Wednesday, November 26, 2014

.....a Creative Way for Remembering Loved Ones

Again this Thanksgiving, tradition will meld with warmth and thankfulness as family and dear friends gather at our home. Like many families, our Thanksgiving is multi-generational. We span a century--the oldest is R at 101; the youngest not yet a year old. Also like many families, family and friends who once joined us for Thanksgiving dinner are no longer with us; they have died. Others now occupy their place at the table, but they do not take their place.

As I began setting the table the first Thanksgiving after Mom died, I got out the plastic bag that contains the place cards from Thanksgivings past. I was feeling sentimental. The wish to have Mom with us or at least honor her memory was there; yet I couldn't figure out what to do without dampening the mood.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Aging Parents: Control and Respect--Do We Inadvertently Mess Up at Thanksgiving (and other times)?

                                        You may have received the Thanksgiving forward below--or not...

In any case, I share it. Supposedly it's from a grandmother. Disregarding its length and the possibility that a non-grandmother created it, it conveys an important message--irreverently highlighting elders' values--exaggerating basic, irksome things younger people, whether adult children or beloved grandchildren, do. Even if we don't get caught up in the specifics or the humor, the need for elders to have control and respect comes through loud and clear.

I've become even more keenly aware recently. For Senior Advisor R, now 101, life has become hard work. There may be no other 101-year-old in this country who still lives alone in her own home of 65+ years, getting regular help only 4 hours a week from a cleaning person. Admittedly neighbors on both sides and across the street discretely watch out for her 24/7. I've written about this previously. They treasure her.

To view entire blog and read Grandma's letter, please visit my other site.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Aging Parents: Problems Swallowing Pills? Here's Help

Prescriptions for pills--more prevalent as people grow old. Yet before we are old, many of us are accustomed to taking nonprescription pills. Perhaps that's the time we learn whether swallowing pills is easy for us. But what about aging parents and older people?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Aging Parents: Making Room--With Mom and Dad Living Beside You

Make Room For the In-Laws.
"...Why space for aging parents is a hot real-estate amenity now."

"Put away the snarky in-law jokes," we read. "For both domestic and foreign buyers, the hottest amenity in real estate these days is an in-law unit, an apartment carved out of an existing home or a stand-alone dwelling built on the homeowners' property. While adult children get the peace of mind of having mom and dad nearby, real-estate agents say the in-law accommodations are adding value to their homes." WSJ 11/7/14

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Terrariums: Easy Care Live Plants in Little Landscapes--Easily Made, Great Gifts..

Before the holidays, before the time crunch, why not make or purchase a terrarium? Older people, especially, are enchanted by these little creations. Nature is restorative. Watching these manageable little gardens grow and bloom keeps everyone interested..... and that helps parents age well.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Aging Parents: The Importance of Psychological Support from Adult Children

When people live alone (with a diminished social network and plenty of time to think), it’s easy to dwell on problems and become depressed. That’s when my counseling training automatically kicks in–
                                          Words and Listening

Really listening is a skill. We usually hear and respond in ways that seem appropriate and there’s nothing wrong with that.  But really listening can put us in the other person’s head and allows us to show understanding with a simple phrase (e.g. “it must be so hard,” “it sounds very frustrating”) –few words; no advice.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Aging Parents: Halloween Ideas Roundup: Part 2 --8 Things Aging and Elderly Adults Can Look Forward To

kids halloween costume picture     Princesses, witches, and pirates are set to rule this Halloween.    Credit: Getty.

An active, appropriately-involved grandmother recently said: "Oh! I won't be able to resist going to my daughter's and seeing the kids in their costumes before they go trick or treating." She was looking forward.

We can never be 100% certain when we plan ahead for older people, because stuff happens--usually more for/to them than us. Yet we know giving older people something to look forward to lifts spirits. Below are 8 plan-ahead, look-forward to--ideas that, at most, require transportation on  our part.

To view entire post, please go to my other site.