For Better, And For Aging Worse, Try Aloha

When one spouse starts having a decline in health due to aging, the other spouse usually has to pick up the slack. Not only do they do the caregiving, but also the other person’s share of household duties, billpaying, gardening, shopping, pharmacy runs, getting the mail, taking care of the pets, all the transportation responsibilities, and any other myriad of things that come up. Once married, we agree to a lifelong decision of caring for each other for better, and for worse. Unfortunately, the worse part usually comes at the end of our lives when we don’t have the strength and vitality of youth to energize us for the caring. Imagine if you were 70 or 80 years of age and suddenly had a new baby to care for. That is what caring for a partner feels like to the older adult. There is a drastic change in life that happens unexpectedly. It shouldn’t seem unexpected because we all age, but, we all think, it won’t happen to me.

There may be adult diapers and adult formulas to buy. There may be caregivers hired to be there when the spouse can’t be, or wants to go out for respite. A baby monitor may need to be purchased to listen if the person has to sleep downstairs becuase they can’t physically make it up to their bedroom. Their life has come full circle. 

Living with Aloha is what we, in Hawaii do and would like to see others practice its meaning of kindness, unity, and agreeable, with humility, and patience. Understanding and patience is needed for all in the family circle that provide care and companionship for the loved spouse and relative. Children should be instructed about how to be compassionate, without pity, to the older adults in their lives. Every life is worthwhile to the end. Until death do us part.

Thanks for reading! 😉

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New Year, Old “Friends”

The new year is here and it is a time for reflection. Many older adults take stock of their lives during this time and evaluate the quality of their lives. Some have had changes like the loss of a spouse whether it be by divorce, or death, and are having to change their way of living which can be excessively difficult during and after the Holidays. Many will find out who their real friends are once they are alone, and not part of a couple anymore. It is common, unfortunately, for many “couples” friends to fall by the wayside leaving the lonely remaining spouse to carve out a new way of life. That is when they learn who their true friends are. It is also a time when some supposed friends may try to take advantage of the persons’ sadness for personal gain. There are studies out that are evidence-based that show as we age some people will experience a loss of judgement capacities. The old saying of “There is safety in numbers” applies for older adults. When trying to make an important decision, run it by your friends and family first, and get a consensus from those that truly care about your welfare. Take a trusted friend or family member to appointments with you. Get advise from unpartial professionals. Sometimes paying for advice, or a companion to accompany you might be a good way to go. Get referrals from others. Help yourself, help yourself.

Kick those old “friends” out that don’t have your best interest in mind out of your life, and make way for new ones. there are others out there just like you who need friends too. Stay away from negativity as best as you can during the trying times in your life. Read the comics in the newspaper first, before you read the news. It just may help you through the hard news of the day. Make new friends by joining into new activities at church, the gym, take a class; anything that will help you stay positive.

For the “friends” that don’t know what to say or how to be around the newly alone person, just try to be kind. There, but for the Grace of God, goes you.

Thanks for reading! 😉

Caregiving, a Granddaughter’s Perspective

Caregiving, a Granddaughter’s Perspective

Many of us have cared for a loved one, a friend, a relative but nothing seems as intense as watching disease progress through the aging journey of your beloved grandmother. For many, it is the first time seeing death looming in the future and its undeniable effects, especially of our own mortality. Nobody wants to face that but we all must. We caregivers work so hard to stave of the inevitable. Accepting the sadness we feel can be the first step to doing a good job of caregiving. Recognizing when you need others and utilizing them to help when you need respite can be important for your own health. You need to stay healthy so you can stay strong for the job of caring. Respite is good for both the caregiver and the cared for. Getting a break from each other is important for both of your well-beings. You come back a little more refreshed on both sides. Seeing the same person day in and day out can be tiresome. There are many benefits to having a primary caregiver who knows the ins and outs of the cared for person’s condition and treatment. 

There is also work to be done by the one who is cared for. Don’t be that person that is making the caregiver’s job more difficult because you are holding on to the negativity of why it is happening to you. Aging will eventually get all of us. Aging isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when. If we live long, we will most likely get some ailment that will need to be addressed. It would be good if we can be gracious to the person who is easing our way through the aging journey. My own grandmother was gracious until the end and I loved her for it. The very hard job was made easier.

Thanks for reading! 😉

HR Words to Live By for Older Adults

Relieable, congenial, compassionate, educated, quality, and wise are words that employers should be considering when hiring for today’s jobs. Instead of tossing the resumes out for the over 50 applicant, take another look at what you might be throwing away. Many of today’s over 50 job applicants who can’t even get the interview are taking a different route. Instead of waiting for younger HR Directors to hire them, they are hiring themselves.

i just read an article today about a man over 50 that got tired of not hearing anything from the 50 resumes per week he was sending out so he started his own business. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in today’s Baby Boomers. One friend started her own housecleaning business since she is a really good housecleaner. She now makes her own schedule and has built a full clientele by her reliability, quality of work, and her congeniality. Another friend started her own home care business for older adults no longer willing or able to do some things for themselves. Another few started a telephone helpline for seniors. One older gentleman makes a very successful living coaching older women in golf lessons. My own husband is 70 and is teaching tennis to all ages. He still enjoys a good game of singles himself. He is fond of telling me that age is just a number. I may have quoted Satchel Paige before who was known for telling reporters when they asked how old he was and still playing baseball. He was famously quoted as saying, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” I just watched the Ironman Triathalon Race in Kona this weekend and saw many older adults finish the grueling race. Perhaps age is just a number.

Understand that HR Companies may be on a mandate to not hire too many over age 50. I have heard they even use a certain percentage. That is discrimination even if they get around it by having a small percentage over the age. It may be that their insurance companies aren’t covering older people at the same cost as younger people? I’m asking the question because everyone knows that as you grow older you need more medical care (sic). That isn’t the case with everyone but I digress.

If you are sitting by the phone, laptop, iPad, iPhone or whatever, waiting for young HR people to think you are worthy enough to call you in for an interview, don’t hold your breath. Start your own luck and do something you love. Turn your hobby into a small business and enjoy life. Chances are one of those young HR Directors may hear or see you and come looking…if they are smart.

Thanks for reading! 😉

Kona Sunset

Kona Sunset

Kona Sunset in Fall

Laura Guluzzy, M.A. Gerontologist/9-11 Survivor

Laura Guluzzy, M.A. Gerontologist

Me, 12 years after surviving 9-11. I believe that I was spared because I had more work to do and a long life to live. I became a Gerontologist so that I could help further the quality of life for today’s seniors.

We Gerontologists believe that the first person to live to 140 is 60 years old today. Are we ready for the aging tsunami that includes you? The choices we make will determine how well we age. Are you ready for old age survival?

A basic understanding of gerontology should be in everyone’s perview so that we will do our best to stay healthy, and independent in our aged years. Eating healthy food including green leafy vegetables help. Staying hydrated with any exercise that you can do, even simply rotating your shoulders and ankles while watching TV can help keep the blood flow, and walking is truly good, breathing fresh air and keeping those joints moving. Swimming is also beneficial. Stay independent by your very mobility through good balance and gait to reduce the possibility of falls.

Are you ready?

Thank you for reading 😉

Pet Therapy and Aging Adults

Pet Therapy and Aging Adults

T.C., short for Taro Chip stating his wishes by sitting on my things while I was trying to leave. Not only are pets good for pet therapy in aging adults, but people can be good for them as well. T.C. was a rescue and has separation anxiety so he let’s us know when he needs attention too.