Archive for category Joy in aging

Artist Michael Reagan

Have you ever been inspired by a senior who his making a difference in the world?  Here is a video on artist Michael Reagan, a man who has taken his love for art and turned his craft into fundraising for charity and donating art to the family of fallen American soldiers.

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Live Life to the Fullest

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What’s Your Story?

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Currently, I am working as a hospice volunteer coordinator.  Recently, I put together a list of items, or stories a parent or grandparent might want to write down and pass on.  It was the passing of my grandmother, that made me think of such a list.  Nene died this winter; she was 98.  She hadn’t been able to communicate much for years, and the opportunity to ask these type of questions, sadly is gone.

When I think about what is the most valuable item a person could leave for another person, I think it might be an “All About Me” journal.  This journal could be passed on for generations to come.  If you have an elderly person in your life, or someone who is on hospice, this is a terrific thing to do.

Purchase a good quality journal (acid free paper), have the person write down the answers in their own writing (printing-not cursive), or have another individual write down the answers.  If there are multiple children, find a way to make a copy of it.  Finally, attach personal photos in the journal.  Consider the best time to share it.  An individual who completes it him or herself, may want to share it with the “receiver”, or wrap it up and place it aside for a special gift for some time in the future.

*Click below, and continue on next page for my list:

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Doll Therapy

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Have you considered doll therapy when working with individuals with memory loss?  This article lists the pros and cons.  Overall, I think the benefits can be tremendous.  I have observed elderly women in long-term care who talk to their doll and care for it.  The doll is very comforting and provides great joy to the patient.

I just recently watched a documentary on adults- both men and women who are serious doll collectors (Barbie dolls and Reborn dolls) and they have no memory loss.  Some women even bring their Reborn dolls out in public and push them in strollers.

I think it’s a great idea.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/10/03/495655678/doll-therapy-may-help-calm-people-with-dementia-but-it-has-critics

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Eugenia Smiled

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Do you work with seniors who have end-stage (or advanced) Alzheimer’s?  Have you found it challenging to connect to them in a meaningful way?  It can be difficult without knowing something about what they used to enjoy.  Below is a story of Eugenia, a senior who was 100 years old and was told that she didn’t need a volunteer.  Not only did she have an advanced case of Alzheimer’s, she was partially blind and had hearing difficulties.

A volunteer coordinator decided to place a volunteer with Eugenia every day of the week.  Each day volunteers read to her.  Volunteers also oriented Eugenia to her surroundings and the time.  Week after week, Eugenia continued to be unaware of the companionship she was receiving.  But one day, a young volunteer sang his university’s fight song.  Then it happened- Eugenia’s feet began to tap.  She bobbed her head and lifted her eyes.  With all eyes on Eugenia, she looked up and spread her lips and smiled.

It took time and patience.  It took finding what Eugenia needed to connect to the outside world.  Her smile meant so much to those volunteers- they had finally made a connection.  What she needed was music!

http://seniorsmiles.org/about-us/stories

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98 Year Old Yoga Instructor- Still Teaching

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This woman in this article below has had a very interesting and long life.  She has been a model, an actress, and once as a child she even took place in Ghandi’s Salt March.  At one time she was married, but she has no children.  She says her yoga students are her children.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/tao-98-old-poster-child-yoga-wellness-035323584.html

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Sitting Too Long Speeds Up Aging Process

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Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that elderly people who sit for most of the day age quicker than their more active contemporaries.  According to James Goodwin, head of research at Age UK says, “people don’t realize that if you sit down all day it can undermine all the exercise you do”.  It is recommended that people stand up and move around every 20 minutes throughout the day.  For more about this interesting topic, see below.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/18/sitting-hours-day-speeds-ageing-new-research/

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