Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Of being good, better and best

I have always considered myself good with the elderly folks.  With babies, children and teens, not so much because there isn't a strong spark.  I can blend in with them but it takes more effort.  

With the older folks, I love to hear their points of view.   I don't agree with everything I hear.  It gives an insight to what goes on in their head and an excellent way to learn more about their lives.

Being good, in my books, means being able to empathise with them and not being patronising.  I can sit and listen and pay attention to what they have to say.  Most of them just want to talk.  Reminisce about their youth, their life and, some of them, even their regrets.  The majority do prefer to share the stories of their achievements and I believe this is good for them.  It's what being old should be all about.  This is why it is a good reminder to live well and to make memories: happy ones to look back on and to smile about.

I know that in the last  years, Stephen has been very good to his Mom.  Despite having a full-time employment, and being on his own for so long, he has done a remarkable job of seeing to everything for her well-being.  

Alone, he was good.
Together, we are better.
We may not be the best
but we are surely very near to it.

In the right light, at the right time,
everything is extraordinary.- anon

Friday, July 27, 2012

When I am old and frail...

I know that many of my family and friends still consider that a Nursing Home or Old Folks' Home is taboo because we are in Asia.  Likewise there are some who are more open to the concept that the elderly can be happier among their own age group.

I was discussing this with my better half and I told him that if I am unable to care for myself, unable to see to my own medication or look after my own health, I would (if we could afford it) prefer to be in a Nursing Home.

I wouldn't be able to bear the thought that someone has to look after me or attend to my basic needs.  I don't think I will like the idea of having any member of my family putting their life on hold for me.

No matter how people say that it's a duty, it doesn't make it fair.  

Well, this is how I feel now.  I don't know if I will change my thoughts on this when I'm 60, 70  or 80, that is if I live that long.  Maybe I will revisit this post and be reminded of the reasons I feel so strongly about now.

I know there are some parents who expect their children to sacrifice everything for them.  Payback, I'm told.  I don't subscribe to this theory at all.

As a parent, I don't expect my child to do anything for me when I am old.  I only expect love and respect.  Nothing more and nothing less than that will be enough for me.

I wouldn't want to feel that I am a burden or that I am in the way.  I think I could be happy in a Home because I have already decided, in my mind, that it is not a bad place.

Some people think of it as being punished.  I don't.  I think of it as getting the best of both worlds.  The children don't need to worry about taking care of you and you don't have to worry about taking care of yourself.  To me, that is a win-win situation.  

Someone will wash your clothes, change your bedsheets, serve you meals and watch your medication.  What's not to like about that??  After all, I figure that when I'm no longer active, I'll do more of what I already do now like watch TV, read books, write mails and use Facebook.

I think that a Home is what you make it to be.  So when that day comes and I can't look after myself any longer, I'll be glad to go to a Nursing Home.  There is no shame in that.  Not in my books, anyway.

How many of you want to join me????

(pic from photobucket)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Where's your Mama gone?

Just like the song by Middle of the Road!!!

My mom-in-law is in a Nursing Home.  She's in a Nursing Home and not an Old Folks Home.  It's not a state secret!

(pic from Econ Website)

I reckon that this decision made by two of her four children about six years ago turned out to be a life-giving one.

It was not an easy thing to do.  So many people talked and made comments.  I suppose it is always easy to do that when they don't have to face the consequences or shoulder any of the responsibilities.

Today, she is doing okay and especially after having undergone a double bypass last July.  

Would she have made it this far, if she weren't in a Nursing Home?  No one can know the answer.  The only evidence we can have is that she is alive today.

The problem with keeping an elderly person at home is never knowing whether the quality of  care is sufficient and effective.  There are always medical issues that crop up.  Without any proper training, it is an irresponsibility to attempt this.
(pic from photobucket)

So many medical problems that arose during the last six years had been dealt with efficiently by the nurses on duty.  They know when to call the ambulance, how to deal with any symptoms and what to do in an emergency.  

As long as the elderly person is lucid and there are regular visits, I would advocate that the Nursing Home is a better bet.  

The diet is under control.  The medication is precise.  The care is 24 hours.  No matter how much a family member wants to do all this, it is just not humanly possible.  Then resentment sets in and everyone starts to compare who is doing more or less.

There are also cases of those who boast about taking their aged parent in and then isolating them later.  Realising  first-hand that the task is not as easy as it seems.  All the earlier lamenting and commenting about putting a family member in a Nursing Home is really nothing more than not using common sense and intelligence.

Yes, there are horrible stories about some homes.  And there are also horrible children and horrible parents.  Nothing and no one is perfect.

One has to know the limitations and accept that sometimes a neutral and safe environment is better for the elderly.

More tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Of Being Fat and Unhealthy

These days, I spend a lot of time with old people and sometimes while there are gems to learn from them, I have found that they haven't been able to let go of fallacies regarding health issues.
To most of them, if you are thin, you are weak and if you are fat, you are healthy.

They are of the notion that if you exercise and lose weight, you are doing something wrong.  If you choose a better diet and eat healthy food, you are doing something sinful.

Their favourite word is, "eat"!

I don't debate with them it because it's pointless.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Of Older People

One of the things I notice about old people is that they always seem interested in the time and the weather.  The day that I begin to check on these things is when I'll know I'm old.

There is an old lady that plays with a deck of cards.  She just opens them one by one and when she gets four of a kind, she pushes them aside until all the fifty-two cards are done.  I think it's a great way for her to pass the time as well as to keep her mind active.  One day, when she didn't realise I was watching, she finished playing and I clapped for her.  It made her so happy to know that she had an audience.  She was beaming with a sense of accomplishment and I gave her a thumbs up.

She hasn't enough strength to shuffle the whole deck of cards so she has to mix them on the table and then arrange them back again.  If I am there, I will give her a hand and shuffle the whole deck of cards for her.  The first time that I did it, she gave me a salute.  Now when I see her, we salute each other and smile.  It's just a small thing between us that I know makes her happy.

It also makes me happy.

(pic from photobucket)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The one about the nangka (jackfruit).

I pride myself on having heard really absurd things in my just over half a century life.  However, this one tops the list!

Pic from www 

I bought some nicely packed nangka madu (honey jackfruit) for someone recently.  I thought it would be a nice change from the usual fruits. However, it fell flat when the recipient said, "I can't eat this, I'll turn blue".

This was so absurd but funny.  When I think about it, I smile.  After hearing this, nothing can faze me.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Of Starting with a "Like"

One of the things I notice, in Singapore, is that people love using the word "like" when they begin a conversation.
A lot of people speak English here and you can catch snippets of it while waiting for transport or when you're in a bus/MRT. 

They say phrases that go like this

Like how fantastic is that...
Like real only...
Like awesome, he asked me to have dinner with him...
Like you know when he sent that text message...
Like so funny when she lost her balance...
Like way cool...

I should add that it's mostly the younger generation that speak this way.  I wonder if it's a trend or it's part of the culture here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Of Complaints

Often, I hear these and I make an effort to delete these thoughts from my head.

The service sucks!
The bus is late!
The cashier is slow!

Why do people complain about service or the service industry?  Is it because their standards are too high?  Or does it stem from a low tolerance level?

I believe that there will never be perfection in life.  No matter how good or great a service is, there is always room for improvement.  In this sense, I am easily satisfied.  I understand that the service could be better but I also realise that it is not too bad.

Maybe from where I come from, there is a great disparity between "what was" and "what is" now that I enjoy which I consider to be efficient and effective.  Perhaps, if I had been born here, I would have higher expectations of everything.

I wonder if it is the environment or the personality that makes us complain about service.

If you have an opinion, let me know.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Out with the old and in with the new

Those who followed me on STEEST will note the glaring difference between that blog and this one.

Unconsciously, I set this new blog up and didn't realise how stark it looks compared to the previous one.

Since I plan to write more during the second half of 2012, I decided to make the layout clutter-free.  Those who like the so-po stuff can still scroll through my blog list in STEEST .

STEEST is my baby and I couldn't give it up.  Not entirely.  So it will remain because I invested a lot of time in it.  Plus, it still serves me.

Of Starting Over

Pic from FB

Any time is a good time to start over. I have embraced so many changes this year. 

Some were planned and some just happened which forced me to decide on the next course of action.

What I found most interesting was that I had changed. I didn't need anyone to tell me this. I knew it.

I really am starting over in so many areas of my life.

 So today, SFGEMS is born and I will continue to write because I like it.