Category Archives: Aging

RN’s Speak on Aging and Being Mortal:


Challenging Perspectives on Aging and Dying


Two area nurses discovered a mutual passion for empowering Cape Cod’s aging population with tools to embrace a fuller, healthier, more enjoyable life. Together they developed What’s so Funny about Aging and Being Mortal – Challenging Perspectives on Aging & Mortality, a two-hour workshop designed to improve people’s outlooks on the subject along with their health.

Kathleen Budreski, RN and Amanda Murphy, RN are seasoned nurse educators with diverse personal and professional experiences qualifying them to speak on health, wellness, aging, and mortality. As part of Cape Cod’s aging community, they are both committed to developing personal wellness qualities including life-long learning, positive outlooks based on current research and inspirational guides, and by challenging aging stereotypes.

In addition to demonstrating how humor can make aging easier and help prepare us for the inevitable changes that occur with aging, they explore and debunk several myths of aging. For example, the “aging equates with disease” myth is exposed through a look at several lifestyle factors which are known to impact disease development. Research is presented which shows we can live healthy lives well into our 90’s and beyond with lifestyle review and by opting for healthier ways of life.

By providing insights into new models of aging based on current scientific study, the instructors offer an opportunity to experience positive eldering.  For example, emerging evidence continues to show positive health outcomes linked to the spiritual practices of elders regardless of religious or non-religious background. Experiential activities related to humor, memoir, and gratitude are weaved into the workshop in order to learn first-hand the value of positive practices.

While this class is for everyone, professional nurses and social workers can earn continuing education credits while learning new skills to enrich the lives of themselves, their families, and their clients. For more information call Wellness Paths at 508.862.6395.

Positive Ageing Skills can make Ageing Fun!

Contrary to what most folks think, most people actually become happier as we age into our senior years. Becoming free of of the many stressors involved in raising a family and promoting a career allows many seniors to pursue personal interests and to meaningfully reflect on their lives. They have time to volunteer for example, an altruistic activity known to boost morale as well as the immune system while increasing the happiness quotient.
It’s been found that what we feel and think about ageing actually determines how we age! Beliefs and expectations are important contributors to our health at any age but never more important than in our senior years. If we believe that ageing involves disability and unhappiness, for example that’s likely what we’ll get, owing to the powerful effects of the mind body connection. Many of us have bought into the media’s depiction of old age as an unfortunate occurrence which must be tolerated by both the individual and society rather than celebrated. Ageism is practiced by all ages, however when practiced by the very group it is aimed at – usually seniors – it’s effects can be devastating. As Ashton Applewhite notes in her book “This Chair Rocks” we need to “wake up…cheer up…and push back!” Other practices to combat ageism include becoming informed on the topic, integrating with all ages, activism including challenging our own and others’ beliefs, and a sense of humor on the very real changes and challenges that occur as we age.
Some other easy to learn skills which can make ageing healthier and more enJOYable include a gratitude practice, journaling and/or memoir writing, and adopting a new model of ageing such as “sage-ing” which can help us claim our wisdom and empower our stature as elders.
For more information on the topic and to learn how to claim your full stature as an elder, check out What’s so Funny about Ageing & Being Mortal: Challenging Perspectives on Ageing & Dying taking place on November 10th at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod.

Challenging perspectives on aging and mortality….

If we’re lucky, we’re all aging and will continue to do so into a healthy old age. So why do so many of us have such negative feelings and perspectives on aging if it’s a universal condition? Perhaps it’s natural to shun the inevitability of our mortality so we choose ageist commentary while engaging in practices and procedures that promise to keep ourselves forever young in order to deny what we fear. But what if we could learn to accept – and even enjoy!- our aging process?

Enjoyment and laughing our way through our senior years makes the process easier, improves our health, and prepares us for the inevitability of our mortality. I have teamed up with Kathy Budreski, RN to create a workshop: What’s so Funny about Aging & Being Mortal: Challenging Perspectives on Aging and Dying.  Aging myths and  the negative images of aging – “ageism” – are explored and contrasted with the value and blessings (and humor!) of aging. New models of positive spiritual eldering are presented as emerging evidence continues to show positive health outcomes linked to the spiritual practices of elders regardless of religious or non-religious background.

This topic has a very personal meaning for me as I enter my senior years, wondering where the years have gone and noticing physical changes almost daily. (Who is that stranger in the mirror?!) It became necessary for me to keep focused on the positive aspects of aging  – the level of personal comfort achieved and the ability to be more authentic rather than needing to be accepted by others for example. These realizations led me to create a workshop on the positive aspects of aging in order to help counter all the negative bias against it. Besides humor, we present uplifting information on the value of gratitude and memoir to help with coming to terms with our eventual mortality.

This class is being presented on November 10 from 2:30 – 5:00 PM at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth. You can register at Wellness Paths or call me at 508.862.6395.

What’s REALLY so Funny about Aging?

So What’s REALLY so Funny about Aging?

This idea of linking aging and fun began when I received my Medicare card four years ago. I didn’t quite know how to respond to the unmistakable evidence of my newly acquired entrance into senior citizen status. Until that card arrived in the mail, I hadn’t given the age of 65, along with its many negative connotations much thought. After all, I was still gainfully employed, physically and socially active, and with a reasonably intact memory and intellect. So, without attaching a lot of “ageisms” to my newly acquired status, I decided this event called for a celebration! As I age, I’ve discovered the importance of celebration for all of life’s milestones, big and small.
  So I had my Medicare card enlarged and laminated, placed it on an easel in the living room, invited all my friends, cooked up a table full of party food, hired a good natured vocalist/guitarist and celebrated! Thankfully I’ve learned that a sense of humor is usually the best way to respond to life’s challenges. Guests were instructed to bring gifts only if they fit into the theme – humor. Of course I received the expected package of prunes and other symbols of the stereotyped slowdown of both bodily functions and wit. These gifts were received with gratitude and hearty laughs, knowing they were well-intentioned and not a true reflection of society’s bias against its elders! (After all, most of the gift-givers were at least my age!)
  So what I’ve learned as I age is that I can – and frequently do – laugh about the changes that have taken place in my body. For example, I now understand the reason for failing eyesight – It’s nature’s way of protecting me from a really good look in the mirror! I’ve also learned that I do not have to succumb to society’s “ageisms” regarding my abilities and usefulness. There is value and meaning to every age. With age comes wisdom, increased coping ability, mellowing, increased enjoyment, less concern about what others think, increased authenticity and willingness to share who we really are, and a sense of humor about some of the necessary losses that accompany aging.
Oh, there’s also that 10% discount on Tuesdays, reduced theater prices, no penalty for IRA withdrawals, and senior fares on public transportation!
What’s REALLY so funny about aging is that no one ever told me how great aging could be!
For an upbeat, honest look at aging, check out “What’s so Funny about Aging?” – a workshop that takes a closer look at the topic. Call Amanda: 508.862.6395