Saturday, July 7, 2007

To be old in a young society

That was the name of a three-day seminar, a sort of in service training.
I registered just for the first day.
Arnold Rosin, the expert in Gerontology gave a good rendering of mobility in old age, demonstrating how when starting to loose the feeling of balance, walking gets restricted with age. In the end we are inclined to stay put and not go out any more.
It was followed by a talk on feeding difficulties in old age and another talk about becoming grandparents. Neither of them brought new light to the subject for me, nor were they very informative
During a pretty long lunch break participants got a chance to get to know each other. That was the best part of the day.
The majority of women were from Kibbutzim. Most of them being caretakers of old people with Parkingson, Alzheimer and other severe handicaps, their general opinion of old people, being colored by that.
They were amazed to meet somebody my age, having an opinion of my own, using the computer and inter-net, participating actively in the seminar.

Repeatedly I mentioned the fact that they always talk about us old people, but not with us.

In the evening we had a workshop on Psychodrama.
A young girl who has studied the subject, gave first an introduction, telling us that it is based on the theory by Moreno, and after that she did a few exercises with us.
A young woman from Kibbutz Ruchama chose me as her partner. We were asked, each to talk for two minutes, telling an episode from our childhood. We then had to chance places and retell the other person’s story in her own words to the group.

It was at that exercise that I realized once more how important positive early childhood memories are. They stay with one for a lifetime.
Even in old age I can build on it when reconstructing my narrative.
The seminar day was long and at the end I was dead tired.

Next morning, I opened Google and looked up under Moreno to make sure that I had correctly understood what psychodrama is all about.

Moreno demonstrates basic techniques such as self-realization, doubling, and role-reversal, using actual students from his Beacon training school. We see Moreno’s powerful and unique style as his concepts come to life.

I had gained greater insight into what I had learned many years ago.

On Tuesday I shall give a talk about how to grow old and keep the balance between what I would like to do and what I am able to do.
I shall stress the importance of formulating our special needs as old people and have prepared a couple of folk tales to demonstrate my point.
I wonder how it will come across.

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