Archive for the ‘Caregiving’ Category


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This thought-provoking reflection was posted today by Ruth Hill, a local writer I know slightly.  Very apropros for all of us.

“Hmmm … I am thinking of having to clean out my mother in law’s house when she died. I am thinking about all the people I know who have lamented about cleaning out their parents’ houses, when the parents became incapacitated or passed away prematurely. I am thinking of the elderly who accumulate a lot of stored family junk, and then get too old or sick to take care of anything.

So wouldn’t it be a nice cultural habit if everyone who reached retirement age cleaned out their own house? Encourage offspring to take what is theirs out of the parents’ homes. Encourage parents to sort things:  KEEP, DONATE, RECYCLE, or TRASH. For you younger folk, HELP your parents do this, before it is too late to make their own decisions or do the work.

And those legal problems: have an end of life pre-intention agreement drawn up for hospital care decisions and funeral decisions, so your children don’t have to bear this burden. Have your organ donor decisions ready. There is no sense in avoiding these issues as unsavory. We know for sure: we are born mortal, and no one knows when.There is no way around that, so let’s make it as easy as possible on everyone we leave behind. Have mercy on our poor spouses, who have to deal with heartbreak, along with all these other burdens.

Prepare ahead of time. Later is too late.”

And in addition, here’s a relevant link provided by another writer I know, Franci Louann.   AWOC: Ageing Without Children, is a British organization (meeting in Brighton, dontcha know, near where my aunt lives).



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This is something we all need to do–every day–especially when we are caregiving!
Today you may feel greater compassion for others and want to express yourself in a nurturing manner. It might seem easy for you to take on the challenges of the people around you in order to make their lives more comfortable. While it is important to want to save the world and help others, today you may also need to remember to nurture yourself first. Before giving to others, you can take a few minutes to do a loving-kindness meditation. Focus your attention on yourself, wishing that you will soon find love, peace, and happiness. Then widen this circle of love to include your family and friends, and finally all beings in the world. By doing this meditation you may notice that it becomes easier to truly help others.

Learning to extend compassion to ourselves first and then to others allows us to cultivate true care. When we feel the need to help other people we can easily wear ourselves out unless we make the effort to care for ourselves. We sometimes have the tendency to help other people and hope that we get something back in return, which means that our compassion is tainted by our desire to be needed. By giving ourselves the love we need, however, we provide ourselves with the strength and unconditional love required to selflessly support others. Grounding ourselves in an unlimited source of love and peace lets us give so much more as a result. By practicing loving-kindness meditation today, you will give with a pure heart and increase the effects of your compassionate acts.

Aries Horoscope
August 19, 2017

Daily Om

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Fascinating article here about risk factors.  New research is indicating that hearing loss is a predictor, which is not surprising when one thinks about it.


These are the 9 risk factors for dementia that you probably didn’t know about

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How can one possibly get so tired, be tired, stay tired, and yet keep on going?  I am absolutely worn out, inside and out, mentally, physically, and emotionally.  I’m doing a job I didn’t ask for, don’t want, and in some respects am not very good at.  Nursing was never on my list of career choices; I’m a teacher and an organizer and an administrator.  So what have I ended up doing?  Organizing stuff for Mum:  her medical care, her home needs, her shopping, her appointments, our entertainment.  Constant follow ups. My to-do lists often have at least 18 items listed; usually, about 12 of them are for her.  And because people keep telling me I need to take care of myself and do things for myself, I’m trying to have my own life–not that I’ve time for painting or writing or visiting or doing nothing (golly, doing nothing would be my first choice of what to do)–and keep my own household running smoothly.  I assure you, it isn’t.  My living room is a tip.  Filing and mail are stacked up in my office yet again.  I’m ‘way behind on answering emails.  Most days my bed gets made, but dirty laundry piles up and the day’s clothing doesn’t get put away.  Clean laundry simply goes through the wear-it-and-wash-it-again cycle.  Dust is evident nearly everywhere.  But my bathroom is always clean, the litter boxes scooped, and most days I get the dishes done plus the counters cleared (mainly ‘cos I don’t do much cooking here).  And a true joy is having a freshly made bed to fall into at night, usually later than is desirable.

My ideal weekend would be tea with toast and TV or a good book in a freshly made bed to start the day.  Sunshine so that I can sit on the balcony with a cup of tea and read a super, well-written novel.  No phone calls to make, except to friends, if I want to.  Just my cats and me.  Nowhere to have to go, unless I want to.  No rushing anywhere.  Time to meditate.  A nap in the afternoon.  Long showers.  Good food, well prepared, eaten slowly and mindfully.  More reading, perhaps with some gentle music (birds singing and water soothing) in the background.  A good movie in bed.  No having to get up the next morning unless I want to. Starting the next day with tea and toast and a good book in bed … sunshine on on the balcony … more reading, more good food, more tea, more music, more meditation.  And then to do it all over again the next day, and the next.  A whole week.  Sigh.  Ain’t gonna happen.   Not for a long, long time.

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This is a timely and noteworthy article.  We need to take/make the opportunity to make end of life as comfortable as possible for everyone.  It will come to us all.

In BC, Caregiving Takes Toll on Finances, Career, Health

One million British Columbians are caring for friends or family — and paying a price because of inadequate supports.

By Linda Givetash 27 Oct 2016 | TheTyee.ca Linda Givetash is a Vancouver-based journalist reporting on health and human rights across Canada and around the globe.



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As memory fades

Today Mum forgot her address.  I’d gone downstairs to get supper ready and told her I’d noted she’d phoned me several times throughout the afternoon while I was out but had left only one message.  She was in good spirits when I arrived, seeming quite clear, but she said she’d needed my phone number so she was calling me to check it.  She couldn’t remember my address, either, she said, starting to get a tad panicky.  As I could see her confusion and wasn’t sure whether she actually meant my phone number or my address, I told her both my suite number and her suite number, with our street address.  Then she said she wouldn’t remember anyway, and started rather frantically looking for paper to write on, so I suggested we do it later ‘cos it was time for dinner.  Easily distracted, she seemed satisfied.

Going into the kitchen to check on dinner, I was truly sad.  Certainly her short term memory has been diminishing for some time—tell her something, like the day or date or when her next home helper is coming, and a while later she’ll ask again.  Or she repeats something she’s just told me.  Several times.  But it seems lately simple things are getting more difficult for her to remember, even things she’s known for a long time.  Like her address.  She’s never been particularly good with numbers; it’s a standing family joke that she can’t remember phone numbers, but my phone number at least was one she’d never had to look up.  I’ll be writing the contact info for both of us on a sheet of paper and taping it to the wall beside her bed.  That solves the immediate problem, but of course can’t make up for the fact that this is yet another example of her fading memory.

Sometimes it’s okay for me; other times, it’s most frustrating.  I don’t usually mind if she repeats herself.  I don’t usually mind if she can’t instantly recall the day or the date or the home helper.  I didn’t mind about this.  But when she asks me a question about how to do something and I find myself explaining it over and over, it becomes painful for me and often I give up in frustration.  I notice that she can manage one or two or three steps, but anything more complicated is no longer retained.  She’s started asking, “What do I do next?” when she’s getting up to come into the living room or go to the bathroom.  These are the same routines she’s been doing for months, but no longer are they simple, automatic procedures for her.  Ah, me. This is so difficult to see.

And I know there is worse to come.  Sigh.

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