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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So, yes, I DID go to the historic Eagles Super Bowl Championship Parade in Philly on Thursday.

Initially, I couldn't attend because I was scheduled to work so, whew, I could save face, not to mention remain warm and relatively sane.

Then work was cancelled due to the parade and the next thing I knew, hubby, two friends and I took a bus from our house in the Northwest section of Philadelphia to the Art Museum area, where the parade was going to culminate. Of course, we didn't dream of driving there - the crowds were expected to be massive and it would be madness to take a car! Public transit was the sensible solution and, as Eagles fans go, we were definitely the sensible type.

That morning, it was all fun and games, with almost everyone on the bus swathed in Eagles gear, spontaneous E-A-G-L-E-S! cheers erupting and a "I can't believe we're going to a parade in the middle of a work week!" mindset throughout.

When we hopped off the bus and walked a bit to the parade area, it was packed, but people were generally well-behaved (tree-climbers included). We brought hoagies with us (hey, Philly is as Philly does) and split a bottle of water among the four of us (we read that port-o-potties would be scarce and with age comes wisdom). We tried to worm our way closer to the Art Museum, but it had rained the day before, and soon our feet were squishing into mud a la Woodstock. The five layers of clothes that we wore to battle the cold were also starting to feel heavy as the spaces where we ventured grew tighter and tighter.

Feeling hemmed-in, we decided to move to a less-crowded section on the side of the Art Museum, near a glistening gold statue of Joan of Arc. What Joan of Arc has to do with the city of Philadelphia, I have NO idea, but the sculpture was magnificent and it was an honor to hang with her.IMG_0622 (1)

Finally, the flatbed trucks carrying the Eagles players and coaches drove by and we waved deliriously at them in the distance. Yee ha, I said to my posse, we came, we saw, let's get outta Dodge.  (Again, that age/wisdom stuff.)

It was around 1 pm when we headed back from whence we came, as did hundreds of others who had driven to the area surrounding the Art Museum. We got to our appointed bus stop and waited for our carriage to arrive.

And waited.

And waited.

A line of cars snaked by S-L-O-W-L-Y, but no buses.

Finally, our palpitation-prone hearts swelling with joy, we spotted a bus in the distance. As it made its way toward us, we stepped into the street to hop aboard and embark on our journey home.

Until the !*%! bus drove right past.

No room at the inn for us because, apparently, the vehicle was full.

No worries, you know the old saying, buses are like men, if you miss one, another one will come along soon (or vice versa).

But no more buses came, except a few marked "SPECIAL" which basically meant they were not for mere mortals like ourselves. After waiting for about an hour, several more buses came - yeaaaaa!!!! - but passed us by.

Can I describe the torment, the frustration, the horror of that moment when public transportation destroys your soul?

I cannot.

So we started walking through North Philly toward home. Why? We thought it would keep us warmer, we were dehydrated and we assumed it couldn't get any worse.

An hour and a half later, we were still walking. We argued if it was feasible for us to make it home on foot, if anyone in the homes we passed would let us use their bathrooms, and if any Eagles fans ever died of sheer exhaustion after celebrating a championship season.

Carloads of Eagles fans (you know, the non-sensible ones who decided to drive to the festivities) passed us by. We prayed that someone would have mercy and offer us a ride, but would YOU pick up four weary looking strangers in 2018, even on the most euphoric of days?

As we reached yet another bus stop, a guy who was standing there announced that he had been waiting 90 minutes for a bus.

Uh, oh. Matters were looking increasingly grim. Eaglemania was just a memory and the sun was starting to fade. Buses came and passed. Cabs were non-existent. Uber was a 50-minute wait. It had been hours since we left the Art Museum.

Finally, we called a friend who jumped into her hatchback to rescue us. When she arrived, we dove into her tiny car like it was a spaceship delivering us to Mother Earth.

To wrap-up this "you can't go home again" saga, yes, I DID make it to the Eagles celebration.

Returning, however, was another matter altogether.

It's been said in Philadelphia this week that hungry dogs run faster, but our pack was definitely dragging.

So if the Iggles win the Super Bowl again, God Bless, but don't even ask me if I'm going because this fan is gonna watch all the hoopla in the comfort of her own little home sweet home.  elderly14

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