— My wheelchair and I have spent over a decade together. Wait a moment. That’s not quite true. Since a cushion first accepted my butt upon which to repose and with which to travel, I have had two wheelchairs, five cushions – and two backs. I highlight the backs because my new one, with curved sides to deter my dextroscoliosis, cost five hundred dollars or so.   A spendy assemblage, but consider: I spend all my waking hours in my chair. How …

— I had just finished reading an interesting story on Yahoo News, and went to breakfast in the dining room anxious to tell my table mate, George, about it.  After I prefaced my retelling, I couldn’t remember the story I wanted to tell. Yet . . . . . . The other night, I was reminiscing about my undergraduate days as a student actor, playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice: Hath not a Jew eyes, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; …

— “Which shoes,” the caregiver asks? We have come to the final step in getting me dressed. I’ve engaged in this morning ritual for twelve years with many diverse caregivers. Before I became disabled in 2005, and compelled to live the ALF life, (Assisted Living Facililty) I’ve had many decades of putting on and tying my own shoes.  I’ve also had over fifty years of putting on and tying the tiny shoes of twelve children. So, I had pre-conceived notions of what …

— Our Special Online Sessions Can Help You Balance Them Juggling It All: Tips for Working Caregivers Part 1: Thursday, May 17, 2018, 4 – 4:30 p.m. PT Part 2: Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 4 – 4:30 p.m. PT Did you know that six out of 10 Americans are taking care of a loved one age 50 or older — and many are doing it while also trying to earn a living? You want to balance your caregiving responsibilities with everything …

— It was a strenuous effort to get out of bed, but the rise was self-executed; however, the shine requires help – a caregiver. After seating myself in the wheelchair and putting around with my computer, a caregiver knocks, enters and gets to work. She pushes my wheelchair into the bathroom, where she pulls down my pajama pants and guides me to the hard plastic seat.  No longer does she leave the apartment and say “just pull the cord” (the stand-off I …

— Our online Q&A sessions can help you keep your loved one secure. Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe at Home Part 1: Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 4 – 4:30 p.m. PT Part 2: Thursday, April 12, 2018, 4 – 4:30 p.m. PT Nearly half of family caregivers are caring for a loved one who still lives in his or her home. Another 35 percent share a home with the loved one in their care. You want a safe and secure home …

— Things have changed since I entered the ALF world, experienced its uniqueness and ambiguities, and began writing my blog, detailing the behind-the-scenes glimpses of ALF living. A portentous Activity of Daily Living (ADL) which I couldn’t accomplish myself and for which I needed – and still need – Assistance, was toileting. Formerly, the caregivers mantra was “Just pull the cord when you’re done,” when she closed the bathroom door behind her and left my room. “I’ll be right back,” she …

— The room rests. Waiting.  Expectant.  Readying itself to welcome a new resident, who will live out her days within its confines. I peer into the emptiness, for it remains a void across the hall.  The new resident will be my neighbor, as was the deceased before her, and the deceased before her, ad continuem…. Living in the same room for 11 years, I have seen many empty rooms through my door. What now rests quietly will soon vibrate with life. …

— Two residents died last week. One person had been on Hospice. Her tiny body had struggled to push her walker from her apartment to the dining room, laden with a container of oxygen, from which two plastic tubes entered her nostrils, filling her damaged lungs with life’s needed air. When she reached our dining table, she coughed heavily and spasmodically. The grating of her lungs ended when she banged the table in anger, whispering to herself and us at the …

— Join two live webinars to find out how to identify and react to changes in your loved one’s behavior AARP Family Caregiving Online Learning Series Recognizing the Signs Your Loved One Needs More Care Tuesday, January 23, 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. PT Local Resources for Caregivers Tuesday, January 30, 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. PT What if your loved one loses interest in a favorite hobby? Or misses an in important date? Or forgets to pay the bills? What …