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CELEBRATING 60: No! I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club is a fictional account of a woman’s 60th year. British author Virginia Ironside tells the story of Marie Sharp, a retired art teacher divorced with one son and one cat. She is thrilled to be turning 60 and eagerly looks forward to old age.

"The real pleasure about approaching 60 is that so many things are impossible," says Sharp. "I’ve been feeling guilty about not learning another language for most of my adult life. At last I find that now, being old, I don’t have to! There aren’t enough years left to speak it. It’d be pointless."

Men are on Marie’s impossible list, or so she says. But not grandparenthood. When Marie suddenly becomes a granny, it feels like, "The carpet had been pulled from under my feet, and had sent me cascading into a golden cavern, as if all the happiness that I had found it so difficult to garner throughout my whole life had been waiting behind the door, which had suddenly opened, letting it burst out all at once."


CREATING AGE-FRIENDLY CITIES: The World Health Organization (WHO) is establishing guidelines to support the development of age- friendly cities and communities.

The new guidelines will identify factors that enable older persons to age actively – that is, "to live in security, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in society."

The WHO will work with older persons, community leaders and experts to identify the major physical and social barriers to active aging. The results will be compiled into practical Age-Friendly City guidelines for use by cities around the world.

Age-friendly communities prove a boon for people of all ages, improving air and water quality, promoting caring relationships between generations and providing secure and friendly community spaces for all.


WHO NEEDS FACELIFTS? At Scotland’s Royal Edinburgh Hospital a study of 3,500 people who looked younger than their actual ages found that having sex three times a week seemed to take seven to 12 years off their appearance. Having more sex than this did not compound the benefits, however, and casual sex seems to speed the aging process.

Source: Health Magazine (June 2001).

Editor’s Note: We welcome your feedback. Write to us with your comments and suggestions. R.D.