Thursday, September 16, 2010

We Arrived and Survived a Cross-Country Move

We arrived on our new island home on August 23rd. What a trip! in more ways than one. We left on a Thursday afternoon, stayed overnight at a motel about five hours from our home, then traveled to my brother's home for a wonderful stay - bed and breakfast included, on Friday night.

Saturday night we spent in Oklahoma, and Sunday night just 75 miles from our new home. We drove in early Monday morning and were met by a wonderful team of movers who promptly got us into our new living space.

My daughter and her family were there to greet us, took us out to dinner, and made sure we were settled in. We are really enjoying our new lifestyle although Dad, especially, misses all his old friends in Michigan. After all, he had lived all of his 87 years in Michigan. It was tough for him to move, but he stepped up to the plate for the sake of our family. We really appreciate his willingness to make that sacrifice.

We are enjoying our life here although it is very hot. It is starting to cool down now that it is September, and I am sure that we will enjoy the winter. We live within close walking distance of a Dairy Queen and a hamburger drive through - no not THAT one - and will take advantage of both!

Just wanted to update everyone that we arrived and survived a cross-country move. At our age, that is really saying something.

Take care!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On the Move Again - This Time to Texas

Dad and I moved out of his long-time home last December as I wrote about a few months ago. Now, we are gearing up for a move to the lower SE of the Coastal Bend of Texas - near Corpus Christi. Quite a move for a couple of seniors - one who is now 87-years-old. We have our Penske truck on reserve and are just needing to find a home where we can land.

We are need there to help care for another family member. Sounds like I went from long-time work in hospitals to a new field of care giving. Unfortunately, when I worked in hospitals I was in the admin field, not working as a nurse. Thankfully, my daughter in TX is an RN and will be of great help in that area. My role will be more of a driver/babysitter type role for my 3-year-old grandson.

Those of you who follow this blog have seen his picture on the sidebar and in a couple of the posts. Our David is growing up quickly and we are excited about having a chance to spend more time with him.

Even Dad, who did not want to leave Michigan, is now on board with the move and looking forward to spending time with his great-grandson.

Along the way, we will stop in the St. Louis, MO (Illinois side) to visit my brother and his family and see his new home. Dad is excited about that as well.

Part of getting Dad on board the move has been focusing on the positives and not the negatives. At first he considered moving into a nursing home rather than going with me, but he eventually realized there wouldn't be anyone visiting him, he would be in a much smaller location with very few of his personal items with him, and that he would be much better off going to TX with me. Thank you, Lord!

As our trip progresses, I hope to stay in touch through this blog to let everyone know how we are doing, where we are at, and what sights we get to see.

I'm proud of Dad for being able to change gears this late in life. Although moving to an island off the coast of Texas is not his first choice for the rest of his life, he is gamely stepping up to the plate. What a guy!

If you have moved an elder across country recently, please let me know what worked or did not work for you. I would love to have you share your experience.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

When Friends and Family Visit Aging Seniors

July 2010 has brought quite a large number of guests to our home for various reasons, making my father a very happy man. He loves having people stop by and enjoys the hours of conversation that provides.

Just this month alone we had visits from:

  1. My brother and his family came to visit over the 4th of July from southwestern Illinois. Also joining us was my niece from Indianapolis.
  2. My cousin who lives in North Carolina stopped to visit on his way from visiting a relative in Wisconsin.
  3. My daughter and grandson from Texas, and my other daughter from SE Michigan stopped by while here for a funeral on the former in laws side of the family.
  4. My sister is now here from Utah as of yesterday.
  5. Life long friends from the mid-Michigan area stopped by Friday to see how Dad was doing, and to watch a DVD that my brother put together of old videos my Dad had recorded.
That was just in July alone! Very unusual that we get that many visitors, but it has been fun to see everyone. At our age, you never know when you will ever see anyone again.

What I most noticed, however, is that no matter how much we enjoy the company it seems to pass all to swiftly. Suddenly the house is empty again and we just have snippets of conversations and certain memories of those who were here. It really is difficult living so far from one another that we are unable to visit any more than we do. And, the visits are all too short.

The month is running out so I don't know if we will have anyone else this July, but it has really been a pleasure to see everyone in person. A number of us get together on Facebook, email, cell phones, and text messages, but it is never the same as seeing someone in person.

Hugs are great - we love our hugs. We also enjoy just sitting around talking and sharing memories from the past. All in all, it's been a great summer and we will remember when friends and family visited these aging seniors.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Let's Look Together Book Review

Check out the book review of Let's Look Together: An Interactive Picture Book for People with Alzheimer's and Other Forms of Memory Loss by clicking on the above title. Long title, slim picture book, great value. This wonderful book was written by Rae-Lynn Cebul Ziegler, a licensed occupational therapist certified in sensory integration.

Mrs. Ziegler first conceived the idea of sharing photographs with memory-impaired individuals when her mother was struggling with Alzheimer's. She later created this book of instruction and photos, and is using it with good success. The pages are glossy for better viewing, the photos are mostly pastels with bright colors, and every picture is alone on the page. There are no words, and only one picture is placed on the right-hand page so that there is little distraction.

The 58-page book is filled with information on how to interact with a loved one who is suffering from memory loss. I highly recommend getting this book if you are a caregiver or loved one of someone who is struggling with Alzheimer's or any other form of memory loss.

I would like to thank HealthProPress for providing a comlimentary copy of this book for review. If you would like to purchase Let's Look Together, it is available at

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dad and I in 2010

Time for another update, don't you think? In the last post, I related how Dad took a header down the basement stairs at my aunt's 80th birthday party. Well, it took a while, but Dad seems to have finally recovered. Several wonderful nurses and therapists from Sparrow Home Health Care out of Lansing, Michigan worked diligently to get Dad back into fighting shape. Due to a number of complications, they were not able to sign off until just a couple of weeks ago.

On the move

Dad and I moved out of his long-time home in late December 2009. We now live in a wonderful apartment just seven miles away, and are enjoying living on the outskirts of Lansing.

We are able to walk together most days when we go to the mailbox about a half block away by the shortest route, although we try to stretch the walk out when it is nice. Dad uses a cane whenever he is outside, but seems to enjoy the walks. We usually get in a block or two before he tires out. At eight-seven, I think he is doing pretty well.

Peace is good

We both feel at peace here, and that is very important to us. Although we don't really know what is coming up ahead, we do know that life has blessed us both.

Take care, and hope to have you visit either this blog, or the main site at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Family Update - All is Well

Apparently I haven't posted since Dad's traumatic header down a flight of stairs on August 8th. He and my daughter were attending a birthday party for a long-time friend of Dad's. The party was held in their church basement. As Dad and Deb were leaving, they climbed a flight of stairs and Deb told Dad to wait and she would grab their jackets. While he was waiting, he apparently became dizzy and took a dive down about eight steps, face forward and head down, coming to a stop on the landing.

To make a long story much shorter, he spent three days in ICU and ten days at a rehab center. He has had home health care since that time, mostly due to a large wound on his leg that is slow in healing. He is diabetic and healing this wound is a major consideration. Thankfully, the wound care people are taking good care of him.

David's Visit

The second major event this fall was the visit by my other daughter, Barb, and her son David. You will see his picture in the previous post. They stayed for approximately two weeks, and were missed before they even left the driveway. Texas is a long way from Michigan, and we have no idea when we will see them again. Thank God for cell phones with the ability to send pictures and short videos. We are able to keep up to date on David's growth and his activities.

Dad's 87th Birthday
The third event this fall was Dad's birthday on October 18th. He turned eight-seven-years-old (87). What a milestone. His sister turned 92 on the same dad. We didn't do anything really special, just had a quiet day of football and special dinner, but he did receive numerous birthday cards and phone calls throughout the weekend.

If you haven't had the chance as yet, stop over at the Elder Care and check out what is happening. We are up to 266 posts at this time and still going strong. Lot's of changes there recently in the look of the site, but the same intent - to support caregivers and the elderly - is still of utmost priority. We celebrated our 1st birthday in early August. We had a birthday cake, balloons, and of course Beyer's sugar free pecan ice cream.

Just a quick update. Hope you get a chance to visit us somewhere on the web. We are still here although we don't post as often anymore.

Let us know what is going on in your life. We would love to hear from you and how you are doing with your care giving. Take care and hope to hear from you soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

September Will Bring a Family Visitor to Our Home

We are all atwitter here since we learned our grandson/great-grandson will visit us in September. Now two-years-and-four-months-old, David is growing fast. We have received quite a number of photos via cell phone, well over a hundred at last count.

About twenty short videos also allow us to watch him as he grows. He is becoming quite a young boy.

Long distant grand parenting is difficult when we see such wonderful changes taking place. I would love to be with him in person, but I am thankful that modern technology allows us to stay in touch pretty much in real time.

I have a picture that I framed of David and his Dad soon after they left a local restaurant one evening. The cool thing about the picture is that while they were in the restaurant I received two videos showing David and his family while they were eating.

Now when I look at the picture, I can remember, or watch once again, how he behaved while eating. Almost like being there in real time.

We haven't yet tried Skype, although I think being able to see and talk to him via that type of resource would be a great addition to our photo and video arsenal to keep Grandma and David in touch with one another.

I know that I am where I am supposed to be as far as caregiver to my father, but I certainly miss the physical closeness, i.e. hugs and kisses, I could have with my grandson. Thankfully modern technology helps us stay in touch.