Archive for The Oddities of Elderly Care

Can Grandma really help You stay Calm? And vice versa?

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Can Grandma really help you stay calm? And vice versa?

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This week this news story has hit many local news programs, as well as the major ones like the Today Show, and Good Morning America. We pulled this article from UsNews.com, and it is posted below for your reading pleasure. I think that this is absolutely right. When my grandma was a daily part of my life, she was there to lean on when I was having a bad day, or was stressed out. She never had the answers to fix my complex issues, but supported me and comforted my crazy times. In turn, I was a phone call, or a car ride away when she was having troubles, too. (Of course, other people helped her, too. Thought I’d better disclose that….as we’re all still paying for some of my first posts!) Nowadays, I miss the every day calls. I miss having that calm, giggly voice to see my troubles through with me. I miss the long talks about the past, the stories of her growing up, and chips & cottage cheese. My kids miss craft time & silly songs. But, we do still have her big smiles, and her hugs. And faces… they just get sillier.

Thanks for always helping me lose my stress, Grandma C. Glad I could return the favor when it mattered most. ?

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~

Closeness Between Grandparents, Adult Grandkids May Ease Depression

MONDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) — A good relationship between grandparents and their adult grandchildren can provide a psychological boost for both generations, according to a new study.
Researchers from Boston College found this type of close-knit bond was linked to fewer symptoms of depression for both the seniors and the young adults. And the closer the emotional ties, the bigger the benefit, they found.
In conducting the study, Sara Moorman, an assistant professor in the sociology department, and Jeffrey Stokes, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Boston College, examined survey data involving 376 grandparents and 340 grandchildren collected between 1985 and 2004. The grandparents were born on average in 1917, and the grandchildren on average in 1963.
The study also showed the grandparents who provided their grandchildren with tangible support — which included performing a household chore, giving advice, or offering some pocket money — and received similar support from their grandchildren in return had the fewest symptoms of depression. This type of support, however, did not affect the psychological well-being of grandchildren, the researchers noted.
On the other hand, the grandparents with the most significant increase in symptoms of depression received tangible support but did not give it, the researchers pointed out. The authors suggested that grandparents who receive help but can’t return the favor may feel bad or frustrated about having to depend on their grandchildren.
The study authors concluded that strengthening family bonds should go beyond the nuclear family and young children. They added that adult grandchildren who offer tangible support to their grandparents, and allow their grandparents to give them something in return could help reduce their symptoms of depression.
Moorman, who is also with the Institute on Aging at Boston College, is scheduled to present the findings Monday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, in New York City.
The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Copyright© 2012 HealthDay

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Resources Used:
health day.com (for original article)
Usnews.com-read story first here

Domestic and Foreign Travel Places Safer for Seniors

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Domestic and Foreign Travel Places Safer for Seniors

These days, many are into traveling after they retire, and some will travel the world. Here is a small list of “approved” cities for seniors, and the elderly to take these trips to!~

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Within the USA:
Alaska, the Last Frontier
American Battlefields: History and Heritage
Boston’s Freedom Trail
Branson, Mo. on a Budget
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Conner Prairie, Indiana
Death Valley National Park, California
Los Angeles’ Senior-Friendly Museums
Maryland’s Eastern Shore – Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties
New York City for Budget-Conscious Seniors
Niagara Falls
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, California
The Best of West Virginia
Top Living History Museums in the U.S.
Washington, DC on a Budget

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Outside the USA:
-Christchurch, Dorset
Best reason: Seaside prettiness. It has a lovely high street full of little shops, and a food and wine festival in May. The town sits at the meeting of the Rivers Stour and Avon, with a great beach for the grandchildren to build sandcastles on. Not to mention the deck chairs for hire.

-Taunton, Somerset
Best reason: Unspoilt town with a Thursday farmers’ market, county cricket, horse racing, theatre, bowls, music scene and proms in the park in August. A Shopmobility scheme supplies scooters or chairs for the elderly or disabled. It is well connected by train and the M5 to London (1hr 45mins to Paddington) and the West Country.

-Cromer, Norfolk
Best reason: Unsullied Victorian seaside with a magnificent pier from which the lifeboat launches with great drama. A small fishing fleet is still working, providing plentiful crab and lobster at the right time of year. Slightly inland, Holt is a sought after little town with specialist shops and flint cottages that is still close enough to the sea and marshes for walks.

-Sidmouth, Devon
Best reason: Jaunty Regency architecture beside the sea with red cliffs that glow at sunset. It has lovely shops, restaurants and tea rooms, while its sandy beaches and rock pools make it a paradise for grandchildren.

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*Stay tuned to future blog posts about travel insurance!!!

Resources Used:
senior travel.com

Elderly Activism & News Videos on Elderly Funding Cuts

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Elderly Activism & News Videos on Elderly Funding Cuts

Politics are one thing that I won’t dive into too terribly much in this blog. If and when we dive into politics, it will be a view of all sides…covering all the bases. I do not want, or promote, political arguments on this blog! Note to self!

The elderly are often discounted because many think they are feeble minded, or cannot keep a thought. That’s just not always the case! They are older, they’ve lived more life, through many different types of decades. Give them a chance to give their piece of mind, always. Regardless of the conversation…whether it’s politics, medical issues, or daily life aspects.
Below you’ll find one serious, and one seriously silly video! Enjoy!~

This is a video of some elderly folks giving their opinions on this past election. As a forewarning, they are not for the Republicans—–BUT, (before you already click the ‘x’ because you’re disgusted) the video is hilarious, and not at all what you’d think!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95lx1SpIKic
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Here’s a video on the new cuts to happen in less than three weeks, if the fiscal cliff arguement is not settled. The Federal government plans to reduce the amount spent on Elderly & Aging Services across the USA, immediately. This video is done by a Pastor from Indiana, so please understand this is his take. He provides good information that cover those new rules, and statistics though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaBJbZI4XyU
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Resources Used:
you tube.com

A Little Humor for your Fat Tuesday… :)

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A Little Humor for your Fat Tuesday…

Here’s a few silly cartoons to make you smile!!! Have a lovely FAT Tuesday!!

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Couldn’t resist this last one!!! 🙂

Sunday Funday…Some Funny Oldies #3!

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Sunday Funday!! Here are some cartoons for you to enjoy! Who’s watching the super bowl today? Who’s gonna win?! 🙂

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Love Betty White!

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HAHAHAHAHA!!! This is for you both, L.B. & L.R. 🙂

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🙂

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Doh!

 Enjoy your Superbowl Sunday, Everyone! My main squeeze, the kiddos and I are going to make some snacks, and watch movies today!

Poetry on Growing Old #1 :)

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Poetry On Growing Old #1 🙂

Throughout my life I’ve written. I’ve published poems & verse, small stories, a cookbook, and am currently working on finishing a novel. Writing has always been, and probably will always be, my therapy. I found many of these poems on yahoo’s poetry pages, and have marked the authors, if they were listed. Hope you enjoy them! Happy Friday!!~

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ABC’s of Aging
A is for arthritis,
B is for bad back,
C is for the chest pains. Corned Beef? Cardiac?
D is for dental decay and decline,
E is for eyesight–can’t read that top line.
F is for fissures and fluid retention
G is for gas (which I’d rather not mention–
and not to forget other gastrointestinal glitches)
H is high blood pressure
I is for itches, and lots of incisions
J is for joints, that now fail to flex
L is for libido–what happened to sex?
Wait! I forgot about K!
K is for my knees that crack all the time
(But forgive me, I get a few lapses in my
Memory from time to time)
N is for nerve (pinched) and neck (stiff) and neurosis
O is for osteo-for all the bones that crack
P is for prescriptions, that cost a small fortune
Q is for queasiness. Fatal or just the flu?
Give me another pill and I’ll be good as new!
R is for reflux–one meal turns into two
S is for sleepless nights,
counting fears on how to pay my medical bills!
T is for tinnitus–I hear bells in my ears
and the word ‘terminal’ also rings too near
U is for urinary and the difficulties that flow (or not)
V is for vertigo, as life spins by
W is worry, for pains yet unfound
X is for X ray–and what one might find
Y is for year (another one, I’m still alive).
Z is for zest
For surviving the symptoms my body’s deployed,
And keeping twenty-six doctors gainfully employed!
~~~~
The Old Fools
What do they think has happened, the old fools,
To make them like this? Do they somehow suppose
It’s more grown-up when your mouth hangs open and drools,
And you keep on pissing yourself, and can’t remember
Who called this morning? Or that, if they only chose,
They could alter things back to when they danced all night,
Or went to their wedding, or sloped arms some September?
Or do they fancy there’s really been no change,
And they’ve always behaved as if they were crippled or tight,
Or sat through days of thin continuous dreaming
Watching light move? If they don’t (and they can’t), it’s strange:
Why aren’t they screaming?
At death, you break up: the bits that were you
Start speeding away from each other for ever
With no one to see. It’s only oblivion, true:
We had it before, but then it was going to end,
And was all the time merging with a unique endeavour
To bring to bloom the million-petaled flower
Of being here. Next time you can’t pretend
There’ll be anything else. And these are the first signs:
Not knowing how, not hearing who, the power
Of choosing gone. Their looks show that they’re for it:
Ash hair, toad hands, prune face dried into lines –
How can they ignore it?
Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms
Inside your head, and people in them, acting.
People you know, yet can’t quite name; each looms
Like a deep loss restored, from known doors turning,
Setting down a lamp, smiling from a stair, extracting
A known book from the shelves; or sometimes only
The rooms themselves, chairs and a fire burning,
The blown bush at the window, or the sun’s
Faint friendliness on the wall some lonely
Rain-ceased midsummer evening. That is where they live:
Not here and now, but where all happened once.
This is why they give
An air of baffled absence, trying to be there
Yet being here. For the rooms grow farther, leaving
Incompetent cold, the constant wear and tear
Of taken breath, and them crouching below
Extinction’s alp, the old fools, never perceiving
How near it is. This must be what keeps them quiet:
The peak that stays in view wherever we go
For them is rising ground. Can they never tell
What is dragging them back, and how it will end? Not at night?
Not when the strangers come? Never, throughout
The whole hideous, inverted childhood? Well,
We shall find out.

Philip Larkin

The above poem caused much upheaval in the industry. What are your thoughts on the imagery and symbolism? Do you like it?
One of my favorite parts, “bring to bloom the million-petaled flower” brings such a good perspective to life.
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My Rememberer
My forgetter’s getting better
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke.

For when I’m ‘here’ I’m wondering
If I really should be ‘there’
And, when I try to think it through,
I haven’t got a prayer!

Often times I walk into a room,
Say “what am I here for?”
I wrack my brain, but all in vain
A zero, is my score. At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, Gee!
The person it is safest from
Is, generally, me!

When shopping I may see someone,
Say “Hi” and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, “who was that?”

Yes, my forgetter’s getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it’s driving me plumb crazy
And that isn’t any joke.
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What do you see nurse,
What do you see?
What are you thinking
When you look at me?
A crabby old woman,
Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit
With far away eyes.
Who dribbles her food
And makes no reply;
Then you say in a loud voice,
“I do wish you’d try.”
Who seems not to notice
The things that you do,
And forever is losing
A stocking or shoe.
Unresisting or not,
Lets you do as you will;
With bathing or feeding,
The long day to fill.
Is that what you’re thinking,
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes nurse,
You’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am,
As I sit here so still,
As I move at your bidding,
As I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten …
With a father and mother,
And brothers and sisters
Who love one another.
A girl of sixteen,
With wings on her feet;
Dreaming that soon,
A lover she’ll meet.
A bride soon at twenty …
My heart gives a leap;
Remembering the vows
That I promised to keep.
At twenty-five,
I have young of my own,
Who need me to build
A secure and happy home.
A woman of thirty,
My young now grow fast,
Bound together with ties
That forever should last.
At forty, my young ones
Have grown up and gone;
But my man is beside me
To see I don’t mourn.
At fifty, once more …
Babies play ’round my knees;
Again we know children,
My loved ones and me.
Dark days are upon me,
My husband is dead …
I look at the future,
I shudder with dread;
For my young are all rearing,
Young of their own,
And I think of the years
And the love I have known.
I am an old woman now,
Nature is cruel,
‘Tis her jest to make old age
Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles,
Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone
Where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass,
A young girl still dwells,
And now and again
My battered heart swells.
I remember the joys,
I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living
Life over again.
I think of the years …
All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact
That nothing can last.
So open your eyes nurses,
Open and see …
Not a “Crabbit Old Woman,”
Look closer … see “Me.”
~ Phyllis McCormack ~

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Growing Old
One of the hardest parts
of my growing old
is that, instead of telling,
I’m being toId:

what to wear;
what to eat;
where to go;
whom to meet.

My get-up-and-go
seems to have got-up-and-went
for, though once erect,
I’m now slightly bent.

I read the paper,
the ‘Deaths’ and the rest;
will I survive
that pain in my chest?

What I need is a goal
for which to strive,
a goal that will help
to keep me alive;

will make me ignore
my shortness of breath,
and make me forget
my appointment with Death.

Maybe if I show him
I’m not ready yet,
he’ll pass by for the moment,
might even forget,

as he makes for the place
where they sharpen his scythe
while I make the most
of staying alive!

Shenton, written in 2006 while in a nursing home

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Let’s Lighten the Mood….Some Funny Oldies #2

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Let’s Lighten the Mood….Some Funny Oldies #2

With it being Darling #2’s birthday, and considering the past few days, I thought there was no time like the present to throw some sillies your way! Everyone can use a mood lightener once and a while! I hope you enjoy these silly cartoons!

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*What would you do in that situation?! I wonder if they know who he is?! HAHA!!

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LoVe!

I love old women!

Hope everyone has a good night, and a GOOD day tomorrow. 🙂

Are You a Burnt out Caregiver? Check Out These Tips to Refresh Yourself!

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6 Ways to Beat Caregiver Burnout!!
And Workplace Burnout, Alike!

There’s nothing like sitting and relaxing in the evening, when out of nowhere you remember that you’ve got to take Aunt Bertha to the doctor, grocery, AND library (so she can renew the books she’ll ask you to read to her…again) tomorrow. Not to mention you’ll be going to work, and taking care of your children. And instantly, your head is throbbing, and you sort of want to barf. Keeping your cool, you calm yourself by simply going to bed, and facing the day head on. Because in the end, you know you’d do anything for Aunt Bertha…you love her to pieces. ~

Do you ever suffer from any of these symptoms?
*sleepless nights
*frequent illness
*diarrhea and stomach issues
*headaches
*depression
*forgetting anything and everything
*anger and/or rage

If you do, then you sound like one stressed out caregiver!!! There are a few things that you can do, add to, or simply change the routine of your schedule to give you some down time!

*Get some sleep!! Put yourself to bed early! Did you know that by missing only an HOUR of sleep can completely ruin your day before it’s even begun?! And like my husband ALWAYS says, “happy wife, happy life.” And sleep is so important for so many reasons. Your body and mind NEED sleep. You must make this happen! 🙂

*Breathe some FRESH air!!! Go outside; take a walk around the block. Go in the backyard, and stand there and listen to the sounds. Take a drive with the windows down! (Yes, I am aware it is winter in most places. That does not matter!!) The outdoors makes most people feel relaxed and happy….. Unless you’re a vampire, or boogeyman, I suppose. But I bet even a little oxygen would be good for them, too.

*Take BREAKS! (Yes, that’s with an ‘S’) An easy way to do this with children is that every time your little Johnny turns into a giant no listening, energy sucking bugger….with his time out, you give yourself one, too. (Sort of that same, “sleep when the baby sleeps” advice. Except, way more do-able. Because when the baby sleeps, that’s when you do chores, read, have sex, etc.) If you’re childless, and work full time, you can take desk time outs, too! Before you start a task, just relax. Stare at a pen or some other stationary object for a few minutes.

*Over 40 hours is OVER TIME!! Hopefully, if you’re working a 50 hour work week, you’re getting compensated for it. Many are not, and those folks should take a stand! Working over time only wears you out, and then without getting paid for it…well, that’s like a double whammy. 🙁

*Be Active!! Whether it’s chasing your toddler or the zumba class at your local YMCA, find a way to move your muscles EVERY day. There are so many ways to do this, and many are free!! Many local organizations offer free classes, libraries loan free DVD’s, many websites have millions of free “how-to” videos to learn new exercises, and so much more!

*Get away, and some time for YOU. This could be a vacation, far, far and away….or simply a stay-cation may be just the trick. Often we all fall into the doldrums of our every day routine any way, but adding the care for another, too? Sometimes is more than some can understand. When it gets to the point that you’re tearing off your friends or families faces when they say something like, “oh, I so know how you feel,” or “I’ve been there, too.” And the man in your head is screaming-“Come on d&)$! You have NO idea what this is like! Other than your children, who the f#8@ have your taken care of for over five years?!!?” Then it’s time for a break. When you’re that tense, you’re really no good to your loved one, either. Just saying…

Another thing that I find myself so attached to in my care giving to my grandma is my routine. I have a private home school, a home based business to run, a husband, three kids, 47930297 pets (I think the pets have pets) all to run each day. :/ (Don’t you dare think I didn’t think about writing all the millions of pounds of chores us momma’s do on a regular basis, too. Just wanted to be clear..) From the start, I made a schedule that Monday’s were hers. Whatever she needed, whatever needed done…was always on Monday. That’s worked for eight years! Yes, there were always extra trips over, incidentals that came up. But those were then fit in where they could be. Nothing was “dropped” for those extra trips, unless it was a medical issue, of course. This allowed me to know when I could plan things, schedule home school days, appointments, etc. I hope you’ll be able to squeeze some of these things back into your life! ~

I found this perfect picture that has all sorts of facts, and tidbits about what happens when you’re burnt out! The sources used to collect this information are on the bottom of the picture, from Infographic on Pinterest. 🙂