The second Sunday of May is Mother’s Day.
How do you celebrate Mother”s Day?
The usual answer is ‘greet mama Happy Mother’s Day and give her a cake or a beautiful present.’ Or the family will have a get together at home or some place else. These things definitely will make mama happy.
But how do you celebrate Mother’s Day when your mother already has dementia? Will she still appreciate the Day?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just published the 2017 Immunization Schedule for Adults. Please click the Resources Tab to view the new Schedule.
Oral health may worsen as one gets older if not properly taken cared of while still young.
According to the American Dental Association, neglecting oral care will put the elderly to an increased risk for caries, periodontal disease and infection, especially those patients with severe cognitive impairment. (www.ada.org/aging and dental health)
Furthermore, neglecting oral health may affect the general health of an individual. Since chewing and taste perception become inadequate in aging, nutrition may be compromised. (PA Razak 2014. Geriatric Oral Health: A Review Article NCBI-NIH. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
Poor nutritional status can lead to general poor health condition.
Here are some facts about oral health (www.seniorsoralhealth.org).
Proper shoes means comfortable footwear that is safe to use while walking. It should not put the elder at risk for falling.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of death from fatal and non-fatal injuries.
Improving balance therefore is important in reducing the risk of a fall.Continue reading
Do you think your grandparents or your parents are too old to exercise?
Regular exercise and physical activity are good for them. Aging nor medical illness are not contraindications to performing exercises.
For many elders who are usually retirees, physical activities diminish because there’s nothing more to do whether at home or out. During their younger years they were always moving. Their activities were almost always automatic. But when they retired the question that runs into their minds everyday is,”What shall I do today?”
Feeding an elder can pose a challenge to the caregiver.
Perhaps you have observed the gradual change in the elder’s eating habits. Whereas initially she eats with gusto and finishes her meal in her usual pace… over the years she becomes slower and slower and consumes less and less until she refuses to eat.
The challenge to the caregiver is how to feed the elder even if she refuses to eat.
Let me tell you true stories of 2 elderly ladies.
The 1st is the story of Sarah (not her real name to protect her identity).
Sarah is 69 years old, not disabled, healthy and still strong for her age.
One morning at around 9:30 Sarah was on her way to the dining room to eat morning snacks. The dining room was only about 4 meters (about 13 feet) from where she was standing. Unfortunately she never reached the dining room.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published the 2016 Immunization Schedule for Adults. Click the Resources tab to view the schedule.
Many times my 97 year old Mama would wake up in the middle of the night insisting that all lights be turned on, or sometimes she just wants to keep her door wide open. At other times she says she had to leave because she’ll open her store.
Her caregiver would convince her to go back to sleep because it was still dark and morning was still hours away.
Then my Mama would get mad because she did not want to get back to sleep.
For hours she would be wide awake. And so her caregiver would also be wide awake.
This goes on every now and then… until one night, while she was in the middle of her anger, I said, “let’s sing Dios te Salve.” “Dios te Salve” is the Spanish version of “Hail Mary.”
It’s always a struggle when it’s time to bathe my Mama. She has all sorts of excuses not to take a bath. She refuses and refuses until I run out of patience. She would say she just took a bath a while ago.
Knowing that she has dementia I can’t insist that she hasn’t had one yet.
And so this goes on everyday until…
One morning when she woke up, I said ” you have lizard’s pooh on your head, let’s wash your hair.” To my surprise she got up quickly and off we went to the bathroom.
Since she has dementia, she doesn’t remember that I use this piece of conversation everyday.
It’s a great relief to have discovered this style.