The Knee Bone's Connected To ...
tsb

Such a face! Daddy Bones@ age 12, gracing the book's cover.

 

 How to Keep Your Sanity Intact When a Loved One Needs a Nursing Home  

It’s estimated that more than 50 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year.

Studies show that extremely stressed caregivers can age or die prematurely. 

“Bette Davis said ‘old age is no place for sissies,’ but caring for an older loved one isn’t for the feint of heart, either,” says Bones. “I loved my dad and we were very close, but the strain of ‘putting’ him in a nursing home was so overwhelming for all of us that I felt like I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown.”

Becoming aware of some of the don’ts” of long-term care can make daily life easier for nursing home residents and for their family caretakers,” she notes.

Bones offers some key examples from her Nursing Home Checklist:

· Ask clergy, family, and friends - especially those in the health care field - to recommend outstanding nursing homes.

· When touring a nursing home, ask other visitors for frank feedback about the facility. Don’t just inspect the “sample” room, look into residents’ rooms to check for cleanliness.

· Assure your loved one that you will be their ongoing advocate.

· Visit your loved one often and at varying times of the day - and night. This alerts all of the caregivers that you are keeping an eye on your loved one.

· Get to know the staff, especially your loved one’s immediate caregivers.

· Thank the employees for the thankless job that they do.

· Put your loved one’s name on all their belongings, including clothes and personal products. Never leave money or valuables in their room.

· Place a quilt, photos and other small touches to create a “homey” room.

· Put a brief bio and picture of your loved one at the entrance of their room to “introduce” them to staff and visitors.

. Bring old photos when you visit your loved one - it will give you something to look at if conversation lags.

. Bring different edible treats to spice-up the resident's menu.

 

 


 

 

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Thursday
Mar282013

A REAL CROSS TO BEAR...

The cross was too much to bear.

I don't mean that metaphorically, I mean it was actually wayyyy too much.

It was Ash Wednesday last month, so I went to church to uphold my status as a mediocre Catholic who questions more than she prays.

But when I saw my fellow parishioners coming down the aisle after receiving their ashes from our pastor, my first inappropriate thought was "Oh crap!" Instead of a simple ash mark, every single person had a jet black cross the size of a bagel on their foreheads. The thing was startlingly huge.

Now, I was trying to kick-off the Lenten season with some humility, but this display was enough to make a bona fide saint do a double take and say, "Whhoaaa, there, big fella, crank it back a notch."

Sometimes I feel as if the Catholic Church in general and the priests at my parish in particular are deliberately trying to tick-off the faithful. For example, they refuse to distribute palms on Palm Sunday until after mass is completed. Have to sneak out early to attend to your aging Mother? No palms for you! And I remember our pastor warning churchgoers that we could not receive ashes unless we stayed put for the entire mass. Hey, fadder, every heard of busy people who have to get to work on a weekday? Sheesh!

So the gargantuan ash crosses struck me as yet another "You're Catholic and you'll like it!" form of organized bullying.

To avoid a stigmata on my face, I cagily tiptoed over to another line to get my ashes from another priest. Of course the joke was on me and my immortal soul because a directive must have been issued encouraging every ash-giver to "GET THOSE SUCKERS WITH EVERY OUNCE OF THUMB MUSCLE YA HAVE" because priest number two gave me ashes that would have lasted a good week or two if I let them.  

Horrified by how I looked, I did what any sane adult would do: I went home and rubbed-off three-quarters of the ashes with a tissue. I'm sure I racked-up some major sacrilege by flushing blessed ashes down the john, but I had to teach later that day and I didn't want black soot trickling onto my nose in the midst of a scintillating lecture. 

The good news is that there's a new Pope in town and he seems to understand that you don't have to wear your spirituality on your forehead.

Yes, I know he has a long way to go with vital issues like women priests, gay rights and papal bling, but baby steps, people. Pope Francis advocates short homilies, a humble lifestyle and love for all mankind, and that sounds like progress to me.

Next Lenten season, perhaps he'll even send out a memo to overly exuberant clerics worldwide that says something like this:"For God's Sake, everybody, RELAX and ease up on the *!&#! ashes." 

And on that note, HAPPY EASTER AND PASSOVER TO ALL!

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