Topics on Aging

By Juan Gallo

Mature, Bolder and Wiser

August 29, 2022

Alive and Well: Edie’s perspective on aging
Edith Kelson is a Heart2Heart volunteer who is 73 years young. When she worked with us as a volunteer coordinator earlier this year, we learned that nothing can stop Edie when she’s on a mission!

We asked her, and three others, to tell us what it means to grow older. Here’s what she had to say. 

I think of myself as mature. To me, getting older means getting wiser.

It means you can help mentor others so they don’t go through the same pitfalls you went through. Mentorship is important.

I hang around the young people, the in-between people and the more mature people. I watch a lot of shows on PBS about growing older and growing bolder.

When you’re older, the things that you used to hesitate to do, now that you’re more mature, you can do it. Not that you’re reckless, but you’re willing to try different things.

>How do I envision the rest of my life? To be honest, I would hope that I would be married and doing ministry together. Teaching God’s word.

The world ignores you when you become older or physically challenged… Some seniors don’t want to leave their houses because of it. And it’s a shame. There’s so much that more mature people can teach the younger generation.

These days, I volunteer with Heart2Heart and deliver meals with their Food for Hope program. I enjoy texting people that need to be checked on. I encourage them.

I try to take them out to lunch or dinner. Getting them out of the house – that ain’t always easy. We’ll go get massages or lunch, something like that.

I just think agencies and churches need to look at us in a different light, and they don’t. They don’t have services and resources for us. They don’t cater to us.

Things like taking us out to outings to the park or the zoo or out to eat would be great. Or they could get the young people together and have classes to teach mature citizens how to operate their phones and laptops.

The church one of my girlfriends goes to, they don’t even come to give her communion. They don’t check on her or anything.

Not my church. When my church people don’t see me, they call and check on me: “Are you alright? Do you need anything?”

A phone call once in a while is important.

The world ignores you when you become older or physically challenged. I didn’t think about when I didn’t have a disability. Some seniors don’t want to leave their houses because of it.

And it’s a shame. There’s so much that more mature people can teach the younger generation.

To volunteer with Edie, check out Heart2Heart’s outreach opportunities

Read more about:
Juan Gallo
Juan Gallo is the CEO of Heart2Heart Outreach, where he oversees the mobilization of volunteers to provide hope, share love and restore purpose to the lives of the aging population across South Florida.

He also serves as a local pastor and as an adjunct professor at Trinity International University, where he is teaching a course on diversity and aging. Juan has a master’s degree in counseling and psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor intern.


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Juan Gallo

This blog is a frank conversation about what it means to age in our society.

I want us to consider what a wider range of diverse experiences when we talk about aging. I want to reflect on how we, as a community, want our neighbors and our mothers and fathers and our grandparents to live out their latter decades of life. I want us to consider each one of their voices as we strive to meet their needs.

Join me for weekly discussions about what it means to be a senior in South Florida and how we can and should respond to the growing needs of the aging population.

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