Why Aging Education?

Recently, someone asked me again why I continually give of my time to aging education. It is a simple question really, with a complicated answer. Why do any of us give with our time, talent and treasure? To help make another’s life better, of course!

Typically, as a former salesperson, I know to find the customer’s needs, and fill them. Learn what someone desires, and give it to them. Know that a question needs an answer, and give it. We must do anything we can to quench the thirst for knowledge in the aging arena. That was our mandate in our Gerontology Masters Program, Give aging education wherever, whenever and however you can to our aging tsunami of 78 million Americans. Teach them to build their own networks to aging quality. There will not be enough care for all of us in the future.

For too long doctors didn’t give answers with transparency, government only answered what absolutely needed to be answered, families have kept their problems behind closed doors. None of these practices have served to educate our aging population.

The internet has opened a world to “stay-at-homes”, the under-educated, and the under-estimated. We can Google any question we have and get peer-reviewed and evidenced-based research articles. we read them and can make educated decisions. There isn’t any reason to not educate ourselves on the aging matters of the day. We don’t need to rely on Wikipedia like many of our youth have in the past.

Aging education outreach is another way to socialize with other aging persons and learn at the same time. Whenever there is an opportunity to attend a program on any aging subject, it behooves us to go…and learn of our future. We want to age at home and have an excellent quality of life so let us arm ourselves with the tools of our new trade…aging!

Thanks for reading!

Kindest Regards with warmest Aloha,

Laura ;-))

Advertisements

Planning for Alzheimer’s

Do you want to know when you will get Alzheimer’s Disease and be able to plan for it? A new study from Georgetown University states that with only a simple blood test you may know if you will get the disease within three years. It is interesting to note that the test is on fats in the body. It begs the question that if there are less fats in the body, maybe less Alzheimer’s? Something to ponder.

Finding out early about contracting Alzheimer’s May have many ramifications benefitting families. Monetary and caregiving considerations may actually be planned for, easing the burden of sudden onset.

Some may not want to know, afraid of knowing, but it is only staving off the inevitable. Being ready can help by starting some medications earlier to put off the severity and consequences of memory loss. Planning for your own caregiving options will give you the say on how you will be treated and cared for. Your children will know and not have to guess about what your wishes were/are!

Perhaps looking at it like you have a three year option to stay as healthy as possible and tackle your bucket list will help some. Remember that knowledge is power and you can take control of how you will handle the disease.

Thanks for reading! 😉

Aging Reflections, Fiscal Tiff and Lucky 2013!

Thinking back on the past year on aging issues many things come to mind.

The forming of the Non-profit Foster City Village has been a long and time-consuming process. The rewards will be great for Foster City’s aging population who need services that allow for their aging in place with dignity and grace. I will stay on in an active role as a member of the Advisory Board. Aging transportation services are expected to roll out in the next couple of months. Memberships are available now. The website is: www.fostercityvillage.com. We are seeking funding for help with the start-up and appreciate any input from anyone interested in supporting our aging population to remain safe at home.

In other matters, important discoveries were made in aging medicine. One such discovery was in being able to detect the Alzheimer’s gene 20+ years in advance of getting the disease. According to ABC News, it is an important discovery for doctors to begin prescribing drugs earlier that may help stave off its progression, like Lipitor.The National Association of Professional Gerontologists has news and weblinks on other issues pertaining to aging on their website at: www.napgerontologists.org

The news has been so full of disasters and tragedies over the last year. The U.S. Congress has been so unbelievably insensitive having not settled before the holidays, the “Fiscal Cliff” with their “Fiscal Tiff” leaving us all to wonder over our Special Occasion Dinners. What the h_ _ _ !!! When I think of the San Francisco Giants game that my husband and I attended this past year and two separate families had kids behind us who had to go hungry because their parents couldn’t afford to buy hot dogs at the game, it is sad. Their parents told them they would eat when they got home. That would have been around 10:00pm. We would have bought them some if we had the cash ourselves. America’s favorite past time and no hot dogs for kids! It is shameful.

We are all learning to adjust to having less. Senior citizens in many cases are relying on food sales and day-old pastry items to feed themselves. So we have all three generations (perhaps five) hungry in the Bay Area, seemingly one of the wealthiest places to live. What the h_ _ _!! Let’s hope that it is a lucky 2013!

Dinner of the Seven Fishes for an Older Generation

DSC04927

It used to be that when the Sicilian custom of the Dinner of the Seven Fishes was held on Christmas Eve, it was so it would pass the time for waiting to go to Midnight Mass. Today, many of our seniors go to bed before they could possibly stay up to go to Midnight Mass. Having said that, last year after our own Dinner of the Seven Fishes, I was in bed by 10:00pm myself and I am not yet quite in the senior category, at least by Social Security standards.

Speaking of Social Security, I sure hope it is there by the time I need it since I have been paying into it since I was 15 years old. This Baby Boomer, at least, wants what I was promised. I am concerned that the promises made to our generation by the generations before us will not be kept. We must also promise the generations after us that they will be covered too. Conditions need to be assessed now and provisions put in place so that worthy American citizens get the respect they deserve and the quality of life they expect in the latter years.

Watching our nations elders lose their retirement in stock dives is, and has been extremely disconcerting. That is why I agree that the wealthiest Americans should step up and help pay for Seniors in their retirement years. Companies that can help out should also, after all many of them were built buy the very seniors that can’t afford to put food on their tables judging by the rise in Food Stamps usage.

So as you enjoy your Christmas Eve dinner, even if it isn’t the Dinner of the Seven Fishes, think of the senior citizen, possibly diabetic (judging by the rise in Type II Diabetes), that may be eating day-old pastry picked up for free at their local community center, and remember our duty to protect our citizens, especially the nation’s elders.

Thanks for reading 😉

Gray Thursday, Black Friday, and Blue Monday

Gray Thursday, Black Friday, and Blue Monday

All the advertising thrown around lately about catching sales on Grey Thursday or Black Friday makes one pause to think about Blue Monday. That is the day after the weekend when many of our aging seniors are getting up after a long and lonely weekend. Sure most may have had Thanksgiving lunch or dinner where they live, or with friends or loved ones on Thursday, but what about the ones that didn’t? Let us take a moment and ponder about the older people we may know and give them a call just to say “Hello” or stop by for a visit and brighten their day.

Bring the kids with you when you visit an older person. It is important to share wisdom of all ages throughout generations. If you are an older person, welcome the younger ones that come into your home because there is much you can share with them. I still remember going into my Italian grandmother’s house and smelling the fennel she was preparing to cook with. It is a fond memory. Make some of your own sense memories with your relatives. You will be glad you did when one day much later and they are no longer here, you walk by some fennel in the store or the Farmer’s Market, quite caught by surprise, as you think of them fondly, and just for a moment, you remember.

During this holiday season it would be good if our older friends and family members don’t have any Blue Mondays. Take time out from shopping. If we have the time to spend the night in line for some fantastic sale or get up at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds to the store, certainly we can make a phone call. Maybe even while in line.

Thanks for reading 😉

Being An Old Dog Pays Off

Inspiration From My Old Dog
Inspiration From My Old Dog

 As an aging person, sometimes it is hard to make ends meet. Having persistance and perserverance is important to budget survival. Many businesses and services available to seniors offer discounts and special offers for people 55 and older. All you have to do is ask. There may even be different levels depending on how old you are. One Senior Center that I am aware of even has a list for Senior Discounts available to their participants from over 40 local businesses.

The Village to Village Network that had their first village start up in Boston, has new Villages popping up all over the country. They offer vetted vendors low-cost and discounted services to seniors through their local Village project. These are grass-roots networks with already over 110,000 members nationwide. The Village to Village Network itself offers national discounts through their Village BetterBuys program online to all the members. Sure, you have to be able to have access to a computer and many seniors aren’t yet online. The Village Volunteers in your Village can help you with that. Even with so many seniors not online yet, there are 1 in 3 Seniors who are Facebook users already. There are easy to use computer devices like FamilyLink.net, that work with a simple touchscreen, and many other computer systems available today. Don’t be afraid to be the old dog learning new tricks. It just might pay off.

Living within a budget is already hard. Make it easier on yourself and embrace some new technologies today. Once you get past the stigma that it might be hard, you may be happily surprised to find how really easy it is…and save a little money.

Thanks for reading 😉

Life: Long Learning

We hear about lifelong learning all the time. Many elders enjoy keeping their minds sharp by taking classes and experiencing new adventures in learning. What we don’t consider at earlier ages is that life itself is full of constant adjustments and adaptations. As we adapt to what life challenges are presented to us, we change, we grow, in wisdom, and in knowledge. Having experienced life from being a child until we are considered an elder, we have learned many life lessons. One of the main things learned is that history truly does repeat itself. Styles come back, wars come and go, trends resurface, and sometimes we as a society make the wrong choices for solving issues time and time again. Each generation hands our knowledge down so that others can learn from our experiences and perhaps right some wrongs. 

Some  people amazed me recently at an outdoor cafe when I happened to overhear their conversation ridiculing an absent friend over her first dinner party. She evidently had not ever served an avacado before,  so she didn’t know that she was supposed to take the peel off first before she sliced it. As I listened to her first dinner guests’ non-productive ridicule and laughter over her inexperience, I thought of how great it would have been if one of them had offered to help her for other dinner parties so they could show her the way. I hoped they would consider it. Maybe they wouldn’t.

One of them went on to say that they couldn’t get over that their father had started a new hobby, “…at his age.” They were around 30ish so their father had to be 50-60ish, perhaps older even. What a  narrow comment when the world is so wide and open to life experiences. As they went off to their boating experience for the day, very happy and excited, I thought of the father that was happy and excited in his new challenge and how delighted he must be to be doing it at the ripe old age of 50 or so (sic). Perhaps he is showing the way to someone who is receptive to his life and his long learning of experiences and wisdom. That is what elders in society do for others, they show them the way. Through an elders’ long life there has been much to learn. Perhaps mistakes of the past might not be repeated if previous experience is shared openly with one another, for learning from a long life.

Life itself is an education, learning long.

Thanks for reading 😉