Category : Understanding

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Respect

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Respect!
 
Isn’t it something that we all want from one another? Isn’t it something that most of us strive to do towards those around us? I know I do and yet I also know that while most of us never ever want to disrespect anyone or anything in this world, none of us have walked this road perfectly.
 
But we are hopefully growing. Growing every moment, not only because we want to but because if we pay attention, we can see the frustrations and even the sadness that comes when one feels disrespected and our hearts tell us that we need to find another way of communicating.
 
Our work here at Care4You is a joy to do. We get to walk alongside our clients as they allow us into their private lives in an effort to help them continue living theirs in the best way possible. And we all know that respect has to be there in our efforts to relate together.
 
Consider this…Through the years, Dad has always been the one to fix everything around the home. Things inside the house, outside the house and even the cars. He is well verse and quite the expert and he is truly dependable.
 
But that time may come when he is no longer able to handle those ‘fixes’ alone and he finds himself needing to call on the expertise of another. Sometimes a professional, sometimes a family member, a neighbor or a good friend.
 
He knows how something should be done and done right. Yet what worked in the days gone by and maybe even with years of experience in a trade once had, sometimes there are changes in how those things are done now.
 
New discoveries are sometimes made where the fix may be better than what was done in the past. Progress can be good!
 
So then, how do we help our loved ones recognize that sometimes changes in the fix may be done in a way that’s new? How do we do that respectfully?
 
Unfortunately there is also a way to fix something and it’s done by cutting corners and then the quality becomes lax and Dad is not a happy camper.
 
He explains his concerns to the professional but is met with a less than respectful comment, “Well that’s not how we do it today….period!”
 
Well maybe true but the response of the professional leaves Dad with a feeling his concerns are not being validated nor respected.That’s not good nor is it a way to bring understanding.
 
So how do we help those who are professionals, realize that their clients need to be respected, that they need to be listened to? 
 
And what if shortcuts that are taken by a professional produce shoddy and unsafe results, then this is definitely unacceptable and  the need for the quality takes precedence and an understanding between the two parties has to be reached.
 
It takes patience. It takes talking things out together and hopefully an understanding can be reached along with a plan of action that will be fully acceptable to the client. 
 
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With Care4You, we recognize this as we respect what our clients desire. It takes a bond between the caregiver and the care receiver, a trust if you will, that once established is priceless.
 
This can be done in any situation presented that involves two parties.
 
Both can speak freely and know that the other is listening and validating feelings expressed and the two can move forward and get what needs done, done to the satisfaction of both and especially the client.
 
This is something that can be found with Care4You and our clients and it’s a very good place to be for both of us as one of our desires is to help those entrusted to our care, receive one of the most treasured gifts we can give them….
 
Respect.
 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Gone from My Sight

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Today was a very sad, somber day at Care4You. We have lost a special lady; she has entered into rest. Our client since 2003, she was near and dear to us as she touched all of our hearts! Because she had no family, we became her family and her caregiver of 10 years developed a rapport like no other. Although we have lost her, we are consoled knowing that heaven has gained a precious soul. May she rest in peace.
 

Gone from My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke
 
“I am standing by the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the
morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and
watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, “There she goes!”

Gone where?
Gone from my sight – that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was
when she left my side and just as able to bear her load
of living freight to the places of destination.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,

“There she goes!”

There are other eyes watching her coming,

And other voices ready to take up the glad shout:

“Here she comes!”

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: ‘Giving’ the Boot to the Holiday Blues

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Ahhhh…here it is again. The Holidays are upon us! The older I get the faster the days go by. Do you find that too? I have to tell you that I love this time of year! I am an Autumn girl and having grown up in Pennsylvania, I find myself really enjoying this time of year!

The colors of the trees, football games every week, the smell of wood burning in the fireplace, the crisp Fall air, homey meals cooking on the stove and in the oven. Oh my, I am closing my eyes as I take a deep breath and allow my mind to wander!

Speaking of all of those wonderful things about Autumn, I will tell you that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There is so much to be thankful for in my life. My faith, the blessings that I have found working for Donna and Bill Hoover at Care4You, good family and friends, a country that I love and being able to give to those in need. Those are just a few of the reasons that I have to be thankful for and I truly am!

I received an email one day that touched my heart with an understanding of what it means to give thanks. It read something like this;

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Things to Be Thankful For:

Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.

Be thankful for the taxes you pay, because it means you’re employed.

Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because it means you have a home.

Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.

Be thankful for the laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.

Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means you can walk.

Be thankful for the lady who sings off-key behind you in church, because it means you can hear.

_____

Yes, I can be thankful for all of these things and more. Yet I know that for many this time of year, it can be difficult to feel that thankfulness, that joy.

We at Care4You believe that this can be especially true for our seniors who because of loved ones gone on and memories that fill their hearts and minds, they can respond to the holidays with what is commonly called, the ‘Holiday Blues.’

So what do we do? How do we support our seniors when they may be feeling so sad? Feelings of depression can be something that may need the attention of the family doctor so I think we should be discerning and recommend that a visit to their primary doctor just may be necessary.

For us as caregivers, validating their feelings is up there at the top of the list. Would we want anyone telling us that something we’re feeling is not legitimate? Another thing I personally try to do is lead with short and simple questions that enable our clients to talk about their thoughts and their feelings, if they so choose.

They may show all kinds of emotion and it’s ok to cry and even be angry at the unfairness of loved ones gone on or the good old days not being there anymore. They may be upset at children, grandchildren and friends who don’t keep in touch anymore.

After validating and talking with those who are feeling the blues, I think the next thing is to find a way to help our seniors focus outward. Maybe inviting them to your celebration of the holidays as Care4You does each year or maybe spending part of your holiday with them should they be unable to leave their home.

How about including them in the ‘giving?’

I am a big fan of this because it can make our seniors feel like they are doing something good for someone else in need and making someone else’s holiday better, therefore they both can feel blessed by the ‘give.’

Like what, you may ask?

Well, we need to find out what they are capable of doing. Some of our seniors may not be able to contribute money or they may not be able to address envelopes for the cards because their handwriting is not as good as it used to be but they can put stamps and address labels on all those envelopes. Simple? Sure, but oh that wonderful feeling of being a team player! You just can’t beat it!

What else can our seniors do to feel good about being a part of this holiday season?

Helping to make a batch of cookies. Stuffing envelopes with the cards or newsletter updates. Taking them to the mall for Christmas shopping. Helping to decorate your tree. Helping them to decorate their tree and their home if they want to. Wrapping presents for special charities. Finding out the seniors favorite recipes and asking them to supervise or even help you make them and then at your dinner, acknowledge them in their contribution. With their permission, take them to the Senior Centers during the holidays where they may find some new friends.

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What else can we do?

Please share with us your suggestions and let us all do what we can to care for our seniors, right through the holidays and beyond! Let’s ‘give’ the boot to the Holiday Blues!

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Children and our Elderly

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What a beautiful combination! Can you imagine the joy that goes on between the young and the old when they connect? I remember clearly my relationship with my grandmother. All through my childhood she was there in one way or another in my little life.

She would send me cards for my birthdays and letters that always ended, “Love and Prayers!” During the summer months, my sisters and I would spend our whole vacation with her. She always made something special for us. She must have spent hours in the kitchen creating her famous Raisin-filled cookies where she would then fill an empty Charles Chips can all the way to the top with those wonderful delicasies!

Just one of many loving memories, for sure!

I think that children play a very important part in their grandparents lives, too. The excitement of youth, the joy of the ‘play!’ Together they bring a strong emotional bond that has the possibilities of lasting forever. 

I believe that caring grandparents can provide their grandchildren with a sense of history, of culteral pride and also protection and safety. Today when the world can seem like a very scary place sometimes, grandparents can be a real comfort to their grandchildren!!

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Don’t you think that children brought up in the company of our elderly where they are taught to respect, speak kindness, give compassion and understanding, makes a difference in their lives? I do. And these are the ones who one day may be a part of determining how our elderly are treated and cared for, from teaching their own children to voting on legislation in our government.

I recently heard of a story about a child who was left to run rampant around a food market while their parent shopped. This child ran into an elderly woman, knocked her to the floor where she broke her hip. As the story is told, the elderly woman saw a hand reach down to her or so she thought but as it turned out, it was the child’s mother who was reaching for the child to quickly get her out of the store, leaving the woman on the floor in pain.

I grieve at the thought of this as I have been told by seniors themselves how fearful they are of falling. I wonder what that little child took from that experience and what she felt as her mother pulled her away from the dear woman she knocked to the floor.

The foundation of disrespect can start in childhood. I am hoping beyond all hope that someone will come into this child’s life and show her the value of our wonderful elderly population and she will remember her behavior in the store and feel remorse.

Care4You is aware of the fears of falling among our seniors and we strive to walk beside them to protect them as we care for this beautiful generation. I believe that we all need to be aware of this concern among our elderly and do everything we can to protect them, in their home and when they are out and about.

Your thoughts?

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Children and our Elderly

LGsmall

What a beautiful combination! Can you imagine the joy that goes on between the young and the old when they connect? I remember clearly my relationship with my grandmother. All through my childhood she was there in one way or another in my little life.

She would send me cards for my birthdays and letters that always ended, “Love and Prayers!” During the summer months, my sisters and I would spend our whole vacation with her. She always made something special for us. She must have spent hours in the kitchen creating her famous Raisin-filled cookies where she would then fill an empty Charles Chips can all the way to the top with those wonderful delicasies!

Just one of many loving memories, for sure!

I think that children play a very important part in their grandparents lives, too. The excitement of youth, the joy of the ‘play!’ Together they bring a strong emotional bond that has the possibilities of lasting forever. 

I believe that caring grandparents can provide their grandchildren with a sense of history, of culteral pride and also protection and safety. Today when the world can seem like a very scary place sometimes, grandparents can be a real comfort to their grandchildren!!

GPChildren10

Don’t you think that children brought up in the company of our elderly where they are taught to respect, speak kindness, give compassion and understanding, makes a difference in their lives? I do. And these are the ones who one day may be a part of determining how our elderly are treated and cared for, from teaching their own children to voting on legislation in our government.

I recently heard of a story about a child who was left to run rampant around a food market while their parent shopped. This child ran into an elderly woman, knocked her to the floor where she broke her hip. As the story is told, the elderly woman saw a hand reach down to her or so she thought but as it turned out, it was the child’s mother who was reaching for the child to quickly get her out of the store, leaving the woman on the floor in pain.

I grieve at the thought of this as I have been told by seniors themselves how fearful they are of falling. I wonder what that little child took from that experience and what she felt as her mother pulled her away from the dear woman she knocked to the floor.

The foundation of disrespect can start in childhood. I am hoping beyond all hope that someone will come into this child’s life and show her the value of our wonderful elderly population and she will remember her behavior in the store and feel remorse.

Care4You is aware of the fears of falling among our seniors and we strive to walk beside them to protect them as we care for this beautiful generation. I believe that we all need to be aware of this concern among our elderly and do everything we can to protect them, in their home and when they are out and about.

Your thoughts?

 

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Huh??

 
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Huh…
What does that mean and what does it have to do with our seniors?
 
Did you ever pull up to a fast food restaurant and the person over the speaker started talking and the only thing you found yourself saying is, “Huh?”
Did you ever receive a phone call from a telemarketer whose first five words also made you go, “Huh?”
 
Welcome to the world of the fast talker and the frustrated listener.
 
As hard as I try and I have to be honest and tell you right off the bat that while I give it my best shot to not only open my mouth, speak distinctly and slowly, I too have been found to speak faster than the speed of light at times.
Sigh!!
 
This is a fast paced world and sometimes we are so on the clock to get the word out but to those who may have difficulty hearing, to those who need the more distinct way of speaking, this can be a real concern.
 
I’m not 20 anymore and by government standards I am elderly, (by the way, I consider that an honor!) and I too have spent many an hour speaking on the phone, at the drive thru for one of my favorite salads or in person somewhere and I find myself saying, “Huh” way too often.
 
Like me, do you find yourself saying one of these other common phrases used when we don’t understand what is being said?
 
“Say again?”
“Pardon me.”
“Repeat that.”
“Excuse me?”
“I didn’t understand.”
“What’s that?”
 
And the respectful among us will add a ‘please’ to those phrases which is always nice to give and hear and I do try to be kind but I am getting to the point where I am just saying, “No thank you” to whatever they are selling or asking me to try.
 
And then there is the other side of the coin where unfortunately, people who get so frustrated with those having trouble hearing and understanding what was said will mumble something disrespectful under their breath like, “Why don’t you get a hearing aid?”
 
Groan!
 
The seniors I have spoken to about this all seem to say the same thing. They don’t like hearing aids because with most of them there is too much noise surrounding the hearing device and that makes it frustrating to understand what is being said. 
 
Now that takes me back to my Mom who one day while sitting in her chair with all of us around her, she was listening to the conversation going on in the living room. Only one person was talking at a time and while I was observing Mom, I could see that she seemed to be following what was being said.
 
She would smile and nod her head and even laugh at the appropriate times to the context of the conversation. That was great to see. Then two people starting conversing about something and then two other family members were talking about something else…all going on at the same time. I looked over at Mom and her facial expression had changed. She appeared to move her head into a position that looked like she was trying to understand.
 
And then it happened. She started to cry. Not just whimper but actually full blown tears.
 
Everyone stopped talking and I felt several ‘eyes’ on me. I looked at them and after a quick discernment, I suggested that maybe it was because she couldn’t understand what everyone was saying as too many people were talking at once and at speeds that were not only confusing to Mom but just a whole lot of noise being heard in the room.
 
So what does someone with Dementia hear? Is it sometimes like the ‘noises’ of the hearing aid and then when there are people talking along with the noises in a manner that is difficult to understand, there can be a reaction. A reaction of tears or anger or withdrawal?
 
Consider this video which seems to show what it’s like to spend 12 minutes walking in the shoes of a person with dementia….in this case, Alzheimer’s Disease.
 
 
 
Wow…what an eye opener for me. and this makes me want to really try to understand what it is like for them in their world and when speaking with our seniors, whether they have dementia or not, to try and speak more clearly and more distinctly and yes…more slowly, with kindness and respect.
 
November is a time to express thanksgiving. Care4You is so thankful for all of our clients and we are also so very grateful to those of you who support us in our dedication to our clients. Our desire is to listen to the concerns of our seniors, their families and their friends in an effort to bring understanding to everyone who has an ear to hear.
 
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