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Archive for the ‘Elderly’ Category

What was Alzheimer’s to our family? | by Linda Brendle

new-book-coming-soonI announced a couple of weeks ago that Anaiah Press will release Mom’s Long Good-Bye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort, my second memoir, on March 12. Here’s a little bit more about the book:

Alzheimer’s was the evil plaque in Dad’s brain that changed him from a hard-working, easy-going man into a cranky, ill-tempered couch potato.

Alzheimer’s was a thief. It stole Mom away a piece at a time and left me to grieve a loss that went on for years.

Alzheimer’s was a twisted comedian that made me laugh at the ridiculous things Mom did while I cried inside because of the reason behind her antics.

Alzheimer’s was the demon in my head that made me impatient with situations that were no one’s fault and angry at an opponent I couldn’t defeat.

Alzheimer’s was the monster in the closet or under the bed that changed our lives forever once the doctor spoke its name.

But Alzheimer’s was also the loser.

In spite of his difficult final years, Dad left a legacy of peace and love that lives on in the family he left behind.

While Mom’s past disappeared along with her memories, she also forgot the social anxieties and fears that had plagued her all her life and became a real party girl.

The wardrobe mishaps and other silly incidents often led to shared laughter and hugs that made life feel almost normal if only for a moment.

As the good days became fewer, I learned to cherish them when they came.

When Mom’s vocabulary was down to only a few words, one of those words was Jesus; and even to the end, she always responded to music.

Both Mom and Dad passed from this life without a struggle and with peaceful smiles on their faces as they looked into the face of the One who cares for the least of these.

I have found solace in knowing that my task of caregiving was completed not perfectly but well, and I have found comfort in sharing our story with others who are going through the same thing.

A beautiful cover is in the works. I will let you see it as soon as the final version is ready.

Blessings,

Linda

Why Do Old People Smell Bad? by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on March 13, 2018:

Gas maskLast week I warned that my mind might be a little foggy from the time change when it came time to write this week’s column. Of course, it could also be the allergy/cold medicine I’ve been taking for the last three weeks. Regardless of the cause, I was having trouble coming up with anything readable, so I’m recycling a blog post from several years ago that has been an all-time reader favorite.

When my grandson was 7 years old, he asked his dad why older people sometimes smell bad. That question came up a lot in the caregiver support group we attended in Florida. We also talked a lot about why the homes or rooms of the elderly smell bad. As group facilitator, I tried to come up with answers and even resorted to Google and Wikipedia. The consensus is that there isn’t an overall reason for that “old” smell, like an aging cellular structure or elderly pheromones. Some articles attributed the smell to certain oral medications or topical ointments. Most agreed, however, that the biggest culprits are poor hygiene, both personal and household. (more…)

Photo Memories of Mom’s 90th Birthday | by Linda Brendle

Mom was born 94 years ago today. On her last birthday this side of Heaven we had a birthday party for her, and the following year, I shared some of the pictures with you. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately, so I thought I’d share them again. (more…)

Senior Humor – Edition 22 | by Linda Brendle

seniors laughing 2 041712Leave it to a senior citizen to figure out a foolproof way to remember her password.

“Jane, how do you keep track of all your passwords. I’m always forgetting mine.”

“That’s easy, Margie. I changed all my passwords to “Incorrect.”

“How does that help?”

“Easy. If I forget and put in the wrong password, my computer pops up with a reminder. It says ‘Your password is incorrect.’”

(more…)

Senior Humor – Edition 15 | by Linda Brendle

seniors laughing 2 041712Last month www.Ageingcare.com posted an article by Marlo Sollitto called LOL: Why You Should Laugh Even When You Don’t Feel Like It. It said that laughter is good for you both physically and mentally. The author acknowledged that caregivers often find nothing funny in their lives, but even fake laughter can have positive effects. I sometimes wonder if my caregiving experience would have been easier for all of us if I had laughed more.

Two elderly ladies met at the grocery store after not seeing one another for some time.

“Oh, Helen, it’s so good to see you. How are you doing?”

“You know how it is, Joan. I’m not bad for a woman of my age. How about you?”

“I know what you mean. Other than a high this and a low that I’m fine. How’s Ted?” (more…)

One Good Things About Daylight Savings Time | by Linda Brendle

DST5Last week’s AgingCare.com newsletter featured a piece by Anne-Marie Botek titled “Daylight Saving Time Can Negatively Affect Senior Health.” I’m glad to have a convenient excuse for being in a fog for at least a day or two, and I’m laying claim to her article as my explanation for missing yet another “posting” day. (more…)

The Stress Doesn’t Always Go Away When a Loved One Dies | by Linda Brendle

I recently came across an article in the New York Times originally posted on January 30 titled “For some Caregivers, the Trauma Lingers.” It was written by Judith Graham, and it’s about PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in caregivers. Graham says there has been little research on the topic which, she thinks, means it has been overlooked or discounted. She goes on to list some of the typical symptoms of PTSD: flashbacks, feelings of numbness, anxiety, guilt, dread, depression, irritability, apathy, and tension among others. (more…)

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