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

Ouachita Council on Aging / Ouachita Council on Aging

They say that food is the best way to reach a man's heart.  It appears that food is the best way to reach out to anyone, irrespective of age and gender. 

Meals on Wheels can be a primary source to reach out to the world outside for elderly individuals who are living alone and unable to cook for themselves. 

ITU Pictures / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Providing various services to the elderly requires professionals trained in various disciplines and skills.  The common thread to all skills required in working with the elderly is a knowledge of Gerontology.  Gerontology is a multidisciplinary study of aging.

Roberta Andrajack, marketing director with the assisted living facility Savannah Grand, says marketing is vital in elder-care organizations.  She points out that "any field that offers services to the Gerontology population needs a marketer."

Bournemouth Borough Council / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Sometimes we are not able to find appropriate resources and appropriate solutions to a life problem.  We may not have adequate knowledge about the community resources or we may not know how to search for a particular service.  United Way provides 2-1-1 as a "tool" or a service that connects people to resources.

Jan Wawrzyniak director of 2-1-1, described the service as a "community connection" that "increases access to help for anyone and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." 

Dogan Kokdemir / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Financial planning is very important at any phase in life.  It becomes even more important when older adults have to make crucial decisions relating to long-term care.  Pre-planning helps when the time comes to seek long-term care. 

Jordan Smith, a financial planner for senior citizens, explained that many times people may suddenly enter a long-term care facility without any financial pre-planning.  In those instances, financial advisors for senior citizens could provide crisis planning.

Beverly Yuen Thompson / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Hospice Care is a phrase that evokes an image of impending death.  Hospice care is a support service for individuals dealing with a terminal illness that need special care from professionally trained care providers. 

One of the myths associated with hospice care is that it is meant for cancer patients only.  Hospice expert David O'Neal points out that hospice care is provided to all patients dealing with a life-threatening illness and limited life expectancy. 

Shella Sund / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Grief is a natural reaction to any kind of loss.  Loss does not always imply death.  Grief occurs when we lose something or someone that is very close to our heart and we are emotionally attached to that person, object, or life situation. 

We grieve when we lose a loved human, a pet, a place of residence, a job, a loved object, or a phase of our life.  For instance, a lot of people grieve the loss of youth or the loss of good health.

Tom Kershaw | Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Con artists appear to find their "perfect" victims among senior citizens.  The good old-fashioned concept of trust becomes elder population's most vulnerable characteristic. 

Unscrupulous people often take advantage of senior citizens' tendency to take people at their face-value and to believe their easy friendliness.  Sometimes, older adults feel too helpless and/or physically frail to check out the credentials of people who offer to help them.  Under the guise of help, con artists are able to rip off their unsuspecting prey.

Ouachita Council on Aging

We often say that a home is where the heart is.  As we age, the definition of “home” often changes.  A “home” may take on a more confining meaning such as, a nursing home. 

Most elderly individuals would prefer to “age in place.”  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “aging in place” as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” 

National Council on Aging

Do you know what your age is? Is that a silly question? Maybe or maybe not!

Do our birthdays determine our age? Or do our wrinkles? Or our energy levels? Or our ability to meet our  goals?  It all depends on how you define “age.”

Can we say that age is how old you feel?  More than other people’s perceptions, our own perception of ourselves determines how old we look and feel.  So is it perceptions alone that determine our age? Not really! 

Patrick | Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

People say that ignorance is blissful. 

Unfortunately, ignorance can become hurtful if it creates negative stereotypes.  Ageism is prejudice and discrimination based on negative stereotypes of old age. 

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