A geriatrician’s caring journey with her parents has been a professional eye-opener.
I have been working with older people and their families for 20 years. Over this time I have seen the love, dedication and frustration experienced by family caregivers.
My own journey supporting my father, Russell, and his adventures with our health system, have left me in no doubt where the strengths and weaknesses are! On the same day, Dad could experience the best and the worst treatment possible.
Like us, our furry and feathered friends may need extra help as they age. By Diana Noonan
When I was younger and cycling my way around Britain, I once spent a wet Yorkshire night holed up in a cosy barn in the company of a 53 year old donkey named Flossy. She had no teeth but happily dined on a delicious bran mash that her adoring owners had lovingly mixed for her. Years later, as I acquired pets of my own, I often thought of Flossy and the commitment we humans make to our animal companions, especially in their senior years.
Melda and Graham Townsley work as a team to ensure that Graham retains his independence and quality of life despite his worsening vision. By Sara Rogers
Melda Townsley believes a bang to the head during a car accident several years ago hastened the deterioration of her husband Graham’s eyesight. But neither she nor Graham have let this restrict his independence.
The annual family post-Christmas vacation to Whangamata was the event of the year. Five weeks of sunshine, endless hours of boogie boarding, fish and chips with the town’s entire seagull population for company and, after dinner, ice cream walks inevitably ending with an unbalanced Bubble-O-Bill falling off the stick. By Lauren Hitchin
This truly was the time of year our whole family looked forward to, and it has to be the setting for this article about my childhood with Beefy, my eldest brother, who has an intellectual disability.
Putting support plans in place for yourself or others will ensure uninterrupted care if there is an emergency. By Sarah Wale
All of us over a certain age or who live with serious health or disability needs give passing thought to what would happen if we were unable to look after ourselves. Some of us need to think more deeply about this possibility because others rely on our support; advance planning is crucial to ensure ongoing care for them if we can no longer provide it.
University student Lauren Hitchin is one of nearly 10% of 15 to 24 year old Kiwis who support an ill, elderly, or disabled friend or family member.
“NERD”, a man yells at full volume down the crowded supermarket aisle.
I carry on shopping, emulating fellow customers’ polite disregard. “NERDY,” the man tries again, projecting his voice even louder. Shoppers begin to crane their necks, trying to locate the source of the loud voice, as I become unusually absorbed in the ingredients on a packet of pasta.
After caring for wife Kathryn at home for several years, Ian Wilson of Taumarunui reluctantly accepted the need for residential care. Ian shares his advice for other couples adjusting to this big change, and how to support grieving children.
When our youngest daughter Jo fell asleep in class at high school, we had no idea it was the beginning of a difficult journey of more than 10 years.
Jo was diagnosed with a glandular fever-like illness, but as her list of symptoms increased, she fell further and further behind at school. Despite her best efforts, Jo had to leave school after Sixth Form.
If a traumatic, scary event takes place, even miles away or far on the other side of the world, today’s technology and media can bring it right into a child’s home, and, in graphic detail. For some children, this can be extremely distressing. They may react in a wide range of ways to the anxiety, fears or distress the event may cause them. Every child is different.
Most children’s key concern usually is: Will this happen to me - or to people that I know and care about? This question lets you know what they need the most – a sense of safety and reassurance.
Living with Eliot is a column in Carers NZ’s Family Care magazine, written by Eliot’s Dad, author and commentator David Cohen. In it he explores issues of interest to parents of children who have special needs.
It’s a graceful lull of a Sunday afternoon here in Wellington, and I'm going to start the first of these brief accounts of a carer’s life before the business week proper kicks in tomorrow.
Summer is a wonderful time with lots of sun, visits to the beach, BBQs, and family gatherings. But often our family get-togethers don’t quite go as planned, resulting in frayed tempers and possibly disappointment. Relationships Aotearoa has put together some great advice and tips to help you and your family have as happy and relaxing time as possible when spending time together.
We often look at a newborn baby and marvel at how he has his grandmother’s eyes or her father’s chin, but we don’t typically wonder what else may have been inherited from past generations. By Francie Smith.
Enjoying flowers from their garden is an everyday treat for Dame Kate and Miranda Harcourt - literally, because a vibrant garden is a central part of their Wellington home, and metaphorically, because it symbolises how they work, share and laugh together as mother and daughter.
The Harcourts used to live a more conventional life.
How will you know when your elderly parents need more help?
This can be a difficult issue to gauge, especially if you don’t live within an easy distance to your family. A needs assessment is the formal gateway to ensure your elderly relatives are receiving the various forms of support they should be.