Restored Poetry #archives #elderly #poetry #hospice

Hold me…

I am a broken, colorful

fragrant remnant

of yesterday

*

Remember me…

when I was alive, thriving

extracted from a beautiful

whole

*

Understand me…

for who I am today

a relic, don’t pull me

to pieces

*

Cherish me…

for what I was

and what will be

of a memory

Caring for the elderly is not an easy job. The hardest part is the decline. Enjoying each day and making a memory is important for both of us. Saying “goodbye” always hurts.

Thank a hospice nurse today!

The Pawn #poetry #chess #selfimportance

Low man on the totem pole

you only move one space

you live in anonymity

without even a face

*

strive against the elements

success is but a plan

each, every tiny move

one square against the man

*

a lonely and exhausting job

this game against the odds

work it’s cut out for you

like running with the dogs

*

digging into dirt and grime

strong footing in the dust

I think I can, I think I can

move forward is a must

*

little did the strong man know

wise pawns can achieve

when the king has lost his throne

supplanted then achieve

 

 

 

 

Zest For Life #elderlyissues #atozchallenge

 

A ha so this is the last day of the April A to Z challenge.

How was it for you?

I looked back briefly on a few of my precious A to Z challenges:

 

One challenge  I had planned on illustrating a month of my dragon stories. I broke my wrist one month  before the challenge so my  dominant hand was useless. I started drawing with my non-dominant hand . During April I slipped on ice (again) so all of my arms and legs were out of commission. So with Co-vid  “Stay at Home” I could at least walk around and water my plants.

The picture below shows my dragon bowl that I drew with my non-dominant hand and then  the other 2 were with my mouth.

When I saw the word Zest I thought of the saying A ZEST FOR LIFE. For whatever reason I always think of the elderly patients who I have cared for since I was a teen.

So my last encouragement as you care for and love an elderly family member be a little zestful. Encourage them to dream with you. Go somewhere you can both go – an imaginary somewhere. Maybe the land of Zenony!!!

I’ve enjoyed this month and meeting or reconnecting with people.

Each of you are gifted and delightful!!!

For those of you new to blogging i hope you are encouraged to blog more.

I’m not sure what my personal blog will look like but I am trying to develop a blog for Steve Slack. Steve is a friend who hopefully (if this Co-Vid thing gets tame) will have some of his work published and at least one script is lined up for a movie.

eXplanation #elderlyissues #atozchallenge

Woman with mustard pot

“Can you tell me?”

“What would you like to know?”

With Dementia we often will be asked the same questions every shift or 10 times every shift.

I find the more confused a client is the more they can loop around a similarity.

“When is my friend Felicia coming?”

“We called. She’s on her way?”

“You know I’d really appreciate if you would call Felicia to find out when she’s coming.”

“We just called her.”

“I would remember if we just called Felicia. Call her”

“Let’s wait a minute I think she’s on her way…”

For family members these loops can seem frustrating.

I try to redirect my client’s focus sometimes it works while other times it just makes a client more frustrated.

So for the explanations keep them simple. Sometimes those questions are asked as our family is trying to get a grip on the last edge of reality.

 

How do you deal with frustration during Co-Vid Days????

Image attribution: Pablo Picasso “The Woman with Mustard Pot” 1910

What Would We do Without Water? #hydration #health #elderlyissues #atozchallenge

Most of my clients don’t need to pump their own water though some are on well water.

I recently got a call from adopted family in Africa. ” My wife is sick and the baby is bloated.There are no resources and no medicine and the hospitals are out of reach.”

Have your wife lay down and drink 6 bottles of water each day and give the baby spoonfuls of water. (clean water )

Dont get me wrong water is not the answer to all our problems but hydration is a huge issue for our health.

***

Many Elderly are not getting enough water (coffee and soda drinks do not qualify as hydrating fluids). I know a caregiver that would stop all fluids at 5 pm so there would be no night-time brief changes. That convenience puts an elderly person at risk.

Elderly people often don’t drink until they are thirsty. All of our senses diminish with ages so most seniors are not getting enough hydration.

I have seen that clients with a better diet and hydration seem to have higher function.

I am all for health for the elderly. I have had several family members who  were/are chronic illness and drug free into their 90s. They were all active, ate well and water was their main fluid.

 

I drink about 80 oz of water each day – how about you?

 

Butterfly Fever #covid19 #children

Bethany has been sick with butterfly fever. No one knows how to take care of this. She does not want me to get it though I don’t think a lion can get a butterfly sickness. She is in a butterfly tree -all alone.
At first I was afraid and reminded of how lonely I was without my family. But then I heard a kind voice in the breeze.

“Judah be strong and of good courage do not fear nor be afraid of these things.”
“But how can strength and courage help when my best friend is very sick?”
“The Lord God goes with you (and with your friend). He will not leave you alone. He will not forsake her.”
“So right now God you are taking care of Bethany for me?
“Yes, Judah it is in my promise.”
“I guess courage can sometimes mean we trust God not ourselves. This butterfly sickness has me worried, but you God are stronger than any sickness!!!”

We have friends right now in many countries. The US, Uganda, other parts of Africa, the Middle East.
Some of our friends (like Bethany) are sick and cant get to the doctor. We pray for them and the God who heals and preserves those who are weak that He will be there as He promises.

Other friends can’t get food even when there is supposed to be food given to them (even in the distant villages.)

And there are those who know of the needs who have hope and a little extra  food who are going to these remote areas.

Judah’s verse is found in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Our View #elderlyissues #atozchallenge

As a caregivers we may have clear ideas of what our family member needs.

After all in many cases we have known them our entire lives.

“My father only likes tuna fish for lunch. It’s all he ever eats.” My client eyes my salad so I give him some tomatoes and carrots.

Our view into elderly needs can get obscured by emotion.

Often outside help not only gives relief but new perspective.

As a caregiver I need to flexible for my client and the family. But there are a few things that I will not flex on:

Safety – My client may insist on getting out of bed but she requires two people to assist her. I have to stand my ground for her sake.

Skin care: I’m vigilant on keeping skin dry/clean and keeping bed bound (or chair bound) clients re=positioned regularly.  Skin breaks down quickly and isn’t pretty.

Keep an eye on pressure points. Heels, elbows, and the sacrum (where we sit or lay). Pillows and foam can take the weight off a pressure point. If an area is getting red it’s at risk.

So what is your view of the world today?

The view at the top is the opening that looks out to a newly dug well. There’s already a clear path to and from the well.

My friend Micah made a demo for our village children that shows the how the moon and earth revolve around the sun.

 

 

Uncovering Needs #elderlyissues #atozchallenge

I have found that working with the elderly is like digging for treasure – I am never disappointed with what I find.

There are times (especially with dementia) that we must uncover their needs or what makes them happy.

Every person has things that have meaning. It could be an activity like going to the market and remembering days gone by. With one client who was almost bed bound, I realized there were certain activities that gave her energy to get out of bed.

I first noticed change when a neighbor stopped in for a short “hello.” My client was upbeat the rest of the day.

The neighbor had brought flowers so we spent time thinking of something nice to do. We baked cookies and my client wrote a card.

The next week we made valentines for her son and her husband. Wow I noticed color in her face.

What I uncovered was she liked doing things  for people.

It’s also fun to uncover things about a person that maybe no one knows.

Here are some ideas to mix up their day and keep it interesting:

Writing his/her memoir

Writing cards to friends

Drawing/ coloring

singing together

Folding laundry ( I have lovely conversations with my clients when doing chores)

 

How have you been keeping things interesting during the Co-Vid “Stay in Place”???

Great people to meet in the A to Z challenge:

Keith is a good writer with clever themes. Expect excellence: https://keithsramblings.net/

Frédérique at https://quiltingpatch.blogspot.com/ is a talented artist who I have enjoyed getting to know

Lee is  a lady whose poetry engages the reader: https://ladyleemanilablog.wordpress.com/

Arti is a wonderful crafter of words:
https://artismoments.blogspot.com/

Searching #poetry #art #elderlyissues #atozchallenge

 

 

Boys Wading

 

so easy when we’re small

no words need be expressed

I’m wading in the mud

and now I am depressed

I lost my very thought

went through my fingertips

a momentary drop

there’s so much I have missed

 

Searching when we are young seems part of the mystery of learning.

The discovery is part of the looking.

As we age it seems we search more and the lengthy discovery crescendos in frustration

So how do we as caregivers dial frustration down?

Don’t find the word that was lost look for it with your family member.

If it’s an object secretly bring it closely to them so they can “find it”

“Oh there they are” reflects a lighter tone than “I have lost my mind with my glasses.”

My response: “I”m so glad you found them. It would have taken me the rest of the day.” I smile understanding the art of losing things.

This photo of this beautiful work by artist Winslow Homer reminds me why we do it. We do it together ….

 

Photo:  Winslow Homer “Boys Wading” 1873 Smithsonian

What do you do when you lose something???