random Acts of Kindness, Caregiving

The ask is simple – identify someone in your life or in your community who is serving as a caregiver and do something nice for them. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, just a small gesture that makes a caregiver’s life a little easier. For example, last month I invited my friend A to dinner. She works full-time at a demanding job and also cares for her aging dad. I treated her to a relaxing yoga session and reminded her that this evening was totally for her. She greatly appreciated the break.

The Ad Council and AARP are also asking that participants share their story at Simply submit a 150 word or less summary of how you made a caregiver feel special and a photo. All participants will be entered to win a cash prize from a $10,000 pot.

More Resources For Caregivers
AARP provides a tremendous amount of online resources for family caregivers on their Caregiving Resource Center. It’s really good information.

Forty million heroes are caregivers all hours of the day and night to their loved ones. It’s a crisis that is only going to grow larger as the baby boomer generation grows older. Reach out and show some kindness to a caregiver – even just listening to their story can make a difference.


Note: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Element Associates and Midlife Boulevard.


Helpful Skin Care Tips When The Chill Is On

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50It’s finally getting chilly outside and the heat is starting to kick in. You know what that means! My aging skin is going to dry out and more wrinkles are going to sink in. Just the other day I noticed another two vertical wrinkles above my third eye – not a pretty sight. My hands are showing signs of aging too.

The rest of my post 50 body also gets super dry during the cold weather months. Having dealt with eczema since I was a child, I responded with a ‘yes’ when the PR team at CVS asked if I wanted to try their new line of CVS Borage Seed Oil Eczema skin care products. “I have the package in the mail for your Winter Skin Essentials and wanted to share some additional information on the products,” said the assistant account executive S.*

According to the experts at CVS, I am one of many in the U.S. who have eczema — 31.6 million others suffer along with me and at least 17.8 million people have moderate to severe eczema or atopic dermatitis. I was curious to learn more about Borage Seed Oil and these specialized products.

The Story of Borage Seed Oil
Known for its moisturizing properties, the borage herb (borago officinalis) grows wild throughout the Mediterranean. Borage seed oil is rich in the skin-nourishing fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and has been used for centuries to help soothe and calm skin discomforts like dryness, itchiness, and redness.

CVS Moisturizing Eczema Cream with Borage Seed Oil Continue reading


My Foodie Retirement Project: “1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenIf you’re a foodie like me, you’ll want to go get a copy of 1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, by Mimi Sheraton. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed reading Mimi’s restaurant reviews in The New York Times, and her articles in food and travel magazines. It was exciting to meet Mimi at the NY NOW Lifestyle Show at the Javits Center in NYC this summer.

Just shy of 90, Mimi said that it took 10 years to write this “food lover’s life list,”  but that it was really 60+ years in the making. “I’ve traveled all over the world,” said Mimi. “Food has been an excellent handle to pick up other cultures.”

Mimi Sheraton, 1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, life after 50, retirement, foodie

It was wonderful to meet world renowned food critic Mimi Sheraton.

A Family of Food Lovers
Mimi told us that her love of food started in childhood. “I grew up in Brooklyn. My mother was a competitive cook and my father was a fruit and vegetable merchant,” said Mimi. (She wrote a book about her mom’s cooking called From My Mother’s Kitchen.) She always wanted to be a writer and after graduating from New York University, she went to work at Good Housekeeping, where she covered home furnishings. Then it was on to Seventeen, where her interest in food blossomed and she eventually became the food editor. Continue reading


Do You Want To Be Happier in 2016? “Choices” Can Help!

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women“I’m writing to talk about the Choices Notebook I’m launching. It’s a labor of love, three years in the making and something I’m very passionate about,” wrote midlife blogger and designer Kimberly Montgomery. “It’s a 12-Month Planner to help goal-oriented, successful people enjoy today and remember to live in the moment. So often, high achievers are so focused on the goal, they give up happiness today in a mad race for success.”

Could this unique planner help me be happier in 2016? Could it remind me to slow down and practice daily mindful living? I wanted to learn more about the Choices Notebook and  its post 50 creator. I also was curious to hear about how Kimberly is using the Kickstarter platform to help launch her entrepreneurial venture. Here’s our chat:

Kimberly Montgomery

Q.Tell me about your background.
“I’ve been working in the Art Licensing Industry for over three decades. I started as a licensed illustrator, where I had a successful career for 25+ years. My work has been featured on every product imaginable from hundreds of greeting cards, gift bags, ceramic décor, decorative rugs and pillows, fabric, stationary and gift items. I still have a best-selling School Days calendar that is released every year, that’s even been featured on Good Morning America. Continue reading


Now Is The Time To Get Your Flu Shot

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Will you join me for my flu shot?” I asked my boyfriend L. “We can go together this year to get our shots. You’ll hold my hand, since I am really not a fan of the needle.” Plus, CVS asked me to participate in their #StayHealthyWithCVS campaign*, so I asked L to help me with photographic duties.

It’s Time To Get My Flu Shot
I usually go to the CVS MinuteClinic each October to get my flu shot. It’s quick, easy, the nurse practitioner is friendly, and my insurance covers the vaccine. According to the team at CVS: “Getting the flu shot is the most effective defense against the flu. It’s important to get the flu shot each year because the immunity provided by the vaccine declines over time. It takes up to two weeks for your immunity to build up after getting a flu shot so the CDC recommends to get vaccinated as soon as flu vaccine become available.”

CVS MinuteClinic; flu shot; flu vaccine; boomer wellness; life after 50

I went to CVS MinuteClinic for my flu vaccine.

The CVS nurse practitioner J filled out the paperwork and then it was time for the shot. “Which arm do you want to use?” asked J. We both said “our left arm.”  (Note that a flu shot seemed minor compared to the 10 shots of lidocaine my pain doctor injected into my back, neck, and head yesterday for my ongoing occipital neuralgia. My post 50 body is feeling severely prodded this week.) Continue reading


My First-Ever Twitter Interview With @Encorepreneur

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThis week, I was asked to participate in a #EncoreChat interview on Twitter @Encorepreneur, hosted by Judi Bonilla, aging expert. Judi runs Encorepreneur 101, a resource for entrepreneurs 50+. Through her website, she offers advice, information, inspiration, and resources to boomers who are pursuing startups at 50+. As Judi says “Our philosophy includes lean startup, quick launch, and mistakes are an opportunity to grow your business.”

Judi Bonilla, @encorepreneur, #EncoreChat

Judi Bonilla tweets at @Encorepreneur and hosts weekly #EncoreChat.

Each day, Judi tweets @Encorepreneur on growing your business and weekly she hosts #EncoreChat a Twitter Chat for entrepreneurs. In addition, she also blogs and pins articles of interest for entrepreneurs.

So, here’s my interview. Judi taught me about Storify and how to share my interview on my blog. I hope it works. Here goes. Let me know what you think. Maybe I’ll share more Storify stories in the future.

Judi Continue reading


My Post 50 Yoga Journey: It’s About Mind, Body, and Spirit

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Welcome to yoga training Methods & Techniques I,” said my instructor B as she addressed our first weekend class at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies in Camden, NJ. “We come together as strangers, but we leave as a tight-knit community. These are your sisters.”

There are five women, or should I say five yoginis (female yoga practitioners are called yogini, male are yogi), in the YTT200 program this year and by May 2016, after 200 hours of training, we will be eligible for our first yoga teacher certificate from Yoga Alliance.

Discovering My True Self
I was excited and anxious to begin training. I started practicing yoga about seven years ago, after my husband passed away. It helped me heal my “mind, body, and spirit” and work through my grief. It continues to provide an outlet for “letting go” and “slowing down” – which is an on-going challenge for me since retiring from my fast-paced full-time job.

“Explore your own creative expression as a yoga teacher, ” said B. “Don’t worry about anything. I’m looking at your growth during this training.”

Om, om, om, I breathed in and began to relax on my mat. This journey I am embarking on for the next nine months is sacred. Am I ready to discover more about my own true self? Am I prepared for what lies deep within?

Yes, yes, yes, it’s a bit scary delving deep, yet at the same time freeing. Plus, I’m eager to improve my own strength, flexibility, and balance during my life after 50 and share all the benefits that yoga has to offer with others,

yoga training, yoga mat

I was ready for my yoga training with my mat, cushion, blanket, strap, and blocks.

The Eight-Fold Path
B explained the “Eight-Fold Path” Of Ashtanga Yoga according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, who lived and wrote a long, long time ago between what is thought to be 200 BC – 200 AD. The guidelines start at the base with Yamas (restraints such as non-violence and truthfulness) and Niyamas (behaviors and observances such as contentment and cleanliness). The path moves up the hierarchy to Asanas (postures), Pranayama (controlling your breath), Pratyahara (where you close your eyes and be with yourself), to Dharana (concentration), to Dhyana (meditation), and finally, to Samadhi (a blissful state of spiritual freedom). Continue reading


How To Look Beautiful With Mineral Makeup

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50This week, I’m pleased to bring you an interview with entrepreneur Lisa Liguori, creator of Simple Beauty Minerals. I had never tried mineral makeup until Lisa asked if I wanted to sample a few products. Ever curious about anything to do with beauty and aging gracefully, I was eager to learn more. Plus, I always like talking to post 50 women like Lisa who are doing fun things.

Lisa has 30+ years working in the cosmetic industry with lots to share. Be sure to read to the end because she generously agreed to provide a mineral makeup giveaway to one lucky reader!

Simple Beauty Minerals, mineral makeup, boomer beauty, beauty, life after 50, over 50, post 50 beauty

Lisa Liguori is creator of Simple Beauty Minerals.

Q.Lisa, tell me about your background and why you started your company.
“From the moment I stepped behind that Clinique counter at the age of 17, I fell in love with the industry and it’s potential to help women feel confident and truly beautiful. Not to mention how fun it was to play with all those lotions and potions! Continue reading


My River Cruise on the Douro – A Grand Finale

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It was the last two days of our river cruise on the Douro in Portugal.*

“Tomorrow we will see the most scenic road you can find in the Douro,” said our program director Jorge. “Come along and you will be wowed.” While I couldn’t wait to go on a tour of the wine country, my boyfriend L was happy to stay on board and watch the vineyards from the deck as the Viking Hemming sailed to Pinhão.

Douro River, Portugal, Favaios, Viking River Cruises, life after 50, boomers, boomer travel

We were wowed by the views of the Douro wine country.

Favaios – Home of Muscatel Wine and Four Corners Bread
The small town of Favaios was my favorite spot of the entire week. The village is home to Muscatel wine and four corners bread. We visited a few of the cooperative wineries. Together, they make 30 million bottles of wine per year — most of the bottles are individual size because in Portugal they often combine a small bottle of Muscatel with beer. Muscatel grapes are very sweet and our guide Maria told us that “Muscatel is very good to cure a cold, perhaps because of the honey aroma.” Continue reading


My River Cruise on the Douro – Spotlight on Salamanca

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50“Tomorrow we rise early for our excursion to the golden city of Salamanca,” said our program director Jorge on our Viking river cruise on the Douro in Portugal.* “We’re going to Spain,” I said to my boyfriend L. “You’ll finally be able to get an authentic paella. Are you going to join me for this excursion?” “Yes, yes,” said L.

Our Trip To Salamanca
We boarded the bus for a very long two hour ride. L slept, while I looked out the window at the beautiful views of the countryside.

Salamanca, Portugal, VIking River Cruise, boomer travel, post 50 travel

During our free time in the morning, we walked around the city streets:

We went to Museo Art Nouveau where there was a special Coco Chanel exhibition. L stayed outside while I toured the collection of Coco’s fashions – a fun fashionista experience. Continue reading