a to z · a to z challenge · elderly

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?

a to z challenge · Alzheimers · elderly · Fiction

Alzheimers and Old Butcher Knives Part 2 #atozchallenge #elderly

“Millie came to visit…

The RAT never suspected. Never suspected a thing. Extra sugar can hide almost anything. The one thing my husband enjoyed was my home baked cookies.”

“Oh well. Thanks for your candor and for the cookie. I need to go now. Have a good day ma’am.”

I tried not to run off the unit as I spit into a hand-i-wipe what I could retrieve of the cookie.

***

“I was on a social call with your mother at the memory care unit.” I absently rubbed my hand through my cropped hair.

“How was mama today?”

“Uh, She was good. She gave me a cookie.”

“That’s nice. She changed her recipe; I stopped eating them.”

“Ahh well yes.” I felt my pulse and looked at my tongue in the mirror. ” Your mama mentioned Miss Millie. ”

“Aunt Millie… she and mama… were very close. They would always laugh about granmama’s favorite butcher knife. They said it was perfect for chickens. It hung in Millie’s kitchen.”

“Chickens??? Can you give me her contact information?”

“Millie’s? She’s in Raleigh.”

I sensed something stilted in her voice. Maybe she knew something.

“She’s in Mount Hope on Prospect… She’s been gone 7 years.”

I had started writing the address down. My eyes bugged out in surprise that my witness or suspect was dead. “How long?”

“7 years.”

“When did her husband die?”

“6 years ago from a heart attack.”

“Was she married before?”

” Umm, yes, but I don’t remember him. He ran off; no one ever saw him after that.”

I ripped the page out of my notepad. I realized people can say and think some mighty far fetched things.

Case Closed / Accidental Death was stamped on my report of a dead husband/ caregiver

 

 

Here’s a link to the first part of this post 

 

Today is day 2 of the A to Z challenge. The letter B

Most of my blogs will be info and anecdotes about the elderly.

I’d apply the letter B to elderly care this way:

Be kind

Be yourself

Be there for your family member

Be honest when you need a break.

Are you participating in the challenge?

What is your theme?

Any writing goals this year?

a to z · a to z challenge · elderly · Short Stories

Alheimers and old butcher knives #short Story #atozchallenge

“Daddy was the main caregiver for mama who has had Alzheimer’s for several years. She never knows who I am when I visit. At home she always had a pattern: She would look out the window, get a plate and arrange some cookies,  sit on a chair and wait. She would do that three times. She then went to her room, turned on the light, took off her robe, crawled into bed and shut off the light. Daddy would shut the door and call “goodnight” through the door.”

“What was she waiting for?”

“I don’t know, but she never ate the cookies. I figured they were for someone else.”

***

The upscale Alzheimer’s ward was nice. That way children don’t feel guilty when they never visit.

She carried herself with such grace and was so polite.

“Would you like a cookie?” She held out a decorative plate.

“Yes, please. What was he like?” I asked her as I took a stale cookie from the plate.

“He’s a lady’s man. I knew that when we married. I thought he would settle down, he never did. He’s  better than Millie’s man though. Mama always told us ‘now girls the two best ways to keep your men in-line are with a sprinkle of that white stuff in sweet home baked cookies or the butcher knife that we keep sharp for the chickens’ necks.

“Hmm. uuuu”  I wrapped the remainder of the cookie in my napkin. I tried not to choke on the cookie in my throat.

“We knew no one would suspect two old gals.” Her smile was sincere as she fingered her strand of pearls.

“Did you ever want to use the butcher knife on your husband?” I was thinking as we talked that her mind seemed fairly clear.

“Certainly not! Millie had rat poison that she saved from daddy’s shed. She said rats came in all types and sizes.”

“Did you ever umm use it?”

 

Thanks for stopping by – you’ll have to come back tomorrow to read the finish of this flash fiction story for the letter B

 

 

 

 

***

 

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge where writers spend the month writing.

I presently work in Hospice and have a love for elderly people (I’m quickly becoming one)

Alzheimers is a hard diagnosis and as it’s constantly changing; its alot like Covid-19.

On the letter “D” I will discuss Dementia which presents in many ways like Alzheimers.

I have found with Alzheimers that a patient can have a little less stress with a few things in place:

Routine – offers stability when an Alzheimer patient feels like the floor has come out from underneath him. Getting up at the same time, eating at the same time helps the body and mind work together.

Diet – A good diet is essential and good fats (for the brain) need to be part of each day. With a generation that is used to non-fat everything this can be a challenge.

Exercise – taking safety into consideration exercise is key. Walking each day and doing some eye hand coordination exercises (make them fun) keep the mind and body in tune.

Safety – A patient can forget they are no longer an avid hiker or runner. Falls are an aged person’s worst nightmare. Identify risks before a fall can happen.

Activity – You patient will still enjoy activities that were once part of everyday life. One patient reads his book about Einstein everyday. He is more engaged in the pictures than the content but that book is an old friend.

Signs – you may laugh at this one but it worked. My male patient kept forgetting where the bathrooms in his house were. He would go in a corner of the garage or in the yard but he always could find the restroom at the store or a park. I put up a restroom sign with a picture of a man and an arrow pointing to his bathroom. it worked.

 

Most people have a family member or friend that has Alheimers. What have you seen that makes it easier to “live” with?

 

 

 

new cago

An Old Dilemma, New Crime #Newcago1 #fiction #disease

I inhale it every night before 6 – Courage (my dead lover’s not mine)

I looked at my watch.”5 pm time for the cops to crawl into hiding.” I chuckle. ” I don’t have the luxury of steel bars.”

A long banshee like scream bites into the last flicker of day and the night begins.

Decency’s doors are closed and it’s just me and the bad guys.

I threw the paper down. “Ramping up early?”

“I’ll try to stay decent baby.”

“I know you will Sam.” I heard her voice echo in my head as I inhaled her lily.

***

Another long night banging around in the trashcans of Newcago,  I needed a drink.

“A tall soda and a cheese steak at Tony’s sounds like the way to end a night.” I was the only company I kept these days.

I noticed the dame – she was a looker. I couldn’t get a read on the guy beneath the brim.

“Yeah, the regular,” I nodded. Sally and I go back to days when drinks came from the hose in the horse’s mouth.

I couldn’t help but hear dollface coughing then breathing hard. Her face turned blue in the matter of a minute.

Too late to call 911;  her beautiful lips were pinched and her brown eyes glazed over.

“The disease squad will be here soon,” I said under my breath.

When I looked back over, I noticed something was missing. The lout she was with had sprinted off. The sparkler around her wrist was no longer sparkling.

“Baby, Newcago is not like life on the farm…” I said to no one.  “Playing is for keeps.”

***

I pulled this series up from my 2013 archives. If you enjoy noir (more sepia) crime stories you might enjoy these as I breathe a bit of life through my Covid-19 protection gear into them.

 

 

corona virus · Our World

Be Still… #covid19 #faith #poetry

Dawn is breaking

spring’s storm is calmed

peace’s moment

***

“Then he arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”

And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

Mark 4:39

 

In turbulent days, we can always trust in the one who calms the sea and our hearts.

How is the CoVid-19 virus impacting you and your family?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

elderly · Photography · Poetry

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.