Study Says Facebook Gives Cognitive Boost to Older Adults

UK, Britain. Woman using a computer for social networking looking at a Facebook page on the website.One in three online seniors use a social networking site like Facebook, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. While many have concerns about privacy or learning the technical aspects of social media, the numbers speak to the increasing older demographic involved in such sites as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.

Many older adults enjoy keeping up with far-flung friends and family, sharing thoughts as quick sound bites and photos of grandchildren, club activities, trips, pets, etc. As well there are physical and emotional benefits to being involved in social media. Personally, I feel a tremendous surge of well-being when “playing” on my Pinterest virtual pinboards and as I post my daily thoughts and concerns on Twitter and Tumblr. And, my daily dose of Facebook is so positive — love the Words With Friends brain training and the quick communication with my friends and family. As well, weekly travels through Linkedin keep my creative and work juices flowing and quick peeks at Polyvore and Fancy are fun ways to see other peoples’ fashion, travel and gadget suggestions.

Spending time on Facebook has been shown to reduce stress levels, slow down heart rates and — generally speaking — just simply relax people. Now new research suggests that learning to use Facebook may have an additional benefit for adults over 65: a sharpening of mental abilities.”

Janelle Wohltmann, a graduate student in the University of Arizona department of psychology, did a study on the effects of Facebook use for older adults. She cautions that its use may not be positive for all older people“One of the take-home messages could be that learning how to use Facebook is a way to build what we call cognitive reserve, to help protect against and stave off cognitive decline due to normal age-related changes in brain function. But there certainly are other ways to do this as well,” she said.

“It’s also important to understand and know about some of the aspects of Facebook that people have concerns about, like how to keep your profile secure,” she added. “So I wouldn’t suggest to anyone to get out and get Granny online right away, unless you or somebody else can provide the proper education and support to that person, so that they can use it in a safe way.”


10 Great Cities For Older Singles

420-laugh-retire-older-single.imgcache.rev1339779304026AARP scoured the country searching for cities which offered lots of congenial 50+ residents open to new friendships and myriads of entertaining activities for them. Also easy access to world class healthcare was an important consideration.

Starting with San Francisco and ending with Milwaukee, this article has something for almost any single senior. Check it out:

Finding Love Later In Life …

cq5dam.web.420.270In the ’70’s Marlo Thomas didn’t feel that matrimony was wonderful for women. “Marriage is like a vacuum cleaner,” (She) used to say. “You stick it to your ear and it sucks out all your energy and ambition.” 

Then she went on a talk show and met Phil Donahue. At dinner after he shared with her that he’d recently divorced and doubted that he’d remarry. Thomas thought “how perfect … a man who thinks like me.” Three years later they were married and have been happily since then.

This took planning and the rearranging of two established lives. “Along the way, we learned something fundamental: that sometimes we all must rethink our lives, focusing not on what we thought they would be but, rather, on what they could be.” 

“Had Phil and I been younger, we might have been more impatient and missed each other. But being older — me in my late 30s, Phil in his early 40s — we trusted our hearts and made the effort. For many, love really is better the second time around, but for me, the first time has been just fine.”

Read more about their love story and those of other friends in AARP:


Best Places For Singles To Retire Overseas


“Whether through gray divorce, never marrying or an unfortunate death, more post 50s and baby boomers are single than previous generations. But that doesn’t mean their retirement options have to be limited, according to retirement expert Kathleen Peddicord.”

Living abroad can be feasible for singles due to a lower cost of living and may provide many exciting new experiences and friends. While couples can move almost anywhere they choose, individuals need to consider more carefully. “Singles should look for locations with established expat communities and activities and events to help them integrate and stay active,” Peddicord wrote. “Safety is [also] a top concern for single women thinking about retiring overseas.

See her five suggestions for overseas retirement here:

Glamorous Dining in a Hearst Mansion

feature-original-428x256Want to impress someone special? Take them to Richie Notar’s latest venture, Harlow, housed in a private dining room built by William Randolph Hearst for a paramour.

Opening tonight, Harlow is an intriguing combination of crystal chandeliers and Warhol paintings. Danny Ye, former Nobu chef, describes some of his seafood offerings as:

  • A sherry-pickled medley of fennel, onion and Asian pear ladled atop Island Creek oysters – “By far the shit, best in the US” – along with dehydrated crispy kimchi.
  • Tuna crudo with prosciutto – “Red meat on red meat. We treat the tuna like sushi men, but we’re not tied down by dogma.”
  • Whole branzino à la plancha – ‘”We make a gremolata with pickled wasabi stem. Pickle-y, peppery, spicy – very capricious.”

Add bewitching cocktails and you will create a spectacular evening. Harlow is located at 111 East 56th Street between Park and Lexington.

Sailing Solo

10GETAWAY-articleLargeContemplating a cruise alone? Stephanie Rosenbloom cautions us to be clear as to our goals, our pocketbooks … umm, and our age. Are we looking for enrichment, relaxation or romance?

First, she gives us companies which arrange group trips for solo travelers:, and

Next, comes decisions about whether we want large or small groups. For a big turnout, “try traveling during Halloween. says itsHalloween Spectacular cruise is its largest (last year more than 600 people attended; this year it’s a weeklong Caribbean cruise on Carnival Liberty, departing from Miami on Oct. 26 with private cabins starting from $1,402.27 and shared cabins from $783.27). But take heed: masks, capes and fangs can make evaluating potential lovers tricky.” Then, whom are we going to meet? Clues are in the prices, themes and destinations.

For enrichment, we could try Crystal Cruises which offer foreign language, bridge and computer lessons or Cunard which can teach us about astronomy, art and maritime history. I have experienced all of the above with my husband on Holland America, Azamara and Celebrity as well.

Then there is rest and relaxation. There are crazy games, such as vying for Mr. Mercury on Celebrity Cruises. Something which included singing to a woman passenger on bended knee, doing trick dives into the pool and answering trivia questions. My husband happened to win this one; it would be perfect for singles. Princess Cruises offers the Sanctuary, an adults-only spot. Read about this in the article:



Affordable Best Places to Retire

st_petersburg_harbor-300x189Enjoy Topretirements’ latest offering after their “Whackiest Best Places to Retire List.”

Rather than being humorous, this time they thought about the basic criteria their readers would consider: affordability, low tax burden and high culture. Using their free Retirement Ranger selection tool, they chose the initial towns out of the 450 profiled on their site, then whittled the list down to the top 20.

Listed here with the median selling price of a home are “The Top Affordable (and more) Best Places to Retire:”