Standard policy or discrimination? A New York man says he was fired from his job as a lifeguard in 2007 because he refused to wear the required bikini-style swimsuit for an annual qualifying swim test. Roy Lester, now 61, filed a lawsuit claiming age discrimination. Lester, who has 40 years of water safety experience, says older lifeguards were slowly being phased out of Jones Beach and the swimsuit mandate was a way to do it. An appeals court recently reinstated a second suit which was dropped in 2009 after the first claim was dismissed.
Aging is for the birds. A growing number of people over 50 just refuse to let it happen. Sure, they'll celebrate the milestone birthday, but they'll do their best not to look their age. Or feel it. Or even act it. ( See Ernestine Shepherd. You now have no excuse for not working out.) From AP: " Baby boomers heading into what used to be called retirement age are providing a 70 million-member strong market for legions of companies, entrepreneurs and cosmetic surgeons eager to capitalize on their "forever young" mindset, whether it's through wrinkle creams, face-lifts or workout regimens.' ... Speaking of aging, this is what 77 looks like*. Have you seen the new Gloria Steinem documentary, Gloria: In Her Own Words? The film, which premiered on HBO Monday, highlights her years on the front lines of the women's rights movement. *Apologies, Ms. Steinem, I'm sure you're rolling your eyes at something so trite, but you look very smart, brilliant. More on the documentary.
Warren Buffett's op-ed piece in the New York Times sparked a fury on the Internet yesterday. If you missed it, here's the takeaway in his own words: "My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice." What do you think? From earlier this year: Warren Buffett on "value investing."
Tuesday I mentioned Marie Kolstad, left, an 83-year-old grandmother who had a breast lift with implants last month. "Physically, I'm in good health, and I just feel like, why not take advantage of it?" she told The New York Times. Yesterday Kolstad elaborated: "It was more about looking in the mirror and liking who I am." She's not the only one who feels that way. Kolstad is just one of thousands of older people who are choosing cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks and their lives: "According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in 2010 there were 84,685 surgical procedures among patients age 65 and older. They included 26,635 face-lifts; 24,783 cosmetic eyelid operations; 6,469 liposuctions; 5,874 breast reductions; 3,875 forehead lifts; 3,339 breast lifts and 2,414 breast augmentations."
Is mom getting a good night's rest? A new study published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association links dementia in older women to sleep apnea, a condition that causes people to stop breathing - for a short period - as they sleep. Researchers focused on women, average age 82, with various sleeping disorders, including apnea. They found those women "were much more likely than those with normal sleep habits to develop cognition problems within five years."
Is America ready for more "old" men? That's the discussion that's taking place in Room for Debate over on NYTimes.com. As the number of men over 65 has increased by 21 percent in the last decade "what are the implications - the benefits and the costs - of having more men around longer?" Women generally outlive men, so how would our lives change with more older men in the country? Will you have to support both parents instead of one? Or would they take care of each other - living longer, healthier, happier lives? Will having more men around keep the seniors dating pool fresh? In other words, will older people "step up their game?" Looks like it.
All about the genes. So yesterday, we celebrated aging well with Helen Mirren's big win for sexiest body and Jim Presseler's secrets to looking and feeling young at 62. And then the mother of all Debbie Downer news was released. Watching what you eat and exercising to live to be 100? You might be wasting your time, according to two new studies. One report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that older people who pursued a healthy lifestyle and lost weight didn't live any longer than sedentary people." Another study - comparing the habits of a group of present-day seniors to those from 40 years ago - found that many centenarians didn't make it there by being good: "Many extremely old people appear to have been as bad as everyone else at indulging in poor health habits during their younger years."
Helen Mirren takes the crown again. The sexiest woman over 50 has a new title: Best body. According to an L.A. Fitness poll, the 66-year-old was named female celebrity with the best body - beating Elle "The Body" MacPherson, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Winslet and Pippa Middleton. But we already knew this.
When it comes to "home away from home," men are left behind. In her search for the perfect rehab for her father, Pam Gerhardt found that many assisted living facilities often forget about the other half. It's hard enough getting your "still-young-at-heart" dad to agree to go to a home. So when he gets there, he should feel comfortable, right? Not to be too stereotypical, but the window treatment designed to make the environment more relaxing won't cut it. And we can almost guarantee the knitting club sign up sheet will remain empty. Providers take note: As more 50+ men move into your facilities, some questions you may want to consider: Why isn't there a TV devoted to ESPN 24 hours a day? When's poker night? Why can't I get a scotch during the ice cream social? Related: Does moving into a nursing home cause depression?
What does your face say about you? Does it say you're happy? Stressed? When people see you, do they think you're powerful? Warm? Do you appear healthy? As President Obama turns 50, a new report examines how much he's aged in the last three years and asks an interesting question: "What's in a face at 50?"
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