Archive for January, 2016

Holiday Reflections

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

As this holiday season is concluding we realize when visiting local long-term care communities that, even on a special holiday like Christmas, for the staff, it’s just another work day and for the residents it’s just another day.   This is not our first season as regular attenders of these care communities,  but the scene remains constant as many of the residents have few family or friends participating in their lives,  and some don’t have any.    Many years of New Year’s Eve celebrations, from parties to exotic trips, this year’s celebration will go down as the most memorable — and it happened at 6:00 p.m. — not midnight.   We planned our own New Year’s celebration at the long-term care facility with all the residents, from the able-bodied to the bedridden.  Visiting each person, individually, with noisemakers blowing; wearing festive hats and crowns; poppers “popping;” and spray-string (that startled most), flying — what laughable moment, — and lastly, a close-up picture that included a warm touch.  What a sobering thought:  Life does not go on forever; some may not be here with us next year.

With a number of residents, the holiday season brings a once-a-year visit from a family member, usually a son or daughter,  who lives far away.   We have encountered many of these family members who left this area many years ago and have come to see mom, dad, or grandparent for a day or two.   We commend them for coming to visit,  but a curious person has to wonder what can be the depth of their relationship during such a visit?
Many years ago my Grandmother was in a long-term care facility here in Ohio.   My Aunt, who lived in Arizona, used to come and visit my Grandmother,  her Mom,  and stay with her at the facility for as much as a week at a time.   I didn’t fully understand what I was witnessing at the time,  but today I realize that my Aunt wanted to remain involved in her Mother’s life.   By coming and actually living with her, eating meals and caregiving, she got to know her medical caregivers and the other residents by name.  This helped my Aunt, back in Arizona, to still be closely involved with my Grandmother,  because she had a complete understanding of my Grandmother’s world, by literally living in it — with her.    I have, in all fairness, witnessed several families here locally that are just as involved, but it’s only a few, a very few!
Now the worst of situations: When the resident in a care facility has family members that live close by and, for whatever reason, those relatives choose to visit only a couple of times a year.   We might wonder to ourselves ‘What does Grandma think?’ when she only sees you at Christmas?   And we might wonder even further: Is the only reason for your visit to ease your own conscience?   Maybe this year it’s time for self-examination of the real motives for a once- or twice-a-year visit.  I have found that frequent visits keep me in touch with all aspects of Mom’s life and help keep her in touch with the outside world.
A very heartwarming situation observed during this holiday season are visits by a community member or groups that come to the care communities on their own, blessing the residents with small gifts and, better yet, the gift of time.  One lady told me just recently about one such visit with a college age girl that struck up such a connection, the girl stayed and visited the entire afternoon.  These individuals are truly doing God’s work!
In wrapping up, if you have relatives in a care facility, make time,  don’t wait;  we had a couple of deaths just this week.  Once it’s over it’s over!   If you feel uncomfortable visiting these care communities, the anxiety subsides quickly the more often you visit and share your love with the people living there.  If you don’t have relatives and you want to adopt,  there are plenty that would love to be adopted. You don’t need an appointment, most of the time just show up, stay as long as you want.  If the person in this room gets tired there is the person in the next room that would appreciate a visit, too.   Lastly, remember that someday you maybe the person residing there requiring  kind, compassionate, loving care, and visits by others.

On the air in a new year!

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Hints of spring in the air,  and A Firm Foundation for Life kicks off with remodeling ideas to keep you in your home for life!   Maybe its a ramp to get you into the house,  or bathroom remodeling that makes a shower possible,  bars and toilet seats to get on and off the pot?   There is a whole world of products available to help with any situation.

   Tune in Saturday at 9:00 am.  as Rick and Jackie welcome Wood Countie’s top remodeling contractor,  Gary Rieman,  owner of Rieman Construction.   Gary has completed hundreds of remodeling projects in this area for over 20 years.
   The program can be heard locally on  AM1470 WLQR,  now 9 years as the Saturday morning anchor on AM1470.  With all the modern platforms the program is streamed around the world at:  <>  and remotely on I-Heart Radio.
  Pictured is a very difficult remodeling project Rick is currently working on, the window replacement of a 3-story circle head window in brick.   Not many contractors have the skill or experience to complete such a complex job that should be done next week.    Again,  Happy New Year!
R & J