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Why Elder Care Should Matter to You Too

24 Aug

I’m committed to finding ways to advocate for aging populations. And while I’ve been lax with original content for this space, I have been dutifully keeping up with the latest in issues relating to seniors, aging, dementia and elder care. I do so by reading as much as I can on these subjects whenever I can steal a moment.

With a rapidly aging global population and the likelihood of more individuals than ever before being afflicted with dementia,there seems to be a new study or report released every day. Many of these studies are from  highly reputable institutions. Others are from businesses looking to profit off the coming “grey tsunami” .
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Just Exactly How Old is Old?

12 Jun

Old ladies aren’t supposed to run around and jump up and down and play games all the time. Old people are supposed to sit around talking about the weather…” *

One of my brothers likes to remind me about a time when I was 16 and I referred to his then 30-year-old boss as ancient. Now contrast my naive teenage words of wisdom with those of my seven-year-old:

The other night I was reading a book to my son in which a group of second graders were concerned their gym teacher would soon die if she didn’t start curtailing her many athletic activities. As I read the words “Miss Small is a quarter of a century old. That’s like ancient,” my son could be heard shouting “No it isn’t you dumb heads. She’s 25! That’s not old! Old is like 90!”

Obviously my son at seven has a better sense of  what it means to be old than I did at 16. I bet we all have a different opinion about what age we consider to be old.  So just exactly how old do you think is old? And do you really think age matters?

*Gutman, Dan. Miss Small is Off the Wall, Harper Collins, 2009.

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How Going Back to School at 50+ Helped Me Get My Professional Groove Back

16 Apr

My going back to professional life after five years out of the workforce required perseverance and a plan.  Going back to school part-time for upgrading was what made my efforts succeed.  I engaged my brain in vigorous exercise (which aging experts highly recommend for staving off dementia) and I landed a job in a field of communications that was just getting started when I thought my career was ending. I’ve since completed one program at the University of Toronto and am two-thirds the way through a certificate in digital strategy and communications management.  When a representative of U. of T.’s School of Continuing Education heard how I went from dubious doubter to converted  zealot, she asked me to tell my story to a reporter. And I happily obliged. The piece appeared in yesterday’s print and online editions of The Toronto Star.

Read the article here.

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A Unique Sandwich Generation Conflict: Nursing Home or Private School Tour

10 Apr

Is this the Ultimate Midlife-Parenthood, Sandwich Generation Dilemma?

The  all-too-frequent question of whether to send the children to public school or private school  is often a major issue in many households.  But midlife-first-time parents are just as likely to be debating whether they have time for a private school tour or a nursing home tour.  That’s the dilemma I’m currently facing.  I just learned  that tours of a long term care home which might be suitable for my mother are only held on the same day and time this week as a tour I am supposed to take of a potential school for my son.

So which would you choose — nursing home tour for elderly parent or private school tour for a young child with learning differences?

Grey-Haired Drummer Rocks Out Solo, Goes Viral

21 Jul

She’s been referred to as the mystery granny but has not been identified.

She may or may not be a senior but she sure knows how to rock out the drums. No easy feat when you think about the wear and tear on potentially arthritic joints.

What’s your talent? And do you plan to keep active at it in your later years.

Sandwiched Men Are Out There, Here’s One of Them

26 Apr

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So much has been written and said about sandwiched women, you would think the sandwich generation is a “women only” club, but that’s simply false. Men are just as likely to be stuck in the middle between aging parents and their own family. I know this because my older brother is one of those men. Due to proximity, he is the one most likely to tend to my mother’s frequent requests for shopping and transportation. Somehow, between escorting my mother to a scheduled 1:15 pm doctor’s appointment that didn’t happen until 3:30 and getting  down to his real  job, he found the time to offer up the following glimpse into his life:

I’m the executor of my late uncle’s estate. It’s not a job, but it is an all-encompassing responsibility. And it keeps me running from the  lawyer to the bank with the odd side trip to the accountant. I’m also one of two POA’s for my 81 year old mother who has Alzheimer’s, is going blind, and lives in a fashionable retirement home when she needs to be in a nursing home to get the proper care and attention she needs.

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Tales from the Fresh Side of the Sandwich: A Very Good Friday

29 Mar

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Yesterday was devoted to death and taxes. Today was about fun with the son. We went to the park, rode bikes, and I even helped him build a 3D dinosaur.

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