Saturday, August 16, 2014


"Good job!" How often do parents say this simple phrase to their children. Good parents praise and reinforce self-worth. No elaboration needed. What is needed is the reminder of how easily self-esteem can be unwittingly undermined in the elderly--be it by strangers, acquaintances, or family members.

Is it due to assumptions people make about older people?
Is it that a well-meaning phrase, used to show affection, is actually belittling to a proud elder?
Is it that an unthinking remark, in response to an elder's age-related issue, hurts?

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Aging Parents: Do We Support or (Inadvertently) Cripple Them--2 Independence

Is it safe to say we're all guilty of interfering with our parents' independence at one time or another? 

When we're busy--because of our other responsibilities to work, family, caregiving--it's perfectly normal to want to get it done and move on, rather than wait for an older person to do it at his--or her--slower pace.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Aging Parents: Do We Support or (Inadvertently) Cripple Them?

It's easy to do things out of love and wanting to help that are not necessarily in older people's best interest. It's easy to do what we think is right--or is the only way we know how--without realizing it isn't helpful and may, indeed be harmful. What's at risk? What are the options?

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

To Help Parents Age Well: US News & World Report: Best Hospitals 2014-2015

U.S. News Ranks Best Hospitals 2014-15

Again this year, US News & World Report, has published its Best Hospitals issue. Of the 17 hospitals to make the 2014-15 Honor Roll, top honors in Geriatrics are earned by Mayo Clinic in Rochester, followed by Mt. Sinai in New York, UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and Massachusetts General in Boston. Click above link for Geriatrics honor roll.

For difficult and out-of-the ordinary diagnoses and procedures the best hospitals are most likely to have the most experience, so aren't we're also talking about best doctors here? It makes sense to have the above list, should especially worrisome health issues arise.

For more "garden-variety" health issues there are many fine regional hospitals which are recognized in this issue of US News & World Report.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Cleaning Out My Elderly Parents' Soon-to-be-sold Home

Going Through 80+ Years of Meaningful Moments

 Sorting                                    Then VP Richard Nixon--campaigning
                                                and a vintage photo of boys playing marbles?

It's tedious. Making decisions--what goes (and to whom); what stays; what we think we can sell, and what gets shredded on the (I think) first-generation shredder in my parents' home. Tackling the many boxes' contents can feel like a newbie's climb up Mt. Everest. I've hated and loved every minute.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Aging Parents' Homes: Estate Sa;e

We survived day one of the 2-day estate/tag sale. Admittedly I am very tired; am also fervently hoping to get a good night’s sleep tonight.

My energy level is its best in the morning. I’m tired at the end of a normal day–whatever “normal” is. And today, after rummaging through countless personal items (meaning they’d mean nothing to anyone else), I’m taking my own advice and crawling into bed. Tomorrow is another day— estate/tag sale day at the house.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014


There’s going to be a moving/estate sale this weekend. 70+ years of things to go through and clean out. People running the sale come tomorrow. It feels like the locusts are going to descend and I need to take anything of value–sentimental or otherwise–to a safe place......

.........My brother had the good sense to leave town a few days ago, leaving me to go through everything by myself. Exhausting but also a way to have an intimate kind of closure. A cousin offered to help, but I liked sifting through things and stopping to read this or smile at that–without interruptions...

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