Nov 24, 2014

Honoring the Ordinary

"Older now, you find holiness in anything that continues." Naomi Shihab Nye
So often in life, I think, we are looking for the next peak experience.  Much of our lives can seem like the doldrums, and we can fall into the habit of trying to "just get through it".  I think it is important to resist this; because, after all, that means we are falling asleep to our lives.  What if we chose to come here to live so that we could love and be loved?  Would the way you lead your life be different if you were to consider that possibility?  There are many possibilities to consider regarding why we are here.  Why not consider one that supports your highest health and well being?

Nov 23, 2014

Change is Inevitable

  1. "Nothing endures but change." Heraclitus

    How true.  We humans seem to buy possessions, stay in jobs or relationships, use products to extend our youth -- but nothing endures but change.  We are going through a period with my loved one of more falling.  He no longer walks at all, but he will attempt to stand from his wheelchair and end up falling because his legs no longer hold him.  Abrasions and bruises are the result.  There does not seem to be much we can do about the falling.  The nursing home now has his bed very low to the floor with a foam pad beside it -- in case he falls out of bed.  Another change in the evolution of this debilitating disease.  

Nov 22, 2014

To Their Credit

To their credit -- the nursing home -- the administrator listened to my concerns and put in immediate changes.  Yesterday when I went, he was at his meal, and the area he eats in had more staff and more interaction.  The seating had been changed, so that no one was seated alone.  I also requested more positive engagement.  She took ideas from me for what he would like, and I believe they will be implemented.  The concerning thing still:  he has been in the facility only since June, and this is the 3rd time I have had to speak up for his needs.  So, other caregivers, it appears that the task of advocacy is ours for the duration.  Too bad we cannot just relax and assume the facility we are paying will give the care we want and our loved one deserves.  

Nov 21, 2014

Being Positive Can Lengthen Life

  1. Be positive: You'll live longer, Life coach Dhani Jones 

    There is considerable research which supports what is said above.  Optimism is an elixir for life.  Pessimism and negativity are drainers of life.  Depression, which some have called 'anger turned inward', is another drainer of life.  If you are depressed (and depression is common among caregivers), I recommend that you seek help with therapy and/or medication.  Actually, research indicates that a combination of therapy and medication has the best results.  If you do not have depression, but just have the habit of negativity, then I recommend you stop it.  Yes, simply choose to look for the positive -- it is as simple as that.  Not necessarily easy, but simple.  









Nov 20, 2014

Advocacy

  1. Do you, like I do, consider what might the consequences be when you speak up and advocate for your loved one?  Having worked in systems, I do know that sometimes there are consequences; but usually conditions are improved -- not just for the person for whom we advocate, but for everyone.  What I have asked for with the missed-meal situation is a review of the policy or process.  I do not think it was the aides' fault; I think it is a policy problem.  So, having spoken up, I feel I have done the right thing by my loved one, and I will see how they respond.  It is always informative for me if they get defensive, since that is a poor position from which to respond by a mental health standard.  The last time I spoke up the reaction was defensiveness, but -- as caregivers -- we cannot let that stop us.  Part of our responsibility is to see that our loved one receives compassionate and appropriate care.  

Nov 19, 2014

Compassion

  1. "The dew of compassion is a tear." Lord Byron

    There are many occasions for tears for those who are caregivers.  Yesterday when I visited my loved one, I knew I was right at meal time, so I went to where he eats.  He was not there.  His food was there congealing at his place at the table.  When I asked where he was, staff ran to get him and apologized.  But this is not the first time he has apparently been overlooked.  There was no one there yesterday with whom I could discuss this, so I will contact them today.  

    When the assisted living facility gave me notice they could not meet his needs any more, I looked at nursing homes within a 70-mile radius.  This is one of the better ones.  And, still. , , , , ,      Darn I hate this.

Nov 18, 2014

Life is Unfolding as It Should

  1. "There are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths." Mark Nepo

    What if it is true that we cannot make a wrong decision?  I think that may actually be correct.  It seems that God or the Universe or whatever word you use for the benevolent energy of the universe, does bring right outcomes out of every decision we make.  That does not mean that it will always be easy.  But, when I have made a decision based on what I think is in the best interest of all involved, it always has brought blessings to me.  Unexpected, but not wrong.