Archive for August 2009

Seniors: Counting the Anniversaries

Aug 31st, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Today marks our 34th anniversary. Nothing special, not silver or gold anyway. The closest to it is 35 which is marked by coral, and the state of coral world wide is none too good. So I suppose we have to sandwich something in for the occasion of a 34th anniversary. Sandwich, that might be it. We will go out for a sandwich. Not a cool idea.

The 34th is a remarkable moment, if you think about it. If doubled it is 68, and if we are prudent in our choices and judgments, we may just make that. But there is, you might know, nothing to mark that occasion either. Its these odd years that seem to count for nothing in the world of marital bliss and domestic tranquility. Maybe those of us who enjoy these silent celebrations do so reinforcing our relationships in ways that help us make it to the big ones, the ruby (40th), and the sapphire (45th) and the golden, it goes without saying.



Medical Crises, Financial Decisions and Senior Citizen Planning

Aug 29th, 2009 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

A financial issue for senior citizens that hasn’t received much attention relates to medical crises, a phenomenon that many of us are exposed to as we age. Medical problems increase following retirement; emotional and financial decisions must be faced as those problems arise. There is very little one can do to be prepared emotionally for [...]



Seniors: Defining Ourselves All Over Again

Aug 28th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Remember when your parents used to mark the wall or a face board showing signs of your growth. Remember when they no longer did that anymore. Remember when you went through the age of acne. Remember when that was no longer important. Remember when you thought you would never get a date and finally you did. Remember the first time you ever went to a dance. Remember getting your license to drive. Remember all those rites of passage?

Those were the times of defining ourselves, our first selves. It is a process that repeats itself, under different circumstances, over and again. If you are 70 or beyond, you are in one of those defining moments. Hell, if you are 30 or 40 or 50 or 60, so are you as well. And it doesn’t have to be a clean decade number. it happens and it catches us and is rewarded with labels like ‘mid life crisis.” My mid life crisis has lasted longer now than mid life. It is a forever churning moment when who I was has to be redefined into who I am. Sometimes the transition is smooth and gentle and graceful. At others, it is a bumpy ride.



Senior Alert: Older and Wiser

Aug 27th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

“You aren’t getting older, you are just growing wiser!” When you heard it, did you really believe it or just shrug it off as another polite cliche? Cliches often replace honesty and genuine compliments. That is why they are cliches. They fall trippingly off the tongue, much like a lie. Most of them usually are. If not a lie, then at least an indifferent remark in the category of “how are you?” When you ask, do you really care? When someone asks you, do they?”

Older and Wiser are attributes available to all who have passed the stage of whatever older means. In a delightful email exchange with a dear friend of more than 35 years, I had complained about passing the 70 mark. Her retort was wonderful. She said, a mutual friend when reaching 60, absolutely refused to be 60. So she wasn’t and isn’t. She then went on to declare that I needed to be whipped into shape by people who have known me. She hit the point exactly, “You,” she said,” have never been a number. You are Jerry. Be Jerry.”



Starting Today, Seniors Let’s Turn Over a New Leaf

Aug 25th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

How many times have you made that declaration? Did it work? Whatever the new leaf was, did you see significant change in the management of your day to day routine? What brought you to the need to make such a delcaration to begin with?

Rearranging furniture is a symbolic effort at rearranging your life. It suggests boredom with present conditions, a need to introduce something new and sparkling into your life. If you are single, maybe searching and finding a cmpanion to bring extra excitement into your life should be on the vfenue. If you are widowed, maybe the time has come to search out new opportunites at socialization. If you are married, then maybe its time to rearrange the furniture.

A new leaf is heavier thaan it might at first seem. The implications of turning it over may require more introspection and examination of behavior than you are prepared to undergo. It also means a determination to change behaviors that you find personally uncomfortable. While uncomfortble, they may be so embedded in your behaviors that changing them will be



Living in Wait:A Senior’s Destiny

Aug 25th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

One of the characteristics of aging is the feeling that we are living in wait. We are always waiting. We visit the doctor and wait. We stand in line at the pharmacy and wait. Even in express lines, we find ourselves waiting. Little value is given to our time. After all that is all we are really presumed to have.

Living in wait is a devaluing of the older person. It is assuming that after all we have nothing else of value to do. So we can just wait. Living in wait suggests not only that we are devalued but are quite invisible. We’re just not there. Look for us and we are wandering around looking on the shelves, wondering what any of those products really are for. Call our names and we are out of the range of sound. It is as if we can’t be seen or heard! We’re almost like the wish given about children who should be seen and not heard.



What I Wish I Could Offer!

Aug 24th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

I wish I could offer you the promise that if you read this “it will change your life!” So many advertisements, commercials, promotions, even free offers make this guarantee. Senior Citizen Journal is neither audacious, bold or insulting enough to make such a claim. But, were it in our power it would be a gift that sharing with those who come to visit us here would certainly deserve.

What we know is that “changing One’s life” is really up to us. It doesn’t come from some external source, some potion, some magic formula, some latest bestseller, some pill or regimen of them, some exercise machine, some wise soothsayer, palm reader or psychic.

Most, if not all, major revelations of spiritual history point out that the changes that are both needed and which may occur in our lives, come from within. That internal stirring may have about it certain external inspirations and promptings which assist provoking healthy change. The cause itself, however, is born of one’s own struggles



Homework: Who Does It After Retirement?

Aug 21st, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

There are all kinds of ways to distribute the workload in a home, after retirement. If both parties worked outside the home, prior to retirement, it is likely some accomodation was made during that period. It is both unfair and tension building to expect one party to do it all. It can be appropriately ventured that homework never ends, no matter the age. It just changes its nature. There needs to be a schedule, clarity about timelines, nature of duties, clarification of accountability, expectations if circumstances change, and an overall appreciation that one is not doing something for the other, but meeting the needs of the total household.

If upon retirement, living arrangements have changed, along with expectations, it is high time to renegotiate the work load. One complaint, following on retirement, is having too much time with your spouse. Changing that dynamic does not mean one of the two leaves the house just to get away from the other, i.e. to play golf or be with the boys or girls, whatever, on a regular basis.



Why Doesn’t SCJ Deal With More Religious Content?

Aug 20th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Religious content is about as varied as any subject one can name.  It has as many proponents, exponents, opponents in almost any category one can name.  It is, like politics, one of the quickest ways to stoke a fire, stir up anger, raise a converesation to a boiling point, create reasons for division among friends, and end [...]



Senior, Aging, Older, Fogey Are Not Words You Need to Repeat

Aug 19th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

If you believe in your own status as a human being, no matter your current age, you are permitted to live without labels. Most of us past the magic number, whatever that is, that defines retirement and all its wonders, or lack thereof, need to free ourselves of those words that are somehow designed to categorize [...]