Loneliness can be a plague for the elderly and ill. Yet visiting with someone who doesn’t feel well, and may have limited cognition, can be tricky. Some nervousness or reluctance is natural, but a few considerations can help to make things go smoothly.
Minding Our Elders lets you know that you are not alone, that you are not going to be perfect, but you can get the job done, You do the best you can, and that is good enough. We can't be Carol, but we can learn from her going before us. What a friend to have. What a gift she gave us. – CM Jones
Dear Carol: My mother has been in rehab since she broke her hip but now she needs to be moved. The professionals, including her doctor, strongly encourage moving her to a nursing home close to me because Mom will continue to need extensive care and her condition is expected to decline. When Mom and I discuss this, she seems sad about the idea and says she wants to go to her own home even though it’s not elder friendly. I’m wondering if we should take her to her own home and get around-the-clock care for a while just to make her happy and say that we gave it a try. At least then she’d have been home between facility stays. I know that too many moves can be confusing for an older person who is fragile, but I want to make Mom as happy as she can be. I can’t think straight right now. What do you advise? – ME
An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman
As people age, they can become hard to buy gifts for, often because they are in the process of weeding through their belongings and need so little. Also, many have issues with their health ranging from arthritic pain to cognitive disorders which influence what they can use. Still, we want to include them in holiday giving. What to do? Here are some practical, but still enjoyable, ideas. Links will provide more information and pricing.
An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman *Great Christmas gift!
It's human to feel that holidays should be happy times, with generations of traditions coming to the forefront. After all, we say we celebrate holidays. Doesn't that mean happiness? The reality, however, is that many people can feel isolated and lonely during this sometimes forced "season of goodwill." Elders can have an especially hard time with the holiday season. While aging and maturity can bring the wisdom of years for many people, there are inevitable losses that come to even the most healthy individuals. Many of these losses are emotional and social in nature. Spouses become ill or die. Other aging relatives and friends become seriously ill or die. Neighborhoods change, often leaving even those well enough to remain in their own homes feeling friendless and isolated. The holidays can bring this isolation and a feeling of loneliness to a head.
When store employees wish us "Merry Christmas!" we smile back and return the greeting. When acquaintances wave and shout "Happy Holidays!" across a parking lot we wave back with good wishes. When we take part in our work holiday celebrations we put on our happy face. Yet many of us don't feel merry or happy during this time of celebration. Caregivers, especially, may be even less likely than others to be looking forward to all of the hoopla associated with the expected happy holidays. Some of us dread even thinking about it. How do we beat this feeling of holiday blues so that we can get through the next few weeks?