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?

 

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/

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

 

Nexus #elderlyissues #atozchallenge

 

 

For the elderly person the nexus of life can be chronic illness.

Its the one thing so many share.

My husband’s brothers all talk about the illnesses they share or how many times they go to the doctor – uggh.

 Disease (doctors) might seem like the core of life but it doesn’t need to be.

What about finding new connections? My client might never have enjoyed bingo but it’s a social connection she’s now enjoying.

My friend’s father always loved machinery but his wife (with Alzheimers) needs to connect on a different level now – they love watching birds.

 

I like the idea that nature can be one important nexus for our aging friends and family members.

 

 

The photograph “Chains and People” (at the top) was meant to convey that sense of ordered chaos.

Hopefully a connection with nature can smooth some of the chaos away.

Thanks to the A to Z challenge for giving us a blogging Nexus in April.

What’s your Nexus in your life???

Moms and Memory #elderlyissues #atozchallenge

Morning Glory Trail

sun rises with a smile

her hands still agile

***

We are fortunate my mother still has an agile mind and a healthy body.

As our moms age, we go through denial, look for the person she was, put the remaining pieces together in a way we can deal with.

Many of my clients are elderly women. From Parkinsons, Alzheimers to multiple chronic diseases each makes “mom” more fragile.

The women who tucked us in, helped with homework, fixed  the holiday dinners, never forgot a birthday, kept the grandkids for a week are now in a decline.

I notice many caregiver/kids want their parents to return. They get frustrated when their parents forget memories and forget them.

Memory is a complicated machine. We may not be able to form words around our memories but I think they remain to some degree.

When I give my client her knitting needles, her hands retain memory on the mechanics tho her hands may not be strong enough to hold the needles. I put moisturizer on her fingertips each morning and her fingers remember to make little circles on her face. I don’t care if she misses some areas her hands (and mind) are being reminded of what they do.

Patients whose families continue to provide care (it is okay to get outside assistance this is a 24/7 job) seem to have higher function and they are more content in general.

When we are close to the daily care we don’t always see the connection – but I do.

“Hi mom I had a great day at work. How are you?” A sleeping woman wakes up and a big smile covers her face.

“Hey dad how was your day?” She doesn’t see the voice recognition but I do.

Though they cant always remember names or faces they are able to make connections via their memory.

Don’t give up – your mama is still there lighting up inside each time you enter the room.

 

Do you have good memories of your mama????

How’s your memory?

The Letter L #atozchallenge #noir #fiction

 

I slowly traced the letter “L” in the thick wool carpet. I left her blood stain to help me keep my edge.

“Lily I can’t let go of this. I know you would want me to help”

I felt a tug was it sleep? a drug? pulling me down, down down…

****

A scream erupted the silence

I took off in a sprint into a darkening alley

that sucked me along

Further and further I ran

There’s a wall no way up, no way around.

Then I saw it an old rusty hinged door.

Blocked

A dame screamed

blood splattered onto the backdrop of the fog

 the door slowly opened

 it was more like a portal to…

The bleeding woman was gone

                                                          the place seemed familiar

precariously

I hung on a ladder

no top and no bottom

just endless rungs.

I could taste the sepia tinged air

the haze burned my eyes

another scream reverberated in the ladder’s metal.

I knew this was not Newcago

it seemed wherever I go

someone needs help

I looked down,

considering.

I pulled my makeshift mask

taught against my face

“Climb I must”

***

Happy Tuesday. If you are visiting from the A to Z Challenge, I took the easy way out and took one of my two posts for Tuesday. I’m writing about elderly issues for most of the challenge.

 

NewCago is a noir, metropolitan area that is plagued with a string of  bad guys and a deadly disease without a cure. (these stories written in 2013.) Sam (a private detective) seems to be the only one who can stay alive long enough to protect the citizens. How long can his luck last???

Kindness #atozchallenge #elderlyissues

Reached out a hand

shadow covers life’s light

she held mine

***

Kindness seems like a great word for the A to Z challenge as we start a new week

 

“She was the kindest and loving neighbor I’ve ever had.”

“She was kind and thoughtful to everyone in her life”

“She never said an unkind word to her family”

***

 8am – I must change her position in bed and give her meds.

It’s still early for her body.

9am – I crack the blinds. The sun peaks in.

 Her toes that have snuck out from under the covers are waving

10am she says good morning by squeezing my hand. That squeeze means so much.

Several weeks  – caregivers and family have poured kindness into her care

*

Last week her husband face-timed me

“Hello, How are you?” Her face was beaming and I wanted to hug her.

“You look great. Its wonderful to see you up and about.”

“Thank you for everything you did”

I should be thanking her because even in the darkest days her kindness came through

 

How has someone’s kindness made you day, week, month???

During these days of Covid some contact is nice.

Thank you each one of you. Even distant friendships mean sooo much.

Cross Roads for “X” #atozchallenge

At the crossroads our eyes met

a young boy driving cattle

in a city traffic jam

my jaw drops at the sight

 what world have I been sent back in time to

you reached your hand through the window

no need to fear

you offer meat filled skewers

MacDonalds you are not

but the food cant be faster

A different world passes by

dust kicks up as we move north

to the crossroads of our life

with A to Z at it’s zenith many of you will have come to a crossroads as a blogger. What have you learned from this 30 day adventure?

 

wire #children #atozchallange

man size stripes

children forced to bare

who will make this right

cold hard becomes the stare

***

wire cuts clean through

 innocence dies

sign our own doom

none believe the lies

*

children pay the price

no money can repay

history must think twice

there is a judgement day

My Focus this month is children. The Acholi people (and presently the So. Sudanese) hold basins of tears for children lost because of military despots. South Sudan has displace over 1 million children most are now orphaned. We try to help but wouldn’t it be easier to stop trying to destroy tomorrow’s hope because of today’s wire thin avarice?

Certainly we have learned very little from the  slaughtering of 1.5 million children in the Holocaust,

 

Photo from myjewishlearning.com