Happy Mother’s Day

May 11th, 2019 No comments

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who are mothers, grandmothers, Godmothers, aunts, mentors, and who help younger people in multiple ways. This is your day to be celebrated for helping younger generations to become their best while sharing your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

AgeEsteem = Life Harmony

May 3rd, 2019 No comments
Harmonize Your Life

Are you constantly focused on what you have to do, forgetting what you would like to do?

Harmonize your life. Happy people at all stages of life create a balance among exercise, healthy food, positive relationships, adequate sleep, and their main activity (studies, grandparenting, volunteering, travel).

Building this harmony in your own life may be much easier than you think.

  • Take a tough look at your life today. What seems to work well? What do you wish you had time for but don’t? Prioritize these activities you would like to build into your schedule.
  • Choose one new activity to begin this week.
  • Decide how you will include this activity into your life. What will you drop from or reduce in your schedule? Who might take over a task for you to free up more time?
  • Act on this priority. As soon as it seems to be in harmony with the other activities in your life, move on to priority two.

Be gentle with yourself. It will not happen overnight. Take it one step at a time. Your age-esteem will benefit as you take control.

Bonnie Fatio

AgeEsteem = Fill Your Inner Circle With Positive People

April 29th, 2019 No comments
Fill Your Circle with Positive People

It is important to have “down time”, moments or periods of time when we do nothing except enjoy the moment. I was having one such moment with two of my friends recently. We had each taken off the afternoon to simply “be” together.

Although it was the first time that these particular friends met, they immediately connected with each other. It didn’t surprise me, because we have positive outlooks that help us anticipate the joy of meeting someone new and to find the interest in them.

Mixing with positive people is an important key to aging with age-esteem. People we associate with influence how we feel about ourselves and about life in general.

Do you have people in your life who are positive in their outlook?

  • Make a personal audit of the people you see regularly. What do you admire about them? Do you learn from them? Are they people who share your values and whom you respect? Do they bring out the best in you?
  • Eliminate anyone from your inner circle who does not fit these criteria. Move away from anyone who stresses faults rather than qualities.
  • If you must be with negative people at work, be polite but don’t let them into your inner circle.
  • Seek out and spend your time with people who have positive, « can do » attitudes.

Positive people will help you become the greatest you that you can become today, at the age you are.

Bonnie Fatio

AgeEsteem = Confidence

April 26th, 2019 No comments
Praise Journal

Do you find yourself complaining that time is racing, life is whizzing by? Stop! Why waste that precious time with complaints?

Often our complaints serve as a convenient scapegoat to another problem: lack of confidence and lack of age-esteem.

Here’s good news. You can begin to reinforce your confidence and age-esteem immediately.

Focus on your qualities. You have many.

  • Pretend to be another person writing a recommendation for you. List your talents, skills and qualities. Be generous. Deep down inside you know you are talented. Keep the list where you can read it often and add to it regularly.
  • Keep a journal of praise. Write down the praise you receive. No matter how minor it may seem, when someone praises you write their words in your journal. Copy praise received electronically or via the post into your journal. Refer to it as your confidence booster.
  • Flash yourself a smile as you look in the mirror. Praise yourself on one of your qualities as though saying it to your best friend: “You organize great events!”

You will soon find that you accentuate the positive naturally while also increasing your age-esteem, and time becomes meaningful and fulfilling.

Bonnie Fatio

Elder Abuse

November 27th, 2018 Comments off

Elder Abuse

While riding a city bus in Geneva, Switzerland, I was fascinated by a video clip with the Helpline for people experiencing domestic violence. What caught my attention was the message of an older woman saying, “Since my husband has retired, he controls everything I do. I’ve had enough.”

There are many types of violence, and older persons are often abused physically, psychologically, sexually, and financially. This includes neglect, violation of rights, denial of privacy, and denial to participate in making decision.

Keeping in mind that throughout the world, 1 million people reach the age of 60 years every month, there is real concern that mistreatment of elders will increase.

So, what can you do?

  • Become aware of what mistreatment of older people means so you can recognize it.
  • Download this report from the United Nations to learn how to recognize abuse and what to do about it..
  • Know your rights and seek help if you, or someone around you is being abused.
  • Find out what services are available in your community to help prevent further violence and mistreatment. Speak to your healthcare professional, church leader, social services, Helpline, elder abuse prevention center.
  • Remember to practice the techniques and concepts of AgeEsteem. The more confident and happier you are as you age, the greater your sense of self-worth and your expectation of being treated with respect and dignity.

No one should have to experience violence, abuse or mistreatment, at any age.

Bonnie Fatio

 

Have a Day of Wonderful!

September 15th, 2018 Comments off

A Day of Wonderful!

Have you passed by the wonders of life? There is a television ad here in Europe for a soft drink which is offered to a man in a retirement home. When he drinks it he says, “I wonder what else I have passed by in life?” He then proceeds to look at his day as an experience to be lived and tests new opportunities.

This scenario reminds me of the film Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling when Julia Roberts says, “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”

In both the ad and the movie, what makes the difference between a day waiting for more of the same and minutes of wonderful is the person. How does he or she choose to live the minutes?

Is your day a piece of wonderful, or part of a lifetime of nothing special? Test these simple techniques to enhance your age-esteem.

  • Tell yourself you will have a day of wonderful.
  • Ask yourself, “What would make this a day of wonderful? Then incorporate that into your day. Test something new. Visit a new place; experiment with different foods; join a local tour; listen to modern music; invite someone to come for tea.
  • Keep a Day of Wonderful Journal. At the end of each day record what made the day one of wonderful.

You may be surprised at the effect this has on you, and even those around you.

Have a day of wonderful!

Bonnie Fatio

 

I Will Never Be A Grandparent

September 12th, 2018 Comments off

No Grandchildren

Although planned parenthood may exist, planned grandparenthood does not. We have no control over whether or not we will become a grandparent. Though some of us may have made that decision by not having children of our own, or were unable to have children of our own, many who do have children have no grandchildren. It is not our decision to make.

For some this is fine. They are happy in life without grandchildren. For many, though, it is something they miss. Grandchildren seem to be the natural assurance of life continued to future generations. It may be the end of our DNA being passed on, however our legacy continues in multiple ways.

When a financial expert asked me what I wanted to leave to my three grandchildren, my spontaneous response had nothing to do with DNA or with finances. It had to do with values, experiences shared, and memories created. Yes, these related to my grandchildren; they could also relate to other children with whom I have repeated contact.

If you suffer because you do not have grandchildren, make space for other children in your life. Many children do not have grandparents or other older people in their lives. You can help fill that need.

  • Are there families in your neighborhood or among your colleagues who would welcome your presence in their lives? Many parents, especially single parents, work long days and have little energy left when they return home.
    • Ask parents if you could invite their little ones for cookies and milk after school.
    • Would they welcome help with homework, babysitting, making dinner?
  • Volunteer your services to the Scout troop, local school, library, church or sports center to help with projects, story hour, or after-school programs.
  • Go to the playground often and chat with the mothers and fathers. Get to know them and let them know you. Slowly find out what their needs are and how you might assist them with the children.
  • If you are blessed to have nieces and nephews, build relationships with them. Plan events with them such as going to the circus or museum or a picnic in the park. Send them notes and speak often.
  • Join a community mentoring program for the underprivileged.

Children need older people in their lives. We bring a perspective and dimension that is otherwise missing. If you want to have grandchildren in your life and don’t, then reach out to other children. It will also enhance your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

 

Happy Grandparent’s Day!

September 9th, 2018 Comments off

 

What memories do you have of your grandparents? Were they present in your life?

When my sister googled one of the homes we lived in as children, she discovered that it was for sale, and there were photos showing each room. One of our common memories was having the grandparents come for Christmas one year, which was exceptional.  We rarely saw them more than once a year, when we visited them in the summer. So, having them with us for the holidays was truly special.

Our other grandparents lived close enough for us to travel to spend Thanksgiving in their home. I still can smell turkey and mince pie and feel the warmth and excitement of being with the other cousins for the day. We did not have mobile phones and i-pads back then with apps allowing us to see each other despite the distance, and these gatherings were precious to us.

Grandparents are important. They are the foundation of the larger family, and often the glue that holds it together. Today Grandparents around the globe are caring for and often raising their grandchildren due to the parent’s illness, busy career, and lack of funds for daycare as well as divorces where a single parent must do all.

In a poll of children answering questions about their grandparents, I learned that grandparents are seen to also be good listeners and less judgmental. We tend to be more available to our grandchildren when we are with them. Our love and interest in our grandchildren differ from that of a parent and adds a valuable dimension to the emotional and intellectual education of our grandchildren.

Happy Grandparent’s Day!

Bonnie Fatio

World Refugee Day

June 20th, 2018 Comments off

World Refugee Day

Had I been born in another part of the world, I might be among the refugees of my age struggling to walk their way to freedom.

I am fortunate. I know where I will sleep tonight; that I can walk into the local neighborhood, wave to people I know, and to feel safe. No one has forced me from my home, violated me, or made it impossible to remain in my country without fear of injury or death. No, I am not one of the 68 million refugees or internally displaced people in the world today as a result of conflict or persecution. Many of them are my age, if not when they begin their journey they may be by the time they are able to return to their countries.

From 1998 to 2001 I was privileged to be part of a team of local leaders in Geneva, Switzerland brought together by Mrs. Sadako Ogata, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It opened my eyes to what it meant to seek refuge.

  • Most refugees want only to return to their homes. They have been forced to leave and dream of the moment when they can return. You’ve only to witness news reports of the risks they have taken and the hundreds of miles they have walked to know that they had no choice if they were to survive.
  • Many refugees have been born and raised in refugee camps waiting to enter into a safe country. The average length of displacement today is 17 years. Recently I mentored a woman who had spent her whole life in a refugee camp.
  • Many of the people we think of as the heroes of science, exploration, humanity and education in our own countries came to our countries as refugees. Geneva, Switzerland where I live, developed into the world renowned city of Global Peace Talks and the United Nations organizations largely thanks to the arrival of refugees over the centuries.

Let’s stand together with refugees and also recognize that had we been born in another part of the world we might be among them, or left behind to die.

Bonnie Fatio

Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15th, 2018 Comments off

Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Elder abuse is a problem that often goes undefined. Frankly, I found it frightening to read the signs of abuse shared by the U.S. National Institute on Aging. Why? Because they seem to also fit the stereotype of an older person, the image that has been fed to us over the years.

The list includes traits such as seeming confused; rocking back and forth; looks messy; and has trouble sleeping. All of these seem to fit stereotypes of aging, yet they can also be serious warning signs that something is wrong. Add to this any bruises or burns that cannot be explained, and you know you must act. However, not all abuse is physical. It can also be emotional, financial, or being neglected.

Let’s open our eyes to some of the elders around us who act oddly and who may very well be abused and need help. Try to have a private conversation with the elder to learn what is happening. If there is abuse, then guide them to where they can receive the proper assistance. This may be through an adult protective service, or a social service agency.

Are you being abused? Speak to your doctor, a help line, or a trusted friend to find help. Each of us deserves to live our age with dignity.

Bonnie Fatio