Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
"Will you still need me,will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?" (from the Beatles' "When I'm Sixty-four")
I was in college in 1967 when the great album,"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band." was ever so popular with it's songs playing everywhere. And here in 2006, my mouth dropped open when I saw Paul McCartney's face on the cover of AARP announcing that he was turning 64. It seems so ironic. Most of all. to many of us it seems as if it were only yesterday.
I can remember when my grandparents were in their fifties. There was quite a difference in the way people aged back then when I was a little girl. Those in their fifties were old.. old looking and old in their thinking and attitude... then my parent's generation turned fifty and they didn't appear to be as old as my grandparents were.. nor did they think as old as they did... And now, the boomers have been turning 50... millions not looking their age nor thinking it as new world of aging is set before us and for many of us, we are making up aging as we go along.. redefining what it means to each of us from within. For many, it means re-evaluating their lives, letting go of old beliefs and conditioning that they took on from society and their families to recreate a newer way of aging in place.. a whole, entirely different mindset.
One of the most important reasons we are accomplishing this is because we have become more conscious about the choices we have in making decisions that are appropriate for us as we age. What are you doing so that you may age in place more gracefully... whole and healtheir?
I would like to wish you all a very Happy Father's Day.. as well as for your loved ones...
May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
National Organization For Empowering Caregivers NOFEC
We invite you to join in our complimentary membership at: Join Us. While you are there, please take a few minutes to fill in our Caregiver Survey. Your input is extremely valuable and we will respect your privacy. Your support in filling in our survey will help us and our funders to study the areas where programming is most needed and where it will be most effective. Survey.
If you are a family caregiver residing in New York City, please contact us to see if you are eligible for respite provided by our trained volunteers. Through a grant provided by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and additional funding through Marble Collegiate Church and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, we are now offering respite services to those caregivers residing in our catchments' area . For more information or to become a member of our coalition or to volunteer your gift of time, please contact us at 212.807.1204. We look forward to hearing from you.
We are reaching out for new submissions for our Caregiver Spotlights. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to reflect on your experiences as a ; caregiver to your loved one; to evaluate what works, what doesn't and how you have shifted and transformed your roles into more meaningful experiences for yourself and for the loved one you are caring for. Writing about your situation can be so cathartic - and it helps you to see the bigger picture in doing so. Don't be shy... you don't need to be an expert at writing... no need to worry about the grammar or spelling... our editors will assist you.
So many caregivers from around the world read the spotlights. It is through the sharing that they can relate and heal their own roles as caregivers. If you are interested please email us at E.C. Thank you,...
Three members of the Empowering Caregivers Commumity received a copy of The Selfish Pigs Guide to Caring. They are: D. Helt, T. Mahoney and C. Silverstein.
NEW CAREGIVING ARTICLES AT THE SITE
If you are interested in submitting an article(s) please go to: Submit. You will find a form for submitting your article, bio/profile, copyright permissions, etc. Please review our guidelines for acceptance, submit and we will notify you upon acceptance.
Caregivers & Stress by Beth Witrogen McLeod
“this ballet is not for dancing”
The Video Camera on the wall of Swan Lake Manor is recording. All the film sees is a lone person, Lydia, sitting in a wheelchair in the long corridor. Her shoulders are hunched and her head is covered with a brightly colored scarf.
This camera is meant to see all. And, this early Saturday morning, it did.
The clock on the wall says 7: 31 AM. Screams are heard echoing down the long hall way of Swan Lake Manor,
“Help me, help me!” screams Lydia as she inches her wheelchair painfully, slowly forward.
No response. The camera does not pick up anyone or anything joining the drama.
“Nurse, nurse, nurse!” the screams are becoming shrieks now.
Still - no response. However, at approximately 7:37, a caregiver is seen dashing across the hallway; pausing to contemplate the screams of help, and then marching on.
Soon, Walter, a resident in a wheelchair waltzes around the corner,
“What’s all the screaming about?” says Walter, moving his wheelchair closer by to Lydia.
“Help, help, help!” continues Lydia, as she pushes her wheelchair along, ignoring Walter.
“Oh shut-up!” Walter shouts, extending his right foot and giving Lydia’s wheelchair a good, sound kick. A dead eyed stare shoots back from Lydia.
It is now 7:49, and there is no one in sight.
By 7:51, Walter has had enough. He dances his wheelchair over to the nursing unit of Swan Lake Manor, and says to the nurse,
“Can’t you hear Lydia making all that racket down the hall. Why don’t you do something about it? It’s driving us all crazy.”
The nurse is consumed with her work at the nurse’s station, barely glancing up. She calmly replies, “Oh, that’s just Lydia telling us she wants us to push her wheelchair to the dining room for breakfast. She’s always like that Walter, don’t worry.”
The appealing shouts are still heard down the long, empty corridor,
“Help, help, help me!” shouts Lydia. The clock goes on ticking at Swan Lake Manor; it is now 8:06 and breakfast will be served at 9 AM.
The interview with Lydia’s nurse follows:
What message do you think Lydia is trying to deliver? And why do you think she repeats herself so much?
I guess she might be telling us she is hungry. Or maybe she is lonely and wants the girls to give her some attention. It’s just that everyone is so busy early in the morning getting everyone ready for breakfast, that nobody has time to spend with Lydia.
I don’t think Lydia remembers when we tell her that breakfast is coming, or that we will help her when we can. She just keeps screaming.
Why do you suppose this is?
I imagine this is because of Lydia’s mental deterioration. She really is doing the best she can. I’m thinking maybe Lydia can’t understand what’s going on and she is afraid.
Does she know where she is living? And does she know when & where breakfast is being served?
Some days, Lydia thinks she is still living in Russia. It seems no matter how many times the girls tell her she is now living at Swan Lake Manor, she won’t remember. The same thing happens with meal times. Even after Lydia has finished her breakfast, she will ask the girls, “Is it breakfast time yet?”
This must be very frustrating for you and your staff.
Absolutely! Although it may appear that we have been ignoring Lydia this morning, we have to put up with this on a daily basis. And we do have 75 residents to prepare for their breakfast time.
Do you have some suggestions as to how caregivers can focus on Lydia’s remaining skills?
That’s a really good question. Lydia has always enjoyed cooking, gardening and classical music. Also, she loves being around small children.
What might be some ways of maintaining Lydia’s respect and dignity?
Now that you mention it, perhaps we could bring Lydia to the dining room earlier, and she could assist the girls in the kitchen. Or, maybe we could even turn on some classical music for her, while she is waiting for breakfast.
Do you see any benefits in leaving Lydia in bed a little longer in the morning?
That might just work. The girls could turn on her music by the bedside and Lydia could rest until closer to breakfast time.
Anything else you want to add?
Yes, I have noticed that Lydia communicates with feelings, more than with words. If we take the time to sit with Lydia, it helps us so much more to understand the person inside.
Gwendolyn welcomes your questions/comments at gmdegeest
Gwendolyn deGeest RN, BSN, MA
Gwendolyn deGeest RN, BSN, MA is the author of “Bathing Sparky” She has been working in dementia care for over two decades and has witnessed the joys and sorrows of families struggling to maintain a quality of life for themselves and their loved ones. Gwendolyn’s thesis, “The Relation Between the Perceived Role of Family and the Behavior of the Person with Dementia” is published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, May/June, 2003. This work was presented at The International Congress of Gerontology, Vancouver, Canada. Gwendolyn resides in Vancouver, with her family where she is a professor.
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Mind, Body & Soul- Free Conference For:
The conference will provide family caregivers with educational sessions to empower them both during and after the caregiving journey.
St. Francis College
Contact Person RSVP : Emily Dowd at 718-499-7701 x114
Caring Today's: Give a Caregiver a Break Essay Contest
Caring Today Magazine, with support from Home Instead Senior Care, will be awarding home care prizes to 3 family caregivers caring for individuals 65 years or older. The grand prize will be $5,000 worth of free home care, and two people will win $2,500 worth of free home care. Entries must be submitted by July 15, 2006. US family and informal caregivers are invited to submit an essay in 500 words or less about their day-to-day experience of caregiving. For more information, visit: Caring Today
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has developed three caregiver publications based on focus groups from caregivers with loved ones in treatment and post-treatment, as well as those who had recently lost someone. The booklets focus on the caregiver, not how to take care of the patient. Although specific to cancer, the information translates for any disease or condition. The publications can be downloaded in PDF from the web or ordered by calling 1-800-4-CANCER. The publications are free.
Prevent Blindness America
Map out your future, but do it in pencil.
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
To Lasso The Sun
If I could lasso the sun ~
There is no poetry, in this moment:
Joe was bragging to his friend, Harry, about his new hearing aid. "It's Fantastic! I can hear everything at church, including the little kid in the back as well as the minister up front. You really should get one, Harry! It changes everything when you can hear so well!"
Harry replies, "Sounds great! I need it! What kind is it?" Joe answers, looking at his watch, "Quarter to three."
A doctor comes home and finds he has no water so he calls a plumber. The plumber walks in and has the water back on in 5 minutes. The plumber turns around and hands the doctor a bill for $275.00.
The outraged doctor stammers "I'm a Neurosurgeon, not some damn, dumb plumber, and I don't even make that much for 5 minutes work!"
The plumber smiles and says "Yeah, I know, I didn't make that much when I was a Neurosurgeon either."
Art Linkletter visited a retirement home and when walking through the hallway, met a charming lady. He asked her if she knew who he was. She smiled and said, "no, but if you ask the lady at the front desk, she can tell you".
THAT'S IT FOR THIS ISSUE
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