The Transitional Aging Program

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The Transitional Aging Program
Cantrell, Randall
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Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Randall Cantrell.
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This is an introduction to a more comprehensive series of fact sheets in progress.

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The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences 3008 McCarty Hall D College of Agricultural and Life Sciences PO Box 110310 McCarty Hall D, Ste 3008C Gainesville, FL 32611 0310 The Transitional Aging Program 18 Oct 2018 Introduction Aging adults living or more restrictive living environments. However, this process does not always proceed smoothly and in that order. Many reasons contribute to the con sternation of this transiti onal aging process. There is independence, possessions, finance, etc, to mention a few issues that can interfer e with smooth transitions along this continuum. If these various activities do not transition from stage to stage, the aging individual can be at risk of succumbing to a reversal in the healthful aging process ( e.g., falls, hospitalization, depression), or eventually and possibly an unfortunate premature death. Researching how to continue these transitions in a seamless fashion so that the aging pr ocess can continue, safely and in a fiscally sound manner is the basis underlying this program. Each of us comprise a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual attribute We are born with these elements of our personalities, and we develop them ( or do not) as we progress through life. Ideally these elements would be seamlessly integrated into a whole that is greater than its individual parts ; however this research might reveal this be the exception rather than the rule This is where aging enters the picture because it is here that the deterioration of the physical -for certain -and perhaps oftent imes the mental and emotional as well occurs Meanwhile and u nsurprisingly, the spiritual often grows deeper as the end of life approaches. Maybe this is a r ational attempt to calm ourselves as we transition along the final stages of the aging continuum It seems plausible that one of t he central question s f or any study of aging should therefore attempt to include the following. As we experience the natural p hysical and possibly mental deterioration the aging process renders is our ability to comprehend and proactively react to what is occurring in our life di minished as well? For all intents and purposes : 1) we are at a point in our life when we possibly are least equipped to engage unfamiliar stimuli ( i.e., effects of the ag ing process ) w hen we need most to be able to engage it, and 2) what, if anything, can or should be done by a civil society to assist the aging population to better engage this unfamiliar stimuli? Many within the aging population are simply ill prepared and lack a proper support system to cope with what they face on an increasing ly more challenging daily basis, so they often revert to the co mfort of clinging to what they know most intimate ly their possessions. Much as a child clings to a baby doll in times of distress, it appears to be a similar natural emotion for aging persons to cling to their most familiar possessions during times of conf usion. This research program is intended to explore whether those who do not have adequate support systems in place as they age can be assisted toward some sort of gentler path throughout the agin g continuum than what traditionally has been available. The systems currently in place do not offer an optimistic outlook for creating alternative solutions, but it is still worth exploring the question of what might possibly help aging persons transition more smoothly especially toward the end of the aging contin uum


2 29 Oct 2018 Expectations There are differ ing approaches regarding how to deal with aging persons, especially those with whom you have a close bond and their memory is beginning to show signs of deterioration. There is a they continue to age, and there is a choice maintain their spirts as high as possible while they still are able t o function as they always have. This topic will most likely be a contentious one regardless if following advice of learned The underlying issue is that aging adults have been programme d to believe they will arrive at a certain point in their life, and it will be a life much as they have imagined for years. Perhaps a multi scenario based outcome that is laid out much earlier in life could be healthier and more advantageous in the overa ll long run. What if aging adults were acclimated early on to the notion that they might have access to a sort of trade off based bundled package of outcomes to expect during older life ? During periods when they are routinely seeking financial and medical advice to know what the probability of th ose aspects of future life might be, they also could be learning of what other important a spects of their future might look like. Some lesser understood aspects of the future life of aging adults could deal more with where they might reside and with whom. Will they be able to drive themselves from place to place, and if so, for how long? Will they be able to travel, and if so, for how long and for what lengths of distances? Will they be able to depend on family for moral, social, and emotional support, or will that be more realistically accomplished with others who are more their peers ? What will it be like if they have always been accustomed to being with family and then they find they have to begin mak ing new friends who are more their age or vise versa ? If the desired bundle d package outcome is to live in their home with their lifelong pa rtner and have family near them then adjustments need to be made early in the aging transition process. A home can never be altered to o early to make it safe r and more accommodating for any age person to visit and live in it. This can include children as well as aging adults. The sooner the alterations begin, the more realistic the plan for aging in place becomes. Are there accommodations for someone to assist with cooking and ensuring that medications are being dispensed safely and routinely ? These are not functions that are well served when delegated to family members. Those are not the roles of family members, and it does nothing but deteriorate the relationship between them and the aging adult when they are responsible for being a caregiver. Family members have lives of their own that they are responsible for, but that does not mean they do not love their aging adult s if they are not able to care for them full time in addition to everything else they must do in their lives. The extended family worked well when families ha d certain members of the household staying home as unpaid professional s who took care of the family and home. This was taken for granted for decades and never incorporated into the productivity of a nation. However, when the same people began working professionally outside of the home, the extended family and immediate family in many instances, b egan to lose its focus as the place where home was a sanctuary and people w ere care d for there. It simply became a labor issue. If the labor had been transferred to the workplace where it was no w receiving real income, then the home and family necessarily w ere depleted of that labor/caregiver component except for instances where hired help was brought in to offset the missing labor/caregiver who was now employed in the professional workforce.