Category: Caring for an aging parent

Driving mom from Michigan to Georgia…it’s what you do.

mom's trip to michiganMy family has two lake homes in Hubbard Lake, Michigan.  For health reasons, my mom hasn’t been able to visit Michigan in a few years.  My siblings and I were determined to get her there this year.  We have dangled this trip in front of her as an incentive for her to take better care of her health and we wanted her to be around the extended family as many have not seen her since my dad’s memorial last fall.  Thankfully, she was able to go.  It took much preparation, and patience but I know in the end we are all glad we went. (more…)

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A day in the life of a sandwich generation mom

mom cardigan or supermom cape

You just never know what the day will bring.  Each one is a new adventure.  Here’s a diary of what happened today:

5:55 am – Rise and shine!  Got up after one snooze even though I wanted two…my dog Shadow was ready to get up so he jumped from the bed when I turned to snooze the second time.  Got up since he’ll just bug me until I do.  Put workout clothes on that I had set out night before.  Swallowed morning prescriptions and vitamins.  Gave hubby a quick smooch and headed downstairs.

6:10 am – Chugged pre-made morning cleanse juice and took my Shih Tzu Shadow for a quick ‘squirt’ (the kids walk him when they get up).

6:30 am – Listened to Chalene Johnson’s Build Your Tribe podcast while I drove to my trainer’s facility for our scheduled workout. (more…)

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The ONE resource you need to initiate the power of prayer

psalm 107 susan morrell painting
I thought one of my sister’s recent paintings complimented this bible verse. Click the image to view her online gallery.

2014 will always be remembered for me as a rough year.  Both of my parents have been chronically ill for at least the past decade and there have been many ups and downs but in 2014 their lives started to spiral.  In the spring of 2014, my mom has hospitalized with pneumonia and incubated due to breathing complications with her COPD and thankfully surprised us all when she bounced back.  We truly thought we were going to lose her.  It took weeks in a hospital and a rehab facility and lots of support and prayer.  During these difficult months, my family was introduced to an amazing site called caringbridge.org (more…)

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Honoring my Dad’s birthday

drop in a bucket book
How lucky am I that my dad published his wisdom in this book!?! Click to order.

Growing up the month of June was all about my dad.  He was the only one in my immediate family with a June birthday and we celebrated Father’s day, too.  Needless to say, I’ve been thinking and talking about him a lot this week.  This August it will be a year since his passing so we have almost made it through all the ‘firsts’ without him.

Mimi & Pipi
Visiting my parent at their dream home in Amelia Island, FL.

We miss him

I know my mom misses him the most.  She is so lonely without him and her life has completely changed since he passed.  Within two weeks of his death, we had packed her up from their Florida condo and moved her into an assisted living six hours away so she could be near me and my three brothers.  So many new changes for my 77 year old mom in one year and she spends a majority of her time all alone which she hasn’t really ever done in her entire lifetime.  She went from her parent’s home, to nursing school, to marriage.  Mom and I talked this week about how we thought dad would want us to feel about Father’s Day and his birthday.  We knew he’d want us to be happy but also remember him.  He loved a bit of a fuss on his special days.  We both recognized that it is OK to miss him, shed a tear or two and then focus on what all we had with him…not what we no longer have.  Falling into a pit of depression definitely won’t bring him back and would just hurt those that we love still living around us.  My dad was too practical and productive to have us sit around in a dark pit. (more…)

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How to lift your mood without a prescription

take care of you persc

The right song

For me music is a mood lifter. 

It just takes a minute to set the mood.  Usually when people talk about mood music they are referring to setting the mood for an elegant dinner party or an evening of romance.  But, mood music is so much more than just dinner and ‘dessert’.

The right song can shake lack of confidence, put some sparkle in a ho-hum routine, shine light in the remains of a tough day, ignite a happy memory and remind me what I have to be thankful for. (more…)

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To be or not to be an anonymous blogger – that was the question

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Blogging Anonymously

When I first started my blog in the spring of 2015, I was afraid to announce that I was the author.  I primarily wanted to stay behind the curtain because I wanted to feel complete freedom of speech which meant writing without offending anyone.  I really dislike confrontation.

I lasted about a month before coming out.  This secret was kept longer than I lasted when I lived in sin with my husband for now 19 years, Jason.  When I got my first job at Turner Broadcasting and moved into a one bedroom apartment in Vinings, I told my parents I was living solo.  I explained that Jason was giving me most of his furniture from his apartment because he was going to move in with his aunt to save money.  Jason and I moved in together and my soul turned blacker and blacker that week.  I made it to the next weekend and came clean with my parents at their house.  My dad told me the ultimate thing that always got to me: ‘I’m so disappointed in you, Elizabeth’.  My mom said something like ‘Why would he (meaning Jason) buy the cow when he could get the milk for free?’  Really mom?  It didn’t change our situation, we knew we were committed for life but we felt we were too young to get married.  We didn’t want to waste an extra rent when we could be banking that income for future plans.  We had an understood agreement that we would live together no more than a year before something more serious like an engagement would happen.  By the way, it took Jason just about a year to take the next step and then we had a yearlong engagement. (more…)

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I’m unpacking my bags and refusing to take the guilt trip

wisdom-92901_1280I’m tough on myself and I hate to let others down.  Guilt is a common emotion for me – truly probably a daily occurrence.  You see, it’s impossible to make everyone happy in a world with so many competing priorities.  Just like an overstuffed sandwich, some wonderful initially desired ingredient is going to slip out and get left behind on the plate or the wrapper.  We can just fit only so much into our mouths or into our day.

For me, guilt flashes into my head, slithers down the back of my throat and wedges itself in my chest where it pressure cooks for a few minutes.  Sometimes it gets the best of me and I steam out a few tears but lately I’m practicing a lot of self-talk and can get that pesky guilt emotion to dwindle and sometimes even completely dissipate.  Deep down I do know that I’m doing enough – more than enough…probably too much! (more…)

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Mom says it is best to be seen AND heard

momusingwalker

I witnessed a mini miracle this week.  It’s been difficult to get mom to all the specialists she needs to see since my dad passed away seven months ago and we moved mom into her assisted living.  Hearing aids was next on the list.  Part of the reason it’s been a chore to get her to her appointments is that I have a full time job and my appointments and many of my kid’s appointments were set aside so we could help care for mom, dad, and my husband’s mom who passed last December.  Appointments got backed up and oh by the way, I missed a ton of work.  So we slowly chip away at the list.

Mom’s hearing has been really bad lately.  One of my dad’s last requests of her was that she get her hearing aids checked.  She’s probably had her existing ones for about 10 years.  I know they were the best at the time and they cost a pretty penny.  When someone you love can’t hear what you are saying it frustrates everyone.  Mom has difficulty talking over the phone, staying awake during movies, engaging in meal conversations, and understanding her caregiver’s instructions.  It impacts all relationships because the third or fourth time someone shares something it certainly doesn’t come across like the first time.  This is when we get accused of being disrespectful. (more…)

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Top 10 reasons We Chose Mom’s Assisted Living Community

noperfectassistedlivingFirst, let me start by saying that there is no perfect assisted living.  Afterall, I don’t know of one person who has  chosen to live their twilight years in an assisted living. The phrase assisted living simply means you have lost partial control of your daily activities.

When we started looking for an assisted living last summer, my dad was in the hospital and we were focused on a place for a couple.  Frankly, we didn’t know the timing or the details, but we were confident that my dad was no longer going to be able to help care for my mom and my brother and that they needed to be closer to family.

Once my dad had passed, we had to change a focus to just a place for mom. (more…)

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