Think of me–and thus this blog–as a well-educated, reality-based cheerleader for helping parents age well.
Here our (my Sr. Advisors and my) goal is to combine:
–creative ideas for fun and gifts when spirits need lifting
–smart strategies for handling aging’s challenges.
When we think about helping older people care-giving often comes to mind. Indeed some of us may be caregivers or companions, or feel this responsibility. Here we focus on helping elders age well–until the end.
Whether they have health issues or not, elders have pride and value feeling independent. And we can improve the odds and make the best of the inevitable challenges by doing some of the little things that mean a lot and by avoiding some of the big things that lead to problems–for them and for us.
Woven into most posts are ideas: for affirming self-esteem, building confidence, ensuring respect, and fostering independence–plus creative ways to generate a smile or provide a jump-start when spirits fall. When we help parents age as well as possible, we–of course–help ourselves too.
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Feelings of independence, confidence and self-esteem are empowering to everyone, essential to aging well; but also easily compromised in older people.
Indeed, a commonality between the teenagers I was counseling and aging parents surprised me:
My counselees were struggling to feel confident, to be independent, to keep or make new friends, and to have a social life, while my parents’ generation was dealing with these very same aspects of living.
Question: Do we conscientiously encourage and support younger people who have a full life ahead, but (often unwittingly) diminish and devalue older people?
Younger people are optimistic about their ability to move forward. For older people, it’s “ify.” When they say “I’m getting old,” it’s OK; but when they say “what’s the use, I’m getting old” there are most likely problems ahead for them and for us.
We can–and do–make a difference–empowering, supporting, adding stimulation and enjoyment. Indeed it can be a profound difference when we contribute intelligently with solid information–especially when stuff happens that threatens life as they’ve known it. That’s the reason for Help! Aging Parents.