Senior Aging Changes Are Different

•August 5, 2022 • 1 Comment

Speaking with my N/P Psychologist and stating my issues and concerns, I realize she is not in tune with the changes of the elderly. I believe her practice caters to the young adult and the generation of her own age.

Sadly, she only prescribes medication and has an appointment only to continue medications. Due to the pandemic, the office is working on phone visits or virtual visits. As a registered nurse myself, I am aware of my short comings. My overall health changes have seriously impacted my mental attitudes and yes I am more depressed over the past year. My vision in my right eye is so bad that I cannot see. As it turns out I have macular degeneration age related which began as dry and converted recently to wet. Simply put the former requires no treatment while the later means periodic injections of Avastin into the eye.

My hearing has required hearing aides and monthly payments for three years. My education has stopped due to my sight and my maximum financial aid. Other aging changes common to everyone includes arthritis and pain, isolating related to hearing difficulties, fear related to the pandemic, and fear of exposure to social events that include mass shooting and other terrorists (domestic and foreign). Financial limitations and political proposals to cut Social Security, Medicare, and for Veteran Benefits. Not to mention, the political approach to erode and change Democracy into Autocracy limiting the rights of the current Constitution.

Many also realize the reality of “Life’s expiration dates” that alone for some consumes a depressive condition. The fact that one of these issues has a huge impact on the senior’s mental condition, but combine all into one and “Yeah” it takes a gerontologist to understand. Comments of an unprepared professional who sums things up in a flippant remark(s) is insulting and ignorant, not to mention infuriating.

Aging and Depression are related to many aspects but lack of control are the main problem.

•June 7, 2022 • Leave a Comment

As children we are taught to control our behaviors, set goals, be independent, and take charge of our lives. During adulthood we succeed at jobs, mature, set goals, and adapt fairly well with changes. However, as aging adults, we begin to forget, muscles atrophy, and we begin to become more dependent on others. The world of our youth is changing and we are most likely having difficulty keeping up with the technological changes- smart phone, Alexa, smart television, ear buds, audiobooks, and more. In other cases, our health becomes complicated with stress and we are less resistant to diseases or conditions like heart disease, hypertension, vision, hearing, and other degenerative problems.

Today we have become socially isolated related to two years of pandemic, we see on the news the rise of domestic violence and terror, political disease, and world players threatening nuclear attacks. We withdraw in fear and seek safety. We have no control over the external threats. In fact the recent shooting of shoppers in stores like Walmart, or in Buffalo the Tops Market, even schools and churches are subject to shootings or other violence.

I am subject to these stressful internal and external pressures and tend to limit my outside contacts. I think it is possible to create an environment with control but it will take work. Make lists and spend time talking to others, talking to ourselves (to encourage and make affirmations to realize we can control things to a degree). Understanding how to construct the power we do have and accept the power of control outside our control, is an important piece of adapting in spite of changes. I was taking college courses to keep myself structured and in the past few years completed my Bachelors degree in nursing, my Masters degree in nursing educator, and working on another Bachelors in Psychology, but the financial aide about to cut off require halting the process. For weeks now, I have withdrawn and escaped reality becoming a “couch potato” and wallowing in the withdrawal of defeat. Today I have set to correct this situation, I have many things to be thankful for and have many advantages right here in my little world. I have two dogs who are unconditionally loving. I have artistic abilities and can use them to create with paints, with writing, and organizing my inner world. It is unacceptable to give in without even trying. With my background, my nursing knowledge, my sense of humor and empathy, I can control some of my life even at seventy-eight.

The world we are living in has sadly changed.

•May 26, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Over the past six or so years I have become more aware of the political arena. In my estimation this world has become more chaotic and self-serving. We are currently a Democratic party government having the majority. The up coming election may change the balance. How, you ask? By casting your informed vote. The basis for your informed status evolves from the campaigning and the promises and lies to get elected. Rarely do the elected actually focus on those same goals stated in pre-election speeches.

Many become infected with a condition of self-importance, they assume the “power” of their position and become subject to temptations like accepting lobbying money which will “buy” their vote. The last concern quickly becomes the voter who believed the promises of campaigning. Over time trading votes for favors negatively affects the voters too. Self-serving, lining one’s pocket, and self-importance promote the inward belief that the official is above the law. To validate this fact one can simply research the data seeking the politicians who abused their power and were caught by the law enforcement agencies.

In this past year, the states like Georgia, Texas, and Mississippi have sought to ban abortion, decrease voting options like mail-in ballots, closing polling places making it more difficult to get to the polls within the time allowed. These are two examples of living in a time machine moving back years taking voter rights and human rights away. However, the topic of Gun Control and safety is moving forward. Mass shooting with military rifles and massive sleeves of bullets can be purchased to anyone at any age as long as they can pay. Certainly the cries of gun owners regarding their rights to own guns, is true. But unless hunting a herd of elephants or charging rhinos, a rifle or hand gun is sufficient. The only military type rifles should be used in the Armed services not on the streets of America. This week the NRA will meet with politicians to reinforce the necessity of gun rights. Those politicians who will vote to promote the sales of AR 15 style guns, should be made to see first hand the deaths of the nineteen third and fourth graders butchered this week by a eighteen-year-old, in a school room. For each and every mass shooting these supporters of gun rights should be flown to the scene and among the first responders until they have a change of heart.

Politicians who work to thwart the rights of people should be voted out, they should be held accountable, they should, be called out and get the publicity they deserve. Politics is like a game being played against another team and the object is to win at all cost. The voters be damned.

Reflections from the last post…

•May 17, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Reading back I can see imperfections and room for improvements. To upgrade I now have a Masters in Nursing Education MSN and have gotten half way through the BS in psychology/addiction. I am tired now and taking a break. This past semester has drained me. My first thought was carrying two courses not a good plan. My second thought is age, third health. What ever it is, the lack of motivation is overwhelming. After ten days of “freedom”, I am bored (go figure). Boredom is not a good place for me. Freedom to think and question without feedback is like living in a vacuum, pointless.

My kids keep me on track as much as they can. Money is a big issue. They need grooming badly. The last time they slipped their harnesses (yes both at different times thank GOD). These are “escape proof” NO they are not unless my kids have been taking Houdini classes.

My “ex” is begging to use my car again and I fear I will allow it. In Jan. he had it for five or more weeks looking for a replacement car (his was totaled when hit by an eighteen wheeler without personal injury). Last week he had it for a week while his replacement vehicle was in the shop. I had to insist I have it back. Now he is requesting again since the rental car is $400 for five days. Last night I prayed for a tree branch to fall on it so he could not have it. What a wuss!

Vindicated finally

•May 14, 2022 • 1 Comment

 

Today has been a good day!  I have been dragging my feet waiting to find out about the outcome of the NYS settlement in regards to a lawsuit pending since 2006 from an inmate.  It has kept me from getting malpractice insurance and possibly even a nursing position.  It has been over 6 weeks for me to get a final statement regarding their decision.  The Federal charges were dismissed and the NYS piece settled.  I just found out that the NYS part was a suit against NYS not me- wonderful.  They settled for $250,000 can you imagine?  Whatever he got I do not care it is over Thank God.  Six years it has been hanging over my head and I have lamented many hours for what-  I did not do anything to deliberately injure him nor ignore his complaint and my documentation upheld my decision to not send him Immediately to ER.

I am dancing happy tonight one more piece this year that has finalized and is over.  It is like an anti-climax but none the  less a victory for me

My five senses help my memory to recall events

•July 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As I think back I find a joy that has been dormant in the closet of my mind.  I am amazed to realize that everything and every memory has been associated closely to one or more of my five senses.  I do not know if this is the usual for everyone or whether I am just unusually strange.  Most of the smell and sounds are of nature; the leaves eroding and rotting into in the woodlands or the smell of the air after the snow, or the sea and the sea gulls.  The cry of catbirds or animals purring, barking, or the parrot making her funny laughing or cat cries.  I think my Cherokee heritage has something to do with my sensual sensitivities.  Indians were very dependent on the ability to hear, smell and feel the changes around them and in many cases it was a survival necessity.

early memories

•July 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I have in fact a very good memory and I am sure some will think it untrue.  I remember the pediatrician’s office on Hooker Ave- His name was Dr. Stone.  I can recall sitting on his examining table with my big toe in my mouth probably about 2 years old- I could describe his waiting room too.  It was in the basement of his home.  I can recall the trials of potty training and the potty chambers or ceramic pots used for nighttime or when in need and someone else occupied the other throne (these were not especially memories through my senses).  Later on I went to Dr. Jacobus on South Hamilton.  He made “house calls” and I saw him frequently as I was prone to tonsillitis and ran high fevers.

My grandfather worked in Brooklyn shipyards doing mechanical designs for ships I believe.  Each morning he would get up while it was still dark and quietly call me to come out to eat with him (Kelty’s sugar buns) and chat with him while he ate and  got ready for the taxi to come for him probably around 430 am or so.  I would go back to bed and he to work.  I would wait at the end of the day for him to come home and I would sit with him while he ate his dinner (the family ate at the usual time and he ate about 730 or 8 pm.  He was my best pal and it was mutual.  When he finally stopped commuting, after the war ended he built the Floral shop as it was called and started the business up – probably about 1949.  The shop later became Lovelace Florist (a more dignified name) and it was a family run business.  One thing I recall as a landmark of sorts was the neon clock in the window facing North Clinton St.  It was pink and Green and I still wonder what became of it after the fire?

We hav come a lng way in 60 years

•July 3, 2013 • Leave a Comment

One of the things we did before TV was radio (of course).  I used to listen to the Lone Ranger, The Thin Man, The Fat Man, Amos and Andy, The greatest Story ever told and Don McNeal’s Breakfast Hour.  I guess at about four or five it did a lot to stimulate my imagination.  I would close my eyes if something scary came on (like I could see it).  My mother and grandmother would get me to “March around the breakfast table” – I guess it kept me out of the way when they were busy doing laundry or ironing.  My Grandmother was a much regimented individual and each day of the week had it assigned tasks.  Wash day she would start a load with whites, then colors and finally dark dirty clothes (used the same water) as the clothes waited for rinsing they were placed into one of two deep set tubs (kitchen sink, bathtub for children and for Thanksgiving turkey too).  The wringer was attached to the top of the washer and once rung out hung outside to dry on the clothes line.  The smell of air dried clothes compared in no way to today’s dryer’s smell.  Our first TV was bought by my aunt and uncle and was about four or five inches.  I remember the Friday night wrestling show black and white little men going at it.  Not much else on the TV then.

Later the TV stations started to offer more programs like Winky Dink and You, I love Lucy, cowboy programs, Mr. Rogers, Howdy Doody and Clarabelle, I remember Mama, comedy show with Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, George and Gracie Allen, William Benedict, The Nelson’s and others.  Movies with stars like Bella Lugosi, the werewolf, vampire, and Frankenstein which scared the daylight out of me then on to Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Theater.  I also remember fondly the Loretta Young Show and Queen for a Day.  Many, many more than I can’t recall just now.

So May changes in the life span of 60 years most making less work for house wives and their husbands like lawnmowers rather than push mowers and weed whackers and leaf blowers.  Now we have more idle or free time to spend doing things never dreamed of then.  Like emailing friends or sending pictures over the phone or actually viewing the caller on Skype or other devices capable of video transmission.

days gone by

•June 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Searching my memory banks I am fascinated by the number of men who delivered to the house (and one woman). Here are what ones I can recall:

  • Milkman
  • Acker’s meat delivery man
  • Laundry man
  • Coal delivery men
  • Insurance man
  • Mail man (Jim Ingraham)
  • Rag man (who did not deliver but went through the streets calling “Rags”
  • Avon Lady Mrs. Fogarty
  • Krug’s bakery
  • Iceman (very early on)

Who would have guessed then that ATM machines would supply us without going to the bank or milk machines could supply and replace the milkman; plastic could replace real cash; phones would have visual pictures of the caller or caller ID if a call missed; computers would replace for the most part typewriters or word processors; voicemail or automated messages accompanied with multiple choices would replace the operator.  So many changes.  Washers and dryers that replaced the old washer with ringer and the clothes line that made the clothes smell fresh and extra clean. Store bought butter or margarine would replace the war rations of a plastic bag of white margarine with a red dot in the middle- it had to be kneaded to get the color to make it all yellow.  I have many memories of sounds, smells, visual pictures, tastes and feelings (touch) from that period and others.  Everyone transporting me back mentally to a happier place when experiencing these sensory things now.

1950’s continued:

•June 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

More about life in the 50’s:

I walked to school at the age of six without parents fearing I would be abducted.  I remember snow storms then were often more like blizzards.  The smell of the air after a snowfall clean and fresh and the noises muted as the blanket of white absorbed it.  There was also a hint of wood burning fires in the air, probably from the cooking stoves.  We had an old cast iron stove which was fed with coal.  After being out in the snow my feet were so cold that my grandmother had a chair in front of the oven and wrapped my feet with a towel and had me put them into the oven.  Now it seems like a Hansel and Greta story.  I have a picture of me age four sleigh riding down a three foot pile of snow my grandfather made.  Those were the days! 

My first days at school were exciting.  I remember the teacher Miss Dickerson who had a screechy voice and looked witch like.  I loved art time the smell of the newsprint and crayons which to this day conjure up memories of then.  One of my friends Debby was a shy petite little girl whom I chose to protect.  We grew into lifelong friends.  We both became nurses but while I spent over 45 years of nursing she lent her talents to Mary Kay and became excellent at it.  She even got a diamond ring for her sales.  She was an orthodox Jew and I learned much from her about their holidays and practices.  Now she has abandoned much of these rituals (I guess having spoken to her about riding in a car on Saturdays).

My grandmother would start a Christmas club for me the first of the year.  It was $12.50 and I would go down to Lucky & Platt and Woolworth to shop all by myself at a very young age 7-8.  One thing I always got for my grandfather was $.50 white Handkerchiefs and a special box for them.  He used to travel to NYC on business and I thought he could use them (boring but I had to budget my little money).  I remember also buying Evening in Paris for mom (whew it was awful smelling)!

Easter, Mother’s day, Memorial Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving were big holidays for flowers only second were weddings and funerals.  At the age of twelve I was employed for every one of these holidays and made $25 which I used to buy clothes for myself.  I worked every year thereafter in the shop until I was forty something (when the fire caused the whole corner to be torn down and with it the business too).  It was a sad day indeed for me.  Now I miss the house where I grew up and all the nooks and hiding places which were special to me growing up.  When I hear “I’ll be home for Christmas” it tears at my heart and brings longing for home.

Life was so simple as a child no responsibilities or bills to pay just a safe and secure time when the world was a beautiful place.