Aging in Place Inspiration: 4 Famous Accomplishments Made Late in Life

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Updated 7/11/17 10:34am | Alert1 knows firsthand that aging in place can be exciting and fruitful, not boring! Don’t listen to that cliché about not being able to learn new tricks. With an Alert1 call button for seniors by your side, aging in place allows you to pursue your dreams.

There are many inspirational people who achieved wild success in their golden years. The four below are excellent examples. They did not let their age get in their way, and neither should you!

Can You Paint With Arthritis? - Grandma Moses

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Anna Mary Robertson Moses, known as Grandma Moses, is one of the most well-known American folk artists. In 1960, she was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine.

When she died at the stately age of 101 in 1961, President John F. Kennedy praised her and her paintings, saying, “all Americans mourn her loss."  

Grandma Moses was 76 when she first began to paint. She had no formal training.

She began with embroidery, but switched to paint due to her senior onset arthritis, which made it hard to hold a sewing needle.

She painted every day for 25 years, creating more than a thousand paintings.

Grandma Moses’ big break came in 1938, when an art collector saw her paintings for sale for a few dollars in her local drug store. He bought all of her available paintings, and included them in a show in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Grandma Moses’ work caught the attention of art collectors all over the world, and her art is still popular today. Her paintings have toured throughout Europe and Japan, and hang in museums all over the world. 

Are You Too Old to Publish a Novel? - Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Today, publishing your work is vastly accelerated thanks to digital publishing. However, having access to digital platforms didn’t hold back Laura Ingalls Wilder.

She published the first of the best-selling “Little House” books in 1932, when she was 64.

She wrote to preserve her memories, and like most aging seniors on a tight budget, she needed the additional income.

That money was greatly needed after the Stock Market Crash of 1929 wiped out her investments.

Like many Alert1 seniors who love to garden, Wilder’s first job was farming and tending to crops, helping her husband Almanzo Wilder.

On the side, Ms. Wilder also worked as a teacher. Her writing career began in 1911 when she began to work for the Missouri Ruralist, where she wrote a column from the perspective of a farm woman.

Her daughter was the one who encouraged her to continue to write and to document the story of her childhood. Wilder went on to write and publish 12 books in total. The “Little House on the Prairie” was adapted into a successful television show, which still airs around the world. Her stories are widely loved, and her books are still in print today.

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Can You Be Successful After Losing Your Job Late In Life? - Colonel Sanders

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Colonel Sanders is the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). He did many jobs over the course of his life, but The Great Depression caused many of his newly started enterprises to fail.

Colonel Sanders first began cooking on the side in 1930, serving his food to customers of his Shell service station.

In 1939, he acquired a motel in Asheville, North Carolina. After many hot oil burns and smoking kitchens with set off fire alarms, the Colonel began to create his secret recipe for frying chicken.

However, the beginning of World War II caused tourist traffic to slow, and Sanders was forced to close his motel. He jumped between a couple of other unsuccessful jobs, before deciding to use his fried chicken recipe to make it big.

In 1955, when he was 65, he began pursuing the fried chicken business in earnest, traveling the US to build franchises. By the mid-1960s, it was one of the first fast food chains to have locations internationally. KFC was wildly popular, rapidly expanding to 600 locations. In 1964, Sanders sold KFC for $2 million, and continued to be a brand ambassador for the business. 

What Impact Can Your Hobby Have? - Peter Mark Roget

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Have you ever used a Thesaurus? You have Peter Mark Roget to thank for that list of synonyms. Roget was forced to retire from his position at London’s Royal Society at the age of 70.

While working there he had done important work for mathematics and science, and he wasn’t ready to stop his work.

Roget had always used list-making as a coping mechanism to battle his depression.

In 1848, he decided to use this skill and his scientific approach to create a way to group words not by definitions and specific term descriptions, but according to other classifications of their meaning.

As Roget put it, it was to help its users “to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed.”

In 1852, when Roget was 73, this catalogue of synonyms was published. It had the extensive title of “Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition.”

Even after its publication, Roget continued to revise his work. During his lifetime, the thesaurus had 28 printings. Since its publication, Roget’s thesaurus has never been out of print, and is still widely used around the world.

Aging In Place Allows You to Follow Your Dreams

These men and women are such a great inspiration. Here at Alert1, we want you to be able to achieve your dreams and goals. Creating an aging in place plan with an Alert1 medical alert system is the perfect way to start. We will watch out for you, so you can get started with painting, writing, collecting, or whatever else it is that tickles your fancy. Stay safe and independent and pursue those dreams!