Rosh Hashanah -Sharing the holiday with our elders

As we enter the New Year, how do we share this time with family when we can’t be with them in person. Carol Silver Elliott, the CEO and President of the Jewish Home Family, suggests the following:

“How do we bridge that divide this year? How do we keep our elders from feeling alone and our children and grandchildren from losing the opportunity to build a memory? Rather than sit alone at our holiday tables, this is the year to connect with elders virtually, either before or during the holiday. Ask them about their holiday memories, to share a story of holidays in their youth. Record it or jot down notes and take screen shots. Ask them what they hope the coming year will bring. Give the children and grandchildren an opportunity to share their own holiday wishes with the elder. Maybe it’s a video greeting card, maybe there are cards or drawings or crayoned pictures, maybe there are photos as the family gathers that can be sent to the older adult, either via mail or electronically. We must find ways to hold onto what’s important and not let the virus have this victory. COVID has already taken far too much from us and from our elders.” https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-new-year/

Let’s all create some new memories by sharing our elders’ memories of holiday celebrations from their youth. Let’s keep the oral tradition of generation to generation going strong.

Have a safe and healthy New Year.

Ageism in the Era of COVID – 19

During this pandemic we have been told to self isolate, wear masks and refrain from public gatherings in order to protect “those most vulnerable among us, the elderly.”

Unfortunately this mantra has resulted in resentment of our elders for infringing on the freedom of the young.  The young feel they are invulnerable and covid-19 is not a serious threat to their health and safety.  They attend house parties, frolic on the beaches and become infuriated when reminded to wear masks and social distance. How wrong these people are as the current increase in cases of covid-19 include the young among their number.

I recommend the following article to you, Ageism in the Era of COVID-19, https://leadingage.org/members/agesim-era-covid-19, written by one of the leaders in our community advocating for the rights of our elders, Carol Silver Elliott.

Let’s work together to remove ageism from our society.

 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15th of each year has been designated by the United Nations as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day — Stressing the importance for each of us to be aware that elder abuse, whether physical, financial or psychological is happening every day.  We need to learn how to identify the abuse and where to obtain assistance for those of our elders who are abused.

There are many events planned to raise awareness of Elder Abuse. Google WEAAD to find locations near you.

Visit the New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman Website to find information and assistance on elder abuse in relation to long term care facilities.

Legal Services of New Jersey has received a grant to assist victims of elder abuse. You can reach out to Adelina Herrarte, Esq., at Northeast NJ Legal Services, 574 Summit Ave., 2nd Flr., Jersey City, NJ 07306, 201-792-6363 for assistance.

Be aware.

Dementia: Don’t Count Your Loved Ones Out

Yesterday was Memorial Day.  It was a day of remembering those who died fighting for our freedoms.  It was also a day spent with loved ones including our elders.  For those of you who have family members diagnosed with dementia, you may feel that you have already lost them even though they are still with you physically.

Please read the article entitled “Counting Them Out” by Carol Silver Elliot, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/counting-them-out.  The article offers a story of one elder with dementia who rarely responded to any communication yet responded to a therapy pony.

I hope Ms. Silver’s blog brings you some comfort and perhaps a method for stimulating your loved ones with dementia.  Don’t count your loved ones out –  they are still with you.

 

Ageism

Ageism is not only discrimination based on age, but is also the use of words to diminish a person’s value.  When we describe an older person as “cute”, “sweet” or “adorable” we are using the same words that we use to describe a baby or a child.  In the case of an older adult this is an insult, not a compliment.  An older person is wise, not cute.  An older person has years of experience to share with us.  An older person is a mentor.  An older person is a teacher.

We should be celebrating our older adult population not demeaning them or diminishing them.

In elder care planning mediation we celebrate our elders and work towards giving them the future they want for themselves and providing them and their families with the tools and assistance to achieve that goal.  Please call if I can be of assistance.

I recommend the following blog post for a heartfelt discussion on Ageism. https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/freedom-from-ageism/

 

 

 

Signs Your Aging Parent May Need Assistance at Home

As holiday season approaches we are looking forward to family gatherings.  Use this special time with family to check on the current home environment for your aging loved ones.  Please click on the link below to an article that will help you evaluate if additional care and assistance is needed, https://www.caring.com/articles/signs-need-home-care.

If you need assistance with elder care planning or you and your siblings cannot agree on a plan, please let me help you.  Call my office to schedule a free half hour consultation.

 

Mother’s Day

Many of us this Mother’s Day are taking care of our Moms rather than having them take care of us.  The circle of life.

I share the following blog with you which brought tears to my eyes.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/for-mothers-day/

If you need assistance with making elder care decisions for your Mom, let me help.

 

National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day.  This day is a reminder of the importance for each of us to articulate our medical wishes now in case we can’t speak for ourselves later and to share them with those who matter. It is also a reminder to call our parents, older loved ones and friends and discuss with them how important it is for them to let others know of their medical wishes.

Use April 16th as a day to think about your own healthcare decisions and update your advance directive/living will if needed.  If you don’t have a proxy for healthcare and a living will, use this day to think about those documents and contact an attorney to begin the process of preparing them.

If discussion of these issues is uncomfortable to have with your parents and siblings, call me to schedule a family mediation so that all interested family members can participate in the discussion in a non-threatening and confidential environment.

 

 

Family Mediation To Plan For Your Parents’ Long Term Care

When we are young, our parents take care of us.  As our parents age, they may need us to take care of them.  It may be very difficult for our parents to have that discussion with us.  They don’t want to impose.  They are not accustomed to discussing their financial situation with us, their children.  No one in the family may be comfortable raising the issue of long term care and end of life decisions.

“What is most difficult, I think, are the situations in which family members cannot agree with one another and they argue about everything from course of treatment to choices that may impact their loved one’s comfort. It happens more often than you would think and, perhaps, more often than it should.”  http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/family-times/ Family Times, by Carol Silver Elliott, President and CEO of The Jewish Home Family.

As a mediator I bring family members together in a safe and confidential environment to facilitate the discussion of these issues.  Please contact me if you need help.

 

Being Kind

I just read a blog written by Carol Silver Elliott, President and CEO of the Jewish Home Family and wanted to share it with you.  To Be Kind, http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/to-be-kind/