Aging Gracefully

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If an ideal model for aging could exist, Mrs. Madeline J. Shanks would exemplify it. At the age of 78, she remains active not only in her senior complex but continues to volunteer in her surrounding community. Involved in many different activities, she manages to volunteer, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy life all at the same time. Looking back, she accredits much of her success in aging to her healthy diet and lifestyle all throughout her life. At a young age, her family immigrated to the United States from Scotland and continued their traditional lifestyle which included a diet consisting of "meat, potatoes, and veggies with no dessert." Her daily activities as a child included playing outdoors and extensive periods of walking which further reinforced her healthy lifestyle. Sticking to a consistent and healthy diet, Mrs. Shanks continued to cook for herself, rather than dining out, often cooking large portions and freezing the rest for future meals. Through her midlife, she continued to remain active with her husband participating in various activities including frequent trips to Lake Eerie and the Ohio River to water-ski as well as other various water sports. To say the very least, Mrs. Shanks led an active and busy life. Even at 78, the negative effects of aging have not truly impacted her daily life. By engaging in activities and keeping herself busy, her body and mind are in constant use. Keeping her mind and imagination active with mystery novels and other fiction improves her vocabulary pool while Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings are spent volunteering as a reading tutor for the local elementary school. As an active participant in many of the senior activities, she has been on the Activities Committee in her senior complex for several years, organizing monthly dinners as well as trips to the planetarium, various restaurants, bakeries and more. During the summer months, she and her good friend Mrs. Makai frequent the nearby park,...
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