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Workshop 2009

Journal For Success in Aging | Print |
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What is Gerontology and Who is a Gerontologist?
"(C) 2006 Diane Alexander Patterson, MSG, CPG"

Gerontology is typically defined as the study of the processes of aging, those multiple and interrelated changes that affect the biological, behavioral, and social aspects of life after 60 years. Gerontology is more than just the study of aging; it also includes providing service to older people and their families; this is the practiceof gerontology. Gerontology is applying what is known in relevant and helpful ways to alleviate some of the challenges that frequently accompany old age, to aid in prevention of other problems, and to enhance the opportunities for personal growth in older years (Peterson, 1987).

Who can be called a Gerontologist? I hold to the distinction that a professional gerontologist is a person who has completed higher education, like my Master’s degree. But a gerontological specialist (bachelor level), the gerontological coordinator (associate level), and professionals in related fields include many persons involved in work with aging people. The emphasis of gerontology is on social consciousness and an applied commitment to aging persons. In real terms, those who work to serve the elderly population in many sectors are doing gerontological work that will benefit our society and our workforce. Since aging affects us all, an interest in gerontology benefits YOU. Becoming knowledgeable about the growth of our senior population really makes sense. The explosion of Baby Boomers, who are set to hit “early old age” (65) in 2011, totals 78 million people. Yes, check your watches; this begins in just 5 short years, and has the potential for 40 more. This statistic alone has led many businesspeople to the realization that older persons are a very desirable consumer group, which will continue well into the future. New products and services, such as retirement planning, home health services, active senior living, travel and educational packages, and professional organizing—to name just a few—are gaining more visibility and more demand.

The Baby Boom Generation spans 18 years, born from 1946 through 1964, but turning 65 is just the beginning of it. Many of them will live another 18 years after turning 65 (average life expectancy is 77 years for men and 84 for women). But a good number of us will live longer than that, with the fastest growing population segment in America presently being the 85+ “very olds Many families and supportive friends today are interested in the quality of life of their aging loved ones. People are realizing that we all will be old.

Who is Diane Alexander Patterson?

Diane Alexander Patterson, MSG, is a Professional Gerontologist. Gerontologists study and promote the successful aging of humans. Diane holds a Master’s degree in Gerontology from California State University, Fullerton, and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Biola University. Diane is a Board Member of the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics, and an Advisory Board Member of NAPG: the National Association for Professional Gerontologists. Diane holds state certificates as an Administrator of R.C.F.E.s (Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly) and Pharmacy Technician. She has many years of experience as a Conservatorship paralegal and an in-home eldercaregiver for both her elderly grandmother and mother-in-law.

For more information on gerontology, visit www.NAPGerontologists.org

Diane’s 7 Strategies in “Elder-Speak” & Warning Signs
  1. Slow down. Response time, not intelligence, slows with age. Give him/her a chance
  2. Have a plan and be specific about parameters:I can; I cannot. (Lift your elder.)I will; I will not. (Change your elder’s diapers.)
  3. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
  4. Ask your elder how he/she perceived what you said or meant.
  5. Put in writing anything for clarification and/or a memory help.
  6. Ask often for any “updates” to avoid miscommunication or misunderstanding. Also, check in with your parents or other elderly loved ones as to their physical and emotional health; things happen faster with the elderly because of biological aging.
  7. Remember that the issues of respect, losses, and wisdom are important to the elderly.

"Warning Signs"
  1. Poor grooming.
  2. Changes in eating habits.
  3. Sudden mood changes.
  4. Reluctance to socialize.
  5. Signs of depression.
  6. Poor or decreased judgment.
  7. Loss of initiative or loss of interest.
  8. Increased forgetfulness.
  9. Difficulty walking or Unsteady on feet/Falling.
  10. Mishandling of finances.
  11. Mishandling of medications.
  12. Unsafe home environment.

If you see any of these warning signs, get help for your elder immediately!

Tea… not just a hot drink on a cold day…
“Teapots and Company”

Mission: To bring along the comfort of a pot of tea, shared with another: to break the isolation that elder care giving can become, and give a chance for respite to refresh and revive that special elder caregiver with tea and company. Vision: If you have a teapot and transportation (feet, car, plane, train, or bus), you can bring hope and a little bit of heaven to a neighbor, loved one, or friend (old or new). Allow elder caregivers to pour out their hearts while you pour out a comforting cup of tea.

The possibilities are up to you: Ginger Tea and Rosemary Sugar Orange Tea and Lemon Honey Darjeeling Tea and Baker’s Sugar Constant Comment Tea with Hot Milk Earl Grey with Half and Half and Sweetener Green Tea in many flavors with Lavender Honey Tea is a substance that is high in plant phenols and natural antioxidants. Phytonutrients, which are disease fighting, plant-based chemicals, are found in teas. They aid in health and promote self-healing, especially when served with compassion by a caring human.

The tea experience has been lifted to lofty heights in European and Asian societies. Americans consume almost as much tea as coffee. Both drinks offer a caffeine lift, which has been proven to have health benefits along with a feeling of energy. Many times, a cup of tea brings along with it a positive readjustment of the day. Consuming tea has great emotional value as well when enjoyed during a break-time from work or shared with others in a social situation. What a kindness to extend to an elder caregiver!

From Health Science Institute: “If you don't have tea time in your house, you might want to add it to your schedule. A study done in Sweden found that drinking black or green tea each day significantly reduced women's epithelial ovarian cancer risk. Researchers looked at information from more than 61,000 women who participated in the Swedish Mammography Cohort study. The women were between the ages of 40 and 76 when they enrolled in the study and were followed until 2004. When compared to women who rarely drank tea, higher tea consumption appeared to reduce ovarian cancer risk. The more a person drank, the lower the risk became. Women who drank one cup a day lowered their risk by 24 percent. Those drinking two or more cups a day cut their risk in half. And the researchers said that each additional cup of tea per day was associated with an 18 percent lower risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.”

Diane’s Top “10” Tips for Successful Aging
ONE: Love yourself. Aging well begins and ends with LOVE. Practice love; it will change your life. It will make you young. Love is the key to living well.

TWO: Get good information about everything! Go to www.truthorfiction.com and check all information for old wives’ tales, urban legends or rock solid truth. Get reliable health and nutrition information @ www.health.com; www.webmd.com; www.tesh.com.

THREE: Laugh. Laughter really is a great medicine. It is a natural stress-reducer. Laughter releases chemicals in our bodies that drive away pain and fear, two negatives usually associated with old age. Laugh often. If you have to, buy a laugh; rent a movie!

FOUR: Exercise and keep your feet in motion. This is a two-parter: daily exercise and daily foot health are extremely important in old age. Start now. Get moving, and take care of the feet that make that possible. Mobility and balance issues are near the top of aging concerns, for good reason. Check out more at www.rwjf.org. Some other benefits of regular exercise are: less depression; increased alertness; clearer thinking; improved ability to handle stress; a positive mood.

FIVE: Feed yourself well. Prepare or buy savory food for yourself, and enjoy! Learn about antioxidants, phytonutrients, and essential fatty acids; consume them everyday!

SIX: Be kind to yourself and get your rest. Rest has been shown to be vital to our bodies’ recuperative powers. Sleep enough; seven or eight hours at night, in a dark room. Studies have shown that our bodies create melatonin, a sleep hormone, which is triggered by darkness.

SEVEN: Floss your teeth. Dental plaque and heart plaque have been scientifically proven to be directly related. Floss to prevent heart attack! Dentists agree that after each meal is the best time to floss, but if choosing just one time daily, be sure to floss before bedtime.

EIGHT: Fight depression. Depression is the #1 illness of old age. Loss is very prevalent in the aging process. Fight back! Seek grief resources at www.aarp.org/life/griefandloss. LAUGHTER Wisdom of the Ages
Volunteer. Stay connected to other people who benefit from your presence. It will be a toss-up as to which of you will benefit the most. Ralph Waldo Emerson said,” Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only true gift is a portion of thyself.”

NINE: De-clutter your space; de-mess and de-stress! Fill your space with beauty. Beauty comes from passion. Find your passion and practice it. Organization of possessions, papers, and parameters will cause peace and patience to fill your space! Hire a professional organizer at www.napo.net if it overwhelms you on your own.

TEN: Worship God. Research your beliefs. Connect with your spiritual self. Pray hard. Seek the truth about our Creator. Because we are made in His image, our value is immeasurable; it is the reason that old age is positive and valuable and good. Some days that is hard to see. Fill your space with beauty. Beauty helps us connect with God.

Health UpDate
Inflammation, Overweight, and Stress:

Inflammation: There is now solid research to show that inflammation “drives” the diseases of heart, stroke, lungs, cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even obesity. Just as insidious are arthritis, asthma, allergies, chronic pain, eczema, and fibromyalgia. Combat a silent source of inflammation: yeast. De-Sugar and de-starch yourself as much as possible.

Look for foods that de-flame, like walnuts, fish, and beef. We also know that stress increases inflammation! Stress shortens our lifespan. Stress can cause regular cholesterol to become oxidized cholesterol. Reduction of stress is heart healthy. Breathe and exercise to reduce stress. Take yoga or a Pilate’s course; learn the art and value of breathing and stretching.

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This Informational Journal is general in nature and not intended to replace or make specific medical, health, financial, or nutritional claims, nor should you rely on such information alone when making any decision regarding your particular medical, health or financial choices. Instead we hope to provide you with a good base of knowledge to assist you in making your very own determinations. Always consult a health, medical or financial professional before making any final decision.

Also, Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or fitness routine.

Always double check recipes for food contents where you might be sensitive or allergic. Also check for sugar content that would affect you if you have a Diabetic condition.

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Super Foods

Blueberries are the only substance proven scientifically (2005) to increase lifespan. They contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. #2-Red Grapes and Cranberries.

Wild Salmon (only) is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which control inflammation. Spinach is linked to lower rates of colon, lung, stomach, ovarian, prostate, and breast cancers; shown to protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Oats and Oatmeal are the nutritional powerhouses of whole grains. Besides being an excellent source of fiber, oatmeal had been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Coffee has been shown to reduce diabetes risk, control asthma, and prevent cavities. Decaf Coffee has been proven to disseminate sugars more evenly throughout the bloodstream than regular coffee or even plain water.

Dark Chocolate and Red Wines are terrific source of phenols, providing an average of 3 hours of antioxidants after consumption.

Pumpkin boasts twice the alpha-carotenes of carrots, along with beta-carotenes, to provide reduced risks of lung, colon, breast, and skin cancers. Walnuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, potassium, protein, fiber, and plant sterols. Ahandful every weekday will lower your risk of heart attack by up to 50%. Yogurt Acidophilus replaces lost intestinal floras after taking antibiotics.

All Things Financial

Over the last year or two, many of us have been downright confused about a very popular long term investment vehicle… “Annuities”. So, we decided to get a straight answer from annuity specialist, John Garland, from Stewardship Financial Partners. First, according to John, there are only two essential types of annuities; Variable and Fixed. That’s it!

So much of the negative press we’ve all read about annuities haven’t clearly made the distinction between these two types. Apparently, the vast majority of consumer complaints are largely due to the extremely high fees, hidden costs and losses suffered due to poor market conditions with variable annuities. “A variable annuity is simply a group of mutual funds wrapped in an insurance contract”, said Garland.

The annuity program that has received rave reviews from people like Suzie Orman, the Wall Street Journal, and others, is the relatively new fixed annuity called an Equity Indexed Annuity. This type of annuity provides market like returns linked to an index like the S&P 500, with no downside risk to principal. Your annual gains can never be lost and they guarantee a minimum return of around 2%. They also provide free withdrawals each year without surrender charges. Length of term can range from 5, 7, 10, 15 years or more.

Don’t misunderstand, they aren’t for everybody. But, based on your suitability, a truly balanced portfolio could include a tax deferred, Equity Indexed Annuity.

For more information go to: www.successinagingtv.com

About Success in Aging TV

Success in Aging TV is a unique affiliation of educators, philanthropic, corporate, and media based groups, together, dedicated to providing news and information to help educate, inform and equip all of us as we age and reach the time of life where our world is quickly changing. Delivering the tools to affect a joyful life experience into our 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and beyond! Our unifying goal is to help improve the quality of your physical and emotional life!

In our next JOURNAL, look for Exercise and Fitness, including low impact aerobic tips from Jenny Broberg of the Arthritis Foundation. Also, Senior Scams, How to Know One When You See One, with Detective Ken Smith of the Elder Abuse Detail of the Orange County Sheriff Department and Nutrition with Judy Schindlebeck.

© 2010 SuccessInAging®. DiPatterson.com | SeasonOfLife.net | AgeWise.tv
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