Extra Attention For Our Elders

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posted on Dec, 13 2013 @ 05:17 PM
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Funny how things sometimes happen in a day that seem related and I pay attention to these things, which prompted to put this out here. I ran across a few articles today regarding the elderly and how they so often begin giving up and accelerate the downward spiral of mental physical and spiritual health. My Grandmother, rest her soul, suffered from dementia her last years and as many of you know this is a heartbreaking and stressful situation.

Aside from dementia in particular, I wanted to address the attention and and attitude that occur with so many during this process of aging. I wish to share an observation in hope that others may take something from and maybe make an extra effort for our aging loved ones. What I noticed with my Grandparents and other friend's relatives, is that at some point we stop or minimize engaging them. Too often I have both heard and seen that elderly folks want to feel of worth, to their family and friends as well as in general. We tend to start neglecting what they are saying and brushing off their perspectives and I see it in their faces, as their spirit begins to deflate. People sometimes park these members in front of a tv as if that is enough to keep them sane. My Grandma always wanted to help and everyone said "no, no, we got it, you just relax."

The benefit of engaging them is not just for mental stimulation(which is highly important)but also just to keep them feeling normal and participative(of worth). I used to talk with my Grandma about things from her life, and feed her little spoonfuls of issues happening in today's world. I would involve her in some of my simple tasks around the house. She used to like to have me read to her, or play guitar,which often made her relax and dose off with a smile. It is important to get them out of the house for some fresh air and sunshine. We did some craft work and listened to music. She was so sweet and these things made a huge difference in how she entered the day. I saw her mental skills exercised and the gloom subside.

Unfortunately, I moved out of state and since then every visit or communication was one of sadness, for my family did share the same enthusiasm as I did about this. They recognized the benefit, but they held that "she is just getting old" attitude, and I do not think that is right or fair.

I am starting to see this with my 73 year old father and it tears me up that I am so far away. He is starting to do that slow walk, baby step thing which I think is representative of giving up in a sense. Yet when I encourage activity, it disappears, and he is normal again. He just got computer literate and plugging into cyber space has been wonderful, with the exception of windows upgrade and anti-virus issues that make him crazy! haha I wish I could afford a mac for him, just because of it's user friendliness and smoothness in navigation.

So my point is, before our aging elders get to that stage of giving up, engage them, and I feel it will prolong their health and happiness. Make them feel at worth each day somehow, ask their advice on things. Encourage them to tell you stories of their day. Yes I know that can be a bit boring, but it is worth it to see them light up and sometimes a bit entertaining.

Christmas is a time when a lot of older folks pass away it seems, so especially now give them some love and attention.

Peace and Happy Holidays,
spec
edit on 13-12-2013 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 13 2013 @ 05:30 PM
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Well stated and full of wisdom. You are an ATS treasure, Spec! Thank you.

My pop will be 89 on Christmas day. For the last few years, he and I were the caregivers at home for my niece who has a devastating genetic crippling disease. Two years into that he had to have a quadruple bypass.

We were blessed by his recovery, but he had become cranky in a way he never had before. I finally realized that he had been taking care of his family and neighbors for years and he had started to feel somewhat unneeded.

I continued to take care of him during his recovery, but I started letting him do more and made sure I let him know how TRULY much we did need him in every way. That was all it took and he got his old "can do" back and his recovery sped up remarkably.

He's back to being more generally active than I am...now I feel unneeded lol!


edit on 13-12-2013 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2013 @ 05:40 PM
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double post
edit on Fri Dec 13 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2013 @ 05:43 PM
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speculativeoptimist
Funny how things sometimes happen in a day that seem related and I pay attention to these things, which prompted to put this out here. I ran across a few articles today regarding the elderly and how they so often begin giving up and accelerate the downward spiral of mental physical and spiritual health. My Grandmother, rest her soul, suffered from dementia her last years and as many of you know this is a heartbreaking and stressful situation. Aside from dementia in particular, I wanted to address the attention and and attitude that occur with so many during this process of aging. I wish to share an observation in hope that others may take something from and maybe make an extra effort for our aging loved ones. What I noticed with my Grandparents and other friend's relatives, is that at some point we stop or minimize engaging them. Too often I have both heard and seen that elderly folks want to feel of worth, to their family and friends as well as in general. We tend to start neglecting what they are saying and brushing off their perspectives and I see it in their faces, as their spirit begins to deflate. People sometimes park these members in front of a tv as if that is enough to keep them sane.
My Grandma always wanted to help and everyone said "no, no, we got it, you just relax."

The benefit of engaging them is not just for mental stimulation(which is highly important)but also just to keep them feeling normal and participative(of worth). I used to talk with my Grandma about things from her life, and feed her little spoonfuls of issues happening in today's world. I would involve her in some of my simple tasks around the house. She used to like to have me read to her, or play guitar,which often made her relax and dose off with a smile. It is important to get them out of the house for some fresh air and sunshine. We did some craft work and listened to music. She was so sweet and these things made a huge difference in how she entered the day. I saw her mental skills exercised and the gloom subside.


Good Job! I work for Bankers life and Colonial Penn .... I work with seniors every day.... even if I don't make money I show them how to get more out of their retirement and more.
edit on 13-12-2013 by nighthawk1954 because: (no reason given)
edit on Fri Dec 13 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: trimmed quote Quote Crash Course



posted on Dec, 13 2013 @ 07:11 PM
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reply to post by The GUT
 


Well thank you for the sentiment Gut, and I feel the same about you buddy! Glad to hear of the recovery and man that had to be tough for all of you. I can put myself in their place and just imagine the unintentional neglect one encounters. That "can do" spirit is essential to assuring quality of life for our loved ones and I swear it can delay the aging process, psychologically at the very least.

We younger ones, or middle age I should say in my case, can handle a bit of that "unneeded" feeling, if not down right require it at times! It does not take much to create these interactions and I think it is important. Best wishes to you guys!

spec



posted on Dec, 13 2013 @ 07:38 PM
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reply to post by nighthawk1954
 

Good to hear nighthawk, every little bit can count. I am sure you can read many of their faces, and have seen the full spectrum of health/happiness status, so good for to to throw them a bone of encouragement.

spec



posted on Dec, 13 2013 @ 10:44 PM
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My Mom is 90 and I make sure to see and speak with her daily. I always help with her housework or run errands. Young healthy people seem to think they'll stay that way forever, but one day they will be that elderly person with the slow step and weary eyes.

Our elderly have much wisdom and love to share and shoud never ever be taken for granted.



posted on Dec, 13 2013 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by Night Star
 

Well said NS, and tis true, we shall all endure the transition. I hope to be one that stays sharp and active until the day I pass. I have seen people that do just that and a few common denominators are eating less, maintaing social activities and learning new things.

The wisdom is valuable too. I enjoyed learning a few things from my Grandma's earlier days and times. Sometimes simplicity plays a part in things I realized, without so many complexities to get tangled in.
Thanks for your reply


spec
edit on 13-12-2013 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2013 @ 04:49 AM
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So much wisdom packed in one thread. I'm really moved by all the posts here. I lost my Dad to lung cancer last year though he never smoked. He stayed healthy and very active for 82 years, not bad! I thought he would always be around.
Now I'm finishing building a bedroom for my mother since she lives a couple hours away and is fighting cancer for a 2nd time (so far she's doing excellent). She'll be moved in by Christmas and THAT will be MY present- I get my mom back.
She always loves to help too and your advice Spec is spot on! I need to let her do things to make her feel useful. I catch myself telling her, No, I got it - you go relax. She doesn't want to relax, she wants to do things. Duh.... Thank you for such sage advice! It will go far in helping her stay happy.
She took up painting a couple years ago and that is something I can definitely help her with. Bob Ross may be gone but happy trees will go on! We'll have some fun with that for sure.
We may all get fat though, she's a wonderful cook (I ain't too shabby in the kitchen either!). LOL!

We need to treasure the elderly who have worked so hard to leave us with all great things we have available in our lives. They still need to feel useful, wanted and loved like everyone else. It's easy to get overprotective and end up hurting more than helping which reminds me of something that happened a few years back - my parents had elderly neighbors and the man had broken his arm. I was mowing my parent's lawn and noticed their grass needed cutting too. So I started mowing my neighbors yard. Next thing I know he comes out of the house yelling at me to "cut your own damn grass!". Here I was thinking I was helping but I was taking something away from him that he could do that made him feel useful. I was so embarrassed. DON"T UNDERESTIMATE THE ELDERLY they might just kick your ass for it!

Merry Christmas everyone!
Being here with you all means a lot to me.
Thanks for being a part of my ATS world!

Cheers,
ATA



posted on Dec, 14 2013 @ 10:58 AM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


I lost my Dad too. I am so sorry to hear your Mom has cancer for a second time. I had cancer and live with the fear of it returning all the time. I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers. And hugs to you for being such a good daughter.



posted on Dec, 14 2013 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 

Hey there friend, always good to her from you! Condolences on your father man, 82 was a good long life and I hope there was minimum suffering. That damn cancer knows no limits it seems and is widespread in it's reach.
So glad you gots your mom back, and I am sure she is grateful as well. Sounds like you and I are thinking along the same lines, a common thing here at ATS brother. I was hoping others may benefit somehow from this notion and as you know, it makes a difference. Getting fat? Well it is the holidays ya know, haha!


DON"T UNDERESTIMATE THE ELDERLY they might just kick your ass for it!

Haha, indeed!
Hope your guys holidays are warm and joyous!

Merry Christmas,
spec



posted on Dec, 14 2013 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 

So glad to hear your mom is moving in with you, I know it will be priceless for you both. I know this time I'm getting to spend with my pop is.

Your story about mowing your neighbor's yard was priceless and reminds me of my first trip to New York City. I was walking down a street and saw a rather frail looking elderly man sitting on his front stoop and I said, "How you doin?" and the ol' feller spat back in a gruff voice, "Mind your own f*****n business!


Merry Christmas to you, too! Happy Trees, Happy Trees.



posted on Dec, 14 2013 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by Night Star
 

I am sorry for your loss NS, and I did not know you fought the battle too! I hope ATS served to help in someway, either as support from friends or from sources and advice. I always refer folks to some threads here from the past cuz I think there is some great info provided.
Stay strong sista and Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Peace,
spec





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