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

Updated 8/28/15 8:57am | Alert1 knows firsthand that aging in place can be exciting and fruitful. It does not have to be boring! Too many people believe that if you have passed a certain age you can no longer pursue your dreams. Don’t believe that cliché about not being able to learn new tricks! Aging in place allows you 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

grandma moses. alert1 medical alert systems

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. The Governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller, stated on her 101st birthday that there was “no more renowned artist in our entire country today.” 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 needle. She painted every day for 25 years, creating more than a thousand paintings. Her 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

Laura Ingalls Wilder. alert1 medical alert systems

In this era, publishing your work is vastly accelerated with fascinating Ebooks and public blogs and forums. Not having access to digital platforms didn’t hold back this American writer. Laura Ingalls Wilder 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. Her books documented her childhood as a pioneer on the American frontier.

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.

Can you be successful after losing your job late in life? - Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders. alert1 medical alert system

Colonel Sanders is the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken® (KFC). He did many jobs over the course of his life, including fireman, insurance salesman, railroad laborer, and ferry boat company owner. 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

Peter Mark Roget. alert1 medical alert system

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 much 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. After Roget’s death, the thesaurus was continued by his son and subsequently his grandson. Since its publication, Roget’s thesaurus has never been out of print. It 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 is the perfect way to start. Let our medical alert system be your safety net, so you can be free of those worries about your age or medical emergencies. 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!

Comments

11:39 AM on June 10, 2014 Jennifer Linares
A great reminder that you're never too old to chase dreams. Some of them can still come true.
11:50 AM on June 10, 2014 Chase McDowell
I love this article. My grandma started a travel agency a few years back at 71 and she has done very well with it. It started with just helping her friends book trips and get discounts and ended up growing into much more.
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