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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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."

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