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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« I (USED TO) LOVE A PARADE | Main | Thems is Fightin' Words »

Screamin' Mad

So I've been screaming a lot in the shower lately.

No, not because there is a large mirror next to the bathtub, but because I have a radio in the bathroom.

I picked-up the habit of starting my day with the all-news, all the time station from my parents, who used it as their wake-up call. I considered it a downright inhumane practice. So of course, like all repulsed offspring, I ended up embracing the same bizarre habits as Ma and Pa, thus the tendency to listen to gut-wrenching news first thing in the AM.

This year, the top stories have been particularly grueling, causing me to scream in the shower like a Psycho wannabe.

The neighbors must think that I'm being tortured and, come to think of it, I AM.

Who hasn't? There's the putrid thousand-mile wall to keep out the tired, the poor and the huddled masses; the countries that are literally cursed because they aren't nearly as white as the president thinks they should be; the embarrassingly juvenile nicknames unbecoming of an inebriated frat boy; etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. 

So every day, the news blares and I scream.

And that's why I went to the Philadelphia Women's March on Saturday again this year.

In the past, I've always wondered why people marched and how they found the time to do it. Once, when I was lucky enough to buy preview tickets for a Broadway production, I almost missed the show because protesters were blocking a street near the theater. I wanted to wallop a few of the dissidents that day, no matter how noble their cause. I feel your pain, but don't come between me and my musicals...

But now I get it.

As I listen to the radio every morning, I understand WHY a person wants to march.(Although, let's be honest, for some of us who are in our sixties, it's DEFINITELY more of a stroll than an actual march).

And I realize how a good old-fashioned protest can be inspirational. After last year's march, my sister Re started to volunteer at a center for struggling migrant workers and is still donating her time there every week. 

This year, me, a friend, my sister, two of her daughters and her seven-week-old grandson all stood together at the Women's March. Well, the baby just sort of napped, but it was still three generations worth of patriotism and chutzpah, which I shall never forget

Did we hold our signs up high? We did. (Mine: An illustration of the back end of a horse along with the caption "Stable genius? Or horse's ass?") Did we have a few laughs during the day? Indeed. Did we grab some lunch after the speeches were delivered? Girls gotta eat. Were we exhausted as we rode the bus home at the end of the day? You betcha. 

But we were glad that we had the right and that we took the time to stand-up for equality for all, malice toward none.

Honestly, it felt marvelous to chant against the vicious tone that has been set in the United States this past year.

Pocahontas? Dicky? Rocket Man? Grow the hell up, that's MY message. 

The presidential tweets alone are enough to make a sane person (not to mention an editor) scream.

And so screamed we did on Saturday.

And it's what we'll do in every damn election. 

Just listen, America - can ya hear us roar?    


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