Monday, September 28, 2015

Caring For Aging Parents--The Pope and Respected Financial News Sources Weigh In

                        Family Caregivers for their Aging Parents
                                are Worth Their Weight in Gold

Valuing "old people"--included in Pope Francis's speech--shouldn't have surprised me. "Old people." (At 78 is Pope Francis old?) Those words made an impact, while watching his presentations to Congress on TV, and again--while watching, I believe, his UN speech, on TV in New York.

And today I was told (by someone who hadn't read the article) that a high-respected financial weekly, Barron's, came out today promoting a "Caring For Aging Parents" article. Is this a coincidence? In any event, I was curious about its contents. ........................

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NYC's last 2 days have been filled with Pope Francis (less than 3 months until his 79th birthday). ......In the right place at the right time, I share this iPhone-taken-photo on a NYC side-street. IMG_4475
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Aging Parents: Cleaning Out Their Home After Death--The Plus-side

Past posts about cleaning out my parents' home--basically alone--after they died had one purpose: to offer the best, objective, helpful information, dismissing the emotional for the most part. They didn't emphasize the emotional benefits because I know well that one person's experience does not qualify as valid for many.

Recent events, however, make me think the emotional benefit for me, could be many people's experience, although they're unaware. Left alone in one's growing-up home with things and memories --and a lot of work seems overwhelming! That said, looking back, it was one of the most precious gifts one can have if we're fortunate enough to be cast into this position.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Aging Parents: A Perfect Birthday Party for an Elderly Woman (96)

First, the background for the most perfect and meaningful birthday celebration I ever attended.

She mentioned the old days with obvious nostalgia, when women were invited to people’s homes for luncheons and teas. The younger woman, B, listened intently. The older woman described how special it was–the friendliness, the sharing, the carefully-planned and prepared food.

The sincerity and vivid recollection made an impact on the younger woman, whose lifestyle included a thirteen-year-old, two college-aged children, and her two difficult aging parents.

The older woman was Sr. Advisor, R, my m-i-l, a remarkable woman whose wisdom, sayings, diet, and way of living life have  provided material for many posts. Recalling times gone by and their sweet moments, these recollections still brought R happiness–more than half a century later. B was moved by the conversation.


R didn’t want a celebration for her 95th birthday. This year was different. B, in her 40’s, planned a 96th birthday luncheon. 11 guests (ages 13-96). The hostess’s 13-year-old daughter wanted to be there as did her 25-year-old sister (with a recent ankle fracture).

The large dining room table, beautifully set, was extended to seat all the guests.....

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Aging Parents' Hygiene--Do Old People Smell?

          ...and if a person smells, how do you tell him/her?

Last week "The Truth about 'Old People Smell,'" awaited me in my gmail. Coincidentally I had just posted about how often elders should bathe so I was curious about "the truth."  In the end I was left wondering.

What I'm not wondering about is the importance of proper hygiene for elders. Well-respected, documented research confirms connections with others are essential in aging well and I daresay people who are smelly don't attract others. 

This brings up the importance of doing the awkward favor: informing someone you care about that he or she smells (or whatever)....and the dilemma:                                       

What to say. How to say it.

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