Life Transitions

Tuesdays at 8:45 a.m. and Fridays at 6:45 a.m., every other week

Old age is a life-stage that re-defines life priorities -- and it needs to be addressed in a functional way.

Life Transitions examines the issues of aging; from social, to behavioral, environmental, financial, and health issues.

Discussions focus on the positive as well as the stressful aspects of the aging process, with professionals, caregivers, and the elderly themselves, working to “demystify” the aging process and present old age in a positive way without minimizing the reality of aging.

Ways to Connect

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A diagnosis of terminal illness is traumatic; especially in cases when a patient is given only a few months to live.  Hospice care provides needed help to patients and their families to address end-of-life care. 

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As we begin to age, self-care becomes even more important than ever before.  Unhealthy behaviors at a younger age, such as not eating right, come back to haunt us when we begin to age.

How can we slow down the aging process?  Where can we find the Fountain of Youth? 

Angie O’Pry, owner of Fiesta Nutrition Center in Monroe, believes that the Fountain of Youth “is right in the palms of your own hands.”  She explained that it is “all about our mind creating a situation where we feel young, and if we feel it, then we can BE it.”

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Older adults are often easy targets for financial scammers.  It is not difficult to target elderly individuals because of their trusting nature or their loneliness.  Scammers usually use scare tactics to target their victims in order to convince them to give up personal information.

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Medical emergencies can easily create panic for individuals and families.  However, knowing what to do may help a person take appropriate action in a timely manner.  Specifically, older adults who live alone need to make a safety plan to deal with medical emergencies so that they can receive help as soon as possible.

National Council on Aging / National Council on Aging

Long-term care is often perceived as intiutionalized care at a nursing home.  Some people see it as an end-of-life decision to move into a nursing home.  The reality is that long-term care may be also provided at home.

"Long term care is the opposite of acute care," says KaraLe Causey, owner of Haven Nursing Center. Causey dispelled some of the common myths associated with long term care,  explaining that "acute care usually is episodic" and may not require "continuing care." 

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As we get older, our needs change.  Sometimes, we may require help from others to meet these changing needs.  Fortunately, our community provides a whole range and continuum of services to address various needs of an aging population.

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The loss of a parent is a very difficult emotional experience.  It becomes even more difficult if one was not prepared for this loss.  It does not matter at what age a parent dies.  The grief is the same. 

This grief may become more visible on days like Mother's Day and Father's Day.  Media and social media constantly remind us to send flowers or buy gifts for our parent.  Long waiting lines in restaurants remind us of the special time spent with our parents.

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Parents always worry about the welfare of their children even, when their children begin to live their own independent lives.  It is not difficult to imagine the fears and anxieties experienced by parents of adults with severe disabilities.  Their biggest fear is that no one will take care of their "child" after they are gone.

Aliscia Banks, founding director of Families Helping Families and the parent of an adult son with multiple severe disabilities, discussed some of her worst fears about her son's future "after I am gone and his dad is gone." 

National Council on Aging / National Council on Aging

Taking care of our minds and bodies as we age is as simple as eating right and staying healthy.  Poor nutritional habits and lack of physical exercise can lead to several health issues and diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Jordan Guillot, wellness program supervisor at Vantage Health Plan, explains that education is the key to enhancing quality of life.  “You are not old till you are cold in the first place.  You are as old as your mind thinks you are.” 

West Ouachita Senior Center

Commemorating May as the "Older Americans Month" began in 1963 after a meeting between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens.  It is a celebration of the wisdom, strength, resilience, and the vigor of old age. 

Each year, a different theme is used to mark the month. The theme for 2018 is "Engage at Every Age."  Jeanette Ellington, Executive Director of the West Ouachita Senior Center, encouraged the local community to "celebrate the many contributions that our elderly have made in the community and promote their skills and talents."

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