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 ;-))

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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! 😉

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.

Maintaining Social Ties for Optimal Aging

We all may assume there is importance to maintaining social ties for elders’ well-being and the latest edition of The Gerontologist acknowledges just that.  The article, The Importance of Neighborhood Social Cohesion and Social Capital for the Well Being of Older Adults in the Community by Cramm et al (2012) concludes that “…social capital of individuals, neighborhood services, social capital, and social cohesion are beneficial to the well-being of older adults.” They specifically noted obtaining support through direct ties of communication. However this may be accomplished, should be considered by families to support optimal aging. This is especially important to maintain with single and less affluent older adults. The study showed that more affluent and married older adults fared better through their own natural social affiliations. Neighbor social cohesion for each other was particularly acknowledged for the support aspects especially when one was sick and needed minor assistance such as transportation, picking up the mail, etc. When one has a feeling of social connectivity there are also psychosocial aspects attributed to their well-being like higher self-esteem and enhancing mutual respect. There are also the benefits of intergenerational communication within families and friends to be considered. Historical information is protected and sharing between generations may improve familial relationships. Communicating with friends who understand may help maintain feelings of self-worth. Staying socially active whether it is through in-person visits, friendly phone calls, photo or video sharing, video chats, texting or email correspondence are all options for optimal and successful aging. Elders can live their best life maintaining communication with others.

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

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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 😉