Golden Rule and Discards
October 3, 2015
The Times Are Changing
October 22, 2015
Golden Rule and Discards
October 3, 2015
The Times Are Changing
October 22, 2015

Aging and Life

Aging is a process of adjusting to continual changes.  It is another stage of life like childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.  The challenge for older adults is accepting and adjusting to changes and building “resilience”.  Not an easy task to do!  When we add issues such as addiction, chronic pain, depression or Alzheimer’s to the mix, it can be next to impossible.  Yet, seniors have no choice but to endure!

Consider the losses that older people experience:  retirement; physical changes in vision, hearing, taste; health; mobility; memory; home and personal possessions; death of spouse, family and friends; and money.  We better have built resilience by the time we are older or we will not be able to deal with all that is coming.

Let’s consider some of the ways that people respond to these major life changes:

  • Physical complaints
  • Denial
  • Shame
  • Loneliness
  • Helplessness
  • Stubbornness
  • Rigidity
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Reminiscence

Could you blame anyone for dealing with aging in the above ways?  Here are some of the ways those of us that love these aging people can help:

  • Listen – really listen. Sit down, make eye contact and listen.
  • Ask what the person needs and do your best to make that happen for them.
  • Help find things for the person to do with their time while setting boundaries on your time.
  • Provide a “to do” list to allow the person to continue to share of their own talents.
  • Maintain as much social contact for the person as possible to stave off the lonely times.
  • If an addiction is present do all you can to help them get into a recovery program.
  • Provide for safety and security.
  • Be supportive.
  • Maintain a positive attitude when with the person.
  • Love and respect them with all that is in you for they deserve that behavior.

Lastly please remember that as a person ages, the inevitability of death becomes more real and can often be a source of uncertainty and dread. But many seniors also struggle with anxieties linked to pre-mortality concerns such as:

  • Will my life lose its meaning if I am no longer useful?
  • How long will I be able to care for myself?
  • Will I lose my mental faculties?
  • If my physical health deteriorates, will I have to give up the activities I enjoy?
  • Can I cope with losing my loved ones?

Work hard to help your loved one to not buy into the stereotypical images of the elderly.  Life is to be lived for as long as possible in the best ways possible.  We owe that, and more, to our senior loved ones.  Here is to health and a life well-lived!

“Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened!’ – Cora Harvey Armstrong

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