Sunday, March 30, 2014

A beautiful sentiment for a heartfelt end.

(picture from LifeNews.com)
A situation we hope never happens but does. A new life families are waiting for. Something happens and the little one is born premature and does not live or is stillborn. Families grieve. On top of that the family has to worry about a burial outfit for a tiny body.
NICU Helping Hands in Fort Worth, Texas was founded by Lisa Grubbs who went on to create 'Angel Gowns'. These are made by volunteers who use donated wedding gowns to make these little burial outfits. They say one gown can make 12 baby gowns.
(picture from LifeNews.com)

According to the post: "There’s something hopeful about that start of life, about a wedding, and to me, it’s that full circle. This child who is so loved by its parents, being wrapped in love by a bride". According to Grubbs, "often times, babies would simply be wrapped in a towel or blanket, but with the donated gowns, the parents are able to give their babies something special to show how much he or she is loved." In fact, one of the seamstresses, LaJean Sturman who lost her infant son 30 years ago (and does this in memory of him), expressed that "if she had received such a gown for her son, it would have meant everything to her. She says she would have felt like she was saying goodbye to him in a special outfit, rather than one that was ordinary and perhaps didn’t properly fit him".
The NICU Helping Hands is a non-profit organization helping families whose baby has been hospitalized. Their services include parent support and education, sibling support, hospital to home preparation, memory archiving, antepartum support, transport support, bereavement, and baby gowns.
As Lisa Grubbs mom (who is also a seamstress helping with the gowns) says, "I’ll never know the baby, mother or dad, but I hope they know some sense of love and caring that went into the gown. My prayer is that none of these ever have to be used". Amen to that!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Elderly parents need caregivers to protect them against telephone scams.



The third Weekday Mixer was a great success! We had 72 blogs linked up and numerous social media link-ups! We hope that you all had the opportunity to mix and mingle and make some awesome new buddies!





Weekday Mixer 




 Welcome the 4th week of The Weekday Mixer Social Media Link-Up! As you know, it is a brand new social media link-up for all to join! This mixer is all about networking and making connections. Also, you can gain exposure and increase your social media following! Link up your social media accounts and mix it up with some of the other linkers.




Each week, the Weekday Mixer will start on Sunday nights at 8:00pm and go on until Friday night at 11:59pm. One linker will be chosen each week and featured in the following week's link-up! If chosen, you can provide a brief summary about yourself and your blog/website and all of your social media accounts will be listed. It's a great way to stand out among the crowd! 






Meet your hosts and guest hosts!


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Big thanks to Carissa, Kristy, and Linda for making our first month of The Weekday Mixer so great! Thank you ladies!!! Next week, we will be featuring our new guest hosts for April.





Interested in co-hosting the Weekday Mixer? 


Fill out this form and Natasha will be in touch with more information.


Now meet this week's featured blogger...


unnamed (1)














unnamed (2)Hello! My name is Lindsay. I am mom to Landen and Gabrielle, wife to Matt and blogger at www.mycreativedays.com. I love to be creative in my day, my home and with my kids. I am obsessed with old wood, rusty treasures and everything in between. Finding frugal and creative ways to decorate our home, create a fabulous craft or do an activity with the kids is a passion of mine. I am a firm believer that you don’t have to break the bank to have pretty things around you. With some creativity and a little elbow grease, anything is possible!




Come by my blog and see what I am creating today!








You can also follow me here:


 

Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Hometalk | Bloglovin | Instagram




 





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(picture from Clipart) Oh that all familiar sound, especially at dinner time! We all get it, most of us avoid it. Deep down inside, all of us know it is just someone doing their job - calling to see if we need something or want to donate to some charity, lower our mortgage, get a better credit card rate, the list goes on. Unfortunately though, not all callers are legit. The news in our area has been ripe with telephone scams, mostly aimed at the elderly. So what can you do to help your parents?
Sometimes the elderly will answer a call and keep talking because the other person is 'nice' and they don't want to be rude. Mom would do this sometimes. Unfortunately, the longer they talk, the better chance the caller has to get your elderly parent involved in their 'deal'.
'Fraud.org' has a webpage to help you educate your parent on what to look for in a call, to determine if it is fraudulent. One is to remind them that not everyone is just trying to make a living - there are actually people out there trying to take their money, that free prizes or gifts are not always available, easy money is not easy. Here are what they consider to be the red flags:
•A promise that you can win money, make money, or borrow money easily;
•A demand that you act immediately or else miss out on this great opportunity;
•A refusal to send you written information before you agree to buy or donate;
•An attempt to scare you into buying something;
•Insistence that you wire money or have a courier pick up your payment; and
•A refusal to stop calling after you’ve asked not to be called again.
Seniors should also be reminded that:
•It’s illegal for companies that operate contests or sweepstakes to ask you to pay to enter or claim your prize or even to suggest that your chances of winning will improve if you buy something;
•It’s illegal for telemarketers to ask for a fee upfront to help you get a loan if they guarantee or strongly imply that the loans will be made;
•There is no reason to give your credit card number or bank account number to a telemarketer unless you are actually making a payment with that account; and,
•If you have to pay first before getting detailed information about the offer, it’s probably a scam.
Check mom and dad to make sure that they do not:
•Receive lots of mail for contests, "free trips," prizes, and sweepstakes;
•Get frequent calls from strangers offering great deals or asking for charitable contributions;
•Make repeated and/or large payments to companies in other states or countries;
•Have difficulty buying groceries and paying utility and other bills;
•Subscribe to more magazines than anyone could normally read;
•Receive lots of cheap items such as costume jewelry, beauty products, water filters, and knick knacks that they bought to win something or received as prizes;
•Get calls from organizations offering to recover, for a fee, money they have lost to fraudulent telemarketers.
What to do to help? Put their number on a do not call list and do the same for their cell phone number. Check their bank and credit card statements. Screen calls. Learn how to hang up.
Robocalls are similar; these are recorded messages, usually shows 'unknown' for a number if you have Caller ID or 'spoofed'. Of course, these are easier for people to hang up on. 'SeniorSavvy.org' also suggests registering your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry @ 888-382-1222. Do not press any numbers prompted, even to disconnect, since that will tell them that this is a good number and they will continue to call. You can also check with Nomorobo to see if they can help you get their number off the list. If your parents seem to get a lot of calls, someone can keep track of those calls with a form from 'Fraud.org' - that way if you need to pursue some type of action, you will have a record. Click here for the form.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Having a talk with the parents about them getting older.


The second Weekday Mixer was a great success! We had 62 blogs linked up and numerous social media link-ups! We hope that you all had the opportunity to mix and mingle and make some awesome new buddies!





Weekday Mixer 

Welcome the 3rd week of The Weekday Mixer Social Media Link-Up! As you know, it is a brand new social media link-up for all to join! This mixer is all about networking and making connections. Also, you can gain exposure and increase your social media following! Link up your social media accounts and mix it up with some of the other linkers.




Each week, the Weekday Mixer will start on Sunday nights at 8:00pm and go on until Friday night at 11:59pm. One linker will be chosen each week and featured in the following week's link-up! If chosen, you can provide a brief summary about yourself and your blog/website and all of your social media accounts will be listed. It's a great way to stand out among the crowd!








Now meet this week's featured blogger...


 





5c2f516d698460b4d6c45152c49613bd 


Welcome to my blog!




"ShuGar" is a nickname my hubs and I use, which combines the first three letters of our last names. It's pronounced "sugar", but spelled S-H-U-G-A-R. We officially began using our nickname for our Beatles-inspired wedding with the theme "All You Need is ShuGar Love."




I am a writer at my core. I've been writing on and off since I was a little one. When I decided to create my blog, I was thinking about what has inspired me to finally make my writing public. I immediately thought of Mr. ShuGar's love and our marriage. Because of his support, I felt the confidence to write from my heart. Therefore, I decided to use similar colors, fonts, and theme from our wedding for my blog.




I blog about the Heart and all there is to Love. My blog is a snapshot of my heart, inspired by the "ShuGar Love" in my life. It explores my love for art, photography, The Beatles, traveling, indie films, dance, books, food, LA, fashion, family, marriage, baby and, most importantly, love. I invite all to share in the love.




Now, a glimpse into my ShuGar heart:




Turquoise rocks my world. Art is my passion. In another life, I was born as Lizzy Bennet and Mr. ShuGar was my Mr. Darcy. I heart LA. I'm an indie film nerd. Fashion & writing feed my soul. Our entire love story can be told through Beatles songs. Mr. ShuGar and our ShuGar Baby are my sunshine. Love is all. Love is you.




Blog Features:




  • ShuGar Fix Mondays is a weekly fashion, decor, and beauty inspiration series because Mondays deserve an extra dose of pretty. For more ShuGar Fix Mondays, click here!
  • Mommy’s Corner is a weekly series every Wednesday exploring our journey in becoming parents, our love for our ShuGar baby, and general topics related to mommyhood.
  • {Recently launched!} The All You Need is Love Project is a movement to inspire more love on this planet. The more we come together, the more love we can share. Every Thursday, join the revolution here! Thursday's All You Need is Love Project is a day dedicated to writing about love, posting pictures about love on social media, and sharing with others my heart in person and online. Other bloggers link up and participate in the love movement.
  • A Week in the Life is a photo inspiration series on Fridays to document every day moments in my ShuGar life.
  • Other fun ShuGar Love posts include: indie film reviews, book reviews, exploring my love for my L.A. city, and, of course, Beatles love.


unnamed (14) unnamed (15)


 








Now meet your hosts and guest hosts!



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"A Place for Mom" sent an update on having the 'tough talk' with the folks. If you already started, or have done it, you know it can be touchy, emotional, maybe even argumentative; some elderly parents might be ready for it and will sit down and plan.

We just went through the time of year there was more family members around who can attest to the older folks condition - maybe they haven't seen them in awhile, maybe they can help with starting the conversation. Let's face it -- no one wants to be reminded they are getting older, or are not in the same condition they were in a few years ago. But in this case, sometimes it's not all about exercise and eating better. We all need to look long-term at daily care, transportation, medicines, legal - like Power of Attorney, even end-of-life issues if necessary.

Tough topics but the website has offered '6 practical tips' for families on how to start this kind of talk that may help. The following is taken directly from their article "Before It's Too Late: How to Have the Tough Conversation with Your Aging Parents".


1. Be Open
Be candid and open when you speak with your loved one. Explain your concerns specifically and clearly without unnecessary euphemisms or dancing around the issues. Share your own feelings. Use “I” statements, and remind your older loved one that your concerns come from love.

2. Follow the Golden Rule
Imagine the roles are reversed and that you are the elderly person. How would you want your loved ones to address you about their concerns?

3. Remind Your Loved One That You’re Here to Support Them
Try not to let your parent feel threatened, or see you as an adversary in the interaction. Reassure them that you will be with them through thick and thin, and that you have their best interest at heart before anything else.

4. Allow Your Loved One to Feel in Control
A sense of a loss of independence and autonomy is one of the biggest causes of distress in these situations. Make it clear to your loved one that the purpose of this conversation is to clarify their wishes about the future, not to force some already made decision on them.

5. Tell Your Loved One about Your Own Needs and Limitations
Some older parents may expect one of their children, perhaps you, to take care of them in their old age, regardless of circumstances. Let your parent know now if this isn’t a realistic expectation because of your own needs or obligations.

6. Leave the Conversation with an Action Point
It’s easy for conversations such as these to become mired in abstractions or vague promises to talk about it later. Make it a goal to come away with some clear takeaways in terms of your parents’ wishes and expectations.

According to a 2012 survey from the National Family Caregivers Association and Care Improvement Plus: (from ElderCarelink)

* 66 percent of those surveyed have provided care to a loved one for five or more years.
• 70 percent serve as the primary or sole caregiver
• Nearly 75 percent help their loved one with care coordination and instrumental activities of daily living


The caregiver role continues to expand

The survey results show that the role of unpaid caregiver continues to get more complex.

• 71 percent help their loved one to manage their finances
• 74 percent provide both physical and nutritional support to their loved one
• 79 provide transportation support
• 73 percent coordinate care for their loved one

Sometimes other people they know have had this type of conversation -- if you know the conversation went well, remind them of this (be careful if it didn't). If you have a good rapport with any of their doctors, they may be able to help smooth the way; they may be able to convince the folks that it is a good idea to have you present during their medical visits. If you follow "Help in Remembering Health Information", another post of mine that tells of what I did when I went to my mom's doctor's with her, it may help convince them that it is a good thing to have you around.

My in-laws are a good example of those fighting 'help'. They are 92 and 91 still living in their own home together but are slowing down and could use help. But they will not always share information, want to go to doctors alone, still want to drive themselves, still go up and down stairs. We've tried to convince them to get 'Lifeline', the button you wear to call for help if something happens -- nope. They would rather call one of their adult children first, then call 911. When really sick, they have allowed one of the daughter-in-laws to accompany them to their different visits or to the ER. Not all of their children are on their doctor lists, meaning not every adult child can call for information if concerned - the siblings have to go through the only one on the list, they can't talk to the pharmacist. I have tried talking to them, and my husband's sibling, since they saw what I went through with my parents hoping that could help and why it's important for everyone to be on the same page. They do what they want.

Try to talk and have it down on paper for everyone to follow, from ALL the doctors and their phone numbers, where their medical information is (like their medical insurance card or policy) to the pharmacy, to where the paperwork is (Power of Attorney, Living Will, funeral directives, etc.).
For more information see 'care 4 elderly parents'.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Adult services start - finally! It's scary for mom!!! Things I did to make it better for him (and me hopefully).

The first Weekday Mixer was a great success! We had 100 blogs linked up and numerous social media link-ups! We hope that you all had the opportunity to mix and mingle and make some awesome new buddies!
Weekday Mixer 
 Welcome the 2nd week of The Weekday Mixer Social Media Link-Up! As you know, it is a brand new social media link-up for all to join! This mixer is all about networking and making connections. Also, you can gain exposure and increase your social media following! Link up your social media accounts and mix it up with some of the other linkers.

Each week, the Weekday Mixer will start on Sunday nights at 8:00pm and go on until Friday night at 11:59pm. One linker will be chosen each week and featured in the following week's link-up! If chosen, you can provide a brief summary about yourself and your blog/website and all of your social media accounts will be listed. It's a great way to stand out among the crowd!


Now meet this week's featured blogger...

My name is Pamela and I blog over at Macdonald's Playland. My goal is to inspire and help (even in some little way) fellow women, wives, and mommies going through their own journey...all while documenting my own. In this blog I share my creative outlets and a smorgasbord of other topics I enjoy as I adventure through wifehood and motherhood. In my blog you'll find posts on recipes (I'm always rumbly in the tumbly!), fitness (or lack thereof), thoughts on marriage (TMI much?), and lessons
in mothering/parenting (usually it's my child teaching me things!). I also share a lot of crafts/DIY, home decor, party planning, etc. Additionally, I document family adventures, life lessons, my faith, every day randomness, and other Macdonald household shenanigans!


Check out some of my posts: 


Thank you so much to the beautiful and sweet Natasha for choosing to feature my blog this week! I am so happy to be here and look forward to meeting you all! I love meeting fellow bloggers and getting to know my readers! Please come visit my playland , say hi, and enjoy your stay.... even if it doesn't
have much to do with cheeseburgers or a clown (clowns are scary anyway.)


 


And meet your hosts and guest hosts!

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Interested in co-hosting the Weekday Mixer?
Fill out this form and Natasha will be in touch with more information.

Now, let's get started...

Please feel free to share our blog button on your sidebar.
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Will finally started his adult service program. I love the place! It has been around for a long time and has a great reputation. They spend a lot of time and effort on employment opportunities for the adult with disabilities. During our meetings, everyone was forthcoming with information, asking tons of questions about Will and what he likes, what he can do, what has he done, skills he has, etc., as well as personal hygiene issues,
communication, chores. They covered many topics.


Now he begins his journey. The facility is very different from school -- open, busy, noisy -- with lots of new faces. His first day went relatively well. He is part of the RIde program which we normally see as small buses. This is used for older people who cannot drive and disabled adults. Well, I find out they also use taxis when there is no bus available. The first day, I was going to ride with him, so we took the taxi they sent. He was not quite sure what to make of it. I let him take his radio with a larger headset for the ride. When we got to our destination, I took the headphones back (they were too big for his backpack, with everything else that was in there). He was allowed to keep the radio and they would let him use an headset there.


Problem came when he was leaving. Not only did he see many people leaving before him, but they took their headset back. So the taxi driver told me the ride home was not exactly smooth!! I explained this was his first day and the driver was fine. I wasn't so sure about this taxi thing -- I guess I have watched too many Law & Order, CSI, Criminal Minds, and my mind goes thru what if ... What if they make other stops and he tries to get off, what if the driver tries something (Will doesn't speak and is pretty easy), what if someone tries to take something out of his bag, what if they take him to the wrong stop and tell him to get out??


The next day, I take him. I see many taxis when we get there and talk to people. Taxis have been driving their clients for years and there have been no issues. OK..... He has a great day!!! I had purchased earbuds (we had none that worked at home the day before) and let him use those. He did just fine. Again he got anxious seeing other people leave and not him, he had to wait. But the ride home was fine, he even had a young lady in the taxi riding home with him!!!


So 3 areas that popped up that gave us or me problems: the first was the radio, easy - earbuds. The second issue was departing the facility. So I took to his iPad and the 'calender'. I set up the Monday - Friday time period that he is going to be there. So if he gives them a problem, they can point to his schedule: you are here 8:30 - 2:30. I set the next hour for 'wait for ride' since sometimes there may be a delay in pick-up. They can also add to it if he gets anxious about lunch or break or whatever. We also set up an agreement that they can write to me in the 'notes', to let me know how he does. Third is a mommy issue, the trip by himself. I know he is 21 but still s little boy in my eyes. Maybe I would feel better if he spoke. There have been no issues that I know of with people going to centers such as these via outside transportation companies. The local school busses have had more problems!! He seems excited when I told him he could take the ride himself in the morning, so I hope (with his radio working), he'll sit and enjoy the scenery! Lastly - I will try NOT to call the center to make sure he got there OK!!! Which face do I wear today????

Popular Posts

4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload

ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink

Ranting

You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.

A Caregiver's Poem

I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!

Grandma’s Pearls of Wisdom:
(picture from Caregivers Blog)

I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.

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