Simple Things–Making Mom Happy at 99+

Mom is 99–will be 100 on the 18th of December (the week before Christmas).

She’s doing well for her age, basically healthy, eating well, has some memory challenges and still looks forward to getting up in the morning.

I spend time with her every evening.  Almost a year ago now someone stole the engagement ring she was wearing.  It was an hierloom–originally belonging to her mother.  She missed it and was always looking for it.

She has since given me the two other wedding rings she used to wear with that wedding ring.

Mom lives in a memory-assisted Assisted Living unit that is part of a Continuous Care Retirement Community west of Chicago.  I picked-up some Cubic Zirconia rings to replace the stolen engagement ring.  Nope, those weren’t right.  Later I went to and found a set of rings with a Cubic Zirconia engagement ring very similar to the one that was stolen.  She’s still wearing that one.

She noticed another resident with a wide gold band on her finger and spoke with her about it two separate days–unusual for Mom.  Tonight she asked me to do her a favor (a rare event for her to ask).  She wanted a wide gold band.

I went back to and found another Cubic Zirconia wedding band that should be much wider than the ring she’s currently wearing.  I had them personalize the ring with Mom’s name and Dad’s name on the outside. (Makes it easier to spot if it “goes missing”, too.)

We’ll pick-up the ring from the local store on or around August 5th.  I hope she likes it.  It is a simple thing to keep her happy.




EmpowermentCoachnet Page on Facebook

A new post was just added to the EmpowermentCoachnet Page on Facebook.  Rather than repeat the entire post, I’ll summarize it a little. Empowerment is something we’d like to see and lots of people around the world have been disempowered for a long time.  One of the tragedies of disempowerment is what happens to senior citizens, many of whom are very well educated, have been pillars of their community, active, making a positive difference for everyone they contact.  As they age and as their bodies and mental processes slow down, they become disempowered–sometimes suddenly, sometimes gradually.  In their disempowered state their quality of life starts to decline as well.

We can make a difference for them.  The post goes into more detail and there is a workshop available that can help caregivers, families, and others who need to be empowering (teachers, medical staff) to learn to help themselves and, by extension, to help others.

Look at the post for more detail.   Joel Montgomery

Changing Daily Snapshots–Life in Perspective

Today was very interesting.  I started the morning watering flowers at a friend’s house while she is on a trip.  Then I was able to do an hour of water aerobics.   I did a little work on the computer, then drove to a job interview where I could think about strengths, weaknesses, and what I like to do when working.

The interview was finished just in time for me to pick-up my 99-year-old Mom to an appointment with her podiatrist.  When I got to her assisted living apartment, she was sound asleep and wouldn’t wake-up easily.  I’ve been through this before with other doctor visits and I went the most streamlined way today–I called the doctor and switched her appointment for a day early next month, then I left her to sleep.

I went home and got on the computer, adjusting the voice mails on some magicJack telephones.  Along the way I found a message from one of my Internet hosting companies about the need to upgrade my account to a more robust server.  I had been wanting to speak to someone about this for some time, so his call was well timed.  (I’ll speak with him tommorow after I attend a volunteer orientation at Delnor Hospital, the local hospital in Geneva, Illinois.

When I finished that call, I went back to visit Mom at her Assisted Living unit–arriving around dinner time. Mom is very accomplished.  She earned her master’s degree in residual neuromuscular programming and was an educator for more than 33 years.  When she retired from education, she was a realtor for 14 years before moving to a continuous care retirement community in Illinois with my Dad.  Today, when she woke-up, she felt that she couldn’t do anything.  (Temporary snapshot)–Today she couldn’t read or listen to a book being read to her. She was having a problem eating–she has 9 of her own teeth left and needs a new lower partial.  She is able to eat M&Ms just fine.

Snapshots change from day to day.  This was not one of Mom’s best days and it wasn’t too bad.  My day evolved and, at the same time, I found myself working on several areas I had planned to work.  Each day is full of surprises and the snapshots don’t stay the same.

May 30th–“The Real” Memorial Day

May 30th is the “Real” Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day).  It’s a time to honor and to respect those who have sacrificed for their countries, their families, their beliefs.  My Dad was a WWII veteran (Army Captain in the Chemical Corps).  He passed away on “the real” Memorial Day 19 years ago today.  He had turned 85 the month before he passed away.  He and Mom were celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary in June of the year he passed away.  Mom is 99 years old now, and has lived without Dad for the past 19 years.  Dad had cancer and his passing took him out of pain.  (His bones on an X-ray taken shortly before he passed away showed his bones looking like lace.)

Mom is well–no cancer.  She’s doing fine for her age, though she only weighs 97.4 pounds.  (I want her to get to 99 pounds–same number of pounds as years.)  It’s fun to be able to be with her and to have quality time with her.

Lots of people have sacrificed for us–given their lives in support of countries, families, beliefs.  It is important to continue to honor and respect them in the choices we make and in the service we provide.  Memorial Day is a day to remember and to reflect.