What a relief not to worry about Mom and Dad during the winter months; no slipping on ice, driving in snow, frozen pipes, furnace failures or snow removal. They enjoyed winter outdoor living down South, without the weather-related complications that are the norm here in New England. Living in two places has its benefits, but there sure are plenty of complications.
She's the family favorite. All the kids adore her. She was the one who took them to the carnival, the fall fairs and the water parks. Dot never missed a game, a performance or a birthday. So... how in the world do we tell them about her terminal diagnosis? It will break their hearts.
Coping with death and the loss that follows is the subject of "hot off the press" books, movies, magazine articles, YouTube videos, pop songs, tattoos, and we've just scratched the surface. Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Our early life experiences, and that of our parents and even grandparents, often shape the way we cope with loss.
Many of us have been there. Mom and Dad had a great marriage. They met at age 20 and were married for 50 years. Mom's only been gone just over a year, and Dad drops the bomb: he's getting married again.
More than ever before, countless treatment modalities support us as we age. Massage and physical therapy are considered "mainstream" and readily accepted as part of a wellness program. However, acupuncture, reiki, polarity, guided imagery, and sound healing are newer cousins to the older, more broadly embraced therapies. What have we left out? Chiropractic care.
Mom and Dad prepared their will 30 years ago. My siblings and I don't know where it is, we don't know which attorney drew up the document, and now, changes need to be made. Finding the will has been something we were "going to get to." Well, the time is NOW, and we're not prepared.
In the not-so-distant past, orthopedic surgeons wanted to push joint replacement surgery out as far as possible, fearing the replacement joints might fail after ten years or so. Currently, joint replacements are considered fully functional and intact for twenty years or more after surgery.
Changes in medications, worsening of existing conditions, and new medical diagnoses all contribute to an increase in falls. However, a central cause right under our noses (and something that we can IMPROVE), is poor muscle strength. Lower extremity and core weakness increase vulnerability in everyone, especially elders, making them more prone to poor balance and falls.
This is a tough season of life for the seniors in our lives, and for us as well. There are many changes, and lots of challenges. The thought of leaving home is intolerable for some elders, while for others, the opportunity of an Assisted Living with its support, activities, and companionship…
Gramp had a stroke that left him unable to walk. He stayed home with care for a year and had several falls in the past few months, in which he was hospitalized and then went to rehab. It's too much on him, and too much on Gram to keep him home....
"It has been three years since Mom's diagnosis. In that time, she has exhausted all options, from chemotherapy to radiation, and every experimental treatment in between. We all put our total energy into her "beating" the disease. She had a huge cheering section. Now, she has few options remaining. Many of us have been able to "modify our expectations," and change our goals from curative to comfort. All that is, except my brother.
My doctor tells me that the surgery needs to happen NOW and delaying it again isn't an option. It's never a good time, but now it really is NOT a good time. I moved in with Mom a year ago, as she needed more support than I could provide at a distance. Things have changed even in the last year so that she really can't be left alone. I have friends and family, but they don't know how to care for Mom like I do.
The President of Aberdeen Home Care gives advice on how to make it possible for an elderly family member attend out-of-town family events.