Why Seasoned Mentors Do It

Forms of Mentoring

In an earlier blog, I described mentoring as a developmental partnership that offers you an outlet to channel some of the incredible knowledge you have gathered throughout the years to benefit the growth of a younger person.

Less Judgement, More Honesty and Plenty of Resilience

I interviewed Lesley Jane Seymour, the editor-in-chief of the More magazine, at the More Reinvention Convention in New York in October. More magazine is for women of style and substance. It has a circulation of 1.3 million, and the median reader age of 51.

Julia Valentine: What I particularly like about More magazine is that you write for and about women of substance. You don’t use celebrities just to attract an unhealthy attention to their life. You feature women of substance who actually have something to say. In one of your blogs, you wrote that you tried featuring real women on the cover and it did not quite work.

Lesley Jane Seymour: Unfortunately, real women don’t sell on covers. Everybody is waiting for what will happen when we’re done with this celebrity thing. We’re all kind of sick of the celebrity thing. The truth is, they still sell covers of magazines. They don’t sell what they used to, because they are all so overexposed, but nothing new has come to take its place, and that is the big problem.

Julia Valentine: Isn’t it interesting that the same people who complain that there aren’t enough real women in commercials and advertising, vote differently with their money?

Questions to Ask Before You Mentor: Am I Ready? Is It the Right Time?

Am I Ready to Mentor?

Are you ready and willing to mentor? Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you are prepared to be a mentor:

Do I like young people and have a genuine interest in their development?

I think if you've made it this far in considering the idea of mentoring, most likely there's a place in your heart for young people.

Olympia Dukakis: Yoga Helps Me Find Out Who I Am

I have practiced yoga for years, and so I was thrilled to ask Olympia Dukakis at AARP 50+ Expo press conference why she finds yoga helpful. Olympia gave an answer worthy of the Yoga Journal. She spoke about acceptance trumping the drive for improvement. She also reflected on self-knowledge and mindfulness. What a great lady.

Readeo: Video + Reading Books = Grandparents' Quality Time with Kids (From Afar)

Readeo has introduced a new BookChat, which allows grandparents to read storybooks to their grandchildren using webcam via the web.  This has enabled seniors to connect with their loved ones far away through creative means. 

iRobot: Enjoy Your Retirement While Your iRobot is Cleaning

If cleaning is relaxing for you, don't let us stop you. Otherwise, leave it up to the robot - an iRobot, that is. iRobot Product Manager Vishu Singh explains the benefits of using this household helper. Visit for more information.

Sonamba Wellbeing Monitor: No More Worrying About Your Senior(s)

Ajit Pendse, Founder and CEO of Pomdevices LLC, which brought us the Sonamba wellbeing monitor in October of 2010, does not have to worry about his elderly parents, who live by themselves. Thanks to Ajit's ingenious solution, if you have a senior friend or relative, you can take that worry out of your life as well. 

The Sonamba wellbeing monitor created by pomdevices will send you a message, "You might have a problem, it's time to check" or "All is well". It also provides medication reminders (Ajit says 80% of emergency room visits for seniors caused by failing to take medication on time). 

Sonamba also keeps the family connected: you can send new pictures to Sonamba remotely and exchange text messages. 

My Favorite Motivational Quotes

The power of words is undeniable.  They have the ability to motivate us into action, set that fire in our belly and help us to strive for excellence.  Here is a collection of some of my favorite quotes that speak to me about mentoring and mentorship:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. ~ John Wesley

Better Aging Experience in Store for Us

Walking around the exhibit floor at the AARP 50+ Expo in Orlando at the beginning of October 2010, I was amazed at the amount of innovative thinking that has gone into making aging more comfortable. The organizers have done a spectacular job informing the Expo’s attendees of various ways to enhance their quality of life. “We are constantly on the lookout for new technology and ideas that help people live their best life at 50-plus,” emphasized CB Wismar, Vice President of AARP Events and the marketing wizard in charge of managing the entire Expo.

We have new tools to help us stay fit, both physically and mentally, well into our old age — read on!

Caregiving and Maintaining Connections

Seniors like to maintain independence when possible, but caregivers worry. And everyone wants to stay connected to loved ones. There are ways to accomplish all of this.

The first three companies came out of the personal experiences of their founders, and so they have been completely battle-tested.

Peace of mind for caregivers, independence for seniors

Former U.S. Treasurer Anna Cabral on Retirement Planning for Financial Security

I asked Anna Cabral, the former U.S. Treasurer, for her advice on dealing with financial challenges in retirement at the AARP 50+ Expo in October, 2010.

Julia Valentine: What would be your advice to a senior who is, let’s say, over 75 years old, looking for ways to augment his social security income, which might not be enough, but has very little venues for work, or for being hired because of age discrimination?