2005-02-18 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

Dr. Geraldine ChapeyDr. Geraldine Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Aging Well: Five Critical Dimensions

This is my third column on senior issues. The material for this article came from my chairing panels and participating in the first international conference on Aging Well in Montreal Canada.

Dr. Lawrence Branch, a professor at the College of Public Health in the University of South Florida spoke on Aging Well: Five Critical Dimensions. The five areas are (a) loving and being loved (2) being satisfied with self (3) engaging in activities that are greater than self (4) having one’s health and (5) having hope for the future. These dimensions are essential throughout the course of our lives and are equally important as one reaches their senior years. As we delve further into senior issues we note that the senior that emerges is really a conglomerate of the personality experiences, talents, training, and opportunities that have been taking place during ones entire life. A cheerful and caring young person is generally speaking a cheerful and caring older person. Throughout our lives strategies for loving and being loved are important. We learn to love and be loved in return. Separations caused by death and other circumstances are difficult. Each person learns to cope with these issues in different ways. These coping strategies and our unique response to them are essential ingredients in the development of our self. Satisfaction with our own development is vital to our well being particularly in later years. Participation in organizations, activities and groups that serve a higher goal outside of our immediate family are essential. These activities solidify a bond with the broader world. We learn as we grow. Today in our families, schools and communities we encourage participation in a global society. One current example is the response to the victims of the Tsunami disaster. School children are raising funds through car washes, book sales, art auctions (of their own creations), toy drives and house to house solicitations in an effort to help their fellow man half way around the globe. People of every age are pitching in to help these victims of this monumental tragedy. Dr. Branch stresses that seniors also need to be part of the broader world. Hope for a bright future is also important at every stage. These five dimensions stressed by Dr. Branch enrich and broaden our understanding of seniors and should be emphasized as important to our development as we grow and mature.

Reminder: Trinity Services will be having their third annual luncheon at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach on Friday, May 20.

Tickets are $50.00 each. Everyone enjoys the afternoon. The music will be directed by Thomas Touhey. Tom really knows how to liven up a room. He plays a combination of melodies which please everyone. We are delighted that this talented and professional music man will be with us again this year. Tables of 14 are available. Please call 718-474-1641 to reserve your table.

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