Musings on Elder Care

While I did start my post on “Husk” at Yellow Peril, after the events of this evening I just want to leave a brief snippet about elder care as it has been the most prevalent thought in my mind.

If you have any close people in your life who are going through that slow decline we all must face, make sure that they know they’re loved. More importantly though, make sure that they are drinking plenty of WATER. Not just coffee, not just tea, not the glass and a half of straight vermouth every night, but plenty of water to help cleanse and detox their bodies. It’s a lesson we’re learning around here. UTIs will not exhibit the normal signs in the elderly, they will just shut EVERY thing down. I swear a doctor said that he had numerous occasions where a stroke was thought to be in process, but instead was a UTI. (Don’t NOT go to the doctor though… Both are emergencies!) Get in the habit of drinking water and making sure your elders do the same. It’s going to be a battle, but one you need to wage.

Also, make sure that they get the care they need. If it’s between coming home and recovering at a facility temporarily, unless you have a team of nurses in your family and the medical equipment to care for them on the ground level of your home… Take the temporary situation. Someone WILL get hurt, and I doubt it’s going to be the elder in question.

Our experience has been that of trial and error now. The harrowing experience of getting her in the house thankfully helped sway her towards the better decision, but I know I will never forget that.

It’s hard though to fight with someone you love, to force them to do what needs to be done. At least with young kids you have the benefit of being the elder. But the balance between maintaining their sense of dignity and doing what needs to be done is on a razor’s edge

I can only hope that my siblings and I can function as the team our parents will need someday. I also sincerely hope that’s a ways away… At least 3 decades. (To my parents: You can hold out until your 80’s, right?)

Stay active! Show the love! And Drink water!

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