I’ve made some new friends this Fall. There’s Amy, who is 98, still driving and who lives in her own condo. Then, there is Margaret, 83, who has had five strokes yet who retains a hefty helping of charm and poise. Brett, 87, is a former police chief. He is a real talker and although I can’t say that we have conversations, per se, Brett does like to have an audience every now and then. And I’m happy to listen. Read More »
My mother taught me that small, thoughtful gestures can pack a walloping punch of goodness. This is the lady who, when I had my appendix out, flew from Toronto to Ottawa carrying a container of homemade chicken soup on her lap! (This was obviously in the days before heightened airport security.) Read More »
Never underestimate the power, one person can have while caring for an elderly person at home. Daughter, husband, wife, son…no matter which role, one person can make it possible to keep an elderly relative or friend in his or her own home. Read More »
I usually use these pages to write about elder care. Today, however, I am appropriating this space to catalogue some of the unhelpful things people have said to me concerning my mother’s death. Oh, I realize that no one was deliberately cruel or thoughtless. Death makes many of us pretty uncomfortable. Read More »
Last month, I wrote about travelling with elderly parents. Today I’m going to tell you how I managed to take my Mom to a cottage for two weeks when she was 86.
You may remember that Mom had dementia. She was bladder incontinent and used a walker. She couldn’t walk far before becoming out of breath. So there were lots of medical issues to consider when choosing a cottage. Read More »
The lure of soft sandy beaches… Or maybe you’ve been wanting to spend some time at a cottage. Does the open highway call you to take a road trip? But no. You can’t go anywhere. Mom or Dad needs your help. You can’t possibly go away. Read More »
Caregivers have to make a special effort to care for themselves. I once went four months without taking a break from caring for my mother. I had to leave town to ensure I took time off. Since I lived in the same building as my mother, it was only all too easy to pop in for visits several times a day. It wasn’t until I woke up on a Saturday morning and DIDN’T go directly to Mom’s that I felt the relief of holiday bliss. Oh, what a feeling! Read More »
For whatever reason, Mom or Dad has been admitted to the hospital. As your parent’s primary caregiver, you will now add “advocate” to your job description.
Let me say this very clearly: every patient in a hospital bed needs a friendly and loving advocate by their side, someone who will help care for the patient and ensure the patient gets the best possible care from the doctors and nurses. Read More »
Everyone develops some memory problems as they age. Where did I leave my keys? Which floor did I park on? Where is the dog’s leash? Heavens! I’m only 56 and these are questions I regularly ask myself!
So when Mom or Dad starts to become mildly forgetful, you don’t panic. You see it as a normal consequence of aging; right up there with wrinkles and a new passion for shuffle board (a game I really enjoy, by the way!). Read More »
It was always my mother’s intention to remain at home during her elder years. There had been some judicious advance planning: a move from house to condo; the sale of the second car; the purchase of walking shoes – WALKING SHOES???? My mother rarely exercised. And there was also a good dollop of luck: luck that put an affordable condo in Mom’s building onto the market (and this was when I lived in the Ottawa area, with no plans to return to Oakville); and luck that I COULD move to Oakville, as things turned out. Read More »