Aging FAQ & Info

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The Calm Before The Storm

BALANCING THE INVISIBLE

Living with an invisible disease often adds an unfortunate layer of invisibility to the patient; from forgetting triggers when you’re finally present enough to enjoy life, to the hospital you woke up in (after 3 grand mal seizures in 45 minutes) sending you a bill for the ambulance because they felt it wasn’t a necessary call.

The misunderstanding of invisible diseases is just that; they aren’t recognized until it is too late. Loved ones will cut you out of their lives, while new experiences will lead to lessons and recognition of reality on a new level. After experiencing sickness on such a violent level, my only goal in life at the moment is to remain as calm, happy and stress-free as possible. I now sincerely try to avoid large crowds, though recognize when it is safe and worthwhile to enter bigger cities. I now put my work laptop away when I have been looking at it for too long, though deal with pressing issues as they arise. I now speak out when I’m in a stressful situation, and leave when I start feeling ‘funny’, and I try to only surround myself with people who care about my well-being.

Dementia Care / Memory Care / Elderly Care Services

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Blessing in Disguise

Lewy Body Dementia has a unique characteristic where periodically for what seems like a completely random moment your loved one will appear to be fully aware of themselves.

As a Nurse a in a hospice facility I get to witness a lot of  “Goodbyes”.  While there are often moments of clarity in the last stages of life, the sporadic moments of alertness seen in patients with LBD are remarkable.

Last April, there was a small family of three with the father a bedridden man, Brady, whom I very much enjoyed.  Brady had a daughter, Charlotte, in her late forties and a son who was around fifty five. The son was severely Autistic and it seemed that Charlotte had always been his primary caregiver. One night she was sobbing at Brady’s bedside praying for help with what to do. Brady’s health was withering fast in his last few months.

 I was never too far when he’d blush and apologize for something he’d done or said during a hysteric episode. I’d smile and just nod most times, but there’s a look in these patients eyes. It’s like a light is on, like you know they know what they are saying. I spoke about these moments with my colleagues that validated these feelings. I just could never tell the families of my patients. How unfair would that be? I, only the nurse, would get these last special moments.

But that night in April I got to witness a blessing in disguise, where Brady put his hand on his crying daughter’s head and said

“I’m so proud of you Char, and it’s time to let me go.” He looked over at his sleeping son sprawled out on the chair by the window. “He won’t be as strong as you are in the end.” I was adjusting Brady’s medications so he fell into a quick slumber just moments after. However, it was as clear as day that Brady knew what he was saying, as well as knew who the people in his room were.

That was the last time I saw them, Brady passed away about 6 days later.

Dementia Care / Memory Care / Elderly Care Services

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How do you Brunch?

Sunday Brunch is a favorite activity amongst many. I love the idea of sleeping in, dining out, and eating with company.

My favorite brunches are the ones with make-it-yourself-Muesli bars. Muesli is a typical breakfast dish that includes raw oats or other grains, dried & fresh fruits, nuts & seeds, topped over yogurt and added milk. Then all drizzled with honey or condensed milk. (Mine may contain both!) I love how creative you can get with this dish and I could have it every single morning and still get a variety of nutrients.

My other favorite indulgences at brunch are any type of Middle eastern spread. This would contain a bunch of small plates with boiled eggs, dates, apricots, fresh cucumber, tomato and onion. Garbanzo beans that are seasoned as well as processed into a smooth hummus, a garlic yogurt sauce and of course bread!

You can find all sorts of Sunday Brunch deals with all different types of ethnic inspirations. I try to change it up week after to week but I get extra excited for any type of Mediterranean meal time.

 

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Diaries of Lola

He isn’t the same person anymore. It pains me to have fantasies of a life without him. A life where I can go to dinner without the haunting feeling that he’ll embarrass me by one of his accidents in public. Yesterday, he laughed hysterically at a waiter who dropped another parties entree all over the floor. The poor kid turned brighter than the Lobster Thermador that now saturated the sandstone tile. Then I too, felt the blood rush to my own cheeks as Justin’s roaring laughter pierced that silence that often follows after porcelain dishes crash to ground.  

“Lola! “Lola! I need to use the toilet!” Justin calls from the couch.

“Coming!” I hollar from the patio. I put my pencil in my notebook and rush to husband’s assistance. As I walk down the hall, the bright smiling faces of the newlyweds that was once us stare back at me. I find myself searching for the familiar emotions of love and undeniable lust that radiated in our body language.

As I prepare Justin and ease him onto his throne he looks up at me. The look is met by my own gaze and in that moment I see no wrinkles, I feel no aging mind, I only see the promise of love “..through sickness and in health”.

“Plug your nose.” he whispers and winks his eye.

While the “now” Justin is far from highly respected, elegant, charmer I fell in love with he gives me a different type of butterflies.

Breaking out of the cocoon is growing process, but no matter how mature I get those tummy flutters make me as giddy as a child.

 

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Food For Thought

“When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.”   – Minnie Aumonier

GRASS-FED BUTTER

Butter, being almost pure dairy fat, is very high in saturated fat; the fatty acids in it being about 63% saturated. However, that really is not a cause for concern. In fact, saturated fats can actually improve the blood lipid profile:

• They raise levels of HDL (the good) cholesterol, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease

• Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, needed for range of functions, from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape.

• Vitamin K modifies proteins, giving them the ability to bind calcium ions; it affects all sorts of functions related to calcium metabolism.

• Grass-fed butter is a great source of a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate, which helps fight inflammation.

Two cows are grazing in the field. One cow says to the other, “Hey, are you worried about this Mad-Cow Disease epidemic?” The other cow turns and says, “Why would I be? I’m a chicken.”

 

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