Most of us have listened as elders talked of their youth, or the depression, or the war (whatever war was going on at the time). I know I have. Since I was young, I've enjoyed stories and done my best to hang on to the stories told by my elders. But details slip away, and retelling isn't nearly as effective as hearing the stories in the voice of the elder.
The St. Petersburg Times ran a good article on the nasty surprise many elders are running into when they find the long-term care insurance they thought would cover a stay doesn't even touch the real cost - if it pays at all. Long-term care is better now, but the old policies we often next to useless. There were too many loopholes, and the payout was too little to do any good.
While an automated phone call is not, by any means, a substitute for family attention and care, a Wayzata, Minnesota company seems to be on to something. My mother loved her telephone - too much at times - but I know that, in addition to my visits and phone calls from friends, she would have enjoyed calls from Warm Health.
Barbara Mascio of Senior Approved Services has a terrific event coming up. Attend if you can - anything Barbara does is done well. See Senior the Senior Approved Services Web site at www.seniorsapprove.com and browse awhile. This is one great organization.
Here is a description of Event:
A healthy body, mind, and spirit are essential to meeting the challenges of aging and of caring for an aging parent, spouse, and others. Each of the four sessions will focus on self-help tools, resources, information, and support for both the older adult and their family members
In the Kansas City Star, Jim Albrecht writes, "AS I SEE IT: Appreciation for those who watch over loved ones," about his learning curve as a caregiver. He was an out-of-town caregiver. He is now a hands-on caregiver. He is big enough to admit that he didn't show the appreciation he should have, when his brother had full-time duty with his mother. Now he and his wife care for her parents. It's an eye-opener.
I received a copy of “Caring is not Enough,” which is a booklet designed to help people record their last wishes and keep track of personal records. I have to say this covers about everything one could think of. It even has a place for a Notary to sign off on it.
This is a season of celebration for many faiths. Many of you have been celebrating Hanukkah. Today is Christmas Day for those of the Christian faith. Kwanzaa begins tomorrow. It’s a busy time. All of us, whatever we are celebrating, need to try to remember that the main reason for celebrating these times is the spiritual values we hold dear.
I recieved, in my email box, a request for an interview. Not so unusual (I'm happy to say). However, it was from something called "Adult Content." Now, I'm not a terrible prude, but I don't subscribe to "adult content" sites and normally wouldn't open a suspect email. But I did.
Often, the only time families gather is during holidays. That is a good time to evaluate (quietly) the condition of your aging relatives. By all means, don't turn the holiday into an interrogation and don't make your elder feel as if they are on display. This is a time to celebrate being together as a family. However, it's a time to see how age is affecting them and, if it is slowing them down, it could be a good time to chat about the help they may need. Just do so tactfully.