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They Gave Us the Greatest Gift, Time!

I hope that you’re recovering from our brief, but BOLD Arctic Blast last week, as we’re recovering nicely. Today we’re headed towards a high of 69 degrees…only in Oklahoma.

With millions of homes still without power in Texas, and folks doing their best to get back to normal…let’s keep the folks in Texas and other states hit hard by the Winter blast in our daily prayers. That’s what friends do!

I’ve always approached this blog from a research/information angle, but as my Mother would say, I always do my best writing when I shoot from the heart.

We were just having so much fun!

Sandi’s parents Ron & Carolyn Patty have been one of the greatest influences of Sandi’s and my now over 25 years together. It just seems like yesterday, as Papa & I were walking around a LaQuinta Motel in Florida, as I was attempting to map out a plan for his Daughter and soon to be seven kids. As unexpected family moments have happened over the course of 25 years, Papa is quick to ask, Now did you see that at LaQuinta?”

More often than not, my answer is, “No” as the Lord continues to do exceedingly, abundantly more that I can ever think or ask for in our lives. The Lord has been so good!¹

As I think about Papa’s influence on my life, there are two things that really stand out. His life has served as a mark for me. What I mean by that, is that he has lived a well-lived life even before I had a working definition of what that looked like.

Tenor, with the Christian Brothers Quartet, a quartet that every Church of God boy knew, listened to, and hoped that someday could sing just a little like. In the days of Quartets, Papa was one of the clearest, soaring voices that simply was one of those rare gifts. If that wasn’t enough, he was also a tremendous athlete, growing up in the 40’s & 50’s from Sapulpa, OK., he could master anything that had a ball.

Football, Basketball, Baseball, & Golf — whatever was in season, he played it. And after a stellar college career, he went on to be inducted in the Anderson University Athletic Hall of Fame. His pitching & baseball ability got him looks from the then Brooklyn Dodgers, and NY Yankees, as Mickey Mantle was one of his heroes.

Athletic skills aside, what makes Papa so formidable is his ability to coach. I don’t know if there’s a more positive person on this planet. His undying encouragement & positivity have been a constant in my life, as I’ve tried to life that well-lived life. Trying to hit his mark. Only makes sense, as Coach John Wooden and his Pyramid of Success, was his model for coaching.²

And then, there’s Nana!

And then there’s Carolyn, or as we affectionately call her, Nana. She too was from Oklahoma, and grew up in a Ministry family that gave her such a gift of hospitality and grace. Visits to their home, were legend. As the food, fun, and family were all tied together with such grace, and always with an, “I love you, today.”

That phrase, has also become a part of our family syntax, and usually ends most family conversations, FaceTime’s or gatherings.

But Papa is also quick to say, “The real musician in the family is Nana!” A classical pianist, she still practices to this day, scales, arpeggios and keeps her technique sharp. As she accompanied the Christian Brothers Quartet and the Patty Family, she was an early innovator in blending both Classical music with popular Sacred music. I think they’re called mash-ups today, but Nana was early on that scene! Not to mention, her amazing and warm alto voice, supported with a gift of perfect pitch — she’s the one I really get nervous singing in front of!

Nana, as did Papa, gave me a mark of what love for family, music and ministry looked like, when lived-well. Her love and grace were fertile soil for not only me, but our family to grow and become. Their 50-year concert Ministry & schedule, had only one thing that could serve as a constant interruption.

Birthday’s, Holidays, Cookouts & Snow Days were all framed wherever they were, and most usually ended up in Papa doing his famous ‘FLIPS’ with our kids — more so when they were young

Thank you, Nana. And, we love you, today.

Papa and Nana are nearing 88 years young!

Well, fast forward and now Papa & Nana are squarely living-in the sunset of their lives. Sandi & I find ourselves, much like many of you, wondering, “How can we serve Papa & Nana best in this golden sunset time of their lives?” Per usual, I began to read & collect information on the subject and there really is a plethora of good info out there.

A Growing subset of Population.

In a recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau, for the first time in our history, older adults are projected to take the population lead in less than two decades: in 2034, there will be 77 million seniors (age 65 and over) and 76.5 million children (age 18 and under). Census data currently shows that middle-aged Americans already outnumber children as well. Sandi & I will be in that number!³

The rise of seniors doesn’t stop there. A Kaiser Family Foundation study shows that the number of people ages 80 and older is projected to nearly triple between 2010 and 2050 to about 31 million, while the number of people in their 90s and 100s will quadruple from 2 million to 8 million.⁴

Baby boomers have enjoyed more birthdays than previous generations for a while now, and news headlines about the “rise of seniors” has made more appearances in the last decade. But as we move closer in years to this official demographic shift, the challenges associated with it become more pressing.

Here are four challenges facing seniors today:

  1. Physician shortage: A growing senior population with increasing care needs requires a physician surge, but data suggests a shortage instead. Per the Association of American Medical Colleges, a shortage of up to nearly 122,000 physicians is expected by 2032, right around the time when seniors officially outnumber children.

  2. The cost of care: Nursing home and assisted living care is expensive and often not first choice of care delivery, but home health care is equally costly — and not generally covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

  3. Economic disparities: Some older adults willingly work well into their 80s. In some cases, their health has been compromised due to caregiving stresses or an unplanned health crisis, limiting their ability to work.

  4. Social concerns: Every day there is more data on the grief, loneliness, and isolation of seniors and the accompanying health risks — both physical and emotional. With more seniors worrying about where their next meal will come from and where they will live if they outlive their savings, the rise in rates of depression, grief, and loneliness is perhaps not surprising.

But where there are great challenges, there are greater opportunities for innovation and community, for technology and connection — and this reality offers hope and promise to our older generation and those that will follow.

Smart phones, tablets, and watches with a range of life-saving and quality of life improving health care applications empower consumers of all ages to take control of — and be more involved in — a healthy lifestyle and wellness decisions.⁵

We at CONIZO are working with Dr. Andy Rosenson, to stay on the cusp of Tele-Health Medicine and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Go to and ask Dr. Andy a question on this new and exciting frontier that he’s leading us as a pioneer. We want to be a leader in distanced medicine as our quality of care reaches well across Multi-Generations.

Here are some things you can do!

People who had good healthy habits when they were younger tend to become healthy seniors, but it is never too late. Good health habits can make a difference even to seniors who are prone to illness or have not made their health a priority in the past.

Consider these tips for keeping up with the health needs of a parent or senior:

  • Eat healthy. The digestive system slows down with age, so high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains are as important as ever. Because seniors are prone to dehydration, they should drink plenty of water to stay energized and sharp.

  • Focus on prevention. Preventative care visits, including health screenings for cholesterol levels, colon cancer, heart problems and more, qualify for Medicare coverage. Seniors also need to get vaccinations that can help prevent influenza and pneumonia.

  • Get information on medication management. Ask about and review the senior’s medications with their physician on a regular basis. Consider possible drug interactions and take note of any new symptoms (allergic reactions, drowsiness, loss of appetite and others) the senior shows after changing or starting medications.

  • Get some sleep. Frequent waking and insomnia in the night are common among seniors. Turn the lights down in the evening to spur drowsiness and make sure the senior’s bedroom is comfortable, cool and quiet.

  • Remember mental health. The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation recommends that seniors do crossword puzzles, read and write and try new hobbies to stimulate their minds and engage with the world around them. Activities like these can ward off a decline in mental health.⁶

See the full article and tips at:

Well, I started with this title, and I’ll circle back as I’ve often thought and said to Sandi that, "Mom & Dad gave us the very best gift they could have. They gave us time.” And now, as we ask ourselves. “How to serve them best?” time has to be part of our equation.

We, like many of you, are asking the same questions for the 10.4 million Seniors over 80 at the present time. I know Papa & Nana will want to keep their independence as long as possible. I believe they will — they’ve both lived a healthy lifestyle and for heaven’s sake — they come from a great Okie gene pool!

I hope you’ve been encouraged, as Papa & Nana would want it that way! If you’re contemplating care for your Senior parents, or are currently caring for them — remember at Conizo — we want to be a part of every season of our life — because we whole heartedly believe that the wisdom of one generation does intersect with the hope of another.⁷

Thanks for stopping by…Live Life Well!


  1. Bible Gateway, Ephesians 3:20 NLT,

  2. The Pyramid of Success, The John Wooden Course,

  3. US Census Bureau, The US Joins Other Countries with Aging Populations,

  4. The Kaiser Family Foundation, The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare,

  5. Navi-Health, Essential Insights, The biggest concerns facing seniors in 2020,

  6. A Place for Mom, 10 Healthy Habits for Seniors to Keep,

  7. Conizo Health and Wellness,

View Don Peslis' bio here.

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