Saturday, March 30, 2013

4 Lessons Learned to Help Older Parents and Grandparents Age Well

Getting Out of the Dumps: 
               Don’t Assume, The Incentive, “Normal” Depression, The Results

1. Remembering one of R’s wise sayings “Don’t assume” is something we need to keep in mind. We would have turned down James’s invitation if we had assumed R–at 99 1/2– wouldn’t go to a large gathering, especially when it followed another night out.  (R avoided large gatherings “like the plague”–beginning several years ago– because, she said, they took too much of her energy.)

2.  Our efforts to “jump-start” old people are great and should continue; but their feeling of gaining, not losing, ground has an even greater psychological “jump-start-effect on old people. (See observation below.)

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Passover March 25-April 2 2013 and Easter March 31: More Opportunities to Help Parents Age Well

Another holiday (actually 2 holidays). Another opportunity in our efforts to help older parents and grandparents age well.

Passover begins at sundown on March 25 and lasts until nightfall on April 2.  Since Easter always occurs during Passover, the Judeo-Christian parts of the world celebrate miracles during the same time period every spring.

Many believe that the The Last Supper was a Passover Sedar. I’d never questioned it but was wondering “which night of Passover was The Last Supper” so I google that phrase.  First google offering: “Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Sedar?”.........

These holidays celebrate miracles. Granted we can’t make miracles, yet sometimes it can feel like a miracle when we can add enrichment in a special way…a way that gives aging parents and elders a lift and perhaps a lasting memory. Happy Passover * Happy Easter

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Help Parents Age Well and in Place: Old Bathrooms. Old Parents. New Shower Fittings for a 97-year-old Woman

Having a small bathroom and small shower made this "update" simple, but "expensive--around $1,000"--according to R. Moving to assisted or independent living would have been quite expensive. Much more money for much less space. Plus, she'd be leaving a home and neighbors that have been--and are--an important part of her life.

As long as R's mind continues to be good, she will call the shots (and enjoy her refurbished shower). To do otherwise would be to undermine all that she has done to remain independent. As we try to help parents age well, we stop and ask ourselves: Is it easier/better for us or easier or better for them?"

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lonesome, Talkative Aging Parents: Phone Calls

          To age well, connections to others are very important.
              We know that, yet we can feel like we’re talked
                           to death; and that’s not good.

PROBLEM: Phoning an aging parent who talks and talks and talks can seem like punishment.

This may not matter as much, when we have nothing better to do with our time. Yet when adult children are frazzled and stressed or they’re just plain tired, there’s help.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pallative Care and Hospice Help Parents Age Well Until the End: What's the Difference?

“Perhaps the most common misconception about palliative care is that it is synonymous with hospice care; in fact, though it plays a prominent role in a dying patient’s life, it is also offered in conjunction with life-prolonging and potentially curative treatments for patients with cancer, heart failure and other chronic and life-threatening conditions.”
UCLA Medical Magazine 2009

                              Aging as well as possible, as long as possible

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Philadelphia Flower Show and Aging Parents

The gigantic clock face, as the hands reached the hour, disappeared and delighted spectators as it was replaced by a showcase of Britain’s most popular musicians–beginning with the Beatles singing  ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.

I see parents pushing children in strollers, and wonder why more adult children can’t/don’t make that same effort for their aging parents and grandparents. Then I see a gentleman, in his mid-80′s he said. I told him of my observation. He responded: “If you wonder why I bring my wife in a wheel chair…Because I love her.”

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Aging Parents: Making Major Decisions-Think: Doctors, Life-saving/changing Surgery

                    How Do We Make the Best Choice?

We make many choices throughout our lives, granted some much more important than others. But how do we know we’re making a really good choice–or the best choice–when major health matters are involved?

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