Independence Day marks a historical occasion for the United States of America. It is usually celebrated with fireworks, outdoor events, and lots of good food! Vacations and schedules are planned around the historical day. The summer is in full swing and many eagerly await much needed time with family and friends. The wonderful staff of our LifetimeWellness.us partners have planned special events to commemorate this day. Spending time asking our seniors how they spent this holiday as a child will spark conversations that will help them to recall memories. Memory care is a valuable service provided by www.Lifetimewellness.us and is a vital component of our wellness model. This activity is also part of “their story”. We offer a book called, “My Life Story”, that helps seniors share individual life history through written snapshots of events of their lives.
Sharing holiday experiences can create connections with others; helping them to feel valued and loved. Memories from the July 4th holiday may include quotes from past presidents and spokespersons that have placed a premium on personal freedoms. Patrick Henry, the great orator of the American Revolution, has often been quoted for his fiery speeches. You may recall this famous quote, when Henry gave a rousing speech to the Virginia legislature in 1775.
“Give me liberty or give me death!”—Patrick Henry
His influence is still reverberating to this very day. Personal freedoms are valued and highly revered by all. This is the gold standard for the American way of life. Yet, there is often a tendency to forget the significance of the origins of this day. The significance of freedom’s cry on this holiday is often lost in the excitement of the fireworks and barbeque. Frances Scott Key penned the words that sum it up best. “ America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.” He wrote this in 1814, and these words have resonated powerfully through the singing of our national anthem.
Famous quotes and musical lyrics capture the essence of our independence. It is a hard fight! Self efficacy and the struggle to preserve one’s core values strikes at the heart of the senior population. Men and women that have experienced the Great Depression, World World II, Vietnam, and other battles of the last century are well acquainted with the hard fought struggle for independence. Moreover, the battle for many seniors is fought on a different front. Often the battle is to overcome the obstacles in day to day struggles. The ability to make their own decisions. The intense daily conflict to recall memories and the ability to care for themselves. Preservation of independence is something that everyone will go to battle for. Independence is what we strive for. Depending on others is something most want to avoid. It is the American way to “pull ourselves up from our bootstraps.” Longevity of life can bring an interdependence on others and a lack of personal decision making.
Aging well is vital to overcoming the potential factors that deter quality of life. There are many parallels that can be drawn from the subject of freedom. Freedom is hard wired in the DNA of a human being. In the midst of reflections of freedom on July 4th, think of those that are fighting battles of a different kind. Some are fighting to maintain the ability to think, move, or simply tend to a beautiful flower garden. Memory is not often embraced as a freedom when you are young. Most will not understand this until memories begins to fade. It is important to remember what this nations stands for, to remember those brave men and women who fought tirelessly to rise above tyranny. It creates thankfulness to remember those in our communities and families that have given so much to our country and to remember those that have given their lives, so you may prosper. Take some time to reflect and be thankful for this special holiday, and think of those that are fighting daily to remain independent. The fight for freedom remains alive in all of us. Independence is worth the FIGHT!
The winter months often bring with them a time to reminisce – and create new memories. But for anyone who struggles with memory decline, this time of year can be a tough reminder of memories lost.