Many of us have elder care on the agenda. Near or far our parents may need a helping hand every day or only occasionally. My dad is a free range elder. At 76 he has complete control of his faculties and makes all decisions. I just check in and sometimes socialize with him. Now that he’s in Mexico we see each other more frequently but it’s easy. Burt’s dad, too, is pretty much an out of sight out of mind kind of dad. Well, never out of mind but not requiring of management. Here today we are helping with house chores and feeding but Jack is 100% self sufficient. He’s 89 1/2. It’s a pleasure to lend him a hand with a leaky roof or a bad faucet.
I have a friend with a mom in a nursing home. This mom has required all kinds of long distance assistance with life management. The mom has been living in assisted living or under nursing care for over a decade. The mom cannot get out of bed without two assistants. I admire this mom’s tenacity. Since she is under the care of a facility and cannot get out on her own she has very specific shopping needs. Here is a recent list items she requested my friend buy and ship to her.
Double stuff Oreos
Oreo candy bars (6 pk)
Strawberry jelly in a non-breakable container. Not preserves or jam.
Crackers, anything but ritz like (NO RITZ? I love Ritz!)
3- Red ball point pens, not cheap Bic type
A set of 3 lb hand weights in a pretty paisley like color
Some sort of nut, cheese and cranberry snack pack
As this list was relayed mom ordered dinner and the following was overheard:
No soup or spinach
2 slices lemon meringue pie
Part of me is all judgey and appalled. Then I sigh. Maybe I’m just jealous. I’d be dead in a week on a diet of that stuff. But this mom has lived her life on this kind of food. My friend once bribed her mom with a box of Dunkin’ Doughnuts. It takes years of training to achieve this kind of dietary tolerance. If you’re stuck in a nursing home, stuck in a bed in a nursing home, maybe a double stuffed Oreo is your only source of joy. I don’t know. I’ll tell you if I ever last that long.
Meanwhile Mimi is living on hand fed boiled chicken and temptations (the lemon meringue pie of her world).