Distinctly Mature

β€œTo grow mature is to separate more distinctly, to connect more closely.”

β€” Hugo von Hofmannsthal

About the title of this blog

July 1, 2018

The title of our blog comes from a quote by Austrian poet and novelist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. As we reach our "senior" years we are not just "getting old," rather we are still growing, developing and maturing. Maturing is becoming more "separated" or individuated, knowing and being comfortable with ourselves, and being able to choose how we spend our time and energy. Age is no barrier to maturity. Most important also is finding and maintaining close connections with friends and families in a manner that feels authentic.


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Community outreach

July 3, 2018

  Francois van Wyk, LMFT, Director of Senior Peer Counseling, will be giving a presentation about all our programs on August 3, 2018 to the Middletown Rotary (Greenview restaurant, HVL, 7am) and on August 15, 2018 to the Kiwani's Club (Woody's Cafe, KVL, 7am).


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Loneliness

July 12, 2018

Solitude does not necessarily mean loneliness. Some people prefer spending time alone. For many people, getting older often does mean the loss of family and friends. Here are two articles about making friends. 


The first is from the Kaiser Health News website about easing the

loneliness of seniors


The second is a story about a younger woman who spent a year focused on making new friends.


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If it sounds too good to be true...

July 16, 2018

Two of the rules I go by when evaluating what to believe in the flood of information from the internet and social media are: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, and always question the source of the information or claim.

These rules are described in an article "How to Spot Bogus Science News About Aging" from the Senior Living Blog.

I will be discussing this article and more at our public event on July 30th at 2-3pm at the Upper Lake Senior Support Services

If you know someone who might need a Friendly Visitor or Senior Peer Counselor, please stop by for this discussion. 

If you would like to volunteer for us, please come to this meeting and we will gladly answer all your questions.

To see the flyer for this event, please click here.


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"Age alone is not a reliable measure of driving ability..."

July 25, 2018

Friendly Visitor and Senior Peer Counseling volunteers drive to the homes of seniors they are serving. In our volunteer meetings the topic comes up about DMV regulations regarding seniors and driving. The heading of this blog post is a quote from the DMV website, which is linked here. There are many factors that could impact one's driving ability. There is a lot to be said for  taking care of oneself in this regard, and being proactive about one's ability to safely drive a vehicle.

The DMV also provides a link to a downloadable PDF entitled Senior Guide for Safe Driving which contains comprehensive information.


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If you're reading this blog and you're not already a volunteer...

July 25, 2018

Here are four good reasons to volunteer with us:


1. You will learn new skills which will exercise your brain.

2. Volunteering means meeting fellow volunteers and working with clients, all of which stretches your social/emotional muscles.

3. Visiting clients and attending the regular volunteer meetings means getting out the door and engaging socially.

4. Getting involved in serving homebound seniors in Lake County gets you engaged in a meaningful activity, i.e. making a difference in this world.


Learning new skills in a social setting and moving more are exactly what our brains and bodies need to stay healthy as we age. For more on this topic read Health Aging Requires You To Challenge Your Brain.


There are three exciting ways to volunteer for Konocti Senior Support, Inc.:


1. Become a Board member and meet once a month (lunch provided) to guide and oversee our programs.

2. Become a Friendly Visitor (20+) and visit a senior (55+) once a week simply to chat, go for a walk, play a game, etc. There is a monthly support group for volunteers, and mileage is reimbursed.

3. Train to become a Senior Peer Counselor. Volunteers (55+) go through a comprehensive training which includes learning how our bodies and minds change as we age, how to counsel someone who is depressed, how to motivate someone to make new friends, etc. Senior Peer Counselors also meet weekly for inservice training and consultation. Mileage is reimbursed for all trainings, meetings, and home visits.


Join us! Find out more here.


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Event update

July 25, 2018

The event planned for July 30th has been moved to Wednesday August 22nd from 11am to 1pm to be part of the Upper Lake Senior Senior Support Services' "Coffee and Conversation" event. 


More information can be found here.


We apologize for this late change which is due to planning and scheduling issues.


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Resilience in the face of the new normal

Aug 1, 2018

The fires of the last few days have left us anxious and stressed. Nobody escapes sickness, accidents, and death, but not everyone lives through a wild fire experience.


Resilience, according to the American English dictionary, means " the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties."


Resilience can be enhanced by engaging in social connections, i.e. talk to caring others about what happened to you , and listen to others share their experiences. Do this over and over again as you reconnect with family and friends. Each time you tell your story, about evacuation, loss, fear, etc., you remember more details and emotions and it's good to put this into words.


At times we become too obsessed with happiness and wellness. Life is incredibly difficult for everyone in many ways, and therefore living entails hard work. This is the work of facing our suffering and loss. What does this mean? For one thing it means allowing yourself to feel your feelings: sadness, fear, anxiety, anger, etc. It means it's okay and human to cry. It sometimes takes a while to recover and  bounce back, and that's okay.


Moving forward at least we can be fire safe (clean your gutters now, mow dead grass and trim trees near your house), ready to evacuate, and ready to help each other.


Here's to all first responders (fire, law enforcement, forestry), county officials, non profit volunteers, and also to the average person on the street who helped out their neighbors!


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"Ah, look at all the lonely people"

Aug 21, 2018

A short piece by Ann Burack-Weiss over at the Time Goes By blog sketches pictures of loneliness and the hunger for connection. 

The Emotional Benefits of Exercise

Aug 28, 2018

Feeling down, anxious, or stressed? This new #infographic from @NIAGo4Life shows how #exercise can help pick you up. http://bit.ly/2mUoLhl 

When "sorrow's shafts fly thicker"

Sep 2, 2018

Thomas Campbell (Scottish poet 1774-1844) in his poem The River of Life, says that "a day to childhood seems a year" but as we get older "sorrow's shafts fly thicker." This leads him to say in the second to last verse:


It may be strange - yet who would  change

Time's course to slower speeding,

When one  by one our friends have gone

And left our bosoms bleeding?


There is also a sweetness to growing older...surely... not to ignore the struggles like loss of memory, friends, and an ailing body. Yes, some losses are too hard to bear, but I have the distinct pleasure of knowing people who are much older than me who are happy to have every moment and would love more.

"Lake Links" - Transportation options in Lake County

Sep 17, 2018

Please visit Lakelinks.org to see if the options offered are of help to you or a friend/loved one.

HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training

Sep 17, 2018

For those of us who groan and grumble at the thought of 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week, here is an alternative, HIIT.

Living well may lower the risk of dementia

Sep 17, 2018

Once again it comes down to the basics: stop smoking, move more, eat healthily and lose weight, and and manage blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. For more check out this report.


More about eating healthily:

Michael Pollan established a simple seven word rule:  "eat food, not too much, mostly plants." See what WebMD says about Michael Pollan's rule and for a good summary of how to eat healthily.

Old age is a carnival of losses - Donald Hall

Oct 8, 2018

Donald Hall, fourteenth U.S. Poet Laureate, talks in this video about old age as a "carnival of losses." For more about Donald Hall, who died recently at age 89, there is a beautiful article in the Atlantic.

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