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! 😉

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 😉

The Aging Push

Sometimes when a person is aging they don’t want others to see they are losing their faculties, so they push friends and loved ones away. I call it the “Aging Push.” As long as they are being cared for by their significant other, or reliable caregivers, it may be best to respect their privacy, and don’t push back.

Coming to terms with aging is difficult for many people and they have to do it at their own pace. It may be sad and difficult for the one being pushed away but sometimes the best you can do is to remain supportive, friendly, kind, and let them know that you are available when needed. “The Aging Push” happens at the beginning signs of dementia as well. They are trying to hide the fact that they can’t remember things, even your name. Watching for signs, working with your doctor, and catching dementia early can help slow the process.

Some may say that they want to push the issue and fight their loved one to remain heavily involved in their life but as a wise man once said, “Don’t go where you aren’t wanted.” When they are ready, they will ask for you. If, in the case of a form of dementia, they don’t, or aren’t able, do what you can before that happens. Think of what you can do today for your aging parent, friend, or associate, before it is too late.

Push yourself and your aging friends to stay social, and involved in life. Have them and yourself join a committee, take a class, or simply go out for lunch. Push “The Aging Push” before it pushes you.

Thanks for reading 😉