Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gracefully Aging, Day 22: Our Aging Parents, Part 2

My brother-in-law with my father-in-law, who is nearing 90.  Family members make sure he has frequent meals out with us.
I asked my Facebook friends and blog readers to comment on their experiences in taking care of their aging parents.  Here are some of the responses:

Lea: (I've learned) that in order to be a good caregiver one must take care of herself or himself, with adequate rest, good nutrition and time for themselves.

Karen:   My mom is in a wonderful nursing home...she is in a wheelchair and has dementia. ..I have googled mom's favorite music and played for her...she always smiles so big when I do thus...I know that she remembers these oldies and perhaps a good memory will come to mind for her...also we reminisce about old times which helps me and her....

Amanda: I 've learned since working in a nursing home, to try a memory book.  We use a memory book a lot with my grandma. She has dementia and doesn't remember when we visit her. All it is, is a spiral notebook with the date the time of visit and what we talked about. When she doesn't think that we come and visit her, we open the book and let her read

Lauren:  I am seeing this with my Mom right now. My Grandmother passed away in January and my grandfather has had some health issues, so my Mom has been caring for him. She has some sisters who help, but she is retired so she is usually the one to do the running. It is emotionally exhausting. Definitely something for us to be planning for!

Tabitha:  At times it can be very frustrating...but never let them think for one second that you are irritated...it will make them feel like a burden and after they are gone, you'll regret it. I'm thankful that God helped me in this area with my in laws. There are still some things I regret (because there always are when someone dies), but that's not one of them...so thankful!

Looking ahead:

Finally...as much as we don't like to think of our own old age...it's actually just around the corner.  This article has some great advice and suggestions on how to plan for your own golden years, including anticipating financial and health concerns for yourself and your spouse.



I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge,"  in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October.  Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gracefully Aging, Day 21: Our Aging Parents


With my dad in 2003, about a year and a half before his death

I'm an orphan.

I never thought I would be able to categorize myself that way, but there it is.  My dad passed away in 2004 after a fairly long battle with cancer, and  my mom died unexpectedly almost a  year ago.

I'm going to talk more in my next post about dealing with grief over the loss of my parents.  But I wanted to address something that many people my age are experiencing now: caring for aging parents.

Switching roles

Sometimes middle-aged adults find themselves switching roles with their parents...as they age, the parents being more like children while the children assume a more parental role. This can be  extremely stressful, especially if siblings aren't willing to pitch in and share responsibilities.

My husband's father is approaching 90.  Thankfully he's in good health and still lives fairly independently, but he needs help with many things that he didn't need before.  He doesn't drive anymore, and at least some of his meals need to be provided.  My husband and his five brothers share responsibilities.

But what about those of you who find yourselves being caregivers to aging parents? How do you deal with it?

USA Today recently featured a list of tips for caring for aging parents.  They include making a caregiving budget; exploring free or low-cost public benefits, and considering professional help, among several other practical suggestions.

My mom with my dad, just a few months before he died

As it turned out, I had very little to do with caring for my dad is his final years.  I lived in Illinois, while he lived in Texas.  My mom did most of the caring for him, along with my sister and her family who lived nearby.

Do you care for an aging parent?

Or have you notice the your role as your parents' child changing? I'd love to get your thoughts in  my comments.  I'd also love to know if there have been any resources that have helped you in this journey.



I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge,"  in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October.  Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!




Monday, October 20, 2014

Gracefully Aging, Day 20: Blogs! Pam of Over50Feeling40

Pam Luttrell of OverFiftyFeeling40

"Every time we get dressed each day, we are sending a message to ourselves as well as the outside world.  If I throw on a large, over sized T-shirt and do not fix my hair or makeup, then the message to me and others is that I don't care or matter.  If I go to the wacky extreme, then I am saying I want attention and do not feel confident in my skin...though it might appear to the world the exact opposite."
Definitely one of my biggest inspirations in my quest to be the best "woman of a certain age" that I can be is Pamela Luttrell of Over50Feeling40.

Pam writes:

"..when I turned fifty and began to look at my adult children moving on, I had to ask this question of myself again.  In my remaining years, who do I want to be?  The last eleven years of my life have been about moving toward that answer.

"Reinvention is one of those concepts discussed by some books and seminars as if a magic wand can touch your head and suddenly change the course of life.  The truth is reinvention requires perseverance, determination, and those precious ticks of the clock we are so aware of now."



Reinventing yourself

For Pam, reinventing herself included taking a good long look at how she was dressing and what her hair and makeup said about the image she was presenting to others.

Her new attitude has resulted in a successful blog, appearances and speaking engagements, and partnerships with department stores and other businesses.

Do you need to "reinvent yourself" as you mature? If you feel you do, Pam has 5 (practical, common sense, doable)  Tips for Personal Reinvention here.

And if you would appreciate guidance, suggestions and inspiration in your gracefully-aging years, I can't recommend Over50Feeling40 highly enough!





I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge,"  in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October.  Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gracefully Aging, Day 19: Wise Words












I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge,"  in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October.  Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gracefully Aging, Day 18: Christie Brinkley's Anti-Aging Tips (some may surprise you!)

Christie Brinkley posing with her daughter Sailor

It's hard to believe that supermodel Christie Brinkley turned 60 years old in February 2014.  She's still gorgeous, and if she's had any "work done," it's certainly not obvious!  Plus her figure is still swimsuit-worthy by anyone's standards.

A recent Huffington Post article culled some quotes from Christie from around the web.  Here are a few of her anti-aging tips...and as I said, one or two may surprise you.



Smile.  Christie recently told Prevention Magazine, "The mere act of putting your lips in that position tells your body to release chemicals that instantly make you feel better."

(I totally agree with this, and I firmly believe smiling can take years off your face.)

Hair extensions. Christie told HuffPost style that she wears 16-inch clip-in hair extensions almost every day. According to the article, "Brinkley uses the hair pieces to add body and highlights to her thinning locks, which instantly reverses the signs of aging hair."

"I think of it as a choice," she's quoted as saying.  "Do I want to put in the time or do I just want to put in the hair? Literally, it's just click, click, click,"

Eat sensibly, but allow yourself the occasional treat. "Go ahead and have the Kit Kat at the movies. If you don't satisfy an urge sometimes, you often substitute less-satisfying things and end up eating more."  She does believe in eating three meals a day, and says she snacks on things like melon and nuts.

Make working out fun.  Christie works out regularly, but she believes in changing things up often to avoid boredom.

Exfoliate daily.  She told People Magazine, "I’ve done it since I read that guys look years younger because they shave,"

When she was featured in People Magazine shortly before her 60th birthday, Brinkley wrote on Instagram; "I never would would have imagined this is how I would be celebrating my 60th …But Thank you PEOPLE Magazine for hopefully sending the message that with proper diet , exercise ,and joie de vie, every Birthday is cause for Celebration!”

Sounds like a good philosophy to me!




I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge,"  in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October.  Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!




Friday, October 17, 2014

Gracefully Aging, Day 17 : A Responsiblity to Mentor Part 2

My older sister and my late mom...two of my most precious mentors
In my last post, I talked about the importance of older women sharing their wisdom with younger women in the form of teaching and/or mentoring.

I had asked this question on Facebook:

Ladies, is there a woman older than you that you look up to as a mentor, role model or inspiration? Who is she and why?

Here are more of the replies I received:

Sherry:  My mom has always been there for me through my losses and gains. I love her so much.

Renata:  My mom, Debra. She is an independent, hard working, compassionate, loving, giving, intelligent person. She is my inspiration to be a stronger, wiser person.

Gail:  It's funny that you would ask this question. I have a lady who became an inspiration to me back in 1982 in Washington, D. C. She was my employer for about 3 years. Unfortunately, I did not remain in touch with her over the years. But, I thought of her many times and spoke of her quite often. With the help of modern technology, I've been able to reconnect with her on Facebook after all these years. She relocated to Colorado.

The lady I'm so proud to speak of is someone I'd rather not reveal her name at this time without having her permission. She is now in her 80's. I have told her on Facebook how important she has been to me over the years. She became my employer at a quasi governmental agency in Washington, D. C. She also happened to be from the South. I was hired to be an Administrative Assistant and was compensated generously during my employment.

I found my employer to be an awesome lady. She was professional in every sense of the word. Not only was she gorgeous, but she was amazing. She believed in her faith and was also health conscious. She was married and had children. She led our agency with unbelieveable commitment and passion concerning the education of children. We presented information to the Governor of Maryland. I was involved in producing a published report of our findings which I still have. I was even named in the credits.

My employer not only stayed focused on our mission, but she also showed concern for my well being. If I were sick, she'd bring me rice pudding. She would bring fresh cut flowers for my desk. She instilled in me a desire to be professional in every way that became a part of who I am today. She also provided me the paid opportunity for continuing education. One of those classes was concerning understanding the U. S. Congress.

Kathy:  Mine has been in heaven several years. She prayed for me and sent notes of encouragement.

Tina: My Mom! Her love for the Lord, & her servant's heart!

Is there such a woman in your life? Or maybe you have been able to mentor and encourage a younger woman? Tell me in my comments!

I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge,"  in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October.  Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gracefully Aging, Day 16: A Responsibility to Mentor

photo credit
Has an older woman been especially helpful in your life as a mentor, encourager, and/or inspiration?

I believe that one of the greatest benefits of growing older is the wealth of wisdom we accrue simply by living and learning from our experiences.  We have more practical wisdom in that regard simply because we have the benefit of years compared to our younger female friends.

Check out Titus 2:4 on what the Bible has to say on older women teaching younger women.  It's pretty clear.

Patti M. Hummel writes:

"Today’s young women today are caught up in the whirlwind of life in a way that no generation before had a clue about. These young women are bombarded with schedules and business that some of us older women cannot imagine. Whatever happened to those evenings that were spent sitting on the front porch talking with neighbors while the children played under the stars until they were ready to drop? Whatever happened to quiet evenings at home?

"...There are many wonderful things we can do ... that add joy and encouragement to the lives of others, particularly younger women. The most important thing we can do to provide hope and refreshment to the souls of younger women is praying for and with them."


My sweet mom, who passed away in November 2013, was my greatest mentor.  The wealth of teaching and encouragement she gave me is priceless.

I asked this question on Facebook:

Ladies, is there a woman older than you that you look up to as a mentor, role model or inspiration? Who is she and why?

Here are some of the answers I got:

Ashley: My Aunt Mary! Everything she has been through in life and still has an amazing outlook on life and a great sense of humor! And now she is going to kick this breast cancer's butt!!

Ann:   My sister Jeanette.  Although she is only 4 years older she had been a source of inspiration to me always in the word, an excellent teacher, and has gone through many adversities. The loss of her son Kevin at the age of 42, and the caregiver of her husband Darrell whom because of her excellent care out lived his life time expectancies. And then going through the pain of his death yet still standing strong in The Lord.

Lori:  My mom, whose name is Pearl. She and dad were married 61 years before dad's death from COPD in June, 2013. Their marriage and life together was and is such a beautiful story! Mom is such a selfless, beautiful lady who lives her life for the Lord. She was dad's sole caregiver until Hospice stepped in and helped do what we couldn't. I wish everyone could be so blessed as we are to have her for a mom, grandma, and great-grandma.

Tammy:  There are several but my first choice would be Jan S. She has ALWAYS encouraged me as a wife and mom, she is a Godly lady who leads by example.
1. She serves The Lord, her husband, family, friends and others.
2. She is hospitable - many a time, I have heard her say, "You never know when you are hosting angels in unaware.".
3. She is a homemaker.
4. She is strong (surviving a near death experience fighting back from the grips of cancer). Boy, am I thankful to have her alive and healthy these past 4 years.
5. She laughs at herself, at you and with you.
6. She is wise (more than not when we don't know the answer to something we say, "Call Jan, she knows everything!".
7. She is kind, caring, loving, helpful, & friendly.
Jan is my mentor and inspiration. In my opinion, she is a Proverbs 31 woman

I'll share more of these Facebook replies in my next  post.



I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge,"  in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October.  Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!




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