Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Holiday Gifts for Aging Fathers and Grandfathers--1 (updated)

More gifts ideas for aging fathers and grandfathers--than I think a man could possibly want--filled my May 2011 Father's Day gifts posts: 7 categories, arranged alphabetically, from "Accessories and Clothing" to "Vision." I reread them, remembering the time and outside-the-box thinking that went into compiling the list.

Not needing to reinvent the wheel, I've updated the list and a added a bit. I'll post it in 2 parts so it's not overwhelming and conclude Saturday. Hoping that your shopping is made easier and that the aging men in your life will have smiles on their faces as they open their presents.
1.  Accessories and Clothing:

--Cane (measured correctly) or walking stick
--Hat (to shade a bald/potentially balding head)
--Sport shirt. (Dad liked long sleeve ones to protect his arms from skin cancer--a definite concern as he aged.)
--Sleeveless cardigan sweater vest (not over the head). Easier to get off and on if buttons aren't a problem. Older people run cold. Dad wore it at home. It also looked good under a jacket when he went out. (This style is hard to find...know someone who knits?)
--An easy-to-use umbrella collapesable--opens and closes with the push of a button. (Totes makes a good one.)   

Please visit my other site: to view the remainder of this post which includes--

2. Computers: 3. Entertainment:  4. Health/Hygiene:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Aging Parents: Women 60-90 Share Feelings in Survey--How This Impacts Us

On Thursday MORE magazine’s computer Weekly Update featured an article with results from MORE’s survey* asking women 60+ to share feelings about:

Current Marriage/Romantic Relationship
Religious/Spiritual Satisfaction

There were 1002 respondents–the oldest was 90+. We can assume these women–although on the older, old, and old, old side of life–read MORE magazine and therefore, are connected to what’s going on and are mentally capable. I think it’s safe to say we can also assume the results are applicable to some or many of our aging mothers and may be applicable to some or many of us– depending on our current age.

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2012 Holiday Gifts for Aging Mothers-2 (updated 11/26/12

Fashionable, Appropriate Clothing and Accessories continued...

If we subscribe to "look good, feel better," a new outfit or an addition to an older person's wardrobe that pulls an outfit together (and meets the criteria discussed in last Saturday's post) just has to play a part in helping parents age well. And who knows, maybe an aging father will look twice at his bride of many years and give her a compliment!

Draper's & Damon's (800-843-1174) advertises a "full selection of misses, petites, and women's" clothing.  They also have: flat-front pull-on pants as well as those with all-around elastic waist bands, Alfred Dunner, Da Rue (more pricey, mother loved their "blouson tops,") additional unnamed manufacturers, and many separates shown with color-coordinated jewelry.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 Holiday Gifts for Aging Mothers-1 (updated from Nov. 2011 post)

Fashionable, Appropriate, Clothing and Accessories:
6 Excellent Sites

There's a never-worn St. John knit hanging in my closet.  Normally a very pricey label, it was so inexpensive (a "buy" you can find in NY). I couldn't resist getting it for my mother years ago--her size, her color, two piece. But she never wore it.  Why?  At age 83, she tactfully told me that she didn't wear short sleeves because of flabby arms. Who knew?

Something to think about when selecting clothing: older women's particular wants and needs, as well as challenges.  Can can they button and unbutton easily? What about hooks and eyes? clasps to necklaces? things that zip, button in back etc. etc.  Do they want to downplay/hide certain parts of their body?

Senior advisor R, 99, uses catalogs...and always looks well-put-together. Check out her favorite catalogs and their URLs. If you want to entertain your mother, while getting an idea of what she likes, check them out together.  (In counseling we call the latter "a hidden agenda.")

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mobility-Challenged Aging Parents: From Rehab Center to Home for Thanksgiving at 97

Our Thanksgiving celebration, like that of many, brings together family members and one or two very close friends and their families. We span generations. This year the youngest is 5 months old and  R is 99.

R has never missed our Thanksgiving gatherings be they in the East or in the West. But year before last--on September 30th--she broke her hip. Attending Thanksgiving dinner that year was questionable. Doctor's orders were no weight bearing on leg with femur fracture for 90 days....and she was in a rehab center.

There were times leading up to Thanksgiving when R didn't think she could make it; but in her heart of hearts she wanted to come. The rehab center people said if she wanted to come, we all would be trained, keeping in mind she could only put weight on her good leg. Here's how:.......

Since there are several days until Thanksgiving, R's experience may be useful right now. The percentage of older people who can expect to fall and sustain a broken hip is always high, so remembering R's experience could be important in the future.

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Help Aging Parents: Including Older People With Health (and other isssues) at out Thanksgiving Dinner

 Including Older People With Health (and other issues) At Our Thanksgiving Dinner

Just because some hosts are inclusive and others don't feel comfortable, doesn't make them bad (or good) people. For actual examples and rationales click my other site:

Specific Thanksgiving Gifts Help Parents and Grandparents Age Well

When I think Thanksgiving, I think Family Togetherness and the many opportunities--gifts actually--to engage, stimulate, connect, enhance self-worth and share love.

3 Gifts, Incorporating the above in various ways

1.  Being with family is what aging parents and grandparents say they want most. Stimulation and Connections top the list of factors that help people age well and doesn't being with family provide this?

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Aging Parents and Politics

I want to share three true stories this election night….about old people and elections. Whether it’s the way we’re “wired’ or it’s acquired, let’s face it–old people who are engaged age better than those who aren’t.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hurricane Sandy's Aftermath: NYC 10/29--Is it Optimism, or Deni

 Amid pictures of younger people wading through thigh-high waters, ruined homes, scattered belongings, heavy objects upended and strewn everywhere, another sobering scene: an elderly man, who had been trapped alone in his flooded home, now strapped to equipment that facilitated his being evacuated by rescuers to higher ground. Was he unaware? without working portable radio, cell phone or TV? physically unable to leave? Or could he just not bear to leave his home? The TV anchor reports a neighbor phoned to get him help. Evidently no family came to his aid. Looking out for our own aging family members isn’t enough, it seems. It clearly wouldn’t have been for this man.               

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Treats (No Tricks) for Aging Parents, Grandparents—Us too!

Halloween decorations are becoming as widespread as the colorful trappings associated with the December holiday season. They’re very different than the orange, carved, candle-lit pumpkins–and perhaps a black cat or witch– sitting on the front porches of our childhood.

Isn’t this a perfect time to take older people out for a great change of scenery?

Aging plays so many unexpected tricks on older people.  Isn’t is great when we can easily give them a treat!............

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Walking With An Aging Parent: Do We Do It Right?

Do We Inadvertently Pull? Do We Make It Look Graceful?

When Mother was alive–after her stroke which did not affect mobility but did affect balance and confidence–it was important to me that she maintain her dignity when she depended on me for confidence to walk in public. Her fragile, osteoporosis-riden bones added to the problem. I’ve seen so many older people whose children were strong and well-meaning; yet the elders looked awkward–often off-balance when they walked together (Who knows how they felt.) 

For a way of walking with older people that instills confidence, while giving them the opportunity to walk further and feel (and look) normal, please click my other site on WordPress:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Aging Parents: Discouraged Caregiver-Children

Helping Aging Parents
How Often Do We Wonder If We Can Go On?

While trying to help parents age well we often find ourselves overworked, unappreciated, and physically exhausted. Sometimes it feels like we’re in a hole that’s too deep to climb out of. We question our efforts; we wonder if it’s worth it.

The statistics and information in Tuesday’s NY Times Science Section should, at the least, make caregiver children realize that what they do out of love, caring, or duty has great value.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Aging Parents: Lifting and Energizing Spirits With Gifts Appealing to the Eye


Being able to see–and watch. What pleasure! Accompanied by hearing, touch, smell, and taste, vision completes the 5 senses.

How do we decide on gifts that lift the spirits and delight the eye? The first step is to know what constitutes “visual delights” for aging parents, whether they are healthy and independent and able to come and go at will or are among the frail and isolated elderly, many of whom look mostly at TV and “the four walls.” Then think about–

Gift Ideas and please go to my other site on WordPress to continue reading this post:


Help Aging Parents: Lifting and Energizing Spirits With Gifts Appealing to the 5 Senses-Hearing

Most of us with elderly parents realize there’s often age-related diminishing of 2 senses: hearing and vision. It seems to me that hearing loss doesn’t seem as scary as vision loss, possibly because technology can pretty much alleviate the hearing problem for most. Yet the hearing problem remains because so many older people balk at doing anything about it.

That said, music lifts everyone’s spirit whether: 1. CD’s or 2. old fashion tapes with 3. simple technology to play them on and 4. possibly excellent quality headphones to enhance hearing– these are lasting and valued gifts for elderly music lovers at home or in care centers.

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Help Aging Parents: Using the 5 Senses to Energize and Lift Older Peoples' Spirits

Gifts Emphasizing Taste, Vision, Hearing, Smell, and Touch
Add Enjoyment to Older People’s Lives

                                                Taste, Smell, Touch, Vision and Hearing

Gifts that make use of the 5 senses–our basic way of perceiving and interacting with our environment–are no doubt welcome. Especially for older people who live in assisted living, rehab, other facilities, these kinds of gifts may help combat the dreary, shorter days of autumn that will soon be upon us. Note: summary gift list is at end.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Autumn Ideas to Energize Aging Parents: A Focus on the 5 Senses

The 5 Senses: Apple Cider, Autumn Leaves, Crackling Fires, 
                                                 Pumpkin Pies Baking, and a Hug
                                               Taste, Sight, Hearing, Smell, Touch

If it seems like I’m rushing autumn, blame it on the school calendar we used to live by. I don’t know how old I was before I realized the day after Labor Day was not the end of summer.

Trying to be prepared, I’m thinking of creative ideas to raise older people’s spirits in autumn. Realizing the importance of the 5 senses, I’m wondering if we can energize and lift aging parents’ spirits–indeed any older person’s spirits–by bringing gifts or arranging activities that incorporate at least 1 of the 5 senses. I’m guessing you’re getting the idea.

to view entire post, visit my other site:…n-the-5-senses/

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Caregiving, Cancer, Computers

My brother's very good friend, age 75, has cancer. A biopsy taken today may not be back for 3-5 days, but scans show 2 highly suspicious tumors. He's in the VA hospital.  Should he come to NYC where the experts are--to Sloan-Kettering? Can I recommend someone? While I do know someone who "lives" the medical field and does thorough research, added information before action is needed.

I'm also aware that the sister whom I've never met and I assume is in her 70's, is already caregiver for 2 sisters. One, 82, is confined to a wheel chair; the other has major health issues. The caregiver sister has been the sole caregiver for several years with a little help from her 75-year-old brother. Since all the siblings live together, it's probable that she will soon have additional caregiving responsibilities because of her brother. I offer to phone her.

The sister was appreciative, basically clueless about support. Visiting nurse services? She'd never heard of them. Social services? Her mobility-challenged sister was receiving physical therapy each week--had been for at least a year--but she didn't know who arranged it and knew nothing about social services. This caring, giving woman has been caregiving in a vacuum.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Aging Parents and Arguments: Who Wins?

                                    Aging Parents Set in Their Ways

“Older people get set in their ways,” Dad told me that when I was a preteen. I don’t think I understood anything but the obvious.  I’m much older now; fortunately well-educated. Wiser. Due to many factors, I get it–with all its nuances….I think.

There’s something about attaining a certain age that makes some oldish people who still “have a good head on their shoulders” (perhaps more than “some“) exhibit problematic behavior. They become set in their ways–feeling some or all of the following: they’re entitled, they’ve earned the right to….
1….do nothing they don’t want to do
2….forget trying to be nice
3….have the courage of their conviction (right or wrong)
4….say whatever comes to mind without regard to its impact
5….expect more of us than is reasonable
6….change their mind on a whim

(Feel free to add to the list...and read the remainder of this post on my other site:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Generations Share Photos and Family History

Regardless of current relationships, families’ histories are rooted in their common past. It’s a powerful commonality emotionally, in a good way. Or at least it was for us, as six cousins–ages 50′s to late 80′s–gathered for lunch and photo-sharing.

A far-away living child, I hadn’t seen some cousins and 2nd cousins in years. Our parents/grandparents are gone now. They were the American story. Five surviving children of immigrant parents are pictured above (the eldest, born in England, is missing). When we came across this labeled photo, the feelings generated were indescribable. The girl born in S. Africa; the boy to her right born in Canada as the family made its way to the United States. Dad (left) and his younger brother (front) born in the USA.

We sifted through the photos and albums we brought, looking back a century–amazed to see our current selves in some of the faces. Some of us had only seen our grandmother with gray hair. We looked hard at her photo, into a youthful face that I, for one, would not have recognized had our older cousins not confirmed who it was.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Aging Parents: Photos Are More Than Links to Family

 Photos connect us– to each other, to our families, to our heritage, to our gene-pool. They remind us of our younger selves. They rekindle the ties and feelings we have for those who’ve gone before us….grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, those we held dear and those we hold dear. Indeed, we may have inherited some of their features, some of their traits. On the other hand, some in the photo album are unnamed. We wonder who they are.

These feelings enveloped me the other day as I began cleaning out my parents’ home of 60+ years. They were accompanied by feelings of frustration as I struggled to recognize people in photos that lacked both name and date. Then it dawned on me....... view entire post please go to my other site:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Help Aging Parents: Grandchildren--Priceless?

On one occasion my niece was dancing around like little girls do when Mrs. M. (age 100) rose from her chair, grabbed my niece’s little hands and started dancing with her–that is until she began to lose her balance. Only by the grace of God did a male friend, standing near, steady Mrs. M. and help her sit down. Mrs. M’s remark, while showing a bit of embarrassment, was something like “Watching her I forgot my age and felt like a girl again.”

To view entire post go to:…dren-priceless/

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aging Parents vs. Vacation Plans continued from yesterday

What did I learn? Planning ahead for emergency situations is just plain sensible. When stress is high it's comforting to know we don't have to worry about certain things and we do have some control over others. When coming a distance, having someone who cares and shares our concerns there to meet us is welcoming and supportive. And keeping essential information at hand makes communication with professionals more effective and efficient. Last but not least, when the unexpected happens and we can't do it alone, I NEED YOUR HELP are important words to remember.

I also learned we have good friends who we had to suddenly abandon in Italy. They survived and so has our friendship.

To view this post in its entirety, please visit my other site:…from-yesterday/ ‎

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Aging Parents vs. Vacations

August: last chance for vacations.  Dilemma: Vacation or "Ify" Aging Parents? When  parents' health is "ify," do we risk going? If they're going to miss us, do we risk going? If our replacement isn't as skilled, knowledgeable, or caring as we, do we risk going?

To read complete post please visit my other site:…vacation-plans/


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Aging Parents: Hairstyles for Older, Old, Elderly Women (50+, 60++)

60 once seemed old. No longer! Truthfully, 50 once seemed old.

So how can we go wrong having this information, using it for ourselves and for our mothers, if they're willing to risk trying a new hairstyle? Actually the styles shown for 60-year-olds could be the updated look (check out Helen Mirren) of your mother's current hairstyle.

Look good, feel better--looking good feeling better--helps parents age well.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Help Aging Parents: US News Best Hospitals 2012-13 and 5 Reasons to Consider Them

It’s July.  US News & World Report comes out with its “Best Hospitals” issue once again. Topping the list with the most specialties ranking #1 in the country: Massachusetts General in Boston. It replaces Johns Hopkins in Baltimore which becomes #2.

In the Geriatrics specialty category Johns Hopkins replaces Mt. Sinai in NY as #1. Mt. Sinai becomes #2.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Help Aging Parents: I Just Called to Say "I Love You"

The flight back to NY will soon take off. Cell phones are active. One last conversation before we’re told to turn off all electronic devices–”anything with an on-off button,” says the flight attendant.  “I love you” seems a popular ending to the conversations. I’m thinking younger people use that expression a lot….sometimes so often that it seems to me its meaning is diluted, and I wonder how much it really means.

In the olden days it meant the world. Think Stevie Wonder and the popularity of the song whose title heads this post….. it continues: “and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.” I’m sitting on the plane for over 4 hours. My thoughts turn to aging parents, grandparents and elderly friends......Visit my other site: to view the rest of this post.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

98-year-old Mother-in-law's Visit cont.

A woman who takes pride in her independence, R is creative about making things work out for herself. But in a strange hotel room, she wasn’t so inclined. The thermostat (room was too cold–we reset it); the TV remote (looked like hers, but the channels had different numbers necessitating reading the accompanying chart, which we explained but she said she was too tired to focus); and the telephone, which had a zillion strange buttons was challenging. None of these would cause us more than a few moments hesitation–but they were a change and as such, presented challenges to her taken-for-granted way of living. While confident and able to adapt to any new problems she encountered in her own home, she lacked the energy and will required to learn something temporary at this stage of life.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Aging Parents Endure Losses We're Probably Clueless About

We know parents lose friends, and spouses, and sometimes a child.  Yet the totality and nature of losses is an eye-opener. We hear from an active, obviously intelligent older person:

Yesterday I traveled to the city to meet a group of art buffs who get together once a year for a tour of the galleries of new art. We hoot at the craziness of some exhibits and press each other to understand what's going on in each installation and interactive piece. This year, however, I could not stand and walk easily. Fatigue overshadowed my pleasure in the art, and I knew that next year I would forgo an event that for twenty years has been one of the highlights of the fall season for me.

On my calendar is the evening wedding of a friend's granddaughter.  In the sixty years of our friendship, S and I have participated in each other's celebrations, and now I will see a grown-up Rachel in a bridal gown--Rachel, the family nonconformist, in the traditional ceremony.  I'll embrace S's friends and family members whom I've seen at previous celebrations, noting how they've aged along with me. Can I travel for two hours to a wedding that will begin about my usual bedtime? Easy, I tell myself, just rearrange your day to include a nap. But at 86 I don't adjust to changes in schedule and try as I will, the nap won't happen. Would it be foolish to go? Yes. Will I go? Probably...but certainly not to a similar event next year.

Continued on my other site:

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Practical, Important Foundations for Aging 2

4 Fundamentals form the Foundation--Fundamental #2
#2.  Vision: We know how precious vision is, but not as keenly as when it begins to fail us. We can probably do nothing about some of the normal, common age-related vision changes, other than making certain we and aging parents have adequate light. For example, that little flashlight to read menus in darkly lit restaurants, or an additional light or lamp to distinguish between navy blue and black (specially for men selecting socks); and I'm not sure what needs to be invented to see the color gradations that delineate steps off of curbs or elsewhere. (Restaurants usually go a good job of this with a contrasting color carpet or painted lines.)
That said, vision change can come on so gradually, we neglect doing anything about it, even when we realize we aren't seeing that well.
Continued on my other site:  Please visit!

The Practical, Important Foundations for Aging Well --Part 1

Function #1 of 4--  Try to be a Moving Target
Thursday I went to the Woman's Club to take unneeded items for their thrift shop. Milly (85) had just arrived to lead the choral group practice. She looked great and I remarked accordingly. Her response, "I try to be a moving target--that way nothing bad can catch up with me."

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Broken Hip Release from Rehab 1/2011; Flying 2000 Miles Alone to See Us 5/2012

Are Today's Old Old Amazing--or What?
Lessons from Us... If We Pay Attention

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Help Aging Parents: When a Sibling Often Feels Like an Only Child

Some gentle questioning led to Mary’s explaining that her sisters usually took their dad to his doctor appointments. And they did offer to do things for him when the mood hit them. For example, one sister asked if Mary would like her to take their Dad to a meeting of his men’s club. “I told her it was OK, I’d do it,” Mary said, explaining that she was “so used to doing it, it really didn’t make any difference.”

And that’s where the red flag goes up.......

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 caregiver siblingX caregiversX less-involved siblingsX reasons to accept helpX reasons to show appreciationX showing appreciation. accepting helpX uninvolved siblings

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When Does a Sibling Often Feel Like an Only Child? Answer: When She (it's usually a "she") is the Caregiver for Their Aging Parents

As I've mentioned on several occasions, the head of services for the elderly at a family counseling agency once told me that the child who would be caregiver for her/his aging parents could be identified early on--"the other children weren't so involved." It took me by surprise. Nevertheless, although my husband and I moved far from our families, I always knew I would be there for my parents when the time came.
Does this negate commonly-held beliefs that children take on the caregiver role for other reasons? (guilt, the realization parents did for them and it's payback time, the good feeling that helping others imparts, this sibling needs a life etc. etc.)
*                       *                        *
I returned home Sunday to a front door that would not unlock (from outside or inside), the smell of gas due to a pilot light that went out, and a car that wouldn't start so I was carless, with a large accumulation of mail. I'm very behind in my life......So please ponder the question until tomorrow when I'll apply it to real life as I complete this post.  And go to http://helpparentsagewell, my other site, to view it more fully.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our Quest for Perfection When We Try to Help Parents Age Well--2

Should we give up expecting perfection?
"Is it culture or our psychological make-up that causes our stress and regret? Do we, perhaps, place unrealistic expectations on ourselves– especially when we feel responsibility for aging parents?"
These are the questions posed to Senior Advisor, psychiatrist Dr. Bud, after writing last Tuesday's post. Thoughtfully explaining some of the emotional obstacles that can block even the most devoted adult children's quest for perfection, he begins.....

continued on my other site:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can We Be Perfect When We Help Parents Age Well?

And I wonder: Is it culture or our psychological make-up that causes our stress and regret? Do we, perhaps, place unrealistic expectations on ourselves-- especially when we feel responsibility for those who need us at each end of the life cycle?

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Aging Parents and Hospice: To Call? Not to Call? When to Call?

If our goal is to help parents age well until the end, I think anyone who understands the program would want to involve hospice when a parent's condition becomes terminal. How to bring up the subject of hospice, with still-with-it parents, is the bigger question.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Help! Aging Parents Selected 1st Runner-up in Best Senior Living Blogs by Individuals 2012

It's gratifying for most of us when we can do something that helps others. In my case, if I can contribute to older people's aging well, I'm a "happy camper."

My sincere thanks to Senior, ( sponsor of this Best of the Web contest and to the panel of experts from the Senior Living industry who judged our blogs.

To view the specifics and the 10 categories in the competition (Help! Aging Parents is in the "Consumers Resources" category--"best resources online for caregivers and their families"), click  All categories--with their nominees, finalists, winners, and "people's choice" selections--are on the left sidebar......a wealth of resources and valuable information for everyone with an interest in aging.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Help Aging Parents: The Food a 98-year-old Buys to Cook for Herself

Last night, after dinner, 98-year-old R needed some groceries. She requested going to Trader Joe’s. With her shopping list in hand, we were efficient. Here’s how she works/thinks everything out.

First, she makes everything as easy as possible when it comes to meals. Groceries are heavy, so she gives thought to the size/quantity she buys–always checking dates. If she’s with someone who can carry a heavy gallon of milk with a late future date, she’ll buy it. Otherwise, she buys a carton that weighs less. This is a heads up when we shop for/with parents…….get the heavy stuff if it won’t spoil.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Help Aging Parents Stay in Their Homes: A Round-up of Technology Resources/Devices--Part 2

We never know what resonates with aging parents. Some reject “Big Brother” technology. Some reject wearing alert-type technology (pendants/bracelets) or anything that makes them feel “old,” or “different.” The following can offer something new and/or acceptable to help parents age well in their homes.

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Help Aging Parents Stay in Their Homes: A Round-up of Technology Resource/Devices--Part 1

Since, as you know, I’m a firm believer in helping aging parents stay in their homes as long as possible, I’m revisiting technology devices from past posts to help parents age in place. (The most up-to-date information follows in my next post.)
Technological devices designed to help parents age well

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Is Helping Aging Parents Always Helpful?

....This very able daughter did it right. She quietly helped as needed (bringing the tomato and dill from her garden, washed and ready to use), unobtrusively carrying in plates of food from kitchen to table, refilling glasses and clearing dishes before helping with the Tosca cake. Yet it was clearly her mother’s dinner party.

I began to think about adult children who--unasked--take over major responsibility at family dinners (among other things), once older mothers reach a certain age. They decide (rightly or wrongly) it’s too much work for an aging parent--period.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Help Aging Parents: A 98-year-old Teaches Us About Them and About Us

 Continued from Saturday's post.....

R has concluded, based on her 98 years on this earth: "Life is good, it's the people that mess it up." 

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Aging Parents: A 98-year-old Teaches Us About Them and Us

To begin, you need to know that like Grandma, her mother, R has devised expressions that she sprinkles throughout her conversation. My favorite Grandma-saying “Angels Can Do No More” legitimizes the frustration when people do all they can--to seemingly no avail. (I think about caregivers.)      

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Aging Parents, Connections, and a Veterans' Nursing Home

My "off-the-cuff" thought for these veterans who have no doubt given a lot and seem to have so little in life at this point, is to think "double it" when we are doing something nice for our parents.
Can we get together with friends and double or triple or increase our output when we make/take/send cards, decorations, goodies and/or little holiday gifts to our parents?
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Aging Parents, Connections, and a Veterans' Nursing Home

Creative thinking to help parents age well fuels my posts. I have always been a practical, out-of-the-box thinker. Combining this with my counseling background to empower and strengthen self-esteem has been a priority. Whether teenagers or seniors, I love figuring out ways to help and find an easier, better, or best way to overcome challenges. But now I am perplexed.
In a serendipity way, I came across this article about a nursing home, specifically a NY State Veteran's Affairs nursing  home. Many--if not all--residents have no doubt sacrificed for our country. I hope you'll click the link below this picture and read the short article, written yesterday, 2/20/12.
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stimulation and Connections Enhance Seniors' Lives-- 6 Suggestions

1.  A Little Help From My Friends....
A quick call to my friend, Linda. "Any chance you're free Friday or is that your bridge day?"
"You're sort of right--sometimes it's my bridge day and it will be this Friday.  Jackie's mother is almost 90 and loves to play bridge. So I play bridge with Jackie and her mother --not every Friday--but when I'm asked and that's this Friday."
.....Without Overloading Friends
How thoughtful of Jackie...towards her mother as well as towards her friends. Linda doesn't give up time every Friday. No doubt Jackie, the daughter does, but involves different friends in such a way that she doesn't over-impose on their Fridays.
Meanwhile, Jackie's giving her elderly mother something priceless, something special to look forward to--time with her daughter and several other women on Fridays. This not only provides togetherness, socialization, and all the good that accompanies it (fresh ideas, connections)  but stimulation for the brain as well.
2.  Games
Yet games needn't be confined to bridge to stimulate the brain.........continued on my other site:

Monday, February 13, 2012


Wishing you and your parents a
Happy Valentine's Day
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Help! Aging Parents