Senior Services Navigator of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, John Bruinsma presented the monthly FOR YOUR HEALTH seminar at Miller’s Assisted Living Community in Plymouth on Wednesday afternoon. Bruinsma’s topic of GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY had been requested by one of the Miller’s residents.
Bruinsma began by asking the capacity audience how they felt when they hear the word age or aging. Many commented that there seems to be a negative connotation about aging in our society. Our society values people who are “doers”. However, Bruinsma pointed out that God did not call us “human doers”, He called us ‘human beings”. And along with that he suggested that it would be helpful for everyone to get the negative connotation of aging out of their heads.
He pointed out that there are societies that value and honor their elders. China actually has a ceremony in which children wash the feet of their elders signifying that the elder is of much value and has much knowledge to pass on to the younger generation.
Bruinsma addressed the issue that growing older is a normal part of life. Elders may become more dependent with aging, but that doesn’t not mean there is something wrong with them. It just means that is normal and it’s time to stop worrying about being completely independent and think about becoming inter-dependent on each other. Aging is a normal process and acceptance is the major key to the aging process.
Residents listened and took notes as Bruinsma explained five steps that would help every person with the aging process. Those steps include: 1. Identify your aging goals, 2. Build a support system, 3. Communicate with your support persons, 4. Plan ahead, and 5. Trust those in your support system.
He ended his seminar on a positive note by suggesting when someone asks how old you are, rather than saying “I’m (this many years) old”; simply say, “I have (this many years) of life experience”!
Miller’s Assisted Living in conjunction with SJRMC offers FOR YOUR HEALTH on the second Wednesday of each month at 2:30 p.m. in Miller’s beautiful facility. To be added to Miller’s mailing list please call 574-936-9801 and ask for Anna Corbett or Cindy Flagg.
Photo Caption: John H. Bruinsma, Senior Services Navigator of SJRMC speaks on the topic of GROWING OLD GRACFULLY as Mary Fishburn, Helen Peer and Jean Burton listen.