Kindness #atozchallenge #elderlyissues

Reached out a hand

shadow covers life’s light

she held mine

***

Kindness seems like a great word for the A to Z challenge as we start a new week

 

“She was the kindest and loving neighbor I’ve ever had.”

“She was kind and thoughtful to everyone in her life”

“She never said an unkind word to her family”

***

 8am – I must change her position in bed and give her meds.

It’s still early for her body.

9am – I crack the blinds. The sun peaks in.

 Her toes that have snuck out from under the covers are waving

10am she says good morning by squeezing my hand. That squeeze means so much.

Several weeks  – caregivers and family have poured kindness into her care

*

Last week her husband face-timed me

“Hello, How are you?” Her face was beaming and I wanted to hug her.

“You look great. Its wonderful to see you up and about.”

“Thank you for everything you did”

I should be thanking her because even in the darkest days her kindness came through

 

How has someone’s kindness made you day, week, month???

During these days of Covid some contact is nice.

Thank you each one of you. Even distant friendships mean sooo much.

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Isolation #elderly #covid19 #atozchallenge

 

Emptiness

both directions

hold the rails

don’t look down

***

 

When life spins a little out of control, we want some activity to keep us steady.

Isolation aka “Stay at Home” makes it even harder to keep steady.

The Elderly often have routines to keep them engaged (and from getting frustrated). It’s hard for the elderly because there are so few things they do in their day. As much as we could go to several stores, I don’t feel that taking my 90 year old client or my 85 year old client to the grocery store at the moment would be advisable.

Guess that’s where the word “new normal” came from. We must find new activities to fill in the gaps so our elderly loved ones don’t feel “penned in.”

So while we are isolated, we need to remember this is a good thing. We isolate in hospital to keep the sickness in the room away from the healthy. We isolate our elderly to keep them away from a killer disease.

 

How are you self isolating? If you are caring for elderly family, how are you keeping their routine going?

For those of you caring for loved ones – thank you. You are the stability you family needs right now!!!

 

As I’m posting this, one of our kids is in the hospital. She needs to be in the hospital for a severe health problem  (not Covid.) I’m glad this hospital has an isolated ICU for healthy people and ICU for Covid patients. Still worried as she cant have any visitors. I dont think we can even send cards and talking is difficult.

 

Hope you are enjoying the A to Z challenge thanks for your visit.

 

 

Healthy at Home #covid #elderly #atozchallenge

There’s no place like home and at the moment that is where everyone is. From the village (Uganda) to the city (San Francisco) hut or palace people are in their domiciles to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The objective is to keep everyone healthy and for the sickness to curve downward and stop infecting people.

There are (as you have heard) additional considerations for keeping the elderly healthy especially now.

My client Henry has Alzheimers.

“Henry we can’t go to play bridge today; there is a virus that is making many people sick.”

“okay what will we do instead? When are we going to play bridge?”

The stay at home order is rough for everyone. Keeping the elderly safe is the first order of business so what little social life he/she had isn’t happening.

TV is good distraction for the elderly (in moderation). I spoke about some fun and low impact exercises. Gets those muscles moving and gets their minds off the routine that we spent months building.

Making crafts or cookies with a female client would be good. Even if my client cannot make the craft, she can be engaged in the activity.

Keeping the frustration level down, staying well hydrated and healthy is a tall order.

I’m pouring a tall class of cold tea – anyone want a glass?

How are you staying healthy at home?

 

Grief #atozchallenge #elderly #haiku #photography

spider lily

final song

head fell against the pillow

flowers wept

***

I don’t need to explain what grief is in a time when the flowers in so many gardens are weeping.

One of my patients, before she was put in isolation, told me that she thought about her husband every day.

“He was a good man. Always looking for ways to make me happy. It was unexpected- His heart just failed.”

I saw the tears in her eyes. They expressed gratitude as much as grief.

 

These times are hard. I wonder if my clients will survive this pandemic. When I said “goodbye” when the lock down started, I didn’t know what to expect. (I had to make a hard decision to call off until Covid is under control because I have a high-risk family member who I could not put at risk daily.)

The last quarantine I was part of I was locked in not out of the hospital.

I’m also missing Uganda very much. The weeping flower above is a spider lily from Uganda.

How about giraffes? They are so beautiful and graceful. The spots on that mama are one of a kind. I can watch these animals all day.

what’s your favorite animal to watch???

And thank you A to Z challenge for a day in the key of G

G also stands for grateful. Thank a healthcare worker. Here’ s blog of a pathologist doing his part for Co-Vid 

Fragile #Elderly #atozchallenge

 fragile skin

fall crackles beneath feet

blue eye question

 sky hidden behind clouds

arms reach for emptiness

wind blows yesterday

your toes wave at me

another good day

***

People may not know it but skin is a barrier to disease and in the elderly skin is a battle front.  Broken Skin breaks and tears like tissue paper. A little bump against a chair can cause a big bruise or even a tear which can then be a wound. When we are “young” and active a wound heals in days in the elderly that same wound can take weeks to months. The worst wound I saw when I was a wound care nurse was in a bed bound woman whose bed sore had become a tunnel. That tunnel was about 305 mm (approx 1 foot). Through daily care, hydration and diet we were shrinking that tunnel. Needless to say those wounds on your backside are painful.

One of my main goals (with the elderly) is always up and out of bed. If they are now bed bound they need to shift as often as possible. If they can do that themselves so much the better but everyone favors their left or right side so they need to shift. In the hospital we often have to position our patients that used to be every two hours.

If you have a family member who is now in bed, get that person moving. If they cannot use pillows to wedge them on one side then the other. Legs up (on a pillow) legs down. And please keep them clean. Uric acid in briefs and just from our skin breaks down skin.

Places where we become fragile are sacral area (its boney there) elbows, ankles.

If you read my post a few days ago I mentioned water. Water will actually help keep skin cells plumper. Elderly do  not drink alot of fluids because then they have to get up (and go).

I think my letter “W” will be for water. I have learned to have a great respect for that molecule.

My leaf photograph reminds me so much of the elderly clients I have had over the years. They are fragile but with a singular beauty.

Any good skin tips? Lotions or awesome soaps????

Hope you are enjoying the A to Z challenge and thanks for your visit.

 

Exercise #atozchallenge #elderly

“Good morning, Miss E it’s time to get up.”

“I think I’ll stay in bed.”

“Okay then we will have our bath in bed today.”

“Oh I dont want to do that. I better get up.”

“What if I let you stay in bed a little longer. I will give your your meds in bed.”

“That sounds like a very good idea. Thank you for understanding.”

By the time Ms E got up she was ready to seize the day. Slowly…

 

Exercise is important for the elderly. We have to understand even if these people were athletes that the movements are going to be slower or less vigorous. Don’t get me wrong there are some amazing people who do marathons at 80. They are the exception to the rule, however.

Exercise for Ms E is: getting up out of bed, transferring (a few steps) to a wheelchair, wheeling herself to her chair and with assistance getting up and into her chair. She gets up every two hours. We also do a series of small hand movements – to remind her Parkinson’s muscles what they do. She moisturizes her face and her arms each day. Everyday we do chair exercises. For now she is able to do those exercises but as she gets weaker I will do those exercises passively. The passive exercises may not use much energy but it prevents constriction – this is where the bone actually seems frozen in one position.

Exercise for Mr R is different. At 90 he is still walking 1 mile twice a day. We used to go for longer hikes; now we do several “turns” around the neighborhood. We also do 30 minutes of leg and arm exercises. I use bands that the PT gave him as well as a ball and a fabric frisbee. Mr R slowed down after having a stroke. It’s because of his athleticism, good diet,and great family support that he recovered so quickly.

Bands (which have different amounts of tension) are great for exercising arms and legs. I dont like using weights because of stability. If my patient drops a 3 pound weight on his foot he could break a toe or several bones in his foot.

Make it fun. Mr R was competitive so he loves when I make it a competition. We keep score of the number of time he kicks the soft ball into the goal. We measure the distance we can throw the frisbee. Though Mr R has Alzheimer’s, his body remembers the activities; once we start our exercises (in the same order each day) his body reminds his mind of the routine.

Most of my elderly women are reluctant to do exercise. My back strengthening exercises where we stand as straight as we can then is not a competition. We are princesses standing as tall as we can. We are ballerinas stretching our legs and arms gracefully.

Each patient is an individual. We need to keep him or her moving at her speed for as long as possible.

A trick I am learning with Parkinson’s is every motion counts no matter how small and how long it takes. No matter our condition using our muscles using energy. My theory is pent up energy creates frustration. More on this for the letter “P”

 

Happy Monday to each of you especially April A to Zers.

What are doing for exercise during this Co-Vid quarantine? Any exercises that have worked for you with elderly friends/family?

Care Givers #atozchallenge #elderly

 

She brought a fragrant rose every day. I always wanted to change Chelsie’s name to Joy.

She reminded me of a fountain that was always bubbling over with joy. She always knocked on the door at 9:55 in the morning. Mr. C would go off to do his errands. Chelsie and I would do what we called “Ms C’s Spa Treatment.”

Chelsie would sing with her beautiful voice and then a story.

“Well ladies my girl Fatima had me all in stitches. She had wanted to make homemade bread for dinner. That bread broke my knife. Well girl I think what we have is a homemade brick. No use crying cuz this bread will make a fine door stop.”

It was always like that with Ms C, Chelsie and I laughing until we were bent over on tears.

“I can’t wait for tomorrow morning.” Ms C would say as I put her to bed for the night. (“neither can I.”)

***

I cannot say enough about those who give their time to care for an elderly family member or friend. Many give up their jobs to be the primary caregiver. It can be a strain but so vital for the senior who needs conversation, assistance, hope.

Others hire caregivers to provide several hours to 24/7 care.

The care giving industry is blossoming / bulging at the seams.

 

Caregivers are essential for those who choose to stay at home and those in facilities where the nursing/cna ratio can be as high as 50 patients to 1 nurse/cna team (my first job in the 70s the ratio was 8:1)

 

Many caregivers are in their 60s and some in their 70s. They are excellent at caring for the elderly but are considered “elderly” themselves.

*** Co-Vid-19 is a major concern for the elderly especially 70-80 year olds. There are many caregivers who are also in the “at risk group” but they are continuing to provide home care. Hats off to these remarkable people!

Where would we be without caregivers like Chelsie???

Please remember to be sensitive to those (caregivers, nurses, physicians, aux staff) who are providing care for the patients especially the elderly population. They are putting themselves at risk each day while trying to keep their  at risk clients unexposed.

Thanks for coming by today.

Have you ever been a caregiver to a family member?

Gravel Tears #sorrow #hospice #tears #elderly

I caught up with a tear today

it was from old despair

in attempt to grasp at it

it ran away from there

*

pain’s etched upon a heart

at death we cannot grasp

it leaves on wind before we know

our hands one final clasp

*

I caught up with a tear today

mingled with old despair

again I tried to grasp at it

it ran away from there

*

no more wrinkles from this life

we smooth your silver hair

behind you it is over now

beyond all time and care

*

I caught up with a tear today

it fell with yours you see

when I tried to grasp at it

it ran away with thee

 

Hospice a word that says so little of the days the slip through our fingers as we say little goodbyes each day. Each goodbye takes a piece of my heart that I give lovingly and painfully.

 

Slipping #elderly #hospice #photography

her fragile skin

fall crackles beneath feet

blue eyes question

 sky hidden behind clouds

your arms reach out for emptiness

wind blows yesterday’s away

our fingers grasp each other

another good day

***

Working with the elderly is filled with joy and tears. Little bits or progress are a victory. Laughter and friends heal many of yesterday’s scars.

 

Treasure Hunter #poetry #alzheimers #elderly

a grey- haired journey

we often stub our toes

rattle our mind for memories

caregiver regular  in tow

treasures we seek

but little do we find

momentary peeks

into a treasure filled mind

*******

daily routine

seasons change as you age

 digging up treasure

 

Look into the mind of the elderly there are vast discoveries. Sometimes there is a thin veil covering the expanse. It is worth the effort.

Faith & Entropy

Gud skaper noko nytt ved sitt Ord og sin Ande, vi kan ta imot det i tru og få oppleve at han gjer sitt verk med oss. Hans skaparkraft verkar konstuktivt i våre liv og skaper noko som er verdifullt for oss. Naturkreftene verkar nedebrytande, i fylgje entropilova, men Gud er Ånd og det som er født av hans Ande består. Jesu frelsesverk er fullbrakt og fullkome. Han er den siste Adam, som er ifrå himmelen og som for oss har vorte ei livgjevande ånd. Han gjev oss den Heilage Ande frå himmelen av berre nåde. Han gjev oss det evige livet.

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