After living happily in their retirement community for nearly fifteen years, my parents were declining. My dad’s memory was weak, and my mom fell frequently. In their nineties, they ate almost every meal in one of the cafes and gradually ceased to use the various gadgets in their lives —the dishwasher, the c-pap mask, the humidifier, etc. Using … Continue reading
Tagged with aging …
Needed: Smoke Detector Innovation
In this age of innovation and advanced digital communication, why haven’t smoke detectors become easier to place and maintain — especially those monitors in the homes of seniors. After all, as seniors age, the potential for falls increases and smoke detectors are always installed way up high on their home ceiling. Adequate smoke detecting devices … Continue reading
Can We PLEASE Stop Using the Word FACILITY? Redux
(An older post from 2015 that I’d like to share again.) On a daily basis I hear people use the word facility, and it’s almost always modified by the adjectives such as assisted living, nursing, and care. I’ll stand in the supermarket line and overhear a conversation between two people about moving a frail relative into a … Continue reading
Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, and the Miracle of Music
We were driving home from a delightful lunch at a Thai restaurant — my husband, me, and my mother and dad. In one of those quirks of the digital age, my iPhone connected with the car’s bluetooth function, and suddenly the car was filled with music. We all hummed along and smiled as Tony Bennett … Continue reading
Giving vs. Receiving: Growing Older & Extreme Frustration
Change is constant when we age, and it’s important for adult children occasionally to consider the changes in our elder parents’ lives by looking through the prisms that our parents gaze through and thoughtfully examining their perspectives. In a conversation with my mom — who has found herself less energetic and more dependent on others — she shared her journal … Continue reading
The Anatomy of a Fall — Mine
In April 2016 the health writer Jane Brody wrote a powerful essay in the New York Times Personal Health column, Thriving at Age 70 and Beyond. She described the importance of focusing, as we age, on a healthy life style and maintaining social relationships as well as adjusting to age-related physical changes that occur. Brody specifically … Continue reading
Advice-giving, Aging Parents & Adult Children
Advice-giving can trip up the elder parent – adult child relationship and even cause painful divisions between parent and child. My mother will ask me a question and the answer is fairly straightforward, but then I’ll keep on answering, advising, really. At other times, I offer unsolicited advice about one thing or another. Usually my mother … Continue reading
Will On-Demand Services Change the Way We Age?
A great article in the December 14, 2015 Washington Post, The On-Demand Economy: Changing the Way We Live As We Age, explains how many new online services such as food delivery, rides on demand. and home services are making life much easier for elders who want to remain independent as long as possible. Most of … Continue reading
5 Family Caregiving Facts from Pew Research Center
If you provide caregiving support to a family member, take a few minutes to read a short article about Five Facts About Family Caregivers at the Pew Research Center website. The short article offers details from a survey that collected information about participants’ views concerning caring for aging parents, part of a larger Pew project that focused on … Continue reading
Can We PLEASE Stop Using the Word FACILITY?
On a daily basis I hear people use the word facility, and it’s almost always modified by the adjectives such as assisted living, nursing, and care. I’ll stand in the supermarket line and overhear a conversation between two people about moving a frail relative into a nursing facility. I’ll read an article or watch a television program, and … Continue reading
Products for Elders — Ask Them First
I’ve written a number of times about 24-7 monitoring services and personal safety devices. My mother-in-law was supposed to wear one around her neck for — well, 24 hours a day. Except that she didn’t. At first she wore it. Then she took it off with the rest of her jewelry each evening. Then she only … Continue reading
Performing or Leading an Event With Elders? Don’t Forget the Conversation
When a group performs or conducts an activity for elders, taking the time to make conversation is the most important part of the visit. Just about all of us have accompanied a group of performers or led an activity for elders — sometimes in a long-term community and at other times in one part of another of a retirement … Continue reading
Can You Positively Affect Your Cognitive Aging?
Earlier this summer I attended an engaging lecture given by Charles M. Reynolds, III, MD, a professor of Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In his talk, Brain Health As You Age: You Can Make a Difference, Dr. Reynolds discussed information aging and the changes that occur in the … Continue reading
Cleveland Elder Community Offers Housing to Student Musicians
In March 2015 I wrote Elders and Students Living Together: A Novel Housing Idea, describing how a Humanitas Deventer elder community, in the Netherlands, implemented the concept of “woonstudent,” by designating four apartments for students to live in at no cost. The only requirement? Resident students are expected to volunteer with their older resident neighbors, and together … Continue reading
Music that Heals the Soul
Music by itself cannot heal a disease. No one these days, however, disputes that music can heal the soul, making illness more bearable. Some time ago I wrote about Alive Inside, a movie that documents the success of therapeutic music programs with elderly participants who have dementia of Alzheimers. The program, started by Dan Cohen, pairs … Continue reading
The Gift of Time to Watch a Baby Grandchild Learn
If you read and write about aging — your own, your parents’ or older adults in general — you often hear people comment that as they get older, they feel that their perspective broadens. Aging adults often describe how, as they age, they have more time to observe, reflect, and worry less about differences of opinion. I’ve discovered … Continue reading
Famed Clinicians: Prepared but Not Ready for Death
When we think about dying, about the end of our lives, we may look to the experts for guidance — to those people who have long experience with various aspects of aging and the medical issues that complicate the process of dying. We assume that these people have their own end of life details all worked … Continue reading
Just Where Is That Fountain of Youth?
Have you noticed how large pharmacies devote more and more aisle space to diet supplements, pills to fix this problem or that, anti-aging products, and vitamins that “can fix” almost anything? I’m also confronted by colorful catalogs and continuous ads, all encouraging me to try one product or another. Jane Brody has just written an excellent article … Continue reading
Elders and Students Living Together: A Novel Housing Idea
What if every long-term care and assisted living community had a few areas where students could live for free in exchange for an hour a day of volunteer work? Wouldn’t that create an interesting multi-age community? Well it’s been tried in The Netherlands, and it’s successful. According to a story from the Australia Broadcast Company (ABC) an … Continue reading
How Do YOU Feel About Getting Older?
Take a few minutes to read How I REALLY Feel About Getting Older, a Huffington Post article by Jane Gross, that reflects and reviews many of the most concrete problems that occur when people age. Gross describes the frustration of living in a society that trivializes older adults while it also turns away from the wisdom of elders. At … Continue reading