Life Transitions

Tuesdays at 8:45 a.m. and Fridays at 6:45 a.m.

Old age is a life-stage that re-defines life priorities -- and it needs to be addressed in a functional way.

Life Transitions examines the issues of aging; from social, to behavioral, environmental, financial, and health issues.

Discussions focus on the positive as well as the stressful aspects of the aging process, with professionals, caregivers, and the elderly themselves, working to “demystify” the aging process and present old age in a positive way without minimizing the reality of aging.

Life Transitions is produced with the generous support of Heart of Hospice.

Ways to Connect

National Council on Aging / National Council on Aging

Taking care of our minds and bodies as we age is as simple as eating right and staying healthy.  Poor nutritional habits and lack of physical exercise can lead to several health issues and diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Jordan Guillot, wellness program supervisor at Vantage Health Plan, explains that education is the key to enhancing quality of life.  “You are not old till you are cold in the first place.  You are as old as your mind thinks you are.” 

West Ouachita Senior Center

Commemorating May as the "Older Americans Month" began in 1963 after a meeting between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens.  It is a celebration of the wisdom, strength, resilience, and the vigor of old age. 

Each year, a different theme is used to mark the month. The theme for 2018 is "Engage at Every Age."  Jeanette Ellington, Executive Director of the West Ouachita Senior Center, encouraged the local community to "celebrate the many contributions that our elderly have made in the community and promote their skills and talents."

Ouachita Council on Aging / Ouachita Council on Aging

They say that food is the best way to reach a man's heart.  It appears that food is the best way to reach out to anyone, irrespective of age and gender. 

Meals on Wheels can be a primary source to reach out to the world outside for elderly individuals who are living alone and unable to cook for themselves. 

ITU Pictures / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Providing various services to the elderly requires professionals trained in various disciplines and skills.  The common thread to all skills required in working with the elderly is a knowledge of Gerontology.  Gerontology is a multidisciplinary study of aging.

Roberta Andrajack, marketing director with the assisted living facility Savannah Grand, says marketing is vital in elder-care organizations.  She points out that "any field that offers services to the Gerontology population needs a marketer."

Bournemouth Borough Council / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Sometimes we are not able to find appropriate resources and appropriate solutions to a life problem.  We may not have adequate knowledge about the community resources or we may not know how to search for a particular service.  United Way provides 2-1-1 as a "tool" or a service that connects people to resources.

Jan Wawrzyniak director of 2-1-1, described the service as a "community connection" that "increases access to help for anyone and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." 

Dogan Kokdemir / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Financial planning is very important at any phase in life.  It becomes even more important when older adults have to make crucial decisions relating to long-term care.  Pre-planning helps when the time comes to seek long-term care. 

Jordan Smith, a financial planner for senior citizens, explained that many times people may suddenly enter a long-term care facility without any financial pre-planning.  In those instances, financial advisors for senior citizens could provide crisis planning.

Beverly Yuen Thompson / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Hospice Care is a phrase that evokes an image of impending death.  Hospice care is a support service for individuals dealing with a terminal illness that need special care from professionally trained care providers. 

One of the myths associated with hospice care is that it is meant for cancer patients only.  Hospice expert David O'Neal points out that hospice care is provided to all patients dealing with a life-threatening illness and limited life expectancy. 

Shella Sund / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Grief is a natural reaction to any kind of loss.  Loss does not always imply death.  Grief occurs when we lose something or someone that is very close to our heart and we are emotionally attached to that person, object, or life situation. 

We grieve when we lose a loved human, a pet, a place of residence, a job, a loved object, or a phase of our life.  For instance, a lot of people grieve the loss of youth or the loss of good health.

Tom Kershaw | Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Con artists appear to find their "perfect" victims among senior citizens.  The good old-fashioned concept of trust becomes elder population's most vulnerable characteristic. 

Unscrupulous people often take advantage of senior citizens' tendency to take people at their face-value and to believe their easy friendliness.  Sometimes, older adults feel too helpless and/or physically frail to check out the credentials of people who offer to help them.  Under the guise of help, con artists are able to rip off their unsuspecting prey.

Ouachita Council on Aging

We often say that a home is where the heart is.  As we age, the definition of “home” often changes.  A “home” may take on a more confining meaning such as, a nursing home. 

Most elderly individuals would prefer to “age in place.”  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “aging in place” as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” 

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