Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Caregiving As An Act of Love

Caregiving for an elder is a trying and exhausting task.   We give up much of our own lives to aid another in leaving their life.  I dwelled on this thought in sadness, thinking, “What’s the use?  Work yourself to near exhaustion every day, give up your own life, then they die.”  It seems fruitless and depressing.

What is missing in that assessment is the reason we become caregivers in the first place: love.  We love the aging parent and they love us.  Every act of helping an old and sick parent is an act of love.  In most cases, the response is gratitude and a reflection of love.  Life is so important that one helping another to live, then to leave life, is an affirmation of the wonder and mystery of life.  Caregiving, no …

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Choosing a Care Facility

In Caregiver Gratitude: Part One, Carol outlines the process we used in choosing a place for Frank to live when he moved to Denver from central Florida.  Frank was happy with our choice and adjusted to the move fairly well.  He liked the food, and the staff members all seemed to take a liking to him and he to them.  I think we got lucky.

In her blog in The New York Times Paula Span reports on research that the kind of facility caregivers select, even after extensive research, may not be appropriate for the elder parent.  In addition, the five star rating system developed by Medicare seems to have little correlation with resident satisfaction unless, of course, the place is crawling with roaches and sullen employees.

The biggest factor for an aging person’s …

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Looking Back on Two Years of Elder Care: Part One

It was just two years ago this week that Dad moved from Central Florida to Denver to be closer to some of his family members.  I think his second hospitalization for pneumonia that spring must have been the catalyst for his decision.

Bill and I were relieved that he was finally willing to make this change.  We had grown more concerned about Dad’s increasing frailty and forgetfulness over the several years since the death of Elizabeth, his second wife, in 1999.  We wanted to have more impact on his life and well being than we could from so far away.

Dad died about three and a half weeks ago.  Along with the shock and the sadness, I  feel as if I have suddenly emerged from a dense, pervasive fog that clouded my mind, preventing …

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