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growing through relationship

by Andrea
February 4, 2013

Since my last post, content to just be, I've been thinking more about the relationship between our own fear of aging and the sad reality that elderly people are too often left uncared for in our culture. When Judy and I started this blog site, I sent it to someone I respect very much. I wanted her review. Her response hit the mark, especially this paragraph...

"...My husband's father just turned 90...

the joy of laughter

by Judy
January 31, 2013 

There is nothing so delightful and beautiful as a shared laugh. For some reason, with my mother, when she does or says something funny or when I do or say something funny, we laugh together and that laughter creates its own laughter and then like a ball set in motion we find ourselves just laughing. It’s an infectious laughter that springs from deep inside, can bring tears to the eyes and a deep sense of oneness. Sometimes my mother will ask me, “Why are you laughing? “And I’ll say, “Because you are laughing...

content to just be

by Andrea
January 28, 2013

In a recent conversation I was having with someone, I was sharing my experience of writing this blog, its purpose and meaning in my life. I found myself saying things that I didn't even realize I knew. That happens a lot when speaking with someone who is truly interested. They pull things out of you that you don't realize are even inside. Once out, it's like you always knew it—but not until that moment. 

Blogging is like that too. In...

by Judy
January 24, 2013 

As my mother is moving toward her 97th year, post-stroke, post pacemaker and post aortic valve replacement; she is still remarkably there.  No doubt senses are failing: eyesight, smell, taste and to some degree hearing, but at the same time her sense of touch and feel have become acutely sensitive. It’s as though there is only a thin membrane, much thinner than skin, between her inner and outer world. She is particularly sensitized to the touch, sound and feeling of other human beings. She notices...

natural dignity

by Andrea
January 21, 2013

My mother will be turning 95 this week, and while this is not something that she feels excited about, for me there is a quiet celebration brewing within. It is not only that she has made it to 95which is a big deal in itselfbut that she is living it with dignity. This is the real cause for celebration. Especially in light of the fact that a few years ago, her dignity seemed to...

by Judy
January 17, 2013 

Since about three and a half years ago when the tides changed with regard to my mom’s health and independence, I have been involved with many people in the care giving profession: doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, physical, occupational and speech therapists in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and at home. And as in everything, there is a wide diversity of expertise and care that is shown by these men and women of all different backgrounds. In every situation that my mom has been in, certain people...

by Judy
January 10, 2013

I've been thinking about this whole phenomenon of hallucinations that happens, it seems, so frequently in the elderly. It also seems to be a phenomenon spoken about so little by doctors, nurses or caregivers. Why is that? Is it because it is so unknown and the medical field really doesn’t know why it occurs and so has not addressed it? Or maybe because they don’t know how to “mend” it? It’s like this unspoken phenomenon that no one really wants to get into, but as a family member, you are suddenly confronted...

becoming a united front

by Andrea
January 7, 2013

As this blog site unfolds, and the deeper Judy and I get into it, I find myself taking a step back to look again at its purpose. Why are we doing this blog site? Who are our readers? Why are we reaching out? Why is this important? 

My initial reason for wanting to write this blog was in response to the table turning in relationship with my aging mother—and the psychological and emotional challenges that I and so many of us face as our...

by Judy
December 30, 2012 

I continually delight in watching my mother eat her breakfast every morning. First one has to understand that this was a woman who did everything quickly and ate faster than anyone I have ever known- even faster than my brother. She ate with a ferocious quality like she had not eaten for days. She particularly loved bread. She still loves bread and especially bagels but now when she eats her eyes are often closed and she takes one bite at a time and chews very slowly, extremely slowly. Except for her mouth...

Winter light in Sweden

by Andrea
December 25, 2012

Today is Christmas Day and I am writing from above the Arctic Circle. Yes, true. I am visiting Gällivare, Sweden to celebrate the holidays with the family of my daughter's boyfriend. Swedish style holidays - with short days and long nights. The days are filled with the light of dawn for only about 5 hours. The sun never makes it above the horizon before that beautiful dawn light disappears into darkness. With an average temperature of -30C, pristine white snow blankets the area with...