Welcome to the Defying Age Spotlight! This segment will introduce you to everyday people who age well!
These amazing individuals will inspire you! About 25% of aging is genetics. The rest is up to you!
Read on to learn about Margaret and her advice on how to age well!
Margaret married Billy, her high school sweetheart, at age 15. She now lives independently in the home they built together.
Margaret stayed at home to raise their five children for several years. She then returned to the workforce and retired as Deputy for the Recorder of Deeds at age 62.
After Billy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Margaret cared for him for 10 years. “We almost made it to our 68th wedding anniversary,” she says. Bill sadly passed away in 2019.
Age Well with Support
Margaret’s family is a source of great support, with most of her children and grandchildren living nearby.
Her oldest son Mark passed away at age 51, a particularly difficult time in her life.
She is clearly proud of all her children, especially her youngest son Danny, who recovered from a brain tumor that required two major surgeries as a teenager.
Danny and Margaret’s two daughters, Cathy and Christy, live close by and are a big part of her support system.
Her middle son, David, lives in Florida.
Margaret is also blessed with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Age Well with Activities & Friendships
In her spare time, Margaret enjoys her family, keeps up her house (which is pristine, and recently remodeled), and enjoys doing crossword puzzles.
Margaret continues to drive, although she tends to stay close to home these days.
She has four close friends, all in their early 90’s. They still get together to play cards once a month, something they have done since 1953!
What Motivates You to Live a Healthy Lifestyle?
I guess I don’t really think much about it. Being active is just a part of who I am. My husband and I always exercised together and played golf with friends.
I think you have to keep moving, especially at my age! You have to take care of yourself if you want to age well.
What do You Attribute to Aging Well?
- Having a positive mindset. I live in the moment and take it one day at a time. I have a very strong faith in God. My faith has been a constant in my life, through good times and bad. I would also describe myself as a mentally strong person.
- Staying Active. I have always been very active. After retirement, my husband and I worked out at the YMCA and golfed 2-3 times per week.
- Eating well. My diet includes a lot of fruits and vegetables. My appetite has decreased, but I eat because it’s important. I cook a few times per week and freeze meals as needed. My children offer to bring me food, which I always take them up on!
What Goals or Hopes do You have for the Future?
I would really like to get back to playing golf! I really enjoyed playing and had to stop when my husband was too sick to stay alone.
My hope is also to maintain my level of activity and keep my house up.
I am happy to report Margaret did play a round of golf with her nephews a few weeks after this article was originally published.
What Advice do You have for those Looking to Age Well?
Practice patience. As you age, you have to slow down. Be patient with yourself and others!
Take one day at a time. Life is not easy, and you have to take it as it comes. Try not to look back, and avoid looking too far ahead.
Stay active. Just keep moving! You’ll be glad you did!
Did you enjoy Margaret’s story? Check out Lori’s story “Joyful Aging: Yoga, Sex, & Laughter with Lori“.
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Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management. She has 20+ years of nutrition experience working in a variety of healthcare settings. Her passion is to provide evidence-based nutrition information that supports vitality and longevity!