- The Last Blog Entry
Mom is doing just fine. As a matter of fact, her diabetes is so stable that the glucose checks are down to once a week for another few weeks; thereafter, they’ll be done every two weeks. The woman is going to live forever, or so it seems.
I’ve decided to stop writing A Good Enough Daughter. The team at Silver Planet has been great to work with. Reason for stopping: it’s time.
- Terminal Sedation as Part of End-of-Life Care
Seems that while I have been spending most of my waking hours thinking about care models for frail old people, a new and somewhat disturbing practice has been in play at hospice centers around the world. Terminal sedation or palliative sedation are terms used to describe the intravenous administration of powerful sedative drugs intended to keep dying, suffering patients under deep sedation, until death, while withholding artificial nutrition or hydration.
- Sons and Mothers
A strange-looking woman, she (I’ll call her Ivy) is tall and lean, with an almost athletic posture. She wears a large neck brace that was probably designed to keep her head from totally flopping over. In fact, without the brace, it looks as if her head might fall off. At one time in her life, Ivy was probably very attractive, but not now. I heard it had something to do with a medication reaction.
- Fine Clothing, Part Deux
I want to thank you, Tricia, for your comment to my November 9 post, Going Shopping with Mom. I loved the part about your mom (who I assume was fairly advanced in age) looking in the mirror saying, “If I could only get this stomach down, they would fit.” My mom said exactly the same thing until she was about 80.
Tricia’s post reminded me of one of the ongoing “rubs” I have with my mom’s assisted living: how they treat her clothing.
- Respite Care: Available Wherever You Live
Probably because I’m in the aging biz, I find it almost impossible to believe that many caregivers still do not have even the slightest clue what to do when they need to go somewhere but have a live-in and dependent mom or dad (or whoever the family member might be) to care for. This makes no sense to me. Dozens of respite options are available, even in the smallest communities.
- A Good Enough Daughter’s Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season
Tips to enjoy the season with your old, frail, possibly demented family member are easy to find on the Internet. Just type “ caregiver holiday tips” into your search engine, and a long list of Web site options will be displayed on your screen.
While I have tremendous respect for anyone who develops a holiday tip list, I find that many of those tips don’t apply to my situation. My mother lives in a dementia-oriented assisted living center in Seattle and may not have far to go.
- Going Shopping with Mom
Assisted living regulations require that residents’ clothing be washed in very hot soapy water and dried in very hot dryers. As a result, clothing gets really beaten up and wears out fast.
After a year at Gaffney House, my mother needed some new clothes, so I thought we would go shopping.
- I Have the Power to Withhold Mom’s Medical Treatment
Can I complete my mother’s mail-in ballot, voting as her proxy? While the answer may seem obvious, I wasn’t sure if it was legal or not. I know how she would vote in most cases. For those candidates and issues in doubt, I would not cast a vote.
It seems perverse that I have the legal power to determine what medical procedures my mother gets or does not get, what services she accesses, and how she spends her money (a moot point now that she is on Medicaid), but I can’t legally cast a vote on her behalf for an initiative that will directly impact her life.
- Caregiving Plans
My friend Irene is now in charge of managing care for her mother-in-law. Other family members are in the area, including a son, but the job has gone to Irene. In her typically intelligent fashion, Irene did the research, called the experts, and asked a lot of questions. She gained a good understanding of the process and is prepared for the task. That said, I think she has set up a caregiving situation that, from my perspective, is fraught with problems.
- Gossamer of Sadness
“Getting old is hell,” my friend Jo recently wrote. I think her words and sentiment reflected her feelings of loss. Loss of her dear parents, who are slowly fading away, and a sense of loss as the signs of her own aging are becoming clearer with the passage of each birthday. Perhaps it’s not really getting old that seems so hellish as is the realization that what was once, will never be again.