Beyond greeting cards and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, Valentine's Day is an opportunity to honor the relationships we have with the people who are closest to us. And we are learning that these intimate relationships are just as important to health as many other lifestyle and biological factors.
The Spring 2014 Issue of Generations explores the topic of relationships and aging, but we thought we'd give you this Valentine's sneak peek.
When I finished speaking to residents at a retirement community recently, I noticed a silver-haired woman out of the corner of my eye. She was the only person who stayed seated as the group dispersed. As I made my way to greet her, she grabbed her walker on the aisle and awkwardly stood up as someone typically does who suffers from severe arthritis.
The concept of immersion caregiving is not new. It’s the return of an old tradition supplemented by current science and increased social awareness.
Immersion caregiving means engaging wholly and deeply to help another person achieve fullness of life and in the end, a brilliant, peaceful and dignified departure.
While total immersion in caregiving is not always feasible, if you have all the ingredients, this model can be profoundly gratifying and transforming.
Population aging is occurring around the world. Today there are 31 countries with 15 percent or more of their population ages 65 and older. Japan and Monaco continue to lead, each with 24 percent of their population ages 65 and older, followed by Germany and Italy each with 21 percent. However, with the exception of Japan, Martinique and Puerto Rico (the latter two both with 15 percent of the population ages 65 and older), the majority of the countries with the highest proportion of people ages 65 and older are in Europe.
Intentional communities of elders who choose to not just live in close proximity, but also to share meals and keep a close eye on each other, have seen an upsurge in the past decade in the United States. Such communities are already well-established in northern Europe, in the forms of what are called collective housing in high-rise apartment buildings in Sweden and living groups in Denmark and the Netherlands.
As a social worker and Veteran’s Affairs (VA) accredited claims agent working in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), I am in a unique position to help older adult veterans and their spouses access the benefits available to them, and pass along the knowledge I’ve gained.
We at the American Society on Aging, in partnership with Southwest Airlines (SWA), are happy to announce two new initiatives designed to help students and emerging leaders in the field of aging with the cost of traveling to San Diego to attend the Aging in America Conference and the ASA Leadership Institute.
Through these programs, ASA will provide a limited number of Southwest Airlines round-trip vouchers to:
Aging in community is not new. At the turn of the twentieth century, an older person could expect to live and die in their own home and community, with family, friends, and neighbors providing support as needed (Cassel and Demel, 2001). Of course, few people lived into old age. The average life expectancy in 1900—when the first of the G.I. Generation was born—was only forty-nine years old. Merely 4 percent of the country, three million Americans, lived to ages 65 and older.
You have questions, we have answers! Below are some of your questions about the upcoming Aging in America Conference. If you have questions not answered, leave a comment and we'll respond.
You might also be interested in this webinar which will cover everything you need to know to make your AiA conference experience a success.
Behind the concept of community lies a solid foundation of responsibility—people make choices that affect the community, and a community’s choices—made through policies, social structures, and institutions—need to support its members and its own long-term survival. Above all, aging in community requires that older adults think beyond the individual self, contributing to community while they still can, in anticipation of their later needs in older age.