While doing my long-promised pre-New Year's cleaning, I found this article, clipped from the L.A. Times on December 4, about Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Ranch in the Mojave Desert. I'm finally sharing it here as more evidence of my love for all things quirky, be they people, destinations, or projects. Does anyone out there remember the famous lone phone booth that was in the desert before "the company" yanked it out? It was even on a "60 Minutes" segment, and people from literally all over the world came to talk on "the phone." I sincerely hope Mr. Long's glass creation is in existence for a long time. I'd like to see Huell Howser do a show on it.
On a more serious note, I also found another L.A. Times article, from November 20, which is another example of generativity (see the prior post on this) and also redemption. The man featured in the article, John Paul Madrona, was only born in 1975, but I'm convinced that the attribute of generativity doesn't have to be limited to seniors. Working in hospice service, especially among the prison population, surely must serve to remind one of the chances we all have, each day of our lives, regardless of the circumstances, to make a difference for ourselves and others.
Now for an example of "reverse generativity," I've been encouraged to see evidence of course offerings in "Healthy Aging" (remember how not too many years ago, the concepts of healthy and aging were regarded as contradictory?). UCLA has a Geronet website (http://www.geronet.ucla.edu), and I read on December 11 in the L.A. Times that the College of the Canyons is offering a Certificate in Skills for Healthy Aging Resources and Programs. This is wonderful -- preparing people to be actually educated in the theory of the developmental stage of the elderly, and practice of how to serve them. If caregivers know what to expect when faced with a senior, they will not feel the fear or hesitation that so often comes in "not knowing what to do." Seniors' care will be greatly enhanced. Suspected cases of elder abuse and neglect (the ones stemming from, as I said, the caregivers' not having adequate skills and being overwhelmed) hopefully be reduced, and the "younger folks" will also have their own aging processes demystified.
I've told readers previously about my fondness for More magazine. The current issue (December/January) features a profile on Denise Thomas, owner and founder of Home Instead. This company's mission is to assist seniors to remain comfortably, safely, and with dignity, in their own homes as they live out their remaining years. I worked for Huntington Hospital's Senior Care Network from 2001 to early 2006, and not once did I encounter a senior who positively begged to be shipped off to a skilled nursing facility (SNF, for those in the field). Don't get me wrong; there are many fine skilled and assisted living establishments around. It's just that I found that an older adult--surrounded by the safe familiarity of their furniture, photos, and curios holding so many memories--can dodge the depression that can settle in and then masquerade as "dementia."
Queen Latifah's sassy smile graces the cover of this issue, which also has terrific advice for us ladies that we can actually use -- about retirement options, money, health, and how dress so we look like the gorgeous women we are--forces to be reckoned with and taken seriously.
It's been my pleasure to find items, and pass them along to you, dear readers. I'm not sure about the idea of reincarnation; but, if it's true, perhaps I'll come back as a librarian next time around!
Happy New Year! I have high hopes for 2012--really.