Local Boomers define lives


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Lisa Hollaender is one of several models featured in the 2018 Boomer Guide.

Viera Voice Keith Betterley

When Lisa Hollaender isn’t walking a dog as part of her dog walking business, she likely is writing on her blog — midlifeconfidential.com.

“It was a goal at 50 to blog about those entering the middle years,’’ said Hollaender, a 51-year-old native of Washington, D.C., who moved to Viera from Orlando last year. “I want to take the reader on a journey where they don’t have to give up the things that they used to do and love. For example, the fashion industry tells us that after 50, ‘please don’t wear this!’ I want to tackle and defy the stereotypes of aging.’’

Hollaender is one of several models to be featured in the 2018 Boomer Guide. The single mother of a 15-year-old boy walks an average of four dogs a day for 30 minutes each in her fun business.

Ken and Patty Berchtold, both 59, planned to retire in South Carolina. After spending a winter visiting their son, Jason, who is a golf professional at Bent Pine Golf Club in Vero Beach, they changed their mind.

A year later, they bought a house at Heritage Isle in Viera. Daily walks, cycling, kayaking and workouts at the gym have become a way of life for the couple.

Florida provides opportunities to exercise that Pennsylvania couldn’t match.

“We really would just hibernate in the winter,’’ Ken Berchtold said. “It was tough to go to the gym in the bad weather, and we’d end up not going. It’s so nice to go out and ride a bike here. It’s a different lifestyle, and you don’t realize it until you come down.’’

Patty Berchtold, the director of billing for a physical therapy company, still works for the same company she worked for in Erie, Pa.

“The technology of today is so fabulous to allow me to work from home,’’ Patty Berchtold said. “I can be on the computer all day, and my husband takes care of the cooking and cleaning.’’

Diana Sody, who also lives at Heritage Isle, is not afraid to hammer away the stereotype of what a woman can and can’t do.

She’s part of a volunteer team of women who build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s very rewarding working with the women that I work with,” said Sody, who moved to Viera three years ago from King of Prussia, Pa. “I need challenges and being out of my comfort zone. I’m meeting wonderful people, and I’m giving back to the community that has given me so much in the short time that I’ve lived here.’’