Archive for the ‘Inspiration and Joy’ Category

Alzheimer’s Disease: Share your caregiving story!

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Are you caring for someone with ALZHEIMER’S disease? SHARE YOUR STORY! I’m creating a documentary series about the affects of Alzheimer’s disease on caregivers, and families. I’m offering free professional assistance for those willing to share their story! Please be a part of raising awareness of this mind-blowing disease. Thank you!

19 Things Elders Have Learned – Humor

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

19 Things Elders Have Learned

  1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
  2. Don’t worry about what people think; they don’t do it very often.
  3. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.
  6. A person, who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
  7. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.
  8. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
  9. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
  10. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.
  11. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.
  12. A balanced diet is a muffin in each hand.
  13. Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.
  14. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
  15. 7People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
  16. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
  17. Never lick a steak knife.
  18. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
  19. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that deep down inside we ALL believe we are above average drivers.

Aging Humor: Never Stop Laughing

Monday, May 18th, 2009

You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing!!

My memory’s not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, “How old was your husband?” “98” she replied, “Two years older than me.” “So you’re 96,” the undertaker commented. She responded, “Hardly worth going home, is it?”

Aging Humor: Perks of Being Older

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Perks of Being Older

1)  There is little left to learn the hard way
2)  Things you buy now won’t wear out
3)  You can quit trying to suck in your stomach, no matter who walks in the room
4)  You can eat dinner at 4PM and get the early bird special
5)  You are no longer viewed as a hypochondriac
6)  Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the weather person on TV

Aging means changing

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

I’ve been contemplating why it is that most people loathe the idea of growing older. If you ask someone’s age, many people hesitate to answer, as if not admitting it will slow the aging process.  Is it all about the potential loss – loss of independence, loss of mental, physical or sensory abilities?

While working with my 20-month old daughter in her bottle drinking habits, I realized – humans don’t easily embrace change at any age. My daughter likes bottles in the morning, nap time and before bed. Who wouldn’t! She wants things to stay the same. She is not liking the change. It is not easy to change as we age, at any age.

Can I look at aging as changing – instead of something to dread, fear, fight or ignore? Can I embrace the change, even celebrate?  I am going to age whether I like it or not.

Again, I am reminded that this is an attitude. The good news about that is that my attitude is something I have control over.

More musings…

What can you do for your country, and yourself?

Monday, January 26th, 2009

We had an historic inauguration of our 44th president last week. He asked for each of us to look at where we might be able to change in order to help our country. Caregivers are serving already, making a significant difference to our country by keeping the long term care costs lower.

As caregivers, here are some questions to reflect upon if you are called to…

1.  How can I take even better loving care of myself?
2.  How can I serve my community or my family?
3.  What can I give back?
4.  Are there ways that I can take better care of the environment?
5.  Are there ways I can better live within my financial means?
6.  Is there an area in my life where I might better choose peace?

Family Caregivers are Answering Obama’s Call to Service

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Are you making you making your community or world a better place by being of service? President Obama has made national service an important cause – and wants to make it possible for all Americans to serve their country.

34 million family caregivers have already been answering Obama’s call to service. A study by AARP (“Valuing the Invaluable”) shows that family caregiving the U.S. reached $375 billion in 2007.  That exceeds the $311 spent by Medicaid last year!

Family caregivers also give an average of $5,531 of their own money to care for their parents. They tend to struggle with physical and financial issues of their own, and be more stressed.

Many times, family caregivers could use to be of greater service to themselves, while taking care of others.  Access to needed resources, self-care and health promotion and having a support system to talk to about the challenges of caregiving is critical.  www.AgingPro.com offers the national resources, education and community to help caregivers reduce stress and increase peace of mind.

Family caregivers – thank you for your service!

Obama asks for a National Day of Service January 19, 2009

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Being of service always makes me feel better!  Getting out of my own “stuff” and giving of my overflow relieves tension and brings joy.  I’ve heard “service is its own reward” and that has been my experience.  So, here’s an opportunity!

President-elect Obama has called for January 19, 2009, the day before the inauguration, to be a National Day of Service.  Get involved with helping your community by finding a service project near you – go to this website and enter your zip code.   http://www.usaservice.org/content/home/

Benjamin Button strikes a chord

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Over the holidays I chose not only to relax, but went to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a movie recently released depicting a man aging in reverse.

I work with older people everyday, as a geriatric care manager. I also have a 19 month old daughter. I often come home after visiting clients, struck by the similarities between the human experiences of those in old age and infancy.  Diapers, soft foods, a limited vocabulary, dependency on another, and the need for patience, compassion and a sense of humor from those who are caring for them.

This topic of aging is rich with material! The movie moved me to think about friends, human kindness, love and loss.  I was awash with memories and reminded of how important it is to cherish each moment (this too shall pass) and to follow my heart, no matter what. I was moved by the women caregivers in this movie who had such compassion.  They demonstrated the capacity to love what others might consider unlovable.

I was also reminded that we are all ordinary in older age in that no matter what kind of material success we have created or not created in our lives, our physical bodies all go through a similar process in our passing from this world.

I’d be curious to know what the movie struck in you! Let me hear from you.

Gratitude is the attitude!

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

What a difference an attitude makes!

I’ve been aware of feeling kind of “funky” over the last couple days, but didn’t know exactly why. It hit me tonight that I’ve been focusing on all the “bad” news in the media – the economy, the war, the bailouts, the political corruption and more. I’ve been allowing it to affect me and bring me down.

What I know is that in the past, when I have focused on what I am grateful for, what I appreciate and what is good, I feel much better! A simple thing like an attitude of gratitude can be so powerful.

So, I tried a little on tonight.  I began celebrating the things I was calling negative or irritating. I took a different perspective and embraced (loved) what I resisted. I loved that my daughter was up way past her bedtime. I loved that I’ve gained a couple pounds lately. I loved the pain in my neck. I loved that this economic condition is giving me a chance to relook at my priorities – to fine tune my effectiveness and focus. I am grateful for what I have (and am willing to let go of the expectations about what I think I should have).

Just saying those things makes me feel lighter and less “down.” My attitude is the one thing I have control over – all the time. I am choosing to feel hopeful and optimistic and grateful.  There is so much to be thankful for. There is beauty all around me, and I can make the choice to look.

P.S. It’s almost a full moon tonight. Have you looked up lately?  Enjoy!

6 Questions Caregivers Can Ask Themselves to Make This a Truly Happy Holiday Season

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Have you recently found yourself thinking about the upcoming holidays with a sense of dread? Perhaps you see yourself sitting at the table surrounded by your family, the smells of turkey and pumpkin pie wafting in from the kitchen, but you are overcome with a sense of sadness or disappointment. Now that things may be different with your parents, it’s a good time to ask yourself, what do I really want my holidays to look and feel like? Traditions are funny things. They can be comforting and depressing all at the same time. But you have the power to create the experience you truly want.

You might ask yourself these questions about what you really want this holiday season:

1. Do I like my family traditions just as they are, or am I participating to make someone else happy or comfortable?

2. Where do I want to be?

3. Who do I want to be with?

4. What experience am I looking for?

5. Is there a new tradition I want to start this year?

6. How can I get the experience I most desire?

Once you are clear about your ideal vision for your holidays, find a way to communicate that to the people closest to you. Families do not always embrace change right away, so be prepared for some resistance. If you are patient and allow your family to process the idea of making changes in a gradual way, you may be surprised by how many will eventually welcome the new traditions and thank you for leading the way to happier holidays for everyone!

Cailfornia Women’s Conference showcases caregiving

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

The California Women’s Conference in Long Beach was another amazing success this year.  If you haven’t been, it is worth your time. When this year’s tickets went on sale, they sold out (14,000 tickets) in 3 hours, so you have to be watching when tickets go on sale. Speakers ranged from Condoleezza Rice to Bono, Billie Jean King to Warren Buffet.

AgingPro.com’s booth was packed with people interested in learning more about the national online resource. So many told stories of past or present caregiving adventures.

One of the breakout sessions covered the topic of Caregiving, and Leeza Gibbons (Leeza’s Place) was one of the speakers. I was impressed with her positive perspective on aging and caregiving and her authenticity – seeing the challenges as blessings and how caregivers can take care of themselves.

Videos of the conference are available at the conferenece website  http://www.californiawomen.org/assets/conferenceday/livevideo.html