On December 26, 2019; D. Patricia Elsnic (nee Haas); beloved wife of the late Henry Robert Elsnic; devoted mother of 3, dear grandmother to 6, and great-grandmother to 8. went to be with her Savior. This is the abbreviated form of the obituary. I left out names for the sake of privacy. What you do need to know that this is the beginning of the obituary for my mom.
The day after Christmas started the way most of the first day after Christmas normally starts in our home. It was quiet. It was going to be a day of rest and relaxation, It was going to be a time to play with our new toys if we received any, read a new book, chat, stay in our pajamas, and eat leftovers.
You could ask 10 people for their definition of spirituality. Most likely you would receive 10 different definitions. There may be common themes, but everyone looks at spirituality in a different way.
Definition of Spirituality
These are all definitions of spirituality that you can easily find through the wonders of the internet:
“The aspect of humanity that refers to the way that individuals see and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.” Christina Puchalksi, 2009.
“The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things- essence, being, self.” – Google
Finally, from a young musician: “Modern Spirituality is centered on the ‘deepest values and meanings by which people live.’ It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being.”
“The quality of state of being concerned with religion or religious matters.” -Webster
Why is increasing your spirituality important? We have already explored 10 Ways to Grow Our Spirituality. You may be wondering why we want to do that, especially as we age. As it turns out there are several physiological benefits to being more Spiritual.
Before we explore the benefits, let’s check out some definitions. As you will see from the these definitions, spirituality can seem all-encompassing. The question may become “What doesn’t fit into this category?”
Do you belong to a church that has a time for prayer? The pastor may ask for you to share your joys and concerns. Concerns of Aging.. Do you have any? Sure. If you were to say that you do not I would perhaps be a bit suspicious. Or I would know you were fairly young. Of course, the younger we are the less concerns we have with growing old. I realize that is a sweeping generalization and certainly does not apply to all young people. Our personal situation certainly influences what we are concerned. with.
Have you considered the Joys of Aging?
There are several surveys and articles which list possible concerns that people face as they age. According to Forbes Magazine there are 8 main challenges:
When you are driving down the road, gripping the wheel and holding it slightly to the right or left just to go straight, you know you have an issue. You need an alignment. Not only will it make your drive a lot more relaxing, it will reduce the uneven wear on your tires, preserving their usefulness and your safety. Your wellness wheel brings a whole new meaning to a smooth ride.
Similarly, if you are driving on poorly inflated tires or
they have a deformity of some sort, the ride is rough and it is bad for your
How are you riding in your life? Are the vital parts of life in-balance or out-of-whack? Or are there issues in one or two areas you just don’t want to deal with or maybe you just aren’t seeing them.
Today, is your lucky day. You are going to have a chance for a life balance tune-up. We are going to take a high level view. I am not going to make you do a deep dive yet, but let’s take a survey. If you do this exercise, I can almost promise your eyes will be opened to where you need to spend a little time. That small amount of dedicated time can lead to a good pay-off in your life balance.
Spirituality, Joy, and Sewing? Really? I have a love/hate relationship with sewing. Really, it is more of a love/love/love/love/hate, the 80/20 rule. Back in high school my best friend tried to teach me to sew. She sewed a lot of her clothes back then and figured I needed to learn. Well, that was a total fail. I made more mistakes than right moves. We never finished and I figured my sewing days were over.
A few years later I tried again. I bought my first sewing machine in 1987. Many mistakes later, I actually started to get the hang of it. My grandmother was a master seamstress, from a family of tailors. I can’t imagine ever aspiring to that level, but I do love to sew. Really, I love to piece quilts. That began in 1989. The wife of a Navy friend of my husband’s said she was going to make her husband a quilt. I was intrigued. The rest they say is history. It will be 30 years this fall since I started quilting, but that 80-20, love-hate relationship continues.
Fall prevention? Oh, I wish we had done more for my mom in this department. In June of 2008 my mother fell. She was 77 years old. She had had a number of health challenges, but she had overcome them. My mother was and is resilient, determined, and, dare I say, tough. But then she took one misstep returning to her condo in the CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) where she and my dad lived, and the last 10 years of her life have pretty much revolved around the resulting injuries and series of complications that followed that one fall.
Dad has since passed away and mom was making tremendous gains physically. Then on another June day, this time in 2013, she took another fall. Another busted knee with complication from blood thinners and she has been in a wheel chair with 24 hours care since. You see why I am passionate about fall prevention from this very personal connection to someone I love so much.
I was just reading a Facebook post today by a friend who is a self-describe introvert. He was traveling on a train and really did not want to go to the dining car because he would be seated with 3 other people and would have to interact with them. Much to his very pleasant surprise he had a great time. He learned a lot, enjoyed their company, and basically they restored his faith in humanity. Okay, that last part may be a bit of an exaggeration.
The bottomline is that even the most introverted of us can benefit from social interaction over a meal. Age does not change this dynamic. If anything, age enhances the benefits of eating with others. Often, as people age, they find themselves alone much more than at any other time in their life. Making the effort to join with others for meal times may seem overwhelming or just too much trouble. But, when the effort is made, tremendous benefits follow.
When we eat together we maintain, build, and deepen relationships. Our feelings of connection grow. We learn more about others in our lives including their interests and concerns. We may even learn their opinions, and if we are lucky we just might learn why they hold those opinions. Sharing meals can give us a sense of security. Just knowing that we are important enough to someone else for them to share a meal with us can be a huge boost on a day we might spend much time alone. Talking and listening shows down our eating and just may improve our digestion. Continue reading “12 Senior Nutrition Myths Part 2 (#8-12)”
We are told many types of myths. We later learn they simply are not true. Nutrition myths are common. Senior Nutrition myths are no exception.
Reduced mobility, restricted food budgets, and social isolation can each lead to changes in eating habits as we age. Taken together, the effects can be profound. These changes can greatly affect the nutritional condition of Older Adults. We also may fall prey to nutrition myths, when believed, can actually affect our level of health. Let’s fight misconceptions and gain health along the way.
Malnutrition? Under nourishment? Older Adults and Malnutrition? Does this really happen? Does it happen frequently? Do Older Adults need different nutrients than younger people? Let’s dive in to nutrition myths and Older Adults, learn what they are, and dispel them once and for all.