by Sandy Tankoos

Approximately five years ago, I sold my business and retired. I was certain I would enjoy spending my time traveling and volunteering for organizations that were important to me; I was invited to be on several boards, signed up for interesting classes, and was reasonably happy for a few months. However, I soon found that I missed the familial type of daily contact I had enjoyed with my employees, as well as the daily routine and interaction with clients that my business had afforded me. I began to think about changing course and finding a more fulfilling way to spend my days. Each day, I searched the Internet trying to find a website that would be both entertaining and informative, but I just couldn’t find what I was looking for. I thought, “OMG! Could I create such a site myself? Would that be possible?” And that, indeed, is what I did.

TOS50 stands for “The Other Side of 50.” The site has 11 different sections, each dealing with a subject matter I believed would appeal to my target audience by presenting information on health and other topics they would find interesting and helpful. In generating content for the website, I’ve had the opportunity to focus on a number of subjects related to health and wellness, a constant reminder of the many ways we can and should focus on our general well-being – especially on the other side of 50. For example:

  • We baby boomers and older seniors know how much time we spend worrying about what we’re eating, when we’re eating, exercising, medications, trying to stay healthy and young, et cetera. With those concerns in mind, I created a nutrition section and a health and wellness sections of the website, allowing me the pleasure of interviewing doctors, nutritionists, and exercise specialists – including Richard Simmons – among others, which has been great fun and very informative for both me and my viewers.
  • Videos and posts cater to those who are interested in hearing aids, concerned about menopause, and thinking about cosmetic surgery, among other topics.
  • Many seniors suffer from diabetes, so a certified nutritionist and diabetic specialist provides diabetes-related health tips on a regular basis.
  • Because improving our environment is essential to maintaining good health, my daughter, an environmental scientist, contributes greening and gardening stories.

Of course, we seniors are concerned about the health and wellbeing of others, too, especially because many of us are parents and grandparents. Statistics show that 1 out of every 90 children is born on the “Autism Spectrum” – and out of a group of approximately 25 people who are part of my Saturday morning minyan group at Temple Sinai of Roslyn, L.I., four of us have autistic grandchildren. My autistic granddaughter is almost 12; her education and her wellbeing are a constant concern for me. Consequently, I have interviewed several autism specialists on the website and have tried to keep up with current information on new treatments as they become available. TOS50’s e-store also carries a line of autism awareness products, the profits of which are donated to programs for special needs children.

TOS50’s volunteerism and philanthropy section has allowed me to create awareness and financially assist many organizations working toward a cure for various diseases. We’ve worked hard to raise awareness of amyloidosis, a rare disease that, at this point, has no cure. Because it mimics other more common ailments, it often goes undiagnosed until it is too late for available treatments that might help put patients into remission. Additionally, as a breast cancer survivor myself, I am extraordinarily interested in working toward a cure, and I make an effort to publicize events that bring attention to what I call “the epidemic” of breast cancer.

Like everyone else, seniors are also interested in being entertained and having fun. Arts, entertainment, style, and beauty matter! Checking out Checking out the latest styles and interviewing Michael Brown about classic Corvettes and the Le Mans competition in France are more than frivolities. After all, enjoying life is part of staying young at heart – and healthy.

Being retired doesn’t mean being bored. Starting a website has given me the opportunity to help others – and, in turn, to help myself. I love being able to contribute in this way. Staying Healthy on “the Other Side of 50″ For seniors, being able to do what makes us feel good enables us to remain mentally and physically healthy and alert!

Sandy Tankoos is the president and founder of TOS50, a website for baby boomers and older seniors. Sandy is a past president of Temple Sinai of Roslyn, and is a board member of URJ, ARZA, and the American Zionist Movement. She also serves on the board of LI-CAN (Long Island Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods), a community organization working on improving home health care for seniors living on Long Island.