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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Are You Kidding Me?

Everybody seems so young to me these days.

When my hubby watched the National Hockey League draft, I saw some of the guys who had been chosen in the first round and asked, "How old are those kids?    

Some of them looked like they were about about to become Eagle Scouts and if any one of them challenged me to a wrestling match, I actually think I'd win. They hardly looked like professional athletes, more like second stringers for the high school cheerleading squad. 

But what do I know about youth?

I think people are still babies when they're 25.

The Miss America organization does not agree. According to the official pageant rules, if you want to become Miss America - and who doesn't? - you must be between the ages of 17 and 24. Unfortunately, a lovely young 24-year-old woman who was recently crowned Miss Delaware was dethroned when it became known that she'll turn 25 - oh, the humanity! - before the end of the year, making her ineligible to stroll the runway.

Ouch, that had to hurt, having her rhinestone hopes and dreams dashed at the quarter-century mark. Time to head home and start eating grains and carbohydrates again!

The irony is that so many of the super-dolled-up Miss America contestants look like they are well into their forties. Glazed-on hairspray, pancake foundation and gowns from the Lawrence Welk Show will do that to a gal.

The good news is that even though the almost-Miss Delaware was stripped of her title and ineligible to run for the Miss America crown, the Age Police said she could keep her $9,000 scholarship. Yipee, that'll pay for about one credit, thanks loads, folks. I may be old, but at least I'll be ed-gee-cated!

But you don't have to be old to think everybody looks young. When you're 28, college students seem downright infantile; when you're middle-aged, you can't believe that the IRS agent looks exactly like that kid you used to babysit; and when you're past 50, you think that everyone under 50 positively radiates with a youthful glow. I gaze at old photos of my younger, leaner self and want to scream, "If you thought you were chunky then, sister, have I got a big fat surprise for you..."

Last week, a friend left a PEOPLE magazine in my door. The publication had two young "stars" on the cover, over which my friend had scrawled "Who ARE these people?" So not only do all the celebrities seem inexplicably young, we are approaching the age when we don't even recognize their apparent fame. 

Oh, well, I can't help it if athletes, movie stars and the guy who pumped my gas last week (he looked like a high school sophomore but then I heard him talking about his three kids) project such a youthful appearance.

I just wish to God they'd all stop helping me across the street and calling me, "Ma'am."  

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