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Publication: Fifty & Furthermore
Nursing Homes, Dating And Turning 50

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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Thursday, February 15, 2007

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn, founder of FiftyandFurthermore.com. 
Growing older can be a time for creative and passionate 
living, and I will apply my years as a psychologist to 
help you with the challenges and wonders that come with 
this new life stage."
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Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE! 

If you would like to make a comment or ask me a question, 
please email me at the address below and as always, I will 
do all I can to provide you with the advice you seek.

As I always say, "life is too hard to do alone - reach 
out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist


Please send questions and comments to: 
email Dr. Lynn

Question:

My husband has an aunt who is 93 and has just recently 
been moved in to a nursing home, because she ran out 
of money to afford her own apartment and live in 
assistance. We visited her in the nursing home last week 
and it was such a dismal, dreary place. She lives several 
hours from us. So many of the other people in the nursing 
home seem to be in their own world, with no relating to 
the other people there. I feel badly about his aunt hav-
ing to be there, but I've never had any experience with 
caring for someone who is elderly. I'm 65, and have some 
difficulty walking and with balance, so I'm not sure I 
could even care for her properly if we were able to bring 
her into our home. I guess I'm looking for some re-
assurance that she will be OK there. After visiting her, 
I hope I never have to live in a situation like that. 
Thanks for whatever encouragement you can offer.

Answer:

If this aunt is still mentally aware, then I would first 
ask her opinion of her new living situation. Perhaps you 
had a bad impression or the conditions have since im-
proved. If this is not the case however, I suggest doing 
some research on other nursing homes, ideally located 
near you. This way you wouldn't have to deal with caring 
for her 24/7 in your home, but she would be near enough 
by that you could visit and ensure the quality of her 
life there. A good nursing home should offer plenty of 
opportunity for interaction and community, as well as be 
a place the residents can call home. If you are able, 
visit other homes, ask questions about life there, and 
if possible ask to observe daily life. A nursing home 
should be a place to continue living, not to prepare for 
dying, and I do hope you can find a place that better 
suits your husband's aunt's needs.

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Question:

I have been dating a woman 20 years my junior for the 
last few months (I am in my 50s). She is great and we 
always have a great time when it is just the two of 
us out together or in for the night. But she has a 
group of girlfriends who still act like they're 21 
and whenever she brings me along, I can't help but 
feel like I don't belong. Worse is that she's told me 
these friends don't really approve of the age differ-
ence in our relationship and I don't think they care 
to get to know me any further. I've talked to my 
girlfriend about this but she tells me I'm overreact-
ing and that they'll "come around." But it makes me 
wonder if the age difference is just too much for us 
to work out. Your thoughts?

Answer:

While liking one's significant other's social circle 
is not a requirement for a successful relationship, 
not brushing off issues is. It is not necessarily a 
reflection of her age, but your girlfriend seems 
uninterested in helping you to feel more comfortable 
in her world. Of course the way you feel may be more 
a result of your own insecurities about your age, 
rather than a reflection of how you're treated, and 
if so, that is something you need to address first. 
I encourage you to invite your girlfriend and her 
friends to a place that is more your "turf" and once 
in your comfort zone, really make an effort to get 
to know them better. Just as you feel they have 
pigeonholed you due to your age, you may be doing the 
same thing. If, after you feel you've put in a good 
effort, you still are made to feel ostracized on these 
social outings, then there is nothing wrong with choos-
ing to stay home. Hopefully your girlfriend will be 
able to balance her friends and you without making 
either feel unimportant, but showing her that you are 
willing to put in the effort to fit in can only help. 
You do have a large age difference, but if you are both 
willing to work at it, your relationship can be success-
ful. 

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Question:

What do you think is the best thing about turning 50? My 
50th birthday is tomorrow and I could use some POSITIVE 
thoughts!

Answer:

First off, happy birthday! I think the best thing about 
turning 50 - or any age over 50 - is gaining the right 
to be yourself - to stand up for what you truly believe, 
to dress the way you want to dress without criticism, to 
express yourself through a new hobby that is truly YOU... 
At 50 and beyond, people respect our wisdom to know what 
is best for us. So revel in your sagedom - you've earned 
it!

Readers, what do you think the best thing about being 
fifty and furthermore is? Do share!

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     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit:              
fiftyandfurthermore.com

------------------------------------------------------------

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