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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