Sunday, March 4, 2012
Loving the aged has been my speciality for over 20 years as a registered nurse certified in gerontological nursing by The American Nursing Association. Loving my aged parents has brought more blessings and tears than any certification. Their strengh of character, steadfastness to their christian values, and determination to stay together in their own home has given me great insight into aging. Nursing colleagues agree with me that there should be a care plan for baby boomers to deal with the trials and joys of caring for their aging parents. Maintaining their home life can bring comfort to the caregiver along with a measure of anxiety. Let's take nutrition as an example. First, there is a continual searching of their kitchen pantry to know what needs to be replaced since they can't remember what has been used or what is needed for preparation of future healthy meals. Mamma at 87 has begun to have very low tolerance for standing to cook and is now willing to eat some food taken to her by me and my daughter. She asks us to pick up some frozen meals which are quick if her or daddy's blood sugar drops. She does not want any meals with green beans because they are too tough, mushrooms because they are slick, shrimp because they do not come from Louisiana, fish because it is not catfish from their pond, white potatoes because they run their sugar too high, pasta because it is not enough to be filling. That rules out 98% of the frozen meals and makes me overlook the possibility of daddy falling in the turnip patch. After all, at 90 he has learned to cook turnips his way when mamma is too weak. Therein lies the question of , "What is better, Quality of Life or Safety? "