Click here to view an article from Caregiving.com
The Maryland Attorney General’s webpage has a lot of information about Health Care Decisions. You can download Advance Directive forms that are valid in Maryland. http://www.oag.state.md.us/Healthpol/AdvanceDirectives.htm
My dear child, grow old with me
and help me go through my last journey of life
with a memory of love and dignity.
See through my eyes and take the journey with me
of so long ago when i was there with thee.
I remember long ago when i gave you life
and stayed up many nights to hold and
comfort you when you so needed me.
The many doctor visits that you now do for me
as i remember taking thee.
Oh my sweet, open your eyes and see
that you are only doing what i did for thee.
When I spill some food on my nice clean dress or maybe forget to tie my shoe, Please be patient and perhaps reminisce about the many hours I spent with you when I taught you how to eat with care, plus tying laces and your numbers, too. Dressing yourself and combing your hair. Those were precious hours spent with you. So when I forget what I was about to say, just give me a minute – or maybe two. It probably wasn’t important anyway, and I would much rather listen just to you. If I tell the story one more time, and you know the ending through and through, please remember your first nursery rhyme when I rehearsed it a hundred times with you. When my legs are tired and it’s hard to stand or walk the steady pace that I would like to do, please take me carefully by my hand, and guide me now as I so often did for you.
I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in my garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.
“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I’m not sure what others would’ve done if they had known they couldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.
I’m guessing; I’ll never know. It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write “one of these days”. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that every day, every minute, every breath is truly a gift from God.
“People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there.”
I don’t believe in miracles, I rely on them.
“Life my not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.”
-This letter was written by an 83 year old woman to her friend.
The Alzheimer Fairy
By Steven Stoker
I’m certain there’s a fairy
A true Alzheimer’s gnome
That has crept into our household
And sabotaged our home.
She’s the evil one that empties
All the contents of your drawers
Making little stacks of clothing
In the midst of all the floors.
She’s the one who hide my car keys,
My glasses and my money
In places so creative
They’d surprise the Easter Bunny.
Last week when I was missing
Every knife and fork and spoon,
I searched for hours before
I found them hidden in your room.
When I ask you, you deny it
And in an effort to refute,
You blame that little pixie
Of such questionable repute.
“I didn’t do it,” you will say,
“How could you be misled
Into thinking it was ME that
Had the food beneath my bed?”
When I found that little puddle,
You didn’t think that it was fair
That I accused you so unjustly
When you weren’t even there.
Well, old girl, you’ve convince me
That such a fairy DOES exist.
‘Cause you just haven’t had the time
To hid the things I’ve missed!
As we head into summer, it is important to remember that the joy of seeing the hot sun can also bring health problems. One common problem is dehydration. Dehydration is more common in the elderly. The elderly have lower water content and decreased capacity to respond to stressors such as fasting, exposure to extreme heat, exercise, and disease.
Causes of dehydration can include: increased heat, decreased fluid intake (sometimes from the desire not to have to use the toilet), fever, hot weather, increased urinary infection, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Early symptoms of dehydration should not be ignored. They include: thirst; dry,warm skin; increased confusion; dizziness or lightheadedness; hard bowel movements; weakness; and dry mouth or mucous membranes. Increasing the amount of fluid intake can easily rectify dehydration if caught early. Dehydration can be prevented by drinking 8 glasses of water a day unless otherwise directed by your doctor. So remember, as the summer approaches:
Drink! Drink! Drink!
written by: Carolyn Uzarowski, RN; Health Director, Woods Adult Day Services
Physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual…. we’ve all experienced pain. Although generally we know what this means, we can only experience pain as an individual. For more than 50 million Americans, pain can linger for months and years. Chronic pain is hard to diagnose. It can’t be examined under a microscope and can’t be sutured; because of this, patients are sometimes told, “it’s all in your head”, “you’re a chronic complainer”. This can lead to anxiety, loss of sleep, and depression. Chronic pain can destroy lives and families. The adjustment for everyone in the family is a major one.
Baltimore’s American Pain Foundation states that, “most pain is untreated, under treated, or improperly treated”. Some people despair or decide they’ll just have to tough it out. What can you do if pain is very real to you, persists, and yet no underlying diagnosis can be made? Scott Fishman, M.D., chief of pain medicine at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento says, “We can impact pain by impacting the mind… treating people for comfort, as well as cure, gives us the best health outcomes”.
Dr. Bennet recommends:
- Become informed. Become your own advocate.
- Be open to complementary (holistic) as well as traditional treatments.
- Check out support groups and the Internet.
Some sources are:
Woods Adult Day Services is staffed from a whole-person perspective. Skilled and compassionate nurses, health aides, and recreational activity aides are in attendance anticipating and responding to participants’ needs- especially that of discomfort and pain.
written by: Rose Yapundich, L.S.W.A.; Social Worker, Woods Adult Day Services
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria spread by infected ticks. Most people who have had a tick bite do not get Lyme disease. It’s important to see your doctor if you have a tick attached that you can’t remove.
There are two types of ticks that can spread Lyme disease. Deer ticks in the Northeastern and Midwest, U.S., and Western black-legged ticks along the Pacific coast.
Remove ticks as soon as you see them. Infected ticks usually don’t spread the disease until they have been attached to at least 36 hours. One sign of Lyme disease is a round, red rash that spreads at the site of a tick bite. The rash can get very large. Flu-like symptoms are also very common- tiredness, headaches, sore muscles and joints, and a fever.
- Swelling and joint pain
- Tingling and numbness in the hands, feet, and back
- Lack of energy
- Trouble focusing
- Poor memory
- Weakness or paralysis in your face muscles
A blood test will diagnose Lyme disease. The main treatment is antibiotics. These medicines usually cure Lyme disease within 3 weeks of starting the treatment.
written by: Carolyn, RN; Health Director, Woods Adult Day Services