From Rolodex to Evernote: Organizing The List of my Parents’ Health Care Providers

It was about 15 years old, and full of tattered business and index cards, neatly organized alphabetically – either by name or perhaps by service or type of physician or town or … well, it wasn’t consistent as far as I could tell. Finding the contact information for my parent’s health care and other service providers in my Dad’s card file was a journey into his mind and internal filing system. I’m sure it made sense to him, but it …

The Goyers: Opting for Multigenerational Living

I’ve had a strange obsession with watching The Waltons the past few months. I find myself DVRing every episode on three different channels. I watch 4 episodes a day. For some reason, I’ve been oddly attracted to their TV-land multigenerational family living and the connection to my childhood (when The Waltons was in its prime.) Now I know why. In the beginning of September my parents and I will be moving in together, forming our own version of 21st century …

Heat in Triple Digits? Keep Caregiver Cool

As I write this post, the thermometer on our back porch here in Phoenix hits a sizzling 110 degrees. But it’s a dry heat, you say?! Indeed. Nevertheless, I just fried my toes walking to the mailbox and I think the cactus in my yard is about to pull up roots and head for a dunk in the pool! I shudder to think what it’s like in humid areas of the country as temps rise. No doubt about it: it’s oppressive. …

Caregiver Respite: 5 Ways to Make It Last

The magic number for the trip was “5.” Five days of the sound of ocean. Five days of reading magazines. Five days of eating scrumptious seafood in lovely beachside restaurants. Five days of chatting non-stop with my dear friend of 45 years, Laurette. It took me five days of this nirvana to finally wake up in the morning without a panicky feeling, “What didn’t I do before I left? What do I need to get done today? What have I …

A Caregiver’s Hospital Survival Kit: 20 Must-Have Items

In the past year, I’ve spent close to 40 overnights in the hospital with my parents, plus roughly 10 emergency room visits with them. I dislike going to hospitals … a lot. I think I’ve developed some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder around hospital visits. I find that I am great in the moment and deal with crises easily, but afterwards I am exhausted and when the time comes to venture off to the hospital again I tense up, feel a sense of …

A Caregiver ‘Can Do’ Attitude

Dressed in his pajamas and clean white T-shirt, he walks into the room, intensely focused and looking around for something. I’m lying on the sofa-bed in his study/guest room, reading a book before going to sleep. I’m not sure if he sees me, his vision so compromised by Glaucoma, or if he is just so focused on the object he is in search of that he doesn’t zero in on me. “What are you looking for, Daddy?” I ask. A …