Sunday, February 28, 2016

Caring for the Caregiver of a Hospitalized Aging Parent or Spouse After Major Surgery

While I've been working on a post about successfully dealing with a loved one's hospital experience, I was unsure about how to best orchestrate the transition from the hospital to home for my husband--even though I'd spoken to the social worker on the floor (who said I knew everything he was telling me so I should simply call with any additional questions).

That said I wasn't comfortable, wondering: Could I handle the physical requirements of someone who'd been in the cocoon of intensive care levels, then a few days of rehab and still take care of the food preparation, normal house keeping and leaving the house to do necessary errands that first week? I also remembered something I learned, in my two years of teaching French (before I began counseling): not to say to my students "just raise your hand If you don't understand." A very bright student politely asked "How do you know what to ask if you don't know what you don't know?" Decades later, I remember that. Thus, I phoned Deb.

To view entire post please visit my other site

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Aging Parents and Hospitals: "Thank You" May Be Your Best Ally

                 In medical situations where we're dependent on others
                and have no control, "thank you" may be our best ally.

Really sick people, especially aging parents, make us sad, stressed and dependent on smart professionals to address our parents' needs. Reactions to serious family health issues and how we navigate the emotional roller coaster obviously vary. One size never fits all. Yet there's one constant that's a win-win for aging parents, health care professionals and their support people, and us--
To view complete post please visit my other site

Monday, February 1, 2016

Aging Parents--Aging Well: What do Nuns Have to do With It?

IMG_4915 Nuns Crossing 5th Ave. in NYC Sunday morning after January 2016 Blizzard

Seeing these agile, apparently hardy nuns navigating snow and slush to cross 5th Avenue last Sunday, triggered my long ago thinking about the MacArthur Foundation research and the Nun Study. Although I don't remember an emphasis on "active engagement with life" in the Nun Study, I remember thinking at the time that nuns are part of a community experiencing  social connectedness and are actively engaged; and I wondered if that also helped them age well.

Today the importance of connections with others in helping people age well is well recognized. Nuns don't have children, but they do have a community which supports and connects with them throughout life.

Our parents, on the other hand, have children, but their community--their supports--dwindle as they age, leaving lonely, unhappy elders with adult children who often live many miles away with job and family responsibilities. In addition, many parents don't want to impose on their children "who have their own lives." And few older people want to give up their homes and the independence that they feel, even when they could benefit from the extra help and socialization. (We all know this.) The question remains--What to do?
Six Suggestions

To view entire post please visit my other site