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...



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.

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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'.


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

I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
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Walk softly when you’re angry
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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
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And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
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