By June Morrison, Senior Ministries Task Force
It’s my experience that there are certain things I have to accept and there are other things that I can work on. I’ve been blessed with good health for most of my life, but I’ve found that growing older includes some things that I don’t enjoy. People don’t expect as much of me. At times, I’m ignored and sometimes I’m almost invisible. I can change that.
As I’ve aged I’ve wondered what my life will be like. God gave me the ability to use my mind to set goals and reach them. I can find ways of living alone or with others. That choice is up to me right now. The most ideal solution for people my age may be the combination of living alone in our own home and having assistance when we need it. Whatever you prefer, make your living preference known and work towards that living arrangement. What I see happening in the Salt River Valley area is that aging parents want to be near their immediate family. In most cases, when the father of the family passes away the mother is cared for by the eldest daughter. Usually the mother moves in with the daughter’s family or the daughter moves in with the mother. I don’t know if that is the aging parent’s preference, but that is what I’ve seen happen.
When adult children notice developing health issues in their parents, such as hearing loss, or loss of sight, they start thinking about changing the parents’ living conditions. Heath issues and financial conditions may dictate how to care for aging parents, but sometimes parents aren’t given a choice even when there are multiple options available. If you or your older parent(s) do not already have a plan in place, talk with your family and create a senior living plan while you still have a choice. We all want to feel that we have some control of our lives, even as we age.
We can choose to take control our exercise, food intake, and general activity. We can control most personal contacts and general interaction with friends and family. Most people know that exercise and healthy food keeps our bodies in good condition. If we exercise that control judiciously, we will be a happier person. All you need to do is make up your mind about where you want to go. Then figure out a way to get there. God has given us a mind and expects us to use it.
Excerpt from Tis the Set of the Sail, by Etta Wheeler Wilcox:
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
‘Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
Editor’s Note: Martha Lundgren, chairperson of the DSC Senior Ministries Task Force recommends reading, A Time of Our Own: In Celebration of Women over Sixty. For information about senior services in your area check out your city and county websites or start at either of the following state aging and disability services divisions.
- Nevada: http://adsd.nv.gov
- Arizona: https://des.az.gov/services/aging-and-adult/division-aging-and-adult-services
- California: https://www.aging.ca.gov