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Grief and the Elderly

Article from today’s NY Times Op-ED about Grief:

Grief Unedited
by Ruth Davis Konigsberg

EVER since Joan Didion’s book “The Year of Magical Thinking” began its lengthy run as a bestseller in 2005, a number of first-person accounts of losing a husband have been published. Among them were Kate Braestrup’s “Here If You Need Me,” Anne Roiphe’s “Epilogue” and Kay Redfield Jamison’s “Nothing Was the Same.” This week, they are being joined by Joyce Carol Oates’s “A Widow’s Story,” which recounts the death of her 77-year old husband, Raymond Smith, from complications following pneumonia in 2008. While these memoirs are often moving, they are also highly subjective snapshots that don’t teach us much about how we typically grieve, nor more importantly, for how long.

In the past decade, social scientists with unprecedented access to large groups of widows and widowers have learned that, as individual an experience as grief may be, there are specific patterns to its intensity and duration that are arguably more helpful in guiding the bereaved in what to expect. They have found that most older people who lose spouses from natural causes recover much more quickly than we have come to expect. In fact, for many, acute grief tends to lift well within six months after the loss. (more…)

The Crabby Old Man

Whether it’s a true story or urban myth, this poem I received today is really beautiful. The story goes that when a crabby old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home, the nurses went through his things and found this poem scrawled on a piece of paper. The news of the poem spread and it was eventually published in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. I share it with you now and ask you to ponder its meaning. The next time you meet an older person don’t forget they still have the spirit of a young soul within: (more…)

Learning About Guardianships

Palm Beach, Florida Elder Law Attorney Lisa Goldstein talks about all aspects of Guardianship – what it is, how it is established, the costs involved and what the guardian is mandated to do. Lisa’s website is

Dispelling Myths About Hospice

Hospice…the word often evokes feelings of sadness and hopelessness, yet hospice is so much more. It’s not about adding days to someone’s life, it’s about adding life to someone’s days. Watch this video presented by VITAS Hospice to learn more…

Life is a ball…

I came across this beautiful video on  YouTube that was produced by Eskaton, an assisted living provider in Northern California. It is beautifully written and produced. Send a beautiful message about aging and dignity – “It’s not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts!”

I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did!

Here’s to many more: Woman’s 103rd birthday celebrated up in the air

Photos by Greg Barnette/Record Searchlight: Air Shasta pilot David Everson talks to Marion Paul after taking her and her son Wayne on a flight over Redding in celebration of Marion's 103rd birthday Wednesday

From today’s Redding (CA) Record Searchlight by Sean Langoria…

A Redding, CA woman and her son celebrated her 103rd birthday Wednesday with a flight over the city.

Marion Paul and her 73-year-old son, Wayne, were treated to a helicopter ride around Redding as part of her birthday celebration.

“She loved it,” said Wayne Paul, also of Redding. “She was smiling and grinning, waving and pointing.” (more…)


When I first viewed this, I knew I would post it on our blog. What I also knew was I would share a brief synopsis of my own journey of grief. The one thing I discovered about grief is, it takes it own course and it is best to let it run the course it needs to go. When I lost mom, all that appeared to come forth was strength as I wanted to help dad through grieving his wife of 64 years. I was numb. And I could hardly believe it when dad died 3 months later and I found myself sitting back in that damn cemetery. Up to that point I had always viewed cemeteries with reverence for the deceased but seeing a headstone with both my parents names on it was horrifying. I learned we all grieve differently and we all grieve over different periods of time. (more…)


Wonderful short video packed with helpful tips on, “Making the Golden Years Golden”, by Dr. Eva Mor. She discusses 7 steps to help take some of the anxiety out of growing older. Get your pen and paper out as it’s worth taking notes!

Digital Publishing for Seniors – find digital editions of senior resource guides, magazines, brochures and newspapers at the the web’s only interactive library for aging adults at


 photo – courtesy of flickr and roadsidepictures

Here’s an informative article from the New York Times. The New York Times has a great blog called, “The New Old Age”, which addresses many subjects relating to growing older. I found this particular article to be immensely valuable. Enjoy!

May 13, 2009, 7:00 am
When the Hospital Says ‘So Long’
By Maggie Jones

Last December, a hospital discharge coordinator called my husband to detail plans for the release of my 84-year-old father-in-law. After a few days in the hospital — his dementia and several other ailments had reached a tipping point — he was leaving for a nursing home. Given the limited availability of nursing home beds, the discharge coordinator said (more…)


Alzheimer’s is a disease which affects most families. In my own family, every woman, with the exception of one aunt, has had Alzheimer’s or Dementia. I make a point of reading everything I can on Alzheimer’s. When I saw this video on YouTube I was so touched as it is from a young man whose grandmother has Alzheimer’s. He is sharing what he has found out about the disease and the symptoms he witnessed in his grandmother.

Anyone needing more information on alzheimer’s can go to . The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Digital Publishing for Seniors – find digital editions of senior resource guides, magazines, brochures and newspapers at the the web’s only interactive library for aging adults at