Trying to define the “right time” to move as an older adult can be like herding cats: any expectations of organized decision-making descend quickly into chaos. Practical and emotional considerations present themselves as barriers to clear thinking and action, and before you know it, you don’t know what to do.
When trying to make one universal statement about memory, one aspect comes to mind. Our memories and the brain structures that support memory are plastic, which means that memory expands and contracts over time and types of stimulation. That statement is true whether you are a child, adolescent, adult, or senior. Obviously the capacity tends towards enhancement when we are young and starts to decline around 50. We then begin to notice the loss of instantaneous recall. This may be especially true for names, titles, and places.
A DNR, or a “Do Not Resuscitate” form, is a legal order signifying that a patient does not want to be resuscitated if he or she is to suffer cardiac or respiratory arrest. It tells emergency personnel that the patient does not want CPR, endotracheal intubation, defibrillation, cardiac life support drugs or related medical procedures. This does NOT withhold medical interventions necessary to provide comfort or to alleviate pain. You may recognize this order by its bright orange color, often found attached to the refrigerator in someone’s home. Typically, these orders are in effect for persons whom are terminally ill and prefer to avoid painful or invasive procedures at the latter stages of their life. It is important to have the DNR form easily locatable, as emergency personnel must see the form in order to honor it. DNR bracelets are also an option. These forms are available through various medical organizations or you can print your own. Contact me if you would like an electronic copy of the printable version or if you have any further questions about DNR forms.
Q: My mom has been on a significant decline in physical and mental health for the last year and a half. Our family knows it’s time to look at our options and get her more care. It doesn’t look like we can care for her properly at home. We haven’t brought this up to mom yet. I can’t help but feel worried and guilty. How can we make this easy on her?
I loved visiting my in-laws in Tucson. They had retired to a
beautiful patio home on a hilly golf course where morning sunshine
crept up over Mt. Lemon and streamed into our bedroom. Yvonne
cooked homemade organic meals and beamed when she introduced us to
her friends. Tom enjoyed taking us shopping where every clerk knew
him as a regular. Teasing each other and swapping jokes was the
norm. They spoiled us and we felt lucky.
Ahwatukee Girl Scout Troop 470 is participating in a project to earn the gold award by creating a garden for Early Language Learning and Arts (ELLA) Studio Preschool. The goal of the garden is to create a sustainable project that can teach kids about nature.