Parkinsons – not welcome #elderlyissues #atozchallenge #poetry

Hard to move

hands and feet are one with metal

I’m pushing my stroller

big wheels are on a wheelchair

I want to slump in fatigue

enveloped in an old body

muscles feel like jello

“Keep moving”

“Reach for the Moon”

 

There is no easy diagnosis for the elderly.

Parkinsons joins the ranks of “Not this” “How will I deal with this disease?”

I’ve been impressed by elderly men and women who have faced the disease straight on.  Astronaut Michael Rich Clifford made his third trip to space (on NASAs shuttle Atlantis) after being diagnosed with Parkinsons.

“People don’t die from Parkinson’s they die from something else.” My instructor told our class recently.

My mentor from childhood has Alzheimers and her husband has Parkinsons. At 90, he continues to work on projects and they both walk (more slowly) and climb up their 100 stairs every morning.

I have several clients with Parkinsons and a family member. I’ve noticed one attribute in each of them – they never give up.

Like every disease exercise is necessary as is a good diet and lots of water.

How do you persist in these uncertain days???

 

 

O to be an Ostrich #atozchallenge #elderlyissues

beautiful and sleek

pulled  by the years

wrinkly neck

As women age, our eyes have lines, our hands are wrinkled and our necks sag.

So unlike the ostrich with the beautiful long neck.

The elderly need to have a good overview of their health.

But obsessing on their diseases can be a greater stress than help.

I set daily or weekly goals for each client. I don’t always tell them what they are.

For Mr. Y its 45 minutes of exercise, 2 hours out of the house and nutritional meals.

For Ms. C it’s sitting up for one hour each day. Out of bed for that time is a bonus. Fluids are a must so I will sweeten with honey if need be to hydrate her cells.

Mr. J our focus was to engage his mind with music and conversation when he was awake and to keep him pain free.

Even when we don’t get outdoors (because of the weather), I take Mr. Y on journeys through books and photos.

I’m not obsessed with Ms. C’s wrinkles but her hands still remember how to make those tiny circles as they moisturize. I obsess on reminding her muscles what their jobs are. Even tiny motions remind the Parkinson’s muscles what to do.

Mr. J spends the last few days of life remembering everything good instead of worrying about death.

When we care for the elderly we should not stick our necks in the sand like the ostrich.

We should establish an objective as caregivers.

If I am caring for family it helps me focus on a plan. Our parents/ clients sense that we have not given up.

Care giving is not an easy job. We need to remember we cannot do it alone.

We may not plan laughter into our daily objectives but it sure has a healing properties down to the cellular level.

 

Today is the letter “O” for the A to Z challenge.

 

What are you obsessing on during this Covid thing???

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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?