Laura Bush on Aging Gracefully

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    Former first lady Laura Bush said Tuesday that she and former President George W. Bush have drawn inspiration on aging gracefully from their parents.

    "What we know now is how fast you get there," Bush said Tuesday at a Dallas conference for the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

    Bush, 67, noted earlier that it was an appropriate venue considering her husband, who is 68, was home icing his knee after having it partially replaced Saturday.

    She said her in-laws, former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, were "doing great." Citing her father-in-law's skydive last month to celebrate his 90th birthday, she said, "You really can lead a full life, no matter what age you are."

    She said 89-year-old Barbara Bush's "no nonsense" approach to aging has included working to clean out rooms in a family summer house in Maine. She said her mother-in-law has even quipped: "We really need new lampshades, but I'm going to leave that to you, Laura."

    Laura Bush said likes her mother-in-law's recognition of the inevitable. She also expressed admiration that her mother, who turns 95 next week, and late father voluntarily gave up driving.

    She said her mother, who lives in a retirement home in the West Texas town of Midland, has done a good job of maintaining a sense of community. Many friends from the street where she used to live in Midland are also at the retirement home and the facility offers activities including flower arranging.

    Bush said both she and her husband, who have active roles at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, have maintained a lifestyle that includes eating healthy and exercising. She notes neither has shied away from embracing new activities, which include in recent years yoga for her and painting for him. In March, she said, they took a private trip to Ethiopia to visit ancient Christian sites.