Continuing education and learning how to better serve clients is something I take very seriously as a Senior Move Manager in the Indianapolis area. As part of that effort, I recently attended the National Association of Senior Move Managers conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.
As always, this annual convention was full of great ideas and observations that I can use in my business of helping Indiana seniors and their caregiver families downsize and move into a new phase of their lives. I thought I'd share some notes and a few things that really resonated with me. I hope they may be useful for you as you care for a senior parent or client.
A keynote speaker was Dr. Bill Thomas, a Harvard Medical School graduate, author, and geriatrician. He made us aware of several important points:
*In Dr.Thomas delivery, he shared that the aging process begins at age 28 and runs to 108 years old. In this range we age at the same rate, never faster or slower.
*We probably all have used the term “senior moment” to describe the act of forgetting something. It’s not that we forget, but as we age, we just naturally have more data in our brains to transfer and store. Therefore, it simply takes longer to retrieve that information.
*The word “elderly” is a bad one and should never be utilized in health reports, blogging, websites, or in any context. Instead, the more respectful word to use is "elders." All of us between 28 and 108 are in the growth process of life and no one is "elderly." Rather, the word "elder" denotes the truth: respect for someone who has life experience and knowledge.
*Another bad word is “still,” as in Harry is “still” not wearing his glasses, or Harry is “still” living in his home alone with out help. The word “still” carries the connotation that Harry is not worthy of living in his home or choosing whether or not to wear his spectacles. The truth of the matter is that his age has nothing to do with whether or not he's “worthy” to make these choices. Regardless of what you think, he is. So erase the word “still” from your vocabulary.