Living in Seattle can be weather challenging at times, so being the good planner that I am I booked a trip for my wife, some friends and me for a week in sunny Europe. A week before the trip my wife asked me if I really wanted to go and went on to ask if I would consider canceling.
In a society that has no place for older people and treats aging like a long and unpleasant illness instead of a natural part of life, that feeling of purpose and belonging is rare, treasured and life-affirming.
I don't mean "fashionable" as in an insult, but rather as a pattern. The generation that has felt entitled to rights in arenas of freedom, of evolving, and of comfort, may be involved in movements helping to make death not exactly casual but much more "nothing to sneeze at."
I am a part of the human services "industry" and, as such, you can count me among those who have this crazy belief that we could live more fulfilling lives (as in "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness") if we had a more rational approach to aging.
These stories (I'm sure there are others) make vivid the embarrassments and fears of patients; their efforts to deal with deterioration, endure pain, and cope with unhinging and detachment. The reader, the viewer, and the re-reader can take cues from caregivers who ease the way to acceptance.
My 13-year-old daughter recently tried on the wedding dress in the photo, which was worn by both my wife and mother-in-law. As she twirled, three generations danced.
We're not getting any younger -- neither are our parents. The older we get, the more we grow concerned about how old they're getting, and with that comes worry about 'what to do with mom and dad.'
If you met me at the age of 14 you would have voted me the least likely person to become a CEO of a multi-million dollar company. I have to be honest and say it is those jobs, those experiences and that sweat that led me to this path and this success.
It's a brave man and even braver actor and comedian, who will bring us Jesus' message without irony or a snigger. Gervais proves it's possible to laugh and cry at the same time.
Sometimes, there's friction between family members and nursing home staff. Sometimes, complaints are warranted and must be registered. But other times, as long as no harm is being done and the resident isn't complaining, it's best for the family to avoid protesting.
The economic upheaval we've experienced since 2007 has really upended our long-held assumptions about employment and retirement. My generation grew up thinking that we would retire comfortably at age 65 and that younger people would naturally come along to take our jobs and keep the economy growing.
For many seniors, growing older means facing new kinds of stress--such as fragile health, a tight budget on a fixed income, or the travails of living ...
This is a much different type of caregiving than simply making sure a patient gets her meds or does her physical rehabilitation program; working with dementia patients requires a subtle, holistic, and ethically-based approach.
When my career began 28 years ago, the assisted living concept was first introduced because family members demanded an alternative to medical institutions and nursing homes.
Anyone who has had a loved one in a nursing home knows that feeling of dread when the phone rings early in the morning or late at night. It's never good news.
They reminded me of two little girls sitting on a bench, dangling their legs while waiting for the school bus. I was delighted -- though dazed -- that Ed had made a friend, and so quickly at that.