This week we bring you stories of San Diego octogenarians who are on point with technology, on the basketball court, and on exercise trend. Caregivers, home care aides and loved ones will enjoy these stories about seniors who are current as heck and plan to stay that way.
The women of San Diego Splash, one of the teams in the San Diego Senior Women’s Basketball League, dribble, pass, guard, and even sink jump shots like competitive basketball players the world over. The only difference between these women and any other team on the board is that they’re all over 80 years old. A bad-ass pair of nonagenarians are the two best players on the team, and one Splasher bought her first pair of b-ball sneakers at age 78. All the women attended school before Title IX ensured equal athletic access for boys and girls, so none of them are drawing on their high school varsity skills and experience. All these women are playing for the fun of it, and because they still can. While the games and court are both shorter than what you might see at the Staples Center, the competitive spirit, camaraderie, and teamwork are the same. You can see them on action – on ESPN! – here. Go Splash!
It’s difficult to miss Amazon in the news lately: Prime Day on July 11th was a blockbuster, Amazon purchased the Whole Foods grocery chain, and Alexa supposedly called 911 on a fighting couple based on words it heard. Some people – and that fighting couple especially – think the Alexa device is intrusive, leading to a world where we stand in the middle of rooms trying to loudly enunciate simple instructions. But a San Diego retirement community loves Alexa, and they’ve integrated her into their lives in a very effective way. The Carlsbad By The Sea community has a pilot group of about 50 residents, mostly in their late 80s, who have had Alexa in their homes for several months. Front Porch, the corporation that runs the community, and ultimately Amazon, want to know how a personal-assistant device can support the elderly and their independence. The test group attends training on how to use the device, and they are using Alexa in many ways: setting alarms, listening to music or audio books, checking the news, weather, and sports scores, and even the time of day. Apps allow Alexa to message family and friends, and soon even connect to smart devices inside the test group’s homes that can adjust temperature and light level. While we’ve all been wondering where our jet packs are, this group of octogenarians are already living the star ship Enterprise lifestyle!
If you’re afraid of heights, don’t like standing too close to the edges of balconies, and hate the opening scene of Cliffhanger, you might not like where this story is going. San Diego resident Betty Goedhart, a former professional ice skater and current fountain of youth discoverer, visits an Escondido trapeze facility four times a week! After retiring from skating, she also dabbled in rock climbing and skydiving, so clearly heights are not an issue for her. At 84, she’s been trapezing for six years, and plans to continue for as long as she can. And why not? She barely looks 54, let alone 84, and has flexibility, daring and strength that most of us dream about!