You may remember I have mentioned adding to my caregiver duties. My mother and her mother moved up from Georgia to live next door to me last weekend. I already have my paternal grandmother, Nanny, living in the house with me. Mama and Grandmother moved into Nanny's house.
I thought that the move would send Grandmother on a downward turn for 2-3 weeks but, knocking on wood, everything has been fairly smooth. She did sundown quite a bit the 2 nights she stayed over here before her furniture was set up. After she got around her own belongings she has done really well. Actually a bit better than she was before her move.
My thinking is that my mom was so nervous and depressed about the move that she was a bit short with Grandmother and that just made Grandmother more agitated and therefore sent her sliding. Now, when Grandmother is acting up Mama can just call me and I get her diverted and she calms down fairly fast. I'm hoping that with my help Mama's load will be eased and that will help with her health problems also.
Keep your prayers and good thoughts coming. They have certainly worked so far! I have really appreciated all the kind words of encouragement I have received.
Your Loved One Should Never Take
Falling can be a serious problem for your loved one and you as his or her caregiver. Some causes of falling include neurological or balance disorders, cardiovascular problems like high or low blood pressure, side effects from medications, and visual impairments. Even normal aging changes effect balance and coordination. It is important to have your loved one evaluated by a physician to identify the cause. Once the reason for falling has been established, precautions must be taken to keep your loved one safe.
Do a thorough assessment of the home using your common sense to guide you. Seek out and get rid of all throw rugs. Yes, they hide many evils but are hazards to slip and trip on. Check that electric cords are run securely along baseboards and do not extend into walking areas. What is the clutter situation like? Now is the time to purge the home of years of accumulated "stuff" and lessen the chances of walking into or tripping over it. Take a good look at the furniture arrangement. Is there a clear path for walking? Are there sharp edges that could cause injury from a fall? Vision diminishes with age and more light is needed to see so check all rooms for lighting. Are they well lit with few dark areas? Stairs are a fall hazard at any time. Install handrails on both sides of a staircase and check that current railings are solidly secured to the walls.
Is there a grab bar in the tub or shower and one next to the toilet? Temporary clamp-on style grab bars are available and relatively inexpensive. A non-skid tub mat and hand-held shower wand are essentials. A raised toilet seat should be standard in each bathroom unless your loved one is short. We short people do not like our feet to dangle in mid air.
Shoes are another matter of consideration. They should be worn in the home, not just when going out. Slippers, stockings, socks, or bare feet are set-ups for falls. Shoes should be well fitted and sturdy, enclose the whole foot, be secured with Velcro straps or tie-laces, and have none-skid soles. Sneakers or tennis shoes lend poor support and their toes catch on carpets and floors. If your loved one shuffles, leather soled shoes are recommended. If he or she has bunions, hammertoes, or arthritis, check with a podiatrist about orthopedic shoes.
Assistive ambulatory equipment may also be needed. A cane or walker can provide some defense against falling. A physical therapist can teach your loved one how to use one safely and also teach you how to prevent self-injury when assisting him or her. Ask the physician to refer your loved one to a physical therapist for "gait training" and fall prevention. Check with your love one's insurance company about payment.
Remember, it is important to identify any medical cause for falling, do not assume it is just a normal occurrence with aging. Get your loved one evaluated as soon as possible.
God bless and keep up the good work.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Not Just An Award
Often we run articles in The Ribbon mentioning different aspects of our web site. There is one thing on our Home Page (www.theribbon.com) that some folks might be missing. On the right side of the Home Page you will see a small white square with a gold heart and a single red rose.
While that little square represents an award that The Ribbon received...not once but four times!.....it also represents more. Most importantly, it is the entrance to a world of information for the caregiver or family member who must cope with an Alzheimer's patient. And the information is not only for AD patients but for anyone who has the challenge of caregiving.
A double click on that square will take you to "Top Alzheimer's/Caregiving Sites". This is a web site created by Brenda Parris Sibley. Brenda tells the story of caring for her mother at "A Year to Rememer....with My Mother and Alzheimer's Disease" You can access "A Year to Remember..." from Top Sites Home Page.
At Top Sites, Brenda has created a list of (to date) 133
different web sites with caregiving information. The list is
varied. There are regional sites, clothing sites, legal sites,
inspiring sites. A far cry from 1998 when The Ribbon began. And we are so
Sites, brought to you by A Year to Remember
TheRibbon.com - Care for Caregivers
Place - Online Alzheimer's Caregiving Support
We need your ideas!!
Many of you may not know it, but TheRibbon.com has a store where you can purchase shirts, hats and other great merchandise with The Ribbon and Gathering Place logos. Soon we will be able to offer new products, including more clothing, stickers, license plate frames, wall clocks, aprons and more!
need your ideas for sayings and/or artwork that capture the
essence of caregiving. Some ideas already in use include-
"TheRibbon.com - Care for Caregivers", "Caregivers
need hugs too!" and "TheRibbon.com - we listen, we care,
Please send your ideas to Ideas@TheRibbon.com as soon as you can!
If your idea is chosen, you will receive a product featuring your design or saying FREE!!
From the Recipe Corner
We have added 6 new recipes to tempt your taste buds;
In Passing: Those We Must Remember
My husband, Wayne, of 31 years, died suddenly in Ireland on April 24th. He was 51 years old. He had just finished an 8-day golfing trip with friends. He died while waiting to board the plane home. My children and I will be OK, because we know things happen for a reason. Wayne's legacy is his children and all the lives he touch while here. He was a man who loved to entertain friends with his sense of humor, a wonderful father, and my best friend and love. I will miss him, but life goes on. I have already gotten back into work and am even more passionate than ever.
Keeping you in my prayers as I hope you will keep me.
Editor's note: This is our dear friend and article contributor, Mary C. Fridley. Please join us in sending your condolences and your sympathy.
To My Family and Friends: Jim passed away last night at home. As sad and sorry that I am to have him go from my life he is now free from his pain and suffering. I will be at home for the rest of the week. With love and affection, Beverly (Momi)
Editor's Note: Beverly has been a long standing member of the Alz Disease Board on AOL. Join us in sending her your condolences and sympathy.
Dear Karen and Jamie,
I have appreciated receiving the Ribbon and the helpful tips provided. My husband, Wayne, died in December and his funeral was the 24th of December. You may unsubscribe.
If the Child you write about was able to respond to his Grandmothers giberish and she smiled because of his response to her giberish ,and a close bond was made possibly because of his responses to that giberish, It stands to reason that it may be possible to reinforce, at least a remnant of enjoyment , which might benefit alzheimer patients by pretending you do understand their gibberish and always responding as if you understand.
From I rx pts
I have appreciated receiving The Ribbon over the years. I continued to get it even after my Mother passed. It helped me still feel connected, and I also shared it with friends that are also dealing with this dreaded life reality. And I thank you for all you have done for so many. But with your note, I realized that I need to pass my space on to others in the midst of it all. So again, thank you for ALL that you have done. And you may remove my name from your delivery list. Sincerely, Rita
Once we get
TheCaregiversVoice.com up and running we will link to The
RIBBON! With your permission of course!
We would like to take the time to Thank all of you for spreading the word about The Ribbon. It means so much to us to know that you are making copies to share or sharing your copy. It has always been our goal to help anyone who needs help on this journey of Alzheimer's or Dementia. You are Paying It Forward and we are so grateful.
As you can see by some of the emails above a lot of people are still doing it even after their loved one has passed on. We all become so connected because of this dreaded and awful disease. It seems that everyone, those who are dealing with it now or those who have dealt with it, reaches out whenever they hear someone else mention the words Alzheimer's or Dementia.
It is by that generous gesture that The Ribbon continues to grow and with your help we continue to help others.
Grateful to be your friends,