Does Aging & Decline Affect Our need for Love?


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1.—–Does aging lessen or increase your wish for love?

2.—-Do you need more love from other people especially when you feel that you are declining?

3—– What is the reason that you feel you need more or less love? What causes that change to happen?

4—–What form does your wish for love take?

5—– Does the fact that you are weakening influence your wish or need for more love?

6—–Do you want more caring, reassurance and encouragement?

7—–Would that help you to adapt to the realization of aging and decline?

8—— Do you want to to be physically loved; to have more close physical contact, sexual contact, verbal contact?


How do you handle these wishes and feelings?

Do you feel lonely? Do you withdraw from others?

Does feeling less necessary influence a wish for more love?

Do you seek love and support when you feel this way?

Do you have energy to search for contact from others?

Do you try to gratify yourself by:

(a)   sleeping, watching TV.

(b) eating, crying , reading.

(c ) talking about this with other people.   Whom do you talk to?

(d) getting sick (headaches, falling).

(e) keeping busy, volunteering.

(f) remembering meaningful moments with people and things you have loved.


Can you tolerate not having these wishes to be loved met?

I hold these truths to be self evident

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The rose of sharon alongside the garage

catches my eye as we see the last of summer,

and there in the driveway, still announcing the arrival of spring,

a robin is doing whatever it is that robins do before they leave.


I watch from the doorway recollecting a time

when myrtle carpeted the woods across the street,

and now small patches call me to gratitude….


Lily of the valley standing fast where the rock garden was.

The time when Mama’s purple clematis climbed the rain spout.

The dogwood that my father planted,

the mothers day geraniums, pansies on the stoop

and the trumpet vine… proclaiming


Continuing to prod my memory with sprouts

generations walk the path with small bouquets

of violets and myrtle for kitchen window sills,

with fragrant fresh cut lilacs… and daisies in June.


When dis-ease first worried its way into our lives,

denial came to the rescue, easier not to accept…

but balance is a fine line and there was no net.


What about me!! What if I were to fall!!!


There is a place between yes and no,

a place where there are no answers.

Acceptance is a process, and doses of reality

doled in starter pieces are bearable


But when the full dose came! I was gasping for relief..

a starving piglet flailing for a sows teats

until the reality became acceptable.


But there are times when I wonder how it can be real.

And inside the house, the air conditioner,

having hummed its way through summer

is barely heard these waning days…


Lillian Rumfield Bryson, August 2016

What Sustains Us As We Age?

Older adults need sustenance in order to push onward in the face of aging.


Earlier goals during younger or middle years may have to be altered and accommodations to be made to adjust to decline.

  1. How do you sustain yourself in late life?

What would you tell your younger self about your life now?

  1. What has helped you to survive until now?
  1. Do memories of past successes come into your mind now?

Have these successes lost their meaning to you?

4.   Are there touchstones in you life that re-assure you now? What are they?

What touchstones comfort you?

Unknown-3.jpeg         Do you hold on to them?

  1. Are there particular objects, clothing and memorabilia that you love and treasure that have meaning to you?

Do you want to hold on to these memories?

6.    Are there places that have a particular meaning to you?  Do you revisit them?

  1. Are there people who you love to visit or to be with?  Who are they?
  1. Are there people who you remember visiting or places that you used to visit that are not available to you now?

Do you think about them?

  1. For what have you gotten recognition during your lifetime?

10. Have you held on to that part of you that had recognition earlier?  Do you give                recognition to yourself?

How Old is Too Old For Sex?

Older people are having intimate relations well into their 70’s and 80’s.  More tolerant societal attitudes and Viagra have challenged traditional attitudes toward the wishes of older people to have sex.  This article tells about the efforts and policies at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale  which has loosened regimens in order to support individual choice  to its residents.  Happy hours are organized and there is a dating service called G-Date (grandparents’s date).   It’s a shift from institutional  care to individualized care, giving older people choices.

Daniel Reingold, the president and Chief Executive of Riverspring Health, said that growing old was all about loss: vision, hearing, mobility, even friends.  “Why should intimacy have to go,too? We don’t lose the pleasure that comes with touch,” he said.  “If intimacy leads to a sexual relationship, then let’s deal with it as grown-ups.”  The nursing home has a sexual expression policy posted on the homes’ website and is reviewed with staff members.

Read this interesting article by clicking the link photo above.


Facing Reality of Older Age with Adult Children

Who is more aware of the limited time left as you move into your 70’s and 80’s, you or your children?


As your abilities become limited or compromised, what is their response?

Do your children deny that you have physical changes related to aging?

Do they notice changes?

For example:

— limitations in walking, climbing stairs.

—Inability to remember things, thinking more slowly.

—Forgetting where you put household items, mail, pocket books?

—Forgetting appointments, memories.

—hospital stays, needing a cane, a walker.



  1. If they do notice that you are changing, do they offer help?

2.  Do they distance themselves from you? avoid you?

3.  Do they form more peer relationships?

4.    Do you expect more help from them?

5.  Do they offer you more help if you request it?

Physical help?

Financial help?

Problem solving assistance?

Relieving you of some of your responsibilities?

6.  What kind of reaction would you like from them?

How do you react if your kids don’t want to deal with your changes related to aging?

a) Why would they want to avoid facing the reality of your aging?

b) Are they in mourning for you before you go?

c) Is it the pain of losing their memory of you?

d) How do you feel if they want to avoid talking with you about the changes they see?

e)   Is this something that you can talk about with them?

f) Do you see them trying to recreate memorable occasions with you?

g) Do you think they are anticipating inheriting money when you go?


by Lillian Rumfield Bryson, age 86

pont-du-gard-2_980x551.jpgThis is about bridges

about when to cross them.. and maybe not

about learning by example and experience

and having a stockpile that is waiting

Clay from the earth sustained by the sea

changing with the tide


This is about structure..

braces and bits from the refiners ashes

reworked by the anvils choice to expand

to absorb, to bear the weight, the woe, the wonder


A bridge can fill the mold if you like.. or break it

it is the reality that dreams are made of

the truth that belies bold promises

It is beauty

Bridges come from.. they lead to, support divide

they are roads to returning, they fill the gap

while you learn, love, deny, define, decide

while you become




Norman Lear, 93, “Not Dead yet”

This article by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady applauds the legendary writer of “All in the Family “as he looks at aging. Here is an excerpt from the article.

“We spent most of 2015 directing “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.” (opens in theaters July 8).   During production, Mr. Lear, whose birth predates television (though he went on to revolutionize it) artfully dodged any questions we posed about aging and death.

But as we went deeper, we learned that his approach is the result of a deep concern with the way our country sees the elderly — or rather, the way we choose not to see them at all. For five years, Mr. Lear has been shopping a comic series called “Guess Who Died,” which takes place in a retirement community — but he has not been able to sell it. Mr. Lear knows the series is funny. He’s convinced that Madison Avenue’s fixation with the lithe and intoxicating 18-29 demographic has torpedoed his chances to get a few old faces on the tube.”

Click on the above link to read the article.  Click on the arrow to watch the touching video of Lear listening to actors in the proposed series read aloud the script  about the problems of aging. He is touched by his words from five years ago being read by his friend, and he cries.