nursing home staff: no accountability

mother in nursing homeI have taken the time to label each of the of my mother’s drawers – socks, nightgowns, bras, etc.  Every stitch of her clothing has a name label applied to it, like camp.  Why is it that my efforts mean nothing to the staff?  The nursing home where Mom lives continuously has no answers and seemingly does not care about her personal belongings and their whereabouts.  How does it happen that my Mom’s clothing is sent to the in-house laundry one day and some of it just doesn’t reappear at all?  Also, something with someone else’s name showed up in her lingerie drawer.  Why or why is there no accountability?  I manage my own business, am married, and have adult children & grandchildren.  I cannot be the one to micromanage my mother’s laundry service, on top of everything else.  Who can help me solve this problem before I explode????? P.S. The head of nursing in Mom’s wing, who I have spoken with (as directed by the management), has done nothing to improve the situation.  I feel ridiculous writing this, but it actually does matter to my mother to have two socks vs. one and a nightgown that actually is hers! If you have a comment leave it in the reply box below. Also, if you would like to share your own story, do so here.

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why talk to seniors with respect?

IMG_0604Do seniors annoy you? Are you angry & irritated with them? We can say that it is easy to have a “short fuse” when dealing with our aging loved ones for any number of reasons.

I think that to understand the importance of this discussion you need to take a good look at yourself. Sometime we loose our patience, hearing our elder repeat the same thing over & over. There may be many things that irritate us but this a good reminder that how we say something is as important as what we say!

An article from Seniors for Living, written by Michelle Seitzer, Oct. 2013 called “How to Talk to Seniors (and why it matters)” had an important view to share. “Besides being hurtful on an emotional level, a 2002 Yale University study on “elderspeak” (the official term for this disrespectful language/perception) revealed this startling result: it hurts life expectancy too. “Being the target of it can shorten an old person’s life by up to 7.5 years,” according to a Yale psychology professor, Becca Levy”.

Read the article in full and leave a comment. If you have a story to tell click here.


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4 generations of caregivers

irelandI come from four generations of caregivers & am one myself. It all started back in a farmhouse in Ireland in the mid 1930′s. On a beautiful hillside outside of Dublin, Ireland there is a farm with the simple address of “Feahoe”. There is no number & no street name, just Feahoe. This farm over looks a lake and the land where the cattle graze. My great grandmother “Granma Hoey” was a caregiver to her daughter. I am glad to have caregiving in common with this wonderful, brave and strong woman. She was brought to Feahoe when she married. Her life must have been difficult when she was left widowed with six young children. Granma Hoey raised her children and eight grandchildren while managing the family farm. In the mid 1930′s my father recalls being given a little teapot by his grandmother to take upstairs to his Aunt Maggie. He thinks she must have developed some kind of paralysis, as she could not even hold the teapot. At this time, I am the relief caregiver to my mother, who had a stroke in 2006. My father, her regular caregiver, has gone to Ireland for a five-week break. He will be staying with his family at Feahoe. I am also care giving for Mr. Handsome, an 81-year-old southern gentleman with dementia in an assisted living facility For several years I arranged and hired caregivers for my mom long distance and know how challenging that can be. I also held a director position at an assisted living facility. After raising six children, I feel called to care for those who are not able to care for themselves. I am also compelled to share my varied experiences from care giving in the home, long distance, and from managing a facility. I can only hope that sharing my perspective may help others in the difficult but very rewarding experience of care giving. Visit for more information about caregiving and get the 10 Ways to make caregiving easier or leave a comment below. If you would like to share your story about caregiving, do so here.

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your opinion wanted!

toby&norma-hand-on-shoulderwe love talking with you and would like to expand our interactive community 

can you help us so we can help each other?

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Are there any topics you’d like to see more of on Girlfriendswithagingparents?

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What would compel you to return to our site more regularly?

Thank you for your important feedback!  Only with your valued input, will our circle of friends continue to grow. 



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AARP touts paperback on adult care/decisions

The Other TalkThe Other Talk:  A Guide to Talking With Your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life – The time to talk to your adult children about end of life decisions is right now – prior to having a crisis. This book by Tim Prosch and published by AARP, gives you the needed tools to develop a strong partnership with your kids to plan for the later years.  It helps  answer issues, such as, who do you want to help manage your finances; if you need some form of assisted living, where do you want to live; where can your children find the documents and information they’ll need; and what types of medical treatments do you want – and not want?  Available in paperback and E-book, “The Other Talk” can be purchased through most retail book stores.

Pleas comment below if you have “pearls of wisdom” too share.

If you have a story of your own to share, do so here.

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world’s greatest mom

depositphotos_11889250-Senior-Woman-Relaxing-In-Chair-Holding-Walking-StickI had the world’s greatest mom. She lived just 5 days past her 92nd birthday. She was determined to make it to 92. My mom raised 4 kids on her own – all successful adults – two Ph.D.s and two masters’ degrees. She remained vibrant and healthy until 91, when a series of health-related incidents started a difficult decline. It was so painful to watch a strong, self-sufficient woman lose her ability to drive a car, then to walk, and finally to communicate. I found the most important thing I could do was to simply be with her, and show as much patience and love as possible. My advice to anyone with aging parents is to try and enjoy every minute with them, reach out to others in the same situation and remember the wonderful influence they have had on your life!

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making your nursing home visits count

IMG_1462Putting your parents into a nursing home can be a difficult time for everyone. Not only will you miss out on your mother or father’s company in a normal setting but they will be placed into an unfamiliar environment. In this situation, it’s important to show them you really care for them and you’re not just abandoning them and placing them there to spend their last years alone. It’s not difficult to resolve these initial circumstances by following these simple visitation tips. Be smart, plan ahead and be conscientious of your actions. Doing this will allow you to spend time with your elderly parents in a pleasant, sociable manner.

Give Some Thought to Those You’re Visiting: Even if your mother and father have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or some other mental ailment, it’s important to pay respect to them and be considerate of their needs. Remember you are visiting a person and not a used up lump of humanity. To show your parents you’re really keeping their needs in mind when visiting the nursing home, follow this advice:

Respect privacy. Always knock before you enter their room and step outside for a moment if they have to be changed or go to the bathroom.

Leave noisy children and pets at home and don’t visit the nursing home in large numbers. Smaller groups can make the occasion less stressful.

If your parents are sleeping, don’t wake them up. They may need to rest plus they won’t enjoy your company if they are groggy.

By catering to your parents’ needs, they will appreciate your visits a whole lot more and will look forward to seeing you next time.

Get the Necessary Details from the Staff: The nursing home will also have particular rules that you should abide by during your visits. As soon as you can, ask the staff about what you need to do to make their jobs easier and the lives of your parents more comfortable. This includes enquiring about the following matters:

What the visiting hours are during weekdays and on weekends

Whether your parents have been prescribed certain dietary conditions

What the facilities’ regulations are with regards to bringing pets

Whether there are any policies on gifts or tips for staff members

When mealtimes are and if it is allowed for you to visit then

By finding out everything you can about the aged centre your parents are in, you can visit them without any fuss or hassle. The nursing home staff should be happy to discuss their policies and regulations too so that everyone is on the right page when it comes to coexisting together in the one setting. Finally, if you do have any serious complaints, politely take them straight to the administrator.

Let Your Elderly Relatives Steer the Conversation: When spending time with your mom and dad, let them choose the topics you talk about. Often, the elderly like to discuss their youth, what they used to do, past romances, etc.

By letting them choose the conversation, you’ll then avoid bringing up the wrong topics accidentally. There’s no need to traumatize your parents by talking about lost loved ones, broken relationships, etc. Remember to generally keep the discussion positive and to avoid arguments. Since you probably won’t get to spend a long time with your parents maintaining a positive atmosphere will make you look forward to the next visit rather than dreading it!

If you want to add to the topics being discussed, you can always share stories about friends and families that you know they will enjoy. If you have any old photographs, news clippings or letters that are related to these occasions, use them too!

Bring Some Small Gifts with You: Lastly, it can be a good idea to pack some small presents when visiting your parents at the nursing home. Here are some great ideas about what you can give:

Old photo albums, CDs or albumsClassic, Their favorite books, Makeup or perfume

Sweets or snacks, Potted flowers, Comfortable clothing

Just remember to ask the staff whether a particular snack fits in with your parents’ dietary plan or whether the facility allows live plants. By bringing something special every time you visit, you’ll then show your mum and dad you truly appreciate them and can make the experience a lot more positive. The presents you give to your parents don’t have to be highly extravagant or expensive either – the fact that you’ve made the effort will be more than enough to keep them happy and ensure they still feel appreciated.

With a little tender care and forward planning, you can make any nursing home visit one that will bring joy to your aging parents. In this way, you’ll make them feel happy and comfortable despite being in an elderly care facility and not in their own home.


Author Bio: Lauren Downey is writing in a freelance basis for Ashton Grange. Ashton Grange is an established, purpose-built care home offering elderly residential and dementia care.

If you have a comment for Lauren, write it below. If you would like to share your own story, do so here.

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girlfriends: we need each other!

girlfriendswritten by Judith Rawlings: Come Sit At My Table

There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

Quote: “Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”

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