Today’s show is a venture into an area that hasn’t garnered much attention in the main stream media. My guests are Dale Pierce, Cheryl Roberge and Bets McCurley. Ten thousand Americans turn 65 years of age every day, and some of them are members of the LGBT community. That’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender if you weren’t sure of the acronym. How many folks identify as being members of that group? Well, the numbers are difficult to be certain of. However, what is certain is that many of the members of the LGBT community are wrestling with the idea that it might be ‘easier’ for them as they move into an independent living or assisted living community to return to ‘the closet’.
Imagine if you will, to have struggled with the reality that your sexual identity and/or sexual preferences and lifestyle are not readily ‘acceptable’ in society. And then envision the courage and willingness to accept the potential rejection and discrimination that might result when you ‘come out’ to your family and friends. And then, after a lifetime of developing a comfort level of acceptance of yourself and learning to live a proud and productive life, you find that in order to avoid derision and ‘problems’ in an independent or assisted living community, you feel it prudent to return to a life of living a ‘lie’. Wow! As if aging and the challenges it presents aren’t enough to work through.
So this program is important for many reasons. It is worthwhile listening for ‘straight’ persons, both young and old. It is worthwhile listening for those who identify as being part of the LGBT community. It is worthwhile listening then for all persons over the age of reason who are interested in considering the current situation faced by all aging individuals, both ‘gay’ and ‘straight’.
My hope is to do follow up shows with folks from the legal profession to address issues that are faced by life partners who may not be legally married and/or may not be legally entitled to make medical and/or end of life decisions for their loved one.
My mission with Radio 4 the Ages is to improve the quality of life for all of our senior adults (and those who love and care for them) by facilitating their ability to stay informed, involved, active and listened to. That’s why I do this show. I hope you listen to it and consider the possibility that all of God’s children are deserving of love and acceptance. You don’t have to condone a lifestyle to accept that God loves all of His children.
Barbara Drum, a long time friendof Radio 4 the Ages, and a well respected and experienced member of the senior living industry joins me again today. Barbara has been with me before and she always has great insight and worthwhile contributions to share with our audience. Sheila, our sometimes participant and executive assistant to the program was also with us. Sheila, until the recent passing of her Mom, Donna, was a member of the ‘sandwich generation’, caring for her own young children at home while also assisting her parent with a variety of life issues.
I also shared my own heart warming story of the Miss Avante pageant, and the Mr. Avante competition. This is the second year I have been blessed to emcee these events at Avante Nursing Home in Charlotte. The staff at Avante is most accommodating to the event participants, and the joy they have assisting their residents is evident by the smiles on their faces.
Exactly how do the staff of an Independent or Assisted Living community satisfy the divergent preferences of their residents? Should they serve Duke’s mayonaise or Hellman’s? What brand of hot dogs? Butter or margarine? And those choices seem inconsequential, but food is one of the big issues in senior living communites. So, if you’re interested in learning more about Assisted Living options, the pay scale for CNA’S (certified nursing assistants), and the challenges faced by staff and residents, and even the history of Assisted Living, then this edition of Radio 4 the Ages is here for you.
Thanks for listening, and for being a part of my journey with Radio 4 the Ages. And tell a friend!!
Dr. Keith Tillman, DVM and his spouse Deb Tillman join me this morning to discuss pets: their care, their relationship with people, and hospice and end of life issues for them.
Dr. Tillman is the owner of Comfort at Home Mobile Pet Hospice and Euthanasia, and Deb Tillman is a Masters student in the Gerontlogy program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her project is Pets of Older Owners. If you are an animal owner, an animal lover, or interested in the relationship that people and pets form as a family, then this edition of Radio 4 the Ages will please you. You can tell by listening to the care and concern in his voice that Dr. Tillman is a wonderful Veterinarian.
The concept of pet hospice is relatively new, but certainly one that is gaining in popularity as folks want to extend to their four legged family members the same love and care at the end of life that they do for their human family.
Windy Cole joins me today to discuss a variety of topics. Windy is the Volunteer Resource Manager at the Culture and Heritage Museums in York County, South Carolina.
We start out discussing the overwhelming amount of solicitations that arrive via US Mail on an almost daily basis. Some of the organizations are legit, but even then ,the tactics that they use for appeals are bordering on the same type utilized by the fraud industry.
Next we tackled personal health care, and the reluctance of individuals to seek treatment and proper care. Putting off seeking advice from your doctor can lead to dire consequences. Too often folks decide on their own, as a result of fear or an unwillingness to acknowledge that something ‘bad’ could happen to them, not to seek medical advice. If this is you, do not hesitate. Seek medical advice for serious aches and pains or lumps and moles that you haven’t noticed before.
We also explored the dilemma regarding physician and patient relationships and communication. The discussion covered the importance of open and truthful conversation when there is no longer a curative course to follow. Why do so many doctors continue to pursue a ‘life saving’ at all cost course of action, rather than have a frank conversation with their patient. The patient may decide to live a quality of life for their remaining time rather than undergo debilitating treatments to buy a few more days, weeks, or months.
And finally, we explored the regrets that folks have expressed during their last days regarding the things they should have done. Things like I should have traveled more or worked less.
It’s an interesting variety of topics for your consideration. Thanks for listening, and for being a part of my journey with Radio 4 the Ages!