Monthly Archives: December 2017

my last blog post of 2017

This picture was taken at mom’s house in Crawford County, Georgia

It’s been a good year. Nothing happened that stands out. It was all good. One foot in front of the other, heading my west, feels good. Changing what can be changed and embracing what can’t, feels good. Paying forward and random acts of kindness, feels good. Doing at all times what feels most important and giving it my best, feels good. Never Giving Up on What’s Important to Me, feels good. I will continue. 

my New Year’s plan

It’s to continue doing the best I can at what I do, and to always be doing what I think is most important. I like these words, they cover a lot of ground: “Never Give Up on What’s Important to Me”

Here’s my favorite quote:

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”     Erma Bombeck

some thoughts about the Starfish Story

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

The little boy may have said the following to the old man. “You have had time to be wiser than me. You probably think you saw the big picture and that I didn’t. You were not making a difference, I did. I was persistent.”

cloudy and cool

I went out early to get the miles done and it was cloudy and cool.  At least there was no rain. I went my usual 2-mile route and it was good.  Later the stationary bicycle took me places. Snuck in some stretching and resistance work. All good.

a health beat reporter taught me a lesson

He came out to interview me for the evening news. While the engineer was setting up the stuff, the reporter asked me what kept me going. In a quick rant I told him. 

I sit and wonder how scary it must be to the patient. They remember how life has been, ups and downs, but they remember they were in the moment and dealing with it. Now, they may have been told how it’s going to be. They will be breathing, with heart beating, but may not be conscious of any of it. 

Then I spoke of the caregivers I had met that have very limited resources. Most can’t afford to hire help and some have no family or friends that will.

Then I spoke of the following:

  • Incontinence 
  • Violence 
  • Family breakups 
  • Loss of sleep
  • Loss of savings
  • No longer being able to afford medication for the caregiver 
  • Family and friends no longer come or call
  • Churches may stop communication 

He had been a health beat reporter for several years. He said he had never heard anyone speak as I had. 

This interaction occured in 2013. 

Awareness must be raised more, even with the ones that think they are. I’m an example of that. I have realized I’m out here to raise my awareness and then share that with others. 

P.S.    He told me his aunt has alzheimer’s and his cousin is the caregiver. He said he has not talked with his cousin in a long time. That will change tonight, he said. 

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

First things first :   Mom and I are doing okay. We had a good Christmas. She says she is already tired of cold weather. 

Looking for the bottom line for some situations can be time consuming. Working on stuff about nursing homes. The attacks on them are vicious sometimes. Then the people start back tracking and praising each level. (done that myself before)

I sure hope we have some super intelligent folks working on the problems that are heading our way. Wow, we have a lot of folks living a long time and a bunch of them need care. 

That’s all for now. I think I’ll go get a small bowl of popcorn. 

should nursing homes be allowed to make a proft?

Every business in America is supposed to make a profit. 

Sarcasm coming  . . . . . 

Except nursing homes. They are not supposed to. The owners and administrator’s should forfeit their paychecks several weeks a year. The staff should work for minimum wage. As each new regulation is imposed upon them, they should work extra hours for free to meet the new guidline.

Wow, how is that for sarcasm? 

In all seriousness, elder care is a tough situation for everyone involved. The more you learn about it, the harder it is to throw rocks. 

abuse and neglect of elders in the homes of their own family 

I see so many post about abuse and neglect. I believe those are the two words that are used often. I used Google to search on abuse and neglect in private homes. I found several articles concerning this. So called “experts” believe it is common. I found a state that is paying family to take care of family in their homes. The case workers that watch this are finding many cases of both neglect and abuse. I read many of them. In most cases the background checks that weed out some from working in nursing homes are not in place in the private home setting. 

I read an interesting statement. See what you think:     “You can’t legislate humanity”

I’m no longer going to provide links for such. I’ve realized that Google works on other phones besides mine. 

the helpline and the fire department 

I recieved a call yesterday from a lady that has been a 24/7 caregiver for 8 years. She spoke at one point about helplines. She said they have never helped her and have no value. 

I went for a short walk and pondered. I’ve gotten so much feedback with praise concerning helplines. 

I walked and this thought came to me, an analogy:    Down the road from mom’s is a fire department. A sturdy looking building, clean modern equipment and a well trained staff. They have never helped me. I have never needed them. 

Am I grateful they are there? Yes, because they have helped others, put out fires, saved lives and save our possessions. Do I appreciate them? YOU BET I DO! THOSE FOLKS ARE ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! 

I know they will help anyone they can. I know they would help me. 

What I’ve heard about helplines:

  • I needed someone to talk to and they listened, for a long time 
  • I had never heard of daycare and can afford it a couple of times a month. The lady on the helpline told me about daycare. It’s a part of our lives now.
  • Had no idea that support groups had the ability to change my life
  • I wanted to know how research was going and if I could help by being in a clinical trial. I am in a clinical trial now and have been for over a year
  • I thought I was supposed to try and set my dad straight and changing that one behavior changed our lives
  • They arranged to meet with my family to explain what was coming 

This could go on and on. Maybe they can help you, maybe not. I hope they can. 

Judy (false name) and I talked again last night and she gave permission to speak covertly about our conversation.  

I’m Grateful for the Fire Department and the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Myths about Alzheimer’s

Thank you Deborah Williams for sharing this.