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Tag Archives: seniors
I’ve heard recently that writing has become a lost art. In our fast-paced, digital world, pundits say, so much day-to-day communication takes place online via email, social media, snap-chatting and texting, that no one knows how to communicate clearly, anymore, through the written word.
Not so. I’m a member of an online blogging community that loves to write. We wake up in the morning, itching to take cursor to monitor and reach out to our audience—the readers we know and love. But what if we had even more to offer them? What if we had a book or two to publicize, to put on our sidebar and link it to Amazon? Just speaking for myself, it would be a dream come true!
I didn’t find any. Not one. Instead I found an article on Alzheimer’s, an article on how badly hospitals treat old people after surgery, and an article on poverty among seniors. I didn’t post those on my timeline. Stories like that get enough air.
I’m not brushing off the statistics on Alzheimer’s. They really concern me. Many of us are familiar with these numbers being touted in all the current print and on-line media, but here is a review:
Defeating Ageism – Are Boomers Taking All the Credit?
I’m within spitting distance of being a Boomer, but I’m not proud of what some Boomers have been saying about the gains being made in addressing & defeating ageism. A lot has been happening around this thorny issue. Two or three years ago, there was barely a ripple on the topic in mainstream media, only an article or two in a newspaper or blog. Suddenly it’s everywhere, on Twitter, on Facebook, in pod casts, videos and blogs. It’s as if a faucet has been turned on and these ideas, which used to be relegated to the back pages—old people going on about being laughed at, ignored and excluded—have become a self-sustaining newsfeed.
I am halfway down the stairs, feeling each step with my foot before I go down further, since the flashlight beam doesn’t go very far. Suddenly it goes out, and I am in complete blackness! I look up quickly. The kitchen lamp sends a wash of light over a few of the top stairs, but the middle stairs are dark. I strain to see April’s face. Where is she? Mum told her to stay there, at the entrance to the cellar, until I was finished getting the potatoes.
“April!” I yell. I don’t know how long I can stay here, with the dark around me, and the creatures who are probably hiding behind the shelves. “Apriiiiil!” I yell louder, and her head pops up from the edge.
As I enter our favorite coffee place, I can tell that my two friends, Marlene and Nancy are having a lively discussion. They are both pouring over an article, and Nancy is waving her iphone around, never a good sign.
“That doesn’t bother me at all,” Marlene is saying, “It’s just what everyone says, and we have always considered it harmless.”
“It’s not harmless!” Nancy puffs, “When somebody says things like, “50 is the new 20, or 60 is the new 40, or any stupid comparison like that, they are saying that being 50 or 60 or 70 for that matter, is not fashionable, or hip, or even acceptable!”
“Come and see us.” he had said. “We have found out about Natalia’s illness. It’s MS. Right now she is a little better. Her MS is in remission, but we don’t know how long that will last.”
I think back to the last time I was here. It wasn’t a good visit. Natalia was weak and uncoordinated. She was unable to speak well, and Adrien was tense and uncomfortable.
We got a parcel from Eaton’s once. We all helped Mumma pick what we needed and then we helped her write the order. She didn’t need help doing the writing. She just needed us to help her decide. We all had something to say when she showed us the pages of blankets and stuff for cooking. Then we looked at the pictures of the rolls of cloth for sewing. We each could pick one we liked best for the new summer dresses Mumma would make. I picked a light mauve one, which looked like the sky just before the sun went down. It had pictures of little flowers going all across it in lines. I cut the picture out, and kept it in a dresser drawer so I could look at it and imagine the dress Mumma would make for me.
I smile as I think about one of my senior friends, Marlene, driving her car toward our favourite coffee-house. She’ll be speeding just a little—not as much as she used to, though. I’m already sitting at our favourite table, with my cup of black, no sugar, no cream, in front of me. I’ve been waiting for a few minutes, and take out my iphone to check the time. I’ve already done this twice. It’s not like her to be late. I take my coffee to a window, and stand there, so I can see her car approach. If only she had a cell phone, I fuss, I’d phone her and know her progress. I’ve already phoned her home, and she wasn’t there. I’ll wait a few more minutes and then leave, I decide, assuming she has forgotten. My mind wanders back to the last time I saw her. She was wearing a new blue summer jacket, I remember. It looked good on her. Summer, I realize with a jolt—it’s been months since we met up for coffee!
We had Christmas at our grandmother’s once. It was almost dark when we started out. Fanny and Baldy were stomping their feet and snorting in front of the house, wondering, “Where are they?” They always wanted to get going as soon as their harnesses were on, but today Mumma was getting us all ready in our best clothes, so it took a long time. “Here, Dinah”, she said, and handed me my blanket for the sled, “And be really careful going up that step. It’s icy!” We needed lots of blankets and warmed up bricks for our feet, so we could be warm all the way to Grandmother’s.
As a Boomer or Pre-Boomer, who is 65 and over, you are more conscious of your health and well-being than ever before. Gone are the days when you over-indulged in food and alcohol, when you took reckless chances with your safety, and when you ignored your body’s need for exercise. As one of the Lucky Few, you have planned for the future and have your financial house in order. Retired now, as most of you are, you have the luxury of thinking about the meaning and level of happiness of your life.