Better Senior Care On Her Own Terms

Posted on September 30th, 2010

BY:  Beverly Bernstein Joie, MS, CMC
President Elder Connections

Aging Mother defines Better Senior Care with a High Tea Life Celebration

Recurrent Cancer is defined as cancer that has recurred usually after a period of time during which the cancer remained undetected.  It may come back to the same place as the original tumor or elsewhere in the body. 

Such was the case with Sarah Glavin.  At age 51, she was diagnosed with renal cancer and then at 71 it had reoccurred with a vengeance.  The matriarch of a family of seven children and a multitude of grandchildren, she confronted her reality boldly.  She gave audience to all her progeny conveying lessons to live their lives by.  Cajoling her children and grandchildren to continue living their lives and carry on she remains a formidable voice in a family that adores her.  But, one of her most inspiring  creations was the High Tea that she orchestrated for her family.  Having immigrated from Ireland, the Tea idea was intrinsically “her”. 

The linens were ironed, the china was cleaned, and the food was prepared for a grand event.  Surrounded by her family and devoted Elder Connections caregiver, Margaret, the tea was a monumental celebration that the family will remember for a lifetime.  And did I mention that one of her daughters, Ellen Glavin, is The Director of Nursing Services for Elder Connections.  Although she is balancing the needs of her clients and her mom’s care, Ellen’s reports about her mother’s journey have had an impact upon how we all manage our lives each day.

Facing Advanced Cancer

Incurable does not mean untreatable.  Elizabeth Edwards is an example of an individual with such a diagnosis who continues living her life.  She does not define herself by her diagnosis and still realistically acknowledges her situation.  While this type of cancer can not be eradicated it does not mean that it can not be treated.  Each person needs to decide what path to take based upon how they define those things that matter in their own life.

4 Tips for Talking to Your Doctor and Health Care Team

  • Remember that you are a consumer.

Educate yourself!  Also, you are in the driver’s seat and your physician works for you.

  • Attend doctor’s appointment with someone you trust

Individuals engaged with challenging situations can not always depend upon themselves to hear the information communicated accurately.  A trusted family member or friend can be another set of ears and help to ask relevant questions.

  • Prepare a list of questions and concerns before the appointment

Write down your concerns in a concise clear manner.   Ask your most pressing question first.

  • Write down your doctor’s answers

Taking notes gives you the opportunity to review and return to the responses after the appointment.  It will also help if you wish to research this information.

Define Your Own Terms for Better Senior Care

If you are the caregiver for your aging parent — learn to celebrate life’s moments and create your own terms of better senior care.  Need more help, then download your free Planning Kit.


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