An organization's fitness to compete successfully depends on its social capital-the collective value of people who know each other and what they'll do for each other.

Re-Sources Organizational Support Newsletter

Successful Aging and Friendships

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"Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are dead. Do not write them on the tombstones. Speak them rather now instead."
– Anna Cummins

#1 Tip for successful aging...spend time with your friends, now!

In our February and March newsletters we reviewed important tips for investing in a secure economic future for our retirement years. Economic security is an important indicator of successful aging. But do you know what the most powerful predictor of life satisfaction after retirement is? Surprisingly it is not wealth, or even health, but rather the size of a person's social support network. This has been a consistent research finding in numerous studies of aging in the past decade.

"Fate chooses your relations, you choose your friends."
– Jacques Delille (1738 - 1813) French poet.

A recent ten year research project funded by the MacArthur Foundation under the direction of Dr. John Rowe and Dr. Robert Kahn examined the critical variables to successful aging. "Most important to aging successfully is your attitude and your willingness to stay active and involved socially. Social connections can help fill your life with love, companionship and meaning." Here are some important excerpts from the findings:

"A friend is, as it were, a second self"
– Cicero (106 B.C. - 43 B.C.)

Lillian Rubin, Just Friends


The Single Best Thing You Can Do For Your Health Is To Kick The Cigarette Habit

The Bad News: More than 47,500 Canadians will die from smoking this year. Tobacco is linked to cancer of the bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, mouth, esophagus, larynx, colon and breast.

The Good News: "Quitting smoking is the single best thing someone can do to improve the length and quality of their life," according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Even people who have developed tobacco related illnesses can benefit by stopping smoking.

The Bad News: It is also very hard to do. The addiction is so powerful. I know. I smoked for most of 23 years between the ages of 17 to 40. I quit dozens of times. I once quit for over a year before I quit for good on the 18th of December 1986.*

The Good News: I've never wanted a cigarette since.

There are up to 4000 chemicals in cigarettes. Many are horrible. But our bodies are amazing.

20 minutes after you stop smoking your heart rate and blood pressure begin to stabilize.

8 hours after you stop smoking the level of carbon monoxide in your body decreases and the level of oxygen begins to increase to normal levels.

72 hours (3 days) after you stop smoking it's easier to breathe and your lung capacity increases because your bronchial tubes begin to relax.

1 year after you quit smoking your risk of heart attack is cut in half.

10 years after you quit smoking your risk of lung cancer is cut in half.

15 years after you quit smoking your risk of heart attack is about equal to a person who never smoked.

If you want more information call the Canadian Cancer Society's toll-free Smokers' Helpline. Service available in English and French @ 1-877-513-5333.