Senior Connection

Nov 8, 2012

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday honoring armed service veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11th. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919.

The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. A Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954.

Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

Nov 1, 2012

Positive Affirmations

by Eric Leverone, CMAA Associate

When coping with caregiver stress, the power of positive thinking should not be underestimated. Of course managing your time, handling the many emotional ups and downs and physical exhaustion that accompany the role of caregiving is difficult. However, you do not need to let negative emotions take control and allow them to interfere with your quality of daily living. You are in the driver’s seat when you take control of your emotions with positive affirmations.

Positive affirmations are a great tool for turning negative emotions into positive ones. They help reprogram your subconscious mind to think positively instead of negatively. In order to make a positive affirmation you first have to create a statement of intention. For example, you might want to have a greater feeling of peace, so you would make the statement “I am feeling more peaceful every day.” Make sure that the statement is phrased in a pro-active and positive way. For a positive affirmation to be effective it must be phrased as if it were already true. Instead of saying “I want to feel more peaceful” or “I wish I was more peaceful,” make sure to say “I am feeling more peaceful.” You also want to be sure your making a positive affirmation that is realistic and not too extreme. Be careful not to make such a statement as “the entire world is my oyster and I am the greatest person alive.” Statements like this will cause your subconscious mind to question its validity and label it as untrue. Once you have created your positive affirmation, make sure you frequently say it to yourself. Repeating it several times in the morning, afternoon, and before bed makes for an effective positive affirmation that is helpful to all stressed out caregivers.

Just about any caregiver scenario that is burdened with stress will benefit from positive affirmations. Take Melinda for instance. She is a hardworking 50 year old caregiver for her 88 year old father who lives at home with her. Between her day job, babysitting for her grandchildren, and caring for her father, she has very little time to herself for which she can rest and recharge. Melinda feels as though her father doesn’t always appreciate all her effort and hard work. In fact, her father sometimes complains about what she makes for dinner. She often gets upset and yells at her father when he does this, and sometimes says things she regrets later. When this happens, she unwittingly allows her father to control her emotions that give rise to anger. When Melinda decides to make a positive affirmation she takes control of her emotions and doesn’t allow herself to feel unappreciated, despite her father’s complaints. She creates the positive affirmations “I make tasty, nutritious meals for dinner” and “I remain happy amongst my father’s grievances.” Repeating these positive affirmations to herself several times a day for many weeks, she eventually finds them to be true and accomplishes them with very little effort. She has retrained her subconscious mind and now responds the way she would like to without letting her father get the better of her. Melinda’s father still complains about dinner sometimes but, to his surprise, she no longer yells or gets upset. He is beginning to realize his complaints do not affect her and voices them less often.

For Melinda and any caregiver, the power of positive thinking is a real force with real results. It is a great tool that can only make the quality of your daily life better. So please take the time to examine your caregiving experience and make the positive affirmations that are going to make your life better and less stressful. Even if you are not convinced that a few words repeated to yourself over and over will make a difference, try it and you might be surprised. Just remember to stay positive!


To Enhance The Quality Of Life For Area Seniors And Their Caregivers, The Central Massachusetts Agency On Aging Will Provide Leadership, Information And Resources, Coordination Of Services And Advocacy.