Financial and Medical Services


Let's talk about Medicare and Social Security, the most common assistance programs for the elderly. Many people with these benefits and their caregivers do not understand what is covered or how to use them, nor do they realize their rights. Many people are being denied the help they are entitled to and need simply from lack of information.

Enabled Gardening


As our parents age, bit by bit the activities that bring them joy are lost as physical limitations set in. Gardening does not have to be one of those lost hobbies. With a little planning and adjustments, gardens can be made accessible for everyone.

Easing Stroke Recovery on Your Own


My family and I live with my father. Looking at him now you might not know he's recovered from a stroke; he is an active man, walking every day and still driving. His speech and fine motor skills are good, and he can write almost as if nothing ever happened.

But it took lots of work on his part and on our part; Medicare refused to pay for professional rehabilitation help after his hospitalization. Here's how we did it together.

Coming Full Circle


Slide, thunk, slide, thunk--my grandmother's wheeled walker provides counterpoint to her shuffling steps. Once a tall, strapping woman, now at 92, she's frail physically. Her once-sharp mind drifts out of focus. She hears better when she wears her hearing aids, but they provide amplified, distorted sound. We just don't sound to her as we used to. Macular degeneration has stolen the consolation of reading. She often can't distinguish people by sight. Increasingly, she appears to be resident in a world less and less recognizable to her.

Caretaker Burnout


You are one of the fine sons, daughters, or grandchildren of the world, willing to take on that task of helping an older relative through the golden years. You are responsible and kind, devoting love and care for your mom, dad or a dear someone.

You are also troubled by it. That is hard to admit, but true. Who has not had a bad day while raising a child? It is not that you do not love and adore the child when a bad day or "year" hits. The same goes for caring for an older adult in your life.

Your Kids Can (Want to) Help!


Ever wish you had two extra pairs of hands to help with the dishes and the dusting? You do have them! They are not attached to your body (at least not now) and they do not belong to your husband.

They are your children! But how does one get them to pitch in?

Get them used to it early
The first rule is to start young. Children are born wanting to explore every facet of life, even the mundane ones. They are wired for learning to become independent. Learning to care for their bodies and their surroundings is part of that.

Writing a Meaningful Birth Plan


Birth is paradoxical: a very predictable yet unpredictable human passage. On one hand, almost without fail the vast majority of human females spontaneously begin labor, progress through increasingly intense stages of labor, feel like pushing, and give birth, at approximately 40 weeks after conception.

Volunteering with Children


Before having children, I enjoyed doing volunteer work. I helped out with blood drives. I worked at soup kitchens. I served on committees and boards for various non-profit organizations. It was fun, and it made me feel good to be involved in helping others.

Three Girl Scout Troops, Two Girls (Plus Mom)


Some Mondays, my weekly calendar, posted on the large white dry erase board, is covered with activity. Five different colors, one for each family member makes quite a rainbow. I've even got the dog's schedule written in light yellow. (I don't want to make his activities look too imposing.) It still seems like too much.

The Most Important Job in the World


On a recent show, Dr. Laura read a newspaper article about a federally funded daycare for Hispanic children in Georgetown. The program is having trouble filling all the spots. Pregnant and expectant mothers are being visited and pressured to place their babies in the institutionalized setting where "professionals" can teach them things they might not learn at home, such as affection, love, trust and bonding.


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