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Archive for the ‘reaching out’ Category

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

Make Your Heart Sing

July 12th, 2016 Comments off

Senior Woman Relaxing from playing the violin outdoors

Make Your Heart Sing

“We should do something that will make your heart dance once a day. If you can’t do that because you’re too depressed, then do something that will make somebody else’s heart dance.”Yoko Ono

A Child’s Hand

June 7th, 2016 Comments off

Senior man and grandson walking on beach

A Child’s Hand

“What feeling in all the world is so nice as that of a child’s hand in yours? What tenderness it arouses, what power it conjures. You are instantly the very touchstone of wisdom and strength.”Marjorie Holmes

Why Are You Waiting?

May 10th, 2016 Comments off

phone call

Why Are You Waiting?

“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” – Stephen Levine

Seeing Deeper

May 7th, 2016 Comments off

window

Seeing Deeper

In the sanctuary of our church, there is a beautiful stained glass window above the alter. Lights shine behind it to illuminate the myriad of rich colors. This window has drawn my attention each Sunday for over 20 years, and I feel that we know each other intimately through prayer and meditation.

Recently the lights went out and the colors all but disappeared. An electrician was hired to thoroughly explore the wiring. Apparently he discovered new possibilities, because the result of his attention was a new splendor. The beauty of this stained glass window became striking. Its new luminosity allowed us to discover exquisite details that had previously remained unnoticed. The lovely window now radiates overwhelming beauty, a beauty that has always been there waiting to shine to its full potential.

Doesn’t this apply to us as people, too? Sometimes it takes very little to help us let our inner beauty shine. The same is true when we help those around us to shine more fully. Offer praise and recognition for what someone does well; help others to develop their qualities and talents and to realize their fuller potential.  Seek new light within yourself, share your fuller potential with the world, and ignite the light in others.

Bonnie Fatio

Soul Mates

February 26th, 2016 Comments off

soul mate

Soul Mates

How many times have you met someone who was very different from you in culture, religion, race, experiences, etc. yet you felt an almost immediate connection with the person?

Frequently this happens as I meet new people. Sometimes it stimulates me to get to know the person so that I can discover why this is so. At other times I simply accept the fact that they seem to be a soul mate and enjoy the feeling of connection.

One such experience was during the first international conference where I presented AgeEsteem. Among the other keynote speakers was the South African Ambassador to Switzerland. Although she had been raised during Apartheid in a very different culture with a different color to her skin, as she told her story I knew that our souls merged. Despite different geographical and cultural beginnings, our origins were similar. We had been raised with comparable values and many of the same messages of support and encouragement during our formative years. Neither of us was raised in riches of money; both were raised among the riches of love, a zest for life, knowing education was essential if we were to reach our dreams, and with a faith in right overcoming wrong.

Similar experiences have greeted me over the years as I travel the world and connect with people who are doing amazing things in their own homes and communities. Sometimes these people are older; often they are younger; rarely are they the same age as I am. Age makes no difference. What is within us does. We are connected by yes, our experiences and origins in some cases and our visions and goals in others. – And we are always connected by our shared values.

Next time you meet someone, when you stretch out your hand to say hello, stretch out your heart also. You may find a soul mate.

Bonnie Fatio

On A Gray Day

August 25th, 2015 Comments off

Grey day

On A Gray Day

Despite seeing the sun shining, one of my friends said she was having a “gray day” when we spoke on the phone one morning. She was normally bursting with age esteem and enjoying the opportunities surrounding her. However, on this particular day she felt like Scrooge and yelling “Bah, humbug!” and that was exactly who she sounded like as she decided to be miserable.

One of the antidotes for a miserable day is to get out and do something for someone else. Share your talents and focus outward. So I sat down and wrote this Age Esteem rhyme for her.

 On A Gray Day

When you are down and out

Sit alone, sigh and pout

Feeling down, out, really low

Shake yourself! Get up and go!

Step out of your gray, sad mood

Look outside and do some good

There are those who need you there

With your talents, smile and flair.

It is time to stretch, try something new.

Realize a dream; realize a few!

This is your time to reach out and give

Your time to sing, dance and really LIVE!

You are one of God’s chosen blessed

Why you are down, I could not have guessed.

When I look at you or hear your voice

I think you must be God’s first choice.

He gave you talents, oh, yes he did

(You I would never dare to kid.)

Talents in you overflow

And new ones await to grow.

So what if you do feel low and listless on this day so gray?

A precious resource you are for your feelings today

So replace those blues, with a colored rainbow display!

And grabbing its brilliance, find happiness on your way!

 Bonnie Fatio

Keep A Healthy And Active Mind

April 19th, 2015 Comments off

7 Rules

Keep A Healthy And Active Mind

A nagging worry as we age is, “Will I be able to keep my mind in tact, or will I lose my memory?”

It is true that dementia becomes more prevalent as we age. However, there are many ways we can act to keep our minds and bodies healthy and active. The poster in the photo above arrived in my mail from the Alzheimer Association of Switzerland. Their mailings are useful with suggestions that are easy to implement immediately.

Here are the 7 Golden Rules for a Healthy and Active Life from their poster.

  1. Build movement into your day
    1. never sit for long periods of time
    2. exercise for mobility and endurance
  2. Eat healthfully
    1. include sufficient fiber
    2. eat lots of fruits and vegetables
    3. reduce your fat intake
  3. Get sufficient sleep
  4. Exercise your mind
  5. Relax
  6. Spend time with family and friends; meet new people
  7. Be aware of your general well-being: weight, sight, hearing…

And remember that laughter is the best medicine!

People with age-esteem keep their minds and bodies healthy and active, and they laugh often!

Bonnie Fatio

A Time To Say, “I’m Sorry”

July 6th, 2014 Comments off

sorry

A Time To Say, “I’m Sorry”

There are occasions in all stages of life when it is best to simply say, “I’m sorry”, and move on.  This is very different from the approach of the person who is always apologizing, even when she is not responsible for what happened.  Those people wear us down with their apologies that become meaningless.

For others it is almost impossible to squeak out the words.  They are not able or willing to express that they are perhaps at least partially responsible for a situation.  How many broken relationships would still be whole if only the friends or partners had been able to express those words, “I’m sorry”?  How many estranged family members would be speaking to each other if they were able to voice those words?

And how often do we have unhappy thoughts and feel badly knowing that things might be different had we owned up to our own role in breaking a relationship because we couldn’t say, “I’m sorry.  Forgive me.”?

Knowing when to say, “I’m sorry” is important to AgeEsteemers in all stages of life.

  • Saying “I’m sorry” allows you to move on to other things.  You are not preoccupied with an unhappy incident that you caused that keeps you from fully living your life today.
  • You open the door to deeper discussion.
  • It is a key to healing a relationship.
  • Your healthy relationships will lead to greater contact with other generations.
  • By saying “I’m sorry” when it is meaningful, you set an example for others.

Let your age esteem shine as an example to others. When it is meaningful, say “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

Bonnie Fatio

You Are A Gift To All Generations

May 5th, 2014 Comments off

confident older woman

You are a gift to all generations!

A dynamic 40+ career woman who is highly successful in her field of work and loves her job shared the following advice with me.

When she heard about AgeEsteem her reaction was, “What a terrific idea!  Older people need to recognize what a wonderful asset and resource they are.  They seem to shy away from younger people, yet we all need each other.”

She went on to explain, “When I first started to attend conferences, my parents told me to always seek out the oldest person.  That person was sure to know more than my peers.  So I did.  I sought out and befriended older people.  I learned so much more that way.  In fact I owe these people much of my professional success and understanding of human relations.”

So do not shy away from people of other generations.  Seek them out, speak with them and learn from them. Share your wisdom and age esteem.

Bonnie Fatio