First steps :
Practice prevention, the key to a robust old age.
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Test for HIV + other threats to health.
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Inform yourself and use your life experience.
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Keep in mind :
Build on trust. Take online advice with care.
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Keep to the basics. We've got tips for beginners.
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Stabilize finances. Safety requires a net.
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Record your preferences. Don't be shy asking for help.
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Version 1.0 | Update 30Jun11
Written by Paul Quin
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Newly diagnosed?
Just turned 50?

When you find yourself in a new land,
what do you do first?
Find a good café.

That was my son's advice the first time we saw Paris. He was seven. He was right. New challenges require new solutions, a new place to call home base.

Make this new life a good life.
Be sensible like Alice:

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1. Look around. See what you've got to work with.

Little key, bottle that says 'Drink Me', big table, tiny door . . . no idea what any of this means.

Ask around. Others have been Alice for a long time. More spend their lives helping Alice make it. (You might avoid, however, asking any favours of the Red Queen.)

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2. Assess your challenges.

There is much unfamiliar about being old or being terminally ill – to be blunt. Your key asset is the understanding you've developed over the years.

Use the knowledge you have. You know how the world is put together. You know how your body and your mind operate.

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3. Map your objectives.

Be clear with yourself about what's most important. Sometimes this means switching around the priorities you've expressed the past few years. Even changing ways of living you established in early childhood.

Now more than ever, it works to keep your head, your viewpoint, your experience – and make it work. Now might be the time to grow up.

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4. Enjoy this new life – every minute of it.

There is no point in settling for half a glass when the whole one tastes better.

Eat the cake, try the tea, skip through the meadow, explore, have a great time. Each new day is a gift. Just for you.

Find advocates
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Explore hotline + warmline resources.

Don't be shy to ask for, and give, support to your peers. Find a support group, ask questions, empower yourself and others.
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Taking care may include caring for others.

Investigate community resources to find tough answers for problems of healthcare professionals + service providers.
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Use local + national healthcare finders.

Set yourself + your providers a Standard of Care. Talk with your doctor frankly. Make a checklist.

Reach out.
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The Body gives HIV newbies personal advice from the front line.
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The US Administration on Aging has resources for Elders + families.
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