Nov 1, 2014

How to Avoid Getting Sick

  1. "Some research suggests that taking a preventive zinc supplement can protect you from coming down with a cold.  If you do get sick, one or two zinc lozenges at the first sign could shorten the length of your suffering. But don't over do it:  taking too much can cause permanent loss of smell in some people." Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC

    Other tips for staying well include regular house cleaning with products that have flu-fighting properties (Clorox, Pine-Sol, Mr. Clean are 3 of the 500 listed at  Making sure you do not drink more than 1 or 2 (2 for men and 1 for women) alcoholic drinks per day, as more than that suppresses the swallowing reflex, which can result in germs from your mouth entering your airway.  If you do get sick, humming helps loosen mucus that accumulates in airways.  Ask for an antiviral if your symptoms are serious.  

Oct 31, 2014

Spirituality as a Life Path

  1. "Religion is holding onto beliefs; whereas, spirituality is going beyond beliefs."
    Pema Chodron

    Other people have said similar things.  Brene Brown says that if someone holds rigidly to one's beliefs -- don't call that faith.  Being a spiritual seeker has always seemed the better route to me, although being part of a faith community is important for the support one can get and give.  So, what is "going beyond beliefs"?  I think it is accepting that all religions have a portion of the truth, but none - in my opinion - has the only truth.  I realize that saying that is equivalent to blasphemy to some.  I also know that it is an important part of the spiritual journey -- to recognize the oneness of us all and that there are some universal truths common to us all.  Those universal truths includes, love, compassion, freedom, respect -- and they are at the heart of all major religions.  What is universal truth to you?

Oct 30, 2014

Brushing One's Teeth

  1. "You brush your teeth every day, but are you doing it properly? Here's how to brush: Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle against your teeth and brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the back and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums. Or use an electric toothbrush. Either way, brush your teeth at least twice a day: in the morning and before you go to bed." Mayo Clinic

    It seems the older I get, the better care I need to take of my teeth.  Flossing, brushing carefully, and twice-a-year cleanings.  Here are some tips from Mayo on how to brush your teeth correctly.  

Oct 29, 2014

Honoring Our Life

  1. "Everyone's life has a story." Billy Bob Thornton

    Perhaps we do not take enough time to honor the life we are living.  Buddhists remind us that to be born human is extraordinary -- so extraordinary that we should not take it for granted.  What story is your life telling?  Is it the story you want it to tell?  When I am with my loved one, I try to talk with him about the story of his life:  the great impact he made as a teacher, the children he parented, the dogs he cared for, the friends he made.  Each of our lives does tell a story.  Let's make sure that the story we are telling is the one that is true for us.  

Oct 28, 2014

Open Enrollment is Here

  1. "The Medicare Annual Election Period that allows you to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription plan lasts from October 15 - December 7, 2014."

    From  now until December 7, 2014, we have the opportunity to change our prescription drug insurance plans.  It is quite easy to do by going to the website and going to the tab that lets you compare available insurance plans in your state.  I did this the other day and saved almost $3000 next year on just my loved one's plan.  It was well worth the few minutes it took me to do it.  Since he has a long list of medications, I entered them several years ago and saved them with a password.  Now, all I have to do, is find his prescription list with his password and the website does the rest.  It compares how much it will cost us to fill his prescriptions for the year in 2015.  I encourage you to take the time to do this.  

Oct 27, 2014

The Spiritual or Emotional Side of Self Care

  1. "Seek out a counselor or other mental health professional if you need assistance in dealing with the stress of caregiving." Hospice

    Caregiving is far too difficult to do without support.  Spiritual or emotional support is critical.  Some people can find the support they need in their own prayer or meditation practices, and other people need an actual person with whom to talk.  We will have many feelings in caring for our loved one as she or he dies.  We will also have many, many difficult decisions to make.  Getting the skilled and objective opinion of another person can be invaluable in helping us sort out what is right for us to do.  Let us find the support we need to do this caregiving role with graciousness.  

Oct 26, 2014

More on Self Care

  1. "Don't try to do everything yourself." Hospice pamphlet

    That is easier said than done.  Our family is widely dispersed and/or busy so decisions and tasks are left to me. That may very well be true for you too, but if we can find someone to help us make decisions, do errands help with money, do household tasks; then that is optimal.  I consult with financial advisers, attorneys, medical personnel to help make the decisions that are necessary.  I hire a handyman to do the tasks I cannot do.  Who have you found to be helpful to you?