Caring for your Aging Loved Ones


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

©Crystal S. Kauffman

©Crystal S. Kauffman

Parents are an enormous part of a child’s life, as they begin to grow into adulthood. Soon, their children begin growing up and starting their own families. This causes them to become less dependent on their parents, due to their new found responsibilities. Unfortunately, this can create loneliness in the parent, especially when they realize that they have an empty nest. Some seniors are faced with chronic medical problems that seem to rob them of their independence.

Soon, the feelings of loneliness and worthlessness will manage to invade their heart. Sometimes they will begin withdrawing from family functions and begin feeling depressed. Without immediate medical care, the depression will take over their lives and cause them to contemplate suicide. Most seniors feel like they are a burden to their family members or others who may be helping them. Each family member must look for the red flags or warning signs that will let them know how their parent feels.

Look for sudden withdrawals from normal activities, excessive anger or frustration, or feelings of wanting to die. The best way to combat the depression is to understand the symptoms and find them the proper medical help immediately. Financial issues can also lead a retired senior, into thinking that they would be better off dead. However, the only way that families can stop this silent killer, is by being supportive and recognize the signs of depression.

Try making time to be a part of their life daily, if just call them daily and let them talk about whatever you want. Take them out for a movie or to eat at their favorite restaurant, because it is the little things that will help bring them out of their depression. Make the aging parent feel wanted and needed, because it can help families keep their loved one from suffering with depression.

The loneliness can disappear and the aging family member will feel happy and full of love. Honestly, there is no easy way to handle the depression that most seniors face, as they become less independent. Just letting them know someone cares will brighten their day and help them feel special. Create a scrapbook of memories to share with them and let them pick out their favorite pictures.

Sometimes, just spending the day with them will let enjoy their grandchildren, as well as their adult child. Never ignore the warning signs of depression or loneliness in an aging parent. Step in and do little things like laundry or cooking, because that will allow them to spend time doing their favorite hobby like puzzles or sewing.

Previously Published

Reference: Personal Experience

©2010, Crystal S. Kauffman

Review of The Face on the Milk Carton-By, Caroline B. Cooney


The_Face_on_the_Milk_CartonThe Face on the Milk Carton

By, Caroline B. Cooney

Jane “Janie” Johnson was a fifteen-year-old sophomore in high school. She was a happy-go-lucky tenth grader, who had several close friends and a boyfriend/neighbor Reeve. Additionally, she loved her life as it was, but everything changed one day at lunch. She grabbed her friend’s milk carton at school and finished it, even though she has a slight milk allergy. Janie turned the milk carton over to see whose face was on the milk carton today.

Imagine her surprise, when she realized that she was staring at a picture of herself in pigtails and a dress she remembers in a flashback. She looked at the picture of a missing three-year-old girl named Jennie Springs from New Jersey. Immediately, her mind begins trying to make sense of everything she knew about herself. She began having flashbacks of her at three-years-old wearing that dress and hanging out with a woman with twin babies.

She did her own investigations and her boyfriend Reeve became her confidant. She began having “daymares” or flashbacks of old memories, which included a strange woman and twins. In the attic, Janie found an old trunk, which had the mysterious letter H-written on it. In this trunk, she discovers papers and things done by someone named Hannah. Additionally, she found a dress in the old trunk that matches the dress that she was wearing in the picture on the milk carton.

She hides her discovery from her parents, but soon she begins asking her parent’s (Frank and Miranda Johnson) tough questions. Unfortunately, they knew that they had to tell her the truth, so she learned that her birth mother was their only daughter and was named Hannah. They explained how Hannah was a member of a cult and that when she finally came home, she had Janie with her. Her parents acted nervous, but finally explained that they are in fact her grandparents instead her parents.

Janie knew them as her only parents and she chose to call them her parents, but there was a twist in the story. Hannah might be kidnapper and her parents/grandparents were innocent. For reasons only Hannah knew, she left Janie with her parents and vanished out her own parent’s lives after returning to the cult. Fearing the cult will come after their granddaughter/daughter; the Javensen’s changed everyone’s name to Johnson and began moving around until they settled down.

Now, after hearing about the kidnapping, the Johnson’s are worried that they will lose Janie and Hannah will go to prison. Will Janie be able to stay with the only parents that she has ever known or will she be forced to say good-bye?

My Opinion on the Book

I really loved the way the author wrote this book from Janie’s/Jennie’s point of view. Additionally, I enjoyed being able to follow Janie’s emotions from the time she recognized herself on the milk carton to when she had Lizzie help her tell her parents what was going on. Finally, she was able to share the burden with her parents and they can work together to find a solution to the problem that they now face.

Janie tried so hard to work through the feeling, but she was unable to keep it from affecting every relationship she had from her parents to her friends. Luckily, she had a confidant in Reeve, her boyfriend and neighbor. I think the author Caroline B. Cooney did a wonderful job, showing the story and developing the story at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading the sequels. If you have a chance to read this book, be sure to write what you thought about it in the comments. I highly recommend this book for teens and adults alike. Especially if you like mystery, suspense, and drama.

PS: There is a movie about this book.

Thanks for stopping by,

XOXOXO

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

The_Face_on_the_Milk_Carton

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!!!!


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This morning was lonely when I woke up, because Bella’s parents come to pick her up Saturday morning. After eight months of being her foster mom, I got used to the way that she talked to me each morning as I head to the bathroom. She would bark or howl to get my attention, but as soon as I said, “Good morning, Bella Girl!”

She would go nuts rubbing her face on my legs and wait for me to love on her. I admit, at first I was against fostering her while her parents got settled. But, with each passing day, week, and month…I began falling in love with her. One day, my girlfriend Laura brought up some temporary hair chalk a few months back and I gave Bella a purple mohawk. However, before I could get the picture, she rubbed up against me and the hairdo didn’t stay up.

Bella, I had no idea how attached I became to you, during the time that I helped my mom care for you. Furthermore, Monkey misses you too, because you became his surrogate mother, once I brought him home at eight weeks old. Now, who is going to protect him from Grumpy Ol’ Gizmo?

I am so glad you are home with your mom and dad, but this house is not the same without you. I miss WP_20140507_001 (1)your special way of talking to me and everyone. I will cherish every memory that we have made together and you will always have a special spot inside my heart. I do hope to see you again soon!

Never Stop Loving Your Child


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Elderly Parents with Adult Children

I was asked by a friend, “What I would do if my daughter had killed or neglected her child?”, while watching the Casey Anthony trial. Honestly, I could only say that I would not approve of what she did and I may be angry. However, I would love her unconditionally and try to get her the help she needs, until my last breath on this earth. I couldn’t stop thinking about my friend’s question, so I began wondering if there was a legitimate reason to stop loving your children.

I thought about this question for a few months before writing this article, because I decided to look at every scenario that could make a parent stop loving their child. I know that some parents have endured abusive or disrespectful behavior from their child, while their young or as an adult. Additionally, I wondered about how some parents may have cut contact with their adult child, due to the way they have treated them in the past.

However, I know most parents never stop loving their child, even when they do make huge mistakes that hurt themselves or others. A few reasons exist, which may cause a parent not to contact or visit their adult children. Despite the best parenting in the world, loving children may still grow up to make mistakes and do bad things as an adult. Some adult children can end up in prison for the horrible things they do, which causes the parents to question their parenting skills.

As a parent, you may feel that your adult child is abusing you financially or even physically, so you have all right to cut contact with them. Never let them bully you or abuse you, because you do not deserve this type of treatment. Additionally, you may feel that they only contact you, when they want or need something from you. It is normal to feel frustrated and annoyed, but you have to put your foot down to let them know that you will not allow this kind of behavior to continue.

Honestly, there is never any reason to stop loving your own children, but you can show them tough love and not enable them to hurt you any longer. Put a stop to abuse and any bad behavior, by asking for help through someone you trust. Take time to pray for them, while understanding that God can change their heart and their attitude towards you. Most of all, pray that God can heal the broken relationship, before you lose too much precious time with your child.

 

Parents Stop Breaking Your Teenager’s Spirit


teen dep. quoteParents stop berating and yelling at your teenager, because you are destroying your child’s self-esteem more harm. Don’t curse at your teenager, instead give the teenager respect and you will find that they will begin to respect you as well. Be clear in your communication when saying yes and no, this way you are not sending mixed signals to your teen. Sometimes, you have to step back as parent, while encouraging your teenager to practice working on their talents and gifts that God gave them.

Let them know that you love them just the way they are and that they do not have change anything. Stop having power struggles with your teenager and you will see a difference in the way that they will respond to you. Don’t call them degrading names or compare them to their father or their mother in a negative way, since this can make the teenager feel worthless. Never say negative things about their mother or father, whether absent or not.

This behavior by parents can cause the teenager to turn to drugs or alcohol abuse. Teenagers with low self-esteem will act out and self-medicate to escape the mental pain that they feel.  Unfortunately, one mistake can cause a landslide of issues like: teen pregnancy, drug use, trouble with the law, and other bad behavior. Don’t expect to see a change in your teenager’s behavior, until you begin to change the way that you respond to them.

Pray for your children and with your teenagers, while speaking blessings and positive things over them. Be sure to take them to a Bible believing church, which will help build the teenager’s character as they grow into an adult. However, to see a change in your teenager, you must first change yourself and realize that you were once a teenager yourself. Was life hard for you as a teenager and did you have power struggles with your parents as well?

Teenagers can become anyone that they want to become, yet they must work hard to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. As a parent, you should be a cheerleader and the disciplinarian at the same time. Teenagers need boundaries that they can follow and they need immediate consequences whenever they step out of line. Therefore, take this time to change the way that you respond to your teenager’s achievements and misbehaviors.