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 😉

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 😉

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 😉