Friday, November 9, 2012

...the heartbeats...

Am I producing the right melody, perhaps not but it produces the sound of the heartbeats!

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Are you really sure that there is nothing wrong with me?" said an 80 year old elderly woman to me.
I responded, "you are doing, well except for the issue that your children seldom come  to visit you. She nodded her head. Probably a sign of an agreement.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

...A Garden of Flowers...


I think it is more like emptiness.  So right there and then I have covered half the day, so even if I do not have any plans to go out for the rest of the day, the spiritual experience and the contact with people gives me a lift. That even if that kind of empty feeling comes along and I feel lonely, later in the day; I have built the foundation in the morning for my day. (Line 103-108 of 1st interview).

The story of Vicky. Vicky selects a garden of flowers as a metaphor. She feels that flowers symbolize happiness and are the colors of life. However, she admits a garden of flowers also symbolizes the existence of resentment in her. The reason is that she longs to have a cheerful life. Vicky with her gentle voice, allows the interview to flow very well. Vicky elaborates that a garden of flowers always brightens her mood and makes her cheerful and happy.  She was comfortable exploring each question and confidently answered questions posed to her.

Vicky is a 75-year-old retired clerk who is currently living alone in her apartment. Due to her divorce, she has been living independently for 17 years. She mentions that she “was married but I never had children.” She explains, “That was a disappointment and that makes me feel sad, that I do not have that in my life.”

                Vicky describes her experience of loneliness from the lived experience category of lived time and lived other. She realizes that at this stage of her life and after her retirement, she longs to make herself occupied with work and to be with others. She describes her situation of being non-occupied as a reason for her loneliness. She explains further, “I guess it is a day when I do not have any plans. It makes me lonely.”  From this testimony, Vicky has achieved a rationalization about her time of her life when she broke a certain routine (her work experience), which enhanced her loneliness from that point onward.

Vicky’s excerpt shows her description of loneliness as being more like emptiness. She describes it in relation to contact with others, and her spiritual belief becomes the foundation for her ability to cope with this loneliness. The existential category of lived other identifies her loneliness situation, due to the fact that she expresses the importance of personal contact in order to feel complete.

 According to Vicky, being alone and having nothing to do have gradually made her conscious of the existence of loneliness in her life. The fact remains that being alone, however, does not necessarily lead to loneliness, but in Vicky’s case she has clarified the fact that alone and lonely are synonymous; leading to the same result; emptiness. She describes her feelings of being alone as those of emptiness because of not having others presently in her life. She describes, “I think what I mean by empty is, I am not going to see anyone, and no one is coming to see me.”

Caregivers Support Group

Caregivers Support Group

For those who are caring for or concerned about an elderly parent, spouse, relative or friend. Come and join this support group
When: TBA
Where: TBA
Time: TBA
Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Peter Abas

Be alert for Borneon Seniors!

Rhythmic Tranquility: Gaining Strength, Sharing Stories

A group for seniors 50+
Sharing our stories, we discover we are not alone.

§  Tell your story in a safe and supportive environment

§  Ease isolation by connecting with others

§  Learn strategies for emotional safety and self-care

§  Focus on creating and maintaining healthy relationships.
Venue: TBA
When: TBA
Facilitator : Rev. Dr. Peter Abas


Sunday, October 21, 2012

"interlocking circles"


Well, it can be very lonely, it can be very lonely. I remember coming back from a conference after my husband had died and just the sound of the suitcase and my briefcase in the empty house was just chilling. (Line 18-21 of 1st interview).

The story of Sonia. Sonia selects interlocking circles as a metaphor. Sonia’s explanation of the “interlocking circles” metaphor relates to being considered as such an important part of each aspect of her life. The need to be supported, and the circumstance of being connected are both key issues for Sonia as she fears becoming entangled to the point of detachment and misdirection. 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 that she is very systems oriented due to her career in social work and considers her personal life using the system theory. Sonia, with her way of responding in a very graphic type of style, due to her passion for being a writer, uses the interlocking circles to describe her lived experiences. When asked questions, she consistently used heartfelt and objective type language and answered genuinely and with ease.

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Like a flowing river"


I think that once you start feeling some of these aging ailments, I think they compound it, because then you realize that you are not able to do some of the things you like to do, like walking in the mall, for instance (Line 154-158 of 1st interview).

The story of Alice. Using the metaphor of a flowing river, Alice symbolizes her daily journey of life in this way: She feels that the flowing river, while constantly changing its course, can be treacherous, at times. But it also can easily carry her off, away from the regularities of her life in general. The reason for feeling this way is the relationship that she makes to the concept of “staying afloat” throughout life’s changes. She confidently states that she is surviving and even in the second interview she reiterated that although the river is still treacherous, it is not as dangerous as she felt it was when talking about it in the first interview.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Read this book...Introductory GERONTOLOGICAL NURSING

I have finished reading this excellent text book which I highly recommend for all nursing students who are interested in the geriatric population.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"God help me!"

"If only I can experience the unity among my children that will be my great joy." voiced by an elderly woman.
This must be very upsetting for her because she did her very best to raise up her children, unfortunately her children were not in harmony among themselve.

Friday, October 12, 2012

...Coming Soon

Weaving Unheard Stories

Collection of Descriptions and Interpretations of LONELINESS



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"I am hopeless..."

"I am hopeless and I feel like nobody loves me." Voice from a 79 year old woman. She spoke to me today.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

...the inner expressions of 10 elderly individuals...

Beautiful Canvas work produced by 10 elderly individuals during my Group work among the elderly (ages 65 and above).

This Canvas art work is now in Borneo, Sabah.  

Great Man! Santo

Belated 96th  birthday to you Santo. Your lived experiences you  shared with me for the past 10 years will be treasured.
God Bless You!

"Aging Gracefully"

"I am 82 now but I am still feeling that I am doing very well!" What a positive way of expressing as this man experienced "aging gracefully" at this stage of his life. Extract taken from my conversation with this man today Oct 9m 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Help Needed for this proposed project...



Growing Old in SABAH BORNEO

Interview will be done in three different languages, Kadazandusun, Bahasa Malaysia and English.

            Aging is a word that most people are unwilling to confront and even many seniors live in denial of it. This Video will explore from the realities of physical, emotional, psychological, relational, medical and economical aspects in a developing State of Sabah, Borneo. Voices of participants will be heard of how they will describe and will interpret their experiences of growing old. What exactly is the healthy way to grow old? Is age a disease to be battled or a beautiful stage of life to be embraced and celebrated? How do look at aging positively?


Producer & director, Rev. Dr. Peter Abas. Dist.: Rhythmic Tranquility Production, DVD 30 minutes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A State of Emotional Pain

A State of Emotional Pain
     My heart is still longing for him (her late husband). Loneliness is sad and emotionally unpleasant. -Josephine- (Extract of Doctoral Dissertation, Abas 2007)

Friday, October 5, 2012

...voice of an elderly individual...

"aiso guno masi nodi sabab aiso tanak ku id kanu gumopi dogo" said an elderly lady (age 79 year old) - there is no meaning to live because none of my children can take care of me-
I heard this from this woman, two days ago... 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Inner feelings...

"I think that once you start feeling some of these aging ailments, I think they compound it, because then you realize that you are not able to do some of the things you like to do, like walking inthe mall, for instance (Line 154-158 of 1 st interview." Extract from Doctoral Dissertation, Abas 2007.

"Who am I"?

Often I heard and even spoke to elderly persons who fsaid, "Who am I?" If you further ask him/her to elaborate this sentence, he/she will tell you a lots about it!
"Who am I?" Often this connated to negative feelings/thoughts of being "OLD" and "USELESS".
Mary Jane was one of my many elderly individuals who journeyed with me in my program "Aging Gracefully" in Rochester, NY, she is in her ninetees now.
Gof bless you Mary Jane.

We need to assure and affirm our elderly individuals that they are still special and can contribute to the society. Are we able to convince our Borneon seniors and elderly individual to be more positive in seeing this Slogan "Aging Gracefully?"  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Can the drum beats bring joy to the elders in Borneo!

I am still trying to figure out of how to bring the sound of the drums beats to the elders in Borneo!...I know there are many ways to do it but I really what the tranquility of of the drums beats to bring peaceful to them!

What will you say...?

An 85 year old woman asked me this question, "Why do I have to suffer in this type of situation?" I wondered what she was talking about?" Therefore I said to her, "Odu what are you trying to say?"
"I am alone and I seldom see my own children and grand children," she conluded! This statement made me ponder until today.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Will be blogging soon!

I am just very busy at this moment to continue with my blog. Nonetheless, I will be blogging soon.
Peace and Hope

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rev. Dr. Peter Abas has his Doctorate of Counseling and Human Development in Gerontological Counseling from the University of Rochester, New York.  He is pastor, licensed and registered mental health counselor and geriatric consultant. He practices counseling at Rhythmic Tranquility Counseling center. He worked as a clinical chaplain and geriatric consultant at the Home for the elderly of the Sisters of Mercy Americas in Rochester. He practiced for two years as a mental health counselor at the Pastoral Counseling and Family Therapy Center in Rochester, New York. Beside this, he also had taught graduate courses in the University of Rochester at the Warner School of Counseling and Human Development.       

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Greetings again

Unfortunately I was unable to blog for few months, it was due to my computer problem. I do hope by this time I am able to blog frequently.