Often times in the community, we hear comments such as, “Keiro is for old people.” But when should we really start thinking about aging? How about the baby boomers? Keiro sat down with Virginia “Gini” Ishida, a frequent participant of Keiro’s programs, and asked about her thoughts around aging. She had a simple answer, “There’s no time to think about growing old.”

Keeping the Mind Stimulated

Gini shared, “people who think about getting old focus too much on themselves and they tend to concentrate on their aching bodies, sagging skin, age spots, and graying hair. They seem to age faster, too.” To keep herself busy, Gini has emersed herself in activities such as going to church, doing sudoku puzzles, playing games on her iPad, tending to her garden, doing crafts and art projects, taking care of her handicapped sister, and much more. But of all the things she does, Gini is most passionate about volunteering. She volunteers her time with many older adults and does her best to help keep them healthy by emphasizing the importance of keeping your mind stimulated and active. She said, “I do enjoy [working with] them, and whatever I can do or whatever they need, I am there for them.”

The Next Generation of Older Adults

When it comes to her involvement with Keiro, Gini is a regular attendee of the Keiro Virtual Forums because of the variety of topics available. She continues to support Keiro’s efforts because she finds many benefits in the resources offered, including the annual Caregiver Conference, Nikkei Senior Network, and Iyashi Care, because it keeps people active. “I look to Keiro for ways to help the ones who are getting older or alone. There are a lot of people out there that need to know about Keiro and that there is something out there to help them.”

Though Gini does not consider herself old, she knows that aging is inevitable.  She recounted a story of visiting her mother one day. “She opened up the door and this little old lady popped out. And I am thinking, ‘Who are you?’ and it was my mom! From that point on, I know it is going to happen to me, but until that time comes, I keep myself busy.” She finds comfort in knowing that Keiro is not only there for the older adults like those who she currently works with, but will be there for the next generation of older adults as well.