There are many questions that families have as their parents age. Many adult children have never had to provide care for a senior. When they begin, they soon find it is not an easy task. Assisting your parents as they age in place seems like a good idea until we realize how much time it takes to provide meals, and clean and maintain an additional house, along with continuing our own career and meeting life’s demands.
What I’ve learned is about just that: What I’ve learned these past 16+ years since I entered this field called “aging.” I was 42 years old and didn’t know a whole lot about retirement planning, Social Security or health issues, let alone caregiving and Alzheimer’s. Most people in that age range don’t think about this stuff; however, it is important to think ahead to when we get older and/or about our parents own aging and health issues.
Were you a high school senior in 1972, singing Alice Cooper’s classic hit, “School’s Out” (for Summer)? Then you may be turning 65 soon and wondering if you need Medicare insurance. Figuring it out on your own may leave you clicking through a lot of scam websites and staring at a mountain of brochures and flyers that arrived in the mail.
Turning 100 is no small feat, but Mrs. Lenora Cho made it look easy when she officially became a centenarian in 2017. Lenora, a small-town girl from back East, found ways to stay active early on in life: in high school, she played basketball and softball.
I started Hanafuda Po¯‘ai where players of all ages can come together to play, socialize. We now have two groups, at the historic pumping station in Kakaako, and at Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center. A lot of seniors live by themselves. When you see a young kid playing with an old person, it’s very magical
ukiko Murata, who will turn 102 in March, has a sharp wit and sunny outlook on life. To stay healthy, she eats fresh foods, takes classes at the University of Hawai‘i and plays hanafuda (Japanese card game) every Thursday at the Lanakila Senior Center, together with her daughter, Joanne Murata, and son-in-law, James Kramer. Yukiko shared advice with Generations Magazine:
Bias is everywhere, including the presumption that you might be too old to work even when lengthening lifetimes allow you to do more for much longer. Nobody says it is easy for those of us in our 50s, 60s, or beyond, to overcome what others may think.
Our 20s was an important time. We learned to love ourselves. Loving who we are prepared us to love others. It was an exciting time, followed by intimate relationships, having children or pets and, later in life, connecting with the community and the world by traveling or volunteering.
Kokua Council has received data on the age demographics for each Hawai‘i State House District, and for each zip code. The numbers are based on 2010 estimates of population and allow us to study the number of residents ages 62+ living in certain geographic districts.
Memories Still Flow by Sherry Goya from the June-May 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life
Aging With Grace by Rev. Jayne Ryan Kuroiwa from the June-May 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life