With 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day, there is an increasing number actively pursuing “life after retirement.” Some are embarking on a second career, others community service, and others are resuming activism of their youth. However, all are seeking a way to remain relevant. This concept has been referred to as Conscious Eldering or Conscious Aging. What does Conscious Aging mean today?
I once attended a Dementia Friendly Community Forum in Oconomowoc, where former Governor Martin Schreiber shared touching stories about his personal experience as caregiver for his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease. His stories related to the topic of reality orientation therapy and validation therapy.
Reality orientation and validation therapy are tools to help us respond to confusion brought on by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in a positive and beneficial way. We want to increase happy emotions and reduce distress and anxiety.