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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Why don't they just flog her on the town square?

Ellen Degeneres, that is.

Parents at a suburban Philadelphia Catholic elementary school freaked out because Ellen DeGeneres' photo appeared on an invitation for an Oscar-themed graduation dance at their kids' school.

Because Ellen hosted the Academy Awards this year, it seemed like a natural fit for the invite, but some parents with waaaaaay too much time on their hands saw red when they noticed the celeb's mug. To assuage them, the school principal emailed all of the parents to apologize for featuring someone who "lives her life outside the teachings of the Catholic Church." She also asked for a return of the invitations so they could be "destroyed." Yeah, burn 'em at the stake for corrupting those poor kids! One look at Ellen's pantsuit and they'll start marathon-watching WILL AND GRACE reruns.  

My uneducated guess is that the kerfuffle was caused by just a few crabapples who feel that America is becoming a bit too "accepting" for its own good. They want to send a message to everyone - including any kids in the school who are gay or have a gay family member - that even a reference to a homosexual is repugnant, the finest in Fear and Loathing, circa 2014.     

After all, the Pope himself has already sent the message to ease up on the holier-than-thou bandwagon. If he professes "Who am I to judge?" in regard to gay people, then maybe the Catholic school parents should take note. We're not talking about sponsoring a Johnny Weir fan club, for God's sake.

So calm down, everyone. Remember the words my first grade nun taught me: "God is love." She didn't say "God is hate or fear or judgement or mean-spiritedness."

Yes, it makes sense to protect your children, so don't idolize athletes who murder or business executives who swindle or community leaders who deceive or clergy who molest.

However, if a well-respected and non-incarcerated celebrity who also is gay appears on a school invitation, don't shine a spotlight on your deep prejudices.

Instead of public flagellation, keep your big trap shut and show your child that, like all people of deep faith, you love and respect others, even the ones who - in your opinion - aren't nearly as perfect as you are.  

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