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This is my first thread. And I myself don't feel like I have much to add to it
since my mother has only suddenly become wheelchair bound, I was thrown into a situation I wasn't at all prepared for. (During an ice storm, with the flu, just to make it extra special!)

But I want this thread to broadly encompass those little shortcuts that save a step or two, without sacrificing quality of course.

Or beauty tips and tricks that keep you looking better, while requiring less of your precious time, (or money.)

Things you do to try to stay connected to the world somehow, while being mostly isolated.

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When I realized that I couldn't fix all of my mom's problems. that if we weren't going to consent to treatment (chemo, radioation, etc) we don't need to do the test (bone marrow biopsy). That at age 90, less is more and comfort (lack of pain, lack of anxiety) is what it's all about. That psychotropic drugs that take away the panic without dulling the senses are a gift from God. That having my mother in care (first in Independent Living, the Assisted Living/Memory care, now in a nursing home) means that I can focus on getting her needs met, her ailments (CHF, Dementia, Anxiety) taken care of, without destroying my life or my ability to work and earn toward a decent retirement. My mother was a stay at home mom and caregiver to her mother in a different era; my dad was the provider and wanted it that way. My siblings and I, are lives are not set up in that way and we refuse to feel guilty about it. Mom is getting better care than we could give her at home.
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1) accepted that I am not in charge of the universe (a humbling lesson)
2) learned that perfection is not an option, and to strive for good enough (which was challenge enough!)
3) learned all I could about my husband's disease
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dared to care. You are absolutely right. It has been my experience that the older you get the less attention you can experience. I once went with what is considered a dangerously high blood pressure and was told to go home and stop taking my B/P so often. You have to learn what the appropriate treatment is for certain conditions and insist that the necessary tests be performed. I am lucky in that I am a RN and my husband an MD so he comes with me when it looks as though there will be problems
In your mother's case I would request a copy of her records and consider consulting a mal practice lawyer. there is not usually a charge for an initial visit but it may wake the hospital up to be more careful with elders. Part of the problem is that Medicare only allows a pittance of the charges when they pay providers. Bottom line don't be bullied by the white coats
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Learned how to make homemade Shiraz, a dry red wine. Some nights I really need a lot of antioxidants to sleep.
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veronica, all good ideas. but i am still distressed that the hospital still won't admit that she had another stroke. she went to bed fine and woke up the next morning with her foot completely twisted, right leg paralysed and has not been able to walk since.
history of strokes was something i tried to convey. this hospital has all the information you mentioned at the tip of their fingers. this is something they brag about, because her dr. is affiliated with said hospital, just her name and insurance cards pull up all this info... they just didn't bother. i filed incident reports but ... oh well backskating and covering their butts at this point.
But yes, we should all add ASSUME NOTHING, to our lists, when it comes to ER visits. And perhaps medical care in general for the older ones. Even the division on aging told me, they often let them slip through the cracks.
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Top things the ER seems to want are.
1 List of medications Include doseage and times and note any that may not be taken together etc Don't send the bottles even though they ask for them. Things like narcotics have a habit of disappearing.
2. Any surgeries however long ago
3 Allergies to meds, food, surgical tape, latex and anything else you can think of.
4 Insurance or Medicare/Medicaid card. Send copies
5. Current health problems
6. Reason for visit
7 Any incontinence problems
8 Healthcare aids used like cane or walker, don't send these, the hospital has plenty
9. Physical disabilities
10.Special diet
11. Usual B/P if you check it
12 Copies of DNR, HCP and POA
13 Name age, date of birth, current address & phone #
14Name, address, home and cell # of person responsible
15.Name,address and phone # of Primary Care Physician
16 Same information for any specialists the patient sees
17. History of events leading up to ER visit
18. Pin an ID on patient if confused. name address DOB are sufficient.
19 When and what medications were last given. When patient last ate or drank.
20. Description of any physical injuries to body either related or not to present visit
21. List of vaccinations and dates.
That's enough to be going on with and others will be able to think of more.
Have it neatly typed out ready to give to the nurses. Essential if the patient is unaccompanied but very helpful even if someone is with them because it is a great time saver. The nurse can just take the paperwork and fill in the record which saves asking a lot of questions and wasting time. Also good to have for hospice admission or going into nursing home.
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Boni, oh dear...that is a lot.
I have a tray where I try to keep all her morning ritual on. Toothpaste, toothbrush, facial cleanser, ect.
Trying to make that lart easier so she can keep busy while I am making breakfast.
It may sound silly to some. Hopefully it is just this harsh weather, but lately I have been in so much pain every saved step helps.

Another tip I was going to offer, was pilates.

I have been doing a workout called "pilates for dummies" for years. it really focuses on keeping your core, (read stomache muscles) strong. This saves your back... however about a week ago I injured something, not sure what, getting her out of the shower... so it has been bad since then.

But doing pilates, when you can, is a great help!
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Good topic!
My biggest problem when I first started caring for Mom was her meds and med paraphernalia. Test strips, meter, pills, hearing aid tips and batteries, pills, injection pen, pills, needles, breathing treatments, pills, finger pricker,eyedrops, pills.....lol

I bought her (me) a large sewing basket.It's pretty enough to sit right on the counter, and I have everything I need at my fingertips.This is just for her every day stuff. I have all her, as needed and otc's all together in another place.
It's been a huge time and brain saver for me. Can't wait to hear more ideas!
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P.S. her medical history is complicated, and personally i don't feel that things that happened five years ago should be left out of the equation. if lerchance ever again i am snowed in AND have the flu at the same time i need to pin something to her shirt. she can barely speak.
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igloo. i have quite a bit of legal and general insurance paperwork. any ideas where to start on medical history?
her current Dr. isn't all that crazy about me. But, what if I just walk in... with my POA and ask for all copies of records he has?

Is that how you got so together? My mother has been passed back and forth until about five years ago. I tried my best to get all the records together with one Dr. and hospital when it seemed she became mine.

Any advise would be most helpful!
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oh dear igloo. you found my disaster area!
i definately am not orgagised on the paperwork front.
someone mentioned here the other day that they had an excel sheet of their mums medical history. i NEED that.
when i sent her to the er with her last stroke, i had a bad flu AND was iced in. even though i explained everything to it emt's none of that info got to the er, (even though they are capable of accessing her records, they didn't bother.) when they asked her what was wrong the only words they could make out was stomach, so they sent her home with a laxitive script!

i have only recently discovered that my sister hid moms assets from me, and i kept applying for her medicaid, and she was always rejected. i finally told my sister i was so confused anout this that i am consulting an attorney. she got nervous and fessed up:/

i have my old sachel handed down from my piano teacher, when i became a teacher myself, but honestly it is a mess, with a bunch of notes by me that look like some kind of mentally disturbed manifesto... lol.

PAPERWORK. You nailed it, this is my weakest point and causes me all manner of headaches.

perhaps I should be organising that instead of splashing my face thirty times, lol.
THANK-YOU!
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Dared - what a fabulous series of posts!

I would like to suggest some things to keep your mom's documents organized:
- buy a cute & bright binder. Mine for mom is pastel paisley print from Target & very 1960's pop-art. It reminds me of a scarf she used to wear.
-a couple of plastic report covers. These too are pastels and cheap from BigLots
Then into each of these a group of clear plastic insert sleeves & a snap close envelope for smallish papers or receipts.

Into these go mom's ID, health cards, health insurance cards, Medicaid info, her funereal & burial items, a copy of her will, all her banking, other legal (POA's) and DNR etc.. The originals go into the binder and stay at home on a shelf. I now have 3 binders as I put the monthly documentation from CMS as to what Medicare paid for in the binders and they are at least 5 pages monthly!

The report covers (these have 3 holes and an insert for loose pages) have just xerox copies of the basics I may need for her - copy of her ID, Medicare card, Medicaid card, my POA's, DNR, her funeral stuff. One set I leave in my car & the other set in the zone where my laptop is. It is amazing to me the number of times, I have had to "a la minute" fax over a DPOA or other item OR read over her Medicare / Medicaid number to a vendor of mom's to clear a hurdle and having a copy at your fingertips makes life less stressful. It also keep items from being co-mingled with your life and finances.
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I wish this site had an edit function. Typing on my ipad is weird and clumsy.

I thought of another one myskin care friend told me.

A facial brush to use with your cleanser. Makes a huge difference. She also said another number one trick, is simply water. When washing your face splash and splash and splash. Thirty times she says.

Drinking water, LOTS.

And get a good humidifier if your house is too dry. (It also saves on the heating bill as we all notice in summer humidity really holds the heat in;)
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So, this are mine... so far. There aren't many:/

1. I put a camera in her room, and I can watch her from my ipad, or even my iphone when I have to run errands.

2. I made a pouch for my iphone and I wear it all day. There are thousands of internet radio stations, and It helps keep my mind occupied while doing the usual mundane, boring, insanely repetitive tasks of getting through the day. Audio books are great also.

3. I started wearing yoga pants. There are lots of beautiful stylish ones, incredibly comfortable... you yoga caregiver perform on a daily basis may not have classic names, I cringe to think what they would be anyway. LOL.

4. I wouldn't normally me tion a company by name, but Holy Clothing has beautiful tops that are lovely a flowing, and easy to care for. I used to be a real thrift shop mama, but I no longer have time. I have narrowed my wardrobe down to ten or so outfits, that get me through the day or evening.

5. A nice apron. That way you can usually get through the morning and still ha e decent enough clthes to run errands. Sometimes I use my heavier apron on top of my nice apron. Yep, somedays my apron needs an apron, need I say more? LOL.

6. The best skin products you can find/afford. If you can keep your skin looking good then sometimes a bit of lipstick is good enough for your average trip to the bank.

7. I got some aloe gloves, (for less than five dollars) I slather my hands in shea butter at night and wear the gloves. It helps!

8. Of course latex gloves during the day, but I often find myself not bothering.

There must be more, but I can't think of any.

Chime in!
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