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Celebrating Everything!

When you’re busy caregiving, it’s easy to view holidays and special occasions as “not applicable” to you. After all, what’s to celebrate? If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do is add another “do” to your “to do” list. You might not feel like celebrating ANYTHING if you’re just trying to keep your head above water. And you’re so busy trying to juggle work, caregiving, and, dare I say it, perhaps a social activity or two, that the last thing you want to do is make the effort to celebrate for someone who might not appreciate it (aka: that elderly loved one with a challenging personality!) or someone who just isn’t mentally capable of appreciating the effort (or maybe even the day!).

Celebrities ... They're Just Like Us

Whenever I fly I have to resist the urge to stop in one of those airport gift shops to pick up at least one of the latest celeb magazines. People, Us, Life & Style – you name it and I’m on board. There’s just something about reading of the trials and tribulations of the rich and famous that makes me feel better about the trials and tribulations in my own life. Great escapism! But, at $6 a pop, a huge budget buster. So, how does the latest and greatest celeb news relate to elderly caregiving, other than to serve as a source of escapism for those of us who do it? Well, it seems many of the rich and famous are dealing with their own issues surrounding the caregiving of elderly loved ones. Sadly

Believing Words Matter

Words matter. Being a writer and editor, I take the meaning and usage of words very seriously. Maybe that’s why of late I have found myself pondering the meaning and usage of the words “caregiver” and “caretaker.” To me, a caregiver is obviously someone who takes care of someone in need; a caretaker is someone who takes care of a property. Sure enough, when I checked merriam-webster.com, this is the definition I found for “caregiver”: a person who provides direct care (as for children, elderly people, or the chronically ill). Similarly, when I looked up the word “caretaker,” I found this: one that takes care of the house or land of an owner who may be absent. But I was surprised to also find

Getting Your Controlling Thoughts Under Control

What do you think of when you hear the term “controlling personality”? A bullying boss? An obnoxious, overbearing relative? A busybody know-it-all neighbor? When I think of “controlling personality” I think of words like “nasty,” “oppressive,” and “demeaning.” So it was a bit of a shock when I came to the conclusion – after talking with one of my mom’s helpers (a self-acknowledged control freak) - that (drumroll) I have a controlling personality! My first thought was, how could that be? I am nice. I am agreeable – sometimes too agreeable! I listen to other viewpoints, try to meet people halfway, and overall seek peace and tranquility in my daily life. Once I acknowledged the fact, I decided

Predicting the Future

A very good friend of mine died yesterday. Although the news was stunning, it was not totally shocking. She had endured some significant health challenges for a number of years and, unfortunately, was of an age where battling those challenges would become increasingly difficult. Once I had absorbed this terrible news it hit me that her death came on the same day as the birthday in heaven of my significant other’s mother. She died at age 95. The news of her death was equally stunning in retrospect because I was always convinced that she would outlive everyone, based on her indomitable spirit and excellent physical and mental health. When you’re caregiving an elderly loved one, playing the lon

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