EILEEN ADLER

"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

  
 

Friday, December 13 – It has to get better.

Dec 13, 2019 by Eileen Adler

My dear mother died on this day in 2000. On my walk I came across this sidewalk art, “It has to get better” needing no explanation but raises some questions – how do things get better? And what things do we want to improve? 

Walk the Line

Dec 10, 2019 by Eileen Adler

The year was 1932 in the state was Arkansas when a family of sharecroppers welcomed their son, John R. Cash into their family. This was in the middle of the Great Depression, but Johnny Cash’s hard-scrapple life taught him compassion and healing and he believed that healing was integral to humanity and being human. He wore “black” to honor the poor and hungry and those whose lives were challenged by drug use. Johnny Cash died in 2003 when he was seventy-three years old. Between his birth and death, he walked the line and left a wealth of music, mostly associated with country music.

Your sweater is beautiful and beautifully finished. “Thank you” was all she said.

Dec 05, 2019 by Eileen Adler

The day began like most other days. I needed to go to the market; I have this thing about running out of milk and toilet paper. We all have something! While at the market, standing on one side of a tempting vegetable stand, I noticed a woman across from me wearing a drop-dead gorgeous sweater in a shade of turquoise that looked sensational on her. But what really attracted me was the way the sweater was finished. I knew it was handmade, but the finishing sent it off in another dimension. I complimented her and commented on what I observed. She thanked me, we carried on with our shopping, and I never saw her again.

We’ll stuff them! This is one of my favorite memories.

Nov 30, 2019 by Eileen Adler
My father was a passionate man and as he grew older, he became more emotional and more sentimental, always wanting his children to get together; we accommodated his wishes as often as we could. At one point during the afternoon, Dad stood up wearing his red and green plaid Scottish tam, expressing his thankfulness that his children enjoyed each other and requested that we continue family reunions even after they passed on. As tears started to well up in our eyes, my twin brother suddenly stood up and said, “I know what we’ll do. We’ll stuff them and bring them to the family reunions!”

Tomorrow Begins the Holiday Season

Tomorrow Begins the Holiday Season
Nov 27, 2019 by Eileen Adler
Anticipating the holidays may make for hassles, stress, and anger. There is so much to prepare for, and then, on top of this is the continued care for yourself and care receiver. Other people seem so festive while you’re feeling so frustrated.

Walking in a Sculpture Garden

Nov 23, 2019 by Eileen Adler

Sitting in a waiting room, no matter how well we are prepared is very tiring, so I decided to take a walk around the campus of the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, while my husband was seeing his doctor. The abundance of art is everywhere, and I marveled at the beauty unfolding before my eyes. The time passed very quickly, and we both left the campus feeling energized and relieved!

Keeping Them Home

Keeping Them Home
Nov 15, 2019 by Eileen Adler
No matter how young, no matter how old, Keeping Them Healthy, Keeping Them Home: How to Care for Your Loved Ones at Home by Ellen M. Caruso was published in 1998, and it is still relevant. Ms. Caruso explains that most care partners fall into the job because no one else is available. The familiar story goes like this: a family member or friend becomes ill and is admitted to the hospital, but when the patient gets discharged from the hospital, they refuse to go to a nursing facility and thus, you become, in an instant, a care partner.

Once known as Armistice Day, today it is known as Veterans Day.

Nov 11, 2019 by Eileen Adler

Armistice Day commemorates the peace agreement signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany when The Great War officially ended. This was to be the war to end all wars, but we know that wasn’t to be true. In honor of all veterans, the name was changed to Veterans Day in 1945. A clear distinction is made: Veterans Day “is not a day that 'belongs' to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans." To all of you who have served, we offer our heartfelt thanks. Your sacrifices made and continue the make a difference in our lives. Serving a loved one as a care partner also has a special day. Caregivers Day is the third Friday in February, but I didn’t want to wait until then to share Sean Hayes’ story.

 

Please VOTE

Please VOTE
Nov 05, 2019 by Eileen Adler
To-day, alike are great and small,                                                   
The nameless and the known;
My palace is the people’s hall,
The ballot-box, my throne!
–John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet (1807–1892)  

Be Care Curious – What Does that Mean? November is National Family Caregivers Month

Be Care Curious – What Does that Mean? November is National Family Caregivers Month
Nov 01, 2019 by Eileen Adler

When I taught elementary school, we held child study team meetings, inviting all the stakeholders (professionals and family members) for every student who demonstrated a need for more interventive care, followed with an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). Periodically, as per the goals set in the IEP, meetings were scheduled to determine the efficacy of the program. As care partners, we may realize that more interventive care is needed, and all the stakeholders must be invited and informed.

 

Be Care Curious gathers all the stakeholders in the shared care of a loved one for a personal IEP – Individualized Empowerment Program. I made that up, but this shared approach is empowering for every stakeholder, just like the stakeholders who keep a tent habitable – you need all the stakes, or you might be sleeping under the stars!

What do I have in common with their conversation?

Oct 29, 2019 by Eileen Adler
As I was walking a few weeks ago, I listened to one of my favorite podcasts: On Being with Krista Tippett, and her guest that morning was Imani Perry who addressed the concerns she had raising two black sons. I parented two sons, but they are not black so I wondered what I would glean from the conversation. I’ve continued to think about the message and how it relates to me and even further, how Ms. Perry wove the guidance and care for the two most important people in her life as she mentored them as both a parent and care partner. My guidance has shifted from parenting to partnering as I continue my journey as a care partner. 

Sometimes, I feel alone, despite being surrounded by people.

Oct 24, 2019 by Eileen Adler

It’s possible that when we are caring for someone, we neglect our own needs in deference to theirs. This is a wonderful altruistic goal, but it can leave damaging effects. Without realizing it, we may sink into depression, a common complaint among many care partners.  If it is just easier to stay at home, realize that it’s not healthier, in fact, loneliness may have the same detrimental effects as a chronic disease.   

Lee McConaughy knew in that instant, that her life would never be the same again.

Oct 19, 2019 by Eileen Adler
On a beautiful January 29thmorning in 2006, while vacationing at Disney World, Lee McConaughy, Bob Woodruff’s wife, answered the phone call and immediately knew that her old life was over and a new one was here — in an instant. Lee and Bob are the parents of four children, Macklin Robert (b 1991), Cathryn (b 1994), and twins Claire and Nora (b 2000). On that fateful morning, the children were fourteen, eleven, and the twins were five years old.

Sometimes, more help is needed but who can we turn to? This is an amazing resource.

Oct 13, 2019 by Eileen Adler

The Family Caregiving Alliance, https://www.caregiver.org/offers a wealth of support.

By selecting https://www.caregiver.org/family-care-navigator, you will find State-by-State Help for Family Caregivers at your fingertips.   

“Our Family Care Navigator helps family caregivers locate public, nonprofit, and private programs and services nearest their loved one—living at home or in a residential facility. Resources include government health and disability programs, legal resources, disease-specific organizations and more.”

Are we lost? That is a camel, right, but aren’t we at the Great Wall in China? Yes, actually we are.

Oct 09, 2019 by Eileen Adler

Visiting China in 2013, we saw this image in the parking lot after we finished our tour of the Great Wall. It’s a Bactrian Camel with two humps that look like the letter B, not a Dromedary with one hump that looks like a D. It made me think of BD – Best Days - for hiring an activity partner or a home care health aide. 

Rip off the paper! Rip off the covers! Show us your . . . what???

Oct 04, 2019 by Eileen Adler

I’m talking about your smile! It’s funny that just smiling makes us feel better even when we feel that there is nothing to smile about. A smile spreads happiness from the inside out. Rip off the paper! Rip off the covers and showcase your smile. The smiley face symbol began in 1963 when Harvey Ross Ball, (1921-2001) a commercial artist, designed an image to increase morale in the workplace. His altruistic goal was to bring kindness to our lives, and this continues to be a symbol of goodwill worldwide.

Making is an Act of Remembering

Making is an Act of Remembering
Sep 30, 2019 by Eileen Adler

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is on Sunday morning, November 3, 2019. They have been so kind in providing a booth for me to donate the Bust Buddies that we have been knitting throughout the year. My goal is to knit one pair per month, but my dear friend Terri Miles, knits one pair per week! Awesome! What are Bust Buddies? They are hand-knitted prosthetics for women who have undergone a mastectomy. Filled with polyester fiberfill, they are tucked in a bra to fill out the missing part.

Healing the Heart with Art

Sep 25, 2019 by Eileen Adler
Susan Gordon Lydon’s book Knitting Heaven and Earth: Healing the Heart with Craft inspires us to ply our craft to heal our heart with art or whatever your passion might be. The repetitive rhythm of the knitting needles soothe Susan’s heart as she writes about recovery from addiction supported by the twelve-step program in the 1980s, her romantic breakup (it’s over, I know, and I must let it go), the death of her father (repairing, reknitting, overcoming what had been an unraveled relationship), and if that’s not enough, her diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer. 

Immerse Yourself in Something New by Eileen Adler

Sep 20, 2019 by Eileen Adler

On the anniversary of my father’s passing, I always try to do something special. The first year I had my first colonoscopy; I won’t bore you with the details, but things improved after that. Today I decided to learn more about a favorite glass blowing artist, Dale Chihuly born on this day in 1941. I first saw his glass sculpture at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas while waiting at the registration desk, looking up at the most beautiful garden one could imagine. The glass installation weighs over four thousand pounds and showcases more than two thousand flowers.   

Caught! by Eileen Adler

Sep 16, 2019 by Eileen Adler
“Caught you!” How do we handle being caught red-handed with our hands in the metaphorical cookie jar? As a preschool educator, we used to sing a circle song that the children adored, but the underlying message now feels much more insidious. Are we unwilling to admit our mistake and take responsibility or are we quick to blame another?