Sunday, May 24, 2020

Unsung Heroes On Memorial Day

My Mom was one of those women on the silent front line during WWII in her personal and working life.

Unmarried and needing to support herself, help raise many siblings and giving of her time to anyone who needed help, she was a role model I admire today six years past her passing in 2014, into her 100th year.

WOMEN.  We're beginning to see more women in the forefront of life leading and following -- setting the pace and keeping it moving.  They've always been there; we just didn't acknowledge how critical their service was on the homefront.

She worked at Carter Carburetor, one of the main suppliers that kept the mechanics of war moving, the advancement of our troops into areas to liberate and free those who had been and were continuing to be starved, relocated and killed all in the name of power and control.

Mom was one of that generation's Silent Majority (see the 1960's for more reference to this term) and she sought no recognition, no reward other than to know she was there when she was needed.

Today, I saw on a Sunday program how a past trumpeter and a news specialist are asking anyone who plays the bugle and knows how to play Taps to play at 3 PM tomorrow, Memorial Day.

Yesterday my daughter and I went to Mom's gravesite. She's buried where she chose, in a small rural cemetery along with many of her family members, some from long ago generations -- cousins, friends, many like her who lived, loved and laughed and gave of their time and work and some their lives for others.

We brought peonies and iris from our home -- flowers given to us as small plants many years ago from Mom's oldest sister-- Mom loved to see them bloom each Spring. 

We saw many US Flags placed on graves including my Uncles'. 

I shared, as Mom taught me, placing one flower on each of the graves, acknowledging the women who stood beside these men. 

They were heros carrying on with life and managing households, families and even advancing pregnancies facing unknowns, uncertainties and, like today, not knowing what was happening and most importantly when it would end and how it would end.

I remembered one of Mom's last requests -- to have taps played.  We were told it was "only played" for Veterans.

Mom didn't wear a military uniform but every day from almost dawn to dusk she worked assembling machinery for the front line and formed a part of the supply chain ensuring those who did were supported in ways to move towards Peace and stopping the spread of hatred and abuse.

Isn't Peace and prosperity for all what we strive to create and isn't that a world centered and reason why so many braved the trip across the waters and still today struggle to gain entry into this nation formed as one from many?

Someone in our family did go to play taps for Mom after we left her with those she chose to be with for eternity. I am proud of what he did and proud that Mom, who was as vital to Freedom as those who could go into the direct action, was honored for her choice to serve, how she could, where and when she saw there was a need.

TAPS.  A greeting of farewell. Acknowledgement of sundown that follows the struggles of the day and the courage to face what it brought -- believing in tomorrow.

HONOR. TRIBUTE. COURAGE. Wearing the daily uniforms of life of the times to be recognized and honored for what they did and what they could do for one and for all.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

More Than 5,500 Pandemic Deaths Stimulate Investigations Long Term Care -- HALLELUJAH!

Eight years of writing this blog.  

I tried to start a movement but too many were "too busy" with their "lives" to do more than read.

A Pandemic occurs. Long Term Care Deaths at 5,500 -- that's the number we've been told about as of today.

It will rise. We still have far too many States that have not "opened wide the doors" to turn these facilities into the medical residences they are supposed to be.

Do Not Turn Away....Do Not Walk Away...Move Into


The Killing Fields I called it and many still turned aside.

Somewhere, somehow, I can only hope, someone took notice and a "movement" began to Keep Our Seniors Safe in Long Term Care.

Many US Citizens family members die today and have died since January 2020 as victims of the system that gives "closed societies", as Long Term Care is, the right to hide from prospective residents, residents, families and friends and the general public adherence to standards of caregiving that would not be tolerated in Hospitals or Child Care Facilities.

Law Revisions. Law additions. 

Accountability.   Open Records. More Transparency.

Reports can be made without disclosing personal information; there are thousands of reports each day given on line, to the governments and to we, the people, that include statistics from which we make choices and decisions.

Long Term Care is not among these.

Long Term Care is a medical level of caregiving.

Who Will Stand Up For Our Seniors? 

Who Will Change Laws and Enforce Them?


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Disposing of Our Aging Population -- Long Term Care Continues Years of Neglect and Abuse

How wonderful, a man over one hundred fought Coronavirus and he won.

How amazing, a woman in her 80's took on coronovirus and as sick as she was, she won the battle.

How "they" hope you'll see these reports ... THE RESIDENTS HAVE HAD NO REAL VOICE (or "Voyce" as The Ombudsman program in the St Louis area is called) because --- no one cared enough to protect our most vulnerable population -- vulnerable to being ignored, set aside, FORGOTTEN.

Where are the REAL statistics?  The one's I've written about since beginning this blog after seeing first hand on a daily basis the neglect and abuse practiced and supported by....Long Term Care Companies and those in positions of responsibility which they've set aside ... but they've never set aside the money they accumulated.

FEAR OF DISCLOSURE? 

PANIC WOULD ENSUE?

If you had done your job, Media, you would have rung the bell hard and ensured our elderly were protected in full BEFORE THIS CRISIS HIT.

You're hiding the truth by just making mention of what's happening and not telling the truth about the State by State DHSS both Federal and State low level of "regulations" that have perpetrated and continued this system.

LACK OF STANDARDS AS MEDICAL FACILITIES

FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE LACK OF REAL MEDICAL PERSONNEL 

often only one RN for an entire Facility and usually only Monday through Friday -- 

States allow Long Term Care Facilities to operate with one (1) LPN on duty for an entire facility.

And we wonder why the statistics are so high with deaths in LTC from Coronavirus?

It's not age -- it's putting human beings in spaces where any type of communicable disease can run rampant and facilities have been allowed -- for decades -- to produce Death Certifications of

DIED OF OLD AGE

PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Hidden bodies piled up.

WHAT ACTION DID THE STATES TAKE -- THEY REMOVED VISITATION -- DID IT WORK -- OF COURSE NOT-- 

Can't close it down because of COVID? 

Why not  -- you're putting people into hospitals -- but not the aged and ageing of LTC's -- WHY NOT?

Their "lives" aren't worth saving?

They're "too old" and probably won't survive?

When a society treats any age or stage of life as DISPOSABLE -- it has sunk to the depths of "humanity".

The virus, as I've written when others were saying it will "end...soon" has mutated and will continue to do so-- 

Florida is opening up its Beaches --- tourism and money mean more than human life?

Other States don't believe they have it "signifcantly enough" to warrant keeping restrictions in place --

When will we understand .... when will we "ever learn"....when will we "EVER" LEARN?

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Killing Fields -- Long Term Care Facilities Without Good Medical Care

In the beginning, just a few weeks ago, people were led to believe the Coronovirus was an "old person's" disease.

Why? 

Deaths at Long Term Care facilities that were found to be caused by the disease. Then more deaths of older people.

Doesn't that prove it's a "selective disease"?

People who were younger walked around, traveled, thumbed their noses at anyone who suggested they would have any role in this horrible scenerio.

Like the three monkeys, they covered their eyes, ears and mouths because this "old people's" disease wasn't "coming for them" --- 

Yes, it was and is...."when will they ever learn...when will they ever learn"--we're losing flowers everywhere---gone, never to return.

And we continue to not send in the DHSS and trained Medical Professionals to handle the outbreaks in Long Term Care Facilities believing they can "handle" the situtation, they're "private" businesses and the government shouldn't "interfere", perhaps? 

I disagree. 
They are facilities that receive government "funding" through Medicare and Medicaid and we, the people, are not doing enough to ensure the basic safety, level of medical capability, staffing and so much more and our only and last resort are those Department of Governments, State and Federal who MUST intervene or we will face an even higher toll of loss of loved ones who should not be seen as "expendable".

Until you speak up. 
Until you advocate and stimulate ...
friends, relatives and anyone using your Social Media connectivity 
to voices 
in protest 
to ensure our legacy, our foundation of this amazing country -- 
those who fought and continue to fight, 
those who deserve to be protected and yes, to be saved..

or do we start considering, as AARP does, 50 is a Senior 
    believing it's more the "young" who "deserve" to be "saved"....

It Isn't Age..... That's Causing Deaths...

It's exposure of all ages and stages of life....
to a deadly enemy who moves through the world not checking birth certificates 

Even more "mature" audiences took chances (yes, Gen X), who made decisions that spread the disease and believed they were "immune" and couldn't be affected, couldn't possibly be "carriers" -- a word they would soon learn is true of many who do not show symptoms or test positively.

Since the last serious Pandemic, we created school systems providing FREE education to ages Kindergarten through High School graduation. 

We've Failed .....to teach common sense

We've Failed ... to teach compassion and consideration

When will we listen to the cries of our parents and grandparents 
and raise the curtain on the Long Term Care facilities -- 
who have been 

Operating for Years with Poor Medical Services,  
Less Than Acceptable Levels of Certified Medical Staff in house 24/7 -- people don't get sick or need medical attention from 7am to 5 pm on weekdays -- do you? do your children? 

In my life and on this site, I've been citing statistics, calling emergency numbers for relatives and friends who were residents deprived of medical and other care,deprived of the ability to communicate, deprived of making choices, given basic clean care that included not moving from one bed to another contaminating one person after another failing to really clean their hands.

THE REALITY OF THE  SYSTEM  -- Long Term Care Privately Owned and Not For Profits often payexecutives as though they worked in Corporate America with high six and seven figure salaries, amenities, bonuses and more -- running sometimes into the seven figures -- is doing so at the expense of ensuring most residents spend an aberage of three years and then their "space" is turned over to another.

LET'S REALIZE....when you reduce or eliminate good medical care....things happen as I've reported -- falls, breaks, infections, acceleration of pre-existing conditions and more...

Why isn't there a mandate EVERY Long Term Care especially but all Care Giving Facilities of all levels must provide each resident with access and assist them to connect with family and friends outside of the facilities by computer through face to face connectivity-- visutal means.

A SHOUT OUT TO THE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM....this should be a responsibility of each location in each State but will not be even discussed unless people who read this and people you talk with are told there are far better ways to live in Long Term Care than what we're providing our elderly. 

REMEMBER .... I detailed how my friend Carol died two days before her birthday -- two days before we could visit with her. My daughter and I knew Carol since 2011; this was 2019; 8 YEARS of visiting, taking her places, getting her a tatoo she'd wanted for decades; providing her with clothes, a little money to shop; the brands of toothpaste, liquid body lotion, shampoo, etc and no one connected with us not even when we walked in to "ease the shock" of finding her "gone".

We walked into Carol's room, one she'd shared with a woman who was also ill treated by the facility, to see her empty bed and many of her prized possessions gone or piled nearby.

This is what's going on today it hasn't changed. We're so busy seeing the devastation that's spread so far that we're not seeing what should be seen -- abuse in Long term Care Faciliteis and total disregard for Medical Services while charging what the market will bear to Insurance Companies, Federal and State programs.

If it's to be, it's up to YOU.....I've been speaking up since 2012 publically in this blog and before that in my community through advocating for Seniors.

How many more lives are expendable?

How many more times will we believe "he/she died, he/she was"old", he/she had a "pre-existing condition" -- all may be true but you're not recognizing none of these are actual "reasons" for death, they are ways to excuse poor caregiving, lack of quality medical treatment available and too few people made to do too much in ways they use shortcuts because they "have to".

How many more lives are expendable because we only see what the Media shows us and we can't find our own voices to speak up, speak out and ensure this abuse of our Senior Population CEASES, DESISTS and enforce standards that are what we as Americans believe we should receive at all ages and stages of life.

You are the answer. 
Tell others to read this blog and other entries. 
Take action. Spread the word. 

Go online. Connect with your State and National Congress people
Use Social Media to raise awareness and question what you're told.
Never before have individuals had at their fingertips and held in their hands so powerful a means of communicating, opening doors and windows and shining light on darkness.

Remember...each day you're getting older....how do you want to be treated if you find yourself in LONG TERM CARE or another facility. It could happen any time....

Friday, March 27, 2020

Coronovirus: Choices Now; Penalties Later?

Rotary's motto is "Service Above Self" and it's time more ages and stages of life understood this is not just a saying or a practice it needs to be a way of life.

If ever we were aware we are a part of a world while still being American,European, Missourians, New Yorkers, British, Irish, African etc etc it is NOW.

WHO is aware of others needs and giving not when it's convenient but when it's a challenge -- to the self?

ATTITUDE BEYOND SELF.  Giving of what you have is easy. Giving when it's a stretch, a challenge, it's taking away from what you have and may not get returned -- that is true giving, it is sacrifice.

HOARDERS.  Fear of the unknown, the uncertain, the "I (and often "mine") must survive above all are practices that are harming people unintentionally or not.

STOP BELIEVING THIS IS "NEW" -- it's everyday life for many in the United States and around the world.

While you've stocked your pantries and bought your wine there are those among us in the United States and in many places of the world who are worried about the water they drink and how they'll find food let alone afford it.

NO, IT'S NOT JUST THE OLDER POPULATION.  When you think you can "single out" a group, it can make some/many feel better and it's been done around the globe and brought us to many historical, demeaning and damaging situations -- just like a Pandemic can do.

TRUE, WE'RE NOT IN CONTROL --- OR FALSE, OR WE?

Why does it always require someone to get first hand experience before they can think about "real" possibilities and consequences?

Out for a walk?  Say hello don't just look away. 

COMMUNICATION IS TOP OF THE LIST, EVERYONE.

REALIZE THIS LESSON THROUGH BEING MORE "CONFINED" AND "CONSTRICTED" WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME TO MAKE POSITIVE DECISIONS AND NOT JUST REACTIONS.

We are being told because we do not think about others.

We are being made to do which could rise to even higher levels if we don't "hold imaginary hands" and lead those who are still incapable of thinking beyond themselves to cause even more challenges for those who listen, have learned and understand  -- IT'S NOT ME ---- IT'S WE.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Not In "My" Lifetime -- Pandemic Does Not Compute For Many

My mother was four years old when the last pandemic hit.

She was in a small rural town that wasn't as affected as the major metropolitan areas.

Cities today are experiencing the same crisis as during her lifetime; she passed in her 100th year.

How can we convince the teens and twenty somethings of the seriousness of this situation?

Do they think it's smoke and mirrors or "made up"?

This is not within our control.

This is not hype.

This is not reality TV where someone decides how and what and where and when.

You think your're not included because the virus is currently attacking the most vulnerable?

You may be a carrier and not even know it.

We're too focused on telling the general public it's "not advisable" for an "older" citizen to travel or do many things.

Why? Because our older population confined to spaces like Long Term Care where people like myself have witnessed the poor medical care and cleanliness have taken lives before the Pandemic and now are going to move even faster and more destructive because we do not look, we do not listen and we do not ensure our older population is truly protected

That's how it starts -- getting a foothold into a weakened area and then progressing into the general population.

Viruses are like other life forms, they change (mutate) and gain strength as they grow in number and strength.

Our "enemy" is just getting started.

So you think you're so special you won't get it or by the time it "selects" your age group there will be a cure so no worries?

It's dependent on your turning your back and believing, as many of your age have done before, you're "invincible".

You Are Not.

Turn your back and you will find with so many other crisis, the attacks will come, they will reach you and you will be oblivous to its attacks because you didn't believe it would ever come.....to you.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

CBS -- Dive Deeper Into Senior LTC & COVID-19 -- You See The Most Beneath The Surface

CBS  STOP singling out the Washington State facility as if it was "unique". It's not!  

Other facilities have deaths every day and report them as "dying of old age".

Other facilities are possibly not willing or do not have the ability to see the deaths they are experiencing -- which they believe is due to the "time of year' or "weather" or :"age of resident" IS NOT.

Now we have "locked down" facilities but have staff that still moves from one facility to another and who go out into the community moving about with people who may be incubating the virus adding to the pandemic.

ON A DAILY BASIS:

Seniors are required to share rooms even when their roommate is critically ill or sick with a contagious disease. 

Seniors who are atttended by CNA's move from room to room often passing by a "hand sanitizer" that doesn't do the job.

Seniors who are "handled" on a daily basis without the use of gloves moving germs, infections and other problems from bed to bed, room to room.

Many Long Term Care Facilities are in "business" to make a profit.  

Check out the auxiliary services that are owned or operated or where arrangements have been made for significant billing adjustments -- not reported to Medicaid or Insurance coverage.

Let's be real. If you control supply and demand you can sell/provide a product or service at a lower price point and if you get reimbursed, chances are the business still makes a profit beyond the cost and enabling them to build more, larger and more extensive facilities where they can be higher consumers and subject to more and deeper discounts they pass on into their pocke.

Long Term Care Facilities, even Not For Profit, providing their Board Members with payment of their Country Club Dues. This can be seen on their 990's required to be filed. What about the For Profit -- they should also have to file as they provide for the most vulnerable in our society.

Long Term Care Facilities who specifically look for "new" residents on MEDICAID that have few or little ongoing medical care that cannot be managed with drugs and needs more "personalized" hands on assistance.

TIP OF THE ICEBERG....

This is your chance to really discover why the average amount of time a resident lives in a facility is two to three years and why so many Seniors don't want to go, even when they have no other financial choice or relatives who cannot or do not have the time to CareGive.

It's time to do an INVESTGATIVE REPORT on these sequestered incubators of disease and treatment we wouldn't give an animal. 

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ARE REAL STORIES OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT.

CBS AND OTHERS, STEP UP TO THE PLATE....

I've been writing about these challenges and sharing the problems on this Blog since 2012. 

How many of our valued contributors are now considered expendable?

They created so many opportunities by lighting the way and giving generations benefits they fought so hard to establish.

DO MORE THAN READ. 

TAKE POSITIVE ACTION TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR MOST VULNERABLE AMERICANS.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Heroes Among Us Aiding The Senior Population

Listening to the latest information being presented by the Governor of New York, my concerns are growing about the increasing amount of cases and possible need to move people from a hospital bed to another location to make room for others.

Where will they go?  Not all can go home. Many will not have the medical insurance or family members to come in and help them through and to being "healthy" again or may need "secondary care" which in the case of anyone over 60 will most probably be a decision to do "rehab" in a Long Term Care Facility.

Also, as we move through a time of uncertainty when there are closings of businesses, shortages of personal and home supplies:

How can we be certain these facilities are able to provide what this dependent society, residents living in a Long Term Care facility where food, medicine and personal care are necessary really need  . . 

When will we ensure Long Term Care Facilities ARE fully transparent with reports posted on line for all States, at least the total amount generated for the past three years, in plain language without the "jargon" used to hide violations while maintaining the privacy of the individual...

As I've discussed so many times, many of these Long Term Care or Rehab facilities are hotbeds of undisclosed medical challenges and escalating medical problems.

If we do not take this opportunity to speak up, to speak out and to work for reorganization and full accountability to the people who pay into the system, the Taxpayers, and those who are being supported by the system, through vast sums of money going to highly complex enterprises who currently have little responsibility to informing the general public -- 

We will not have learned one of the valuable lessons this challenging event called COVID-19 , Coronovirus, is giving us in bringing to light and to the surface of our society so many challenges in our medical system.

On the positive side, I've heard from some "middle aged" people how they've called Long Term Care Facilities and told them they wanted to remove their loved one, meaning a mother/father/grandparent/friend from the facility and take them into their homes. 

Yes, it's a challenge but generations before us and societies in many countries that have been hardest hit by this emergency situation, have practiced this "caregiving" for generations.  

Kudos to those who step beyond their personal comfort zone to provide caring for others; we should be talking about these on the National and International News because they, too, are the Heroes Among Us.

Yes, it's a challenge adjusting. 
Yes, it can mean more work for family members. 

It can also mean we're returning to being a caring and considerate population where instead of being self-centered, giving when it's "convenient" or brings some form of "reward", we realize it's in the giving we receive.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

COVID-19 Concerns For Long Term Care Residents

Warnings? Announcements? Trial Runs? 
Are we listening? Have we learned? 
      Or do we only see with blinders on?
Maybe we're like the proverbial three "monkeys" -- 
       Hearing Nothing, Seeing Nothing, Saying Nothing?

The Emergency Broadcast System has evolved over the years from a Test Pattern to a scrolling announcement with a signature audio sound. Many ignore it as "just another" announcement that will "soon be over".

Have the years since the last medical incident been so long ago and far away that we do not place a priority on being prepared, planning for these challenges and even anticipating their arrival?

In  2019 the Medical Community planned for the wrong strain of the "regular flu" -- and now they're not prepared to handle this NEW "flu" invasion?

Let's take one incident that was reported but never really examined on the National News.

Who's questioning why so many came down with and died (and possibly are still dying) in the Long Term Care Facility in Washington State and allowed to report the deaths as "Old Age"? 

Why no investigation into Long Term Care Facilities -- esp now that so many are going to Continuum of Care meaning providing living facilities across the spectrum of aging --
         Independent, Assisted, Long Term and Dementia.

The Stats for this medical condition need to be accurate and that includes inside Long Term Care Facilities

How many are dying in other Long Term Care Facilities and their deaths, as with the LTC in Washington State has admitted, been reported as "death due to old age"?  

           And -- stating publicly that this "cause of death" has
                      been and is their policy for all deaths in the 
                      facility.

Not heart attacks? Not Cancer?
    Not other serious medical conditions?

Death is To Be Expected and usual...they'll tell you...in Long Term Care....

In reality -- 

People who reside in LTC are there for a reason -- 
it's usually because they cannot manage by themselves, the cost of "individualized care" is beyond their or their family's abilities or they have no place else to go or "someone" has convinced them that's "where they belong".

CHALLENGE:  We have systems, like "The Ombudsman" -- called by other names in many areas -- that relies on "volunteers" and does not have enough people to "assign" any one person to any facility on a regular basis -- not even once a month.

CHALLENGE:  There is no full disclosure or transparency and many of these are privately owned businesses.

It's a Call To Action we need to hear from those in positions where changes can be made.

LOOK, LISTEN,TAKE ACTION...It's an Election Year...Ask those running for election what they're going to do to ensure our elderly population is protected and supported

And a word to the Gen X'ers -- some of you are of an age where "they" (the medical community) could send you for rehab to a "facility" where elderly people also reside. 

Maybe if you see, hear and feel when you're less than what you usually are you may begin to see "the light" of the real crisis in Long Term Care and work to change "the system" and "the laws".

The Bell of Awareness is ringing; are our headphones and earbuds on so well that we cannot hear the cries and calls of those we love, have loved and should love and care about?

Monday, February 24, 2020

As The Twig Is Bent So Grows The Tree

Sitting at my table, looking out the window, family gatherings and everyday events come to mind.

No, my  son, I could  not sell this house; not now; not yet and not then -- when you told me how wrong I was about "keeping it" after Dad passed.

With all its challenges as it ages, like I am also doing, it is a comfort, a haven of memories and peace of mind. 

Yes, there have been several times when I could have used "your" help but I would never ask you as the price I have to pay isn't worth the cost.

We've stumbled, we've even fallen along the way but through it all I had your sister, my daughter, and when I've asked, your brother, there to guide, to care and to understand it is my life, still, while I can and am willing to live it in ways you do not comprehend.

You have chosen to walk another path, one of distance and eventual complete separation. That is your choice. It is not how you lived, it is not how we taught.

To you,  it's a "big" house and needs repairs and so much more. 

To me, it's a respite, a hope and a future without having to give up,  give in and try to hold on for dear life -- been there, done that not just since you were born but many years before with my Mother supporting, caring and "there" for me, for us.

I admit, without your sister continuing to be a part of my life I would not be financially able or capable. But you would not be able to provide for your family of five if your wife wasn't working and you didn't have a good job. In your way you also work together to gain and retain what you want, what you need.

We all make decisions; we live lives we choose with parts that are given and parts that are taken.

Looking out the window I see the towering Oak tree that once was a twig cut from your Grandfather's Oak in the home they lived in as long as we have now, placed in water, allowed to root and then planted in our yard; a symbol of continuity, of family and of the love we had for one another -- especially now that all of them are no longer with us.

Your father planted it after asking me where I'd like for it to be. He's been gone several years now; 

the tree reminds me of him, of us, of then and of now.

I chose far enough away from the house where it would get sunlight and have room to grow to its potential-- now almost twice the height of our house.

This wasn't our first home; it was the fourth one you called home. So fortunate and privileged were we all to build this dream, carve out this space to grow our lives and shelter our extended family along the way.

We moved as Dad moved up the corporate ladder and then to this place where we chose to spend so many years learning, growing, working -- together.

It was a little bit of a reach but it gave us what we valued -- a yard back and front where you and your siblings spent time, each of us had our own room including Grandma who came to live with us when you were two months old and moved with us around the country before settling here.

It was and is HOME.  It was and is MEMORIES.

And, I, my son, am like my Mother, with whom you spent your life as we did ours; you grew from a small baby into a grown man and benefited along the way from three adults loving you, caring about you and providing for you -- and your siblings--even when we should have said "enough" and "no, we can't.

If we believed it was beneficial; we found a way. And that was for each, in their own way, as one received, so did the others. 

There were no "favorites", none was provided for beyond others, and that included our short time being Guardians for your Uncle's grand-daughter.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree....but the tree that is moved to another location also responds to where it is moved...and that can affect the shape, height, even the way the tree responds to the elements around it.

You chose and choose to make choices every day. 

Perhaps you'll reach your full maturity some day and recognize how important it is to bend, to move "with" and not against the winds that blow. 

Perhaps you have in some ways in your personal and professional life; now it's time to adjust, to understand life is more than just what surrounds you every day.

Someday I will leave this house. It will continue in some form, perhaps another shape, definitely another owner -- hopefully your sister as that is our plan.

The Seasons are changing. Soon Spring will arrive. Some days already show signs of warming and new growth and development from animals to plants.

When will you change, my son? 
When will you have the courage to reconnect? 

I have the memories but it's not the same. 

It's been your decision to disconnect yourself and your children.

It is not what you were taught; it is not how you were raised.

I continue to walk my life's path. 
I make decisions and plan.

Looking out the window at the tree I see new growth.

I hope someday soon to see new growth beyond where I can look everyday.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Multi-Generational Living: Yes, YOU Can!

In November, 2010, we ended our journey as a multigenerational family living together in the same home started in November, 1971 -- almost four decades.

I've written about a small part of that journey with Mom -- in reality a very small segment of about four years -- when an abuser came into our lives -- we actually spent ten times that amount, almost forty years together as a multi generational family.

It's not a "new idea" -- it's been practiced for centuries among many cultures and it's been highly successful.

What has changed this practice for the Western World? 

Some say it's industrialization -- moving from rural to city areas and then to the suburbs. 

Some say the houses were "smaller" ---yet many "made do" in small apartments in the city with multi-generations; not everyone has had or has a home in the US and doesn't in other countries.

When did we start isolating and separating from one another?  When did we start not being "neighbors", "family" and "friends in need"?

Yes, there are adjustments, concessions and even learning a "new way" to live with another person -- just like "living together" w/wo a legal agreement or document.

It's also like bringing home the first child and each child added -- it's a family, a growing and changing dynamic --where adjustments and considerations are a part of everyday life.

Think about how beneficial it is to have another person in your life -- 
 .... someone to share time and experiences with everyday.
 .... someone who is "there for you".
 .... someone who gains and someone who gives

It's a different kind of "life" and "living" -- less for the self and more for others.

It's like adoption.  You bring in a child or young person to your home, the family unit you have only this is an "adult".

There are differences, admittedly.... depending on the age of the child, usually the "family living together unit" is for fewer years...the "child" grows up, gains abilities, can share in the responsibilities of family life

THE ADULT joining the family grows older....usually experiences more "need" for physical or mental challenges.... has decreasing abilities and often special needs

HOWEVER, THERE ARE THE VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE who everyday in every way are living a life of sharing their lives... 

...with life circumstances that affects or removes abilities and possibilities in their lives for a family member....

My In-Laws youngest son had Down's Syndrome. They were told to "instutionalize" him. They were advised not to "take him outside the home".

He was an active part of their lives. He went where they went. He was given an education (they worked to get Special Schooling and programs started).

Listen to your heart. Do what you believe is best for yourself and those you love.

Statements you may hear others say:

We should be able to take care of ourselves...all our lives
If you save enough..

If you're careful....

If you plan right...

You won't need to "impose" on anyone; you can afford to live SOMEWHERE ELSE....

Some can. Many can't. Especially as the years go by.

We've redefined the family in the past several years.

We've redefined relationships.

We've redefined so many areas of life but we still have a "hang up" when it comes to multi generational living.

MULTIGENERATIONAL LIVING....this is the life we shared....this is the life we made together... this is the life we chose...and I am grateful every day we worked to make it a life worth living for each of us..

A relationship that enabled and gave value and opportunities to each family member.

A lifetime of caring, sharing and supporting one another through challenges & times of great joy.

Learning from one another and about ourselves.

We told Mom...who'd lived alone when I went away to college and since I was married, who worked and had her own apartment....when we learned she'd broken her wrist ... 

It's a choice we all make each day and you can choose to leave at any time. We will always be there for you whenever and wherever we're needed.

That was November, 1971 and in November, 2010 the manipulation and control of an abuser who came into our lives could not, in the end, separate our multi generational family. 

We, each family member, are who we are today because we opened our minds, our hearts and our home(s) to share a life we treasure now as we did when it was being created.