Monografías AD HOC








 A new generation emerges in social life!

And it is the generation of those people who are over sixty years old and who get the chance to see an extension of their life quality and fullness for fifteen, twenty or more years as a result of advances in the world of health and technology.

They are not young, nor are they middle-aged, but they are not old either. Besides, there are millions of them not only in the world but also in our country..

However, our society still tends to treat them as ‘old’ and incorporate them to the ‘third-age’ stratum.

And …what about the reactions of the addressees of my work?

Some people still take their new age to heart, as they are convinced that they are already old and start feeling as such. They set a limit to themselves and refrain from meeting new people, new places or undertaking new activities. They gradually get into a sort of locked-down path, narrowed down to their closest relations, who may sometimes even leave them at home, wearing pijamas and watching television.

Others, instead, deny their age and  hastily keep going here and there during the day,  working as hard they used to or even harder, oblivious about the future. I find both situations equally worrying, as they imply a denial of the peculiarities of this new stage in their lives, as they are not in their fifties but are not elder either. When analysing this topic I could confirm that there are really many books about old age or the third age, but found no book about people over sixty, who will not be older for many years.

All this prompted me to do research into this area and to write this essay, which upholds the idea that it is possible to have a life worthy of fullness and accomplishment after turning sixty and even older.

To reinforce this line of thought, this essay contains fifteen “Good Practices for People over Sixty” addressed both to male and female readers, and intended to serve as guidance to go through this special age as happily as possible.




“So…Dear Eduardo, you are turning sixty! Lucky you, it doesn’t show! Congratulations!

It was in 2012 when I turned sixty and my wife Lucía planned a big party for me, and such was the greeting of many of my guests. I appreciated all those comments at that time, certainly cheerful and amicable, and thanked God for the fact that “my age was not evident”.

But after the party I noticed that there was a devastating message behind those kind salutations: BEING SIXTY WAS A BAD THING, which, in any case, had to be disguised.

As stated in the preface, a great portion of our society tends to treat people over sixty as “old”[2], even if advances in the field of health and technology have prolonged the extension of human life and quality.

Some people still take their new age to heart, as they are convinced that they are already old and start feeling as such. They set a limit to themselves and refrain from meeting new people, new places or undertaking new activities. They gradually get into a sort of locked-down path, restricted to their closest relations, who may at times even leave them home, wearing pyjamas and watching television.

Others, instead, deny their age and hastily keep going here and there during the day,  working as hard they used to or even harder, oblivious of the future. I find both situations equally worrying, as they imply a denial of the peculiarities of this new stage in their lives, as they are not in their fifties but are not elder either.

Given this background, I started an initial analysis, which developed into a brief research and, eventually, this paper. My intention is to give my peers some rules to help them live their life fully after turning sixty and until they get even older.

It is a new situation that we are not prepared to deal with, as it is different from that of preceding generations so there is nothing those generations can actually teach.




You are crossing sixty and you may not know it, but you are the luckiest generation ever. The advantages you are about to enjoy will soon be recited, with a sincere undertone of envy. The whole world has been remodelled for you for greater glory (…). Everyday brings forth some new thing that adds to the joy of life after sixty. (…) Life’s afternoon is brighter, warmer, fuller of song, and long before the shadows stretch, every fruit grows ripe”.

 This lively manifesto was written by Walter B. Pitkin on the first page of his book, which aimed at “reorienting adults”. However, the exact quote has been deliberately modified, as the original version actually reads “forty” each time I write “sixty”.

Pitin’s book has in fact a different title: “Life begins at forty”, and was written in 1933, 84 years ago and before the Second World War, so as to show that there was a life worth living with fullness and achievement after forty.

In today’s globalized and digitalized world, I strongly believe that after turning sixty and for a decade and a half, even two decades or more, it is possible to lead “a life worthy of living and with full accomplishment”[3].




Sociology has classified present generations into different age groups, thus giving rise to distinct features. Now, from the eldest to the youngest, generations are as follows[4]:


1.- “S” Generation: 1925/1944

This generation lived a dramatic time in history: the Great Depression in the United States, taking its toll on economies all over the world. The boom of Nazism and the Second World War, and the Cold War, which kept war warning signals on. These facts demarcated the growth and consolidation of a life model where team work and sacrifice were valued to reach goals, in the midst of austerity and silence. The main feature was that members of this generation were subjected to the traditional schemes of their parents’ education. This was referred to as the ‘Silent’ or ‘Subdued’ Generation, hence the use of letter “S”.

It is a generation that has been made for work and sacrifice, and will not allow itself any “waste of time” or unproductive spending. They live in an age of “modernity” where progress fuels history and moral values are absolute.

This generation is characterised by strong and vigorous institutions, which exert a forceful control on the life of an individual (family, school, church, etc.).

Remarkably as well, women are relegated to a secondary place and are repressed. Men seek women eligible for marriage, with a resemblance of their mothers, women who get pregnant frequently, who are good at breast-feeding and even better at cooking.


2.-“Baby Boomers”: 1945/1960.

These are the people who were born in the joyful atmosphere following the second world war, which gave rise to a boom of births in the United States, that is why they are labelled as such. They share the same strict patterns for work as the “S” generation, but are ready to allow and even value rest as well as leisure and vacations.

This generation had to deal with two different worlds: a childhood as that of their parents (but with some variations), a traditional educational system, with socially ingrained values, forcibly engraved into the deepest of their subconscious. A young generation full of rebelliousness and expectations and an out-of-line maturity, as they are living in a world of frantic evolution, where values changed radically.

Even if they act liberally, and have even become tolerant to the excessive moral freedom of their children, as that is the way of life they would have preferred for themselves, they cannot help feeling subconsciously conditioned by the precepts instilled during their childhood.

In the “Baby Boomers” generation there is a great number of women who worry about their own self-achievement and look for solution alternatives, while others who have less vision or interest invest their time in entertainment activities.

The strongest tendency of this generation was change and this was justified with psychological reasons (“I must be honest with my true self”).

“Baby Boomers” proceeded on the basis that their parents did not get the chance to choose, while they actually did.

They acted based on the firm belief that they were free to shape their own lives.

3.- “X” Generation (1965-1981)

  • They underwent big changes
  • This generation has incorporated into massive consumption.
  • An analogical life in their childhood and a digital life in their maturity.
  • They witnessed the arrival of Internet and accept the rules of technology and connectivity.
  • They cannot totally get rid of organizational cultures
  • They are transition generation, with a higher friction than the future ones (Y,Z)


4.- “Y” Generation (1982-1994)

  • They are also called “Millenials”
  • They are multilateral
  • They cannot conceive of reality without technology
  • Life quality is a priority
  • They have a spirit of enterprise
  • They are the generation that used the most varied range of entertainment gadgets: Internet, SMS, CD Player, MP3, MP4, DVD among others.
  • They consider that products regarded as luxurious for X generation are “basic” for them.


5.- “Z” Generation (1995-today)

  • Or the so-called “digital natives” (Internet has existed since they were born)
  • They have not joined the workforce yet.
  • They have access and command of all technological gadgets: Internet, instant messages, SMS, cell phones, iPod, iPad, Notebook, etc.
  • They see technology as an essential element (they do not conceive of access to information without Google).
  • Social networks are the most frequently used communication media.
  • They deepen virtual networks.




In the preceding section, I made an overview of the different generations and their main features, sorted out into different age ranges.

But there is a more modern conception of a generation regardless of age but linked to the mood and feelings of people towards the passage of time.

This is the generation of “immortal” or “timeless” generation, which I choose to call “A” generation.

This generation does not correspond to a given age. Rather, it represents a new way of living, with no age. These people were referred to by Catherine Mayer in 2009 as “immortal”, an expression used to describe people who lived without adhering to the idea that age is a benchmark setting the beginning or end of a certain stage in life. In her book written in 2011 “Amortality: the pleasures and perils of living agelessly”, Mayer confirmed her theory by saying that “the defining trait of amortality” is precisely the change of image reflected on the mirror, materialized in one’s face, clothes, attitude, which confuses us an prevents us from strictly classifying a person within a given group or conduct.

This phenomenon can be evidenced in many and clear ways, ranging from a delayed maturity of young people below 30 to an increasingly active life of those over 60, who are unwilling to get rid of the vitality they have enjoyed so far and who resort to medicine and technology to preserve it.

Additionally, Terri Apter, a psychologist with Cambridge University and author of the book “The myth of maturity” claims that it all started with the Baby Boomers generation born after the Second World War, which was rebellious in their youth and open to change, thus giving rise to a generation who “had the willingness and power to change culture”.

They were the ones that redefined what we mean by aging. And that explains why many of them, despite trying the value of experience of elderly people, such as wisdom, the most usual trend is simply to deny old age and focus on multiple ways of preserving youth.

Today, we live longer and get married and separated at ages that would have seem absurd in the past, by pursuing one single objective: maximizing our own happiness, a distinctive feature of the “amortals”, who do not appear to be so interested in the future or the distant past.

It goes without saying that there are big challenges involved in living without age because, as Terri Apter points out, it releases us from age stereotypes. “Stereotypes confine people. Marginalizing someone just because he or she is no longer young will deprive both him/her and others from contributions at a social, personal and intellectual level”.

However, according to the author, this eternal optimism must be handled cautiously, as “denying the inescapable aging process confuses us, by assuming we must disguise and correct natural age signs”.

All in all, and given the traditional social approach that proclaims that people are old after the age of sixty, this new way of living “irrespective of time” emerges, in which people lead their lives without the burden of their age and the burden of roles and social conditionings.

However, I clearly believe that both the physical and mental conditions are not the same after sixty are not the same as after fifty, so this is an absolutely specific stage in life deserving attention on its own.



The background described above was utilized for the research, which in turn served for writing this essay, with a “cultural” rather than a “scientific” approach: it gathers and systematizes “opinions” derived from the experience of recognizable, living and mindful human beings.

My “theoretical” research consisted in looking for, reading and compiling several texts, books, both classical and modern, about elderly people, including some films[5].

However, a conclusion was constant in my search: THERE ARE NO BOOKS ABOUT PEOPLE OVER SIXTY. There is, however, a lot of and varied literature for the THIRD AGE, for the OLD AGE, with the four unfortunate situations resisted by Cicero: remaining apart from important issues, weakness of the body; refraining from most pleasures, and proximity to death. Still NOTHING has ever been published about the previous step.

Exceptionally, however, we can mention articles published on the Internet and the two books I referred to in the chapter above.

My “field” or “opinion” research was conducted mainly with friends and acquaintances who shared characteristics: they were men[6], they were over sixty and less than seventy five, were professionals or businessmen and lived in important urban centres of our country

Basically, two anonymous surveys were distributed, where external personal data were optional.

In the first survey, I enquired about some basic aspects as in every “SWOT matrix”: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for people over sixty”, by making it clear that they were expected to give overall opinions, not necessarily focused on their own personal situation.

In the second survey, I did include some personal questions:

Do you feel grateful with life because of what you have got and been able to do so far?

Do you consider yourself a generous person with others, relatives, friends, workmates and unknown people?

Do you think you have forgiven or willing to forgive those people that have inflicted some evil on you?

Have you said that you are sorry (or are you willing to say so) to anyone who may feel offended for some of your actions?

Do you judge yourself as a person with a sense of humor in day-to-day situations and when confronted with setbacks?

Are you working on any projects for the next months/years ? (trips, books, constructions, parties, celebrations, etc.)?

Have you got a group of friends that you meet regularly?

Do you practise any sport or do exercise at least once a week?

Are you engaged in any solidarity job outside the scope of your family and friends?

Have you thought about stopping working or in making your working day less intensive in the short run?

Do you experiment intellectual curiosity and avidness to for learning new things?

Are you interested in knowing new people or in making new friends?

Do you consider that you have financial stability, with no big worries to serve your own or family needs?

Although answers showed different attitudes towards the different questions, there were some common areas and these were dissatisfaction, uncertainty or resignation. All these elements have served as the basis for this essay.

But above all, I observed mere formulation of questions would activate a lively interest in each of them. They really wanted to know how they were managing this stage in their lives and were willing to learn how to deal with it in a better way.

Research then developed into this essay, which intends to give answers, by collecting and compiling a set of “ideas” or “mandates” that make up a “guide of good practices for adult people over sixty”, and which I am pleased to detail below.



Far from an original standpoint, but merely as a result of compiling ideas and existing rules, the following GOOD PRACTICES FOR PEOPLE OVER SIXTY are listed below. Contents and developments of each are included in the next chapter.



Be aware of what motivates you, what hinders you and what you are afraid of.



Appreciate half of the glass. Reinterpret the negative things of the past.



Refrain from complaining and face difficulties with a positive attitude.



Free from the burden of offenses received ant which other attribute to us.



Help those around us and cooperate for a better world



Reconcile with those who are estranged and tighten family bonds



Remove work from the center of our existence and start making room for other activities 



Undertake activities that have a joyful or transcendent sense themselves.



Medical checkups, treatments, healthy foods and antioxidant practices.



Practise sports and care for your body.



Regular meetings to share old and new friendships.



Live the present time as your own time and take advantage of the digital world.



Profit from each day as if it were the most important one.



Be prepared to do things in the next months and years.



Organize a self-confident third age in spiritual and material matters.





Know what motivates you, what slows you down and what you are afraid of.

«Know yourself» is the teaching that Socrates preached throughout his life, attributed to the Oracle of Delphi.

Being over sixty can be a great opportunity to try to know ourselves more, to measure tastes and potentialities.

For this task, observing thoughts without judging is a significant starting point.

It is also important to observe our behaviors since «the soul does not have secrets that will not be revealed by conduct”,

To these ends I have collected some thought-provoking questions which I have used in my own case and now bring them to the reader’s attention:

If you got the chance to meet the child you used to be: what advice would you give him?

If you had a ship with endless powers to travel in time: would you go back into past? (what time would you choose?). Would you travel to the future or would you travel to space to meet new planets and new ways of living?

 Which are your driving forces? Which are «your sacred fires», what drives you to get up every day and give a sense to your life?

If you did not need to work, what would you do?

What is hindering you or slowing you down? What is inside you that prevents you from doing or achieving what you want?

How do you measure success in your life? How would you rank  what you have and what you would like to have when confronted with this list: Money, power, prestige, family, friends, health, work, projects, pleasure, sense, security?

Do you know what makes you happy? What can make sense of your life? How to achieve it?

Do you prefer the new, what is yet to come, the unknown or what is already known to you and safe?

How do you rate your childhood from 1 to 10 and why?

Could you say what the best year in your life has been so far without taking the present into account? Were you aware at that time of such happiness or you missed it thinking about tomorrow?

If you could go back into time and to a specific moment in your life, which one would you go back to?

What are you afraid of?

If you had to leave a thought or a written sentence laying down the three most important things in life for posterity: what would you write?

If you met the boy or the young man you used to be, what advice would you give him?

If you had a ship with unlimited powers to travel in time: would you go into the past) (what time in history), would you go to the future or would you go to space to discover new planets and life styles?



See the other half of the glass. Reinterpret the negative things of the past.

It is important to feel satisfied for all the good moments of our life so far and which may even occur again.

It is all about seeing the full side of the glass of life and not the empty side.

In some cases a good childhood helps and allows us to repeat the phrase of Albert Camus: «The sun that shone in my childhood deprived me of all resentment»

But in other cases, we may not have had that luck so we will have to adopt an overall perspective, integrating both the good and the bad, which will facilitate a better understanding.

By putting things into perspective, leaving our own self and looking at everything from above, what seems bad is not that bad and, in many cases, were actually lessons that taught us so much.

We should not forget that the difference between «drama» and «comedy» can merely reside in when the event takes place, as distinct from when it is valued, so in the present, with another perspective, we can judge the past with a different eye.

Let us bear in mind that although the past cannot be changed, we can change our interpretation of the facts and see their positive side. [7]

As Nietzsche would say «There are no facts but interpretations»

All in all, there will always be things to be grateful for in our life (whether we thank God, life itself, or luck) and to reject an attitude of resentment or regret that will not help at all and can only harm us.

We had better choose to look the good aspects and thank for every day of our lives.



Refrain from complaining and face difficulties with a positive attitude.

There are good evidences confirming that a good sense of humor heals our body and that nagging is bad for us. When turning 84, Cicero said that we all want to turn more than sixty. Still, once we reach the age of 60, we complain about having that age.

Cicero said when he turned 84 that we all want to become more than sixty and, after we meet them, we complain about having them. Wailing usually derives from prejudices ingrained in the habit of complaining about age[8].

There are thousands of reasons to get angry at and complain about, and one well-grounded reason for a healthy humor: our willingness to be happy.

We can choose between being grumpy and moody or practicing good humor as a daily habit in our social relationships and with ourselves.

We should recall that section of the «Reader’s Digest» magazine: » Laughter: the infallible remedy.»



Freeing from the burden of grievances inflicted on us or from those which others attribute to us.

In the surveys conducted during my research, I could perceive that forgiveness was the hardest thing to achieve. It is believed that to forgive someone whom we feel (or believe) has offended or wronged us, he or she must first show regret or sincerely apologize. No pardon is ever possible as long as that doesn’t occur.

However, that is not the way things work in our human soul, where negative recollections are «radioactive waste» (Alejandro Zambra)

As Chopra puts it, «The most powerful force of the mind is forgiveness. Wounds originate in the past but are healed in the present»

Offenses are like stones in a bag that we carry in our backs. If we can release the bag and forgive them we will be freed from that weight. And this we do it regardless of the willingness of the offender or his repentance. Forgiving without the other’s repent is a magnificent gesture that pacifies our soul.

But we must also know how to ask forgiveness from those who feel wronged or offended by action or conduct  that we may have done or had. We may well think we have not done anything on our part, but if the other person is offended we must make an approach, talk it over,make amends and truly apologize. If our apologies are still not accepted, so let it be, but we will have done our liberating work[9].



Helping those around us and collaborating for a better world

Practicing generosity and altruism makes us feel better while we also help others.

Besides, thinking about the other is a way of distracting from one’s own problems (Kirk Douglas).

Being sensitive to the needs of others and acting with a sense of solidarity also contributes to one’s own well-being and an increased self-esteem.

In that sense, generosity will be given with respect to the people that are close to us: family, friends, neighbours.

As regards solidarity, this could be channeled through some organization that we join or are part of or to which we contribute.

We can give hours of our time or give money, but the most important thing is to develop an interest in a solidarity cause[10].

The choice of the cause to be endorsed will depend on the perceptions and sensitivities of each of us. All kinds of applications can be found in solidarity networks, ranging from helping to meet the primary needs of others (food, clothing, housing, sewers) to other secondary but not less important (education, health, social integration, etc.).

Major world causes are also a choice for us: care of the environment, the defense of animals and endangered species, immigrants care, actions for world peace, etc.



Reconcile with those who are estranged and tighten family bonds.-

Our family is the most important and valuable asset we have and, as Correa Funes says: «As long as there are families the individual is a hypothesis to be somehow confirmed.»

However, families have many distanced or damaged bonds, sometimes by events that are not even significant today or are no longer remembered. In other cases, time passing by or ideological differences play their part, inheritance matters, social resent or jealousy between brothers and sisters.

In some cases there are parents or children who do not feel they receive enough gratitude for their efforts or their help.

It is very important to take advantage of this age, an age of full achievement, to recognize the value of people and set up social practices for the recognition and healing of relationships.

Get our pending messages across: thank, acknowledge, value, share feelings.

It is essential to reunite the family as its significance is a major one in our life.

Now, it is quite as important to tighten family bonds, take relations to their full development, and share good things more frequently with those people with whom we live day by day, or with those that we frequently see, those we love: our partner, our children and/or grandchildren. It is vital to show them our love permanently and to be fully aware of the love they give us.



Remove work from the center of our existence and start making room for other activities 

“- When are you planning to retire?”

“- Never!”.

As men we tend to focus on our job and make it the center of our life. This goes for many women as well.

Besides, if we are successful and like what we do, work can become part of our own identity and quitting is simply unconceivable.

However, work can be a major constraint to emotional, cultural, social and spiritual growth.

Much as it gives us. it also restrains and narrows us down to a specific task in a specific area, with a certain number of people, taking up most of our useful time and hindering our development in other areas and environments

In addition, there comes a time when work comes to an end (due to retirement) or it is necessary to leave the way to someone who can do it better or has more energy or innovation.

Ideally, our job, while still important, should gradually shift to a non-central place in our life, as one activity among others, so that this allows us to undertake other activities and to make inroads into other interests until the time for retirement comes.

But …be careful! We must at some point withdraw from «work» but never withdraw from «activities» as long as we can.

If so, what other things can be done other than work?

Well, the list is vast but it requires «to broaden our mind».[11]

First of all, if you are over sixty and have a university diploma or if you are a businessperson, you can undertake activities in connection with your field-specific knowledge or experience, but not as a «job» per se. Rather, you can do them almost playfully, for relaxation or leisure purposes. (see no. 8)

For example, consulting and advice provided as a contribution and in response to special requests.

Other possible tasks are: teaching, undertaking academic activities, being part of institutes and study groups or getting engaged in historical, scientific or philosophical research. [12]

Writing books or essays about areas that we have developed covered well enough in our life, or even with autobiographical components.

Additionally, following other courses of study, either in keeping with you area of expertise or not, learning languages ​​or of trades such as carpentry, photography, etc.

You can consider journalism and writing articles on your areas of your expertise to the general public.

You can join groups and undertake religious, social, business, community or charitable activities: NGOs, chambers, clubs, Rotary and similar institutions, associations caring for the ecology, churches, etc. (Item 5)

Additionally, political activities in a broad sense, at local, regional or professional level.

Then, broadly speaking, the following activities can be undertaken on a regular basis:

Cultural activities and shows: lectures, study groups, conferences, cinema-clubs, debates, operas, recitals, theater, cinemas, café-concerts, etc. (Item 8)

Practising sports, not for competition purposes, but for the sake of entertainment and self-improvement: tennis, soccer, swimming, martial arts (point 10), etc.

Art, in all of its forms, music, painting, sculpturing, theater, dance, literature (fiction, poetry, essay). Workshops of all kinds are suitable areas for developing and improving our talent (point 8).

Spiritual activities such as meditation, yoga, spiritual retreats, Kabbalah, etc. (point 8)

Tourism and travel: visiting exotic places, special tours, famous roads, etc. Taking trips within the country in a trailer or motor-home.

Activities in nature: trekking, skiing, mountaineering, fishing, hunting, boating, sailing, etc.

Cooking courses, restaurants, wine clubs, etc.

Naturalism: bird watching, insects, etc.

Botany and gardening: landscaping, crops, grafts, etc.

At this point, I’d like to devote a special paragraph to golf.

It is that for those over sixty of both sexes, learning to play golf, or to continue playing, is absolutely important, if it taken in a recreational and non-competitive fashion.

Golf comprises several highly positive aspects: it is a spiritual activity for  contemplating nature, «returning childhood,  playing in the garden of Eden» (Chopra),  it is a physical outdoor-walk exercise, and a social activity for sharing time with colleagues and friends or meeting new people at the links.



Undertake activities that have a joyful or transcendent sense themselves.

After turning sixty, it is the right time to undertake new activities or to resume others that were left unfinished some time ago, mainly in connection with leisure and spirituality.

But… how do we define leisure?

Following the philosopher Josef Pieper’s contribution[13], leisure must be defined in relation with “work”  and with “free time” so as to demarcate its concept.

This way, “work” can be regarded as any activity lacking any sense per se but which is instead performed to achieve another goal (produce goods, contribute to wealth, obtain money, etc.). Work, by definition, will pursue a goal.

By “Free time or rest” we understand recovering our energy in the midst of our work load. We break up or make a pause, so as to resume our work later, and this we do it on weekends, holidays, naps.

Finally, by “leisure” we refer to those human actions that in no way need to be grounded on a profitable business purpose. “Contemplating” the world’s beauty is a good example.[14].

“Leisure” also involves religious meditation, philosophical reflection, the artist’s creation (liberal arts) and many other actions for which a receptive open mind and celebration capacity are needed.

Thus, typical leisure activities will also include: writing or reading poems[15], short stories or novels[16], painting[17], making sculptures, woodwork, cooking, photography, theater, philosophy, scientific research, music, dancing, fishing, developing hobbies, etc.[18].

However, it is also important to pay attention to spirituality[19], to ourselves,  to our  relation with  universe and/or God.

Exploring our soul, our thoughts, our sense of life and trying to strike a happy medium between material and spiritual aspects.

To that end, me can make an attempt with yoga, meditation or any practice that can help connect our body with our soul and which can pull us out from our day-to-day material world.

In case we are not believers, we can cultivate a “religion without God”, an interpretative attitude towards a “a world that turns out to be unmanageable, deeply moving and plenty of sense”.  Intrinsic splendor and beauty of nature as fundamental dimensions of religious atheism rests on a special kind of faith lying at the base of science and religion.[20]



Healthy food, antioxidant practices and medical checkups.

Diet at this stage of your life must be sufficiently energetic so as to ensure each person’s needs are met, but it should not be too high in calories or fat, so as to avoid putting up weight and an excess of cholesterol and saturated fats. It should also contain high levels of proteins and be sufficiently varied to as to make sure that eating is a pleasant thing. Regarding anti-aging medicine, aging pillars must be avoided: excessive insulin, excessive glucose levels in blood, excessive free radicals and cortisol. Each of them can be reduced through an adequate diet and lifestyle over a very brief time period.

The bigger the success in the reduction of each aging pillar (especially excessive insulin), the better our system will work and  diet is the most powerful tool in that respect.

Doctors usually recommend food with a low level of glucose so as to avoid insulin peaks, as well as an adequate intake of antioxidants.

Treatment with eicosanoid precursors is basic in anti-age therapy. These are the essential fatty acids (which the body cannot synthesize) OMEGA3 and, to a lesser extent, OMEGA6.

OMEGA3 (EPA) is a potent antiplatelet and vasodilating agent that controls cell proliferation, stimulates the immune system, shortens telomeres, and improves cellular communication, among other functions. Due to its important benefits, the consumption of 2 g/day of high quality fish oil is essential.

The most frequently used antioxidants are vitamin C, the main antioxidant involved in multiple enzymatic reactions, basic for good cellular functioning; vitamin E; manganese; Beta carotene; zinc; selenium; vitamin B2; vitamin B6; resveratrol; and polyphenols, to name a few, besides the infallible OMEGA3. Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant.

Finally, regular medical checkups, at least once a year are also important[21]



Practise sports and care for your body.

In his acclaimed novel “Diary of the War of the Pig”, published in 1969  and which then turned into a film, Adolfo Bioy Casares narrates a story where young people chase old ones and accuse them of being “pigs” (dirty, neglected, drooling, etc.), and they try to resist the best way they can with well-known techniques (dentures, toupees, dyed hair, etc.).

Regardless of the inequality inherent to the generation gap and conflict, as far as this essay is concerned, the novel portrays two aspects:

On the one hand, at that time, people over sixty were regarded as old by society at that time.

On the other hand, they judged themselves as old at that time, by leading a sedentary an inactive life, and showing lack of care for themselves and a state of neglect, all of which prompted the insulting ‘pig’ label.

The opposite must be done, in fact.

It is very important to do physical activities regularly, such as walking, working out at the gym, and/or practise sports (point 7).

It is also important to keep an active sexual life at this age, within the chances available to each.

Caring for your body[22] is also very important, minding your posture, flexibility, your hygiene, personal appearance and clothes.

Finally, a point also has to be made about many internal and external rejuvenating treatments, such as the case of “embrioninas”, which operate by filling our body with the fuel it has lost so far.



Regular meetings to share old and new friendships.

Human beings have social nature, and relations with others are both an enjoyment and a source of energy.

In this stage of your life, it is very important to know new friends while also keeping in touch with children and young people.

It is vital to keep a healthy social life at the neighborhood, the club, the gated community or wherever you live. This we achieve it by meeting regularly: daily, weekly or monthly encounters with family members, friends, workmates or acquaintances, with whichever purpose: have a small conversation, eating, watch a show, play a game, make a trip, have a coffee, or to do some of the activities described in point 7.

It is not true that true friends are exclusively those we met in our youth. You can also construct excellent personal relationships at this age, by sharing other interests.

It is important to go on constructing relations, as your identity is fueled with otherness.

Children have their contribution to make and it is that they will convey their improved perception, their innocence, and the chance to see the world from their perspective, meeting its beauty again. In this respect, uncles, aunts and grandparents can really enjoy the presence of their grandchildren and nephews/nieces. The same will happen with young people, and after sharing with them all new things. In that respect, giving lessons to teenagers and young people will be absolutely rewarding. In all these cases, keeping a communication with our peers is very important because we can give our best in that communication and in turn receive the best from others.[23].



Live the present time as your own time and take advantage of the digital world.

The assertion that states that “as years pass by we notice that we have more today than tomorrow and that the past becomes more important (Daniel Barenboim). But we cannot constantly look back into the past and become an illustration of the acclaimed comment made by Borges about a local critic: “All his past is ahead of him”.

I think we must overcome this natural tendency to think that «our epoch» is that  in which we were young, by making comparisons that tend to denigrate the present age and today’s youth.

It is very important to be aware of the coexistence of the five generations described in chapter II in our families, among our friends and even within society.

It is not a matter of giving up our beliefs, our way of conceiving of life, which are part of modernity[1]. Rather, the point is to understand and comprehend what you think in terms or postmodernity, thus achieving a harmonious coexistence[2].

Our past is valid and has undoubtedly left a hallmark in our life, but today’s world is the one we are still living in and experiencing in full.

Now, strictly speaking, this implies keeping up-to-date with news, with the world’s evolution, with globalization and new tendencies in several aspects of human life.

Additionally, we are expected to jump at the digital era and profit from its wonders in the field of communication, information and culture, while also joining social networks of our interest.

Above all, embracing today’s world will imply an understanding of generation gaps: when you do not understand why the other thinks differently, a new fruitful coexistence  comes to light.




Profit from each day because each day is a precious treasure.

It is usually said that “life is short” and that “time flies away”. These assertions, however, are not true. The truth of the matter is that we waste our time.

As Seneca would put it, “we do not have little time, rather, we waste a lot of time”. That’s the way it goes: we do not receive a short life, but we are the ones that shorten it. Each of us will consume life for the benefit of the other. You live as if you lived eternally, and you never seem to remember how fragile you are, you never take notice of how much time has already gone, you simply waste it as if it were a full and abundant flow, without being aware that, in fact, this may be your last day”.

That is why he recommends “exhaust the day as if it were the first, seize the present while the future remains promising. The biggest impediment to living today is tomorrow’s expectation. Live the day!”[24]

The only way to overcome the passage of time is living each moment intensively, without missing anything and by transforming what we like into opportunities.

That is the reason why we must pay attention so as to discover the treasury that destiny or providence presents each day.

“Looking what we looked again and identify ourselves in a state of surprise”. (Diana Bellessi).

Horace, the Roman poet would say “carpe diem quam minimum credula postero”, which in English should read as follows: “seize the day, trusting little in tomorrow”. Live in such a way that you can honor the following greeting every day:





Open your eyes and start the new day!

Thanks God for this new chance to live

Focus your attention on living fully.

 The current day is life itself.

I has been planned since long ago for you to enjoy it, for you to have the opportunity to

Give love and receive it.

The chance to help those you can and to accept the help from others.

  You will go through a path from dawn to dust.

Where you will see all the good things of your life:

The blessing of love surrounding you,

The glory of a well-done job,

The joy of contemplating the world’s beauty.

 Enjoy your routine, the welcoming flavour of day-to-day.

But allow room for the unexpected:

What appears to be a setback or problem can be the best of the day if

You manage to reinterpret it.

Have faith in Providence

 Your past may have included sadness and your future may worry you.

But if you live the day in full, if you look at it with eyes open to its splendor,

Yesterday will only be a dream of the past[26] and tomorrow the hope of another full-fledged day.

And when the night comes you will feel the completeness and peace of that who does not need tomorrow to feel well

So, focus your attention on that day and live it as the most important one!



Be prepared to do things in the next months and years.

We all need a motivating dangling carrot. An objective, a motive, something drawing us out bed with interest and enthusiasm.

Therefore, besides living day to day, it is always necessary to work on projects, things on which you are working on today, tomorrow, next month or next year[27].

We can draw up a list of actions to accomplish («bucket list»), a list of things that are always pending, postponed or are simply hoped for[28].

In this regard, programming trips on and off (short or long trips, to nearby or close destinations) is a good motivator, especially when it comes to unknown places.

Working on new projects is also a driving force: building or fixing our house, finish or writing a book, end up a research project, finish a course successfully or even a university course, manufacture a piece of furniture, finish painting a picture, present a theatre play by the end of the year, attend a sporting event from time to time (a football world cup, an Olympic game, etc.), organize a party or celebration, etc.



Organize a safe third age in spiritual and material aspects.

How do you see yourself in ten or twenty years’ time? What would you desire to look like in ten or twenty years’ time?

Old age is in the future and it is necessary to “plan” it, that is, make the necessary precautions to ensure this is also a happy period.

It is true that if you carry out healthy practices before getting old, you are very likely to reach old age with a healthy level, and with a comfortable routine, which may include writing[29] or at least read books that you have a passion for[30].

However, planning the future is inescapable at least in three levels. Firstly, at the level of final security: you must make sure you can rely on monthly income or rent for sure[31], and which can in any case be administered by a third person[32], or else you should be able to rely on the financial support of family members, so that they can pay off expenses, feeding, health expenses and housing.

Secondly, you should define those persons, family members or professionals who will take care of you when you are unable to manage on your own, the place of residence where you will dwell when you cannot live on your own any longer.[33].


Thirdly, you must ensure all your valuable[34] and spiritual[35] issued  are well organized for those days in which you are already gone from this world. This will avoid conflicts among the people you love and will ensure that you have contributed to family peace and harmony.



Clearly enough, there is no consensus on the sense of life nor is there consensus on the how to achieve happiness.

For some people, it all gets narrowed down to the quest for the pleasure of senses and spending a good time while we are alive. The epicurean principle.

For some other people, happiness lies in fulfilling moral duties and having a peaceful conscience (stoicism). And in some other cases, the religious commandments revealed by God are accomplished with the pledge of another life.

In the Eastern World, the belief is that happiness lies in suppressing desires, in accepting the world as it is, and in feeling part of a universal whole.

In the Western world, happiness is judged as an individual attribute and is associated to achievement: achieving personal, economic, social and/or political projects.

Quite frequently, happiness is associated with having money and material possessions, with having power and/or having a high professional prestige.

For another large group of people, happiness is related to interpersonal relations and with the love that one gives and receives.

Now, having said that, whichever the concept or the interpretation is, the truth of the matter is that happiness at this stage, after the age of sixty and until old age will depend on one person only: ourselves.

Each of us has the power to raise awareness of the specific nature and opportunities of this new stage in our lives and work towards constructing a fullness path day by day.

Keeping the same way and letting ourselves play by mere luck or fate is also an option that remains open. If only the reader of this essay and its proposal could pick and implement at least one tip which he or she might find useful, I will understand that my goal has been accomplished. So my last words are to express my hope that may this be the case.


(December 13th 2016)


[1] This paper is also available at the web site: Comments, contributions and suggestions are welcome at this mail:;

[2] By “old age” I understand a condition of physical or mental limitations that appear with time, thus preventing a person from living on his/her own or independently. Old age is not a question of an age in particular but of a physical and mental state that result from the passing of years.

[3] Read Ernesto Beibe, a mentor who wrote: “Cómo aprender a vivir la juventud (después de los sesenta)” /Learning how to live in youth (after sixty), at; and also at


[4] A point should me made about the lack of consensus among specialist as to the exact commencement and termination  years of each generation. So years  will vary depending on each country, and specialist rely on studies carried out in the United States.


[5] Some of them impressed me: Cicero, Marco Tullio “Sobre la vejez”, Ed. Losada, Bs.As., 2005; Séneca, Lucio en “On the shortness of life”, en “Séneca”, Colección Clásicos de Grecia y Roma, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 2010; Pitkin, Walter B. “Life Begins at Forty”, Ed. Central, Buenos Aires, 1992; Sordo, Pilar “No quiero envejecer” /I do not want to get older, Ed. Planeta, Bs.As., 2014; Russell, Bertrand “La conquista de la felicidad”, Debolsillo, Bs.As. 2015.

[6] Research focused on men  merely because of a personal question: contrasting it against my own experiences. Now, having said this, I believe that definitions and recommendations are fully valid for women.

[8] Cicerón, Marco Tullio “Sobre la vejez” /On Old Age, Ed. Losada, Bs.As., 2005, page. 112.

[9] «Everything is non-permanent. If we don’t let go, they will le tus go. We are holders, not owners » Zen’s maxim.

[11] We follow the guidelines of Leonardo Glikin , in his book “Exiting. El arte de dejar la empresa sin dejar la vida /Exciting. The art of leaving business without leaving your life”, Ed. Aretea, Bs.As., 2014, pag.232.

[12] According to Carlos Rovelli, the two essentially human activities are “inventing narrations”(Philosophy) and “following tracks in the lookout for something” (Science).

[13] Pieper, Josef “Only the Lover Sings. Art and Contemplation”, Editorial Encuentro, colección Libros de Bolsillo 99, Madrid, 2015, page 11 and following pages.

[14] “Conscious contemplation of the ultimate and intrinsic grounds of the world”, Pieper said.  Contemplate “divine nature in the purity of beauty itself” Plato said.

[15] “Poetry is the continuation of childhood through different means, such as the objects of a child, immersed in a lost time.” (María Negroni)


[16] The big or small dimension of a novel does not lie in its theme. Rather, in how it teaches us to look into those themes from a new perspective  (Rafael Chirbes, LN 21-11-14 ADN)

[17] «El arte no es un espejo para reflejar la realidad sino un martillo para darle forma» Bertolt Brecht.

[18] Fairman, Silvia y Fairman, Enrique “A praise of old age”, Ed. Letra Viva, Bs.As. 2014, pag. 37..

[19]In the relation between emotion and matter we see the complexity of human beings.o (Paolo Giordano)

[20] See Ronald Dworkin “Religion without God”, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Bs As 2015.

[21] Medical checkups should include: arterial pressure, blood chemistry, simple thorax x ray, blood biometry h, monitoring blood sugar levels to discard  diabetes, colon cancer checkup, cholesterol checkup, ophthalmological checkup: dental and physical checkup. Men should also go through prostate screening and  an analysis of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Women must go through a mammography test and after menopause they must undergo the following checkups:  osteoporosis, a pelvic exam and Pap smear. And for both men and women: an electrocardiogram, audiometry and specific vaccinations. I am very grateful to  Dr. Lucía Di Tullio for her collaboration in this chapter (

[22] «Our body is a text where our life is printed» Marta Sanz, in “The anatomy lesson”.

[23] As Pope Francis says, we must make our internal treasury grow and give it to others, while also receiving other’s treasury. When we share, the treasury is multiplied, as life is a treasury that makes sense provide it we give it to others.


[24] Séneca, Lucio in “On the shortness of life”, en “Séneca”, Colección Clásicos de Grecia y Roma, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 2010, pages 255 and 273.

[25] The author inspired in «Salutation to the dawn» by Kalidasa, and Indian Poet.

[26] «Put an end to all moments of your past and you will discover the door to eternal life». Chopra in “The Way of the Wizard”.

[27] Survival is only full of instants. There is something else in life: a future.

[28] It is now worth remembering the film bearing the same name. The point is not drawing up a list of things to do “before dying” but a series of projects throughout life development in its fullness.

[29] Marc Augé’s formula: Intellectuals never retire permanently as long as they preserve intellectual life.


[30] Reading allows us to remain eternal back into the past (Humberto Eco)

[31] A retirement or pension contribution, intellectual property rights, company dividends, insurance, real property lease rents, or financial investments.. They may also derive from a trust or the administration of other contracts.

[32] It is important to define an administrator, whether this is a relative, a friend or a professional. .

[33] This can be at your own house or with external help, at the house of a family member or at place suitable for a happy old age. (remember the film “Cocoon”).

[34] This can be done through a will with specific clauses, by setting up a trust for the protection of minor and disabled people, an agreement for future inheritance in harmony with your rights, so that your will is made clear and your willingness to avoid conflicts is in the futre is made equally clear. You can also draft a will for your own “lack of capacity”, in case of an illness affecting  your understanding, and by setting out the right instructions..

[35] You can program your farewell ceremony, with prays,  thankful messages,  and messages of the sort.

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