Catherine Outlaw has been my mother’s care giver for the past three years. We can’t survive without her, and two weeks ago, Catherine, while trying to hang up a plant on her balcony plummeted 30 feet below. She smashed her left side, including a broken arm, ribs, fractured discs and pelvis. I don’t know if she can ever work in her field again.
For 5 days we didn’t know what happened to her, and finally a call came from her sister explaining the devastating accident. I had no back up for Catherine, and became my mother’s care giver from Hell. But as soon as I heard the news, I rushed over to Catherine’s apartment and gave her a 32 oz. bottle of Elixer. Her sister immediately began a treatment of Elixer on Catherine to help manage her pain.
Catherine, although in no way healed, at least is doing much better. “The cream is wonderful. It has made the pain bearable. I’ve been able to cut down on the prescribed pain killers to one pill in the morning and night” she said.
Today, life is easier for Catherine, my mother and I. I quickly found several wonderful caregivers to replace Catherine during this period. My mother is happier getting rid of the caregiver from Hell, and Catherine is slowly mending. However, before you do a stupid chore that deals with heights, just ask yourself if you can afford the ramifications of a potential accident. I know that I am getting older and my reflexes aren’t as good, so I’m staying off of make-shift ladders and reaching for plants and objects that require superb balance and luck.
Stay healthy and wise.
Last April, Warren, the kids and I went to Kaua’i for a much-needed vacation and came back to the real world rested and invigorated. One of our highlights of the trip was learning to windsurf on Anini Beach which is located on the north side of the island. Celeste Harvel was our to-die-for instructor. She’s been windsurfing for 17 years and knows how to get you going in a matter of minutes. Plus Anini Beach is TO DIE FOR. Calm and protected from high surf, it’s a private oasis of clear turquoise water. And don’t think you’re too old or too fat to be able to windsurf, it takes minimum brain function, coordination and strength to learn. Her 3-hour class was the best $100 I’ve spent in a long time.
Windsurfing opened up a new window in my heart and my dream, which is to do it every morning. To thank Celeste, I gave her a jar of Elixer Arnica Rub figuring she might try it out since she is so active. Eight months later, on Thanksgiving Day, I got a call from Celeste who wanted to order a jar for herself and one for her daughter. Seems that when Celeste was 19 years old she broke her ankle rock climbing and since then she always has been in pain. But as she says “…with Elixer my pain goes immediately away, and I can go out and party”.
I don’t think I could have said it any better. I can’t wait until we go back to Kaua’i for some more windsurfing classes and especially to see Celeste, my number one fan. Mahalo for your kind testimonial, Celeste and have a wonderful holiday.
For seniors, loss of balance and falling brings terrifying consequences. When we are babies, it is a normal part of learning to walk, when we are from the ages of children thru adulthood, it rarely happens, but as we age, loss of balance begins to take a serious toll in our lives.
I am of the sandwich generation. I have 2 girls, 12 and 17, and an 84 year old mother which I care for in the evenings and monitor throughout the day. My mother has been falling for the past 4 years. Luckily she is overweight, which cushions her falls and protects her bones. She has osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, and has broken two ribs during the past year. After every fall my mother’s caregiver and I aggressively treat her with arnica cream to reduce her inflammation and bruising. But I have never been able to record the consequences of the fall, and the relief of the cream until last week.
My mother loves her garden and since we are worried that she could fall on the uneven ground, we designed a cement path so that she could safely get around with her walker. However on Wednesday, some how her bad knee gave way and Mom toppled over, hitting her face on a solar light. Somehow she was able to pull herself back up, get back in the house and call me. I came over as soon as possible, saw that she had cut her nose, gave her ice, ibuprofen, and put some Elixer Arnica Rub TM on her face. Seeing that the bleeding would not stop, I took her to the Urgent care facility where she received 8 stitches. That night I, along with my other duties, I made sure that Mom got another dab of Elixer.
Mom’s bruising is scary since she has poor circulation due to congestive heart failure. As we feared, her left side of her face looked terrible on the second day. For the next several days Mom would receive Elixer treatments in the morning and night and each day, the bruising inflammation subsided. By Monday, I almost had my mother’s beautiful face back to normal. And Mom feels so much better, the stitches were out, and her physician commented on her speedy recovery, “Just like a young kid’s”, he said.
We think that every one should have a jar of Elixer in their medicine supply.
Things have changed on my home front. My mother Mina, the creator of the Glorious Charlotte Russe, fell and smashed her shoulder two months ago. Now she is in a free-falling descent and is under 24/7 care. No longer do I pick her up every night to have dinner at my house, or even prepare a dinner to be served at her house. She can hardly move, has no balance, has limited speech and horrible coughing jags while she eats. So what can I do to cheer her up?
Easy. Once a week, we have cake night. Supposedly, I spend a couple hours making a fab new cake recipe and the whole family meets at her house around 9 pm to have cake and light conversation about the previous week. Then, much to the joy of my mother and the caregivers, I leave them one half of the cake. Mom then has dessert for 4 – 5 days, which seems to be the highlight of her day. The first week, I tried the Mary Todd Lincoln’s Vanilla Almond Cake which we all loved. Last week was a marvelous White Chocolate and Lemon cake, and next week, well it is time for something decadent and full of apricots.
The other addition that has been a great hit for my mother was installing a Roku (little black box) to my mother’s television and subscribing to Netflix. The Roku attaches to her DSL/cable line and allows Mom to see her beloved movies at any time. Now I don’t have to deal with returns or late fees and the movies are downloaded to her computer. Mom has been seeing old favorites such as her Jacques Tati movies and foreign flicks. The Roku cost approximately $66 in total, and Netflix charges are around $7.95 a month. I couldn’t ask for a better or easier solution.
So do something special for your parents and write in with your tips. I know that we would all appreciate it. Life for our seniors is not all about pills and creams, but about adjusting and being sensitive to their life changes.