Becoming my mother’s keeper: a journey into Alzheimer’s

By Rachel Darden Bennett
May 27, 2013

As she’s gradually changing roles with her mother, Rachel Darden Bennett is trying to maintain a connection with her mother’s beautiful spirit.

I got a call from the head nurse of the memory care unit telling me my mother was punched today.

I feel my stomach tighten. It’s the feeling you get when the person you love the most is hurt and you can do nothing; when you realize you are helpless and fall prey to the inevitability of a disease that takes no prisoners.

Alzheimer’s is a complicated beast, and even more so, the communal living situation for people with dementia. Two months ago I agreed to move my mother downstairs to the “Country Cottage”—the area for people with mid to late stages dementia. Since then, there have been more phone calls. More problems.

When the 732 number appears on my phone, my breath shortens. This time, I’m on my way to teach yoga to a client in Park Slope.

“Hello?” I answer.

“Hi, Rachel, this is Lindsay at Forsgate. We just want you to know that your mother pulled her diaper down in the middle of the activities room and shit on the floor twice this week. We want to keep you informed.”

What do I say to this? More vitally, what do I do with the feelings inside that swirl and kick and feel like they are cutting me? Feelings that have nowhere to go? That must be held as I tell the nurse, “I’m sorry. I’m glad you told me,” and keep walking down the sidewalk to arrive at my client’s house on time, taking her through a round of sun salutations, hoping to appear serene and calm?

I feel guilt and shame for my mother (and for me? For am I not an extension of my mother?).

Confusing and contradicting feelings consume me long after I’ve hung up. Tears fill my eyes and I become livid at myself. Why did I apologize for my mother? She did nothing wrong. It’s not her fault. Her brain is sick. She didn’t know where she was when she went to the bathroom, as is so often the case when she looks at my with large, round, saucer-like eyes and asks me, “Where am I, Rachel?” She couldn’t help it. Why, as much as I wish I could care for my mother, I simply could never do it alone as a single, 30-something, yoga teacher/actress.

A week later, another call:

“Hi Rachel, It’s Jenny, the nurse at Forsgate. Your mother fell down again this morning. We found her on the floor and sent her to the emergency room for X-rays .She seems to be doing fine and there is no concussion. We just need you to be notified.”

Rage again spreads through my body like a poison because I can’t help my mother. I’m also angry at her for abandoning me.

Slowly, undeniably, she is leaving me by means of a long and painful exit.

I’m reminded of this most of all on Mother’s Day. Walking through the city a few weeks ago, I passed by mothers and daughters drinking mimosa’s at outdoor cafes and walking down the street, shopping bags in their hands.

The ease in which they chatted and laughed and walked.

The ease in which the mothers remembered what their daughters just said.

This year, however, I decided not to lament. I am not a victim and nor is my mother. This is our situation and we are living it. The switch in my mentality derives much in part from the advice my mother gives me from this different expression of who she is.

Sometimes she looks at me as if she can see inside of me. She is so un-armored. Pure. She has no angle anymore, nothing to cover up, hide, or promote.

“Rachel, be true to yourself and love God. That’s all you have to do. The rest don’t mean a rat’s ass.” She tells me.

“But, Mom. There are so many questions. Should I give up acting? Will I have a baby? I’m getting older…“

“Rachel, you worry too much. Lighten up. Have some fun. Most of all, take what you want in life. That’s what I wish I’d done differently. I wish I hadn’t worried and planned so much. I wish I’d lived more and not worked so hard. I wish I’d trusted.”

As she utters these words, she is stooped over, the Alzheimer’s having taken her peripheral vision completely, but she says it with enough chutzpah to make me laugh and believe her.

Then she looks up, terrified, “What is that? It’s huge! It’s coming at me!” she screams.

“It’s a lamp, Mom. It’s just a lamp.”

“Oh.” She says, suddenly sullen.

I try to live my life, too, but there are difficult moments, like the phone call this morning.

“Who punched her?” I ask the nurse, trying to keep my voice calm.

“Well, she gave me five different stories. First she told me that a resident called her fat and a laptop computer and…“

“A laptop?” I ask.

“That’s what your mother said. A laptop. And then she told me that the woman punched her. Next, she told me that she hit her hand on her walker. Then she told me she hit her hand on the bathroom door. So we really don’t know.”

“And we won’t know. There isn’t a camera,” I say, praying that my mother just hit her hand on the bathroom door. Praying that it wasn’t a fellow resident, or worse, an aide or nurse.

“The bruise is about the size of a quarter on the top of her left hand, Rachel, so I find it highly unlikely she was punched. If someone did punch her, they would strike her arm most likely.”

“You would think, but you don’t know,” I say, beginning to understand the importance of elder care attorneys and even more, to realize that this is a land I don’t know how to navigate, nor will I ever be given a map to do so.

“I appreciate you telling me. If you hear of anything that helps you understand what happened, please let me know.”

I call my mother right away.

“Mom, did anything happen to you yesterday that I should know about?” I ask her, trying to see if she remembers.

“Yes. A lady punched me. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to worry you,” she tells me.

On a recent visit, I arrived to find my Mom in the activities room, surrounded by tissues. It’s her new obsession. She can’t get enough of them. They stream out of her purse, her pants, fall out of the collar of her red and black striped shirt and lay strewn around her feet like flower petals.

At dinner, I guide my mother slowly to her table and sit down next to her, and her two table companions; Audrey, who speaks gibberish and looks like an elf, and a man who combs his hair repeatedly and speaks only German.

Ions and galaxies away from New York City and “normal,” I look at my Mama. She is fragile now, utterly luminous and so fucking infuriating, I am filled with the non-cerebral, visceral, understanding that we are here, now. Alive, together. Changing roles. Roles have changed. There are no more “shoulds.” “Shoulds” don’t exist with Alzheimer’s.

She asks me for another tissue when she already has three in her hand, and I realize I’m so lucky to have her. She is my guru. My warrior. My teacher to be patient and love not just when it’s convenient, but to love from the depths I didn’t know I had. As Audrey speaks in foreign tongues and the man combs his hair again, my mother’s imperfection reminds me of her perfection that always lies beneath the dying neurons, nosebleeds, and bruises. Her spirit.

My mother told me growing up that everybody is always doing the best they can; that amidst the pain, inequality, and fear, there are gifts to be received all the time, if we are really looking. People give what they have to share. People give what they know.

In addition to writing, Rachel Darden Bennett is an actor, dancer and yoga teacher living in Washington Heights, New York City. She is a graduate of Hunter College with degrees in dance and writing, the William Esper two-year acting program and Oxford University Creative Writing summer school. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, New York Press, Reality Sandwich and Yoga Modern. You can visit her website to read her work and watch her film clips.

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Taking care of you: A resource for family caregivers


Tool #1: Reducing Personal Stress

How we perceive and respond to an event is a significant factor in how we adjust and cope with it. The stress you feel is not only the result of your caregiving situation but also the result of your perception of it—whether you see the glass as half-full or half-empty. It is important to remember that you are not alone in your experiences.

Your level of stress is influenced by many factors, including the following:

  • Whether your caregiving is voluntary. If you feel you had no choice in taking on the responsibilities, the chances are greater that you will experience strain, distress, and resentment.
  • Your relationship with the care recipient. Sometimes people care for another with the hope of healing a relationship. If healing does not occur, you may feel regret and discouragement.
  • Your coping abilities. How you coped with stress in the past predicts how you will cope now. Identify your current coping strengths so that you can build on them.
  • Your caregiving situation. Some caregiving situations are more stressful than others. For example, caring for a person with dementia is often more stressful than caring for someone with a physical limitation.
  • Whether or not support is available.

Steps to Managing Stress

  1. Recognize warning signs early. These might include irritability, sleep problems, and forgetfulness. Know your own warning signs, and act to make changes. Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed.
  2. Identify sources of stress. Ask yourself, “What is causing stress for me?” Sources of stress might be that you have too much to do, family disagreements, feelings of inadequacy, or the inability to say no.
  3. Identify what you can and cannot change. Remember, we can only change ourselves; we cannot change another person. When you try to change things over which you have no control, you will only increase your sense of frustration. Ask yourself, “What do I have some control over? What can I change?” Even a small change can make a big difference. The challenge we face as caregivers is well expressed in the following words modified from the original Serenity Prayer (attributed to American Theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr):


    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    and (the) wisdom to know the difference.”

  4. Take action. Taking some action to reduce stress gives us back a sense of control. Stress reducers can be simple activities like walking and other forms of exercise, gardening, meditation or having coffee with a friend. Identify some stress reducers that work for you.

Tool #2: Setting Goals

Setting goals or deciding what you would like to accomplish in the next three to six months is an important tool for taking care of yourself. Here are some sample goals you might set:

  • Take a break from caregiving.
  • Get help with caregiving tasks like bathing and preparing meals.
  • Engage in activities that will make you feel more healthy. Goals are generally too big to work on all at once. We are more likely to reach a goal if we break it down into smaller action steps. Once you’ve set a goal, ask yourself, “What steps do I take to reach my goal?” Make an action plan by deciding which step you will take first, and when. Then get started!

Example (Goal and Action Steps):
Goal: Feel more healthy.
Possible action steps:

  1. Make an appointment for a physical check-up.
  2. Take a half-hour break once during the week.
  3. Walk three times a week for 10 minutes.

Tool #3: Seeking Solutions

Seeking solutions to difficult situations is, of course, one of the most important tools in caregiving. Once you’ve identified a problem, taking action to solve it can change the situation and also change your attitude to a more positive one, giving you more confidence in your abilities.

Steps for Seeking Solutions

  1. Identify the problem. Look at the situation with an open mind. The real problem might not be what first comes to mind. For example, you think that the problem is simply that you are tired all the time, when the more basic difficulty is your belief that “no one can care for John like I can.” The problem? Thinking that you have to do everything yourself.
  2. List possible solutions. One idea is to try a different perspective: “Even though someone else provides help to John in a different way than I do, it can be just as good.” Ask a friend to help. Call Family Caregiver Alliance or the Eldercare Locator (see Resources List) and ask about agencies in your area that could help provide care.
  3. Select one solution from the list. Then try it!
  4. Evaluate the results. Ask yourself how well your choice worked.
  5. Try a second solution. If your first idea didn’t work, select another. But don’t give up on the first; sometimes an idea just needs fine tuning.
  6. Use other resources. Ask friends, family members and professionals for suggestions.
  7. If nothing seems to help, accept that the problem may not be solvable now. You can revisit it at another time.

Note: All too often, we jump from step one to step seven and then feel defeated and stuck. Concentrate on keeping an open mind while listing and experimenting with possible solutions.

Tool #4: Communicating Constructively

Being able to communicate constructively is one of a caregiver’s most important tools. When you communicate in ways that are clear, assertive and constructive, you will be heard and get the help and support you need. The box below shows basic guidelines for good communication.

Communication Guidelines

  • Use “I” messages rather than “you” messages. Saying “I feel angry” rather than “You made me angry” enables you to express your feelings without blaming others or causing them to become defensive.
  • Respect the rights and feelings of others. Do not say something that will violate another person’s rights or intentionally hurt the person’s feelings. Recognize that the other person has the right to express feelings.
  • Be clear and specific. Speak directly to the person. Don’t hint or hope the person will guess what you need. Other people are not mind readers. When you speak directly about what you need or feel, you are taking the risk that the other person might disagree or say no to your request, but that action also shows respect for the other person’s opinion. When both parties speak directly, the chances of reaching understanding are greater.
  • Be a good listener. Listening is the most important aspect of communication.

Tool #5: Asking for and Accepting Help

When people have asked if they can be of help to you, how often have you replied, “Thank you, but I’m fine.” Many caregivers don’t know how to marshal the goodwill of others and are reluctant to ask for help. You may not wish to “burden” others or admit that you can’t handle everything yourself.

Be prepared with a mental list of ways that others could help you. For example, someone could take the person you care for on a 15-minute walk a couple of times a week. Your neighbor could pick up a few things for you at the grocery store. A relative could fill out some insurance papers. When you break down the jobs into very simple tasks, it is easier for people to help. And they do want to help. It is up to you to tell them how.

Help can come from community resources, family, friends and professionals. Ask them. Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed and exhausted or your health fails. Reaching out for help when you need it is a sign of personal strength.

Tips on How to Ask

  • Consider the person’s special abilities and interests. If you know a friend enjoys cooking but dislikes driving, your chances of getting help improve if you ask for help with meal preparation.
  • Resist asking the same person repeatedly. Do you keep asking the same person because she has trouble saying no?
  • Pick the best time to make a request. Timing is important. A person who is tired and stressed might not be available to help out. Wait for a better time.
  • Prepare a list of things that need doing. The list might include errands, yard work, or a visit with your loved one. Let the “helper” choose what she would like to do.
  • Be prepared for hesitance or refusal. It can be upsetting for the caregiver when a person is unable or unwilling to help. But in the long run, it would do more harm to the rela-tionship if the person helps only because he doesn’t want to upset you. To the person who seems hesitant, simply say, “Why don’t you think about it.” Try not to take it personally when a request is turned down. The person is turning down the task, not you. Try not to let a refusal prevent you from asking for help again. The person who refused today may be happy to help at another time.
  • Avoid weakening your request. “It’s only a thought, but would you consider staying with Grandma while I went to church?” This request sounds like it’s not very important to you. Use “I” statements to make specific requests: “I would like to go to church on Sunday. Would you stay with Grandma from 9 a.m. until noon?”

Tool #6: Talking to the Physician

In addition to taking on the household chores, shopping, transportation, and personal care, 37 percent of caregivers also administer medications, injections, and medical treatment to the person for whom they care. Some 77 percent of those caregivers report the need to ask for advice about the medications and medical treatments. The person they usually turn to is their physician.

But while caregivers will discuss their loved one’s care with the physician, caregivers seldom talk about their own health, which is equally important. Building a partnership with a physician that addresses the health needs of the care recipient and the caregiver is crucial. The responsibility of this partnership ideally is shared between you, the caregiver, the physician, and other healthcare staff. However, it will often fall to you to be assertive, using good communication skills, to ensure that everyone’s needs are met—including your own.

Tips on Communicating with Your Physician

  • Prepare questions ahead of time. Make a list of your most important concerns and problems. Issues you might want to discuss with the physician are changes in symptoms, medications or general health of the care recipient, your own comfort in your caregiving situation, or specific help you need to provide care. The physician only sees a moment in time with the patient. Make sure you let him/her know what your concerns are in their daily care/health.
  • Enlist the help of the nurse. Many caregiving questions relate more to nursing nurses than to medicine. In particular, the nurse can answer questions about various tests and examinations, preparing for surgical procedures, providing personal care, and managing medications at home.
  • Make sure your appointment meets your needs. For example, the first appointment in the morning or after lunch and the last appointment in the day(no way!!) are the best times to reduce your waiting time or accommodate numerous questions. When you schedule your appointment, be sure you convey clearly the reasons for your visit so that enough time is allowed.
  • Call ahead. Before the appointment, check to see if the doctor is on schedule. Remind the receptionist of special needs when you arrive at the office.
  • Take someone with you. A companion can ask questions you feel uncomfortable asking and can help you remember what the physician and nurse said.
  • Use assertive communication and “I” messages. Enlist the medical care team as partners in care. Present what you need, what your concerns are, and how the doctor and/or nurse can help. Use specific, clear “I” statements like the following: “I need to know more about the diagnosis; I will feel better prepared for the future if I know what’s in store for me.” Or “I am feeling rundown. I’d like to make an appointment for myself and my husband next week.” Or “I need a way for my mother to sleep at night as I am now exhausted being up every two hours at night with her.”

Tool #7: Starting to Exercise

You may be reluctant to start exercising, even though you’ve heard it’s one of the healthiest things you can do. Perhaps you think that physical exercise might harm you or that it is only for people who are young and able to do things like jogging. Fortunately, research suggests that you can maintain or at least partly restore endurance, balance, strength and flexibility through everyday physical activities like walking and gardening. Even household chores can improve your health. The key is to increase your physical activity by exercising and using your own muscle power.

Exercise promotes better sleep, reduces tension and depression, and increases energy and alertness. If finding time for exercise is a problem, incorporate it into your daily activity. Perhaps the care recipient can walk or do stretching exercise with you. If necessary, do frequent short exercises instead of those that require large blocks of time. Find activities you enjoy.

Walking, one of the best and easiest exercises is a great way to get started. Besides its physical benefits, walking helps to reduce psychological tension. Walking 20 minutes a day, three times a week, is very beneficial. If you can’t get away for that long, try to walk for as long as you can on however many days you can. Work walking into your life. Walk around the mall, to the store or a nearby park. Walk around the block with a friend.

Tool #8: Learning from Our Emotions

It is a strength to recognize when your emotions are controlling you (instead of you controlling your emotions). Our emotions are messages to which we need to listen to. They exist for a reason. However negative or painful, our feelings are useful tools for understanding what is happening to us. Even feelings such as guilt, anger and resentment contain important messages. Learn from them, then take appropriate action.

For example, when you cannot enjoy activities you previously enjoyed, and your emotional pain over-shadows all pleasure, it is time to seek treatment for depression—especially if you are having thoughts of suicide. Speaking with your physician is the first step. (Please refer to the Fact Sheet on Caregiving and Depression, listed below.)

Caregiving often involves a range of emotions. Some feelings are more comfortable than others. When you find that your emotions are intense, they might mean the following:

  • That you need to make a change in your caregiving situation.
  • That you are grieving a loss.
  • That you are experiencing increased stress.
  • That you need to be assertive and ask for what you need.


Summing Up

Remember, it is not selfish to focus on your own needs and desires when you are a caregiver—it’s an important part of the job. You are responsible for your own self-care. Focus on the following self-care practices:

  • Learn and use stress-reduction techniques, e.g. meditation, prayer, yoga, Tai Chi.
  • Attend to your own healthcare needs.
  • Get proper rest and nutrition.
  • Exercise regularly, if only for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Take time off without feeling guilty.
  • Participate in pleasant, nurturing activities, such as reading a good book, taking a warm bath.
  • Seek and accept the support of others.
  • Seek supportive counseling when you need it, or talk to a trusted counselor, friend, or pastor.
  • Identify and acknowledge your feelings, you have a right to ALL of them.
  • Change the negative ways you view situations.
  • Set goals.
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In home senior services/home health care

If seniors prefer to stay in their own homes and still get assistance for their daily activities and health care, home care agencies provide a great alternative for assisted living.

In-home care / home health care refers to a broad spectrum of non-medical and medical services.

In-home care falls into the following three categories:

(1) Non-medical care: Non-medical home care is also known as private duty home care. This type of care includes services such as:

Personal care (bathing, toileting, clothing, feeding, etc.)


Respite care

Light housekeeping


Meal preparation

Medication reminders

Running errands

Live in support

(2) Medical Care: Home based medical care helps people who are released from the hospital after treatment or surgery and need continuous skilled nursing and/or other types of medical care to fully recover. Medical services provided at home include:

Skilled nursing

Physical therapy

Speech therapy

Occupational therapy

Medical social work

Certified home health aide work

(3) Hospice Care: Seniors diagnosed with terminal illnesses who have less than six months to live (as determined by the physician) can avail hospice care at home. Hospice care is palliative care and not curative care. If a senior does not want to be in a hospice facility, then home based hospice care can be considered.

There are more number of non-medical home care agencies than ones offering medical and hospice home care services.

In addition to providing at-home health care and personal services, in-home care agencies also provide support and services to seniors living in assisted living facilities and independent retirement living communities.

It is estimated that over 7000 home care service agencies offer a variety of in-home services to seniors living in their homes all over the United States.

In-Home Care Payment Options

Medicare covers home medical and non-medical care for a short period, typically following the discharge of a patient from a hospital, when it is provided by a Medicare-certified home health care agency and when certain guidelines are met. Medicaid, a program for people with limited income and resources, sometimes covers home care for longer periods of time than Medicare. Private insurance can also pay for home care services but generally follows Medicare guidelines. The final option is for families to pay out-of-pocket through private funds.

Hospice care is typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. Medicare requires hospice services to be provided at home and asks for certification by a physician at the beginning of each of two 90-day periods. Co-payments are paid by patients and their families when they can afford them. Otherwise, hospice agencies usually cover their costs through charitable donations and are still able to provide the care.

In-Home Care Agencies Directory

Information on in-home care agencies providing caregivers and in-home services to seniors in your area or state of preference can be viewed in our Senior Living Directory under the Home Care Services Agency category. Take a look at the home care agencies in your area and submit your contact and home care requirement details. We will match your requirements and request the caregivers to get in touch with you for additional information and assessment without any commitment or obligation on your part.

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How to have “The Talk” with your parents

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Do you know what elderly people are thinking?


Don’t dismiss me

Most older people can honestly say that they do not expect people to stop in their tracks to admire them (basically because they don’t care what others think). So what if they are older, they still have something to say. My body may be older but I have not lost my mind. Don’t dismiss me.

Don’t speak loudly or slower

I can see and hear you. You do not need to speak louder. You can talk normally. My brain still can still comprehend spoken conversations and my hearing is quite good. 

Even with glasses I can see your expressions and see you rolling your eyes. You may not agree with what I have to say but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong just because I’m older.

Don’t assume that they I’m stupid

Just because I’m older does not mean that I’m stupid. I am smarter than most people. I am computer literate, the only difference is when I text someone I spell correctly. I probably have more education than some younger people. Old does not mean that I have forgotten everything and exist only to exist. If you would take the time to ask, I might have the answer you are looking for.

Unless I ask for help, don’t hold your hand up to stop traffic when I’m crossing the street

It may be harder to do some things. I may not be in the same shape I was when I was younger. It’s a trade-off. I may have aches and pains but have learned, along with the years, something called wisdom. I’m not ready for a rocking chair. Rocking chairs make it hard to use the computer. Many older people are still working and many who stay at home are earning money on-line.

What you really need to know

Older people have old friends. These friends have lived through all the world events with them so there is a greater understand of the past. Young people have no way to understand what it was like and so think that the past is dead and no longer matters. Listen up, it does matter. As younger people age, they will begin to understand. This phenomenon is not new. That’s why we thought our parents and grandparents were old. We did not understand their point of view because we had not lived long enough to see the world from their perspective. We waited until it is too late to ask the questions. 

Older people are not isolated like their grandparents of the past. it’s not just the Internet, it’s cable TV and radio. It is easier to stay in touch with current events. Most older people are willing to fight for their rights. Check out the people who are protesting. Not all of them are young people. ~ by Ann Hinds 8/24/2010

An Inspirational poem and story

This poem, Being Old! , touches all the things that are important. It is an incredible piece. It says more eloquently what all older people think. The poem is posted here but go to the link to read the story. 

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . . .. . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man . . . . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . . . . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . . . . . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . . . . have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me . . . . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . . . and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man . . . . . and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . . . . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man . . . Look closer . . . see ME!!


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If Mom or Dad Won’t Eat, Take Action

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