The Knee Bone's Connected To ...

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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- LET'S SEE IF WE CAN SCREW THIS UP EVEN MORE. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia ended a 2006 program in which they provided parochial school tuition to the children of clergy sex-abuse victims. What, were they vying to win first prize for THE worst public relations move of the 21st century? Only six victims' families have benefited from the tuition assistance and some of those who were abused say that they weren't even aware of the program. The real story? The victims would probably rather send their kids to clown school. Your Eminence, think of another way to say "We're sorry" and do it FAST.

- YOU SAID IT, SISTER. The world's oldest person, Missao Ohkawa, recently turned 116. When asked if she was happy to have lived so long, the birthday gal replied, "Kind of." Ya gotta love that answer! "Yes, I'm ecstatic that I haven't died, but darn it, even my grandkids are starting to kick the bucket - it's getting weird." 
- KEEP THAT DASHING SCARF AT HOME, PAL. Organizers of the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade allowed gay military veterans to march a few weeks ago, but they would not let them hold signs or wear clothes that referred to their sexual orientation. Wow, imagine the poor guy who had to monitor those strict fashion restrictions during the parade - I can just hear him on his official walkie-talkie: "Uh, this is O'Connell, over and out, we have a situation here, a vet wearing kitten heels, can you send some backup, pronto? Over and very much out."
- IF THE BOOK FITS. Sarah Palin read a parody based on the Dr. Suess book, "Green Eggs and Ham" to express her thoughts to an audience at a Conservative Political Action Conference. Glad to know that the former VP candidate has buckled down and decided to graduate from the newspapers and magazines that Katie Couric quizzed her about to an actual book. Progress, Sarah! 

 - HAIR YE, HAIR YE. There were news reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was forcing male university students to cut their hair like his weirdly buzzed do, but it was just a rumor. Good news, because "Dear Leader," as Kim is called, is not exactly a GQ cover boy. Back in 2005, however, the government did make a proclamation about hair, saying that long locks on men affected brain activity by taking oxygen away from nerves in the head. (They did allow exemptions for longer hair on men who favored the internationally loathed comb-over style.) So Dennis Rodman, make sure your head is appropriately coiffed before you make another buddy visit to your dear friend and style icon, Dear Leader.  

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