I must begin this issue with an apology. These past couple of weeks have been one of those overwhelming times we warned our readers about. Jamie and I have both been overwhelmed and so The Ribbon is late. We ask your understanding and thank you for your patience. There will another issue next weekend and we will get back on track.
I would also like to remind you all that the key to The Ribbon's success has always been the articles and e-mails that we have received from all of you. It is the sharing of information from those who deal with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias that have been the heart of our newsletter. And we always have and always will need that from you. Without you, the caregiver, there would be no Ribbon. So please help us.....give us some impute, send us an article, a e-mail, tell us what helps to get you thru the day, what gives you strength to carry on. Give us guidance as to what you would like to see in The Ribbon. Please remember that The Ribbon is for you and, in essence, by you. Take a few minutes to share something with your fellow caregivers. It will lighten your heart and brighten someone else's. Send to Karen@theribbon.com
Vicki sent us the Medical form she uses for her mother-in-law in hopes that it could help someone else. I have taken the liberty of redoing it just a bit in order to make it useful for everyone. You can do a highlight, copy, paste and add more space for more meds, more doctors, etc. I added my husband's blood sugar readings to his.
NOTE: Vickie had listed her mother-in-law's pace maker, which is vital information. Name, Model number, serial number, date implanted, and when it was last checked. You can keep all this information saved on your computer and update it as necessary and just print it out each time you go to the doctor. The doctors are glad to have the information readily available.
Medical History Chart
Our thanks to Vicki for sharing this wonderful idea!
like to THANK all of you who helped with the new addition to The
Ribbon's Web Site..... The Recipe Corner.
in Charge Here?
As adult children or other relatives of an aging loved one, we may find ourselves the source of support for him/her. This could include financial, emotion, and/or physical support. Our relationship changes and we feel as if our roles have reversed. But we must keep things in perspective: although our loved one raised us, our duty is not to raise him/her. Our loved one is an adult coping with late in life issues: loss of friends, relatives, and the loss of life as he/she knew it. Both parties have feelings of guilt, sadness, grief, and uncertainty. How we handle the change will make the difference between discord and peacefulness, resentment and acceptance, and depression and happiness. Here are a few words of advice:
Aging is inevitable. Let's face it, there are only two absolutes in life -- either we grow old or die young. Neither one sounds inviting, but that's life. Faced with these options most of us grow old and we do it well. But the aging process causes decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living. This decline can prevent us from remaining independent. With the decrease in independence comes an increased stubbornness to remain in charge. It is usually the child who recognizes the need to take charge of a parent's life for his/her safety. A battle for power usually ensues causing stress for both parties. To effectively manage the changing roles, the best strategy is for both parties to prepare for it before it happens.
It is better to plan ahead than to look back and regret. Talk to your loved one about your and his/her concerns for future healthcare, financial management, and living arrangements. Establish advance directives to dictate medical treatment in the event he/she could not make that decision and identify a medical Power of Attorney (POA). Know what his/her wishes are for end of life care. Talk about and organize financial information and prepare a will. Establish a durable POA that authorizes someone to make both financial and medical decisions. It continues to be in effect when your loved one becomes incapacitated. If no durable POA exists, a conservator or guardian must be sought through the courts. Encourage your loved one to put in writing what he/she wishes to leave to each family member. You may want to contact an ElderLaw Attorney for advice.
Talking about living arrangements can be the most difficult. You may hear that he/she wants to die in his/her own home. But plans should be made for alternative living for the time when your loved one can no longer remain safely at home. Be realistic and avoid making the promise of never placing him/her in a nursing home. Assure your loved one that you will do what is best to keep him/her safe and well cared for.
Recognize when to seek help and find it before a crisis occurs. Call the local Department of Aging or Eldercare Locator (1-800-677-1116) for information about respite services and other resources.
As your loved one ages, the risk of suffering from chronic disease increases. Whether it is cardiac disease, arthritis or dementia, the best defense is always a good offense. Know what you are up against, get as much information as you can and most of all be prepared to make the hard decisions.
Mary is a registered nurse certified in gerontology with more than twenty years in the geriatric health field. She is the owner of Gero-Resources specializing in caregiver, eldercare, and successful aging education. She provides staff and community education as well as motivational speaking engagements. Mary is also an author of two caregiver advice columns and contributes articles to various websites. She will be happy to answer your questions or concerns while maintaining your anonymity. She can be reached at Gero-Resources, P.O. Box 4743, Crofton, MD 21114 or at email@example.com.
Sad Gathering Place News
past week we had a special day.....Valentine's Day. For many of
us it is not just a day of hearts, flowers and candy. Because
it is the day that our dear friend, AlzJane, Jane Levy, became a
Special Angel. Feb.14, 1999 was a sad day for so many
caregivers at The
had suffered a heart attack right after Christmas, '98, was
hospitalized and had surgery. Her dear husband, Chuck, kept us
all informed of her progress which had been both good and bad.
We all prayed. But she was needed and on Valentine's Day, '99,
she became our Angel.
This special issue of The Ribbon will give you some insight to this beautiful woman....our Special Angel..Jane.
There has to be a Heaven,
who take time to care