Elder Care: Caring for Momma

As mom became more unstable on her feet and endured several surgeries, her dependence on someone else became more pronounced.  Many of the idiosyncrasies of elderly family members manifested themselves in her behaviors: lack of motivation, nodding off in her chair, no appetite, fading memory, and reluctance to shower.   It was only through careful observation and some very sensitive conversations that I discovered her fear of falling, the sleep problems that confused her understanding of which day it was.  With little mental stimulation in her lonely apartment, being forgetful was more a sign of loneliness and apathy than dementia setting in.

However, her sleep habits and confusion were creating the perfect storm with her medications.  She would think when she woke up after a long nap that it was morning and re-take her medication.  Then, after being scolded for that, she was afraid she had already taken them and missed the next dose!  No matter how I labeled the various pill organizers, there would always be errors which could become quite serious.

Fortunately for both of us, another friend and her elderly mother had gone through very similar issues months earlier.  They discovered a pill dispenser with a lock and alarm that could be set for up to four times per day.  Luckily, mom took her pills only morning and evening so the dispenser could be refilled once every two weeks.  It has been the single most important thing I have purchased for her health – and my piece of mind.

Check out the Med-d-lert pill dispenser (I am not being paid or receive any compensation what-so-ever to promote this item).


Adulting Blog

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Dear Friends,

Well finally getting this blog started!  I was hoping to organize my thoughts and come up with a plan, a purpose, a message if you will, that I want to tell the world.  The more I thought about that the more daunting it seemed.  Then I thought of my sister, Arlene, and my BFF Angie, and the people that inspire me to be my best self: Michelle, Kelly, Kristen, Jayne, Linda, and the friends I am not in touch with who helped shape my soul, Amy, Beth, Karen, Kim, and so many more.  I miss you all – I miss the laughter, the intimacy, the sharing of secrets, fears, hopes, and private corners of our hearts!  If you could dust a life for fingerprints, you would find all of yours on mine!

I’m hoping for a connection now – not to share any monumental discovery or accomplishment.  Tell me what you’re doing and how you’re doing.  Let me know what you’ve learned or discovered, what you’ve loved or lost, what you finally let go of now that we are ‘mature’ and no longer care so deeply about the competition.

At 54 years old I am a mother,  grandmother, wife, university professor, sister, daughter, and friend.  I consider myself a family activist or advocate with a certification in Family Life Education (CFLE) and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.  I like to think of my degree as one in advocacy or “Leadership and SOCIAL Change.”  My goal is to make a difference, to leave the world in a better place than when I found it, to enjoy life and those I love.

So, that being said, I can see my messages going in several different areas: Family Responsibilities, Life-long Learning, and Being YOUR Best Adult.  That’s enough to start with so we’ll see how things progress!  Pass along any advice, thoughts, questions or concerns and I will be happy to explore them with you!

Take Care Friends – We got this!

Momma Stack

So much work to do, but I’m ‘babysitting’ … correction, I’m making a difference!

On Tuesdays, I have my granddaughter, Taryn, for the day. It is my way to help with childcare and to spend some quality time with her. I am also “working” on these days and splitting time with my husband – he works the afternoon and watches her in the morning, and I watch her in the afternoon and work in the morning! Somehow, I often feel frustrated and guilty for not getting enough done for my paying employment as a professor nor am I spending the quality time with Taryn. It seems like a lose-lose situation. But with most things, I think that with practice and a bit of knowledge I’ll figure it out.  Reflect and reframe, right?

This past Tuesday, when Taryn came in and wanted to go straight to my office to ‘color’ (use the watercolors) I worked at being fully ‘present’ with her; to observe her exploring with colors, practicing fine motor skills, developing language and expressing herself. I wish I could say that I didn’t feel guilty, I did. But I also felt like I had accomplished something. As a teacher, I live for ‘aha’ moments! Watching her mind at work and being a part of shaping her world is priceless!

She wanted to paint a ‘high five’ by painting her hand and then putting it on the paper. Then she wanted to paint my hand and review the differences. I stopped myself this time from ‘fixing’ where she hadn’t fully painted my hand, knowing it wouldn’t show up as a hand on the paper, and also knowing that is how she learns to paint the whole hand! A lesson I learned too late for my own children, it’s all about the process, not the product. Kind of a ‘do-over.’

And you know what? Our paintings of hands and thumbs are now a part of this blog as icon and logo! We did it! Just letting go of some things and embracing others. Whew – let’s hope I can do it again!




Working from home…

Another great day of accomplishments while in my cozy pajama bottoms! After three meetings, yes I did do my hair and make-up, wore earrings and scarf, I am ready to relax after 11 hours. Long hours yes, but from home without interruptions. Allowed me to get in “flow” and do exciting work!

In fact, I was not once distracted by laundry, dishes, or the unmade bed! Hurray!

Adulting Advice and Support