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Relationships

This category brings together any blogs that comment on the relationships that exist among older adults, as well as their relationships with people in younger age groups.  Some of these relationships are full, rich and rewarding, while others need effort and prayer. In all cases, relationships keep older adults healthy, spiritually mature and purposed.

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Old fools near and far

  “The only thing worse than a fool is an old fool.” So goes a maxim that was easy to believe when I was younger—it didn’t apply to me. Not so these days—when the folly of older men seems to be front-and-center in the news. Yes, much of the stupidity of sexual predation can be blamed on genuine jerks. But some of these older fellows have also exhibited garden-variety foolhardiness: They’veMORE...

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...

Old times and old-timers

  In an earlier entry ( ), I’ve written how difficult it is to find the proper appellation for someone who’s old. From my younger days until now, though, I’ve also believed that “old-timer” could be a title that was mildly complimentary to the older people I encountered. So I have used the term as a preferred way to address elderly folks who showed me that wisdom or whimsy still sparkedMORE...

The dependables in my life

  Knowing that I am a certifiably dependent older adult, I have come to realize the good news that I am surrounded by people who are dependable. Some are easy to spot: Family and friends who are there when I need them, watching me carefully and ready to spring into action. They’re bound to me because of love and shared experiences. These are the folks I have no trouble asking for assistance;MORE...

Little (old) kindnesses

  When I was younger, I noticed how older relatives would apologize for the size or significance of their gifts. Given that prompting, I agreed: Their presents were usually small, barely appropriate to my childhood dreams. Nothing big nor exciting came from their generosity. In my hedonistic or materialistic mindset, a gift was good only when it was big, surprising, unique, fashionable andMORE...

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...

Whom do you trust?

This blog is part of an ongoing series that answers an intriguing question: What might it mean for older adults to claim that they are still “fearfully and wonderfully made?”   Eventually someone else is going to want to know more about your body or brain. That person could be your spouse, a medical professional, a counselor or pastor, or even a dear friend. They love you and want to beMORE...

Scruffy? Safe? Prophet?

  This happens to me often: Another older guy—slightly disheveled but personable—engages me in an uninvited conversation about a subject close to his heart. It’s uncanny each time it happens—What did that person see in me that told him it was acceptable to chat me up without any introduction? I’m pretty sure I know the answer: That guy sees in me someone who’s safe. Someone who won’tMORE...

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...

Initiating “The Conversation”

Somewhere along the aging timeline, “The Conversation” should take place: A heartfelt chat, discussion or exploration of the question of how Mom and/or Dad will be able to live well when they can’t take care of themselves in their home. Either parent might resist the conversation—it raises difficult realities that will certainly come to pass. But in many families the question may actually soundMORE...

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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