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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The Emperor Has No Theater...

Here’s some exciting Philadelphia news: Folks, we’re not adding another boring pizza parlor to the Main Street in my neighborhood, we're welcoming a "Pizza Theater.”

As Saturday Night Live's Church Lady used to say, “Isn’t that SPECIAL?”

“Pizza Theater” is not a compelling drama featuring dough and sauce, it’s a "new" concept from Domino's Pizza. Instead of asking our civic association if it could open a ho-hum Domino's, the marketing folks at the national chain billed it as a Pizza Theater, a magical destination where customers can watch the 16-year-old Domino's employee make their order in an open kitchen "through every step of the process.” Whoopee, if there is one joy that's missing in life, it’s keeping an eagle eye on the dude who is sprinkling cheese on your pie. Now THAT’S entertainment! See, at first I was skeptical of adding another pizza shop to the 13 that already exist, but now that I know it's a The-A-ter, I'm all for it. Domino's, you clever devils, I can't wait to see your first act - what shall we call it: Long Day's Journey into Mozzarella?

They are as full of bulldinky as the Wendy's representatives who wanted to erect one of their pig-tailed restaurants in the very spot near my house where developers had knocked down a beautiful Victorian house. At a crowded civic association meeting crammed with local residents protesting the prospect of a litter-producing fast food joint, the Wendy’s bigwigs ignored our fear that the place would become a midnight magnet for barflies; Instead, they concentrated on the fact that Wendy’s late founder, an orphan himself, generously contributed to orphanages around the world. Be that as it may - to use one of my father’s favorite phrases - while my neighbors and I admired the company's philanthropic legacy, we weren't going to allow a franchised burger joint to bully its way into our residential area with tales of tax-deductible donations. 

The latest corporate-speak to set me off is Comcast, whom The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated in the bottom of its list. The company has vowed to improve its abysmal image because “it’s the right thing to do.” Yeah, and it would have also been the right thing to do years ago, before the villagers started lighting torches and heading to cable competitors. Comcast says it will now credit 20 bucks to customers for a missed technician appointment and provide employees with hospitality training “to emphasize courteous and professional interactions with customers.” The last time I called Comcast when I couldn’t access On Demand programs, the nimrod I spoke with screamed at me because I didn’t know what type of receptor box I had. Hey, I'm lucky I know what cable service I have and you're the ones who installed the damn box, so YOU look it up. Can't wait to talk to him after those training sessions!

So executives, before you start with the doublespeak, please know that the public is well aware that the emperor is buck naked and loaded with malarkey.

Look for it - coming soon! - at a “theater” near you. 



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