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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Successful and Creative Aging

Successful and Creative Aging
As I have retired and moved on I have investigated research that will help me to enjoy life until the end.

I have found some information that tells us that creativity is important to successful aging
For example the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project: Santa Fe New Mexico tells us that  “...even in the late stages of the disease reciting poetry helps spark people’s memories, remembering words and lines from poems and stories of their youth.” I have found ways to explore my creative side with painting and poetry.  You might be interested to go to my other blog Art with Wrinkles.
I enjoy painting and poem creativity even if I'm not Pablo Pacasso.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Look For New Board Members for Senior's Organization

Eleven Creative Ways to look for new board members for your Seniors Organization (I have been a board member for the local Seniors Center for the past 10 years)
1. Post your board openings on volunteer web sites. 

2. Post your board openings on your organization's web site.
3. Talk to ex-board members and ask them to suggest candidates.

4. Put an ad in the newspaper - or in your newsletter. 

5. Create a continuous pool of board candidates from your volunteers and committee members who are not already on your board. These two groups can become your feeder team for new board members.
6. Post a sign in your lobby and give your Board Development Chairperson's contact information. 

7. Send out an e-mail to your members with the qualifications you are seeking.
8. Contact the Human Resources Department of local lawyer and accounting offices asking if any of their partners or employees have a particular interest in your clients or the programs you offer.

9. Contact a college or university department that is related to your organization's mission. Ask the department administrator to e-mail your request for new board members to members of the department or post it in department offices. 

10. Create a system to follow-up on every promising lead. 

11. Ask your major donors to attend a coffee or lunch meeting to brainstorm with you to create a list of possible board members who meet this year's search criteria.

Remember, not everyone is interested in being on a board. If your search turns up people who could become enthusiastic advocates of your organization but they don't want to join a board, perhaps they could join a board committee, be on an advisory board, or work on one of your events.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Memory Problems: What Can We Do?

Memory Problems What can we do?
         Over the last year or so I have become aware of some of my memory problems. Two major ways to think about is are recognition and recall.  Recognition is no problem for me; but recall is becoming more problematic.  I am currently consulting a neurologist in a local community.  As always I find myself searching through the literature. I  decided to share the ideas with visitors to my blog. The worst and scariest memory problems is  Alzheimer’s Disease
         Common Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease Each person with Alzheimer’s may experience different symptoms, and symptoms may change over the course of the disease. Some of the common ones are described below.

• Profound difficulty in recalling names, objects, places, times, and          dates
• Not recognizing family and friends, or not recalling their names
• Forgetting one’s own phone number or address
• Difficulty finding your way to or from a familiar place
• Tendency to wander from home or place where you work
• Forgetting to eat or maintain one’s hygiene
• Day/night disorientation with difficulty sleeping
• Noticeable language and intellectual decline
• Poor judgment, inability to follow simple instructions or stay focused          on a task
Progressive sense of distrust
• Dulled emotions or interest in activities
 • Depression
 • Unusual agitation and irritability
 • Hallucinations or delusions

Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp

What may seem like a faltering memory may in fact be a decline in the rate at which we learn and store new information. Practice these memory skills to enhance learning and make remembering easier.
 RELAX: Tension and stress are associated with memory lapses, and managing stress improves memory.
 CONCENTRATE: Your teachers were right: if you want to recall something later, pay attention.
 FOCUS: Try to reduce distractions and minimize interferences.
 SLOW DOWN: If you’re rushing, you may not be focused or paying full attention.
 ORGANIZE: Keep important items in a designated place that is visible and easily accessed.
 WRITE IT DOWN: Carry a notepad and calendar, and write down important things.
 REPEAT IT: Repetition improves recall; use it when meeting new people and learning new things.
 VISUALIZE IT: Associating a visual image with something you want to remember can improve recall.
Source: The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (Press Office)

Source: Alzheimer’s Association

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Theories of Aging[i]

Theories of Aging[i]

Three theories are presented in the source shown at the bottom of this post. The first is Disengagement theory of aging which suggests “ In preparation for death elderly people gradually withdraw themselves from the people around them.”  I find this interesting because, for example, I have, over the past couple of years, gradually withdrawn from activity on the board of the LSRS ( Langley Seniors Resource Center) and TALK (Third Age Learning at Kwantlen). Interestingly, many people of my age and older are very active in these organizations.

The second is Activity theory of aging which holds that as we age we are  “-happiest when we stay active and involved in the community.”  This one is interesting because it seems counter to the theory mentioned above.   

Finally, Socioemotional selectivity theory of aging suggests that as we grow older we begin to recognize the our time is shortening and therefore we pay attention to enjoying the “here and now” and value strongly those with whom we have close emotional ties.  For myself, I go with this one.  My wife and I have been together for a long time.   And I have two sons, from my first marriage, whom I meet and walk with downtown  several times a month. And, oh yes, we have little pussycat named Ella who is an active member of our house.

What is your story?

[i] This material was found in a recent purchase entitled THINK PSYCHOLOGY:Second Canadian Edition sold by Pearson Toronto ISBN 978-0-13-282590-0

Friday, January 10, 2014

Women's Retirement and the Psychology of Aging

                                    Women’s Retirement[1]’s and the Psychology of Aging

In the first source listed below it was predicted that by 2012 women would be nearly half of the labor force and that they have not been as eager to retire as men.  In the second source, also cited below, there is a section entitled aging and work performance it is stated that ; “Older workers are often perceived negatively by employers and co-workers…  I wonder if there is a connection between the two? 
 My blog has been visited by people from around the world and it would be interesting to find out what you think or have experienced.

[1]  Matereial gathered from  Ageing. Society, and the Life Course (2007) published by Springer Publishing Company. The material was gathered from Trends of Retirement: Women’s Retirement.
2. Handbook of the Psychology of Ageing, Edited by by J. E. Birren &  K. Warner Schaie (2001)