Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Great Personalized Mother's Day Gift 2015 from Help! Aging Parents

.....A great Mother's Day Gift--for Mothers and Grandmothers
thoughtful, personal, one-of-a-kind

I love reusing stuff and this wonderfully-decorated picture frame caught my eye several years ago at Linda's home. She decorated it for her mother with an old photo of the two of them, surrounded by various mementos and "stuff." Click photo to enlarge. Personalization possibilities are limited only by our imagination. 

It's inexpensive and easy to make--just get the frame, buy some glue, and gather all the meaningful mememtos, unmatched earrings, and old jewelry and buttons you can find.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Aging Parents: Forcing Resistant Parents to Do What's In Their Best Interest

Can we force resistant parents to do what's in their best interest when they're dead set against it, maintain our relationship, and have no guilt?  


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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Aging Parents: When Parents Resist Help and Advice


The short answer is “no”–assuming aging parents have what 101-year-old Sr. Advisor R calls “a good head on their shoulders” and they’re doing nothing that threatens life and limb. If we try to force something that even suggests limiting parents’  independence or autonomy, we enter dangerous emotional territory.......

What is the motivation to force elders to do something?
1.  our feeling about parents’ judgment
2.  the consequences of–and for–our relationship with parents (earlier, now, future)
3.  Parents’ age, health, near-accidents or scary events, a doctor’s recommendation or friends’  recommendations may contribute.

Possibly omitted, however, is this thought–

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Friday, April 3, 2015


Passover and Easter: Another chance to lift elders' spirits and Help Parents Age Well 

Easter and Passover celebrate miracles. While we can't make miracles, showing thoughtfulness to our elders is precious. (Actually it can be a miracle if normally unthoughtful family members decide to "buy in.") And adding interest to life helps parents and the elders we care about age well.

Grocery stores, drug stores, and Dollar-type stores have countless inexpensive items for Easter baskets.

A little cash and a little creativity, and ribbon and some cellophane if you like, can turn an ordinary basket into an unexpected surprise that lifts spirits and brings smiles.
A bottle of wine, a and a box of matzos anchor Passover baskets nicely. Candy, flowers and/or green plants are a happy addition to all holiday baskets.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Aging Parents: How Dangerous is Caregiving to One's Health?

11% of family caregivers report that caregiving has caused their physical health to deteriorate. [The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP--2009), Caregiving in the U.S. National Alliance for Caregiving. Washington, DC.] - Updated: November 2012


Family caregivers who are in good health are in a better position to help parents age well. No surprise here.  Reading the statistics about family caregivers' health several years ago was sobering. The Family Caregiver Alliance's  2012 "Selective Care Statistics Fact Sheet," reports: "of those caring for someone aged 65+, the average age is 63 years with one third of these caregivers in fair to poor health." The November 2012 report's fact sheet is easy-to-read but long. However, it's well-organized by topics--eg. gender, age, impact on working female caregivers, gender and care tasks--making selective reading easy. Example: 

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Aging Parents--90th birthday: Elton John's mother throws her own birthday party for 80 guests, minus Elton, + an Elton John look-alike.

 Estranged Mother and Son
Gossipy posts are a rarity–if ever–on my blog. That said, being an Elton John fan, the Daily Mail’s article interested me, most especially because of his elderly mother’s seemingly very sound reasoning, which gives clues as to why–at 90– she appears to have aged very well.

Money, of course, helps. While she obviously knows how to dress and look good and throw a party, she's articulate, still has a good mind, and is certainly in touch with her feelings. When one lives a long life, regardless of economic circumstances, major losses and big disappointments are a part of it. The way they are dealt with certainly affects aging well and happy–or not.

(Note that the author of the Daily Mail’s article, Why my son Elton hasn’t spoken to me for seven years, says Elton’s mother, Ms. Farebrother, “was happy for our conversation to be recorded and indeed has approved every word of this article.”)

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Aging Parents and Caregiving--Joan Lunden's story

"Joan Lunden on Challenges, Guilt and Caregiving. Her breast cancer battle and selfless life story are inspiring."  Reblogged from this week's nextavenue, PBS's online newsletter.

Joan Lunden
Photo from JoanLunden.com

...Lunden’s life has been a series of triumphs and challenges. As a young girl, she lost her father, a cancer surgeon, in a plane crash. As she began her career as a TV broadcast journalist 30 years ago, she also became a caregiver both to her brother, who had health complications from type 2 diabetes, and to her mother, who was eventually diagnosed with dementia. 

What Lunden didn’t know at the time, she says, is that caring for her brother and mother simultaneously is when her caregiving journey began........... 

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