Jennifer Meagher RN is the owner of Senior Life LLC, Advocates and Consultants. Meagher founded and oversees the Better Business Partners Serving Seniors. She is on the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Committee and has specialized in geriatrics since 1998. She is called on by doctors, attorneys, and financial advisors to care for their clients and their families. Contact Jennifer at www.SeniorLifeGCM.com.
ALL ABOUT FIBER
Fiber (also termed “roughage” or “bulk” is used most commonly for bowel health, but also helps with maintaining a healthy weight and lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Many people consider that fiber is ONLY good for constipation and will not help with loose bowels. Fiber helps balance bowel activity and can be quite effective for either. It is important to talk with your doctor about whether fiber is recommended for you and how much you should consume.
Fiber can be found in the following foods: oats, peas, beans, nuts, seeds, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and any whole grains. It can also be taken via tablet, or a variety of snacks, cookies and chocolate squares made particularly for this use. It is generally found in the diet aisle of the grocery or pharmacy. Keep in mind that eating foods containing fiber is much better for you than taking supplements. That said, some of us need to do both.
How to add Fiber to your diet:
1. Substitute whole grain bread for white bread.
2. Add beans or broccoli, spinach, or peas to your salad, chili, and spaghetti sauce.
3. Eat more fresh fruit.
4. Eat high fiber cereals with at least 5gm per serving.
I am worried that my neighbor Debbie (name changed) is being literally pushed around by her husband. She tells me stories about his temper. He blows his top when she falls down because of her Parkinson’s. She falls a lot and it’s hard for him to get her up. I’ve known Debbie a long time. She has an annoying side to her – she’ll do things just to get attention. Her husband Dick (name changed) says how much he loves her and he tears up. It seems sincere. He struggles with her health problems. He’s the only caregiver. They never had children. Debbie says he gets mad and pushes her down into a chair. I tried talking to Dick about it. He admitted to being frustrated and said she drives him crazy when he asks her to stay in the chair for a couple minutes until he can help her, and she gets up anyway and generally falls. I believe she does it on purpose. I know she’s mad to have Parkinson’s and she’s jealous of him for being able to get out and do things. But I’m worried about what could happen in a flash of anger. I don’t want to call the authorities, because what if she’s exaggerating? Sometimes she does that. What can I do?
Marlene (name changed)
What if Dick hurts Debbie in one of his flashes of anger and you were right to be worried? You already talked with Debbie and Dick so how about trying it again? First, contact the Parkinson’s Foundation chapter in Rochester. (Contact information follows.) Ask them for available supports for this family. Second, sit down with Debbie and Dick and express your concerns. It sounds like they both are stressed to the maximum with their individual situations; she as a person with chronic progressive Parkinson’s and he as the only caregiver. Tell them how they can get help through the Parkinson’s Foundation and provide the contacts. If they seem hesitant, ask their permission to give the Parkinson’s Foundation their names and phone number. Third, call in the cavalry:
- Contact Debbie’s doctor. HIPAA laws do not allow professionals to provide information without consent, but you can provide information to the doctor.
- Contact extended family. Are there siblings or other family? Let them know what is going on.
- If you don’t have this information, ask. If you are worried about Dick’s reaction then rethink this; the more worried you are that Dick will blow up, the more reason you have for concern. You might want to go directly to Adult Protective.
NATIONAL PARKINSON’S FOUNDATION OF GREATER ROCHESTER
Tel: (585) 234-5355
ADULT PROTECTIVE: 585-753-6532
You are not inserting yourself into this situation to accuse or punish either of them. You are concerned about what the effects of exhaustion and stress are having on this couple. I imagine Dick will listen to what you say and will be grateful for your input and help.
WARNING SIGNS OF ELDER ABUSE AND/OR NEGLECT
Bruises and injuries which occur too often, or for which the explanation changes, or on part of the body which doesn’t match with the explanation given.
Health problems which are not receiving care.
Fear of a particular person.
Not enough food in the home.
Inadequate heating, plumbing, and/or ventilation.
Weight loss without a medical condition as the cause.
Poor hygiene / grooming
The person is confined to a bed or chair (can’t get out alone) and is left alone.
Person is cognitively unable to care for self and/or react to an emergency and is left alone.
Visitors are barred from entering the home.
Elder’s belongings have been taken from the home: money, medications, and valuables.
Yelling, name calling, and/or threats.
Reports of mistreatment by the elder.
Note: if you suspect abuse, report it.
How many *currently-produced* US paper bills have pictures of US presidents?
The correct answer is C. Currently-produced US paper bills and the US presidents they picture are $1 – George Washington; $2 – Thomas Jefferson; $5 - Abraham Lincoln; $20 - Andrew Jackson, and $50 – Ulysses Grant. Two currently-produced US paper bills picture Alexander Hamilton ($10) and Ben Franklin ($100), but they were never US presidents. The $2 bill is only printed from time-to-time (because of low demand), but is still being printed. Other presidents pictured on bills no longer being printed include William McKinley ($500), Grover Cleveland ($1,000), James Madison ($5,000), and Woodrow Wilson ($100,000).