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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sam on Aging + a Giveaway


Some of you know I have a day job as a hospice social worker. I know, that’s a real conversation stopper, and my job before this one wasn’t much better. I worked in psychiatry. I used to hate when people asked me at a party what I did for a living, because I’d get the deer-in-the-headlights stare and nervous giggles. Now I’m happy to say I’m a writer. Being a romance writer still gets me a few awkward jokes, but so far no one has launched into stories about their love lives, so it’s all good.

The only reason I’m bringing up my job is to explain why my blog is about such an odd topic today. Last week it seemed every visit I made to patients was at a nursing home. What some people may not realize is the nursing home is a pretty happening place. There’s always a lot of activity with entertainment coming in. (One day I showed up when the Packers were making a visit, which unfortunately was lost on me since I’m not a sports fan. I always seem to end up with the Packer encounters, much to my co-worker’s chagrin.) There are card games, exercise classes, and opportunities to shoot the breeze with people you may not have seen in a long time.

I know no one wants to be in a position of needing to have help with dressing, meals, etc., but it happens sometimes. I’ve decided if I ever live in a nursing home, I will adopt a British accent, insist on being addressed as “milady”, and observe afternoon tea. Perhaps I’ll even have some calling cards printed. If it didn’t bother the aristocrats to be waited on hand and foot, why should it bother me? I still can’t believe they didn’t dress themselves.

One thing I’ve noticed about nursing homes is every television in the public area seems to be playing Bonanza. The music programs are usually old time gospel or country. And there’s bingo several times a week. None of these things appeal to me, but for the generation that’s residing in nursing homes now, it’s what a lot of them like, which got me thinking what the activities might be like for my generation. 

Here are just a few thoughts…

* Every television will be set to The CW. Damon, Damon, and more Damon. Sigh. Okay, maybe that will mean adjusting our blood pressure meds, but who’s complaining?

* Bret Michaels will still be touring, only his bandana will cover his whole head.

* Instead of comparing surgeries, we’ll be comparing tattoos and body piercings.

* We’ll have the moves like Jagger, which will explain the broken clavicles.

* Someone will keep pulling the fire alarm, because we really, really like hot firemen.

Man, I’m starting to feel sorry for the younger generation that will have to care for us. Remember, aging is inevitable; growing old is optional!

Can you think of any other activities likely to be going on?

October 1, 2012

Today I’m giving away an ARC of my upcoming release MISS LAVIGNE’S LITTLE WHITE LIE. It’s a story about family and looking out for others, too. Oh, and there’s lots of romance and laughs included. If you would like to be entered into the drawing, just leave a relevant comment along with your email address. Contest open until 11:59 pm central time Wednesday.   


44 comments:

  1. I am sure there will be a lot of texting with inevitable typos. Should be amusing.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. So true, Debby. Only who knows what technology will be available then, but you can bet we'll be up on the latest and using it. Thanks for stopping by today. :)

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  2. LOL, Fun Blog, Samantha!

    Hmm..every nursing home will have a Starbucks in the lobby.

    All of us little old ladies will still be reading YA

    You can have the communal TV for your Vampire Diaries..I'll be watching FireFly on my iPad in my room. :-)

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    1. LOL on the Starbucks and YA! I'm coming to your room to watch FireFly. I LOVE THAT SHOW!!! It's one of my all time favorites. I did hear Sex and the City going in one of the rooms as I walked down the hall the other day, so there are some people who apparently don't care for Bonanza. :D

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    2. I didn't know you were a brown coat too! Youngest dressed as Jayne Cobb for Halloween last year. Best costume ever. No one knew who he was!

      Had to laugh, my Grandpap always has Bonanza on--or football.

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  3. First, I think your job is awesome! My mom used to be a hospice nurse, my grandmother was in hospice. It's difficult work -- really, even with my familiarity, I can't imagine how hard it must be day after day -- but it's so necessary and so powerful!

    Next, on a lighter note, I can't wait to see what the new "old" names are. Jennifer? Justin? Tiffany? Jessica? The 80s and early 90s were packed with awesome.

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    1. Aw, thanks Katie. It's the most meaningful work I've ever done, and it keeps things in perspective.

      I hadn't ever thought about the "old" names, but you're right! I wonder if the names like Gertrude and Bernice will be the new, cool names again. :D

      Do you want to be included in the drawing?

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    2. I see a table for quarters during happy hour and also a beer pong table in the corner for those who can still stand unassisted. Maybe even a bit if speed dating?

      PS. She is not kidding about the 'chagrinness' of this co-worker and how lost the awe of the Packers are on her!

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    3. LOL. I bet most people don't even know NHs have happy hour! Or maybe that's just a Wisconsin thing. :)

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    4. Yes! It's katiecbennett at hotmail dot com

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  4. Some of us will still be play acting out Star Wars in our old age. Prince William will be King. The Simpsons will be our daily comic strip and Farmville will be the new game of bridge.Law and Order SVU will haunt us in nursing homes. Old names will be Mike, Jennifer, Kimberly etc.......you can bet there will be a passel of teenagers named Anastasia,Christian,Jacob, Edward and Bella.

    Temptnfate 13 yahoo dot com

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    1. Hahaha... I can't wait to see the Star Wars re-enactments. Of course, everyone will look like Yoda. ;D

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    2. Awesome! Star Wars re-enactments! I can't wait for old age now!

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  5. Hi Samantha , I used to volunteer at nursing home too. Even though what I did is just to become a companion for them . I used to sing and read for the people at nursing home . It is very lovely of you to help the people at the nursing home :D. So I think your job us very awesome !:). I imagine that yes we would compare our tattoo or piercing :), and yes definitely growing old is optional . Could you please count me in to win your book ?:) pretty please !:). Thx Aretha , arethazhenATrocketmailDOTCOM

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    1. You bet, Aretha. How wonderful that you used to sing and read for people. I know they must have really enjoyed you. :)

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  6. Chances are I will still be reading my romance novels. I will still baking scones unless restrict to bed, then you might as well kill me. Oh mybipad will never leave my side.

    countessofmar AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. You'll just need large print books. LOL. Maybe there will be romance roundtable discussions of our favorite books!

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  7. I think we'll have groups of old people reenacting The Breakfast Club at the nursing home, with the "young folks" in charge of us playing the role of the principal. :)

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    1. LOL. Those poor whipper-snappers won't know what hit 'em. ;D

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  8. There will be pole dancing instructional classes. Our e-book reading devices will be like giant screen televisions and interactive. %0 Shades of Grey will become 50 Shades of Geritol. *snicker*

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    1. Or cane dancing. :D

      50 Shade of Geritol. Hahahaha...

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  9. Thanks for a fun post and congrats on the newest upcoming release! Wow... isn't it funny to think that the things that are so "modern" right now are going to be so outdated... I'd be the ol' lady in the corner with my Kindle while a grandkid tries to convince me to get the ocular implant that beams movies straight into my head... ;)

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, Erin! Isn't that the truth? No way are they implanting anything into my head! :)

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  10. I'm not sure -- I am caught in the generation between my elderly parents and the tatoos. Thanks for all you do. Hospice is probably in my parents' future. PS I would love a copy of the book!

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    1. Diane,
      I'll add you to the list. Could you send me your email address? Either post it here or shoot me an email at samantha@samanthagraceauthor.com.

      And thank you for recognizing the work hospice does. I've been very blessed by all the amazing people I've met through my work. :)

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  11. My daughter-in-law is a hospice nurse in Columbia, South Carolina so she was a great help when I was trying to come up with a place for my Dad. The problem is I live in Rhode Island and my Dad was living in Arizona when I got the call that he was in the hospital. My oldest sister lived near him but she couldn't "handle" the stress! Needless to say I ended up flying to Arizona and when I walked in the his physician greeted me with Hi I'm your Dad's doctor and I'm from Rhode Island! Talk about a small world because his specialty was also hospice!

    I was able to find a great home for him and it was actually a home in a regular neighborhood for people getting out of the hospital with a knowledgeable staff who took them for walks (with wheelchairs and canes) and there was a sheltered yard where the residents could sit in the sun or under a shade tree. The even ate together at the dining room table.

    I'm 65 and have survived cancer and quadruple by-pass so I have written a living will so the choices will be MY choices and someone won't have to feel guilty if they're doing the "right thing"!

    As far as I'm concerned no matter your age you should take Tim McGraw's advice and "LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING"! Take the time NOW to do all those things on your list. Tell people NOW how much they mean to you and how grateful you are that they are your friend, loved one, mother, brother, sister or lover.

    Most of all support your local hospice facilities that make it possible everyday for others to not only live with peace and understanding but to die with it as well.

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    1. What great advice, Jeanne. I was so fortunate to learn this lesson early on. Live life to the fullest and love well!

      Thanks for sharing your story with us. I wish there were more places like where your dad stayed.

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  12. Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the hospice. My sister-in-law was in hospice care and she was treated like an angel. I was amazed how much above and beyond they all went for her.

    Now, if ever I end up in a Nursing Home or Hospice, I wouldn't mind The Chippendales coming in to perform a couple of times a month. It would be a huge perk to us oldies. I think I can also see "disco dancing" in the future, plus a few poles for us to slide up and down on. Well, at least for those still able to get about :-)

    Thank you for this opportunity. I love your books Samantha. :-)

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    1. Diane,
      That's brilliant!!! The Chippendales are a must! You know, they actually have poles physical therapists recommend for some people as opposed to bars in the bathroom. I suppose we could drag those out. ;D

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  13. That's great of you to help others. Good idea about turning the tv stations to the CW.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  14. Samantha! you guys are making old age sound like fun! Definitely need Chippendale visits in my future and I'll totally be pulling the fire alarm for the hot, young fire men. I always said there's nothing sexier than a man in uniform. Never thought I'd say that I'm looking forward to old age but with all these ideas, I can't say that I'm not lol.

    Great post and I do so love your new cover!

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    1. Thanks, Suzie! Yeah, what is it about a man in uniform? I can't help but turn my head every time I see a soldier in camo. It ups his hot quotient by 50% at least!

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  15. Great post, I can just see all those oldsters pulling the fire alarm so they can see some hot firemen. :D I've always wondered what all those tattoos and piercings are going to look like on an 80 year old, it's going to be interesting. I think they might be playing dungeons and dragons or video games instead of bingo.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

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    1. Good point on the video games! There is one facility where the residents play Wii, and I just love that place. They also have the sweetest house dog they adopted from the shelter, and he makes his rounds to get his head scratched.

      With the back tattoos, at least the CNAs will have something interesting to look at while they wipe bottoms. LOL

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  16. Lots of plastics surgery? Botox injections by nursing aides? I'm wondering if we could shake our groove things to 80s music in our 80s.

    What I don't understand is why the food at hospices and retirement homes is so tasteless, even at the nice ones. Is it because older folks can't taste too well anyway?

    cgnemesis [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. I wonder if the food will be the same in facilities as time goes on. I remember my grandparents were pretty basic in their food choices. My granny seasoned things with salt, pepper, and lard. They weren't exposed to different cultural foods like we are.

      I will say there is another facility in our area that has a fancy dining room with a real chef. They have nice linens, goblets, and candles on the tables. I've eaten there, too, and the food is good. You have to bring your own wine if you want it, though, but from what I understand, that wasn't unusual in the 30s & 40s. Maybe that's why flasks were popular at one time.

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  17. Lots of Italian and Mexican food, a room with the floor covered with sand and the walls painted to look like an ocean view with fans blowing sea-scented breezes, hot 20-somethings in kilts or wrapped in manly sarongs bringing us drinks and giving us massages.

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    1. Oh, man! I think you're describing heaven!!! :)

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  18. LOLs! I can imagine you'll be one of those that the others refer to as an eccentric lady! Where I live (Asia) the older generation love playing a (gambling) game called mahjong (if some of u are familiar with that). Guessing that nursing homes would have gaming parlors set up for that! Kinda fun & very noisy since it's played with little mahjong tiles that make quite a racket.

    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

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    1. Linda,
      I've always wanted to learn to play mahjong. I didn't know gambling was involved, though. I'd probably lose the shirt off my back, then I'd really be the eccentric lady! LOL

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  19. We'll read our favorite books over & over and each time will fee like the first time because we won't remember them!

    Cason1999@gmail.com

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    1. That sounds really lovely! What a perfect reason to have a keeper shelf. :)

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  20. Congratulations to Erin! You are the winner of the copy of MISS LAVIGNE'S LITTLE WHITE LIE. :)

    Thank you to everyone for joining us yesterday, and for the great discussion. I really enjoyed reading everyone's responses.

    All best,
    Samantha

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