Caring Reflections

Caring Reflections | Release, Reframe, Remember

Saturday, November 3, 2012

When I started writing this journal, I hoped I'd get a sense of relief that comes from getting things out of my head and onto a page. I imagined using it as a way to vent aggravations and frustrations, and to bring a bit of mental order to a sometimes chaotic situation. I hoped to be able to write things down, and then let them go. Read more »

Caring Reflections | Shout-out

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In my work life, I’ve been delving into demographic data and caregiving trends. The upcoming election has me thinking about how to educate candidates, and then a new group of legislators, about the needs and assets of older adults and the people who care for them. It’s reminding me once again how common my experience is.  Read more »

Caring Reflections | Around the Corner

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Do you ever get the feeling that something’s lurking just around the corner, ready to jump out and scare you? You sort of expect it, but since you don’t know when it will jump, you brace yourself for it. You go on high alert, tense your muscles, and try to peer ahead into the darkness. It won’t prevent what’s about to happen, you realize, but maybe it will at least keep the element of surprise at bay. Read more »

Caring Reflections | The Heartbreak of Brand Loyalty

Saturday, October 13, 2012

He's tried them all, and this brand is the favorite by far. It's a necessary item that I'm glad to supply, but the favorite brand was getting harder to find. Sometimes it would be on the shelf, and sometimes its space would be empty. Every shopping trip for the last several months has included a fingers-crossed pass down that particular aisle.  Read more »

Caring Reflections | Kith and Kin

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I just heard a story from a woman who spent the past two days at a hospital advocating for an older man who was injured in a fall. She’s not his daughter, wife, or niece. She’s his friend. This woman has a spouse, children, and a demanding full-time job, and now she’s also this man’s primary caregiver.

It’s a scenario that will become much more common; the number of one-person households headed by an elderly person is on the upswing, as is the number of single and childless adults growing into middle age and older. Who will be their advocates? Read more »

Caring Reflections | A Short Break

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I'm still caregiving, and still reflecting, but taking a short pause from writing. Why not treat yourself to a little break of some kind, too? Back next week!

Caring Reflections | Two Bits

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A close shave has always been important to my dad. In fact, as a younger man he would sometimes shave twice a day—once in the morning and again after supper before heading out to an evening meeting. Now shaving is a very long and tiring ritual that he can only manage a few times a week. It’s been second nature to him for eons, and he refuses to accept help with it. Read more »

Caring Reflections | Farewell to Summer

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It was hot last week—95° in the middle of September—and my parents spent some luscious time outside, basking in the sun. They both love the fresh air, the passing clouds, and the bustle of people coming and going through the courtyard of their building. Mom strikes up conversations with neighbors, and greets their families and their dogs. Dad absorbs the sunshine. Read more »

Caring Reflections | Wondering From a Distance

Saturday, September 8, 2012

There’s a situation brewing several states away for which I’m a long-distance caregiver. You could say I’m a first ring supporter, not the person closest to this family illness. So while the key people are in crisis mode, utterly focused on the tasks at hand, I’m left reflecting on what it’s like to be concerned from a distance. Here’s what’s on my mind: Read more »

Caring Reflections | Mind Reading

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mind ReadingThe most heartbreaking result of my father’s assortment of illnesses is that easy conversation is no more. Hearing is gone. Thinking is slow. Speaking takes great effort—finding the words, making the sounds, getting “unstuck” from phrases that tumble out in repetition. Writing is impossible. But when it’s important, he finds a way to communicate. Sometimes a little mind reading is involved.

Recently, my mom and I were passing the time by looking at clothing catalogs. She pointed out items she liked and could imagine wearing, and things she thought were beautiful but way too expensive. My dad sat, quietly observing. Read more »