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Ageless Aging - news
March 06, 2014
March - one of the 'transition months' for those in the temperate zones. Here is New York we have had so much snow and ice that it is still on the ground, the bushes and roofs. I have never felt a longing for Spring as this year.
Now I know that not everyone on this list has the same sort of climate - and every time I put a newsletter together I am reminded that we come from different places, have different climates, different beliefs....but we all share one thing in common. We are getting old and we want our elder years to be meaningful. We also want respect - although that is not always forthcoming. I trust you can console yourself knowing that those who do not respect others, often do not respect themselves....maybe never received real respect very often. .
Why am I talking about respect? Because feeling respected is one of the most LIFE AFFIRMING things. And my knowing that , is the main reason I, and many of you, go out of our way to say 'thank you' or offer comments such a 'good job' to the many people doing service jobs -- bank tellers, store cashiers, people who pack groceries or stack shelves with merchandise. Those of us who are 'old' have the mental freedom to notice and acknowledge the people whose work is often overlooked.
. I really think that expressing appreciation is one of the great works of elders in any society - and those of you who had an appreciative grandparent know exactly what I mean.
Elder workNow to another topic. Work. In societies where there is a firm concept of Elderhood, one of the tasks of the old is to give advice...to share what they have learned in the course of their long lives.
There is a book, The Elder Wisdom Circle - guide for a meaningful life by Doug Meckelson and Diana Haithman. I do not often recommend books but I recommend this one. Its subtitle is: Seniors Across America Offer Advice to the Next Generation. .
I have read the book. Its ideas are NOT just applicable to the United States! This book offers a structure, a way for elders to share the wisdom they have acquired over a lifetime. I recommend the book - since it explains how to do this sort of thing in your locale.
For those of you wanting 'instant' access, I suggest visiting the web site: www.ElderWisdomCircle.org
Now, as the site says, this advice site offers advice from elders in the United States....and most advice seekers come from the USA too. But the book explains the history, process and daily workings of ElderWidsomCircles. It makes it possible for programs/sites to be set up for/in other countries. .
We know that there is a long history of elders being people with wisdom and a source of helpful advice. (When I taught college I became aware of just how many GRANDPARENTS were the persons who encouraged students, who helped them to persevere, to set their sights on college etc.)
I asked Dean Hinmon, one of the readers of this newsletter, to take a look at the ElderWisdomCircle.org site. He was so impressed that he signed on!
You might want to take a look. Who knows you might read their history or get a copy of the book and start an elderwisdom group in your own region!
Final commentSo many people are looking for jobs. I, and I am sure that many of you, can describe jobs that do not yet exist but for which there is a real need by those of us who are elders. .
Here is one. Someone trained to know ALL the assisted care facilities in an area (and can find out about those out side their geographic area) AND this person also needs to be trained in understanding older persons....to be able to talk to an elder, find out what makes him/her 'tick.'..what 'counts' to them. .
Such a person could makes useful recommendations of what facilities might be a 'good fit' for a given elder. Right now no one seems really qualified to perform this service. Family members spend hours, days trying to find a 'good place' for a parent or grandparent. Elders without children have no one who really knows them AND often they do not know all the facilities available or the 'styles of care' in each. .
Wouldn't it be lovely is there was someone to consult - much as first home buyers can find a really good real estate agent... or a student wanting to go to college can get good advice from their school guidance counselor? .
Surely such an important decision as to where we live out or elder years deserves at least as much good advice as that of buying a first home or choosing a college. Maybe you could suggest starting such a service in your community?
MY thanksThanks for reading today's newsletter. Next month I shall go back to the topics some of you sent - though I think today's piece about wisdom circles answers some of those requests. .
Be well. Be happy - and if you are not.... spend a few minutes each day laughing. Yes. It can seem false when you start but after a few minutes, you will find yourself feeling happier and wanting to laugh. It works. Try it a few times this week.
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