Yesterday I heard a fact that frightened me

seniorsIn 10 years we will have twice the number of seniors in Thousand Oaks than we have today. Think about it—double the number of people at the Goebel Senior Center, twice the amount of people signed up for Social Security and double the amount of seniors needing information, resources and services from our city.Here’s another one for you: By 2020 Thousand Oaks will have more people over 65 than under 18. There’s plenty of people watching out for the under-18 crowd—parents, guidance counselors, teachers, coaches and, of course, Disney. But who’s looking out for the over-65 gang? They say that “experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.” Ask any person over the age of 65 if they’ve encountered a situation for which they weren’t prepared. It may be as simple as how to sign up for Medicare or as complicated as how to make certain they don’t outlive their money. What if I told you there was an organization that has been right here in Thousand Oaks for more than...

The Many Dimensions of Loss and Grief

alzheimers-s2-woman-blinkingDuring this season’s first episode of TV’s “Dancing With the Stars,” actress Jennifer Grey surprised herself when she broke into tears upon hearing the song she and her partner would be dancing to. It was a song from the movie “Dirty Dancing,” which evoked strong memories of her friend and co-star Patrick Swayze, who died last year of complications from pancreatic cancer. Grey’s strong reaction, more than a year after her friend’s death, was normal. The song may have brought her back to a time when she and Swayze worked closely together on the film, allowing her to grieve the loss of her friend all over again.Almost everyone who’s lost someone they care for can describe a moment where a song, object or even a smell triggered a memory of the deceased and reignited feelings of loss and grief. As humans, our grief knows few boundaries. How well or long we knew the person cannot predict the intensity of our grief. We might grieve for someone we have known for a long time, such as a...

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