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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Yo.....Welcome to the Bonesblog of Diane Bones. I am a freelance writer specializing in feature articles. I also teach a Humor Writing course at Temple University. See Bonesbio for more.

Check out my new book, Tea, Sticky Buns and the Body of Christ (Postscripts From a Nursing Home), a memoir of the year I spent with my Dad before he died. Watch as my family and I laugh, cry and crumble as we become the raw meat of the "sandwich generation."



Mine That Name

So when Mine That Bird came from waaayyyyyy behind to win the Kentucky Derby this week, everyone wanted to know the origin of the horse's name. I immediately thought of the birds they used in release in coal mines to test for toxic gases. If the bird returned from the mine, it was safe for workers  to go below; if not, bye bye birdie. According to news reports, Mine That Bird's name comes from its parents, Mining My Own and Birdstone. But I think it represents its bravery to venture into unproven territory, ahead of all others.


Keep on Truckin'...

So I never thought I'd say this, but I saw one of those huge Philadelphia trash trucks today and it was gorgeous! The Mural Arts program worked with school kids to design art which was then painted on to several of Philly's trash trucks. You should see them - they are literally works of art. So if they can make a Philly trash truck beautiful, I believe there is hope for our town. Now, if only those nice trash men could make an effort to leave less rubbish on the street when they pick up our garbage, I'd be less grumpy about the litter situation around these here parts...


Weirdness During My Morning Walk

So I'm walking the dog this morning, same old routine, and I pass a guy who actually smiles and nods at me and the pooch. That's nice, people usually avoid eye contact with me and Sammy. Then I notice that the guy has a hook. No, he's not carrying a hook, he has a hook instead of a hand.  So are hooks still a medical option for amputees? News to me. Sometimes, a dog walk is just a dog walk, but other times, it's a real trip.


Give "Em Hell, Harry

So comedian Joe Conklin comes in to speak to my Writing Humor class at Temple University on Monday and his phone is buzzing and ringing like a nickel machine at Harrahs. Turns out that people were calling him to report that Harry Kalas had died just before the start of a Phillies game. Kalas was found in his broadcasting booth,. As many people have noted, Kalas died doing what he loved best. What would that mean for you? Where would you be if you died "doing what you loved most?" RIP, Harry, that man is outta here...


Everybody Wants to Write a Book...

Here's an extremely disturbing newsflash: The insane maniac who killed the three policemen who answered his mother's 911 call told investigators that he planned for police to kill him, but changed his mind and agreed to surrender, hoping to go to prison so he could write a book. Yeah, there's a best seller...I have a few other ideas about how he can spend his time in prison for slaughtering those three officers and shattering their families' doesn't involve a computer or spellcheck, either.