In this special year-end episode of Parents Are Hard To Raise, Diane takes a look back at our most popular season ever, updates us on what’s happening, and gives us a glimpse of things to come.

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Parents Are Hard To Raise S02 Episode 91 Transcript

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Announcer: [00:00:37] In this special year-end episode of Parents Are Hard To Raise. Diane takes a look back at our most popular season ever, updates us on what's happening and gives us a glimpse of things to come. Parents Are Hard To Raise is now available on Spotify and it's 180 million monthly subscribers.

Diane: [00:01:08] Welcome to parents are hard to raise, helping families grow older together without losing their minds. I'm elder care expert, Diane Berardi.

[00:01:18] We started this show, Parents Are Hard To Raise, to build a community, to bring us together. A family of children of aging parents, here to help each other, to learn from each other, to be there for each other.

[00:01:34] I never imagined how many listeners we would have and that we would be a worldwide family. And I'm so grateful for all our listeners.

[00:01:47] And we just hope we can continue to give you the information that you want to hear, and you need to know. And we're here to help each other.

[00:01:59] You know, me being in the health care industry, being a professional and now, you know, going through the same things that each and every one of us has gone through or going through or will be going through. It's your support and your e-mails and your cards have helped me so much. And I'm here to help you as much as I can. We're just one big happy dysfunctional family. And what more can we ask for.

[00:02:33] And one thing this year that I hope I've driven across to everyone is we have to be supportive to that main caregiver.

[00:02:43] You know, with my mom my dad is her main caregiver. And we're concentrating on my mom obviously. But we don't realize, my Dad is feeling left out he is feeling helpless. He's feeling like, What can he do? Even though he's there all the time. And he's starting to have symptoms. He's starting to have I guess panic attacks. You know, he can't sleep. And the most important thing is to give emotional support. That's the the most crucial factor to that caregiver. Because that's going to get that caregiver through what they have to go through. That they're not feeling like they're alone. Because they don't want to be alone.

[00:03:33] And even though I'm there for my dad and I'm there for my mom, I still have a routine I still have obligations. My brother came for a week and my sister will be coming, but that person who is nearby there is a one who is there every day. They're the one who the person who isn't feeling well is going to be truthful to. You know I think a patient sometimes acts differently to different siblings, to their spouse. You know, it just depends on the person. And so we have to be supportive of that main caregiver.

[00:04:08] You know and I'm saying to my dad, you can't keep things bottled up, and like that you know you can talk to me. And he is stressed. And I think it helps if we tell them you know stress is natural. You know having trouble... I'm having trouble sleeping. I told him. You know having trouble sleeping or eating or I came down you know with a bad cold. So that's my body coping with the stress.

[00:04:31] So we have to really be there to support that main caregiver. You know when I told them sometimes you like to go for walks or just take like a little walk and do that. That might be helpful or just for someone else it could be just eating their favorite comfort food something you know everybody needs something different maybe just you know 10 15 minutes something that's going to just make it just take a deep breath and just say OK I've got this.

[00:04:59] And this season we've had so many great guests. So many guests helping us as caregivers, giving us up to date information, tips, different activities we can do with our loved ones...

[00:05:13] Episode 57, if you remember, Ira Pastor, he talked about age reversal. Episode 58, Dan Cohen, on music and memory. Go to his Web site that was a phenomenal episode, a phenomenal program. Episode 59, Bob Tygenhoff, he taught us how to get our parents to move.. Exercise. Episode 60, Corina Minchew, on harmonica therapy for COPD patients. Oh my gosh we got so many e-mails on that episode. And of course our resident physician, Dr. Felice Gersh who you'll be hearing a lot more from. She talked about circadian rhythms and UTI's. I mean UTI's are something that we really need to know, because it's amazing how, and we don't realize it, unless we are instructed and informed about it-- how they affect the elderly. You see your mom or dad acting funny and you don't realize it could be a UTI.

[00:06:12] Gianni Pirelli, he had given us behind the scenes look at what the courts look for in competency. And Frank Puglisi, in episode 68, he talked about service dogs. Marcia Southwick, in episode 71, Guardian abuse. Geraldine Callahan, episode 70 on Medicare and Medicaid planning. So important. So many changes constantly happening.

[00:06:40] Episode 72, Detective Joseph Roubicek, and he was also an episode 81, talking to us about elder exploitation.

[00:06:48] And of course episode 73, Amos Goodall, from the Elder Law Foundation, telling us important documents that our parents should have and that you know we should seek the advice of Certified Elder Law Attorneys.

[00:07:02] And my friend Dr. Lina Aldana, episode 74. She talked about caregiver stress. So important. We go through the stress every day, you know. I know me with my mom, you just... It's always in the back of your head, you know you just can't escape it. It's a very stressful time and she talked to us about different things we can do.

[00:07:25] Episodes 79, Brenda Bacon. Her wonderful Brandywine assisted living campuses and how assisted living should be run.

[00:07:37] Melanie Decker. Episode 82 and her Howell Senior Center, episode 84 we did the live on location spot and we had so much fun doing that.

[00:07:48] And we look forward to this coming season where we have so many guests planned, different organizations that help our parents. They say great things are done by a series of little tidbits and that's what we have, people that are passionate about their work, passionate about helping our parents every day.

[00:08:09] And speaking of passionate, I'm very passionate about telling people in the medical profession what they need to do. And it's just because I'm trying to help them as well.

[00:08:23] Hospital administrators, doctors, rehab facilities, nursing homes, anyone servicing... That's that's the keyword, servicing... Our elderly parents. You have to understand your audience. Don't think that all elderly are the same. Elderly... Our elderly parents are just as diverse a population as Millennials, as everyone else.

[00:08:52] So you have to really get to know them. You have to be curious about them. You can't just look at their age. You have to look at them as individuals at their range of abilities. Don't assume that they're all facing the same challenges, because you have five people that are in their 80s.

[00:09:13] You know health care, the health care industry right now is in turmoil. They're facing high turnovers and shortages. So you have to really be focused on hiring... Hiring the right people and training them. You really have to train them in doing their job. You have to train doctors, nurses, anyone who touches a patient. Anyone who comes in contact with our elderly parents.

[00:09:43] They have to be trained on how to communicate with the elderly, on what to expect, on how to deal with different situations, how to slow down at the right moment. How to talk to them. How to listen. Because if you don't, it's not only going to affect your productivity, it's going to jeopardize your outcomes, but it's going to hurt that patient experience. And we talked about that.

[00:10:10] So you really... You have to train. You have to train. You have to train.

[00:10:14] And then you have to appreciate those employees. And you'll have to let them do their jobs.

[00:10:20] You know, years ago hospitals were part of that social safety network. Because people that work in hospitals or in facilities you know they're not as attuned to the social aspect of people's care. You know that loneliness, isolation. Those are big problems. Because our parents are living longer, they may not have a spouse. They may not have friends that are left. We as children don't live in the area. So there is that isolation-- that loneliness. And years ago it wasn't unusual to admit person to a hospital for social reasons and we don't have that today. You know if an elderly person couldn't manage at home, believe it or not, "social reasons" was a legitimate diagnosis. That hospital was an important part of the social safety network.

[00:11:12] And I realize that isn't going to happen today.

[00:11:16] You know they're not going to the insurance companies aren't going to let you admit someone for social reasons. But we have to be attuned to that social situation of the patient, of that person, because you have to remember we all impact each other.

[00:11:34] In a minute, I want to talk to you about having your parents document their life story. But first, if you're a woman or there's a woman in your life, there's something you absolutely need to know.

[00:11:46] I want to tell you about my friend Katie. Katie is a nurse and she was attacked on her way home from work. She was totally taken by surprise. And although Katie is only 5 feet tall and 106 pounds she was easily able to drop her 6 foot 4, 250-pound attacker to his knees and get away unharmed.

Katie wasn't just lucky that day. She was prepared.

In her pocketbook, a harmless looking lipstick, which really contained a powerful man stopping aerosol propellant.

It's not like it was in our grandmother's day. Today just going to and from work or to the mall can have tragic consequences. The FBI says a violent crime is committed every 15 seconds in the United States. And a forcible rape happens every five minutes. And chances are when something happens, no one will be around to help.

It looks just like a lipstick. So no one will suspect a thing. Which is important since experts say, getting the jump on your attacker is all about the element of surprise.

Inside this innocent looking lipstick is the same powerful stuff used by police and the military to disarm even the most powerful, armed aggressor. In fact, National Park rangers used the very same formula that's inside this little lipstick to stop two-thousand pound vicious grizzly bears dead in their tracks. It's like carrying a personal bodyguard with you in your purse or your pocket.

Darkness brings danger. Murderers and rapists use darkness to their advantage. We all know what it's like to be walking at night and hear footsteps coming at us from behind. Who's there? If it's somebody bad, will you be protected? Your life may depend on it.

[00:13:29] My friend Katie's close call needs to be a wakeup call for all of us, myself included. Pick up a lipstick bodyguard and keep it with you always.

[00:13:45] You're listening to parents are hard to raise. Now thanks to you, the number one eldercare talk show on planet Earth. Listen to this and other episodes on demand using the iHeart Radio app. iPhone users can listen on Apple podcasts and Android users on Google podcasts.

[00:14:07] Our stories, those we share over dinner, or over a cup of coffee, or while we're exercising with a friend at the gym, or while the whole family's together for a holiday, and we're sitting around the table. Those stories matter they keep us whole. Storytelling is at the core of who we are. We express our feelings in sharing our story. So I have a great exercise that you can do with your parents. It's great for you and it's great for your parent... Documenting your life story.

[00:14:39] Doing that you remember challenges and triumphs that you faced how past experiences have influenced you. Today you know we you think you know your parents and then they start to tell you things and you're like I didn't know that you know I didn't know that. So having your parents document their story you can find out things about them that you didn't know. Of course they can pass along their wisdom. They can exercise their memory. It gives them a sense of purpose.

[00:15:10] And remember people who view life with a sense of purpose they tend to have a more positive outlook on life. And studies have shown that older adults with a sense of purpose tend to retain strong hand grip and walking speeds.

[00:15:26] Now, with documenting your life story you actually want to... You don't want to sit on a community I want to give them a tablet. You actually want to write, you know, have them write and that's not going to be hard for them, because they're used to that because that can be therapeutic and it can strengthen your bond with your mom or dad or both of them.

[00:15:47] Now they should write every day. And at the same time, for short periods of time. And also writing in longhand or whether they call it script? Which is something different today, but that activates parts of the brain associated with short and long term memory. So that's a great exercise to do with your parent. And it's something that you will, you'll treasure their life story forever. You know you'll have that with you and your children your grandchildren.

[00:16:22] So here's some interesting things in the news...

[00:16:25] As if hospitals don't need anymore problems or nursing homes. We keep saying we got to keep mom and dad out of hospitals, because a new study has revealed that the life threatening bacteria Clostridium difficile. You know people refer to it as C. diff. that can cling to hospital bed sheets, even after they're thoroughly washed.

[00:16:46] You know there's some insight into why flare ups of the bacteria were occurring out of the blue, and what they found is that contaminated cotton sheets were washed at high temperatures using this industrial strength detergent but traces of the bacteria lingered and were transferred to uncontaminated sheets. So...

[00:17:09] And remember, common culprits of infection-- Those elevator buttons. The bed curtains. Oh my gosh.

[00:17:19] Sometimes in a hospital, if your patient doesn't have a cell phone you know they'll have these cell phones that you can use and those you know worry just... I don't think they wash them in between patients. So though those tablets you know in a nursing home using tablets. Computer keyboards. These Hoyer lifts. Side rails. The hand and foot of the bed. Wheelchairs. Geri-chairs. You know we don't know...

[00:17:46] They're used a lot but we don't know how often they're cleaned. So, I mean my mom you know when she was in I'm looking at the I.V. pole and I look at the bottom of it and oh my gosh it's...

[00:18:00] I don't think it's ever been cleaned. So, uggh.

[00:18:05] We got to keep them out of institutions, but as they have to go, you know I was saying to you, you have to bring those wipes with you and you may have to wipe everything down.

[00:18:17] I know you can't be there all the time but, if someone who is can wipe things down, because man oh man it's uggh... Some of this stuff is...

[00:18:27] OK, let sleep deprived dogs lie.

[00:18:30] So new research has found that losing just a couple of hours of sleep at night makes you angrier especially in frustrating situations. So what happens is losing just a few hours of sleep a night it actually reverses your ability to adapt to frustrating conditions, over time. So we need to get enough sleep.

[00:18:54] Researchers have also found that negative moods like sadness and anger are associated with higher levels of inflammation. And chronic inflammation can contribute to different diseases and conditions like cardiovascular, diabetes and some cancers.

[00:19:12] If you're feeling blue, join a choir. Investigators found seniors who sang in a choir for six months experienced marked improvement in loneliness.

[00:19:24] My husband and I were driving on the Parkway the other day and.. If you're not familiar, in New Jersey we have the Garden State Parkway which I guess it takes you, right, from one end of the state to another? And we're riding and we're both looking and we see a sign. You know normally it's 65 miles per hour but they have certain sections that they change to 55. And we're both saying, When did that change to 55? And I'm like jeez I didn't notice that yesterday and he said the same thing. Did you know that setting speed limits just five miles per hour below engineering recommendations produces a statistically significant decrease in total fatal and injury crashes? According to researchers. But, if you lower the speed limit by 10, 15 or 25 miles an hour or more, drivers stop paying attention huh. That was just like us.

[00:20:21] I know last year we went over this and here we go again. They have recently published in Trauma Surgery and Acute Care. The total health care costs of animal related injuries that exceeds one billion dollars every year in the U.S. and it's expected to rise due to climate change and animal habitats having to change because of development. What kind of injuries?

[00:20:46] Nearly half by non venomous insect and spider bites. Dog bites account for 26 percent. Hornet wasp and bee stings 13 percent. Two percent died as a result of their injuries. The highest rate of deaths were those bitten by venomous snakes, (eeeh) rats, or lizards. Nice.

[00:21:12] Okay...

[00:21:15] And remember, be grateful. We all have something to be grateful for. I know it's hard, Some days. You know and sometimes you're like, Be grateful? I'm not grateful for anything today. But we have to try, because we do, we all have something to be grateful for. Because research shows people who develop gratitude get a boy get a Boist... Get a boost in happiness and optimism. And they feel better connected to other people. They have more friends. They're more likely to help others. And here... They even sleep better and have fewer headaches.

[00:21:54] And I am so grateful for you.

[00:21:57] I feel so connected to you and I'm so happy that I can help you in any way I can. And you have helped me in so many ways. And again to all our guests we are so grateful and happy. And we look forward to seeing and hearing from them again this coming season.

[00:22:21] We have made so many friends. I have made so many friends on this show and I can't tell you how that touches my heart and just makes me want to give more. So that's another thing. When you, I guess, when you are grateful you do... You want to give more and you want to help more people.

[00:22:40] And I am so grateful for you.

[00:22:43] I love getting your e-mails and questions so please keep sending them to me. You can reach me at Diane@Parents Are Hard To Raise.org Or just click the green button on our home page.

[00:22:53] And please show someone how to find our show. Remember there's so many new ways to listen to our show. Spotify. Roku. Listen on your smartphone with Apple podcasts and Google podcasts. You can get us an Apple TV, Direct TV and even on Alexa.

[00:23:10] Parents Are Hard To Raise is a CounterThink Media production. The music used in this broadcast is managed by Cosmo Music, New York, New York.

[00:23:18] And I'm so grateful for our New York producer Joshua Green. Our broadcast engineer, Well Gambino, and from our London studios is the melodic voice of our announcer, Miss Dolly D.

Thank you so much for listening.

Until next time you forget everything you don't want to remember and remember everything you don't want to forget.

[00:23:37] See you again next week!

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