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Lifestyles over 50

Advice from a Flamingo

Dec 13, 2022 11:42AM ● By J Painter
Happy Summer!
For me, summer is all about the flamingo!

Flamingos are not native to the Lehigh Valley (unless you count the Lawnus Plasticus Walmarticus that migrates to front yards every summer).

In any case, the flamingo can teach us life lessons that, if followed, can keep us in the pink.

Wade into Life
When taking your evening constitutional, use a night head lamp, a walking stick, and a belt clip holder for your phone. This will help prevent falls, both for you and your phone! Most phones have a flashlight; however, at night in the dark, one must stop and turn it on and off, and this can be distracting. Don’t just jump into the night; plan ahead and wade into it when going out to see the stars.

Keep emergency battery candles nearby where you are sitting in the evening, so if the lights go out, you have light to move around by. Be careful if you have an electric recliner so you do not get stuck! Have a solar charger on hand, even if you have a generator for sudden power outages.

Stand Out in the Crowd
Add a personal touch to everything you do! Show your creativity!

Everyone likes to feel special, so don’t be afraid to make unique choices and keep an upbeat attitude by being pleasant to those around you. Just be you!

Spend Time with Your Flock
The COVID pandemic has challenged us all with regards to maintaining communication with our flocks. Following is a recommendation to let go of some the pain and anguish suffered over the last two years.

Blow Bubbles
There are small wands and large wands of bubble kits out there for purchase. When was the last time you blew bubbles? Try blowing bubbles when you are porch-sitting — It is so much fun! Did you know that blowing bubbles increases oral motor skills that can lessen as we age? It helps with eye tracking and gross motor skills as well. If you blow bubbles with your flock, you are guaranteed to strengthen your relationships with smiles, not masks!

Find the Right Balance
For many of us, life after COVID feels like a long way off; some of us have adapted well and some not so easily. Before COVID, the word “resilience” was used loosely; now, it is reality. We often think of traumatic experiences and stress as negative, but did you know that stress and challenges in life can motivate us?

Take small wading steps into facing your stressors; be sure to have some social activity in your life; even learn a new hobby.

Make sure you maintain balance in your lower body and are not at risk for falling. Vertigo and poor balance can accelerate as we age. Most cases of poor balance can be helped. There are many balance centers in the Lehigh Valley, so check one out if you cannot stand on each leg like a flamingo (If you try this, please hold on to something.).

Be Flexible
Many of us were not keeping up with our exercise programs during the pandemic. We naturally lose flexibility as our bodies age. Grab a stretch strap and a yoga mat and kickstart your day by stretching in bed (or on a yoga mat) while singing or saying  a prayer. Keep moving and use a routine. Get in the pool, which helps tremendously in attaining flexibility.

Keep Your Beak Clean
Normally, the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care — such as daily brushing and flossing — will keep bacteria under control. Older adults with poor oral health are at an increased risk for aspiration pneumonia, poorly-controlled diabetes, endocarditis, and many other health problems. Having worn masks for so long, many have forgotten about their oral health.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Your Feet Wet
This last bit of advice from the flamingo is up to you! Life is about taking risks and going after what you want. Please do not be afraid to take a chance and get your feet wet along the way!