Search: aging in place

Storms may come and go but Gods love and Word are forever-Christian encouragement via Kaye Swain REALTORAging in Place. That's our goal for as long as possible. But it can have many faces. When my grandparents' health started to deteriorate, my parents moved in with them to help. When my grandparents on the other side of the family had health issues, they opted for assisted living for years. Then they moved in with my parents for the last few months of my grandfather's life. In both cases, it was a blessing to see the great example my parents set. And a blessing to get to spend extra time with each set of grandparents in the twilight of their lives even though it was followed shortly by a bittersweet season of grief and loss

Fast forward two decades. When my dad's Parkinson's Disease progressed, my parents moved into my home. This was something I had anticipated and we had several aging in place options already installed. They moved in around June. A few months later, when I was out at a lovely Thanksgiving church musicale, my dad's simple cold turned into pnuemonia and I had to leave the service early to take him to the hospital.

Thanksgiving was less joyfilled the year my dad got so sick-via Kaye Swain

I still remember how scared and concerned I felt as I drove to the house to pick them both up. Once there we worked with the palliative care team who prescribed hospice for him. What a shock! Here we were, in the midst of a season of joy and merriment, being hit hard as we entered a slow and sad journey down the "valley of the shadow of death."

It was a difficult holiday season for our family. I look back on it now, remembering many of the sad happenings but grateful there were also lovely lovely family memories sprinkled throughout. It was truly one of the most difficult times of my life! We didn't put many decorations up, that's for sure! But we were blessed throughout with the help of our beloveds and we came out on the other side grateful for the comforting presence of God throughout. 

You may have to go easy on the decorations but Christmas can still be a sweet blessing even in the midst of sorrow grief and loss

During any of the holidays, you may be dealing with end of life issues, as we were. Or you may be in the throes of ongoing caregiving needs, as I am now. Or you may know of a friend or relative dealing with these issues – again, I am right there with you. Any and all of these are a challenge at any time, but especially so during the holiday seaons. 

Because of a loved one's situation, I went to one of my favorite resources for dealing with grief and sorrow – Griefshare.Org. I again signed up for their free one-year subscription of daily emails.  I was blessed with these when my dad passed away. I've shared this info with others who have dealt with loss. I had a friend who lost a beloved pet who was very comforted by them. I can't recommend them highly enough. And if you aren't sure a friend can or will sign up, you can sign up yourself and share individual ones with that friend – which can be as much a blessing to you as them. Such a great resource!

In addition to their onliine options, they provide grief care groups in various local churches all over the country. During the season of Thanksgiving through Christmas, they may have a special holiday seminar to provide support, encouragement, and practical stress-reducing ideas that will help you face and survive the holidays. If it is November – December, check their webiste for the holiday seminar link. I typed in my zip code and found five churches offering this seminar within 10 – 30 minutes of me. I checked zip codes for several of my loved ones. If you live in the country, it might be a further drive but the farthest I found was about an hour away. The course time varied with the location from 1- 2 hours for the seminar. 

They also have various articles dealing with holiday grief.  CLICK HERE to read them. And to sign up for the daily emails, CLICK HERE

If you or a loved one of any age – including elderly seniors – are dealing with the pain and suffering that come with grief and sorrow, I would definitely encourage you to check out GriefShare.org along with their free daily email newsletters and other excellent resources including season holiday options. My family and I have been blessed by their ministry and I am hoping you and yours will be as well. 

 

Gods light can still shine at Christmas even in the midst of grief and loss-pain and suffering

Beverly's Got so many cute pink things each Saturday including lovely homes and home decor - great for creative ideas when you are moving to a new home

 

 

 

Fast Forward to the Past

I-enjoyed-watching-a-new-show-preview-in-Roseville-CaliforniaTelevision. For so many of our beloved elderly seniors, it's a lifeline to the outside world. It's also becoming more and more of a challenge for many of them to actually use the TV. It's definitely a necessary aging in place option! What's a caregiver to do?

My senior mom and I just recently switched to Comcast. So far it seems to be meeting our needs, but we definitely had to make some major changes to help my mom with it. We had managed to stave off massive technology changes for one extra year by having the fairly simple DVR she had been used to for four years. But lately, I've noticed she rarely watched the shows that were taped for her, preferring instead to just punch the channel up/channel down button on her remote control to look at what shows were actually on.

Because of that, I felt that the change to Comcast might work OK. We opted for a smart box for myself with the DVR and all the controls. 

The main Comcast Xfinity box for this blue jean baby boomer

We then went with a tiny little box (a DTA, I think) for my senior mom that gives her TV just the channels.

Much tinier option for my elderly senior mom

No confusing menus or directions. Her current remote control does have several buttons she can't use, but so did her last one. As I explained it to her, she just needs to think back to when she first started using TV and just had the basic TV channels and she can either scroll through with channel up and down, or punch in the channel number she wants.

Aging In Place Options For Those TV Challenges

Even better, I found out that Comcast also has an accessibility department with several items to help anyone with any kind of special needs, including our elderly parents. AND not all employees are aware of all it offers. I had specifically asked a couple of different people if they offered a big button remote like our last wonderful company and was told no. Later though, when exploring their site, I found they DO offer one and I immediately went online to request one, along with print-outs of the channel line-up. They provide the big button remote at no charge.

Senior friendly Big button remote can help with aging in place needs via Kaye Swain Roseville CA REALTOR and blogging social media specialist

As it turned out, they sent a couple of options and my senior mom preferred a smaller remote that was almost identical to her old one which helped her figure it out easier. If she starts having trouble with that one, I discovered this option at Amazon that looks even easier, because there are fewer buttons.

This flipper looks even easier for my elderly mom and her aging in place needs in Roseville CA

This could definitely be worth trying for aging parents with memory issues, I am thinking. 

In addition, by my having the bigger Xfinity box, we also have access to shows on our iPhone and iPad with their Xfinity apps. So when my senior mom is in another room and wants to watch TV, I can easily take it to her to watch on her iPad. This will be handy when she feels up to walking on the treadmill or is working in the kitchen. Plus, we've got her older TV and VCR with tons of good old family movies and sweet romance musicals never to be forgotten for her to enjoy from years gone by. (The grandkids and she had a lovely time watching part of The Sound of Music together on it recently.)

The Sound of Music is one of those good old family movies and romance musicals my family loves

The constantly advancing tech changes that have impacted TV, cell phones, etc., can make it more challenging for our senior parents. But, once again, thinking outside the box can help them with their aging in place needs, including keeping current with the local news or enjoying fun old movies of days of yore.  

P.S. Click here for more senior friendly options AND good old family movies and musicals.