Archive for November 2009

Seniors: New Lessons in Thanksgiving

Nov 30th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Traditions, for the most part, are good things. But, as one grows older and life cycles introduce major change to our existence, it becomes necessary to reevaluate how to act out our traditions. This year we played out a new drama on Thanksgiving day and weekend. Because family changes and agendas and customs undergo change, it appeared possible to create a new scenario for our Thanksgiving Day. This meant having to be sure that everyone else in the family would be in an okay place for themselves. It also meant that we had to do some creative thinking about how we would continue to have meaning for our holiday.

Our holiday included reserving a small cottage in northeastern Arizona, in a place that is billed as “the road to nowhere.” It is in Greer, Arizona. We arrived late on Wednesday and resided there until Sunday morning. We enjoyed the comfort and pleasure of winter like weather in a cabin with a fireplace, books to read, games to play,



Financial Abuse of Senior Citizens: Some Protective Advice

Nov 28th, 2009 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

An elderly relative was recently scammed by an insurance company with a national reputation.  She has mild to moderate cognitive impairment, common elderly fear of financial loss, and a credit card.  She is also guilty of reading the monthly AARP Bulletin religiously.  As she was reading about identity theft in an ad with a return [...]



Seniors: Who is that Guy in the Robe with the Golden Stole?

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

Ok, I confess it is I. It is a photograph taken a while back, but one which seemed to flatter me. Egotistical, perhaps, but often we look for something which seems to give us a good feeling about ourselves, our appearance, our self perception. I felt this one did that. Some remember when I appeared thus. Interestingly, they have never commented on my selection of this representation of me. That’s okay. It’s beginning to fade into its own irrelevance.

That man you see everytime you deign to choose this column as a part of your daily reading retinue, is a man who enjoys your presence on our pages, the pleasure of your critique, the compliment of your company. He is a human being who is aware of the gracious and abundantly generous gift of persons, like yourself, who



From Senior Citizen Journal: A Thanksgiving Wish

Nov 26th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

May the gathering in which you participate today enlarge your appreciation for all the wondrous gifts we receive daily. May the family and friends with whom you gather offer you reinforcement in love, joy and peace. May the urge in your own bosom be one that reaches out to others, whose lives are not so wonderfully blessed. May the Day of Thanksgiving become a season of sharing your largesse with others. May this day be indelibly marked as one whose spirit we choose to repeat over and over.

Drs. Jerry D. and Sharon Shaw Elrod, Senior Citizen Journal



Seniors: Which Day is Better: Relaxed Thursday or Hectic Friday

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

Tomorrow offers the opportunity for a relaxed Thursday. In the holiday calendar it is celebrated as Thanksgiving. It is one of those favorite occasions when the day is focused more on traditions, the enjoyment of family and friends, the delicious sharing of delectable food, kicking back and chilling out. About the only thing that interferes with tranquility is a great play in the fourth quarter and then pandemonium breaks loose.

Relaxed Thursday is ordinarily a day without heavy expectations (heavy may not be the best word). It is a day to enjoy just because it is. Centerpiece for the day is Thanksgiving cuisine. My mouth waters just thinking about the menu, the aroma, the festiveness of the whole occasion. Even leftovers are desirable, particularly turkey soup.



Seniors: Taking Charge

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

Assertiveness is a natural behavior for some. For others, it is the most exacting challenge a person can imagine. Allowing others to take charge is often done out of sense of low self esteem, little confidence, willingness to just let someone else take over. It can also be discouraging, demoralizing, and damaging.

In the presence of persons whose tendency is to “take charge,” some retreat quickly into silence, inability to join in, difficulty in sharing in the social dynamics of the group. At such times, it behooves others to raise their awareness of how someone else needs to be encouraged to enter the conversation. Persons who are particularly vocal may find it hard to surrender their control, but exercising courtesy and thoughtfulness may exhibit more wisdom than whatever is being said.



Seniors: Discovering and Sharing Contentment

Nov 23rd, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Reaching the stage when contentment is the predominant mood and disposition of every day is a huge achievement among seniors. Contentment is a state of mind, being, body and soul when most days are full of calm, serenity and assured self confidence.

Arriving at the moment when contentment seems to flood over you and replaces the old frustrations, tensions and discord of previous life is a worthy undertaking. . Encouraging that state of mind introduces what Joseph Campbell, the expert on mythology, describes as “finding your bliss.” Bliss is a state of mind. Arriving there is the goal of reaching contentment.



Seniors: Pets Offer Wholesome Companionship

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

Depending on your living environment, your tolerance for pets, and your ability to care for them, one of the most satisfying activities one can introduce into a home is the presence of pet(s). Acknowledging the logistical considerations is, of course, elementary. Having wrestled with those and determined that there is a possibility for introducing a pet into the home, there are numerous other preparations and details to be worked out in advance.

If living in a facility, the first question is “are pets allowed?” If so, what is the additional fee scale for having one in your accommodation? If you are living in your own home, how will you deal with the pet’s need to be outside, to have exercise, to be safe? What thought needs to go into their being housebroken? How will you



Seniors: Thanksgiving: A Meal, a Banquet or a Feast

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

This year’s Thanksgiving is likely to take on a whole new dimension for most families across America. While the meals in most middle to upper class homes are likely to be real Feasts, there will be many who will have had to forage for anything looking like a Banquet Table. Acknowledging the plight of the overwhelming numbers of unemployed, those who celebrate in a more traditional style may find themselves pausing to consider those conditions of pain and poverty.

Just a Meal would be nice for the hordes of persons whose lives have shifted under the weight of an overwhelming avalanche of economic disaster. Just a Meal would help families know that on this day they can be very much like their neighbors. Just a Meal will enable persons to find some semblance of hope in the causes of concern and charity. Just a Meal may ready the homeless and the hungry to prepare for Black



Seniors: How to Cultivate the Best of Growing Older

Nov 18th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The reviews on growing older often point to the downside, the negative and the dreaded. These reviews are typically from persons whose life orientation has bordered on sliding off the cliff, in other words being perpetually pessimistic. Not a good life place to be. The cliffs that represent end of life likelihoods will loom large soon enough. Finding ways to reroute your course is the advisable strategy as one grows older.

Wherever you live (and our readers literally come from all over the world) there will be cliffs. Whatever you have done in the past, the cliffs will tempt the possibility of discouraging positive life patterns. However careful we are cliffs can loom up before us, without warning.