Topics on Aging

By Juan Gallo

Living to Serve 

August 22, 2022

Alive and Well: Joan’s perspective on aging
Joan Trout is 80. She has three children, 10 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Ten years ago, she gave up skiing and rollerblading but still makes it to the beach to swim as often as she can.

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

I always say I’m old. People find fault with me for that. My friend at the pool corrects me, “No, we’re older.

”I’m old. That’s what I am. 80 is old.

To me, getting older means getting closer to the end of my life. Or getting closer to heaven, let’s put it that way.

I almost think of myself at the top of the totem pole of the family. After my mom and dad died, I became the matriarch – the oldest in the family.

I get up every day and say, “Lord, what do you want me to do for you today?” Whether it’s big and small, I want to be willing.
The good part about getting older is being retired. Being retired means having more time to be involved in the community and in the church and other people’s lives. You have time to serve and be with family and friends.

You just have time, which you don’t have when you’re working.

I love to swim. I love to serve. That’s the highlight of my day.

I get up every day and say, “Lord, what do you want me to do for you today?” Whether it’s big and small, I want to be willing.

My philosophy comes from an old song:

“If I can help somebody in the world today,

If I can teach somebody’s my Master’s way,

Then my living is not in vain.”

That’s a paraphrase of the song. But that’s what I like to say. It’s how I live my life.

I’m content with 80 years. That’s a long, long time. If I live another 10, that’s great too.

I always pray, “Lord, keep me healthy or take me home.” I want to be healthy to serve him. If I no longer am able to do that, I’d just rather be with him.

If the Lord keeps me here, I’d like to have some quality of life. I don’t want to be just alive. Alive isn’t enough. I want to serve.

To volunteer with Heart2Heart, check out our 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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