Dad and I were coming back from a doctor’s appointment on Friday afternoon when he lost his balance on the front step of my home. He keeled over and landed flat on his back in the flower bed. Fortunately, my neighbors were home and we were able to get him back on his feet, after asking him if he thought he had broken anything. He sat in a living room chair for a bit talking with my neighbors, but then decided to go to his bedroom to lie down. Other than sitting up twice for very short periods of time, he remained in bed the entire weekend and increasingly had difficulty sitting up.
June 19th, 2013 at 10:00 am
Caregivers can find themselves starring in their own private version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Need an example? Start with me.
A week ago, I was “Ms. Hyde” as I reached the breaking point when interacting with Dad. I woke up each morning “mad” and that feeling wouldn’t diminish for most of the day. When he would ask me to do something for him, I’d get huffy. When he didn’t do an easy task and left it for me, I barked out a criticism.
June 12th, 2013 at 10:00 am
It’s amazing how one little change can make a huge difference when you’re caring for an elder.
Let me give you an example. We often eat dinner using trays in the family room while watching a movie or a TV show. However, Dad increasingly has had difficulty eating, instead dropping food on the floor (which our dogs absolutely love). Part of Dad’s issue is a tremor that periodically makes his hands shake. However, I also think that part of his challenge can be chalked up to aging eyesight.
June 5th, 2013 at 10:00 am
Since he’s moved in with me, Dad and I have a “deal”: I cook most nights but we bring in take-out two nights (and Dad pays). That deal has actually been a good thing for him, primarily because when he lived alone, his food choices were fairly poor. He ate a lot of canned soups and creamed corn, ham and cheese sandwiches, and cereal. Since moving in with me, he eats more vegetables, whole grains, fish, healthy fats like olive oil, and fewer processed foods. And it turns out that this type of improved diet is important for all elders if they want to age well.