Our Blog

June 2013

Comments Off on June 2013Written on June 5th, 2013 by
Categories: Our Blog

Help…I Need Somebody! Help…Not Just Anybody!

 During this time of year of weddings and graduations, we are struck by how each new stage of life brings its own joys and challenges.  People who navigate the most successfully tend to be those who are able to recognize when they need help and who are able to reach out and accept this help from others.

We all need others in our lives whether we are a 17 year-old high school senior, a 27 year-old bride to be or a 77 year-old grandfather.  It has been said that relationships are the source of our greatest joy and greatest pain.

One of the most difficult things for many adult children is when they realize that they may need to start taking a more active role in the lives of their parents.   This can be a lonely and difficult time for all concerned.   Your parents may be feeling the words that John Lennon wrote….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “When I was younger so much younger than today,  I never needed anybody’s help in any way….      And now my life has changed in oh so many ways.  My independence seems to vanish in the haze.     But every now and then I feel so insecure.  I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.”

 Part of our joy of working with families is serving as a reminder that they are not alone and help is always here!   Let us help you get “your feet back on the ground”.                                                                                                                 We are Elder Care Connections of Vermont.

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May 2013

Comments Off on May 2013Written on May 9th, 2013 by
Categories: Our Blog

May 2013

Come Run, Rollerblade, Walk or Bike!

Help Raise Money for the

Vermont Respite House

We are looking forward to running in this beautiful event.  It has become an annual tradition, and we love supporting the Vermont Respite House. 

Please join us this Saturday, May 11, 2013 for the

22nd Annual Fun Run & Jiggety Jog!

 Vermont Respite House supports residents and their loved ones by helping them find peace during their final months and weeks. Register online at

www.vnacares.org/run

Register or donate today!

2011 Walk To End Alzheimer’s at the Shelburne Museum

Comments Off on 2011 Walk To End Alzheimer’s at the Shelburne MuseumWritten on October 4th, 2011 by
Categories: Our Blog

2011 Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Shelburne Museum, Shelburne VT

Wow!  Last Sunday, September 25, 2011 couldn’t have been more beautiful for a Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Shelburne Museum!  Check out some of our pictures from the event…

 

Team Nth – Over 30 People Strong!

(We’re missing a few team members from the picture.  Connor….I forgive you for sleeping through your alarm!)

OK.  Can anyone guess what Nth refers to in our name Team Nth?  There are two meanings to our name.  The first person to get both meanings correct wins their choice of a I Remember You bracelet!  Team members are excluded from this competition.  On your mark…get set…guess!

A Sea of Purple!

Kid Power!

 

Four Generations of Participants!


I Remember You Bracelets

Thanks to all the people who have already purchased I Remember You bracelets at Walks to End Alzheimer’s in New England and those who are buying them on this website!

Thank you to all members of Team Nth for helping to make a difference in the fight to end Alzheimer’s…Dad, Joe, Peggy, Carrie, Tom, David, Johanna, Carolyn, Annie, Pam, Kathy, Annemarie, Sheri, Ellen, Kyle, Evan, Ryan, Maddie, Cameron, Meg, Zelie, Sadie, Brooke, Katie, Rachel, Anna, Anika, Olivia,  Sophia and Calvin!

Thank you Charlie and Brian for making a special trip to the Shelburne Museum  to help set up the tent!

Thank you to all of our family and friends who sponsored our team and donated to the Alzheimer’s Association!  Together we can make a difference!

A Milkshake to Remember, A Tribute to My Mother

Comments Off on A Milkshake to Remember, A Tribute to My MotherWritten on July 26th, 2011 by
Categories: Our Blog

A Milkshake to Remember

A Tribute to my Mother

A year ago, my three children, ages 11, 15 and 17 years old drove the familiar 30 minute car ride with me out to see my mother, their grandmother to celebrate her 83rd birthday.   As anyone with teenage children knows, it’s not always an easy feat to coordinate the schedules of teens during the summertime with their busy social lives and sporadic part-time jobs, but my kids knew that this trip to see my mother was special and extraordinarily important.

The drive is a pretty one.  We cruise out past the Burlington waterfront and head out to the North End.  I love driving with my kids.  We turn up the radio and sing loudly and badly to whatever top song has hit the charts that week.  This particular day the weather was hot and steamy.  We made one planned stop, to buy my mother one of her favorite beverages, a chocolate milkshake, and quickly sped it out to her before the milkshake could melt.  It was important that the milkshake was the perfect consistency, not too thick and not too melted.  Kind of like Goldilocks’ porridge, it had to be just right.

This celebration wouldn’t be like other birthdays from the past, the ones celebrated with cake and ice cream, lots of family members and lots of joyful, chaotic and energetic noise.  Life had changed, and my mother was no longer living with my father at his assisted living facility.  My mother had developed aspiration pneumonia during the winter on top of her Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and she was now a resident at a rehab facility, in the long-term care unit.  Some may call this facility by another name, but I will continue to call it a rehab facility.

My mother has had so much to be thankful for throughout her 83 years of life on this planet, 59 years of marriage to the same sweet and charming man, the mother of seven children, and the proud grandmother to 16 grandchildren and one great grandchild!  What an amazing life my mother had led!  My children and I geared ourselves up for our visit, checking any sadness we felt at the door and cheerfully walked down the long-term care wing to find my mother.  And there she sat, in her wheelchair, by the nurses’ station, waiting for our arrival.  We greeted her with hugs, kisses and plenty of “Happy Birthdays”.  We wheeled her down to a quiet alcove where we could have a more private celebration of our own.   I took the top off of her milkshake container, inserted the single candle I had stashed in my bag, and lit it.

Again, time was of the essence.  We couldn’t let the milkshake melt.  We quickly sang Happy Birthday to her, helped her blow out the candle, and spooned the first taste of her birthday milkshake into her mouth.  She looked up at me at that moment, her beautiful brown eyes meeting my own for the first time since we’d arrived and I caught a hint of a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her lips.  My kids and I cheered!  She swallowed the first tiny taste of cool creamy chocolate without choking and eagerly opened her mouth for more.  She liked it!  I gave her more, a tiny bit at a time, carefully and slowly.  Aspirating food into her lungs was what landed her into this rehab facility in the first place and I sure as heck was going to be careful that she didn’t aspirate this milkshake.  If food is too thick, she will choke, and ironically enough, if beverages are too thin, she will choke.  It’s the nature of dysphagia, losing the ability to swallow.  I got about four tiny tastes of the milkshake into her before it got too soupy and dangerous to swallow.

By now I’d noticed a flurry of activity behind me.  A nurse had darted down the hall in one direction and another nurse darted in the opposite direction.  Hmm.  I wondered what was up.  The first nurse then rushed into our quiet alcove.  She asked if any of us had recently lit a match, that they smelled smoke and needed to find the source!  Good God!  What was I thinking, lighting a match in a rehab facility?!  I quickly confessed to my poor judgment and the nurse burst out laughing.  Relief flooded over me as the nurse shouted down the hall in both directions, “It’s OK!  I found the source!  We’re all set!”   My kids and I all burst into laughter as I explained to my mother what had happened.  And as we laughed, for just a split second, I saw it once more, the hint of a smile on my mother’s beautiful face.

This Thursday I’m wishing you another happy birthday, Mom.  Life has changed again and so must our celebration of you.  Our hearts are heavy with the pain of missing you but you raised us to be strong.  We won’t let you down. Your work here is done, but ours is not.  We’ll watch out over Dad as promised.  We’ll take care of each other and help others who need us.  This year may you smile your beautiful smile.  May you dance with the wind and send love from above.  Your love is eternal.  Your love will never end and neither will our love for you.   Happy Birthday Mom.