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Get Up and Get Active This Spring!

Spring is on the way! All of us at Seniors Speak Out are excited to finally store our coats away, grab our sneakers and get out to enjoy the warm weather.

For seniors, a great way to take advantage of the new season is to embrace physical activity outside. After all, exercise can lead to healthier aging and it can allow us to live more independent lifestyles. Whether you’re a sports fan or an avid gardener, hopefully our tips on how to stay active this spring will lead seniors across the country to get up off the couch and enjoy the great outdoors.

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For the sports fan: Some local community centers offer croquet and bocce ball leagues for seniors, which is a relaxing way to combine exercise and socialization. Also be sure to check out the National Senior Games Association for more information on senior sports leagues offered near you.




benjamin-combs-27617For those with a green thumb: Consider starting a gardening club at your local community center. This is a wonderful way to get outside while also giving back to the environment.





mpho-mojapelo-173231For the animal lover: If you don’t have your own dog to play fetch with, volunteering at a pet shelter is an easy way to get active. At the shelter, you can offer to take a dog for a walk so you can both enjoy the sunshine.




ashley-baxter-27994For the photography enthusiast: Grab your camera and simply go for a walk. You will be surprised by the amount of beautiful flowers waiting to be photographed.




shutterstock_128091341For the social butterfly:
It’s no surprise that exercise is more fun when others are involved. Before you venture out on a walk around town, gather up a group of friends or family members to join in.




hannah-morgan-39891For the shopaholic: If there is an outdoor shopping mall in your neighborhood, window shopping is a great way to stay physically active while also looking for a bargain.



How do you plan to take advantage of the warmer months upon us? Tell us in the comments section below!

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National Senior Independence Month Is Here!

independent seniorWe all think of February as the month to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but what you might not know is that February is also National Senior Independence Month. Living an independent lifestyle is important to many of us as we age, no matter your age, or where you live. Here are a few tips to help you stay comfortable, safe, and healthy this month and throughout the year.

Take advantage of technology

Ensure your living space is equipped with an up-to-date security system. Not only will these systems protect against theft or property damage, they can do a lot more. If your living space includes a yard or even an outdoor entrance, security devices can detect any motion nearby. The motion light sensors can help you see, as well as fend off unwanted guests.

Cell phones and tablets can also contribute to safety. Phones, in addition to allowing you to contact anyone immediately, often have flashlights and emergency contact apps that make calling for help easy and quick. They can also serve as location devices and, of course, provide maps and navigation. has many other suggestions about the types of technology that benefit seniors living independently. Check out their website here.


Cleaning and organizing can have great positive impact on your physical and mental health. I try to declutter every January at the start of the year. It’s energizing and feels freeing. Another added benefit of decluttering is the ability to move freely without fear of tripping and falling. Clearing walkways and rearranging furniture are wonderful ways to ensure safety and comfort.

Make a few upgrades

If you don’t already have grab bars in your bathroom, install them! Whether you need them or not right now, they are always handy and can accommodate any layout or design. Also, check the banisters on your stairs. They can come loose from years of use and pose a risk.

Dark hallways or a dark closet? Motion sensor stick-on lights might solve the problem. Making these upgrades will make a world of difference!

Do you have any other tips for seniors living an active, independent lifestyle? Tell us in the comments below.


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Goodbye 2016 – Hello 2017

It’s been a great year at Seniors Speak Out. We kicked off 2016 by speaking out to tell members of Congress why Medicare Part B is so important to us. By working together to write letters to Congress, we protected our essential access to health care.

We celebrated National Immunization Awareness Month, National Sarcoma Awareness Month, and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and even wished a Happy Birthday to 1951! As always, we also provided many tips for living a healthy and active senior lifestyle.

In the last few weeks we also shared resources to help with open enrollment and to assess your coverage.

As we say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017, we want to hear from you! Tell us what you would like to see on the Seniors Speak Out blog in 2017 in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading!

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Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

The holidays are a wonderful time of year to visit with family and celebrate our many blessings, but with traveling, parties, and cold weather, it can also be a time when many let their healthy lifestyles fall by the wayside. This holiday season, commit to your healthy lifestyle by remembering the following tips:

Stay Healthysnow
Make sure to make healthy choices, such as eating smaller meals throughout the day to prepare for an evening of fun or eating a meal before an event so you are full and not tempted by unhealthy snacks.

Stay Active
With holiday travels or holiday guests, taking time to exercise can become your last priority—but, it is more important now than ever. Consider taking a family walk around the neighborhood or a walking tour of your local holiday lights. If it’s too cold, consider walking a few extra laps at the mall when shopping for those last minute gifts! A little bit of exercise can go a long way.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking water is always important. Eight glasses a day is recommended so think about taking a water bottle with you while you shop for gifts or visit friends.

Stay Rested
The holidays can be a stressful time with guests, shopping, events, and much more. Make sure to rest and relax when you get a chance. Don’t wear yourself out before you get a chance to enjoy time with your family. Remember you can always ask for help!

Stay Well
Unfortunately, the holiday season coincides with cold and flu season. Keep yourself well by getting the necessary vaccines and visiting your doctor at the first sign of illness. During the holidays, it’s easy to ignore symptoms and put off going to the doctor, but remember, early detection is key!

Stay Involved
Spending time with family and friends is the most important part of the holiday season. By staying healthy, active, hydrated, rested, and well this holiday season, you will be able to stay involved in all of the festivities.

Seniors Speak Out wishes you and yours a happy holiday filled with health and happiness!



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Tips for Active Aging

You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, now is the time to get active! As seniors, it is important that we do all we can to take care of ourselves. Exercise is a great way to manage stress, improve your mood and even prevent or delay disease. And it can be fun! Here are some tips from the National Institutes of Health. Read below and visit their website for more information on active aging!

Keep it Safe

Safety should always be your number one priority when it comes to being active. Most simple physical activity should be fine for all seniors, but never hesitate to ask your doctor before getting started. If you have any preexisting conditions or have recently had surgery, check with your doctor to see what type of activity would be best for you.

If it has been awhile since you last exercised, you might experience soreness or discomfort when you get back into the swing of things. Don’t be alarmed. Go easy on yourself and gradually prepare your body for additional exercise. If you feel sick to your stomach or have considerable pain, stop exercising and contact your doctor immediately. Better to be safe than sorry!

Keep it Simple

Committing to everyday exercise can be tough, that’s why it’s important to keep it simple. If it’s inconvenient or exceedingly difficult, it may be tough to keep up with the regimen. Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Put those weights next your TV chair and do some lifting during the commercial breaks, add an extra lap from the mailbox to the front door, or walk every aisle at the grocery store. Keep it simple.

Prefer to exercise just once a day? Consider joining a gym or fitness center in your community. Look into classes that are targeted for seniors and don’t forget to check with your Medicare health plan to see if gym memberships or fitness programs are part of the extra coverage they offer.

Keep it Social

Getting active, just like other things in life, is best when it’s done with others. Invite your friends or family members to go on a walk around the neighborhood or check out a local nature trail. Everyone—young and old—can benefit from embracing an active lifestyle. Get a group together to go to a local gym or start a daily fitness challenge with your spouse. There’s nothing like accountability to keep you active.

Keep it Up!

Once you’ve started, don’t give up. Remember, the first few days will be the hardest, it only gets easier from there. Diversify your exercise often so you don’t get bored and never stop looking for ways to get active in your everyday life!

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Speak Up! The White House is Listening

In February, the White House Conference on Aging kicked off the first in a series of regional forums ahead of the national conference in Washington, D.C. scheduled for later this year. The once-a-decade conference has been held since the 1960s with the main goal of improving the quality of life for older Americans. It also serves as an opportunity to discuss policy solutions to common obstacles including: healthy aging, long-term care, retirement security and elder justice.

White House, garden and fountains in foreground

White House, garden and fountains in foreground (h/t Huffington Post)

The aim of the regional events, the first of which was held in Tampa, is to give senior advocates an opportunity to highlight key policy areas that are critical to older Americans and address the most pressing challenges related to aging.

As a longtime advocate for the aging, I am truly excited for these forums. Any opportunity to generate ideas for action that improve the lives of older Americans is worthwhile. Here are some ways for you to get involved:

  • Make sure advocates in your area know what obstacles you are facing and what matters most to you as a senior. YOU may not be able to attend the forum but some advocates will be invited and can better address your issues if they are aware of your priorities and problems. 
  • Watch the forum live on webcast.
  • Stay informed as more events around the conference get scheduled. Join the mailing list to learn about listening sessions, webinars and opportunities for public engagement.
  • Check out the White House Conference on Aging website to share your own stories and speak out about programs that make your life easier.
  • Use social media to speak out on what is important to you as a senior using hashtag #SeniorsSpeakOut or #WHCOA.

The many events planned in conjunction with the White House Conference on Aging are a great opportunity to get involved, and I look forward to raising important issues surrounding aging including the importance of elder justice, nutrition, long-term care, legal services, and elder abuse prevention, as well as the importance of senior health and well-being. I encourage you to strongly voice your support and create momentum around the upcoming discussions on improving seniors’ lives.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the next White House Conference on Aging forum, which will be May 28 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Seniors are the most important voice in the fight to enhance and protect what works for them, so don’t miss an opportunity to work with your advocates to speak out!