Senior Living

Well, the time is almost here for me to finalize the move to the luxury independent senior living apartment complex. It is less than a year old and abuts the Chesterpeak Bay/Atlantic Ocean. This is what I call living the high life. I have tried to tell others that there is always more than what you see. All it will take is looking around and the willingness to move from the comfort zone that a person have become used to, whether it is good or bad. Move up, never down. There is always something better than what a person have now (if it is not all ready fantastic).

As my friend and I smoke our cigars, watching the hawks constantly fly to and fro from their nest, we are anticipating the appearance of another bunch of baby hawks. Unfortunately, I will not be here to watch and take pictures again. One thing is for sure, the squirrel population will be kept at a low number. I have observed rats, squirrels and rabbits in their talons as they fly to the nest, feeding themselves and, if the eggs have hatched, the little ones. All I’ll see in Virginia Beach are sea birds, maybe a fish or two in their mouth. Oh well, change is good and exciting.

Somerby is moving right along with their moving into the job at hand. They still have a long way to go and I hope things come together soon. Although I have resigned from the Resident Council, I still get people questioning me about the things going on around here as well as personal problems they have about this facility. I listen and try to advise them, knowing they know I am leaving very soon. They will realize they have to go to the new person in charge when I am finally permanently gone, can’t be found wondering around this facility. As far as I know, my new place does not have a resident council and, if they form one, I will not be apart of it. Too much work, no pay.

As I have said, senior living is fun plus relaxation and the latitude to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, no pressure. I see some seniors trying to have fun but far too many do not and frown at those that do. They are the ones that constantly live in the past and want everyone around them to do the same. That is not me because, although I find time to sit and relax, I always look for something fun and exciting to do. The activities department at Imperial Plaza always provide a variety of adventures, on and off site, but few residents engage in the activities. I guess the old saying still stand true; you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I see that most of these people are stuck in their same old ways and don’t want to change. God bless them and I wish them well. My wife and I are moving on, moving on up.

Seniors can live a relaxing fun filled life. All they have to do is want to do it and be willing to change. Change their way of life, possible location and thinking. Become more active and SMILE. Love life and life will love the senior until the end day. No one know when that day and time will come but until then, love life to the fullest.

Coco Cay, Bahamas

 

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Changes

I have attended two military management schools plus one when I became a civilian. The first thing that is always drummed into my head that I have found to be true today: there is always a resistance to change. In all my years of moving around in the military or having a change of command, I learned to adapt, go with the flow, things are not as bad as it seem, life goes on.

At the end of the month Bookdale Senior Living will leave to be replaced by Somerby Senior Living. Change. As I look into Somerby, as president of the Resident Council and as an independent resident at Imperial Plaza, I don’t, at this time, see any negative signals about the change. At this time, all I see are positive things. Sure, the pharmacy is lost but that was a part of Brookdale and, as told to me, Brookdale could not find a replacement willing to operate on the premises. Somerby, looking into their other facilities, have never operated a pharmacy on their premises. Maybe later they can be talked into trying although there are many regulation hoops to jump through. Changes.

A lot of people at Imperial Plaza either do not understand or refuse to understand that to them this is their residence but to Somerby or any other company this is a business and businesses must abide by laws and regulations. They want to not cause any disruption to the daily lives of the residents but, at the same time, must do what business practices demand. Sure, with change there will be some disruption of the way things have been done but change cause people to adjust to the subtle change in the way things were done.

Many people, especially senior citizens, want to stay in the same old mold and do not want to change, whether good or bad. They do not want to try something new or even talk about it. I have found a lot of people here always talking about the way it was done back in the ’40s and ’50s and they still want it done that way. On days when the activities department have music, old swing music have the place almost full. On days when up to date music is played, very few people attend then complain that there is nothing to do. They hate change and have to be dragged along into a new era.

I wish Somerby luck in managing Imperial Plaza and attempting to drag the stubborn individuals into a new system. I wish the residents stop asking the same questions over and over, put into a different format and getting the same response, hoping for a different answer. That goes back to the old saying: you can satisfy some of the people some of the time but not satisfy all the people all of the time.

On that note, to those reading this at Imperial Plaza, the blogs will continue but not from Imperial Plaza. My wife and I will relocate to Virginia Beach, right down the road (interstate 64) to a new senior living facility on the beach. My wife and I will return for visits and activities and we will always remember the good times we had at Imperial Plaza. However, as I have said, the blogs will go on and the readers around the world will continue to wonder what I have to say next. I hope I can honor their wishes and make it entertaining. Change is inevitable, we also are changing.

Elder Abuse

I’m late getting this blog out for viewing because I just returned from another cruise. Senior living is fantastic if you take advantage of living after working. As I have said in other articles, there are many wonderful things to do when you hit the senior status, no matter your mobility or age. I will talk about senior traveling, especially mine, in other articles.

Before I get into my article I would like to welcome Somerby Senior Living to Imperial Plaza especially Maryanne. The Resident Council, with me as President, look forward to working with you to improve, as well as sustain, Imperial Plaza. Our home is your home.

Many times I have seen older people (seniors) with scars, bruises, broken bones and worst. There are events where seniors are severely injured or killed. Not all but most can be attributed to what is known as ‘senior abuse’. It happens all over, all the time, especially to those that can not fight back or is incapacitated. When the people that cause these abusive acts are caught, charged with the crime and jailed, someone always say “they didn’t mean it” or something similar.

As seniors get older and older some depend on another person for help in the daily routines. Many hire someone through an agency and, a lot of times, the person selected to help the elderly person is not vetted properly, if vetted at all. Another reason is the pay. These people don’t get the money they should have to do the best job possible. Low pay equal low work equal elder abuse. I really can’t put the entire fault there because others abuse also.

Family members have been known to do the same thing and, sometimes, worst than an agency. The people or person that received life, nourishment and love from the very person/people they are abusing, really don’t care. Sometimes the abuse is done because of frustration. Sometimes it’s done because they have a mental illness and don’t know any better or don’t realize what they are doing. Sometimes it is done because of stupidity, to see what happens if this or that is done. Most of it is done because of greed. There is an inheritance or insurance, etc. either way, no one can feel or know the suffering that the senior endures.

Over the years, as a police officer, I have come upon cases that have made me want to inflict my own justice upon the person that did the harm. It’s heart retching to see a person beaten, starved, robbed, mocked, made homeless, etc. How can people be so heartless, unfeeling, unremorseful, or just plain sick minded to do this to a mother, father, sibling, child or even a person you are tending to? They must not know God but would be the loudest, crying for help if the same thing would happen to them. They don’t realize, one day they will be in the same condition and will need the aide of others. Remember, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Senior Retirement

Like I have said, as well as many others, being retired is fun and, at the same time, exhausting, to most. Remember, us retirees worked our whole lives waiting to have the time and pleasure to go to do whatever we want to do. I know, many people say they are adults and can do whatever they want to do now. However, the reality is in the back of your mind that there is always the JOB. Vacation time is always too short and you always run out of time to do the things you don’t have time to do. I know this sound like the run-around but look at it seriously.

As a senior, money was put away in your youth, or should have been put away for the time that you can not work any longer or when you reach that retirement age (full or early). Social Security come in handy, which is taken out of the paycheck each and every pay period. Now you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it and for however long you want or need to do it. It is up to you because you don’t have a clock to punch or a deadline to meet. This is your retirement and you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself and/or your spouse. You can dance the night away on a Wednesday night or go on a two week cruise while someone look after your house for you. You are the adult, the retiree, you do what you want to do.

Or you may do it the way my wife and I decided. Get rid of the house and move into a retirement community (like Imperial Plaza). It may be smaller and it is not yours but what you are giving up is small compared to what you gain. You gain the freedom to come and go as you please. You gain the freedom to stay on a trip as long as you please because everything is cared for, you just take care of the interior of your house or apartment (even there, you don’t have anything to do). You do not cut grass, remove snow, trim bushes, fix a leaky faucet, etc. You are a senior that is sitting back and relaxing. You think about how pleasant it is to be retired as you pick-up your umbrella garnished drink on a tropical beach somewhere.

My wife and I are always on the go and we simply love it. Our passports are up to date and the suitcases never gather dust. Week after next we will be on another cruise and so many other things are on the calendar for this year. So be like the retired me, be a good senior and enjoy the rest of your life because tomorrow is not promised. Also, don’t forget, being a senior does not mean you are limited as seniors were years ago. Accommodations are made for seniors, handicapped people and for people that fit both categories. There is no excuse not to get out there, enjoy life and spend the kids inheritance. You worked for it, they did not, and you may not get another chance to do the things you always dreamed about doing. There is a big beautiful world out there just for you to see, enjoy or just chill. Have Fun!!!

Closer Than It Seem

While backing my car I looked through my passenger mirror and today’s writing came to me. On the passenger mirror a message is written, objects may be closer than it seem. What is primary in my mind is what most seniors go through, eye sight. What make eye sight so disconcerting is the driving habit of the seniors. This is not only dangerous to them but it is very dangerous to others as well.

Many times I have been driving on the interstate and suddenly come upon a slow vehicle or another vehicle almost side swipe me or any number of things that is dangerous. Most of the time a senior is behind the wheel (I’m not speaking about people using their phone). I have asked a few why they drive so slow and the answer I usually receive is they are going the speed limit or nothing is beside them when they first look. Both answers are wrong.

With age most seniors eye sight get weaker, even with eye care from a doctor. Most seniors don’t realize this nor realize the corrective actions; these actions continue as if everything is the same as it was years ago. Corrective glasses are fine but that does not solve the many other senior problems, such as reaction time to a situation. These reaction times are much slower than it was back when. The senior, at times, forget they can not do what they used to do. The mind tell them they have done something before and think they can still do it. Not so, the body will quickly (hopefully before it is too late to pull out) let you know something can not be done. The only options are, leave whatever you are trying to do to someone else to finish, grit your teeth and slowly continue on or get hurt which will cause you to call for emergency help.

The senior is reluctant to give up their independence, opting to remain on their own, do things themselves, drive although their sight is failing and swear they can still make do. The most important thing, other than physical health, is eye sight. That not only effects driving but also effect almost everything else. If the eye sight is not right, preparing food for cooking is difficult because it can not be cleaned the way it should, cut the way it should without cutting yourself, nor cook without burning. The last is because either you can not see the correct temperature or, because the mind is slowly fading, the cooking food is left to cook too long.

All in all, among many things, the eyes play an important role in the senior’s life. I worry about their driving habits, my habits, and the dangers that are caused because of these habits or because eye sight is fading. Don’t be afraid to stop driving. Give up that permit if the need is there. Don’t become outraged because you are tested to find out whether you have the capability to get behind the steering wheel. Don’t be offended because it is for your life and the lives of others. Not only because of the mirror but the eyes may make things seem closer or farther than it really is. Be careful and, if you have to give in, do it.

Affliction

Pain. That feeling we all have as we age; some younger people have it but I am talking about us senior citizens. Some pain is mild, some is extreme but undoubtedly it is a miserable thing to experience day after day, every minute of every day. There is even pain that come and go or pain that is felt until a body move around awhile.

To know that as soon as your body rise in the morning to meet a new pain filled day, the desire to remove yourself from the bed is the most undesired thing that is wanted but the day must be met. There are things to do and nourishment of the body must be done in order to obtain the appearance of a mobile person. No eating, no life. No movement, what is the reason for life? But, move we must as well as eat and drink, otherwise, no life.

It is not good to have life and to be in constant pain. Some come from accidents years ago or recently, some of the pain came with age, none of the pain is good for the mind. There are some people that can be in pain of which people around them never know. There are some that will have the smallest amount of pain causing people around them believing it is an emergency. There are so many degrees of pain and the pain, real or not, will play on your mind. Some people can forget about the pain and go on with life while others will crumble and can hardly move. Both have the same degree of pain but react differently, however, pain is inevitable.

As we age, most of us will meet Arthur, arthritis, whether we want to or not; whether we admit to knowing him or not. Ibuprofen (Advil) is our crutch but there are others. As well as other pills, there are shots, patches, electrodes and things I, personally, have not heard about. Then there are canes, crutches, braces, pads, etc. Sometimes these things are used occasionally and sometimes the body can not do without these things; it depends on the severity and whether the person can stand pain or not. It really is complicated, that is why there are pain clinics. Let the professionals handle it, I am just an amateur with all sorts of pain; in that you can call me a professional.

I look at the people around me. I do not know of anyone that is without some sort of pain. Some is really bad and some do not show any pain. Just like some days I love to ride around on my bicycle, some days it hurt to even look at it. Some days my knees swell and hurt, some days I am the picture of health. Which day will it be tomorrow, which day will it be the day after? With age pain, a body does not know which it will be.

Pain is going to be there and we must continue on with a somewhat productive life. We want to have a meaningful relationship with the spouse, if there is one, the children, grand-kids and, some of us, the great grand-kids. Swallow that pill, take the shot, put on the patch or rub on the ointment; life go on and on. Such is life.

 

The Bionic Super Senior

The super hero, Black Panther, is now showing in the movies. Before today there were many other super heroes, Batman, Spider-man, Green Lantern, etc. There is one other super hero that is real and is not on the big screen ( that you would know it). This super hero does not jump tall buildings with a single bound. This super hero does not swing from building to building on a web. What this super hero does is ache upon getting out of bed in the morning or when it is wet or when it is cold outside. This super hero is a senior. This super hero is BIONIC in more ways than you think.

Every part of this bionic senior super hero is what is called ‘store bought’. Upon gingerly getting out of bed, possibly stretching, the arduous task of fitting all the parts together, getting ready for another day. It takes a young person a few minutes to get dressed and be out the door, it takes the bionic super senior thirty minutes or more to do the same thing. Being bionic is not as easy nor as fast as the senior want it to be.

First on the to do list is putting on the bionic eyes (glasses). Next come the protecting lance (cane) along with the shoes (slippers). After a time in the bathroom emerge an almost new, completely different, refreshed but not quite ready senior who is searching for the remaining super or bionic gear. The gnawing choppers are fitted (teeth). The solidifying shields are tucked in a corner and must be darned before meeting the new day (knee, shoulder or elbow braces). There may or may not be an arch support in the shoes for a little ‘pep in the step’ as well as for that nagging pain. Have to check, make sure the padding is in the right place to catch the daily accidental drainage of possible urine. What ever is said from a distance is heard because it is enhanced by the bionic ear buds (can be set for hearing television also). Lastly, to make sure the oil of life is properly pumping, the pace maker is checked to ensure it is operating the way it should. There may be a bionic leg, hand or arm, maybe two.

The Bionic Senior, a.k.a. Super Hero, take a long time, each day, to preserve the persona of just being human and being able to move without a human aide. The senior is in a struggle each and everyday, all day and night. It is a continuous fight that Spider-man, Superman or Iron-man can not perceive or go through, ever. Only seniors.

But, never count the senior out. The senior may not move fast but sooner or later the senior will get there. That steak look juicy and tender and the senior may struggle with it before it is devoured, but it will be. As long as the brain remain sharp and the dentures do not break, the senior’s life will happily go on and on. Young people can learn a lot from the senior because it is no small feat to meet the world daily. Hooray for the Bionic Super Senior on the daily multi-tasking struggle.