Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Song of Lunch: Film Review

TV Movie aired Oct 2010
Based on a narrative poem by Christopher Reid, The Song of Lunch (2010) depicts two people having lunch together.

What makes lunch interesting?

In 50 minutes, we get more than enough material to reflect on how past relationships invite us to scrutinize or present selves.

The two people--played by Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson--are former lovers who haven't seen each other for fifteen years.  She left him for someone else.

What makes their break up painful?

It's hard to know how she feels because the poem--providing the voice over for the action--takes his point of view.  His feelings are complex, but know that his biggest aspirations are to be a famous poet.  He works reviewing manuscripts for a publishing house.

Her husband is a successful novelist.


People in midlife who read and perhaps write poetry will be the ideal audience for this film. Fans of Rickman and Thompson might brave this atypical film genre (the script taken entirely from a poem). The language is quite ornate. The attention to interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics are laser sharp.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

9 Realities of Caring for an Elderly Parent: Book Review

Published 2014 by Pressman Books
At first glance, I expected 9 Realities of Caring for an Elderly Parent to be a guidebook, filled with objective lists and a lot of information on how to contact government resources.

Then I started the book. It's more of a caregiver's memoir.

Finally, I noted the subtitle: "A Love Story of a Different Kind." That was my big hint, and I skimmed past it. However, author Stafania Shaffer shares the tender feelings she experienced over five years of caring for her increasingly dependent mother.

[Note: I receive a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.]

The books starts when Shaffer discovers that her widowed mother is living in a cluttered, unhygienic home.  Shaffer's mother is having trouble maintaining her finances, her diet, and her own cleanliness and grooming.

After making these observations, Shaffer takes on the task of caring for her mother, first from a distance of two hours until she can secure a new teaching job and move back into her childhood home.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Attending a 2016 Aging & Wellness Conference

Photo by Karen D. Austin.
It's vital to connect with other professionals in your field.

Attending conferences gives me the chance to observe best practices in a variety of topics related to healthy aging.

Great Resource, Great Region

Fortunately, I've moved to a region of Indiana that hosts an invigorating conference every year.

People interested in healthy aging should visit this page, Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness.  It contains information about some of best practices in healthy lifestyle choices and helping others improve their quality of life throughout the lifespan.

This is the 9th year that the Center for Aging and Wellness at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) has hosted the conference.  This summer, I moved just 15 miles from USI.  The campus is on the west side of Evansville, Indiana. This city is the 3rd largest in the state of Indiana, and the hub of a Tri-State region that includes southern Illinois and western Kentucky.

USI partners with a number of other businesses and organizations.  But because I recently became an employee of the university, I am a bit more focused on their role.  Afterall, I was just hired the week prior to the conference.  Everything is new for me: the faculty, staff, administrators, students. Even the campus buildings and parking areas are foreign to me.

Nevertheless, I jumped right in.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Shoulder Pain and Ageism

Photo by Dan Iggers.
Ten months ago, I started noticing pain in my right shoulder.  It has taken me that long to find a medical professional to take my complaints seriously.  Part of the delay is due to my move from Kansas to Indiana. However, part of the delay appears to be ageism.

Let me explain.

When I first reported shoulder pain in October of 2015, I was hoping to get some imaging on my shoulder and a referral to a physical therapist. That didn't happen.

Instead, my general practitioner told me: "At your age, you should accept that you are going to experience aches and pains. Just deal with it." 

Um, that seems ageist to me.  And unprofessional. "Aches and pains" isn't very specific or technical.