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The Development of Old Age and Related Issues

April 18, 2016 by · Comments Off on The Development of Old Age and Related Issues
Filed under: General 

In traditional Chinese and other Asian cultures the aged were highly respected and cared for. The Igabo tribesmen of Eastern Nigeria value dependency in their aged and involve them in care of children and the administration of tribal affairs (Shelton, A. in Kalish R. Uni Michigan 1969).

In Eskimo culture the grandmother was pushed out into the ice-flow to die as soon as she became useless.

Western societies today usually resemble to some degree the Eskimo culture, only the “ice-flows” have names such a “Sunset Vista” and the like. Younger generations no longer assign status to the aged and their abandonment is always in danger of becoming the social norm.

There has been a tendency to remove the aged from their homes and put them  in custodial care. To some degree the government provides domiciliary care services to prevent or delay this, but the motivation probably has more to do with expense than humanity.

In Canada and some parts of the USA old people are being utilised as foster-grandparents in child care agencies.

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS

What is Aging?

Aging: Aging is a natural phenomenon that refers to changes occurring throughout the life span and result in differences in structure and function between the youthful and elder generation.

Gerontology: Gerontology is the study of aging and includes science, psychology and sociology.

Geriatrics: A relatively new field of medicine specialising in the health problems of advanced age.

Social aging: Refers to the social habits and roles of individuals with respect to their culture and society. As social aging increases individual usually experience a decrease in meaningful social interactions.

Biological aging: Refers to the physical changes in the body systems during the later decades of life. It may begin long before the individual  reaches chronological age 65.

Cognitive aging: Refers to decreasing ability to assimilate new information and learn new behaviours and skills.

GENERAL PROBLEMS OF AGING

Eric Erikson (Youth and the life cycle. Children. 7:43-49 Mch/April 1960) developed an “ages and stages” theory of human development that involved 8 stages after birth each of which involved a basic dichotomy representing best case and worst case outcomes. Below are the dichotomies and their developmental relevance:

Prenatal stage – conception to birth.

  1. Infancy. Birth to 2 years – basic trust vs. basic distrust. Hope.
  2. Early childhood, 3 to 4 years – autonomy vs. self doubt/shame. Will.
  3. Play age, 5 to 8 years – initiative vs. guilt. Purpose.
  4. School age, 9to 12 – industry vs. inferiority. Competence.
  5. Adolescence, 13 to 19 – identity vs. identity confusion. Fidelity.
  6. Young adulthood – intimacy vs. isolation. Love.
  7. Adulthood, generativity vs. self absorption. Care.
  8. Mature age- Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Wisdom.

This stage of older adulthood, i.e. stage 8, begins about the time of retirement and continues throughout one’s life. Achieving ego integrity  is a sign of maturity while failing to reach this stage is an indication of poor development in prior stages through the life course.

Ego integrity: This means coming to accept one’s whole life and reflecting on it in a positive manner. According to Erikson, achieving integrity means fully accepting one’ self and coming to terms with death. Accepting responsibility for one’s life and being able to review the past with satisfaction is essential. The inability to do this leads to despair and the individual will begin to fear death. If a favourable balance is achieved during this stage, then wisdom is developed.

Psychological and personality aspects:

Aging has psychological implications. Next to dying our recognition that we are aging may be one of the most profound shocks we ever receive. Once we pass the invisible line of 65 our years are bench marked for the remainder of the game of life. We are no longer “mature age” we are instead classified as “old”, or “senior citizens”. How we cope with the changes we face and stresses of altered status depends on our basic personality. Here are 3 basic personality types that have been identified. It may be a oversimplification but it makes the point about personality effectively:

a. The autonomous – people who seem to have the resources for self-renewal. They may be dedicated to a goal or idea and committed to continuing productivity. This appears to protect them somewhat even against physiological aging.

b.The adjusted – people who are rigid and lacking in adaptability but are supported by their power, prestige or well structured routine. But if their situation changes drastically they become psychiatric casualties.

c.The anomic. These are people who do not have clear inner values or a protective life vision. Such people have been described as prematurely resigned and they may deteriorate rapidly.

Summary of stresses of old age.

a. Retirement and reduced income. Most people rely on work for self worth, identity and social interaction. Forced retirement can be demoralising.

b. Fear of invalidism and death. The increased probability of falling prey to illness from which there is no recovery is a continual source of anxiety. When one has a heart attack or stroke the stress becomes much worse.

Some persons face death with equanimity, often psychologically supported by a religion or philosophy. Others may welcome death as an end to suffering or insoluble problems and with little concern for life or human existence. Still others face impending death with suffering of great stress against which they have no ego defenses.

c. Isolation and loneliness. Older people face inevitable loss of loved ones, friends and contemporaries. The loss of a spouse whom one has depended on for companionship and moral support is particularly distressing. Children grow up, marry and become preoccupied or move away. Failing memory, visual and aural impairment may all work to make social interaction difficult. And if this then leads to a souring of outlook and rigidity of attitude then social interaction becomes further lessened and the individual may not even utilise the avenues for social activity that are still available.

d. Reduction in sexual function and physical attractiveness. Kinsey et al, in their Sexual behaviour in the human male, (Phil., Saunders, 1948) found that there is a gradual decrease in sexual activity with advancing age and that reasonably gratifying patterns of sexual activity can continue into extreme old age. The aging person also has to adapt to loss of sexual attractiveness in a society which puts extreme emphasis on sexual attractiveness. The adjustment in self image and self concept that are required can be very hard to make.

e. Forces tending to self devaluation. Often the experience of the older generation has little perceived relevance to the problems of the young and the older person becomes deprived of participation in decision making both in occupational and family settings. Many parents are seen as unwanted burdens and their children may secretly wish they would die so they can be free of the burden and experience some financial relief or benefit. Senior citizens may be pushed into the role of being an old person with all this implies in terms of self devaluation.

4 Major Categories of Problems or Needs:

Health.

Housing.

Income maintenance.

Interpersonal relations.

BIOLOGICAL CHANGES

Physiological Changes: Catabolism (the breakdown of protoplasm) overtakes anabolism (the build-up of protoplasm). All body systems are affected and repair systems become slowed. The aging process occurs at different rates in different individuals.

Physical appearance and other changes:

Loss of subcutaneous fat and less elastic skin gives rise to wrinkled appearance, sagging and loss of smoothness of body contours. Joints stiffen and become painful and range of joint movement becomes restricted, general mobility lessened.

Respiratory changes:

Increase of fibrous tissue in chest walls and lungs leads restricts respiratory movement and less oxygen is consumed. Older people more likelyto have lower respiratory infections whereas young people have upper respiratory infections.

Nutritive changes:

Tooth decay and loss of teeth can detract from ease and enjoyment in eating. Atrophy of the taste buds means food is inclined to be tasteless and this should be taken into account by carers. Digestive changes occur from lack of exercise (stimulating intestines) and decrease in digestive juice production. Constipation and indigestion are likely to follow as a result. Financial problems can lead to the elderly eating an excess of cheap carbohydrates rather than the more expensive protein and vegetable foods and this exacerbates the problem, leading to reduced vitamin intake and such problems as anemia and increased susceptibility to infection.

Adaptation to stress:

All of us face stress at all ages. Adaptation to stress requires the consumption of energy. The 3 main phases of stress are:

1. Initial alarm reaction. 2. Resistance. 3. Exhaustion

and if stress continues tissue damage or aging occurs. Older persons have had a lifetime of dealing with stresses. Energy reserves are depleted and the older person succumbs to stress earlier than the younger person. Stress is cumulative over a lifetime. Research results, including experiments with animals suggests that each stress leaves us more vulnerable to the next and that although we might think we’ve “bounced back” 100% in fact each stress leaves it scar. Further, stress is psycho-biological meaning the kind of stress is irrelevant. A physical stress may leave one more vulnerable to psychological stress and vice versa. Rest does not completely restore one after a stressor. Care workers need to be mindful of this and cognizant of the kinds of things that can produce stress for aged persons.

COGNITIVE CHANGE Habitual Behaviour:

Sigmund Freud noted that after the age of 50, treatment of neuroses via psychoanalysis was difficult because the opinions and reactions of older people were relatively fixed and hard to shift.

Over-learned behaviour: This is behaviour that has been learned so well and repeated so often that it has become automatic, like for example typing or running down stairs. Over-learned behaviour is hard to change. If one has lived a long time one is likely to have fixed opinions and ritualised behaviour patterns or habits.

Compulsive behaviour: Habits and attitudes that have been learned in the course of finding ways to overcome frustration and difficulty are very hard to break. Tension reducing habits such as nail biting, incessant humming, smoking or drinking alcohol are especially hard to change at any age and particularly hard for persons who have been practising them over a life time.

The psychology of over-learned and compulsive behaviours has severe implications for older persons who find they have to live in what for them is a new and alien environment with new rules and power relations.

Information acquisition:

Older people have a continual background of neural noise making it more difficult for them to sort out and interpret complex sensory input. In talking to an older person one should turn off the TV, eliminate as many noises and distractions as possible, talk slowly and relate to one message or idea at a time.

Memories from the distant past are stronger than more recent memories. New memories are the first to fade and last to return.

Time patterns also can get mixed – old and new may get mixed.

Intelligence.

Intelligence reaches a peak and can stay high with little deterioration if there is no neurological damage. People who have unusually high intelligence to begin with seem to suffer the least decline. Education and stimulation also seem to play a role in maintaining intelligence.

Intellectual impairment. Two diseases of old age causing cognitive decline are Alzheimer’s syndrome and Pick’s syndrome. In Pick’s syndrome there is inability to concentrate and learn and also affective responses are impaired.

Degenerative Diseases: Slow progressive physical degeneration of cells in the nervous system. Genetics appear to be an important factor. Usually start after age 40 (but can occur as early as 20s).

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Degeneration of all areas of cortex but particularly frontal and temporal lobes. The affected cells actually die. Early symptoms resemble neurotic disorders: Anxiety, depression, restlessness sleep difficulties.

Progressive deterioration of all intellectual faculties (memory deficiency being the most well known and obvious). Total mass of the brain decreases, ventricles become larger. No established treatment.

PICK’S DISEASE Rare degenerative disease. Similar to Alzheimer’s in terms of onset, symptomatology and possible genetic aetiology. However it affects circumscribed areas of the brain, particularly the frontal areas which leads to a loss of normal affect.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE Neuropathology: Loss of neurons in the basal ganglia.

Symptoms: Movement abnormalities: rhythmical alternating tremor of extremities, eyelids and tongue along with rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement (akinesia).

It was once thought that Parkinson’s disease was not associated with intellectual deterioration, but it is now known that there is an association between global intellectual impairment and Parkinson’s where it occurs late in life.

The cells lost in Parkinson’s are associated with the neuro-chemical Dopamine and the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are associated the dopamine deficiency. Treatment involves administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa which can alleviate symptoms including intellectual impairment. Research suggests it may possibly bring to the fore emotional effects in patients who have had psychiatric illness at some prior stage in their lives.

AFFECTIVE DOMAIN In old age our self concept gets its final revision. We make a final assessment of the value of our lives and our balance of success and failures.

How well a person adapts to old age may be predicated by how well the person adapted to earlier significant changes. If the person suffered an emotional crisis each time a significant change was needed then adaptation to the exigencies of old age may also be difficult. Factors such as economic security, geographic location and physical health are important to the adaptive process.

Need Fulfilment: For all of us, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, we are not free to pursue the higher needs of self actualisation unless the basic needs are secured. When one considers that many, perhaps most, old people are living in poverty and continually concerned with basic survival needs, they are not likely to be happily satisfying needs related to prestige, achievement and beauty.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

Physiological

Safety

Belonging, love, identification

Esteem: Achievement, prestige, success, self respect

Self actualisation: Expressing one’s interests and talents to the full.

Note: Old people who have secured their basic needs may be motivated to work on tasks of the highest levels in the hierarchy – activities concerned with aesthetics, creativity and altruistic matters, as compensation for loss of sexual attractiveness and athleticism. Aged care workers fixated on getting old people to focus on social activities may only succeed in frustrating and irritating them if their basic survival concerns are not secured to their satisfaction.

DISENGAGEMENT

Social aging according to Cumming, E. and Henry, W. (Growing old: the aging process of disengagement, NY, Basic 1961) follows a well defined pattern:

  1. Change in role. Change in occupation and productivity. Possibly change in attitude to work.
  2. Loss of role, e.g. retirement or death of a husband.
  3. Reduced social interaction. With loss of role social interactions are diminished, eccentric adjustment can further reduce social interaction, damage to self concept, depression.
  4. Awareness of scarcity of remaining time. This produces further curtailment of activity in interest of saving time.

Havighurst, R. et al (in B. Neugarten (ed.) Middle age and aging, U. of Chicago, 1968) and others have suggested that disengagement is not an inevitable process. They believe the needs of the old are essentially the same as in middle age and the activities of middle age should be extended as long as possible. Havighurst points out the decrease in social interaction of the aged is often largely the result of society withdrawing from the individual as much as the reverse. To combat this he believes the individual must vigorously resist the limitations of his social world.

DEATH The fear of the dead amongst tribal societies is well established. Persons who had ministered to the dead were taboo and required observe various rituals including seclusion for varying periods of time. In some societies from South America to Australia it is taboo for certain persons to utter the name of the dead. Widows and widowers are expected to observe rituals in respect for the dead.

Widows in the Highlands of New Guinea around Goroka chop of one of their own fingers. The dead continue their existence as spirits and upsetting them can bring dire consequences.

Wahl, C in “The fear of death”, 1959 noted that the fear of death occurs as early as the 3rd year of life. When a child loses a pet or grandparent fears reside in the unspoken questions: Did I cause it? Will happen to you (parent) soon? Will this happen to me? The child in such situations needs to re-assure that the departure is not a censure, and that the parent is not likely to depart soon. Love, grief, guilt, anger are a mix of conflicting emotions that are experienced.

CONTEMPORARY ATTITUDES TO DEATH

Our culture places high value on youth, beauty, high status occupations, social class and anticipated future activities and achievement. Aging and dying are denied and avoided in this system. The death of each person reminds us of our own mortality.

The death of the elderly is less disturbing to members of Western society because the aged are not especially valued. Surveys have established that nurses for example attach more importance to saving a young life than an old life. In Western society there is a pattern of avoiding dealing with the aged and dying aged patient.

Stages of dying. Elisabeth Kubler Ross has specialised in working with dying patients and in her “On death and dying”, NY, Macmillan, 1969, summarised 5 stages in dying.

  1. Denial and isolation. “No, not me”.
  2. Anger. “I’ve lived a good life so why me?”
  3. Bargaining. Secret deals are struck with God. “If I can live until…I promise to…”
  4. Depression. (In general the greatest psychological problem of the aged is depression). Depression results from real and threatened loss.
  5. Acceptance of the inevitable.

Kubler Ross’s typology as set out above should, I believe be taken with a grain of salt and not slavishly accepted. Celebrated US Journalist David Rieff who was in June ’08 a guest of the Sydney writer’s festival in relation to his book, “Swimming in a sea of death: a son’s memoir” (Melbourne University Press) expressly denied the validity of the Kubler Ross typology in his Late Night Live interview (Australian ABC radio) with Philip Adams June 9th ’08. He said something to the effect that his mother had regarded her impending death as murder. My own experience with dying persons suggests that the human ego is extraordinarily resilient. I recall visiting a dying colleague in hospital just days before his death. He said, “I’m dying, I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it”, and then went on to chortle about how senior academics at an Adelaide university had told him they were submitting his name for a the Order of Australia (the new “Knighthood” replacement in Australia). Falling in and out of lucid thought with an oxygen tube in his nostrils he was nevertheless still highly interested in the “vain glories of the world”. This observation to me seemed consistent with Rieff’s negative assessment of Kubler Ross’s theories.

THE AGED IN RELATION TO YOUNGER PEOPLE

The aged share with the young the same needs: However, the aged often have fewer or weaker resources to meet those needs. Their need for social interaction may be ignored by family and care workers.

Family should make time to visit their aged members and invite them to their homes. The aged like to visit children and relate to them through games and stories.

Meaningful relationships can be developed via foster-grandparent programs. Some aged are not aware of their income and health entitlements. Family and friends should take the time to explain these. Some aged are too proud to access their entitlements and this problem should be addressed in a kindly way where it occurs.

It is best that the aged be allowed as much choice as possible in matters related to living arrangements, social life and lifestyle.

Communities serving the aged need to provide for the aged via such things as lower curbing, and ramps.

Carers need to examine their own attitude to aging and dying. Denial in the carer is detected by the aged person and it can inhibit the aged person from expressing negative feelings – fear, anger. If the person can express these feelings to someone then that person is less likely to die with a sense of isolation and bitterness.

A METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

The following notes are my interpretation of a Dr. Depak Chopra lecture entitled, “The New Physics of Healing” which he presented to the 13th Scientific Conference of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Depak Chopra is an endocrinologist and a former Chief of Staff of New England Hospital, Massachusetts. I am deliberately omitting the detail of his explanations of the more abstract, ephemeral and controversial ideas.

Original material from 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

In the lecture Dr. Chopra presents a model of the universe and of all organisms as structures of interacting centres of electromagnetic energy linked to each other in such a way that anything affecting one part of a system or structure has ramifications throughout the entire structure. This model becomes an analogue not only for what happens within the structure or organism itself, but between the organism and both its physical and social environments. In other words there is a correlation between psychological conditions, health and the aging process. Dr. Chopra in his lecture reconciles ancient Vedic (Hindu) philosophy with modern psychology and quantum physics.

Premature Precognitive Commitment: Dr. Chopra invokes experiments that have shown that flies kept for a long time in a jar do not quickly leave the jar when the top is taken off. Instead they accept the jar as the limit of their universe. He also points out that in India baby elephants are often kept tethered to a small twig or sapling. In adulthood when the elephant is capable of pulling over a medium sized tree it can still be successfully tethered to a twig! As another example he points to experiments in which fish are bred on

2 sides of a fish tank containing a divider between the 2 sides. When the divider is removed the fish are slow to learn that they can now swim throughout the whole tank but rather stay in the section that they accept as their universe. Other experiments have demonstrated that kittens brought up in an environment of vertical stripes and structures, when released in adulthood keep bumping into anything aligned horizontally as if they were unable to see anything that is horizontal. Conversely kittens brought up in an environment of horizontal stripes when released bump into vertical structures, apparently unable to see them.

The whole point of the above experiments is that they demonstrate Premature Precognitive Commitment. The lesson to be learned is that our sensory apparatus develops as a result of initial experience and how we’ve been taught to interpret it.

What is the real look of the world? It doesn’t exist. The way the world looks to us is determined by the sensory receptors we have and our interpretation of that look is determined by our premature precognitive commitments. Dr Chopra makes the point that less than a billionth of the available stimuli make it into our nervous systems. Most of it is screened, and what gets through to us is whatever we are expecting to find on the basis of our precognitive commitments.

Dr. Chopra also discusses the diseases that are actually caused by mainstream medical interventions, but this material gets too far away from my central intention. Dr. Chopra discusses in lay terms the physics of matter, energy and time by way of establishing the wider context of our existence. He makes the point that our bodies including the bodies of plants are mirrors of cosmic rhythms and exhibit changes correlating even with the tides.

Dr. Chopra cites the experiments of Dr. Herbert Spencer of the US National Institute of Health. He injected mice with Poly-IC, an immuno-stimulant while making the mice repeatedly smell camphor. After the effect of the Poly-IC had worn off he again exposed the mice to the camphor smell. The smell of camphor had the effect of causing the mice’s immune system to automatically strengthen as if they had been injected with the stimulant. He then took another batch of mice and injected them with cyclophosphamide which tends to destroy the immune system while exposing them to the smell of camphor. Later after being returned to normal just the smell of camphor was enough to cause destruction of their immune system. Dr. Chopra points out that whether or not camphor enhanced or destroyed the mice’s immune system was entirely determined by an interpretation of the meaning of the smell of camphor. The interpretation is not just in the brain but in each cell of the organism. We are bound to our imagination and our early experiences.

Chopra cites a study by the Massachusetts Dept of Health Education and Welfare into risk factors for heart disease – family history, cholesterol etc. The 2 most important risk factors were found to be psychological measures – Self  Happiness Rating and Job Satisfaction. They found most people died of heart disease on a Monday!

Chopra says that for every feeling there is a molecule. If you are experiencing tranquillity your body will be producing natural valium. Chemical changes in the brain are reflected by changes in other cells including blood cells. The brain produces neuropeptides and brain structures are chemically tuned to these neuropeptide receptors. Neuropeptides (neurotransmitters) are the chemical concommitants of thought. Chopra points out the white blood cells (a part of the immune system) have neuropeptide receptors and are “eavesdropping” on our thinking. Conversely the immune system produces its own neuropeptides which can influence the nervous system. He goes on to say that cells in all parts of the body including heart and kidneys for example also produce neuropeptides and neuropeptide sensitivity. Chopra assures us that most neurologists would agree that the nervous system and the immune system are parallel systems.

Other studies in physiology: The blood interlukin-2 levels of medical students decreased as exam time neared and their interlukin receptor capacities also lowered. Chopra says if we are having fun to the point of exhilaration our natural interlukin-2 levels become higher. Interlukin-2 is a powerful and very expensive anti-cancer drug. The body is a printout of consciousness. If we could change the way we look at our bodies at a genuine, profound level then our bodies would actually change.

On the subject of “time” Chopra cites Sir Thomas Gall and Steven Hawkins, stating that our description of the universe as having a past, present, and future are constructed entirely out of our interpretation of change. But in reality linear time doesn’t exist.

Chopra explains the work of Alexander Leaf a former Harvard Professor of Preventative Medicine who toured the world investigating societies where people  lived beyond 100 years (these included parts of Afghanistan, Soviet Georgia, Southern Andes). He looked at possible factors including climate, genetics, and diet. Leaf concluded the most important factor was the collective perception of aging in these societies.

Amongst the Tama Humara of the Southern Andes there was a collective belief that the older you got the more physically able you got. They had a tradition of running and the older one became then generally the better at running one got. The best runner was aged 60. Lung capacity and other measures actually improved with age. People were healthy until well into their 100s and died in their sleep. Chopra remarks that things have changed since the introduction of Budweiser (beer) and TV.

[DISCUSSION: How might TV be a factor in changing the former ideal state of things?]

Chopra refers to Dr. Ellen Langor a former Harvard Psychology professor’s work. Langor advertised for 100 volunteers aged over 70 years. She took them to a Monastery outside Boston to play “Let’s Pretend”. They were divided into 2 groups each of which resided in a different part of the building. One group, the control group spent several days talking about the 1950s. The other group, the experimental group had to live as if in the year 1959 and talk about it in the present tense. What appeared on their TV screens were the old newscasts and movies. They read old newspapers and magazines of the period. After 3 days everyone was photographed and the photographs judged by independent judges who knew nothing of the nature of the experiment. The experimental group seemed to have gotten younger in appearance. Langor then arranged for them to be tested for 100 physiological parameters of aging which included of course blood pressure, near point vision and DHEA levels. After 10 days of living as if in 1959 all parameters had reversed by the equivalent of at least 20 years.

Chopra concludes from Langor’s experiment: “We are the metabolic end product of our sensory experiences. How we interpret them depends on the collective mindset which influences individual biological entropy and aging.”

Can one escape the current collective mindset and reap the benefits in longevity and health? Langor says, society won’t let you escape. There are too many reminders of how most people think linear time is and how it expresses itself in entropy and aging – men are naughty at 40 and on social welfare at 55, women reach menopause at 40 etc. We get to see so many other people aging and dying that it sets the pattern that we follow.

Chopra concludes we are the metabolic product of our sensory experience and our interpretation gets structured in our biology itself. Real change comes from change in the collective consciousness – otherwise it cannot occur within the individual.

Readings

Chopra, D. The New Physics of Healing. 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

Coleman, J. C. Abnormal psychology and modern life. Scott Foresman & Co.

Lugo, J. and Hershey, L. Human development a multidisciplinary approach to the psychology of individual growth, NY, Macmillan.

Dennis. Psychology of human behaviour for nurses. Lond. W. B.Saunders.

[http://www.psychologynatural.com/DepressionBroch.html]

Dr. Victor Barnes is an Adelaide psychologist and hypnotherapist. He has also had three decades of experience in adult education including serving as Dean of a Sri Lankan college (ICBT) teaching several Australian degrees. His overseas experience includes studies and consulting experience in USA, PNG, Poland and Sri Lanka.

MorningStar Senior Living – Nevada Senior Guide

http://www.morningstarseniorliving.com/communities/morningstar-of-sparks/

MSS-exterior2

At MorningStar, it’s in the air.  In the very chemistry of the place.  You can feel it.  You can see it with your own eyes, every day:  our staff flat out loving our residents, loving them like they do their own moms and dads.

Ken Jaeger, founder of MorningStar, proved his acumen for the senior living industry through 15 years of executive roles, garnering experience in acquisitions, construction and management.

In 2003, an idea began to take shape, a pressing dream to create his own brand of senior living defined by the human touch.  “I wanted to re-create my grandmother’s house, a place where one can go and feel a sense of family.”

Ken had specific designs on how to foster the ultimate environment for the well being of seniors.  Out of these convictions, he established three precepts for MorningStar:  Honor God.  Value All Seniors.  Invest generously in his team.

From his first home in Denver, MorningStar Assisted Living of Littleton, the difference was manifest: all the amenities of a five-star resort infused with the warmth of a real home.

And now, ten years and 12 homes later, MorningStar has become a landmark name in senior living.

From independent living to assisted living, from basic care through Alzheimer’s support, MorningStar’s continuum of service allows residents to extend their stay until a diagnosis calls for 24-hour nursing.  Through Respite Care and Day Programs, MorningStar also opens its homes for short-term stays.

Our website offers even more about the MorningStar difference.  There you’ll read about WellStar, our signature program which encompasses the physical, social, spiritual and intellectual sides of wellness.  You’ll see a gallery of our award-winning architecture and gracious design.  And find a Decision Guide that helps families understand & navigate the complex world of senior living, complete with downloadable templates.  Read especially “Testify to Love,” which captures the sentiments of residents, their families and our staff as to why we do what we do and the impact we have.

We see our residents as heroes—men and women who have exacted out of life all its triumphs and trials, who in raw courage and tenacity have invested their days.  Seniors are a testimony to the colossal events in history.  They’ve witnessed world wars and the worldwide web—all in one glorious sweep.  If anyone deserves honor and respect, it is our seniors.  This is MorningStar’s high and chosen calling.

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MorningStar Senior Living of Sparks, 2360 Wingfield Hills Drive, Sparks, NV  89436
Phone:  775-626-5665

Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Senior Citizens by Natalie Aranda

May 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Kids are easily pleased by almost any gifts as the whole world is new to them. Senior citizens may have experienced and owned everything they wanted in their life. That’s what makes a challenge when it comes to choose gifts for your grandmothers or grandfathers.

No matter what time of year it is, personalized yet unique gifts will sure impress them if you listen to they say and look at what they do. Far too often people tend to buy senior citizens items that they’d never want. Consequently, you should first make a list of what type of hobbies they like. Do they enjoy golfing or spending time playing games with their friends? If this is the case, you could purchase a unique game for their Christmas gift. Researching vintage entertainment or new board games on EBay would be a different approach. This way you could give them something one of a kind. Christmas gift ideas may be tricky to come up with, but they should also incorporate how much you are thinking about them. Since you do want them to enjoy what you purchase, you could get them a gift certificate to a spa or a day at a romantic inn. These gifts are wonderful and inspiring items, regardless of what holiday it is. Chances are they will thank you for months, because the majority of gift givers do not think so deeply.

If you are having trouble coming up with birthday gift ideas, you should always remember to avoid joke presents! When we all get older, we cringe at the thought of age being mentioned. Although some senior citizens embrace who they are, some people would rather not make a big deal of their age. Therefore, you should avoid the birthday gift ideas that involve age jokes. You never know when you are going to offend someone. After all, the last thing you want to do is remind them of their life insurance settlements or the life settlement issues they may have to worry about.

If you are trying to find a better birthday idea, you should explore the idea of scrapbooks. By creating a book filled with photos, memories, and comments, it will bring your grandparents to tears. They embrace nostalgia and would love to have a keepsake that they can look through for years. As a result, these special birthday gift ideas are an extraordinary way to say you love them and are happy to be part of their lives.

Senior citizens may seem like they are impossible to buy for, but all they want are unique gifts like everyone else. No matter whom you are buying presents for, the gift ideas need to be out of the ordinary. Discouraged and don’t have a lot of money to spend? Even by taking time to create a memory book or photo album, it would bring a smile to their face. From birthday gift ideas to Christmas gift ideas, anything is possible as long as you put your heart into it. If you are looking for a quick fix and a simple present to buy, sadly you will be like everyone else.

Natalie Aranda writes on home and family [http://www.moonsome.net/Family-1/]. If you are having trouble coming up with birthday gift ideas, you should always remember to avoid joke presents! When we all get older, we cringe at the thought of age being mentioned. Although some senior citizens embrace who they are, some people would rather not make a big deal of their age. Therefore, you should avoid the birthday gift ideas that involve age jokes. You never know when you are going to offend someone. After all, the last thing you want to do is remind them of their life insurance settlements or the life settlement issues they may have to worry about.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Natalie_Aranda

Niche Marketing Strategies For Tutoring Businesses Looking To Attract Senior Citizens by SK Tilton

April 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

For years, we’ve heard about the graying of our population from the baby boom  years. Our current class of senior citizens inductees (the population born  during the Baby Boom after World War II from 1946 to 1964) is going to make up  close to 20% percent of the total US population by 2029 according to the US  Census Bureau. What often goes unmentioned is that this mature population also  controls one of the largest percentages of disposable income. As a group, senior  citizens are and will be for some time the most affluent Americans. They hold  about three quarters of the nation’s financial assets worth approximately $1  trillion in disposable income annually.

Again, that is $1 trillion dollars in disposable income annually.

Many product and/or service oriented businesses have taken the long view and  begun marketing various products and services geared specifically to the older  consumer. Despite this recognition on the part of a few marketers, this  financially secure, mature group of consumers remains largely untapped by  educational companies and services. Take for instance the onslaught of new  technologies that seem to pop up like daisies in the spring, out of all consumer  groups, our seniors, are usually the last to be courted. While it may be true  that certain technologies are better suited for younger tech savvy consumers (I  am reminded of my elderly grandmother who purchased an unlimited text messaging  package on a small phone without text messaging capability and did I mention she  had arthritis), it doesn’t mean that this market is entirely unsuited for those  educational businesses and services that use technology to deliver their product  or service.

For a supplemental education service tutoring provider, this mature consumer  group is wide open with far less competition and minimal requirements in the way  of overhead expenditures. Two of the much-needed services that senior citizens  in particular lack are computer training and technology acclimation. Many of the  services supplemental education companies can provide, are the ones that are  most often overlooked or taken for granted, i.e. using the internet, opening up  an email account, social networking account registration, etc. If you are  reading this article, you can definitely offer those services and more. Suppose  for a moment you feel uncomfortable with your level of competence in offering a  few of these services, let me repeat what I said in my previous article, Niche  Marketing Strategies for Tutoring Businesses Looking To Attract Parents of  Students Taking State Standardized Tests, you do not have to be an expert in the  subject matter in order to provide supplemental services in the subject matter,  you just need to hire people with thorough experience related to the field.

The reason for the lack of competition in this age group is precisely because  this mature audience is a bit more discerning with their spending habits and a  more sophisticated approach is required to gain their attention, loyalty, and  dollars. However, it is for this very reason that supplemental education service  providers should dive into this market with fervor and enthusiasm. Education is,  and has always been a cornerstone for any age group. The value that the 50 and  over age group places on education should not go unnoticed. Along with  education, communication plays an important role in everyone’s lives and its  role only expands as one gets older. In the past, many grandparents would send  letters to their grandchildren and eagerly await their response. Grandparents  yearn to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives. Why not offer the ability to  stay in touch while simultaneously helping an older population learn and acquire  new skills? Imagine grandma’s joy every time she logs on to her e-mail account  and sees a message from her grandchild or when she receives a tweet. It’s truly  a win-win proposition!

Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the type of  services supplemental education providers can offer up in addition to computer  training. Curriculum and/or activities marketed to senior citizens can range  from learning a new language to scrap booking to ballroom dancing. If you’re  looking for ideas on what senior citizens are interested in learning, you can  find a compiled starter list below. Since most of your organized activities and  programs will consist of a variety of group sizes, you will have the ability to  market age specific specials and discounted tuition fees accordingly. Remember,  you run a supplemental education service business that should be able to teach  and tutor in multiple disciplines. You do not need to have any expert knowledge  in any of these areas, just hire someone who does. It is highly unlikely that  Sam Walton knew how to repair the diesel engines of every tractor-trailer that  brought in a load of merchandise to his stores, but his business (Walmart) hired  people who did have that expertise.

The best part about marketing to this age group is that they are fairly  accessible if you know where to look. Putting up postings/flyers at local  community church bulletins, visiting the adult education departments of local  community colleges, and contacting the Facility Director or Onsite Coordinator  at various assisted living facilities to propose your computer training or other  services to their residents, is a good way to start. If interested, there are  plenty of online directories that list full contact information for assisted  living facilities narrowed by zip code or state.

How about the Bingo nights? They are usually held at lodges, halls, churches,  and schools/community colleges.

Hold the presses! Yet another great source that has been largely abandoned by  the younger generation is the newspaper. Here’s a little known fact about the  newspaper industry – 65% of its readers are over the age of 55. By advertising  in this medium you are reaching over half of the newspapers readers – Now that’s  worth another read!

When it comes to reaching senior citizens, let your creativity lead the way,  your opportunities are limitless. For the astute, forward thinking individual,  this is a unique opportunity to service an undeserved demographic and separate  your business from the competition. Remember, thinking outside the box never  gets old!

Activity Ideas for Senior Citizens: · Computer Training  · Dance   · Yoga  · Painting  · Sewing · Journal Writing · Knitting or  crocheting  · Photography · Discussion Groups  · Exercise  ·  Knitting  · Foreign Language Conversation · Needlepoint  · Pinochle   · Quilting  · Tai Chi  · Writing workshops  · Crafts  ·  Bowling  · Bridge

S.K. Tilton has served as a program director, site coordinator, area  director, and as a SES business consultant to various SES (Supplemental  Education Services) tutoring companies across the United States. S.K. Tilton has  written numerous business plans for SES start ups and filed many approved  applications on behalf of SES tutoring companies. As a consultant, S.K. Tilton  has been responsible for presenting and implementing successful marketing plans  and helping first year start ups achieve success normally enjoyed by seasoned  SES veterans. S.K. Tilton’s latest work combines practical experience of the  best and worst SES practices to bring you the only SES success guide book  available. For further information on the SES Made Easy book and the author,  please visit http://www.sestutoringbiz.com.

Stay informed on the latest information regarding supplemental education  service tutoring at http://sestutoringbiz.com/category/Blog/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=SK_Tilton

 

nevada-senior-guide Pacifica Henderson


Henderson Senior Living – Pacifica Green Valley

Pacifica  Senior Living understands that at any age, maintaining a sense of  freedom and independence is very important. At our Henderson senior living community you  will enjoy a lifestyle of choice. Our Heartland Assisted Living staff  is trained to provide the services you may need in a supportive  environment. Our goals are to promote an active and self-reliant  lifestyle; to recognize when assistance is necessary; to provide caring  attention; and to continue to educate our community.

Living Options

Pacifica Senior Living Green Valley provides the most innovative healthcare solutions for senior living in Henderson, NV to our residents and their families. By embracing the latest research available, we have developed the best care solutions available for assisted living and memory care for seniors in Henderson.

Services and Amenities

Grandmother and grandaughter hugging enjoying our Pacifica Senior Living Services in Henderson.

Pacifica  Senior Living Green Valley is a gracious single story full-service  retirement community nestled among beautifully manicured grounds,  gardens, and walking paths.

We  encourage our residents to allow us (the staff) to assist them in any  way we can. We believe it is our residents’ turn to relax and enjoy  retirement living at its fullest. Our mission is to help them feel at  home each and every day.

In addition to the apartment home maintenance, we offer generous amenities and services.

Pacifica Senior Living Amenities Include:

  • A charming, gated community with a single story, cottage-style design – no long corridors, stairs or elevators.
  • 24-hour on-site professional staffing
  • Family-style dining – three times a day
  • Weekly housekeeping, linens and personal laundry
  • All utilities (phone at an additional fee)
  • Cable television
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Social, educational, spiritual, and recreational programs
  • Full service beauty salon (additional fee)
  • Access to comfortable indoor and outdoor leisure areas
  • Manicured and maintained landscaped grounds with water fountain
  • Expansive rose garden and walking paths
  • Library
  • Vibrant activities program-rose hall community center
  • On-site apartment home maintenance
  • Pets welcome! (additional fee)

Our separate, secured memory care community offers:

  • Personalized memory care in a secure, comfortable setting
  • 24 hour safety supervision and assistance
  • Daily programs to enhance resident engagement
  • Secure exterior courtyards specifically designed for resident outdoor experiences

Cottages of Green Valley

(702) 992-0000 

2620 Robindale Road 

Henderson

West of Pecos

 

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!