Chat About Care-giving: My Senior Citizens

Here they are!  I have three of them.  I call them everyday and do everything I can to show them how much I appreciate them.  When they’re not breaking my heart, they’re busy cracking me up.  I hope you’ll take time to tell me about yours.

Over there by the Christmas tree is my dad.  George is ninety.  Pretty much everything he has hurts, but his medications keep all the important things working – at least according to his doctor.  However, Dad does need a walker to get around.  His major activities are listening to Rush Limbaugh, watching golf, eating three meals a day and going to Sunday School.  The major concerns:  pain everywhere, a cataract (soon to be removed) and recurring skin cancers. Mom, Aunt Edie & Me

 Mom’s the one in the yellow blouse.  Ruth is several years past her eightieth birthday.  Medical challenges include high blood pressure, dysfuntional auto-immune system and cranky digestive track.  She uses a cane, because her balance is off and a stroke affected her walking.  Mom’s major activity is worrying, but she’s unwilling to retire to the arm chair, yet.  She belongs to a book club, lunches with a birthday club, loves shopping and is very active with her Sunday School friends.

Mom and Dad have been able to stay in their own home, so far, because Mom devotes herself to keeping everything on track.  She cooks three meals a day, pays all the bills, runs the errands, keeps up with their medications, manages their doctor’s appointments – in other words – everything.  She used to do more, but I insisted someone come in every two weeks for the heavy cleaning.  I put my foot down about the yard, too.  Mom loved gardening and yard work, but had no business doing it.  Her lawn guy stepped in and filled the gap.  I help out by spending one day a week with them.  Mom saves most of her errands and schedules the doctor’s visits  for that day.  Some weeks one day is not enough, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Aunt Edie’s in black.  She’s the oldest of my senior citizens, but until recently she was also the most active.    The folks at her retirement center voted her the “Most Glamourous” resident.  She been an elder in her church and received the highest honor bestowed by Altrusa, an international service organization for professional women.  A couple of years ago we threw a nintieth birthday partyand most of the folks in her little town showed up to honor her.  A list of Aunt Edie’st activities and acheivements could go on and on.  In October, she started having some problems which led us to discover she’s got stage four cancer.  She’s slowed down since then, but decided against any chemotherapy.  Since the cancer was diagnosed, I make trips down her way more often than I used to – both for wonderful visits and not so wonderful doctor’s appointments.

Now, it’s your turn.

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