Yesterday’s Lilac #elderlyissues #aging #atozchallenge

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

what I am and what I might

still be…

Yesterday… whole

pieces… still

I pulled this drawing and poem from 2011 archives.

They speak of the heart and I think the heart of the elderly is so fragile yet so fragrant like the lilac.

No one wants to yield to old age and all the symptoms but we have little choice.

As the days grow to a sepia, let’s remember to relive yesterday with our dear parents and family members. Let’s love them for who they are today.

One of my clients a very talented musician and educator told me recently that she had been invited to tea with a world leader. And yet in all her recollections her moments now are the sweetest and she has contentment.

Art:  “Fragrant Lilac” 2012 L. Moon Designs

 

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

Cherry Margarita #haiku #spring #haibun

 

I sit behind closed doors. Drawing pictures of ballet dancers in pink .  Crumpled piles of discards about my feet. I’m reminded of cherry blossoms in spring. They dance through the cobwebs in my head and I am outside in spring’s kaleidoscope with no Co-Vid.

***

Infused with sunshine

cherry blossoms kiss still waters

sparks of spring

We miss the cherry blossoms they are always so cheerful and so this week I may take a few moments and draw more ballerinas.

Hope all of you are doing well. Not sure how it is for the rest of you but I am actually happy to be home writing and creating. Most of the places where I work in hospice did a close down (which was wise) – anything to prevent a spread. Be well and write!!!

Sharing with Poets And Story Tellers United

 

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.

 

 

Drawing You #poetry #face

My first sweep of your jawline

a shade around your nose

caught on your eyes

what is happening

who knows

**

I sketched until dawn

this face remembering

then why were my lips

shaking and trembling

***

I peered deeper still

you looked back at me

what had I done

set my love free?

**

To settle on a face

the one in my dreams

Oh what a fool

to believe in such schemes

**

I continued to draw

each night until dawn

I’d lost all control

what had gone wrong?

***

Hearing a sound

before the sun rose

a knock on the door

could it be?

I don’t know

***

There someone stood

something circling his face

the man in my drawing

no turning back

I’ll have a mental break

 

When I originally wrote this I was starting to draw portraits. They are difficult. I added a little more Jekyl Hyde rather than a romantic tone.

Art: Pablo Picasso

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/

Time Goes Too Fast #elderlyissues #atozchallenge #photography #poetry

 

Time…

moves as the sun

faster than we run

a round face with hands

a circular plan

each hour marked

never light never dark

Time

moves without thinking

heart beat quickly ticking

a baby’s yawn

before early dawn

colors beam

time

 day on one side

 ebbs the flow of the tide

aging woman, man

Takes their time to stand

there’s no rush

someone’s sleeping – hush

t i m e

it’s moving fast

history is past

chest more slowly rise

look into her eyes

one last breath

hands  at rest

Santa Barbara bay

I think everyone would agree that the older we get the faster the hands of time seem to move.

Maybe one thing we can do is slow those hands down a wee bit.

Going back into the memory file is a great way to stop time for a moment.

I love reliving moments with friends and family – it’s always a history lesson and most everyone likes to talk about the past.

 

T2020

How is time affecting you right now with Covid???

People I have enjoyed reading during the A to Challenge

Ronel the myth maker

 

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???