Sunday, December 27, 2015


First posted in 2009--with variations each year Sharing with Santa
The words and melody from the radio filled my car. A winter wonderland was outside. Kids, amid shrieks of laughter and merriment, were sledding down the hill at the high school on anything large enough to sit on. I'm certain school vacation is adding to this happiest of times. 

My counseling background kicks in. I know that holidays aren't the happiest of times for many old people. So I decide to phone some elderly friends, simply to say "hello" and ask "how are you?"  

Let me share what I learned-- 

It's the happiest time of the year for children-- who have none of the responsibilities of adulthood. 

It's the happiest time when elders and younger family members can be together--feeling the warmth--sharing, and reminiscing. The excitement of the children and grandchildren provides a background of energy and optimism. 

 And yet-- "The holidays are a time when our mind drifts back to past Christmases that were happy times. It's a sentimental time," recalls one 80-year-old widow. "It's a wonderful time when families can get together, yet a lot of people are completely alone. As people get older, they have experienced losses. Especially for those who've lost their mates, other people's happiness can be a reminder of the losses we've incurred. We're just more vulnerable to that kind of thing when we get older."

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Saturday, December 26, 2015


Christmas Welcome

 VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS from Help! Aging Parents..

...And a reminder of how much a simple phone call means to a lonesome, frail or isolated elderly person today...or any day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Protecting (not Parenting) Aging Parents--At Holiday Time, Any Time

 "We're like the flotsam and the jetsam, we're not needed any more."
                      Willy, a retired, elderly physician-friend of Dad's

Parenting mentally capable parents who have slowed down seems very wrong. Yet one aspect of parenting, protecting, seems completely justified for both young and old.

We protect those at both ends of the life cycle from danger. Are we aware that we also protect children's believing and that protecting elders' believing can be beneficial for old people too?

Believing comes naturally to children. Don't they believe all things are possible? Yet the realities of life dim that optimism in many as they age, and the retired physician's quote above is a feeling a lot of old people share.

To view entire post please visit my other site.

2 Santas

Monday, December 14, 2015

Favorite Gift for My 90+-year-old Widowed Dad (on New Year's Day)

As I look back over all the creative, innovative gifts/vacations etc. we arranged for our parents, to me this was close to--if not--the best. Why?

It provided Dad connections with contemporaries, fun, little work, and not much expense. It seemed even better to me because I was a far-away living child--always wanting to make the most of the time I had with my aging parents. At the last minute I had the gift idea and followed through on it before I lost my nerve.

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Aging Parents: How Often Do Grandparents Say Grandchildren Are The Best Gift?


How many older people have become Facebook users as a way to stay connected with grandchildren?

Since studies show that connections with others are one of the most important factors in aging well, how fortunate that technology now makes this easier. As we think about holiday gifts for elders who are grandparents--think GRANDCHILDREN.

Clearly the ad agencies understand this! Indeed, a current TV ad features a sweet, kind-looking, elderly gentleman, sitting in a chair, proudly telling the world he has a (named) brand of technology so that now he can keep in touch with his grandson. Obviously ad agencies have compiled data showing what appeals to the majority.

This post could be very short, simply suggesting that we use our imaginations, understanding that any gift that provides a connection to grandchildren is what the majority of grandparents want. That said, here are broad examples......

 ....To read entire post, please go to my other site.