So this morning I found myself flying solo again, at least for half of the two hour time slot. I’m always grateful when I have an interesting guest join me in studio or call in to share their insights on life and successful aging. However, there are times, especially during the summer months (aka vacation time), and throughout the Christmas holiday season when it is more challenging to secure a guest who has the time to share a mic with me. I enjoy doing shows alone, although with my ‘board op’ just an arm’s length away, I’m never lonely. Gratitude is such a vital aspect to successful living; and if you’re living, you are aging.
Steven Stone, the Operations Manager at OTS Media (WRHI) joined me for a good portion of this edition. Steven is a veteran radio personality, with immense talent and a total understanding of what constitutes good radio. Steven and I waxed on a variety of topics, and I always enjoy the time that he and I share on Radio 4 the Ages; and I hope that you do too!
Calvin Harvel joins me in studio this morning to explore the meaning and importance of God, or a Higher Power, if you will, in the process of recovery from addictions. Millions of people of all ages struggle
Calvin is a graduate of the Charlotte Spiritual Center, Spiritual Director Certification, and a certified hypnotist. He works in an addiction recovery center in the Charlotte, NC area, and his mission is to be of assistance to those in need. This is an open and frank discussion of the role that a higher power, or a God of your understanding, plays in the recovery process from addictions of all kinds- alcohol, drugs, sex, food, gambling and others.
Calvin shares of his lack of belief in any higher power outside of himself when he first sought recovery, and how he came to find one along his journey. This program is not an endorsement of Alcoholics Anynymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Over Eaters Anonymous, or any specific 12 step program. It is simply one man’s story, and a discussion of the role that a God or higher power seems to play in the lives who are successful in their recovery efforts.
I hope that this program might be a valuable resource to all who struggle with addictions.
Thanks for listening and for being a part of my journey with Radio 4 the Ages.
Charlie Petrizzo and his spouse Sandy were my guests for the entire show today. Charlie has a most interesting story, which will both amaze and inspire you with his two near death experiences and his passion to be of service to others. Charlie was hit by a car and endured a painful and long recovery when just a young boy, and then was electrocuted and seriously burned when a teenager while working one afternoon. With serious physical scars, Charlie discovered that a dog became his best friend; love without reservation. This was an instrumental time in Charlie’s life, and when he met a labrador dog at a family friend’s home, he decided that one day he would raise Labs.
You’ll want to hear Charlie tell of the power of healing for a convicted murderer in an Indiana women’s prison, Melinda Loveless, and the Indiana Canine Assistant Program in which inmates train puppies to be service dogs. It’s a sad but uplifting story of finding a redemptive purpose in life.
Charlie’s web site is www.project2heal.org. He has recently acquired, and will be moving his operation to a 54 acre spread in Lancaster, SC where he and his family will continue to breed, raise and train Labrador dogs to work with special needs children and veterans who suffer from PTSD and other challenges. Through your donations and the sale of some of their puppies, they are able to donate service dogs to organizations and individual children and wounded warriors. At Project 2 Heal, they also invite children and veterans to visit and spend time with the puppies. And of course, they are most happy to offer opportunities for volunteers to assist them in their mission.
You can contact Charlie at: 704-256-4056 or email@example.com!
Sylvia Fiano, one of my favorite people in the world, was kind enough to share two hours with me this morning on Radio 4 the Ages. Sylvia has been with us three times now, once each year that we’ve been on the air. Sylvia is an individual diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Dementia. She is an advocate for all to live successfully in spite of her illness. She is a teacher for us all on how to live each day to the fullest, and not to worry about what might happen; but to deal with life as it is today! Sylvia was accompanied by Cindy Amori, her close friend and unofficial caregiver. Cindy has a full time job, but her mission is to be friend and companion to Sylvia. Sheila, my significant other, and associate producer of Radio 4 the Ages, joins us as well, for one of her rare appearances in studio.
This program with Sylvia Fiano is one of my personal favorites. If you have a loved one who is in your care who has Alzheimer’s dementia, then this is a must listen to.
Enjoy, and thanks for being a part of my journey.
Dr. Julian Montoro-Rodriguez is the new director of the Gerontology Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Our conversation this morning included the aging process in general, the life course of aging, and the Baby Boomer generation. Dr. Montoro-Rodriguez explores the challenges inherent in the tsunami of newly minted 65 year olds, including hunger, housing, and health care. Much time was spent on evidence based programs under development for support networks for grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren. UNC Charlotte is instrumental in developing programs along these lines. Dr. Rodriguez also discussed the reality that Charlotte-Mecklenburg is a young community and getting younger. So there is a challenge to eliminate barriers, physical as well as social, that might prohibit older adults from fully integrating into the community at large. We don’t want to isolate our senior adults. Mixed age and life cycle stage neighborhoods are much preferable to ‘age exclusive’ or ‘age predominant’ neighborhoods.
Children who live in poverty, homelessness and food insecurity put Charlotte-Mecklenburg and North Carolina near the top of this list in failing our children with the most basic needs. So one of Dr. Rodgiguez’s focus points is to address the needs of children, and in doing so, will also benefit our older population. The website is gerontology.uncc.edu. There is a strong message here as well about personal responsibility as we age. Government is not going to be the solution to many of our issues as we age, nor are they going to provide dollars to support the myriad of programs that we might like to have. So everyone needs to take responsibility to build a support organization of their own, and to be a part of that same organization to provide care and services for others in that group.