October 1, 2022 • Third Third Journal
As part of my work for the De Pree Center’s Third Third Initiative, I try to stay up to date on news related to the third third of life. This is not as easy as it might sound, since there are literally dozens of articles published each day on this broad subject. But with help from Google, I’m able to keep up on some of what I call “Third Third in the News.”
Here is a sample of some very recent articles I’ve found to be both relevant and fascinating.
What doctors wish patients knew about healthy aging
By Sara Berg, American Medical Association, Sept 30, 2022
This article lists eleven things we can do to help us age in a healthy way. Several are not surprising, such as “Address unhealthy habits.” Others are more unexpected: “Include any exercise.” The author quotes Dr. Edward Bope, a medical expert on aging who says, “We’re not talking about weightlifting or jumping jacks. Just move around a little more by lifting cans of tomatoes, doing some of those everyday activities like lifting your legs, pressing against things. Even simple things can be helpful.” (I guess I need to buy some cans of tomatoes!)
Loneliness and unhappiness accelerate aging faster than smoking, study shows
By Corrie Pelc, Medical News Today, Sept 29, 2022
Here’s something you don’t hear every day: “According to researchers, certain psychological issues — such as hopelessness, unhappiness, and loneliness — increase a person’s biological age more than smoking.”
11 Meaningful Ways Older Adults Can Volunteer Right Now
By Jennifer Lagemann, Forbes Health, Sept 30, 2022
Volunteering is a good thing to do at any age. Of course, the main point is to make a difference that matters in the lives of others. However, volunteering is also great for the volunteer. This article in Forbes Health reports:
A 2020 data review in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine observed almost 13,000 participants of the Health and Retirement Study and found if someone volunteered for at least 100 hours per year (less than two hours a week) for four years, they experienced: Reduced risk of mortality; Reduced risk of physical functioning limitations; Increased amounts of physical activity; Better psychosocial outcomes, such as increased optimism or a stronger sense of purpose in life.
Volunteering helps the volunteer to experience: reduced risk of mortality; reduced risk of physical functioning limitations; increased amounts of physical activity; better psychosocial outcomes, such as increased optimism or a stronger sense of purpose in life.
If you’re not sure how to get started, this article as lots of practical tips, including eleven contexts in which you might choose to volunteer.
‘Americans don’t believe ageism is real.’ This state wants to stamp it out.
By Jessica Hall, MarketWatch, Sept 30, 2022
According to Jess Maurer, executive director of the Maine Council on Aging, “Americans don’t believe ageism is real. Or that it’s not as bad as the other ‘isms’. But it costs us a lot financially. It costs us emotionally. It taxes our health systems. It affects housing. It affects our workforce. It costs us a lot.” For example, a Yale University study found that discrimination based on age increased healthcare costs by $63 billion annually. So the Maine Council on Aging set a goal to eliminate ageism in the workplace, in the media, and other leading segments of Maine culture by 2032. How are they going to accomplish this goal? “We’re going to change hearts and minds one at a time. It’s a top-down, bottom-up and everyone in the middle approach,” Maurer said.
9 Longevity Habits for a Happy and Healthy Older Age: What every adult should know about a long, satisfying lifespan.
By Meg Selig, Psychology Today, Sept 30, 2022
This article summarizes nine longevity habits that can increase, not just your lifespan (length of life) but healthspan (years of healthy life). Most of these are familiar to me, such as “Cultivate love, friendship, and social connections” or “Cultivate positive beliefs about aging.” But I was surprised to find this one: “Become more conscientious.” Selig writes, “People who keep their commitments, including doctors’ appointments, dates with friends, and work meetings, are more likely to live longer than those who don’t. . . . Conscientious people reap other surprising benefits, including a lower risk of dementia.” (See also “3 Key Benefits of Being Conscientious,” by Meg Selig, Psychology Today, May 5, 2022.)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.