Active Aging Week 2021
Active Aging Week, which takes place the first week in October, is a time to recognize the awesomeness of older adults and their active participation in society and life. Family Lifeline has many older participants who embody active aging, and we are highlighting one of them, Ms. Cathy Minor.
Ms. Cathy was referred to Family Lifeline Visiting Volunteer Program in 2016. In 2004, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and Myasthenia Gravis. She recalls the year clearly because it was her son’s senior year of high school. Before her diagnosis she worked as a registered nurse and was involved with her son’s baseball team and boy scout troop. She enjoyed gardening, which she refers to as ‘playing in the dirt’, arts and crafts, going out to eat, visiting museums, and watching the Flying Squirrels play at the Diamond.
During my conversation with Ms. Cathy, she shared that she had knee replacement surgery in July and will soon be having cataract surgery. But she doesn’t let these challenges get in the way of doing what she enjoys. When asked what she does to stay active, the feeling of excitement in her voice was evident. She talked about her love for ‘playing in the dirt’ and spoke at length about continuing to weed her garden and transplant flowers from her wheelchair.
In addition to staying active with gardening, Ms. Cathy also enjoys arts and crafts projects. She described a calendar craft project she did for family and friends. She personalized calendars with pictures, hobbies, and other events of interest for them. This project, like one of many she has completed, is what keeps her busy and helps manage her depression. In a conversation during Older Americans Month (May 2021), she shared, “Though I have MS and Myasthenia Gravis and losing a lot of my function, I don’t let it get me down. On my good days, I try to do things that are constructive and stuff. I still look at life with a positive outlook. I think about there are people worse off than I am.”
Like so many others, Ms. Cathy’s life has been uprooted by COVID-19. As a social person who “likes independence” and good conversation, she misses going out to eat and attending social events. But Ms. Cathy is not allowing it to get her down. At the same time, she shared, “I have days when I am sad, but I bounce back. We are all allowed a day!”
For more information visit https://www.activeagingweek.com/about.php