Aging expert reveals 8 steps to increase the quality of later life

Helen Dennis

Helen Dennis, a nationally recognized expert on the issues of aging, employment and retirement, will give a talk titled “Building Blocks for Resilience in Later Life” next week at the Peninsula Center Library in Rolling Hills Estates.

“There are things we can do to influence how we age and the quality of our lives,” Dennis said. “We have a much greater influence over that than we think we do.”

Sponsored by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Branch of the American Association of University Women and the Palos Verdes Library District, the talk will cover eight steps that address the qualitative elements of having resilience in later life, among them community, physical and mental activity, good nutrition and a sense of purpose.

“Self-reliance is very important, and taking responsibility for doing things no one can do for us,” Dennis said.

The Redondo Beach resident writes a syndicated weekly column and has also written three books on aging, employment and retirement. Her company, Helen Dennis & Associates, provides retirement planning and education on non-financial issues of retirement, keynote addresses on topics such as the new retirement, consultation services on workforce issues related to age and expert witness consultation on age discrimination lawsuits.

While some people fear aging and resist talking about it, Dennis said it’s never too soon to plan for the future.

“This is an ageless discussion,” she said. “While it’s more relevant to those 50 and older, what we do in earlier years has a major influence on later life.”

Baby boomers, she said, are redefining aging and retirement.

“I think what we’re doing now is repacking aging, using different language,” she said. “For example, there’s a movement afoot called the ‘encore’ years, suggesting we’re not done yet. It’s a whole redefinition of retirement. There is traditional retirement, which millions are pursuing happily. Others feel they’re not done yet, and their ‘encore’ years include purpose, passion and a paycheck.”

She hopes her talk will build awareness, increase knowledge and motivate listeners to take action to have a self-reliant, resilient later life.

“Having a high-quality later life is about money and financial security, but it’s also about a lot more,” she said.

The “Building Blocks for Resilience in Later Life” talk will take place Saturday, March 30, at 10 a.m. at the Peninsula Center Library’s Community Room, located at 701 Silver Spur Road in Rolling Hills Estates. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call (310) 541-6189. For more information about the American Association of University Women, visit http://palosverdes-ca.aauw.net.

alubinsky@pvnews.com; Twitter: @PVNewsFeatures

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