I have been on a long journey. I’ve been following an internal phenomenon I can’t name. I don’t know the how of such things, but the journey seems to be unfolding me.
When I was a toddler, I used to sit for hours on the floor under my maternal grandmother’s frame of stretched cloth and look up to watch her sew beads and spangles onto fabrics that became wedding gowns, banners, flags, altar cloths, and other decorative pieces.
On any given weekday at 210 North Champion Street in Columbus, Ohio, elders and preschoolers can be seen mixing bubble solutions and puffing at them together in the activity room, caring for plants outside in the mobile gardening units, reading books aloud to one another in the classroom, or rehearsing a play in the auditorium.
Recently, I posted a provocative argument for considering locked doors as physical restraints. I have received many comments about the post; and as promised, I am following up with a second installment (of three), in which I will give some guidelines for those who wish to take up the challenge.
Too few people understand that Medicare does not include benefits covering the cost of long term care and as a result wait too long before buying LTC insurance.
Immunity is like freedom, it can be cultivated just for the benefit of the individual, but has a lot more value when it is developed for the well being of all.
The problem with “restraints” in long-term care is that in most cases the things we do to increase physical safety help us to feel better, but actually decrease the sense of security felt by the person. So it is with locked doors in memory care homes.
New research validates what we already know — the use of antipsychotic medications to reduce behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is not very effective and what we should be doing instead is focusing on meeting the unmet needs of the person living with dementia through person centered approaches.
Our relationship with aging can remain as a loving friendship throughout our lives when we understand that it’s a cumulative experience that provides us with an ever-changing variety of psychological and spiritual gifts –– if we are open to anticipating and accepting them.
In Episode 004, Nate and Dr. Bill discuss the concept of cognitive prosthetics. Learn about how Nate and Dr. Bill take advantage of this while performing on stage. Dr. Bill explains the ways we are already using a sort of cognitive prosthetics in our own lives.
I am certainly not blind to how fortuitously my interest in aging aligns with the needs of an aging world—and I certainly don’t need additional convincing that my decision to forgo law school was in equal measure, wise and slightly prescient. But maybe you do.
A great way to start this piece would be to say, “I haven’t much to say about this topic,” and leave it at that. But, I’m not that humble. I am, in that regard very much an elder-in-training.
Just as our ability to read without glasses diminishes with age, our sense of balance also changes. The difference is that we treat the loss of balance as a disease and the cure we’re supposed to adopt is to turn homes and daily life into small hospitals.
Admiring others, knowing them as they pass through, and bravely try to shape this existence, is such a gift, one that goes both ways, one that makes Life all that much more a miracle.
If we fail to appreciate the ways in which every generation is different, we deny ourselves some valuable resources for expanding our understanding of what it means to be a human being –– of any age.
Erica Girgenti’s appointment as director of a senior center in Western Massachusetts was met with some skepticism because of her age. Yes, her age. Not because she is older, but because she is younger—a millennial, in fact.
Simply asking a person how old he or she feels may yield rich insights into the physical and mental state of the individual, experience with getting older or, more specifically, with managing a disability.
The days when elders were seen as wise and important contributors to their communities vanished long ago. Thanks to advertising and social media, eighty-year-olds and up are associated with diapers, dementia, and a mountain of hospital-looking equipment that reduces them to their “Activities of Daily Living (ADL)” needs.
It is too easy to get caught up in going at the pace of cultural life, to be at the mercy of machine-time. I almost forgot that it has been slowing down, one of the conditions imposed upon me by my stroke, that has given me some ability to pause and reflect upon this constantly surprising, unfolding miracle we call life. Going slow has always been what it is all about.
Were I to die, my wrestling coach might attend my funeral, but nobody would mention high school sports – or High school at all. The conversation would be about the present. I’m quite blessed with a family that understands the value of mindfulness.
In a sea of self-help books and self-promoting how-to’s, The Penelope Project: An Arts-Based Odyssey to Change Elder Care is a comprehensive guide, showing us how to work within systems and change them for the better from the inside.