21 rules for a good old age

Below is an email I got the other day from a friend.

I thought the 21 rules for a good old age was pretty sound counsel. It's goof for our aging parents and loved ones, and it's good for ourselves, too. Please read and reflect, and embrace what most makes sense to you!

 

 
Hi All,
 
Some of us have reached our golden years, and some of us have not. But these suggestions should be read by everyone. They have been collected from many a senior, each with his or her own piece of advice. Some you know, some may surprise you, and some will remind you of what's important. So read well, share with your loved ones, and have a great day and a great life! 

 
 1. It's time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don't just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard earned capital.
 
2. Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don't feel bad spending your money on yourself. You've taken care of them for many years, and you've taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.
 
3. Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep. It's easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, do tests even when you're feeling well. Stay informed.
 
4. Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then, enjoy it together.
 
5. Don't stress over the little things. You've already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don't let the past drag you down and don't let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Small issues will soon be forgotten.
 
6. Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor and remember: "A man is not old as long as he has intelligence and affection."
 
7. Be proud, both inside and out. Don't stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong.
 
8. Don't lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. There's nothing worse than an older person trying to wear the current fashion among youngsters. You've developed your own sense of what looks good on you – keep it and be proud of it. It's part of who you are.
 
9. ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You'll be surprised what old friends you'll meet. Keeping in touch with what is going on and with the people you know is important at any age.
 
10. Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them of yesterday's wisdom that still applies today.
 
11. Never use the phrase: "In my time". Your time is now. As long as you're alive, you are part of this time. You may have been younger, but you are still you now, having fun and enjoying life.
 
12. Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it'll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending your time with bitter people will make you older and harder to be around.
 
13. Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have a financial choice, that is). Sure, being surrounded by family sounds great, but we all need our privacy. They need theirs and you need yours. If you've lost your partner (our deepest condolences), then find a person to move in with you and help out. Even then, do so only if you feel you really need the help or do not want to live alone.
 
14. Don't abandon your hobbies. If you don't have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, grow a garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf. You can paint, volunteer at an NGO or just collect certain items. Find something you like and spend some real time having fun with it.
 
15. Even if you don't feel like it, try to accept invitations.  Baptisms, graduations, birthdays, weddings, conferences. Try to go. Get out of the house, meet people you haven't seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). But don't get upset when you're not invited. Some events are limited by resources, and not everyone can be hosted. The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a field. Get out there.
 
16. Be a conversationalist. Talk less and listen more. Some people go on and on about the past, not caring if their listeners are really interested. That's a great way of reducing their desire to speak with you. Listen first and answer questions, but don't go off into long stories unless asked to. Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you really need to. Try to accept situations as they are. Everyone is going through the same things, and people have a low tolerance for hearing complaints. Always find some good things to say as well.
 
17. Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of the cycle of life we're all going through. Try to minimize them in your mind. They are not who you are, they are something that life added to you. If they become your entire focus, you lose sight of the person you used to be.
 
18. If you've been offended by someone – forgive them. If you've offended someone – apologize. Don't drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn't matter who was right. Someone once said: "Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die." Don't take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on with your life.
 
19. If you have a strong belief, savor it. But don't waste your time trying to convince others. They will make their own choices no matter what you tell them, and it will only bring you frustration. Live your faith and set an example. Live true to your beliefs and let that memory sway them.
 
20. Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never  get to this age, never get to experience a full life. But you did. So what's not to laugh about? Find the humor in your situation.
 
21. Take no notice of what others say about you and even less notice of what they might be thinking. They'll do it anyway, and you should have pride in yourself and what you've achieved. Let them talk and don't worry. They have no idea about your history, your memories and the life you've lived so far. There's still much to be written, so get busy writing and don't waste time thinking about what others might think. Now is the time to be at rest, at peace and as happy as you can be!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eldercare givers need clarity on rights vs. duties

What rights and duties must eldercare givers consider when decisions must be made on behalf of their aging loved ones? As a recent guest on the CareGivingMatters.ca podcast, Dr. Michael Gordon explained how eldercare givers should think about rights versus duties when it comes to formally acting for aging loved ones.

Substitute decision makers– or, those with power of attorney– have a lot to think about, act upon, and decide. Understanding the difference between their right and duties is an important factor. Listen to this 25 minute podcast here as he explains what you may have to consider.

Listen to Podcast

The concern and confusion about elder abuse

It’s interesting to note that the past couple of years there have been more news coverage about ‘elder abuse’.  It’s akin to how child abuse became a mainstream issue about a dozen years ago: some people complained about it and media recognized the issue and took up the cause.

Aside from a very small sprinkling of truly warped people who delight in inflicting some kind of pain in the elderly, I think there is actually a substantial amount of both unintentional and intentional elder abuse.

Let’s look at the three core kinds.

Abusing elders financially.  Virtually all older people spend years building a nest egg for themselves so they can feel they’re reasonably safe financially. They want to be independent if possible and not have to impose on their children, or worry about quality of life.

Yet it’s more commonplace than one expects to hear and know about older parents where their own children or other trusted family members scheme to take some or much of the money away. Whether in the guise of a loan, or on the pretense of offering good financial investments, there are those who manage to strip away older family members’ savings.

Worse yet are those who find every possible way to skimp on what aging parents may need or want so that there’s more left in the bank to inherit.

Abusing elders emotionally. There is something terrible about how some people inflict emotional stress and pain on aging parents.

There are lots of cases where the elderly are marginalized and isolated even in a house full of family members. It happens still too frequently in hospitals, assisted living facilities, in nursing homes, and in private homes. Often it’s not intentional.

Emotional elder abuse happens for the most part for two reasons.  One: when some elderly with more cognitive difficulties without understanding or even knowing it push away the good intentions of professional and family caregivers. Those elderly people actually set the stage for emotional abuse by being so difficult and critical that they make people not want to engage with them.

Second: a lot of us just plain run too hard to remember the singularly sensitive needs of the more elderly. Because on some level most elderly people know they’re losing a lot of important things in their lives and the ability to control their environment, they need to feel wanted and appreciated. Their often-heightened personal need, though, is frequently met by an inadvertent letdown when we just don’t give aging parents the emotional reinforcement they’re needing.

Abusing elders physically. This seems to be the kind of abuse riveting media attention most, and by and large our own attention.

Getting physical elder abuse front and centre of our attention is good and important. After all, physical abuse of elders is the most evident, most reported, and most talked about.

Too often, families of an elderly person who is in hospital or a nursing home rush off to complain when they see signs of bruising or abrasions on a parent or other older loved one. But what they usually fail to understand—and health care professionals usually don’t do a good job in pre-empting with good briefings—is that old people simply bruise more easily. Many break bones way more easily. They are more fragile in every respect.

That doesn’t at all excuse the real and heart-wrenching incidents of physical elder abuse. We need to be on guard for it and protect as best we can our elders from ever being abused physically. Health care professionals and health support workers need to be very vigilant and never assume a sign of physical abuse can be overlooked.

Elder abuse, whether financial, emotional, or physical, is just as unacceptable as child abuse is. Every one of us should be sensitive to how we interact with older family or patients. We need to work hard at respecting their needs and fears.

What we need, simply, is a responsible, realistic set of laws, rules, and regulations that guide how we interact with the elderly and how we call to account those who in any way inflict abuse on them. The concern and confusion about elder abuse is real and pressing.

Financial abuse of the elderly is a real issue

Financial abuse of the elderly is a real issue many people don't know about or elect to ignore.

Ensure your aging parents aren't sujbect to financial abuse.

The International Federation on Aging recently releeased an interesting and thought-provoking report that is Canada-centric that is worth a read. You'll find it here: http://www.ifa-fiv.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Financial-Abuse-of-Seniors-Meeting.pdf