Love is in the Air

By Loretta Baxter, RN, Administrator
During February, we celebrate Valentines’ Day, recognizing the various individuals in our lives that we love and cherish—spouses, parents, children and dear friends. It is appropriate then to discuss the importance of relationships and socialization in our lives. Many studies have proven that socialization is important to all of us no matter whether we are young or older.
Lack of social support negatively influences our health and well-being. Having a variety of positive social supports can contribute to psychological and physical wellness. Support from others can be important in reducing stress, increasing physical health and defeating psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.
At St. Monica’s there are a number of ways to increase socialization such as meal time conversations with table mates, daily exercise class and special groups such as reminiscence, bingo, quarterly tea celebrations & dances, singing groups, and the baking class, just to name a few.
Seniors who live in retirement communities have the advantage of living close to many people, making it easier for them to make long-lasting friendships. According to Helpguide, socialization can boost self-worth; seniors can feel a sense of meaning and self-worth by sharing their lives with staff and other community members. (http://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships/). Make sure to take advantage of all the activities St. Monica’s offers, its’ good for your health!

Aging

Thrust on us in our advancing age is the world’s continuous youthful messaging. Author Joyce Rupp in her book, “Prayers to Sophia: Deepening our Relationship with Holy Wisdom” speaks to all of us that support the frail elderly in her poem…
Befriending My Aging
Companion of Life, Guardian of Death, more and more I resemble an old gnarled tree, wrinkled bark, gray boughs, thinning leaves. The ground around my roots is weakening. My limbs bend and no longer stretch very far.
Grant me the ability to not be afraid, even in the face of significant physical change. Be a source of deepening hope during my internal and external adjustment. Keep me trusting in the deepest part of myself where love and vitality are stored.
Teach me about true and everlasting beauty, to compassionate my body in its growing frailty, to love my mind and heart even as my life wanes, to befriend the wrinkles and accept the grayness, to be unthreatened by the depletion of my energy and the waning of a memory that was once keenly alert,
Ancient one, fill my heart with joy in the little gifts of life. Let me find sources of comfort and serenity in the midst of my aches and loss. Be near, ever-vigilant Beloved, as I experience the creaks and groans of my aging process. Show me how to embrace this transition time as my soul ripens for its final journey home