On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for October, 2013

A Previously Published and/or Unpublished List about Caregivers – the Sequel | by Linda Brendle

ListMonday I posted a rather long-winded explanation of why I was posting a list about how to know if you are a caregiver. I won’t bore you with a recap; I’ll just post a link  so you can read the original. So, as they say in the theater or somewhere – without further ado, here’s the second half of the list.

You might be a caregiver if… (more…)

A Previously Published and/or Unpublished List about Caregivers | by Linda Brendle

ListFreelance writing is an interesting hobby. I won’t call it a vocation – it doesn’t pay enough – there are too many of us and too few paying jobs. But that doesn’t keep me from pursuing it.

Last week I found a new site that promised lots of exposure and even a little money for lists. Lists are really popular now, lists about anything and everything. In fact, last week Christian Piatt published a list about why he publishes so many lists.

So, I checked out the submission guidelines for the new list site, and although it asked for original material – in fact, what it said was “Don’t steal someone else’s stuff” – it didn’t say it had to be previously unpublished. That sounded good to me, so I went through my previously published lists and pulled out a couple about how to know if you’re a caregiver. (more…)

Calling In Hospice Is Not Giving Up | by Linda Brendle

I didn’t know much about hospice before Mom died. Hospice was called the year before when Dad had a massive stroke, but he went so quickly that I didn’t learn much about what hospice was about. All I knew was that the hospice nurse called the necessary people to handle the necessary paperwork. I showed my ignorance in a short conversation with her.

“I guess this makes your job a little less heart wrenching, when the patient doesn’t linger for a long time.” (more…)

Are Alzheimer’s Patients Right to Resist Showers? | by Linda Brendle

Gas maskPersonal hygiene is a major issue for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. One of the first symptoms I noticed when Mom and Dad’s memories began to fail was their lack of attention to cleanliness. Their little house that was usually thoroughly cleaned once a week was instead neglected and filled with the odor of unwashed bodies.

It didn’t take much interaction with other caregivers to discover that lack of hygiene is a common topic of conversation in the dementia community. Many support group meetings were devoted to the reasons behind and the solutions to the problem, and many posts on the Memory People support group on Facebook are also devoted to the subject. (more…)

I Ignored Doctor’s Orders and Wore Two Shoes – a Pictorial Confession| by Linda Brendle

Dr. Graves gave me this hot, heavy boot.

Dr. Graves gave me this hot, heavy boot.

Yes, in spite of doctor’s orders to continue to wear my boot except in the house, I went outside wearing two shoes. But I have an explanation – it was David’s fault.

Friday afternoon I heard a noise in the back yard that meant another dead tree was falling victim not only to the draught but also to David’s chain saw.





The Symptom of Being Tired – Alzheimer’s Video by Rick Phelps

This is the 7th video by Rick Phelps that I have posted. Rick is the founder of Memory People, an on-line support group for patients, caregivers, family members, and advocates who have been touched by Alzheimer’s. Rick was diagnosed with Early On-Set Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010 at the age of 57. Since then he has devoted himself to raising awareness about this terrible disease.

Today’s video was made on November 9, 2012. In it Rick talks about how tired he feels and tells caregivers not to worry if their loved one sleeps a lot. He also talks briefly about nightmares and driving, and he talks about Sam, his companion dog. (more…)

For Mattias: We Dressed Differently when I Was a Kid | by Linda Brendle

Group shot from Mesquite High School yearbook - 1965

Group shot from Mesquite High School yearbook – 1965

We visited our kids and grandkids in Portland a few months ago, and I spent a good deal of time talking with Mattias, the 9 year old. He likes to talk – a lot – and he asks lots of questions. One of his favorites is How were things different when you were a kid? When we got home, I wrote several posts addressing the olden days, and this is the next in the series. There are links to earlier posts at the end of this one.

Kids dressed a lot differently in the 50s and 60s than they do now. One of the big differences was shoes. Shoes were usually made of leather, had smooth soles, and were brown or black. Tennis shoes were for gym class and the tennis court, and there were two choices, black high tops for the boys and white Keds for the girls. (more…)

Who Will Care for the Caregivers | by Linda Brendle

Janet Morris, Director of Bet Tzedek's Family ...

Janet Morris, Director of Bet Tzedek’s Family Caregiver Program, with clients. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read a couple of articles yesterday about caregivers. One contained very encouraging information for those who are currently caring for loved ones. The other one made some grim projections for those of us who might need a caregiver in the future.

The first article titled “Moving Toward Person and Family Centered Care”  was published in March of 2012. In it Lynn Feinberg writes about a shift in the healthcare industry in which medical personnel are not only making decisions based on the disease but are also including the person and the family as not just a part of the care team but the center of it. In this model, the patient is recognized as a whole person and not just an afflicted patient. The needs and preferences of the family are recognized, and family caregivers are considered partners in care. (more…)

Can You Guess Which Piatt Is Which? | by Linda Brendle

Last week I published a couple of posts about Christian’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Christian and Baby Picture of Christian . I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t find Christian’s baby pictures, so my sister-in-law Jo Lynn sent me the picture I used in the second post. Saturday my daughter-in-law Amy sent me a copy of the Power Point from their wedding, and I’ve been playing with the photos. See if you can guess which photo is which. I’ve put the answer at the end. (more…)

Alzheimer’s Video – Rick Phelps Talks about Losing Interest In Things

Rick Phelps has made a number of videos that chronicle his personal journey through Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. In this video he talks about how he struggles to maintain an interest in things that once were important to him and how hard it is to socialize, even with those he loves. (more…)

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