Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tailoring the Holidays for Elders' Needs

Some aging parents are lifted by the excitement and activities of Christmas; for others there's overstimulation and stress. And at some point, for all aging parents, there's a slowing down. Do we notice this? Can/should we do something?

Indeed, the holidays can be tricky for some and need to be simplified, especially for those with Alzheimer's.

Then there are aging parents and elders we care about, who can't do what they used to because of aging-related conditions. I ran the preceding sentence by our Sr. Advisor, Dr. Bud, MD, (psychiatrist) asking for his thoughts.

To view entire post, please go to my other site

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Aging Parents: Becoming A Caregiver--Life Changes in the Blink of an Eye

Another Christmas gift idea: A gift we give ourselves or others who are caregivers (and don't already own it)--Passages in Caregiving

As readers know, Help! Aging Parents takes no ads and rarely reviews books. That said, we're always on the lookout for gifts to help parents--and elders we care about--age well. Books that help us as caregivers, translate into helping those we care about and care for.

To read entire post please go to my other site

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Aging Parents: Great Gifts on the Inside; Looking Great Outside Too

They say "It's what's inside that counts." No argument here. That said, doesn't anything that looks great on the outside raise our spirits...and those of our elders?

Two gift-giving holidays are fast-approaching. I think of the value of extra nicely wrapped gifts–where the initial fun is seeing them, followed by the joy of discovering what’s inside. 

To view entire post please go to my other site.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Doesn’t a small gift a day sound like a way to continually brighten up the holiday season for older people? 

Whether living at home or in a care center, don't we all love a gift! Here’s my list of 20+ easily purchased, inexpensive gifts, keeping in mind: 
Most older people 
–don’t like clutter
–don’t want what they don’t need
–appreciate gifts they use up

Please go to my other site to view entire post.  

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?

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

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

To view entire post please go to my other site.

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.

                        To view entire post, please go to my other site

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.

To view entire post, please go to my other site

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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Great Halloween Gift Ideas Roundup for Aging, Elderly, and Hospitalized Adults--Part I: Pumpkins~Decorated, Not Carved

Favorite Farm Stand 2014      Halloween 2013 Scarecrow Pumplin 2013 Scarecrows  

When I lived near this farm stand I'd take pumpkins home and decorate--not carve--them on the kitchen for elderly friends at Halloween. However when we moved to the City, transporting them became a logistical challenge because cars in the City are basically an expensive nuisance. Thus, our car is in a garage in the suburbs. Last week I took the commuter train to the suburbs, got our car, then purchased the pumpkin, flowers etc. without knowing where I would assemble everything.

Decorating in the car would be a last resort, as there's no electrical outlet for the glue gun. Decision: this year's pumpkin--only one--would not require a glue gun, only the skewers to poke the holes. I forgot it last year and ended up using a fondue fork. It works too.

To read entire post, please go to my other site

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Aging Parents: A Halloween Activity ~ in the City or the Suburbs.....planning ahead...

Who doesn't enjoy Halloween decorations! They're a treat for all ages and are becoming increasingly widespread. Indoors and out-of-doors these decorations are so much more elaborate than the orange, carved, candle-lit pumpkins--and perhaps a black cat or witch-- sitting on the front porches of our childhood. However.....

Are aging parents and older people getting out to see them? 
And--How can we make this happen?

Please go to my other site to view entire post
*           *          * 

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Dr. Leonard Plaine, a highly respected, recently retired urologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, was a logical choice to double-check my last week's "Aging Dads: Incontinence Issues--Part 1" post. He has treated men's urological issues for many decades and I especially wanted his "take."

Please go to my other site to view entire post.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Aging Dads: Incontinence Issues--Part 1 Older Men


....Although the high rise of incontinence is in women 75 and over, and the rise is less dramatic in men, incontinence–usually temporary (3-6 months)–is common following prostate surgery. Also as men age the sphincter muscle that controls urine outflow can weaken due to more and more years of use. Doctors recommend Kegel exercises for men (with varying degrees of success depending on different factors)......

To view entire post please visit my other site.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Aging Parents: Important New Guidelines Could Make it Easier for Those nearing Life's End

DYING IN AMERICA AND HONORING INDIVIDUAL PREFERENCES NEAR THE END OF LIFE, with recommendations for major changes, was issued last week (9/17/14) by THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE'S RESEARCH ARM, THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE. It suggests an overhaul of current practice at almost every level.

To view entire post, please visit my other site.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Aging Women: Incontinence----and Diapers?!*

     Just published: The American College of Physicians' New
re: women's urinary incontinence, triggers thoughts:

1.  An experience with Mother.
2.  One of this blog's key thoughts: Is it better for parents or better for us (in this instance the caregiver)?
3.  A prejudice about the word "diapers" used in conjunction with old/older people's incontinence.

.......The American College of Physicians' new guidelines for dealing with female urinary incontinence recommend special exercises--as opposed to medications--first. Maintaining feelings of normalcy helps parents--and everyone--age well.  

FYI: "Urinary incontinence (UI), the involuntary loss of urine, has a prevalence of approximately 25% in young women (aged 14 to 21 years) (1), 44% to 57% in middle-aged and postmenopausal women (aged 40 to 60 years) (2), and 75% in elderly women (aged ≥75 years)" American College of Physicians

To view entire post please visit my other site

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Aging Parents: 101st Birthday

Birthday card from the staff

                                             Birthday card from the staff

We stick to our philosophy. We do what aging parents want as long as it doesn't threaten life and limb and they still have, what Sr. Advisor R calls, "a good head." R's birthday was Saturday...her 101st. We follow the advice in last year's post: Celebrating Elders Birthdays: What They Want, Not What We Want.

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sharing with SantaMemories are part of our being. They allow us to momentarily recapture ourDad's 90th youth, milestone events, surprises large and small and so much more. If "Time Takes  All But Memories" (see August post) from elders who've lost spouses, good health, friends, family etc., can we supply happy memories for them--as well as for aging parents and the older people we care about?

    5 Suggestions

Visit my other site to view entire post.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do Parents Get Enough Exercise? How Much Should They Get? HHS Guidelines for Older Adults' Physical Activity

man using weights

Older People Worry About Falling 
Older People Want Independence 
Older People Don't Wish To Be Limited By Physical Problems

I doubt anyone will dispute these assertions. On the other hand, are we--or most older people--aware of the physical activities that help aging adults retain independence so they can continue to age well?

In 2008 the Department of Health and Human Services published Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the first comprehensive guidelines on physical activity ever issued by the Federal government, with a section that focuses on "Older Adults." Tufts provided this update this week:

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

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Aging Parents: "Time Takes All But Memories"

Can the elderly be sustained by memories?

I came across a speech excerpted from a 1965 memorial service. A sun-dial inscribed "Time Takes All But Memories" inspired a sermon (in part below) making me wonder: What's it like for the isolated elderly? Do they have only memories?

"What is true for the dead, is equally true for the living. When there is no one to think of us, no one to care for us--even though we be alive, is it not as though we are dead? To be sure, I am not speaking of mere physical survival, for a man might breathe and eat and pump blood for 969 years like the legendary Methuselah in the Bible--but who wants to live if he has no one who loves him, no one who cares for him, no one who remembers him? Total, perpetual endless loneliness is, I daresay, even worse than death itself."

Please go to my other site to view entire post with, of course, ideas to make life better for the isolated elderly and those who feels no one cares. 

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?

To view entire post, please go to my other site

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.

To view entire post, please visit my other site.

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?

To view entire post, please visit my other site.

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.

To view entire post and access links please go to my other site

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.

                      To view entire post, please visit my other site

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Aging Parents' Homes: Estate Sale

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.

Please go to my other site to view entire post, which is very short.

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...

To view entire post, please visit my other site.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Regardless of who's doing the caregiving (or the illness involved), the last key thought keeps us balanced and healthy and--ideally--less stressed... thus better able to handle whatever comes our way. Everyone seems to be in agreement on this point. Meet UCLA's Dr. Linda Ercoli, a clinical psychologist, and Director of UCLA's Geriatric Psychology. Her webinar offers....HELP FOR SURVIVING STRESS.

Please visit my other site to view entire post 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Aging Parents: Alzheimer’s Blogs and Key Thoughts for Caregivers and Adult Children

                      An Unexpected Honor and the Key Thoughts
The May 24th email announced: “I am happy to inform you that your blog has made Healthline’s list of the Best Alzheimer’s Blogs of 2014.  Healthline diligently selected each of the blogs on the list…..

Neither Alzheimer’s nor dementia is in my husband’s or my family. And I’ve never written specifically about it or any other illness in my posts. The closest I’ve come to mentioning dementia is including links in the sidebar (“Of Current Interest”) to articles I’ve reviewed (some include dementia) from highly regarded medical school publications. So Help! Aging Parents takes special pride in the reasoning the led to including our blog in this “Best” list of 23 Alzheimer’s blogs.

        Helping Parents Age Well isn’t just about helping our parents.
       The information and insight in these pages is useful to anyone
       who anticipates living beyond midlife. Key thoughts like “Will
       these actions I’m about to undertake empower or diminish?”
       and “Does the quick fix harm later goals?” inform all of blogger
       Susan’s writing. Her focus on values and long-term solutions 

       makes for a good life-coaching guide and regular reading.

Since the “Key Thoughts for Adult Children of Aging Parents” list goes back to my early posts, and many may not be aware of their publication, revisiting the list makes sense.


• The Right Start Saves Many Problems

To view entire post, please go to my other site

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Cake by Esperanza

2014 Round-up of 45 Gifts for Fathers and Grandfathers Continues....

Back in the day when men "dressed" to go out--even to a baseball game--ties were a most popular Father's Day gift. Indeed until recently ties continued to be a very popular gift. The more casual dress code the US has adopted, makes me wonder about the future of ties...they aren't listed under "Accessories/Clothing" in part 1. Yet for traditionalists, this Father's Day Cake complete with tie could be a creative answer for those who bake and like using marzipan. Can anything can top making this cake as a loving tribute to a great Dad or Granddad? For those who don't bake, my round-up continues.....

Hearing: Hearing loss is a problem for older people and for those who communicate with them.

  • Assistive listening systems: products for TV watchers who need very high volume to hear well (while others don't). Click the preceding link then scroll down to "Assistive Listening Systems" if you wish to educate yourself. 
  • Amplified Telephones =better conversation for all. This link provides a quick education as does the "Amplified Telephones" section of this U. of Calif at San Francisco Medical Center site.

To view entire post and access links please go to my other site

Monday, June 9, 2014


 Father's Day sleeveless sweater vest cake made by Esperanza          

More gifts ideas for aging fathers and grandfathers--than I think a man could possibly want--have filled my posts over the last three years. I've reread them, remembering the time and outside-the-box thinking that went into compiling the list. 8 categories, arranged alphabetically: "Accessories and Clothing" to "Vision."

I've updated the original list and added to it. It's long now. I'll post in 2 parts so it's not overwhelming. Hoping that your shopping is made easier and that the aging men in your life will have smiles on their faces when they open their gifts.

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

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014--part 2: Veteran, Omaha Beach--We Learn What's In His Heart

"Can we look into the hearts of old people?"
I asked in yesterday's post.
And last night, courtesy of NBC news, we saw and we heard.

A conversation with WWII veteran, Ed Gordon, now 90, who landed on Omaha Beach--one of the 150,000 Allied troops who took part in the Normandy Invasion on D Day--and "NBC colleague," Viet Nam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, Col. Jack Jacobs--gives us an intimate "look."

I've isolated the link below for easy forwarding.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Aging Parents and Memorial Day 2014

Can we look into the hearts of old people?

Things change. Values change--both at a rapid rate. It's part of today's world and we deal with it. Sometimes it's easy to overlook the impact on our elders as we continue with our busy lives. A one-minute video, with no spoken words, looks into the heart of a WWII veteran.

In the old days the name, Memorial Day, and date, May 30th, were carved in stone-- or so I thought when I was a girl. I didn't know that before WWII Memorial Day had been called "Decoration Day," although I remember hearing that name. The 1968 Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed "carved-in-stone" dates to days that would allow for a 3-day holiday weekend and took effect in 1971.

We're accustomed to the 3-day weekends. We take the opportunity to get away for a short vacation. Some think Memorial Day is the start of summer. We have family picnics. There are fewer parades. In our hearts and minds we respect the holiday, see the flags flying, know "Fleet Week" has arrived in New York. But, unless we have family in the military, I doubt we can tap into what Memorial Day means to those who have served--especially those who served over a half century ago, still possessing the memories (told and untold) and the pride.

While that which old people hold dear is disappearing faster and faster, it remains in their hearts.

To view entire post please go to my other site

Friday, May 23, 2014

Aging Parents: "In Patient" vs "Under Observation" --- How Being in a Hospital Bed can Fool You

Does being in a hospital bed
qualify Medicare-eligible seniors as In-Patient?
For some time now, we've been hearing about Medicare-eligible seniors who've been given "Under Observation" status when admitted to hospitals--for what any intelligent person would assume should be "In-Patient" status. "Under Observation" status is not "In-Patient."

If parents need to enter a skilled nursing facility or a nursing home after the required three days of hospitalization, Medicare will not pay and the family will be required to pay all of the bills, including the hospital costs, if hospital status was "Under Observation."

We might also assume that those in a bed in a hospital are automatically considered "In-Patients." Not true.

To read entire post please go to my other site

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Slowed-down Aging Parents--What I never realized
"I'm late, I'm late........"*

(Joints stiffen. Less agility. More wisdom. More Caution.
Does slowing down begin earlier than we realize?)

Think about stiff joints and arthritis...and vision. Then think about buttons, zippers, or--for women--the clasp on a necklace or fastening a bra (which some do from the front before turning it around to the back), or the physical act of slipping something over one's head.  How much additional time does it take to differentiate dark blue from black? (Try sorting those socks.) Have you ever seen an older man wearing one black sock and one dark blue sock?

To view entire post, please go to my other site


Sunday, May 11, 2014

                                                 "What's the Goal?"

I've written about how important it is to ask ourselves this question in several past posts. It's true for caregiving. It's true for handling problems in life. And I'm taking my own advice. Thankfully it has become second nature when things seem impossible and/or overwhelming.  Asking "What's the Goal?" untangles some of the minutiae, helps focus, and makes the goal stand out. We then need only figure out how to attain it.

To view entire post please go to my other site

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Help Aging Parents: Easter and Passover Treats--A Very Quick Outing

Happy EasterHolidays provide endless opportunities to help parents age well. Taking elders out for a change of scenery is one--especially for those who are basically housebound, mobility challenged, or don't venture forth except for essentials like doctors' appointments. It's uplifting, muscles are exercised, and it can be exciting--like those field trips we went on in grade school.

To view entire blog, please visit my other site

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Aging Parents--Research: Wisdom's Importance in Successful Aging

For satisfaction in later life--to age well, research has told us that maintaining physical and mental health, volunteering and having connections with others are necessary.

One researcher, Dr. Monika Ardelt, an associate sociology professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, wondered could people in poor health, those who'd suffered losses, and those "whose social roles were diminished"--age successfully or would they just have to "give up." Her recent findings:
"Wisdom is the ace in the hole that can help even severely impaired people find meaning, contentment and acceptance in later life."

To view entire post please go to my other site

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

When Aging Parents Can No Longer "Do." Ways To Empower So They Can Continue to "Do."

 "No one likes to see a lessening of themself"

Normal age-related changes cause a lessening: ie. vision, hearing, energy, flexibility, strength-- not a literal taking away. However, as we try to help parents age well and we become aware of the "lessening," (which parents may have tried to cover up--think driving), doesn't it make sense to look for ways to support or replace so elders can continue to "do?" This probably means empower or substitute.

But how? While we know one size doesn't fit all, we can do some of the leg-work and perhaps partner in the final "doing."

To view entire post, please go to my other site

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Aging Parents: Stark Reality–When Eyesight Fails

Letting Go–Preparing The Last Income Tax at 100

This is the last time Sr. Advisor R is doing her income tax preparation for the accountants. Yes, she’s 100. Yes, she still lives independently, alone in her home of over 60 years. Yes, she has a blood clot that has greatly diminished vision in one eye. Yes, she uses not 1, but 2 magnifying glasses when the normal print is too small. And yes, all of this is pretty amazing, but it has been extremely arduous and overly time-consuming this winter and has been a source of stress.

That said, R has worked at simplifying everything in her life as age has slowed her down. Giving up income tax preparation  (still using legal pad and adding machine), is a big concession. As Julia, another independent elder referred to in past posts, said many years ago “No one likes to see a lessening of themself.”

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Aging Parents: Older Women’s Hair Revisited

We’ve written about aging women’s hair care, hair loss, hair styles, and hair enhancement quoting tricologists, MD’s and other hair experts and stylists (see RELATED below). As Time Goes By has a series of very good posts (below). In September offered “7 Secrets to the Haircut that Will Make You Look Younger.”

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

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Help Aging Parents: Wireless Medicine–A Boon for Aging Parents, Caregivers, and Us

 “If my 90-year-old father is released from the hospital 
could this technology monitor his progress at home?”

I know  you can guess the answer; you just didn’t know the seeming simplicity of getting the information from a smart phone, using apps and sensors. In the You Tube TV clip you’ll see a modified iPhone produce a cardiogram for a patient; a tiny senor used for glucose monitoring; and understand how the iPhone can become a “lab on a chip” (for  doing blood tests etc.). Wireless technology can predict a heart attack about 2 weeks before it happens by monitoring one’s blood.

While this sounds like–and is– wonderful news medically, it can also be wonderful news, in a different way, for us–the caregivers, chauffeurs and devoted adult children because of the time it saves. For example,  I’m wondering how many, like me, are on fast forward and can get a bit cranky waiting for aging parents to get ready to go to a doctor’s appointment, not to mention time spent waiting in a waiting room for the doctor. And  then think of the time it takes to get test results and lab reports. Wireless medicine  changes that.

Please go to my other site to view entire post.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Aging--Macular Degeneration: A Determined 100-year-old's Efforts to Maintain Quality of Life

Sr. Advisor R has been called "amazing" for years by so many 40-60-year-olds, who call her "terrific" and "timeless." Past posts have underscored their respect for her wisdom and admiration for her ways of handling things. She's both an advisor to this bog, and my m-i-l. And currently she is facing another challenge: a big round spot blocking vision in one eye--macular degeneration.

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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Aging Parents: Feel-Good Outing Ideas~ After A Long, Cold Winter

2013 Philadelphia Flower Show
2013 Philadelphia Flower Show

Feel-Good Outings

Aging parents needn't be couch potatoes to feel depression or cabin fever due to a harsh winter. It's easy fo anyone! Cold, an absence of sunshne, and slippery sidwalks can make anyone feel cranky, if not depressed. "Trapped in the house," "Looking at the four walls." I've heard these expressions from elders.

And "cranky" may not go away easily. Negatives like a bad health diagnosis, another friend's problem, the world's problems, not to mention loss of a friend, pet, or part of a support system (dentist, hair dresser) add to being miserable.

Please go to my other site to view entire post.

Friday, February 21, 2014

When Care-giving Threatens the Family's Functioning--Part 2: In-laws and Spouse

hanging mobile - Quiet Ending

Few challenges require establishing priorities, setting boundaries, testing the loyalty and dealing with allegiances the way in-laws with health issues can.

When our spouse's aging parents require more attention and care, in-laws--whether loved or not--are thrust into the family's dynamics. Obviously this changes the balance. The way we handle it is key.

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

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Best Last-Minute or Any Time Valentine for a Loved-One

I loved this Valentine idea when Monique told me she thought of it for her mother a few years ago; and I introduced it on this blog last year....While Monique's 89-year-old mother lives in France, I think this works for anyone we love, in any circumstance--whether being sent far away or delivered close to home or to a care center or nursing home. With permission, I share once again and personally use it for the first time.
To view entire post, please visit my other site

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Aging Parents and Super Bowl XLVIII Ads

                    Photo: Anheuser-Busch

What could be better entertainment for aging and elderly parents
than watching some of these ads?

Please visit my other site to view entire post and watch selected videos of ads

Monday, February 3, 2014

Aging Parents/Childhood: My Parents' Home--The Long Farewell

 NO GIRLS ALLOWED sign in front of boy's clubhouse--decades before Woman's Lib.Would you guess the young girl is now a well-recognized low vision specialist? 
NO GIRLS ALLOWED sign in front of boy's clubhouse--
decades before Woman's Lib.
                           The young girl is now a well-recognized low vision specialist.

How many of us have had the bittersweet experience of being back on the street where we lived, in the bedroom of our growing up, years after our parents have died?  Our street was a micro world--kids about the same age who, when very young, built summer huts of tall weeds on a vacant lot near the end of the street. Before adolescence our early "architecture" morphed into the boys'-built clubhouse in a neighbor's back yard. It had the requisite "NO GIRLS ALLOWED" sign.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Aging Parents and Us--as Caregivers: Know Thyself

If we understand what's required of us and are pretty good at organizing, we can thoughtfully work out and adopt a routine--a balance--that integrates with the other parts of our life.

But what do we do when, as often happens over time, part of the equation changes? If it requires more of us, do we give more? Then do we give less to the remaining part of our life?

Simply put: we learned in high school math, how to balance an equation. Can we make that happen in our life?

Being caregivers for aging parents requires adjustments on our part as their needs change. When our responsibilities mount and more time is required, ideally we make commensurate changes in other parts of our life to consciously balance things.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Aging Parents: As Mother Lay Dying

Mother was already hospitalized when I raced (flew) cross-country, rented a car, and broke every speed limit to be at her hospital bedside. Half hour later she was in a coma. Something in me (and I think in Dad) wanted her to be able to die at home. But it was Memorial Day weekend and we learned, upon asking, that getting any kind of caregiver etc. help immediately was out of the question.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Aging Parents: Are Thank You Notes Obsolete?

Wouldn't You Think THANK YOU, like I LOVE YOU
Would Never Go Out of Style?

Good manners were instilled in our elders. People wrote thank you notes for gifts...period. While good manners are much more relaxed these days, wouldn't we think "Thank You" like "I Love You" should never go out of style? That said, many elders who have sent gifts (as opposed to personally giving them) are left wondering...
Did the gift arrive? Did they address it wrong? Did the store slip up?  Instead of gift-giving bringing joy, there's doubt, anxiety and additional effort if they feel the need to track the gift. 

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Aging Mothers: A Life Changer….overheard in the Hair Salon

Sr. Advisor D Sr. Advisor D

Meet D, our newest Sr. Advisor.  A former colleague and long-time friend, D has offered us aging insights for several years. Below she writes about a recent experience at her long-time "hair salon," aka "hairdresser's," "beauty salon." 

Regardless of name, it's a place women go ostensibly to look better. But it's much more than that for many older women. It's socialization, getting out of the house, therapy of sorts. Indeed it's one of the few patterns of younger days that can easily continue well into old age.

Where else can an older person relax and count on being listened to, being pampered, being treated well? The hair salon's supportive atmosphere lends itself to sharing thoughts and feelings.  D takes it from here--

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Friday, January 10, 2014

A Comprehensive Aging Parent Checklist

I've decided to update and combine my September 3, 2010 checklist with several others, get rid of redundancies, and produce the most comprehensive list I can.

To begin--I give this no numerical # because having this information will save time and frustration as parents age--Know where legal documents are kept: power of attorney, health care proxy, living will and will. (Also know that hospitals, for example, accept faxes of powers of attorney and health care proxies so it's wise to have copies handy in case of a health  emergency.) Sr. Advisor RHW, Esq. points out parents, as well as their lawyer, should have these documents, should you not be able to find them.

He further explains......

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Aging Parents and Us: Memory Loss or Loss of Focus

I usually publish my blog Tuesday night. Yet I was immersed in readying for, and cleaning up after, a New Year's Eve party and completely forgot. While multitasking has been a constant in the lives of many of us with old/older parents, the following from Mayo Clinic is a quick, timely read for me and quite possibly for you.

"Stop multitasking an learn how to focus" (from the Adult Health category on Mayo Clinic's website), speaks to me with 4 timely suggestions. Indeed, they are doable and 1(or all 4) could be considered a New Year's resolution.

Depending on our age, we may or may not have memory concerns about ourselves.  On the other hand, when older parents start forgetting, an alarm bell is often triggered.

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