Category

For Caregivers

This category speaks to matters especially important to caregivers–family members and perhaps professional caregivers–who help make life full for older adults. If nothing else, this category is one way of saying thanks!

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How (NOT) to patronize older adults

  In my experience, patronizing anyone isn’t a good idea. In fact, it’s harmful—to others, to yourself and to your relationships. It might seem otherwise: the etymology of “patronize” leads back to the kindly father/patron who has in mind only the best interest of others. Personal experience tells us otherwise: Patronizing behaviors are rooted in arrogance masked as kindness; their netMORE...

Words you can use

  One anchor maxim in neurolinguistics goes something like this: No words, no thoughts; know words, know thoughts. The implication is intriguing: The stronger your vocabulary, the more likely the depth and breadth of your thinking. These ideas may also apply to the ways in which you express ideas and ideals about older adults. Today I include an aggregation of words and phrases you might useMORE...

How will they know?

The older you get, the less most folks know about you. Two reasons: There are fewer people around you who have known you for awhile. And you probably don’t go around bragging about your history—work, family, adventures, accomplishments, roles, extraordinary knowledge or skills. For those reasons, nothing special about you sticks out in most folks’ minds—and so you are stuck inside only oneMORE...

The day is coming

  From what I hear, probably the most difficult adjustment at this stage in life comes when our car keys or driver’s license are taken away. (I’m pretty sure that very few of us voluntarily relinquish this all-important element of our independent living!) The giving up of a car may arise from a near or actual crisis, and it likely precipitates others that seem far worse. I write this entryMORE...

Storytelling with older adults

  Storytelling—theirs, yours, God’s–can be a pleasurable activity you share with older adults. I come from several generations of story-telling elders, so I love to wade into the stories that others tell, and those I spool out. Storytelling is a nearly-spiritual art that almost anyone can practice and enjoy. Although some stories can get out of hand—length, repetition, degradation ofMORE...

How to talk with older saints

Many older adults may not experience meaningful, enjoyable conversations in their later years. The range of subjects can narrow, topics can repeat themselves and the necessities of old age can push away opportunities for informal chatting or earnest self-revelation. Want to liven up your times of conversation with older adults? See if any of these ideas might be useful: • Keep your conversationsMORE...

You’re doing the best you can

  A word of grace for those of you who care for an elderly person: You probably have less reason to feel guilty about your level of care than you might imagine. To say that another way: You’re probably doing the best you can with the resources, energy and capabilities that are available to you. Caring for an older neighbor, friend or family member is perhaps the most complicated andMORE...

Giving up (or not)?

I’ve seen it coming in too many of the older people I know and love: Throwing in the towel—giving up or just not keeping up. Not caring about most things. Letting life and limb go to pot. Perhaps you’ve experienced small indications that this kind of thinking is germinating inside your spirit…? It’s easy to say that spiritually minded folks shouldn’t give up on life. But as we get older, someMORE...

Looming repairs, encroaching stuff

Many of us who are older will eventually face two facts: Our homes will need extensive repairs, AND we will run out of places to store our possessions. These two certainties can begin to overwhelm us. The repairs won’t be minor—think replacing large appliances or appurtenances—and the stuff we’ve accumulated will encroach on our quality of life. During our older years, it takes considerable cashMORE...

Pay now or pay later

“You reap what you sow”—is a lifestyle axiom that exists in almost all religious traditions. At this time of life, we’re “paying later”—dealing with the consequences of actions or inactions that took place long ago. It’s a tough part of being older, an expected phenomenon that’s still irksome. (Some examples: We didn’t floss when we were younger, and now the endodontist is our new best friendMORE...

Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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