Freedom to do what you want with the day:
Elah Cassady didn't slow down after retiring in 1980 because, as she put it, she wasn't about to "sit down and look at four walls."
Instead, just a year after retiring, she decided to get involved with the O'Neill Center in Marietta and the RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) of Washington County.
ASHLEY HILL The Marietta Times
Marietta resident James White plays pool at the O’Neill Center in Marietta.
"I raised six children and I was busy then and I couldn't do a lot of things but after I retired and my husband died, I got mixed up in this," said Cassady, 90.
Since retiring, she has done everything from serving as a driver for Washington-Morgan Community Action's Meals on Wheels program to making quilts for those in need.
"To me, it keeps your mind active as far as I'm concerned," she said. "I've told my kids, 'Get you a hobby if you're going to retire.'"
The benefits of getting older:
You are wiser.
You are mellow. Coping skills have become better and you are more tolerant of the little aggravations of life.
You are confident. Later years can be a time to enjoy the benefits of experience from the life that has been lived.
You become a grandparent. Grandchildren provide an opportunity for older people to be curious, excited about life and to be playful.
Your world broadens. By fostering friendships and making new ones, there can be a network of old friends and new friends as well as the extended family.
You are more motivated. There is an increased awareness of how precious time is and a desire to use it more wisely.
Source: Ohio State University Extension.
- Elah Cassady, 90, of Marietta
Becoming a kinder, more giving person:
Ruth Detlor raised five children and has 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and she has always made teddy bears for them by hand.
Detlor, who retired from the Ohio Bell Telephone Company in 1957, decided about 18 months ago to start giving her handmade teddy bears to the Washington County Sheriff's Office for children who are taken from their parents. In just 18 months, she has donated 140 teddy bears.
"It makes a better person of you doing something for someone else," she said.
- Ruth Detlor, 83, of Marietta
The sweet memories:
For Lois Lonaker, one of the best parts of getting older is meeting people who can reminisce with her, especially about things that folks don't do much anymore, such as canning.
"It's fun to talk to someone who really remembers what I remember," she said.
Detlor said she, too, appreciates the time she has now to pick up new hobbies, such as quilting.
"I'm on my second year on a quilt I'm going to donate to Relay for Life," she said.
- Lois Lonaker, 79, of Marietta
Patience and an appreciation for the swiftness of time:
Sara Beaver believes there are many benefits that come along with aging.
She remembers not always wanting to play with her children, but now that she has a 4-year-old granddaughter who lives near her, she holds playtime with her near and dear to her heart.
"I didn't know I was going to enjoy being a grandmother so much," she said. "Now I realize it's just a short time she'll want to play Barbies with grandma."
And, while participating in a Tai Chi class at the O'Neill Center recently, Beaver said taking risks is another thing she has a different view on now that she's older.
"You're willing to take risks because you realize if you don't succeed at first, it's not the end of the world," she said.
- Sara Beaver, 59, of Reno