Saturday, October 18, 2008
Often I heard an elderly individual said, "I feel alone?" Then I normally proceed to listen and to feel the feeling in her/him.
Once an 88 old woman told me, "I am alone but not lonely." I requested her to share with me her interpretation of alone. She said, "yes physically I am alone but there are always people around this building. She further explained, "a person can be surrounded with people but he/she still feels lonely. "I am in solitude with my God even though I am alone." This woman taught me a new way of looking at life.
"Be still, and know that I am God!" (Psalm 46:10).
- Am I confortable in silence? What are the effects of solitude in me?
- If I am uncomfortable in silence, what can I do to address the cause of my discomfort?
- What are my memories of times of stillness in my life?
- Whatimages of God have come to me at times whe I have been still?
Finding God in Each Moment, (Smith & Merz, 2006).
Friday, October 17, 2008
She chooses Cross as a metaphor of her life. She feels that a cross is directly related to her beliefs and more specifically, her religion. She believes that people were put on earth to carry crosses.
"You know that you are lonely, but you want to tell more about it top other people, that loneliness is something about sadness; is something about emptiness. Loneliness is something about the inner suffering inside. It is not physical, you know. You are craving for...Emptiness would be one word that would fit it." Dissertation Excerpts, Abas 2008.
She, while exuding confidence and a positive attitude, elaborates that a strong tree is "still standing" as is she, even after her husband has passed away.
She admits, "I am afraid of the circle becoming untangled." She feels that the support she receives comes from her family, the community and her work. The reason is she is very much systems oriented due to her past career in social work and cosiders her personal life style using the system theory.
She explains the "interlocking circles" metaphor relates to being considered as such important part of each aspect of her life. The need to be supported, and the circumstances of beig connected are both key issues for her as she fears becoming entangled to the point of detachment andmisdirection.
He symbolizes his life being that of a spinning top that eventually needs periodic straightening up. The reason for this is that, he eventually would like to be headed towards the right place, when his life is coming to an end.
He selects a spinning top as a metaphor. He feels that once the top comes off the strings, it goes 'around and around' and wanders off a little bit, and until it slows down and stops.
He emphatically states the sunset symbolizes the beauty of life. The reason for this symbolism is that he feels the whole concept os the sun setting centers around God creating the world.
"An oak is the symbol of my life, bending way over, and then straigthening up again." Symbolically she states that her life encountered some harsh blowing wind that has bent her over, but when the wind ceases, she stands up again.
I would also like to thank the "Bushmango School of Drumming", Rochester, NY, this is the place that taught me the "African-beats drumming."
Barry Bittman, MD is a neurologist, author, international speaker, award-winning producer/director and inventor. As CEO and Medical Director of the Mind-Body Wellness Center, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary outpatient medical facility in Meadville, PA., Dr. Bittman has pioneered a new paradigm for treating the "whole person."
Health Rhythms is a division within Remo Inc. that develops and provides materials, programs, training and the latest research supporting the use of drumming as an effective means for promoting and maintaining health and well-being. At the forefront of our activities is the development of our HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming program.
Lifespan and St. John Fisher College offer a Certificate Program in Gerontology. The certificate is given upon completion of 120 hours of course work
Physiological Aspects of Aging
Emotional Aspects of Aging
Legal Aspects of Aging
Mental Health Assessment
Social and Public Policy
Nutrition and Aging
Women and Aging
Medications and Older Adults
Issues of Sexuality
Stress and Burnout
Counseling Older Persons and Their Families
Loss, Separation & Grief
Aging Services Network
Economic Aspects of Aging
Ethics and End of Life
Physical Fitness and Aging
Developmental Disabilities and Aging
Substance Abuse and Older Adults
Spirituality and Aging
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
There were 28 elderly individuals (ages between 80 to 99 ) who attended the session today.
They were divided into three groups.
The first discussion topic was on TIME PIECES
Each person has the opportunity to share her/his feeling(s) on the two questions.
1. My best time of day:
- Early morning because I am alive again.
- Mid-morning, I am fully active
- Afternoon when I see the sun.
- Late afternoon, when it is more quite.
- It is hard for me to pick, the whole day is very good.
- Night time, I am able to sleep.
- Mid afternoon that is my praying time.
- Lunch time is the best.
- Noon time, looking forward for lunch.
- 3.00 PM, my prayer time.
2. My worst time of day:
- At night, unable to sleep.
- I could not sleep at night.
- I am not a morning person.
- During time, unable to sleep.
- Afternoon, it is too noisy.
- Night time, difficult to sleep.
- Seeing the sun setting.
- I do not like when it is getting dark.
- It seems whole day is worst for me.
- I feel uneasy in the evening, I am afraid of being alone.
- uh! I think night time.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Thanks to the La Salle (Christian Brothers) who gave me the opportunity to study my Master in Counseling (Substance abuse) at the Graduate School of Education.
This is Sante Anselmo University in Rome where I obtained my LSL degree. I had completed my liturgical doctorate courses but never have the time to finalize my undefended doctorate dissertation.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Indicate how often each of the statements below is descriptive of you. Circle one letter for each statement:
0 indicates "I often feel this way"
S indicates "I sometimes feel this way"
R indicates "I rarely feel this way"
N indicates "I never feel this way"
1. How often do you feel unhappy doing so many things alone? O S R N
2. How often do you feel you have nobody to talk to? O S R N
3. How often do you feel you cannot tolerate being so alone? O S R N
4. How often do you feel as if nobody really understands you? O S R N
5. How often do you find yourself waiting for people to call or O S R N
6. How often do you feel completely alone? O S R N
7. How often do you feel you are unable to reach out and communicate with those around you? O S R N
8. How often do you feel starved for company? O S R N
9. How often do you feel it is difficult for you to make friends? O S R N
10. How often do you feel shut out and excluded by others? O S R N
Russell, D. (1996). The UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3): Reliability, validity, and factor structure. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66, 20-40.
This scale was developed as a basic screening measure for depression in older adults.
Choose the best answer for how you have felt over the past week:
1. Are you basically satisfied with your life? YES / NO
2. Have you dropped many of your activities and interests? YES / NO
3. Do you feel that your life is empty? YES / NO
4. Do you often get bored? YES / NO
5. Are you in good spirits most of the time? YES / NO
6. Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you? YES / NO
7. Do you feel happy most of the time? YES / NO
8. Do you often feel helpless? YES / NO
9. Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing new things? YES / NO
10. Do you feel you have more problems with memory than most? YES / NO
11. Do you think it is wonderful to be alive now? YES / NO
12. Do you feel pretty worthless the way you are now? YES / NO
13. Do you feel full of energy? YES / NO
14. Do you feel that your situation is hopeless? YES / NO
15. Do you think that most people are better off than you are? YES / NO
Brink TL, Yesavage JA, Lum O, Heersema P, Adey MB, Rose TL: Screening tests for geriatric depression. Clinical Gerontologist 1: 37-44, 1982.
Yesavage JA, Brink TL, Rose TL, Lum O, Huang V, Adey MB, Leirer VO: Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: A preliminary report. Journal of Psychiatric Research 17: 37-49, 1983.
Sheikh JI, Yesavage JA: Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS): Recent evidence and development of a shorter version. Clinical Gerontology : A Guide to Assessment and Intervention 165-173, NY: The Haworth Press, 1986.
Sheikh JI, Yesavage JA, Brooks JO, III, Friedman LF, Gratzinger P, Hill RD, Zadeik A, Crook T: Proposed factor structure of the Geriatric Depression Scale. International Psychogeriatrics 3: 23-28, 1991.
U.S Bishops in their pastoral message, Blessings of Age (Catholic Church, 1999, pp. 22-24):
- Older people are providers, not just recipients, of pastoral care.
- Older people themselves should help to identify their pastoral needs and decide how they are met.
- Older people are diverse, if not more so, than other generational groups.
- Older people need a mix of activities that connect them with each pothers as well as the larger community.
- Spiritual health affects and is affected by the individual's physical, emotional, mental, and social health. Although the faith community is expecially concerned about meeting spiritual needs, it cannot ignore these other realities.
"Catholic gerontological pastoral care is, by its very nature, dialogical, collaborative, mutual, diverse, creative, communal, and spiritual in the most holistice sense" (Rost, 2008).
Generations, Journal of the American Society of Aging, p.45, Summer 2008