Book Review: Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging by Melanie P. Merriman

Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging by Melanie P. Merriman

By now we have read all sorts of books about aging in place, end of life care, and so forth. Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging by Melanie P. Merriman actually provides a backspin on all of those.

I, David, have been in two nursing homes since 2012. Suzanne and I realize that no matter how hard these people try, a nursing home is as close to prison as most of us will ever get. One day I said to our friend Jerry that I had been in a nursing home, had never been to prison, but imagined that the nursing home was as close to prison as most of us will ever get. Jerry said he had been in both and the nursing home is worse.

This book is an enthralling story of one family’s struggle with their mother’s end of life and how they dealt with it. But there is a backspin. The backspin is that the author had been a hospice professional for years and knew most of the ins and outs of how the system works, or doesn’t.

This family wasn’t hurting financially, but still had to deal with at least some of the heartache many families have to deal with when putting their loved ones in rehab. Merriman was able to see first-hand how Medicaid patients are treated far differently than others, even though the nursing facility does its best to provide top quality services for all.

We feel that all rooms in all medical facilities should be private, not semi-private. How good are our privacy walls when we share a room with another person and their visitors?

This is a book you will want to read without stopping. You won’t want to put it down. The author shows us how scared her mother is in all of this. The author was scared and lost; her sister was, too. How could they help their mother?

We give Holding the Net all five stars. It is very well-written and very informative. It is written in a very readable style. If you or someone you love will be facing end of life issues any time soon, you will want to read this book.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Advertisements

Book Review: Caring for Caring by Jane Edwards

Caring for Caring by Jane Edwards

In the recent past, we have been sent many books on end of life issues such as wills, long term care, insurance, and other issues.

Caring for Caring by Jane Edwards is different. Instead of providing instructions for people who are planning for retirement and the end of their lives, Caring for Caring is geared towards caregivers to help them better help those elders who are near the end of their lives.

This book is very well-written with many anecdotes that help to underscore the importance of leaving elders with their dignity. It is the kind of book that every personal caregiver should read regardless of whether they are a paid caregiver or a volunteer.

We give Caring for Caring all five stars. It is detailed and concise. It is broken down into very short segments that make it easy to read a segment in practically no time so that one can read it on the go.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Guest Post: 5 Reasons Why Seniors Should Volunteer at a Church Nursery

5 Reasons Why Seniors Should Volunteer at a Church Nursery

boy-20233_640

The sound of a child’s laugh delights many people, but did you know that it may also be good for your mental health? The average adult laughs just 15 times a day, while children laugh as many as 500 times in a 24-hour time frame. Science shows that laughter is contagious and can improve your physical and mental health, so spending time with happy children may benefit you. Aside from making each other chuckle, there are numerous other perks associated with volunteering in your church’s nursery. Here are five of our favorites.

Enjoy Time With Little Ones When Grandchildren Live Far Away

If your grandchildren don’t live in the area or a hectic schedule prevents you from seeing them as often as you’d like, you can bond with other children in the nursery. Obviously these children aren’t a replacement for your grandkids, but they can help you forget about the ache in your heart that you feel when your family isn’t around.

Get to Know Other Senior Citizens

Make new friends by volunteering in your church’s nursery. In addition to meeting young men and women, you may have the chance to connect with fellow seniors. Increase your chances of meeting older adults by volunteering during times when seniors frequent the church, such as early-morning yoga classes or midday Bible studies. If your church doesn’t offer childcare during these times, talk to the youth group leader or pastor. The church might be willing to open the nursery during the day if enough parents and volunteers are interested.

Remain Mobile

It’s no secret that aches and pains often plague the elderly, but that’s not an excuse to eliminate physical activity. Volunteering in a nursery helps you remain mobile, especially since you’ll probably end up chasing after energetic kiddos as they play.

It’s important to remain active as a senior. Seniors who are rarely mobile spend more time visiting medical professionals than active seniors, and they’re also more likely to need prescription drugs.

Just be careful not to overdo it while you’re playing with the kids. If you have a bad back, don’t offer to give piggyback rides. If your knees ache, be careful not to kneel on the floor for extended periods of time. Talk to your doctor about your volunteer work for specific recommendations.

Brighten the Lives of Children

Although many parents do the best they can to raise their kids, there are still children who feel unwanted or do not receive much attention from adults. Volunteering in a nursery with babies and toddlers can bring joy to your life, but it can also benefit the kids you work with.

You can strengthen or improve kids’ self-esteem by spending quality time with them at church. You can also act as a role model by showcasing appropriate behavior for little ones. If kids do not receive much attention at home, you can let them know they are loved by engaging in fun activities with them at church.

Improve Your Well-Being

Volunteering with children gives you a sense of purpose, which may help you feel healthier and happier (and less apt to turn to bad habits). Research shows a connection between volunteer work and a decreased rate of mortality. Simply put, you might live longer if you volunteer in your church’s nursery.

Spending time with children may require you to memorize songs and dances, and you might have to learn the rules for kid-friendly board games. It also requires creativity, as little ones may expect you to cook fake food in their play kitchen or pretend you’re a superhero. All of this can help keep you mentally active as you age.

Volunteering in a nursery is beneficial for children, but it can also have a positive impact on your life. Talk to a leader at your religious center to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of local children by committing to volunteer work.

Jason Lewis
Strongwell.org
Email Jason

Image Credit: Pixabay