Someone sent this to me on Facebook today. I just had to pass on this little bit of sunshine to you all:
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Someone sent this to me on Facebook today. I just had to pass on this little bit of sunshine to you all:
Monday, February 22, 2010
The February issue of the Aging in Indiana e-news is now available.
This month, we provide an interview with Kristen LaEace, the new CEO of the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, as well as our usual offering of news from the world of aging and calendar of upcoming events.
To read this month's issue, click here.
To subscribe to Aging in Indiana, click here.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I’ve known since I was a little girl that I wanted to be writer. And so I went to college, got a degree in journalism and public relations and have spent the past 18 years writing.
Most of my writing was corporate stuff, until I discovered the wonderful world of blogging and in July 2008 launched my own personal blog. But all that still hasn’t fulfilled my dreams of being a writer. I want to be a published author, to hold in my hands a professionally printed and bound book with my name on the spine.
So that goes on the top of my list of “5 Things I Want to Be When I Grow Up:”
- A published book author.
- An artist. I love color and love to make it come alive – putting paint or even Sharpie marker to paper or canvas and creating something that will make me smile. Unlike writing a book, I don’t have any desire to sell art. I just want to make art for myself (ok, and maybe for Christmas gifts!).
- A volunteer. I want to be one of those volunteers that everyone knows is there on Tuesdays and Fridays or whatever. Specifically, I’d like to volunteer in a way that does not involve my children’s school. Not that I don’t enjoy the time I spend working on school events, but it often feels more like a fun obligation than a draw to share myself. I’m still trying to figure out where my passions lie – outside of my family that is. Once I figure that out, that’s where I’ll give my time.
- A traveler. My husband and I aren’t very good about taking vacations. We take time off of work, but we’re not the type of family to go on annual vacations. Usually time or money or both keep us close to home, doing short weekend trips, if anything. But I’d love to be able to pick up and go for a week or more to some place I’ve never been before, but always wondered about.
- A Grandma. Maybe it’s cliché, but it’s true. And not that I’m hoping to fulfill this one any time soon. But I definitely want to be a grandma when I grow up. I want to keep my grandchildren for overnights and take them to bookstores and ice cream shoppes and sit in the stands of their basketball games cheering them on.
How about you? What do you want to be when you grow up?
For interesting stories about how some older Hoosiers are spending their time, check out the documentary "When Did I Get Old," produced by WFYI Television in cooperation with the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I am 60 and looking for a job! (Don’t worry – my boss and co-workers know, so I’m not letting any cat out of the bag here.) After five years in this position, I’m finding myself ready to apply my expertise in a new environment. According to the latest report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I will be one of 9.3 million people leaving a permanent job.
My reaction to looking for a new job is one of excitement mixed with hesitancy. I am excited because a new job usually means meeting new people, sharing new ideas and developing or refining skills. The hesitancy is a natural response to leaving familiar surroundings, people and work assignments. Once I put those two emotions aside I have to ask myself some hard questions.
1.) Do I want to work and do I have to work to live comfortably? The answer to both those questions is “yes.” I am up to another challenge and I do wish to embrace it.
2.) What is my exact reason for working? The most important aspect while seeking a job is to have your priorities straight. When I was younger I followed my husband and created jobs. After the divorce there was only one priority, my son. I worked hard so I could continually climb the ladder which allowed me to pay for necessities. That time has passed and now I work for my future.
The reason many of my fellow Baby Boomers work is health insurance. Many of my friends who originally thought they would retire at 60 or 65 years of age have stayed on the job for another five to 10 years so they could maintain their health insurance. While I want to work, I have to work at a job that comes with health insurance and a pay that allows me to save for my 70s and 80s.
3.) What is it I want to do for a living? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone would pay me to read what I wanted to and report or teach it to the world? I read one job ad where you preserve park land by traveling through a remote area by hiking, horseback or rafting. I said to myself – “That is the job for me…25 years ago.” Another job that caught my eye was Project Director for Scientists in Antarctica. At this stage in my life I want to spend time with family and friends – none of whom live in Antarctica -- plus my pug dog was not welcome.
As a practical matter, I know I want to do something that benefits others who are in need. I have worked with all ages, but I do like working with or on behalf of older adults ages 60 and older. I also know I want each day to be adventurous in some manner. Maybe I will have to spice up my personal life!
4.) Location, location, location. I have moved all my life...New Jersey to Florida to Alaska back to Indiana to New York to Wisconsin and the list goes on. Moving does not phase me, but I would like to build new relationships and social connections during my last 10 years of working that will follow me into my third life. So, it would be nice to make wherever I land my “aging in place” home.
5.) What is my salary range and am I willing to take a pay cut? According to a 2009 AARP article, there are more than 16 million people unemployed and an estimated 3 million job openings. This translates into an oversupply of labor and can mean lower wages. Is any income better than no income?
Personally, that decision depends on too many variables to come up with a stock answer. At this time, I would say “No.” My job search to date tells me that there are jobs out there that I am interested in and qualified for that do not require me to take a lower paying job. If you want health care insurance, you pay the same as the person making a higher wage so you have less to live on or put away in savings.
Now with a better sense of my priorities and the excitement of an adventurer, let the search begin!
Friday, February 12, 2010
The little child inside each one of us is the person to feel the jolts of pain, confusion, and sadness when a parent dies. Whatever experiences we have had previously with people dying do not compare to the experience of losing a parent. Losing grandparents comes very close to it and might be as much or more dramatic depending on the nature of the relationship. When a parent dies, a part of one’s self also dies because they were a thread providing our connection to the rest of humanity. This phenomenon happens at birth. Even if we did not share happy times with our parents while growing up or spend time together as adults, our DNA provides us with an intimate connection and we are affected on many levels by their passing away.
My dad was almost 81 years old when he died this past December and he had experienced many episodes of injuries and illnesses over his lifetime. On a conscious level, I was half-expecting a phone call at any time these past few years to inform me that he was gone. But when the time came to sit with him in the hospital after surgery and then follow that with a week-long vigil at the hospice center, it was like having a bad dream instead of experiencing something I had prepared myself for well in advance.
The little child inside each one of is the person is the one who has to recover, reorient, and instruct the adult we have become on how to go on living without our parent. As adults we can consciously consider ourselves independent entities, but on a much deeper emotional level, we all depend on our mother or father for validation of our existence. When a parent dies, the adult that we are can carry on and make decisions, take action, move forward with the activities of life. It is the little child inside who must inform us on how to really “live it” to the fullest.
There are many helpful articles, books, websites and checklists to guide us in task management and the grieving processes. A good place to start is Hospice Foundation of America. While these kind of tools can be very useful, most often the best resource for healing is your own circle of family and friends. Also check with your local hospice association for a bereavement support group as a good supplement to your social network.
Tamara Wolske, MS
Academic Program Director
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 15-21. This is your opportunity to do something nice -- and unexpected -- for someone else.
SeniorsforLiving.com is encouraging their readers to bestow those acts of kindness on an older adult. With all the snow blanketing much of the country right now, shoveling the walk of an older neighbor would be an easy fit. Or making and delivering a pot of hot, delicious soup. Or offering to to give a senior you know a lift to the grocery store or church. Sending a card to a local nursing home -- either to someone you know or marked "To a resident who could use some cheer."
For more ideas, click here.
SeniorsforLiving.com is encouraging as many people as possible to participate. Other ways you can participate include:
- blogging about Random Acts of Kindness Week and asking your readers to do something nice for a senior;
- promoting the effort on your Facebook page;
- telling about random acts on Twitter, using the hashtag #RAKsr
Random acts of kindness for a senior -- are you in?
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I have two brothers and two sisters. Growing up, I loved having a larger family -- never a lonely moment. (Of course on the flip side, rarely a solitary moment either.)
Until I started working in this job, I didn't give much consideration to how having siblings would affect caring for our parents in their later years. While my parents are still perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, as the oldest, I feel an oncoming sense of responsibility. But I live two hours away, as does one of my sisters.
I have another sister and a brother who live in the same hometown. Actually, my brother -- only a senior in high school (that's a story for another blog!) -- still lives at home. So the lion's share of the physical caregiving will probably fall to those two.
My other brother is probably the most business-minded of the five of us, so I can see us relying on him for financial decisions. It doesn't help that he lives in Georgia.
I can begin to see how delicate the dance between siblings is when it comes to caring for aging parents. Others can too.
This week in the blogroll at All Things Aging, two of the blogs posted articles dealing with exactly that:
- At Transition Aging Parents, Dale Carter talks about how to deal with a difficult sibling when making decisions for an aging parent. In her post, Dale recommends the book Crucial Conversations.
- The February 2 entry at Minding Our Elders features a discussion of the book They're You're Parents, Too: How Siblings can Survive their Parents' Aging without Driving Each Other Crazy
I'll be taking notes!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
A survey commissioned by homebuilder Pulte Homes said younger baby boomers -- those turning 50 this year -- are not optimistic about their ability to retire.
Forty-one percent say they will never be financially capable of retiring and 23 percent have not even started to save, Pulte disclosed at the International Builders' Show, which was held in Las Vegas last month.
Only 15 percent of boomers surveyed who will turn 64 this year felt that they will never be financial able to retire. Those in this age group who do feel able to retire plan to do so at a median age of 63, compared to age 67 as was reported by the younger group of boomers.
Pulte Homes' Del Webb division builds "active lifestyle" housing communities for people age 55 and older.
For more information about the survey, which included over 1,000 respondents and was conducted by Harris International, click here.