Tagged with parents

Assumptions About Being Old

Too often seniors who have been successful and productive individuals, are trivialized in their everyday interactions. Most often this occurs unintentionally because of unconscious assumptions about people who are growing old. But it occurs everywhere, and I believe the assumptions that greet a person of any age can often evolve into self-fulfilling prophecies. Negative assumptions … Continue reading

Thanksgiving and Dementia — Redux

Our family member with dementia arrived at our Thanksgiving celebration sometime around 2:00 in the afternoon.  Her afternoon caretaker  took Thanksgiving afternoon off, and we planned to be responsible for her care until bedtime.  Things went quite well, however, we now realize that if we are entertaining family and hosting festivities at our house, we … Continue reading

Scary or Urgent E-mail — Don’t Be Fooled

E-mail  is the best communication tool for seniors, kids, and grandchildren and is so easy and convenient!  This interconnectedness is even more important at times of family illness and when family members live far away from one another.  All family members, but especially seniors, need to master some important skills and understand some key concepts, … Continue reading

Senior Adults and Falling

From the November 11, 2009  New York Times in an article by Steve Lohr … “FALLS are so harmful to the elderly and so costly to society that if falling were a disease it  be deemed an epidemic.” Almost every week or so an over 70-year-old acquaintance or friend falls. According to the Centers for … Continue reading

Holidays

With three senior parents I am thinking a lot about holidays — past and future — how wonderful they can be and how to celebrate without a lot of brouhaha.  I am concentrating on making each holiday, in this case Thanksgiving, special but also as simple as possible.  This year we’ve navigated lots of health … Continue reading

Stages of Dementia – Part I

When you read about dementia you learn that the disease presents itself in stages. The literature seems to describe six stages, seven if you think of stage one as the “normal” range in which most of us function. I am reconstructing these stages, attempting to understand the progression of the disease in our family. In … Continue reading

Technology and Senior Adults

Both of my parents love their computers.  They use e-mail,  the web, or simply pen their thoughts.  My mother is a cracker-jack  e-mail user, communicating with various political, church, and personal lists. My father, I think, would really enjoy a smart phone because of the easy access to resources, though he would not like to … Continue reading

Dementia is a Terminal Illness

As I understand it, dementia describes a set of symptoms — I mentioned some of these in my last post.  Different types of dementia seem to have a slightly different configuration of symptoms and some can be diagnosed while others, like Alzheimer’s can be tentatively diagnosed, but only truly documented after a person dies (by … Continue reading

How Dementia Creeps into a Life

You don’t recognize dementia for a long time. In fact, why would anyone want to recognize this disease in a much loved parent? In retrospect, the dementia first came into our family several years ago. A stroke made the symptoms worse. We noticed clothes not being hung up, keys being lost, a concern about valuables … Continue reading

Phone Calls that Take Advantage

More than once a week my telephone rings and when I pick up an urgent recorded voice tells me that time is running out to make important and needed changes on my credit card (push #1 for assistance) or my car warranty.   At other times I hear about the best deal for my mortgage (if … Continue reading

Pay Attention Please, Docs

Until they are pretty old and fairly tuned out, seniors like explanations. Most do not like medical tests even though Medicare pays for lots of them. My parents like their doctors and willingly get the tests if they understand why and what difference a test will make in their lives, but they want to know … Continue reading

Exercise and Aging

I constantly worry about exercise, and I have observed first hand how much and how fast change occurs when an individual stops exercising. One of our family members moved to our area to be closer to us.  At her old home, even at age 90, she probably walked more than a mile a day. She … Continue reading

How We Speak to Seniors

I’d love to know how many seniors are truly hard of hearing. I’ll bet the percentage is higher than the general population, but not that high. I ask this question because I’ve discovered that when people speak to seniors — in clinics, at hospitals, in stores, at the library, but especially in medical settings — … Continue reading

Going to the Emergency Room/Hospital With an Elder Parent

With all of our national health problems and the extreme  burdens on hospital emergency departments, when very old senior citizens visit they require special care.  Their bodies, attention spans, and fearfulness cause extreme disorientation after a short time in an emergency facility. Disorientation occurs quickly.  I’ve now observed this several times now with several parents. … Continue reading

The Parenting Circle

First we are born and most of us are lucky enough to be an immediate part of a family, taken care of and loved by our parents. They support us, encourage us, model for us, confuse us, drive us crazy sometimes, and in general help us figure out how to grow up.  The process can … Continue reading