Growing Older

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish
 in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”  Psalm 92:12-14
Recently I’ve been reading a book called Elderhood, by Louise Aronson, a geriatrician.  It’s an interesting book, and has a lot to say about how our doctors and medical establishment often don’t do a good job of treating seniors.  Our health goals and needs are different than younger adults.  Certain treatments and tests which are worthwhile for someone middle-aged and fairly healthy, can actually be damaging to a frail, elderly person.  As a former hospital buyer, I find this all very interesting, and I agree with most of her conclusions.
In addition, she speaks of how our society in general, favors youth, and older people are made to feel less valuable, and even “invisible.”  What stinkin’ thinkin’ this is!  Every stage of life has pros and cons, and not all age-related changes are for the worse.  Studies have shown that:
“… by their later sixties or early seventies, older adults surpass younger adults on all measures, showing less stress, depression, worry, and anger, and more enjoyment, happiness, and satisfaction.”
Older people often report that this stage of life brings freedom– they care less about what others think;  have greater confidence in their own abilities;  develop clarity of purpose.  Once retired and done with child-rearing, they are able to concentrate on the things that they enjoy and are most important to them.
More to the point, the bible verse above tells us that old age can still be a time of hope and growth–so it must be true!  God still has a plan for each of us. You don’t have to be young to mentor a teen, serve meals at the mission or send a card of encouragement, or even create a blog!
 Don’t be discouraged if you’re a senior citizen! We’re older and wiser;  we can continue to bear good fruit.

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